Archive | Comics And Film

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Benedict Cumberbatch IS DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 04 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

BenedictCumberbatchHe was one of the first of many, many names entered into the running for the role, and it turns out that he was the last as well.

Marvel.com has just confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch has officially signed on to play the title role in 2016’s Doctor Strange, ending months of casting rumors that had just about every male actor of a certain age being considered for the role.

Cumberbatch was first rumored to be up for the role back in June, which he quickly squashed during San Diego Comic Con in July, stating work conflicts that might keep him from the role. His name came back into contention in late-October and stayed there until today. In between, actors such as  Tom Hardy, Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac were rumored to be in the running.

“Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity,” said Producer Kevin Feige in the press release. “In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character.”

I agree with Mr. Feige. Cumberbatch is good at playing haughty characters that the audience can’t help but feel for. And if the film Stephen Strange hews at all close to the comic book version, he’ll rock as the character.

Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay. It is set to arrive in theaters on November 4, 2016.

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Will Smith, Jared Leto, Tom Hardy Officially Headlining SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 02 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

SuicideSquadCast

Okay, let’s call this a win in the DC/Warners category.Whereas Marvel Studios picks reclamation projects, up-and-comers, and off-genre actors to be the leads in their films, Warners is going to the A-List for the cast of their first mostly non-Batman, mostly non-Superman entry into their newly christened shared universe.

Variety is reporting that Warner Brothers’ upcoming adaptation of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad, which is set to begin production in April, has cast a number of its actors. And the list is full of recent Oscar winners and worldwide box office draws.

Jared Leto, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne have been cast as, respectively, the Joker, Deadshot, Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress in the super-villain team-up.

One look at the character line-up and comic fans can tell that the film will be based on the last 30 years of the concept from the comics, where super-villains are consigned into service to the government to go on suicide missions for them. If they survive, they get pardoned. If they try to escape before the job is done, they are maimed if not killed.

It is also clear that the film will not follow too closely any particular storyline. Rick Flagg has been involved in every installment of the team, but Harley Quinn has only been part of the most recent version and, to my knowledge, the Joker was never part of the team at all, or if he was, not for very long.

Another thing that is known is that Warners is not fooling around with their comic book movie slate. Will Smith is coming off the disappointing After Earth, but he is still one of the biggest box office draws in Hollywood, and his films always score well overseas. Add to that newly-minted Oscar-winner Jared Leto, a Tom Hardy that is on the cusp of superstardom, two young actors in Margaret Robbie and Jai Courtney who have started making names for themselves in high profile projects, and the relative unknown Cara Delevigne, you might have one of the best casts ever in a comic book film.

Warners has yet to cast the team’s government liaison, Amanda Waller yet. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey are on the shortlist, with Winfrey supposedly being the studio’s favorite. It seems highly unlikely that Warners would be able to woo Winfrey for this role, but if they do, I hope they add in a line of dialogue that states “You get an explosive bracelet! And you get an explosive bracelet! And you get and an explosive bracelet! And you!”

Of course, Waller has already appeared on the big screen before, played by Angela Bassett in Green Lantern. This is probably a pretty good sign that Warners is going to pretend that film never existed. Amanda Waller has also appeared in Smallville and Arrow, as has Deadshot and Captain Boomerang is set to appear in Arrow and The Flash. None of the above cast has appeared in these shows as these characters, so this is another sign that Warners’ DC TV and Film universes are to be considered separate. I hope they consider the two media separate universes and have a crossover between the two. Until then, I wait to hear what Steven Amell has to say.

Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.

 

 

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Adds Daniel Bruhl, May Also Appear In DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 17 November 2014 by Rich Drees

Daniel-Bruhl

Daniel Bruhl, who received high critical praise for his role as Formula 1 race car driver Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush, has been cast by Marvel Studios in Captain America: Civil War.

The studio is tight-lipped about his role, but Variety is stating that their sources are telling them that Bruhl “is not the main villain in Captain America: Civil War but could potentially be the top menace in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.”

If so, that raises some interesting questions about Civil War. Specifically, what character can Bruhl be playing? While not a diehard Marvel zombie, I do have about three-and-a-half decades worth of reading their books but I am at a loss as to what character, particularly a villain, could appear in both a Captain America and a Doctor Strange film. That’s not to say that I doubt the report that Bruhl will appear in both movies. I think that Marvel withholding the name of the character he will be playing suggests that, if the Variety report is accurate, the character may be more associated with Doctor Strange and would stand out as part of a Captain America movie if revealed too soon. And with Doctor Strange being released some six months after Captain America: Civil War in 2016 it could be that Bruhl’s

We already know that Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark/Iron Man will be appearing in the film and he will be taking and adversarial role against Chris Evan’s Steve Rogers/Captain America and that superhero Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) would be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe premier before headlining his own film in 2017. And writers/directors Joe and Anthony Russo have indicated that the film would continue the story begun in this past spring’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With the addition of Bruhl in his unnamed role, Civil War is starting to look like a packed movie, with a lot on its plate to accomplish.

But I don’t think that this is going to be quite the Civil War movie that some comics fans may be hoping for. While the movie side of Marvel has looked to the comics for inspiration, more often than note the films have not been fairly literal or faithful translations of those stories, so I am not expecting it to be anything close to the 2006-2007 miniseries event.

For his part, in their press release, studio president Kevin Feige stated –

With Daniel’s ability to deliver intense, nuanced performances, we knew we had found yet another great actor to share the screen with some of our biggest heroes.

Captain America: Civil War is set to start production early next year for a May 6, 2016 release.

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DOCTOR STRANGE Shortlist Expands To Include Gyllenhaal, Isaac, McConaughey And McGregor

Posted on 15 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

doc strange candidatesI will say this, I do like pretty much all the names that have been thrown out for Doctor Strange. This latest batch is no different.

It all starts out with Badass Digest claiming from sources that Marvel is now considering Ewan McGregor for the lead role. Then ComicBookMovie chimes in to say that not only McGregor has been added to the short list that features the aforementioned Jared Leto (who they say is actively campaigning for the role) and Ethan Hawke (who has expressed interest), but also is joined by Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac to fill out the list.

I don’t have an issue with anyone on this list, as I have seen all of them  do some good work in the past. I will say that McConaughey, who has completed a career renaissance that began with Magic Mike and culminated in an Oscar win and the lead in the highly anticipated Interstellar, might be apple-pie-in-the-sky-high-hopes for Marvel at this point. I think his latest career boost has lifted him out of their price range.

However, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be McGregor. He’s my favorite actor on the list, I loved his work in a lot of films and would bring a lot to the role. And he is still within their budget.

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Warner Brother Announces Slate of DC Comics Films Through 2020, SUICIDE SQUAD, CYBORG In Line Up

Posted on 15 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

upcoming-dc-films1While Marvel is still holding what their films will be close to their vest, Warner Brothers has scored a shot across their broadside by announce their DC Comics film slate through 2020 at a shareholder meeting today. And, naturally, there are some surprises.

The line-up is as follows:

March 25, 2016: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
August 5, 2016: Suicide Squad

June 23, 2017: Wonder Woman
November 17, 2017: Justice League

March 23, 2018: The Flash
July 27, 2018: Aquaman

April 5, 2019: Shazam
June 14, 2019: Justice League 2

April 3, 2020: Cyborg
June 19, 2020: Green Lantern

I don’t know what your yardstick for success is, but Nikki Finke called four of the ten films on the list back in June, five or six if you want to give her credit for having Flash and Green Lantern get movies, even though she predicted one team-up film instead of two solo movies. One notable exclusion from her list to this one is Sandman, which was being actively developed by David Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. One has to wonder if this means the film has stalled or has been cancelled completely.

Or perhaps it will just take a lot of time to go through development. Suicide Squad has been in development since 2009 and will finally hit screens seven years later. The concept revolves around a group of superhuman criminals forced to work for a government agency carrying out suicide missions.

Another surprise entry is Cyborg, which will likely feature Ray Fisher in the lead, a young man who has most of his body replaced by weaponized mechanics after a lab explosion. This is another point in DC/Warner’s favor, as it marks the first African-American superhero to get his own solo feature film (that is if you don’t consider the supernatural horror character Blade to be a true superhero). This will beat Marvel to the punch, as they had a Black Panther film in development for years will no movement on a release.

20121010-ezra-306x-1349892097The presentation finally confirmed that Jason Momoa will be playing Aquaman and announced that actor Ezra Miller (left, known for We Need To Talk About Kevin) will be playing The Flash. This puts the final nail in the coffin of many a fans’ dream of having a crossover between DC’s film and television properties. Even though he looks younger, Miller is only 2 years younger than TV’s Flash, the remarkable similar looking Grant Gustin, so it is unlikely that he will be playing the Flash’s protege, Wally West. Personally, I think Warners is missing out on a great opportunity here, considering the DC Characters’ TV presence is far more prevalent than Marvel’s at this point, which gives them a great chance to cross pollinate their properties.

And, the way that it is represented, it looks like the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film is going to be rebooted. Good. Try not to screw the concept up again.

It appears Warner’s has learned their lesson and have given at least one week’s worth of breathing room  between any of their DC films and Marvel’s cinematic output. It’s nice to see them playing nice.

As you can see in the graphic above, Warners also announced that the Harry Potter tie-in Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them will be adapted as a trilogy, an installment coming every two years from 2016 on. We will also be getting three more Lego films. a Ninjago film in 2016, Lego Batman in 2017, and an official sequel, The Lego Movie 2, in 2018.

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AVENGERS 3: Will The Russo Brothers Be Directing It?

Posted on 14 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

russobrothers2So, it’s pretty obvious that Marvel trusts the Russo Brothers. They signed them on to Captain America 3 before Captain America: Winter Soldier even hit theaters, as savvy move considering how well that film was received by audiences and critics. But are they good enough to replace Joss Whedon on the Avengers franchise? We might just find that out in the future.

Devin Faraci over in his examination of the news Robert Downey Jr. has signed for Captain America 3 over at Badass Digest, drops the bombshell that the Russos are in negotiations to take the reigns from Whedon starting with Avengers 3 and leading the franchise at least through Avengers 4.

Since Captain America 3 will lead heavily into Avengers 3, having the Russos take over will provided a seamless tie between the two. But it seems almost sacrosanct for anyone one else besides Whedon to helm an Avengers film.

Faraci also lets us know that the Avengers after Avengers: Age of Ultron will consist of Cap, Falcon, War Machine, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Black Widow, and possibly The Vision. The team will be Cap-less as it goes into Avengers 3, as Cap doesn’t make it out of Cap 3. Since they are supposedly adapting the Civil War arc from the comics, and Captain America was killed (temporarily) at the end of that arc, one could assume that the same thing would happen here. But we all know what happens when one assumes, don’t we?

He also has a theory on how the Civil War will play out in the films:

How will Civil War play out? I know that at the end of Age of Ultron Tony Stark retires from The Avengers and possibly even from being Iron Man. He feels very responsible for what happened in that film, as the Ultron project was his brainchild. Here’s my guess for Cap 3: with that in mind, and aware of the destruction his out of control robot caused, Tony thinks that the Age of Miracles is too unregulated. With the fall of SHIELD there’s simply no one keeping tabs on everybody. That scene of Black Widow in front of the Congressional committee in The WInter Soldier was a late addition, and it speaks to this – these super beings are answering to no one. And Tony decides that’s wrong. Which brings him into direct conflict with Captain America, who is still leading a team of Avengers. I don’t think this will follow the exact outline of the comic book story, but simply take the concept and the beloved Marvel idea of heroes battling.

I have a few issues with this theory. Stark has has problems with authority in Iron Man 2 (where he didn’t want to hand over his Iron Man technology to the government) and The Avengers (where he hacked into SHIELD to get info he felt Fury was hiding from the heroes). I don’t see him spearheading a program where a government agency will act as a Big Brother for the world’s heroes. I do see him providing funding to Agent Coulson’s SHIELD, which Faraci seems to forget already keeps tabs on everybody they can afford too every Tuesday night. The team’s poor financial situation is a major plot point. I’m sure Stark would be willing to help his friend Coulson out, if and when he finds out he is alive (possibly in a heavily promoted cameo during a sweeps week.) On the other hand, Cap was adamant in Winter Soldier that SHIELD not return in any way, shape or form. To find out that the organization is back and being bank rolled by Stark, boom, instant conflict.

Of course, that is just my theory. Feel free to come up with yours.

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Could SPIDER-MAN Be Crossing Over With The Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Posted on 07 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

Avengers_Vol_1_236One of the things that made Marvel Comics so great was the sense that all the characters lived in the same world. It’s not just that they crossed over with one another, because the DC heroes did that too–Superman and Batman shared World’s Finest, the Flash would visit Green Lantern. But the with the Marvel heroes, you expected Daredevil to bump into the Thing on the street not just because they lived in the same town but because a lot of great adventures started off that way.

And this might be the reason why so many Marvel fans bemoan the fact that the film rights to Marvel’s mutant characters and Fantastic Four are with Fox and Spider-Man is at Sony. It guarantees that the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be truly be a shared cinematic universe of all of Marvel characters.

Well, never say never.

Drew McWeeny over at Hitfix buried a juicy rumor in his latest ruminations about the state of the Marvel film universe. Since I do not want to be accused of misinterpreting what he said, I’ll reprint the pertinent paragraph verbatim:

Sony, on the other hand, may be doing things the opposite way. While I can’t get the confirmations I need to verify the story, I’m hearing that there are some very cool “Spider-Man” plans being discussed that would help Sony refocus their enormously important franchise while also opening up some connections in the onscreen Marvel movie universe that would blow fandom’s minds. Will it work out? I don’t know. I would love to be able to state for sure that it’s happening. What seems clear from what I’ve heard is that Marvel wants to be able to play with all of their characters, and if they can make that work creatively and on a corporate level, they will, and that means the world gets bigger again.

It’s a vague statement, but it seem pretty clear that McWeeny is saying that Sony is discussing letting Spider-Man be used by Marvel, and perhaps some Marvel characters used in the Spideyverse.

spideyThis comes after the story that the Oscorp Tower almost made an appearance in the New York skyline of  The Avengers, which only adds an air of believability to this rumor.  Something else that make the character sharing more plausible in some eyes is the general opinion that Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise is in a stage of flux after what is seen as a disappointing showing by The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sony needs something to inject a bit of excitement into the franchise. This certainly will do the job.

While this, if this is true, is a positive first step towards a united film universe for the Marvel characters, don’t hold your breath waiting for Fox to fall in line. While the failure of the forthcoming Fantastic Four reboot might free those characters to return to Marvel proper, Fox will keep a stranglehold on the mutants as long as they keep making money for the studio. And Marvel isn’t winning any friends at Fox by prohibiting any new mutants to be created denying Fox and new characters to play with and cancelling Fantastic Four as to deprive the reboot with a form of comic book promotion.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that this is a rumor. And, according to Devin Faraci at Badass Digest, it’s only one of three possibilities Sony is thinking of for Spider-Man (the others are doing a soft reboot in The Sinister Six with a new actor as Spider-man [like THAT was why The Amazing Spider-Man  failed] or keeping Spider-Man in mothballs while they work on developing some secondary characters) so maybe we shouldn’t get our hopes up too much quite as of yet.

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IRON MAN 4 A Go

Posted on 07 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

DowneyIronManDid Robert Downey Jr just let a big cat out of the bag?

While making the rounds promoting The Judge, Downey stopped by Ellen. Naturally the topic of Iron Man 4 came up and Ellen pressed him as to whether or not another sequel would be coming. Look how Downey Jr answered.

That was a yes. Points to Ellen. She should work with law enforcement as an interrogator. She broke him with little or no effort.

Downey Jr has gone from saying there were no plans for a sequel last month to saying last week that he would definitely do it if Mel Gibson directed it. Does the fact that he confirmed that he is doing Iron Man 4 mean Mel Gibson will be directing it?

And also, what does this mean for the rumor we covered yesterday about Avengers 3 being lacking big guns? If Marvel is willing to negotiate with Downey Jr for another Iron Man, why wouldn’t they with the rest of the actors for more films as well, negating the need for the cast reshuffling the rumor says will happen.

It seems like a no-brainer that Marvel would pursue another Iron Man film. It is the studio’s most profitable franchise next to The Avengers, and there are a lot of open-ended questions that need answers from a story perspective, including what’s going with the Mandarin and how Tony will react to the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.   I guess we can start speculating on what those answers will be–and what bad guy he will be fighting–now.

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Ethan Hawke Is The Latest Name On The DOCTOR STRANGE Casting Carousel

Posted on 01 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

ethan-hawkeWhat was it that Andy Warhol said? Every middle-aged actor in Hollywood will be in the running to play Doctor Strange for 15 minutes?

Well, it’s just about time for another name to be thrown in the ring, and that name appears to be Ethan Hawke.

This Is Infamous, the website that also told us both Joaquin Phoenix and Jon Hamm were up for the role, is going all in on Hawke as Doctor Strange. They claim that Marvel has already made an offer to the actor on Friday, the actor accepted over the weekend and now it just comes down to contract negotiations. According to the site, Hawke is signing on for a six-picture deal, so expect him to pop up in other films if this casting rumor is true.

Hawke does appear to have the quality-acting-to-salary-cost that Marvel looks for. He is an Academy Award nominated actor (Best Supporting, for Training Day), yet has a remarkable number of low budget and B-movies on his resume, which lends itself to the fact that he works relatively cheap.

Another positive check mark for this rumor is the fact that Hawke played the lead in Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson’s 2012 film, Sinister, a connection that the site says played a big part in the hiring decision.

I guess time will tell if this is true, but you can say one thing, Hawke certainly looks the part.

 

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Y,THE LAST MAN Rights Officially Revert Back To Creators

Posted on 26 September 2014 by William Gatevackes

YTheLastManWhen we last checked in on the Y, The Last Man film, co-creator Brian K. Vaughan said that the film rights would revert back to him and artist Pia Guerra if the film did not go into production in a couple of months.

That was back in January, so the rights have reverted back, right?

Right.

Dan Trachtenberg, the most recent director attached to the project was asked about the progress on the film on Twitter on Wednesday. This is what he had to say:

Trachtenberg went in more detail in an interview with /Film, stating the right have been back with Vaughan and Guerra for months. The director also went into what his take on the film would be, which would be an adventure film in the mold of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Big Trouble in Little China. It’s been a while since I read the series, but from what I recall that doesn’t seem to be exactly the best tone to take for the property.

While he hints that Vaughan’s involvement with other projects might mean that a Y, The Last Man film is for all purposes dead, Trachtenberg himself expresses a wish that if the property doesn’t remain the exclusively in the comic book medium, that a television show would be the only thing that would “suffice.”

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