Nerd Bytes is all the news nerds love to hear about from the comic book, movie, television, video game, and other nerdy industries. We know you can’t catch it all in your fast-paced lives, so we catch it for you, and post it here in easy to read Nerd Bytes. One stop shopping for the Nerd Brain! Enjoy!
DC MOVIE BYTE: In possibly the biggest news of the SDCCI Event, Warner Bros. announced the plan to move forward with a Superman/Batman live-action film for summer 2015. Hey isn’t that the same time Avengers 2 (stay tuned for more on that news in a minute) is supposed to release? Be smart children, don’t step on each other’s private parts and mess up your chances for a record-breaking summer than may never be topped. The film will be directed by Zack Snyder and will star Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel. The actor playing Batman is still to be determined. For more information on this huge, unexpected announcement check out Word of the Nerd writer, Daniel Kalban’s, article SDCC NEWS: Superman/Batman Film Announced. Go ahead click on the link and read it, I’ll wait… In related news, David S. Goyer and Henry Cavill were at DC’s Superman: 75th Anniversary Celebration panel at the Comic-Con. Goyer did reveal that they have yet to choose a title for the movie and promised that the way Superman dealt with General Zod WILL be addressed in the film. It seems that the Worlds Finest title, that all of the fans would like to see, is not likely to happen. Mainstream fans will not get the reference and it might undersell the importance of a movie about these two DC Comics giants. I’d call it Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, then everybody wins. DC Entertainment and Warner Bros finally seem poised to take advantage of recent success. The studio also announced movies featuring The Flash for 2016 and Justice League for 2017. Wonder Woman is still getting left out of the fun. They could just be waiting to introduce her in the Justice League, or maybe they just can’t get a script together that would do the Demi-Goddess justice. Pun intended.
AVENGER BYTE: Marvel Entertainment, not to be outdone by their rivals at DC Entertainment had a huge, unexpected announcement of their own at SDCCI. Brian Michael Bendis’s recent limited series Age of Ultron will be the basis of the Avengers sequel, now likely titled Avengers: Age of Ultron. I know more than a few of you had issues with the limited series, claiming the first 5 issues were too slow, or the last five issues were too convoluted. I liked the series as I wrote in Review: Age Of Ultron #10. That being said, I have huge reservations about this movie. In the comic version Thor is dead, Hulk is red, and Cap is a broken man. The cast includes many characters who have yet to be introduced in the movie universe, such as Moon Knight, She Hulk, Luke Cage, among others. The part that most concerns me is the integral parts that Wolverine, Sue Storm, and even, to a lesser degree Superior Spider-Man play in the series. We have heard rumors of Wolverine being included in Avengers 2, and if that’s true then maybe 20th Century Fox might be willing to rent out Sue Storm as well for part of the box office take. The movie could be made without them and possibly diverge from the comic series when Cap’s team head to the future to face Ultron, instead of following Logan and Sue as they go to the past, but will it make any sense? Not under those circumstances. When I first heard this news I was excited, it’s the fanboy in me, but the more I thought about it the more confused I became. I would love to see this series done in live action, but it would have to be done right! We shall see!
BAT BYTE: Warner Home Video used their time at SDCCI, on Friday night, to announce details on their 2014 line-up of titles. The DC Universe Animated Original Movie panel highlighted a couple of Batman titles, and more. During the world premiere of the new Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated feature, Warner released info on the upcoming titles Son of Batman and Batman: Assault on Arkham. The former title will be based on the Batman and Son story-arc from Batman and will be released in the Summer of 2014. The latter title will be released in the Fall of 2014. The previously announced Justice League: War animated feature is slated for Winter/Spring 2014, making next year a big one for DC Animated features!
FIREFLY BYTE: Fans of Joss Whedon’s sci-fi fantasy show Firefly have been clamoring for more since the show ended. If this describes you, congratulations you just got your wish. Firefly Online (FFO), a multi-user, social, online role-playing game, was just announced at San Diego Comic Con International. It will initially be available for smartphones and tablets, including those based on iOS and Android operating systems. I went to keepflying.com for more information and I was able to scare up a few more details.
In Firefly Online, players assume the role of a ship captain as they hire a crew and seek out adventures, all the while trading with and competing against the millions of other players to try to survive in the Verse: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.
LANTERN BYTE: The Green Lantern – Recharged! panel, at SDCCI featured the writers and artists behind the Green Lantern family of books. They used this forum to amp up the fans about what’s next for Hal, John, Kyle and all of the others. DC Entertainment SVP Bob Wayne moderated. The other panelists included Robert Venditti, Charles Soule, Van Jensen, Bernard Chang, Brad Walker, DC Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras, and Editorial Director Bobbie Chase. The perfect group to tease you with the future of the Lanterns, with a couple of people thrown to make sure no state secrets are revealed. The biggest news was the added details about October’s Lights Out event. Venditti revealed that it will feature a new villain called Relic, stating, “he’s going to present a very unique threat to all of the Corps”. Venditti admitted, “A lot of us are relatively new to you all as comic book writers…as a way of introducing ourselves this is a big, ambitious, risky story. It’s not hyperbole to say they are involving every Green Lantern character across the DC New 52 Universe.” The panelists also revealed was the plan to make Guy Gardener a Red Lantern, a new post-Lights Out antagonist for Hal and Carol in Green Lantern, and a new headquarters away from Ysmault. During the fan questioning it was made clear that Hal would eventually return to Earth, but not necessarily as it’s appointed guardian. Venditti ducked the question of a new Earth Lantern, which makes me think that might be tied to how DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. may want to proceed with a movie sequel. Stay tuned, or it’s Lights Out for you too.
SPIDER BYTE: Actor Andrew Garfield showing up in costume and in character as your favorite wall-crawling menace may have been the highlight of the panel. I’m starting to get concerned that this sequel is more style and less substance like say, Batman and Robin circa 1997. From the sound of it the so-called “sizzle reel” may have been a bit of a fizzle. The footage that director Marc Webb offered was certainly limited so as not to spoil any story lines. Fans got to see Spidey taking over a police chase, taking down and humiliating Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich – a.k.a. The Rhino, which we have already seen in numerous set photos. The rest of the reel consisted of smaller moments, like a conversation between Peter and Aunt May (Sally Field), and plenty of Jamie Foxx as the nerdy, insecure Max Dillon. It seems that the man who would become Electro does so after he falls into a tank containing what looks like electric eels. Really? I may go on a rampage if this is the case. There were also shots of the new Harry Ozborn, Dane DeHaan, and a cameo of Chris Cooper as his father, Norman. The footage shown obviously shows off some nice CGI and story ideas without spoilers, but I am concerned at this point. I would much rather see the Superior Spider-Man story from the comics, than a free-for-all with too many villains and little story. Let’s hope that Amazing Spider-Man 2 has more substance and story than we have seen so far.
APE BYTE: Publicity is already starting for Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. Word is that the original drafts of the script have been radically changed and the timeline of the story has been moved back a bit. “When I got involved the story initially took place further down the line, the apes had evolved fast. What excited me was the idea of going back to finding a way to get on the path, I did not want to jump so far ahead. I restarted the first movie that put you in the heart of the apes, knowing that in the canon, the 1968 movie I saw as a kid, you know what that world is about. That was the beginning. So this leads to the original film. How does that work? That is where it’s going. I did not want to go too far and miss how it developed.” Reeves also revealed some details about where the story takes place. “The ape civilization is in the woods, between Vancouver and New Orleans, the world after what happens with the simian virus flu. The two main locales are San Francisco and the Muir Woods where the ape civilization is born. We’ll be doing a little shooting in San Francisco as well. A lot of the Louisiana shooting was to build huge wood sets outside in the woods to add realism, enormous exterior streets. We’re shooting in the rain, in the wind, all on location out in the open in the elements.”
LEGION BYTE: Anyone remember the Alien Legion? Yeah, the 1984 Epic Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics) tale of a Legion of soldiers fighting across the cosmos. The commander, Sarigar, struggling to keep together a rag-tag, under-manned bunch of misfits with Jugger Grimrod fighting him every step of the way. They may have been dysfunctional but when the chips were down, you wanted the Legion at your back. That is, unless you pissed them off! This trip down memory lane is brought to you by Titan Comics who revealed plans to revive the series in 2014. The best part? Carl Potts and Larry Stroman will be at the helm! Potts was one of the original creators of the title, while Stroman provided most of the art on the mini-series and one-shots after 1990. This is huge news for fans, like ME! Who knows if it’s really good, maybe it will revive talk of a movie or TV treatment, which had been in discussion in the last five plus years.
LEGO BYTE: It looks like we’ll finally get to see a strong female actress playing a strong female super hero. No, sorry, it’s not news of a long-awaited Wonder Woman feature film, or TV show. It’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The Lego Movie. Cobie Smulders, who played Agent Hill in the Avengers, would make a great Wonder Woman in a live-action film, will voice Wonder Woman, Channing Tatum will be Superman, and Jonah Hill will be Green Lantern. Will Ferrell will play the villain, Lord Business. While the reaction to the footage shown has been extremely positive so far the directing duo commented, “I think it’s kind of punk that this is a kids film. This is the weirdest kids film that’s ever been submitted to celluloid.” I’m not sure if that comment is meant to get more adults interested in seeing it, or just meant to be edgy for today’s youth. Either way the film is set to be released on February 7th, 2014.
COW BYTE: Top Cow had some big announcements as well. To celebrate their 20th anniversary Matt Hawkins will write a graphic novel titled Tales of Honor. It will be set in the world of David Weber’s Honor Harrington book series. Hawkins will be busy as he had already committed to doing books called Control with Colleen Doran (A Distant Soil) and Wildfire with Linda Sejic. The Cow will also have comic book projects releasing that include an as yet unnamed Marc Silvestri series that will launch with a Free Comic Book Day offering next May, new volumes of Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic’s Ravine, and a youth-oriented Teen Witchblade title. Top Cow also plans to expand its media presence with a Darkness film from New Regency, and possibly a Witchblade feature.
HULK BYTE: A piece of disappointing news came out of the SDCCI as well. A Hulk TV series helmed by Guillermo Del Toro has been rolling around the rumor mill for more than three years. When Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV, was asked for an update by MTV, Loeb said officially that the series was “on pause.” He also added, “the world of TV is about timing,” and indicated that Marvel needed to wait for the right time, the right project, right place”. I would think there are several factors at play here. First, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuts in a couple of months. Loeb may want to see if fans who pack movie theaters are willing to show up every week for a dose of Marvel Comics mayhem. Second, I would think cost would be an issue. The Hulk from 1978 was Lou Ferrigno painted green, while inexpensive, this would not fly on today’s TV. The Hulk would have to be CGI, and that’s not an inexpensive proposition. Maybe Marvel just wants to give the Hulk one more chance at movie success first after seeing his massive popularity in the Avengers.
NERDITORIAL: WOW! What a whirlwind couple of days in San Diego! The biggest, brightest, and best all had something to say, and fans were left slack-jawed at the announcements. The next couple of years look like good ones for the comic and comic-related movie industries. The Comic Con International is still going on today, so stay tuned to Word of the Nerd for more awesome revelations. As fun as these conventions are, especially SDCCI, we understand that not everyone can find time in their lives to go to San Diego. We proud nerds will make sure that you don’t miss a thing!