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In Defense of Edward Norton as the Hulk…

News broke over the weekend that Edward Norton will not be returning as the not-so-jolly green giant for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. This is after Whedon and Norton had a meeting, and Whedon reportedly blew Norton’s mind so badly that Norton (who had been iffy) cleared his schedule to work on the project – and Whedon seemed pretty cool about it as well. And then Marvel announced from on high that Edward Norton would not be returning as Bruce Banner for the big crossover superhero epic that is going to be the tentpole of 2012. And, with due respect to Marvel, that is pants. Purple, stretchy, non-ripping-when-I-turn-into-a-green-goliath pants.

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry...

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Has Jonah Hex Killed the Comic Book B-Movie?

The reviews for Jonah Hex are not good. The box office for Jonah Hex is equally not good. I think it’s safe to say that there won’t be a sequel. But are the implications deeper than that? I’ve certainly read some suggestions that this might not just be a bad result for the bad ass, facially-scarred cowboy, but for fans of minor comic book characters in general:

Remember all those ambitious plans DC and Marvel’s film crews had to use their massive character libraries as movie R&D? After sub par returns for Kick-Ass, The Losers (two movies that deserved better box-office) and with Jonah Hex a near-certain bomb, fans may want to dial down those dreams of an Ant-Man or Booster Gold movie.

When the bell finally tolls in Hollywood for films based on B-list comic book characters – and you can bet Quasimodo is warming up in the bell tower — you might be able to blame Jonah Hex for being the tipping point.

So, has Jonah Hex killed any chance for lesser known characters on the big screen?

Has Jonah put a Hex on less popular comic book characters?

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Some Superhero Legacy: How Spider-Man Changed the Movies…

This is one of my entries on the latest cross-blogging event, tracking down some of the most overrated movies of all time. It’s being run by Mike over at You Talking to Me. I can’t spoil the list by giving you any of the other titles, but I can tell you another entry will be appearing on this very blog before the week is out.

Let me pitch you a scene. It’s early 2002. There’s a whole rank of huge blockbusters looming. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers; Star Wars: Episode II; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Austin Powers in Goldmember; Men in Black II; Ice Age. And then there’s a strange one. Spider-Man, from that guy who made The Evil Dead. Really? Sure, Richard Donner’s Superman was great, but that was decades ago. Joel Schumacher had killed the Batman franchise only a few years back. That Bryan Singer fella had proved he wasn’t a one-hit wonder with X-Men, but it wasn’t exactly box office gold (only the eighth biggest film of 2000). Comic book movies were a strange proposition – transitioning the characters to the big screen just didn’t work naturally. Somethings aren’t meant to be adapted.

Has Spider-Man Blackened the Name of all Superhero Films?

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Marvel-ous Day: Marvel Optioning Off Smaller Projects on Smaller Budgets

I hope you aren’t tired of comic book movies, because it seems like the past few summers have just been an attempt to whet our appetites for even more of the four-colour heroes. Marvel, ever keen to stay one step ahead of their “distinguished competitor”, have announced a scheme to allow the less well-known of their characters a day in the spotlight. DC is still struggling to get its iconic heroes to the screen, let alone put together a coherent shared universe, and Marvel is already scouring the depths of its published materials for new films. I have to admit, I’m kinda excited about the news.

Who's next?

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The Vulture(s) Circle Spider-Man 4…

It’s been a while since I looked at the possible villains lined up for Spider-Man 4. With the shooting date drawing dangerously close, I’ve bowed out of all the rumours we’ve been hearing about the film – mainly about whether The Lizard would be appearing or who would be playing the Black Cat. But, as far as rumours go, this one is too juicy – and too close to the deadline – to avoid discussing. Basically two Oscar-nominated actors – John Malkovich and Anne Hathaway – are playing a pair of villains. Malkovich will be playing Adrian Toomes, and Anne Hathaway will be playing Felicia Hardy – but the character apparently won’t be sharing her comic book counterpart’s secret identity (the Black Cat), instead getting an entirely new secret identity (something called ‘the Vulturess’).

Somebody finally figured out that the only way to make John Malkovich more badass was to strap wings on him...

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