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Batman Vs. Superman (Development Hell) [Last Updated: 12/29/03]
See also:
Superman, Batman, Superman II, Batman Returns, Superman III, Batman Forever, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Batman & Robin, Superman 5, Batman Begins

You may also like:
DreamScapesAxis, Catwoman

01/19/04 Superman Update
Superman-V.Com whipped up a nice summary of old news and new news:
Some good news for all you Superman fans. We can confirm the recent Moviehole story. The Superman production will be moving to the Fox Studios in Sydney after Rob Cohen's "Stealth" wraps on April 30th. Here's what the Australian Film Commission told Robert:

We're aware that Superman is booked in to shoot at Fox, but currently there's no director or leader actor attached, so there are no real details we can supply.

Now for a bit more on the production, which is still being referred to as "Fly-By" at WB. Mark Mansbridge is Art Director, he's got a pretty impressive CV, including Matrix 2 and 3 and Master and Commander. He's been on the movie for some time now.

No start date has been set but they are looking to begin pre-production in three months. The majority of shooting will be done in Sydney (doubling for Metropolis) and the Fox Studios. Expect work to be done in the US as well, we've already seen location shots for a possible "Smallville" shoot in Washington. Fenway Park may also host a scene from the film. Also, no costume design has been finalised yet, so plenty of time to avoid another Catwoman!

January 2005 is looking like a strong possibility for the start of principal photography; with pre-production taking place throughout 2004. The script is currently undergoing re-writes by McG and JJ Abrams (who talked to Sci Fi Wire about the movie recently).

Despite what the AFC say, McG is attached to Superman. WB just haven't gone through official channels yet to confirm it. I think it's safe to assume he will direct this movie. Directors usually sign on to a project when it moves from development to pre-production. Every insider S-V talks to refers to it as "McG's Superman". Robert asked his reps if he'd dotted the i's and crossed the t's yet, "No comment at this point". He went on to say, "I'm sure they'll be an announcement soon."

Another possibility for the project is DOP Russell Carpenter, who gave the Charlie's Angels flicks an impressive comic book sheen. So, is he on the movie? His agent said, "I can't give out that kind of information on my client." He's just finished work on a movie called "Noel". His schedule for 2005 is free, as is Composer Ed Shearmur and Editor Wayne Wahrman, all McG regulars, all strong possibilities.

Now, casting. Henry Cavill's agency said he is not committed to any new projects. An enquiry about Superman came up with some interesting answers: "I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say anything... Nothing has been confirmed... I've got no news for your website".

Look out for him in Tristan & Isolde later this year. Another former candidate, Ashton Kucher, has shown some interest in taking the part to MTV. My hunch is he only sees Superman as a vehicle to revive his nose-diving career.

Selma Blair claims she's "this close" to signing up for the movie. Most likely for the part of Lois Lane. Selma's a youthful looking 31 and I could see her working opposite Cavill.

Lastly, Wolfgang Petersen to direct Superman? His agent flat out denied this. Radiant Pictures (Petersen and Diane Rathbun's Production Company) say they are still "developing" Batman vs. Supeman but wouldn't comment on details like a possible writer. Could the rumour about David Benioff taking a pass at the script be true, who knows?

In the Dec 03 issue of Cinefantastique; there's a Richard Donner interview mainly focusing on his latest film, TIMELINE. Of particular interest is the mention of an in-depth interview with Donner on Superman and his vision of Superman 2 in a future issue.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]081702151204 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Final Piece of the Puzzle [an error occurred while processing this directive]Coming Attractions has been handed a previously unknown piece of the puzzle, something that explains what happened behind closed doors and changed the plan of action for Batman Vs. Superman: J.J. Abrams screenplay for Superman 5 has been handed into Warner Bros. execs -- and it has apparently knocked the socks off of everyone there.

Late Friday night we were contacted by a source who wished to be known as "Rusty Ryan". He told us that Abrams has handed in his draft of the Superman movie and -- get this -- it's damn near 200 pages in length.

"It's good. I mean, it is REALLY good," writes our pal Rusty. "It's so good they want to go as soon as they have an actor. It's so good that it bumped the half-assed Superman vs. Batman project right out of the way."

However, there's now one obstacle that is preventing WB from committing to make the Man of Steel fly again: the director known as Joseph McGinty Nichol, a.k.a. McG. "McG ain't ready to make it anytime soon," explains Rusty. "So, McG may be leaving the project, though he was so closely involved with J.J. writing it that J.J. doesn't want anyone else involved."

Rusty tells us that Warners new plan is to try and persuade McG to hand the reigns over to another director. If McG agrees to it, Warners will move faster than a speeding bullet to lock in a new and high-profile director and then fast-track the project. "Let's face it, it is criminally bad-business on Warner Bros. part (after the success of Spider-Man) to not make a project with THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE character in the world as soon as they can. Even if it's just okay, it'll make $500 million." We'd have to agree with our man Ryan on this call.

But wait, there's more: even at this early stage of the game, before McG has given the studio his blessing or refusal, Warners has four potential candidates in mind for directing the next Superman movie. They are:

Bachelor Number One: Director of Panic Room, Fight Club and Seven: David Fincher.

Bachelor Number Two: Director of The Insider, Manhunter and Ali: Michael Mann.

Bachelor Number Three: Director of The X-Files: Fight the Future and this summer's Reign of Fire: Rob Bowman.

Bachelor Number Four: Director of Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean's 11 and this winter's Solaris: Steven Soderbergh.

Their names are being tossed around right now as the four top players Warner Bros. would go to in a New York Minute if and when McG gives it his blessing. Warners is that excited about what Abrams put onto page.

Yikes, just yikes! [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]081502155646 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman/Superman, WTF's Going On? [an error occurred while processing this directive]With the latest news that Batman vs. Superman's greenlight flickered out, Batman On Film's done some digging and let's see what he's turned up:
WB does not like superhero flicks at all. The only reason they do them is because they make money. Sometimes. Says a source, "I've heard this from writers who've worked on WB-based comic book films: WB hates comic book films, they don't get them, and they only make them to make money. That could explain all their back and forth on the Batman and Superman franchises these last few years." He goes on to say, "Every comic book flick they touch turns to dust. I remember what this writer whose worked on WB comic book films told me: that WB hates these movies. Worse, they literally have a formula written down that these films MUST follow -- even if it means they'll be crappy." Can you believe this tripe?!

Anyway, it seems that perhaps BvS would take WB out of their comfort zone. Maybe it bucked their "formula" and decided they didn't want to take the risk. Wolfgang Petersen might have wanted it done a certain way that went againt WB's vision of the film. Nonetheless, several sources indicated to me that casting and money played a huge role in the demise of this film. They could not get the actors they wanted to do it under their terms. Several sources indicated to BOF that no one would agree to do sequels--or prequels mind you--unless they had some sort of idea where or control over where the character and franchise was headed. And with WB's track record, do you blame them. This is the major reason Jude Law walked away.

Here is more from FILMFORCE:
"In his latest Hot Button column, David Poland wisely speculates that with Batman vs. Superman delayed for nearly two years and no casting set, the likelihood of any of the previously rumored actors actually appearing in the film seems unlikely now. For example, writes Poland, "no matter how much Colin Farrell wants to be Batman, his agents are not going to sign him now to start a picture in 18 months or two years unless the dollar signs are so big that they can't imagine him being worth more then ... and that's just about impossible. The bigger question is, how the hell can a company like Warner Bros. continue to allow their biggest feature franchises to lie fallow year after year after year."
But Batman On Film comes back with surprising news:
There is never any ONE SINGLE REASON why a film gets put into turnaround. Even "The Matrix" was in turnaround for several months before Warners/VRP relented and gave it the greenlight. In the case of "BvS", it looks like a studio decision (they are unsure about their batting average in this genre -- and that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the fantasy that "they hate these kinds of films"), but the only way a studio will change its mind once the plug has been pulled is if the producer (Petersen) musters his forces and gets them to greenlight the project. Other contributing factors are clearly casting the leads; the studio wants stars -- and stars cost money. Additonally, stars who want contractual "control" (read: script approval) over the future direction of their characters (read: sequels) are a studio headache -- particularly when the stars in question (Law? Farrell?) HAVE NEVER HEADLINED A HIT MOVIE!!! These guys, from a marketing/accounting point of view, are long-shots AT BEST! You may not think so, I may not think so, but the Warners execs who will lose their jobs if the film tanks certainly think so. As to the "Superman" McG project, I wouldn't hold my breath. McG is generally considered on the same par as Michael Bay (read: talent free zone); Warners see "Supes" as an all-action epic -- not a shampoo commercial. There is absolutely NO WAY McG will end up directing that film. He barely survived "Charlie's Angels" (it is acknowledged that he had virtually NOTHING to do with its success), yet his name is attached to "Supes" because of a little thing we call "horse trading". (More on that for another day). My bet is that "BY1" will be the first taxi off the rank. Why? Hmm. Warners wants a "Bat" flick...they want Aronofsky to direct it...and Aronofsky is about to direct a LARGE budget thriller with a MAJOR lead actor...geez...think this is all leading to something BIG? After "The Fountain", Aronofsky will be in the hot seat. Trust me, "BY1" is only a greenlight away.
Year One first? If that's true, 2005 looks to be the earliest, with 2006 more likly. This also cuts down the tent pole The WB originally planed for 2004 with Catwoman and Scooby-Two as the stakes. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]081402162505 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman Interview w/ Christian Bale [an error occurred while processing this directive]Moviehole sat down and had a talk with Christian Bale (American Psycho). Amung many movies, they discuss Batman:
I've also been a big fan of Tim Burton's Batman movies [Batman (1989) & Batman Returns]. His almost gothic approach brought a wonderful cinematic feel to an American hero. I'd love to do [the] part but I'd also worry about being typecast. [B]atman is a wonderful character - the duality between his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, and the dark knight could be a fascinating character study.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura, executive vp worldwide motion pictures at Warners now says otherwise.
"Frankly, both pictures ('Batman vs. Superman' and 'Troy') are big opportunities for Warners," said Bonaventura, "We decided that 'Batman vs. Superman' is like a good wine -- it will find its time and only get better. Wolfgang instinctually saw the opportunity in both pictures and decided that 'Troy' was the one to go with first."
With "Batman vs. Superman" sidelined, either of the two other superhero projects that Warners is developing -- "Superman," with a script by J.J. Abrams, and "Batman: Year One," to which Aronofsky is attached -- could now become the first of the trio to go into production? Sources told The Continuum that an announcement on a Superman movie is expected soon after director Wolfgang Petersen announced his intentions to direct Troy before Batman vs. Superman. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]081302140915 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman/Superman Takes a Backseat to Helen of Troy & Casting Rumors [an error occurred while processing this directive]Variety reports Wolfgang Petersen has signed on to direct and produce the epic "Troy" for Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. Production is slated to begin in spring 2003. The director remains committed to directing the studio's "Batman vs. Superman," a project that had previously been targeted to a 2004 release.

"Of these two projects I have developed at Warner Bros., I had hoped to make 'Troy' first and am pleased that the scheduling worked out that way," Petersen said. "I'm looking forward to directing 'Batman vs. Superman' in the future."

Moviehole talked to Christian Bale's agent about the actors future plans, Moviehole discovered there's more to the story than what we think.

"The word about Batman is that NO ONE has signed on yet as all rumoured participants (Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Christian, Josh Hartnett, etc....) all have various conditions with regard to casting/money/marketing rights", he says. "For example, actor A may choose to do the movie ONLY if actor B is playing opposite him. If B drops out, A has the option to drop out or insist on Actor D, etc.... Actor C may sign on with a condition that he makes the same dollars as Actor B. If he doesn't get it, he'll walk."

The agent says that although Christian Bale is indeed still a contender for the role, there's several others who've been mentioned this week. "I've heard casting rumours as far flung as Ben Browder (from the Aussie-filmed sci-fi show FARSCAPE) who's agent is reportedly hoping to get him into a movie to prepare him once the series is gone to Tom Welling (who plays Superman in the TV series SMALLVILLE) to dualing cheekbones James Marsden and James Franco."

The rumours that Bale has been approached for the role of Batman are all true. "Christian has been approached for a number of BATMAN projects -including the Darren Aronosky BATMAN but all depends on the various conditions I mentioned above. He prefers the Aronosky project because the script is unique but that project is realistically on hold until BvS is done." he adds, "Don't forget that all-star casting usually drives a budget into over-drive so there's also the X-MEN approach to use lesser-known (and less expensive) actors from TV series. So, the dust hasn't settled yet." [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]081202213124 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Superman Casting Rumors [an error occurred while processing this directive]Ain't It Cool News are now saying that Jude Law (their shoe-in-of-the-month) will no longer be Superman for Batman VS. Superman. Reportedly Jude wasn't adverse to playing Superman in multiple films, he just wanted to be able to commit to those projects individually based upon the quality of their respective scripts.

So who will be playing big blue? Josh Hartnett. Reportedly Josh is in the exact stage of negotiation right now that Jude Law was in. The Final Negotiations. Colin Farrell as Batman is reported as locked up, but not inked. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]080802174251 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Casting and Timing Rumors on Superman Movies [an error occurred while processing this directive]A source at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank has confirmed to the Superman Homepage that Jude Law is still in the running to be cast as Superman in the up-coming "Batman vs Superman" movie, but that the part has not yet been cast. It was indicated however that Colin Farrel had indeed won the part of Batman, and that the top choice to play Superman was actually Josh Hartnett (Halloween H20 / The Faculty).

Other sources also indicated that the schedule of the two movies would be something like "Batman vs Superman" (directed by Wolfgang Peterson) to be released in 2003-2004, with "Superman" (directed by McG) set for a 2005 release. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]080302141445 [an error occurred while processing this directive]J.J. Abrams Talks Superman Movie [an error occurred while processing this directive]J.J. Abrams, who has been attached as writer for a Superman movie, told The Continuum that the film's future might be cleared up soon. Warner Bros. recently announced a Batman vs. Superman movie. Superman, which McG is attached to direct, and Batman: Year One remain in development:

"It's a very complicated thing right now," Abrams told The Continuum after the panel for his television series, Alias, at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Friday. "In the next couple of weeks, I think it will be much clearer." [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]080302133757 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman vs. Superman Reports [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman On Film posted a bit of rumor for all of us to ponder on about Batman Vs. Superman:

[M]any people are worried/discussing the supporting roles. Just FYI for you, not really a 'tip,' but [Walker's] script really does not mention Gordon, Jimmy Olsen, Perry, even Lois. It does focus on a young woman with Superman (actually Clark) when he goes back to Smallville, but it is not Lois!"

I will have to re-read the script. I know there is really no mention of Lois, I forget the other ladies name. She meant nothing to me, but I was never a huge fan of Superman. It may mean something to you. Commissioner Gordon is really never mentioned, neither is Perry White. It really revolves around Bruce Wayne's personal life, a tragedy in his life that makes him VERY angry, and doubt his life, as well as Superman's thought process, in the post 9/11 world. There is no mention of 9/11 but you can tell by the scenery, by the small parts in the beginning, that the world is just not the same. Something Superman does in the beginning, and the crowd/public reaction, the way they treat Superman. It all revolves around them dealing with their issues, and of course the super villian(s) in their past lives, that comes about. That being said, you have to understand, this is [Walker's] script...and it is being re-written. Petersen may have already met with [the screenwriter hired for] the re-writes he wants, etc. so that may be what he is referring to."

In a dramatic change, BOF also reported this next rumor, which would go against what the other scooper has to say--that Jimmy Olsen is not mentioned in the script. But--and I am just being hypothetical--perhaps if rewrites were ordered, it could have been to add classic characters to the film, such as Jimmy Olsen:
I saw Michael Marrona ('Pete & Pete,' 'Slackers') at The Viper Room out in LA, and asked if I could interview him for my indy rock zine. We briefly chatted about Polaris and Phantom Planet, and my final question was about what he's up to next. He said he just auditioned for 'jimmy' in the new Batman/Superman movie. I've never seen a Superman movie, so I don't know if that's a recurring character, or if that's code for another character or what.
An interesting clash, speaking of which, recently PEOPLE NEWS.COM reported tidbit:
Jude Law has beaten competition from Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell for the role of Superman in the forthcoming film Batman versus Superman. Apparently, it was decided that the blue-eyed, mousy-haired Jude would give the Kryptonite-fearing superhero a touch of new man-style vulnerability. Farrell has landed the role of Batman. 'They wanted to get away from the mega-muscled action stars,' revealed our man, 'and add a bit of sensitivity and broodiness to the characters.'
Leaving some fans scratching their heads, to say the least, since WB denied the rumors, but didn't deny that they were up for the part... [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]072502164440 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman/Superman Castings: Denied [an error occurred while processing this directive]One rather surprising rumour has been shot down by Dark Horizons. Yesterday, Aint It Cool indicated 26-year old Irish actor Colin Farrell ("Daredevil") will be Batman and 29-year-old English actor Jude Law ("A.I.: Artificial Intelligence") is Superman in Wolfgang Petersen's Batman vs. Superman. Not long after though, Warners denied the comments: "The roles have NOT been cast yet, they are still seeing other actors in casting next week. Jude Law and Colin Farrell are very definitely in the running but nothing has been locked yet". [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]072402172115 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman/Superman Castings [an error occurred while processing this directive]According to an unnamed source on Ain't It Cool News, Jude Law (A.I.) has been cast in the role of Superman/Clark Kent and Colin Farrell (Minority Report) has landed the part of Batman/Bruce Wayne in Wolfgang Petersen's Batman vs. Superman.

Jude Law's deal is still being hammered they're told, but the contract is very very close to being inked. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]072302224203 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman vs. Superman Rehabilitating Characters [an error occurred while processing this directive]Variety reports that it's looking good for Darren Aronofsky's Batman: Year One and McG's Superman. Warner Bros. is counting on Batman vs. Superman to rehabilitate the characters for their own two films:

The arsenal of DC Comics-generated superhero films at Warner Bros. is expansive and it's with good reason that "Batman vs. Superman" will be the first one out of the gates. WB is counting on helmer Wolfgang Petersen's "Batman vs. Superman" pic to rehabilitate characters that were nearly ruined in the last Batman and Superman pics. They'll get a last hurrah before new versions of both heroes are ushered in. There are five other DC projects that should keep the pipeline filled through at least 2010. It's a race to see whether the next in production will be the McG-directed "Superman" or the Darren Aronofsky-directed "Batman: Year One." The latter has time, given the postponement of Aronofsky's Brad Pitt pic for WB, "The Fountain," which will not get made unless its budget can be pared to $70 million. Also viable are "Batman Beyond," "Catwoman" (which still has Ashley Judd purring), and "Wonder Woman," which George Miller might direct.
Batman On Film has an interesting take from one of their most trusted and damn on-the-money insiders:
"As you know, [I've had some involvement with] MGM/UA, and it's interesting that Christian Bale's name has been bandied around for the 'Batman' role in 'Batman Vs. Superman'. Why interesting? Because MGM/UA are very hot for Bale to step into Pierce Brosnan's shoes for the Bond franchise. Brosnan has committed to doing at least one more Bond film after 'Die Another Day' comes out, but after that, the studio is looking at Bale and no-one else for the Bond role. So, the question is: Does Bale do Bond AND Batman? Probably not. Warners wouldn't have a problem with him doing both, but the Broccoli family sure would. They like to keep a tight rein on their Bond actors, and one franchise is enough as far as they're concerned. As for other potential Batman's, Colin Farrell's reps at C.A.A. are pushing him VERY hard for the role in 'B vs. S.' Personally, I still think Jude Law is going to put on the cowl at some point in the future, whether it be for Petersen or Aronofsky (if 'YEAR ONE' ever happens). Law's name has been thrown around so much by both his reps and the casting gurus at Warners that his odds are better than average. I suppose it just depends on whether he WANTS to do it...and let's face it, he might not."
Batman On Film also reports that even though there has been no definite start date, code named 'Asylum' directed by Wolfgang Petersen is rumored to be filming in the Florida area next spring. Tampa Bay and Orlando insiders have confirmed that the WB have been visiting Tropicana Field ( Formally Thunderdome) and The Citrus Bowl as a possible locations for filming. This also may be the reason why Universal is not renting out their studio buildings between Jan and May of next year. Possibly Waners is renting them out?. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]072102164451 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Wolfgang Petersen on Batman vs. Superman [an error occurred while processing this directive]The latest Entertainment Weekly included more details on the 2004 Warner Bros. project:
Batman vs. Superman won't dwell on the heroes' origins. Instead, the titular titans cross paths (and figurative swords) over a case involving both Metropolis and Gotham. "Their individual crises are what pit them against each other," says Petersen. "Superman [stands by] his old thing of 'truth, justice, and the American way' - oh, boy, he gets into trouble with that one!" Meanwhile the brooding Batman "gets into a case so violent that he's about to lost it. [But] it's a superhero film, so of course at the end they join forces."

While he downplays any serious overtones, Petersen says that post-Sept. 11 he wants to create more realistic working conditions for his protagonists. "It doesn't deal with a political situation like [the attacks], but it deals with the morality of this world right now and the gray zone we're in. Just to see how superheroes work in today's world is interesting."

The article goes on to say that they are looking for a few good men (in their late 20s to early 30s) to suit up for the leads.

The director says he's looking for thesps who "can really act and give complexity and emotions, but would have the fun of being a great superhero and maybe pump up a little bit."

According to EW, the shortlist of actors includes Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, James Franco, Jude Law and Paul Walker. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]071602130413 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman vs. Superman Casting Rumors [an error occurred while processing this directive]Some rumoured star names for Batman vs. Superman are springing up over at Superhero Hype!, with Christian Bale as the caped crusader and Paul Rudd as the Man of Steel. Batman on Film sent an email over to Christian Bale's representatives inquiring about the rumor that he was the front-runner for the role of The Batman in BvS. Here's the reply from Mr. Harrison Cheung:
"As with any actor, any role involves negotiation so I cannot confirm or deny rumors at this time. If and when Christian lands a role, I announce it on the NEWS section of his web site.
Wolfgang Petersen mentioned that casting announcements were just weeks away... [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]071102134813 [an error occurred while processing this directive]'Batman Vs. Superman' Director Hints [an error occurred while processing this directive]Wolfgang Petersen revealed some more minor details about Batman/Superman to MTV. Petersen said "Batman vs. Superman" will steer clear of the conventions laid down in each film series, though he admitted some degree of influence from the DC Comics series "World's Finest."
"I love [the Batman and Superman films] very, very much," Petersen said. "Especially in both cases the first two [Superman/Superman II & Batman/Batman Returns]. I saw them over and over again. ... ['Batman vs. Superman'] is part of the lore of the Superman films and the Superman comics and the same with Batman, but it's also different. First of all, the dynamics are different because if they are in one movie together it changes a lot of things and it gives you a new perspective on superheroes. ... You have also the look and feel of Metropolis, the bright golden city, and the feel of Gotham, which is a shadowy, sinister city, in the same movie. This is Superman/Batman of the time after September 11th, also. It takes place in today or tomorrow's world."
Though he mentioned Matt Damon in an interview with Variety, Petersen said he only cited the "Bourne Identity" star as an example of what he's talking about
"Someone where we so far did not really think of as a big action hero [who] turned out be a great actor who can also do great action. ... He's one of these kind of guys, but there's a lot of these guys out there."

"We have a script that really very, very much concentrates on the characters," he said. "It's really material for two great actors."

Petersen said "Batman vs. Superman" will be very different from Sam Raimi's record-breaking blockbuster.
" 'Spider-Man' has a very sweet and light touch to it and is very romantic with Kirsten Dunst and Tobey [Maguire]," Petersen said. "Ours will be more dramatic. What 'Spider-Man' did quite good was the swinging Spider-Man through New York. Our thing, with Superman flying, will be an unbelievable, amazing new experience that you've never, ever seen before, because it's a long time ago with the 'Superman' films."
Petersen is eyeing a 2004 release for Batman vs. Superman. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]071002173245 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman vs. Superman Greenlight? [an error occurred while processing this directive]Warner Bros. has finally taken the plunge and signed Wolfgang Petersen to direct what the studio is now calling Batman vs. Superman. The film is pencilled in for a summer 2004 release. Petersen will also produce the film through his studio-based Radiant Productions company.

Speaking to Variety, Petersen had this to say about the mother of all superhero battles/team-ups: "It is a clash of the titans. They play off of each other so perfectly. (Superman) is clear, bright, all that is noble and good, and Batman represents the dark, obsessive and vengeful side. They are two sides of the same coin and that is material for great drama."

Over at the Hollywood Reporter, Petersen said "As a European, it is challenging to do a project about these two American icons together in one movie. Growing up with American comics, to make a movie based on two of them is fascinating. I love it."

The project is now out to agencies for casting. Reporter adds that names should be announced within two to four weeks. Petersen is expected to begin shooting Batman vs. Superman in early 2003, with plans for five or six months of shooting, a start date for filming was not given. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]070902131512 [an error occurred while processing this directive]More Batman/Superman Details [an error occurred while processing this directive]The Hollyood Reporter just ran an article in which Director Wolfgang Petersen spilled a LOT of details about the superhero face-off Batman/Superman. Petersen said:

"Superman stands for what is powerful, clear, bright, noble and just; Batman is dark, obsessive and vengeful. Because they are so different, they will inevitably end up clashing. It will be a battle of the titans. They both go through some kind of a crisis. Superman has an unwavering belief in what is right and wrong and it's just not that simple anymore in today's world, while Batman is on a path of self-destruction. He reacts to an act of incredible violence in a way that almost puts him over the edge".
The casting of the roles is going to be for 'actors' rather than 'stars' but Petersen mentioned he was impressed by Matt Damon's action & acting skills - the decisions will be made in the next month. The project seems set for a Summer 2004 release, indicating an early 2003 start of shooting looking likely with the script being penned by Andrew Kevin Walker ("Se7en"). The story starts with the two as allie before eventually turning on one another, with both Metropolis and Gotham City featured and three 'juicy' female roles.

Once work on this is complete, Petersen is likely to develop either the "Ender's Game" adaptation or the "Trojan War" project. Both Aronofsky's "Batman: Year One" and McG's "Superman: The Man of Steel" project appear to still be on the drawing boards. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]070302161259 [an error occurred while processing this directive]What About Year One & Superman V? [an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman On Film got some clarification about yesterday's news from Variety that Warner Bros. is now most looking to the Batman/Superman project for its next superhero film. But what about McG's Superman and Darren Aronofsky's Batman: Year One?

"I really think the studio has decided to go with the Batman/Superman project first, and then relaunch the characters in their own franchises. They could still do 'Year One' later as a prequel, and they could even do McG's Superman film down the line. Remember, Aronofsky and McG were hired to develop a project; they were not greenlighted to make the films. Just like [Paul] Dini and Yakin with 'Batman Beyond' a few years back."
A relaunch of characters RIGHT AFTER a new movie doesn't make a lick of sense. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]070102203050 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Scooby-Doo 2, Catwoman & Batman/Superman For 2004? [an error occurred while processing this directive]Today's Variety was informed by Warner Bros. President/Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn that the studio is currently considering how to fill its 2004 film schedule. From five possible "tentpole" slots, two have been already filled, one for Scooby-Doo 2, the other for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That leaves three openings for '04, and the studio is looking at four possible films to greenlight to complete its year: an adaptation of the DC Comics/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer (rettiled Constantine); Troy, a romance set during the Trojan War; Catwoman, starring Ashley Judd; and Wolfgang Petersen's still-untitled Batman/Superman team-up.

Both Batman: Year One and Superman V have been pushed back due to other comitments of the directors to other films, but this Batman/Superman project will directly influence both. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]062602224833 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Wolfgang Petersen's Superman & Batman Film Greenlighted? [an error occurred while processing this directive]Given Spider-Man's meteoric rise at the box office, the high profile successes of all of Marvel's recent film endeavors, Ain't It Cool News got wind of this following story about a project called ASYLUM - featuring both Batman and Superman:

hey harry,

i work for a _____________ that gets info on upcoming movies straight from studios. apparently a coworker talked with someone at warner bros. today and was told that a green light was given to a movie with the working title "ASYLUM", a film featuring both batman AND superman, which would begin filming in february.

the other part, which i'm hoping is NOT true, is that this project is taking the place of BATMAN: YEAR ONE... but i'm crossing my fingers that they'll both get made in due time.

thought you'd be interested.

--the captain.

The film is being written by Andrew Kevin Walker for Wolfgang Petersen, but last I heard both Petersen and actor Brad Pitt are keen to start production on a Gladiator-esque epic "The Trojan War" soon, pushing any pre-production on a World's Finest project back. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]032602194154 [an error occurred while processing this directive]New Batman/Superman Movie In Doubt [an error occurred while processing this directive]The Hollywood Reporter has reported that with the announcement of the Gladiator-esque epic "The Trojan War", the fate of the Batman/Superman teamup movie is now in doubt due to Director Wolfgang Petersen's desire to helm the ancient Greek flick. Both Petersen and actor Brad Pitt are keen to start production on Trojan War soon, pushing any pre-production on a World's Finest back. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]021002163128 [an error occurred while processing this directive]Spider-Man & Superheros [an error occurred while processing this directive]Hollywood Reporter published an article about new actors needed for the action-arena.
Look no further than the casting of Tobey Maguire as "Spider-Man" for proof of just how much the action hero paradigm has changed. His role as the web-slinging crime fighter is a far cry from his earlier work in such character-driven dramas as "The Cider House Rules" and "Wonder Boys," but it is that dramatic background that convinced Sony to offer him the role.

"Tobey was the perfect Peter Parker because he's such a fine actor," Columbia Pictures president of production Peter Schlessel said. "He was able to play the nerdy-looking high school kid before the spider bite just as well as he was able to play Peter after the bite."

Heroes who are larger than life, whose powers seem over the top, no longer seem to be in vogue.

"Movies like 'Iron Fist' are not about a dominant super-powerful hero but rather about a guy people can relate to with special skills," said Patrick Gunn, executive vp at Artisan. "Action movies have become as much about watching someone become a hero as they are about what happens once they are a hero."

That transformation of a "regular" person becoming a hero is one that studio execs believe might especially resonate now in the wake of recent events.

"It's a new world now," said Emmerich, referring to the evolution of th e image of heroes. "On Sept. 11, we saw thousands of civilians go to work one morning and suddenly be caught in the center of a war."

These changes in the concept of heroism have led some industry veterans to believe that the traditional Stallone/Schwarzenegger-type action film might fade out of the Hollywood landscape much the same way that Westerns have.

"We might see someone emerge as the next action hero, but it's also possible that we will not see those same kind of characters any more," Gunn said. "Those guys had their time, but now it's a different time."

[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]121301072536P[an error occurred while processing this directive]Superman (& a Li'l Batman) Updates [an error occurred while processing this directive]This is direct quote from the January 2002 issue of Premiere Magazine, about the status of the long-delayed Superman movie in development at Warner Bros.:

"(Jon) Peters, though, has kept pressing. 'Charlie's Angels' director [Joseph McGinty Nichol] has been signed, and Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, and Catherine Zeta-Jones have asked about the role of Lois Lane. But nothing will happen until there's a new script, and as of the fall, there was still no new writer attached.

"Director Wolfgang Petersen ("The Perfect Storm") is developing another film, this one pairing Superman and Batman. 'It will show the duality between a brooding Batman and an innocent Superman,' says Petersen. Writer Andrew Kevin Walker ("Se7en") was scheduled to deliver a first draft of the script last November.

"Don't expect to see either of these projects before the summer of '03 -at the earliest. But with the success of Warners' 'Smallville' this season on TV, an adolescent version of the Man of Steel could eventually wind up on the big screen.

"'Just imagine what you can do in a post-'Matrix' world,' says Miles Millar, 'Smallville' co-creator. 'You can show Superman flying faster than a speeding bullet. It's worth waiting for.'"

Superman Cinema has posted some interesting comments, though you might have heard some of it before:

"John Peters would be the death of superman."

I actually worked with people very close (And in high positions) in Superman lives. I saw Nick Cage in the Outfit etc.....

During that period I saw many things, The design and storyboards for Metropolis were incredible and ILM flight tests were promising. Visually, it was looking up to be a great film. John Peter's role as producer hindered most of the creative process. He wanted Superman in Corduroys at one portion of the film. He wanted Superman to lose his powers just so he could fly a Superman space ship (More merchandise to sell..etc)

I plead that your website in no way supports Jon Peters. He is the reason Burton left the project and why they couldn't get a nice script [What about Kevin Smith's?]. I hope that John Peters has nothing to do with Superman.

I would spend time in the art department building on the main Warner Bros lot. It was there that I saw most of the design of the film. Metropolis was amazing. The concept was similar to the animated Superman series. The building where huge and possessed a very clean almost chrome surface.

There were 3 designs of the Superman outfit that I saw. 2 were horrible. There was an endoskeletal suit that was to provide Kal-El with protection and strength when he lost his powers. Maybe some would like it but I felt it was too Batmanish. The other one was close to the classic design but it was too.....Flash gordonesck. It would be dated within a few years.

My favorite was the one they actually constructed for Nick Cage. It was the classic outfit without the red undies sections. The material was very cool.
It was a silicon material (Not latex) that fit to his form very well. I was really surprised of his physical shape. The best way I can describe the outfit is a protective skin around kal-El. It possessed an organic look. The cape would drape like a roman centurion outfit. I really liked it. I liked the fact that the outfit was not a sculpt of muscles. Rather than that, it looked like a person with muscles wearing something on top. Much more realistic.

Just when I was excited about what I saw, they put a long wig on Cage. He looked like Kevin Sorbos Hercules in a cape. Bad.

You can check out some more info on Peter's "vison" of Superman at People Against Jon Peters. In the mean time, Ahem has produced another f/x article, this one is all about Superman 2, 'Warner Bros. could learn something from Universal.' [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]101201074848P[an error occurred while processing this directive]Batman Movie Updates [an error occurred while processing this directive]Coming Soon posted a lil` update report on all the upcoming live-action Batman features, and the result were not unexpected. Here's the rundown, according to Coming Soon:

Batman: Year One: To be directed by Darren Aronofsky. Ignore any casting rumor you've heard because it's too early to cast as no casting has begun. But why? Because the scripts have been rejected countless times now and that doesn't mean they went back to revise them either. Nope, each time a script has been rejected for the new film, they have gone back to square one delaying the project even further. This movie won't be seen for awhile.

Batman Beyond: This one has been dead for along time. The movie was apparently too expensive due to the futuristic environments that would have had to be created, Coming Soon's source claims, and Warner Bros. dumped the film in the trash. Sorry director Boaz Yakin (The Punisher) and screenwriters Paul Dini and Alan Burnett. What would have been a great edgy film is now trash material.

Catwoman: The website got in touch with the screenwriter for the upcoming movie. Catwoman screenwriter John Rogers revealed the comic adaptation is still in development at Warner Bros. unlike what was previously believe. Also, Rogers mentioned that he's turning in the second draft tomorrow! Catwoman in the second draft is still called Patience Price, played by Ashley Judd, who "has to stand on her own two feet."

Batman / Superman: The movie reportedly had screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker (Sleepy Hollow) and director Wolfgang Petersen attached. Same thing for this one - stuck in development hell, and will more than likely stay there.

Out of the many live action movies planned, only Batman: Year One and Batman/Superman have the chance of being made. Coming Soon also reports that Wonder Woman still has a chance to be made. [an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]080901124442A[an error occurred while processing this directive]World's Finest: The Movie?[an error occurred while processing this directive]Warner Bros. has tapped scribe Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, Sleepy Hollow, Silver Surfer) to write an as yet untitled movie project that would team Batman and Superman. 'World's Finest' was the name of the long lived Superman/Batman team-up comic book title, not necessarily the coming movie. The project is being developed with Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm) said to already be attached to direct.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Batman on Film
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