Mark Millar says NEMESIS will have $150 million budget (it won't), Pitt & Depp namechecked

"Tony Scott is the ultimate comic book director who€™s never made a comic book movie" begins Mark Millar in an interview with Empire concerning his latest movie deal, his comic book Nemesis that got picked up by 20th Century Fox last week.
"For fifteen years people have been asking him to , but he€™s turned it all down because the material never really excited him. The one thing you can€™t say about Tony€™s stuff is that it€™s not family-friendly, safe fun. He€™s never going to do a Fantastic Four or a Spider-Man. But the minute he saw something with Air Force One being taken down, the President being taken hostage and Japanese skyscrapers falling down, it began to look more like a Tony Scott movie."
Millar hints that the Nemesis will carry a $150 million budget which is the usual inflated Millar estimate (usually when he says something you actually need to knock it down a few levels to be true) as it would make Nemesis Fox's biggest movie of 2011, and it far exceeds the money ploughed into any of the studio's films this year. We doubt very much Fox would put $150 million into an unproven quantity right now after The A-Team and Knight & Day both stopped stagnate on $75 million or so. Scott hasn't crossed the $100 million glass ceiling since 1998's Enemyof the State and he's worked with major players with high profile budgets, stars and scenario's since. His latest high profile thriller The Taking of Pelham 123 only managed $65 million domestic from a $100 million budget. We think $65 million is more like the figure they will give him for this, possibly $100 million if the kind of A-listers Millar is talking about become attached;
"With Nemesis, you€™ve got two great roles for two A-list stars... The thing is, one guy has to be as good as the other. You€™ve got Holmes versus Moriarty here or Batman versus The Joker, so each one has got to be a $20 million actor, really. I think you could go for the A+ list and get Johnny Depp as Nemesis and Brad Pitt as Blake Morrow.
When I was writing the comic, I genuinely saw Johnny Depp as Nemesis... He€™s a thin-faced guy, slightly creepy, a cross between Heath Ledger and Christian Bale, and someone who could pull off both those things at the same time is Depp. He would get it. He goes slightly crazy in his roles!
Amazing how many comic books/novels/original specs that are written these days with Johnny Depp in mind to lead. The actor would really need to clone himself thirty three times over to cover all of them - but it's an interesting shout anyway. Worth sending a script his way, certainly. Depp has never worked with Tony Scott and after Public Enemies perhaps there could be interest in the blockbuster stage, playing the bad guy once again. He's a busy thesp of course and we don't even know if he has a lick of interest in this but I'm just saying, conceivably, with it being a year away - it could happen. The Brad Pitt playing Blake Morrow idea is a far more probable one. The actor backed money as a producer into Millar's Kick-Ass movie and at one point was being setup to play Big Daddy before Nicolas Cage replaced him over a scheduling clash on Inglourious Basterds. And of course his wife, Angelina Jolie, has already turned in a high-profile performance as a Millar character in Wanted. This one would be more likely and there's a Scott connection there with the pair previously working together on Spy Game and however briefly, in True Romance;
"He's Commissioner Gordon meets Sherlock Holmes, so it€™s got to be a big physical policeman who you feel could stand up for himself in a physical fight... It€™s got to be somebody who can take a punch. You couldn€™t really get anybody who€™s too cerebral. He€™d have to be a very physical actor so it would need to be a Pitt. Or maybe even a Liam Neeson."
Interestingly, Millar makes no mention of Denzel Washington despite his name-dropping a few weeks back and the fact that he so frequently works with Tony Scott. Personally I can't get over anything but Nicolas Cage as the vigilante and Denzel Washington as the cop - or even vice versa. Maybe it's because the property reminds me of Face/Off somewhat and that's where I'm getting the Cage vibe from but I just wanna him see him go nuts as a major villain for a chance, rather than playing a nuts character we are supposed to hold sympathy for. Ironically too, John Travolta, the vigilante in Pelham 123 has played a Nemesis style villain a thousand times over... Millar says one of the 'top three screenwriters in Hollywood' is being tapped up for the movie, which we can translate as being somewhere around the top ten, given Millar's usual over-estimates. Could he be talking about Brian Helgeland (Robin Hood, Green Zone, Taking of Pelham 123, Green Zone)??? He also says Scott wants to move fast on this, which potentially means it COULD be his next movie if they are that desperate to get it out. Previously Postdamer Platz - Scott's multi-cultural, Soprano€™s-esque crime drama was to film in January as Scott's next movie.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.