Ben Affleck Explains Why 'Justice League' Benefits From Two Directors
Justice League is in a unique situation.
Unlike most movies with two directors, Justice League didn't start out with a directing duo: in May, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder handed the directorial reigns to The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon following a family tragedy.
Snyder stepped back completely, with Whedon coming aboard but sticking to the vision already laid out by his predecessor. Still, it gives Justice League two sets of eyes from a pair of wildy different filmmakers, and star and executive producer Ben Affleck has nothing but praise for what Whedon brought to the table.
"Joss just brought to the movie what good directors bring, which is good taste," Affleck told SFX Magazine. "A sense of what's gonna work in the story and what isn't. An instinct for realism and for finding the humanity in the characters and the humanity in the conflict, then making it accessible and relevant. I think that's one of the things he did so well with Avengers, frankly. He really defined the tone, and it felt like a lot of the movies after that sort of fell into that tone that he created. It was a very tricky dance where you have all these people who can do all these fantastic things that's completely absurd on the face of it, and yet, a good storyteller like Joss brings us in, makes us identify with them, makes them seem real, and makes it interesting. A lot of guys know the comic books, a lot of people have that knowledge base. What Joss really has is talent."
Affleck, who was set to direct The Batman before turning it over to War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, says it takes a special talent to focus on the human in the cape or spandex amidst blockbuster superhero action.
"I wish I had the gift that he has for identifying what's the most compelling human drama in the context of superhero conflict," Affleck said. "But he has a very sharp mind for it. He knows exactly what he wants, almost with a surgeon's kind of precision. He focuses in, beat by beat, on how he's telling the story, exactly where he'll be editorially. What the tenor of delivery of a line should be like. He gives you comfort because you feel like he has a very clear idea of what he wants, what he expects and, most importantly, what he thinks will work."
Most recently, Snyder said he's "kind of just let" everyone on Justice League do their thing, saying he feels it would be "unfair in a lot of ways" to still be involved with the superhero epic. According to the latest Justice League credits, Snyder will receive sole director's credit on the film while Whedon will be given a writing credit.
Starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, J.K. Simmons, Jeremy Irons and Ciaran Hinds, Justice League opens November 17.
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.