Saturday, March 29, 2014

Avengers Villain Blackout Coming to AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

Score another one for The Masters of Evil.

Earlier today, Marvel announced that The Black Donnellys and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 actor Patrick Brennan will be playing Marcus Daniels, better known as the Avengers villain Blackout, in the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Providence" and a larger role in the untitled nineteeth episode.

Originally created by Marv Wolfman and Carmine Infantino in 1978's Nova #19, Blackout attained greater status as a member of Baron Zemo's supervillain group, The Masters of Evil.  Exposed to cosmic radiation, Daniels gained the power to access the Darkforce, a source of unlimited dark energy, and manipulate it for various purposes.

Blackout will be the second villain from The Masters of Evil to appear on the TV series, after Blizzard, so make of that what you will. 

According to Brennan, the producers' explained the character as "This guy, Marcus Daniels, a.k.a. Blackout, was shrouded in darkness, his soul, everything about him was shrouded in darkness until he comes across this cello player.  And the music was the only light that came into his soul, and it gave him hope and it gave him some sense of what light was.  I thought to myself, oh my god, you don’t even need to explain anything else.  Because music, to me, is what gets me through most of the time.  My kids, my wife, and music.  That aspect of it totally intrigued me. I  thought that was quite beautiful and very interesting, that aspect of the character."

Brennan also commented on his favorite moment from filming the episode, saying, "We shot the first scene of the show last, on my last night.  It was Marcus stepping off of a boat, when you first see him, and literally the boats in the harbor went off.  As he walked down the harbor, the lights went off.  It was like a kid in the candy store.  They made me this incredible coat, it was a trenchcoat with a collar sticking up, that as soon as I put it on I felt like a villain.  The costume was great.  The people who did this jacket made it special.  I tried to steal it but it didn’t work out.  That last night was exciting [but] the whole thing was great, I couldn’t pick one [moment].  I really couldn’t."

Also appearing in the episode after "Providence" is Joss Whedon favorite Amy Acker, who will be playing Audrey, the cellist Brennan referred to above.  Audrey, it seems, is the cellist Clark Gregg's character Phil Coulson mentioned in The Avengers as the love of his life.  TV Guide revealed that Audrey "believes Coulson to be dead and has no idea that he's guarding her from a distance as a super-powered threat from her past re-emerges."

"Providence" is scheduled to air on April 15th, with the Audrey episode following on April 22nd.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Warner Bros. & DC Announce Batman 75th Anniversary Plans

2014 should be a good year for Batfans.

Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment have announced their plans for Batman's 75th anniversary.  As many of you already know, the DC Comics character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, making his first appearance in Detective Comics (vol.1) #27 in May 1939.

The officially official press release is below, revealing some interesting items such as "Batman Day" on July 23rd, a 25th Anniversary Edition release of Tim Burton's 1989 film Batman, and two all-new Batman animated shorts based on the fondly remembered Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond.

A Super Hero For Every Generation
Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment Celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary
New Batman 75th Commemorative Logo Unveiled

To mark the milestone 75th anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman, Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment have revealed plans for a year-long celebration befitting the world’s most popular Super Hero. Highlights of the anniversary program, which starts today, include a new commemorative 75th anniversary Batman logo and an exclusive “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit, featuring 20 contemporary artists’ interpretation of The Dark Knight’s iconic cowl headpiece and cape from the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight videogame. There will also be 75th anniversary-related activities across all of Warner Bros. Entertainment throughout the year.

First appearing in the comic book Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands on March 30, 1939, featuring artwork by Bob Kane and a script by Bill Finger, Batman emerged from the shadows to become the world’s most popular Super Hero and dominate all media. In feature films, TV shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, this most human of Super Heroes has battled some of fiction’s greatest villains using his intellect, cunning and an arsenal of gadgets to further his quest for justice.

“Batman is an incredibly important property with multi-generational appeal across all of the Studio’s businesses, and we’re proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “From billion-dollar blockbuster films to TV, home entertainment, video games and consumer products, The Dark Knight continues to resonate with audiences worldwide and rightfully deserves his place as a global pop culture icon for the ages.”

Batman is the single most successful Super Hero film franchise in history and there have been more theatrical movies released based on Batman than any other comic book character. In video games, the Batman Arkham franchise is also the most successful Super Hero game concept ever. Batman consistently breaks records in every incarnation of his character and remains the gold standard by which all other comic book sales are measured.

“Batman is one of the greatest characters ever created, in comics or elsewhere, and even after 75 years he continues to wildly fascinate fans. He is an integral part of pop culture and has successfully captured the imagination of the entire world,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and President & Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “The origin of Batman, Bruce Wayne and the famous citizens of Gotham are legendary and likely a story you know inside out, even if you’ve never picked up a comic book in your life, and that speaks volumes to the character’s immense popularity and the constructs of the original mythology.”

The first published adventure of The Bat-Man (as he was then known) was in the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27, conceived of and drawn by a 22-year-old Kane with his frequent collaborator, Bill Finger, scripting the story. The character was so successful, that one year later the first comic book devoted exclusively to the Caped Crusader’s adventures, Batman #1, hit newsstands. In that issue, Batman battled The Joker and Catwoman for the first time.

Now, DC Entertainment and the Studio’s various divisions, including Pictures, Television, Animation, Interactive Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Consumer Products, will mark this extraordinary 75th anniversary with a range of highly anticipated events and products.

The new commemorative logo, also released today across social media and websites, takes its cue from the famed Bat symbol, and features block-style lettering of “75 Years.” The mark will be rolled out on Batman-related promotions, products and initiatives.
Key activities planned for the Batman 75th anniversary celebration include:
  • DC Entertainment – DC Entertainment has an action-packed year filled with new Batman titles, commemorative issues and variant covers, including the recently released special edition of Detective Comics #27 commemorating Batman’s first appearance in the book in 1939, the new weekly series Batman Eternal launching April 9, and upcoming exclusive Batman variant covers planned for San Diego Comic-Con International in July.
  • Batman Day – DC Entertainment is also partnering with thousands of comic retailers, book stores and libraries for “Batman Day” on Wednesday, July 23. Each location will host a Batman 75th anniversary celebration and offer fans a free, special edition Batman comic.
  • Interactive Entertainment – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has invited celebrated fashion designer Asher Levine to create a cape and cowl based on the Batsuit of the recently announced Batman: Arkham Knight videogame developed by Rocksteady Studios. Favorite contemporary artists will have the opportunity to use the replicas as a blank canvas to produce their own, original interpretations of Batman’s iconic attire for an all new “Cape/Cowl/Create” art exhibit that will be showcased at San Diego Comic-Con International in July.
  • Home Entertainment – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will bring fans an array of new Batman titles throughout the year, including the highly anticipated release of the Batman ’66 TV series for the first time ever. Other new releases include animated films Son of Batman (May 6) and Assault on Arkham (summer 2014). Additionally, a 25th Anniversary Edition of Tim Burton’s Batman feature film will be released in the fall.
  • Animation – Warner Bros. Animation has created two all-new Batman animated shorts set for debut in April, with fan-favorite producers Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) and Darwyn Cooke (Batman Beyond) each presenting a unique and familiar take on the Batman animated universe. In addition, Timm will participate in a Batman 75th all-star panel at WonderCon in Anaheim on Saturday, April 19, which will also feature an exclusive premiere of Cooke’s animated short based upon Batman Beyond.
  • Television –Warner Bros. Television is in production on the pilot episode of the highly anticipated Gotham, a new one-hour drama for FOX which explores the origin stories of eventual police commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham City famous. In Gotham, Detective Gordon (Ben McKenzie – Southland) will encounter a familiar cast of characters – including a young Bruce Wayne – as he fights to keep the city safe. Executive producer Bruce Heller (The Mentalist, Rome) wrote the pilot, which is being directed by executive producer Danny Cannon (CSI series, Nikita)
  • Pictures – As Batman’s 75th anniversary is celebrated in 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures will begin production of Zack Snyder’s untitled Superman/Batman film starring Henry Cavill, who reprises his role as Superman/Clark Kent, and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film, slated for release summer 2016, will bring the two most iconic Super Heroes of all time together for the first time on the big screen.
  • Consumer Products – Warner Bros. Consumer Products has partnered with an array of licensees to celebrate Batman’s 75th Anniversary through special edition and limited-release products. From the classic 1960s TV series to modern day comics, Batman’s presence will be larger than ever in celebration of his legacy through everything from toys to t-shirts.
  • DCComics.com – For the latest information and exclusive content celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary, visit www.Batman75.com. The dedicated section on DC Comics’ website launches today with the Batman 75 Sweepstakes which offers one lucky fan a one-of-a-kind prize package.

Monday, March 24, 2014

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Filming Reveals Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch

At least this Quicksilver doesn't look embarrassing.

According to MTV News, first unit production on Joss Whedon's Avengers sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron began over the weekend in northwestern Italy, which is filling in for eastern Europe.  Photos taken from one of the scenes filmed revealed that Jeremy Renner's character Hawkeye encounters Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his twin sister the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), facing off against the movie's Big Bad himself (itself?), Ultron.

Concept art for Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch debuted last week during ABC's TV special Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe, but MTV News and Just Jared offered our first good looks from actual filming.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff
Mercifully better than Evan Peters' disco version of Quicksilver in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Not sure about the slight mustache and beard, but the outfit looks practical to run around in.

Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff
There seems to be some attempt at a punkish gypsy thing here instead of something resembling a scarlet and pink costume.  I miss Wanda's traditional headpiece, but at least she's a redhead.

Ultron stand-in

I'm guessing there's way more to Ultron's final look than this, presumably extensive CGI unless Ultron thinks puffy black ski jackets are all the rage in Europe right now.  At least this gives the actors something more to act off of than a tennis ball dangling from a string.

You can check out more pics at the links above, but The Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Friday, March 21, 2014

First Look at GOTHAM's Bruce Wayne & Selina Kyle

Earlier this week, we received our first look at Jim Gordon, Harvey Bullock and The Penguin from the upcoming Fox series Gotham and now we have a few more.  Thanks to the official Gotham Twitter account, ComingSoon and others, here are more pictures from the filming of the series' first episode...

The future Batman, Bruce Wayne

The full official promo pic of Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle
I see someone at Fox decided to be clever by making Gotham skyscrapers look like cat ears.  And apparently, searchlights were big in Gotham City way before the Bat Signal.

Bruce with his parents Thomas (Grayson McCouch) and Martha (Brette Taylor)

Yes, McCouch's first name is Grayson.  Dude must've had the inside track during casting.

And here's Bruce with Thomas and Martha again, in a rather important Batman moment

If you think this picture deserves a SPOILER WARNING, congratulations, somehow you've managed to become the only person on Earth who doesn't know that Batman's parents are killed.

More pictures can be found using the links above.  And presumably, Gotham will air later this fall on Fox.

German Engineers Develop Real Doctor Octopus Arms

The Germans have robotic tentacle technology.  Yeah, this will end well...

Longtime Spider-Man fans know that one of the Marvel Comics character's most dangerous enemies is one Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius, a.k.a. Doctor Octopus, a mad scientist with four powerful mechanical appendages fused to his spine after an accidental raditional leak resulted in an explosion.  Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol.1) #3 in 1963, Doc Ock quickly became a popular supervillain for Marvel and was portrayed later on by Alfred Molina in the 2004 film Spider-Man 2.

According to an article from New Scientist, German engineering firm Festo has developed actual real-life versions of Doc Ock's robotic tentacle arms.  Of course, the arm is described as a "bionic elephant trunk" instead, but the principle's the same.  The device was created to allow expanded dexterity and range of movement to industrial robots and was formed of 3D-printed segments that can be controlled by an array of pneumatic artificial muscles.

"They used a process called 'goal babbling'," stated the article, "thought to mimic the way a baby learns to grab things by continually reaching – a process of trial and error that lets them work out which muscles they need to move.  Similarly, the robot remembers what happens to the trunk's position when tiny changes are made to the pressure in the thin pneumatic tubes feeding the artificial muscles.  This creates a map that relates the trunk's precise position to the pressures in each tube."

It seems the bionic tentacle trunk "can now be trained to repeat actions and pluck anything from light bulbs to hazelnuts."  I'm guessing carrying large sacks of money with dollar signs on them out of opened bank vault doors is somewhere in the ballpark as well.

And the mind boggles at the thought of what Japanese tentacle porn fetishists will think of this.

Here's a YouTube from New Scientist showing Doc Ock's arms the bionic elephant trunk in action...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

POWERS TV Series Gets Extra Life on Sony PlayStation

Looks like that long-awaited Powers TV series is about to 1-up.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Powers, based on the Image/Marvel Icon comic book series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, has received a straight to series order from Sony Pictures Television for the PlayStation video game console.

Debuting in 2000, Powers is a police procedural series set in a world of superpowered heroes and villains, following the lives of detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim.  The two investigate crimes involving those with superhuman abilities, referred to in the fictional word as "powers."  The comic book series had three volumes totaling 78 issues before being recently relaunched as Powers: Bureau.

The television series has been in active development since 2011, first at FX, where a pilot was filmed based on a script by Charles H. Eglee.  The cast consisted of the following:

Jason Patric as Christian Walker
Lucy Punch as Deena Pilgrim
Charles S. Dutton as Captain Cross
Carly Foulkes as Retro Girl
Bailee Madison as Calista
Alona Tal as Zora
Titus Welliver as Triphammer
Vinnie Jones as Johnny Royale
Khary Payton as Detective Kutter

More scripts were ordered, but the network wanted to reshoot and recast after seeing the pilot.  By April of 2012, all of the actors had been released from their contracts while writing continued.  In 2013, it was revealed that the show had taken a new direction with a new writer.

According to the article, Sony will recast the entire project with writer Charlie Huston replacing Eglee.  Circle of Confusion will return to executive produce alongside co-creators Bendis and Oeming.  Michael Dinner will remain as an executive producer and director.  Huston and Falling Skies' Remi Aubuchon will executive produce, with Bendis and Huston set as showrunners

The series will be a one-hour superhero drama consisting of ten episodes and is PlayStation's first original scripted drama series.  The digital streaming field is rapidly growing, with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon now producing original series and Microsoft's Xbox developing the video game Halo as its first drama.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

GHOSTBUSTERS 3 to Film in 2015 Without Ivan Reitman

Who you gonna call?  Not Ivan Reitman, it seems.

Last night, Deadline reported that Sony Pictures is looking at early 2015 for production to begin in New York on the long, long, long-awaited Ghostbusters 3.  However, following the recent death of Harold Ramis, writer and co-star of the previous Ghostbusters movies as Dr. Egon Spengler, Reitman has decided that he won't return to direct the third installment and will only serve as a producer.

"There has been all kinds of stuff, unofficially written about Ghostbusters," said Reitman.  "I’ve been reading things online for about four years, speculation on who’s writing, what they’re writing, who’s in it, who we will use, and who’s directing.  We’d decided not to comment up till now.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, and it was never clear what Bill [Murray] was going to do.  A lot of things happened in the last few months, the most significant of which was the passing of Harold, who was a very good friend who was extraordinarily influential in my career.  We did five movies together including both Ghostbusters."

Reitman commented on the various attempts to persuade Bill Murray to reprise his role of Dr. Peter Venkman, which involved two scripts.  "The first was done by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and me, Harold and Dan [Aykroyd] helped them on it," remarked Reitman.  "It was a really good script, but then it became clear that Bill really didn’t want to do another Ghostbusters and that it was literally impossible to find him to speak to for the year or two we tried to get it going.  When Bill finally…well, he never actually said no, but he never said yes, so there was no way to make that film.  We decided to start over again, and I started working with Etan Cohen, with Dan lending a helping hand.  Harold got sick about three years ago, and we kept hoping he would get better.  I kept pushing forward on the Etan Cohen and we now have a draft that is very good, that the studio is very excited about."

Reitman added, "It’s a version of Ghostbusters that has the originals in a very minor role.  When I came back from Harold’s funeral, it was really moving and it made me think about a lot of things.  I’d just finished directing Draft Day, which I’m really happy with and proud of.  Working on a film that is smaller and more dramatic was so much fun and satisfying.  I just finally met with Amy [Pascal] and Doug Belgrad when I got back.  I said I’d been thinking about it for weeks, that I’d rather just produce this Ghostbusters.  I told them I thought I could help but let’s find a really good director and make it with him.  So that’s what we’ve agreed will happen.  I didn’t want all kinds of speculation about what happened with me, that is the real story."

The producers are working on a short list of directors they'll approach, then they will focus on deciding the new cast.  "I’m not going to say how many Ghostbusters there will be in the new cast," said Reitman, "but we are determined to retain the spirit of the original film, and I am pleased that all of this seems to have happened organically.  I’m hoping we can get started by the fall, set in New York, but given the logistics and the stuff that happens, the beginning of 2015 seems more likely."

Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal confirmed Reitman's decision to not direct.  "We totally understood," she said.  "He was thinking he might feel that way when Harold died, and then came back to us and confirmed it, that while he was excited to return and make the movie as producer, but did not feel he wanted to direct the movie.  We are delighted to work with Ivan on this movie in that capacity.  We love him, and he’s going to continue to play an important role.  We’re very anxious to get the movie started."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First Look at GOTHAM's Jim Gordon, Penguin & Bullock

You didn't think Gotham City was going to be forgotten, did you?

Days after the first photos debuted from the CW pilot The Flash and NBC pilot Constantine, we have our first looks at Gotham's James Gordon, Harvey Bullock and The Penguin.  Thanks to Comic Book Resources, among other sites, here are a few notable pictures from the filming of the first episode...

James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) with Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue)
Note that Gordon is missing his traditional glasses and mustache (so far), but Harvey has his traditional hat.

Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor)
A more normal-looking version of the character, especially compared to the Danny DeVito version.  Bow ties are cool.

Another picture of The Penguin, who is reading an edition of the Gotham Gazette with the headline "Hero Cops Slay Wayne Killer."  There are also smaller subheadlines that say "Wayne Found Sunday," "Double Murder Charity Auction" and "Fire Erupts in Gotham Boat Yard."

And last week, the show's official Fox website opened with an official synopsis for the upcoming fall series...

Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world's greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon's story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world's most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?

GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop's rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Growing up in Gotham City's surrounding suburbs, JAMES GORDON (Ben McKenzie, “Southland,” “The O.C.”) romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiancĂ©e, BARBARA KEAN (Erin Richards, “Open Grave,” “Breaking In”), Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.

Brave, honest and ready to prove himself, the newly-minted detective is partnered with the brash, but shrewd police legend HARVEY BULLOCK (Donal Logue, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”), as the two stumble upon the city's highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes' hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, BRUCE (David Mazouz, “Touch”), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy's profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer.

As he navigates the often-underhanded politics of Gotham's criminal justice system, Gordon will confront imposing gang boss FISH MOONEY (Jada Pinkett Smith, “The Matrix” films, “HawthoRNe,” “Collateral”), and many of the characters who will become some of fiction's most renowned, enduring villains, including a teenaged SELINA KYLE/the future CATWOMAN (acting newcomer Camren Bicondova) and OSWALD COBBLEPOT/THE PENGUIN (Robin Lord Taylor, “The Walking Dead,” “Another Earth”).

Although the crime drama will follow Gordon's turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain SARAH ESSEN (Zabryna Guevara, “Burn Notice”), it also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, ALFRED (Sean Pertwee, “Camelot,” “Elementary”). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he's destined to be.

GOTHAM is based upon characters published by DC Comics and is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”) wrote the pilot, which will be directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Danny Cannon (the “CSI” series, “Nikita”).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kevin Feige Downplays BLACK WIDOW Movie, Teases CAPTAIN MARVEL

Still waiting for Black Widow to get a solo movie?  Keep waiting.

For those of you keeping track, it's been four years since Scarlett Johansson debuted as Marvel Comics' Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and we're apparently no closer to getting a Black Widow movie than we were in September 2010.  The character was important enough to be included in the first Avengers film in 2012 and this year's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, not to mention the Avengers sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, but it seems even four high-profile movies can't get a spy film made these days.


At the end of last week, Devin Faraci's Badass Digest spoke with Kevin Feige, President of Production at Marvel Studios, during a press junket for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and asked him when other Marvel heroes besides white males would become leads themselves.  "I think [Black Widow] has a central leading role in this movie," replied Feige.  "What people are really saying is 'When are you doing a standalone female superhero movie?'  The answer is, I don’t know.  We only do two a year, we know more or less what’s coming up through ‘16/’17.  With Widow, what’s great is the interaction with all the team members, and the question is whether we want to pluck her out of that.  I’m very proud of the way the Marvel movies handle the female characters who are in all the movies we are making, as opposed to feeling the pressure of 'When are you doing a female movie?'  We’re exploring a lot of Widow, and that’s going to continue with Age of Ultron in a big way."

And let's remember that Guardians of the Galaxy, which includes a sentient tree creature and a talking raccoon, is coming to theaters later this year and that household name Ant-Man arrives after Age of Ultron in 2015You know, instead of a Black Widow movie.

But hey, according to Feige, there's already plenty of Black Widow as it is.  "Frankly if we do a Black Widow movie after Age of Ultron, when she’s been central in three or four movies I don’t think we’d get the quote unquote credit for it.  People would say 'She’s already a big giant superhero!'  But if we had a great idea, we’d do it."

The 24th official James Bond movie is currently in pre-production.  The 1st Natasha Romanova movie?  Not so much.

So, if there was going to be a female Marvel superhero movie, what would Feige like to see?  "I like the idea if we’re going to do a [female lead] do a new one," said Feige.  "Do a wholly new character, do an origin story."

Badass Digest suggested the current Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, and Feige replied, "We’ve talked a lot about [Captain Marvel].  I think that would be very cool."  Unfortunately, Black Widow has received those very same kind of noncommittal, "we've talked about it" remarks since 2010, so take that for what you will.

However, Faraci offers up a nugget of hope by stating that "my sources tell me that we will see an iteration of Captain Marvel onscreen by 2016 - either at the end of Phase Two or the beginning of Phase Three - in another Marvel movie."  Faraci suggests there could be a Captain Marvel solo movie sometime around 2017 or 2018.

Until then, all we can do is just wait and see what happens.  Maybe Black Widow can put in an Ant-Man appearance?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

First CONSTANTINE Promo Pic of Matt Ryan as John Constantine

In the immortal words of former John Constantine Keanu Reeves...Whoa.

DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has released the first official promotional pic from the NBC pilot Constantine on Twitter, showing star Matt Ryan full garbed as his character John Constantine.  The look is considerably more faithful to the character than Keanu Reeves' film version, right down to the matching trenchcoat and blond hair.

The release follows after a picture of the Constantine production crew, along with Ryan wearing his Constantine costume, hit the interwebz last night.  The crew and Ryan showed their support for "Slates for Sarah," a campaign paying tribute to Sarah Jones, who was killed by a train while on a film set.

Speaking with I Am Rogue last week, writer and executive producer David Goyer discussed the pilot.  When asked if Constantine's smoking habit would be allowed to air on NBC, he remarked, "That's a tricky one on network TV.  We're negotiating right now.  He will have his signature trench coat and skinny tie.  I would say that the show clings more closely to the source material than the film did, even though the film was interesting."

Goyer also said that the series will follow the Hellblazer comic book series more than the current Constantine series set in DC Comics' New 52 continuity.  However, if the pilot is picked up for a full series, there are plans for additional DC characters.  "Quite a few other characters from the comic books and possibly from the DC universe," said Goyer, "should we move forward, will be showing up.....I think we would try to bring in some of the other occult figures."

And here's the full version of the promotional picture...

The pilot, directed by Neil Marshall, is currently filming.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE FLASH's Full Costume Revealed

The Scarlet Speedster.  At last.

Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, we have our first look at the full costume Grant Gustin will be wearing in the pilot for the CW series The FlashAt the end of February, a side profile of The Flash's cowl was released, revealing stylish lightning bolts instead of the traditional Mercury wings.

According to the article, the costume was designed by Colleen Atwood, the designer that also created the Arrow costume for Stephen Amell and won Academy Awards for Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and the 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland.

Remarked Flash pilot director and executive producer David Nutter, "I hope the fans who treasure the character are as excited as we are by what costume designer Colleen Atwood has achieved with this latest version of The Flash’s iconic suit."

Although Gustin is crouched in a starting position, we can see the color is more wine-colored than traditional red, with considerably more detail than John Wesley Shipp's costume from the 1990-91 television series.  The suit also differs quite a bit from the current New 52 version of Barry Allen's Flash costume, including the lack of lightning bolt armbands decorating the gloves and red boots (again!) instead of gold.  Thankfully, the chest emblem is there, although missing a white background, and there appears to be a nod to original Flash Jay Garrick's costume with lightning bolts running down the sides of the legs.

The pilot will be an origin story, following up on events from Arrow, which introduced Gustin as Barry Allen and depicted the lightning strike in Barry's lab which gives him his powers of super-speed.  Filming is currently taking place in Vancouver.

The full costume as shown can be seen below...

*** UPDATE AS OF 3/12/14 ***
And here's a great shot of the entire costume from yesterday's filming...

GAME OF THRONES Creators Know Ending to Book Series

"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.  There is no middle ground."
-- Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones: "You Win or You Die"

As fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones may have already realized, the show is catching up to George R.R. Martin's incomplete book series A Song of Ice and FireThe TV series is just about to begin its fourth season, covering the last third of the third novel, A Storm of Swords, and the beginning of the fourth novel, A Feast for Crows. 

But thanks to Martin's notoriously slow progress on the novels, such as the six-year wait between books four and five, there's a strong possibility that the television series could end before Martin's seventh and final novel in the saga, A Dream of Spring, is released.  Martin is aware of this, commenting on the subject, "They are, yes.  It’s alarming."

Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed in Vanity Fair's April issue that the game plan is to wrap the series up in seven or eight seasons.  "It doesn’t just keep on going because it can," said Weiss.  "I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that."

Remarked Benioff, "Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be.  If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it.  And so we want to know how everything ends.  We want to be able to set things up.  So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character."

"I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write," added Martin, "but the details aren’t there yet.  I’m hopeful that I cannot let them catch up with me."

Martin also realizes the problem of the show's child actors aging, which adds to the time pressure.  "This is a serious concern," said Martin.  "Maisie (Williams, who plays Arya Stark) was the same age as Arya when it started, but now Maisie is a young woman and Arya is still eleven.  Time is passing very slowly in the books and very fast in real life."

In addition, Vanity Fair speaks with Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister.  "It just seemed like something I had never come across before," remarked Dinklgae, "especially in the fantasy genre, which I still refuse to call this, even though we have dragons.  It's just something that I was so eager to embrace, because it turned the dwarf stereotype in the fantasy genre on its head.  And he’s a hero at the same time.  Even in The Lord of the Rings, which I really loved — I loved those books as a child and I adore Peter Jackson’s movies — but there’s just that thing with the dwarf stuff.  That’s complete fantasy.  I had done The Chronicles of Narnia, with the long beard and all of that, because I definitely wanted to explore that and have an opinion of it from the inside, but I just feel like this character, Tyrion, was a complete human being.  Shock!"

And lastly, Benioff and Weiss commented on rumors that President Obama receives advance screeners of the show before everyone else.  "One perk of being the most powerful man in the world -- Yes, you get to see episodes early."

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sylvester McCoy Knows The Next Master on DOCTOR WHO

Timing malfunction...The Master!  He's out there...

Rumors of The Master's return to Doctor Who after a four-year absence continue to grow, with a former Doctor apparently providing confirmation.  According to the Doctor Who news site Kasterborous, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy provided some intriguing news about the Doctor's "best enemy" while appearing today at the Newcastle Film and Comic Con.

McCoy, it seems, has been told the name of the actor playing the next incarnation of The Master and according to him, the new Master will be "very, very scary."

This promising news follows earlier rumors that Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance, 67, who plays patriarch Tywin Lannister, has already been cast in the role of The Seventh Master.  In a completely unconfirmed list of episodes breaking down Peter Capaldi's first season in Series Eight, Dance's name appears as part of Episode 12, the Series Eight finale.  The episode is described in the breakdown as follows:

8.12  ‘Master and Commander (rumoured)’
The return of the Master and consequently the Time Lords. It's believed the Master is now the [Lord] President and will be played by esteemed British actor Charles Dance.

If this information turns out to be true, Dance would be the eighth actor to play the role on Doctor Who, after Roger Delgado, Peter Pratt & Geoffrey Beevers (playing the same incarnation), Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts, Sir Derek Jacobi, and John Simm.  This will be The Master's first appearance since "The End of Time, Part Two" on January 1, 2010.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DAMN Good Comics -- MOON KNIGHT #1

"I've died before.  It was boring, so I stood up."
I know what you're thinking -- Another Moon Knight #1?  Really?  What is this, volume 7?  Yeah, it's another Moon Knight series, with another take on the Fist of Khonshu from another completely different angle.  But the thing is, unlike so many of the others, this approach actually works.
A couple of years back, writer Warren Ellis wrote an incredible six issues of Marvel's Secret Avengers series, giving us stories far better than a superfluous Avengers book deserved.  One of those stories, "Aniana" from Secret Avengers #19, featured Moon Knight wearing a tailored white suit and mask instead of his traditional superhero costume and coming off more insanely cool than ever before.
Well, Marvel and Ellis must've loved the idea, because Marc Spector is rocking the white suit once again (Does he shop at the same men's store as Planetary's Elijah Snow?) in a new ongoing series, with art by Declan Shalvey.  Instead of wiping the slate clean as you might expect, the book is a subtle continuation of previous Moon Knight incarnations, including previous runs by Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev, and Charlie Huston and David Finch.  And for old-school Moon Knight fans, Ellis even brings back characters like Joy Mercado and Detective Flint.
This first issue brings the character back home to New York (after Bendis' series set in Los Angeles), a location Ellis seems to know well after his recent novel Gun Machine.  Instead of flying around in moon-shaped helicopter, however, Marc now rides in the back of a white limousine, driven by a computer named Driver.  Oh, and he and Detective Flint now have an arrangement where "Mr. Knight, a concerned citizen," is able to assist the NYPD without them being forced to arrest a dangerous vigilante.  If you've ever wondered what a Batman series written by Warren Ellis would be like, Merry Christmas.
Shalvey's art feels a bit sketchy in places and may depend on your personal taste, but there are some incredible visuals here that add considerable impact to Ellis' script.  There's a particularly effective sequence where Moon Knight parks his limo over a sewer manhole and climbs down at least three levels of underground tunnels.  I'm not exactly sure how he manages to keep his suit so pristinely white in the process, but hey, it's comics and sometimes you just have to roll with that sort of thing.
Ellis caps off the issue with some intriguing revelations about Marc's presumed Dissociative Identity Disorder and how it may be something else entirely...unless, of course, Marc is actually hallucinating these revelations and it's just yet another example of his mental instability.  This book is going to be one hell of a ride that could take us practically anywhere, so here's hoping Ellis is in this for the long run.

CONSTANTINE Reveals Supporting Cast

John Constantine now has a possible love interest, an angel and his best mate Chas.

Deadline reports that three supporting roles have been cast for the NBC pilot Constantine, based on the supernatural DC Comics/VERTIGO character John Constantine.  Almost two weeks ago, Welsh actor Matt Ryan was announced in the lead role.

The proposed drama series is described as centering around "a working-class Londoner with deadpan humor who is a mysterious conman and occult detective
 haunted by the recent loss of a young girl's soul.  No stranger to the dark underworld that exists parallel to our own, Constantine has been studying the dark arts since he was a teenager.  He's taught himself spells, rituals, curses and conjuring, but the one person he most wishes to see -- his mother, who died giving birth to him -- remains out of reach, at least so far. When Liv, the daughter of a late friend, is targeted by demons, Constantine steps in to save her and the two form an alliance."

True Blood and Robin Hood actress Lucy Griffiths has been cast as Liv, described in the article as "an offbeat young woman tired of her ordinary life who comes to discover that she has the ability of seeing the supernatural world among us, which makes her a key player in the battle between good and evil. Liv teams up with Constantine to save lives, master her power, and learn more about her late father."

Meanwhile, Lost and Matrix trilogy actor Harold Perrineau will play Manny, described as "an authoritative angel assigned to watch over Constantine who has the power to step into other people’s bodies, and although he is meant only to observe, Manny will not hesitate to help out if he can save a life."

And lastly, True Detective and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actor Charles Halford is playing Chas, "Constantine’s oldest friend and staunch companion who possesses powerful survival skills that might possibly be supernatural."  Chas Chandler is one of the major recurring characters in the comic book series Hellblazer and a version called "Chas Kramer" appeared in the 2005 Constantine film, played by Shia LaBeouf.

Neil Marshall will direct the pilot from a script by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

GOTHAM Casts Young Bruce Wayne & Selina Kyle

It feels a bit like DC Comics' Batman: Li'l Gotham series, doesn't it?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the upcoming Fox series Gotham has found their young versions of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, who eventually grow up to become the iconic DC characters Batman and Catwoman.

David Mazouz, 14, is playing Bruce, and Camren Bicondova, 13, will portray Selina.  Mazouz is best known as Jake Bohm on the Kiefer Sutherland TV series Touch, while Bicondova is a relative unknown, having appeared in an obscure movie called Battlefield America.

Bruce is described in the article as "the son of Thomas and Martha Wayne.  The preteen character is sentenced to a solitary life after the tragic slayings of his wealthy parents.  Young Bruce is serious and soulful, and relies on the guidance and protection of Alfred Pennyworth and James Gordon."

Mazouz is the latest in a long line of actors to potray Bruce Wayne, starting with Lewis Wilson in the 1943 film serial Batman, and followed by Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, and soon to appear, Ben Affleck.

As for Selina, she's described as "a teenage orphan who is suspicious and wholly unpredictable.  She's a street thief and skilled pickpocket who is dangerous when cornered."

Prior to Bicondova, Selina Kyle/Catwoman was played by Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether, Michelle Pfeiffer and Anne Hathaway.  In 2004, Catwoman received a rather horrible solo film, starring Halle Berry as a knockoff version named Patience Phillips.

The two actors are the last of the regular cast, joining Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, Robin Lord Taylor as The Penguin, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, and Drew Powell as Butch Gilzean.

Already given a series order by Fox, Gotham is currently expected to air sometime this fall.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Filming Begins on CW's THE FLASH Pilot

And so, it begins.

Just two days after the first photo of Grant Gustin wearing his Flash costume dropped, filming has officially begun on the pilot for the proposed CW series The Flash.

The pilot, directed by Smallville and Arrow veteran David Nutter, started production today in Vancouver, with several creators including executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and DC Comics chief creative officer Geoff Johns posting a few pictures on Twitter.  Here's what we've received so far, with further updates as they come in...

The coffee shop CC Jitters is based upon the Jitters introduced during Johns' period writing The Flash (vol.3) from 2010-2011.  The shop is a particular favorite of Candice Patton's character Iris West, who has a considerable coffee addiction in the comics.