THE DARK KNIGHT
It's been a busy weekend in Gotham City. First of all, lots of people are chatting up the new Joker photos from the cover of Wizard Magazine.
The Today Show's Al Roker visited the set and there's a video of it posted on MSN.
Actor Christian Bale told In The News how confident he is about the sequel. "After I had read Frank Miller's 'Batman: Year One' and various other graphic novels, I looked at those films and said, 'Well, how come it's always been that Batman's the most boring character?'" Bale asked. "I've never found him to be intriguing at all. Whereas these graphic novels depicted him as really being by far the most fascinating character. So I feel like we gained that back with 'Batman Begins.' Now we've made him a character of substance, I have no problem with him competing with someone else. And that's going to make better entertainment and a better movie, which is great. I don't mind if everybody tries to chew up the scenery!"
Meanwhile, actor Michael Caine is quoted at Digital Spy what he thought about Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker. "Now, we have had Jack Nicholson, who is one of the greatest Jokers and one of the greatest characters in this kind of movie," Caine said. I have worked with Jack and I know him really well. You do not really want to follow Jack into anything. Unless it's a nightclub ... Heath Ledger stunned me. Jack played The Joker as sort of a benign nasty clown -- like a wicked uncle. Heath plays him like an absolutely maniacal murderous psychopath. You have never seen anything like it in your life. He is very, very scary. I turn up every month or so and do a couple of bits then go back to London. I had to do this bit where Batman and I watch a video which The Joker sends to threaten us. So I'd never seen him, and then he came on the television in the first rehearsal and I completely forgot my lines. I flipped, because it was so stunning, it was quite amazing. Wait until you see it, it's incredible."
Comingsoon.net reports that a teaser trailer is on the way. "In just two weeks, on December 14, Warner Bros. will release the teaser trailer for 'Batman Begins' sequel 'The Dark Knight' in standard theaters with 'I Am Legend.' As was previously announced, the studio will be showing the 7-minute opening scene of 'Dark Knight' before the screenings of 'Legend' in IMAX."
Batman-On-Film has updates on the aggressive viral marketing campaign, including a transcript of a recorded phone message that participants are receiving, as well as more secrets of hidden URLs.
HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY
First Liz, then Abe, and now the official website has been updated with a new theatre lobby display showing Big Red himself.
GHOST RIDER 2
Despite lackluster box office and critical receptions, actor Nicolas Cage was quoted at Superhero Hype talking about his enthusiasm to return to the character. "All they have to do is call, and I would love to see that happen. That would be fun," Cage said.
Speaking of sequels that the studio's not looking for, director Francis Lawrence told Shock Till You Drop that he'd love to bring Keanu back for some more magic. "I like origin stories, that would be cool," Lawrence said. "What worked for me is the film came from the 'Dangerous Habits' storyline -- he had cancer and he was dying. To me that was the core of the story. It's why the movie works for me, because the story couldn't be more personal. People have thrown concepts around [for a sequel] and I go 'Why does he give a f**k?' In the first film he's trying to save his own skin. Everything else, you can come up with these stories where he goes to different lands and fight the bad guys or witch doctors, but I think it all falls flat. Until someone comes up with a great idea, whether it's earlier [in his life] or later, we'll just have to see."
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
CBR News has an article on the Silver Age-influenced new episode "Message In A Bottle."
An article in Film Music Weekly (a big PDF file) reports that Universal Pictures has hired composer Danny Elfman to score the Timur Bekmambetov-helmed comic book adaptation.
Maxim has an interesting compare and contrast piece showing production stills from the film compared to the original Dave Gibbons artwork.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: NEW FRONTIER
An official website has been launched for the Darwyn Cooke vision-turned-animated feature, which will be released on DVD February 26th.
From animated to big screen, Variety is reporting that the project's costume designer Marit Allen died of a brain aneurism on November 26th.
A new trailer for the December 13th episode "Gemini" is now on YouTube ...
WGA STRIKE WATCH: DAY TWENTY-NINE
With last week's negotiations stalemated and the AMPTP's proposal rejected (United Hollywood analyzed exactly why), the claws are starting to come out. Hollywood Today talks about how the studios are trying to swift boat the WGA's chief negotiator with a negative publicity campaign.
The late night scene is getting more complicated, as Variety talks about Jay Leno's attempts to ease the financial burdens of his staff out of his own pocket, despite not owning his show as Letterman does (and some have accused Leno of cheaping out).
How does this affect your favorite actors? Sylar favorite Zachary Quinto told The Los Angeles Times about his struggle. "It's the crew of our show I think about the most -- the people who work the hardest, in terms of their physical contribution and the hours they spend at work. It's so unfortunate how far-reaching the ramifications of this are," Quinto said. "The unfortunate need for the sacrifice of individuals to benefit for the group is uncomfortable and painful. The crew doesn't benefit from the outcome of the negotiations. That's a difficult thing for me. Compounding it is I ended on 'Heroes' on Friday and started on 'Star Trek' on Monday. To be working through this and to be required to work is also really strange. It's a combination of feeling really fortunate and oddly awkward and guilty and weird."
The networks aren't taking the strike lying down, as is reported in this New York Times article: "NBC has made an ambitious deal, apparently the first of its kind, to buy a two-hour -- or perhaps even three-hour -- block of prime-time programming from outside producers, including Thom Beers, the creator of adventure documentary series like 'Deadliest Catch' and 'Ice Road Truckers.' Under the plan, NBC has agreed to broadcast at least two new hours produced by Mr. Beers back to back on a single night, with many more hours possible. The terms guarantee Mr. Beers and his partners 30 hours of programs on NBC -- three separate 10-episode series." This would be cheaper than both scripted and reality programming. Crafty.
Finally, we received an email from "R. Pincombe" who wrote, "I'm afraid it's innacurate [sic] to say that Canadian are striking in solidarity with the WGA. We held our troubled negotiations over many of these same issues earlier this year (We voted to strike also but negotiations resumed) and now have a signed agreement in place with CANADIAN producers and we must honour [sic] that. However, we will NOT work on any US based shows, some of which are produced here or have Canadian ties. We are also demonstrating at various locales in solidarity. We have also united with the writer's guilds and unions of other countries to pledge our support and attempt to raise awareness of the issues. Other ways to help the WGA are being discussed." So there you have it.
SANDY, CAN WE ROLL THAT CLIP?
We can't do 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 [tagline redacted until the WGA strike is resolved].