Archive | Comics And Film

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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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International Trailer For THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Hits

Posted on 13 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

the-amazing-spider-man-2-photos-jamie-foxx-electroWhen the domestic trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man hit, it started a flurry of examination and Easter Egg discoveries. Well, the international trailer has hit and it has a whole bunch of different scenes in it that the domestic version. Oh, and German subtitles.

The tone of this trailer is more humorous, with more pithy quips from Spidey and comedic situations included.

Here is the trailer in question:

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Could Jason Momoa Be The Latest To Join BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN?

Posted on 09 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

jason-momoa-300He missed out on portraying Drax the Destroyer, but maybe he’ll play Doomsday the Destroyer.

Heat Vision is reporting that Conan the Barbarian star Jason Momoa is in negotiations with Warner Brothers to join Batman vs. Superman.

You may recall that Momoa was up for the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, a role that eventually went to professional wrestler Dave Bautista. Rumor has it that Momoa was actually offered that role, but he priced himself out of contention. Since Warners seems to be in money-saving mode here, one wonders if the same won’t happen here.

As per what role Momoa is up for, it’s too early to say. However, sources say that it might be Doomsday, the Kryptonian monster that killed Superman in the comic books, or another member of the Justice League, such as Martian Manhunter. Physically, he’d be a fit for either.

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More BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: Is A Villain About To Be Cast? And Are More Heroes On The Way?

Posted on 04 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

FlashWith today’s blockbuster announcement of Gal Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman in Batman Vs. Superman, it might be prudent to check in with the news outlet that first linked the actress to the role–Variety–to see if they have any other scoop to add. Not surprisingly, they do.

The industry journal states that Wonder Woman is only one of a number of DC Comic book heroes that will make an appearance in the film. They say that the long-rumored Flash is a lock to appear in the film, but there may be others.

6e8b5249-806b-40da-b1d8-3aaa5ab3231bVariety also states that the search now turns to casting the villain of the film, and the top name on the list is Australian actor Callan Mulvey, known for Zero Dark Thirty and the forthcoming 300: Rise of the Empire.

Rumor had it that Lex Luthor would appear in the film, with the understanding that he would be a villain, if not THE villain of the film. Actors ranging from Bryan Cranston to Tom Hanks have been linked to the role. In other words, actors much older than Mulvey. So, is Mulvey in line for Luthor? Or is he playing some other bad guy (like, say, Doomsday?).

Of course, the little-known Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman and the little-known Mulvey being considered for the main antagonist does tell us one thing–Warner’s is going the cheap unknown route in its casting. This, added to the recent story about the studio trying to get their DC Comics properties on the screen as cheaply as possible could be cause for concern. It’s one thing to be frugal, it’s another to be cheap. If you are hiring talented unknowns to multi-film contracts at a low pay scale, that’s a good thing. If you cut corners all the way through the filming process, you’re not going to get a really good superhero movie out of that.

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Yes, Wonder Woman Will Be In BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN And Gal Gadot Will Be Playing Her

Posted on 04 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

WonderWomanOkay, I’ll admit that I was wrong. Back in November, I did my best to discount the rumor that Gal Gadot was testing for the role of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman. In my eyes, it didn’t seem logical that the Israeli model/actress would be up for such a major role in the production.

"Fast & Furious" World PremiereI still think that it doesn’t seem logical but it did happen. Warner Brothers confirmed today that Gadot has indeed been cast as Wonder Woman in the Zack Snyder film. The confirmation even comes with platitudes from the director for the actress:

Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character.

Of course, cynical man that I am, is still have the same reservations about the casting that I expressed back in November. Gadot, at 5’9″, is taller than you average female. But her lithe body type plays in contrast to statuesque nature of Wonder Woman in the comics.  But that might be something that could easily be taken care of in the weight room.

More of a concern to me is the fact that Gadot speaks English with a heavy accent. Check out this behind the scene video from Fast & Furious 6:

Now, Wonder Woman does come from a foreign island and it probably makes more sense to have her speak broken English. But will this go over with fans? Especially if the character gets a film of her own? Unless, of course, Warner Brothers has no intention of ever giving Wonder Woman a film of her own so casting someone who cannot speak English well is not a deal-breaker. Hopefully, this isn’t the case.

Also, we have to see how the character will be used in the film. Wonder Woman is described as the female lead in the film, which means that her backstory and origin must be at the very least mentioned if not delved into in the film. Since the same thing also has to be done with Batman, the film is getting quite busy already. Granted, by this point you don’t have to spend a lot of time setting up Batman’s origin–it’s not like we haven’t seen it before–but we need to see how this Batman is different than the ones in the other movies. Wonder Woman has to be developed from the ground up. Expect a three-hour film at minimum. Or a half-baked two-hour film at worst.

And what does this have to show about the other rumors floating out there about the film? Wonder Woman being in the film was one of the most prevalent rumors out there, being reported by just about every rumor site on the Internet. But this doesn’t mean any of the other rumors are true, necessarily. The Gal Gadot rumor I commented on in November came from Variety, a well-respected industry publication. And even then wouldn’t go all in on Gadot auditioning for Wonder Woman. So, despite the fact that Daniel Alter is taking credit for a scoop, it doesn’t mean any of his other rumors will hold water. Although, maybe….

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Posted on 22 November 2013 by William Gatevackes

In a multi-part series, Comic Book Film Editor William Gatevackes will be tracing the history of comic book movies from the earliest days of the film serials to today’s big blockbusters and beyond. Along with the history lesson, Bill will be covering some of the most prominent comic book films over the years and why they were so special. Today, we look at the highs, the lows and the grisly end of the first Spider-Man trilogy.

Spider-Man_2_PosterWith Spider-Man a resounding success, Sony’s decision to start work on the sequel before that first film came out turned into a prudent decision. Sam Raimi was back at the helm, with script by Smallville’s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who were later joined by David Koepp. This script would have brought Spidey into conflict with Doctor Octopus AND the Lizard AND Black Cat. See, the villain cramming started almost immediately.

Novelist Michael Chabon was tapped to rewrite the script. He pared the villains down to just Doc Ock but made him more a contemporary of Peter and had him enter a love triangle for the affections of Mary Jane. Harry’s quest for vengeance would begin in earnest, having put out a $10 million bounty on Spidey.

Raimi worked with screenwriter Alvin Sargent to cull bits and pieces from various screenplays and molded them into the formula that was used in the first film. Doc Ock was the main villain, and once again, the bad guy was a sympathetic figure who was a mentor/father figure to Peter, albeit with an air of tragedy added to the mix. Doctor Otto Octavius goes mad after an experiment to create cold fusion goes haywire, killing his wife and fusing his prosthetic arms to him.

doc ockThe formula extended to the casting as well, as talented British actor Alfred Molina was cast as Otto Octavius over bigger names that were rumored to be up for the role such as Robert DeNiro or Ed Harris. Once again, the ploy worked out because we were allowed to focus on Molina’s great acting without any baggage another actor would have brought to the role.

However, we came close to having a new Peter Parker. Tobey Maguire made some noise about not returning to the role due to back problems, which was married to some complaints he had about his salary for the first film in comparison to the money the film made. Sony/Columbia went so far as to offer the role to Jake Gyllenhaal as a replacement before calmer heads and healthy backs prevailed and Maguire rejoined the cast.

The film also took notes from the comic books as Peter has problems with his powers (as he often did in the comics) which cause him to give up being Spidey for a while (as he did in the classic Amazing Spider-Man #50, which is referenced in a shot of Peter putting his Spidey costume in the trash).

Raimi seems to come into his own here. The surgery scene is vintage Raimi slapstick horror, and the emotional beats play better here that in the original. Bruce Campbell returns, this time as a snooty Broadway theater usher who refuses Peter late entry into Mary Jane’s play.

Spiderman-2This all resulted in a better film than the first one, in quality if not in grosses. It broke the record for one day grosses set by the first film with $40.4 million, but its domestic take of $373.5 million and $783.7 million worldwide lagged behind its predecessor.

But that haul was still worthy of garnering a sequel, and garner a sequel it did. And it was now that the wheels came off the franchise.

Spider-Man_3,_International_PosterOnce again, development of the film began before the prior film had even hit theaters, and almost immediately the production got off on the wrong foot. Raimi (along with a returning Sargent) was interested in bringing two villains, the Sandman and the Vulture, into the film to fight Spidey. As any experienced comic book film viewer can tell you, once you add more than one villain to the mix, you’re asking for trouble.

Worse than that, Raimi intended the Sandman to be a petty thief named Flint Marko, a man who steals to help his sick daughter, that got himself trapped in a particle accelerator and had his body fused with sand. Since this didn’t have the emotional pull it needed, Raimi decided to do a retcon and have Marko be the man who really killed Uncle Ben, albeit quasi-accidentally. This plot point is what irritated me the most about this installment. It was tacked on and it completely felt like it was. It was a cheap way to ramp up the emotional through lines of the film.

spiderman3-5Then Avi Arad got involved and convinced Raimi to change the Vulture to the more modern and more popular comic book villain Venom. Venom’s origin in the comic books is way too convoluted (it was an alien symbiote that Spider-Man picked up on an alien planet that he used as a costume until he found out it was sucking the life force out of him and he had to get rid of it. The symbiote then bonded with Eddie Brock, a man with an intense hatred of Spider-Man) so they simplified it for the film, slightly (it was an alien symbiote that came to Earth attached to a meteor that landed in Central Park, near where Peter was having a romantic rendezvous with Mary Jane. The symbiote managed to attach itself to Peter’s moped and followed him home, where it eventually became Spider-Man’s costume and began to negatively change his personality. Peter got rid of it and it attached itself to rival photographer Eddie Brock). Nonetheless, the character was a turn away from the “science gone wrong” villains the franchise had to that point.

spider-man-3-1You can almost see Raimi’s dislike of being forced to take Venom on in the casting for the villains roles. For Sandman, he cast Thomas Hayden Church, who was fresh off his Oscar nomination for Sideways, who brough weight and pathos to the role. For Venom, he cast Topher Grace, an actor with plenty of Teen Choice Award nominations to his credit, who seemed overwhelmed by the role, relying on smarmy and snark to get him by.

The producers also wanted to introduce Gwen Stacy (played by a redhead turned blonde Bryce Taylor Howard) into the mix to create a love triangle with MJ (still played by the blonde turned redhead Kirsten Dunst) for Peter’s affections. Harry also formed the corner of another love triangle for MJ’s affections, meaning the film had two competing love triangles, neither of which was as well formed or as well developed as one would have liked.

harryosbornSpeaking of Harry, it was in this film that they decided to bring his long simmering quest for vengeance to the forefront, creating yet another villain for Spidey to fight as Harry donned updated versions of his father’s Goblin gear.  Harry’s character arc goes from villain to supporting character (after he gets amnesia (?)) to villain to hero, without ever doing the due diligence the changes deserve.

Bruce Campbell makes his final cameo, this time as a maître d’ who helps Peter try to propose to Mary Jane.

All of this adds up to a jam packed, convoluted film that, in all honesty, isn’t quite as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, compared to the two films that came before it, it was Plan 9 from Outer Space-bad. But compared to Catwoman or Ghost Rider? Miles above those two.

Even though many critics considered the film to be the worst of the lot, moviegoers didn’t think so. They made the film the highest grossing one of the trilogy, earning $890,871,626 worldwide. So, yet another sequel was in the making. Raimi, Maguire and Dunst all agreed to return for the fourth installment.

But it was not to be. We’ll talk about that next time, along with the reboot that took its place.

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More BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Rumors: O’Quinn Vs. Purefroy as Luthor, Flash and Wonder Woman Cameos

Posted on 14 November 2013 by William Gatevackes

vote-lex-luthorI truly believe that Warner Brothers is engaging in psychological warfare with the film world’s rumor mongers. Because we get another spate of rumors today for Batman vs. Superman that contradict rumors that came before.

This time the media outlet is ComicBookMovie, one of the more reliable sites on the web, and their source at Warner Brothers offers up different rumors than we’ve heard before.

  • CBM’s sources state that Terry O’Quinn, who was rumored to be on the short list to play Lex Luthor, was never considered for the role.
  • However, the source says that The Following‘s James Purefroy was offered the role, and Purefroy turned them down flat. “Wanted nothing to do with it” is how they put it. At least he rejected the role before filming started (~cough cough~V for Vendetta~cough cough~)
  • The source says that the film’s take on Lex Luthor mirrors the way the character was presented in the comics post-John Byrne reboot.In other words, he will be a successful business man, charismatic and loved by the general populace, who considers Superman to be a dangerous alien threat and that he’s the only one who could combat it. I hope this is true. It would be better than the genocidal land grab schemes that defined the character in previous film incarnations.
  • The Flash is set to cameo in the film, but in his civilian identity. Who will play him? Well, according to the source, that depends on how well Grant Gustin’s appearance as Barry Allen, a.k.a. Flash, goes on Arrow. If his appearance on that TV show goes well, then he will reprise the role in the film, leading to a more cohesive union between DC’s film and television’s empires. If it doesn’t go over as well, then the film Flash will be recast and the film and TV worlds will remain separate.
  • Wonder Woman is also set for only a cameo, not a lead as has been so widely bandied about, also in her civilian identity of “Diana.”
  • So that means Gig Gadot,  Élodie Yung, and Olga Kurylenko are auditioning to play Bruce Wayne’s love interest, right? Wrong, says CBM’s souces. They say that Warners is looking for an African-American actress to cast in that role, and that the love interest will be someone who has been with Bruce a while, someone he trusts and knows his secret identity. (My guess, if these rumors prove true, they’re auditioning for Talia Al’ Ghul)

Again, since I think Warners is deliberately leaking false information by this point, we have to take every rumor with a bowling ball-sized grain of salt. But at least it gives us something to talk about.

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Are Tom Hanks And Terry O’Quinn Up For Lex Luthor?

Posted on 13 November 2013 by William Gatevackes

luthorsCosmic Book News has the exclusive scoop that Lost’s Terry O’Quinn and acting legend Tom Hanks are the next two names being considered for the role of Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman.

Before we go into an uncontrollable fit of glee of this news, or imagine a knife fight to the death between these two over the role, let me remind you, as I do with all disreputable sources of film gossip, that Cosmic Book News is the site that said back in August that Bryan Cranston was officially cast as Luthor in the film.  OFFICIALLY. CAST.

Bryan+Cranston+24th+Annual+Producers+Guild+zYierrmTFOXlThe site backtracked last month and said that Cranston backed away from a verbal agreement (which is anything but official) to do more live theater. They mention All the Way, based on Lyndon Johnson and the days after the Kennedy Assassination, which recently closed a one month engagement in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 12th and is looking for a venue on Broadway.

Thing is, it’s likely the play was  in rehearsals, or at the very least contracts were signed by Cranston for the show, when the Cosmic Book News story broke in August. So, either their inside sources are telling them wrong things, or they are misrepresenting what they are told to gain site hits. Either way, any “scoop” they come up with is unreliable at best.

Which brings us back to this latest round from them. The O’Quinn rumor is backed up by Superman Super Site, who quote a source close to the production, but state that it is just a rumor.

For the Hanks rumor, the site once again goes to “trusted sources at Warners” who say that Hanks’ name has come up in reference to Luthor. Hanks did recently go on the record saying that he’d love to work on a comic book film, so methinks this is more hit bait more than anything realistic. The site even backtracks by saying “Whether Hanks has read for the role and auditioned, I’m not sure.” Yeah, because he probably hasn’t gotten farther than water cooler conversation, that’s why.

Of the two, the more plausible is O’Quinn. I’d love for Tom Hans to have a shot at the role, because I think he’d be excellent for it, but I think he’s too big of a name, especially if the the role requires a multi-film contract. O’Quinn might not have the buzz of either Hanks or Cranston, but he is experienced in genre roles and playing bad guys.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson Officially Cast as Quicksilver In THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Posted on 30 October 2013 by William Gatevackes

AaronQuickSilverIt’s been a long time coming. but it’s officially official. We think.

The Wrap is quoting a source that states that Aaron Taylor-Johnson has officially signed to play Quicksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

While the casting has been rumored about for months, stemming from an interview with  Taylor-Johnson done by Total Film where the actor described the research he was doing for the character. However, the deal was not finalized until today, as scheduling conflicts between the film’s shooting schedule and the actor’s commitment to the publicity tour for Godzilla had to be worked out. This conflict didn’t appear to be a problem for Taylor-Johnson’s Godzilla co-star, Elizabeth Olsen, who signed to play the Scarlet Witch in the Avengers sequel weeks ago.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to open on May 1, 2015.

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Ridiculous Rumor About Ben Kingsley’s “Secret Marvel Project”

Posted on 29 October 2013 by Rich Drees


Last week, Ben Kingsley let slip that he recently completed a “secret Marvel job,” leading to speculation that he had filmed one of Marvel Studios “One Shot” short films that appear on the studio’s DVD and Blu-ray releases. A new rumor purports to know exactly what that One Shot will entail, but even before factor in its source, the idea is pretty ridiculous. Latino Review (surprise) is alleging that the plot for the short film will turn the reveal about Kingsley’s character in Iron Man 3 on its head. (Spoilers for Iron Man 3.)

According to sources, Marvel wants to make it up to fans so in the one shot, the REAL Mandarin is furious with Aldrich Killian and Ben Kingsley’s character Trevor Slattery for the mockery they made of the real Mandarin’s identity and legacy. The real Mandarin wants to set the record straight.

Yes, the REAL Mandarin.

This one doesn’t even pass the smell test and just feels more like some irritated fanboy wish fulfillment than anything else. Sure, some fans were upset with the radical departure that Iron Man 3 took from the comics for its portrayal of the villain the Mandarin. Personally, while I was a bit disappointed that the character wasn’t much like the comics, writer/director Shane Black’s twist was clever and fit well within the world that Marvel has been building up over the years. If Marvel thought that it was a bad idea, they wouldn’t have let Black go ahead with it, and I don’t see that the whining of a few vocal fanboys who make up a very small amount of the $1.2 billion in ticket sales that the film earned will make them change their minds.

Besides, If Marvel was looking to do a double reversal of that twist, I don’t see them doing it in a One Shot film. This would be the type of thing they would do in a post-credits tag scene, particularly in the Iron Man 3 post credits as a tease towards further films.

I’m putting this one in the same pile as Latino Review’s discredited but hilarious “Avengers 2/Phase 3/Avengers 3 will be an adaptation of the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines” rumor.

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