San Diego Comic-Con: Comic Book Movies & TV

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Continuing our look at the news coming out of San Diego Comic-Con last week, we stop to examine the comic book movies and television that made headlines. Beginning with the major bits: Wonder Woman and (the lack of ) Captain Marvel.

DC Comics

Zach Snyder made a brief appearance, bringing out Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, and Gal Gadot after showing a brief clip — Batman in powered armor near the bat-signal, with Superman descending from the sky in the rain. Both of them, eyes glowing, as Superman amps up the heat vision while Batman uses his suit’s night-vision. The crowd, of course, went wild. In addition, we got our first official look at Wonder Woman’s costume.

 

Word also came, that screenwriter Chris Terrio has been selected to pen the screenplay for the next film, Justice League. And although those were pretty hefty news items, many fans were disappointed that DC didn’t take the opportunity to confirm rumors of other film projects that might or might not be in the works — such as Captain Marvel (now known as Shazam in the New 52). Given the hints that Dwayne Johnson had been dropping on his Twitter feed, many were hoping for an official announcement.

Over on the television side (and including the news from the Television Critics Association event), there’s more detail about Gotham, Arrow, and The Flash.

Gotham executive producer Bruce Heller says the show will be more noir than superheroes, with the city itself facing a dark fate that no one can prevent. The story will be more “Greek tragedy” in the sense that the city’s already doomed; they just don’t know it yet. We’ve since learned that David Zayas will be playing crime boss Sal Maroni — the gangster who thew acid in the face of Harvey Dent, creating Two-Face — but no word on how often he will appear in the recurring role.

Arrow producers have released a teaser that packaged what we know so far with a glimpse at the new big bad for season three — Ra’s al Ghul, who will be played by Oded Fehr. In the teaser, we get glimpses of Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer, who appears to be on a campaign to rename the city to something a little more consistent with the comics, and a “first date” between Oliver and Felicity. There’s also a glimpse of an injured Felicity on the table in the Arrowcave, leading some here at SciFi4Me to speculate this may be the beginning of Felicity’s “Oracle” arc.

As we reported earlier this week, The Flash has added Kelly Frye as Plastique. And at the panel for the show, Stephen Amell was able to answer a fan’s request to recite the opening monologue of the show (mostly from memory), complete with the “Previously on Arrow” bit. And yes, he showed off his abs.

On the animation front, DC announced several projects besides Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. Production will also include Batman vs. Robin, loosely based on the Scott Snyder-penned Court of Owls arc in the New 52 Batman titles (art by Greg Capullo), and Justice League: Gods and Monsters, written and directed by Bruce Timm. This is reported to be an original story, not based on JLA: Gods and Monsters by Dan Jolley and Josh Krach from 2001.

Marvel Comics

No Captain Marvel on this side of the street, either.

Despite the anticipation brought on by the list of dates announced by Marvel, there were no new titles announced. Kevin Feige, in an interview with Comic Book Resources, said a female-lead film is more a question of “when, not if” — but didn’t commit to confirming one of the recently-announced dates would be taken by Captain Marvel, Black Widow, or Black Panther.

It can certainly be done. I hope we do it sooner rather than later. But we find ourselves in the very strange position of managing more franchises than most people have — which is a very, very good thing and we don’t take for granted, but is a challenging thing. You may notice from those release dates, we have three for 2017. And that’s because just the timing worked on what was sort of gearing up. But it does mean you have to put one franchise on hold for three or four years in order to introduce a new one? I don’t know. Those are the kinds of chess matches we’re playing right now.

In addition, Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman tells Time that she was given her choice of projects back in 2012, and that there were several projects on the table, some of which might have a female lead?

“I can’t tell you what the other titles were that they were offering up on the table, but I can tell you that one of them was a little bit more appropriate for me, just based on gender. I think they were a little taken aback when I chose Guardians, because there were ones that would make a lot more sense if you were a romantic-comedy writer or something like that.”

So, in the broad sense, now it’s a question of making all of the pieces fall into place in the right sequence? We’ll discuss this and other matters on an upcoming episode of Level Eleventy-Seven, so stay tuned.

Footage from Age of Ultron was screened, and the entire main cast took the stage to talk about the project — and Elizabeth Olsen almost uttered the forbidden M-word when talking about her character. James Spader, in his second outing at SDCC (last year he was there for The Blacklist), talked about how surreal it was to be playing a character who wasn’t human. He seemed a little shell-shocked at the Avengers panel.

Word on Ant Man: Patrick Wilson has left the project now that delays have created a conflict in his schedule. And we have word that Evangline Lilly will be playing Hank Pym’s daughter, Hope, and Corey Stoll will play the villain Yellowjacket.

Guardians of the Galaxy officially has a sequel in play — the second one will take the July 28, 2017 date. And an animated version of the group will appear in episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Avengers Assemble, the latter two of which recently picked up second season orders from Disney XD.

Over on the TV side, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting Lucy Lawless, as well as several new characters — some of whom may have some ties to other organizations we’ve seen in the comics. In a panel at SDCC, head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb talked about Agent Carter with show-runners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, who mentioned several things about the upcoming season. Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will direct the second and third episodes, while Joe Johnston (who directed Captain America: The First Avenger) will direct the fourth.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel was pretty much a get-together of the current cast, with not too many hints about the upcoming season, followed by a blooper reel. But the most telling item of note is the addition of Bobbi Morse, also known as the superheroine Mockingbird.

And could there be another Blade in the works? After three films and a TV series (and with Wesley Snipes having his own issues), it seems like the franchise would have been tapped out. But during an interview connected with Expendables 3, Snipes expressed interest in returning to play the character again, joking that Blade could go after the Twilight vampires. Now that the rights to the character have reverted back to Marvel, could Blade fit into the cinematic universe? Or, if Marvel chooses to pursue it, would Blade live within its own universe, like Big Hero Six does?

PAINKILLER JANE

A new film adaptation of Painkiller Jane was announced, as well. Directed by twins Jan and Sylvia Soska, the new film would center around undercover police office Jane Vasko, who gains healing ability and a high tolerance for pain after being tortured by drug ring operatives. Created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada, Jane has been adapted twice already, both times by the entity formerly known as the Sci Fi Channel. The first adaptation, a made-for-TV film starring Emmanuelle Vaugier, and again as a series starring Kristanna Loken.

The new version will be produced by Palmiotti under his Paperfilms banner, along with Stephen L’Heureaux and Solipsist Films.

SIN CITY

L’Heureaux is also a producer on the upcoming Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which hits theaters August 22nd. Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller (who wrote the original graphic novel) are already talking about ideas for a third installment in the series.

The current sequel brings back Jessica Alba, Mickey Roarke, Rosario Dawson, and Bruce Willis, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, and Powers Boothe.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman visited Hall H for a panel on the upcoming film, and he deftly dodged the question as to whether or not the turtles are actually aliens in this adaptation:

“We’d been fans of Star Wars from the early days, starting with the ooze being an alien substance in the original comic books… It’s fun to keep the soul of the characters, but take a step to the left or the right.”

Footage shown at SDCC delivered more humor and action beyond what’s been seen in early trailers. TMNT opens August 8th.

 

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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