San Diego Comic-Con has barely started and we can already bring you some pretty cool news about a great project. During an interview with MTV during preview night at the Con, World War Z writer Max Brooks confirmed that not only is the big screen adaptation of his novel finally moving forward, but Brad Pitt has officially been attached to star in the film.
Back when I interviewed Brooks over two years ago, his novel was just being adapted by Babylon 5 and comics writer J. Michael Straczynski. Since then, writer Michael Carnahan has penned a draft. In addition, the film is still moving forward with Quantum of Solace director Marc Forester attached.
Also according to reports, the novel World War Z isn’t the only zombie story from Max Brooks headed for the big screen. Both The Zombie Survival Guide and The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks graphic novel have also been optioned and will be adapted for the big screen by writers yet to be determined.
According to Brooks, the studio is currently targeting a Summer 2012 release for World War Z, which chronicles a worldwide zombie outbreak through the first-hand accounts of survivors. No further information is available on the other two projects at the moment, but when it is you can be sure we’ll bring it to you.
It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Jim Cameron’s mega-grossing box office flick, ‘Avatar’ is destined to sell a considerable number of DVD and Blu-Rays. With a release date coinciding with last week’s ‘Earth Day,’ sales numbers did not disappoint, handily topping the previous sales champ, ‘Dark Knight.’
As of Sunday afternoon, 6.7 million copies were gobbled up by consumers in just four days in North America alone, according to retailers and sources close to the studio. Even on day one of the release, ‘Avatar’ left ‘Dark Knight’ in the dust with 3.2 million DVDs and Blu-rays, compared to 2.7 million discs for ‘Knight.’
Fox decided to release a so-called “no-frills” disc, a strategy that probably helped boost sales considering big retailers like Target and Wal-Mart were able to price the movie at $16 for DVD and $20 for the Blu-Ray combo pack. This more palatable price-point will be followed by a feature-loaded, but pricier version in November. Certainly, one can imagine a 3-D version cannot be far behind.
Outside North America, Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ managed to score some impressive sales figures as well. Variety reports that in France, sales totaled 557,000 discs in two days, blowing by previous record-holders ‘The Chorus’ and ‘Welcome to the Sticks.’ In Germany, 450,000 discs were sold on day one, crushing the fifth ‘Harry Potter’ film, ‘Order of the Phoenix,’ the country’s prior DVD sales champ.
One thing I can’t get enough of are comic book conventions. I started attending eight years ago and haven’t looked back. If you’ve never been (and are at all interested in comics) I encourage you to check out at least one if it’s within a reasonable distance. I promise, you won’t experience anything like it as they have an energy all their own.
This passed weekend Wizard World delivered their comic convention to Toronto, Canada. It was an inaugural event here in Canada but there were no shortage of attendees. While the list of guests was not as huge as I would have liked, there were some interesting names. Firefly’s Jewel Staite, Battlestar Galactica’s Kandyse McClure and Luciana Carro, Buck Roger’s Gil Gerard and Erin Gray, and Caprica’s own Magda Apanowicz.
A couple very notable appearances were made by Bob Clark, The legendary Gorn Captain from Star Trek and a personal favorite Doug Jones, best known for his portrayal of The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Jones, well known for his very articulate portrayal of movement in the roles he takes on also played Abe Sapien in both Hellboy movies.
As a big fan of Warren Ellis and his writing, I’m particularly happy to report that one of my favorite comics of his, Gravel, has now been optioned by Legendary Pictures for development as a feature film. This latest acquisition by Legendary makes a lot of sense considering they have several genre projects already going including Inception, Sucker Punch, Jonah Hex and Clash of the Titans.
In case you’re not as familiar with Gravel as you should be, it was created by Ellis in 1999 and is published by Avatar Press in its most current form. It centers on William Gravel, a soldier in the British S.A.S. who uses his skills in dark magic to moonlight and battle supernatural beings for clients in order to make extra cash. Along the way he encounters all manner of nastiness but still manages to not only survive, but to flourish.
According to the trade, Ellis will do the first draft of the screenplay and will also serve as an Executive Producer on the project, with Rick Alexander Producing. Given my fondness for Ellis’ work, I hope this continues the trend of his projects being adapted for the big screen.
No word on a director on any casting for Gravel, but for my money I would like to see Zack Snyder make this his next project after Sucker Punch. And, while we’re at it, how about Gerard Butler as Gravel? I think that combo, when combined with Ellis’ story, would make one hell of a movie.
For yesterday’s The Pull List, go here.
Absolution #1 – Avatar – $3.99
Back in early July, we had the chance to talk to Christos Gage about his creator owned property, Absolution, from Avatar Press. The interview can be read here. This week, Absolution came to stores and delivered what people were hoping for from the title. Absolution takes a different approach to the superhero genre. Unlike Garth Ennis’ edgy work on The Boys which has superheroes as corrupt drug addicted sexual perverts, Gage reinvents the wheel as he poses the question about what could cause a hero to snap.
Unlike the “heroes” of The Boys, Gage’s hero John Dusk is actually a good person. He uses his powers to save the lives of innocents and defeat bad guys. There is no corporate backing or monetary gain for John by doing it. He is the equivalent of a super powered beat cop. And like some cops who have been on Special Victims Units or the homicide for too long, Absolution explores what it takes to break a man.
The issue begins with John Dusk, the spandex wearing hero seen on the cover of the issue, as he fights White Power, a superpowered white supremacist. John’s powers can be compared to a toned down version of the Green Lantern or the Invisible Woman as he controls his aura around him that allows him to make crude objects with it that can be used both offensively and defensively. When things take a turn for the worst in the fight, John must use lethal force to stop his assailant. Even knowing the criminal is a rapist and murder, John still tries to keep him from dying until he sees two of White Powers captives, causing him to make a decision he can never step back from.