Goyer flies with ‘Superman’

Filmmaker tapped to pen the Warner Bros. pic

As Warner Bros. finalizes plans on how to fully exploit DC’s stable of iconic superheroes across the company’s various divisions, it’s making moves to send Superman on his next adventure.

The studio and Legendary Pictures are negotiating with David Goyer to pen a new script, tentatively titled “Man of Steel,” that would help Warner Bros. get a new Superman pic on the bigscreen before it loses the copyright on the character in 2013.

Both Warner Bros. and Legendary are high on Goyer after he helped breathe new life into the Batman franchise in 2005 by co-writing “Batman Begins,” which went on to earn $352 million worldwide. Its follow-up, “The Dark Knight,” for which he helped develop the story, earned $1 billion.

Fanboys also know Goyer as the man behind New Line’s “Blade” franchise and as an executive producer on Sony’s “Ghost Rider,” both of which are based on Marvel comicbooks. He also penned a version of Fox’s planned “X-Men Origins: Magneto” pic.

Goyer is working with Jonathan Nolan on a script for the next Batman installment, based on an idea from helmer Christopher Nolan. He recently co-created “FlashForward” for ABC and left the series to focus on film projects full time.

According to sources close to the companies, Goyer pitched a more action-packed idea that involves Superman battling archnemesis Lex Luthor and super villain Brainiac — far different than the original story that was seen in “Superman Returns” in 2006. He could wind up helping another scribe develop the final script, as he did with “The Dark Knight.”

“Superman Returns'” Brandon Routh and Bryan Singer are not expected to return, after the film disappointed the studio when it earned $390 million worldwide. While the tally is respectable, it certainly didn’t amount to what executives had hoped for from a character as recognized around the world as Superman.

Legendary co-financed and produced “Superman Returns” as well as the last two Batman pics. It’s also backing the next Superman and Batman films.

Warner Bros., which is starting production on “Green Lantern” with Ryan Rey­nolds toplining, is under a timeline to get another film in production by 2011 or risk having to pay the heirs of Superman creator Jerome Siegel considerable coin for the studio’s exploitation of the character over the years. The Siegel heirs and the heirs of co-creator Joe Shuster will own the entire Superman copyright in 2013, according to an ongoing court battle over who owns the character.

Latino Review broke the news on its website Wednesday.

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