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ANT-MAN Starts Shooting Today, Announces Some New And One Familiar Cast

Posted on 18 August 2014 by Rich Drees

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After years of development that were upset when director Edgar Wright left the project a few months back, Ant-Man is finally on track with cameras starting to roll today in San Fransisco. Replacement director made the unofficial announcement about the commencement of shooting with the following tweet (which also manages to reference a classic Steve Martin standup routine) -

Marvel, of course, made an official announcement as well, which we have below. You’ll notice one name familiar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – John Slattery. If you remember Iron Man 2 you probably remember Slattery’s appearance in old film footage as Tony Stark’s father Howard. (Howard Stark has also shown up in the first Captain America film, but as he is 30 years younger in the World War Two-set adventure, Dominic Cooper played the part.)

Slattery’s appearance apparently confirms the rumors that the film’s prologue will be set in the past, showing scientist Hank Pym (being played in the present by MMichael Douglas) working with SHIELD in the development of his shrinking technology that is the source of the titular hero’s powers.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (August, 18, 2014) – Marvel Studios began principal photography today in San Francisco, California, on its newest Super Hero franchise Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The film brings one of Marvel comics’ original founding members of The Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The production also shoots on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film’s production.

Set for release in the United States on July 17, 2015, the film is directed by Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”) and stars Paul Rudd (“I Love You Man,” “Role Models”) as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, and Michael Douglas (“Behind The Candelabra,” “Wall Street”) as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Lost”) as Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.

The film also includes outstanding additional cast including Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” “The Bourne Legacy”), Bobby Cannavale (“Danny Collins,” “Annie,” “HBO’s “The Long Play”), Michael Peña (“End of Watch,” “American Hustle”), Abby Ryder Fortson (“Togetherness”), Judy Greer (“13 Going on 30,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”), David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “Prisoners”), Wood Harris (“Remember the Titans,” “The Wire”), John Slattery (“Mad Men,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 2”) and Gregg Turkington (“The Comedy,” “On Cinema”) and multi-hyphenate T.I. (“American Gangster,” “Takers”).

Based on the Marvel comic character first published in 1962, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in Marvel’s “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the upcoming Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

Director Peyton Reed’s creative team also includes Oscar® winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter (“Titanic,” “21”), production designer Sheppard Frankel (“Identity Thief,” “Horrible Bosses”) costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ (“X-Men: First Class,” “Kick Ass”), visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers”), stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad (Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and six-time Oscar® nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudik (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”). The editors include Dan Lebental, ACE (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” Marvel’s “Iron Man”) and Colby Parker Jr. (“Lone Survivor,” “Hancock”).

Marvel Studios’ upcoming release schedule includes Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015, Marvel’s “Captain America 3” on May 6, 2016, and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” on July 28, 2017.

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Let’s Not Get Excited About That STAR WARS Original Trilogy Blu-Ray Rumor Just Yet

Posted on 18 August 2014 by Rich Drees

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This weekend a rumor popped up stating that Disney was actively preparing a blu-ray release of the original Star Wars trilogy in their original theatrical release configuration. Since the mid-1990s, Star Wars impresario George Lucas had insisted that these versions of the films would never be made available again in favor of his reedited “Special Editions,” so the prospect of the original films heading back to the shelves certainly spurred excitement among fans who felt that the changes Lucas made to the films are detrimental to the overall story. That’s right, we’re talking about the infamous “Han Shoots First” debate.

And as much as I would love for this rumor to be legit, I am hesitant to believe it as it has been reported. So let’s first take a look at the original story from ComicBook.com -

According to our sources, Disney has plans to release the original cut of the Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray. Our sources indicate that the project has been under way for quite some time, but it’s been challenging because of some damage to the original negatives they are utilizing. The goal is to release A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of Jedi in their complete, unaltered, original form without the redone special edition SFX.

I am sure that Disney would like nothing better than to release the original, unaltered Star Wars trilogy on blu-ray. The market is definitely there for them and the studio has to do a lot of exploiting of the franchise to earn back the $4.1 billion that they dropped to buy Lucasfilm.

But let’s not forget that while Disney does indeed own the Star Wars franchise, 20th Century Fox still owns the distribution rights to the films, specifically they own the perpetual right to distribute the original film, while their original deal with Lucas gave them the distribution rights to The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi through 2020 . If Disney were to put out the trilogy on blu-ray they could only do so in conjunction with 20th Century Fox. Likewise, if Fox wanted to put the films out on their own, they wouldn’t be able to as, as they would need Disney’s participation.

I am not saying that a deal between the two couldn’t be reached. In fact I doubt that the two studios wouldn’t try and do something that would be mutually beneficial for them. It’s just that I don’t see any mention of that in their reporting, and I think that would have been a significantly important detail to either ask one’s source or call attention to the fact that they aren’t sure if a deal has been finalized. And it is this lack of information that is giving me pause right now. Until we hear further, and perhaps a bit more officially, I wouldn’t be getting my hopes on this.

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Warner Brothers Rebranding EDGE OF TOMORROW As LIVE DIE REPEAT

Posted on 17 August 2014 by Rich Drees

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Back in June, I reported that Warner Brothers was doing some marketing surveys on the title and promotion for the Tom Cruise science-fiction adventure film Edge Of Tomorrow. What was unusual in that was the fact that the film had already been in release for several weeks. At the time I speculated that Warners was looking to see why the film wound up underperforming at the box office for them. Now we know what they are really up to.

For Edge Of Tomorrow‘s upcoming blu-ray and downloadable video release, it appears as if the studio has gone ahead and retitled the film Live Die Repeat: Edge Of Tomorrow.

The recently released cover art for the film shows that the studio is emphasizing the phrase “Live Die Repeat” that was used in the advertising for the theatrical release on both the cover and the spine. Notice how buried the Edge Of Tomorrow title is. And it gets worse on the iTunes page for the film (screenshot via SlashFilm) as the studio really tries to conflate the “Live Die Repeat” catchphrase with the film’s title.

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Note that the “Live Die Repeat” phrase was one of the things that the post-release surveys from June were focusing on, asking respondents whether it would have made a better title than Edge Of Tomorrow. Looks like the studio got their answer.

Of course, this isn’t the first title change the film has gone through. The project is actually an adaptation of a Japanese novel titled All You Need Is Kill, which is the title it was shot under. It was only after production wrapped that Warners announced the change to Edge Of Tomorrow, a name I said at the time sounded like a 1970s soap opera.

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TCM Announces 24-Hour Film Salute To Lauren Bacall For September 15-16

Posted on 15 August 2014 by Rich Drees

LaurenBacallTurner Classic Movies have announced that next month they will memorialize the career of Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall, who passed away this past Tuesday. The eleven-film marathon contains a number of her most classic roles, including the four screen collaborations she shared with Humphrey Bogart. The channel will also be representing their 2005 Private Screenings interview between Bacall and TCM’s Robert Osborne.

Here’s the complete schedule -

Monday, Sept. 15
8 p.m. – Private Screenings: Lauren Bacall (2005)
9 p.m. – To Have and Have Not (1944)
11 p.m. – The Big Sleep (1946)
1 a.m. – How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
2:45 a.m. – Private Screenings: Lauren Bacall (2005)
3:45 a.m. – Harper (1966)

Tuesday, Sept. 16
6 a.m. – Bright Leaf (1950)
8 a.m. – Young Man with a Horn (1950)
10 a.m. – Dark Passage (1947)
Noon – Key Largo (1948)
2 p.m. – Blood Alley (1955)
4 p.m. – Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
6 p.m. – Designing Woman (1953)

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Gilliam’s THE ZERO THEOREM Under Legal Fire Over Graffiti Copyright

Posted on 15 August 2014 by Rich Drees

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A trio of street artists from Buenos Ares have filed a request to stop next month’s release of Terry Gilliam’s film The Zero Theorem, claiming that the film “blatantly and intentionally infringed, and are continuing to infringe, Plaintiffs’ intellectual property in the Copyrighted Artwork, by copying the work and using it in connection with the promotion and distribution of Defendants’ motion picture film, The Zero Theorem, which has already been released in foreign countries and is due to be released in the U.S. in a few weeks’ time.”

The suit names Gilliam, the film’s production designed David Warren, production company Voltage Pictures and distributor Amplify amongst the defendants.

The trio state that the film, which stars Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon and Tilda Swinton, appropriated a number of designs that they first painted in 2010. The included in their filing (obtained by Deadine) the following comparison, stating that their designs were showing up on the outdoor walls of Waltz’s character’s home as well as a sex shop located next door.

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It should be noted that the artists registered their mural with the Copyright Office in Argentina, under the title Castillo effective on November 15, 2013. However, that is nearly one year after the film’s production period, which ran from October 22 to December 3, 2012, a fact that the filing does note. There is no explanation in the filing as to why they took three years to register that copyright.

I do disagree with the plaintiff’s assertion that there is “no way to ‘cut’ the Infringing Work out of the Film.” It may cost a bit, but it should be fairly easy to digitally paint out the graffiti and replace it with other designs.

But this does put Amplify in a rather difficult position. I hate to say it but the plaintiffs do see to have a pretty strong case. The Zero Theorem‘s scheduled Video On Demand release date is next Tuesday, August 19, with a limited theatrical release set for September 19.

And whatever the outcome, hopefully, this won’t scare away the financing that Gilliam has managed to put together to finally get his long in development project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote in front of cameras by the year’s end.

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Could Disney Really Buy Warner Brothers?

Posted on 15 August 2014 by William Gatevackes

mickey and bugsBen Affleck’s Batman leads the Justice League against Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and his fellow Avengers. Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends begins and all Spider-Man Saturday airing regularly on Boomerang. Roger Rabbit 2 finally gets made, with both Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny sharing the screen for an extended period of time. Universal Orlando loses another attraction as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter  relocates to Disney World. The CW becomes ComicsWorks network, the new home to all the relocated comic book related shows on network TV–Gotham paired with the network broadcast of the Netflix Daredevil show is a rating juggernaut for the network. DC and Marvel Comics cancel all their comics after a dually published twelve-month miniseries called Secret Crisis: Wars on Infinite Earths. All books return with new number ones under the Amalgam imprint three months later.

It’s thoughts of possible collaborations like these, as implausible as they might be, made the Internet go crazy over a throw away paragraph in an article about the fate of Time Warner where Disney was mentioned as a potential buyer of the studio.

The Hollywood Reporter article is ostensibly about the possibility of China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, buying Warners. At the end of the article, they listed other potential suitors. Disney was on the top of the list, followed by Google and Apple.

Of course, the entire article is pure speculation. No sources were quoted to confirm Disney’s interest, and the biggest argument made in the article was that Disney might be looking for a TV news outlet such as Warner Bros. owned CNN for their portfolio. The reputation of the Hollywood Reporter is only thing raising this rumor above the level of wishful thinking.

Could Disney really buy Time Warner? Well, it appears to be still in a buying mode that started with their purchase of Marvel and Lucasfilms. And they are in a better standing than Fox when it comes to making the buyout.

But being that Disney and Time Warner are two of the biggest media conglomerates in the world, I’d imagine the government and their anti-monopoly laws might have something to say about the merger. And what they say might be “no.”

I guess we’ll see in a few weeks if this rumor is anything but a rumor. Until then, keep dreaming of that Wonder Woman vs. Black Widow feature film.

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New Releases: August 15, 2014

Posted on 15 August 2014 by William Gatevackes

lets-be-cops-poster1. Let’s Be Cops (Opened Wednesday, Fox, 3,094 Theaters, 104 Theaters, Rated R for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use): Does this film really benefit from a Wednesday release? It’s not a holiday weekend, and even if it is, this is a dumb comedy. The two extra days of grosses aren’t going to do you that much good against the summer blockbusters, especially when reviews are as bad as this one got.

Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) are two guys who make the mistake of wearing their police officer Halloween costumes out in public after a costume party. The uniforms give the pair a respect they do not usually get, so they take to wearing them all the time. Unfortunately, their fake crimebusting goes awry when they run afoul of some real mobsters.

The film opened to a $5.2 million on Wednesday, which is good, but we’ll see how it does when the films below hit.

expendables 3 poster2. The Expendables 3 (Lionsgate, 3,221 Theaters, 126 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language):
What began as a celebration of the action film from the 80s to today has now become even more of a reclamation project for stars that Sylvester Stallone has worked with (Wesley Snipes) and ones he didn’t (Mel Gibson).

The film is something of a generation gap movie, as Stallone’s character, Barney Ross, hires younger mercenaries to replace his older comrades. When a mission goes bad, the new Expendables have to  join up with the old Expendables in order to save the day.

A lot of fuss was made over this film getting edited for a PG-13 film, as it in and of itself is a betrayal of the films action movie roots. However, if this is Stallone’s last go around in the franchise, perhaps he wants to go out with the the biggest box office of the trilogy.

giver poster3. The Giver (The Weinstein Company, 3,003 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence): Adapting Lois Lowry’s 1993 book has been a pet project for Jeff Bridges for a long time. How long? He originally wanted his father Lloyd, who died in 1998, to play the titular role, an elderly man who passes forbidden knowledge down to the next generation. Who plays the role now? You guessed it, Jeff Bridges.

Although the delay might work out in Bridges’ favor. Dystopian tales featuring young protagonists are in right now. Of course, not all young adult novelizations do well at the box office, so that will have to be taken into effect.

The story deals with an ideal society built around sameness, where a council of elders decides everything for their constituents. One teenager, named Jonas,  is chosen to become the “Receiver of Memory,” the store of all knowledge that happened before the council took over which is preserved in the event any of it becomes necessary to the community. However, when Jonas receives the memories, he realizes just what his society did and continues to do to keep an ideal world.

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GODZILLA 2 Stomping Into Theaters June 8, 2018

Posted on 14 August 2014 by Rich Drees

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If you’re anxious to see more big screen Godzilla action, you have a bit of a wait. Sony has just announced that the sequel to this summer’s monster (pun only partially intended) hit will be stomping into theaters on June 8, 2018.

While I am sure that the studio is probably wishing that they could be getting the film into theaters a bit faster, director Gareth Edwards already has another big profile project on his plate he needs to finish first – the first Star Wars spinoff film which Disney has scheduled for December 16, 2016.

Last month at San Diego Comic Con, Edawrds announced that Godzilla’s owners, Toho Studios, were granting them a few omre of the original Japanese franchise’s monsters to use in the sequel, specifically Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah.

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Two Scripts Have Been Commissioned For An AQUAMAN Film

Posted on 12 August 2014 by William Gatevackes

AquamanI wonder if James Cameron will be doing this after Avatar.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that Warner Brothers has commissioned two separate scripts for an Aquaman film. The thinking is the Warners will take the scripts, one by Gangster Squad‘s Will Beall and 300: Rise of an Empire‘s Kurt Johnstad, pull the best moments from each , and Frankenstein a movie out of it. Sounds perfect.

While Aquaman is one of the few comic book characters to be continually published in one form or another from the 1940′s to today, he is also considered somewhat of a joke in the world of pop culture, an opinion exacerbated by shows such as Robot Chicken and Entourage that poke fun at the character and its lame reputation.

This news might be the final nail in the coffin of the rumored line up of films that Nikki Finke provided back in June and that Kevin Smith confirmed a few weeks later. The first blow came last week when Warners came out with an official release schedule that didn’t match the dates Finke gave. And an Aquaman film was not listed in the films Finke put forth in June.  This might be enough to finally show that Finke was given faulty information or that Warners changed their plans as a result of her article.

Jason Momoa has not yet been confirmed as playing Aquaman but is almost universally considered to have been cast. No word as to when the film will be hitting theaters, but it looks like it is years away.

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Lauren Bacall, 89

Posted on 12 August 2014 by Rich Drees

LaurenBacallLauren Bacall, the sultry siren of a quartet of films she appeared in with Humphrey Bogart as well as a number of other classics of Golden Age Hollywood, died this morning in New York City. She was 89.

Bacall, born Betty Jean Perske, ade her big screen debut in a big way, starring against Bogart in Howard Hawks’ 1944 film To Have And Have Not. Although the director reportedly had more than just a professional interest in the model-turned-actress, she fell for her leading man. There was a 25 year age gap between the 19-year-old Bacall and the 44-year-old Bogart who was in the midst of having his third marriage fall apart in a rather spectacular and public fashion, but it didn’t seem to bother the general public. The heat of their burgeoning relationship was well evident on the screen, perhaps no more so in the scene in which she stands in the doorway to Bogart’s hotel room and asks him if he knows how to whistle. The moviegoers couldn’t get enough and the studio brass at Warner Brothers would see to it that he and Bogart would make three more films together – The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948).

But the rest of Bacall’s Hollywood career was not quite as sooth sailing as her collaborations with Bogart – who she married in 1945 – were. Her follow-up to To Have And Have Not, Confidential Agent (1945) with Charles Boyer, she described as “[T]he worst movie, a nightmare, and I was terrible in it. And as quickly as I had been placed on a pedestal, I fell off.” ore notable films were to follow, especially Bright Leaf (1950), her first comedy, How To Marry A Millionaire (1953), co-starring with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, Douglas Sirk’s melodrama Written On The Wind (1956) with Rock Hudson and Designing Women (1957) opposite Gregory Peck.

Following Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall headed fro Hollywood to New York City where she concentrated her career on stage work. She did continue to make sporadic appearances in such films as Shock Treatment (1964), the light comedy, Sex And The Single Girl (1964), which also starred Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, the noir thriller Harper (1966) with Paul Newman, the all-star ensemble Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and John Wayne’s final film, The Shootist (1976).

In 1996, Bacall received her only Academy Award nomination, for her supporting role in The Mirror Has Two Faces, for her work as Barbara Streisand’s mother. She did receive an Honorary Academy Award in 2010.

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