You've heard the rumblings of rumors, but now you know it for a fact -- Marvel movie mogul Avi Arad told MTV that you can guarantee two names will be in the credits for the Jon Favreau-directed adaptation: Oscar-winner Hillary Swank ... and hitman/Jedi/all-around fan favorite Samuel L. Jackson. No information was given about what roles the actors will play, but astute fans already have a guess as to what Jackson will be doing.
From the futurist to the past -- according to the Hollywood Reporter "Warner Bros. Pictures is saddling up to bring DC Comics' Western anti-hero ... to the big screen, with filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor on board to adapt. Andrew Lazar is producing via his Mad Chance Prods., as is Akiva Goldsman ... The filmmakers are not making a straight-ahead Western but plan to develop the character with some of the supernatural overtones in the hopes of creating a franchise." Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Mark Seddon for being the first to point that out.
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES
Back to the future? All right -- World's Finest has a high resolution scan of an image from TV Guide showing a "Superboy-clone" that will appear in episodes for this season.
MTV also caught up with actress Angelina Jolie who talked a little bit about her role in the Timur Bekmambetov-helmed project. "I am an assassin," Jolie said. "I guess the idea behind the fraternity is if you knew, if you knew this guy was going to be Hitler, do you take him out today? Or do you wait? So itÕs assassinating those who would later become the mass murderers of the world or the people."
An interesting tidbit slipped out in an Australian MSN article focusing on Avi Arad -- "Arad would not name the films he planned to shoot in Australia, but he did reveal he was attempting to hire an Australian director for one of the movies. He declined to say the director's name, but there has been speculation Australian director Alex Proyas was being wooed to direct the film adaptation of another Arad project, 'Silver Surfer.'"
More photos of Will Smith in character as the troubled super hero have popped up on Pop Sugar. No alcohol in evidence this time.
Y: THE LAST MAN
An article in Variety notes that New Line has set D.J. Caruso to direct and Carl Ellsworth to write the comic book adaptation based on Brian K. Vaughan's Vertigo title for producers Chris Bender, JC Spink, Mason Novick and David Goyer. The project reteams Caruso and Ellsworth following their work for Paramount/DreamWorks on "Disturbia." Thanks again to Mark Seddon for noting that before the Comic Reel woke up.
Poking around random domain names, XMenFilms.net noticed something interesting: "Type in wolverineorigins.com or magnetoorigins.com and you'll get directed to 20th Century Fox's official website! We've found that the studio registered these domain names in June of this year, so we might be looking at the preliminary names for the spin-offs of Wolverine and Magneto!"
Kryptonsite has also updated their spoilers page with the title of the new season's fourth episode.
Finally, actress Allison Mack made a note on her official blog that she'll be directing the twentieth episode this season.
We got an email from Ryan Gibson Stewart pointing out two fascinating links. First a set of spoilers have been compiled on the Heroes Wiki, including some that haven't been seen here. Second, they found a link at Variety stating that Hector Luis Bustamante has signed on for a guest role.
Supervising producer Alan Burnett got the interview treatment at World's Finest where he talked about what you'll see in season five. "It's the season of the super team-ups," Burnett said. "Almost all the League characters Batman met in the Watchtower last season come back, plus the big blue guy who hasn't been seen yet ... We've made Superman a tad bit less friendly -- more the inscrutable alien, especially with Batman. In our story Batman's already joined the League. Superman doesn't give a flying fig about it. We've also gone back to Clark as the lovable klutz. Very Christopher Reeve. That's my favorite Clark. Superman wants to be part of humanity so bad, he'll even act the fool. That's probably how he sees us: a bunch of idiots. You know, as tragic as the first act is in the Superman story -- Krypton blowing up and all that -- the second act is all comedy."
World's Finest also interviewed screenwriter Duane Capizzi about whacking Big Blue. "Bruce [Timm] and I knew from the get-go that we couldn't get the content of the three phone-book sized tomes into one 78-minute script," Capizzi said. "Remember, the story was originally serialized over multiple issues with like a dozen writers and artists, which naturally makes the collected work quite sprawling in its scope. Hard choices had to be made along the way, but the initial issue was philosophical: do we make a 'museum piece' panel by panel replica of the book? Or do we go with the spirit not the letter, and make the best movie we can? Well it's no secret that we chose the latter -- where's the fun if you already know what happens? Sure, Superman dies, the world grieves, he returns -- we've honored the symphonic structure of the original, and IMO provided all of the original's tragic, emotional, and triumphant heft. But Bruce and I felt that along the way, the movie had to mess with audience expectations to keep things interesting (not to mention make it self-contained). There were also things that we felt we needed to tweak with benefit of hindsight. The first surprise (or point of outrage, depending on one's POV) comes in the opening frames of the film, when we meet Lex Luthor -- the classic bald-headed Luthor. The original storyline was obviously tied to current continuity in many ways; try to explain Luthor is a red-haired clone-son who's dating a synthetic Supergirl and is an occasional ally to the Man of Steel in a 'stand-alone' movie! Furthermore, upon re-reading the original, it seemed a missed opportunity that arguably the greatest Superman saga of all time didn't involve Superman's greatest nemesis."
LET'S DO LUNCH
Due to a last-minute call from the makers of CBR, The Comic Reel will be at SDCC after all. There'll be a daily check of the email address and the MySpace page for data in addition to all the regular reporting that will come out of the 'con.
Meanwhile, we can't do any of this without you. The rumors, the scoops, the set photos -- they're all fueled by passionate fans emailing in the goods. The ones who ask, "What do you mean your sister's dating somebody who works for Miles Millar?" The ones who know the code names of movie projects and scour city permit filings for them. The devoted, the involved. Fans, just like you. Whatever you know, we wanna know, and whether you want your name shouted to the web's rafters or kept closer than a classified report, we've got you covered like a comforter. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is your humble scribe Hannibal Tabu saying thank you for your time and indulgence, and "enough talk -- let's go make with the 'biff' and the 'pow' already."