The Shortlist of Directors For Superman Reboot

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 24th, 2010 at 8:56 am,

superman man of steel directors The Shortlist of Directors For Superman Reboot

In July, rumors surfaced pointing towards Jonathan Nolan as the top candidate to direct the Superman reboot. Brother to the Godfather of the DC film universe, Christopher Nolan, Jonathan has been Chris’ writing partner for years and worked with him on bringing Batman to the masses in The Dark Knight and previously, with Memento and The Prestige. Since the Nolans would be working together on Superman: Man of Steel regardless, it was not difficult to believe that Jonathan could get his directorial debut with the help of his Hollywood-dominating brother.

Now comes word that Chris Nolan and producer Emma Thomas are in talks with a shortlist of directors for Superman and Jonathan is not one of them. The list includes five directors who all made a name for themselves with very recent buzz-worthy films and some hype-generating projects coming out soon.

According to Mike Fleming at Deadline, he’s learned that the following five directors make up the current short list for who may direct the next Superman movie for Warner Bros., DC Entertainment and Legendary Pictures:

  • Duncan Jones
  • Jonathan Liebesman
  • Matt Reeves
  • Tony Scott
  • Zack Snyder

It’s difficult to narrow down from five very worthy and talented directors, especially with each having made a mark in the industry and in the media recently with their latest works. Duncan Jones’ Moon made a big splash in 2009 and his upcoming Source Code could do the same, although I believe he is the least likely of the five choices. Jonathan Liebesman has the awesome-looking Battle: Los Angeles debuting next year after garnering positive buzz from their presentation at Comic-Con earlier this summer and he’s already been given the job of taking on Clash of the Titans 2 for Warner Bros. and Legendary. Again, I wouldn’t expect Liebesman is a top contender either.

For me, assuming the shortlist doesn’t go through several subtractions and additions, the choice comes down to Matt Reeves, Tony Scott and Zack Snyder. Reeves is making a mark with his two big directorial gigs, having brought us the successful Cloverfield under the wing of J.J. Abrams and now garnering high praise for his work on the Let Me In remake. Tony Scott brings the most experience and his train fetish to the table, but he’s a busy man with many projects in development.Funny enough, both Scott and Reeves were also on an earlier “shortlist” for the Wolverine 2 director’s chair.

Last but not least is my top pick in Zack Snyder. Snyder of course brought us the visually stunning 300, Watchmen and this week’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole for Warner Bros. and he has the respect and knowledge of the comics books. Along with having the geek community on his side and a distinct directorial style, Snyder has revealed in the past that he’d love to make an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, the famous graphic novel that pits Superman against Batman.

Zack Snyder teaming up with Christopher and Jonathan Nolan? Yes, please.

Once we get the director in the place, the next major decision will be the selection of the lead star. Who will play Superman? Can it be the aged but fan-favorite Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame or will Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. go with the more sensible and obvious choice of a younger star who can carry the franchise for years to come?

Who do you want to helm Superman: Man of Steel?

Follow us on Twitter to tell us your thoughts @rob_keyes and @screenrant.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Zack Snyder. He’s the only one on the list I think has the potential to direct.

    • YES YES YES!!!

    • Please please pleeeeease not Snyder. Please

    • Zack Snyder should do Lobo or The Flash not Superman also if WB want to reboot Mortal Kombat Zack Snyder should do it

  2. Duncan Jones! I always believe more indy directors bring a better sensability to big blockbusters, such as Nolan’s transition from “Memento” to some of the biggest films of the decade. The other guys, with the exception of Matt Reeves, are basically Hollywood studio guys. Plus, who wouldn’t love David Bowie, Duncan’s dad, as Lex or Perry white? Eh? Eh?
    And come on, give up on Snyder already. Anyone can use slo-mo.

  3. Anyone else scratching their heads at this list?

    The only director there I’m a fan of is Jones, but he only did one movie so who knows if he can still make any good ones.

  4. I’d love to see Snyder’s take on Superman. Really enjoyed 300 and most of Watchmen. Off topic as for Watchmen, the big sex scene right in the middle with Silk Spector and Nite Owl was only hinted at in the graphic novel but ofcourse Hollywood steped in and had to show moe then was needed. Otherwise enjoyed the film. Now that I got that out, Snyder all the way to the director’s’s chair please!

    • totally agree on the tryst in the Owl blimp. Add to that list:

      Rorschach’s flashback to his first killing
      severed arms in the prison

      these were hinted at (creatively) in the book but shown more extensively in the movie (less creative)

  5. Snyder of course, been hoping he would make a Superman movie for the longest while.

  6. Wow bad spelling on my part, meant to say stepped and more. Sometimes I type to fast. Anyway..

  7. I want Jonathan!! I want Jonathan!! I want Jonathan!! I want Jonathan!! (Crying….)

    • I want someone who has EXPERIENCE in directing movies. That’s what this film needs.

      • Scott has decades worth of experience, just saying.

        • Oh, LMAO. I thought “mukundh” was one of those who wanted Jonathat Nolan to direct. My bad.

          • Oooops.. I didn’t see the name Jonathan Liebesman.. I want Jonathan Nolan to direct.

            • I want Jonathan Nolan!! I want Jonathan Nolan!! I want Jonathan Nolan!! I want Jonathan Nolan!! (Crying like a baby….)

  8. Zowie Bowie!

  9. Hmmm…I think I’d be fine with any with the exception of Reeves and only cause I haven’t seen cloverfield, but I really wanna see Lettering Me In. So after I see that i could add him to the list I have no preferance to who is picked

    • Personaly Sully, I felt Cloverfield, thou creative, you see like maybe 10 seconds of the actual monster ripping though New York. So you hardly get to see the thing. It was for me like watching the origanal Nightmare On Elm Street if it didn’t have Freddy at all, but yet everyone kept getting killed off. So guess in my opinion I’d say save your time. but that’s just me.

  10. Hmmm…I think I’d be fine with any with the exception of Reeves and only cause I haven’t seen cloverfield, but I really wanna see Let Me In. So after I see that i could add him to the list I have no preferance to who is picked

  11. I wouldn;t be disappointed if Jonathan Nolan got the job, but i do see why some people are disappointed cause he’s never ACTUALLY directed a major film before.

    This movie would be great for Andrew Stanton to get into Live Action film making.

    JJ Abrams, but he’s alittle busy at the moment

    Alfonso Cuaron would be nice, he’s a good director with some big budget and well praised films, but still no one seems to know his name.

  12. Adam Baldwin for Superman.

    • I think it would be weird because it would feel more like a Smallville movie than an actual Superman film.

      • Tom Welling will have nothing to do with this movie. Smallville and the WB/DCE film universe are entirely separate.

      • ive been saying pretty much the same thing for a while, not sure what people dont get about it Jose. :)

  13. i have no faith in scott or reeves.. so choose Snyder or just go with jonathan.

  14. jones can do it,and is my choice, but snyder will be picked, but will not use slow mo.

  15. Snyder.

  16. why not get Uwe Boll??!?!?!!?!? im KIDDING. please Chris, NO curve balls by having Ratner ANYWHERE near this project please. Zack would definately “make it cool”

  17. if snyder makes this movie and it is as visually stunning as 300 and watchmen…i may die and go to heaven on the spot…just sayin…

  18. You either don’t get Superman or you haven’t seen a Snyder movie. He’s a talented filmmaker, but there’s nothing about his line of work or directing style that makes him a good fit for the type of Superman movie that fans want to see. Yes, Snyder could do a very specific kind of Batman movie, but he’s even admitted in the past that he doesn’t understand the Superman character. A Superman director needs to understand what Superman is – and how he can’t just be made into a Batman with heat vision and flight.

  19. After reading that Snyder is a fan of “The Dark Knight Returns”, one of the worst comics ever published, I would have to say that I would not like to see him direct or anywhere near Superman. I whT hate to see him interpt Superman the Miller did.

  20. Hmmmm, I would say Snyder, but only as the best of a bad bunch. This film needs an experienced director, someone who can handle action and emotional scenes.

    I like the idea of Hamm playing Superman, his age is hardly a concern for such a timeless character. But Goyer scripting is a worry.

    • What like Singer? ;)

      • He did fine in my opinion.

        • Same here. IMO Superman Returns was f-king brilliant.

          • but it still sucked thats why they rebooting Superman

  21. They should get Tom Hardy to act as Superman.

    • not a bad suggestion at all.

  22. Wow that’s a pretty bad list of options. I’m shocked anyone would want Snyder. I mean he’s ok nothing great, but his style doesn’t really mesh up with Superman. Snyder is a more over the top type of director and really enjoys shock value. I’m already picturing Superman impaling people with the American flag and melting their heads with Heat vision. He just isn’t the right choice.

    Whats next guys QT? RR? maybe Martin S? Lets keep in mind this is Superman not deadpool. Snyder has an Ok track record 300 was bleh, but watchmen was good. Still either film when you look at it was overly graphic and very in your face style of directing. Not at all good for Supes.

    Though we could do worse I seem to remember Burton was gonna do Supes at one point.. Scary thought. Just looking pack at the concept art is vomit worthy. Superman flys in to Halloween town to kick some Jack Skelington ass.

    • I’ve read that Superman Lives script Kevin Smith wrote, that Burton was going to direct with Nic Cage staring, wow oh wow was it the worst thing my brain ever had the misfortune to assimilate.

      • hell, just get Richard Donner back at the helm

        • Now thats what I call a good idea! Get Donner back, he knows the character, hell, he even wrote several Superman comics with Geoff Johns. He obviously still has the passion for it.

  23. Chris Colombus or Gore Verbinski, each with Nolan leading the production would be stellar choices

  24. I say Matt Reeves or Synder. Both seem to have created a shortlist of extremely entertaining and unforgettable films. Though I think Reeves will get it if Let Me In is successful.

  25. I actually loved Watchmen. I wanted something that was generally faithful and its basically what I got. I actually had no problem with the way he ended it but of course I would have preferred the original ending but anyway I DIGRESS. Snyder would make a great choice because I feel that he actually appreciates the medium of comics and really does try to do it justice. Suckerpunch looks fantastic and this owl movie he has looks visually stunning so maybe its no such a nad idea to let him direct.

    As for who plays Superman, I’m still against Jon Hamm. I really love him and am a HUGE Mad Men fan but I can’t see him as mild mannered Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent. Superman I can see him as. I don’t know if that makes sense but yeah. Sorry for the rant lol

  26. It needs to be Chris Nolan so that we can get the Batman vs Superman movie that was promised in I Am Legend.

  27. Lol, I can’t believe Christopher Nolan refered as the God father of the DC universe.

    • WallyWest,

      The article states Godfather of the DC film universe.