Preview: Upcoming Comic Adaptations
A round-up of all the super-heroes and anti-heroes coming to cinemas.
The next batch of superhero blockbusters are dawning upon us and there are a few big hitters coming your way next year. The Amazing Spider-Man reboot is out July 2012. Directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), this ushers in a more streamlined Spidey in the shape of Andrew Garfield, following up his success in The Social Network. Also starring is the disputed One True Love of Spidey, Gwen Stacy (Easy A and Zombieland star Emma Stone). With Webb at the helm, a lot of the film will focus on their relationship and the complexities of juggling life, love and beating down Rhys Ifans as the Lizard.
Later that July is The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan brings in Tom Hardy as Bane, who in the mid-90s proved he was smarter and stronger than Batman by discovering his identity and eventually breaking Bat's back, leaving him for dead. Would Nolan consider ending his dark bat-affair leaving Batman a paraplegic? Anne Hathaway also appears as a leather-clad catmoman with a dark history. Disputes over whether Marion Cotillard's character Miranda Tate will also have the alter ego Talia al Ghul are still going; it seems like there are going to be about two to three major storylines familiar readers will recognise in this film.
But before both of these is The Avengers, scheduled for April next year. A lot of time has been spent setting up the super team that most, but not all, comic fans have been waiting for. Featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and bringing in Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as Hawkeye, who made an unaccredited cameo in Thor. The only other new addition to this established line up is Mark Ruffalo (Shutter Island) who takes the reins from Edward Norton as The Hulk. The main villain will be Thor's Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. A super-team needs a super enemy and rumours of the alien race of Skrulls and perhaps the cosmic villain Thanos (his infinity gauntlet was spotted in Odin's Vault in Thor) are still going around. There will definitely be more than just Loki to fend with for Earth's mightiest heroes - let's just hope it doesn't feature heavily on Captain America.
There are plenty of other superhero films in the pipeline. Mark Millar's hugely successful Wanted will get a sequel while his ultraviolent Nemesis has found a director in Tony Scott. It seems that Sin City is heading that way as well with the script mostly based on "A Dame to Kill." Samuel L. Jackson was realistically the only man alive that could play Afro Samurai, and looks to be chopping heads in 2013.
Nic Cage returns as Ghost Rider in February 2012, with the amazing Idris Elba playing sidekick Moreau, a French alcoholic fighting monk. It seems this film will be a welcomingly darker affair than its predecessor. The Preacher film, featuring a murderous Irish vampire, a preacher who unwittingly gains the power to speak the word of god, and a boy named arseface is still in the pipeline after DJ Caruso took over from Sam Mendes. Could Caruso keep one of the darkest and most disturbing tales true to itself, or would it be better off as a TV series where it could stay depraved and not worry about a high classification?
Coming further down the line will be a whole batch of Marvel films, such as Iron Man 3, supposedly focusing on more real targets as opposed to a robot punch up. Although no major storylines have emerged, Thor 2, is likely to develop the relationship between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.
Ryan Reynolds returns as the merc with a mouth in Deadpool, who has the potential to be one of the best anti-heroes going if made as dark and quick-witted as he could be. A Ben Affleck-free Daredevil reboot, and a love story set in feudal Japan that will hopefully involve plenty of bloodshed when Hugh Jackman returns in The Wolverine.
DC's speed demon The Flash is currently in script development, although that's been the case for many years. This could be in order for another super team JLA (Justice League America) movie like the Avengers. For many, DC's main draw is still Superman and he returns in 2013, with Man Of Steel directed by Zack Snyder. Henry Cavill dons the red cape, along with Amy Adams (Lois Lane) and Michael Shannon (General Zod)
The Crow has been talked about for around three years but screenwriter Alex Tse (Watchmen) has been drawing something up for Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. Leonardo Dicaprio is still hammering away at Akira although how a live action version of the Manga anime classic would work is a big question. It still may never happen.
Another manga Battle Angel Alita looks like it's going to be a long wait as James Cameron still wants to direct it but after the Avatar trilogy is completed. The dark tale of Jackie Estacado, a mob hit man who develops the power of the darkness that gives him control of an army of darklings (small goblin type creatures) was hinted at being made into a movie at the San Diego comic con earlier this year.