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- 03/14/17--19:59: _The Flash: Who is J...
- 03/14/17--21:23: _Thor To Receive Bas...
- 03/15/17--09:24: _Fight Club 2 and th...
- 03/15/17--10:10: _Star Wars: Marvel t...
- 03/15/17--13:45: _American Gods TV Se...
- 03/15/17--13:46: _Quantum & Woody TV ...
- 03/15/17--16:34: _Suicide Squad 2 Get...
- 03/15/17--16:44: _The Walking Dead: S...
- 03/15/17--20:15: _Deathstroke #15 Exc...
- 03/15/17--22:46: _Secret Empire: What...
- 03/16/17--02:26: _Hap and Leonard Sea...
- 03/16/17--10:58: _Marvel's Iron Fist ...
- 03/16/17--20:46: _Venom Movie Spin-Of...
- 03/17/17--13:13: _New Book Details th...
- 03/17/17--18:22: _Iron Fist: Complete...
- 03/13/17--14:39: _A Wrinkle in Time M...
- 03/13/17--16:25: _Iron Fist Star Finn...
- 03/13/17--16:38: _The Girl in the Spi...
- 03/13/17--17:09: _Man of Steel 2 Updates
- 03/18/17--14:12: _We Almost Got a Tim...
- 03/14/17--19:59: The Flash: Who is Jay Garrick?
- 03/15/17--09:24: Fight Club 2 and the Ongoing Quest For a Sequel
- 03/15/17--10:10: Star Wars: Marvel to Explore Darth Vader's Early Days as Sith Lord
- 03/15/17--13:45: American Gods TV Series: Trailer, Release Date, Cast
- 03/15/17--13:46: Quantum & Woody TV Series in Development With Russo Brothers
- 03/15/17--16:34: Suicide Squad 2 Gets Writer
- 03/15/17--16:44: The Walking Dead: Showrunner Scott Gimple on Grumpy Savior Gavin
- 03/15/17--20:15: Deathstroke #15 Exclusive First Look
- 03/15/17--22:46: Secret Empire: What We Know About Marvel's Next Event
- 03/16/17--02:26: Hap and Leonard Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Mucho Mojo
- 03/16/17--10:58: Marvel's Iron Fist Review (Spoiler Free)
- 03/17/17--13:13: New Book Details the Car Movie that Made Steve McQueen Lose His Cool
- 03/13/17--14:39: A Wrinkle in Time Movie: Everything We Know
- 03/13/17--16:25: Iron Fist Star Finn Jones Responds to Harsh Criticism
- 03/13/17--17:09: Man of Steel 2 Updates
- 03/18/17--14:12: We Almost Got a Tim Burton Batman Universe Comic
DC's original speedster is one of the most important superheroes in comic book history. Here's a flash course in Jay Garrick.
This article contains spoilers for The Flash season 2.
Jay Garrick's arrival on The Flash was a foregone conclusion since the very first episode of season one. The minute that newspaper headline from the future was revealed, letting fans know that there's a "Crisis on Infinite Earths" of some kind in the not-too-distant future of this show, then it was only natural that we'd meet the first, most important of those infinite worlds, Earth-2.
And there's no more iconic symbol of Earth-2 than Jay Garrick, the original Flash.
Flash Comics #1 first hit newsstands in late 1939 (don't be fooled by the 1940 date on the cover), and it's handily one of the most important single issues ever published by DC Comics (long before the company went by that name). Superman had arrived in early 1938 in Action Comics #1, bringing forth a slew of caped imitators, not the least of whom being Batman, who made his pointy-eared bow in Detective Comics #27 in mid 1939. The superhero arms race was on, and most of 'em had capes.
But Flash Comics #1 put someone a little different on the cover. Here we had a mercury helmeted speedster in a capeless, but no less snazzy costume, catching a bullet in mid-flight. Boasting just as much primary color appeal as Superman, Jay Garrick took one of those most elemental superpowers, the ability to run really frakkin' fast, and melded it with the still nascent superhero genre.
But Jay's origin story was also one of the more well-rounded ones of the era. In the space of 15 pages, Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert introduced us to Jay Garrick, college football benchwarmer and mediocre science student, his girlfriend (and future wife) Joan, Joan's scientist dad, and a crew of evildoers with the modest name of the Faultless Four. Jay gets his super speed not by anything remotely as sexy as a lightning bolt or particle accelerator, but from the fumes of "hard water" which he accidentally inhales after knocking over vial while relaxing with a cigarette.
Special note that has nothing to do with anything else! I don't think any Golden Age superhero comic features as much cigarette smoking as early Flash stories. Holy moley, all these people do is light up. Anyway...back to the important stuff.
Jay recovers from a coma, discovers his speed, puts on a costume, and rescues Joan's pop in remarkably economic fashion, all in a story slightly better drawn than many of the other Superman and/or Flash Gordon knockoffs. In fact, aside from the "Flash" name, like most superhero costumes, Jay's owes quite a bit to Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon (for that matter, so does virtually every other superhero of the era, but that's a story for another time), who routinely wore striking outfits like a red shirt, and blue pants, emblazoned with yellow lightning bolts. But it's Jay's winged helmet and boots, tributes to the Greek god Hermes, known for his swiftness, that set him apart from his peers.
Special note #2. You know who else first appeared in Flash Comics #1? Hawkman and Hawkgirl, two characters that we also spent a lot of time with on the first seasn of Legends of Tomorrow
Jay proved popular enough to start making appearances in All-Star Comics, where he was a founding member and chairman of the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, who he would be associated with for the rest of his career. He was one of the few superheroes (alongside Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Captain America) to break free of the anthology format prevalent at the time, and was granted his own title, appropriately known as All-Flash.
But interest in superhero comics dropped dramatically in the years following World War II, and by 1951, Jay and most of the rest of the Justice Society had faded away, presumably never to be heard from again.
Jay next appeared in none other than Showcase#4 in 1956, in the same story that introduced Barry Allen to the world. But here, we only see him on the cover of a comic book that Barry's reading, and it's Barry's love of this superhero from a bygone era that ultimately inspires him to put on a costume and adopt the Flash name. But make no mistake, in Barry's world, Jay Garrick was just a fictional character.
Well, at least he was...until The Flash #123 in 1961. "Flash of Two Worlds" revealed that Jay Garrick was actually a Flash from another dimension (affectionately known as Earth-2, despite the fact that it came first), and when Flashcomic book writer Gardner Fox didn't write his adventures, he was unkowingly channeling "real" events from Jay's dimension. It was a wild concept, and one that stuck. Jay and Barry team-ups became yearly occurrences in The Flash, and soon the tradition spread to the Justice Society and the Justice League, in stories that often had titles like "Crisis on Earth-3."
This ultimately led to a proliferation of alternate worlds, and DC had to do a massive housecleaning, known as Crisis on Infinite Earths, which (among countless other things) merged the histories of Earth-1 and Earth-2, meaning that Jay operated as the Flash of decades past, before Barry picked up the legacy, and so on down the line. There's way too much about Flash's connection to Crisis(and its potential impact on the future of DC movies and TV) to get into here, but I wrote a whole article about it a while back. See for yourself.
During this period, the JSA re-formed, and thanks to some funny business involving how the Golden Age heroes had aged (don't ask), Jay was able to serve as a mentor to other young speedsters in the DC Universe. During most of his time on "our" Earth in DC's present, Jay helped Wally West out during his extended run as the "main" Flash, and served as the backbone of a new JSA that also consisted of newer "legacy" heroes in the DC Universe.
There was a version of Jay introduced during DC's New 52 period, who rocked a snazzy new costume but was pretty different from his original interpretation. The classic Mercury-helmeted version has so far been absent from DC's current line of rebirth comics. He's bound to be reintroduced, though, along with the rest of the Justice Society, it's just a matter of time.
After a season 2 fake-out which saw Teddy Sears introduced as the Jay Garrick of Earth-2 only to be revealed as the villain of the season, Zoom, we met the real Jay, the Flash of Earth-3, played by none other than original TV Flash, John Wesley Shipp. This version of the character has taken on the traditional role as Barry's occasional mentor, and he's as fully heroic as his comic book counterpart. Seeing John Wesley shipp in a smartly updated costume and that iconic helmet actually brought some happy tears to my eyes.
I may update this article with some additional context about Jay Garrick and his world as we get more info on the TV version throughout The Flash season 3. Until then, you can try and keep up with me on Twitter!
A version of this article first appeared in October of 2015. It has been updated with new information.
Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will finally become Thor.
New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard showed up to spring training only by accident. Given his workout regime, you could assume the gargantuan righthander, equipped a thunderous fastball and a mighty hammer of a curveball, thought he deserved another audition for the role of Thor in the upcoming third film of the Marvel Studios franchise.
Chris Hemsworth will keep his day job, and us Mets fans will be glad to see the ace nicknamed “Thor” take the mound on opening day, but when was the last time, before Barry Bonds and the steroid era, you saw a player show up to spring training looking like a real superhero? Syndergaard added an extra 17 pounds to his 6’6, 240 pound frame this offseason, fully embodying his super nickname.
With only a few weeks to go before the season, Marvel and the Mets announced that Thor and Syndergaard will finally be one. The Mets will give fans attending the game on July 22nd a Noah Syndergaard/Thor Bobblehead in collaboration with Marvel. Great timing, too. Comics fans already have that date circled on the calendar as it falls right in the heart of San Diego Comic-Con.
The Mets released a mockup of the promotional item:
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 13, 2017
Syndergaard, who has plenty of fun with the nickname on social mediaand in the real world, will unfortunately miss the chance to walk around SDCC dressed as Thor. The Mets visit San Diego the day after the cosplayers leave town.
With Syndergaard ascending to the pinnacle of his sport with his superhuman-like ability, and fans frequently attending his games dressed in Thor garb, don’t be surprised if Marvel and the Mets ace team up again in the future.
Fight Club 2 is something that exists, but it's not heading to the screen as of yet. At least not directly...
Fight Club 2. Has it happened? Will it happen? Should it happen?
The collective answer to those three questions are of course yes. And no. Start trawling the web for word of a sequel to the 1999 cult classic turned post-modern masterpiece and one thing soon becomes apparent: the first rule of a Fight Club sequel is that you don’t talk about a Fight Club sequel. It will come as no great surprise to you that the second rule is somewhat similar in fashion and wording to the first.
Yes, I know - you’re probably rolling your eyes right now at my uninspired use of a tired and overused quote and who could blame you? Short of pulling the old deus ex machina, falling back on well-worn catchphrases is perhaps the surest sign of lazy writing… but that’s kind of my point. In the years that have passed since Fight Club oozed into existence like motor oil ‘fertilizing’ a lawn, seeping jet-black nihilism all over the dewey freshness of our turn-of-the-century optimism, the film and its endlessly quotable lines have become a sort of shorthand to describe the existential travails of 21st century life.
Sneered at by some critics upon its release, Fight Club’s anti-capitalist message was reportedly so abhorrent to Fox owner Rupert Murdoch that studio president Bill Mechanic paid for the movie with his job. That said, the passage of time has been kinder to the film. Since the turn of the century, global banking scandals and corporate mis-management, the rise of organized protest movements such as Anonymous, even high profile scandals in the food industry have all to some degree formed a sharpening reflection in the mirror that Fight Club held up to the world. Like Catcher In The Rye or 1984, there’s a compelling case to be made that the text pre-empted the zeitgeist: that everything that has happened since simply proves how ahead of the curve Fight Club truly was.
So what of the reclusive Fight Club 2? Well it already exists, albeit in comic book form. Author of the original novel, Chuck Palahniuk has written a continuation of the original novel’s story that finds the original book’s narrator ten years down the line (and now named Sebastian), unhappily married to Marla Singer, and popping pills aplenty to keep the spectre of Tyler far from the feast that is his life. Not that it’s much of a feast anyway - the turgid, daily fare that is suburban Americana has proven to be an unsatisfying meal for all.
The spectre of course is far more interesting. There's the lingering shadow of terrorist messiah, Tyler Durden who is gradually reforming on the edges of Sebastian’s psyche. Marla, who is both bored and sexually unsatisfied, is by far the most cheesed off, with a life of flatpack furniture and white picket fences and so, craving excitement she begins to substitute Sebastian’s meds for aspirins and before you can say “Bob had bitch tits” Tyler returns.
Fight Club 2 has an adequate enough setup (although not one that a movie sequel could necessarily employ as the ending of the book and the film were markedly different). Also, the decade apart from the characters is significant in allowing us to appreciate just how dissatisfied they’ve become in their daily routines. Plus, once more using Marla as the story’s catalyst works well too; there aren’t many better agent provocateurs out there in any medium than Marla Singer.
Sadly though, beyond the initial premise, it all becomes a bit of a mess. While Palahniuk ramps up some of the more interesting ideas from the original such as the notion of a fatherless America and an exploration of fascism as a tool for change, the whole thing feels somewhat rudderless, and the increasingly daft deus ex machina ending (refer back to ‘lazy writing tropes’ above) sees Palahniuk attempting (and pretty much failing) to play with comic book conventions, perhaps a victim of his own lofty aspirations given it’s his first time in the medium. Also lost in the transition from one medium to another is much of Palahniuk’s ichor-black prose that characterizes his work; shifting to a form that places less emphasis on the power of words really doesn’t play to his strengths as a writer.
So, akin to Highlander II, we’re probably going to end up in a position where nobody mentions the Fight Club comic book sequel and everyone pretends it simply doesn’t exist (apart from Palahniuk who is planning another comic book follow-up). That said, the fact that a sequel exists (albeit a poor one) could yet prove to be a boon for fans hoping for a cinematic sequel to Fincher’s 1999 classic. As is the case with T2, the successful cinematic follow-up to Trainspotting, the simple fact that a sequel to the original novel existed in the shared consciousness of creators, fans, and studio executives was enough to keep interest in a movie sequel alive, in spite of Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor’s long-running tiff. Porno, the 2002 sequel to the novel Trainspottingwasn't faithfully adapted for the sequel, and nor should it have been as it was far from Welsh’s best work - but its very existence was still important to the creation of Trainspotting 2. Perhaps the same will be true for Fight Club 2.
It’s not like Fincher needs an excuse to jump back into the world of Fight Club either. Stories surfaced last year claiming that he’s deep into the process of turning his creation into a musical alongside Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the co-composer on his last three films. Reportedly, Fincher is of the belief that this generation has yet to spawn a definitive rock opera and the story bones of Fight Club could form the skeleton that a rock opera could reanimate. However, seek to know whether the director would be interested in returning to a straight-up cinematic sequel and the answers are far more nebulous: Fincher isn’t exactly what you’d call a prolific director of feature films; in the 16 years since Fight Club he’s made only six movies. Nor in fact does he make sequels, with Alien 3 being the only numbered film on his resume, and as you’re probably aware, he wasn’t involved with its predecessors.
As the film that defined turn-of-the-century uncertainty, it’s likely that the director wouldn’t opt to make a sequel unless the follow up had something equally profound to say. With its brazen attack on capitalist values, Fincher has called Fight Club "an act of sedition" and he has a point: the absolute creative control written into his contract allowed the director to make a film that (amongst other things) blindsided the very corporation that financed it, a beautiful self-gobbling serpent of life imitating art imitating life. With massive box offices for a sequel possible and several studios reportedly interested in financing it, the irony won’t be lost on Fincher that Fight Club 2 could very easily see that position reversed; marketed on the power of its brand and with studios looking to commodify its anti-consumerist message, a sequel could very easily find itself the victim of its own sharp-edged satire.
And what of its stars? Reports surfaced months ago that Brad Pitt was persuading Edward Norton to reprise his role in the sequel, but stories to that effect float up every once in a while before drifting away on a tide of rumour, along with the flotsam and jetsam of other innumerable would-be movie projects. What is clear is that the three main players are immensely proud of the film and continue to enjoy a great relationship with its director; if that isn’t the platform for a return to unreliable schizophrenic narrators, imaginary terrorist soap salesmen and dilapidated houses on Paper St. then I don’t know what is.
So has a return to Fight Club happened? Yes… and no. Will it happen? Yes… but as a musical - cinematically probably no. Or yes. Who knows? Should it happen? A complex question as we’ve found, with merit to be found on both sides of the argument. With that matter not settled at all and more contradictory details flying around than a Project Mayhem disinformation campaign, I’m off to watch the next episode of Mr. Robot: unreliable schizophrenic narrator? Check. Underground disaffected subculture? Check. Anti-consumerist values, even the occasional Pixies riff? Check and check. While it may be Fight Club’s spiritual successor rather than its actual one, until Fincher and co. decide to go ahead and break those first two rules, it’ll have to do.
This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
Marvel is launching a new Darth Vader series, and this time it'll take place right after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith!
Marvel has announced that it's not done with Darth Vader, not by a longshot. A new ongoing series will tell the story of Vader's early days as a Sith Lord, following the events of Revenge of the Sith. The book will be written by Charles Soule (Lando, Obi-Wan & Anakin, Poe Dameron) and drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli (Amazing Spider-Man).
This series isn't a continuation of Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca's fantastic Darth Vader series, which ended last year. That book took place in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Soule and Camuncoli's book takes place many years before the previous series.
Here's the synopsis:
When Anakin Skywalker fell, both to the pull of the dark side and to the blade of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he rose back up, more machine than man. Having lost everything that he once held dear, the one who was prophesized to bring balance to the Force instead chose a darker path. Now, in a story set directly after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, he must take his first steps into a darker world as…Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith!
Witness iconic moments in the Star Warsgalaxy through the lens of one of its most famous characters! The construction of Vader’s red lightsaber, the fallout of Order 66, the beginnings of the Inquisitor program, and the rise of an Empire. Join Vader as he learns a new way. The way of Darth Sidious…the way of the dark side.
Actually, this sounds like a much darker book than the previous one. I'd have to dig way back in my mental Darth Vader archive to figure out if there's ever been an origin story for Vader's menacing red lightsaber. If not, this will undoubtedly be a cool little addition to the canon. I'd like to think he built his infamous weapon from the remains of his enemies' lightsabers...
This is also the first comic to explore the early days of the Empire. Up until this point, the Marvel comics have mostly lived within the Original Trilogy and just prior to The Force Awakens.
Here's what series editor Jordan D. White had to say about the new Darth Vader:
I’m so excited that we get to tell more stories about the best villain of all time…and this time, we get to show his very first steps into the Dark Side. I was blown away by some of the stuff we plan to show in this series…and I think readers will be, too—from hardcore Star Wars fanatics to those who want to see more of that deadly threat from the end of Rogue One. Charles has an evil streak in him that readers might have seen whenever he’s written Palpatine in the past. Now, that comes front and center.
Certainly, Rogue One did a lot to make Vader scary again - just go watch A New Hope right after witnessing the Sith Lord wrecking those poor Rebel soldiers in that hallway. His entrance in the Blockade Runner is all the more terrifying.
Here's the very sexy cover for the first issue, which is out in June:
Just quickly, here's a reminder that you need to read the first Darth Vader series because I can't possibly be objective about it: Since Marvel launched its new line of Star Wars comics, there have been many memorable stories - the Lando and Chewbacca miniseries come to mind - but none have been quite as good as Gillen and Larroca's Darth Vader ongoing. That series included about every single thing you'd possibly want to see Darth Vader do - duel and destroy his enemies, chase after Luke, hire his very own Suicide Squad to go on heists for him, and hang out with the greatest droid duo since Threepio and Artoo. Basically, this comic is everything you ever wanted and it's only twenty-five issues that are out in trades now. If you only read one new canon Star Wars thing, make it this.
Everything you need to know about American Gods, including latest news, cast, trailers, photos, and more!
Starz just dropped a new American Gods trailer and its dark, bloody, and filled with imaginative visuals. Just like we hoped a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's bestselling novel would be — and, let's face it, what we've come to expect from co-showrunner Bryan Fuller. It also includes scenes of Ian McShane hanging out in kitchens, which is what we've come to expect from co-showrunner Michael Green.
Check it out...
Starz also uploaded its SXSW American Gods panel onto its YouTube page. Check it out...
In other recent news, we've got a first look at American Gods' Mr. Nancy/Anansi, played by Orlando Jones...
Jones did a great interview with Vanity Fair in which the photo is featured. Topics discussed include Jones' own fannishness around American Gods and Bryan Fuller, as well as the possibility of a Anansi Boys spin-off series. What are the chances we might get a Anansi Boys TV show? Jones said:
All I know for sure is that when Michael and Bryan had called me and asked me about playing the character and walked me through what they were thinking, part of the discussion at that time was Anansi Boys, and that they wanted to spin it off and pursue that character. As you know, the first season is really about setting up the world of American Gods and introducing you to all the wonderful characters. If there is a spin-off of any kind, I’d love to do it. I love this character. I love these writers. I’ve been fortunate that this is one of the most exciting and incredible experiences I’ve been able to do as an actor, and I’ll continue for as long as I possibly can.
So, it's a definite possibility, but it also definitely too early to tell. American Gods hasn't even premiered yet.
We also have an official release date for American Gods... The adaptation will debut on Starz on Sunday, April 30th at 9 p.m. ET. The show will enjoy its world debut at the SXSW festival in Austin on March 11th, so look for first impressions around that date.
Neil Gaiman recently talked to the Wall Street Journal about the new show, elaborating that American Gods will be eight episodes and will only make it a third of the way through the books. Gaiman talked about the freedom the TV show has in branching out from Shadow's perspective. Episode four, for example, will give us Laura's perspective, starting all from before Shadow and Laura met.
Speaking more generally about how the show has turned out, Gaiman said: "Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, the showrunners, have done a remarkable job and watching Ian McShane bring Mr. Wednesday, who is Odin, to life is an absolute joy."
To listen to the interview, check out the video below...
American Gods Release Date
American Gods will debut on April 30th at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.
American Gods Trailer
The first trailer for American Gods has arrived. Check it out below:
American Gods Summary
For those unfamiliar with American Gods, here's the official synopsis Starz released for the TV series:
The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
American Gods TV Series Production
Filming has officially begun on the 10-episode first season. Shooting will begin in Toronto and will continue in various American locations. Writer Neil Gaiman, showrunner Bryan Fuller, director David Slade (seated), showrunner Michael Green, and series star Ricky Whittle were all on hand for the promotional photo...
American Gods has also added three new members to its ever-expanding and impressive cast: Cloris Leachman (Malcolm in the Middle) as Zorya Vechernyaya, Peter Stormare (Prison Break) as Czernobog, Chris Obi (Snow White and the Huntsman) as Anubis, and Mousa Kraish (Superbad) as The Jinn.
At one point, HBO had planned American Gods as a series of six 10-12 episode seasons, but it never quite materialized. Back in February of 2014, Freemantle Media picked up the rights, and the project found a home at Starz in 2014 with Bryan Fuller (Heroes, Hannibal) and Michael Green (who is going to be very busy the next few years with Blade Runner 2, Wolverine 3, and Prometheus 2 on his menu) as showrunners.
In an interview with Crave Online, Bryan Fuller talked about plans for American Gods to be a kind of "Marvel Universe, not with superheroes but with gods... As detailed and integrated as the Marvel Universe is, and doing that with deities is something that excited all of us."
In other words, this won't just be a straight adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel, and is instead being looked at very much as long form television, which may lead to more down the road. "In success we may have spin-offs of American Gods that follow lesser gods in greater detail than you might in the main series," Mr. Fuller added.
Neil Gaiman gave fans a glimpse of the concept art, as well. This would be the bone orchard that Shadow dreams of in the book. It looks suitably moody...
The first episode of season one will also be called The Bone Orchard, per this tweet sent out by Bryan Fuller...
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) March 28, 2016
American Gods Casting
Shadow and Laura Moon
American Gods has gone on an all-star casting frenzy since first Fuller first told us how much diversity was important in casting this show back in May. British actor Ricky Whittle, best known for his role as Lincoln on The 100, has been cast in the lead role of Shadow Moon.
Australian actress Emily Browning, best known for her roles in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Sucker Punch, will be playing his wife Laura Moon.
— American Gods Amazon (@AmericanGodsTV) December 17, 2016
Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood) has been cast as Low Key Lyesmith, Shadow's prison cellmate with a fast-talking personality and a past that is much more interesting than meets the eye. (For a clue, try saying his name outloud.)
Deadwood's Ian McShane (who worked with Green on too-soon-cancelled political drama Kings) will be playing Mr. Wednesday, "a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man, full of perverse wisdom, curious magic, and grand plans. He hires ex-con Shadow Moon to be his bodyguard as he journeys across America, using his charms to recruit others like him as he prepares for the ultimate battle for power."
Well, we already mentioned Zorya and Czernobog in our "latest news" section above, but rounding out the old gods crew is: Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black) as Mad Sweeney, and Yetide Badaki (Masters of Sex) as Bilquis. Mission Impossible star Sean Harris was originally cast in the role of Sweeney but pulled out of the project a week into production for personal reasons.
But even though the show is well into shooting and a trailer has already been released (see below), American Gods' cast continues to grow. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show has cast Jeremy Davies as Jesus — yep, Jesus. Here's the official description of his character:
Resurrected on Ostara’s feast day, Jesus has always been generous in sharing the Easter holiday with the ancient goddess. But the overly empathetic Son of God would be crushed to know that Ostara harbors some deeply buried resentment over the issue.
Davies is best known for his role as physicist Daniel Faraday on Lost. He also played Dickie Bennett on Justified.
American Gods has also added Psych star Corbin Bernsen to the cast as an Old God named Vulcan. Here's a character description, courtesy of Deadline...
Vulcan is one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest allies. He’s created a comfortable life for himself by harnessing his powers for the modern world, which makes him resistant to Wednesday’s plans.
Entertainment Weekly released a sneak peek look at Vulcan, a new god created for the TV adaptation. Played by Corbin Bensen, Vulcan was not featured in Neil Gaiman's book, but was a character created by Gaiman nonetheless. Gaiman had intended to write an episode for the first season of the show (though scheduling made it impossible), and Vulcan was a part of the brainstorming for that episode.
Speaking about the new character, Bryan Fuller tells EW:
Vulcan's the god of the volcano and the forge, and what is the modern-day extrapolation of what that god could do? We started talking about America’s obsession with guns and gun control and, really, if you're holding a gun in your hand, it's a mini volcano, and perhaps, through this character, there's a conversation to be had.
Michael Green elaborated more on how the Vulcan character came to be, saying:
He's a brand-new addition who came from an experience Neil had. He was going through a small town in Alabama where he saw a statue of Vulcan. It was a steel town and, as he told the story, there was a factory that had a series of accidents where people were killed on the job and they kept happening because an actuarial had done the numbers and realized that it was cheaper to pay out the damages to the families of people who lost people, rather than to shut down the factory long enough to repair, and that occurred to him as modern a definition of sacrifice as there might be ...
What’s interesting about a god like Vulcan who has bound himself to guns is it’s an evolution of what he was to what he could be, and that’s finding a new place in a world that didn’t have a place for old gods. That comes with a series of compromises but also a series of benefits for him. To say that maybe you can find a new place in this country, that it doesn’t always have to be so hard, makes him an interesting person as someone with a long history with Mr. Wednesday.
Bryan Fuller sat down with Amazon to talk about the show, specifically the character of Bilquis and "the strangest audition" Fuller has ever participated in...
— American Gods Amazon (@AmericanGodsTV) December 20, 2016
Crispin Glover has been cast in the all-important role of Mr. World, the "seemingly omniscient leader at the center of the New Gods coalition." Mr. World must keep an eye not only on his enemies, but his own "allies." As the official description reads, "he realizes that their ringleader, Mr. Wednesday, poses an imminent threat."
Bruce Langley (Deadly Waters) will play Technical Bogy.
Omid Abtahi (Argo) will play the recurring role of Salim, a “sweet, sad, and put-upon foreigner who is one half of a pair of star-crossed lovers,” in season 1. The role comes with an option to become a regular in season 2.
The Iranian-born actor played the character Salim in Showtime's Sleeper Cell and Homes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
Gillian Anderson has been cast in the role of Media, the public face of the new gods, in the TV adaptation of American Gods. Media takes the form of several iconic celebrities to serve as the publice face and sales representatives for the new gods, living off of the attention people give to their various digital screens. She is clever, quick on her feet, and able to spin almost any situation.
Anderson has previously worked with Bryan Fuller on Hannibal, so this casting is such a surprise, but it is infinitely awesome.
In yet another brilliant piece of casting, Orlando Jones has joined the cast of American Gods as Mr. Nancy, "the old African trickster god more commonly known as Anansi, and one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest confidantes. Like Wednesday, Nancy is ready to bring this new America (and its new gods) to its knees, desperate to light a fire and watch the whole world burn."
Demore Barnes has also joined up as Mr. Ibis, "the keeper of stories, past and present, and he recounts them with great relish. His old fashioned sensibilities do not preclude a wry wit."
Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast of American Gods as Easter. "I'm so excited to be reunited with my Bryan Fuller," said Chenoweth during the American Gods panel at SDCC 2016.
Comedian Dane Cook has moved away from the spotlight after a brief run as a buzzworthy name in comedy, but it appears he'll be resurfacing on Starz. Cook may get to be the comic relief in the upcoming American Gods series. Deadline reports the comedian and actor has signed on to play Shadow Moon's best friend Robbie. Here's his character description:
Cook’s Robbie promises to hold Shadow’s (Ricky Whittle) job for him while he’s in prison. Robbie is married to Audrey, best friend to Shadow’s wife Laura (Emily Browning), and he provides another shoulder for Laura to cry on while Shadow is away.
American Gods TV Show Images
A new poster for American Gods has arrived out of SDCC 2016. Check it out:
Starz just released the first image of Bilquis, played by Yetide Badaki (Aquarius). Bilquis, also known as the Queen of Sheba, "is an ancient goddess of love who craves the worship she inspired in eras long gone, and is eager to find that same relevance in today’s world." Showrunner Bryan Fuller chatted with Den of Geek about the role, saying:
One of the exciting things for us in adapting this is that we get to expand characters, so Bilquis, who is only in a chapter of the book, then you don’t see her again, is a major player in this world.
Though Bilquis only appears in two chapters in the American Gods book, her character makes quite an impression. We can only imagine what that role might look like in an expanded form...
All hail Gillian Anderson, aka American Gods' Media. The actress, who will be guest starring in the series as the mouthpiece of the New Gods, just shared an image of herself in the juicy role. Check the Marilyn Monroe-esque loveliness out below, then scroll down to our character section to learn more about Anderson's role in the upcoming series...
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) June 30, 2016
Entertainment Weekly unveiled the first official images from the series, featuring Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon and Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday...
The next Russo Brothers project after Avengers: Infinity War might be Valiant's classic comedy duo, Quantum and Woody!
Joe and Anthony Russo, the directing team behind Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Warare bringing their talents back to television after they're done with Marvel blockbusters.
Apparently their next project will be Quantum & Woody, the comedic comic duo created by Christopher Priest and MD Bright, then updated for the current Valiant universe by James Asmus, Tom Fowler, and Steve Lieber. The comic follows Eric Henderson and Woody Van Chelton, estranged adopted brothers who reunite after their genius scientist father's murder. In the course of investigating his death, they each have a metal band stuck to their arm that gives them superpowers, but they have to clap the bands together once every 24 hours or risk dissolving into super-energy.
Bright's art was a burst of late-'90s fun and paired with Priest, whose praises are well-sung around these parts, they made beautiful music together. The newer version, which is likely to be the foundation for the upcoming series (Dinesh Shamdasani, Valiant's CEO, is serving as co-executive producer of this show, and spearheading Valiant's move into other mediums), is one of the funniest comics that's come out in the last decade. The pregnant, superpowered goat who talks through a speak n' spell is one of the best characters in the entire Valiant Universe.
Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari of Ant-Man fame join Shamdasani, the Russos, and Mike Larocca as executive producers. This is a good time to remind everyone of where the Russos got their start: directing some of the best episodes of Arrested Development, and then the paintball episode of Community, widely considered the best episode of the show. "After Infinity War" is a long ways off, but if this ends up happening, this show could be something special.
The Wrap first reported the news.
The Legend of Tarzan's Adam Cozad is in talks to write Suicide Squad 2.
While David Ayer's next DC Universe movie priority appears to be the Harley Quinn led Gotham City Sirens movie, don't rule out a sequel to the movie that introduced her to the big screen. Warner Bros. is still game for Suicide Squad 2. Considering the first film broke August box office records and took in an impressive $745 million worldwide, this shouldn't be a surprise.
Adam Cozad, who recently wrote The Legend of Tarzan for the studio, is now "in negotiations" to write Suicide Squad 2, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It looks like they're serious about getting this one together sooner rather than later, and the hunt for a director is still ongoing.
Meanwhile Mel Gibson is in "early talks" with Warner Bros. for the Suicide Squad 2 directing job. It's almost tough to imagine Gibson going from the weighty themes of Hacksaw Ridgeand its subsequent acclaim to a sequel to a movie that received a critical savaging in 2016, but here we are. Gibson confirmed the talks to Entertainment Tonight, saying, "I just met some guys about story points. It's not a done deal or anything. But it's just fun to shoot the bull when it comes to stories. And if we can elevate any kind of concept it's good. We'll see."
It should be noted that Gibson isn't the only director being discussed, either. Life director Danny Espinosa is also reportedly in the mix, and there will probably be more names surfacing shortly. Variety adds Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) to that mix, too.
But the fact that WB is considering a director like Gibson does underline their commitment to director focused projects, even with the currently struggling DC Extended Universe. They replaced Ben Affleck with the well-regarded Matt Reeves on The Batman recently, and other names that were mentioned in connection with that project included George Miller and even Ridley Scott. Maybe Gibson makes sense after all.
Suicide Squad 2 Release Date
There's no release date yet for Suicide Squad 2, and it seems that Gotham City Sirens is the higher priority for the studio at the moment. But you'll get your next taste of the DCEU with Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017.
The Walking Dead boss Scott Gimple discusses where Savior Gavin fits in the show’s impending “All Out War” between survivor factions.
Warning: Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 7 episode “Bury Me Here.”
After fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead endured a rough season of excessively sadistic abuse inflicted upon beloved characters, the show is hurdling towards a teased catharsis with a season finale that will (in all feasible likelihood,) see Rick Grimes’s Alexandrians and new allies fire the first shot across the bow of the villainous Negan and the Saviors to kick off a prolonged signature comic book series-adapting conflagration. Yet, in the deliberately paced buildup, the uncharacteristic reasonableness of one Savior has raised some eyebrows.
In an interview with EW, The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple shares some interesting details about “Gavin,” a member of Negan’s collective of zombie apocalypse extortionist the Saviors who, in his perpetual state of grumpiness about his tasks and seems reluctant in his misdeeds. Played by Jayson Warner Smith (Rectify, The Birth of a Nation), Gavin debuted in Season 7 as a Savior in charge of a small contingent tasked with collecting regular offerings from Ezekiel’s group the Kingdom per the terms of an apparent détente. A stark contrast from the typical cruelty of the Saviors, Gavin regularly sports a grimace akin to a quasi-prehistoric animal appliance on The Flintstones who gives apathetic glances to the viewers and says, “It’s a living.” Moreover, he’s proven to be reasonable on more than one occasion (at least, given the sinister circumstances). Explaining Smith’s approach to the role, Gimple explains:
“This character could’ve been a man, it could’ve been a woman we cast — it was completely open casting. But, when I was working on the character, the vibe that I was going for was this grumpy parent— you know, this parent who has just had it. Not like they don’t love their kids or whatever, but they’re just over everything. And to Jason Warner Smith, I was like, ‘Just be a grumpy dad. You did not sign on for this. You just want to make it to grandma’s house. You will turn that car around and just everybody cool out!’”
Pertinently, the tragedy-laden episode “Bury Me Here” saw Gavin reach a boiling point with one of his own underlings in the bellicose-but-cowardly Jared (Joshua Mikel), who has spent weeks antagonizing members of the Kingdom, notably a grief-suffering and irate Richard (Karl Makinen). After Richard’s failed machinations to martyr himself and incite conflict between the Kingdom and the Saviors resulted in the weasel-like Jared opting to inflict an eventually fatal gunshot on the Kingdom's young ray of hope Benjamin (Logan Miller), Gavin was clearly disconcerted in the idea that his orders were not followed and seems keenly aware that callous killings like this only endanger the tense arrangement. As Gimple further illustrates of Gavin’s character:
“Yes, he’s got his own problems! There’s a line that he has that’s “I didn’t go this way for aggravation.” He didn’t do the things that he does to be put through any more trouble than he has to, and that indicates that he is fully aware of the team he’d signed on for. He is not especially proud of it, so if everybody could just do their part to make it as easy as possible, everything will be all right.”
Indeed, Gavin understands that the Saviors are not invincible. While the chances that the Kingdom and/or Alexandrians can defeat the Saviors are statistically dubious, Gavin, in the very least, seems aware that he and his group of collectors would, nevertheless, be the direct recipients of Ezekiel’s “This is Sparta!” moment when the final straw breaks the proverbial camel’s back. Thus, Gavin, in full disciplinary mode, immediately benches Jared after the incident, threatening to kill him in the event of more dangerously impulsive actions. Lest one think it’s out of some familial motivation, Gimple also confirms that Gavin and Jared are not related.
Anyone who’s even heard a passing comment about the “All Out War” storyline inspired by The Walking Dead comic book knows that things between the Alexandrians and the Saviors will escalate quickly. However, as the comic book depicts – notably with Dwight – internal stife will contribute to the Saviors’ downfall as much as the damage inflicted from their rebelling enemies. Thus, it will be interesting to see if a character like Gavin, who clearly carries out repugnant tasks out of pure necessity for survival, could possibly switch sides the moment winds change direction.
The Walking Dead can be seen on AMC on Sunday nights, sprinting towards what will hopefully be a tide-turning Season 7 finale in the coming weeks.
An advance preview of the next chapter in DC's deadliest mercenary's story.
Imagine if an evil organization took control of our entire government and...nah, it's just too far-fetched.
Marvel's next big event, Secret Empire, is rapidly approaching, and they've been pushing out a bunch of details to get you excited about it.
Marvel released a batch of information, from teaser images to a press release, announcing the new crossover. The first image announcing the event can be seen in the header, and has been confirmed by Marvel: the heroes of the Marvel Universe will be coming together to fight Nazi Alt-Right Captain America and his Secret Empire. Captain America: Steve Rogers writer Nick Spencer will work with Steve McNiven (the surprisingly good Monsters Unleashed), Andrea Sorrentino (the unsurprisingly good Old Man Logan) and Leinil Yu (the arc of Star Wars with the Rebel prison skimming the surface of a sun - so cool) to bring the story to stands.
The original Secret Empire was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the pages of Tales to Astonish in 1966. Their composition and makeup seem to be drawn at random, as if Stan and Jack said "you know, Hydra and A.I.M. are cool, but their org charts make too much sense. What can we do with the number 9 that is gibberish by the second word of the explaination?"
Seriously: they're a bunch of numbered people, ruled by a Council of Nine, who hire mercenaries and run false-flag UFO missions. They were started with Hydra funding, they occasionally kidnap mutants, and their secret headquarters was in Cincinnatti. The Secret Empire had their most famous moment in the 1970s during the Nixon administration when Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich, and Sal Buscema strongly implied that Richard Nixon was actually a Secret Empire operative/plant. The timing of their re-emergence now is, we're sure, purely coincidental.
Reemerging in the pages of Captain America: Steve Rogers,the new Secret Empire's guiding design principle is "What would Twitter look like if Captain America were really a Nazi," making them the most terrifying villains ever created in comics. I bet they've even got their own publishing house, like Simonov and Sapojnik or something.
Marvel followed this initial image up with a series of modifications seeming to indicate additional tie-ins to the crossover - "The Secret Empire will amaze you;""The Secret Empire will guard you;""The Secret Empire will avenge you," and so on. That was followed by a new image:
The teaser images taken as a whole seem to indicate two things: that we'll be getting Secret Empire versions of all of Marvel's teams (the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Champions, the Defenders, the Avengers, the Extraordinary X-Men); and that by pairing Captain Marvel with Nazi Captain America hot on her Civil War 2 heel turn that was so egregious it ruined her solo book, Marvel isn't quite done with Carol yet.
And speaking of hot on the heel turns of Civil War 2, we have Civil War 2: The Oath, which laid out the whole plan. Steve gets sworn in as head of SHIELD with new "emergency powers" that the galactic senate is sure he'll give back once the crisis is over. Meanwhile, Steve's been baiting the Chitauri into invading since pretty much when his solo series kicked off, and they're about to come to Earth in force.
Remember that vision Ulysses had in the pages of Civil War 2 where Miles Morales was standing over the dead body of Captain America on the steps of the capital? Of course you don't, why would you have read that dreck. I assure you it happened, though, because Captain America has been having similar visions, only instead of him lying dead in an alternate universe Spider Man's hands, it's of him leading a Hydra army as they represent the United States thanks to his fancy emergency powers. So there you go: Hydra is out in the open as an American military force, turning the entire country into some facist hellhole in many on-the-nose ways.
The official start of the event comes in mid-April with Secret Empire #0. Spencer is joined by Daniel Acuña and Rod Reis (so good) to show Hydra's first move, and they've released some unlettered preview pages to get you excited.
Secret Empire #1 is due out on May 3rd. Stay with Den of Geek for updates on this and other, more exciting crossovers.
SundanceTV's acclaimed noir show Hap and Leonard returns with mojo to spare.
This Hap and Leonard review contains spoilers.
Hap and Leonard: Season 2, Episode 1
You don’t have to be familiar with author Joe R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard novels to appreciate SundanceTV’s eponymous series. But it’s reassuring to know that Lansdale’s involvement in the show continues with season two. It’s also nice to have James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams back in the titular roles of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. Lifelong friends, these two have weathered their share of hijinks and heartbreak, brutality and brotherhood.
Christina Hendricks’s femme fatale Trudy Faust aside, the careworn heart of season one belonged to Hap and Leonard. But speaking of Trudy, she manages to return for season two’s premiere, “Mucho Mojo.” And what a premiere it is, kicking the season off with a dead body, a literal pissing match, and stolen remains, in that order -- and all within the first 15 minutes. In other words, this new season means a new set of woes for our hapless heroes.
And it all begins with Leonard’s discovery of a dead body beneath the crumbling floorboards of Uncle Chester’s ramshackle house. (This is the same body cleverly served up by the show in the first season’s closing seconds.) You would think this alone would be enough to drive “Mucho Mojo,” but the show is quick to remind us that Hap is still coming to grips with Trudy’s death. That he would be mourning his ex-wife feels right for his character. Like the show itself, Hap can’t help but wear his heart on his dusty sleeve. He also can’t let go of his past, literally and figuratively. Why else would he tote around Trudy’s ashes? He wants to do right by her, even if she didn’t always do right by him.
Leonard isn’t quite as sentimental -- about Trudy or anyone else. The world has done him few favors, leaving him wary and defensive. The first episode already has him facing off with a pissing crack dealer and a pious reverend, who both had issue with Uncle Chester. This same discourtesy extends to Leonard, who does himself no favors by antagonizing both men. But this is what we love about Leonard, his prickliness. It makes his unexpected moments of generosity stand out all the more. We see a bit of this in “Mucho Mojo,” when he reluctantly takes young Ivan (newcomer Olaniyan Thurmon) under his wing. Sure, he may be guilted into being a good Samaritan, but he comes to understand that Ivan could just as easily wind up on the side of a milk carton -- or under someone’s floorboards.
So where does this leave us? While local law enforcement is quick to pin the dead body on a dead man, Leonard doesn’t believe his uncle is guilty of the crime. This puts him at odds with investigators, and by hour’s end, Leonard is led away in cuffs, much to his neighborhood’s collective bemusement. Hap and Leonard being steeped in noir such as it is, we know this mystery is far from being solved. Who’s the man in the van? Is he the person who dumped the boy’s body in the water, or is he Uncle Chester’s “associate”?
As for Hap, he’s finally able to lay Trudy to rest, even if it’s not the way he intended. Drifting downriver, covered in his ex-wife’s ashes, is a fitting farewell from a man who can barely keep his troubled life afloat. Plus, it’s clear that Leonard’s lawyer Florida Grange (Tiffany Mack) has put an unexpected twinkle back in Hap’s eye. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this way lies trouble -- not because Grange is this season’s femme fatale (she’s not), but because trouble has a way of finding Hap.
Overall, “Mucho Mojo” is a strong start. Six episodes may not seem like enough, but the first season covered a lot of ground in only six hours. I’m expecting more of the same this time around. And while I may be missing Christina Hendricks, this episode certainly doesn’t suffer from her absence. What matters is that Purefoy and Williams continue to work so well together.
Some closing thoughts:
It’s obvious from Hap’s junker of a car that money is still an ongoing concern for him, making his sacrifice in last season's final episode all the more poignant. That his car is falling apart is especially ironic, considering that Hap is a mechanic. He’s getting by, but just barely.
Crime shows like Hap and Leonard may truck in violence, but a lot of their success also resides in humorous beats. There are some genuinely funny moments between Hap and Leonard, but Irma P. Hall’s elderly matriarch MeMaw is a real scene-stealer. She may laugh off Leonard pissing in drug dealer Melton’s face (as does much of the neighborhood), but she won’t suffer raunchy talk at her breakfast table.
Marvel's Iron Fist Netflix series takes longer to get going than its predecessors. Maybe a little too long.
This Iron Fist review is based on the first six episodes. It contains NO spoilers.
With three shows and four total seasons under their belt, the Marvel Studios/Netflix partnership now comes with a fairly concrete set of expectations. You know you’re going to get something a cut above the average network superhero TV show in terms of production value, and there are places they can go that their broadcast counterparts can’t. Like its predecessors, Iron Fist establishes a slightly different tone (this one comes from Dextershowrunner Scott Buck) and is mostly self contained, with few connections to previous series that might put off a new viewer.
Danny Rand (Finn Jones) has been presumed dead for 15 years, after the plane carrying him and his parents vanished over the Himalayas. When he suddenly returns to New York City and arrives on the doorstep of the company he would have been heir to, he finds his childhood friends Joy and Ward Meachum (Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey) running the show. Their father Harold (David Wenham) was the elder Rand’s business partner, and Rand Enterprises has been run by the Meachum family since the incident. They aren’t exactly thrilled to see Danny, although they have little reason to believe he is who he says he is, and his strange claims about where he’s been don’t exactly help his case. After all, would you believe someone who said they survived a plane crash only to spend the next 15 years in a city not on any map while being trained by monks?
It’s more complicated than it sounds, and weaving in Danny’s backstory proves a little trickier than it did in earlier Marvel/Netflix efforts. As usual, our main character’s origin is only hinted at and glimpsed in flashbacks and exposition. This worked well with the “accident of science” superhero origin stories we've seen on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but when there’s an entire secret civilization being alluded to, and Danny’s actual motivations and the nature of his powers remain pretty obscure, it's a tougher sell. If the show would commit to whether the audience is supposed to believe Danny's outlandish story or not, that would be one thing, but it tries to have it both ways, particularly in its earliest episodes. It’s a shame, as this might have been a risk worth taking.
Finn Jones' casting raised some eyebrows, but he brings a particular everyman quality to the role, and he alternates between an almost childlike serenity and the kind of irrational outbursts you might expect from someone who has had no knowledge of the modern world since he was ten years old. While the “rich white guy returns home after years abroad/in training” similarities are unavoidable, Danny’s characterization is unique enough to prevent any of this from feeling like an echo of Batman Begins or Arrow. It's easy to see where Danny's personality will fit in with the rest of the team once The Defenders rolls around. He’s surrounded by a solid supporting cast, and the Meachum family (Stroup, Pelphrey, and Wenham) provide a good balancing act of warmth and skepticism with their possibly sinister motives.
Every one of these Marvel Netflix efforts has a breakout supporting character, and in this case, it’s unquestionably Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing. Like Simone Messick’s Misty Knight on Luke Cage, Henwick immediately gives the impression that she could carry her own show (and depending on how far Marvel and Netflix are willing to take their partnership, she may get her chance). In fact, the most spectacular fight scene in Iron Fist (so far) doesn’t even belong to the title character, but rather to Colleen Wing.
But there’s something missing from Iron Fist. Visually, it’s a little bland for many of these early episodes, often lacking the cinematic pop that made Daredevil or Luke Cage such visual standouts. While every Marvel Netflix series has pacing problems, and many feel like they spread 8-10 episodes worth of story over 13 chapters, it usually takes a few installments before you feel the show begin to spin its wheels. But Iron Fist is a particularly slow starter, and it takes nearly three before you get a sense of why anyone behaves the way they do. Flashbacks are awkwardly placed, characters make baffling decisions, and the general impression is sometimes that the show is filling time.
Part of the problem might be that Iron Fist has something of an identity crisis. So much time is spent at Rand Enterprises that you almost feel like the show is trying to fool viewers into thinking it’s a corporate drama as it sidelines its mystical/martial arts elements. That’s actually a cool pitch, but none of the corporate stuff is intriguing enough to hang the show’s hat on. I’m certainly not a viewer who needs constant action or references to Marvel mythology to hold my attention (it’s admirable how much these shows play in their own sandbox rather than rely on Marvel's increasing interconnectivity), but you need to give us a little more to buy Danny’s story and that he’s the king badass he’s expected to be.
Things take a better turn in episode 6, directed by none other than Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, who is no stranger to the highs and lows of martial arts movies. This is the first time you start to feel the show really find its feet, and it’s no coincidence that there’s a stronger visual identity and more obvious martial arts connections on display here. It’s certainly the most action packed, but it’s also the first one that revels in the mystical weirdness of Danny’s world, and it works beautifully.
I kept waiting for Iron Fist to kick it into another gear, and that sixth episode aside, it never quite did. If nothing else, Marvel’s Netflix efforts have earned the benefit of the doubt, and I’m willing to believe that the next seven episodes make up for lost time. But it’s worth pointing out that both Daredevil Season 2 and Luke Cage took noticeably different turns in their second halves. Hopefully Iron Fist is just a slow burn, and the steady build that begins in episode three and blossoms in episode six continues for the rest of the series. Iron Fist might just be the unfortunate victim of the raised expectations that come with these projects.
We'll find out when all 13 episodes of Iron Fist arrive on Netflix on March 17th.
I'll be back with a spoiler filled breakdown of all the crazy Marvel stuff in the show when those episodes drop. Hit me up on Twitter to talk superhero TV, but I'm not talking spoilers on there!
The Venom spin-off movie at Sony is definitely happening with an October 2018 release, but Alex Kurtzman is not directing.
It looks like a larger shared Spider-Man universe, whether it’s with Spidey or not, is back on at Sony Pictures. Indeed, we can now confirm that everyone’s favorite symbioted anti-hero, Venom, will be swinging into theaters sooner than expected on Oct. 5, 2018. Although who will be directing it remains a little murkier.
The news, which was first broken by The Wrap, points to Sony Pictures continuing to have big plans for their Spider-Man license that extends beyond a new series of films starring Tom Holland, who is also appearing in Disney/Marvel Studios’ Avengers crossover events. Further, as per The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez and ER, the Venom movie would be taking on many of the characteristics of how the spin-off series was originally conceived at Sony back when it would have dovetailed into Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man films, with Alex Kurtzman directing the picture. Currently, Kurtzman is busy in post-production on Universal Pictures’ The Mummy reboot, which is due out in June.
Currently, we have had the movie's release date confirmed by Sony Picture, which is also moving Fede Alvarez's The Girl in the Spider's Web to Oct. 19, 2018 as well. However, a separate source close to Kurtzman appeared surprised about the story, telling us that Kurtzman is right now focused on getting The Mummy completed and that they have heard nothing about a Venom movie.
Venom, a character best known for his original Eddie Brock alter-ego, first appeared in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man #299 and was created by David Michelinie and Tod McFarlane in 1988. And while he often has been a foil and antagonist to Spider-Man, curiously The Wrap suggests that the Venom movie and any subsequent sequels would be separate and unrelated to the movies with Holland that are being co-produced by Marvel Studios. Again, sources have not confirmed the veracity of such implications. However, it certainly would be an excuse to take Venom to some darker places away from the MCU, not unlike the highly successful R-rated superhero films recently released by 20th Century Fox with Deadpool and Logan.
Venom would have a screenplay written by Dante Harper and would be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach.
The Oct. 5, 2018 was previously the opening weekend real estate enjoyed by WB’s Aquaman movie, but that picture has since moved on to a Dec. 21, 2018 release date.
Venom was previously played by Topher Grace in 2007’s Spider-Man 3.
Le Mans in the Rearview Mirror tells the story of Steve McQueen’s dream movie and why it left him in the dust.
Steve McQueen loved his cars. Audiences knew that when he did the backwards drag race in The Blob. The actor didn’t just peel out on the screen, he did it on race tracks, professionally. When he finally decided to put all that together in a movie, the 1971 film Le Mans, he skidded out. Don Nunley, the property master for Le Mans and noted McQueen biographer Marshall Terrill, will tell tales from the pit stop in the new book Steve McQueen: Le Mans in the Rearview Mirror. The book will be released by Dalton Watson Fine Books on April 10, 2017.
“The Man. The Legend. ‘The King of Cool,’” reads the official press statement. “For decades, Steve McQueen has captured our hearts and imaginations. His canon of films is filled with classic titles such as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway and Papillon. But his career was almost derailed by a doomsday pet project that took nearly a decade to come to fruition.”
Le Mans remains auto racing’s most respected film. Nine out of ten motoring aficionados will say Le Mans is their favorite racing movie of all-time. It bombed at the box office, and was hell on set long before the starting gun.
Principal photography on Le Mans started in June 1970. Five months later when filming ended, “there was no wrap party, no toasts, no grand farewells; every-one just quietly went away, thankful their ordeal was finally over.”
“It was a bumpy ride for all of us. It was the strangest picture that I ever worked on in three decades of filmmaking. And I can confirm that it was not a fun experience,” Nunley said. “What was supposed to be a simple, straightforward movie to make ended up being a five-month nightmare of epic proportions. I like to think of myself as an easy-going guy who generally looks for the silver lining in every cloud, but I’m still looking for one in this case.”
Steve McQueen was a racing fanatic, and Le Mans was supposed to be his “cinematic dream come true. But the movie left him with bitter feelings and lasting emotional dents in his armor.” The star fought battled original director, John Sturges, and the studio. It was shut down, delayed, and a driver lost a leg while shooting.
McQueen was at the height of his popularity when he made the movie. Le Mans coincided with the star’s “mid-life crisis, racking up several casualties along the way. In one fell swoop, McQueen ended a 15-year marriage, severed ties with his longtime agent and producing partners, saw his production company collapse and lost a personal fortune, not to mention control of the film he had planned to make for over a decade.”
The actor “was also in constant fear for his life after learning on the set that he was on Charles Manson’s ‘death list.’”
When the movie ended shooting the IRS slapped McQueen with a seven-figure back taxes bill.
Don Nunley worked in the motion picture industry as a property master, set decorator and production designer since 1959. Marshall Terrill is the world’s foremost expert on Steve McQueen and the author of more than 20 books, including best-selling biographies of McQueen, Elvis Presley and Pete Maravich.
Wondering where all the Marvel Universe references are hiding in the Iron Fist Netflix series? We've got you covered.
This article contains nothing but Iron Fist spoilers. Seriously. Nothing else.
Well, the reviews might not exactly be the greatest for Marvel's Iron Fist, but your mileage may vary. One thing that hasn't changed from its Marvel Netflix predecessors, though, is the incredible amount of cool stuff from the comics that has made it onto the screen, either in the form of faithful adaptation or a character or piece of information that morphed into something barely recognizable.
But lemme tell ya, my eyes and brain get tired when trying to burn through this much TV at once, and there's stuff that's bound to get missed. So here's how this works...
I've laid out everything I caught on my first viewing. If you see something I missed, shout it out in the comments or directly at me on Twitter. If it checks out, I'll update this.
Note: Since I'm a few episodes ahead, I've tried to keep spoiler-specific stuff out of earlier episodes. So something that I refer to vaguely in an early entry may pay off later on. I'm trying not to let people be spoiled when they're just reading individual episode entries.
But beware! I can't control what goes on in the comments, so read with caution if you're trying to stay spoiler free!
One final note! I know it's annoying breaking this up into multiple pages, but in order to keep people from stumbling on stuff they don't want to read, I've had to do it. I'm also aware that our page navigation system isn't always great on mobile, so I've offered a couple of different ways to jump around. I promise we're not getting into that slideshow nonsense here.
Alright, let's get to work...
Iron Fist Episode 1: Snow Gives Way
"After being declared dead 15 years earlier, Danny Rand returns to New York. But his welcome is a far cry from what he'd hoped."
Danny Rand/Iron Fist first appeared in 1974’s Marvel Premiere #15 by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. 1974 was the height of the martial arts craze in the US, and it spread beyond just the movie theater, with novelty nonsense like that miserable "Kung Fu Fighting" song infecting airwaves around the same time. Early Iron Fist comics were just part of the pop culture mood of the era.
Iron Fist ran as the main feature in Marvel Premiere for ten issues, and the first few of those, in the loosest sense imaginable (although perhaps not quite as loose as how Logan adapted its Old Man Logan comic source material) form the spine of these early episodes. In fact, the first two issues are about Danny Rand coming to NYC to enter a business tower, although in this case, it’s Harold Meachum’s company. Oh yeah, and Danny just strolls into NYC in full Iron Fist gear, which probably raised fewer eyebrows in mid-70s New York City than it would today.
- In those same early issues, we also meet Harold, Ward, and Joy Meachum, although in the comics, Ward is Joy’s uncle not her brother. But why split hairs, right?
- Colleen Wing made her debut a few issues later, in Marvel Premiere #19, which is only the fifth Iron Fist story ever, so it makes sense that she’s an integral part of Danny’s journey here on the show, too. We also met Misty Knight for the first time, not in the pages of Luke Cage, but in these early Iron Fist stories. Colleen and Misty ended up branching out on their own as private detectives, so don’t be surprised if those two have a future together.
- It shouldn’t come any surprise that the heads of a corporation like Rand Enterprises are absurdly rich, but holy moley, that 19 Gramercy Park South address where they live in is just about as posh as it gets.
- Danny’s whole “country hick in the big city” routine reminds me a little bit of Bruce Lee’s character in The Way of the Dragon for a few minutes here and there. Of course, Finn Jones is no Bruce Lee, but then again, who is?
- Colleen runs the Chikara Dojo. Aside from meaning “power” in Japanese, it’s also the name of one of our favorite wrestling promotions in the world, the ever-bonkers ChikaraPro. That last part is a coincidence, of course. But if you like superhero-themed wrestling, you should check them out.
- I don't think there's any comic book signifcance to Kyle, but feel free to correct me.
- The only "Big Al" I can find any reference to in Marvel lore is a minor character from the first issue of underrated mini-series Spider-Man: Blue. I don't think there's anything to worry about here in that regard.
Navigate directly to other episodes here!
See anything I missed? Drop 'em in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!
Here's everything we know so far about Ava DuVernay's film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time...
A Wrinkle in Time, the much-anticipated feature film adaptaion of the beloved Madeline L'Engle novel, has wrapped principle photography and director Ava DuVernay has shared a bunch of photos to commemorate the occasion.
Principal photography for WRINKLE IN TIME wrapped last night! An epic adventure. I loved each and every minute. xo! pic.twitter.com/D3z5J6KBIz
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
Thanks to the truly beautiful crew of WRINKLE IN TIME and our studio for standing with me every step of the way. Extraordinary experience. pic.twitter.com/1Zyxg39fgO
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
WRINKLE IN TIME. In theaters. April 6, 2018. %uD83D%uDC51 pic.twitter.com/8CQ9o1BAgR
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 12, 2017
Are you excited yet? Here's everything else we know about the A Wrinkle in Time film so far...
A Wrinkle in Time Cast
A Wrinkle in Time has found its Meg Murry! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Storm Reid, who made her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave, will play the lead role in the film adapation of the beloved Madeline L'Engle book.
Reid is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but has already built an impressive resume. In addition to 12 Years a Slave, Reid has also booked some television roles and the lead role in American Girl: Lea to the Rescue. She also appeared in Sleight, a sci-fi drama that made waves at Sundance.
Reid is the latest addition to a majority non-white cast, with the production also reportedly looking for a non-white actor to play the major role of Calvin O'Keefe, Meg's classmate and fellow adventurer.
A Wrinkle in Time has cast three talented actresses in major roles...
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling are in talks to star as Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who, respectively. They will join Oprah Winfrey, who has been cast as Mrs. Which in the feature film. In the book, Which, Whatsit, and Who help Meg and Charles travel across the galaxy to find their missing father. The central roles of Meg and Charles have yet to be cast.
Deadline reports that Chris Pine has joined the cast as Mr. Murry. The Star Trek alum (who we'll see as Steve Trevor in next summer's Wonder Woman) plays the husband of Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Meg Murry and Charles Wallace's mother, Dr. Murry, in the adaptation of the beloved Madeline L'Engle novel. Dr. Murry is a scientist who, along with her husband, comes with the notion of the wrinkle in time. When the book begins, she is anxious over the disappearance of her husband.
Mbatha, who most recently appeared in Free State of Jones, but previously held the recurring role of Martha's sister on Doctor Who and gained critical praise in the lead role in Belle, will also voice Plumette in the much-anticipated live-action Beauty and the Beast movie coming out next year.
A Wrinkle in Time Movie Story
For those unfamiliar with the 1963 children's book (if those people do, in fact, exist), A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace as they travel through space and cross dimensions to find their missing scientist father with the help of a mysterious Tesseract. Oh yeah, and there's a kid named Calvin there, too. The book is the first in a larger series.
A Wrinkle in Time Movie Director
Disney secured Selma director Ava DuVernay to direct its upcoming movie adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, according to Deadline, back in February.
DuVernay is best known for her direction of Selma, the Oscar-winning film depicting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic civil rights march. The film drew both critical and viewer praise, and all on a relatively small budget of $20 million.
A Wrinkle in Time isn't the only exciting project DuVernay has on the table. She's also being courted by Amblin to direct Intelligent Life, a science fiction story about a U.N. worker trained to represent mankind in the event of an encounter with alien life. The script is from Jurassic World director/writer Colin Trevorrow. DuVernay is also currently working on original drama series Queen Sugar for the OWN network.
DuVernay's involvement with the project is not only a win for A Wrinkle in Time fans waiting for a worthwhile adaptation, but a boon for behind-the-camera diversity in Hollywood — especially when it comes to relatively big bidget projects. A Wrinkle in Time will mark the first time in history a black female director will direct a film with a budget of $100 million. It's about time.
A Wrinkle in Time Movie Writer
If DuVernay's involvement weren't enough to get you excited about this adaptation, there's also the fact that A Wrinkle in Time's screenplay was penned by Jennifer Lee, aka the writer and co-director of Frozen. Could this be the A Wrinkle in Time adaptation we've all been waiting for?
A Wrinkle in Time Movie Release Date
A Wrinkle in Time is scheduled for an April 6th, 2018 release date, so mark your calendars!
More information as we get it.
Netflix’s Iron Fist is currently battling a bevy of bad reviews and star Finn Jones has a response.
Netflix Marvel series Iron Fist arrives this week under attack from a proverbial gang of ninjas that’s taken form as a wide spectrum of rough reviews. While that phalanx of feedback was only based on six episodes released to critics out of its thirteen total, it nevertheless signals dampened momentum for the anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe small screen street level series. However, in his response to the critics, star Finn Jones attempts to reframe the approach that viewers should have going into the show’s Friday premiere.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Jones offers an interesting response to Iron Fist detractors. Jones, who fills the title role of a long-lost heir-turned master of mystical martial arts, addresses its structural criticism (as reflected in our own review) and the tangential narrative that the show – rooted in Eastern-themed mystical martial arts – made a whitewashed casting choice in selecting him. Resembling last year's backlash in response to Tilda Swinton’s Doctor Strange role as the Ancient One (traditionally an elderly Chinese man), the whitewashing narrative is central to the excoriating Iron Fist appraisals of several outlets. However, Jones believes that critics have missed the point of the comic book material, explaining:
“Well, I think there’s multiple factors. What I will say is these shows are not made for critics, they are first and foremost made for the fans.”
Incidentally, Iron Fist is finding itself with sparse support amongst critics, many of whom do fall into the “fan” classification. The general consensus of the criticism (avoiding details or spoilers) is that the series suffers from ponderous pacing issues; something that’s compounded by its purported inability to flesh out the backstory and motivations of Jones’s character Danny Rand/Iron Fist. In that respect, Jones – possibly addressing the whitewashing issue – believes that the series is best viewed when divorced of political and cultural trifles. As Jones continues:
“I also think some of the reviews we saw were seeing the show through a very specific lens, and I think when the fans of the Marvel Netflix world and fans of the comic books view the show through the lens of just wanting to enjoy a superhero show, then they will really enjoy what they see.”
Of course, to echo sentiments expressed in our review, Netflix’s Marvel television shows are specially structured for the binge experience and do tend to take tonal detours as they arrive around the midpoint, recently exemplified by the shocking, series-altering mid-series developments of last fall’s Luke Cage. Indeed, the bulk of the action and drama in Iron Fist Season 1 may very well reside in the back half, which could put the first half into a better light, warts notwithstanding.
One would think this is the case, since the show offers the final heroic puzzle piece for this summer’s hyped crossover event in which Jones’s Iron Fist joins fellow Netflix Marvel television stars such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage on The Defenders. While stuck in an untenable position of preemptively defending the embattled series in which he is the promoted centerpiece, Jones – perhaps towing “the line” – claims that the series has great things to offer, stating:
“I think it’s a fantastic show which is really fun and I think it stands up there with the other Defenders’ shows without a doubt.”
Iron Fist will arrive hoping to ultimately prove its aggregate worth when the entirety of Season 1 makes its debut on Netflix on Friday, March 17.
Sony Pictures' reboot of the Millennium series and follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will hit theaters this October.
Sony Pictures is officially moving ahead with a The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, slated to hit theaters October 5, 2018.
The new film in Millenium series will be helmed by in-demand director Fede Alvarez, who directed surprise hit Don’t Breathe. Skipping over the next two books in the series The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, The Girl in the Spider’s Web will serve as a soft reboot of the franchise. Rooney Mara, who portrayed heroine Lisbeth Salander, and Daniel Craig, who played journalist Mikael Blomkvist will not return to the roles. Early word had Sony seriously courting the appropriately Swedish Alicia Vikander for the role of Salander, but the actress officially has passed on the part. Whereas the other books in the series have all been adapted for film in Sweden, Spider’s Nest will be the first to begin with an English adaptation.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web is the fourth book in the series and the first not penned by Stieg Larsson, who died of a heart attack in 2004. Writer David Lagercrantz took over for Larsson and released the novel in 2015. Steven Knight, Fede Alvarez, Jay Basu adapted the book for the screen. Scott Rudin, Søren Stærmose, Ole Søndberg, Amy Pascal, Elizabeth Cantillon, Eli Bush, and Berna Levin will produce; the executive producers are Anni Faurbye Fernandez, Line Winther Skyum Funch, Johannes Jensen, and Tattoo director David Fincher.
The announcement of the release date was delivered at the London Book Fair in tandem with a celebration for the upcoming fifth Millennium book, written by Lagercrantz.
“In all of contemporary literature, Lisbeth Salander is completely sui generis – probably one of the greatest female literary characters of all time in my view. Modern punk defiance personified, she is unforgettable in every incarnation, truly one of the most compelling characters we’ve seen in recent years,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures. “David Lagercrantz’s brilliant work in continuing this remarkable series honors Stieg Larsson’s masterpiece. We at Sony are so honored to be part of this series with Yellowbird, and we’re so excited to be making an original film of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Fede Alvarez is the perfect choice to direct. Fede is an amazing director with a unique vision of the world. In particular, his talent and skill in creating psychological intensity will bring Lisbeth Salander back into popular movie culture with a roar.”
A new report suggests that Man of Steel 2 is back in development at Warner Bros and that the director hunt is on.
There has been talk of Man of Steel 2 since the first film was released, before it morphed into Batman v Superman. Officially, a solo Superman movie remains noticeably absent from the DC Films schedule, but then again, The Batman solo movie doesn't have a release date either, and we know that's happening. With Superman's next big screen outing in Justice League arriving in November of 2017, and with that film's sequel recently losing its release date, it makes sense that the studio would start looking for the next big screen adventure for one of their most recognizable heroes.
Over the last year there have been indications that Man of Steel 2 is still very much a possibility, not the least of which being some quotes from Henry Cavill's agent, Danny Garcia, late last year. “[Cavill and I have] been in a five-month period of time where he’s re-strategizing, acquiring property [for his production company Promethean], he’s filming [Justice League] now, he’s in development for the Superman standalone… he’s beginning to expand that world,” Garcia told Newsweek in September.
It's still pretty early in the process, though. As far as we know, no writer has been hired. George Miller's name was once rumored as a potential director, but he later nixed that talk. The latest intriguing piece of news comes from Collider, who report that Warner Bros. wants Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, X-Men: First Class) to direct. However, they caution that these are only "preliminary conversations" so don't get too excited yet.
But Vaughn would certainly fit with the studio's ongoing quest to get distinctive directors to helm their top superhero properties. This June's Wonder Woman has Patty Jenkins behind the camera, next year's Aquaman has James Wan, and The Batman just hired Matt Reeves. He was considered all the way back in 2010 when what would become Man of Steel was starting to take shape, but unfortunately nothing came of those discussions.
DC Films would do well to reconsider Superman as a solo property, especially in light of the critical reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Both films came under fire for their dark, violent worldview, something that the first Man of Steel film also took some heat for. But with DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns also serving as the co-chair of DC Films, and DC Comics currently working to rehabilitate their superhero line (with Superman undergoing a particular return to form), a more hopeful Superman movie might help with the mission statement of making the newly minted DC Extended Universe a little more heroic. The trailers for Wonder Woman appear to be signalling a shift towards more traditional superheroics, so maybe Man of Steel 2 can follow suit.
Keep in mind that there are several unclaimed dates on Warner Bros' DC schedule at the moment: July 27th, 2018 (which would make perfect sense for a Superman movie, but is far too close to be realistic), and June 14th and November 1, 2019 (both of which could work). Of course, many of the movies on this schedule could see their dates shift.
I'll update this with more information as it becomes available. Maybe we'll finally get our big screen version of Brainiac, though.
DC Comics turned down a pitch for a comic set in the world of the Tim Burton Batman movies.
Every now and then you stumble across a project you never knew existed, and now desperately wish did. In this case, it's Batman '89 by Joe Quinones and Kate Leth, pitched to DC Comics as a direct continuation of Tim Burton's Batmanand Batman Returns.
Batman '89was intended to run alongside other DC digital-first offerings that expand on iconic live action versions of their characters, like Batman '66 and Wonder Woman '77. While both of those are fun, and allow writers and artists to explore avenues that their source material never got a chance to, this proposed Batman '89 is unique in that it pulls in elements that almost made it to the screen in various forms (although Batman '66 did manage to adapt an unused Two-Face script by none other than Harlan Ellison).
Here's how Quinones described the project on his blog:
"our story would have picked up the threads left by Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. We would have seen the return of Selina Kyle/ Catwoman as well as introductions to ‘Burton-verse’ versions of Robin, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It also would have showcased the turn of Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent into Two-Face."
So, what's really cool about this (aside from the obvious), is that Quinones and Leth would have shown off a few things that were clearly already in the minds of the filmmakers, but that never made it to the screen. Billy Dee Williams played Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's first Batmanmovie, and screenwriter Sam Hamm initially intended Two-Face to be the villain of Batman II. It wasn't to be, and we ended up with Batman Returns, instead.
This is a pretty cool visualization of the Williams Two-Face, though. The less said about the Two-Face we eventually got in Batman Forever, the better.
You can also spot the auto-mechanic jumpsuit wearing young man who would have become Robin, who was present in early Batman Returns drafts. Marlon Wayans had actually been cast in the role, before the part was cut from the movie.
The other designs for characters we never saw in the Burton movies (remember, this is Burton only, they clearly wanted no part of the Schumacher films) aren't based on any kinds of plans that were already in place, but that Batgirl costume looks perfectly Burton-esque. You can see more sketches over on Mr. Quinones' blog.
Maybe Batman '89 was a little too quirky and Burton-esque for DC, but it certainly would have found an audience. Although if someone were to greenlight Jeff Parker and Evan "Doc" Shaner on Superman '78, I would probably end up purchasing copies for half of my friends.
This article first ran in March 2016.