DC Comics

Roger Rabbit Weasel Dead

You may have heard that Warner Bros. has introduced a new policy to their future DC Comics universe, summed up in two simple words (that, we assumed, were delivered while yelling and slamming one’s hand on a table): “No Jokes.” That’s what Drew McWeeny says, over at Hitfix. Warner and DC are looking at the success of stuff like The Dark Knight and Man of Steel, and the abysmal failure of Ryan Reynolds’ goofy Green Lantern, and making an executive decision. Two rights + one wrong = stop that laughing. From now on, all future DC Comics movies will be grim and dark and gritty and gritty and serious and dark: watching any future DC film will be like chewing a mouthful of gravel while your dad says you were an accident that he never loved. You may have then heard a few other sources call foul on this report. Forbes delivered a scathing debunkment; Seth Rogen yelled “this is bullshit.” Both are valid critiques. But we here at FSR aren’t interested in all that drama-only drama. What we want to know is what the DC Cinematic Universe would look like if all laughter is banned forever. How will it affect those comic book properties that thrive on all things comic? As an answer, we’ve made a quick mockup of some future DC Comics films to see how they’d fare with a script devoid of laughter, along with a quick official synopsis for each. Take a look below, but be careful, DC has […]

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Justice League movie

Sounds like someone over at Warner Bros. just got a cool new calendar and is pretty keen to get it filled up. The studio has announced a slew of thirteen release dates that will take it — and their growing DC-centric series, which account for nine of these dates — into the next six years. Do you hear that sound? It’s the noise that a thousand Marvel calendars make when they all get flipped open at once. It’s okay, guys, while Warner Bros. appears to be going all-in on this DC stuff, these new dates don’t directly conflict with any planned Marvel properties. It’s a smart move from the studio, which has apparently allowed Marvel to take over dates in early May, July and November while sticking their films into slots that run the gamut from the middle of June to early April and beyond. Memorial Day also appears to be the studio’s new stomping ground, but only for a pair of animated features that, if they pan out in the way we think they will, won’t have much other competition anyway. Let’s take a look:

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dwayne johnson in tooth fairy

We’re likely to get the official announcement this weekend at Comic-Con, but the cat is peeking out the bag regarding a DC Comics superhero role for Dwayne Johnson. He hinted in a recent interview with Total Film that he has finally found the character for him, and without naming names he basically revealed that character is Shazam. “Just say the word,” he not-so-cryptically said at the end of the conversation, which is a pretty good giveaway considering Shazam, aka Captain Marvel, becomes his super-powered self when a kid named Billy Batson exclaims the word “Shazam.” He also reverts to his younger self by saying it again. Johnson also noted that his secret role has the powers of Superman, and Shazam certainly has those. In fact, he was believed to be modeled after the more famous DC hero when Captain Marvel debuted in the pages of competitors Fawcett Comics. Presumably Shazam, a movie already slated for 2016 with Peter Segal (Grudge Match) producing and possibly directing, will be a part of the Justice League mega-franchise that Warner Bros. is building (to be kicked off/continued in 2016 with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). That could be chalked up to producers truly believing that Johnson is the opposite of kryptonite for troubled franchises — which Justice League has been before even getting off the ground. Shazam has been part of the team at times, yet he’s not one of the core JL characters that we tend to think of as being a member. […]

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damianwayne

If you’ve been doing any sort of scorekeeping at home in regards to how many characters from Marvel Comics have gotten feature film adaptations vs. how many characters from DC comics have gotten the same over the past decade or so, then probably you’ve come to the conclusion that Warner Bros. has been dropping the ball with their stable of superhero properties. While Marvel has been systematically creating an interconnected cinematic universe that is now expanding out to include a whole host of new television series, Warners has desperately struggled when it comes to making movies for any of their characters other than Superman or Batman (let’s all just agree to forget Green Lantern). And even their efforts on those fronts seem to be strife-laden recently, seeing as it was announced last week that Zack Snyder’s sequel to Man of Steel—the much hyped but still unnamed Superman/Batman movie that’s supposed to finally begin to set up an interconnected DC film universe—has been pushed back 10 months from its original start date [via Variety] so that everyone in charge can actually make a plan regarding what they want to do rather than just jumping in blindly and making a movie with a handful of superheroes in it in the hopes that it will somehow result in a highly lucrative Justice League followup. It basically seems like the people at Warner Bros. don’t have any idea what they’re doing in regards to superhero movies at all.

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Dwayne Johnson

In a move that makes so much sense that it’s kind of absurd it hasn’t already happened before, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is partnering up with DC Comics for an undisclosed project in 2014. Well, to be more specific, they’re “partnering up to create the cool bad assery,” as he announced on Twitter to his followers on New Year’s Eve. Whatever “bad assery” could entail has yet to be explained, but we have Johnson’s semi-regular #RockTalk sessions and that one intrepid Twitter follower to thank for asking questions. The year has just begun, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t start thinking about what went on during that meeting with the Warner Bros CEO. It’s certainly not the first time that he’s had his name attached to DC Comics projects, so maybe this time the promise/threat of bad assery will stick. All the way back in 2007, Johnson was tagged to play Black Adam, the sometimes villain, sometimes anti-hero hailing from Ancient Khandaq, in the Shazam movie that never came to light.

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Man of Steel

When I was a kid, we went on a lot of road trips. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. Summers usually meant that we were gone nearly every weekend in the travel trailer my dad hauled behind his suburban, off for a new campground somewhere in Texas. He even drove that thing to Orlando one year, taking my mother, brother and me to DisneyWorld, staying at Disney’s rustic Fort Wilderness. Great trip, but that is a long trip from the DFW Metroplex. This was the day and age before iPods, iPads, and Kindles, so I usually relegated myself to the way, way back with a stack of comic books, or a science fiction novel. Thankfully, my mom encouraged my reading, and a trip meant that she would pick up a book for me (or sometimes, even let me pick one) from the spinner racks at the grocery store checkout. Speaking of those, do they even exist anymore? These days you never see books for sale at the checkout, and if you do, chances are it’s a Harlequin romance. Blurgh. At one point, my mom picked up a novelization of a movie for me, giving me a chance to read the story before I’d seen the film. I can’t remember exactly which movie it was… probably The Empire Strikes Back. But I readily recall reading novelizations for The Last Starfighter, Tron, The Goonies, Explorers, and even a couple of Knight Rider adaptations, including the classic “Trust Doesn’t Rust” episode, which […]

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Fables Comic

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter what five comic titles would see the screen next if she got her way, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said that Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” was on the top of the list followed by “Fables,” “Metal Men,” “Justice League,” and (everyone’s favorite) “Aquaman.” Those are exciting names. Almost as if DC were moving into a “phase two” of its own without fully realizing phase one. Of course, DC (through its partnership with Warners) would be in a position to take risks like these even if it didn’t have a firm omnibus plan in place. The funny thing is that “Sandman” would be far more fun than a Justice League team-up, and with the popularity of shows like Once Upon a Time, “Fables” would already have a kind of unintentional built-in audience.

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Justice League Alex Ross

If the development of Warner Bros.’ potential Justice League movie has been following the classic, serial storytelling structure, we’re now be at the point where the Joker and Lex Luthor have the League tied up and hanging precariously over a giant vat of acid. Will they be able to find a way to escape and triumph over the bad guys before their dastardly device dips them down into the deadly drum of despair? Tune in next week to find out! The basic timeline of The Justice League’s development goes like this: comic book competitor Marvel made the gross national product of a pretty respectable country by teaming up all of their biggest heroes for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, so Warner Bros., who own the DC comics stable of characters, instantly became jealous. Over the past decade or so the only success they’ve had with comic book movies has come from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise, and they want a much bigger piece of that superhero pie. Their answer to this problem? Team up all of the DC characters like Marvel did and stick them in a Justice League movie, ASAP. The original plan was to have The Justice League be released in 2015, and instead of having a series of solo movies leading into the ensemble film like Marvel did, they were going to skip right to the money-making team-up thing first, and then try to spin solo franchises out of that. The film wouldn’t come completely without groundwork being […]

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Drinking Games

You may have heard of the small independent film The Dark Knight Rises, which hit theaters this summer. Now, it’s out on DVD and Blu-ray, and also available in a box set of all the Nolanverse Batman movies. Bat-fans around the world can finally die happy in the Mayan apocalypse with the knowledge that they can have this movie in their Blu-ray collection. Of course, the film does run close to three hours, and in the privacy of your own home, it’s something that can be enjoyed with a drink in hand. You may not get as tipsy as Bane does with that opium-fueled mask he has, but with this drinking game, you can have even more fun as Gotham crumbles.

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Man of Steel

If you were asked to design a poster for a new Superman movie, probably the first few images that popped into your head would involve the big guy flying through the air, majestic and free, or possibly lifting some sort of impossibly large object, muscles bulging – something to show off what an impressive guy this super man really is. The latest poster for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is taking things in a different direction altogether though. This poster, which debuted earlier today on the film’s Facebook page, gives us a passive and solemn Superman, handcuffed and being taken into custody by what looks to be some sort of military squad. Not exactly the kind of image you’d expect to represent the world’s most beloved and powerful superhero, is it? It would seem this is an early glimpse of that studio-mandated “grit” that’s meant to help this new franchise-launcher duplicate the success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series. Grit…yuck.

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Latino Review has been a pretty reliable source of breaking comic book movie news in the past, so when one of their tried and true informants reports something with a scoop, it shouldn’t be scoffed at as impossible hearsay. But, on the other hand, Guillermo Del Toro is a director who’s built up a pretty strong reputation for becoming interested in and attaching himself to tons of projects that never come to fruition – so this story should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Now, with disclaimers out of the way, here’s a big story that would be completely awesome if it ever turns into a completed film. LR’s shadowy sources are reporting that Warner Bros. is so pleased with the work that Del Toro has done on his monster movie epic, Pacific Rim, that they’ve basically given him carte blanche to choose whatever he wants to do for his next project, and what he’s chosen is a massive team up of all of DC Comics’ mystical characters in a movie that would be called Heaven Sent.

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Justice League Alex Ross

Development has really been heating up the over that Justice League movie. A few months ago, Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was hired to handle script duties, there was word Warner Bros. was eying Ben Affleck to direct, and then we got a director short list including the Wachowskis, Ruben Fleischer, and, who could forget, Brett Ratner. Today the project became even more real, thanks to a resolved legal dispute. The Los Angeles Times is reporting the studio is gearing up fast for a 2013 shoot and a 2015 release, which would pit the film up against The Avengers 2. After that, mostly depending on whether the film’s a hit or not, Warners would then follow up the film with a reboot of Batman and solo films following whatever heroes they decide to put in the movie. So if any of you have been holding your breath for a Hawkman movie, then perhaps your big dream may finally come true.

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Another day, another quick jolt of comic book news to keep us pumping. This time, however, it’s DC that’s lighting the wires up. Variety reports that Warner Bros. has “approached” Ben Affleck to direct their highly anticipated Justice League film. “Multiple sources” have told the Variety newshounds that Affleck is expected to “discuss the project with studio brass in the coming days.” The stupid reportedly considers Affleck, who has emerged as a talented and energetic director, to be high on their “list of filmmakers who can be trusted with prime properties,” thanks to his work on both The Town and the upcoming Argo. Adding beef to this story is the reveal that, of the list of possible candidates that WB is considering (and that list has not yet been revealed), Affleck is the only one who has been allowed to read Will Beall‘s script for the project.

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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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Over at /Film, they’ve posted an excellent (and very detailed) map of Batman’s own Gotham City, thanks to Brandon T. Snider‘s all-new “The Dark Knight Manual.” Laid out in a traditional style, the officially approved map is one heck of a tool when it comes to contextualizing Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight trilogy and just where the action of his beloved blockbusters plays out, and it’s a true must-examine for all Batman fans. But it’s not the only richly imagined comic book city out there – DC Comics in particular has crafted some notable fictional cities over the years, and seeing them rendered in such a manner is the stuff geeking out is made of. A little bit of digging around the Internet turned up a number of comic book city maps worth a look (though none of them as official as Snider’s look at Gotham), including takes on Metropolis, Smallville, Central City, the locations of the Mega Cities, and even a map of Manhattan that includes “real” locations for a number of important Marvel Comics structures and sites. Take a look after the break.

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Zack Snyder

Superman doesn’t look all that happy in these first two (near identical) teasers for Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. If you thought Bryan Singer‘s Superman was an unbearable mope, wait until you get a peak at Snyder’s, who has apparently made one of our greatest heroes in the galaxy a bearded, lonely and sad fisherman. You can’t get more “gritty” and “real” than that shocking transformation. Check both teasers out below, one with Kevin Costner narrating and one featuring Russell Crowe’s melodic grumbling.

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Superman

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Superman (1978) The Plot: Many light years away, the planet Krypton is doomed to explode, so the scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) and his wife launch their infant child Kal-El into space to find safety on the distant planet Earth. The young child’s spaceship crashes in a Kansas field, and he’s taken in by the older couple Jonathan and Martha Kent. The Kents raise the boy, whom they name Clark, as their own. However, he knows he’s different from other people, possessing amazing and superhuman powers. After finding a link to his Kryptonian past, Clark goes on a twelve-year journey to discover his destiny. He moves to Metropolis to become the city’s hero known as Superman (Christopher Reeve), all the while living a double life as a mild-mannered reporter at the Daily Planet. Superman catches the eye of the fiendish criminal Lex Luthor who plans for the hero’s destruction so he doesn’t interfere with Luthor’s plot to make a fortune in real estate.

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Lobo vs Superman

The fine folks at Cinema Blend (who follow The Rock on twitter for workout tips and accidentally stumbled on this movie news) are reporting that Dwayne Johnson is working with Joel Silver and director Brad Peyton (Journey 2) to make a movie adaptation of the DC comic “Lobo” happen. The character, created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen, is a bounty hunter with a bad attitude meant to be a play on The Punisher and Wolverine. He’s also often blue and might represent a solid challenge/opportunity for some great make-up work. The bottom line though? He’s a brute, and he’s built like a professional wrestler, so it’s fortunate that there’s one out there with some acting chops and personality. This isn’t a new project by any means, but it’s definitely a gutsy one that, if made, would hopefully have the bite necessary to be satisfying. At any rate, can someone get Johnson a fanged skull belt buckle already?

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Though the idea of making a movie about Legos initially sounded like a really bad one, once Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller pitched their take on the material it actually sounded pretty promising. Could a movie about little plastic blocks tell an engaging story that teaches children an important message? That’s a question that we won’t be able to answer for quite some time, but thanks to a report from Variety we now know a whole lot more about what this upcoming Lego movie will look like. First of all, the project’s working title has now been confirmed as the project’s official title – that would be Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Thematically this makes sense, as Lord and Miller’s initial comments said that their main character would be an average guy living in Lego City who has to unlearn the town’s strict rules of always building things according to the instructions and figure out how to create something wholly original. It would seem that The Piece of Resistance’s protagonist is being set up as something of a revolutionary; both figuratively and literally according to new information from the Variety report.

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Justice League Alex Ross

Sure, The Avengers being really awesome probably had a lot to do with the fact that it’s now the third most money-making movie of all time. But, more than that, the film probably has Marvel’s long term planning to thank for its extreme level of success. Instead of just making a movie about a team of superheroes, Marvel first introduced each member of the team in their own films, they dropped hints about the fact that they would all be coming together at some point, and, when it was all said and done, The Avengers finally premiered after six years of build-up and anticipation. That’s pretty unprecedented. Seeing as they own DC Comics, Warner Bros also has a fairly impressive stable of superheroes at their command. And they’ve even managed to leverage their properties into a bunch of successful animated television shows in the past. But, in recent years, the only character they’ve had any real success with in the live-action feature format is Batman. They’re not even close to doing something with DC’s premier superhero team, The Justice League, that could be on par with what Marvel did with The Avengers.

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