Film News Around the 'Net: Iron Man 2, Green Lantern, and J.J. Abrams's Star Trek

With movies about mutants and cyborgs and hobbits dominating the box office, this week we kick off a new column, rounding up the biggest news in comic, sci-fi, and fantasy movies.

"Serious Actor" to Play Jonah Hex?

On the heels of roles in No Country for Old Men, Oliver Stone's W., and the upcoming Oscar-bait Milk, looks like Josh Brolin is finally ready to step up to a comic book movie: he's rumored to be playing Jonah Hex, DC Comics' Old West gun-slinging antihero. He looks good in a cowboy hat, and he played Wild Bill Hickok for three years on The Young Riders.

Verdict: Saddle up, Dubya!

Oscar Nominee to Direct Thor?

Variety reports that Kenneth Branagh is in talks to direct Marvel Studios' Thor, on the slate for 2010. He's a good actor and a fine director, but Branagh's never directed an action film. He's traditionally gone more for stage adaptations like Hamlet, As You Like It, and The Magic Flute.

Verdict: Forsooth, kind Branagh, sticketh to Shakespeare.

Another Oscar Nominee to Play Green Lantern?

According to Latino Review, their source at Warner Brothers says they want Ryan Gosling -- the guy from The Notebook and Half Nelson -- to play Green Lantern. He's the right age, a good actor, and not so exposed that he'll overshadow the part. This is a good call, and may make his career. (After all, we're going to be watching Tobey Maguire in terrible vanity projects for the next 20 years because of Spider-Man.)

Verdict: "In brightest day, in blackest night, beware the power of Gosling's light. And the ladies seem to like him."

Favreau Chats Iron Man 2

At a live chat for the L.A. Times (h/t Rope of Silicon), Jon Favreau talked about Iron Man 2, among other things. The rundown: Gwyneth Paltrow is funnier than Vince Vaughan and Robert Downey Jr.; Sam Rockwell was on his list to play Iron Man; the only other comic character he would do is Groo the Wanderer; IM2 will feature War Machine, with shoulder cannons; the dark elements of Tony Stark, like his alcoholism, will be addressed; and IM2 will be sticking with "some version of 'classic villains.' " But he never answered my big question: Why do fanboys think typing "Iron Man Ruulz!!!" in these things is such an awesome idea?

Verdict: Iron Man 2, it appears, will also Ruulz!!!

JJ Abrams: "We Weren't Making a Movie for Star Trek Fans"

Get your spoilers, get your red hot spoilers! Entertainment Weekly's cover story looks at Star Trek, including a paragraph's worth of new specifics (I won't ruin the surprise, head on over for the details). Leonard Nimoy is in as old Spock, William Shatner is not in as old Kirk, and if you're desperate to see the trailer, it premieres before Quantum of Solace, the new Bond movie, on Nov. 14. Most interesting, Abrams seems to be daring the Trekkies not to like it. And, here are eleven new pictures of the crew and the USS Kelvin.

Verdict: Alienating the fan base? Totally illogical.