Everything has been piling up while we moved, so here’s a week worth of Hollywood news. EVERYTHING!!!
• AMC’s upcoming The Walking Dead TV show has a blog and they posted the first zombie photos from the show. These creatures would surely like to see your brains served as a light fricassee with fava beans. AMC is very good at putting up promo material, so check back often.
• The fact that Captain America’s new costume includes a fly so he can pee like a man alarmed some people.
• The WSJ had a recent piece about how European comics are being turned into movies, with some news of Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe movie (based on the comics strip by Posy Simmonds), which was very well received at Cannes.
His bemusement is therefore double when I suggest his adaptation (aided by Moira Buffini’s accomplished script) has placed him at the forefront of a growing number of film directors who are turning toward European graphic novels for inspiration. “The material is comic and at the same time violent, with doses of meanness and triviality,” says Mr. Frears. “There’s this sexy cartoonish side which was like a breath of fresh air for me after directing two films [‘The Queen’ and ‘Chéri’] with confined atmospheres.”
Tintin is mentioned, as well as Fantomas and Largo Winch. Of the most interest to The Beat: a live action Chicken with PLums by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud and The Rabbi’s Cat directed by cartoonist Joann Sfar.
• From last week, the news that our sometime penpal Drew Pearce, creator of the No Heroics Britcom, has been tapped to write the Runaways script for Marvel:
The job has gone to Drew Pearce. Considering the number of scribes who wanted the job, Pearce is a relative unknown but seems a good match for the subject matter when you consider his previous superhero work. Pearce is a British writer who created No Heroics, a humorous UK television series about a bar that’s a hangout for superheros, who aren’t allowed to use their powers while knocking back pints. Pearce will draft Runaways for Pete Sollett, the Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist director who was set in April to direct. His deal’s being made by WME,
Bonus: The comments break into an argument about whether Runaways creator Brian K. Vaughan‘s original script was any good or not.
• Matt Kindt’s 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man has been optioned for film and Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk) will both write and direct. Kindt’s comics are very multi-layered and yet action-filled. They would make very good movies!
• Spider-Man casting. Okay, we have been falling down on this one entirely. Basically, last week, five nice young lads were said to be in the running for the role of Spidey in the reboot. The contenders include Tintin (Jamie Bell), young Voldemort (Frank Dillane), and three actors without previous icon experience, Alden Ehrenreich, Andrew Garfield, and Josh Hutcherson. Most of them are English becuase American girls apparently only go for English guys these days. You can click the above link for all the info you need on these contenders.
But where it really gets interesting is that in our previously referenced post by Marc Bernardin suggesting that Spidey could be played by a fine young actor of color, someone suggested Donald Glover from Community and damned if the idea hasn’t taken off, with a Facebook page and EVERYTHING. Glover threw his web in the ring here, and here’s the 9000+ person strong Facebook page. And if it’s on Facebook it must be true! Splash Page wraps up more of the news, and of course, there are lots of ugly sentiments being trotted out as well.
• Many of you sent me the deflating news that after two years of prep work Guillermo Del Toro wouldn’t be directing The Hobbit after all, presumably because of MGM’s money problems. When you can’t get it together to make a sure-fire sequel to a movie trilogy that has grossed a billion dollars, you indeed have money woes. Despite his grotesqueries, we thought that Del Toro was a fine candidate – his English movies may be a little lightweight but his Spanish films are fine, mature works, and he has a solid story to work from. But we can see how the idea of being holed up in New Zealand for five years would have lost its appeal to the always busy Del Toro, especially if there was no end in sight.
Now, Yen Press/Orbit creative director Lauren Panepinto is not sorry to see Del Toro go
See, I’m a huge Hellboy comics fan, especially of Mike Mignola’s art, and Del Toro’s handling of the films really left me cold. The first film was a cautious adaptation, in much the way Singer’s lukewarm first X-Men film was. But that was fine – there’s only so much freedom you can squeeze out of a big studio when trying to adapt something so unique, and as downright strange, to the screen as a big red demon ghostbuster. And all while worrying about making enough money to greenlight a second film. But with Hellboy II, Del Toro had all the freedom to push the visual style into something really fabulous, and we got… Pan’s Labyrinth with a big red demon ghostbuster. Don’t tell me you all didn’t think it when you saw the guy in the cave with the wings and the palm-eyeballs. You know you did.
EW summarizes 15 other possibilities to take up the reinsincluding Sam Raimi, Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, etc., etc., etc. No one on the list is perfect, frankly… the ones we’d pick, personally: Raimi, long attached to the project, or Alfonso Cuaron. We’d guess Peter Jackson protege Neil Blomcamp to be the front runner.
BTW, the EW piece has a faboo series of illos imagining the Rankin/Bass Billbo in a variety of famous movie situations, which proved that Rankin/Bass shouldn’t go anywhere near famous movie situations.
• There is going to be a new Thundercats cartoon. This is some concept art.
• We somehow managed to miss the news that James McAvoy will play young Charles Xavier in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, making him a comics movie two-fer after WANTED. Beat approval rating: 8.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.