Superman

When it was recently mentioned in Movie News After Dark that Christopher Meloni would be joining Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman film Man of Steel I was left struggling with an overwhelming mix of emotions. There was joy at what an awesome actor Meloni is, whether he’s fondling sweaters in Wet Hot American Summer or looking grim as a detective on Law & Order: SVU. But there was also pain at being left in the dark about exactly which role he would be taking. Would he be playing a big role in the Superman mythos that we hadn’t hear the casting for yet, could he be doing a super secret cameo as a character we’re not supposed to know appears in the film, or would he just be playing a guy in a hard hat who looks up and says something like, “it’s a bird …”?

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At this point it’s starting to become a certainty that Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman movie Man of Steel is going to be mostly about a young Superman developing an Oedipal complex. First came the news that super sultry Diane Lane was on board to play Superman’s kindly, old earthbound mom Martha Kent. And now it appears that super sexy British actress Julia Ormond is close to signing on as his spacemom Lara. That’s a lot of MILF for one superhero movie. I’m jealous of Superman’s dads, who happen to be Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe.

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There’s no reason to list them all, but there are a lot of similarities between Marlon Brando and Russell Crowe. According to Variety, there’s about to be one more. The trade is reporting that he’s taking the role of Superman’s father, Jor-El, for Man of Steel. With another origin story, it gives Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan an opportunity to bring Kal-El’s parents into the mix, but they will most likely have relatively small parts. However, as Brando proved, it doesn’t take a large part to make an impact. Oddly enough, Latino Review is also reporting that Connie Nielsen has been offered the role of Superman’s mother, Lara, meaning that if she accepts, she’ll reunite with her Gladiator co-star Crowe. The pairing will make more than a subtle nod to that film, which of course was more than a subtle nod to the film Witness (or just a massive love letter to wheat fields). Thus, the new Superman reboot is a giant, long-form tribute to Harrison Ford and Peter Weir. Layers! But, seriously, all of this casting sounds phenomenal. It also means that an Australian is siring a British alien that becomes a symbol for the American way.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Welcome back to This Week in Blu-ray, a column that usually runs on Tuesday. Due to a fantastic and relentlessly voluminous assortment of Blu-ray releases this week, it’s a little late. So we’ll dispense with all of the apologies and long-winded lead-ins, as we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Beginning with the best storytelling the small-screen has to offer… Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season Lets just lay it out there: the final two episodes of Breaking Bad‘s third season could be two of the greatest, most intensely dramatic and incredibly well-written episodes in the era of color. But it’s the build to those two episodes, one that you don’t even notice as it’s happening, that is brilliant. What Vince Gilligan and team have created in the story of Walter White (Emmy winner Bryan Cranston) is one of the fascinating good guy gone bad, but for (sometimes) good reasons stories of all-time. Season three brings in the Mexican cartel, sends Walter’s partner (Emmy winner Aaron Paul) off the deep end and delivers its big guy punch in the end. For those who are experiencing it fresh now on Blu-ray (something you should do, if it’s not clear just yet), count yourselves among the lucky ones. Those who watched it live have been waiting for more than a year to see what happens next. As for the Blu presentation, it’s loaded with more than 10 hours of add-ons, a reward for those who have patiently awaited the release. Three […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? Whatever it was last night has been shed, and tonight it is back to its old self: a movie news round-up that appears nightly, pulls no punches and always delivers the goods. For those who were disappointed in last night’s non-entry — especially that guy who called me “LAZY” — please accept my apology in the form of tonight’s exquisite assortment of entertaining goodies. Tonight’s lead image comes from Pixar’s new short, Luna. It’s the coming-of-age story of a young boy who is taught the strange details of his family’s business. As with everything Pixar-related, it looks beautiful. And we can only imagine that it will have some sort of heart-warming human elements. Nothing plucks heart strings like a little lineage and a father with a massive mustache.

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Why Watch? Because he’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. No one uses the word “bound” as a noun anymore, but Superman is still alive and well. He’s a cultural phenomenon that’s unparalleled, and he’s even seeing Blu-ray releases this week. In honor of that, we’re presenting the Man of Steel’s first appearance on the big screen – as a short cartoon from Max Fleischer that ran before movies. Seven years after the first serial, the character would head to theaters live-action style with Kirk Alyn becoming the first actor to portray Supes. The animation is beautiful, the tale thrilling, and you can play along at home by spotting the character differences in his origin story and characteristics. What does it cost? Just 10 minutes of your time. Check out Superman for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that often sits around in its best lingerie a little too much. Like Emma Frost in the new X-Men film, it loves walking around in its skivvies. However, unlike Ms. Frost and her lovely attire, it does not receive a positive response. It’s okay, because this movie news column is not a real thing. It’s just an object. We begin tonight with a scantly glad, hollow-gazing January Jones lounging around in Matthew Vaughn’s uber-stylish X-Men: First Class. What I find interesting about Jones is that whether she’s about to turn into a woman with diamond-coated skin or she’s waiting for Don Draper to come home from a night of whoring around, it’s the same facial expression. That’s consistency.

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Boiling Point

Sorry Wonder Woman fans, but the patriotically clad superheroine won’t be coming to television screens anytime soon, at least not on NBC. Considering how all the other networks passed on the project from the start, I’m not sure there’s any network left for it, unless the CW wanted to weaken its line-up. Zing. As nerds on the internet, it is our job to question why this show was canceled. After all, we love comics and we love TV, so there you go. After many seconds of deep, introspective thought, I figured out why Wonder Woman won’t be appearing on any screen in the near future. Wonder Woman sucks, that’s why.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with stuntman legend Vic Armstrong (who brought to life Indiana Jones, Superman and James Bond). We also chat with camera operator/cinematographer Peter Simonite (Skateland, Tree of Life), and we dig deeper into the monster-making world of effects master Shannon Shea. Plus, Matt Razak from Flixist spars off with Mike Smith from Examiner.com for our Movie News Pop Quiz, and we all learn an important lesson. By that, I mean a lesson about re-imaginings, reboots and re-re-re-makes. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s like watching CNN or the New York Times, but funnier and without all of the big words. It covers movie news every night in a way that no other movie news column set to run at 11p CST can. It was also far more punctual than President Obama’s speech tonight. So it’s got that going for it. Earlier this evening it was announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed by American forces. Great job to our fighting men and women. That guy was a real douche. Perhaps just as interesting, as Badass Digest points out, was the fact that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was aware of the news before anyone else. This is what happens when you kick ass in Fast Five and open with an $83 million dollar weekend.

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A while back we were hearing rumors that in addition to General Zod, the evil Kryptonian revolutionary that Superman fought in Richard Donner’s Superman franchise, Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel would also be featuring a new female Kryptonian antagonist named Faora. Don’t expect any sort of Batman/Catwoman sexual tension to be going on with the announcement of a female villain though. There are a couple of versions of Faora floating around in the comic verse, and neither of them are as friendly as a sexy jewel thief. The first version of Faora, who debuted in “Action Comics #471,” is a man hating serial killer whose killed 20 some dudes back on Krypton. An updated version, who first appeared in “Action Comics #779,” is an aid to General Zod who has the ability to create a destructive mutagenic virus. It remains to be seen which version of the character is being used for Snyder’s film; perhaps we could even be getting a combination of the two or a take on her that is completely new. But any way you look at it, she doesn’t seem like very much of a warm personality. So what do you do when you have to cast a character that is cold and abrasive? Duh, you cast a German. That’s why Snyder and company are close to signing Pandorum actress Antje Traue to take on the role. She’s so German that I don’t even know how to pronounce her name. I’m not really familiar with […]

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With Smallville ending in a few weeks, Human Target (unfortunately) hanging on by a the skin of its teeth in ratings, The Incredible Hulk in pre-production and the Wonder Woman pilot now shot and awaiting word on series pickup possibilities, this is a great time to discuss what other comic book franchises would be well served by a live action TV adaptation. So without any ado at all, I offer five comic book franchises that would make great TV and the networks that would make the best match.

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Recent comments by Diane Lane pointed to the fact that Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel would be yet another origin story of the Kryptonian cast-off turned farm boy turned big city reporter; and I and others like me instantly started whining. Well, to add to this story, The Latino Review says that they have a shadowy source involved with the film, and they’ve beaten some more specifics about what we’ll be seeing out of him. Possible spoilers that will be revealed in the film’s advertising eventually anyway below. According to Deep Throat, we will in fact be seeing the planet Krypton, and we will get scenes with Superman’s birth parents Jor-El and Lara. And not only will we be seeing them, but they seem to be meaty enough parts that Snyder is going after big actors to play them. He’s even been hounding the greatest living actor Daniel Day-Lewis to play Jor-El. In addition to Superman’s parents and the already cast General Zod, we’ll also be getting another female Kryptonian. Her name is Faora and she was a man-hating serial killer who offed 23 dudes back on Krypton before she was trapped in the Phantom Zone. The source also says that the crystalline look of Donner’s Superman films will be changed, and this time Krypton will have more of a futuristic cityscape look like Coruscant from the Star Wars prequels. So people complaining that this Superman movie looks like yet another retread of Donner’s films now have […]

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Diane Lane is all set to become to most buxom and vivacious Martha Kent of all time in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman film Man of Steel, but she’s echoing something the future General Zod Michael Shannon has already publicly said: nobody seems to have a copy of the script. Lane told E Online that, “I read the script under lock and key. I was locked in a room with the script and was only allowed three hours with it. I nailed it into my memory. I’m really excited. I’m really not allowed to talk much about it, I think, but it does cover the entire range of years, from infancy on.” She may not be able to talk much about it, but already I feel that she’s said too much. Lane’s comments seem to confirm that this new take on Superman is going to be yet another origin story, and if there’s anything I know to be true in my heart of hearts, it’s that nobody wants to see another superhero origin story. At this point Superman is such a part of Americana that our kids are born probably already knowing the tale of the baby jettisoned from the planet of Krypton and his new home on Earth where he finds he has strange powers. Do we really need to see the story “from infancy on” yet again? Can’t we finally just get a good movie where a grown-up Superman battles a bunch of giant robots or something in the […]

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Michael Shannon recently spoke to an audience at the RiverRun International Film Festival, and since he was just cast as General Zod in the now officially titled Zack Snyder Superman movie Man of Steel, talk of course turned to that. What sort of a rigorous casting procedure did Shannon go through to land such a big role in such a big movie, you might wonder? Shannon describes his meetings with Snyder; “So I go meet him and he’s seriously sitting there and he’s telling me, he’s like, ‘You can’t read the script, so I’m just going to tell you what happens.’ And he spent like a half hour telling me every scene in this movie. And then it’s a month later, it’s like ‘Okay, you’re General Zod.’” Whoa, that sounds easy. Maybe I should be an actor.

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The sequel to Zack Snyder’s super successful swords and sandals epic 300 used to look like a much more straightforward proposition than it does now. Frank Miller was writing a graphic novel sequel, Zack Snyder would once again adapt it into a feature film, and it was going to be named Xerxes. Lately all that doesn’t seem to be so set in stone. Since Zack Snyder signed on the make the next Superman, the question of who is going to direct has been up in the air. Sitting down to talk with MTV, producer Mark Canton has cleared up a few things about where the project is, and stayed a bit more vague about where the project is headed. The big news is that he says the film will no longer be called Xerxes. He said that the story is more of a “Xerxes Plus.” I suppose this hints that the film will be taking a more epic scope than being just a bio of the Xerxes character, but it also means that someone is still working on the development of and thinking about this project, despite the fact that Snyder has been shunted off to Superman. While Canton doesn’t have a new title to give us, he does seem to think that the story is in place. He says, “It’s been worth the wait. You know, that group of people, we’re really a family. That’s part of what made that movie . . . so gratifying. Rather than doing […]

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On June 7, 2011, everything that you love about Superman, be it the Richard Donner films of the late 70s and 80s or Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, will come full circle. No, you’re not being flown to the set of Zack Snyder’s Superman: Man of Steel. You will instead have the chance to own an eight-disc collection of Superman movies that will be in crisp, beautiful high definition and include over 20 hours of special features. I don’t know about you, but that’s a gift that keeps on giving. No matter what you’re after, original theatrical or expanded editions, this one appears to have it all. If you’re curious to see just how much extra Superman goodness there is, just click on through the jump and see the set’s detailed layout. And then you’ll know why I’m personally very excited.

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The LA Times did a big profile on new Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov. They talk about a few things in it, from his managerial style to controversial decisions he has made such as passing on Slumdog Millionaire and refusing to work with David Fincher. But what is most interesting about the piece is that it slips in some pretty major news about the direction of Warner’s big, tentpole DC Comics properties. According to Rubinov, he wants both new Superman and Batman films to come out in 2012, and then he’s aiming for a Justice League movie to come out in 2013. There’s even mention of spinning off Flash and Wonder Woman films after that. We already know that the Superman movie is being overseen by Christopher Nolan and is going to be directed by Zack Snyder, and the Batman movie is Nolan’s next directorial effort The Dark Knight Rises, but will these be the same characters that appear in the Justice League movie? Superman doesn’t get a mention, so it seems like the answer for Snyder’s character is yes, but post Dark Knight Rises Batman will be getting a reboot. Much like with the Superman project, Robinov has gotten Nolan on board to oversee the character’s new direction. If you add in this year’s Green Lantern, it’s looking like Warner Bros. finally has the proper leadership in place to give Marvel’s recent spate of film adaptations a run for it’s money. With this news and the announcement of all […]

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Sucker Punch feels like Zack Snyder‘s response to all those awkward and sexist nerds he and his cast deal with in Hall-H nearly every year. You know, the ones that can’t help but to shout out how “hot” the actresses are during the panel, and without actually asking any real questions or treating them respectfully. Those nerds are the sideline oppressors of Sucker Punch: the revolting-looking Chef and Mayor, the ones that love seeing their women in degrading and sexualized outfits, but don’t care about how or why they’re in said outfits. As long as they get their joy out of sexy women doing sexy things, and nothing outside the basic titillation, they’ll be happy. This is the subtext that many seem to not talking about from Sucker Punch. Snyder’s work has always been divisive, but never has one of his films been this polarizing, and he knows that. Snyder is well-aware of the response the film has been getting, and he’s the type of self-aware filmmaker who probably expected this type of reaction from day one of shooting. The fact that Sucker Punch isn’t a film for everyone surely must have caused problems along the way, and as Snyder states, the test-screening process was no help in that regard.

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Amy Adams has just been cast as intrepid reporter Lois Lane for the new Superman reboot being directed by Zack Snyder. In what must have been an exhaustive search, Hero Complex is reporting that the production landed on the three-time Oscar nominee who brings an enormous amount of acting talent to the project as well as a trademark pluckiness to a plucky, iconic character. This is outstanding news, and a great casting choice not only because of the fit, but because of Adams’s skill level. Snyder has insisted that this will be his most realistic movie yet, and to that end he commented on the casting, saying, “It goes back to what I’ve said about Superman and making him really understandable for today. What’s important to us is making him relevant and real and making him empathetic to today’s audience so that we understand the decisions he makes.  That applies to Lois as well. She has to be in the same universe as him [in tone and substance].” If seeing yet another superhero adaptation (especially the same old superheros) is tired, this production just got a little life to it, and I for one can’t wait to see Snyder dress up Adams in a pin up girl outfit, and have her fight Lex Luthor with a samurai sword in slow motion, realistically. Jokes aside, this is a hell of a great casting call.

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