It's no industry secret that Warner Brothers was unhappy with Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, which the studio had hopped would be the new launching point for the further adventures of the Man of Steel (and all the residual money from merchandising and what not that accompanies a megablockbuster superhero movie). Mixed reactions from audiences both domestic and abroad were reflected by a box office haul that fell well short of recouping its massive production budget.

Jump cut to present day and the WB are actively trying to (re)reboot Superman for the big screen. It's been known for months that Christopher Nolan is consulting on the direction of the film, which screenwriter David Goyer is currently writing. Goyer has gone on record as wanting to direct the film as well, but according to a new rumor at Superman Homepage (via /Film), the WB would like to keep him on solely as a writer (who can blame them?) and that they've decided on who they want to call the shots on set: Chris Columbus.

Granted it is a big rumor at this point, but it's not exactly a selection out of left field. Columbus did earn the WB a boatload of cash with the first two Harry Potter films, establishing himself with the studio as a reliable franchise starter (though I'm not sure Fox would agree, considering Columbus' Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief didn't do much of anything at the box office). Though his 1492 Films is gearing up production on a handful of new films, Columbus isn't firmly attached to direct any of the projects, so conceivably his schedule is open.

Of course since the site's only source on the matter is the always-nebulous "studio insider", there is no reliable reason to believe the rumor at this point, but it's certainly interesting enough to think about. Columbus would be far from my first choice to direct a Superman movie, particularly one produced by Nolan, but in a weird way that makes me even more curious to see what kind of a movie that would make. After a series of disappointments one would think he's got something to prove, so maybe something truly special would be a result of that. Plus, Columbus does have a great track record in the casting department, which is crucial for an all-eyes-on film property like Superman.

Again, I'm not exactly foaming at the mouth about the prospect of a Chris Columbus-directed Superman film, but I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who will have a far stronger reaction to that hypothetical than I. Any takers?