With the conclusion of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy, the future of DC Comics movies is entirely up in the air right now. DC and Warner Bros’ next step in the gameplan is Zack Snyder‘s Superman reboot Man of Steel, which must fight through the general disappointment created by the last reboot, Superman Returns. That’s nothing compared to Green Lantern, which rode a 26% Rotten Tomatoes score to squeak past $200 million worldwide. But hey, at least they have movies: Wonder Woman and The Flash are left out in the cold, and Aquaman may only be a viable superhero in the Hollywood fantasy of Entourage.
DC’s rival Marvel spent years carefully assembling their stable of heroes, culminating in the smash success of The Avengers. It seems DC is going to cut through the Gordian knot and skip straight to Justice League after Man of Steel, and use that to introduce the new era of DC movies. More after the jump.
You read the headline right: Warner Bros. is reportedly eying Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) to helm Justice League, DC and WB’s answer to Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers. Affleck is expected to enter discussion with the studio higher-ups within the next few days. So far, he’s the only candidate who has received the script from Gangster Squad scribe, Will Beall. Affleck has also set a recent precedent of directing films he also stars in, which may mean that we’ll be seeing him on screen in some capacity, whether super-suited or not. Hit the jump for much more on this developing story, along with a possible role for Affleck in an upcoming film which has long been in development at Warner Bros. [Update: We've added more information regarding Affleck's likely decision]
Warner Bros. injects some much-needed life into their Justice League feature by tapping scribe, Will Beall (Gangster Squad). Clearly, after Disney and Marvel’s The Avengers put a superheroic dent into 2012′s box office, the studio behind the DC version would like to do the same. Beall has yet to turn in his draft, but the studio has shown strong faith in the screenwriter, having attached him to their reboot of Lethal Weapon and their remake of Logan’s Run. The latter will reunite Gangster Squad’s Ryan Gosling with his Drive director, Nicolas Winding Refn. Hit the jump for more on this exciting news for Justice League and to find out who is writing the Wonder Woman screenplay.
One of this year’s box office surprises was the thriller The Woman in Black. Starring Daniel Radcliffe in his first major role following Harry Potter, the Gothic horror tale was based off of a 1983 novel by Susan Hill and made over $125 million at the worldwide box office. In fact, the film was such a success that Hammer, Alliance Films, Cross Creek Pictures and author Hill are teaming up for a follow-up entitled The Woman in Black: Angels of Death. The film will be set 40 years after the events of the first film, and will follow a new couple’s experience in the same eerie house. For more on The Woman in Black, here’s all our previous coverage which includes trailers, images, featurettes and clips.
With the film hitting Blu-ray and DVD this week, I recently did an exclusive phone interview with Radcliffe. We talked about the success of the film and if he was relieved that he could open a film that didn’t have the words “Harry Potter” in the title, what he thought worked really well in the film and if there was something he wished he could redo, how many takes he likes to do, and more. In addition, we talked about his thoughts on Warner Bros. eventually re-releasing the entire Harry Potter series in 3D, the drama Kill Your Darlings (in which he plays poet Allen Ginsberg), his criteria for picking future roles, and whether there’s a comic book role he’d like to play (The Flash). Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.
Back in 2007, director Shawn Levy was attached to direct The Flash for Warner Bros. At the time, comic book movies were beginning their rise to prominence, and The Flash was a high profile project for the studio (it still is). At the time, Levy was coming off Night at the Museum, which had made over $500 million at the worldwide box office, so it wasn’t a surprise when he landed the gig. Since then, I’ve wondered what happened and why his version of The Flash never got made. So when I got to speak with Levy at this weekend’s press junket for Real Steel, one of the many things we talked about was what happened to The Flash. He told me:
“I oversaw a draft for about three-and-a-half months. And, at that time, I learned two things. One, if you’re going to take on a character like that… I was still the family comedy guy. And I just felt like, I gotta get a few more under my belt before I can claim the legitimacy of making a movie like that. And that’s what I’m doing, to be very honest. I’m not saying I have a master plan to go back to The Flash. In the end, The Flash went away because Justice League was gonna happen. And then it didn’t happen. To my great dismay, because I would have been first in line for that, too.”
Hit the jump for more.
At the conclusion of Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert’s 5-issue miniseries Flashpoint, DC Comics has announced it will reboot its universe and re-number each of its titles to begin at issue #1. In a letter from DC Senior Sales VP Bob Wayne to comic retailers, Wayne explains that the publisher will perform some character alterations with regards to “appearance, origin, and age” in an attempt to bring DC’s classic group of characters into a “more modern, diverse DC Universe.” The reboot will officially be underway on Wednesday, August 31st when DC will only release two titles: Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 to be written by Johns with art from Jim Lee.
In addition to the reboot, DC announced that the August 31st release will also be a landmark date for the digital distribution of comics as it will be the first time that either of the two major comic publishers (DC and Marvel) will release new titles digitally on the same day as their physical release. For more on the reboot and what it could mean for DC’s classic cast of characters, hit the jump.
Christopher Nolan has publicly stated that The Dark Knight Rises will be his final Batman film, and Warner Bros. is already looking ahead to the future of the franchise. As we reported last night, the studio is currently planning a Justice League movie for 2013 and Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov tells Hero Complex that scripts are being written for Flash and Wonder Woman (the Wonder Woman project would exist separately from the upcoming NBC show). But most intriguing is what the studio plans to do with its marquee superhero, Batman:
“We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…” says Robinov. “Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”
Hit the jump for my thoughts on the future of the Batman franchise.
Marc Guggenheim is one of three writers — along with Greg Berlanti and Michael Green — recently hired to work on The Flash and Green Lantern 2. I think we’ll have to wait for the release of the first Green Lantern (June 17, 2011) for updates on a potential sequel, but details are starting to surface on Warner Bros’ Flash adaptation.
We’ve spoken with Berlanti a couple times in the recent months. Guggenheim took his turn to update on the progress of the film. Hit the jump for his quotes on his approach to the Flash mythology, the specific comic influences, and the potential for cameos and Easter eggs.
A few days ago we reported Bradley Cooper was rumored to be on the shortlist for Warner Bros. The Flash movie. However, we managed to speak to Cooper yesterday (along with a few other journalists) and he offered the standard non-denial of anyone who may or may not be in negotiations for a role. The question was “have you heard anything about those Flash rumors.” Cooper’s response was “I have never heard anything about that in my life.”
The Flash is one of the last major holdouts for cinematic adaptation (save Aquaman) of the classic comic book characters. Cooper was considered one of the finalists for The Green Lantern – a role that went to Ryan Reynolds – while Cooper went on to do The A-Team. With Cooper being involved in The Hangover at Warner Brothers, and as Warner controls the DC titles, he does have a close relationship. More info as the story develops.
Once upon a time, Ryan Reynolds was in talks to star in the DC Comics superhero movie, The Flash. The project stalled and Reynolds eventually went on to play another DC Comics superhero: Green Lantern. Bradley Cooper (who is costarring with Reynolds in an untitled buddy-cop film) was one of the final contenders to play Green Lantern. Now Moviehole is reporting that Cooper is on the shortlist to play The Flash. And this is how we play “One Degree of Popular Actors Playing Superheroes”.
Moviehole notes that this is a very early rumor and screenwriter Greg Berlanti’s script, according to Deadline, isn’t even due until Christmas. However, Cooper is at that sweet spot for a studio where he doesn’t command a ridiculous salary but is recognizable enough and reliable enough to lead a major franchise. Cooper is currently filming on The Hangover 2, which is due out next year. Hit the jump for more on The Flash.
Greg Berlanti is having a good year. Not only does his movie Life As We Know It get released this weekend, he has a series (No Ordinary Family) that just premiered on ABC, and he’s also working on The Flash, Green Lantern 2 and Clash of the Titans 2. As you might imagine, when I found out I was going to be able to speak with him at the Life As We Know It press junket, I had a lot of questions.
Since we covered so many subjects, I decided to break up the interview into two parts. For today’s part, Berlanti talks about No Ordinary Family, Green Lantern 2 and Clash of the Titans 2. Hit the jump for more:
The new ABC series No Ordinary Family, premiering on September 28th, tells the story of the Powells (played by Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Kay Panabaker and Jimmy Bennett), a family who goes on a bonding trip to South America, in an attempt to reconnect with each other. When their plane crashes into the Amazon River, they soon realize that their lives have been forever changed, as each member of the family starts to show signs of new, unique and distinct super-powers and they are left to navigate whether their newfound abilities will finally bring them together or push them further apart.
Following the show’s Sunday afternoon panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, co-creator/executive producer Greg Berlanti took a few minutes to talk about all of his current superhero projects – No Ordinary Family, Green Lantern and The Flash, for which he is currently working on developing the story. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Warner Bros. must really love the Green Lantern dailies. In a bold move, the studio has decided to have the writers of Green Lantern, Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, develop treatments for both Green Lantern 2 and The Flash. Additionally, the trio would then go on to write the screenplay for one of the films. Heat Vision Blog is reporting that Green Lantern 2 will ostensibly continue the intergalactic story of Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) while The Flash will probably use the Barry Allen version of the character. At the very least, the writing is in capable hands considering that Berlanti, Guggenheim and Green have created the TV series Everwood, Eli Stone and Kings, respectively. Hit the jump for my thoughts on this big news.
Speaking to investors, Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer revealed that they were “nearing” a greenlight on The Flash. According to Heat Vision, Meyer also spoke about their other superhero properties. He repeated that Christopher Nolan’s Batman 3 was set for July 20, 2012 and that the new Superman movie—produced by Nolan and written by David Goyer (Batman Begins) and rumored to be titled The Man of Steel—was scheduled for the 2012 holiday season.
Meyer also revealed that the studio was had films for Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Mad Magazine characters in development. Hit the jump for what we know about all of these projects, including Steve’s interview with rumored Flash director Greg Berlanti (Life as We Know It).
On yesterday’s Showest red carpet, I was able to talk with director Greg Berlanti about his upcoming movie Life as We Know it, Green Lantern, and I asked him about the rumors he might direct The Flash. Regarding The Flash, he says he’s busy with a pilot at ABC and his movie so he hasn’t thought about it. Basically, he ducked my question.
And even though Berlanti isn’t directing Green Lantern, he did write the script and he’s a producer on the project, so he’s definitely someone who knows what’s going on. I asked him if they tried to work in some other DC superheroes like Marvel has been doing and he says in early drafts of the script they had some of that stuff, and the studio is starting to think in the same way as Marvel. He also talks about what fans might like about the film. Of course we also talked about his movie – which stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel.
Hit the jump to check it out.