Archive | Comics And Film

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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.

justiceleague-wonderwoman-conceptart2-frontpage

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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Tilda Swinton In Talks For Pivotal DOCTOR STRANGE Role

Posted on 27 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

tilda swintonIt’s not often that casting an Academy Awards winner might raise the ire of comic fans, but that might be what happens if Tilda Swinton signs on for Doctor Strange.

The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Swinton is in talks to join Benedict Cumberbatch in the film in the role of the Ancient One, the Tibetan mystic that teaches Stephen Strange in the ways of the mystic arts. The character is portrayed in the comics as a old, Asian man, exemplified in the artwork below:

Ancient One Swinton is neither ancient, Asian nor male, so this casting might cause comic fans, notorious for not receiving any change from the comics well (see the files Jordan, Michael B; Storm, Johnny; and Four, Fantastic), to begin protesting. However, Swinton seems to be very genre friendly. Arguably her biggest role was in The Chronicles of Narnia series, and if she signs on here, it would mark her third comic book film (after Constantine and Snowpiercer). And to add a deeper level of geekiness, one of her ex-husbands shared his name with a legendary comic book writer and artist–John Byrne.

In addition, she is a great actress who would bring a lot to the role. If she does sign on, the film would automatically become 2000% better, even if she isn’t gender or nationality appropriate.

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LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN Is Heading Towards A Reboot

Posted on 27 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

League-Of-Extraordinary-GentlemenIt’s been a while since Hollywood has ticked off Alan Moore, so I guess this was overdue.

Variety is running with a story that first appeared on The Tracking Board stating the Fox has entered development on a reboot of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Based on a series of graphic novels by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil, the concept has been adapted to the big screen in 2003 and into a TV pilot in 2013 that went nowhere.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film is a regular visitor to the “worst comic book films” list. Tales of battles between director Steven Norrington and the studio and Norrington and star Sean Connery (whose retirement from acting is blamed on his troubles on the film) are legendary. However, the film did make a profit and if it wasn’t for these squabbles, it might be a franchise running to this day.

LeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemenThat film made a number of changes to the original text, so much so that it bore little resemblance to the comics. The characters of Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer were added, the villain’s motivations changed completely, and The Invisible Man became a invisible man. The reboot promises to be a return to the original text, which was a veritable encyclopedia of Victoriana and homage to British literature through the ages. They are in the enviable position of being able to present something both recognizable and completely brand new, and since Moore and O’Neil’s series has three volumes spanning over 100 years, with a successful spin-off based on Captain Nemo to boot, this is a ready-made expanded universe in the making.

Of course, that is, if they have a right to the later volumes, all of which came out after the film. The success of the film garnered a lawsuit which Moore became embroiled. The lack of support he got from Fox during the suit and a war with LOEG producer Don Murphy marked the start of Moore’s disenfranchisement with Hollywood. John Davis is listed as the producer on the reboot, but I was surprised that Fox still retained rights to the property at all. It will be interesting to see if the rights Moore and O’Neil signed over include the latter volumes of the series, because I can’t see Moore giving them the rights under any other circumstances.

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Phil Lord Confirms What We Already Knew About THE FLASH

Posted on 19 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

The-FlashIn this days where comic book films are immensely popular and rumors about them fly fast and furious,when real facts come out about them, it’s easy to over look.

Phil Lord spoke with the Hippojuice Podcast and talked about a number of things–23 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, the animated Spider-Man film he’d be making. But he took a fair amount of time talking about his involvement in Warner Brothers’ The Flash film. What he said seemed like scoop, but in reality confirmed rumors that were already circling the project.

Obviously, the first is his and Chris Miller’s involvement in the project. Next he has confirmed that Ezra Miller is cast in the lead role, and the lead role will be that of Barry Allen. Miller’s casting was announced when the film was announced and it was generally assumed that Barry Allen would be the Flash they used.

For those of you holding out hope that the film will still be able to tie in to the very popular CW TV series of the same name, this bit of information might put a stake in that dream. Well, Lord was more than happy to put five more stakes in the body and then set it on fire:

We’re trying to break a story. It’s interesting, because there’s a really popular TV show out there, and we’re trying to carve out space for the movie that’s apart from that. I think we’re doing alright. … I believe [our Flash] is going to be Barry Allen. … It’s going to be it’s own [thing, apart from the TV show] — we’re more trying to stick with the cinematic universe… it really is its own thing, and kind of a stand-alone movie. We’re just trying to think of the best story. I think you guys will like it, it’s kind of a different take on superhero stuff.

All I can say to him is, good luck. CW’s The Flash is the second highest rated show in the history of the network and is one of the best shows on TV now. It seems to have captured the perfect interpretation of Barry Allen and the Flash, meaning Lord and Miller have their work cut out for them in creating something just as good yet substantially different with the character. Listen, I know that the film has been in the works much longer than the TV show and Warners had no idea the response for the show would be as good as it has been. But having both a TV series and a film with different versions of the character might blow up in their faces.

/Film seems to think that the “stand-alone film” comment means that it won’t tie in with any other DC movie, when Lord says it will in the very same sentence. I’d expect Miller’s Barry Allen will appear on the big screen far before it appears in his own movie in 2018.

Here is the podcast, in case you wish to peruse it yourself:

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Is Asa Butterfield Your Next SPIDER-MAN?

Posted on 14 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

asaWell, he was the person with the most experience on the shortlist.

Latino Review is reporting that British actor Asa Butterfield is in final negotiations with Marvel to take over the role of Peter Parker in Marvel’s and Sony’s reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. The site says that it is all down to formalities now and an official announcement should be coming soon.

Butterfield is 18 but looks 12, so he should have a long career as the web-slinger, just as long as everyone involved doesn’t decide to reboot the franchise again. At the very least, they should get two or three films with him in high school before he ages out of the role.

Latino Review also states that Butterfield will make his first appearance as the character, as rumored, in Captain America: Civil War. That film has started production, so if that is true, he’ll probably have to head to the set immediately after he signs his contract.

 

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Josh Boone To Direct X-MEN Spinoff NEW MUTANTS

Posted on 13 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

NewMutantsFox’s X-Men shared universe is going to get a little bigger as a long in development mutant property has come one step closer to reality.

The Hollywood Reporter tells us that The Fault In Our Stars director Josh Boone has been hired to direct Fox’s New Mutants adaptation.

The New Mutants were created in 1982 as sort of a way for Marvel to return the mutant franchise back to their roots. Much like the original team that first appeared twenty years prior, this batch of students were teenagers whose powers just developed and needed training in how to use them. However, this time the students were from all over the world, adding an international flavor reminiscent of the “All-New, All-Different” X-Men of the 1970s.

The series and team went through several tonal shifts over its history, from the more esoteric stories of the Bill Sienkiewicz era to the militaristic leanings of the Rob Liefeld era. It is not known which era Fox will pull the team from, or which member it will contain as of yet.

 

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