The first photos from the set of 'The Losers' are now online. Plus: 'Red' to be lighthearted? 'Oblivion' and 'Alibi' set for features. Akinnuoye-Agbaje campaigns for 'Black Panther' and more! Just because we're not allowing reviews doesn't mean it sucks. It's your Comics2Film 9.8.5!
Marvel Entertainment released their second quarter earnings statement yesterday. The comics-to-film mini-studio is still going even though profits were down 38%. The drop is, of course, due to a lack of a theatrical release this year, after two blockbusters last summer.
In spite of this, revenues from the home entertainment market are strong, where 'Iron Man' and 'Incredible Hulk' still perform. Revenue from Marvel's original core business -- publishing comics -- are flat showing neither growth nor shrinkage.
We usually look to the quarterly earnings reports from some nugget of information about new developments in the world of film, TV or beyond. Unfortunately this one offers no surprises, but just a recap of projects that are known to regular readers of this column.
Although Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's Wildstorm comic 'Red' plays out as a taut thriller, expect the film version to be funnier, says director Robert Schwentke.
Schwentke, who is recently promoting 'The Time Traveler's Wife' told MTV Splash Page that the script is "very funny, which the comic book isn't."
"It's not as violent as the comic book," He elaborated, "I like switching gears and this is a movie that allows me to do something lighthearted in tone and is also an action movie."
Bruce Willis has signed on to the film, from Summit Entertainment. He'll play an aging black ops agent who gets targeted for elimination by a high-tech assassin. Morgan Freeman is also on board.
Both the Hollywood Reporter and Variety are reporting what we at Mania recently learned: Paramount pictures are refusing to screen 'G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra' for all but a hand-picked selection of online critics.
Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures rationalizes the strategy saying, "'G.I. Joe' is a big, fun, summer event movie - one that we've seen audiences enjoy everywhere from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to Phoenix, Ariz.. After the chasm we experienced with 'Transformers 2' between the response of audiences and critics, we chose to forgo opening-day print and broadcast reviews as a strategy to promote 'G.I. Joe.' We want audiences to define this film."
In other words, they already know the critics are going to hate it.
But aren't summer tent poles generally critic-proof? The "chasm" on 'Transformers 2' hardly kept audiences from defining that film as one of the most profitable movies of all time. So why the testicular shrinkage on 'Joe'? We suspect that audiences and critics may be more in sync on this one, but we'll know for sure on Friday...
James Cameron told MTV Splash Page that he has no intention of doing a superhero movie and the only one he ever wanted to do was 'Spider-Man'. Fans will recall that Cameron's name was long attached to the web-slinger's fate from as far back as the late 1980s. But legal entanglements prevented Cameron (or anyone else) from making a wall-crawler film until Sony Pictures Entertainment won the rights in court in 1999.
"Spider-Man was the only one I ever wanted to do. I wasn't really personally that driven to do a superhero movie per se, but I wanted to do Spider-Man because he was my guy when I was 14. He was the s--- and everybody else sucked," Cameron said at the recent Comic-Con.
Of course, now that the films have been made under Sam Raimi, Cameron is content to let that ship sail on without him.
Check out his complete comments...
Radical Publishing continues to assert its unique comics and film model with the recent announcement of the film version of their new book 'Oblivion'.
The book's creator and writer, director Joseph Kosinski ('Tron Legacy') is on board to direct the feature film version of the story.
Set in the distant future, Oblivion revolves around a court-martialed soldier who is exiled to a desolate planet ravaged by the wrath of time. During his efforts to explore his surroundings and bring an end to the last remains of a primitive alien race, he comes across a mysterious traveler. Through the help of this enigmatic traveler, the soldier begins to question everything he knows – both about the galaxy at large and himself.
"I was looking to make a science fiction film that I could do on a budget," stated Kosinski of the initial concept. "It's grown since then, but it's intended to be a very spare science fiction film, with a small cast but big ideas and big landscapes."
'Oblivion' will be produced by Kosinski alongside Radical Publishing’s President and Publisher Barry Levine, filmmaker David Fincher ('The Curious Case of Benjamin Button') and Anonymous Content’s David Morrison. Radical Publishing’s Executive Vice President Jesse Berger is attached as executive producer.
The book is not a comic per se, but an illustrated novel published in a landscape format mixing the traditional text based novel with highly rendered illustrations by the artist Kai.
Variety reports that 'Alibi' the Top Cow comic written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and illustrated by Jeremy Haun is headed for the big screen as well.
Mandeville Films and Top Cow Prods. have pacted on the projected. Mandeville chiefs David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman producing. Top Cow CEO and founder Marc Silvestri will serve as executive producer the feature project along with Top Cow president Matt Hawkins and Mandeville VP David Manpearl.
The book tells the story of an assassin who lives in secret and uses his high-profile twin brother as the perfect cover for his government-sanctioned acts of murder.
Variety credits Hawkins and Michael Renegar as creators of the concept.
Actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje continues to talk about his goal of playing Marvel's 'Black Panther' on the big screen. Most recently he chatted with Blackfilm.com.
"I've always had a passion to play a superhero, and now it appears to becoming real. We're in talks with Marvel to playing one of my favorite superheroes, which is obviously 'Black Panther,'" Akinnuoye-Agbaje said. "There is truth to that, the fact that we are talking. It would be a boyhood dream to have that materialized. I was at Comic Con this year and the timing for such a character to come to life couldn't be more appropriate. I would love to be the one to wear the suit and go out and represent."
The actor also laid out his plans for the character.
"I would infuse it with the same intense reality. Yes, it's a comic, but to able to make him relatable by the ordinary man as well as make him superhuman, I'd like to convey an element of him that is real and raw; the same rawness that you saw in Adebisi, Mr. Eko or Majestic from 'Get Rich or Die Tryin,'" Akinnuoye-Agbaje said. "I can make this guy real. He's a panther, which is based upon an animal, a proud animal. I would bring some elements from my culture, which is Nigeria. I'm from an area which is known for its regality. In fact, my name, Adewale, means the crown has come home, the crown is here. Together, with that rawness, and the regality because he is an African prince, I would love to bring out the cultural elements of my background to it."
What do you think, Maniacs? Would a BLACK PANTHER feature starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje be cool? Post your comments below...
SCI FI Wire took a look at the new DVD/Blu-Ray release of 'Green Lantern: First Flight' and likes what they saw.
"Ultimately, Green Lantern: First Flight is one of the better animated adaptations to be released in recent years, because it looks great, tells an interesting story and whets the viewer's appetite for what's yet to come."
The first pictures from the Puerto Rican set of 'The Losers' are now online. The photos were posted on Flickr by user mparis13.
Most of the 13 photos show Puerto Rican storefronts that have been dressed to look like a Bolivian slum.
Two of the photos feature images of actress Zoë Saldaña, who plays the team's embittered badass Aisha. Although mparis13 did his best, he could not get a clear shot of Saldaña.