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News and Updates From Around The Web

From Dark Horizons

Warners is still sticking steadfastly with its plans for the “Green Lantern” franchise despite the $200 million-budget first film having taken in a disappointing $114 million domestically and a downright embarrassing $40.1 million internationally thus far.

WB top brass Jeff Robinov tells The L.A. Times that the film’s $53 million opening weekend demonstrated to him there is an audience there for it, however “to go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action… And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”

The studio already had a sequel outline script on hand from Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim but that looks like it’ll be either significantly changed or be chucked out altogether to develop the sequel.

One definite change will be director Martin Campbell whom the studio was reportedly unhappy with, but his deal apparently had a sequel option meaning even if he walks away he’ll receive some kind of paycheck.

From Dark Horizons

With “The Avengers” hitting next Summer, Marvel looks to be quietening down a bit for the forseeable future. Or are they?

“Iron Man 3” and “Thor 2” are already slated for a 2013 release, whileTwitchfilm reports that a script by “Sahara” and “Conan the Barbarian” remake scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer has been turned in for a “Doctor Strange” movie.

Marvel is reportedly already looking for possible directors and has forwarded candidates the script in hopes of finding someone to continue development on the project.

The news comes shortly after it was confirmed that “Scott Pilgrim” helmet Edgar Wright had finished his scripting work for Marvel’s “Ant–Man” movie – no word as yet on when that film might see the light of day.

Marvel Proceeds With "Doctor Strange" Film

UNDERWIRE by Jennifer Hayden

We loved reading Jennifer’s stories, and through them, exploring her world and meeting her family. Now we’re delighted to welcome her to the Top Shelf family and share her with you all. Check out the online preview and pre-order now!

UNDERWIRE by Jennifer Hayden
— $9.95 (US)
— ISBN 978-1-60309-076-6
— Diamond order code: AUG11-1205
— 80-page graphic novel with french flaps, 6.5″ x 8.5″

“Hayden’s work reminds me of why I began drawing comics, and why I continue. They’re comforting, straightforward and strongly connected to life.” — Gabrielle Bell, author of LUCKY and CECIL AND JORDAN IN NEW YORK

“Underwire explores the funny, and often absurd, aspects of being a lady. Cheers to the artist for spotlighting female characters… and, hopefully, getting more women psyched about comics.” — Whitney Matheson, USA TODAY

“With a busy black-and-white palette of comforting cartoon grit, Hayden recalls Robert and Aline Crumb in this offkey anthem to misfit domesticity.” — Adam McGovern, COMIC CRITIQUE

Sometimes you just gotta pick yourself up by your brastraps.

UNDERWIRE collects the wise and witty autobiographical comics of an captivating new voice: Jennifer Hayden, cartoonist and politically incorrect mother of two. She may not have all the answers, but she’s not gonna let that stop her from enjoying the prime of her life — her forties!

Since its internet debut at ACT-I-VATE.com, UNDERWIRE has attracted praise for its sharp tongue, enchanting style, and warm wisdom. These everyday observations — about womanhood, parenthood, growing up, and rocking out — add up to something not only funny, but also quite profound. After a few stories, you might even feel like a member of the family.

Now, for the first time in print, Top Shelf presents twenty-two stories from the beloved webcomic, plus seventeen new pages of comics and art created exclusively for this collection.

From Variety

Paramount has tapped British TV writer-producer Drew Pearce to write “The Mighty,” an adaptation of the DC Comic series set up with Mary Parent and Cale Boyter at their Disruption Entertainment banner.

Pearce was tapped in March to pen “Iron Man 3,” already skedded for a May 3, 2013, release through Disney. Shane Black is attached to direct.

Par acquired rights to “The Mighty” in early June. Chris Bender and JC Spink will produce via their Benderspink banner, and Jake Weiner will be involved in a producing capacity.

“The Mighty,” an original graphic novel from writers Peter J. Tomasi and Keith Champagne, tells the story of Alpha-One, the world’s most powerful super-being, who has always been a force for good. But a cop whose life was saved by Alpha One as a child has uncovered his hero’s dark plan, putting them on a collision course.

Pearce’s TV producing credits include “No Heroics,” “Lip Service” and “Damage Control.”

Pearce is repped by WME.

 

From Dark Horizons

Out doing the “Real Steel” truck event at the San Diego Comic-Con yesterday, Hugh Jackman revealed which character would be the villain in the upcoming “The Wolverine” at 20th Century Fox.

Jackman says “I’ll fight the Silver Samurai in it so that should be exciting”. He also confirmed that shooting will begin in October with most of it taking place in Japan.

In the comics, the Silver Samurai is a Japanese mutant with the power to charge almost anything with a tachyon field. This enables his katana blade to slice through any known substance, with the exception of adamantium (which covers Wolvie’s skeleton and claws).

“Chris McQuarrie has written a fantastic script and it should turn out really good” says Jackman. James Mangold is currently slated to direct.

 

The Indomina Group, Samuel L. Jackson and Gonzo Studios are teaming to produce a live action film based on the popular “Afro Samurai” animated series.

The original manga followed the life of Afro Samurai who witnessed his father (owner of the No. 1 headband) being killed by the hands of a gunslinger named Justice (owner of the No. 2 headband) while he was a child. As an adult, Afro sets off to avenge his father’s death and kill Justice.

The property was adapted into a five-episode anime TV series by Studio Gonzo in 2007, a TV movie sequel “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” in 2009, and a successful video game. Jackson lent his voice to the character in these works.

Jackson, Jasbinder Singh Mann and Shin Ishikawa will produce. A writer & director will be attached shortly and shooting will take place at Pinewood Indomina Studios in the Dominican Republic in 2012.

San Diego Comic-con usually yields its fair share of announcements and deals about properties being developed as entertainment vehicles. One of the more noteworthy nuggets going into this year’s confab? New life for a movie based on the popular comic book property “The Darkness.”

24 Frames has learned that Mandeville Films, the Walt Disney-affiliated producers behind last year’s Oscar contender “The Fighter,” has pacted with “Darkness” publisher Top Cow to develop a film based on the dark genre piece. A spokeswoman for Mandeville confirmed the deal.

The graphic novels center on a mobster named Jackie Estacado who discovers he has inherited a murderous power known as “the darkness” that allows him to summon creatures from another realm. Estacado must then find a way to tame the power while vanquishing his enemies within the crime family in which he operates.

Co-created by Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri in 1996, “The Darkness” has yielded more than 115 books and sold 25 million copies around the world, according to the company. It’s also spawned a popular video game, with a sequel set to come out next year.

The deal marks the latest collaboration between the publisher and the producer.  The two have previously partnered to develop movies based on Top Cow’s “Alibi” and “Crosshair” titles. (Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce, while the company’s David Manpearl and  Top Cow’s Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins will executive produce.)

“The Darkness” has had several go-rounds in Hollywood. About seven years ago, genre specialists Dimension Films took a crack, and more recently “The Break-Up” producer Scott Stuber attempted to move it forward. But principals are hoping that the time is now right for a dark comic book piece, with anticipation building for Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” next year and Ryan Reynolds preparing to shoot “R.I.P.D.,” an underworld revenge story based on a popular graphic novel.

The deal comes at a time of expansion for Mandeville. The company is set to bring out  a remake of the iconic “The Muppets” in the fall as it diversifies beyond the mid-budget comedies of  “The Proposal” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” Among other projects, it’s also working on a new comedy from the writers of “The Hangover” and contemplating a follow-up to “The Fighter” based on Micky Ward’s bouts with Arturo Gatti.

From The L.A. Times

From Dark Horizons

Warner Bros. Pictures is in negotiations to pick up Christian Gossett’s Soviet-themed sci-fi fantasy comic book series “The Red Star” which had been put into turnaround by Universal Pictures saysVariety.

The setting is an alternate USSR inspired by Russian folklore and military history – blending technology and magic. The story follows a soldier in the Red Fleet and his wife who become keys to defeating a former brutal ruler and his minions.

Amongst such elements are gigantic flying warships two miles long. Neal Moritz and Jason Netter will produce.

 

 

 

Waterman Entertainment has acquired the film rights to the 80’s Marvel comic “Strikeforce: Morituri” according to a press release from the company.

Set on an Earth that has been conquered by aliens, scientists have developed a way to grant humans superpowers but with a terrible price – they will die within a year.

Despite being doomed, they battle the aliens. Comic creator Peter B. Gillis is co-writing the script with Connor Cochran and production aims to kick off in December.

Waterman Adapts "Strikeforce: Morituri" Comic

 

 

There was a time when many thought that comic books would get kicked to the gutter the way LP records, 8-track and cassette tapes had been. After the many times that Superman and Batman died heroic deaths only to return, the fact was that with the arrival of the 1990s and early 2000s, super heroes seemed destined for early graves because of declining comic book sales and poor writing. Slowly but surely, the veil of death lifted, the grim reaper’s grip loosened and a new age of superheroes was born. Blame Sam Raimi, if you will, or even Ang Lee’s Hulk.

Fact is, comics are here to stay. Permanently.

Inland Empire Weekly – The Pen is Mightier than the Sword.

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