It’s good to be the director of the film with the second biggest opening in cinema history.
For example, major studios suddenly become excited about projects you were forced to mothball 3 years ago, as is the case with Shane Black’s Doc Savage. The director was set to begin production on a film adaptation of the iconic pre-superhero age pulp character in 2009 for Sony and producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. He had a draft of a script he co-wrote with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry.
Unfortunately, the project stalled, and Black went to work for Marvel in 2011.
Just in case you’re not all that familiar with the character, Doc Savage was a mainstay of the “Pulp Fiction” (as in dime novels printed on cheap paper, not as in Quentin Tarantino) era. Think of him as the “Model T” of the nearly superhuman, alpha-male adventurer/scientist/crime fighter/genius/detective/explorer archetype.
Shades of Doc Savage can be seen in fictional characters and franchises from Batman to Indiana Jones to The Venture Bros. to Buckaroo Banzai.
Anyhoo, the film’s back on again, with Black directing from the same script he wrote with Bagarozzi and Mondry. The Wrap reported on the finalization of the deal, and Sony offered this press release:
WRITER/DIRECTOR SHANE BLACK
TO MAKE DOC SAVAGE
FOR SONY PICTURES AND ORIGINAL FILM
CULVER CITY, Calif., May 7, 2013 –Sony Pictures Entertainment has closed its deal with Shane Black to co-write and direct Doc Savage, and Black is eyeing it as his next film, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures, and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio. Black co-wrote the screenplay with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, based on the hero of pulp novels, films, and comic books. Neal H. Moritz is producing the project with Ori Marmur through his Original Film banner. Michael Usland will also serve as a producer on the film.
Commenting on the announcement, Minghella said, “We couldn’t be more excited to be building a franchise from the ground up with Shane and this team. Shane and Neal have a fantastic understanding of the character and a great take on the material and we can’t wait to get this production up and running.”
One of the most popular characters of the pulps of the 1930s and 40s, Doc Savage was also popularized on radio, film and television. He is a scientist, physician, adventurer, inventor, explorer and researcher. He has been trained since birth to be nearly superhuman in every way, with outstanding strength, a photographic memory, and vast knowledge and intelligence. He uses his skills and powers to punish evil wherever in the world he finds it.
Black most recently co-wrote and directed Iron Man 3 which has grossed more than $700 million since opening a little more than one week ago. He previously wrote and directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Sam Dickerman and Lauren Abrahams are overseeing the title for Columbia Pictures along with Minghella. Black is represented by David Greenblatt, WME and his attorney Alan Hergott.
No information is as yet available regarding shooting schedules or release dates, NerdBastards will, of course, bring you further updates as they become available.
By now, you’ve seen Iron Man 3, right? And you’ve read our review and responded in our talk back thread, right? I damn well hope so. We ain’t posting these things for our health! Okay, maybe we are, because if we didn’t have a place to vent our nerdery we’d likely explode on the spot. But anyway, what did you think of those credit sequences for Iron Man 3? Pretty flashy, right?
Turns out, what we got wasn’t the only option, and since the film’s released alternate beginning and end credit sequences have surfaced. These first two videos featuring alternate end credit sequences were created by Jose Ortiz,
Both very cool looking, but I’m ultimately happier with the end credit sequence they chose. Would you agree? Hit the jump for two alternate title sequences.
In news that excites me, because it means soon we’ll be done talking about Iron Man 3 (at least until it comes out on home video), Comingsoon.net’s Box Office Report puts IM3‘s opening weekend total at $175,300,000.
Thursday previews and midnight screenings alone brought in a tidy $15.6 million – by the time Friday’s sales were totaled, Shane Black’s highly anticipated trilogy capper had made $68.3 mil…less than one might expect, but by Sunday totals shot up to $175.3 million, surpassing opening weekend totals for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2, and coming in second only to The Avengers (released almost exactly one year ago) for highest grossing opening weekend.
IM3 played on 4,253 screens in the US….meaning a per-theater average of over $41,000 – the third highest in cinema history.
Totals were just as impressive internationally, with the other 54 territories adding up to $175.9 mil….the current global take adds up to approximately $680,100,000 – and that’s just for starters!
IMAX reportedly sold out at nearly every one of their locations – surpassing The Avengers IMAX opening with $16.5 mil. in sales, second only to The Dark Knight Rises. Globally, IMAX totaled $40.2 million.
Iron Man 3 accounted for nearly 84% of movie theatre business this weekend.
Think about that: That means that if you were to grab any five movie-goers at random this weekend, FOUR of them would be on their way to see Iron Man 3…
A Marvel movie must be coming out soon* because Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is talking a lot about the studio and its various projects.
*Obviously, I know that Iron Man 3 comes out tomorrow. In fact I believe we’ve already posted our review.
So what else is new? Well, Feige talked to Entertainment Weekly about casting next summer’s major Marvel opus, Guardians of the Galaxy. The film stars Chris Pratt as the Guardians’ human leader Star Lord, but what made the Parks & Rec star the winning choice for such a key role? “He’s a hilariously frumpy, doofy guy in Parks and Rec, and he’s an incredibly kickass ripped guy in Zero Dark Thirty and that’s pretty awesome,” says Feige. “He’s going to need that in Guardians. That’s a big range right there.”
And finding that range was no easy task, adds Feige. “We did a lot of auditions, a lot of screen tests, just as we did for Thor, just as we did for Cap. [Pratt] was hilarious, he was moving, he was … you bought him in the early versions of the outfit.”
Also not easy, or at least not as easy as it seems, is having chemistry with your co-stars, and that was one of selling points in Guardians‘ next bit of casting when Marvel hired former-WWE champion Dave Bautista to play Drax the Destroyer. “One of the reasons Bautista got the part was because his banter, and ad libs, and screen tests with Pratt were awesome,” says Feige.
In closing, before moving on to other movie news, here’s a new piece of Guardians concept art for you:
In Ant Man news – you heard me – Feige talked about the project’s perpetual state of development hell/suspended animation saying that it was originally intended to be the studio’s follow-up to Iron Man, but now with an expected release date sometime after The Avengers 2, the script will now have to by updated to reflect the expanded state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Frankly, now we have to re-write it to put it a little bit more into the [Marvel Cinematic Universe] because it was written before it existed,” Feige explains. “We’ve talked about various names [to play the lead] over the past eight years but as you can imagine they keep changing as time goes by. But towards the end of this year, we’ll buckle down and start casting and start refining the script, which is great and which is very Edgar [Wright]. He has done a great job being incredibly true to the comics but is putting his own spin on it, so we’ll be drawing on multiple mythologies for this one.”
Meanwhile, the movie rights for a number of other Marvel characters such as Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and, of course, Daredevil, have reverted back to Marvel recently, but Feige says don’t expect new Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade and Daredevil films right away.
“Whenever a character comes back to us, it’s usually because the other studios don’t want to make the movies anymore – and that usually means the [previous] movies may not have been particularly well received,” he says. “They all have potential, but we’re not going to say, ‘We got it back – make it!'”
Finally, in a recent interview with /Film and Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, Feige talked about the nature of trying to keep the details of his projects secret in the era of internet journalism. Here’s the exchange with /Film’s Peter Sciretta:
Peter Sciretta: You’re a very internet-savvy guy and it seems like you’re reading everything… There’s a lot of sites up there reporting leaks or rumors or sometimes even misinformation. I wanted to get your thoughts on “How does Marvel deal with this” in an age when sharing information on the internet is becoming unstoppable.
Kevin Feige: What are you talking about? Latino Review?
Nobody specifically. Really just interested in how Marvel Studios is evolving to handle the internet as a whole…
How would you “punish” them if you were us?
Its an interesting question. I think the only thing you could probably do is exclude them — don’t give them access. Don’t invite them to set visits, to junkets. But I don’t know, info is always going to get out there and someones always going to be posting it.
Here’s what I will say, since X-men one frankly, where a photo was stolen off a wardrobe thing and it was the very first look of Hugh Jackman in costume as him under flourescents… it looked awful. (Laughs) It was just like “Oh, this is the world we are living in. This is the reality.” So we’ve always just accepted it. Spy pictures will leak and we used to try to run ahead and put out a cool picture first. Now if we have a cool picture we will put it out, but if we don’t, that’s okay.
Misinformation… You know, it gets a little annoying when somebody is like “This is what’s happening! This is what Kevin Feige is doing!” It’s annoying when they are right and it’s equally annoying when they are wrong, because everybody passes it. “Planet Hulk is the next thing” and everybody talks about it and you’re just like “Okay, but you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting it.”
Shane Black: (smirking) It’s like Iron Man flying off to see The Guardians at the end of this one…
You read that everywhere.
Kevin Feige: Exactly, but then again, nobody knew about Redford until we announced it. Nobody knew about what you know now having seen Iron Man 3, so as long as there are secrets that big that are still being kept, I know it’s nobody in the inner circle. Does that make sense?
Thanks to Comic Book Movie, Comic Book Movie and /Film
It’s been a very improbable ride for Tony Stark.
I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves here. Think back five years to right before Iron Man hit theaters. Or better yet, think back six years, to when you first heard there would be an Iron Man movie, and that Robert Downey Jr. would be starring in it. How high were your hopes, honestly? Even if you thought it would be good, how many people thought it would be as good as it turned out to be? And even if you did think Iron Man would be badass, who among you really thought that Tony Stark – not Peter Parker, not Wolverine, not The Punisher – would be the coolest dude in all of Marvel-based cinema? Who among you thought he would be the heart and soul of Marvel Studios? If you predicted all of that, you are a much more prescient cinephile than I, and you should probably go out and buy a lottery ticket or something.
But regardless of what I or anyone else thought, all of that happened, and then – perhaps just as improbably – The Avengers happened. Some of us never thought that day would come, but it did, and Tony Stark’s charisma put him at the center of that incredibly ambitious movie universe too. He’s the rock star of Marvel cinema. We couldn’t take that away from him now if we wanted to. And what’s more, he’s earned it.
Unfortunately, this status also means that he’s the most scrutinized of the Marvel heroes (so far; believe me when I tell you I will be looking very closely for flaws when Thor: The Dark World hits theaters this fall). Remember Iron Man 2? As over-the-top action flicks go it’s a damn fun time, full of action and cool effects and lots of that patented RDJ charm. But in spite of that, it fell flat. It seemed stale and redundant next to its predecessor, and it almost felt like an absolute snore compared to the bombastic cleverness of The Avengers. So, with all that in mind, we come (at last) to Iron Man 3.
It’s the first Tony Stark solo adventure in three years, and there have been whispers that it will be the last. It’s also the first major Marvel Studios adventure since Joss Whedon set a new standard of superhero awesome. In other words, there’s a lot riding on this movie. It’s a new chapter for Marvel Studios, a chance for a new writer and director (Shane Black) to make waves in one of the most successful action movie families in recent memory, and a chance for Robert Downey Jr. to prove that his Tony Stark shtick hasn’t gotten stale in spite of Iron Man 2. So, let’s talk about this damn movie.
Tony Stark (Downey) hasn’t been sleeping well ever since he flew through a wormhole into another dimension and almost died at the end of The Avengers. He still doesn’t fully understand what the hell happened to him, how he went from battling terrorists and vengeance-seekers to trans-dimensional aliens and gods, or how he somehow got roped into fighting alongside a pair of secret agents, a man from the past, a thunderous blonde deity and a huge green rage monster. As a man who’s spent his life focusing on science and mechanics, where everything has a logical place, this really gets to him. He doesn’t feel right anymore, and things are getting worse.
But as anxiety begins to wrack Tony’s brain, the world begins to need him more. A new terroristic threat is looming in the form of Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), a mysterious criminal mastermind responsible for a series of almost untraceable bomb attacks and a set of freaky video messages. As things inevitably get personal and a showdown between Iron Man and Mandarin looms, Tony must fight to both save the world and protect his girlfriend and business partner, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has concerns of her own as she deals with the intriguing but enigmatic scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), who claims to have a new biological agent that could change the way humans heal. Add to this the re-appearance of an old flame of Tony’s in Dr. Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall) and the transformation of Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) into the president’s favorite armored soldier Iron Patriot, and Tony’s set to face a set of challenges unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.
And yes, that’s as much plot as I’m going to give you, though you’ve probably figured a good deal more out just from watching the trailers and reading the news. I’m keeping it vague not because I’m trying to avoid spoilers (again, you probably already know a good deal more than what I’ve told you), but because this film – like most of the best superhero films – isn’t about what happens, but how it happens. Let’s face it, there’s a formula to these things. We’ve all seen Iron Man movies (and Spider-Man movies, and X-Men movies and Batman movies) before. We know where certain things in this movie are going before the movie even starts. Therefore the difference is made in the personality of the story, and it’s here that Iron Man 3 is an unquestionable triumph.
It starts with the dialogue, and right away it’s clear that Black and co-writer Drew Pearce know exactly where Downey’s strike zone is. Even in its most desperate and dark moments (and yeah, you know from the trailers that there are several), Iron Man 3 is packed with characteristic Tony Stark wit, and it’s all the more noteworthy because it’s wit that works no matter how dark the moment is. This is a film largely about taking Tony Stark out of his comfort zone, and yet he still keeps his sense of humor, his sharp tongue and a twinkle in his eye. This could come off as cheap audience-pleasing trickery, but Black and Downey somehow make this an essential part of Tony’s personality, just as Joss Whedon did. His unceasing smart-assery in the face of the absolute horror of the battle he’s fighting is both a sign of courage and a sign of outright panic, and it makes him both endearing and endlessly fascinating.
Black also serves the film well by making certain that this adventure takes us places no other Marvel movie has taken us before. We see Tony Stark down in the dirt, battered and scared and lost, we see him thinking on his feet without any armor to guard him, we see him digging deep into his most primal instincts. We step further away from the polish and showmanship of Iron Man than we ever have before, and in so doing we get to see a part of Stark that’s more vital than the armor ever was. Black hones in on Stark’s inherent identity as mechanic, as fixer, as tinkerer. It’s a thread that runs through all of the Iron Man films (The Avengers included), but Black and Pearce nail it better than anyone has before, and the result is not only an incredibly inventive action movie, but the best Tony Stark character study we could have hoped for.
As a result, Downey gets to take the character to depths of expression previously unseen. He gets to probe further into Tony’s inherent pain, his inner turmoil and the lengths to which he’ll go to preserve his outer cool, his sense of family, revenge and protectiveness, and his own struggles with identity. There’s much more to Tony Stark than quipping and well-manicured facial hair, and here we see that shine through in ways the other films never managed. That’s thanks in large part to Black and Pearce’s inventiveness, but we owe most of it to Downey’s genius. Don’t let the huge salaries and blockbuster cred fool you. He’s one of the greatest actors of his generation, and we’re lucky that he loves this part so much.
This film is also a chance for Paltrow to dig deeper into Pepper Potts, a character that – until now – was mostly noteworthy for her patience with the exasperating genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. She finds new fire in the character this time around. But the real scene-stealer is Kingsley, who does some wonderful and unexpected things with Mandarin (which I will not spoil here). He nails the mystery and the bombast of the character. And the voice. Much like Tom Hardy’s Bane, it’s an accent so unsettling, so unplaceable, that it knocks something loose in your brain. It doesn’t just make you fascinated with the character. It makes you crave more of him.
As I said before, the real success of this film isn’t what it does, but how it does it. Obviously I won’t spoil any of that for you now, but after the often stale Iron Man 2, this film is the biggest breath of fresh air we could hope for. The entire creative team seems to have a rock solid understanding of how a good Iron Man movie should work, but an even greater understanding of how to take everyone completely by surprise. This is an unpredictable, witty, earnest and utterly indulgent superhero film that delivers all the action movie goods (Iron Man army and all) along with a massive dose of heart and exuberance. It gets almost everything right, and it reminds us all why Tony Stark is the reigning King of Marvel Cinema.
When it comes to all these Marvel phases and movies and such, people really love to chat and throw out hints and spoilers whenever they can. Hey, it’s all a part of the marketing and, to be quite honest, they’re probably sick of how much they get bugged with questions about what’s going on. In the latest round-up of random quotes, we hear a bit about some “game-changer” in Iron Man 3 as well as a tease for very distant Avengers 2. Check it out after the jump.
This is it, this is the week that begins the summer blockbuster season. On May 3rd, Iron Man 3 releases nationwide, and with it the beginning of Marvel‘s Phase 2. Naturally, this week is inundated with news of the film’s stars giving interviews, making public appearances, and bizarre fake trailers.
To start off, here’s The Mandarin, Sir Ben Kingsley, talking with Collider‘s Steve “Frosty” Weintraub about how Kevin Feige made him interested in the villainous role, plus a little chat about work in Ender’s Game,
Hit the jump for more!
Joss Whedon recently talked with Yahoo! Movies about The Avengers II and dropped a hint about a brother – sister combination being added to the Avengers super hero mix. The first brother – sister combo that springs to most comic book reader’s minds are the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. This duo makes the most sense, both being early Avengers.
Take a look at the video below and meet me on the other side to discuss.
The news that Whedon has finished the first draft of Avengers II is great news. I loved hearing Whedon’s thoughts about Shane Black‘s Iron Man 3.
“I try to think of this as its own movie. Sometimes, ya, I feel pressure, how do you not? And by the way, Shane [Black] not helping! Iron Man 3 not helping! Because I saw this and said, ‘Aw, man, he really got it right!’ The pressure continues! But you put that aside, when you’re in the story, when you’re dealing with these characters that you love, that everybody loves, when you got the new characters sliding in next to them, it’s very exciting. Then I don’t feel pressure. Then it’s like I’m reading my favorite comic.”
Whedon goes on to discuss his writing process and drops the new characters hint.
“I’ve done enough shows and movies to be comfortable with that. You do come to a point where we all agree. ‘Okay. Oh, I’ve got these two characters, two of my favorite characters from the comic book; a brother-sister act. They’re in the movie. That’s exciting.’ You know, you lock certain things in”
Of course some Internet fanboy/troll will yell out:
“Wait their X-Men and FOX holds those rights!”
That’s true, but wait, Kevin Feige is on record saying:
“It’s a little complicated, but if they [Fox, which holds the X-Men rights] want to use them in the X-Men movie they could, [but] if we want to use them in The Avengers movie, we could.”
I’m excited to see this pair come to the big screen. Anything that could tie the X-Men and the rest of the Marvel Universe together is a good thing. What do you think? Is there another brother sister combo that makes more sense?
You like that? It could be yours if you go to the midnight IMAX screening of Iron Man 3 at your local IMAX theater, according to Screen Rant. The poster was designed by comic book artist Jock (The Losers, Hellblazer), and is the latest in 12:01 poster series, which previous has included unique works honoring the release Real Steel, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Frankenweenie.
In other Iron Man 3 new, Marvel Studios head honcho and Iron Man 3 producer Kevin Feige recently talked to the LA Times about Tony Stark’s mind set going into the movie, and where the character’s head is at this point in his story arc. Here’s what Feige had to say:
“He’s experienced things now that frankly was a wake-up call. You don’t have gamma-powered strength that anger can bring about. You don’t have super-soldier serum flowing through your veins. You’re not a thunder god from Asgard. You’re just a guy. And Tony doesn’t necessarily like to be reminded of those kinds of things because he likes to be at the top of the food chain.
“Where we meet Tony, he wants to be in that suit all the time, and he wants a lot of suits around him. And just as we sort of learn that’s his issue, we blow them all up and take him out of that comfort zone.
“We wanted to take Tony to a place that he hadn’t been since the first half of the first ‘Iron Man’ film, which is, essentially, by himself without his money, without his toys, without his gadgets, with just his mind, his intellect. We wanted to do that in a big climactic fashion by literally taking away everything that is near and dear to him, as symbolized in that mansion crumbling down into the Pacific.”
In other Iron Man 3 developments, a new featurette has been released, and it outlines just how Extremis comes into play in the film and how it factors into The Mandarin’s (Ben Kingsley) master plan. Included is commentary by director Shane Black, star Robert Downey Jr., and new head henchman James Badge Dale. Press play below (courtesy of Collider):
Finally, from the people who have more time on their hands than I do (and Geeks Are Sexy), a break down of just how much it costs to be Tony Stark. Enjoy!
Although much of Marvel‘s success at the box office can be credited with their attention to detail concerning translating their characters and stories from comic book pages to the big screen, there’s an integral and much acclaimed Iron Man storyline that Marvel won’t be taking to the movies.
“Demon in a Bottle,” a storyline from the late 70s, focused on Tony Stark’s struggle with alcoholism and the personal destruction it causes. Tony faces his own demons and drags himself back to health and sanity in a long hard road. Word is that this iconic Iron man story is off limits when it comes to the big screen.
Disney and Marvel think it’s a little too dark and in an interview with Comic Book Movie, Iron Man 3 director Shane Black, when asked if there was any Iron Man storyline Marvel drew the line at, said:
“The drinking. Even if you look at the websites of the mommy bloggers they say, you know, ‘Watch out, mom’s! Tony drinks in this movie!’ It’s amazing. There’s one or two scenes in this movie where he picks up a drink and it’ll be in those blogs…
I think we were just told by the studio that we should probably paint Tony Stark as being kind of an industrialist and a crazy guy, or even a bad guy at some points, but the Demon in a Bottle stuff of him being an alcoholic wouldn’t really fly. I don’t blame that.”
It’s understandable, Disney and Marvel want these movies to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and alcoholism is a dark and troubling subject to tackle in a superhero movie that tends toward light-hearted comedy and plenty of super hero action.
I’d love to see the Demon in a Bottle storyline done. Robert Downey Jr‘s own trouble’s with addiction and his success in containing those personal demons would be gripping to see on the big screen, but would any parent want younger children to see it? What do you think?