SPIDER-MAN 'Turn Off the Dark' Song

From the upcoming Broadway Musical SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark, a song performed by Reeve Carney who will play Spider-Man/Peter Parker.
The video, from a GOOD MORNING AMERICA broacast, was taped off a TV screen by a fan, so it’s far from perfect.
The song, like most of the stageplay’s  music, is by Bono and The Edge.

Via SuperheroHype

Also, a screen grab image of what appears to be the Green Goblin and a female villain’s costumes from the play, presented without comment.
See more at SuperheroHype

New Spider-Man to Push Glasses-free 3D TVs?

spiderman-m1YahooNews reports that Sony Corporation’s television manufacturing division is working on 3-D TVs for the home that won’t need special glasses to view content in three dimensions. And they feel they have an advantage over competitors, such as Toshiba, as Sony owns it’s own movie studio.
One of their first major weapons in the battle for 3-D TV supremacy: Marc Webb’s 3-D Sony/Columbia SPIDER-MAN reboot, due to hit screens in 2012.  
Some glasses-free 3-D video screens are already in use as displays. They only work if the viewer is positioned properly (within a fairly narrow angle of view),  and the image quality is not on a par with existing High Definition 3-D televisions.

No Mary Jane for Spider-Man Reboot

maryjane_Romita_ASMAccording to The Hollywood Reporter,  Sony/Columbia’s SPIDER-MAN reboot will NOT feature Mary Jane Watson as Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) love interest.
It also claims that the film will focus more on the early comic’s high school setting than the first Sam Raimi-Tobey Maguire SPIDER-MAN film.
A number of actresses are auditioning for director Marc Webb to play the thus far nameless female lead, including Teresa Palmer (THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE), Emma Roberts (flown in from the SCREAM 4 set),  Imogen Poots (FRIGHT NIGHT remake), Ophelia Lovibond (NOWHERE BOY),  and Lilly Collins (PRIEST).  Mary Elizabeth Winstead (SCOTT PILGRIM Vs. THE WORLD) may also have been under consideration.

In the comics, Peter Parker’s love interests have included (more or less in order) Betty Brant, J.Jonah Jameson’s secretary (played by Elizabeth Banks in the previous series), Gwen Stacy (played by Bryce Dallas Howard ), Debra Whitman, and Felica Hardy (the Black Cat).
Interestingly, in the comics Aunt May tried without initial success to set Peter up with Mary Jane, the niece of one of her friends.

Spider-Man Musical Announces Start

Reeve CarneyThe several-times-delayed Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark announced that previews will begin November 14th and the show opens December 21st at New York City’s Foxwoods Theatre.
Directed by Julie Taymor (The Lion King musical), with book by Taymor and Glenn Berger, music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge.
The stageplay stars Reeve Carney (pictured) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Jennifer Damiano as Mary Jane Watson and Patrick Page as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin.
Alan Cumming (X2 X-MEN UNITED) was originally set to portray The Green Goblin, but had to withdraw from the project, due to the delays.

"Spider-Man" Reboot & "Men In Black III" To Film In 2010


SuperHeroHype reports that Marc Webb’s SPIDER-MAN reboot (still being referred to internally as “Untitled Spider-Man Project”) is set to begin shooting in LA this December. Sony/Columbia Pictures has yet to confirm whether they will also film in NYC as they did with the first three films. The film is scheduled for release on July 3, 2012 with Andrew Garfield in the starring role and Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad returning to the producer’s chairs.
Barry Sonnenfeld’s MEN IN BLACK III is scheduled to begin shooting in September in NYC. The May 25, 2012 release will star Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Jemaine Clement. The summer of 2012 is already shaping up to be a big year for major film franchises.

'Spider-Man' Reboot Lead Cast

andrew_garfieldComingSoon.net reports that Andrew Garfield has been cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Sony/Columbia Pictures’ as-yet-untitled SPIDER-MAN re-boot.

After a comprehensive worldwide casting search, Andrew Garfield has been chosen to portray Peter Parker when Spider-Man swings back onto the screen in 3D on July 3, 2012.
The new film will begin production in early December directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt. Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad will produce the film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios.
Today’s confirmation culminates what has been one of the most eagerly anticipated casting announcements in recent memory. Bloggers, pop culture speculators, and everyday fans have pored over and analyzed every conceivable online rumor in an attempt to discover the identity of the next actor to play Peter Parker. Garfield will immediately begin preparing for the coveted role.
On selecting Garfield, director Marc Webb said, “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”
The selection of Garfield was revealed at a press event in Cancun, Mexico for international journalists attending a media tour promoting upcoming films from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Andrew Garfield has previously appeared in genre titles THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS and NEVER LET ME GO. He won a British BAFTA Award for Best Actor in 2008, for the Channel 4 drama BOY A, playing an American student. Born in Los Angles, he was raised from the age of three in England.

Retrospective Interview: Sam Raimi on swinging from Evil Dead to Spider-Man

Spider-man (2002)Sam Raimi was the perfect choice to bring SPIDER-MAN to the big screen. His early EVIL DEAD  films displayed a love of vertiginous camera work and over-the-top antics that seem eminently suitable for a comic book adaptation about a superhero swinging around buildings on a web. His later dramatic work (A SIMPLE PLAN, THE GIFT) proved him willing to turn off the visual pyrotechnics and focus on characterization and story when necessary—which came in handy when dealing with Peter Parker’s uncertainty and angst about the responsibilities brought on by his new powers. And perhaps most tellingly, Raimi had previously created one pseudo-comic book superhero in DARKMAN, a film that fused elements from action and horror films (particularly, MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM) to create an original character who was part vengeful monster and part righteous avenger.
Until the blockbuster success of the Spider-Manfranchise, Raimi had remained mostly a cult figure, loved by his fans but overlooked by critics. Spider-Man put him on the mainstream map. The multi-million-dollar Sony production starred Tobey Maguire (The Cider House Rules) as Peter Parker, who is transformed by the bite of a genetically-altered spider (replacing the radioactive spider of the comic book) into the titular superhero. Kirsten Dunst co-starred as Parker’s love interest Mary Jane Watson, and Willem Dafoe was his nemesis The Green Goblin. Also on board were Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, with J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, Peter’s boss at the Daily Bugle. Danny Elfman (of course) supplied the music, and John Dykstra (Star Wars) supervised the visual effects. The final screenplay was credited to David Koepp (Jurassic Park), but featured uncredited contributions from several other writers, including James Cameron.
Raimi is a unpretentious and self-effacing filmmaker, and he wants fans to know that he is himself “a giant comic books fan,” even if his current workload prevents him from keeping up with all the titles being published. “I did most of my reading in the ‘70s and early ‘80s and only occasionally do I pick up comic book now. I’ve been reading the Spider-Mans and some of the Batmans. But my workload is so intense that I don’t have time to chew gum and sit on the bed and flip through the comics like I used to.”
Likewise, Raimi didn’t have time to check up on all the previous comics-to-film adaptations, in spite of his best intentions. “That was my plan,” he says. “I thought to myself early in pre-production ‘I’m going to watch every superhero picture ever made, and I’ll try to understand why they work and why they don’t work.’ But suddenly I was overwhelmed with this outrageously gigantic job of making Spider-Manand pre-production with all its departments and responsibilities, and as far as I got was the first half of Superman I. And I never got to see the rest. I saw X-Men then. So I can’t say it’s based on those pictures or that I had time to learn from them. I remembered how much I loved the first half of Superman I and X-Men was a blast, but I never got around to [any other films].”
The first Superman film sold itself with the tagline: “You Will Believe A Man Can Fly.” Raimi faced a similar challenge with his web-slinger: not only using special effects to create shots of incredible action, but also using the actors and dialogue to create a sense of believability that allowed audiences to hook into the picture on an emotional level. “They did a great job with Superman,” says Raimi, citing director Richard Donner in particular. “I love that picture. It’s really emotional and uplifting and bright and wonderful, and you did believe that a man could fly in that film. They were successful. They were great effects…. We’re faced with the great challenge of making Spider-Man believable. The kids really want to soar with Spider-Man 60 stories up. They want to dance with him in this aerial acrobatics that he performs. And those illusions are…accomplished a lot of different ways. I don’t want to reveal too much because I don’t want to spoil for the kids and have them start picking them apart as tricks. I want them to be swept up into the thing. But suffice to say that Tobey [Maguire]’s performing a lot of the [action] himself with backgrounds put in and John Dykstra helping him with some CGI.”
Unlike most of Raimi’s previous output, Spider-Man has a PG-13 rating. “The movie’s really made for the whole family,” he explains. “[In] Stan Lee’s original conception, the great strength of Spider-Man was the fact that he’s a real person, unlike Superman from the planet Krypton or other fantastic heroes. He’s a kid from Brooklyn; he doesn’t have a lot of money; he doesn’t get the girls, he’s got acne. He’s a fairly average looking kid. He’s really a kid that we identify with. And this kid is vested with these powers, or perhaps cursed with this powers. But the important thing is he’s one of us. So it really broadened that base of people who could appreciate comic books. I think it completely changed the demographic at that point, because suddenly he was a real character with a love relationship, and sometimes two, and family problems. It wasn’t just about beating the [bad] guy. It was about a real human being. So I think that the picture [will] appeal to an intelligent audience, so that adults can really enjoy it, but at it’s heart it will have a lot of fun and excitement and adventure that the kids will also enjoy.”
Spider-Man (2002)Despite the superficial similarity to Darkman, Raimi insists that Spider-man has “its own style.” He adds that, “because the guys and girls who read Spider-Man comic books are so into the outrageous movement that Spider-Man generates as he swings through these tremendous arcs at like 90 miles an hour through the city of New York, it demands a much more visceral camera style than we presented with Darkman, who was a more sedentary type of fellow, so it didn’t demand the same amount of exciting movement that Spider-Man demands. So I think it’s a lot more visceral in its feeling, but not so much that the audience says, ‘Oh, that’s a cool shot.’ Because I don’t want to pull them out of the movie. I’ve got these great actors here to pull the audience into the film.”
During production of Darkman, Raimi voiced similar sentiments about not wanting to make the audience aware of “cool shots,” yet that film emerged with a fair share of delirious camera trickery. Still, the director made good on his pledge with later films in which the camera concentrated on recording the actors performances. Spider-Man is a good marriage of both techniques, now that Raimi has learned a few lessons about working with actors.
“I guess I’m learning that I don’t know anything about actors…and don’t want to know,” he laughs. “I’m joking, of course. Every picture that I make, I learn a lot from the actors. Those horror movies that I made when I got started – called Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 – they were about the exploration of what film was, and presenting the world of the supernatural was a great medium for that because you had to present something that doesn’t exist in our world. But at some point in my life, I thought I should start making the types of pictures that I’d like to see, because the films that I saw were not horror films…
“So I started to look for better material, and that attracted a finer caliber of actor, and I learned and I’m still learning how to work with actors and what they bring to a film,” Raimi continues. “And the more I learn the more astonished I am at the wonders they create. It’s all really about them; everything else is just a device, and really great stories are about human beings and their interaction and things they understand. There’s nothing wrong with a great visual. In fact, I love it. This picture is a great chance to combine both. It’s a great chance to make it visually exciting and interesting and still work with a great caliber of actor and a really fine script and a great character. It’s really a film director’s dream to make a picture like Spider-Man.”

This article was originally copyright 2002 Steve Biodrowski; it has been slightly rewritten to bring it up to date.

Maguire swings from Spider-Man to robots

No doube inspird by the worldwide blockbuster success of TRANSFORMERS, actor Tobey Maguire has signed on to produce a live-action, feature film version of ROBOTECH, an ’80s anime series. Maguire will probably also play the lead role in the production, which is being handled by Warner Brothers.

“We are very excited to bring ROBOTECH to the big screen,” Maguire said. “There is a rich mythology that will be a great foundation for a sophisticated, smart, and entertaining film. 

Although it originated as a Japanese anime, ROBOTECH is, in a sense, an American creation, a combination of three heavily re-edited and re-dubbed series. The result was a popular tale of human using alien technology to build giant robots to repell futher alien invasions.

Spider-Man 3 spins a convoluted web – Film Review

Spider-Man 3 explores the superhero's dark side.

The third SPIDER-MAN film is a bit like a web that’s been hanging in a dusty corner for years: it’s so weighted down with sticky bits and pieces of past detritus that it’s in danger of being ripped apart by the struggles of the new prey caught in the strands. Fortunately, the franchise strengths remain strong enough to support this wobbly structure: SPIDER-MAN 3 is still about ordinary people whose ordinary problems are complicated by the burderns of superherodom.
The first half is a a slow-moving unruly mess that desperately tries to introduce new characters while simultaneously re-introducing continuing plot threads from the previous two films. Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) escapes from prison and turns into Sandman. Harry Osborn (James Franco) adopts the mantle of the New Goblin and tries to avenge himself against Spider-Man for the death of his father in the first film. Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) seeks to usurp Peter Parker’s position as photographer at the city newspaper; eventually, so late in the film it almost feels like an afterthought, he turns into Venom, a sort of evil version of Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, what should be the focus of the story appears only in bits and pieces: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) lets being Spider-Man go to his head, first succumbing to the adultation of fans and later succumbing to his dark side when he uses his powers to extract revenge on Marko (who it turns out is the real killer of Parker’s uncle, who died in SPIDER-MAN). This plot thread is pretty thin at first, with Parker evincing disinterest at the plight of his long-time girlfriend Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) when her Broadway singing career bombs; however, it kicks off to hilarious effect later in the film, giving Maguire a chance to show that, beyond playing a nerdy nice guy, he can really excell at playing a self-absorbed, arrogant dickhead. (The sight of him walking the street – a la John Travolta in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, dancing to the music in his head and obviously thinking he is the epitome of cool even  while everyone else is rolling their eyes – is a wonder to behold.)

Once the movie finally gets all its ducks lined up in a row, the later half does serve up the requisite action thrills, with Venom and Sandman teaming up against Spidey, who gets some help from an unlikely ally. As in the previous films, there is lots of comic book action rendered courtesy of computer graphics; it’s almost never convincing, and it’s seldom genuinely exciting, but it is colorful, and at times the drama of the situation helps us overlook the technical shortcomings (shortcomings to which the filmmakers themselves seem blissfully indifferent – they serve up webfuls of the CGI, especially of Spidey’s web-swinging among skyscrapers, as if no one’s going to notice how cartoony it looks).

Maguire gets to stretch out this time, thanks to Parker’s flirtation with the dark side. Dunst is lovely, but there is not much she can do with Mary Jane, who is a bit of a self-pitying whiner in this film. Bryce Dallas Howard barely registers as Gwen Stacy, the new woman in Parker’s life, and Topher Grace is a bit too wimpy to make a truly threatening villain, even with the help of the special effects, but Church pulls off Marko with aplomb (he actually sells the character’s last-reel change-of-heart, something the script expects us to accept on faith). And Bruce Campbell, veteran of many early Sam Raimi films, is terrific in a bit as a waiter in a French restaurant where Parker blows his attempt to propose to Mary Jane.

In the end, SPIDER-MAN 3 – at least in its later portions – stands alongside its predecessors reasonably well, evincing many of the same strengths and weaknesses. What lifts the franchise above most comic book fare is the wonderful way it focuses on Parker as a nerdy do-gooder, uncomfortable with his powers and how they impact his personal life. This creates an instant identifiability that makes the movies engaging – they have a ring of recognizable truth about them, even though they are about a guy who dresses up in a costume to fight crime. On the other hand, when Parker dons the Spider-suit and the special effects take over, the SPIDER-MAN films have yet to deliver a truly out-standing display of virtuoso superhero theatrics. Sure, there has been some fun stuff, but they have yet to deliver a scene as breath-taking as the jet plane rescue in SUPERMAN RETURNS.

Venom and Spider-man fight to the death.

The conclusion of SPIDER-MAN 3 features a confrontation between the hero and the villains in the skeleton of a building under construction. A similar setting was used for the conclusion of DARKMAN, director Sam Raimi’s attempt to create an original comic book-type anti-hero for film.
SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007). Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent; screen story by Sam Raimi & Ivan Riami, based on the comic book character by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Theresa Russell, Dylan Baker, Bill Nunn, Bruce Campbell, Elizabeth Banks, Ted Raimi Perla Haney-Hardine, Willem Dafoe, Cliff Robertson.