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First Look: Evageline Lilly As HOBBIT’s Elf Warrior Tauriel

Posted on 05 June 2013 by Rich Drees

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Like his three-film adaptation of the The Lord Of The Rings before it, the first part of director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit has drawn some criticism from die-hard fans of the book’s author, J. R. R. Tolkien. It’s understandable to an extent that fans may be protective of their love, but it does ignore the fact that story-telling in film sometimes has different needs than story-telling in novels does.

One of the changes that Tolkien fans have expressed the most concern about is the inclusion of a new character in the upcoming The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug in the form of an elf warrior named Tauriel and being played by Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly. While we have seen Lily in bits of behind-the-scenes footage that have been released, we have not yet seen an official look at the character until now.

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Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Lilly described the character as “slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill.”

Tauriel is the head of the Elven Guard. She’s a Sylvan Elf, which means she’s of a much lower order than the elves we all became acquainted with in The Lord of the Rings. She doesn’t hold the same kind of status that Arwen or Galadriel or Elrond or Legolas do — she’s much more lowly. She sort of goes against the social order of the elves a little bit. She will definitely have a love story. I can’t give away too much about it. It’s not a huge focus but it is there and it is important and it does drive Tauriel and her story and her actions.

I can already hear the outrage over that love story possibly involving Lord Of The Rings‘s Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Lilly doesn’t do much too either confirm or dispel that line of thought.

Tauriel’s relationship with Legolas is significant. They’ve known each other since they were children, and Legolas’ dad, [Elven king] Thranduil, has a soft spot for Tauriel and sees something very special in her. So if you grow up side by side, and your dad has a very special spot in his heart for this young woman who’s a fantastic warrior, I think it’s hard not to notice her. That’s probably as much as I can say.

Currently it is rumored that we will see the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug in front of Man Of Steel next weekend. Will we see Lilly in action then?

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Starts Shooting, First Pic Released

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Rich Drees

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Marvel Studios’ has announced that production on Captain America: The Winter Soldier has started today in Los Angeles. Further shooting will take place in Cleveland, Ohio (Perhaps doubling for Manhattan they way it did for parts of The Avengers?) and Washington DC.

To note the start of filming, Marvel has released the first production photo from the project – a simple behind-the-scenes shot showing Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America at some SHIELD office/installation/helicarrier. Click on the picture for a larger version. Marvel’s press release is below.

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Following in the footsteps of the record-breaking Marvel Studios’ release, “Marvel’s The Avengers,” production on the highly anticipated release, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” has commenced in Los Angeles, Calif., with production also including locations in Cleveland, Ohio, and Washington D.C. Directing the film is the team of Anthony and Joe Russo (“Welcome to Collinwood”) from a screenplay written by Christopher Markus (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) & Stephen McFeely (“Captain America: The First Avenger”). Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” returns Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”) as the iconic Super Hero character Steve Rogers/Captain America, along with Scarlett Johansson (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury. In addition, film icon Robert Redford has joined the all-star cast as Agent Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is set for release in the U.S. on April 4, 2014.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will pick-up where “Marvel’s The Avengers” left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” features an outstanding supporting cast that includes Sebastian Stan (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Black Swan”) as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker,” “Million Dollar Baby”) as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Cobie Smulders (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “How I Met Your Mother”) as Agent Maria Hill, Frank Grillo (“Zero Dark Thirty”) as Brock Rumlow and Georges St-Pierre (“Death Warrior”) as Georges Batroc. Rounding out the talented cast are Hayley Atwell (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Peggy Carter, Toby Jones (“Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Hunger Games”) as Arnim Zola, Emily VanCamp (“The Ring 2,” “Revenge”) as Agent 13 and Maximiliano Hernández (“Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Thor”) as Agent Jasper Sitwell.

Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing the film. Executive producers on the project include Alan Fine, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee. The creative production team on the film includes director of photography Trent Opaloch (“Elysium,” “District 9”), production designer Peter Wenham (“21 Jump Street,” “Fast Five”), editors Jeffrey Ford, A.C.E. and Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E. (“Star Wars: Episode 7,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) and three time Oscar®-nominated costume designer Judianna Makovsky (“The Hunger Games,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).

Marvel Studios’ upcoming release schedule includes “Iron Man 3” on May 3, 2013, and “Thor: The Dark World” on November 8, 2013. The studio most recently produced the critically acclaimed “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which set the all-time, domestic 3-day weekend box office record at $207.4 million. The film, which shattered both domestic and international box office records, is Disney’s highest-grossing global and domestic release of all time and marks the studio’s fifth film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.

In the summer of 2011, Marvel successfully launched two new franchises with “Thor,” starring Chris Hemsworth, and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” starring Chris Evans. Both films opened #1 at the box office and have grossed over $800 million worldwide combined. In 2010 “Iron Man 2,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury took the #1 spot in its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.” “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey Jr. originally dons the Super Hero’s powerful armor and stars alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008, and was an immediate box office success. Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million in its opening weekend. On June 13, 2008, Marvel released “The Incredible Hulk,” marking its second number one opener of that summer.

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A Look At An Older Beast From X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Posted on 05 April 2013 by William Gatevackes

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Who needs X-Men: Days of Future Past spoilers when Bryan Singer has a Twitter account?

The director is at it again, this time tweeting an image of everyone’s favorite furry scientist, the Beast.

As we can see above, we can tell this is an older version of the Beast by the patches of white and grey mixed in with the blue fur. But it looks like he is still part of the team (as we can see by the snatch of yellow on his shoulder) and it appears that it is Nicholas Hoult playing him. Well, it’s hard to tell with the make-up, but the shape of the face looks like Hoult’s.

It certainly doesn’t look like Kelsey Grammer. As we know, Grammer played the older Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand, and while Ellen Page made the jump from that film to Singer’s latest, perhaps this means that the Fraiser actor won’t.

Or this could just be a work up of some potential make-up and I am reading far too much into it.

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A Look At Peter Jackson’s Online Sneak Peek Of THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Posted on 24 March 2013 by Rich Drees

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This afternoon, Peter Jackson hosted a live streaming even that offered a bit of a sneak peek at the upcoming The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, the second installment in his three-film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel The Hobbit. As expected with the film more nine months away, there were a lot of scenes that were still kept underwraps, either to preserve their surprise in the film or because the visual effect work needed to bring them to life was nowhere near done. So if you were hoping to get a glimpse at the dragon Smaug itself, you were out of luck.

But we did see a number of things that we haven’t seen before. Joined by Jeb Brophy, who portrays the dwarf Nori in the films, Jackson took viewers on a short tour of the post-production facilities where the film is being readied for its December release. We see a brief glimpse of some motion capture work being done for the orcs. But it is once we get to the editing suite that we get to see some real glimpses of the upcoming film.

Spoilers ahead.

First off was a scene set on a boat in which Bard (Luke Evans) is taking Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the dwarfs towards Laketown following their escape from the wood elves of Mirkwood. In the scene, which they showed from a number of different filmed angles to demonstrate the choices available to Jackson when editing, Bilbo is expressing aggravation again at having been drug out on an adventure, recalling a Hobbit saying about never traveling to the East. Interestingly, Freeman plays the scene a number of different ways, leaving Jackson with a variety of choices in where Bilbo’s frustration level lies.

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Jackson then turned his attention to the wood elves of Mirkwood who will be part of the film’s story. We already know that Legolas (Orlando Bloom) will be returning from the Lord Of The Rings films and will be joined by his father Thranduil, the wood elf King (Lee Pace), whom we have seen briefly in the opening prologue of the first Hobbit film last December. Here we got to see more of them both separately and together. I love how Thranduil’s throne in the first picture echoes the horned moose-type mount we saw him riding in the first film.

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Jackson also gave us a look at some production art of how both Mirkwood and the elvish kingdom therein will look once the green screens in the background are replaced.

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We also see a bit of the confrontation between Thorin and Thranduil, whom as we know from the first film are not on the best of terms. (Though I will confess that I am a bit mystified by the lack of height discrepancy between the dwarf Thorin and the human-sized elf Thranduil.)

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Jackson also introduced us to the elf Tauriel who is played by Evangeline Lily. She is a character invented by the filmmakers as one of the elvish king’s guards and it looks like she’ll be seeing plenty of action in the film.

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Among the further images Jackson previewed included more of Bard, whom it looks like they’re beefing up his role considerably from the books -

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…the Master of Laketown as portrayed by Stephen Fry…

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… the dwarfs arrival at Laketown…

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… The dwarfs on the side of the Lonely Mountain…

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… And Martin Freeman filming a portion of his initial confrontation with Smaug.

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The event ended with the presentation of a short, completed sequence featuring Gandlaf (Ian McKellen) investigating the origin of the sword of the Witch King of Angmar found by Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy) in the haunted, abandoned fortress of Dol Guldor. He finds himself in the tomb that the evil king had been entombed and, along with Radagst, makes a disturbing discovery. The tombs weren’t broken into, they were broken out of.

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First Teaser Image For DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Posted on 15 November 2012 by Rich Drees

The first teaser image for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes has shown up somewhat briefly online.

The image below appeared briefly on the official Rise Of The planet Of The Apes Facebook page earlier this afternoon, but seems to have disappeared off the page since then. It was accompanied by the phrase “Evolution becomes revolution.” The new film will be directed by Matthew Reeves, taking the reigns from Rupert Wyatt.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is set for a Memorial Day 2014 release.

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Big 150 Picture Gallery For THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Posted on 12 November 2012 by Rich Drees

We’re just a month away from the release of the first part of Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. If you just aren’t excited enough for that, then maybe this will help – 150 new production and behind-the-scenes pictures. If you’re familiar with Tolkien’s original novel then you will probably recognize many of the sequences being filmed. Even then, there are a few things that may be strange if you aren’t familiar with some of the supplementary material that Jackson has plumbed to expand the film’s storylines.

Credit to Comic Book Movie for setting up the embeddable gallery.

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Photos Of Hugh Jackman From The Set Of THE WOLVERINE Tell A Story

Posted on 06 August 2012 by William Gatevackes

Pictures taken on the set of The Wolverine that appeared on The Life of the Mind blog show more than just a haggard and woolly Hugh Jackman, they might just show what direction the X-Men Origins: Wolverine sequel is headed.

The four pictures presumably show Jackman on the way to the set, and cut a very different image of Wolverine than we are used to. Instead of the buff, sideburns wearing Wolverine from the rest of his film appearances, they show Jackman with long, disheveled hair and a bushy beard, looking quite like a homeless person or a young Alan Moore.

But he could also look like a prisoner of war, which would fit with previous information we have received about the film.

Several weeks ago, the Australian press was invited to the film’s set. At the time, the gathered press took many photographs of the set pieces being built and the concept art made for the film. These images made the rounds on the Internet, but quickly were removed (much to some news organizations’ chagrin). The photo to the right is the only one we dare to share, if only because the pictures there are so small. But you can still find some of the original images online if you know where to look.

The set pictures showed two set models. One was a pit of sorts with a heavy metal vault-like door on top that appears to something you’d place a particularly nasty prisoner in. This model was shown already build into a full size set piece. The other model was of a prison camp, with barracks surrounded by metal fencing. The concept art showed the prison camp, scene of a nuclear bomb being detonated, and the destructive aftermath of the bombing on Japan.

These pictures seem to indicate that a fairly sizable portion of the film will take place in a World War II era Japanese prisoner of war camp, and, added to the pictures released today, Wolverine most likely was rather long-time guest at one of the camps.

The camps and the nuclear war imagery also leads one to believe that another one of Wolverine’s iconic comic book stories will be partially adapted into the film. 2008′s Logan, written by Lost‘s Brian K. Vaughan and draw by Eduardo Risso, add a new wrinkle to the character’s back story–a stay in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during the final days of WWII. The miniseries famously detailed what would win in a battle between Wolverine’s healing power and the bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima (SPOILER ALERT: The healing power wins).

The miniseries also introduced a new enemy for Wolverine, an American who was turned into a flaming skeleton in the blast. This villain is later confronted Logan in the modern day, when Logan gets revenge on the villain for actions he did decades earlier.

In my opinion, the film will keep the whole “fighting your nemesis decades later” aspect of the story (which is confirmed by the studio’s plot summary for the sequel) but take away the flaming skeleton and insert Shingen from the Claremont and Miller Wolverine mini series. As I mentioned here, it looks like two actors, one young (Hiroyuki Sanada) and one old (Hal Yamanouchi), have been cast as the villain from that series, Shingen Yashida. It would not be a stretch to believe that the film will have Sanada play a WWII-era Shingen, perhaps as an abusive guard or commandant for the camp Logan/Wolverine is in, and then have the older Yamanouchi play Shingen later in life. Due to the age differences in the actors possibly playing Shingen, this would place the non-WWII parts of The Wolverine in the 1980′s, after X-Men Origins: Wolverine, yet quite some time before X-Men.

If this is in fact the way the writers are going with this film, I think it is both good and bad. Good in the sense that it builds a stronger sense of conflict between Yashida and Logan, and it would be interesting to see how an amnesia-suffering Logan reacts to facing his old enemy. Bad in the sense it takes a bit of the pathos out of the relationship between Logan and Mariko. It takes the randomness out of the love affair and brings in too much coincidence for my tastes.

Another area of concern is the film’s continuity with its previous installment. X-Men Origins: Wolverine’s opening credits expressly shows that Logan and Sabretooth were part American forces taking part in the Normandy invasion in the European theater during WWII. This asks the question, how did Logan move from one theater of war to another in the span of 14 months (if he’s really going to be in Japan when the bombs drop) and where Victor/Sabretooth  is while Logan is a prisoner, because that title montage shows the pair were inseparable until well after the Vietnam conflict. The X-films have played fast an loose with continuity, and there have been other elements of X-Men Origins: Wolverine contradicted in other films, but these are still issues that need to be addressed.

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Our First Look At THE HOBBIT’s Trio Of Trolls

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Rich Drees

With this year’s San Diego Comic Con kicking off today, lots of comics movie and genre related news has been flying out fairly furiously and some of it seems to have zipped right by most of the major news sites. One such item was our first look at the three trolls from Peter Jackson’s upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey via Bleeding Cool. Not a big story to be sure, and we sort of know how they would look from their more calcified appearance in the Extended Edition of The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Rings.

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Six New Pics From Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED

Posted on 29 May 2012 by Rich Drees

We’re just a few short weeks away from the release of the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti western homage Django Unchained in front of Prometheus, but to tide you over until then, we have six new images from the film featuring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Tarantino himself. (Click on each image for a larger view.)

Django Unchained hits theaters on Christmas Day.

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ANCHORMAN 2 Teaser To Debut Tomorrow

Posted on 15 May 2012 by Rich Drees

There hasn’t been a frame of footage shot and the script might not even been finished, but Paramount has already prepared a teaser trailer for Will Farrell’s much anticipated sequel to Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy and it will premier in theaters tomorrow attached to the front of the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator.

San Diego’s favorite news anchor himself took to Twitter to make the announcement-

The tweet also included a link to a new picture of Burgundy, who, let’s face, is still looking classy.

In addition to Will Farrell returning for the film, it has already been confirmed that Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner will all be back to play the rest of Ron’s Channel 4 news team cohorts. Filming should be getting underway relatively soon and while there is no official release date announced, I would expect it sometime next year.

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