Marvel has already locked Phase Two, but other than Ant-Man, Phase Three is wide open. Furthermore, the powerhouse studio now has two major characters back in their stable. Daredevil and The Punisher both reverted back to Marvel when the rights lapsed at Fox and Lionsgate, respectively. Obviously, if Marvel gives the characters new movies, they’ll be reboots, but in a recent interview, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says they’re still figuring out how to proceed with these valuable properties.
Hit the jump for what Feige had to say, and click here for what he had to say to Steve at the press junket for Thor: The Dark World.
Marvel recently shut down a Punisher fan film, and this indirectly brought Adi Shankar into the conversation. Shankar produced the fan film The Punisher: Dirty Laundry (click here to watch it, and click here to watch his other fan film, Truth in Journalism; he also makes mainstream movies) starring Thomas Jane, who played Punisher in the 2004 adaptation. Shankar has written an open letter responding to Marvel’s takedown notice. Reading over his letter, I strongly disagree with some of his points. I believe it oversimplifies a studio’s position regarding their properties, and ignores that the studio doesn’t necessarily mind reproduction, but it does mind context in those reproductions assuming those reproductions become a hit with the mainstream.
But the crux of the argument is a hotly debated one: who owns this material? Does it belong to the studios or the fans, and why would studios want to stop fans from trying to bring a new spin to the material? Hit the jump to read Shankar’s letter, and sound off in the comments.
For better or worse, the final confrontation between Superman and General Zod in this summer’s Man of Steel set off a firestorm of controversy across the web. Heroes and villains were once black and white but seem to be getting away from those restrictions with every new comic book movie. Should comic book heroes be held to a higher standard of morality in today’s world of “gritty and realistic” adaptations? Is it fair to expect filmmakers to portray movie heroes and villains as paragons of good and evil, or is it time they dabble in the gray areas? Or is it as simple as looking at a particular character’s origins and tough decisions (made by writers) over the years to decide whether or not the killing of their adversaries makes sense?
We’ve taken a look at comic book movies made over the years and put together a list of combatants, conflicts and resolutions to see if the line made famous by Aaron Eckhart in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight holds true: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Hit the jump to see how other heroes have dealt with their villains over the years.
In this, the final Saturday of 2012, it’s time to extract five topics from a year’s worth of Top 5‘s for our second annual “End of the Year Edition”. Given that this is a year-end list that exists on the Internet, I’m fully prepared for obligatory statements regarding my choices and how they prove my own ineptitude. That said, in an attempt to preempt such backlash, I’d like to welcome any and all readers to respectfully disagree with me in the comments section. Let’s keep it classy and enjoy a highlight reel of some of the best 2012 had to offer after the jump.
Anything that I write this week will ultimately prove miniscule and severely unimportant in the wake of the Aurora, CO tragedy. While it’s an unfortunate truth that lives are senselessly lost every day for reasons that defy any and all logic, the fact that this particular incident took place in an atmosphere so many us of cherish and during an event that was so genuinely anticipated has made this all too familiar story one that really hits home. All of this said, I’ll refrain from pretending to know or understand the first thing about what the victims of the shooting are going through. Instead, I’ll just offer my sincerest condolences to all those involved.
In an impossible segue, this week’s Top 5 is headlined by The Dark Knight Rises while also shining our weekly spotlight on The Punisher‘s new short film Dirty Laundry, the first poster and new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, Joss Whedon taking out a giant one-eyed monster in the 5-year-old inspired short film Scary Smash, and an ode to our nearly infinite supply of Comic-Con 2012 coverage. A link and brief recap for each rests after the jump.
Thomas Jane put together one of the most fun surprises of Comic-Con. Jane recruited director Phil Joanou to make a new short based on The Punisher—titled Dirty Laundry—on the down-low and screened it at the panel for his RAW Studios. That was in a small room, so few actually saw the short. But Jane and Co. posted Dirty Laundry online for all to see, and you can now watch it after the jump. Ron Perlman also makes an appearance in the short scripted by Chad St. John and produced by Adi Shankar. Check out our recap of the panel here.
It’s upfronts week, and we’ve already gotten a look at the upcoming fall schedules for NBC, Fox, and ABC. However, we’ve now got word on a couple of comic book series that weren’t on any of said schedules. A Hulk television series has been in development at ABC for a while with Guillermo del Toro onboard as executive producer. ABC president Paul Lee had this to say regarding Hulk:
“Hulk is in development. It wasn’t going to be ready this season, but we hope it’s going to be ready for next season.”
With word that Marvel might be planning a new Hulk movie with Mark Ruffalo following the stellar reaction to the character/Ruffalo’s performance in The Avengers, many wondered what this meant for the TV series. It sounds like ABC is very much still game for the show, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a Hulk movie is held until the studio sees how the TV series fares. Hit the jump for more, including word on The Punisher TV series.
In the Disney XD animated action-adventure series Ultimate Spider-Man, premiering from Marvel Animation on April 1st, 16-year-old Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell) has been saving New York City from villains as his alter-ego Spider-Man for the past year while juggling his life at Midtown High School with best friends Mary-Jane Watson (voiced by Tara Strong) and Harry Osborn (voiced by Matt Lanter), who are both unaware of his secret identity. Still in need of the discipline to best utilize his gifts, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (voiced by Chi McBride) offers Spidey the chance to train with the best and plants Agent Coulson (voiced by Clark Gregg) as the school principal to keep a watchful eye and him and four other teenage superheroes, including Nova, White Tiger, Power Man and Iron Fist.
During this recent interview to promote the new Marvel Universe series, executive producers Jeph Loeb (Head of Marvel Television) and Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment) talked about what makes Marvel stories easily recognizable, the tone they wanted to go for with this latest Spider-Man show and establishing the aesthetic they wanted for the show. They also talked about the possibility of releasing all the episodes of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in one Blu-ray package, and the status if the live-action series Marvel currently has in development like The Incredible Hulk, aka Jessica Jones, Mockingbird and Cloak and Dagger. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
One of the executive producers of Ultimate Spider-Man for Marvel Universe on Disney XD, Jeph Loeb is the Emmy-nominated and Eisner Award-winning writer and producer who is currently the Executive Vice President and Head of Marvel Television, responsible for all live-action comedy and drama, as well as animation. So, when we spoke with him earlier today about the compelling new action-adventure animated series, featuring a teenage Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell) juggling the challenges of high school with being a superhero, we were curious about an update on the status of the live-action series that he currently has in development.
While we will run what he had to say about the new animation series, closer to its April 1st premiere, we did want to post what he had to say about how The Hulk, Aka Jessica Jones and The Punisher are coming along for ABC, as well as the development of Mockingbird and Cloak and Dagger for ABC Family. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
Marvel’s The Punisher flopped twice at the box office (even though the second movie is great) but they haven’t given up on the murderous vigilante. According to Deadline, Criminal Minds showrunner Ed Bernero has adapted the comic for a pilot commitment from Fox. The series would be an “an hour-long procedural” which would see Frank Castle (aka The Punisher) “as a rising star detective with the New York Police Department” who moonlights as a vigilante, “seeking justice for those the system has failed.” This character is also known as Dexter Morgan or Daredevil. Seriously, why not just adapt Daredevil? That movie flopped too and instead of cop procedural, you’d have a courtroom procedural. The unoriginality of network TV would prevail! Fox is also developing a series based on the DC comics hero The Spectre. I hope the character’s day job is in a hospital.
Marvel has already sent their comic series Powers to FX. The studio is also developing the TV series AKA Jessica Jones (based on the comic Alias), The Hulk (produced by Guillermo del Toro), Cloak and Dagger, Mockingbird, and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
As the 37th annual Saturn Awards came to a close, I was lucky enough to snag a few minutes with The Punisher (2004) and Hung star Thomas Jane.
Always a blunt and shoot from the hip interview, Jane was especially candid this night, talking in detail about why he was fired from Walter Hill and Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming Headshot, his burgeoning music career, his upcoming Glen Sherley biopic, his comic company Raw Studios, a western that he’s written, a werewolf movie called The Lycan, and much, much more. Hit the jump to check it out.
In an online chat on the L.A. Times website HeroComplex, Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, answered a ton of fan submitted questions. While he didn’t reveal any major Marvel secrets, he did give updates on numerous Marvel projects that are in development. Some of the projects he talked about were Ant-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Luke Cage, The Runaways, The Punisher, Deadpool, Thor, Captain America, Power Pack, and a few others. Here’s some of the bullet point highlights:
- Iron Man will have new armor in The Avengers
- The upcoming Marvel movies will continue hiding hidden Easter Eggs
- Says the next 3 years he’s working on Iron Man 3, The Runaways, Ant-Man and The Avengers
- Don Blake is somehow referenced in Thor
- Edgar Wright is still working on the screenplay for Ant-Man
- Mentions his love of Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and Luke Cage
- We should be seeing the Captain America trailer early next year
- They are working on The Punisher. No word if it’s TV or live-action
- Wants to bring female heroes to the big screen
- A very talented writer is currently working on a draft of Iron Fist right now
- Claims Natalie and Chris have amazing chemistry in Thor
- Open to an R-Rated Marvel movie
- Says some of the upcoming Marvel movies will have after the credit scenes
- The ten-minute shorts before the features was just a rumor.
- Says Fox is still working on a Deadpool movie
- Nick Fury will stay in the modern era
- No Invaders in Captain America but there will be Howling Commandoes
Hit the jump for everything he said:
When Disney bought Marvel last year, we dreamt of Marvel characters gracing the broadcast television network that Disney happens to own: ABC. Such is finally coming to fruition, as news comes there is a major push to get Hulk back on television nearly three decades after the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno series The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982) went off the air. There is no showrunner attached yet, but recently knighted Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb (Heroes) is on the lookout.
But that’s not all, folks! Marvel prepared a presentation of several titles they felt were suitable for adaptation. Among them, Cloak and Dagger and The Punisher seem most likely to enter development next. Hit the jump for the full list of possible adaptations.