Ed LaRoche's 'Almighty' scores a movie deal. Plus: 'Smallville''s Hawkman speaks! 'Iron Man 2's War Machine speaks! Owen Wilson speaks for 'Marmaduke'? More! It's an all-speaking edition of your Comics2Film 9.11.3!
Following up on his previous success with dog movies, actor Owen Wilson has signed on to be the voice of comic-strip pup 'Marmaduke', according to Variety. Like his previous film, 'Marley & Me', this one features a big-hearted, big-sized dog with a propensity for causing chaos, only this time Wilson is playing the dog, not the owner.
Tom Dey is directing the movie for Fox.
Variety also reveals the storyline for the film, created by screenwriters Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio, which focuses on the Winslow family and their move from Kansas to Orange County. There the Great Dane finds himself in the crossfire of a Mutts vs. Pedigrees turf war and aims to woo the purebred of his dreams.
Other cast members include Judy Greer, Lee Pace and William H. Macy (on the human roster) and Fergie, Emma Stone, George Lopez, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Coogan, Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans playing the other dogs.
Marvel has released their Q3 earnings report and, not surprisingly, profits are down from this frame last year. In 2008, the studio released it's first two movies 'Iron Man' and 'The Incredible Hulk'. Both films made solid money. This year they released no in-house movies, with the Fox-produced 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' being the only Marvel-branded film released.
Still, Marvel raked in over $20 million in profits, which ain't too shabby.
The Hollywood Reporter says the soft report will have no effect on Disney's bid for the company, which is expected to close in the coming months.
As fans know well, Marvel has a rock-solid feature slate on the horizon, with 'Iron Man 2', 'Thor', 'Captain America' and 'The Avengers' on the way, not to mention more licensed films like 'Spider-Man 4', 'Deadpool' and 'Wolverine 2'.
"Augmented Reality" is the new interweb gimmick that movie studios are using to trick-up their releases. 'Transformers' had one. Now Paramount is touting an AR feature for the home entertainment release of 'G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra'.
The way it works is: you place your DVD or Blu-Ray box in front of your webcam, and you'll see an image of it on your monitor. However, you'll also see animated images of miniature G.I. Joe characters slugging it out right on top of the box. You can rotate the box to change your view of the fisticuffs in real time.
The big difference between the 'Cobra' AR and previous ones is that this feature plays out as some sort of combat game.
Don't know what C2F is yammering about? Check out this video demonstration then:
There's plenty of excitement building about the impending appearance of the Justice Society on this season of 'Smallville'. Uber-blogger Jenna Busch of the Huffington Post chatted with 'Stargate' actor Michael Shanks about playing Hawkman in the two-episode story, penned by comics great Geoff Johns.
Shanks revealed a bit about the storyline for the "Society" storyline.
"A few of the Justice Society characters have come out of retirement to meet up with an old foe and happen to cross paths with Clark (Tom Welling) and some of the characters from the Justice League. And let's just say there are some misunderstandings," Shanks explained.
He said that his work thus far has been limited to working with the costume designers and confirms that, yes, Hawkman will have a pair of bad-ass wings like he does in the comics.
"Yesterday was my fifth [fitting]. I do believe there will be more. I have yet to shoot a frame of film on this episode," Shanks said. "This is what I've been doing the most of, is going for fittings and you know, talking to the producers about the character and discussing the elements of the voices. But mostly it's been focused on the costume and the logistics of the costume. Again, it's a necessary thing. I really appreciate the reverence that these guys have."
The actor said that, although the episode will air late in the season, he appreciates all the prep time and the seriousness with which the 'Smallville' crew are taking the character. It's all about making Hawkman look cool.
"I think there's a large learning curve ahead before we actually roll camera on that outfit. I mean the character outside of Carter Hall. The character outside of the alter-ego is relatively straight forward in that regard. But it's the logistics of the action sequences and the costume are going to be a little bit of a palaver," Shanks said.
He also talks about the mace, the logistics of flying, his scenes with Dr. Fate (played by Brent Stait) and whether or not Hawkman will return to 'Smallville' after the two-episode stint. Click through for the complete, extensive interview with Michael Shanks.
MTV Splash Page continues their tenacious coverage of Ed Norton's non-involvment with 'Incredible Hulk' franchise. With the filmmaker in town promoting his participation as a marathon runner for Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Splash Page asked the actor once more about whether or not he'll return to the Marvel character.
His answer: "I will probably find out after you do."
The video interview:
At a benefit for Darfur charities in L.A. last week, Moviefone talked with actor Don Cheadle about 'Iron Man 2'.
Some context: Cheadle is replacing actor Terrence Howard as Rhodie in the film after Marvel famously dumped him. Directly after Howard's dismissal came a smattering of rumors that Marvel was shooting low-ball offers at acting talent. Speculation was that Marvel feels actors have less screen time in their movies, and can accept a smaller paycheck for a reduced workload.
Cheadle, to a certain extent, confirmed that his character is the product of many hands, stunt players and the special effects crew. " I think the character that I play, my CGI character worked as much as I worked," Cheadle told Moviefone.
He also directly answered a question about taking up the role that another actor began.
"The sort of ancillary buzz around it was kind of weird, kind of strange. Terrence is a friend of mine," Cheadle said of the situation, "but the actual playing it, I just felt like it was my role. I wasn't made to feel like I had to sort of take care of what was done before. I really feel like I could make it my own."
Haven't heard of 'Almighty'? Don't feel bad. The self-published, truly indie graphic novel by Ed LaRoche isn't likely to be found on the shelves of most comic shops.
However, Hollywood producer Stephen L'Heureux of Solipsist Films managed to secure a copy and once he read it he found himself in hot pursuit of the films rights. This was all part of the plan for LaRoche.
The comics creator, who has been working in animation, was looking to establish his own ideas in comics properties. While he had many ideas developing, he settled on 'Almighty' as his first outing. He wrote and drew the book, and printed 3000 copies. So far he's moved enough copies to make a profit largely through internet-driven sales. However many copies also made their way out into the world via Los Angeles comic shops, which LaRoche knew were a hunting ground for producers like L'Heureux.
"I got lots of interest and phone calls," LaRoche told Comics2Film at Mania.com in an exclusive interview. "I took a meeting with Stephen and he seemed like he got the material the most."
L'Heureux not only "got it", but he told us that he sees the author as a major talent on the rise.
"Ed LaRoche the next great comic book guy like Howard Chaykin or Frank Miller or Brian Azarello," said L'Heureux, who is producing the film version of the book with Cary Brokaw. "He's a really special voice."
The story of 'Almighty' is set in a future world LaRoche calls "third world America". It's a fractured landscape of segregated zones driven by neo-tribalism.
"At its' heart 'Almighty' is a pursuit story," said of his lean treatment of the intricate future world he's created. "As the story unfolds there are other things that are attached to it but at the core of it, a girl has been kidnapped and someone has hired a killer to find her and bring her home."
That killer is Fale, a hardened gun for hire who rides motocycle and isn't afraid of a fight. The character comes directly from LaRoche's desire to re-create the female action hero, an icon he feels has been fumbled by Hollywood in the past 20 years, with movies like the 'Resident Evil' series.
"I don't see a five foot four, hundred and ten pound girl kicking everybody's ass in that role, and then she's pretty too, on top of it," LaRoche said. "That's not what a real action hero would be concerned with. How they look, whether their lipstick is on right and do they look good in heels.
"I think that if you create a character and that men could sit there and go, 'I relate to this person. If I was in a fox hole, If I had to go through the door, through a window, through a skylight, I'd want this person behind me,'" the comics creator told us. That's the kind of hero he's created in Fale.
Now screenwriter Ken Nolan, who wrote 'Black Hawk Down' is at work on a script for the film. LaRoche told us he thinks that's a brilliant choice.
"'Black Hawk Down' had some great military dialogue and I loved how brave they were in not dumbing it down for the audience and it felt authentic," LaRoche said after taking a meeting with Nolan, Brokaw and L'Heureux. "He liked it, and I want to be around people who like it. I don't want to have to convince somebody of the value of it."
L'Heureux told Comics2Film that 'Almighty' is presently out to directors. "It's a very hot property around town."
Until we see 'Almighty' on the big screen fans can enjoy the graphic novel by purchasing it directly from LaRoche at http://almightygraphicnovel.com/
And stay tuned to Mania.com for more on the movie as it develops.