The L.A. Times reports that Darren Aronofsky is the latest director to have his name attached to a new Superman film, with Aronofsky reportedly meeting with producer and project “godfather” Christopher Nolan about taking over the oddly troubled franchise. Of course, Aronofsky’s just one of several filmmakers who are under consideration, a list that also includes Zack Snyder and Let Me In’s Matt Reeves—and as you can tell from those names, Warner Bros. is clearly aiming for a slightly darker tone here, since we now take our superheroes with a shot of self-loathing and questionable morality. In that sense, the LAT points out that Aronofsky is an attractive option because he would bring the same sort of “auteur sensibility” to a big-budget comic-book film that Nolan brought to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. That’s the same reasoning, by the way, behind Aronofsky being rumored to helm a Wolverine sequel—and it’s the same reason that everyone who’s heard said rumor responds by cackling aloud at the idea of the fiercely independent Aronofsky agreeing to helm a sequel to a mostly derided spin-off, even if his buddy Hugh Jackman will be there.
But don’t discount him doing Superman: He’s been down for this sort of thing before, having famously worked on a script for Batman: Year One with Frank Miller—a disarmingly “real-world” origin story that had Bruce Wayne battling criminals while wearing a hockey mask with the help of an African-American junkyard owner named “Big Al”—back around 2001. Eventually Nolan took over that tentpole, but Aronofsky is obviously not completely averse to the idea of taking over a franchise film. (And after all, he’s still ostensibly committed to doing a RoboCop remake as soon as MGM gets all its creditor bitches to leave.) The question now is, if Aronofsky takes over, how much of the film will be about Superman grappling with the effects of red kryptonite? A little or a whole lot?