Mark Millar may be his own biggest fan, but there’s no denying that Hollywood has developed a lucrative interest in him over the last few years. The latest title from Millar’s catalog to get the big-screen treatment is Nemesis - a comic book with the intriguing tag line: “What if Batman was the Joker?”
Here’s another intriguing tag line: “directed by Tony Scott.”
It’s been six month since we first heard talk of a Nemesis adaptation. Now, Bleeding Cool reports that Tony Scott (Man on Fire) has signed on to direct Nemesis – with Deadline confirming the news.
For decades various writers have implied how many similarities Batman shares with his adversaries and how easily he might have turned to evil instead of good. Millar took that simple premise all the way to the bank with Nemesis which follows “the smartest, toughest costumed bad ass in the world” as he launches an attack on Washington D.C. and the Chief Inspector who ruined his life.
Millar took to the forum of his website Millar World to address the news and share his excitement over Scott’s involvement:
“Bryan Hitch and I would reference Tony on a weekly basis when we were doing The Ultimates. Our dream was an Ultimates movie with Scott directing because he can do the character work and the intensity, but also handle scale and action like practically no other. The idea of a him helming a superhero movie had us giddy and here he is directing the one Steve McNiven and I created.”
Millar and McNiven previously collaborated on the Marvel series Civil War and Old Man Logan. Nemesis is a creator-owned property published by Marvel and released under the Icon Comics imprint. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet but it does sound like it has a lot of potential.
I enjoyed parts of the Kick-Ass comic and thought Matthew Vaughn did an incredible job with the movie but I’m less familiar with Millar. If you’re familiar with Nemesis I’d love to hear whether or not it’s worth checking out.
Tony Scott is pretty hit or miss with the quality of his films, but when you’re as prolific as he is there are bound to be a few duds. I agree with Millar that Scott knows how to deliver big action without sacrificing character development and (one of the qualities Vaughn brought to Kick-Ass that helped make it so successful).
In regards to what he and Scott are planning for Nemesis, Millar says:
“We talked casting, we talked budget (and we’re talking way more than Wanted and Kick-Ass put together here in terms of money for him to play with) and we talked with Fox about making this into a major franchise, something they’re really going to invest their time and energy into… Tony said this was a very timely project and Fox want to get this moving as soon as possible. Next up is a script and the writer we talked about did one of my top five movies of all time. The actor he’s shooting for as the lead character is going to blow your socks off.”
It’s unclear whether Scott’s involvement with Nemesis will affect his place on the short-list of Wolverine 2 directors. However, the only potential issue I see with this is that when Millar was promoting the comic, he mentioned that the Joker was the best part of The Dark Knight and how big an inspiration that characterization had been on Nemesis. I can’t presume to know why Scott finds the premise so “timely” but if it has anything to do with questions over how to deal with a terrorist and an adversary who’s one step ahead of you, well-there might be just a little bit of “Deja Vu” for audiences.
Again, I haven’t read the comic so I could be way off base. Scott also has very different sensibilities as a filmmaker than Christopher Nolan so I’m sure Nemesis will have no problem standing on its own.
Source: Bleeding Cool, Millar World.