Sci-Fi Movies Saturday: Superman, The Wolverine, Spider-Man, Dredd, Green Lantern, Cowboys & Aliens, Harry Potter 7 + more

In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column we start off with casting news from both the Superman and Spider-man films. Plus the next Wolverine movie has a name, and there are lots of new trailers and previews including The Green Lantern, Battle: Los Angeles and more Check it all out below.



Superman casting begins; Production set to begin in June

Warner Brothers, producer Christopher Nolan and director Zack Snyder have officially begun the process of casting for the "Superman" remake. Deadline reports that they have cast a "wide net" for Clark Kent/Superman and the studio is open to someone who isn’t well known. We also know that the age range will be between 28-32. Some rumored names for the Man of Steel include Armie Hammer, Joe Manganiello and Ian Somerhalder:

The Superman search will likely take time to play out, as did the hunt for the new Spider-Man which went to Andrew Garfield. There will be inevitable buzz on actors like Armie Hammer, the strapping 6’5" actor who played Cameron. And Tyler Winklevoss in The Social Network and who was eyed by the studio to play Batman in a Justice League movie that Mad Max helmer George Miller was poised to direct until the film got scrapped. But Hammer is only 24. The studio could go the TV route with True Blood’s Joe Manganiello, who claimed during a recent movie junket that he’s being considered and is certainly a strapping 34-year old. Or an actor like Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries, who is turning 32 and listed at 5’9+".

Production is expected to begin next June and the film will be released in 2012.

Denis Leary cast as George Stone in Spider-Man reboot

Denis Leary is in negotiations to play George Stacy, the father of Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy in Marc Webb’s 3D "Spider-Man" reboot. In the comics, Stacy is a police captain who comes in frequent contact with Spider-Man. Here’s an excerpt from the Wiki entry on the character:

He is Gwen Stacy’s father and he strongly approves of his daughter’s relationship with Peter Parker (Spider-Man). He is also a strong supporter of Spider-Man, often defending him when others accuse him.

During a fight between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, he is crushed by falling debris while saving a child, in the classic The Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #90 (Nov. 1970). As he dies, he reveals to Peter that he had known his identity for some time (something Peter had suspected anyway), and asks Peter to take care of Gwen.

It’s unknown whether Webb and writer James Vanderbilt will remain faithful to the comics depicition of the character.

Darren Aronofsky’s Wolverine sequel will be called "The Wolverine"

Darren Aronofsky has revealed that the follow-up to 2009’s "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" will be called "The Wolverine". Aronofsky also told HitFix that the film will be a "one-off", with the site noting that the director "emphasized that the film isn’t a sequel in any conventional sense." In other news, cinematographer Matthew Libatique has confirmed that he’ll be re-uniting with Aronofksy for "The Wolverine".

New Trailers: Green Lantern and Battle: Los Angeles

It was a big week for trailer reveals. First up, we have the debut of the previously teased teaser trailer for Martin Campbell’s "Green Lantern". The film stars Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, Blake Lively as Carol Feris, Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond and Mark Strong as Sinestro.

Green Lantern [via Trailer Addict]

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Next up is the teaser trailer for Jonathan Liebesman’s "Battle: Los Angeles". The film stars Aaron Eckhart, Michell Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan.

Battle: Los Angeles [via Trailer Addict–watch the international teaser trailer here]

For years, there have been documented cases of UFO sightings around the world – Buenos Aires, Seoul, France, Germany, China. But in 2011, what were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. As people everywhere watch the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It’s up to a Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before.

Battle: Los Angeles is scheduled to hit theaters on March 11, 2011. "Green Lantern" hits theaters in 3D on June 17, 2011.

Promotional artwork/posters for "Green Lantern" [IGN, (2)]

Deathly Hallows: Part 1 breaking franchise records

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1", the first half of the final part of the "Harry Potter" saga, opened nationwide this week and took in $24M in estimated box office from a record 3,700 theaters in the U.S. and Canada in midnight-Thursday screenings. That’s a new high for the franchise — topping the $22.2M for HP6. And on Friday night the film brought in another $61M, another franchise high and the fifth highest single-day of all time.  According to early numbers, the film looks headed for an opening weekend of $140M.

Previously on First look at Karl Urban as Judge Dredd

Karl Urban, Star Trek’s new Dr. McCoy, is currently shooting "Dredd", where he plays the title character in the "Judge Dredd" comic adaptation. Today the first image of Karl as Dredd has emerged, click to enlarge:

"Dredd" is expected to release in 3D in 2012. Click here to read the rest of the story

Previously on First Look at teaser trailer for Cowboys & Aliens – Written by Orci, Kurtzman & Lindelof

Another trailer release was for the sci-fi western "Cowboys & Aliens". Before Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof started working on the script for the Star Trek sequel, the movie that was taking up much of their time for the last year was "Cowboys & Aliens". Watch the teaser trailer and a few more images below.

Here’s the film’s synopsis (click here to read the rest of the story which includes more images, a look at the teaser poster and more):

Blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau directs Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in an event film for summer 2011 that crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in a blazingly original way: Cowboys & Aliens. Joined by an arsenal of top moviemakers—Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci—he brings an all-new action thriller that will take audiences into the Old West, where a lone cowboy leads an uprising against a terror from beyond our world.

1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear.

But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.

Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveler Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents—townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors—all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

"Cowboys & Aliens" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 29, 2011

PREVIEW Videos & Images

Black Swan

Poster [IMP Awards]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

International trailer [YouTube]

Watch four new clips here

Green Hornet

Trailer [Yahoo! Movies]

Gulliver’s Travels

Promotional stills [more at IGN]

I Am Number Four

Featurette [YouTube]

Mars Needs Moms

Promotional still [AceShowBiz]

Men in Black 3

Set images [more at Daily Mail & Splash News Online]


Poster [Empire]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Teaser poster [IMP Awards]

Red Riding Hood

Teaser poster [Trailer Addict]

Teaser trailer [Trailer Addict]

Scream 4

Promotional stills [more at Shock Till You Drop]

Season of the Witch

Trailer [Trailer Addict]

Source Code

Teaser trailer [YouTube]

TRON: Legacy

International trailer [YouTube via Cinema Blend]

Watch another trailer here

Interview with cast and crew [Underwire | Wired]

Wonka: Legacy (Tron/Willa Wonka trailer mash-up) [YouTube via BuzzFeed]


  • Lionsgate has signed Mike White to direct the big screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". David O. Russell was originally attached to direct, but pulled out earlier this month. [Variety]
  • Composer Howard Shore has revealed that he’s returning to score both parts of "The Hobbit": "I’ll be working on it for the next three years — it’s going to consume a lot of my time and work now." [The Province via]
  • Director Pierre Morel is eying "EDF" (Earth Defense Force) as one of his next projects. The director has been in talks to direct both "EDF" and "Ouija", the adaptation of the Hasbro board game, but Universal execs passed on his presentation for "Ouija". [Heat Vision | THR]
  • Joss Whedon’s "The Avengers" was expected to shoot mainly in Manhattan, but word has it Marvel is moving production to LA to save on cost. [Bleeding Cool]
  • "Avatar" producer Jon Landau reveals that water will play a large part for the sequel, but it won’t be all of the movie, as was previously rumored: "There’s been a lot of rumours that it’s an underwater movie – it’s not. Just like the Floating Mountains, and the Na’vi’s interaction with the mountains, were a part of Avatar, it’ll be the same type of thing." [Empire]
  • …Landau also said that "Avatar 2" will pick up where the first left off, but won’t end with a cliffhanger: "…just like Avatar resolved itself and doesn’t feel like a set-up to another movie, you don’t want Avatar 2 to feel like a set up for 3." [Empire]
  • …After 11 months, "Avatar" has officially exited theaters. The final domestic gross was $760.5M ($10.7M from the re-release). The worldwide figure is $2.8B. [Gitesh Pandya / Box Office Guru | Twitter]
  • "Inception" cinematographer / long-time Christopher Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister says "The Dark Knight Rises" will shoot with IMAX cameras, but they won’t shoot the entire film for IMAX. Pfister cites cost and inability to capture sound as two of the main issues. [The Wrap]
  • Check out a script review for the upcoming Hughes-bros.-directed "Akira" movie over at Screen Rant.
  • Swedish directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein have been hired by Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment to direct "Underworld 4". Kate Beckinsale is slated to reprise her role as Selene. [Heat Vision | THR]
  • Brett Ratner says they are still in the scripting process on the adaptation of the comic book series "Youngblood". [Splash Page | MTV]
  • Commercial director Fredrik Bond is attached to direct "Year 12", a sci-fi action movie that takes place 12 years after aliens have invaded Earth. [Deal Central | The Wrap]
  • Phillip Noyce is in negotiations to direct "Timeless". The time-travel themed project centers on a "recently wed man [who] loses his wife and discovers after the fact she has left him a fortune. Haunted by an unresolved issue between himself and his wife, the man invests the money to build a time travel device, just to see her one last time." [Deadline]
  • Alan Ritchson, who plays Aquaman in The CW series "Smallville", says he has heard rumblings of a big screen adaptation of "Aquaman": "I think [a movie] is very much a reality. In fact, I think there’s one in the works. Some people in LA are starting to get the ball rolling on that. I don’t know what my involvement would ever be in that…But it’s just so expensive to do. It’s hard to say if it’s really going to happen." [Comic Book Resources]
  • Robert Zemeckis did take a meeting with Disney to direct a remake of "The Wizard Of Oz" — to be directed by using the original 1939 script — but sources say Zemeckis won’t be directing the project: "The reports that Robert Zemeckis is doing The Wizard of Oz are absolutely false." [PopWatch | EW & Deadline]
  • Universal Pictures has scrubbed the release of "The Thing". The prequel was scheduled to hit theaters on April 29, 2011. The project no longer has a release date but it will hit theaters eventually. Producer Marc Abraham says the filmmakers plan to use the extra time to do some re-shoots to enhance existing sequeences and clear up some of the story. [HitFix]


  • Joss Whedon says he envisioned Angelina Jolie as Dianna in now defunt "Wonder Woman" movie. [Inside Movies | EW]
  • George Clooney is reportedly eying the lead role in director Steven Soderbergh’s big screen version of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.". [The Playlist]
  • Robert Downey Jr. has officially exited the Alfonso Cuaron-directed space survival thriller "Gravity". The character, who was only expected to appear in the first act of the movie, will likely be recast. In related news, Sandra Bullock is still in negotiations to star in the project. [Heat Vision | THR]
  • Collin Farrell has been offered the lead role in Sony’s remake of "Total Recall" and is currently in negotiations. Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender were also considered for the part. Len Wiseman is directing the remake. [Variety]
  • Casting has begun on the big screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Tom Hardy, one of the rumored names for the lead role, will not, contrary to prior rumors, be cast in the project… [What’s Playing]
  • …There is other news on Hardy, however. There’s a report that Hardy will be playing the villain Hugo Strange in Christopher Nolan’s "The Dark Knight Rises". [Batman-News] Sci-Fi TV and Movies will be off next week. Have a Happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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zippity doo-dah!
I cant wait for some of these films. most especially the Green Lantern!

Man almost all of those movies look awful.

Hmmm… Source Code looks interesting.

Love the Green Lantern trailer!

Memo to Nick Cage — dude, aren’t you getting tired of playing the same character over and over in every fantasy movie?

Nick Cage had significant financial troubles to overcome, thus the recent surge in his movie making in “cookie cutter” roles. Still one of my favorite actors to watch!

Source Code looks good, Battle Los Angeles looks good, Green Lantern looks good. I always look forward to Superman, Green Hornet looks terrible and I am sick and tired of Batman of course I never was the biggest Batman fan to begin with.

I’ll be definitely watching Cowboys and Aliens, Battle Los Angeles and Source Code. It will be interesting to see how Arofonsky approaches Wolverine.

I am so stoked about battle los angeles! I can’t wait for it! Green lantern looks to be interesting as well as tron ans batman

From the looks of it, “Battle: Los Angeles” could shape up to be the next “District 9” in terms of how emotional/exciting it looks. Even if the movie doesn’t fulfill any expectations, that was a well-done and scary trailer.

Nic Cage outnerds us all. :) His love for comicbooks and wacky acting skills gets my full admiration.

If Red Riding Hood does well, expect more romance fantasies to take the place of Twlight. At least they’re targeting us girls now, in this genre. I just hope start putting some healthy messages in it.

I’m glad to see Ryan Reynolds getting a lead role like this. His charisma was overdue for one.

Bob? Are you writing lense flare into your scripts? Are YOU actually to blame for the Corneal edema and aqueous flare inducing lighting trends in movies you’ve scripted?! My GOD man, and here I’ve been cursing JJ for this when it was you all along. “STAR TREK” wasn’t enough, but now COWBOYS AND ALIENS to boot?! Enough already. I’m already billing Paramount for my vision care after “STAR TREK” as it is.

Movie news is becoming more and more like sitting down to a poo banquet. Seriously.

Oh dear God…. someone actually thinks they can make a better “Wizard of Oz” than was made in 1939? Stop. Please, just stop.

For god sake, stick with Brandon Routh!!!!

@14. Agreed. Reminds me of that abysmal Willie Wonka movie that Burton and Depp did…why remake perfection???

So they have apparently ruled out Brandon Routh returning as Superman. A real shame!!!

And I’d really like to know who the hell Armie Hammer is! The name sounds like it belongs to a cartoon character for crying out loud!

And the new “Spider Man” flick sounds dumber and dumber every time we get news about it!

Also, unlike in 2009, there seems to be a lack of true sci-fi movies.

Looking forward to “The Dark Knight Rises”. Tom Hardy is a good actor and Hugo Strange would make a really interesting villain if true.


“The Wiz”, which starred Michael and Janet Jackson was an update on the original as well. It was totally awful. They should not do another remake of the classic 1939 film. Some things should not be remade.

Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” was great, but it was a different kind of film to begin with. It was more of an update as opposed to a remake of the original.

The only film I’m looking forward to is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 out of all of those films. I am going to see it today with my dad and brother and sister.

Is it a bad sign that I’m the family nerd, but it’s my mom and dad that get hyped for the Harry Potter movies? (Of course, they mostly like going to them to play Spot the British Actor… :))

Quick correction: Tyler Winklevoss is not one of the actors considered for Superman; that’s the character Armie Hammer played in the Social Network movie. :)

yeh wizard of oz is about as great as any movie possible-they could never equal the cast or music–return to oz also already done–make up a new oz story instead–harry potter deathly hallows even more grim than last one but very well done–more realistic settings-coulda used a bit more humor but of course its understandable why not-dobys remarks in the movie were hilarious n then moments later touching—re-superman movie–i was hoping tom welling as he has kinda grown into the role for me but oh well—–nick cage was only ok as ghost rider to me–his work uneven since those national treasure movies -however his role in kick ass was great-wish his part was bigger in it–he was quirky n cool–

Superman Returns may have been a turd of a movie, but Brandon Routh was great as the Man of Steel. He deserves another shot!

Seriously, just stick to Brandon Routh. He’s doing good job in Superman Returns.

Cowboys & Aliens looks cool. So does Battle: LA so i think i’ll definitely be watching them :)

I agree–Give Brandon Routh the roll!

As Superman that is! lol

Source Code looks AWESOME

I actually rate Return to Oz as far better than the original, but mostly because they reincorporated many of the elements that the 1939 original discarded. Also because Fairuza Balk actually looked like a little girl!

Besides, we’ll never have too many productions of Shakespeare, will we? Or retellings of The Odyssey? I say if something has reached classic status in the popular consciousness – as Oz has – then it can be reinterpreted for a new audience.

18… “To each his own. My vocabulary is not great enough to adequately tell you how much I thought Mr. Jackson’s “King Kong” stunk. I’ll begin with “terrible, terrible movie”. Even the 1976 trainwreck remake was better.

Green Lantern really looks terrible. Green Hornet, on the other hand, looks to be pretty funny.

29. They’re not reinterpreting it (a’la “Tin Man” or “The Wiz”), they’re re-using the 1939 script. There is no way this can be good. None whatsoever. Where in the world are they going to find anyone who can fill the shoes of Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, or Ray Bolger? I can already see them hiring Miley Cyrus as Dorothy…

Green Lantern looks to be the next Batman & Robin or Superman Returns. At first I hated the idea of Ryan Reynolds in the role, then I heard Martin Campbell was directing so I was open to it (as Campbell was the director of Casino Royale), but this just looks awful and a bit campy.


The problem with that thinking is that you’d never have any new performances of Shakespeare because ‘How could ACTOR A be as good as ACTOR B was in the 1842 stage production?!’. Hell, we wouldn’t have had Forbidden Planet, because someone would have said, ‘Oh The Tempest? It’s been done.’ A friend might have tapped Jimi Hendrix on the shoulder and said, ‘Just so you know, Bob Dylan already did All Along The Watchower’.

No one thought Michael Crawford or Sarah Brightman could be replaced in productions of Phantom, but obviously they could and were. We’ve been recycling stories for thousands of years (even Shakespeare did it), so I don’t see why the modern era should be any different.

Admittedly, yes, this can lead to monstrosities like Matthew Broderick Godzilla or the Lost in Space movie (though whether it was actually any worse than the TV show is a subject open for debate). But it can also give us films like The Magnificent Seven, Ben Hur, The Bourne Identity, etc. So I say wait and see, and judge the finished project.

It seems, judging by the number of people clamoring for his return as Superman, that the folks making the new “Superman” movie would do well to bring back Brandon Routh.

And I wonder who’ll be the new Lois Lane? Kate (Where is she now) Bosworth was plain awful. Maybe they’ll give the part to Erica Durance…….

Yes, Brandon Routh again, please!


Well, Bob, with your clout, (even though you aren’t involved with the new “Superman” production) I’m certain you can use your divine influence to get those guys to bring back Brandon Routh. Either that, or just use the Vulcan neck pinch on Zach Snyder if he doesn’t do what you tell him! :-)

@29 “I actually rate Return to Oz as far better than the original”

Sean, you are being sarcastic, right?

Why try to recast the part when the perfect actor for it was already found?

I also thought Superman Returns was a good movie. I thought Singer took his material too seriously when he got rid of “the American way,” and a crystal continent growing instantly out of the ocean was a bit much, but I felt the movie had plenty of good moments that outweighed the ones I had trouble with.

But you know, everybody’s gotta put their own damn “kilroy was here” on a project, and for the new Superman that probably means no Brandon Routh no matter how perfect a choice he is.

“Movie news is becoming more and more like sitting down to a poo banquet.”

Man, nearly laughed myself inside out at that. I just hope no-one asks me to pass the gravy…

There are way too many derivative, re-makey, re-bootey stuff about though. Far too little original, creative, mould-breaking joy…

35… Apples and oranges. Stage productions are there only for those in the audience and then lost forever, but “The Wizard of Oz” is now immortal. The story has been told perfectly, by the perfect cast. There is absolutely no need for a remake. Yes, it was already remade once (from a 1920s silent to the 1939 classic) and there have been variations ever since (“The Wiz”, “Wicked”, “Tin Man”) but no one has tried to remake the 1939 version, and no one ever should. Perfection is perfection. Leave it alone.

@40 Agreed, Superman Returns was a decent movie. It wasn’t dark enough I guess for all the comic book fans that want the sicker stuff on the screen these days. I am not looking forward to the new Superman — no doubt it will be darker and grittier — I can see where that makes sense for Batman, but I don’t think it is a good historical fit to take Superman dark.

Brandon Routh for president! Uh….I mean
Man of Steel…sorry.

I know what the title is – Superman Bombs.

Watching the trailer for “Battle: Los Angeles” brings up a couple issues. First, that UFO video three years from Haiti is bogus. It was too good to be true. But looking at the alien ships in the “Battle:LA”, the alien ships bear a striking resemblance to Haiti alien ships. (Video link below.) Even more proof it was all a hoax created by some good special effects guys.

Second, is Hollywood sending us a message? “Skyline.” “Battle: Los Angeles.” J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” (Teaser below) I’m assuming that the thing trying to break out of the Air Force car is not Spielberg’s friendly E.T. looking for a phone. So, what’s Hollywood’s message? The aliens are coming and they ain’t a bunch of botanists. So, were the Mayans right about the end of the world in 2012? Okay before I’m enslaved by Kang and Kodos of Rigel VII, could they release the new Star Trek movie before the end of 2011? : )

Super 8 trailer

Haiti UFO, 14 million people have viewed this. Good publicity for the special effects guys.


Nope, not kidding. Return to Oz better incorporates the darker elements of Baum’s early Oz stories. Wizard has good songs and great performances, make no mistake, but I’ve always thought Return to Oz was a more interesting, less sanitized continuation of the story. The characters – like the Tin Man, Scarecrow, etc. – are also far closer to the original illustrations.

I’m not suggesting anyone else think this, it’s just my personal opinion.


Well, you basically make my point for me. Wizard was a remake to begin with, and if they’d thought it wasn’t worth reattempting then you wouldn’t have the film you’re so fond of. And again, beyond the stage, films like Magnificent Seven, Bourne Identity and even Hitchcock’s own The Man Who Knew Too Much would not have been made had they followed the reasoning that it had all been done before.

It’s all a matter of perspective, of course, but I’d point out that the best reason for remaking the 1939 version (though I’d much rather see a Return to Oz approach, sans the musical elements, or even a film version of Wicked) is to introduce the story to a generation that might find the 39 edition too dated to relate to.

Besides, even if it’s a total disaster, it will have no effect on the original. Much like Star Trek 2009 didn’t erase TOS from history. So I say let them make it and see what they come up with.

All that aside, last thing I’d heard was they were working on a prequel called Oz The Great and Powerful that was to revolve around The Wizard (Robert Downey, Jr). I’m not sure if this is a related project or something totally new. The book is public domain at this point, so anyone could make the movie, really.

Hasn’t Wizard of Oz been remade dozens and dozens of times? Why doesn’t Zemeckis do an original movie? Beowulf was just plain bad.