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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Things Get Testy and Very Awkward at This NSFW Holiday Gathering of Heroes

It's Thanksgiving at the Justice League of America household and things are just as awkward for them as they might be for your family. Join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more as they give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving from Nerdist!

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Wonder Woman: Valerie Perez 
Batman: James Mastraieni
Superman: Ryan Stanger 
Aqua Man: Bradford Jackson
Green Lantern: William Sterling
The Flash: Steven Meissner
Raven: Celia Sutton
Ms Marvel: Olivia Taylor Dudley 
Green Arrow: David Neher
Robin: Jesse McKeil
Martian Manhunter: Charlie Sanders 

Wonder Woman Cosplay Courtesy of Valerie Perez
Superman Cosplay Courtesy of William Sterling
Batman Cosplay Courtesy of Sam Schmucker
Aqua Man Cosplay Courtesy of Christopher Cho
Green Lantern Cosplay Courtesy of Thomas Parham
Green Arrow Cosplay Courtesy of Sam McClellan 
Flash Cosplay Courtesy of Steven Meissner
Robin Cosplay Courtesy of Kelly Mark
Raven Cosplay Courtesy of Celia Sutton
Ms. Marvel Cosplay Courtesy of Mandie Bettencourt

Monday, November 25, 2013

2015 Could Have Too Many Blockbuster Movies

Crowded Field Could Divide Moviegoers

If you love going to the movies you may end up going broke in 2015. There are potentially double-digit blockbusters vying for box office supremacy that year and that's not counting popular animated fare like Despicable Me Minions, Kung-Fu Panda 3, The Smurfs 3, Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 among others. The bulk of these tent-pole movies as usual are sequels to other hits. Star Wars, Man of Steel, Avengers, Terminator, Hunger Games, Jurassic Park, James Bond, Mad Max, Mission Impossible, are all represented with new chapters. Some are more anticipated than others. Prometheus 2, Snow White and the Huntsman 2 anyone? How can fans keep up? 

Admittedly, not all of these releases are set in stone and could change at any time. A studio executive somewhere may want to save his job and move their movie to a year where the latest Star Wars or Avengers opus isn't premiering. The timing is fine for smaller movies like  Susan Cooper starring Melissa McCarthy because she's highly bankable and her comedy provides a great alternative to all the superhero action going on in May. The comic book based spy thriller, The Secret Service, is avoiding summer altogether and could be a hit in a soft month like March. Disney and Kenneth Branagh have a live-action Cinderella also coming in March starring Cate Blanchett.  

Unlike the sure-fire hits (more on those later), once popular franchise films are returning with new sequels to theaters in 2015. Jurassic Park was a colossal success in 1993 and even though the two subsequent sequels didn't equal its numbers they were still highly profitable. The last one came out in 2001 so the question is does the public still have a desire to see a dinosaur movie? Sandwiched between the release of 'Avengers 2' and the Man of Steel sequel 'Batman vs. Superman', Jurassic World will have to distinguish itself, give people something new and exciting if it wants to get their share of the box office pie that summer. 

The same can be said for the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie starring Tom Hardy. However, you have to go back to 1985 to find the last time the franchise that helped make Mel Gibson famous was relevant. This will introduce the post-apocalyptic road warrior to a whole new generation of moviegoers. Technically, it's a prequel to the events of the second movie in the original trilogy, The Road Warrior, but for all intents and purposes it is a completely new movie and character to audiences in 2015. Not only does the movie have to attract new fans it will have to do it a week after the 'Avengers' sequel is released. Good luck.

Another franchise that won't die is the Terminator saga. Now going on its fifth incarnation Terminator 5 is looking to turn around a franchise that's had to depend on foreign sales to turn a profit the last two times out. Little is known as far as plot details but Arnold Schwarzenegger is reportedly returning with rumors of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson also joining the cast. It too premieres between 'Avengers' and 'BvsS'. 

The films with the most question marks are the other comic book and video game based features. The least of all is Ant-Man which is being produced by Marvel Studios and even though it's an obscure character it's hard to bet against the studio on a hot streak (Iron Man 1-3, Thor 1-2, Captain America, Avengers). The other Marvel product not being made by Marvel is the next attempt at the Fantastic Four. The franchise isn't a complete flop for 20th Century Fox as they've seen a modest return for the last two features but it's no where near the success either critically or monetarily as the Marvel Studio offerings. They hope the third time's the charm with a whole new cast and will also be part of the X-Men cinematic universe. 

Movies based on video games have not done very well but in 2015 we'll see two more trying to change that in Assassin's Creed and WarCraft. They are immensely popular and hope they can transcend some of that fandom to movie tickets. 

Now to the best bets, the no-brainers, the movies big enough to make up for the crappy studio losers of the year. The most anticipated movies are Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs Superman, Star Wars Episode VII, and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. These are the ones fans will be lining up for, viewing multiple times, and blogging about incessantly. These will also be the most scrutinized by their respective fanbases. Especially the new Star Wars movie with J.J. Abrams at the helm. We'll have to wait and see if the franchise can shake off the stink of Jar Jar Binks. Despite the internet rage of Ben Affleck as Batman the Man of Steel sequel should still bring in crowds of comic book fans. 'Avengers' and 'Hunger Games' fans are rabid and should make them top 5 money makers for the year. Studios can rest easy with these offerings barring any casting or production fiascos. 

Other good bets should be the newest James Bond and Mission Impossible movies. Perhaps not the huge money makers considering the crowded field but usually perform very well. 

It is a jam-packed year for movie entertainment and who knows if there'll be enough audience to go around. There will undoubtedly be some underperformers but if you are a fan of superheroes, sci-fi or action you'll have your pick in 2015. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

PREVIEW: Harley Quinn #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner

The Fan-Favorite Loose Cannon Gets Her Own Series 

The kooky homicidal Joker accomplice returns to her own series next month written by comics wedded superteam of Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner and art by Chad Hardin. Harley Quinn #0 was just released and featured a humorous unconventional approach by Quinn breaking the fourth wall and talking to the writers as she chooses what artist would do her art in her own comic. The issue featured a who's-who of comics best artists - Jim Lee, Walt Simonson, Darwyn Cooke, Art Baltazar, Adam Hughes, Becky Cloonan, Sam Keith, Bruce Timm and more. Her own series will follow her day-to-day exploits in a more conventional approach.
“Harley is a complex character and we are going to build on her background, motivations and her home and supporting cast. Sort of what we did with Power Girl but with a mix of a bit more homicidal maniac added in,” Palmiotti told Comic Book Resources. “She is the hero in her own story. What happens, who gets killed, what house gets burned down and so on, well, that’s just part of her story. She looks at the world differently and we will be building on that and looking even closer on her past and what makes her tick. There are so many layers to this fantastic character that we cannot wait to explore.” 
Harley Quinn #1 is available on December 18 with variant covers by Conner and Adam Hughes.  She is such a unique and fun character that I think she'll be in good hands with Palmiotti and Conner. They've done great work in the past with Power Girl and Quinn certainly has a fan base so let's hope they come out and support a potentially great series. 

Warner Bros. Registers Possible Names for 'Batman vs Superman' Movie and Twitter is Not Impressed

Domain Names May Shed Light on Official Title of Man of Steel Sequel

The seemingly appropriate and succinct unofficial title of the Man of Steel sequel, 'Batman vs. Superman', is apparently not going to be the one Warner Bros sticks with officially. At least that's what a report by Fusible portends based on the domain names the studio has registered and it is causing some major kvetching on the interweb. The site monitors scoops via registered domain names that usually lead to some insight to what's to come whether it's video games, technology or movies. Speculation is that one of these titles will be used for the sequel.

Since David S. Goyer flippantly referred to the sequel as 'Batman vs Superman' in an interview it's been used as the tentative title by blogs and media for months. Fickle fans were torn by the title because some felt Superman was getting second billing in his own movie. Others thought Batman deserved the mention since he's the bigger draw. Now with these possible titles neither camp may be happy. 

“Man of Steel: Battle the Knight”,
 “Man of Steel: Beyond Darkness”
 “Man of Steel: Black of Knight”
 “Man of Steel: Darkness Falls”
 “Man of Steel: Knight Falls”
 “Man of Steel: Shadow of the Night”
 “Man of Steel: The Blackest Hour”
 “Man of Steel: The Darkness Within”.

The names may seem a little corny but one of these could be the one we'll all have to live with or there's also the possibility that they could be for movie tie-ins like video games and/or animated features. In any case since the news broke overnight the reaction has been mixed but the internet reacted as it only it can; with displeasure:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Harley Quinn by Jaime Tyndall

Beautiful Digital Fan Art 

Probably a good time to remind you that a new comic book series of Harley Quinn is available today by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner from DC Comics. The above image is not associated with the publisher but she remains a popular cosplay and artistic inspiration because of her distinctive look and unpredictable demeanor. Look for Harley Quinn #0 available at your nearest comic book store or digitally at Comixology. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Best Comic Books at Your Local Comic Shop Under $4

Quality Stories and Art Don't Have to Be Overpriced

I have had this irksome problem with some comic books that sell for $3.99. The problem is that a lot of them aren't worth it. The stories are okay and the art is beautiful but are they that much better than one a dollar cheaper? The answer consistently is no. Some $4 dollar books I've read contain the bare minimum of pages but the story doesn't contain much action, plot reveals or dialogue. Some $4 books are aimed at all ages based on animated television shows or toys. I would go broke shopping for my 8-year old alone. Does she really need glossy premium stock paper for a colorful pony comic? The problem I face is I'm not getting more pages, more story, more art for my money. 

The good news is that there are plenty of fantastic books out there under $4 that are totally worth your time and money. Here are just some of them:

 Saga is an epic space opera/fantasy comic book series created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples, published monthly by Image Comics. The series is heavily influenced by Star Wars, and based on ideas Vaughan conceived both as a child and as a parent. It depicts two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel, who occasionally narrates the series.

Saga $2.99 - Image Comics
"In a dystopian near-future, government is a quaint concept, resources are coveted, and possession is 100% of the law. A handful of Families rule, jealously guarding what they have and exploiting the Waste who struggle to survive in their domains. Forever Carlyle defends her family's holdings through deception and force as their protector, their Lazarus. Shot dead defending the family home, Forever's day goes downhill from there..."

Lazarus $2.99 - Image Comics

 It’s the year 3797, and botanist Nika Temsmith is researching a strange species on a remote science station near the outermost rim of colonized space. It’s the year 1921, and renowned English explorer William Pike leads an expedition into the dense jungles of Peru in search of the fabled “Lost Temple of the Incas,” an elusive sanctuary said to have strange healing properties. Two disparate souls separated by thousands of years and hundreds of millions of miles. Yet they will fall in love and, as a result, bring about the end of the universe. Even though reality is unraveling all around them, nothing can pull them apart. This isn’t just a love story; It’s the LAST love story ever told.

Trillium is an 8-issue series that combines rich historical adventure and mind-bending science fiction into a sprawling, unconventional love story by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Constantine, Animal Man).
Trillium $2.99 - Vertigo Comics

There’s no time for Wonder Woman to fully comprehend the fallout from last issue’s shocking turn of events as her family gathers to prepare for an assault on Olympus! 

Wonder Woman $2.99 - DC Comics

THAT THING THAT HAPPENED TO KATE IN THE ANNUAL IS TOTALLY FOLLOWED UP ON!This one has it all! Characters! Plot! Story! Dialogue! Theme! Meaning! Message! Action! A little exposition! Fire! Arrows! Criminals! Neighbors! Large bodies of water! Clients! Cops who don't care! A system that victimizes the victims! The dog!In a broken town where cynicism and apathy has its claws around the throat of the good and decent, LADY HAWKEYE is the only hero you can trust!

Hawkeye $2.99 - Marvel Comics

Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all gods’ creatures for profit.   It’s also a darkly comedic fantasy series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Hobbit Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack! 

Rat Queens $3.50 - Image Comics

Suzie's a normal girl with an extraordinary ability: when she has sex, she stops time. One night she meets John...  who has the same gift. And so they do what any other sex-having, time-stopping, couple would do: they rob banks. In the vein of THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN and BRIDESMAIDS, Image Comics invites you to come along with MATT FRACTION (Hawkeye, SATELLITE SAM) and CHIP ZDARSKY  (Prison Funnies, Monster Cops) for the series that puts the "comic" back in “comics” and the "sexy" back in “sex crimes.”

Sex Criminals $3.50 - Image Comics

When the Department of Homeland Security approaches Marine Biologist Lee Archer for help with a new threat, she finds herself plunged into the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oil rig known as the “Ghost Rig” with other scientists specializing in various biological fields. There, they discover something both miraculous and terrifying—a brand-new species that may just be the missing link…or a link to something even bigger. But when things go horribly wrong, and people begin to go missing, this scientific safe haven will turn into a house of horrors at the bottom of the ocean.
Multiple award-winning writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) and artist Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus) explore the horrors of the deep, probe the origins of human history and leap far beyond to a frightening future.
The Wake $2.99 - Vertigo Comics

ALL-OUT WAR BEGINS! The biggest storyline in WALKING DEAD history – just in time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series!  It’s Rick versus Negan with a little help from everyone else!

The Walking Dead $2.99 -  Image Comics

RON MARZ RETURNS TO WITCHBLADE! Sara Pezzini has been a cop, a mother, a girlfriend, and a private investigator. She is none of those things anymore. The only thing tying Sara to her past and preventing her from forging a new chapter in life is the Witchblade. But with everything else gone, who will Sara Pezzini be if she gives up the Witchblade?

Witchblade $2.99 - Top Cow

'Breaking Bad' Alternate Ending Video is a Joy to Behold

Walter White Wakes Up to His 'Malcolm in the Middle' Roots

As part of the special 'Breaking Bad' complete series DVD collection comes this wonderfully hilarious "alternate ending" video where Bryan Cranston wakes up as his 'Malcolm in the Middle' character and recalls to his wife played by Jane Kaczmarek a terrible dream he had where he was a meth dealer. It's so amazing that the premise so many fans joked about when 'Bad' ended came to fruition by the show themselves. A great treat for the fans. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Warner Bros Discovers They Own DC Comics and Plan New Features to Keep Pace with Marvel

The Studio Realizes They Have The Rights to More Than Just Batman and Superman
Image by Nico Santa Maria

If you didn't think the rivalry between two of the biggest comic book publishers in the country, DC Comics and Marvel, didn't extend to their production studios you'd be mistaken. Just as important to move copies of the latest Batman or Avengers story arc it's equally if not more important to get those properties in live-action form and in front of mass audiences. The payoff can be huge for their respective parent companies. There's a billion dollar prize when a movie franchise is done right. There are only so many superhero stories to tell at the movie complex and so with a huge archive of material for both companies the fight for eyeballs has led to television. Recent announcements have superhero and supernatural characters coming to fill the small screen for years to come. The competition even spurred Warner Bros to finally take advantage of their comic book catalog and answer the gauntlet thrown down by Marvel. The question is and has always been what's taken WB so long to bring more DC properties to fruition?

In 2008, as Warner Bros. released the much-anticipated sequel to Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins' starring an Oscar-winning performance for its 'Joker' in Heath Ledger was the The Dark Knight, Marvel Studios was already basking in the box office glory of its first of many hits with Iron Man. The previously unheralded comic book character of Tony Stark suddenly became a household name because of the star power and charm of former troubled movie star, Robert Downey, Jr. It sparked a new phase of movie development with the independent movie production arm of Marvel that would go on to spawn Iron Man 2 and 3, Thor 1 and 2, Captain America: First Avenger, and The Avengers. With over $5 billion in worldwide ticket sales combined there's no stopping Marvel now. It has more movies planned in another phase and obscure characters be damned they're making them and will probably be successful as long as their magic touch continues. 

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. was quite content to focus their energies on the Batman franchise because much like their publishing counterpart, the Dark Knight, is their cash cow, a reliable source of revenue when all else fails. All Batman all the time. It currently publishes about eleven different Batman-centered comics not including the numerous Batman-related books or "Bat-family" books featuring associates like Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Batwing, etc. This helps explain why there's been seven big screen adaptations, more than any other DC character,  since Tim Burton's hit, Batman, in 1989 and another reboot is on its way. 

The studio dabbled with other comic book properties since 2008 but were not able to find much success. The ambitious but complex adaptation of the seminal graphic novel, Watchmen (2009), did not resonate with audiences, Jonah Hex (2010) was dead on arrival and Green Lantern (2011) barely scraped by to make its production money back. Luckily, in 2012 Nolan returned to cap off his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises and once again rescued the studio with a billion dollar haul. So what does a studio do about to lose its golden goose? It plans for more Batman movies of course. Except this time the comic book movie making business had changed. While WB was taking their time putting their eggs in one bat-cave Marvel was already wrapping up their first phase of movies with more on the way. They were getting lapped by the competition who seemed more spry, agile and efficient. 

Marvel had twice as many hits with 4 different movies to WB's 2 Batman movies over the same time period. This doesn't include the properties that Marvel sold the rights to like X-Men and Spider-man who were being pumped out by other studios. It becomes crystal clear to WB that not only is Marvel a savvy, methodical, movie-making juggernaut they realize they are leaving money on the table as the appetite for superheroes by the public is growing and being fulfilled by their rival. Warner Bros. turned to another DC Comics icon in Superman.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wonder Woman by Jeffach

Another Great Wonder Woman
Piece by Jeff Chapman

Man of Steel Live Event, New Batsuit and Two Other Actors Contending to Play Nightwing

Man of Steel Sequel Frenzy Consumed Social Media Last Week

In a week filled with casting rumors it all came to a harmless thud on Saturday when Yahoo hosted a live Man of Steel Q&A with "Clerks" director Kevin Smith doing the emcee honors as he asked Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Zack Snyder questions, some derived from social media, about different aspects of making the Superman reboot. It was an interesting conversation despite not having any real breaking news on the sequel but did give some behind-the-scenes details about what went into making the film. This after a week of casting news and rumors regarding the possibility of Wonder Woman and Nightwing joining the sequel. Those prospects weren't really addressed in the live event as it was more of a promotional piece to generate more buzz about the DVD/Blu-ray release on November 12 of Man of Steel.

The Q&A did address some things like the ridiculous "controversy" of the destruction of Metropolis and Superman's decision to kill. Director Snyder pointed out that while the TV and movie versions of the Man of Steel have perpetuated this myth that he doesn't kill because in the comic books he has. Especially when you consider the global threat that General Zod was and his relentless desire to alter the world at any cost. "He's fighting his equal. He has no advantage," said Snyder. As far as all the destruction created by Superman battling Zod and his cohorts Snyder explained that "there are real consequences...there's a real sadness to the end of the movie...there's a human price and that weighs heavily on Superman." It is something that he must learn from and insinuated that those lessons will carry over into the sequel. 

There were more great tidbits about the movie and I would encourage you to see the video if you enjoy the behind-the-scene stuff like the look of the planet of Krypton was influenced by Snyder's love of 'Heavy Metal Magazine', the scene of a young Clark Kent with a makeshift cape was an instinctual nod to his Kryptonian culture, and how Amy Adams first saw 'Superman II' at a gymnastics sleepover. Plus there is a taped interview with Snyder and Michael Shannon. One detail is getting traction today comes from Snyder in regards to Lex Luthor:
 "At its core, Superman is an alien. He comes from an alien world ... Lex loves to call him an alien." 
Smith called it a spoiler but I'm pretty certain after months of casting rumors for the role of Luthor,  especially one involving Bryan Cranston, it was already assumed that character was going to be in it. Also the inclusion of 'LexCorp' logos in the movie alluded to it as well. 

At the end there was some original 'Batman vs Superman' artwork shown that is up for auction that helps DC Entertainment's fight against hunger across Africa. You can see and bid here.
Jonathan Wayshak
Kevin Smith wasn't done talking Batman because during his weekly podcast, Hollywood Babble-On, where he talks about pop culture and entertainment he revealed he had seen Ben Affleck in the new Batman costume:
You have not seen this costume in film before. Because every other movie has done this matrixy black armor thing...There wasn't a single nipple on this fucking suit man. I think everyone is gonna be like 'Holy Shit!' We haven't been down this path before. Even the Hardest core "fuck this movie" person will be like 'alright, I'm ready!' 
He went on to talk about what the suit reminded him of but it was beeped out on the podcast. It was reported earlier that the cowl was influenced by the 2011 graphic novel Batman: Noel but we'll have to wait and see. I'm sure Snyder and company are looking to differentiate themselves from previous versions of Batman costumes especially the most recent from the Christopher Nolan films. 

Last week there were also reports of Nightwing being in the sequel and that Adam Driver (Girls) was the leading choice to fill the role. Now comes word that the other two actors vying for the role are Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl) and Ezra Miller (Perks of Being a Wallflower) according to Superhero Movie News. Now with any rumor we recommend taking it all with a grain of salt. None of these actors inspire a lot of confidence in doing Nightwing justice but we've been wrong before. We're still waiting to hear confirmation on all those Wonder Woman rumors as well. We'll keep our eyes open and report whatever we find out. Let's see what news this week brings. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

'Batman vs Superman' Has a Leading Contender for Nightwing in Adam Driver

'Girls' Star is in the Casting Mix to Become Batman's Estranged Sidekick

The Wrap has just learned that Adam Driver of HBO's popular show,'Girls', is the leading contender to nab the role of Nightwing, Batman's former sidekick Robin, in the Man of Steel sequel. They also state that two other actors are also being considered but Driver certainly fits the "younger John Hawkes-type" actor being sought previously reported by Latino Review

Now I don't doubt Driver's ability as an actor but I never would have guessed he would be the frontrunner for the role. I'm sure the surprises will continue as Zack Snyder will join Kevin Smith tomorrow on Yahoo Movies to talk about Man of Steel. More to come, folks.

Two More Actresses Vie for Female Role in 'Batman vs Superman' But Is It for Wonder Woman?

Other Justice Leaguers Reportedly Making an Appearance

Variety  has quite the scoop regarding the names of two more actresses testing for the female role in 'Batman vs Superman', presumably for Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot (Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6) and Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) have joined Olga Kurylenko in the casting pool for the "tall, brunette, athletic and exotic” female described in the casting call. While they certainly fill the description I'm very apprehensive to definitely say whether or not it's for the role of the Amazon Princess. Even the report states that it could still be for Bruce Wayne's love interest.

Rumors have been flying around for months about the possibility of Wonder Woman joining Batman and Superman in the Man of Steel sequel. There have been recent blog reports that have said that it is  "likely" she is but no confirmation from Warner Bros. Another candidate may emerge since Jaime Alexander, who had discussions with the studio, is unavailable due to her obligations with Marvel's 'Thor' franchise. Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman may not be the only hero to show up either.

Variety says insiders believe more Justice Leaguers will appear in some capacity and they speculate besides WW it could be the Flash among others. Latino Review reported Gotham City's Robin turned Nightwing will be making an appearance as well. Are the seeds of a future Justice League movie being planted in what's becoming a de facto superhero ensemble feature? It sure sounds like it even though few details have been confirmed. Logic says that solo movies will be borne out of the sequel leading to that JL movie we've all been waiting for.

As for the actresses vying for whatever role in the sequel they are all 5'7" or taller, experienced in action movies and a history of some form of physical discipline - Kurylenko (dancer), Gadot (military service) and Yung (martial artist). They all could be Wayne's love interest or with some added muscle could very well be Wonder Woman. Of the three I'd say Kurylenko has the best overall appearance to the Amazon but I don't know if her or any of the other actresses have the acting acumen and gravitas to anchor the eventual solo WW movie. At the rate the rumors have been leaking out there's a good chance we'll know sooner than later who it may be and for what role. Stay tuned. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

'Man of Steel: The Animated Series' Parody Video is Dead On Funny

The Movie Version of Superman Puts a Whole New Spin in Animation

The geniuses at Screen Junkies have come up with another gem with this parody of the animated version of the Man of Steel. I couldn't help laughing even though I probably shouldn't have. Whether you loved the movie or not you should get a big kick out of this video. May contain spoilers if you haven't seen Man of Steel yet. Which by the way comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on November 12th. Enjoy.

Marvel and Netflix Join to Bring 'The Defenders' to Your Television Starting in 2015

Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist Get Their Own Series in Blockbuster Deal

In the never-ending rivalry of comic book publishers, now multimedia conglomerates, comes the latest volley from Marvel Television and Disney. It has partnered with the giant subscription streaming service, Netflix, to produce four original series over several years that will lead to a team-up mini-series. The tactic is similar in how Marvel approached their movie franchises. The heroes reside in Hell's Kitchen and fans will finally get to see 'Daredevil', 'Luke Cage', 'Jessica Jones', and 'Iron Fist' in live-action and together as 'The Defenders' in the proposed mini-series. This is by far the biggest commitment for both entities in the creation of original programming for digital streaming. 

Netflix has already made an indelible mark by not only producing popular, critically-acclaimed original programming like 'House of Cards' and 'Orange is the New Black', but also garnered the attention of the television academy with multiple Emmy nominations. It has created a new viable marketplace for new television programs much like HBO has for cable. It already has first-run agreements with Disney and all their properties, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Walt Disney so this news shouldn't be so shocking but it is for the fact that Marvel is bringing so many of these beloved characters to screen and committing to years of production in a new medium. The joint venture will allow both parties to share the cost of the project which should lead to quality production values beyond what Marvel would normally spend on their own. Netflix is still expanding their reach around the world and it makes sense to partner with a brand like Marvel that already has a popular global presence. The ramifications of the deal financially could be astronomical.

The 13-episode seasons will begin with Daredevil in 2015 and the others in subsequent years.  The blind lawyer turned superhero had an underwhelming theatrical release in 2003 starring Ben Affleck who'll make his debut as the new Batman also in 2015. I have a feeling the new Daredevil will get a much better launch this time around. In the hands of Marvel Studios characters that were much maligned, either for previous bad box office (Hulk) or almost complete public anonymity (Iron Man) they seemed to find the right formula that led to great success. It doesn't hurt to have Robert Downey, Jr. as the face of your franchises either. 

This is the Golden Age for comic book related entertainment led by Marvel and it doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon. Between Marvel and DC there are at least 20 different projects that we know of over the next five years that will find their way to the big and small screen. This venture between Marvel and Netflix is just the beginning and the ones to benefit the most will be geeks everywhere. Let the casting rumors commence!

Here's the official press release and some character bios for your perusal: 

The son of prize fighter Battlin' Jack, Matt Murdock grew up in the relative poverty of Hell's Kitchen with much reverence for his father, who constantly pressed him to study instead of playing with his friends. In turn, they taunted him with the nickname Daredevil since he always went back to studying (or secretly training in his father's gym) instead of doing things with them.
As a boy, Matt witnessed a man about to be hit by a truck and pushed him out of the way but the truck crashed and spilled its cargo of extremely toxic chemicals into his face. He awoke in the hospital blind from the toxins and learned that his other senses were amplified as a result of his loss of sight and was able to see by a radar-like sense using natural sounds around him, giving him ultimate confidence in his surroundings.
As an adult, he becomes a lawyer and opens a law firm with Foggy Nelson while secrectly taking on the mantle of Daredevil in order to protect the citizens of Hell's Kitchen and bring justice to the streets as well as the courtroom.
Luke Cage
 Research scientist Dr. Noah Burstein recruits Lucas as a volunteer for experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process he had previously used to empower Warhawk. Burstein immerses Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound; when he leaves Lucas unattended, Rackham alters the experiment's controls, hoping to maim or kill Lucas. Lucas' treatment is accelerated past its intended limits, inducing body-wide enhancements that give him superhuman strength and durability. He uses his new power to escape Seagate and makes his way back to New York, where a chance encounter with criminals inspires him to use his new powers for profit.
Jessica Jones

Jessica was riding in a car with her family when they collided with a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Her family was killed and, after spending several months in a coma, she was placed in foster care and adopted by the Jones family. Months later she awoke, stirred by the first coming of Galactus outside her hospital room.
Jessica later discovered that her radiation exposure granted her super strength, limited invulnerability, and flight (which she never fully mastered during her superhero career).

Iron Fist
At 19, Daniel Rand is given the chance to attain the power of the Iron Fist by fighting and defeating the dragon known as Shou-Lao the Undying, which guarded the molten heart that had been torn from its body. During the battle, Daniel throws himself against the scar of Shou-Lao, which burns a dragon tattoo into his chest. Having killed Shou-Lao, he enters its cave and plunges his fists into a brazier containing the creature's molten heart, emerging with the power of the Iron Fist. It is later revealed that there have been many Iron Fists before Daniel, making him the modern member of a long lineage of Iron Fists.

Batman's Former Sidekick Rumored to be in 'Batman vs Superman'

Dick Grayson aka Nightwing Could Make an Appearance in the Man of Steel Sequel

The 'Batman vs Superman' movie rumor mill has been firing on all cylinders lately with the just released scoop from 'El Mayimbe' himself over at Latino Review. The self-described "big game hunter" of movie news has caught a nice exclusive that I don't think many saw coming. His source tells him that they are looking to cast a "young John Hawkes-type" to fill the role of Dick Grayson, the former Robin, who took on a new independent persona of Nightwing after a falling out with the older, battle-worn Batman. Mayimbe does caution that this is strictly rumor despite getting similar details from secondary sources.

All this in addition to the news of actress-model Olga Kurylenko's screen test for the role of Wonder Woman and 'Thor's Jaime Alexander's comments of having meetings with Warner Bros., reportedly for the role of a love interest for Batman. I would suspect those meetings also involved talks about playing Wonder Woman if in fact she is to be included somehow in the sequel. She would be my choice as leading contender.

It's all a very curious development as to how this movie is shaping up considering the roles being added. Some people have squawked at having Batman in a Superman movie. Others are already complaining that the addition of Wonder Woman and Nightwing would only further diminish the shine on the Man of Steel and wondered how you can cram so many heroes in one movie. I think it's safe to say having multiple heroes is not only possible but proven to work (Avengers anyone).

I find it rather exciting because with so many DC Comics characters there must be a pretty formidable villain or villains waiting in the wings. Even if these roles are just cameos it could help lay the foundation for that 'Justice League' movie we've all been waiting for. In any case check out the following video and hear the Nightwing news straight from El Mayimbe directly:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

RUMOR: Wonder Woman Screen Tests for Batman vs Superman

Olga Kurylenko Tested for Role
Olga Kurylenko, Wonder Woman and Jaime Alexander

According to a "very reliable source" with  Schmoes Know, the French/Ukrainian model-actress, Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion, Magic City), has screen tested for the role of Wonder Woman in the tentatively titled Man of Steel sequel, Batman vs Superman. This is on the heels of 'Thor: The Dark World" actress, Jaime Alexander, having disclosed she had discussions with Warner Bros. about another role in the movie but supposedly as a love interest and not the Amazon. If the rumor is true then it would be fair to speculate Alexander was also being considered for WW. 

Kurylenko certainly has the stature (5'9"), the exotic European/Mediterranean look but I don't know if she has the physicality or acting presence required of the role. Alexander has already demonstrated as Lady Sif in the Thor movies she can wield a sword in battle armor and fight alongside a Norse God. Given a choice I'd cast Alexander immediately. Considering these are just rumors and only screen tests it's too early to tell how soon Zack Snyder and company will cast the role if it indeed is in the movie. Warner Bros. and producers have not even stated publicly if Wonder Woman is featured in any capacity, cameo or otherwise, in the sequel. 

It would make sense to include Wonder Woman in the movie in some way to allude to an eventual 'Justice League' feature down the road as has been speculated for years. Some online observers complain they already have one hero too many, that Batman will outshine Superman and make him a secondary player in his own sequel. I doubt that completely. Superman will still take precedence over any other heroes in his movie. If nothing else I could see Batman and maybe Wonder Woman included to transition into their own solo movies. It's anyones guess at this point. I have a feeling DC and WB may not even know what they have planned. For now we'll keep looking out for more crumbs of information as they become available.  



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