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Ben Affleck is frontrunner to direct “Justice League” movie

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When we learned that Warner Bros. was planning to create a “Justice League” movie, Ben Affleck certainly wasn’t on the list of directors we expected the studio to want to helm the project. But we should have, considering the success that “The Town” had in 2010 and that “Argo” likely will have this year. The studio and the director/actor have a great relationship so far, and now it could potentially get even better.

Variety is reporting that Affleck is the only director Warner Bros. has approached with the Will Beall-penned script for “Justice League.” It’s the studio’s hope that Affleck will direct the project, even though that likely means he’d don spandex and a cape to play one of the superheroes in the film. Apparently Affleck is expected to discuss the job opportunity with high ups at Warner Bros over the next few days.

Warner Bros. resurrected its “Justice League” plans back in June, when it was announced that that the studio would go forward with Beall’s script. The big question is what superheroes the film will focus on, and no one seems to have the answer to that yet. The assumption is that the ensemble project will include big guns like Batman, Superman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, though likely not with Christian Bale, Ryan Reynolds or (potentially) even Henry Cavill playing them. Hopefully this “Justice League” movie will attempt to be consistent with the rest of WB’s DC universe films, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the studio opted to start from scratch.

For now, we’re just intrigued by the possibility of Affleck. He has some experience with superhero films, but we’ll be the first to admit that “Daredevil” wasn’t great. Fortunately Affleck has greatly matured as an actor and a director since then, which is good for this project. However, Affleck doesn’t have any experience directing with CGI, which could be a boon or a curse. He filmed some great realistic action scenes in “The Town,” which could make a “Justice League” film more in line stylistically with Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy. To us, the more realistic this film is, the better, though we know there’s no way to make characters like the Green Lantern and the Flash work without some semblance of computer assistance. Hopefully Affleck is up to the task.

Do you think Ben Affleck is a good pick for a “Justice League” film? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

“Justice League” ride to open up at Australia theme park

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Warner Bros. might be reviving the Justice League for a new movie, but it sounds like DC’s ensemble of superheroes is going to be headed to Australia’s Warner Bros. Movie World first.

The official website for the theme park has posted new information about the ride, which they’re calling “Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D.” The shooting dark ride (similar in style to the “Buzz Lightyear” one at Disneyland) will feature familiar characters like The Flash, Supergirl, Superman and Cyborg. It also is some pretty major proof that Warner Bros. wants “Justice League” to be a major franchise for them. Who knows, maybe some of the characters we see in the ride will be included in the movie as well.

Entertainment Designer has some information about how the story will be laid out. Riders will enter the queue, only to find out via newscast that the Justice League is being assembled to fend off a group of alien invaders. Cyborg recruits the batch of visitors, and teaches them how to use the “guns” attached to their “custom tactical assault vehicle” to fight the “alien spores” infesting the world. It’s then up to the rider to defend Gotham City from the invaders, hoping to rack up as many points as possible by the end of the adventure. The ride ends with a big showdown between Superman and an as-yet-unnamed evil villain.

The ride seems pretty cool, and it will be interesting to see if the quality level of the 3D screens and animatronic figures that Warner Bros. Movie World is putting together for this attraction are on par with some of the big rides that recently opened up in the United States, like “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Transformers: The Ride.” We don’t really have an equivalent of Movie World stateside, but maybe WB can make a deal to bring it to Disney or Universal or something. Fingers crossed for this, and an impending official movie announcement. “Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D” is set to open in September.

What do you think of this recently announced ride? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

That 70s Show Fez

Good Day, Fez!

10 Quotes That Prove Fez is That ’70s Show’s Secret Weapon

Get groovy with Fez on That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-11P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Productions

Who is Fez? Wilmer Valderrama’s foreign exchange student was a lot of things on That ’70s Show. Loveable. Confusing. Creepy. For eight seasons he operated as the heart of the show, adding a pinch of weird to their ’70s stew. If Kelso was the show’s puppy, and Hyde its attack dog, Fez was the loveable stray you welcomed into your house, and then found humping the vacuum cleaner. Before you catch Fez on That ’70s Show (airing Mondays & Tuesdays from 6-11P on IFC), we thought it was high time to revisit some of his funniest and weirdest lines, from hitting on girls to hitting on himself.


10. He knows how to pamper himself.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


9. He’s a deeply spiritual man.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


8. He has his priorities straight.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


7. And he doesn’t work for free.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


6. He knows when enough is enough.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


5. And always minds his manners.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


4. Really, he’s a kid at heart.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


3. He has modest dreams.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


2. And still knows how to kick back.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


1. And of course, when to say “Good Day!”

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

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