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Xerxes

Good things take time, as anyone who’s ever watched "Apocalypse Now: Redux" can attest. That said, the wait for a "300" sequel, prequel, or whatever they want to call it, has gone on for quite a while.

Plans for "300: Battle of Artemisia" began to slowly develop this year, with a tentative release date set for August 2, 2013.

But according to Rodrigo Santoro, reprising his role as the Persian king Xerxes, things are definitely moving along.

"We start shooting in July," Santoro told Collider. " They’re working on the very, well you never know, but last draft of the script. I think they’re calling it a spin-off because it’s not exactly a prequel, it’s not a sequel."

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Dark Knight Rises shirt

There are many ways to show one’s love for Batman. You can show up to the midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" while dressed like Bane. You can rasterbate a photo of Anne Hathaway on your wall. You can even tattoo the Robin logo on your shoulder, in anticipation of when he’ll show up in the movie-verse.

Thanks to Warner Brothers, there’s another option: to wear as much Bat-themed clothing as possible.

Warner Bros has released a line of tie-in shirts for "Rises," now available at your local vendor. It’s pretty typical stuff: scratched gray tees featuring different versions of the Batman logo on them, a white tee with a picture of Bane’s face and "Fire Rises" printed over it, a very "Footloose" Catwoman shirt that hangs off the shoulder and says "Social Climber" in winking script on the front. You can see some in-depth photos of the merchandise over at Collider, or head right for the online store.

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Nolan

Here’s an amateur hypothesis, motivated by nothing but conjecture and heresy: if you see "The Dark Knight Rises" once, you’ll probably see it again. Realistically speaking, you’ll probably see it another time after that. You may consider, then, heading to an IMAX theater for one of those screenings, as "Rises" will contain more than an hour of IMAX footage. That’s the most ever for a Hollywood feature, a decision that was motivated by director Christopher Nolan’s appreciation for the format.

"I remember looking at the audience every time a helicopter banked, and everyone was leaning slightly to the side," Nolan told the Wall Street Journal about watching IMAX movies as a kid. "I had never seen an audience so immersed in a film."

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Avengers

The fight sequences in "The Avengers" will be epic, FTW, or whatever your preferred nomenclature for high quality happens to be. But there will be quieter moments as well, showcasing the characterization that makes the Avengers themselves, and not just any cookie-cutter action heroes. That’s why we care, no?

In this clip presented to "The Graham Norton Show," we see Bruce Banner and the Black Widow interacting for the first time. The clip seems to set up Banner’s involvement in the movie (apart from being the Hulk), and why he’s recruited by Fury.

"He wants you to find it," the Black Widow says of an ominous "it," which could very well be the fabled Cosmic Cube. "It’s been taken. It emits a gamma signal that’s too weak for us to trace. There’s no one who knows gamma radiation like you do. If there was, that’s where I’d be."

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John Hawkes

The Governor is arguably the most menacing character in all of "The Walking Dead" comics. In movies like "Winter’s Bone" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene," John Hawkes plays menacing to a tee. It sounds like an actor-character match made in heaven, no?

Before David Morrissey was eventually cast as the Governor in the upcoming season of "Walking Dead," Hawkes was offered the role, which he subsequently turned down. Speaking to MovieWeb, he explained why.

"They offered me the role, and I just felt there would be someone else who could do it better. I was flattered, and I took a look at the series," he said. "It held interest for me, but I just didn't feel like I was the guy for it."

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Pity Val Kilmer, if you will. One of the best actors of our times, Kilmer never got a fair shot to make the Batman franchise his own. Coming on the tail end of two well-received Tim Burton Bat films, "Batman Forever" wasn’t the best representation of the franchise and eventually set the table for the brand-killing "Batman & Robin."

At the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, Kilmer discussed working on "Forever," and where things went wrong.

"I think because of Tim Burton’s success on the first film and Nicholson being so amazing that they kind of got carried away with the idea of the bad guy being immune to rules somehow," he said. "In the original film the Joker gets the hell kicked out of him and thrown off the bell tower. He suffers, and that sort of went away. Things became cute. It’s entertaining, but I think what they’re doing with the Batman films now is more in the original spirit of the character."

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For as long as we can remember, Warner Brothers and the estate of "Superman" creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster have been arguing in court over who owns the rights to the Last Son of Krypton. We’ve written about it for years, and yet, the battle rages on.

But yesterday, Warner Bros. may have won a big victory after focusing its attention on attorney Marc Toberoff, who was trying to fill the double role of representing the Siegel estate and serving as a business partner for their future endeavors. Warner argued that the double-dipping made for a conflict of interest, and the court apparently agreed. "Toberoff served as both a business advisor and an attorney for that venture," it stated in an opinion. "The ethical and professional concerns raised by Toberoff's actions will likely occur to many readers, but they are not before this court."

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No matter how many comic book movies have been made in the last few years, the process of bringing a superhero to the big screen is always arduous. Veteran comics scribe J.M. DeMatteis, known for stories like "Kraven’s Last Hunt," got a taste of it when he was asked to submit a screenplay for a "Daredevil" movie that was being developed in the mid-90’s. It never came to fruition, and eventually, the Ben Affleck version we all know and... acknowledge came to pass.

But the story doesn’t end there: on his blog, DeMatteis explains how he got started with the project, and where his version of The Man Without Fear might have gone.

"I learned, very quickly, that, even with a background in both comics and film, turning a superhero saga into a movie was no easy feat," he begins, "but after some false starts—and fantastic input from Carlo [Carlei], Chris [Columbus] and two exceptional members of the 1492 team, Jim Mulay and Michael Barnathan—I completed a detailed treatment that seemed to please all involved."

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The made-for-TV "Powers" adaptation has been in production for quite some time, as our intermittent progress reports have indicated here and there, with an unreleased pilot all there is to show for the long development cycle.

According to Comic Book Resources, it may yet be a while longer yet: in a video interview shot at WonderCon, actor Khary Payton, who played Cutter in the pilot, indicated that FX is going back to square one.

"The higher ups want to do this so badly because they know it's going to be the coolest thing on television," he said. "But it's hard. It's a hard concept, I think, to get. And they had to step back and start over again. From what I hear, the plan is still moving forward."

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Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. is 47 years old today. It’s a year like any other for most people, except that in Downey’s case, a lot more people care. That wasn’t the case so long ago, when his reputation was still being rehabilitated in the wake of some very public addiction scandals and arrests. But then Marvel Studios decided to take the chance on him for “Iron Man,” giving Downey a completely new career.

Back in 2008, there was no guarantee that “Iron Man” was going to be a success. Hugely budgeted superhero movies are always a gamble, especially when directed by someone who’d never been known for his action flicks (or for directing at all, really) and starring an actor who’d yet to make his re-emergence into Hollywood’s A-list. Combined with the fact that Iron Man was a decidedly B-list Marvel character in the public eye, the table was set for a huge letdown, especially considering Marvel’s hit-or-miss track record at the box office.

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