Superman isn't the only superhero who's hitting roadblocks on his way to a new big-screen incarnation. Marvel's Fantastic Four, subject of a long-gestating movie due at the end of 2004, have lost the director who's been developing the project for more than two years. Peyton Reed (''Down with Love'') and 20th Century Fox have parted ways, citing ''creative differences,'' a Fox spokesperson tells the Hollywood Reporter.
Sometimes, ''creative differences'' means the director and studio couldn't agree on a cast or a budget. In this case, it could also mean that Fox lost confidence in Reed after ''Down with Love'' (also a Fox film) flopped earlier this summer. Neither Reed nor the studio elaborated on the reasons for his departure.
According to the Reporter, Fox has a shortlist of other potential directors, and it has a screenplay by Mark Frost (''Twin Peaks'') that describes the origin of the four heroes, astronauts given mutant superpowers after being exposed to cosmic radiation. The studio still expects to deliver the superhero saga to theaters on time, though as elastic-limbed Fantastic Four team leader Reed Richards might say, that sounds like a stretch.