There’s No Anti-Venom For Dumb

According to The Wrap Sony is releasing a movie based on Venom–last seen in Sam Raimi’s 2007’s Spider-Man 3, which I will return to shortly–October 5th of 2018.

The ‘dumb’ is that this version of Venom will apparently  exist independently of Marvel Studios’ upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming which is a bit odd since Venom was introduced in Spider-Man’s comic, so to not have these two characters interact with each other is a bit odd.

Now, let’s go back to Sam Raimi and Spider-Man 3.

Supposedly, he was so pissed with Avi Arad–a producer of the upcoming Venom movie with Matt Tolmack–for forcing him to put Venom in Spider-Man 3 that he hired Topher Grace to play the symbiont’s host (the implication being that that was the opposite of what Arad wanted).

And it leaked out, if I recall during the hack that put all of Sony’s business out for everyone to see, that Marvel Studios taking the reigns of the Spider-Man franchise was conditional on Avi Arad NOT being involved (it wasn’t the only condition, but it was an important one).

So now Sony is putting Venom–a character that exists in the Spider-Man universe–in the hands of Avi Arad; the guy responsible for overstuffing Spider-Man 3, and whom irritated  Kevin Feige (who appears to be a very easy-going guy) so much that Marvel Studios riding in and essentially saving Sony’s bacon was conditional on him not being involved.

Yeah, this is going to work out just fine.

The Origin Of The (Cinematic) Universe, Part One


‘Early Milky Way’ image via hubblesite.com

Success breeds imitation, and in the past ten years few movie companies have been successful as Marvel Studios.

And while many in the Hollywood community seem surprised, if they had any idea of the pent-up demand for seeing characters like Iron Man, Falcon and many others that millions of people have grown up with from Marvel Comics, on the silver screen, they probably wouldn’t have been.

Though what made Marvel Studios such a success wasn’t superheroes in and of themselves (despite the aforementioned demand) but the way they were presented.

What Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, brought to the table was the creation of an integrated cinematic universe, the likes of much had never been seen in movies before (coupled with extremely faithful interpretations of the characters).

And as far as ‘imitation’ goes, other companies have tried to mimic the approach of Marvel  Studios, with varying degrees of success.

Sony Pictures attempted to create a cinematic universe based on Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man movies. After an initially strong showing, the sequel–while profitable–indicated a definite downward trend, financially speaking, for the franchise.

So they, perhaps anticipating the franchise falling precipitously enough that the rights would eventually revert back to Marvel, instead entered into a deal where future Spider-Man movies would be under Marvel Studios’ creative control, while both studios produced (some have written that the upcoming movies would be produced exclusively by Sony, with Marvel providing only creative control.  This literally makes no sense at all because having only creative control gives Marvel Studios relatively little, while granting Sony access to the uber-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., is one of the most successful Marvel Studios’ characters, who’ll next appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming). 

Universal Pictures plans to create a cinematic universe based upon Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy (which is filming with Tom Cruise in the lead).  At this point it’s too early to tell how well it will do.

What’s perhaps most surprising is the current position of DC Films in the world of the cinematic universe.  ‘Surprising’ because before Marvel Studios was barely an idea they were producing movies based upon Superman and Batman.  The problem was that–for reasons that will probably never be entirely known–they never built and expanded their offerings, despite seemingly ample opportunities to do so.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2016-07-23 20.23.58

I have to admit that I enjoyed the first trailer for Zach Snyder’s Justice League. but if I say I weren’t concerned I’d be lying.

Reason being, he had two chances to make movies based on Batman and Superman.

The first attempt, Man of Steel is enjoyed by many, but in its way is as divisive as its follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

And the worse thing is, his task was relatively easy in that all he to do is work with two characters that between them have somewhere in the ballpark of 150 years of history.

Relatively little in in the way of a rethink was necessary, or warranted.

Acknowledge that history, and go from there. Such an approach works really, really well with Marvel Studios, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s uber-faithful interpretations of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy

My question is why did Zach Snyder, and by extension Warner Bros., though that they could so greviously misinterpret–some say ‘reinterpret,’ though the problem with that reasoning is that you can’t reinterpret something that wasn’t interpreted correctly in the first place–these characters.

Never mind that they were seeking to differentiate themselves from Marvel Studios, because I get the feeling that most people don’t confuse Batman with Spider-Man or Superman with Thor.

 

 

Captain America : Civil War Final Teaser Trailers

Team Cap Trailer

I have to admit that I am warming up to the whole “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” chant (and for editorial purposes I also admit that I am all about Team Cap, despite that the awesome-looking Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is on Team Iron Man).

In commemoration to the trailer that’s going to be released tomorrow–rumored to be very Spidey-centric, which I hope remains just that: a rumor–here are two trailers highlighting the divisions our heroes are split into after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Team Iron Man Trailer

And while I haven’t seen Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice let’s say that Warner Bros. was really wise to move it to a different date than Captain America: Civil War because this movie feels like it’s going to be a monster at the box office.

And speaking of box office, if Marvel Studios follows their traditional release pattern, the movie will premiere in overseas markets before domestic ones, which means that it’s not unconceivable that the movie will already be profitable by the time it’s released in the United States.’

By the way, did anyone else notice that they didn’t show a headshot of Rhodey (Don Cheadle) outside the War Machine armor like the other characters?

Hmmm….

Marvel’s Daredevil – Official Season Two Trailer

Screenshot 2016-01-07 19.25.43.png

The first season of Marvel’s Daredevil had a huge hurdle to overcome.

When Fox released the 2003 movie based on the character, he was treated pretty much as a red-suited Spider-Man, which anyone familiar to the character could tell you isn’t the way to go.

In any case, the movie didn’t do badly from a financial standpoint, so Fox intended to proceed with a sequel (though likely without Ben Affleck) and were gearing up to do just that when they lost their director (David Slade, who went on to direct Hannibal on NBC).

Continue reading

Cop Car – Trailer

I am really curious about Jon Watts’ Cop Car, mainly because on the strength of it Watts was chosen to direct Sony/Marvel Studios’s upcoming Spider-Man reboot.

Do I want to see it more than I do Sinister 2?  Not necessarily, but I have to admit that I am curious.

Daredevil (2015) Ep. 1: Into The Ring

Daredevil poster

“An Auspicious Beginning For Marvel’s Un-Caped Crusader.”

Daredevil openingWhen I was growing up, comics not only taught me how to read, but they inspired me to action; I remember vividly running about New York City, trekking through Central Park like Cortez or exploring abandoned buildings with my not-so-super friends. And I would read–though perhaps devour is a better word–just about anything I could find, though I preferred comics. Batman, Green Lantern, The Justice League, I read it all. Though I gravitated most to Marvel.  There was something about their superheroes that hit closer to home for me.  I have no idea why, though it wasn’t because of their origins (after all, while I have been bitten by insects, they never gave me any enhanced abilities–though I do sometimes develop an annoying allergic reaction to mosquito bites).

Though I was never particularly fond of Daredevil.  Even Frank Miller’s run, while critically acclaimed, never moved me.  It’s not that I hated the character–far from it!–it’s just that he more often than not felt like pale copy of some much better characters. Then there was Ben Affleck’s turn as the Man Without Fear in the 2003 movie.  The costume was good, but the CGI was rubbery; though he acted like a blind version of Spider-Man. The movie wasn’t terrible, but also wasn’t differentiated enough from other more popular superheroes to work as as well as it should have. Enter 2015 and Netflix, who’s producing four 13-episode television series, based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones (who I have no idea about), Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Marvel Studios, unlike Sony and their Amazing Spider-Man franchise, realize that most people are familiar enough with superheroes that they don’t want to sit through hours of origin story, so how Daredevil comes by his abilities is literally over in the first three or four minutes–if that long.

I’m watching the first episode, Into The Ring, as I type.  And so far, it’s pretty good. The small screen suits the character, its confides somehow as restricting as Matt Murdock’s lack of sight.  The series has a very noir look, with lots of shadows and characters being defined by the reflected light emanating from the sprawling city all around them, which is a character in and of itself. And while I can’t (yet) speak to whether the entire first series will be as entertaining as Into The Ring, I’m optimistic. Verdict: Must See TV, Marvel Style.