Friday Round Up: We Back

Hey, now this is cool. An animated movie based on the 60s live action Batman show! It’s such a great idea. Adam West and Burt Ward voice Batman and Robin respectively and even Julie Newmar is returning to play Catwoman. Joker, Riddler and Penguin’s actors have all passed on but I don’t mind a great voice actor stepping in there. I’m just psyched to see West and Ward as Batman and Robin again!

Read on for the first look at the new version of The Tick, the original plan for the last Fantastic Four movie, Jared Leto ranting about Suicide Squad and some astonishing paint work on toys. It’s a good ‘un.

MOVIES

fantastic four thing no pants

Why no pants?!

The latest Fantastic Four movie was pretty terrible. I tried watching it on a plane and even I gave up. Right at the end, too, once they begin fighting Dr. Doom. I just did not care. We’ve heard that the studio kept messing with the original plans and it ended up a mess. But now ScreenCrush has a really amazing look back at the movie and what happened behind the scenes. Among the most interesting elements is what screenwriter Jeremy Slater had to say. He wrote some of the initial drafts but apparently it was considered too expensive. And that’s fair. But it sounds a lot more faithful to the comics so maybe just take a third of those ideas. He said:

In addition to Annihilus and the Negative Zone, we had Doctor Doom declaring war against the civilized world, the Mole Man unleashing a 60 foot genetically-engineered monster in downtown Manhattan, a commando raid on the Baxter Foundation, a Saving Private Ryan-style finale pitting our heroes against an army of Doombots in war-torn Latveria, and a post-credit teaser featuring Galactus and the Silver Surfer destroying an entire planet. We had monsters and aliens and Fantasticars and a cute spherical H.E.R.B.I.E. robot that was basically BB-8 two years before BB-8 ever existed. And if you think all of that sounds great…well, yeah, we did, too. The problem was, it would have also been massively, MASSIVELY expensive.

Joker interrogates a prisoner

Jared Leto sounds like an insane person. And not fun insane like the Joker. Insane like… annoying. He was fine in Fight Club and I admit his performance in Dallas Buyers Club was outstanding. But those reports of him being in character as the Joker and mailing his coworkers used condoms and bullets and anal beads is beyond the pale. Especially for a character that’s in the movie for… well, not a lot. I won’t spoil anything. But he isn’t super important to Suicide Squad. And since people didn’t praise the guy for his kinda bland take on the Joker (plenty of tattoos but not much substance), he’s now complaining to anyone who will listen about how they cut all his footage and he seems legit surprised that it’s a popcorn movie for teenagers. Get over it, Jared. And get over yourself.

My pitch: Joker falls into another vat of chemicals and comes out played by, oh let’s say, anyone else.

Did you know that this year is the 20th anniversary of Capcom’s Resident Evil game series? I didn’t until I saw the trailer for the sixth movie. Then YouTube suggested watching the trailer for next year’s Resident Evil 7 video game. Confession time. I have seen all of the Resident Evil movies… in the theater.

TV

When I was a kid, I got into comic books in the mid-80s. I had a paper route and when I finished, I was by a newsstand that had spinner racks so I would pick up stuff like Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Spider-Man. Soon I was curious about the issues that came before what I read and discovered, through the PHONE BOOK, that there were comic book stores. The nearest one was 30 minutes away by car but by 6th grade, my mom agreed to take me and a friend there from time to time. This store was called NEC (New England Comics) and it was a pretty big store and part of a chain. They had a monthly newsletter with their back issue catalog, a list of what was coming up and some news tidbits. I was especially excited when they announced their mascot, The Tick, would be appearing in his own comic.

And so it came to pass that in 1988, my friends and I got into The Tick. It was created by a local guy, Ben Edlund. I thought the book was hilarious and the fact that he was from a town over made anything seem possible to me. I’m not kidding when I say he’s been my hero for over 20 years. Because I kept following any news about Edlund and have enjoyed his previous adaptations of The Tick to TV as well as his work with Joss Whedon on Angel, his episodes of Supernatural, his work on Venture Bros. and more. I met him a few times to get Tick issues signed when I was a teenager but he soon moved to Hollywood.

Anyway, that’s all preamble to say that I’m biased towards liking whatever Edlund does. Tick is played by Peter Serafinowicz, a comedian I also have really enjoyed. He has some nerd cred. Voiced Darth Maul in Phantom Menace, played Pete the jerk in Shaun of the Dead, the Fisher King on Doctor Who and a Nova corpsman in Guardians of the Galaxy. The pilot is available now on Amazon for pilot season. I watched it and loved it. Fingers crossed enough people like this for it to go to series.

rick and morty

I think some news places are trying to make this sound more salacious than it is but the animation studio for Rick and Morty successfully unionized… TWO YEARS AGO. But it’s been mentioned on some geek sites and social media as though it’s new. Sounds like when it happened, management went along with it and it was a quick negotiation. Basically, this gives about 20 people or so a bit more money and benefits. The only reason it’s a big deal is that the vast majority of Adult Swim shows aren’t union. Sounds like nothing will change as far as the viewer is concerned. Meanwhile, this fan is constantly streaming his work to animate the Rick and Morty audio that Justin Roiland made based on a crazy, real Georgia court case.

lost boys

Lost Boys has surprising staying power for a movie that’ll be 30 years old in a few months. Last month, Vertigo announced it would be doing a Lost Boys sequel comic with Sam and the Frog brothers hunting vampires. But now the CW has announced it’s developing a TV show version for next season. Rob Thomas, the guy behind Veronica Mars, Party Down and iZombie is creating it. And it sounds super ambitious. He envisions it as a 7-year show with each season taking place in a different decade. The vampire coven would remain the same but the rest of the cast would change. Gotta admit, I liked the original movie and I’m into this TV idea too.

TOYS

wonder woman by noel cruz

Above? That’s the same action figure. The one on the left is the 19-inch figure by Jakks Pacific. It’s fine. Nothing to write home about. Not much articulation or anything and a very flat paint scheme. Then artist Noel Cruz decided to repaint it. And it looks gorgeous. The man should be working for Hot Toys. If you click on his link, he has many dolls with his incredible paint jobs for sale. Totally worth a look!