UPDATE: Michael Bay Announces Transformers 3 Release Date!

by SuperHeroHype

Director Michael Bay has announced on his official website the release date for Transformers 3 and says they are jumping right back into it! Oh, and he included a note to Megan Fox as well…

Well its official: We have a great Transformers 3 story. The release date is now July 1st 2011. Not 2012.

Today is Day One. This morning started with an ILM meeting for five hours in San Francisco. Currently I’m flying with writer Ehren Kruger to Rhode Island to talk to Hasbro about new characters.

P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you.

Pain and Gain is right after shooting of Trans 3.

Michael

This puts it up against the Peter Berg-directed Battleship, also based on a Hasbro property, so we’re guessing Universal will be moving that adaptation somewhere else.

Transformers made $709.7 million worldwide and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has made $832.4 million.

The summer of 2011 is shaping up to be quite amazing. You can check out the May through August releases that year here. (And don’t forget Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is scheduled for Summer 2011 but doesn’t have a firm date yet!)

UPDATE: Universal and Hasbro have already moved Battleship from July 1, 2011 to August 5, 2011, so Transformers 3 now has the spot to itself.

Source: Michael Bay

The Green Hornet Set Footage and Photos

by SuperHeroHype

Splash News continues to be on the scene of the filming of Columbia Pictures’ The Green Hornet and has now posted a video of the action on set, as well as many more photos.

Scheduled to be released on December 22, 2010, the Michel Gondry-directed comic book adaptation stars Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson and Christoph Waltz.

Source: Splash News

This is Syfy’s The Phantom?

by SuperHeroHype

RHI Entertainment has posted this trailer online for “The Phantom” mini-series that is premiering on Syfy in 2010. Ryan Carnes (“Desperate Housewives,” “Dr. Who”) plays the title role and his alter ego Chris Walker in the re-imagined version of the classic comic book transported to present day.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below…

Source: RHI Entertainment

An Official Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit is Coming

by SuperHeroHype

Just in from Warner Bros. Consumer Products is the news that an official Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit is coming:

Conveying the strength, elegance and awesome power of The Dark Knight, UD Replicas – the officially licensed division of Universal Designs Ltd. – has begun production on a replica Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit, and orders are being taken at the company’s website, UDReplicas.com.

Produced under license from Warner Bros. Consumer Products on behalf of DC Comics, the Universal Designs Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit is a stunning recreation of one of the most iconic movie costumes of all time. The Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit comprises a full-leather jacket that includes lightweight interior lining, as well as molded-leather and Kevlar armor sections; pants that include heavy-duty, four-way stretch Spandex inserts and CE-approved armor; authentic gloves and boots that replicate the amazing on-screen design.

Each Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit can be customized to fit sizes ranging from XXS to XXL. Orders can be placed exclusively at UDReplicas.com, and each Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit retails for $998 U.S. (or $1,149 CDN for orders placed in Canada, United Kingdom and Australia). A maximum of 1,000 Dark Knight Motorcycle Suits will be created.

“No film of the 21st century has been as visually stunning as The Dark Knight, and we’re proud to be working directly with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to ensure accuracy and authenticity in every custom-made Motorcycle Suit,” said David Pea, owner of Universal Designs. “The Dark Knight is one of the highest-grossing movies all time, and continues to spark the imagination of fans everywhere.”

The Dark Knight Motorcycle Suit is an intricate, complex design, he added – one that has required the company to invent entirely new ways of working. “Although we are strictly limiting the quantity to 1,000 suits worldwide, we want each one to be of extraordinarily high quality, and that has meant creating new machinery and new production methods,” Pea said. “We couldn’t be bigger fans of Batman, so we’re very proud that Warner Bros. Consumer Products has given us such remarkable access to the original suit and the designs used in the production of the movie.”





Source: Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Exclusive Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Blu-ray/DVD Clip

by SuperHeroHype

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hits Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, October 20th and SuperHeroHype.com has your exclusive first look at a clip from a bonus feature that focuses on the filming at the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. You can check out the clip using the player below!

Be sure to check out the official website for more details on the various editions coming and stay tuned to the film’s Facebook page for updates as well.






Source: Paramount Home Entertainment

Don Cheadle Talks War Machine

by SuperHeroHype

Entertainment Tonight recently got a chance to talk to Don Cheadle about playing Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes/War Machine in Iron Man 2, an interview that you can watch using the player below!

Opening in theaters on May 7, 2010, the Jon Favreau-directed sequel stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Garry Shandling, John Slattery, Kate Mara, Clark Gregg and Olivia Munn.

Source: Entertainment Tonight

More Green Hornet Set Photos!

by SuperHeroHype

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou filmed a new action scene for Columbia Pictures’ The Green Hornet in Los Angeles in costume as the title character and Kato. Splash News has photos from the filming which you can check out by clicking on the photo below!

Opening in theaters on December 22, 2010, the Michel Gondry-directed comic book adaptation also stars Cameron Diaz Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson and Christoph Waltz.

Source: Splash News

McTeigue on Possibly Taking on Superman

by SuperHeroHype

FirstShowing.net caught up with director James McTeigue (V For Vendetta, upcoming Ninja Assassin) and asked about him possibly taking on the next Superman film.

“Maybe some truth to… I’ve had some discussions, the Wachowskis to a lesser degree, but the Superman franchise is in a strange kind of place at the moment,” McTeigue said. “I think they’re still trying to work out the mechanics of how that can come together.”

And if he was to take on the project, what could we expect? You can read more of what he had to say here.

Source: FirstShowing.net

First Look at the Green Hornet Costume

by SuperHeroHype

Splash News has posted explosive footage from the set of The Green Hornet in which you get to see a first look at Green Hornet costume.

Scheduled to hit theaters on the new date of December 22, 2010, the Michel Gondry-directed comic book adaptation stars Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson and Christoph Waltz.

You can check out the footage using the player below!

Source: Splash News

Green Lantern to Shoot in Mexico?

by SuperHeroHype

Inside Film is reporting that Warner Bros. may shoot Green Lantern in Mexico because of the rising Australian dollar. Here’s a clip:

Warner Bros is understood to be preparing to shift its Green Lantern production to Mexico from Australia, where the booming currency has blown out costs.

The latest proposal overrides recent plans to shift the film to the US state of Louisiana (as reported in the October issue of INSIDEFILM) although a final decision has yet to be made.

If the shoot does proceed at Fox Studios Australia it would add more than $US20 million to production costs due to the rising dollar, according to sources.

You can check out the full article here. Green Lantern, to be directed by Martin Campbell, will star Ryan Reynolds and is eying a June 17, 2011 release.

Source: Octoberist

Paltrow and Johansson on Iron Man 2

by SuperHeroHype

Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson talked to Entertainment Tonight on the set of Iron Man 2, hitting theaters on May 7, 2010. You can watch both interviews using the players below!

Directed by Jon Favreau, the sequel stars Robert Downey Jr., Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson, Johansson, Garry Shandling, John Slattery, Kate Mara, Clark Gregg and Olivia Munn.

Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts)

Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow)

Source: Entertainment Tonight

Furlong Has a Role in Green Hornet?

by SuperHeroHype

Skipping over all the personal stuff in this article at People, you’ll come across the following:

“He has gotten really upset – anybody would,” the friend says of Furlong, who is slated to start production on The Green Hornet this weekend. “We’re trying to get him back to a place where he’s calming down and talking to everybody.”

That’s the first time we’ve heard of the Terminator 2: Judgment Day star having a role in The Green Hornet, opening in theaters on December 17, 2010. If confirmed, he’s joining Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson and Christoph Waltz in the Michel Gondry-directed comic book adaptation.

Source: People

Astro Boy Permitted China Release on Oct. 23

by SuperHeroHype

Imagi International Holdings, a leading producer of CG-animated feature films with studios in both Hong Kong and the U.S., today announced that it had secured mainland China co-production status for its film Astro Boy.

China’s Film Bureau, which acts as the gatekeeper for foreign films seeking distribution in China, has awarded Astro Boy co-production status. The Film Bureau typically “blacks out” release windows around major national holidays. These windows are reserved for domestic and co-produced films.

“Co-production status means ‘Astro Boy’ can be released on the mainland in October, something foreign films are not permitted to do,” said Chiong Kit Phoon, executive deputy chairman of Imagi. “Not only does co-production mean we get access to release windows not available to foreign films, we also receive a higher percentage of box office receipts.”

Astro Boy will be released in mainland China on October 23, the same date Imagi’s distribution partner, Summit Entertainment, is releasing the film internationally. “We are happy that audiences in China will be able to watch ‘Astro Boy’ at the same time as audiences around the world, especially since the People’s Republic of China will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in October,” said Phoon.

Astro Boy was produced by Maryann Garger, directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away), and written by Timothy Harris (Kindergarten Cop, Trading Places) and Bowers. The CG-animated motion picture features the voices of Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Matt Lucas, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland and Nicolas Cage as ‘Dr. Tenma’.

Source: Imagi International Holdings

Edward James Olmos on The Green Hornet

by SuperHeroHype

The Los Angeles Times got a chance to talk to Edward James Olmos about his character in Columbia Pictures’ The Green Hornet and how the movie is progressing. Here are several clips:

Olmos’ character works alongside James Reid, publisher of the Sentinel and father of Britt.

“We’re the backbone of the paper,” he said. “Things go awry, and I end up having to try to sustain what’s going on in our lives. And of course the Green Hornet doesn’t make it any easier. I don’t want to give anything away.”

Chow is out as the new Kato, and Taiwanese actor Jay Chou is now in. And “Inglourious Basterds” antagonist Christoph Waltz — not Cage — will portray Chudnofsky, the Green Hornet’s nemesis.

“It took a while, but things are finally coming together,” said Olmos, who revealed he has one major stunt in which he gets zapped. “I think it’s going to be very exciting. People will find that it’s different than what they expect. Seth is doing a wonderful job. There’s a lot of everything. IT’s going to be action-filled, and there’s a lot of humor in the situations. It’s really a well-crafted piece of work. Hopefully people will enjoy it and we’ll have a few of these films.”

You can check out the full article here. The studio is planning a December 17, 2010 release for the Michel Gondry-directed comic book adaptation.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Matthew Vaughn Gives Thor Update

by SuperHeroHype

Empire Online talked to director Matthew Vaughn (Stardust) about the status of Marvel Studios’s Thor adaptation. Here’s a clip:

“We’re in a holding pattern at the moment,” he said. “It”s up to Marvel, they have to decide if they want to make the movie and then we take it from there.”

For more on what kind of actor would be hired and how it will be translated to the big screen, go here.

Source: Empire Online

Tyler to Compose Dragonball Score

by SuperHeroHype

The Dragon Ball Movie Blog tells us that Brian Tyler has been confirmed as the composer of the score for 20th Century Fox’s Dragonball movie, hitting theaters on April 3, 2009. The site sent along this note from Brian:

Dragonball is a dream of mine to score. I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. I am going to do my utmost to reflect the epic tone of the story and capture the amazing richness of the characters. I love how the characters of DB are no simply good or evil. How throughout the mythology of DB they change allegiances (Piccolo) or have something inside them that is dark (Goku with his Oozaru side). It is classic epic story telling and I want the rest of the world (the non-DB fans) to experience what we already know. That Dragon Ball is one of our great modern mythologies.

Tyler’s recent credits include Rambo, Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Constantine.

Source: Dragon Ball Movie Blog

Warner Bros. Picks Up Bone Comic

by SuperHeroHype

Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to “Bone,” the acclaimed independent comic book series from artist Jeff Smith, says The Hollywood Reporter. Dan Lin will produce.

The fantasy series followed three cousins from the Bone family who are small, white and bald humanlike creatures with big noses. The trio are run out of their hometown and find themselves in a mysterious valley where they are separated and hunted by other creatures. They are taken in by a girl named Thorn and her grandmother, and find out that the valley is threatened by an evil force called the Lord of the Locusts.

The series ran irregularly from 1991-2004. Scholastic has been publishing the collected stories in graphic novel format since 2005, selling more than 1 million copies so far.

A decision on what kind of format “Bone” should take — live-action or animated or both — will be based on filmmaker meetings.

Visit the official “Bone” website for more info.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Sweet Watchmen Countdown Clock!

by SuperHeroHype

Warner Bros. Pictures sent us this sweet Watchmen countdown clock today (it’s about 5.5 inches wide, 2.75 inches high, and 1.75 inches deep) along with a letter talking about the film’s release. This will get a nice spot in our office for the next year, check it out below!

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The MPAA Rates Transformers

by SuperHeroHype

ComingSoon.net says that director Michael Bay’s Transformers has a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor, and language. Sounds good to us!

You can catch the battle of the Autobots and Decepticons in theaters starting the evening of July 2nd.

Source: ComingSoon.net

Michael Bay on Transformers!

by SuperHeroHype

Transformers director Michael Bay participated in a press conference at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 16 and we’ve got the full rundown of what the helmer said about the big screen adaptation:

Q: I know my colleagues are going to have “Transformers” questions, but I wanted to know your reaction to “Hot Fuzz” which was so inspired by “Bad Boys 2,” and that you said that you were offered “Die Hard 4” and I was wondering if this hadn’t come together would you have considered doing that?

Bay: “Die Hard 4,” no, I don’t think so. “Hot Fuzz,” I haven’t seen it yet, because I was finishing this movie. It’s really hard, the end of your post schedule is such a grind, seeing a movie is like the last thing you want to do when you go home. I thought this would be an easy post, on our budget we had a hiatus scheduled in here, because I said, “Oh, my God, I have the longest post schedule,” I didn’t think the robots would be that hard, but I was directing them all the way to the very end.

Q: How did you balance the needs of your vision as a filmmaker with those of Spielberg and those of the fans? I noticed that there are definitely some Spielberg elements to this film.

Bay: Listen, I make my own movie, I don’t have someone tell me what to do. I’ve always been inspired by Steven. I was not a Transformers fan before I signed on to this movie. I think I was two years older when the toys came out, so I just discovered girls then instead of Optimus Prime. But I quickly became after I went to Hasbro, where you heard about that Transformers school? I really thought, “What the f*ck am I going to Hasbro for Transformers school? I thought I was going to learn how to fold up robots, but I met with the CEO and I went through the whole Transformer lore. I’ve been offered a lot of superhero movies before and nothing’s really appealed to me and in the room, because I’ve been such a fan of Japanese anime it just hit me that if I make this really real it could be something very new and different. So I quickly became probably one of the bigger Transformer fans in the world, and I tried to make this movie for non-Transformer fans, okay, and I wanted it to be a little bit more, if you could say, adult, so I’m sure I’m going to get flack for – you made an edgy movie on a toy, how is that going to affect kids? I know there are Transformer fans that are 40 years old. Now that I’m rambling…

Q: One thing I kept hearing from this movie, from the actors is what a great actor’s director Michael Bay is, which is a whole new theme we haven’t heard before, did you do something different?

Bay: No, listen, the sound byte – press is very weird, because a sound byte gets out there, Michael Bay yells. Listen, I am very similar, I visited Jim Cameron on “Titanic,” I’m very similar the way he directs, he’s an assistant director, I’m an assistant director of my own sets, I move my own sets, I shoot very fast, I never leave the set, and I love working with actors, I love giving actors freedom, I love improv-ing with actors, it freaks studios out because they’re like, “That wasn’t in the script, what’s this, he’s wrecking the movie.” And I’m like, “Trust me, it’s going to be funny,” because there’s a whole issue of tone in this movie. But when I’m doing action scenes I’m going to be your worst nightmare basketball coach, that’s to get the energy, the adrenalin going.

Q: How much of what we see is improvised and what about the “Armageddon” joke?

Bay: Well, that’s just me, I’m like, okay, this kid is so funny running I’m like, “Dude, you’ve got say this.” He’s just funny. You guys all laughed, right? I’ll often add jokes along the way. A perfect example, because I will always hire actors that have a good improv skill, like Nic Cage in “The Rock,” there was really nothing funny in “The Rock” script, and that was all through improv, just trying to work with the guys and try to make it funny. A good example in this scene was when the parents knocked on the door of the bedroom when he’s hiding the robots, in the script it said, “Maybe he’s mas …,” and that was the joke, and that’s pretty lame. So we actually brought him in the room and we just started this whole masturbation talk, and that’s because the mom’s such an amazing New York – she’s in New York plays.

Q: She just won the Tony Award.

Bay: Did she really?

Q: Best Actress in a Play, beat Angela Lansbury and Vanessa Redgrave. Julie White.

Bay: I know it’s Julie White (everyone laughs)

Q: I believe it was Don Murphy said you had no nostalgia for these Transformers – does that make it easier to make the film, like a doctor operating on a stranger versus a friend?

Bay: Listen, I’m a huge Transformer fan now, I can officially say I’ve probably thought more about robots on earth than anyone in the past year and a half. Yeah, I actually think that because I wasn’t a fan I think makes it more accessible to other people, does that make sense? Megatron was a gun, and I’m like, “I don’t get that,” and I did get a lot of flak from fans on the net, like, “Michael Bay, you wrecked my childhood.” “Michael Bay, you suck. We’re going to protest his office.” They protested my old office apparently. That’s true. The death threats freak me up, but I think we’ve – I would listen to fans on the net, I really would. I would kind of hear their comments, but I’m still going to make my movie and I’ll still put flames on Optimus.

Q: That helped because when they were fighting I knew it was Optimus?

Bay: You see. Thank you.

Q: But you gave them lips.

Bay: Well, because, you know we did a lot of facial studies, and emotion is so hard without that kind of movement. We tried it solid, it just didn’t look right.

Q: There’s talk that they’re hoping to get “Transformers 2” if this one is a success, as everyone’s assuming it’s going to be, sometime next year but aren’t you going to be busy with “Prince of Persia”?

Bay: I don’t know, I leave my negotiation open, because the President of Paramount is right behind you. He could probably kill me. I don’t know what I’m doing right now. There’s no script right now.

Q: But you are directing “Prince of Persia”?

Bay: I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. I really don’t know what I’m doing. I’m unemployed right now. I finished the movie like a week ago.

Q: You mentioned the tone of the film, I was wondering how you managed to balance between what seems to be a somewhat normal recognizable action film with the Transformers.

Bay: When Steven called me a year and a half ago, he said I want you do direct “Transformers,” it’s a story about a boy who buys his first car. To me that was a great hook. I hung up and said thank you, I’m not doing that stupid, silly toy movie, but I thought about it, the hook was great because that’s such a launching ground from a young adult into manhood or womanhood. I liked the simplicity of it, okay, it just made it somewhat more accessible. If you notice, I shot this movie kind of generic, I’ve never in my life shot at a Burger King, or a guy riding on a pink bicycle, or a house that’s kind of very suburbia. But it just makes it more acceptable and accessible to the ultra-slick uber-action around it. The charm of the movie is to me in thinking about it was – I kept having this image of this kid trying to hide robots from his parents by his house, and that just stuck in my head as we were writing the script, so to me that was the whole charm of it. I don’t think I even answered your question.

Q: Can you talk a little about the casting of Shia and also what you see is the underlying theme or message, if there is one, in this movie?

Bay: Well, the underlying theme to me is really no sacrifice, no victory. That was something I wanted to nail. My movies often deal with the hero arch-type and the boy becoming a man, kind of like Nic Cage becoming a hero in “The Rock.” Shia, the same thing, when he got to carry that cube… Your first question was, casting Shia. It’s very scary when you’re trying to hinge a whole movie on a kid. I had seen him in – I had only seen one of his movies, “Constantine,” and I thought he’s interesting, but he looks so old. And someone said, Ian Bryce, one of my producers, said, “You should look at this kid, Shia.” And I’m like, “Okay.” And he was coming in, I saw some of his other movies and I really liked him, and then I talked to Steven, I said, “I’m seeing Shia,” and he goes, “Oh yeah, he’s great. I love Shia.” And he came in for the audition and he nailed it, and I liked his improv skill, I liked how he was very able to take direction and mold, and he was kind of – I didn’t want the geek, what I like about Shia when – I think every guy’s been in that circumstance by the pond or the lake, where the stud comes up to you and gives you sh*t, and instead of doing – he comes right back with wit and humor, and every guy likes him right then and there I think. Do you guys think so? I don’t think there’s a kid today that could have done a better job. He’s a pain in the ass to work with, let me tell you. Let me tell you a funny story. I always like to put my actors in real circumstances, and we had him – there was a 17 story building downtown with a statue and my producer said, “How do you want to shoot that?” He goes, “We’re going to do a blue screen, right?” I said, “Nah, f*ck, we’re going to put him up there.” (he laughs) And we put him on wires and we rigged it very safe, but there was only four inches to stand on and Shia is like, “Yeah, I think I can do it, I’m gonna go up there, I’m gonna go up there.” So we’re ready to go and he goes, and mind you I would never go out there on my own, I would never do this, but he goes, “Oh man, I can’t get up there, I can’t get up there.” I said, “Dude, you’re going to embarrass yourself in front of the whole crew. You get paid way more than those kids on “Fear Factor,” get the f*ck up there.” (everyone laughs) So he did it, and it was really scary, but he was on cloud nine when he did it.

Q: Do you ever foresee a time where you might want to do an intimate low budget character study?

Bay: No, I’ve got this one I keep trying to do it, called “Pain and Gain.” It’s a really funny character story, I keep talking about it, we’re going to be here next year and we’ll talk about it again, I just keep getting cash to do these big movies. Sometimes it’s a fear of like are big movies going to go away? You know what I’m saying? Hollywood is kind of tough right now, so I don’t know.

Q: What’s it about?

Bay: It’s about – it’s very “Pulp Fiction”-y, true story, it’s about these knuckleheads that kidnap and murder, searching for the American dream in all the wrong ways. It’s very funny. All true.

Q: We’ve seen how James Cameron went from huge physical action movies to 3D films – can you ever see yourself moving in that direction?

Bay: Honestly, I think I’d want to shoot myself working on a blue screen stage. I did maybe one, two days of blue screen on this movie, I just hate it. It’s just I like doing things real and it’s just – it’s really hard to go there, you know?

Q: Did 9/11 change the way you make action movies – I kept thinking of 9/11 with the plane going through the building – did that enter your mind at any point?

Bay: Are you kidding lady? That’s a silly question. Of course it, of course it entered my mind. I don’t even want to go there. Let’s go onto the next question.

Q: I liked the women in this, they weren’t just hot babes, they were brainy, how conscious were you trying to appeal to a female audience, and were Josh and Tyrese chosen for being eye-candy.

Bay: I actually met with Josh for one of my Platinum Dunes movies and I really liked him. Got a sense of him in the room there, that was like four months prior, and this thing came up and it was a very efficient budget, I honestly didn’t – I had no money for stars, so I had to be very creative in picking people that I thought were going to break, and after meeting him I really liked him so I wanted to work with him.

Q: And Julie White’s character was great too, they’re great women in this movie.

Bay: Awesome. She didn’t have that many lines in the movie and I just kept – Kevin and her were just funny, we just kept doing stuff. I just love his blue collar sensibility and I’ve always wanted to do that joke with the grass, that’s my lawyer, he does that to his kids, he doesn’t let them go on the grass.

Q: So you were thinking about your female audience?

Bay: Of course, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Q: As a filmmaker you seem to get more of your budget on screen than almost anyone else. You get $150 million it looks like $250 million – what’s your secret?

Bay: My secret is, I shoot very, very fast. An average director will shoot 20 set ups a day, I do about 75, and they’re real set ups, it’s not like – we work 12 hour days, I don’t go overtime, but we work very hard, I work with my same crew, I gave 30% of my fee because they were going to ship me to Canada or Australia, and I said, “No, I want to shoot with my guys.” It’s a team that I’ve worked with for close to 16 years, and it’s just – I like to keep the movies in Los Angeles if I could, and especially keep them in the States, and the money – we just saved so much money, because I have really good people. I don’t know, we just make an efficient day. I think music videos give me a sense of – I’m able to shoot fast and when the sh*t hits the fan, which it always does on a movie, you’ve got to figure out your plan A and B, and I do this system called leapfrog. Like I said, the whole A.D. thing that gets out there, Michael Bay yells, Michael Bay’s being the assistant director, okay, three shots, we’re doing this, I want you to prep that, so we’re leapfrogging, we’re almost ready for the next shot. It’s almost hard, actors don’t even go back to their trailers, if you’ve probably already heard. “Tyrese, put your clothes back on.” He would always take his clothes off. And that’s a lot of stuff to put back on.

Q: I enjoyed the movie and think you have a big smash on your hands.

Bay: We don’t trust the movie gods, you know.

Q: How did you guys arrive at the tone of the film?

Bay: I think it was just my gut, I knew it’s Transformers, you can’t take it too seriously, but you wanted to give that sense of realism. That’s why the military involvement was very important, that we make it very real and credible. Like those guys in the AWAC those are all the real guys. I told them, this is what’s going down on the ground, what would you say? And literally within two minutes they were, “dah, dah, dah, dah, dah,” I just photographed what they said. So I think you mix the realism with Tyrese being in the worst situation, and he says, “Man, if you could see this sh*t,” that sounds real, but it comes in a funny way. I made little jabs here and there like, that’s way too smart for Iranians scientists, or, how much do you get bugged by these outsourcing calls, you know, the calls out there. It just bugs me. When I forget to pay my AT&T bill, I get a call, “Mr. Bay,” and they’re calling from Bombay, and I’m like, “I didn’t pay it.” (feigns hanging up the phone). Anyway.

Q: Tyrese made a joke that he was running and dodging cars and everything and then he had to say a joke. As a director, you somehow manage to get real emotion in an action film. What is more important for you and is there a balance you are seeking?

Bay: Yeah, you want it to feel real. What I try to do, especially when actors are doing action stuff – the crew jokes – Ian, don’t you call it “Bayos”?

Ian Bryce: Yeah. Bayos is one of them.

Bay: Try to have a little bit of chaos. It’s very organized, but you get them a little fritzed, y’know? Because it just gives them more adrenaline. It’s a little bit of the unknown and they will have a lot of loud bombs and stuff like that on the set if that’s what it calls for. And I like to see the real emotion when they are inside these action scenes.

Q: So what’s more important to you? Is it story or action?

Bay: No, it’s both. It’s a balance. It’s both.

Q: You are your own AD is that because of the scale of the project or because you can’t find the people who work at the pace you want to?

Bay: I just love it. I dunno, it’s just my thing. It keeps me interested. My thing is I will get to set usually 45 minutes after everyone is there, because I don’t like people – watching them eat burritos and their eggs? I want to go to work. It’s like, so, they always go on the radio, “Bay’s coming in hot. He’s coming in hot.” (Laughs.) It just keeps me really involved. That’s my thing, I dunno. That’s the creative things for me.

Q: What was going through your head last night at that first screening?

Bay: We’ll I’ve got to apologize, the print was way oversaturated. Way too much color. Way too much red, so I was having a freak-out on that. We are trying to figure out what the problem was. Bad projector or something. But, I thought it was fun. I said, I mean, when I said, “You guys are the first in the United States to see this,” it was true.

Q: Was it loud enough for you?

Bay: Yeah, I turned it down. (Laughs.) I said, “Turn it down. Turn it down.”

Q: Is it always stressful watching it on the screen in front of people for the first time?

Bay: Yes, it is so nerve wracking. Do you want me to describe the testing process? Real quick. I do little focus groups on my own. I’ll take like 30 kids into a screening room. I’ll do like 9-year-olds to 15-year-olds, and I did like 16 year-olds to 25 year-olds and I have someone who has nothing to do with the movie come in and say, “You can say whatever you want about this movie.” I show it in rough form and they were great, because they will fill out little pages about what is confusing them, what lines they thought sucked. They are very blunt about it. And there was something where they hated Megan. She said one line and the women just turned off. And I’m like, “We’ve got to deal with that.” And then I get to the big test in Phoenix where we did 450 people. It was all families and I’m like “Ah, the kids are cute because they are applauding at different things.” “Oh, they all laughed at the masturbation thing and they are 9-years-old.” (Laughs.) “dunno. Must be younger now.” Ok, so then I went to the adult screening next store, introduced that. And I’m doing this little sound button thing and this guy sitting next to me goes, “What’s that?” “Oh, it’s just the sound.” “What do you do?” “Oh, I’m the director.” So the movie starts they were like laughing and applauding at certain things. And I’m thinking, “This sucks. This movie sucks. It’s a kiddie movie, alright?” And I said to the guy sitting next to me, “Do you like this type of movie?”And he goes, “Eh.” I’m like, “Ugh. It’s a kid movie. It’s a kid movie.” So all these emotions go through your head. And then we did a focus group. I ran out and we did a focus group with the kids and the parents in the focus group. 26 out of 26 gave it an excellent. I’m like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” Our scores were gigantic. I’m like, “That’s O.K., because it’s a kids movie.” Then I went to the adult focus group and we got the same score. We got like a 95. And I was like, “That’s weird.” A lot of the older ladies, like 35, 40, they are like, “I didn’t want to come here. I didn’t want to see this. I was dragged here.” It’s true! This one lady goes, “This kinds of reinvents super heroes.” She said this great line. She goes, “We’re tired of the suits and the whatever. This is totally new and different.” Anyway, It’s still nerve-wracking, you know what I’m saying? That is a long boring answer.

Q: John Turturro said that he based a lot of his character on you. (Laughs.) Wondering what you guys discussed?

Bay: No, I was scared to work with John Turturro. I was like, “Oh, John.” He came out a little quirky. When he had that hat — that was the first day I worked with him – at the dam. I said, “I don’t know about this. I dunno.” I dunno, I grew to really like working with John. I don’t know if he based it on me, but I do think criminals are hot by the way. No, I’m kidding. I dunno if he based it on me. He said that, but you should see his Scorsese imitation. It’s one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Q: Michael, some of this movie plays like almost a recruiting vehicle for the military. Can you talk about all the military elements in the film that you said grounded the film more in reality?

Bay: Here’s the thing. You’ve got to have more than the external alien invasion. To make it credible, you have to have the military. I just don’t like when you see like an “Independence Day” and they don’t get military support and you’ve got like a few jeeps and you’ve got this and everything is kind of mismatched and it’s all digital planes and it’s like, it’s just not credible. So you need that reality so you can ground this little kids story. I had a good relationship with them on “Armageddon” and “Pearl.” And, so I somehow convinced them. This is the largest cooperation since “Black Hawk” and “Pearl” for them. And Linesfield Stroup, who is the liaison at the Pentagon, he’s like, “Well, y’know, if aliens do land, I mean the US military should be involved.” (Laughs.) And I’m like, “That’s appropriate.” So, but, I am always good at weaseling stuff that’s never been shot like the F22 and all that stuff. And I think they like me because I really respect the military. I respect the soldiers. The people, the men and women who really will sacrifice themselves. Those guys around Josh and Tyrese, they are all the real guys. They are all Special Ops SEALs and it’s fascinating. I’m just enamored by people who will really go to combat. It’s just a wild thing.

Q: A lot of equipment and ships and planes going.

Bay: If you look at the theme, “No sacrifice, no victory.” I think that’s how they see it. They just want to be treated credibly. They want it to be shown in a real light. If you are fighting Scorponok how would they do an air strike? So we literally show you how it happens?

Q: So are the guys in the movie retired?

Bay: No, those were guys who have either taken leave. Some of them were actually going to get called back to Iraq. And I mean, they all, this is the thing that happens to all of them. They get the Hollywood bug. We call one of them Hollywood. He trains U.S. SEALs down in Coronado and we’re like, “Dude, just go back to getting a SEAL.”

Q: Can you talk about GM and the introduction of the new Camero?

Bay: O.K., I mean, I had $145 million. I needed to find a car company that can give me a bunch of vehicles and save me three million bucks. And I opened it up to every car company. And I have a relationship with GM because I’ve done commercials with them and they have helped me out on my other movies by giving me flood damaged cars or cars that had to be destroyed. And they took me to Skunkworks, which is where they do the prototype cars, it’s a secret place somewhere. And I saw that car and I said, “That’s Bumblebee.” And, so, to help save $3 million and it was a great looking car.

Q: We heard there was a GM guy on set who wouldn’t let them touch the leather, but when he wasn’t around you raced the car through gravel at 145 miles per hour.

Bay: No. We did have the one prototype. The prototypes are really hard because they cost like $5 million to make. We made our own, we had the cab out there with a celine chasse, and we made it in like six weeks in Detroit really fast.

Q: How have you changed as a filmmaker over the past few years?

Bay: I’ve gotten older, crankier. No, I’m not cranky. No, I don’t. I don’t. I crack a lot of jokes. I tease people. A little bit.

Q: I mean, do you think this movie is different from your predecessors?

Bay: I mean, someone said to me in Australia, “Well, after ‘The Island’ did you want to go back to your more safe roots?” And I just thought this idea if it was done in a cool way could be a big idea and a fun movie idea. And a fun summer movie and I liked the challenge of taking something that hasn’t been done and trying to working with my team of artists for months, 8 months, 9 months and my digital effects companies, to try and create characters made out of thin air. And it was something really challenging for me. It’s like doing an animated movie. Working with animators is such a great process. And the end result, it’s like, you look at Bumblebee and it’s like there is a soul in this thing. That was a fun challenge for me.

Q: This scene in the back yard is so wonderful and so much of that is comic timing. How did you create that comic timing with the characters not ‘being’ there?

Bay: What I do is I do a series of animatics, which are crude cartoons. And a movie really comes to life, I mean working with the writers and creating the script, but it all starts with the concept drawings. That becomes the tone of the movie. I showed Steven a picture of Megatron in the hanger and he’s like, “Omigod, I love it. That’s the movie!” And I’m like, “I know.” And that’s how you get the tone. It’s like you build off of there. So, in the backyard we kept coming up with the beats and whatnot. I think the dog peeing was something we made up. That’s where we tied a little string to his leg and lifted it up to nothing is there and they added in the squirt. It’s just really good to work with someone like a Shia or a Megan where they can actually see a cartoon and they are looking at window washer poles, which is tough. And, you just keep doing it.

Q: Michael what directors do you like?

Bay: Oh, god. Everyone always asks me this question. It’s just, y’know, from Kubrick, I’ve always been a huge fan of the Coen Bros. “Raising Arizona” was such an instrumental movie in how I’ve done some of my commercials. Just that comic timing. A lot of people didn’t get that movie when it came out. From Steven to Cameron to Scorsese. When I was young, you’ve probably heard, I worked at Lucasfilm. And when I was 15 I was like a librarian and filed “Raiders of the Lost Ark” storyboards. It’s how I got interested in the business.

Q: When you were 10 or 8, who or what inspired you to believe in yourself to follow this idea that you could do something? Who was it and what did they tell you?

Bay: Who was it? I dunno. When I was young I wanted to be a vetinarian. And I remember raising money because they took me to a place where they gassed the dogs and the cats and I was like, “Omigod, I can’t believe this exists in the world.” I’ve had many different interests. I wanted to be a magician. So, I was inspired by that, but I realized there was no money in being a magician. So, I gave it up and I liquidated all my tricks to another competing group that was 12. (Laughs.)

Q: But you continued to dream. Who kept you going?

Bay: I think it was my parents, really. They kind of encouraged me to do art. I bought a camera when I was 13. I just loved taking pictures. So, it was really my parents. I mean my dad was an accountant and I remember, this is funny, when I was young I was a big baseball player, but I had this model train set and I would go into my world and make it very detailed Ho Gage train set. And I remember one summer I spent 8 months building the thing. Fully detailed and I’d go into my imaginary world. And my dad and mom came into the bedroom one day and they go, “Son, we think you need to get out more.” (Laughs.) So, that’s where I started imagining. I think the train sets are were I made my own little movies in my head.

Q: So you took it down the street for a walk and it worked.

Bay: We’ll see.

Q: If this film is a monster hit, are you willing to jump back into a sequel and what characters you’d like to bring to the franchise?

Bay: I mean I have some really cool things that I came up with for the first one that was just too expensive. Stuff that was really cool, but Steven was right, “No, we should pull back and not have as many robots so you can really focus more.” I mean I wish I really got to go into some of the faces more of some of the robots. But I really think it was Steven who said, “I think we should make it like 5 against 5 or 5 against 6.” Or something like that. So, it was good we scaled back a bit.

Q: But would you be willing to jump right back in to a sequel?

Bay: Maybe a little break. But, we have to come up with a good story first.

Q: You were talking about Tyrese earlier. You kept asking him to keep his clothes on…

Bay: He kept taking his underwear off in front of me. I don’t know what that was about. (Laughs.) No, I’m kidding.

Q: Can you talk about how he came to the film?

Bay: Tyrese – I think he came on my set of “Bad Boys” when we were in Florida. And he just said to me, “I want to be in one of your movies one day.” And Martin Lawrence was like, “Yeah, you wait till you get in one of his movies you’ll f*ckin’ hate him.” No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. And so, I dunno, I just thought about him when we were casting this and I thought it was a good idea to couple Josh with somebody. So, it kind of worked out. I guess I really didn’t answer that question.

Q: What was it about him that made you choose him?

Bay: Y’know, he’s got this great smile. He’s this sweet guy. There is something studly about him. I just thought he was accessible, y’know?

Q: The special effects guy said this was the first giant robot movie. Were you conscious about creating a new movie subgenre?

Bay: Well, let me tell you, these robots didn’t come out good at first. It was hard. It was not all peaches and cream at ILM. There were a lot of angry phone calls like, “We have to do better. We have to do better.” They thought they were settling on something and I was like, “Nope. This is unacceptable.” I just kept pushing them and pushing them and pushing them, but we came up with a really a good visual thing. I wanted them not to be clunky, lumbering robots. I looked at a lot of kung fu movies. I wanted them to have a different type of movement so I would just clip different things from different movies and I’d reference those to the animators on how they would move. What was your question again?

Q: Were you conscious of creating a new subgenre?

Bay: Yeah, because if they sucked, if they were horrible than the movie was doomed or is doomed. So, you’ve got a lot of pressure they’re trying to make it work. And you’ve got pressure from the fans saying “You wrecked our childhood” and all this about, complaining “We don’t like the look of them.” You just had to hold to your guns. You just had to, I just, y’know, the fans just wanted me to literally take these cartoons and blow them up. And it’s like literally the equivalent of “Ghostbusters” with the Marshmallow man. It just wouldn’t work. They needed to be much more complex the way they are. Y’know?

Q: You made a reference about being afraid big movies were going away?

Bay: I dunno. You know what it is? You do a movie and then you are unemployed, you know what I’m saying? So, it’s just like – I dunno. It’s just. I think Hollywood’s got some stumbling blocks here and there. You hear where the business is going and there are not a lot of big movies that are made.

Q: It’s a big summer for the movie industry.

Bay: I know. That’s good. A lot of people are going to the movies.

Q: But you don’t think that’s going to continue?

Bay: Yes, it will. (Laughs.) It’s just good to think it will never…

Transformers hits theaters on the evening of July 2nd.

Source: Superhero Hype!

Who Wants to be a Superhero? Premiere Date

by SuperHeroHype

SCI FI Channel has announced the official return date of “Who Wants to be a Superhero?”:

SCI FI Channel’s hit reality series Who Wants to be a Superhero? from Nash Entertainment and POW! Entertainment Inc., returns for its second season on Thursday, July 26 at 9:PM ET/PT. The new season features an all-new league of 10 superhero contestants, exciting new physical challenges, a few fiendish villains, and two more episodes than last year 8 in all!

Who Wants To Be A Superhero? is a competition reality series unlike any other. It’s a show with heart, humor, thrills, adventure, surprises and spandex! It challenges a lucky few to create their very own superhero alter ego, live together in a secret lair under the watchful eye of Stan Lee and compete for the best reality competition prize yet: immortality! Once again this season, the winning superhero is immortalized in a new comic book from Dark Horse Comics created by Stan Lee himself. This year’s winner will also see his/her character turned into an action figure by Shocker Toys.

“I never thought anything could be more of a blast than writing stories about superheroes, says Stan Lee. “I was wrong! Appearing on Who Wants To Be A Superhero? has been one of the most exciting, fun-filled experiences ever! Imagine, instead of looking at panels of costumed cavorters on a page, I’m looking at them and talking to them and reacting with them in real life! And the tremendous feedback from fans via letters, emails and blogs is half the fun! Sorry I can’t tell you any more right now because I’m too busy writing my acceptance speech for the Emmy Awards, although so far I haven’t gotten any further than– “Excelsior!”

This year’s competing superheroes chosen from auditions around the country are:

Basura (aka Aja De Coudreaux / Oakland, CA) enlists the help of all bugs everywhere and uses her mystical powers to turn trash into treasures.

Braid (aka Crystal Clark / Bloomington, IL) makes herself any age, race, or gender and can turn her hair into crime-busting tentacles.

The Defuser (aka Jarrett Crippen / Austin, TX) is an expert paramilitary superhero who uses non-violent weaponry to stop villains. He has the unique ability to function at 110 percent.

Hygena (aka Melody Mooney / Sherman Oaks, CA) fights crime and grime making weapons from all types of cleaning utensils.

Hyper-Strike (aka John Stork / Plainfield, VT and Chicago) is a martial arts expert with super strength and agility and he can project his Chi (life force) through his hands.

Mindset (aka Phillip Allen / Ft. Lauderdale, FL) is a telekinetic time traveler on a mission to end all war. Originally named Omnicron, Mindset is the viewers’ choice on the show winning his place by Internet voters earlier this year.

Mr. Mitzvah (aka “Sir Ivan” Wilzig / Miami, FL and New York City) is real life Bruce Wayne who lives in a castle, this multi-millionaire’s mission, under the guise of Mr. Mitzvah, is to save the lives of children.

Ms. Limelight (aka Trisha Paytas / Byron, IL and Los Angeles) is a captivating blonde caped-crusader absorbs the powers of action stars on TV and in movies.

Parthenon (aka Dan Williams / Orlando, Fl) is an archaeologist who gets his mystical powers from an ancient gauntlet he discovered in Greece

Whip-Snap (aka Paula Thomas / Dallas, TX and Los Angeles) Raised in Texas, this superhero has a mastery of the whip and if her bare skin touches a villain that villain is turned into sand.

These 10 fearless defenders of truth and justice will match wits against the new nemesis Dr. Dark, a masked evildoer who torments Stan and the superheroes throughout the season. No one knows his real identity, that is, until the exciting season finale.

Also new this season is Executive Producer and show runner Andy Scheer. He previously produced Hell’s Kitchen (Co-Executive Producer/FOX) SCI FI’s Mad Mad House (Consulting Producer), Paradise Hotel (Supervising Producer/FOX) several installments of VH1’a Behind the Music series (Ozzy Osbourne, Jerry Lee Lewis, Alice Cooper) to name a few. He has directed many popular series and specials including American Idol (FOX), Popstars (WB), My Life is a Sitcom (ABC Family), Teen Choice Awards (ABC), Reel Comedy (Comedy Central) and Music Mania (ABC Family).

Who Wants to be a Superhero? was developed by Stan Lee, Bruce Nash and Scott Satin. Lee and Nash are also the show’s executive producers. It is produced with the SCI FI Channel by Nash Entertainment, and Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Inc. Additional Executive Producers are Andrew Jebb and Gill Champion.

Source: SCI FI Channel

Marc Forster to Direct Bond 22

by SuperHeroHype

Marc Forster will direct the 22nd James Bond adventure, it was announced today by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, producers of the James Bond films, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Forster is the acclaimed director of the highly anticipated motion picture The Kite Runner, adapted from Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel. He also recently directed the comic hit Stranger Than Fiction for Sony Pictures. Previously, Forster directed the award-winning and critically acclaimed films Finding Neverland, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards® including Best Picture, and Monster’s Ball, for which Halle Berry won a Best Actress Oscar®.

Forster will commence work shortly with screenwriter Paul Haggis on a draft of the screenplay by Neil Purvis and Robert Wade.

Daniel Craig will reprise the role of James Bond in the as-yet-untitled Bond 22 production, which follows Casino Royale, the highest-grossing film so far in the most successful franchise in motion picture history.

With nearly $600 million in worldwide box-office receipts, Casino Royale was also regarded by critics as one of the best Bond films yet. Bond 22 will begin filming at Pinewood Studios, London, in December 2007. Columbia Pictures will release the film worldwide on November 7, 2008.

Wilson and Broccoli said, “We are delighted that Marc Forster, with his exceptional talent and unique vision, has agreed to direct our next James Bond film.”

Forster said, “I have always been drawn to different kinds of stories and I have also always been a Bond fan, so it is very exciting to take on this challenge. The new direction that the Bond character has taken offers a director a host of new possibilities and I look forward to working with Daniel Craig, Barbara Broccoli, and Michael Wilson, as well as the team at Sony and MGM on this new film.”

Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, added, “We had a great experience working with Marc on ‘Stranger than Fiction’ and we are excited to be working with him again. He’s an actor’s director; he approaches material with intelligence and taste. What makes him the perfect choice for ‘Bond 22’ is that he will bring to this film all the elements Bond audiences expect — action, humor, suspense, and thrills.”

“The Bond franchise is one of MGM’s most treasured legacies,” added Harry Sloan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MGM. “We share Michael and Barbara’s confidence in Marc Forster’s directing talents and support him in his efforts to continue the evolution of the Bond story for today’s filmgoers.”

Source: Columbia Pictures

Hi-Res Batpod Pics From The Dark Knight!

by SuperHeroHype

Warner Bros. Pictures has provided us with hi-res versions of the two new Batpod (AKA Batcycle) photos from The Dark Knight, opening in theaters on July 18, 2008. Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall and Nestor Carbonell star in the Christopher Nolan-directed film.

With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart), Batman (Bale) sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker (Ledger).

Click the images for the hi-res versions!

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Mattel on Board for Speed Racer & The Dark Knight

by SuperHeroHype

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) announced today that it has named Mattel, Inc. as the global master toy licensee for both Speed Racer and The Dark Knight, two of the biggest summer films coming out in 2008 from Warner Bros. Pictures. Mattel will apply its expertise across virtually all product lines including vehicles, action figures, action play, remote control vehicles, handheld electronics as well as games and puzzles.

“In Mattel, we have the best partner with the strongest track record of bringing great products and great stories together for a winning combination in the toy aisle. With these deals, we know that two of our most important tentpole films for 2008, ‘Speed Racer’ and ‘The Dark Knight,’ will be brought to life through products created by the most creative toy designers in the world,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

“We have a strong, long-standing relationship with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and are thrilled to partner with them for two of the most anticipated films of 2008,” said Neil Friedman, President, Mattel Brands. “The distinctive visuals and stimulating races of ‘Speed Racer,’ coupled with one of the most popular super hero film franchises of all time in ‘The Dark Knight,’ provides us with a unique opportunity to create fun and innovative toys and games that bring the excitement and action of both films to life in a way that kids will love and remember.”

The green flag drops on May 9th when Speed Racer makes his big screen debut in the newest project from writer/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski, the creators of the groundbreaking “The Matrix” trilogy, and producer Joel Silver. A live-action, high-octane family adventure based on the classic series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida, the big-screen Speed Racer will follow the adventures of the young race car driver Speed (Emile Hirsch) in his quest for glory in his thundering Mach 5. It will feature other characters that fans of the show will remember, including Mom (Susan Sarandon) and Pops Racer (John Goodman), girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci) and his mysterious arch-rival, Racer X (Matthew Fox).

“The Wachowski brothers said to me one day that they were always disturbed that their nieces and nephews could never see their movies. This was the first time all their friends, family and the kids in their lives could see one of their films. They wrote a pure family movie. It’s fun. It’s got great characters, great dialogue, and great stories,” said Silver.

Mattel will tap into the action, characters and storyline to bring the film to life across a broad number of their product lines. With Speed’s Mach 5 leading the way, the leading die-cast vehicle brand, Hot Wheels, will feature a wide assortment of die-cast vehicles, race sets and track sets based on the film. Tyco, the leading remote control vehicle brand, will put kids behind the wheel of the Mach 5 with R/C vehicles and racing sets. Radica, Mattel’s newly acquired games and electronics division, will put the action in the hands of kids through products that let them take the wheel, literally. Additionally, a line of Mattel games and puzzles will capture the film’s action through board games, puzzles and a special-edition UNO card game.

Speed Racer products are expected to begin arriving at retailers around the world beginning in late March 2008.

On July 18, 2008, The Dark Knight, the second Batman film from director Christopher Nolan, arrives in theaters. Batman (Christian Bale) raises the stakes in his war on crime in Nolan’s The Dark Knight. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker (Heath Ledger).

The Dark Knight producer, Charles Roven added: “Batman is an incredible franchise, and we are really excited about taking it to the next level with ‘The Dark Knight.’ Along with the Batmobile we are introducing a new vehicle, the Batpod, a new Batsuit and some classic characters in The Joker and Harvey Dent. We are confident that fans around the world will enjoy the increased action and the continuation of a great story and we hope they appreciate the integrity and respect we’ve shown for this iconic character.”

For their film-inspired product lines, Mattel will utilize the multiple elements introduced in The Dark Knight. A new Batsuit, a new vehicle in the form of the Batpod and multiple key action scenes that set the stage for inspired play. Mattel’s action figure line will feature Batman and the new Batsuit. Tyco R/C vehicles bring to life the speed and action of the Batmobile and the new Batpod. An entire line of action play items will allow boys to role-play being The Dark Knight. Additionally, Mattel will release a line of games and puzzles that will capture the film action through board games, puzzles and a special-edition UNO card game.

Products based on The Dark Knight are expected to begin arriving at retailers around the world beginning in early June 2008.

Source: Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Who Wants to be a Superhero? Winners Get a Figure

by SuperHeroHype

Shocker Toys is adding the winner of SCI FI’s first season of “Who Wants To Be a Superhero?” to its popular Indie Spotlight Series One, it was announced today. In addition to Feedback, the current winner, the special set will also feature Major Victory and Fat Momma. The winner of season two, which premieres July 26 at 9PM ET/PT on SCI FI, will also be awarded their very own comic figure. “Who Wants to Be A Superhero?,” is hosted and judged by the legendary comic book creator, Stan Lee.

Shocker Toys company head Geoff Beckett remarked, “As a fan of ‘Who Wants to be a Superhero?’ on SCI FI, I’m excited to be working closely with the creators of the show to create this action figure line in a way that celebrates the true spirit of superheroes.”

In “Who Wants To Be A Superhero?,” comic book legend Stan Lee searches for America’s next great superhero. The show challenges a lucky few to create their very own superhero alter ego, live together in a secret lair under Stan’s watchful eye and compete in challenges that test their mettle and all the virtues of a true superhero.

Source: SCI FI Channel

Zack Snyder Talks Watchmen

by SuperHeroHype

Wizard magazine has posted a great interview with 300 director Zack Snyder talking about the success of that film and his next project, the Watchmen adaptation. Here are a few clips of shots he thinks would look cool in the trailer:

On the other hand, if you ever want to make another movie, then you’re in trouble if you don’t look at it from the standpoint of, “What are the images I need here?” Dr. Manhattan walking through Vietnam 200 feet tall, the Comedian riding with the 50-caliber rifle and shooting at the Viet Cong and burning out the village… Those images are going to be like, “What the f—?” Or you have Rorschach being taken down by the SWAT cops—that’s a cool sequence.

Check out the full interview here!

Source: Wizard

Hi-Res Photo of the New Batman Suit!

by SuperHeroHype

Warner Bros. Pictures has provided us with a hi-res version of the new Batman suit from The Dark Knight, opening in theaters on July 18, 2008. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the anticipated sequel stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall and Nestor Carbonell.

Click the image below for the full photo!

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Dark Knight’s Batcycle Revealed!

by SuperHeroHype

The LA Times has revealed the Batcycle (titled “Batpod” in the film) you’ll see in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. You can check out one photo here and an article and second photo here! The Batpod was featured on The Today Show this morning and you can watch the video here.

The Batpod (as well as Speed Racer‘s Mach 5) will be revealed at Licensing Show 2007 in New York on Tuesday as well.

In related news, two more photos of Batman on the Chicago set can be found here.

The Dark Knight, opening July 18, 2008, stars Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall and Nestor Carbonell.

Source: LA Times, Paul

Marvel Announces New Iron Man & Hulk Licensees

by SuperHeroHype

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is enhancing its presence in the apparel category through new or expanded agreements with industry leaders. The company has entered into an extensive licensing agreement with Fruit of the Loom for the children’s underwear category.

Additionally, Marvel has finalized agreements with Crocs, Inc. and has expanded its agreement with master apparel licensee Kids Headquarters. The deals reflect Marvel’s brand-building licensing strategy to team its globally renowned character franchise with “best in class” partners.

“We are excited to commence brand new partnerships with Fruit of the Loom and Crocs and expand our relationship with Kids Headquarters to help significantly broaden Marvel’s impact in the apparel category,” said Paul Gitter, President of Consumer Products for North America, Marvel Entertainment. “Working with industry leaders Fruit of the Loom and Kids Headquarters and opening up new product categories with Crocs helps us achieve significant retail space and maximize the distribution of our licensed products in the mass market.”

Pursuant to the new multi-year licensing agreement, Fruit of the Loom will develop and manufacture children’s underwear lines based on several premier Marvel character franchises. Fruit of the Loom will initially create product lines based on the upcoming Marvel Studios feature films Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. It has also obtained the rights to develop products inspired by a diverse range of Marvel heroes and villains including: Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Daredevil, Thor, Fantastic Four Black Panther, Blade, Doctor Octopus, Dr. Strange, Elektra, Green Goblin, Nick Fury, Punisher, Silver Surfer, Venom and Sandman.

Through a new agreement, Crocs will develop a line of their wildly popular Crocs(TM) footwear based on a range of Marvel’s popular Super Heroes, including Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk and Captain America.

Through its recently extended multi-year license agreement, master apparel partner Kids Headquarters will expand its offerings of Marvel-branded apparel to include merchandise based on next summer’s Incredible Hulk film.

Source: Marvel Entertainment, Inc.

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