Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a friend and she asked me why do directors commit to more projects than they will ever actually realize. I explained that they have several projects in development at once because factors outside the director’s control – i.e., the purse string holders who run the studios – are really the ones who make the decision as to what gets made, and not everything that they initially express an interest in gets the greenlight. Directors are just stacking the deck in their favor to ensure that they have a potential stream of steady work.
Director Brian Singer certainly seems to following that career plan, as Variety reports that he has just signed to produce and possibly direct a remake of John Boorman’s 1981 King Arthur epic Excalibur. I’m not sure why Variety states that “WB and Legendary Pictures have labored for months to pull together the rights to the film” when the story of King Arthur, most famously told by Thomas Malory in Le Morte d’Arthur, is most assuredly in the public domain.No writer has been hired for the project yet.
This news comes quickly on the heels of last week’s announcement that Singer had signed a deal with Universal to produce and possibly direct a big screen adaptation of the science-fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. The Variety story also notes that Singer is also eying both Jack The Giant Killer, with a script from Darren Lemke and Mark Bombac, and X-Men: First Class, being written by The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, as possible directorial vehicles as well. Variety fails to mention that Singer is also attached to produce Capeshooters and Freedom Formula, both comic book adaptations.
Of all these projects, it looks like Jack is closer to becoming a reality.Variety states that Jack’s story “revolves around a young farmer who leads an expedition into the land of the giants to recover a kidnapped princess.” I have to admit, that sounds like an interesting, proactive spin on the traditional fairytale. And given Singer’s propensity for adding interesting subtext to his films (The gay civil rights underpinnings of his two X-Men films, completing the Christ allegory in Superman Returns started by Richard Donner in Superman: The Movie), I see potential there for commentary on the last presidential administrations conduct as well.
No matter what project Singer goes forward with next, they all have the potential to be fairly interesting films. A return by Singer to the cinematic X-Men universe would indeed be welcome and I am certainly anxious to see what new direction he may have on the Battlestar Galactica material. Capeshooters and Freedom Formula are both based on lesser known comic book properties, and perhaps either or both films would show people that there are comic titles out there beyond the ones from the Big Two publishers – Marvel and DC – that they are familiar with.
Unfortunately, though, experience has taught us that Singer will probably not get to all of these. Which films would you like to see Bryan Singer do?