Category Archives: Movie Rumors

“Shazam” Director Jokes About “Knightmare”

David F. Sandberg, who is directing the DC Extended Universe film Shazam, has jokingly connected the movie’s protagonist to the “Knightmare” scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Shazam, which is scheduled for release in 2019, is about Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel), a young boy who can transform into an adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!” His hero form (played by Zachary Levi) has traditionally been called Captain Marvel, but some modern versions go with “Shazam”; it is unsure which the film will choose.

On Sandberg’s Instagram account, he posted a video clip from the previous DC Comics animated movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In the scene, Batman approaches an injured Billy Batson, whom he doesn’t seem to recognize as the hero Captain Marvel. Upon told to “say something,” Billy replies with “Shazam,” then transforms into his superpowered form in a flash of lightning. As he takes a threatening step toward Batman, we suddenly cut to a scene from the live-action Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Bruce Wayne (played by Ben Affleck) wakes up startled, as though he had been dreaming the previous animated scene.

Fans will recognize this live-action segment as being from the “Knightmare” sequence, where the DCEU Bruce Wayne has a strange dream about a world ruled by an evil Superman; it is implied to be some sort of prophetic vision, with the Flash appearing to warn Bruce that this will be caused by the death of Lois Lane. The villain Darkseid is implied to be involved.

Most expected this scene to be foreshadowing for something from the newest DCEU film, Justice League, where Darkseid’s general, Steppenwolf, is the main villain and Superman is temporarily an antagonist. (He had some post-resurrection mood swings.) However, it went unaddressed; possibly it was sacrificed in the numerous cuts made to make the film two hours long.

Captain Marvel is traditionally as kindhearted and heroic as Superman, if not moreso—however, many adaptations have tried to make him grimmer and grittier in an effort to make him more “realistic.” Trading an evil Superman for Captain Marvel seems to be Sandberg’s play on that. It probably should not be taken as a real hint about the film, which Sandberg has described as being a much more lighthearted entry into the DCEU franchise.

Ricky Whittle to Play A Green Lantern?

Michael Green, who co-wrote the script for the 2011 film Green Lantern, he would personally choose Ricky White to play the character John Stewart in the upcoming unrelated DC Extended Universe film Green Lantern Corps.

Debuting in 1971, Stewart (who is in no way based on a certain comedic news anchor, despite the name) he was DC Comics’ first black superhero. He is one of multiple humans chosen to join the Green Lanterns, a group of interplanetary cops from all over the galaxy. He is generally more staid and thoughtful than his brasher co-workers, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner, and more experienced than relative newcomers like Kyle Rayner.

While Hal Jordan is generally the most notable Green Lantern in the comics, many will be familiar with Stewart from his appearances on the popular cartoons Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

At this point, little is known about the upcoming Green Lantern Corps film; however, it is supposed to be about a team of Lanterns, so it would make since for Stewart to be a major character along with his fellow human colleagues.

The Green Lantern film from 2011, however, only used Jordan. Overall, the movie was not well-received, but Green, an aptly named writer for the project, says that he still has a good idea who could fill Stewart’s role in the upcoming DCEU entry.

“I’ll probably get angry texts if I don’t say what’s in my heart which is that Ricky Whittle would make a fantastic John Stewart.”

Whittle plays Shadow Moon in the TV series American Gods. He is a bit young to play Stewart, generally depicted in his forties or so, but could be a good choice if that detail is ignored.

“Suicide Squad” Director Regrets Downplaying Joker

Suicide Squad director David Ayer has confirmed that he should have made the Joker into the main villain of last year’s Suicide Squad movie.

The 2016 film focuses on a group of supervillains who carry out missions for the government in exchange for privileges and reduced sentences. Over the course of the movie one of their members, an evil demon called the Enchantress, goes rogue and tries to destroy the world after summoning her brother, Incubus. The rest of the team is forced to stop her.

It was an interesting choice for a main antagonist, but one which also fell somewhat flat. Meanwhile, the Joker appeared in the movie, had an important connection to one of the main characters (Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, his kooky but less vicious ex-girlfriend), and, as a more “street level” antagonist, did not massively overpower the team the way that an apocalyptic demon managed to.

The Joker was played by Jared Leto, who notes that a lot of his scenes were cut from the film.

Director David Ayer, who admits that he was more or less constantly rewriting the film as they shot it, also concedes that the Joker probably would have been a better main villain than the Enchantress. Responding to a tweet saying as much, Ayer said “Believe me. I agonize over this. Yes. Joker should have been main bad guy.”

The good news is, he has a chance to correct that error—he is said to be directing a spin-off called Gotham City Sirens, which will have Harley Quinn team up with other female villains (traditionally Poison Ivy and Catwoman). Perhaps “Mistah J” could be the main antagonist there? Not much is known about the project yet, so we will have to wait and see.

A New Fahrenheit 451 Comes to HBO

HBO continues to develop new and intriguing science-fiction and fantasy projects. In addition to the second season of Westworld, HBO presents fans with another reboot of a classic sci-fi work. A new version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 soon comes to the small screen. The classic book was already adapted into a feature film. Now, like Westworld, the work garners the HBO original films treatment.

The new version of Fahrenheit 451 won’t be escapist fair, either. HBO has announced the new film intends to take on a dark, gritty tone. Perhaps that would be the best tone for such a work to take. The original novel dealt with book burning, totalitarianism and other dystopic visions of the future. All that should likely be retained in the pay channel’s adaptation of the work.

On television, a dark approach to science-fiction may work well. Serious sci-fi doesn’t seem to do as well at the box office. The recent failure of Blade Runner 2049 seems to indicate movie attendees prefer escapism in their science-fiction. The success of Westworld does show a gritty, violent science-fiction series has the potential to connect with audiences. The same should be true of a made-for-cable film.

Question marks may exist surrounding whether Fahrenheit 451 can present a world that delivers on the action as well as themes. Westworld existed in a world in which many different scenarios could be crafted. The original source material for Fahrenheit 451 seems much more isolated in terms of narrative potential.

Of course, the entire idea behind creative development is to work on the things necessary to make a movie or television show workable. A lot of effort surely went into crafting the modernized vision of Ray Bradbury’s classic work.

Andy Serkis Snubs Actor Who Played Jar Jar Binks, World Rolls Its Eyes.

Hollywood has been experiencing a motion capture revolution over the past couple of decades. Motion capture, in Hollywood, is when an actor acts as the physical representation of a character that will later be added in the film via CGI. Ahmed Best is not a household name and he probably certainly isn’t considered a legend in Hollywood, but Best did bring Jar Jar Binks to life in the film, ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’. Best’s work was revolutionary at the time so it is only right that he feels overlooked by Andy Serkis, the King of Motion Capture, who recently released a video tribute to the artform without Best’s work included.

Andy Serkis rose to critical acclaim for his motion-capture performance of the character Gollum in the legendary trilogy, ‘Lord of the Rings’. Since then Serkis has been a part of nearly every major mocap performance in Hollywood, most recently playing the role of Caesar in the ‘Planet of the Apes’ trilogy. Serkis was brought on the host a video released by Wired titled, “Andy Serkis Breaks Down the History of Motion Capture Performance.” The video went over, in detail, all of the big motion-capture breakthroughs throughout the medical, video game, and entertainment industry. Notably absent was Best’s work as Jar Jar Binks in the ‘Star Wars’ prequel series. The reason that Best is notably upset was that his mocap performance actually precluded Andy Serkis’ star-turning performance in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’.

Ahmed Best took to Twitter to vent his frustration. Best said, “I don’t know how to retweet this and not sound bitter, but I feel I have been forgotten. No disrespect to the great @AndySerkis”. Best went on to point out that Jar Jar Binks created the workflow that would later be used on ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Avatar’.

Catwoman Comes to Gotham

Camren Bicondova achieved acclaim for her role as Selina Kyle on the DC Comics television series Gotham. She’s likely to receive more acclaim and notoriety for becoming Selina Kyle’s alter ego Catwoman. The newest episode of Gotham features the costumed appearance of the classic Batman villain. Catwoman’s arrival continues the slow burning change of a series focusing on normal people as opposed to heroes and villains. In order for the series to continue, more heroes and villains are needed.

The original concept for Gotham was to show the early years of Batman’s universe by looking at the life of young Bruce Wayne. The supporting cast in the series featured a number of soon-to-be villains who had yet to become costumed maniacs. The characters slowly evolved through the initial seasons into the roles they assume in DC Comics canon.

Gotham really does need villains and some costumed heroes. The television series has its fans and receives critical acclaim. The ratings for the series haven’t exactly been groundbreaking. The humanity side of the series seems to be wearing thin. The current comic book movie and television series craze draws a lot of its success from presence of super-powered and fantastic beings. After a while, audiences get a little bored of a Batman series without Batman and his famous rogue’s gallery.

The core audience that enjoys the series aren’t going to go away when more villains enter the narrative fray. Quite a few new audiences members may jump in when the program takes a greater turn in the direction of traditional comic book entertainment.

Likely, the production team of Gotham sees the success of The Flash and Arrow and realize more heroes and villains means more ratings. Gotham must head in that direction to thrive in future seasons.

A Smarter Hulk Appears in Thor: Ragnarok

The God of Thunder takes center stage in Thor: Ragnarok, but he does share the spotlight with another classic hero. The Incredible Hulk has been featured prominently in the commercials hyping the new Thor film. The Hulk isn’t the brutish beast of Avengers films. The Green Goliath speaks and shows he is a bit smarter than the lumbering, silent giant of previous film appearances.

Director Taika Waititi noted The Hulk was made “smarter” in order to make him more “engaging” in the film. Giving The Hulk the ability to speak allows for more interaction with Thor and other characters. There is only so much that can be done with a Hulk that limited in his ability to interact with others.

The silent version of The Hulk was not a Marvel Comics creation. It was the CBS Incredible Hulk television series that went with a non-speaking Hulk. The movies followed this concept. When The Hulk debuted in the early 1960’s, he not only spoke but came off as a calculating and sinister anti-hero. In time, The Hulk took on a child-like personality. Eventually, The Hulk returned to becoming a speaking, more adult character but without the air of a Mr. Hyde-style menace.

The possibility exists that The Hulk could steal quite a bit of Thor’s thunder in the new film. Even though both The Hulk and his alter ego Dr. Banner play supporting roles, they could overshadow the lead hero. Consider this ironic. For decades, Thor was barely a B-level hero in the Marvel Comics Universe while The Hulk was firmly A level. In the movies, things changes. Two disappointing solo films hurt The Hulk’s ability to carry a film. The two previous Thor films did well at the box office. The third film looks like it will outdraw every other entry in the trilogy.

What Tension Exists In Avengers: Infinity War?

One thing that helped set Marvel Comics apart from D.C. Comics in the 1960’s was the tension between heroes. Heroes even outright fought with one another. While not perfect, Marvel characters showed a humanity the more traditional D.C. heroes lacked. In the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film, the heroes bring more tension to the big screen. Doing so definitely can help the drama of the narrative.

Paul Bettany, the actor who brought The Vision to life on the screen, recently commented on the heightened tension between heroes. The commentary noted the heroes may have their differences, but they do come together for the greater good. That “greater good” would be defeating the all-powerful Thanos, one of Marvel Comics’ most ultra-formidable villains.

Therein lies one of the most important morality tales of superhero adventures. Ultimately, the goal is to serve the greater good for all humanity. In some cases, serving the greater good actually preserves humanity. Thanos doesn’t exactly have humanity’s best interests at heart. Thanos wishes to rule and conquer. Without The Avengers standing in his way, rule and conquer he shall.

All of this does come with the potential to be very boring if no conflict exists between the heroic characters. Heroes lacking conflict with one another end up acting in a very boring and predictable manner. Audiences can become supremely bored when characters never deviate from a by-the-numbers approach to interactions.

The writers, actors, and directors associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe realize this. That’s why a good bit of tension and conflict is welcomed in the films.

The Next Wolverine to be X-23 Dafne Keen

Logan has been one of the most riveting films ever made based on a comic book franchise. As a matter of fact, it has been one of the most emotionally charged and riveting films of the year. It has shown people issues such as consequences for actions. It has also dealt with aging and death. It was a chase movie which has resulted in a lot of innocent people getting killed. However, one of the most stand out aspects of the film is Dafne Keen’s performance as X-23, Logan’s clone daughter. She is going to be the one who takes up the mantle of Wolverine at some point.

 

Dafne Keen has put in a really good performance of X-23. She has retained a lot of the rage and the ferocity of the older Wolverine. Therefore, audiences have bought her as the animalistic successor to Logan. Logan, the film was filled with a lot of subtle touches that gave it the heart that every other comic book film lacked. At the core of its story is that of family, regret, and the struggle to hold on to what is left while not allowing anything new to come in because of past wounds.

 

Both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have portrayed the deeply destroyed and slowly dying in a heartfelt way. The film itself has pulled no punches when it came to the gory details. Among the scenes that have stood out are the scenes showing the effects of the claws and the scenes where Logan is in the hospital with his wounds in view.

 

Resident Evil Series to Get a Very Quick Reboot

The final chapter of the Resident Evil movie franchise is turning to not be the final chapter after all. Well, the original series is finished but that doesn’t even remotely mean the end for the classic horror/zombie/action movie series. A new reboot is in the works. Incredibly, there won’t even be much breathing room between the Milla Jovovich-starring franchise and the upcoming new one.

 

Fans of the Resident Evil movies and video games are not exactly going to complain. Long-time fans contributed the incredible level of support that allowed a “b-movie” series to rise far above what most forgettable video game adaptations never could. While critics did not exactly say kind things about Resident Evil films, people kept buying tickets for the theatrical releases. Resident Evil never ended up on the direct-to-video pathway since theatrical interest remained strong.

 

Jovovich’s comments about the upcoming reboot were pointed. She admits the plans for a reboot are not new and have been in the pipeline for a long time. Jovovich suggests the same level of passion that went into the first franchise needs to go into the next.

 

Those words really should be heeded by those planning to make a new Resident Evil series. If the approach in the new franchise is simply to attach the Resident Evil name to a soulless rehash of the original films, then the series may very well end up in the direct-to-video or the direct-to-cable world.

 

The makers of Resident Evil surely want to keep the series going for a very obvious reason. The entertainment industry is about making money. Canceling a series that is doing so well at the box office would fly in the face of all business logic.

 

The Resident Evil films provide enough violent escapism to keep fans coming back for more. And they do want more, which is why the reboot is being fast tracked.