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NEWS: Comic Book Movies

Bernie Wrightson Retires

wrightson_frankenstainI just saw this update from the Bernie Wrightson facebook page and am truly saddened to share the news posted by Bernie’s wife Liz. Bernie is one of my all time favourite artists, I am lucky enough to own 2 signed prints of his, of Frankenstein (pictured above) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A true gentleman and towering talent of the comic book industry.

Dear Fans and Friends,

I apologize for our silence for the past few months. Last November Bernie began falling again, and having obvious problems with perception. He had to undergo yet another brain surgery to relieve bleeding, and then spend several weeks undergoing in-patient rehabilitation. Unfortunately, it appears that he has lasting damage: he has extremely limited function on his left side, and is unable to walk or reliably use his left hand, among other limitations.

We have had to come to the sad conclusion that he is now effectively retired: he will produce no new art, and he is unable to attend conventions. Should this situation change I will happily announce it here.

He can still sign his name (in fact he was signing Kickstarter prints in the hospital!), and is otherwise pretty healthy and has good cognition. We expect to continue releasing signed prints, and offering occasional pieces of art for sale from the collection that remains. We both thank all of you for your continuing support and good wishes!

All our best,
Liz and Bernie Wrightson  


Watchmen – Joel Silver vs. Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder rebuffs Joel Silver’s assertion that Terry Gilliam would have made a better Watchmen movie.

Silver interviewed on comingsoon.net “What he did (Gilliam) was he told the story as-is, but instead of the whole notion of the intergalactic thing which was too hard and too silly, what he did was he maintained that the existence of Doctor Manhattan had changed the whole balance of the world economy, the world political structure. He felt that THAT character really altered the way reality had been. He had the Ozymandias character convince, essentially, the Doctor Manhattan character to go back and stop himself from being created, so there never would be a Doctor Manhattan character. He was the only character with real supernatural powers, he went back and prevented himself from being turned into Doctor Manhattan, and in the vortex that was created after that occurred these characters from “Watchmen” only became characters in a comic book. So the three characters, I think it was Rorschach and Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, they’re all of the sudden in Times Square and there’s a kid reading a comic book. They become like the people in Times Square dressing up like characters as opposed to really BEING those characters. There’s a kid reading the comic book and he’s like, “Hey, you’re just like in my comic book.” It was very smart, it was very articulate, and it really gave a very satisfying resolution to the story, but it just didn’t happen. Lost to time.”

Snyder in The Huffington Post.

Was “Watchmen” the most “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” project you’ve ever been a part of? Now Joel Silver is criticizing you for being a “slave” to the source material while touting a very different from the source material script that Terry Gilliam was going to film.

Zack Snyder: It’s funny, because the biggest knock against the movie is that we finally changed the ending, right?

Right, you used Dr. Manhattan as the threat to bring the world together as opposed to the alien squid.

Zack Snyder: Right, and if you read the Gilliam ending, it’s completely insane.

Deborah Snyder: The fans would have been thinking that they were smoking crack.

Zack Snyder: Yeah, the fans would have stormed the castle on that one. So, honestly, I made “Watchmen” for myself. It’s probably my favorite movie that I’ve made. And I love the graphic novel and I really love everything about the movie. I love the style. I just love the movie and it was a labor of love. And I made it because I knew that the studio would have made the movie anyway and they would have made it crazy. So, finally I made it to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world.

In Gilliam’s version, Dr. Manhattan is convinced to go back in time and prevent Dr. Manhattan from existing. But the specter of his existence is the threat to the world, which is kind of what you did at the end of the movie anyway.

Zack Snyder: Right, of course. It’s just using elements that are in the comic book already, that’s the only thing I did. I would not have grabbed something from out of the air and said, “Oh, here’s a cool ending” just because it’s cool.

Deborah Snyder: But it’s interesting because, you’re right, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. You have people who are mad that the ending was changed and you have other people saying, “Oh, it was a slave to the graphic novel.” You can’t please everybody.

Zack Snyder: And that’s the problem with genre. That’s the problem with comic book movies and genre. And I believe that we’ve evolved — I believe that the audiences have evolved. I feel like “Watchmen” came out at sort of the height of the snarky Internet fanboy — like, when he had his biggest strength. And I think if that movie came out now — and this is just my opinion — because now that we’ve had “Avengers” and comic book culture is well established, I think people would realize that the movie is a satire. You know, the whole movie is a satire. It’s a genre-busting movie. The graphic novel was written to analyze the graphic novel — and comic books and the Cold War and politics and the place that comic books play in the mythology of pop culture. I guess that’s what I’m getting at with the end of “Watchmen” — in the end, the most important thing with the end was that it tells the story of the graphic novel. The morality tale of the graphic novel is still told exactly as it was told in the graphic novel — I used slightly different devices. The Gilliam version, if you look at it, it has nothing to do with the idea that is the end of the graphic novel. And that’s the thing that I would go, “Well, then don’t do it.” It doesn’t make any sense.

I can’t imagine people being happy with that version.

Zack Snyder: Yeah! If you love the graphic novel, there’s just no way. It would be like if you were doing “Romeo and Juliet” and instead of them waking up in the grave area, they would have time-traveled back in time and none of it would have happened.


Batman & Superman Movie News

News fresh from Comic Con 2013: BURBANK, CA, July 20, 2013 – On the heels of the worldwide success of “Man of Steel,” director Zack Snyder is bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time—Batman and Superman—for the first time on the big screen.  The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution,Warner Bros. Pictures.

The current hit, “Man of Steel,” has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing.  Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcoming film brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.  The new Batman has yet to be cast.

Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay.  Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in Summer 2015.

Silverman stated, “Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first and he utterly gets this genre.  We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way.”   Kroll added, “We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie.  The success of ‘Man of Steel’ is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters.  We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us.”

Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted,“Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DC Entertainment could not be more excited for Zack’s continuing vision for the DC Universe.”

Oh dear… I suppose it was inevitable, I just hope Snyder doesn’t ruin the great work done by Nolan.


Man of Steel and Justice League News

Check out this viral-released poster for the forthcoming Man of Steel, as well as an exclusive interview with the films Producer, Christopher Nolan who discusses that Zack Snyder directed movie as well as the possible Justice League movie. Interview can be read at The Playlist HERE

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Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

SIN CITY 2 is finally underway. Check out the official release from Dimension Films:

AUSTIN, TX (12 April 2012) — Filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, along with producer Alexander Rodnyansky, have announced that production will commence on the highly anticipated sequel to 2005’s Sin City, entitled Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The film will be produced by AR Films and Quick Draw Productions, financed through AR Films U.S and released domestically by Dimension Films.

“The first question I am always asked is “When will you make another Sin City? ,” said Rodriquez. “I have wanted to re-team with Frank Miller and return to the world he created since the day we wrapped the original, but have felt a duty to the fans to wait until we had something truly exceptional that would meet and exceed what have become epic expectations. A Dame To Kill For will certainly be worth the wait.”

Sin City creator, screenwriter and co-director Frank Miller said, “The first Sin City knocked out audiences who had never seen anything like it before. Robert Rodriguez and I are going to shake things up and deliver a ferocious film experience that is going to go even further than the first.“

The script and details of the film’s story have been kept tightly under wraps. Casting will begin next week, with many of the original cast expected to return. The film, a Quick Draw Production, will be produced by Rodriguez and producing partners Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic; and by Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergei Bespalov and Stephen L’Hereux. Miller, The Weinstein Company’s Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax’s Adam Fields will act as executive producers. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was developed by Frank Miller based upon his graphic novel, with a screenplay by Frank Miller and Academy Award winner William Monahan (The Departed). The film is expected to begin production this summer at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas.

Alexander Rodnyansky said, “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Robert Rodriguez and Quick Draw Productions. It is a rare opportunity to produce and finance a film with the high profile and enormous fan base of the Sin City franchise. AR FIlms will be managing worldwide sales of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, as well as Robert’s Machete Kills at the Cannes Film Festival in May.”

The original Sin City was brought to the screen by Rodriguez and Miller and released by Dimension in 2005, and proved to be a landmark step forward in filmmaking, breaking ground with immersive green screen to create its iconic stylish look. The first film, released on April 1, 2005, grossed over $160 million (US) worldwide and is a consistently strong home video and television performer.

“Audiences have been clamoring for Sin City 2 with Robert and Frank for a long time and trust me, it will be worth the wait,” said Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company. “This will be my 11th collaboration with Robert in 16 years and he’s become a great friend. I look forward to continuing our long lasting relationship and partnering on more projects in the future.”


Jane Goldman – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Screenwriter Jane Goldman and director Matthew Vaughn are expected to return for the sequel to X-Men: First Class, Goldman is in talks with 20th Century Fox on another priority project with a major director. She’ll adapt Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the Ransom Riggs novel that Chernin Entertainment  is producing, and Tim Burton is rumoured to direct.

Goldman has an impressive track record, she has scripted ‘Stardust’ (2007), ‘Kick-Ass’ (2010) and ‘X-Men: First Class’ (2011) for director Matthew Vaughn, ‘The Debt’ (2010) and most recently adapted The Woman In Black, the new thriller that stars Daniel Radcliffe.

In Miss Peregine’s Home For Peculiar Children, Jacob is a 16-year-old whose childhood was filled with stories  his grandfather told him about an orphanage for unusual children. Among  the residents: a girl who could hold fire in her hands, another whose  feet never touched the ground, and twins who communicated without  speaking. When his beloved grandfather dies unexpectedly but leaves a  message behind for his grandson, the teen heads off to his grandfather’s  home on an isolated island off Wales. There he discovers the abandoned  remains of Miss Peregrine’s  Home for Peculiar Children. It is in great  disrepair and as Jacob explores its bedrooms and  hallways, he can see  the children were more than peculiar, they might  have been there  because they were dangerous. And he can’t shake the feeling they are  still lurking around.


Chris Nolan & Tom Hardy talk BANE

Tom Hardy speaks for the first time about taking on masked villain Bane in the third Batman installment The Dark Knight Rises. And Christopher Nolan speaks for the first time about Hardy and Bane.

The duo gave the interview exclusively to UK’s Empire magazine for a special Batman/Bane edition.

Tom Hardy
On Bane: “He’s brutal, brutal. He’s expedient delivery of brutality. And you know, he’s a big dude. He’s a big dude who’s incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and orientated fighting style. The result is clear. “Do you know what I mean? It’s: f**k off and die. Quicker. Quicker. Everything is thought out way before. He’s hit you, he’s already hit somebody else. It’s not about fighting. It’s just about carnage with Bane. He’s a smashing machine. He’s a wrecking ball. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it’s nasty. Anything from small joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks and collarbones and snapping heads off and tearing his fists through chests, ripping out spinal columns. It’s anything he can get away with. He is a terrorist in his mentality as well as brutal action. So he’s horrible. A really horrible piece of work.”

About filming the fight scenes: “It’s very overwhelming. When you’re training in a rehearsal room you go, ‘Okay, I have a contact with seven people. This guy I chin, this one I slip and I punch, this one I pick up and suplex, this guy I kick in the face, and this one, he stops a hammer with his head. And then I meet Batman.’ That’s all alright in a rehearsal room, but then you add 1,000 people that are all dressed the same as the seven you’re supposed to hit — ’cause they’re all police officers — and I don’t know where my police officers are. But the stuntmaster’s like, ‘Don’t worry. They will find you.’”

About Christian Bale’s Batman: “He looks really intimidating! There’s a three-year-old in me that’s going, ‘Oh my God that’s Batman! That’s Batman and he’s going to hit me! But I love Batman!’ Then I look in the mirror. And I hit him back. Twice as hard.”

Christopher Nolan
On Bane: “With Bane, we are looking to give Batman a physical challenge that he hasn’t had before,” says the film’s director, Christopher Nolan. “With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we’re testing Batman both physically as well as mentally. Also, in terms of finishing our story and increasing its scope, we were trying to craft an epic, so the physicality of the film became very important. Bane’s a very different kind of villain than Batman has faced before in our films. He’s a great sort of movie monster, but with an incredible brain, and that was a side of him that hadn’t been tapped before. Because the stories from the comics are very epic and very evocative — very much in the way that Bruce Wayne’s origin story is epic and evocative. We were looking to really parallel that with our choice of villain. So he is a worthy adversary. What Bane represents in the comics is the ultimate physical villain.”

About casting Tom Hardy in the role: “He has this incredible disjunct between the expressiveness of the voice and the stillness of the movement of his body. He’s found a way to play a character who is enormous and powerful with a sort of calm to it, but also is able to be incredibly fast at times. Unpredictable. He just has a raw threat to him that’s extraordinary. It’s a very powerful thing when you see it come together, beyond what I had ever imagined. That’s what you get from working with great actors.”