It looks like with Batman ending, Warner Bros. are getting very serious about exploiting the DC Comics catalog they’ve mostly been sitting on. Earlier this month it was revealed that last year the studio had hired “Gangster Squad” writer Will Beall to pen “Justice League,” and it seems they are already intent on rebooting “Green Lantern” after it crashed and burned in 2010 with Ryan Reynolds. And during press rounds for “Men In Black III,” director Barry Sonnenfeld also teased that he was working on something for the studio “based on a comic that hasn’t been around since the 60s.” Well, the mystery has been solved.
Vulture has learned that Sonnenfeld is tackling “The Metal Men,” which, yes, largely has not been touched in quite a while. For those behind on their nerd lessons, the comic centered on super-powered cyborgs created by Will Magnus: Gold (who can stretch in all kinds of ways), Iron (strong man), Lead (head full of), Mercury (quick to anger), Tin (insecure — wait, is that even an ability?) and Platinum (who can also stretch). Um, not exactly the most exciting bunch around. In the 2000s, a female member named Copper was added and new storylines found them hanging out with Lucius Fox at WayneTech, but of course, don’t expect any Marvel-style tease in “The Dark Knight Rises” with Christian Bale asking who that group of cyborgs are ordering shwarmas.
On the one hand, dusting off a largely unknown comic property might be a good idea if it’s done right (and mostly likely, on the cheap). On the other hand, Sonnenfeld has got to be one of the most voiceless shlockbuster filmmakers out there, and if you want people to care, you’d think the studio would hire maybe a younger director or somebody who has shown a bit of vision. Not the guy behind three “Men In Black” movies and “Wild Wild West.” So we’ll see what comes of it, and perhaps WB will have more to say at Comic-Con next month.