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First Look At Jared Leto As SUICIDE SQUAD’s Joker

Posted on 24 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

Joker

I just want to let everyone know, I try to avoid sounding like a butthurt fanboy here. I know frequent readers of the site won’t believe that, but I try not to be. I do have the potential inside. As part of the generation that was mocked and ridiculed for liking anything pertaining to comics, I grok the sense of entitlement my generation has towards comic properties skewing to the version they grew up with. I try to be satisfied as long as the filmmakers keep true to the feel or the original source material.

Then I see the following, the first official version of Jared Leto as the Joker in the Suicide Squad and I want to board the hater train to Butthurtville. Because even though it is just a picture, and gives us no idea of the character’s backstory or the subtleties of Leto’s portrayal, it just rubs me as you typical DC Comics Film stupidity.

LetoJokerThe Joker is the most iconic villain in all of comics. Give me another that even comes close. And the reason why is because the character is pretty much perfect the way he is.

The Joker is defined by his relationship to Batman. He is chaos to Batman’s order. He is a jovial, ever-smiling clown who will kill you in the blink of an eye to Batman’s grim and scary-looking bat who will risk his life to save you. He is a man so affected by his physical scars that he is moved to homicide to Batman’s being a man so affected by his mental scars that he is moved to protect the city he loves. They are both insane men, but one bad and one good.

Non-comic readers will scoff at the idea that there’s that much depth in comics, but that dichotomy is there and it is what makes the Joker great. Even Heath Ledger’s Joker, which traded in the bleached skin for grease paint. kept the order/chaos balance intact.

However, without these aspects of his personality that allow him to play off Batman, the Joker just becomes the run of the mill homicidal maniac. And homicidal maniacs are boring. And this looks like a picture of a homicidal maniac Joker.

It has the look of a Joker made by committee, a committee with one mistaken belief that the character has to be different in every way than what came before. The skin is pale but not bleached. His lips are red but not scarred into a grotesque smile (which changes an important part of the dichotomy). But he has tattoos, boy, does he have tattoos, because obviously the team of executives are still living in the 00s when tattoos were badass. I can almost hear the roomful of  executives shouting out their tattoo ideas now, with the most obvious and pedestrian ones chosen to make the cut. “How a bout a skull wearing a jester’s hat? That’s cool, right?” “Having HAHAHAHA tattooed on his body once is awesome, so having it twice would be extra awesome!””Oooh, ooh! You know what would really be great! If he had the word “Damaged” tattooed across his forehead!”

If you have to so show how crazy your Joker is by writing “Damaged” across his forehead, you have already failed on you task of bringing the Joker to the screen.

All this rather pedestrian window dressing is unnecessary and takes away more from the character than it adds to it. And no manner of obsequious fan service you do (“Let’s throw a purple glove on Jared and have him mimic that famous Brian Bolland pose. Fans will be so enraptured in their fangasms they won’t even notice the stupid changes we made!”) will bring that back.

All of this from one image! I rue the rest of the official images from this film!

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Plans For VALIANT Film Universe Become Clearer

Posted on 21 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

bloodshot harbingerWhen Valiant Entertainment announced its partnership with the Beijing based DMG Entertainment back in March, one had to wonder how that partnership would make itself known in the world of film. Deadline has the answer with more information on the companies’ long-term plans.

bloodshot 1One of the questions I had was how Bloodshot would play into the new agreement. The property was optioned by Sony way back in 2012, not only predating the agreement with DMG, but also Valiant Entertainment’s reboot of the characters hit comic store shelves. The answer is that Sony will not only be home to Bloodshot, but four other films based on the Valiant books.

Bloodshot obviously will be the first film of this deal. The film will hit theaters sometime in  2017 with John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahleski helming the Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer script. Neal Moritz, who will be producing all five films, will be joined on this one by Toby Jaffe of Original Film and Valiant COO Dinesh Shamdasani. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will be executive producers.

harbinger-1Next will be Harbinger, adapted from the Valiant comic book focusing on the powerful telepaths and telekinetics of the Valiant Universe. The film will have a script by Heisserer and be produced by the same team.

Each film will have a sequel and before crossing over in a Harbinger Wars film.

Bloodshot and Harbinger are arguably the two most popular concepts Valiant Entertainment has, but I have to say that I’m a little disappointed by the lack of ambition in the film slate. Valiant’s IP farm is deep and plentiful, chock full of many other film worthy projects. I would have loved to see an Archer & Armstrong or Eternal Warrior film. Perhaps if these first five films are successful, we’ll get to explore the Valiant Universe a bit more.

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Too Early To Talk CAPTAIN MARVEL? Never!

Posted on 14 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

carol_danversEven though her film is four years away and there are nine other Marvel films between now and then–including a sequel to a film that has yet to come out–people just can’t stop talking about Captain Marvel.

Of course, talking about one of Marvel’s premiere female heroes is nothing new. Rumors have been circulating for months that Carol Danvers’ alter ego would be making an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. If the word coming out from those who have already seen the film are any indication, the character is not in the final film. But how close did Captain Marvel get to being in the movie? According to Kevin Feige by way of Badass Digest, pretty darn close.

Captain Marvel appeared in early drafts of the script, but only as a cameo. She was supposed to fly in at the end of the film to join the Avengers team, and made it as far as the FX planning stage of filming before being cut. Why was she cut? Marvel thought being introduced in such a way would be sort of anticlimatic for a character they were building a feature around, and they decided to have her be fully introduced in her own film.

LeFauvre and PerlmanSpeaking of her own film, Marvel has chosen two screenwriters to work on it–Inside Out scribe Meg LeFauve and Guardians of the Galaxy writer Nicole Perlman. The Hollywood Reporter states that each writer came in with their own treatment for the film and Marvel like them both. Instead of choosing one or the other, Marvel asked the writers to work together to mesh their two versions into one film.

Captain Marvel is set to open on November 2, 2018.

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Olivia Munn Cast As Psylocke In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Posted on 13 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

Olivia Munn-mortecaiWhile a good number of people might know her as the woman who sexily ate hot dogs suspended from the ceiling or jumped into a huge pie crust filled with chocolate pudding while wearing a maid’s outfit, Olivia Munn has carved out a serious acting career since she left Attack of the Show. That career has led her to stepping into the spandex of one of the most popular X-Men in X-Men: Apocalypse. Munn has been cast as Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke, the telepathic ninja mutant co-created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe.

Telepathic ninja mutant? Yes. And that description only scratches the surface of the complex origins of the character.

Psylocke_comic versionClaremont and Trimpe created Braddock to be a supporting character in the Marvek UK comic, Captain Britain, writing her into continuity as the twin sister of the titular hero.

Claremont introduced Betsy to American audiences in New Mutants Annual #2, and soon made her part of the X-Men. But her popularity didn’t really take off until a storyline where here consciousness was swapped into the body of a Japanese assassin named Kwannon. The new status quo, aided by characterization added by Claremont, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri and others, made her one of the breakthrough characters to come out of the mutant books in the 1990s.

At the height of her popularity, Psylocke’s main power was telepathy, which showed itself in the form of a “psychic blade” that extended from the back of her fist. Her new body gifted her with the skills and talents of the ninja, and she eventually gained the power to teleport amongst the shadows.

uxm 509If you had a hard time understanding all of that, don’t worry. It’s dubious little, if any, of that backstory will make it into the films.

This will mark the second appearance of Psylocke in Fox’s X-Franchise. The character, portrayed by Meiling Melancon,  appeared as one of the cadre of mutants Magneto led in X-Men: The Last Stand. If you missed her in that film, it was probably the part of the film where you blinked. The lackluster showing in that film didn’t sit well with fans.

Thankfully, Bryan Singer insured that X-Men: Days of Future Past eradicated X-Men: The Last Stand from the film’s continuity line. Psylocke isn’t the only character from that film that will be reinvented in X-Men: Apocalypse. Angel, who was played by Ben Foster in the 2006 film, will return in the new film, portrayed by British actor Ben Hardy.

We don’t know exactly how big of an appearance Psylocke will be making in this film, but Olivia Munn has received some good notices for her work in The Newsroom and Magic Mike, so the role should be larger than it was in 2006. This marks the second comic book film for Munn, as she appeared in a small role in Iron Man 2.

Via: Coming Soon.

 

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Full ANT-MAN Trailer Hits The Internet

Posted on 13 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

Antman screen grabIt seems that the legions of faithful that made Marvel Studios a box office juggernaut are still reserving judgment on Ant-Man. Instead of rushing to embrace the film as they do with many of the studio’s output, they are taking a “wait and see” philosophy to the film. Well, we got to see a little more of the film, as a new, full length trailer has been released:

Personally, while the last trailer got me excited for the film, this one left me a bit cold. For me, it comes down to an issue of tone. It doesn’t seem from the clip that Peyton Reed has struck the right balance between the humor and the rest of the film. I recognized the jokes when I saw them, but I didn’t really find them funny in context. And I am already sick of the “I didn’t pick the name” bit and its only been used in two trailers.

But I am a cynical old man. Your mileage may vary. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Lord And Miller Confirmed To Write THE FLASH Treatment

Posted on 10 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

FlashOn Monday, we reported that the superstar writing/directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller was sought after by Warner Brothers to helm its big screen adaptation of The Flash. The rumor got a little more meat on Thursday as Deadline reported that the duo was tapped by the studio to write the treatment for the film.

Now, mind you, this is just a treatment. It’s not even a script. So it could be the first step to them directing the film, or it could be the only involvement from them for the film. Time will tell.

Lord and Miller are on a pretty good run at the box office, and everything the touch seems to turn to gold. However, their treatment would have to be very good to separate it from the CW’s The Flash, which is on its way to becoming the network’s highest rated show of all time and keeps getting better every week, quality wise.

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Will Ernie Hudson Play T’Chaka In BLACK PANTHER?

Posted on 08 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

ErnieHudsonWWPIt’s time for my least favorite pastime: what rumor is El Mayimbe spreading today. The often-wrong head honcho of Latino Review has scoop that says Ernie Hudson is circling the role of T’Chaka in Black Panther. El Mayimbe’s proof? Hudson has been hitting the gym and picking up back issues of Marvel Comic’s Black Panther featuring the character.

El Mayimbe doesn’t reveal his source, perish the thought, but if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Hudson’s agent. This story has the feel of that classic Hollywood chestnut of an actor’s representative planting a story about a studio looking at their client in order to drum up interest from said studio.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Hudson as an actor. But his career is firmly in the B-Movie/TV guest appearance mode, not the type of star Marvel typically leans to for roles like this. Granted, T’Chaka, who is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda and father to T’Challa, the titular Black Panther, isn’t a big role, but it is a pivotal one. Judging from Marvel’s casting history, it’s likely they would consider an actor with a higher profile and perhaps a better resume than Hudson.

Another thing to consider is that as of yet no director has been announced for the film. Unless T’Chaka is going to appear in another film before he appears in Black Panther, I’d expect a director be picked first before any supporting character.

However, I do believe in doing due diligence, so I contacted one of my go-to sources, one that always guides me down a truthful path, and one that is as reliable, if not more so, than any of El Mayimbe’s sources. I contacted “Ask the Eight Ball.” It said “My Sources Say No” when asked if Hudson was up for a role in Black Panther. So, there you have it.

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Is This How SUICIDE SQUAD Will Tie Into Warner’s DC Comics Cinematic Universe?

Posted on 17 March 2015 by William Gatevackes

batman-vs-superman-ben-affleck-batmobile

So, I don’t often pay attention to rumors coming out of El Mayimbe’s mouth because if rumor mongering was baseball, El Mayimbe’s batting average would be way below the Mendoza Line (for those of you who aren’t baseball literate, that means waaaaaaaayyyyyy more misses than hits). But this one is being taken for granted as the truth in more accurate media outlets (like Collider) so we decided to cover it here.

This is what El Mayimbe, a.k.a. Umberto Gonzalez, posted on Instagram yesterday. WARNING! There might be potential spoilers ahead about the Suicide Squad film.

Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? I mean, Affleck signed a multi-picture deal to play Batman, so you might as well fit him in wherever you can! And Batman is such a cool character that he should be on screen at all times and when he’s not, like here, the other characters should talk about him.

But, as is the norm for El Mayimbe rumors, there flaws in logic that spring from this information. Like:

  • Batman as boogeyman/urban legend: This sounds good on paper. It really does. But it doesn’t hold up in practice, especially with the Batman we are getting. This is a Batman who has been around the block a few times. He’s had to bust a lot of criminals. Then, deliver said criminals to the police. The fact that he is real has to have gotten around.
  • The government hates Batman, but is willing to work with him, but why?: Granted, the government has provided aid to and partnered with people and organizations that later turned out to be enemies. It’s become a habit. But wanting to partner with Batman, someone not only whose secret identity presumably they don’t know but who might not even exist just doesn’t make sense. As for the reason?
  • Batman as the key to tracking down all the supers: This is vaguer than it seems. Track them down how? Find out their identities? Where they live? Is Batman such a great detective that he’s better that the FBI as a whole? Take them down if need be? And how? Even though Batman has been around from between 10 to 20 years, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest seem to be just making their presence known now. Does the government want him to find the “supers” before they become known?
  • Joker is the only person who has met or known him: I saved this for last because it makes the lease amount of sense. I mean, even if the government was stupid enough to think that Batman’s psychotic nemesis was the best source of information on him, having Joker be the only person to know or meet him throws a LOT of the Batman mythos out the window. Every other member of the rogues gallery, who would know Batman as well as the Joker? Gone. (And who was Batman fighting all these years? Mobsters? Theives? Jaywalkers?) The Batman Family (Batgirl, Nightwing, etc)? Gone. (And since rumor has it that Batman had one Robin die on him and one currently on the payroll, this doesn’t seem likely). Anybody on the GCPD who might have had a relationship with Batman? Gone. (And, yes, Gordon is supposed to be deceased in this version, but, still. Someone had to collect the perps. Also, this means no Bat Signal either.) Love interests? Gone. If Joker is the best possible source of info on Batman, Batman has changed to such a degree that it is not even recognizable.

A lot of sites are taking the rumor as gospel without doing due diligence. But there are a lot of things that don’t makes sense. Yes, Warners track record with DC properties means that this rumor is still plausible. But I have my doubts.

 

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Jack Huston Cast As THE CROW, Jessica Brown Findlay As Shelley

Posted on 16 March 2015 by William Gatevackes

CrowHeader

With comic book films setting records at the box office and remakes being all the rage, it was no surprise that Alex Proyas’ 1994 The Crow would be remade. Where the surprise came in is how hard it was for the remake to actually get done. The film has been in development since 2008, has had no less than three directors and six actors attached to the project, but no positive momentum on the film. However, all of that might have changed.

James O’Barr, creator of The Crow comic book and consultant on the film, was at the Lexington Comic and Toy Convention this past weekend. On Saturday, he hosted a Crow Q&A session, and he gave the crowd some scoop.

8289O’Barr stated that Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston has been cast as the lead, Eric Draven. If this is true, then Jack Huston follows in the steps of Bradley Cooper and Luke Evans, both who where linked to the role but left after production delays caused conflicts with other films. Both have gone on to greater success after leaving the project, Cooper to Oscar Nomination glory and Evans to genre film stardom, so Huston has that to look forward to if all of this does not pan out.

This is not the first dance Huston has had with comic book movie stardom. He signed a test deal with Marvel back in 2012 for Guardians of the Galaxy, supposedly testing for the role of Peter Quill. The role eventually went to Chris Pratt.

pdc_jessicabrownfindlay3The Crow creator also said that Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay has been cast as Draven’s true love, Shelley. Brown Findlay left the popular British drama in 2012, attempting to strike out in a film career. She has appeared in last year’s Winter’s Tale and Lullaby.

O’Barr also said the the film will skew closer to the comic than the 1994 original and the special effects will be done in a more conventional fashion rather than in CGI. He also said that the film will be shot at Pinewood Studios in Wales and in Belgium starting this Spring. The film shooting at Pinewood Studios location was later confirmed Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones. This location is convenient as Hutson is Welsh and Brown Findlay British.

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Sony Cancels Genndy Tartakovsky’s POPEYE Film

Posted on 13 March 2015 by Rich Drees

TartakovskyPopeye

Sony has put its plans for a CGI Popeye move from animation director Genndy Tartakovsky into dry-dock.

The Hotel Transylvania director has told Moviefone that the studio has decided not to be going forward with the project he had been developing starring the iconic animated, pipe-chomping sailor.

Popeye, at least, we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don’t know if they want to make the Popeye that I want to make. So they’ve got to make a decision…It was hard to let Popeye go, but that’s the business.

The changes that Tartakovsky is referring to range from the recent departures of Sony studio head Amu Pascal and Sony Pictures Digital Productions president Bob Osher as well as former DreamWorks producer Kristine Belson being brought in as the new president of Sony Pictures Animation.

And here is where we run into a rather sad and ongoing problem in Hollywood, brought about by the egos and politics that come into play when studio’s undergo personnel changes in the executive suites. When there are changes in a studio’s leadership, the incoming executives will sometimes kill their previous office inhabitant’s pet projects lest they become big successes and embarrass the studio for having fired the person who instigated them. It’s a shame because, as you can see from the test reel below, Tartakovsky was developing something that looked interesting and fun, which is the standard we’ve come to expect from his work. And from his introduction, it was something he felt personally involved with.

While I wouldn’t be surprised though if Sony were to set a new creative team to work on Popeye, I doubt that they will bring the same passion to the film that Tartakovsky would have.

Meanwhile, Tartakovsky is finishing up work on Hotel Transylvania 2, due in theaters this September 25, and will now be concentrating more on the previously announced original project Can You Imagine?.

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