Superman will fly in the summer season rather than during the holidays, with Warner Bros. selecting June 14, 2013, as the date for the opening of “Man of Steel” — six months later than what had been tentatively planned.
Studio made the announcement Thursday. Warner Bros. had said earlier this year that “Man of Steel” was planned for December 2012 but it never set a specific date. And it began indicating in recent months that it was no longer committed to that month by leaving any mention of a release date out of casting announcements.
If the “Superman” reboot had been released into theaters for the the 2012 holiday season, Warners would have been offering a pair of powerhouse entries, as Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is due for release on Dec. 14, 2012.
The original 1978 “Superman” opened in December, but the next four films in the series launched in the summer.
Pic’s release date reps a potentially more lucrative launchpad with moviegoers — especially fanboys — more accustomed to superhero pics debuting during the summer. This year there were four superhero installments (“Thor,” “X-Men: First Class,” “Green Lantern” and this weekend’s “Captain America: The First Avenger”).
Warner execs have been working hard to reboot the “Superman” franchise since the character is a major icon of its DC Entertainment division and a major revenue generator through TV show “Smallville,” vidgames and merchandise. The last bigscreen iteration of the Man of Steel, 2006’s Brandon Routh starrer “Superman Returns,” earned more than $391 million worldwide, but the film wasn’t particularly popular among fanboys, with complaints that the action sequences fell short.
“Man of Steel” is the third title set for June 2013. Disney has set “Monsters University” for June 21, 2013, and Universal has “R.I.P.D.” due to open a week later.
Besides “The Hobbit,” the December 2012 frame includes Fox’s “Life of Pi,” Universal’s Judd Apatow comedy with several “Knocked Up” characters, Relativity’s “Hunter Killer” and Disney’s “Lone Ranger.”
Zack Snyder is directing “Man of Steel” for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Pic is due to begin shooting this summer in Chicago and Vancouver with Brit thesp Henry Cavill set to play Superman and Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Michael Shannon also starring.
David Goyer penned the script and developed the story with Christopher Nolan, who has kept plot details under wraps. Charles Roven will produce along with Emma Thomas, Nolan and Deborah Snyder. Thomas Tull will exec produce for Legendary and Lloyd Phillips will also exec produce.