A couple of days back, GeekTyrant reported a salacious little bit suggesting Jonah Nolan was up for directing duties on the new ”Superman” movie. An easy enough rumour to swallow too, if you ask me – after all, besides the fact that Jonah Nolan’s brother Chris is attached to produce the 2012 Man of Steel re-rinse, Jonah himself is already working at WB – as a writer on another high-profile superhero flick, ”Batman 3”.
Still, that didn’t stop a couple of sites from suggesting the aforementioned report was merely supposition… or codswallop.
For a couple of days now I’ve been working on getting some kind of confirmation… Or even a response… from someone at the studio (not necessarily those working on ”Superman”) regarding the rumours. Now I’m not just talking about trying to touch base with the PR department there, I’m talking about getting some sort of inside response from a desk jockey. Some of you may recall that I was developing a film at Warner Bros a couple of years ago (before abandoning it to work on a couple of smaller, less ambitious projects like ”Complacent” and ”Cowboy Charm”)? well, I made quite a few friends in my time there, and while I haven’t kept in touch with everyone from my Burbank stretch (some have moved on to other companies, and so forth), there is a select few that I do play phone hooky with every month or so. And I thought at least one of them might be privy to some info on the tentpole – and I was right.
Late this afternoon I hopped on the phone with a contact who shed some light on the J. Nolan rumours.
“You know, some of that is true”, my very reliable* contact, said .”Jonathan Nolan is not onboard yet, but it looks like he will get the job. Jonah wants to direct, Chris wants to land him that gig, WB doesn’t want to upset Chris. That said, it is far from a done deal — but with Chris and Emma producing, the odds are with Jonah – kind of like Michael Mann producing his daughter’s first feature: “How bad could things go?”".
“Also, it is a TV star that they’re looking at for the lead – but, despite what that article says, I don’t believe anyone has actually tested.” (He/She has heard nothing of Zachary Levi being considered).
So there you have it, Nolan is the frontrunner for the job.
Oh, you want to know which “TV star” is currently atop of the WB wishlist?
Says our insider, “[He's a] popular TV actor that no one is thinking of, but everyone will be thrilled with if he pulls on the blue tights”
Your first guess is likely the right one.
Still, the film’s director also has a say – and he’s yet to be officially appointed, let alone begun meeting with actors, so anyone could end up in the suit. Still, the studio does have their favourite at the moment.
(So, definitely no Brandon Routh, then? ”Certain very well-placed people at Warners loved Brandon Routh as Superman and wished he was continuing in the role, but unfortunately, he won’t be back”. But we knew that, right?)
My contact followed-up the phone call with an email later in the day, just to kindly ask if I could remove some names from the piece, and to suggest we also don’t refer to the new film as a reboot because… “This Superman is neither a reboot or a sequel. It’s just a Superman film. The basic elements of the storyline are: BIG action, BIG set-pieces, witty dialogue, playful romance, a light-hearted feelgood mood juxtaposed with derring-do and danger, top-notch cast, epic feel, sci-fi background (sounds a little like Donner, right?) BUT with some sort of huge twist on the legend.”
Huge twist, hey? Shit, hopefully we’re not talking Penguins with machine-guns!?
And that’s all our contact has… for the moment. But I think that’s enough to suggest that while nothing is solid at the moment, the concrete is being poured.
* This source has been spot-on before – he/she let us know, for instance, that Liev Schreiber was joining the cast of “Salt” (which we ran about a week before Variety confirmed it) and that Teresa Palmer had been cast in the now-abandoned “Justice League” (again, before the trades announced it). There’s actually been quite a few other occasions – he/she has slipped us solid info on “Lethal Weapon 5″ and “Fury Road”, for instance – where this person has been spot-on.