Ledger to return in Dark Knight Rises? (No. No he isn't). Plus: Firebreather smokes the competition. Walking Dead turmoil. X-Men: First Class gets Wise and more! It's your Comics2Film 10.12.1!
Collider.com has a chat with Mr. Nicolas Cage, who talks about his currently filming project Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. The actor said he's excited to have an opportunity to take another stab at Marvel's flame-headed biker from hell, and the new take on the character will "mess with [fans'] minds."
"I’m really enjoying my experience with Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. They’re not like anybody I’ve worked with before. They’re total originals," Cage enthused. "Mark Neveldine is doing things with the camera that are just brand new. He’s on rollerblades. He’s hanging off of wires at 300 feet. He’s just doing things that are combination stuntman and camera operator/director that are quite shocking and quite risky.
"And Brian Taylor is just a philosopher when it comes to movies. You can talk to him about Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, and you can go into Ishiro Honda’s The War of the Gargantuas, in the same sentence. He’s definitely giving me a chance to bring a lot to the character," Cage continued. "His idea to have me play Ghost Rider as well was inspired. We’ve been coming up with a lot of interesting things to do in the abstract, to help support the supernatural aspect of the character. He is the most supernatural superhero of all, after all."
Click through for more of Cage's comments on GR2 and Kick-Ass.
Last week Cartoon Network debuted their original movie Firebreather. Directed by Peter Chung (Aeon Flux) the film adapts Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn's comic of the same name.
Now Cartoon Network is declaring a ratings win for the show, which topped various demographic categories in its debut.
And if we're to take artist Andy Kuhn's tweets as gospel, there may be a follow up feature. He writes, "Firebreather was #1 in cable ratings for the night it debuted. Will [Cartoon Network] make more? The magic 8-ball says, 'signs point to yes!!!!'"
Hyperbole aside, here's the press release from Cartoon Network...
Scorching away all competition across its 90-minute original movie premiere (7-8:30 p.m.), Cartoon Network’s FIREBREATHER ranked as Wednesday’s (Nov. 24) #1 telecast of the night among all kids and boys demos ages 2-11, 6-11, 9-14 and 12-17 vs. all television networks, according to Nielsen Media Research. The network’s first-ever CG original movie event attracted 3,693,000 viewers ages 2+ (up +19% compared to the same 2009 time period), including nearly 1.7 million kids 2-11, 1.3 million kids 6-11 and 1.1 million kids 9-14—beating all other television networks by considerable double digits.
Both kids and boys ages 2-11 and 6-11 grew over each half-hour, with double-digits gains between the first and third half-hour measurement: kids 2-11 grew by 18%, kids 6-11 grew by 21%, boys 2-11 grew by 24% and boys 6-11 grew by 23%. The outstanding performance also ranks as the second most-watched telecast of the year among targeted viewers, just beneath the Oct. 15 original presentation of Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.
"Firebreather is a fantastic story with complex and compelling characters that really resonated with our audience," said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer of Cartoon Network. "We are extremely grateful that our viewers responded so dramatically to our first effort at taking original movies to the next level with a dynamic new CG experience."
Posting double and triple-digit delivery and ratings growth compared to the previous week (Nov. 17), FIREBREATHER achieved the following performance highlights:
Actor Ray Wise (Robocop, Twin Peaks) told IGN that he has a role in the currently-filming X-Men: First Class. "I'm playing the Secretary of State of the United States. I'll be going over there in the next couple of weeks," Wise told IGN.
So, AMC has a major hit on its hands with The Walking Dead. The six-episode first season is about to wrap up. So what are the producers doing to get ready for season two? Firing the writing staff.
Deadline.com reports that writer/ executive producer/ director Frank Darabont has let go the entire staff from the first season. Apparently Darabont intends to hire writers for the second season on a freelance only basis, rather than have a dedicated staff.
In truth, freelancers accounted for one-third of the scripts in the first season (comics creator Robert Kirkman being one of them) and Darabont accounted for another third, leaving only two episodes penned by the show's staff. So the transition may not be all that dramatic. However, Deadline points out that stretching the model out over twice as many episodes may put the show in hot water with the Writers Guild.
Finally, Deadline says that the freelancer plan is something under consideration and there's plenty of time for things to change between now and when the second season launches next October.
As anticipation builds for The Dark Knight Rises, rumors and stories are swirling around the production.
First up, EW talked with director Christopher Nolan about his plans for the franchise. Not surprisingly, the filmmaker is approaching the film with an air of finality calling it, "the last chapter of our Batman saga."
However, he feels at home transitioning into another Batman movie after his blockbuster original movie Inception.
"I feel very glad that I’m doing another Batman film. I think it would have been daunting to sit down and write an original script after Inception. I love working within the realm and rules of our Batman world. It’s kind of nice to have someplace to go that I’m super-excited about," he said.
OK, so that's pretty much as expected, but here's a rumor out of left-field from Showbiz Spy: Their sources are claiming that Nolan plans to use cut footage from The Dark Knight as well as CG wizardry to insert Heath Ledger's Joker into the new movie for a brief scene. Supposedly Nolan is seeking consent of Ledger's family before proceeding with the plan.
At one point Nolan did plan to include the Joker in the third movie, but, very obviously, the tragic passing of Ledger changed that.
Moviehole, who has numerous sources within Warner Bros, responded to the rumor and declared it bogus.
"It’s just not real," one of their contacts at Warner Bros told them. Sources say that Nolan has too much respect for Ledger and his family to even suggest such a thing.
In the same piece, Moviehole does float another interesting rumor. With Nolan clearly winding down his tour of the Batman universe, the studio is looking ahead to what's next for the character. Sources say the studio may be blowing the dust off the long-buzzed about Batman vs Superman movie as a possible next step in the franchise. That project was buzz-worthy eight or nine years ago when franchise crossovers were unheard of, though Marvel's Avengers movie will have stolen that thunder should the studio decide to go that route.
Other plans would include a traditional sequel with a new creative team and leading man.
Hey...there's this movie called Green Hornet coming at ya in 3D in about six weeks. Here are three new TV ads touting the Michel Gondry film starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou...
Rob M. Worley is the writer and creator of the all-new, all-cat kids comic book series Scratch9. Issues #1 and #2 are in stores now. Issue #1 is also available as a digital download via iVerse Media's iTunes app. Visit Scratch9.com for news and info!