This caught my eye yesterday and I wanted to chime in about the idea of a female director when it comes to the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Let me begin with… WE HAD A FUCKING DIRECTOR CALLED JOSS WHEDON WHO WAS NOT ONLY GOING TO DIRECT THE MOVIE BUT ALSO WRITE IT AND WHAT HAPPENED NEXT IS WHY DC/WB IS PLAYING CATCH UP!!! I’m sorry, I lost my cool. This is a very, very sore subject with me.
Back in 2007, Joss was working on the script for a Wonder Woman movie and while the studio, I believe, liked the script had wanted to go in a different direction. It happens all the time but I hated the studio for letting Joss go cause as we all know he went on to direct Marvel’s Avengers which kicked major ass. Those who know Joss’s work with Buffy, Angel, Serenity and Dollhouse will know how much he loves having female characters that are strong and on par to their male counterparts. Imagine if Joss did a Wonder Woman movie and how that tide might have turn to DC/WB favor instead of Marvel? The outcome would have been tremendous. Yet, one could say that Joss might have been our last hope but to quote Yoda, ‘There is another.”
David E. Kelley, writer and tv producer, of such shows like L.A.Law, Picket Fences, Ally McBeal and Harry’s Law, to name a few, had many strong female characters. In 2011, David took a crack at bringing back Wonder Woman to the small screen. The pilot that he wrote failed to get picked up but upon viewing this unfinished product, I saw this Wonder Woman version to have great potential that mirror the comic at that time. So, when I read yesterday about finding a female director to the upcoming Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot, I have to ask if this is even the right move.
Do not take what I said about female director out of context. All I want is to have the right director for the right job regardless of the gender. Yes, it would be great for a female director to break into the all male directors group which have direct 99.999% superhero movies past, present and future. Thor 2 might have been the first with Patty Jenkins but departed the project when there were difference between her and Marvel. Even Portman wanted off the Thor 2 but had to stay due to her contractual obligations. Does that mean female director can’t helm big projects? No, but when there are restrictions or a conflicting visions of the project, the studio is going to win 9 out of 10 times; hence Edgar Wright leaving the Ant-Man project so it’s not a gender thing.
Still, I don’t want a female director for female sake. Though, the first thought about a great female director would be Kathryn Bigelow. With Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker being my two favorites movies of Kathryn, I would nominate her instantly to the top of the list. Sadly, I can’t think of another female director to this project. Now, having said this, when Star Trek needed to be rebooted, Abrams was brought in to direct it. He even admitted to not being a Star Trek fan and yet he made one the best Star Trek films. Yet, Shatner, our Captain Kirk, made of one of the worst Trek films. So despite being associated with a franchise it’s not a given that success will come. The same can be said about the female director and Wonder Woman; it would be great but not necessary.
Warner Bros. is reportedly looking for a female director to helm the recently announced Wonder Woman movie. The film would mark the first time the superhero has had her own standalone film, and also the second time a female director leads such a production.
In the aftermath of the studio’s announcement of nine superhero films to premiere between 2016 and 2020, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, WB is trying hard to respond to criticism that superhero films are ruled by males, both in front and behind the camera. Additionally, critics have accused Hollywood of lack of diversity in casting main characters.
Today marks the 10th anniversary of Christopher Reeve passing. Still to this day, Christopher remains not only many people’s favorite Superman but THE quintessential Superman. There is an honesty and purity Christopher brought to this role. Having watched Superman The Movie countless of times, I still love the scene where Lois is interviewing Superman before their flying time in the sky. He is a bit pensive at first by the line of questions but he ends the discussion about never telling a lie. That line blew me away. In an age of heavy skepticism, you still believe him after all these years. He is honor bound by his word.
Those who remember the movie, Lex put on Superman a kryptonite chain which he could not escape. Ms. Teschmacher saved Superman by insisting that he save her mother in Teaneck, New Jersey. While he could have chased the other missile heading towards California, Superman kept his word. That is a trait that I’ve admired in Reeve’s portrayal and have tried to live so. We could use more people like him in our world today.
Over the years, there have been many other versions of Superman including last year’s Man of Steel by Henry Cavill. Some say that newer incarnations fail rivals Reeve’s more optimistic tone. I’ll give you that but Superman needs to adapt to the times we are in to stay relevant. Still, Cavill’s Superman channeled Reeve’s Superman for extra help in one scene that is amazing.
This brings me to this point, I am by no account a Superman but if I tell you something that I am going to do for you or myself, I will do it. Sometimes keeping that promise requires the strength of Superman. When I’m running, I am blasting the Man of Steel soundtrack and remembering the shot above so I too can channel the strength of Superman. This may sound weird but when you believe in something so strongly positive things can happen.
One of those positive things came to me last year when I spoke in front of the Miami Dade County Commissioners for saving my library. While I used a Star Trek 2 line of dialogue about the needs of the many… I was wearing a Superman t-shirt underneath the shirt I was wearing. The image below is the design that I wore. I love this shirt. My voice was part of a larger chorus that help save our library system but believing in a Superman and finally myself led me to believe in myself even more.
Yes, Superman does not exist but once actor made me believe in one. If we all believe in the symbol that Superman represents imagine what we can do to help this ourselves, those around us and the world. I can not think of a better time for the world to have a Superman. Thank you, Christopher.
I don’t think Marvel needs to be too worried about losing Joaquin to play Dr. Strange. I’ve always felt, mind you, Joaquin is an incredible actor but playing this Marvel hero was not something I could easily see him do. This is not an insult to him but rather there are some actors that come to mind more easier than Joaquin. I hate to say this but Johnny Depp is someone who could master this role super easy just like the characters he did for Jack Sparrow, Ed Wood, The Mad Hatter for example. Basically, we want a character actor with leading actor appeal. This begs the question, if not Joaquin, who will be up for this role?
Rather than saying who I think would be great in the role, I have a bigger problem; magic. For the most part, I don’t see how magic is works well with superheroes. Sure, aside from kryptonite, magic is the only thing Superman can not defeat but hey, he’s on DC’s side not Marvel. Thor for the most part is part magic as he is a god and is immortal; that is until Loki let speak that there is a finite number of years for their own existence. Still, there is some type of magic how Thor channels lighting and uses it without getting killed. Well, what about Storm? For starters, she’s not a god though others may view her as a god and her powers of weather manipulation as magic but we know better. Storm is a mutant with a gene that gave her this powers. Dr. Strange may be the “mightiest magician in the cosmos” but what does that mean? Thor, in his first movie, explained that magic is another form of science. Is this enough to make Dr. Strange and magic grounded like we’ve seen with The Avengers? That will be a tough sell no matter who the ultimate actor may be to play Dr. Strange.
It may seem hard to believe, but after months of intense rumours and speculation it would appear that Marvel is still no closer to finding a lead for its upcoming Doctor Strange movie. Just prior to Comic-Con in July, everyone was reporting that Joaquin Phoenix was the man and that an announcement was imminent. A few weeks later, Marvel remained silent on the subject and we started to hear that other actors were being considered again, including Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston. Then all of a sudden Joaquin was back in the picture again and reportedly on the verge of locking things down. Alas, it appears that the deal fell apart at the last minute and now he is out of the running for good. But is this a bad thing?
Can a tv series about Batman’s famous home city make it without a Batman? Before I can answer this question, Gotham City has been portrayed as dark and seedy place where even the more wretched hive of scum and villainy of Mos Eisley dare not tread. Yet, the city is the backdrop and rarely do we see it as a city on its own. Burton’s gothic take and Schumacher’s living comic book colors of Gotham were passable but I for one never felt it as a real city. Nolan’s Batman gave us a better glimpse as we could see the city in night and day but Gotham gives us an even better perspective on a city street level. You could feel the corruption of this city oozing through the screen watching the pilot. Gotham has surprised this die-hard Batman fan to say, yes, this series can survive without a Batman. The same can not be said of Superman’s Metropolis and not Fritz Lang’s Metropolis; just to be clear.
As for the details about this episode, I will have to wait before I chime in and maybe be able to do a podcast on this show. So far, I loved what I saw.
I’ve been keeping tabs on this for the past couple of weeks and this news could a new age for heroines (on the small screen at least) to become a major force – a silver age maybe upon us. For me, the 70’s had some great characters like Wonder Woman (Carter), The Bionic Woman (Wagner), The Mighty Isis (Cameron), Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (Hall and Strangis, respectively) and Charlie’s Angels could be include though not powered beings. Each of these series had a strong female lead that could hold their own.
As the years rolled on, there were other strong female characters like Colonel Derring (Gray) from Buck Rogers, Pam Davison (Selleca) from The Greatest American Hero, and lastly, the Visitor Diane and Dr. Parrish (Balder, Grant) from the mini series and later a regular series V but they were in a supportive roles. Sure, there was Xena (Lawless) and Buffy (Gellar) and Dark Angel (Alba) would rebound in the 90’s and 2000 but that’s it. The Wonder Woman pilot by David Kelly was interesting but failed to make the cut as well as the CW rumored Amazon series is nowhere in sight. However, in this decade, we have Agent Carter (Atwell) and Jessica Jones (???) coming to Netflix and now Supergirl (???), more could be coming to the small screen if these shows take off. What will it take?
Aside from the actual physical attributes, we have to care about these new characters. Agent Carter may show her with a tough exterior but mourns the loss of Steve Rogers. Can she command the same respect from the Howling Commandos when Captain America was in charge? From the picture last week, it seems that issue was put to rest. So we can have a women lead the pack or take charge of a situation that is equal to any man in a similar position. With Supergirl, all I can say is let us not see Smallville 2.0. If she is a super, then show her as a super but make her interesting and someone we can identify regardless of the sex.
CBS has donned its cape and is ready to conquer the superhero market, giving a series commitment to scribes Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler’s “Supergirl.”
“Supergirl,” which is based on characters from DC Comics, comes from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and is exec produced by Berlanti, Adler and Sarah Schechter. It’s based on the story of Kara Zor-El, who, like her famous cousin, escaped Krypton amid its destruction. She’s been keeping her powers a secret since arriving on Earth, but now — at age 24 — she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.
Many times, art imitates life but today we have life that is imitating art. Call it self-fulfilling prophecy of the sorts as the mock-up poster of Vincent Chase from the fictitious show Entourage staring in this underwater superhero role of a lifetime – AQUAMAN. Sure, this was back in 2006 but you know long those prophecies can take to be fully realized but seriously, this movie made like Spiderman money!!!
And when I mean Spiderman, I’m talking about Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman not Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spiderman. Check out the trailer to Aquaman.
As all kidding aside, we actually have an actor for Aquaman. Jason Momoa has been reported have landed this SPLASHY role. (Made a funny!!!) For me, I’ve only known him as Kohl Drago from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Prior to that or there about was the remake for Conan the Barbarian which I have not seen to date. A prior tv role had Jason on Stargate Atlantis which again I have not seen. Still, seeing Jason as Kohl on GoT was still impressive enough to see his screen appeal however, is he the Aquaman? Is Jason going to get his hair colored blonde? Will he be wearing the traditional orange and green colored costume? Will he have a hook for a hand or a hand made out of water? Still, I want to see an Aquaman wear no gloves. Seriously, wearing gloves underwater may look cool but has no practical application in life. I tried washing dishes with rubber gloves and once that water gets in there, no amount of superpowers will ever get rid of that icky feeling I felt. Putting that all aside, I am truly, truly happy that DC/Warner Bros. are getting their shit together. Plus, Aquaman is rumored to appear in the Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice movie. From what I’ve read, it seems the tie in for Aquaman was the World Builder over the Indian Ocean as seen the Man of Steel. I see this as a downstairs neighbor who is pissed at you for not lowering the volume of your music but on a bigger scale. Someone not very happy!!!
We are coming to a new golden of superheroes on the big and small screen. I can not wait to see how this all plays out.
One of the many ear worms that plague me through out the day, this ear worm for this post would be from the Disney film Frozen ‘Let It Go.” One part of the lyrics speaks to me, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door,” and this is what I need to do but after this blog entry. I have given up trying to be pleased by a movie that never achieved the greatness that I expected from it. I am done beating a dead horse on the Kahn issue but for one last time, I had to understand where the writers where trying to go with this new Kahn.
This story beginning at the end of the movie – sort of. We see the proceedings of a trial to arraign Khan. As the trial begins, there is a Trek easter egg of a character from the original series that is very comfortable in a court setting. I’m not going to tell you who this person is as I just wanted to mention this little tidbit. Believe me, this nu-Trek has a lot to answer for but this little tip of the hat was a good ice breaker. But then we get this shocker.
Ok, now you have my interest. Now, you are telling me something that I wanted to know. Why is the Kahn from Into Darkness different from the Kahn from the original series Star Trek II. The next series of panels pushes the camera on the nu-Kahn to a close up and then to black. Nu-Kahn begins to tell the story through flashbacks on his rise to power and the Eugenics war. This was the hook to get me to read the rest of the stories in this graphic novel. But I was more concerned with the question at hand, “Why were there two different looking Kahn-s?” As with all good stories, you make the reader wait for it. As the story unfolds, we see Kahn and his fellow co-horts boarding the Botany Bay and leaving from Australia. Nice touch!!!
Going back to the movie Into Darkness, we are told the Admiral Marcus and nu-Kahn had met prior to the Enterprise encounter in the movie. In the graphic novel, we get a couple of scenes where a Federation ship finds the Botany Bay and brings it the secret facility. Marcus does several voice overs on the panels, “We figured out who you were soon enough, event with the scarce records of your time. We knew that waking you up as you were would be a huge mistake.” So, if Marcus came to that conclusion, don’t you think the in the original series episode, “Space Seed,” Kirk would have come to the same conclusion? Argue among yourselves and see if I am right.
However, Marcus did not heed his own warning. He decided to use Khan to his advantage and took it a step further. Marcus ordered to have most of Kahn’s memory wiped and have “laser” facial rec-Khan-struction. BLAM!!! We get not Kahn but John Harrison aka nu-Kahn. Ok…I um… ok….. no… not ok. This is a hard pill to swallow but fine; I’ll go with it.
Nu-Kahn helps out Marcus with his superior knowledge but not knowing who he truly is until he starts getting flashbacks to his earlier life on Earth. From there, things go down hill for the Admiral and then us, the audience, that had to see Into Darkness. The nu-Kahn-clusion at the end of the book is the same as what happened in the movie; nu-Kahn goes to sleep. So, I take it that at the end of the movie, nu-Khan was put to sleep and then gets awakened in the graphic novel to have a trial, to tell his story but is found guilty, and then gets back to sleep in the same chamber as before. In this context, the ending in the graphic novel fails to satisfy the reader especially since this was already done in the movie. Think of the Richard Donner’s Superman II ending that did the same thing from the first Superman movie.
However, once more, if…. and I do mean if…. this graphic novel is placed after Kirk was “resurrected” in the film and then nu-Kahn was brought to trail, did his backstory and found guilty…again, and then put to sleep in his chamber, I would have been… ok with Into Darkness as a film. At least the missing gap as to why the nu-Kahn looks nothing like the old Kahn is explained and the ending, will not perfect, will allow nu-Kahn to be resurrected in the future.
And on that note, I will, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door.” I’m done.
Mr Gene and I discuss the latest Marvel superhero movie, Captain America The Winter Soldier. Please do not listen to the podcast if you have not seen the movie as this show is filled with spoilers.