Comic-Con: Superman 2 and Spider-Man 3 updates

After spending much of his screen time in Superman Returns floating like a wood-sprite and pining like a grumpy teenager for Lois Lane, the Man Of Steel could finally be getting ready to rumble.

Director Bryan Singer told attendees at the annual Comic-Con geek-fest in San Diego that he is negotiating with Warner Bros to bring an action-heavy sequel to the big screen by 2009.

"I want to get all 'Wrath Of Khan' on this one," Singer said, prompting much gleeful squirming among the costumed masses. "Now that there's a context with characters who we're invested in, now we can go into the action realm. It's a way of rolling it out that I learned on X-Men."

Question marks have hovered over the follow-up to Superman Returns after its weaker than expected box-office results. The $250 million-plus production has sold $178 million in tickets Stateside and a further $110 million overseas – a spectacular amount of dosh, yet clearly one that might not cut the mustard with Warner Bros bean counters.

Singer's comments, however, would appear to end that speculation. Now all he has to do is sign on that dotted line…

Meanwhile Spider-Man 3 director Sam Raimi almost revealed the identity of a third villain in his upcoming blockbuster during a panel discussion.

While it’s common knowledge that Thomas Haden Church will play Sandman and Topher Grace portrays Venom, concrete details on the webslinger's other potential foes have been thin on the ground.

Raimi went some way towards clearing that up for us when he suggested that James Franco's character of Harry Osborn, Peter Parker's longtime friend, will reinvent himself in the image of his father as some kind of goblin foe. "He does want to kill Peter Parker and uses some of his dad's [Green Goblin] technology to go after Parker," Raimi said, before covering his mouth and pulling a face.

A couple more baddie updates for you: Jon Favreau said his Iron Man will do battle with The Mandarin, while The Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier said the olive-skinned beastie will square up against a character known as Abomination.

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