May 17, 2013 | 9:01 a.m.
Guillermo del Toro served as a guest of honor at the fourth annual Hero Complex Film Festival last weekend in Hollywood, appearing on stage for a Q&A between screenings of two Spanish-language movies — “The Devil’s Backbone,” the 2001 gothic horror movie set during the Spanish Civil War; and “Pan’s Labyrinth,” his Academy Award-winning dark fantasy set during Francoist Spain. While taking questions from the audience, Del Toro elaborated on his planned adaptation of DC Comics’ “Justice League Dark,” saying that he wanted to focus on characters including Constantine, Deadman, Etrigan, Swamp Thing and Floronic Man. “I was never a superhero guy,” Del Toro said. “I thought I could do some of the edgier, darker stuff. “One of my most cherished memories when I was a kid was running to the drug store, the newsstand, on my bike to get […]
Sept. 26, 2011 | 2:13 p.m.
Scott Snyder, the creative force behind the ongoing series “American Vampire,” has been handed the keys to two revered titles under the new DC re-launch: “Batman” and “Swamp Thing.” Hero Complex contributor Travis Walecka caught up with Snyder to chat about his plans for both series. This is Part Two of the interview. Read Part One here. TW: Batman, Aquaman and Superman all appear in “Swamp Thing No. 1,” and you’re also writing “Batman.” Will there be a crossover between your two books? SS: Well, Batman and Swamp Thing, they may hold off for a little bit for a while, only because we want to give them each a chance to establish themselves in their little universes for the first year. But they are in a shared universe, so you’ll see things that will happen in “Swamp Thing” affect other characters […]
Sept. 20, 2011 | 11:41 a.m.
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. One of the fastest-rising stars in comics is Scott Snyder, who won over plenty of fans with his bloody, epic sprawl of the ongoing series “American Vampire” and his especially cerebral Gotham City duty in “Detective Comics.” The horror-loving writer will be teaching a class on comic books to students in the graduate writing program at Sarah Lawrence College and, more importantly, he has been handed the keys to two revered titles under the new DC re-launch: “Batman” and “Swamp Thing.” Hero Complex contributor Travis Walecka caught up with Snyder to chat about his dark plans. This is part one of the interview. TW: Talk a bit about your thought process while writing comic books, particularly when you have the challenge of incorporating horror and fantasy elements into […]
Oct. 19, 2009 | 8:22 p.m.
This is a significantly longer version of an article I wrote on Akiva Goldsman that ran Sunday in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section. Goldsman is one of the busiest Hollywood figures in comics and sci-fi projects with four adaptations coming based on DC characters and his new role as a key figure for the Fox series ”Fringe.” He’s also a figure of controversy for fans who have not forgotten the sight of a Bat-suit with nipples. Akiva Goldsman arrived at the door of producer Brian Grazer in 1998 with one purpose. “I went there,” the screenwriter says, “to beg.” Goldsman, who had enjoyed a steady ascension in Hollywood for years, was coming off a string of films that had badly battered his reputation. He had produced and written the forgettable dud “Lost in Space” — and far worse, he had written the screenplay that […]
Sept. 24, 2009 | 4:22 p.m.
I got a note from Mike Petrucelli at the South Bend Tribune in Indiana about the paper’s obituary for an actor who gained relatively little fame despite playing a DC Comics character in two films and close to six dozen television episodes. Here’s an excerpt (with links added by me) from Erin Blasko’s piece on Dick Durock, the 6-foot-5 former Marine who played the forlorn Swamp Thing: Dick Durock’s most memorable work was as the DC Comics character Swamp Thing, a plant-like humanoid charged with protecting the natural world from the abuses of man. He played the character in two feature films, “Swamp Thing” (1982) and “The Return of Swamp Thing” (1989), and in a subsequent television series, also called “Swamp Thing,” that ran for 71 episodes in the early 1990s. Dick Durock was practically unrecognizable in the physically taxing role, which required him to don a […]
Nov. 13, 2008 | 5:13 a.m.
EXCLUSIVE The director talks about "The Hobbit," the "Hellboy 2" Blu-Ray and the daydream idea of someday making a Swamp Thing film I sat down with Guillermo del Toro on Tuesday night and, as usual, the "Hellboy" filmmaker was charming, funny and passionate about film and comics. There was a question I’ve wanted to ask him since I first saw the beasties of "Pan’s Labyrinth": Would Del Toro please make a movie adaptation of Alan Moore’s sublime run of stories on "Swamp Thing" in the 1980s? "Oh, I would love to make a Swamp Thing movie," Del Toro said, smiling broadly at the notion. "Really, Swamp Thing is one of the last Holy Grail projects that is still out there. Those stories were fantastic, with the hallucinogenic feel of that world. I don’t think anyone is tackling that one anytime […]
Sept. 18, 2008 | 7:48 p.m.
For the record, Alan Moore has not softened his view on Hollywood nor its plan to bring his classic graphic novel “Watchmen” to the screen next March. “I find film in its modern form to be quite bullying,” Moore told me during an hour-long phone call from his home in England. “It spoon-feeds us, which has the effect of watering down our collective cultural imagination. It is as if we are freshly hatched birds looking up with our mouths open waiting for Hollywood to feed us more regurgitated worms. The ‘Watchmen’ film sounds like more regurgitated worms. I for one am sick of worms. Can’t we get something else? Perhaps some takeout? Even Chinese worms would be a nice change.” Moore is often described as a recluse but, really, I think it’s more precise to say he is simply too […]