The Week in Spandex – The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Daredevil, Marvel and DC Animation and more

Our weekly round-up of the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…

Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man may be the next superhero movie out of the gate, but Warner Bros. stole a march on their rival this week with the release of a brand new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, which offered up some new footage from the sure-to-be-epic showdown between Batman (Christian Bale) and Bane (Tom Hardy), as well as glimpses of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) and John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). A new TV spot also hit the net, along with some neat marketing material including a statement from Mayor Anthony Garcia (Nestor Carbonell) announcing his signing of the ‘Dent Act’, a few pages from the Gotham Observer newspaper and the free-to-play RTS game, The Fire Rises. In all, we’ve had a tonne of promotional material from The Dark Knight Rises thrown our way now, so it’s quite extraordinary that after four trailers, umpteen TV spots and dozens of interviews, we still don’t really have a clue how the film is going to play out…

…After scoring The Dark Knight Rises for Christopher Nolan (which you can preview here), Hans Zimmer will now turn his hand to the Nolan-produced Superman reboot Man of Steel, with director Zack Snyder forgoing his regular collaborator Tyler Bates (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch) in favour of the Academy Award-winning composer…

…On the subject of the World’s Finest, Smallville writer and story editor Bryan Q. Miller spoke to Comic Book Resouces about how close the Caped Crusader came to making an appearance on the series: “I don’t think we actually ever got down the road with what the story would be, but at the beginning of each season — especially in the latter years, after DC Entertainment formed — there was always that hope that it would happen. “Maybe we’ll get to do Batman this year.” And then inevitably, it was like, “No, sorry. No Batman this year.” We’d have that with certain characters every now and again. We’d ask if we could do something with a character but he or she would be tied up with a feature or something else…”

Batman fans may also want to check out an interview with Mark Hamill over at MTV Splash Page, where he discusses his second best-known role as the voice of the Joker. Hamill – who has lent his vocal talents to the Clown Prince of Crime for a host of animated projects and video games stretching back to the classic Batman: The Animated Series – originally stated that he’d retire as the character after Batman: Arkham City but has nor reprised the role for the new DC Universe online DLC, ‘The Last Laugh’, which also features DC regulars Adam Baldwin as Superman and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn…

…There’s just over a week to go until Andrew Garfield swings onto cinema screens in The Amazing Spider-Man, and while the film doesn’t seem to have enjoyed the same levels of anticipation as The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, the Marc Webb-directed reboot is on track to record an impressive $125m+ opening in North America according to The Hollywood Reporter. Considering The Avengers pulled in a record $258m (giving Marvel a nice popularity boost in the process) and the fact that Spidey’s opening weekend will include three extra days of advanced screenings, I’d expect the film to hit $175m, if not pushing towards $200m…

…As you wait for the arrival of The Amazing Spider-Man, you can listen to James Horner’s score for the movie over at Comic Book Movie, while a new – and spoilery – clip has also arrived online courtesy of Sony Pictures India, which features a scene between Rhys Ifans’ Dr. Curt Connors and Irrfan Khan’s Dr. Ratha. Meanwhile, looking slightly further ahead towards the inevitable sequel(s), Emma Stone has shared her thoughts on the classic ‘The Night Gwen Stacy Died’ story arc, which you can check out over at IGN Movies

…Following a seemingly endless number of set-backs and delays, Hugh Jackman’s return as the adamantium-clawed Logan inches ever closer, with Jackman announcing at CineEurope that filming will begin on the James Mangold-directed solo movie in “about six weeks.” The Wolverine is due for release on July 26th, 2013, and we should expect to hear plenty on the casting front in the coming weeks…

…A rumour swept across the internet this week that director David Slade was looking to reunite with 30 Days of Night star Josh Hartnett for Fox’s proposed Daredevil reboot. It all stemmed from a tweet from Slade stating “you and me both” in response to a follower who suggested Hartnett should be given a role in a Marvel movie. However, Slade has since taken to Twitter again to clarify his comments, stating that the actor “is not being discussed or anyone else for DD… we are not at casting stage…”

…According to reports from the Chinese media, Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs) has turned down the opportunity to line up as an ally of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in the cast of Iron Man 3, with Chen Daoming (Hero) and Wu Xiubo (Please Forgive Me) said to be under consideration as his replacement. Iron Man 3 is currently filming in Wilmington, North Carolina under director Shane Black, with a cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Ashley Hamilton and James Badge Dale…

…Between Ultimate Spider-Man and the upcoming Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Avengers Assemble, Marvel Animation have plenty of projects on their slate but it looks as though we can add another to that list, with Disney Channels Worldwide president Gary Marsh letting slip to THR that there have been discussions about a new Iron Man series joining Disney XD’s Marvel Universe programming block. If so, then a third season of Nicktoons’ Iron Man: Armored Adventures looks highly unlikely…

…We already know there’ll be a strong superhero presence at the San Diego Comic Con next month with Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Arrow, and now Cartoon Network has announced details of the ‘DC Nation’ panel, which will include exclusive content from Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice, along with sneak-peeks at the upcoming animated shows Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go!. It’s also thought that WB will premiere their next direct-to-video animated feature Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, as well as hosting a panel dedicated to the DC Comics Premiere Movie line…

…And finally, a few weeks back we heard that Barry Sonnenfeld was in discussions about a DC Comics adaptation for Warner Bros. and it’s now been revealed via Vulture that the Men in Black III director is attached to the little-known DC title The Metal Men. According to the article, “The Metal Men centers on an artificial-intelligence expert named William Magnus who creates six cyborgs, each made from a distinct chemical element with talents reflecting their places in the periodic table: Gold, their leader, was almost infinitely stretchable; Iron, the strongman; Lead, the simpleton protector; Mercury, the capricious risk-taker who could melt into the tiniest crevices; Platinum, a female cyborg who could flatten herself but who couldn’t believe she wasn’t a real woman.”

Holy Franchise, Batman! – Available now via Amazon. Hands down this is by far the most comprehensive guide to Batman on screen available” – Mark Cassidy, ComicBookMovie.com.

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Gary Collinson

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