It's apparently more than idle rumor that Christopher "Batman Franchise Messiah" Nolan has taken on the job of rebooting Superman next. In a recent interview, he said the idea came while he and his writing partner were stuck with a particularly thorny problem in developing the third Batman movie. ("Gee Chris, you had such a great idea about the Joker busting out of Arkham for the third movie... what do we do now?")
The interview also quotes Nolan as saying the studios felt he "knew the milieu" for comic book superheroes.
Wait a minute, here. Just because Nolan had an uncanny understanding of how to update Batman doesn't mean he's going "to get" Supes. Superman is an entirely different creature. For one, he's an Optimist. Now, some may say Batman is an Optimist in a pessimistic world, I could see that, but the pessimism of that world view pervades everything. You want to understand Superman? All you need to do is watch the last few minutes of Superman II (let me specify the original cut). That image of Superman returning the flag to the White House and apologizing to the President has it down pat in terms of tone.
Batman apologizes to no one if he got the job done.
Nolan also said that he doesn't plan to connect the two series. While it's a safe choice, I think that's a big mistake in some ways. Superman and Batman are Yin and Yang for superheroes. They can be used to define each other. Frank Miller understood this perfectly. Go back and read The Dark Knight Returns to see what I mean. Connecting the films needn't be cutesy or forced, and doing it as a throwaway would be wrong too. But there are ways to make the connection work for the storyteller.
On the Batman III front, rumor abounds that the Riddler will be the next villain. I'm cautiously optimistic about this. While some see the Riddler as a downscale Joker, there is the potential to really open up the Batman's "world's greatest detective" angle working against the Riddler. I hope they don't overstuff the film with villains.
And now for something really super...