Thursday, 7 February 2013

Closed for business.

With the domain up for renewal and the fact that I don't have time to post here, I've come to the decision to close down Normal Nerds. I've already switched the address back to and the Facebook page will be gone pretty soon. The blog will stay here for a short while before I get around to shutting down completely. I'll still be around on twitter, retweeting and commenting on nerd-news as @Normal_Nerds, but I'll be operating more as a personal account rather than a site account. Part of the reason for me closing the blog is that my work on is taking alot of my time and attention. If you aren't already a member, then you should join up as we're upgrading very shortly. Thanks to all who have followed, read or commented in the last two years.

Monday, 24 December 2012

New Star Trek: Into Darkness Images

Coming from the latest issue of Empire are these new images from JJ Abrams' latest film.

Must say these are looking great.  Can't wait to see the film when it drops May next year!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Characters we would love to see in Arrow

I must say I'm enjoying Arrow.  While it may not be fantastic I am finding it to be highly enjoyable, even if the writing can be hit and miss the overall narrative has me intrigued.  As many of you know Green Arrow has encountered a plethora of characters in the past, ranging from the Huntress (which recently featured in the most recent episode of the series) to Batman, and there are a certain number of characters I’d love to see in the future.

What we've seen already

So far Arrow’s not been afraid to incorporate lesser known characters from the DCU into the show, having already featured the likes of Huntress, Deathstroke, Deadshot and China White, Firefly is also being flung into the mix in the tenth episode, with all of them having key roles in the overarching story-line.  We've had name drops towards character like Speedy (Thea's nickname) and some slightly more annoying ones, as with Laurel (Dinah) Lance's law firm being C-N-R-I (you see what they did there too?).  There's been a new take on the villainous archer Merlyn, and also a new interpretation of the Royal Flush Gang.

Characters we'd like to see:

The Question (Vic Sage)

Being the Question fan boy that I am, it would be impossible to leave off the brilliant Charles Victor Szasz off this list.  Vic Sage resides in Hub City, one of the most dangerous and violent areas of the DC universe, and is an investigative Journalist for the local news station.  Vic adopts the identity of the Question in order to expose corruption and fight crime where he sees it.  Vic is also very competent in hand to hand combat, having been taught by Richard Dragon, and has been able to match Lady Shiva in the past.  The Question has crossed paths with Oliver Queen before, having teamed up with him to attack the corrupt mayor of Hub City along with Batman and Blue Beetle.  Not only has the Question met with Oliver, he also made a massive impact on the Huntress too, having protected her, and being her first ally.  Sage could be brought in to expose the Triads, while at the same time questioning Ollie’s body count and evaluating his tactics.  I think it’s about time the Question made his live action début now; He’s a very interesting character, and the way he plays off others is always a joy to see, not to mention the fact the character generally rocks and deserves to have his own show.

Essential Reading: Zen and Violence, Epitaph for a Hero, 52.

Blue Beetle

Another of the Charlton Comics characters picked up by DC, Ted Kord possesses great intellect (being one of the most renowned minds in the DCU) and utilises both gadgets and martial arts to fight crime.  While Kord isn't particularly known for working with Oliver Queen, I do believe Kord could bring a comedic element to the show, while tying in to the Arrow mythos.  Kord doesn't even have to don the suit, but the character I feel would assist Ollie, perhaps developing new types of Arrows and equipment for Oliver, and one day even assist him in the field as Blue Beetle.

Essential Reading: Infinite Crisis


The polar opposite of Batman, being brought up by criminals, his parents were gunned-down by law enforcement officers, and ever since then Prometheus vowed to “Annihilate the forces of justice” wherever he saw it.  Prometheus affected Oliver greatly during his time on the Justice League, having maimed Roy Harper brutally and destroyed half of Star City; Prometheus was killed by one of Queen’s arrows after surrendering himself to the Justice League.  Prometheus could raise the tension of the show; entering Starling City to take out the ‘Hooded Man’ he’s heard so much about, and in the process establishing a new base of operations in ‘Starling City’ (why they didn't call it Star city we’ll never know).

Essential Reading: Justice League: Cry for Justice


Catman is a fantastic character, as shown by Gail Simone’s brilliant Secret Six (if you haven’t read it you really need to), and possesses a rich history.  Catman is a intelligent warrior, an anti-hero, and compared to many other villains he is depicted as being quite a noble and heroic character.  Catman has been known to disagree with many heroes, believing many to be arrogant and that they abuse the powers given to them.  This belief brought Catman to confront Oliver during Secret Six in regards with Dr Light (who had aided Merlyn and Deathstroke in defeating Oliver previously).  This could be the driving factor for Catman to appear on the series, seeing Oliver arrogantly taking out who he wants could bring Blake to Starling City, to confront him.  Or they could push Catman down more of the Villainous route, as an antagonist that can let the audience sympathise with the character, portraying him as the honourable villain.

Essential Reading: Secret Six: Six Degrees of Separation, Secret Six: Dans Macabre

Roy Harper

The original Speedy, Roy Harper’s relationship with Oliver Queen has been a tough one.  Originally Queen’s sidekick, after discovering that Harper was addicted to Heroin, Queen punched Roy and left him on the street.  After successfully withdrawing from his drug addiction, Harper confronted Queen and the two stopped working together.  Roy adopted the new identity of Arsenal and fought alongside with Nightwing and others in the Outsiders, eventually leaving due to complications in the team.  Harper then went on to join the Justice League under the title of Red Arrow.  Much of this history has been changed with the New 52, most notably how Queen and Harper stopped working together (to which currently remains un-revealed), and has now joined the outlaws, a group led by Jason Todd.  Considering that Arrow seems to be giving the  title of ‘Speedy’ to Oliver’s sister, the show could introduce Roy as someone who has been inspired by Oliver’s actions, eventually proving his worth and working alongside Queen as Arsenal.

Essential Reading: Justice League: The Tornado's Path, The Outsiders: The Sum of all Evil, Red Hood and the Outlaws: Redemption

Barbara Gordon (Oracle)

The first Batgirl, Barbara was left crippled by a bullet from the Joker (but I'm sure you're all pretty aware of that) and adopted the identity of Oracle, providing assistance to Batman and the bat-family when needed.  Eventually Babs went on to work with the Birds of Prey, coordinating and helping others in the field.  With the inclusion of Huntress in the show (a key member of the Birds of prey), it could be appropriate to add Oracle, serving the function of adding critical assistance to Ollie and Helena in the field.  With the inclusion of Oracle in the series many doors could be opened to include certain members of the Bat-Family, maybe allowing Nightwing to eventually make the leap to the silver-screen.

Essential Reading: Batman: The Killing Joke, Birds of Prey: End Run


Brick made his comics début in Green Arrow, being created by Judd Winick and Phil Hester during their run on the character.  In the comics Brick is a strong meta-human with 'brick' like skin that makes him virtually invulnerable.  At first, Brick was an enforcer for the various gangs that operated in Star-City, but as his aspirations grew so did his gang, and in the wake of the attacks that took place in Star-City Brick came to blows with Green Arrow, with Queen only just managing to best the character.  Like Bane added to the Dark Knight Rises, Brick could bring an intimidating physical presence to the show, challenging Oliver not only intellectually but also physically.

Essential Reading: Green Arrow Vol3

So these are just some of the characters we'd like to see in the future!  There are probably a few that we've missed out, but these were some of our most wanted.  While the probability of these guys appearing on Arrow are mixed, it would be silly for DC not to take advantage of this medium and spread out lesser known characters to the casual audience.  I'd be very happy to see any of these characters in the show, (especially Question) as long as not too many drastic changes are made to the characters.  Alternative interpretations are great, but only as long as the basic traits that make the characters enjoyable are kept.

Do you guys have any characters you'd love to see done in live-action?  Sound off and let your voice be heard!

Star Trek Into Darkness trailer

Here's Alice Eve looking very Elizabeth Dehner and Benedict Cumberbatch behaving very Gary Mitchell as they play Dr Carol Marcus and John harrison in the new trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness. I think that we're going to get a mix of Space Seed, Wrath of Khan and Where No Man Has Gone Before all mixed up together in this one.

Man of Steel trailer

The new Man of Steel trailer is here! I wasn't convinced by the teaser trailer earlier this year, but this trailer hints at some good stuff in the movie. Consider me hopeful.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Huntress darts into 'Arrow'

Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress, is coming to Arrow. Why do we care? Because Huntress is awesome and Arrow, whilst not stunning, is turning out to be quite watchable (certainly an improvement on the dire Smallville).

Arrow producers had this to say about her upcoming two-episode arc:
"The whole reason for bringing the Huntress on -- it isn't so we can just throw in a new DC Comics character, even though she's very cool. It's really about having an emotional effect on Oliver. When we meet him in that storyline, he's lonely and he's feeling a little lost, and then, in comes to his life this girl who's the darker version of him who he thinks he can save. On an emotional level, she and Oliver are both damaged by their pasts, and then the fact that she's hot and Oliver is into her makes it all the more complicated."
Source: CBR

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Monkey Island movie?

By now I'm certain that you all know about the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm. I'm writing up a larger article about the implications that has for Star Wars, but I just had a brainwave and had to share it.

In the purchase, Disney acquired LucasArts. Disney also own Pixar. LucasArts own a game property called Monkey Island; which did have a movie in development for a while. The screenwriter went on to write the Disney property, Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney, and by extension PIXAR, have direct access to the franchise that helped to inspire one of Disney's biggest money-spinners of the last decade. With a return of Johnny Depp and the Pirates franchise looking less likely, surely Disney would like to fill the pirate-shaped hole in their line-up.

Insert brainwave:
Could we see an animated Monkey Island movie from PIXAR?

Learn more about the cancelled movie here.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

My Top Ten Westerns

Ah the western, this is a genre that never ceases to crank out fantastic films, and has spawned so many classic icons that have made their mark on the cinema industry.  As I've said before, I'm really excited for Django Unchained.  Quentin Tarontino directing a Western is a match made in heaven, and the film itself has a fantastic cast including the likes of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz with Leonardo DiCaprio to name but a few, plus the latest trailer seems to re-affirm my beliefs that this film will rock.  So without further delay, here are my Top Ten Westerns.

10.  Open Range

So we open the list with 2003’s Open Range, a film that is often quite overlooked.  Kevin Costner is firmly in his own element here, putting in a pretty descent performance as Charlie Waite, a veteran of the civil war, working as a cattle rustler alongside his old friend, Boss Spearman (Duval) and two other young workers.  Duval also puts in a good performance as an old farm hand, who brings a very relatable character to the table.  Needless to say a series of events causes their tranquil lives to be destroyed, forcing the two into action.  Costner also directed the film.

9- Young Guns

This film is just plain fun, and all actors put in really solid performances.  The story focuses on the early career of famous outlaw ‘Billy the Kid’ and how he came to fame.  Emilio Estevez looks insanely like the original photos of the out-law in question, and represents the personality of the kid very well.  Kiefer Sutherland in particular stands out here, playing Josiah Gordon 'Doc' Scurlock, a young regulator with a strong heart.  Lou Diamond Philips and Charlie Sheen also do their roles justice, with the latter probably being one of Sheen’s best.  The only real gripe I have with this film is the cheesy over dramatic soundtrack that would be far more at home in a Transformers film.  Despite the shortcomings of the soundtrack, I’d advise anyone who hasn't seen this to give it a watch; it’s quite a fun western.  John Wayne’s son Patrick appears as Pat Garret.

8- Dances with Wolves

Another Costner film finds its way onto the list.  The film that won both best picture at the Oscars and best Director for Costner, this story is something pretty special.  The film deals with Costner, an ex Union officer and his experiences with the Lakota Indian tribe.

7- Unforgiven

Now this is a truly brilliant film, even if it is a little depressing at times.  Clint Eastwood plays Will Munny, an old gun slinger who reluctantly takes on one last job.  This best picture winner has some brilliant talent behind it from Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.  I Would highly recommend watching this film, as Eastwood is on stellar form, as are the rest of the cast.

6- Tombstone

This film may not be the most historically accurate re-telling of the gunfight at the OK. Corral, but it’s most certainly the funnest.  Kurt Russell plays retired law-man Wyatt Earp, on his way with the rest of his family and his best friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer), to seek their fortune in the mining town of Tombstone.  Needles to say events spur the group into action, with consequences to the family.  Val Kilmer is the highlight of the picture, with a performance which rightly deserves an Oscar.  This movie is certainly worth watching.

5- 3:10 To Yuma (2007 remake)

Completely unrelated, but this is the reason why I'm so excited for The Wolverine.  James Mangold can direct, and this film shows it.  Christian Bale plays an ex union soldier who has settled down with his wife and family, but due to recent attacks on his property, he needs funds to repair what is rightfully his.  Russell Crowe plays notorious outlaw Ben Wade, and when he is captured by the law, they enlist the help of Bale to transport the man to the 3:10 to Yuma train.  The result is a fantastic film, with plenty of amazing performances from all the cast.  Crowe is particularly brilliant here.

4- For a few dollars more

One of the reasons why I love this film so much is Lee Van Cleef’s performance as ‘the man in black’, a ruthless bounty hunter who might just take the cake for ‘biggest badass in the west’.  I actually think Van Cleef plays the part of the hero a lot better than he does the villain, and if any film can help me argue that point it’s this.  The film also delivers emotionally in the final act as well, demonstrating the degree of Van Cleef’s acting talents.

3- True Grit

Surprisingly the only John Wayne film on this list.  While I do enjoy the remake with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, this is truly where I feel Wayne came into his own, playing the lovable Rooster Cogburn.  If you haven’t seen this film yet you really should, and this is from someone that doesn't particularly enjoy quite a lot of Wayne’s films; If you've enjoyed the remake, I'm sure you’ll enjoy this.

2- Once upon a time in the West

Wow! Another Sergio Leone film that stuns at every corner.  Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda are just brilliant in this, and it’s a testament to brilliant film making.  Claudia Cardinale moves to Utah, who then finds her entire family killed by Gang Leader Henry Fonda.  Fonda plays the part of the antagonist frighteningly well, making some parts of the film quite unnerving.  Bronson is truly brilliant in this role, and it was a huge challenge to choose between this and number one...

1-  The Good The Bad and the Ugly

The finale to Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars Trilogy’, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is a film you definitely don’t want to miss out on.  The story about three men making an uneasy alliance to find hidden treasure during the American Civil war is expertly told, with fantastic performances all round.  Van Cleef plays a different character than the one he did in For a Few Dollars more, this time playing a truly emotionless Bounty Hunter.  The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone is truly something to behold.

So that’s my list!  Quite a few controversial positions, but these are my favourite westerns, and there are some truly remarkable films on this list.  Django Unchained is looking pretty good, but I guess we’re going to have to wait a while to find out whether my expectations are met.
Django Unchained comes out December 25th state-side, and January 18th in the UK.

The (abandoned) Flash movie

Sometimes going through old ideas that have lingered in Development Hell can be revealing other times they can be frustrating. This explanation of The Flash movie being dropped from WB's preproduction offices seems to be more of the latter than the former.
Attempted to post a bit more about The Flash and it appears to have disappeared. Well, in any event, just wanted to say thanks to all of you who've expressed their regrets, etc. To be honest, when WB first approached me about doing The Flash, it seemed a little too good to be true. A part of me thought they'd never really make a movie like that. For the record, the script did involve both Barry and Wally as The Flash. I wanted to showcase the legacy aspect of the hero -- as that was something that hadn't been explored yet in film. Like Batman Begins, the script drew on some seminal comicbook runs (Mike Baron, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns). There have been other super-hero scripts of mine that fell by the wayside. An R-rated Ghost Rider script that Stephen Norrington was going to direct. A horror-centric Doctor Strange script for Sony (which portrayed Mordo and Dormammu in a very Lovecraftian light). Even a pretty crappy Venom/Carnage script that I got roped into writing for New Line! Andy Walkers script for Batman/Superman was great. And I'm sure Whedon's Wonder Woman is pretty damn cool as well. The truth is, I've had a remarkably good track record with these kinds of films so far, so I don't have a lot to complain about. My peers and I are well-compensated for what we do. We're essentially living the dream we'd envisioned when we were kids. Now we get to meet and work with people we viewed as roll models and heroes. Just the other day I had lunch with Wendy & Richard Pini, the creators of Elfquest. (And I can remember buying their very first issue back in 1978 when I was just thirteen). I got to have dinner with Neal Adams before the Batman Begins premiere. Work with the likes of Stan Lee and Mike Mignola. In the coming weeks I'll post a bit more on the projects I've been working on since the Flash's demise. (One of them takes place in the DC Universe.) Until then...
Apparently this is who he had lined up for the film:

Remember, this film was cancelled very early in it's development, so take the casting with a pinch of salt. Ryan Reynolds, however, was apparently in talks for the role. He mentions it around 2minutes in: