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Friday, January 31, 2014

'Batman vs Superman' Has Found Its Lex Luthor and Alfred in Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons

Warner Bros. Announced The Casting to a Surprised Internet

After months of speculation and rumors of Lex Luthor and who'll play him in the Man of Steel sequel, tentatively titled 'Batman vs Superman,' Warner Bros. officially announced that Jesse Eisenberg (Now You See Me, The Social Network, Zombieland) has been cast in the villainous role. They also announced that Jeremy Irons (The Borgias, Dead Ringers, Reversal of Fortune) was cast as Batman's trusty butler and confidante, Alfred. 

Despite everyone from Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, and Joaquin Phoenix being rumored to be Superman's most famous rival the role went to a younger but well-regarded actor in Eisenberg. He has garnered great reviews in movies like Advertureland and The Squid and the Whale but most notably his Academy Award nomination after appearing in David Fincher's The Social Network for playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg established Eisenberg as an exceptional actor. It's this credibility that bodes well for the movie that has been the target of fanboys angst. 

While news of Eisenberg getting the role will undoubtedly spark online fanboy rage it has become a given with each casting decision for the Man of Steel sequel. Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman has already drawn countless memes of outright defiance and simmering anger with the usual keyboard tough guy antics. Affleck's Daredevil turn and Gadot's physical appearance have been duly noted by the internet fandom. What is most shocking is that no one in entertainment and geek media had Eisenberg or Irons on their radar, at least not publicly. An industry built in part by rumor mongering and wild speculation didn't see this one coming. 

Jeremy Irons as Alfred is a solid choice. The talented Academy Award-winning British actor is versatile and has made an incredible career over 40 years on stage, television and film. The voice of Scar in The Lion King is as comfortable in a Shakespeare play as he is playing a villain in a Die Hard movie. Snyder describes Alfred as "Bruce Wayne's most trusted friend, ally, and mentor, a noble guardian, and father figure" and he feels honored to have the gifted actor in the role.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Batman Villains Circa 1800 by Francesco Francavilla

Illustrator Takes Arkham's Rogues Way Back and Conjures Up Some Vintage Looking Prints
Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (aka The Penguin)

Illustrator extraordinaire, Francesco Francavilla, has once again taken his restless talents to new heights with this first set of illustrations featuring Gotham City's cowardly villains as imagined from the 1800's. Officially titled as "Arkham - 1800 Circa Part 1" includes only three villains so far, The Penguin, Two-Face, and Scarface. The award-winning artist promises more as early as next week and we'll update with those additions as they become available. For now enjoy these marvelously realized and time period appropriate pieces. 

Harvey Dent (aka Two-Face)

Arnold Wesker (aka Ventriloquist) with Scarface

Friday, January 24, 2014

Comic Art: Wonder Woman by Nathan Fox

A Sassy and Fun Take on the Amazon Princess
From the 'Relaunched' showcase project
As for the concept behind it, I wanted to at least try and pay homage to what has come before and what has yet to be seen in one way or another. Decades have passed and the slate, by number at least, is about to be swiped clean and rebooted for "a new generation of readers"...Wonder Woman is arguably one of those iconic, life altering characters, and for very reason she will always be - a marvel to behold and a woman empowered to inspire. - Nathan Fox

Thursday, January 23, 2014

'Wonder Woman' Gadot Inks 3-Picture Deal Including 'Justice League' and Solo Film

Long Awaited Standalone Film Could Finally See the Light of Day

Regardless of how you feel about the casting of Fast and Furious actress, Gal Gadot, as Wonder Woman she will be around for the long haul as she has signed a three picture deal with Warner Bros., Variety has confirmed. She will be playing the amazon princess in the Man of Steel sequel, 'Batman vs Superman', as well as a Justice League movie and her own feature. 

Initial reports of the deal emerged from an interview with an Israeli show, "Good Evening with Gai Pines," which also included her salary of $300,000 per film. She revealed that filming begins in May for 'Batman vs Superman'. 

This bodes well for Wonder Woman fans who have been clamoring for a solo film for decades. The studio appears to have enough confidence in projecting her standalone debut after introducing her in the Man of Steel sequel and the team-up movie of Justice League. Beyond her own film it would be safe to assume that WB will wait and see how well it does at the box office before preparing any more sequels. Considering the glacier pace it took the studio to get to this position, yet a  short-memory for male superhero flops, it won't be committing to any WW trilogy anytime soon. 

Since 'Batman vs Superman' has been pushed back to May 6, 2016 leaving 2017 for Justice League perhaps we can probably expect a Wonder Woman movie in 2018. Thank goodness for little miracles. At least Wonder Woman is on the horizon.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'Batman vs Superman' Plot Details May Have Leaked or Not But Sound Interesting Anyway

Mostly Unsubstantiated Rumors Reveal a Spoiler of a Plot

There have been waves and waves of rumors regarding the Man of Steel sequel tentatively titled 'Batman vs Superman' for weeks and most haven't panned out. The rumors were centered around casting and characters involved in the movie. We still don't know if Jason Momoa, Josh Holloway or Bryan Cranson will be in the movie. We don't know what character Dwayne Johnson will play in whatever DC Comics project he's tied to. What we do know is that the release has been moved from July 15, 2015 to May 6, 2016. As expected the polarized fandom had a polarized reaction. Some thought it was a good thing to take more time to make the movie right while others thought it was a sign the movie was in even more trouble. Yet both fans and haters alike forget they'll all be there when it opens regardless. Now comes word from Latino Review that some unconfirmed rumors could reveal some interesting plot points about the direction of the film. Some interesting details, if true, that might sway some detractors. 

The information came from an unlikely source - a poster on a gaming message board. This is why the details have been prefaced with all the usual disclaimers with more added for emphasis. "PLEASE TAKE THIS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT". The grains continue to add up but these details actually sound plausible and aren't the theories of bloggers but the supposed ramblings of a ex-employee who, until recently, worked on the production in the art department. Despite LR's digging not much was verified as far recent pink slips but with the ten month delay it's possible some staff had moved on. Also, some of the plot points coincided with earlier rumors so there could be some grain of truth in an ocean of speculation. 

Click CONTINUE to see possible spoiler plot details...

'Game of Thrones' Meets Feudal Japan in These Beautiful Illustrations

Artist Re-imagines Significant Moments from the Popular Series
Bran Stark and Hodor journey north

Artist Seiji has transformed his admiration for George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" into some of the most beautiful works of fan art you've ever seen. The style is in Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints and the images capture scenes from the popular fantasy book series as well as the hit HBO television adaptation. Familiar characters like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister are transported to feudal Japan in historical garb and weapons in recreations worthy of framing. 

Check Seiji's page for explanations about the changes made to each scene. 

Jon Snow duels Qhorin Halfhand as wildings look on

Monday, January 20, 2014

'Son of Batman' Animated Movie Trailer

Damian Wayne Origin Story Based on Grant Morrison's Graphic Novel

The upcoming animated movie Son of Batman introduces Damian, the child Bruce Wayne never knew he had. The story is based on a 2006 comic-book arc written by Grant Morrison in which Batman learns that he has a violent, unruly pre-teen son, secretly raised by the terrorist group the League of Assassins.

The voice cast features Jason O'Mara as Batman/Bruce Wayne; Stuart Allan as Damian; Morena Baccarin as Talia, Damian's mother; Giancarlo Esposito as Ra's Al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins and one of Batman's most notorious enemies; David McCallum as butler Alfred Pennyworth; Xander Berkeley as Kirk Langstrom (aka Man-Bat); and Thomas Gibson plays the master assassin Deathstroke. 

Son of Batman comes out late this spring on DVD, Blu-ray and for digital download. The movie will have its world premiere at WonderCon over Easter weekend in Anaheim, Calif.

Justice League: War - Trailer

Before there was the Justice League...there was The War. From DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment comes an all new animated movie based on the graphic novel Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. Watch the epic battle between Darkseid and the newly forming members of the Justice League including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg and Shazam! 

Justice League: War arrives February 4, 2014 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Donal Logue Offered Role of Harvey Bullock on Fox's "Gotham"

Not Up for Jim Gordon as Previously Reported

There was some confusion and head-scratching the other day when the normally reliable Latino Review reported that actor Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, Copper, Vikings, Terriers) had been offered the role of Jim Gordon on the upcoming Fox television show "Gotham" it raised some red flags. The show was supposed to revolve around a younger pre-commissioner Gordon on the Gotham police force and Bruce Wayne as a child. Logue, while a fantastic actor, is in his late-forties and heavier than any interpretation of Gordon. So it left many, especially snarky competitors, calling LR's El Mayimbe out for this curious scoop. 

As it turns out Logue did indeed get offered a role on the show but it wasn't Gordon it was Det. Harvey Bullock. El Mayimbe has updated his post with the correction and apologized for his mistake on Twitter as well. 

Many had mentioned online that Logue was more suited for the role of Bullock who is older and heavier than Gordon.  It seems they were right. Bullock will serve as a mentor in the pilot according to reports although in the character's history he's been portrayed as clumsy and corrupt. A role Logue could certainly bring to life and balance the naivety of a young detective in Gordon. Logue to his credit took all the online kerfuffle in stride. 

'Legends of the Knight' Documentary Describes the Power of Batman to Inspire

The Crowdfunded Production Shows the Human Side of the Power of Storytelling

Filmmaker Brett Culp realized his passion project, Legends of the Knight, with the help of generous donors and now the feature-length documentary is preparing to be screened across the country and to become available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download beginning in February. The not-for-profit production examines the influence that the fictional DC Comics superhero Batman has had on real people from all walks of life, most poignantly described by those who faced life threatening illnesses. Culp shines a light on how people draw inspiration from stories and heroes that enable them to embody a similar fighting spirit. 

The film features interviews with experts including the producer of practically every Batman feature, live-action or animated, Michael Uslan, psychologist Dr. Travis Langley author of Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, comics blogger/journalist Jill Pantozzi, and legendary comic book writer/editor Denny O'Neil

Proceeds from screenings will go to local charities in screening cities and products sold on their website store will also go to charity. Check out the trailer now and support a great cause.
“He would try to stand back up and fight it … like I did.” - Kye Sapp, who fought leukemia at age 5, when asked what would Batman do if he had cancer 

Legends of the Knight - Official Trailer from Brett Culp Films on Vimeo.

Put on your cape, and be inspired!

LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT weaves together the stirring true stories of individuals who have overcome devastating obstacles, unselfishly given to the community, and embraced their inner superhero because of their love of Batman.
Through the deeply personal tales of Batman fans, writers, and filmmakers, this feature-length documentary explores the power of heroic stories and encourages viewers to find their own path to heroism. Funded by over 1,100 contributors from around the world, LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT is a return to our childhood dreams of being a hero.
Each one of us has the ability to overcome our own challenges and to make a positive difference.  Explore this site to learn about the unique opportunities to share this message with the rising heroes in your world.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Young 'Wonder Woman' Show 'Amazon' No Longer Being Developed at The CW

Despite Attempts to Redevelop the Script it is Now Considered Abandoned

Hourman? Sure, no problem. iZombie? Sure, whatever that is. Amazon? see...what happened was...the script...LAMP! Such is life for the future of a live-action television show about the origin of the iconic Wonder Woman. The series pilot titled 'Amazon' would have followed the young Diana of Themyscira as she grows into a great warrior princess. However, according to CW president, Mark Pedowitz, the pilot will no longer go forward but he didn't close the door entirely on the possibility of a show in the future.
"It all depends on the script. We were very careful with Arrow, and we're being very careful with Flash...These are iconic characters, so we're going to be very careful with Wonder Woman. You only get one shot before you get bit."
The latest setback for the DC Comics franchise character comes after attempts by Allan Heinberg (Gray's Anatomy) and Alon Eli Coleite (Heroes) to whip the script into shape since 2012. Apparently, the network felt it was unsuitable to even film a pilot. In 2011 a failed pilot was produced by NBC and David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal) starring Adrianne Palicki that never aired but leaked footage explained why. It was pretty atrocious. So in CW's defense if the script wasn't up to snuff then why produce an expensive pilot. The question of course is why wasn't it good enough? 

The excuse has been, even from DC Entertainment themselves, that the character is "tricky" to adapt despite decades of comic book material and successful animated interpretations. Yet other characters - Batman, Superman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Flash - are not only getting an adaptation but some have gotten multiple adaptations regardless of quality. The old myth that female leads can't open or carry a blockbuster has been debunked over and over. The latest examples have been Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games movies and Sandra Bullock in Gravity and The Heat. Those movies have been some of the biggest moneymakers of the year. Audiences will go if you don't insult their intelligence and put something compelling on the screen regardless of gender. So again why hasn't Wonder Woman had her share of the spotlight?

Her origin is referenced as a point of "trickiness" but any competent screenwriter can make it work. If  a Thor franchise can be made with its pseudo-Shakespearean  overtones then certainly an island of Amazons powered by goddesses shouldn't be so difficult. Depending on which origin story is adapted Wonder Woman will either be formed from clay and empowered by Greek deities or she'll be the daughter of  Queen Hippolyta and the mighty Zeus. How can you bungle that? As iconic as she's been since she was created by William Moulton Marston in 1941 it has been extremely disappointing she has not garnered the same respect and utilized in more productions like her male counterparts at DC Comics.

Despite the apparent inability to bring her back to television since the 1970's there is at least a glimmer of hope in Gal Gadot (Fast and Furious) who signed on to play Wonder Woman in the Man of Steel sequel.  She is currently training for the role but it is unclear just how much screen time she'll actually get. The hope is that whatever contribution will lead to her own solo movie but it could just introduce her for a Justice League movie follow up. So there is a chance we'll get a live-action Amazon after all. And perhaps the larger than life heroine on the big screen is more appropriate anyway. 

Wonder Woman continues to wait for her big break

(Source:  THR)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Comic Book Pull List: Black Dynamite, Skyman, Miracleman, Rat Queens and More

Some Notable Premieres and Solid Ongoing Series for Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

These picks are some of the books I'll be picking up from my personal pull list. There's some notable books also listed for your perusal. RAT QUEENS #4 is a great fantasy series from Image that continues to be funny and thrilling with a band of adorable kickass maidens. JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #11 is the Forever Evil edition that I prefer because of the cast of heroes you don't see enough of like Stargirl, Martian Manhunter, and Shazam for example. SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #4 is much better than expected because of its portrayal of the relationship is treated with respect and mature. Sure, there is a lot of relationship talk but there's also a lot of action too. VELVET #3 is Ed Brubaker's exciting new Image spy series. There's also some new titles I'm picking up - Black Dynamite #1, Skyman #1, Miracleman #1 - and some other ones I won't but listed for your information. 

Happy reading!

Rat Queens #4
Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art by Roc Upchurch
Holy vengeance can be a real headache, but it's so much worse when it's coming from a fifteen foot tall lady troll who's just lost her dad. In this blood-splattered issue, the Rat Queens find out that every action has some sort of hilariously brutal consequence!
Superman Wonder Woman #4
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea
DC Comics

The secret of Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship is out and the world’s reaction is mixed, but that’s the least of the power couple’s worries as Zod seeks to release Faora from the Phantom Zone!

Justice League of America #11
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira 
DC Comics
A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! Survivors Martian Manhunter and Stargirl make a perilous trek across a Super-Villain occupied United States. Their first stop may be the last as they enter Gotham City and Clayface-occupied territory!
Velvet #3
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Steve Epting

You all know the story: a beautiful woman seduced by a secret agent into revealing secrets and helping him on his mission...but what happens to them once the agent is gone? Find out in issue three, as Velvet tracks Agent X-14's most recent asset down very dark paths.

Skyman #1
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Art by Manuel Garcia
Dark Horse
After an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Captain Midnight, a 
drunken Skyman accidentally kills an innocent man! Needing a new face for 
their initiative ASAP, the Skyman Program turns to US Air Force Sgt. Eric 
Reid: a wounded veteran on the ropes, looking for a new lease on life.
Black Dynamite #1
Written by Brian Ash
Art by Sal Buscema, Ronald Wimberly
baddest kung-fu cat to ever appear on screen is coming to comics so you 
suckers better duck! Former CIA agent, international ladies man, and sworn 
ass-kicking enemy of The Man... he's BLACK DYNAMITE--and he's about to 
walk into the most dangerous journey of his life!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Michael Pena Offered Role in 'Ant-Man' and Johnny Depp Could Be Doctor Strange

Rumors Abound in Superhero Movie Casting

Another day has brought even more casting rumors regarding Marvel movies. Joining Michael Douglas as 'Hank Pym' in Edgar Wright's  Ant-Man and Johnny Depp talks with the studio to become Doctor Strange comes word that Michael Pena (End of Watch, Gangster Squad, American Hustle) has been offered an undisclosed role in Ant-Man as well. 

Pena has been one of the busiest actors in Hollywood with six projects already slated for 2014 alone and I'm sure he could find time for a blockbuster superhero movie supporting role. According to The Wrap, the versatile Pena could join Douglas and Paul Rudd who'll play Scott Lang in the comedic heist film. The story presumably will involve Lang stealing the technology to shrink to the size of an ant from the original Ant-Man (Douglas) in order to help save the life of his daughter according to comic book canon anyway. 

Marvel has denied any talks with Pena or with Depp for that matter as is the studio's modus operandi when it comes to casting news. They save any breaking news for official announcements through press releases. Marvel has been culling acting royalty with Douglas, Robert Redford, and Glenn Close on board for features. If they are able to add Depp to their stable it would be a major coup for the studio. Depp already is a staple on sister studio, Disney. 

Depp, while isn't the draw he used to be in the States, is still an international A-lister that repeatedly outdoes his domestic offerings in foreign markets. It's this appeal that helped the US flop Lone Ranger practically double its box office earnings worldwide. And behind the unvarnished template set forth by Marvel a movie about a sorcerer guarding the world from magical and mystical threats could be another blockbuster franchise for both the studio and Depp. 

As usual until these rumors are officially confirmed it's all speculation and even though the outlets themselves can be petty in their rivalry to get the latest scoop we'll bring you whatever becomes of these latest whispers. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Best Theory Today: 'Batman vs Superman' and 'Justice League' Movies Filming Back-to-Back

Could All the Casting News Be Leading to An Epic Film Schedule in 2014?

Amid the torrent of casting rumors for the upcoming Man of Steel sequel tentatively titled 'Batman vs Superman', Latino Review has connected the dots and made an educated guess how all this adds up. The rumor mill churned out casting whispers of actors Denzel Washington, Jason Momoa, Dwayne Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Josh Holloway, for different roles but how could one movie contain so many heroes and villains? The answer it seems could be that BvsS and a Justice League movie filming in succession in 2014 like other franchises have done before. 

They based this theory on conclusions made from talking to industry "insiders" and that would clearly explain the mentions of so many different heroes and/or villains roles that pop up almost on a weekly basis. Filming back-to-back isn't anything new. Studios and filmmakers have shot in sequence to condense resources and maintain continuity for franchises like The Hobbit, The Matrix, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and others. If you believe that Warner Bros. is trying to catch up to Marvel in expanding their comic book movie universe then this would play to that. The fight for moviegoer money has never been greater. Releases in 2015 alone include not only Avengers: Age of Ultron and BvsS but Star Wars Episode 7, Jurassic World, MI: 5, Ant-Man, Terminator 5 and the final Hunger Games movie among others

It's also important to note that the actors involved are all in demand. Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Dwayne Johnson all seem to be involved in multiple projects every year so it would be vital to lock them down for as much time as possible to finish these blockbusters and begin promoting. Momoa has denied rumors he's in BvsS but he could be involved in Justice League or just lost out to Johnson. Holloway was the newest actor tied to the Man of Steel sequel but that seems even more unlikely with the success of his new CBS show, Intelligence, which would probably keep him preoccupied this year. Some speculated he would make a nice Aquaman. 

Warner Bros. seems to be ratcheting up casting with filming scheduled to begin in February for 'Batman vs Superman'. There should be some solid announcements coming between now and then. Until then the rumors and speculation will continue. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

'Batman 1972' by Francesco Francavilla

The Best Retro-Batman Story Never Told (Yet)

One of the most prolific artists in comic books currently is Francesco Francavilla. Along with his stellar work on Afterlife with Archie, his pulp hero adventure tale The Black Beetle, and countless comic book covers the award-winning illustrator finds time to produce some incredible conceptual pieces and fan art. The tireless Francavilla loves to create visually arresting minimalist works of art for pay obviously but also when the mood strikes him. If you follow his tumblr page, and you should, you'll see that he enjoys making illustrations for some of his favorite television shows (Sleepy Hollow, Justified, Lost, Breaking Bad) and movies (Highlander, Clash of the Titans, Dr. No) just for fun. One project in particular is notable for its beautiful rendering in a setting that would totally fit if it ever came into fruition - Batman 1972

If you ever wondered what Batman would be like as a chain-smoking vigilante in the flavor of movies like Mean Streets, Dirty Harry, and Death Wish of the 1970's then this is the Batman for you. The Batmobile as suped-up muscle car, the glorious afro of a foxy black Catwoman, the floppy hair and horseshoe mustache of Jim Gordon, and The Warriors approach to Joker just ooze with '70s flair and place you smack dab in the middle of  a Gotham-ized French Connection. Francavilla's signature pulp style gives the nearly 75 year old character the appropriate swagger and color to bring the time period to life. Whether it was a passion project or a failed pitch to DC Comics fans would love to see this become an actual comic book. Get your petitions ready!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gallery 1988 Art Exhibit: "Fairy Tales: A Print Show"

Artists Take on Classic Fairy Tales

This Friday, January 10th, we open "Fairy Tales: a print show." 
Come see artist interpretations of your favorite childhood fairy tales.
The opening reception will take place this Friday
January 10th from 7-10pm at Gallery1988 (West).
The show will run through February 1st.

Gallery1988 (West)
7308 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Dave Perillo "In Case of Great Fall"

Eric Tan "The Fairest of Them All"

Ross Proulx "Born to Kill"
Barry Blankenship

Dave Quiggle

Glen Brogan

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rumor: Now Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson Up for Green Lantern?

GL John Stewart Could Join Man of Steel Sequel, Have Solo Movie, Join Justice League or None of the Above 
If you compiled all of the grains of salt required from months of rumors and speculation on Warner Bros./DC Comics movie casting it would rival the height of Mount Kilimanjaro. The latest rumor (for now) involves Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who's been linked one way or another to previous superhero movie roles - Lobo, Black Adam, Luke Cage - revealed that he's been in talks with WB about a DC Comics project for 2014.

Obviously, the vague tweet could mean just about anything. That hasn't stopped the interwebs from speculating everything from a role in the Man of Steel sequel to a solo film. The question remains if he did play a comic book character who would it be? Had they revived the Lobo movie WB had shelved last year? Is Johnson playing the Martian Manhunter in the Man of Steel sequel aka "de facto Justice League movie"? If fanboy rage isn't high enough with the prospect of Batman and Wonder Woman joining what was supposed to be Superman's sequel then this possible scenario from Peter Georgiou of Think McFly, Think will certainly turn up the heat. 

According to Georgiou, the news of Johnson playing the other Green Lantern, John Stewart, is highly speculative so nothing is confirmed but it's not surprising that WB would want to feature him in the growing superhero movie genre. The popular actor was determined by Forbes magazine to be the top money maker in Hollywood for 2013. His films had accumulated $1.3 billion. So it's no wonder the studio would want to attach themselves to his worldwide brand.  After the underwhelming performance of 2011's Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan the star power of The Rock would be a huge boon in a reboot. 

This news comes on the heels of a flimsier report casting Denzel Washington as Stewart. It seemed higly unlikely that the 59-year old actor would play a character historically written much younger. If this sudden buzz surrounding the Stewart Green Lantern has any credence it could lead to either his participation in a Justice League movie or more importantly a stand alone film led by a person of color. A rarity for the genre.

The Man of Steel sequel, tentatively titled 'Batman vs Superman', is reportedly being rewritten with filming to begin the first part of this year for a release on July 17, 2015. We should all know more in the weeks to come as production draws closer. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Geek Culture Looks to 2014 for Bigger and Greater Things

Another Year to Not Suck

As 2013 comes to an end there is the eternal hope for a brighter, happier, less-douchey new year. When it comes to geek culture (comic books, cosplay, sci-fi, etc.) there is always a sense of great things to come as well as trying to pry the incompetence, misogyny, and overall stupidity from those fan favorite pastimes. Most fans want an inclusive atmosphere so others can also embrace whatever they love. It doesn't matter if you love Peter Parker, Miles Morales or (heaven forbid) Doc Ock as Spider-Man you can co-exist and engage in some friendly discussion. It shouldn't matter if you love Doctor Who you shouldn't be told you can't cosplay as your favorite because you're a woman or a person of color. The motto should be "Do what you love" and you should not be bullied because you don't fit someone else's perception of what they perceive accurate or canon or some other nonsense. The idea is to express yourself and have fun. So in other words people should refrain from being judgemental and basically 'Don't be a dick'. 

Geekdom has come a long way and has grown more into the mainstream. The increase of comic book movies has helped that immensely and the books themselves have seen a jump in sales. Comic book and pop culture conventions are as popular as ever and cosplay has grown as well. Will its popularity and trendiness subside? Eventually. In Hollywood especially they tend to milk whatever genre is popular until it's absolutely dry. Superhero and fantasy films will continue for at least the next 4 years because they continue to bring in huge box office. It won't be until these extremely expensive features begin to flop will they stop making them. Even then it's not so clear considering Disney-owned Marvel exists solely to bring their stories to screen. Disney is not going to let their superhero arm fail. 

On television there is a great number of genre shows with more on their way. Some of the biggest shows on broadcast and cable networks are comic book based or fantasy. Shows like AMC's The Walking Dead, ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The CW's Arrow draw millions of viewers every week. That still leaves shows like Grimm, The Originals, The Tomorrow People, Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human, etc. filling the hearts of genre fans. This is the golden age of fantasy shows. There is more on tap as new shows involving the Flash, Batman's ally Commissioner Gordon, and other DC Comics characters. 

New shows are being distributed in new ways too. The aforementioned Marvel has a Defenders mini-series in development with Netflix.  Marvel comics characters like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones will be available as original productions in the growing streaming market. The future of comic book television is certainly bright and something to look forward to in 2014 and beyond. 

This topic has probably been around for decades but there are strides being made in entertainment with regards to casting television shows and movies with people that reflect the world we live in; diverse, complicated, and gender neutral. The best example is the hit rookie show on Fox, Sleepy Hollow, that consists of a cast of white, black, Asian and Latino characters. This shouldn't be ground breaking news but considering that the female lead is African-American and every bit the equal of her white male co-lead is another reason to celebrate the show. The show succeeds for other reasons though. The leads have extremely good chemistry and banter that doesn't sound forced or entirely contrived. The supporting characters get time to develop and allow the audience to invest in them. Ultimately, it's the writing that is funny, creepy, and exciting with a cast that reflects its audience. 

Other shows could learn from Hollow as well as movies and comic books where the cultural divide is even greater. There is no African-American writer among the two biggest publishers and women are still making inroads but can still be counted on one hand. The comic book characters are becoming more racially diverse including more and more LGBT heroes and supporting characters. The industry has faced a lot of criticism for its misogynistic portrayals  of women and that has gotten better but it's still a work in progress. What could make it harder for change is that the industry is coming off a better than expected sales year. Still the pressure will be put on by the fan base that still embraces it warts and all. 

On the movie side I think we can lay to rest two myths: actresses can't open a blockbuster and women over 40 need not apply. Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Gravity were huge money makers lead by two of the finest actresses in the business, Jennifer Lawrence and Sandra Bullock respectively. Potential Oscar contenders for best actress could include Bullock, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Julia Roberts, and Kate Winslet all north of the Hollywood taboo age of 40. Age is just a number we've been told and talent knows no bounds obviously. 

Now let's hope 2014 brings more people of color and women to projects. Will news ever break that a Wonder Woman solo film is indeed in the works? Will John Stewart be the Green Lantern in upcoming Justice League movie? What role is The Rock actually playing? These are just some of the questions we need answered in 2014.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year from Spartantown!




Our Mission

We cover all things geek - from comic books, cosplay, comic art, fan films, parodies to genre entertainment. We highlight what we hope is of interest in the geek in all of us.

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