Comic Film Updates

Originally Published: June 2, 2005

With the release of Batman Begins right around the corner, I wanted to give a quick update on other super hero properties that will be hitting theaters very soon.

IN THE WORKS

Captain America: Possibly with Brad Pitt.

Green Lantern: Rumoured at one point to star; you guessed it, Jack Black!

The Punisher 2: The first did well enough on DVD to warrant a sequel that will shoot shortly.

The Hulk 2: Marvel insists its making a more action-focused sequel.

Iron Man: This film was originally due in 2006, has reportedly lost its director so the search is on for who will helm the tin man’s feature debut.

Blade 4: Not gonna happen, but Wesley Snipes may make Black Panther.

COMING SOON

Batman Begins (June 17): Christopher “Memento” Nolan puts the Caped Crusader back in black, in this retelling of the hero’s origins. Christian Bale dons the cape and cowl previously worn by Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Michael Keaton. Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine co-star.

The Fantastic Four (July 8): Marvel trots out its first family to the big screen in this Vancouver-filmed adaptation of the famed comic book. The director is Tim Story, the guy who made Barbership and Taxi?!

V For Vendetta (November): The Wachowski Brothers of Matrix fame are producing this adaptation, along with Joel Silver, of the graphic novel about a freedom fighter in a ficticious facist Britain. Natalie Portman stars as a woman with a mysterious link to the vigilante, and Hugo Weaving stars.

Ghost Rider (Summer 2006): Nicolas Cage assumes the flaming skull of Johnny Blaze, a biker who cuts a bargain with the devil and becomes an avenging demonic angel.

Superman Returns (Summer 2006): Unknown Brandon Routh fills the red boots of of Krypton in Bryan Singer’s $150-million film. Kevin Spacey (as Lex Luthor), Kate Bosworth (as Lois Lane) and Frank Langella (as Perry White) round out the cast.

X-Men 3 (May 26, 2006): With Singer off directing Superman Returns, Matthew Vaughn (who helmed next month’s British gangster film Layer Cake) takes the reins of this third film. Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen return — as does Famke Janssen as a resurrected and possibly evil incarnation of her former self.

The Watchmen (Summer 2006): Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy) tackles what many enthusiats consider the greatest comic book story ever told – Alan Moore’s seminal 1986 graphic novel that gave real-world context to the world of superheroes.

Hellboy 2 (2006): The follow-up to last year’s sleeper hit about a demon-turned-do-gooder is expected to film in Europe later this year.

Wonder Woman (2006): Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, has signed to write and direct. No word on who he’ll cast.

Spider-Man 3 (May 2007): The third film about the web-slinger will see Tobey Maguire back in tights – Kirsten Dunst as his girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson. Word is Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) will portray the shape-shifting Sandman.

The Sub-Mariner (2007): Harry Potter director Chris Columbus will direct this adventure about Namor, the prince of Atlantis who considers the surface world as a threat to his empire.

The Flash (TBA): David Goyer, who directed the last Blade flick, hopes to bring the fastest man alive to the big screen with Ryan Reynolds.

Wolverine (2007): After wrapping X-Men 3, Jackman will move this spinoff flick. I would guess that the story line of X 3 will be closely related.

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