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Super project for Imax

Man of Steel wields 3-D

“Superman Returns” will literally jump out at auds — at least in Imax theaters.

Large-screen exhib Imax and Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that roughly 20 minutes of “Superman” will be converted into Imax 3-D, with the pic becoming the first live-action feature to utilize Imax’s conversion technology.

Bryan Singer, the film’s director, is picking the three or four sequences to be converted, although producers aren’t saying which they are. Singer also is designing a visual cue that will let auds know when to put on and take off their Imax 3-D glasses.

Singer said the test scenes that have been converted “look, sound and feel absolutely amazing” and that the experience will “envelope audiences in this story, enabling them to feel the emotion, drama and suspense in a completely new and unique way.”

At a time when studios are grappling with apathetic moviegoers, showing parts of “Superman” in 3-D will provide an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else, according to execs at Imax and Warners.

Pic, which returns the Man of Steel to the bigscreen after more than two decades, will bow simultaneously June 30 in conventional and Imax theaters. Brandon Routh stars.

Imax Filmed Entertainment chair-prexy Greg Foster said converting parts of “Superman” is a first step toward converting an entire live-action film, and the pic is a “perfect way to begin this process.”

Including “Superman Returns,” five of the seven films on Imax’s lineup this year sport 3-D, including three animated pics: “The Ant Bully” and “Happy Feet,” both from Warners, and Sony’s “Open Season.” Exhib is currently unspooling docu “Deep Sea 3-D.”

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