Bits and Pieces: The Superhero Edition

So much superhero news, so little time.  Here's a quick compilation.

1. The 1960's Batman television series will finally be available for Home Video. Yes, fans of the campy Adam West classic can now own the entire show on Blu-Ray or DVD or whichever format they decide to release it. The legalities that have kept the pop culture hit in limbo all these years has finally been worked out.

2. Michael Douglas is joining the cast of Ant-Man.  He'll apparently be playing the role of Hank Pym, who is one of Marvel's more complex characters. He started out innocently enough, but had a lot of confusing changes over the years -- in addition to the incredible shrinking Ant-Man, he also donned the identities of Giant-Man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, and even a male version of the Wasp. Later retellings of his story made him even more psychologically complicated. How much of this backstory will be in the film is unknown. In the comics, Pym creates Ultron, the villain that will be the focus of the next Avengers film, but early indications are that the origin story will be altered. Paul Rudd is playing Scott Lang, the reformed thief and electronics expert who became Ant-Man after Pym.  I'm glad they're hiring noteworthy actors for these superhero flicks.

3. Peter Parker is returning to life in the Spider-man comic. If you recall, they killed off the beloved alter-ego of the Webbed Hero through some convoluted soul-swapping storyline. Now, as predicted, he's being resurrected. Death is nothing for a superhero.

4. Will he or won't he? Is Johnny Depp in talks to play Dr. Strange? The mystic Defender seems to be a good fit for the actor, just quirky enough to fit his repertoire of zany characters, but grounded enough to hopefully showcase Depp's real talent instead of his recent clownish portrayals that have been more caricature than acting. I hope it's not just a rumor. If it actually happens, I hope Depp doesn't go overboard and turn the sorcerer supreme into an unrecognizable figure whose more strange than super.

5. NBC confirmed that it has ordered a Constantine pilot, based on the Hellblazer comic. Let's hope it's better than the Keanu Reeves adaptation, which I admit has its supporters, although I'm not one.

6. Marvel superheroes are coming to Disneyland. It was only a matter of time, now that Disney owns Marvel. To promote the sequel, Captain America: Winter Soldier, the patriotic Avenger will appear in the amusement park that Walt built.  Anaheim, California, is far enough away from Orlando, Florida, to avoid any conflicts with Universal Studios, which still has a licensing agreement with Marvel to have its superheroes as a popular attraction in its theme parks, but it's only a matter of time before Cap and all the rest find their way to Walt Disney World. Thor and Iron Man also had a presence at Disneyland.

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