Movie Article

Bat Signals

Who will direct the next ''Batman'' movie? Christopher Nolan, the ''Insomnia'' and ''Memento'' filmmaker, will take over the dormant superhero franchise

Christopher Nolan's last movie was about a night-owl detective, and the one before that was about a vengeful vigilante. So it's no wonder Warner Bros. has picked him to revive the ''Batman'' franchise. Variety reports that the ''Insomnia'' and ''Memento'' filmmaker will direct the next Caped Crusader movie. He did not say whether or not he would also write the screenplay or what the plot would entail, though the trade paper suggested that he might consider ''Memento'' star Guy Pearce for the role of Bruce Wayne.

''All I can say is that I grew up with Batman, I've been fascinated by him and I'm excited to contribute to the lore surrounding the character,'' Nolan told Variety. ''He is the most credible and realistic of the superheroes, and has the most complex human psychology. His superhero qualities come from within. He's not a magical character. I had a fantastic experience with the studio on 'Insomnia,' and I'm keen to repeat that experience.''

Two attempts last year to revive the movie franchise, dormant since 1997's ''Batman & Robin,'' failed to materialize. Darren Aronofsky (''Requiem for a Dream'') was developing a ''Batman: Year One'' movie, but he tabled it to prepare for his sci-fi thriller ''The Fountain.'' That project, in turn, was shut down when Wolfgang Petersen, who'd been preparing ''Batman vs. Superman,'' shifted to the epic ''Troy,'' taking ''Fountain'''s Brad Pitt with him. Warner Bros. shelved ''Batman vs. Superman'' in favor of a less dark ''Superman'' movie to be directed later this year by ''Rush Hour'''s Brett Ratner and scripted by ''Alias'' creator J.J. Abrams. Rumored possible Clark Kents include Jude Law, Josh Hartnett, Brendan Fraser, and Ashton Kutcher. (Dude, where's my cape?) However, Variety reports that Warner Bros. is still keeping options open for other Batman projects, including Aronofsky's ''Batman: Year One'' and a projected ''Catwoman'' spinoff that would star Ashley Judd.

Originally posted Jan 28, 2003