New Spider-Man video, photos and news! Plus: X-Men: First Class photos and interviews! Judge Dredd creator reports from the set of the movie. Johnston talks Captain America and more! It's your Comics2Film T minus 8!
Director Joe Johnston told Hero Complex that he's just completed a first cut of Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger.
"I watched the movie for the first time a few days ago and I just looked at the first cut and there is so much entertainment value — it’s just flat-out fun to watch,” the director enthused about his own work. "Maybe I’m somewhat biased — I was there [when we made it] — but, seriously, it’s funny, it’s exciting and there’s great visual effects. The movie is going to be something more than people are expecting. This movie is going to surprise some people. It is the origin story of Captain America but it is also something rare — it’s a period superhero film but there’s great action in it. You don’t normally think of guys driving around in 1939 sedans in an action film but there are some great action beats in it. It’s just a helluva lot of fun to watch."
The director also said he was surprised by the performance Chris Evans delivers in the lead role.
"I was blown away by the subtlety that he brought to the role. It was really exciting to watch him. He added layers to the character that were not on the page and layers that were not in the comic books. He made Steve Rogers into a real flesh-and-blood character and it was fantastic to watch," Johnston said.
Captain America arrives in theaters July 22nd.
Comics writer John Wagner, creator of the iconic character Judge Dredd has filed a report from the set of the now-filming adaptation starring Karl Urban. Wagner posted his initial impressions on Facebook:
Just back from the set. I wasn't able to take any photos, I'm afraid, still bound by the official secrets act, but if you want to throw any questions at me I'll answer what I can. Cape Town and surrounding country was absolutely stunning. The film occupies all four giant buildings at the new Cape Town Studios. Sets looked great - grim!
Very pleased with what I saw of Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. Both excellent in their roles and work well as a team. Entire crew really dedicated and determined to produce a damned good movie. Sadly I had to leave before I could see them shooting any ultra-vi. Extremely impressed by the 3-D - apart from the demo at Universal Studios in LA, my memories were of the feeble efforts I saw as a youth. This is a real quantum leap from that, really adds depth. This is going to be good.
Wagner is also fielding question from the fans. Here's one about the tone of the movie, which does not attempt to encompass all of the mind-boggling scale of Mega-City One.
Alex Garland and I have had our disagreements but he has usually had a convincing argument for doing things his way. On the main issue, concentrating the plot on a slice of life rather than trying to convey the wh...ole sweep of Dredd and Mega-City life, I now see that he's right. It was one of the flaws of the first movie, they tried to do too much. I just had a brief conversation with Karl, he's much too hard at work to spare a lot of time. There was one shot where the camera focused in on his face, a reaction to Anderson, and I swear Carlos could have drawn that scowl.
The uniform was still fairly paramilitary, Dale, but it works for me.
Click over to Facebook to get more of Wagner's insights and post your own questions.
Marvel has released the full image of that Thor poster for French markets. The previous one was cropped and this one shows Chris Hemsworth in all his Asgardian glory.
In other Thor news, fans will recall a certain Kyle Rodgers who is incensed that Marvel would cast black actor Idris Elba to play Heimdall in the movie. Rodgers is calling for a boycott of the film, insisting that Marvel is trying to force multiculturalism on impressionable children and violating the historic and spiritual significance of the Norse mythologies in the process.
So now, a comics-oriented Christian Radio host invited Rodgers on air to vent his complaints about Thor as well as Marvel's Black Panther cartoon (in stores this week). But here's the twist: the host also invites comics blogger Cody Walker on to question Rodgers' point of view and provide the opposing point of view.
The entire segment is on the Boosterpack.org website. Walker shows up about seven minutes in and the conversation gets pretty lively at that point.
Yesterday afternoon MSN.com posted an interview with X-Men: First Class actor Michael Fassbender who plays young Magneto in the film. The interview was accompanied by the first image of the cast of the film, in costume and makeup:
The image was pulled from MSN.com but can still be found on sites like Heat Vision. It features (left to right) Michael Fassbender as Magneto, Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, January Jones as Emma Frost, Jason Flemyng as Azazel, Nicholas Hoult as the Beast, Lucas Till as Havoc, Zoe Kravitz as Angel Salvadore, Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholme aka Mystique, and James McAvoy as Charles Xavier.
As far as the interview goes, Fassbender has some interesting things to share about the movie. He admits admits he's not a comic fan but did read the comics that were provided him by the producers. He also watched the previous X-Men movies as research.
"He's such a complex character, really, and the idea of him being a villain is interesting considering his history," the actor said of Magneto, "He's a very solitary individual, and the pain and grief that's gone on even before we meet him in this film is an interesting pool of information to draw from, in coming up with this Machiavellian character for whom the ends justified the means. You can see where he's coming from. Human beings don't have the greatest track record in what they've done throughout history, so his point of view is, 'Well, we are the next stage of evolution -- (humans) are to us what Neanderthals were to Homo sapiens.'"
And given the number of characters seen in the photo above, fans may worry that this movie will feel like X-Men: The Last Stand, which was overloaded with throwaway characters.
"The cool thing about this movie is that I think it does deal with each individual mutant, and the ones they've chosen are all very much individuals and unique personalities with unique gifts," Fassbender told MSN. "What's interesting is that we've gone back to a period where the mutants don't know that there are other people out there like them. They just think they're freaks and outcasts from society ... all of these new characters are fearful of their gifts and uncomfortable and misplaced in society, so hopefully when they all sort of come together and realize they're not alone and feel more comfortable in their own skin, that's a discovery for all the characters that you experience."
And Fassbender isn't the only one talking First Class. Actor Ed Gathegi chatted with Access Hollywood at a recent charity event and talked quite a bit about the character he plays in the movie: Darwin:
Tons of cool new stuff is pouring in from the Los Angeles set of Marc Webb's 3D Spider-Man reboot for Sony.
First up, IGN has some disappointing news for this columnist. They looked into the question of who might be playing the Peter Parker's caustic chief J. Jonah Jameson in the movie. No actor has been named to the role yet. It turns out the answer is: nobody. Apparently the character will not appear this time around. It's a shame because JJJ is our fave!
Secondly, On Location Vacations has a great set of images of a stunt player in the Spidey suit doing stunts in traffic, which include hitching a ride in a pickup truck and then catapulting up to the cargo section of an eighteen-wheeler. This all went down on Grand Ave, outside of the Museum of Contemporary Art. We've got a couple of photos here, but you can click through for the complete set:
If those photos don't paint a clear enough picture for you, TMZ.com comes through with a video clip of the stunt player doing a back flip in to the bed of the moving pickup! Unfortunately the clip is not embeddable so you'll have to click through to see it yourself.
Rob M. Worley is the writer and creator of the all-new, all-cat kids comic book series Scratch9, named by School Library Journal as one of the "Best Comics for Kids 2010"! Issues #1, #2, #3 and #4 are in stores now. The paperback collection is coming in March and available for pre-order . Visit Scratch9.com for news and info!