New Lego Batman 2 Trailer

 

The Dark Brick of Gotham is back and this time he’s bringing his friends! The sequel to Warner-Bros’ Lego Batman game features a team up between everyone’s favourite bickering, heterosexual life-partners as Clark Kent enters the mix.

If past form is anything to go by then you should expect more characters, more engrossing puzzles and a storyline that probably still makes more sense than most of the Batman/Superman comics did.

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Man of Steel: First look at the new Superman

Despite being two years away, Zach Snyder’s reboot of the Superman franchise has acknowledged that folks all over the world’d like to take a look at how the new Man of Steel, Englishman Henry Cavill shapes up. Christopher Reeves has occupied the role better than any other actor, as pretty much everyone, still, refers to how much or how little any new actor taking on the role looks or doesn’t look like him. Giving a nod to fans all over the world, WB have released this image of the Man of Steel. It reportedly doesn’t relate in any way to the intended plot of the final movie but is there to give folks something to moan about. Most notably the lack of red pants. It looks like Henry Cavill has what it takes visually to fill the red rubber boots and with steady hands like Christopher Nolan involved in the process hopes remain high.

The Merry Band Revealed: 13 Dwarves Stride Forth for Adventure!!


Nori (Jed Brophy), Fili (Dean O' Gorman), Dori (Mark Hadlow), Bofur (James Nesbitt), Gloin (Peter Hambleton), Dwalin (Graham McTavish), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), Balin (Ken Stott), Oin (John Callen), Bombur (Stephen Hunter), Bifur (William Kircher), Ori (Adam Brown) and Kili (Aiden Turner)

Thorin Oakenshield stands at the centre of his Merry Band, a set of Dwarves set on a quest many would never face. In response to the reaction to public reveals of theHobbit Warner Bros have revealed the complete Dwarf set. In response to a great many public reedits of the assembled dwarves as they were revealed in sets of of two’s and three, Peter Jackson has released his own collective image of the assembled band. Equipped with weaponry, food packs and instruments they are set on their journey to face Smaug and the Battle of the Five Armies. Not all will return but very few can remember who.

Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage)

Bombur (Stephen Hunter), Bofur (James Nesbitt) and Bifur (William Kircher)


Oin (John Callen) and Gloin (Peter Hambleton)


Balin (Ken Stott) and Dwalin (Graham McTavish)


Fili (Dean O' Gorman) and Kili (Aiden Turner)

Check the rest of our Hobbit coverage of our full breakdown of events in Hobbiton and Middle Earth (Wellington, New Zealand) as things have taken place.

First image released of Tom Hardy as Bane in the Dark Knight

The first picture of Tom Hardy as villain Bane in the massively anticipated ‘Dark Knight Rises’ has emerged online. The web was all a hub-bub as bat-fans went wild. On Friday Warner Bros. launched a dedicated website (thedarkknightrises.com), featuring a blank black page and people chanting. Eerie stuff and perhaps indicative of either a following Bane gathers or sounds from his upbringing. No doubt all will be revealed. Doubtless Nolan’s Bane will make more of his ruthless influence and tactical prowess than his previous incarnation in previous franchise killer Batman and Robin, in which Bane was a mute plant beast cum nacho libre style wrestler. Kooky.

Top marks to WB though for trying to drag out the intrigue surrounding the reveal. Later in the day a mysterious Twitter account started tweeting a section of the image. The picture was supposed to be revealed gradually, using the personal twitter icons of retweeters as the individual pixels but super fan hackers cracked the source code, revealing the whole image. The Dark Knight himself’d be proud.

So here he is;

What’d you reckon?

Child flung at tree on set of Superman 3

Basic physics has never been a mainstay of the original (or modern) Superman films but this deleted scene from Superman 3 pushes the boundaries even further than usual. The biggest question is why workmen’d be transporting giant bags of cement over a child’s playground anyway. Quick witted little billy’s got reactions like a monkey otherwise that slow ass response from Superman’d be fairly pointless, little Billy a crumpled, broken mess at the base of the tree…

Chris Nolan Justice League Movie in 2013?

The LA Times is reporting today that the movie version of The Justice League may not be quite as dead as everybody once thought. In an interview with The Times, Warner Motion Picture Group President, Jeff Robinov, said that his priority so far as superhero movies goes is to bring the JLA to the big screen in 2013. Let’s just go over that one more time: the man who has ultimate say in what movies Warner Bros. make says that he wants to see a movie featuring the Justice League within two years! Ok, breath.

This isn’t the first time that the League have almost found themselves in a movie. Back in 2008 a film version of the comic was all set to go into production when the writers strike and tax issues killed the project stone dead. Since then it’s been lurking in development limbo because nobody wants to upset the money tree that is Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight series by bringing out another movie with Batman in it. But with Nolan set to wrap up his Gotham opus next year, it looks like Warner is keep to pick up right where they left off. But oh lord, there’s more:

“We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.” – Jeff Robinov

That’s right folks. Chris Nolan will be stepping in to produce the project. Ok, so it’s not the directors chair, but there’s plenty of time for a Hobbit esque incident to grant us that wish too. What’s more, scripts are already in production for both the JLA movie and the spin-off Flash and Wonder Woman movies.

A timescale, a script and Christopher Nolan? It looks like Warner may finally be getting serious about DC movies. Sweet.

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Peter Jackson: The Return of the King

With The Hobbit finally going into production in New Zealand we’re looking at the production, cast and Director over the next 9 days to get the ball rolling.

More than perhaps any other name, Peter Jackson is synonumous with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. So how was it that the man himself insisted, after 11 years of pitching to see the Hobbit made into a film, that he not pilot it onto the big screen. And how is it after Industrial disputes, financial wrangling with New Line Cinema and the Tolkien estate, struggling Studios pulling the plug and a major director dropping out due to delays, Peter Jackson is back at the helm? Read on to find out….


Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh first expressed interest in filming the Hobbit in 1995, at the time envisioning it as part one of a trilogy (the other two being based on Lord of the Rings). Jackson’s producer, Harvey Weinstein, discovered that while Saul Zaentz had production rights to The Hobbit, production rights still belonged to United Artists. United Artists deliberately retained the rights to the Hobbit because they expected Jackson and Weinstein to try to make that instead of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, expecting to make a quick buck out of selling the rights. This convoluted and confusing arrangement, in which all parties with all aspects of the rights have to be in conjunction with each other or have a project planned that would justify the cost of paying out to gain said rights, something that can be hard to quantify, is what keeps most films the public want made in development hell. But it is pretty inevitable given the amount of money a successful project could gain.

On location in New Zealand for The Two Towers


Jackson launched a lawsuit in 2005 with New Line Cinema (the eventual studio behind the Lord of the Rings), claiming he had lost revenue from merchandising, video and computer games releases associated with The Fellowship of the Ring. Refusing a specific settlement and requested an audit to see whether New Line had deprived him of any money. Although Jackson wanted the matter resolved, he saw the dispute as minor and presumed that New Line would allow him to make The Hobbit. In January 2007, New Line’s co-founder Robert Shaye scuppered these plans, accusing the director of being greedy and stating that Jackson would never direct another film for New Line.

By August of the same year, Shaye was furiously back-pedalling after a series of very serious flops for New Line saying “I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit.” The following month New Line was fined $125,000 for not providing the requested accounting documents.

On December 16, 2007 – New Line announced that Jackson would be executive producer of the Hobbit and its sequel. New Line and MGM would co-finance the film and MGM would distribute via 20th Century Fox ( an unprecedented deal with a major studio proving, unsurprisingly, how far the stock of Tolkien material had gone up). Each film budgeted to cost $150 million, almost $60 million more than each of the original LOTR trilogy.

Jackson at the time, made it clear that he chose not to direct as he would have been unsatisfying to compete with his previous films. So in February 2008, much to the disappointment of the viewing public and scores of fans around the world, Peter Jackson bowed out of heading the two final installments of the Tolkien canon.

Guillermo Del Toro was confirmed as Director in April 2008, following working with Jackson on the shelved Halo film project some time before. Jackson remained heavily involved, video conferencing with Del Toro, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh to complete the script.

Jackson announced that the scripting for the Hobbit would not be finished until early 2010, with scripting days rolling on for 12 hours at a time. Jackson, tellingly had kept the Rivendell scale model and the Bag End set live for the Hobbit in the intervening years, using Bag End as a guest house (seriously, orderly queue starts here!) Guillermo was quoting as saying that every week, they were discovering new things about the script and it was becoming clear that development was taking significantly longer than anticipated.

Jackson and Del Toro had a positive working relationship, disagreements resolved to the benefit of the script. Del Toro was insistent that he could direct the film in its entirety however Jackson, through personal experience on the original LOTR films offered to take the position of second unit director. While Del Toro has the same love of scale models and painted backdrops as Jackson – Del Toro was looking to move towards animatronics – enhanced through CGI in some cases but saw it as an opportunity to move animatronics 10 years into the future. This may very well have worked, however the animatronics in previous Del Toro films (such as Hellboy 2) are very clear to anyone who is looking. However, overwhelmingly the styles and creative output of the two men are very similar and the response from the public was positive at Del Toro’s involvement following successes such as Hellboy and classics like The Devil’s Backbone.

In 2010, Del Toro left the project, due to delays, saying that MGM’s financial problems had led to the Hobbit still not being Greenlit. “There cannot be any start dates until the MGM situation gets resolved… We have designed all the creatures. We’ve designed the sets and the wardrobe. We have done animatics and planned very lengthy action sequences. We have scary sequences and funny sequences and we are very, very prepared for when it’s finally triggered, but we don’t know anything until MGM is solved.”

A still from Jackson's latest film - Tintin

Two days later, Del Toro announced his departure on TheOneRing.net that “[i]n light of ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming”, he would “take leave from helming”, further stating that “the mounting pressures of conflicting schedules have overwhelmed the time slot originally allocated for the project. (…) I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director.” The internet went wild at the prospect of a new director and a faltering of the project everybody wanted to see. However, MGM had put all its major releases on hold including the lucrative Bond franchise. Jackson’s name was being thrown around however also mentioned were Neill Blomkap (a short film maker with only one feature, the excellent District 9, produced by Jackson, under his belt), David Yates (safe handed director responsible for the most recent Harry Potter films), terrifyingly Brett Ratner (Rush Hour trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand) and Dave Dobkin (director of Clay Pigeons, Shanghai Knights and the Wedding Crashers) – however Jackson was responsible for Braindead, Bad Taste, Meet the Feebles and The Frighteners (directly before LOTR) so few saw Lord of the Rings coming though Jackson was clearly a capable effects director before hsi triumph with the trilogy of trilogies.

Finally, on June 25, 2010, Jackson was reported to be in negotiations to direct the two-part film. On October 16, 2010, New Line Cinema and a newly joined Warner Bros. confirmed absolutely that the Hobbit was to proceed with Jackon as the director. As well as that, both companies confirmed that The Hobbit was officially greenlit and would begin principle shooting in February, 2011. In about 7 days time….

Its been a long journey for Sir Peter Jackson. From that first meeting at New Line Cinema in which it was insisted by the studio itself that it needed to be a film for each book to the glory days of the releases, mired by the financial disputes between New Line and the Tolkien estate (to the tune of $24 million no less according to reports) and now after considerable delays and frustration, Jackson has returned to the helm of the new Tolkien film. Although Del Toro would certainly have done an excellent job nobody doubts the integrity and determination of the original director to heave into view another magical and monumental installment of the tales of Middle Earth.

There and Back Again : A Wanderers tale by Peter Jackson….

Jackson relaxing on the set of Lord of the Rings - shots of Jackson enjoying himself have been in short supply these last few years

You’ll Believe A Tudor Can Fly!

The steady march of January Movie announcements continues apace as Warner Bros announced yesterday that British actor, Henry Carvill will be taking on the role of the Man of Steel in the upcoming Zach Snyder helmed reboot of the Superman movie franchise.

Carvill is perhaps best known for his role as The Duke of Suffolk in the popular, fact dodging, historical soap The Tudors, though you may also have caught him in the 2007 Matthew Vaughn movie, Stardust. In keeping with tradition for casting reboots of big comic book franchises, he’s a relative unknown. Seems like an odd trend but when you think about the fact that Warner seem to want to make a series of films off the back of this, going for a newer (read cheaper) actor over a big name makes sense. In reality you could probably put Rolf Harris in the suit and the film would sell. That’s not to say that the casting is cynical. Carvill is a fine actor and given some of the names that are behind the casting process on this movie, you can probably feel safe putting a bit of faith in the chap.

Cover from Superman: True Brit by John Cleese, Kim Johnson, John Byrne and Mark Farmer.

Perhaps the most significant thing about the choice is that Carvill is British. Think about that for a moment, that’s Spider-man, Batman, the supporting cast of Thor, most of the X-Men and now Supes himself all played by British actors. It seems kinda strange, especially when you factor in that Superman is supposed to be the very embodiment of the American dream, but it’s hard to knock it. With British actors dominating the portrayal of superheroes on screen and British creators taking up a huge slice of the comics market itself, it’s truly a good time to be British and Geeky.

It’s fairly hard to speculate much further on what this film will hold as it’s still a long way off. Personally I’m not a massive fan of Snyder as a director of comic book films. 300 and Watchmen were both enjoyable but they were pretty much just copy-pastes from page to screen and they left me kinda wondering why I’d paid for a cinema ticket when I could have stayed home and gotten exactly the same experience from the book (albeit with added space squid). But with Chris Nolan and David Goyer handling the writing and production of the film, maybe letting Snyder turn up and press the slow-mo/fast-mo a few times each scene might not be so terrible.

From All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

It’ll take a lot to drag Supes out of the bog it’s been in since Superman Returns (a movie from that odd little era where directors thought that having superheroes get into fights with topographical features was a good idea…yes Ang Lee, we’re looking at you too) but Carvill’s casting seems to indicate that things are heading in the right direction. As a fan of paragon heroes I for one will be more than happy if they mange to pull this one off and give us a man of steel to be proud of.

But they better cast a British dog as Krypto or I’m out.

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Happy Batday! Dark Knight characters revealed!

Big news here again at the Bunker as Warner bros. bosses yesterday confirmed not just who had been cast but also which characters will be featured in the new Nolan Dark Knight movie series. The choices are surprising as both characters have failed in previous attempts on the big screen; however Catwoman will be making a return and Bane; underworld back breaker and all round machevalian lunatic will be lumbering his way on to the screen to take his place in the Dark Knight franchise.

Catwoman (Adam Hughes) and Bane (by the guy who's names at the bottom there).


The most tight lipped casting was that of Catwoman as no one knew the character was even being considered for a reboot. Fighting off advances from Sienna Miller, Charlize Theron and Kate Beckinsale; a main stream and perhaps unexpected actress is taking the coveted role of Catwoman in the upcoming Batman feature; The Dark Knight Rises.

But it will be the stunningly beautiful indy / teen / gay cowboy movie veteran Anne Hathaway following in the footsteps of Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992’s Batman Returns and Halle Berry in a  2004 spin-off of the franchise. With an adorably awkward sexuality, frankly we can’t wait for her to get her knee highs on. Rumours that Halle Berry has been banned from appearing in any more comic book adaptations remain unconfirmed.

However while, thanks to lazy casting, Catwoman has proved the bane of previous incarnations of Batman, this time around Tom Hardy; whom Christopher Nolan directed in last years Inception will be the actual ‘Bane’ of this one. Everyone has known that Tom Hardy was due to appear in the new film however the rumour mill had offered up many possibilities as to who he will play; with adaptations of Killer Croc, Strange and Hush considered as possibilities.

Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy are due to appear as Catwoman and Bane in 2011's Dark Knight Rising.

As expected of Nolan as the franchise rolls on and while no one can doubt the raw appeal of his choices neither can be said to just be pretty faces. What lingers in the mind of the Nolan no one can be sure but on this evidence there is every reason to look forward to the next bit of Bat! We will try to shake the idea that Nolan’s need for realism in his bat movies will lead to Anne Hathaway playing a dippy old recluse who tempts ‘her furry little friends’ into the house with string and liver to keep her company and is known by local kids as ‘the Catwoman.’

Friday Trailer: ‘In Blackest Cinema…’

Seeing as the Friday night film is up soon (as it is) and me and Dan are massive Green Lantern fans after the monumental Blackest Night craziness over the last year or so I thought I’d offer a little trailer (or two) before the movie.

The Green Lantern trailer has been released by Warner Bros, the film itself due to be released Summer 2011 in the US (and sometime shortly afterwards for us in the UK just to keep us in our place). The great thing about Green Lantern is that practically no one outside of comic fans and the US have heard of him. The interesting thing is that practically no one outside of comic fans and the US have heard of him. Take a look, see what you think…

Typically, any obscure comic character breaking out into movies has an ace up their sleeve. Years of development out of public view and a sudden shot in the arm as they arrive on the big screen with a pre-prepared back story and ‘best bits’ that can be used while none of the weight of expectation the heavy hitters like Superman, Batman or Spider-man might suffer from. Ang Lee got bit by public scrutiny with his Hulk (2003) for not living up to expectations while Wesley Snipes, Stephen Norrington and David S. Goyer strode out defiantly with Blade (1998) and kick started more than a decade of high budget comic book adaptations and gave Hollywood a much needed sure-fire formula they could rely on. So, is this going to be a Blade or a Scott Pilgrim or is this going to be a Phantom or a Catwoman?

So, our worthy verdict….

Ryan Reynold’s has been swimming about the comic movie industry for a while now without much luck of finding shore. There was Blade Trinity in 2003 as one of the Nightstalkers and Wolverine: Origins in 2008 as Wade (Deadpool). But his ship may have just come in with this one as he occupies the part of Hal Jordan almost a little too well. Cocky, brash and adventurous is pretty much what he’s being trying to put across (and at times move away from) since he arrived on the scene so good luck to him.

For us comic geeks, the film clearly goes Oa-side pretty swiftly with the Green Lantern Corps early on with Abin Sur carking it early as in the book, Tomar Tu (beaked finhead) apparently playing tour guide on Oa (GL HQ), Sinestro (Mark Strong) hanging around suggesting there’s a plot developing for later films (hopefully) and Lantern recruitment and training officer, Kilowog all pig faced and politically incorrect name intact, all clearly face checked. No Morg or Bzzt but you can’t have everything. Carol Ferris is present and very correct (Blake Lively) as the love interest. There’s no sign of John Stewart (though he is credited as appearing in it played by Nick Jones on Imdb – I checked) or Guy Gardner (not credited) so it looks as though the storyline will centre on Hal joining for film 1 which should keep things fairly simple. No obvious Guardians floating around but according to previews they’re in there too somewhere.

There’s no suggestion of space battles and most of the action is based on Earth so there’s a possibility still that Geoff Johns (current writer and Dc’s Chief Creative Officer since Feb 2010) has kept the filmmakers under control and retained a simple but effective plot line that introduces the wider universe for later movies but focusses on the central threat of the crazy scientist (potentially fun) which is not a bad idea seeing as how the CGI looks a little overstretched – though there’s a possibility given the time left that not all is complete just yet. Let’s see shall we….

Not as good as this though I’m sad to say as its not for a real movie….