Ben Affleck to star as Batman in second Man of Steel

Actor/Director/Academy Award Winner, Ben Affleck has been cast as the next screen version of Bruce Wayne/Batman for the sequel to Man of Steel.

“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.” – Greg Silverman (WB President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production)

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.” Zack Snyder (Director of both Man of Steel and its sequel)

“We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.” Sue Kroll (WB President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution)

This will not be Ben Affleck’s first time as a costume clad superhero, he starred as Daredevil in the 2003 film. So we can already get the feel for what he will look like under the cape and cowl of the Dark Knight. Very little is known about the direction that the film will take other than the appearance of Batman. What we do know is that the untitled sequel will be written by David S. Goyer who was one of the key writers in the Nolan Batman trilogy… so if anyone can write a good adventure for the caped crusader it’ll be him!

daredevil

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History of Superheroes in Movies

superman

While there were superhero movies in the 1940s, 50s and 60s it wasn’t until the 1978 film Superman opened the door for comic books and their characters to be taken as serious movie ideas, but that faded over ten years until 1989’s Batman put them back on the map again. Unfortunately, with the exception of Batman Returns (1992) the popularity of superhero films declined again until 2000 when X-Men got it right.

xmen

Since X-Men superhero movies have been on the up and up. Production companies started taking the concepts seriously again rather than trying to make it comical and camp (I’m looking at you Joel Schumacher). 2002 saw Spider-Man swing on to the silver screen and both the X-Men and Spider-Man films spawned major film franchises for Fox and Sony respectively. But we’ll get to the major production companies later. Fox continued it’s push with Daredevil (2003), X2 (2003), Elektra (2005) and Fantastic Four (2005) while Sony (Colombia) released Hellboy and Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Following the success of
these franchises DC and Warner Bros. took a different angle and rebooted the popular Batman franchise with Batman Begins (2005) which had a much darker tone to it than the Marvel films that were being released at the time. Superhero films cashed in on the success of the early 2000 hits for a few more years X-Men: The Last Stand and Superman Returns in 2006 and Spider-Man 3 and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in 2007 (which might I add were all franchise killers) but come 2008 something clicked in the minds of Marvel, DC, production companies and audiences… Superhero Movies could be better than exciting. They could be exhilarating the perfect escape for people young and old just like the comic books they were based on were for people years ago.

darkknight

2008 was a big year for Superheroes, with Marvel’s start of their Cinematic Universe (Actually owning the rights to these characters this time) Iron Man blasted on to the screen, reviving the dwindling superhero audiences and Robert Downey Jr.’s career at the same time. On top of that the reboot of the Hulk franchise with The Incredible Hulk re-established another character for something in the future. Iron Man would have been the walk-away hit of superhero films that year had the follow-up to Batman Begins not been released. The Dark Knight wowed audiences and box officenumbers proved that superhero movies were not just a sub-class of action films. They were their own genre. Mixing comedy and drama with action, visual effects and the characters people of all ages could enjoy. The superheroes were here.

avengers

The late 2000s brought us a prequel to X-Men in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and a surprise cult classic with Watchmen. The start of the new decade brought in more of the independent heroes in to the spotlight, Kick-Ass and Super depict average joes standing up and answering the call against villainy and Iron Man 2 delved deeper in to the mystery behind S.H.I.E.L.D and why they were showing up in all these Marvel movies. 2011 was another big year for Marvel with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger setting up for the biggest superhero team up in film history. Fox released a re-invigoration of X-Men going back to the early days of Professor X in X-Men: First Class and DC unfortunately missed the mark with Green Lantern. Last year blew me away though with The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises three of the four big superhero movie powerhouses put everything they had in to these films and they were incredible.

The superhero film genre has risen over the last twenty or so years to become films that provide drama, comedy, explosions and an all round entertaining visit to the cinemas.

The Dark Knight Rises – Review

Apologies for the late review, this film needed to be seen a few times for me so I could happily pass judgement. Christopher Nolan’s epic run of Batman films ends with The Dark Knight Rises.

It’s been 8 years since Batman took the fall for Harvey Dent’s murder and the police of Gotham, thanks to the ‘Dent Act’, have cleaned up the streets from crime. Until a ruthless mercinary named  Bane attacks Gotham. His plans promt Batman to return to the city who, in the last film, wanted him dead. But some of the police still hold those feelings for the caped crusader and their attempts to stop him allow Bane to continue his plans for Gotham City.

This film is epic and on a grand scale. If you see it in a cinema with good bass it is simply incredible.

Christopher Nolan expertly co-writes and directs again as usual. He brings in some of his actors from Inception, Tom Hardy (as Bane) Joseph Gordon-Levitt (as Gotham City PD officer, John Blake) and Marion Cotillard (as Miranda Tate) as well as some more famous faces like Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Old favourites return to the series aswell. Christian Bale is again, Bruce Wayne / Batman, Micheal Caine steals the show as Alfred Pennyworth. Morgan Freeman plays the President of  Wayne Enterprises, Lucis Fox. Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon. There are also some nice little cameos from the other films you might find pretty cool.

As I said before Michael Caine was the stand out performance for me. He really conveyed the emotion that Alfred felt throughout these troubling times for Bruce and Gotham.

The music fills the cinema perfectly and Zimmer’s use of silence in key scenes is so captivating. You find the chanting in the film very hard to get out of your head. But why would you want it to?

I had so much fun watching this film. Both times it excites you, frightens you, makes you feel the dispair and anguish of the people of Gotham. I really don’t want to say all that much more about this film but it ends the trilogy very nicely perfectly. I was a bit suspicious the first time the film ended as a big fan of Batman lore. But after the second viewing… All that went away.

4.5 Stars

The Dark Knight Rises is in cinemas now. AND YOU NEED TO SEE IT!

Film News Friday – Week 20, 2011

Here’s what has been happening in the movie world this week…

  • Warner Bros. Press Release for Production on The Dark Knight Rises…

PRODUCTION BEGINS ON “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”

Filming will take place on three continents, with an all-star cast working under the direction of Christopher Nolan.

BURBANK, CA, May 19, 2011 – Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ “The Dark Knight Rises,” the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar® winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

The film also stars Anne Hathaway, as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy, as Bane; Oscar® winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as John Blake.

Returning to the main cast, Oscar® winner Michael Caine (“The Cider House Rules”) plays Alfred; Gary Oldman is Commissioner Gordon; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) reprises the role of Lucius Fox.

In helming “The Dark Knight Rises,” Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX® cameras even more extensively than he did on “The Dark Knight,” which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX® cameras.  The results were so spectacular that the director wanted to expand the use of the large-format cameras for this film.

The screenplay for “The Dark Knight Rises” is written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer.  The film is being produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven, who previously teamed on “Batman Begins” and the record-breaking blockbuster “The Dark Knight.”  The executive producers are Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Kevin De La Noy and Thomas Tull, with Jordan Goldberg serving as co-producer.  “The Dark Knight” is based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.  Batman was created by Bob Kane.

Behind the scenes, “The Dark Knight Rises” reunites the director with several of his longtime collaborators, all of whom worked together on the “The Dark Knight.”  The creative team includes director of photography Wally Pfister, who recently won an Oscar® for his work on Nolan’s “Inception”; production designer Nathan Crowley; editor Lee Smith; and Oscar®-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (“Topsy-Turvy”).  In addition, Paul Franklin and Chris Corbould, who both won Oscars® for the effects in “Inception,” will supervise the visual and special effects, respectively.  The music will be composed by Oscar® winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”).

The locations for “The Dark Knight Rises” span three continents and include the American cities of Pittsburgh, New York and Los Angeles, as well as sites in India, England and Scotland.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is a presentation of Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.  Slated for release on July 20, 2012, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

  • Titanic is set to be released again, next year in, you guessed it 3D, to co-inside with the 100th anniversary of the ship’s voyage. Does James Cameron not have enough money?
  • Arnie puts his hollywood comeback on hold following his personal matters that have been developing over the past week. For those who haven’t heard look it up elsewhere, I will not comment on what Arnie does off screen and off productions.
  • Stephen Fry to feature in The Hobbit he will play the Master of Laketown.
  • Production begins on Tim Burton’s adaptation of Dark Shadows… the movie stars… well if you guessed Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter you’d be spot on… the cast also includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, and newcomer Gulliver McGrath.
  • The Hangover Part III is currently in development phase. It is said that it would end the franchise… I hope that the second can live up to the first because it’s possible the original could be killed with this latest release god forbid a third. Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that I’m wrong.
  • Keanu Reeves has turned down the role of Keneda in the live action adaptation of Akira.
  • Tin Tin Trailer Released

  • Tim Burton not directing Maleficent, rumours say possibly David Yates may be brought on.
  • Ubisoft Planning Assassin’s CreedSplinter Cell & Ghost Recon Movies. A Raving Rabbids series of 7 minute episodes in 3D CGI are also in development.
  • I’ll leave you with one final bit of news… They’re Closer Than You Think…

Batman: Mask of The Phantasm – Review

PART FIVE: Batman: Mask of The Phantasm

Directed By: Eric Radomski & Bruce W. Timm

Written By: Bob Kane and Alan Burnett

Starring: Kevin Conroy, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner, Stacy Keach, Abe Vigoda, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Mark Hamill

Gross: $5,617,391

Production Co: Warner Bros. Animation

Release Date: 25 December 1993

Runtime: 76 min

Batman, the costumed crime-fighter who prowls the night skies in Gotham City, soon finds there’s another vigilante in town knocking off prominent mob figures. Despite the scythe-like blade for a hand, a mechanical voice and the cloud of smoke that follows the figure wherever it goes, the police and outraged officials mistake the homicidal crusader for Batman himself and demand that the city’s longtime hero be brought to justice. Meanwhile, Andrea Beaumont returns to town. She is the lost love of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire playboy who is Batman’s alter ego, and was an integral part of Wayne’s decision ten years earlier to don the cape and cowl. Now, she is back in his life and is no less a disruption than the return of his old archenemy, The Joker, who has a stake in seeing the annihilation of this new vigilante, whoever it proves to be.

This animated Batman movie did something for the franchise that the live-action movies didn’t. The tension and mystery surrounding The Phantasm coupled with the fact that most of Gotham City were turning on their once beloved caped crusader makes this a brilliant movie. In my point of view many elements of this movie as well as other Batman graphic novels, such as Batman: Year One, were vital in creating the new direction of Batman in the more recent Nolan films. The Mask of The Phantasm was dark like the animated series and yet it was very effective in portraying a story and some backstory as well. For example what Bruce Wayne did as a vigilante before he donned the disguise of Batman. There are many other animated Batman films and TV series out there but this is by far one of the best.

3 Stars

Batman: The Mask of The Phantasm is available on DVD in all good DVD stores.

Batman – Review

PART ONE: Batman


Directed By: Tim Burton

Written By: Bob Kane, Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren

Starring: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Michael Gough and Kim Basinger

Gross: $411,348,924 (Worldwide)

Production Co: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: 31st August 1989 (Australia)

Runtime: 126 min

Batman is such a fantastic movie. It was the first movie with a truly gritty Batman. Long gone were the days of Adam West and Burt Ward on the screens as the dynamic duo. Tim Burton, then famous for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Frankenweenie, was asked to direct a Batman movie by Warner Bros. after the success of the comic books “The Dark Knight Returns” and “The Killing Joke”. Batman got the green light in 1988 after the success of Beetlejuice.

The Batman terrorises the criminal world as a mysterious vigilante until one fateful night when a member of a crime syndicate, Jack Napier is transformed in to the insane Joker, who plots to rule Gotham City. Batman reveals him self to Gotham City during battles between the Joker and the legend of the Dark Knight is born. Meanwhile, millionaire Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne courts photographer Vicki Vale, however both lives cross thanks to the Joker’s interventions.

This movie had just the right amount of darkness as well as a little humour and campy-ness that harks back to the sixty’s adventures of the caped crusader. All in all, this film is really good and masterfully made. It has served as a base for many, maybe even all Batman movies since.

4 Stars

Batman is available on DVD and BluRay and can also be bought in a Batman Anthology with the other three “80’s & 90’s” Batman Films (Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin).

Batman Month Begins

The blogsite will be undergoing a change tonight… To celebrate May, the Month Batman was released to the world in his first comic book appearance. NFB will be reviewing 5 Batman Movies!

Batman

Batman Returns

Batman Forever

Batman & Robin

Batman: The Mask of Phantasm

FNF – Week 12 2011

Film News Friday, March 25th

  • The writer of The Amazing Spider-Man, James Vanderbilt has been reported to have signed on for the sequel. Sony Pictures seems to want to get the next movie underway soon after the July, 2012 release.
  • Feature Length Film to feature Micky, Donald & Goofy being developed at Disney.
  • A “PG-13” version of The King’s Speech is being released in America. This is in response to the R rating on the regular release. – This version set for Australia?… Maybe on a DVD release but certainly not in cinemas.
  • New ‘Bourne’ film (that will not have Matt Damon) in talks to cast Joel Edgerton (forthcoming remake of The Thing), Dominic Cooper (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), and Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) in the lead role, a character that isn’t Jason Bourne, but is somehow affected by the events of the trilogy. It’s being billed as a ‘side-quel’.

The Week That Was

The news the made the headlines this week since the last FNF.

Saturday, March 19th

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt now confirmed for The Dark Knight Rises, along with Juno Temple.
  • S.H.E.I.L.D website launched > http://www.joinshield.com/.
  • Jodie Foster to direct a Sci-Fi Thriller.
  • Adrianne Palicki: the new Wonder Woman… >First Pictures.
  • Billy Bob Thornton to return in Bad Santa 2.
  • Kevin Costner to play Jonathan Kent in The Man of Steel.

Sunday, March 20th

  • Joseph Gordon-Levit’s Dark Knight Rises role revealed, Alberto Falcone, the son of Mafia chieftain Carmine Falcone, the character Tom Wilkinson played in Batman Begins.
  • New Hugh Jackman movie, Real Steel – New viral videos released of a few of the fighting robots central to the storyline. Check out wrb.com or Coming Soon.net.
  • US Ticket sales are down 20% on the first quarter of 2010. Why? A series of 3-D flops are to blame. Disney’s Mars Need Moms the most recent to bomb out and is one of Disney’s worst opening weekends in years.
  • Brian Naylor, director of the new Ghost Rider movie “The Spirit of Vengence” talks about the story the characters and more. Check out Collider.com for the full article.
  • Tim Burton to direct a stop motion version of The Addams Family for 2014.

Monday, March 21st

  • Production on The Hobbit begins. Facebook page launched for the film.
  • New Pirates 4 trailer is released.
  • Zack Snyder, talks more on Superman… “real(-est) film he’s ever done”.

Tuesday, March 22nd

  • Batman Begins, Speculation… Again: Joseph Gordon-Levitt may not be playing Falcone. Entertainment Weekly has announced that the statement of the character he will be playing was wrong.
  • New footage of Captain America to be released tomorrow on Entertainment Tonight.
  • The script for an american live-action Akira have been sent out to prospective leads. Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy all possible for Tetsuo.
  • Poster for the new Antonio Banderas movie comes out… The Big Bang! (Read the plot line of this movie you will think “what the?!?!”

Wednesday, March 23rd

  • Next Narnia movie to be produced… The Magicians Nephew
  • Clash of the Titans 2 goes into production… I’m sure none of you can wait for this.
  • Captain America trailer released.
  • Harry Houdini movie in the works by Sony Pictures.
  • The Wolverine on hold, no director and Japan crisis.

Thursday, March 24th

  • Dame Elizabeth Taylor Dies age 79.
  • Paramount Reveal the first 20 mins of Super 8.
  • Zack Snyder reveals Superman begins shooting in August.
  • Battle: Los Angeles Tops Australian Box Office

TV News

  • Torchwood to premiere July 8.
  • Fringe to give the green light for a new season.
  • Futurama renewed for two years.
  • CBS seem as though the may want their cash-cow, Charlie Sheen back… he is still winning.
  • TV Series not returning to American screens next season so far…
    • Friday Night Lights
    • Life Unexpected
    • Live to Dance
    • Lone Star
    • Medium
    • My Generation
    • Outlaw
    • Running Wilde
    • Skating with the Stars
    • Smallville
    • Supernanny
    • The Cape
    • The Good Guys
    • The Whole Truth
    • Undercovers

Youtube

Captain America Trailer

The Big Bang Trailer

The Big Bang Poster

And thats the News, this week.

Current Top 15 Movies of All Time

So to start this all off I’d like to present a top 15 list of my favourite movies of all time.

1. The Lion King

2. Kill Bill (1&2)

3. Inception

4. Fight Club

5. V for Vendetta

6. Donnie Darko

7. (500) Days Of Summer

8. The Dark Knight

9. Shutter Island

10. Dead Poets Society

11. Kick-Ass

12. Brick

13. Batman Begins

14. North By Northwest

15. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Honourable Mention: Swimfan

This list is subject to change and if you haven’t seen these films before I would suggest you do. These films are really good if I do say so myself.

To finish off this post, here is a trailer for a film that may make it into my list… directed by Zack Snyder, and billed as ‘Inception with Babes’, the one, the only, SUCKER PUNCH!