EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is trying to ready its DC Comics stalwart Superman to soar again on the Big Screen, and the studio has turned to Chris Nolan to mentor development of the movie. Our insiders say that the brains behind rebooted Batman has been asked to play a “godfather” role and ensure The Man Of Steel gets off the ground after a 3 1/2-year hiatus. Nolan’s leadership of the project can set it in the right direction with the critics and the fans, not to mention at the box office. Besides, Nolan is considered something of a god at Warner Bros and has a strong relationship with the studio after the success of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Though he wasn’t obligated to do so, he gave the studio first crack at his spec script Inception, and Warner Bros was able to buy it before other studios even got a sniff. While Nolan completes that Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer for a July 16th release, he’s also hatched an idea for Warner Bros’ third Batman installment. Now his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan, and David Goyer who co-wrote Batman Begins and penned the story for The Dark Knight, are off scripting it. (See ‘FlashForward’ Showrunner Exits For Features).
Legendary Pictures will partner with Warner Bros on the next installment of Superman. Legendary also co-produced/co-financed Superman Returns in 2006. Legendary was partnered with Warner Bros as a co-producer/co-financier on the recent Batman films including Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and will be involved in Nolan’s 3rd Batman film.
Let us emphasize that Superman 3.0 is in the early stages of development. And we doubt Nolan would direct. This wouldn’t be a sequel to Superman Returns but a completely fresh franchise. As one of our insiders reassures: “It would definitely not be a followup to Superman Returns.” Nolan coming on board follows a hiatus period for Superman after that 2006 reboot as the studio tried to figure out whether or not to make a sequel to that version starring Brandon Routh directed by Bryan Singer. As recently as this summer, Warner Bros was still contemplating how to proceed. That’s when we were told that “Bryan or Brandon are not completely out of it yet. But Warner Bros doesn’t have a handle yet on it, either. [Producer] Jon Peters is trying to make something happen since he stands to benefit financially. But they [the studio] need to hear a great story that makes sense.” Another insider explained to us, “We know what we don’t want to do. But we don’t know what we want to do. We learned a lot from the last movie, and we want to get it right this time.”
Fans have long been yearning for Superman to finally get the big screen Nolan-ized treatment this classic superhero deserves. (more…)