Posted on 30 July 2014 by Rich Drees
Back in the beginning of 2013, we learned that the Weinstein Company was prepping a sequel to Ang Lee’s hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, with the intention of shooting the film that May. But since then, things have been fairly quiet, and I had begun to think that the project had pretty much died in development. But today comes word that the film is very much alive and is in the process of assembling its cast for a shoot that is beginning in New Zealand this week.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Glee co-star Harry Shum Jr has just been added to the film’s cast just as cameras are beginning to roll. He will be joining Michell Yeoh, who will be reprising her Crouching Tiger role of Yu Shu-lien, and Donnie Yen.
Titled, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny, John Fusci’s script is reportedly an adaptation of Silver Vase, Iron Knight, the fifth novel in Chinese writer’s Wang Du Lu’s wuxia romance Crane-Iron Pentalogy. Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was based on the fourth novel in the series, though the film did appropriate some plot points from earlier the three earlier novels in the series. As per the Reporter’s synopsis the story –
[R]evolves around four heroes of the martial arts world — Silent Wolf (Yen), Yu Shu-lien, Tie-Fang (Shum) and Snow Vase — who must use their courage and skills to keep the legendary sword Green Destiny from the hands of the villainous Hades Dai.
The film will be directed by the legendary Woo-ping Yuen, who amongst his numerous credits in wuxia films include serving as the action director for the original Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Posted on 26 July 2014 by Rich Drees
Marvel Studios confirmed one of the latest worst keep secrets that Josh Brolin would be playing the intergalactic villain Thanos in the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy. Additionally, he’ll probably be appearing in a Guardians sequel and The Avengers 3.
Brolin strode on to the stage towards the end of Marvel’s panel this evening, wearing a toy version of the Infinity Gauntlet, the powerful weapon that Thanos has craved in the comics. It is suspected that any of the powerful gems we are starting to see in the various Marvel movies are actually the msytical stones that power that Gauntlet and are slowing appearing through the various films as a set up for the third Avengers film.
Brolin’s casting was originally speculated on back in May.
In a press release, Marvel honcho Kevin Feige stated –
Josh brings all the weight and stature necessary for a character as iconic and significant as Thanos. We’re incredibly excited for fans to see more of him as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Posted on 26 July 2014 by William Gatevackes
Marvel didn’t waste any time starting promoting Ant-Man, as after a short montage showing their films to date and a short piece about Guardians of the Galaxy (with our first look at Thanos), the studio brought out director Peyton Reed, stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas, long rumored cast member Evangeline Lilly, and new addition Corey Stoll.
Lilly will be playing the daughter of Hank Pym (Douglas) and was referred to as both Hope Pym and Hope Van Dyne on Twitter (Marvel’s website refers to her as Van Dyne). Does this mean that Janet could be her mother? I hope so.
Director Reed tried to ease the fears of anyone who was disappointed by Edgar Wright dropping out by playing up his geek cred. Apparently, Reed has been attending San Diego Comic Con for 20 years, and once portrayed Ant-Man on a poster for his punk band that paid homage to the cover from Avengers #1.
Stoll is playing Darren Cross, a former protege of Pym turned evil and has taken on the identity of Yellowjacket. In a recurring theme, he has also stolen some of Pym’s technology for his alter ego, and will be fighting Rudd’s character, who also stole Pym’s technology. This is believed to be the role that Patrick Wilson had before he dropped out from the project days ago. If so, this is might quick turnaround time for casting the part.
While Lilly is known to most from her work on Lost, Stoll is a bit of a lesser known quantity. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on House of Cards and can currently be seen in The Strain. He has appeared in films such as Midnight in Paris (where he played Ernest Hemingway) and Non-Stop.
The film will be shooting in Atlanta starting August 18th, although Marvel did show some test footage of Douglas as Hank Pym and Ant-Man riding a flying ant.
Posted on 25 July 2014 by Rich Drees
It’s been an up and down day for Marvel Studios. Earlier this afternoon we learned that the studio was in discussions with Joaquin Phoenix to lead up their forthcoming Doctor Strange film, but that excitement may be tempered by the fact that their Ant-Man project, scheduled to begin shooting next month, has just had three cast members drop out.
According to Deadline, Patrick Wilson, Matt Gerard and Kevin Weisman will all no longer be part of the superhero film which is scheduled to hit theaters on July 17. The reasons given are that Wilson now has a scheduling conflict while recent script rewrites have eliminated Gerard and Weisman’s characters.
Of course, the biggest upset in the pre-production of the film was this past May when Edgar Wright, the writer/director who had spent nearly eight years developing the project abruptly parted ways with the studio. In that aftermath, Peyton Reed had been brought aboard to direct, and production, which was set to begin last month, had been delayed while some last minute script rewrites were done. Apparently these delays were what lead to the conflict for Wilson.
It should be interesting to see how this gets addressed tomorrow evening when Marvel Studios presents their highly anticipated panel at San Diego Comic Con.
Posted on 24 July 2014 by Rich Drees
This is probably one of those stories that isn’t going to go away even after Marvel announces who will play the character, but fans just seem to want British actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of Doctor Strange. The topic came up again at San Diego Comic Con as the Sherlock star was being interviewed by the folks at MTV.
Cumberbatch stats in the video below that he is already committed to a appearing in a production of Hamlet – apparently a prequel to that Steve Coogan movie from a few years back – at the time that the film will be in production. Of course, what this admission does tell us is that Marvel indeed has plans to have their Doctor Strange in production sometime in the later half of 2015, as Cumberbatch’s run in the show is from August 6th through October 31st next year, which would put the film in theaters sometime the following year. Since the only release date in 2016 we know Marvel has staked out but hasn’t yet announced an actual film for is July 8th, I would feel very confident in placing money that that’s when they’re going to release their Doctor Strange film. We’ll probably find out if we’re right or not tomorrow at Marvel’s SDCC panel.
Posted on 24 July 2014 by Rich Drees
Thai martial arts star Tony Jaa has been cast in the upcoming remake of the 1989 action flick Kickboxer. Tai Chi 0 and Tai Chi Hero helmer Stephen Fung is set to direct with stuntman and martial artist Alain Moussi (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Pacific Rim and White House Down) in the lead. Georges St. Pierre (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy) also star.
For those unfamiliar with the original which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme, here is the remake’s official synopsis –
Kickboxer tells the story of David and Kurt Sloan, the descendants of a well-known Venice, Calif., fighting dynasty. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong, despite his brother’s protestations that the man is a crook. When Kurt travels to Thailand to meet his brother, he discovers he has died, and seeks his revenge.
The part Jaa has been offered is that of Xian Chow, the martial arts master who trains the hero for his revenge-filled rampage. Filming is set to get underway later this fall.
Given that genre fans have known about the amazingness of Jaa and his particular brand of muay thai martial arts for several years now. In 2015, mainstream audiences will be getting a taste of what Jaa can do in the upcoming Fast And Furious 7.
Via Film Combat Syndicate.
Posted on 21 July 2014 by William Gatevackes
It 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.
Posted on 01 July 2014 by Rich Drees
It’s a bit hard to believe, but next month will mark the 10th anniversary of the release of director Jared Hess’s Napoleon Dynamite. At the tie of its release, the film’s quirky, unique sensibilities made me wonder if director Jared Hess was the “next major new comedy voice.” Well, since then, it doesn’t seem as if Hess has managed to live up to the promise of his first film, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t given up hoping for more from that does. Perhaps his next film will be the one, as it is being announced that Ken Marino and Kate McKinnon have been added to the cast of his upcoming heist comedy Loomis Fargo.
Ever since he was a member of the comedy troupe The State, Marino has been honing some fine comedic chops, while McKinnon has quickly emerged as one of Saturday Night Live‘s current Most Valuable Players. The teaming of the two is exciting in itself, regardless of who the director they’ll be working with is.
Loomis Fargo will star Zach Galifianakis stars as an sarmored car guard who gets framed for a $20 million heist and sets out to find the gang, lead by Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig, who betrayed him. Marino will play a neighbor in the snooty suburban neighborhood where Wilson, Wiig and the rest are hiding out, while cKinnon will be playing Galifianakis’s overbearing fiancee.
Posted on 26 June 2014 by William Gatevackes
An already crowded cast gets a little bit more crowded.
Deadline is reporting that actor Scoot McNairy (12 Years a Slave, Killing Them Softly) has been cast in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The casting has not been officially announced, so no word on who McNairy will be playing is available.
McNairy is a chameleon-like actor, so any speculation as to who he might be playing could very well end in madness. He could play anything from a street level criminal to a LexCorp scientist to a cop to a member of the Justice League.
This marks a reunion of sorts for McNairy, who acted with and was directed by Ben Affleck in Argo. I wonder if that played a role in the casting.
Fans of comic book films will recognize McNairy from his role as Jackson Norris, the reporter who interviews Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery in the Marvel One-Shot, All Hail the King.
Posted on 24 June 2014 by Rich Drees
Following on the heels of Iron Man 3, writer/director Shane Black has suddenly found himself in high demand. Just today we learned that he will be overseeing the rebooting of the Predator franchise for 20th Century Fox while it looks like his 1970s crime film The Nice Guys which Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have been circling could be shooting by year’s end. But the project that I am most interested in his plan to bring the classic 1930s and 40s pulp hero Doc Savage to the big screen.
Embarrassingly, I have to admit that in my first read through of the Hollywood Reporter story about Black taking on the Predator franchise that I missed a little nugget down towards the bottom in regards to the status of the Doc Savage film –
[Black] recently met with Chris Hemsworth for the title role, but it’s unclear when that project would shoot since it’s still grappling with budgetary issues. Sony, however, does consider Savage one of its priorities.
Personally, Hemsworth seems like a solid choice and the role could conceivably give the actor another franchise character to play that would in part be dependent on his physicality but would be a markedly different role than his work as Thor in Marvel Studios’ superhero films.
Previously, Doc has been played on the screen by Ron Ely in producer George Pal’s 1975 Doc Savage: Man Of Bronze. He did a good job in bringing the character to life although the film was plagued with a screenplay that went overboard into camp.