New news on Super Max has been a long time coming. The state of play was this: Justin Marks was scripting, David Goyer was producing, DC comics’ Green Arrow was the lead character and the plot would see him incarcerated in the tip-topper most high security prison in the DC universe, framed for a crime he didn’t commit.
There have been any number of rumors surrounding the project along the way. Would Matt Damon star as the Green Arrow? Would Kevin Smith direct? Would Lex Luthor, The Riddler or The Joker appear? It has generated a healthy bag full of headlines over a couple of years without actually going into production, or even pre-production. Nonetheless, slow and steady can often win the race and Super Max is still chugging along steadily. David Goyer has spoken to MTV and given an update. Here’s the man himself:
We’re working on that. We’re about to bring on another writer. Obviously, Warner Bros. is now heavily into mining all of the various DC properties.
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Atlas Entertainment is developing a live-action Voltron movie. Producers Charles Roven (The Dark Knight), Richard Suckle (The International) and Steve Alexander have acquired the rights to make a film based on the Japanese anime property after several years in development at various production companies.
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Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace has been hired to rewrite Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, which is being developed for McG. Not a good sign for the project, which has already had a couple notable writers. Geek screenwriter Justin Marks (Masters of the Universe, Super Max) was hired in February to rewrite Bill Marsilli‘s (Deja Vu) original draft. Wallace is squeezing the Nemo “writing gig” in before he goes off to direct the racehorse drama Secretariat in September. Wallace, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing Braveheart, has since been credited with Pearl Harbor, We Were Soldiers, and The Rookie.
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In the past I’ve polled some of my video gamer friends, asking them what video games they would like to see turned into a big screen movie. Shadow of the Colossus is one of the games which always seems to make the wish list. THR reports that screenwriter Justin Marks has been hired to write a screenplay based on the video game property. Public Enemies producer Kevin Misher set the project up at Sony.
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Justin Marks has been hired by Disney to rewrite 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo, which McG is attached to direct. Marks is well known in Hollywood as a screenwriter who gets the geek niche, and has turned in drafts for Masters of the Universe, Super Max (The Green Arrow jailbreak movie), Voltron, Hack/Slash and Street Fighter. Disney hopes to make the film this year, and McG is slotting it as his next project, before he moves on to a fifth Terminator film. McG supposedly wants Will Smith to play Captain Nemo.
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Rumors of He-Man’s death have been greatly exaggerated. LatinoReview has word that Kung Fu Panda co-director John Stevenson might now be attached to the project after knocking one home in a pitch to Joel Silver’s production company.
Stevenson has an extensive background in art direction and animation, starting out as a character designer on The Muppet Show in the late 1970′s. He worked in visual development on The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth and was a storyboard artist of Shrek and Shrek 2. I loved the action sequences in Kung Fu Panda, but wasn’t a fan of the character design. It will be interesting to see what Stevenson will do with the adaptation. Is Justin Marks screenplay Grayskull still in play?
You might remember that a few month ago, a review of Justin Marks‘ screenplay for the live action He-Man movie Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe was creating some big buzz on the interwebs.
Phrases were being tossed around like “fanboy masterpiece” and the story was described as “Lord of the Rings meets The Matrix meets Batman Begins.” It was enough to get us excited about the project – we even listed off five reasons the movie could actually be cool. And lets face it, “cool” is not even in the first 50 words that would normally come to mind when thinking about a He-Man movie.
Well Latino Review is now reporting that the project has fallen into development hell, and is likely dead. Warner Bros wasn’t high on the property in the first place (why hire a screenwriter then?), and the two executives who were interested in the property, are now gone. We can only hope that Warners decides to put the project in turnaround.
Immediately following a Devil’s Due panel in which he discussed the Hack/Slash adaptation that’s coming to the big screen, I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Justin Marks, the writer behind Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and the recently well-reviewed and much anticipated Grayskull: Masters of the Universe script.
During the panel, I asked him what he’s working on next, and he said that he’s trying to do a Children of Men-style sci-fi film. When I pressed him for more details about the script, he responded:
It deals with man’s exploration of the universe. I grew up on 2001, Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 even, are movies that I kind of love, but they have kind of steered science fiction towards horror. I want to bring the genre of space travel back to contemporary science fiction. The movie starts with a murder in zero gravity and goes from there.
First of all, to me, this sounds really promising, and hopefully will represent a fresh take on the sci-fi genre from a younger generation writer. But secondly, I thought this was an interesting observation, as in my experience, a lot of sci-fi has indeed stumbled into the horror category. Even Alex Garland’s mostly-excellent film, Sunshine, had substantial horror elements well before the third act, which drove home the horror situation clumsily, yet unequivocally.
What do you guys think? Has sci-fi been heading too much for horror territory? Do we need a return to sci-fi purity in the movie industry? What are some examples that demonstrate your viewpoint?
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