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TCM Announces 24-Hour Film Salute To Lauren Bacall For September 15-16

Posted on 15 August 2014 by Rich Drees

LaurenBacallTurner Classic Movies have announced that next month they will memorialize the career of Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall, who passed away this past Tuesday. The eleven-film marathon contains a number of her most classic roles, including the four screen collaborations she shared with Humphrey Bogart. The channel will also be representing their 2005 Private Screenings interview between Bacall and TCM’s Robert Osborne.

Here’s the complete schedule –

Monday, Sept. 15
8 p.m. – Private Screenings: Lauren Bacall (2005)
9 p.m. – To Have and Have Not (1944)
11 p.m. – The Big Sleep (1946)
1 a.m. – How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
2:45 a.m. – Private Screenings: Lauren Bacall (2005)
3:45 a.m. – Harper (1966)

Tuesday, Sept. 16
6 a.m. – Bright Leaf (1950)
8 a.m. – Young Man with a Horn (1950)
10 a.m. – Dark Passage (1947)
Noon – Key Largo (1948)
2 p.m. – Blood Alley (1955)
4 p.m. – Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
6 p.m. – Designing Woman (1953)

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UPDATED: DEADPOOL Movie Test Footage Hits Web

Posted on 28 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

deadpool screenshot

[Updated with a new video embed and a tweet from the project’s co-writer.]

While the general public might only know Deadpool as the Ryan Reynolds character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine or from his self titled video game of last year, he is one of the most popular Marvel Comics characters. He has a number of comic book series to his credit, and go to any comic con and you’ll see numerous cosplayers dressed up as him.

A film was long in the works for the character, but his appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine , an interpretation that moved away quite considerably from way the character is portrayed in the comics, seemed to set the possibility of a Deadpool film back instead of move it forward.

However, in 2011, Tim Miller was hired to bring Deadpool to the big screen. Miller, who came from the world of visual effects, created test reel to show his take on the character. That reel is included below, but click fast because it might be taken down at anytime (see more about that below).

In case that footage no longer exists, let me give you a run down on it. The footage covers page 7 through 11 in Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s April 12, 2010 script for the feature, albeit with the violence and gore toned down a bit. The resolution isn’t all that great, but it appears the scene was “filmed” entirely in super-realistic CGI.  It starts with Deadpool, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, sitting on a highway overpass waiting for something. We soon see what as he steps of the overpass and falls into a SUV filled with sunglasses-wearing thugs.

Deadpool beats the crap out of the four occupants–shoving one out the door, breaking another’s neck–before inevitably causing an accident. The accident, which involves the SUV spinning end over end sideways down the highway, gets the attention of a lead, motorcycle riding thug. The biker thug gets off his bike and fires a machine gun at the SUV, which is barreling towards him. As the SUV passes over him, he watches Deadpool pull out a katana inside the car. The SUV lands and the scene ends with Deadpool using the biker’s head as a puppet to address the audience.

I am not the biggest Deadpool fan and therefore am nowhere near an expert on him, but from what I see in the clip, everything that makes the character popular is there on the screen. The inventive, fearless fighting style, the humor/craziness of the character, the witty quips (judging by the differences from the script, many possibly provided by Reynolds himself), the breaking of the fourth wall, everything that would make Deadpool fans scream “Shut up and take my money” is there.

Response over the web has been very positive, with everyone from iO9 to the Vulture to the character’s co-creator Fabian Nicieza to sing its praises.

Of course, Fox’s reply to all this popular press is to order the clip be taken down. Early reports on the footage were taken from a You Tube upload of the video that Fox asked to be taken down. The version I imbedded was a Vimeo clip, and was active at press time,  but odds are Fox will get around to having that one taken down as well at some point.

Cynical people might theorize the clip was leaked by someone to generate this type of interest. If so, hopefully Fox will take a hint and green light the Deadpool film at long last.

UPDATE: Co-writer Reese tweeted out the following picture of the shooting of the test footage featuring Ryan Reynolds in a mo-cap suit.

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Dwayne Johnson Hints At SHAZAM! Role…Again

Posted on 21 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

DwayneJohnsonIt seems like the Internet is all in a tizzy about Dwayne Johnson dropping strong hints that he might be in Warner’s upcoming Shazam! project in an interview with Total Film while promoting his latest film, Hercules. However, Johnson has been dropping hints for a while.

I covered this back in June when discussing the rumored slate of DC Comics films were first leaked. Johnson was hinting back in March that he has signed on with Warners to play a complex DC character that was well known yet never brought to the screen before, one that was on a similar power level to Superman. I connected that with the fact that Shazam! was still in active development at the time, and theorized the role Johnson was talking about was in that film. Johnson reiterates much of the same points in the Total Film interview embedded below. However, this is the first time that Johnson has come close to indicate that the character is in the Shazam universe with the sly way he hinted, “Just say the word.” (Billy Batson turns into Captain Marvel by saying “Shazam!,” and other characters change into their alter egos by saying similar words.)

Up to this point, Johnson has been linked to the role of the villainous Egyptian Black Adam in the film, but this was the first indication that Johnson might be playing the heroic Captain Marvel.

In the video, Johnson says that we will be finding out soon what his involvement really is, which I assume to mean during the DC Entertainment panel at San Diego Comic Con. So we should know before the week is out exactly what Johnson is playing.

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Kate Mara Apparently Confirms FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot Not True To Source Material

Posted on 15 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

kate mara mexican esquireI’ve devoted a lot of the server space FBOL takes up to hand-wringing over how bad the Fantastic Four reboot was going to be. My main concern was the plot synopsis that appeared on a casting announcement that indicated that the reboot will be almost 100% different than the comic book it takes its name from. Josh Trank went to Twitter to deny that the synopsis was real, but Fox legal still sent out takedown notices to any film site that reported on the casting announcement’s plot blurb, including us.

However, part of me wanted to believe Trank that this was not true, that the powers that be would not be so arrogantly stupid to change what made the Fantastic Four the Fantastic Four. But an interview with Kate Mara by the Mexican edition of Esquire Magazine most likely put the last nail in the coffin of that hope.

Wedged in between pictures of Mara lounging in vintage underwear, the magazine managed to ask Mara about her up coming role in the reboot, specifically dealing with the comics themselves. ComicBookMovie is there to translate:

Q: Do you like comics?

A: I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one. I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions. The one fact is I am a fan of comic book movies, so it’s very exciting to be part of a movie like this.

Okay, the “looking-on-the-bright-side-of-things” Bill says that maybe this was just an error in translation. Or it could be willful misdirection. Or maybe Mara meant that the film will not be based on any particular story arc from the comics but that the origin will remain…will…ah, who am I trying to kid. The casting plot synopsis was right. Get ready for a loosely-affiliated band of super-powered government mercenaries as your reboot FF. I’m sure it will be kewl.

This of course begs the question of when does a FF film not become an FF film? And why didn’t they just create an original film around the concept instead of  just tacking the FF name on to something that bares little resemblance to the source material? Is the name that much of a draw? If so, why not pay more respect to it?

The trainwreck is set to hit theaters on June 19, 2015. Maybe we’ll find out how many puppies they’ve sacrificed to the Dark Gods next week at San Diego Comic Con.

 

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Is Outer Space In THE HULK’s Future? (Updated!)

Posted on 01 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

avengers-commercial-hulkThe worst part about this latest information is that it will mean that El Mayimbe was at least partially right. Dagnabbit!

The Latino Review scribe was the one who started the rumor in February of last year that the Hulk would be featured in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk storyline from the comics would be the basis of of the film story. The rumor was almost immediately refuted by Ain’t It Cool News, but was so powerful that it still held enough sway that Mark Ruffalo felt the need to debunk in once again as recently as yesterday.

However, this most recent denial from Ruffalo was too much for HitFix’s Drew McWeeny. See, McWeeny paid a visit to the set of The Avengers: Age of Ultron and what he saw did not exactly jibe with what Ruffalo was saying, and it bothered him so much that, confidentiality agreement be damned, he felt compelled to say something. So, he did.

(See update below for clarification.)

Now, McWeeny felt the need to reveal where the Hulk is at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Since I am going to be discussing as well, I think it calls for one of these:

DisneyspoilerwarningAnd, since I want to be sure that you know what you are getting into, let me hit you with that again:

DisneyspoilerwarningSo, apparently McWeeny saw  Bruce Banner’s final fate in The Avengers: Age of Ultron during his set visit. And this is what it is:

Without giving away why and how, let’s look at the state of things for Bruce Banner at the end of “Age Of Ultron.” Banner continues to play a key role in things in this movie, and when the final war with Ultron spills onto the battlefield and out of the virtual realm, he has a major part to play. Unfortunately, that ends with him onboard a Quin jet on his way off the planet, with no way to immediately turn things around. He’s going to have to ride out the trip. It’s pre-programmed and he can’t stop it.

I am immediately willing to discount this whole thing just because McWeeny doesn’t know that “Quinjet” is one word.

As any savvy comic fan knows, that is pretty much how the Planet Hulk storyline begins in the comics. I bet El Mayimbe is happy!

And look, he is!

However, McWeeny is quick to burst that particular bubble, by giving his own, non-Planet Hulk theory on how Banner’s exile will work out.

Here’s where I’d wager his spaceship is headed: wherever the Guardians of the Galaxy are located. If I was a betting man, I’d say there will be no Hulk solo film as part of Phase Three. Instead, Banner’s ship will take him to another planet, where he will end up meeting the Guardians and having an adventure with them. Hulk will definitely come out to play a few times. I suspect we’ll see some sequences that very much feel like they’re part of the Planet Hulk story, but that the larger story will be about the Guardians finding a way to get Banner home, only to end up going with him. That would move a big piece of the puzzle into place to get Thanos looking back at the Earth in time for the third “Avengers” film.

McWeeny’s theory does makes sense. Ruffalo has a lot of films to burn through and him being in GotG 2 will add another film. It will also add star power to the sequel, and provide a bridge between Marvel’s Earthbound heroes. But while Marvel supposedly has a plan until 2028, they typically don’t announce a sequel until they get a box office from the current film. I don’t think GotG2 is a done deal quite as of yet.

And, of course, there are could be other ways Marvel can go from here, everything from a pure Planet Hulk adaptation to a way to introduce the Inhumans into the Cinematic Universe. Also, just throwing this out there, this scene could have been a fake scene shot for McWeeny’s benefit as a test by Marvel if he would say anything. And, of course, now that this scene is out there, Marvel might decide to scrap it and go elsewhere since the surprise is gone. The possibilities are endless.

However, if either El Mayimbe’s or McWeeny’s theories are correct, it might be another sign that we are entering a dark period of creativity for Marvel Studios. You get the feeling that Marvel doesn’t believe that the “Hulk being a hunted man” storyline will no longer bear any fruit, even though The Incredible Hulk TV series ran for years on that very premise. But the Hulk is still one of Marvel’s most recognizable properties. Having to wait for an Avengers flick to see the character is bad enough. Having the next time we see him after that be once again as an ensemble player or the lead in a gladiatorial epic seems to be at best very risky or at worse, deadly for the character.

More should be clear as the weeks and months progress.

UPDATE:

Drew McWeeny sent us an e-mail to clarify some confusion I had pertaining to his post:

The information I revealed about the fate of the Hulk in “Avengers: Age Of  Ultron” was not something I learned during my set visit, nor did I say “confidentiality agreement be damned.” I did not discuss anything I saw during my trip to London. My own sources supplied me with my information about the end of the film, and I am 100% confident of its accuracy.

Please take this into account when considering my post above.

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Renner Confirms Return For MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5

Posted on 08 June 2014 by Rich Drees

JeremyRenner1

It may not seem like it at first, but when you think about it, Jeremy Renner seems to be a go-to guy for action franchises. He’s a part of Marvel Studio’s blockbuster Avengers films. He has taken over the Bourne franchise and may have be returning for a second Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

And just in case you forgot, he was being positioned in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol to take over that franchise from Tom Cruise. Well, Cruise will be back for a fifth installment, but the idea that Renner may one day assume the reins of the series has not been abandoned. Last week in an interview with Yahoo, he mentioned that amongst his work load over the next couple of years will be a return to the spy franchise.

I’m kind of strapped time-wise doing Avengers 2, and Mission: Impossible 5 is rearing its head, and then they want to do another Bourne movie.

I don’t think there has been an official announcement of his participation in the sequel yet, so I suppose we can take this as close to an official confirmation that his character of William Brandt will be returning for another outing with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Missions Force. Maybe Mission: Impossible 6 will be the time for Brandt to shine in the spotlight.

Currently director Christopher McQuarrie is prepping the film for a shoot later this year in order to meet the announced release date of Christmas 2015.

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Cumberbatch, Hardy Being Considered For DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 06 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

cumberbarch hardy dr, strangeWhile Ant-Man flounders in the wake of losing its director, Doctor Strange is pressing full steam ahead, even though it hasn’t been officially announced yet.

One had to expect that after Scott Derrickson was named director of the film, the casting rumors would stat coming fast and furious. And they have.

Deadline is reporting that Marvel has started a wish list of actors they’d like to play Stephen Strange and on the top of that list is Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy.

Now would be the time to mention that we at that “apple-pie-in-the-sky” period of casting rumors, where the actors named might actually be the ones Marvel wants, they might not actually be the actors Marvel gets.

That being said, if Marvel does cast Cumberbatch as Strange, they can just take my money now. I’ll camp out in the theater and wait for the film to arrive. However, Cumberbatch has been mentioned before in geek cred properties and not signed on (namely Star Wars). So, I’m not holding my breath.

Hardy is an interesting choice. Most people might only know him as the barely-audible Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but he is definitely a skilled actor. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in the role.

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MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING Is Getting A Sequel

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Rich Drees

MyBigFatGreekWedding

Writer/actress Nia Vardalos is getting ready to say her vows again. Deadline is reporting that the writer and star of the 2002 hit independent comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding has finished the screenplay for a sequel. Vardalos will be joined on-screen by her Wedding co-star and groom John Corbett as well as various members of her character’s extended, trouble causing family.

In a statement Vardalos said –

Now that I’m experiencing motherhood, I’m ready to write the next chapter of my family story. Of course a few jaded folks in the press corps will claim I ran out of money or just want to kiss John Corbett again. One of these things is true.

Although the film was produced for approximately $5 million, it grossed over $368 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful indie films of all time.

This is not the first time that Vardalos revisited the Portokalos clan of the film. In 2003, the film spun off the television series My Big Fat Greek Life, though it did poorly in the ratings and only lasted one season.

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Jackie Chan Teaming With Renny Harlin And Seann William Scott For SKIPTRACE

Posted on 21 May 2014 by Rich Drees

JackieChan1

Although his work in numerous Hong Kong-produced action films have been rightly praised the world over, his work done in Hollywood has been at best a mixed-bag. But will Chan bringing elements of Hollywood to Hong Kong for a film produce better results? We may just find out as Die Hard 2 director Renny Harlin is in talks to direct the Hong Kong-produced Skiptrace which is set to star Chan and Seann William Scott.

According to the Hollywood Reporter

The story, based on an idea by Chan, centers on a good cop (Chan) whose niece (Fan Bingbing) gets into trouble with a crime syndicate run by a man the detective has been chasing for a decade. The cop is forced to track down the one person who can help save the niece — a fast-talking American gambler (Scott) — and bring him to Hong Kong.

Harlin has had a career that has seen both some highs and lows and hopefully this will be more Die Hard 2 than The Exorcist: The Beginning. What’s more interesting is to see a name director like Harlin being hired for a film not being funded by a Hollywood studio. Instead, the budget is being covered by China’s Talent International Film Co. and Dasym Entertainment. It will be interesting to see if this will lead to more creative freedom for Harlin, Chan and the rest of the production team.

It might be a while though before we may be able to see the end results as there’s no word yet as to any distribution deals for the film in the United States being set.

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Harrison Ford Offered Role In BLADE RUNNER Sequel

Posted on 15 May 2014 by William Gatevackes

Blade-RunnerTypically, when a star is offered a role in a movie, it is done behind closed doors as a private matter between the producers and their agent.This way, if a star says no, the only way the world will find out is if it slips out through the easy-to-deny web of gossip sites.

Alcon Entertainment is taking a different approach. The Warner Brothers-based production company wants Harrison Ford for their Blade Runner sequel and they don’t care who knows it. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite, they want everyone to know it–the news hit the wire via a press release from the company.

This move is quite unorthodox, and one can’t help to think that there is some kind of ulterior motive for making this offer public. The reason that readily comes to mind is that they want some kind of public pressure on Ford to take the role, knowing fans of the original would be clamoring for the actor to return to one of his most iconic roles.

If Ford takes them up on their offer, he wouldn’t be only one connected with the first production involved in the sequel. Blade Runner‘s director Ridley Scott is attached to helm the sequel, and one of the writers of the original film, Hampton Fancher, will be co-writing this one with Michael Green.

Ford has expressed interest in revisiting Rick Deckard in the past, but his now busy schedule, coincidentally stuffed with roles from his past,  might be the only thing standing in his way. As we all know know, Ford has returned to reprise his role as Han Solo in J.J. Abrams new Star Wars trilogy. And there are rumblings that a new Indiana Jones film is being developed. Ford was able to juggle all three franchises back in the early 80s, but there are 30-plus years of extra mileage on him now.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see what Ford’s response to this public wooing will be.

Via Collider.

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