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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)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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