Newsbites: The comics and superheroes edition!

1. It may not have been nominated for Best Picture, but re-releasing The Dark Knight last month has paid off in one small way, at least: the film has finally raked in the last few pennies it needed to gross a billion dollars worldwide. Only three other films — Titanic (1997), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) — have passed this milestone. Interestingly, The Dark Knight is the only film in the all-time Top 20 worldwide that has made more money in North America than it has overseas. — Variety, Hollywood Reporter

2. Mickey Rourke recently suggested that he might not be co-starring in Iron Man 2 after all, though the studio apparently still wants him for the film. This follows earlier reports that Emily Blunt might not be able to co-star in the film due to scheduling conflicts with another movie, and that “an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world” might prevent Samuel L. Jackson from reprising his role as Nick Fury. Of course, Terrence Howard has already been replaced by Don Cheadle in the part of Jim Rhodes. Let’s hope Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow stick around, at least. — New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly

3. Remember that recent rumour about the Wachowski brothers being asked to reboot the Superman series? It’s been debunked. And the same website that debunked it is now reporting that a password-protected page at the Legendary Pictures website indicates the next Superman movie will be a sequel to Superman Returns (2006) called Superman Unleashed. — SlashFilm (x2)

4. There will be not one, not two, but three versions of Watchmen: the 156-minute version coming to theatres in two weeks, a 190-minute “director’s cut” on DVD, and an even longer 205-minute “ultimate edition” on DVD that will include footage from the story-within-the-story Tales of the Black Freighter. Meanwhile, early reviews are trickling in, and they are not mixed so much as they are sharply divided. —

5. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the Comedian in Watchmen, is in talks to star in another comic-book movie, The Losers. The story concerns “a special forces team betrayed by their handler and left for dead” who regroup “to conduct covert operations against the CIA and its interests.” — Hollywood Reporter

6. By some strange fluke, a superhero movie called Push came out two weeks ago, right around the same time an urban drama called Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire won the grand jury prize and two other awards at the Sundance film festival. To avoid confusion, Lionsgate, the studio that acquired the distribution rights to the Sundance film, has renamed it Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. — Variety

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