Here’s What’s Going On 07/09/2013: DOCTOR WHO Starring Michael Jackson!?!

Jacko was courted for feature adaptation… Guillermo del Toro announces writer for SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE… Batman gets recruited for JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE FLASHPOINT PARADOX…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in fantastic film & TV.


Justice League: Doom

Justice-League-Doom_LWarner Home Video Press Release:

Primetime television stars Nathan Fillion and Tim Daly, the reigning voices of Green Lantern and Superman, respectively, join an exciting group of actors reprising their famed cartoon roles in JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM, an all-new entry in the popular series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies due in early 2012 from Warner Home Video.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOM finds Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains discover and implement the Dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping any rogue Justice League member. The story is inspired by Mark Waid’s much-heralded JLA: Tower of Babel.
Fillion, the star of ABC’s hit TV drama CASTLE, made his debut as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan in the recent Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Fillion made his initial DCU bow as the voice of Steve Trevor in the 2008 hit Wonder Woman.
Currently headlining the cast of ABC’s popular Private Practice, Daly originated the title character’s voice in the landmark cartoon, Superman: The Animated Series. He has reprised the role in two DCU films: the 2009 extravaganza Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and the 2010 thriller Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
In addition to current primetime stars Fillion and Daly, the cast is a grand reunion of the original group of actors who provided the voices of the Justice League for the cartoon of the same name and its follow-up, Justice League Unlimited.
Reprising their roles are Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman, Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Breaking In) as Flash, Susan Eisenberg (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) as Wonder Woman and Carl Lumbly (Alias) as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter. Bumper Robinson (A Different World, Transformers: Animated) joins the cast as Cyborg.
The Justice League faces two sets of villainous teams in the film – The Royal Flush Gang and a sextet of notable evildoers. The latter group includes three voice acting alumni of the Justice League animated series: Phil Morris (Smallville, Seinfeld) as Vandal Savage, Olivia d’Abo (The Wonder Years) as Star Sapphire, and Alexis Denisof (Angel) as Mirror Master. Also opposing our heroes are Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911) as Bane, Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Metallo, and Claudia Black (Farscape, Stargate SG-1) as Cheetah.
David Kaufman (Danny Phantom) also reprises his Justice League role of Jimmy Olsen.
The film is executive produced by Bruce Timm (Batman: Year One), and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Batman: Year One), who is also credited as producer alongside Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series). Justice League: Doom is the final script from the late Dwayne McDuffie (All-Star Superman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths). Casting and dialogue direction is once again in the capable hands of Andrea Romano (Batman: Year One, SpongeBob SquarePants).
Warner Home Video will premiere the Justice League: Doom trailer during its presentation at New York Comic Con on Friday, October 14 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the IGN Theater.
Also premiering during that session will be the Catwoman animated short that is attached to BATMAN: YEAR ONE, the next DC Universe Animated Movie (streeting October 18).
A co-production of Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the direct-to-video Justice League: Doom animated feature debuts Early 2012 on Blu-ray, DVD, OnDemand and for Download from Warner Home Video.

The addition of the Hal Jordan Green Lantern and the character of Cyborg to the team seems to indicate an effort to bring the cartoon universe more in line with the New 52 shake-up in the current comic books.
And reportedly, the plot description more or less mirrors the intended storyline of the live-action JUSTICE LEAGUE movie that went as far as casting the actors and costuming them before the plug got pulled over script and production tax breaks concerns.

DC Relaunch Johns & Lee Interview— Video

DC’s  Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee inteveiwed by Newsarama regarding today’s relaunch of the entire DC Universe with the release of the new Justice League “#1”.
Johns, also Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment, has elsewhere (as in an ABC interveow last night) given the impression that changes to the characters’ onscreen adaptations and  appearances will likely be gradual.
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Greenlight for 'Green Lantern 2'?

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According to the L.A. Times, the underperforming GREEN LANTERN movie may yet garner a sequel.

Warner Brothers’ chief  Jeff Robinov had the following to say:

“We had a decent opening, so we learned there is an audience. 
To go forward, we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action…. And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”

Theres’ already a sequel outline by GREEN LANTERN writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim. However, the site says insiders tell them that the studio would likely have the story revised to make it more in line with Robinov’s ideas, if not starting over from scratch with a new script.
They also feel that  Warner Brothers Pictures would likely go with another director, as they felt that Martin Campbell (CASINO ROYALE) was ultimately not a good fit for the cosmic superheroics of the hero and the galaxy-spanning police corps.
Flash_GLIn terms of tent-pole superhero prictures, Warners has THE DARK KNIGHT RISES coing out in 2012, and MAN OF STEEL for 2013.  The studio would like to have another DC Comics character film for 2014, and Green Lantern might fit that bill, although apparently they also have a FLASH screenplay that Robinov thinks is “solid”.
Jeff Robinov has long been a supporter of a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, which might also be a good way to restart a new BATMAN franchise, now that the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale trilogy is coming to an end.

DC Re-Launches JLA, Entire Line

JLA_1_Jim LeeUSA TODAY reports that in the aftermath of its current Flashpoint multi-comic “event”, DC Comics will be re-vamping it’s entire line yet again. 

Starting with  JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 , due out August 31st, ALL of its superhero titles will be re-numbered as Number 1, despite the company’s 75-plus year history.
Superman, The Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, et al, will be re-started as younger, different versions of their former selves. 
Beginning in  September, 51 first issues titles will debut, with the stated intent of making the stories more relatable to the real world, always a dubious idea for characters whose essential appeal is precisely that they exist in a fantasy world of their own, with it’s own history and rules.

Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics, is quoted as saying:
“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line. This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

As can be seen by the artwork, artist and co-publisher  Jim Lee has redesigned the Justice League heroes appearances to various degrees, Superman and Wonder Woman most noticeably. Superman’s been given a high collar that does not work well at all with the arrangement of the cape (and the idea that he wear the suit undernear his Clark Kent street clothes), and seems to have lost his trademark red shorts. The ‘S’ Symbol is also somewhat squared off. Wonder Woman’s costume appears to be a combination of her recent and controversial mini-series redesign and the similar costume  made for the failed TV pilot.
Interestingly, Green Lantern’s costume seems influenced by the new movie’s ‘peeled flesh’ look.  As Geoff Johns, creative head of Warner Brothers’  DC Entertainment is involved in the re-vamping, including writing the Justice League opening story arc, I would not be surprised if the whole venture was undertaken in part with modern and simplified (in terms of looks and continuity)  movie and television adaptations in mind.   
In a nod to changing times for the comic book publishing business, all of the re-numbered comics will be available digitally as downloadable apps and through a DC website, timed to be accessible the same day they are supposed to arrive in comic book stores.

Jim Lee told the site: “We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look. To give people access to these comics with one button click means we’re going to get a lot of new readers.”

That remains to be seen. Personally, all of these every few years total re-launches and make-overs have left me with less and less desire to keep up with the comics at all, and concentrate only on the film and TV output.


Justice League Film in Works?

JLAcart_WThe L.A. Times featured an interview with Warner Brothers Pictures honcho Jeff Robinov, who they say told them a new JUSTICE LEAGUE feature film script is being worked on, with a desire to bring it to the screen in 2013.
As the article reminds us, a JUSTICE LEAGUE feature was well into pre-production in 2008, with leads cast and costumes being fitted, when it was felled by a combo of the WGA strike, Austrailian tax credit problems, and some worry about a different version of Batman affecting the success of the Christopher Nolan / Christian Bale   series.
Robinov seems determined that the end of that trilogy will not be an ending of the character’s movie career, just of that specific phase.  

“We have the third BATMAN, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and  Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”

Jeff Rubinov aslso said that FLASH and WONDER WOMAN scripts are being worked on, and he sees no conflict with the WONDER WOMAN TV pilot and potential new series.  
“Wonder Woman could be a film as well, the same way that SUPERMAN RETURNS came out while SMALLVILLE was on.”

'Smallville' Casts Booster Gold, Blue Beetle

eric-martsolfEntertainment Weekly reports that SMALLVILLE has cast Eric Martsolf (DAYS OF OUR LIVES) as time-traveling superhero wannbee Booster Gold for the episode Booster.

Jaren Brandt Bartlett

Also in the episode will be Jaren Brandt Bartlett (THE TROOP) as the current alien armor-wearing Blue Beetle, Jamie Reyes.

According to TV Guide,  Sebastian Spence (FIRST WAVE) will appear as previous comic book Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. He was the second version of the character (inspired by the golden age  Beetle, Dan Garett), begining in the 196o’s for Charlton Comics, and later acquired by DC and teamed with Booster Gold as humorous team for a Justice League run in the 1980’s.  Sebatian Spence
Producer Brian Peterson describes the SMALLVILLE Kord role as a “captain of industry who has lost a valuable weapon…the scarab. He’ll cross paths with Booster Gold, Jaime Reyes, and, of course, Clark.” So at a guess, not appearing  in costume as a Blue Beetle.
DC Entertainment creative honcho Geoff Johns wrote the episode.

Aquaman Swims Back to Smallvile

Aquaman_SmallVSources tell EW’s Ausiello Files that Justice Leager Aquaman will return to the CW’s SMALLVILE this year.
Alan Ritchson will reprise his role as Arthur “AC” Curry  in the series ninth episode of the season, which should air during  November, just in time for  Sweeps.
This, the 10th and final season, will also see the return of characters living and dead on the show, such as Kara/Supergirl (V’s Laura Vandervoort), Cater Hall/Hawkman (STARGATE’s Michael Shanks), Brainiac (ANGEL’s James Marsters), and somehow the late Jonathan Kent (John Schneider), and Lionel Luthor (John Glover).  
SMALLVILLE returns Friday, September 24th at 8:00 pm/ 7:00 Central.