More 'Captain America' casting and reactions. Plus: 'Iron Man 2' hype! 'Avengers' director buzz. A new 'Red Sonja'? More! Rising from the chocolate egg coma, it's your Comics2Film 10.4.5!
News that Joss Whedon is a contender to direct 'The Avengers' for Marvel arrived on the very dubious movie news date of April 1st. Lest the rumor be dismissed as an April Fools gag (having appeared among four bogus headlines on the reporting site), the L.A. Times Hero Complex blog checked with sources at Marvel and confirmed that the news is legit.
No director has been chosen to lead 'The Avengers' but Whedon is said to be on the short list and has been in conversation with Marvel about it.
Plans have been brewing for a new 'Red Sonja' movie for a while now, with Robert Rodriguez attached to produce and his one-time squeeze Rose McGowan announced as the lead in the film a few years back.
Now Pajiba.com reports that the details of those July 2008 announcements no longer hold true. The studio behind the film, Millennium Films (currently filming the new 'Conan') have started over. Neither director Douglas Aarniokoski and nor McGowan are attached at this point.
Apparently Millennium has gone out with an offer to none other than Megan Fox to star in the movie. It's an interesting move. Fox's star-wattage has fizzled a bit since the first 'Transformers' movie, with none of her other films really sparking and her off-camera antics showing her in a negative light. On the other hand, C2F definitely wants to see the poster of Fox, sword in hand, sporting a chain-mail bikini.
A Hollywood Reporter article spotlighting TV shows which may or may not be renewed includes mention of Fox's comic-based 'Human Target'. The show is said to be garnering modest ratings but certainly hasn't broken out as a hit. However, Fox TV reportedly likes the show and the ratings are acceptable for now so it will likely see a second season.
About a week ago it was announced that director Paul W.S. Anderson would helm the newest big-screen adventures of 'Buck Rogers'. Anderson put in an appearance at WonderCon to promote 'Resident Evil: Afterlife' and talked with SCI FI Wire about the comic strip film.
"You take a relatable modern-day man, you put him in the far-flung future," Anderson told reporters. "I think what [screenwriters Art Markum and Matt Holloway] will do—which they did with 'Iron Man'—which is bring a lot of kind of humanity and character to the story. So I think they're going to write a great Buck character in the way that they wrote a great Tony Stark character."
Anderson said he's approaching Rogers the way he's approached the other franchise films he's worked on: as a fan.
"I love Buck Rogers. I read the comic strips as a kid, the old comic strips. I watched the TV show. I love the source material, and then I take that love and knowledge of the source material and then try and put my own spin on it," he said.
The official website promoting 'The Losers' is now live at The-Losers.com. It contains the usual round up of videos, film info and photos, as well a mouse-and-click shooter game.
At WonderCon promoting 'The Losers', director Sylvain White chatted with reporters about some of his other comics-related projects.
SCI FI Wire reports that the 'Robotech' adaptation is on White's radar, but not at the forefront.
"It's not a project that's greenlit, so you know, ... It's a great cult series. When it came out, I actually saw it in France, growing up. I saw it in French. It's a pretty amazing cartoon. And I'm hoping it's going to come to fruition. I read a draft that's really good. ... I'm interested in doing it, but the project is not fast tracked or anything like that, so there's no official thing. There's no deal. ... They sent me a draft. I liked it. It's a work in progress."
Meanwhile MTV Splash Page reports that the adaptation of Frank Miller's 'Ronin' will likely get White's attention next. White told the site that as work on 'The Losers' clears he is increasingly attentive of the futuristic Samurai film and says they're going to "the next stage" with it.
"It's something I have a very strong passion for — it's very complex material," said White. "I need it to be adapted right. It needs to have the right combination of intellectual ideas and the great action and sci-fi set pieces that it offers — particularly the brilliant production design that Frank Miller has in the comic, which was already groundbreaking at the time and still is today."
He says they're currently working on the script for the movie and feels the material is well-suited to the current technology craze in movies. "That's something that I've been talking about for a while for a few projects, particularly for 'Ronin,' because when you look at the kind of action and the kind of characters he has in the comic, it totally demands a 3-D treatment."
Although for several weeks now we've been accepting the reporting that Chris Evans is a lock to play the lead in 'The First Avenger: Captain America', Marvel made it official on Friday issuing a press release that announced the casting, and then amending the release on their own website to also confirm Sebastian Stan as Bucky in the film.
Marvel provided this official (albeit vague) synopsis for the movie:
"'The First Avenger: Captain America' will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America."
Joe Johnston is directing from a script penned by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige will produce "The First Avenger: Captain America." Alan Fine, Stan Lee, David Maisel, Stratton Leopold and Louis D'Esposito will executive produce. The film will be released in the US on July 22, 2011 and distributed by Paramount Pictures.
Evans appeared at last weekend's WonderCon and talked briefly about the film. According to a report filed by the Comics Continuum Evans echoed the notion that Marvel characters are interesting because they resonate as people when the masks are off.
"It's a fun character, even if it wasn't a comic book. I think the story of Steve Rogers is great. He's a great guy. Even if it was just a script about anybody, I'd probably want to do it," Evans said. "He's a great character to play. He just happens to be a comic-book hero, too, and that's where I'm coming from."
In spite of being involved with five comic-based movies at this point, Evans admitted that he doesn't have a history of reading comics, but says he enjoys having the extensive source material to refer to while making such movies.
Marvel EIC Joe Quesada was very enthusiastic about the news of Evans' casting. On Comic Book Resources he talked about the process and said that Marvel wanted to make sure they got the right guy and saw many, many actors for the part.
"The role of Cap is such an incredibly special one and really bigger than life. Not only does an actor have to embody the sheer power and charisma of a character like Cap, he must also be able to demonstrate his humility. Add to this the 90 lb. weakling aspect of Steve Rogers and you have a part that is very tough to fill by anyone's standards," Quesada said. He also added that people are used to thinking of Cap as a mature leader, which is how he's appears in comics since the 1960s. The story of the film starts with his early days which means the character is younger and less seasoned.
Quesada also said that he things Evans fully lives up to the image fans may have in their heads about Captain America.
"This is where the casting of Chris Evans is such a homerun. Here you have a guy who absolutely embodies every aspect of Cap, including the look and feel of the character. Kevin Feige was absolutely beaming after meeting with Chris and seeing what he could do, and I've got to tell you, I think he's perfect as well," Quesada told CBR. "See, that to me is the beauty of the movies that we at Marvel produce. We know the characters better than anyone outside of our fans, and we know how important it is to cast just that right person. We aren't a bunch of Hollywood execs who don't understand the source material or it's history; it's Marvel guys and gals making Marvel movies, and that's a huge difference.
"Chris Evans is going to rock as Cap, as will Sebastian Stan as Bucky, who plays a pretty important part in our movie. The story is epic, the director is a legendary icon and the cast is taking shape in fantastic ways – man, it's great to be a Marvel fan in this new millennium!"
Less enthusiastic about the movie is actress Emily Blunt, who has been rumored as a top contender for the female lead of Peggy Carter in the movie. The L.A. Times reports that Marvel offered the actress the role last week but the actress turned it down due to a busy schedule. This is the second near miss between Blunt and Marvel, as she had previously accepted the role of Black Widow in 'Iron Man 2' but had to bow out due to a conflict with Fox's 'Gulliver's Travels' movie.
Other contenders for the role of Carter are said to include Keira Knightley and Alice Eve.
Marvel.com has posted the international release dates for 'Iron Man 2'. Interestingly, fans in the U.S. will be among the last to see it on May 7...almost a full week after other territories. Click through to see when the movie arrives in your neighborhood.
In case you missed it: we posted two minutes of 'Iron Man 2' over the holiday break. The clip depicts Iron Man's spectacular arrival at Stark Expo 2010, rocketing into the fairgrounds amid a hail of fireworks. Check it out in the Mania video gallery or click through to Apple.com for the high-def version.
Two new TV ads have also appeared online. Check 'em out:
TV Spot #2
TV Spot #3