Rock Teases DC Comics Film

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was, many years ago, tied to a Shazam film, to play the villainous Black Adam. He’s also been connected to a big-screen adventure starring the character Lobo. Neither project went anywhere;┬áboth have seemed more or less dead in the past couple years. But during his promotion of Hercules, The Rock teased a DC Comics project, and his description sounds like it could be one of those two characters.

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Batman Love Actually

Will a Shazam movie ever happen? What does the old Wonder Woman think about the new one? Does the star of Arrow think he fits in with the theatrical characters? And why is Batman in Love Actually? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

What job did Bane get after The Dark Knight Rises and why is Chris Kattan playing him? Want to know the specs and release date for The Amazing Spider-Man Blu-ray? Is there a new rumor about the Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray? Was Joss Whedon upset with negative reviews of The Avengers? Just how excited is Mark Millar to have Jim Carrey in Kick-Ass 2? Would Clark Gregg come back to Marvel in a non-acting capacity? And why did one movie blog make a hilarious Avengers diorama? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

In the wake of the uber-massive-success of Marvel’s The Avengers, it wasn’t a huge surprise to hear that Warner Bros. had hired a writer to revive Justice League. They’re DC’s answer to the superhero team and a project has been in various stages of development for several years. The key to The Avengers, though, wasn’t just that it was a good movie. Much of its success was because it was more than a movie. The Avengers was an event with a four year, five film build up that started with Iron Man in 2008. Which begs the question, will Warner Bros. attempt to go the same route or will they jump right into a Justice League movie?

A report from Variety suggests the former. They’ve dug up that in addition to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, the Justice League news, and the Wonder Woman news, Warner Bros. has six other characters at various stages of development. And no, that does not include Green Lantern or Batman, both of which might get rebooted. Read what’s what after the jump. Read More »

After 10 days of independent cinema stifled our love of superhero movie news, Superhero Bits is finally back and it’s filled news from today as well as some of the bigger stories from the past week. So, for example, want to see photos of high end Dark Knight Rises merchandise? Is there still a chance a Shazam movie might take place? Has The Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man once again been revealed? When might we see a Nick Fury movie? Which three characters might have massive cameos in The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and Iron Man 3 respectively? What’s the link between SOPA and The Dark Knight Rises? Read about all this and more in the return of Superhero Bits! Read More »

Shazam! Gets New Writers: Bill Birch and Geoff Johns

captainmarvel2

For a super-powered guy with lightning speed, Captain Marvel moves pretty slow. The Shazam! film, once a New Line project and now part of Warner Bros., has been inching towards the screen for several years. Get Smart‘s Peter Segal remains on board as director, but there are two new contestants in the screenwriting game: Bill Birch and comics luminary Geoff Johns. What’s going on with the film, after the break. Read More »

Shazam is Dead

You won’t be seeing a big screen adaptation of Shazam hitting theaters anytime soon, as the project is now officially dead. Screenwriter John August has posted an in depth article on his blog explaining how the writer’s strike, New Line being merged into Warner Bros, and the back and fourth between various studio execs eventually killed the project. If you have a few minutes it’s well worth the read, and it’s very typical of the hilarity and frustration of the Hollywood studio system. Here is an excerpt:

“When we turned the new draft in to the studio, we got a reaction that made me wonder if anyone at Warners had actually read previous drafts or the associated notes. The studio felt the movie played too young. They wanted edgier. They wanted Billy to be older. They wanted Black Adam to appear much earlier. (I pointed out that Black Adam appears on page one, but never got a response.)”

At the end of the day, August places blame on the failure of Speed Racer and monster success of The Dark Knight. Hollywood executives don’t spend a lot of time trying to analyze why something was a success or failure, they just try to replicate the good. And for The Dark Knight, that meant that a comic book movie must be dark and real.

The first flopped; the second triumphed. Given only those two examples, one can understand why a studio might wish for their movies to be more like the latter. But to do so ignores the success of Iron Man, which spent most of its running time as a comedic origin story, and the even more pertinent example of WB’s own Harry Potter series. I tried to make this case, to no avail.”

Warner Bros wanted “a much harder movie, with a lot more Black Adam,” and not the action-comedy project that August initially signed on to develop. August wrote a draft which he “could envision getting made”. The producer and director liked it but somehow, for some reason, the project fell into development heck.

Honestly, I was never interested in a Shazam movie. I’m a big fan of August’s screenplays. I know I’ve over praised August’s debut script Go, directed by Doug Liman, many times in the past. August was the only real reason why I was interested in the project in the first place. And I’m sure the project will someday find its way out of Development heck with some hack writer/director like Paul W.S. Anderson attached, ready to give the studio their “dark comic book movie”.

WonderCon: Get Smart

Get Smart

Wonder-Con premiered the newly minted trailer for Get Smart, the big screen adaptation of the 1960s television series created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry that starred Don Adams and Barbara Feldman. It looked good, better than good. Now this is how you make you a trailer: mixing verbal humor, physical comedy, and large-scale action, along with callbacks to the original series, including multiple callbacks (e.g., repeated lines of dialogue).

Director Peter Segal (The Longest Yard, 50 First Dates, Anger Management) was on hand to talk about Get Smart. He started off the panel by saying he wanted to embrace the spirit of the original TV series and bring it up to date for contemporary audiences. Segal then introduced the co-stars, Anne Hathaway and Steve Carell to raucous cheers from the Wonder-Con audience. The Q&A started almost immediately.

One of the first questioners Carell asked whether he was writing anything new (he’s written several episodes of his television series, The Office). Carell said he’s not working on anything right now. As he’s just completed two weeks of jury duty in Los Angeles, he’s going to write or co-write an episode of the Office in which his character gets called on to serve on a jury. Given Carell’s track record, it promises to be hilarious.

Another Wonder-Con attendee asked Carell about whether he’d change or modulate his voice to match Don Adams’ easily recognizable delivery, especially the iconic sentences or phrases that have become synonymous with the character and the series. Hard not to do it like him, stands alone, but hard to get Adams’ voice out of his head. From what we saw and heard in the trailer, Carell’s delivery sounded like a mix between his voice and Adams’ iconic voice.

Another attendee asked about Carell’s start in improv comedy. Carell jokingly said he didn’t want to learn any lines, so improv seemed like the right way to go, but it also just started out as fun, extracurricular activity that eventually segued into comedy and acting.

Another questioner asked Carell thought about doing trying different roles? Answer: Boston Strangler. As long as I get paid, I’m fine, said Carell, but he’ll take whatever might be good or entertaining. Hathaway chimed in with Little Miss Sunshine.

Another attendee asked Hathaway what it was like to work with Carell on Get Smart. She said it was terrible, but quickly corrected herself to say she loved working with him (she was kidding, of course), generously calling Steve one of the comedic masters of our time and it was a pleasure and an honor to work with him. She did say that she was nervous improvising with Carell at first, but eventually got over it.

The next questioner asked about the for the possibility of a sequel, Segal said, “In case you like the movie, I’d like to come back for a sequel.” Segal said was a fun set, great cast., and he’d love to work with them again.

Another questioner asked about the challenges involved in remaking/adapting such a well known, well-liked TV show. Segal reiterated that he wanted to bring the Get Smart characters and their universe to new audiences, but he also wanted to include enough callbacks to the series for fans (so he didn’t really answer the question).

Someone else followed about Barbara Feldman and whether she’d make a cameo in the film, but apparently the answer is no. Other cameos from actors associated with the series have been promised, however. Segal seemed to dance around the question by saying that she never appeared on set, but perhaps she filmed her cameo separately (or not). Hathaway chimed in to say that she considers Feldman an idol and that it was daunting to step into her shoes. She described Feldman’s portrayal of Agent 99 as kind, sophisticated, smart, and elegantly sexy.

Inevitably the question about Segal would do after Get Smart. Shazam, the big screen adaptation of DC’s Captain Marvel (a.k.a., The Big Red Cheese), is still slated at his next project, but the start date has been delayed due to the writer’s strike. Screenwriter John August is back working on the script, however. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is still pegged for the role of Captain Marvel’s nemesis, Black Adam, but Segal didn’t mention any other casting decisions. Given Segal’s track record (comedies), a big-budget, effects-laden film doesn’t seem like his thing, but maybe he’ll surprise us. Hopefully, he won’t make it so kid-friendly that he’ll alienate adults and fans of the character.

Someone asked the panel what movies inspired them to get into filmmaking. Hathaway said Auntie Mame. Segal said Young Frankenstein remake. For Carell, Dr. Strangelove. Seriously. And with that, the Get Smart panel gave way to Disney (e.g., The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Wall-E).

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