Coulson Lives; 'Iron Man' & 'Thor' sequels into 3D; Last 'Mockingbird' mention?

One of the most enduring characters that help keep the superhero franchise like Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers grounded in somewhat of a reality was Agent Couslon, played by charming Clark Gregg. The character was always designed to be the one person the audience can identify with, the one “normal” person among a group of superheroes. The character, however, was killed off in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers this past summer. But you can’t keep a good agent down, as the saying sometimes goes, so Coulson will somehow be resurrected for ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. The actor appeared at the New York Comic Con over the weekend to confirm that he’ll lead the agents in this new TV series, with the pilot being written and directed by Whedon. No word on how Coulson will appear, though it sent Marvel fans to the internet so they could speculate on it. Of course, the simplest idea is the series will be set before the events of The Avengers, but while I don’t know comics that well, I do know science fiction and the way Joss Whedon works, and it comes down to the basic notion that no one really dies in those genres.

While 3D films continue to have an up and down presence here financially in the United States, they continue to have a huge following overseas, so the studios these days are apt to pay the extra expense of post-converting films only because they know they can make up the costs when released in foreign countries. With that in mind, Marvel announced that both Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World will be converted into that format for their releases next year. Don’t be surprised if Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy will be done the same in 2014. Meanwhile, Marvel also stamped a release date on the Edgar Wright helmed Ant-Man, which will bow on November 6, 2015.

NBC has scheduled Mockingbird Lane for Friday, October 26. Originally a pilot for a proposed new take on the classic 60s series The Munsters, NBC recently decided to pass on the project as a series, though one speculates if it’s a hit, perhaps it could become a series –or a series of specials (it had a costly, two year development). Still, the project seems dead due to creator Bryan Fuller’s current commitment to NBC’s midseason offering, Hannibal. Plus, as noted before, other behind-the-scenes issues seemed to indicate that Fuller and NBC had two different visions as to how a show like this should unfold.

Screen writer Richard Wenk (The Mechanic, Expendables 2) is the latest scribe to handle rewrites on the long in development Masters of the Universe reboot for Sony Pictures. G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu is still attached to helm the movie, which is based on the 80’s cartoon and toy line. Still, one should note that Retaliation was pulled 6 weeks before its release this past summer for reshoots and 3D conversion. So I’m doubtful this reboot of He-Man will go anywhere soon.

Instead of rewrites on the current script for Universal’s remake of The Creature from the Black Lagoon (now simply to be called Black Lagoon), writer Dave Kajganich is expected to start from scratch. The original 1954 film is considered a classic, despite its cheesy production style, and has long endured over the last five decades (which included two sequels). Some sort of remake idea has been buzzing around Hollywood since 1982, but delays, Hollywood strikes and script issues have delayed it for 30 years. The scribe has been recently attached to a few Stephen King projects which seem to be stuck in developmental hell, including remakes of The Stand and Pet Cemetery.

Sony Pictures is shifting the release date of two films, moving the Neill Blomkamp sci-fi thriller Elysium to August 9, 2013, bumping the Jose Padilha directed reboot of RoboCop that was slated there originally to February 7, 2014. The reason seems to be the success that Blomkamp had with District 9 in 2009, and the studio believes the film should succeed there. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they’ve also scheduled  their Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs sequel for September 23, 2013.

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