Frank Miller may be consulting on Batman vs. Superman

Illustration for article titled Frank Miller may be consulting on emBatman vs. Superman/em

So yesterday we heard a rumor that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder is looking to put an old Bruce Wayne in his Batman/Superman movie. Now Snyder is planning a sit-down with comics creator Frank Miller to talk about the crossover film.


According to the Independent, Miller was surprised by the Batman/Superman announcement at Comic-Con, where actor Harry Lennix read a quote from Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. But now, the paper reports, Snyder will be at least informally consulting Miller about the project. Now, if only there was a way for Snyder to go back in time and consult the Frank Miller of 1986, when his artistic talents were focused on Batman and Superman beating on each other rather than focused on Holy Terror.


Batman v Superman: Zach Snyder takes advice from Frank Miller in bid for blockbuster battle of the superheroes [The Independent via Zap2It]

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Um, guys? I know you might not like to hear this, but it's time to let 1986 go.

Yes, it was a great year for superhero comics. Yes, The Dark Knight Returns, Year One, and Watchmen were huge, massive works whose influence echoes down through the ages. (To say nothing of Swamp Thing, American Flagg!, Love & Rockets...) Yes, for kids who grew up being ridiculed for enjoying comic books, it was awesome to see the mainstream press finally acknowledging the medium as innovative and cool.

But you know what? That was almost thirty years ago. Thirty years. Reagan was president. Cellphones were $1000 bricks. People thought high-top sneakers and acid-washed jeans were really neat. People used "neat" unironically in conversation.

Yes, Bruce Wayne and Kal-El are tragic figures, but they're not entirely defined by tragedy. In the last quarter century there's been a wealth of non-Miller material that filmmakers could adapt, or just use as a template, like Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman, or the Dini/Timm Batman cartoon. There's no reason why a decades-old series has to dictate every single cinematic iteration of the characters. Comic books have taken over pop culture in ways that the fans of 1986 could never have imagined. Superhero movies don't have to prove that they're heavy and "adult" any more, they just have to be, well, good.