Batman vs Superman Prod Wesley Coller is super excited over Wonder Woman, talks Batman and choosing Detroit
Executive Producer and Michigan native, Wesley Coller, recently talked with MLive about the addition of Wonder Woman into the unofficially titled Man of Steel sequel, Batman vs Superman/ Man of Steel 2, as well as the reaction to Ben Affleck’s casting, and choosing Detroit for sequel filming.
Scheduled to deliver Eastern Michigan University’s commencement speech Saturday, EMU alum Coller grew up with a general awareness of comics having friends who were die hard fans. Says Coller,
“I was interested in comic books, but I wasn’t a comic book junkie, per se,” said Coller, who spent the first five years of his childhood in the Ann Arbor-Ypsi area before his family moved to Pinckney. “In my circles, I had tons of friends who just lived for comics. So I had this awareness, but I generally come to the more obscure comics properties as a novice.”
Being involved with culturally relevant properties, Coller has developed a perspective on casting announcement reactions. When asked about the reaction to Ben Affleck as Batman, he offers,
“Because we’ve historically done fan favorite fare – ‘Watchmen,’ we remade ‘Dawn of the Dead’ … – I’ve developed a pretty good perspective on this,” said Coller. “Anything you do that’s culturally significant, or any time you deal with an iconic character or story, you’re going to hear responses from every possible perspective. So nothing surprises me anymore. If anything, that gauges the relevance of a property or character, and it’s invigorating to know people care that much. It inspires you to make the coolest version of the movie that you can. Ben is the perfect fit for Zack’s vision for this story.”
As we all know, there’s another superhero involved. Wonder Woman. In what Mlive calls a smaller role, Israeli actress Gal Gadot has been cast as the Amazon, something his one year old daughter may just be tickled red, blue, and gold over.
“(My daughter’s) favorite book is this little Wonder Woman flip book,” said Coller. “It has the lasso, the invisible plane, the bracelets – every page has an image she’s just in awe with. And something that’s become a reality, being a dad with a new daughter, is that I have a special place in my heart for the idea of a strong, empowered female superhero being out there.”… “We’re super excited to have her in the film, it will be a ton of fun, but at the same time, we’ve got to stay focused on the film we’re working on now,” he said.
Many in Chicago and the greater area were holding out hope Superman would make a filming return to The Windy City. But, Coller explains why Detroit was the place to fit the next superhero movie from Director Zack Snyder,
“As producers, we have to look at a broad spectrum of factors,” said Coller. “The main thing … is whether it satisfies Zack’s creative needs. Does it have what we need in terms of settings? Does it budgetarily make sense? Does it make sense seasonally? When we got to doing that, scheduling-wise, there were a ton of variables to take into account. And as we checked more and more boxes on our list, and the answer was, again and again, Michigan, Michigan, Michigan, it just made sense. So we started pursuing that. But I held off as long as I could, telling my parents about it. When I finally called, I said, ‘Sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner.’ They’re beside themselves that we’re coming back for a long spell.”
However, Coller isn’t the only big native Michigan name attached to the film. David S. Goyer, screenwriter for both Man of Steel and the sequel, is from Michigan, too.
As we approach principal photography beginning in February and running through August at the Michigan Motion Picture Studios and on location across Michigan, are you getting more excited for this first on screen superhero team up?