Superman: Man of Steel/Unleashed
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In speaking with Empire Online, Bryan Singer confirmed that he will now be focusing on the Superman Returns sequel, with an aim to direct once the project is ready:
“I’m just getting back with writers after the strike. We’re just in the development phase. I’m starting to develop a sequel…with the intention of directing it.”
For those of you that haven’t heard the news, a judge has ruled that Time Warner are no longer the sole proprietors of the Superman franchise — with the heirs of co-creator Jerome Siegel having an entitlement to the share of the US copyright. The copyright covers only a portion of the Superman creation — that being the fundamental elements — the costume, Clark Kent, Lois Lane.
In short, this means that Time Warner may now be liable, pending a court appeal, to pay out for Superman Returns. This ruling may also lead the Shuster’s to follow suit (the other half of the Superman creation team) and claim another large portion of the copyright. Ultimately it all puts the future of The Man of Steel into jeopardy, not to mention the already troubled Justice League film.
Rumors are quickly circulating around the internet that the two stars of Superman Returns — Superman himself, Brandon Routh and director Bryan Singer, will not be returning for the sequel. The Variety Blog explained why we may be unlikely to see Bryan Singer taking part in the film:
Speaking of DC Comics pics, it is highly unlikely that Bryan Singer will return to shoot the next Superman movie. (The director is finishing up Tom Cruise’s Nazi film Valkyrie, and prepping The Mayor of Castro Street).
This is a rumor, and we need to wait for confirmation from studios that this is the case. For now we can hold our breath.
And for a seemingly double blow, Latino Review suggested for a moment that Brandon Routh would also be out. However, the ever faithful and reliable Aint it Cool News entered into the fray to get some reliable closure on the issue:
I just got off the phone with a very high-ranking mole who is absolutely in a position to know what’s happening with this film, and he tells me that it is “absolutely false” that Brandon Routh is out as Superman for the stand-alone series.
The only thing that has been determined is that JUSTICE LEAGUE will not feature the actors from the other films. That’s it.
Right now, Routh is still Warner’s choice to return if they make another stand-alone SUPERMAN film, and that’s based on conversations as recently as a few weeks ago.
Don’t believe this one, kids. Routh’s still the Man of Steel.
It seems like the whole crazy rumor originated through rumblings in the Justice League movie camp.
Variety are running an interesting report concerning the next Superman film, dubbed Man of Steel,
“Superman Returns” scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris have opted not to come back and pen a sequel to the 2006 summer pic that would have reunited them with helmer Bryan Singer. The three also worked together on “X2: X-Men United.”
The article continues, stating that WB are now accepting pitches for new writers. There is also some speculation about the nature of the next movie, some saying that it will be revolutionised in the same way that the new Hulk feature is being improved, whilst the WB are adamant that it will remain a true sequel to Superman Returns.
The ever informative and interesting Quint over at AICN has heard some rumors circulating about the next Superman movie involving one particular actor from Superman I and II reprising his role. I’ll let Quint Continue…
This [source] has personally observed Bryan Singer at work on VALKYRIE and apparently [Singer] has been putting pressure on one of his cast members to return to his star-making role as a villain in Singer’s SUPERMAN sequel.
That, of course, would be Terence Stamp, the role would be that of General Zod.
For some background reading on the Zod subject I recommend Wikipedia, which has summaries of Zod’s history and role within the Superman movie universe.
Once Military Director of the Kryptonian Space Center, Zod had known Jor-El, Superman’s father, when he was an aspiring scientist. When the space program was abolished after the destruction of the moon Wegthor (caused by renegade scientist Jax-Ur), he attempted to take over Krypton. Zod created an army of robotic duplicates of himself, all bearing a resemblance to Bizarro. He was sentenced to the Phantom Zone for his crimes.
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Recently a lot of “will they wont they” discussion has been aired about the possibilities of a Justice League movie; ideally recruiting Christian Bale as Batman and Brandon Routh as Superman — amongst others. These rumors were originally fuelled by two Variety articles, the first revealing that Warner Bros. were looking into the movie’s development,
“The Justice League of America has been a perennial favorite for generations of fans, and we believe their appeal to film audiences will be as strong and diverse as the characters themselves.”
And the second entitled “Justice League film gets script”.
Husband-wife writing duo Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney turned in a first draft that had Warner Bros. suits actually smiling
How would this filming schedule work in-between TDK and Man of Steel? Would the correct cast be present? These are the questions being asked. The IESB had a chance to talk to Christian Bale, he stated categorically that he was not involved in the adaptation and nor had he been approached. And later Moviehole confirmed that the WB are looking for an all new cast and that the movie was “full steam ahead” with casting starting immediately. They also mentioned an assigned director, George Miller (Happy Feet meets Mad Max).
All this seemed a little confusing until the final and fitting piece of the puzzle unearthed, how this could be possible without dismaying fans and whilst aiming for an early 2008 production schedule. The IESB have a number of somewhat reliable sources stating that the JLA movie shall in fact be a CGI/Motion Capture film (e.g. similar to The Polar Express or more recently Beowulf). This still needs some closure but it all makes perfect sense. These films traditionally take slightly longer to create so we could see a late 2009, summer 2010 release.
Brain over at the Blue Tights forums was lucky enough to bump into Mike Dougherty, screenwriter for Man of Steel. This is what he had to say,
I asked him if he was a part of the sequel because everything I have seen says Singer and Harris are writing the script and that he isn’t mentioned. He confirmed that he is writing it with the two just like the last picture. I then expressed to him that I was hoping the delays of Superman: The Man of Steel weren’t true. He said that they were on track and that the goal is still to have the movie out in the Summer of 2009. He seemed a little hesitant about it but did his best to try and reassure that it will get done by then. I asked if he could give any more info on the film. He responded, “There are TWO villains,” and he smiled.
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