Warners/D.C./Legendary have hired David Goyer to write the new Superman reboot. Goyer’s working with Jonathan Nolan (Batman Begins) on an idea from his brother Christopher Nolan. There had been speculation–denied by DC–that Christopher Nolan would be supervising the new Superman iteration. In fact, Goyer reinvented Batman with Nolan. And his story for Nolan’s The Dark Knight went on to earn $1 billion. He also wrote Marvel’s X-Men Origins: Magneto. Warner Bros. was cautiously making sure it had the right approach to its next Superman picture before losing the rights to the character in 2013. Here’s Variety (which credits Latino Review with breaking the story):
According to sources close to the companies, Goyer pitched a more action-packed idea–titled Man of Steel–that involves Superman battling archnemesis Lex Luthor and super villain Brainiac — far different than the original story that was seen in “Superman Returns” in 2006. He could wind up helping another scribe develop the final script, as he did with “The Dark Knight.”
Goyer is established in the comic-book/genre universe, known for what Hollywood would call edgy and dark–but still commercial–movies and television. He’s the creator of the hit series Flash Forward and the vampire franchise Blade. More important, he’s experienced and knows how to play the big-studio game.
The 2006 movie, which paid homage to the Richard Donner Superman movies without completely updating the franchise the way Nolan did with Batman Begins, grossed $391 million worldwide off strong reviews for a genre sequel. But it cost more than $232 million. Warners felt it could have performed better with more action and a powerful villain—and no Superman kid. So Singer was taken off the franchise. Likely also gone is Superman Returns star Brandon Routh.
The debate continues to rage about what Warner Bros. should do with the DC Comics super-hero. Fans have been clamoring all over the web for a complete reboot. Warner Bros. execs believe that the last movie didn’t break the mold and wound up in some kind of middle limbo. They want to start over from scratch. The studio had been seeking the right direction. WB consumer products guru Diane Nelson, who liased with JK Rowling on the Harry Potter series, is charged with putting the integrated DC/WB house in order.
Clearly, Goyer believes that Superman doesn’t have to be squeaky clean. The origins of the character are darker and more complex. He can add more dimension. And in the new tech universe, just about anything is possible. Let the fan debates begin.