Category Archives: Man of Steel

Comic Con: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

wonder woman gal godot batman v superman

Warner Bros. released a pic a while back of Henry Cavill as Superman (wonder if that name will be uttered) and they’ve released a couple of pics of Ben Affleck as Batman from “Batman vs Superman: This Time It’s Personal.”

Today, at San Diego Comic Con, it’s Wonder Woman’s turn.

Above, Gal Gadot as the Amazonian Princess.

When I showed my wife, a Wonder Woman fan from way back, she said: “Very Xena.”

DC comics film slate: I’ll believe it when I see them

justice league alex ross

Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

Hollywood reporter Nikki Finke recently scooped the rest of the entertainment press with a list purporting to detail Warner Bros. and DC’s plans for big-screen superhero movies in the near future.

Here’s the list:

• May 2016 – Batman v Superman

• July 2016 – Shazam

• Xmas 2016 – Sandman

• May 2017 – Justice League

• July 2017 – Wonder Woman

• Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up

• May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2

Nope. Not happening.

I mean, in many ways, I wish it would. As satisfying as Marvel’s big-screen universe is, I’d like to see DC comics heroes – the most accessible and familiar heroes in the world, in many ways – finally achieve lift off on screen.

Last year’s “Man of Steel” had so many things wrong with it, and with writer David Goyer and others behind the scenes who are plainly ashamed of superhero names, colorful costumes, origins and storylines, I don’t have much hope for future movies in the series.

And in particular I doubt that the studio can pull this off.

Lookit: WB and DC have only just gotten rolling on “BvsS.” How quickly can they turn around “Shazam,” which is supposed to follow the May 2016 release of “BvsS” by a couple of months?

And if they haven’t been able to figure out a big-screen “Wonder Woman” or “Green Lantern,” how can they pull off an oddity like “Sandman?”

Not to mention the whole “seven movies released within two years” thing. That’s a feat that I’m not sure even Marvel, with its assembly-line methods, could pull off.

I’ll go see whatever DC movies get released in the coming years, no doubt. But I’m afraid I’ll find them as lacking as “Green Lantern” and “Man of Steel.”

And I sure don’t think we’ll see one every few months.

Goyer’s comments shame DC, ‘Superman v Batman’

batman v superman dawn of justice

It gets a bit silly, all the outrage on the Internet.

But then again, people keep saying stupid things.

No matter if they’re fanboys acting like assholes on the topic of female fans or they’re … well, I don’t know how to describe “Man of Steel” screenwriter David S. Goyer, who was all over the web today for really stupid comments he made in a recent interview.

You see, today was supposed to be DC’s big day, announcing the title of that “Man of Steel” sequel coming out – maybe – in a couple of years. It’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” a title so stupid it immediately inspired exactly the opposite reaction that DC must have wanted.

Not only doesn’t the title – really, it’s just too stupid for me to write again – make anyone think that Warner Bros. and DC have their shit together in their efforts to be more like Marvel and create a big-screen universe.

It sounds obvious, even desperate and grasping. I’ve seen it lampooned today as a courtroom drama and Lifetime movie.

Compare that reaction to the Comic Con reveal of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Fandamonium.

Anyway, Warners and DC might have only just begun regretting their title decision when Goyer, who as writer of most of DC’s very uneven efforts to bring its iconic superheroes to life, was widely quoted for some boneheaded remarks he made in a recent Scriptnotes podcast.

First, Goyer insulted the longtime Marvel hero She-Hulk – who, admittedly, does have a silly name – by noting that she was clearly superhero porn and served only as someone to have sex with the Hulk.

I wonder, did Goyer know before today that the characters of Hulk and She-Hulk were cousins? I’m assuming he does now.

Then Goyer went on to say an incredibly stupid thing that shows just how tone-deaf he is.

In talking about Martian Manhunter, a long-established character made popular on the “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited” animated series a few years ago, Goyer made fun of the character and asked how many people had heard of him.

Of course, most of those in attendance had. Probably surprised by this, Goyer then said:

“How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?”

Really?

In one utterance, Goyer shows his ignorance about Martian Manhunter – a major character from the ONLY truly successful iteration of DC characters in the past decade – and also insults comic book movie fans.

You know, the people who pay to see his movies.

Ross Lincoln summed up Goyer’s attitude nicely on his “The Escapist” blog: Goyer and his partners at Warner Bros. are ashamed they’re making superhero movies.

Think about it. Nolan’s Batman movies, which had some strong points, dwindled to awkward absurdity through Goyer’s scripts. “Man of Steel” was awful. Hell, it couldn’t even see fit to actually call its hero Superman.

It’s sad, really, that three quarters of a century of great characters and stories are squandered in such hands.

 

‘Arrow,’ ‘SHIELD’ look to finish strong

arrow ravager city of blood

I’m not one of those fans that has to declare a victor in the war between Marvel and DC. They’re both doing well – if very differently – in particular areas outside comics, including live-action movies and TV and animation.

Marvel’s big-screen universe is firing on all cylinders through a timetable that, if we’re to believe a recent interview with mastermind Kevin Feige, is loosely planned through 2028. The producers of Marvel movie outliers like the “Spider-Man” and “X-Men” series are trying to build their own universes, although that could be a challenge. I still wish we’d see the universes combined on screen someday.

As for DC, Warner Bros. is flat-out struggling to build a cohesive movie universe. The “Man of Steel” sequel featuring Batman – with Wonder Woman and Cyborg and possibly other characters in supporting roles – could be cool or it could fall as flat as “Green Lantern.” And DC has just announced that director Zach Snyder will follow the “Man of Steel” sequel with a “Justice League” movie.

DC’s plans feel a little rushed, with none of the universe-building that Marvel has engaged in with its “Avengers” lead-ins and follow-ups. But maybe it’ll turn out nifty.

On TV, there’s no question that “Arrow,” the second-season CW adaptation of Green Arrow, is the best superhero series ever.

And over on ABC, “Agents of SHIELD” – after a first half of this debut season that felt like wheel-spinning or slow burn, depending on how charitable you might be – is building to what might be a genuinely thrilling climax.

Both series have three episodes left this season. Here are some thoughts:

“Arrow”: After setting up Slade (Deathstroke) Wilson as the good-guy-turned-bad-guy this season, the series has let Slade run rampant on Oliver Queen and his city, family and team. Last week’s episode ended with Slade killing Oliver’s mother, Moira, in a cruel mirror to the “choice” Oliver was given by Ivo on the island.

What we want to see: More DC characters – including Ravager, pictured above, who appears in “City of Blood,” the next episode – more twists, more peril, more return visits from past favorites and more triumph for Team Arrow.

What we don’t want to see: An easy way out for anybody.

agents of shield nothing personal

“SHIELD”: Spinning off events in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “SHIELD” finds itself in a world where SHIELD itself is in shambles. The agents are on the run, striking back at enemy organization HYDRA and building alliances. All the while, they’re dealing with the treacherous Agent Ward, who has turned out to be a HYDRA agent and has been killing SHIELD agents right and left.

What we want to see: Well, we already know Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) returns in this week’s episode, “Nothing Personal,” and Samuel L. Jackson is supposed to return as Nick Fury in “Beginning of the End,” the season finale set for May 13. So we’re getting return visits from some favorites. We also want more revelations, including more big-picture tie-ins to the movie universe.

What we don’t want to see: The redemption of Agent Ward. We want him and Agent Garrett (the great Bill Paxton) to continue as our favorite HYDRA turncoats into the second season.

The longterm big picture for both series – if “SHIELD” returns for a second season – could be fantastic. “SHIELD” will be building toward the May 2015 premiere of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

And although it’s unlikely, it’s possible Warners will tie “Arrow” to its big-screen franchise in some way. Warners could do a whole lot worse – and likely will – if it ignores the universe created for the small screen.

 

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor? Uh ….

jesse eisenberg lex luthor EW

So Warner Bros. has announced they’ve cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in the “Man of Steel” sequel, the one with Ben Affleck as Batman. The one that’s called … well, we might know the official title around the time of Comic Con.

So Eisenberg as Luthor (matchup in the Entertainment Weekly illustration above.

What do we think of this?

Eisenberg will always be the sarcastic nerd hero of “Zombieland” and the sarcastic nerd billionaire-in-the-making anti-hero of “The Social Network” to me.

Do I want them to bring Kevin Spacey or Gene Hackman back? No.

lex luthor animated

But my image (and aural impression) of Lex Luthor just might always be the Bruce Timm version, voice by Clancy Brown, from the animated “Superman” and “Justice League” series.

I’m not sure Eisenberg can top that.

And Jeremy Irons as Alred Pennyworth? That’s fine. Nobody will top Michael Caine.

Here’s the WB press release:

Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The dual announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

Wonder Woman done right

wonder woman fan film close

It’s puzzling how Wonder Woman has eluded film and TV makers.

Of course, we can’t be sure what Joss Whedon would have done with his Wonder Woman movie that got spiked, but we’ve seen DC Comics, Warner Bros. and other filmmakers stumble more than once in their attempts to do a live-action Wonder Woman.

I’ve always said the DC Comics animated universe treatment of Wonder Woman in the “Justice League” series could serve as a ready blueprint for how to make a serious, ass-kicking live-action version of the Amazon warrior princess and her world.

wonder woman fan film medium

It looks like Rainfall Films has, in its two minute Wonder Woman short, opted for a “Man of Steel” treatment, which makes sense since that’s the way DC and Warner Bros. are headed. By adding Batman to the “Man of Steel” sequel, maybe they’re building to a movie featuring the DC trinity – those two plus Wonder Woman.

At any rate, the short film would serve nicely as a model for the big studio.

And you could do a lot worse than having Rileah Vanderbilt play the role in a full-length movie. She looks great in the short.

As more than a few people have said online: Okay. Go do this.