No doubt inspired by Marvel and their assembling Avengers Warner Brothers have quietly been putting together their own mass superhero film by hiring Will Beall to write Justice League. Justice League are the DC Comics version of The Avengers and include the like of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman. This is all very well and good but it was something else in Variety’s article about this news that caught my eye; a new screenwriter has been hired to write a Wonder Woman film.
The screenwriter in question is Michael Goldenberg a man whose major credits include Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the recent Green Lantern film, on which he was one of seven scribes. I will now blindly judge Goldenberg on Green Lantern‘s performance as it serves as his sole comic book adaptation experience.
Scoring just 27% positive reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes and only just managing to earn back its production budget during its cinematic release Green Lantern was a critical and financial flop. Is this really the right man to put together a major film for Warner Brothers?
Five years ago Warner Brothers abandoned another Wonder Woman project, a project which had a relatively unknown writer-director on board. The studio and screenwriter were trying to make two different films and so in February 2007 they parted ways amicably. The writer in question was Joss Whedon, the man who recently wrote and directed Marvel’s The Avengers which was the opposite of Green Lantern in both its financial and critical success. Warner Brothers already have a script from Hollywood’s hottest superhero writer for a Wonder Woman film so why are they not rushing it into production?
I’m sure they have their reasons, presumably it doesn’t tie into their plans for the Justice League film, and if Whedon had been judged as harshly as I just judged Goldenberg he wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near the Avengers set – his first film hardly set the box office on fire. I’m just intrigued as to see what Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman would look like.
Joss Whedon has always been a big name in my circle of friends. This is the man who brought us Buffy and Angel, the man who made the short-lived and overlooked Firefly, and the man who made Dollhouse – a series I’m still trying to forget.
Now Whedon’s Avengers is breaking box office records having just had the biggest US opening weekend of all time. Joss Whedon is suddenly king of the blockbuster, the man can do no wrong and wears a crown made entirely of frozen fanboys’ tears of joy. This achievement is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that this is Whedon’s second film as director and that his first attempt was nowhere near as successful.
Serenity has a few things in common with Avengers; featuring an ensemble cast banding together to share witty dialogue and fight the good fight against bad guys from outer space. That’s pretty much where the similarities end. Serenity had no big-name actors compared to Avengers, which hired the entire contents of IMDb. The budgets are separated by $180 million with Avengers costing the same as five and a half Serenitys. The origins of each film’s mythology are also wildly different; Avengers having had six feature films preceding it and decades of back-story in comic form, while Serenity was a spin-off from a 13 episode TV series that was never aired in full.
Joss Whedon’s talents as a film-maker have always been there. What has changed in the past seven years is that he has finally been given an audience willing to watch. When Serenity came out I was in full fanboy mode and saw the film three times before it was even released, a feat easily trumped by a number of other fans, but the general population barely noticed its appearance. In total Serenity made less than $40 million in cinemas, while Avengers has already made well over $700 million and counting.
Joss Whedon has only released two films as a director and they are barely comparable. His third bucks the trend even further, an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing shot in black and white in a matter of days at his own house. Whedon is sure to be a success in the future but it looks like he’ll be keeping us guessing with each new film. Now where’s my Giles spin-off?
Bear with me. We all know I’ve been struggling with the title of today’s release. The only way I could make grammatical sense of Marvel Avengers Assemble was to try out a similar word configuration using another studio and its characters. For whatever reason (a childhood rich in animated joy) Disney Princesses Assemble was what sprang to mind and the above image naturally followed as a result. Can you believe I’m single?
Marvel Avengers Assemble
The film with six prequels finally arrives today and we get it a whole week before America. Take that Obama*! Joss Buffy Whedon brings us the film in which all of Marvel’s much-loved superheroes (and Hawkeye** with a pathetic looking bow) unite to fight some aliens as lead by Loki, Thor’s adoptive brother. This year’s first spandex-filled blockbuster looks like a lot of fun and with Whedon involved we’re guaranteed a quip for every explosion.
*I love you really, not least because of this
**I’ve not heard of him either
“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Juliet from Romeo and Juliet
“I’d sure hate to get a dozen Crapweeds for Valentine’s Day” Marge Simpson from The Simpsons
Two very poignant lines as spoken by two of popular culture’s most ubiquitous female characters. Maybe the name of something doesn’t matter but it still would be nice to have a clear idea of what that name is. I’m looking at you Upcoming Superhero Film From Joss Whedon About Those Avengers Guys.
Back when it was announced that the UK would be getting an alternative title to America and everyone started calling the film Marvel Avengers Assemble I thought people were just being a little too literal in reading the logo from the poster (above). The title everyone kept repeating just sounded silly, surely that couldn’t the name of one of this year’s biggest releases? It’s time for another of my pointless investigations. Avengers Assemble or Marvel Avengers Assemble? Cue theme tune…
As in any such investigation my first port of call was IMDb, hallowed ground for any film fan, as was presented with precisely what I wanted; Avengers Assemble. Knowing better than to simply accept one source as gospel I double checked with the Film Distributors’ Association, they have to get it right. Sadly they offered up Marvel Avengers Assemble. Bugger.
With conflicting information I thought maybe the film’s official UK website would settle the matter but it was not that easy. They claim that the film is called Marvel’s Avengers Assemble adding an extra letter and some punctuation. Has the world gone insane!? There’s only one group who can settle this dispute, a team who legally have to get the film right. Time to check out the BBFC.
Marvel Avengers Assemble it is then. Confusion over.
Side-note: I thought it odd that the UK were getting the studio name tacked onto the start of the film’s title when the US were not. Then I checked out the MPAA’s website (they’re like the American version of the BBFC but less cuddly) and they list the film as Marvel’s The Avengers.
Earlier this year it was announced that the upcoming Marvel film The Avengers would be called Avengers Assemble here in the UK. The internet being the overreacting beast that it is there was lots of anger and confusion as to why we weren’t allowed to keep the same title as the rest of the world. One theory was that the title change had been to avoid any confusion with the 1960’s British TV series of the same name.
With one being a film about superheroes and the other a TV series about spies it is initially hard to see why Marvel would be so worried about us Brits getting the two confused. Thankfully that mystery has now been solved as we have exclusive leaked footage of the first 43 seconds of the upcoming Avengers Assemble. Watch the footage below and you should be able to see that writer/director Joss Whedon has actually taken a little inspiration from the TV series when designing the title sequence for his film.
And the TV series intro for comparison:
Avengers Assemble is in cinemas on 26th April 2012 and has nothing to do with The Avengers.
As much as we are obliged to look back over the year just gone, we are obliged to look ahead at the year just beginning. It’s always exciting to look at the next twelve months and all the exciting treats that are coming to our screens. Below are my personal picks of the films worth seeing in 2012, and I’m hoping there will be many more besides, a few gems I haven’t even heard of yet. Continue reading →
As it’s a bank holiday all you’re getting is a long overdue review of Iron Man 2. For the short version: It’s not as bad as I had expected after reading other reviews. For the longer version:
Don Cheadle is the New Terrance Howard
Neither Cheadle nor Howard gave particularly stand out performance as Rhodey and the transition of actors was covered in Cheadle’s first bit of dialogue; “Look, it’s me, I’m here. Deal with it. Let’s move on.” The recasting was neither a big improvement or a major failure, just slightly pointless.
Scarlett Johansson is Very Pretty
Another big name that doesn’t make too much of an impact beyond making Gwyneth Paltrow look positively dowdy in comparison.
Sam Rockwell is Awesome
Rockwell continues to show just how versatile he is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give two similar performances and doubt I ever will… unless he plays the same character twice.
Robert Downey Jr. is Awesome, In a Different Way
Downey Jr. often seems to just be playing himself but in this way makes whatever character he’s playing seem incredibly real. There is something wonderfully naturalistic in the way he delivers dialogue.
It Was More Than a Set-Up for The Avengers
A lot of criticism portrays this film as building up for the big team up rather than being a film in it’s own right. While the Avengers are mentioned it is a minor point and I felt the film had a plot, of arguable quality, of its own.
The Film is Alright
No it isn’t as good as the first but this is the best cast of any super hero film so far and they didn’t cram in too many bad guys. The film was enjoyable and gave me what I expected, even if that was something a little unsatisfying.
Back with all the Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America madness I mentioned Edgar Wright’s long delayed Antman project which is now set to begin pre-production in early 2011. The film would then be set to be released after The Avengers meaning that Antman will not debut in his own feature film.
It seems I was right about why Edgar Wright met with Joss Whedon as they were probably discussing how they wanted the character written.
All this would be much more exciting if I had the faintest idea who half of these superheroes were. At least I love the writer/directors involved.
I know I’ve taken my time covering the developing story of Joss Whedon directing The Avengers but it has been constantly evolving. First of all it was announced that Whedon was in final negotiations to take on the directing job and the internet got all frenzied and Whedonites everywhere quick got over the death of Dollhouse.
Despite being a Whedon fan I wasn’t overwhelmed by the news as I am relatively unfamiliar with The Avengers and was always more of a fan of his writing than his directing. The next news to filter through was that Whedon was going to do some rewrites on The Avengers’ script and then I was interested. Iron Man’s fun dialogue as written by Joss Whedon? Yes please.
A bit later it seemed that he would also be rewriting the script for Captain America which is surely set to shoot soon. This is more good news at it allows him to maintain a continuous character as Captain America moves from his solo movie to be part of The Avengers and it seems Antman will be getting similar treatment.
The next day Edgar Wright tweeted that he had met with Joss Whedon generating a bit more excitement in two different fanbases. While Wright is still finishing off Scott Pilgrim he has already written the script for an Antman film which he is probably going to direct when he has the time. Antman is another memeber of The Avengers and will probably first appear in The Avengers. Whedon and Wright will hopefully have been discussing the character, and may even have to work together in casting him. This is purely speculation of course but if I’m right I want credit!
This whole story is pretty exciting, my only worry being if one of Whedon’s old actors somehow made their way into the film. Whedon said of both Dollhouse and Wonder Woman that they weren’t parties for his friends, but the second season of Dollhouse seemed to forget about this.