With Man of Steel out today, plenty of speculation will mount in the coming days about the planned sequel and DC’s upcoming superhero team up, Justice League.
Buoyed by good reviews, DC announced this week that director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer will be back for Man of Steel 2, as well as Justice League. No timetable is set, but the films will be fast-tracked into production.
In an interview with Hey U Guys, Goyer talked about the approach he and Snyder had to scripting and shooting Man of Steel. Specifically, its position as the launching pad for Justice League and future DC comic book movies.
“It would be disingenuous to say Warner Bros [didn't] hope that this would be the starting point for a shared universe,” Goyer said.
But if Justice League happens, and it is, then the Batman in it will not be Christian Bale, Goyer added. “Zack has said that Bruce Wayne exists in this universe. It would be a different Bruce Wayne from Chris’ [Nolan] Dark Knight trilogy, and it would be disingenuous to say that Zack and I haven’t had various conversations on set, around ‘what if’ and ‘moving forward.’”
Whoa, so no Bale? I’m not sure I like that idea.
Goyer also revealed that his Justice League will be a departure from the Will Beal script that was rejected earlier this year.
“It would be blank slate,” he said. Indicating his high hopes for the film, Goyer added, “If we can do Batman and Superman, then maybe we can move on to Wonder Woman, and The Flash, and characters like that.”
Goyer was smart enough to hedge his bets.
“They’re hoping that the film does well, but god forbid it doesn’t, things will change. I don’t know how many different iterations of Justice League they’ve tried to mount over the last decade or so. But for one reason or another they haven’t happened.”
So what do you think about replacing Bale in Justice League? Would you be OK with that, or should filmmakers try and link Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Justice League? Let us know in the comments.
So with Man of Steel flying into theatres this weekend, I got to thinking about all the other comic book movies that almost – but not quite – made it to the big screen.
There was Bryan Singer’s actual sequel to 2006’s Superman Returns, which was supposed to shoot in 2009 with Brandon Routh; a Daredevil reboot with A-Team director Joe Carnahan; Darren Aronofsky’s Batman: Year One. Heck, J.J. Abrams even took at stab at Big Blue with his script for Superman Flyby.
But isn’t it fun to speculate on what could have been? In the midst of all the Superman hoopla, let’s take a look at several other comic book movies that almost saw the light of day.
This is the stuff of legend. Hooked by his knack for dialogue, Warner Bros. tapped Kevin Smith to reboot Superman in 1996 for director Tim Burton and star Nicholas Cage. This one included Superman not flying, fighting giant polar bears and squaring off against a humongous spider. The film made it a lot further than most aborted comic book movies, with Cage and Burton getting way deep into pre-production. There was a new costume that had been designed (you can check out all the creations on FX guru Steve Johnson’s Facebook page), concept art from Rolf Mohr and some of the sets had been constructed. In fact, Warner Bros. spent a rumoured $30 million with very little to show for it.
After Burton and Cage left the project, various iterations of the film continued to move through Hollywood’s production labyrinth. Will Smith was even offered the part. Kevin Smith detailed the experience of not making Superman in his live shows.
In an interview with MTV earlier this year, Cage addressed the abandoned Superman epic: “At least it’s out there in the ether that that could have happened, but we don’t have to make the movie. It’s still interesting to people.”
Didja know that J.J. Abrams once upon a time wrote a Superman flick? Up until quite recently I had no idea this existed. Like Man of Steel, it was going to be an origin story that would have featured a new villain, Ty-Zor.
“The idea in the movie was that he became Superman because he realized he had to finally own his strength and what he’d always been, Abrams said in an interview with Empire earlier this year.
Concept art and storyboards from the film leaked online, as well as Abrams’ script, which you can read here.
The climax involved Supes squaring off against a Kryptonian battle pod nicknamed The Rouser. Designer Phil Saunders shared some of his ideas on his website in April.
Let’s get off Superman for a sec and focus on the Man Without Fear. After making a ho-hum adaptation with Ben Affleck in 2003, Twentieth Century Fox eyed a reboot first with David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and then with A-Team director Joe Carnahan. Funny thing, though, Fox had to get their DD film into production before October 2012 or the rights would revert back to Marvel. Well, Fox couldn’t make it happen, but Carnahan released two trailers for what his vision for Daredevil was. It was a ’70s set noir that looked to be more Scorsese-meets-Walter Hill than Affleck’s bubblegum version. With the character now back in Marvel’s hands it’ll be interesting to see if DD resurfaces as part of Phase Three.
BATMAN: YEAR ONE
Following Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin debacle in 1997, Warner Bros. had to decide how to proceed with the character. They had already tentatively agreed to Batman Triumphant, with George Clooney back as the Dark Knight to battle Scarecrow. When Batman & Robin tanked, the studio pursued the idea of adapting Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One with Darren Aronofsky directing. Eventually, DC scrapped that film, choosing to reboot the Dark Knight with Christoper Nolan’s Batman Begins. Last month, sketches from Year One surfaced online via Comic Book Movie.
Aronofsky, who was also linked to this summer’s Wolverine, addressed the art on Twitter.
btw none of that year one batman art circling the web originated from mine or frank’s work. so can’t take credit or blame for it.
BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN
With Year One out, DC flirted with the idea of bringing together both Superman and Batman in a team-up film penned by Se7en’s Andrew Kevin Walker. Christian Bale and Josh Hartnett were approached to star as Batman and Superman respectively. DC is bringing the characters together for a new ongoing comic book series that launches June 26 (first issue cover below).
Even after Sam Raimi’s much-maligned third instalment, Marvel was prepared to bring him and Tobey Maguire back for a fourth go-around. After contract negotiations went south, Marvel opted to reboot the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger with Andrew Garfield in the lead. Earlier this year, we got a look at some of the concept art for Spider-Man 4 from storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson. The proposed film was to feature John Malkovich as the Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Black Cat. In a quote from his website, Henderson writes: “It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie. Seriously. We were working on some crazy- cool stuff, because everyone, from top to bottom, felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, and we all really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.”
Raimi echoed that sentiment in an interview with Vulture while promoting Oz the Great and Powerful.
“I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all. But I couldn’t get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, “I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.” And [Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, “Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio’s money, and I appreciate your candor.” So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.”
There are many other comic book movies that never were, including The Flash and Wonder Woman. Let us know in the comments which ones you would have liked to have seen.
Disney announced its release schedule for a slate of movies today that includes dates for two mystery Marvel films May 6, 2016, and May 5, 2017. The movies will be part of Phase Three, which kicks off with Ant-Man on November 6, 2015.
Last month, Iron Man 3 launched Marvel’s Phase Two, which continues with Thor: The Dark World, next year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2, May 1, 2015.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel studio boss Kevin Feige talked about the possibilities of Doctor Strange, Hulk, Black Panther, Daredevil and other new characters on the big screen. He also addressed the prospect of continuing Iron Man without star Robert Downey Jr.
“I see no reason why Tony Stark can’t be as evergreen as James Bond. Or Batman for that matter. Or Spider-Man. I think Iron Man is a character just like that.”
For his part writer-director Joss Whedon says that he won’t do Avengers 2 without RDJ. “He is Iron Man,” he told The Daily Beast last week. “He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine.”
It’s possible the 2016 and 2017 movies could be sequels to Captain America or Thor, but I imagine that Phase Three will see Marvel moving towards a new slate of characters.
DC, meanwhile, will be playing catch up for the foreseeable future. Even though Man of Steel 2 and Justice League have been fast tracked, Marvel will be well into Phase Three by the time they are released.
So, who do you hope surfaces in 2016 and 2017? Are you pulling for familiar sequels or gunning for something new? Let us know in the comments.
I never thought I’d be wishing Arnold Schwarzenegger would just go back to politics. But now that it appears the next Terminator film is moving closer to reality, and Arnie is coming back to star, I’m seriously hoping he runs for mayor or something.
The Wrap is reporting that Paramount Pictures is negotiating distribution rights to the fifth instalment, which is being written by Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry).
Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t even keep the timelines straight anymore. There was the TV show, which I think ignores the events of T3: Rise of the Machines, and then director McG’s Terminator Salvation, which attempted to reset the franchise in 2009. So it’s been over 20 years since the last great Terminator film (I actually didn’t mind Salvation).
Interestingly, producer Megan Ellison spent more than $20 million to secure the rights to the Terminator property in May 2011. But in 2019, 35 years after the original film, new copyright laws will see the character revert back to creator James Cameron.
So maybe he can reboot the series after he’s done with Avatar?
In an interview with Metro last month, Arnie revealed that Terminator 5, isn’t the only sequel he has in the works.
“There are three projects being written that involve me,” he said. “One is Terminator 5, the other is a Conan movie that Universal is doing and there’s the sequel to Twins, which is called Triplets. We’ll all look quite different in that. The third triplet is Eddie Murphy, so figure that one out.”
Please, Arnold, make it stop before you retroactively ruin my childhood!
Oh, and if you are wondering, there is still no word on whether Schwarzenegger will be doing a follow-up to Jingle All the Way.
The first teaser trailer for The Desolation of Smaug, part two of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, has arrived and we are getting our first look at the evil dragon “Smaug” being voiced and motion captured by Star Trek: Into Darkness’ Benedict Cumberbatch.
A big screen version of the Hobbit 2 trailer will screen before Man of Steel, which opens this Friday.
In the new ad we see new footage of There And Back Again stars Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen, as well as original Lord of the Rings favourite Orlando Bloom, who will be reprising his role as Legolas. We also get glimpses of Tauriel, an elf warrior played by Evangeline Lilly, and, of course, Cumberbatch’s Smaug, which Jackson had been keeping under wraps.
The movie looks nice, but I do think Jackson is perhaps unnecessarily fattening up The Hobbit into three movies. But then again, I haven’t read the book. Let me know what you think in the comments.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released December 13, 2013.