– The Dark Knight Rises for Chris Nolan, but his villain is still unclear: whoever it is (and it’s NOT the Riddler), Heath Ledger’s Joker will be impossible to top. By playing it safe with the title, Warner Bros. is betting that box office numbers will match those of Nolan’s second Batman installment ($1 billion worldwide). Nolan confirmed the title and his successful resistance to 3-D to his usual journo source, LAT’s The Hero Complex.
Nolan is delighted to deploy hi-def technology and IMAX cameras to maximize 2-D possibilities. As for the plot and characters of The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan said: “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones.” The Hero Complex noted that Nolan was, as usual, keeping details protected: “He began our conversation by comparing it with a visit to the dentist’s office. Well, if so, he’s a patient who never opens wide…and any secrets he wants to keep in place are done so to protect the final product.”
– Darren Aronofsky and Mark Heyman were a winning combination for The Wrestler (he co-produced) and Black Swan (co-writer), and now they are set to pair again on Machine Man for Mandalay. The film will be partially based on a manuscript by Max Barry about an engineer and tech-geek who is so fed up with his mediocre life that he decides to replace his weak body parts with hand-made titanium upgrades. (Shades of DreamWorks’ robot actioner Real Steel.) Barry is publishing the story as an online serial – one page a day – and will release the complete novel come spring. This project will follow Aronofsky’s reunion with The Fountain‘s Hugh Jackman on Wolverine 2.
– It’s not a Goodfellas sequel, but a prequel TV series, is in the works. This opens the door to hours of character development a la The Sopranos. Both Nicolas Pileggi, who wrote Wiseguy, and Martin Scorsese (Boardwalk Empire), whose film was based on the book, are on board for the series. Pileggi told Culture Magazine: “I want to do it, Marty wants to do it, Warner Bros. wants to do it. Of course, you can’t pick up from Goodfellas, since we murdered everybody, or rather, everybody was murdered! There’s nobody left…But I think we’re going to figure out a way to do the early years – sort of a prequel.”