News Bites: Sayonara, September

News Bites LogoIt’s September 27th, almost time for the blog to turn black and orange. But for today, it’s more important that it’s Friday, which means it’s once again time for the News Bites. This has been a relatively light week for the movie news, but there are a few interesting items to discuss. This includes, of course, comic book movies, but it also includes a couple comic book tv series. Yes, a couple. Read on.


Gru must be overworking the minions. The Despicable Me spinoff film Minions is being pushed back from Christmas 2014 to July 10, 2015. Studio insiders say this is because of how well Despicable Me 2 performed in that season. With Pixar having moved The Good Dinosaur to 2015 last week, this means two of the bigger animation studios will both be absent from theatres in 2014.

More and more comic books are coming to the big screen all the time. The latest is Term Life, an action-comedy about a man who is wanted dead by just about everyone. In an effort to do one good thing with his life and death, he takes out a million-dollar insurance policy, naming his daughter as his beneficiary. He then finds out it won’t take effect for 21 days, and the race is on to stay alive long enough to benefit his daughter. Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) will be playing the daughter, and Vince Vaughn will be in the lead role. Peter Billingsley is directing.

We’ve had cowboys vs. aliens, so how about cowboys vs. vampires? Victor Salva, director of Jeepers Creepers, has signed on to direct Purgatory, in which a town in 1890s New Mexico is beset by vampires, and it’s up to the town sheriff and an English vampire hunter to drive them out.

There’s going to be a new Ben-Hur. And it will be directed by Timur Bekmanbetov, director of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Wanted. So, expect ridiculousness.

Writer Drew Pearce has explained that his script for Runaways, which had been in Marvel’s pipeline, has been shelved after the success of The Avengers. The current focus at Marvel Studios is on the “Phase Two” films, and there just isn’t a spot on the schedule for it at this time. Pearce is hopeful that it will be one of the “Phase Three” films a few years down the line.

Paramount is having some scheduling difficulties, thanks to The Wolf of Wall Street, which is not expected to be ready in time for its November 15 release date. The current hope is to have it ready for Christmas, so that it will still be part of this year’s eligibility period for the Oscars. If they can manage that, it will bump Jack Ryan to January 17.

Disney tried and failed to bring John Carter to box office success (largely due to mismarketing in my opinion), but Warner Brothers is going to take a shot with Edgar Rice Burrough’s other big franchise: Tarzan is being brought back. Alexander Skarsgård has already been cast in the title role, and Christoph Waltz is in talks to play the villain.

Bryce Dallas Howard is in talks to join the cast of Jurassic World, which is expected to be released July 12, 2015.

So, who caught Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this week? Who wants more superhero-inspired action on the small screen? Well, DC has you covered. That’s right: DC. They announced plans for two new series this week, and in a surprise twist, neither one is going to the CW. FOX is getting Gotham, about Detective James Gordon fighting crime and corruption before the arrival of Batman. And NBC is getting the pilot for Constantine, about DC’s supernatural detective. It’ll be interesting to see how these fare on major networks, especially Constantine, as it will lack both the name recognition and the push from a big movie.

Manny Eating PasteRumors and Speculation:

Dennis Haysbert has just finished his role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, but in this video he talks a bit about what other comic book characters he might like to play. While it’s not even a casting rumor, it’s still interesting just because of what characters he picks; you can tell he is genuinely somebody who is interested because he isn’t just going for the obvious choices. Haysbert speaks of wanting to play Green Lantern John Stewart, the Spectre, and the Martian Manhunter. With Justice League on the horizon, I have to say that the idea of Haysbert providing the voice and motion capture for J’onn J’onzz would be a very cool thing indeed. I also have to give him major props for knowing who the Spectre is — that’s not the choice of a guy who only knows the movie and TV characters.

Michael B. Jordan, one of the stars of Chronicle is a very busy man if the rumor mills are to be believed. The current rumor going around is that Jordan is being looked at for a major role in Independence Day 2.

A while back, William Shatner tweeted congratulations to Ben Affleck on being cast as Batman in Man of Steel 2: Superman vs. Batman, and added “If you need an Alfred, let me know!” Now some people have asked if he was serious, and Shatner’s response? “Well, why not?”, followed up by “We would certainly try to negotiate that.” So, while there’s no indication yet that he’s being sought for the role, or that he would definitely take it — or, in fact, that the role is even going to present in the film in the first place — he’s at least open to the idea.

That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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6 Responses to News Bites: Sayonara, September

  1. le0pard13 says:

    Timur Bekmanbetov remaking BEN-HUR?!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  2. ckckred says:

    Hopefully The Wolf on Wall Street will come out this year. Along with Inside Llewyn Davis, it’s my most anticipated film of 2013.

  3. Spikor says:

    I can’t see Jim Gordon carrying a show.

    Interested in the Constantine show, though. I’m only vaguely familiar with him as a character… and I never did bother to watch the Keanu train-wreck.

    Stewart would be in good hands with Haysbert. I’m hoping for an Idris Elba J’onzz, but Haysbert would definitely work there, too.

    Really disappointed that Runaways has to be a “Phase X” movie. I know they’re doing their thing, and it’s working… but goddamn it… You *know* Civil War is going to be Phase 3, and I just want nothing to do with that.

    • I couldn’t see Gordon’s underlings carrying a comic book, but they did for about four years. So I guess it’s possible. I wonder though if it’ll just be “another cop show just with DC names”. Constantine I’m a little iffier on… it might be interesting, but I could also see it being a mess. Of course, I’m also one of those who tuned out of Grimm early on, and it’s already being talked about as being used as part of the same block.

      The Keanu train-wreck, incidentally, wasn’t too bad of a train-wreck. Not great, but enjoyable.

      Yeah, I understand the disappointment that everything is getting a chance only if it fits into Slot B or whatever. And I really hope that Civil War isn’t Phase 3… or Phase 50. That really sucked.

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