Transformers 3 rolls up on NASA. Plus: Dredd gets US distro deal. Ghost Rider gets all new Hellcycle. Wolverine not X-Men after all. More! It's your Comics2Film 10.11.3!
Yesterday we posted a rather tenuous bit of internet speculation under the questioning headine, "Is Wolverine in X-Men: First Class?"
Well, the question mark was there for a reason and now, thanks to the Geek Files blog, that question has been answered by both producer Bryan Singer and studio reps at 20th Century Fox. And that answer is "NO."
To recap: a gent from Georgia named Mike Todd Sr (who some are reporting to be a taxi cab driver) posted on his Facebook that he had driven Hugh Jackman to the airport from Jekyll Island. That's one of the current locations for the First Class movie, which gave us pause to speculate as to what Jackman might be doing there.
Singer made a recent public appearance at an unnamed screening and answered questions about the new movie. When asked specifically about Hugh Jackman appearing in the film as Wolverine, Singer said, "He's not in the movie, he's in the Wolverine movies."
Separately, a representative from Fox confirmed that the actor is not in the First Class film. "X-Men hasn't started shooting in Georgia yet and if Hugh was in Georgia, it wasn't for this movie," Fox said.
So it looks like we won't be seeing Hugh Jackman pop the bone claws in the film.
Getting back to Singer's appearance, he answered additional questions about the new 1960s-era X-Men film. He covered a lot of familiar ground, discussing that the film looks in on the early days of Xavier and Magneto but also dropped some other hints as well.
"We've set First Class in a time when the X-Men were conceived in the early 60s, up against political events that were happening - the early civil rights movement - and we have these kinds of events at a time when the world didn't know mutants existed," Singer said.
"Also, there's a new villain component, a really cool villain and villain group," Singer said. We know that Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club. But is there more to it than that?
Singer also mentions, "It incorporates some characters I was able to bring back in time that are familiar, as well as some new characters, new mutants."
At the risk of making too much of Singer's "back in time" comment, C2F is now wondering if there isn't a "Days of Future Past" vibe here that allows mutants from the 2099 series as well as contemporary series like Generation X and New Mutants to pop up in the 1960s. Or perhaps Singer is simply saying Marvel allowed him to draw from characters from different eras, even though they didn't occur that way in the comics.
X-Men: First Class is due in theaters June 3, 2011.
MTV Splash Page caught up with filmmaker Tony Scott, who is out promoting his runaway train thriller Unstoppable. Scott is also attached to direct the feature film adaptation of Mark Millar's Nemesis, detailing a global anarchist terrorist who picks a fight with an intellectually matched police detective.
Scott says that he's right at the beginning of the project, which makes it unclear to us if he'll transition into it from Unstoppable or do another movie first. Regardless, the filmmaker expressed enthusiasm for Millar's comic, which he calls "great."
"The comic sat on my desk for about a week and I kept looking at it and looking at it," he said. "I don't know what [exactly made me pick it up]. What speaks to me? Why make the movie? What speaks to you is your heart and your mind. It's spontaneity. Once you start analyzing why you're doing something, you're in trouble. I've had a love affair with every movie I've done — 16 now — and I'm lucky, because I've always been able to follow my heart."
Unstoppable arrives in theaters next week.
Variety reports that the feature film Dredd, based on the Judge Dredd comics, has secured U.S. distribution rights with Lionsgate.
The 3D movie begins principle photography next week in Cape Town, South Africa. Karl Urban (RED, Star Trek) stars as the iconic Brit comics character. Pete Travis is directing. DNA Films is producing with a $45 million budget.
The movie enjoyed brisk pre-sales at the Toronto International Film Festival, rapidly ringing up deals with distributors in every major market except the U.S.
Robert Downey Jr has read the Avengers script written by Joss Whedon, and he approves.
"I just read the script," Downey told MTV Splash Page during press for Due Date, "and it’s going to be fantastic."
Downey will, of course, reprise his role as Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, in Marvel's super group movie. But as much as he likes the script, he said he has some notes for Whedon, who is directing the movie.
"Once I tear his script to smithereens and fix it, we’re going to have a great movie," Downey joked with MTV.
Marvel Studios' The Avengers is due in theaters in 2012.
Fans know that NASA has been prepping for a visit by Michael Bay's Transformers 3 crew, who aimed to film at the space center in October. Plans were to capture footage that would feature the space shuttle Discovery, at least as a background element, if not as a plot point in the film.
Last night fellow Maniac Squid sent in an awesome set of photos from the filming along with these notes:
"[My PhotoBucket account] contains pictures that were taken at NASA / Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There are pictures of Transformers that look like they are NASCAR race cars, and I'm unfamiliar with them. The pictures were taken at the VAB, (Vehicle Assembly Building, where they mate the shuttles to the external tank and boosters) in the complex. Enjoy! "
Squid captured images of Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Ratchet and those NASCAR style Decepticons in his photo array. We're presenting a few of them here, but click through for the entire set!
And because Jon Favreau isn't tweeting about his movie we bring you the new regular feature...
The directing duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are apparently going to be keeping us abreast of the progress on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance via their twitter account.
Yesterday they started the process with this auspicious tweet:
"Principal photography on [Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance] begins today!!!"
That was rapidly followed by a few more micro updates:
"Idris Elba, helicopters, motorcycles, Russian [army] and the the Transfagarasanul.... HOLY SHIT"
The Transfagarasanul is the serpentine system of highways that snakes through the mountains of Romania. It's considered a must-ride among motorcycle enthusiasts.
Late last night they posted, "Day 1.5 on Ghost Rider SOV kicked epic ass!"
Finally, when asked by a follower if moviegoers will be seeing the same Hellcycle in the sequel that actor Nicolas Cage rode in the original, the directors replied, "Hell no!"
So expect a completely redesigned bike for Ghost Rider in the new movie! Frankly, we love the 1990s revamp, with the huge skull-like shield on the front and wouldn't mind seeing that on film.
The movie isn't due out until February 2012.
Rob M. Worley is the writer and creator of the all-new, all-cat kids comic book series Scratch9. Issues #1 and #2 are in stores now. Issue #1 is also available as a digital download via iVerse Media's iTunes app. Visit Scratch9.com for news and info!