Warren Ellis

Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

The idea of robbing banks and trains should conjure up images of brazen cowboys and the spaghetti western music of Ennio Morricone, but instead, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford depicts a stark world left in the wake of these famed outlaws, full of melancholy and restlessness. Jesse James has a very distinctive look and feel thanks to the cinematography, the acting from the film’s two leads and the costumes — all of which give Jesse James an almost mournful tone. There’s one other element that solidifies that dirge-evoking spirit. The film may have come out six years ago, but with a revival screening poised to take place this weekend, it felt time to revisit Nick Cave and Warren Ellis‘ score, a work which embraces the mystery and magic that is the story of Jesse James as it is told through the unreliable perspective of its narrator Bob Ford (Casey Affleck).

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Thor and Iron Man

The first two films to be released in Marvel Studios’ post-Avengers, second wave of interconnected films are Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World. Through various rumor mills and casting reports we’ve already gleamed a lot about what these two sequels are going to be about, but today Marvel finally released official synopses of the two films, and have effectively removed any lingering doubts. First up is Black’s film, which the studio describes by saying, “Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?” While all that stuff about Iron Man having to go on a quest that tests his mettle is pretty vague, that last line of the synopsis about the man making the suit or the suit making the man clearly supports the rumors that have surfaced (due to various casting reports) that Iron Man 3 would largely be taking its inspiration from Warren Ellis’ […]

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Now that The Avengers is a Hulk-sized hit on North American shores as well as overseas, the big question is what will Joss Whedon do next. As seen in this interview with Collider, the man appears to be pretty damn tired from this monster film that officially wrapped only a couple weeks ago. But Hollywood moves fast, and Marvel Studios moves even faster. Acolytes of Whedon are sounding the charge as if a revolution has occurred that makes the later seasons of his shows pale in comparison. The question is will Whedon be courted by the inevitable Avengers 2? Will he resurrect his TV series onto the big screen? Will Neil Patrick Harris be involved in any way? Here are the main options Whedon has before him.

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You’re familiar with Tim Miller‘s work if you’ve seen The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s ingenious title sequence (and if you haven’t, you can see it below). His visual effects company Blur has also done work for video games like “Batman: Arkham City” and “Resident Evil: Raccoon City.” The point is – he’s a stellar artist and he’s making comic book-laden moves into the world of feature film directing. He’s attached to The Goon (if it ever gets off the ground) and Deadpool (ditto), but now Deadline Danbury is reporting that he’s been hired to helm Gravel for Legendary Pictures. The project is based on the Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer comic book that sees agent William Gravel, an S.A.S. agent who uses magic to earn money on the side by battling all sorts of creatures and beasties. It’s unconfirmed, but likely, that Ellis wrote it while drinking Scotch. It feels like lately there have been a heavy handful of very cool announcements, and this just adds to that pile. And then smothers that pile in thick, black goo. (Check out the Tim Miller-crafted Dragon Tattoo title sequence below.)

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There’s a world out there where people get shot more than they get paper cuts. It’s a world where alliances change, people might be out to kill you, but nothing’s ever all that big a deal. It’s just a Tuesday, and the black ops have busted into your home to end your life. Red might just be the best romantic comedy of the year featuring Helen Mirren on a piece of heavy artillery. Frank (Bruce Willis) is a former CIA agent who’s attacked in his home just when he’s close to asking out Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), a woman he calls the Federal Pension Program help line to speak with on a regular basis. The retired don’t know about Facebook yet. He draws her into a world of former spooks who are also being targeted, including a suave gentleman (played by Morgan Freeman), a paranoid stuffed pig enthusiast (John Malkovich) and a gorgeous lady with a penchant for wet work (Helen Mirren).

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A down on his luck private eye is tasked by the US government to find a very special book… the other Constitution written in secret by the nation’s forefathers and bound in space alien skin. The White House had possession of it until Richard Nixon traded it away, and the US has been sliding into a morally bankrupt abyss ever since.

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Warren Ellis warned us. In a blog post dated December 8, 2009, Ellis talked about how the book and the movie were destined to be distant cousins. And as we found out in a recent visit to the film’s set, that’s not exactly a bad thing.

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Simple, gritty and ready — just like the film’s title character — to kill a mothertrucker or two.

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blacksummer-header

Variety is reporting tonight that the newly raised production banner Vigilante Entertainment is putting a popular Warren Ellis penned comic series into development. Black Summer, the story of a superhero team known as the Seven Guns, a group of scientist-adventurers who modified their own bodies for street-fighting in order to take back their West Coast city from a corrupt police force, criminal local government and rapacious private security forces, is set for adaptation by Knowing screenwriter Ryne Pearson. This is the second project in development this year for the legendary Ellis, who has a long line of comic credits to his name, the other being his graphic novel Red, which is currently in development at Summit Entertainment with Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman attached to direct. Having never read Black Summer, I can only say that I dig the concept. I will leave the rest up to those of you in the comment section who have, in fact, read the series.

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Not Actual Screenshot

For the record, I resisted the urge to make a pun about Warren Ellis pulling the script for Excalibur out of a stone. Although it’s a possibility.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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