Warner Bros. announced Wednesday that it will release Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” on June 14, 2013, not in December 2012, as it had previously planned. The reboot will remain on schedule to commence shooting later this summer, with the added time used for postproduction.
A studio spokeswoman declined to offer a reason for the shift; in fact, she said it was not a change, pointing out that the reboot had never been given an official release date in the first place and that the December 2012 date was a tentative period announced very early in the development process. She waved aside the notion that more time is being taken because of any issues with the script, pointing out that the shooting schedule remains the same.
However it’s characterized, the new date does clear some space between the studio’s major upcoming releases: Warner Bros. will bring out the first installment of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” adaptation in December 2012; had it come out in December ’12, “Man of Steel” could have competed for studio resources during that period and also gone after a similar audience as that film. As it is, the studio will now have a major summer release at a time when its "Dark Knight" and "Harry Potter" franchises have ended.
Starring Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, the new take on the caped hero is being guided by Christopher Nolan, who is producing and godfathering the project. He’ll now have a little more time to work on the movie in the editing room after his “The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters next July. The June date does suggest the film will have the action-filled spectacle that characterizes most big-budget summer release (not that there was a tremendous amount of doubt).
The 2013 summer calendar is still fairly open, although Marvel Studios has said that it will bring out the next installment of "Iron Man" in early May. The "Man of Steel" move is reminiscent of another move from the holidays to the summer for a big-brand reboot: Paramount moved "Star Trek" from the holidays in 2008 to the summer in 2009, with the J.J. Abrams film going on to become a global hit.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Henry Cavill. Credit: Associated Press