Ratner steels for gig helming ‘Superman’

Third 'Rush' delayed as WB aims for 2004 release

Brett Ratner has finally signed on to direct the action-adventure pic “Superman” for Warner Bros. Pictures.

McG was tapped earlier this year to make the new “Superman” franchise, long a Warners priority, fly (Daily Variety, Feb. 3).

When the studio decided it had to have the Man of Steel for summer 2004, no amount of schedule juggling could keep McG in place. He’s now shooting “Charlie’s Angels 2: Halo,” skedded for a June 27 release.

McG’s attachment did, however, bring “Felicity” creator J.J. Abrams aboard as screenwriter. It was the script they developed that inspired Warners to amp up the “Superman” production schedule rather than move forward with Wolfgang Petersen’s “Batman vs. Superman.” Petersen is now prepping “Troy.”

Negotiations for Ratner to direct began nearly a month ago. His commitment to “Superman,” which will require more than 20 weeks of pre-production, means a delay for New Line Cinema’s third “Rush Hour” installment.

Ratner had also been in negotiations to direct the Philip K. Dick adaptation “Paycheck” for Paramount but later fell off that picture.

Produced by Jon Peters, “Superman” is a reimagining of the Superman legend. Screenplay is based upon the DC Comics classic character, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

“It’s been a dream since I was a child to do this movie,” Ratner told Daily Variety. “I was born to make this movie. It’s the perfect time to make this movie, as everyone is looking for someone to save the world, and who better than Superman?”

Ratner added that he plans to follow “Superman” with “Rush Hour 3.” He also singled out Peters for praise, saying he looked forward to working with him because “his experience and passion and energy remind me of myself.”

Ratner, repped by CAA, most recently helmed the upcoming “Red Dragon” for Universal Pictures. His other recent credits include “The Family Man” and “Rush Hour 2.”

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