Warner Bros. -- for legal reasons that are both too byzantine and boring to recount here -- are on a ticking clock regarding "Man Of Steel," as the rights on Superman will expire after next year and revert back to the heirs of the comic creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster making it far more complicated (and expensive) down the road to get a Superman movie made. Among the potential scenarios is that the rights to the iconic costume and the rights to Superman's ability to fly will possibly be split between creators and DC Comics creating a ridiculous scenario in which several parties will have to sign off in order to get the Clark Kent we know and love into a movie at all. So even as development began in 2008 on a new Superman, the studio likely knew it was their last big shot at the franchise before the property became entangled in a mesh of rights issues, so perhaps we can't be too surprised that as sets are being built, and filming is set to get underway very soon, the script is still being honed.
As you might recall, earlier this year rumor cropped up that the script by David S. Goyer (”The Dark Knight”) -- whose concept was pitched by "Man Of Steel"-producing godfather Christopher Nolan to the studio -- was facing some third act problems. That was pretty much the last we heard of it, but now more word is surfacing that a couple more hands have taken their pens to the Goyer screenplay. Moviehole reports that Jonah Nolan has quietly taken a pass at it and now, Kurt Johnstad is latest name to be tasked with doing some rewrites.
Johnstad has worked with Snyder before, penning the script to "300" as well as the forthcoming follow-up "300: Battle of Artemisia" (which Snyder is producing). He also wrote the Afghan war drama "The Last Photograph" that currently has Sean Penn and Christian Bale circling, that was based on a story idea by Snyder who is also producing that picture as well. So clearly, he has a good relationship with Snyder and is aware of his sensibilities. Word is that Goyer is too busy with "Godzilla" to tweak his "Man Of Steel" script, but if we were to guess, we'd say that perhaps Johnstad has been brought in for a final fine tuning, to bring certain elements into line with Snyder's style and way of working and off they'll go. In short, we don't think there is cause for alarm and we hope whatever those rumored third act issues are, they have been ironed out (if they were there at all).
Production will roll any day on "Man Of Steel" and it's expecting to hit in late 2012, but a firm release date still hasn't been scheduled.