The Green Lantern Was Almost In the Snydercut

Green Lantern Snydercut
(Twitter.com/jojoaguilar33)

Let’s face it: it’s amazing that we got to see the Snydercut at all.

After Zack Snyder left the production of Justice League to tend to a family tragedy, his original epic vision for DC’s biggest heroes was scrapped in favor of a streamlined, jokier, Joss Whedon-fied version that no one ended up liking. We did finally get to see the film Snyder intended, but that was only part of a planned Justice League trilogy.

The final few scenes of the Snydercut that were released on HBO Max last month hinted at the two additional movies the director originally planned. It’s clear there was a lot of crazy stuff coming, including a variety of new characters like Martian Manhunter, only teased in the Snydercut, and Deathstroke. At one point, Green Lantern was even meant to join the films – instead of Manhunter – but the studio didn’t allow him to be incorporated lest it complicated their future plans for the character.

The director had already begun work on his Green Lantern, but not in the form of Ryan Reynolds‘ Hal Jordan from the much-maligned attempt at a GL movie. No, this Green Lantern was to be the first movie-version of John Stewart’s ring bearer, and we were given a glimpse of his character design when graphic artist Jojo Aguilar shared some images on Twitter.

Aguilar worked on John Stewart, Granny Goodness, Joker, and Martian Manhunter for Snyder’s films, and despite the fact that they weren’t all fully realized as intended, he loved the experience, tweeting: “This was the best experience in my career working with @ZackSnyder,” shared Aguilar in a post. I’ve worked a long time and by far he was the most professional, most personable, and Coolest! and thanks @jayoliva1for introducing me to him!”

The studio’s refusal to allow Snyder to use Stewart almost derailed the Snydercut from being finished, but he eventually relented and replaced Stewart with Martian Manhunter, who pledged to help Batman and the JL in the coming war against Darkseid.

Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see that war. Unless Snyder, and his legions of fans, somehow make lightning strike again and #restoretheSnyderverse!

We Have Some Serious Buddy Cop Vibes From the First Full “Loki” Trailer

Loki Trailer
(YouTube/Marvel Studios)

Marvel is finding some “Mandalorian”-esque success with their Disney+ spin-off shows, and now we have the first full trailer for the next, as Marvel dropped the “Loki” trailer today. Not only does it look awesome, but we officially get to welcome Owen Wilson to the MCU.

WandaVision” was terrific, for what it was, and currently Marvel is also having similar success with the “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” miniseries. Loki, though, may be the most anticipated of the trio. He was an underrated part of the Avengers movies (after the first, where he was appropriately rated), and the series will give him even more room to shine.

Loki, played by the outstanding Tom Hiddleston, is tasked with restoring the disturbance he caused to reality by using the Tesseract during the Infinity saga. So we get some more of Marvel’s love for alternate timelines and realities, as the Time Variance Authority tries to restore the proper flow of time.

And Loki gets a partner-in-crime for this task, a TVA official played by Owen Wilson. Wilson’s Mobius and Hiddleston’s Loki are practically a buddy cop duo, as Marvel continues to play with the genres in their spinoffs.

While the first two shows were great, Loki’s charm and wit, paired with Wilson, have this six-episode miniseries primed to be the biggest and best yet.

The god of mischief’s show debuts on June 11th, and will build on the Loki story from where we left it in “Avengers: Endgame.”

New Superman Movie Being Written By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates Superman
(Getty/Ismael Quintanilla)

They’ve been trying to get Superman right for years.

Ever since Christopher Reeve embodied the character in Richard Donner’s classic (and its classic sequel), Hollywood has been trying to recapture that magic. It was gone as early as Superman III and hasn’t really been back.

Maybe you love Dean Cain or Tom Welling’s TV versions, maybe you ride for Zack Snyder’s gloomy, homicidal hero, but none of those versions have erased Reeve’s seminal take or brought the hero back to prominence. He continues to take a backseat to Batman, Spider-man, and most recently, the Avengers.

It’s time for some new blood, and now we’re gonna get it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the celebrated black writer who helped shape the MCU’s Black Panther and has been at the forefront of America’s discussions about race for the past decade-plus, has been tapped by DC and Warner Bros to write a new Superman movie. The movie is being produced by JJ Abrams, who once wrote his own controversial script for a Superman reboot before Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh revived Richard Donner’s version with 2006’s Superman Returns.

“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” Coates said in a statement. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”

The first question that’s going to come up is: are we getting a black Superman now? No one knows. They don’t have a script or a director yet, and casting is a long way away. But just because they’ve hired a black writer does not mean he has to write a black character (in fact, aside from the celebrated take on Black Panther, Coates also wrote a recent series for Captain America). Especially when that character is an alien inherently different from, and often at odds with, the culture he adopts. That said, a black version would certainly be a change of pace, and would offer some interesting opportunities.

“Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me’ opened a window and changed the way many of us see the world,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We’re confident that his take on Superman will give fans a new and exciting way to see the Man of Steel.”

Either way, there is plenty of metaphorical space to explore with this character, who was conceived by marginalized Jewish artists as a representation of American, and human, ideals and whose own outsiderness has been used to comment on plenty of societal issues, including immigration, civil rights, and more. As a symbol for America, the Big Blue Boy Scout is well within his rights to engage with the modern state of the country, and the world. And Ta-Nehisi Coates is a gifted writer with a keen eye for human issues, and will surely write a compelling character, whether they end up casting Michael B. Jordan or some blue-eyed kid from Riverdale.

The biggest question isn’t what Superman looks like, it’s how he acts, and what kind of tone the film has. For the past 10 years, the cinematic version of the most famous superhero of all has been focused on darkness, and grit, and inner turmoil. I think it’s time to move on from that.

Superman can exist in a complicated, troubled world without succumbing to that darkness himself. He should be a hero who strives to lead by positive example, who inspires us to be better, who shows us all what we can be.

No matter what color he is.

Spider-Man 3 Cast Trolls Fans With Potential Titles

Spider-Man 3 Names
(Twitter/Giuls2828)

Over the past few months, there has been endless speculation about the future of the MCU. This extends from the movies that have been delayed by the pandemic, like Black Widow and Inhumans, and the TV universe that kicked off with WandaVision and its continuing surprises.

One of the most obsessed over properties is the forthcoming Spider-Man 3 movie, which may or may not dive deep into the multiverse. The rumors have been flying about Tom Holland’s third (and final) feature film as Peter Parker, from Dr. Strange’s role (the wizard also has a multiverse-focused sequel in production) to the potential appearance of characters from other studio Spideys, like Jamie Foxx’s Electro and both Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-mans (Spider-men?).

Now that speculation has extended to the film’s possible title.

Three of the movie’s cast members, Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon, ignited social media by sharing the first set photos from Spider-Man 3, and teasing fans with their own ideas about what the title might be. The first movie was called Homecoming, the second was Far From Home, and now the third is expected to feature another spin on the theme.

But it’s probably not one of the ones they shared on their IG accounts.

Each of the cast took to Instagram to share the “news.”

Holland shared a set photo of the trio, which included a mock-up title card for one potential, 80s inflected title (Spider-Man: Phone Home), then Zendaya did the same, but her title had a 90s-slang kinda feel (Spider-Man: Home Slice), and Batalon’s casts the project in a very different, Fatal Attraction sort of light (Spider-Man: Home Wrecker).

As usual, social media took it all in stride.

Obviously, the cast was having some fun, and playing up the constant breathless rumors that have been swirling around this movie, and the MCU in general, for years now.

Unfortunately, there’s no real word on what the actual title might be. But with this clearly coordinated social media goof, some real news must be on the horizon. Maybe even a teaser?

We’re dying to find out what’s in store for us with the multiverse, and everything else, in Spider-Man 3: Homey Don’t Play That!

Constantine TV Series Could Kick Off the Justice League Dark Universe

Constantine Series at HBO Max
(DC)

While the world awaits the release of the Snydercut, HBO Max continues to shore up its comic book content. With WandaVision, the MCU has begun growing its TV universe via the Disney+ streaming platform, and now DC is doing the same with HBO Max.

Matt Reeves previously announced a Gotham Police series taking place in the same universe as his Robert Pattinson-led Batman movie. We know a series based on Peacemaker, from James Gunn’s forthcoming Suicide Squad movie, as well as a Green Lantern Corps show, are coming. And now the network is building out its Justice League Dark universe.

First up is a new Constantine series, according to ComicBook.com. Last year there were rumors about a movie that would be a direct sequel to the original film. But it looks as though it will be a show and it will be without Keanu (whom DC is still hoping will take their Kang the Conqueror role), who starred in the theatrical version of the story, or Matt Ryan, who was in the last TV version. This time they apparently want a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) actor, and rumor has it Riz Ahmed, currently garnering Oscar buzz for his role as a drummer who learns he’s going deaf in Sound of Metal, is desired.

The news of a Justice League Dark universe, headed up by J.J. Abrams, was first mentioned a while ago and not much has been said since, but TV Line hears that it’s still in development. If that’s true, Constantine will be but the first piece of a larger puzzle that could contain characters like Swamp Thing, Deadman, Doctor Destiny, Etrigan the Demon, among many others who’ve been associated with the group in the comments.

DC is dying for their own universe, and if Zack Snyder’s Justice League isn’t revived by next month’s Snydercut, perhaps the dark version is the next best bet. Not sure how you get much darker than Batman killing people and dropping f-bombs, but I guess Constantine is a start!

Sony Wants To Beat MCU and Snag Keanu for Kraven the Hunter

Keanu Offered Kraven
(Getty/Valerie Macon)

For a while now, Kevin Feige has been trying to get Keanu Reeves into the MCU. Reeves, who reinvigorated his career with the John Wick franchise, is no stranger to playing comic book characters (Constantine) in standalone flicks, or even superpowered roles (The Matrix 4 hits HBO Max later this year!), but he’s never suited up for a proper superhero flick.

Marvel, who has gotten their hooks into many a star, from Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo to Scarlett Johannson and Angelina Jolie, has not yet been able to convince Keanu to join up. And now Sony might beat them to it.

According to Illuminerdi, they’ve offered the star of last summer’s Bill and Ted Face the Music the role of Kraven the Hunter, which they want to be a tonal mash-up of Denzel’s revenge movie Man on Fire, and Hugh Jackman’s Logan.

Sony is currently loaning Spider-man to the MCU, allowing the studio to reboot the character into the Avengers after the Andrew Garfield series petered out, but they retain the rights to the rest of the Spider-verse. Aside from the animated Into the Spider-verse, perhaps the most acclaimed superhero movie of the past decade, Sony made the surprise hit Venom, which has a sequel, Let There Be Carnage, on the way, as well as Jared Leto’s Morbius movie (which may include Michael Keaton’s Vulture). They’re also supposedly developing a Madame Web flick, and Olivia Wilde was signed to direct a female-led superhero movie that some suspect will be Spider-Woman.

Clearly, Sony is trying to build up their Spiderverse, and if they do land Keanu as the big game hunter Kraven, things will suddenly get a lot sexier, both literally and figuratively. Plus, Sony will have scooped the MCU, who recently failed to snag Neo for their Moon Knight series.

Keanu has not signed to play Kraven, or any Marvel hero or villain, just yet, but not for lack of trying. One of these times, the right character is going to come calling. Heck, with the MCU paving the way for the X-Men to reboot themselves onto the big screen, maybe the man will actually get to play the guy he’s long wished to portray: Wolverine!

‘Blade’ Reboot With Mahershala Ali Gains Steam After Watchmen Writer Is Hired

Blade Reboot With Mahershala Ali
(Getty/Tommaso Boddi/Stringer)

Marvel’s Blade reboot featuring the fantastic Mahershala Ali took a huge step forward this month as the project tabbed its writer, Stacy Osei-Kuffour. She was also a writer for the critically acclaimed “Watchmen” on HBO, and now becomes the first black female to pen a Marvel movie.

Marvel made waves with the announcement of the “Blade” reboot and the attachment of Ali, one of the best actors of his generation. Marvel has been searching for a writer meticulously over the previous half a year, and Osei-Kuffour stepping into the role means the project can move forward full steam.


The reported new title for the next-gen version of Blade will be “Blade, the Vampire Slayer.” Next up for the project is finding a director, but it’s refreshing to finally see Blade picking up steam after being on the back-burner for Marvel lately.

Ali’s career has been on the rise over the last five years and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. He won two Oscars and has been nominated for a handful of Emmys. Blade is a darker franchise than Marvel’s latest fare, but it seems like a guaranteed smash. He’s great in movies, he was great on True Detective, and Watchmen seemed to be a big hit, so poaching a writer from that feels like a natural pairing.

Wesley Snipes wasn’t a bad Blade, but it’s been long enough and now that Marvel is a major player (maybe the biggest) at the box office now, it’s exciting to see the project moving in the right direction.

Tim Fox is DC Comics’ First Black Batman

Tim Fox Batman
(DC Comics)

We recently celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, in honor of the civil rights leaders famous for his passionate speeches decrying discrimination and racism and praying for a future in which all men and women are seen as equal, regardless of skin color. He was assassinated in 1968.

On January 5th, DC Comics unveiled the first black Batman since the character was created in 1939. It’s 2021.

DC hired Oscar-winning screenwriter and novelist John Ridley to pen a four-book miniseries featuring Tim Fox, the son of Lucius Fox (the character played by Morgan Freeman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy) taking up the cowl. The series will be drawn by with art by Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez.

The series is titled “Future State: The Next Batman,” and has the following synopsis on Amazon:

The DC timeline has been shattered, and the pieces of a dark possible “Future State” are reflected! Giant, sprawling future Gotham City is under martial law, protected and regulated by a private security force led by the infamous Peacekeepers. Their mandate is to maintain the safety of the citizens of Gotham, regardless of any Constitutional rights, and to hunt down, incarcerate, or kill all masked vigilantes, villains, and criminals in the city limits. It’s a dangerous and violent look at a possible future Gotham City and the heroes and villains who live there!

It’s in that version of Gotham that Tim Fox becomes the first black Batman in the character’s 82-year history, during a time in which issues of race are as much at the forefront as they’ve been at any point over the past several decades.

“When we contextualized The Next Batman, we baked certain things into the equation that were going to allow us to discuss stories in a sandbox that were going to be bordered by race, class, policing, and community—those quadrants,” Ridley explains. “Everybody knew going in that they would deal with that.”

The presence of a Batman with a different background and perspective also makes for a Batman who operates a bit differently as well.

“Bruce Wayne had the money. Bruce Wayne had the access. Bruce Wayne had the ability to go anywhere and beat up anybody. He could beat up white people. He could beat up people of color,” Ridley told The Ringer . “If he was beating them up, they were clearly, clearly bad. It was never that sort of gray area of ‘Well, you pulled over someone and you made them a suspect, but were they suspect?’”

In one scene, instead of turning over a couple of young gang members to the police, Batman takes them to children’s services. “What happens after that… is up to you,” he tells them, before vanishing, as he does.

Ridley feels the weight of his responsibility, not only to bring a black Batman to kids all over the world but as a black comics writer. In both cases, “We need to make room at the table,” he says.

Future State: The Next Batman is a good start.

It’s available for pre-order on Amazon for $35.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

Marvel Wants You To Vote for the Next Member of the X-Men

Vote for the Next X-Men
(Marvel.com)

It can be easy to forget that comic books still exist. Obviously, plenty of people read them, but with Marvel and DC dominating multiplexes and streaming, more and more people are discovering comic books via their live-action adaptations.

It’s not always easy to remember, especially after the past 10 years of Avengers movies and ill-fated attempts to make the Justice League relevant for the first time since Saturday morning cartoons, but the modern superhero boom actually started at the turn of the century with the X-Men movies.

At the time, Bryan Singer’s X-Men and particularly X2 were the high-water marks for comic book movies, until Sam Raimi brought Spidey to the big screen and Iron Man, and The Avengers soon followed. But the X-Men were a big deal, much as they have long been in the comics. And while rumors abound that the mutants will soon be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, life goes on for them within the pages of comic books. In fact, changes are coming, and you can be a part of them.

Marvel is currently inviting comics fans to vote on the next mutant to join the latest version of the X-Men team, and the polls are open until February 2nd.

The website explains:

In 2021, Mutantkind will be selecting the first X-Men team of the Krakoan Age and you are invited to take part in the election. Marvel’s fan vote will be 100% responsible for the determination of the final member of this inaugural team, so choose wisely as your choice will have an everlasting effect on the future of the X-Men and the world at large.

The nominees are Banshee, Sunspot, Polaris, Strong Guy, Forge, Marrow, Armor, Boom-Boom, Tempo, and Cannonball. The website includes images and information on each mutant to help you make your choice.

Do you have a favorite? Do you want to see one of them elevated to the premier mutant superhero team? Now is your chance!

Head over to X-Men Vote to participate in the annual election of your protectors of Krakoa!

Kevin Smith Thinks HBO Max May Revive Batman: The Animated Series

Batman: The Animated Series Returns
(Warner/DC)

Say what you want about DC’s handling of Superman, the Justice League, and their movies in general, they’ve never once wavered from their commitment to Batman. Barely a year goes by without Batman making news one way or another, and this year is no different.

There’s a new movie in the works with a new take on the character, a new cut of Justice League fans are hoping fixes the last version, the return of several former actors reprising their roles in the eventual Flash flick, a new comic series featuring a black Batman, a new HBO Max show set in his universe and now a new cartoon as well, picking up where the beloved Batman: The Animated Series left off.

On their Fatman Beyond podcast, legendary geek/director and the man behind the He-Man revival recently set the batcorners of the internet aflame when he discussed a rumor the HBO Max is developing a follow-up to the legendary Batman animated show from the 90s.

“The rumor is that HBO Max is looking at making a Batman: The Animated Series sequel, that they want to continue that forward,” Bernardin said before his co-host began gushing.

“I’m not involved, but I too have heard this and I’ve heard this from very reliable people,” Smith said. “When I heard it I freaked out, and I heard this…I would say a month before you just said it. I think that’s real, I don’t think that’s a rumor, I wouldn’t say ‘Set your watch to it,’ but it’s an idea whose time is not only coming, I think it came, and it’s smoking a cigarette. I think that’s gonna happen. How fucking amazing would that be because you can just literally pick up and keep going. It’s not like, oh we gotta explain why everyone’s older, it’s fucking animation man so you can go right back to those amazing fucking stories.”

Batman: The Animated Series originally ran from 1992-1995 and features what some fans consider to be the definitive versions of both Batman (as voiced by Kevin Conroy) and The Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill). The cartoon also introduced Harley Quinn, who has since skyrocketed to become one of DC’s most popular characters (and who has her own show on HBO Max).

The rumor that a new version of Batman: TAS might be coming has fans rejoicing for yet another take on the Dark Knight. Check out Smith and Bernadin’s glee at discussing the rumors:

 

Social Media Pays Tribute to Stan Lee on His 98th Birthday

Stan Lee Tributes
(Getty Images/Barbara Davidson)

The end of December is typically reserved for the celebration of a great man’s birthday, a man who has had an enormous impact on the world. The 25th may be Jesus’s birthday, and joy to the world, but December 28th is Stan Lee’s birthday and Excelsior!

The man who created Marvel comics, including dozens of characters who have become household names, was born 98 years ago. Sadly, he passed away before he could reach his nearly-100th birthday, but his legacy is stronger than ever, especially now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe dominates popular culture (including streaming!)

Yesterday, people across social media made sure that while Stan Lee may be gone, he is far from forgotten. Tributes poured in across Twitter.

From the official Stan Lee Twitter account:

From Iron Man himself:

Various and pop culture sites:

From newsmen praising Lee’s positive influence on the youth:

To other famous creatives who were influenced by the man’s work:

And fans like us:

Whether you were a hardcore comic book nerd or someone who just watched the movies, you were familiar with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four and the Hulk and dozens of other famous and less well-known characters that lee and his company created. Comic books have become a major source for most modern entertainment, and Lee is one of the reasons.

He didn’t quite make it to 100, but his work will live forever.

Disney+ Will Be Debuting 10 New Star Wars Shows and 10 New Marvel Shows

The Mandalorian
(Disney+)

Get ready for a lot more exploration of the galaxy far, far away. Disney announced a MASSIVE new slate of content on their investor call Thursday, including the news that Disney+ will be debuting 10 (!) new Star Wars series over the next few years.

This is the way.

Disney also announced they will be debuting 10 (!) new Marvel series on Disney Plus over the next couple of years as well. It’s all part of how media companies are re-imaging streaming and how they cultivate subscribers. This massive commitment to new streaming content is on the heels of the tremendous success of Disney’s “The Mandalorian”, now wrapping up its second season.

The movies are going online, and more specifically, to streaming services. This move is slated to make Disney+ a much more attractive option, as they are looking to double down (and more) on what’s worked for the platform. There will also be 15 new other series (a combo of live-action, animated, and Pixar stuff).

No specific details were unveiled for what the 10 shows will be, but we know a handful of Marvel shows that are slated to debut soon, as well as the Star Wars Obi-Wan miniseries with Ewan McGregor and a Cassian Andor “Rogue One” prequel series.

We are going to get a LOT of new Star Wars streaming content, and if it’s half as good as “The Mandalorian”, this could mark a new focus for the future of the Star Wars universe (let’s face it, Mando was much better than any of the new movies).

The Disney+ Chairman of Media and Entertainment said on the call that “With these Disney+ originals, along with theatrical releases and library titles, we will be adding something new to the service every week.”

Huge news for fans of The Mandalorian, Star Wars, Marvel, and people with kids who were already roped into committing to the new streaming platform.

Peter Dinklage Is Becoming a Superhero in ‘The Toxic Avenger’ Reboot

Peter Dinklage Toxic Avenger
(Getty/Jeff Kravitz/Troma)

‘Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage is slated to star in the ‘The Toxic Avenger’ reboot that was recently announced. It won’t be Dinklage’s first appearance in a comic book movie, naturally, as he did guest star in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ as Eitri, the Dwarf King who helps Thor make his battle axe. This time, though, Dinklage will be the star.

Dinklage is a gem of an actor. He was truly terrific in Game of Thrones as Tyrion Lannister (no matter how you feel about that final season), and also in just about everything else he’s ever done (even his Entourage cameo!). While we’d love to see Dinklage do even more movies with Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa (they do have one coming!), this sounds like a great role for him.

For those unaware, ‘The Toxic Avenger’ is neither a Marvel nor a DC superhero, which makes it unique just for that. The 1984 movie was closer to a B-movie than high art and that was sort of the point. It was a superhero parody, and went heavy on the common tropes, while also integrating some themes about environmental issues.

The backstory is pretty basic; a physically unimpressive janitor falls into toxic waste and emerges disfigured but with super strength. Then there’s the requisite crime-fighting, big boss battle, etc etc. While not Earth-shattering at the time of its release, the Toxic Avenger did go on to become something of a cult classic, with several sequels.

Some have described Toxic Avenger as a cross between Deadpool and Spider-Man and while that sounds like wishful thinking, Dinklage is an outstanding choice for a role like that.

It’s not the Avengers we know and love, but all it needs to be a hit is Dinklage and Avenger.