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It's a swan, it's a plane...Darren Aronofsky latest name to surface in Superman director search

September 27, 2010 |  1:24 pm

When we interviewed Darren Aronofsky at the start of the Toronto International Film Festival, he had a deadpan answer on the progress of "Robocop," the remake of the 1980s action movie that has been felled by financial problems at MGM.

"I think I'm still attached," he said. "I don't know. I haven't heard from anyone in a while."

Now there's talk that he could make his studio debut with a different classic property: Superman.

Super As he intensifies his search for a director on the Warner Bros. reboot, Christopher Nolan, who's godfathering the new Superman and producing the David Goyer script, has had discussions with Aronofsky about the job, sources say.

Aronfosky's latest, "Black Swan," the hybrid dramatic thriller with Natalie Portman, looks on track to become an art-house hit, if not more, and the idea would be to bring Aronofsky's auteur sensibility to the comic book mythology (much as Nolan has done with Batman).

Of course, Aronofsky is just one name among many. Nolan and producing partner Emma Thomas are casting a net wider than Krypton for the job, with Zack Snyder (a man known for action scenes and physical movement), Matt Reeves (getting heat off this Friday's "Let Me In") and a number of veteran filmmakers also reportedly in the running.

There would also be questions about how the relationship would work between two strong-willed auteurs like Aronosky and Nolan. And the "Wrestler" director has famously resisted taking on bigger-budget studio pictures in the interest of retaining creative control.

Still, it's an enticing idea to bring on an Aronofsky or someone of his ilk. He and Nolan have had similar roots, if vastly different trajectories. Both gained  acclaim for low-budget indies that told fractured stories (Nolan with "Following" and Aronofsky with "Pi") and have continued to maintain an auteur vision even as they worked with bigger stars. If Warner Bros. and financier Legendary are going to give Nolan a significant degree of creative freedom, it makes sense to go with someone who knows how to make the most of that.

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Vintage Superman art. Credit: Jack Burnley / Taschen.

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