THE COLLISION: Episode 109 – Marvel Phase Three and Facing off against Warner Bros./DC Comics

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This week on The Collision, we talk about the massive announcement regarding Marvel Phase Three.  We look at what the plan implies, what was left behind (poor Ant-Man), how enthusiasm for the future makes us forget the present (Avengers: Age of Ultron looked like an afterthought after the Phase Three announcement and that movie hasn’t even come out yet), the inevitable clash with Warner Bros./DC, marketing to fans, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“World War II Films and Fury“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

The Nolans Are Not Involved in the Upcoming DC Universe

by     Posted 4 days ago

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While there is an inherent rivalry between the Marvel film adaptations and the DC film adaptations, Warner Bros. has taken a few major pages out of Marvel Studios’ book when it comes to crafting its own DC universe.  It has the big team-up movie planned with a two-part Justice League event, it announced a full slate of superhero films that includes standalone features and sequels to existing properties, and its entire slate will exist within one singular universe.  Something Warner Bros. doesn’t have, though, is a Kevin Feige.  As the President of Marvel Studios, Feige produces every single one of Marvel’s films and is essentially the glue that holds the entire universe together.  He takes point on plotting out where the overall arc for the MCU will go, and ensures that there is strong connective tissue in each movie.

It’s not that Warner Bros. hasn’t tried to install its own Feige-type creative head, as the studio would’ve loved to have had Christopher Nolan stick around after the Dark Knight Trilogy and oversee the subsequent DC films, but Nolan’s brother Jonathan Nolan—who penned the script for The Dark Knight and co-wrote The Dark Knight Rises—recently confirmed that he and his brother have nothing to do with the upcoming DC Movie Universe.  More after the jump.

Warner Bros. Nabs WORLD BREAKER from THE SIGNAL Director William Eubank

by     Posted 6 days ago

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William Eubank’s second feature, The Signal, didn’t sell nearly as many tickets as it deserved during its limited theatrical run, but he’ll get another go at it because it’s being reported that Warner Bros. just acquired a script he penned with Philip Gawthorne called World Breaker.

Eubank is set to direct and will be switching gears big time on this one.  Whereas The Signal is a horror/sci-fi mash-up of sorts, World Breaker is a medieval-themed project with a mythical Scottish warlord at the heart of it.  Hit the jump for more on Eubank and World Breaker.

Jesse Eisenberg in Talks to Join the SUICIDE SQUAD as Lex Luthor

by     Posted 6 days ago

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As production is looking to wind down on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. is currently reading its third DC Comics film of the new era: Suicide Squad.  The project is in some ways an odd follow-up to Batman v Superman in that it doesn’t really feature any of the characters that casual fans might recognize, with Warner Bros. instead saving Wonder Woman, Aquaman, etc. for after Suicide SquadDavid Ayer, the writer/director behind Fury and End of Watch, is set to direct and is currently working on the script, and casting has begun with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Tom Hardy all in talks to play members of the titular group of supervillains.

But now it looks like Warner Bros. is keen on adding some connective tissue to Suicide Squad that will make it feel more like a piece of the DC Movie Universe, and it’s a pretty big development: the studio is now in negotiations with Jesse Eisenberg to bring his Lex Luthor character into the Suicide Squad fold.  More after the jump.

Warner Bros. Looking for Female Director to Helm WONDER WOMAN

by     Posted 6 days ago

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The superhero movie boom has been happening for years now and only one superhero film has had a female director: Lexi Alexander‘s Punisher: War Zone.  And the budget for that film was drastically lower than the majority of superhero pictures.  Patty Jenkins (Monster) came close to directing Thor: The Dark World, but she and Marvel couldn’t come to terms, so they went with Alan Taylor instead.

It’s absurd and sad that, even beyond superhero films, female directors almost never get to take on a blockbuster property.  There are legions of incompetent male directors who are given hundreds of millions of dollars to blow on a waste of time, but incredibly talented female directors are relegated to indies, rom-coms, and TV shows.  It’s time to break through that glass ceiling, especially with superhero movies since we’re going to be getting so many of them.  Fittingly, that time may have finally come with Wonder Woman.  Hit the jump for more.

THE HOBBIT Movies Cost $745 Million, But That’s Okay Because They’ve Already Made Nearly $2 Billion

by     Posted 8 days ago

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Calculating the budget of Hollywood films is a tricky business.  Rarely is the “official” number the actual amount that a movie cost, and even if a movie seems to have made more than its reported budget, that doesn’t factor in the cost of marketing and distribution; roughly, a movie has to make about one and half times its budget to become profitable.  The cost, obviously, goes up with sequels, as studios put more money into a film that now has a much higher probability of becoming profitable thanks to brand recognition based on the first film.  In the case of The Hobbit franchise—a series of prequels to one of the most popular and successful film trilogies of all time—one can imagine the amount of money Warner Bros. spent to bring them to fruition.

But now one doesn’t have to imagine that number, as it is being reported that the cost of the three Hobbit films has now totaled $745 million.  That’s, uh, a lot of money, but even still, it’s looking like most of what the final installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, makes in theaters will be profit.  More after the jump.

Warner Bros. Digital Division Developing CRITTERS, MORTAL KOMBAT and STATIC SHOCK Series

by     Posted 9 days ago

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Warner Bros. just gave its new digital division a name and unveiled its first development slate to go along with it.  Blue Ribbon Content will focus on delivering short-form, live-action series under the guidance of Sam Register who assumed the role of President of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series back in April.

Blue Ribbon’s got a lot going on, but the highlights include a new Mortal Kombat series, an adaptation of the comic Static and a new rendition of the cult classic Critters as well.  Hit the jump for more on all of them.

Director David Ayer Says His SUICIDE SQUAD Movie Is “THE DIRTY DOZEN with Supervillains”

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Warner Bros. dropped a number of news bombs last week when it unveiled its slate of DC Comics movies through the year 2020, announcing casting and director news in the process.  One of the more curious revelations was the fact that a Suicide Squad movie would be the first DC adaptation to hit theaters after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March 2016.  Instead of following the sure-to-be-massive superhero pic up with something more recognizable like Wonder Woman or even Aquaman, Warner Bros. is going with a more obscure title that will certainly be an outlier in the superhero genre.

Fury and End of Watch director David Ayer was confirmed as the director of Suicide Squad—the story of a group of supervillains on missions—during the news dump, and now Ayer has spoken a bit about his plans for the comic book adaptation.  Ayer likened the film to the Lee Marvin-fronted 1967 classic The Dirty Dozen, and spoke about its lack of heroes.  Read on after the jump.

Shawn Levy in Talks to Direct MINECRAFT Movie

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Back in February, we reported that Warner Bros. had acquired the rights to adapt the ridiculously popular video game Minecraft into a film with Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie) producing alongside Jill Messick (Mean Girls).  The open-world game is from Swedish indie developers Mojang AB, and allows players to create a world with textured cubes.  Different modes have the players either fighting for survival or they can simply build away without any restraints aside from a lack of rounded corners.

I don’t understand Minecraft at all, which makes me feel super-old, but Warner Bros. thinks Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy might have a good take on the material.  Hit the jump for more.

Warner Bros. Courting Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, and Margot Robbie for SUICIDE SQUAD

by     Posted 15 days ago

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The superhero news just keeps on coming today.  Earlier this morning, Warner Bros. unveiled its full slate of DC Comics adaptations through the year 2020.  One of the more surprising revelations was that the superhero pic set to follow the release of the sure-to-be-massive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be Suicide Squad, with Fury and End of Watch helmer David Ayer set to direct.  That release date is set for August 5, 2016, and so as Ayer gets to work on the script, the studio is starting to think about casting—and boy are they aiming high.  The actors that are reportedly being courted to lead this new DC film are Ryan Gosling, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Tom Hardy.  More after the jump.

GREEN LANTERN Reboot Set for 2020; Where Will Warner Bros. Take the Character?

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Today, Warner Bros. announced a huge slate of DC superhero movies, and among them was a reboot of Green Lantern set for 2020.  The 2010 adaptation [correction: the movie was released in 2011] was a failure, and one that Warner Bros. would clearly like to forget.  It was an opportunity to not only launch a new franchise, but also stand apart from anything else in the superhero marketplace by introducing cosmic elements.  Marvel, through the power of branding, was finally able to get audiences into that kind of cosmic superhero movie with Guardians of the Galaxy, but for some reason, Warner Bros. seems a little skittish about capitalizing on that movie’s success.  Is it really necessary to provide nine years of distance between Green Lantern movies, especially if you’re going to introduce a new Lantern (presumably) in Justice League Part One?  What’s the holdup?  And in a post-Guardians world, he certainly seems like an easier sell than Aquaman, who gets his own movie in 2018.

A new Green Lantern also provides the opportunity to go with the protagonist they should have gone with in the first place: John Stewart.  Hit the jump for more.

Now that David Ayer is Confirmed to Direct, What is SUICIDE SQUAD?

by     Posted 15 days ago

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A report popped up about a month ago claiming that David Ayer was circling Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s big screen rendition of Suicide Squad and now the studios have confirmed it.  Even though Ayer just told us that it’s, “Rumors.  Just rumors.  It’s all rumors,” Ayer will helm the film, which is due to arrive in 2016, making it the first DC movie to hit theaters after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

I’ve got no problem being blindly thrilled about any big screen rendition of a DC property that Warner Bros. announces, but now that Suicide Squad is official, it’s time to get a little more knowledgeable about the source material.

Warner Bros. to Release Stand-Alone BATMAN and SUPERMAN Films in Addition to 9 Newly Announced Superhero Movies

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Because it wasn’t enough for Warner Bros. to announce nine new DC superhero movies today, the studio has also announced they have stand-alone Batman and Superman films planned as well.  All of these are announcements today are to please investors and let them know that the studio is on firm ground with its biggest franchises.  The Batman and Superman films aren’t a total surprise, although it will be interesting to see where Warner Bros. tries to slot them.  Keep in mind that Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill want to do other things with their time than wear superhero costumes, and so it will probably be a matter of scheduling.  Additionally, from 2016 onwards, the studio has at least two superhero movies planned, and if any of these solo films is mammoth hit, it could rearrange things completely.  If Wonder Woman kills at the box office, do you think the studio will sit on their hands for at least three years just because they mapped out a schedule in 2014?  All of this is fluid, and that includes the “World’s Finest”.

Hit the jump for the press release.

HARRY POTTER Spinoff FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Confirmed for a Trilogy; Will Be Released across 2016, 2018, and 2020

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara made some major announcements this morning at an investors’ meeting.  Among those announcements was a confirmation that the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be a trilogy.  Tsujihara originally revealed this information to The New York Times back in March, and said they would be “three megamovies”, and I now assume “megamovie” means “license to print money”.  A press release also confirms that David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter movies, will helm Fantastic Beasts, which is being written by J.K. Rowling.

For those who don’t know, Fantastic Beasts is set in New York City, seventy years before the events of Harry Potter, and follows Newt Scamander, the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which became one of Harry’s schoolbooks.  The first movie is due out on November 18, 2016.  The next two movies will follow in 2018 and 2020, respectively.  Hit the jump for the press release.

THE FLASH Movie Set for 2018, Will Star THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER’s Ezra Miller

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara has been announcing a slew of news regarding the studio’s plans.  Among his announcements is the reveal that The Flash standalone movie is coming in 2018 and will star Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).  This reveal firmly establishes that the DC Movie Universe will be completely separate from the DC TV Universe since the new CW series The Flash stars Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster.  Additionally, this new Flash movie will come after Zack Snyder‘s Justice League Part One, which is due out in 2017.

Hit the jump for more.

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