Zoe Saldana is in talks to appear in Marvel Studio’s The Guardians Of The Galaxy. She would appear as Gamora, one of the titular intergalactic superheroes. A skilled assassin, the green-skinned Gamora is the last of a species that was exterminated by a race known as the Badoon.
Saldana’s casting comes as a bit of a surprise as she was not named on a reported shortlist of actresses under consideration by the studio back in January. She is joining Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista who have already signed onto the comic book adaptation.
This will make Saldana’s third space-set franchise, after having appeared in James Cameron’s Avatar and J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek.
With director James Gunn looking to start production on the film in June, expect more casting notices in the weeks to come. Guardians Of The Galaxy is scheduled for an August 1, 2014 release.
A bunch of images hit the web today from J.J. Abrams Star Trek 2, and speculation has begun as to what they all mean.
First, MTV has two set photos featuring new bad guy (and BBC’s Sherlock Holmes) Benedict Cumberbatch. The first, which you see to the left, features his character facing off against Zachary Quinto’s Spock. While it looks like Spock is getting the upper hand, MTV claims that Cumberbatch quickly get out of the Vulcan Neck Pinch. I did not know that was possible.
MTV sees the outfit Cumberbatch is wearing, and theorizes that his character is a member of the Starfleet Academy who has turned evil. Well, the other picture taken from that set visit might tell another story.
Here, Cumberbatch faces off against Zoe Saldana’ Uhura. As we recall, a hint of a romance was beginning to form between Spock and Uhura during the last film. Could this be a romantic triangle of some sort? Hmm? Hmm?
Okay, maybe not. But still, there is bound to be more than just a coincidence in the two quasi-lovebirds facing off against the villain at the same time.
/Film runs with the story, but adds another potential plot element. They have taken a screen cap, seen to the left, from Simon Pegg’s Twitter video wishing British comic book magazine 2000 A.D. a happy anniversary. The video is taken on the set and Pegg is in costume.
/Film thinks Pegg’s costume in the shot is that of a member of the Starfleet Academy and not the red tunic Pegg wore at the end of the first film. I don’t know about you, but I can barely make out anything on that uniform. But just because Pegg is wearing a uniform that appears to be a cadets uniform, doesn’t mean Scotty has been busted down through the ranks. I’ll need more information before I speculate on that.
More answers should become apparent as we get closer to the sequel’s May 17, 2013 release date.
1. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark (FilmDistrict, 2,760 Theaters, 99 Minutes, Rated R): If you are wondering why it took so long for Hollywood to come up with a film with this title, well, obviously, you’ve never seen the 1973 TV movie of the same name that starred Kim Darby.
Both films are haunted house flicks, only now instead of a young housewife (played by Darby) being taken over by demons, it’s a little girl (Bailee Madison) who is sent to live her father (Guy Pierce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes).
Of course, being that this is co-written by Guillermo del Toro, there will be some sick twists (the demons feed on human teeth in order to stay alive), but this is essentially a remake of a film that wasn’t all that original in the first place. Don’t know how that will go over at the box office.
2. Colombiana (TriStar, 2,614 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I am immediately distrustful of any revenge flick that is rated PG-13. I mean, who wants to see kid-friendly payback? But Hollywood being what it is, and wanting to make sure the teens can get in to see the film, this will be a PG-13 revenge flick.
Zoe Saldana plays a Columbian woman whose parents were murdered when she was a little kid. She has devoted her life to tracking down the people who killed her family, all the while working as an assassin for her uncle.
The fact that Saldana’s character is not an innocent adds a bit of flavor the the genre. Not that it needs flavoring, revenge films always are in demand. Should be interesting to see how well this one does.
3. Our Idiot Brother (The Weinstein Group, 2,614 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated R): Paul Rudd is an actor who is just as at home in goofy comedies such as The 40-Year Old Virgin and Wet Hot American Summer as he is indie flicks such as The Oh in Ohio and The Shape of Things. This film seems to fall somewhere in between.
Rudd plays the titular brother whose well-meaning intrusions into his family’s lives has unexpected results.
There is a pretty strong cast surrounding Rudd, but will it be enough to make the dual nature of the film work?
Many of the current spate of comic book films have had various levels of serious explorations of their subject matter mixed in with their action and thrills. But The Losers doesn’t make any pre-text towards serious character analysis. Its sole aim is to entertain, and it does so reasonably well.
A group of black-ops agents in Bolivia tries to call of a covert air strike on a drug lord after they see a group of children being brought into the drug lord’s compound to be used as couriers for his product. The strike still goes ahead and the team, lead by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, barely manage to rescue the children before the missiles rain in. However, their victory is short-lived, for when they load the children on to the evacuation chopper that was supposed to take them back to the United States, it is shot down, killing all aboard. Knowing that they are marked for death and can’t return home, the group hides out in Central America until they are approached by a mysterious woman (Zoe Saldana) who tells them that they were set up by a man named Max and she can help them get their revenge on him.
With a couple of direct to video movies and just one theatrical feature film, Stomp The Yard, on his resume, Sylvain White seems like an unlikely choice to helm an action film, but he manages to turn in a solid picture. The character work among the Losers is strong. They have a breezy camaraderie of men who have faced down death together on multiple occasions and the script affords them each a couple of nice character moments. White’s action work is fast paced, yet never lets it get too frenetic that one loses track of exactly what is happening. He also pays homage to the movie’s comic book roots by having the colors on the film have a bit of pop to them without ever over emphasizing the look.
The film roughly adapts the first six of the 32 issues of the comic that DC Comics published through their Vertigo imprint from 2003 to 2006. Fans of the series, and I count myself among them, will note that some plot points and revelations have been shifted and changed a bit to allow for certain levels of narrative completeness required by a movie. That doesn’t mean that the film has a pat resolution. Its ending is satisfactory, yet open-ended enough that the filmmakers could go back and mine the remaining 26 issues of the series for more material if a sequel were to materialize.
The biggest change to the comics unfortunately becomes the film’s weakest point, though not necessarily because of the change itself. Jason Patrick’s performance as Max, the shadowy operative who seems to have incredible power in the espionage world, is a bit too over the top, even for the film’s less than deadly serious tone. His hyper delivery comes off as more of a distraction and certainly doesn’t exude the kind of menace that the part calls for. Fortunately, the rest of the cast manages to overcome the old saying about heroes only being as good as their villains to make the film a fun, diverting pop corn flick.
Just seven weeks out from its release and we have seen very little of the action in the upcoming comic book adaptation The Losers, outside of the already released trailer. Now we have six new pictures highlighting the various cast members in some exciting action poses. Most of the pictures show the Losers doing what they do best, fighting and shooting things. The sixth shows stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana getting a different kind of action. (Click on each picture for a bigger version.)
There are two tales of soldiers of fortune on the run from the government coming to multiplexes later this year. The better known project is the adaptation of the 80s actions series The A-Team, but for my money the one that might turn out to be the better movie is The Losers. Based on the DC Comics/Vertigo series by writer Andy Diggle and artist Jock, The Losers is about a group of Special Forces operatives who were betrayed by their CIA handler, Max, and left for dead. The group now fights back to get revenge on Max, but discover that his reach into the halls of power is far greater than they expected. The series ran for 32 issues between 2003 and 2006 and featured five storylines that could serve as the basis for sequels if this first film does well.
From the trailer below, it looks as if director Sylvain White is shooting for a breezy, if slightly edgier, variation on the recent Ocean’s 11 pictures. Watchmen‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan is heading up the cast as the Loser’s leader Clay, with Star Trek and Avatar‘s Zoe Saldana as Aisha, a woman who joins up with the Losers who has her own vendetta against Max (Jason Patric). The Wire‘s Idris Elba, the Fantastic Four‘s Chris Evans, Columbus Short and Oscar Jaenada round out the cast.
In addition to the trailer, a new promotion picture for the film has been released. If you’ve read the comic, than it should look familiar to you, as it is a variation of of Jock’s cover for issue number 12 of the book, which he had previously reworked for a promotional poster for the film handed out at last summer’s San Diego ComicCon. You can see all three below. Click on each to enlarge.