Comic Booked Goes to Hollywood!

(We keep our ear to the ground regarding the most anticipated films)

 

Marvel Bails?

Having a “Vision” of Marvel Studios bailing from the biggest comic book convention this year…

If the reports are true, tickets for this year’s San Diego Comic Con sold out faster than.. well, faster than anyone expected. Fans thought they might have a two-hour window to get tickets, but the word is that they might have been sold out in less than an hour.

Comic con, which has been around since the 70’s, is all bout comic books, and how this awesome form of art has made its way into our popular culture, eventually finding its way into other different mediums, including television shows and films, but it’s important to remember that the convention was about comic books.

However, since comic book movies have become the highest grossing film genre ever with no signs as yet of slowing down, SDCC has become more synonymous in the eyes of pop culture for the big film studios to drop tidbits about their upcoming film projects. The presentations at Hall H are grabbing most the headlines – and the spotlight – away from what that convention actually is. Both Marvel and Warner Brothers try to “own” the convention each year with the most interesting announcements, and its those announcements that create the most click-able stories, the ones that you’ll see in all of the the entertainment and geek-oriented news sites on the internet.

It’s interesting then, that if the latest reports are true, that if any of those fans that were lucky enough to obtain tickets to this year’s show in that small window of time were going to just get an exclusive glimpse to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Infinity Wars or the Inhumans, they will be disappoint. According to tweets by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Marvel (Meaning Marvel Studios, not the comic book company itself) has decided not to “do” Comic Con this year.

Sure, these fans might be disappointed. If any of them were going just for the latest scoop on the MCU, they probably deserve to be: again Comic Con is about the entire medium and culture of comic books, it’s not just about what may or may not happen in these films.

For their part, Marvel’s decision to pull out (if the reports are true) is a pretty smart one. It wasn’t long ago that the studio booked an after noon at El Capitan theater in Los Angeles and presented an exciting show just for the media and the fans, and it was at this event in which their MCU Phase 3 Plans were announced.  There is nothing stopping them from holding a similar event again this year. With the lineup for Phase 3 already announced they might not need to (though the introduction of Spider-Man into the MCU has certainly changed things a bit. They could, hypothetically speaking, sell out that venue just to announce who will playing the web-slinger. Eh, let’s not give them any ideas.)

So Marvel Studios might be out of Comic Con, at least as the formidable presence that people expect. It’s reasonable to expect that someone from the studios will be there,like  anyone in that studio who might want to give Ant-Man a bit more (much needed) publicity. We’ll have to wait and see.

 

Even Sparrow’s have Hands

hollywood
More Pirates!

Filming of the latest entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise had been going along rather smoothly. However, according to reports, lead actor Johnny Depp has injured his hand on set. Ouch! He will fly back to the States in order to have surgery on his hand. The reports also say that this injury should not delay the release date nor inhibit production on the film. Indeed, new daily shooting schedules can be drawn up to work around Depp’s absence to cover shots where he is not present, and, upon his return, they can carefully shoot coverage of the actor in character so as to make the injury noticeable in the frame. This kind of thing happens all of the time on movie sets.

Dead Men Tell No Tales chronicles the further adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow tries to find Poisedens’ trident to gain control of the seas.

 

Back to the Grid

Bring Quorra back! (That is all)

2010’s Tron Legacy is a tricky animal. Most fans and film pundits agree that the film was a visual marvel and that all the pieces were in place to make a riveting sequel to `981s Tron, Despite how gorgeous the film looked, (and let’s not forget Daft Punk’s amazing score that perfectly underscored what was on the screen) the response to the film was lukewarm The film made money, sure, but not as much as Disney’s bean-counters were hoping for. Or even as much as their “market research” had projected.

It’s an all-too-familiar tale in the modern age of blockbuster film-making: a film can make a lot of money and still be a huge disappointment. One needs to look no further than Superman Returns. That film made a lot of money, but it still came iin well below expectations. Even more devastating than the box office returns alone was the lack of enthusiasm from audiences upon leaving the theater. No one was enchanted by the film, no one was talking much about it, and not many were all that eager to see a follow-up. The film lacked punch, and the word-of-mouth on street reflected that. Case in point: the previous year’s Batman Begins would up (according to most accounts) making slightly less in the overall box office than Returns, but that film got people charged. A new, more realistic, and darker version of Batman was embraced by even the most cynical comic book fan or hardened critic. The ending, which foreshadowed the Joker’s appearance, only added to the buzz. People wanted a sequel.  And when Warner Brothers and Christopher Nolan delivered that sequel, the bean-counters at the studio were certainly glad that they pushed ahead with it.

Tron Legacy sits closer to the Superman Returns end of that spectrum for many people. The movie seemed to lack a true sense of pace and balance: after all the “games” in the first act and a second act that had a lot of stilted dialogue, the movies third act could never really win back it’s audience: Having the characters run around scoping out Clu’s army and then flying around on a “light-plane” didn’t feel as urgent as exciting as the light-cycle scene from the beginning of the film: and they certainly weren’t as iconic.

Yet, the potential was always there.

However, for a time, it seemed that Disney had brushed their hands of the franchise, unwilling to risk returning to it.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Joseph Kasinski is set to return to this universe to direct the third installment with Garrett Hedlund returning from Legacy.

We hope that Olivia Wilde will return as well; her character was perhaps even more memorable than Hedlund’s.

Story details have not been disclosed for this film. But there is a lot of potential in the would-be villains of the film. Bring back Dillinger! Or even bring back Dillinger Jr. ([played by Cillian Murphy).  There!

 

Dumbo to fly his way back into cinemas

Best cameo ever!

Right now, the film bull-pen is filled with heavy hitters all which had success in past seasons by being (at one point) animated films. Malificent and Cinderalla have been a proof of concept that those animated stories can be retold as live action films. Beauty and the Beast might be the most talked about of these upcoming films, but let’s leave a little room for Dumbo, shall we?

Dumbo is a classic Disney story. If you’ve never seen the animated classic from 1941, watch it. It will make you cry. It will hit you where it counts. It knows its story, it knows its characters, and it brings these aspects to the screen with a lot of heart, and the movie itself is flawless. According to reports, Tim Burton is set to pull the flying elephant from the cells of animation and into life action. It could be that the “pink elephant” sequence alone so matched Burton’s unique style and convinced him to take on this project.

Whatever it was about Dumbo that caught the director’s attention, Let’s hope he can make a film that will be at least a worthy companion to the animated classic.

 

Star Wars: The Canon Awakens!

Star Wars

The year’s most anticipated film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, takes place thirty years after the events of  Return of the Jedi. The idea of seeing Luke, Han, and Leia on the big screen again on a new adventure is a big part of why this film is so hyped. For this writer.. well, even back in 1983 I never imagined that I would actually see new scenes or new dialogue from these characters on the big screen again. They had become more than just “movie characters” to me.. they had become mythic characters. To see them back on the big screen, was, to me, just as difficult to really fathom as having someone write a whole new chapter of Greek Mythology that involves all the same gods and heroes and takes place long after the Trojan War. It’s a difficult concept to grasp.

Over the years, new adventures (called the “expanded universe”) , beginning with Thrawn Trilogy (written by Timothy Zahn) chronicled the adventures that took place after Jedi, but we never saw it. Somehow, it just wasn’t the same. When the franchise was sold to Disney, the company did the smartest thing they could, they wiped out the expanded universe from the official canon so they could be free to build their own stories.  So, in reality, The Force Awakens would be the first time we’d see what these legendary, almost mythical characters, have been doing since Jedi.

According to blah, a new series of twenty books, all of which would be a part of official canon, are set to offer a bit of back-story, to let us know what has been going on during that thirty-year gap, and the reports say that well-placed “Easter eggs” will be found throughout these books that will point toward the new film.

I doubt the true Star Wars fans will be able to resist diving into these new novels. It would take a hell of a Jedi Mind Trick to keep them away.

Or maybe they don’t want any spoilers at all, whatsoever!

To those people I say this: stay off the internet! You never know when a spoiler will surface in a headline.

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