Archive | Actors

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Jason Momoa States Signed As Aquaman For Four Films

Posted on 08 December 2014 by Rich Drees


We’ve known that Jason Momoa will be appearing as Aquaman in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice film, but it has been unclear as to how many other appearances in Warner Brothers’ burgeoning DC Comics Cinematic Universe. Sure, the character is a lock for appearing in to the two Justice League films recently announced for 2017 and 2019 and the Aquaman film that will land between the two. But will there be other films that he could potentially pop up in, much in the way that Marvel Studios sometimes have their characters make quick cameos in each others’ films?

Well, we have the answer to that. Speaking at a Brazilian Comic Book Convention appearance this weekend, Momoa stated that he has signed with Warner Brothers for four films. So, that would pretty much encompass the four films we already know about.

But what about future sequels? If either or both Justice League and Aquaman do big enough business, it is a forgone conclusion that the studio will want more. It would seem that if they don’t have Momoa locked up for me, he could conceivably have the studio over a barrel when it comes time to negotiate a new deal for those films, right? Possibly. It seems more likely that Momoa is not divulging all the terms of his contract with the studio. His contract could conceivably be “play or pay” deals for those films with options for further sequels.

Granted the success of Marvel’s own Cinematic Universe has undoubtedly changed the nature of how contracts are written for actors being approached to star in big franchise films like this. I would doubt that Warners wouldn’t have contingencies in place in order to insure that if there were call for further films featuring Momoa as Aquaman, they wouldn’t necessarily be at a disadvantage when it comes time to strike a deal with him for his services.

Via Bleeding Cool.


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Benedict Cumberbatch IS DOCTOR STRANGE

Posted on 04 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

BenedictCumberbatchHe was one of the first of many, many names entered into the running for the role, and it turns out that he was the last as well. has just confirmed that Benedict Cumberbatch has officially signed on to play the title role in 2016’s Doctor Strange, ending months of casting rumors that had just about every male actor of a certain age being considered for the role.

Cumberbatch was first rumored to be up for the role back in June, which he quickly squashed during San Diego Comic Con in July, stating work conflicts that might keep him from the role. His name came back into contention in late-October and stayed there until today. In between, actors such as  Tom Hardy, Joaquin Phoenix, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac were rumored to be in the running.

“Stephen Strange’s story requires an actor capable of great depth and sincerity,” said Producer Kevin Feige in the press release. “In 2016, Benedict will show audiences what makes Doctor Strange such a unique and compelling character.”

I agree with Mr. Feige. Cumberbatch is good at playing haughty characters that the audience can’t help but feel for. And if the film Stephen Strange hews at all close to the comic book version, he’ll rock as the character.

Doctor Strange is directed by Scott Derrickson with Jon Spaihts writing the screenplay. It is set to arrive in theaters on November 4, 2016.

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Will Smith, Jared Leto, Tom Hardy Officially Headlining SUICIDE SQUAD

Posted on 02 December 2014 by William Gatevackes


Okay, let’s call this a win in the DC/Warners category.Whereas Marvel Studios picks reclamation projects, up-and-comers, and off-genre actors to be the leads in their films, Warners is going to the A-List for the cast of their first mostly non-Batman, mostly non-Superman entry into their newly christened shared universe.

Variety is reporting that Warner Brothers’ upcoming adaptation of DC Comics’ Suicide Squad, which is set to begin production in April, has cast a number of its actors. And the list is full of recent Oscar winners and worldwide box office draws.

Jared Leto, Will Smith, Tom Hardy, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne have been cast as, respectively, the Joker, Deadshot, Rick Flagg, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Enchantress in the super-villain team-up.

One look at the character line-up and comic fans can tell that the film will be based on the last 30 years of the concept from the comics, where super-villains are consigned into service to the government to go on suicide missions for them. If they survive, they get pardoned. If they try to escape before the job is done, they are maimed if not killed.

It is also clear that the film will not follow too closely any particular storyline. Rick Flagg has been involved in every installment of the team, but Harley Quinn has only been part of the most recent version and, to my knowledge, the Joker was never part of the team at all, or if he was, not for very long.

Another thing that is known is that Warners is not fooling around with their comic book movie slate. Will Smith is coming off the disappointing After Earth, but he is still one of the biggest box office draws in Hollywood, and his films always score well overseas. Add to that newly-minted Oscar-winner Jared Leto, a Tom Hardy that is on the cusp of superstardom, two young actors in Margaret Robbie and Jai Courtney who have started making names for themselves in high profile projects, and the relative unknown Cara Delevigne, you might have one of the best casts ever in a comic book film.

Warners has yet to cast the team’s government liaison, Amanda Waller yet. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey are on the shortlist, with Winfrey supposedly being the studio’s favorite. It seems highly unlikely that Warners would be able to woo Winfrey for this role, but if they do, I hope they add in a line of dialogue that states “You get an explosive bracelet! And you get an explosive bracelet! And you get and an explosive bracelet! And you!”

Of course, Waller has already appeared on the big screen before, played by Angela Bassett in Green Lantern. This is probably a pretty good sign that Warners is going to pretend that film never existed. Amanda Waller has also appeared in Smallville and Arrow, as has Deadshot and Captain Boomerang is set to appear in Arrow and The Flash. None of the above cast has appeared in these shows as these characters, so this is another sign that Warners’ DC TV and Film universes are to be considered separate. I hope they consider the two media separate universes and have a crossover between the two. Until then, I wait to hear what Steven Amell has to say.

Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters on August 5, 2016.



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Edward Norton Has New Reason Why He No Longer Plays The Hulk

Posted on 25 October 2014 by Rich Drees


Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman has been drawing some understandable interest former with Batman Michael Keaton starring as an actor who is trying to shed his past starring in superhero films for a legitimate stage career, but it also stars Edward Norton who has his own superhero film on his resume – 2008’s Incredible Hulk. And while his role of Bruce Banner has been capable assumed by Mark Ruffalo for subsequent appearances in the various Marvel Cinematic Universe, Norton has no regrets about leaving the radiation-powered superhero behind him.

Speaking with NPR on the publicity trail for Birdman, Norton stated –

My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that.

Norton also cited “wanted more diversity” in his film roles and the avoidance of cast-typing as reasons he parted ways with Marvel Studios.

think you can sort of do anything once, but if you do it too many times, it can become a suit that’s hard to take off, in other peoples’ eyes.

If this sounds distinctly like a much different tune than the one Norton was whistling back in 2010 when it was revealed that he would not be returning for Marvel’s first Avengers film, your memory is not playing tricks on you. Back then, Norton was much more sanguine towards how the final film turned out and his work on it, writing on Facebook “It seems it won’t work out for me. I sincerely hoped it could happen and be great for everyone, but it hasn’t turned out as we all hoped.” And even that remark was putting a spin on the numerous reports of Norton being difficult to work with on set and his own dissatisfaction with the process of making the film.

It is hard to take Norton’s assertion that continuing with Marvel would stymie his ambitions to appear in more dramatic fare when his replacement Ruffalo, who also came out of the world of smaller indie films, has had no trouble finding roles outside of genre films like Avengers.

Tune in in another couple of years to see if Norton continues to rewrite his own history.

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DOCTOR STRANGE Shortlist Expands To Include Gyllenhaal, Isaac, McConaughey And McGregor

Posted on 15 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

doc strange candidatesI will say this, I do like pretty much all the names that have been thrown out for Doctor Strange. This latest batch is no different.

It all starts out with Badass Digest claiming from sources that Marvel is now considering Ewan McGregor for the lead role. Then ComicBookMovie chimes in to say that not only McGregor has been added to the short list that features the aforementioned Jared Leto (who they say is actively campaigning for the role) and Ethan Hawke (who has expressed interest), but also is joined by Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey and Oscar Isaac to fill out the list.

I don’t have an issue with anyone on this list, as I have seen all of them  do some good work in the past. I will say that McConaughey, who has completed a career renaissance that began with Magic Mike and culminated in an Oscar win and the lead in the highly anticipated Interstellar, might be apple-pie-in-the-sky-high-hopes for Marvel at this point. I think his latest career boost has lifted him out of their price range.

However, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be McGregor. He’s my favorite actor on the list, I loved his work in a lot of films and would bring a lot to the role. And he is still within their budget.

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Warner Brother Announces Slate of DC Comics Films Through 2020, SUICIDE SQUAD, CYBORG In Line Up

Posted on 15 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

upcoming-dc-films1While Marvel is still holding what their films will be close to their vest, Warner Brothers has scored a shot across their broadside by announce their DC Comics film slate through 2020 at a shareholder meeting today. And, naturally, there are some surprises.

The line-up is as follows:

March 25, 2016: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
August 5, 2016: Suicide Squad

June 23, 2017: Wonder Woman
November 17, 2017: Justice League

March 23, 2018: The Flash
July 27, 2018: Aquaman

April 5, 2019: Shazam
June 14, 2019: Justice League 2

April 3, 2020: Cyborg
June 19, 2020: Green Lantern

I don’t know what your yardstick for success is, but Nikki Finke called four of the ten films on the list back in June, five or six if you want to give her credit for having Flash and Green Lantern get movies, even though she predicted one team-up film instead of two solo movies. One notable exclusion from her list to this one is Sandman, which was being actively developed by David Goyer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. One has to wonder if this means the film has stalled or has been cancelled completely.

Or perhaps it will just take a lot of time to go through development. Suicide Squad has been in development since 2009 and will finally hit screens seven years later. The concept revolves around a group of superhuman criminals forced to work for a government agency carrying out suicide missions.

Another surprise entry is Cyborg, which will likely feature Ray Fisher in the lead, a young man who has most of his body replaced by weaponized mechanics after a lab explosion. This is another point in DC/Warner’s favor, as it marks the first African-American superhero to get his own solo feature film (that is if you don’t consider the supernatural horror character Blade to be a true superhero). This will beat Marvel to the punch, as they had a Black Panther film in development for years with no movement on a release.

20121010-ezra-306x-1349892097The presentation finally confirmed that Jason Momoa will be playing Aquaman and announced that actor Ezra Miller (left, known for We Need To Talk About Kevin) will be playing The Flash. This puts the final nail in the coffin of many a fans’ dream of having a crossover between DC’s film and television properties. Even though he looks like he is in high school, Miller is only 2 years younger than TV’s Flash, the remarkable similar looking Grant Gustin, so it is unlikely that he will be playing the Flash’s protege, Wally West. Personally, I think Warners is missing out on a great opportunity here, considering the DC Characters’ TV presence is far more prevalent than Marvel’s at this point, which gives them a great chance to cross pollinate their properties.

And, the way that it is represented, it looks like the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film is going to be rebooted. Good. Try not to screw the concept up again.

It appears Warner’s has learned their lesson and have given at least one week’s worth of breathing room  between any of their DC films and Marvel’s cinematic output. It’s nice to see them playing nice.

As you can see in the graphic above, Warners also announced that the Harry Potter tie-in Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them will be adapted as a trilogy, an installment coming every two years from 2016 on. We will also be getting three more Lego films. a Ninjago film in 2016, Lego Batman in 2017, and an official sequel, The Lego Movie 2, in 2018.

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Posted on 07 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

DowneyIronManDid Robert Downey Jr just let a big cat out of the bag?

While making the rounds promoting The Judge, Downey stopped by Ellen. Naturally the topic of Iron Man 4 came up and Ellen pressed him as to whether or not another sequel would be coming. Look how Downey Jr answered.

That was a yes. Points to Ellen. She should work with law enforcement as an interrogator. She broke him with little or no effort.

Downey Jr has gone from saying there were no plans for a sequel last month to saying last week that he would definitely do it if Mel Gibson directed it. Does the fact that he confirmed that he is doing Iron Man 4 mean Mel Gibson will be directing it?

And also, what does this mean for the rumor we covered yesterday about Avengers 3 being lacking big guns? If Marvel is willing to negotiate with Downey Jr for another Iron Man, why wouldn’t they with the rest of the actors for more films as well, negating the need for the cast reshuffling the rumor says will happen.

It seems like a no-brainer that Marvel would pursue another Iron Man film. It is the studio’s most profitable franchise next to The Avengers, and there are a lot of open-ended questions that need answers from a story perspective, including what’s going with the Mandarin and how Tony will react to the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.   I guess we can start speculating on what those answers will be–and what bad guy he will be fighting–now.

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Ethan Hawke Is The Latest Name On The DOCTOR STRANGE Casting Carousel

Posted on 01 October 2014 by William Gatevackes

ethan-hawkeWhat was it that Andy Warhol said? Every middle-aged actor in Hollywood will be in the running to play Doctor Strange for 15 minutes?

Well, it’s just about time for another name to be thrown in the ring, and that name appears to be Ethan Hawke.

This Is Infamous, the website that also told us both Joaquin Phoenix and Jon Hamm were up for the role, is going all in on Hawke as Doctor Strange. They claim that Marvel has already made an offer to the actor on Friday, the actor accepted over the weekend and now it just comes down to contract negotiations. According to the site, Hawke is signing on for a six-picture deal, so expect him to pop up in other films if this casting rumor is true.

Hawke does appear to have the quality-acting-to-salary-cost that Marvel looks for. He is an Academy Award nominated actor (Best Supporting, for Training Day), yet has a remarkable number of low budget and B-movies on his resume, which lends itself to the fact that he works relatively cheap.

Another positive check mark for this rumor is the fact that Hawke played the lead in Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson’s 2012 film, Sinister, a connection that the site says played a big part in the hiring decision.

I guess time will tell if this is true, but you can say one thing, Hawke certainly looks the part.


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MGM Casts Jack Huston In BEN-HUR Remake

Posted on 17 September 2014 by Rich Drees

"Kill Your Darlings" - Red Carpet Arrivals: 57th BFI London Film FestivalOver the past few years, as part of their recovery from the financial crisis that almost closed the studio, MGM has been developing remakes of several films in their catalog. So far, we’ve seen the likes of Red Dawn and RoboCop, neither of which were very successful for the company. But the studio is continuing with their strategy and it looks like like the next library title that will be going in front of the cameras will be the classic Ben-Hur.

Deadline is reporting that Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston has been cast in the film’s title role of Judah Ben-Hur, the Jewish prince who vows revenge after being betrayed by his former friend and sold into slavery. The story culminates in a high-stakes chariot race, which is a highlight of both the 1959 version of the story which starred Charlton Heston as well as the original 1925 silent adaptation of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel.

Huston will be joining the already cast Morgan Freeman, who is set to play Ildarin, the man who teaches Ben-Hur to become a chariot racer. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter helmer Timur Bekmambetov is set to direct. The studio is hoping to get the project in front of cameras in Europe next year.

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Matt Damon And Paul Greengrass Returning To BOURNE Franchise

Posted on 15 September 2014 by Rich Drees


Perhaps taking a page from former James Bond Sean Connery, actor Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are returning to the Bourne spy franchise for the series’ fifth installment.

Deadline is reporting that Damon, who appeared as the hunted former covert assassin Jason Bourne in the first three films of the franchise, and Greengrass, who directed its second and third installments, are in the process of making deals with Universal to return to the franchise which most strongly flourished during their collaboration.

This comes as a bit of a surprise as both Damon and Greengrass have stated that in the past that they did not see any creative way to continue to the story of Jason Bourne. Indeed, after their departure, the studio created another character who was part of the same covert program that created Bourne for the franchise’s fourth installment, 2012’s The Bourne Legacy, which starred Jeremy Renner.

The studio had previously staked out a July 16, 2016 date for an untitled-Bourne sequel, and Deadline believes that this is where the Damon/Greengrass collaboration will go. This would push the Renner-headlining Legacy sequel, which has Justin Lin signed to direct, back to some as yet unannounced date. Reportedly that project is still on as Universal would like “to broaden its franchise base, much the way that Marvel cranks out superhero films.”

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