Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we talk about Thor: Ragnarok, the television adaptation of Hack/Slash, the Obi-Wan and Anakin comic book mini-series and a possible new Die Hard… that’s a prequel?!
Obi-Wan and Anakin Comic Announced
Fresh off the critical success of Lando, Charles Soule has been confirmed to be writing a new Star Wars comic starring Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Announced during Marvel’s “Cup of Joe” panel by Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada at New York Comic Con, Obi-Wan and Anakin is set between the events of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. The synopsis for the mini-series is as follows:
“Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star, they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker. It’s been a few years since Obi-Wan pledged to train the young “chosen one,” but even as they have grown closer through training, it has been a difficult road. Now, called to a remote planet for assistance, master and apprentice may be pushed to the breaking point. Writer Charles Soule (Lando, She-Hulk) and artist Marco Checchetto (Star Wars: Shattered Empire, Punisher) bring us a tale of the Jedi at the height of their power.”
While I’ve been impressed with most of Marvel’s recent Star Wars titles, Soule’s Lando in particular, it’s hard for me to be excited by this announcement. A comic set during the chrome-plated Prequel-era that also stars a 13-year-old Anakin Skywalker, arguably one of the franchise’s worst characters, doesn’t exactly engender a lot of goodwill from the start. Still, both Soule and Checchetto are some of the best talents working in the comic industry today, and they have continued to prove they have an appreciation and understanding of Star Wars. Though I think it’s wise to maintain a healthy level of skepticism for now, a story about the Anakin and Obi-Wan relationship before the events of the Clone Wars could prove to be an enjoyable surprise.
Obi-Wan and Anakin will be available for purchase January 2016.
Hulk to Appear in Thor: Ragnarok
When Hulk was sent flying over uncertain waters at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron (no spoiler complaints here, it’s been five months people), many were wondering where he would be going. Well, we have our answer; Asgard. Yes, after rumors of him meeting the Guardians of the Galaxy in space or being dormant until Infinity War, Variety confirmed that Mark Ruffalo will reprise the role of Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the third installment of the Thor franchise Thor: Ragnarok. The film will be directed by What We Do In The Shadows‘ Taika Waititi and has already confirmed that Ruffalo will be reprising his role alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Jamie Alexander. Not much else is known plot wise, but the film will be released November 3rd, 2017.
This is an interesting turn of events. Thor: Ragnarok marks the first time Ruffalo has appeared as the character in a non-Avengers film and the third appearance of the character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe including Edward Norton’s earlier turn as the character in The Incredible Hulk. Of all the Phase 3 projects for Hulk to appear in, this seems like the least expected. Marvel Studios has been teasing when and where they’d place Hulk in the Phase 3 timeline, but this has a lot of potential for him to face off against mystical Asgardian monsters that could intimidate him size wise.
Of course, the plot stuff is still very under wraps at the moment. Ragnarok is both Norse mythology and the comics is associated with the eventual destruction of Asgard. This will likely involve the death of more than a few Thor characters and at least some sort of large scale battle that Thor & Hulk can team up for. Hopefully, we can get a better villain and plot than Thor: The Dark World as well.
Hack/Slash Television Series
Though seemingly suffering in development hell for years, Hack/Slash, the horror-slasher series published by Image Comic is finally being adapted for television. Distributed by Relativity Television, Adrian Askarieh (Hitman: Agent 47) will produce the series, along with Daniel Alter and Geoffrey Yim as co-executive producers. The adaptation is being penned by Skip Woods, the infamous screenwriter responsible for such “gems” as Swordfish, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hitman and A Good Day to Die Hard.
Created by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, Hack/Slash follows Cassie Hack, the lone survivor of a slasher film-esque massacre. Psychologically and emotionally damaged by the events, Cassie, along with her Jason Voorhees-like protector, Vlad, travel across the country to stop the reign of terror of notorious slashers. While the book features many killers inspired by famous horror icons like Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, the series has also featured notable guest-stars, including Chucky from Child’s Play and Ash Williams from Evil Dead.
Though I’d like to say an adaptation of Hack/Slash could be fun, the people that are working on this series has driven any interest I might have had straight into the gutter. Askarieh is best known for producing the painfully-stupid Hitman films, while Woods’ abysmal resume as a screenwriter speaks for itself. At this point, it’s probably best to either hope that the entire creative team is replaced by people who have displayed actual traces of competence, or if the series stalls and dies before it actually begins.
Die Hard To Get… A Prequel?!
Following A Good Day To Die Hard, fans of the iconic action series were massively disappointed. So, how could Fox regain respect for their property? Obviously, do a prequel! Deadline reported that a new entry in the Die Hard franchise is in the works, but it would follow young John McClane as a cadet in the police academy in 1979, near a decade before he rescued Holly and several others from Nakatomi Plaza in the first film. The project is being developed by Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman. Given the premise, Bruce Willis wouldn’t star in the film proper, instead appearing in bookends to give context from an older McClane looking back on his past while a fresh face takes on the action.
Let’s get this out of the way; we can all agree this sounds terrible, right? The original Die Hard worked because John McClane was just some normal guy thrown into a crazy situation. Focusing on a more faithful version of the character’s origins would be rather boring by design. However, we’ll more than likely see some young buck actor take on a more elaborate adventure in the late 1970s that mirrors the over the top antics of the later films in the franchise, which took the everyday cop and made him a superhero. It shows a complete lack of understanding about what endeared people to the franchise in the first place and would likely lead to a similar disappointing return on investment that Good Day ended up being for the studio.
But I’m not going to just throw shade at the studio here. I honestly wouldn’t have minded a sixth Die Hard that went back to basics and gave the character a bit more grounded an adventure to potentially go out on. Yet, we probably won’t get that for one simple reason; Bruce Willis is a confirmed hassle at this point. If the stories about Willis’ work with Kevin Smith, Woody Allen or even his former business partner Sylvester Stallone are any indication, Willis has alienated many people in the business with his onset actions. Thus, I’m not surprised or even mad at Fox for wanting to work with him in as limited a capacity as possible. Plus, it’ll give Bruce more time to work on some straight to video movie I’ll ignore at my local Redbox.