Hero Express – ‘Beware the Batman’, ‘Man of Steel’ Set Pics, and Luke Cage on TV!

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the news filled world of superhero’s in Film, TV, Video Games and whatever else floats your boat.

This is the Hero Express for November 15th, 2011:

Beware the Batman Hits CN in 2013 – (Splashpage)

Another new Batman cartoon was bound to happen, but this one looks to be quite different from the previous shows. Most of us are used to the dark and gloomy loner from Batman: The Animated Series, or even the bouncy and humorous Bats from Batman: The Brave & The Bold. So what can we expect from the CG Beware the Batman?

Spinoff Online has details, and has learned that “Beware the Batman” is going to be executive produced by “Batman Beyond” and “Teen Titans” producer Glen Murakami. The show will feature Batman along with a gun-toting Alfred Pennyworth and the sword-wielding samurai Katana.

The goal is to show off more of the Batman mythology in this new series, and the first way Cartoon Network is going to do that is to toss the Dark Knight up against some of his comic book series’ more obscure villains. That means that fans of Grant Morrison’s Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange might be seeing those baddies on the small screen in a couple of years.

“We went in deeper into the villain library and pulled out some other villains,” Register said. “We didn’t want to do another Joker story — there’s too many of them. We just needed to do something new, so we’re starting off with new villains.”

Also being included in the DC Nation programming block is “Young Justice,” “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” and shorts featuring Plastic Man, Doom Patrol, Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Girl.

Animated Professor Pyg? Awesome.

Gambit Not In The Wolverine – (Splashpage)

I think we can all breathe a collective sigh at the news that Taylor Kitsch has no plans to resume his role as the kinetically charged  ladies man Gambit in The Wolverine. Not that he did a terrible job, but the taint of the terrible movie will forever haunt his time as Gambit in my eyes.

When MTV News caught up with Kitsch while he was promoting his latest action flick, “John Carter,” he didn’t seem too optimistic about Gambit, his “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” character, making a cameo in Hugh Jackman‘s big screen follow-up, “The Wolverine.” That being said, he didn’t seem too broken up about it either.

“That’s up to Hugh, if he wanted it. We’ll see. I don’t think I’m in it, I haven’t heard anything,” Kitsch said. “I got my plate full, man. I’m pretty happy where I’m at.”

That pretty much holds true to what Kitsch said earlier this year about the possibility of a “Gambit” spin-off movie. He said he hadn’t heard any news about the project in a while, and hasn’t seen anything tangible to prove that work is even underway on it.

“I know if we do it, it’ll probably be down the road and we’ll do it hopefully a lot darker,” he said. “I’d love to play him again, but it’s a matter of doing it right, too. There’s no point in just doing it for the sake of doing it.”

Amen.

AKA Jessica Jones To Feature Luke Cage – (Splashpage)

Back before I made the move over to Grizzly Bomb I reported on a new series Marvel was producing for TV. This series was based off of Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias, and starred Jessica Jones, an unknown member of the Marvel universe who quickly rose to fame. AKA Jessica Jones, as the TV series has been called, recently announced that Luke Cage will be a character on the show, increasing the chances for Isaiah Mustafa to get the role.

Some time has passed since we last heard news about “AKA Jessica Jones,” the Marvel TV series based on Brian Michael Bendis’ “Alias” comic books. In fact, last we heard, “Twilight” author Melissa Rosenberg had been hired to adapt the project… a hire that’s apparently still in effect!

“It’s still sitting at ABC and we’re hoping to get on the schedule for next fall,” she revealed of the TV show’s current status in an interview with I Am Rogue. “I love this character. That is an incredibly damaged, dark, complex female character that kicks ass. That’s my favorite thing about it.”

What’s more, Rosenberg confirmed that Luke Cage — better known as the superhero Power Man, who just so happens to be Jones’ lover in the comic books — is very much a part of her vision for “Jessica Jones.”

“Luke Cage is in there. Absolutely, I love that character,” she said, adding that Jessica and Luke’s eventual child is a “way down the road” addition tot he cast. “When you give your superheroes babies it gets very complicated. I went through that on [the Showtime series] ‘Dexter,’ although it gives you some new interesting storytelling.”

In Rosenberg’s vision of “Jessica Jones,” the titular hero has thankfully retained her past as a former superhero before turning private detective, with one new wrinkle.

“Jessica Jones is actually a former superhero with PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” she said. “My psychologist father-in-law said, ‘I don’t know why all superheroes aren’t PTSD.’ It’s a trip. So she is wrestling with having this damaged past and still trying to contribute something to the world.”

I loved Alias, and hope that they don’t ruin one of the best additions to the Marvel Universe in a long time.

Russell Crowe as Jor-El – (GammaSquad)

A bit of old news, but we get a small look at Russell Crowe as Superman’s fasha. Costumes looking a little snug, Russell.

Henry Cavill as Hobo Clark Kent – (/Film)

Some more set pics spotlighting a rather disheveled look at Cavill as Clark Kent. I would assume these come from a point in the movie after Clark leaves Smallville but before he becomes Superman. It somewhat mirrors Bruce Wayne’s journey to find himself in Batman Begins.

Michael Shannon as Zod – (Latino Review)

More set pics give us a brief look at Shannon as General Zod, the main villain of the film. Here we see him in a black suit that very closely resembles the Superman costume we’ve seen Cavill in. We’ll have to wait to see if we get a better look at the costume or Zod in general.

Thor 2 Might Explore The Nine Realms – (Splashpage)

While we don’t have confirmation on a director for the film yet, there has been a bit of news regarding the story of the sequel. Apparently we’ll be taken on a glorious family road trip across the Nine Realms, and watch as Anthony Hopkins chews the scenery and Natalie Portman lights up the screen.

Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the next “Thor” and revealed that this time, Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian warrior, his father Odin and his human love interest Jane Foster will be traveling “literally to other worlds.”

“[‘Thor 2’ will] primarily be the journey of that character, of he and Jane Foster and how the new dynamic with his father is working out, as well as what are the broader stakes for The Nine Worlds,” said Feige.

If you’ll recall, there’s a scene in “Thor” in which our titular hero explains to Jane the fundamentals of Asgardian cosmology: there are nine worlds held together by Yggdrasil, the world tree, including Thor’s home planet of Asgard, his people’s old foes on Jotunheim, and our very own mortal realm of Midgard.

We saw all three of those worlds in “Thor,” which leaves six others open to the sequel: Alfheim, Hel, Muspelheim, Niffelheim, Svartalfheim and Vanaheim. Quite the mouthful! But also potentially awesome, because it’s clear that Feige and friends are looking to expand the greater Marvel universe. For fans of the cosmic side of things—aka you Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova nuts out there—this can only be a good news.

Nova rules. Scrap Thor 2 and get started on a Nova franchise immediately, which leads into the amazing New Warriors movie.

Cobie Smulders Signed On For More Marvel Movies – (Splashpage)

The lovely Cobie Smulders, a fellow Canadian who stars on How I Met Your Mother, will be playing the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in Joss Whedon‘s upcoming epic The Avengers. But that might not be the last we hear of Agent Hill.

Smulders recently appeared on the How I Met Your Mother podcast (via Comic Book Movie) and revealed that she’s signed on for multiple Marvel pictures beyond “The Avengers.”

“Plus this one, seven more I think,” she said of her Marvel contract. “This doesn’t mean I’m doing seven films – just means if they like me, then they’ll have me on more.”

Smulders spoke about working on set with Joss Whedon: ” It was very handy to work with him because I was very intimated. There were a lot of extremely talented, very famous, people working on this film. And I felt very green. And he was so kind to me and I really feel he brought out the best in me performance wise. I really went in there going like, ‘I will do whatever you want me to do Sir.'”

“I hired this amazing black-ops trainer to teach me how to hold a gun, take me to a shooting range, how to hit, how to hold myself, how to walk and basically how to look. I don’t do a ton of fighting in the movie, which is why I wasn’t offered a trainer, but I wanted to look like I had the ability to.”

She hired her own trainer? That’s dedication.

Whedon Used Army Reserve Soldiers for The Avengers – (Splashpage)

Now, its pretty commonplace for a movie that utilizes soldiers for characters to at least use a consultant of some kind. But Whedon is kicking his authenticity up a notch by using actual soldiers, and the scene was featured prominently in the teaser we saw recently.

Joss Whedon recruited 25 members of the Ohio-based 391st Military Police Battalion for the big action sequence that factored heavily into last month’s teaser trailer. The troops were brought in to add authenticity to the otherwise outlandish superhero film. “The combat scenes had great realism,” said Lt. Col. John Clearwater, deputy director for OCPA-LA. “It’s a tribute to the U.S. Army Reserves and the veteran 391st MP Battalion. They rocked the streets of Cleveland with their 50-caliber machine guns and Mark-19’s. The film crew was blown away by their firepower and teamwork.”

According to a report on the Army’s website, Whedon took the 391st’s advance to heart. “It’s easy for us to make on-the-spot corrections to tactics and uniforms,” Staff Sgt. Michael T. Landis said. “The director actually took our recommendation on one scene and let us all engage the enemy as opposed to only the gunners in the trucks engaging.”

“We used actual tactics that we know,” Spc. Daniel Lee said. “Instead of trying to teach civilians the same thing, we were able to accurately portray the fighting warrior.”

And why not? Bring in the experts, I always say. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever said that, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

And that’s it for this edition of the Hero Express! I’d like to thank The Wozz for handling the Express during my downtime, and we will both continue to bring you the one stop shop for all your hero entertainment news!

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