Petersen puts ''Batman vs. Superman'' on hold. First, the ''Perfect Storm'' director plans to sack ''Troy''

By Gary Susman
Updated August 13, 2002 at 12:00 PM EDT
Superman & Batman: Warner Bros

Even as buzz continues over the mother of all franchise matchups, ”Batman vs. Superman,” director Wolfgang Petersen has announced he’s putting the project on hold. Before his superheroes put on their rubber suits, the ”Perfect Storm” filmmaker is going to put on his Trojans. He’s announced that his next project will be ”Troy,” an adaptation of Homer’s Iliad.

”Of these two projects I have developed at Warner Bros., I had hoped to make ‘Troy’ first and am pleased that the scheduling worked out that way,” Petersen told Variety. “I’m looking forward to directing ‘Batman vs. Superman’ in the future.”

Adapted by screenwriter David Benioff (who wrote the upcoming Spike Lee drama ”The 25th Hour”), ”Troy” is expected to focus on the rivalry between Greek warrior Achilles and Trojan defender Hector. The film is one of several ancient Greek sagas in development, along with several movies about Alexander the Great and two dramas about the Battle of Thermopylae. Petersen says he expects to start shooting ”Troy” in early 2003, which means production on ”Batman vs. Superman” probably won’t start until 2004.

Still, speculation continues as to who might play the two superheroes, with such names as Colin Farrell (”Minority Report”) rumored for Batman and Jude Law (”Road to Perdition”) for Superman. The latest rumor has Josh Hartnett as a possible Man of Steel. Back in February, however, Hartnett told EW.com, ”I’ve turned down every superhero I’ve been offered…. The superhero stuff was never really my thing. But if the right thing comes along, maybe — I never say never.” Meantime, maybe the ”Black Hawk Down” star should start polishing his shield and breastplate.

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