Rumor: Are The Wachowskis Another Possibility To Direct 'Justice League'?

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by Oliver Lyttelton
August 26, 2012 9:52 AM
20 Comments
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The big directorial vacancy right now in Hollywood is the one for "Justice League," the superhero team-up movie that Warner Bros. hope will help them catch up to the success of Marvel's "The Avengers." The studio unsuccessfully tried to get the supergroup going a few years back with George Miller at the helm, but with Christopher Nolan's Bat series wrapped up and "Man of Steel" on the way, it's now a major priority for the studio, with a script commissioned from "Gangster Squad" scribe Will Beall and an active hunt for a director underway in the hope that the film would provide a launching pad for other DC heroes like Wonder Woman, The Flash and a revamped Green Lantern.

As has been very publicly known, the name on the top of Warners' list was Ben Affleck, who's become something of a darling at the studio after "The Town" and the upcoming "Argo" -- they offered him both "Man of Steel" and "Gangster Squad," and have set him to direct a two-part movie adaptation of "The Stand." But Affleck's taste leans a little more grown-up, and the director confirmed a couple of days ago what most had assumed: " 'Justice League' sounds really exciting, but it's not something I'm working on."

So where does that leave the project? Well, Moviehole have some idea. The Australian site has suggested that another possibility on the Warner Bros. wishlist are... Andy and Lana Wachowski, the duo behind "The Matrix" trilogy. The filmmakers have had a home at the studio ever since their 1999 breakout, with both sequels, plus "Speed Racer" and their producing efforts "V For Vendetta" and "Ninja Assassin" released through the company. And  the studio are also releasing "Cloud Atlas," which the Wachowskis have co-directed with Tom Tykwer, later in the year, and apparently it's that film, which combines spectacle with balancing an expansive ensemble, that have convinced Warners that Andy and Lana could be their "Justice League" directors.

If it's true (and Moviehole are generally on the money), it does make sense; the duo have been interested in comics-based properties before and certainly have the experience with big budgets at this point. While Warners might have cooled on them after "Speed Racer" flopped, we can see how "Cloud Atlas" might have put them back in the studio's good books; the film cost around $100 million, but there's a lot of production value in there for an independent film (it was a negative pick-up for Warners), and word from test screenings has mostly been good. Indeed, they've been gearing up for another big-budget project, "Jupiter Ascending," with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, of late.

But it's also important to stress that, if the story is accurate, the pair are only names on a wish-list at this point. There's no indication of whether "Jupiter Ascending" might get in the way (word's been very quiet on the project of late), or if the Wachowskis have any interest in the film. There's also bound to be other names in the mix too. Bleeding Cool have been dropping a certain amount of innuendo suggesting that "Gangster Squad" helmer Ruben Fleischer might be the studio's top choice, although it's unclear if they've got facts on this or if it's simply an educated guess.

There'll be other possibilities in the mix, too. We're sure that Warners would be keen on Alfonso Cuarón, with whom they've just made "Gravity," for instance. And they could even follow the Marvel template even closer, and go for a riskier pick like Joss Whedon or James Gunn. Things are still a little foggy at present, but one thing is very much clear at this point: the film's a big priority for the studio and we're likely to find out a director sooner rather than later. Who would you like to say at the helm of "Justice League?" Let us know in the comments section below.

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20 Comments

  • alphabet | August 27, 2012 7:00 PMReply

    I'm on board.
    Fassbender for Batman!

  • DG | August 26, 2012 11:18 PMReply

    Ugh, please no, bad idea. Wachowskis are gonna turn JL into a cyber-trash cgi circle jerk. I guess that's just my opinion but really come on, their movies have terrible style. People are saying Cloud Atlas is going to be great but seriously looking at those photos of Tom Hanks with the manicured facial hair and then hearing someone say they have the right experience to pull off Justice League visually is pretty fucking confusing to me. Same thing goes with The Matrix. It is a really good story science fiction wise (much of it heavily lifted from Baudrillard) but visually its completely cliche, gloomy future always raining shots, green 0s and 1s etc. I will admit they can direct fight scenes pretty well but really I just don't want a JL movie where the villian is like some cgi ghost with a trench coat and telephone cords coming out of his hair or whatever. Also one last thing is that i watched Side by Side the other night and The Wachowskis portion of it was horrible, they were talking about how digital space is going to grow and will be a better experience than going to a theater because they think people will have more discussions online or something like that, and then they spliced in some footage from Second Life or Sims (I'm not sure exactly, computer game) of avatars walking in to a movie theater. Just something to think about if you care about stuff like that

  • Cde. | August 27, 2012 10:45 AM

    The hell? The original Matrix was a revolutionary film visually.

  • Stevo the Magnificent | August 26, 2012 10:52 PMReply

    The Wachowskis might be good picks for a JLA movie if you want the League to be dressed in gimp masks and S&M bondage gear... there goes the PG-13 rating! It's not going to happen anyway, Larry and Andy are prepping 'Jupiter Ascending' currently, and it better be a big success upon release, because I predict 'Cloud Atlas' will not be, and the brothers' badly need a hit or they're finished as big-budget filmmakers, period.

  • Tom | August 26, 2012 6:25 PMReply

    @Drew - Shane Carruth jumping from a $7,000 budget for Primer to a likely $200 million or so budget for Justice League would be one of the most awesome leaps up the ladder ever for a director. As long as Carruth makes another damn movie, I'm happy. Ducan Jones might also be a good pick. He's shown he can handle mid budget action as well as intimate character based stuff.

  • Real Name | August 26, 2012 7:08 PM

    Carruth has made another film, called Upstream Color.

  • Mohammed Shaban | August 26, 2012 5:57 PMReply

    George Lucas or Steven Spilberg

  • drew | August 26, 2012 3:50 PMReply

    JJ Abrahms or Shane Carruth

  • tristan eldritch | August 26, 2012 3:04 PMReply

    I'd like to see the Wachowskis do it. Whedon is a great dialogue guy, but I would like to see some of these properties tackled by people with a real flair for the visual/stylistic end of things, which the Wachowskis certainly do. I mean they completely redefined FX/action movies for awhile back in the day, and it would be great to see them take crack at something like that again.

  • Hombre Gato | August 26, 2012 1:40 PMReply

    Seems unlikely. While Cloud Atlas re-legitimizing the pair could lead to such offers, I'd sooner expect them to use that leverage in making Jupiter not only happen, but happen over the course of three films.

  • DDH | August 26, 2012 1:01 PMReply

    I was hoping "Man of Steel" would be its own universe like the Batman movies
    If it has to happen I say David Yates or Duncan Jones

  • lane | August 26, 2012 12:43 PMReply

    this would be great. Speed Racer is an absurdly under appreciated film and Cloud Atlas looks monumental

  • BEF | August 26, 2012 12:05 PMReply

    Give it to Fleisher. Then the Wachowski's can do Jupiter Ascending and Cuaron can do a personal project he's invested in and Fleisher's name won't come up for a flick that a Refn, Cuaron, etc would be more suited to direct. (Although I would like a Refn helmed Wonder Woman, since that IS something he's passionate about).

  • Cde. | August 26, 2012 10:44 AMReply

    Wachowskis should do Jupiter instead. They're better than this.

  • JD | August 26, 2012 10:29 AMReply

    They could go for Joss Whedon? Okay, how many things are absurd about that statement? I mean, don't you think Whedon's contract to basically run Marvel's movie universe for the forseeable just MIGHT preclude him making an Avengers imitation for Marvel's biggest rival since 1939?

  • BS | August 26, 2012 9:07 PM

    All due praise for your ability to comprehend the written word but the sentence you're commenting on covers exactly what you want it to cover. It could be re-written as you want it but, as it is currently, it conveys exactly the same thing.

  • JD | August 26, 2012 8:04 PM

    No, dipshit, I know how to read just fine. If Mr. Lyttleton, who is a very fine writer and whose work I have admired many times on this site in the past, meant Warners / DC should emulate Marvel's template by making a riskier choice, and not that they should emulate it by attempting to hire Joss Whedon or James Gunn, he should've have phrased it a bit more clearly. Perhaps something like, "Or they could follow the Marvel template even more closely and hire a riskier choice to direct, the way Marvel successfully pursued Kenneth Branagh or Joss Whedon".

  • Koe | August 26, 2012 10:47 AM

    What's absurd is that you don't know how to read. ..''for a riskier pick LIKE Joss Whedon''

  • JD | August 26, 2012 10:30 AM

    Um..."forseeable future".

  • Monica | August 26, 2012 10:14 AMReply

    Nooooooooooooooo. Warner needs to stop it.
    Never gonna be a good movie!

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