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Comic Strip: ‘Batman vs. Superman’ First Look, New ‘GOTG’ Trailer, and Channing’s Opening Gambit

Comic Strip 05/20/2014
Zack Snyder/Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ unveils a bajillion new videos, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ launches into high gear, and ‘Batman vs. Superman’ releases its first official image.

First Look at ‘Batman vs. Superman’

Warner Bros.

Although ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ is the next superhero movie to hit theaters, the internet lost its freakin’ mind when director Zack Snyder released the first image of Ben Affleck in the new Batman costume on the set of ‘Batman vs. Superman’ this past week. And rightfully so — it looks fantastic! Or awful. Or weird. Or whatever. It’s Batman and people are passionate about the Dark Knight in a truly unhealthy and spectacular way.

Obviously inspired by Frank Miller’s comic book take on the character in ‘The Dark Knight Returns,’ the streamlined look is a refreshing step away from the body armor of Christopher Nolan’s films and the rubberized muscles of the original movies. It’s truly its own thing and that’s a fantastic start. Also worthy of note: Affleck’s arm muscles. Holy mother of Gotham.

Since the image was in black and white, fans all over the web took to colorizing the image. Some stuck to a more traditional black and grey color scheme. Others went Silver Age and added blue. However, comic artist Chip Zdarsky created the best version:

Affleck’s suit may have dominated the conversation, but the glimpse of the Batmobile behind the Caped Crusader also got conversations started. And then some art arrived out of thin air, claiming to be an early sculpt of the finished product:

Blue Realm Studios

Posted on Blue Realm Studios’ Facebook page, the designs certainly seem to line up with what’s in the official image, and it looks sleek and stylized like in the comics, but massive and tank-ish like in Nolan’s films. This could be a definitive take on one of the most important vehicles in all of popular culture.

While official and unofficial photos arrived, Jesse Eisenberg proved quite adept at speaking a great deal while saying little on the subject of the film. The unlikely Lex Luthor got all kinds of questions while doing press for ‘The Double,’ but what’s especially notable is how he made it clear that he has no real affinity for the comics and took the role because he liked the script and the character on the page. That’s an interesting sign and a promise that his Luthor will truly be unlike any version of the villain we’ve seen before.

It’s Time to Get Excited for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Now that the summer movie season is in full swing, Marvel Studios officially began the marketing deluge for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Watch the new full-length trailer for James Gunn’s space opera:

As you can see, there’s much to see, including our first looks at Lee Pace’s Ronan The Accuser and Glenn Close’s Nova Prime, and newer looks at Groot and Rocket Raccoon in action, like these:

Click HERE for our entire ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trailer breakdown for more secrets.

There’s just something admirable about the film’s swagger — just look at the newest poster, which is all like “Hey, this movie stars a raccoon and a tree [or, more specifically, aliens that look like a raccoon and tree] and a green lady. We know it’s weird and we don’t care! August 1, nerds!”

Guardians of the Galaxy Poster 2
Marvel Studios

Animated Batman and Wolverine in Real Life

Today in “extremely talented fans with too much time on their hands,” some wonderful genius decided it was time to recreate the opening credits to ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ in live action.

And while we’re here…

Today in “extremely talented and possibly psychotic fans with too much time, money and energy on their hands,” some mad man decided it was time to actually build Wolverine’s claws so they could be worn and actually work. Uh…

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ No More Wolvie and a Gambit Spinoff

Twentieth Century Fox wants you to remember that ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ opens soon and they’re pulling out all of the stops to remind you. With the official release only days away, the internet has been flooded with news and videos and early reactions and featurettes.

Let’s start with the news. Since every superhero movie always ends up generating sequel talk, Hugh Jackman continued his whole “I’m probably retiring from playing Wolverine soon” schtick with Collider, this time saying that he hopes the adamantium-clawed mutant is rebooted instead of recast. And we get that — Wolverine is a vital part of who he is onscreen, and and it must be tough to see something you love move on without you.

Channing Tatum Gambit X Men
Sony Pictures/Marvel

But the big X-Men casting news of the week came with the official announcement that Channing Tatum will be playing Gambit in an upcoming ‘X-Men’ spinoff, which feels like very smart and calculated casting. If Jackman is departing the franchise, Tatum is a big enough star to fill the gap he leaves behind.

But that’s the future and this is the ‘Days of Future Past,’ and what better way to prepare yourself for its impending release than a massive smorgasbord of character profile videos and featurettes? If you have some time to kill, fill those precious minutes getting caught up on this film’s massive cast of new and returning mutants.

And finally, the X-Men are invading your local supermarket thanks to special “eXtreme creme” Twinkies, which are just like regular Twinkies but with mutant, super-powered filling. And by “mutant, super-powered,” we mean “strawberry.” Let’s be honest: these look disgusting. But, hey, Bishop is on the box!

Hostess

‘The Flash’ Accelerates While ‘Gotham’ and ‘Agent Carter’ Keep Pace

The past few weeks have seen the small screen reaching superhero overload, going from a handful of comic book-themed superhero shows to, uh, a great deal more comic book-themed superhero shows. The CW’s ‘The Flash’ made its grand entrance this week with a short teaser, which was quickly followed by a very impressive five-minute trailer. Sure, the effects are TV quality and it looks a little cheesy, but it also looks ambitious and silly in all of the right ways, proudly touting its comic book-iness and wearing its connection to ‘Arrow’ as a badge of pride.

Remember when The CW was a place you straight-up avoided?

Meanwhile, FOX teased its darker side of the DC universe, releasing a new featurette exploring the characters and world of ‘Gotham.’ While this certainly looks good, its dourness and self-seriousness definitely feels a little tired next to the energy of ‘Flash.’ Does anyone actually smile in Gotham City? Ever?

And finally, Peggy Carter herself, Hayley Atwell, confirmed that her ‘Captain America’ spinoff series ‘Agent Carter’ will take the place of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ for a few months. The eight-episode season will follow the British superspy and S.H.I.E.L.D. co-founder on her adventures in the 1940s, and it has the potential to be something really special. If you haven’t checked out the ‘Agent Carter’ One-Shot short film on the ‘Thor: The Dark World’ DVD, you need to get on that.

Disney Infinity Presents Their Take on Thor

There are few major corporations with instincts for making billions upon billions of dollars quite like Disney, so it wasn’t a surprise when the Mouse-eared studio revealed that the Marvel superheroes were coming to the Disney Infinity video game series.

And there are few superhero news columns so dedicated to finding you fantastic and wonderful tidbits to enjoy quite like this! After all, we suffered through the terrifyingly cheery and irritating video (above) to confirm that, yes, it does indeed feature a look at the game’s take on Thor. Do your best to drone out the hosts and enjoy!

Zac Efron Has Taken a Meeting With Marvel Studios

Zac Efron Shirtless Neighbors
Universal Pictures

Here’s the thing about meetings in Hollywood: everyone takes them. Constantly. For all kinds of reasons. So don’t necessarily read too much into the news that Zac Efron took a meeting with Marvel Studios because countless actors take meetings with Marvel Studios. After all, Efron is one of the best parts in ‘Neighbors’ (which is killing at the box office) and Marvel obviously wanted to see if they could make use of his newly reforged stardom.

The biggest rumor swirling around is that Marvel is looking at him as a potential Dr. Strange, but that just seems unlikely. Sure, their take on the Sorcerer Supreme will probably be a little younger than his comic book counterpart, but Efron is far too young to play an accomplished surgeon, let along a master of the mystic arts. The charming, handsome and incredibly likable Efron would fit perfectly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we imagine he’d be playing someone more appropriate.

Another scenario, proposed by Latino Review, is that Efron could be chatting about becoming Namor, The Sub-Mariner. And, just saying, Legendary Studios and Universal Studios (the latter of which owns the film rights to Namor) penciled in an untitled movie for November 2, 2016, and it’s said to not be a sequel or remake, but rather something based on “underlying intellectual property.” Just sayin’ …

Namor
Marvel

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