The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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'Dark Knight': When's the sequel?

July 21, 2008 |  5:47 pm

If you think this summer has been jammed with superhero movies, you ain't seen nothin' yet. When it comes to source material for movies, books are quickly fading (if Scott Rudin didn't buy every good new novel in sight, would any writer ever get a Hollywood sale anymore?) while video games are proving--so far--to be a hit or miss proposition. But with "Iron Man," "The Dark Knight," "Wanted" and "The Incredible Hulk" all hitting it big in recent weeks, superhero comics and graphic novels are so hot that every studio is scrambling to make sure they have a few franchise properties in the pipeline.

Spirit_5 If you want to clip and save the upcoming lineup, check out this compilation of upcoming projects from, which has been tracking the comings and goings of superhero-to-Hollywood fare for some time. A couple of highlights to tide you over until Comic-Con:

Lionsgate has two films coming this December: "Punisher: War Zone" from German director Lexi Alexander and "The Spirit" (featuring Scarlett Johansson as Silken Floss) directed by "300" graphic novelist Frank Miller. Warners has two meaty graphic novel adaptations coming next year: "Watchmen," directed by "300's" Zack Snyder, and "Whiteout," starring Kate Beckinsale with Dominic Sena in the director's chair. The big question: What will happen to Frank Miller's "Hardboiled" graphic novel trilogy, which could be the most edgy and cinematic of them all?

By the way, if you didn't see it this weekend, our new Hero Complex blogger Geoff Boucher has a fascinating behind the scenes portrait of Mike Richardson's Dark Horse Comics, which spawned "Hellboy 2" as well as "300," "Sin City" and "The Mask" and now has a new production deal with Universal Pictures. My favorite part: When Richardson first starting coming to Los Angeles, he would regularly attend Arnold Schwarzenegger's monthly cigar parties. But the Gubernator couldn't remember Richardson's name, so whenever he'd gladhand him, he'd say, "Ah, comic book guy, good to see you!"