DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Teaser Goes To War

20th Century Fox has just thrown down the gauntlet with its first teaser trailer for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Watch the teaser and then check below for a few thoughts.

The marketing folks at Fox have done an excellent job in piecing together this teaser. In 92 seconds, the stage is set, telling us the state of humanity since a lethal virus ravaged the globe in the closing credits of 2011’s RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. The stakes are strongly hinted at as the humans and apes march to war. Finally, the footage closes with a moment we can’t wait to see finished as Caesar signals his apes into battle. This is exactly the kind of “can’t wait” excitement a teaser should generate.

The wait for DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES’ July 11, 2014 release date feels a little bit longer today, which is a credit to the effectiveness of this trailer.

ROB LIEFELD Covers WALKING DEAD for AMAZING ARIZONA COMIC CON

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Legendary Creator of Deadpool, X-Force teams up with Robert Kirkman

AMAZING ARIZONA COMIC CON is proud to announce the return of legendary comic creator ROB LIEFELD back to Phoenix.  Liefeld will be joining Headline Guest ROBERT KIRKMAN and Skybound Entertainment in producing an exclusive variant cover to WALKING DEAD #1. Continue reading

David Goyer + Joseph Gordon-Levitt = SANDMAN?

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The Hollywood Reporter has a story that David Goyer is developing a script for SANDMAN with Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to star and direct and Neil Gaiman in an executive producer role. It’s cropped up elsewhere, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Twitter feed, so it seems to be true.

 

SANDMAN is one of the jewels of DC’s library, and adaptations have been attempted many times without success, so it’s premature to say that this one will definitely move forward. But let’s examine the merits of what we know anyways.

 

SANDMAN is a tough fit for movies. Yeah, it’s fantasy and will allow for major spectacle, but it’s not really an action story. One of the major setpieces of the first story is a word game in Hell. It’s a story where storytelling is an important motif rather than explosions, fist fights, chases, or action. That might be perceived as a tough sell, although Hiyao Miyazaki’s films are popular around the world without engaging action. The main character is a supporting character in some arcs. Often, the most engaging stories are the one offs like “The Sound of Her Wings”, “A Dream of a Thousand Cats”, and issues spent with William Shakespeare, Emperor Augustus, Emperor Norton, and the story of the friendship between Morpheus and Hob Gadling. The main overall arc is a well told tale of a being that finds change difficult and must die and be reborn to become a better version of himself, but losing the tangents and world building is a major blow to what makes SANDMAN as a whole so rewarding. It’s why many have been clamoring for television as the right medium for it and unless the adaptation is extremely clever, I think the skepticism of film as the right medium will remain.

 

David Goyer obviously knows his comic books, so I expect a faithful adaptation. For that matter, I don’t think that the writer of DARK CITY is a bad choice. What is DARK CITY other than a cinematic dream of German Expressionism imagery and the nature of memory and identity? But, David Goyer’s strengths don’t always include language and dialogue which are important in making SANDMAN what it is. Neil Gaiman has a fine, delicate sense of language and playfulness in his writing and those qualities don’t generally fit Goyer’s strengths. Maybe Gaiman will take a pass or two on the script, maybe not, but getting SANDMAN’s tone and language right is the principal challenge for any adaptation and it’s hard to say if it lies in Goyer’s wheelhouse.

 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is obviously a talented, rising star. Actors act, which we should all remember when a talented actor is cast even if he doesn’t seem to be a natural fit. Benedict Cumberbatch is generally the fan favorite choice for the role, but we don’t even know if he’s interested. My main concern is whether Joseph Gordon-Levitt can channel the feeling of a being that is ancient. I’ve seen him brood and be introverted before, BRICK for instance, but being ancient and regal would be a new trick for him.

 

It’s too soon to say whether Joseph Gordon-Levitt is ready to direct a SANDMAN film either. He has one film under his belt with good acclaim, so that’s promising. And there’s nothing saying that SANDMAN is on the fast track, Joseph Gordon-Levitt may have several more films under his belt before this project makes it’s way towards production. I do think he’s aware enough of his abilities that he’ll either bring someone in to help him, Rian Johnson perhaps, or he’ll step aside if he’s not confident. And, who knows, maybe the plan isn’t for a massive CGI tentpole, but for a smaller, independent-like film. David Lynch has been making dream pictures for decades on a budget a fraction of blockbusters, so maybe we shouldn’t assume that they’re starting big.

 

There are too many unknowns at this point to say anything other than it’s an ambitious project that might not ultimately come together. I do hope that there’s someone in the production team that would be willing to say “no, it’s not good enough” if it’s not coming together. And, even if this project ultimately comes to fruition, who’s to say that it will come together in its current configuration? It’s a property in development that has some promising pieces, but is a long way from a greenlight.

DEAD Talks: Image Comics’ THE WALKING DEAD- Issue #118

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New panelist Katie Sullivan joins Justin, John, and Antoinette for their discussion of the fourth issue of the “All Out War” storyline. We talk Maggie’s stand at the Hilltop, Carl and Michonne’s relationship, the death of Shiva, and our growing concerns that Rick may not get out of this war alive. Also, Katie explains how you never ask her on a date. Its all here in the latest edition of DEAD Talks!

Leave us your thoughts and questions! (978) 267-1116

Continue the discussion with us online:

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Download the episode HERE.

New Teaser Begins The Countdown To INTERSTELLAR’S Launch

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The first teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film INTERSTELLAR was released online this morning. Currently showing in front of THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, the nearly two minute trailer manages simultaneously captivate and pique your interest with mostly stock footage, Hans Zimmer’s music, and an inspiring voice over by Matthew McConaughey. While details of the plot remain shrouded in mystery, the teaser gives a stirring impression of the film’s tone.

INTERSTELLAR is slated for a November 2014 release. Joining McConaughey are fellow cast members Anne Hathaway (THE PRINCESS DIARIES), Casey Affleck (OCEAN’S TWELVE), and Michael Caine (JAWS: THE REVENGE).

All Sony Wants For Christmas Is A Spider-Man Cinematic Universe

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Forget toys, the hottest item on every studio executive’s Christmas list is a superhero cinematic universe. Marvel Studios got one and it looked so cool that Warner Bros. and Fox just had to get their own. Now, via late night press release, Sony Pictures also wants a cinematic universe and has made plans to build one, all from the world of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

Including THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 next year, three web-slinging solo sequels had already been announced. Now, Sony is turning to its own writer team-up of Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinker, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to develop even more projects in Spidey’s universe. Kurtzman, Orci, and Solomon will be writing a VENOM screenplay with Kurtzman pencilled in to direct. Goddard, who’s been tapped to write Marvel Studios’ DAREDEVIL series on Netflix, will be writing and possibly directing THE SINISTER SIX.

Marvel Studios has proven the financial power of effective continuity management between franchises, which is exactly why we are seeing the rapid development of cinematic universes across the superhero genre. Growth is generally a good thing, but Sony and any other studio looking to start crossover construction had better be sure a strong foundation is in place. Fox at least has FANTASTIC FOUR to mix in with the many iterations of X-MEN and other assorted mutant teams. Sony, on the other hand, is hoping one hero can underwrite a whole universe.

Even the legendary BATMAN franchise, still the most powerful solo act in town, has not been tapped for crossovers and spinoffs. Sony is banking heavily on the SPIDER-MAN franchise since it’s the only card the studio has to play. Many fans have hoped for a VENOM movie to redeem the character from his disappointing appearance in SPIDER-MAN 3. Hopefully, the mainstream audience will be equally willing to give the symbiote another chance.

THE SINISTER SIX could work as the first ever villain team-up, but the question then becomes how much of a crossover it can really be when various combinations of its main characters will have already appeared together in solo AMAZING SPIDER-MAN films. Sony will have to hope it can muster up enough interest for those antagonists in the solo movies to convince audiences to drop another $12.50 on bad guy movie that may or may not include Spider-Man.

Being bold and taking calculated risks are necessary components in franchise filmmaking. Sony’s confidence is worthy of at least some applause, but there is plenty of work to be done in order to build the SPIDER-MAN brand up enough to support spinoffs. For the sake of the genre, all studios looking for their slice of the cinematic universe pie must gain a proper handle on the expansion of this superhero bubble before its bursts.

Check out Sony’s full press release below.

CULVER CITY, Calif., December 12, 2013 – In a move to forge a new legacy in the story of Peter Parker on screen, Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, is developing several new projects in the SPIDER-MAN franchise, with Alex KurtzmanRoberto OrciJeff PinknerEd Solomon, and Drew Goddard to collaborate on overseeing the developing story over several films that will be produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad,president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio.

The five writers, along with the two producers and Marc Webb, have formed a franchise brain trust to expand the universe for the brand and to develop a continuous tone and thread throughout the films. Under the deals, the studio announced that Kurtzman & Orci & Pinkner are writing the screenplay for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3, which the studio hopes Webb will return to direct; the film will go into production next fall for release on June 10, 2016. In addition, the team will build on the cinematic foundation laid by Webb, Arad, and Tolmach in the first two movies. They will expand the franchise as Kurtzman & Orci & Solomon will write the screenplay for VENOM, which Kurtzman will direct; also, Goddard will write, with an eye to direct, THE SINISTER SIX, focusing on the villains in the franchise. Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor will oversee the development and production of these films for the studio.

In tapping these five writers, the studio and the producers are guiding the future of the franchise with the writer/producers who have each played significant and key roles in developing such highly successful franchises, films, and series as STAR TREK, TRANSFORMERS, ALIAS, FRINGE, MEN
IN BLACK, BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, WORLD WAR Z, LOST, CLOVERFIELD, THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, and Marvel’s upcoming DAREDEVIL series.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “The SPIDER-MAN film franchise is one of our studio’s greatest assets. We are thrilled with the creative team we have assembled to delve more deeply into the world that Marc, Avi and Matt have begun to explore in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. We believe that Marc, Alex, and Drew have uniquely exciting visions for how to expand the SPIDER-MAN universe in each of these upcoming films.” Arad and Tolmach added, “This collaboration was born out of the great experience we and Marc had working with Alex, Bob, and Jeff on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. With more than fifty years’ wealth of stories in the comic books to draw upon for inspiration, the SPIDER-MAN universe is truly boundless; in addition, the SPIDER-MAN comics have the greatest rogues gallery of any series, and to have the chance to explore that on film is truly thrilling. Until now, we have approached each film as a separate, self-contained entity, but with this move, we have the opportunity to grow the franchise by looking to the future as we develop a continuous arc for the story. That is what Alex, Bob, Jeff, Ed, and Drew will do in this unprecedented collaboration, and we’re excited about the directions they are taking the character and the world.”

The most successful franchise in the history of Columbia Pictures, SPIDER-MAN is embraced all over the world. The four SPIDER-MAN films to date have taken in over $3.2 billion worldwide.

SPIDER-MAN, VENOM, THE SINISTER SIX and other SPIDER-MAN related characters are licensed to Sony by Marvel Entertainment. 

MMM TV: ARROW Ep. 209- ‘Three Ghosts’

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Another day, another mid-season finale here on MMM TV. Today, we review the concluding half of ARROW’s two-part mid-season finale, “Three Ghosts.” Barry Allen is still in Starling City, but it’s a few blasts from Oliver’s past that set the haunting tone for this incredible chapter. The final moments of “Three Ghosts” were indeed shocking, but not in the way we expected going in.

Download HERE.

MMM TV: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Ep. 110- ‘The Bridge’

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Marvel has delivered its mid-season finale of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. via “The Bridge,” an episode that (finally) pays dividends on the investments made in previous installments. The plane-dwelling team of agents has found its nemesis in the Centipede and a natural rival might be just what the doctor, or our own Paul Hermann, ordered. MMM TV is on the case to determine just how good this episode was and how important of a turning point it can be for the series going forward.

Download HERE.

Jason Momoa Up For Batman-Superman Movie Role

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Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively reported that Jason Momoa is in negotiations for an undisclosed role in Warner Bros.’ still untitled Batman and Superman (featuring Wonder Woman) movie. Momoa is best known for his work as Khal Drogo in GAME OF THRONES and the title role in 2011’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN. This is the second time this year Momoa has been a part of casting rumors for a superhero movie, previously being up for the role of Drax in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

Kit’s source speculated Doomsday and Martian Manhunter as possible roles for Momoa, though the chances of the latter character even being in the film seem remote (for now). Based on his work in GAME OF THRONES, Momoa’s ability to establish a big, intimidating presence with minimal dialogue is an ideal fit for Doomsday, if that character is indeed a villain in the film. Momoa certainly has the size to go punch-for-punch with Henry Cavill’s Superman. We’ll just have to wait and see if the actor’s latest superhero rumor finally becomes a reality.

Warner Bros. Unleashes Godzilla Upon the World

Say what you will about Warner Bros., their marketing department sure can cut an impressive trailer. We live in a different world with different nuclear fears than when Godzilla premiered in 1954, but the trailer seems dedicated to reminding us how how big and awesome Godzilla originally was. Using the Monolith theme from 2001 is also a smart way to build up what we’re about to see.

One of the things I’m also pleased with is the use of color. Ishiro Honda’s later Godzilla films weren’t desaturated of color like many modern films and the film seems to nod to that. One could perhaps read too much and think the red smoke is a nod to the “Mount Fuji in Red” segment of Akira Kurosawa’s DREAMS, which Honda worked on.

We’ll see if the final film lives up to the trailer, Roland Emmerich’s version had some effective trailers too, but it’s a good first impression.

From Batman to Superman to the Avengers and Beyond! Our Heroes. Our Mythology.