§ Tom Cruise will NOT appear in the WATCHMEN movie, says CHUD:
My source was right. While on the phone with Watchmen director-to-be Zack Snyder yesterday, talking about the pending release of 300, I asked him point blank about Cruise, and he confirmed that he and Tom had been talking about it. A lot. But that now it looked like Cruise would not be appearing in the film.
“He was interested,” Snyder confirmed to me. “I did talk to him about it for a while.” And would the role he wanted be Ozymandias? “That would be the role,” Snyder said.
§ UGO interviews John Ridley on his Wildstorm series THE AMERICAN WAY:
For comic book fans I think you can give a more detailed explanation about the concept of a super group used as agitprop for the government, but not in a Draconian way, an Orwellian way, not to placate the masses but to give people hope in the ’60s. It was a time of promise and peril; it was the fear of Communism and nuclear war and I think the government back then, they weren’t evil; they just wanted people to have hope. Even the space program, well, some people think it’s a big conspiracy. Nevertheless, the idea was to show that we could keep up with the Russians and we could surpass them. The American Way is the way to go.
§ A Batmobile sold for $200K at an auction after a fiercer than expected bidding war.
A shopper with $233,000 to spare went away with a vehicle fit for a superhero when a Batmobile from the 1960s television series “Batman” was sold at auction Tuesday.
The car was the sixth of an unspecified number built for the 120-episode ABC series based on the DC Comics hero, according to Coys auctioneers in London. Four or five bidders helped drive its price more than 50% above the upper estimate, said Chris Routledge, an auctioneer at Coys.
The car, which is almost 20 feet long, is black with scarlet lines to highlight its contours and winged chassis.
§ The Contra Costa Times offers a typical look at WonderCon, which starts today:
Even events without a link to WonderCon seek to profit from it. At Jillian’s in the Metreon, the Bay Area Fan Film Festival takes a cue from Sundance offshoots, premiering a Web-based sequel to fanboy fave “The Crow” on Sunday.
Jeff Bonivert, an Oakley artist and technical illustrator at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, plans to take his portfolio.
“I’ve been to every WonderCon,” the 52-year-old said proudly.
§ Every parent must read: The Chicago Tribune digs into how American youth gets hooked on anime!
When Rebecca was 2, her mother, Teresa, brought home a VHS copy of “My Neighbor Totoro,” a supernatural tale of a forest spirit who tries to reunite two young sisters after the youngest, Mei, sets off to find her mother. “[When] Mei screams her head off, I remember screaming with it,” Rebecca says. “My mom tells me I would just put in the tape over and over.” It wasn’t Teletubbies, and it helped set the standard for what she would later watch — most of it foreign. In fact, when you mention American animation around her or any other anime fan, with the exception of a few series like “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons,” they usually toss around adjectives like “brain-dead” and “childish.” Anime, on the other hand, deals with universal issues, says Susan Napier, a professor of Japanese studies at Tufts University outside Boston.
§ Somehow HEROES on NBC and SPIDER-MAN 3 are teaming up and you will see a seven minute scene of SPIDEY 3 but only if you watch HEROES. Or something like that.
§ TIME reviews 300:
The result is a gorgeous, dreamlike movie that’s almost too perfect. Every frame is neat and composed, like an oil painting, not a hair or a grain of sand out of place. All noise and dissonance have been digitally eliminated. It’s beautiful, but it’s more beautiful than it is real. Movies are invigorated by the tension between the director and reality, the struggle of the artist to tame the reluctant, intractable world, and that tension is missing from 300. If you’ve ever seen Hearts of Darkness, the documentary of the disastrous campaign to make a very different war movie, Apocalypse Now, you’ve heard Francis Ford Coppola say: “My movie is not about Vietnam. My movie is Vietnam.” Coppola’s protracted, Pyrrhic struggle against the jungle stokes the movie’s crazy energy. In 300 there’s not really much of a struggle. If 300 is the Battle of Thermopylae, then Snyder is the digital god-king Xerxes, and not the Spartans.