It would appear that Christopher Nolan can do no wrong. The English filmmaker, who has gone from promising independent director to the creative impresario of event blockbusters in a single decade, is now reportedly on the verge of rebooting the Superman franchise. As a producer on the project, the man behind Inception, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Batman Begins and Memento has taken creative control of the becalmed Man of Steel. He won't make the next Superman film, but he will effectively decide on behalf of studio Warner Bros who will.
While the involvement of Nolan and his fellow producer, wife Emma Thomas, has been acknowledged since early this year, reports now claim that Nolan is meeting with fellow filmmakers to discuss what they might do with a screenplay he commissioned from two of his closest collaborators: his brother, Jonathan, and David S. Goyer. Reporter Mike Fleming at website Deadline.com broke the news that Nolan will now meet with five potential Superman: Man of Steel directors, including Zack Snyder (300), veteran Tony Scott (Top Gun, Enemy of the State), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, next month's Let Me In), Jonathan Liebesman (the forthcoming Battle: Los Angeles) and Duncan Jones (Moon). Darren Aronofsky is reportedly the latest name to surface, according to the L.A Times.
When previously queried Snyder has told reporters he's not interested, while Liebesman is already committed to Clash of the Titans 2, but it would be hard to not at least take the meeting with Nolan. It's also a reminder of how fortunes can change in Hollywood. Five years ago it was Bryan Singer who was lured away with great fanfare from the X-Men franchise to make 2006's Superman Returns, which was supposed to be the definitive reboot after more than 15 years of development scheming – Nicolas Cage and Tim Burton circled the project in 1997 – proved to be fruitless. Singer's film, with unknown Brandon Routh as Clark Kent, took in $410 million worldwide, but the Sydney-based production reportedly cost almost $285 million before marketing costs kicked in.
Just to add some spice to the situation, Warner Bros is operating not only under the expectations of the fanboy community, but also legal pressure. The studio has to get a film made by 2012, because from 2013 certain rights to the character may revert to the heirs of creator Jerry Siegel following a recent legal decision in the United States. And if the stars do align, and the right director is chosen, and a true successor to Christopher Reeves is cast, there's still one final hurdle. Already commanding the schedule for 2012 is a feverishly anticipated blockbuster: Christopher Nolan's third Batman film.