Monday, May 08, 2006

Marvel Comics Movie News

There's actually been so much news lately from the respective people who are bringing Marvel Comics superheroes to the big screen; that I was waiting for a lull so that I could get it all into one post and not have bits floating around the blog.

For those of you who don't know, as the news was broken just before the Colonel's Eagle came online first in September, it was announced that Marvel Entertainment had secured a $525 million loan package that would allow it to produce 10 films based on its comic book characters, specifically Captain America, the Avengers, Nick Fury, Black Panther, Cloak & Dagger, Dr. Strange, Hawkeye, Power Pack, Shang-Chi and Ant-Man. Paramount will distribute the films, which will carry a price tag somewhere between $50 million-$165 million each.

Where are those projects now? Some are still in limbo, some have been replaced with more viable options and some are in active development.

Well the most patriotic hero of them all, Captain America will see light of day in the ripe post 9/11 climate. Marvel Studios headman Avi Arad said, "Contrary to popular belief, people want this way of life. They want democracy. They want freedom. Captain America takes us one level farther because he's a man out of time. You go through the mind of someone who is emotional and a believer. The script is going to take a little bit of time, because it has to be a masterpiece. It's Back to the Future kind of stuff."
Cuban Missile Crisis drama Thirteen Days screenwriter David Self will write Caps adventure. "He's a Norman Rockwell character who is faced with today's America and is forced to look at his own past, things in the '40s that weren't necessarily what they were cracked up to be," the scribe said, adding, "and also how today's country may be different than it looks."
No speculation on cast yet although Arad does have "someone in mind" (I hope it's The Rock) Captain America is part of the Marvel/Paramount deal and isn't expected to reach theatres until 2009.

As for Nick Fury? Marvel’s own Ex-military spy and director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Andrew Air Force One Marlowe could be potentially writing Fury’s celluloid adventure. It was suggested recently that Marvel may wish to go with The Ultimates version of Fury who is African-American and was in fact drawn to resemble Samuel L. Jackson, so naturally Will Smith has been linked to the possible role!!!???? While Arad has spoken to Bruce Willis, I’m hoping failing that, he’ll talk to Mel Gibson for a more classic depiction of Colonel Fury.

Edgar Wright, the British comedy-writer/director behind Shaun of the Dead has been given Ant-Man to helm. For those of you who are not familiar with Ant-Man; he’s the most useless Marvel hero ever. He had the astonishing power of being able to shrink to the size of an ant and control other ants via his helmet antennae. His evil enemies included any hungry birds and such disasters as a shower of rain! Thankfully judging by Marvel’s choice of writer/director we can assume it’s going to be comedy and who better than a Brit to write a comedy as opposed to a Yank. Maybe the recent ‘star’ of Mission Impossible 3; Simon Pegg will be Hank Pym (Ant-Man’s real identity); as in addition to directing Shaun, Wright also directed Spaced.

Thor, not as useless as Ant-Man but nevertheless a hero I can’t figure out. He is based on the Norse god of thunder, has a war-hammer and he says phrases like “By Odin’s beard”. David Batman Begins/Blade II Goyer was rumoured to have been attached to the project originally but now it’s Mark Protosevich and considering that man wrote The Cell, we can hope Thor to fail and not spawn sequels. Protosevich said last week: “I don't want to give too much away, but I will say the movie will take place in the world of myth and legend but will not betray some of the thematic elements of the comics that made them so appealing, like the idea of a god growing to truly understand man.".

The Fantastic Four may have been a bad movie to most (I was told not to see it) but it obviously made enough for a sequel and it appears that 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios are seriously considering having the Silver Surfer appear in Fantastic Four 2. Fox and Marvel are, as they did with the X-Men films, developing two scripts for FF2 simultaneously. One draft is being penned by Mark Frost, who co-wrote script the first FF, while the other script is being written by Don My Super-Ex Girlfriend Payne. Payne's draft, which features the Silver Surfer, is considered the "frontrunner" to be produced. Fantastic Four 2 will bring back the first film's stars (sans Julian McMahon's Dr. Doom), as well as director Tim Story and is slated to open July 4, 2007.

The Punisher 2’s news at this time only comes from Tom Jane who said that he and Jonathan Hensleigh were still working on the script. He hopes they could start filming this autumn which naturally means we can’t expect to see anything before summer 2007.

Ghost Rider is in post-production and probably would have been finished for its original July ’06 release date if the studio hadn’t decided that they had too many films being released at that time. For now, we’ll wait for February ’07 for Nic Cage’s superhero antics.

With X-Men: The Last Stand on it’s way to “a theatre near you” now, and Sony are on target with Spiderman 3, Marvel have only two “high-priority” films at the current time, and strangely, neither of them are part of the Marvel/Paramount war chest co-venture.

The first will make you upset, whomever you are. The second should send you into a fit of excitement as it did me, so I’m going to bring you all down before I bring you all back up again.

A sequel to The Hulk is high on Avi Arad’s list at the moment. (Christ!). He said in an interview last week: "The [first] Hulk movie was a study of anger, and people wanted a popcorn movie," Arad explained. "Our Hulk will be a diet Hulk. Lighter. Focusing on the love story, Hulk as hero, and his battle with the villain." Arad advised that the villain of Hulk 2 will be Abomination, of whom Arad said, "He's capable of amazing feats."
Zak Penn, who previously collaborated with Marvel on X2, Fantastic Four, and the upcoming X-Men: The Last Stand, will write a new Incredible Hulk film, inspired by the larger-than-life green giant. Under Marvel's arrangement with Universal, Marvel will develop and produce the Incredible Hulk as a major theatrical release, with Universal retaining various distribution rights. To the best of my knowledge Eric Bana will reprise Bruce Banner.

Moving swiftly away from that, I’m overjoyed that I can officially report that

THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN

my favourite comic book character of all time, is now at Paramount Pictures under the helm of one John Zathura Favreau (as an actor he played Foggy Nelson in Daredevil) who will develop the script with the writing team of Arthur Shadow Of Fear Marcum and Matt Convoy Holloway.
Not a big name to direct such an important picture, but who the fuck was Chris Nolan before Batman Begins? I’m pleased that finally ‘ol Shellhead will come to the big screen. Iron Man has seen a tumultuous upbringing in Hollywood, and was passed back and forth like nobody’s child over the past few years, but now with a script in the works and a Marvel-confirmed director attached, things are shaping up and we’re going to see something get done here now. About damn time. Now that the Star Wars saga is complete; I don’t think there’s anything I’m looking forward to more. Coincidentally I’m actually in the process of collecting every single issue of Iron Man since 1969 (currently I have from November 1970 to this month’s issue) [Thank you Jim Morrish if you’re out there…] so you’ll understand I’m psyched. Naturally as it was only announced last week there’s been no speculation yet on who should be Tony Stark, I have a few (dozen) ideas myself… but that’s a whole other post…

More news on everything here (especially Iron Man) as soon as I get it.

4 comments:

Master Guns said...

If you're really the hero you say you are you'll stop them from making a second Hulk.

Please Colonel. Do something...

Cubaboy said...

Rumours that Hollywood exec's have approached me to put my alter ego (sex piss man, or as the French say, l'homme de sex piss) on the big screen are somewhat wide of the mark. While early contacts have been made between myself and former Disney head honcho Michael Eisner the deal is in the very embronic stages. I promise that the Colonel will be the first to know of any developments!!

Former Grunt said...

I dunno, all the Marvel heroes are a bit lame in comparison to Batman. Any news on DC heroes?

Lt. Colonel Creedon said...

@ Guns. Doing nothing is something. We can but hope tat this stage that nothing will happen with Hulk 2.

@ Cubaboy: Errr. that's wonderful, thank you.

@ The Flash and Wonderwoman are in development. Superman is coming out this year. The only other DC heroes I can actually name are Aquaman and The Green Lantern, but I've little intrest in any DC hero other than Batman so you won't read anything about them here first.