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Freddie Mercury Biopic Gets Star, Director

Posted on 10 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

whishaw mercuryIt looks like the long-in-the-works Freddie Mercury biopic has finally gained some forward momentum. Deadline is reporting that Ben Whishaw has been cast to play Mercury, and actor/director Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill, Sunshine on Leith) has been hired to helm the film.

Whishaw has apparently received the official blessing from the surviving members of Queen, lack of which was the reason why Sasha Baron Cohen backed away from taking the role.

The film will focus on Mercury as a member of Queen, starting with the early days of the band and stopping at the triumphant comeback concert at Live Aid in 1985. The band has authorized the use of many of its songs in the film.

Production is slated to begin next year.

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Could Jason Momoa Be The Latest To Join BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN?

Posted on 09 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

jason-momoa-300He missed out on portraying Drax the Destroyer, but maybe he’ll play Doomsday the Destroyer.

Heat Vision is reporting that Conan the Barbarian star Jason Momoa is in negotiations with Warner Brothers to join Batman vs. Superman.

You may recall that Momoa was up for the role of Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, a role that eventually went to professional wrestler Dave Bautista. Rumor has it that Momoa was actually offered that role, but he priced himself out of contention. Since Warners seems to be in money-saving mode here, one wonders if the same won’t happen here.

As per what role Momoa is up for, it’s too early to say. However, sources say that it might be Doomsday, the Kryptonian monster that killed Superman in the comic books, or another member of the Justice League, such as Martian Manhunter. Physically, he’d be a fit for either.

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Elizabeth Olsen Confirms Involvement In THE AVENGERS:AGE OF ULTRON

Posted on 11 November 2013 by William Gatevackes

ElizabethOlsen1Well, it’s officially official! Elizabeth Olsen admitted to MTV News during a press junket for her latest film Oldboy that she will in fact be playing the Scarlet Witch in the forthcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This confirms what Samuel L. Jackson told the Wall Street Journal back in October when he told the paper the actress had signed on for a role in the film. Olsen also appears to take a cue from Jackson in the interview, confirming that her Godzilla co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson will be playing Quicksilver in the film, saying how excited she is about this fact.

“We get to play husband and wife, and we get to play twin brother and sister,” she said. “It’s also fun because even though in ‘Godzilla’ we play husband and wife, we don’t have a lot of scenes together. I just love him. I love his family. I love his kids. I’m so excited…to actually work with each other. I think it’s going to be fun.”

Olsen also seems to be excited to work with Joss Whedon, who she calls “too smart.”

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Stephen Lang Confirmed Returning For AVATAR Sequels

Posted on 23 October 2013 by Rich Drees

StephenLangAvatar

I have a feeling that death isn’t too permanent in the world of James Cameron’s Avatar.

A while back, Sigourney Weaver confirmed that she would be back for the director’s planned followups to his blockbuster science-fiction epic despite her character not surviving to see the film’s closing credits. Now it turns out another actor whose character met a fatal end will also be returning for the sequels.

Deadline is reporting that Stephen Lang, the villainous Colonel Quaritch will be seen again in the new films. They also have a quote from Cameron about the actor and his character’s return.

Steven was so memorable in the first film, we’re privileged to have him back. I’m not going to say exactly how we’re bringing him back, but it’s a science fiction story, after all. His character will evolve into really unexpected places across the arc of our new three-film saga. I really look forward to working with such a gifted actor, who’s also become a good friend.

Given what we’ve seen so far of the world of Pandora in the first Avatar film, one could probably make some educated guesses as to how Weaver and Lang’s characters return. And that’s before considering such mundane options such as flashbacks or prequels.

Cameron will be setting to work with his cast to films Avatars 2-4 early next year. Currently he was working with screenwriters Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Shane Salerno on firming up the scripts for the films.

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What Is Ben Kingsley’s “Secret Marvel Job?”

Posted on 22 October 2013 by William Gatevackes

benkingsley_ironman3_03

Being that Ben Kingsley is portraying a military commander in Ender’s Game, you’d think he’d be up on the term “loose lips sink ships.” Apparently not, because Sir Ben’s lips have been pretty loose on the promotional tour for that film.

Kingsley spoke with the Belfast Telegraph as part of Ender’s Game‘s publicity tour, and he told the news outlet that he had just finished a “secret Marvel project” that reunited him with many of the crew members he worked with on Iron Man 3. The actor did not divulge more that that and the Telegraph got a big no comment from Kevin Feige about the project, except that it apparently exists.

Everyone knows that Kingsley starred in Iron Man 3 as the face of a terrorist organization. Those that saw the film know that by the end of the movie, the chances of his returning as that character appeared to rest somewhere between slim and none.

This leaves me with several options as too what this project entails. One option might be that  Kingsley filmed a prequel of sorts showing how his character got to where he was in Iron Man 3 to be added as a “One-Shot” for Thor: The Dark World‘s Blu-Ray release. Another might be the second post-credits scene for the theatrical release of that film (which was hinted to involve “Shreddies” a British colloquialism for shredded wheat, which would fit Kingsley’s character from Iron Man 3, as you know if you saw the film). Or maybe there will be another cinematic crossover in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where Kingsley will cameo.

It’s anybody’s guess, but I guess option two from above. Since there isn’t that long a turn around time for “One-Shots,” odds are we’ll see Kingsley’s part sooner rather than later, perhaps as soon as November 8th.

 

 

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Tom Hanks, Superhero Film Star?

Posted on 17 October 2013 by William Gatevackes

Tom-Hanks-768x1024He is arguably the best actor of his generation. His films have made billions at the international box office. And he wants to play a lead role in a superhero film.

Tom Hanks spoke with The Showbiz 411 while promoting Captain Phillips, and the host asked a question submitted by a fan as to why Hanks hasn’t appeared in a superhero blockbuster. The answer appears to be that he just wasn’t asked. If asked, he’s jump on the chance:

They don’t ask me, man. I keep trying. Come on, I can do it. I can do it. Even let me play a bad guy, let me play the bad guy against Batman. I’ll do anything, call me. They’ve never asked. What do I gotta do? God, I want to throw a shield at somebody. I want that. And I don’t want to play the guy in the suit who tells the superheroes what’s going on, I don’t want to be that guy. ‘Well, you know Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, here’s what we’ve discovered,’ I don’t want to be that guy. I want to get in there, I want to play The Flash or something like that. They’ll never give me a chance.

Now, Hanks is known for his sense of humor and often gives flippant answers in interviews. I’ll embed the interview below so you can see for yourself if he’s joking, but I tend to think he’s mostly serious.

To most people, the most obvious reason they could think of as to why Hanks isn’t being called by Marvel or Warners to play a hero is his age. At 57, Hanks would seem to be a little long in the tooth to don the spandex tights. After all, Robert Downey Jr. at 48 is considered ancient. However, it wasn’t long ago that the 59-year-old Bruce Willis was linked to the Fantastic Four reboot, and there was no outrage of his age.

I know currently FOX is skewing younger with the FF reboot, but I think Hanks would make an excellent Reed Richards. In the original comics, Richards was quite a bit older than Sue Storm. As a matter of fact, I think he was her professor. So Hanks could fill that role with ease.

If Hanks wants to be a villain, the path might be a little bit easier. Jeff Bridges was 58 when he played Obadiah Stane in Iron Man, Jack Nicholson was 52 when he played the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman and 57-year old Bryan Cranston is rumored to be the next Lex Luthor. All Hanks would have to do is find an available franchise in need of a villain (Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange, maybe?) and his dream might come true.

Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors and I feel that it would be a mistake for superhero film producers to not take him up on his offer.

Via Huffington Post

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Ed Lauter, 74

Posted on 16 October 2013 by William Gatevackes

2008-04-05_185614_Ed_LauterYou might not recognize the name, but surely the face is familiar, especially if you watched a lot of films and TV shows from the 1970s to the 1990s. Ed Lauter, who played everything from prison guards to police detectives to FBI agents over his over forty year career, died Wednesday after a battle with mesothelioma. He was 74.

Lauter was born in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. He studied drama at the Herbert Berghof School and made his debut on the Broadway stage in 1970′s in The Great White Hope. He soon relocated to Los Angeles where he worked on TV shows and as a stand-up comedian before breaking into film. He made his film debut in the 1972 western, Dirty Little Billy.

Two years later, Lauter would star in what might be considered his breakthrough role as Captain Wilhelm Knauer in 1974′s The Longest Yard (he would have a cameo in the 2005 remake) and two years after that would co-star in Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, Family Plot (he would have had a role in Hitchcock’s next film, The Short Night, but the director passed away before that could happen).

The actor would go on to have supporting roles in films such as King Kong, Cujo, Lassiter, Death Wish 3, Real Genius, Born on the Fourth of July, The Rocketeer and True Romance. He had also made appearances in TV shows such as Hawaii Five-O, The A-Team, BJ and the Bear, Hardcastle and McCormick, Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The X-Files. His most recent film work was 2011′s The Artist and 2012′s Trouble With the Curve and had recurring roles on TV in Psych and Shameless. He has numerous films in post-production that will be released as far as 2015.

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Gordon-Levitt, Rudd On Shortlist For ANT-MAN

Posted on 14 October 2013 by William Gatevackes

Gordon levitt antman ruddWhen Edgar Wright announced that he was about to start work on Ant-Man a short while back, we all knew that the casting rumors would be heating up.  Now a reliable source is saying two intriguing choices are on Marvel’s shortlist.

Variety is quoting sources that say the studio is high on Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Paul Rudd for the role of Henry Pym. And the trade journal makes it sound like a decision is imminent, as  the actors will meet with Marvel execs and director Wright one more time as a final push for the role. Whoever aces this final interview supposedly will get the role. 

Of course, Variety also states that a third entry might be also getting a final interview, but does not mention who.

Personally, if it is really coming down to these two, I think you can’t lose whoever you pick. These guys are two of my favorite actors working today, and are skilled at everything from comedy to drama. Gordon-Levitt has a bit of an edge when it comes to action parts, and Rudd has a litany of wise-ass characters (as Wright’s Ant-Man is rumored to be) on his resume, so he has the edge there. But, for me, it’s a win-win.

Ant-Man opens July 31, 2015.

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Bill Murray In Talks To Join Cameron Crowe’s Untitled Hawaii Romantic Comedy

Posted on 14 October 2013 by Rich Drees

BillMurray

Bill Murray is notoriously picky about the projects he takes on these days (see Ghostbusters 3), so when he actually does sign up for something it is almost always worth noting. This time it is his potentail participation in director Cameron Crowe’s upcoming and as yet untitled latest film.

The Wrap is stating that the actor is in talks to join the film which is currently shooting in Hawaii. The link to getting Murray’s participation seems to be the project’s producer Scott Rudin, with whom Murray has worked with on a number of his appearances in director Wes Anderson’s films. This would be Murray’s first film with Crowe.

Bradley Cooper stars in the romantic comedy as a defense contractor overseeing the launch of a new weapons satellite from an installation in Hawaii. But once he has second thoughts about the project he teams with Air Force pilot Emma Stone to scuttle the launch. Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, Edi Gathegi and Jay Baruchel round out the cast. There is no word as to what Murray’s role in the story will be.

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Scarlett Johansson Talks About Black Widow, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Posted on 30 September 2013 by William Gatevackes

ironman2blackwidowScarlett Johansson is on the promotional trail for her film Don Jon and recently sat down with Jordan Riefe for a conversation for Refinery 29. Unfortunately for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut but fortunately for comic book film fans everywhere, the conversation was dominated by her role as Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, in the Marvel film universe. And the conversation covered a wide array of topics.

First off, in an important note for our Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline Project, we find out where Captain America: The Winter Soldier fits in in relationship to Captain America: The First Avenger:

This film is in real time. It’s been two years since [the characters] appeared, and now both are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fighting in the streets. We are not superheroes flying side by side. They help each other because we are fighting in a similar way. It’s a working relationship.

Technically, it will be less than two years if you Cap and Natasha first meeting was in the The Avengers, but that’s a matter of semantics. Speaking of Cap and Natasha’s relationship, Johansson also touched on rumors that their partnership has turned to a romantic one in the sequel:

By a series of unfortunate encounters, they will be in a situation in which their friendship becomes more intimate. They share many similarities because they live on the defensive without relying on anyone. Also, the two have been working for the government throughout their professional careers. With their friendship they begin to question what they want and what is their true identity.

That’s a non-committal confirmation there, folks.

Johansson is also given the opportunity to speak on what Black Widow means to her and why she enjoys playing the character:

I love it. I think it is a sensational character. It is a professional, highly skilled, dangerous, mysterious superhero. I love playing it. I think that it is rare to find a woman sexy and intelligent on the big screen, able to fight anyone (including men) and overcome them physically and emotionally, and my character does it.

The majority of the superhero movies have not been very good. They were simply not made well. They were [about] spinning through the air and putting your hands on your hips. With the Black Widow we do something more, although of course the physicality and her image is important. To me, this character has given me a great opportunity. Joss [Whedon, director] has jumped the fence with Avengers to celebrate a female character that is not a simple ornament inside the group. He’s not interested in just selling her physical attractiveness.

All that female empowerment is good, but Johansson still gets a question about wearing the Widow costume:

It is a big commitment. When you wear it you are well aware that with latex you leave no doubt. My physical preparation with the costume was painful. Until you get used to it, everything hurts and is horrible. Once you learn the choreography you really feel like a superhero, but until you get to that point it’s exhausting.

Don Jon is in theaters now. Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrives on April 4, 2014.

Via MTV’s Splash Page.

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