Presenting our weekly round-up of the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…
Warner Bros. and Marvel are unlikely to have much of a showing at the San Diego Comic-Con this year (if at all), but both did make an appearance at the Licensing International Expo this past week. Highlights included the unveiling of logos for The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel, along with a promotional poster for Joss Whedon's The Avengers that gives us our a first look at Jeremy Renner in costume as Hawkeye, a revised Captain America suit and what would appear to be a naked Hulk. Head over to ComicBookMovie for a good look at the poster, which first appeared on Twitter via TheOnlyEsq.
On the subject of Warner Bros.' big DC adaptations, it's been revealed this week that Russell Crowe is in final negotiations for the role of Jor-El in Zack Snyder's Superman reboot Man of Steel, joining a growing cast that so far includes Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. There's also been a couple further of additions to The Dark Knight Rises, with Variety reporting that Josh Stewart (The Collector) has signed on for an unrevealed role in Christopher Nolan's final Batman outing, while a familiar face will also make his return to Gotham City for what you'd imagine to be a rather pivital scene. We won't be spoiling it here (why, I don't know, seeing as it's been all over the internet), so head over to the original post at HitFix if you haven't already heard. You can also check out a fake teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, which apparently screened in Italy (despite an MPAA notice at the start).
In terms of Warners' 'not-quite-as-big' DC adaptations, Green Lantern hit cinemas yesterday to almost universally bad reviews, which isn't all that much of a surprise really judging by the trailers. Nevertheless the $200m film has got off to a good start, clocking up $3.35m from midnight screenings, but now that every Green Lantern fan has seen the film you'd have to expect the Ryan Reynolds-starrer to struggle at the box office, especially with the competition its going to face over the coming weeks. Both Mark Strong and DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns have been discussing potential sequels, but given the reviews I think we can probably write those off for the time being.
The Hero Complex Film Festival also took place last weekend, with a screening of Iron Man and Iron Man 2 accompanied by a Q&A featuring director Jon Favreau and star Robert Downey Jr. Collider posted a video of the Q&A - which includes discussion on the first two movies and some brief updates on The Avengers and Iron Man 3 - in addition to audio clips of screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely talking about The First Avenger, Richard Donner discussing Superman and Superman II, and Warren Beatty on the Dick Tracy Blu-ray and possible sequel.
Other highlights from the festival including the debut of the second theatrical trailer for Joe Johnston's upcoming World War II-set superhero flick Captain America: The First Avenger, along with the unveiling of a rather splendid retro poster showing Cap chinning Hitler, which was presented to the film's cast and crew. The trailer is yet to make its way online but the official site has arrived, while a low-quality video was leaked to the internet that features some new footage from the movie, along with a couple of images including Chris Evans' Steve Rogers in his USO suit.
In other Marvel-related news, X-Men: First Class finds itself closing in on the world-wide gross of Bryan Singer's original X-Men despite a bit of an underwhelming run at the box office. Matthew Vaughn's prequel has amassed a global haul of $242.3 to date but has been knocked off the top spot in both the North American and U.K. movie charts and it's looking unlikely that the film will manage to catch any of the other installments. Nevertheless, Fox are still keen to push on with their plans for The Wolverine, with Deadline revealing that the studio and star Hugh Jackman have set their sites on James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, Knight and Day) to fill the void left by Darren Aronofsky.
...And lastly, it was announced earlier this week that Spider-Man producer Laura Ziskin has died of cancer, aged 61. Ziskin started her career as an assistant to Batman producer Jon Peters and went on to enjoy a successful career in her own right with credits such as No Way Out, Pretty Woman, As Good As It Gets, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and the upcoming reboot The Amazing Spider-Man.
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