Presenting our weekly round-up of the big news stories from the world of movie superheroes…
After a month of dominating the superhero headlines, The Dark Knight Rises takes a bit of a back seat this week, allowing Marvel Studios to take the spotlight with the release of two new character banners depicting all the main players from Joss Whedon’s epic superhero team-up, The Avengers. As you can see to your right, Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner), Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) are all present and accounted for. You can check out high resolution versions of the two banners over at YahooMovies, who also caught up with Whedon for a detailed interview that covers pretty much every aspect of the film (well, except the villains).
In other Marvel-themed news, Thor director Kenneth Branagh explained his reasons for leaving the upcoming sequel in a chat with Moviefone, putting the decision down to timing and giving the thumbs up to his successor on Thor 2, Patty Jenkins. David Hayter (X-Men, Watchmen) also discussed his aborted Black Widow screenplay from 2004 – stating that the decision to cancel the project was due to an over saturation of female ‘vigilante’ movies such as Tomb Raider, Kill Bill, Ultraviolet, Aeon Flux and BloodRayne – while Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg took part in a couple of interviews where she discussed the upcoming small screen Alias adaptation, AKA Jessica Jones; in addition to touching upon the inclusion of Luke Cage with io9, she also had a few words for Movieline about the challenges of bringing a female superhero to the screen in the wake of failed efforts such as the recent Wonder Woman pilot and 2004’s Birds of Prey.
With filming wrapping on The Dark Knight Rises after a six month shoot that was plagued with spy photos, set videos, and just about every leak imaginable, Empire have moved to fill the void with their latest cover reveal, where fans can vote to see a brand new image of Batman (Christian Bale) or Bane (Tom Hardy). Quite why Batman appears to be holding a giant bug zapper remains a mystery. As the hugely anticipated moves into post-production, we should probably expect to see more official images making their way online, and it’ll be interesting to see how they compare to the mountain of unofficial shots that are already out there. Of course we also have the second trailer and six-minute prologue sequence to look forward too in December, while you can bet your bottom dollar that the steady stream of plot rumours will remain a regular fixture over the coming months. The latestn – which if true, means you should turn away now – provides some alleged details on Bane’s doomsday device, claiming that the weapon does go off at some point and destroys a large section of the city. There’s also some bits and pieces on Miranda Tate (Marion Cottilard), John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) – see for yourself here.
Moving on to Warner Bros.’ other major superhero property and although filming is well underway on Man of Steel, Julian Richings has become the latest addition to the cast of Zack Snyder’s reboot, where he joins the likes of Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne. The actor, whose credits include Cube, Shoot ‘Em Up, X-Men: The Last Stand and Supernatural, told InnerSpace that he has filmed scenes alongside Russell Crowe (Jor-El) and Michael Shannon (Zod) in front of a giant green screen, which obviously takes place on Krypton. Earlier in the week it was also rumoured that Warner Bros. were already looking towards Superman’s next adventure and had produced a shortlist of screenwriters to replace Man of Steel scribe David S. Goyer, with potential candidates said to include Steve Kloves (Harry Potter, Akira, The Amazing Spider-Man), Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans, Pacific Rim) and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark). Not so according to Beacham, who denied all knowledge via Twitter, which obviously casts doubts over the entire report.
After the premiere of Green Lantern: The Animated Series on Cartoon Network in the States last week, the accompanying teaser for DC Comics’ upcoming DC Nation programming block has now made its way online and gives us a tantalising insight into what’s in store for 2012. The trailer features clips from Green Lantern and Young Justice, along with upcoming shows and shorts such as Plastic Man, Teen Titans (chibi-style), Super Best Friends Forever, Gotham City Impostors, Lego Batman and Aardman Animations’ claymation take on the Caped Crusader (oh, and there’s also some brief live-action Blue Beetle in there too). The programming block is set to launch next year and will eventually play home to Batman Beyond producer Glen Murakami’s latest project, the CG-animated Beware the Batman.
Michael Fassbender spoke to MTV Splash Page about the sure-to-be-announced-sooner-or-later sequel to X-Men: First Class, passing on his thoughts about what he’d like to see in the next installment in the X-Men prequel series: “I’m very interested to see where we pick up with Charles Xavier [James McAvoy], to be honest. In the film we just did, First Class, we got to see how Magneto becomes Magneto, how he leaves Erik behind and takes on the persona of Magneto. We’ve yet to see how Charles develops into Professor X. I think that’s going to be interesting to take a look at.” McAvoy seems to agree, telling io9 that Xavier “can’t just become the guy that we saw in the first three movies” and updating the current status of the project: “[Matthew Vaughn] has come up with a particularly interesting idea, last time I spoke with him. So he’s pitching that to Fox, and they’ve basically just got to write the script.”
DVD Giveaway – The Punisher (2004)
Holy Franchise, Batman! – Coming 2012.