Could Jonah Nolan Direct MAN OF STEEL While Christopher Nolan Directs JUSTICE LEAGUE?

     February 26, 2010


Before we begin, consider this item to have “RUMOR” stamped across it in big red letters.  IESB has repeated some of the possibilities they’ve been hearing for the future of DC Comics in Hollywood.  The report acknowledges that some of it seems pretty unlikely, but cool enough to pass along.  First off, there’s talk that Christopher Nolan may have accepted the Superman “godfather” gig to better the chances of that his brother and Dark Knight co-writer, Jonah Nolan, would be hired to direct what is reportedly titled The Man of Steel.  On top of that, Nolan may be guiding the Superman and Batman franchises toward an eventual Justice League movie that he would helm, hinting at similar shepherding roles in the Green Lantern and (recently progressing) Flash movies.

Cool stuff indeed, but the probability that any of it comes to fruition is worth analyzing after the jump.

alex_ross_justice_league_of_america.jpgEven if the production on Man of Steel is considerably scaled down in the vein of the Spider-Man reboot, it’s unlikely to dip below $100 million, and will probably end up nearer the $200+ million range.  The Oscar-nominated Jonah Nolan has plenty of screenwriter experience, having worked on the script for The Prestige and Memento in addition to his work on The Dark Knight.  Still, this would be his first time in the director’s chair, and any potential incarnation of the next Superman film seems way too big for a first timer.  If, as rumored, Christopher Nolan really wants his brother to get the job, maybe he is willing to beef up his own involvement with the flick.  In fact, the only way I can see this one being true is if Nolan promises to serve as effective (though uncredited) co-director to handle the scale of such a picture.

The Justice League rumor is a little bit more reasonable, at least from one perspective.  I have no doubt that Warner Bros. would love entrust the DC superheroes to Nolan’s steady hand; that’s how you treat a director who delivered a comic book film unrivaled in commercial and critical success.  The bigger question is whether Nolan would actually want to undertake such a role.  Much has been made of the fact that, after the cultural phenomenon of The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. would love to make a deal for the sequel the very minute Nolan agreed to return to Gotham.  But news has been a long time coming, with quasi-confirmation coming only a few weeks ago.  Is Nolan, who took a respite from comic book work for The Prestige and the upcoming Inception between Batman films, really willing to devote the next years of his life so completely to these characters?  I doubt it, but it’s very good news for the movie-going public if he is.

So, don’t expect to see an announcement any time soon (er, ever), but feel free to ponder the possibilities in the comments below.

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