There are some big things brewing in the Disney vat, comic book fans. Ever since that little movie called The Avengers came along, the whole industry has been wondering what Marvel's next step will be — and Disney CEO Bob Iger may have just revealed it.
Yesterday, Iger announced the news that the film's director Joss Whedon (of Firefly and Buffy fame) would return to write and direct The Avengers 2. On top of that glorious announcement, Iger also revealed another interesting tidbit of information: that, as part of the deal, Whedon would help develop a new live-action television series for ABC, featuring Marvel characters. What's that? A Whedon-esque return to television, with superheroes!? Why don't I just hand over all my empty DVR space now!?
Of course, now that we know that TV is in Disney/Marvel's lens, the question becomes: what will this show be about? Or, perhaps more importantly, who will it be about? There are hundreds of characters in the Marvel repertoire, some (like Iron Man) more prolific than others (say, Squirrel Girl or Doorman). Since there are so many to choose from, I tapped into my limited comic book knowledge to dredge up some potential characters who may be swell candidates to lead an Avengers-themed TV show — and just for the hell of it, I cast it, too.
The Attractive Leading Man: Nate Richards (Iron Lad)
Played by: Logan Marshall-Green
One obvious choice for a TV-ready leading man is Nate Richards — strapping, handsome, and with a killer twist: he grows up to become Kang the Conqueror! Talk about interior conflict.
***The Best Friend: Eli Bradley (Patriot) Played by: Michael Jordan In order to fill the best friend slot, Bradley would have to be demoted from the leader of the Young Avengers (a group that itself would make for an excellent primetime program). But Iron Lad and Patriot would be the perfect television echoes to Iron Man and Captain America's cinematic sparring.
The Love Interest: Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) Played by: Laura Osnes You know what they say: when you can't get the rights to Spider-Man, you get the next best thing... Spider-Woman. Who would blame you for getting Broadway belle Laura Osnes into a form-fitting suit?
***The Hunky Mentor: Piotr Rasputin (Colossus) Played by: Joe Manganiello The network would have to drop Piotr's heavy Russian-ness in favor of something more American-casual. Like Pete.
*** The Sensitive One: William Kaplan (Wiccan) Played by: Aaron Tveit Kaplan could easily act as the real heart of the show — a young superhero struggling to come to terms with mutant villains and his sexuality.
*** The Sassy Chick: Emma Frost Played by: Margot Robbie True, Frost can be villainous, but sometimes cold-hearted bitches can be the most fun. Screw that — they're always the most fun.
*** The Precocious Child: Franklin Richards Played by: Chandler Riggs Only because Kiernan Shipka wasn't available.
*** The Celebrity Villain: Wilson Fisk (Kingpin) Played by: Terry O'Quinn Who's the first season's Big Bad? None other than crime boss Kingpin, as played by the cueballed O'Quinn. This, of course, is brilliant casting.
***And Ann B. Davis as Aunt May Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSnetiker[Photo Credit: Marvel; WENN]MORE: Joss Whedon to Write, Direct 'The Avengers 2' ‘Avengers’ Fever Spreads: ‘Justice League,’ 'Wonder Woman' Movies Find Writers Post-'Avengers': What's Next for the Marvel Heroes
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
A bankruptcy trustee named the Spider-Man star in a lawsuit in March (11), alleging he won over $300,000 (£187,500) from disgraced investor Bradley Ruderman, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence for tax and wire fraud.
The plaintiff claimed Maguire's windfall at a series of unlicensed poker games in 2007 and 2008 came from funds stolen from investors who had been lured into an illegal Ponzi scheme by Ruderman.
The actor fired back with a countersuit, arguing that he should not have to hand back any winnings because he lost just as much money to Ruderman as he won from the convicted hedge fund manager.
The case was expected to go to trial at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles at the end of January (12), but now it looks as if Maguire is keen to settle after agreeing to pay $80,000 (£50,000) to the estate of Ruderman, according to CNN.
A judge has called a hearing for 21 December (11), when he will decide whether or not to approve the settlement.
Actor Gabe Kaplan, who was also among the celebrities sued for the Ruderman cash, reached a similar settlement with the bankruptcy trustees in August (11) and agreed to repay $27,000 (£16,900).
The Welcome Back, Kotter star was among several gamblers who took thousands of dollars from Ponzi scheme fraudster Ruderman during card games.
Bankruptcy trustees trying to recoup the cash Ruderman lost at the poker table have filed suit against those they claim won the money - and Kaplan has agreed to avoid legal proceedings by handing over $27,900 (£17,437) of his $62,000 (£38,750) winnings, according to TMZ.com.
The proposed settlement is yet to be agreed by a judge in California.
Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire is among those named in the lawsuit but insists he actually lost money to Ruderman and filed a countersuit last month (Aug11).
The Love We Make, a feature-length documentary concerning the immediate aftermath of 9/11 in New York City, will debut on Showtime on September 10, one day before the ten-year anniversary of the attacks. Paul McCartney will play the focal role in the film. The events documented will include his personal experiences of being in New York City on September 11, as well as the benefit concert with which McCartney was involved in planning and performing.
A list of big name celebrities will appear alongside McCartney in the documentary, including musicians David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crowe, Mick Jagger, Jay Z, Billy Joel, Elton John and Keith Richards, actors such as Steve Buscemi, Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford, and political figures such as Governor George Pataki and President Bill Clinton. Directing The Love We Make are Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan.
Showtime will air the documentary at 9 p.m. on September 10.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
In the late '50s a group of elementary students put futuristic drawings in a time capsule that is then buried on school grounds. One overly obsessed kid Lucinda goes her own way by writing hundreds of mysterious seemingly non-sensical numbers on her entry. Fifty years later it’s dug up and comes into the possession of Caleb the young son of John Koestler a recent widower and astro-physics professor who becomes obsessed with the papers Caleb has brought home from class. He soon discovers the random digits are actually not-so-thinly disguised dates (including 91101 of course) for “future” disasters and there are clearly three of those dates yet to come. Although nobody believes his ramblings about this code for impending doom a nearby plane crash proves he is on to something so ominous the fate of the world could be in jeopardy. With all hell about to break loose the prof takes matters into his own hands.
WHO’S IN IT?
Just a couple of years ago Nicolas Cage starred in Next as a magician who could see into the future and had to prevent a nuclear attack. Now he’s at it again as an MIT professor who also has clues to future catastrophes and also is out to prevent the inevitable. And of course in the National Treasure films he latched on to maps that had contained similarly dark deeply held secrets. Nic clearly likes “knowing” stuff before the rest of us and he’s quite believable even if some of the circumstances in his latest sci-fi adventure are really out there -- literally. Cage somehow makes you buy into this stuff which is key to the ultimate success of the flick. As the key kids Chandler Canterbury as Caleb and Lara Robinson as Lucinda (and later Abby Lucinda’s granddaughter) are properly eerie and haunted-looking. Rose Byrne is also along for the ride as Lucinda’s grown daughter who is able to provide goosebump-inducing information that the numbers alone can’t. There’s also some dead-on creepy emoting from D.G. Maloney as a quietly foreboding stranger who seems to be following Caleb.
Unlike some recent movies of this type with nothing on the agenda but pure mayhem “Knowing” delves into the bigger issues of why we are all here providing something other than just big explosions to talk about on the way home from the multiplex. Director Alex Proyas (I Robot Dark City The Crow) certainly knows how to pull off complex action set-pieces but he and his screenwriters also seem to be genuinely interested in exploring the meaning behind the madness.
Some of the more pedantic dialogue Cage is given can be groan-inducing but since he plays John as a total believer we can forgive it. Also the film falls victim to a final act that veers into typical disaster movie territory and isn’t as compelling as the first two thirds which try to keep the premise at least marginally credible. At two hours it probably could have been tightened anyway.
The rain-soaked plane crash sequence with its gritty hand-held photography is riveting to watch and one of the most frightening depictions of a jetliner disaster put on film yet.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
If you are really squeamish it might be worth "knowing" that you should take breaks in the big disaster sequences as the CGI effects can get pretty violent and graphic particularly for a PG-13 movie.