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The "John Carter" That Might Have Been

3 hours ago

Several years before the film began production, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" creator and director Kerry Conran was attached to take the helm of a film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough's beloved science fiction series "John Carter of Mars" at Paramount Pictures.

Conrad's version didn't come together and the film ended up at Disney where Andrew Stanton took the helm and delivered the Taylor Kitsch-led version which sadly became one Hollywood's most famous big budget bombs of modern times.

Today, AICN's Harry Knowles has posted a high-res version of the presentation reel for Conran's original vision of the story. The clip, which has previously only been available in blurry low-res, shows off some stunning artwork along with test footage of some fighting.

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- Garth Franklin

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"Selma" Helmer Will Not Direct "Panther"

3 hours ago

"Selma" director Ava DuVernay has officially ended the rumors that she would be taking the helm of Marvel's "Black Panther". Speaking with Essence magazine, DuVernay provided a definitve answer about her involvement:

"I'm not signing on to direct Black Panther. I think I'll just say we had different ideas about what the story would be. Marvel has a certain way of doing things and I think they're fantastic and a lot of people love what they do. I loved that they reached out to me.

I loved meeting Chadwick (Boseman) and writers and all the Marvel execs. In the end, it comes down to story and perspective. And we just didn't see eye to eye. Better for me to realize that now than cite creative differences later … I love the character of Black Panther, the nation of Wakanda and all that that could be visually. I wish them well and »

- Garth Franklin

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Snyder, Affleck Comment On Marvel vs. DC

5 hours ago

Fans have long debated the difference between DC and Marvel movies, a debate that will only get bigger as Warners expands its fledgling DC Cinematic Universe in coming years and offers a big push of that front at next weekend's Comic Con.

A few months back Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara was asked about the debate and said: "The worlds of DC are very different. They’re steeped in realism, and they’re a little bit edgier than Marvel’s movies." It was a comment that incited a lot of debate on social media networks.

Now the new Batman himself, Ben Affleck, was asked by EW (via ComicBook.com) about the differences and says of the DC films and "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" in particular:

"It is more mythic, it is more grand in that way, and it is a little more realistic. Just by their nature, these »

- Garth Franklin

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Netflix Having Trouble Cracking "Iron Fist"?

5 hours ago

We've already had "Daredevil," "Jessica Jones" is due later this year and "Luke Cage" is coming in 2016. Yet news of the fourth of the proposed TV series collaborations between Marvel and Netflix, "Iron Fist," has been strangely quiet.

A new report at Birth.Movies.Death suggests that the series is proving a tougher nut to crack than expected. Various people have reportedly been brought in to pitch ideas, but the producers are still having trouble settling on a direction for the show due to the character's mystical superpowers.

There's reportedly concerns over how far that can be taken in a live-action context, especially as it is sharing the same universe as "Daredevil" which kept things very grounded. No further details are available though.

Meanwhile the other shows are going smoothly - production on the second season of "Daredevil" gets underway soon, "Jessica Jones" is well into its production cycle, and »

- Garth Franklin

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Matt Smith's "Genisys" Role Explained

6 hours ago

As this week's film release "Terminator Genisys" was planned as the start of a new trilogy within the venerable sci-fi series, the film incorporates some elements and twists that don't make sense in the context of this film alone. Others seem oddly under serviced.

Spoilers Ahead For "Terminator Genisys

One of the most visible is the inclusion of former "Doctor Who" star Matt Smith who plays the key role of 'Skynet' itself in both a physical manifestation and holographic form, albeit for only brief scenes within the film. Speaking with CraveOnline, 'Genisys' scribes Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier spoke more about Smith's character:

"You see in the beginning [Matt Smith] grabs John. He's not from this timeline. He's from an alternate universe, in the multiverse. Another of the many universes that exist. That Skynet is not from that timeline... This Skynet has been to this universe, and this universe, and this universe. »

- Garth Franklin

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New Details On "Batman v Superman" Scenes

6 hours ago

Following on from yesterday's first look photos, new details have emerged about various key scenes in Zack Snyder's upcoming "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" film . EW reports that one "comically grim" scene will take place at Wayne Manor and features both a weary Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and his butler Alfred (Jeremy Irons) sitting around a burned-out fireplace. In the scene, Wayne Manor is now a "derelict husk" and the pair are discussing Bruce's upcoming confrontation with Superman.

Another scene features the same pair having a discussion in the Batcave: "Bruce outlines his motivations to a skeptical Alfred, a bit of realpolitik reasoning that weighs the morality of a preemptive strike on Superman against even the minimal chance of humanity's destruction."

Yet another one is the extended fight between the two superheroes seen in the trailer. In the fight, the pair are seen "throwing each other through walls »

- Garth Franklin

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"Arkham Knight" Batgirl Dlc Date Set

7 hours ago

Warner Brothers has announced the release date for "Batgirl: A Matter of Family," the first post-launch Dlc pack for the recently released video game "Batman: Arkham Knight".

For those who bought the Season Pass, the Dlc will debut on July 14th. For those who did not and want to purchase it separately, you'll have to wait a week until July 21st.

Set prior to the events of "Batman: Arkham Asylum," "Batgirl: A Matter of Family" will allow players to take on the role of Batgirl and features an all-new location with multiple missions, side quests, a new hacking feature, and Dual Play functionality with Robin.

This Dlc pack was not done by the game's developer Rocksteady Studios, rather it was done by WB Games Montreal who was behind the previous game in the series - "Batman: Arkham Origins". Rocksteady will be tackling development of all the other Dlc for the game though. »

- Garth Franklin

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Two More "Deadpool" Photos Online

7 hours ago

On top of yesterday's new photo, 20th Century Fox has released two more shots from its upcoming 'hard R' rated "X-Men" spin-off film "Deadpool" starring Ryan Reynolds as the titular hero - a former Special Forces operative turned mercenary who hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

One of the shots also offers a first look at Ellie Phimister a.k.a. Negasonic Teenage Warhead (played by newcomer Brianna Hildebrand) alongside Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds). The movie is slated for release February 12th next year.

Source: 20th Century Fox »

- Garth Franklin

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Photos: "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

7 hours ago

Continuing their pre-Comic Con coverage, EW has posted new photos and details about the upcoming period horror tale "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" which will be getting its own panel in San Diego next weekend.

Based on Seth Grahame-Smith's mash-up novel, the film takes Jane Austen's classic "Pride and Prejudice" and re-imagines it with an apocalyptic twist. The film's director Burr Steers says that despite the premise, the tone here is not camp in the slightest with the action played straight:

"The idea was that it was Pride and Prejudice set in this alternate world and then for everyone to play it straight. The movie's big wink is that there is no big wink."

Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Jack Huston and Matt Smith str in the film which opens February 19th next year.

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- Garth Franklin

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"Ant-Man" Tracking For $65M Opening

7 hours ago

Proving that Marvel can pretty much sell anything, the first early tracking figures are in for their "Ant-Man" film which opens in two weeks.

According to THR, the film is headed toward a potential $55-65 million opening at the North American box office. That's better than expected as the film does not seem to have the pre-release hype that last year's more offbeat looking "Guardians of the Galaxy" did - that film opened to $94.3 million domestically.

As of now, "Ant-Man" is tracking more along the lines of the first "Thor" and "Captain America" films which both opened around the $65 million level. In the lead up to the film's release, Marvel has posted one last trailer which you can see below:

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- Garth Franklin

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"Hello Kitty" Gets A Big Budget Movie

8 hours ago

Iconic Japanese brand Hello Kitty is getting a film adaptation with lifestyle company Sanrio set to finance and produce a feature based on the character.

The project is expected to have a combined production and marketing budget of anywhere from $160 million-$240 million according to Sanrio executives who will produce the project through its U.S.-based Sanrio Media & Pictures Entertainment division.

The plan at present is for a 2019 worldwide release. Sanrio is also said to be considering other character properties to produce films about as well with the likes of "My Melody" and "Little Twin Stars" being potential candidates.

Source: Deadline »

- Garth Franklin

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Wahlberg, Berg To Travel "Mile 22" Together

8 hours ago

Actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg are in negotiations to re-team for the action thriller "Mile 22" for Stx Entertainment.

Wahlberg would play a CIA agent stationed in Indonesia who is tasked with transporting a compromised informant from the center of the city to an awaiting getaway plane at an airport twenty-two miles away.

While en route they must battle corrupt police, crime bosses and heavily armed locals who are all hell-bent on taking them out before they reach their plane.

Ufc champ Ronda Rousey and "The Raid" star Iko Uwais also star in the film which boasts a script by Graham Roland. Berg would direct and would also produce alongside Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson.

Wahlberg and Berg, who previously worked together on "Lone Survivor," are currently shooting Lionsgate's true story disaster film "Deepwater Horizon".

Source: Heat Vision »

- Garth Franklin

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Story Details For "Star Wars: Shattered Empire"

2 July 2015 11:30 AM, PDT

The thirty year gap between the original "Star Wars" trilogy and the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is being slowly revealed across a series of novels, comics, kids books and more which are all considered official "Star Wars" canon.

The key title in the series though is the comic "Star Wars: Shattered Empire" which explores events directly after "Return of the Jedi". Today, Marvel Comics has revealed the official synopsis for the Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto penned four-issue mini-series:

"Emperor Palpatine's twenty-year reign of terror came to an abrupt and fiery end in the skies above the forest moon of Endor. A decisive victory for the Rebel Alliance, to be sure, but even with the loss of its leadership, the Empire's Moffs and regional governors retained their hold on important systems from the Core to the Outer Rim, thanks to the might of the Imperial Starfleet. Now, with »

- Garth Franklin

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"Ant-Man" Helmer Talks Prequel, "Civil War"

2 July 2015 11:25 AM, PDT

Though he came in late to the game, filmmaker Peyton Reed took charge of Marvel Studios' "Ant-Man" film and now doesn't seem to want to leave the party.

Speaking with ComicBook.com, Reed says not only would he be happy to return to the story to direct a follow-up, he'd love it to be a prequel about Michael Douglas' character - the original Ant-Man Hank Pym:

"Listen, if we were lucky enough to be able to do a sequel or even a prequel, I'd be way into it. I've really fallen in love with these characters. I was always in love with the characters in the comic book world, but there's a lot of story to tell with Hank Pym.

Growing up reading comics in the late '60s, early '70s, as a really young kid, he's one of the defining characters in the Marvel Comics universe »

- Garth Franklin

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News Bits: Kill, Sdcc, Marvel, Gambit, Jenny

2 July 2015 9:47 AM, PDT

Kill Your Friends

StudioCanal have released the first photos from the black comedy "Kill Your Friends" based on John Niven's 1990s UK music industry-set novel. Nicholas Hoult stars in the film as a 27 year-old hotshot turns to murder to get ahead of his peers. The film opens in the UK on November 6th. [Source: Empire]

San Diego Comic Con

Comic-Con organizers have reached a deal to remain in San Diego through 2018 with the announcement due later this morning. With an average over 130,000 attendees in recent years, the event, has outgrown itself with much of the negotiations dealing with guarantees from dozens of local hotels to keep their costs down. [Source: Variety]

Marvel One Shots

Marvel seems to have given up on filming further "Marvel One-Shot" short films for now, though they have a number of different ideas for ones in the future. Marvel's Kevin Feige tells Collider he doesn't know when further ones »

- Garth Franklin

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Renner Talks "Rogue Nation" Filming Issues

2 July 2015 8:49 AM, PDT

Paramount showed a lot of confidence in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" when it moved the film up by five months, and that confidence seems to have paid off with early word from test screenings being that it is one of the best in the series.

Even so, the production did have rumors of some minor problems during filming. One of them might be the actors being kept in the dark due to the secrecy surrounding the movie. Speaking with Playboy, actor Jeremy Renner suggested his time on the film's set wasn't as ideal as he might have hoped, partly because the UK shoot kept him away from his daughter:

"This 'Mission' was like all the 'Mission's - great action set pieces with an idea of a story somewhere in there. There have been four successful versions before this one, so why would I fight the process? I just went »

- Garth Franklin

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New Photo From Marvel & Fox's "Deadpool"

2 July 2015 8:44 AM, PDT

Ahead of Comic Con next weekend, 20th Century Fox has released a new still from its film adaptation of the Marvel comics hero "Deadpool" featuring Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with a Mouth.

EW premiered the still and an accompanying article in which producer Simon Kinberg spoke about the film's tone: “Deadpool is a hard R. It's graphic. Nothing is taboo. You either commit to a truly outrageous boundary-pushing kind of movie or you don't.”

Director Tim Miller adds: "I felt Fight Club and Tyler Durden were good corollaries. We are in strip clubs and dive bars and crappy apartments and far away from the shiny X-Men world."

The film itself is slated to open February 12th next year. »

- Garth Franklin

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First "Doctor Who" S9 Photo Released

2 July 2015 7:56 AM, PDT

BBC America have released the first official photo from the ninth season of "Doctor Who" with Peter Capaldi's current incarnation of the Time Lord standing outside of the Tardis in a desolate landscape in the show's season premiere.

Capaldi tells EW that the shot is just before The Doctor makes a mistake that has "catclysmic repercussions" and ties back to a conflict that is central to his being. Asked how the new season will differ from last year, Capaldi says:

"He's throwing himself into life with a newfound hunger for adventure. He's in pursuit of joy and grabbing every thrill that he can along the way. But I sense him running from something, that even he does not yet understand. There is an epic sweep to this season and I think the villains and monsters reflect that. Great new ones, brilliant old ones, and some very scary creatures looming »

- Garth Franklin

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"Batman v Superman" First Official Stills

2 July 2015 4:59 AM, PDT

With Comic Con coming next week which will include a major panel for Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," the first official stills from the project have arrived and showcase Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor in a wig, the first photo of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince (aka. Wonder Woman) in civilian garb, looks at Henry Cavill's Superman and Ben Affleck's Batman, and a cover photo of the trio in their costumes.

Speaking with EW who premiered the photos, Affleck says this is a more mature Batman than we're used to seeing: "He's at the end of his run and maybe the end of his life. There's this sort of world-weariness to it... He's on the verge of being swallowed up by the anger and the rage that we see haunt this character in the other manifestations of it. But this guy is further down »

- Garth Franklin

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"Hannibal" Cast Released From Contracts

2 July 2015 4:27 AM, PDT

Ten days since NBC cancelled the series, the cast of "Hannibal" are no longer under contract with their options expiring last night and the show's production company Gaumont International Television choosing not to extend them.

Stars Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are now free agents again and are already fielding film and TV offers, which complicates the chances of another network or streaming service picking up the series as new deals would have to be hammered out.

Nevertheless Gaumont is said to be continuing talks with potential distributors, and from all reports both actors love the show and have previously indicated they would like to reprise their roles.

Another complication though is show runner Bryan Fuller. Fuller is committed to Starz's "American Gods" series and while he's not the show runner on that, he said in interviews last week he has an obligation to it and: "I absolutely want to »

- Garth Franklin

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