The Week in Spandex – The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fantastic Four and more

Our weekly round up of the latest news stories from the world of screen superheroes, including The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, Justice League, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, The Avengers 2, S.H.I.E.L.D., Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fantastic Four, The Punisher, Wonder Woman, Superboy and more…

And so, with The Dark Knight Rises hitting Blu-ray and DVD this past week, the curtain has fallen on 2012′s superhero offerings and attention now shifts towards 2013 and beyond; however, before we say goodbye to the Dark Knight trilogy, Batman fans will want to check out an in-depth two-part interview with director Christopher Nolan over at The Playlist [see here and here], while Michael Caine spoke to The Huffington Post about working with Nolan and The Dark Knight Rises’ chances of Oscar glory, and Flickering Myth’s own Trevor Hogg caught up with film editor Lee Smith to discuss his work on the acclaimed trilogy…

…Speaking to Access Hollywood, Anne Hathaway addressed the possibility of reprising the role of Selina Kyle for a potential Catwoman spin-off: “I would love it. I actually, it’s so embarrassing, I was at a press Q & A thing the other night for a screening of The Dark Knight, and the moderator asked me, ‘So what was it like to say goodbye to the character?’ And I burst into tears, because I miss her. It just makes me cry. I miss her. I love Selena so much and I love her presence in my life and getting to… I’m crying again… So assuming there was enough Kleenex in the world, I would love to do a spin-off.” So, if a Catwoman spin-off does become a reality, expect a Kleenex shortage…

…Of course, Christopher Nolan has confirmed on several occasions that he’s absolutely, positively done with all things Batman, but the director did take a moment this past week to discuss his next foray into the world of comic book movies, with Nolan handling producing duties on next year’s Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man of Steel: “I wouldn’t want people to think we’re doing for Superman what we did for Batman… [Man of Steel] is very much Zack’s film and I think people are going to love what he’s done. I think it’s really remarkable to take on that character. Superman is a completely different character than Batman. So you can’t in anyway use the same template. But David Goyer had this, I thought, brilliant way to make Superman relatable and relevant for his audience. Zack has built on that and I think it’s incredible what he’s putting together. He’s got a lot of finishing to do on that. Superman is the biggest comic book character of them all and he needs the biggest possible movie version which is what Zack’s doing. It’s really something…”

…One site that doesn’t appear to see anything special in Man of Steel is Yahoo! Movies, who named the film as one of “The Most Disappointing Movies of 2012″ alongside the likes of Prometheus, Cloud Atlas, John Carter, Battleship, Total Recall, Red Dawn, The Watch, Rock of Ages and The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure. Notwithstanding the fact that Man of Steel is still some six months away from release, the sole source of Yahoo’s frustration seemed to be the fact that Superman no longer wears his red underpants, although strangely the author has since updated the post to state that his disappointment stems from the fact that the film was pushed back from its original December release [see his original comments here]. Meanwhile, those of us without the powers of precognition will be able to get a glimpse of Superman in action this coming week when a new trailer debuts alongside The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and to whet our appetites Warner Bros. has also release a new poster for the hotly-anticipated reboot showing a handcuffed Henry Cavill flanked by soldiers…

…Before we move on from Warner’s DC properties, a rumour has emerged this week suggesting that the studio’s proposed Justice League feature will see Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and company going head-to-head with none other than the supreme ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid…

…Shifting to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and artist Olly Moss has given fans a special sneak peek at the cast and crew poster he’s developing for the Alan Taylor-directed Thor: The Dark World, while Marvel also debuted the first piece of promotional art from the forthcoming sequel earlier this week during the ‘Professional Cinema Days in Sorrento’ convention in Italy. Meanwhile, an alleged description of some raw footage shown at the convention has also arrived online via CBM:

…In the preview, a voice-over is heard with the oath of the God of Thunder as the new supreme ruler. We see a clash between Thor and the enemy army, in a world that is neither Asgard let alone the Earth. We see Chris Hemsworth wielding his hammer and Tom Hiddleston as Loki first wounded without a helmet, with long, loose hair and then imprisoned; his anger increasingly desperate and irrational. Then there’s a scene later in which he is free again, but still furious. Against the backdrop of a forest, in the middle of a clearing, among the dust, we in fact face off anthropomorphic creatures, but also a big “gorilla” krosan tusker: a rather alien fauna varies so, although not extreme in size (there are also some envoys/ambassadors of a people mysterious, with oval face and black eyes, elongated and sunken) The rest of the images show glimpses of Asgard, with Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Natalie Portman in clothes that seem more like a princess; an Asgardian princess. In between, there are images of an epic battle on horseback, who seems to have left an epic cloak-and-dagger. The threat to the Asgardians is certainly a new alien race pale (now identified as the dark elves). A black spaceship shaped irregularly looks like a serious threat to Asgard. More sequences show Natalie Portman then alongside Thor lying on the ground, probably overwhelmed in a clash…”

…In other bits and pieces from the MCU, director Shane Black and star Don Cheadle (War Machine) took part in an interview with Wired, during which they discussed the new direction for Marvel’s first Phase Two offering Iron Man 3, while some snippets of new footage from the forthcoming sequel also appeared online courtesy of a Japanese trailer; Entertainment Weekly revealed that Joss Whedon has submitted an outline for The Avengers 2 to the studio, as well as confirming that should the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV pilot receive a full series order, Whedon will remain involved as executive producer while Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen (Dollhouse) and Jeffrey Bell (Angel) will serve as lead showrunners; and actor Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) told MTV that he’s set to audition for Guardians of the Galaxy this coming week, with Pace said to be up against Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire), James Marsden (X-Men), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom) and Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas) for the role of the Guardians’ leader Star-Lord…

…As The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gears up for filming early next year, casting on the Sony sequel continues to pick up pace, with Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) announced as having secured the role of Harry Osborn ahead of a shortlist that was said to include Douglas Booth (Noah), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), Brady Corbet (Melancholia), Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures), Boyd Holbrook (Hatfields & McCoys) and Eddie Redmayne. Martin Sheen has also revealed that he’ll be back as Uncle Ben (in flashback form, obviously), while Jamie Foxx has finally been confirmed as Electro, with the Django Unchained star taking a moment to speak to ET about his excitement for the upcoming role: “I met with the director, Mark Webb, I met with Andrew Garfield, and we talked. … I think Electro will be an exciting character to play because he’s a … genius electrician-type person, and he gets the short end of the stick from the whole world, and the next thing you know he turns it on.” The Amazing Spider-Man 2 sees Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone back as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, with Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) also set to appear as Mary Jane Watson…

…While the cast of Sony’s Spider-Man sequel seems to be coming together nicely, it seems that Bryan Singer may have jumped the gun a little with his recent casting announcements on Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen both stating that they’re yet to officially sign on to the forthcoming sequel. However, Hugh Jackman does appear to be keen for a quick return to the X-Men universe after next year’s solo sequel The Wolverine, telling MTV that he’s already held talks with Bryan Singer about reprising his signature role once more, while MovieWeb has reported that Fox are also keen on closing deals with James Marsden (Cyclops) and Halle Berry (Storm)…

…With both The Wolverine and X-Men: Days of Future Past set to hit cinemas in the next two years, 20th Century Fox has now officially added director Josh Trank’s (Chronicle) reboot of Fantastic Four to its upcoming schedule, announcing a March 6th, 2015 release date for the latest incarnation of Marvel’s First Family…

…After his fan-pleasing return as Frank Castle earlier this year in the unofficial short film Dirty Laundry [which you can watch here], Thomas Jane has spoken about whether he’s likely to reprise the role of The Punisher again in the future, be it officially or unofficially: “Well as far as The Punisher goes I kinda said what I wanted to say with the short film and it was the version of Frank Castle that I always wanted to see and it was very gratifying to finally put it out there. Phil Joanou — a great director — and Chad St. John — a fantastic writer — and we just kind of got a dream team of guys to put that together and I would love to see the three of us do a Punisher film, but I don’t know if that would ever happen. I don’t know, again it’s like the studio seems sorta bent on making a two hundred million dollar version of a comic book movie. So yeah, I think the fans are kind of missing out…”

…If The Dark Knight Rises isn’t enough to satisfy your DC Comics home entertainment cravings this Christmas, Warner Bros. has announced the DVD release of the 1974 TV pilot of Wonder Woman featuring Cathy Lee Crosby as the Amazon Princess, which will arrive on December 11th alongside another DC TV offering, Superboy: The Complete Second Season, starring Gerard Christopher as the Boy of Steel…

…And finally, Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) took part in an interview with Collider, where he was asked if he harbored any ambitions to tackle a superhero movie: “I suppose I’ve always felt like I’ve had a kind of epic filmmaker hidden within me trying to get out, and John Adams was my first opportunity to sort of paint a world on a much bigger canvas which I felt very grateful for, but in the end there is something in a comic book drama that you get to build a world from the ground up and follow a vision through physically, which I think is exciting. I don’t know, we’ll have to see.”

Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen – Available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Gary Collinson


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