Posts Tagged ‘Warner Brothers’

via Deadline

Constantine #1EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. TV and DC Comics are on a roll this development season with a third high-profile project. Constantine, a drama based on the characters in DC Comics’ John Constantine stories, has sold to NBC with penalty. It is written/executive produced by The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, the go-to writer for Warner Bros.’ feature DC adaptations. Constantine centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond.

John Constantine, who first appeared in 1985 as a recurring character in the horror series The Saga Of The Swamp Thing, was created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and Jamie Delano. He was portrayed by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 feature Constantine and is rumored to be featured in the Justice League Dark feature Warner Bros. has in the works with Guillermo del Toro.

Constantine joins Warner Bros. TV/DC’s The Flash at the CW, a spinoff from hit Arrow, and a Gotham City/Commissioner Gordon drama at Fox, which has a series commitment.  WME-repped Goyer has co-written The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins, Man Of Steel and the upcoming Batman vs. Superman. On TV, he is the creator/executive producer of Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons. WME-repped Cerone is the creator/executive producer of Canadian drama Motive, which aired on ABC this summer and is awaiting a second-season renewal.

The thing is, they tried a similar show in 1998 called Brimstone, it wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t bad either, only lasted a season. But with Constantine being based of a comic book character, and it’s a different age/generation in the major demographic now, this could have a better chance at working as long as it’s written well. Though it’s possible non-comic book people could just see it as an attempt to piggy back on recent hits like GRIMM, Once Upon a Time, and Sleepy Hollow.  It really depends on how they play it.

The most notable in all this is that NBC, which is Universal, picked up the show. The Gotham City show is going to FOX which is, of course, FOX. And The Flash is staying with Warner Brother on the CW along with Arrow. DC, which is owned by Warner Brothers, is being very free with their tv licensing of the DC characters. The only two network channels left to have a DC property is CBS and ABC. ABC has SHIELD and is owned by Disney, so I’d bet even money we’ll never see a DC show there, but there is nothing stopping CBS except they are the #1 network so they probably don’t care if they have one or not.

All these shows coming out of the woodwork, but yet still no Wonder Woman.

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From BleedingCool

Rumour: Christian Bale To Play Batman In Justice League, Directed By Zack Snyder, Produced By Christopher NolanWhen it comes to shared-universe comic book movies – which are, like, so in right now – Warner Bros. are definitely playing catch up. But they do seem to be moving with competitive speed.

According to “knowledgeable people close to the studio,” and quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Warners are looking to fast track a sequel to Man of Steel for release in 2014. That would probably mean they have to get into production in the next six, maybe nine months.

And what’s more, the nameless, knowledgable ones say that the Justice League movie:

could come out as soon as 2015.

Which is actually what we were expecting a half-dozen set backs ago. I guess box office like Man of Steel‘s can really light a fire.

Films can be turned around this quickly and still turn out well, but I am always disappointed by the studios’ insistance on setting release dates before they even have screenplays, let alone actual films.

If Warner Bros. really want to play Marvel at their own game expect locked-in release dates announced by, or maybe at, San Diego Comic-Con.

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CinemaBlend – What Is The Future Of The Hulk Post-Avengers 2?

CinemaBlend – Captain America: The Winter Soldier To Cast Revenge’s Emily VanCamp As Female Lead

ComicBookMovie – Chris Evans Still Doesn’t Have  His WINTER SOLDIER Script.  Filming Delayed Till June?

CinemaBlend – Star Trek Into Darkness To Be Released Two Days Early

ComicBookMovie – LEGENDARY PICTURES Is  Considering Ending Their Relationship With WARNER BROTHERS – this could mean big problems for a Justice League movie, financial backing it key!

ComicBookMovie – Brian Michael Bendis Talks THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

ComicBookMovie – Mark Millar On KICK-ASS 3, DREDD  And THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

ComicBookMovie – Behind The Scenes Image From THE  WOLVERINE Officially Released

i09 – Batman as Steampunk

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Who Is Wonder Woman coverYesterday came the news via Deadline that the Wonder Woman tv series, Amazon, was pushed back to next season by CW. This makes a lot of sense seeing as apparently they had no script.

However, that really isn’t a reason for them to stop. The point of ‘pilot season‘ is to figure out what shows, which are at this point on paper, you want to produce. You then start the process of casting, getting a crew, stage set up, etc. They had already started on casting so they must have had least a bare bones script. All that they would need to do is settle everything else which is what getting greenlighted is all about. So there is no real excuse, logistics wise, for them to push back Amazon.

As for the possibility of this show pulling any ratings, the fact that Arrow has been doing quite well (for CW) despite the fact that I, personally, think it is horribly written, means that they know they have an audience. Although, there is much to be said about not wanting to flood the market… except that Arrow is the only superhero show on television at the moment seeing as Alphas has been cancelled.

I’m sure the execs who decided to push back Amazon have reasons we’re not privy to and that’s understandable. However, this doesn’t change the fact that Wonder Woman simply can’t catch a break.

In 2012, Warners said it was moving forward with a Wonder Woman movie, a movie we’ve not heard about since. That’s probably a good thing as the script was from the man who did the Green Lantern movie… and we all know how that turned out.

Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman

Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman
Let’s be honest, this looks like bad cosplay.

In 2011, NBC tried their hand at a Wonder Woman tv series with Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman, it failed spectacularly.

In 2010, X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner wanted to do a Wonder Woman movie because apparently Warners ‘doesn’t want’ the franchise. That also failed to materialize anything.

In… you know what, read these two articles:
Will Hollywood ever get ‘Wonder Woman’ right?
The Weird History of Wonder Woman in TV, Movies and Beyond

These articles pretty much show how crazy it’s been to get a live-action Wonder Woman on the air, be it tv or film, since Lynda Carter’s 1975 tv series.

This begs the question everyone has been trying to answer, why can’t Wonder Woman catch a break and have a tv show of her own, even if it’s animated?

There have long been complaints about equality on television and the lack of ‘strong female roles’, and while many might say “execs don’t think people would watch a female superhero”, I have to wonder if it’s actually more like people realizing that to make her the character everyone wants her to be would literally mean creating a whole new character that, technically, isn’t Wonder Woman.

Woman Woman was created in 1941. This is not exactly the most progressive of times for gender equality, as made prominent by the fact when she first joined the Justice League they made her their secretary.

But that’s not the worst part. Wonder Woman is from a group of women based on the Greek Amazons, the Greek Amazon women of course being known for subjugating men for procreation and lobbing off breasts. To this effect, Wonder Woman carries a lasso. Up until the 80s, one of her weaknesses was ‘being bound by a man‘. And her famous bracelets? Yeah, those were “Bracelets of Submission”, if she didn’t wear them she went into an uncontrollable rage, and by slamming them together she could incapacitate Superman. Yeah, if that’s not innuendo I don’t know what is.

Sensation Comics #1

Sensation Comics #1
Wonder Woman’s first appearance

As Randall Hamm puts it, “A reoccurring theme is the dominance of women over men, by teaching them ‘loving submission.’” and “… the early Wonder Woman comes off as a fetishistic fantasy. That may be one of the biggest reasons it was such huge success with a male audience.”

So, yeah, Wonder Woman was a blatant dominatrix which is not exactly the best symbol for feminism.

But in the late 80s, Wonder Woman was revamped during the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot. But now she’s not even human but made from clay? Then comes the next reboot, The New 52, and now she’s a demigoddess, still not a human. Oh, these Amazons also force themselves on sailors and kill them afterwards. Not to mention that it’s not been 20 issues and Wonder Woman’s already had one forced marriage and kissed Superman! (Note: Supes and Bats never got this far out in their reboots, each time they’re essentially the same as they’ve always been.)

I’m not really trying to bad mouth Wonder Woman, she as all the potential to be a strong female character and a feminist icon, but at the same time she’s hiting all the right notes… she also hits all the wrong ones. I would gather that only a third (probably less) of those who have heard of Wonder Woman have actually read her comics or anything about her many origins. So they only know her as a “strong female Superheroine” and are down with that. Put her up in a movie for everyone to see, especially in a time where ‘camp superhero shows’ are no longer the vogue, and you run into a real big problem.

If one side isn’t complaining about her being a travesty to feminism, the other side is complaining that ‘this isn’t true to Wonder Woman’, with a third side muttering to themselves how ‘they made her PC, the sell-outs’.

Until they can figure out how to marry her not-so-glorious past with realistic and modern feminine ideals, she just won’t make it off the paper into a mass media like film or television. Finding this Wonder Woman “sweet spot” looks to be an arduous task, one that a few have tried and none have succeeded at.

Although… they could start by getting an actual female to write her… just saying…

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Justice League Movie CastIt’s not been confirmed but the line up for the new Justice League movie Warners Bros has slated for a 2015 will be: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and The Flash.

This seems likely as while there have been others in the Justice League at various times, these five are perhaps the most notable, which is a good thing seeing as there is no word yet if Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds will be reprising their roles as Superman and Green Lantern. We already know Christian Bale will not be reprising his role as Batman as the JL movie will be removed from Nolan’s Batman universe and Batman could be rebooted as early as 2017. So, assuming Cavill and Reynolds are back, then their movies would be the ‘set up’ or ‘phase one’ of the DC Film-Verse which would culminate in the Justice League movie, but three out of five major characters will not have an origin movie.

Good thing these characters are recognizable… but are they really anymore so than the Avengers cast before the ‘Phase One – Avengers Assembled’ films were released:

The Avengers poster by Mondo

The Avengers poster by Mondo

Batman and Superman are basically Iron Man. It could be argued that when Iron Man came out he wasn’t that recognizable beyond people knowing his name but the first movie catapulted his status to that of Bats and Supes. Phase One hadn’t really started yet so that movie counts. When Phase One really got going, you’d have to have been living under a rock not to have heard of Iron Man.

Wonder Woman is pretty much The Hulk. Both had wildly successful tv series, but ever since they’ve had issues with getting a decent movie off the ground and/or getting decent people to play them. They’re fairly recognizable characters though no one can name a single person in these character’s rogue’s gallery or their origin story beyond a few tidbits, unless they were already fans.

Green Lantern is Captain America. You can’t not have heard of these guys if you poked your nose anywhere around the comic-verse, but other than having one crappy movie (Captain America in 1990, Green Lantern in 2011) and being in other character’s animated shows, they haven’t gotten much love outside the comic-verse.

Flash, well, he really is Thor. They are two characters who people have heard of but get confused with other characters (mythology, Flash Gordan, Venom (true story!)). Also, they’re two characters who have had tv shows and movies no one remembers.

As for Black Widow and Hawkeye, they will be represented by whatever little-known-outside-the-comics characters end up getting picked for the supporting cast. They will then see skyrocketed comic book sales, their own solo titles, and possibly their own movie.

But again, only two of these characters (possibly one if they want to strike the tragedy that was Green Lantern off the record) will have introduction/origin movies. Will this help or hinder the effort?

Let’s look at the Phase One movies, here is a breakdown of how much money they made at the box office thanks to Box Office Mojo:

2008Iron Man – 318mil domestic – 585mil total (for comparison)
2008Incredible Hulk – 135mil domestic – 263mil total
2010Iron Man 2 – 312mil domestic – 624 total
2011Captain America – 177mil domestic – 367mil total
2011Thor – 181mil domestic – 449mil total

2012Avengers – 623mil domestic – 1.5billion total

Not only did the individual origin movies not come anywhere near Iron Man (save maybe Thor’s total take), even Iron Man fell into the shadow of the Avengers film itself.

Why is this so? Was Avengers just that much better than all the other movies?

While it was quality, you also have to take into account that Avengers pulled together fans of every single one of those characters. Those who watched Iron Man may not have cared to see Thor. Those who watched Captain American possibly didn’t care about The Incredible Hulk.

So the question now becomes… how are the sequels going to do? How many people who didn’t care about Thor and Loki went out and watched Thor after they watched Avengers? How many of those will be going to see Thor: The Dark World when it comes out? We won’t really know for sure until we see the numbers.

Superman's_Profile_picture by ~Agustinus

Superman’s_Profile_picture by ~Agustinus

How does this affect the Justice League movie?

Avengers may have needed to let you get to know the other characters because it couldn’t rely on the draw of Iron Man and comic readers alone, but Batman and Superman are guaranteed to be a big draw. Not only do they have masses of individual fans (which goes well beyond the comics) who want to see them, but they want to see them interact. No matter the quality of the movie, we can expect to see very large numbers out in mass for opening weekend.

But what if the Justice League movie is terrible?

Then back to the drawing board with no money lost on origin films that went nowhere, but also, like Green Lantern, it might be years before they touch on the character ever again. Though they could go the route of making tv shows like Arrow and Amazon which is in pre-pre-production. They have a lot of options, only a few we’d actually like to see.

But what if the movie is actually really good?

Those who went to go see Bats and Supes are introduced to three other characters that, if they are done right, will basically have the ‘Hawkeye effect’ and people will want to see them in their own movie. This means when WB sinks money into a WW movie with the same actress, in the same universe, then they are guaranteed better returns than if they tried to go solo before Justice League, an idea that they had but seems to have been dropped.

The only issue would be that they couldn’t do prequel movies because that would be annoying, but it would be easy enough to put their origins in there as either a quick 15 minutes at the beginning or parceled throughout the film (as long as it’s done right).

So, is it a smart move by Warner Brothers to work backwards?

They’ve already been accused of trying to ride on the back of the Avengers box office smash… but then Batman and Superman are literally much bigger characters in their own right and could carry a team-up movie with so much ease it should be criminal. The fact they haven’t done it before now should be punished as a capital offence. Maybe it took a kick in the pants for them to get around to it but it was a long time coming.

As for GL, WW, and Flash… I think the fact that Green Lantern made 116mil domestic, half of that on opening weekend before the news came down of its quality, proves that the audience is there for these movies, maybe not 300mil domestic like Iron Man right now, but they are there. But really, as long as they start putting out good films, they will be able to hold against Disney/Marvel, if not surpass them… but with a rash of really bad superhero movies in Green Lantern and Superman Returns, and the retirement of the Nolan-verse Batman movies, they need a shining beacon of ‘yes, yes we can make good movies!’.

Man of Steel logoWe do have Man of Steel coming up later this year, but will that be enough? We were already let down by a Superman movie and so wary eyes are on this film. If it’s a great film then it will definitely help the cause, if it terrible then at least it could be kicked under the rug.

In the end, the Justice League movie is the crux of the entire DC film franchise. Supes and Bats will always have their place on screen but if Justice League fails then it will take everything else down with it. If it succeeds then it is a literal blank check for Warner Bros to bring all our favorite DC characters to life.

So yes, this really is the best move by Warner Bros. Marvel’s Avengers had a fairly blank slate to start with while Justice League has a lot of recent history with most of the characters, either through failed movies or the failure to make a movie. They need a reset button, they need a point to start, and this is it.

Granted, the reset button does look an awful lot like the self destruct button… but that can be entertaining in its own right.

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