David Goyer (Probably) Writing Superman Reboot
02.25.10 by BJSprecher
The news that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan was being brought in by Warner Bros. to "godfather" the development of a revamped Superman was met with great enthusiasm by comic book movie fans when it was first announced. Unfortunately, the news turned out to be nothing more than a rumor, leaving many wondering what, if anything, was being done to bring Superman back to the big screen.
Now, it's being reported that Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures are moving forward with plans for a new Superman movie, and that it will have a connection, if only tangential, to Nolan after all. LatinoReview has reported that David S. Goyer, co-writer of both of the Batman movies that Nolan directed, has been hired to write the new Superman movie, titled The Man of Steel. Goyer's script is said to be more action-packed than its predecessor, Superman Returns, and will see Superman squaring off against two villains — Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
Returns' director, Bryan Singer, and title actor, Brandon Routh, are not expected to return.
The LatinoReview article also claims that Goyer's screenplay is at least partially based on the comic book mini-series of the same name written and illustrated by John Byrne in the mid-'80s. Byrne revamped the Superman mythologies, which had become campy and convoluted over the years, depowering Superman considerably and altering his origin and childhood to make the story more realistic. The article goes on to state that The Man of Steel will not be an origin story, but that Krypton will be more fully developed, which is in keeping with the changes Byrne instituted in his mini-series and the Superman series that followed it.
Subsequent to the LatinoReview article, Harry Knowles of AICN posted an update on the story in which he claims to have spoken with Thomas Tull, the president & CEO of Legendary Pictures, the production company behind both the Batman and Superman movies, who apparently told Knowles that the LatinoReview article had a few holes in it.
Tull has not unilaterally hired Goyer to come in and write the new Superman. He loves Goyer, but frankly — the project isn't at the Script stage yet. Seems Nolan is still hatching some ideas. But he just wanted me to pass on that they have the highest enthusiasm for this project, but the story on Latino just isn't accurate. I'll see what more I can find out, but as of right now, there really isn't anything else to tell.
AICN is known for its consistently good insider movie news, but the fact that Nolan is mentioned in connection with the Superman reboot when Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment, said that his involvement was a "rumor" and nothing more, calls into question the validity of the update. And, following the AICN report, IGN posted its own update claiming "reliable sources" had confirmed that Goyer is involved with The Man of Steel, but that "Tull is downplaying" the news.
Whatever the truth may be, time is of the essence for the Superman franchise. After the heirs of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the original creators of Superman, sued DC Comics and Warner Bros. over the rights to the character, a judge ruled that Warner Bros. needed to begin development of another Superman movie by 2011 or risk becoming vulnerable to another lawsuit from the families. Furthermore, all rights to Superman and portions of his supporting cast, origin and powers will revert to the families in 2013 and neither DC Comics nor Warner Bros. will be able to create Superman-based works without a license from them.