– David E. Kelley has wasted little time casting his lead for his “WONDER WOMAN” TV pilot for NBC – and it is Adrianne Palicki from “FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS” and the recently canceled “LONE STAR” (not to be confused with the character of the same name from Mel Brooks’ “SPACEBALLS”). She has also appeared in the films “BREAKING THE GIRL” and the upcoming remake of “RED DAWN” (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/02/16/adrianne-palicki-cast-as-wonder-woman-for-nbc-and-david-e-kelley/). At 5′ 11”, she is almost two inches taller than Lynda Carter, the Wonder Woman of CBS’ campy 1970’s TV show, and will turn 28 in May. Kelley and Bill D’Elia, of “BOSTON LEGAL” and “THE PRACTICE” fame, will produce the series and the pilot will be directed by Jeffrey Reiner (“THE EVENT”). The plot of the pilot remains the same as it was from leaks and reports from the internet weeks ago – that Princess Diana is an immigrant from Paradise Island who has broken up with ex-soldier, current lawyer Steve Carter and maintains three identities; Diana Prince, mousy “average girl”, Diana Themyscira, CEO of her own company that licenses Wonder Woman products, and Wonder Woman, a crime fighter who works with the L.A.P.D. and has her own team of CSI techs in her basement (and may likely wear a costume with a leather jacket similar to the one the character raised a storm by donning in the comics last year). For a taste of what the script and dialogue of the pilot may be like, Tanit Phoenix’s audition has popped up on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re9-r0cNWD4, or just do a search. With “SMALLVILLE” signing off on its 10th season this year, Warner Brothers hopes to duplicate its success, but has been unable to. “BIRDS OF PREY” was D.O.A. after less than a season, a “young Aquaman” pilot never made it to the screen, and “HUMAN TARGET” on Fox may barely survive past a second season. Either nostalgia for the 70’s series or fear of committing to a feature film have led WB to this route.
– Tom Brady, who has been cast as Bane in Chris Nolan’s “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES”, appeared on a TV show and announced that he plans to bulk up for May’s shoot, adding up to 30 lbs of muscle to hit at least 200 lbs. The two had some laughs about the character’s “gimp mask”, and it is assumed Nolan’s film will offer some sort of redesign for the character (http://batman-news.com/2011/02/21/tom-hardy-talks-bane-and-the-dark-knight-rises-on-alan-carr-chatty-man/). Bane’s last big screen appearance in 1997’s “BATMAN & ROBIN” was shown, and remains an example of how not to handle him.
– For the second year in a row, DC Comics has topped Diamond Comic Distribution’s own Gem Awards, which they award for sales impact and overall quality (http://www.comicsbeat.com/2011/02/21/dc-tops-2010-diamond-gem-awards/). DC took the honors for publisher of the year as well as being praised for their BATMAN, GREEN LANTERN, and BLACKEST NIGHT sales for 2010, along with their backlist catalogue and DC Direct action figures. The irony, of course, is while Diamond (the middle man of comic sales in North America) has lauded this sort of award on DC for 2009 and 2010, Marvel still retained overall superiority in dollar, unit, and market shares for those years (even if the last quarter of 2010 looked bumpy for Marvel in that regard). In additional DC news, the company has added another high powered executive to their new DC Entertainment family. Courtney Simmons, who has worked for Disney, Lego, and Sony, is their new Senior Vice President of Publicity – the NY based publicity team will report directly to her (http://www.comicsbeat.com/2011/02/15/courtney-simmons-named-svp-publicity-for-dc-entertainment/). Given that Diane Nelson runs the show at DC Entertainment, the company that publishes Wonder Woman is seeing that glass ceiling crack considerably in the last 16 months or so.
– Deadline reports that Kevin Costner is being considered in a role in Zack Synder’s new “SUPERMAN” film for December 2012 (http://www.deadline.com/2011/02/kevin-costner-up-up-and-away-for-superman-role/). It is unknown what role he will play, but most sources figure it may be a “good guy” role such as Jonathan “Pa” Kent, DAILY PLANET publisher Perry White, or General Sam Lane (Lois Lane’s father). It would be curious if WB sees him as being able to fill the role of Jor-El, whom Marlon Brando has played even in death. It certainly would add some “star power” to the production, although Costner has been at the center of several large budget sci-fi bombs, most notably “WATERWORLD”. Elsewhere, the next issue of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/02/17/superman-henry-cavill-interview-ew-cover/) offers the first official picture of Henry Cavill since being cast as Superman and includes an interview about the casting process – every actor had to wear a version of the 1970’s Christopher Reeve costume as they recited their lines to prove themselves to Synder. Despite being a bit out of shape at the time, Cavill managed to impress Synder over anyone else (he has since bulked up for his role in “THE IMMORTALS”). One would hope that DC would quickly find a way to get their Superman comics in order; the big name creator who was supposed to elevate the series (J. Michael Straczynski) has left the monthly title and sales are middling.
– Bleeding Cool has revealed more high quality scans of Kilowog from this summer’s “GREEN LANTERN” film, as “brought to life by Sony Imageworks” (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/02/16/getting-a-great-look-at-green-lantern-movie-kilowog/).
– Geoff Johns answers three questions about FLASHPOINT, DC’s crossover event for 2011, but naturally avoids answering any direct questions (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/02/18/flashpoint-friday-three-answers-from-geoff-johns/). It seems obvious that with Green Lantern elevated to DC’s forefront after years of invested energy into the franchise, Johns wants to do the same for the Flash right now – the franchise that helped launch Johns into stardom, much as Brian Bendis at Marvel owes it all to DAREDEVIL. Given how soft comic sales have been for the start of 2011, DC surely hopes fans and retailers respond as well as they have for the Lantern and Batman.
Last Week’s DC Comics News – http://glowbass.com/comic-books-in-new-york/dc-comics-news-for-2-14-11-static-shock-returns-batman-3-casting-more
This Week’s Indie Comics News – http://glowbass.com/comic-books-in-new-york/indie-news-for-2-21-11-st-marks-comics-fire-forbidden-planet-moves-more
Last Week’s Marvel News – http://glowbass.com/comic-books-in-new-york/marvel-comics-news-for-2-14-11-spidey-joins-the-4-gets-a-movie-title-more