Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's a Wrap - Oscars and Superheroes

It's a Wrap - a round up of recent happenings including Academy Awards, Watchmen, Marvel Entertainment, and potential Nolan replacements for Batman 3?

Britain had a glorious night at 81st Academy Awards as Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire brought home eight statuettes including the coveted Best Picture and Best Director awards. Kate Winslet was named Best Actress for The Reader while Sean Penn snatched the Best Actor gong from hot favourite Mickey Rourke for his performance in Milk.

Heath Ledger became only the second person ever to receive a posthumous award, being recognised in the Best Supporting Actor category for his unsettling portrayal of the psychotic Joker in The Dark
Knight. Penelope Cruz was named Best Supporting Actress, and four films were the recipients of multiple Oscars – Slumdog Millionaire (8), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (3), Milk (2), and The Dark Knight (2).

Do you agree with this year’s Best Picture winner? Why not vote in our poll?

Post-Oscars, this week’s online chatter has mainly geared towards the impending adaptation of Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel, Watchmen, directed by Zack Snyder. With hype reaching boiling point on Watchmen and the success of his last effort, 300, Snyder is gaining a bit of a reputation as the go-to man for Hollywood takes on the comic-book genre, if rumours are to be believed. Batman-on-Film suggest that Warner Bros. will cast their eye his way should Christopher Nolan pass on a follow-up to the billion-dollar grossing Dark Knight. Warner have also announced a December 2010 release for Batman’s DC colleague, Green Lantern, with two-time Bond helmer Martin Campbell taking on directing duties.

On the subject of Watchmen, has a 3 minute preview available online.

In other costumed-crusader news, despite announcing $63 million profits in their latest quarterly reports, Marvel Entertainment’s casting difficulties continue as Jon Favreau confirms that Emily Blunt is out of Iron Man 2. It was thought that Blunt would be appearing as Black Widow in the sequel to last summer’s blockbuster hit. This snag comes on the back of Marvel’s on-off-on-off negotiations with Mickey Rourke to star as the villain, Crimson Dynamo.

One positive note for Marvel - Variety reports that Samuel L. Jackson will return as Nick Fury, signing a deal with an option on nine (!) future films, including The Avengers, Captain America, and Thor. Does this man ever sleep?

Finally, word that our friends across the Atlantic may have trouble catching Terry Gilliam’s latest, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, featuring Heath Ledger’s final performance. The film is yet to secure a distributor in the United States, but surely it’s only a matter of time before the movie gets picked up. A deal is already in place with Mandate International/Lionsgate for a U.K. release this summer.

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