Studio Ghibli is Back from the Dead! Miyazaki is Developing New Film

Studio Ghibli

Can you believe it?! I don’t know if I do?! Reports are going around that Studio Ghibli has re-opened its doors, started hiring a new team of animators, and will soon start working on a brand new project. It was massive, heartbreaking news a fear years ago when legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement (after finishing The Wind Rises in 2013) and then subsequently the studio he helped start, Studio Ghibli, decided to stop making new films and instead focus on monetizing their old filmography. In the last few years, Miyazaki kept himself busy by making an animated short film for the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. But now the studio is back from the dead and Miyazaki has a new idea for a film, which is what this is about. ›››

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‘Fargo’ and ‘Legion’ Showrunner Noah Hawley Developing ‘Doctor Doom’ Movie

doctor doom movie

Noah Hawley, the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Fargo dropped a bomb at the end of his Legion panel in Ballroom 20 at San Diego Comic-Con International: “I’m developing a film for Fox, and I’ll just say two words. Doctor. Doom.” Read on for more info on Hawley’s Doctor Doom movie.

The announcement of a Doctor Doom movie by Noah Hawley certainly comes as a surprise to fans. The character, who is part of Marvel’s Fantastic Four family, recently appeared in Josh Trank’s failed 2015 film Fantastic Four, portrayed by Toby Kebbell.

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, Doctor Victor Von Doom first appeared in Fantastic Four #5, published on July 1962. Doom is both a genius inventor and a sorcerer, wearing a trademark metal mask and green cloak. He is often listed as one of the greatest comic book villains of all time and is Stan Lee’s favorite bad guy. Doom has appeared in previous movies such as Roger Corman’s unreleased 1994 The Fantastic Four played by Joseph Culp, and the 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer played by Julian McMahon.

After the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four failed to excite audiences and critics, Fox was said to be going back to the drawing board to reboot the team yet again, but this time more geared towards younger audiences. Seth Grahame-Smith reportedly penned a script for the Fantastic Four reboot, but we knew nothing more about the developing project. It’s unclear if this is the same project or something else, but I don’t expect a creator like Noah Hawley to be involved in any kind of kid-centric take.

As for what a Doctor Doom movie would be about…I’m not sure. The character has primarily been a villain of the Fantastic Four. Stan Lee has been quoted as saying that “it’s unfair that [Doom is] considered a villain” because “he just wants to rule the world and maybe he could do a better job of it.” I doubt that Fox will approach the baddie from the Despicable Me Gru angle.

There is also the possibility that Hawley is not making a Doctor Doom movie, but a Fantastic Four reboot. Remember, he only teased that he was developing a film project that had to do with Doctor Doom, not that he was developing a Doctor Doom-focused feature film. There is also the possibility that Fox is trying to fill a quota to retain the film rights to Marvel’s Fantastic Four universe, and doing another Fantastic Four branded film is probably a strikeout before going to bat.

I’ve been extremely impressed by everything that Noah Hawley has produced thus far, and I’m on board to see any project he’s involved with. A bad guy focused Marvel movie is also very appealing. However, it’s being produced by 20th Century Fox, who retain the movie rights to the Fantastic Four universe of characters. Besides, Marvel Studios is too her- based to even consider a villain focused film (I say, less than a year before before Infinity War hits theaters).

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David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television

David Goyer and Eliza Dushku Developing The Black Company Books for Television

David Goyer and Eliza Dushku developing The Black Company books for television

IM Global Television has announced development on The Black Company, an adaptation of Glen Cook’s books, a fantasy series with Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions and David Goyer’s Phantom Four.

Boston Diva Productions optioned the ten-book epic action fantasy series, as well as the forthcoming book, Port of Shadows, which falls between Book 1 and 2 in the series and will be published by Tor Books in 2018. Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will portray the pivotal role of the dark sorceress, “The Lady.” Under IM Global Television’s first-look deal, David S. Goyer (Da Vinci’s Demons, Flash Forward) will executive produce along with Kevin Turen (Birth of a Nation, All Is Lost, Arbitrage). Also on board as executive producers through their Boston Diva company are Dushku, Nate Dushku, and Ami Lourie, along with Sam Maydew (Ghetto Klown) of Silver Lining Entertainment.

IM Global Television President Mark Stern said, “Glen Cook’s books turn the traditional fantasy adventure tropes on their ear with wry, dimensional characters and a modern sensibility. We’re excited to explore this intricate and exciting world for television with David and Kevin along with Eliza, Nate, Ami and Sam.”

Dushku added, “’The Black Company’ is vast in scope yet remains fundamentally relevant through the morally ambiguous choices it presents at every turn. We are excited to bring Glen Cook’s classic story to life with Mark and David, luminaries in the cinematic pursuit of science fiction and epic fantasy, who will inevitably assemble poignant characters embroiled in jaw-dropping action.”

The series follows the exploits of the Black Company, an elite mercenary unit that carries out the often nefarious deeds of the highest bidder across a Tolkeinesque landscape. When these hard-bitten men discover the prophecy that the embodiment of good has been reborn, they must re-examine their loyalties. “The Lady,” who rules over the Northern Empire, uses the Black Company to further her domination of a power structure rife with usurpers. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

The book series began with The Black Company in 1984 with Cook having since published eight additional novels, a spin-off, several short stories, and with two more books forthcoming.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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Sony Developing Spider-Man Spin-Off Centered on Black Cat and Silver Sable

spider-man spin-off

Last week, Sony announced that they were making a Venom movie. And now, it looks like they’re trying to go all-in on the Spider-Man spin-off business, as a film centered on Black Cat and Silver Sable is on the way. The two characters, both adversaries and allies of Peter Parker depending on the storyline, represent the studio’s desire to stay in the comic book movie business, even though their stable of characters is a bit limited.

And by “a bit limited,” I really mean “How can we make this superhero movie business work with only one corner of a much larger universe?”

The news of the Black Cat and Silver Sable movies comes our way via The Hollywood Reporter, who report that Chris Yost is currently rewriting a screenplay penned by Westworld showrunner Lisa Joy. Yost will be familiar to comic book fans as the writer of many Marvel comics, but he is also credited on Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. His extensive television credits include Star Wars Rebels and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Yost has also written his fair share of Spider-Man comics, which makes him a solid fit for these characters. Silver Sable (real name: Silver Sablinova) is a professional soldier who hunts war criminals and is CEO of her own company. Black Cat (real name: Felicia Hardy) is a professional thief who sometimes allies herself with Spidey when a mutual enemy rears its ugly head. While these two characters don’t have a direct connection in the comic book world, they are two of Spider-Man’s more interesting allies and it’s refreshing to see a major studio expressing interest in a comic book movie starring two female characters.

But like the Venom announcement, this news raises as many questions as answers. While the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place in Marvel Cinematic Universe thanks to a special deal with Disney, it’s not entirely clear if these spin-off movies will also be set in the MCU or how directly they’ll be connected to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. THR notes that this movie will not be a direct offshoot of that film, but what would be the point if that’s the case? Would audiences really care about Spider-Man characters who don’t share the same world as Spider-Man? It’s easy to imagine all of this Spider-Man spin-off movies attempting to ride Homecoming‘s coattails and exist without being explicit about which particularly universe they’re set in. This could get weird.

However, it’s important to remember that Sony was planning a whole slate of Spider-Man spin-offs to follow The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and those projects collapsed as soon as audiences rightfully rejected that movie. Could Spider-Man: Homecoming rejuvenate everything? Could Sony actually build their own superhero movie universe out of the Spidey corner of the Marvel world? We shall see.

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