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Marvel's Civil War Sequel Extended
Blastr has revealed that Brian Michael Bendis has successfully convinced Marvel to extend the run of Civil War II. Originally scheduled for 7 issues, an eighth will now be produced for release in November.
Bendis believes the extra issue is required to end the story correctly after he discovered a better way to end the series than was originally planned. Bendis stated:
“It’s not a different ending but a different way to tell it and I am so happy that Marvel gave us this chance to do our thing. Some fans already know that a lot is going to change in the Marvel Universe post-Civil War II but we’ve kept some secrets secret and issue #8 is chock full of them.”
How this affects the tie-in issues has not yet been revealed, but it is likely that the October-scheduled Civil War: The Oath will now be delayed due to it's solicitation describing it as an epilogue to the event.
The Hound Recounts: The move is reminiscent of the recent Secret Wars event, which (once underway) was lengthened by one extra issue to complete the story. Nevertheless, recent market share reports have almost certainly been the driving force for the change. Marvel needs to respond, so look for Civil War II -the only comc NOT published by DC that featured in July's Top 20 sales figures- to end with an even BIGGER BANG than first scripted.
September /October is traditionally the time of year in the US when new shows start Motion Picture News: Lundgren, Henriksen, Morrison and more
Hounding-a-Round Up: September and October are traditionally the months in the US when the big gun shows start and the battle-hardened shows with a new season begin. Ahead of this, the major companies begin to make announcements, so here are some choice morsels from last week...
Action movie veteran Dolph Lungdren has been cast in in the fifth season of Arrow as the Russian villain Kovar according to Entertainment Weekly. His performances will mainly be seen in the flashback sequences set in Russia, which will be the last set of flashbacks in the show according to executive producer Marc Guggenheim.
With the first episode of The Flash Season Three previously announced as “Flashpoint”, numerous outlets have been reporting how the season is coming together. Collider has reported that not only is Gorilla Grodd returning in a two part episode but it will take place in Gorilla city on Earth 2. Also the two main villians for the season were announced as Dr Alchemy and Savitar. It is reported that one of the Rogues is set to debut in the upcoming season and that Rogue is Mirror Master, according to Comic Book Resources. Actor Grey Damon has won the role and will feature in episode four.
Legends of Tomorrow: Season Two has almost completed their Justice Society of America, with only Dr Mid-Nite remaining to be cast. IGN confirmed that Sarah Gray, who has been cast in the upcoming Power Rangers movie as Amanda will be playing Stargirl and Matthew MacCaull from iZombie has been cast as Commander Steel. However, the biggest casting news of the day is that genre-giant Lance Henriksen (known for his role as Bishop in Aliens, Frank Black in Millennium and Detective Hal Vukovich in The Terminator) has won the role of Obsidian.
Over on the CW’s recently acquired Supergirl things are really going to get strange this coming season. Bleeding Cool has confirmed that the Flashpoint storyline on The Flash has changed reality enough that Supergirl will find herself in the Arrow verse, and only Barry Allen will remember that their worlds were once separate. Metallo has also been confirmed as the big bad for the season, but that there will be two versions: one that Superman and Martian Manhunter will team up to fight while the other will face Supergirl “elsewhere”.
Stranger news comes from TV Line regarding the two part Supergirl crossover with The Flash... will it be a musical? In the back half of both seasons Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin (who both appeared on Glee) will sing pre-existing songs due to the influence of an as yet unnamed villain. The odd two-parter comes in addition to the four episode mega-cross-over with Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
The Hound Digs it: Time to watch Buffy’s Once More with Feeling people...
Other TV News
In other TV news Entertainment Weekly reported that serious talks are underway to produce at least one more season of the X-Files. Finding a way to juggle David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s schedules will be the trick according to Chris Carter, who wants to produce more episodes in order to resolve the cliff-hanger from the recent mini-series and script new stories.
Some firm information about Star Trek Discovery has finally come to hand courtesy of IGN. Set 10 years before the era of Kirk and Spock it will take place in the original unaltered Prime universe and will focus on a female lead who is not the Captain but rather a Lieutenant Commander. The show will have more alien crew than any other Star Trek series and will definitely have a main gay character for the first time in franchise history. Though Executive Producer Bryan Fuller has been quick to shoot down rumors about Section 31, he has mysteriously teased that events mentioned in the original show that have never been seen will be explored.
Digging trenches: Care for a Romulan War anyone?
The subsidiary of Syfy Blastr has announced that comics giant Grant Morrison will adapt Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World for Syfy in the 2017/18 season, with the length and form of the show yet to be announced.
Marvel "Tinkering" with Captain Marvel
Though there has been no new Marvel TV news of late, a few little movie tidbits have been reported. Deadline reveals that in addition to the Vulture, Spider-Man: Homecoming has added Michael Chernus (From Orange is the New Black) to the cast as the villainous Tinkerer.
And lastly in order to avoid similarities with DC's Hal Jordan, Marvel has decided to change Carol Danvers' origin for the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. In the Marvel Comics, Carol Danvers was an Airforce pilot that gained powers from alien beings, and Marvel Studios feels that cinema goers may draw "unwanted comparisons" with the 2011 Green Lantern film.
San Diego Comic Con News (Part 2 of 2)
Proud Hound: Every year San Diego gives many new morsels to chew on, and often the Movie and the Television news dominates. Here's the best of the comic news, care of Nerdist, IGN, Bleeding Cool and Marvel.com.
Though there were no new DC Rebirth announcements at DC's numerous panels, some interesting tidbits seem to point to some big announcements in the near future. Without going into specifics Jim Lee has announced that the lack of Wildstorm characters in the Rebirth is the focus of an announcement at New York Comic Con Later this year. Geoff Johns also confirmed that there are firm plans for the Justice Society of America, but would not go into specifics until a much later time.
Ear to the Ground: This hound has even been hearing about a “Vertigo Rebirth”, so there can be no doubt that DC has some grandoise plans to come over the next two years. The mystery of what Dr Manhattan has actually done and why will be slowly revealed by the publisher.
Prior to the convention Marvel cloaked their entire October solicitations in secrecy with an eye to making some big announcements. But when they did make them one of the more interesting was Civil War II: The Oath, a standalone tie in that will serve as an epilogue to the Civil War II event. Without giving any clues away as to the resolution of the conflict it was announced that both Tony Stark and Captain Marvel will turn to Steve Rogers to help them forge a new superhero norm.
HAIL HOUNDRA!: But Steve is a Hydra agent….
Another was that Ta-Nahesi Coates will be writing a spinoff from Black Panther. The new series is called Black Panther: World of Wakanda and will focus on two former Dora Milaje.
An unsual one was the announcement of the illustrated Goodnight Groot, a parody of Goodnight Moon. Joe Quesada joked that the audiobook should be narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.
Also announced was that Venom Symbiote will be bonding with Deadpool in the 5 issue mini-series Deadpool: Back in Black. The series will begin with two issues in October and is a "sort-of" sequel to Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars mini-series from 2015.
The All New Wolverine title is set to contain a sequel to a classic Wolverine story, with the freshly announced Enemy of the State II. It launches with All New Wolverine #13, due in October and Marvel says it will touch on similar themes as the original.
The biggest news was the confirmation of many rumours that have been swirling about the fate of the X-Men. Starting in December Marvel is going to publish Inhumans vs. X-Men, an event series expected to encompass all of the current X-Men and Inhumans titles. Dubbed IvX the series is scheduled for six issues and will finally resolve the cold war that has been brewing since the release of the Terrigen mists. With the mists having reached 100 percent saturation world-wide there is now no-where for the mutants to hide. Threatened with extinction they have chosen to strike back at the Inhumans in the vain hope that they can find a way to cure the M-Pox the mists have caused and save themselves.
Marvel has stated that the resolution of this storyline will affect the Marvel Universe for many years to come.
Preceeding IvX will be Death of X, a two month 4 issue mini-series. The series will not be a direct prologue to IvX; rather it is a tale that reveals the story of what Cyclops did to cause the Cold War in the first place.
Running concurrently with IvX, the mini-series Inhumans/X-Men: Terrigenocide was announced at the convention and will be a companion series during the event.
The Clone Conspiracy
In their live coverage of SDCC, News-a-rama followed numerous panels and gave a play by play of all the topics covered. In the Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends Panel a number of major revelations dropped in relation to the Spider-Man event The Clone Conspiracy and here they are:
- Amazing Spider-Man #17 will debut a new Female Electro (to be fair this was already known)
- Amazing Spider-Man #18 will see the return of Doctor Octopus in a newly cloned body!
- Amazing Spider-Man #19 will reveal the identity of the Jackal from the 2016 Free Comic Book Day issue.
- Silk will tie in to the event as will the newly announced Prowler
- Venom is returning to Earth after Civil War II and it was implied that the new Venom series will tie in
Though there was no further talk of any other titles caught in the web of The Clone Conspiracy, it was suggested heavily that some titles will swing safely clear because:
- The second volume of Amazing-Spiderman: Renew Your Vows will remain set in a parallel universe.
- Spider-Gwen is reported to be coming to an end very soon.
- Spider-Man 2099 will see Micheal O’Hara return to the future to find a civil war amongst the heroes there.
Pun-Proud Hound: Thought I'd thwip a few in.
Other Comic News
UK Publisher, Titan comics has revealed an English adaption of Yano Takashi’s Assassin’s Creed: Awakening Manga series. The series follows Edward Kenway from Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.
IDW have decided to spinoff a new series from Jem and the Holograms. The characters of Pizzazz, Roxy and Stormer will feature in the title Misfits to be written by Kelly Thompson. At SDCC the author even commented “We’re very excited about The Misfits getting a chance to have their own spotlight, especially since everyone knows their songs are better."
Doubling down on the recent announcement of the new Tomb Raider movie, Darkhorse announced that they will be releasing four volumes of from the "Tomb Raider Archive". Comprising the 50 issue Top Cow run and all of the one shots, expect Tomb Raider Journeys to begin in November this year.
Robert Kirkman admitted at a panel that the planned end of the Walking Dead has changed from what he originally envisioned. The popular Image series was supposed to conclude with the characters reaching Alexandria, but that story has already come and gone. He did not announce how it will end but as long as it remains popular the series will most likely continue to some eventual and ghastly conclusion for Rick Grimes and his friends.
And last but not least the 2016 recipient of the Will Eisner Comic Industry icon award was Sergio Argones, a most worthy winner.
San Diego Comic Con News 2016 (Part 1)
Another San Diego comic con has come and gone and here are the celluloid highlights from the biggest convention of the year, compiled from the Hollywood Reporter, ABC News Australia, The LA Times and IGN.
Warner Bros & DC
The Legends of Tomorrow will be facing the Legion of Doom in the near future, with the Warner Brother's first supervillain team-up comprised of Malcolm Merlyn (Dark Archer), Reverse Flash, Damien Dark and Captain Cold. In a fan-favourite move, the heroes will be helped by a "Justice Society of America" to be comprised of Hourman, Obsidian, Stargirl and Dr. Mid-Nite.
Warner Brothers also confirmed that Ben Affleck will be directing an as-yet-untitled Batman movie, which is rumoured to be set largely within Arkham Asylum and set to feature an array of Batman’s more colourful villains.
Warner Brothers confirmed the hotly rumored Teen Titans: The Judas Contract, Justice League Dark and Batman & Harley as animated movies, however the convention premiere of Batman the Killing Joke was embroiled in controversy for alluding to a past sexual encounter between Batman and Batgirl.
From the Vertigo zone, Tricia Helfner (Battlestar Galactica’s Six) will play the mother of the Prince of Darkness in Lucifer season two.
Debutante Trailers for DC; Justice League: Part One, Wonder Woman, Lucifer: Season Two, Flash: Season Three
Hall H attendees were introduced to the newly fleshed out cast of Black Panther. Lupita Nyong’o will have the role of Black Panther’s wife Nakia, Danai Gurira (Michonne of The Walking Dead) will play a member of T’Challa’s female Dora Milaje body guard and Creed’s Michael B. Jordan will portray the villain Erik Killmonger.
Though a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok was missed, attendees were given a mockumentary about what Thor and the Hulk were up to during Captain America: Civil War. Other revelations were that hor: Ragnarok is to feature the Planet Hulk storyline, with the Hulk fighting in gladiatorial games for Jeff Goldblum’s character the Grandmaster.
Big news was the revelation of Kurt Russell’s character in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Kurt Russell confirmed what had been rumoured for some time that he would be playing the father of Star-Lord, but then dropped the bomb that the character he plays is Ego the Living Planet, which according to comic book lore is not the father of Star-Lord.
Also confirmed were Sylvester Stallone to appear in Guardians of Galaxy Vol 2 in a yet to be announced role, the Vulture will be the Spidey's antagonist in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and at the very end of the Marvel panel Academy Award Winner Brie Larsson (Room) was introduced as Captain Marvel, who will have her own self-titled film released toward the end of 2018.
Marv's bloodhound: Marvel Studios didn't reveal any information regarding their three movies of 2020 at San Diego... these three still remain Guarded in mystery- occasionally they are mentioned by Old Man Feige which seems rather Strange!
Trailers debuted; Dr Strange Trailer 2, Legion: Season One, Luke Cage: Season One& Iron Fist: Season One, The Defenders: The Mini Series, Powers: Season One
Other "Tele-Vised" San Diego news
In the TV world, the most recent Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes will appear in Agents of SHIELD Season Four. Not to be outdone Netflix dropped numerous trailers before announcing that they will be producing a third season of Daredevil, and FX will premier Legion in 2017, the first sanctioned X-Men TV series. Signed through Marvel, Legion is heavily rumoured to feature the son of Charles Xavier, though FX is not prepared to confirm the lineage at this time.
Ending months of speculation the new Star Trek series has officially been named
Star Trek: Discovery. The eagerly anticipated continuation of Star Trek on the small screen will premiere on CBS in January, 2017 before moving to their online channel. Apparently the show will not be quite episodic but will take the form of an anthology of story arcs very similar in style to the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Trekkers were also shown a brief concept video of the NCC 1031 registered ship, which strongly resembles Ralph Mcquarrie’s concept art for the Enterprise in the aborted 1970’s show Star Trek: Phase Two.
The Trekkular Hound: Section 31 is an officially nonexistent and uncondoned rogue agency within the Federation Starfleet... black ops intelligence gathering and covert protection of the Federation is its purpose. Here we have Starship NCC 1031!
In unexpected news Rhianna has landed the role of Marion Crane in Bates Motel: The Final Season, a character originally and famously portrayed by Janet Leigh in Psycho.
Game of Thrones: Season Seven is delayed because literally “Winter is Here.” The producers revealed that the show needs to use locations that require better weather and this has delayed the production.
Strangely singer/song writer Sia is going to Equestria. There she will both voice act and sing 2 songs in My Little Pony due in 2017.
In animation The Simpsons will be jumping on board another cultural craze, this time featuring 2016's Pokemon Go as a themed episode in the near future. Family Guy will also see David Tenant reprising his "Doctored" role from Doctor Who in an upcoming episode.
Star Wars absent...?
Despite no significant Star Wars announcements (other than some new minor characters in Star Wars: Rogue One) it was revealed just on the eve of the convention that Grand Admiral Thrawn will appear in Star Wars: Rebels Season Three. It is the first time that the Chiss master tactician will appear in any other form than print in Star Wars cannon. But speculation during the convention was raised about the identity of the character being played by Benicio Del Toro in Star Wars: Episode XIII and whether it might be related.
Sweeping changes at the House of Ideas
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Mark Waid has answered questions surrounding the “We Quit” promos that Marvel put out over the last week. Following the end of Civil War II, a number of young heroes will be handing in their Avengers memberships and making their own mark in the new series Champions.
Ms Marvel, Nova, Miles Morales, Amadeus Cho, the young Cyclops and Viv Vision will lose all confidence in their fellow older superheroes and unite under their own moniker, holding the more experienced superheroes accountable for allowing a second Civil War to run riot through the superhero communities. The new team of youngsters will strike out on their own and hope to make a greater difference in the world as Champions, with the book's title not having been used since the seventies.
Over at Time and reported extensively across many media outlets has been the revelation that Tony Stark will be stepping away from the role of Iron Man. Following Civil War II, 15 year old African-American girl Riri Williams will become the new Iron Man. First appearing only a few months ago in Invincible Iron Man #7*, Williams will join the burgeoning ranks of female superhero analogues that are "replacing" their male counterparts, which have recently included Jane Foster as the current Thor and Mary Jane as the Iron Spider.
Talk of the Pound: With the death of Rhodes there's a vacancy over at War Machine HQ. Riri might become the new War Machine eventually, but snouting about one can find a very interesting theory: If Tony ever wants to get his old job back, he may have to be on probation in War Machine armour first...
According to IGN the saga of Odinson’s unworthiness will be tackled head on by current Thor scribe Jason Aaron from October with The Unworthy Thor. The story will build on the mini-series Thors and will follow the Odinson’s attempt to become worthy to wield the hammer of the Thor from the Ultimate Universe. The series will be separate from The Mighty Thor, however at this stage it is intended that the titles will converge sometime in the future.
Duty-bound memory Hound: In Original Sin an aged Nick Fury whispered something into Thor’s ear and whatever was said was so heinous that it triggered Thor's current status of Unworthy, unable to wield Mjölnir. The Odinson played a role in the lead up to Secret Wars despite Foster's promoted status to Worthy, but he has since been scarce. This is all a part of Aaron's master plan conceived years ago; his acclaimed mega-run on Thor continues as the Odinson embarks on a journey to find redemption. But this hound has a hot prediction for Thor and for safety reasons of those keen not to listen to a potential spoil, the subtle change to vanish-ink is required!...:
Aaron's entire Thor run
will align in parallel with the "fall from grace" stories of Stark and Rogers to a monumentous return to glory for the trio in 2018.
Bleeding Cool has also dropped some interesting tid bits regarding future plans over at Marvel, revealing that later this year Marvel will release an ongoing Infamous Iron Man series following Victor Von Doom, and the ongoing Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme. Whether either of these titles are replacing current ones is yet to be announced.
For fans that have been missing The Great Lakes Avengers, Bleeding Cool has also revealed that as part of the next Marvel Now! the Avengers team from Detroit will be returning in a new series in October, penned by Zac Gorman.
Entertainment Weekly has also reported that some long sought answers will be given in Death of X, a 4 issue mini-series that will be released in October and November this year. Penned by Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire it is set primarily in the Eight month gap between Secret Wars and the All-New Marvel relaunch and will tell how the X-Men and the Inhumans have come to their current tenuous relationship. Bleeding Cool has also added that this retrospective story is a prequel to a much larger conflict yet to come.
What is old is new again at Marvel and DC later this year
With DC’s Rebirth and Marvel’s Civil War II in full swing many have asked where both will be heading in the future. Though it is clear that DC will be heading to some sort of showdown with Dr Manhattan and Marvel is set to continue its wholesale death and destruction with another major character death shortly, some information about future directions for the companies has just come to hand.
According to the New York Times a criticism of Rebirth will be tackled head on with the release of Midnighter and Apollo, a six issue mini-series coming in October. Though the Rebirth concept has been generally met with praise, there has been a noticeable lack of any focus on the Vertigo characters that were integrated into DC continuity during the New 52. This series has been announced to address this concern whilst also building on the Midnighter series that finished recently after its well-received twelve issue run.
And literally hot off the press The Washington Post has revealed a new title in the Marvel Universe as part of the Marvel Now! relaunch later this year. Building on an earlier report by Comic Book Resources (where the future direction of Marvel’s post-Civil War II Marvel Now! will be a line-wide branding called “Divided We Fall”) Al Ewing and Paco Medina will be writing U.S.Avengers. The new title “will see Sunspot's Avengers Idea Mechanics evolve into the American Intelligence Mechanics, a new organization endorsed by the government and poised to replace S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Hounding around: The new A.I.M. sounds similar in concept to Norman Osborn’s HAMMER and echoes the “Dark Reign” branding that followed the Secret Invasion storyline. While it seems that the House of Ideas is set to continue its "big event redux" timetable, Secret Invasion has been conspicuously absent so far...
...and this ol' hound has already snuffled out a few clues.
While certainly not a spoiler, here's an inviso-tip for those of you who subscribe to the thrill of such hunts: The terrain is especially rewarding in around some recent instances where characters have influenced decisions that have created scenarios which are contrary to their beliefs.
Big casting announcements for Marvel and DC in 2016/17
The CW television series Supergirl has not only added Teen Wolf alumni Tyler Hoechlin to its cast, but in a major coup CW has secured superhero-genre legend Lynda Carter for a recurring role in the show’s second season later in the year. Variety reports that Tyler Hoechlin who played Derek Hale in MTV’s Teen Wolf has been cast as the Man of Steel. He is confirmed to appear in the first two episodes of the new season, further broadening DC’s stable of heroes for the small screen. Also broken in Variety, his appearance will coincide alongside genre great Lynda Carter, who will play the President of the United States. It is not yet known how extensive her role on the show will be.
Hound’s Take: Lynda Carter is fiercely loved around the world by multitudes of fans; her role as Wonder Woman in the cheesy 1970s show of the same name is fondly remembered and CW are hoping that her devout audience will follow her to Supergirl. Look for a significant ratings boost to the series throughout the second season.
Blastr has been reporting for some time that Legends of Tomorrow will have new cast members replacing those not returning as show regulars. One of the new characters coming on board will be Vixen, but not the same Vixen seen in Arrow. Apparently due to scheduling conflicts Megalyn E.K. cannot reprise her role, so the show will make use of Time Travel to bring the character’s grandmother aboard as an earlier incarnation of the character. Maisie Richardson-Sellers (from The Originals and Star Wars: The Force Awakens) has been cast in the role allowing the show to have their own Vixen whilst still allowing for the original version to potentially appear in the future.
For its third season Gotham has chosen to recast a character in order to continue the emphasis on future Batman villains begun in season two. According to Screen Rant Maggie Geha has been cast as Poison Ivy with the intention of making her a show regular. She replaces the younger Clare Foley who it is said producers feel is too young for the direction they wish to take Poison Ivy. Ivy will be joined later in the season by the Mad Hatter, a classic Batman villain who has yet to be cast.
Fresh from her stoush with the Australian government over illegally bringing her beloved dogs into the country, Entertainment Tonight revealed that Amber Heard has been cast as Mera in the Justice League and Aquaman films. Though this has been rumoured for some time, the official announcement adds a second female hero to what is a very male-dominated cast so far in the DC cinematic universe.
In Marvel news, Deadline reports that Michael Keaton has agreed to terms and will be appearing in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. Though his role has not been officially revealed, it is strongly rumoured that he will be playing Spider-Man’s first real super-villain, the Vulture.
Thor: Ragnarok has added a further two genre heavy weights. Joining the recurring ensemble cast and the already confirmed Cate Blanchett (believed to be playing Hela), Jeff Goldblum has come aboard to play The Grandmaster and Karl Urban will be playing Skurge.
Hound’s Hunch: With the Hulk also heavily involved, this movie is certainly shaping up to be the big game changer that Marvel has already promoted that it will be.
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Dead No More: Spider-Man's Clone Conspiracy
Rumoured heavily for some time now, Entertainment Weekly has revealed that Marvel’s full title for this year’s Spider-Man event is Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy.
Hinted at earlier in the year through a "prologue" story scribed by Dan Slott and found within Marvel's Free Comic Book Day 2016 Captain America, in a story scribed by Dan Slott will see the return of the Jackal, a villain with a historic interest in the cloning of Spider-Man and his first girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
The Clone Conspiracy will be a standalone five-issue miniseries but Slott with co-writer Christos Gage will also be writing tie in stories throughout Amazing Spider-Man #19-23. Additionally there will be other tie-ins, including Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 and others yet to be announced.
THE HOUND'S TAKE: The Clone Saga is regarded as one of the most important Spider-Man stories in the canon and there have been hints and clues for the past few years of a return to it. This announcement goes a long way to mollifying fans who believe that the Clone Saga should have been one of the titles in Marvel’s 2015 event, Secret Wars.
Gaming News: E3 Highlights
E3 was the ground to break a few intriguing announcements this year and here's a few highlights care of comicbook.com:
Nintendo announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the next title in the Zelda gaming franchise. It will take place in a massive version of Hyrule, over ten times larger than the world seen in the previous Zelda outing Twilight Princess. Players will be able to explore the entire map from the very beginning, and it is speculated that the game can be beaten without experiencing any of the storyline;
Sony is going to soft re-boot God of War and Kratos will now have a son. The franchise will delve into the world of Norse Mythology rather than Greek Mythology as in previous titles, in a game with a release date that is yet to be confirmed;
Playstation 4 has a suprprise Spider-Man game in development by Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Crank, Spyro the Dragon). According to Insomniac, the forthcoming Spider-Man game features “a more experienced version of Spider-Man fighting crime and balancing his hectic life and career” while in a new suit.
The Batman Arkham series is set to continue with Batman: Arkham VR. With a release date yet to be announced, Batman: Arkham VR will focus more on Batman's detective skills rather than his combat abilities, and Rcoksteady claim that the player will attempt to solve a shocking murder while literally stepping inside Batman's cape and cowl.
OLSEN OBSERVES: The sneak peek is narrated by Mark Hamill, indicating an imminent return to his acclaimed voice-over role as The Joker.
Sacha Baron Cohen headlines Mandrake the Magician
In an unusual casting move Warner Brothers has announced their choice for the role of Mandrake the Magician. According to Screen Rant Sacha Baron Cohen, the Star of Borat, Bruno, The Dictator and the Brothers Grimsby has won the role of Lee Falk’s erstwhile magician. Considered one of the first superheroes Mandrake had the power to hypnotize, teleport, shapeshift and levitate because of his enchanted hat, cloak and wand.
Created in 1934, Mandrake has not seen a movie adaption since the 1954 TV movie, starring Coe Norton. Much more recently the character is remembered for being part of the ensemble cast for the 1986 animated series, Defenders of the Earth which he appeared alongside Flash Gordon and The Phantom.
This adaptation, to be directed by Etan Cohen (Director of Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder and Men in Black 3) will update the character for the 21st Century “with the U.S. government recruiting Mandrake for a top secret mission”
Four episode cross-over planned at CW; Superman to guest star in Supergirl
Since Arrow premiered in 2012 on the CW network, a number of successful DC properties have followed. With Supergirl joining the CW alongside The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow Hypable reported a few weeks ago that CW boss Mark Pedowitz is planning a four episode crossover for all the shows. No details on the plot have yet been released but the crossover is expected to be a very significant event.
Now the event has the potential to be even bigger. Variety has just revealed that the first two episodes of Supergirl season two are going to guest star the Man of Steel himself, Superman. Teased numerous times in season one, it will be the first time since Smallville that the character will return to television.
OLSEN's TAKE: Casting Superman will be highly controversial. Both the CW and Warner Brothers have stated on a number of occasions that the actors cast in WB's superhero films will not appear on television. With the inclusion of Superman in Supergirl season two and Superman yet to be cast, there is still room for a late change in that policy, particularly with no Superman feature film in the works announced.
Irrespective of who plays Superman, it is certain that a Superman guest-appearance in any or all of the other TV series on the CW just got a whole lot easier, and this may indeed point to the four episode crossover.
With Superman, Supergirl and Martian Manhunter now able to join Flash, Green Arrow, The Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl... what might the CW be planning...?
Hasbro brings ambitious Revolution to IDW
Late last year via Movieweb and other outlets Hasbro announced the creation of a Cinematic Universe, where numerous toy properties of the company would be combined into a conjoined series of films. Transformers, ROM, Micronauts, G.I. JOE, M.A.S.K. and Visionaries were all announced with the first film scheduled to be Transformers 5.
Blastr is now reporting that in September this year IDW, which holds the rights for all of Hasbro’s properties is not waiting for the cinematic universe to begin. The publisher is rolling out a mega crossover called Revolution a bi-weekly five part series with each of the individual Hasbro properties having a tie in issue. IDW have made it very clear that none of their ongoing series are being rebooted and in fact what has come before are the building blocks of what will be the new status quo.
“The Revolution series builds out of a detail that was introduced in IDW’s first-ever issue of TRANSFORMERS in 2005,” said IDW’s Chief Creative Officer, Chris Ryall. “So to finally be able to build upon the various story elements we’ve seeded over the years, and which come into play in a big way starting with July’s ROM #1 even before the launch of Revolution, is a blast. We’ve been working toward a full-fledged universe for some time and it’s great fun to be able to finally bring it to vivid life, especially since it allows us to give the world new titles like the very-requested M.A.S.K., as well as some exciting new books still to be announced.”
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James Wan to direct Aquaman, Robotech
Australian filmmaker James Wan has inked twin deals to direct an Aquaman solo movie for Warner Bros, slated for release in 2018, and helm a live-action adaptation of classic anime Robotech at Sony. The Malaysian-born director is best known for launching the Saw and Insidious horror series, and recently helmed this year’s Furious 7.
Woody Harrelson cast as Clowes' Wilson; The Wicked + The Divine heading to TV
Woody Harrelson has been cast as the titular misanthropic Wilson in a forthcoming movie adaptation of the story from Daniel Clowes’ Eightball, alongside Laura Dern. Craig Johnson, who helmed last year’s The Skeleton Twins, will direct from a screenplay by Clowes.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Eisner-nominated Image series The Wicked + The Divine has been optioned for television by Universal TV. Milkfed Criminal Masterminds, a production company recently founded by Marvel writers and celebrity comics couple Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick, will oversee the adaptation.
Bloodshot movie adds directors
Sony Pictures and Valiant Entertainment have signed up David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, directors of this year’s surprise action hit John Wick, to helm a movie adaptation of Bloodshot slated for 2017. Valiant has inked a five-picture deal with Sony to bring its comics universe to the big screen, with plans for two Bloodshot and two Harbinger films leading into fifth feature uniting the two properties.
Russo Brothers to direct Avengers: Infinity War
The Hollywood Reporter notes Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo are set to helm the two-part Avengers: Infinity War, with Joss Whedon stepping aside from the series after this year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The pair will soon begin production on the third Captain America film Civil War, with returning screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely also rumoured to be in the frame for Infinity War. As the closer for ‘phrase three’ of the Marvel cinematic universe Infinity War will be split into two films slated for May releases in 2018 and 2019.
The Russo Brothers established themselves as directors on TV comedies including Community and Arrested Development, winning an Emmy for the helping the pilot episode of the latter, before switching to the big screen with last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
WB announces future DC movies
Warner Bros has announced a massive slate of future DC movies forming a Justice League-centric shared universe. Following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 will be a Suicide Squad movie directed by David Ayer (also 2016), Wonder Woman starring Batman v Superman's Gail Gadot (2017), Justice League Part One directed by Zack Snyder (2017), The Flash starring Ezra Miller (2018), Aquaman starring Game of Thrones' Jason Momoa (2018), Shazam starring Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam (2019), Justice League Part Two also directed by Snyder (2019), Cyborg starring Ray Fisher (2020), and finally a rebooted Green Lantern (2020). The announcement indicates these movies are in addition to future Superman and Batman solo movies.
Slashfilm has prepared a guide to superhero movies slated for release between now and the end of the decade, which includes 10 Marvel Studios movies, 10 movies featuring Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men from Sony and Fox, and now at least 10 DC movies.
Bleeding Cool claims Jena Malone will play a female Robin in Batman v Superman, furthering speculation the film will be based at least in part on Frank Miller's iconic The Dark Knight Returns.
Action Comics #1 sells for record price
A near-pristine copy of 1938’s Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, has sold via eBay auction for a record $US3.2 million. Rated at 9.0 by professional comics graders CGC, the issue was stored in a box for almost 40 years and passed through a small number of private hands before recently being purchased by US comics dealer Darren Adams. The previous sales record of $2.16m was set in 2011 for a copy of the same issue once owned by actor Nicholas Cage. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation which supports spinal cord injury research.
Zack Snyder to direct Justice League
The Wall Street Journal reports Zack Snyder will follow 2016's Superman/Batman movie with a Justice League feature film. The production is expected to feature a continuing cast of Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman and Gail Gadot as Wonder Woman, with Ray Fisher also recently cast as Cyborg in Superman/Batman. David Goyer is likely to script and produce Justice League as part of a recent three-picture deal with Warner Bros, having penned Man of Steel and developed the story for Superman/Batman for Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio.
The announcement has renewed rumours Justice League will be shot in whole or in part back-to-back with Superman/Batman, which could make a 2017 release possible. Warner Bros is thought to be extremely keen to establish a DCU cinematic universe, with the potential for spin-off movies for characters such as Wonder Woman, to compete with the massive success of Marvel Studios productions.
Warner Bros' previous attempt to bring the Justice League to the big screen, with Mad Max director George Miller and a cast including Armie Hammer as Batman and Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, came close to entering production before the 2007-8 Hollywood writers' strike and an escalating budget saw the studio put the project on hold, quietly scrapping it altogether in 2010.
Affleck/Damon to produce Sleeper movie
Variety reports Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will produce a movie adaptation of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' cult Wildstorm series Sleeper, set up at Warner Bros with TV writing duo Shawn Ryan and David Wiener attached to pen the screenplay. No director or cast are yet in place, with Affleck already attached to a number of directorial gigs in addition to his upcoming role as Batman in 2015's Superman/Batman. Ryan's credits including co-creating police procedurals The Shield and The Chicago Code, while Wiener was most recently a story editor on The Killing.
Published between 2003 and 2005 to enormous critical acclaim but dismal sales, Sleeper was among a number of titles revamping the Wildstorm universe for mature readers following the success of The Authority.
Marvel Studios developing Black Panther movie
During an interview at the Thor: The Dark World premiere press junket Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed the studio is actively developing a Black Panther feature as part of its 'Phase Three' of post-Avengers 2 films. Feige also hinted again at Doctor Strange featuring in Phase Three, while commenting that Edgar Wright's Ant-Man will be a heist film and casting should be announced by the end of the year.
James Robinson ruenites the Invaders; Ellen Page eyes Queen and Country movie
World War II superhero team the Invaders reunite this January in All-New Invaders, an ongoing series from James Robinson and Steve Pugh teaming Captain America with Namor, the android Human Torch and Captain America's military sidekick Bucky Barnes in his new identity of the Winter Soldier. Robinson, a fan-favourite and Eisner-winning writer from titles such as Starman, recently made an abrupt and high-profile departure from DC Comics.
Variety reports Canadian actress Ellen Page is in negotiations with Fox to play the lead role of British intelligence agent Tara Chase in a big-screen adaptation of Oni Press series Queen and Country. Page is set to reprise her role as Kitty Pryde in next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past, having previously appeared in X-Men 3, Inception, Juno and Hard Candy.
Penned by Greg Rucka and illustrated by a series of artists, Queen and Country garnered huge critical acclaim and multiple Eisner wins and nominations during its original run between 2001 and 2007. Both Rucka and Oni Press have indicated the series will return with a new volume during 2014.
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