Archive | Comics And Film

Tags: , , , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

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.

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

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.


Comments (0)

Tags: , , , ,

First Look At Jared Leto As SUICIDE SQUAD’s Joker

Posted on 24 April 2015 by William Gatevackes


I just want to let everyone know, I try to avoid sounding like a butthurt fanboy here. I know frequent readers of the site won’t believe that, but I try not to be. I do have the potential inside. As part of the generation that was mocked and ridiculed for liking anything pertaining to comics, I grok the sense of entitlement my generation has towards comic properties skewing to the version they grew up with. I try to be satisfied as long as the filmmakers keep true to the feel or the original source material.

Then I see the following, the first official version of Jared Leto as the Joker in the Suicide Squad and I want to board the hater train to Butthurtville. Because even though it is just a picture, and gives us no idea of the character’s backstory or the subtleties of Leto’s portrayal, it just rubs me as you typical DC Comics Film stupidity.

LetoJokerThe Joker is the most iconic villain in all of comics. Give me another that even comes close. And the reason why is because the character is pretty much perfect the way he is.

The Joker is defined by his relationship to Batman. He is chaos to Batman’s order. He is a jovial, ever-smiling clown who will kill you in the blink of an eye to Batman’s grim and scary-looking bat who will risk his life to save you. He is a man so affected by his physical scars that he is moved to homicide to Batman’s being a man so affected by his mental scars that he is moved to protect the city he loves. They are both insane men, but one bad and one good.

Non-comic readers will scoff at the idea that there’s that much depth in comics, but that dichotomy is there and it is what makes the Joker great. Even Heath Ledger’s Joker, which traded in the bleached skin for grease paint. kept the order/chaos balance intact.

However, without these aspects of his personality that allow him to play off Batman, the Joker just becomes the run of the mill homicidal maniac. And homicidal maniacs are boring. And this looks like a picture of a homicidal maniac Joker.

It has the look of a Joker made by committee, a committee with one mistaken belief that the character has to be different in every way than what came before. The skin is pale but not bleached. His lips are red but not scarred into a grotesque smile (which changes an important part of the dichotomy). But he has tattoos, boy, does he have tattoos, because obviously the team of executives are still living in the 00s when tattoos were badass. I can almost hear the roomful of  executives shouting out their tattoo ideas now, with the most obvious and pedestrian ones chosen to make the cut. “How a bout a skull wearing a jester’s hat? That’s cool, right?” “Having HAHAHAHA tattooed on his body once is awesome, so having it twice would be extra awesome!””Oooh, ooh! You know what would really be great! If he had the word “Damaged” tattooed across his forehead!”

If you have to so show how crazy your Joker is by writing “Damaged” across his forehead, you have already failed on you task of bringing the Joker to the screen.

All this rather pedestrian window dressing is unnecessary and takes away more from the character than it adds to it. And no manner of obsequious fan service you do (“Let’s throw a purple glove on Jared and have him mimic that famous Brian Bolland pose. Fans will be so enraptured in their fangasms they won’t even notice the stupid changes we made!”) will bring that back.

All of this from one image! I rue the rest of the official images from this film!

Comments (3)

Tags: , , , ,

Plans For VALIANT Film Universe Become Clearer

Posted on 21 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

bloodshot harbingerWhen Valiant Entertainment announced its partnership with the Beijing based DMG Entertainment back in March, one had to wonder how that partnership would make itself known in the world of film. Deadline has the answer with more information on the companies’ long-term plans.

bloodshot 1One of the questions I had was how Bloodshot would play into the new agreement. The property was optioned by Sony way back in 2012, not only predating the agreement with DMG, but also Valiant Entertainment’s reboot of the characters hit comic store shelves. The answer is that Sony will not only be home to Bloodshot, but four other films based on the Valiant books.

Bloodshot obviously will be the first film of this deal. The film will hit theaters sometime in  2017 with John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahleski helming the Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer script. Neal Moritz, who will be producing all five films, will be joined on this one by Toby Jaffe of Original Film and Valiant COO Dinesh Shamdasani. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will be executive producers.

harbinger-1Next will be Harbinger, adapted from the Valiant comic book focusing on the powerful telepaths and telekinetics of the Valiant Universe. The film will have a script by Heisserer and be produced by the same team.

Each film will have a sequel and before crossing over in a Harbinger Wars film.

Bloodshot and Harbinger are arguably the two most popular concepts Valiant Entertainment has, but I have to say that I’m a little disappointed by the lack of ambition in the film slate. Valiant’s IP farm is deep and plentiful, chock full of many other film worthy projects. I would have loved to see an Archer & Armstrong or Eternal Warrior film. Perhaps if these first five films are successful, we’ll get to explore the Valiant Universe a bit more.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , ,

Too Early To Talk CAPTAIN MARVEL? Never!

Posted on 14 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

carol_danversEven though her film is four years away and there are nine other Marvel films between now and then–including a sequel to a film that has yet to come out–people just can’t stop talking about Captain Marvel.

Of course, talking about one of Marvel’s premiere female heroes is nothing new. Rumors have been circulating for months that Carol Danvers’ alter ego would be making an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. If the word coming out from those who have already seen the film are any indication, the character is not in the final film. But how close did Captain Marvel get to being in the movie? According to Kevin Feige by way of Badass Digest, pretty darn close.

Captain Marvel appeared in early drafts of the script, but only as a cameo. She was supposed to fly in at the end of the film to join the Avengers team, and made it as far as the FX planning stage of filming before being cut. Why was she cut? Marvel thought being introduced in such a way would be sort of anticlimatic for a character they were building a feature around, and they decided to have her be fully introduced in her own film.

LeFauvre and PerlmanSpeaking of her own film, Marvel has chosen two screenwriters to work on it–Inside Out scribe Meg LeFauve and Guardians of the Galaxy writer Nicole Perlman. The Hollywood Reporter states that each writer came in with their own treatment for the film and Marvel like them both. Instead of choosing one or the other, Marvel asked the writers to work together to mesh their two versions into one film.

Captain Marvel is set to open on November 2, 2018.

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , ,

Olivia Munn Cast As Psylocke In X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

Posted on 13 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

Olivia Munn-mortecaiWhile a good number of people might know her as the woman who sexily ate hot dogs suspended from the ceiling or jumped into a huge pie crust filled with chocolate pudding while wearing a maid’s outfit, Olivia Munn has carved out a serious acting career since she left Attack of the Show. That career has led her to stepping into the spandex of one of the most popular X-Men in X-Men: Apocalypse. Munn has been cast as Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke, the telepathic ninja mutant co-created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe.

Telepathic ninja mutant? Yes. And that description only scratches the surface of the complex origins of the character.

Psylocke_comic versionClaremont and Trimpe created Braddock to be a supporting character in the Marvek UK comic, Captain Britain, writing her into continuity as the twin sister of the titular hero.

Claremont introduced Betsy to American audiences in New Mutants Annual #2, and soon made her part of the X-Men. But her popularity didn’t really take off until a storyline where here consciousness was swapped into the body of a Japanese assassin named Kwannon. The new status quo, aided by characterization added by Claremont, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri and others, made her one of the breakthrough characters to come out of the mutant books in the 1990s.

At the height of her popularity, Psylocke’s main power was telepathy, which showed itself in the form of a “psychic blade” that extended from the back of her fist. Her new body gifted her with the skills and talents of the ninja, and she eventually gained the power to teleport amongst the shadows.

uxm 509If you had a hard time understanding all of that, don’t worry. It’s dubious little, if any, of that backstory will make it into the films.

This will mark the second appearance of Psylocke in Fox’s X-Franchise. The character, portrayed by Meiling Melancon,  appeared as one of the cadre of mutants Magneto led in X-Men: The Last Stand. If you missed her in that film, it was probably the part of the film where you blinked. The lackluster showing in that film didn’t sit well with fans.

Thankfully, Bryan Singer insured that X-Men: Days of Future Past eradicated X-Men: The Last Stand from the film’s continuity line. Psylocke isn’t the only character from that film that will be reinvented in X-Men: Apocalypse. Angel, who was played by Ben Foster in the 2006 film, will return in the new film, portrayed by British actor Ben Hardy.

We don’t know exactly how big of an appearance Psylocke will be making in this film, but Olivia Munn has received some good notices for her work in The Newsroom and Magic Mike, so the role should be larger than it was in 2006. This marks the second comic book film for Munn, as she appeared in a small role in Iron Man 2.

Via: Coming Soon.


Comments (21)

Tags: , , , ,

Full ANT-MAN Trailer Hits The Internet

Posted on 13 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

Antman screen grabIt seems that the legions of faithful that made Marvel Studios a box office juggernaut are still reserving judgment on Ant-Man. Instead of rushing to embrace the film as they do with many of the studio’s output, they are taking a “wait and see” philosophy to the film. Well, we got to see a little more of the film, as a new, full length trailer has been released:

Personally, while the last trailer got me excited for the film, this one left me a bit cold. For me, it comes down to an issue of tone. It doesn’t seem from the clip that Peyton Reed has struck the right balance between the humor and the rest of the film. I recognized the jokes when I saw them, but I didn’t really find them funny in context. And I am already sick of the “I didn’t pick the name” bit and its only been used in two trailers.

But I am a cynical old man. Your mileage may vary. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Comments (6)

Tags: , , , ,

Lord And Miller Confirmed To Write THE FLASH Treatment

Posted on 10 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

FlashOn Monday, we reported that the superstar writing/directing team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller was sought after by Warner Brothers to helm its big screen adaptation of The Flash. The rumor got a little more meat on Thursday as Deadline reported that the duo was tapped by the studio to write the treatment for the film.

Now, mind you, this is just a treatment. It’s not even a script. So it could be the first step to them directing the film, or it could be the only involvement from them for the film. Time will tell.

Lord and Miller are on a pretty good run at the box office, and everything the touch seems to turn to gold. However, their treatment would have to be very good to separate it from the CW’s The Flash, which is on its way to becoming the network’s highest rated show of all time and keeps getting better every week, quality wise.

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , ,

Will Ernie Hudson Play T’Chaka In BLACK PANTHER?

Posted on 08 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

ErnieHudsonWWPIt’s time for my least favorite pastime: what rumor is El Mayimbe spreading today. The often-wrong head honcho of Latino Review has scoop that says Ernie Hudson is circling the role of T’Chaka in Black Panther. El Mayimbe’s proof? Hudson has been hitting the gym and picking up back issues of Marvel Comic’s Black Panther featuring the character.

El Mayimbe doesn’t reveal his source, perish the thought, but if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Hudson’s agent. This story has the feel of that classic Hollywood chestnut of an actor’s representative planting a story about a studio looking at their client in order to drum up interest from said studio.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Hudson as an actor. But his career is firmly in the B-Movie/TV guest appearance mode, not the type of star Marvel typically leans to for roles like this. Granted, T’Chaka, who is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda and father to T’Challa, the titular Black Panther, isn’t a big role, but it is a pivotal one. Judging from Marvel’s casting history, it’s likely they would consider an actor with a higher profile and perhaps a better resume than Hudson.

Another thing to consider is that as of yet no director has been announced for the film. Unless T’Chaka is going to appear in another film before he appears in Black Panther, I’d expect a director be picked first before any supporting character.

However, I do believe in doing due diligence, so I contacted one of my go-to sources, one that always guides me down a truthful path, and one that is as reliable, if not more so, than any of El Mayimbe’s sources. I contacted “Ask the Eight Ball.” It said “My Sources Say No” when asked if Hudson was up for a role in Black Panther. So, there you have it.

Comments (3)