Earlier this week when it was announced that Warner Bros would be taking pitches for the Superman Returns sequel, comic book writer Mark Millar self nominated himself to be considered for the job. Millar, who had always wanted to do a Superman comic book, had years of research, and was excited at the prospect of revamping Superman. One big problem: They won’t let him. Here is Mark to explain why:
“…for about fifteen minutes things were looking very sweet. I had a massive three-picture epic in mind, cribbed from notes I’ve been putting together for the last five years for a Superman comic-book revamp and the people I spoke to absolutely loved it. Everyone said this was very, very exciting, but…
Well, sadly, I’m a Marvel guy and we were surprised to find out that WB couldn’t hire me for a DC property. They were incredibly nice and superbly apologetic about it, but when they discussed the matter seriously DC explained just how associated I am with Marvel Comics at the moment and it’s against company policy to hire the competition. It’s absolutely nothing personal. I spoke to some friends at DC and they explained this has happened with a couple of big Marvel writers in the last couple of years and I absolutely respect that. It’s a business after all and to have a guy writing Fantastic Four, 1985, Kick-Ass and another super-big project for Steve McNiven this year which would be mentioned in every article about a Superman movie is not only an insult to their own writers, but makes bad business sense. I have nothing but respect for the DC high-ups and, though obviously disappointed, can absolutely appreciate their position. They’re the custodians of these properties and they obviously know what they’re doing.
So no Millar-penned Superman movie at this stage, I’m afraid. That situation may change, of course. As a Warner chum said to me last night, the last Superman movie had a number of starts and stops and who knows what will happen over the next couple of years, especially after my Marvel contract expires. In the meantime, I’m keeping my 200 pages of notes and sketches on a slow boil, just in case. As for the next movie, I wish whoever does land this gig nothing but the best of luck. I wanted to bring my vision to the screen out of nothing but pure love and hope to be as thrilled as everyone else. They’re talking to a couple of guys with a better screen-writing track record and, like the rest of you, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this sequel to Bryan’s first picture all works out great.”
I can imagine a few scenarios where Millar could be reconsidered for the job, but they are probably unlikely. What if Bryan Singer doesn’t walk from this project like most people expect him to? What if instead he says he wants to give Millar a try? It’s a big IF, especially considering the fact that Millar is excited to do a complete reboot of the franchise, and Singer is probably still attached to his first film.