Up, up, and delay!
Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Friday afternoon that they were pushing back the release of the sequel to last summer's "Man of Steel" a full 10 months from the original date of July 17, 2015 to May 6, 2016. The project has been under intense scrutiny since last summer when it was announced that Henry Cavill's Superman would be going face-to-face (or jaw-to-jaw) against Batman, played by Ben Affleck. It was also announced in December that Gal Gadot — the Israeli co-star of the most recent "Fast & Furious" — was also joining the cast as the iconic super heroine, Wonder Woman.
[Related: Meet the New Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot]
In a statement, the studio said that the decision to change the release date was made to allow returning director Zack Snyder and his crew, "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story." But moving the film to the next calendar year also gets it out of an already over-stuffed 2015 summer movie season. New installments of "The Avengers," "Jurassic Park," "Terminator," "Fantastic Four," and "Fast & Furious" are all scheduled to hit screens next year.
It is interesting that the DC Comics film would claim a spot in the first weekend of May in 2016, since that first slot of the summer movie season has been claimed by a Marvel Comics film for the past several years. Ever since the first "Iron Man" opened on May 2, 2008, there as been a Marvel-related film in the first weekend of May. Marvel had announced plans to open a film on May 6, 2016 back in June of last year, but they have not yet confirmed which of their characters would be featured in it (the mystical "Dr. Strange" has long been rumored as a possibility). It remains to be seen if Marvel will steer clear of their DC rivals and change their release plans as well, or if we'll see a real comic-book showdown in cinemas that weekend.
Warner Bros. also announced that replacing the "Man of Steel" sequel in its original release date would be their new version of Peter Pan. Directed by Joe Wright ("Atonement," "The Soloist"), this retelling of J.M. Barrie's classic is said to be an origin story of how Peter and Captain Hook came to be arch enemies. Hugh Jackman is reportedly set to play the villainous pirate Blackbeard in the movie.
There were unsubstantiated rumors earlier today that Ben Affleck had suffered a leg injury, but so far there have been no credible reports to confirm that. Affleck is scheduled to present at the Screen Actors Guild on Saturday, so we'll all see if he's limping or not.
The "Man of Steel" sequel will hit theaters 2 years, 3 months, and 19 days from Friday (not that we're counting).
Watch director Zack Snyder discuss his Batman/Superman movie: