Comic book news from the big screen to the small screen

We’re definitely at a point where the public perception of comic book characters has shifted. For years, people looked down on comic books, thinking them for kids, and mocking or ridiculing adults who enjoy them. That’s changed with the success of comic book movies like the Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man, and Avengers (I’d like to point out that even if comic books were “for kids”, that still wouldn’t excuse shaming an adult for enjoying them; social rules that dictate what adults should or shouldn’t enjoy annoy the piss out of me). That cultural shift has resulted in a growing interest in comic book properties on the part of Hollywood executives.  Here’s some juicy news about several of those properties:

Robin. Starfire. Raven. Changeling. Cyborg. Kid Flash. Wonder Girl. Under the pen of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, they were the New Teen Titans, one of DC Comics’ most popular titles in the 80s. This era appears to be the source of inspiration for the in-development Titans series on TNT:

Announced back in September, not much has been officially confirmed about the pilot, which follows a group of young superheroes led by Dick Grayson aka Batman’s sidekick Robin, who is fated to become Nightwing. Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) penned the pilot with Marc Haimes, and has reported that the titular team will also include Barbara Gordon, Hawk/Hank Hall and Dove/Dawn Granger, Raven/Rachel Roth and the alien princess Starfire.

Asked for a status report on the project, Reilly told TVLine at TNT’s Upfronts luncheon, “Akiva’s been very busy doing some other things,” but it’s his hope that “maybe this summer” they will lock casting and ramp up production.

After all, the small screen hardly has been lacking for comic books-based fare. So there is a concerted effort for TNT to take its time and make this series unique.

“I sat down with Akiva and said — and he ultimately agreed — that the [TV] landscape right now is well-serviced on the superhero front. So what space is this going to inhabit?” Reilly related. “And really what he wants to do is be very true” to the source material.

Written by Tom Kapinos (“Californication”) and directed by Len Wiseman (“Underworld”), the pilot stars Tom Ellis (“Once Upon a Time,” “Doctor Who”) as the Lord of Hell who, bored and unhappy, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for Los Angeles. There, he gets his kicks helping the police punish criminals.

I hope he doesn’t assist the cops in brutalizing racial minorities like many of them do in the real world.

Ellis is joined by Lauren German as Det. Chloe Dancer, Rachael Harris as Kim Martin, DB Woodside as Amenadiel, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Maze, Nicholas Gonzalez as Dan and Scarlett Estevez as Trixie.

Here’s the trailer:

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Suicide Squad director David Ayer recently Tweeted an image of the cast of the upcoming movie, minus Jared Leto as the Joker and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.

For those that aren’t familiar with this DC property, the basic idea is that a government agency (Task Force X) offers freedom to supervillains in exchange for performing dangerous missions for them. Mark your calendars for August 5, 2016 for the release of Suicide Squad.

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Spinning out of Arrow and the Flash comes Legends of Tomorrow, set to debut on the CW as part of their fall 2015 mid-season lineup. Here’s the synopsis for the 13-episode series:

When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat — one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known? DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW stars Victor Garber (“The Flash,” “Alias”); Brandon Routh (“Arrow,” “Superman Returns”); Arthur Darvill (“Doctor Who”); Caity Lotz (“Arrow”); Ciarra Renee (“Pippin”); Franz Drameh (“Edge of Tomorrow”); with Dominic Purcell (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”); and Wentworth Miller (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”). Based on the characters from DC Comics, DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” upcoming “Pan”), Marc Guggenheim (“Arrow,” “Eli Stone,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”), Andrew Kreisberg (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Eli Stone,” “Warehouse 13”) and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” upcoming “Pan”).

And here’s a first-look trailer (they haven’t filmed the pilot episode yet):

Oh, and that immortal threat they’ll be battling? This guy:

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Over at Marvel, or to be more accurate, FOX Studios, we have confirmation of an X-Men spinoff movie, the New Mutants:

20th Century Fox‘s “X-Men” film franchise is expanding — Josh Boone is signed to direct and co-write “The New Mutants,” sharing a title with the Marvel comic that first debuted in 1982.

“We’re so excited to explore this new part of the X-Men universe, and so excited to do it with Josh, who is uniquely suited to tell this story about young characters,” X-Men franchise veteran and “New Mutants” producer Simon Kinberg tells Deadline.

Boone, director of massive 2014 hit “The Fault in Our Stars,” is set to co-write with Knate Gwaltney, who wrote upcoming thriller “Kidnap” (starring X-Men franchise vet Halle Berry) and worked on several “Jackass” productions. Kinberg will produce with Lauren Shuler Donner, who has worked on all of Fox’s X-Men films.

“The New Mutants” looks to be a couple years away, as Boone has been linked to “The Vampire Chronicles” (based on the work of Anne Rice) and “The Stand” (an adaptation of the Stephen King novel). Deadline states he’d been targeted by Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios for the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, though he wasn’t on the reported shortlist of choices that surfaced last week.

No details have yet been released as to which New Mutants the film will feature, though Deadline describes the film as starring “a new crop of mutant characters born with special powers.” The original New Mutants team, introduced by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeodin 1982’s “Marvel Graphic Novel” #4, consisted of Cannonball, Karma, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Sunspot and Wolfsbane; new, teenaged students at Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

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Via Bleeding Cool, here’s an extended trailer for Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man, to be released on July 17:

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Last up is sad but predictable news. Following the release of the untitled Wolverine 3 in 2017, Hugh Jackman says he’s done playing the iconic character:

Oddly enough, the actor who once starred in “The Boy from Oz” on Broadway dropped the news he won’t be reprising his role as the Marvel superhero in future films after the 2017 movie during an appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” Friday.

“This will be my last one,” the 46-year-old actor said. “It is my last time, I just felt … It felt like it was the right time to do it. And, let’s be honest, 17 years. I never thought in a million years it would last this long. I’m so grateful to the fans and for the opportunity of playing him, and I love it. I kind of have, in my head, what we’re going to do in this last one, and it just feels like this is the perfect way to go out.”

To date, Jackman has played Wolverine in all films constituting the “X-Men” franchise, including two movies that focused only on the titular character with a metal skeleton, razor-sharp claws and a healing factor. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jackman is expected to reprise his role first in “Apocalypse” and then in the third “Wolverine” flick, giving him a total of nine turns as the gruff Canadian since his 2000 debut.

I wonder how FOX Studios will handle this going forward. Given the popularity of Wolverine and the association of Jackman with the character, finding a replacement might be as difficult as replacing Heath Ledger as the Joker (we’ll see how Jared Leto does).

Comic book news from the big screen to the small screen

Comics, from the big-screen to the small-screen

“Look. Up in the sky.”

“It’s a bird.”

“No. It’s a plane.”

“No. It’s…

Melissa Benoist!”

Once she was one of the female leads on the FOX show Glee. Now, thanks to a recent deal with CBS, Melissa Benoist’s career is looking up, up, and away (yes, I’m aware that I’m stretching said catchphrase darn near the breaking point…sue me), as the actress has been cast in the lead role for the Supergirl pilot:

Based on the characters from DC Comics, the project, from Warner Bros. TV and studio-based Berlanti Prods., centers on Kara Zor-El (Benoist). Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin, Superman. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.

Written by Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler, the project went through an extensive casting process, with several young actresses testing for the lead. Benoist had been consistently in the mix, first alongside Claire Holt and more recently considered along with Elizabeth Lail.

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In yet another Shoop-approved example of racebending, Mehcad Brooks has been cast as Jimmy Olsen in CBS’ in-development Supergirl series.  Like the racebending of Iris West in the CW’s The Flash (in the comics she was white), Olsen will be the love interest for the title character, though it’s unknown if he’ll be pursuing Supergirl in her superhero identity or in her secret identity.

It looks like the new TV Olsen will retain the character’s status as a photographer — here’s the description from Variety: “Jimmy, based on the DC Comics character, is an attractive photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara Zor-El works, as an assistant to Cat Grant, (yet to be casted). Recently, Jimmy has been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.”

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Jimmy Olsen is one of the most iconic and enduring supporting characters in comic books, and has been a part of other media adaptations of the Superman mythos from the beginning — the character was introduced in the radio show “The Adventures of Superman” in 1940, and debuted in comics a year later. Jimmy Olsen has been portrayed numerous times in film, television and animation, and has headlined his own comic on multiple occasions, most famously the “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen” series that ran from 1954 to 1974.

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Wave bye bye to Halle Berry, James Marsden, and Famke Janssen as Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey in FOX’s popular X-Men franchise.  Say hello to Alexandra Shipp:

Shipp will play the weather manipulating mutant Storm.

Tye Sheridan

Sheridan is set to play the optic blast wielding field leader of the X-Men, Cyclops.

and Sophie Turner!

Turner will play Jean Grey, an Omega-level mutant with powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities.

The three new actors are set to star in the next installment of the popular franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse. Due in 2016, the movie also stars Oscar Isaac as the main villain, Apocalypse (somehow, I don’t think he’s going to look like this).

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Going back to the source material, director of ‘The Crow’ remake plans a brutal and emotional film

“It’s still early days on that, but what I can say for now is that I’m a huge, huge fan of both the first film and James O’Barr’s graphic novel,” Hardy said. “I was obsessed with The Crowwhen I was growing up. When I heard about the remake, what I thought could be very interesting today, 20 years later, especially with this whole Marvel Universe that’s happened, is that the Crow always stood as an outsider to me. I kind of felt he would be the right character for me if I got the chance to do it. And now that I have gotten the chance to do it, I’m very much going back to the graphic novel, particularly looking into the illustrations themselves as much as the story, and picking out all those beautiful ideas and details that haven’t really been used yet.”

Hardy also intends to create a tone with the film that reflects the original movie and comic as well as the current comic-based movie marketplace.

“I also want to open the story up in such a way that the Crow is now part of a world where there are the Marvel movies and the Dark Knight movies,” the director said. “I intend it to be incredibly emotional and brutal, and all the things you’d want from a Crow film. I want to make a movie that I would have wanted to see, as a huge fan of The Crow.”

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FOX wants a small-screen X-Men series

EXCLUSIVE: Earlier this month, Fox entertainment chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that they were hoping to revive The X-Files and 24. Now, for the first time, the network is also confirming that it’s kicking another popular franchise to bring to primetime: X-Men.

Newman tells us that negotiations are under way to develop an X-Men series, inspired by the comic book series first published in 1963 and subsequent mega-hit film franchise (which has included seven movies, starting with X-Men in 2000.)

But here’s the slight complication: While sister production company 20th Century Fox controls the film rights to the X-Men characters, the comic itself is owned by Marvel, which is based at rival Disney. A live-action TV series requires Marvel’s blessing – and that has led to some delicate talks.

“It’s in negotiations,” Newman confirms. “We’re cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with them. That will not be on a fast track creatively. This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative.”

Because they’re focusing on deal points first, there’s no writer and no firm concept yet (although there’s been online speculation that it might revolve around the X-Men spinoff comic series X-Factor.) Because it will take time to develop, Newman doesn’t think a show would be ready before the 2016-2017 TV season.

Any deal for 20th Century Fox TV to wade into the Marvel waters will require deft negotiating because Marvel is busy ramping up its own TV presence, starting with ABC’s current seriesAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter. Next up, Marvel is producing the four Netflix seriesDaredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, plus the miniseries The Defenders.

But talk of a potential X-Men series has been swirling for some time. Simon Kinberg, who wrote the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, told Collider last April that he thought an X-Men TV franchise was inevitable: “We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now withDaredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV.”

Last fall the website Bleeding Cool revealed that the X-Men development was real. But this is the first time Fox has confirmed that it is pursuing a deal for the show, and that indeed it would be for its own network.

This would actually mark a return of the X-Men to Fox: The network’s now-defunct Fox Kids block aired an animated X-Men series from 1992 to 1997.

20th Century Fox first acquired the film rights to the X-Men franchise in 1994; the studio also holds the rights to Marvel’s Fantastic Four. Other studios with rights to Marvel properties include Sony, which remains the home to Spider-Man. But under Disney, Marvel has been reacquiring film rights to many of its characters, including Daredevil, which was previously at 20th.

It’s no surprise that Fox would be interested in bringing the X-Men to television. The network has found success this season with Gotham, a Batman origins series from DC Comics and Warner Bros. TV. As programmers contend with more competition, pre-sold titles are seen as having a marketing leg up. And there’s no question audiences love the X-Men: According to Box OfficeMojo, the seven X-Men movies have collectively grossed over $1 billion in theaters. Contributing to that draw has been Hugh Jackman, who stars in most of the films as Wolverine (a.k.a. James “Logan” Howlett).

Comics, from the big-screen to the small-screen

YouTube fan creates awesome trailers for movies that will never happen

YouTube user and comic book fan Alex Luthor has a penchant for creating unique movie trailers. Through a melding of movies, television shows, video games, and even unseen TV pilots, Luthor has created trailers for comic book movies that will probably never be produced by Warner Bros. or Marvel Studios. Still, that makes me appreciate the effort he took to create believable trailers like the following:

Marvel vs DC

Avengers vs the X-Men

and his most recent video, which pits the heroes of the Marvel and DC universes against a powerful force:

YouTube fan creates awesome trailers for movies that will never happen

Casting Psylocke: Jamie Cheung


Jamie Cheung wants to play Psylocke on the big screen. Who’s Psylocke, you might say? Her ↓

People may be more familiar with Psylocke in this costume (by artist Jerome Opeña):

The telepathic/telekinetic ninja known as Psylocke (aka Elizabeth Betsy Braddock) is a long time member of the Uncanny X-Men. She is also a character with a long, convoluted, and racist history which you can read about here (a writer should not just change the race of a character without at least acknowledging the new set of hardships and difficulties they would face. White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Aboriginal…the individual identities forged by people are informed by their race. The privilege accorded to a white woman would not be granted to an Asian woman, and to not acknowledge this is to sweep the issue under the rug as if other races experience life in the same way as white people. They don’t. There are also class-based issues surrounding her character given that she had an upper class upbringing). 

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Cheung discusses her role in the upcoming movie Big Hero 6, and her love of the X-Man Psylocke:

Now, we talked about Disney love. Did you have a special affinity for anything Marvel?

Oh, I mean come on! As a kid, Marvel Comics was the only thing that I collected with my sister. We loved it so much that we — in terms of taking care of the comic books, we never wanted to read them, we just kept them in their plastic sleeves. If we wanted to read one special one… Remember when Superman died, they sold — well, that’s DC, I know! — but in terms of comic books, whenever they were sealed from the manufacturer, we would buy two, one to read and one to keep in the sleeve. But growing up, “X-Men” was my favorite Marvel property. It was Wolverine and Cyclops. I’ve always wanted to play a Jubilee or a Storm or a Jean Grey, the Phoenix series was amazing, and I was so intrigued with Mystique. But ultimately I thought the coolest character was Psylocke. I really wanted to be Psylocke.

And there’s not really been a definitive film version of Psylocke.

No. Hopefully they’ll bring her into something. But I think the fans — I kind of put it out in the universe, and the fans, some are like, “Oh my God, that would be amazing.” And the other fans are like, “No, that’s so wrong casting. She needs to be British. She needs to be this and that!” And so I just put it out there for fun.

Based on appearance, I can completely see Cheung playing Psylocke (and if it ever comes to pass, I hope they tweak her origin to eliminate her white, English roots, or barring that, they address the change in ethnicity in a respectable manner).

This is one of my favorite quotes from her, one which encapsulates much of her character:

I tell myself that if I do it… If I do take lives in the course of doing what’s right… Then at least it means other people won’t have to. Like I’m… Like I’m saving innocent souls. But that’s a lie. That’s lazy guilt-dodging bollocks. The truth is this: I rejoined X-Force because I couldn’t bear to stay away. My name is Elizabeth Braddock, and I’m an addict.

Casting Psylocke: Jamie Cheung

Stunning Storm

Lately, I’ve been wandering through the archives of various comics creators like  Jamie McKelvie, Dustin Weaver, and Kieron Gillen.  Earlier today I came across a lovely image of Ororo Munroe, aka Storm.

(source:  8bitmonkey, via kierongillen)

Of all the various styles Ororo has kept her hair in, this is my favorite.  I’d love to see the rest of her outfit.

Here’s an image of Storm by artist Dustin Weaver:


Finally, here is a great pic of Storm by artist Mike Maihack:

Stunning Storm

Lovable Logan

The ole’ Canucklehead

(source: mtakara, via wheelr)

I’ve never found Logan to be the kind of character I think of as good looking, but if there were a human being whom this image was based on?  DAYUM!

(No, I’m not talking about Hugh Jackman. I know he has his legions of fans and I think he makes the perfect Wolverine.  I’m just not attracted to him.)


(source:  meteorite8)

This image looks like Wolverine has just escaped from the Weapon X facility where the Adamantium was bonded to his skeleton (although I think he was naked in the Barry Windsor Smith story that documented those events)


(source: humbuged)

Logan as cheesecake.  Nice.


Lovable Logan

The X-Women by Kevin Wada

What an uncanny, amazing, extreme image!

Kevin Wada:

When the new X-men lineup was announced I, of course, thought it was amazing and refreshing and about damn time.  It wasn’t until a friend of mine brought the new team up again that the idea for another X-fashion developed.  It really was a “duh” moment for me – they’re ripe for a fashion piece, and not just because they’re women but because they are some of THE biggest female names of the X-men.  So I went for it.  Wanted something a little more dynamic than X-fashions of the past.  My main thought going in was more pants, less dresses and frippery.  Of course there’s still bling and heels – you can’t take away all the fun – but I wanted fashion that was a bit more street, more real, a little more badass.

Rachel is grunge.  Love her jacket, not so happy with her shirt.

Psylocke is NYC fashionista tomboy.  Dip dyed hair (so trendy) and a butterfly print blouse.

I’m really happy with Kitty’s dragon t-shirt and bad ass heels.  Had to get a shoe in there somewhere, people.

Storm is my 80s executive realness.  Her earring is fashioned after the one Willi Ninja bought (he has the receipt) in Paris is Burning.

My southern belle is in a loud print and hose – she’s the only one in a dress.  I wanted her in printed leggings but she was already such a patterned mess I decided against it.

And Jubes is just all over the place.  Bikini and hot pants and a bedazzled jacket.

The original will be going up in the store as soon as tomorrow.  Prints as well – in TWO sizes 🙂  Hope you guys like it, let me know what you think!


(Source: kevinwada,  via Wheelr)

The X-Women by Kevin Wada