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Monday, January 8, 2024

Warner Bros Let the Dog Out

Almost a year ago, I shared the news that Skeets could be seen in the then-recently leaked Warner Bros animated movie Scooby-Doo! and Krypto, Too! that may or may not have been canceled by the studio.

In a happy update to that post, the movie was definitely not canceled and has now been released to Max where alert subscribers can finally (legally) briefly see Skeets in a case with a model of Blue Beetle's Bug as Krypto flies through the Hall of Justice!

In case you blink at the wrong time, here's a screenshot:

© Warner Bros Entertainment

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with the good news.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: krypto movies scooby-doo

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

More of the Same Hollywood Story

A few weeks back, I posted what comics fan magazine Amazing Heroes had to say about the undeveloped Justice League International television project of 1990. You may recall that the reviewer was not impressed.

However, over the weekend, I was reading a different old comics fan magazine, Comics Scene, and found a second opinion.

In Comics Scene Volume 2, #46, 1994, I came across Frank Garcia's interview with one of the creators of that project, screenwriter Jeff Freilich. In this article, Freilich brags, "The guys who do the JLA title asked us to write issues because they thought we wrote the characters so accurately." Sure, I suppose that could have happened.

Freilich also had thoughts about who should play the heroes:

Playing casting director for a moment, [Jeff] Freilich considers who they might have signed aboard the Justice League.

"Very often the case in television, when fantasizing casting, we would way, ‘We want a young Bruce Willis' and then go out and look for those people," says Freilich. Not prone to stunt casting, Freilich prefers unknowns for many of the heroes. However, if JLA were to be treated as a feature, the game becomes more fun.

"With a cast that large, you can't really afford to use feature film actors," says Freilich. "It's not a question of expense, by the way, it's a question of commitment. If a person is a movie star, they generally don't want to commit to a TV series. They wouldn't be able to work on movies."

When it's suggested that Sam (Jurassic Park) Neill would be a good Maxwell Lord, Freilich lights up and responds positively. "Sam Neill would be a very good Max. When we wrote Justice League, Neill was an unknown. He has done so many things in the last few years. He would be a superb Max Lord."

For Mr. Miracle's boisterous, loudmouthed manager, Oberon, Billy (Willow) Barty (STARLOG #130) snatches the role. "A young version of Billy Barty [would be better]," said Freilich. "He's a bit old. There are quite a few excellent small actors. It's just unfortunate there are very rarely parts for them. Billy Barty is the person you have in mind immediately."

Offering a surprising suggestion for Mr. Miracle, Frielich thinks real-life escape artist David Copperfield would do the job well.

"When they picked Bill Bixby for The Magician, he was already an amateur magician," the writer explains. "When they cast Burt Lancaster as a trapeze artist [in the 1956 film Trapeze], he was an acrobat and an aerial artist before becoming an actor. It always makes sense with someone and using the stunt double throughout. [Performing magic] is difficult to teach people. You have to have a talent for that kind of stuff."

For the two witty male leads, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, Freilich envisions a young Woody Allen for Beetle and a young Bruce Willis type for Booster. He says Mark Hamill might do Booster's role well, due to its similarity to his portrayal of the Trickster in The Flash. "But I don't know if we would have gone with Hamill or someone new," Freilich muses.

Bruce Willis? Yippee-ki-yay, Booster boosters.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: comics scene frank garcia jeff freilich justice league international movies

Monday, November 13, 2023

Another Hollywood Story

Since last week I posted that 1991 article about a never-filmed Justice League movie script, I feel bound to report that over the weekend, I bumped into another Booster Gold script on

While Sean(Gary) worked on The Flash in 2021, Sean was doing some work on the script (uncredited and improv). He mentioned to me that he and ezra had been talking about Booster Gold on set in that context. I've been friends with sean since like 2014, we've written a lot together. They apparently talked about Sean as booster being fun so me and Sean ran with it.

Me and him fell in love with the fun and original take Booster could bring to superhero live action media, so we decided to start writing a pitch on spec. The season would have dealt with a time traveling OMAC trying to wipe heros out by stopping their origin moment. So booster, with Rip Hunter, would have traveled to multiple time periods to try and preserve the timeline, thus learning what it means to be a true hero through seeing the origins of others (since he doesn't really have his own organic origin). We have episodes, concept art and the pilot script.

The post goes on to explain that they hoped to eventually sell it to James Gunn/Warner Bros, though it seems that after many obstacles were placed in their way, they've mostly given up on that idea.

You can visit that reddit link above to read more about their plans; you'll even find a link to download the script, if you're so inclined.

The script does indeed have Dirk Davis and Trixie Collins and a lot of other characters Booster boosters will recognize in it, but beware that their Booster is also a bit of potty mouth.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Amazing Hollywood Stories

I was recently perusing some back issues of Amazing Heroes magazine. I've previously reported on their disparaging review of Booster Gold's debut issue, but I found something else that Booster boosters might find interesting.

That something, as reported in Amazing Heroes #188, 1991, is Andy Mangels' "Backstage" column recap of an unfilmed 1990 Justice League movie script. Read on and you'll see why.

The Justice League of America

January 25, 1990 - James Cappe and David Arnott, teleplay; Jeff Freilich, James Cappe, and David Amott, story.

Planned for a two-hour telefilm, the Justice League script went thru four rewrites before the current plans were scrapped. Magnum Productions was working on the film for Lorimar, and was hampered by the use of so few characters. With Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman optioned, no references or usage of these characters would be allowed.

The story begins as Lord Industries is excavating an Egyptian cavern in Tibet. Professor David Cambell (and assistant Andy Helfer) uncover a dark helmet which, unbeknownst to them, houses the spirit of the Lord of Chaos. Meanwhile, on "A world a lot like our own ... only different," we meet the Oreo-loving Martian Manhunter stopping a crime and a pushy Booster Gold at Max Lord's museum-wing opening where the aforementioned helmet is about to be stolen. Despite Booster and scientist Ted Kord's "help," the helmet is spirited away. When the newly revived Lord of Chaos kidnaps Cambell and begins creating worldwide havoc, Maxwell Lord uses his friendship with the president to put together a force of vigilantes to protect the U.S.

He recruits the Martian Manhunter and Booster Gold, the actress/models Fire and Ice, Ted Kord's new identity of the Blue Beetle, and the altruistic-to-a-fault super-escape-artist Mr. Miracle and his pal Oberon (over objections from Miracle's wife, Barda). The newly christened Justice League of America soon faces their first trial... interviewing Mrs. Cambell.

Then, at a stop to gas up Blue Beetle's bug, the JLA gets in a fight with the Chaos-maddened Chicago Cubs. Despite Booster's affirmation that they "don't need their powers. It's the Cubs. These guys haven't won in 1100 years," the JLA gets fouled out and lets the Cubs escape.

Next, the League is off to the United Nations, where a terrorist has a bomb strapped to his chest. Fire, Ice, and Mr. Miracle enter the U.N. building while Beetle coordinates from the Bug, Booster protects the crowd outside with his force field, and Manhunter enters from the roof. Once most of the terrorists have been neutralized, Manhunter uses his shapechanging abilities to get Booster Gold close enough to stop the bomb-wearing madman. Police chief Stanley Marvel (wink wink, nudge nudge) begrudgingly thanks the team for their semi-efficient rescue, but the thanks is only short-lived as the Lord of Order reveals himself and escapes.

In Beetle's bug, the JLA searches for Chaos's hideout, where he's stashed the great minds and leaders of the world. They find the hideout in Arizona, but only as all of the nuclear missiles in the world are fired, aimed at each country's enemies, and more than a few allies. As Blue Beetle works on a way to upload a missile deflection system to broadcast from the Earth's communication satellites, the rest of the team forces their way into Chaos's mountain stronghold.

While Booster and Manhunter search for Dr. Cambell, Fire and Ice engage guards and Mr. Miracle defies deadly death traps to find the Chaos helmet ... only to find it's a fake. Eventually, all our heroes face off against Chaos and defeat him, but he has the last laugh; though Beetle's deflected most of the missiles, Chaos transports the JLA into the middle of Times Square, the target for the sole surviving nuclear missile.

There in the midst of New York, the League has a desperate battle with Chaos, finally defeating him once and for all. And although the New Yorkers don't much appreciate the team, the rest of the world does. The JLA is on its way.

Maybe I'm wearying of the comic antics of my once second-favorite super-team, but the Justice League is growing tired. The film keeps the same kind of attitude toward its heroes as the comic (some dialogue seems to have been lifted directly from the comics' pages), a kind of hipper-than-thou slapstick which is less funny than overused. While viewers of the film might find it refreshing and new, readers of the comic will find it's same-old same-old.

Fire and Ice are a little less like Lucy and Ethel, while the Martian Manhunter is somewhat less dispassionate-though just as Oreo-loving. Mr. Miracle is portrayed as a naive goof who is as trusting and philanthropic as an old lady. Barda's revelation of her pregnancy halfway through the script is barely referred to again, although Oberon is as obnoxious as ever. Ditto Maxwell Lord, whose powers are hinted at late in the script.

Blue Beetle is relatively unchanged, and actually has some of the best lines ( especially one where he finds a surprise stress-test for his body armor), but his relationship with Booster Gold is ruined. You see, in this script, Booster Gold is spelled G-u-y G-a-r-d-n-e-r. Booster, a mildly obnoxious and scheming character in the current JLA, here becomes a groping, bragging, swaggering jerk whose recklessness and attitude are more a hindrance to the team than a help. Apparently, without the use of the real Guy Gardner, the scripters felt they had to have one supremely obnoxious putz in the group, and Booster was available.

Despite my criticisms, the Justice League of America script in this form would be a tremendous hit in this age of Married with Children, Roseanne, Cheers, and similar sitcoms. It's sarcastic enough, the characters are neanderthal enough, the women are pretty enough, and the script fairly screams for a laugh track. A dark JLA a la Flash, Superboy, or Batman woμldn't work at all, so the writers have taken the correct measures to find their hit.

Late-breaking news finds a DC source relating that the show may not be as dead as previously thought. In today's Hollywood, comics are again being perceived as a hot item, and DC's characters being on the forefront of that list. Now it's up to the Blue and Gold guys to fight it out with the Justice League guys to see who gets which rights first.

If you're especially immersed in Justice League lore, you may know that the Justice League did finally in 1997 get a made-for-television movie. It was loosely based on the late-era International League, with featured roles for "B.B. DaCosta" Fire and "Tori Olafsdotter" Ice. It was incredibly bad with worse special effects, and Booster Gold thankfully played no part.

Thirty-two years later, Booster still hasn't appeared in a live-action movie. Hopefully when he does, he'll be recognizable as the Corporate Crusader we all know and love.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: amazing heroes andy mangles justice league international movies

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Something to Look Forward to

Ok, I admit, I still haven't seen Blue Beetle. I will, eventually, I promise. Maybe soon, in fact. It's scheduled for release on DVD next week, and to promote that release, director Ángel Manuel Soto recently spoke to Andy Behbakht for

ScreenRant: Speaking about the future, we have the post-credits scene with Ted Kord. In your head, do you know what that reunion is going to look like between Ted and Jenny? That is a father-daughter relationship I want to learn more about.

Soto: Well, definitely! Our initial joke with that was, Jaime and Jenny would be talking later, and he showed up and they [Jaime and Ted] are like, 'Who are you? That's your dad?!' between them. But I think by doing it this way opens up more of a curiosity to where is he and why is he sending this message today? Why did he leave? What did he go out to do and I think it opens a lot of doors.

For me, I always liked the idea of him and Booster Gold doing adventures and then this message being sent as a warning of something that eventually Booster Gold is the one that's able to bring Jaime into the mix, or tap Kord's expertise through Booster's time travelling powers. So for me, one of those things I definitely [want to see] are Booster Gold and Ted Kord, I want them to be a part of Jaime's future. There's a lot more that exist in all the different iterations but the Blue and Gold series is phenomenal. Their relationship is really, really awesome and a lot of Jaime's relationships with both of them are iconic, so I hope it goes that way.

ScreenRant: How funny that we have a Booster Gold TV show coming with James Gunn's DC Universe! Without spoiling it, have you and James talked about Jaime's future? Do you know your next project with DC Studios, and have you discussed what you want to do with Jaime next?

Soto: Yeah, we have had conversations about it and that's where he mentioned to me about the Booster Gold TV show that is coming up. Now, where does it fit, how is it gonna play out? We haven't talked about that. But we both have talked about our interest in continuing Jaime's story, and finding a way for that story to be a part of this new universe.

It sounds like it's still far too early to talk about what exactly Gunn's Booster Gold television show is going to be. But if it's Ted Kord and Booster Gold's misadventures through time, that sure would qualify as "must see" TV.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: andy behbakht angel manuel soto blue beetle interviews movies television

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