INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
Virtually everybody wants to forget 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but no one more than Deadpool, who became virtually unrecognizable as an optic blast-firing, teleporting killing machine.
And in this new “Minute Match-Up” from Ismahawk, Wade Wilson is determined to make sure his discount doppelganger doesn’t resurface to mar his upcoming solo film. Weapon XI doesn’t stand a chance.
Publishing | Dark Horse President Mike Richardson discusses how he became one of the first publishers of manga in the United States, explains how the company selects its titles, and suggests some manga for first-time readers. [Previews]
Digital comics | Retailer Ron Catapano points to the comiXology server crash triggered by the response to the free Marvel comics promotion as “the problem with digital content that fans keep complaining about”: “I can’t read the books I paid for because I can’t save them on my own computer and I’m limited in what I can save to my tablet by the small storage on tablets. Instead, the books I pay for are kept by comiXology and as long as I have a high speed internet connection available… I can log on and read my books on their web site or I can download a few to my tablet. BUT NOT TODAY … because someone decided it was a good idea to put 700 Marvel issue #1’s up for free at the same time.” [ICv2.com]
A Wolverine movie sequel based on the 1982 miniseries by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller reportedly will begin production in January.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Roger Friedman confirms earlier reports that the follow-up to 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine will be a tale of martial arts and romance set in Japan.
The script is by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie). No director has been signed.
Claremont and Miller’s four-issue series — Wolverine’s first solo comic — is a story of love, honor and revenge, with Logan battling ninjas and the politics of the criminal underworld for the heart of his ex-lover, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord. Just to make life more complicated, as assassin hired to kill Logan ends up falling for him. Star Hugh Jackman has called the miniseries his favorite Wolverine story.
The $150-million X-Men Origins: Wolverine, from 20th Century Fox, grossed $373 million worldwide.
San Diego Comic Con starts next Wednesday. NEXT WEDNESDAY. So catch on your sleep before then. But before you tuck yourself in, drop me an email and let me know what you have going on at the con, so I can post it right here.
I’ve got a lot of stuff in my in-box, so expect these updates to become a little more frequent between now and next week.
Free T-shirts | Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth will be giving away 50 T-shirts for Stumptown, their long-awaited series from Oni that was announced, I think, two years ago at the con. They’ll be giving them away at the Oni panel on Thursday.
Autographs | The SDCC has released their official auotgraph area schedule, which includes signings by James Jean, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Adam West, Hope Larson, Thomas Jane, the Honky Tonk Man and many more.
Anime | The con folks have also posted the schedule for anime screenings, which they’ll be showing late into the night.
As X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens today in theaters, the Internet is filled with even more articles about Marvel’s most popular mutant. Here’s a sampling:
• Star Hugh Jackman hints to MTV’s Splash Page that the sequel could take place in Japan: “I won’t lie to you, I have been talking to writers. I’m a big fan of the Japanese saga in the comic book.”
• Movie Marketing Madness analyzes Fox’s promotional campaign.
• Topless Robot considers Logan’s “10 Least Badass Moments.”
• First Showing suggests five Wolverine stories with reading.
The annual Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, the comic book “holiday” where shops all over the world give away free comics. Many retailers will host special events and signings as well, which I’ll collect and post right here at Robot 6.
If you’re a creator or retailer involved with or hosting a FCBD event, please drop me a note about your plans. Today’s update includes a whole bunch of events, from Pennsylvania to Idaho.
With the opening on Friday of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Internet is brimming with articles related — some only barely — to Canada’s best-known mutant. Here’s a sampling:
• Nine people in Maricopa County, Arizona, have been charged with selling illegal copies of the movie. “Wolverine wouldn’t stand for bootlegged copies of his new movie and neither do we,” said a deputy county attorney.
• The swine flu outbreak has led 20th Century Fox to cancel the movie’s Mexico City premiere, which had been scheduled for today. “We were not only concerned about Hugh’s welfare – and we would never send anyone into harm’s way – but we also have an enormous office filled with people we care about,” a studio spokesperson said. “There was no point in proceeding under the current conditions.” Theater’s in Mexico City have closed to help stem the spread of the epidemic.
• IGN.com picks the best Wolverine stories of all time from Wolverine & Kitty Pryde to Origin to the “Enemy of the State” arc. Creative Loafing does the same thing, tossing in the unfinished “Old Man Logan” storyline, while MTV’s Splash Page and io9.com take the movie-primer route.
Project Rooftop is kicking off another design contest to tie into this week’s big theatrical release (or last month’s big internet release, if you wanna look at it that way), X-Men Origins: Wolverine:
With Wolvie’s origin flick hitting theaters later this week, Old Man Logan is on the minds of comics-loving fans and the general public. Created nearly 30 years ago by Len Wein and John Romita Sr., Wolverine has put together a well-stocked superhero wardrobe since. He’s rocked his classic blue and yellow tights, his brown and orange variant, the Weapon X mission gear, the one-handed Age of Apocalypse attire, his Ultimate Universe duds, the New X-Men black and yellows, his new X-Force mission suit, the movie costumes, and of course, the naked VR training look, which not everyone can pull off.
In addition to their regular panel of judges, they’ve recruited Ron Garney and Jason Aaron to give their opinions on submissions. More details on prizes and how to enter can be found at their website.
Basketball legend Charles Barkley declares Wolverine the toughest of the X-Men and pops some claws of his own in this video from TNT’s Inside the NBA segment:
And Kenny Smith’s a Gambit guy? C’mon, Kenny …
Executives at 20th Century Fox may be able to breathe a sigh of relief: It looks like that leaked copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine actually could help the movie.
Entertainment Weekly‘s Hollywood Insider reports the Hugh Jackman film is tracking strong, with consumer-research statistics showing a high “wanna see” rating. What’s more, it’s the No. 1 choice in two key demographics: young men, and men age 31 and older.
As Vulture’s Lane Brown points out, the leaked work print, with its unfinished special-effects shots, should have signaled doom for Wolverine. So why didn’t it?
“Had it not leaked, this is the time when people on the Internet (including us, no doubt) would’ve been wildly speculating on the film’s quality based on its trailer, publicity campaign, promotional pizza tie-in, and reported reshoots,” Brown writes. “Instead, though, the very bloggers who’d probably be writing this thing off are refusing to post reviews of an unfinished product and shaming downloaders.”
That’s actually … a pretty good theory.
And big surprise, it’s a tie-in in to the upcoming Hugh Jackman film (now playing on a Web site near you). Here’s a trailer of the game:
Anyway, a lot of the big video game sites have taken a look at the game and are offering previews. What were their initial impressions? Click on the jump to find out.
According to a report in the Contra Costa Times, the fire that devastated Len Wein and Christine Valada’s home yesterday was caused by “combustible items left next to an electric wall heater.”
Writer Harlan Ellison shared more details on his website, saying “… a power surge apparently went through the electrical system of the house, shorting out a wall heater that had been in place in the bathroom since the house was built…an appurtenance no one even paid any attention to: it was invisible, like a countertop. But it sparked, caught fire, and the fire caught on towels, curtains, bathroom mat, magazines on the hamper, clothes, and raced up the walls and across the ceiling, into the hall, and into the bedroom where Len lay asleep. Michael, Chris’s son, was dead asleep in the loft of the small bedroom.”
More than 1 million people have downloaded X-Men Origins: Wolverine since an early copy of the 20th Century Fox film was leaked online last Tuesday.
That’s according to TorrentFreak, which follows all things BitTorrent-related.
More than three weeks from its theatrical release, the movie is the most popular torrent on The Pirate Bay, which bills itself as the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker.
In related news, News Corp. may be backing away from its firing of FoxNews.com columnist Roger Friedman, who drew criticism over the weekend for downloading and reviewing Wolverine. News Corp. is the parent company of 20th Century Fox and Fox News.
Although News Corp. stated clearly that it had “promptly terminated” Friedman, the gossip reporter denied to ABC News that he’d been fired. According to The Huffington Post, Friedman was to meet today with Fox News executives to decide his fate.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens on May 1.
Update: Fox News issued a statement Monday evening saying the company and Friedman had “mutually agreed to part ways immediately.” That’s “mutually agreed to part ways,” two days after the gossip reporter had been “promptly terminated.”
Fox News has reportedly fired free-lance gossip columnist Roger Friedman after he downloaded and reviewed a stolen copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Parent company News Corporation described Friedman’s actions as encouraging and promoting piracy.
In a column posted Thursday on the Fox News website, but since removed, Friedman boasted how easy it was to find the 20th Century Fox movie — and other current releases — online.
The work print apparently lacks finished special-effects shots and other material. No matter, though. Friedman loved it.
“Right now, my ‘cousins’ at 20th Century Fox are probably having apoplexy,” Friedman wrote. “But everyone can relax. I am, in fact, amazed about how great Wolverine turned out. It exceeds expectations at every turn. I was completely riveted to my desk chair in front of my computer.”
Friedman certainly got the first part right: Executives at News Corp. sibling 20th Century Fox weren’t happy. In a statement, the studio said, “This behavior is reprehensible and we condemn this act categorically — whether the review is good or bad.”
Then came word last night from Hollywood-industry columnist Nikki Finke that News Corp. had dropped the ax on Friedman.
“Roger Friedman’s views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation,” the company said in a statement. “We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy. Once we learned of Roger Friedman’s post we asked Fox News to remove it, which they did immediately.”
Friedman had written his “Fox 411″ gossip column for the Fox News website for about a decade.
The FBI has begun its investigation into the film’s leak.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens on May 1.