Tube Surfing: Upcoming Comic-Related films, including Flash Gordon, Shang-Chi and Ghostbusters

Here’s a few snippets of film news inspired by comics or with comic-related tie-ins that captured our attention this week…

• Two years ago, Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi was hired to take a crack at an animated Flash Gordon movie, but in a recent interview timed to the release of Disney’s Jungle Cruise, producer John Davis told Collider that the project is now being developed as a live-action film.

Flash Gordon (1980) Poster – design by Richard Amsel

Collider notes Hollywood has been trying to relaunch the Flash Gordon IP ever since the character was referenced throughout Mark Wahlberg’s hit 2012 comedy Ted, and though Waititi is a busy man – including a new Star Wars feature he’ll direct and co-write with Krysty Wilson-Cairns — the Flash Gordon film remains a passion project for the director, who’s a big fan of the 1980 release.

Hot Toys Spider-Man figure based on the hero’s look in Spider-Man: No Way Home, available for pre-order over on Sideshow Collectibles - for $270…
Hot Toys Spider-Man figure based on the hero’s look in Spider-Man: No Way Home, available for pre-order over on Sideshow Collectibles – for $270…

Spider-Man: No Way Home, the third film in the Spider-Man series is set to release in cinemas worldwide from 17th December 2021 onwards, including in the UK. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland, in, possibly, his final outing in the role), is once again trying to balance life as a teenager and a superhero. The film’s plot reportedly ties in with events in WandaVision and Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, involving a multiverse anomaly also part of the background to the Loki streaming series on Disney+.

• Disney’s new poster for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, features the real Mandarin (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), showcasing a deadly duel between the Mandarin and his heroic son Shang-Chi (Simu Liu).

The film is being released in cinemas the UK on 30th September, which stirred some fans to demand it also be offered on the Disney+ Premium Service, perhaps some of them trying to exacerbate the dispute between the film studio and Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson, who is suing Disney for breach of contract, after it streamed her superhero film at the same time as its cinema release.

• The next big action movie with comic ties to hit UK cinemas is Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, arriving Wednesday 18th August, which has already had mixed reviews. At Marvel UK, editors discovered the popularity of Snake Eyes was in part down to anonymity in the comics, readers happy to identify with the masked hero, who could have been anyone. Perhaps humanising the character was a mistake?

Despite some reaction, last year, Snake Eyes’ producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura stated that a follow-up is planned, written by Seberg screenwriters Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse.

Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as the lethal protector Venom, one of Marvel’s greatest and most complex characters. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is directed by Andy Serkis, the film, due for release 15th September, also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage.

I’d highly recommend these books if you’d like to dip your toes in and try out the comic. Photo courtesy Phil Boyce

• Finally, another film with personal comic tie-ins, for me, at least, is Ghostbusters: Afterlife, out 11th November in the UK. The trailer for this produced gabbled excitement from me, as one of the early writers on Marvel UK’s The Real Ghostbusters title back in the 1980s.

With an admitted play to nostalgia for the decade – well, goodness, it worked for Stranger Things, right? – the latest teaser also has some funny moments and made me look forward to seeing the film.

For those of you hankering for The Real Ghostbusters comic, now, Titan Books released three collections, still available through services like AmazonUK. Check out our Marvel UK in Print page for more information!

Oh, if you’re a fan of the comic, then you should really check out Joe O’Brien’s brilliant The Art of The Real Ghostbusters fan website, which includes interviews with many of the artists who worked on the title, including Martin Griffiths, Tony O’Donnell and Brian Williamson.

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Comics, downthetubes Comics News, Film, Other Worlds, Tube Surfing, US Comics

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