Ritchie to direct Xerxes? Wasn't he directing Cannonball Run?!
Yes. I think that sums up the rumour bandwagon quite well. Rumours just out suggest that Guy Ritchie has been offered the role of directing Xerxes, the sequel to 300. All well and good I say, but what about the rumours just the previous day about him directing a remake of Cannonball Run with George Clooney starring, or the many other rumours we hear about Ritchie directing this and that?
Get your salt buckets at the ready and douse yourselves and the screens in it, for this is rumour mill to the max. However, at the same time there's something interesting in it.
Guy Ritchie is heading towards comic book territory. He's been writing his own with the Gamekeeper, a series he's wanted to adapt to film for some time now but then Sherlock Holmes arrived. So wouldn't it be good for him to adapt someone else's comic book before he attempted his own? Well you might think that would be good practice and bring out some ideas as well as try out a few things, but it could also be seen as a bad thing, maybe he should keep himself for Gamekeeper.
Who knows, we don't know Guy Ritchie and the sites carrying the rumours don't either. He's very much his own man and not one to pamper to the press either, something I actually do rather respect about the bloke.
Anyway, I'm tangentisising (yes, I know that's not a word).
The rumour from N.Y. Magazine through Playlist tells us that Warner Bros. have apparently offered Ritchie the role of directing Xerxes, the bigger, more involved and more expansive film compared to 300 (Filmstalker review).
What gives though? If that's true then what about Zack Snyder, wasn't he directing? Yes, that's exactly what I thought as I read the story then I was slapped with another rumour. You know how every hiccup in a production is now a major catastrophe and the film is falling apart around everyone's feet? Well that's what's happening with Superman: Man of Steel apparently.
The article says that "one insider", because there's more than one tea lady working in the studio, said the Superman film has mysterious "third act issues" with the script and that they are under a tight deadline to get it into production, if it's not in by 2013 then the rights revert to the creators. Well that last bit is true for sure, but that is two years away.
Secondly they go for the jugular and say that Snyder's career hasn't been doing so well, something that apparently has just come as a shock to the studio which is why they're looking for new directors for the project. They talk about his recent films and suggest that Sucker Punch screened badly. Well his recent films and figures were there when they offered him Superman, one of the biggest franchises there is. Also Xerxes wasn't that far off when he was offered Superman, a far bigger film than a 300 sequel, so come on, let's be realistic here.
Perhaps it could be connected to Sucker Punch test screenings, but come on, how accurate are they with the rubbish piped out by Hollywood? What twenty people after free tickets to see something early didn't like the film, let's change it for the entire world and against the writer and director's visions?
I can see that Superman is perhaps a reason and because Snyder wants to focus on it and get it right, not because there are script issues, issues which are reported on just about every major production we hear about these days.
If they want Xerxes in production quickly and Snyder is going to be tied up with Superman for a good few years then you can understand, but claiming that Snyder's career isn't going well, giving him Superman, and then saying that Ritchie is taking his place doesn't quite hold water.
Back to another panic moment, what happened to this The Cannonball Run remake rumour for Guy Ritchie, the film that had just been rumoured and had already magically cast George Clooney? Hold your horses, apparently other "insiders" are saying that rumour was way too early and was just an idea. Okay that rumour was rubbish and this one is?...I can hear that "beep beep" of reversing trucks.
Let's chuck that all away and look at some facts. Snyder is busy with one of the biggest franchises, Superman: Man of Steel. They want to get it right, spot on, and there's a lot of big names behind that production and script so they aren't letting a director lose on it that they don't trust or believe in.
The reason that Xerxes may go to another director would be the time it's going to take to get Superman: Man of Steel completed and marketed, years. Now with Xerxes getting ready to deliver a script they don't want to wait that length of time to start a production with Snyder, the studio will be looking at it and wanting it made as soon as possible, after all 300 (Filmstalker review) was a while back now.
Nothing to see here? Well perhaps Ritchie has been offered it, but it's not for all the doom and gloom that is being presented around the place to try and tarnish the directors and the films they are involved in.