Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Considering that DC/Marvel crossovers appear to be a thing of the past even in comic books, it seems unlikely we’ll see Thor face Superman on the big screen in our lifetimes. Undeterred by any corporate differences, a certain Alex Luthor (no relation, presumably) has assembled an epic trailer that gives us a taste of what such a live-action crossover might look like. And it’s pretty glorious.
Using footage from sources ranging from The Avengers and Iron Man to The Flash and the rejected Wonder Woman pilot — you’ll even see Injustice: Gods Among Us — Luthor crafts a teaser that pits Batman against Iron Man, Hawkeye against Green Arrow, Black Widow against Black Canary, Loki against The Joker … the list goes on.
It wasn’t all that long ago that a Lobo movie seemed like a very real possibility, with Dwayne Johnson and director Brad Peyton poised to bring the Main Man to the big screen before Wonder Woman, The Flash and any number of better-known DC Comics characters got their shot. Alas, the adaptation “went away,” with Johnson moving on to a long list of other projects, including the now officially announced Shazam!
Still, fans of the intergalactic bounty hunter can still hold out hope for that Lobo feature. However, until it’s resurrected (again), they’ll have to make do with this gory fan trailer from Jesse V. Johnson that delivers enough quips and over-the-top violence for a full-length film.
In somehow-fitting turn of events, Batman and The Riddler dropped the gloves in a hockey game Saturday night celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Caped Crusader.
As we reported last month, East Coast Hockey League teams the Toledo Walleye and the Evansville (Indiana) IceMen donned Batman and Riddler jerseys, respectively, for a “Heroes Night” celebration. Afterward the jerseys were to be auctioned off afterward, with proceeds going to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, March of Dimes and the Walleye Wishing Well.
“I thought that the way Warner Bros. announced the slate of DC movies could have been handled better. I think that someone like Grant Gustin, who has just launched an iconic character like The Flash, to record-breaking numbers — numbers that far surpassed Arrow‘s numbers […] I think that he should have been given a wider berth than two episodes before another actor was announced to play his character. […] I thought that it was shitty that all of this stuff got announced the morning that the ratings — the spectacular ratings — of the second episode of The Flash came in.”
As Comic Book Resources debuted one character card drawn by Ivan Reis for the hit CW drama The Flash, a handful of other websites were doing the same, providing fans with mini-biographies of the key players.
In addition to CBR’s Det. Eddie Thawne card, there’s The Flash (Entertainment Weekly), Iris West (KSite TV), Det. Joe West (Access Hollywood), Harrison Wells (The Hollywood Reporter) and Cisco Ramon (IGN). That leaves Caitlin Snow, who should be popping up any moment now …
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Warner Bros. is expected to begin layoffs today that will result in the elimination of about 1,000 jobs globally as part of company-wide streamlining effort.
Variety reports that the cuts, which amount to more than 10 percent of the studio’s 8,000-person workforce, are anticipated in two waves, with roughly half starting this week. The process will be completed by the end of the year.
CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced last month that the studio aims to reduce costs by $200 million annually, which will be used to fund an ambitious film and television slate that includes at least 10 DC Comics-based films, J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, and more LEGO offerings. Film and television production divisions are expected to be spared the brunt of the cutbacks, while home entertainment, marketing, distribution, administration and “other non-production related divisions” will be among the hardest hit.
It was exciting Tuesday when Marvel Studios unveiled its Phase Three plans, with nine feature films, including Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman, and Captain Marvel, featuring the Carol Danvers version. However, amid the enthusiasm, there was some hand-wringing.
Are we about to be oversaturated with superheroes? Is the movie-going public going to get sick of capes and tights? Are superhero movies a fad that will go the way of the Western?
Between Marvel, Warner Bros., Fox and Sony, there are more than 30 superhero movies planned between next year and 2020. An average of five movies a year will be released, peaking in 2016 and 2016, with eight films each. No doubt more announcements will follow as we make our way through the decade.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Immediately after Tuesday’s press event, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was asked if he was concerned about the increasing number of superhero films. He pointed out that it’s “a challenge we’ve faced for many, many years.”
When the Toledo Walleye and the Evansville IceMen next face off, it’ll be in a battle for Gotham City.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Caped Crusader, Toledo’s East Coast Hockey League team is holding a “Heroes Night” celebration Nov. 22 that will see its players don a limited-edition Batman jersey reminiscent of the classic ’60s TV costume. Not to be outdone, the visiting IceMen will dress as The Riddler (sure, Mr. Freeze might’ve been the better choice, but might not have translated as well visually).
The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game, with proceeds going to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, March of Dimes and the Walleye Wishing Well. A limited number of replica Batman jerseys will be available beginning Nov. 3 at the Walleye’s store.
This fall has been particularly exceptional television adaptations: The Walking Dead season premiere pulled in more than 17 million viewers, while more than 8 million watched the first episode Gotham, making it Fox’s best fall drama debut in 14 years. More than 6 million raced to see The Flash pilot, giving The CW its highest ratings ever. About 5 million are regularly tuning in for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and nearly 3 million for the third season of Arrow.
It’s not limited to live-action series, either: 2 million people watch Teen Titans Go!, and more than 1 million tune in to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon.
On the big screen, all four feature films starring Marvel characters — X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — each grossed more than $700 million each worldwide. So far, comic book movies have generated more than $3.8 billion dollars this year. While it’s unknown how many of those dollars are from repeat viewings, that’s still a lot of people.
Although the upcoming DC Comics film slate was the headline-grabbing news from this morning’s Time Warner investor presentation, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara also announced the studio is seeking to reduce costs by $200 million annually as part of company-wide streamlining effort. That’s about double what some reports indicated ahead of today’s meeting.
How much of that will be a result of layoffs has yet to be revealed, but Variety maintains Warner Bros. is expected to cut between 900 and 1,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce.
Warner Digital Series and DC Entertainment have partnered with visual-effects company Otoy to develop an immersive entertainment experience that will allow users to explore the Batcave from Batman: The Animated Series through interactive holographic video for virtual-reality displays.
In short, that means fans will be able use devices like Oculus Rift, the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR and forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays to step into the world of the beloved and influential 1990s cartoon.
Turner Broadcasting has announced it will eliminate 1,475 jobs, about 10 percent of its workforce, as part of streamlining measures by corporate parent Time Warner that will also affect Warner Bros. Entertainment.
The company, whose properties include CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TNT, will make the cuts over the next two weeks through a combination of buyouts, layoffs and the elimination of unfilled positions. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 975 of the jobs will come from Turner’s metro-Atlanta operations; CNN Worldwide will lose about 300.
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning declined to intervene in the copyright dispute between the Joe Shuster Estate and DC Comics, effectively ending the long, and frequently bitter, battle over who owns Superman.
By denying the estate’s petition, the justices let stand a November 2013 ruling by the Ninth Circuit that Shuster’s nephew is prevented by a 1992 agreement with DC from reclaiming the artist’s stake in the first Superman story under a clause of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act.
At issue was a now 22-year-old deal in which the Shuster estate relinquished all claims to the property in exchange for “more than $600,000 and other benefits,” which included paying Shuster’s debts following his death earlier that year and providing his sister Jean Peavy and brother Frank Shuster with a $25,000 annual pension. In October 2012, U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright found that the agreement invalidated a copyright-termination notice filed in 2003 by Shuster’s nephew Mark Peary. Less than three months later, the Ninth Circuit overturned a 2008 decision granting the heirs of Jerry Siegel the writer’s 50-percent share of the copyright to the first Superman story in Action Comics #1.
Classic Tom and Jerry cartoons are now accompanied by disclaimers on Amazon Prime and iTunes warning viewers of “ethnic and racial prejudices,” BBC News and TheWrap report. However, the wording is similar to that accompanying some of the DVD collections, indicating the decision was made by Warner Bros., and not by the two online retailers.
“Tom & Jerry shorts may depict some racial and ethnic prejudices that were once commonplace in American society,” the Amazon label reads. “Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While not representing the Warner Bros. view of today’s society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming that these prejudices never existed.”
This week has already seen an incredible ancient Mayan-inspired Batman suit and a somewhat-disturbing supercut of all of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s onscreen deaths, so it’s perhaps only fitting that we close it out with something else Dark Knight-related: “Batman Evolution,” an arrangement of the live-action television and movie themes, performed on piano and cello — actually, 100 tracks of cello — by The Piano Guys.
While the music would be satisfying on its own, as you can see below there’s a beautifully shot video that prominently features the appropriate Batmobile for each of the themes (Neal Hefti’s 1966 “Batman Theme,” Danny Elfman’s 1989 “The Batman Theme,” and Hans Zimmer’s 2008 “Like a Dog Chasing Cars”). You may also notice how the cinematography and screen dimensions shift from theme to theme, reflecting each adaptation.