COMIC REEL: Joe Russo on Cap's New "Winter Soldier" Look; Jordan Talks "Fantastic Four" Rumors

Wed, February 12th, 2014 at 8:59am PST

TV/Film
Steve Sunu, Staff Writer/Reviews Editor

THE FLASH

The original actor to play Barry Allen on television, John Wesley Shipp, has been cast in a "mysterious" role in the upcoming "The Flash" CW pilot. Though no further details were divulged about Shipp's role, should "The Flash" head to series, he's expected to have a recurring role.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

SFX.com has posted an interview with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" director Joe Russo about the redesign of Captain America's uniform.

"It was about a real world grounding approach to the character, in the spirit of Ed Brubaker’s book, which is postmodern and deconstructionist and a grounded thriller," Russo told SFX. "We wanted to put Cap in a space where he’s a special forces operative for S.H.I.E.L.D. who goes on missions around the world that are clandestine and sometimes require a certain level of anonymity or stealth. We wanted to use his Super Soldier outfit from the comic books as a way to represent, thematically, his place in the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the difference between working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and being Captain America. That’s something that gets explored on a very concrete level in terms of what outfits are used in the film. We didn’t feel like we were messing with the icon. People can say that they’re fans of the books if they’re only loyal to the ‘60s and ‘70s version of the character – well, then you’re a fan of that version of the character, but if you’ve been reading the books till the current runs then this is a journey that the character goes on and it’s a pretty explicit journey. We just felt like we were being faithful to the more recent issues of the books. The movie has a very thematic component in terms of the use of costumes. When you come to see the film I think you’ll understand why we made the choice we made…"

Opens April 4

FANTASTIC FOUR

While most news outlets are reporting Michael B. Jordan as a lock for Johnny Storm in the new "Fantastic Four" film, it's still not officially confirmed -- though Jordan did stop short of saying he was attached to the role in a recent interview with Access Hollywood.

"I can’t even — you know how it is in the industry! I can’t talk [about it] — it’s still up in the air," Jordan told Access Hollywood. "I just can’t. It’s one of things where, certain people start talking too soon and then what if it doesn’t happen for whatever reason? Then I’m the guy who was out there talking about something that coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn’t."

In broader terms, Jordan also discussed the significance of casting an African-American actor.

"It’s not just about that role — I think times are changing. It’s 2014,” he said. “Comic books in general were established when we didn’t have civil rights, for the most part. So there weren’t a lot of comic book characters who were geared towards us, period. We weren’t the market that comic books were made for in the beginning. But as times change and things move on, I think us as a people need to evolve as well in our thinking and not be so narrow-minded. So, if not me, if not this project, [if it’s] someone else in another character, I wouldn’t be mad at that at all."

Opens June 19, 2015

GOTHAM

New casting news for Fox's "Gotham" pilot: Robin Lord Taylor has signed on as The Penguin, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Essen, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth and Erin Richards as Barbara Kean. The new cast members will join series lead Ben McKenzie as Detective James Gordon. The official character descriptions are as follows:

Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin: "With the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal, Oswald Cobblepot is a low-level psychopath (for gangster Fish Mooney) who hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor."

Captain Essen: "Gordon’s boss at the GCPD Homicide Squad, Captain Essen balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop."

Alfred Pennyworth: "A tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London, Alfred Pennyworth has loyally served the Waynes. Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he’s fiercely protective of the young Bruce Wayne."

Barbara Kean: "A sophisticated emergency room doctor, Barbara is the fiancée of James Gordon, joyful but with an edge of vulnerability. She stands by her future husband…which can be difficult in a world as corrupt as Gotham."

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

The Daily Bugle tumblr has posted some more mythology and lead-up to "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" detailing the dirty laundry of the Smythe family -- specifically, how Alistair Smythe got his position at Oscorp.

Within a week of the announcement that the NYPD and the District Attorney’s Office had opened an investigation into illegal activities and questionable medical practices at Manhattan’s Oscorp Industries, sources indicate several of their top scientists have been asked to leave.

Reports cite the recent forced resignation of Dr. Spencer Smythe, the Director of Robotics, amongst others. He was seen leaving Oscorp Tower yesterday with a box of his personal belongings.

When asked to comment on the current employment situation of Dr. Smythe, Oscorp spokesman Donald Menken had no comment. Later in the day, Oscorp sent out a press release congratulating Alistair Smythe on his promotion to the Director of Robotics formerly held by his father. How Mrs. Smythe expects this will impact holiday dinners remains unknown.

Opens May 2

STAR WARS REBELS

USA Today has posted a video of Freddie Prinze Jr. detailing his role on "Star Wars Rebels": Kanan, the "cowboy Jedi."

AKIRA

Live-action "Akira" adaptation director Jaume Collet-Serra wants to turn the adaptation into a francise, according to a recent interview with ComingSoon.net.

“I think you cannot make a movie about Akira and hope that everyone understands it,” Collet-Serra told ComingSoon. “Like everything else, you have to make three or four movies in one where there’s the essence somewhere. If you’re a fan, you already know what it’s about and you’ll see it’s part of the same world, but trying to oversimplify it would be a mistake. I think if at some point a character tries to explain it to the audience at the end of the second act, that’s a problem. It’s more like an existential opera. It’s something that can only be explained in the manga, and even in the anime it’s hard to follow.”

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TAGS:  the flash, captain america the winter soldier, fantastic four, gotham, amazing spider-man 2, star wars rebels, akira

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