Batman & Superman Sequels Set

By Garth Franklin Thursday February 23rd 2006 11:53AM

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 reports Variety.

Whilst neither director's deal is closed, the studio has hired scribe Jonah Nolan ("Memento", "The Prestige") to pen the screenplay for the untitled "Batman" project based on a treatment "Batman Begins" co-writers David Goyer and Christopher Nolan wrote. Legendary Pictures, which put up half the financing for both films is expected to board the sequels and split the budgets 50/50 with Warner Bros, in return splitting all profits 50/50.

One idea being discussed is Singer would direct a "Superman" sequel after he finishes Warner's remake of sci-fi thriller "Logan's Run" which he's also expected to direct when it begins shooting this fall in Vancouver. If Singer did pact to direct a "Superman" sequel, that pic could be shot in Vancouver as well.

"Superman Returns" is already considered one of the more costly pics in Hollywood history, and studio execs have unofficially put the production budget at $185 million not including development costs (estimates sit around $50-70 million). Nolan's "Batman" took in $205.3 million in the US and $166.5 million overseas although traditionally Superman has enjoyed wider appeal than the grittier more adult Batman, especially in the US.

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. "Batman" and "Superman" sequels could make their debut in 2008 and 2009, respectively.