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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Argo – Review

Set in the late 1970s Argo is based on the true story of a CIA operation that freed six diplomats from Iran during a revolt against the American embassy. The operation? Well to create a completely fake film production and disguise the six staff as members of the film crew.

Ben Affleck stars (as Tony Mendez) and directs in this film that recreates the now declassified ‘Hollywood option’. It stars Bryan Cranston as Tony’s CIA supervisor, Jack O’Donnell and John Goodman and Alan Arkin as the Hollywood contacts, John Chambers and Lester Siegel. Tate Donovan (as Robert Anders), Clea DuVall (as Cora Amburn-Lijek), Chirstopher Denham (as Mark Lijek), Scoot McNairy (as Joseph Stafford), Kerry Bishé (as Kathleen Stafford) and Rory Cochrane (as Lee Schatz) round out the cast as the six ‘houseguests’ who are protected by Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor, played by Victor Garber.

The film is funny, insightful and suspenseful. I found myself very interested in the story despite the six ‘houseguests’ being more or less uninteresting maybe even whiny. The American stationed side of the operation (including the team at Hollywood) was much more interesting. Hell, even the Canadian ambassador was a better character. Now I understand that the portrayal is probably true to story but maybe just a little more vigour in the acting would have made it better.

Acting aside, this film is definitely one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Such an interesting story that until I heard about the film being made I had never heard of (Ah the life of a young person ay?). Affleck successfully directs this film. He pulls off the suspense expected from the story but successfully adds some humor and a few light-hearted moments to make this a very enjoyable mix of emotions.

I recommend this film for anyone who is keen to learn a little about American history, the CIA an maybe even the film industry (just a little).

4.5 stars

Argo is in cinemas now.

NFB Update

Howdy all, been a while…

Been off for a while, with assignments and all but back for the Summer from now on! And why not? Summer is the time of movies! To catch up on everything here is a update of things that have been missed on NFB over the past few weeks…

  • The ultimate Marvel team-up is building up speed as the trailer for 2012’s The Avengers hits Cinemas and the Internet.
  • Also on the topic of the mighty mighty director, Joss Whedon. It has been announced that he had just completed a mystery film project entitled Much Ado About Nothing… yes thats right, the incredible writer of our time, joined forces with the incredible writer of yester-year! Bellweather Pictures released a Press Release regarding the film…
    • Bellwether Pictures proudly announces the completion of principal photography on MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, a modern version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy adapted and directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel’s upcoming THE AVENGERS, “Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”). Filmed in just 12 days entirely on location in exotic Santa Monica, the film features a stellar cast of beloved (or soon to be beloved) actors ñ some of them veterans of Shakespearean theater, some completely new to the form. But all dedicated to the idea that this story bears retelling, that this dialogue is as fresh and intoxicating as any being written, and that the joy of working on a passion project surrounded by dear friends, admired colleagues and an atmosphere of unabashed rapture far outweighs their hilariously miniature paychecks.MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is the first feature from Bellwether, a micro-studio created by Joss Whedon and Kai Cole for the production of small, independent narratives for all media, embracing a DIY ethos and newer technologies for, in this particular case, a somewhat older story.

      Shot in glorious black and white by Jay Hunter (PAPER HEART, “Dollhouse”), the film stars Amy Acker (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Alias”) and Alexis Denisof (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Angel”) as Beatrice and Benedick, the worldís least likely lovers headed for their inevitable tumble into love. As Joss Whedon puts it: “The text is to me a deconstruction of the idea of love, which is ironic, since the entire production is a love letter ñ to the text, to the cast, even to the house itís shot in.” The supporting cast includes Nathan Fillion (“Castle,” WAITRESS) as Dogberry, Clark Gregg (AVENGERS, IRON MAN) as Leonato, Fran Kranz (CABIN IN THE WOODS, “Dollhouse”) as Claudio and Reed Diamond (“Franklin & Bash,” MONEYBALL) as Don Pedro.

      The film was produced by Whedon, line-produced by Nathan Kelly and M. Elizabeth Hughes, and co-produced by Kai Cole and Danny Kaminsky. The super-impressive cast is listed below. Full tech credits (for the extraordinary crew) will be up shortly. The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy.

      http://www.muchadothemovie.com
      muchadothemovie@gmail.com

      The Players:
      Amy Acker – Beatrice
      Alexis Denisof – Benedick
      Nathan Fillion – Dogberry
      Clark Gregg – Leonato
      Reed Diamond – Don Pedro
      Fran Kranz – Claudio
      Sean Maher – Don John
      Spencer Treat Clark – Borachio
      Riki Lindhome – Conrade
      Ashley Johnson – Margaret
      Emma Bates – Ursula
      Tom Lenk – Verges
      Nick Kocher – First Watchman
      Brian McElhaney – Second Watchman
      Joshua Zar – Leonatoís aide
      Paul M. Meston – Friar Francis
      Romy Rosemont – The Sexton
      And introducing Jillian Morgese as Hero

  • Harry Potter DVD’s will cease to exist on shelves by the end of the year… Warner Bros. are taking a page out of Disney’s book and stopping prints of Harry Potter DVD’s on December 29th. This will no doubt mean a re-release in the future sometime, similar to the re-birth of the Lion King in the last few weeks. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 goes on sale November 11… So get in quick!
  • Bryan Singer could be on par with my greatest movie-making villain, Joel Schumacher, when he directs his version of Battlestar Galactica. The director previously killed a series (that, given was not amazing beforehand) in Superman. In turn he gave up the direction of X-Men: The Last Stand (Another Franchise Killer) to work on Superman Returns.
  • The Adventures of Tintin premiered in Belgium on the 22nd of October, it’s set to screen in the UK on the 26th of October, India in November, the US, December 21st, and Australia… The 26th of December… Once again everyone… Australia is last to see a movie… (Vengeance maybe for Harry Potter DHP2?).
  • Sony Pictures have secured the rights for an Assassin’s Creed movie adaptation… Assassin’s Creed joins, the development at Sony, who are also working on adaptations for InFAMOUS and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
  • Brad Bird plans Incredibles sequel… But wants it to be in the same vein as Toy Story 2, not a complete sell out… I’m proud of you Brad.
Coming Out Today in Australian Cinemas
In Time
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Warrior
Drive
DVD Releases this Week
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Fringe: Season 3
V: Season 2
The Mentalist: Season 3
NFB returns completely Next Week…

Film News Update – Week 36, 2011

  • Lauren Shuler Donner provides some insight on the next X-Men instalments, Wolverine: will be viewed as a stand alone movie very independent of Origins. That is looking set to shoot next year some time. Deadpool: is being prepared at the same time, Ryan Reynolds will be returning as the hero. The film is set to be true to the comic books and character of Deadpool.

“We’re gonna give it a little bit of a different look. It’s a different kind of movie. If you know ‘Deadpool’ …it’s true to ‘Deadpool’. So you know, it’ll be violent, and outrageous, and funny, and all that.” – Shuler Donner. 

  • An X-Men: First Class sequel is in discussion. The team is trying to woo back the director of the original, Matthew Vaughn.
  • The Great Gatsby began shooting this week, Warner Bros. distributed a Press Release…

Principal photography began this week on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “The Great Gatsby,” the new big screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel from the uniquely imaginative mind of writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann. The filmmaker will create his own distinctive visual interpretation of the classic story, bringing the period to life in a way that has never been seen before. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the title role.

“The Great Gatsby” follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy, and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan. It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.

Academy Award nominee DiCaprio (“Blood Diamond,” “Aviator”) plays Jay Gatsby, with Tobey Maguire starring as Nick Carraway; Joel Edgerton and OscarÆ nominee Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) as Tom and Daisy Buchanan; Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke as Myrtle and George Wilson; and newcomer Elizabeth Debicki as Jordan Baker. Indian film legend Amitabh Bachchan will play the role of Meyer Wolfsheim.

OscarÆ nominee Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge!”) directs the film in 3D from a screenplay co-written with frequent collaborator Craig Pearce, based on Fitzgerald’s book. Luhrmann produces, along with Catherine Martin, Catherine Knapman, Lucy Fisher and Academy AwardÆ winner Douglas Wick (“Gladiator”). The executive producers are Barrie M. Osborne and Bruce Berman.

Two-time Academy AwardÆ-winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin (“Moulin Rouge!”) also designs with the director. The editors are Jason Ballantine, Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond, and the director of photography is Simon Duggan.

Luhrmann said, “Fitzgerald loved the movies and was a passionate believer in the power of cinema. “The Great Gatsby” has been adapted for the screen no less than four times. Fitzgerald’s story defies time and geography. The vision and the goal of our remarkable cast and creatives is to do justice to the deftness of Fitzgerald’s telling, and illuminate its big ideas and humanity. This is our challenge and our adventure.”

“The Great Gatsby” is being shot in Luhrmann’s native Australia. The filmmaker stated, “The opportunity to make the film in Australia with the Bazmark creative team is very important to us; the assistance from Screen Australia and the NSW Government has made that possible.”

The film will be distributed in 3D and 2D by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.

  • The Weinstein Company will move into the online market next year. They’ll be launching a VOD (Video On Demand) Label, early 2012.
  • Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have been hired to write the script for director Ridley Scott’s big screen adaptation of Hasbro’s Monopoly.
  • A long-awaited Beetlejuice sequel may finally be moving forward, Deadline reports. Writer/producer pair David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith have just signed a two-year first look contract with Warner Bros. and among their first projects is a follow-up to the 1988 film.
  • To finish off, the new trailer for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy:

Film News Friday – Week 33, 2011

Here’s what’s been happening in the Movie World this week…

  • Ridley Scott to make a new Blade Runner film. No word as yet weather it’s a sequel or a prequel.
  • Will Smith is in discussions for Fantastic Voyage
  • With The Avengers almost complete, Robert Downey Jr. states that he’s excited to work with Iron Man 3 director, Shane Black.
  • Warner Bros. Pictures hits the $2 Billion mark again this year.
  • The Trailer for Underworld Awakening has been released.

  • The troubled film The Wolverine is set to shoot in Vancouver in November. It is essentially a sequel to Origins: Wolverine and it expected to be directed by James Mangold.
  • A synopsis of Man Of Steel has been released with a Vancouver Casting Call:

In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question – Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.

  • Films The Dark Tower and The Lone Ranger are undergoing some financial troubles for their respective production companies. The Lone Ranger may be able to get out of the woods by cutting back a science fiction/fantasy/Native American element.
  • Coming February next year is Daniel Radcliffe’s new film… The Woman In Black.

Batman Returns – Review

PART TWO: Batman Returns

Directed By: Tim Burton

Written By: Bob Kane, Sam Hamm and Daniel Waters

Starring: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michael Gough and Michelle Phiffer

Gross: $282,800,000 (Worldwide)

Production Co: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: 19th June 1992 (Australia)

Runtime: 126 min

Batman Returns is more dark, more whimsical and more cartoon like than its predecessor, despite this it is a very good quality movie and definitely worth watching unlike some of the other Batman movies. Danny DeVito plays a very unusual Penguin but a perfect character for the movie. The Penguin plans to make his presence in Gotham City known and masks his true intentions to rule the city with heroic acts that make the city fall in love with him. Meanwhile Media Mogul, Max Shreck’s assistant is murdered and is resurrected by cats and becomes a feline vigilante who brings her own form of justice to Gotham City.

This movie gets closer to the unrealistic and campy form of Batman and unfortunately is probably a reason and the penultimate push that sent the Batman series spiralling in to a world of… wait for it… Joel Schumacher (shudders). Another thing that could have something to do with the downward turn of this movie is Catwoman. To be honest she looked like a character that didn’t really need to be there and again it was a hark back to the 1960’s show where two villains would team up to take down the caped crusader. Her whole existence in the movie seemed, to be honest, a side plot. The imagery in this film is brilliant as Tim Burton turns Gotham City in to his world, a mix of film noir and german expressionism (which are some of my favourite genres and movements) which suits Burton’s Batman so well. Acting is rather alright with the show stolen by Danny DeVito and to an extent, Michael Keaton, who hangs up his cape at the end of this movie to make room for Val Kilmer (but more about him later). Michelle Phiffer… ehh… she was ok and well how could you not love Christopher Walkin? There is just something about him that makes you like him even though he plays the weak Max Shreck.

3.5 Stars

Batman Returns 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, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin).

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).