It’s Friday morning, time once again for the News Bites. I’m short on time this week due to outside events, but I’ve still managed to compile a hefty amount of movie and television news for you. And as the post title suggests, a great deal of it is comic-book related. And, surprisingly considering we’re out of October, a whole lot of monster movie news. But there’s a lot of other stuff as well, from two of the most prolific actors finally working together to the release date of a film that’s a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.
Comic book artist Nick Cardy has passed away at the age of 93. Cardy was the artist on the first 39 issues of Aquaman during the character’s main run during the Silver Age of Comics (the period referring to the 1950s through 1970s), and was co-creator on the Teen Titans, drawing both their debut issue in The Brave and the Bold and the first 43 issues of their own series, helping to define and shape the sidekick-based franchise. His legacy is still going, with the comic book series still active, and having inspired several animated series, from the short-lived 1970s cartoon to the current Teen Titans Go!.
Hammer Films, the production studio known for some legendary monster movies, which made a resurgence a few years back with The Woman in Black, has another one coming out soon. Although a release date hasn’t been set, the trailer can be seen here for The Quiet Ones, about a psychologist who decides to test his theory that paranormal activity is caused by peoples’ distress by torturing people.
Also in horror news — because apparently the week after Halloween is a great time for horror news — Pet Sematary is getting a remake. This time around the Stephen King novel will be adapted by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, director of zombie sequel 28 Weeks Later. Amusingly, according to IMDb he’s also involved in a remake of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes. Was somebody asking for that?
Term Life is back from the dead (I can keep puns like this going until the film comes out). The Vince Vaughn vehicle about a criminal trying to stay alive one more month so his life insurance will pay out for his daughter was canceled by Universal a few weeks ago, but has now been picked up by QED International and Worldview. Universal is still involved as the U.S. distributor, they’re just not producing it.
Katie Cassidy of Arrow will be donning a costume in a rather unusual graphic novel adaptation titled The Scribbler. Cassidy will star as the main character, Suki, a woman who is undergoing an experimental treatment for multiple personality disorder, but is concerned that one of the alternates will be the personality that remains at the end. The film also stars Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku, and Gina Gershon, and is reportedly an “intense action movie with sci-fi elements”. Here’s hoping it’s not Sucker Punch 2. Poster image is below, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.
The CW is getting a few more superheroes and one isn’t a DC Comics character. Conde Nast Entertainment is developing a series loosely based on the old pulp action hero The Avenger from Street & Smith Publishing (who also published The Shadow, to give an idea of the vintage). The pulp series focused on Richard Benson, out to avenge the deaths of his wife and daughter; the new series reportedly is about the daughter (so, you know, major continuity change), who develops the biological ability to change her appearance after her parents’ murder. A title for the series has not yet been revealed, though it’s pretty unlikely to be The Avenger, given that Marvel would throw a hissy-cow.
The CW is also getting another superhero who is a DC Comics character — and it’s not one you might expect. The network is developing a drama based on the character Hourman, about a pharmaceutical analyst who learns that the occasional visions he’s had since childhood are actually glimpses one hour into the future, and who develops an “hour of power” pill to grant him superheroic abilities in order to prevent tragedies.
Also going to the CW, and kinda-sorta a DC Comics property — out of their Vertigo imprint — is iZombie, about a med-student-turned-zombie who consumes the brains of freshly-murdered people to maintain her intelligence and humanity, and to gain their memories to help the police solve their murders. Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars is attached as producer.
Of course, there’s some Marvel TV news as well. Remember that package of series that Marvel was shopping around a few weeks ago? Netflix has picked it up, and it consists of series for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil, each for 13-episode series… and which will culminate in a Defenders miniseries.
Jackass director Jeff Tremaine (wait, I think I forgot my italics) will be directing Dirt, the feature film adaptation of Mötley Crüe’s autobiography.
Marvel storyboard artist Federico D’Alessandro (Thor, Captain America) is in talks to make his directorial debut with Lockdown at Franklin High, about a brother and sister whose school is invaded by a monster.
Hugh Jackman will be donning the claws at least one more time. Deadline reports that Jackman and director James Mangold are both in talks for Wolverine 2.
Disney’s pumping out more live-action adaptations of their animated classics; next up is The Jungle Book, and in talks to direct is Jon Favreau.
The Raid: Redemption was a 2011 Indonesian action movie that picked up a lot of critical acclaim and a significant rental audience through word of mouth. The Raid 2 might have a bit of an easier time finding that audience, as that established good will has led Sony Pictures to pick up the film for theatrical distribution.
Statistically speaking, it was bound to happen eventually. Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson are teaming up for a film together, a dramatic comedy titled Harry and the Butler. Jackson plays Harry, a derelict jazz musician who suddenly inherits a fortune. Caine plays the Butler.
Jackson is also teaming up with John Cusack; in this case for Cell, an adaptation of a 2006 Stephen King horror novel in which every cell phone user has become a mindless zombie, more literally than usual.
Blockbuster is leaving the physical world behind, closing down all remaining stores and ending the mail-delivery service. Parent company DISH Network’s “Blockbuster @ Home” package will continue, as will streaming service Blockbuster On Demand. I wrote a few words on the general topic back in August; while it’s not surprising to see it go, it’s still somewhat sad.
Tally up another spiritual successor to Ghostbusters. Dwayne Johnson is set to star in MGM’s upcoming Seal Team 666, about a team whose assigned purpose is to track down and battle demons and other supernatural threats.
Tim Burton said “yes” two weeks ago; now Michael Keaton has said “yes” to Beetlejuice 2. While it’s still possible this will all derail at some point (it is, after all, a project that was previously brought up two years ago), at least if it happens it sounds like the principal participants will be back.
In case you were planning on camping out, or if you just wanted to take the sane approach and mark your calendar, the release date for Star Wars: Episode VII has officially been announced as December 18, 2015. Likelihood of a tie-in TV re-airing of The Star Wars Holiday Special is low.
Deadline is reporting rumors that the director of the third neo-Star Trek film will be Joe Cornish, who recently made a name for himself with the underground sci-fi hit Attack the Block.
Another Superman vs. Batman rumor from Latino Review, and again it’s about the possibility of a side character. In this case, they are rumor-mongering the possibility that Nightwing — Dick Grayson, the original Robin — will be in there. With the Wonder Woman rumors from before, there has also been a meta-rumor that the film will simply feature several superheroes in cameo form, which is admittedly a reasonable possibility.
That’s all for this week’s News Bites. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below with your thoughts!