Based on the 2004 Marvel comic Ultimate Fantastic Four, which reimagines the original characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for a layman’s breakdown, check the Washington Post‘s “Comics Riffs” column), the teaser trailer for Fantastic Four just debuted online.
The latest addition to the Marvel film universe is a tiny superhero, Ant-Man, featured on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.
In the role of the unlikely superhero is a somewhat unlikely comic actor, Paul Rudd (echoes of Chris Pratt in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy).
The first trailer for the live-action film adaptation, which opens July 17th, was shown at the end of the first episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC Tuesday night.
If you’re not fully conversant with Marvel comics, Entertainment Weekly offers a Ant-Man primer to help the uninitiated make sense of the trailer.
A dizzying number of tie-ins are on their way, including an Ant-Man “prose novel” (the NYT discovered “reverse adaptations” this week), as well as leveled readers and chapter books for kids and compilations of the original comics. See the full list in our catalog of media tie-ins on Edelweiss.
Not the actual librarians, that is, but the upcoming 10-episode TNT TV series, The Librarians, currently shooting in Oregon City and scheduled to begin airing in December.
The Librarians continues the TNT franchise of three movies, starring Noah Wylie as The Librarian. The first, broadcast in 2004, was Quest for the Spear. It was adapted as a graphic novelas was the second, Return to King Solomon’s Mines. The third, The Curse of the Judas Chalice, was released in 2008. All three movies were also released on DVD.
The new series uses the plural, as Wylie will be joined by others. According to the TNT press release,
The Librarians centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around. This group solves impossible mysteries, fights supernatural threats and recovers powerful artifacts from around the world.
Solving impossible mysteries? All in a librarian’s days work.The other two tasks are not generally in the job description.
This one gives a longer glimpse of Rocket, the raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), expected to be a particular hit with kids (commenting on the first trailer, Entertainment Weekly warned, “Hipster parents, stare into the eyes of your child’s next Christmas gift”).
Marvel, alert to the growing interest, recently announced the launch of their “first original prose novel,” Rocket Raccoon & Groot: Steal the Galaxy! by Dan Abnett (Marvel; ages 9 and up). Groot, by the way, is an extraterrestrial plant monster, voiced by Vin Diesel. Since his only words are “I am Groot,” sounds like an easy job, but Diesel claims a lot goes in to it.
We’re on the verge of the summer movie season, as the new issue of Entertainment Weekly reminds us with a cover featuring Jennifer Lawrence, looking ready to join Blue Men Group in makeup for her role in X-Men Days of Future Past.
Coming in August is a more tongue-in-cheek comic adaptation, Guardians of the Galaxy. It seems the world is poised to fall in love with one of the characters, Rocket Raccoon and his side kick/body guard, a large plant named Groot.
Marvel, sensing the growing interest, has announced the launch of their “first original prose novel,” Rocket Raccoon & Groot: Steal the Galaxy! by Dan Abnett (Marvel; ages 9 and up), which led one comics observer to moan, “a prose novel … set to capitalize on the presumed success of the upcoming major, big-budget Guardians of the Galaxy feature film. This is the world we live in now.”
Several other “prose novels” will be published to tie-in, which is presumably less surprising since they come from publishers who are generally in the prose novel business (downloadable spreadsheet here; for all the tie-ins to the summer’s movies, check our listings of Upcoming movies).
In the late-night talk show competition, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Jimmy Kimmel rolled out “the big guns” against the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night by debuting the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Heeeere it is:
Entertainment Weekly offers a “deep dive” into it with a scene-by-scene analysis (gotta love that gun-totting raccoon; EW warns, “Hipster parents, stare into the eyes of your child’s next Christmas gift.”)
There’s been much angst among fans, who have been waiting impatiently for the trailer to be released. A hue and cry went up when it was announced that it would not appear on the Superbowl. Fans were thus forced to read the tea leaves on what the movie will be like, based on the action figures debuted at Toy Fair this past weekend (USA Today featured the LEGO figures) and scene-by scene descriptions of an early trailer that was shown during a panel at Comic-Con.
The movie, described as “an action-packed, epic space adventure,” (more about it from USA Today) is based on the Marvel comics by Dan Abnett, Gene Colan, Arnold Drake, Steve Englehart, Andy Lanning (cover of volume 1 at left).
As part of Sunday’s Olympics coverage, NBC debuted a preview of the Universal movie Unbroken (the studio is part of NBC), directed by Angelina Jolie. It is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller, Unbroken (Random House, 2010), still on the NYT hardcover nonfiction list at #11 after 156 weeks.
Looks like the movie will bring new readers to the book; the preview sent the book up to #2 (from #62) on Amazon’s sales rankings.
It will be several months before the movie theatrical opening (set for Christmas Day), but the Olympics serves as a good tie-in, since the hero of the film, Louis Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O’Connell) competed in the 1936 Olympics. The real-life Zamperini, now 96, is also featured in the preview, narrated by Tom Brokaw.
A new trailer for Catching Fire will debut at Comic-Con this weekend. Another teen dystopian adaptation, Divergent, will also be featured, with many of the stars, as well as the book’s author Veronica Roth, on had to talk with fans, setting off a round of publicity for the movie that doesn’t open until March.
The 2006 YA/crossover phenomenon, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (RH/Knopf Young Readers), is scheduled to make its film debut almost a year from now, on Jan. 17, 2014.
Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson will play the foster parents of Lisel, a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany, according to the Hollywood Reporter. French-Canadian actress Sophie Nelisse will make her English-language film debut as Lisel. Production is expected to begin this month in Berlin.
The film will be directed by Brian Percival, who directed the series pilot, and several episodes of Downton Abbey (including the first two of season three).
The Judge Dredd comics are getting the Hollywood treatment. It’s a classic series for good reason, so I hope the movie brings readers to the source. Unfortunately, it was made into a terrible movie in 1995, starring Sylvester Stallone and Rob Scheider.
The new movie, called Dredd, coming September 21, looks like it will be much better, because it stars Karl Urban, who always brings intelligence, and when necessary menace, to his varied roles. He has quite an acting challenge, since Dredd never goes without his helmet, which covers his eyes. Stallone opted to ignore this characteristic and ditched the helmet. Urban, however, believes the helmet is essential.
Also, Alex Garland wrote the script. He’s no stranger to thoughtful sci-fi given his novel (and the subsequent film) The Beach (Penguin/Riverhead, 1998) and his screenplay for Never Let Me Go, based on the Kazuo Ishiguro novel.
Hollywood is continually signing up comics, with the hopes that one of them will be the next Batman, if you’re aiming for gravitas, or Avengers, if you’re aiming for a lighter tone. The question for library buyers is whether the resulting movies (if they actually come about) will hook readers on the originals.
Most movie fans seem to be happy to enjoy the movie’s universe, with no interest in going beyond that experience. Part of the blame falls on the publishers, who issue lackluster tie-in comics and maintain the currently running series with no obvious ways in to the stories. I find myself sending the few eager readers back to the classics, to those that inspired the filmmakers, rather than the new releases.
In the case of Dredd, I will recommend the collected original series Judge Dredd: Case Files by John Wagner, with outstanding art by Brian Bolland. There are five collections (the fifth was published in June), beginning with: