Jumping from one comic book monolith to another, "X-Men" director Bryan Singer has signed on to direct the next Superman film.
Singer replaces previous director McG ("Charlie's Angels"), who left the project last week, according to the The Hollywood Reporter. McG's inability to agree with the studio on a budget (reportedly around $200 million), as well as his desire to shoot the film in New York (the studio favored Australia), were cited as reasons for the director's departure.
Brett Ratner ("Red Dragon," "Rush Hour") had previously signed on as director but left the project in March citing casting difficulties (see " 'Superman' Movie Still Has No Superman, And Now Has No Director").
Tim Burton had attempted to bring Superman back to life with Nicolas Cage and a script by Kevin Smith, but the project never left the ground. Director Wolfgang Petersen once expressed interest in making a "Batman vs. Superman" film but dropped the project in favor of directing "Troy" (see "Batman And Superman Have To Wait In Line Behind Greek, Trojan Warriors").
"My interest in Superman dates back many, many years," Singer told The Hollywood Reporter. "In fact, it was the Richard Donner classic [1978 'Superman'] film that was my day-to-day inspiration in shaping the 'X-Men' universe for the screen."
Singer has also directed "Apt Pupil" and "The Usual Suspects," and is slated to direct next year's "Logan's Run" remake as well as "X-Men 3," due in 2006.
The new Superman flick is scheduled to hit screens in the summer of 2006, though production on the film does not yet have a start date. This installment will be the first Superman film since 1987's "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" which was the last in a series of movies starring Christopher Reeve.
"I feel that Superman has been late in his return," Singer said, "and it is time for him to fly again."
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