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Zack Snyder to direct new Superman

With his animated 3D feature The Legend of the Guardians in theaters now, Zack Snyder ( Watchman, 300), has been chosen to direct the next rebooted version of Superman: Man of Steel.

"I've been a big fan of the character for a long time, he's definitely the king of all superheroes, he's the one," Snyder told Deadline Hollywood and addressed how producer Christopher Nolan ( Inception) and scriptwriter David Goyer have made the superhero more modern. "I've always felt he was kind of awesome."

Snyder made the shortlist with directors Tony Scott ( Taking of Pelham 123), Matt Reeves ( Let Me In) and Duncan Jones ( Moon).

The story follows journalist Clark Kent, aka Superman, trying to keep Metropolis safe. Soon, an alien ship and Brainiac, a rogue alien super computer, arrive, in search of the all-powerful crystal that Superman owns. The villain is said to be General Zod, returning for the first time since Superman II.

It is written by David S. Goyer, who wrote the story for The Dark Knight and the screenplay for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, currently in production with Nicholas Cage and Ciaran Hinds.

The late Christopher Reeves portrayed the DC Comics hero in four films from 1978 to 1987. In 2006, the Man of Steel returned with Brandon Routh ( Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). Reportedly, there will be a new cast.

Snyder currently is completing the fantasy film Sucker Punch, starring Emily Browning, due in theaters March 11. The new Superman film is scheduled for release in December 2012.