Geekwatch: Guardians of the Galaxy, Jimmy Olsen and comics on TV
Welcome to this week’s geekwatch, your nerds-eye-view of the last seven days of entertainment news. In our latest instalment we ask if comic books are set to invade the small screen, if Jimmy Olsen is going to have a sex change and if the latest casting rumours coming out of Marvel are the worst thing to happen to comic book movies since Elektra was greenlit.
It’s been hard to get excited about Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, a big screen adaptation of the comic book series of the same name that’s set for cinemas in 2014. For a start the appointment of James Gunn as director has us worried, after all as part of the braintrust behind the two disastrous Scooby-Doo movies he’s hardly covered himself in glory has he? Then there’s the premise, which involves a team of interstellar heroes whose ranks include the likes of Rocket Racoon, an anthropomorphic mammal who just happens to be a crack shot and master tactician.
Now don’t get me wrong this kind of space-based tomfoolery has its place in the comic book world, I’m just not sure that the mainstream movie-going public are quite ready for it yet. Just look at those comic book movies that have proved to be success stories. The Avengers aside big bucks and critical acclaim have been reserved for altogether more plausible protagonists like Batman, Spider-man and Iron Man. On the flipside, intergalactic adventures like Fantastic Four and Green Lantern have positively flopped.
As if to undermine our expectations even further news surfaced this week that Marvel were courting funny men Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler for the film. Yes you read that right; Ace Ventura and Little Nicky might be headed to the Marvel universe. There’s no news yet on what roles they might fill, nor even if they’ll actually sign on the dotted line, but it’s still sure to raise some eyebrows amongst outraged fanboys.
Sandler in particular seems odd, especially since he’s seen his career plummet southwards over recent years with films like Jack & Jill proving to be only mildly more enjoyable than gouging your own eyes out with a spoon. His involvement stinks of stunt casting, as does the idea of appointing Carrey, although he at least has previous form after a turn as the Riddler in Batman Forever and an upcoming appearance in Kick Ass 2.
To be fair I could happily stomach the idea of Carrey lending his dulcet tones to a CGI Rocket Racoon or Groot, after all he’s got one of the most emotive voices in the business. But the idea of either one of them being attached to the movie suggests that Marvel might be on its way to undoing the hard earned credibility it’s managed to build for itself over recent years. I mean Robert Downey Jr. as an iron clad playboy is perfectly plausible, the same goes for Chris Evans’ Captain America and even at a push so Chris Hemsworth as a Norse god. But the prospect of Happy Gilmore playing a sentient tree is perhaps where I draw the line.
What do you think? Let us know if you’re on board with the Sandler / Carrey rumours in the comments section below.
Will Jimmy Olsen be a woman in Man of Steel
Zack Snyder’s upcoming reboot Man of Steel has already provoked plenty of hand wringing from the geek community. A cursory look at their online ramblings throws up everything from the dulled down suit to his facial fuzz as potential bones of contention for fans to pick over come June 14th.
But if the eagle eyes over at Digital Spy are to be believed, these might pale into insignificance next to Jimmy Olsen’s apparent sex change. The cub reporter, and sometime super pal, has been a part of the comic cannon since 1938. Since then the red headed photographer has stayed very much the same, but that could be set for a change if the cast info over on IMDb proves to be on the money. The site’s listing has actress Rebecca Buller down to play the role of Jenny Olsen, and whilst it doesn’t exactly confirm the gender swap it’s certainly suggestive; as is a scene in the most recent trailer which shows Buller alongside Laurence Fishburne’s Daily Planet editor Perry White.
Nothing’s been confirmed by the studio yet, but it certainly looks like Olsen has has swapped sexes. The question is what will the fans think of it? On one hand it could be seen as a progressive statement that updates the story for the 21st Century, but on the other it’s hard to stomach a decision that looks like change for changes sake. After all if they wanted Superman to have a female friend why not opt for someone who already exists like Lana or Chloe? Instead it seems like they may have robbed the Man of Steel of one of his most humanising relationships, and the only male friendship he has outside of the dark knight.
We’re certainly not sold, but what do you think? Let us know below the line.
Given the popularity of comic book movies it’s perhaps no surprise to see the genre proving so popular on the small screen too. What started with Smallville has since spread to shows like The Walking Dead and Arrow, whilst Marvel are set to get in on the act with the Joss Whedon scripted S.H.I.E.L.D series.
But to the burgeoning list of comic book inspired television we can now add another, with news that NBC has ordered a pilot based on Oni Press’s The Sixth Gun. Created by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, the Civil War era tale follows a set of mythical weapons and an innocent young girl who finds herself in possession of the titular firearm, a pistol which proves to be the most powerful of the lot. It’s a brilliantly weird western that should prove to be a hit on the small screen, so it’s great to see the studio have stumped up the cash for a pilot. It’s even better though to hear that Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse is on board as an executive producer.
There’s no news yet on when shooting is set to start, but here’s hoping that The Sixth Gun hits the mark when it does eventually make it to the schedules.
Are you excited about Guardian’s of the Galaxy? What do you think of Jimmy Olsen’s sex change and what other comics would you like to see given the TV treatment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Daniel Bettridge