Fandom 5: DC, Marvel Add Gay Characters; 'G.I. Joe 2' Bumped; Chris Nolan Box Set
The week's top news in the world of fanboy entertainment.
Another packed week for geeks. Let's check out the highlights...
1. DC, Marvel Tout Gay Storylines
Both DC Comics and Marvel Comics managed to grab headlines this week for being progressive (or too progressive, depending on your point of view) with their upcoming storylines involving gay themes.
Marvel boasted that its Canadian mutant hero Northstar is proposing to his boyfriend (not a big secret in the comics community) with a big reveal on The View, no less. DC, consciously or not, managed to steal much of the thunder with its announcement that in June, a long-time character would be reintroduced as gay.
Forget the speculation as to who the person will be (Allan Scott, the original Green Lantern, has been fingered as the favorite), fans are debating several bigger issues: Like, if the gay character was a villain, would that be seen as discriminatory?
At the same time, the conservative group OneMillionsMoms is condemning both companies, claiming they "want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children's superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable."
The group (membership numbers around 40 thousand, not a million, according to reports) also tried to organize a JC Penny boycott over Archie Comics' treatment of gay characters. But that failed, and the current movement doesn't seem to be gaining any traction.
2. Go Joe…All the Way to 2013
In a shocking move, Paramount bumped the release date of G.I. Joe: Retaliation from June 29 to March 29, 2013. And it’s being converted to 3D.
The studio pulled the trigger on the shift at the very last minute – five weeks out is when you want to start ramping up your marketing campaign. The nine-month move fueled speculation the movie was in trouble but our sources say Joe is fine—it's Paramount that needs help. On the heels of The Dictator underperforming, the studio really wants a hit so the move is to add 3D and maximize every dollar it can get.
3. Universal Building a Hero Factory
Universal is trying to bring Lego toy line Hero Factory to the big-screen. The studio is still smarting from the disappointment of Battleship, another toy-turned-movie, but here’s where Hero Factory is different. And better.
Hero Factory can be a movie because it’s a toy that engages children (let’s face it, it’s mostly boys) with characters and conflicts. There's an entire galaxy of good guys and bad guys a mythology behind their relations to one another.
But the one challenge for Universal is making these characters stand-out, for audiences to root for them and relate to them. But that's a challenge facing the entire movie industry.
4. Chris Nolan in a Box
Just in time for The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Home Video is putting many of Christopher Nolan’s major works in one Blu-ray collection.
Memento, Insomnia, Inception, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are in the compilation, which will hit shelves June 26. The only movie missing is Nolan’s very first feature, Following, which he made for $6,000. (Update: Commenters correctly note that 2006's The Prestige, which Nolan made for Disney, is not included in the Warners box set.)
The films’ original special features will be included, so no new extras, but it will come with a book with production stills and notes on the making of each one. And buyers get “movie cash” good for up to $8 off of one ticket for Dark Knight Rises between July 20 and August 5.
Next time I hope they include some of his short films. Those I’d love to see.
5. A Long Time ago…35 Years to be Exact
Star Wars opened May 25, 1977. That’s 35 years ago today. How will you celebrate the occasion?
GENIUS LOST: ROBIN WILLIAMS
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