Christopher Nolan becomes DC Movies’ "Godfather"

Nikki Finke etc. report that Christopher Nolan, late of “The Dark Knight,” has been officially made “supervisor” of the next “Superman” movie – whatever it might be – and that he’s “hatched an idea” for a 3rd “Batman.” Shocker.

Full story:

The main takeaway here is that he HASN’T immediately committed to actually DIRECTING a 3rd Batman movie, which leads me to continuing thinking that he won’t (losing prospect, trying top an unplanned phenomenon, no win situation, etc.)

Color me… mixed. Love Nolan. Love his movies. Love “Dark Knight.” But the “other shoe” that’s been hovering SINCE “Knight” was the prospect that Warner Bros. would decide that Nolan’s dark, “realistic” Michael-Mann-pastiche approach to Batman would work for ALL of their prospective superhero movies… which would be a DISASTER. Dark/serious/realistic doesn’t work for Superman, or The Flash, or Wonder Woman, or… well, pretty much anyone other than Batman – and even then only for a handful of prospective Batman stories (seriously, if you’re going to cut Batman off from the more scifi/supernatural aspects of even his OWN universe, where is there really to “go?”) Hopefully, Nolan is as “with it” as he seems to be and recognizes this.

The natural assumption, of course, is going to be that having Nolan “overseeing” multiple DC character movies is WB’s move toward aping Marvel’s still-unfolding “shared universe” movie concept – which makes a lot of sense, but I don’t know. Nolan/WB/etc all seem universally enamored of their “down to earth” Batman… can you really imagine Superman stopping by for a visit in THAT Gotham City, or Christian Bale’s mecha-suited-asthma-sufferer Bruce Wayne going to Justice League meetings?

STILL MORE from Captain America!

Holy shit.

I kinda figured that once Joe Johnston hit the junket circuit for “Wolfman” we’d start getting Captain America news, but this is a literal DELUGE so far. Yesterday the LA Times reported on the “solution’ to the tricky issue of costuming, and now Chud’s Devin faraci has quotes from Johnston about how they plan to solve the OTHER massive hurdle of putting this character onscreen: Namely, selling it in places other than America:

Let’s face it, while any fanboy worth his salt can tell you quite plainly that Captain America is pretty-much the exact OPPOSITE of the flag-waving, jingoistic douchebag you might imagine him to be from the name and the outfit – but try telling that to audiences in Europe, Asia and the Middle East who’re at best cynical and at worst reflexively-hostile to the idea of an “All-American” superhero. Marvel Films’ solution: European/Allied co-star heroes…

…more, specifically: THE INVADERS, a (retconed) Marvel team of WWII-era heroes who counted Cap as a member (if not “leader”) and fought alongside him against the Nazis. Think of them as “Avengers: Mark I.” In the comics, MOST of them were also Americans, but could be made multinational with very little revision. Johnston tells Devin they’re “the whole second half” of the movie… I bet meeting a slew of OTHER costumed-adventurers fits nicely into the aforementioned “oh, NOW I get the point of the dopey suit” angle.

The INVADERS… in live-action?? To borrow a line from Patton Oswalt… what god did I please!?

One sticking-point yet to be elaborated on: TWO of the most-prominent Invaders – Sub-Mariner and Human Torch (not the Fantastic Four one, a different guy who’s also an android. It’s… complicated) have their ‘rights’ still tied up at Fox, not Marvel Films. They’re both pretty “weird,” though, so I doubt we’d see them anyway. Probably a mix of original Invaders, other characters that’d “fit” and newly-created fellows. I’d love to see Union Jack (he’s exactly what he sounds like) in there for England.

Johnston talks Captain America

That whooshing sound you hear is a heavy sigh of relief coming from your’s truly. The LA Times’ “Hero Complex” blog has an interview with “Wolf Man” director Joe Johnston up about his NEXT film, “Captain America.” Surprisingly, for a non-typical-web-geek source the questions VERY quickly turned toward stuff you usually have to wait for, well… US to cover: Origins and costumes. And from the sounds of things…

…Johnston etc. GET IT.

Check out the full article here:

These, in my estimation, would be the “bullet points” for fans:

1.) Setting IS WWII. It’s an origin story for the Steve Rogers Cap.

2.)From the sounds of things the character is hewing VERY close to the standard model: Super-Soldier Program, innability to make “more” of him, Rogers as a “98 lbs weakling” before being transformed, etc.

3.) As to the costume: The way Johnston lays it out, he’ll be wearing BOTH the traditional “classic” costume and a more armor-like outfit (presumably) closer to the “Ultimates” version. The logic behind this: The “classic” one is something the Army/Goverment puts him in to “show him off” in USO productions, he thinks it’s dumb, then he comes to realize the tangible value of the “living symbol” aspect and fashions a combat-functional version.

Immediate reaction: I like it. No, wait… I don’t just like it, I REALLY like it. I think this is sounds like a fucking great solution.

The costume was going to be THE big obstacle with this character, precisely because the whole “guy wearing a flag” concept is just patently ridiculous and people – especially those not already fans of the character or genre – are probably going to think it looks silly. That’s why this angle strikes me as so brilliant: You’ll have the main character basically “agreeing” with them that “this thing is stupid”… but then (it sounds like) a major point of his arc will be realizing (and communicating to the audience) “no, wait, it’s actually AWESOME.”

I’m feeling very good about this right now.

Oscars 2009

I’m more-than-likely doing a “nominations piece” for “Escape” on Friday, but for now my immediate reaction is as follows:

1.) Let all who doubt that putting-on-a-good-show “narrative” ever enters into the nominating process gaze on the dual 9 nominations for Hurt Locker and Avatar – turning the cutesy “battle of the exes” meme into a literal dead-heat. As of right now, my money would be on the safe bet: “Avatar” for Best Picture (annointing the now-official biggest-movie-ever, it IS a game-changer and putting the cherry on the new audience-friendly 10-nominations angle) and Bigelow for director (first female win, oh-wow-girl-who-makes-boy-movies, everyone was pissed when the Globes passed her over for her ex-husband, etc.) NEITHER is the best of the year in my estimation, but whatever.

2.) The 10 Nominations thing is, as far as I’m concerned, a HUGE success here in terms of getting good “big” movies into the running AND breaking open the genre-ghetto. True, “Avatar” probably would’ve been nominated anyway being such a juggernaut, but “District 9” and “Up?” AWESOME…

3.) …Almost awesome enough to take the sting out of “Blind Side” being up there – which is a fucking disgrace. People will be pissy about “Avatar” being up there “just because it’s popular” – but let’s be clear here: “Blind Side” is the undeserving movie nominated as a sop to the cheap-seats this year.

4.) The Academy clearly loves “Inglorious Basterds,” Christoph Waltz is going to win and I think Tarantino is a good bet for Original Screenplay… so where’s Melanie Laurent? I know, I know, Best Supporting Actress already has Mo’Nique’s name on it, but still. Penelope Cruz was sex-on-legs in “Nine,” but it was a nothing role and the movie was horrible. I’d prefer to see Anna Kendrick win, solidifying her as the breakout star of the year (and officially the first person from “Twilight” to be ‘safe’ from having it ruin their career)

5.) The performances in “Precious” were so good that it’s Best Picture nomination is… okay, I guess. It’s an akwardly-made, overwrought movie, but whatever. Plus, let’s face it, NOBODY wanted to see the headlines if it didn’t (“Oscar even prefers BLUE PEOPLE to Black People!!!”) But Lee Daniels shouldn’t be up for director, not when it could’ve gone to Neil Blomkamp.

International "Clash"

IGN provides the “international” trailer for “Clash of The Titans.”

Heavy-Metal, drumming-scorpion and most of the money shots you’ve already seen are all intact, but it’s our first look at the broader story concept. Short version: They aren’t kidding with the “Damn The Gods” tagline – this very-much seems to be about humanity VERSUS the Olympians… think a role-reversed “Left Behind” with more visually-dynamic deities.

Fuck. Yes.

PLEASE don’t suck.