The end of the week brings you updates on your favorite (and maybe not-so-favorite) superheroes and what they're up to these days. First up to bat, so to speak, is The Dark Knight. Word just came down from Warner Brothers that the megahit will be re-released in theaters and IMAX on January 23. So if you're one of the handful of Amish people who didn't see it, or you just wanted to watch it for the second or twenty-second time on the big screen, this will be your chance. This will allow The Dark Knight to gain entry into the very exclusive billion-dollar club where the only other members are Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. That ought to make Batman happy. Relatively speaking, of course. Not coincidentally, the re-release happens the day after the Academy Awards nominations are announced.
The release of Tom Cruise's upcoming Valkyrie just got moved. Again. For the third time. The film, which tells the story of a German officer (Cruise) and his failed attempt to assassinate Hitler, has had myriad problems getting to the screen. It has been through everything from rows with the German government to reshoots to rumors about its quality (or lack thereof). Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie was originally slated to be released in June of 2008, got pushed back to October, and then had to film additional scenes in the month it was originally supposed to have been released. It got pushed back again to February of 2009.
When Bryan Singer left the X-Men film franchise to film the reboot of the Superman, comic fans were torn: on the one hand, he was leaving the characters he'd knocked out of the park twice already, in X-Men and X2: X-Men United, but on the other hand he was hopefully going to make Superman cool again. It's a win-win! Well, cut to a few years later, and it's a lose-lose: the retro throwback Superman Returns is underperforming at the box office and Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand is underperforming in fans' expectations. With Superman in line to get another, more reboot-y reboot, Singer is no longer involved, and is now talking to Fox about rejoining the X-Men franchise. While a small part of us would love to see a proper sequel to the first two decent X-Men movies, we mostly want him to stay far, far away. Here's why.
Don't get too excited (or fearful) yet. There's no definite plan for a fresh reboot of the Superman film franchise. There aren't even definite plans for another Superman film, period. Or at least no announced plans. Last month, Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier created a minor hubbub when, according to one website, he told a "French media outlet" that he had "heard whispers at [Warner Bros.]" that they were considering "reinventing" the Super franchise. Whispers of a reboot have been circulating since practically the day Superman Returns bowed in 2006. Now comic book writers Grant Morrison and Mark Waid are talking to MTV's Splash Page about how they'd like to do things.
With a big box office weekend looming (Paramount hopes) with the opening of Iron Man tomorrow, the stars of other superhero franchises are coming out of the woodwork to promote their own upcoming projects. Dark Horizons has both Hugh Jackman of the X-Men offshoot X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Brandon Routh of Bryan Singer's new Superman series out seeing who can out-superhero whom on the publicity circuit.