30
Oct
2013

DC Comics logo

After 75 years in New York City, DC Comics is planning to pack up its offices and head on out to sunny California.

DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson on Tuesday informed the staff of the company that in 2015, the comics branch of the company will be heading out to Burbank, Calif. to work more closely with its multimedia branch in animation, gaming, movies and television production. Everyone who currently works at DC will be allowed to make the choice of whether or not they will be making the move, but thankfully they have some time to think about it.

Here is what the email sent out to the team had to say.

Dear DCE Team,

As I hope you know, I and the entire DCE exec team work hard to offer transparency about as much of our business plans and results as we possibly and responsibly can. In an effort to continue to do that where possible and to ensure you are hearing news from us, rather than a third party, I am proactively reaching out to you this afternoon to share news about our business.

I can confirm that plans are in the works to centralize DCE’s operations in 2015. Next week, the Exec Team will be in New York for a series of meetings to walk everyone through the plans to relocate the New York operations to Burbank. The move is not imminent and we will have more than a year to work with the entire company on a smooth transition for all of us, personally and professionally.

Everyone on the New York staff will be offered an opportunity to join their Burbank colleagues and those details will be shared with you individually, comprehensively and thoughtfully next week. Meeting notifications will be sent tomorrow to ensure the roll out of this information and how it affects the company and you personally.

We know this will be a big change for people and we will work diligently to make this as smooth and seamless a transition as possible.

Best,

Diane

While the move makes sense, it’s also a sad one for long time comic book fans such as myself. New York City has always been the home of the two biggest comic companies, and it has always felt right. You know that setting and vibe has to have an influence on what they produce. Can you imagine Batman having a California influence? No, you can’t.

What this does say to me, however, is that DC and parent company Warner Brothers are more than likely planning to get very serious about film and TV production. While this move sounds expensive on the surface, imagine the dividends it could pay in the end by letting the two divisions talk to each other in real time? This plan, as sad as it may be, makes complete sense when you look at it.

Still… sad thoughts for comic fans.

28
Aug
2012

The Dark Knight Returns animated feature is shaping up to look awesome.

While I’m still not thrilled that this is being split in to multiple parts for the release – and you know there’ll be a boxed set release shortly after the final part comes out – I have to say this is looking fantastic. The way they handled the iconic lightning bolt shot in this just looks great, and I can’t wait to watch it.

… when I buy it as the inevitable boxed set.

4
Aug
2012

Remember when movie posters were awesome? Whatever happened to that?

I used to love a good movie poster, and I have many from the 1980s, but any more I just look at them and go, “… eh.”  A one-sheet – as they are known – should tell you something about the movie, and try to entice you into buying a ticket, but any more they tell you absolutely nothing about the film.

Case in point, the final poster for Dredd 3D was released this week, and lets take a look at it.  (Click the image for a larger view)

Dredd movie poster - 640

Now, lets play the part of someone who has no clue who Judge Dredd is, your average person walking around a movie theater if you will.

  • Burning buildings – Why are those apartment buildings on fire?
  • Judgement is coming – Okay … but what allows him to make a judgement?
  • Dredd – Why did they mis-spell “dread?”  I think that’s what it says on his badge thingy on his chest, but I can’t quite read it.
  • The pistol – What a wimpy looking pistol.

I’m excited for this movie, but this poster tells you pretty much nothing about the film.  It doesn’t immediately imply it’s set in the future in any way.  It doesn’t tell you that Dredd is a Judge, and that those are the equivalent of the police in the future.  It tells you … well … nothing.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not just calling Dredd 3D out here, in general, movie posters are horrible these days and rely far too much on you having seen a trailer or other advertising to have any sort of clue what the movie is going to be about. Of course, there are old example as well of a poster telling you absolutely nothing.  I think the poster below was for a movie about making sure not to crack open spoiled eggs.

Alien movie poster

3
Aug
2012

If you asked pretty much any serious comic book reader what story they feel changed everything in the industry, I can just about guarantee you they would say, “The Dark Knight Returns.”

First published in 1986, The Dark Knight Returns was written and drawn by Frank Miller, and it may have been the one mini-series that made the industry you know today. It was a dark, gritty and unrelenting view of an older Batman that had retired only to see his beloved Gotham City crumble around him.

Many aspects of this story have popped here and there over the years in the movies, but none of them had quite the punch of this story as a whole.  It seemed unlikely we would ever see it in live-action form, so an animated feature will have to do.  I’m not thrilled its being broken into two parts, so I’ll just wait for a collected version to come along.  I’ve waited since 1986, I’m sure I can wait a bit longer.

Batman animated tales tend to be amazing, and if you’ve never tried them before, this would probably be a pretty good choice to jump in.


Frank Miller’s landmark graphic novel about fear, hope and redemption is celebrated with proper measures of haunting visuals and intense action in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives September 25, 2012 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack will include UltraViolet™.

The DC Universe Animated Original Movies have been a fan favorite since debuting in 2007 with Superman Doomsday. Now averaging three releases each year, the DCU animated films are based on classic tales from DC Comics’ revered library or original stories featuring DC’s
fabled characters. Stars of feature film and primetime television populate the stellar voice casts of the DCU animated films. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 represents the 15th film in the ongoing series.

Fanboy demi-god Peter Weller (RoboCop) leads a stellar voice cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Joining Weller behind the microphone is David Selby (The Social Network, Dark Shadows) as Commissioner Gordon, Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Carrie/Robin, three-time DCU veteran Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, and Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap) as Dr. Bartholomew Wolper.

In the bleak and ominous future of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, it’s been a decade since Bruce Wayne hung up his cape, following most of the other superheroes who had been forced into retirement. Facing the downside of middle age, a restless Bruce Wayne pacifies his frustration with racecars and liquor – but the Bat still beckons as he watches his city fall prey to gangs of barbaric criminals known as The Mutants.

The return of Harvey Dent as Two-Face finally prompts Wayne to once again don the Dark Knight’s cowl, and his dramatic capture of the villain returns him to crime-fighting – simultaneously making him the target of law enforcement and the new hope for a desolate Gotham City. Particularly inspired is a teenage girl named Carrie, who adopts the persona of Robin and ultimately saves Batman from a brutal attack by the Mutant leader. Armed with a new sidekick, and re-energized with a definitive purpose, the Dark Knight returns to protect Gotham from foes new … and old.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 is directed by Jay Oliva (Man of Steel, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights) from a screenplay by Bob Goodman (Warehouse 13). Sam Register (Young Justice, Teen Titans, Ben 10) and Bruce Timm (Justice League: Doom) are the executive producers. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 will provide the epic story’s thrilling conclusion with its release in early 2013.

“Frank Miller’s classic re-imagining of Batman has been faithfully recreated under Bruce Timm’s skilled guidance as a masterpiece of storytelling,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Home Video Vice President, Family & Animation Marketing and Partner Brands. “This story has been treated with great reverence, including a tour-de-force performance by science fiction legend Peter Weller as the voice of Batman. We know our fans will not only love this film as a stand-alone, but will clamor for the release of the second half next year.”

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 Blu-ray™ Combo Pack has more than 2 hours of exciting content, including:

  • Standard and high definition versions of the feature film
  • UltraViolet™*
  • Sneak Peak at Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie
  • Featurette – “Her Name is Carrie … Her Role is Robin” – An all-new featurette. Experience the role of Robin, through the eyes of a female warrior.
  • Featurette – “Batman and Me: The Bob Kane Story” – A documentary comprehensively chronicling the remarkable life of the creator of Batman.
  • Two bonus episodes from Batman: The Animated Series handpicked by producer Alan Burnett: Two-Face, Parts 1 and 2
  • Digital Comic – “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” (digital comic with cover art and three full comic pages)
19
Jul
2012

With only one more day until The Dark Knight Rises, it seems like a good time for one last batch of publicity images from the eagerly anticipated film.

You can find all of the images after the jump as there is a bunch of them, but it’s time to say so long to Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe.  It’s going to be difficult for anyone to follow-up on this trilogy, but it is inevitable that someone will try.  I wish them luck, but it is certainly not going to be easy.

I’ll be going opening day, so be sure there will be something said about it over the weekend.

Continue Reading ->

18
Jul
2012

You have to give an actor credit when he decides to go rogue and return to a character of his own accord.  (Fair warning, the video is very not safe for work due to language and violence)

In the video above, Thomas Jane returns to the character of Frank Castle, the Punisher, which he played in a big screen version in 2004.  The movie only did $54.7 million worldwide off of a $33 million budget, so it was certainly not a financial success, and critics were less than kind to it, but it appears Jane still has a fondness for it.

At the recently concluded San Diego Comic-Con, Jane introduced a film simply entitled #dirtylaundry, and also happens to have a cameo from Ron Perlman, also known as Hellboy.  At no time is Jane’s character referenced to as “Frank” or “the Punisher,” but there are enough hints as to who he is supposed to be.  Jane said of the short film:

I wanted to make a fan film for a character I’ve always loved and believed in – a love letter to Frank Castle & his fans. It was an incredible experience with everyone on the project throwing in their time just for the fun of it. It’s been a blast to be a part of from start to finish — we hope the friends of Frank enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.

Jane has said publicly he was not releasing this to promote anything, but it was just something he wanted to share with Punisher fans.

Well, thank you Mr. Jane. I actually liked the majority of your film, and the parts I didn’t like were very clearly not your fault, so … thanks for giving all of us another taste of your take on the character.

15
Jul
2012

The Marvel film panel on Saturday at the San Diego Comic-Con provided a lot of updates on the next projects for the burgeoning film studio.

First up, the official Iron Man 3 logo made its debut and … it says “Iron Man” and “3” … I know you’re all shocked.  (You can click on any image in this post for a much larger view.)

Iron Man 3 logo - 640

Next up, despite the recent revealing of what appeared to be logos for upcoming sequels, it looks like some of them will be abandoning the numbering system.  The second Thor movie will be entitled Thor: The Dark World.

Thor: The Dark World logo - 640

Captain America will also receive a subtitle, and will now be known as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is a term long associated with the character.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier logo - 640

Marvel confirmed Guardians of the Galaxy film that has been rumored for some time now.

Guardians of the Galaxy logo - 640

And the first concept artwork from the film confirms … ROCKET RACOON!  Now there’s something I never envisioned myself confirming …

The team will be made up of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Gamorra and … ROCKET RACOON!  (I still can’t believe Rocket Racoon is making his way into a film.)

Guardians of the Galaxy artwork - 640

Also confirmed, but no release date has been announced as of yet, is Ant-Man. This film has been rumored for ages, but it took Edgar Wright filming some test footage to get Marvel to finally sign off on the project.

Ant-Man logo - 640

So, the new release schedule of Marvel movies is as follows:

  • Iron Man 3 – May 3, 2013
  • Thor:The Dark World – November 15, 2013
  • Captain America:The Winter Soldier – April 4, 2014
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – August 1, 2014
  • The Avengers 2 – ? (My suspicion is 2015)
  • Ant-Man – Unannounced
14
Jul
2012

San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing again, and with that comes the new annual tradition of debuting footage from the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.

This new footage shows off more of the prison and what it takes for our merry band of survivors to call it “home.”  There isn’t any indication of the secret it contains (for those who have read the book, think of “four” things it contains in one room so as not to spoil the TV viewers), but the riot gear is clearly visible, so that’s a bonus.

We also see the downed helicopter which leads to the discovery of the town of Woodbury and The Governor (David Morrissey), and we also get a bit more of a taste of Michonne (Danai Gurira). Truly disappointing, however, is that it is clear they are moving Andrea (Laurie Holden) further and further from the character she is in the books, which happens to be my favorite. At this point she shares very little in common with the person she has become through 100 issues, and that’s just unfortunate as she is one of the most engaging.

While season 2 dragged on The Farm storyline way longer than it lasted in the books (three issues), it looks like The Prison (which lasted a mind boggling 36 issues) is going to be greatly accelerated.

Yes, by the way folks, thanks to numerous changes, the TV show is essentially only through 12 issues of the comic.  By that math, we should be at The Prison for … oh … six seasons?  At least give us one and a half to two seasons there!

Season 3 will premiere on October 14th, 2012.  It is sure to leave me … grumpy.

13
Jul
2012

The first showing of Dredd happened on Wednesday night at San Diego Comic-Con, and it sounds like we can all breathe easy. It’s good.

I have been nervous as heck for Dredd, but I have yet to read a negative word from the advance screening that happened at SDCC on Wednesday night.  Everyone is saying it captures the vibe of the book, and while the budget is clearly not high, the story and acting carries it.  And judging by the ultra-violent clip above, I would have to say they’ve captured the satirical nature of the character and his stories.

Will it play with mainstream audiences?  That’s the big question at this point, but with my biggest concerns out of the way, I can’t wait to see it for myself to see how it works out.

Dredd opens on September 21.

8
Jul
2012

The days before The Dark Knight Rises premieres are dwindling, and to build up even more excitement we now have a small taste of what happened behind the scenes.

Christopher Nolan, the director of this series, is known to loathe the use of CGI when a practical effect can be pulled off. While this is something I normally applaud, what he did with this plane sequence might just be enough to have him hauled off to insane asylum.  The fact that the studio allowed it is also a bit mind boggling to me, but wowzers.  According to one report I read, the shoot had been scheduled for nine days, and it ended up being pulled off in two.

For those of you who fear spoilers before this movie releases, you can watch it without fear.  All it gives away is how much time has passed since The Dark Knight, and what a few of the characters have been up to and not much else.  There are no hints to Bane’s motivations, why Selina Kyle/Catwoman are in Gotham or anything else.

Watch, enjoy and get ready for July 20th.

6
Jul
2012

The Walking Dead Season 3 banner _640

The first banner for the third season of The Walking Dead has been released, and we get a good look at two important characters this show is sure to mess up.

The banner above was released ahead of next week’s San Diego Comic Con and in addition to showing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) it also gives us our first good looks at Michonne (Danai Gurira) and The Governor (David Morrissey).  Anyone who has read the comic knows this is where things get really interesting as we will also be dealing with the prison, and if you look past The Governor you can also see what you have to suspect will be the crashed helicopter.

Michonne, at least in the comic, becomes an essential member of the band of survivors we all know.  And The Governor … well … lets just say some survivors will carry a mark from him they will never forget.

Some of the biggest elements of the comics are about to hit the screen, and while season 1 and 2 left me less than thrilled, I can’t help but watch and see how they handle these story elements.  Will the prison contain the same secrets it did in the book?  Will The Governor still have his special little friend?  Will the eventual resolution have the same impact it did in the book?

This is either going to be one of the most awesome seasons of television ever, or I may end up throwing something at my TV.

5
Jul
2012

Amazing Spider-Man movie posterIt appears that movie going audiences may not care if a The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot, they were ready for more web slinging.

The latest film version of Spider-Man opened up on Tuesday to $35 million with $4 million of that coming from IMAX showings.  This is the largest Tuesday opening ever for a film, and the CinemaScore grades are coming in at an A- average and an A from those 18 and under.  With those scores, it’s going to be a long and big weekend for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

While this is good news, this is down from the opening of Spider-Man 2 in 2004 which opened to $40 million.  With the adjustment for IMAX and 3D viewing ticket prices, that means attendance was down.  The opening for that film was on a Wednesday, and not followed by a non-working holiday, so things ar definitely a bit off.  The proof will be in the pudding as we go into the weekend, but it’ll be interesting to see how it tracks.

Seeing as Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been set for a May 2, 2014 release date, it’s doubtful this is going to matter a whole lot.

[via Deadline]