Zack Snyder

The Cove documentary

At last, an actual Aquaman movie is on the way. It’s well-known (if not official) that Jason Momoa is playing the sea-dwelling superhero in Justice League, likely appearing first in cameo form in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Via The Hollywood Reporter, now we also know that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are pushing a solo installment for Aquaman, with two screenwriters hired to separately churn out their take on the character with the hopes that one of them will be perfect. Those writers are Will Beall, who is really only known cinematically for Gangster Squad, and Kurt Johnstad, who worked with Justice League franchise mastermind Zack Snyder on 300 and its sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, and also penned the script for Act of Valor. Neither sounds like an amazing prospect, but the competition could bring out the best in each of them. I would attempt to lend them some guidance — because I’m sure they’re both happily scouring the internet for not only the demands of fans but also the ideas of non-fans — but I won’t even pretend to have a clue about where the character and his storylines have gone in the 20 years or so since I avidly read his comics. And frankly, even though I was plenty into Aquaman as a marine-life-loving kid, I can’t recall a whole lot about his background or major conflicts anyway. I remember he got a harpoon hand and a beard and went shirtless in an effort to be gritty and hip, […]

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Ben Affleck Batman

On the surface, this may sound like the most throwaway news in the entire world – Ben Affleck is 41, whatever, you guys, even Wikipedia knows that – but the reveal of just how old Affleck’s character will be in his highly anticipated Batman debut signals one major plus for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: no more origin stories, we’re done with that stuff now. One of the superhero film’s producers, Michael Uslan, recently spoke to the Asbury Park Press (via Comic Book Movie and /Film) and let slip the following: “So, [the Batman universe casting backlash] has happened time and again, and it happened with Affleck. To go back to the original thought of Bruce Wayne in his mid-40s, I think he’s going to be extraordinary.” Nice job slipping that little tidbit in there, Uslan. Of course, the news that Batman will be older than we’re used to seeing on the big screen isn’t really news, at least rationally speaking. At forty-one, Affleck is the oldest actor to play the role in a cinematic capacity (Christian Bale was thirty-one when Batman Begins debuted, George Clooney was thirty-six when Batman & Robin hit the screen, Val Kilmer was thirty-five in Batman Forever, and Michael Keaton was thirty-seven when he began his Batman run), but this is confirmation that the character itself will be older than we’ve previously experienced on the big screen. What’s most surprising about this news, however, is how it impacts another facet of Batman’s life: how long he’s actually been Batman.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Warner Bros. took the stage this morning at Comic-Con in San Diego to show off some of its upcoming film slate, including a quick look at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (yes, they are still serious about that title). According to reports from various media attending the event, Zack Snyder took the stage, fresh off a plane that came directly from the film’s set, to show off a short teaser trailer. He also welcomed the trinity of headlining cast — Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot — to the stage before also showing off some images of the cast in their costumes. After the break, we’ve got descriptions of the footage and a first (slightly blurry) look at Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman armor, complete with a sword.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Here’s something that is true: filmmaker Kevin Smith is a consummate comic book fan, one who almost got to see his own vision of Superman hit the big screen a couple of decades ago (the film that would have been titled Superman Lives, a failed feature that was so tweaked, rewritten, and run into the ground that it was eventually in the nineties), one who has also penned some special series about another favorite comic book superhero (that would be Batman) and someone who is clearly excited about what Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice holds for DC Comics’ most beloved superheroes and the DC universe at large. Here’s something else that is true: Kevin Smith is not involved with Batman v Superman, and the proliferation of rumors that link the busy filmmaker to a film that he’s not even remotely attached to have become so bizarre and bloated that it’s incredible that anyone could discuss them with a straight face, no matter how desperate everyone seems to be for information on the much-hyped film. The latest Smith-centric rumor that recently hit the web held that Smith penned an entire fake script for the production, which was then purposely leaked it to the press to throw them off the trail of the film’s actual direction. This is, of course, not true. Smith himself took to the Internet today to straighten out a rumor that gained significant traction, well, on the Internet. Cinema Blend clued their readers in to a Smith announcement (Smith-nnouncement? Smod-ment?) earlier today that vowed to clear up the […]

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Batman v Superman

Comic-Con has begun to rear its ugly head. And with it, the fans patiently waiting for Comic-Con have quietly gone insane, and are now treating every baseless internet rumor like pure liquid truth dribbled from the mouth of a loving God. But fear not, you crazed rabble. Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have provided something real: the first photo of the Man of Steel (thanks to USA Today) in this Man of Steel sequel with a completely different title. Take it in below. (And please adjust your screen brightness accordingly. You’ve been warned.)

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Ben Affleck Batman

After all the consternation and fear, here is an absolutely stunning first look at Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman.  I shot this with my @Leica_Camera M Monochrom. #Batman #Batmobile #Gotham http://t.co/WPHKLxgBLM pic.twitter.com/p5DEf6fLzJ — ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) May 13, 2014 That’s a hell of a plug for Leica, yeah?

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Justice League movie

It’s news we all saw coming, but the fact that it’s finally happening, after so many years of hemming and hawing, it just doesn’t seem like it can be true. A Justice League movie is actually going to happen, and it’s not just Warner Bros. messing with us. We’ve been burned before by DC Comics and it stung, but this time it seems like the wounds are finally going to heal. After the one-two punch of Man of Steel and 2016′s upcoming and much anticipated Batman vs. Superman (or whatever it is that they’re going to call it), Zack Snyder will once again be back in the director’s chair in 2017 to helm Justice League. With confirmation that Batman vs. Superman will indeed be a direct lead-in to the Justice League movie, we’ll of course see Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot back in their roles as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively. With the studio recently casting theatre actor Ray Fisher as Cyborg for Batman vs. Superman, the man who suffers a brutal laboratory accident that leaves him with a mostly metallic, cyborg body, they’ve got another hero checked off their list already. Warner Bros. is keeping a tight lid on exactly who’s making the cut to join their ultra exclusive version of the Justice League, but the usual suspects (the original lineup) also include Aquaman, Flash, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern.

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Community Season 5 Finale

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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eisenberg

When Warner Bros. announced that their sequel to Zack Snyder’s Superman relaunch, Man of Steel, was going to be a team-up movie that finally got a live action Superman and a live action Batman together in the same place, the world cheered. You see, Warners owns all of the DC superheroes, and they were kind of late to the superhero team-up party. After that, they announced that Ben Affleck was their pick to play Batman though, and people booed. You see, nobody really likes what Affleck brings to the table as an actor, and everyone was just getting used to liking him as a director. Plus, Batman fans are kind of hardcore, and really would only have been satisfied if it was announced that Batman was going to be played by himself. Affleck was a momentum killer on several levels. After that it was announced that Wonder Woman was also going to be appearing in this movie that, as far as we knew, wasn’t announced as being Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman, and she was going to be played by Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot. Suddenly the world’s comic book fans found themselves simultaneously asking the same question, “Isn’t Wonder Woman supposed to be swarthy and big-boned?” Ha, don’t bet on it. And don’t get comfortable with Gadot’s casting being the biggest curveball this production is going to throw at you, because Warners just sent out a press release that they’ve also cast the villainous Lex Luthor, as well as Batman’s subservient […]

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Gal Gadot

Fast & Furious actress Gal Gadot is already nailing down the boldness she’ll be expected to impart in her role as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, as she’s straight up dropping big info on her role as the iconic Amazonian; at least so far as cash and contracts are concerned. Via Batman-News, in a story reported on Good Evening With Gai Pines, a show in Gadot’s native Israel, we learn that Warner Bros will be ponying up $300,000 for her first appearance alongside Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman. What’s more, we get a solid starting date for filming, with Gadot saying the Man of Steel sequel gets rolling in May of this year. As noted previously by Variety, the film’s release date has been pushed to May 6, 2016.

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Photo by Tom Heinrich

While Gal Gadot is finally bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen in her upcoming appearance in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel, the Amazonian princess has had a hell of a time making it to television. NBC’s disaster of an effort starring a game Adrianne Palicki never survived pilot phase, and it appears now that the CW’s offering, Amazon, is a no go, according to CW president Mark Pedowitz.

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Superman Batman and Wonder Woman

There’s a wacky political theory (hear me out and stop yawning) that commercials for presidential candidates don’t actually do anything. The thinking is pretty simple: since commercials only increase name recognition, and the people running for the highest office already have a metric ton of name recognition, candidates spend hundreds of millions to move the needle not at all. Strangely, no campaign has ever had the brass buttons to give us a real-world test of the theory. The movie studio corollary is fairly simple to spot — particularly in an age where the name of your franchise is theoretically far more important for your movie’s potential popularity than the name of the actor playing the part. We’re in a post-star era, but the extent of actors’ diminished effect on bringing in fans isn’t really clear, leading to an important franchise question. Would it really matter who played Superman? Batman? Wonder Woman? Katniss? That Sparkly Vampire Guy? Actors have already caught on to the phenomenon and capitalized on it by extending their profiles into the independent world, going as far as ensuring financing for small films that otherwise wouldn’t be made without them. Best of all, they do this without risking their “personal brand” as “big time movie stars” at all. In that sense, the shift has been freeing, and it can be freeing for studios, too, as they become more comfortable choosing from outside the same 10-name list for higher profile roles. In the best case scenario, it’ll give directors […]

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Look, I know we all love Batman. His cool gadgets. His imposing figure. The way he dresses like a diminutive winged mammal and punches people in the head. And with the latest non-LEGO incarnation of the caped crusader still a few years away, things can be a little tough sometimes. We all need our coping mechanisms- maybe revisit earlier Batman films, pick up a comic book or swallow fistfuls of gravel in an attempt to sound more like Christian Bale.

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news ben affleck is batman

Per The Wrap, Ben Affleck will play Batman in the upcoming sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Go ahead. Bitch, moan, complain, and vent about how terrible this casting is because of Gigli or Daredevil or his association with Kevin Smith. We’ll wait.

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Superman and Batman

Breaking news out of Comic-Con this morning. Hero Complex is reporting that Warner Bros. will announce the sequel to this summer’s big DC Comics adaptation Man of Steel, with a big caveat: Superman will be meeting Batman in the sequel. According to sources with knowledge of the project, “director Zack Snyder is expected to reunite with screenwriter David S. Goyer and star Henry Cavill for the new film. It’s unlikely Christian Bale will step back into the bat suit, as the actor has indicated publicly that he has moved on from his days as Bruce Wayne.” Assuming this is true — we will know soon enough, as the Warner Bros. panel begins in about 45 minutes — it would fit in perfectly with Warner Bros.’ intention to lay down a path toward a Justice League film, just as Marvel did with its Avengers over the course of the past four years. The big question about Justice League is “how will they get there?” How will they bring all of their characters together in a way that feels fluid, on a time frame that is far more brief than what Marvel had to work with. Step one appears to be uniting their two biggest names: Superman and Batman. From there, the possibilities begin to unfold. We will be keeping our ears to the ground as more comes in from San Diego this afternoon. So buckle in, DC fans, as this afternoon could be a lot of fun. UPDATE: THR is reporting that The Flash could be getting a stand-alone movie […]

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david-goyer

Screenwriter David S. Goyer and his bank account must be very pleased with the audience turnout for Man of Steel, but this Superman reboot wasn’t always an easy bet. Remember in 2006 the months leading up to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns? The buzz and box-office expectations were all around hyperbolic. So much so even Entertainment Weekly predicted it would make over 300 million dollars domestically It didn’t. Was that because audiences no longer had an interest in Superman or that they just couldn’t get behind Singer’s idealistic ode to the Donner films? Maybe both. Goyer, producer Christopher Nolan, and director Zack Snyder realized audiences needed a more modern take on the character, which they delivered on with large-scale action sequences, shades of science-fiction, and no bumbling Lex Luthor goons. We spoke with screenwriter David Goyer after the film’s opening weekend about the project’s conception, grounding an alien who flies, and how we still haven’t seen a fully-formed Superman in our SPOILER-filled discussion:

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Man of Steel

Man of Steel made all the money this weekend, rocking the third highest opening June weekend (adjusted) with $125M domestic and another $71.6M international for good measure. The extent of its success will depend on whether audience reactions are positive enough to propel it to large numbers in the following weeks (because getting to a billion isn’t easy), but it’s not surprising that the team at Warners is excited about the sequel/franchise possibilities. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, they might be looking to release Man of Steel 2 as early as next year. But how realistic is that? It’s true that Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer are both back as director and writer respectively, but even with main talent in place, the timeline seems truncated. After all, it was three years between Christopher Nolan sharing Goyer’s concept with Warners and the release of the new Superman. Plus, Man of Steel took at least 7 months to shoot — that’s without counting post-production and effects. So, essentially, they’d better start tomorrow if they want a Summer 2014 slot.

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Man of Steel

Spoilers Ahead: This article contains advanced talking points for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. We recommend reading it after you see the film. Anyone who called Iron Man 3 or any other blockbuster in the past few years an “epic” will be eating their words once they see Zack Snyder‘s giant toy set called Man of Steel. It’s as if Shane Black and J.J. Abrams were playing with plastic action figures and then, all the sudden, Snyder showed up with real heroes. His Superman reboot is exciting, a visual marvel, and gives fans the movie they wanted to see from Bryan Singer. Finally, we have a 21st century Superman who punches somebody, but is there more here than a few wicked brawls? For the most part, yes. There’s some heart present, especially with Russell Crowe taking part in the film’s emotional peak within the first twenty minutes. After that, the movie loses some of that patient drama with certain structural and character choices. This isn’t, let’s say, a Star Trek Into Darkness situation where the experience falls flat by Abrams & Co. consistently choosing spectacle over logic. For every confounding choice made in Man of Steel, there’s plenty of right choices made. Some of those puzzling choices raise questions, though. There’s no plot holes to drive buses through here, but they feel like issues that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Man of Steel

It has happened before and it will happen again – the Internet rumor perpetual-motion machine got some stuff wrong about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. While Snyder doesn’t ascribe to something even remotely like J.J. Abrams’ “Mystery Box” way of hiding information (including the barest of facts) about his films, fans of Superman have been so revved up about the new Henry Cavill-starring film for so long that it’s understandable that a ton of rumors would be cooked up about the film before and during its production. After all, who wouldn’t expect to see Lex Luthor in a Superman film? In the wake of the film actually being released in theaters, let’s recap eleven big rumors about Man of Steel that got root on the interwebs (either via traditional reportage or speculative message boards) and have now been proven to be patently false. While a few of these have already been debunked, the release of the film finally signals the most formal of debunkings for all of them. Fortunately for fans of Supes, most of these are rumors we definitely didn’t want to see pan out (even if they did take some serious chatter wing for a bit there), at least in a newly rebooted origin story. Of course, there are tons of spoilers ahead for anyone who has yet to see Man of Steel, so beware.

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Lois Lane

Warning: there are spoilers ahead for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Haven’t seen the movie yet? Go see it, then come on back. It’s long been the running gag of the Superman universe – that the world’s populace and his closest friends are unable to comprehend that Superman and Clark Kent are one in the same, only one of them happens to be wearing glasses. While it is somewhat conceivable that Supes’ fans and Clark’s acquaintances are too knuckle-headed to see the truth (particularly in the early days of his existence, as we suspect that modern day Superman will have some major problems when it comes to social media, smart phones, and citizen reportership), it’s always been dunderheaded that Superman’s perennial love interest, Lois Lane, is consistently in the dark as to who is who. The main issue with the lovely Lois not seeing the obvious is that she is not only a highly intelligent woman, she is a woman who investigates things for a living. Rooting out truths and seeing beyond the status quo is not only what Lois does, but it’s who she is. Open your eyes, Lois! In traditional Superman comic history, Lois first became suspicious of Clark Kent’s true identity (or Superman’s true identity, whichever, really) back in the Golden Age of DC Comics. Lois, like Superman, was first introduced in Action Comics #1 in 1938, though she didn’t start putting the Clark/Supes pieces together until sometime in the early 1940’s. To get into the rest […]

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