Archive | Actors

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Geoffrey Lewis, 79

Posted on 09 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

geoffrey lewisIf you grew up watching films in the 1970s, particularly westerns or films starring Clint Eastwood, then Geoffrey Lewis’s face will be familiar to you. The gifted character actor died of natural causes at his home on Tuesday. He was 79.

Lewis got his start acting in 1970 with guest appearances in television shows such as Bonanza, The High Chapparal and The Young Lawyers. His rugged, malleable features became a go-to actor for westerns of the period, from television offerings (Gunsmoke, Alias Smith and Jones) to big screen fare (The Culpepper Cattle Co., Bad Company).

In 1973, Lewis was cast in another western, this one the second directorial effort by an actor turned director. That film was High Plains Drifter and the actor/director is Clint Eastwood. It marked the first of seven films Lewis and Eastwood would work on together over the next 24 years, the last being Eastwood’s directorial effort, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Outside of his partnership with Eastwood, Lewis also appeared on the big screen in films such as The Great Waldo Pepper, Heaven’s Gate, Night of the Comet, Fletch Lives!, Double Impact, Maverick and The Devil’s Rejects.

Lewis was also the father of Oscar nominated actress Juliette Lewis. Father and daughter acted together twice, first in 2000’s The Way of the Gun, second in 2004’s Renegade.

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Will Ernie Hudson Play T’Chaka In BLACK PANTHER?

Posted on 08 April 2015 by William Gatevackes

ErnieHudsonWWPIt’s time for my least favorite pastime: what rumor is El Mayimbe spreading today. The often-wrong head honcho of Latino Review has scoop that says Ernie Hudson is circling the role of T’Chaka in Black Panther. El Mayimbe’s proof? Hudson has been hitting the gym and picking up back issues of Marvel Comic’s Black Panther featuring the character.

El Mayimbe doesn’t reveal his source, perish the thought, but if I were a betting man, I’d put money on Hudson’s agent. This story has the feel of that classic Hollywood chestnut of an actor’s representative planting a story about a studio looking at their client in order to drum up interest from said studio.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Hudson as an actor. But his career is firmly in the B-Movie/TV guest appearance mode, not the type of star Marvel typically leans to for roles like this. Granted, T’Chaka, who is the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda and father to T’Challa, the titular Black Panther, isn’t a big role, but it is a pivotal one. Judging from Marvel’s casting history, it’s likely they would consider an actor with a higher profile and perhaps a better resume than Hudson.

Another thing to consider is that as of yet no director has been announced for the film. Unless T’Chaka is going to appear in another film before he appears in Black Panther, I’d expect a director be picked first before any supporting character.

However, I do believe in doing due diligence, so I contacted one of my go-to sources, one that always guides me down a truthful path, and one that is as reliable, if not more so, than any of El Mayimbe’s sources. I contacted “Ask the Eight Ball.” It said “My Sources Say No” when asked if Hudson was up for a role in Black Panther. So, there you have it.

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Leonard Nimoy, 83

Posted on 27 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

Leonard Nimoy, who originated the iconic role of Mr. Spock on the legendary Star Trek TV series, has died of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Before he became Spock, Nimoy got his start in films. He garnered his first lead with his third feature, Kid Monk Baroni, in 1952 and went on to star in roles big and small in a number of legendary B-movies such as Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952), Them!(1954), and The Brain Eaters  (1958).

Nimoy also logged a number of guest appearances in television shows such as Dragnet, Sea Hunt, and Gunsmoke. However, his life would change forever in the mid-1960s when faced with a choice between a role in the soap opera Peyton Place or a role on a science-fiction start up from producer Gene Roddenberry, he chose the latter.

The latter was, of course, Star Trek, and although the show only ran for three years, it became a cult sensation in syndication. Star Trek became a blockbuster franchise in both films and televisions. Spock became a pop culture icon and Nimoy would reprise the character numerous times throughout the years in various spin-offs and sequels. He played the role for the last time in 2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness.

After Star Trek went off the air, Nimoy moved on to a career behind the camera to complement the one he had in front of it (Which continued with role in TV series such as Mission Impossible and as the host of the documentary series, In Search of…). His first directorial experience took place on episodes of televisions series, including his former co-star William Shatner’s post-Star Trek series, T.J. Hooker. Nimoy would move over to film directing by helming the 1984 Star Trek sequel, The Search for Spock. He would also direct the next installment of the series in 1986, The Voyage Home.

Nimoy would then direct one of the most successful films of the 1980s–1987’s Three Men and a Baby. The film, a remake of the 1985 French film, Trois Hommes et Un Couffin , starred Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg as three bachelors whose lives are shaken up when a former paramour leaves a baby on their doorstep. The film was the highest grossing film of 1987, beating out films like Fatal Attraction and Beverly Hills Cop II.

Nimoy’s film directing career would continue into the 1990s and include the Diane Keaton drama, The Good Mother (1988) and the Gene Wilder comedy, Funny About Love (1990). Nimoy’s final film he directed was 1994’s Holy Matrimony.

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Edward Herrmann, 71

Posted on 31 December 2014 by William Gatevackes

EKHEdward Herrmann, a talented character actor who excelled on the stage and screens both big and small has died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

Herrmann, after a brief career on the Broadway stage in the early 1970s, came to Hollywood to work in film. His first credited role was that of a law student in Timothy Bottom’s characters study group in the 1973 film, The Paper Chase. He would work in supporting roles in films such as The Great Gatsby and The Great Waldo Pepper before taking on the role that would become his trademark. In 1976, he starred as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the TV movie, Eleanor and Franklin, a role he would reprise a year later in the TV movie sequel, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.

For many, Herrmann’s FDR was the definitive FDR. It certainly was for me. I remember seeing those films as a kid, and Herrmann’s Emmy-nominated turn in those films took a man I had just started learning about in school books and who I had known mostly as being on the and turned him into a vibrant, living human being. I have Mr. Herrmann to thank for my love of history in general, American history in particular, and Presidential history in specific, as his performance was one of the reasons I started down that path. Herrmann would return to the role in 1982’s Annie and in voice-over form in Ken’ Burns’ 2014 documentary series, The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait.

Herrmann would go on to a long and successful career in film, appearing in a diverse array of films ranging from Reds to The Lost Boys, from The Purple Rose of Cairo to The Wolf of Wall Street, and from Richie Rich to Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star. But Herrmann probably gain the most recognition from his work in television, appearing in guest appearances in shows such as M*A*S*H, Law & Order and Homicide: Life On the Street and recurring roles in St. Elsewhere, The Practice (which won him an Emmy), and Gilmore Girls, where he played family patriarch Richard Gilmore.

His voice was also a sought after commodity in the voice over market, and Herrmann provided narration to a number of TV and film documentaries.

 

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Jason Momoa States Signed As Aquaman For Four Films

Posted on 08 December 2014 by Rich Drees

Jason-Momoa

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.

Aquaman

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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.

Marvel.com 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

SuicideSquadCast

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

EdwardNortonHulk

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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