Zack Snyder, seen at Comic-Con in July, will direct the new Superman film. ((Kevin Winter/Getty Images))

Superman will be flying back into theatres, potentially for the holiday season in 2012.

Zack Snyder, the director behind the new 3D animated adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole as well as the graphic novel-inspired films Watchmen and 300, has signed on to helm a new movie about the Man of Steel.

Filmmaker Christopher Nolan, who is fresh off his mind-bending summer blockbuster Inception and successfully rebooted the film franchise of Superman's fellow DC Comics hero Batman, is producing the new project.

"It's hard not to be a Superman fan with his place in pop culture and how iconographic he is," Snyder told industry newspaper Variety.

He also praised Nolan, adding that the filmmaker "provides that extra bit of wisdom to a process that sometimes lacks it."

Screenwriter David Goyer, whose credits include Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight as well as the Blade films and episodes of TV series FlashFoward, is penning the script based on a story he and Nolan have devised.

"It's still early in the process but I will say that the story that Chris and David have laid out is pretty awesome," Snyder told Variety.


The last live-action film about the Man of Steel was 2006's Superman Returns, which starred actor Brandon Routh. ((Bryn Lennon/Getty Images))

Warner Bros. released Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh as the superhero, in 2006. However, despite nabbing Bryan Singer — who earned acclaim for his film adaptations of Marvel's X-Men mutant heroes — as the director, the movie did not win over critics and was ultimately not considered a success.

Singer's was the first live-action Superman film since the 1970s-1980s franchise starring Christopher Reeve, who died in 2004.

Warner Bros. is expected to begin production on the tentatively named Superman: Man of Steel by 2011, so as not to lose certain copyrights to the character to the heirs of Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, according to Variety.

The completed film could be in theatres by December 2012.