Next Batman Movie In Hands Of 'Memento' Director

Warner Bros. hires Christopher Nolan to revive stalled superhero franchise.

Since Superman flew the coop, putting "Batman vs. Superman" on hold, the caped crusader is following suit, with Warner Bros. hiring "Memento" director Christopher Nolan to revive the Batman franchise.

Nolan wrote and directed the 2000 amnesia-oriented mystery, but with the "Batman" flick he'll be working with someone else's script. Which script, though, remains unclear.

Comic book legend Frank Miller has long labored on an adaptation of his "Batman: Year One" story, which has had director Darren Aronofsky ("Requiem for a Dream") attached at times. As the title implies, "Year One" focuses on Bruce Wayne's first year as a crime fighter. Nolan could conceivably take over this project or direct "Batman: The Frightening."

Featuring the Scarecrow as its villain, "The Frightening" would continue the "Batman" series begun with director Tim Burton's "Batman" (1989) and "Batman Returns" (1992), both of which featured Michael Keaton in the title role. Joel Schumacher directed Val Kilmer in the successful sequel "Batman Forever" (1995) and George Clooney in "Batman & Robin" (1997), a critical and commercial failure that stalled the franchise.

According to Nolan's publicist, no decision has been made regarding which of those scripts, if either, Nolan will work from, though he is definitely committed to directing a Batman project. There is also no word as to who will don the cape.

Director Wolfgang Petersen's "Batman vs. Superman" (see "'Batman Vs. Superman' Director Hints At What To Expect From Superhero Struggle") was put on the back burner last year so Peterson could focus on the Trojan War epic "Troy" (see "Batman And Superman Have To Wait In Line Behind Greek, Trojan Warriors"). As a result, Warner Bros. moved forward with a Superman movie directed by Brett Ratner (see "'Rush Hour 2' Director To Helm New 'Superman' Movie").