Posted on 03 April 2014 by Rich Drees
While we wait word of the announcement of Warner Brothers full slate of films adapting the superheroes and villains of corporate sibling DC Comics, we have word of a new cast member joining the one superhero film we do know is on their calendar.
Holly Hunter has joined the cast of Zack Snyder’s still not officially titled Batman Versus Superman film.
Snyder enthused about the casting in a press release -
Holly has always been one of my favorite actresses; she has immense talent and is always captivating on screen. I had an opportunity to meet her a while back and knew instantly that I had to work with her, so as we began writing the script I made sure to create a role specifically for her.
There is no word as to the role that Hunter will be playing, but from Snyder’s comment I am surmising that it is an original role and not a character from any of DC Comics series.
Hunter will be joining newcomers to Warners burgeoning DC Comics Cinematic Universe Jesse Eisenberg who will be playing the villan Lex Luther, Ben Affleck who will be playing Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jeremy Irons as Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler Alfred.
Batman Versus Superman, or whatever Snyder and company wind up calling the film, hits theaters May 6, 2016.
Posted on 02 April 2014 by William Gatevackes
When we last left FOX’s Fantastic Four reboot, it was in danger of being rebooted itself. Sadly, it appears that shake-up will not be taking place, although, apparently, not for lack of trying. So, the abomination is going forward, and they have cast their main villain.
The Hollywood Reporter states that British actor Toby Kebbell has been cast as Victor Von Doom, a.k.a. Doctor Doom, in the upcoming reboot. Kebbell has appeared in films such as RockNRolla, The Sorceror’s Apprentice and The Conspirator. He certainly looks the part.
It is unknown how Doctor Doom will play in the reboot. In the comics, he was a college roommate of Reed Richards (Miles Teller) who was disfigured in an experiment gone wrong, an accident he blamed Richards for. Now, if the rumors about the planned changes to the back story are true, Reed and Ben Grimm would have gotten their powers as teens and gone to work for the government not long after. Hard to see the comic book Doom’s origin fitting in that scenario.
Posted on 01 April 2014 by Rich Drees
We’ve been slowly lurching towards the start of production on Star Wars: Episode VII in fits and starts. It originally looked as if the highly-anticipated film would start filming back in the fall but thanks to script rewrites and resultant casting sessions, actual shooting on the film has been pushed back from expected dates to a point where work needs to commence soon or else director J J Abrams will be hard-pressed to have the film finished in time to meet its announced December 18, 2015 release date.
But it appears that things will finally be getting underway on May 14th, at least according to Badass Digest‘s sources who are telling the site that when the cameras do start rolling it will be in Morocco where the film will shoot for two weeks. Badass Digest editor Devin Farachi is speculating based on Morocco’s geography that this will mean a return to the planet Tatooine and that the production might even pop over to Tunisia, whose deserts have stood in for the planet in past Star Wars films.
I’m not sure that I buy into Farachi’s assumption that Morocco will be standing in for Tatooine any more than I bought into the idea that possible shooting in Iceland automatically equates a return to the planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. It’s a big galaxy and I would think that Abrams and company are savvy enough to explore that and introduce a few new worlds into the saga.
Posted on 01 April 2014 by Rich Drees
Although original director Josh Trank is in the process of revving up production on the studio’s Fantastic Four reboot and they’ve also rejected original screenwriter Max Landis’s proposal for continuing the story, Twentieth Century Fox is still interested in a sequel to 2012′s teens-with-superpowers, found footage film Chronicle.
To that end, they’ve hired screenwriter Jack Stanley to develop a new story idea for Chronicle 2. If the name is unfamiliar to you, there’s good reason as this is the writer’s first major studio gig. He first came to everyone’s attention when his spec script Sweetheart, landed on last year’s Black List. The logline from Deadline – “[T]he story of a female assassin whose attempt to get out of the biz is thrown awry by her high school reunion” – makes it sound like a gender-bent version of the 1997 John Cusack dark comedy Grosse Pointe Blank. Stanley also has another spec, a werewolf film called Silver, making the rounds of the studios right now that is also generating some interest in the 25-year-old writer.
Last August, Landis gave us some hints as to what his version of the film would be like, including dropping the title Martyr. He further elaborated a bit the following November to Buzzfeed. What he did divulge sounded very intriguing and I don’t envy Stanley the task of coming up with something equally interesting and not more of the same from the first film.
Posted on 31 March 2014 by Rich Drees
There was no doubt that the members of the Parr family – aka The Incredibles – would all be back for the recently announced sequel to the 2004 Pixar hit, but it was not known who of their superpowered friends might be joining them. Now that the cat is out of the bag in terms of the sequel actually happening, it seems as if at least one voice cast member, in this case Samuel L. Jackson, is also returning and doesn’t mind talking about it.
While doing the promotional rounds for this week’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier the actor mentioned to Digital Spy that he was definitely returning for the sequel and that Incredibles director Brad Bird has been talking to him about it for some time.
Every time I run into Brad [Bird] he always tells me Frozone is part of what’s going on, so I have to believe that… I guess they could be the Incredibles without Frozone, but I think Frozone would be a wonderful addition to what’s already there… I’m just looking forward to seeing what Jack-Jack turned into.
Although a supporting character in the original story, Frozone was such an integral part of the first film, that I have a hard time seeing a sequel without him. There’s no announced release date for the film, but with Pixar having announced their schedule through 2016, it will be 2017 at the earliest before we see this.
Posted on 31 March 2014 by Rich Drees
Comic Book and comic book film fans have been wondering when Warner Brothers was going to start more fully exploiting the number of superhero properties they have at their disposal through corporate sibling DC Entertainment much in the same way Marvel Studios have been leveraging their superhero franchises. After a couple of recent stumbles, the studio does seem to be moving forward in building their own set of interconnected franchises spinning out of last year’s Man Of Steel.
The problem is that outside of 2016′s Batman Versus Superman, the studio has only given us the vaguest idea of what they have planned. A Justice League movie at some point and maybe solo Batman and Wonder Woman films are the only semi-confirmed projects. Meanwhile other heroes such as The Flash are being reported as having screenplays in development but with no promise that they’ll actually make it to the big screen.
But that fog of uncertainty may be dispelled soon. This weekend saw a rather interesting profile of the newly installed CEO of Warner Brothers, Kevin Tsujihara, appear in the New York Times. In the piece, the makeup of the media conglomerate under its new head was outlined and stated that amongst the restructuring that Tsujihara has been doing at the company is a tearing down of barriers between divisions with the aim of “force[ing] Warner’s famously siloed divisions to work more cooperatively.” The upshot of this, in specific terms of its DC Comics-based films is -
a film series will be announced in the near future, Mr. Tsujihara said. It is expected to include a “Justice League” movie.
Now it should be noted that it took Tsujihara nearly two years to claim the office he now works out of at the studio, during which he was in contention for the job alongside Bruce Rosenblum, the studio’s television president, was seen as the likely winner and Warner Studio honcho Jeff Robinov. Both Rosenblum and Robinov have subsequently left Warners following Tsujihara getting the job. And it could very well be that this power struggle that kept the studio from focusing on long term plans when it was unsure as to who would be in charge.
Personally, a public game plan would be a great way to excite fans and still some concerns that have been voiced about the studio and the progress, or more specifically lack of progress, that has been made in bringing their superheroes to the big screen. It was when Marvel Studios officially announced their plans to build their individual franchises towards an Avengers film in their quarterly earnings phone call on the Monday follow the phenomenal opening weekend of the first Iron Man film that not only fans but industry watchers and the general public started to take notice and a deeper interest in what the studio was doing. And that kind of excitement is something that Warners would be wise to ignite.
Posted on 27 March 2014 by Rich Drees
Bad news for fans of the film adaptations of the Percy Jackson And The Olympians young adult novels. Logan Lerman, who has played the titular young hero in the two films already made from the books has stated that there will not be a third.
Lerman broke the news while speaking with MTV primarily about his role in Noah, which opens this weekend.
It’s not happening… It’s been a great experience for me.It’s opened up a lot of doors for me, but I don’t think it’s happening.
The film series is an adaptation of the books by Rick Riordan in which the titular teen hero finds out that he is descended from one of the Greek gods of ancient myth and that knowledge plunges him into a hidden world of demi-gods and their schemes for powers. The first film, 2010′s The Lightening Thief, did well enough to get the second film, last year’s Sea Of Monsters, greenlit. Both films did decent business at the box office, with Sea Of Monsters still clearing nearly $200 million worldwide against its budget of $90 million. But evidently that wasn’t enough for the studio and it looks like those looking for resolution to some of the ongoing storylines left dangling at the end of the second film will have to head on over to their local book stores for the answers.
Posted on 27 March 2014 by Rich Drees
“Six seasons and a movie.”
It started off as an off-hand, meta-textual joke by Community character Abed (Danny Pudi) has turned into a mantra for fans of the cult comedy series. And despite the threat of near cancellation at the end of each season, with the show’s fifth year close to wrapping up, it looks as if it is about to meet that promise. TV Guide is reporting that NBC is leaning heavily towards renewing the show for a sixth season and that there are already discussions about a possible film spin-off.
Ratings have never been strong for the series, and despite the return of creator Dan Harmon this season after his rather public departure from the show at the end of season three, they have remained so this year. But the ratings for all of NBC’s comedies across the board have been low and most of the new series the network debuted last fall have already been scrapped. Harmon, speaking to Deadline at PaleyFest in Los Angeles last night, seemed encouraged that there would be a sixth season, either on NBC or through some alternate outlet like Hulu or Netflix.
Meanwhile, discussions for the film at Sony have already gotten to the point where there have been informal talks as to who might direct the project. TV Guide is hearing that Justin Lin’s name is being bandied about and he would be a great choice as the Fast & Furious franchise director helmed the series’ famous first season paint ball episode “Modern Warfare,” which many point to as where the fledgling show firmly solidified its unique creative voice.
But Lin isn’t the only feature film director to oversee episodes of the series. Brothers Joe and Anthony Russo, who have Captain America: The Winter Soldier hitting theaters next Friday, not only served as executive producers of the show in its early seasons, but also directed a handful. Most recently Joe Russo was behind the camera for last week’s “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” episode. Broken Lizard’s Jay Chandrasekhar has also directed a number of episodes of the series.
As a fan of the series, Harmon’s return has certainly been a welcome turn after last year’s Harmon-less season that lacked the unique feel that the show’s creator brought. But Harmon’s return has not been without its bumps, with several episodes being devoted to explaining away the events of the previous season (“The gas leak year.”) and the departures of cast members Chevy Chase and Donald Glover. The last couple of episodes have settled into the show’s new dynamic rather swimmingly, though, and I would welcome the series continuing on. Of course, a movie would probably be the capstone of the story of Greendale Community College and its students and faculty. But if Harmon is ready to end that story, I would rather that he end it than allowing it to keep going without his participation.
Posted on 26 March 2014 by Rich Drees
Most actor can play the same character forever. No matter how popular that role may be, age or even lack-of-continuing-interest, will eventually force an actor to retire from a part that they are closely associated with and that leaves the studio with a quandary – Continue the franchise with a new actor or retire the series gracefully. And while the James Bond franchise has successfully gone the route of recasting its lead to much success over five decades now, most other film series choose to just call it a day.
A rumor is starting to circulate, courtesy of the rumor mongers at Latino Review, that studio execs are thinking that if Harrison Ford doesn’t put his fedora back on for one more outing as Indiana Jones in the near future that the studio would consider recasting the role with a younger actor who could conceivably stay with the part for a number of years. Also being whispered is that at the top of the studio’s wish list for actors to step in is Bradley Cooper.
Let us make clear that right now this is all rumor and perhaps even more than a bit of speculation.
Even though this is Latino Review doing the initial “reportage,” I will admit that there is possibly some truth here, even accidentally. That studio execs would be looking to keep the Indiana Jones franchise going is a no-brainer. The evolving economic model for Hollywood has been a bigger reliance on tentpole features to bring in the big bucks and the franchise is certainly one of the granddaddies at doing that. But it is certainly obvious that Ford is getting up in years and even if his spirit is willing there will come a time when the flesh will be too weak for the job. And Cooper seems like a good choice if you’re looking for someone who might take over the role and not just because he can grow some stubble.
And I do have to give some points to Latino Review for remembering that the Indiana Jones franchise grew out of some discussions that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had about wanting to create an adventure hero in a similar vein to James Bond.
But there is one thing that sticks out to me in Latino Review’s story like a sore thumb. It is that they state that one of their sources for this is the same person who tipped them that Cooper was going to be voicing Rocket Raccoon in the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy film from Disney’s Marvel Studios. This suggests to me that this source is either in Cooper’s camp or someone at the studio who wants to see Cooper in more of their films. If Disney/Lucasfilm is indeed considering recasting, it could be that this source is passing it along with the addition of Cooper being on the wish list as a way of lobbying to get the actor on to said list. Or perhaps no one at Disney is considering this but someone in Cooper’s camp came up with the idea and wanted it out there to test the waters and perhaps goad Disney execs to consider it.
We’ll be watching to see what, if anything, comes from this.
Posted on 25 March 2014 by Rich Drees
A report that some location shooting for J J Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII may be done in Norway has almost invariably lead to speculation that this means the still-under-wraps storyline will take its heroes and audiences back to the ice-covered planet Hoth last seen in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
The news that launched the speculation is coming from Icelandic site visir.is (via Metro News) which is stating that -
the crew will be heading for the Scandinavian nation this Spring ahead of the main production kicking off in May… The site reports that Iceland will be used mainly for filming landscape ‘plate shots’ which will then be used for scenery – although the news has sparked speculation that the movie could be partly set on the ice planet Hoth.
The original location for filming the scenes on Hoth for The Empire Strikes Back was in Norway.
Personally, I hope that the new trilogy will steer clear of places we’ve already seen in the Star Wars universe in favor of taking us to new and exciting worlds. I’ve always found it hard that a supposedly backwater planet like Tattoine continued to play a pivotal role in the entire sage and returning to an even more out of the way place like Hoth would strain that credulity even further.
Besides, Iceland does offer more than just snow-covered landscapes. Films such as Batman Begins, Prometheus and Thor: The Dark World have all shot there in recent years and really only Batman Begins was there for the snow. Hopefully, if it is true that Abrams is looking at Iceland for a shooting location