The latest in earth shattering DC Comics related news items from January 18th - 20th, 2014!
Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment surprised many when they announced that Zack Synder's still officially untitled sequel to "Man of Steel", dubbed "Batman vs. Superman" (or "Superman vs. Batman" or "Superman/Batman") has seen its release date pushed ahead ten months from July 17th, 2015 to May 6th, 2016. This comes amid no end of rumors over the past months from Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, Gal Gadot cast as Wonder Woman (in a cameo of unknown importance) and no end of casting rumors involving everyone from Denzel Washington to the Rock. Joaquin Phoenix ("Gladiator") is still supposedly up for the role of the main villain. In its place will be the umpteenth take on Peter Pan, now titled "Pan".
Warner Brothers stated that the extra time is being taken to "help fully realize the vision" that writers David S. Goyer and Synder himself have hashed out. One reason suspected for the move was Affleck's schedule; he was set to direct "Live by Night" in the near future with some rumors being that the "Argo" director may have some influence on the script for "Superman/Batman". Another is that 2015 is going to be a hefty summer for audiences - with Disney related projects loading the theaters such as the next "Star Wars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" as well as Marvel Studios' "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and "Ant-Man". Shifting the release date to 2016 would instead pit the film against Fox's "X-Men: Apocalypse" and a film which Marvel Studios has yet to officially announce.
Within the past seven years, the flip flopping Warner Brothers has had with their DC Comics related projects has been akin to a fish out of water. The Chris Nolan trilogy of Batman films have brought them success, but their envy of Marvel Studios' "cinematic universe" built up over many films has caused them no end of trouble. A proposed "Justice League" film began production but was then nixed in 2007 following the writers' strike and higher than expected taxes in Australia. "Green Lantern", once imagined as their answer to "Iron Man", bombed under its own weight in 2011. Despite iconic heroine Wonder Woman being considered too "tricky" to make into film, Warner Brothers instead invested tens of millions on "Jonah Hex" with a horrid result. Last summer's "Man of Steel" was a success, but apparently not so much of one that simply doing a straight up sequel was considered a no-brainer, especially with the studio now once again attempting to emulate their rivals with a "team" film. At any rate, delaying "Batman vs. Superman" is either a sign of flaws being shored up, or a train beginning to go off the rails.
"Batman: Son of Batman" trailer online!
Despite the latest of the DC Universe Animated direct to video films, "Justice League: War", not yet up for sale yet, Warner Brothers Home Video has begun the push for the next one in line. It will be the first one since January 2013 which isn't an adaptation of a story written by Geoff Johns, now chief creative officer of DC Entertainment. Titled "Batman: Son of Batman", it is based off of the "Batman and Son" story by Grant Morrison and Adam Kubert did in 2006 in "Batman #655-658,#663-666". In it, Talia Al Ghul reveals to Bruce Wayne that he is the father of her son, Damian Wayne. They then go on to battle no end of foes (such as Man-Bat) as well as each other as the young Damian has been bred for war and may be the harshest Robin yet. Displaying awkward synergy, the character is currently dead in the comic books.
TV Guide revealed a trailer as well as much of the voice cast. Jason O'Mara, who plays Bruce Wayne/Batman in "Justice League: War", reprises the role in this next one, implying some rush in production. The rest of the main cast includes Stuart Allan as Damian, Morena Baccarin as Talia, Giancarlo Esposito as Ra's Al Ghul, David McCallum as Alfred, Xander Berkeley as Kirk Langstrom/Man-Bat, and Thomas Gibson as Deathstroke. Sales for these direct to video animated features typically average between two and a half to five million each, although typically those centered around Batman tend to fare the best.
Wonder Woman's "Amazon" show officially dead at The CW!
In a move which was hardly unexpected, The CW network has taken a pass on a Wonder Woman TV series in the immediate future. Announced in September 2012, "Amazon" was pitched as a tale following a younger princess Diana produced by Allan Heinberg, former "Wonder Woman" comic writer and best known for "Grey's Anatomy". The show was put on hiatus with Aron Eli Coleite ("Heroes") working on a new script as of May 2013. CW president Mark Pedowitz stated, "We did not go forward with it. It all depends on the script. We were very careful with Arrow, and we're being very careful with Flash. These are iconic characters, so we're going to be very careful with Wonder Woman. You only get one shot before you get bit."
Not only is The CW airing a second season of "Arrow" and prepping "The Flash" as a spin off, they are moving forward with producing TV shows based on other DC Comics properties such as "Hourman" and "iZombie". Meanwhile, Fox is moving forward with a show about a young Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne called "Gotham" with "Constantine" coming up on NBC.
Lex Luthor joins the Justice League and more comic updates!
Apparently the "Forever Evil" crossover will have a lingering effect in the spring. In April, Superman's arch nemesis will be joining the pages of "Justice League #30" alongside another villain, Captain Cold from the Flash's rogues gallery. Also on the cover are Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Geoff Johns continues to write the series, which is one of the best selling DC Comics from the "New 52" relaunch. Also in April, Jeff Lemire's Canadian based "Justice League United" will debut.
Meanwhile, the creator shuffle continues. Scott Lobdell, last seen being exposed as a con creep, announced that "Teen Titans" will end with its' 30th issue and an annual. Kyle Higgens, writer of "Nightwing", announced that he would no longer be writing the title of April. He wrote the book for almost three years, and a new writer has not been announced.