BEN AFFLECK Refutes JUSTICE LEAGUE Report ... Mostly

Credit: Salon

UPDATE 8/26, 9:15am ET: In an interview with the Canadian website 24h Saturday, actor/director Ben Affleck refuted reports earlier this month that he’s involved in a Warner Bros. Justice League

"I'm not working on the Justice League,” he told the website. “One of the problems with entertainment web sites is that they need to fill pages, and that's how rumours get started.

“Justice League sounds really exciting, but it's not something I'm working on."

24h points out that while Affleck’s “tone of voice suggested that he will not be directing the film,” they also point out he leaves himself some wiggle room, responding in the present tense leaving it possible he could become involved in the film in the future.

But smart money at the moment is Warner Bros. will have to move down their list.

UPDATE Aug. 8, 10:45pm: For the second time this week, the Hollywood trade new guard is taking on the old guard for comic book movie news credibility and supremacy. 

Mike Fleming of responded to Variety's Ben Affleck/Justice League report Wednesday afternoon, disputing its relevancy more so than its technical accuracy, "calling bulls**t" on the story and referring to as "of questionable substance."

According to Fleming, himself a former long-time Variety staffer, he checked out the story "days ago" and didn't publish it because Affleck's reps told him a deal was not going to happen. While Fleming acknowledges Warner Bros. would be interested in having Affleck direct the project (Fleming says Warners offers everything to Christopher Nolan, then to Harry Potter's  David Yates, then Affleck) and that he might even take a meeting to discuss it, the reporter states the actor/director's reps "clearly denied" he'd accept any offer.

Just two days ago Deadline disputed another Variety report that Marvel Studios and Fox were engaged in discussions that would net Marvel the use of Galactus and Silver Surfer in their films, in exchange for an extension of the deadline Fox is under to starting filming a Daredevil reboot before the rights revert back to Marvel. 

Original story: Ben Affleck could be the leader of the Justice League, if Warner Bros. has their way. The actor and director is being called upon for his latter skill, Variety reports, and is expected to speak to studio executives this week.

Affleck, who directed The Town for the studio is reportedly the only potential director who has received the script to Justice League, written by Will Beall, whose Gangster Squad hits from the studio later this year. The script was commissioned in the summer of 2011.

In 2010's The Town and the upcoming Argo, Affleck both directed and played a role in the films, suggesting he may want to suit up as a member of the superhero squad should he take on the directorial position. Affleck of course has a superhero past, having played Matt Murdock aka Daredevil in the movie of the same name, though he did not direct. Justice League would also be Affleck's first big-budget flick as a director; though he has directed successes, they have been mid-tier films.

Warner Bros. wants to get the assemblage of DC superheroes, traditionally including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and more, on the big screen sooner rather than later, following the success of The Avengers, Marvel's superteam. Marvel's The Avengers is the most well-performing superhero movie of all time, with over $600 million domestic and nearly $1.5 billion worldwide. DC Entertainment, the more multimedia focused restructuring of DC Comics formed in 2009, has so far only put out box office flop Green Lantern, which grossed about $116 million on a $200 million budget, under its new identity (this summer's Dark Knight Rises was the third film in a pre-existing franchise, and thus did not have the involvement of the new DCE team). Man of Steel, the newest Superman film, is due in Summer 2013, and acts as the first real test for the studio.

If a Justice League film does hit the fast track, with or without Affleck, it likely still wouldn't premiere until 2015 — the same year the just-confirmed Avengers 2, written and directed by Joss Whedon, looks to be hitting theaters.

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