Russia gets its own squad of Soviet-era superheroes in the new Guardians trailer. How will it fair with Marvel and DC die-hards? Read more after the jump.
Greg Berlanti has confirmed he’ll be bringing time-traveling show-off Booster Gold to the big screen. Will the style of the TV shows be coming with him? Read more after the jump. Continue reading ‘Booster Gold’ Movie in the Works from ‘Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ Co-Creator
With the issues Marvel has had with villains, how will DC fare with it’s all-villain ensemble Suicide Squad?
Batman v Superman director Snyder weighs in on Spielberg’s criticism of the superhero genre’s future…and not on the side you might think.
The superhero movie has evolved from sporadic stabs in the dark to a staple money making genre in Hollywood. The question is, will it keep evolving? Continue reading Snyder Says Spielberg “Might Not be Wrong” About Superhero Movies
Now that James Wan has finished up melting critics’ brain stems with the unstoppable success of Fast and Furious 7, he’ll be back to treading some old familiar ground with his return to also incredibly successful Conjuring franchise with Conjuring 2: Enfield Poltergeist. But that’s not the only thing we know is on Wan’s horizon. There were rumours, you might say insinuations, that Wan would taking hold of the trident for DC’s Aquaman and adding his own stamp to the ever expanding (hasn’t quite expanded yet) DC universe. Ridiculous right? Wrong, read the headline idiot! Empire is reporting that Wan has officially made a deal to direct the project and bring DC’s dampest hero to life.
We already know that Aquaman will be played by Jason Mamoa and will make his first appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With the casting of Mamoa there was definitely a good chance that Aquaman would be very different to the orange-suited fish-dude everyone loves to make fun of. For one with the actor’s background we could definitely expect a more action packed depiction of the Lord of Atlantic and his regal straddling of the land lubbers and the sea folk. Now with Wan in board, it looks like they could be right. That’s not to say that Wan is a two dimensional director, but he’s got strengths that could definitely make Aquaman into something special.
Aquaman won’t be hitting cinemas until 2018, but the Atlantean will be making appearances in the Justice League movies as well. So if we’re not careful the DC universe will be… Wait for it… Saturated with Aquaman………..Thank you.
It’s more of an old joke than an in-joke these days that DC has followed Marvel’s template when it comes to constructing a cinematic universe. From teamups to superteam origins, from pacing to publicity, there are a lot of similarities. But now it looks as though DC has taken it too far. Copying the Edgar Wright Marvel split that seems so long ago, Slashfilm is reporting that DC and WB have had a creative split with Wonder Women director Michelle MacLaren. Honestly DC, get your own hobby!
I’m kidding of course, it’s no joke really. MacLaren was undoubtedly a huge get for the studio. A big name in blockbuster TV drama, MacLaren has made her name working in the likes of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. But it looks as though director and studio once again found themselves separated by irreconcilable differences. The statement from WB is unsurprisingly nondescript, but we’ll include it anyway:
“Given creative differences, Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together”
In a way this was an inevitable result that nobody wanted to admit. MacLaren has made her name with groundbreaking genre work, so there was no way that she wouldn’t make a huge impression on the direction of the story. This is especially true since her contract did not stipulate that she not be involved with story development. Like Wright before her, MacLaren undoubtedly had a unique vision for the character and the film style that wasn’t as up for debate as WB and DC would like. Either that, or it was the other way round and it was the studio that wouldn’t bend. Either way, these kind of differences don’t go away in a filmmaking process, and if they do they don’t go away quietly.
There have been some suggestions that the planned 1920s setting for the film was causing some contention, although it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get a straight answer about what caused the bad blood.
So now WB need to find themselves a new director if they want to stay on track with their universe wide to-do list. It’s unclear as yet whether former potential female directors like Kathryn Bigelow are still in the running for the gig, but considering the rumours that the gig is considered a poisoned chalice of sorts for any female director who might consider it. I mean, so far they’re kind of right.
Other than the crippling loss of a director, casting is still on track and there are no suggestions that the film will be delayed in any way. The question becomes, who’s going to fill MacLaren’s shoes?
Because of the sheer scale and bombasity of the upcoming DC superhero universe, you would be forgiven for not paying much attention to the other projects that Warner Bros. and DC are working on at the moment. A number of these will be based on the DC Vertigo imprint, which has a number of intriguing titles on the horizon, including Neil Gaiman’s Sandman directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Now, we have news on another project that had been dormant for a while but is set to get a lot more momentum in the foreseeable future. According to Empire, That project is Fables, which has now got a new screenwriter in comic adaptation veteran Jane Goldman.
Fables is a graphic novel created by Bill Willingham that has a dark, noir-esque take on classic fairy tales. In a nutshell, a whole bunch of fairy tale characters were forced out of their homeland by a mysterious enemy, only to find themselves in New York City in a borough known as Fabletown (I’m not sure if it was called that before they got there). Before you ask, yes, this does bear a striking resemblance to the ABC series Once Upon A Time, which has a number of fairy tale folks living in a suburb with seemingly no memory of who they once were. But considering the source material, this project will be a far cry from the TV show thanks to it’s grittier style and adult themes.
The script for the project had originally been written by Nikolaj Arcel, who is also directing. But apparently they wanted to make some changes with someone who has some comic book adaptations under their belt. Enter, Jane Goldman.
Goldman has repeatedly been in cahoots with Director Matthew Vaughan turning comic book pages into script pages, including projects like Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and Kingsman: The Secret Service, which will be hitting cinemas in the UK on January 29th. Beyond her work with Vaughan, she’s also worked on Stardust, another Neil Gaiman creation, as well as Susan Hill‘s The Woman In Black. Not bad, right? Now she’s turning her hand to Fables with Arcel collaborating on the new script.
Here’s what producer David Heyman had to say about Goldman joining the project:
“Jane is working on a draft of Fables as we speak, Nik Arcel [who’s still attached to direct] did a draft, and now he’s supervising Jane, who’s doing a draft. Hopefully it’ll come in and we’ll be able to move to the next stage. All these things always take longer than you want. And Fables is not easy, by any means, but I think it’ll be pretty great.”
So hopefully we’ll be hearing more about his project in the coming year.
What DC Vertigo title would you like to see adapted next?
March 25, 2016: The date that DC and Warner Bros. says is going to blow my mind! Judging from the set photos, the plot rumours and the umpteen films that are going to follow Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, I think they might be right.
It may seem like a long long way away, and that’s because it is. But we have good news in the interim because production has officially wrapped on the film. The film’s cinematographer, Larry Fong, was sweet enough to let everyone know by posting on his Instagram. have a look at the image, it’s as intriguing as it is sort of baffling.
Dawn of Justice is going to see Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck lock horns as the two greatest superheroes of the DC universe, provided you don’t ask Green lantern: he’s still a bit surly since his movie flopped and his reboot’s not for a few years…hopefully he sobers up by then. Sorry, went off on a tangent there. This will be the first time we see the two on screen together. The closest we’vecome on the big screen was in Batman & Robin with Goerge Clooney’s off the cuff remark “This is why superman works alone”. Cute, right?
Now that production is done we can hopefully expect a trailer or at least a teaser to dropping early next year, or maybe earlier depending on what other movie release it’s attached to (there’s a rumour circling The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies so keep your eyes peeled).
This movie’s going to be the ground floor of a very tall building, so it’s gonna be a real thrill to see some more tidbits emerge from this project.
Who do you think’s gonna win?
It goes without saying that everyone got a serious kick out of the news that Suicide Squad had a confirmed cast. The two biggest surprises to come out of it were the affirmation of Jared Leto as The Joker, and Will Smith‘s name being tossed into the mix as Deadshot. There’s no denying that a superhero team-up is a crowd-pleaser, especially since Guardians of the Galaxy proved that we don’t need to know the team members to fall in love with them. Add the fact that these are all villains, including Harley Quinn and The Joker!? How could we not get excited?
But now that we’ve had a few hours to calm down and all the glitzy dust has settled, maybe we should take a moment to think about how reliable a line-up of actors DC has put together for us.
First, we’ve got Will Smith. One of the most successful, well-known actors around. It might be argued that Smith has gone a little off the deep-end recently and might be looking to change his image with a DC picture. That might be true, except for the fact that he doesn’t need to change his image. Men in Black 3 grossed $624 million worldwide. 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Positive responses from critics. Granted, After Earth was mostly a write-off and Focus looks just plain dull, but so what? Clearly the man can still make what he wants and be a hit. Not to mention the fact that he could potentially come back for Independence Day 2 and already has a serious drama in the works with Concussion, an exploration of head trauma in the NFL, due out in 2016. So why Suicide Squad?
The obvious answer is because he likes the part and likes the script. But Smith doesn’t just have to like something and go along with it. If something doesn’t sit right with him, he’ll try and change it. Let’s not forget that he lost out to Jamie Foxx for the lead in Django Unchained because he wanted to shoot the bad guy instead of Christoph Waltz’s character. And this has got me worried. If Smith took this role, it could very well mean that the script was just the way he wanted it, or it was changed to suit him. This is all complete conjecture of course, but could still be bad news. There’s also the question of whether or not he has a contract to appear in other DC films.
But back to the other cast members. Tom Hardy is a dependable choice, given his history with DC (Dark Knight Rises) and his uncanny ability to augment his body shape seemingly at will. As for Jai Courtney, he’ll draw a modest tween audience thanks to the Divergent series if all goes well and will potentially make waves with Terminator: Genisys and add to the already considerable hype. Margot Robbie is starring in Focus alongside Smith, but her role in Wolf of Wall Street is most likely why she’s been given Harley Quinn to make her own. As for Cara Delevingne, she’s been popping her head in the door in a lot of big films recently, including Anna Karenina and the upcoming Pan. And if Aidan Gillen lands Deathstroke, he’s got his Game of Thrones gusto to call on.
And then we have Jared Leto. Between Requiem for a Dream in 2000 and last year’s Dallas Buyers Club, Leto’s acting contributions could easily have been missed if you didn’t know where to look. Two years ago he could very well have been groomed by Marvel as the star of a property all to himself, given his respectable dramatic chops and the kind of Everyman handsome face that pretty much any major superhero can be copy and pasted onto.
And it doesn’t matter that he has an Oscar. If you look at Leto’s track record, you get the impression that his acting trajectory is very much down to the projects he likes, instead of the parts he thinks would make him more successful. Now that he has Best Supporting Actor under his belt I don’t see that changing. Don’t forget that Ledger had a nomination for Brokeback Mountain before he was cast for The Dark Knight , so that’s not the issue.
But if you look at the kind of film The Dark Knight was, and the kind of work that Leto has done in the past, you could start to think that DC are going to stick with their plan to keep things dark and serious. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Do all superhero movies need to follow the colourful, fun-loving Marvel template? Not necessarily. It’s not so much about following the herd as it is drawing on experience and knowing what works in the long term.
Let’s just have a quick side-by-side comparison with Marvel. Now don’t get antsy, I know they aren’t the same and they can put their universes together in different ways. But we have to consider that DC is starting on the back foot and it’s already trying to catch up with Marvel in terms of output. Just take a look at the line-up of films to come out of both studios over the next few years:
From 2015 onward, we already have word of 23 Marvel properties and 15 DC properties. That seems unbalanced, but if you take away all of the Marvel films that will be released outside of the Marvel Studio system by Fox, Sony and Disney, that leaves Marvel Studios with 9 upcoming films against DC/ Warner Bros.’ 15. So it’s safe to say that DC have come to play, and they’re looking to take up as much space on the calendar as possible. That’s OK though, right? Marvel can’t “own” making good superhero movies can they? Of course not, but here’s the problem: DC simply hasn’t got the foundations for this kind of consistent turnout yet.
By the time we hit 2015, Marvel Studios will have released ten blockbuster productions, all successful, all awaiting sequels (apart from Iron man that already has two and Hulk). By the time the predicted line-up is finished, Marvel Studios’ number of productions will be more than twice as large. And that’s just in the current continuity.
DC has one: Man of Steel.
Now DC has a whole archive of successful films: the original batman series, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Christopher Reeves’ Superman, Watchmen – almost all of them produced by Warner Bros. Their ability to make good films is not in question. But they’ve never had to worry about tying them all together before. No one was telling Tim Burton to make Michael Keaton less self-reliant in case he needed to get involved with the Justice League…although that might explain what happened with Batman Forever . The truth is Marvel has been perfecting for the last six years what DC only started putting into effect a year ago.
I agree that I might be spoiling the party for everyone by saying it’s gonna suck before we even get there. Suicide Squad could be amazing – it’s got enough acting talent to do it. The only question is whether the choice of actors, the choice of tone and the Jenga tower of a movie multiverse are going to play well together when the time comes. Hopefully they will.