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Will Netflix Make a Kick-Ass TV Show?

Chris Parker

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Will Netflix Make a Kick-Ass TV Show?

 

Now that Netflix has bought comic book publisher Millarworld, the streaming service has a slew of characters and stories to turn into original series. Mark Millar’s publishing house has created some of the most popular comic series and heroes in recent years, the most famous of which, in Hollywood terms, is Kick-Ass, which has so far been adapted into two feature films. Now that Netflix owns Millarworld, could we be seeing a Netflix Originals Kick-Ass series? Well, it’s all down to an issue of rights.

Matthew Vaughn owns the film rights to the comic book series, which he acquired before directing, co-writing and producing Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2. Vaughn had even bought the rights before the first issue was released in 2008 and since then, Millar and illustrator John Romita Jr. have published three books centering on Dave Lizewski’s superhero alter ego (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the films). There was much talk about Kick-Ass 3, the final volume released in 2013, being turned into a film and in 2015 Vaughn said he was planning on making it, but only after making a prequel which focused on how Hit-Girl (Chloe Moretz) and Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) became superheroes.

Both Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Red Mist/The Motherfucker) blamed poor box office performance as the reason a third and final instalment hadn’t been made, but now that Netflix owns the comic series they may want to work with the director to finally bring both films to life. However, if they want to make a Kick-Ass TV series, they have another production company to deal with.

ScreenRant has learned that although the film rights to the franchise remain with Vaughn, Lionsgate TV has the exclusive rights to any TV adaptations of the Kick-Ass comic book series, while all other rights remain with Millar and Romita Jr. So Netflix would have to ask permission from Vaughn to make any Kick-Ass movies and/or strike a deal with Lionsgate TV to make any series, but that may not be that easy.

There was a well-publicized struggle between 20th Century Fox and Marvel over the former’s plans to make their X-Men spin-off TV series. While Fox own the film rights to the X-Men franchise, as well as the term “mutant,” The Hollywood Reporter said that the studio needed Marvel to sign off on any deals regarding an X-Men related TV show. Obviously they worked out a deal in the end or we wouldn’t have Legion or the upcoming The Gifted series, so if Lionsgate TV and Netflix can work out a deal then Kick-Ass may soon be getting a new lease of life as an original series. Luckily, the streaming service already has a good relationship with the production company as they worked together on making Orange Is The New Black as well as the TV adaptation of Dear White People, so they just might work together to make Kick-Ass too, and a superhero series may be the way to go if their previous offerings are anything to go by.

Netflix has already earned critical success from their Marvel original series – centered on Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage (sorry, not you, Iron Fist) – with the first seasons of the highly-anticipated The Defenders and Punisher on the way. Marvel’s Daredevil was the first to premiere on Netflix and it fared far better than Fox’s 2003 film starring Ben Affleck, but many people were surprised that Marvel (who had got back the film and TV rights from Fox in October 2012) chose to make a series rather than reboot the film. Former showrunner (now executive producer) Drew Goddard explained to IGN that they chose a TV platform because they didn’t need a massive budget to do the character justice:

“I went into Marvel and talked to them about making it as a movie a couple of years ago, long after the [Ben] Affleck movie but what we all sort of realized is that, this movie doesn’t want to cost $200 million. The thing about Matt Murdock is, he’s not saving the world. He’s just keeping his corner clean. So it would feel wrong to have spaceships crashing in the middle of the city. But because of that, Marvel on the movie side is not in the business of making $25 million movies. They’re going big, as they should.”

The same logic could be applied to Kick-Ass as the titular hero is not taking on aliens or gods, he’s dealing with the same sort of thugs and crime lords as Daredevil, but in a far more humorous (and explicit) way, so a massive production budget wouldn’t be needed. Not that the first two Kick-Ass films cost as much as the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as their budgets were reportedly $30 million and $28 million, respectively.

Lionsgate TV owns the TV rights to Kick-Ass

Budget wasn’t the only reason Goddard and Marvel chose to make Marvel’s Daredevil rather than a rebooted film. The studio didn’t want to make an R-rated movie and the TV format allowed them to use more adult subject matter and visuals. Of course, Kick-Ass 1 and 2 didn’t have that issue and the latter even received a lot of backlash over the explicit and violent storylines, that arguably weren’t as graphic as the comic book depiction. Kick-Ass fans would certainly enjoy the third and final instalment of the comic book series brought to life, which follows Dave’s vigilante antics after high school and Mindy fighting to survive in prison, and if Netflix chose the TV route then they would be able to offer far more character development, fight scenes and side narratives than a two-hour film ever could.

It’s because of this established Kick-Ass fanbase that makes it a perfect choice for Netflix to adapt. Those who haven’t read the comic book series will have likely heard of the film franchise and so the streaming service already has a global audience to appeal to with a rebooted Kick-Ass film or series. It’s the same reason why Marvel released Daredevil before Iron FistLuke Cage or Jessica Jones, because the hero was a recognizable figure in mainstream pop culture. So with plans to develop numerous TV series, films and kids’ shows based on Millarworld products, Kick-Ass could just be the right show to welcome in Netflix’s new era of comic book film and TV heroes.

 

Via: ScreenRant

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Punisher Reviews – What Did You Think?!

Chris Parker

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Punisher Reviews – What Did You Think?!

 

Marvel’s The Punisher Reviews – What Did You Think?!

Marvel’s The Punisher is launched on Netflix on Friday and we’ve created this spot for you to tell us and your fellow viewers what you thought about the series. Let us know what you thought by posting your Punisher reviews in the comments below!

After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone.

The series is executive produced by showrunner Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal), Jim Chory (Marvel’s The Defenders) and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s The Defenders), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television. Marvel’s The Punisher is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

The cast also features Ebon Moss-Bachrach (GirlsThe Lake House), Deborah Ann Woll (Marvel’s DaredevilTrue Blood), Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Chronicles of Narnia), Amber Rose Revah (Emerald CityIndian Summers), Michael Nathanson (The KnickThe Wolf of Wall Street), Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel), Jason R Moore (A Lonely Place for Dying), Daniel Webber (11.22.63) and Paul Schulze (Nurse Jackie).

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Justice League Reshoots Erased Aquaman’s Story

Chris Parker

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Justice League Reshoots Erased Aquaman’s Story

 

WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Justice League

Fans had high hopes for Aquaman’s story in Justice League, but most of it wound up on the cutting room floor. At least, that’s the impression given by the veritable wealth of underwater shots, Momoa-centric scenes, and hints at the larger DC mythology of Atlantis in the movie’s marketing. Almost all of which, sadly, ended up being tossed aside – including entire performances from acclaimed actors now appearing only in the solo Aquaman movie. But it’s the rich mythology of Atlantis and Arthur Curry’s parents that takes the biggest hit.

Even without diving into specifics (forgive the pun) the theatrical cut clearly makes less of a role for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman than Snyder intended. Even if the actor chose to keep silent on the cuts made for the two-hour runtime, and what was re-shot to fill in the blank, Snyder’s determination to make Aquaman a star suggests much, much more than we get in League.

Jason Momoa promises Aquaman will still be the origin story fans crave, it was clear early on that League would tease out more of his own place in the world, in Atlantis, and in the grey area in between. Until WB and Whedon made their changes to Justice League.

Aquaman’s Story Was Scrapped (Along With Vulko)

Remember when Willem Dafoe was revealed as Vulko, the citizen of Atlantis who watches over Arthur in the comics, grooming him to one day take over the crown as the people’s king? Well, some predicted his role in Justice League was in serious jeopardy when his character was included on an official poster… crudely hidden behind Amber Heard’s Mera (no editing, that is the real poster above).

The early seeds of that lifelong link to Atlantis were expected before Dafoe joined the solo Aquaman movie, and according to Momoa, that’s exactly what Snyder originally filmed:

“What Zack and I did, we were kind of trying to establish that he was taken down there as a boy, and he was an outcast, he was a half-breed. And he was built up as a young boy because he was fed all these ideas by Vulko – that he was the rightful king. And he gets down there and he’s a half breed, he’s impure, and I’m just made to feel like I’m this disease. So after that, I was like, ‘F*** you, f*** you, I’m on my own.’

That’s not the only key piece of Aquaman’s original Justice League arc, but his emotional turn (thanks to Diana’s lasso) still arguably relies on this groundwork being laid beforehand. Now, let’s take a step into the real mythology.

Aquaman Paid a Visit To The Dead King

As further evidence of just how invested Snyder was in doing Aquaman ‘right’ – essentially hoping to stun fans with the true scale and ‘badass’ nature of his modern comic mythology – one need look no further than the very first effects shot of Aquaman in action underwater. The finished footage was impressive, to say the least, depicting Jason Momoa’s Aquaman swimming in Atlantis as easily as Superman flies through the air. Even more impressive was Snyder’s willingness to show DC Comics fans how much of Geoff Johns’s acclaimed Aquaman mythology was being adapted into the DCEU.

The image showed Arthur swimming up to a stone statue, seemingly dressed in the armor he would eventually wear when fighting alongside the League, holding a trident in one hand, seated on something of a throne, and wearing what sure looks to be a crown. In the comics, that’s a clear nod to The Dead King: the entombed body of King Atlan, the first great ruler of Atlantis. As Arthur understands it, his ancestor who possessed the armor, crown, and weapon now rightfully his, should he accept his birthright.

And, no surprise, Momoa seems to confirm this sequence would have been tied to his ‘outsider’ subplot with Vulko:

“There’s a place where [Aquaman] goes down to, and it got cut out of the movie. He knows spots where he can go and he can see these statues, the remnants of [Atlantis]… There just wasn’t enough time in this movie.”

Thankfully, at least some of King Atlan’s role remains in the finished cut. In Diana’s history lesson, the ancient king can be seen placing a Mother Box in its revered spot in Atlantis, wearing the armor Arthur eventually adopts. The most obvious explanation is that, just as the Greek Gods fighting in Justice League‘s ancient battle had their plots trimmed down in editing, Atlan’s role (and crown, and armor, and weapon) were left on the cutting room floor.

Good For The Runtime, Bad For Aquaman

The plan, it seems, was to have Arthur seek out these deserted monuments to Atlantis’s past (an obvious comment on the current state of Atlantis without Arthur as king). Converse with Vulko to not only tease his crisis in the coming Aquaman, but establish the conflict within Arthur as one that causes him to run from his duties – and NOT someone who answers the heroic call being issued by Bruce Wayne. Instead… well, there’s not much to actually replace it.

The original plan was to understand Arthur through his interactions with a character he knows, has known, and who cares for him and his internal conflict (one which was praised ahead of the film as important to both Momoa and Snyder’s pitch, with the actor also of mixed heritage, just like Aquaman). Instead, Heard is saddled with the exposition, scolding him as a man who apparently doesn’t care to be king. Until Atlantis is attacked, and Arthur claims the armor and weapon of Atlantis’s ancient king… off screen.

In the end, it’s an understandable sacrifice for the sake of Justice League‘s studio-mandated two-hour running time. But given how much Snyder teased during production, and how much Atlantis’s rich mythology was teased in marketing… that doesn’t make it any less disappointing to see it erased completely.

 

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Justice League Grosses $82.1 Million Globally on Friday

Chris Parker

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Justice League Grosses $82.1 Million Globally on Friday

 

Justice League grosses $82.1 million globally on Friday

Warner Bros. Pictures‘ Justice League debuted to an estimated $38.8 million domestically on Friday, with $13 million of that figure coming from Thursday previews. Audiences liked the movie more than critics on Rotten Tomatoes and gave Justice League a B+ CinemaScore.

Internationally, Justice League pulled in an estimated $43.3 million on Friday from approximately 47,500 screens, bringing the international total to $70.7 million after three days of release. The global total stands at $109.5 million so far.

Of the international territories, China easily topped with $15.1 million on Friday from about 21,000 screens. Including sneaks, the total in the country is now $16.4 million. Warner Bros. estimates that the Saturday gross there will be $21 million.

Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

Fueled by the hero’s restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Justice League sees Bruce Wayne enlist the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Directed by Zack Snyder (Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeMan of Steel), the screenplay is by Joss Whedon and Chris Terrio from a story by Snyder and Terrio. Whedon directed the additional photography for the sequel and oversaw the completion of its post production following Snyder’s family tragedy. Justice League was produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. The executive producers are Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curt Kanemoto, Chris Terrio and Ben Affleck.

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