Batman, Superman Sequels Fly at Warner

A report in Daily Variety confirming sequel plans for Warner Bros.’ Batman Begins and the upcoming Superman Returns is not so much news as it is a foregone conclusion. Still, it’s cool to know that directors Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer are both expected return to helm their respective tentpole followups.

Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan (Memento), has been tapped to write the yet untitled Batman sequel now that Begins scribe David S. Goyer has moved on to adapt DC Comics’ The Flash. Actor Christian Bale is expected to don the cowl and cape again as the Dark Knight, and newcomer Brandon Routh is also under option by the studio to appear again as the Man of Steel.

Batman Begins opened last summer and took in around $370 million worldwide. Superman Returns is currently in post-production and is slated for release on June 30. Both films mark the return of film franchises that started out strong but eventually fizzled out with sequels of declining quality. It remains to be seen how well these revivals will fare as Warner Bros keeps them going in the future. The studio is likely to look at measures to keep the budgets under control, considering Superman Returns has cost nearly $200 million so far. Half of the money was put up by private equity wellspring Legendary Pictures, which also split costs and profits with Warner Bros. on Batman Begins.

Christopher Nolan is now shooting an adaptation of Christopher Priest’s novel, The Prestige, for Disney. When Superman wraps, Singer will move on to Warner Bros.’ remake of Logan’s Run and another Warner effort titled The Mayor of Castro Street before returning to Metropolis.