SPIDER-MAN Director Derby Commences - Mania.com


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SPIDER-MAN Director Derby Commences


By Rob M .Worley     January 14, 2010
Source: Various

'Spider-Man' director derby commences. Plus: Craig lassos 'Cowboys & Aliens'  lead. Director talks 'Captain America' journey. 'Conan' casting candidates and more! Walkin' down town with its pants on the ground, it's your Comics2Film 10.1.14!



Top Shelf signs Likely deal

From a Press Release...

Co-Publishers Chris Staros and Brett Warnock of independent graphic novel and comic book publisher Top Shelf Productions announced today that it has entered into a capital investment deal with new media entrepreneur John S. Johnson, and independent film producer Anthony Bregman.

Johnson, and Likely Story, Bregman’s film production company, have purchased a 33% interest in Top Shelf Productions, Inc. Johnson will join the board of Top Shelf, and Likely Story will get a first-look deal for all new Top Shelf publications for possible film and TV development.

This deal represents a supportive investment in the company; one that leaves Chris Staros and Brett Warnock as majority stockholders (and firmly in control of the company), but also brings to bear the resources, skills and connections of John and Anthony in helping the company expand and grow over time.

The first project slated for development by Likely Story is Alex Robinson’s critically acclaimed 'Too Cool to Be Forgotten', named one of Amazon.com’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of the Year and considered his best work to date.

'Too Cool To Be Forgotten' tells the story of a 40-something father of two who undergoes hypnosis therapy to quit smoking, only to transport back to 1985 and his formative years as a gangly, awkward teenager. Forced to live through his high school years with all the knowledge of his later life; uncertain whether he is destined to relive the mistakes of his past or if he has been given a second chance to get things right.



Mark Valley talks HUMAN TARGET Tweaks

With 'Human Target' set to debut on Fox this weekend, MTV Splash Page talked to actor Mark Valley. The show's lead explained why the format for the series departs from the primary hook of the comic book's high concept.

Fans of the book know that Valley's character Christopher Chance usually adopts a disguise to replace the client that he is protecting. This works well in comics but is tricky to pull off on TV. Back in the early 1990s, when Rick Springfield top-lined a show based on the same character, the actor ended up sitting on the bench for long periods while a weekly guest star played Chance in disguise.

"To be honest with you, when I was reading the comics, I would get a little bit confused," Valley said of the whole character swap scenario. "It's a graphic novel and usually it's pretty explanatory, but I was getting a little confused [about] which one is Chance and which one is the real person.


"They had to go to great lengths even in the comic book to make this exposition and explain [if] this is the real Chance or not," he told MTV. "Even going as far as doing that on television — they tried doing that with the Rick Springfield show — and I think it's something that would be really hard to maintain. It would be hard to show it and hard to explain it."

Instead, on the new show, Chance will simply go undercover in some position that keeps him close to his client. "This way, it really keeps the spirit of the character, in that he does create a character — he creates someone who comes between [the killer] and the target," Valley said.

But of course, that's no longer making Chance the human target that he is in the funnybooks.



Craig Corrals COWBOYS & ALIENS Lead?

Collider.com broke the casting news on 'Cowboys & Aliens' last night: actor Daniel Craig is in negotiations to take the reigns on the lead role that was recently abandoned by Robert Downy Jr.

The James Bond actor  is set to play Zeke Jackson in the film, which goes before the cameras of director Jon Favreau this summer. Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof wrote the script.

The new was confirmed by both of the Hollywood trade papers this morning.



CONAN Casting Candidates

Michael Fleming  at Deadline.com is reporting that Nu Image/Millennium Films are closing in on a leading man for the 'Conan' movie, which is set to go into production this March under the direction of 'Friday the 13th' director Marcus Nispel.

According to sources, actors Kellan Lutz ('Twilight') and Jason Marmoa ('Stargate: Atlantis') had been the top contenders for the lead role. However Millennium and partner Lionsgate started looking in a new direction as of mid-week. There's a third candidate they like who has more marquis value then the aforementioned ones, although Deadline couldn't name him.

What do you think, Maniacs? Are Lutz or Marmoa fit to hold the savage sword? Who do you wish that third candidate is? Post your comments below...



Joe Johnston talks CAPTAIN AMERICA

Boxoffice.com did an exclusive Q & A with director Joe Johnston and got him talking a bit about 'First Avenger: Captain America'.

"It's not going to be a Captain America that you expect. It's something different. It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction," Johnston said, thus guaranteeing some immediate eye-rolling from fans who tire of directors coming on comic films so they can improve the character.

"It's the origin story of Captain America. It's mostly period—there are modern, present-day bookends on it—but it's basically the story of how Steve Rogers becomes Captain America," Johnston said confirming suspicions that the movie will be set in the World War 2 era, and likely end with the big freeze, leading into 'The Avengers' movie.

Johnston talked extensively about the elements of Cap that he finds unique and hopes to bring to the big screen.

"The great thing about Captain America is he's a super hero without any super powers. Which is why this story, among the hundreds of super hero stories, appealed to me the most. He can't fly, he can't see through walls, he can't do any of that stuff," the director said. "He's an every man who's been given this amazing gift of transformation into the perfect specimen—the pinnacle of human perfection. How does that affect him? What does that mean for him emotionally and psychologically? He was this 98-pound weakling, he was this wimp, and he's transformed instantly into this Adonis. You'd think he got everything he wanted.

"Well, he didn't get everything he wanted. The rules change at that point and his life gets even more complicated and dire. For me, that's the interesting part of the story,' he continued. "It's got some great action sequences in it and some incredible stuff that we've never seen before. But at the heart of it, it's a story about this kid who all he wants to do is fit in. This thing happens and he still doesn't fit in. And he has to prove himself a hero—essentially go AWOL to save a friend. Eventually at the very end, I don't want to give away to much, but he does fit in. But it's the journey of getting him there that's interesting. And it's a lot of fun."

In spite of the "influenced by" comment setting off our Spidey sense, all Johnston's comments about tone and character actually sound cool to us.

What do you think, Maniacs? Are you excited to finally see this movie going forward? Post your comments below...



James Cameron's SPIDER-MAN Storyboards

Those of us who love James Cameron will always wonder about that lost 'Spider-Man' movie. The one Cameron developed for years before the legal tangle around the character became unworkable. Of course, it was all sorted out a decade or so later when Sony walked away with the film rights and hired Sam Raimi to adapt the comic for the big screen.

Still, we wonder "what if James Cameron had made his Spider-Man movie?"

Now Techland.com has laid hands on some storyboards from that lost project. So if you want to peer deeper into the world of "what if" click through and enjoy some artwork from the Cameron's planned film.



SPIDER-MAN Director Derby Commences

In a story that you will not find behind Variety's subscription wall, Deadline.com is reporting on Sony's wish list of 'Spider-Man' reboot directors.

They claim one Marc Webb is at the top. Webb recently helmed the well-reviewed '(500) Days of Summer' and may seem like an odd choice for a huge tentpole franchise like 'Spider-Man'. Deadline reports that the producers and studio execs met with the director and everyone liked each other. Most importantly was that the 'Summer' film demonstrated his ability to depict young people in a compelling way and, as we know, the new film will take Peter Parker back to high school.

Other names on the director's list are James Cameron, David Fincher and Wes Anderson.

In spite of the fact that the studio has pushed the release of a new Spidey flick out to 2012, apparently they're keen to get cameras rolling this year. The reason for that is that they envision the movie as a 3D experience and want the extra lead time to make that happen.


Showing items 1 - 10 of 74
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cellarboylives 1/14/2010 7:11:12 AM

OH CRAP!!!!! Joe Johnston sounds like a knucklehead!!!! Get this guy out of here before its too late!  I would love to see the movie move back and forth between the time periods much like the original Highlander did, with cool scene trangressions between the periods. 

"But at the heart of it, it's a story about this kid who all he wants to do is fit in. This thing happens and he still doesn't fit in. And he has to prove himself a hero—essentially go AWOL to save a friend."

WTF? Has this guy ever read a Captain America book?

cinemaman72 1/14/2010 7:12:25 AM

DO NOT MAKE A 3-D SPIDERMAN!!!!!!!! I am so sick and tired of hearing about 3-D films, and I really believe that SONY will suffer if they try to make Spiderman in 3-D. It's really not needed at all, fans are going to see a good movie, with GREAT actions sequences and a compelling story!!!!!


SONY does not need a 3-D Spiderman film!!!!!!


What SONY needs to do, is write a check for 300 millions crawl on their hands and knees and beg Sam Rami to make his Spiderman 4 and not hold him to some stupid opening date!!!!

monkeyfoot 1/14/2010 7:31:15 AM

Too Cool To Be Forgotten: Sounds like a great story idea.

Cowboys & Aliens: Daniel Craig would be great. I don't know what the character really entails but he's a great actor.

Conan: Don't know a thing about Kellan Lutz, but on a quick google he looks more like a potential Captain America. If Jason Momoa gets it , he and his wife Lisa Bonet could bring along their kid with the world's longest celebrity baby name: Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.

Captain America: Johnston you are scaring me!!! Cap isn't supposed to be a geek trying to be loved. He is a natural charismatic leader, so honest and true blue you'd gladly follow him into the jaws of death. Superman wishes he had the goodness of Cap!

Spider-man: Love Cameron but wouldn't want him on this now or then. Don't know a thing about Marc Webb. Wait and see.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 1/14/2010 7:47:41 AM

Wow - color m surprised more people STILL b*tcing about 3D.  If anything could be awesome in 3D it'd be Spider-man.  But back to what I was going to say...

Cellarboylives, technically, that synopsis does kind of fit if you read between the lines.  He was a skinny little weakling who was given this formula to become this semi-powerful character and I'm sure he had to fit into his new role as some super soldier, it didn't happen over day and then he was frozen and had to awake in a time that wasn't his own...and had to learn to fit in.  Use some brains.  Not being insulting but just think a little. 

How ironic would it be if Webb did get the Spider-man gig?  I can see the headlines now:  Spider-man caught in Webb.  Or..well, I'm not getting paid for this stuff I'm not bothering to come up with any.  But as much as I liked (500) I don't see it happening.  But who knows he can surprise us - I've been surprised before.  I think Matthew Vaughn would make a good Spider-man movie myself.

James Cameron's Spider-man would have sucked.  Period.  It might have been his first bad movie and as long as it takes him to make a movie I don't think Sony would go for it despite Avatar and Titanic's B.O.  I can't forget if Fincher was ever attached to Spider-man, I think it was only Batman but he might have made an interesting choice, too, but I'd still go with Vaughn.  It seems with Kick-Ass he can handle kids "super-heroes", humor, violence, and action, which would be perfect for the direction they plan on taking Spider-man now.  But that's only going by the previes.  I don't know if he is too old to be cast as an high schooler (not that it has stopped Hollywood before) but I agree on Hanso's choice for a new Spider-man, that kid from Alpha Dog and Star Trek.  He wouldn't be the first person in two major franchises.  Hell, some people have been in three just in the last decade.  I forgot who but I know it involves LotR, Matrix, X-men, and Pirates of the Caribbean.  A couple people are mixed and matched in those and one person I can't remember was in three of them unless there is another major one I'm missing in that list.


myklspader 1/14/2010 7:53:05 AM

I think Webb is an interesting choice and could do it because yeah that flick he did was pretty good at getting the young adult/teen angst down but the action parts of Spidey would make me nervous about his delivering them. Keep in mind nobody thought Raimi was going to pan out and look at the first two flicks he did. I don't think Anderson should be let in on this and there is no way I can see Fincher doing this ‘cause the Spider Man universe is not that dark. 

Directors I think could be better suited are: James Mangold (“3:10 to Yuma”, “Walk The Line”) and Joss Whedon. Hell they should ask Jon Favreau, I think his work is surprisingly pretty solid and he can do various genres. 

javaone 1/14/2010 8:17:27 AM

Cowboys & Aliens:  Man, you put writers/producers from Lost, the director of Iron Man, and the badass James Bond together.....something interesting is bound to come of this.

Captain America:  Soooo looking forward to this. Bring it on! I'm okay with the stuff that Johnston is saying, except that I think it should be darker and grittier. I mean, holy sh!t the thing takes place during World War II! Which, by the way, should be the period for the WHOLE movie not just some of it. There's a rich storyline there with the Red Skull that you can't just gloss over. But don't make the "wimpy kid" angle be the main focus of the story ala Peter Parker/Spider-Man.

Spider-Man:  Forget the 3D stuff. Forget the high school stuff. As someone said in another thread, use David Fincher. Forget the teen angst and all that BS and get him fighting some real badass like Kraven the Hunter or Hobgoblin. But who am I kidding, none of that is gonna happen.....

Wiseguy 1/14/2010 8:19:02 AM

I think Johnston has a good grip on Captain America. I actually like the sound of that although it can be interpreted different ways so we have to wait and see. By fitting in he could just mean his need to be able to fight for America like most men at that time.

Spiderman in 3D is going to be beyond awesome. It makes perfect sense cause Sopny ios one of the companies leading the 3D revolution for the home so all their big films should be in 3D. If you don't like 3D just go see the 2D version, don't eff it up for us 3D fans, though I bet you will all end up watching in 3D despite all the belly aching

Webb from 500 Days for Spidey? Really? I hope he has the vision for this. Sometimes you can't tell from previous works, see Favreau for reference, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. No way Cameron jumps on Spoidey now, that's just wishful thinking

Cameron's Spidey would've kicked ass, like all his films, but in the end it was too mature to attract entire families

I have no real problems with the two cats mentioned for Conan, mostly cause I haven't seen any meaningful work from either. Let's get somebody trying to dig up that 3rd candidate, then I'll cast my vote

Too Cool To be Forgotten? Sounds pretty corny to me to be honest

Not really a Daniel Craig fan so him leading Cowboys and Aliens doesn't do anything for me except make me feel indifferent about this

pilgram 1/14/2010 8:21:02 AM

So Cap is a pre-quel to Avengers? WTF. I get making the end of Cap the beginning of Avengers but it reads like the point is to only lead into Avengers almost like the story is a throw away. Cap has great background story and it will work but I hope they make it with an eye for more Cap films not just as the lead for Avengers and that’s all.

"Other names on the director's list are James Cameron (amazing but he is so much better on his own stuff not adapting others), David Fincher (Fukk that! too "dark and  heavy") and Wes Anderson (double Fukk that! to "not very good")



timesobserver 1/14/2010 8:24:03 AM

Cameron's Spider-Man movie? Not!

Let's see, he has rage issues, accidently kills a guy (we've seen that) and has sex with MJ on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Batman is dark, Spider-Man, not so much.

We need a director who will be faithful to the characters, not just Spider-Man!

Just do the reboot, keep it fun and light, only dark when it's needed, limited it to one villain and stay true to the characters.

You don't need to reinvent the wheel by making Spider-Man and friends into something that they're not.

hanso 1/14/2010 8:34:21 AM

500 Days of Summer was cool but if David Fincher is interested then it's a no brainer for Sony because he was linked to the project prior to Sam Raimi: CHECK. Previous experience with the studio: CHECK.  previous experience with the movie's writer: CHECK and if they are looking for the depection of young people he's got that too cause he's currently directing for Sony, The Social Network so add another CHECK.

Damn it Sony wtf are you waiting for!?

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