SHAZAM! Writer Speaks (

By:Rob M. Worley
Date: Thursday, November 12, 2009
Source: Various

'Shazam!' writer Bill Burch talks about his take on the Captain Marvel movie. Plus: The lost 'X-Men 3' movie. 'Super Hero Squad' goes primetime. 'Astro Boy' an Oscar contender? More! Comics! Will! Film! It's your Comics2Film 9.11.12!



ASTRO BOY an Oscar Contender?

While it debuted to middling reviews and poor box office, the CGI animated 'Astro Boy' movie is one of 20 films contending for Oscar nominations, according to Variety.

The film appears with 19 others on the list submitted for consideration to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. This is the beginning of the process that will eventually lead to the Academy coming up with five nominees.

Typically there are three contenders in the "Best Animated Feature" category. The number is five this year because the list of contenders topped the threshold of 16. However, Variety points out that some of them have yet to debut and, if they're delayed for whatever reason, they may be disqualified from the list.

The Imagi adaptation of the classic manga and anime character has som stiff competition with 'Up', 'Coraline', 'Ponyo', 'Monsters vs Aliens' and 'A Christmas Carol' on the list, with other intriguing entries like 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' and 'The Princess and the Frog' yet to debut for audiences.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced Feb. 2 and statues will be presented March 7.



Idris Elba likes 100 BULLETS

While chatting with SlashFilm on the set of 'The Losers', actor Idris Elba said there's another comic book he's interested in getting involved in, should the film version take off.

"There’s a thing that Vertigo do called '100 Bullets'. I like that. I think it could be an interesting little thing," Elba said, adding, "I’ve just started reading it and it could be quite interesting."




The 'Solomon Kane' movie is ramping up it's publicity blitz by expanding its presence on the web. Here's a list of interesting places where you'll find the demon-fighting Puritan gunslinger:

Official site at

Official French site at

Facebook fan page

MySpace page

Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.



G.I. JOE Score Home Entertainment Victory

The Hollywood Reporter has declared 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra' the victor on the home video front. The film topped the sales charts moving 3.8 million copies of the toy and comic-based adventure. About a half-million of those were in the Blu-Ray format.



PLANET HULK Images Online has presented its readers with two new images from the upcoming 'Planet Hulk' animated feature. The toon film debuts on DVD and Blu-Ray next February.

Thanks to Matador for the submission.



SMALLVILLE's "Society" to air as Movie?

Over at, scoop-master flash Michael Ausiello reports that 'Smallville''s big two-parter "Society" may air as a two-hour movie event instead.

The CW thinks they could make a greater impact with the show if they roll it out in that format. "Society" is written by Geoff Johns. It features the debut of the Justice Society of America, specifically Dr. Fate, Hawkman and Stargirl, not to mention DCU's Amanda Waller.

Thanks to Matador for the submission.



The Lost X-MEN 3 Movie

Screenwriter Michael Dougherty talked to SlashFilm in a podcast about his work on 'X-Men 3', before he and mentor Bryan Singer bailed on the project in favor of 'Superman Returns'. The film they had planned was a much more ambitious attempt at the Dark Phoenix story than what eventually ended up on screen.

The Geek Files blog sifted through the podcast and offered copious transcription of Dougherty's comments, and the movie he describes is very interesting indeed.

Fans recall that 'X2: X-Men United' which Dougherty and partner Dan Harris worked on, left us with Jean Grey submerged in Alkali Lake with a shadowy Phoenix figure barely appearing on the surface in the closing moments.

"The idea was that you open up with Alkali Lake but it's completely barren and dried up and there are these odd reports of strange phenomena going on around the world accompanied by bright lights in the sky," Dougherty said. The strange occurrences would continue and get progressively larger. Both the X-Men and the Magneto's Brotherhood would be competing to find the source of "a very god-like force" that was now roaming the planet.

Sounds like they had some very cool stuff planned, right? How about a sequence where the Phoenix destroys San Francisco in an attack that would put Roland Emmerich to shame? Can you imagine it? 

If not, storyboard artist Adrien Van Viersen has posted his unused storyboards online, including depictions of some of the lost scenes Dougherty talks about.

"Ultimately the way it was going to end, at least the version I was pushing for, would be that Phoenix was kind of like the Starchild at the end of 2001, she didn't just get stabbed and die again, but she kind of chose to leave," Dougherty said.

Check out the podcast or the written summary for more of what might have been.

Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.



Poster art from KICK-ASS featuring actor Aaron Johnson

New KICK-ASS Poster

In addition to unveiling the 'Kick-Ass' trailer yesterday, hosted a new poster for the film.

Here's a new image of Aaron Johnson looking a bit battered in his superhero suit.

Thanks to AntoBlueberry for the submission.



SUPER HERO  SQUAD goes prime time

His Marvel's funny new kids toon 'The Super Hero Squad Show' hitting the airwaves too early on a Saturday morning for you? The good news is that the toon is now airing in prime time as well.

Starting this past Saturday, November 7th, 'The Super Hero Squad Show' made its debut on Saturday nights at 7:30PM as part of Cartoon Network’s prime time line-up. Of course, if you prefer your "Squaddies" visit in the morning, the show is also airing weekdays Monday through Friday at 8:30AM.

The show is Cartoon Network's #1 programming for 6-8 year-old boys.



SHAZAM's Bill Burch Speaks

The 'Shazam!' movie, focusing on DC Comics' Captain Marvel, has been kicking around for a good long time. Last August writer Bill Burch boarded the project, partnering with none other than Geoff Johns on a new take on the film.

In an exclusive interview, Burch told Cinefools that director Peter Segal is still attached but they have started fresh on the story, discarding previous scripts written for it. They plan to aim for a PG-13 rating on the film.

"The way the story is shaking out, Geoff and I see this not as 'dark' as 'Dark Knight' but definitely as cool," Burch said. "Tonally I think it's important to successfully find the balance of comedy and danger in the story. That’s a major aspect I’m focusing on. Frankly hitting the right tone is what’s going to either get this made or keep it in development hell."

He also addressed the persistent rumor that Dwayne Johnson will play either the hero or the villain in the film. Burch said that Johnson and Segal definitely have a relationship, but he wouldn't count the actor in or out until filming actually begins. But he has definite ideas of who he'd want to see in the film.

"More than likely the role of Billy Batson will be an unknown but the role of Captain Marvel? I always thought Ryan Reynolds would have been interesting but now that he’s Green Lantern that’s not an option," Burch said. "Honestly I don’t think too much about it since I have very little say in the casting decisions."

What do you think, Maniacs? Will Burch and Johns be the ones to crack SHAZAM? Post your comments below...

Series: Kick-Ass, Astro Boy, Smallville, Solomon Kane, X-Men: The Last Stand, Shazam!, G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Planet Hulk, Super Hero Squad, Kick-Ass, 100 Bullets