It's been an exciting week for Tony Scott fans. First, there was that pretty nifty trailer for his November released runaway train movie Unstoppable which I do wish had been the big action movie of this Summer instead of The A-Team. Secondly, there's reports that the veteran helmer is about to decide on what his next gig is going to be, which I'm hoping will be the awesome sounding, multi-cultural, Soprano's-esque Postdamer Platz. To cap the week off on a high, Mike Fleming at Deadline (originally scooped by Bleeding Cool) - says Scott has attached himself to an adaptation of Mark Millar/Steve McNiven's anti-hero series Nemesis at 20th Century Fox. Tony will produce at his Scott Free shingle and the search is currently on for a screenwriter which means it won't be his next movie but it could be the one after that. Nemesis is onto it's second-issue, both of which I own but I've only actually read the first. Sadly I couldn't get into it (silly, childish, etc). It's a Marvel-published, creator owned property (so Marvel aren't involved in this film) and it revolves around a billionaire not to dissimilar to Bruce Wayne, with the twist that his criminal parents were killed by cops and his goal is to take vengeance against them. What if Bruce Wayne was an absolute c*nt and decided to use his resoures to become The Joker instead of Batman (hence one of the title's key marketing images, above)- which is a good concept if Scott is allowed to run riot with it. In some ways it could be a Heat/Public Enemies-style two man thriller, just with masked superheroes and centered on a cop who is being hunted down by a crazed, sadistic vigilante. Hire two strong leads, let bullets fly, and you are onto a winner. I'm also reading that Millar mentioned a few weeks back that Denzel Washington would make a great Blake Morrow (the vigilante lead, despite the character in the comics being white) and with Tony/Denzel's relationship (four movies in the past six years) - who would bet against him starring in his first superhero movie? Personally, and I know I've hardly been his biggest fan over the years, but I'm liking the idea of Nicolas Cage going bugnuts on this one with Denzel playing the cop instead. Millar, whose Kick-Ass and Wanted have already been translated into high-profile flicks, spoke out about the Fox/Scott deal on Millarworld;
Bryan Hitch and I would reference Tony on a weekly basis when we were doing The Ultimates. Our dream was an Ultimates movie with Scott directing because he can do the character work and the intensity, but also handle scale and action like practically no other. The idea of a him helming a superhero movie had us giddy and here he is directing the one Steve McNiven and I created. As you can imagine, I'm more than excited... Steve is delirious and this puts our books instantly in an entirely different league in Hollywood terms. Tony said this was a very timely project and Fox want to get this moving as soon as possible. Next up is a script and the writer we talked about did one of my top five movies of all time. The actor he's shooting for as the lead character is going to blow your socks off."Attachments of Tony Scott to a Millar action/superhero property remind me of a post I wrote two years ago when Millar teased a 'big name action director' as the guy he was pitching a Superman reboot at Warner Bros with. Back then predicted it was Tony Scott as he was the only director I could think of who would fit. Turned out it was his Kick-Ass partner Matthew Vaughan, but for whatever reason the idea of a Scott/Millar team-up has lingered as extremely appealing in my brain. Meanwhile, Vaughn, who is gearing up to direct X-Men: First Class said some interesting things to L.A. Times yesterday about the comic book film genre;
"It's been mined to death and in some cases the quality control is not what it's supposed to be... People are just going to get bored of it. I think , it's only going to be there two or three more times. Then... the genre is going to be dead for a while because the audience has just been pummeled too much."