The Dark Knight, TMNT, Heroes, Iron Man: August 1st Comic Reel Wrap


That's right -- the sequel to "Batman Begins" now has a title, as well as an official decision on who's bringing the laughs as the Joker. You haven't heard who it is yet? Better get to clickin' because we've got that news right here at CBR.


Speaking of stuff we have right here at CBR, check out two one-on-one interviews, with producer Thomas Gray and director Kevin Monroe.

While we're on the subject the movie's online game has been launched.


Remember when a new show comes on, and you love it, and you get all invested in it? Like "Arrested Development" or "Sports Night" or "Profit" or "Action" or "Wonderfalls" or what have you? Then it gets cancelled, and nothing gets resolved? Don't you hate that? Well, NBC promises it won't do that to you with their new metahuman serial drama, or so they say in quotes over at Sci Fi Wire. "In the case of the fish show ['Surface'], there were a lot of people that did want it to continue, but that did have closure," NBC president Kevin Reilly said. ""We did air a final episode. We did not yank that prematurely. And in the case of Heist, although I thought it was very promising, it didn't take, and we wrote personal letters to the two viewers that were watching. So they were covered. And, by the way, I get the e-mails, OK? I wake up in the morning and I get, 'Dear Moron.' We know that takes a toll, but the nature of television is when you're taking risks, you hope you take a risk. You may end up with 'Heist,' or you may end up with 'Lost' or 'My Name Is Earl.' So I'd rather risk the upside ... any show that gets canceled has had people who are upset or people who are angry who have invested in it. That's just the nature of what we do."

Wait, that's no commitment!


Actor-turned-director Jon Favreau is keeping up the posts at his MySpace group (and only the Comic Reel cares enough to dig for the actual link, for your enjoyment). Favreau kiboshes the idea of Tom Cruise being involved, states that Stark's fortune is largely inherited and that Tony Stark is the dominant personality, not the suited persona. When asked about placing Stark's origins in Afghanistan, he wrote, "You make a very good point and one that we've been wrestling with. Is it better to keep the specifics of geography a bit ambiguous in order to afford us more leeway in the storytelling? I think a balance needs to be struck between reality and comic book fantasy. The books were always non-specific while alluding to definitive aspects of our collective cultural subconscious. Stark was visiting a 'non-specific Asian/American conflict' in the mid-sixties. This might be the way to go for the movie as well."

When asked about the Mandarin, Favreau wrote, "I'm glad that I set up this group for no reason other than to answer questions like these.

We live in a different society than when the Mandarin was originally conceived. We in no way want to perpetuate any ridiculous stereotypes. The aspect of the Mandarin that is appealing to us is his mysterious and formidable nature. He is the most powerful and definitive of the Iron Man villains. He also allows us to weave in other fan pleasing 'personalities' as he is a mastermind and not simply a brutish thug. The Mandarin presents the best opportunity to write a complex and colorful character. It has always been my feeling that the villain is the most fun character to play, write for, and watch. If we create a great character, a great actor will hopefully follow. These are our goals.

I happen to think that any portrayal of this villain similar to the early books would be comical at best and offensive at worst. Neither result is what we are going for. I hope to update the paradigm and create a character who is a villain because of what he does, not where he's from or what he looks like."

While we're looking at things in a Stark manner, Comics Continuum snagged some screen captures from the first look at the Iron Man animated direct-to-DVD feature.


Fangoria has an update on the sequel's development. "'AVP's Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis of Amalgamated Dynamics, veterans of the first 'AVP' and all the previous 'ALIEN' sequels, will encore on the creature FX. The Shane Salerno script places the battling extraterrestrials on U.S. soil (the Midwest)." Crap, the Comic Reel is on tour in the Midwest ... we gotta get outta here ... anyway the film is set to be released December 21, 2007.


Now Playing magazine has some more words from actor Doug Jones (he and Ron Perlman are manna from the gods for reporters) talking about what to expect for Abe Sapien in the sequel. "Abe's going to have much more of a storyline than he did in the first one, and I think the buddy part of the relationship between he and Hellboy is going to be played up more, which is what I love the most about the [first] film," said Jones. "So I think we have a lot to look forward to." However, Jones did admit he hasn't been allowed to see the script yet.


Sequel city around here, huh? Anyway, the rumor at Moviehole is " that 'George of the Jungle 2' star Christopher Showerman may have met with Twentieth Century Fox about a possible role in 'The Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer.' Rumor has it that the actor, soon to be seen in Lionsgate's 'Sea of Fear,' is reading for the role of 'Victor Von Doom,' suggesting that although Julian McMahon may be returning to voice the character -- who will now be totally masked behind a mask [sic] -- it may be someone else filling the suit."

Meanwhile, F4 Movies has producer Ralph Winter claiming that shooting will start August 28th. "We are still finalizing our dates as we speak," Winter said, "but we will start very close to August 28, within a few days. Our schedule is the same length as the first movie, finishing sometime in mid-December."


Our pals at Newsarama caught up with director Bryan Singer, who blamed marketing on the less-than-awe-inspiring box office performance of the film. "YouÕve got a dense summer and youÕre resurrecting a character. ThereÕs a different kind of approach youÕve got to take when you bring in something new. Even though heÕs Superman and the character is ubiquitous, a Superman movie is a very new thing and it has to be presented in a new way. So a lot of that burden falls on the kind of presentation it is given."


Superhero Hype has an interview with "Ned and Stacey" vet Thomas Haden Church about getting all gritty as the Sandman. "Sam [Raimi] was the one who brought me in. He and I came very close to working together a number of years ago on a movie called 'The Gift' ... I mean, very close. Sam really wanted me to do this role, and it just didn't work out for whatever reason. Thank God he didn't forget me. Because of 'Sideways,' they saw me accepting an award and called the next day and said, 'Would you come in and talk to us about 'Spider-Man 3?' They had nothing. They had no script. They just knew the guy that [he] was going to be in the movie, and that's where it started. We just started talking about it, and I'm glad they asked me to be a part of it."


New video blog. You know you love it.


Your intrepid Comic Reel reporter has arrived safely, and is broadcasting live from the parking lot of Shoeless Joe's Sports Bar in Rosemont, where we've often enjoyed their food, the hot girls in the bar and the free wireless. But enough of all that. Here's where you get in on the action. Did you see a link we didn't catch? Have you snuck into a closed movie set, and have inside data? Maybe your cousin is dating somebody who knows something, and they had to tell you? Whatever it is, we wanna know it all -- fire off an email and let us know whether you want your name used or your contributions to geekdom to go down anonymously. Broadcasting live from Los Angeles, this is novelist/karaoke host/all-around lunatic Hannibal Tabu saying thanks for your time and indulgence, and [tagline sent back to development hell until something hipper can be dreamed up].

Anthony Mackie Auditioned for a Different Marvel Character in Iron Man 3

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