The following article is by contributor rogbngp at the Snyderverse Trilogy community:
Collider Heroes has a pretty thoughtful discussion of the possible ramifications of Ben Affleck being hired as executive producer of Justice League Part One. I won't try to sum it up, but rather recommend just watching it. It starts at 23:20 (and you can go here to start it right there):
On the subject of “course correction” for the DCEU, given Batman v Superman’s disappointing box office and the disturbing critical reaction it received, Grace Randolph offers a very insightful analysis of the problems that WB has to contend with moving forward. Grace is on the money with the studio formula film versus auteur film approach contrast that currently defines CBM film production. I highly recommend this watching this video:
The general consensus in the CBM community seems to be that the DCEU needs a Kevin Feige at the helm–someone other than Zack Snyder–and many seem to feel that Ben Affleck would be an excellent choice for that position. The guys at Collider Movie Talk open that subject up for discussion. Jon Schnepp and Dennis Tzeng both seem to concur that Ben has the perfect ‘cred’ for that oversight role, and it would be a move that would probably do much to restore confidence among the fan base (starts at 10:54, you can go here to start at that point):
However, Grace Randolph makes a very sensible observation in the video below that, given that Ben Affleck is an actor and director who is either acting in, directing, or executive producing for multiple DCEU films, having Ben Affleck oversee the entire DCEU may be asking him to take on too much (it’s the first story in the video):
Grace feels that Ben Affleck has agreed to be executive producer now mostly in order to lend support to a fellow director that he likes and admires, and who is also a gifted auteur director like himself. Grace pointed out that managing the MCU is all that Kevin Feige does. The person filling the Kevin Feige role should not be a director, she proposed, because then 1) he or she will both be able to give the position full attention, and 2) also will have clearer judgment via not being as personally invested in many aspects of the process as a director of some of the films would be.
But in any event, granting Ben Affleck very strong creative control (I'm tempted to say final say, honestly) and considerable power of oversight in whatever capacity he can reasonably exercise it at this stage, seems like a very good move for the DCEU. I just hope that Ben isn’t asked to do more than he can reasonably be expected to take on. That said, I'm confident that whatever Affleck does do in the capacity of overseeing JL1 and future DCEU films, it will likely continue to confer his golden touch as an actor and director. Ben Affleck seems to have an excellent grasp of what makes a successful CBM adaptation–at least judging from his Batman in BvS, and assuming that his personal stamp as a director as well as actor is on that performance.
I don't think this has to be done in a way that has be experienced as totally humiliating or demoralizing to Zack Snyder. From a business standpoint this is the consequence of BvS's performance, pure and simple. And the remedy is pretty gentle, versus getting sacked. I trust that Ben Affleck would understand and respect Zack's creative vision, and he would do everything he reasonably can to keep it intact. But at the end of the day WB must have confidence that JL1 will connect with audience and critics. Period! Maybe think of Snyder and Affleck as working together as a team, like the Russo Brothers or something.
So… what does all this mean for the Snyder legacy regarding MoS, BvS, JL1, and hopefully JL2? First, let’s not forget that we’re still awaiting the three hour Ultimate Cut of BvS to be released in July. The UC may give fans and critics a fresh appreciation of the film as a more coherent and satisfying story. If so, restoring the film to its originally planned length may substantially ‘rehabilitate’ BvS within the fan community. At least it’s hard to imagine that the film won’t be significantly improved by putting back in the sixth of the film that was cut for the theater release.
And I feel that Snyder’s trilogy of MoS, BvS, and JL1 is well served by the strategy of making Ben an executive producer for Justice League Part One. A healthy collegial team-up, i.e., a kind of true collaboration if you will (again, I feel Ben should have final say, however), between Ben and Zack for JL1 should result in an excellent finish to the saga that Zack so brilliantly started with MoS. Hopefully, JL1 will then perform well and Zack can make it a tetralogy with JL2. But even if Snyder only completes JL1 and does not make JL2, I would at least want Zack to finish on a high note and finally get some love for what I feel is a brilliant pair of auteur films, and what I expect will be one day be regarded of the great trilogies, artistically speaking, in the broad fantasy adventure category.
With Ben having now been named as an executive producer of JL1, I’ll go out on a limb and make a bold guess about what this actually signifies. I'll be honest and admit this is really what I'm hoping for, versus a guess. It's really more of a wish than a speculation! Anyway, here goes:
It would not be surprising in the least if WB shareholders were to want Snyder replaced, although they would also be aware of the massive headaches that would bring; which is why they haven’t simply fired him. But that doesn’t mean that if Zack bucks WB too hard he isn’t at risk to be fired. Those of us on the outside don't how thin the ice is that he’s on, if at all. But it would be reasonable to expect that WB will only tolerate so much.
Ben may be helping save Zack’s job by agreeing to become executive producer. He and Zack probably both genuinely want to see Zack finish what he has started. (Ben isn’t motivated solely by altruism in this regard, however. Affleck has a great deal at stake himself in the performance of JL1.) I can envision Ben working collaboratively and collegially with Zack, but Ben having final say creatively (and arguably should). For the time being, I can see WB also entrusting Affleck with the position that Snyder has enjoyed till now as overall architect–but mainly as an interim measure to stop the hemorrhage produced by BvS getting so severely panned and failing to make $1B.
Ben has a huge stake in this as director of what could well be a trilogy of solo Batman films. Batman will be the DCEU’s big star, and the character will appear in many of the other DCEU films. I expect that Ben will be granted authority to overhaul what Zack put in place by modifying JL1 and the grand vision for the DCEU, with all of its story arcs that interweave throughout all of the DCEU films. That’s how I can imagine this correction starting.
However, in a scenario such as this I believe that WB would also soon shift over to to hiring a Kevin Feige type that would run operations according to that overhauled vision. And eventually that person will be the one fully in charge. So in this vision Ben will quietly take the reins to get the DCEU's house in order, but after a time hand them over to someone else.
That’s my fantasy, essentially, at the moment about where I would like to see things head.
What do you think? The discussion of this topic continues on our forum here. Feel free to weigh in either there or in the comments below!