The Week in Spandex – The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, The Wolverine, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Arrow, Booster Gold, Powers and more

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

Having recorded a solid $160m opening weekend in North America, Christopher Nolan’s Batman swansong The Dark Knight Rises crossed the $225m mark on Thursday and is currently the fourth highest-grossing domestic release of 2012 behind Marvel’s The Avengers ($615m), The Hunger Games ($405m) and The Amazing Spider-Man ($235m). Although it’s already overtaken Batman & Robin, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman Begins (and has Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman in its sights for this weekend), The Dark Knight Rises is currently lagging behind its predecessor The Dark Knight, which had amassed $238m in its first seven days of release…

…Update – As of Sunday, The Dark Knight Rises has pulled in around $537m worldwide, meaning that the blockbuster sequel looks on course to become only the thirteenth movie to reach the magical $1 billion mark…

…With the curtain falling on Nolan’s epic ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, the director has written a touching farewell letter to Batman, which appeared in the foreword to the new book The Art and Making of The ‘Dark Knight’ Trilogy [read it here], as well as offering up some advice for his successor during a podcast interview with Empire: “When I first met with Paul Levitz of DC Comics prior to Batman Begins, he explained to me clearly that Batman, of all superheroes, has thrived on reinterpretation and almost is strengthened by it. And I’m talking about over the years in the comic books but also in the movies. So when the time is right, whenever someone does whatever the next iteration of the character is, they simply need to be true to whatever it is they want to see, to what they believe in, not worry too much about what everyone else is telling them it should be…”…

…In the run-up to the release of The Dark Knight Rises there was speculation that Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle could be in line for a solo Catwoman movie, and the actress addressed the rumours earlier this week, stating that she’d be interested, but “only if it’s with the right people”, i.e. Nolan and company. I guess we can chalk that one of then…
…Warner Bros. Animation has decided to review the content of its upcoming CG-animated series Beware the Batman in the wake of last week’s tragic cinema shooting in Aurora, Colorado. According to Variety, “an unspecified number of alterations were made to some designs and situations on the series to minimize the amount of weapon imagery deemed too realistic. The review process, which isn’t expected to be cheap, will be as detailed as changing the shape of gun barrels from round to square for the purpose of rendering the weapons in a more stylized manner reminiscent of sci-fi fare…”
…After debuting in cinemas alongside The Dark Knight Rises, the teaser trailer(s) for Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot Man of Steel were released online last weekend. If you’ve not seen them yet, you can check them out here, and if you’re keen to know what we made of the first look, be sure to read the thoughts of Martin Deer, as well the latest Flickering Myth Reaction
…For a while, it seemed we’d never get here, but if you had any lingering doubts that The Wolverine is finally about to become a reality, be sure to head on over to IF.com, where you can check out a brief selection of set photos that were taken during a press conference Down Under this past week. Filming on the James Mangold-directed X-Men spin-off is set to commence next month, with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee (Total Recall), Brian Tee (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai), Hal Yamanouchi (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) and Svetlana Khodchenkova (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), along with newcomers Rila Fukushima and Tao Okamoto…
…According to Deadline, Disney and Marvel Studios could be looking to capitalise on the theatrical success of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes by producing an ‘Avengers-themed’ live-action TV series for ABC Television: “I hear that the connection to the Avengers franchise would be light as the project is expected to be set in the universe and feature some of its themes and feel, but may not include any characters from Joss Whedon’s blockbuster. I hear the project is in a nascent stage, described as ‘a kernel of an idea,’ with a number of scenarios being explored, including a high-concept cop show.” So in other words, Marvel are looking to develop a TV show that has nothing to do with The Avengers apart from the fact that it could be set in the Cinematic Universe, which we’ve already known for some time now anyway (AKA Jessica Jones, The Punisher, The Hulk et al)…
…Marvel’s TV projects may be up in the air a little at the moment but they do of course have a clear plan for Phase Two of the Cinematic Universe and this past week has delivered some new spy photos from the set of Iron Man 3 [see here, here and here], as well as a possible scene description from the upcoming Thor: The Dark World, and some comments on Captain America: The Winter Soldier from co-director Anthony Russo…
…Ahead of its arrival on The CW in October, Warner Bros. has released a 17 minute video feature for Arrow, which includes footage of the Comic-Con panel attended by stars Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) and Katie Cassidy (Dinah Laurel Lance), director David Nutter (Game of Thrones), and executive producers Andrew Kreisberg (Fringe) and Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern). Meanwhile, a network rebranding video has given us a new shot of Amell’s Green Arrow, and while previous publicity material has indicated otherwise, it does seem that he’ll be adopting an old-school domino mask disguise at some point in the series. Unless he’s just overdone it a bit with the green guyliner…
Arrow producer Andrew Kreisberg is also busy developing another DC Comics property for the small screen in Booster Gold, and Kreisberg has provided KSiteTV with a brief update on the status of Syfy’s proposed series: “I’m actually turning that [script] in next month… I got to meet Dan Jurgens last night, who created the character and the comic book, who I had never met before. So I spent a lot of time explaining to him what a fan I was, so he didn’t think I was some random gun for hire who was going to ruin his baby…”
…One small screen project that appeared to be dead and buried was FX’s adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers, with the network rejecting a pilot late last year that featured the likes of Jason Patric (The Lost Boys), Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher), Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand), Charles S. Dutton (Alien 3) and Titus Welliver (Lost). At the time, FX said it would shoot a new pilot with an entirely different cast, and while we’ve heard very little since, Variety has reported that FX isn’t quite ready to write the project off just yet…
…Marvel has debuted a new animated webseries entitled All-Winners Squad, which was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month and centres on a team of previously overlooked characters and cult favourites including Squirrel Girl, Hypno-Hustler, Frog-Man, Unicorn and Howard the Duck. Take a look at the pilot episode here
…And finally, Robin, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy will be making their animated return next year when Teen Titans Go! joins Cartoon Network’s DC Nation programming block, and executive producers Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Aaron Horvath (Mad) have warned fans of the original show to expect an entirely different take on the young team of heroes [via SpinOff Online]: “This series takes those five characters — we’re going to have the same voice actors and same sort of characterization as the original Teen Titans — and we’re putting them in entirely new situations, primarily comedic situations… Robin is made the fool in this series. In the last series, Robin was perfect and infallible. Now, we’ve taken him in the other direction. He never thinks he’s wrong, but he’s often wrong… We’re terrified of what the hardcore fanbase is going to think. There’s no continuity. Those were the marching orders. This is not that series.”
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.
Holy Franchise, Batman! makes the bold claim of being ‘the Caped Crusader fan’s bible’, and lives up to its assertion” – Rob Smedley, CultBox.co.uk.

Around the Internet…

  • helen

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