Was Ledger's go-for-broke Joker an attempt to get fired from 'The Dark Knight'? Plus: Jackson talks Fury in 'Iron Man 2'. That 'Transformers' movie is doing alright, in case you hadn't heard. Cool 'Scott Pilgrim' photos. 'We3', 'Ripley' and more! Schlemiel, schlimazel, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated. It's your Comics2Film 9.7.1!
In case you missed it, fans can find an our exclusive interview with Scott Mednick, producer of the new 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie elsewhere on Mania.com today. Mednick gives us some insights into the story, technology and talent that will be brought to bear in bringing the heroes on a half-shell back to the big screen.
'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' collected nearly another $15 million on Monday, pushing it higher on various charts tracked by Box Office Mojo.
The film jumped up to #80 on the all-time domestic chart.
It is now in the top 100 on the all-time worldwide chart.
It ranks #7 for 10-day gross, with four more days of box office left to improve its standing there.
It's #5 on the 9-day gross.
It's already #2 on the 7 and 8 day gross behind 'The Dark Knight'. It only needs to collect $23 million to surpass that film. Unlikely it'll hit that in seven days, but maybe it will on the eighth.
Likewise, the film has landed at #2 on the 6-day gross chart, so 'The Dark Knight' holds its ground there
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter is projecting the autobot slugfest to stay on top through the fourth of July weekend. Top competitors are the buzz-free 'Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs' and the gangster drama 'Public Enemies' (review).
That Will Smith remake of the rightly adored Korean film 'Old Boy' may get sealed up in a mysterious apartment for the next 15 years, thanks to a lawsuit by the publishers of the original manga, which the movie is based on.
Anime News Network reports that Futabasha, the Japanese publisher of Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi's thriller are suing Show East, the makers of the 2003 cult film for the rights to the Hollywood remake.
According to the report, the suit was aparently filed on June 15 in Seoul Central District Court.
Futubasha is allaging a breach of contract which would have the rights to negotiate a deal with Universal Pictures back to them.
As of last November, plans were for Steven Spielberg to direct Will Smith in the American remake.
Over at G4, the lovely and talented Blair Butler chats with Grant Morrison about the 'We3' movie. Morrison wrote a script for the 'Homeward Bound Meets Robocop' concept, based on the outstanding comic series he created with artist Frank Quitely.
Well, here's a bizarre turn of events reported on the 'Dead of Night' production blog.
For reasons that are unclear, Platinum Studios Development Executive Dan Forcey started a rumor. Making a handful of posts on Facebook and Twitter, Forcey promoted the idea that singer Neil Diamond had died. With little promotion beyond the smattering of posts, the "Diamond is Dead" rumor gained enough traction where Diamond felt had to let people (via Twitter) know he was still alive.
In his blog post, Forcey came clean about the hoax and called it an "experiment in social media", although it seems a bit cruel to us, given that the news may have been upsetting to impressionable members of Diamond's personal circle.
Well, it appears the 'Dead of Night' movie may have been the recipient of some of the bad karma generated by the stunt. On Monday Forcey posted on his social outlets that he was "having a bad day". This may possibly have been becuase a rumor was spreading that the 'Dead of Night' movie was going direct to DVD.
Like the Neil Diamond hoax, the direct-to-DVD rumor is false. Writes Forcey:
"...somebody this morning, with NO articles, interviews, or facts of any kind to back it up posted that Dead of Night was now going direct to DVD and it has spread around like wildfire.
To put a kibosh on this: Dead of Night WILL be a theatrical release. We are contractually guaranteed and contractually obligated by the parties that put this whole production together to release the movie to a certain minimum of screens. In other words, we couldn’t release this direct to DVD if we wanted to.
Whomever started this had not spoken to anyone with the production or fact-checked this in any way before posting it. Personally, I suspect Neil Diamond. He’s got it out for me now. I truly, honestly would like to apologize, Mr. Diamond."
The latest issue of Vanity Fair has a feature on late actor Heath Ledger. In online experts from the article, on source close to the actor insinuates that Ledger's award-winning, much buzzed-about performance as the Joker in 'The Dark Knight' was somehow, at least in part, an attempt by the actor to get fired from the film and collect his pay-or-play check without having to complete the project.
Here's the excerpt:
Ledger’s friend and agent, Steven Alexander, tells Biskind that Heath “was always hesitant to be in a summer blockbuster, with the dolls and action figures and everything else that comes with one of those movies. He was afraid it would define him and limit his choices.” According to friends of Ledger’s, one of the reasons he agreed to do Dark Knight was that the unusually long shoot would give him an excuse to turn down other offers.
Alexander tells Biskind that Ledger had a pay-or-play deal on The Dark Knight—meaning he’d get compensated no matter what—so he felt he had the freedom to do whatever he wanted as the Joker. According to Pecorini, Ledger hoped his performance would be so far-out he’d be fired, and thus become the beneficiary of a lengthy, paid vacation.
“He was ready to bust out of the gate, but he didn’t want to step on the gas and become something that he didn’t want to become: a matinee idol,” says Alexander. “He was a private person, and he didn’t want to share his personal history with the press. It just wasn’t up for sale. That’s part of the reason he initially tore down his career. He wasn’t motivated by money or stardom, but by the respect of his peers, and for people to walk out of a movie theater after they’d seen something that he’d worked on and say, ‘Wow, he really disappeared into that character.’ He was striving to become an ‘illusionist,’ as he called it, able to create characters that weren’t there.”
Vanity Fair is on sale today. Click through for more about Ledger and his career.
MTV Splash Page pinned down Mr. Samuel L. Jackson and quizzed him about his role in 'Iron Man 2'. The actor told the music channel that, unfortunately, Nick Fury isn't involved in any of the action pieces.
"Not this time, not yet. We still haven’t moved Nick Fury into the bad-ass zone. He’s still just kind of a talker," Jackson said, and then pointed out that he has a scene with Robert Downey Jr., of course, and Scarlett Johansson (aka The Black Widow) as well.
Here's the clip...
Fan fave actress Kristen Bell ('Veronica Mars', 'Heroes') talked with SCI FI Wire about her role as Cora in the upcoming CGI feature 'Astro Boy', who she describes as the ring-leader of a "Peter Pan group of kids."
She also enthused about the quality of the film saying, "I've seen a lot of it, actually. It looks amazing. To be involved in the process is really exciting, because you see the layers that they put on and you see when they don't have the 3-D involved and then when they do and you see when it's just penciled out. It was a really interesting process."
Click through for more of Bell's comments about the process.
The film is due in theaters October 23.
There's some cool new photos from the set of 'Scott Pilgrim vs The World' in director Edgar Wright's daily photos stream. The latest feature images of Brandon Routh on the set of the film, along with a T-shirt bearing a "Vegan Police" logo.
Routh plays Todd Ingram, a member of the band Clash at Demonhead headed Pilgrim's ex-girl Envy Adams.
An excerpt from Wikipedia describes a scene from the comics which seems to sync up with the photos currently on display: "Scott...tries to punch Todd Ingram, but is stopped by Todd's telekinetic powers. Envy (who is dating Todd) explains that Todd is a vegan, and graduated top of his class in 'Vegan Academy'. Todd explains that he gains his powers from using the extra 90% percent of his brain, whereas non-vegans use only 10% of their brain and that the rest is 'filled up with curds and whey.'"
The feature film version of the empire-building comic strip 'Ripley's Believe it or Not' is a project that's seen plenty of ebb and flow in the 12 years we've been covering the subject of comic-base movies.
Director Chris Columbus told SCI FI Wire that what was once envisioned as a biographical feature on cartoonist Robert Ripley, may now have a more Hollywood spin on it.
"My take on Ripley is to believe it," Columbus said in an exclusive interview. "My take on Ripley is to turn it into a fantasy film, really: a big fantasy adventure film where we believe that all of these oddities are possible.
"I think we'll certainly relate to the comic strip a lot in the film. I don't want to talk too much about it, because there are too many surprises."
John Collee ('Happy Feet') is currently at work on the script for the film. Jim Carrey is attached to star. Plans call for a 2011 release.
And now, a brief installment of...
A lone tweet from the Jon Favreau Twittersphere...
# Busy day. Filmed with RDJ, Gwyneth, Rockwell and Scarlett. Stayed late prepping next week. Couples Retreat trailer went up on Apple site. about 12AM, July 1