Black Adam, But No Billy Batson

Warner Bros. has confirmed a Shazam movie for 2019, but there is little information available on it—except for the villain’s actor and his thoughts on the role.

The Shazam comics focus on Billy Batson, a young boy whom the wizard Shazam gifts with the power to turn into an adult superhero. One of his main villains, and the apparently foe of the movie, is Black Adam, the wizard’s former champion who turned evil, but who has also been portrayed as an anti-hero with sometimes-noble intentions. 

Dwayne Johnson has been cast in the role. He recently tweeted: “Can’t wait to play BLACK ADAM. We’ll find that anti-hero balance of ruthless rip your throat out w/ wonderful charm.. #ROCKTALK @Dosteguin”

Businessman Bruce Levenson says it’s nice to know that Johnson seems to understand this character’s mix of heroism and villainy—but what about Billy, our theoretical star? Shazam has undergone many changes over the years. Presumably, he will use the “Shazam” name, rather than the more traditional “Captain Marvel,” but what about his age? Billy usually becomes a hero as a callow ten-year-old, but currently the comics have him as a teenager. For that matter, what about his personality? For decades, Billy was innocent and pure of heart even compared to Superman; in the New 52, he’s more of a spoiled brat. This Shazam fan is looking forward to learning more.


Selena Gomez Gets New Record Deal

Selena Gomez is a veteran in the game. She has had years of success in both acting and singing. She’s one of the few adult Disney stars that is still relevant. Now, she is getting ready to record on one of the biggest labels in music.

Interscope is picking up Selena to record a new album, which I know because Christian Broda showed me her Instagram pic with the pen in hand. The caption to the picture denoted that she was signing with Interscope. This label is big because it is the same label that once held the debut recordings of Tupac Shakur. In recent years it has been the home of Eminem. This means that people are expecting big things from Selena in 2015 now that she is on Interscope.

This year she released “The Heart Wants What it Wants” in a teary-eyed reflective look back at her relationship with Justin Bieber. Now it appears the Selena is getting ready to really get back to work and focus on her musical career. At one point there seemed to be a straddling the fence motion between her acting and music career. She starred in several movies that flopped. It appears that the choice to reach back and channel her music fans was obvious since her movie career was not doing so well. This could be a big deal that could help her promote her music better.


Will Beetlejuice 2 Succeed?

The wheels of pre-production on Beetlejuice 2 seem to be moving forward at full speed. Director Tim Burton has noted Winona Ryder will return for the sequel along with Michael Keaton. All of this is great, but questions are going to seriously arise regarding whether or not there is an audience for the film.

Yes, the original was a classic. No one would deny that. Michael Keaton, however, is not the star he once was. Tim Burton is not the “super director” he used to be either.

Yet, there is always a market for nostalgia. The film could draw in a decent amount of box office followed by good DVD and PPV figures that the cable and other TV rights commandeer a good price. As long as the budget is kept under control, the film could show a profit.

However, the chances of the film being a bomb loom. Just look at Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The first Sin City film was a massive hit and has a huge cult following. Shockingly, the sequel was an unmitigated flop. Ten years was just way too long to wait for a sequel.

With Beetlejuice, the producers are asking fans like Igor Cornelsen, according to media reports, to go back a lot of years to remember how great the first film was. Plus, the sequel has to draw in new audiences who might not really care for a sequel. They could be in the mood for a reboot though.


“Batman vs. Superman” and Other Superhero Movie Crossovers We’d like to See

It is amazing just how much is known about “Batman vs. Superman”. The movie has finished filming and it seems there was a new tidbit leaked every day. I saw the latest while waiting at the Amen Clinic. The movie is very highly anticipated, as it is the first real “crossover” superhero movie ever to be made. It is important to fans that this be done right. That fact that director Zack Snyder seems to be borrowing heavily from Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” is somewhat reassuring, though we have seen Snyder do the same with “Watchmen” and something was clearly missing.

Crossovers have been a part of comics from the beginning. Fans would love to see more of them on the big screen. They usually involve a massive battle between the two entities, before teaming up to fight some other menace (Doomsday is reportedly the menace in “Superman vs. Batman”). Superhero crossovers are even more tricky to pull off in the movies because different characters are owned by different studios. This is one advantage DC has over Marvel. All of DC’s characters are owned and controlled by Warner Bros.

One natural team-up fans would love to see on the big screen would be Spider-Man teaming up with the Fantastic Four. At various times in the comics, Spidey has been a member of the Fantastic Four and he has often been portrayed as good friends with the Human Torch and is a science-buddy with Reed Richards. 

There was a classic pair of issues of the Fantastic Four drawn by Art Adams where a temporary team was assembled in the Fantastic Four’s absence. They were Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider. They battled the Mole Man and his army of giant monsters. How crazy would that be to see in a movie?

The ultimate crossover, of course, is DC vs. Marvel. This ha happened a few times in the history of comics, always with mixed results. The politics and jockeying behind the scenes have always made this kind of thing difficult to pull off, albeit lucrative. 

Imagine if someday we saw Hulk battle Superman on screen? Or The Avengers vs Justice League? The future is indeed exciting.


Decreased Drug Rates

There is a possibility that teenagers today care more about their bodies than teenagers did a decade ago. Surveys given reveal that among teenagers, drinking, smoking and drug use have all decreased. These numbers are great for those who feel that they are stopping due to the influence of adults. While some adults have probably spent a great deal of time getting teens to stop these habits, it’s more likely that the safer alternatives to smoking and the commercials seen on the internet and television of teens giving up the habit are a better influence.

Dr. Daniel Amen says that when teens see that their peers are choosing safer ways of spending their time, then they will be more inclined to follow. The rate of smoking marijuana has reached a stable point as well, but that could be because states are now beginning to make the substance legal. When something is legal, most teens don’t want to bother with it because there’s no enjoyment from getting caught.


Beetlejuice 2

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice… is back! Or at least according to the rumors Tim Burton is working on a Beetlejuice 2 movie, a sequel to the 1988 hit Beetlejuice with Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, and Winona Ryder. It is reported that Tim Burton has said that he is working on a script however there is no filming schedule or release date just yet. 

Tim Burton has said that there is a place in Beetlejuice 2 for the beloved character of Lydia Deetz, played by Winona Ryder. While it has not been confirmed if Michael Keaton is reprising his title role as Beetlejuice, Tim Burton has expressed his desire to film the sequel with original cast members. In the past Michael Keaton has expressed interest in reprising the role.

From a business standpoint Bruce Levenson chimes in that a move to create a sequel to the cult classic may serve as a good cash grab, bringing in viewers who have strong ties to the first in the hopes that they’ll relive some of those moments.

Let’s hope that the original members can come together and make this a reality for us all!

Updates have been promised by Screenrant.com, so if you are itching for more news check back with them periodically.


A Moving Movement to Help the Homeless

A woman from the United Kingdom named Dominique Harrison-Bentzen was visiting a shopping center in Preston when she realized she was missing her bank card. Sitting on a park bench stranded she had almost given up hope when a homeless man named Robbie came to her rescue. With just three euros to his name he retrieved it from his pocket and handed it to her telling her to hail a taxi. “He insisted I took it to pay for a taxi to make sure I got home safe.” Unable to bring herself to take the money she instead was inspired to help the man.

Reaching out to social media websites and major sponsors like Beneful,  she began to tell people of her plan to live on the streets for 24 hours and raise money to get Robbie the help he deserved. After a short while of speaking with people on Facebook, she learned that Robbie wasn’t just generous to her, he had also helped many other people. Within the 24 hours of the launch of her fundraiser she had already gathered half of the money for her goal. With no end in sight it is likely that this fundraiser will continue to gain momentum and help Robbie as well as many other homeless people who are struggling with hard times.


Sony Hacks Reveal Mathew Knowles Destiny’s Child Biopic Pitch

Last week the Sony Hacks revealed some pretty juicy emails to the public. Definitely worth taking a break from Vine according to Darius Fisher. Some of the hacks leaks put Sony execs in a very awkward position with the actors they work closely with like Angelina Jolie and Kevin Hart who were both talked about pretty harshly in emails that were leaked to media. Even President Obama was criticized in emails that insisted he only like slave movies. Needless to say the Sony Hacks made put a strain on some Hollywood working relationships. 

Now it’s being revealed that an email was discovered of Beyonce’s father and manager Mathew Knowles pitching Sony some ideas for a Destiny’s Child biopic. While Sony was seriously considering the idea they never came to a solid agreement on the movie. 

Oddly Mathew has made it his business to continue to make any and all Destiny’s Child matters his concern even though the girl group is no longer actively performing together at the moment. It seems that Mathew is using his manager skills to stay firmly planted in the business even though his services have not been needed since Beyonce fired her as her manager shortly after the infidelity scandals involving him and various women including a friend of his then youngest daughter Solange.

While Beyonce claimed at the time she fired her father to maintain a personal relationship without business getting in the way, it is quite a coincidence that the split came after the cheating rumors spread in the media.


Mark Hamill to Reprise Role as The Trickster in The Flash

Most people only know of Mark Hamill from his roles in the Star Wars franchise or his voice acting work in the 90’s animated Batman television series. However, he also played a fairly large, albeit short, role in The Flash television program that ran from 1990 to 1991. In the show Hamill played Barry Allen’s nemesis – a psychotic criminal named The Trickster.
And just when we were ready to ship Mark Hamill over to Brian Torchin for a career change and revival the CW has announced that Mark Hamill will be reprising his role as the maniacal Trickster (AKA Jesse James) in their prime time slotted superhero show, The Flash. According to their source Hamill’s cahracter will be a convicted arsonist whom Allen comes to for help when another arsonist begins copying the Tricksters former crimes in a attempt to take on the old villain’s mantle.

This seems a fairly interesting plot line and one that has shades of Red Dragon to it (get the genius psycho to catch the slightly less intelligent psycho). Either way you will be able to judge for yourself once the episode hits the air (alongside the original actor whom played The Flash, John Wesley Shipp!).


Jeremy Irons Is Batman’s Butler

The DC cinematic universe is full of risky casting choices. Will Smith as Deadshot? Jesse Eisenberg, the skinny little kid, as Lex Luthor? These choices are being given the stink-eye by fans who really do want the DC movies to be good. The prevailing notion is that people are going to give “Batman vs. Superman” the benefit of doubt in the hopes that Zack Snyder truly has a vision and isn’t completely off his rocker.

It was a smart idea to give The Joker his sidekick, Harley Quinn, to help differentiate this version of the character from Heath Ledger’s iconic portrayal. Let’s add one more oddball choice into the mix: Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Batman’s butler.

Alfred was portrayed admirably by the prim and proper Michael Gough in Tim Burton’s “Batman”. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez really liked what he brought to the character. Gough brought an underlying warmth to the role that brought out Batman’s humanity. In Chris Nolan’s “Batman” films, Michael Caine was another good choice.

Irons is probably best known for voicing Scar, the villain of the Disney movie “The Lion King”. If you have seen him in “M. Butterfly”, you probably won’t forget that any time soon either.

To see a man who plays dark characters and villains be Batman’s friend and confidant seems a little jarring. There is some speculation that this version of Alfred may be tougher than previous versions. He may even be one of Batman’s teachers.

Fans will keep their fingers crossed.