The Secret Service

Matthew Vaughn‘s The Secret Service is loaded with big, established stars like Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Caine. But when it comes to the film’s younger cast members it seems Vaughn prefers fresher faces.

Relative newcomer Taron Egerton won one of the leads earlier this summer, and now the even lesser known Sophie Cookson has booked the female lead. Hit the jump for more about the project and its newest addition.

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Colin Firth

Colin Firth is ready to step into the world of comic book movies. The Oscar winner has entered talks to star in Matthew Vaughn‘s The Secret Service, an adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons‘ comic book of the same title. Firth would play a James Bond-esque figure who takes his nephew under his wing and grooms him for spy work. More details after the jump.

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The Secret Service

UPDATE: Exhibitor Relations reports a November 14, 2014 release has been set.

When Matthew Vaughn dropped out of X-Men: Days of Future Past, many speculated it was because the Star Wars Episode VII job was up for grabs. That may or may not have been the case, but Mark Millar came out and said Vaughn’s departure from X-Men was to collaborate on a project called The Secret Service. Millar wasn’t lying.

20th Century Fox just secured the rights to The Secret Service, based on a comic by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, adapted by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, and directed by Vaughn. The comic and the movie follow an older secret service agent who acts as mentor to a new recruit. Fox will reportedly fast track the film, hoping to have it in theaters in 2014. Read More »

For over twenty years, DC has wanted to capitalize on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons‘ best-selling and standard-setting mini-series/graphic novel Watchmen by releasing additional stories featuring the same characters. Ideas about prequel series have been discussed since even before Watchmen‘s publication, with writer Alan Moore floating the idea of a Minutemen prequel series in ’85, and other options being discussed afterward.

Moore backed away from those ideas, and he and Dave Gibbons eventually walked away from DC altogether based, in part, on language in their contract for Watchmen that related to ownership of the characters. In 2010 DC offered to give Watchmen back to Moore if he would write additional stories, but he declined. At the same time, DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said, “DC Comics would only revisit these iconic characters if the creative vision of any proposed new stories matched the quality set by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons nearly 25 years ago, and our first discussion on any of this would naturally be with the creators themselves.”

With no option of new stories by Moore and Gibbons, DC has gone ahead with other creators. Rumors of a Watchmen prequel have flown for months, with artwork occasionally hitting the internet and just as soon being hit with cease and desist orders from DC — the best admission that the prequels are really happening.

Indeed, today DC announced Before Watchmen, a set of seven interlocking prequel miniseries that will feature Watchmen characters such as Rorschach, the Comedian and Nite Owl. Details from the press release follow. (Updated with gallery of images for the new series.) Read More »

Watchmen 2 Looks Like a Real Possibility

watchmen_2

Why hasn’t there ever been second series of Watchmen comics? It’s not as though Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons actually own the characters. Well, apparently, any talk of a sequel had been squashed, time and again, by Paul Levitz, former president of DC comics. He was very protective of the title, even denying the creators of the tie-in videogame to invent any new material at all. This was sacred stuff to him.

Now, though, he’s not in charge of the comics at all and is the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant of DC Entertainment, the spin-off and movies arm. He’s not going to be able to do anything, directly, to stop any Watchmen sequel. More importantly, though, it seems that Dan DiDio, SVP-Executive Editor of DC, has made it his mission to realize not only a sequel series but also several prequels. Why? I suppose he’d say Why Not? And there’s good reason to believe they’ll be coming to screens as well as pages, too.

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watchmen street

[This review is spoiler-free]

Watchmen first appeared on my radar years ago when I’d heard that one of my favorite directors, Paul Greengrass, was slated to helm the big-screen adaptation. I’m not a huge comic book reader, but I’d heard so many complimentary things about the graphic novel that I was induced to buy myself a copy and check it out for myself. What I discovered was that the book lives up to all the hype: Moore’s (and illustrator Dave Gibbons‘) 1986/1987 comic book series spun a gripping, dystopic tale of an alternate reality, one in which costumed vigilantes have taken to the street to quell civil unrest, and the U.S. and Russia are on the brink of nuclear annihilation, held back barely by the existence of the ultimate nuclear deterrent: Dr. Manhattan, the one “superhero” that actually possessed super powers.

While Moore’s book has been referred to by many as possessing cinematic qualities, it’s also repeatedly been referred to as “unfilmable.” After all these years, a convergence of fortuitous events have allowed director Zack Snyder to take his vision of the graphic novel to the big screen. My appreciation for the book led me to eagerly anticipate this film’s release, starting with the first trailer all the way up to the first 20 minutes of the film shown at NY Comic Con. Did Snyder achieve the impossible? Was he able to make cinematic sense out of Watchmen?
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/FilmCast

rachel-getting-married

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley geek out about the new Terminator Salvation trailer, ponder the fate of the Green Hornet project under Gondry’s direction, and get pessimistic about a Total Recall remake. Dave also chats with Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons about his inspirations behind the original graphic novel. Special guest Russ Fischer joins us from CHUD.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review Watchmen.

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Watchmen Apple Store Appearances

Warner Bros is holding Watchmen events at a few Apple Stores in New York and California. Here are the details:

Apple Store SoHo (NY) - Friday, February 6th at 7:00pm: Dave Gibbons will discuss, demonstrate illustrations and answer questions about Watchmen.
Apple Store San Francisco (CA) – Tuesday, February 17 at 7:00pm: Dave Gibbons will discuss, demonstrate illustrations and answer questions about Watchmen.
Apple Store Santa Monica (CA) - Tuesday, February 17 at 7:00pm: Zack Snyder and visual effects supervisor John “DJ” Des Jardin will discuss the creation of the CG character Dr. Manhattan in the new film.

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