By the standards of some superhero movies, Superman: Man of Steel has actually had a leisurely development process. Warner Bros. has been trying to reboot the franchise for years, of course, pretty much ever since the 2006 Superman Returns underperformed, and back in February 2010 was the first we heard that Christopher Nolan would be shepherding the film, though in reality he was probably working on it long before. Zack Snyder was hired to direct it back in October, and has had nearly a year to prepare for this year's late summer shoot. Compare that to the process on X-Men: First Class, in which Matthew Vaughn was officially hired to direct exactly 13 months before the film was released. Clearly Warner Bros. is taking great care to make sure all the pieces are in place as they once again try to bring America's most famous superhero to the screen.

So careful, in fact, that just a few months before shooting is set to begin, the script is being altered. Moviehole hears that Snyder has brought in Kurt Johnstad, who wrote 300, to tweak the Man of Steel script written by David S. Goyer, who is now busy scripting a new Godzilla movie for the studio. Rewrites are far from uncommon on studio projects this huge, and reportedly Jonathan Nolan has taken a pass at the script that's being produced by his brother. But with Man of Steel set to start production so soon, I do wonder why they're cutting things so close. Is Snyder just trying to get a favorite writer of his in there so that the script more closely suits his sensibilities? Or was there a problem lurking in the story that nobody was able to deal with until more of the cast and pre-production was in place?

Either way, rewrites in and of themselves are no reason to worry about a project-- and hey, X-Men: First Class proved that you can pretty much be writing a script as you go and have the movie turn out well in the end. Of course, with someone as meticulous as Nolan involved-- even though he's probably neck-deep in The Dark Knight Rises right now-- I can't imagine that'll be the case. Whatever Johnstad is writing, it'll probably be locked in and done by the time Man of Steel starts rolling in a few months.

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