Tag Archive | "Justice League"

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Warners To Announce Slate Of DC Comics-Based Movies “In The Near Future”

Posted on 31 March 2014 by Rich Drees

wbdcComic Book and comic book film fans have been wondering when Warner Brothers was going to start more fully exploiting the number of superhero properties they have at their disposal through corporate sibling DC Entertainment much in the same way Marvel Studios have been leveraging their superhero franchises. After a couple of recent stumbles, the studio does seem to be moving forward in building their own set of interconnected franchises spinning out of last year’s Man Of Steel.

The problem is that outside of 2016′s Batman Versus Superman, the studio has only given us the vaguest idea of what they have planned. A Justice League movie at some point and maybe solo Batman and Wonder Woman films are the only semi-confirmed projects. Meanwhile other heroes such as The Flash are being reported as having screenplays in development but with no promise that they’ll actually make it to the big screen.

But that fog of uncertainty may be dispelled soon. This weekend saw a rather interesting profile of the newly installed CEO of Warner Brothers, Kevin Tsujihara, appear in the New York Times. In the piece, the makeup of the media conglomerate under its new head was outlined and stated that amongst the restructuring that Tsujihara has been doing at the company is a tearing down of barriers between divisions with the aim of “force[ing] Warner’s famously siloed divisions to work more cooperatively.” The upshot of this, in specific terms of its DC Comics-based films is -

a film series will be announced in the near future, Mr. Tsujihara said. It is expected to include a “Justice League” movie.

Now it should be noted that it took Tsujihara nearly two years to claim the office he now works out of at the studio, during which he was in contention for the job alongside Bruce Rosenblum, the studio’s television president, was seen as the likely winner and Warner Studio honcho Jeff Robinov. Both Rosenblum and Robinov have subsequently left Warners following Tsujihara getting the job. And it could very well be that this power struggle that kept the studio from focusing on long term plans when it was unsure as to who would be in charge.

Personally, a public game plan would be a great way to excite fans and still some concerns that have been voiced about the studio and the progress, or more specifically lack of progress, that has been made in bringing their superheroes to the big screen. It was when Marvel Studios officially announced their plans to build their individual franchises towards an Avengers film in their quarterly earnings phone call on the Monday follow the phenomenal opening weekend of the first Iron Man film that not only fans but industry watchers and the general public started to take notice and a deeper interest in what the studio was doing. And that kind of excitement is something that Warners would be wise to ignite.

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UPDATE: Stephen Amell Addresses JUSTICE LEAGUE News Stories

Posted on 23 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

stephenamell2Big day on updates to yesterday’s stories, isn’t it?

We have another update to that Justice League story we ran yesterday. Stephen Amell took to his personal Facebook page to rant about how the media twisted his words around to create a story out of nothing:

Something I need to get off of my chest.

When I do press, I try and be open, honest and thoughtful. That being said… I find it incredibly discouraging to see a headline like the ones I’ve been seeing this morning. Headlines that aren’t just a stretch, they’re totally fabricated. At no point, have I had “studio level” discussions about any feature films at Warner Bros.

In this particular instance, when I read articles that take a pretty straightforward answer and slap a title on it that has little to no correlation to what I’ve actually said, it makes it seem as though I’m disrespecting my current position. Which is bullshit. And why would I do that? I mean… I’m not the smartest dude in the world. (After all… I picked a career in acting.) But would I really just casually subvert a process cloaked in secrecy? A process – by the way – being run by the company who currently employs me. C’MON!

We’re making a kick ass show. We will continue to make a kick ass show. And I will continue to interact and provide interesting content for our fans. Because I love our fans. If every once and a while, some dickweed wants to pull a headline out of thin air to generate page views, then that’s the price we pay.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I subscribe to Amell’s Facebook page and I think for the most part, he’s a straight-shooter. I like Arrow and think he does an excellent job on the show. So I have no hidden animosity towards him. But I have to call shenanigans here.

Let me explain. I’ll start off by reprinting the pertinent quote in question, taken word for word from the Fandango site yesterday when I wrote the article:

I have had discussions, but I think the gestation process for this project is a lot slower than most people think. I mean, they haven’t even shot the next one. They haven’t even shot a frame of the movie before the movie everyone thinks is the Justice League movie!

That part of his quote is conspicuously absent from the story on the site as of right now. There is no reason given for why the text was altered or that part of the quote was removed. But the point is that that quote actually was part of that article yesterday, as reported by many, many, many other sources. Having it removed does not mean it was never there in the first place.

Furthermore, that was a direct quote attributed to Amell. It wasn’t a reworking of what he said, it was what he said. And he’s right. He didn’t specifically say that he had “studio-level” discussions. But he did say that he did have discussions. So that part, at the very least, wasn’t fabricated (unless the entire quote was). And it might be a stretch to say that he had these discussion with the studio, but not much of one. That is the context of the quote. I mean, who else WOULD he have discussions about bringing Oliver Queen to the big screen with?

And notice that Amell makes a point of attacking the “headlines,” not the original quote. Granted, the third paragraph of his diatribe seems to go with the idea that his original quote ceased to exist when Fandango removed it, but he never explicitly says that the original quote was a fabrication, just that he didn’t say he had studio level talks, which wasn’t what his original quote said anyway.

And what part of the original article was making it look like he was disrespecting his current position? The part of the quote that remains where he says that the important thing is his TV show?

In other words, I think Amell is dancing a fine line here, trying to show outrage without ever truly saying that he was misquoted. In my opinion, just judging by his overreaction  to his original quote, I think that these talks really did happen. Maybe that original quote was supposed to have been off the record and that Fandango ran with it anyway. That would be a breach of journalistic ethics, but not as big of one if the fabricated the quote out of thin air for page views. And if they did that, Fandango should have ran a retraction and an apology for it, and the writer, Scott Huver, would have been canned. As far as I can tell, that hasn’t happened. But I think, and this is purely speculation and opinion on my part, that Amell said these things, got called in the “principal’s” office (if you will), got read the riot act (up to and including having his job threatened), and is trying to do damage control.

I could be wrong. But that is what my gut is telling me.

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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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JUSTICE LEAGUE News: Gadot Signed For 3 Films, Amell Had “Talks” To Join Film

Posted on 22 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

JusticeLeague1It appears that Warners is being very cautious in its pursuit of a franchise for a DC Comics shared universe. Two new news items seem to either confirm or reject this, depending on how you look at them.

"Fast & Furious" World PremiereThe first new item comes to us from Batman-on-Film, who has the scoop from another interview Gal Gadot did with Israeli entertainment news program, Good Evening with Gai Pines. In the interview, Gadot states she signed a three-picture deal with Warners, that she will be paid $300,000 for Batman vs Superman, and that filming is set to begin in May.

My knee jerk reaction to this news is that three movies is a little light of a commitment for Warners to sign up Gadot for. Heck, Marvel signed up Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson for nine pictures each. Gadot’s contract guarantees that Wonder Woman will be in Batman vs Superman, Justice League, and one other film. One would assume that would be a Wonder Woman solo film. However, wouldn’t it be prudent to at the very least sign her up to a sequel to the solo film or Justice League sequel NOW? Unless the third film is the Justice League sequel and Warners has no intention on making a Wonder Woman film at all. Either way, it doesn’t seem like Warners has much faith in Gadot and/or Wonder Woman for the long term.

stephenamellThe other news item comes to us from Fandango, who interviewed Stephen Amell from the TV show Arrow. The big news here is that the actor confirms that Warners has been in communication with him to bring the TV Green Arrow to the big screen Justice League:

I have had discussions, but I think the gestation process for this project is a lot slower than most people think. I mean, they haven’t even shot the next one. They haven’t even shot a frame of the movie before the movie everyone thinks is the Justice League movie!

Of course, this has been a rumor before, but only a rumor. Now it has been confirmed, and another part of that previous rumor also appears to have been confirmed by Amell:

All we have to do for something like that to happen, or even be a possibility, is continue to take care of business with our show and then we put ourselves in a position – but the important thing is our show

The conventional wisdom would be that DC/Warners TV arm (Arrow, the forthcoming Flash TV pilot) would only be included in the grand shared universe if audience response was strong. This “wait and see” approach might be safe, but I don’t think it’s the smartest thing. Having a close tie between the films and the TV universe can only benefit both. One of the biggest reasons given for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bleeding viewers is that it didn’t deliver on its promise of being part of the shared Marvel film universe. If Warners would actually meld the two medium, it immediately give DC an advantage over Marvel and bring more viewers into the series. It could work well, if the properly coordinated all the properties. But that would take time, time a “wait and see” approach doesn’t really give them.

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Has The Plot To BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Been Leaked?

Posted on 21 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

BatmanVsSupermanLogoIf you thought the Internet would stop talking about Batman vs. Superman after it got pushed back 10 months, think again.

Details of the potential plot for have hit the Internet. However, whenever stuff like this hits the Internet, you should take it with a grain of salt. Since this particular rumor comes from Latino Review, that grain of salt should be the size of Utah. And considering they got the plot breakdown from a post on a message board for the gaming industry, you should bump that grain of salt up to the size of a small planetoid. And the fact that the poster got the info from an employee who was recently fired from the production, that grain of salt becomes to large to be fully actualized by the human imagination.

But, it is of interest, so lets go with a:

spolieralertOkay, here is the rundown provided by the mysterious source, and how each plot point stand in my plausibility scale, HIGH, MEDIUM, or LOW:

  • The villians are Lex Luthor and Metallo: HIGH. Metallo as the secondary villain makes more sense than the previously rumored Doomsday. He’d be easier to fit in the film, is more in line with the direction this version would be going in, and is more in line physically with the actors rumored to play him.
  • Batman forms a UN type deal to stop Superman from destroying another city: LOW. Let me get this straight. The UN, a international organization with it’s own well-armed peace keeping force, with 193 member nations, many of which that have standing armies with bleeding edge tech, is going to make a deal with a guy who dresses up as a bat and throws bat-shaped boomerangs around to protect our cities. Yeah, right.
  • Aquaman is in it, but not called Aquaman. He’s there because the world engine in the ocean did something to the fish: MEDIUM. While this would be a good way to introduce him into the film’s continuity, there are better, stronger ways for this element to be introduced than the “world engine did something to the fish.”
  • Wonderwoman poses as a Wayne Enterprises investor to retrieve an item that belongs to her people.: MEDIUM. As with the above point, it would be a logical way of introducing WW into the narrative. Bruce could collect ancient Greek art. One of WW’s people’s items could have been bought by Wayne. But wasn’t a woman with ulterior motives infiltration Wayne Enterprises under the guise of an investor done already?
  • Lex Luthor is in the shadows a lot, a manipulator. Not much face time with Superman.: HIGH. If they are going with the business tycoon version of Lex, this is pretty much the only way that it would be believable. 
  • Robin betrayed Batman at some point, leading to a falling out between them: MEDIUM. Technically, I guess that this should be high, because it was a prevalent rumor for months, but I dislike the plot point so much that I can’t rank it higher than MEDIUM.
  • The Batcave was super cool looking, and the mobile looked similar to Burton’s: HIGH. The Batcaves have always been cool looking and the Burton Batmobile was just a the comic book Batmobile on steroids, so it wouldn’t be hard to go back to that.
  • Lois is investigating Lex.: HIGH. Logically, this makes sense. This version of Lois is actually a good reporter and if Lex is a dirty businessman, surely Lois would pick up on it and dig into it.
  • Metallo “kills” Clark: LOW. So, the secret identity would be done away with after only about an hour’s worth of screen time, total? Dubious.
  • The Daily Planet is bought by Lex Luthor for PR purposes.: MEDIUM. It goes hand in hand with the Lois investigating Lex plot element, but he’d buy the paper to shut her down rather than for PR reasons.
  • At the end Superman is living in exile, and the Justice League is an government approved superhero team.: LOW. Actually, this should get two LOWs. Superman going back into exile is backsliding to the status quo of the last film’s beginning. And forget about the fact that we don’t know why he’s living in exile (He’s attacked by the nations of the world? Set up to look like a bigger menace than he really is? Develops the head of a lion?), this either paints him as a snotty brat who runs when the going gets tough, a coward that won’t face up to responsibility of his actions, or an indecisive wimp that can’t make up his mind. None of these are good qualities for Superman. And the Justice League, of which only three known members of are introduced, will be formed by the movie’s end and get the government stamp of approval? That’s a bit rushed.

So, what we have here is a simplistic film that goes for cheap thrills other than smart storytelling. That is what makes it plausible, but also what makes it implausible.

Either way, we have a year’s delay so odds are even if this was the plot for the film, it won’t be in 2016.

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Rumor: BATMAN VS SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE Films Will Shoot Back-To-Back

Posted on 13 January 2014 by Rich Drees

superman-batman-and-wonder-woman-ready-for-justice-league-movie

All eyes rare on Warner Brothers’ Man Of Steel sequel Batman Vs Superman. Fans are already expressing some misgiving that the film already seems to be adding a number of other DC Comics superhero characters including Wonder Woman and possibly Nightwing and Green Lantern. We know that Warners is looking at setting the stage for a Justice League movie that would include those heroes and more and that they have been looking to do so rather quickly in order to catch some of the heat generated by Marvel Studio’s record-busting superhero team-up The Avengers.

A new rumor is now starting to circulate this afternoon that Warners is looking to get that Justice League into theaters even faster than thought by shooting the film back-to-back with the already in production Batman Vs Superman.

Now the rumor can be traced back to Latino Review, and we have expressed concern about the veracity of their “sources” in the past. If anything, I would say that they are making an educated guess, and there is some logic to this possibly panning out. Shooting two films in one block is a great way to save money, and let’s face it, these films are costing Warner Brothers a bundle. It is a cost saving move that has a history all the way back to the first two Superman films starring Christopher Reeve. The website also speculates that such a move is being done to accommodate the schedules of the growing franchise’s high-profile stars like Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck. This would also explain why we are hearing so many casting rumors for various other superheroes in DC’s pantheon.

Personally, I think Latino Review is taking a stab in the dark and hoping to get lucky with this. They’ve done it before and failed – The Avengers 2/World War Hulk/Avengers 3 rumor, anyone? Time will see how this plays out.

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More BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Tidbits: Definitely A Superman Film, Luthor In As Villain

Posted on 06 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

bof-600When a fan-site reports information about a film, you seldom see news outlets running with the information given. Then again, few fan-sites are like Batman On Film. That site is a reliable source of information (for example, it broke what the football uniforms would look like in both The Dark Knight Rises and Batman vs. Superman) and the site does enjoy unprecedented access to Warner Brother production, especially when Batman is involved.

The site’s founder, Bill “Jett” Ramey published a “BOF Mailbag” on Saturday, in which he answered questions from readers of the site. Naturally, talk focused on the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. From the answers, it appears that Ramey might have seen the script, or at least knows enough about the plot to know what the film will entail. Some questions Ramey answers with an opinion, others he presents the information as a fact, but the entire article is full of fascinating information.

Let’s see what scoop we can dig out of the mail bag:

  • The film is definitely a Superman-centric film. Even though most of the rumors swirling around the project makes it seem like a ipso facto Justice League film, Ramey says this will be a true sequel to Man of Steel.
  • Lex Luthor is definitely a villain in the piece, joined by another Superman villain Ramey was “not at liberty” to name. Hopefully, it’s not Doomsday. God, I really hope it’s not Doomsday.
  • Neither Martian Manhunter nor Aquaman are in the film. Thank God. The film was getting crowded enough the way it is.
  • Wonder Woman’s role in the film will be akin to Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow in Iron Man 2: This seems to fly in the face of everything that we’ve heard, especially from legitimate news outlets like Variety, that the Wonder Woman role would be the female lead. In other words, to keep the analogy going, like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts in the same film. If this is true, it doesn’t bode well for Wonder Woman getting a solo film. After all, how many Black Widow films has Marvel put out?
  • Ben Affleck’s Batman will play a larger role than Wonder Woman, with the definite idea of reestablishing the character in the shared universe and set up a spin-off trilogy. Furthermore, Ramey believes that Affleck has signed on for at least 5 films, Batman vs. Superman, 3 solo films, and Justice League.
  • Ramey theorizes that the films Amazons will be descended from the ancient Kryptonians that were shown to have crash landed on Earth in Man of Steel: Actually, while this change will surely upset a number of fans (and its already getting complaints), I think it’s an elegant solution to tying the film together and answering the question how a race of warrior women can keep their population going without men around. If you remember, the film establishes that Kryptonians reproduce asexually, with genetic information passed down through a codex. I think this way is a better answer than making new Amazons out of clay or having Amazons rape men for procreation.
  • Ramey theorizes that we might be seeing the new Batman suit sooner rather than later, but not to expect blue and grey tights nor a “Kingdon Come” style suit of armor. This is less scoop than common sense. The film is going into production soon and if Warners doesn’t release an official image, we’ll get a look at the suit through the helpful paparazzi. And while I wish there was a way to make the classic Batman suit work in a modern franchise, it doesn’t.

Again, this is mostly conjecture on Ramey’s part. Let’s see if any of this pans out as the film gets closer to it’s debut.

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Does Warners Have More DC Comics Movies In Development Than We Thought?

Posted on 02 December 2013 by Rich Drees

DCUniverse

There’s an interesting post over at Bleeding Cool which is stating that Warner Brothers might be digging deeper into their stable of DC Comics characters than we thought. According to their unsourced report the studio will be announcing next year -

A series of lower-prominence comic books being turned into relatively lower budget movies.

Suicide Squad is one specifically mentioned as only needing a $40 million budget, pre-marketing. Some could be made for as little as $20 million.

And with two-a-year scheduled for Spring and Fall/Autumn, Warners can expand the Man Of Steel/Batman universe significantly, and make a decent profit in the process.

The two-a-year model seems to be working pretty well for Marvel right now, but as Warners has to spread their overall yearly production budget amongst a number of projects and not just superhero films, I can see them still wanting to get some product out there for their perceived piece of the superhero movie pie. Lower-budgeted films featuring lesser-known characters seems like a good way to do that while keeping the financial risk mucher lower than that of the traditional, bigger-budgeted

Now in this era where it seems a prerequisite that superhero films have budgets that are in the 100s of millions of dollars range, it should be noted that there have been plenty of science-fiction/superhero films that have been made for the price range that Warners seems to be looking at. RED, which was based off a miniseries published by the DC imprint Homage, only had a budget of $58 million despite having some high-priced names in the cast. The Losers, based on a series from DC’s Vertigo imprint, had a budget of just $25 million. The original science-fiction thriller District 9 had a budget of roughly $30 million but still managed to look like a film that cost multiples of that amount. The same for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s highly stylized Sin City which also only cost $40 million and the superhero dark comedy Kick Ass, which reportedly only cost $28 million.

With that in mind, it is conceivable that Warners could launch a series of lower-budgeted comic book adaptations that tied into the larger-budgeted Man Of Steel universe they’ve already established and will continue to grow with 2015′s Batman Vs Superman and the eventual Justice League film and its spinoffs of The Flash, Wonder Woman and more. But the company will have to find the right characters to make this happen, matching the right hero with the right take.

Personally, I think that there are a number of characters who could used in smaller budget films. Non-powered characters like the Question or Wildcat spring to mind. Even superheroes who don’t necessarily lend themselves to sprawling epic stories like Ragman, Elongated Man, Deadman or Zatana could be prime candidates here. Remember, every movie doesn’t have to have end-of-the-world stakes and perhaps smaller scale adventures would help keep audiences from being burned out on the bigger spectacle stuff as quickly.

It should be interesting to see how this develops.

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BATMAN Vs. SUPERMAN Vs….WONDER WOMAN?

Posted on 25 September 2013 by William Gatevackes

Batman_Superman_Wonder_Woman_TrinitySuperman. Batman. Wonder Woman. DC’s Big Three. Three of DC’s longest lasting, most iconic, most popular characters. Three characters that it would seem would take years and years  to have appear on screen in live-action at the same time.

Or just two years, in 2015.

Maybe.

Bleeding Cool is reporting on a casting announcement that Warner Brothers are sending out for a new cast member for the Man of Steel sequel. They are calling for a female actresses, between 25 and 33 years old (or can pass for that age), who must be physically strong.

And the agents that are sending their clients out to audition for this role are telling them this mysterious character is most likely going to be Wonder Woman.

Now, as tantalizing as this speculation might be, it is just speculation. I’d like to take this time to remind you that a rumor got started that Wonder Woman would be getting a button scene in Man of Steel purely on the basis Gina Carrano visiting her then-boyfriend Henry Cavill on the set of the movie. However, if Warners is planning a Justice League film for 2017, it would behoove them to introduce all the players before hand. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have shared numerous comic books in the past, including two separate series named Trinity, so the connection is there. And if they use the rumored Flash film to reintroduce Green Lantern, two characters that also share a comic book connection, the the line-up will be all set for the 2017 film.

Of course, the lead female part could be a villain or some other DC character. It could be that transgendered Nazi from Dark Knight Returns (but, oh God, please don’t let it be that). But having it be Wonder Woman is fun to consider.

Developing.

 

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SCCC: A Opinion On The Comic Book News From The Con.

Posted on 24 July 2013 by William Gatevackes

san-diego-comic-conPeople have said that there has been a tidal shift in thought regarding at San Diego Comic Con in the film studios minds. Once, it was thought that a panel at SDCC promoting your genre flick would be worth millions in advertising dollars, that word of mouth from the panel would spread throughout the geek community and ticket sales would flourish. But after a few high profile films were rolled out at SDCC (namely, Cowboys & Aliens and Sucker Punch) to less than stellar box office, wags started saying Hollywood was scaling back its SDCC presence.

But even still, one would expect that the studios with comic book films would still deliver what they always had: big news, exclusive scoops and surprise guests. And this year, I found the comic book news was sort of lacking.

Let me explain what I mean.

DC/Warner Brothers:

DC won the comic book movie scoop war in the early rounds before their panel even started with the rumor that they were about to announce Batman/Superman for 2015, The Flash for 2016, and Justice League in 2017. This was diminished slightly when Warners only confirmed Batman/Superman. But even if those other films were announced, I’d still be a bit disappointed for a number of reasons.

First of all, as Rich mentioned, a Batman/Superman film was in the works in 2002 before Warners decided to reboot the franchises separately. A Flash film has been in the works for just as long if not longer. And a Justice League film got to the casting and set building stage before being scrapped. This isn’t Warners using Man of Steel‘s success to blaze new paths and break boundaries. This is Warners using that film’s success to clear out its superhero film backlog.

WonderWomanOn a somewhat related note, this bears comparison to how DC Entertainment handles its comic book operations. DC Entertainment business plan appears to be more about the now and less about the future. It seems like they plan one shocking event, including killing off popular characters, at the rate of one a fiscal quarter to bump up sales. They change writers on their books like most people change their underwear, not allowing anyone to build traction on a title or work free from corporate interference.  As long as the books are selling well right now, why worry about not finding writers or alienating fans in the future!

This seems like more and the same, only slightly less egregious. Superman is very hot at the box office right now. Batman is coming out of a franchise that made Warners billions. Putting them in the same movie together should be like printing money. But if you are building a shared universe, leading to a Justice League team-up, wouldn’t this spot be better used bringing another hero to the screen? If not that, having more films along the line that just the Flash’s? Like making a Wonder Woman film?

Speaking of that, I believe that now is the time for a Wonder Woman film. Twilight and The Hunger Games have proven that female-focused genre films can find an audience. And Wonder Woman has themes that mirror the ones in those films.

I know this might just seem like I am mad at Warners for not taking my advice, and don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see how Nolan and Goyer will be reinventing Batman again, I just think there is a lot of potential lost in the path Warners is taking.

Marvel Studios:

AvengersAgeOfUltronLogoIn August of 2011, Disney announced two Marvel films for the year of 2014. At SDCC in 2012, we found out that they were going to be Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.

In June of this year, we found out Disney has reserved May 2016 and May 2017 for Marvel films, with July 2016 being added later that month. At this year’s SDCC, we found out nothing about any of those dates.

Granted, there was a shorter turnaround time (one month compared to one year between announcement and the con) and a longer one between the con and the films release date (three years instead of two), but with some websites saying that Doctor Strange is all but cast, and Black Panther not far behind, you’d expect at least one of the films for those dates would be announced.

1005201_10151733620499570_124151884_nWhat we got was a subtitle for Avengers 2 (Now known as Avengers: Age of Ultron), a brief clip from Thor: The Dark World (with Thor supposedly losing an hand), a panel with the cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and a panel with the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy (with the scoop that Djimon Hounsou has joined the cast and that Thanos would make an appearance).

Certainly a fair amount of scoops there, but it seems like bigger scoops happened outside the panel. Joss Whedon spoke with Marvel.com’s blog, where he eased fans minds by saying Avengers: Age of Ultron would not be adapting the recently completed, somewhat poorly received comic book series of the same name. He then disappointed the same fans by revealing that Hank Pym, who created Ultron in the comics, would not be creating him in the film. Boo. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, shifts from Marvel continuity that the films have taken, and not one I think is for the better. Creating Ultron is a big touchstone in Hank Pym’s background. He doesn’t really have many other character defining touchstones than that. Taking that away from him weakens the character if he ever appears on film.

Then, in an interview with Huffington Post, Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s co-director Joe Russo revealed that the film would play directly into Avengers: Age of Ultron. My guess  would be that either the cybernetics team that make the Winter Solder ‘s implants creates Ultron to replace the Winter Soldier, or Cap breaks with S.H.I.E.L.D and/or the government and they create Ultron to replace him.

Sony/Amazing Spider-Man 2:

2013-07-19-sdcc_spiderman_01-533x355I have to say that Andrew Garfield seems to be the actor who has the most fun playing a superhero in comic film history. At the very least, he is the one who has the most fun at SDCC. For the first film, he appeared from the crowd at SDCC ’11 in a store bought Spidey costume and read a statement on how much playing Spider-man meant to him. This year, he spent a good part of the Spider-Man panel in a better Spider-Man suit, answering questions in character. His enthusiasm for the role goes a long way for me.

The panel had a bit of fun introducing Jamie Foxx to the dias (he interrupted a taped statement from Emma Stone) but other than that, it was simply a “promote the film” panel. You can call the fact that Paul Giamatti’s Rhino would have a small part in the film a scoop, but that was common sense. There was talk of the Sinister Six making an appearance down the line, but nothing concrete.

Fox/The Wolverine/X-Men: Days of Future Past:

A first look at the Sentinels from X-ME:DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, as seen ast SDCC '13

A first look at the Sentinels from X-ME:DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, as seen ast SDCC ’13

If you are looking for surprises, look no further than here. The Wolverine panel ended with a surprise X-Men: Days of Future Past panel.

The Wolverine panel was essentially just a promotion for the film, which opens this week. But Hugh Jackman shows once again that he is one of the classiest actors in showbiz. He was effusive in his praise to the fans for accepting him and called up Len Wein to shake his hand and thank him for creating the character. Like Garfield, Jackman seems to sincerely enjoy playing the character and it shows.

X-Men: Days of Future Past had a presence at SDCC already, with Sentinel designs being on full display. The surprise panel, complete with a clip, offered little scoops, only rumor confirmation. It will be Wolverine going back in time, not Kitty Pryde. Quicksilver will appear in the 1970s part of the film. And whatever happens in the past will bring Xavier and Magneto back together in the future.

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