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Jessie Eisenberg Cast As Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred In BATMAN VS SUPERMAN

Posted on 31 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

eisenbergironsPart of what I love about covering casting rumors here for the site is that while they are not often true, sometimes when the real casting decision is made it is more outlandish and unbelievable than any fake rumor that came before it.

Warner Brothers has announced today that they have cast Jessie Eisenberg to play Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons to play the Wayne Family butler Alfred in the forthcoming Batman vs. Superman.

This is what Warners had to say about Eisenberg’s casting:

Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.

I don’t know about “new” and “unexpected.”  He’ll probably be playing him as a variation of the smug a-hole that employed in The Social Network and Now You See Me. Don’t get me wrong, he’s great in that type of role, but I don’t really expect much beyond that.

The only other takeaway I have from this casting is that he seems really young for the role. I mean, yes, using Facebook as an example, you can have multimillionaire CEO’s and corporation owners who are only 30. But Lex in the comics was always older. And considering that Tom Hanks and Bryan Cranston were the rumored names for the role, I thought that was the direction the powers that be were going in. You could have me sit in a room and name potential actors for Lex Luthor and I might have ever gotten to Eisenberg.

And while I am willing to see how this casting pans out, I am disappointed that Hanks didn’t get cast. He might not have even been really in the running, but I’d think he’d be fantastic.

And here is what Warners had to say about Irons’ casting:

As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.

You can’t really say anything bad about this casting. Yes, Irons has taken a bunch of dubious roles in bad films for a paycheck in the recent past, but he is an Oscar winning actor who will bring a different take on the iconic character. It is a solid choice.

The only other interesting thing about Irons casting is that this is the smallest age difference between Alfred and Bruce in the films so far. Michael Gough was 40 years older than Michael Keaton, Michael Caine was 41 years older than Christian Bale, but Irons is only 24 years older than Ben Affleck.

Via Collider.

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Anna Paquin’s Rogue Cut From X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Posted on 21 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

XMen3-51RFirst, Entertainment Weekly broke the story that Shailine Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson would be cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, now they are telling us that an original film X-Man will spend the next film on the cutting room floor.

Bryan Singer spoke exclusively with the entertainment magazine and told them that a rescue sequence featuring Anna Paquin’s Rogue, Shawn Ashmore’s Iceman, Ian McKellen’s Magneto and Patrick Stewart’s Professor Xavier has been cut from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and, unfortunately, this was Paquin’s only scene in the film.

The cut had nothing to do with Paquin (“She was awesome in the sequence. She’s a brilliant actress. I would work with her in a heartbeat,” said Singer) and a lot to do will cutting unnecessary scenes to keep the film’s run time down. Singer said that the deleted scene would likely end up on the bonus features of the film’s home video release.

This would alleviate the need to explain how Rogue, who had her powers taken away in X-Men: The Last Stand, got her powers back. However, this raises the question as to what other character might not make the final cut.

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RUMOR: Baron von Strucker Added To THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Villain List

Posted on 21 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

Wolfgang_von_Strucker_(Earth-616)_0001First, let’s just say that this rumor originated from El “Almost always wrong” Mayimbe over at Latino Review. However, the much more reliable Drew McWeeny also ran with it over at HitFix, so perhaps we should take this one a little more seriously.

The rumor? That in the opening scenes of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers will be fighting HYDRA, now led by Baron von Strucker.

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was a Nazi officer who would face off against Nick Fury, Wolverine and Captain America. He was influential in the formation of HYDRA in the comics, and often served as its leader. He stayed relatively young by use of serums created by Hydra to retard the aging process. His main weapon is something called “Satan’s Claw,” a red gauntlet that increases his strength and delivers electric shocks to his opponents.

According to the rumor, Strucker will be leading HYDRA against our heroes only in the opening scenes.The idea is that he will be defeated quickly and the film will then begin to go about its Ultron business. Of course, this doesn’t mean that he won’t be showing up somewhere else later on.

The rumor also states it will be there where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will be introduced, but doesn’t say how. Could they be Interpol agents fight against Strucker? Are they undercover, infiltrating his organization? Or, maybe, has Marvel found a replacement father for the pair to replace Magneto? Strucker also has a twin son and daughter with superpowers in the comic books. Could Joss Whedon be swapping out Fenris, aka Andreas and Andrea, for Pietro and Wanda? Just an idea.

Csokas scottThe casting announcement for the role calls for a physically imposing man, 40-50, and Caucasian for the role. El Mayimbe says that Marvel is looking at Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings) and Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible II) for the role. Just based on looks alone, I think either would be a good choice. And both have geek cred (Csokas, in addition to LOTR, also has roles in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and Scott infamously was originally cast as Wolverine in X-Men before conflicts with MI2 caused him to drop out).

Now is the part of the post where I list the warning flags. First off, it will be good to see HYDRA back in the movieverse, but they were barely a threat for Captain America in the first film. I can’t see they’d put up too much resistance against Thor, Hulk and Iron Man. Speaking of which, Iron Man was left as being retired at the end of Iron Man 3. So his return would need to be explained. Personally, if this rumor is true, I think that Baron Strucker and HYDRA will be facing off against a skeleton crew of Avengers–Black Widow, Hawkeye, maybe Cap, maybe Falcon–and not the whole team.

We shall see, won’t we?

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Paul Rudd Is ANT-MAN

Posted on 18 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

PaulRuddSometimes great choices come down to process of elimination.

The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Marvel and Edgar Wright have chosen Paul Rudd to be their Ant-Man. Rudd has been in contention for the role since back in October, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Since Gordon-Levitt has attached himself to Warner Brothers Sandman project, it looks like it became a one-man race.

This casting news is rather strange since Rudd has been asked repeatedly about Ant-Man on the promotional tour for Anchorman: The Legend Continues and his stock answer was that it was just a rumor and he knew nothing about it. Sheeyeah right. Well played, Mr. Rudd. Well played.

In my opinion, it’s a great choice. I really like Rudd as an actor. One of the main gripes people might have about him is that he has spent the last few years as part of The Apatow Repertory Players, doing comedy after comedy. But those familiar with his career know that Rudd has done well in a series of dramas, notably The Shape of Things and Cider House Rules, in the past. So don’t expect Ant-Man to be any more of a comedy than any other Marvel film.

Another hit is his age. He is 44, which is a bit long-in-the-tooth for some when it comes to their action heroes. But if he is playing Hank Pym, he’ll be playing a scientist. Not many twenty-somethings have PhD’s.


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GILLIGAN’S ISLAND Film In Works With Josh Gad Writing/Starring

Posted on 17 December 2013 by Rich Drees

Josh-GadJust sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of yet another remake. This time it’s the 1960s sitcom classic Gilligan’s Island.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Brothers is fashioning a big screen adaptation of the series as a vehicle for comic actor Josh Gad. Gad has signed a deal that sees him not only attached to star in the film but co-writing the screenplay with Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez. Samit and Hernandez previously worked with Gad

The original series, which dealt with seven castaways stranded on an uncharted south Pacific island after their tour boat was washed ashore during a storm, was never a critical favorite. It ran for three seasons on CBS between 1964 to 1967 and then in syndicated reruns for decades afterwards. It also spawned two animated series and three made-for-TV reunion movies.

The report doesn’t say which part Gad will play. Just based on his appearance, it seems like he would be playing the Skipper, original played by Alan Hale Jr. in the original series. But given that Gad has built his career in part on physical comedy, he could conceivably be playing the part of Gilligan, even though he doesn’t bare much of a resemblance to series star Bob Denver.

This is not the studio’s first attempt to bring the classic series to the big screen. In 2010, they had hired Wild Hogs scribe Brad Copeland to write a screenplay that apparently went nowhere.


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It’s Official: Gordon-Levitt Signs Onto SANDMAN

Posted on 16 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

JosephGordon-LevittThe world of the comic book movie is become much more fast-paced. When the rumor hit a few weeks ago that David Goyer was pitching a Sandman film to Warners with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached, we thought that it would be years before heard anything more about it. Not so.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has appeared to confirmed that he has signed on via his Twitter feed.


Deadline is reported earlier today that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in the final stages of signing on to do the project, definitely as an actor, most likely as director as well. But first a script has to be written from Goyer’s treatment and before that happens, as writer has to be hired. I’m sure we’ll find out what Gordon-Levitt’s job duties on the film will be in the coming days.

Gordon-Levitt recently made his feature debut as writer and director with Don Jon, and I think he did fairly well. However, if Sandman is to be done right, it will be a far bigger undertaking. However, the fact that Neil Gaiman (he’s the @neilhimself in Gordon-Levitt’s Tweet) will be involved in some fashion certainly is reassuring. And I can totally see Gordon-Levitt in the role.

The Sandman is still one of DC/Vertigo’s most popular properties, still selling load of trade paper back collection now even after 17 years since the last issue of the regular series was published. And the concept has a lot of mainstream crossover appeal, meaning it is either the gateway into comic books for new readers or the one comic book non-collectors will admit to be reading. So it’s pretty much a no-brainer that Warners would want to get it up on the silver screen as soon as possible.

More on this situation as it develops.

UPDATE: Gordon-Levitt has said that he has signed on only as a producer…for now.

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Pointless NAKED GUN Remake Coming Soon

Posted on 13 December 2013 by William Gatevackes

naked gunDon’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Ed Helms. And as a big fan of The State, I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant…oh, sorry R. Ben Garant, so much so that I still talk about having lunch one table over from them while attending the 2008 San Diego Comic Con. So, this is not aimed at them. It’s aimed at whoever keep pressing the remake button at the studios. Not every film needs to be remade, people!

Naked-GunVariety is reporting that Paramount has tapped Lennon and Garant to write a remake of their Naked Gun franchise with an eye toward Helms to star.

The original franchise, which was based on the short-lived TV show, Police Squad, was created by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker and starred Leslie Nielsen as Detective Frank Drebin, a bumbling detective who solved cases almost by accident.

It was also to TV police procedurals of the 60s and 70s what Airplane was to airport disaster movies. In other words, it was a dead on parody of an entire genre, loaded with double entendres, pun-filled wordplay, and silly slapstick.

One of the reason why it worked so well is because of Nielsen, who spent most of the 60s and 70s doing serious guest-starring roles on the cops shows the Naked Gun was parodying. His deadpan approach to the films, not far from the acting style he used in his dramatic roles, is one of the reasons why those original films were successful enough to be remade.

So, it was a film franchise that was a reflection of the times it was made in and how its star was up to then perceived. Two major things this remake will not have going for it.

I could see if maybe they cast, say,someone like David Caruso and decided to go with a parody of your CSIs and NCISs , then it might be in the spirit of the original.   Ed Helms, while not shying away from darker, more serious roles in his film career, is primarily known as a comic actor. That right there loses a lot of what Neilsen brought to the original.

I know one of the most heinous things any critic, journalist or reviewer can do is condemn a piece of art before it’s created, but I can’t see this remake capturing anything that made the original great. It might be good on its own, but its not on its own. It’s a Naked Gun film. That gives it a lot to live up to.

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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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