The rumors that Darren Aronofsky would direct the next Superman movie dissipated faster than a gratuitously slow-motion bullet late yesterday, when Deadline broke the news that Zack Snyder will be teaming up with producer Christopher Nolan and screenwriter David Goyer to attempt to revive the franchise. Snyder, of course, is the filmmaker who made you believe owls could fly with the recent Legend Of The Guardians, so Warner Bros. believes he’s particularly suited for this project. Also he’s adapted comic books before with 300 and Watchmen to great success/outrage, and, under doctor’s orders, recently purged himself of all his ridiculous notions in Sucker Punch, leaving his head clear to tackle the Man of Steel without wanting to, say, stick a giant robot ninja dragon in there.
Actually, this next chapter in Clark Kent’s secret life will feature one of the most familiar and well-loved villains of all: It was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that General Zod, pleather daddy of the universe, will return to make the Earth kneel before him once more. Goyer’s script is rumored to have a connection to Richard Donner’s Superman films, which suggests that we may see Zod (along with Ursa and Non?) emerging from the depths of the Fortress of Solitude, where they’ve been laying extremely low since Superman II.
Not that Snyder has been forthcoming with the details—or seems to know much of anything yet: He told the L.A. Times only that Goyer and Nolan had created a “great story” and that he feels “super awesome” about it. Production is set to begin as soon as Snyder is done with Sucker Punch, with an eye on release during the 2012 holiday season, so expect more information to begin leaking steadily, week after week, the showbiz gruel that sustains us all through the end of next year. As to how Snyder is approaching Superman, he’s called him “the biggest and the baddest of them all,” which is probably the first time someone has referred to Superman as “the baddest” since, oh, Richard Pryor.