Revamping Superman for 2011?

Posted by · 6:21 am · July 2nd, 2008

Two posts at /film and Obssessed with Film have me spinning my wheels this morning, wondering just who in the heck has approached comic scribe Mark Millar to revamp Superman for the screen in three years.

The whole story started with a Daily Record interview that quoted Millar as saying he “always wanted to reinvent Superman for the 21st century.”  He then went on to reveal that he had his “director and producer set up” and that there was even a target year in mind: 2011.

This, of course, sent the Web geek community into a bit of a tizzy.  In response, Millar (creator of “Wanted” and author of “Superman: Red Son”) had this to say:

PS: That Superman news is interesting, isn’t it? In the interests of clarity (because I’m sure this will be picked up somewhere) a very well known American action director heard about my love of Superman, approached my (sic) and asked me to team up with he and his producer to make a pitch for this. We’ve been talking for several weeks now and, if this is going to happen, we’ll know by Christmas. He has huge pull at WB so fingers crossed. But this is nothing more than a huge US name pulling me into his fold and making me part of a package.

The first name that leaps to my mind is Wolfgang Petersen, but he’s obviously German.  However, you may recall Petersen was signed on to direct a Superman vs. Batman film for Warner Bros. way back in 2002.  That was, of course, way before Christopher Nolan unleashed his reboot of the Batman franchise on the marketplace.  Peterson might be construed as having “huge pull at WB” since he releases most of his films through the studio and has managed a few considerable hits there (“The Perfect Storm, “Troy”) despite the occasional clunker (“Poseidon”).

The filmmaker was also quoted as recently as two years ago — during the build-up to Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns” — expressing an interest in pitting the two superheroes on the screen together.  Sure seems like a possibility to me.

Who else could Millar be hinting at?  The Wachowski Brothers have sure made a bundle of money for the studio in recent years.  “Watchmen” helmer Zack Snyder has also been welcomed with open arms in Burbank after delivering big on “300,” and he seems just the sort of person who’d be interested in reimagining the Superman character for a new franchse.

Francis Lawrence?  “Constantine” didn’t really find its footing, but “I Am Legend” (thanks to Will Smith, of course) made a killing worldwide.

McG?  The “Charlie’s Angels” films made bank at Sony, but he still convinced Warners to hand him the key to a massive franchise in the form of “Terminator Salvation.”  He’s also been here before and, according to rumor at the time, had one hell of a mind to revamp the franchise with casting speculation such as Beyoncé Knowles and Johnny Depp floating about.

And surely Tim Burton — a WB staple through the years with “huge pull” indeed — isn’t treading these waters yet again.  Or is he?  He certainly had a unique vision of the character once upon a time.

Thoughts?  As long as it isn’t Brett Ratner, I’m happy.

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11 responses so far

  • 1 7-02-2008 at 9:59 am

    Brian Kinsley said...

    I’d bet $5 it’s Lawrence.

  • 2 7-02-2008 at 12:36 pm

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Michael Bay.

  • 3 7-02-2008 at 1:58 pm

    Brian said...

    He has no big ties to the WB though.

  • 4 7-02-2008 at 8:44 pm

    Herbert said...

    George Miller maybe. He made Happy Feet for WB (and Village) which made a killing and won an oscar for it. I think that since Justice League collapsed, he could be a possible candidate. After all, he did direct Mad Max…

  • 5 7-03-2008 at 1:35 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 6 7-03-2008 at 2:15 am

    Brian Kinsley said...

    Also, this begs the question: why are the WB planning on telling Bryan Singer he’s been fired?

    And also, what happens to poor Brandon Routh, who I actually thought made quite a good Superman and Kent. It would be a shame to lose him so early.

  • 7 7-03-2008 at 2:49 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think they can do better than Routh. I had no overall problem with him, but the evoking of Reeves is a bit much. Despite my early glowing review, I think the film is something of a failure. It worked at the time, for the quick jolt of a Superman action movie I was looking for then, but in the greater scheme, and considering the possibilities, there are higher levels to reach.

    So yeah — Singer needs to step away. He got his rocks off on replicating his #1 fetish movie of all time, but someone with a deeper understanding of the mythos needs to step up.

    That said, I’m not convinced any of the actors mentioned int his piece have that. However, with the right scriopt, I’ve always felt Michael Bay would be a great choice, given his penchant for Americana in his films. Failing that, Kerry Conran (who has dropped of the face of the earth) would be more than inspired.

  • 8 7-03-2008 at 9:50 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    I thought Superman Returns was a mediocre pretentious film centered around some brilliant ideas or visions from Singer.

    It might be good to take Superman into the shadows too and make a dark film about him.

  • 9 8-27-2008 at 1:20 pm

    zoii said...

    WTF guys.. no need for superman to be a copy of a batman thats 1st.. 2nd Routh makes a good superman/kent, who do u want then? dean kain or or nicholas cage?? give me a break, the movie was good, ive been hooked on superman for the past 25 yrs and ive watched anything that had to do with superman, weither it was animated or the old series or the older series.. it was a good movie , HE IS BACK that’s the most impt. thing to me.. i think they should go back to the old comics and make a cpl of them into movies (in a way i dunno) but at least they would keep the original spirit alive.. we dnt need a reinvented superman that would change him as we knew him when we were kids.. anyway i hope WB dnt make the mistake of changing the actor or coming up with a silly ass story line. Batman had always different biggenings, diff. actors, if u take a look at the whole batman movies that were made, they got nothing to do with each other, every cpl of yrs get a new actor and start the whole deal again. it would be a sad day if IFFFF they decide to do that to the man of steel..

  • 10 8-06-2009 at 7:31 am

    Beth said...

    I would be really glad if they completly re-invented Superman for a 21stC crowd. The Reeve Superman doesn’t work anymore. He’s not realistic, he’s 2D & too Clark Kent-like.
    Routh did a good job with Superman Returns, he did what they asked him to do with completing the story arc that Superman I & II started. I think it might be best if they choose someone else but I think Routh could do the part well.. but needs to buff up a lot more (Superman Returns.. he looks like a string bean & weak compared to what you think Superman should be).
    What I’d personally like to see is a Superman like in the very first comic. That jokes around with the villians, threatening to drop them from skyscraper height; not completely indestructible & invincible – able to be hurt by more than just kryptonite & alien stuff; whose personality is VERY different from Clark Kent (The last movie Superman was wayyy to Clark Kent like. Too sensitive, dopey, cheesy, gullible, geeky, dorky.. ); & is confident, strong & everything the world’s greatest hero should be.
    & re-invent the suit a bit. Tone down the colour, do something different with the cape & fix the ‘undies outside of his pants’ look.

  • 11 8-06-2009 at 9:31 am

    Eunice said...

    I just wish that someone would give the Superman franchise the depth that the Batman one now has thanks to Chris Nolan. I enjoyed Superman Returns a bit, but yes, the franchise is in serious need of a revamp.