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Darren Aronofsky Was A "Finalist" To Direct 'Man Of Steel' Plus A Look Back At The Contenders For The Superman Reboot

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by Kevin Jagernauth
June 12, 2013 9:20 AM
5 Comments
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It has been a long, bumpy, rumor-filled road from 2006's "Superman Returns" across seven years to this Friday's "Man Of Steel." The crown jewel in the Warner Bros. comic book stable along with Batman, getting this franchise back on track has been a priority and naturally, the project was floated by a number of big names before Zack Snyder finally signed on in the fall of 2010. But before the reboot got to him, some much bigger names than Snyder were considered, and apparently one of them came very close.

THR reports that Darren Aronofsky (first rumored a couple months before Snyder eventually got the gig) was a "finalist" to direct the movie, with WB honcho Jeff Robinov eventually going with Snyder who had made four movies with the studio ("300," "Watchmen," "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole," and "Sucker Punch") and had the blessing of executive producer Christopher Nolan. Of course, this wasn't the first time Aronofsky sniffed around a comic property at WB (he had pitched a pretty bonkers "Batman: Year One" pre-Nolan), and he continued to show interest in the genre by being attached this summer's "The Wolverine," before exiting and being replaced by James Mangold.

But what other names were floated for the Superman reboot? Let's take a trip down memory lane:

-Mark Millar was working on what was said to be a epic trilogy, with Matthew Vaughn to direct all three installments, but things seemed to stall in 2009.

-James McTeigue ("Ninja Assassin," "V For Vendetta") posited that The Wachowskis were going to direct, after their brewing project "Plastic Man" got delayed.

-A few months later, James McTeigue seemed to suggest that he personally was in the mix.

-Jonah Nolan was reported as a frontrunner in the summer of 2010, with "Chuck" star Zachary Levi rumored to take the lead.

-In September 2010 the director mill started going into overdrive. Tony Scott, Matt Reeves, Jonathan Liebesman, Duncan Jones and yes, Zack Snyder were all reported to be in contention.

-Not long after that, Ben Affleck's name popped up with Natalie Portman rumored for Lois Lane. Robert Zemeckis also got in the mix. But not much longer after that, Snyder finally got the gig.

And now, nearly three years later, the movie is landing in theaters. And it's actually a bit remarkable how well Snyder has tackled the uphill climb, as within two days of his being chosen, word circled around the internet that David S. Goyer's script was a mess and Snyder wasn't even the studio's first choice. And General Zod was tipped off as the villain from almost the moment Snyder signed on. Anyway, you'll be able to see the results soon enough and you can read our spoiler free review right here

But is there any director up there who you would've liked to see tackle "Man Of Steel"? Any of them you want to see take on "Justice League" instead? Let us know below.

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5 Comments

  • Fred | June 12, 2013 11:19 AMReply

    Your Eastwood linked article refers to him saying he turned down the acting role in the 70's (referred to as an addition in the parenthetical followup) but not the directorial gig. Is there info elsewhere that he mentioned the current film along the way? My memory is shaky on it but I am a bit of an Eastwood completist.

  • chris | June 12, 2013 1:25 PM

    Despite his relationship with the studio I can't imagine WB would have offered this to Eastwood of all people after greenlighting Nolan's pitch.

  • Hmmmm | June 12, 2013 11:12 AMReply

    I would have love to have seen a Superman movie trough the eyes of a foreign director. I think someone like that could bring more depth to the first part of the characters life.

  • THOR | June 12, 2013 10:35 AMReply

    Shunji Iwai should direct "Justice League". He's already made a great thriller movie in English and he is great with ensemble casts and complex storylines.

    If Ang Lee directed "Hulk", I don't see why Shunji Iwai can't direct "Justice League".

  • hg | June 12, 2013 10:33 AMReply

    i love darren but he would of been terrible for superman

    batman and wolverine i understand but if people think nolan and Snyder are dark lol

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