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Chris Pine Is Steve Trevor In WONDER WOMAN

Posted on 28 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

chris-pineFirst, he was rumored to be playing Steve Trevor. Then he was rumored to be playing a Green Lantern. Now we finally find out which rumor was true.

The Wrap is reporting that Chris Pine has “closed a deal” to join 2017’s Wonder Woman, playing Steve Trevor, the title character’s love interest.

The site says that the Green Lantern rumor was just a smokescreen to throw the rumormongers off the trail of Pine true DC role. This is a bit wacky, because it should be the opposite–that the Trevor role was a smokescreen to throw Pine becoming the next Green Lantern. Because, in my opinion, unless Steve Trevor is taking on a Nick Fury-esque role in the DC Comics film universe, Green Lantern would be the more prestigious role.

Patty Jenkins is directing Wonder Woman, from a Jason Fuchs script. It is scheduled to hit theaters on June 23, 2017.

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SDCC 2015: SUICIDE SQUAD Trailer Hits Web In HD

Posted on 13 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

Joker close upOh, what a difference a day makes.

This was Warner Brothers yesterday on the leaked Suicide Squad trailer:

We have no plans currently to release the Suicide Squad footage that leaked from Hall H on Saturday. It’s unfortunate and ultimately damaging that one individual broke a long-standing trust we have enjoyed with our fans at the convention by posting early material, which, at this point, was not intended for a wider audience. We are still in production on Suicide Squad, and will have a big campaign launch in the future. Our presentation yesterday was designed to be experienced in that room, on those big screens!

And this is Warner Brothers today:

I have to say something on the Warners’ statement. I think it’s is completely naive to think that the special trailer would not be released to the public. After all, paparazzi images from the set have already hit the Internet, and it was such an issue that David Ayer made a tongue in cheek reference to it while announcing clip to the Hall H audience. If still images were important enough to be released to the public to a massive amount of attention, what makes them think fans would honor a one-way “long-standing trust” and keep the moving pictures secret.

It’s just the nature of the beast. We live in a generation where almost everyone has a HD movie camera with an Internet connection in their pockets at all times and a generation where everyone wants to be “first” in breaking what they consider news. If your entire marketing plan is thrown into a tizzy because you failed to take this into consideration, the fault lies squarely on you, not the fans. This is the case of not blaming the scorpion for stinging you.

And if the studios take the passive aggressive move of not showing these special presentations in their panels anymore, good. That will eventually mean more tickets will be available to the convention and it will be easier to get a seat in Hall H.

Besides, what this all boils down to is more promotion for the film. The only problem studios should have is if the sizzle reel brings the wrong kind of sizzle. Speaking of which, let’s talk about the that trailer, shall we?.

Suicide Squad line-upFirst of all, let’s preface this by saying these are some snap judgements based on the disjointed scenes Ayer threw together to make the pseudotrailer. What we think we see here might not be what we actually get in the final film.

That being said, there’s a lot not to like in the trailer. Granted, the concept lends it self to the “let’s dial the brightness on every frame down to 2″ philosophy Warners has towards their DC films. But the opening scene has an air of absurdity that lends itself to more of a “lighter” action film in the mold of Commando or even The Dirty Dozen. Doesn’t look like we will be getting that one.

Another foible for me is that Deadshot is one of DC’s better characters. He is a man who kills for a living by choice, but still cares for his family and friends. The Will Smith Deadshot seems to be someone who is forced to kill people to support his family, if I read a lot into the scenes he is in above. That is a big difference and makes for a less appealing character.

But that’s nothing compared to what has been done to the Joker. The Joker is one of the most iconic characters in comics books, who has morphed over the years to keep up with the times. And Warners has now made him into a generic psychopath. The Joker scenes got a good response from the crowd, but for me, it left me yawning.

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Posted on 11 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

Batman Landing on SupermanIf you were hoping for the full Justice League line up or confirmation that Ben Affleck would be directing Batman, you were out of luck at today’s Warner’s panel at San Diego Comic Con (They did announce a Green Lantern Corps film). . What we did get from the presentation was the first official trailer. And it was…promising.

Here it is for your perusal:

First off, it’s still too dark. I mean, even with the Christ motif, it’s still dank and dark. But it does well in setting up the conflict between the two (and making sure we know its a two-way conflict: Batman doesn’t like Superman, Superman doesn’t like Batman). And the limited glimpse we get of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is enough to make this fanboy squee. My optimism has been upgraded from barely optimistic to cautiously optimistic.

What did you think?

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Affleck To Star, Direct And Co-Write BATMAN Film

Posted on 10 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

BenAffleckDirectorBatman has been a consistent cash cow for Warner Brothers, so it seemed very unusual for the studio to not have included a Batman film in the long list of DC Comics films it put out last year. But it looks like we will be getting a Batman film, once new Batman Ben Affleck’s schedule clears up a bit.

Deadline is reporting that Affleck will be co-writing a Batman feature with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Affleck will also direct and, naturally, star in the film as well.

Johns is no stranger to Hollywood. He got his start in film as Richard Donner’s assistant before becoming a superstar comic book writer, making for the most circuitous route any assistant ever took to become a screenwriter.

Don’t expect a Batman film too soon. Affleck has to direct and star in the long-delayed Live By Night, based on the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name. That film is scheduled to start shooting in November, aiming for an October 2016 release date. Affleck is also involved in 2017’s Justice League, so the soonest industry analysts think Batman will hit theaters is 2018.

We’ll see if this is all true on Saturday at Warners’ SDCC panel.

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Marisa Tomei Is SPIDER-MAN’S Latest Aunt May

Posted on 08 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

marisa-tomei-picture-2It’s not often you hear people complaining that a three-time Oscar nominee, one-time winner has been cast in a role, and its even rarer that an actress is criticized for being too young for a part, but that is what’s happening here.

Variety is claiming sources that say that Marisa Tomei has been cast as Aunt May in the joint Sony/Marvel reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. She follows Rosemary Harris and Sally Field in the role.

What is causing a bit of a brouhaha is that Aunt May is portrayed in the comics as a frail, weak octogenarian who ran the risk of getting a heart attack if the wind blew on her too hard. Even modern comic book revamps of the character cast her in the feisty grandma role. Harris, who was 74 when she took the role fit right in. Even Field, who was 65 when she appear in the last reboot, was close enough for the fans to stay quiet. Tomei is a rather spry and fit 50-year-old who could pass for being in her 30s. This is too much for some fans to take.

Me? I like the choice. I always had a problem with a teenage Peter Parker having an aunt who was in her 70s, if not her 80s. The age gap between her and Peter’s parents in the comics was too big for my liking. However, having a 50-year-old aunt seem way more plausible.

Besides that, Tomei is an Academy Award-winning actress who has range. She won the Oscar for her work in a comedy (My Cousin Vinny) and her next two nominations were for dramas (In the Bedroom and The Wrestler). I’m 100% positive that she has what it takes to make a memorable performance as the character.

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Vertigo Comics films Move From Warners to New Line

Posted on 29 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

vertigo-comics-logoWhen Warner Brothers announced its slate of comic book films last year with no mention of the previously announced Sandman film, fans of the Neil Gaiman creation got worried the film might have been cancelled. Turns out it might be even worse than that.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Brothers is delegating any and all films based on DC Entertainment’s Vertigo line to it’s New Line Cinema arm. The reason given by Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. is that Warners has its hands tied trying to bring a shared universe together with the DC Comics films, and letting the Vertigo films become part of New Line’s 4 to 8 films a year means that there are a better chance of those films being developed and getting made.

New Line Cinema was founded by Robert Shaye in 1967. It built itself up by releasing the films of John Waters and re-releasing films such as Reefer MadnessThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead. These films established New Line’s identity as the studio that brought you quirky indie fare (MetropolitanRambling RoseState and MainHedwig and the Angry Inch, Boogie Nights and About Schmidt), low-budget horror (Nightmare on Elm Street series, Final Destination series, Critters, and Snakes on the Plane), before diversifying into comedies (Austin Powers series, The Wedding Singer, Wedding Crashers, and Semi-Pro) and Urban market films (House Party, Rush Hour and Friday series’, Love and Basketball, and Set It Off). New Line merged with Warner Brothers in 2008.

The studio is no stranger to films based on comic books, it was home to the Blade trilogy, The Mask, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Spawn and A History of Violence.  However, most of its non-sequel films only have budgets of less than $50 million dollars, and the ones that go above that mark don’t usually make their money back (see Town & Country, Son of the Mask, and The Golden Compass).   So, if you were hoping that we’d actually see enough money spent to do Sandman right, it might not work out that way for you.

As for what the film slate will entail, in addition to Sandman, which has Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached as at least writer/director, there is the long-rumored Guillermo del Toro helmed Justice League Dark film (which features many former Vertigo characters in the cast), a Fables film that added Jane Goldman as a screenwriter in January of this year, and a 100 Bullets film that has been in development for a while.

Odds are we may be hearing more about this in a week when the San Diego Comic Con opens.

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Marvel Studios Sitting Out San Diego Comic Con This Year

Posted on 20 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

MarvelStudiosLogoIf you took July 8th to the 12 off of work in the hopes of keeping FilmBuffOnline up and refreshed constantly to see what Marvel Studios news would be coming out of San Diego Comic Con, you can tell your boss that you’ll be able to come in. For the first time since 2011, Marvel Studios will not have a panel at SDCC.

Also, if you wanted to find out what was up with the new Ghostbusters reboot or what the future of the Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises held, you can head in to work too. Sony and Paramount have joined Marvel in choosing not to have a Hall H presentations.

Once though the sure fire road to box office gold, the luster of a Hall H presentation wore off after films such as Doom, The Spirit, I, Frankenstein, The Giver and many other high-budgeted films had disappointing returns from the costly SDCC investment.

However, Marvel Studios was a juggernaut with hit after hit and a line of films custom made for the SDCC audience. Of course, you can also argue that Marvel’s cinematic success had little to do with its SDCC presence, but the SDCC promotion didn’t hurt.

Marvel’s exodus was foreshadowed by last year’s rather lackluster presentation. The studio saved its announcement of its Phase III slate for an October presentation at the Disney-owned El Capitan theater in Los Angeles, leaving the Hall H presentation to promote its 2015 slate. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn let the cat out of the bag in March of this year that Marvel would not be at SDCC, but fans refused to believe him.

Variety seems to think that instead of making the costly trip to San Diego, that Disney will promote its Marvel fare–in addition to its forthcoming Pirates of the Carribean and Finding Nemo sequels–at its company run D23 Expo in Anaheim in August. Disney will be promoting Star Wars at SDCC and its Marvel TV arm as well.

Marvel Studios’ absence is a gain for Warner Brothers, which will be promoting its DC Comics film slate at the con, and Fox, which will be hyping its Fantastic Four reboot and its X-Men franchise there as well. Both studios have less competition for server space at the movie news sites with Marvel not being there.

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Sony And Marvel At Odds At SPIDER-MAN Casting?

Posted on 12 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

Spidey apartIf you thought Sony was just going to get out of the way and let Marvel do what they do best with the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, you’d be sadly mistaken.

According to Jeff Sneider, co-host of the Meet the Movie Press podcast, the studio that managed the screw up two Spider-Man franchises is butting heads with the studio has done no wrong with their film slate to date over who will be the new Spider-Man.

The field is down to three contenders, the previously mentioned Tom Holland, veritable unknown Matt Lintz, and Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Plummer. Conspicuous in his absence is Asa Butterfield, who Latino Review stated was in final negotiations for the role. I know, I know. A Latino Review rumor that is probably wrong? It seems hard to believe.

Sneider says that even though Lintz is still in contention, it really is a two horse race between Holland, who Sony wants, and Plummer, who Marvel is behind.

While a casting announcement was rumored to hit last week, this latest back and forth not only delays the announcement, but would possible delay shooting on Captain America: Civil War. Sources say Marvel was bringing potential actors to that film’s Atlanta set to audition with the hopes of immediately having the actor start shooting the character’s scenes in film. Now, it looks like the Spider-Man scenes will be delayed to at least July while the casting mess gets straightened out.

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Will CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Present Us With A New Hulk?

Posted on 02 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

Red_Hulk_This is how you can give a rumor legitimacy.

  • March 19, 2015: Bleeding Cool mentions that the Hulk will be in Captain America: Civil War in a set of rumors that are immediately discounted.
  • June 1, 2015: The website named We Are Wakanda states its sources tell them the film will indeed feature a Hulk, but it will be a new Hulk taken from the comics, not the Mark Ruffalo one that Bleeding Cool claimed.
  • Also June 1, 2005: MCU Exchange takes the We Are Wakanda rumor and runs with it. The look at all the possible Hulks from the comics to determine which one’s alter ego has already been adapted into MCU continuity. The Red Hulk (seen to the left) whose alter ego, General Thunderbolt Ross, is already part of the Marvel films and the most recent man who brought him to life on the screen, William Hurt, is already part of the Captain America: Civil War cast seems like the most likely candidate.
    MCU Exchange throws their theory out to their sources. There sources come back and state that not only will Hurt be hulking out as the Red Hulk, but that the green Hulk will be back to face off against him in a fight that will make the Hulk/Iron Man fight from Avengers: Age of Ultron look like a slap fight.

So there you have it. You have three websites with three presumably different sources stating that at the very least a Hulk will be in the film, but most likely it will be the Red Hulk.

While General Ross has been a supporting character in the comics for year, his Red Hulk persona only came in existence in 2008. Created after Ross was bombarded with Gamma and Cosmic Rays, Red Hulk has all the powers of the Hulk plus the ability to absorb energy and generate high levels of heat from his body.

If this is true, the question is: where does he fit into the narrative. The film is looking to be crowded the way it is. I do have an idea. It has been revealed that there is an inciting incident that makes lawmakers want to register superpowered individuals. In the comic books, it’s a fight with a villain with nuclear powers who destroys Stamford, Connecticut. A no-holds barred fight between a pair of Hulks could also destroy a city.

We shall see.

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Documentary On George Miller’s Aborted JUSTICE LEAGUE Proposed

Posted on 02 June 2015 by William Gatevackes

JL Cast and Crew 2With George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road becoming one of the most talked about films of the summer and documentaries such as Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four and  The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? in the pipeline, it would only be a matter of time before someone started planning a documentary on Miller’s aborted Justice League film. Director Ryan Unicomb and producers Aaron Cater and Steven Caldwell are those someones, and the Australians are going on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media to drum up support for the project.

JL proposed castMartian Manhunter sculptTitled Miller’s Justice League: Mortal, the documentary will cover the 2007 attempt by the director to bring the Justice League to the screen. The film was completely cast–Adam Brody as The Flash, Armie Hammer as Batman, Common as the John Stewart incarnation of Green Lantern, DJ Cotrona as Superman, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Zoe Kazan as Iris Allen, Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord, Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, and Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter (the last two appear in Mad Max: Fury Road, by the way). Most of the cast and crew can be seeing in the photo on the top of the page, and each actor paired with the character they were to play is seen above (Images taken from the projects social media pages).

The plot would have been a combination of the “Tower of Babel” story line that ran in JLA, the “Sacrifice” arc that ran in the Superman and Wonder Woman books,with elements of Infinite Crisis and Crisis on Infinite Earths thrown in for good measure. The film would have been big, and ambitious, and even though I didn’t like the stories the screenplay was based on, it now seems to be miles better than what Warners is doing with the project today.


Aquaman production artThe film got to the point that the cast met in Australia–where the main shooting would be done–for a table read, costume fittings were being done and set construction had started. The film was supposed to hit theaters in 2009, but the plug was pulled on the project at the last minute. There have been anumber of theories of why the rug was pulled out from underneath the film, ranging from the Writer’s Strike of 2007, laws benefiting filmmakers in Australia changing, to Warners not wanting a duplicate version of Superman and Batman apart from the ones appearing on Smallville and the Nolan films.

Unicomb, Cater and Caldwell have stated that the film would not delve too much into the reason why Miller’s Justice League was shelved, but rather celebrate the director’s vision for the project and examine what the film would have done for the film industry in Australia.

The trio are hoping the interest the social media campaign stirs up will be enough to convince Miller and the rest of the principals to lend their support to the project. As it stands, the team has gotten its hands on a number of images from the pre-production stage of the cancelled film, all of which are on display here. The team promises there is more to come if their documentary project comes to fruition.

Wonder Woman production art.Typically, these kind of things come with a Kickstarter or a GoFundMe attached to it, but the group is seeking independent funding first. Some investors are reportedly already lined up, but they might be aided by a crowd sourcing measure in the future.

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