Archive | In Development

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UPDATED: DEADPOOL Movie Test Footage Hits Web

Posted on 28 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

deadpool screenshot

[Updated with a new video embed and a tweet from the project's co-writer.]

While the general public might only know Deadpool as the Ryan Reynolds character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine or from his self titled video game of last year, he is one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters. He has a number of comic book series to his credit, and go to any comic con and you’ll see numerous cosplayers dressed up as him.

A film was long in the works for the character, but his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine , an interpretation that moved away quite considerably from way the character is portrayed in the comics, seemed to set the possibility of a Deadpool film back instead of move it forward.

However, in 2011, Tim Miller was hired to bring Deadpool to the big screen. Miller, who came from the world of visual effects, created test reel to show his take on the character. That reel is included below, but click fast because it might be taken down at anytime (see more about that below).

In case that footage no longer exists, let me give you a run down on it. The footage covers page 7 through 11 in Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s April 12, 2010 script for the feature, albeit with the violence and gore toned down a bit. The resolution isn’t all that great, but it appears the scene was “filmed” entirely in super-realistic CGI.  It starts with Deadpool, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, sitting on a highway overpass waiting for something. We soon see what as he steps of the overpass and falls into a SUV filled with sunglasses-wearing thugs.

Deadpool beats the crap out of the four occupants–shoving one out the door, breaking another’s neck–before inevitably causing an accident. The accident, which involves the SUV spinning end over end sideways down the highway, gets the attention of a lead, motorcycle riding thug. The biker thug gets off his bike and fires a machine gun at the SUV, which is barreling towards him. As the SUV passes over him, he watches Deadpool pull out a katana inside the car. The SUV lands and the scene ends with Deadpool using the biker’s head as a puppet to address the audience.

I am not the biggest Deadpool fan and therefore am nowhere near an expert on him, but from what I see in the clip, everything that makes the character popular is there on the screen. The inventive, fearless fighting style, the humor/craziness of the character, the witty quips (judging by the differences from the script, many possibly provided by Reynolds himself), the breaking of the fourth wall, everything that would make Deadpool fans scream “Shut up and take my money” is there.

Response over the web has been very positive, with everyone from iO9 to the Vulture to the character’s co-creator Fabian Nicieza to sing its praises.

Of course, Fox’s reply to all this popular press is to order the clip be taken down. Early reports on the footage were taken from a You Tube upload of the video that Fox asked to be taken down. The version I imbedded was a Vimeo clip, and was active at press time,  but odds are Fox will get around to having that one taken down as well at some point.

Cynical people might theorize the clip was leaked by someone to generate this type of interest. If so, hopefully Fox will take a hint and green light the Deadpool film at long last.

UPDATE: Co-writer Reese tweeted out the following picture of the shooting of the test footage featuring Ryan Reynolds in a mo-cap suit.

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Bruce Campbell Will Star In EVIL DEAD TV Series

Posted on 28 July 2014 by Rich Drees


Over this past weekend, there was scant details about the just announced TV adaptation of the classic Evil Dead horror series except that it was being developed by creator/director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell. At the time we wondered if it was going to be a continuation of the (mis-)adventures of Campbell’s Ash character, if the series was going to spin off from last year’s remake or if it would strike out on its own.

Well, we have our answer, straight from one of the horses’ mouths. When one fan made their preference known as for what they wanted to see in the series, Campbell revealed exactly what the plan would be.

Groovy? You bet. But as much as I am a fan, Campbell is a couple of decades separated from his prime years in the role, so I have to wonder if he will be as active, and taking as much abuse, as he was in the films. Perhaps he will be taking on a more mentor-ship role? We’ll see.

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SDCC: STRACZYNSKI Writing BABYLON 5 Film Next Year, Will Produce With Or Without Warner Brothers Help

Posted on 28 July 2014 by Rich Drees


Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski has announced that he is bringing his groundbreaking television series to the big screen.

Speaking at the San Diego Comic Con on Saturday, Straczynski stated that he will begin writing the feature film adaptation next year.

But who will be producing the film is a slightly complicated affair.

Although the original series was produced through Warner Brothers’ television division, who still hold the rights, Straczynski has always held the film rights to the franchise. He stated that the project will be offered to Warner Brothers first, but if they pass, he will produce the film on his own through his Studio JMS production shingle. Straczynski noted that trying to take the project to other studios if Warners were to pass without having the television rights as well would be a bit of a non-starter.

If the film were to move forward solely under the Studio JMS banner, Straczunski stated that he would have production underway in 2016.

The new film will not be a continuation of the original series, but instead be a reboot of the franchise.

It would have to be a reboot because it’s been twenty-plus years since we started that show and some of the age ranges wouldn’t work with some of these characters so we’d need to move a few people around. But what I want to do is use the original cast one way or another but we’d have to move some things around. I’d love to see [series star] Bruce [Boxleitner] as the President of the Earth Alliance; it would be the perfect role for him.

Given that the original series told one sprawling story over its five year run, I really don’t see how Straczynski will be able to compress it down into one feature film, nor do I think he would want to. It sounds as if what he more has in mind is that this film will be the start of a series of films that would retell his self-described “novel for television.”

Of course, it remains to be seen if the film will retell the original series’ story, if Straczynski will go back and reincorporate some story elements he originally planned for the series but was unable to due to various circumstances or if it will be an entirely new story.

This is not the first time there has been rumblings of a possible Babylon 5 film. There was some discussions of a possible film spin-off while the show was still on the air and an attempt in 2005 saw its financing fall apart over concerns that the cast were not big enough box office draws.

Straczynski stated that the film’s possible budget could range between $100 million and $200 million, and for him to be able to shoulder that burden shows the amount of heft that Studio JMS already has in its short time of existence. Since he announced its formation in 2012, he has teamed with the Wychowski’s for the currently in-production Netflix series Sense8 and is set to go into production on the World War Two drama The Flickering Light next year. He has also been developing a few other feature films including an adaptation of the Valiant Comics title Shadowman and a project related to Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling for Universal.

(Thanks to Jan Schroeder, who worked on Straczynski’s Babylon 5 Cafe Press script book project from a few years ago, for the reportage.)

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SDCC: FAMILY GUY Movie “On Hold”

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Rich Drees

familyguymovieYou know that Family Guy movie that gets mentioned every couple of years? Well, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer for it.

During a panel for the FOX Network long-running animated series, producer and sometimes episode director Peter Shin addressed the continuing rumors about a possible big screen version of the show, but that it is series creator Seth MacFarlane’s burgeoning career directing, and sometimes starring in, live action films that has delayed the project. Specifically, according to Deadline, he stated “We started some work on one a while ago, but it’s been put on hold. It might move forward in the future.”

Ted 2 begins filming tomorrow.

A Family Guy movie has been talked about for the last six years or so, since MacFarlane mentioned the possibility of one at summer 2008′s Television Critics Association press tour. In 2012, MacFarlane stated that the idea that they have is “definitely something you could not do on the show, which to me is the only reason to do a movie.”

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SDCC: Legendary Plans To Take Us To Kong’s Birthplace, SKULL ISLAND

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Rich Drees


Godzilla 2 isn’t the only giant monster Legendary has plans for in the upcoming future. Yesterday at the production shingle’s panel at San Diego Comic Con it was also announced that they were developing a feature based on the classic 1933 film King Kong called Skull Island which is scheduled to hit theaters November 4, 2016. No creatives were announced in conjunction with the project.

The announcement came in the form of a short video which took attendees of the studios presentation to an ancient, jungle-covered landscape while a voice-over intoned “We penetrated deeper and deeper into the very heart of darkness.” The clip culminated with the reveal of Kong.

In a released statement, the studio explained -

Previous works have touched on the island, but staying and exploring this mysterious and dangerous place offers Legendary the opportunity to take audiences deeper inside this rich world with a style and scope that parallels other Legendary productions.

Previously, Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of Kong explored a bit of the island’s backstory, with Jackson’s production designers creating a history for it that was then glimpsed in the vine-covered ruins that the film’s heroes dashed past whilst be chased by dinosaurs and Kong. Artist Joe DeVito teamed with writer Brad Strickland for the 2005 book Kong: King Of Skull Island, which also served as inspiration for writer Will Murray’s recent mashup of Kong and pulp hero Doc Savage, Skull Island. (Which I’m in the middle of reading and it is a crackling good adventure.)

Via Hollywood Reporter.

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SDCC: Marvel Confirms GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 For 2017

Posted on 26 July 2014 by Rich Drees


In what in some ways was a bit of an anti-climactic announcement at the end of their panel at San Diego Comic Con, Marvel Studios stated that they would be releasing Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 on July 28, 2017. James Gunn, who directed and co-wrote the first film, will be handling those duties for the sequel.

And yes, as you can tell from Gunn’s tweet, the first film hits theaters next Friday. So in a sense, even though the film is already getting strong word of mouth out of early critics screenings, Marvel is taking a big chance on the movie being a hit. Of course, for those of us tracking how Marvel’s interconnected superhero films are playing out, an interstellar adventure like a Guardians sequel could very well be a necessary component if the inevitable Avengers 3 is going to feature the superhero tea going up the intergalactic despot Thanos, who has already made an appearance at the tail end of the first Avengers film.

That Gunn was going to be taking the reins on the sequel is a much lesser surprise as the original writer on Guardians, Nicole Perlman, mentioned that he would be yesterday.

The announcement is a bit odd as Marvel has jumped over two of their announced release dates – July 8, 2016 and May 5, 2017 – to announce this title. What titles will get filled in on those two dates? Well, we’re still thinking that July 8, 2016 is going to a Doctor Strange movie and the only reason that Marvel didn’t announce it today is that they are still in negotiations with Joaquim Phoenix to take the lead of that film. Perhaps we’ll get an announcement at New York Comic Con in October?

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SDCC: Marvel Unveils ANT-MAN Helmet

Posted on 26 July 2014 by Rich Drees


Another day, another prop reveal from Marvel Studios.

Yesterday at San Diego Comic Con they unveiled Loki’s staff from The Avengers in some sort of harness, possibly a hint as to something that may be upcoming in next summer’s The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

Today, the studio premiered on the floor the helmet that Paul Rudd will very likely be sporting in the upcoming Ant-Man. What do you think?

(Via Bleeding Cool)


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Breaking: James Gunn Already Set To Write/Direct GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2

Posted on 25 July 2014 by William Gatevackes


Typically, studios like to see how a film will do before they sign the writer/director up for a sequel, but Marvel is not your typical studio.

The Wrap has found out through an interview with Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman that the film’s director and co-writer James Gunn will be returning as writer and director for an as yet announced sequel to that film.

While GotG has yet to be released, it currently has an enviable 100% fresh rating from advance reviews  at Rotten Tomatoes. Marvel likes to lock up creatives that get that kind of good buzz, case in point them locking the Russo Brothers in for Captain America 3 four months before Captain America: The Winter Soldier even opened.

Our own Rich Drees has also interviewed Ms. Perlman. Be on the lookout for that interview coming up soon.

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Warners Wants ARGO Scripter To Write JUSTICE LEAGUE

Posted on 25 July 2014 by Rich Drees


It’s something that has been speculated on and rumored about for some time. Would the signing on of Ben Affleck to play Batman in Warner Brothers’ Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice be a gateway for some of the other notable creative types the actor/director has worked with over the years into the DC Comics shared cinematic universe that the studio is working on building? The answer appears to be a definite “Yes” as Deadline is reporting that the studio is very keen on bringing Affleck’s scripter for Argo, Chris Terrio, on board as the screenwriter for their planned Justice League film.

Turio was the underdog who won an Oscar for his working writing the Affleck-directed Argo, surprising a number of Academy Award prognosticators who were expecting Tony Kushner to take the prize for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.

Of course, if Warners is indeed looking for a writer for the project, that would definitely lay to rest the rumors that the studio was planning on having the superhero team film go right into production after director Zack Snyder wraps Batman V Superman, which is currently in production.

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SDCC: Benedict Cumberbatch Shoots Down DOCTOR STRANGE Rumors

Posted on 24 July 2014 by Rich Drees


This is probably one of those stories that isn’t going to go away even after Marvel announces who will play the character, but fans just seem to want British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of Doctor Strange. The topic came up again at San Diego Comic Con as the Sherlock star was being interviewed by the folks at MTV.

Cumberbatch stats in the video below that he is already committed to a appearing in a production of Hamlet – apparently a prequel to that Steve Coogan movie from a few years back – at the time that the film will be in production. Of course, what this admission does tell us is that Marvel indeed has plans to have their Doctor Strange in production sometime in the later half of 2015, as Cumberbatch’s run in the show is from August 6th through October 31st next year, which would put the film in theaters sometime the following year. Since the only release date in 2016 we know Marvel has staked out but hasn’t yet announced an actual film for is July 8th, I would feel very confident in placing money that that’s when they’re going to release their Doctor Strange film. We’ll probably find out if we’re right or not tomorrow at Marvel’s SDCC panel.


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