After proving he can turn mutants into box office magic, ''X-Men'' director Bryan Singer is taking on an even more heroic task: He's the latest helmer to work on the long-in-development ''Superman'' movie, according to the Hollywood Reporter. ''My interest in Superman dates back many, many years,'' Singer told the trade paper. ''In fact it was the Richard Donner classic film that was my day-to-day inspiration in shaping the 'X-Men' universe for the screen.''
Singer is now unlikely to be involved in ''X-Men 3,'' which had been set for a May 2006 release date, according to Variety. He will, however, be using ''X2'' screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris for the ''Superman'' script. Singer -- who had been a leading choice of hardcore fans, judging from message-board postings -- follows several other directors who had been slated to direct ''Superman,'' including McG (''Charlie's Angels''), who recently left the project for the second time, reportedly because of disputes over budget and location. Brett Ratner (''Rush Hour'') and Tim Burton had also been previously lined up to direct the film, which does not yet have a cast.