Barry Sonnenfeld to Direct DC’s ‘Metal Men’ Movie

Published 3 years ago by

barry sonnenfeld metal men Barry Sonnenfeld to Direct DCs Metal Men Movie

Rumors have been circulating about what ‘secret’ comic book adaptation Men in Black franchise director Barry Sonnenfeld recently became attached to helm (in addition to Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens). The answer: a movie version of DC Comics’ The Metal Men.

When you combine this news about Sonnenfeld being set to helm a Metal Men film – with previous reports that Warner Bros./DC also plans to move ahead with a Suicide Squad movie in the near future, there’s all the more evidence that the in-development DC movie universe (DCMU) could stand apart from Marvel’s, given the relatively-obscure titles being fashioned for the big screen.

Quick recap: DC’s Metal Men comic book property originated in the early 1960s and was published bi-monthly until 1978, due to the “DC Implosion.” The series returned in full in the early ’90s, and its characters have since made appearances in such noteworthy storylines as “Infinite Crisis” and the limited run for “Justice League of America” in 2006. Furthermore, the titular characters showed up in “combined” form during the “Kingdom Come” mini-series.

To clarify that last tidbit: the Metal Men (in their original comic run) were created by a scientist in the field of AI, named Dr. William Magnus. The team is composed of six robots, each made of a single chemical element with qualities that are reflected in their personalities and abilities (and obviously, their names). Hence, Gold is the leader, Iron is extremely strong, Lead is loyal, but “thick” and slow-witted, Mercury has a short temper (hot-headed – get it?), Tin is neurotic and insecure – and Platinum… well, believes herself to be a real woman.

The Metal Men are a quirky lot, and that’s surely why Sonnenfeld has been hired on to oversee a film adaptation (or so Vulture is reporting). After all, the filmmaker has already had success with one sci-fi/comedy comic book series, Men in Black, and is well-known for specializing in oddball properties – some well-regarded (the Addams Family movies), others… not so much (Wild Wild West).

dcuniverse Barry Sonnenfeld to Direct DCs Metal Men Movie

How exactly will Metal Men fit into the DCMU? That’s an interesting question, seeing how it’s not entirely clear yet whether the DCMU will be an imitation of Marvel’s shared film universe, minus the weaker elements – or something radically different (read our “5 Tips for Building the DCMU”).

There have been rumors that DC will give their superhero properties the stripped-down, realistic treatment, following in the footsteps of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman: Man of Steel reboot. However, a Metal Men movie directed by Sonnenfeld lends itself to more of a semi-comical, possibly even campy, interpretation (which could clash with its DC movie peers).

Keep you eye on the Screen Rant main page for more information about The Metal Men and other upcoming DC movies.


Source: Vulture

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  1. Never heard of this comic… Not saying it will be bad or good. I wish it the best.

    • that’s not very reassuring since DC is shaky right now.

  2. Wow these guys haven’t been around in ages but hey color me intrigued DC/WB.

  3. SOOOOOOOOOO … once again WB/DC brings a property to the big screen that ISN’T what the fans want to see. Color me shocked.

    • The fans are a small minority anyway. The Metal Men could be amazing on the silver screen and prove to be more popular in the movies than in its comic book format, just like Blade was.

      • WTF never compare Blade to this awful news about a Metal Men movie.

        • Why not? Blade was a joke before the movies.

          • Well, that may be your opinion, but that doesn’t mean it’s true ;)

            • Blade wasnt a joke before the movies, I agree. But VERY FEW people knew who Blade was before the movies. And even after the movies very few knew he was a comic book character.

              • Yeah it’s my opinion. And I’m saying that I was a Tomb of Dracula, Spirits of Vengeance, and Ghost Rider rider. And in my humble opinion, Blade was a joke. The movies did an amazing job of turning him into a badass.

                • reader* not rider… yeesh

          • Blade wasnt a joke before the movie it was not a well known comic book character thats all.

            Metal Men is a joke as a comic and the movie will be the same way

            • Actually, while I’m betting a Metal Men film will indeed be comical (it could be satirical, in point of fact, OR straight-up humorous), there IS some wiggle room in the interpretation of the team, as a whole. The Metal Men were, in fact, a major (though, granted, more passive) element (ummm, no pun intended) of the deadly serious mini-series JUSTICE a few years back. They formed the protective armors the JLA heavy hitters wore to protect themselves from the mind-controlling nanites of Braniac.

              I hope Mr. Sonnenfeld does take the characterizations seriously…they can be funny (in the case of the individuals at various times, even goofy) as long as they are well-formed, consistent characters.

              The individual personalities open up many possibilities for interesting stories: gender issues, social acceptance/awkwardness, the meaning of heroism, etc. Let’s hope Barry (or, at the very least, someone influential and important enough on the production staff) knows/understands the comic/these characters well enough to make more than a fluffy slapstick failure (which, of course, DC needs to try and avoid like the Plague, from now on)

              I’m intrigued with the choices DC is making in terms of properties being chosen…so many are worried that DC has already missed the universe-building boat. What if they’re simply (after their initial missteps) taking a different ship/travelling an alternate route? I look forward to seeing what occurs on the journey…

              • Sigh-and-a-half…

                Period at the end of the fourth word-grouping…

                “intrigued BY…”

                • Damn-it to Hell!!! I hate when I try to correct and mess up the fix…the PERIOD should be at the end of the THIRD section.

    • That does not mean we won’t be getting any movies for the heavy hitters geez. Sonnenfeld wanted to do the movie WB/DC had the rights so they let him do it.

    • well I’d like to know is why you think DC fans don’t want to see it. In this day and age of studios being able to make just about any kind of super hero movie they want, why wouldn’t they do it. wouldnt you want to see a movie based on one of your older favorite super heroes, whether its Metal Men or something that you’d love to see and i Think would be bogus? To tell the truth, the Metal Men have been revamped and brought more up to date then you might possibly realize over the past 10 years. The most recent being during the Infinite Crisis series. So, before you assume anything, and you know where that leads you, don’t speak for the masses unless you know the masses.

      • YES…to you and to Merciful Rao. :)

  4. Metal Man is definitely worthy of a silver screen adaptation. In fact it’s probably more suited for a movie adaptation than in its comic book format. It could be either very good or very bad, though.

    I don’t see this as being a big indicator that Warner Bros./DC is trying to work on a DCMU though. The Metal Men would just make it feel too crowded.

  5. Zero interest in seeing this made. Can these characters even hold up on their own as a cartoon?

  6. We don’t need a Metal Men movie. We need Wonder Woman, we need Flash, we need Lobo, hell, we need Aquaman waaaaay before we move to B/C-list heroes. I respect their fanbase and I’m not saying a movie of them wouldn’t be good, but a) its not what the majority of the fans want and b) I don’t see how these guys are important to a Justice League movie because I personally have never seen them as part of the JLA.

    DC, you need to really step up your game. Focus on scripts and casting for your big name and likely more successful properties, not lesser-known and irrelevant properties.

    • Who said it needs to lead to Justice League?

      You’d have your main JL players getting movies and a JL movie but then your satellite films that are based in the same world but have nothing to do with JL.

      • I actually like the approach you’re talking about. It doesn’t have to be directly in line with JL to affect the world JL operates in, overlapping consequences or references come in to play. Honestly, I think I would like that better than if it’s all just a tie in to JL. I liked what Marvel did with Avengers, but I want to see it expand beyond the small group of characters. Interaction in an indirect way, if that makes any sense. DC/WB has a chance to really do something worthwhile, without copying Marvel, but in new and interesting ways.

        Marvel’s hands are tied with it’s inclusive universe because many of their top name characters are with other studios and can’t be used. DC/WB doesn’t have that problem, all their characters are “in house”. They can expand their movie universe tounhestd of proportions.

        That being said… SERIOUSLY…METAL MEN?!?!?

        • “to unheard of proportions” yikes, looked weird.

    • Does every DC Comics movie HAVE to point to the Justice League. Oooo… keywords: universe building. For f*ck’s sake DC, just make some comic movies that make you a decent profit and allow a variety of other properties to get some film life. Quit following Marvel’s (for them) clear advantage, and satisfy yourself with ‘adequate’ profit. The fans should/will thank you.

  7. oh come on! first Lobo, then Suicide Squad, and now Metal Men? I JUST WANT A FLASH MOVIE ALREADY!!!

  8. What da fu… huh?
    Geez, Lobo, Suicide Squad and now this?
    DC/WB seriously need to get their priorities straight IMO, I mean where’s the Justice League’s director?, or an update on the Flash… I dunno, anything except this stuff… :(

    Needless to say, I have absolutely no interest in this movie.

    • Lobo and Suicide Squad are cool characters to make into a movie but Metal Men is awful

      • I’m not saying Lobo and Suicide Squad should never be adapted onto the big screen (then again, I know very little about Suicide Squad), but I just think DC/WB needs to be FOCUSING on what’s REALLY important (the BIG names: Batman, Supes, Flash, GL, WW and the rest of the Justice League)

        • likeis said many times Legendary Pictures should have control on DC films. cause if its only WB/DC doing the movies we will have another Green Lantern movie.

          i agree they should be focusing on the big names but Lobo imo is a big name aswell. also aint the working on a WW movie script.

        • To tell the truth, I dont think that DC has to follow the same path as Marvel to make their Justice League movie. Their heroes are alot older and more well known overall than Marvel’s with a few exceptions to that rule. (remember that when Iron Man came out the reviewers and critics called Iron man a B hero.) I think DC can actually do a number of movies of their heroes that are not individally related to the Justice League, and those movies or the heroes in those movies can actually mention several times the name Justice League. Thereby letting everyone know that the League already exsists. That way they can do the movies they want without wasting time trying to build up to the origin of the League, which could be shown in flash backs during the real time Justice League movie. It’s very do-able and i think I would rather see movies of others comics they do almost more than the Mainstream ones withthe exception of Flash.

          • Sorry but other than a few exceptions, most of Marvels heroes are just as old as DCs. Both companies started at roughly the same time and went through similarly rocky patches at similar time periods.

            I would also say that aside from the Justice League A listers, Marvel has more widely known B list (or tier 2) characters than DC (along with it’s A list like Spider-Man, Wolverine, X-Men, Hulk, etc).

            I mention that only so you know that who is older or more supposedly “well known” is nothing but trying to make DC sound like they are somehow better than Marvel. They aren’t, get over it.

            • i respect your opinion, how ever I’m not trying to say that DC is better, I was reading these comics since the late fifties, I started out reading DC’s for sure. And while both companies almsot started at the same time, DC’s charaters actually had longer runs leading up to the present. I enjoyed the early Marvel as well, they started something of a different caliber in their comics than DC did. It took a while for DC to make the more serious appraoch to comics. Then Marvel started suit with betting hitters like Bendis and the like. Both companies have great writers and different worlds. I do like DC better right now than Marvel at least in comics. But remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s just an opinion.

          • When did I say that DC should be doing what Marvel is doing?
            All I said is that I want a JL movie(and more Batman, GL, Supes, WW and Flash) over this… whatever the hell it is.

            I know everybody likes to think “yeah, why not?”, but this might come as a surprise to a lot of you: movies don’t just grow on trees, it takes money, time, people and more money.
            Instead of spending (wasting?) all those resources on a movie that might be okay/good, why not FOCUS on making a movie that WOULD be completely awesome?

    • Just want Warner Bros. to be copycats, eh?

      I kind of applaud DC’s decision to try to do something with their more obscure characters, to be frank.

      • Same here.

        And it isn’t just about rushing to get characters onscreen its getting the right director for it first. Do you ppl want more Green Lantern’s”?

  9. I’m not against this movie as long as Barry Sonnenfeld s directing, and this is a seperate universe from the upcoming DCMU. I could totaly see this done in the style of MIB (another DC adaptation) with a but of Fantastic 4 element. On its own it could do alright, but if you try to set up a Justice League movie with this, you will fail, big time. To set up a JL movie, you need heavy hitters like Flash and Wonder Woman. Starting with such insignificant players is a bad idea

    • The Men In Black franchise isn’t DC… it was published by a subsidiary of Marvel Comics actually.

      • Malibu Comics to be precise.

        • actually MIB comics started at Aircel Comics then acquired by Malibu Comics. then Malibu Comics was purchased by Marvel Comics in 1994. so The Avenger is basically right.

          • Basically yeah, but ‘il princerino’ is right too: Malibu Comics “own” MIB, while Marvel “owns” Malibu Comics…
            It’s basically like DC and Vertigo: both are kinda independent, but DC still owns Vertigo and all their characters.

          • i wasn’t disagreeing, I was naming said subsidiary.

  10. I have to agree with some here and say,
    Really? Metal Men???
    Come on DC!!
    Hopefully with Comic-Con around the corner they’ll announce something bigger but this news is just blah.
    Flash, a new Green Lantern, Wonder Woman that’s what I want to hear about.
    Break out the big guns guys!!!
    And to top it I’m just not a Sonnenfeld fan. IMO his movies always have the same feel and tone and it was fun for a while but now I’m over it.

  11. Looks like DC is charting a path separate from what the fans want or what Marvel is doing (which is what the fans want).

    Other than the fact that this doesn’t really lead to a JL movie, why not?

  12. I wish they would have just waited until we see the Metal Men movie teased in the after credits of TDKR.

  13. Where’s the “Metamorpho the Element Man” movie?

    • Now that would make me chuckle.

    • Ultra the Multi-Alien. Who’s with me?

  14. DC, we want TIM DRAKE in a film!

  15. I know absolutely nothing about Metal Men other than what I just read, but think DC should work on some more popular characters first. (The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman) I’m willing to give Medal Men a shot though.

  16. You know what I think would be a great movie? The Justice Society of America. Yes I am talking about the JSA, and I mean pre ‘New 52′, no scratch that, going back to the good old days of comics, when their were in their infancy, and the JSA was the first ever super team. To see Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Wesley Dodds, Carter and Shiera and all the rest fighting the good fight in a period piece WII/1940′s film would be awesome. I know that the JSA was already done live, but honestly, I think a JSA film would rock. Ok, that being said, I now open the floor up for the general strain of disagreement, negativity and general whatever. Begin.

    • Problem is, virtually no one knows who the characters are and thus has little to relate to. People want to see the characters they have read about in the comics and not the characters their grandparents read about.

      This would turn out like Watchmen (which barely made back int budget after marketing costs) and not the way to generate interest in the DC universe in general. Maybe after DC has managed to pull off the JL movie and a few other spin-offs they can afford to go back to exploring some of their more esoteric properties but not right now.

      • That would be Green Lantern, Flash, Sandman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl respectively, in their original incarnations.

        I would watch that.

        • Well yeah, so would I (although a GL vulnerable to wood would be strange) be WE are not as important to the equation as the general populous who barely knows the JL members and would want to see characters like Batman and Superman.

          • True

    • Thus man deserves a medal!

    • This man deserves a medal!

    • No thank you.

  17. Oooh. That might work.

  18. DC has an entire universe filled with literally thousands of characters to choose from and what do they pick to spend millions of dollars to make a movie about? Crap like Lobo, Metal Men, Suicide Squad, Jonah Hex, The Spirit and more. No wonder why DC is having problems bringing their IPs to the public. We either get a completely unknown and esoteric character/group or get the same characters with different incarnations over and over and over (ala Batman & Superman)

    Guys, start making movies about your more iconic players. Green Lantern was a step in the right direction and although it had some glaring problems, I would watch that again rather than seeing a movie based on the likes of Lobo.

  19. Man you do not diss the genius of that was The Spirit! Course I am talking about the comic, which if you even dig into the history of it, you would see the groundbreaking stuff that Will Eisner was doing way back when he first wrote the Spirit stories. But mongoose, I do agree with you about DC fleshing out their movies first, and then diving in to the other more venerable properties. But a person can dream can’t they? Heck, that’s what the comics are all about, dreams being made somewhat into reality. Look at way back when, with Superman. He was the combination and culmination of Jerry and Joe’s dreams, made into reality. And these movies, good and bad, are further expressions of those dreams. Granted some are crappy expressions, but they are there, whether you like it or not. And the Suicide Squad is not crappy. Read DC: The New Frontier, and you see some of the crazy stuff they went against, pure comic and science fiction gold. Course then there are certain versions of the team when it was various supervillains serving time for their crimes, but the original, with Rick Flag Jr (changed to Rick Flag Sr in the comic), Karin Grace, Hugh Evans and Jess Bright was the best.

  20. Wonder if they would use Barry Allen or Wally West for a Flash movie? Both rock as the character, but which one, which one. Also villain wise, Rouges, or say Vandal Savage, or Gorilla Grodd? Choices, choices, choices.

  21. If you guys really are comics fans, why did you read them? Not for fun obviously.
    I don’t think a Metal Men is going to fatally clog the comic-adaptation chute.
    But you say, I have but 80, yea, maybe fewer years to walk the Earth! I cannot wait for my favorite properties to be made, that I might watch and too seriously taketh them, and then complaineth!
    This makes me realize how spoiled I was by the Timmverse. That was some high quality DC animation.
    I think the last fun thing DC did was “Brave and the Bold” and the negativity here reminds me of the complaints about that show.
    Personally I’m looking forward to this.

    • While it may not hurt if it’s good, the biggest problem is if it’s another bomb like GL, something I don’t know if DC as movie studio could survive.

      Additionally, even if it is good, it does nothing to move us closer to a JL movie. Like all the other recent DC properties it would most likely remain in its own encapsulated universe.

  22. I have no negativity towards a Metal Men movie, just wondering who would be the voices, oh and who would play Dr. Magnus?

  23. The METAL MEN I’ve been wanting A JLA movie. Or A TEEN TITANS movie in it’s stead. But were going to get the metal men who is making these discisons.

  24. Ill see it I think it will be good if done well

  25. Can we get the BIG 7 out before WB/DC gives us all these second tear movies?

  26. I actually inherited a decent collection of early issue Metal Men and rather like them but I see this move as being one to make some money and illicit more interest in DC properties. Out of all the projects that have been rumored/mentioned (Lobo, Suicice Squad, etc.), Metal Men has the greatest potential for childen and family appeal, esp if it is also somewhat humourous. This means a lot more marketing potential for toys and games, heck, even a cartoon spin-off, that appeal to more than the 18-25+ year olds, and more money potential.

    This team has a certain cool factor, if done right, and shouldn’t wreck any potential for ALL ages and fan types.

  27. Once again, DC makes waves by doing something they want to do. Barry had expressed interest in doing this a while back. But as for The Metal Men themselves, they have changed and mutated over the years becoming something more than they first were, while still being true to their original concept. Especially their creator Will Magnus. Who’s character has also been made into something much more than it was. For those of us that are older and grew up with these stories, it’s kind of nice to see something like that brought to the big screen. The rest of you that don’t agree, hey its your choice. I’m not forcing you to either read or go see the movies whenever it comes out. It’s just how alot of us feel. It doesn’t makes us wrong or right.

  28. And as a side note, the Justice League movies will get made, either way. Just on WB/DC’s time frame, not on our’s. It doesn’t make a difference when it comes out, all of us fans will go and see it anyways. I think it’s just that The Avengers came out, and it was such as damned good movie, everyone is spoiled and is now looking for a Justice League movie. Saying that there is no way that DC can catch up, ,means nothing really. Alot of you think that eventually the bottom will dropout of the super hero genre film wise, if they don’t realse it soon. I dont think thats true. With all the advances in movie technology, the films will keep getting better and better. Marvel just skirted the surface with their ground breaking way of introducing The Avengers, now everything is wide open for all the other studios to do what they want. It’s a great time to be a superhero movie lover, and whether or not you like the titles coming out from the companies, we should be relishing whats coming our way. Nothing says you have to like everything that comes out, but you will have to agree that everything changing. In the early sixties, I would have killed to see the things we are taking for granted right now.

    • Sure they will get made but there IS a certain amount of urgency to “catch the wave” so to speak (and why all of a sudden DC movie rumors, including pulling the JL script of out mothballs, is happening now). If they wait too long and miss the current hype we are on, it could make the difference between having a 1 billion+ movie vs a 5-600 million dollar return. That’s a HUGE difference.

      DC can do whatever they want of course but Metal Men, no matter how good, will not really add to a shared DC universe. They need a franchise that will sustain them long term and be able to be broken up into spin-offs (something the JL movie CAN do)

      And since this is a business, I think its important to DC that as many people as is humanly possible will go see their movies. ;)

      • There’s nothing to say that Metal Men couldn’t turn out to be a huge hit. Not saying it will or won’t, but comic/SH-movie fans aren’t the only ones with a “say” in the matter.

        I think DC just isn’t going the route of Marvel. Maybe they’ll just spring a JL movie out of the blue instead of building it up like Marvel.

        • Sure it could but my point is, realistically it won’t get any further than say a trilogy (but only if the first one does phenomenally well). DC/WB (I would think) want something akin to their lost Harry Potter franchise that can go on for 8+ movies. Metal Men will never be it but a JL movie has that potential.

          The only thing we don’t know however is the chronology of all these projects. So I guess if this was done in tandem or after a JL movie then it will be less of an issue.

          • When it comes to movies, though, the amount of money that comes from actual “fans” or even, simply, readers of any particular comic character is relatively small. Out of the billion dollars made by the Avengers, I can almost bet that more than half of the viewers were wondering why Superman wasn’t on the team; they are basically clueless.

            It probably doesn’t matter to the average movie-goer whether the Metal Men coincide with or even share the same universe with the Justice League. If there is enough appeal to them, they will spend the money at the theatre. If it makes money, that helps its success. If the DC logo gets more recognized by the masses, that helps its success and DC both. If it ends up being acceptable to families and spawns toys and a brand new Play-Do set or a console game, etc., that helps its success and DC, too.

  29. Note to Warner Bros…you could do sooooo much better if you did a Doom Patrol movie with this guy. Set it in the late fifties or early sixties, give it that quirky Men In Black/Addams Family vibe he’s known for, and you could have a surprise hit on your hands.

    Or don’t…it’s your money.