"We are very pleased that Wolfgang Petersen is bringing his considerable talent to this newest episode of two of our most important franchises. In his hands, 'Batman vs. Superman' will carry forward the Warner Bros. superhero tradition."
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
from Hollywood Reporter
Let's hope not. Hey folks, Harry here. I believe that Lorenzo wasn't talking about SUPERMAN IV and BATMAN & ROBIN, but the better Warner titles... and since he said 'carry forward' that would mean being better than what came before.
Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both are running stories this morning concerning BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. Well back on June 25th, we learned that the film had been given a greenlight to move forward according to our spy, the captain. Click Here To Re-Read That Story! What we found tonight was that Wolfgang was spilling some details over at Hollywood Reporter to Zorianna Kit - she did a great job! Here ya go:First we learn that there will be '3 great parts for women', that the film will take place in both Metropolis and Gotham City. Apparently the tone of these two cities are the principles of the movie, "which reflects what life is all about." Next Zorianna's story said:
"There will be a conflict between the heroes. "Superman stands for what is powerful, clear, bright, noble and just; Batman is dark, obsessive and vengeful," Petersen said. "Because they are so different, they will inevitably end up clashing. It will be a battle of the titans."
Although the two crime-fighters will team up against evildoers, each will experience his own inner conflict. "They both go through some kind of a crisis," Petersen said. "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." "
Meanwhile, over at Daily Variety, Dana Harris got Wolfgang to say:
"It is a clash of the titans," Petersen told Daily Variety. "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."
Now, in both articles they state that while they are aiming for a 2004 release date, but that the film doesn't have a start date, our spy told us the plan inside Warners is to start shooting in February 2003, and with Wolfgang asserting that he'd have the two heroes cast in the next 2-4 weeks, and saying that he isn't after stars as much as he is after the RIGHT ACTORS for the parts... Well, that sounds potentially pretty cool.
The articles also state that this is not a part of either franchises' established history, but an entirely new franchise. It also stated that Warners is continuing to move forward with Aronofsky's BATMAN YEAR ONE and McG's SUPERMAN. Due to the listening devices around the Warner lot, I know that they are planning on a Batman film as the first offshoot from this BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. Andrew Kevin Walker's script for BATMAN VS SUPERMAN is now my number one wish to read!
Meanwhile, some have been asking about Wolfgang Petersen's committment to ENDER'S GAME, well I got the following in on that as well...
Hi Harry, I don't have a lot of news, but I thought I would pass along some of the movie related news that Scott went over at Endercon (convention celebrating 25 years since Ender's Game the short story) this past weekend.
As is well known Wolfgang Peterson is attached to the project, but what is not as well known is how he became involved. He didn't get the script that Scott and company were shopping around, instead one of his assistants happened across the novel, fell in love with it, brought it to the office and had everyone else read it, including Wolfgang. Needless to say Wolfgang loved the novel and is now attached to direct (though it was ambiguous as to whether or not he has signed a contract yet), and it was Wolfgang that made Warner Bros. pick it up.
Scott is currently writing the third draft of the screenplay, and nothing else, right now. One of the key differences in this draft is instead of trying to focus the film solely on Ender's conflicts (which are largely internal) it will instead merge elements from both Ender's Game and the parallel novel Ender's Shadow. This creates a conflict/camaraderie between Ender and Bean that easily parallels the manipulations and conflicts of the adults that pushing for one or the other to be the final commander. Hearing Scott discuss this is a real treat, he is very passionate about the project, and there was no question in anyone's (at the con at least) mind that it would not be extraordinarily faithful to the spirit of the novels, although it will not be faithful to the exact text of the books.
There were a handful of interesting tidbits handed down about clauses Scott tried to get into the contract. I'll start with the positive.
One clause he did get into the contract is that there will be NO novelization, no kidÃs books, pared down versions of the novel, or a novel version of the script/film EVER. Scott is the only person who will ever write a book/story in the Enderverse and it is going to stay that way.
A second clause he did not get in was this; the races/nationalities of the children in the battleschool reflect, approximately and proportionally, the races/nationalities of the world. In other words only about 25% white, if that; it is after all a worldwide school, taking only the twenty brightest children, culled from the entire world, about every 3-6 months. He was flat out told "Not a chance in hell. There will be a handful of token characters from other races but every other child will be white." As the studio execs pointed out, if there are too many background characters that aren't white, white people will be afraid to go see it.
This sore point brought on a five-minute rant on Hollywood's racism. Interesting here is how he has had execs tell him that Mazor Rackham or Graff (main characters, and in one draft the same character) had to be white because they are the key adults, and no black actor can carry a big budget film alone. He tried to bring up Will Smith, but they smugly pointed out that Will Smith films only, ONLY, work because he is paired with a white guy for white people to go see. As OSC told them and us, people go to a Will Smith summer blockbuster to see Will Smith, not Jeff Goldblum! .
The other film related highlight came out of one of the scheduled events from the con. Stephen Sywak, a mechanical engineer, and Ethan Hurdus, a MIT aerodynamics student, put together an extensive and extraordinary presentation on the real life physics of the battleschool complete with 3D models and concepts of the most feasible design for the battleschool. OSC was so impressed with the presentation that he said about their brilliant idea for moving from the rotating station to the non-rotating battlerooms "In fact it's much better than any idea I came up with." He then proceeded to put them directly in touch with Wolfgang Peterson and his crew. He certainly knows how to take care of his fans. It would be a real shame if the film didn't use these designs as they are a perfect conceptualization of the school, and as scientifically and physically correct as the science displayed in 2001: A space odyssey (more so in fact, because the school has a non rotating hub for ships to easily dock to, as Steve put it, it's ridiculously difficult and time consuming to force every supply and personnel shuttle to have to spin or rotate to match the rotation of the school, as the ship that docks with the space station does in 2001).
Racism at Warner Brothers? Couldn't be.....