NEW YORK (Variety) -- "Memento" director Chris Nolan has made a deal to revive the "Batman" franchise.
It was unclear whether he would write the script for the Warner Bros. project.
"All I can say is that I grew up with Batman, I've been fascinated by him and I'm excited to contribute to the lore surrounding the character," said Nolan, who last directed the studio's "Insomnia."
"He is the most credible and realistic of the superheroes, and has the most complex human psychology. His superhero qualities come from within. He's not a magical character. I had a fantastic experience with the studio on 'Insomnia,' and I'm keen to repeat that experience."
Nolan's emergence is an unexpected plot twist for the Caped Crusader, since it appeared that the superhero had flagged after four movies that grossed more than $1 billion. Warner Bros. has been trying to exploit the franchise through reinventions and spinoffs. They include "Batman Vs. Superman," "Batman: Year One" and "Catwoman."
"Batman Vs. Superman" nearly went into production with director Wolfgang Petersen and a script by Andrew Kevin Walker ("Seven") until Petersen instead moved to the Greek epic "Troy," set to star Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.
"Batman: Year One," a Gen-X version of the crimefighter, is being developed by Darren Aronofsky ("Requiem for a Dream") and creator Frank Stack. "Catwoman," with Ashley Judd expected to play the title role, is a spinoff of the character introduced in the Tim Burton-directed "Batman Returns."
The WB superhero project closest to the starting line is "Superman," with Brett Ratner directing from a script by J.J. Abrams ("Alias") for producer Jon Peters. The film will reintroduce a franchise that sputtered after four Christopher Reeve films, and WB is currently testing actors for its Man of Steel, with Josh Hartnett, Jude Law, Ashton Kutcher and Brendan Fraser among those rumored as aspirants to be fitted in cape and spandex.
Nolan would not divulge the contents of his Batproject, but he'll undoubtedly bring the wildly inventive style that so quickly brought him to the directing A-list after "Insomnia" and "Memento," whose star Guy Pearce is among the actors who might make an interesting Bruce Wayne.
Nolan recently turned in his script for a Howard Hughes film that he hopes to direct for Castle Rock, with Jim Carrey in the starring role. Timing of that film is unclear, since the Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio Hughes rival pic "The Aviator" could be in production first. Nolan wouldn't say what his next feature would be.