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?