Archive | Casting

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Zack Snyder Speaks On Casting Controversies In BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

Posted on 04 March 2014 by William Gatevackes

ZackSnyderWith 300: Rise of an Empire set to hit theaters, its writer/producer Zack Snyder is hitting the promotional trail. And as these things usually go, people are asking him about his NEXT project, Batman vs. Superman.

The Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog spoke to Snyder and asked him specifically about fan reaction to his casting choices in that film. Snyder, never a man to shy away from sharing his opinions, met the challenge head on:

HC: How surprised are you by all the outcry over some of your casting choices? From Gal Gadot to Ben playing Batman? Jesse as Lex Luthor?

ZS: There are two ways to think about it. We know the material. Unfortunately, the fans don’t know the material. So, we’re casting according to what’s happening in the script. And we’re hoping that leads to enough originality, enough perspective on what we’re doing that you get something fresh and exciting. I understand the canon. I’m not crazy. I know what these characters need from a mythological standpoint. I think Jesse is going to be an amazing Lex. Let’s not forget he was nominated for an Academy Award. It’s not like I just grabbed my friend to play the guy! This guy’s the real deal. By the way, in looking at all the talk-back, you can get all different perspectives in there too. Some people are hating to hate. Some people — someone did some fan art. And you look underneath and someone wrote, “I guess I can see it.” Honestly, are you kidding me? Just stop it! It’s reassuring and frustrating at the same time.

HC: It seems like you’re not insulating yourself from fan dialogue about the project. You’re out there listening to what people have to say. But ultimately, you are trying to serve the material. So what you’re saying is, fans should take heart in that.

ZS: Not just that. [The movie] literally takes the “Man of Steel” and “Batman” universes and explodes them. You’re not as tied to the mythology. In “Man of Steel,” we had to create an origin story, a mythology, and there’s a lot of energy into that, which we love doing. Don’t get me wrong. But when you think about how fun it is too — now that you’ve got these characters — to now let ‘em loose. That’s fun!

If Snyder thought that this was going to put fan’s griping to rest, he’s sadly mistaken. And more than a little out of touch.

First, using “casting according to the material” is only works if people have unwavering faith in the material. There are people who blindly love everything that Snyder does, and for them this reasoning works. But there are people who hate Snyder’s body of work so much that if he came out with a film that was magically able to cure cancer, they’d still hate it. Then there’s the rest of us who think he is a director with peaks and valleys in his resume, and his name is not an automatic win-win situation. So, in this case, there is at best a “wait and see” feel about the material. And, if anything, the casting cast more aspersions on the material than it does ease fears.

And for a self professed fan, he should know how the fandom works. He should know how hypercritical comic book fans are whenever the things they love are adapted to the big screen, and he should know that not even he gets a “get out of trolling free” card.

Of course, he confirms the fan’s fears right in the interview. While he makes a point of letting us know he does “understand the canon,” in the very next answer he states that the franchise is “not as tied to mythology.” Even being generous and giving Snyder the benefit of the doubt, that what he’s really saying is that he’s creating something new and different that stays true to the cannon, he is still creating something new and different. Comic fans have a low threshold for “new” and “different.” They want the character’s they grew up with translated to the screen directly as the appear on the page, or a close to it as they can.  And, once again, the comic fandom has less faith in his abilities than he himself does, so they have less faith that the changes he makes will be an improvement. This is going to cause more problems than it solves.

I’ll just add this to the long list of things that is causing be to doubt Batman vs. Superman.

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Patrick Wilson In Talks To Join ANT-MAN

Posted on 27 February 2014 by William Gatevackes

patrickwilsonIt’s an inter-company team-up! Nite Owl is joining forces with Ant-Man!

Variety is reporting that Patrick Wilson is circling the last major role in Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. No word exactly on what that role would be. He’d be joining Paul Rudd as Scott Land and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Michael Pena and Evangeline Lilly are also rumored for roles in the film.

If an agreement is made, this will be the second superhero film on Wilson’s resume, after 2009′s Watchmen, where he played Dan Drieberg, a.k.a. Nite Owl.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Will Play Aerial Artist Philippe Petit For Robert Zemeckis

Posted on 25 February 2014 by Rich Drees

ManOnAWire

A few years back, the documentary Man On A Wire chronicled how aerial artist Philippe Petit managed a tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in 1974. A stirring and exciting story, the doc charted the almost caper film-like lengths that Petit and his crew went through to infiltrate the Towers and set up the equipment for his unauthorized stunt.

Robert Zemeckis will be adapting Petit’s story into To Walk The Clouds and has tapped Joseph Gordon-Levitt to play the French acrobat. The 3D feature is scheduled to start shooting in May. Zemeckis has co-written the screenplay with Christopher Browne.JosephGordon-Levitt

Best known as the director of the Back To The Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Forrest Gump and Cast Away, Zemeckis has been spending the last several years working on a number of animated films created through motion capture performances. He has always struck me as one of those directors who are interested in seeing how new technology can be used to tell stories and who he can push technology in directions for the specific stories he wants to tell. The idea that Zemeckis wants to make this in 3D presages that this will be quite the visual treat.

Via Deadline.

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Amanda Seyfried Set To Play Female Lead In TED 2

Posted on 24 February 2014 by Rich Drees

AmandaSeyfried

Amanda Seyfried will be taking the lead female role in Ted 2, Seth MacFarlane’s sequel to his 2012 directorial debut.

But she will not be replacing Milla Kunis in the role of lead Mark Wahlberg’s girlfriend. Deadline is reporting thet her character will be a new one, with Kunis’s character “only appear[ing] in a tiny role, if at all, in the sequel.” There is no word yet as to what her character will actually be, but if I were a betting person I would be placing money on her playing a love interest for the titular living teddy bear.

The news shouldn’t be interpreted as Kunis being on the outs with MacFarlane. Kunis will still be voicing the character of Meg on MacFarlane’s Family Guy. Deadline is reporting that Kunis’s diminished role in the sequel is simply due to a creative decision on MacFarlane’s party, nothing more.

Seyfried, meanwhile, is appearing in MacFarlane’s comedic western A Million Days To Die In The West, which due out later this year.

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FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot Cast Chosen

Posted on 20 February 2014 by Rich Drees

FantasticFourRebootCast

Director Josh Trank has chosen the quartet of actors who will play the eponymous superhero team for his upcoming reboot of Twentieth Century Fox’s Fantastic Four comic book adaptation franchise.

According to the Wrap, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell will be filling in the roles of Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, Sue Storm and Ben Grimm otherwise known as Mr Fantastic, The Human Torch, The Invisible Girl and The Thing. The studio is currently in negotiations with all for actors’ reps.

Jordan’s name doesn’t surprise me much, as he has been mooted as being in contention for his role for about a year now. More recently Teller and Mara were mentioned as being on the studio’s shortlist for their characters.

Personally, the cast strikes me as looking a bit young, even though three of them are 27 with Mara being 30. But their younger looks do feed into the rather awful plot synopsis that surfaced that Fox’s lawyers don’t like us talking about, even though Trank has said that it was fake.

The film is set for a release on June 19, 2015.

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Jai Courtney Cast As Kyle Reese In TERMINATOR Reboot

Posted on 19 February 2014 by William Gatevackes

JaiCourtneyIt appears that Jai Courtney is going to try for another franchise in case there are no more Die Hards in his future.

Variety is reporting that the Australian actor has been cast as Kyle Reese in the Skydance reboot of the Terminator franchise. He joins Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Jason Clark as John Connor.

In the original film, Reese was a soldier that was sent back through time to protect Sarah Connor from assassination by killer robot. In the process, he becomes close to Sarah, really close. No word if the same plot or relationships will carry over to the reboot.

The Terminator reboot with be distributed by Paramount.

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“Game Of Thrones”‘s Ed Skrein Takes Over TRANSPORTER Franchise

Posted on 10 February 2014 by Rich Drees

EdSkrien

With Jason Statham having decided to leave the Transporter franchise that was instrumental in the rise of his career as an action film star, the producers have found a replacement in the form of Game Of Thrones actor Ed Skrein.

According to Variety, the franchise’s producers EuropaCorp are looking at rebooting the franchise, and that writers Bill Collage and Adam Cooper “have given more depth to the character of Frank Martin, whose job is to transport goods and ask no questions. For instance, the movie will explore Martin’s relationship with his father.” Further plot details are being kept secret for the time being.

If they’re going to reboot the Transporter franchise I guess this guy is as good as any, and not just because he’s bald. He’s already started to make a name for himself and as demonstrated before, the franchise has the potential to make that a much bigger name for him.

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Paul Bettany Cast As The Vision In THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

Posted on 06 February 2014 by William Gatevackes

visionbettanyThe news started with the less-than-reliable The Daily Mail, but since Variety is now reporting it, it must be true.

Actor Paul Bettany has been tapped to play The Vision in the forthcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The actor has provided the voice for J.A.R.V.I.S., Tony Stark’s personal operating system, for a number of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the comics, the Vision was created by Ultron to infiltrate then destroy the Avengers, only to have a change of heart and become a hero. It is unknown if the film will follow this plot line at all, or go in a different direction, although it makes sense that the character will be J.A.R.V.I.S. given humanoid form.

Another notable subplot from the comics is the fact that The Vision engaged in a romantic relationship with the Scarlet Witch. We have to see if there is any romantic spark between Bettany’s Vision and Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda.

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FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot: Could Doctor Doom Be A Woman?

Posted on 06 February 2014 by William Gatevackes

doctordoomThe trainwreck that the Fantastic Four reboot is quickly becoming has thrown a couple more rocks on the tracks.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog has reported that screen tests have begun on the reboot with familiar names (Miles Teller, Kate Mara) and new names (Emmy Rossum, Christian Cook) in the mix. But there is one tidbit added to the article that is sure to get fans upset.

The article states that Fox is testing big names for the reboot’s villain, Doctor Doom, and they aren’t ruling out casting a woman in the role.

Yes, Marvel’s most famous bad guy might just be a bad girl for the reboot.

So we will have an African-American Johnny Storm in Michael B. Jordan, and female Doctor Doom. Yeesh.

Now, in a way, this is brilliant on Fox’s part. “What, you don’t like a black Johnny Storm? What are you, racist?” “What, you have a problem with woman being Dr. Doom? What are you, sexist?” All while wrapping the complaints up as another round of the typical fanboy griping, which is easily dismissed.

But when you add this to a plot that makes major changes to the origin and takes away a lot of the elements that made the Fantastic Four great, you are quickly approaching a Fantastic Four film that is one in name only. And that is a valid reason for fans to get upset.

But a lot of this is based on rumor and innuendo. Maybe there is nothing to worry about. We shall see.

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Evangeline Lilly In Talks For ANT-MAN Role

Posted on 05 February 2014 by Rich Drees

EvangelineLilly

Evangeline Lilly is in early talks to appear in Marvel Studio’s upcoming Ant-Man. Her role in the film has not been announced, though the Hollywood Reporter is stating that “it is not intended to be a one-off appearance.”

For those who are familiar with Ant-Man as published by Marvel Comics over the last several decades, the first thought for a lead female character for the movie goes to Janet Van Dyne, a character who has been linked to Ant-Man for a majority of their mutual history. But the Ant-Man that Janet Van Dyne has been linked to is Henry Pym, the first of the heroes to us the shrinking technology that characterizes the heroes main power. The pair have gone through a romance, marriage and rocky divorce with Van Dyne eventually using Pym’s shrinking technology to become the superheroine known as The Wasp. However, it has already been reported that the hero of the film will be Scott Lang, the second person to wear the mantle of Ant-Man. Pym will still be in the film as the developer of the shrinking tech, but will be played by Michael Douglas, while Paul Rudd will be playing Lang.

So we are left with two possibilities – 1) Director and co-writer Edgar Wright’s screenplay calls for a May-December relationship between Van Dyne (Lilly) and Pym (Douglas), or 2) Wright has restructured the Van Dyne/Pym relationship into one between Van Dyne and Lang.

Now there is an alternate character that Lilly could be playing – Lang’s wife and the mother of his daughter Cassie. It is mounting medical bills from an illness which Cassie is suffering form that leads Lang to initially steal Pym’s Ant-Man uniform. But given that the Hollywood Reporter is stating that this is a character who could make multiple appearances in upcoming Marvel films suggests to me that we are probably looking at Lilly playing Janet. And with Ant-Man kicking off Marvel’s Phase Three group of films, I would not be surprised if both Ant-Man and the Wasp make appearances in the inevitable Avengers 3.

Ant-Man is set for a July 17, 2015 release.

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