Superman gets the ever-loving S-word kicked out of him in the new trailer for Superman vs. The Elite, one of the few adaptations of a DC or Marvel comic that was published in the 21st century. Seriously, see if you can count the humiliations the poor guy goes through in the 75-second montage. My favorite part is how Lois Lane, the United Nations and a kid in a Superman cape all essentially tell him, “Maybe you should give up.”
Batman was recently stopped while driving because his car needs a license plate. The sick kids he was visiting put up with the inconvenience. (Disclaimer: this paragraph actually refers to a real-life Batman impersonator.)
Meanwhile, The Dark Knight Rises has finished shooting, and all appears well, even though Gary Oldman admits he almost lost the script during production. Seriously, who hides a script under their mattress and then just forgets it’s there? On an unrelated matter, I spent fifteen minutes finding my keys yesterday.
Avengers star Tom Hiddleston has claimed that his Loki character might have four more films in him. He did not go on to say, “Or you could just give me all of the money, that works too.”
Director Joss Whedon has disclosed that someone you recognize will die in the film. With Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man all being major media properties, Black Widow confirmed for Iron Man 3 and Samuel L. Jackson being Samuel L. Jackson, it’s not looking good for B’rer Hawkeye.
Just on the off chance you haven’t seen it yet, The Amazing Spider-Man has revealed its first image of the Lizard. Emma Stone has publicly thanked fans for giving her the confidence to tackle the film, which is mildly surprising and may just be good PR, since her Gwen Stacy seems to differ markedly from any version ever portrayed in the comics. No word on how she feels about helping to inspire a new Spider-themed line of fingernail polishes.
Julie Taymor’s original 2004 treatment for the Spider-Man musical has been disclosed in the course of her doomed legal battle with Marvel/Disney. I couldn’t find a full version of the treatment online, but even the fragments make fascinating reading, mostly in a “she really thought this was going to work?” kind of way. It’s confirmed, for instance, that Taymor was all about pushing the Arachne myth into the story as much as possible, and I simply have to quote Business Week‘s paraphrase of the ending:
The treatment has an ending that never made it to the stage. Just as Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego, is about to kiss Arachne “in a full, sexual human embrace,” he flips upside down, and, while suspended by a thread, kisses his girlfriend. Mary Jane, Furious, Arachne attacks him and Peter bites Mary Jane on the neck.
Peter falls into the recesses of the web and Mary Jane, with new spider powers, climbs up and attacks Arachne. “The story unravels. Are we left dangling by a thread?” Seriously. This is how she planned to end it, with Peter out of sight and Mary Jane fighting Arachne, their struggle unresolved as the curtain falls. Incredible as this may be to people who viewed the first version that made it to the stage, Taymor’s original draft may have actually been worse.
Stan Lee has put himself into his own comic book, leading to exclamations of surprise from everyone who has never actually read a Stan Lee comic. Apparently, what makes this one special is that it’s a reality superhero series. Lee’s old enough by now that his tendency to exploit trends of the decade has progressed from “schlocky” to “adorable.”
Can anything stop The Walking Dead? The zombie epic again broke cable records with its season finale, and fans and critics alike are delighted with its twists and turns. But the gaps between seasons are long, and it’s up to Mad Men to carry AMC in the meantime.
Finally, in case you were living under a rock a couple of weeks ago, that Doonesbury abortion sequence turned out even bigger than I guessed it would. Want to read the actual strips at the heart of the controversy? Slate is ready for you.