Oh my god, you guys. Did you know that there's a town in Turkey called Batman? If I'm ever in Turkey, I'm totally going to swing by and take my picture with the city limits sign if they have one. I'm sure everyone does. They probably have a statue in the town square of the Caped Crusader and sell T-shirts that say like, "I went to Batman and all I got was this lousy T-shirt." I bet they totally love the dark knight of Gotham! Wait a second... Huh. Turns out they don't. Turns out the mayor of Batman is suing Christopher Nolan and Warner Brothers for royalties from The Dark Knight. Damn. Now there's a different tack. I mean, come on, you don't see Metropolis, Illinois pulling that shit.
Like much of the country commenting on the most recent Presidential debate, The Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer is calling bullshit. Specifically on all the rumors swirling about Batman 3 (wouldn't that be Batman 3.2?). So, according to Goyer, that means:
- Christopher Nolan has not signed on.
- Pre-production will not start next year.
- Any and all of the casting rumors you've heard, from Cher or Angelina Jolie as Catwoman to Johnny Depp as the Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin, nothing you've heard is true. Furthermore, there hasn't yet been talk of villains for the next film, much less casting work.
If you're anywhere near a computer, television or another entity drawing breath, you know that movie villains are kind of hot right now. Hoping to cash in on a little of that Batman scratch is Sony, who just pushed into development a project that would bring back Venom, Spidey's gooey black nemesis from Spider-Man 3.
Thomas Jane totally looks like a comic-book character -- square jaw, cleft chin, good-looking -- but should he ever be allowed to play one ever again? I've been told repeatedly that The Punisher was god-awful (I figured it out from the trailers, thanks), and if Jane couldn't see the badness in the script, then his comic book license should be revoked. (To be fair, it looked pretty faithful to the comic book, but there are some Garth Ennis stories that should never be put to film. Most, actually.) Well, now Jane wants to be in another comic book movie, and if I cared more about the character, or had read more than one or two issues of his book, I'd be concerned.
Collectors and speculators everywhere are apparently snapping up Heath Ledger action figures left and right from Mattel's toy line for The Dark Knight. According to a (kinda) recent New York Post article, toys of Ledger as The Joker are hard to find, and go for double the price or more on eBay. Granted, this happens every time a new wave of Batman toys gets released, because there are always more Batmen than villains, but the frenzy over Mr. Ledger's likeness -- his only action figure so far - seems especially feverish. Which gives us a great idea for a successful toy line...
Comic book movie casting news changes faster than Clark Kent in a phone booth. Just a few days ago, Michael Caine (better known as Alfred to some, and as Alfie to others) was telling MTV News that he'd heard it from a Warner Bros. executive that the studio wanted Johnny Depp as the Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. It seemed all but confirmed that Hoffman would waddle onto the big screen as the Bat's next nemesis. When asked about it the next day, though, Hoffman himself denied the long-standing rumor, saying: "No one has talked to me about it, ever -- never." He added that he's "such a fan of those [comic book] movies," but explained that he'd rather watch them than be in them.
If there's one thing I hate more than dolls, it's talking dolls. I'm not afraid of them; I just loathe them. For two days in a row, there was news in the Moviefile about talking dolls. And I'm counting those garden gnomes, because, well... shudder. So, clearly the universe hates me. And just to kick me when I'm down, now comes news from Hollywood Elsewhere that the Powers That Be are trying to screw around with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The problem? The director and the producer are now arguing over the "look" of the movie. Hasn't most of it already been filmed? They showed footage at Comic-Con, for crying out loud, and now they're arguing about how they want it to look? I guess I should just be glad they haven't changed the lead character into a talking Wolverine doll.
It seems that I owe MWoP blogger Odie Henderson a dollar. Odie swore to me that Pineapple Express would not beat The Dark Knight at the box office this weekend, that in fact Batman would stay perched on his high gargoyle until Tropic Thunder came along. While that latter part remains to be seen, it does seem like my estimation of Seth Rogen and James Franco as Bat-breakers on a par with any of Arkham Asylum's inmates was incorrect.
I think the Casting Gods are teasing me. First off, there's a rumor going around that Clint Eastwood might just sign on to play the mayor of Gotham City in the next Batman movie. And secondly, reports have surfaced that Nicolas Cage got cast in a movie that otherwise sounded like it would have been perfectly good. The two tidbits are such polar extremes they threaten to cancel each other out. My Nicolas Cage gag reflex hit me at about the same time as my Clint Eastwood WHOO! reflex, and I had to lie down for a second.
To describe something as "spartan" is to say that it's simple, austere...frugal, even. It has a "less is more" attitude. It's a principle that applied, in a unique way, to that Spartan movie, 300. Writer/director Zack Snyder took less budget ($65 million is relative pocket change in Hollywood) and made more movie with more ass-kicking per square inch of screen than most films with twice the budget. King Leonidas and his band of merry men easily made the money back in the movie's opening weekend. Now Variety reports that Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers are eager to repeat this formula for success, by making a sequel.