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Man of Steel Nearing Takeoff?

Thu Jun 17, 8:05 PM ET

By Joal Ryan

The new Superman movie is coming.

No, really.

Production on the oft-delayed, to put it kindly, continuation of the big-screen superhero franchise will commence before the end days, and perhaps no later than New Year's Eve.

Thursday's Daily Variety says Warners is scouting locations (in Australia), auditioning actors (Roswell's Jason Behr, included) and rounding up producers (the men who brought you XXX and Starsky & Hutch). Filming could--could--start by late this year.


So as to not move things along too quickly--after all, the studio's only seriously been trying to get a new Superman off the ground since the days when Jennifer Lopez was working on her first marriage--Warners has yet to officially officially lock in a director (McG) or yell, "Go," the trade paper says.

Still forward progress is forward progress. Variety says the studio is pleased with the project's "somewhat streamlined budget" (a mere $200 million, down from a previously projected $225 million-$250 million) and eager to get cameras rolling.

The fansite Superman-v.com last week reported that six actors were being screen tested as Man of Steel material, including: Henry Cavill, a 21-year-old Brit (The Count of Monte Cristo); Jared Padalecki, a 21-year-old American (Gilmore Girls); and Behr, the 30-year-old former TV alien.

Cavill was flown in for an audition last year when Rush Hour helmer Brett Ratner was set to direct.

Two others reportedly on the short list this time around, per Superman-v.com: Brandon Routh, a 24-year-old bit former soap actor (One Life to Live); and Mike Vogel, the 24-year-old star of last year's Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.

Hayden Christensen, the Star Wars prequels' resident dreamboat Vader, also was asked to audition, but declined, the Website said.

Jake Gyllenhaal also has been the subject of recent, unsubstantiated Superman buzz.

The Superman sweepstakes has tempted many big-name actors during, lo, these many years of development hell. Last year, Ashton Kutcher, Brendan Fraser, Josh Hartnett, Paul Walker and Jude Law all passed.

Nicolas Cage was gung-ho to star in a Tim Burton-directed version last century, only to have Warners pull the plug, citing budget concerns--back when $100 million was a budget concern.

Variety says Warners is now determined to find its own no-name Superman, much as producers of 1978's Superman plucked Christopher Reeve from the theater for their high-flying venture.

In leaving the project last year, Ratner spoke of the difficulty in finding the just right actor to play the iconic role.

The irony was that Ratner did find the right actor--for him, anyway--soap vet Matthew Bomer, late of Tru Calling. It was the studio that didn't agree.

The script that presently presumed Superman director McG, who originally took, and left, the gig in 2002, will call the shots from is the same one perused by Ratner--a souped-up, Superman-vs.-Luthor tale by Alias creator J.J. Abrams.

Neal Moritz (XXX) and Gilbert Adler (Starsky & Hutch) are being sought to produce, Variety says.

For safety's sake, however, comic fans are advised to not hold their breath.

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Superman Moving Toward Late 2004 Start Source: Variety Thursday, June 17, 2004

Variety has published a new update on Warner Bros.' Superman movie, which the trade says is moving toward a late 2004 production start. The studio is negotiating with Neal Moritz ("The Fast and the Furious," "XXX," "S.W.A.T.," "Stealth") and Gilbert Adler ("Ghost Ship," "Starsky & Hutch," "Constantine") to produce the film.

The picture has not been greenlit, adds the trade, nor is McG set to direct, although he did indeed test six actors last week for the role. It has not been decided which actor will be fitted for spandex and sent to Australia, where location scouting is about to begin. Among candidates said to have tested are Jason Behr ("Roswell"), Henry Cavill ("The Count of Monte Cristo"), Jared Padalecki ("New York Minute") and Michael Cassidy.

Jon Peters, a co-producer of the original Batman film series who has been shepherding the Superman revival going back to the Burton-Cage incarnation of 1998, officially will remain involved as a producer but is not likely to be a fixture.

The current J.J. Abrams-scripted version of Superman has been somewhat streamlined to a budget that hovers around $200 million. The film still revolves around Superman's battle with Lex Luthor and a mysterious killer from Krypton who has come to hunt down the Man of Steel.

Warner Bros. Entertainment chairman-CEO Alan Horn and production president Jeff Robinov are expected to decide soon on whether any of McG's candidates will get the starring role.

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I dunno about y'all, but I would rather that McG did NOT direct this movie.

I, too, hope they get a no-name, if they aren't going to use Tom Welling from 'Smallville'. All of the actors they have been looking at to play this role jus thaven't done it for me. :(

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Kevin Smith's script was TERRIBLE. He tells a good joke, but his script was a mess. You can find it on-line (try movie-page.com, I believe).

I fear this movie will suck hard. I enjoyed JJ Abrams script, but Jon Peters and Neil Moritz will no doubt find a way to **** it up. Actually, they already did: they hired a guy who hasn't directed an actual movie yet (Charlie's Angels 1 and 2 are extended music videos) to direct Warner Bros crown jewel.

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  • 6 months later...

They are reporting that Kevin Spacey will be the next Lex Luthor and Kate Bosworth will be Lois Lane:

Lois, Lex Lock Into Superman

By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Superman has found his Lois Lane and his Lex Luthor.

Kate Bosworth is in negotiations to play the Man of Steel's plucky fellow reporter, and Kevin Spacey is set to play the superhero's nemesis in Bryan Singer's Superman movie for Warner Bros. Pictures.

The comic book movie would reunite the two actors, who currently appear in Spacey's "Beyond the Sea" as Sandra Dee (news) and Bobby Darin.

The casting of Lane was a long process that ultimately rested on a chemistry test between the actress and Brandon Routh, who is playing Superman, sources said. Bosworth reportedly beat out the likes of Claire Danes (news), Linda Cardellini (news) and Michelle Monaghan.

Sources said Singer wanted Spacey early on but that the Oscar-winning actor's commitment to London's Old Vic Theatre, where he is artistic director, caused scheduling snafus on the road to making a deal. Spacey, who is in rehearsals for "National Anthems" at the Old Vic, will do a limited run of "The Philadelphia Story" at the theater before moving to the Superman movie, which has a March start date.

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You know, I can take Christian Bale the Brit taking the Batman role, but NO BLEEPING WAY is the guy who fights for Truth, Justice and the American Way being played by a damn limey.


Seriously though, I think this movie will suck. If McG gets anywere near it, it's graph of sucktitude will be asymptotic, ever approaching but never quite reaching infinite suckage.

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