The story originated late Tuesday with Vulture, which offered two theories as to why the studio wanted the Sherlock Holmes director over Zack Snyder, who helmed 300 and has been developing Frank Miller’s upcoming comic book prequel Xerxes: One involved the need for Snyder to focus on Superman, which faces a ticking production clock and, “insiders” say, “major third-act problems.” The other centered on rumored studio reservations about Snyder’s track record, following the performances of Watchmen and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
Although both theories had their holes — I addressed them in the earlier post — it’s worth noting that EW‘s brief report uses the words “formally offered,” which leaves open the possibility that Warner Bros. had considered Ritchie. That, or Vulture’s “insiders” are unreliable or misinformed.
Miller’s Xerxes will be published later this year by Dark Horse as a six-issue miniseries. The adaptation is in active development but has yet to be greenlit. Snyder’s Superman, meanwhile, is expected to begin production in June for release in December 2012.