ET unspools their 'Iron Man 2' set visit footage. Plus: 'Swamp Thing' actor Dick Durock passes. 'Venom' script is in. McFarlane wants R-rated 'Spawn' and more. Pouring one down for its swampies, it's your Comics2Film 9.9.25!
We were saddened to learn of the recent death of actor Dick Durock last week.
Durock is, of course, known to many fans as the lead actor in the 'Swamp Thing' movies and TV shows that followed. At 72 the actor died at his Oak Park, California home after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
C2F was fortunate enough to talk to the actor last year as he was busy promoting the DVD release of the TV series. We recall having a very pleasant conversation with a man who felt very fortunate for strange path his career took, especially the opportunity to be so central to a much-loved phenomenon like the 'Swamp Thing' show.
The South Bend Tribune has a lovely tribute to the actor, his life and his career.
Mania Cross-Link: Touchstone released two new clips from 'Surrogates' yesterday afternoon. Check 'em out!
Mania Cross-Link: Tim Janson takes a look at volumes 3 and 4 of Buena Vista Home Entertainment's release of the super-popular 'X-Men' animated series. Read it!
Michael Bay's online fund-raiser for Make A Wish Foundation just got a bit bigger.
They've added two new items for sale. Fans can now purchase a two pack of 'Transformers' and 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' autographed by Bay and actor Tyrese Gibson. The DVD pack will run you $105 while the Blu-Ray double will cost $110.
If you want to benefit Make A Wish then click over an buy some autographed 'Transformers'.
Box office predictions filed by the Hollywood trades indicate that the comic-based 'Surrogates' is expected to fare well. Variety pegs the Bruce Willis flick to walk away with the #1 spot. The Hollywood Reporter expects more of a horse race with 'Fame' and 'Pandorum' providing sturdy competition, along with returning champ 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs'.
'Surrogates' opens on 2,951 screens and has an $80 million production budget to live up to.
Touchstone did not deign to screen 'Surrogates' for critics. Usually you can take that as a sign of a weak movie, not that it hurt a film like 'G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra'. At any rate, reviews are trickling in, and their skewing towards the middle, tipping the movie as watchable entertainment that fails to delve into the interesting themes contained with in.
Variety: "A film about robots that might find its biggest fans among Luddites, 'Surrogates' is an intense and eerily plausible sci-fi thriller. Set in a future that uncannily resembles the present day (it must be one of the first pictures with a car chase featuring a Prius), Jonathan Mostow's smart speculative suspenser imagines a time when people can live through ideal versions of themselves while they sit wired up at home."
The Hollywood Reporter: "Lame science fiction about synthetic people that lacks for logic and drama."
IGN: [3 out of 5 stars] "It's good, escapist fun. A cinematic beach read. The science fiction equivalent of a James Patterson novel."
CBR: "'Surrogates' begs to be a slower, more deliberate film. At eighty-eight minutes, it only gets to scratch the surface of its compelling ideas."
Meanwhile, Rotten Tomatoes is tracking the movie as 43% rotten with only 28 reviews counted at the time of this writing.
From a Press Release: This Saturday, September 26th, at 8:30 AM, the Silver Surfer takes center stage in the critically acclaimed 'Super Hero Squad Show' on Cartoon Network! Surfer heads off on his own, but Doctor Doom isn’t about to let our silver sentinel of the skyways enjoy some peace and quiet! As the bad guys make their play for the Surfer’s power, the Thing heads on a mission to save his friend and let Doom know it’s “Clobberin Time!”
And, in case you missed the first episode of this super-fun toon-show, you can watch it online at the official Super Hero Squad Website!
Just Jared has posted a series of new set photos from the Sony/Screen Gems manga-adaptation 'Priest', starring Paul Bettany.
Fans interested in the French, comic-strip-based cowboy flick 'Lucky Luke' can check out the latest trailer:
Comics creator Todd McFarlane told MTV Splash Page that he would prefer to do is 'Spawn' revival without the backing of a major studio.
"The reason I want to go small with it is that it's a completely R-rated movie," said McFarlane. "If I sell it up big, studios want that PG-13."
The Toddler has a point. The underachieving 'Watchmen' recently muddied the waters for R-rated superheroes. Even Marvel has avoided R-Rated takes on their characters, with the 'Blade' franchise going PG-13 for its final outing and 'Punisher: War Zone' flying under a specialty "Marvel Knights" banner.
Furthermore, McFarlane says he's increasingly a fan of what people are doing with less money, specifically citing the 'Saw franchise.
L.A. Times Hero Complex Blog chats up filmmaker Ron Howard who will wade into the comics-to-film pool with his adaptation of 'The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft'.
"It very cleverly uses H.P. Lovecraft in a fictional way, but there's some loose biographical elements. But it certainly has the flavor and the tone of Lovecraft," Howard told L.A. Times, seemingly unaware that the clever mix of Lovecraft's biography with Lovecraftian fiction was done just a few years earlier with the DC/Vertigo graphic novel 'Lovecraft' (which makes it seem less clever to C2F).
Howard says he's unsure of whether or not 'Strange Adventures' will be his next project. "I have a lot of things that are sort of two-thirds of the way through and a really wide variety of them, including this Lovecraft project. So I've got literally half-a-dozen projects where essentially I'm waiting for [script] drafts to come in, and there's something I love about all of these ideas," Howard said. "We'll just have to wait to see what comes to fruition. I sort of can't bear the thought of letting any of them go. So maybe I've got the next five years spoken for."
SCI FI Wire chatted up 'Zombieland' writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick who have also been tapped to pen the script for Sony's extension of the 'Spider-Man' franchise 'Venom'.
"We've written two drafts of Venom, and the studio has it, and they're pushing forward in whatever ways they push forward," Wernick told SCI FI Wire. He admitted he has no idea if or when the movie might go into production and refused to divulge details about how the character may or may not relate to the one seen in 'Spider-Man 3'.
Entertainment Tonight screened their 'Iron Man 2' set visit report last night. They've also posted it online for all to see. Not much new in terms of cool F/X footage or costumes, but we do get a look at the toned up Scarlett Johansson who plays "Natalie" in the movie. Seriously! Natalie!