The DCEU has had a rough time of it. I say that every time I start a story about the franchise kicked off by The Man of Steel. It finally had a movie everyone agrees is good this year with Wonder Woman, which is going on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of the year. But it’s not smooth sailing just yet. Justice League comes out in November, and it has its share of drama. But things are getting better, says the Batman himself, Ben Affleck.
While Wonder Woman set a new tone and direction for the DCEU, Justice League was finishing up filming at the hands of Zack Snyder – the architect of both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, two of the three movies that were leading the franchise down an unnecessarily gritty and dark path that made even Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns look like a straight-faced affair.
But with filming mostly complete on the movie, tragedy struck Snyder’s family, forcing him to step away from his seat, which would be filled by Avengers director Joss Whedon as both writer and director. The two have very different directing and storytelling styles, and Affleck addressed the changes in an interview with Entertainment Weekly recently.
Affleck said that Whedon is the best possible person who could’ve stepped in considering the circumstances. Affleck describes the film as “an interesting product of two directors, both with kind of unique visions, both with really strong takes.”
It’s really working!
Affleck is careful to be diplomatic, saying that he likes working with both directors, as well as minimizing the impact of the reshoots, but some of his positive words reveal how he might really feel about the franchise.
“This is a really nice time to work in DC,” he said. “They’re hitting their stride. They’re getting it right. It’s starting to feel like it’s really working.”
Starting, he says. Man of Steel hit in June of 2013, putting us four-and-a-quarter years into the DCEU. It’s a vote of confidence for Justice League, but makes it pretty clear how he feels about the franchise’s previous entries.
I’d pretty much expected Justice League to be the same stuff as the other DCEU movies, but with these comments, I’m now totally unsure of what to think. Which is kind of an improvement.
Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.