×

Warner’s men in tights

'Batman,' 'Superman' to see sequel action

The superhero sequel engine is revving up bigtime.

Warner Bros. Pictures is already planning the next installments to “Batman Begins” and “Superman Returns,” with respective helmers Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer in line to return.

Neither director’s deal is closed; the studio has hired Jonah Nolan — Christopher’s brother — to pen the screenplay for the untitled “Batman” project. Studio has options on “Batman Begins” star Christian Bale and “Superman Returns” star Brandon Routh.

Next installment in the Caped Crusader franchise is further along in the process since “Batman Begins” was released last summer; Singer’s “Superman Returns,” now in post, doesn’t bow until June 30.

Legendary Pictures, which put up half the financing for both “Batman Begins” and “Superman Returns,” is expected to board the sequels and split the budgets 50/50 with Warner Bros. In return, Legendary would split all profits, also 50/50.

The Warners-based Legendary, led by Thomas Tull, is a financing and development company backed by more than $500 million in private equity.

Projects come as no surprise considering Warner’s proclivity for big-budget tentpoles. “Batman” and “Superman” sequels could make their debut in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

“Superman” update, which has been in the works for the better part of a decade, is already considered one of the more costly pics in Hollywood history, although Warner Bros.’ exposure is dramatically lessened by Legendary’s involvement.

Factoring in tax breaks offered in Australia — where “Superman Returns” was shot — studio execs have unofficially put the production budget at $185 million. Without those breaks of about 12%, budget is easily north of $200 million. And it’s not clear how much previous commitments have cost the studio.

Warner execs are high on Singer’s pic, which returns the comicbook hero to the bigscreen after more than 20 years. Traditionally, Superman has enjoyed wider appeal than the grittier Batman.

Nolan’s “Batman” took in $205.3 million in the U.S. and $166.5 million overseas.

One idea being tossed about is for Singer to direct a “Superman” sequel soon after he finishes with Warner’s remake of sci-fi thriller “Logan’s Run,” which he’s also expected to direct.

“Logan’s Run” is tentatively skedded to begin shooting this fall in Vancouver. If Singer did pact to direct the “Superman” sequel, that pic could be shot in Vancouver as well.

Singer is also set to direct “The Mayor of Castro Street,” which is in development at Warner Bros.

It’s not clear when the “Batman Begins” sequel would begin shooting, although it would likely start production and be released before the “Superman” sequel.

Christopher Nolan is presently shooting “The Prestige,” a Disney release that Jonah Nolan scripted from a Christopher Priest novel.

“Batman Begins” co-writers David Goyer and Christopher Nolan wrote a treatment for the sequel. Goyer, who recently completed “The Invisible” for Touchstone, also is set to write and direct “The Flash” for Warners.

(Ted Johnson contributed to this report.)

More Film

  • Aquaman

    China Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Sinks All Challengers With $94 Million Opening

    The decision to release “Aquaman” in China two weeks prior to its North American outing paid off handsomely. The DC Comics adaptation achieved a massive $94.1 million opening in three days, according to data from Asian entertainment consultancy Artisan Gateway. The early release meant that the film played against weak opposition – tired Hollywood and [...]

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Emmanuel Lubezki Discuss the

    Alfonso Cuarón Details 'Roma' Cinematography With 'Gravity' DP Emmanuel Lubezki

    As part of an overall push to bring Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” to awards season voters, Netflix’s “‘Roma’ Experience'” played host to guild and Academy members Sunday in Hollywood. The all-day event featured panels focused on the film’s crafts and an audio-visual installation akin to the streamer’s FYSee initiative for Emmy contenders, featuring costumes and art [...]

  • IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for

    IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for ‘On The Job’ Franchise

    Filipino director Erik Matti is known for his eclectic body of work that includes “Honor Thy Father” and “Seklusyon.” His 2013 effort, “On The Job” travelled widely and won several awards including two at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and was nominated for an SACD Prize at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Matti is at [...]

  • Joan Chen attends the season premiere

    Joan Chen Talks Diversity in Hollywood, Welcomes #MeToo

    Chinese-American actress, writer and director Joan Chen says that she was flattered when Time magazine described her as the “Elizabeth Taylor of China.” When asked at an in-conversation event in Singapore on Saturday whether she paved the way for Chinese actresses to follow in Hollywood, Chen said, “We never go to work because we want [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

  • IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen

    IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen Talks Performing, Producing and Public Pressure

    Macao’s Actress in Focus is a woman who has trained as a boxer, likes British actors, especially Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Irons, and is now setting out her stall as a producer. Yao Chen has built a career over 20 years thanks to TV shows including “My Own Swordsman,” and films including “If You Are [...]

  • Bradley Liew's 'Motel Acacia' Shoots After

    Cautionary Tale, 'Motel Acacia' Under Way After Four Years of Development

    Production has begun on Malaysian director Bradley Liew’s upscale horror film “Motel Acacia.” With a clearly topical message, the film features a hotel bed that eats immigrants. Actor, JC Santos called it: “A cautionary tale of what’s going to happen in the future.” Indonesian star, Nicholas Saputra said the he agreed to the role “because [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content