Fox Cancels Human Target, Passes On Locke & Key

11 05 2011

Amid a flurry of pickups and cancellations, Fox dropped the ax on Human Target and passed on the pilot Locke & Key, an adaptation of the acclaimed horror comic by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network also chopped the new Christian Slater comedy Breaking In, Shawn Ryan’s freshman police drama The Chicago Code, the Tim Roth drama Lie to Me and the buddy comedy Traffic Light. Deadline points out that Fringe may have gotten lucky with its early renewal, as no other bubble shows received a reprieve.

Fox did, however, pick up four series: Alcatraz, J.J. Abrams’ crime drama revolving around a team investigating the reappearance of the prison’s 1960s inhabitants in the present; The Finder, a Bones spinoff about a military-trained “finder” who locates lost people and items in the Florida Keys; The New Girl, a comedy starring Zooey Deschanel as a quirky teacher who moves in with three guys; and I Hate My Teenage Daughter, about two women whose daughters act just like the girls that picked on them in high school.

The cancellation of Human Target — an action drama loosely based on the DC Comics property — while not exactly surprising, still became an overnight trending topic on Twitter. The series premiered in January 2010 with 10.12 million viewers, a figure that dropped to 7.2 million by the season finale. The decline continued in Season 2, until it was buoyed in its final three episodes by an American Idol lead-in.

Locke & Key, a supernatural thriller produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Fringe), had generated plenty of buzz — the pilot was described as “beautiful” and “magical” — but there were indications in the past couple of weeks that Fox had cooled on the project. All is not lost, though: The Hollywood Reporter indicates the pilot, which starred Miranda Otto, Jesse McCartney, Nick Stahl and Sarah Bolger, could be shopped to another network.





Michael Shannon Cast As Zod In Superman: Man Of Steel

11 04 2011

Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon will play General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, now officially titled Man of Steel. He joins a cast that so far includes Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.
Here’s the official press release:

MICHAEL SHANNON TO STAR AS GENERAL ZOD IN “MAN OF STEEL” FROM WARNER BROS. PICTURES AND LEGENDARY PICTURES

BURBANK, CA, April 10, 2011 – Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that Michael Shannon will star in the role of General Zod in director Zack Snyder’s new Superman film, titled “Man of Steel.”

Snyder stated, “Zod is not only one of Superman’s most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don’t. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role.”

As General Zod, Shannon will go toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill, who plays the new Clark Kent/Superman in the film. The main cast also includes Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent.

Michael Shannon was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Shannon was most recently seen in the award-winning HBO drama series “Boardwalk Empire,” from executive producer Martin Scorsese. He will next be seen in Sony Pictures Classics’, “Take Shelter,” from director/writer Jeff Nichols.

Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are the producers of the film. The screenplay is being written by David S. Goyer based on a story by Goyer and Nolan. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are serving as executive producers.

“Man of Steel” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.





WC11: “Green Lantern” Movie Panel

2 04 2011

Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Green Lantern” film is easily one of the most talked about subjects in San Francisco at this year’s WonderCon. Anticipation has been riding high for the Martin Campbell-directed DC Comics adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Saarsgard, and Mark Strong, with plenty of fans left nervous in the wake of a questionable Entertainment Weekly cover and debut trailer that many found underwhelming.

With the film opening June 17, WonderCon represents one of the final opportunities for Warner Bros. and DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns to get directly in front of the fans and prove that this is a film worthy of excitement. Perhaps in acknowledgment of this fact, Friday’s “Green Lantern” presentation started off with very little preamble. Johns took to the stage, said the footage being shown was made especially for the con — the next trailer will run in front of “Thor” on May 6 — and then dove right in.

The first thing you should know: stop worrying.

The footage opened with Abin Sur delivering grave tidings to Sinestro, who is shown as a hologram. The planet Ventara has been decimated, and there is no one left to evacuate. The exchange continues for a few moments… until Parallax bursts in and a chase ensues. Great visual effects here, lots of big, explosive action.

Abin Sur manages to get away in an escape pod… and we jump to Earth. Here’s Hal Jordan, coming across the crashed pod containing the dying Green Lantern. We see Abin give him the ring and tell him to wear it in front of the lantern and speak the oath.

Cut to Jordan’s apartment. There’s the lantern sitting on the coffee table. A jokey moment; Hal sits down and ponders what the heck the oath could be. Spouts out a string of nonsense, including part of the Pledge of Allegiance. Suddenly the lantern flares to life. Hal is entranced by the green glow, and his take on the same hue as he speaks the proper Green Lantern oath.

It’s on, folks.

Now we cut to Oa, and Hal meeting Tomar Re. Another funny scene. Ryan Reynolds isn’t pulling out straight comedy, but the sharp, sarcastic wit is very much there. We see a brief skyline shot of Oa, and then Sinestro addressing the assembled Green Lantern Corps in a yawning cavern at the base of a giant Green Lantern logo. Parallax is coming, he warns.

Blake Lively talks about being Carol Ferris. (Photo by Caitlin Holland)

A flash of images followed, including a few shots of Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond. Overall, this is great stuff. Much better than that first trailer and a huge improvement in the visual effects department.

Following presentation of the footage, Johns, Reynolds and co-star Blake Lively, who plays Carol Ferris, fielded questions from Johns and from the crowd. There were no major revelations, though the Reynolds-Lively duo brims with chemistry and Reynolds himself was full of jokes, as always. Johns also suggested that, while the Red Lantern Atrocitus does not appear in the film, there may be plans for him in a “Green Lantern” sequel.

Asked if he preferred playing a hero like Hal Jordan to a “villain” like Deadpool in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, Reynolds replied, “Deadpool is not a villain. He’s an asshole.”

Then he got serious. “Both are a lot of fun, but getting to immerse yourself wholly in this way [is great],” he said, adding, “We’re sticking to the mythology pretty closely.” Cheer from the crowd naturally followed.

Mentioning Deadpool of course opened the door for the inevitable question about what the status of that project is. “I’m not going to get into the ‘Deadpool’ stuff,” Reynolds said.

“There are so many unknowns there. There are things that I would’ve changed [in ‘X-Men Origins’] but I don’t finance these movies.” Then he added, “If I ever make one, it’s going to be made in the right way, just hard R.”

The only other newsworthy item concerned the recent talk of a ‘Justice League’ movie. Asked if he’s going to be involved, Reynolds replied, “It’s not something that anyone’s talked to me about.” Then he looked pointedly at Johns, who said to the crowd, “I can’t really talk much about ‘Justice League,’ except [to say that] it’s in development.”

Overall, a great panel and a powerful sales pitch to fans. “Green Lantern” might have gotten off to a rocky start, but once after seeing the footage — which the Internet seems to think will be arriving online sometime this weekend — those doubts should fade. Stay tuned for more from our roundtable chats with Reynolds and Lively, along with plenty more WonderCon coverage as the weekend unfolds!-by Adam Rosenberg,





Warner chief sets sights on team-up film and ‘reinventing’ Batman

29 03 2011

Ben Fritz sat down with top Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov for a profile piece that ran Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times business section. Fritz also brought back this Hero Complex report on the future of key DC Comics properties at the studio.
Jeff Robinov is already thinking about DC Comics movies for 2013 and beyond, and he’s got “Justice League” and a reinvented Batman on his mind.

The president of the Warner Bros. motion picture group, who recently sat down for an extensive interview with The Times, discussed his long-term strategy for DC beyond movies already in the works, such as June’s “Green Lantern” and next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and Superman movie.

Jeff Robinov (Liz O. Baylen/Los Angeles Times)
The first priority for the man with the ultimate say on what films get made at Warner Bros.: Finally getting the Justice League, DC’s team featuring all its top characters, on the big screen in 2013. The picture had been very close to production in late 2007 and early 2008, but was killed by the Writers Guild of America strike, tax credit issues in Australia, and concerns by some at Warner about presenting a competing (and conflicting) version of Batman while director Christopher Nolan’s films were breaking box office records.

But Robinov said a new Justice League script is in the works. Also being written for Warner are scripts featuring the Flash and Wonder Woman, who could be spun off into their own movies after Justice League. Though Wonder Woman is also in the works as a television pilot for NBC produced by Warner, Robinov dismissed that as a sticking point. “Wonder Woman could be a film as well, the same way that ‘Superman Returns’ came out while ‘Smallville’ was on,” he said, referring to the 2006 film that put Brandon Routh in the cape and the television show starring Tom Welling that is now in its 10th and final season.

Robinov knows that the most bankable part of his superhero empire has been Nolan and his Gotham City films – the studio has yet to deliver a 21st century superhero blockbuster hit without Nolan in the director’s seat. Batman will continue to be a centerpiece property beyond next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and Nolan’s departure from the franchise. “We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”





Amy Adams Cast As Lois Lane

28 03 2011

Three-time Academy Award nominee Amy Adams has landed the role of Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot, Hero Complex reports. She joins a cast that so far includes Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, Diane Lane as Martha Kent and Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent.

The 36-year-old actress, who’s appeared in such varied films as Enchanted, Doubt and The Fighter, beat out a list of contenders that at one point was thought to have included Kristen Stewart, Mila Kunis and Rachel McAdams.

“There was a big, giant search for Lois,” Snyder tells the Los Angeles Times. “For us it was a big thing and obviously a really important role. We did a lot of auditioning but we had this meeting with Amy Adams and after that I just felt she was perfect for it.”

The star reporter, and one side of the Lois-Clark-Superman love triangle, was last played on the big screen by Kate Bosworth in 2006′s Superman Returns. However, Margot Kidder, who portrayed the character in four films, and Noel Neill are, of course, closely associated with the role.

The new Superman movie is written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan. Charles Rovan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder also are producing. Thomas Tull and Lloyd Phillips are executive producers. Filming is expected to begin this summer for a December 2012 release.





Justin Bruening Cast As Steve Trevor In NBC’s Wonder Woman

25 03 2011

David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman revival has found its Steve Trevor, even as shooting begins in Los Angeles for the NBC pilot.

Deadline reports that Justin Bruening, who starred in the network’s short-lived Knight Rider reboot, has joined the cast as the government agent who crash-landed on the island of Themyscira and fell in love with Diana (Adrianne Palicki), who returned with him to New York. In the new television show they’ve broken up, with Diana living in Los Angeles and Steve working as a lawyer for the Justice Department. They’re apparently not over each other, though.

The NBC pilot is described as a reinvention of the DC Comics superheroine, who’s recast as Diana Themyscira, a successful corporate executive who fights crime as Wonder Woman while trying to balance the elements of her extraordinary life.

Debuting in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941), Steve Trevor has been Wonder Woman’s primary love interest over the decades, occasionally fading away — or being killed off — only to return. But their relationship changed with the 1987 series reboot, in which he depicted as much older than Diana. They became close friends, with Steve eventually marrying Etta Candy.

The 31-year-old Bruening, who also starred in All My Children, joins a cast that includes Elizabeth Hurley as the villainous Veronica Cale, Cary Elwes as Themyscira Industries CEO Henry Detmer, Tracie Thoms as Diana’s personal assistant Etta Candy, and Pedro Pascal as police officer Ed Indelicato.-by Kevin Melrose





Joseph Gordon-Levitt Closes Deal For The Dark Knight Rises

19 03 2011

Following more than six weeks of negotiations, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has signed on for an undisclosed role in The Dark Knight Rises, reuniting the actor with Inception director Christopher Nolan and co-stars Tom Hardy and Michael Caine.

In addition, Variety reports, indie actress Juno Temple (Cracks, Kaboom) is being considered “for a supporting role as a street-smart Gotham girl.”

Gordon-Levitt, who starred in the sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun before moving on to films like Mysterious Skin, Brick and (500) Days of Summer, has long been rumored for roles in The Dark Knight Rises as varied as The Riddler, Black Mask, Deadshot and Alberto Falcone.

Although Nolan revealed five months ago that The Riddler won’t be in the film, the other characters certainly remain a possibility. The trade paper gives more weight to Deadshot, describing him as a member of the League of Shadows — the organization introduced in 2005′s Batman Begins, and rumored to return in the new film with Talia al Ghul as its leader.

Gordon-Levitt joins a cast that so far includes Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. The Dark Knight Rises begins filming in April for release on July 20, 2012.