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DC Comics on the Rise in Hollywood


By Rob M. Worley     July 20, 2009

Comics2Film: DC Universe
© Mania

'Flash', 'Aquaman', 'Bizarro Superman'? DC Comics is on the rise in Hollywood! Plus: Morgan Freeman seeing 'Red'. 'Transformers' still strong at the box office. 'Iron Man 2' wraps and more! Putting the "GO" in San Diego Comic-Con it's your Comics2Film 9.7.20!



TRANSFORMERS : Built Box Office Tough

'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' maintains its box office might for the fourth week in a row, according to Mania's weekend report. The film held the #3 spot for the second week in a row, taking in about $14 million for a total domestic gross of $363 million. This was enough to trounce last week's #1 film, 'Bruno' which saw a precipitous drop to #4, shedding over 72% of its audience in the second week.

Figures posted by Box Office Mojo indicate that the autobot sequel passed the $350 million landmark in its 23rd day of release. Only two movies hit that mark faster. 'The Dark Knight' only good 14 days to earn that much.  'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' also took 23 days, but earned a few million more in that time.

Variety reports that the movie is doing huge business in China. 'Revenge of the Fallen' broke the country's box office record pulling in 400 million yuan ($58.5 million USD). Previous record-holder was 'Titanic' in 1998 with a mere $52.7 million.



Morgan Freeman angling for RED

Actor Morgan Freeman is in talks to appear in the filmed adaptation of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's DC/Wildstorm comic 'Red', according to Variety. The film stars Bruce Willis as a former black ops spy forced out of retirement by a high-tech assassin out to kill him.

Erich Hoeber and Jon Hoeber are writing the screenplay.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are producing. DC Comics' Gregory Noveck is an executive producer.

The film is set up at Summit Entertainment.

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry (who didn't find the comic to be that good) for the submission.


Millar's Secret SUPERMAN Partner Revealed

So, for the past year or so, bombastic comics creator Mark Millar has been dropping hints that he and a big name director have been working on a reinvention of the 'Superman' film franchise that would play out as a trilogy of films. However, he's refused to give up the name of that director...until now.

The UK's Times Online' Blockbuster Buzz blog provides some interesting in-depth analysis of the recent Superman lawsuit ruling and what the future may hold for the world's biggest name in superhero.

In it, they chat with Millar, who reveals that it is his 'Kick-Ass' and 'American Jesus' collaborator Matthew Vaughn who had joined him on the Superman revamp pitch.

...Millar and Vaughn had plans to turn the Man of Steel into a Lord of the Rings-type epic. However, the studio got cold feet and Millar and Vaughn moved on to other things. "They spoke to me and Matthew last year and we were obviously very interested as the love is there and the potential is enormous," he said yesterday.

"But we're not involved in Superman at this stage."

So there you go. In hindsight, it should have been obvious.

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.



It's a Wrap for IRON MAN 2

Marvel.com has announced that principle photography on 'Iron Man 2' has completed, on schedule after 71 days of shooting. The film wrapped on Saturday, July 18th.

"Shooting 'Iron Man 2' was a fantastic experience and we couldn't be happier. Although there were many challenges in making this film, having Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow and almost the entire crew from the first film back on board, allowed us to hit the ground running as everyone was instantly familiar with each other from day one,” Marvel chief Kevin Feige told Marvel.com. “This dynamic allowed us to get done what we needed on a day to day basis and was a big factor in why we finished slightly ahead of schedule.”

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.



Baz Luhrmann Pursuing Barbarella?

Our man in Itlay, Antonello Blueberry provides a translation of an article from the Italian Yahoo! Movies site, which indicates that 'Moulin Rouge' director Baz Luhrmann is looking to direct the big-screen return of 'Barbarella'.

While at the Italian Giffoni Film Festival Baz Luhrmann said he's interested in taking the helm of the movie. He's previously worked with the producers Dino and Martha De Laurentiis on a Alexander the Great film with Leonardo Di Caprio and Nicole Kidman that never saw the light of day.

A 'Barbarella' remake has been in development for over 10 years. It's passed through the hands of many actresses, screenwriters and directors. Most recently Robert Rodriguez took a pass at a version that would star Rose McGowan, but that effort ran aground. The Jean-Claude Forest comic character was previously adapted in the campy but fun 1968 feature starring Jane Fonda.

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry for the submission.




There's been little discussion of any adaptation of Clark Westerman and Kody Chamberlain's in-progress comics mini-series 'Pretty, Baby, Machine', but the Bleeding Cool site recently reported that there are already three leading men signed up to star in the movie.

Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Gary Oldman and Ian McShane are allegedly set to star in in a film verion of the comic.

The story focuses on gangsters Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and Machine Gun Kelly and the common foe they unite against, Al Capone.




Seth Rogen is out promoting another new movie and fielding questions about 'Green Hornet'. Ain't it Cool managed to get some good info out of the actor, who says the movie is far from dead, but rather ramping-up fast.

Job one is to find a new Kato after Stephen Chow bowed out:

"We are reading many, many people from all over the globe, and it is a wild adventure. We're just looking everywhere, honestly. We're looking at people who are really famous overseas, and we're looking at people who are completely unknown. We're looking at people who are American. We're looking at people who are martial arts experts. We're also looking at people who don't do any martial arts, and who do Broadway and are actors. We know what we want," Rogen said adding that they're ready to tweak the script depending on who is cast.

He also said that director Michel Gondry will deliver the kind of movie his fans expect.

"I feel like people who are fans of his won't feel let down by what they see. We're encouraging him to make it as visually exciting and inventive as anything anyone has ever seen," Rogen said. "We're fans of these types of movies when they're done well. We think that we can handle the story and the script and the dialogue, but we know nothing about cameras and lights and fancy ways of making things look amazing. And that's what he's better at than anyone in the world pretty much. So we're encouraging him to really go for it."



And Then There's the LOBO Movie

Here's one that resurfaces every few years: The big screen version of DC Comics' villain turned obnoxious anti-hero, 'Lobo'. Producer Joel Silver told SCI FI Wire that he is actually working on the movie.

"Lobo is one I'm very excited about maybe doing one day, hopefully soon," Silver said while promoting The Orphan'. "I think we can do it. We've got a script we like."

Silver also hints that the technology developed for James Cameron's 'Avatar' might somehow be employed to tell the story of the intergalactic biker-dude/bounty hunter with a bad attitude.



DC Universe Blowing Up Huge in Hollywood

After years of getting their four-color butts handed to them by Marvel on the big screen, DC Comics is on the rise, with a game plan that has them poised to outgun Marvel on several fronts in the coming years, according to an in-depth article at The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to their already strong home entertainment animation slate, DC has a prime-time TV show in production with 'Human Target', two feature films in production with 'Jonah Hex' and 'The Losers'. Topping it off is the most buzzed-about project on the internet: 'Green Lantern' starring Ryan Reynolds.

But according to the report, that's all just the tip of the iceberg. Consider:

  • Comics great Geoff Johns consulting on and producing a big-screen version of 'The Flash'. Scribe Dan Mazeau is writing a script based on Johns' treatment.
  • Writers Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman also consulting on unnamed projects.
  • An 'Aquaman' movie in the works, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio
  • An 'Adam Strange' movie in the works.
  • The 'Bizarro Superman' movie based on the previously-leaked script by David Howard and Robert Gordon ('Galaxy Quest')
  • A 'Constantine' sequel in the works.
  • A proper 'Green Arrow' movie in addition to the previously-developed "Green Arrow Goes To Prison" concept 'Super Max'.
  • The long-percolating 'Shazam!' movie

The only thing missing right now is the A Team: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. DC's most iconic characters all seem to be on the back burner. Warner is waiting for director Christopher Nolan to clear 'Inception' before thinking about a 'Dark Knight' sequel. 'Superman' remains stalled due to a the one-two punch of creative problems and legal woes. And the Amazon princess still seems a tough nut to crack, in spite of the warm reception to the recent animated feature. And any plans for a 'Justice League' movie are now on the back-burner until the individual franchises start to grow.

But the positive thing is that, under DC's film executive Gregory Noveck, the studio is starting to build these comic franchises in partnership with the writers and artists who made them great, which  is how Marvel got on top of the movie game in the first place.

Thanks to Antonello Blueberry and LocoLobo73 for the submission.


And is this the last installment of...

Jon Favreau Tweets about IRON MAN 2?

As mentioned above, filming on 'Iron Man 2' wrapped this weekend. Here's the scoop for Jon Favreau's twitter feed...

# Last day of shooting. Check out cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly.1:22 PM Jul 17th

# Still shooting. Tying up all the loose ends. They just dismantled and wrapped out of Tony's workshop.9:33 PM Jul 17th

# That's a picture wrap on Don Cheadle. 7:01 PM Jul 17th

# That's a picture wrap on Gwyneth Paltrow. 8:47 PM Jul 17th

# We just wrapped principal photography. 10:23 PM Jul 17th

# Next stop, San Diego. 10:28 PM Jul 17th

But wait, there's more from the wee hours of this morning...

# Just closed down the Iron Man wrap party. We went nuts.

# There I am.

Rest assured that Favsy will keep tweeting throughout the post production.



Off To Comic-Con

The daily Comics2Film column is taking a one week hiatus as we venture out to Comic-Con International in San Diego. Rest assured, the top news items will appear in the news feed courtesy of site editor Jarrod Sarafin.  The column will return on Tuesday, July 28th

Watch the site all week for our reports from the convention floor!


Showing items 1 - 10 of 24
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hanso 7/20/2009 7:44:01 AM

The guy did it in Entourage but now it's time to let him make the movie for realz.  Get James Cameron for Aquaman!  Ok, he only likes to direct the stuff he writes but he also likes creating new worlds and likes water. Perfect.   The visual orgasms he can do with his Avatar technology applied to Aquaman's life underwater would be EPIC.  Then he can reunite with his Titanic star and Aquaman producer Dicaprio by getting him to be Aquaman. 


ponyboy76 7/20/2009 8:00:01 AM

Well, I don't really see the DC stuff as anything new. I mean they have had a lot of these properties in development for bit. When they actually get the cameras rolling then that'll be a different story.

Wiseguy 7/20/2009 8:12:15 AM

Cameron has a busy slate. He's got Battle Angel, The Dive and at least one more unnamed WW2 project and there was, it's been a bit quiet lately, talk of of a sequel for Avatar. Let's face it Cameron is the dream director for most superhero/sci/fi/fantasy films.

WB/DC obviously followed in Marvel's footsteps on their approach to adapting these comic books. WB can actually outpace Marvel cause they have deep pockets while Marvel is working with borrowed money. WB is worth over 30bil while Marvel is just barely over 3bil. Another reason for Marvel being as frugal as they've been, one or two bombs and it could be trouble.

Almost any comic book character can be a good or great film if like we always say, done right. But Lobo is an acquired taste and I just can't see this coming across too well.

Wiseguy 7/20/2009 8:30:49 AM

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and may your wrath be felt by Marvel, Jon Favreau, Don Cheadle and all involved in IronMan2 and lead them to the biggest bomb of 2010, deliver them to the abyss of failure and to rot in obscurity Hell. AMEN 

Terrence Howard


Wiseguy 7/20/2009 8:36:02 AM

If Rogen and Gondry know what they want why the hell are they looking at so many different types of people from so many different places and are ready to tweak the script depending on who they cast. Bullshit artist

hanso 7/20/2009 8:40:14 AM

LOL.  I can picture that poor bastard saying that every night before he goes to sleep.

Don't try to crush my James Cameron Aquaman dream Wiseguy.  The Dive?  Who wants to see free divers drown? Cameron can put all the diving ideas he has into Aquaman.  It's great I tell ya, great.  He can also add to Aquaman a save the Earth Go Green messege sort of like the one it seems Avatar will have.   EPIC 3D underwater battles.  It will be awesomeness.

violator14 7/20/2009 8:48:48 AM

If they do make an Aquaman film, I hope they show him having to cook one of his fish buddies after being stranded, like on ROboT ChiCKen... haha

Wiseguy 7/20/2009 8:48:49 AM

I'm with you hanso, just my pessimistic side won't let me dream. But that would be sweet as hell

LocoLobo73 7/20/2009 9:33:41 AM

LMAO at wises' Terrance Howard prayer, you know his ass is sitting there every night saying that prayer and Cursing everyone else involved in the movie. Back to the other stuff , Dc has a nice little slate up there but Im not sure any of them except for Green arrow and Flash are that exciting. The other thing is now im really not happy about Ryan Reynolds as GL, Lets face it He was meant to be Wally West, quick wit and quicker feet. I always thought Hal Jordan was the Straight man and Wally was the Smart ass Kid who was trying to be his big brothers friend. Hal and Barry Allen where always best friends and when Barry died Wally stepped in and also became close friends with Hal. Hal is the soldier. who doesn't like to kill. Wally is the comedian, who is just trying to live up to Barry.  I do think though that DC's Choices of Movies is intresting, I mean like I said Green Lantern and The Flash where always intertwined and so wasn't the Green Arrow.  The three characters always seemed to be teamed up together and it always made for great story telling.  

So I MAKE THIS LAST PLEA BEFORE THINGS GO TO FAR , STOP RYAN REYNOLDS FROM  BEING GREEN LANTERN AND MAKE HIM THE FLASH, I mean come on, one of the greatest Flash Writers is co writing  the movie and producing it , this has the making of greatness bring me the ROUGES. BRING ME GOEFF JOHNS.  Reynolds being the fan boy that he is and who has been trying to get the Flash made for a while must be flipping at this recent annoucement.   However maybe he did know and took GL because he was already doing Deadpool and they both have red costumes or they maybe starting at the same time and RR is already contracted for Dead Pool for that time and just thing if he did the Flash he would be playing Wade  Wilson and Wally West.  Im sure thats what that is , his managers are saying there is no way you can do The Flash and DeadPool , they both wear red they are both comedic and they both have W.W as there intials. So we want you to be a Green Guy in stead, what do you think?

So know that principle photography has wrapped on Iron man 2 , where is our trailer , hmm what its not ready , f29k that you wrapped yesterday , where is it come on guys get on your horses we want to see Ol' Shell head in action, I hope that we will get something for Comic Con this weekend.

DaForce1 7/20/2009 9:34:15 AM

DC likes to talk a good game, but that's all we've ever heard....talk. Jonah Hex (my favorite DC character) looks horrible. Especially with Brolin looking like Orson Welles stuffed into a confederate uniform.

DC needs to get a Supes movie in production before 2011, or they'll lose the rights to the character as it will revert back to the Siegel estate. If the WB execs had a brain, this would be their top priority.

Finally, fuck Terrence Howard. Fuck him right in the ear. He was the only actor in Iron Man that looked like he was out of his element, and that includes the extras. Sooooo looking forward to Cheadle taking this role and making it his own.

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