Tag Archives: joss whedon

Highlights from the Firefly 10th Anniversary Panel at SDCC

18 Jul

;

OK, I wasn’t actually at Comic Con but I finally caught the full panel discussion on Youtube (see below) and I love the show so much that I just had to share this. While there are so many science fiction franchises that have let me down of late (Prometheus) it was awesome to hear from the cast and creators of a show that, 10 years after its cancellation, never disappoint.

Joss Whedon: “We always knew from the very beginning we were doing for the right reasons, in the right way, the right way … and had the best cast I ever worked with — and we also have Alan [Tudyk]. Vindication came a long time ago. It goes to a place of transcendence that I cannot describe without becoming a girly-man.”

Adam Baldwin: (Brings out the familiar red & orange knitted hat of his character, Jayne Cobb.) Jayne was a man of few words but had a lot of props, so I worked a lot with the prop guys.”

Nathan Fillion: “When Firefly died, I thought it was the worst thing that could possible happen. Now I realize the worst thing that could happen is that if it stayed dead.” [He gestures to the thousands of people in the crowd.] “That it died is okay.”

Whedon: [Asked how Firefly would have ended if he had known it was going to be canceled.] “I don’t think I would have killed anybody.” [Alan Tudyk, whose character Hoban Washburn died in the movie Serenity, raises his hands in victory.] “A film is a different animal and has different needs. We would have learned about the Blue Sun conspiracy, Inara and Shepherd Book.”

And finally, there’s this moment from Entertainment Weekly’s official blog:

Jensen asks Whedon what the Firefly fans have meant to him. What happens next is one of the most emotional moments I’ve seen at Comic-Con. Whedon struggles, or seems to, for the right words.

Somebody in the crowd yells out, “We love you!”

Whedon hears this, struggles some more.

And the crowd begins to applaud. And stand up. Soon the entire room is giving a roaring ovation. The cast stands too. It’s possibly the most perfect way to end the panel.

Whedon takes the microphone.

“Only an idiot would try to follow that with a sentence,” he says.

That’s precisely what I was thinking, but then Whedon follows with this:

“When you come out of a great movie, you feel like you’re in that world. When you’re telling a story, you’re trying to connect to people in a particular way. It’s about inviting them into a world. The way you’ve inhabited this world, this universe, you have become part of it. When I see you guys, I don’t think the show is off the air. I think there’s spaceships and horses — the story is alive.”

Yes, it was all a bit of an unapologetic lovefest but no one was complaining. See the whole thing for yourself:

There are no plans for a Firefly movie or TV series sequel but you can continue to follow the crew’s adventures in the Dark Horse comic book.

;

Advertisements

Avengers Blu-Ray trailer

2 Jul

 

The trailer for Marvel’s The Avengers Blu-Ray special combo pack is out. I bet you can’t wait to get your hands on it, either. A lot of the footage is familiar but I swear there are parts there I’ve never seen before (and I saw the film three times).

The Avengers in Blu-Ray will be out 25 September 2012.

The Avengers: movie vs comic book

30 Apr

Image

Image

As a reader of almost four decades, I place a great importance on faithfulness to comic book canon. I winced when Spider-Man spun biological webbing instead of from mechanical web shooters. I groaned at an original X-Men lineup that didn’t include Scott, Jean or Warren. I was furious when Galactus appeared as a formless space cloud.

Where The Avengers (and its forerunners Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger) differ from other super-hero movies is Marvel’s retention of full creative control. That is, unlike most other films based on comic books where the characters are simply licensed to a film studio, they instead remain in the hands of the comic creators at Marvel themselves.

My expectation is that The Avengers should stay true to the original comic book source material like no other film franchise. So does it deliver?

I answer the obvious questions about how the Avengers movie compares to the original comic book source material in this story written by myself and published in Yahoo! 

Join the Avengers!

14 Apr

SingTel allows you to create your personalized Avengers Priority Card

Image

Get your very own Avengers identity card that grants you access to special offers at retail partners right here in Singapore, including the SingTelShop.

This is for a limited time only so better sign up for one now! Only at SingTel’s Facebook page.

The Avengers opens in Singapore on 1 May 2012.

Fans rally to resurrect Firefly

25 Feb

Nathan Fillion, star of Castle (and, of course, Firefly) said in a recent interview that if he had the money, he would buy the rights to the Firefly TV series and produce it himself.  Seven days later, more than 70,000 fans have rallied behind Help Nathan Buy Firefly.

Firefly fans and online communities from all over the world are joining the movement, including some former Firefly writers.

If you love Firefly and want to see ol’ Serenity fly again, join the community on Facebook and / or Twitter. Or visit the helpnathanbuyfirefly.com website.

Is this a practical joke, just another giant love-in for Firefly fans or a serious fan movement than could bring Joss Whedon’s cult favorite back from the dead? (Let’s not forget a similar movement decades ago resurrected Star Trek, which went on to spawn four new TV series and 11 feature films.)

This may all be a dream … but it’s a nice dream. Aren’t dreams worth fighting for?

Grumpy Fanboy’s Comic Book & SciFi TV Shows We’d Like To See

24 Aug

Over the years, we’ve seen old television shows remade into modern live action feature films. A small handful are excellent (Serenity) some are pretty good (JJ Abrams’ Star Trek) and most are just too awful for words (GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). We’ve of course seen a lot of comic books made into movies, with their own share of the good (Iron Man, The Dark Knight), the bad (Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider) and the festering piles of turd (Elektra, Catwoman).

Here are some movie- and comic book-inspired ideas that would make excellent live action television shows:

Robotech

BSG with robots and giant aliens

Am I the only one who notices the similarity between Battlestar Galactica and the Macross saga? A lone aircraft carrier, hotshot pilots, civilians to protect and aliens bent on humanity’s destruction? Unlike the Robotech anime series, which was written for kids, this one would convey adult themes and delve deeper into the motivations behind the Zentraedi invasion.

Why it would work: The kids who were hooked on the original Robotech are now in the highly lucrative 30s and 40s demographic. Live action, a compelling and complex storyline combined with fighter jets that transform into robots. Come on! Who wouldn’t want to see that?

Why it wouldn’t happen: Japanese anime has never been successfully adapted into live action in the West. Back-rolling this project would take guts and a whole lot of vision to get it right.

The Corps

Trials of a rookie Green Lantern

Unlike the upcoming movie, this series would focus on Kyle Rayner, a teenager spotted by the Guardians to have the one-in-a-billion natural ability to operate a Green Lantern power ring. Think Greatest American Hero, wherein most episodes we see Kyle clumsily but courageously  learning the art of ring-slinging from retired Green Lantern Alan Scott. Occasionally, Kyle gets drafted into a military operation of cosmic proportions to fight alongside Green Lantern Corps veterans like Tomar-Re, Katma Tui and Kilowog.

Why it would work: The concept of a rookie drafted into a Star Trek / Starfleet Command-like military organization would be fascinating and extremely entertaining. With Smallville wrapping up, DC needs a new show on TV. (“Blue Beetle” you say? Groan.)

Why it wouldn’t happen: Quite likely that they will decide the Green Lantern movie is the only live action GL they want. It could confuse audiences.

The Defenders

Friends meets The Tick

Loosely based on the treatment of the Defenders in The Ultimates, this series focuses not on Marvel’s icons but its very deep bench of second- and third-stringer heroes. The line-up would include lesser-known characters such as Doctor Strange, Nighthawk, Hellcat, Valkyrie, the Son of Satan and other struggling-to-be-respected super-heroes. Naturally, its treatment would be lighter, often humorous, spending as much time dealing with inter-personal relationships and their secret identities as battling super villains. But importantly, the dialogue would reveal (or hint, depending on rights issues) that the show takes place in the same Marvel universe as the movies, without necessarily having any of those major characters appear.

Why it would work: Hellooo …  Marvel is hot! There’s a lot of demand between the blockbuster films for more live action super-hero content. Here’s a clever – and less expensive – way to deliver.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Too many people in Hollywood believe big budgets and special effects are the only reason people want to see comic book characters on the screen.

Gotham

Film Noir-style Batman

Most depictions of the Batman focus on him as the gadget-ridden, hi-tech super-hero. Even Dark Knight, as good as it was, missed the important word in that phrase: Detective. Sadly, the Adam West Batman still sets the tone for the character in many ways. The “Kapows!” may be gone but it’s still all about Batmobiles, Bat Jets and Bat ultra-sonar devices. I’d like to see a low tech Batman — no fancy car or special weapons — relying on his wits, resourcefulness and detective skills to solve the impossible or bizarre cases the police can’t. This was how the Batman was portrayed in the 1970s, as told by the likes of Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams and Marshall Rogers. Or, for younger readers, think CSI with a little X-Files mixed in.

Why it would work: There’s a market for intelligent crime dramas. A number of Batman fan films have demonstrated how a low-budget Batman could work well. The novel treatment could win a whole new audience.

Why it wouldn’t happen: There’s too much riding on the Batman franchise. Any Hollywood project with Batman in it has to be a big production. And based on the last two films, the formula is paying off too well.

Falcon

The adventures of young Han & Chewie

Han Solo as a smuggler / pirate /scoundrel set it in the years between Episode III and Episode IV. There’s no shortage of material! How Han gets drummed out of the Imperial Academy and goes underground. How Chewbacca comes to owe Han a “life debt”. How Han wins the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of cards. How Han drops his cargo and crosses Jabba the Hutt. Bring in a charismatic actor who can pull off a young Harrison Ford, a rotating cast of colorful characters and, of course, the Falcon herself.

Why it would work: Are you kidding me? Joss Whedon saw the potential and ended up doing Firefly instead! It would be an instant classic.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Creatively, George Lucas seems focused on the Skywalkers. The current Clone Wars animated series pretty much revolves around Anakin, as did the recent prequel trilogy. An expanded Star Wars universe revolving around Han just doesn’t seem to be on his radar.

Top 10 Actors Who Played Comic Book Characters

19 Aug

Comic book themes in television and film are a multi-billion dollar industry. Last year, The Dark Knight became one of the highest grossing films in history and one of only six movies to earn more than a billion dollars worldwide. Today, film fans and comic fanboys alike wait breathlessly for the upcoming Thor, Captain America and Avengers films.

It took decades before the public widely accepted these characters’ transition from the page to the big screen. Here are 10 actors whose contributions were invaluable in making comic books a part of mainstream Hollywood.

10. Adam West

Best known as: Batman / Bruce Wayne from the Batman television series (1966-1968)

West was one of the pioneers in bringing the super-hero to life, albeit, with a more tongue-in-cheek flavor. While the Batman series can be credited (or blamed) for placing super-heroes in the realm of campy one-liners and gimmicks, it also brought them out of kids’ bedrooms and into our living rooms.

9. Hugh Jackman

Best known as: Wolverine / Logan from X-Men (2000)

X-Men led the pack of Hollywood blockbusters that dominated the last decade and its success was largely thanks to Jackman’s ground-breaking performance. Comic book fanboys are a tough crowd and Wolverine is one of their most revered icons. You can’t deny their acceptance of Jackman as Logan was no mean feat.

8. Mickey Rourke

Best known as: Marv from Sin City (2005)

The success of Sin City set a darker, grittier tone for comic book-based movies. Rourke’s was one of the rare performances when you completely forget you’re watching an actor and believe instead that Marv has come to life.

7. Julie Newmar

Best known as: Catwoman from the Batman television series (1966-1967)

Catwoman demonstrated how on-screen comic book characters can deliver raw sex appeal. Although two other actresses (Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt) shared the role of Catwoman in the Batman series, no one else defined modern “sexy” or filled a catsuit quite like Newmar.

6. Kevin Conroy

Best known as: the voice of Batman / Bruce Wayne from the Batman animated series (1992-1995)

The animated Batman is often held as the best portrayal of the dark knight detective in any medium. Conroy continues to personify Batman from the landmark original animated series through to the Superman (1996-2000), Justice League (2001-2006) and a number of animated films and video games that followed. (I continue to wonder how much Christopher Nolan’s films would improve if they dubbed over Christian Bale’s contrived raspy voice with Conroy’s.) Kevin Conroy is the voice of the Batman.

5. Bruce Lee

Best known as: Kato from the Green Hornet television series (1966)

Lee fired the imaginations of a generation by demonstrating how good a super-hero inspired action sequence could look onscreen. Quick fists and high kicks versus gun-toting goons never looked so damned good. Lee’s smoldering performance as Kato, both masked and unmasked, set him on the path to international superstardom. (Editor’s Note: a purist might argue that the Green Hornet was originally a radio serial, not a comic book, character. Yeah, yeah, smart ass! Lee plays an important enough role for me to bend the rules.)

4. Marlon Brando

Best known as: Jor-El from Superman (1978)

Having an actor of the caliber of Marlon Brando on Superman brought instant credibility to the genre. Brando’s performance was so powerful and unforgettable that they couldn’t make Superman Returns (2006) nearly 30 years later without somehow bringing him back.

3. Lynda Carter

Best known as: Wonder Woman / Diana Prince from the Wonder Woman television series (1975)

No one else filled a costume (or my boyhood dreams) like Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Hers remains one of the rare instances where it’s difficult to separate the character from the actor who played her. There is yet to be a modern Wonder Woman TV or film production, though there have been a number of attempts. Could it be because no one else could ever hope to equal Carter’s performance?

2. Robert Downey, Jr.

Best known as: Iron Man / Tony Stark from Iron Man (2008)

Downey delivered one of the performances most beloved by comic book fans and non-fans alike by making the role of Tony Stark his own. Iron Man redefined comic book film-making and cemented Marvel’s dominance of the genre. Yes, Robert. You are Iron Man.

1. Christopher Reeve

Best known as: Superman / Clark Kent from Superman (1978)

No one else made us believe so convincingly that a man could fly. ‘Nuff said.