Warren Ellis' semi-controversial 'Black Summer' gets a movie deal. Plus: Platinum's 'Gunplay' heads for TV. Helen Mirren joins 'Red'. Campbell talks 'Green Lantern' and more! We got a rock, but you got your Comics2Film 9.11.2!
The not-so-bad manga adaptation 'Astro Boy' continues to disappoint at the box office. The CGI film from Imagi studios fell two spots on the Mania box office chart, giving up ground to the debut of 'Michael Jackson's This is it' as well as losing a notch to the horror retread 'The Stepfather'. Only in its second week of release 'Astro Boy' ranks #8. It has collected a mere $10.9 million in gross ticket sales.
In spite of the fact that C2F found the movie to be less enjoyable than better animated movies from Pixar or Dreamworks, we still expected it to perform better than this, especially in light of the fact that there's so little family fare in theaters right now.
Look for 'Astro Boy' to make a hasty landing on the home entertainment market.
A little over a week ago, C2F readers were the first to learn that the filmed adaptation of Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's 'Red' would roll cameras this January. Over the weekend, Hamner confirmed as much on his Facebook page, giving the production start a specific date: January 11th, 2010.
We now see that the news of the production start date originated at the American Film Market. Screen Daily issued a report of various deal-making there, and in doing so added a cast member to the production.
Actress Helen Mirren ('National Treasure') has joined Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman among the cast of the film.
The film is now slated for release on November 19, 2010.
The greatest self-promoter in the world of comics and film, Mr. Mark Millar is at it again. The scribe dropped a huge new tease on his message boards this weekend under the heading of "Millar to Direct Superhero Movie". Here's what he wrote:
Bet you didn't see THAT coming, laddies and lassies!
But this is one of several big surprises planned for next year and you'll hear a bit more about this in February when we start to release details. What is it? Who is it about? Well, that's all a secret for now, but I learned a lot from Kick-Ass and love having the same creative freedom I have with comics when I work in cinema. I never want to be a studio bitch and go in there pitching for them to love me. The closest I came to this was a couple of calls regarding 'Superman', but pretty much none of my plans ever revealed as I didn't like the idea of anyone nicking them.
Similarly, I don't like the idea of asking for funding and justifying scenes with the money-men so I'm doing what Matthew Vaughn did with 'Kick-Ass' and just making it outside the system with private investors. The financing is all secured and the movie stands or falls on how good I can make it, doing what Matthew did and just selling it once completed.
As you can imagine, I couldn't be more excited. More as it happens, but this might just beat out 'War Heroes' and 'American Jesus' as my follow-ups to the 'Wanted' and 'Kick-Ass' movies. Have two other pictures about to go into development (and Wanted and Kick-Ass 2, of course), but I think you need to scare the Hell out of yourself every once in a while and something totally new like directing should do the trick.
The big question: Are you allowed to direct without wearing a baseball cap? Is it the modern version of the 70s BEARD?
So what is the movie about? Is it a Millar original or an adaptation of an existing superhero? There are no details in addition to what Millar describes above.
While Platinum Studios holds the rights to thousands of comic book properties, many of those have not recently seen print in comics form. However, one book that was published and (if C2F recalls correctly) was well-received was Jorge Vega's supernatural western 'Gunplay'.
Now that book is set for development as a TV series by Platinum and Fox21, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Glen Morgan of 'X-Files' fame is set to write and produce the show.
The book focuses on Abner Meeks, a buffalo soldier condemned to roam the Old West with a hellish curse slung at his waist: a demonic shooting iron that forces him to kill once a day or suffer soul-searing pain.
This is the second time in recent months that Platinum and Fox have paired for a TV show. Previously announced was the development of a TV show called 'Indestructible Man', based on the unpublished comic of the same name.
The Geek Files Blog excerpts an interview between Empire Magazine and 'Green Lantern' director' Martin Campbell.
The director spends some time describing the title character's powers and says there'll be some 1300 visual effects shots in the film to accomodate that.
"He's the only superhero to my knowledge who regularly goes to another planet," Campbell said of Lantern's sci fi aspects. "Superman and Batman were essentially locked into a particular city. The Lantern isn't so Earthbound."
He also confirms that the cameras will be rolling with Ryan Reynolds in the lead, next April in New Orleans.
"It's a very interesting city...with a damn good tax rate," Campbell said.
Check out the latest issue of Empire Magazine for the complete interview.
A few years back, Warren Ellis created buzz with his indie comic 'Black Summer' which opened with a controversial hook. Now, Variety reports that new production house Vigilante Entertainment is developing the book as a feature film.
Screenwriter Ryne Pearson ('Knowing') is developing the script for the ambitious superhero project.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Variety article is the summary of the story they provide. According to the trades, the comic "centers on superhero team the Seven Guns, a group of scientist-adventurers who modified their own bodies for street-fighting in order to take back their West Coast city from a corrupt police force, criminal local government and rapacious private security forces."
Because we thought the book was about a massively powerful superhero who decides to kill the president of the United States!
Are the producers at Vigilante already shrinking away from controversy and watering the story down? Or is this a case of simply trying to keep the story points under wraps.
We hope it's the latter because the story Ellis delivered (which really didn't generate a lot of controversy at the end of the day) was an apt metaphor for a superpower that unilaterally decides to topple a country's regime, and the reaction of the people of that country who maybe didn't like their leader so much, but sure as hell aren't going to sit quietly while outsiders violently force their own brand of freedom on them.
Vigilante is headed by Hicham Benkirane, former head of French comics publisher Les Humanoides. Hicham, you've got some 'splaining to do!
What do you think, Maniacs? Have you read Black Summer? Would you want it de-fanged for the sake of a movie? Post your comments below...