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Thread: Warner Bros. new plan for DC films

  1. #1
    Dean of Cool University Gabriel's Avatar
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    Default Warner Bros. new plan for DC films

    From /film:
    Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman Are Working on DC Comic Book Movies
    Warner Bros Seeking Writers For Adam Strange and Aquaman Movies
    Which “Big Director” Was Interested In Directing Mark Millar’s Superman?



    From Times Online:Superman: No more movies? No more comics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Moran

    Yesterday the Scottish comic book writer and producer Mark Millar told The Times that Warners had approached him and Matthew Vaughn, the director of Layer Cake, to reboot the franchise. The last attempt at reviving Superman on screen, Superman Returns in 2006, was deemed to be a critical and financial failure and Millar and Vaughn had plans to turn the Man of Steel into a Lord of the Rings-type epic. However, the studio got cold feet and Millar and Vaughn moved on to other things. "They spoke to me and Matthew last year and we were obviously very interested as the love is there and the potential is enormous," he said yesterday.
    "But we're not involved in Superman at this stage."

    Millar, who is currently is collaborating with Vaughn on the movie adaptation of his hit comic Kick-Ass, told The Times earlier this year that his plan was "to do a Superman movie unlike anything you've ever seen before. Matthew wanted to cast someone who looked nothing like Christopher Reeve and create a new Superman for this generation. But Superman is still in stasis at the moment because the last one lost so much money and [Warners] are scared to do anything with the character right now. I'm not holding my breath."

    Unlike Siegel and Shuster - and scores of comic book writers and artists throughout the years - Millar has managed to retain control over his creations. But asked if there was a danger that Marvel and DC would lose control of their characters, he said: "The big companies will own those old characters as long as Disney own Mickey Mouse, unfortunately. Guys like Jerry and Joe created Superman at a very different time. Anything created before the Eighties and Nineties was signed away to the big companies and the best-case scenario, realistically, is a generous pay-out for their families in these situations. Guys like me, who created new characters in this past decade, owe an enormous debt to all the creators who came before us. What happened to them taught us that companies don't have loyalties to creators when they get old and we need to retain ownership on the characters to look after our creative freedom and our long-term finances."



    From THR.com: DC Comics storms the film world
    In the comics universe, where characters are endlessly reborn and reoutfitted, a motto from the 1980s -- "DC Comics is on the move" -- could just as well apply to the current, hyperactive state of the publisher as it relates to Hollywood.

    A year after "The Dark Knight" became a worldwide phenomenon, there are more DC Comics adaptations in the works than at any other point since the company was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1969.

    Among the projects on front burners:

    -- "The Losers," an action-adventure drama starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, begins principal photography this week in Puerto Rico.

    -- "Jonah Hex," a supernatural Western starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich, recently wrapped production in Louisiana.

    -- "The Green Lantern," Warners' next big superhero tentpole, is set to star Ryan Reynolds after a long search.

    -- Fox has picked up the TV series "Human Target," starring Mark Valley, for the fall.

    -- And, in a rare example of a film project that has ventured off the Warners reservation, DC has set up "Red," a spy thriller to star Bruce Willis, at Summit.

    "One of the things that has differentiated us for most of the last 20 years is the depth of our library and the depth of the creative material that we've put out and the opportunities that creates for other media," DC Comics president Paul Levitz said.Still, when "Dark Knight" invaded theaters last summer, critics of DC and Warners complained there didn't appear to be a grand strategy in place to exploit DC properties.

    In contrast, DC arch-rival Marvel moved quickly in the wake of its successful "Iron Man" to stake out a series of release dates for a slew of movies, branding them as part of one big Marvel universe leading to "The Avengers," which arrives in 2012.

    But DC and Warners have taken a different approach, arguing that DC has a wider breadth of books than other comics companies. They insist their situation isn't comparable to Marvel, which already has licensed out to other studios a number of its biggest titles: Spider-Man is housed at Sony, and X-Men and Fantastic Four are at Fox.

    With fewer marquee superheroes, Marvel works like an animation studio: It only develops select projects and makes most of what it develops, while DC is managing a much larger portfolio.

    Still, in the wake of "Dark Knight," DC and Warners have made strategic moves in the superhero realm, including centralizing the way DC's titles and characters are developed. In the past, Warners optioned a property, paying DC a fee comparable to what a property could command on the open market. But while the projects ostensibly were being developed under one roof, many were spread out over a host of producers, each with different visions for how to approach each adaptation.

    To bring competing approaches into sync, Levitz and DC's Los Angeles-based film exec Gregory Noveck have overseen a reorganization of the development slate. While Warners execs still drive the creative side, DC now has more input, making it an actual participant in the shaping of material.

    "The creative process is by and large a true partnership," Noveck said. "They'll ask us a ton of questions, and we'll give a ton of answers. We will talk back and forth. We'll discuss writers and talent, but ultimately it's their decision."

    This past fall, Warners quietly hired three of DC's biggest writers -- Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman -- to act as consultants and writers for its superhero line of movies. The move involved taking back the reins on projects being handled by such producers as Charles Roven ("The Flash") and Akiva Goldsman ("Teen Titans").

    Some agents and scribes grumbled about being forced to work with the consultants, never mind that Johns started his career as a assistant to "Superman" director Richard Donner or that Wolfman has worked in animation since the 1980s
    The moves have begun to pay off. Johns worked up a new treatment for a "Flash" script, being written by Dan Mazeau; Johns will act in a producer capacity on the project, which has not attached a director.

    The projects Morrison and Wolfman are working on are in the early stages at Warners, whose execs declined to comment.

    The process involves one writer taking point, though the trio do collaborate on projects, reading one another's materials while hashing out a story that will be at once accessible to nonfans yet still adhere to each character's long history. The writers also work in tandem with producers, writers and the Warners execs overseeing the projects, showing them treatments and providing notes on scripts.

    Meanwhile, other superhero projects are moving forward at Warners.

    The studio is taking pitches on sci-fi hero Adam Strange and the underwater-breathing hero "Aquaman," to be produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and his Appian Way shingle.

    Also in the pipeline: "Bizarro Superman" being written by "Galaxy Quest" scribes David Howard and Robert Gordon; a sequel to "Constantine," with Goldsman and Erwin Stoff producing; two concurrent Green Arrow projects, an origin story and a prison-set one titled "Super Max"; and "Shazam," which was set up at New Line but has moved to Warners, with Pete Segal attached to direct.

    Unsung in the lineup is Warners' line of straight-to-DVD animated movies released via Warner Premiere. "Green Lantern: First Flight," the latest entry, will premiere at this week's Comic-Con and has a July 28 street date.

    These movies, produced on budgets in the $3.5 million range, apparently overperformed their targets. "First Flight" is the fifth straight-to-DVD title, with "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies" in production for a Sept. 29 release.

    In the home entertainmentarena, DC has overshadowed Marvel, with 2007's "Superman-Doomsday" generating $9.4 million in revenue and last year's "Batman: Gotham Knight," taking advantage of the tidal wave of support for the Christopher Nolan movie, generating $8 million, according to tracking site The-Numbers.com. "Wonder Woman," released in March, already has chalked up $4.4 million. Marvel's top seller, "Ultimate Avengers 2," has pulled in $7.7 million.

    Not that all the stars in the DC firmament are aligned yet.

    Warners and DC still haven't figured out how to translate "Wonder Woman" to the big screen. In part, that failure reflects the difficulties DC has had turning out a popular Wonder Women comic. Morrison, during a recent Q&A with Clive Barker at Los Angeles' Meltdown Comics, admitted he didn't have a complete handle on the character when he was writing the comic "Final Crisis."

    Also, ever since Bryan Singer's 2006's "Superman Returns," a new Superman has been in limbo.

    "Our hope is to develop a Superman property and to try again," Warner Bros. Entertainment president Alan Horn said in April. "What hurt us is that the reviews and so on for the Superman movie did not get the kind of critical acclaim that Batman got, and we have other issues with Superman that concern us."

    On the Batman front, a sequel to "Dark Knight" also is quite a way off. Nolan is open to doing a third installment, but his next movie is "Inception," an original script he penned and is shooting for Warners.

    All that has put a damper on any movie about the Justice League, whose roster includes the above-mentioned heroes as well as myriad others including Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter. DC would like to present some of the main heroes in their own movies before they are brought together for one big outing, so "League" currently is inactive.

    On top of that, there could be another change in how Warners approaches the DC characters, with studio chiefs debating whether to put the operation under one super-exec.

    To bring the next generation of superheroes to the screen, DC and Warners might yet have to unleash their own super powers.

  2. #2
    Anti-Moderator _OM_'s Avatar
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    Matthew wanted to cast someone who looked nothing like Christopher Reeve and create a new Superman for this generation.
    ...Any time some dipshit catamite of a director proposes something like this, there needs to be an Angel of the Lord immediately descend from the Heavens and beat the living dogshit out of them with an anointed 2x4. Superman doesn't need to be updated for a new generation, he just needs a damn good script that isn't dumbed down for Joe Sixpack and Ethyl Soapsjunkie, and isn't cheapened in order to keep the special effects budget under unnecessary restrictions.

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    I'd like to thank WB for this announcement. It's been to my constant consternation these last few months knowing that I accidentally endorsed a writer I loathe when I bought the Wonder Woman DVD. Now that I know writers whose work I've no interest in supporting...even in such abstract terms...will be working with WB, I can relax by simply writing off any future projects from WB as their typical drek.

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    Some agents and scribes grumbled about being forced to work with the consultants, never mind that Johns started his career as a assistant to "Superman" director Richard Donner or that Wolfman has worked in animation since the 1980s
    ...This I'd like to know more about, such as who was doing the grumbling.

  5. #5
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    This past fall, Warners quietly hired three of DC's biggest writers -- Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman -- to act as consultants and writers for its superhero line of movies. The move involved taking back the reins on projects being handled by such producers as Charles Roven ("The Flash") and Akiva Goldsman ("Teen Titans").
    That reminds me...note to self: buy a copy of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo next month.

    They should never have let Dan Slack get away.

  6. #6
    Wrote the Book on Cool DarkKnightJared's Avatar
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    One thing I thought of:

    Wasn't Grant teamed with Millar and Waid at one point to do a Superman movie? Or am I confusing it with the Superman title?

    Just sayin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkKnightJared View Post
    Wasn't Grant teamed with Millar and Waid at one point to do a Superman movie? Or am I confusing it with the Superman title?
    ...They were going to do some sort of lame-assed reboot of the Super-books so that Clark was once again the disguise:

    http://geniusboyfiremelon.blogspot.c...h-concept.html

    ...IIRC, part of the scam was to also have Clark and Lois not married, with a status quo between them pretty much like what you saw in Morrison's All-Star Superman.

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    Default The Flash

    From IGN:
    The Flash Hobbled?
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Monfette
    Producer brings us up to speed on the superhero's status.

    IGN recently had the chance to catch up with The Dark Knight producer Charles Roven whose attachment to a feature version of The Flash appears to be on the ropes.

    "I was involved at one point with The Flash," said Roven. "And Warner Bros. came to me and said, 'The work that you've been doing hasn't yet resulted in something that any of us, including the filmmaking team, feel could be greenlit as a movie. We're trying to accomplish something that takes into account the entire, rich DC character world, and we'd like to pull it back. That doesn't mean that you aren't going to be a part of it. We just want to take a different kind of approach. Do you mind if we try that?' If we had something that was really working…"

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    Default The Flash

    From IGN:
    The Flash Writer Talks - Screenwriter gives IGN a status update.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Vejvoda
    The film's current screenwriter, Dan Mazeau, contacted IGN Movies today to give us the project's current status. "Just to chime in on your latest article: The Flash has not been hobbled. Everything is moving forward as planned," Mazeau explained. "I'm still writing the script. Geoff Johns is still consulting. Flash fans have no cause for concern, and -- IMO -- lots to be excited about."

  10. #10
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    I think the worst idea is to make a new Superman movie and tell the origin again. It can't be done better then the first movie. They should do what the last Hulk film did, just tell the origin fast in the opening credits.

    Everyone knows the main parts of the origin story of Superman, so their is no reason to waste whole film telling it again. Just tell a great Superman story.

    But with that said you know they absolutely will make the next film an origin story.

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