Sita Sings the Blues: One-Week NY Theatrical Run
Nina Paley’s animation masterpiece (and I don’t use that term loosely) is having a full one-week theatrical run in New York City from December 25-31. There are multiple screenings a day at the IFC Film Center (323 Sixth Avenue) and Paley writes on her blog that she’ll be doing Q&As at the 8:25 pm shows “most (possibly all) nights.” Showtimes and tickets are available at the IFC website.
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Around the House of Mouse
Today was my hat building day, where some lead animators are limbering up for Winnie the Pooh, and most everyone else is plunging into work on Rapunzel.
Up on the second floor, I ran into a down-hearted artist, recently finished with The Princess and the Frog. He told me this:
"I'm not happy with the way TP&TF is performing. They should have released it away from all the blockbusters. I'm disappointed. It's grosses just haven't been as good as we hoped. And after we finish with the Winnie the Pooh feature I don't know if Disney will do anymore hand-drawn pictures" ....
Me, I think that the Mouse will be producing several more hand-drawn epics, but I'm far from an expert. However, a long-term Disney veteran with an office on the third floor agrees with me.
"They've done real well with merchandise for The Princess and the Frog, and that stuff is important. They've got Pooh coming up, and I know that there's another hand-drawn feature, Snow Queen, after that.
I'm thinking that as long as the company can hold costs down, and the grosses are enough so that the studio doesn't lose thirty or forty million dollars, they'll be making hand-drawn features for awhile" ...
I'm not certain that a final verdict on hand-drawn vs. c.g.i. has been rendered, although a c.g. modeler I encountered on the second floor believes the jury has handed in the envelope. ("Look at the last seven years, man. It's pretty conclusive. Computer animation just makes more money.")
I donno. Maybe hand-drawn features are like like Hollywood westerns: Nobody wants to watch one ... until they do. (See "Wolves, Dances With" and "Yuma, 3:10 To".) And then there's the always next Simpsons movie. I seriously doubt that will be rendered in computer graphics.
(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)
Dark Side, District 9 Tempt DVD Shoppers
Last minute gift givers can do a lot worse for any fan of animation than to pickup Family Guy’s new spoof of the classic Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.
Family Guy Presents: Something, Something, Something Dark Side (Fox, $22.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray) picks up where the spoof of the original Star Wars, Family Guy: Blue Harvest, left off. The all-new animated feature stars Peter Griffin as Han Solo, Lois as Leia, Chris as Luke, Brian as Chewbacca and, of course, Stewie as Darth Vader.
Both editions are packed with bonus features, including audio commentary, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette titled “The Dark Side of Poster Art,” animatics and pop-up video. The Blu-ray edition also includes a digital copy of the film.
Also out this week is District 9 (Sony, $28.96 DVD, $36.95 2-disc edition DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray), the sleeper sci-fi hit of the summer from producer Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp. This original feature follows a South African bureaucrat who stumbles across some bizarre secrets while dealing with a stranded population of aliens known as “prawns.”
The DVD includes a director's commentary, deleted scenes, a three-part documentary, and featurettes on the design and effects of District 9. The Blu-ray also includes an interactive map of Johannesburg and other interactive features.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Toy Story 3 to be Released in IMAX 3D
Toy Story 3 will be coming to IMAX when it’s released next summer, getting a simultaneous 3-D release in the giant-screen format.
The movie will be digital remastered using IMAX technology to suit the format.
“A film like this is designed to take audiences on an exciting thrill-ride adventure, making it a perfect match for both 3D and IMAX,” says Bob Chapek, president of distribution at The Walt Disney Studios.
Due for release June 18, Toy Story 3 reunites the CG-animated toys Buzz, Woody and all their friends as they face an uncertain future once Andy goes off to college.
Toy Story 3 is directed by Lee Unkrich, produced by Darla K. Anderson and written by Michael Arndt.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Wubbzy! Picked Up in Spain, Portugal
Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! is extending its run in Spain and Portugal.
In Spain, Playhouse Disney is picking up the second season of the show, which will begin airing in 2010. The channel has been airing the first season of the show seven days a week since June to strong ratings.
RTP also has picked up the second season of the show on the success of the first season, which it has been airing since March. The second season will begin airing in the first quarter of 2010 and the series will premier on Panda sometime next year.
Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! is produced by Bolder Mediam in association with Starz Media’s Film Roman Animation Studio.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Half-a-million iPhones Grab Wallace & Gromit Comics
Titan Publishing’s Wallace & Gromit digital comic has recorded more than 500,000 downloads of its first free app for the iPhone in the United Kingdom.
The digital comic was released Nov. 7 and has reached No. 3 spot overall for free apps.
The four paid-app episodes of the comic have all reached the top-20 chart for paid apps in the U.K. book chart.
The comics also have been the top free book download in the United States and Canada, and has reached No. 2 in Australia.
"We've been amazed at how well our first app has done — Wallace & Gromit is such a great brand, and iPhone users obviously love them as much as we do,” says Ned Hartley, editor of the Wallace & Gromit digital comics.
The comics also have just become available for download on the PlayStation Portable video game system.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Number of Gaming Jobs Holds Steady
The number of people working in the North American video game industry remained essentially flat compared with 2008, according to Game Developer Research’s third annual census.
The number rose by barely a hair, from 44,400 to 44,804, aided by a large number of new studios opening and countering contractions at older studios. The growth was especially strong in studios specializing in social and online gaming.
Canadian studios saw the most dramatic expansion, with 30 percent year on year growth aided by local authorities and strong development hubs that have formed around Vancouver and Montreal. Another hub is developing around Toronto.
The full report, which breaks down the data in detail and includes a detailed listing and numerical breakdown of the industry in every state and provinces is available for purchase from the Game Developer Research website at www.gamedevresearch.com.
(Thanks Animation Magazine)
Arnold Stang 1918-2009
One of my favorite actors and character animation voices, Arnold Stang, has passed away at age 91. In animation, Stang will live forever as the voice of Hanna-Barbera’s Top Cat (1961). Stang was also unforgettable as wise-guy Herman Mouse (aka “Uncle Hoiman”) in the Paramount (Harvey) Herman and Katnip cartoons — and Blackie Sheep in the early Noveltoons. He also voiced Snurtle the Turtle in Pinocchio In the Outer Space (1965), Churchy LeFemme in I Go Pogo (1980), Quesy the Parrot in Richard Williams’ Raggedy Ann and Andy (1977) and voiced characters on Garfield, Courage the Cowardly Dog, among others.
In live action, he appeared in so many of my favorite movies (such as It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World) and guilty pleasures (Skidoo, Hercules in New York). His sequence with Jonathan Winters in Mad Mad World is one of the funniest and most memorable bits in that film. The publicity photo above promotes the American-International dub of Alakazam The Great (1961), in which Stang (center) participated with Winters (left) (and I think that’s Jackie Joseph at right) on the English track.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Stang. Here’s the NY Times obit.
(Thanks cartoon brew)
Rock Group Def Leppard Developing Animated Series
MSNBC is reporting that the British rock group Def Leppard is developing an animated series with their publishing company Primary Wave, along with "unusual" video game and cell phone applications. According to the report, the show is still in the early stages and has not been pitched to any broadcast networks.
DVD Town Interviews Nina Paley on "Sita Sings the Blues"
DVD Town has interviewed filmmaker Nina Paley on her film Sita Sings the Blues, digging into the artistic and creative sides of making the movie. Among other topics, the interview covers whether Paley thought she was being presumptuous in tying the dissolution of her marriage to The Ramayana, the discovery and incorporation of the blues songs of Annette Hanshaw, the animation style of the movie, and Paley's influences in the movie.
Alan Burnett Comments On Recent "Green Lantern: First Flight" Annie Award Nomination
The World's Finest caught up with Green Lantern: First Flight writer Alan Burnett for a statement on a recent award nomination for the direct-to-video animated feature.
Announced earlier this month, the Green Lantern: First Flight direct-to-video animated feature received a nomination in the 37th Annual Annie Awards, awards recognizing the year’s best animated features, television productions, commercials, short subjects and more. The nomination is as follows.
Green Lantern: First Flight
-Best Animated Home Entertainment Production
The World’s Finest was able to talk to Alan Burnett, writer of the Green Lantern: First Flight animated feature, for a statement on the feature's nomination
"I was very grateful for everyone's work on the film and how it turned out," says Burnett. "Lauren Montgomery and her team visualized a whole new and quite extensive universe, which is no small feat considering the constraints of DVD production."
When asked if he would consider writing a follow-up for Green Lantern: First Flight, Burnett seemed fond of the idea.
"Of course I would love to return to Oa," exclaims Burnett. "These days it seems to be the happenin' place."
The Annie Awards honor overall excellence in the field of animation as well as individual achievement in a total of 24 categories ranging from production design, character animation, and effects animation to storyboarding, writing, music and voice acting. More details can be found at the official website for the 37th Annual Annie Awards. Award recipients will claim their trophies at the 37th Annual Annie Awards scheduled for Saturday, February 6th, 2010 at UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles, California.
Flash Animation 'Hero: 108' Gains Key Licensing Agent
'Hero: 108' TV Animation News
The multimedia kid's adventure property Hero: 108 is inching closer to an international rollout.
Following assorted of action heroes whose chief cause for justice is to quell a long-running war between animal and humankind, Hero: 108 is perhaps best classified as a comedy-action animation with a bounty of online and offline gaming components lying in wait from its many development partners.
When a villain manages to twist the hearts of the animal kingdom such that they turn against humanity, only a gaggle of highly talented (and highly powerful) heroes can bring this villain to justice (and save an array of strange, powerful, and often dangerous animals in the process).
An animated television series managed and produced by The MoonScoop Group (Chloe's Closet, Tara Duncan), specifically including animation production by the west coast's Mike Young Productions, Hero: 108 is about a group of fighters with funny and unique abilities dedicated to stopping the mindless carnage the evil HighRoller set in motion sometime ago. Only recently, MoonScoop Group has appointed Cartoon Network Enterprises as the licensing agent for Hero: 108 in select European territories.
The story of Hero: 108 begins with an evil little guy named HighRoller, whom in all his greed and small-mindedness, learned to speak the language of animals and over the years convinced them humankind were their enemies. The animals, driven by rage and disgust, bred a sharp-toothed and fanged army, and drove people out of their homes and villages. HighRoller thus stood tall above all other humans, controlling an army of beasts at his leisure. Humankind and animal-kind used to live in harmony, but ever since the ascension of this one evil man, nothing has ever been the same since.
A flash-animated series, Hero: 108 is scheduled for worldwide rollout on Cartoon Network channels in early 2010.
The cartoon is scheduled for fifty-two, eleven-minute installments, and boasts a pleasant collage of colorful, angular, personable characters musing on the balance betwixt man and nature.
MoonScoop is co-producing the title in association with Cartoon Network UK and Gamania Digital Entertainment Group (Taipei, Taiwan), a game development hub. MoonScoop has officially made Cartoon Network Enterprises the agent for Hero 108, offering the licensing arm governance over territories such as the UK, Spain, Turkey, Greece, South Africa, and Middle East among others.
At the heart of the animated series, there's also the story of Big Green, an alliance of super-talented good guys, tasked with bringing peace back to the world, dethroning mankind's nemesis in HighRoller. The top warrior of Big Green is Lin Chung, who himself serves as commander of First Squad -- the best of the best. A sharpshooter, strong-quiet-type, Lin Chung has a knack for remaining calm under pressure and always lends a helping hand to his fellow fighters. As Hero: 108 focuses on First Squad, viewers are also likely to become familiar with Mystique Sonia, a pretty and confident fighter with the ability to use her super-stretchy tongue as a weapon alongside a strange creature called a Yaksha (which she sports as a hat), as weapons.
Also on First Squad: Mighty Ray, the strongest member of Big Green. As his description goes: "He possesses mighty Magical Electrical Eyeballs, which can unleash incredible blasts of lightning, fire, and thunder. His blasts can zap a battalion of Rabbits unconscious, or blow a hole in a mountain. He releases his bursts of ocular energy with his signature battle cry, 'Fear my eyeballs!'" And last but not least, there's Jumpy Ghostface, formerly king of the rabbits. Jumpy is a somewhat lonely but resourceful member of the combat squad, using his ninja skills and extraordinary jumping abilities to help lift the team to victory.
As with every team of superheroes, every character has their quirks. Lin Chung is a prolific, though terrible artist; Jumpy Ghostface, being a rabbit, cannot speak but is taking voice lessons; and Mr. No Hands, task-master and trainer of First Squad at Big Green, though having hands, chooses not to use them because "[they] have a tendency to misbehave if he lets them out in the open."
Hero: 108, is loosely inspired by the classic Chinese masterpiece "The Water Margin"; has a primary target audience of Kids 6-11, and a secondary collector market with Adults 18-25.
MoonScoop is also planning to roll out 108 individualized online mini-games, derived from the characters involved in the television animation. This multi-platform launch-from-the-start is similar in concept though different in execution to Ankama Animations' visually aggressive action title Wakfu. Regardless, Hero: 108 also looks to have a thorough, interactive MMOG released alongside the TV series. MoonScoop recently launched www.Hero108online.com as evidence of this.
Additional licensing support for Hero: 108, which will see final products on shelves in Spring 2010, include toys, books, and mobile gaming -- no doubt distributed through the various European territories where MoonScoop already has confident market penetration. Licensing partners for Hero: 108 include Playmates Toys, Inc. (action figures), Atlantyca (publishing), Hardcore 3D Wireless (mobile gaming; iPhone apps), and Mad Engine (apparel).
(Thanks Animation Insider)
Nguyen Gives Flight To Birds Day
Paris-based Phuong Mai Nguyen produced this short 2D animation to celebrate “Birds’ Day.” Not exactly sure what that is, but it sure is beautiful.
Lang and Schuh Lead The Gruffalo to BBC
Over on Lineboil's sister website, ColdHardFlash, they wrote about Max Lang back in 2007. His Flash-animated student short Modul was quite impressive, but he’s also quite proficient in the CG-animation realm. For proof of that fact, have a look at this trailer for The Gruffalo, which Lang co-directed along with Jakob Schuh. The cast features Helena Bonham Carter, and it’s based on Julia Donaldson’s book of the same name, which was illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Lang and Schuh brought the Magic Light Pictures project to life at German’s Studio Soi.The Gruffalo airs on BBC One on Christmas Day.
Toons of the 2000s: Top 25 Animated Television Series Countdown #15-11
15. MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00
Directed by Seiji Mizushima
Starring (English dubbing): Brad Swaile, Alex Zahara, Richard Ian Cox, Samuel Vincent
In the future, a private force armed with Gundam mobile suits fights to put an end to war.
Why It Made The List
It sounds like a simple struggle between good and evil: a fight between idealists trying to end violence and unite humanity, and those who would provoke or fund war. But Mobile Suit Gundam 00 shows the conflict, and its consequences, from all sides. The Gundam pilots' motivations are born from brutal personal tragedy. The opposing soldiers are mostly honorable and likable, and the civilians simply struggle to understand what's happening.
Its thoughtfulness, and its awareness of the ambiguities on all sides, provoke the viewer into pondering its world—and by extension our world—more carefully. But 00 also triumphs as pure entertainment. Its plot and premise are given life by plenty of exciting, gorgeously animated giant robot battles that rivet the attention.
14. SAMURAI CHAMPLOO
Dates: 2004-2005 (Japan), 2005-2006 (USA)
Fuji TV (Japan), Adult Swim [Cartoon Network] (USA)
Created by Shinichirō Watanabe
Starring (English dubbing): Steven Blum, Kirk Thornton, Kari Wahlgren
Three wanderers search for the "Samurai That Smells of Sunflowers".
Why It Made The List
A thin plot becomes a flexible thread on which hangs a series of stories about three very endearing and memorable characters. This shouldn't be a surprise, since Champloo is director Shinichiro Watanabe's follow up to Cowboy Bebop, another series that featured strong characters.
And, as with Bebop, the action is thrilling, with minutely realized and perfectly detailed fight choreography that shows off each fighter's distinctive style. It even improves on Bebop by showcasing more melee battles. The excitement is only abetted by a catchy hip-hop theme and the excellent use of an anachronistic jazz score.
13. PHINEAS AND FERB
Created by Dan Povenmire & Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
Starring: Vincent Martella, Thomas Sangster, Ashley Tisdale, Dee Bradley Baker, Dan Povenmire
Two pre-tween boys stave off summer boredom with outrageous adventures.
Why It Made The List
This wide-eyed, optimistic exercise in wish fulfillment shows suburban boys having the kind of summertime fun any boy has ever dreamed of. Cartoony and completely unrealistic, it is as unbounded as the imagination of its two protagonists.
The series also benefits from an eccentric secondary plot, in which the family's pet platypus battles an incompetent evil scientist.
12. INVADER ZIM
Dates: 2001-2002 and 2006
Created by Jhonen Vasquez
Starring: Andy Berman, Richard Steven Horvitz, Rosearik Rikki Simons
An incompetent alien tries to conquer the Earth.
Why It Made The List
Well, what other children's show would feature a cartoon about an alien harvesting kids' internal organs?
Unabashedly morbid and gloriously macabre, Invader Zim revels in its portrait of human folly and depravity. It bleakly portrays a civilization given over to madness, stupidity, and grotesquerie; even men of science are shown to be oblivious and lacking in common sense. Nor are the aliens excepted from scrutiny: Zim's malice is exceeded only by his stupidity.
Beyond that, the show had a marvelous sense of the absurd, delighting in word play, non sequiturs and (in the form of Zim's defective robot, Gir) a random but antic sense of fun.
Like Gulliver's Travels, another fang-toothed satire that has entertained children, Invader Zim is a series that can deliver different messages for different audiences, and be appreciated by all ages.
11. FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST
Dates: 2003-2004 (Japan), 2004-2006 (USA)
MBS (Japan), Adult Swim [Cartoon Network] (USA)
51 episodes (plus 5 OVA)
Created by by Hiromu Arakawa
Starring (English dubbing): Vic Mignogna, Aaron Dismuke, Caitlin Glass, Monica Rial, Travis Willingham
Two boys seek the philosopher's stone so they can repair their injured bodies.
Why It Made The List
A strong story is driven by its strong lead characters. In a nice break from typically underdeveloped shounen shows, Edward and Alphonse Elric are likable, relatable, and fallible, but also courageous enough to try correcting their past mistakes. They also gain definition from a set of secondary characters and villains who are also well-developed. The villains in particular are intriguing; they start with an air of mystery, but become even more interesting as they reveal themselves.
Fullmetal Alchemist also benefits from excellent animation, in both its quiet moments and during the superb fight sequences.
Be here tomorrow for #10-6 of the Top 25 Animated Television Series Countdown.
(Thanks Toon Zone)
Judd Winick To Write 'Batman: Under The Hood' Animated Movie?
With the release of “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” just over two months away, a report has hit the 'Net that the next DC animated feature film will be an adaptation of “Batman: Under The Hood.”
According to Mania.com, the film will be adapted by comic scribe Judd Winick who wrote the original storyline in the “Batman” comic book series with artists Doug Mahnke and Paul Lee.
In “Under The Hood”, a figure from Batman’s past returns under the guise of the Red Hood to seek vengeance against both the Dark Knight and the Joker who — as long time comic readers may recall — was the first villain to use the Red Hood identity. During the course of the original story, several DC heroes also appeared including Nightwing, Green Arrow and Zatanna along with longtime Batman foe, the Black Mask.
If the report proves true, “Batman: Under The Hood” will be the first DC animated film to feature Batman in a solo role since the critically acclaimed “Batman: Gotham Knight” was released last year.
Additionally, a sequel to “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies” is reportedly in the works.
The voice cast for “Batman: Under The Hood” has not yet been revealed. However, the film is said to be scheduled for release next summer.
Hit-Girl is bad ass
(NOTE - this video is violent and has incredibly NSFW language)
‘Kick Ass’, directed by the great Matthew Vaughn, has a new red band trailer focusing on Hit-Girl, a 12-year-old superhero who fights crime by shooting bad guys in the face or chopping off their legs.
Bryan Singer in search of a Battlestar writer
Director Bryan Singer hasn't said much lately about his upcoming proposed reboot of Battlestar Galactica, a movie that would have nothing to do with Syfy's recent series. But a tidbit has appeared on The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog.
In an interview dealing with Singer's various projects, the director said:
We just concluded a deal for "Battlestar Galactica," and we're looking for a writer.
At least it sounds like the project is still alive. Can't wait to see what he comes up with.
Peter Jackson developing a sci-fi movie: Mortal Engines
Peter Jackson (right) directing Saoirse Ronan in The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson, who has his hands full producing two films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, may next turn his attention to actual sci-fi: His hometown newspaper, New Zealand's Dominion Post, reports that Jackson is secretly working to adapt the Mortal Engines novels for the screen.
The hush-hush project is understood to be in early development, with work on the first of the four books under way, industry sources say.
Weta Workshops is also believed to be working on designs for the science fiction series, which features giant mobile cities.
No one in Jackson's camp would confirm the report.
The books, by Philip Reeve, are set in a post-apocalyptic steampunk world, where cities have become giant vehicles known as Traction Cities and must consume each other to survive. Mortal Engines is the first book in the series, which is known as the Hungry City Chronicles in the United States.
Jackson also optioned the rights to the historic-fantasy Temeraire novels, which are set in an alternate-reality version of the Napoleonic Wars in which dragons are used for aerial attacks.
Jackson's The Lovely Bones is now in theaters.
Glimpse the sci-fi vampire future in 3 new Daybreakers clips
We've got three new clips from Daybreakers, the upcoming sci-fi vampire thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe. Hawke portrays a researcher in the year 2019, during a time when a plague has changed most of the world's population into vampires.
As the human population dwindles, vampires hunt, capture and farm every remaining human in order to survive, or else must find a blood substitute before time runs out. But some humans won't go down without a fight ...
Daybreakers doesn't open until Jan. 8, 2010, but you can check out the clips below.
In "Birthday Party," the good vampire played by Hawke explains why he doesn't drink human blood. In "Attack," a nasty batlike vampire thing shows up unexpectedly. In "Accident," Hawke smashes up his SUV when he encounters fleeing humans, including a really hot rebel.
Written and directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, the film also stars Isabel Lucas, Sam Neill and Claudia Karvan.
Bryan Singer Says 'X-Men: First Class' Might Supercede 'Magneto' Movie
Last week’s announcement that Bryan Singer will return to direct “X-Men: First Class” has sparked speculation about which characters will appear in the film — especially since Singer has indicated that the focus will be on Professor Xavier and Magneto during their 20s. However, given the age of Magneto in this film, a “Magneto” solo movie may no longer be in the cards.
“This story would probably utilize some of the 'Magneto' story because it deals with a young Magneto,” explained Singer during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “So it might supercede that because this would explore that relationship between a young energetic professor and a disenfranchised victim of the Holocaust.”
“The X-Men universe is boundless,” continued Singer. “These are great characters. And as young characters, they are quite different than the characters we have seen in the contemporary movies.”
"X-Men" producer Lauren Shuler Donner and screenwriter David Goyer recently indicated that “X-Men Origins: Magneto” was on the backburner and may never enter production.
Singer also elaborated on the rift with Fox that occurred when he left the third “X-Men” film to direct “Superman Returns” and how his return to the "X-Men" franchise came about.
“A lot of that was comical and exaggerated,” explained Singer. “When you set up a rather lucrative franchise and produce one of the company's biggest television shows (‘House’), I think there is a lot of good energy on a business level.”
“But also, Tom Rothman and I have a very strong relationship from those early days of ‘X-Men 1’ when he ascended to the chairmanship and I was involved in this very important movie for the studio,” continued Singer. “We bonded then. So I think he was frustrated then, as was I, because I couldn’t do a third ‘X-Men,’ but that moment of frustration passed.”
“We have always looked at different projects to do together,” added Singer. “But the timing was never right to do something like this. But now, it's been about 10 years since the first ‘X-Men,’ and this is a nice opportunity to look back at the origins of that universe.”
Joel Silver Talks 'Swamp Thing,' 'Wonder Woman' And 'Sgt. Rock' Movies, Expects 'Lobo' To Follow 'The Losers'
"Sherlock Holmes" producer Joel Silver has his hands full with films based on literary heroes these days, and as many comic book fans are aware, quite a few of those projects hail from the DC Comics universe.
Since his name is attached to many of the projects we're most excited about these days, Silver offered MTV News a quick update on some of those projects during the "Sherlock Holmes" red carpet event last week. We pressed the comics-friendly producer for his thoughts on everything from "Swamp Thing" to "Lobo" and many of the other films drawing on DC's massive stable of characters.
When asked about his previous comments regarding a 3-D "Swamp Thing" movie, Silver reiterated his belief that 3-D was the intended format for a film about DC's famous swamp creature. Of course, given the character's history as the subject of multiple live-action movies, a live-action television series and an animated series, a move to 3-D is pretty much the only format in which we haven't seen man-turned-monster Alec Holland.
"Yeah, if we pull it together and if the script works, that's our intention," said Silver of going the 3-D route.
The producer also indicated that Guy Ritchie's departure from the "Sgt. Rock" movie hasn't impeded plans to bring DC's war hero to theaters. While he wouldn't comment on rumors that the "Sgt. Rock" movie would be set in the future rather than its World War II roots, he did sound positive about progress on the film thus far.
"We're working on ['Sgt. Rock'] now," he said. "There's a real possibility on that. There's a good shot on that one."
Conversely, Silver didn't seem to be holding his breath for a "Wonder Woman" movie to go into production any time soon, despite Warner Brothers' reorganization and renewed focus on DC characters under the DC Entertainment banner.
"I'm not really doing anything with ['Wonder Woman'] at the moment," he said. "Once the studio knows what they want to do, and makes a decision, they'll probably let us know."
However, with "The Losers" on its way to theaters in April 2010, Silver said he expects "Lobo" to the next comic book movie he concentrates on. The film, which follows DC's ultraviolent cosmic bounty hunter, was originally rumored to have "Sherlock Holmes" director Guy Ritchie behind the camera, but Ritchie cast some doubts on his involvement during a recent MTV News interview.
"I want to try and make 'Lobo' very soon," Silver responded when asked which comic book project was next on his plate after "The Losers."