After having a whole slew of evil ex-boyfriends in Scott Pilgrim vs the World, it looks like the next significant other for Mary Elizabeth Winstead will be the 16th President of the United States. Heat Vision reports the beautiful actress has landed the role of Abraham Lincoln’s wife Mary Todd in Timur Bekmambetov’s adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s historical action horror story Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Earlier this week we heard that Robin McLeavy had landed the role, but those reports have turned out to be untrue. They had a 50/50 chance of being right though since both actresses were the top choices for the role.
Winstead joins an interesting cast featuring Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln, Anthony Mackie as his best friend Will, and Dominic Cooper as a mysterious man named Henry Stugress. The story kicks off with the revelation that Lincoln’s mother was killed by a supernatural creature, which fueled his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers. The book depicts the 16th US president as an axe-throwing highly trained vampire killer. It sounds like this project is coming together much easier than the adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s other horror infused period piece Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which may or may not have a third director lined up to get the project off the ground. Thoughts?
In addition to Jurassic Park, Telltale is currently adapting The Walking Dead and the Fables comic book series into games, reports All Thing’s Digital’s eMoney blog, part of the WSJ network. The developer is expected go into detail on the titles at a pre-scheduled press event tonight, during which a total of five multiplatform projects are supposed to be announced.
According to eMoney, the Fables game is part of "an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement" with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, while The Walking Dead game will be based on the AMC television adaption of the franchise (which also originated as a comic). Steve Allison, SVP of marketing for Telltale, told the site that he thinks The Walking Dead has the potential to become a $20-30 million franchise for the studio.
"See the movie, play the game doesn’t work anymore," Allison said, "but the way we make content, it does." Both new series are expected to be episodic adventure games, in line with Telltale’s current and past efforts, and "will trickle out over the next year," according to eMoney, through digital retailers including Telltale’s online store and Steam.
Updated: Feb. 9, 2011; 5 p.m. PST
It’s game over for Guitar Hero.
Activision Blizzard will close its music-game business division, laying off hundreds of employees, and cancel the Guitar Hero game that was in development for 2011, the publisher said in a conference call Wednesday.
The drastic move comes after significant industrywide declines in the music game business. In 2007, Activision sold 1.5 million copies of Guitar Hero III in its first month of sales. Last year, Activision only sold 86,000 copies of the latest game in the series, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Slowing sales of chief competitor Rock Band led Viacom to sell maker Harmonix and close the MTV Games publishing division.
Activision said that the decline of the genre, plus the high cost of licensing music and producing the games, led it to close the business.
“There was nothing that Activision or anybody could have done to save Guitar Hero,” said Jesse Divnich, vice president of analyst services for Electronic Entertainment Design and Research, in an interview with Wired.com. Divnich said that Activision realizes the “opportunity cost” of continuing to make Hero games when it could instead be putting those resources towards more profitable games.
Divnich said that the casual gamers that made up the majority of guitar games’ audience have now moved on. “if your primary hobby is not gaming, you get your fill quicker on entertainment products,” he said.
The publisher will also cancel upcoming game True Crime: Hong Kong. It said the cancellation of these two projects and the layoffs will affect 7 percent of its roughly 7000 employees worldwide, or about 500 people total.
But Activision said that it expects its net headcount to bounce back to that 7000 number by the end of the year, since it is making further investments into a new massively multiplayer online game from its Blizzard division, makers of World of Warcraft, and into new Call of Duty projects like a free-to-play game for the Chinese market and a suite of online services for players of the military shooter games called Project Beachhead.
Although Guitar Hero is a goner, games built around music “will never die,” Divnich said. “Harmonix has [Kinect game] Dance Central, and that took off huge. [Publishers] just need to find the next big thing.”
Battlefield 1943 for PC is not going to happen. Posting on the official Battlefield blog, Karl Magnus Troedsson, general manager of DICE, confirmed that both 1943 and Onslaught, a co-op add-on for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, have been "officially canceled." He states that the team is focusing all energy on Battlefield 3 in order to make it "the best Battlefield game ever" and "the biggest launch in DICE’s history." (Good luck getting into a game during the first three days!)
Battlefield 1943‘s delayed trek to PC had become hopeless in recent months, though company reps believed it was still set to deploy at some point when we followed up last summer. The downloadable experiment has been a resounding success on consoles, netting $16 million for Electronic Arts.
Every time you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to original comic book art something turns up to prove that you haven’t. Exhibit A for that rule today is the Heritage Auctions announcement that 4 pages of 1939 production proofs from Detective Comics #27 just surfaced, having been in the possession of a man living in an apartment building were Bob Kane once lived, who rescued it from the curbside trash some 45 years ago.
Silver Age production art is not uncommon, but like the actual original art itself, Golden Age production art is extremely rare. Usually tossed in the trash, as these pages were. No actual original artwork from Detective Comics #27 is known to exist, although a single page of original art from Batman #1 is known to have survived to the present day.
Gigabyte today launched a new video card that uses an nVidia GT 440 GPU. Dubbed as the Gigabyte GV-N440TC-1GI, this video card has some nice features such as a 512MB of GDDR5 on-board with a 1GB of TurboCache memory, a 830MHz core clock, a 1660MHz shader clock and a 3200MHz memory clock.
This new graphics card card also supports DirectX 11 and has several connectivity options including D-Sub, DVI and HDMI. The card fits into a PCI-E 2.0 slot and has a 128-bit memory interface.
What’s more, the GPU uses the 40nm technology and supports PhysX, CUDA and more. No word on pricing at this time.
During THQ’s investor call today, president and CEO Brian Farrell repositioned Homefront’s launch from March 8 to March 15. A THQ rep confirmed the delay to Joystiq, saying, “We moved our Homefront launch date by one week to March 15.”
No specific reason was given for the move, but the launches of Pokemon Black & White and Dragon Age 2 on March 8 go a long way in explaining it. The rest of THQ’s statement seems to reflect our supposition: “We think we have a great opportunity to dominate retail on this date.” Tell that to Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus.
UPDATE: According to People.com, Stewart’s reps said: “There are a number of fabricated stories circulating. The fact is that she has not met on this film nor has she been approached for this film.” Our original story remains below.
Now that Zack Snyder has cast his Clark Kent, our attention has turned to the second lead in Metropolis, Lois Lane. The rumor mill is stirring over which actress will play the intrepid reporter in Snyder’s Superman reboot and seemingly every young woman in Hollywood has been floated as a possibility. One name on the list that raised a few eyebrows, however, was Kristen Stewart. Apparently not only does the Twilight star agree, she thinks one franchise is more than enough and has reportedly taken herself out of the running. Read the juicy details after the break.
According to the New York Daily News, Stewart met with Snyder and his producer/wife Deborah to discuss the role. Snyder didn’t formally offer the role to her, but had “definite interest.” Stewart, however “ultimately passed” indicating she was “caught off guard” by the success of Twilight and wanted to concentrate on “smaller, independent films.”
The best part is that the News reports Snyder felt “slighted” by the actress and that she “wasted his time.”
When contacting Stewart’s publicist, all they would say was that she “did not read for the role” which could easily mean she took a meeting. Snyder’s people didn’t comment.
Whether or not any of this actually happened is pretty insignificant. The fact of the matter is, Stewart will not be Lois Lane. Almost all the other actresses that have been rumored – Rachel McAdams, Mila Kunis, Jessica Biel, Dianna Agron, Malin Akerman, Olivia Wilde, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and either Kristen Bell or Lake Bell – are definitely solid choices. If I had to rank them in my mind, it would be McAdams, Agron, Winstead, Wilde, Kunis, Bell (either), Akerman. But that’s just me.
Do you think Stewart could have pulled the role off? And how do you rank the actresses who are rumored to be up for this, obviously, coveted role?