Helmer signs on Burns for Man of Steel bio

“Superman Returns” helmer Bryan Singer has engaged documentary director Kevin Burns to make “Look Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman.”

Singer, who is exec producing with Burns, is working with the studio on ambitious plans to get the feature-length docu a theatrical release through a Warner Bros. distributor and a TV viewing before WB unveils “Superman Returns” on June 30.

Singer, who met the documaker when the helmer was a film student, said he always wanted to do a documentary with Burns. Singer loved “Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood,” which Burns directed with Brent Zacky, and the Burns-helmed “Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.”

That Singer felt the need to remind audiences of the Superman legacy is unusual given how many filmmakers of remakes and franchise continuations distance themselves from the originals.

“I have such an admiration for the evolution of the character and what Superman has represented over nearly eight decades,” Singer said. “I wanted a document that respects the legacy and the collective consciousness of Superman.”

While WB didn’t confirm distribution plans at this early stage of the game, Singer said his intention, based on discussions with the studio, is for the docu to be used in several incarnations.

Aside from a limited theatrical window, a TV broadcast would show a cut of the film that includes a scene from the new movie. Docu will also likely end up either on the DVD release of “Superman Returns” or in a free-standing DVD version.

“The two projects serve each other, and I think the time is right to tell a story of evolution and survival,” Singer said.

Burns said that when Singer first approached him with the idea, the movie came to him faster than a speeding bullet.

“To me, the story of Superman is the story of America and what it means to be a hero,” he said.

Burns, who has already done 40 interviews with artists and actors from the films and TV-series incarnations, said he’ll deliver the film by the end of April.

Docu is a co-production between Singer’s Bad Hat Harry Prods. and Burns’ Prometheus Entertainment. Mark McLaughlin and Scott Hartford are producing and Kim Sheerin is co-exec producer.

Burns is responsible for producing and directing numerous other docus, and he is also creator and exec producer of E! reality series “The Girls Next Door” and an exec producer of WB’s other big summer hope, the Wolfgang Petersen-directed “Poseidon.”

Filming wrapped on “Superman Returns” last month.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more