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Friday, November 30, 2012

CW Young Wonder Woman Pilot Casting for Diana...er, Iris?


After we posted a blog about who'd we'd consider for the role of Wonder Woman in the proposed "Justice League" movie yesterday afternoon, news broke that CW and Warner Bros. TV have started looking for a young woman in her early to mid-20's and at least 5'8" tall to lead the television pilot 'Amazon' about a young Diana Prince. Except the name was changed to 'Iris'. What the what?!

“Iris comes from a remote, secluded country and until now has spent most of her life as a soldier and a leader on the battlefield. Because of relentless brutality of her life at home, Iris looks at our world with absolute awe and astonishment. She’s delighted ­and just as often horrified ­ by the aspects of everyday life that we take for granted: skyscrapers, traffic, ice cream. It’s all new and fascinating and sometimes slightly troubling ­to her. Iris is completely unschooled in our world, our culture, our customs. And she’s completely inexperienced at interpersonal relationships. She has no social filter, does not suffer fools, and tends to do and say exactly what’s on her mind at all times. She’s bluntly, refreshingly honest. She can tell when you’re lying to her. And she doesn’t have time or patience for politics or tact because she’s too busy trying to experience everything our world has to offer. There are too many sights to see ­and things to learn ­and people to care for. Hers is a true, noble, and generous heart. And she will fight and die for the people she loves. Iris is a fierce warrior with the innocent heart of a romantic ­and she will fight to the death to make the world safe for innocents and true romantics everywhere.”

The character certainly sounds familiar but what gives with the name change? This morning Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer, tweeted this clarification:
 "If a WW show happens her name is of course DIANA. Codenames (like IRIS) are used in casting a lot to try and avoid speculation.#TV101 :)"
Whew. Well, I'm glad they cleared that up. Although at first it wasn't surprising about the change considering the minor and irrational tweaks CW did to another DC character currently a hit show, Arrow, by changing Star City to Starling City and omitting the Green in Green Arrow. The network has enough credibility with DC comic fans after successfully bringing Superman to the small screen in 'Smallville' for ten years and now a version of Green Arrow. They are looking to capitalize on that success by bringing probably the most iconic super-heroine in comics yet the most under utilized character in live-action productions.

It wasn't exactly clear after last year's failed Wonder Woman pilot by David E. Kelley at NBC how soon we'd see another attempt at producing another feature. Luckily, Allen Heinberg is writing the script and is certainly more adept at this material than Kelley was. Now with this pilot and the proposed 'Justice League' movie and possibly a stand-alone feature film all her own, Wonder Woman fans could soon see the proper respect given to the warrior princess has so long deserved.




Thursday, November 29, 2012

We Cast the Role of 'Wonder Woman'

The Next 'Wonder Woman' is...


In light of all the Joseph Gordon-Levitt rumors being cast as 'Batman' in the proposed 'Justice League' live-action film adaptation by Warner Bros., which representatives quickly denied, we thought we could do some speculating of our own and try to cast the role of 'Wonder Woman'. While casting JGL as Batman in the JL movie makes sense if the studio is interested in keeping continuity with the previous Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, the role of Wonder Woman has not been introduced to big screen audiences before so it's imperative that they get this right. She has to be able to hold her own among the alpha males and embody the  body and spirit of an Amazonian Princess. Here are our suggestions:
Amanda Latona, 33 - Our assumption is that the studio will cast an unknown or virtual unknown actress to play Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Casting an unknown allows the audience to fully commit to that person in the role versus having an established star distract from playing her. Professional champion bikini competitor Amanda Latona perfectly embodies the role as far as looking like the strong warrior princess from the island of Themyscira. The lean muscles, facial features and long raven hair make her appear as though she leaped from the pages of the comic book.

PROS: The visual representation of the character personified.
CONS: Despite some on-camera spokesperson experience, professional singing and modeling she has limited acting experience. It was reported the studio was looking to have a young group of heroes and even though Latona looks spectacular at any age, they may want to cast younger. 

Now granted, choosing an unknown that looks the part but with questionable acting chops is risky, but let's remember that Wonder Woman is bigger than life and as powerful as her male counterparts. The bar is set high in filling her boots so it's going to take someone with a strong physical presence as well as legitimate acting experience. That leads us to actresses with acting resumes but would need to put in some work in the gym to achieve Greek Goddess-like stature. 


Katie McGrath, 29 - The 5'6" Irish actress with stunning blue eyes appeared as Morgana on the BBC series 'Merlin'. McGrath has the right look and with some added muscle could run away with the part. After studying fashion journalism she joined a magazine and became disillusioned with the industry. She landed a job as wardrobe assistant on the series 'The Tudors' and was encouraged to try acting which led to a small role on that show. She later got the part of Morgana on 'Merlin'. McGrath has sort of lucked into acting roles but obviously has some talent that has kept her on screen and in demand. The role of Wonder Woman could be her biggest coup yet if it comes to pass.

PROS: The general appearance of Wonder Woman, acting experience. 
CONS: Studio could still skew younger, may not have enough acting experience, would still need to increase muscle tone. 

Lauren Cohan, 29 - Cohan currently plays 'Maggie Greene', farmer's daughter to Hershel on AMC's 'The Walking Dead', and is no stranger to acting or action. The 5'8" American born-British raised actress has spent the last 3 seasons battling disgusting zombies on the hot and humid sets on-location in Georgia backwoods. Before landing the role of 'Maggie', Cohan had roles in series television like 'Chuck', 'Supernatural' and 'The Vampire Diaries'. She has considerable talent and screen presence. She would also need to increase her muscle tone to fill the role. 

PROS: Great height and acting resume. Accustomed to action-oriented filming in adverse weather. Kickboxing experience. 
CONS: Would need to muscle up a bit. Age again but does look younger. 

Marie Avgeropoulos, 26 - Canadian Avgeropoulos grew up hunting, camping, fishing, in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The outdoorsy, self-proclaimed tomboy, also rides a Harley and plays the drums. The 5'5" beauty always dreamed of being a bad-ass action heroine and I can't see why she couldn't be one the greatest heroes ever. Her Greek heritage aligns well with Wonder Woman's Greek God mythology. She used her drum skills to land a commercial. Chris Columbus put her in "I Love You, Beth Cooper" and then appeared in many guest spots across television including shows 'Fringe', 'Supernatural', 'Hard Target' and 'Eureka'. Her already athletic body would just need some minor toning to get the superhero build and is suited for the rough and tumble task of kicking the tails of villains on screen. She has a certain edgy quality that could lend itself well to the demeanor of a dead-serious Amazon warrior princess. 

PROS: Acting experience. General appearance of Wonder Woman. Physically adept for an action role. Studio preferred age range. 
CONS: Would need some minor body toning. Questionable gravitas for role. 

Kim Smith, 29 - This American model turned actress could be the whole package. At 5'9", dark hair, with a fit frame ready to build on with muscles Smith would look great on the big screen. However, the light acting resume could be a downer. A few small roles in forgettable films and a stint on the acclaimed but low rated television show "Friday Night Lights" is basically her acting experience. While tall and fit Smith would have to add some muscularity to fit the role. Smith is a promising choice. Someone who would fit the bill but it's uncertain if she's ready to hold her own in a leading role.

PROS: General appearance of Wonder Woman.
CONS: Limited acting experience. Age could be an issue. Some added muscularity needed. 


We don't know who Warner Bros. will pick for the role of Wonder Woman. We think any of these actresses could do the role justice and we're sure there are a number of others who could also. We just hope the casting is taken seriously with as much sincere effort in respectfully choosing an appropriate actress worthy of the iconic stature of Wonder Woman. As we've mentioned the role should go to someone resembling as closely to the legendary Amazonian as possible in both appearance and presence. The opportunity for the next iconic cinematic action star like Sarah Connor, Ellen Ridley, and The Bride awaits. 

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Michelle Ryan
Summer Altice
Odette Yustman






Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I NEED YOUR COMIC BOOK NOMINATIONS!

Spartantown.com will be presenting it's first ever Comic Book Awards next month and we need your help! Apart from Comic Book of the Year we will be awarding a Reader's Choice Award based on your votes. Before we can set up the poll we need your nominations for a monthly on-going or limited series title that you think were the best series you read in 2012.


So please leave your comic book nomination in the comments below or on Spartantown's Twitter and use hashtag #ReadersChoice. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Yaya Han in Yakuza Bodypaint by Nick Wolfe (Photography by Bryan Boiling)


Yaya Han, a jane-of-all-trades, is one of our favorites to feature. The costume designer, model, and worldwide cosplay ambassador is stunning in bodypaint provided by Nick Wolfe's steady hand. These beautiful shots come courtesy of Bryan Boiling and the rest can be seen at her site, YayaHan.com.


"I was recently painted up by Master Body Painter Nick Wolfe We've been  
friends for years but never had the chance to collaborate before now.
          Nick suggested something Asian inspired and I blurted out "Yakuza tattoo!" 

        and the idea for this theme was born!"






Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Spartantown!


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like
 wrapping a present and not giving it.

~ William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Walking Dead - Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - Animation by Nick Mastrangelo


'The Walking Dead' creator and executive producer, Robert Kirkman, tweeted earlier:



The young animator, Nick Mastrangelo, definitely has a bright future ahead of him. Check out this cartoon and all it's bloody action set to a metal anthem. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Happened to Girl Power Cartoons on Television? - An Opinion


I cannot figure out for the life of me why on Earth's televisions there is not an animated program powered by strong, fun and female characters. The audience is there. The audience has always been there. In feature films and straight-to-video DVDs the female leads have been there. Whether they're princesses, cowgirls, or ogres. Live-action movies and cable TV shows have prominent female leads geared to pre-teeen/teenage girls and are immensely successful. The toddler set made a curious bilingual girl and blue monkey a sensation. Which leads me to question that despite having these examples there remains a gaping hole on television for the next generation of animated girl power.

The 'Powerpuff Girls' reigned for six years as three super-powered little girls battling monsters and evil geniuses in the city of Townsville. They used their smarts and teamwork to save the day. They were adorable but powerful. Isn't that what we want to project to our daughters that they are stronger than they know and that they can solve any problem? Boys watched too the same way girls watch male-dominated shows now. Only the girls don't have that many choices. Their limited options are of little concern it seems to networks and advertisers. Unless the show is strictly designed to appeal to girls through toy tie-ins show runners have little patience or interest in developing original programming about empowering young female minds. There is more to creativity than dealing with 'mean' girls or searching for a lost puppy. Sometimes the prospect of expanding the boundaries of their imaginations and what girls are capable of can be as exciting as designing monsters, robots or super-powers for boys.

Super powers for example are not limited to boys. While there have been animated teams of heroes including female members for some time there has not been one made of just girls. On Cartoon Network, a series of shorts appeared featuring different heroes as a part of their DC Nation animation block of shows based on DC comics characters. One series in particular, Super Best Friends Forever, featured teenage versions of Supergirl, Wonder Girl and Batgirl. Created by Lauren Faust, SBFF, carried on a similar animation style she used on Powerpuff Girls. The vivacious characters were always ready to battle the villains while dealing with their friendship. It was fun, funny and action-packed. There is no report of DC and Cartoon Network making it into a regular series. This is a lost opportunity for both the network and the comic book publisher. An opportunity to expand programming to young girls with a quality show about powerful girls in action and bring awareness to comic book characters they can latch onto as they grow older and possibly read and collect their titles.

I would just like my daughters and girls everywhere to have a chance to  experience the same wonder and enjoyment of playing the part of their favorite superhero. The Halloween costumes, the bounding in the air pretending to fly, the chance to save someone even if it's just a Teddy Bear from a "burning" building and most of all learning that justice and doing what's right is important. Can they be taught other ways? Sure. Are they as much fun? Probably not.





Friday, November 16, 2012

Katy Perry as Wonder Woman by mykeallen


Ever wondered how pop star Katy Perry would like dressed as Wonder Woman? No, well deviantART artist, Mychal Allen, has and this manipulated Vanity Fair cover shows her wearing WW's colors.

Gallery 1988 New Art Show: 'Rated G' by Justin White

 Join us TONIGHT as we open "Rated G," the debut solo show from artist Justin White. Justin has created 30 fake animation cels, each depicted a different cartoon he's created, from a movie or TV Show that should NEVER be a cartoon. The show is outstanding and includes giclee prints and screenprints, in addition to the originals.

The opening reception will run from 7-10 PM tonight, and the artist will be in attendance. There will be no preview for this show, with the pieces first going on sale at the opening reception. The remaining work will go online Saturday afternoon at gallery1988.com.

We hope to see you tonight for this impressive exhibit!

Artwork from Justin White's "Rated G" (seen below) will first be available at Gallery1988 (Melrose) at 7 PM on Friday night, November 16th. Most of these pieces are available as original one-of-a-kind fake animation cels, while many are also available as giclees, and two are just screenprints. Any work still available after the opening, will be posted Saturday afternoon at our website. You will be able to purchase the work then, learn more about the show and gallery at gallery1988.com.



























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