comic book movies

Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall

Earlier this summer, we learned that a Kick-Ass sequel called Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall was likely to go into development and was likely to be written and directed by a guy named Jeff Wadlow. Well, turns out that not only is all of that coming to fruition, but a bunch of casting has already been taken care of, so now the film is looking (surprisingly enough) super official. First off, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse were all rumored to be negotiating to come back and resume their roles from the first film, and that has indeed happened – but they’re not the only names that have officially come on board. The storyline in Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s “Kick-Ass 2” comic revolves around Kick-Ass joining a newly formed crew of crime fighters called Justice Forever, which means that this new movie sequel is going to need to cast a lot of new actors in a lot of new superhero roles.

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The Boys Comic Book

Director Adam McKay (Anchorman, Eastbound & Down) might not be the first person you would expect to be pushing to get an adaptation of an ultra-violent Garth Ennis comic up on the big screen, but nonetheless the comedy veteran has been involved in putting together a film version of the creator’s anti-superhero yarn “The Boys” for quite a while now. For the longest time the director was set to put the project together for Columbia Pictures, but those plans hit a snag in February when the studio suddenly dropped it. Nonetheless, the director assured us that the film was not necessarily dead, and that he had multiple studios chomping at the bit to come on board and see that development of the property continued. Though, in the process of kicking the project around from place to place, it had unfortunately gone from being a faithfully hard-R recreation of Ennis’ work, to one that would have to be PG-13. Or, as McKay put it, “It’s now PG-13. But I found cool ways to keep it edgy. Nolan does so much with that rating. I want this movie to have the conceptual floor of MIB: the police for the superheroes, with the bad ass action groove of The Matrix or Oldboy.”

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Ever since Marvel Comics created its own movie studio and started making its own movies, much ado has been made about the other studios holding rights to some of their characters. How long does Sony have the rights to Spider-Man? Will Marvel ever get to make an X-Men movie, seeing as they’re already tied up elsewhere? While those properties seem to be staying in their current homes, at least for the foreseeable future, there’s one character out there who actually is close to making a jump back home to the House of Ideas: Daredevil. Recently, Fox was trying to get together a reboot of the character’s adventures on film under the watch of director David Slade, but a few weeks ago he dropped out of the project. That’s bad news for Fox, because if they don’t manage to find a new director and get a Daredevil movie in front of cameras before October 10, then film rights for the character will revert back to Marvel, and all of their efforts to reboot the property with a more gritty, Frank Miller-inspired take on the material will be in vain. In the same report that announced Slade’s departure from the new Daredevil film also came the news that Fox had lined up a director for another of its Marvel-born properties, The Fantastic Four. Chronicle helmer Josh Trank is now in control of rebooting that franchise. But a report that came out of Variety today could have consequences for both his upcoming Fantastic […]

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One of the most enduring and well-liked storylines from Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s legendary run on the “Uncanny X-Men” comic book was known as ‘Days of Future Past.’ It introduced readers to a post-apocalyptic future (hilariously, 2013) where the Earth is controlled by giant robots, mutants are all either killed or locked up in internment camps, and only a small handful of rebels remain. These rebels, determining that all of this badness started with the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and his subsequent martyring by anti-mutant forces, send an older version of Kitty Pryde back to the present to warn the X-Men that they must stop the assassination at all costs. Basically, the story is a cross between Back to the Future and The Terminator, with super-powered mutants, and it’s one of the front-runners for coolest thing ever. So it’s super exciting to hear that Matthew Vaughn is apparently going to be using it as the inspiration for the sequel to his 2011 reboot of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: First Class. Confirmation of this news came from an interview IGN conducted with producer Bryan Singer. When asked what he could reveal about the First Class sequel, Singer dropped a bombshell by saying, “It’s going to be very ambitious. It’s called Days of Future Past, and it deals with aspects of that comic but also some very new things… I just don’t want to give any of it away. Matthew Vaughn will be directing […]

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Now that the last film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, has finally hit theaters and been seen by everyone, comic book nerds all over the world thought that they would have a chance to cut back on the Batman talk and stop mistakenly referring to the film as The Dark Knight Returns. Why did we keep calling the movie by the wrong name? Because its title was annoyingly close to one of the best-loved Batman stories of all time, Frank Miller’s gritty, 1986 limited series about an elderly Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement, “The Dark Knight Returns.” There’s good news for fans of Nolan’s look at an older, more beat-up Batman, as the Miller-penned story that somewhat inspired his final go-around with the character is now being put out by DC as an animated feature, and its first trailer looks pretty good. The bad news, of course, is that we’re all set to once again get tongue-tied and misunderstood when trying to keep these two stories straight.

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The Flash

With Batman in the bag and Superman on the way, Warner Bros. is still in the kind of long-term trouble a superhero team understands all too well. Like a group of heroes blindsided by a syndicate of villains that pulled off a world domination ploy, Warners is scrambling to come up with a plan to challenge Marvel Studio’s $1.5 billion The Avengers world take-over. We all know what that plan is: assemble the Justice League movie. We also know the big question Warners is frantically facing right now is how they’re going to do that. The studio can balk at mimicking a competitor’s model all they want, but the way to get everyday non-comic reading people to really care about a Justice League movie is to roll out the individual hero projects first. Warner Brothers can’t assume people want a Justice League movie simply because everyone knows who Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are, or that post-The Avengers there is a guaranteed appetite for superhero mega-mixes. For a team-up flick to have maximum impact – i.e. maximum box office returns – without sacrificing integrity or quality, Warners needs to build a demand. The only way to do that is construct a road paved with exciting, entertaining, excellent movies (give or take an Iron Man 2 or two) that compound anticipation and audience faith.

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Captain Canuck Movie

If Marvel Comics can do something as ridiculous as publish a star-spangled, nationalist hero called Captain America, then it doesn’t make any sense why somebody else can’t let their Canadian freak flag fly and publish a comic book called “Captain Canuck.” Or, at least, that’s what Comely Comix thought back in 1975 when they debuted the character. Though he’s remained something of an underground figure for these last few decades, the good Captain has been published sporadically all the way up through the 2000s, and now it’s looking like he might be making a super-sized jump to the big screen. The Vancouver Sun (via Cinema Blend) reports that Minds Eye Entertainment is looking to put a movie adaptation of the character’s adventures together, and they’ve hired screenwriter Arne Olsen to get the job started. Olsen was picked out of hundreds of candidates who sent in 15-page proposals for what Captain Canuck’s adventures might look like in film form, and the 50-year-old says of his hard-won job, “Ninety-nine per cent [of the answers you get] is bad news. It’s so rare where you get some-thing like this. And right now the industry is very tough, so it’s doubly exciting.” Sounds like something of a heartwarming story indeed, but what was Olsen’s vision for the Captain, exactly?

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Over Under - Large

Ever since names like Spielberg and Lucas brought us the first summer blockbusters back in the 70s, film fans have slowly morphed into film fanatics. And perhaps the pinnacle of this phenomenon is the cult of personality that has developed around Christopher Nolan since he gave us his wildly successful interpretation of the Batman universe, The Dark Knight. Whether it was because of Heath Ledger’s electric performance as the Joker, Nolan’s realist approach to the material, or the sheer scope of the action, something about this Batman movie captured the attention and adoration of hordes of fans in a way that no other adaptation of the character’s story has before; and Batman has been one of the most popular fictional characters in our shared culture for at least half a century now. But one thing about The Dark Knight that I don’t hear mentioned all that much anymore is that it wasn’t Nolan’s first go-around with the character. Everything that was paid off in that film was set up, three years earlier, in the director’s first attempt at tackling a superhero story, Batman Begins. Not only was this movie successful enough at the box office to spawn a very well funded sequel, but it’s the film that’s actually responsible for bringing us Nolan’s grounded and relatable vision of the character. This was the film that revitalized a property whose big screen potential had been tarnished, and it gets treated like it doesn’t even exist when fans gush over their love […]

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Those with comic book reading experience can tell you that Marvel’s recent announcement that Captain America 2 will be released under the title Captain America: The Winter Soldier points to the fact that the bulk of the film will be concerning a Russian secret agent who has ties to Cap’s World War II past. And yet, a new report coming out of THR seems to prove that secret Cold War projects aren’t the only ground this sequel is going to be covering. According to the trade,  the prolific and under-appreciated Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Gangster Squad) is currently in negotiations to join directors Joe and Anthony Russo’s film as the character of Sam “Snap” Wilson, A.K.A. The Falcon. This is noteworthy news because – holy crap – the Falcon is going to be in a movie! For those that need a little background, the Falcon – who debuted in Marvel Comics in 1969 as their first African-American superhero – is best known as being an associate of Captain America, but he’s also an accomplished hero and a card-carrying Avenger in his own right. Growing up in a tough part of Harlem, Sam Wilson watched both of his parents’ lives get claimed by street crime as he was growing up. He tried to fight back against said violence by being a community volunteer early in his life, but eventually his anger over his upbringing allowed the all consuming criminal culture to corrupt his soul, and he briefly took a job […]

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Any time director Guillermo del Toro has been asked if he’s planning on making a third installment in his Hellboy franchise over the last few years, his responses have not been encouraging. His general feeling is that there are just too many new and exciting things to do out there to go back to the Hellboy well for a third time. Seeing as Hellboy 2 has earned a lot of fans over the years, and there’s a great big, world-ending prophecy storyline that could be tackled in Hellboy 3, a lot of people have taken these comments as being a huge disappointment. But news coming out of Comic-Con sees del Toro’s tune changed quite a bit in regards to another go-around with the red-skinned one. Entertainment Weekly got the director and Ron Perlman together to talk about their latest project, Pacific Rim, and he dropped this bomb on them, “I can say publicly that now we are together in trying (to do Hellboy 3).” This was something of a shocking statement, that Perlman fleshed out by adding, “The [first] two movies were really set up to have this unbelievable resolve. Everything that was done in both movies was leading up to this destiny, written in stone, of what Hellboy has been summoned to Earth to do. To not do it, particularly in light of the scope that Guillermo is thinking of for the resolve, would be in my mind a little bit of a shame.”

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UPDATE: Collider now reports that “talks have broken down” between Biel’s people and the studio, so Biel is no longer in the running for the role. After a handful of announcements came out a few days ago filling the roles of Hugh Jackman’s new love, father-in-law, partner, and arch-enemy for his upcoming Japan-based adventure The Wolverine, it looked like all of the big parts in this film were probably close to being taken. But some new casting news that hit today might be the biggest yet. Twitch reported earlier in the day that director James Mangold and company had offered Jessica Biel the role of the villainous Viper, and Deadline Madripoor has since taken things a step further and reported that she’s officially been cast. So, who is the Viper? She’s a Marvel villain with a long history and complex relationships with several of the other characters who appear in this story. Part terrorist, part secret agent, Viper was an operative trained by the evil organization Hydra, who you might remember as appearing in last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger. She has no real superpowers, but she’s ridiculously good at all things deadly, with poisons being something of a specialty. Think of her as a more evil, less Russian version of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.

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After 1995’s Sylvester Stallone-starring take on the “Judge Dredd” comic series shit the bed and offered film and comic geeks little more than a couple of ironic quotables from a pizza delivery guy played by Rob Schneider, it didn’t seem very likely that anyone would take a shot at revisiting the property anytime soon. Seventeen years must be the statute of limitations on this one though, because here we are in 2012, getting a promotional clip for a new Karl Urban-starring take on the material called Dredd. Having reservations about this film due to past failures in translating the character to live action is understandable, but it’s starting to look like it might not be justified. Dredd recently screened for audiences at Comic-Con, and the buzz coming out of the room was that this new take on the character is much more true to the original comics. Word on the street is that this is a gritty, gory, action-packed shoot ‘em up that has way more in common with the face-punchingly awesome The Raid: Redemption than it does any Sylvester Stallone failures.

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UPDATED: ComingSoon throws a real wrench in (some of) our awesome speculation with news that Will Yun Lee has joined The Wolverine as Kenuichio Harada, otherwise known as the Silver Samurai. Read on, though, as we can still have a lot of fun with our initial thoughts. Casting appears to be underway for James Mangold’s upcoming entry into the X-Men franchise, the Japan-set solo story of the world’s scruffiest mutant, The Wolverine. Of course, we already know that Hugh Jackman is on board to once again star as the title character – that’s pretty much the only thing that’s been set in stone about this project since development began an eternity ago – but now ComingSoon has some scoops on the names that will be making up the gaijin’s supporting cast, and if you know anything about Wolverine’s Japanese past, these are some big roles. Ralph Lauren model Tao Okamoto is set to play Mariko Yashida, a young Japanese girl who Wolverine falls in love with and becomes engaged to, while relative newcomer Rila Fukushima is on board to play Yukio, a sort of ninja-trained thief who often works as the clawed Canadian’s ally. The next bit of news is a little bit confusing. Listed as being cast are two more characters, one named “Shingen” and one named “Yashida.” In the Wolverine comics, the young bride Mariko has a father who is named Shingen Yashida – the head of a once great clan who disgraced their name by turning them into […]

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Here be Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man. Consider yourself warned. With The Amazing Spider-Man performing considerably well — and better than a supposedly worried Sony had expected — we’re bound to hear news of a sequel in the coming weeks. We already know the plans for a trilogy, but where that trilogy will actually go remains something of a mystery. The dull Peter Parker’s parent subplot/question will likely be answered, sure, but why not move away from this topic? Better yet, why not take a crack at all these suggestions below that I just know every exec at Sony is feverishly scribbling down? They may need to. Although Marc Webb‘s reboot of Spider-Man is pretty good, the impending release of something like The Dark Knight Rises means “pretty good” doesn’t exactly cut it. Sam Raimi handled the character properly, and showed how to make a great movie or two with him in the meantime. Even with all these origin amnesia criticisms that have been made, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t exactly take notice of what worked in Raimi’s first two Spider-Man installments, and it should have; there’s plenty to improve on. Some of these things include:

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Although The Amazing Spider-Man opened the lowest out of all the other movies in the Sony franchise with a $65m weekend, it’s already scored $341m worldwide. Not bad for a week’s work. Sam Raimi‘s series opened with $114.8m, $88.1m, and $151m (chronologically), and even though Marc Webb’s rebooted version starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone didn’t hit that mark, it benefited from an extended holiday week and made more than enough to earn sequels. This film was in a funny situation though. As pointed out last week, it had the ability to change the direction of major studios – a fitting task for the reboot of a franchise that shifted the rudder of the last decade. For some fans, it proved to be a story success, but the response has been far from unanimously positive. However, this initial haul (and the money still to come) proves that Sony (and all other studios) can keep mining their name-brand superhero content as long as they want, rebooting whenever they see fit. Spider-man and Batman are the new Bond.

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From the looks of it Django Unchained, Pacific Rim and Anything Marvel Does Forever are topping the list of the most anticipated movies hitting Comic-Con 2012. The question is, with 400 million (number estimated) other movie panels showing up in San Diego, how will you possibly see everything? And how can you see anything if you aren’t going to be there? Since the list of events is massive, we’ve teamed up with 14 other movie websites to make sure that every inch of the convention center is locked down. Consider this your portal, bookmark it, and return often to check out the full spectrum of coverage from ours and other fine sites. To get started, here’s a small look at what all of us are most excited to see.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Back when Sony Pictures announced it was going to reboot the Spider-Man franchise, it felt as if Dr. Octopus had simultaneously slapped my face, sucker punched me and whacked me on the nuts. After waiting three years for signs that Sam Raimi would recapture the magic of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 (and make amends for the listless mess that was Spider-Man 3), the disheartening news came. The powers that be had decided to serve up the same old familiar origin story (misfit Peter Parker gets bitten, goes through Spidey-puberty and lets his uncle die because he hasn’t got his proverbial caca together), instead of taking the saga into more interesting territory. This was not just an “aw, shucks” let-down like the one I felt when I heard Edward Norton wouldn’t be reprising the role of Bruce Banner in The Avengers. I actually sunk into an existential lament for the future of the superhero genre. I imagined a future where other franchises would follow suit, offering formulaic retreads of the exact same plot points ad infinitum. But three things happened: Time passed, my doctor upped my meds and I suddenly found myself able to put things in a brighter perspective.

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When it was first announced that Disney had purchased Marvel Comics, the holy grail endgame of such an acquisition that instantly popped into every film fan’s head was that now the group of acclaimed artists working over at Disney’s Pixar wing could get their hands on a Marvel property and make an animated superhero movie that would blow everyone’s minds. With Pixar’s already full slate of projects and the murky details of who owns the film rights to which Marvel characters in what context, the idea was something of a long-shot, but when you get a couple companies under the same corporate umbrella like this and give executives the chance to start throwing around words like “synergy,” eventually anything becomes possible. The news that broke today isn’t quite that holy grail of Pixar making a Marvel movie, but it’s a team-up that brings us one step closer to that reality. For the first time ever, Disney is going to be making an animated Marvel movie. But, instead of Pixar, the artists handling this one are coming from that other wing of animators who work under the Disney corporate banner, Walt Disney Animation Studios. This is the studio that’s most recently brought us Tangled and Winnie the Pooh, and have Wreck-It Ralph set up for a release this fall.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

It was a kinder, simpler time back in January of 2010. Daybreakers and Youth in Revolt were both in theaters, New York City was asking people to eat less salt, and we were all about to find out the one-two punch that Sam Raimi was done with Spider-Man but Sony was not. It was the sort of news that reeked of corporate thinking – extending a franchise cash cow without the creative forces behind it; rebooting an unimaginably familiar character just five years after his last outing; and deciding to do all that on a dime. Optimism pointed to characters like James Bond getting new actors, but this was that rare time where a character introduced to us was being re-introduced to us, and the announcement was, admittedly, a bit surreal. It won’t be revolutionary, but there are two ways, two chances for that reboot to change the ways that movies are made. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man will have a lot of eyes on it these week, and a few of them will be watching it as an experiment instead of entertainment.

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Marvel Logo Collage

More than a few people will consider this a spoiler, so consider that your spoiler warning, but really it’s just a bit of speculation that might be a really cool element to a part of a movie that’s not even part of the movie. Confused yet? Excellent. According to the rumor mill over at indie haven The Playlist, art house film Iron Man 3 might be introducing a highly-anticipated hero in its post-credits tag. Of course that isn’t really a spoiler because, well, of course Marvel is going to tease the next movie in the line-up at the end of their current movie. The question is, what hero will it be?

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