At first I thought to myself, "great! he just got done raping Superman's corpse, and will now be coming back for seconds." Upon further reflection however, I think there's a few interesting tidbits to be gleened from the article that show things are still from rosey.
"Pic is tentatively intended for release in summer 2009, although the studio stressed that there's not even a script or budget yet.
Sequel is apparently at the very beginning of the development process and, as with any other project, there are any number of factors that must be addressed before it is greenlit."
Even though Singer is signed to some form of an agreement, there still appears to be a WAYS to go before this thing moves forward. Once the final take for Singerman can be determined, they'll set a budget for a proposed sequel, which will most likely be less since Singerman performed far below expectations. A script will then be submitted and then pruned to fit that budget.
"Insiders say Warners and Legendary are sure to insist that the sequel's production budget comes in under $200 million.
"Superman Returns" fell under endless scrutiny for its production budget, which the studio puts at $209 million after tax rebates and incentives. The number is much higher when factoring in more than $40 million in development costs -- "Superman Returns" was in the works for years --even though those costs were previously absorbed.
Critically, "Superman Returns" was disparaged for lacking in action. Singer has said he would address this concern in the follow-up."
And here's where things get a bit iffy. Singer's production budget is going to be cut to somewhere in the $140 - $175 million range we'd assume. Assuming it's the high end for argument's sake that's a minimum of $35 million minimum less he's got at his disposal. He's also claiming to remedy the action deficiency of the first film. Everyone knows that more action = more special effects work = more budget. Now granted some sets are already built and some of the CGI modeling is already done from the first go around, but we'd assume (hope) there will still need to be various new set pieces built and the CG work will have to be done extensively again, unless of course Singer plans on reusing his few action sequences from the first film. On top of all that, you have these rumors floating around about Singer introducing a super villain (please NOT Zod) this time. What effect do you think something like that has for the FX budget?
Granted I'm a bit shocked that the action criticism is actually being addressed, but how is it going to get done for less? And how many big budget sequels do you know that cost LESS than thier predecessors to produce? And how many of those were actually successful? None that I can think of. Sequels up the ante, which means you need to up the investment. Singer had free reign with over $200 million to play with and couldn't deliver the goods. Why should anyone assume he'll put out a better film for less?
"In terms of casting, Warners has an option on "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh."
Interesting note there. We've said before we didn't think Routh was really a problem in this film, although his exposure seemed to be limited, and he didn't have the greatest PR at times. But is it still possible WB may want to tweak the casting of the franchise? (If they should scrap anyone it should be Bosworth!) However, how happy can they be to see things like this on the website of a magazine they own? And don't get all pissy on us, we wouldn't have liked this movie any better with Welling or Christopher Reeve in the lead role. We just thought that result was a tad shocking since one of them hasn't even thought about the suit yet.
"Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris penned the script for "Superman Returns" based on a story they created with Singer. It's not clear whether Dougherty and Harris will return for the sequel."
One can only hope WB forces Singer out of his "comfort zone" and hires some decent writers that have a decent knowledge of who Superman is. However I'm not sure what difference that's going to make since the issues with the first film are so far engrained into the universe that was created that to ignore them now would be an even bigger joke than the first film.