Archive | Comics And Film

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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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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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Production Starts On CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, Synopsis And Cast List Released

Posted on 07 May 2015 by William Gatevackes


The promotional rounds for Avengers: Age of Ultron has just finished and the cast already has to go back to work. Marvel has announced that Captain America: Civil War has started production, and if you were like me and thought Avengers: Age of Ultron had too many characters, well, Marvel seems willing to show what too many characters really looks like.

The cast list takes up three full paragraphs in the press release (well, on small paragraph, one normal sized paragraph, and one enormous paragraph). I put them here in list form, so you can see the sheer volume of characters.

  1. Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
  2. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
  3. Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
  4. Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier
  5. Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon
  6. Paul Bettany as The Vision
  7. Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye
  8. Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine
  9. Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch
  10.  Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man
  11. Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther
  12. Emily VanCamp  as Sharon Carter/Agent 13
  13. Daniel Brühl
  14. Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones
  15. William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross
  16. Martin Freeman

That’s sixteen characters of some importance in the film. That’s all the Avengers other than Hulk, Thor and Quicksilver. That’s Paul Rudd making his second appearance as Ant-Man. That’s William Hurt returning from the Marvel film time forgot, Incredible Hulk. And that’s without Spider-Man, who has yet to be cast but is supposed to be in the film. Granted, you are going to need a lot of heroes if the good guys are going to fight each other, but my main rule of comic book movies is the more characters you have, the less likely the film will be good. Avengers: Age of Ultron suffered because the time spent introducing Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Vision took away from making Ultron a more interesting character and his motivations more clear and believable.

We also get a synopsis for the film, the contents of which should come as a shock to no one.

“Captain America: Civil War” picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

This follows along with the synopsis of the comic book Civil War as much as it can, with the Avengers taking place of the New Warriors from the book. In the comic, the New Warriors mishandling of a nuclear powered villain resulted in the destruction of Stamford, Connecticut and the deaths of a lot of innocent men, women and children. Most of the New Warriors died in the blast, so it is unlikely that the same will happen here. However, it will have to be big, because the team [SPOILER ALERT] just let a major Eastern European city blow up without much repercussions.

Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. It is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2016.

Via Newsarama.

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Whedon Lists Cuts Made To AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Posted on 06 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

JossWhedonAvengersSetIt seems inconceivable that anyone would ever leave a two hour and 21 minute film and feel that something was missing. But many people walked out of Avengers: Age of Ultron feeling exactly that.

It appears that those people are exactly right. Joss Whedon spoke with Empire Magazine’s podcast and listed the cuts he made, many on the urging of Marvel, from the final film. The result is that the final product might have been a lot different, if not better, if they were included.

Since this will be really spoiler intensive, let me throw this up:


Bruce Banner rebukes Natasha earlier

The will they, won’t they flirtation between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanov is the many driving force of characterization the two had during the movie, but the inevitable answer of “won’t they” originally came a lot earlier in the film.

A lot got changed. In the bedroom scene – and this is going to be on the DVD – when we first shot it the question was answered and he rejected her. It’s some of the most beautiful stuff and I hated to cut it. But when they suggested it, the reasoning was that you shouldn’t answer the question until the end of the movie. I thought that was interesting. But it’s difficult because Scarlett [Johansson] had been playing that this happened, so we had to reshoot some stuff.

In this case, Marvel was right. Saving the final decision until the end made the final break more poignant. Now if only they explained the attraction more.

Quicksilver was originally supposed to survive

It can’t be a Joss Whedon vehicle if one of the characters doesn’t get killed off. But that’s exactly what might have happened.  We know know that Quicksilver gets shot down in the line of duty, but he made it to the end in an alternate cut of the film.

We did actually shoot him in the last scene, in an outfit, with his sister. We also shot him, waking up, saying, ‘Ah, I didn’t really die from these 47 bullet wounds!’ Actually, we shot something else with that, but… maybe I’ll let you know about that later.

However, Whedon decided to slake his rampant bloodlust show the horrors of war, so Quicksilver had to remain dead.

Marvel made him cut Thor’s cave scene, Loki’s cameo

If you remember the trailer to the film, there was scene with a woman in a cave. But in the final film, no such scene exists. That’s because she was part of the second Thor dream sequence which originally supposed to play out much differently.

There was a 195-minute cut of this movie. The original scene was that Thor went to speak to the Norn and how it would work was that he’d go in the pool and the Norn possess him, basically, and Erik Selvig asks all the questions, and the Norn, speaking through Thor, give the answers. So Chris [Hemsworth] got to do something different, and he really threw himself into it, and he did a beautiful job, but it wasn’t well regarded by the test audiences and I feel it’s probably largely because it was a rough cut with no effects, but also because it’s something that in a Thor movie would work brilliantly, but in this movie is just a little too left of centre.

Yes, it was negative responses from test audiences that made Marvel push for the scene to be cut. And they did it in the most shady manner.

The dreams, the farmhouse, these were things I fought [for]. With the cave, they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and ‘Give us the cave’. They got the farm. In a civilized way – I respect these guys, but that’s when it got really unpleasant. There was a point when there was going to be no cave, and Thor was going to leave and come back and say, ‘I figured some stuff out.’ And at that point I was so beaten down, I was like, ‘Sure, okay… what movie is this?’ The editors were like, ‘No no, you have to show the thing, you just can’t say it.’ I was like, ‘Okay, thank you, we can figure this out!’ You can tell it was beaten down, but it was hard won.

Are you beginning to see the reason why Joss Whedon will not be back for Avengers 3 & 4?

The final result is that the scene feels truncated and we are cheated out of the way Thor found the the answers he was looking for. But that wasn’t the only thing we were cheated out of by Marvel’s executives.

I came up with what I felt was a huge win: it’s about Thor getting answers without having to answer the questions, and Chris gets to do something exciting as an actor and he’s got his fucking shirt off, so everybody wins! It’s amazing how many people had to be on set that day. I do feel like they threw out the baby with the pond water, because I tried to set it up so people would accept it when it happens. Instead, we split the dream up, and then we had Loki in the second part of the dream, but then they were like, ‘That doesn’t work, do we want to introduce Loki now, this late?’

Yes, not only did Marvel make the film weaker, it cost us a cameo by the fan-favorite Loki and more shirtless Chris Hemsworth. Thank you, Marvel. Thank you very little.

But what would Loki be doing there?

Who’s going to walk him through his dream? It’s going to be Tom [Hiddleston] as Loki. He’s so important to the mythos, and they’re like, ‘We can’t get Tom. We can’t make a deal. You can have Idris!’ I was like, ‘Oh, I love Idris! This is great!’ And then I talked to Tom, saying, ‘Just so you know, I feel bad not telling you, and I would never pressure you, but… I really feel like it would be great if you could do this…’ And they’re like, ‘But we already have Idris!’ And again, I had no problem there. Everybody’s in!

We even had a little reference to the fact that he’s taken the throne, which was Tom doing his Anthony Hopkins impression when Thor says, ‘Oh, what would father say?’ Then Tom does his Hopkins impression, and Thor’s like, ‘That is uncanny!’ It’s sort of like his subconscious is telling him that Loki was imitating his father. But he would never make that connection. Anyway, the dreams were awfully long, even though I only got a day to shoot each one, because I made the most out of them. There’s a lot of fun stuff that fell.


Strangely enough, the word “Assemble” wasn’t cut

The film ends with Captain America about to address his new team of Avengers. He says “Avengers–” then the screen goes black. I actually cursed out Whedon for denying me the legendary “Avengers Assemble” catch phrase from the comics. Turns out I was right for cursing him out.

I made sure that we never shot Chris Evans saying [the ‘assemble!’ of ‘Avengers assemble!’] I was positive that some executive was gonna go, ‘You forgot to put in the last word!’ I was like, ‘With my dying breath…’ I don’t have to say that a lot, but sometimes I’ll turn to [Marvel head honcho] Kevin [Feige] and say, ‘With my dying breath…’

As much as I was like, ‘We didn’t get this, we didn’t get this, this is sloppy, and I’m not happy with that music cue…’ With all my complaints, it was in the script exactly as you see it. ‘He draws breath to say the next word. Blackout.’ So to know that we landed exactly where I wanted to go, however many stumbles along the way, was extremely gratifying.

Damn you Whedon.

Spider-Man and Captain Marvel might have been in that final scene as well

We all know that Captain Marvel was supposed to be in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but a certain webhead might have been in there too.

I said, ‘It would be great if we could add a few more. If we could have a Captain Marvel there…’ And they talked about it. And Spider-Man, because Sony had approached us during the first movie about integration, so I would have put both of them in, but neither of the deals were made, and then it’s, ‘We’re making a Captain Marvel movie, and we’ve got Spider-Man as a property!’ I was like, ‘I’ve already locked my film, you fucks. Thanks for nothing.’

This kind of goes against the reason Kevin Feige gave for Captain Marvel not appearing in the film (namely, they didn’t want a cameo to be the first time audiences see her). But each man could be right.

Marvel made him downplay the possibility of Planet Hulk

The biggest rumor surrounding the Hulk’s fate at the end of the film was that he would be shot into space and either A) travel to Planet Hulk (as per El Mayimbe) or B) join up with the Guardians of the Galaxy (as per Drew McWeeny). However, the Hulk’s fate at the end of the film, while still ambiguous, seems to be earthbound. It appears that that’s the way Marvel wanted it.

I specifically put in the line, ‘Where in the world am I not a threat?’ I wanted to leave people with the idea that if this is the last movie, that he may have left the world behind. Because I think there’s something enormously poetic about that, but there’s also something enormously misleading about that. We don’t plan to make Planet Hulk, as far as I know, so they were like, ‘Just sky, no stars!’ which was less poetic, but very beautiful…

I used to mock El Mayimbe when he said that Marvel would change its long-range plans just to spite him, but it appears, and lord does it pain me to say this, he might be right.

Additional sources for this story include Collider, The AVClub, and Vulture.

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SPIDER-MAN Directorial Shortlist Named

Posted on 06 May 2015 by William Gatevackes


When Sony was looking for a director for the reboot of its Spider-Man franchise, it chose a relatively novice director from the world of indie comedies, and we have seen how well that worked out. Now, as it once again looks for a new director to helm another reboot of the franchise, it once again is looking at predominately novice directors primarily from the world of indie comedies. Everything old is new again.

Deadline names five potential candidates for the job, with the caveat that there might be more names in the running. I’ll list them from the one I like most to the one I like least:

Jonathan Levine

Jonathan LevineWhat has he directed that I might know?: He’s one of the more experienced directors on the list. He has directed All The Boy Love Mandy Lane, The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies.

Does he write?: Yes. He has done the screenplays for The Wackness and Warm Bodies.

Does he act? No.

My Take? All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness were critical darlings. I have seen Warm Bodies and 50/50 and loved both of them. Levine appears to be a director that can take genre films and make them poignant and funny, which is perfect for the Spider-Man franchise.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: He will be reuniting with his 50/50 star Joseph Gordon-Levitt with November’s X-Mas, a film he also co-wrote.

Ted Melfi

Ted-MelfiWhat has he directed that I might know?: He directed last year’s highly regarded St. Vincent.

Does he write?: Yes. He also wrote St. Vincent.

Does he act?: He does have one acting job on his resume.

My Take?: St. Vincent was only Melfi’s second directorial effort, and it comes 15 years after his last one (1999’s Winding Roads). However, the film did get Oscar buzz and Melfi was nominated for Best Director by the Indiana Film Journalists Association. That is a pretty good last job to bring into the mix.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: He has been tapped to write and co-direct the upcoming remake of Going in Style, which is to star Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine.

Jason Moore

jason mooreWhat has he directed that I might know?: He directed the sleeper hit of 2012, Pitch Perfect. He has also directed a number of Broadway plays.

Does he write?: He is listed as the writer of the music video for the song Cups, but that is his only writing credit.

Does he act?: He has three acting jobs on his resume, the most notable a bit part on Dawson’s Creek.

My Take?: He does have a experience in directing stories featuring misfits making good, which is Spider-Man in a nutshell, but since Spider-Man and musicals do not mix, it might be a bit out of Moore’s comfort zone.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: We will be able see how well he directs a predominantly female cast who do not sing when his Amy Poehler/Tina Fey vehicle Sisters hits theaters in December.

John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein

Daley and GoldsteinWhat have they directed that I might know?: They have directed a pair of short films, but no features that have been released as of yet.

Do they write?: The pair are most noted as writers, writing Horrible Bosses 1& 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 together.

Do they act?:  Daley is primarily known as an actor, having starred in Freaks & Geeks, Waiting and Bones to name a few. Goldstein has had a cameo in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

Do they have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?:The pair wrote and directed the remake by way of a quasi-sequel to Vacation, which will hit theaters in July.

My Take?:Sony is supposedly going for a John Hughes feel for the Spidey film, and these guys are continuing Hughes’ Vacation franchise, but the rest of their resume is uneven to say the least.

Jared Hess

jared hessWhat has he directed that I might know?: He is arguably the most successful director on the list, having Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre under his belt.

Does he write?: He has written every film he has directed to date.

Does he act?: He has roles in three, low-budget indies from 2002-2003, but his acting career ends there.

My Take?: Hess’ resume shows an esoteric eye that is more quirky than weird. From what I’ve seen of his work, I don’t know if he’d be that good of a fit for Spider-Man.

Does he have anything coming up that I can see as an example of his work?: His next directorial effort we can see will be Masterminds in August. It will be the first film he has directed that he did not have a hand in writing, and it is based on a true story.

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Second Look: Will Smith As Deadshot In SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 03 May 2015 by Rich Drees


Early this evening David Ayre tweeted out a picture of the group of villains that make up the Suicide Squad. And now he’s followed that up with another look at Will Smith as assassin Deadshot with the character’s full helmet on.

Suicide Squad opens August 5, 2016.

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First Look: David Ayer’s SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 03 May 2015 by Rich Drees


In a little less than a year, we’ll be getting Warner Brothers first big step into their shared comic book universe film franchise with Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. But the real indicator as to how the venture may fare may just be how well the film after Batman V Superman turns out to be. That film is Suicide Squad, which is currently in production.

This evening director David Ayer tweeted out the first photo of most of the villains who make up the titular Dirty Dozen-ish covert operations group forced to work together by the government. We get our first look at Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn (expect to start seeing a lot of that cosplay at cons fairly soon), Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and most of the rest of the Squad. Conspicuously absent is Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller, the government agent in charge of the group, as well as a more representative shot of Jared Leto and how his Joker will look in the film. (A previously released picture of Leto threw the internet into an uproar until it was revealed that the tattoos he was sporting were a tribute to the character’s 75 year history.)

Going from left to right we have Adam Beach as Slipknot, Courtney, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress (standing), Karen Fukuhara as Katana (crouching), Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Robbie, Smith, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc and Jay Hernandez as El Diablo.

Personally, I’m liking the here. The gritty esthetic that it seems that Warners is trying to set for their shared universe is much more suited to this film than perhaps a Superman film. In fact, based on this one picture, I am more interested in seeing Suicide Squad than I am for Batman V Superman. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until August 5, 2016 when the film hits theaters.


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