SPIDER-MAN Director Derby Commences (Mania.com)

By:Rob M .Worley
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010
Source: Various

'Spider-Man' director derby commences. Plus: Craig lassos 'Cowboys & Aliens'  lead. Director talks 'Captain America' journey. 'Conan' casting candidates and more! Walkin' down town with its pants on the ground, it's your Comics2Film 10.1.14!



Top Shelf signs Likely deal

From a Press Release...

Co-Publishers Chris Staros and Brett Warnock of independent graphic novel and comic book publisher Top Shelf Productions announced today that it has entered into a capital investment deal with new media entrepreneur John S. Johnson, and independent film producer Anthony Bregman.

Johnson, and Likely Story, Bregman’s film production company, have purchased a 33% interest in Top Shelf Productions, Inc. Johnson will join the board of Top Shelf, and Likely Story will get a first-look deal for all new Top Shelf publications for possible film and TV development.

This deal represents a supportive investment in the company; one that leaves Chris Staros and Brett Warnock as majority stockholders (and firmly in control of the company), but also brings to bear the resources, skills and connections of John and Anthony in helping the company expand and grow over time.

The first project slated for development by Likely Story is Alex Robinson’s critically acclaimed 'Too Cool to Be Forgotten', named one of Amazon.com’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of the Year and considered his best work to date.

'Too Cool To Be Forgotten' tells the story of a 40-something father of two who undergoes hypnosis therapy to quit smoking, only to transport back to 1985 and his formative years as a gangly, awkward teenager. Forced to live through his high school years with all the knowledge of his later life; uncertain whether he is destined to relive the mistakes of his past or if he has been given a second chance to get things right.



Mark Valley talks HUMAN TARGET Tweaks

With 'Human Target' set to debut on Fox this weekend, MTV Splash Page talked to actor Mark Valley. The show's lead explained why the format for the series departs from the primary hook of the comic book's high concept.

Fans of the book know that Valley's character Christopher Chance usually adopts a disguise to replace the client that he is protecting. This works well in comics but is tricky to pull off on TV. Back in the early 1990s, when Rick Springfield top-lined a show based on the same character, the actor ended up sitting on the bench for long periods while a weekly guest star played Chance in disguise.

"To be honest with you, when I was reading the comics, I would get a little bit confused," Valley said of the whole character swap scenario. "It's a graphic novel and usually it's pretty explanatory, but I was getting a little confused [about] which one is Chance and which one is the real person.


"They had to go to great lengths even in the comic book to make this exposition and explain [if] this is the real Chance or not," he told MTV. "Even going as far as doing that on television — they tried doing that with the Rick Springfield show — and I think it's something that would be really hard to maintain. It would be hard to show it and hard to explain it."

Instead, on the new show, Chance will simply go undercover in some position that keeps him close to his client. "This way, it really keeps the spirit of the character, in that he does create a character — he creates someone who comes between [the killer] and the target," Valley said.

But of course, that's no longer making Chance the human target that he is in the funnybooks.



Craig Corrals COWBOYS & ALIENS Lead?

Collider.com broke the casting news on 'Cowboys & Aliens' last night: actor Daniel Craig is in negotiations to take the reigns on the lead role that was recently abandoned by Robert Downy Jr.

The James Bond actor  is set to play Zeke Jackson in the film, which goes before the cameras of director Jon Favreau this summer. Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof wrote the script.

The new was confirmed by both of the Hollywood trade papers this morning.



CONAN Casting Candidates

Michael Fleming  at Deadline.com is reporting that Nu Image/Millennium Films are closing in on a leading man for the 'Conan' movie, which is set to go into production this March under the direction of 'Friday the 13th' director Marcus Nispel.

According to sources, actors Kellan Lutz ('Twilight') and Jason Marmoa ('Stargate: Atlantis') had been the top contenders for the lead role. However Millennium and partner Lionsgate started looking in a new direction as of mid-week. There's a third candidate they like who has more marquis value then the aforementioned ones, although Deadline couldn't name him.

What do you think, Maniacs? Are Lutz or Marmoa fit to hold the savage sword? Who do you wish that third candidate is? Post your comments below...



Joe Johnston talks CAPTAIN AMERICA

Boxoffice.com did an exclusive Q & A with director Joe Johnston and got him talking a bit about 'First Avenger: Captain America'.

"It's not going to be a Captain America that you expect. It's something different. It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction," Johnston said, thus guaranteeing some immediate eye-rolling from fans who tire of directors coming on comic films so they can improve the character.

"It's the origin story of Captain America. It's mostly period—there are modern, present-day bookends on it—but it's basically the story of how Steve Rogers becomes Captain America," Johnston said confirming suspicions that the movie will be set in the World War 2 era, and likely end with the big freeze, leading into 'The Avengers' movie.

Johnston talked extensively about the elements of Cap that he finds unique and hopes to bring to the big screen.

"The great thing about Captain America is he's a super hero without any super powers. Which is why this story, among the hundreds of super hero stories, appealed to me the most. He can't fly, he can't see through walls, he can't do any of that stuff," the director said. "He's an every man who's been given this amazing gift of transformation into the perfect specimen—the pinnacle of human perfection. How does that affect him? What does that mean for him emotionally and psychologically? He was this 98-pound weakling, he was this wimp, and he's transformed instantly into this Adonis. You'd think he got everything he wanted.

"Well, he didn't get everything he wanted. The rules change at that point and his life gets even more complicated and dire. For me, that's the interesting part of the story,' he continued. "It's got some great action sequences in it and some incredible stuff that we've never seen before. But at the heart of it, it's a story about this kid who all he wants to do is fit in. This thing happens and he still doesn't fit in. And he has to prove himself a hero—essentially go AWOL to save a friend. Eventually at the very end, I don't want to give away to much, but he does fit in. But it's the journey of getting him there that's interesting. And it's a lot of fun."

In spite of the "influenced by" comment setting off our Spidey sense, all Johnston's comments about tone and character actually sound cool to us.

What do you think, Maniacs? Are you excited to finally see this movie going forward? Post your comments below...



James Cameron's SPIDER-MAN Storyboards

Those of us who love James Cameron will always wonder about that lost 'Spider-Man' movie. The one Cameron developed for years before the legal tangle around the character became unworkable. Of course, it was all sorted out a decade or so later when Sony walked away with the film rights and hired Sam Raimi to adapt the comic for the big screen.

Still, we wonder "what if James Cameron had made his Spider-Man movie?"

Now Techland.com has laid hands on some storyboards from that lost project. So if you want to peer deeper into the world of "what if" click through and enjoy some artwork from the Cameron's planned film.



SPIDER-MAN Director Derby Commences

In a story that you will not find behind Variety's subscription wall, Deadline.com is reporting on Sony's wish list of 'Spider-Man' reboot directors.

They claim one Marc Webb is at the top. Webb recently helmed the well-reviewed '(500) Days of Summer' and may seem like an odd choice for a huge tentpole franchise like 'Spider-Man'. Deadline reports that the producers and studio execs met with the director and everyone liked each other. Most importantly was that the 'Summer' film demonstrated his ability to depict young people in a compelling way and, as we know, the new film will take Peter Parker back to high school.

Other names on the director's list are James Cameron, David Fincher and Wes Anderson.

In spite of the fact that the studio has pushed the release of a new Spidey flick out to 2012, apparently they're keen to get cameras rolling this year. The reason for that is that they envision the movie as a 3D experience and want the extra lead time to make that happen.

Series: Captain America: The First Avenger, Amazing Spider-Man, Conan The Barbarian (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger, Cowboys & Aliens, Human Target, Spider-Man 2012, Too Cool To Be Forgotten