August declares 'Shazam' dead! 'Iron Man' gets props! 'Wolverine' comes to America! New 'Brave and the Bold' episodes coming at ya! 'Tintin' grows a pair (of supporting actors)! This is your Comics2Film news roundup for year 09, month 01, day 05!
On his blog, screenwriter John August has declared the long-percolating 'Shazam!' movie "dead".
August provides a fascinating account of just how frustrating the process of writing commercial entertainment can be. Major monkey wrenches on the project were the dissolution of New Line Cinema (and the accompanying change of management on the project), the WGA strike, and general trepidation on the part of a studio who won big with 'The Dark Knight' but lost big with 'Speed Racer'.
Here's the final word from August:
By the time I got back [from travel to France], the project was dead.
By “dead,” I mean that it won’t be happening. I don’t think it’s on the studio’s radar at all. It may come back in another incarnation, with another writer, but I can say with considerable certainty that it won’t be the version I developed.
Yes, that sucks. And obviously, I can only share my interpretation of what transpired. There were dozens of meetings and phone calls in which I had no participation. As a reader, you should certainly consider the possibility that I wrote shitty scripts they simply didn’t want to make. Because Warners controls copyright on them, I can’t put them in the Library for you to read yourself. So you have to decide whether to take my word on it.
While 'The Dark Knight' is busy rounding up Oscar buzz, Marvel's 'Iron Man' is also collecting kudos here and there.
The screenplay for the film is among finalists nominated for the 21st annual USC Libraries Scripter Award. Other nominees are 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', 'The Reader', Revolutionary Road' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' have been named finalists for the 21st annual USC Libraries Scripter Award.
Variety reports that winners are set to be announced on the 30th of the month. Ceremonies take place at USC's Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library.
An interesting twist to this award is that it honors not just the screenplay but the work it is adapted from, so the complete nominee list for 'Iron Man' is: Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway based on the comic book series by Stan Lee and Don Heck.
The World's Finest has received confirmations on details from upcoming episodes of the jazzy new toon show 'Batman: The Brave and The Bold' airing this year.
Although fans in Canada and other countries have been watching it for months now, Nicktoons Network has issued a press release announcing the premiere of the animated series 'Wolverine and the X-Men':
Nicktoons Network, the fastest growing kids' network, introduces Wolverine and the X-Men, the new action-packed animated series based on Marvel's ever popular Super Heroes. Produced by Marvel Animation, the new 26-episode, half-hour series follows Wolverine as he reunites the X-Men in an attempt to save the world. The adventure begins with two back-to-back episodes Friday, Jan. 23, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (ET). The new series builds on Marvel's rich storylines from the comic book pages and big screen, and will air regularly Fridays at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on Nicktoons Network.
As the newest installation in the franchise, Wolverine and the X-Men continues Marvel's tradition of epic storytelling. This new animated series focuses on the most popular and well-known X-Men -- Wolverine -- and celebrates the unique qualities of the X-Universe: the action, the iconic characters and the storylines.
"Our audience craves action and adventure, so bringing Wolverine and the X-Men to Nicktoons Network was a natural fit," said Keith Dawkins, Nicktoons Network General Manager, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Programming Partnerships. "The folks at Marvel are master storytellers, which is why the X-Men franchise has been so hugely successful. We expect this next chapter to really resonate with our audience."
In the premiere episode, "Hindsight, Part 1", it is a year after a mysterious explosion destroyed the Xavier Institute and broke up the weary X-Men. An embittered Wolverine has lost himself on the open road, haunted by the unexplained fate of the missing Professor X and Jean Grey. But his efforts to keep a low profile end when he's brought back into the crosshairs of the Mutant Response Division (MRD) after rescuing a family. Wolverine infiltrates the MRD to liberate the innocent family who was captured for defending him, as well as a dozen captured mutants. Wolverine knows more trouble is on the way, and realizes he needs to enlist the help of the X-Men.
In the second episode, "Hindsight, Part 2", the villains from the Brotherhood fuel the mutant hysteria as Sen. Kelly tries to gather support for his Mutant Registration Act. Meanwhile, Wolverine is finding it difficult to get the X-Men back together. Most of the team is still unaccounted for, and those that Wolverine can find refuse to join the new team. The disillusioned Rogue has even taken up with the Brotherhood. But when the Brotherhood plans to go after Sen. Kelly at a press conference, the conflicted Rogue must decide where her loyalties lie.
In the late 20th century, mankind began to change. Suddenly, teenagers developed unthinkable abilities that science classified as the next stage in human evolution. In response, Professor Charles Xavier created a School for Gifted Youngsters so the young 'mutants' could learn to control their uncanny abilities and live in harmony with the non-mutant members of society. From then on, Xavier's students -- the X-Men -- intervened to protect the peace until a mysterious explosion devastated Xavier's school. Leaderless and without direction, the X-Men disbanded and the man known as Wolverine struck out on his own.
One year later, the once fiercely independent Wolverine must reunite the X-Men to prevent a horrible vision of the future where the X-Men gave up on Xavier's mission and the world fell into chaos. With great tragedy in their past and their future, Wolverine must lead Xavier's disillusioned students against the forces of fate and destiny. Perhaps together Wolverine and the X-Men can steer the course of history away from catastrophe. But no challenge Wolverine has ever faced can prepare him. On top of learning to lead the X-men for the first time, he's charged with trying to prevent a vision of a dark future from coming to pass. If the X-Men are to stay together as a team long enough to save the world, Wolverine will have to set aside his doubts, and the loaner will have to become a leader.
In celebration of the on-air event, fans can visit Nicktoons Network's website, www.areyouamutant.com, which will launch on Tuesday, Jan. 20. Users may have their DNA "scanned" to determine if they have mutant genes and, if so, they can enter the mansion of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters. In the mansion, they can visit one of four X-Men-hosted rooms or the Common Room, which will feature Instant Replays of the series post on-air premiere, polls, message boards, as well as episode descriptions and characters profiles. The site, updated weekly, will also feature a link to Nick.com' s Game of The Week, "Wolverine and the X-Men: Sentinel Slash", where Wolverine's quest brings him claw to face with a host of deadly robots in a fast-paced, action-packed 2D battlefield where his reflexes and his mutant healing factor will be just as important as muscle. Players control Wolverine to defeat the enemies in each level, and keep Wolverine alive as long as possible.
Additionally, Wolverine and the X-Men video content will be available on TurboNick and via Nickelodeon's wireless platforms. The series will also have a dedicated category in Nick's Video-On-Demand offering beginning Monday, Jan. 19.
Over on the Mania movie side is a report that the on-screen duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost ('Shaun of the Dead', 'Hot Fuzz') have been cast as Thomson and Thompson.
Back in September we reported on an interview where Pegg revealed they'd been offered the part as kind of a one-off suggestion from Spielberg himself. Looks like that loose talk firmed up into an actual offer.
Mania.com isn't the only website sporting a kick-ass new look for '09. Congrats to our friends at SCI FI Wire who have broken out into their own domain name and a cool new look and format!