Have X-Men: First Class' Emma Frost and Banshee been cast? Plus: Marvel announces TV division! Walking Dead makeup guru talks! Summer Glau is Supergirl! More! It's got a disco and a dune buggy and a whole room just for trying on clothes. It's your Comics2Film 10.6.29!
Mania launches a new feature today, kicking of with this column's favorite subject: the comic book movie. Check out our "Top 50 Comic Book Movies" of all time!
Another in Collider.com's series of Saturn Award interviews features filmmakers Zack and Debbie Snyder.
The pair were asked if the extended editions of Watchmen had yielded a more positive reaction from fans than the theatrical release did.
"That's the version that [the movie] should have been but were never going to be able to release that. We were realistic, but we're glad to be able to get it out there," Debbie said of the home video release.
"I think Warner Bros has also been really cool," Zac added. "First of all they made the movie Watchmen and then they released the crazy three hour and fifteen minute version and also the three hour and forty minute versios...with the Black Freighter... so they have put up."
The question then turned to the oft-discussed 300 sequel Xerxes. Regular readers know well that Frank Miller has been working on the comic book follow up to the Spartan tale, with the first images from the book appearing last month.
"I've seen a lot of it. It's cool," Snyder said of the new graphic novel. "I talk to Frank a lot and the studio is interested in making the movie so we'll see."
From a press release...
Marvel Entertainment, LLC announced today that it has appointed Jeph Loeb as Executive Vice President, Head of Television, a newly created division of Marvel Entertainment. In this new role, Mr. Loeb will work alongside Dan Buckley, Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc., to translate Marvel's popular characters and stories to the television medium, in both live-action and animation formats. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Loeb will oversee the development and distribution of live-action, animated and direct-to-DVD series. Mr. Loeb was previously a Marvel-exclusive Eisner-Award-winning comic book writer and an Emmy-nominated writer for his work on NBC's "Heroes." The announcement was made today by Alan Fine, Executive Vice President, Office of the President and Chairman of Marvel Studios' Creative Committee, and by Mr. Buckley, to whom Mr. Loeb will report.
Mr. Fine stated, "It's with tremendous pride that I announce the creation of our Marvel Television division and the appointment of Jeph Loeb as Executive Vice President. His work in the comic book field is in a class of its own, showing his passion and talent for bringing Marvel's finest characters to life in an innovative manner. Jeph's work on multiple award-winning television series and popular films has shown fans worldwide his ability to deliver thrilling entertainment in a number of media. With Jeph as our EVP, fans will experience the highest quality and most exciting television projects featuring their favorite Marvel characters."
"I couldn't be happier to accept this new position at Marvel Entertainment, working with both Dan and Alan to deliver exciting, cutting edge television projects," said Mr. Loeb. "Marvel continues to break new ground in storytelling in both their comic book and film ventures, so, along with everyone here, I'm excited to bring the same brand of excitement into homes across the globe."
Mr. Loeb has written acclaimed stories featuring every major super hero in comics, including Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Daredevil, Spider-Man, the X-Men and more. Multiple-time winner of the prestigious Eisner Award for his writing, Mr. Loeb quickly established himself as one of the most sought after writers in the comic industry. Mr. Loeb also served as writer/producer on television series "Smallville" and "Lost"; writer/co-executive producer on "Heroes"; and writer of hit films "Commando" and "Teen Wolf."
Collider.com caught up with Stephen Lang at the Saturn Awards and got him talking about playing Khalar Singh in the new Conan movie. Lang said fans can expect a movie with a lot of action.
"It starts with an action sequence and then it goes for about two hours with a break here and there," the actor told Collider. He also said he hopes the movie lives up to the legacy of Robert E. Howard. "I'd seen the previous Conan movies and they were always a little bit too arch for me. I wasn't an aficionado. This one, when I read it I just thought, 'I can get behind this big time.' It's very true to the world that Robert E. Howard created. Hopefully it'll be as well-received as the originals."
Lang also seemed suitably impressed with the movie's leading man, actor Jason Momoa.
"I think he's terrific. He's a stud. He worked hard. He threw himself into it," Lang, who is no slouch in the fitness department, said. "He outweighs me by about 35 pounds so it took all my old-man wyles and strength to beat the hell out of him."
Finally the actor said the he doesn't expect, or is at least unaware of plans for a presence for the movie at Comic-Con International this year.
Greg Nicotero has created special effects make-up for George Romero's Day of the Dead and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Now he's turning his attention to AMC TV's original series The Walking Dead. There's a new Q & A with Nicotero posted on AMC's official blog for the show.
Here's an excerpt:
Q: How do these zombies differ from the ones you created for Romero?
A: We used the graphic novel certainly as inspiration. We've always tried to push the envelope, and because I've done so many other projects it's always one of those things where you finish a movie and go, "Oh man next time I know how we can make it better. And after that I know how we can make it even better than that." We've taken everything that we've learned on all these other projects, and applied them in terms of using new materials and new techniques - even something as simple as a zombie getting shot in the head: We really sat down and worked through the best way to make that look realistic and practical.
Q: What was your solution?
A: Well in the '70s they just put squibs on extras' heads and detonated them. Then you got to the point where if you had to use explosive squibs it could only be on a stunt person. But for The Walking Dead, we're going for a very specific physical type: Every zombie that we see is really tall and really thin and really gaunt looking. One of the story points is that these characters have been dead for so long that they're starving, and will eat virtually anything. They'll eat a horse, they'll eat a rat. So we built this self-contained head-hit rig that runs off compressed air. You fill a tube with blood, and then you use a foot pump to get a really great blood spray. You can clip it on to anybody that you want, and then all of a sudden you have instantaneous head wound.
Q: One of the more infamous scenes in the comic is when the zombies do in fact eat a horse. What was that like to shoot?
A: It's almost like a Piranha attack - it really was like a feeding frenzy. We had thirty extras leaning over this prosthetic horse that we created, and they started ripping its insides and its entrails out and going crazy. They were sticking their heads in it and their hands in it. I kind of whipped them into a little bit of a frenzy before we shot, and it was funny because at one point I walked over to Frank and I'm like, "Dude, these guys are so amped up you better shoot this quick before they tear the horse apart!"
Want more? Click through for the entire interview.
MTV Splash Page quizzed director Christopher Nolan about any leanings he has about re-casting Superman for the big screen. "I haven't even thought about it, to be honest. All of these things, whether you're dealing with Batman, Superman, [or] whatever you're doing, it's all about story first," was his answer.
World's Finest Online confirms the previously-rumored animated Green Lantern prequel and reveals that the title of the direct-to-DVD feature is Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Previous reports indicate it details the early days of the Corps.
Producer Lauren Shuler Donner told Bloody Disgusting that she's still hopeful about getting a sequel to Constantine made. "We’re gonna try again...we heard a good take," she said of current efforts to continue the franchise.
Comics Continuum reports that fans can look for, or rather listen for, Battlestar babe Katee Sackhoff to tackle the role of She-Hulk in season 2 of Marvel's kid-friendly toon The Super Hero Squad Show.
The upcoming Batman: Under the Red Hood will carry a Green Arrow short with it. Comics Continuum chats with producer Alan Burnett about the animated segment.
British talk-show host Jonathan Ross told NME.com that he's holding back the film rights to his comic Turf so as to give filmmaker Matthew Vaughn "first refusal" on the property. He'll wait until the dust settles on X-Men: First Class and see if Vaughn is up for it. Ross is married to Vaughn's writing collaborator Jane Goldman.
Comic readers first met the character in 1980 where she was part of the X-Men villain team The Hellfire Club and known as the White Queen. She later becomes an ally of the mutant team, and then a member. Her primary ability is telepathy although she has also displayed a secondary power of being able to assume a diamond form. She's also known for her improbably skimpy costumes.
The character has previously appeared on film in the lost, live-action TV movie Generation X (where she was played by Finola Hughes) and as a bit player in the more recent movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine where she showed off that diamond ability.
In related news, Latino Review is reporting that up-and-comer Caleb Landry Jones is "the top contender" for the role of Sean Cassidy in the film.
Cassidy is better known as the mutant Banshee for his ability to generate powerful sonic pulses with his voice. The character also appeared in the Generation X movie.
Jones only has a handful of credits listed on IMDB, the most prominent of which seems to be a guest run on Friday Night Lights. He also has roles in the upcoming movies The Last Exorcism and The Social Network.
What do you think, Maniacs? Do we like the Alice Eve as Emma Frost? Post your comments below...
Rob M. Worley is the writer and creator of the all-new, all-cat kids comic book series Scratch9. Pre-order your copy today unless you hate fun.