Is Bell the new Spider-Man? Plus: Nolan talks about Batman 3 (finally)! Green Lantern artwork and toy deals. X-Men: First Class crews up and more! Beaming happy thoughts to our soon-to-be overlords from Titan, it's your Comics2Film 10.6.7!
The comic strip-based Marmaduke took a very modest bow at the box office this weekend, opening at #6, which was enough to best the weekend's other comic movie Iron Man 2.
The dog movie starring Owen Wilson as the voice of the Great Dane took in an estimated $11.3 million against a budget of some $50 million, according to Mania's box office report. The weak opening was not unexpected given the poor reception from critics (11% on Rotten Tomatoes) and better family fair (like Shrek 4) still running strong.
Marvel's Armored Avenger fell three spots to #7, giving ground to The Duke as well as two other newbies Get him to the Greek and Killers. The film's domestic run now tallies over $291 million.
The biggest head-scratcher here is the outstanding sci-fi freak-out Splice opening at #8. It's not based on a comics, so it's outside the C2F wheelhouse, but this is the best movie in the weekend top 10 (our critic Rob Vaux scored it a B+). Maniacs would do well to give it a look!
Superhero Hype chatted with A-Team director Joe Carnahan who revealed his zeal for comics-based movies.
Carnahan apparently spent some time with producer Alex Young (also of The A-Team) developing a take on Marvel's D-list villain Taskmaster. While he admits the character isn't very film-friendly in its appearance, he though the idea of a guy with photographic reflexes was compelling.
More pressing for the director is his desire to take the reigns on Preacher, which previously had Sam Mendes lined up to direct. Mendes is now enmeshed in the James Bond franchise, which makes him less likely to adapt Garth Ennis' and Steve Dillon's comic.
"I'm kind of desperate to do another comic book adaptation," he told SHH. "And the other thing I'm really keen on or interested in is 'Preacher' because I'm a big Garth Ennis fan and I love that series and that's out there, and that might be something… I really love that. You gotta do the Allfather (D'Aronique) and all that crazy sh*t and I haven't seen a script and I don't know what it is, but yeah, we'll see. Who knows?"
George Lucas changed the movie biz with Star Wars when he demonstrated the deep profits one could attain by licensing the crap out of your movie characters. If they're are action figures, lunch boxes and underoos, it doesn't really matter how well the movie does.
As such, Hollywood is descending on the annual Licensing expo in Las Vegas to line up such deals, and DC Entertainment is pulling out the stops to make Green Lantern as bankable a name as Superman, or even Iron Man.
Variety has a feature on plans to exploit the character.
At the same time, Warner Bros have just announced a deal with Mattel to flood the market with Lantern toys.
"The sheer volume of the DC Comics property portfolio lends itself to an incredible array of consumer offerings," said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "As master licensee, Mattel has consistently created innovative products that are true to the spirit of the DC Comics heroes and villains from which they are inspired. We look forward to seeing the results of the next wave of property collaborations."
Adds producer Donald De Line, "The Green Lantern film has an incredibly wide merchandise appeal. The potential is there for amazing toys and merchandise because Green Lantern’s ring can create anything the imagination can conjure. From space stations and vehicles to alien action figures, the possibilities are just endless."
Mattel is promising Basic and Deluxe Action Figures, Figure/Vehicles, Role Play, Playsets, Games, Puzzles and Vehicles. Additionally, each Action Figure toy comes complete with a Green Lantern ring in order for kids to feel as if they, too, have been “chosen” to be a Green Lantern. The Deluxe Action Figures have a special feature that allows kids to truly replicate the elements in the film, and come with accessories that unfold into completely different items for unlimited hours of play.
On top of that, you'll have your Hal Jordan themed Hot Wheels, Tyco R/C, UNO decks and more.
Probably most interesting to readers here are the various bits of artwork that have been making the rounds. These presumably show the movie's logo as well as a glimpse at the costume:
Bleeding Cool reports that X-Men: First Class have set up production offices at Pinewood Studios in London.
Superhero Hype excerpts quotes from an extensive interview with filmmaker Christopher Nolan who talks about Batman 3 and the new Superman movie.
Fans recall that Nolan broke with comic book movie tradition by leaving the door open for the Joker to return after the end of The Dark Knight. However, the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger certainly harmed any plans Nolan might have had for the character. Conceivably he could bring the Joker back with a different actor.
When Empire asked of the clown prince of crime would return Nolan said, "No. I just don't feel comfortable about it."
He does confirm that work is proceeding on the film.
"My brother is working on the screenplay. We came up with a story that we are very excited about. We particularly like where we are taking the characters and what the ending is... There are things for me to be very excited about in addressing the characters again. But ultimately it always comes down to the script, and can we make a great film from this? That's something I will firmly be turning my attention to figuring out fairly soon."
And it sounds like Nolan is wary of the Spider-Man 3 syndrome of simply making the spectacle bigger and bigger until the story gets lost completely. Instead his Batman movie will be, "the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."
He also explained his advisory role on the new Superman movie, which he will not direct.
"What it is, while David Goyer and myself were putting together the story for another Batman film a few years ago - you know, thrashing out where we might move on from 'The Dark Knight' - we got stuck. We were just sitting there idly chatting and he said, ' By the way, I think I know how you approach Superman,' and he told me his take on it. I thought it was really tremendous," Nolan said. "It was the first time I had been able to conceive of how you would address Superman in a modern context. I thought it was a very exciting idea."
Click through for more of Nolan's comments about Batman, Superman and the differences between DC heroes and Marvel heroes.
The MTV Movie Awards brought a new look at Scott Pilgrim vs The World in the form of a battle between Michael Cera and Chris Evans. Evans plays Ramona's Evil-Ex Lucas Lee, a skate-rat turned actor who is filming a movie at Castle Loma.
The clip made us laugh a couple of times, which bodes well for the movie. We're including the sanctioned MTV embed below. However, we realize that MTV still firewalls folks outside the U.S. from seeing their clips, so we're also linking a YouTube copy as well.
A few weeks back, rumors broke of a potential final five list of actor candidates for Marc Webb's Spider-Man relaunch. Among the names listed was brit actor Jamie Bell who first rose to prominence in the title role of Billy Elliot. More recently fans have seen him in the action movie Jumper. He's also spent time recently as the mo-cap and voice star of the Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson CGI collaboration The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
Now, word from Bleeding Cool is that Sony has moved Bell to the top of the list. Presumably the studio is in the process of extending an offer for the role to the young actor (who apparently shuns combs and hair brushes of any kind).
If the reports are credible, we'd expect an official announcement in the next week or so.