Tag Archives: DC Comics

Ben Affleck directing “Justice League” movie?

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Rumour has it that former Daredevil” and excellent film director Ben Affleck is being courted by Warner Brothers to direct their attempt to get a slice of that sweet superhero movie pie with their Justice League movie.

This pleases me on a few levels.

Ben Affleck is an excellent director.  You might well have taken in his splendid Boston-set crime drama, “The Town”, and rightly enjoyed its muscular but layered take on heists, honour among thieves and the odd codes of masculine obligation which lead otherwise bright guys to do incredibly stupid things because friends, family and neighbourhood perception compel them to.  He’s a natural with actors – duh! – getting convincing work out of Blake Lively, in a feat which suggests that her TV gig on Gossip Girl vastly undersells her ability, a deft constructor of narratively valid and comprehensible action sequences and a storyteller who can find quirks and digressions which make even shop-worn crime tales ring somehow new.

And as I always say when talking about Ben Affleck the director, go and rent Gone Baby Gone now  – it’s an excellent directorial debut and a heart-wrenching tale of lost lives and everyday sadness beautifully placed within the wider frame of a private eye drama.

His Iran hostage drama “Argo” will be with us later in the Autumn, but the news that he’s being considered to direct a cross-media juggernaut such as “Justice League” indicates that Warner Brothers have as much confidence in him as I do – getting a proper film maker to helm a popcorn epic is a move which seems to have paid off for the WB before, and who better to tell the tale of DC’s Justice League than somebody with previous form in that area?

Shall we forget about the “Green Lantern” movie? It only seems polite…

No deals signed yet, of course, but all concerned will probably want to have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and co. motoring along in an effort to be in cinemas by the time that Mr Whedon’s second “Avengers” adventure debuts in 2015…

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“Wonder Woman” movie deflects bullets, gets writer

Wonder Woman – able to deflect bullets and duff scripts?

Ruh-oh.

Warner Brothers have announced that the writer of last year’s slightly terrible Green Lantern flick, Michael Goldenberg, will be scripting a movie adventure for the lasso-wielding Wonder Woman, as the studio’s plans for a post Christopher NolanBatman” cinematic universe gain pace.

Whilst the presence of the “Green Lantern” script on his resume shouldn’t set alarm bells ringing – a film is nothing if not the sum of its constituent parts and individual voices have a habit of being abruptly squished in order to make things that bit more mainstream – I can but hope that Warners and DC get the message that their characters should be a bit more expansive and heroic than they allowed Hal Jordan to be in his first outing.

You don’t get a massive “Justice League” movie by miring your cosmos-spanning heroes solely in the workaday world, guys…

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Last Bastich Standing

The rumour mill.  Don’t you just love it?

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Intergalactic bad-ass biker mercenary or failed KISS member – Lobo!

Horror site Bloody Disgusting reports (via nerd hub Bleeding Cool) that everybody’s favourite former WWE wrassler Dwayne Johnson is getting in on that comics-movie cross-over action and starring as DC bad boy and intergalactic bad ass Lobo, in a movie to be written and directed by The Rock’s “Journey 2 The Mysterious Island” director Brad Peyton.

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I don’t know whether this is better news than the previously hinted-at Guy Ritchie take on the character or a harbinger that the ultra-violent emissary of ironic doom is going to have his limb-lobbing, tooled-up ways rather streamlined to meet the demands of a PG-13 rating.

Because taking the hard edges off characters always works, right?

Treat this as salt-worthy until otherwise confirmed but it does rather tie-in to some of Mr Team Bring It’s recent, enigmatic Tweets about his future projects – having said that, he does have quite the packed schedule to circumnavigate before this film gets made…

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Trailered: “The Dark Knight Rises”

Happy Tuesday, everyone – have a trailer for the forthcoming Christopher Nolan opus, “The Dark Knight Rises” in your ocular cavities!

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If “The Avengers” is akin to a particularly delicious veggie bean burger in a sour dough roll with hot sauce, lettuce and mustard (go with me here), then The Dark Knight Rises looks like a particularly ornate three course meal with a decent cup of coffee following it.

Also, in related news, I’m now quite hungry.  Curses!

Hey, Hey, it's Anne Hathaway!

I’m amazed at how Christopher Nolan has managed to keep up the quality of his reinvention of the cinematic Batman for two excellent movies and it seems as though his aesthetic and storytelling choices show no sign of running out of steam if this trailer is to be taken as any evidence.

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No spoilers seem to be revealed herein – just tantalising hints about Bane, Bruce and the nature of the character played by Marion Cotillard and action sequences which look to one-up the large-scale mayhem liberally peppered throughout “The Dark Knight”.  This is the same Christopher Nolan, mind you, who according to the internet can’t direct action sequences.

This will end well...

And now a pause for a chuckle at the bonkers gall of that notion.  Oh, internet nerd defence forces, don’t ever change…

“The Dark Knight Rises” will, assuming everything goes to plan, be obliterating box office records at a cinema near you from July 20th…

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Super Bits & Bobs…

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Oh hi there, new Superman movie logo.  As the text above suggests, this is the first look at the new logo for Krypton’s finest son and will be seen in his next on-screen adventure, Zack Snyder‘s “Man of Steel”, which is due for release in June 2013.

As somebody who dug the ever-living kibbles out of Bryan Singer‘s “Superman Returns”, creepy Emo-stalker Superman and all, I’m more than keen to see what Snyder does with it, just so long as it isn’t having the action take place in Amy Adams‘ head and require that everybody dress up like a fetish model.

Elsewhere in the realm of the computer-coloured and splash-panelled, enterprising YouTubist TheIrishAvengerCBM has posted the ‘Head Count’ tv spot for “The Avengers”, which gives us at least a second of face time with the mysterious alien pawns of Loki.  And SPOILERS…

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This would be the Badoon, apparently.  Charming fellows, just given to planetary/dimensional jumps, weird gender schisms and first appearing in “Silver Surfer” Vol 1, number 2 if my interweb searches are to be believed.

Meanwhile, back in the realm of DC, it would appear that the possibility of an Avengers-like “Justice League” movie might still happen if the publisher and Warner Brothers can figure out how to make their – let’s face it – gloriously cinematic creations into movies which work on screen.

There’s a wee interview with “Wrath of the Titans” writer Dan Mazeau over at SuperHeroHype which alludes to his work on a “Flash” movie – ‘(He) can’t just be a guy who runs fast’.  So, a guy who runs fast and runs a street dance school, maybe?  The kids are into that, amirite?

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I suspect that much of the issue may be tone – are DC going to set these films in the near-realistic Nolan universe of the “Batman” movies, which makes the likes of The Flash, Wonder Woman and J’on J’onzz that bit more difficult to incorporate or might they take a leaf out of the book of Marvel and find the science fiction in the premise to make DC’s roll-call of titans, aliens, gods and goddesses fly on screen.

Because, you know, one slightly-botched “Green Lantern” doesn’t mean that we have to give up on the idea of the DC universe in movies.

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“Y: The Last Man” gets new writers. Now make the damn movie, already.

My favourite comic book series of all time? Oh yes...

Now that our long global nightmare has ended and the prospect of idiot man-child Shia LaBeouf starring in an adaptation of “Y: The Last Man” is no more than a horrible notion best forgotten, we can focus on some good news for a change – the existing script has been chucked and “Warehouse 13” scribes Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia are booting up their MacBooks in an effort to tame this beast once and for all.

It’s really a great read that you should check out if you can – if you like your science fiction adult and dark and funny and expansive, it’s really a fine series to let into your heart.  Mrs Rolling Eyeballs loves it too – it’s one of the few comics series that she’s ever gotten into.

If truth be told, I’m somewhat nervous about this being made into a movie, as Hollywood’s previous efforts to adapt DC/Vertigo titles have resulted in films like “Constantine” (in its own way, a fine little supernatural thriller rather doomed to disapproval by fans as it bore only passing resemblance to the character and comic), which suggests that comics are better at telling adult genre stories than their big screen equivalent.

There’s too much edge-smoothing, toning down and mainstream audience courting going on in the adaptation process for some of these titles to ever properly work in the multiplex.  Do moviegoers want more comfort and less ambiguity from their genre fare than comic geeks do?  Or is that what producers want to believe, so we end up with a film which appeals to nobody?

In that spirit of positivity, let’s look forward to this bleak tale of planet-scorching gendercide, viral horror and crap escapology being brought to the screen as a PG-13 romantic comedy with Zac Efron and somebody blonde from the CW showing up in a cinema near you in 2014.

In 3D, obviously.

 

 

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“The Dark Knight Rises” – trailer and prologue reaction

If you thought that Christian Bale's Batman was difficult to understand, you'll love Bane...

The slight matter of the prologue for “The Dark Knight Rises” only playing in select IMAX cinemas in the UK and the teaser trailer being attached to prints of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” wasn’t going to be an impediment to me seeing them today.  Oh, heck no.

This being the age of internet Kung Fu and impeccably coded bread crumb trails concealed within forum posts, I was able to hop around the interverse for a few minutes and got to enjoy both slices of Christopher Nolan’s forthcoming conclusion to the Batman trilogy.

Yes, they were in borderline-imperceptible, somebody’s elbow-in-the-frame, gritty and grainy cam-vision but that’s neither here nor there.  SPOILERS for the preview footage follow.

The prologue, first.  This is the six-minute sequence which introduces the threequel’s villain Bane and does even more than the extended snow level did in “Inception” to surely position director Christopher Nolan as a future Bond helmer.    The action is huge, seems admirably practical in staging and offers a wonderfully frustrating teaser as to Bane’s motivations, back story and character.

Hardy is fantastic in this most brief of glimpses  – a brute of a man who is none the less intelligent, methodical and possessed of a deadpan sense of humour (his one-liner when asked about the goal of his plan is a classic).  If there is a problem, its that Bane’s headgear and electronically processed voice makes it difficult to understand much of his dialogue – a problem compounded when his hench persons rappel down to the jet he’s being transported on (from their own transport plane, as one’s L33T hench persons are wont to do) and proceed to systemically dismantle the bloody thing whilst it’s in mid-air:  It’s a bold gambit and one that I support completely.

The thing is, when you’ve got an already difficult to understand character, heavy-duty sound effects competing for attention in the audio mix and all kinds of visual chaos going on (and you’re relying on this to be your big introduction to the character who will be the main antagonist in the film), it would be nice to be able to understand the bulk of what he’s saying.

It’s a simple but presumably easy to fix post-production problem, which will hopefully be achieved by the time that we get to hear the final sound mix in the release prints.  Because, and call me crazy here, I’m not sure that I want to see a film where both of the main characters are nearly impossible to understand.  It’d be like watching those two titans of elusive diction, Miley Cyrus and Chris Tucker acting together on-screen.  The horror – the horror!

The trailer gives a real sense, meanwhile, of Gotham City’s slide into anarchy and injustice without the Batman on hand to cause massive property damage and beat up fellow costumed neer-do-wells.

We’ve got a football stadium being blown asunder by Bane’s forces, prison riots, mass disorder, the Tumbler being pursued by Batman’s Batwing, Bane standing triumphant and even some business from Anne Hathaway’s Selena Kyle, whose dialogue suggests that Nolan is going to deal with the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ and anti-globalisation protests in some fashion.  Rather him than Michael Bay, I guess?

Glib internet snarking aside, the trailer is quite heady stuff, even when seen in the murkiest quality possible and suggests that Nolan has lost none of his gift for translating the heightened reality of comic book characters and settings into something which approaches a convincing reality – it’s always seemed as though Christopher Nolan was directing the sort of genre movie which Michael Mann is so skilled in,  but interpolating his take on Bruce Wayne into a story of obsessively dedicated professional criminals and the people who try to catch them.  With more gadgets and a key to the dress-up box.

That may seem inordinately daft to some readers – why is he wasting his obvious talents on Batman when he could be exploring the territory that he brought to the screen in “Memento”? – but the seriousness and grounding that he brings to this character and this world feels just right to me.

If nothing else, he’s managed to almost wipe this rather terrible memory from my mind and for that, I thank him.

 

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