Ridley Scott Discovers Fountain of Youth is Made of People

While that title is a bit of hyperbole on my part it does capture Ridley Scott’s feeling about the Alien franchise pretty accurately because in 2014 he said that he was done with the Alien.

After all, Prometheus as originally written by Jon Spaiths was chock full of Alien goodness, though rewrites took care of those pesky xenomorphs (unless you count the proto-Alien, known as the Deacon, that appears at the end of the movie).

Flash-forward to early 2017, and Scott’s not only talking about Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus but that he’s so keen on the creature he was finished with just over two years prior that he’s willing to crank out sequels as long as people are willing to pay to see them.

And that’s an awesome thing because no one has a visual esthetic as keen as as Ridley Scott, though I am curious as to what changed his mind.

Part of me thugs that 20th Century Fox just pulled up with a massive truckload of money and dumped it at his door, but who knows.

4 Reasons Fox Is Ill-Equipped To Handle Their Marvel Franchises

 1.Fox Remembered Way Too Late That These Characters Were Based On Comicbooks

If you recall The original X-Men movie their costumes were black leather, which was probably done because the producers thought that audiences wouldn’t accept superheroes in all their technicolor, spandex-clad glory.

And at the time, they were probably right.

Though times change–though thankfully not about spandex–and  an upstart studio by the name of Marvel started producing superhero-based movies that interpreted these characters–visually as well as thematically–more faithfully than was typically the case.

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By way of illustration, here’s an image of Jean Gray/Dark Phoenix (Famke Janssen) from X-Men: The Last Stand.








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And here’s the version of the Dark Phoenix from The Uncanny X-Men comic.

Notice a difference?  The movie version tried to reinterpret the comics’ version, but is too tentative to be effective.  And that’s not for a moment to be interpreted to mean that the costume would have worked if it looked exactly comics-faithful (I suspect that it wouldn’t have).

Though the design they ended up going with?  Too safe by half.




2. The Galactus Cloud 

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This is Galactus, a character that literally survives by devouring PLANETS!   He’s one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, and instantly recognizable to most comics fans.

And below is the version of that was used in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.

img_0038Yep, it’s a cloud–a very cool-looking cloud, to be sure, but a cloud nonetheless–though perhaps what’s even worse is that I have seen some concept drawings never used in the film where the cloud was used to obscure Galactus and his space ship.

Which is a great idea that would have made a lot more sense than just the cloud alone, and would have really motivated fans of the Fantastic Four into the theater.

3. The Problem With Wolverine

Fox’s fixation with Wolverine is something I carp on on pretty much a regular basis (and since I see no reason to stop now…)

For a time, Wolverine was as popular in the comics as he was in the movies, though due to the way comics work it’s easier to give an uber-popular character space to grow (perhaps by spinning them off into their own title), while not alienating people who prefer other members of the team he happened to be a member of.

Movies don’t work as efficiently or as quickly as publishing a comic, so when producers of the movies noticed that Wolverine was so popular with moviegoers (as he was with fans of the comics) they made a serious mistake: They made him the center of which all things revolved.  There were other characters, though most were treated not nearly as well as Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (with the possible exception of Michael Fassbender’s Magneto and maybe Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique).

What made the comics such a success–other than John Byrne–was that the X-Men were always a team. Individual members would rise and fall in terms of prominence, but when all is said and done, everyone would share the spotlight at some point.

4. Declining Box Office Receipts

While some may think that reducing movies to box office figures isn’t a good thing–and how enjoyable a movie is doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how much money it earns–it’s a fact of life that if a movie doesn’t finish its run in the black, the likelihood is that that’s the last we are going to hear about it (until the inevitable reboot) because no one typically sets out to make movies that fail.

That being said what’s surprising isn’t that the X-Men movies have been popular–most of the movies were–but a few weren’t financially successful.

The third film in the series, X-Men: The Last Stand, earned somewhere in the ballpark of $459 million worldwide, on a production budget of $210 million.

Typically, a rule of thumb is that a movie has to earn three times its production costs to be in the black, something The Last Stand did not do.

For that matter nor did its follow up, X-Men: First Class, which earned $354 million on a $160 million budget (which reminds me: the special effects in First Class we’re so bad in places that they looked unfinished, which made me wonder where that $160 million went because whatever it was, it wasn’t toward special effects).

X-Men: Days Of Future Past was one of most profitable of the series, earning $748 million on a $200 million budget, while it’s sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, didn’t quite fare as well, earning $544 million on a budget of $178 million (profitable, if you use the 3X rule, though not terribly so).

The latest rumor is that Fox intends to reboot the X-Men movies, though what they apparently can’t count on is Marvel Studios saving their franchise in a similar fashion to what will probably be the case with Spider-Man because all signs indicate that it’s not in the cards.

Is Fox Trying To Make Quicksilver Look Even More Uninteresting?

Whether or not you prefer the version of Quicksilver that appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past or Avengers: Age of Ultron (my money is always on the latter because in Age of Ultron Quicksilver was an actual character, while in Days Of Future Past he was little more than a deux ex machina, designed to pull the X–Men’s fat from the fire) the character ended up being the most interesting part of the movie, though many fans were torn over how the character looked.

Here’s Quicksilver from X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Quicksilver (DoFP)

He looks pretty bad, especially compared to the interpretation from Age of Ultron.

Quicksilver (AoU)

Now, if fantastic, god-like power and (admittedly) cool visuals are the metric of being a superhero, then the Fox version was better; though if looks and being an actual character matter, Marvel Studios’ version was hands-down the winner.

Recently this image of Quicksilver from X-Men: Apocalypse was poster on Superherohype, and if at all possible, he looks even worse (and what’s with the tiara he’s wearing?).

Quicksilver (X-Men: Apocalypse)

Now, admittedly this image lacks any sort of context and it’s likely isn’t how Quicksilver will dress for a majority of the movie (since Mystique is dressed the same it implies that they’re infiltrating some sort of place) but he actually looks worse than he does in the first movie.

Fox Fraks The Puppy: The Peanuts Edition

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I was going to link to the latest trailer for The Peanuts, except that for some reason Fox isn’t allowing it.  I’ve tried different sites, but the result is the same:  No love.

Which is a bit weird in that this is the fourth trailer from the movie, so I am not quite seeing the logic.

Then again, blocking a trailer for movies that people want to see is never a good strategy, promotionally speaking.  Now there’s the possibility that it was released unintentionally–or pirated, which I doubt–though if that happens to be the case, that’s when the studio should go all ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron‘ on them (though as far as I am aware, Marvel Studios never pulled the trailer).

Roll, baby, roll.

Meet Baymax!

As you can tell from the screenshots of the Tweets that I have included below, I have been having a few conversations with Baymax, of Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6.  He’s very literal, as is the way with most machines–and reminds me quite a bit of Apple Inc’s Siri.

Besides, how can you resist a mug like that?  And if you’re unfamiliar with who he–or should I say “what” Baymax is–I have included a trailer from the upcoming feature (which is based upon Marvel Comics’ Sunfire And Big Hero Six).

Sunfire isn’t joining the team this time around because he’s currently licensed to 20th Century Fox (and appeared in X-Men: Days Of Future Past).

Baymax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Crossovers: Why 20th Century Fox & Sony Need To Go It Alone

I understand why some fans of characters like the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Spider-Man and The Avengers want to see all their favorite heroes on the screen at the same time.  Imagine the Avengers..avenging, when Spider-Man swings by or the X-Men encountering Iron man or Captain America?  It’s not impossible, though it is very unlikely because Iron Man and Captain America are owned by Marvel Studios, while Spider-Man is licensed to Sony/Columbia and the X-Men, which includes Wolverine, are licensed to 20th Century Fox.

As I said, I get it, though unlike some what I also understand is that there are even more reasons why it shouldn’t (any time soon, at any rate).

Let’s look at this on a studio-by-studio basis.

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Everything You Need to Know About ‘Daredevil’ Before It Premieres On Netflix, But Aren’t Geeky Enough To Ask

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 6.01.00 PMIf you needed another reason to love Marvel Studios–besides their awesome movies–it’s probably because they’re best at translating their characters to the screen, which is why when I heard that they were preparing to launch four new series exclusively for Netflix a few months ago, I was so happy that you’d think that I was somehow profiting from it.

The characters that they are using, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist (which my fingers keep typing as ‘Iron Fish’) and Jessica Jones.  And like in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, where the adventures of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk culminated in The Avengers, the characters on Netflix will meet and fight a common foe in The Defenders.

Who Is Daredevil?

Daredevil was created in 1964 by Stan Lee, Bill Everett and Jack Kirby and was introduced in Daredevil#1.  The character came by his powers when, as a child in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.  He was splashed by some radioactive substance that fell from a truck that was transporting it.  He lost his sight, but gained a radar sense that acted similar to a bat’s sonar.

His father, Jack Murdock, refused to throw a fight, and was killed by mobsters.  To avenge him, he created an alter ego called Daredevil, who’s known as The Man Without Fear.

It’s probably not an accident that Daredevil is in many ways very similar to Spider-Man.  Stan Lee had a hand in both characters, though this time he worked with Steve Ditko.  Both characters were raised by single parents–Matt Murdock by his father, while Peter Parker was brought up by his Aunt May after her husband, and his uncle, was killed.  Parker was bit by a radioactive spider, and like most radioactive substances in comics, gave him powers and abilities similar to the spider that bit him.

When he let’s a thief escape, the very same thief ends up killing his Uncle Ben.  Parker blamed himself for what happened, and dedicated his life to righting wrongs as Spider-Man.

Matt Murdoch was splashed in the eyes by a radioactive substance that spilled from a truck that was transporting it.  He didn’t get the proportional strength of a truck, though he did gain a radar sense, similar to the sonar bats use (and bats see quite well, by the way.  Their navigational technique, known as echolocation helps then to catch prey in the dark environs, or at night, that most bats prefer).

It will be interesting to see is how the makers of Daredevil will explain Daredevil’s athletic abilities, which in the comics seem on par with Spider-Man, despite being nothing more than a very athletic person with a radar sense.

Though Daredevil is similar to Spider-Man in other ways, such as some of their villains.

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