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– by Nick Doll

Welcome to Breaking Geek, a new weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!

Tom Hardy Assures Venom Fans The Character Is In The Right Hands… But Is He?

Let’s start with a bit of news I missed last week. Though I gave my reaction to the disappointing first official still from Venom, I hadn’t yet watched the footage released from Comic-Con in Brazil. But now I have…

In the footage, Tom Hardy assures fans he is treating Venom with the utmost respect, but is he just carrying out Sony and director Ruben Fleisher’s vision, or does he feel a special obligation because he loves the character from the comics?

Let’s look at the quote:

“I give you my word of honor, that I’m going to do everything I can to deliver the best Venom that I possibly can muster. Because I know how important he is to you. And I know how important he is to the Marvel Universe.”

Ryan Reynolds is famous for championing the character of Deadpool for years before his standalone film was made, and is incredibly involved creatively as a producer on the film. He loves the character so much, he is in effect, keeper of Deadpool’s cinematic image. He was the one, more than any other, that made with sure Deadpool was done justice in his second appearance after X-Men Origins: Wolverine ruined the character.

We have a comparable situation on our hands with Venom. Poorly handled in his last live-action appearance in Spider-Man 3, he needs a champion outside of Sony and their stooges to make sure he is adapted correctly this time. The character needs a true fan to champion it and guide the character, but is Tom Hardy that man? Or is he another Sony stooge just working for a paycheck?

Has Tom Hardy ever talked about his love for Venom before he was cast as Eddie Brock? If he has, can someone find it and share that in the comments below? Hardy obviously crushed it playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, under direction of Christopher Nolan,  but it’s hard to believe Hardy is as committed to Venom as Ryan Reynolds is to Deadpool, so while Hardy means to reassure fans with his comments, and I’m sure he will deliver the best Venom he can muster, is it a Venom that lines up with true fans expectations? I’m not so sure.

Peter Parker To Be In Venom? Only If It’s Done Right, Please!

Speaking of Venom, first, there was a rumor this that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man would be in the Venom film. Then the rumored was clarified: Peter Parker may be in Venom.

Awesome, right? That’s all we’ve really been asking for, a Venom movie with some actual ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man!

I still don’t feel this rumor addresses the bigger issue at hand, though we all want to see Venom fight Spider-Man, the more important and necessary part of his inclusion is to set up Venom’s origin. The symbiote can’t go straight to Eddie Brock unless they plan to change Venom’s powers and look, as he gets his white spider logo and power-set directly from Spider-Man, the symbiote’s previous host.

If Sony was smart, they would have worked with Marvel Studios for this quick, easy version of the origin which would simply have involved pushing Venom to summer or fall 2019.

  1. Spider-Man gets symbiote suit in Avengers 4 or Infinity War, while off-planet.
  2. Spider-Man wears black suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming 2.
  3. Spidey strips off suit in the bell tower in the church Eddie Brock is seeking redemption at, at the end of Act 1 of Venom, after we have been introduced to Eddie Brock, pre-symbiote connection.

That’s all they had to do. Otherwise, in our current situation, having Peter Parker in Venom may simply make the two competing Marvel Universes more confusing.

My Own, Better Theory, About Kylo Ren’s High Waisted Pants

Earlier this week I had the honor to write about Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s costume designer explaining why Kylo Ren wears such high waisted pants in his shirtless scene. His explanation was fine, but let me again share my better, narrative-based theory in case you missed it.

The Last Jedi takes place mere hours, or possibly days, after The Force Awakens. Though we see Ren’s scar given to him by Rey in the film, Chewbacca’s bowcaster shot to his side is never addressed, nor does it need to be. My theory though, was that the pants are both hiding the injury, and are so tight they are keeping his insides… inside. Or, at the very least, keeping them in place. Similar to how Kylo Ren was punching this same wound as he fought Rey and Finn in Force Awakens.

Do you like my explanation more than the official one? If so, you can count it as canon, I won’t tell anyone… and if you hated it, is it because you hated The Last Jedi or is my theory completely off base?

Jake Gyllenhaal Is Not Right For Batman, But Here Are 5 Better Candidates!

This week the report resurfaced that if Ben Affleck is not going to play the title character in The Batman, Jake Gyllenhaal is director Matt Reeves first choice to be the latest Batman.

I can’t decide why this sounds so wrong, but Gyllenhaal does not strike me as an actor suited for Batman. I polled the biggest DC fans at the movie theater at which I work, and everyone I talked to agreed. No one could come up with a good reason that he shouldn’t play Batman, but some doubted his ability to play a charming Bruce Wayne, others thought he looked too young to play the caped crusader and would be better suited for Nightwing, and I thought it would be weird to see him in the Batsuit (though you never know how cool an actor will look as Batman until you first see him in the cowl). Gyllenhaal can totally play dark and brooding, we’ve seen a lot of that… but I still don’t see him as Batman.

Granted, there is a long tradition of doubting Batman casting going back to Michael Keaton, when Batman fans were furious Batman would be played by “Mr. Mom.” More recently, the backlash against the casting of Heath Ledger was enormous, but the minute the prologue to The Dark Knight was released, everyone shut up real fast.

I won’t go into great detail, but I have five actors I’d prefer to see play Batman, in no particular order:

Jon Hamm — If we’re going to keep Batman’s age fairly consistent with Affleck, Hamm is your man! Batman actors have always been fairly short, but imagine a Batman that finally looms over his foes as he does so often in the comics, appearing over Deadshot’s shoulder looking down, rather than being eye-to-eye. That’s my Batman, as a fan of the comics. Besides, is anyone more charming than Hamm? Probably not…

Armie Hammer — If we’re going younger, I’d still like Hammer to have his chance at a successful franchise (though at this point, the DC Extended Universe might not be the place to go for that). Hammer would be damn charming as Bruce Wayne, and love or hate The Lone Ranger, the man looks convincing in a mask, and has the chin to support the cowl. He also has serious acting chops and range, hot off Call Me By Your Name.

Sebastian Stan —  Sure, his contract with Marvel supposedly has nine films on it, which means by the time Avengers 4 has ended he’ll still have four films on his contract, and may, in fact, be the next Captain America if the MCU aims to follow the comics. But… he’s also perfect to play Batman! He’s got the gravitas, the look, and he’s already comfortable with black eyeliner after playing the Winter Soldier. Who says you can’t play Batman and Captain America at the same time?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan — Do Flashpoint, as planned, but at the end, don’t have Barry fix everything quite right. Keep Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne Batman, though lay off the Joker Martha Wayne because that would be too weird in the repaired DCEU. Who wouldn’t want to see the man who brought the Comedian and Negan to life to play Batman going forward? On the other hand, it may break the brand a bit to have Thomas Wayne as main Batman, when everyone is used to Bruce Wayne. Imagine the backlash following that!

Ben Affleck — Don’t abandon us, Ben! You’re the best part of the DCEU, and my favorite live-action Batman to date. Don’t forsake us Batfleck, you’re our only hope.

Solo Synopsis Reaction – Don’t Show Me All Han Solo’s Lore!

The official synopsis for Solo was released this week:

“Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.”

I guess I don’t know what else I was expecting, but I really don’t want to watch everything we’ve heard Han Solo did already. How is that “an all-new adventure?” I was hoping for an original adventure, post most these iconic moments, with the swashbuckling Solo doing what he does best, reluctantly helping heroes.

Showing us all these iconic moments — I am most upset at having to see Solo and Chewbacca meet, that moment cannot live up to the relationship we watched over four films — is the prequels all over again. I never wanted to see the Clone Wars that Kenobi mentioned in the original Star Wars film, because as it turns out, “Clone Wars” was quite literal, and seeing it unfold was not as cool as hearing about a mysterious, cool sounding war.

Same with Solo, do we need to see him meet Chewie, Lando, and make the Kessel Run? Or are these stories left best as they were, legends? Will seeing these scenes take away something from the character we know and love? I guess if it is handled tastefully, it could work, but a film that switched directors late into shooting, had massive reshoots, and yet was not delayed is not a good sign. Remember Justice League?


Now, I want to hear from YOU! Agree with my opinions? Think I’m wrong about everything? Let me know! Let’s get some fun discussions and arguments going in the comment section below.

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  • SC Polt

    While probably 5-7 years too late now, I always thought Clive Owen would’ve been a great, great Batman/Bruce Wayne.

    • Nick

      I can see that.

  • jonathing

    David Boreanaz would be good bruce wayne

    • Nick

      Some one at work actually pitched having two actors, one playing Bruce Wayne and another playing Batman. Weird idea, but also bold.

      • jonathing

        how about real actor bruce cgi batman if we are thinking outside the box

        • Nick

          Isn’t that what we kind of have right now? Affleck’s Batman seems more CG than practical with the cape and how quick he moves… but as long as the face isn’t CG, I could see a motion capture Batman to make him seem larger than life. A legend, as it were.

          • jonathing

            yeah thinking about green lantern was 90% cgi 10% head

          • Nick

            But iron Man is 90% cg and 10% face, even in a scene where he is leaning against a wall in Civil War. And, as much as I dislike Snyder, he made a partially CG Batman look great! I’m not endorsing the idea, but it is not as crazy as it sounds.

      • Joseph Jammer Medina

        what the…no!

        • Nick

          Haha… that my response too. So I fired him!

  • Kindofabigdeal

    Fun Fact: When I was a kid I mixed up clones for drones in meaning. So I assumed there was this big war against droids. I also assumed this is why C3PO and R2 were not allowed in the cantina. I was not a smart kid.

    • Nick

      It would explain the lack of medals in the throne room scene, especially if Wookies were on the wrong side of the Droid Wars!

      See, the prequels squashed our imaginations.

      • Kindofabigdeal

        When I used to imagine my own movies set between the Old Republic and the Prequels I always pictured a Droid War.
        Actually it would be one scientist who managed to tap his consciousness into controlling droids. It then becomes transmittable and he starts to control droids throughout the galaxy. Of course he has a range. And when capital ships try to get close he hacks their droids and causes havoc on the ship. What is that? All fighters have a droid sidekick inside.
        In the end he loses his mind, but it would allow for some cool Jedi/Sith teaming up to destroy a fuckton of droids.

        • Nick

          Can we replace the prequels with your Droid Wars pitch? Maybe that can be Rian Johnson’s new trilogy!

          • Kindofabigdeal

            (sigh) I used to wonder if any of my ideas for movies would be any good for the fandom. But after seeing what Disney has wrought, I’m tempted to write some fan fiction.
            Now I enjoyed the movies for what they were, but they look and sound like star wars, but don’t really feel all like it. And when they do they completely rip it away with some BS.

        • Momitchell

          It was basically a “Drone” war that Lucas portrayed “Roger Roger!”

  • randomironicname

    Hamm could be great but I don’t see a future with him in the role. His window is closing quickly as he can start to see 50yo on the horizon.

    • Nick

      But the DCEU’s strategy from the beginning was an older Batman. Hamm could replace Affleck without any explanation. Now, if they plan to de-age him with Flashpoint or a Laruses Pit, I’d say Sebastian Stan is my first choice!

      • randomironicname

        Wait, DCEU has a strategy? When did this happen?
        I’m not digging Sebastian Stan as Bruce Wayne. He’s a fine actor but just doesn’t quite have the right presence to pull it off in my opinion. I can’t really think of a perfect choice when brainstorming big names so I would just prefer they open up the casting and find an new face.

  • the50sguystrikesback

    YES…I too say keep Affleck as Batman.

  • Mad Barchetta

    Only 5 actors better then Gyllenhaal? I’m sure we could double or triple that, easy. I agree, he’s a really good actor, but I don’t see him fitting the part.

    Meanwhile, I’m less curious about the height of Kylo’s pants than I am about the fact that he’s apparently been waxing. 0.o

    • Nick

      Oh, I could make a list of 100s of actors I’m sure.

  • Sy Burr

    Maggie Gyllenhaal is the clear choice…

  • WTFITBS

    Wes Bentley, Arnie Hammer, Matt Bomer….

  • TAPIT DRIvER

    “Hardy obviously crushed it playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises”……uh ok. IMO that movie sucked on so many levels. If memory serves I think it took an hour for him to show up as Batman. I remember looking at my watch during the movie wondering how much longer is this movie? The only other CBM that sucked almost as bad, is IM3. My rant for the day.

  • Mort Guffman

    Benjamin Walker. I think he’d be fantastic.