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Joaquin Phoenix in Final Talks to Play Dr. Strange

2:00 PM, Monday, September 1st, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

Given the cloud of secrecy that surrounds each and every Marvel Studios property while in development, there are bound to be unconfirmed rumors about almost every major aspect of their upcoming films—particularly in the casting department. The studio is currently filling out its Phase Three slate, and while Ant-Man is the first film out of the gate in July 2015 followed by Captain America 3 in May 2016, we then have the Doctor Strange movie on July 8, 2016. Marvel recently signed Scott Derrickson to direct the mystical comics adaptation, and in keeping with the rumor tradition, speculation has run rampant as to who will fill the title role.

After rounds of shortlists and cryptic comments with regards to who will inhabit the character, the trades reported in mid-July that Joaquin Phoenix was finally in negotiations to star in the film. It's been over a month since that time and there still hasn't been confirmation from Marvel's end, so the speculation machine kicked up again recently with word going around that Jack Huston is now "under consideration" for the part. However, we're hearing there's absolutely no truth to that rumor, as Phoenix's deal is currently being finalized.

Despite rumors to the contrary, we're hearing that Phoenix is absolutely still in line to play Doctor Strange in the Marvel adaptation, with our source telling us that his contract is essentially at the 1 yard line, about to pass into the endzone. Though some believed the length of time it's taken for Phoenix to finalized his deal was a sign that things might have gone south, it makes sense that an actor of Phoenix's caliber and temperament would want to ensure that his Marvel contract doesn't restrict his creative freedom to take on other projects outside the MCU.

While Samuel L. Jackson signed a nine-picture deal with Marvel in the days of the first Iron Man, subsequent actor contracts have varied in length; Chris Evans, for instance, only signed for six films. It's unclear what amount of options Phoenix's contract will entail, but he's someone who is unpredictable in his career choices so he no doubt wants to make sure he'll still be able to take significant chunks of time out of his schedule to work with filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson and Spike Jonze in addition to his Marvel duties.

But make no mistake: this is a huge get for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Phoenix is a phenomenal actor with three Oscar nominations under his belt, so he brings a serious degree of clout to the MCU. Though some thought him a strange fit for a comic book adaptation, the actor previously mulled over the possibility of joining the burgeoning DC Universe as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fresh off his tremendous performance in Her. However, Phoenix will be making his superhero debut with Marvel instead in their Doctor Strange movie. Expect official confirmation from Marvel's end soon.

Source: Collider

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Greatest American Hero to be Rebooted by Fox

9:00 AM, Monday, September 1st, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

A Steven J. Cannell cult classic is getting a reboot at Fox. The network has given a put pilot commitment to The Greatest American Hero, a new take on the 1981 sci-fi dramedy, which is being shepherded by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of the successful feature franchise based on another '80s TV series by Cannell, 21 Jump Street. Lord and Miller will executive produce the hourlong action comedy alongside Cannell's daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan. Written/exec produced by Rodney Rothman and produced by 20th TV, the new Greatest American Hero will chronicle inner-city teacher Isaac's adventures after his discovery of a superhero suit that gives him superhuman abilities. Unfortunately for Isaac, he hates wearing the suit and has to learn how to use its powers by trial and error because he quickly misplaces the suit's instructions. He also has to deal with a government handler who has very different objectives than him and struggles as to whether he should use his newfound gifts to help others or just himself. The original series, created by TV legend Cannell and starring William Katt and Robert Culp, aired for three seasons on ABC.

The Lego Movie writers-directors Lord and Miller recruited Rothman for Greatest American Hero arothmanfter working with him on 22 Jump Street, the duo's sequel to 21 Jump Street. Rothman co-wrote the Lord- and Miller-directed sequel, which has grossed more than $300 million at the worldwide box office so far. Lord and Miller executive produce Greatest American Hero through their Lord Miller shingle, which has an overall deal at 20th TV. Lord Miller's President of Television, Seth Cohen, also will executive produce.

This is the second sale and second put pilot commitment this season for Lord Miller as the company recently sold an untitled comedy project from The Interview screenwriter Dan Sterling to CBS. At Fox, they also have the much buzzed about straight-to-series comedy Last Man On Earth. Lord and Miller are repped by UTA and Matthew Johnson; Rothman is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Ziffren; McKiernan; Tawnia is repped by APA and Andrea Simon.

Source: Deadline

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The Crazy Cupid Comes to Arrow Season 3

8:00 PM, Sunday, August 31st, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

The Arrow is going to meet No. 1 fan. The CW series is adding Carrie Cutter (a.k.a. Cupid) to season three and EW can exclusively report that Supernatural alum Amy Gumenick has been cast in the role. As in the comics, Cupid will be a lethal villainness with a dangerously obsessive crush on The Arrow. (Surely at least a few Arrow fans can relate?)

Arrow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg created the character during his run on the Green Arrow/Black Canary comic book series. "I always loved the idea of Green Arrow having a crazed fan," Kreisberg told EW. "When I was writing the comic book, my big goal was to create a villain who would last. Cupid has since appeared in the DC Nation shorts on Cartoon Network, and to have her fight our TV Arrow is so much more than I ever could have hoped for the character."

Arrow has been booking a slew of guest stars for season three. There's also Glee alum Nolan Funk as Felicity Smoak's ex-boyfriend. Plus Brandon Routh as Atom/Ray Palmer, J.R. Ramirez as Wildcat/Ted Grant and David Cubitt as Mark Shaw/Manhunter, to name but a few.

Gumenick played young Mary Winchester in flashbacks on CW's Supernatural and was recently seen in AMC's Turn. Expect Cupid to make her debut in the sixth and seventh episodes of the season. Arrow returns to The CW on Oct. 8, with its spin-off The Flash premiering Oct. 7.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors

5:00 PM, Sunday, August 31st, 2014 - Posted by Brant Fowler

Today, Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors debuted with both parts one and two of "The Avenging Spider-Man" for an hour block of animated goodness. If you missed it, you can check out clips below, and be sure to seek it out via your Video On Demand service if you have one. Here's the official promotional text that accompanies the videos below. Enjoy, and let us know in the comments below what you thought of the episodes.

This Sunday, prepare for the ULTIMATE two-part adventure in the season premiere of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors beginning at 9am/8c inside the Marvel Universe on Disney XD. Tune in for the two brand new episodes "The Avenging Spider-Man: Part One & Two" airing back-to-back at 9am/8c. Spider-Man has gained the attention of The Avengers and been offered a prestigious spot on their team! When the devious Loki finds out, this becomes a literal out of body experience for everyone's favorite web-slinger...

BIG HEROES! BIG VILLAINS! AND BIGGER ADVENTURES this week, Share Your Universe with a brand new episode of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors this Sunday at 9 ET/PT inside the Marvel Universe on Disney XD.

Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors Episode 001 Clip

Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors - "The Avenging Spider-Man: Part One"

Spider-Man's dream of joining The Avengers becomes a nightmare when Loki switches bodies with the web-slinger, turning his new teammates against him. Will Spidey ever be able to save his reputation after Loki uses his body to wage war against his new teammates and New York City?

Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors Episode 2

Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors - "The Avenging Spider-Man: Part Two"

Spider-Man and his friends team up with The Avengers to stop Loki and Doctor Octopus from using an army of Venomized monsters to destroy New York City. Spider-Man's new and old worlds must join forces to destroy these monsters! But which team will Spidey choose to fight alongside when the battle is over?

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X-Men First Class Writers Join ACME Film

9:00 AM, Sunday, August 31st, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

X-Men: First Class scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are going a little looney, and directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa may soon join them.

The power writing duo has been hired to write the untitled Acme movie project being developed by Warner Bros. At the same time, Ficarra and Requa, who directed Crazy Stupid Love for the studio, are in early negotiations to direct the project, which has its roots in Warners' classic Looney Tunes cartoons.

Steve Carell, who toplined Crazy Stupid Love, is attached to star in the project, which is being produced by Dan Lin and Roy Lee. The latter two were behind the mega-successful and franchise-launching The Lego Movie, and the studio and producers are envisioning the Acme project as an event movie that will also launch a franchise.

Plot details are being kept under an anvil, but the Acme Corporation is a fictional manufacturer of crazy and sometimes dangerous products (that also tend to malfunction at the most inopportune times) that are used by many a Looney Tunes character. The company's products are most commonly used by Wile E. Coyote in his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner.

The movie, however, would not center on the Looney Tunes characters and is being planned as a CG/live-action hybrid.

The project has been in development since 2010 when Kevin and Dan Hageman sold an original pitch.

Chantal Nong and Jon Gonda are overseeing for the studio.

Miller and Stentz continue to be among the hottest writing teams in town, and earlier in the summer were tapped to pen the Power Rangers movie for Lionsgate. The pair have screenwriting credit on Marvel's Thor and are working on a Terminator TV series. They are repped by WME and Principato-Young Entertainment.

Ficarra and Requa (CAA, McKuin Frankel) recently wrapped Focus, with Will Smith and Margot Robbie, for Warners, which will release the heist movie Feb. 27, 2015.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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The Wolverine's Rila Fukushima Will Play Katana on Arrow

2:00 PM, Friday, August 29th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

The CW's Arrow has added a new face to its season-three lineup: Rila Fukushima has signed on for a recurring role in the comic-book drama. Most of you might remember her from last year's The Wolverine, in which she played Yukio, Hugh Jackman's steadfast sidekick.

Now Fukushima has been cast as Tatsu Yamashiro, code name Katana. It's a last-minute change that was implimented due to a scheduling conflict. Sin City star Devon Aoki was originally cast in the role but had to drop out. Katana is a martial-arts master who'll serve as a mentor to Oliver during his time in Japan.

During Arrow's second-season finale, we learned that Oliver wasn't on the island for as long as we thought. We also realized his connection to Amanda Waller is a lot deeper than he let on. His time in Japan will include even more training, which helps him become the hero we all know and love.

Arrow returns Oct. 8.

Source: Blastr

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Teaser Poster for the New Flash Series on the CW

2:00 PM, Thursday, August 28th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

The CW has delivered a brand new poster for their new series "The Flash" which you can check out below.

"The Flash" arrives from co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who, along with Geoff Johns, wrote the pilot episode which was helmed by "Arrow" pilot director David Nutter. Gustin will star as the titular hero along with Candice Patton as Iris West, Jesse L. Martin as Iris's father, Detective West, Michelle Harrison​ as Barry's mother Nora Allen and many others, including John Wesley Shipp, from the original "The Flash" TV series, as Barry's father.

Set to premiere on October 7, "The Flash" will air on Tuesdays this fall.

Source: Superhero Hype

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Netflix Marvels Shows will Take a "Darker" Tone

2:00 PM, Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

As Netflix ramps up its ambitious slate of Marvel series, an exec at the service has offered some hints about what to expect.

In an interview with Empire magazine (via Comic Book Movie), Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos discussed the company's Marvel plans, which involve creating four series -- Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones -- before bringing them all together in a fifth show, The Defenders. In other words, it's the Marvel Cinematic Universe playbook adapted for the small screen, which Sarandos himself acknowledged:

"It was really based on the theatrical model of The Avengers. Could you take another group of characters, The Defenders, and go about it the same way? Normally they do the big movie and then eventually they get to the group origin story. Having 13 hours to tell each of these stories, you can go right to the origin story and the action at the same time."

First out of the chute will be Daredevil, which is filming now. Sarandos said that fans can expect a darker tone for this show than the 2003 movie starring Ben Affleck:

"The series will not be afraid to go darker than the film did. What we love about this particular set of heroes is that they're a little more down to Earth. Costume wise and also in that these are gritty crime stories, more in the streets than in the clouds."

Up next, apparently, is Jessica Jones -- "Right now, the writers' rooms are open and they're looking at casting Jessica," says Sarandos -- but beyond that the Marvel wall of secrecy surrounds the plans for the other shows. And as for the big question -- whether any or all of the Defenders will get kicked upstairs to the MCU at some point -- Sarandos would only say, "It has definitely been talked about."

Source: Blastr

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Marvel is Taking No Steps to Support Big Hero 6

2:00 PM, Monday, August 25th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

When Marvel posted details of its November 2015 releases earlier this week, there was a surprising absence of Big Hero 6-related material despite that month's release of the Disney animated movie based on the Marvel characters. If that seems strange, it gets more so: The publisher also has decided to bench the characters to coincide with the movie's release.

Not only is Marvel not planning any reprints or new material to tie in with the Disney movie released Nov. 7, but it turns out that the characters aren't scheduled to make appearances in any other Marvel comic titles in the foreseeable future, either. A spokesperson for Marvel confirmed that it has "no plans" for the property when contacted by THR, following up on an earlier report from Newsarama.

The last time the characters appeared in a Marvel title was 2012, when the team showed up in an issue of Amazing Spider-Man to help defeat Doctor Octopus. Around the same time, the publisher released a collection of the group's earlier appearances to tie in with then-contemporary rumors of the Disney project, which was officially announced a year later.

Unusually, while Marvel isn't publishing any Big Hero 6 material, that doesn't mean there won't be a comic book tie-in to the project. Since the beginning of this month, Japanese publisher Kodansha has been serializing a story in its anthology series Magazine Special focusing on the robotic character Baymax seen in initial trailers for the movie. Traditionally, Kodansha has enjoyed a close relationship with Marvel's parent company Disney, sponsoring Tokyo Disneyland and releasing manga versions of other Disney animated projects, including The Lion King, Beauty & The Beast and Frozen.

In the U.S., Disney subsidiary Random House has a line of Big Hero 6 material planned for publication around the release of the movie.

The lack of Marvel material may point to the company not maintaining full financial participation over the property due to the partnership with Disney Animation. As the Newsarama report points out, Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort has previously suggested that Marvel prioritizes properties it has complete control over. As he wrote on his Q&A Tumblr, "If you had two things, and on one you earned 100% of the revenues from the efforts that you put into making it, and the other you earned a much smaller percentage for the same amount of time and effort, you'd be more likely to concentrate more heavily on the first, wouldn't you?"

For those curious to read some of the original Big Hero 6 comic material, the 2012 collection remains available digitally. If you would prefer print, it looks like it's time to hit up the back issue bins.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Guardians of the Galaxy is the Top Grossing Movie of the Summer

3:00 PM, Sunday, August 24th, 2014 - Posted by John Wilson

The box office milestones keep rolling in for "Guardians of the Galaxy."

After crossing the $200 million mark at the box office last week, the blockbuster is now the top domestic film of the summer. Disney-Marvel's tentpole had earned $239 million by Friday and is set to gross an estimated $246 million by Saturday, which would top "Transformers: Age of Extinction's" expected $243.3 million domestic haul.

In fact, the intergalactic actioner will likely soar to no. 1 at the box office, overtaking YA tearjerker "If I Stay" on Sunday, after playing second fiddle to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" at the box office for two consecutive weekends. "Guardians" stands to earn $252 million by weekend's end.

Disney's "Maleficent" fell to third on Friday with $237 million at the domestic box office, followed by two Fox titles: "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has earned $232.6 million and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" has accumulated $203.2 million.

However, Paramount's "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is the worldwide winner by a long-shot, having hauled $1.05 billion by Friday. The fourth pic in Michael Bay's growing franchise is the only movie to cross $1 billion this year. The sequel has earned over 75% its revenue overseas.

"Guardians" has reeled in $435.5 million worldwide to date. The sci-fi adventure about a rag-tag group of heroes, which cost $170 million to produce, opened to a higher-than-anticipated $94.3 million (crushing the record for August's top debut) at the beginning of August. Since then, the pic has continued to surprise week after week.

The film is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper (the voice of Rocket) and Vin Diesel (the voice of Groot). "Guardians 2″ has already been slated for July 28, 2017.

Source: Variety

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