Inspired by the 2007 Marvel/Dynamite Entertainment crossover Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, director/editor Brian Rosenthal and his co-writer Eli David have crafted a short film that begins with Peter Parker, Gwen Stacey and a mysterious bag on the eve of the zombie outbreak … and then turns into something else. Namely, a showdown between Ash Williams and an undead Wolverine.
Despite competition from cinematic upstarts like Iron Man, Wolverine and Captain America, Batman reigns as the most popular superhero on YouTube, with more than 3 billion views of a staggering 71,000 hours of video. But the character at No. 2 may surprise fans, and undoubtedly please Marvel Studios. Verily.
That’s according to research released today by the video-sharing website as part of its “Geek Week” celebration. The breakdown is based on keyword searches since 2008 for everything from film trailers to fan originals to video-game play.
After a period of screenings at festivals and conventions, the Judge Dredd fan film Judge Minty has finally been released in full online. Packed with Easter eggs for long-term 2000AD fans, it proves that these days it would be entirely feasible to produce an authentic and faithful version of the futuristic lawman on a small-screen budget. As much as I enjoyed last year’s Dredd 3D, it’s hard not to watch this short and list the things that this production did better. For starters, this budget effort manages to properly get the Lawmaster bike, a street judge’s preferred form of transport, something the Stallone and Urban films got wrong in their different ways.
Considering Warner Bros.’ hand-wringing about the long-planned Justice League movie and The CW’s uncertainty about the Amazon pilot, it may be some time before we see a live-action Wonder Woman on the screen. Until that day, we’ll have to make do with the well-produced fan trailer directed by stuntman Jesse V. Johnson that evokes the first season of the Lynda Carter television series by pitting Wonder Woman (Nina Bergman) against a bunch of Nazis.
After some torture and interrogation (the latter at the hands of Peter Stormare, no less), Wonder Woman naturally unleashes on her former captors, and even brings down a fighter plane. Maybe this is what The CW is looking for!
“It was my manager/producing partner Kailey Marsh’s idea to shoot the trailer,” Johnson explained to Latino Review. “She really believes I should be a studio director, and thought shooting Wonder Woman would be a great way to show off my skills in a fun way that people could get excited about.”
There’s also a concept poster by Robert Sebree, which you can see below, along with the trailer.
If you’re a comics fan who came of age in the ’90s watching the terribly animated X-Men cartoon as part of the Fox Kids Saturday morning lineup, you’ll likely appreciate this video, which recreates the show’s opening using action figures and stop-motion animation. According to Kyle Roberts’ YouTube page, he used more than 4,000 pictures, and “spent two months rotoscoping and animating all of the special effects.” Add to that the work done by Nathan Poppe on the doodle-style background, and the theme song recreated by Colin Nance and Zach Zellar.
And on top of all of that, there’s a mildly amusing framing sequence. Still, though, the stop-motion credits sequence is the star of the show.
AMC’s split-season schedule for The Walking Dead not only means that we have to wait more than two months between episodes 8 and 9 but that we also miss out on one of the staples of television programming: the Christmas special. Luckily Jawin, the folks behind “Shit Comic Book Nerds Say,” are there for us with a glimpse of what The Walking Dead Christmas Special might look like. Spoiler alert: It involves lots of walker kills, ham, and a cranberry-sauce breakdown.
Once you’re finished with that, there are bonus videos to enjoy.
Danny Shepherd and Jeremy Le, the duo behind the Batman: Nightwing fan film that made the rounds over the summer, are now hoping expand upon the adventures of Dick Grayson with a three-part web series called, appropriately enough, Nightwing: The Series. To that end, they’ve teamed with Las Vegas’ MG Studio, which is providing the production facility and some of the resources for the project. However, Shepherd and Le need money for costumes, props and location shoots — and they’ve taken to Kickstarter in hopes of raising $20,000.
Just five days in to their 60-day campaign, they’re almost halfway toward their goal. To encourage pledge, they’re offering such incentives as the series soundtrack, posters, limited-edition T-shirts and a Batarang prop. Of course, with merchandise like that, they may be pushing their luck with Warner Bros.’ legal department.
You can watch the Nightwing: The Series teaser below, and visit the Kickstarter page to see the pitch video.
Judge Dredd fans have another cinematic version of their favorite antihero to look forward to (no, there hasn’t been a last-minute, sequel-saving, boost to the box-office haul of Dredd 3D). The short fan film Judge Minty, which has had a production period running almost parallel to the official movie, has announced it is to premiere at the Leeds Film Festival on Nov. 12, with a second showing at the Leeds Thought Bubble comics festival Nov. 18.
The movie has plenty of close links to the comic and its fandom: Dredd is played in the film by artist Greg Staples, and the script was written by regular 2000AD contributor Michael Carroll, adapting a classic John Wagner and Mick McMahon story. The teaser trailer, which has been doing the rounds for more two years now, shows that it is tantalizingly possible to do an incredibly faithful live-action Judge Dredd on a television budget. Make it so, BBC/HBO commissioning bods!
Created by Sax Carr and Marisha Ray (who also plays Batgirl), the series follows Stephanie Brown as she fights crime and tries to determine whether this life of “adrenaline and danger, duty and honor” is one she really wants. As the earlier trailer teased, Batgirl: Spoiled features a large supporting cast that includes such DC Comics characters as Commissioner Gordon, Batwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Penguin and Oracle (those last two appear in the first episode, “Blindside,” along with a third whom I won’t spoil here).
The second episode will be released in about 30 days; the producers are hoping to find a convention to play host to its premiere.
If the trailer for Batgirl: Spoiled wasn’t enough to whet your fan-film appetite, there’s now Batman: Puppet Master, a short set in the aftermath of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight as the Gotham City Police Department calls in an expert to help bring Batman to justice: FBI Special Agent Edward Nigma.
However, Nigma doesn’t merely want to catch the Dark Knight; he wants to deduce his secret identity, proving that he’s the world’s greatest detective. To that end, he enlists the assistance of some of Arkham Asylum’s inmates — Arnold Weskler and Peyton Riley (aka the first and second Ventriloquist), and Victor Zsasz.
Directed by Bryan Nest from a script by Chris Wiltz, Batman: Puppet Master is described as “a film created by fans for fans and it delivers an exciting storyline that will introduce fans to new versions of Mr. Zsasz, The Ventriloquist, and Edward Nigma (aka The Riddler), who fans were expecting to appear in Nolan’s third Batman film.”
Stephanie Brown still may be absent from the DC Universe — and, yes, the world of Smallville — but the superheroine is now receiving her moment in the spotlight in a fairly impressive trailer for Batgirl: Spoiled, a fan-produced webseries that follows the crime-fighter “on her journey to understand her place in Gotham.”
Directed by Damian Beurer, the teaser stars Marisha Ray as Batgirl, and features cameos by Oracle, Commissioner Gordon, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batwoman, The Question and others. Information about where and when to watch the first episode is promised soon.
More than five years after New Line Cinema acquired the film rights to Y: The Last Man, the acclaimed comic by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, we seem little closer to seeing Yorick Brown and Ampersand on the big screen than we were in 2007. But likely for fans of the Eisner Award-winning series, Christian Cardona has taken an adaptation into his own hands with a stellar short film called Y: The Last Man Rising that’s debuted at IGN.com.
Watch the short, which stars Travis Quentin Young as Yorick, Kent King as Agent 355 and Rebecca Marshall as Hero Brown, below.
Last year Robb Pratt posted a stellar “Fleischer Brothers meets Mike Kunkel” Superman cartoon that he made in his spare time, featuring the Man of Steel, Lois Lane and a giant robot. Pratt is back with a new cartoon, this time pitting Superman against Bizarro in the aptly titled “Bizarro Classic.” Check it out below, and keep watching after the credits to see how he made the film (and how they did the voice for Bizarro … very cool).
French director Pierre Desgranges and Atomic Production have produced a Dark Knight Returns-inspired short film called Batman Deliverance that takes key elements of Frank Miller’s landmark comic — an aging Bruce Wayne, a Gotham plunged into chaos — and adds a bit of a twist. A hirsute, clawed twist.
The purists may not care for the addition of Wolverine to the story, but they’ll be hard pressed not to appreciate Desgranges’ beautifully shot, noirish film (don’t miss the Batcave!). Check out the video after the break.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s time once again to ask, “Are you ready for the thing called love?” It’s many-splendored, you know. All you need is love, so I hear; and if you are all out of love, you may still be able to make love out of nothing at all. Some say love, it is a river which drowns the tender reed. Others counter that love is a burning thing which makes a fiery ring. One fairly unimpeachable source asserts that love is patient and kind, it bears, hopes, abides, etc.
All that aside, however, I imagine that everyone reading this post feels that particular kind of love we call Fandom. Obviously fannish impulses are not always patient and kind; obviously fandom must take a back seat to more meaningful loves like friends and family. Still, it seems to me that fandom’s affections come from a very sincere place. At some point in our past, our hearts were touched by the charms of Star Trek, Wally West, the Cincinnati Reds, whatever — and somehow we felt better. For whatever reason, we wanted more. Fandom can turn ugly, but at its heart is hope — namely, the hope that whatever-it-is can give us that same lift again.
So today I write in appreciation of us fans. Not that we are always right; not that we always agree; but that we can each point to something which (as my parents would say) keeps us off the streets.
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