Finalcrisis1• Over the last few days, the long hypothetical Green Lantern movie has become very real, as it’s been announced that director Martin Campbell (Zorro, James Bond) has been signed on, and filming begins mid-September in Australia, with a release date of December 10, 2010 set. Now this sound promising as hell, although the last time WB sent a superhero movie off to Australia for filming, it didn’t work out so good. But that was the JLA, and a writer’s strike doomed that project. So, despite having no cast announced, it’s looking good.

Cp-787852Wait, did we say no cast? Rumor has it that Chris “Young Captain Kirk” Pine is a leading candidate for Hal Jordan:

Could one man be both Captain Kirk and Hal Jordan? I suppose, after all Bruce Wayne is also John Conner.

Word is WB is looking for a man’s man under 30. Names like Jon Hamm and Nathan Fillion have popped up but again they are looking for under 30. I think Hamm would be a fantastic choice but by the time a sequel rolls around he’d be pushing 40 (which I think would only make him sexier and more distinguished). Sam Worthington’s name has also been floating around but Chris Pine seems to be the top choice.

The name Ryan Gosling has also been floating around, but speculation centers on Pine, for this half hour, anyway.

Tintin-2• What’s going on with the Tintin movies? This write-around piece in the LA Times is light on detail, but sums up where we’re at:

In fact, Spielberg had called Jackson in his office to discuss the intricacies of motion capture — which Jackson had used to create both Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” and Kong in “King Kong.” When he broached the topic of “Tintin,” Jackson, born and bred in a part of the world that reveres Hergé’s creation, yelped, “I have all the books in back of me.”

That’s the genesis of this behemoth collaboration, according to Spielberg’s spokesman, Marvin Levy.

Dr-Manhattan• With WATCHMEN certified a disappointment, folks are already wondering if THIS will be the movie that kills Hollywood’s love affair with the superheroes:

“Will the perceived lack of success of `Watchmen’ have a chilling effect on the future of other comic book movies?” box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian asks rhetorically. “I say no because it’s a different kind of movie, and anyone who compares this movie to a ‘Spider-Man’ or a `Batman,’ I think, is misguided.”

Several evidently nervous studio executives declined to talk about the future of their valuable superhero projects for this story.

Brett-Ratner• Frankly, one big question mark made from an unfilmable novel should do nothing to stem the tide of enthusiasm to find the next IRON MAN. In fact, director Brett Ratner is feeling kind of mopey because he doesn’t have his own superhero franchise:

Ratner, 39, is now bemoaning the fact that he doesn’t have a pet superhero franchise to call his own.

This only confirms that, despite some of the bilious negativity towards him over X-Men 3, he is unfazed by the seething cauldron of internet discussion.

What, RUSH HOUR wasn’t enough?

UPDATE: We’ve been reminded that the origin of this story was a post on the MTV Splash Page, which has better soundbites from Ratner:

“I was so upset when I left ‘Superman,’” said Ratner. “[Bryan] Singer has his ‘X-Men,’ [Christopher] Nolan has ‘Batman‘ — there’s nothing left. ‘Hulk‘ has been exploited already. There’s nothing left for me.” “I mean, I’m not going to go and do the Silver Surfer or something,” shrugged Ratner.


  1. Unless there has been a change, the projected theatrical release date for GREEN LANTERN is December 17, 2009–not Dec. 10.

  2. Crap. That year (of course) should be 2010–not 2009. Also, I just saw the Dec. 10 date in a Newsarama story. That may be a mistake; the date, Dec. 17, 2010, was the one that was originally announced.

  3. Wasn’t there a gag that Mr. Ratner and Jackie Chan did a while back where Jackie Chan asked to be part of X-Men 3? Then, since all the parts were taken, Mr. Chan suggested making their own movie with their own characters. It was supposed to be a gag, but on the other hand I thought it was a pretty cool idea. Why work on a franchise that’s already been established when you could take a risk and create your own characters and do your own thing with them?

    I mean, sheesh, that’s what Hollywood did with “Dragonball” and “Catwoman” and “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”; why not just drop the pretense of adapting a known franchise and do your own thing?

    And it’s not without precedent either. Bette Davis starred in “Jezebel”, a movie which was really really similar to “Gone with the Wind”, but which still stands on its own today as a good movie. Just line up the talent, put some care into the movie, give people a good time, and they’ll come see it. After all, “Watchmen” has shown that working faithfully on a franchise isn’t a sure thing either.

    BTW, my 12 year old daughter watched X-Men 3 and she thought it was pretty cool. Now she’s a fan.

  4. Ratner doesn’t make much sense in the MTV article. First he points out that Iron Man, though B-list in his mind, was developed into a successful movie, then goes on to bemoan the fact that only B-list characters are unclaimed. Isn’t he essentially saying he’s not talented enough to make a successful film based on less recognizable characters? Not that I disagree with him, ha-cha…

    Also interesting that he doesn’t seem to think a well-done Wonder Woman flick would have mainstream box office appeal. And I’m going to hold him to his word that we’ll never see Brett Ratner’s Silver Surfer.

  5. Hmm, maybe seeing a dark super-hero film be less than a stellar success will dissuade WB from its post-Dark Knight decision to make all its superhero films as dark as possible.

  6. Andrew – someone in the WB chain of command better change their mind about that December date- Lionsgate already proved this year that comic book related films don’t work box office wise with both The Spirit and Punisher War Zone.

    Unless they’re going to have Hal Jordan trussed up like a glowing Christmas tree….



  7. I don’t get it.
    Why are people hating on Watchmen’s performance so much?
    Is it because people hoped it would be a stellar blockbuster?

    We’re 3 weeks into its release, and with domestic and international sales estimates shown at, it’s almost at 160 million.
    That’s 10 more than the estimated production budget.

    I read the estimates for promotion were at 50 million.
    So, it’s gotta make another 40 million to essentially break even.

    Isn’t 40 million more a reasonable expectation for another month or so in theaters? :-)

    After that, everything is gravy, right?
    Isn’t profit a good thing, no matter what the profit is?

    Then after that, studios can bank additional profit from DVD sales.

    So… what am I missing?
    How was Watchmen a bust?
    It seems to be doing just fine as far as I can tell.

    So someone with more knowledge, please educate my ignorant self.

  8. The thing about movie grosses is that they aren’t net profit for the studio. I could be wrong on the numbers, but I believe domestic theaters generally get about 20% of the box office receipts for the first week or so, and after that their take goes up to 40% or more. After 4 or 5 weeks, the theater’s take usually climbs up to 70-80%. (No idea what the studio’s take is for overseas distribution.) So even though Watchmen’s earned an estimated $160M worldwide, that doesn’t mean the movie’s anywhere close to breaking even given it’s appx. $200M combined production & marketing costs.

    For the same reason, another $40M doesn’t seem likely, gross or net. Its grosses have been dropping by 60+% every week since it’s been out, and the number of theaters/screens showing it are declining. And with the theaters now getting the majority of profits, Warner Bros. would probably have to keep it in theaters another 20+ weeks to see that much additional net profit. And that’s not gonna happen.

    So, Watchmen might eventually break even once the DVDs start shipping, but again maybe not. There’s still the legal settlement with Fox to consider (not sure what the details are on that), and given the lackluster theatrical run, strong DVD sales aren’t necessarily a given either.

  9. WATCHMEN would have to be a much more spectacular failure than it is to make Hollywood forget that IRON MAN and DARK KNIGHT made mucho dinero.

    And even if we went through a slump where superhero movies ceased being profitable, Hollywood wouldn’t necessarily try to exploit them again at some future point.

    In a JOURNAL piece Heidi wrote something to the effect that when disaster films played themselves out in the 1970s, Hollywood didn’t keep trying to sell them to the public, in contrast to the comics-mainstream, pushing nothing but superheroes. But the difference is more apparent than real: Hollywood did swear off doing disaster flicks for a while, but then they came back in full force when producers thought a new audience would go for them– which it did.

    On occasion a major genre may become less prominent, as seems the case with westerns– but even the western still hasn’t died out.

    So there’s no real reason to suppose superheroes will either.

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