James McTeigue Talks Superman

October 1, 2009

Director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) apparently hasn't thrown in the towel, and he still has his sights set on rebooting the Superman franchise. Will Warner Bros. let him do it? That's another question altogether...

First Showing got the chance to talk to McTeigue about his future projects, and the director was very forthcoming about where he'd like to take Superman. The problem, at this point, is that Warner Bros seems content to sit on one of its most valuable characters and let him go to rot.

McTeigue said this about what he'd like to do with Superman:

I think I would be interested in doing it if they let me do it the way I wanted to do it. I would say that, if you take the Richard Donner Supermans and the last Superman [from Bryan Singer], I think that Superman is probably ripe for a bit of a change up. ...And I'm not saying you do the ubiquitous dark Superman, I'm not saying that… I'm just saying that I think there are some things that you could excise from the Superman mythology that people would get into it, if you took the world that he was in and changed that a bit, and maybe even project that into the future a bit. I think you don't really have to play into the origin story anymore.

His idea of omitting the origin story in the next Superman film sounds like a very good one. Everyone even mildly interested in Clark Kent, even people who've never read a comic in their lives, has at least a general idea of where the man came from and the rough outlines of his origin. And let's not forget about who's going to go to a Superman movie in the first place. It's probably safe to say we can get rid of some of the chaff.

As for whether McTeigue is still thinking about working with the Wachowski brothers on the franchise, he said the following:

I've had some discussions, the Wachowskis to a lesser degree, but the Superman franchise is in a strange kind of place at the moment. I think they're still trying to work out the mechanics of how that can come together.

It's not clear whether "they" are the Wachowski brothers or Warner Bros., but either way he seems to be very down to earth about rebooting this. It's going to take a lot of planning, which is why WB isn't jumping blithely into reboot territory right off the bat. That's what happened with the Incredible Hulk franchise, and it's difficult to say how much the reboot with Edward Norton really revived fanboy enthusiasm or broadened the fan base.

At this point all of this is just speculation. For all we know WB has its eyes on a completely different director and a completely different vision. They could even have a script in the works, and we'd be none the wiser. But it is interesting that McTeigue doesn't give up easily just because WB said "No" firmly and put the lid on the cookie jar.

There are a lot of fanboys waiting to see the cookie jar smashed into a thousand pieces, and one director knows just which hammer he'd use to do it.

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