'Iron Man 2' rumors fly. Plus: Universal aims to make 'Umbrella Academy' with 'Constantine' writer. PLUS: 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' footage and spoilers. Your first look at the new 'Phantom' and more. Unsure if its sleep number is 45 or 100, it's your Comics2Film 9.4.8!
Great comics writer Len Wein, who had a hand in creating numerous popular comics characters, such as Swamp Thing and Wolverine, lost his home to house fire this week.
Thankfully, neither Wein, his wife nor his son were were harmed in the blaze, which was caused by a structural problem in the house. However, the family dog was lost in the accident.
Also gone are numerous irreplaceable keepsakes marking the man's career, many of which have cultural significance in the world of comics.
The Beat has a very detailed account from family friend Harlan Ellison and is the place for well wishers to express their thoughts and concerns.
According to Variety Universal Pictures will make Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's 'Umbrella Academy' the first film adaptation in their new pact with Dark Horse Comics.
Mark Bomback ('Constantine', 'Race to Witch Mountain') is set to write the script for the film.
The comic, which just garnered four Eisner Award nominations tells of a group of super humans, born at the exact same time under mysterious circumstances and raised by Dr. Reginald Hargreeves to become a dysfunctional family of adults.
Dark Horse chief Mike Richardson will produce with Scott Stuber. Pamela Abdy will oversee the project for Stuber Productions. Way will serve as exec producer.
Seth Rogen chatted with The Hollywood Reporter to talk 'Observe and Report'. He also discussed his love of comics and how it lead him to 'Green Hornet'. Here's an excerpt:
THR: What comic books are you reading these days?
Rogen: I just read this comic "Nightly News" that was really awesome. I highly recommend it. "The Sword" I liked. "Old Man Logan." I think Damon Lindelof finally wrote a third fucking issue of "Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine" that he started around 4 1/2 years ago. I'll read anything Garth Ennis writes. He's my favorite.
THR: Was that love of comics what drew you to "The Green Hornet"?
Rogen: Yeah, definitely. Me and Evan always wanted to make a superhero movie about a hero and a sidekick. That's the movie we've been trying to write for years, kind of like deconstructing the relationship between a hero and his sidekick. And we just couldn't crack it. And then one day we got a call saying "Green Hornet" is up for grabs, and we realized that could be the perfect format for us to do our weird hero-sidekick movie. I mean, we liked the "Green Hornet," but we were not particularly fond of the character or loyal to it in any real way. But it's worked out well, and I think it has few enough fans that they won't be disappointed because all people really know is that Bruce Lee was the sidekick. That's all they really need to know going in.
THR: Is shooting still scheduled to start in June?
Rogen: Michel Gondry is literally in our office right now, working away. He's awesome. He's just like a magician. He filmed these fight scenes, and they're incredible. They're exactly what you would hope a Michel Gondry fight scene would look like. And then you think, "Wow, what's a Michel Gondry car chase gonna look like? What's a Michel Gondry fucking explosion gonna look like?" He's just so imaginative, and you just know he approaches everything differently than everyone else. As soon as he gets a feeling like anything he's describing has been done, he immediately abandons it and tries to come up with something else.
Stan Lee Media, the company founded by comics godfather Stan Lee is suing its namesake again. The company was founded in 1998 and folded into bankruptcy by 2000. In 2006 California district court removed Bankruptcy protection due to the company's inability to file the ongoing reports. Since then, the company's shareholders have resuscitated the beast as a lawsuit-generating machine, firing off legal claims against Stan Lee himself and Marvel Comics as well.
On Monday, the brain-eating, zombie Stan Lee Media issued a press release announcing a new suit against the living human Stan Lee and his new company POW Entertainment, which was filed last Friday. Zombie SLM is seeking to lay claim to the works of POW, which apparently holds two SLM characters in its stable of intellectual properties.
In the press release, Zombie SLM claims that Federal Judge Wilson has ruled against Human Stan Lee with regards to whether or not POW Entertainment can claim ownership of the characters The Accuser and The Drifter, which were allegedly created while SLM was still a real company.
Even though POW has not exploited either of these characters (recent direct-to-video works focused on new charcters including 'Mosaic', 'The Condor' and 'Lightspeed'), Zombie SLM looks to be using the ruling a leverage against any and all of POW's holdings.
According to the announcement, the suit (filed by SLM shareholder Jose Abadin) claims:
These contested creations have been the basis of various highly publicized licensing and joint venture deals between Stan Lee's POW Entertainment and Sprint Mobil, Starz Entertainment and a division of Liberty Media.
Jose Abadin, a Los Angeles based investment banker and stock broker, has been a substantial investor in Stan Lee Media since 1999, when the investment banking firm he was associated with provided multi-million dollar venture funding to Stan Lee Media.
The suit requests judicial enforcement of, and damages for the violation of Stan Lee Media's rights under Stan Lee's October 1998 Employment and Rights Assignment Agreement in which Lee assigned everything he owned "in the creative universe," including his name, to capitalize the dot com Stan Lee founded in 1998, Stan Lee Media Inc of Colorado.
In a related federal suit filed in New York (Case # 07 Civ. 2238) on behalf of Stan Lee Media shareholders, Lee and Marvel Entertainment are being sued to obtain Stan Lee's co-creator's profits to Lee's "world famous creations" for Marvel including Spider Man, Ironman and X-Men. These rights are alleged to have been included in Lee's universal rights assignment to Stan Lee Media.
Sad times for one of comics greatest voices, who now finds his own name assigned to a party intent on ruining him.
Australian media were invited to to take a gander at new footage from 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' this week.
The event, held on historic Cockatoo Island, took journalists through set pieces from the film, and culminated in a 20 minute screening of new and feature-complete footage from the film. Later, Hugh Jackmen led an open discussion about his role in the film.
IGN has the report, which contians some spoilers.
KryptonSite.com reports that the Black Canary will be one of two Justice Leaguers returning in the May-airing season finale of Smallville, titled "Doomsday." The identity of the other returning hero is not yet revealed. Visit the site for more spoilers.
Actor Channing Tatum plays the square-jawed Duke in the upcoming 'G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra' movie. However, that's not the part he was gunning for, according to MTV Movies Blog.
"I wanted to play Snake Eyes. I wanted so badly to play Snake Eyes," he said.
Tatum also said that the success of the film is going to rely on post-production gurus who will breath life into the world of 'Joe'.
"Doing those films you have no idea. They’re over half digital. I’d say almost 75% digital because you’re doing all this stuff, but the way they create the world is all in the computer," Tatum said. "You’re looking at a green screen and you’re sitting in a chair and you’re having to imagine that you’re flying around the arctic under the polar ice caps. You have no idea what that looks like so they just shout things like, ‘There’s an explosion to your right! There’s an explosion to your left! Someone’s shooting at you and you duck down!’ It’s like the grown-up version of make-believe."
Fans wondering how the masterminds behind the new 'Phantom' TV show were going to handle the very specific look of Lee Falk's classic character can wonder no more. Gone is the skin-tight purple leotard and blue/black striped trunks. The new 'Phantom' has been armorized (or Smallville-ized if you prefer).
SCI FI Wire scored the exclusive first look at costume design drawings for the updated character. Check it out by clicking the thumbnail at right.
What do you think, Maniacs? Is this a good look for the ghost who walks?
IESB reports that Gary Oldman was seen lurking on the set of 'Iron Man 2' this week. The sighting is unconfirmed and there's no word on what role the 'Dark Knight' actor might be playing, but presumably its a small one.
IESB reports that The Weinstein Company no longer holds the film rights to Frank Miller's 'Sin City'. For whatever reasons, TWC was seen as the encumberance that has prevented the much-discussed 'Sin City 2' from happening.
Rumor has it that firm plans for the sequel will be announced soon and the sequel will be funded by a private equity group. Robert Rodriguez's Trouble Maker studios will produce, with Universal possibly distributing.
What do you think, Maniacs? Are you still interested in seeing a Sin City follow up?
Jon Favreau is tweeting from the set of 'Iron Man 2'. Here's a recap of the recent posts:
# Day 2. Slept like a rock. Finally. Not used to these long hours. Apr 7 - 8am
# Swarm of paparazzi on set. Apr 7 - 3pm
# Garry Shandling: "I can't wait to see the movie to see who I actually play." Apr 7 - 4pm
# Wrapped day two. Time for some sleep. So great to work with Garry. Apr 7 10pm
ShockTilYouDrop reports that Rob Zombie may record music and direct a segment of David Fincher's planned 'Heavy Metal' revival. Reporting from the set of 'Halloween 2', Zombie said he was approached by Fincher and 'Metal' publisher Kevin Eastman about contributing, "something that could fuse his story with his music."
Zombie also admits that he's heard nothing of the project since that intial conversation.