A Fan Film - The Dark Knight Faces a New Villain

Batman copyright DC Comics - painting by Alex Ross

A short film by director, Dale Fabrigar, imagining a new villain plotting to end the Batman era in Gotham once and for all.

From the director's You Tube channel:

Two Gotham City detectives on a late night stakeout discuss life without Batman and The Joker. What begins as a simple conversation builds to a dark and dramatic ending.
For more on Dale Fabrigar, visit http://www.dalefabrigar.com/

I thought this was a well-made and suspenseful trailer, but it would have been cool to see a bit more than a fleeting glimpse of Batman at the end. Any thoughts?

Thanks to io9.com for the heads up.

News from The X-Men: First Class Set

X-Men copyright Marvel Comics
It's hard to believe it was only back in July of last year that we were talking about who would be cast in X-Men: First Class. Now, six months later, the shooting is almost done and the opening day of this big budget prequel is fast approaching.

Geoff Boucher once again has an information-packed article on his blog, The Hero Complex (Los Angeles Times). This time he highlights some of the challenges that First Class director, Matthew Vaughn, and the cast are facing in completing the movie. The movie is slated for a June 3 release, but according to the article, as of January 18, filming was still going on.

Vaughn spoke about the pressure he's under to bring the film in on time -

I’ve never worked under such time pressure. The good thing about the independent world is I never even knew if I was going to get distribution. I’m used to finishing a film and then crossing your fingers that someone is going to like it. This is totally doing it the other way around. We’ve definitely got a release date and we’ve got to make it. - The Hero Complex
James McAvoy, who plays Charles Xavier, explained how First Class adds to the X-Men film universe -

James McAvoy (Charles Xavier)

This is a prequel, so I’m the same character, just younger, but the challenge for me – and for Michael — is to show the same person in a different place in their life; to show someone before they’re this bad guy, before they’re this saint. Charles wasn’t always a … monk, this selfless, sexless monk that he becomes. - The Hero Complex
Read the entire article here

What do you think of the news coming out of the X-Men: First Class set? Do you think the movie is going to be as successful as the first X-Men trilogy?

Branagh's Thor Looks to Shakespeare for Inspiration

Thor - Marvel Studios
The link below is to an article in The Coventry Telegraph (UK) that gives us a little insight into Kenneth Branagh's approach to filming Thor. It sounds like we're in for deeper themes than we get in a lot of superhero movies - with the director looking to none other than the Bible and the Bard to flesh out the story of the outcast immortal.    

Superhero Movie Posters from Another Dimension

Sean Hartter
I love it when artists are able to take characters and images that are well-established in the public's mind and make us all see them in a new light. One artist who has established himself as an expert at doing just that is Sean Hartter.

Sean creates movie posters that feature superheroes and other characters from geek culture that look amazingly realistic, right down to the little tears and creases. To see Hartter's entire catalog of posters- all of which are for sale- go to http://hartter.blogspot.com/2009/11/misc.html 

Have to say my favorite here is the one for Watchmen - he has the late John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962) as the director, which I think is a perfect choice. Any of these look particularly cool to you?

Thanks to ComicsAlliance.com for the heads up.

Sean Hartter

Sean Hartter

Sean Hartter

Sean Hartter

Sean Hartter

Sean Hartter

Superhero Movie Infographic Crunches the Numbers

Batman and Joker copyright DC Comics - art by Brandon Schaefer
The poster above and other work by artist Brandon Schaefer can be found at seekandspeak.com

Matt Sinopoli and the crew at cinemablend.com dug into the superhero movie numbers and came up with this handy item. One of the most amazing facts listed here that jumps out at me is the top five box office grosses. The Dark Knight, Spider-Man and its two sequels are at or near $1billion in world-wide ticket sales. That should answer any questions some people have as to why there are so many cape movies in the works.

Overall, I think it's a cool graphic that summarizes the superhero dominance of Hollywood in the last few years. Whaddya think of the job they did? See any major omissions?

copyright Cinema Blend

'X-Men: First Class' Trailer Preview

X-Men copyright Marvel Comics
The link below gives a detailed preview of the 'X-Men: First Class' trailer that's rumored to be shown with the 'Green Hornet' movie opening on January 14. Sounds like it's chock full of mutant action in addition to giving us a peak at Magneto's and Dr. X's first meet-up. Take a look and lemme know what you think of the trailer description. http://screencrave.com/2011-01-12/x-men-first-class-trailer-description-debuts-with-green-hornet/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+screencrave+%28ScreenCrave%29

Hulk and Superman Visual Effects

Hulk - Universal Pictures/Marvel Enterprises
One of the things that fascinates me about the superhero movies of the last ten years or so is the incredible technology of the visual effects that goes into making them. Equally amazing is the huge amount of work that goes into developing ideas that are never actually used in the films. For example, the clip below is from visual effects legend Steve Johnson and it shows the testing of a huge animatronic model that was going to be used in Ang Lee's Hulk (2003). As it turns out, Lee decided to go with a completely CGI Hulk instead and the model seen below was never used. I guess today this baby is sitting in some warehouse gathering dust, but it sure looks cool in the video.

Thanks to SlashFilm for the heads up.

Another example of visual effects that were never used is the strange, illuminated suit that was created for the ill-fated Superman Lives, which was going to be director Tim Burton's follow up to his successful Batman films. Superman Lives was eventually abandoned by Warner Brothers Studios but not before Steve Johnson and his crew built this oddity.

What do you think of the Hulk robot and the weird Superman suit? Think either one could have worked if they were used the films?

Avengers Movie Posters Made by Fans

Avengers Movie Fan Art- ComicBookMovie.com
Avengers Movie Fan Art- ComicBookMovie.com


Avengers Movie Fan Art- ComicBookMovie.com
The Avengers movie isn't set to open until May 4, 2012 - but fans have already started to imagine what the poster is going to look like. Here's three of the best submissions that ComicBookMovie.com received when it held a fan art contest. I have to imagine the real thing is going to show the entire team in a pose similar to these. Whaddya think of the posters? Think they got it right?

Happy New Year From Zod

Jack O'Halloran, Terence Stamp (center), Sarah Douglas in "Superman II"
It pleases Zod to see his subjects celebrate the beginning of another orbit around their pitiful yellow sun. Zod will allow this for a reasonable length of time, however normal activities are to resume in short order.

Enjoy your festivities, Earthlings. Zod commands it!

Superman II - Internet Movie Database   

Terence Stamp: Out of the Phantom Zone