Darren Aronofsky has flirted with the superhero genre before. If you’ll remember, he was in the running to handle the Superman reboot before Zack Snyder got the go-ahead to make 2013’s Man of Steel. Before that, he was attached to The Wolverine, but left after production troubles cropped up. Say what you want about the out-there and divisive mother!, but there’s no denying that Aronofsky is one of Hollywood’s most unique directors. And the increasingly-vanilla superhero genre could use a dash of crazy to spice things up.
That’s why we’re encouraged to see that Aronofsky hasn’t completely lost his interest in the material. When asked by CinePOP if he’d ever do a superhero movie, Aronofsky responded:
“A lot of the great superhero titles are done. People have used them up. So now it’s characters that aren’t as interesting. But you never know. We’ll see what comes my way…I mean, Superman would always be interesting. But they’re already deep into reinventing him, so that’s not going to happen for a long time.”
Oh, but it should. We’d much rather see a thoughtful deconstruction of Supes than a punch-em-up romp from Matthew Vaughn, who films are entertainingly stylized yet empty. Vaughn and other names in Hollywood are definitely ahead of Aronofsky on the director wishlist for a sequel to Man of Steel, but they all sound so straightforward and boring.
But, look, we get it. A Superman film set within Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe needs to be a mainstream commercial hit, not a mind-bending thought experiment. But what about a Superman movie set outside the DCEU? We already know that WB is planning to roll out several comic book-based films featuring familiar heroes disconnected to this continuity. We also heard rumors that WB was considering a Superman: Red Son movie, based on the comic where Kal-El lands in the Soviet Union instead of Kansas. That sounds the perfect bizarre else-world sandbox for Aronofsky!
In all likelihood, this will never happen and Aronofsky will never helm a big budget superhero movie. But we can still dream about it.