Mar 2012 01

by A.J. Focht

The Avengers | Samuel L. Jackson | Robert Downey Jr. | Chris Evans | Movie Trailer | Review

A new trailer for The Avengers came out today, and a new official movie poster has been released. The movie hits theatres on May 4, and will launch the summer superhero season.

There has been a lot of talk about Ryan Reynolds reprising either of his super powered rolls as the Green Lantern or Deadpool. While promoting his upcoming movie Safe House, Reynolds gave us some more insight on both projects. Deadpool is a work in progress, and Reynolds thinks the script is fantastic. Thankfully, he mentioned the new script has nothing to do with the Wolverine movie. The main concern is getting the producers to cut a check for a rated R superhero movie. As far as Green Lantern, Reynolds knows nothing of plans to do a sequel after the horribly received first film, but he did immediately turn the conversation back to how awesome a rated R Deadpool movie would be.

A new member has been added to the cast of The Walking Dead. David Morrissey has been cast as the Governor on the show. The Governor is the dreadful leader of another group of survivors and will be a regular next season. The third season has also been expanded to sixteen episodes.

To go along with the first photos from the set of Star Trek 2, a behind the scenes video has hit the web showing Spock getting the shit beaten out of him by Benedict Cumberbatch’s character over and over again. While we still don’t know who Cumberbatch is, it’s clear he is a villain able to overpower Spock – which is no easy feat.

Despite the years of backlash and ridicule Star Wars: The Phantom Menace has received since its release in 1999, it is now on its way to being the 10th highest grossing film ever worldwide. Due to the fact the 3D version sales are being added directly onto the original movies sales (a cheap move if you ask me), The Phantom Menace has been gradually climbing the charts since its extra dimensional release. If it makes just $1.5 million more it will overtake The Dark Knight, which currently hold the #10 spot.

While Star Wars is cheating its way into the record book, The Hunger Games has legitimately broken the record for most advance tickets sold a full month before its release. With a major following growing to match that of Harry Potter or other such fan backed literature, we can only hope The Hunger Games will take the spotlight away from the Twilight series.

The first official trailer for The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra animated series has been released. It takes place seventy years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender and follows the adventures of the new Avatar, Korra. The trailer still doesn’t give a firm release date, but it does say coming soon.

After the incredibly successful Black & White sequels to the Pokémon game series, Nintendo has now announced two more sequels currently titled, Black & White 2. This is an odd move for the Pokémon games as their past sequels have always been titled after different colors on different islands. This may mean these are the first Pokémon games to directly sequel previous games (if we don’t count offshoots like Yellow, Crystal, etc.) and if they keep the title, it will be the first to have a number moniker in the title. The game is scheduled to release in Japan in June 2012 and here in August 2012.

Feb 2012 22

by A.J. Focht

Last summer, X-Men: First Class all but made up for the failures of the previous two movies in the franchise. The prequel was shockingly good, and now the sequel to the prequel is in the works. In an interview with Simon Kinberg, screenwriter of both films, it was revealed that this sequel will focus heavily on Magneto’s storyline and Magneto’s growth as a character into a villain.

The pilot for Arrow is coming along, and thanks to Stephen Amell, who was cast as Green Arrow, we have some insight into the process. Amell keeps a video blog on his Facebook where he answers fan questions. In the last video, he revealed several of the changes he has had to make in training for the part. He also said there is one more major character left to be cast that he knows of.

Last week, I reported about a comic documentary focusing on female super heroes that was seeking funding. Now, the first trailer for that film, WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, is available. The film will make its debut at SXSW.

In a recent interview with Kotaku, Geoff Johns announced DC is working on a Suicide Squad video game. Amongst all of DC’s game projects, John’s is particularly excited about this game because it will present a new conundrum where lead characters can be killed off for real, and it’s not a gimmick. For those not familiar with the Suicide Squad comic, it features prominent DC villains working on government espionage missions, and it is common to see main characters die off each issue.

Doctor Who season seven has begun filming. The first stills from the set have hit the internet. Two more actors have also signed on for the run, Mark Williams (Inspector Lestrade in Sherlock) and David Bradley (Argus Filch from Harry Potter).

Fear not Community fans. Show creator, Dan Harmon, tweeted the show will be returning on March 15th. Community will be back on Thursday nights at 8 PM. Let’s just hope it doesn’t go off air again, it’s was starting to feel like another Arrested Development scenario for a moment.

Amongst vampire and werewolf killing presidents, another historical fiction story has been optioned by Hollywood. I Killed Adolf Hitler has been picked up by Studio Eight. The Eisner Award winning graphic novel follows the adventures of a hitman and his complications with travelling back in time to kill Hitler.

Netflix has pulled another one over on cable and premium television. The Weinstein Company announced a deal that will make its movie releases exclusive to Netflix members. The studio has become well known for its production of Oscar award winning movies. Those same movies will be joining the internet revolution.

Feb 2012 16

by A.J. Focht

The New York Toy Fair 2012 is wrapping up today, but this year’s collection makes me envy the kids who will be getting these toys for Christmas next year. Nerdy toys galore were shown off, including but not limited to: Ghost Busters statues, Portal 2 toys (including portal gun), The Dark Knight Rises action figures, Marvel and DC superhero collectibles, and so much more. The Toy Fair ends on a high note, hosting the largest toy bank of the year.

While we’re talking about toys, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying releases February 28. This new Marvel game means that role-players everywhere can stop converting to D20 Modern or other systems just to play a Marvel themed campaign. The game promises to be better than the previous half-assed Marvel RPGs that have been released. It uses the Cortex Plus rules set made famous in the Leverage and Smallville RPGs. The basic game releases at the end of the month, but several expansions such as Civil War are planned as early as March 2012.

We’ve heard many rumors of a Smallville continuation. Everything from another season of the television show to a novel has been alleged. Last Thursday, DC comics gave us the official scoop, announcing the official Smallville Season 11 comic series. The comics pick up where the show left off, and we can expect to see several of our favorites return including Green Arrow and Chloe Sullivan-Queen.

Marvel has given us a teaser of the first showdown from Avengers VS X-Men. The second comic’s cover features Gambit going head-to-head with Captain America and Spider-Man fighting Colossus. It looks like Marvel is determined to give us showdowns never seen before.

All of the comic news from the big boys is great, but it pales in comparison to the awesomeness announced by IDW comics. In possibly the most epic crossover ever, Dr. Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation will come together in a new comic. The Dr. and his gang will join the crew of the Enterprise for what’s bound to be a great adventure. We should know more when it is officially announced this week at the Gallifrey One convention in the UK.

Do you want to see a comic documentary with a focus on the rise of women in comics? If so, a Kickstarter account has been opened to fund such a film. The documentary, Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines is seeking the funding to debut at South by Southwest this March. If you are sick of all the male-centric comic documentaries focusing on Superman and Captain America, this is your chance to help get this movie off the ground.

Moving out of comics and into the movie world, the first preview for the Tim Burton produced Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has arrived. The movie drops into theaters on June 22.

There is a new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the works, and it looks like they’ve found a director – Jonathan Liebesman, who helmed Battle: Los Angeles and the upcoming Wrath of the Titans.

We’ve known about the inevitable Transformers 4, but I don’t think anyone was expecting Michael Bay would use it to reboot the series. It’s official now since the producers are tossing around the word reboot, but I don’t know if they’re using it correctly. Producer Lorenzo di Bonavantura tried to correlate Transformers 4 to Amazing Spider-Man, but really only ended up saying they weren’t doing a full reboot. I’m not sure what their definition of the term is – it could be anything. A new storyline? A new cast? New Transformers? It’s all up in the air, but the fourth movie is aiming to release June 29, 2014.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance releases in a few days, and now co-director Brain Taylor is onto his next project. He just happens to be writing and directing a live action movie based on the totally rockin’ Playstation demolition derby Twisted Metal game. That’s right Sweet Tooth and other favorites such as Doll Face will be appearing on the silver screen.

Feb 2012 09

by A.J. Focht

Who needs an army when you have a Hulk on your side? The newest trailer for The Avengers aired this weekend as part of the Super Bowl ad lineup. The Avengers will be released this May and each trailer just makes it looks better and better.

Amazing Spider-Man also released its second trailer this last week. After the CGI wreck they released first time around, this second one was a pleasant surprise. A new trailer wasn’t the only thing to come forth from the Amazing Spider-Man camp, more photos and characters bios were released on the official website. Spider-man is looking up, but I still don’t know if it will be able to stand against The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises.

It’s starting to look like Hollywood is going to be packed with superheroes in the summer of 2013 as well. The Wolverine has a July 26, 2013 release date, joining The Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, and Thor 2 for the 2013 summer superhero season. Now, I love my superhero movies, but if Hollywood keeps putting them out at this frequency they are going to burn us all out. I personally have tired of the old X-Men series since the third movie bombed.

The big event happening over at Marvel Comics this year is Avengers vs. X-Men, but there is one other major happening — Spider-Men. Not much was known about this till the last week when Marvel released a graphic of two Spider-Man logos meshed together. It is clear the logos are that of Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Most are complaining, assuming they are bringing back Peter Parker in the Ultimates universe that Miles Morales now acts as Spider-Man in. I would like to raise a new theory however, they are introducing Miles Morales into the main Marvel line, or Earth-616. As the Ultimates universe is a variation of their main verse (the one Amazing Spider-Man takes place in), I argue that Miles Morales could exist in that world to. If he became a Spider-Man there, we would then have three Spider-Men, including the new Scarlet Spider. That puts Marvel half way to creating some Spider-Man knockoff of Batman Incorporated.

Marvel’s Spider-Men logo was small news compared to DC officially announcement of Before Watchmen. The series will star the Watchmen heroes in events that happen before the graphic novel Watchmen. There will be seven books total: Rorschach, Minutemen, Comedian, Dr. Manhatten, Nite Owl, Ozymandias, and Silk Spectre. Each issue will also feature a two page back up story of Curse of the Crimson Corsair. There has been a lot of talk about the whether or not DC should publish these comics. Allen Moore, the creator of Watchmen, had a falling out with DC and does not want them to use his properties. However, from a legal standpoint DC have retained the rights.

After losing their first choice for the female lead, the Evil Dead remake has cast Jane Levy (pictured in our header) to fill the role. Levy will be playing Mia, the equivalent of Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. Hopefully this casting sticks as they only have about a year left since the film releases on April 12, 2013.

Despite the a low domestic gross total, Robert Rodriguez intends to make good on his promise to make two more Machete films. That dream is coming even closer as he has teamed up with producer Alexander Rodnyansky to begin work on the second film in the trilogy. Despite its low gross totals, the first film was a cult success and it almost doubled its cheap budget.

Feb 2012 01

by A.J. Focht

Many a rumor about the upcoming The Avengers film has been laid to rest. On January 31, the official Avengers Twitter had a chat with fans answering the most pressing questions. For a portion of the chat, Joss Whedon was on hand and the ‘For JW’ tag started trending. One of the rumors squashed was talk of an Amazing Spider-Man cameo. Whedon personally put this rumor down.

More information has come out about Arrow, the Green Arrow pilot in production by the CW. Instead of tying the show back to Smallville and trying to capture that audience, they have really reworked the Green Arrow’s story. Oliver Queen’s mother is still alive and he will have a little sister that seems to be a catalyst for most of the trouble he has to stop. Some DC characters will show up, such as Black Canary, but they will not play their superhero roles, at least not as of yet. The part of Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow has been given to Stephen Amell.

Marvel’s major comic event this year, Avengers VS. X-Men will be starting this March. Marvel has released a sneak preview of the Avengers VS. X-Men #0 where all the problems will start. This first issue sets up the crucial roles of Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers. The two most powerful ladies in the Marvel universe will be going head-to-head, each with a super powered team to back them.

Speaking of new comics, IDW Publishing, will be starting a Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms comic series. D&D fans have a chance to have their characters featured in the comics. You can find all the rules for the character creation contest here.

One of the biggest names in comics, Stan Lee, is launching his own website. You can sign up for updates from the site and a chance to win autographed merchandise right now, but the full site won’t launch till February 8. On top of contests and games, the sites main function will be behind-the-scenes looks into Stan’s new projects.

Zoe Saldana talked Star Trek 2 in a recent interview. While she couldn’t say much, she all but told us that there is more to come between Spock and Uhura. Star Trek writer Robert Orci also came out with a few comments, these ones directed at fans. In a fan driven industry like Star Trek, the fans are the best and worst part of it, and Orci has had enough of them second guessing him. In short, Orci pointed out that they did well with the first remake and that success has earned them a lot of leeway with the studio. He doesn’t promise the movie will be good, but he does promise it will be exactly what they want it to be.

On a final note, you can stop holding your breath waiting for Blizz Con 2012 to be announced, it’s not happening. Blizzard Entertainment would rather focus on releasing Diablo 3, Heart of the Swarm and Mists of Pandaria than wasting their time organizing another convention. This doesn’t mean they don’t love their fans and the convention will be back in 2013. As someone who has personally attended multiple Blizz Cons, they should take a break. Doing it yearly means they never have enough new news to justify bringing out thousands of fans from around the world. Hopefully, this way they will have something substantial to show us next time.