In #Trending I’ll highlight and offer my opinions on any comic-related news that occurred during the week. This will included news about comic books, comic-related movies, TV shows, video games, etc. while also highlighting various Comic Book Cosplay (one female and one male). Let’s begin:
Ben Affleck is BatmanUnless you were living under a rock, most of you know that Warner Brothers has found its Batman for Man of Steel 2, none other than Academy Award winning actor, Ben Affleck. Here’s the official statement: “Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in Man of Steel. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015. In the announcement, Silverman stated, ‘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.’ Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, ‘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.’ Kroll added, ‘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.’”
News of his casting has divided fandom with some taking it to the extreme and starting petitions for his removal and also issuing death threats. Their complaints: “His acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won’t do the role justice. He’s not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman. His portrayal of Daredevil was atrocious and he’s not remotely close to an action star.” It came as quite a shock to others as it had appeared that Affleck had sworn off the superhero genre after “Fox offered him the chance to direct and star in a Daredevil reboot — but Affleck turned it down. More recently, Nolan offered Affleck the chance to direct Man of Steel. Affleck declined, seemingly because of a desire not to return to the world of capes — despite being an avowed comic book fan.”
Affleck has already started working out for the role, a role which he is rumored to be reprising in multiple movies including Justice League which he may or may not also direct. Regardless, this news completely floored me as not once did his name come up. I still would have loved to see a younger actor portray the Dark Knight but alas they were adamant to cast an older one. I’m willing to give him a chance as I think others should do as well. Remember the outrage over Ledger and Keaton? That’s all I have to say…
Justice League…of Canada?DC’s Justice League of America series is getting a name change to Justice League of Canada. The new creative team will consist of Canada’s own Jeff Lemire along with Mike McKone on art. Apparently the team’s new headquarters will be at James Bay and Moosonee in Northern Ontario and the majority of the action will be Toronto-based. Jeff Lemire explained the change: “In addition to me infusing Canadian flavor and personality into the book, the book is going to become a very cosmic “Justice League” book, as well. The stories will be cosmic in scope but all grounded in rural Canada so we will have the juxtaposition of the rural setting and home base with these big, cosmic adventures. I think it’s going to be a cool contrast. There will be major changes in the Justice Leagues, and in the spring, the current Justice League of America team goes through a dramatic change and some of the pieces that are left behind will evolve into this new Justice League Canada team.” Also revealed is the fact they are going to introduce a new Canadian character, no Booster Gold on the team (sadly), Adam Strange (a newly made Canadian Adam Strange) will be on the team, and three characters from the current roster of Justice League of America will be following the team north of the border. Never in a million years would I have thought something like this would occur but it will be nice to see my country represented!
(#1) John Cunningham said that “the internet is going to explode on September 4th and it’s all going to be about Nightwing.”
(#2) Flash #25 (a Zero Year tie-in), will flashback “to explore and develop the Barry/Iris relationship.” We were also told that we shouldn’t expect Kid Flash popping up in the series for quite a while as “Scott Lobdell has plans for him in Teen Titans and the Flash title can’t touch Bart again for some time.”
(#3) Jeff Lemire told us that “the Dark City tie-in in Green Arrow #25 will explore Oliver’s past, including the first meeting of Green Arrow and Batman. Fans of the Arrow TV show should also check out Green Arrow #25 for the first comic book appearance of the character Diggle who was created for the show.” Awesome news for sure!
(#4) Superman/Wonder Woman artist Tony Daniel described the new series as “one of DC’s first attempts to target a female audience, by having more romance mixed in with the title’s drama and action.” How long will this romance last is the bigger question.
(#5) The character of Lobo is getting a makeover…or rather the character we thought was Lobo is a fake. What? DC Editor-In-Chief Bob Harris explained: “Back when we introduced this What’s New In The New 52 column, I told you that the most important word in The New 52 is “New.” We’re always striving to keep things exciting, different and surprising. Which is why JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.2: LOBO contains a major surprise – one we’ve had planned for a while. The Lobo you’ve seen so far in the New 52 is not who you think he is. In this one-shot, you’ll be introduced to the real Lobo. A ruthless killer, Lobo is on a quest to kill the man who has taken his name. This Lobo is equal parts strong, vicious, and driven. There’s a darker and more logical idea about what a force of nature like him is capable of. After all, this is someone who can infiltrate high society, fly a space ship, and adhere to a very specific moral code that’s not your typical anti-hero one. Oh, and, this one-shot takes place very far away from Earth. And when I say very far away, I mean it takes place literally on the other side of the galaxy.” The new Lobo is certainly more handsome than we are used to seeing him portrayed but rather this new interpretation is embraced or rejected by the fans will be apparent once the issue hits in September.
(#1) James Robinson revealed that he will be writing two Marvel monthly books that may or may not tie into Marvel NOW 2’s relaunch.
(#2) It has sadly been confirmed: with October’s Venom #42, the series will be ending. Writer Cullen Bunn had this to say: “With the final issue, I try to weave in elements that we’ve seen from the beginning: Flash’s struggle with alcoholism; his relationship with his dad; his injuries. All these things have made him who he is. He’s a screw up and a bully and a guy who is just one step away from really ruining his life and the lives of everyone around him. As we close the story out, though, we start to see Flash getting his act together. He tries to make some smart decisions. He tries to protect the people around him. He even starts to wonder if he’s been bullying the symbiote all this time. At the end of Venom #42, though, Flash will find himself in a position he would never have expected—or wanted. In the final arc, I touch on Flash’s relationship with the symbiote. It’s an encounter that will change the way the two of them interact. I’d love to see that further developed. I think an interesting change would be for Flash and the symbiote to work together in a less adversarial way.” Marvel NOW 2 relaunch anyone?
(#1) Stan Lee won’t be having a cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The reason? Scheduling conflicts. It’s a real shame as I always look forward to his cameos though this marks the fourth consecutive X-Men movie that he is absent from.
(#2) Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed some info concerning the backstories of the various Guardians of the Galaxy movie characters: “They are an unlikely band. It’s pure circumstance that brings them all together throughout the course of the movie. Rocket has been genetically and mechanically altered, he’s an experiment from one part of the galaxy. Groot is a species that happens to look like trees look, and is quite communicative if you can understand the different inflections in the way he says, “I am Groot.” Peter Quill left Earth in the mid’80s, but when we meet back up with him he’s very much a citizen of the universe. Drax has one goal and one goal only, which is to kill Ronan because of a past tragedy. When we meet Gamora, she’s a bad guy working with Ronan and Nebula and Korath, and by extension for Thanos. Gamora doesn’t necessarily like doing that anymore, and tries to find a new path for herself. But she has a reputation as the deadliest woman in the galaxy that people aren’t greeting her with open arms.”
(#3) Take these rumors with a grain of salt: Bryan Cranston has potentially been chosen to play Lex Luthor in at least a 6-picture deal but they are waiting until his TV show Breaking Bad ends to announce it, Mark Strong will be returning to the role of Sinestro for Justice League, Matt Damon is being considered to play either Aquaman or Martian Manhunter for Justice League, and Ben Affleck’s Batman deal is for 13 movies. I highly doubt any of these are actually true, besides possibly the Luthor one, but that is what is currently circulating on the web. Fact or Fiction? Time will tell!
(#4) Vin Diesel was talking about him and Marvel recently, illuminating us on various aspects: “There was a while there where the fans were really demanding an immediate answer. What we were initially talking about was a fresh IP. And that was the focus of our conversation, a fresh IP that would come out in 2016 or 2017 and potentially launch the third phase. When we went to Comic Con, we realized that people wanted something a little bit more immediate. But with my production slate, with my schedule, it was almost impossible to imagine I could do anything immediate. I guess that after they watched Iron Giant, or whatever, they came up with this idea of taking this, the strangest Marvel character that’s ever hit film and thought about what I could do with that with motion capture and with my voice. Now it’s just up to my reps to allow that happen. The idea of bringing that physicality to a CGI character always tantalized me. To strip away everything is insane. In this case, the voice plays heavily into it, too. I don’t know what kind of dialogue will be in it, but even if it stayed true to character, there’s so much one can do with `I am Groot.’ It’s the kind of challenge very few actors ever get.” I wonder what new property they had in mind for him?
And that concludes #Trending. Thoughts on any subjects discussed? Anything else worth mentioning? Comment below!