'Man of Steel' Sequel Delayed Until 2016

Man of Steel 2

Well, this is interesting: After announcing the Man of Steel sequel at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2013 and running full steam ahead with casting announcements in the months following that bombshell, Warner Bros. has apparently had a change of heart regarding just how quickly its Superman-Batman mashup movie will actually make it to theaters. The movie's original release date, set for July 17, 2015, has just been officially bumped back to May 6, 2016.

Citing a desire to give director Zack Snyder and company "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story," the studio will instead be releasing Joe Wright's as-yet-untitled Peter Pan project in the Man of Steel sequel's old date.

"We know that there is already great anticipation building for the next superhero film from Zack Snyder, and we are equally eager to see what he has in store for Superman and Batman as they share the big screen for the first time ever," assured Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, president of international distribution for Warner Bros. "The summer release corridor is also perfect for Joe Wright’s ambitious new Peter Pan adventure, reimagining the ageless story of the beloved and forever-young hero for audiences worldwide."

"We are happy to take advantage of these coveted summer dates, which are perfect for two of our biggest tentpole releases," added domestic distribution president Dan Fellman. "We share the fans’ excitement to see DC Comics’ most popular figures, Superman and Batman, together on the big screen for the first time, which will now be arriving in theatres in May 2016. Peter Pan has delighted people of every generation for more than a century, so we are thrilled to bring him back to the screen next summer for today’s moviegoers."

It's a little early to be reading anything too troubling into this news -- if anything, we applaud Warners' willingness to apply the brakes on a tentpole picture during an era in which speed seems to trump creative cohesion -- but it does make you wonder a little, doesn't it? Exactly what does "complex visual nature" mean, anyway? And how badly is this going to monkey with the schedules of the various actors involved?

No matter what, one thing's for sure -- as much scrutiny as the Man of Steel sequel was under before this announcement, it'll be held to an even higher standard now.

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Jeff is an entertainment writer and editor whose work currently appears at a variety of sites, including Rotten Tomatoes, Paste, American Songwriter, Popdose, Dadnabbit, Diffuser, and Ultimate Classic Rock.

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