Which hot sci-fi director actually said NO to Superman?

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

When you're one of the hottest new sci-fi directors around and Christopher Nolan asks if you want to direct the new Superman movie he's producing, what do you say No, of course.

Okay, that may not be exactly how it happened, but Duncan Jones, the British writer/director who scored an indie hit with 2009's Moon, was indeed on the short list of directors in the running for the Superman gig. However, he told Coming Soon that he actually took himself out of contention, explaining, "I was thrilled to be on that short list. For me, that was enough." He added, "I did have a meeting with Chris and he's a fantastic guy and seemed to have really enjoyed Moon, so there was some legitimate interest in me."

Jones frankly admitted, "I think, maybe, I'm not quite ready for that scale of project and that scale of expectation from an audience that is already existing and is waiting to see the next generation of Superman film. I don't know. It's a hard one. I'm a huge Superman fan and Bizarro Superman fan ... Superman was so big that I think I was a little intimidated by it and sort of backed out."

While other directors were also reportedly considered (like Matt Reeves of Cloverfield fame and even Ben Affleck), Nolan and his producing partners eventually handed the new Superman to Zack Snyder (Watchmen, Sucker Punch), who is just getting to work on the proposed Christmas 2012 release.

Jones, meanwhile, also says he passed on Judge Dredd ("It ended up not being right for me because I had such strong feelings and opinions on what I wanted that film to be") and has his own sophomore effort, Source Code, coming out April 1.

What would you do if you were in Jones' shoes? Was he wise to not plunge into a gigantic project like Superman right away, or do you seize an opportunity like that the minute it comes your way?

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