Archive | Comics And Film

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Jessie Eisenberg Cast As Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred In BATMAN VS SUPERMAN

Posted on 31 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

eisenbergironsPart of what I love about covering casting rumors here for the site is that while they are not often true, sometimes when the real casting decision is made it is more outlandish and unbelievable than any fake rumor that came before it.

Warner Brothers has announced today that they have cast Jessie Eisenberg to play Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons to play the Wayne Family butler Alfred in the forthcoming Batman vs. Superman.

This is what Warners had to say about Eisenberg’s casting:

Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.

I don’t know about “new” and “unexpected.”  He’ll probably be playing him as a variation of the smug a-hole that employed in The Social Network and Now You See Me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s great in that type of role, but I don’t really expect much beyond that.

The only other takeaway I have from this casting is that he seems really young for the role. I mean, yes, using Facebook as an example, you can have multimillionaire CEO’s and corporation owners who are only 30. But Lex in the comics was always older. And considering that Tom Hanks and Bryan Cranston were the rumored names for the role, I thought that was the direction the powers that be were going in. You could have me sit in a room and name potential actors for Lex Luthor and I might have ever gotten to Eisenberg.

And while I am willing to see how this casting pans out, I am disappointed that Hanks didn’t get cast. He might not have even been really in the running, but I’d think he’d be fantastic.

And here is what Warners had to say about Irons’ casting:

As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.

You can’t really say anything bad about this casting. Yes, Irons has taken a bunch of dubious roles in bad films for a paycheck in the recent past, but he is an Oscar winning actor who will bring a different take on the iconic character. It is a solid choice.

The only other interesting thing about Irons casting is that this is the smallest age difference between Alfred and Bruce in the films so far. Michael Gough was 40 years older than Michael Keaton, Michael Caine was 41 years older than Christian Bale, but Irons is only 24 years older than Ben Affleck.

Via Collider.

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FANTASTIC FOUR Casting Call Reveals Major Changes In Origin

Posted on 23 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

UFFourThis is one to take with a grain of salt. But if it’s true…hoo boy. Watch the backlash.

A site called Acting Auditions have posted what appears to be a casting notice for the new Fantastic Four reboot, and all roles are available except for Johnny Storm, which is listed as being filled by Michael B. Jordan.

As if the norm with these audition notices, they include a plot summary for the potential actors. This is how it reads:

Removed at studio request.

This is quite the change from the typical FF origin. Granted, the comic book origin needs to be change, as beating the Russians into space if not a valid enough reason to rush into a radiation storm with an improperly shielded ship anymore. But in the recent updates  to the origin–in the Ultimate Fantastic Four comic and the first set of Fantastic Four films–all four get their powers at the same time from the same source. This is a big thing because it help bond the quartet into a family. The four are forever inexorably linked by that event.

In this version, that unity is lost. Ben and Reed gain powers as teens (and it might not be Reed’s fault, taking away the guilt element that is a fundamental part of their relationship) and meet up with the Storms (who might not even be related) once they become adults.

And if that wasn’t enough to make fans angry, it appears that Reed’s genius will be a side effect of the event that gave him his powers, taking away yet another quality that made the character great–his native intelligence.

Again, this is just what the plot is on something that might be a casting announcement. The site itself has a long disclaimer that claims the stuff the post is not verified by the site. But if this is true, well, expect the rights to the FF to go back to Marvel before the decade is out.

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UPDATE: Gal Gadot’s Three-Picture Deal Does Include WONDER WOMAN Film.

Posted on 23 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

tumblr_mc7femyMba1runamko1_1280Yesterday, we reported on the interview that Gal Gadot had with an Israeli entertainment news program where she confirmed that she was signed up for a three-picture deal with Warner Brothers. In the article, we questioned if a standalone Wonder Woman film was one of those three films and if such a small commitment was a sign of little confidence in the actress. Luckily, Variety reported on the same interview, and since their connections are far better than mine, they were able to answer those questions.

First off, they confirmed that Wonder Woman is the third film of the deal after Batman vs. Superman and Justice League. Second, the trade confirms that there was in fact for such a low number of films in that contract:

Limiting the deal to three pictures makes sense for Warners, since the studio still doesn’t know how auds will react to Wonder Woman in the untitled Batman-Superman movie. Since its taken so long to find the right parts to make a Wonder Woman movie work, WB and DC don’t want to rush into a large commitment if fans are still not drawn to a standalone movie featuring the character.

See, just when you think that Warners/DC might have actually gotten their act together and were prepared to make a solid run at Marvel for comic book movie dominance, they pull the same shoddy, half-assed, stupid movie studio tricks they have been doing for decades. Instead of putting the time, the effort and the creative energy into giving us a Wonder Woman that the audiences can’t help to be drawn to, they decide to low-ball with an actress with a limited resume, unproven acting skills, a heavy accent, and whose main assets to the production is that she is pretty and comes cheap. They throw her in the mix, cross their fingers, and hopes it sticks. And if it doesn’t? Hey, they tried. I’m sure they’ll blame the the character. I can almost see the articles now! “Wonder Woman just doesn’t work as a character, says Warners exec”!

Warners might have a lack of confidence in Wonder Woman, but I have a lack of confidence in them. And there’s a whole lot more evidence backing me up.

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MARVEL Casting News: Kretschmann Cast As Strucker, Pena & Collins Jr. In Talks For ANT-MAN

Posted on 15 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

MarvelStudiosLogoWe probably are going to have a whirlwind of casting rumors and announcements concerning The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man in the coming weeks, so you should expect more of these posts in the future.

thomaskretschmannIt appears that Marvel has found its Baron Strucker, and it’s neither Marton Csokas nor Dougray Scott, as previously rumored. The Wrap is stating that German actor Thomas Kretschmann has been cast as the ex-Nazi, current-Hydra leader in Age of Ultron. Kretschmann, who is currently playing  Van Helsing in NBC’s Dracula, has supposedly signed on for multiple films as well.

The news site claims that Strucker will face off against Captain America and Nick Fury in the film. One assumes that this will be during the present day, and Strucker’s longevity will somehow be explained away. Previous rumors state that Strucker’s appearance will be at the start of the film and most likely will be where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will be introduced, adding more weight to the fight taking place in the present day.

penacollinsWe also have a pair of actors rumored to be in talks for roles in Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. The first also comes from The Wrap and says that World Trade Center‘s Michael Pena is in talks for a supporting role in the film, and Mario-Francisco “I can be just as wrong as El Mayimbe” Robles over at Latino Review is stating that Pacific Rim‘s Clifton Collins Jr. is also up for a role as well.

Of course, these should be taken with a grain of salt. The Wrap states in its article that Marvel denied being in negotiations with Pena, and, well, the Collins Jr. rumor comes from Latino Review. Enough said about that.

No word on what role each actor is auditioning for, be it a friend or foe of Ant-Man, or even if the actors are going up for separate roles. More on this as it develops.

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Michael Douglas Cast In Marvel’s ANT-MAN

Posted on 13 January 2014 by Rich Drees

michael-douglasWell, the speculation as to which version of Ant-Man Paul Rudd will be playing in the upcoming Marvel Studios adaptation of the comic book series is settled today as Variety today announced that Michael Douglas will be playing scientist Hank Pym, the first to use the superheroic identity.

This leaves Rudd’s character being Scott Lang, who in comics continuity was a thief who stole the original Ant-Man’s costume when he was trying to get some money together to help his ailing daughter Cassie. How much of that story will carry over into writer/director Edgar Wright’s film remains to be seen, but with both of them as characters in the film there will definitely be some sort of relation between the two.

Wright previously teased that Rudd would be playing Scott Lang, but this is the first confirmation we’ve had.

In a statement to the Variety, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated -

With Hank Pym’s rich history in the Marvel Universe, we knew we needed an actor capable of bringing the weight and stature to the role that the character deserves. We felt incredibly relieved when Michael Douglas agreed to step into the part with the charm and fortitude he brings to every character he inhabits, and couldn’t be more excited to see what he will do to bring Hank Pym to life.

Ant-Man is scheduled to be released by Marvel on July 31, 2015.

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Dwayne Johnson Teases Possible DC Comics Film

Posted on 31 December 2013 by Rich Drees

DwayneJohnson

Has Dwayane Johnson been taking lessons from Vin Diesel? Much like Diesel spent part of this past year teasing a possible role in a Marvel Studios comic book adaptation, which turned out to be Guardians Of The Galaxy, Johnson has taken to Twitter to suggest some future involvement with a comic book film. But this time it is one from corporate siblings Warner Brothers and DC Comics.

Anyone care to take a stab as to what he means by “cool bad assery”? I suppose it could be in reference to Warner’s attempts to get a movie based on DC’s intergalactic bounty hunter and bad boy Lobo, but at last we heard that project was pretty much dead.

With casting still ongoing for Warner’s Batman Vs Superman, which should start shooting any day now, it is possible that Johnson may be up for a role in that 2015 tentpole. But who? Perhaps the alien killing machine known as Doomsday? Or perhaps since the film is also scheduled to feature Justice League members Wonder Woman and quite possibly Green Lantern, might Johnson be up for another League member in the form of J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter.

Developing.

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Is Fox Planning A FANTASTIC FOUR VS X-MEN Film?

Posted on 29 December 2013 by Rich Drees

FantasticFourXMen1

We’ve known for sometime that Fox has been planning on merging their long-running X-Men superhero film franchise with their upcoming reboot of their Fantastic Four franchise into a single integrated universe the way that Marvel Studios has done with their properties. They’ve even recently hired on Simon Kinberg to oversee the process.

And now we have an idea as to how that blending of the two franchises may happen, thanks to this report from the financial site The Motley Fool (via Bleeding Cool) -

After multiple movies in their respective franchises, Fox has now decided to combine the Fantastic Four and the X-Men for an “Avengers”-style movie that could pay off huge for shareholders.

Based on a 1987 four issue comic called Fantastic Four vs. X-Men, the movie will see the characters against each other because of secrets regarding the Fantastic Four’s origin.

FantasticFourXMenCoverSo, how on the money might they be? Hard to say. Are they reporting from actual information that may be circulating from Fox to their investors? Or is the site making a stab in the dark, in the process showing off their geek side?

If this is a real project, we probably won’t be seeing it anytime soon. The X-Men franchise already has a number of films on the way. We know that next summer we will see X-Men: Days Of Future Past and the recently announced X-Men: Apocalypse is looking as if it will have a 2016 release, while there is also a possible X-Force film and another Wolverine solo film in the development pipeline.

In the meantime, we won’t even be seeing Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot until 2015. I would suspect that Fox would probably want a sequel before they started doing a hard crossover with the X-Men, though they could be taking a play from what Warner Brothers appears to be doing with and being rushing the big team-up films into production as quickly as possible. But even then, I wouldn’t expect to see it before 2017.

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Paul Rudd Is ANT-MAN

Posted on 18 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

PaulRuddSometimes great choices come down to process of elimination.

The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Marvel and Edgar Wright have chosen Paul Rudd to be their Ant-Man. Rudd has been in contention for the role since back in October, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Since Gordon-Levitt has attached himself to Warner Brothers Sandman project, it looks like it became a one-man race.

This casting news is rather strange since Rudd has been asked repeatedly about Ant-Man on the promotional tour for Anchorman: The Legend Continues and his stock answer was that it was just a rumor and he knew nothing about it. Sheeyeah right. Well played, Mr. Rudd. Well played.

In my opinion, it’s a great choice. I really like Rudd as an actor. One of the main gripes people might have about him is that he has spent the last few years as part of The Apatow Repertory Players, doing comedy after comedy. But those familiar with his career know that Rudd has done well in a series of dramas, notably The Shape of Things and Cider House Rules, in the past. So don’t expect Ant-Man to be any more of a comedy than any other Marvel film.

Another hit is his age. He is 44, which is a bit long-in-the-tooth for some when it comes to their action heroes. But if he is playing Hank Pym, he’ll be playing a scientist. Not many twenty-somethings have PhD’s.

 

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And The Latest Actor Linked To A BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Villain Is…Joaquin Phoenix

Posted on 18 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

JoaquinPhoenixThe given rule of any superhero movie is that the more characters you have in it, the less chance it will be good. For example, Batman & Robin, Spider-Man 3, X:Men: The Last Stand and others. We might have to add Batman vs. Superman to that list in 2015.

Variety reports that Warner Brothers is pursuing Joaquin Phoenix for the main villain role in Batman vs. Superman, a role they believe will be Lex Luthor. The trade journal also states that this is addition to another villain role that Jason Momoa and Callan Mulvey are up for. Variety was correct about Gal Gadot being in the running for Wonder Woman, so their inside scoop is good inside scoop.

This means that there will be at least three hero roles, possibly two or more villain roles, and I’m sure a number of supporting characters from each character will be shoehorned in there as well. That’s a pretty crowded film, right there.

No word if Phoenix is interested or not. He has been leaning towards the more ponderous Oscar bait type films in recent years, and his days of the summer blockbuster might be well behind him. However, if he signs on, I think it would be a good, if somewhat unique choice.

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It’s Official: Gordon-Levitt Signs Onto SANDMAN

Posted on 16 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

JosephGordon-LevittThe world of the comic book movie is become much more fast-paced. When the rumor hit a few weeks ago that David Goyer was pitching a Sandman film to Warners with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached, we thought that it would be years before heard anything more about it. Not so.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has appeared to confirmed that he has signed on via his Twitter feed.

 

Deadline is reported earlier today that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in the final stages of signing on to do the project, definitely as an actor, most likely as director as well. But first a script has to be written from Goyer’s treatment and before that happens, as writer has to be hired. I’m sure we’ll find out what Gordon-Levitt’s job duties on the film will be in the coming days.

Gordon-Levitt recently made his feature debut as writer and director with Don Jon, and I think he did fairly well. However, if Sandman is to be done right, it will be a far bigger undertaking. However, the fact that Neil Gaiman (he’s the @neilhimself in Gordon-Levitt’s Tweet) will be involved in some fashion certainly is reassuring. And I can totally see Gordon-Levitt in the role.

The Sandman is still one of DC/Vertigo’s most popular properties, still selling load of trade paper back collection now even after 17 years since the last issue of the regular series was published. And the concept has a lot of mainstream crossover appeal, meaning it is either the gateway into comic books for new readers or the one comic book non-collectors will admit to be reading. So it’s pretty much a no-brainer that Warners would want to get it up on the silver screen as soon as possible.

More on this situation as it develops.

UPDATE: Gordon-Levitt has said that he has signed on only as a producer…for now.

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