Warner Brothers is already planning sequels to Batman Begins and Superman Returns, with respective helmers Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer in line to return, though the latter film doesn't open until June 30, Variety reported.
Neither director's deal is closed yet, the trade paper reported. The studio has hired Jonah Nolan, Christopher's brother, to pen the screenplay for the as-yet-untitled Batman sequel. Warner has options on Batman Begins star Christian Bale and Superman Returns star Brandon Routh.
The next installment in the Caped Crusader franchise is further along in the process, since Batman Begins was released last summer.
Legendary Pictures, which put up half the financing for both Batman Begins and Superman Returns, is expected to board the sequels and split the budgets 50-50 with Warner. In return, Legendary would split all profits..
The Batman sequel is eyed for 2008 and the Superman follow-up for 2009.
One idea is for Singer to direct a Superman sequel soon after he finishes with Warner's remake of the SF thriller Logan's Run, which he's also expected to direct. Logan's Run is tentatively slated to begin shooting this fall in Vancouver, Canada. If Singer did sign to direct the Superman sequel, it could be shot in Vancouver as well.