Those kicking back, relaxing and insisting that "Superman: The Man Of Steel" will be in good hands because filmmaker Zack Snyder will be directing the film under the watchful aegis of "The Dark Knight" helmer Christopher Nolan may want to hold the phone slightly.
In a recent interview with HitFix, Nolan's wife and producer Emma Thomas said they are now "handing ['Superman'] off to him" as the "Inception" director will soon be too busy to assist as he's preparing to shoot the third and final Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises" in New Orleans late next spring. Hitfix writes in bold to stress the point, "Thomas reiterated that they brought it to an appropriate screenplay and it's now Snyder's picture." Translation: fair warning everyone.
Those remotely worried better hope that Snyder knows how to interpret/not fuck up a good script. We've dogged Snyder a little (or maybe a lot) because he often seems to be challenged tonally, but a Nolan-spearheaded 'Superman' film written by his 'Dark Knight' writer David S. Goyer is something too tantalizing to pass up so we'll hold out hope for now -- or at least until casting decisions are made. Some may assume Nolan will be free eventually because 'Man Of Steel' won't shoot til much later, but a lengthy shoot and post-production could really keep Nolan out of the loop aside from a few looks at dailies here and there, just fyi. Zack, we're sorry, we just want to see a great film and we'll be more than happy to be proven wrong and eat our shoes covered in turds.
Speaking of "The Dark Knight Rises," a spurious rumor has started that claims Nolan will use CGI to ressurect the Joker played by Heath Ledger. Anyone who's paid even a modicum of attention knows that would violate Nolan's ethical code of respecting Ledger's memory (a code hopefully any normal human being would adhere to), but still these rumors persist. However, just as they make the rounds, the absurdness is quickly (and thankfully) shot down. MovieHole talked to WB insiders who scoffed off the report as specious rubbish. However, they also interestingly note that Ledger/The Joker returning at the top of the film in jail helping out Batman ala Hannibal Lecter in "Silence Of The Lambs" was once an intended idea -- five years ago when Ledger was still alive. If true, that's a fascinating prospect and a massive "what if?" we'll all only be able to imagine. There's also been loose talk that Snyder will do the Superman costume/flying in CGI much like Martin Campbell has done with "Green Lantern" (to mixed reviews we might add) but that remains to be seen and we'll leave that as what it is right now: loose talk. Matthew Goode's been rumored to be a frontrunner, but again, just an unsubstantiated rumor.
Finally, in doing press rounds for his terrific crime drama "The Town," Ben Affleck has sort of, kinda explained why he didn't take the 'Superman' gig he was evidently in meetings about (he wasn't officially offered the gig, but WB did talk to him to gauge his interest (how about he just directs the dramatic parts of 'Man Of Steel'?**)). Though Affleck carefully chooses his words and never says he was actively involved in discussion, he does admit he listened to the studio overtures in a roundabout way.
"The one benefit of having done all kinds of movies as an actor is, you learn the pros and cons of being tempted to do a really big movie because it costs a lot of money," he told Deadline earlier this week. "With Superman, I think they’re going to do a great version. Chris Nolan is brilliant and they’ve got a great director for it. I’ve love to do something like Blade Runner, but a lesson I’ve learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they’ll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what’s important. Also, there are a lot of guys ahead of me on the list to do epic effects movies."
"Superman: The Man Of Steel" is due in theaters Christmas 2012 and production should probably start before 2011 is over. "The Dark Knight Rises" shoots in May and is scheduled for a June 3, 2012 release.
**Isn't this actually a really good idea?