Good morning, folks. Another outage on my internet connection left me unable to post or read for a few days (I’d like to exchange 2013 for a better year, please), but it’s working again in time for this week’s News Bites. Now, given that I missed a few days of browsing the web, it’s certainly possible I missed some interesting news. But what I did find is certainly interesting in its own right. A few more roles being cast for films, yet another remake, a TV series name change, and a rumor debunked while another is seemingly (if unofficially) confirmed. So read on for this week’s news!
First up, another celebrity death, this being one I unfortunately overlooked last week but couldn’t just gloss over. Carmine Infantino passed away April 4. Now, comic book fans will probably recognize the name, but chances are if you’re not a comic book fan, you aren’t familiar with Mr. Infantino. But you almost certainly know his most famous creation: that guy in the red and yellow over at the side there. After a period in the late 30s and early 40s when they published a lot of superhero comcis, DC Comics had moved away from the genre for about a decade in favor of other genres; the only superhero characters they published were Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. In 1956, they decided to bring back their other superhero characters… but to revamp many of them. Carmine Infantino was tasked with redesigning the look of the Flash, who was also given a new secret identity and origin story. The new version of the superfast hero debuted in Showcase #4, which sold in high enough numbers to convince the DC editors to continue bringing out new and revamped superheroes, ushering in what has become called the Silver Age of Superhero Comics. Without Infantino’s work on the Flash, it’s possible this would not have happened — and the genre would consist of those same few characters. Even Marvel Comics may not have existed as we know it today without DC re-establishing the genre in the 1950s (aside from Captain America, Marvel’s best-known characters are all from the 1960s.) Considering the way the genre has been a major presence in film in recent years, it’s safe to say a debt is owed to Carmine Infantino.
Also passing away recently was Annette Funicello. Funicello was a founding member of The Mickey Mouse Club on television, and would later star in a series of beach party movies for American International Pictures, often with Frankie Avalon.
With Jude Law having bowed out of Jane Got a Gun, the film has been in need of a villain; now it has one, with Bradley Cooper. Presumably this means the beleaguered production can resume progress.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. television show being developed for ABC has undergone a slight name change, allegedly to avoid confusion with the FX series The Shield which ended a couple years back. The new title is Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
After all the hubbub of getting Halle Berry back to play Storm in X-Men: Days of Future Past, her role now has to be dialed back due to her pregnancy. Storm will not be fighting or flying in the film… leading one to wonder exactly what the point of including her is, as although the character in the comics was a noted leader of the X-Men, her character in the movies was, well, not exactly at her most impressive when not using her powers.
Milo Ventimiglia (of the TV show Heroes) is joining Jason Statham in director Simon West’s remake of the film Heat. Before DeNiro and Pacino fans get upset over the idea of remaking Heat it should be noted they have no cause for concern. It’s the Burt Reynolds fans who have cause to (possibly) get upset, as it’s a remake of the 1986 film, not the 1995 one. The 1995 film was, of course, safe from being remade. Not because it’s a classic, but because if Hollywood has a choice between movies to remake, they’ll usually go for the one from the 1980s.
Rumor mills have been set in motion by a Facebook post from actor Morris Chestnut. Chestnut, who has had several supporting film roles in recent years, and has been in the TV series American Horror Story and V, made a comment that it was “time to get familiar with the Black Panther character!”, coupled with an image of a comic book cover showing Black Panther with several members of the Avengers. Although nothing official has been released, this has led to speculation that Chestnut has been cast as the African superhero either in his own movie or in a supporting role for another Avengers-related character — the former being more likely than the latter, as Black Panther doesn’t quite fit as a supporting character in any of the currently-known “Phase 2” films.
It’s been known for a while that Megan Fox has been cast in the Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles, but they’ve been mum on what role she’s playing. Speculation has naturally been that she will be playing reporter April O’Neil, but this has not yet been confirmed. However, with the photo below, it’s probably passed from “educated guess” to “poorly kept secret”, unless there’s some other trenchcoat-wearing redhead in the film. (Side note: Couldn’t they have just cast a redhead? There are at least a few out there in Hollywood, and some of them have the additional benefit of being competent actresses.)
And here’s some debunking for the rumor that first opened the rumors section of the News Bites. WB studio president Jeff Robinov has explicitly stated that Christopher Nolan is not involved in the Justice League movie. But where one rumor door closes, another opens: Robinov also stated “We’ll announce something in the next several weeks that will hopefully position the DC characters and the movies we’re going to be making”, fueling speculation that there will be more individual DC superhero movies between Man of Steel and Justice League.
“Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud? Like a fast-flitting meteor, a fast-flying cloud, a flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, he passes from life to his rest in the grave.”
— William Knox, 1824; quoted in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 (1985) upon the death of the Flash