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Fans who envisioned Warner Bros.’ reinvigorated superhero-movie slate as a “shared universe” littered with Easter eggs and cameos just may get their hopes dashed.
At least that’s what I glean from this Los Angeles Times profile of Christopher Nolan, who in February was tapped by the studio to mentor production of the next Superman movie (his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan is rumored to direct).
Nolan, who of course directed the highly successful Batman Begins and The Dark Knight — they grossed more $1.3 billion in theaters worldwide — and who seems destined to helm the third installment, is enthusiastic about screenwriter David S. Goyer’s take on the Man of Steel. So enthusiastic, in fact, that it appears as if it was Nolan who approached the studio about he and his wife, producer Emma Thomas, getting “involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”
So, it’s finally confirmed that Nolan is overseeing the new Superman movie, and that Goyer is writing the screenplay. What’s not so certain is whether the film will be called Man of Steel, as has been widely reported. “I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” Thomas told LA Times writer Geoff Boucher.
(One other confirmation: The villain in the third Batman film won’t be Mr. Freeze.)
Nolan is complimentary of Bryan Singer’s 2006 film Superman Returns, and how it connected to Richard Donner’s icon version of the character. But it’s with this passage that Nolan squashes fandom dreams of, say, Lois Lane attending a Wayne Enterprises gala or eco-terrorist Pamela Isley releasing a toxin in the Metropolis subway system:
“A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us that’s what I know how to do,” Nolan said, emphasizing the idea that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero and a similar approach to the Man of Steel would assure the integrity needed for the film. “Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other.”
In short, we probably shouldn’t expect Gary Oldman to become the Samuel L. Jackson of the DC movie universe.