Archive | Comics And Film

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THE BATMAN Might Be On For 2019 With Affleck Directing

Posted on 19 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

batman-vs-superman-ben-affleck-batmobileI think I have El Mayimbe figured out. He sees a geek film issue that needs addressing, like, say, why wasn’t there a Batman film in the list of DC Comics films leaked weeks ago, goes to his “sources,” and comes back with an “exclusive.” Other news outlets pick up the story, Latino Review gets site hits, and everyone is happy. Well, everyone except the fans who believe El Mayimbe, and are disappointed when the rumors eventually turn out to be false, because, well, El Mayimbe doesn’t have that good of  a track record.

El Mayimbe is quoting sources saying that Ben Affleck will be starring as the Caped Crusader in The Batman, which is set to arrive in theaters in 2019. Affleck might also direct.

Of course, on the one hand, this seems entirely plausible. After all, Warners isn’t going to let one of their most successful comic book franchises sit idle when they create a DC Comics shared universe, are they?

But if this is true, why didn’t DC add it to the list we got a week or so back? This would have been pretty big news and would certainly be a good addition to that list. Also, Affleck will be 46 or 47 (depending on when the film comes out) in 2019, which, with the exception of Robert Downey Jr., is a bit long in the tooth to be playing a superhero.  Add to the fact that the films that he directed and acted in up to this point were more ensemble pieces where his role wasn’t really the showiest in the films. That wouldn’t be the case here.

El Mayimbe realizes the weakness of the rumor, or perhaps his less than stellar track record, because he couches the news with him saying that this “is what I’m hearing the studio’s plan is, which is of course subject to change.” So, remember kids. If this rumor doesn’t pan out, El Mayimbe wasn’t wrong. The studio simply changed its plans.


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International GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Trailer Shows A Film You Might Actually Want To See

Posted on 17 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

GuardiansoftheGalaxyLogoHumor has always been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but always in measured doses and not in such a way that it takes away from the story. Guardians of the Galaxy appeared to change that trend, as every bit of promotional material they gave us seem to indicate that we’d be getting a film that more resembled Welcome Back, Kotter than The Avengers.

Thankfully, Marvel has released an international trailer for GotG, and this version seems more in line with their previous output:

Brendon Connolly over at Bleeding Cool thinks this trailer has a Firefly feel to it, which I can see.  And I also agree with him that this is a good thing.

I’m also tickled by there being more Rocket Raccoon in this version. It seems like Marvel realizes that Rocket is going to be the biggest thing to come out of this movie, and is playing that up.

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SABRINA, THE TEEN AGE WITCH Still In Development At Sony

Posted on 16 June 2014 by Rich Drees

SabrinaThis past weekend’s NYC: Special Edition comic show at Manhattan’s Javitt’s Center was organized by the folks who run the New York Comic Con every fall in response to complaints that the big show was starting to focus too much on pop culture and that comics were getting pushed off to the side. And while the show did indeed focus on comics books, their publishers and creators, it was inevitable that a little news related to film would slip through.

At the panel held by Archie Comics, the company’s CEO Jonathan Goldwater confirmed that a film based on their popular Sabrina, The Teenage Witch comic is in active development at Sony Pictures with a first draft screenplay due to be turned in within two weeks. Screenwriters Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari are reportedly the ones working on the project with Mean Girls director Mark Waters overseeing things.

The film rights to Sabrina and her associated characters were optioned by Sony in April 2013. Sony

Now while it isn’t necessarily pointed out in the reportage on the panel from Bleeding Cool, I would feel confident that this new film project is not a continuation of the late 1990s TV series starring Melissa Joan Hart, but will be an entirely new live action iteration of the character.

I would suspect too that it is not going in the direction of the upcoming Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina series, which looks to be a more moody and adult-oriented horror series in a similar vein to Archie’s current critical hit Afterlife With Archie which tells of a zombie outbreak in Riverdale. Don’t worry, that series was optioned by Warner Brothers last year with Afterlife comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa working on the screenplay and Pitch Perfect‘s Jason Moore set to direct.

It was also reported that Goldwater stated that there would be more live action Archie news being announced soon. Perhaps it will be something from Warners about Afterlife With Archie? I dare say whatever it is, we’ll hear about it next month at San Diego Comic Con.


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Is Bryan Singer Being Removed From X-MEN: APOCALYPSE?

Posted on 09 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

BryanSingerBryan Singer has just directed the incredibly successful X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that has returned to franchise to greatness, not only in terms of grosses but also reviews.

Bryan Singer is also the focus of a scandalous lawsuit where he is accused of coercing a male minor into have sex with him using his Hollywood connections vis a vis the victim’s desire to become an actor as leverage.

The former should lock Singer in as director of X-Films for the rest of his life if he so chooses. The latter should have him dropped as a hot potato for any future, big budget project. The question became, which direction world Fox go?

A new rumor has it that Fox is choosing option number two.

Radar Online is reporting that the studio wants Singer to step down from directing X-Men Apocalype because of his impending court case. The reason Radar gives isn’t necessarily because the studio thinks Singer is guilty or the nature of the crime he is accused of.  The reason sources gave Radar is that the court case might cause costly delays during production of the film as Singer would have to take time off to defend himself from the charges. And it is believed that Singer would do just that because there is evidence that he might have been shooting the first X-Men film at the time the alleged abuses took place.

Fox appears to want Singer to step down willingly, offering him the chance to handpick his successor and stay on as a producer, but all attempts at negotiating a graceful exit for Singer has not been well received by the director.

This is a messy situation and if these rumors are true it’s bound to get a whole lot messier.

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Peyton Reed Is Your New ANT-MAN Director

Posted on 07 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

Peyton ReedHis name was rumored to be in the running starting only yesterday, but apparently Peyton Reed wasn’t going to let another Marvel film slip through his fingers.

Entertainment Weekly is saying that Reed has signed on to direct the problematic Ant-Man, and that Marvel has brought on former directorial candidate Adam McKay to rewrite the script. Yes, the man whose best lines as a writer have come from the improvisations of his actors is reworking Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish’s script. Oh, joy!

While numerous news reports state that Reeds last two films made over $200 million at the box office, that was six and eight years ago and $200 million is often the budget for a Marvel. But the one thing we can say for absolute certainty is that considering both men’s resumes are almost exclusively made up of comedies, Ant-Man will be Marvel’s first full fledged comedy.

Since production was supposed to begin on June 2, even if McKay delivers a script on Monday, the production will be at least a week behind.  However that seems unlikely and odds are that McKay will not be writing the film on the fly as production goes on (which seems almost more labor and time  intensive than if he directed the film himself). This means either the July 17, 2015 release date will be bumped back, corners will be cut in post production, or the filming would be rushed. None of this lends itself to a quality film.

Welcome to Marvel, Peyton. I hope you survive the experience.

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Cumberbatch, Hardy Being Considered For DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 06 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

cumberbarch hardy dr, strangeWhile Ant-Man flounders in the wake of losing its director, Doctor Strange is pressing full steam ahead, even though it hasn’t been officially announced yet.

One had to expect that after Scott Derrickson was named director of the film, the casting rumors would stat coming fast and furious. And they have.

Deadline is reporting that Marvel has started a wish list of actors they’d like to play Stephen Strange and on the top of that list is Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy.

Now would be the time to mention that we at that “apple-pie-in-the-sky” period of casting rumors, where the actors named might actually be the ones Marvel wants, they might not actually be the actors Marvel gets.

That being said, if Marvel does cast Cumberbatch as Strange, they can just take my money now. I’ll camp out in the theater and wait for the film to arrive. However, Cumberbatch has been mentioned before in geek cred properties and not signed on (namely Star Wars). So, I’m not holding my breath.

Hardy is an interesting choice. Most people might only know him as the barely-audible Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but he is definitely a skilled actor. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the role.

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Movement On DOCTOR STRANGE–Derrickson As Director, Leto Possibly As Lead

Posted on 03 June 2014 by William Gatevackes


Well, I guess this solves the mystery as to what another of Marvel’s mystery Phase Three films will be.

Variety is reporting that The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister director Scott Derrickson is in has been hired to helm the long-rumored Doctor Strange film. The director confirmed the hiring via a Tweet.

Derrickson has a reputation as a low-cost, big return talent. The Exorcism of Emily Rose made seven times its budget back worldwide, and the $3 million dollar budgeted Sinister made over $77 million, worldwide. Even his remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, which failed to make its budget back domestically, made over $233 million world wide. Surely this played a role in Marvel’s decision.

jared-letoBadass Digest’s Devin Faraci adds that Derrickson will also take a pass at the script, as he is wont to do on films he directs. Faraci also states that newly-minted Oscar winner Jared Leto is the latest name on Marvel’s wish list to play the good doctor, a move he doesn’t act kindly to.

I am not familiar with Derrickson work, but he seems to be a fan. And Leto is riding high on a lot of buzz right now, and even if he rubs you the wrong way, he’s an actor that takes every role he’s cast in seriously.

So far we know that Ant-Man is set for a July 31, 2015 release, with Captain America 3 following on May 6, 2016. As of now Marvel have July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017 staked out for as yet unannounced films and conceivably Dr. Strange could slide into one of these berths easily. Judging by how their previous two phases have unfolded, I would guess that 2017 will see one more film and early 2018 will give us the third Avengers film. With Dr. Strange now slated for one of those three spots, speculation will begin as to what characters will take the other two spots, as they will probably be needed to help set elements involving intergalactic villain Thanos for his expected appearance in Avengers 3. Will it be sequels to Thor and Guardians Of The Galaxy, or new characters such as The Inhumans or Black Panther? I believe we’ll find out a lot in several weeks at San Diego Comic Con.


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Channing Tatum is GAMBIT

Posted on 13 May 2014 by William Gatevackes

tatum gambitSometimes, dreams really do come true in Hollywood. It’s not every actor who could get his dream role simply by asking for it, but that appears to be what happened here. Of course, it helps that it is an A-list star such as Channing Tatum doing the asking.

For those of you who have not been following the story, Channing Tatum expressed an interest in bringing his favorite X-Man, Gambit, to the big screen during a White House Down press junket. In return, Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of the X-Men films, showed great enthusiasm for a Gambit film starring Tatum. All that was standing in the way was studio approval.

Well, it looks like Fox gave the go ahead, because Shuler Donner confirmed Tatum as Gambit in an interview with Total Film on red carpet at the premiere of X-Men: Days of Future Past:

Now, some might say that there is some ambiguity in Shuler Donner’s statement. However, The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit was quick to jump on Twitter with a confirmation:

So it is now thatit is officially official, let’s have a moment of silence for Taylor Kitsch, who had the character pulled out right from under him. Sorry, dude. That must sting.

We’ll have to see if Tatum’s X-Men: Apocalypse role will be a cameo, a supporting role, or a post-credits scene. But whatever it is, it will most likely set up his solo film in some way.

Again, I think this is a savvy move on Fox’s part. With Hugh Jackman making rumblings that his time as Wolverine might be coming to an end, having a popular character from the comics played by an actor with appeal from both genders in the film pipeline as a replacement is a nice bit of security.

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Tim Blake Nelson In Talks To Play Mole Man In FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot

Posted on 01 May 2014 by William Gatevackes

nelson mole manMaybe the second time will be the charm?

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that actor Tim Blake Nelson is in “final negotiations” to play a socially awkward scientist named Harvey Elder in Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot. Longtime comic book fans might recognize the name, as it is the civilian identity of the comic book Fantastic Four’s villain, Mole Man, the bad guy the team faced on their very first adventure.

Mole Man is a scientist who was bullied for his looks, intellect and lack of social skills. He decided to leave the surface world and heads underground, where he discovers a subterranean race of yellow skinned creatures called Moloids. He crafts the creatures into an army which he uses to attack the surface world.

Sources say that while Harvey Elder will appear in the first film of the reboot, the Mole Man will not. The character is merely being set up as a bad guy for future FF films.

This scenario must sound familiar to Nelson as this is the second time he’s played a character meant to be a villain in future installments of a comic book film franchise. He also played Sam Stearns in The Incredible Hulk. Once again, comic fans know that name as the alter ego of the gamma ray powered Hulk villain, The Leader. In the film, the Stearns character was a scientist helping Bruce Banner to find a cure for his condition. However, a lab accident caused him to be infected with some of the Hulk’s blood and begin to change into a creature resembling his comic book doppelganger. Obviously, it was setting up Nelson as a potential villain for the franchise, but a sequel to The Incredible Hulk has not been forthcoming, and likely never will.

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Matt Damon As AQUAMAN: The Rumor That Will Not Die

Posted on 28 April 2014 by William Gatevackes

matt-damon-ben-affleck-01So did you hear the one about Matt Damon being pursued for the role of Aquaman in Batman vs Superman? Well, Matt Goldberg over at Collider didn’t, so he makes a big deal about it now.

This latest round started when Jeff Sneider over at The Wrap made a casual reference to the rumor that Matt Damon was being sought to play the King of Atlantis in Warners’ upcoming slate of DC’s films during his story on Zack Snyder being named director of the Justice League film. Goldberg obviously thinks Sneider buried the lead with this information, so he takes that small factoid and makes a full post out of it. Goldberg even marvels at the fact that such a rumor was able to be “kept under wraps” for such a long time.

Thing is, it hasn’t been under wraps. It has been out in the open for almost nine months. Who do I know this? Because I mentioned the rumor in an article here back on August 26, 2013. It was tacked on the “Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor” rumor Cosmic Book News put forth three days before that. And we all know how that worked out, now don’t we?

But regardless, this rumor is old news. But since Goldberg didn’t even do a cursory Google search, he thought he had the scoop of the century. The sad thing is, page is probably getting a lot hits, because people who actually did hear the rumor back in August thought there might have been some movement in that area since there was a news on it. Imagine their disappointment when they actually read Goldberg’s article.

In the interest of not getting fans’ hopes up, let me say this. I’m more likely to play Aquaman than Matt Damon, and I don’t even know how to swim. It might not seem like it, but Damon is a major movie star. His films have grossed in total over $3 billion worldwide. He has one Oscar to his name, and two more nominations on top of that. Now, look at the other confirmed castings we have: a relative unknown as Wonder Woman, and a complete unknown as Cyborg. What does this tell you? That for everyone outside of Batman, Warners is buying low when it comes to casting. Granted, they are developing an Aquaman film, and Damon would add respect to what is considered a “lame” character in many circles, but it seems unlikely that Warners would be willing to pay the 43-year-old actor his $10 to $20 million salary when they can get younger for much cheaper and get a longer return on their investment.

And from Damon’s perspective, what’s in it for him besides working with his buddy Ben Affleck? He’s not going to get a big payday for his work, or any award nominations either. He doesn’t really need a franchise under his belt, and if he did, he still has the Bourne movies for that purpose. All signing up for Aquaman gives Damon is a big time drain on his schedule that he could have spent doing films he had more of a personal interest in.

So, let’s put this rumor back to bed, where it was before Goldberg woke it up.

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