Mar 2012 22

by A.J. Focht

Welcome to the first extra-long con edition of Ur W33K 1N G33K in 2012. Wonder Con kicked off this year’s convention season this past weekend in Anaheim. News from all corners of nerdom was announced at the event, or in press releases leading up to it. Major players from across the geek world showed off what they have in store. Several first previews of upcoming movies, shows, and comics were revealed, and the creators were very talkative during the panels. For anything not covered here, you can check out ComicBooked’s excellent Wonder Con 2012 wrap up.

The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb talked about his choices for the upcoming Spider-Man movie at Wonder Con. During The Amazing Spider-Man panel, Emma Stone, who plays Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy, may have said a too much. Stone started into the tragic comic book death of Gwen Stacy. As the topic started to drift from Gwen’s story in the comic to the movie, Marc Webb interrupted and changed the topic. His abrupt interruption has given rebirth the rumor that Gwen Stacy will die in the film similar to how she died in the comics. Sony has also released a viral marketing video for The Amazing Spider-Man that includes Captain Stacy giving us the run down on what a dangerous menace the Spider-Man can be.

Speaking of superhero rumors, a controversial image has hit the web that claims to be the first poster for the upcoming Wolverine movie. The image’s origins are unconfirmed, but the original posting was taken down at the request of Twentieth Century Fox.

The first teaser image from Arrow, the upcoming Green Arrow show on the CW, has been released. Three time Oscar winning costume designer Colleen Atwood designed the Green Arrow’s suit. The pilot’s director, David Nutter, also talked about his goals in making Arrow darker and edgier than the Smallville pilot, which he also helmed.

Brian K. Vaughn’s new comic Saga premiered last week, and now his comic series Y: The Last Man, is making headway on becoming a movie. Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia have been hired to write the new script. There has been talk of this series becoming a movie for a few years now so let’s hope that this script is good enough to stick.

Everybody’s favorite super villain is coming back for an encore. Despite Joss Whedon’s crazy schedule recently, he has announced plans to work on Dr. Horrible 2 this summer. No more is known about the project at this time.

The newest trailer for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter premiered at Wonder Con. While promoting the undead slaying President, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith talked about his work on the upcoming Beetlejuice 2 script. The good news is there will be none of this reboot nonsense. It will be a direct sequel with Michael Keaton reprising the title role.

“The thing that Tim and Michael and I all agree on, and is most important for me is, I don’t wanna be the guy that destroys the legacy and the memory of the first film; I would rather die. I would rather just not make it, I’d rather just throw the whole thing away than make something that pays no respect and doesn’t live up even close to the legacy of the first film,” said Grahame-Smith.

While Grahame-Smith is all about treating classic works with respect, the same can’t be said for everyone in Hollywood. Michael Bay has decided to lay his taint on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don’t normally complain about Bay, unlike so many others. However, Bay has now decided to take it upon himself to change the history of the beloved human size reptiles. He’s dropping the mutant and making them aliens. No one knows what other changes he has in store. Not mutants? Not turtles? But we shouldn’t worry because he assures us that they will be ‘edgy, funny, and completely loveable.’

On a brighter note, the long awaited sequel to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series has received an air date, and it’s just around the corner. The Legend of Korra will start on Saturday April 14th at 11 AM on Nickelodeon.

The Legend of Korra wasn’t the only thing to get a solid release date last week. After a decade long wait, Diablo 3 will be released on May 15. While Diablo is the first in line, Blizzard also plans on launching expansions for the Starcraft and World of Warcraft series this year. They have also recently changed the WoW Scroll of Resurrection service to offer past players a free upgrade to the Cataclysm expansion, a free level 80 character, a free realm transfer, and other perks for coming back to the game.

Finally, female geek icon Felicia Day is set to guest star on an upcoming episode of Supernatural. Besides showing up on every geek show in the verse, Felicia Day has also launched a new YouTube channel with other nerd idols like Wil Wheaton called Geek and Sundry. The channel will feature nerd programming like: The Guild, Flog (Felicia Day’s video blog), Table Top (table top / board gaming with Wil Wheaton), Dark Horse Motion Comics, and so much more. Geek and Sundry launches April 2nd.

Mar 2012 14

by A.J. Focht

[Above: First look at the Jim Lee designed cover for DC’s Free Comic Book Day]

The Avengers is a less than two months away and each week more information about the film is released. Most recently, SFX Magazine interviewed members of the production including Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Director Josh Whedon. Hiddleston revealed some of Loki’s motives and Whedon further talked about the troubles with juggling so many heroes. Tickets for the midnight showings of The Avengers go on sale as early as March 16th. Those lucky enough to be near an affiliated AMC theatre can also catch the $40 Avengers Marathon that includes: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor 3D, and Captain America 3D all before the midnight showing of The Avengers 3D.

Potential spoilers have leaked for the upcoming Iron Man 3 project. Playing off the storyline to come in The Avengers, Iron Man 3 will explore the Extremis storyline where Tony Stark uses nano-technology to become one with the Iron Man suit. For Iron Man comic fans, this is not as much of a surprise as the first Iron Man movie followed the Extremis origin and not the original origin. Another interesting thing on the video was confirmation that three Avengers: Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man will all be getting sequels regardless of how The Avengers does, whereas, the future of The Hulk franchise will be dependent on the performance of The Avengers.

There is a lot happening in the world of comics. The first preview for DC’s Free Comic Book Day book has been released. Marvel comics has also released four more cover previews for the upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men. Also, I called it weeks ago and now everyone else is catching on. With the release of the newest Spider-Men teaser, many are coming to the conclusion that Miles Morales and Peter Parker will be meeting in the main Marvel verse.

DC is also making some changes with their comics. April will be the last month for a few of the New 52 that didn’t sell as well such as Static Shock, Hawk & Dove, and Men of War. They are also changing up artists. Starting in May, Detective Comics and Batwoman are getting new artists. Why they are replacing Batwoman’s artist after it was widely voted the Best Art in a Comic in 2011 is beyond me.

DC has also released more information, including covers, for Before Watchmen. The comics go on sale starting in June, but you may want to read the latest comments of Watchmen creator Allen Moore before buying them. In short, Moore is still upset he was screwed out of the rights for Watchmen, and he kindly asks if you do buy Before Watchmen that you stop purchasing all of his other works.

Joss Whedon has three movies coming out this year including The Avengers, but he hasn’t given up the fight for Firefly. In short, he said:

“I keep thinking they’re going to call me, crunch the numbers and say ‘Hey, we can make money from this!’ — but they don’t. I would never rule it out, I love those people. But I can’t just wait by the phone.”

Speaking of watching projects rise from the dead, Warner Bros is talking to Javier Bardem about The Dark Tower movie. Ron Howard still is set to direct the first film, perhaps with Bardem as the Gunslinger. The studio has purchased the script, and it is likely to start shooting in 2013.

The cast from the upcoming Evil Dead remake is nearly full. Most of the roles in the film have been cast and an official premise has been released:

“Levy leads the cast as Mia, a troubled young woman struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her mother. She retreats into a remote cabin to detox from her drug addiction, along with a circle of friends that includes her BFF (Lucas), her estranged brother David (Fernandez), his fiancee (Blackmore), and the gang’s academic pal Eric (Pucci). While in isolation, however, the group discovers the Book of the Dead and unwittingly unleashes malicious supernatural forces.”

Finally, George Takei was so excited when he raised the money for his upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance that he decided to share a little something with all his fans. I leave you with George Takei’s Happy Dance.

Mar 2012 07

by A.J. Focht

With The Amazing Spider-Man set to release this coming July, it might seem a little early to be thinking of a spin-off movie for the series, but it looks like Sony already is. The company is negotiating with Josh Trank, director of this year’s indie superhero hit Chronicle, to take the lead on the Venom movie. The idea of a Venom movie has been tossed around by Sony since 2008, but they are hoping to use the success of the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man to launch the spin-off. Trank has already shown us he knows how to handle the hero-to-villain transformation so a Venom film should come as natural to him.

Speaking of The Amazing Spider-Man, last week, Stan Lee revealed he is a playable character in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man videogame. There is no word on who Stan Lee’s character in the game will be, or if this will tie into his cameo in the movie. But fear not true believers, The Amazing Spider-Man game will be released on June 26 and all will be revealed then.


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.