Nerd news.

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Clive Owen and Julianne Moore.
For the un-nerd-affiliated, turn your eyes away — Comic-Con is over, you won’t be hearing more on the topic.

For the rest of you: dork on:

The big rumor on the web being ever-so-responsibly passed-off as fact by several news sources despite, as far as we can tell, remaining unconfirmed, is that Heath "If you can’t fix it, you gotta stand it" Ledger has been offered the role of the Joker in the next Batman film. Via Kellvin Chavez at LatinoReview.

Sheigh Crabtree at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Bryan Singer claimed that, despite "Superman Returns" being officially a box office disappointment (defeated by pirates — how embarrassing), he is in talks to make a sequel.

"I plan to get all ‘Wrath of Khan’ on it," Singer said — a reference
to 1982’s "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan," which is generally considered
as having breathed life into the "Star Trek" franchise after 1979’s
"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" suffered critical barbs. "We haven’t
concluded a deal. That’s always iffy," Singer added. "The intention is
to do it for 2009."

Also via Hollywood Reporter, Quentin Tarantino has announced that Kurt Russell will star as Stunt Man Mike in "Death Proof," his half of semi-double-feature "Grind House."

Crabtree and Anne Thompson have been doing some nice Con coverage at the Risky Biz blog: here they talk about "Pan’s Labyrinth" (and Guillermo Del Toro‘s admirable, if terrifying, openness to his fans); here Thompson reports on the panel in which Del Toro interviewed Alfonso Cuarón after a screening of the trailer for and footage from "Children of Men" (We’re bringing things going on to the world of the 21st century, like immigration. I said, ‘Let’s do the Battle of Algiers for the 21st century.’"); here, a description of the Matthew Vaughn (of "Layer Cake")-directed Neil Gaiman adaptation "Stardust" (preview footage was shown); and here, Thompson muses that:

Not so hunky is Nic Cage, star of Ghost Rider, a cool-looking macho flick that has been in the works far too long to be good. He also turned up for a panel. I adore this gifted actor on-screen. But in person, he is way too weird. Note to studio flacks: like Tom Cruise, some movie stars are better left at home.

Meanwhile, Film Force notes that fanboy nirvana was achieved by some when Sam Raimi premiered footage (much of it unfinished) of "Spider-Man 3" to a packed and adoring house:

There are shots of love interests Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy, as well as shots of both Peter Parker and Eddie Brock becoming overwhelmed at different points by the black symbiote suit. The trailer ends with the "money shot": the first look at the CG-animated Venom in all his vicious glory!

Fan reaction to this exclusive peek at Venom was through the roof. (Sadly, the panel only showed the new footage once.) Many of these wildly enthusiastic reactions were articulated during the Q&A session with Raimi and company that followed.

BBC has some choice quotes from the crowd ("He made the entire world happy by putting Venom in it").

And some Comic-Con love from the LA Times: Geoff Boucher describes Marvel Studios’ plans to adapt some of their lesser known characters for the screen. While Jon Favreau will be helming "Iron Man," Edgar Wright (of "Shaun of the Dead") will take on, er, "Ant-Man."

Kevin Feige, president of production for the Beverly Hills-based Marvel Studios, said that Marvel’s deep archive is teeming with those sorts of high-concept characters. By gaining creative control and some distance from major studio bureaucracies, Feige believes the comic book company can match unexpected projects with young filmmakers who grew up loving the Marvel universe and who may be more interested in exploring characters such as, say, Deathlok, Moon Knight or Hawkeye anyway.

That certainly applies to Wright, who, as a kid in the 1980s, came across an Ant-Man adventure drawn by John Bryne that captured his imagination with its shrunken-world exploits and insect sidekicks. The director now sees a film that could meld a spy story with computer-generated visuals that evoke the memorable juxtapositions of a film like "The Incredible Shrinking Man."

"The fact that this is not a hero that is defined in everyone’s mind is absolutely part of the appeal to me," Wright said. "You’re less handcuffed in what you do creatively with the character."

Tony Perry has a piece on the studios hoping to get in on the increasingly influential event:

For established studios and indies, Comic-Con has become a must. And the fans — those derided as nerds and geeks by the jocks and cheerleaders in school — are the sought-after buzz-makers and ticket buyers.

"Comic-Con is huge," said John Hegeman, chief operating officer of Fox Atomic. "It represents the core, the people who are just fanatic about this kind of entertainment. If you’re in the 17-to-24 age-group market, this is where you have to be."

+ Exclusive Scoop: We Know Who The Joker Is! HA HA
(Latino Review)

+ Singer sees ‘Superman’ sequel for summer ’09 (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Tarantino hires Russell for slasher film (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Comic-Conning Pan’s Labyrinth (Risky Biz)
+ Cuarón Unveils Children of Men (Risky Biz)
+ Sprinkling Fantasy Stardust on the Con (Risky Biz)
+ Speleers, Urban, Butler: Hunks of Comic-Con (Risky Biz)
+ Comic-Con 2006: Venom Revealed! (Film Force)
+ Spider-Man movies ‘may continue’ (BBC)
+ Ka-pow, Spidey! (LA Times)
+ Comic-Con, because the studios are listening (LA Times)


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.