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Who Do You Want To Direct Superman?
As Nolan compiles a shortlist, we put it to a vote
After Friday's revelation that there is a shortlist of Superman directors floating around Hollywood right now we thought we'd cut Christopher Nolan and the top brass at Warners out of the equation and put the issue of who should helm the Man of Steel's next adventure to the true experts: the Empire readers. So have a look at the pros and cons below and then vote for your choice for Supes' next director�

WORDS HELEN O'HARA

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Duncan Jones Tony Scott Matt Reeves Zack Snyder
Duncan Jones
Pros
  • Moon showed that he can do amazing things with one bloke, a box painted to look like a robot and a tiny budget. Just imagine what he could do with a full cast and crew!
  • He's already proved he's a geek, following his brilliant debut with the similarly sci-fi Source Code. He could, therefore, be the perfect person to tackle the oft-ignored alien side of Supes.
  • He's got a great eye for character and casting, which has got to help. And maybe he could persuade his dad to play the villain, which would be a treat for Labyrinth fans.
  • Tony Scott
    Pros
  • He could handle the scale of the action, the extent of the production and the egos of any stars involved without even breaking a sweat.
  • While he's done loads of big movies, he hasn't tackled a superhero movie - so he isn't already associated with any other comic book properties and has something new to bring.
  • He'd probably do as much of the action as possible in-camera, giving things a nice real-world sheen.
  • Matt Reeves
    Pros
  • He made Cloverfield, which means he knows how to stage big-scale action numbers - AND do it on a tiny budget.
  • Hey, on the same lines, he could probably invent a baddie scary / big enough so that even Superman would have trouble taking him down.
  • The word on Let Me In suggests that he can also handle smaller-scale character drama well, and not just when it centres on 20-something hipsters.
  • Zack Snyder
    Pros
  • He could handle the action in his sleep, and he's very much at home at Warners and seems to have the respect of the studio - see the freedom he was given with Watchmen for proof.
  • He knows how to handle the fanboys (carefully, but with love) and seems uniquely well tuned-in to their concerns.
  • There's no question that it would look gorgeous - and while 300 was CG-heavy, Watchmen showed he wasn't dependent on trickery for effect.

  • Cons
  • He's untried at this level, and with the sheer technical scale required of a film like Superman.
  • He might not want to jump so far from his indie roots and into the Hollywood mainstream - and do the fans even want him to? Maybe we'd all be better off if he was coming up with more fiercely original stories.
  • His sensibility might be too dark for the Big Blue Boy Scout.

  • Cons
  • At 66, does he really want to be tackling something this big? (Probably, yes, but he's entitled a rest if he wants)
  • Given all his experience, he might prove less than amenable to the extent of studio involvement usually required on a tentpole franchise like Superman.
  • There's no obvious part in the movie for BFF Denzel Washington, and it would be a shame to separate them.

  • Cons
  • He hasn't made films on this level before, in terms of budget, and it remains to be seen how well Let Me In is going to perform.
  • His work, despite the big box-office of Cloverfield, feels rather indie - which isn't a natural fit for Supes. And what about the planned Cloverfield 2?
  • The combination of Christopher "keep it secret" Nolan as producer and a protg of JJ "keep it safe" Abrams as director might mean that the film's kept so secret it's never actually released.

  • Cons
  • He really seemed to relish working on something totally original with Sucker Punch. Is he going to want to jump straight back into a franchise?
  • If Legend of the Guardians does well, there's a chance he might be overseeing sequels to that as he works on this - not to mention 300 prequel Xerxes. At least they're all Warners, though.
  • Does Superman really need speed-ramping?
  • Jonathan Liebesman Darren Aronofsky Christopher Nolan Superman Symbol
    Jonathan Liebesman
    Pros
  • Battle: Los Angeles has already impressed the Warners brass so much that the South African director is set to direct Clash of the Titans 2 for the studio, so you know he's got some game.
  • He's relatively young and has everything to prove with this film.
  • He's got the necessary effects experience, and presumably learned to budget his effects carefully for Battle: LA.
  • Darren Aronofsky
    Pros
  • He's had a similar career trajectory to Nolan, coming up through acclaimed indies to reach gradually more and more starry projects.
  • If he could get the visual flair of The Fountain, mix it with the storytelling ability of The Wrestler and throw in the tension of Black Swan (we hear) we could be on to something.
  • His missus, Rachel Weisz, would make an ace Lois Lane.
  • Christopher Nolan
    Pros
  • He's beloved by all film fans, has already knocked Batman out of the park - twice - and then bowled us over with Inception.
  • He could make it good.
  • Any other director who does it is going to be compared to Nolan by fans, so he might as well cut out the middle man.
  • Who do you think should direct Superman? Vote now!
    Duncan Jones
    Tony Scott
    Matt Reeves
    Zack Snyder
    Jonathan Liebesman
    Darren Aronofsky
    Christopher Nolan
    None Of The Above
    Show results without voting


    Cons
  • He made Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, as well as Darkness Falls.
  • Unless the studio want to knock the Titans sequel back a couple of years, his schedule presents a significant problem.
  • His background in horror doesn't hint at a particular Supes affinity. That's not to say he doesn't have one, but we're yet to see it.

  • Cons
  • Would he, as a strong-willed filmmaker in his own right, end up clashing with Nolan?
  • He's never shown any huge appetite for big budgets and big action, preferring more character-driven, philosophical subjects. Does this risk being the Supes equivalent of Ang Lee's Hulk?
  • If Robocop came together, he might be too busy.

  • Cons
  • He's showed no interest in directing another superhero franchise whatsoever.
  • He's already producing, so we should get that Nolan-y goodness whether he directs or not.
  • It's either this or a third Batman in the next three years. Which do you really want, fanboys?
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