Update: Warner Bros. has reached out to debunk rumors of release date changes for Man of Steel and The Hobbit. Details below.

Up until this summer, Zack Snyder’s reboot of the Superman film franchise was targeting a December 2012 release date, giving Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment not one, but two tentpole superhero films next year, the other being The Dark Knight Rises in July. Then, Warner Bros. pushed Man of Steel back a full six months to the new release date of July 13, 2013.

This effectively gave the studio a nicely spaced out schedule of major franchise releases by letting The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have winter 2012, while also giving them a DC superhero flick for 2013. According to the latest rumor however, Warner Bros. may reverse the order and bring the Man of Steel back to next winter.

[Update: Warner Bros. has reached out to debunk the rumor with the following statement:

“Contrary to inaccurate reports – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is being released on December 14, 2012″ – Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.]

 

The scoop comes from our friends at Think McFly Think who learned that Peter Jackson’s pair of Hobbit movies are taking a lot more time and work than expected and that he’s in talks with Warner Bros. to move the December 14th, 2012 release date back a year to give his crew more time and to ensure the film’s quality is where it needs to be.

Since Man of Steel is done principal photography, with plenty of time for post-production, TMT’s sources are saying it’s very possible that Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent may show his face on the big screen next December, as originally planned, while part one of The Hobbit may move to the following December in 2013.

When it comes to Peter Jackson’s return to Middle-earth, the more time the merrier. As for the DC Comics side of the film slate, having not one, but two major superhero epics next year makes for some great ammunition to compete with The Avengers, the only Marvel Studios production releasing next year.

If this story pans out, Warner Bros. will be left with an empty summer 2013 slot and it’s a shame The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey couldn’t release then, keeping The Hobbit: There and Back Again for winter 2013 and thus, making fans only wait 6 months between.

For film and comic fans left with a sour taste in their mouth after Green Lantern, seeing Christopher Nolan’s work as director of The Dark Knight Rises and working as a producer for Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel may be just what everyone needs. It’s also just what the studio needs to get the momentum going on their next biggest franchise, a franchise that’s meant to take over the reins from Harry Potter going forward.

We now wonder what DC films will get the greenlight for 2013 and 2014…

Man of Steel is currently set to hit theaters on June 14, 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Think McFly Think