Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Yes! Captain America is finally going to hit the silver screen.
After years of languishing in courts, Marvel Comics secured the rights to mass market Captain America from the estate of his original creators. The rights were sold to Artisan Entertainment, which transferred to Lions Gate Entertainment, a movie studio not known for blockbusters. Now Marvel has said is enough is enough, and optioned the rights to Paramount Pictures. Marvel will pay to produce the movie itself, the way George Lucas does with Fox and Star Wars movies. Fox puts in marketing and distribution money, but Lucafilm foots all production costs and keeps creative control. This is what comic book fans have been waiting for: production control by Marvel itself.
Finally, after lagging behind Spider-Man, the X-Men and even Daredevil, Cap will get his shot. Hope it's not too late after years of Hell Boy, Elektra, the Punisher and other b-list heroes clogging up the attention of movie fans. With Middle East tension still high, this Cap movie ought to be a homerun here in the U.S. of A. The hardest thing about this movie will be casting Steve Rogers (aka. Captain America). My pick is an actor who played a hard-nosed CIA agent on the CBS Show "The Agency," named John O'Mara. I don't think Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom can pull this one off, sorry ladies.
Here's the official write-up from Variety Magazine:
Paramount has signed a lucrative, exclusive distribution deal with Marvel for films based on the comic book publisher's remaining characters, reports Variety.
According to a Dow Jones report Wednesday night, Marvel has already amassed a half-billion-dollar war chest to make a slate of movies with budgets as high as $180 million, drawing on its remaining 5,000 comic-book characters.
Among the first of its superheroes headed for the silver screen: Captain America and Nick Fury.
Marvel has never produced a movie on its own until now. To fund its slate Marvel arranged a seven-year $525 million revolving credit facility with Merrill Lynch Commercial Finance Corp., secured against the movie rights to 10 comic-book characters, including Captain America, says the trade.
Paramount isn't putting up any production money; it will receive a fee for marketing and distributing an initial 10 movies, the first of which is expected to hit theaters in two years. To ensure the maximum possible audience, none of the movies will be R-rated.