Actor/rapper Donald Glover is set to live out his dream and suit up as comic book superhero Spider-Man in animated Disney series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors. The Community star will bring to life the role he inspired, voicing Miles Morales, a teenager of Black Hispanic descent, who takes over the web-slinging alter-ego following the death of original protagonist Peter Parker, played in the show by Drake Bell.
The upcoming episode, which will air in the U.S. later this year (14), will feature Parker travelling to alternate dimensions and meeting other incarnations of Spider-Man.
Comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis came up with the idea of introducing Morales to the Ultimate Spider-Man series in 2011 after being inspired by Glover's Twitter.com efforts to land an audition for the title role for the rebooted film franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man. The coveted part ended up going to Andrew Garfield.
And Glover admits he is flattered to become part of the franchise he adored growing up.
He tells USA Today, "I never liked Superman that much, because I was like, 'Yo, this dude can't die. It's too easy.' Batman is pretty fly. He's a close second, just because he doesn't really have powers. He's just a justice-driven vigilante.
"Spider-Man is the best because you just don't know who he is, and he's funny and he's poor. I understand Spider-Man a lot on that level. He's just trying to make it."
However, Glover reveals he is still hoping to get the call to join the live-action movie series in the future: "I still have hopes to do something like that one day."
With the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 there has been some buzz about what will happen to Peter Parker once Andrew Garfield’s three-film contract is up with Sony. Will the studio re-cast Peter? Will Peter hand the reigns off to another Spider-Man that has been featured in the comics? And, if so, will that Spider-Man be Miles Morales?
Miles Morales donned the Spidey getup in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man series that ran from 2011 to 2013; he also happened to be the first half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man. It would make complete sense for Miles to become a part of Sony’s Spider-Man films since the character was partially inspired by the casting of The Amazing Spider-Man. When the studio was originally casting for the film, there was a big push from fans to cast Community’s Donald Glover as Peter Parker — and, as a result, a lot of backlash from fans who thought Peter Parker could never be anything other than white. But these events, as well as the election of Barack Obama, led comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso to the question: “Why does Spider-Man have to be white?” Then they created Miles Morales.
In a recent interview with Comic Book Resources, the current Spider-Man star said he’s thought a lot about the inclusion of Miles. “I don’t have an answer,” Garfield said of whether the transition would happen. “But I think it’s actually a really important move. I think it’s a really beautiful and important move.”
However, producers of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach told Indiewire that they’re not planning on straying away from Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. Of course, they also said that whoever picks up the reigns after they leave the series (whenever that may be) could have a different vision for the franchise. Plus, Arad and Tolmach argued that they wouldn’t try to transition Spider-Man from Peter to Miles because Marvel failed a similar attempt in Spider-Man 3. However, if Marvel Studios pulls off a Captain America transition from Steve Rogers to Bucky Barnes, their argument would be completely moot.
Since Sony is planning on building a whole shared universe around The Amazing-Spider Man, with Sinister Six and Venom movies already announced, it would seem ridiculous to limit the franchise to Peter Parker as the only featured webslinger. A new on-screen version of Spider-Man, especially a non-white take on the beloved character, could make the character appeal to an even wider audience.
Though it may have taken a long time for comic book heroes to diversify, it has become a reality. Now, those of us who appreciate diverse representation in the comics would like to see a similar push to diversify the cinematic universes — meaning the heroes as well as the villains.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Source: Heat Vision Blog
Zac Efron has been making rounds attempting to change his Disney bred golden child image, attaching himself to adaptations of Brian Michael Bendis' Fire and the long gestating Johnny Quest film. Today, THR's Heat Vision Blog reports that he'll also star in and produce and English language adaptation of Snabba Cash, the Swedish thriller that was the subject of a heavy Hollywood bidding war and has just found a home with Warner Bros. (where Efron has recently set up a production deal with manager Jason Barrett).
Snabba is based on a novel by Jens Lapidus and was a major hit in its home country. The thriller followed three interconnected storylines involving drugs and organized crime, with the main character a young financial wizard who hopes to strike it rich quickly by becoming a runner for a coke dealer.
Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Richard Suckle are producing, along with original producer Fredrik Wikstrom. Michael Hjorth will exec produce.
Zac Efron has linked himself to a pair of projects he hopes will give him the chance to broaden his range, Deadline.com reports. In separate deals at Universal and Warner Bros., the actor is looking at a Ludlum-esque thriller and a Back to the Future-style pic, according to Deadline.
Efron will tackle Universal's Fire, a spy thriller that is an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis' graphic novel. He would play a college student who is recruited by the CIA, only to find that he has been trained for a program that creates expendable agents, Deadline says.
Bendis will write the script. Neal Moritz will produce with Circle of Confusion’s David Engel. Efron and Alchemy Entertainment’s Jason Barrett will be exec producers.
A separate deal at Warner Bros. will put Efron in a Back to the Future-like film that melds two projects. One, according to Deadline, is a pitch from writers Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski, and the other is a WB project called Algorithm that the studio was already developing as a directing vehicle for Nick Stoller.
Mark Gordon and Bryan Zuriff are producing and Alan Riche is exec producer along with Efron and Barrett.
Top Story: Downey Jr. Ends Marriage
Actor Robert Downey Jr. and his estranged wife, actress-model Deborah Falconer, have officially called it quits after 12 years, Reuters reports. The couple, who have been separated for eight years, filed divorce papers this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, publicist Alan Nierob said. "This is more or less just a formality," he told Reuters. Downey, 39, and Falconer were wed in 1992 after a 42-day courtship. Their 10-year-old son, Indio, will continue to live with his mother, but Downey "remains very involved in the upbringing of his son," Nierob said.
Gay Harden Gives Birth to Twins
Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden and her husband, Thaddaeus Scheel, welcomed twins--a boy, Hudson Harden Scheel, and a girl, Julitta Dee Harden Scheel--last Thursday in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reports. "Everyone is doing fine," Harden's publicist Carri McClure told AP. "They're not getting a lot of sleep, but everyone is doing well." The couple also have a 5-year-old daughter, Eulala Grace.
Joel Expected To Pay for Damages
A 93-year-old woman whose house singer Billy Joel slammed into over the weekend expects the singer/songwriter to pay for repairs, AP reports. Maria Dono of Bayville, New York, returned from a shopping trip Sunday afternoon to discover the accident and told the New York Post, "He hit my bushes and the wall. He'd better come fix it. I'm sure he has money." Claire Mercuri, a spokeswoman for Joel, said the Joel's "main concern" was to repair the damage. "He's taken immediate steps to make sure it's repaired as quickly as possible," Mercuri told the Post. Joel apparently skidded on the wet road and hit Dono's house, with no evidence of alcohol or drug involvement.
Elton John Calls Idol Racist
Elton John thinks American Idol's voting system by the national viewing audience may be "incredibly racist," Reuters reports. John, who was a guest judge on the hit show a few weeks ago, was among the many who voiced their shock at the dismissal of talented contestant Jennifer Hudson last week. "The three people I was really impressed with, and they just happened to be black, young female singers, and they all seem to be landing in the bottom three," said John, commenting on the tally in which the lowest vote-getter is eliminated. "They have great voices. The fact that they're constantly in the bottom three--and I don't want to set myself up here--but I find it incredibly racist," John said at a news conference promoting his Radio City Music Hall concert. The other two singers grouped in the bottom three of the seven remaining American Idol finalists last week were divas La Toya London and Fantasia Barrino. Black singer Ruben Studdard won the title last year.
Crowe Helps Out Fire-Bombed School
Upon learning of a Jewish elementary school bombing earlier this month in Montreal, Russell Crowe immediately offered aid to the school, Reuters reports. "He said he was very upset about what had happened that a place of learning should be attacked that way," Shelley Paris, a spokeswoman for the United Talmud Torahs elementary school told Reuters. The Oscar-winning actor, on location in Toronto filming Ron Howard's Cinderella Man, made a donation to help rebuild the school's library. Police said a note with anti-Semitic comments was found on the outside wall of the gutted library after the bombing.
Mohamed Al Fayed Rails Against CBS
Mohamed Al Fayed, the father of Dodi Fayed, who was killed with Princess Diana in the fateful 1997 car crash, has filed suit against CBS for emotional distress, Reuters reports, citing the network's broadcast last week which showed a photo of Diana as she lay dying. Fayed's lawyer Fred Gaines said on Tuesday that a lawsuit claiming invasion of privacy and emotional distress was filed in Los Angeles late last week. Although no pictures of Dodi were shown, Fayed had been concerned that CBS also planned to show pictures of his son dying. The CBS program examined the number of conspiracy theories in the princess' death, put forward principally by Fayed, including his belief Diana and Dodi were murdered because their relationship was an embarrassment to the British royal family.
Comcast Isn't Buying Disney Out
Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, withdrew its unsolicited $48.4 billion to buy Walt Disney Co. Wednesday, after the Mouse House refused to open negotiations, Reuters reports. "Unfortunately it has become abundantly clear that Disney does not share our interests," Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts told Reuters on a conference call. "I am very comfortable with our decision to withdraw even though it is not the outcome I had hoped for." Speculating where Comcast may set its sights on next, Reuters reports Roberts gave investors a hint when he said he expected Comcast to take a serious look at Adelphia, the bankrupt cable company that recently announced it was seeking a buyer.
CBS Continues to Lead the Pack
Despite some strong showings from NBC's Friends and Fox's American Idol, CBS still came out on top in total viewership as the television season winds to an end, AP reports. CBS had 11.7 million viewers followed by NBC (11 million), Fox (8.8 million), ABC (7.1 million), the WB (3.4 million) and UPN (2.8 million). For the week of April 18-25, the top 10 shows included: American Idol (Tuesday), Fox; Friends, NBC; American Idol (Wednesday) Fox; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; CSI: Miami, CBS; Survivor: All-Stars, CBS; Friends, NBC; ER, NBC; Law & Order, NBC; Will & Grace, NBC.
Role Call: Theron's Jinxed
Charlize Theron is in negotiations to star in and produce Jinx, a film based on the comic book of the same name. The comic book centers on a bounty hunter who must learn to trust a wanted criminal so they can team up to find millions of dollars of abandoned mob money in order to start a new life together. Brian Michael Bendis, who spent two and half years writing and illustrating the comic, will adapt his own work for Universal Pictures. "This is not the traditional comic book movie, which tends to be more about concept," Bendis told the Hollywood Reporter. "This is a crime novel that is illustrated so you're more interested in the voice of it."