Yesterday’s news by Disney that Joss Whedon would be returning to helm The Avengers’ sequel has been thoroughly trumped as it was reported earlier today that Ben Affleck is Warner Bros.’s only choice at the moment to shepherd in the Justice League franchise. Many people have suspected the studio’s banter about such a feature could be mere wishful thinking despite enlisting Gangster Squad writer Will Beall to draft a script as there does not appear to be the tools necessary to create such a Marvel-like universe. Of course, all of that changed with the news that one of Warner’s top directors was offered the opportunity to return to the superhero genre.
Social media is absolutely exploding with this news as both Affleck and Justice League are currently trending on Twitter–something that Warner Bros. will be happy to know. While there is a largely expected mixed reaction about him possibly co-starring in the feature, many are welcoming this news as both Gone Baby Gone and The Town were largely impressive outings from the actor who is proving to be another ‘Clint Eastwood’ so to speak where directing is really his forte.
All we know so far about the project is that Affleck has already read the script and if he signs on it will likely come in short order. The studio has this one set for the summer of 2015 meaning it will go head-to-head with The Avengers. This is not a coincidence. I would suggest that the studio is going to continue to ride coattails of this movie to put these two pictures in the same conversation as much as possible. It benefits them greatly to be mentioned every time its Marvel-based rival does, so we will continue to see a one-for-one news story scenario play out for the next few years. The Avengers will take the news one day and then Warner Bros. might leak something to the press about Justice League the next.
For those not in the know, the assumed characters in the picture will be Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman, and The Flash. There could always be an Aquaman as well, but that might be pushing it. While Superman and Green Lantern are already accounted for (Henry Cavill and possibly a reprisal by Ryan Reynolds,) there is definitely the question as to who might follow Christian Bale as Batman. The answer might be under your nose and I got a theory for you all that involves Dark Knight Rises spoilers so stop reading if you have not seen the movie yet.
While at the end of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy capper Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne hangs up the cape for good, Mr. John Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt appeared to be inheriting the gig as a Nightwing-type player. The whole thing reeked of spin-off, but we obviously did not hear anything on the topic other than the same old line of ‘this is the end for Christopher Nolan’s Batman’ and ‘it ended how the heads at WB previously discussed.’ You can probably see where I am going here; however, it is worth spelling out.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt could play Batman in not a solo franchise, but rather Justice League. This would explain why no one is saying anything on the issue at this point in time. It could be a done deal that is being kept as a closely guarded secret to thoroughly blow people’s minds (as it surely would.) I might also suggest that we could hear such an announcement (if true) the day after something special happens for The Avengers’ sequel.