What's the Best Superhero Movie Made So Far?

Spider-Man 4, Riddick 3, He-Man, Scorsese, Copley, Whedon/Avengers, Geographica, Gears of War 3, SyFy, Jack Kirby, X-COM, Han Soap-lo

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - - 0 Comments

Tons of news coming in this week.  Let's get right to it:

The New Peter Parker Is...Anybody's Guess
First, HitFix reported that a source told them that Percy Jackson star Logan Lerman was "almost 100% locked" to star as the newly teenaged web-slinger in Spider-Man 4 (expect that title to change...soon).  Then Sony vehemently denied that rumor, stating that Lerman wasn't even on the shortlist.  So who IS on the shortlist?  According to IESB, Zathura and The Vampire's Assistant star Josh Hutcherson is the only known person on the list.  So who will it be?  Who cares?  This whole thing sounds like a train wreck to me.

Riddick 3 Now Has a Title & A Plot
I still can't believe they're actually making another Riddick movie.  I truly thought this thing was dead after The Chronicles of Riddick.  But the film is in pre-production so it's a lock.  Coming Attractions got a look at the script and let loose a few details: the film is titled The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking (I expect that to change before it hits theaters) and the plot involves Riddick being dumped on an alien world and coming to the realization that he must return to his violent roots in order to escape.  Expect a return to the series' low-budget roots.  I own the Riddick trilogy on DVD but to this day I've never gotten past Pitch Black.  I've tried to watch it at least 5 times now and I fall asleep every time.  I even tried once in the middle of the day while drinking a Mountain Dew and I still fell asleep.  I suppose I could cheat and just watch Chronicles or the little "in-between" anime movie but...I can't.

From Predators to He-Man
Heat Vision reports that Alex Litvak and Michael Finch, the screenwriting pair that dusted off Robert Rodriguez's old draft of the upcoming Predators movie, are the latest writers to take a stab at the new He-Man movie.  As you probably know, this project has been passed around at least a half dozen hands for the latter half of the last decade.  Litvak and Finch apparently impressed the studio and Mattel with their pitch, though, so now it's up to them to live up to that promise with their script.  I, for one, really hope they change the title from Masters of the Universe to He-Man.  Or, at least, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  This could be an awesome movie, if done right.

Martin Scorsese Is Making a 3D Sci-Fi Children's Movie?
I know...WTF?  Still, Scorsese is a brilliant filmmaker and he's actually gotten even better in recent years (IMHO).  So now comes news, via Variety, that Scorsese's next film with be an adaptation of Brian Zelnick's book, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret", and it will be filmed in 3D.  The story has something to do with a young boy who lives in a Paris train station and gets involved in a mystery surrounding his father and a robot.  Sounds pretty cool, plus the script is by one of my favorite screenwriters, John Logan (The Aviator, Star Trek: Nemesis).  I agree with those who say this 3D gimmick is getting overplayed, especially when it comes to shitty post-production 3D, but I really think that in the hands of truly visionary directors like Martin Scorsese, we could see some amazing things to come.

Sharlto Copley Goes Alien Again
According to Heat Vision, District 9 star Sharlto Copley is signed to star in the film version of an upcoming teen science-fiction novel, "I Am Number Four".  The plot sounds horrible--it has 9 alien refugees from a destroyed planet coming to Earth and disguising themselves as human teenagers.  Here's the thing, though...this movie is to be produced by Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg, and directed by D.J. Caruso.  Those are some impressive credentials, and Caruso showed some serious talent with Eagle Eye.  We'll see how this one pans out...for now, I'm cautiously curious.

Joss Whedon Will Direct The Avengers
It's official...well, almost.  Deadline New York reports that Whedon is final negotiations to direct Marvel's Avengers movie.  Yep, I still hate Joss Whedon but, as I said a few weeks ago when this rumor first broke, I'm actually okay with this move.  I've even decided that I don't care if Whedon does a quick rewrite on the script.  The always reliable Zak Penn is the officially credited screenwriter at this point so the most Whedon could do is polish up Penn's work.  As mush as I loathe his writing, Whedon's done some decent work as a collaborator (Toy Story, Speed, Waterworld) so this should pan out pretty well.  Beaks from Ain't It Cool News points out another conundrum that Whedon will have to deal with as The Avengers director: egos.  I hadn't thought much about it but it's true; every star and every agent in Hollywood is always vying for the biggest piece of the pie.  It would be very easy for Robert Downey, Jr. to end up with the biggest role in The Avengers because he has the most star power and, thus far, his Iron Man film has performed best at the box office (and early indications are that Iron Man 2 will shatter box office records).  However, The Avengers should really focus more on Captain America and Nick Fury.  We'll see how it goes--hopefully Marvel can muscle these egos into some restrictive contracts.

Tolkien and Lewis Come To The Big Screen...Again
I've never heard of this, but apparently there's an ongoing book series called "The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica" by James A. Owen that features a young J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis as adventurers, in which their future epics ("Lord of the Rings", "Narnia") are inspired by said adventures.  That sounds kinda gay to me but it could be cool.  Anyway, The Hollywood Reporter says that Eagle Eye screenwriter Travis Adam Wright is currently at work adapting the first two books, "Here, There Be Dragons" and "The Search for the Red Dragons" for the silver screen.  I just don't know.

New Gears of War 3 Trailer
IGN has the new Gears of War 3 trailer that premiered on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" earlier this week.  The trailer is entitled "Ashes to Ashes" kicks ass.  Seriously.  I love everything about this thing:

FYI: Gears of War 3 hits Xbox 360 in April 2011.  I agree--that's much too far away.

SyFy Originals Move to Tuesday
For years now, SyFy (formerly known as SCI FI Channel) has been airing their original series on Friday nights with limited success.  Well, this October they're going to be changing things up a bit.  TV Week reports that the WWE's "Friday Night Smackdown" is moving to SyFy, which means the network has to shuffle its original shows to another night.  Dave Howe, president of SyFy, says they chose Tuesday due to the success they've had on that night with shows like "Warehouse 13".  And guess what?  I'm actually not opposed to this in the least.  First of all, I'm one of the few people that actually liked the change from SCI FI to SyFy; as a marketing junkie, I can see how it makes perfect sense.  It gives the channel a brand identity instead of some generic genre moniker and it allows them to broaden their programming to show that aren't necessarily science-fiction but DO fit comfortably with the channel's other offerings.  I don't watch wrestling myself but I don't have a problem with it airing on SyFy.  In fact, moving "Stargate Universe", "Sanctuary", and "Caprica" to another night might give them a better chance of finding an audience (let's face it--nobody watches TV on Friday night).  And whereas "Friday Night Smackdown" has taken a beating in the ratings for the last few years (having moved from UPN to The CW to MyNetworkTV), their current ratings would actually be a win on a cable network.  So calm down, fanboys--this is good news.  Oh yeah, one last thing...this does mean that SyFy's current show, "WWE NXT" will be cancelled.  But I think that's a solid trade-off.

Jack Kirby + Sid and Marty Krofft = EPIC WIN
In the late 1970's, legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby did some work for Ruby-Spears animation and, shockingly, a stockpile of unfulfilled proposals and ideas by Mr. Kirby has been kept locked away in a box by the studio for more than 30 years.  Until now.  The New York Times reports that Ruby-Spears has teamed up with Sid and Marty Krofft (creators of classic fare like "Land of the Lost" and "H.R. Pufnstuf) to help bring these forgotten gems to life.  They're hoping to shop these projects around as possible franchises in Hollywood.  I am thrilled by all of this.  Kirby is a god to me and to think that there are untapped works that he created just sitting around, waiting to be presented to the world, gives me chills.  I highly recommend that you click the link above and take a look at the article; there's some awesome concept artwork there by Mr. Kirby himself that you can look through (click the "Slide Show" link of the left).  Please don't fuck this one up, Hollywood!

A New X-COM Game Is Coming
Bioshock 2 developer 2K announced today that they are developing a new X-COM game for Xbox 360 and Windows to follow one the highest regarded PC franchises of the 1990's.  The game will be a first-person shooter and 2K promises an immersive storyline.  The X-COM franchise, which dealt with an alien invasion, hasn't had a core game in its line since 1998's X-COM: Interceptor.  I never played these back in the day (I was never much of a PC gamer) but I know they were supposed to be the cream-of-the-crop.  Here's hoping this new take continues that tradition.

Wash Your Ass With Han Solo!
In what is definitely the coolest geek product I've seen since the Tauntaun sleeping bag, Luxury Lane Soap has introduced a new bar of soap shaped like Han Solo trapped in carbonite from Return of the Jedi:

Image of Soap in Carbonite - BACKORDER

The soap is 100% natural and fragrance free AND...since these are all made by hand, there is currently a 4-6 week back-order due to the enormous demand.  It is indeed the coolest soap ever.

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