week I ran a piece about unemployed Superman Brandon Routh being very, very eager to get back in the cape and tights… and also star in a Justice League movie.  Some readers took exception to that, possibly members of the Twinks4Routh club. They felt it was mean-spirited of me to poke fun at the guy; one person said I was kicking him while he was down.

He may be about to get more down. You know how Bryan Singer is directing Valkyrie, the ‘Tom Cruise Tries to Kill Hitler’ movie, and then is supposed to start on Man of Steel? Not so much, say Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, producers of The Mayor of Castro Street, the Harvey Milk biopic to which Bryan Singer has long been attached. The duo say that Castro Street is next for the director, not The Man of Steel.

"The next Superman, that’s a ways off," Meron tells Rotten Tomatoes.

"Don’t worry about it. Trust me," says Zadan. “We may even start preproduction on Harvey Milk while he’s on post production on the Tom Cruise movie.”

The two have been working on getting the movie to the screen for 15 years, and they’re not about to give up now – especially when a competing project, possibly directed by Gus Van Sant, has reared its head.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay city supervisor for San Francisco and was, along with Mayor George Moscone, shot dead by Dan White, a man whose successful defense blamed the killing on eating too many Twinkies. Milk is a beloved martyr to the gay rights cause, and a biopic about him after a WWII movie would go a long way to convincing me that Bryan Singer was still interested in being a real movie director and not just a comic book franchise machine.

If The Mayor of Castro Street (based on the book by Randy Shilts) is next for Singer, then The Man of Steel  is essentially dead. Warner Bros might opt to wait around for Singer, who likely wouldn’t get back to the property until the end of 2008 or early 2009, or they might decide to just call it a day on Superman in general. Or they could find another director who would be willing to work cheap and bring more action to a Superman film. Whatever the case, if Meron and Zadan are right (and I do hope they are), even if The Man of Steel gets made, it’s going to be pushed back another calendar year – possibly to 2010.