I haven’t been posting news posts weekly anymore because I’m not sure how many people are reading them. There are plenty of sites that “break” news. That’s not what you’re here for. So instead, I’ve decided to wait until I have a bunch of items that interest me, and then blast out a healthy essay.
But before I launch into the main story, there’s two fantastic pieces of news from FOX studios. First, the Fantastic Four reboot has been postponed. Sure, it’s only two months (June to August of 2015), but I appreciate any time between now and the horrid destruction of Jack and Stan’s most important cocreation. Seriously. It’s not that there are minorities cast in main roles, that doesn’t bother me. It’s everything I’ve read about it, from the cast being told not to read the comics to the fact that based on their ethnicities it appears they will not be a family anymore. And family is at the heart of F4. It was the whole basis for the team’s creation!
But there’s much better news: DEADPOOL IS A GO! Put in your leave requests from work now: On February 12, 2016, we’ll get the movie, to be directed by newcomer Tim Miller. Miller did visual effects for Blur Studios, which is the company behind the Deadpool test footage that leaked over the summer. No word on whether Ryan Reynolds, a longtime advocate of the film, will get the lead, or whether they’ll be using the script written by the folks behind Zombieland, which got stamps of approval from Reynolds, Rob Liefeld, and the great Guillermo Del Toro.
And in other news…
THE ROCK IS BLACK, AND D.C.’S MOVIEVERSE STRATEGY.
Dwayne Johnson will play the villain in a Shazam movie coming some time after 2015, to be written by Darren “Shrek Forever After” and “Goosebumps” Lemke. Yes, it’s being written by a guy who writes kids’ films. DC has said it will have a different “tone” from the Batman/Superman movies. Frankly, I think DC’s attempt to create a shared movieverse is a mistake. Marvel owns, really, only one iconic character: Spider-Man. And they don’t even own the movie rights to him ‘cause they sold them back in the 1990s. When you’re relying on characters that many people have never heard of (Black Widow, Hawkeye) or most only know of from a show they watched as a kid (Hulk), a shared universe brings a sense of importance and consequence to each movie. Sure, Captain America is an icon now, but ten years ago? And Iron Man was at best a B-lister before Robert Downey, Jr., got involved. At least compared to Batman, Superman, and even Wonder Woman. Hell, even Green Lantern! Since DC’s characters are already iconic, there’s no need to create a shared universe: These characters can stand alone. Batman did it recently for a trilogy that was appreciated by critics and most fanboys. By doing this, DC can have a different character for its movies. Frankly, if it were me, I would have introduced Batman 2.0 (aka Baffleck) in his own movie, with Robin, and maybe only brought Wonder Woman into the next Superman movie. Then, they could have released Wonder Woman solo, Teen Titans, and then Batman vs. Superman. I’m not saying tying Batman and Superman together is a mistake (but I do think it’s way, way, waaaaay too soon), but I am saying keeping Shazam separate is a good idea. And I think it would be a good idea if they did the same for some other lesser characters, like Hitman, Lobo, Aquaman, Manhunter, or Sinister Six. All those would make great movies, but each would be a unique kind of film that would suffer if it were knit too closely with the bigger franchise.
DC ON TV. DC’s movieverse may still be a confused and rushed mess, but there may be hope for its TV verse. In addition to the generally well-liked Arrow, there’s its spin-off, Flash (coming 10/1, and I’m extremely optimistic), and Gotham (coming next week, and I am extremely skeptical). And there’s even more arriving:
- Supergirl by the guy behind Arrow and Flash is in development, and of all of them, I think this one has the most potential.
- Constantine. Coming October 24th, a TV series that is sure to suck. But DC is very interested in its “dark” universe. Which is ironic, because Marvel seems to proving that hope and light sell. In fact, Thor: The Dark World was the worst Marvel movie to date.
- Lucifer. Speaking of dark stuff, this one is based on the Vertigo series about Lucifer Morningstar from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (Sandman is also being developed, for the big screen)
- Titans. See, it might be cool to see a show about Nightwing, Raven, and Starfire. But it’ll be on TNT.
- And to heat up the internet, Machinima is partnering with DC for a series of animated shorts called, “Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles,” leading up to a 2015 full-length animated film produced by the geniuses behind “Batman: The Animated Series.” It’s another “dark” take on DC heroes.
BUT WHAT ABOUT D.C.’S COMICS? WELL, IF THERE WAS EVER A REASON TO READ THEM, IT’S GAIL SIMONE.
I read about twenty Marvel comics each month (but granted, only about twelve are really worth the read), about the same number of indie books, and only two DC comics: Batman (because when it’s good, it’s very good) and Superman (because I’m enjoying Geoff Johns and J.R.Jr.’s work). But now they’ve announced a reboot of Gail Simone’s brilliant Sinister Six book—a comic so good I’ve featured it here on my blog. The revised team will include Black Alice and Catman, members of Simone’s previous SS teams, and we’re promised that Catman will, finally, be overtly bisexual. The rest of the cast has not been disclosed. Like I said, this may be reason to increase my DC reading by one title.
MARVEL COMICS ON THE OTHER HAND…
…Are generally still good, cape-based corporate fun. Most don’t break a lot of new ground (notable exceptions being Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, and She-Hulk), but they’re comforting to my childhood soul. And here’s some neat stuff coming soon:
- Spider-Man and The X-Men: In which Wolverine, who’s dead by December, is replaced by a non-mutant. It will be written by Elliott Kalan (a writer for The Daily Show) and drawn by Marco Failla. Mutant cast will include Jean Grey, Shark Girl, Hellion, Rockslide, Jubilee, Glob Herman, Eye Boy, No-Girl, Ernst, and others. Hmm. A few Grant Morrison creations getting the spotlight—about time!
- Powers: On Marvel’s creator-owned Icon imprint, a new ongoing by series creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming—presumably to capitalize on the coming TV show.
MEANWHILE, AT MARVEL STUDIOS…
Scott “Silence of the Lambs” Glenn will play Daredevil’s ninja mentor, Stick. Aside from David Carradine, I can’t think of a better person for the role.
AND FINALLY, IN THE WORLD THAT ISN’T MARVEL/DC….
A NEW ALAN MOORE COMIC THAT HE WON’T OWN THE RIGHTS TO SO HE’LL PROBABLY SHIT ALL OVER IT IN A FEW YEARS. But that would be strangely appropriate, as the book in question is a new “Crossed” miniseries. Six issues of profane, disgusting, and completely offensive violence from one of the best writers in the industry. It will take place 100 years after the first cases of the crossed disease. Moore did Neonomicon with Avatar Press a few years ago, and is publishing a sequel (“Providence”) with them as well. And that book had explicit demon-on-human rape.
THE GHOSTBUSTERS CINEMATIC UNIVERSE. The Hollywood Reporter quoted Dan Aykroyd as saying that the Ghostbusters franchise should get a bunch of movies and TV shows, saying: “I’m thinking what does the whole brand mean to Sony? What does Pixar and Star Wars mean to Disney? What does Marvel mean to Fox?” Dude. You’re comparing a franchise that was only good once (in the first movie) to the Star Wars movies? The Marvel movies? Pixar?
GHOST IN THE SHELL. Last but not least, Margot Robbie, best known for teasing us with her crotch in Wolf of Wall Street, may be starring in a movie verison of Masamune Shirow’s manga, Ghost in the Shell.