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Scarlett Johansson to Star in Live-Action Ghost in the Shell!

Howdy ladies and gents, time for some film news and today we have quite an interesting story for you in the form of a big development for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. The following information comes from superherohype:

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Back in October, it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson had been offered the lead role in DreamWorks’ live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell and now Variety brings word that the actress has accepted the role! Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders will helm the feature from a script by William Wheeler, based on the series by Masamune Shirow.

Produced by Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul and with the backing of Steven Spielberg, the rights to Shirow’s original 1989 complex futuristic thriller, about the members of a covert ops unit that takes on technology-related crime, were picked up several years ago with plans to use the latest 3D technology to film it. In Japan, the huge success of the comics led to a number of anime film adaptations, a TV series and a series of video games with DreamWorks releasing the second anime film in North America.

Johansson’s involvement in the film does raise questions about her place in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Black Widow. Though she is set to appear in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, could production on Ghost in the Shell prevent her involvement in Captain America: Civil War? It’s unclear at this point, though production on “Civil War” is set to begin this spring in Atlanta, Georgia, targeting a May 2016 release.

So, seems like this film is definitely going ahead then. I’ve never been completely keen on this project since the outset because I don’t think certain anime properties don’t need to adapted and westernized because the spirit and beauty of the original material normally gets lost and butchered. However, since GITS is not a property I’m not too attached to personally, I am a little more open to the idea of there being an adaptation if the right people were part of the project.

Now I’m going to talk about the three aspects surrounding this film.

1. Scarlett Johansson

So now we have Scarlett Johansson cast as the lead (after being first attached to the film a few months ago) and to be honest I’m down with it. Johansson is a great actress, she’s also proven in recent years that she’s a capable woman of action with her role as Black Widow in Iron Man 2, The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier and more recently with Lucy. And while I think there could have been other actresses in the role, I think Johansson is needed for a film like this to raise interest beyond the existing fanbase.

2. Rupert Sanders is directing

The another big aspect is the fact that Rupert Sanders is directing this film. Obviously he wast he man behind Snow White and the Huntsman, it was decent film however there was nothing significant or memorable about it, so I have my reservations about bringing him onto a project like this. He’s not had that many films under his belt and the one that he did wasn’t that great. Plus add on top of that, he likes to seduce his actresses. Sure, what happens in his personal life should not be related to his work as a director. However, when he decided to have relations with Kirsten Stewart, the star of the film he was directing, it makes me question his priorities a little bit. Hopefully this man can keep his head in the game and help craft a good film.

3. Avi Arad is a Producer

Now, I looked at the news story and saw that Johansson is attached, okay cool. Then saw Rupert Sanders was attached, not so keen, but heck I’ll bite. But then I saw the name Avi Arad named as one of the producers and my interest turned to concern. If you’re a fan of the Sony Spider-Man films or at least know of the people behind them, then you know who Avi Arad is. He is one of the most opinionated producers behind the Spider-Man films who in my opinion used to be a smart and innovated man, but these days he’s corrupt, out of touch and has no idea how what he’s going on about. He’s been looked as one of the main people responsible for ruining Spider-Man 3 and more recently The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And to have him attached to this film does make me wonder if he has any ideas and may use them to corrupt the production of this film. That being said, I don’t know how much creative control he’ll have and whether the input he’ll have will be positive or negative, I just hope if there are any problems with this film that it doesn’t come back to him.

In conclusion I’m curious to see how this film will shape up over the course of 2015, Ido wonder how this will affect Scarlett Johansson’s commitment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I guess only time will tell. So what do you think of this news and the points that I’ve brought up? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below and I’ll see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in Films, Media

 

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Spider-Man Producers Talk Venom, Sinister Six Spin-Offs

Howdy ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, time for some film news yo and today we’re getting a bit of information surrounding the upcoming Sinister Six film that’s part of the expanding Sony Spider-Man universe. The following info comes from superherohype:

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“When The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets released in just a few short weeks, it will be the second chapter in Spider-Man’s brand new feature film series, and the web head isn’t going to be the only one taking the big screen by storm. It was announced back in December that Sony would be developing two spin-off films for the franchise, one focusing on the anti-hero Venom and another on the villain collective the Sinister Six. Villain-centric films haven’t been tested by any of the other comic franchises just yet, so what is it we can expect from these films?

“Obviously questions of traditional hero/villain dynamics have to be looked at,” producer Matt Tolmach said in an interview with SFX. “At the same time it’s an awesome challenge, because some of the greatest characters are in fact villains, and how you construct that is so much fun. People love those bad characters if they’re good bad characters, and love to watch them. And nobody’s all good, nobody’s all bad, and so where we end up with that story, I think, is a really awesome challenge, and we all smile when we think about what you can do. It’s definitely a bad-ass group of people and I think it’s going to be a ton of fun to watch them.”

Producer Avi Arad chimed in on the subject as well, speaking about the complexity of the Marvel villains and why he thinks a character like Venom will work in his own feature film.

“With Marvel characters, the villains are victims of circumstance. If you look at our villains, none of them were born like that. Our villains are nice and complex and in the world of film writing you can play with that, you can make some wonderful things out of it. The Spider-Man universe has amazing villains, they are all character driven…..Our villains all represent a different side of the misunderstood, and some of them unfortunately turned to the dark side. Venom happened to be a phenomenal character. With Eddie Brock, or if you do Flash Thompson, it doesn’t matter who is going to be inside the suit – what’s important is that a man like him is going to realize there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say ‘How did I get here? There must be a better way.'”

For me this sounds good, if handled properly we could see some pretty decent adaptations of some of these crazy, sophisticated and downright awesome characters. Spider-Man comics house my favourite villains of any comic series ever and to see them on the big screen would be great, however special care would need to go into it.

The one thing that bothers me about this interview is Avi Arad’s words about the villains being victim of circumstance. No offence to him but haven’t we seen that before? These are words he used back when the Raimi films were out (I should know because I watched the special features of Spider-Man 2 all the time and watched the ones on Spider-Man 3 too). Now while some of these villains are not necessarily bad and end up on the wrong side of he law, not all of them are good guys gone bad. Some of them are just thugs or small-time crooks trying to make a name for themselves and wanting to become bigger threats or they just wanted more power. Villains like Scorpion, Rhino, Vulture and Venom aren’t so much good gone bad as they are men on a quest for power. Plus Spider-Man 2 & 3 already did the whole “good-guy-gone-bad” approach both Doc Ock and Sandman. I think people were kind of bored with that approach by that point and just wanted straight-up villains again, that’s why villains like the Joker from The Dark Knight‘s or Loki from The Avengers works, because they’re bad. Sure there are different rules that apply (especially for Loki but you get what I mean).

Now I’m not saying make these villains one-dimensional and generic, but don’t given me some overly tragic storyline involving a dying family member or some experiment gone wrong. We’ve done that already. Change it up Sony.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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