Now that Anthony Hopkins aims to play Jor-El in the upcoming Superman, Metropolis’ biggest mystery is who will don the cape and tights. Director Brett Ratner wants an ”unknown.” So why did Josh Hartnett — a rumored Supe front-runner for Wolfgang Petersen’s now-delayed Batman vs. Superman — show up at Red Dragon’s Sept. 30 NYC premiere? While Hartnett’s reps had no comment, Ratner just smiled coyly.

Ratner has reason to keep mum. Last month, a version of Alias creator J.J. Abrams’ Superman script hit the Web, irking fans with twists like a gay Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor as an alien. ”The script I’m shooting has none of that stuff,” Ratner insists. (Abrams has revised his draft — based on the ’93 comic Death of Superman, in which the Man of Steel is offed, only to be reborn with more power.)

Despite the leaks, Ratner promises maximum security when filming begins this spring for a summer 2004 release. ”It’s so top secret,” he says, that visitors will need eye scans to enter the set. X-ray vision, anyone? — Brian M. Raftery, with additional reporting by Adam Duerson

Superman Returns
  • Movie
  • 157 minutes