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The Superman 5

According to /Film, Chris Nolan has released a shortlist of potential directors for the upcoming Superman reboot that he is producing. The list is as follows:

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

Now, I’m not going to talk about Jonathan Liebesman because I have neither seen any of his films, nor do I want to. Texas Chainsaw Masscare: The Beginning is the stand-out choice from his canon of work, which should say it all about him.

Tony Scott is a very hit-and-miss director for me. The Taking of Pelham 123 was a good idea. The original needed an update, and he could have been the right man for it. Unfortunately, he made it very dull, void of any tension, and butchered the ending. Man on Fire is a film I really enjoy. In general, I’m a fan of revenge movies, and Denzel Washington has the right intensity to carry it off. Also, it’s the only film where Scott’s hyper-kinetic style really works. Examples where it doesn’t work are the lacklustre Deja Vu and Spy Game, which just didn’t work. But he does have it within himself to make good films, as evidenced by Man on Fire, True Romance and Top Gun. There are nine year gaps between these three (Top Gun; 1986, True Romance; 1995, Man on Fire; 2004), and they happen to be the only Tony Scott films that I like, so if he does end up doing Superman: Man of Steel, I’ll be praying that the release date gets pushed back to 2013, to at least give it a chance.

Duncan Jones, as yet has made just the one film, and it was a cracker. Moon. His next movie, Source Code, is due next year and sounds very strange. It has the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan lined up to star in it, and could be very good. On the other hand, he could be the next Richard Kelly. Also, based on Moon, I couldn’t commit to saying that Jones has the right style to make a superhero movie. Although I probably would have said the same about Bryan Singer based on The Usual Suspects, or even Nolan himself, based on Insomnia and Memento.

Zack Snyder has already made one comic book movie, and did a good job of it, even if not everyone liked it. Watchmen was possibly the best direct comic book adaptation I’ve seen (as opposed to the likes of X-Men or Batman Begins, which were amalgamations of existing stories and original ideas). His directorial style is suited to the extreme – 300, Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen were all hyper-stylised – and I don’t think Nolan’s script will fit this style. If it’s anything like the Batman Begins script it will be dark, (somewhat) realistic and not suited to ultra-violence, slo-mo and buckets of gore.

Based on my dismissal of the others, you could probably guess that my favourite for the role is Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield and the upcoming Let Me In. Cloverfield, while by no means a masterpiece, is a good example of dark action sci-fi, which immediately sounds like a perfect fit for a Nolan story. From what I’ve heard and seen of Let Me In, Reeves has no trouble with sensitive material, and based on the two together, he has the ability to make the extraordinary seem believable, as Nolan has done in his two Batman movies. I’d really enjoy seeing Matt Reeves have a shot at Superman; it would represent the next step up in his career.

So, those are my two cents. I would like to hear what other people have to say, so please comment.

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