Don’t judge me, but I think I just had a nerd explosion. There are so many great things happening for those of us who enjoy the dark side of pop culture. I mean just think about it: Marvel is making bank at the box office, DC is scrambling to build a franchise to top The Avengers, The Hobbit is a three-part film, and the Wolverine is about to star in his fifth movie. Could anyone have predicted how popular comic book and other literary characters would become in today’s world? While the masses may be shelling out the big bucks for those things only geeks used to care about, I will still always identify as an extreme dork. I mean, have you watched The Lord of the Rings movies (extended editions with special features) more times than you can count? Do you re-read the Harry Potter series every year? Do you turn on the X-Men movies every time they are on television? Do you enjoy watching re-runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Do you discuss the pros and cons of Tobey Maguire vs. Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man? If you can answer yes to one of those questions, you need to be one of my friends.
But enough of the ode to nerd-dom, what you really want to know is all the latest news on those things nearest and dearest to your heart. And boy is there a lot of stuff. The nerd from Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be writing the script for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix is (not so surprisingly) contemplating an X-Men comeback. The sequel for The Amazing Spider-Man has a director. And there is also an update on what Harry Potter looks like after Voldemort tries to turn him into an evil goat. There’s all that and more, just read on below.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ May Have a ‘Buffy’ Volunteer
As the first film adaptation from a popular novel that didn’t completely disappoint me (read my review here), The Hunger Games franchise has a lot to live up to. Catching Fire is already in production, but the last of the franchise is still up in the air. The last book, Mockingjay, is being split into two separate films to be released November 21st, 2014 and November 20th, 2015. It still doesn’t have a director, but it might soon be gaining a screen writer. Danny Strong is the rumored front runner for penning the script, and if that’s true than it makes me supremely happy. While his name was certainly familiar, I had to see him win an Emmy for Game Change before I realized who he really was. Strong started out as an actor before his writing career took off. You probably know him as the nerd Jonathan from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (created by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard). But he was also in Gilmore Girls, playing Rory Gilmore’s Yale Newspaper editor Doyle. It’s the Joss Whedon connection that really gets me excited (considering what an awesome writer we know he is), because I’m sure Danny picked up a few things while on the set of such a great show.
You may be asking why a geek from a television series is being considered to write the last few movies of a major film franchise. There have been other rumored candidates, such as that other Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Drew Goddard, so why is it looking likely that Strong will get the gig? It’s probably for those two Emmy’s he won for writing and producing the HBO movie Game Change, which was based off a book of the same name. He also adapted the Dan Brown novel The Lost Symbol and Lee Daniel’s The Butler. So he obviously has experience with turning books into scripts. I may be biased, but I have faith that Danny Strong will be able to create some awesome movies to add to the franchise. I mean, he’s already written a movie about a presidential campaign – you add in some battle sequences and you have Katniss Everdeen’s fight against President Snow and the Capital. Now we just need a director. I’ll keep you posted.
Famke Janssen (Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix) May Return to the X-Men
After the success of the prequel X-Men: First Class, director Matthew Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer (who was behind the first three X-Men films) are working together on a new installment. The title of this one is X-Men: Days of Future Past and it is slated for a 2014 release. While certain actors are expected to return, like Michael Fassbender (Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto) and James McAvoy (Charles Xavier/ Professor X), the rest of the cast is up in the air. When you have a prequel to a set of established movies, and the director of said movies as a producer, anything can happen. One possible scenario is seeing the people from the original X-Men film (from 2000) showing up. Patrick Stewart, who played Professor X in the originals, hinted back in September that there is “every possibility” that he might be coming back. But the big news is that Phoenix, also known as Dr. Jean Grey, has mentioned she might be rising from the ashes.
Famke Janssen, who plays the mutant Doctor and her alter ego, spoke with MTV about X-Men: Days of Future Past. When asked about her involvement she said, “One never knows. Jean Grey, the Phoenix … she finds a way to reincarnate herself constantly, so one never knows.” While that is pretty vague, she does end the interview with this: “(I’m) in no position to say anything. I have no idea, stay tuned.” Sounds like someone is keeping Hollywood secrets to me. We probably will have to wait for some sort of confirmation, X-Men Days of Future Past isn’t scheduled until 2014.
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Sequel Gets Marc Webb
The first words out of my mouth when I left the theater after seeing The Amazing Spider-Man were, “I enjoyed the hell out of that movie.” And I absolutely did. It definitely made me re-think all those comments I made about not needing a re-boot. With it’s great action, amazing cinematography, and incredible chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone – it proved to be a fun ride. I think that a lot of that had to do with director Marc Webb. His previous work includes the amazing (500) Days of Summer, which meant it was a bit of a risk putting him behind the wheel of a big budget superhero movie. But that risk paid off big time, because The Amazing Spider-Man is freaking awesome.
Now that a sequel has been confirmed, the big question is whether or not the people who made the first one so great would return. Andrew Garfield is definitely going to be putting the red and blue suit on again. And Emma Stone is in talks to reprise her role as his love interest Gwen Stacy. It has just been confirmed that Marc Webb will be directing again, which may help Spider-Man to avoid the curse of the sequel. The script was originally written by James Vanbuilt (who worked on the first one), but is being re-written by Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci. They are known in the geek world for their work on Transformers and J.J. Abram’s Star Trek. I know I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Unfortunately we have to wait until May 2nd, 2014 to see more of Spidey’s web.
‘Harry Potter’ Star in ‘Horns’
I should probably start referring to him as Daniel Radcliffe because he has done several things outside of Hogwarts at this point. But in my heart he will always be the boy wizard who starred in the Harry Potter films. That kind of mentality makes it a bit hard to watch him in things like The Woman in Black. I can’t help making the joke that he should just Avada Kadavra that crazy ghost and be done with it. In his new movie Horns Radcliffe once again gains magical powers, but this time they are in the form of giant demonic looking horns. He plays a man, Ignatius Perrish, who is wrongfully accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend. The horns give him the power to make people confess their sins and give into their selfish desires. He uses them to find the people responsible for his girlfriend’s violent death. Radcliffe spoke to Entertainment Weekly about his part saying, “To play somebody who, in the midst of a time in his life of great turmoil anyway, undergoes this horrific transformation into a devil character — it was very, very exciting.” He’s certainly caught my interest, especially when you check out this picture of him in the film:
While we can make jokes about those horns (Hagrid shouldn’t try to transfigure people into goats anymore, Harry must have taken a bad batch of Polyjuice Potion… insert your own here), there is nothing funny about the look on Radcliffe’s face. Harry Potter would never look at anyone like that, not even Snape or Voldemort. I think seeing this film might convince me that his name is actually Daniel. Horns is due in 2013 and also stars Max Minghella, Juno Temple, and James Remar (who plays the Dad on Dexter!).
I hope my article has allowed you to feed your inner geek. What do you think about all this new stuff? Are you excited that Danny Strong might write Mockingjay? Do you think Famke Janssen should return to X-Men? Is Marc Webb really the right man to direct the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man? Will you check out Daniel Radcliffe when he’s all horny? Let me know in the comments below!