Wonder Woman TV show "not moving forward" - networks deny Kelley

via EW.com 
Jan 7 2011 10:30 PM ET

   

 Wonder Woman wasn’t able to lasso a new home.

Sources tell EW that all the major broadcasters have passed on the much-buzzed about project. Late Friday, NBC was the final network that declined to bring back the superhero.

Warner Bros. TV was actively shopping a script from David E. Kelley that updated the period tale about an Amazon princess who battled Nazis and other bad guys during World War II. One source close to the project said the Wonder Woman team won’t give up on the project, even though it’s “not moving forward at this time.”

One factor may have been the projected cost of rebooting the series, with the studio requiring a rich license fee to bring the iconic character back to life (in other words, nobody wanted it to be another Bionic Woman). The cost means that it’s unlikely a cable network could step up and foot the bill.

The character was last seen on the small screen in the 1970s series that starred Lynda Carter. Kelley’s take incorporated the superhero’s signature lasso, cuffs, and plane in the script, and insiders said it was a serious, non-campy take on the DC Comics character. For years, various writers and producers (including Joss Whedon) have tried to bring back Wonder Woman, but the character has proved difficult to resurrect.

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Marvel v. Capcom 3: Thought Behind the Marvel Alt. Color Schemes

 'Marvel vs. Capcom 3': The Thought Behind the Marvel Alternate Color Schemes

December 21, 2010 | 4:18 PM | By Marvel_Interactive | In General

As far as career highlights go, working on Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for Marvel definitely ranks way up there for me. (And as far as obvious statements I’ve made go, my last sentence ranks pretty highly itself.) From the start, I’ve had the honor of personally working closely with Capcom to ensure everything Marvel in the game feels appropriately, well, “Marvel”—from character designs to environments to the phrases that come out of the characters’ mouths. Basically, I’ve acted as a fan on the inside, making sure that the stuff in the game is as cool as it’s always been in Marvel fighting games from Capcom—actually, to do my best to help it become even better!

That’s a tall order, too—they may be on the other side of the world, but the folks developing the game really know their Marvel characters! But one of the things I’m proud to say I’ve actively helped to influence was the creation of alternate color schemes for all of the characters. As a holiday gift to you—or maybe just to show all this cool stuff off on the internet—I’d like to show you the kinds of things I’ve worked with the team to bring to the game in this regard.  

First, some back story of what I’m talking about here, in case you’re new to this whole Capcom fighting-game thing. Basically, a game like this allows you to pit the exact same characters against themselves, providing the need for differentiation of their visual presentation. With a few exceptions (such as Gray Hulk), this has always meant some sort of random color variation without a ton of thought behind why, leading to characters like the “mango Sentinel” that makes you think of the New York Knicks (hardcore MvC2 fans know exactly why that reference is so Pringles…). So…I took it upon myself to help in putting a ton of thought into the color variations this time.

If you know comics, you know most characters have one or two iconic outfits we associate with them...plus, in many cases, many others we don’t. What follows is a small sample of the color variations you can expect when you play MvC3, plus an explanation of the thought that went behind each, usually based on less iconic ensembles. There were two key rules we had to deal with as we selected each alternate color scheme:

1. Gameplay comes first, so the color scheme has to differ enough from the others to easily differentiate in the heat of battle. Because of this, we can’t do alternates like “Bucky Cap” for Captain America—they’re just not different enough.

2. The color scheme has to fit on the character model. For this reason, I hesitate to call these “alternate costumes” (although in some cases, they actually are). With so many characters, changing the models to get completely authentic alternates in there would delay the game quite a bit—and we think you want to play in February. You’ll see some examples of this below. 

So, with that in mind, here are five characters, along with their three alternate color schemes, along with the story behind each. And yes—they all have a story.

IRON MAN

Here, we have Tony Stark’s primary suit of choice, based on the popular Extremis look he’s sported with regularity over the past few years. (Yeah, yeah… I know he’s not wearing it now—he’s just worn it a lot’s all I’m sayin’…)

The team would love to have gotten the “Tin Can” first-ever look for Iron Man from TALES OF SUSPENSE #39 in there… but adapting the color scheme to this character model will have to do.

The stealth suit is just plain badass. It hasn’t appeared much in the comics, but we don’t care. It serves the color differentiation purposes well, plus it’s actually a fairly close fit to the source material.

And, my personal favorite—the Silver Centurion color scheme. Actually, I think this combination of Silver Centurion colors with Extremis svelte makes for my favorite Iron Man costume ever.

WOLVERINE

That’s right, bub—this is the primary look Wolvie’s been sporting since ASTONISHING X-MEN #1 in 2004. You might not notice at first, but it’s actually quite different from his similarly colored MvC2 outing, especially in the lower legs and, uh, ear things.

I’m proud to say I’m friends with Craig Kyle, the co-creator of X-23, as well as the new take on X-Force that started in 2008 (and producer on next year’s THOR movie—guy gets around!). The new X-FORCE comic—which was recently relaunched as UNCANNY X-FORCE—introduced this great gray/black color scheme for Marvel’s most popular mutant.

Another classic! The brown suit is predictable, sure, but it’s gotta go in there. Of course, the ASTONISHING X-MEN model adds some variation to it we’ve never seen before, but I kind of like that, actually.

When it came to the fourth suit, the pickings suddenly got slim—so I resorted to expanding the idea a bit here by dipping into one of my all-time favorite (if all-time convoluted) X-Men stories, “Age of Apocalypse.” You might recall Wolvie was missing a hand in that one and didn’t have a mask. Well, this is what he looked like right before he lost the hand! Right? Two hands and a mask. The justification works for me, and I’m sticking to it. Frankly, I’m just glad I got some AoA love in there.

SHE-HULK

The classic look of Jennifer Walters.

Now, this might stir up a bit of She-Hulk controversy, but rather than go with the “She-Hulk in the Fantastic Four” costume you might predict, Capcom convinced us that the “Lyra in the Frightful Four” look was better for gameplay—Lyra having a red outfit and red hair and all. Plus, in a weird way you get an extra character (who just so happens to move and talk like Jennifer Walters). Wait, you don’t know Lyra? Read some SHE-HULKSthen, written by the guy I could throw Pac-Man figures at from my desk if I wanted to, Harrison Wilcox.

And the “She-Hulk that isn’t Jennifer Walters” theme continues with this ensemble, which you may have seen in Damon Lindelof’s—yeah, the LOST guy—ULTIMATE WOLVERINE VS. HULK. In the Ultimate Universe, She-Hulk is actually Betty Ross, not Jennifer Walters.

Oh, and speaking of Betty Ross…we’ve also got a take on Red She-Hulk.

SPIDER-MAN

You might have played a game or two wearing this suit before.

Maybe even this one.

And less likely, but still possibly, this one.

Definitely not this one, though. (Dan Slott, where you at?...)

MAGNETO

Behold, the Master of Magnet! …Uh, -ism. The Master of Magnetism! (Sorry about that, X-chickens—X-Men Arcade new on Xbox Live and PSN and all…)

In the Ultimate Universe, they spell “Erik Lehnsherr” as “Erik Lensherr,” and he prefers darker hues mixed with a deeper shade of red.

Mixing it up a bit is Magneto from the Mutant X Universe. No big yellow X on his belt, but hey…if you ask me, it’s an improvement.

Finally, you might know this version of a Magneto as a version of Magneto I can’t say on a family blog like this—let’s just call him “MAG-F#$%IN’-NETO”! That’s right. The MvC2 variant from that delightfully profane, wildly popular viral video. Gotta respect the old school (pardon me—OLD SCHOOL!), my friends…

So, there you have it—the first in what I hope is a series of blog entries like these that reveal all the alternate color schemes of all the Marvel characters, plus the thinking behind each and every one. Of course, your comments will inspire me to get off my butt and actually do it, so please, let me know what you think. The more thoughtful your comments, the more inspired I’ll be to reveal more. So, on that note…

Excelsioryuken!

C-Bake

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Best comic book marriage proposals?

I proposed to my girlfriend around Thanksgiving (she said, "Yes!") and we just caught up with Smallville on the DVR which was an episode where Clark proposes to Lois (incidentally, we agreed mine was better conceived and executed, heh :P )... so I was trying to think of memorable comic book proposals and am largely drawing a blank.  It seems like the wedding issue is always more of a big deal because it's filled with guest stars and tends to be the point of no- er, fewer- returns... compared to engagements which get broken far more often. 
 
Anyways, what comic book proposals stand out to you? 
 
For the purposes of this inquiry I'm excluding undying declarations of perpetual love apart from marriage or planned proposals not actually executed (so no Jesse and Tulip)...

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Superman: Earth One – Christian Allegory for a New Audience

Superman: Earth One – Christian Allegory for a New Audience

Introduction

Superman: Earth One (“Earth One”) is an interesting initiative and good read.  It doesn’t particularly speak to me and this isn’t my Superman, but I can definitely see the appeal.  What readers may not realize is that the solemn, modern, distressed “21st century” presentation of Superman in Earth One may be tapping into their subconscious appreciation for “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

 Superman’s journey in Earth One mirrors the chronicles of Jesus of Nazareth… most notably Gethsemane.  The religious overtones should not be surprising because J. Michael Straczynski, while an atheist, has routinely used religion and spirituality to accent his work:

"You have to understand that the writer's job is to be as honest as he humanly can in his characterizations and his storytelling. And, as I look at the long parade of human history, religion has not gone away in the past 4,000 years of recorded history, nor does it show any sign of going away any time soon. . . and I must treat that with respect--the same way I'd deal with scientific concepts."

The Audience

Viewing Earth One as allegorical certainly explains many of its choices and motivations, but to get it out of the way, let me distinguish “my” young Superman from the audience Straczynski reaches.  My Superman is essentially characterized by the ethics and values of a farmer.  A farmer must make wise and prudent life and death decisions in the here and now for things that affect the distant future based on a mixture of hope, faith, experience, tradition, and the wisdom of one’s elders.

This drives maturity, decisiveness, planning, deference, humility, and action.  You learn how important your individual action is to the harvest, but learn humility in the face of nature, time, and the unexpected.  You must do your part to prepare and plant, but have faith and hope that your efforts aren’t undone by storm, drought, or the market.  You rely on action over words because the harvest can’t be tricked, outsmarted, beguiled, or debated.  You learn patience, believe in growth, and understand error, failure, and trying again.

Put simply, I believe that a young but decisive, mature, proactive person of character who hopes to do good can arise naturally from a farm.  Earth One, on the other hand, seems to resonate with an audience skeptical of that.  The lessons of the farm are either absent or glossed over in Earth One.  Instead, it addresses the sheltered suburban audience for whom a coming of age: comes much later, happens all of a sudden, and is viewed with a certain amount of fear, reluctance, and uncertainty.  Earth One’s Clark shares less in common with the hopeful farmer and much more in common with the somber middle class young adult blessed with infinite opportunity and potential but cursed with little direction or decisiveness.

 In an age when college education is often taken for granted and happiness is valued over ambition, this sort of ennui definitely has an audience and Earth One uses Superman as a surprising spokesman.  Clark’s dilemma speaks to those who do not exactly know their destiny, but expect that it is great, and while they fear or resent it, they secretly long to be tested believing they will excel… whether or not they’ve put in the work to develop their character or skills accordingly.  It is ironic that this more cynical audience- skeptical of anyone who knows and embraces their calling- is drawn to a story that takes its cues from a person of great character and destiny.

The Allegory

For those unfamiliar, the milestones in the life of Jesus go like this: the virgin birth, the unwritten childhood, the anointing, the temptation, the calling of the disciples, the ministry, Gethsemane, the arrest, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.  Earth One manages to hit most of these milestones in chronological order, although the story telling order- relying on flashback at times- is not exactly the same.

Our story begins just as Clark is about to start his “ministry” in Metropolis.  The years of development of his personality, character, relationships, education, etc. are generally unmentioned, just as it was with Jesus.  Clark begins, essentially, with the Temptation as he samples various professions that are not his father’s express will.  However, he never makes a commitment to these other jobs, mirroring how Jesus was shown various temptations but ultimately resisted them.

The Anointing, or baptism, of Christ occurred in water by John the Baptist, when the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him, and his Father proclaimed aloud, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased” which many take to be an unconditional affirmation as Jesus had not yet begun his ministry (that is, God was not praising any specific conduct).  Earth One deconstructs this scene into two places to match the duality of Clark.

The Earth Anointing: Jonathan Kent, through Martha Kent’s phone conversation and the first appearance of the bundled costume, plays the role of John the Baptist in giving us the first glimpse of Superman’s destiny.  Additionally, Martha’s words mirror the unconditional affirmation- she loves Clark, she is happy, and doesn’t care if he decides to be a banjo player.  The Kryptonian Anointing: Baptism by [apartment] Fire (instead of water), White Spotless Pigeons (instead of a dove), and the Kryptonian ship fragment “anoints” his forehead with information (instead of oil).  The Anointing is the first sign of the deity of Jesus as an adult and here, it is our first glimpse of the Superman costume “on” Clark [after he plummets to the ground] as an adult.

The Calling of the disciples is where others permanently enter and expand the story of Jesus.  Likewise, our next scene in Earth One is at The Daily Planet where Clark’s supporting cast is fleshed out and joining the mythos.  Next is a flashback to the Kryptonian ship crash landing which serves as our Virgin Birth.  The black helicopters hunting for expected extraterrestrial life could parallel Herod’s hunt for a prophesized child.  If we torture the analogy further, young Clark is then forced to undergo his own little passion- turning the other cheek- as he’s pummeled by a bully and scorned.  The next scene is more clearly analogous.

Gethsemane, for Jesus, was the moment of decision, distress, and where he prayed long and hard to his Father.  For Clark, he hashes out his feelings and decisions before his father’s grave, ostensibly praying.  Jesus shows reluctance but ultimately deference in praying, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  Clark, instead, expresses his comprehension of his father’s will but ultimately rejects it claiming he will be able to satisfy Jonathan’s intent another way, essentially, “Pa, it’s impossible to be Superman, so I’m not doing it; I respect your will but my happiness comes first.”  Ironically, despite all of Clark’s discussion of choice, for Clark or Jesus to be who they were destined to be, there ultimately was no choice.

This is the core of Earth One’s Superman characterization and a big part of whether Earth One speaks to you or not.  For some, there will be discomfort in seeing their traditionally powerful, righteous, wise, and selfless superhero as distressed, weakened, reluctant, or conflicted… but for those familiar with the story of Christ at Gethsemane it is at least plausible, even if Clark’s choice was the opposite at that particular moment in time.

Speaking of timing, the Arrest comes immediately after Gethsemane, sublimating their internal conflicts into external forces, where Jesus is swarmed and arrested by Romans on behalf of the Sanhedrin’s plot against him.  For Clark, we take a quick detour from the religious parallels, which is probably why the Second Army Advanced Technology Department scenes feel grafted in.  They serve to update Kryptonian technology and act as a MacGuffin to keep Clark in the dark about his heritage until the appointed time.  However, once we get through this and the Kryptonian Anointing discussed above, we get the Invasion where Clark’s adopted home planet is swarmed and endangered by Dheronians on behalf of a shadowy other’s plot against Krypton.

The conviction of Jesus’ decision is then tested as he allows himself to be tried, tortured, and crucified, despite the cost, pain, and death, for the souls of humanity... only Jesus can save [their souls].  Likewise, Clark’s decision to not be Superman is tested, and he resists and hesitates- trying to find other ways to stem his fate only to have it affirmed that man cannot- or will not- save itself even provided the tools [or parts of “those killing machines”]… only Superman can save [the planet].  And while Christ holds fast even when his disciples deny him, Clark’s supporting cast inspires him to reverse his decision.

Crucified, Jesus goes to Hell, wrestles with his Father’s ancient enemy (Satan a fallen angel exiled from Heaven after a war with God), and returns victorious.  Costumed, Superman goes into battle, wrestles his Father’s ancient enemy (Tyrell of Dheron, a being with metallic angel wings and with a tech-halo around his head when he first appears, exiled from his solar system after a war with Krypton), and returns victorious.  Jesus, despite giving up life, is resurrected and in turns offers eternal life.  Clark, despite sacrificing normalcy, is given identity and purpose- allowed to be himself to his fullest extent for all to see- and in turn offers hope for the extraordinary.

Like any allegory, the metaphor must break down in places, and Earth One is not just an allegory- it certainly has other creative, commercial, etc. goals which affect the work- but the broad strokes of the evangelion are present and may account for some of its appeal.  
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[io9.com] "Is Marvel nickel-and-diming The Avengers to death?"

 Send an email to Charlie Jane Anders, the author of this post, at charliejane@io9.com
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Could Joss Whedon'sAvengers movie already be in trouble? That's what some inside sources are claiming. Marvel is reportedly trying to squeeze costs on the film, leading to delays — and some key behind-the-scenes people have already walked away.

The rumor comes from Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston, who has a pretty decent track record in these sorts of areas. Plus, as Johnston points out, Marvel has a record of being tight-fisted — they got Robert Downey Jr. for an ultra-low salary in Iron Man, they dumped the expensive Terrence Howard for Iron Man 2and reportedly offered Mickey Rourke just $250,000 to be in the film. And rumor has it they won't hire Jon Favreau to direct another movie because he's too expensive, and they almost didn't hire him for Iron Man 2. So it does have the ring of truth.

How cheap is Marvel being? According to Johnston, they want The Avengers to cost about as much as the first Spider-Man film, at least in real terms. That's $139 million in 2002 dollars, or around $160 million in today's dollars. So, not cheap, but on the low end for a summer blockbuster — especially given that Downey Jr. is probably charging a higher rate these days, and there are several other stars in the film. Adds Johnston:

Some people say it can't be done. Others say it can be done – even if then, in certain well heeled Los Angeles bars, they assure each other that it can't. And while some people have walked off the project, others are planning a longer game. Basically do the work, then when they run out of budget (which they believe they will) trust that Marvel Studios and their investors will pony up the extra necessary cash rather than leave the movie unfinished.

And he adds that this upheaval has delayed pre-production by "weeks — possibly months," and it could have a negative impact on the film's filming schedule and special effects.

So let's hope that Johnston's sources are wrong — or that Marvel loosens the purse strings. Joss Whedon is the master of getting a lot done for very little money, but even he can't work miracles. [Bleeding Cool]

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Psychology of a Super Soldier - Casting an Icon

During a break in shooting, Evans — on his second tour of Marvel duty, having played the Human Torch in Fox’s Fantastic Four films — explained he was reluctant to accept the call of Captain America, in part because he had already portrayed a Marvel-ous mystery man. Of course, he also worried about the potential cost of failure, but he also worried the potential cost of fame should the movie be a hit.

“At the time, I remember telling a buddy of mine, ‘If the movie bombs, I’m f—-ed. If the movie hits, I’m f—-ed!’” After declining the part three times, Evans took a meeting with Marvel execs and Johnston and was dazzled by their plans for the movie. He still felt wary about suiting up for Captain America — but then he had an epiphany. “I was just scared,” he says. “I realized my whole decision making process was fear based, and you never want to make a decision out of fear.’” Evans signed a six-picture deal with Marvel to play the character, and he has no regrets: “I can’t believe was almost too chicken to play Captain America.” 

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Actors are still scared by taking on the roles of superhero legends... is that a bad thing?  I suppose it depends on what exactly they're afraid of.  What do you think the fears related to being cast in a superhero film and are they justified?  Are the films perpetuating those fears through their decision making process or is it merely left over sentiments from another era of these films?  Do we want the hero roles to be ones that any and every actor wants to do?
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Cap Shield

Energy Shields

Photon Shield 
Steve Rogers has had two different shields based on energy projection.  When stripped of his title and exiled, Sharon Carter took, without SHIELD authorization, technology which could be built into Steve's gloves and radiate a circular yellow Plasma Shield.  A second energy based shield device was provided by Sharon when Rogers lost his classic shield during a rescue.  This Photon Shield had additional abilities: 1. Firing blasts of energy; 2. Mimicry of other melee weapons; 3. Adjustable appearance to more closely resemble his traditional shield than the Plasma Shield did.  Steve gave his first Photon Shield to Primax, his second was destroyed by Ultron, but subsequent to his return and with Bucky in the mantel of Captain American and as the wielder of the traditional shield, Steve is once again using a Photon Shield, but has not demonstrated any additional utility beyond forming the energy shield as of yet. 
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