Comic Book Movie News

We got our five winners for the Wurst Festival tickets, thanks to everyone who entered! there’s going to be another contest coming up in a couple weeks, so keep an eye out for it.

Right to the links:

what? me? the next hulk?

what? me? the next hulk?

So much for Marvel not keeping Hulk on The Avengers roster. Looks like Mark Ruffalo could take over for Edward Norton in the 2012 movie, and then who knows after that if he’ll get his own shot at a stand-alone Hulk movie. The good part of this is Ruffalo is a great actor who probably won’t have any trouble adapting to the pains it takes to play Hulk and Bruce Banner. Hulk and Superman and the two most demanding comic book characters to play in movies because their alter egos are so completely different, and it takes a special kind of actor to be able to do both. Ruffalo has the chops to pull it off. But it comes with a warning — Ruffalo has never really carried a studio movie. He’s definitely known as an indie darling, and he still hasn’t done anything as good as You Can Count on Me in 2000. He’s been the token man/boyfriend in three vehicles for major studio actresses (Reese Witherspoon in Just Like Heaven, Jennifer Aniston in Rumor Has It and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30), he’s had fair stake in some pretty significant box office disappointments (All the King’s Men, Zodiac) and even the indies he’s done lately haven’t come through (Blindness, Reservation Road, Brothers Bloom). Whether any of that is his fault or not is unclear since he hasn’t been given the chance to carry any of these movies. Maybe that’s the good part of Avengers — it’s kinda like his tryout. We’ll just find out in the movie whether he can play the part before any new Hulk movies come around. Sort of like Ryan Reynolds in Wolverine. We briefly saw he could handle Deadpool, so he gets a shot at his own Deadpool movie.

doesn't matter how much the first one sucked, apparently

doesn't matter how much the first one sucked, apparently

Nicolas Cage didn’t need a tryout since he’s the one who originally came up with the idea for making a Ghost Rider movie. Apparently it doesn’t matter how crappy it was, he’s on for the second one. Don’t expect the next one to have a $120 million budget like the first one though. Studios hope to make about 33 percent of a movie’s total box office take in the first weekend, anything more disproportionate is a sign the movie doesn’t have much shelf life. Ghost Rider was close to 40 percent, a sign that fans showed up the first weekend and then told other fans not to bother. With good reason, too, since the movie sucked out loud. In this day of making comic book movies and sequels faster than the theaters can hold them, the fact that it took more than three years to make a sequel happen is pretty telling that the studio really didn’t want that much to do with Ghost Rider. Cage probably had to settle for less money, and the budget must have been slashed. At least comic franchise killer Mark Steven Johnson won’t be around to eff this one up. But is adding the directors to Crank a good thing?

meh.

meh.

I don’t know. Maybe this was why I wondered if Green Lantern can work as a movie, because Ryan Reynolds just looks like a complete dork in this outfit. COMPLETE DORK. And if Reynolds can’t make it look good, then you’re left scratching your head for who could make it right. Maybe it will look cooler when we see it in the context of the movie, but I’m kinda turned off by the whole thing. Red, white and blue (Superman, Spider-Man), just red (Iron Man) or pimpin’ black (Batman) is the way to go, or it just doesn’t seem to work. The people behind X-Men knew this, and dumped Wolverine’s somewhat effeminate yellow and blue garb for straight black.

Let’s keep the comic book movie craziness going! It was a rumor earlier this week, now it looks official that Kevin Bacon will play some kind of villain in X-Men: First Class. It supposedly starts shooting in a couple weeks, but I’ll believe it when I see it, the same way I’ll believe the June 3, 2011 release date when I see it. I just don’t see how it can happen. Signing Bacon is going the cheap route, I can’t imagine how many people turned this down before it finally got to him. A couple of weeks ago he was probably hoping Tremors 7 got made or something, now he’s back in the blockbuster game. It’s a crazy world.

I don’t think the box office bomb is dead at all, thanks to stinkfests like Jonah Hex. Yeah, it’s way easier to see them coming a mile away now, but I can see the Yankees winning the World Series coming a mile away. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested to see if it happens or not. But it’s certainly different now to see how Hollywood defines them. There’s just so many different ways to make money now that there’s less risk in every movie. TV deals are bigger because every cable station shows movies it pays a lot of money to air. When The Weather Channel starts showing movies, you know everyone is showing them. DVD sales are down, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make money. They just make less money than the reedunkulous fortune they did a couple years ago. I certainly don’t go in to any movie hoping it’s going to suck and flop like the suckage that was Cutthroat Island, but it still fascinates me when it does.

learn this guy's face -- it's the face of the guy who may be the best director on the planet

learn this guy's face -- it's the face of the guy who may be the best director on the planet

Inception doesn’t have the whiff of a box office bomb anyway. Even if people can’t understand it, they’re at least going to give it — and Leonardo DiCaprio — a big look this weekend. The estimates are in the $50 million range for the weekend, and that sounds about right. Anything else, and we know that they’re coming because they trust Christopher Nolan. And why shouldn’t we? You can put the guy’s filmograhy up against anyone in Hollywood right now. Everything he’s done for the last 10 years since Memento has been a critical success and he’s got the second-highest-grossing movie ever under his belt. If you’re an actor or writer in Hollywood right now, you want to be in this guy’s next movie — whatever it is. Oh, and one more bit of comic book news from Nolan’s world. The next Batman may start shooting in April. Or it may not. So that’s not really news. But just mentioning Batman 3 gets people excited, so there ya go.

If any TV network needs to shake things up, it’s NBC. So of course … it didn’t. The network that seems like it could literally go out of business at any moment because its ratings are so pitiful is going with a stale, run-of-the-mill premiere week just like Fox is — and doing it the same week Fox is too. So instead of going early to get its major new premieres like The Event or Law and Order: Los Angeles some extra publicity and give them a jump on some other new shows, it’s fine hanging back, going all same-old-same-old and making us choose between NBC shows and everything else on the dial. Why am I not a TV programmer?!?!?! Would it kill them to premiere The Event the week after Labor Day with a two-hour special to get people excited enough to stay away from Lonestar on Fox? There isn’t much else I’m looking forward to on its schedule, so it deserves what it gets.

At least some people still know how to do it. FX has kept its traditional premiere date for Sons of Anarchy — that Tuesday after Labor Day. That gives it the necessary jump it needs to make sure people remember it exists before they switch into network mode later in the month. Not that you can forget if you watch anything on FX, the network has been running the promos since March. Same goes for Always Sunny, this is the premiere date its fans have known for years, so don’t go screwing up a good thing. Should be an interesting year for Sunny. It’s been on for 58 episodes, about the time a comedy either starts running out of ideas or just getting stale altogether. Last year was a complete peak creatively — much like The Office’s season 3 (after about 55 episodes). And we all know what happened to the Office after that. If Sunny stays funny this year, then there is no reason to think it won’t stay funny for however long it stays on the air. Only having 13 episodes a year kinda blows, but if it keeps the show fresh and funny, it’s tough to argue with the formula.

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