Sunday, August 31, 2014

Box-Office Update: Guardians Winning Ways Continue....

 The actioner The November Man and the found footage flick As Above, So Below
were no match for  Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" (My Review) over the extended Labor Day weekend...Something tells me that the studios are glad to see Summer 2014 cone to a close....

Pamela McClintock of THR:

James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy easily remains in the lead at the Labor Day box office despite competition from new entries The November Man, the adult-skewing spy film starring Pierce Brosnan, and micro-budgeted thriller As Above, So Below.

Although official numbers for summer 2014 won't be released until Tuesday, North American revenue for the season will barely crack $4 billion, marking an eight-year low and, when accounting for inflation, marking a 17-year low. And revenue is down 15 percent from last year's record haul of $4.75 billion, the biggest year-over-year decline that anyone can remember.

Guardians has been one of the summer's few bright spots and is winning the long holiday weekend with a three-day gross of $16.3 million and projected four-day haul of $21.2 million. It's now the top-grossing film of 2014 to date in North America, grossing $274.6 million through Sunday and eclipsing the $259.8 million earned by fellow Marvel and Disney tentpole Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

New Labor Day weekend entries As Above, So Below and The November Man are doing only modest business, coming in No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, behind Guardians, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, If I Stay and R-rated comedy Let's Be Cops. (Complete numbers for the four-day weekend will be reported Monday morning.)

From Legendary Entertainment, As Above, So Below posted a three-day weekend gross of $8.3 million for a projected four-day total in the $10 million range. The psychological thriller cost a mere $5 million to make.

As Above, So Below follows a group of explorers that discover dark forces when they dive into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris. Universal is releasing the film, which targeted younger consumers with an aggressive digital campaign.

From director Roger Donaldson, The November Man opened Wednesday to get a jump on the action. It's three-day weekend take is $7.7 million for an estimated four-day total of $9.8 million, putting its six-day debut at a projected $11.5 million.

The $20 million-plus movie, which follows an ex-CIA agent (Brosnan) who is brought back for one more mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil, was made by The Solution Entertainment Group, Palmstar Media Capital and Merced Media Partners. Olga Kurylenko and Luke Bracey also star in November Man, which Relativity acquired for $3 million.

Poor reviews could be hurting November Man, although audiences liked it better, giving it a B+ CinemaScore. As Above, So Below earned a withering C- CinemaScore.

For the nostalgic set, Sony celebrated the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters by releasing the classic supernatural comedy in 784 theaters. The movie's projected four-day gross is nearly $3 million.

Among indie films, Jon Favreau's Chef has crossed the $30 million mark at the domestic box office, cooking up a sweet victory for the filmmaker and Open Road Films. The movie, once again expanding nationwide over the Labor Day holiday, is projected to gross $862,058 for the four days for a total $30.4 million.

John Carney's Begin Again also took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to once again expand. The Weinstein Co. release is expected to earn a pleasing $1 million for the four-day holiday for a domestic total north of $15 million.

More Tomorrow....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Russo Boys Sill Talking "Captain America 3"... A Lot

Still out on the stump for the September 9th Disc release of Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" directors Anthony and Joe Russo are being asked about the sequel Captain America 3.

Screen Rant wondered if the Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger could return following his seeming transport across the galaxy at the end of the first pic.

The duo couldn't get specific but aren't dismissing the possibility:

"We can't really comment specifically in terms of where we're going with it, just because we don't want to spoil anything for anybody. But certainly, look. That's the great thing about the Marvel universe, is anything is possible. All these characters exist. And as we've seen on the publishing side, there's very inventive, creative ways to make characters relevant again and surprising ways to make the characters relevant again. He's a great character. Whether or not he finds his way back I can't really say."

Anthony Russo was more forthcoming about the use of The Winter Soldier in the next film and how they plan to top the villains in the last film:

"Here's the thing. The think we love about Bucky is he's a really complicated character; very tragic, complicated character. Here's a guy, when you look at him, is he the world's worst assassin or is he the longest serving POW in history? You could look at him as one of two things. Either he's innocent by reason insanity or the equivalent of that, in terms of not being responsible for his actions because he was brain controlled, or he's a monster. It's a very complicated place. It's a hard place to move forward from that. In relationship to Cap, it's like is Cap ever going to be able to access the guy he used to be?"

Joe Russo adds:

"If he can't, well who is Winter Soldier? Is he Bucky Barnes anymore or is he somebody knew? So those are all really interesting questions to ask with him. It's our job on the next one to outdo the villain from the last one. But because that's a mandate of ours, it's always something we put an incredible amount of focus on. The stakes aren't high enough. The audience doesn't feel those stakes. If the characters aren't in jeopardy continually throughout the film, then you lose a certain narrative momentum to the movie. As we said, you can only define the hero against the villain. So the greater the villain, the greater definition you get out of your hero."

In another interview with EW, Joe Russo talked about how the tone of the next one will differ from 'Winter Soldier,' though likely not as much as between the first two films.

"You have to work really hard to deliver something different, and exciting, and challenging. That's what we're in the middle of on Cap 3 right now, pushing really hard to make sure that what we deliver is something that's gonna be different from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We're more grounded in the world of Winter Soldier than Winter Soldier was grounded in First Avenger. The difference between First Avenger and Winter Soldier is that seventy years has elapsed between the two movies. Cap was waking up in a world that was a million miles away from the one he came from. That gave us a narrative motivation to push the tonal and stylistic content of the world forward. We don't have that same time elapsed here. It's the world Cap woke up in still, even though it's several years later and some other significant events have happened. At the same time, we are pushing Cap to a place he hasn't been before."

In yet another interview with The Wall Street Journal, Anthony Russo spoke about how Joss Whedon's superhero team up sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" will impact the story being told in "Cap 3":

"We always react and adjust to the material, and part of Marvel's secret formula is that you keep working all the way until the time you deliver the movie for exhibition. You keep working to make it a better film. Things change as you work. So we will definitely be watching cuts of Avengers: Age of Ultron. We talk to Joss when we can. We talk to [Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige] when we can, just to get insight into what they're doing, and what direction they're headed, so it'll definitely impact us, without question, from a narrative standpoint. From a tonal standpoint, perhaps. It's hard to say."

Asked if they have seen any footage from "Ultron," Joe Russo says they have only seen the San Diego Comic-Con footage:

"We've seen what everyone else has seen that was at Comic-Con. We saw that incredible two minutes of footage from it. It looks like the biggest movie ever made, so we're very excited for it. We have read the script. It's incredible. I think Joss is going to blow people away with this one."

"Soldier" screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have returned  to pen the threequel script  Production on the next film is slated to begin next April in Atlanta, Georgia. The studio has targeted a May 6th 2016 release.

Hunnam, Bernthal & Stevens Vie For "New York" Reboot Lead

Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam former "The Walking Dead" co-star Jon Bernthal and  former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens are the latest names rumored to take the role of Snake Plissken in the "remake director John Carpenter's 1981 classic Escape from New York says Starlog. Hunnam is favored by the studio suits.

The original movie  saw hard ass anti-hero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) living in a near future totalitarian United States where Manhattan Island has been turned into a maximum security prison and Plissken has one day to rescue the U.S. President (Donald Pleasance) who is being held hostage there.

Gerard Butler, Timothy Olyphant, Jason Statham and Tom Hardy have all been linked to play Russell's iconic role at various points in time over the years for  New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. with Len Wiseman and Breck Eisner attached to direct along the way. The studios let their option expire a number of years ago. The film rights now reside at Sudio Canal

Starlog also says the new film will be less focused on one man and more an ensemble flick. It will retain the central premise of the original:

"[It's] more team-based, as Snake Plissken traverses through a treacherous New York landscape with a rogues gallery of criminals who look to leave the island-turned-prison in exchange for the rescue of the captured U.S. President."

They say earlier drafts of the the script had a team-dynamic to it, but subsequent re-writes have turned several of the supporting characters into co-leads. Some are familiar, some are new:

"Plissken’s team consists of Mina, a warzone journalist framed for murder and living in the shadows of New York as a scavenger; Cabbie, a schizophrenic travel guide who serves as comic relief; Gareth, the last surviving member of the President’s security detail who harbors a dangerous secret; and The Brain, Plissken’s former partner-in-crime who left him to die after a botched robbery."

The last we heard was that producers Joel Silver and Andrew Rona saw the new pic as part of a new trilogy which would begin with an origin tale. This report sounds like that notion could go either way--depending on the film's success

Friday, August 29, 2014

Batman v Superman-DOJ: Lex, Set Tweets, And "No Jokes"

Some interesting stories have popped up this week regarding Zack Snyder's upcoming superhero team-up film "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice".

DOJ will see the return of Henry Cavill as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck will play Bruce Wayne/Batman amid lots of fallout--while Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane are set to reprise their roles as Lois Lane, Perry White and Martha Kent. "Fast Five" star Gal Gadot's playing Wonder Woman.

How big Gadot's role as WW is, is unknown at this point. Godot beat out Olga Kurylenko and Elodie Yung for the role. Thor: The Dark World" actress is Jaimie Alexander was also linked.

Some time ago there was noise that the production was seeking is a love interest for the Dark Knight in the film. The Type? A woman in their late 20s of any ethnicity. Adding that she be tall and "possess physicality".

The notice DID NOT give a name for the character, which led to speculation that it was anyone from Vicki Vale to Wonder Woman. A leaked casting call had fanboys thinking that the Amazon warrior was in the pic.

A love interest for Bats suggests that he will have a larger part in the film than expected.

Rumors started that reportedly confirmed that Jason Momoa has been cast as Aquaman for both DOJ and "Justice League".  In response Momoa posted a new photo via Instagram that seemed like a response to the chatter that could go either way (though most likely it's a denial) - The pic sees him  holding a pitchfork like a trident, but he's also holding up his middle finger.

Momoa has been linked to Warner Bros' upcoming DC Entertainment plans for a long time but he's been suggested for numerous other roles like Doomsday or Metallo alien hero Martian Manhunter who also happens to like Oreo Cookies. The imposing actor has been asked about the talk several times but has always denied that he's up for a role.

 Ray Fisher is playing the role of Cyborg in the film. Jeremy Irons has been cast as Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth. Jesse Eisenberg is playing Lex Luthor

There were reports that suggested that the chatter about former "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston was playing Lex in the upcoming movie were true were denied by the actor. In fact he and fellow early frontrunner Mark Strong were never offered the role. Tom Hanks was internally discussed but an offer was never made.

Instead, they stuck with a next generation' mandate. We were told that Joaquin Phoenix came up as a contender for Lex. The trade says that he passed.

Officially Eisenberg isn't allowed to say much, but he does tell Total Film (via CBM) that it was the psychology of the character drew him to the role:

"There are some indications of how the character should behave based on the script, and then as actor makes it his or her own.  I got to know one of the writers, Chris Terrio, and we were able to discuss things at length and figure out who this person is to create a real psychology behind what is, perhaps, in a comic book, a less than totally modern psychology. I can only say I've been asked to play an interesting role. A complicated, challenging person."

Eisenberg also talked about the unusual way he was offered the role:

"I realize how popular comic-book movies are, and now, working on They asked me if I wanted to play the part before they sent me the script. I'm not sure how it worked, but it's something I read with the understanding that I could do the role… You know, they don't just hand the scripts out. But I really liked it on its own terms. I would do it if it was for free and it was tiny."

Eisenberg admits that he hasn't seen many comic book movies (including the recent Batman trilogy), but his research did include watching Gene Hackman's portrayal of Lex as seen in 1978's Superman: The Movie directed by Richard Donner--he's well aware of the current wave of the superhero film genre renaissance:

"I realize how popular comic-book movies are, and now, working on one, I realize why they're popular - the story is really good, the dialogue is really good, the artistry behind every department is high, the acting is really good. So if they're all put together with that level of quality."

 Latino Review reports that four secondary villains are making an appearance in DOJ: Victor Zsasz Morgan Edge Amanda Waller and David Cain.

According to their sources, the serial killer Zsasz will fight with Affleck's Batman in an early Gotham City-set scene. Edge will be the slimy public relations head of LexCorp who goes toe to toe with Lois Lane on a TV talk show. Cain will meet with Luthor's bodyguard Mercy to set up an assassination. There's also another baddie  that is yet to be cast . In this incarnation Waller's a stern, intimidating senator who sees Superman as a threat and comes up with a counter measure to stop him.

Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey and Tao Okamoto ("The Wolverine") have joined the cast. Specifics about their new characters are being kept under wraps. Australian actor Mulvey ("Zero Dark Thirty) has  been rumored for the role of an (unnamed) villain in the film for quite some time now....Scoot McNairy ("Argo," "The Rover") has joined the film. Nobody at the studio will confirm the news or reveal what the role is.

 Spanish site El Multicine which claims that "Looper"and "Edge Of Tomorrow" actress Emily Blunt is close to inking a deal for an unspecified role.

Batman on Film also suggests that the character of Commissioner Jim Gordon is in the film, however there's no word on potential casting or confirmation at this time. The character is front and center in Fox Broadcasting's fantastic looking new Fall TV Series prequel Gotham starring  , , and

More rumors ran recently that Girls co-star Adam Driver was the frontrunner to play the character of Dick Grayson, the post-Robin Nightwing incarnation in the film. The original story mentioned that two other actors are in the mix for the role. Less than 24 hours later "Gossip Girl" and "Easy A" star Penn Badgley and "The Perks of Being A Wallflower" and "We Need To Talk About Kevin" star Ezra Miller were said to be in mix for the part. Driver denied any such talk...With good reason since he was really up for Lex. He turned it down due to scheduling conflicts. Denzel Washington was also among a list potentials for Lex generated by Thinkmcflythink as were Idris Elba and.

Singer Justin Bieber uploaded a photo on his Instagram account showing him holding up what appeared to be a personalized script for the film with the hashtag "#Robin" but it turned out to be a prop for a Funny or Die skit.

The speedster The Flash is said to be in the script.

Meantime: The star of The CW's popular Arrow TV series Stephen Amell posted a "Justice League" comic image on his official Facebook page.  We already know that Flash (Grant Gustin) showed up there for a few eps before getting his own show this Fall (Watch an extended trailer). Could more of DC Entertainment's "Justice League" be coming to "Arrow"? For now the DC Cinematic Universe will NOT co-exist with the TV heroics...There are rumors about where the films might go as well as the  TV side of things...

"Man Of Steel" writer David S. Goyer was back on the keyboard but now--THR reports that  Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for writing Affleck's “Argo,” has been hired to write the latest draft of the MOS 2 script. 

Goyer is in the midst of developing several projects including an adaptation of author Neil Gaiman's  popular comic book series Sandman, which he’ll produce with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven return to executive produce the multi-hero film.

Sources say the new movie is going for the tone of the relationship and fight seen in Frank Miller’s 1980s ground-breaking mini-series The Dark Knight Returns.

The DOJ release was delayed a full 10 months for a number of reasons. As a result, the original release date of July 17th 2015 was no longer. The studio then targeted a May 6th 2016 release. They quickly inserted the fantasy Pan into that original slot. The sequel was to go head to head with "Captain America 3" ...Nobody thought that the comic book pics would ultimately share the date--Sure enough DOJ blinked--and will now open on March 25th 2016.

Once DOJ is completed  Snyder will helm the long planned Justice League movie penned by "Argo" scribe Terrio

Some cool location tweets also hit this week:

Lastly in my review of MOS I said this:

"...While I understand that Snyder, Nolan, and Goyer had to stay as far away from the Christopher Reeve era films--I can even understand changing certain aspects of said origin that were once considered sacred...A non spoilery example of what I mean would be the manner in which Jonathan Kent dies. In their effort to give us a more "grounded" or "relatable" Superman" MOS never really soars.  The tone of the film is indeed so serious that even as our hero does his thing you are not given the chance to feel relief or exhilaration--Instead we move on to the next big action crisis

The performances are OK here given what I stated above--Cavill wears the "S" very well--but is barely permitted the chance to smile here. The film is humorless save for two brief moments. I get it.. Realism. But even in the cold real world humor exists. I honestly think I chuckled more during Nolan's Bat-films and 2 of then had the word "Dark" in the title..".

Now  Hitfix reports that according to multiple sources, there is a mandate at Warner Bros. regarding any of the DC superhero films in development: "No jokes."

Wrtier Drew McWeeny says: "Last week was about the fifth time I've heard that there is a mandate at Warner Bros. regarding any of the DC superhero films in development, and it's very simple and direct and to the point. 'No Jokes'."

McWeeny adds that this mandate could be something else though - a reaction to the failure of  2011's "Green Lantern," a DC Comics film that most see as a failure--some of which is attributed to the film's humor . As a result you won't see Warners attempt to duplicate James Gunn's great film adaptation of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" style caper movie using a DC hero any time soon.

Sigh. Can't we find a happy medium and meet there? Daniel Craig's James Bond is more serious than any incarnation to come before him--but even he is allowed to crack wise every now and then...No one wants to relive Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin for sure. But there is humor in "real" life too. Just as many "serious" comic books have bits of humor and even satire.

Rumor: Cap Leads Avengers By The End Of "Ultron"?

As various actors finish up their mufti-picture deals that currently make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's expected that their characters will depart and be replaced with new ones introduced at different points be it in their own standalone films or as supporting roles in others.

A new report from Bad Ass Digest suggests that revolving roster may be happening a lot quicker than expected--by the end of Joss Whedon's superhero team up sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron"-- the Avengers team members will be significantly changed.

In fact, "Ultron" seemingly ends with Captain America (Chris Evans) assembling a new team, some familiar faces and some new ones. This partly explains all the vague chatter about which Marvel heroes will be joining Steve Rogers in "Captain America 3".

According to the report, the only new person that appears to be a lock is Ms. Marvel, aka Captain Marvel, but the company is said to be having second thoughts about wedging in the character in what is effectively a cameo and may instead give her a bigger debut in a juicier role somewhere else first -a film of her own perhaps.

Amy decision doesn't have to be made yet since the make-up of the new team won't be fully determined until the scene is shot. The scene could be saved for either scheduled reshoots or as part of  the shooting schedule of Captain America 3 in April  of next year.

We will find out Marvel's plans moving forward when "Ultron" opens on  May 1, 2015.

Photos: WB's "Tarzan"

Just Jared has posted the first set photos from the briefly stalled--now back on with director David Yates re-imagining of Edgar Rice Burroughs "Tarzan" at Warner Bros..

Former "True Blood" star Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd is due to play the loin cloth wearing vine-swinger.The Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie will play Jane. She won the role beating out  Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain.

Jamie Foxx was being wooed for the third lead role--Civil War veteran and former mercenary George Washington Williams.--a part that Samuel L. Jackson will now play.Christoph Waltz ("Django Unchained," "Inglourious Basterds") will play bad guy Captain Rom, a Belgian soldier who wants to capture Tarzan in exchange for diamonds. Djimon Hounsou ("Amistad" "Guardians of the Galaxy") will play a character named Chief Mbonga in the film. Osy Ikhile has a “key supporting role that will keep him on set for the majority of the shoot.”

Adam Cozad penned the most recent script.

Jerry Weintraub and Alan Riche will produce the film.

Production is currently underway at Leavesden Studios in the UK, ahead of location shooting around England and Wales to meet its July 1, 2016 bow.

Skarsgard is not in any of the pics but three of the key supporting players are -Robbie, Waltz and Casper Crump as Captain Kerchover…Shooting has been taking place this week in Berkshire, England for several scenes set aboard a steam paddle boat.

Star Wars: Episode VII: Plot Rumors & Fresh Palpatine Talk

The folks over at Latino Review have posted a new report about J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII" using a couple of bits of information and some major speculation that could include MAJOR SPOILERS.

 Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker Harrison Ford as Han Solo  and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Peter Mayhew playing the legendary Wookiee Chewbacca, and Kenny Baker as Astro droid R2 D2 will be back.
Franchise creator George Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that he begun talks with original stars to have them return to for its new films -- before he had even begun the process of the ultimately $2 billion deal and sale. It's been said that Lucas' actually spent about a year planning the franchise's future before handing the reigns of Lucasfilm over to Disney.

The new cast members also include John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson,Christina Chong and  Max von Sydow as a villain character. 12 Years a Slave Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong'o and Game of Thrones co-star Gwendoline Christie have officially been cast in the film as well. Parkour master Pip Andersen and actress Crystal Clarke have joined the sequel--the pair were two of the 37,000 or so hopefuls who attended casting calls across eleven cities

Disney/Lucasfilm haven't revealed any character details at all however, so which of the newcomers is playing which roles is all speculation at this point.

The site claims Gleeson is NOT playing Luke Skywalker's son. They don't know who he's playing, but they're certain it's not a Skywalker.

The production is set to return to the island of Skellig Michael, a World Heritage-listed island in the Atlantic Ocean, 11.6 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. The Skellig is home to some ancient Christian Monastic ruins.. A November shoot is planned--when the scenery will look very different which would indicate that we will see the passage of time at this location.


After that comes the rumors and speculative bits. They hear that Skelling Michael Island will serve as the location for the Sith Homeworld, which was called Korriban in the previous expanded lore (no word on what the film will call it).

The location of course is where Hamill's Luke Skywalker has been held captive. In fact they say he was taken shortly after Return of the Jedi which is why Gleeson isn't Luke's so--he has no children:

"We know that the Sith Homeworld was in the re-tooled Michael Ardnt draft of the script, so this next part might be old info we're getting pushed back at us, but: Skelling Michael Island is the Sith Homeworld, the stone hut ruins on that island are a control center and the planet itself is somehow the weapon. That's no moon! That's no planet! MASSIVE BAD THINGS."

Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid who played Emperor Palpatine attended the recent London Film and Comic Con and confirmed that he would not return to the "Star Wars" universe in the  upcoming trilogy--but he didn't rule out a return in a potential spin-off pre-Return of the Jedi:

"I'm definitely not in [Episode VII]. As you know, he's dead by then. I know, we believe in reincarnation, and holograms… But you know, they are going to take many twists on the story as the years go on, and I guess they may go back to a time - I've got no clue, I'm speaking off the top of my head - when the Emperor ran the universe. And I don't want anyone else to play him, do I?"

In a new post from earlier this week Latino Review claims that Palpatine is part of the new trilogy after all--though played by another actor:

"Two independent sources have recently written to us to confirm something we had heard back when production first began. Even though Star Wars: Episode VII (as well as the following two sequels) will feature its share of new villains, the person pulling the strings, the real puppet master, the big bad of the trilogy is none other than Emperor Palpatine. A lot can happen during the fall of an Empire, and maybe the moments we took to see our heroes party with the Ewoks was a forced perspective on something much more sinister. We all know that Lando blew up the second Death Star in the Millennium Falcon, and we know Luke had enough time to carry his dying father to a shuttle bay and unmask him. We also know, from Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back that when you throw someone (or in Luke's case, himself) down the tubes of a large space station, you might not necessarily die. My source told me that The Emperor '100%' will appear in Star Wars Episode VII and VIII. Don't look for confirmations from this from Ian McDiarmid, because he's not portraying the Emperor this time. Will this big bad resemble the craggy old man of Return of the Jedi? Now that is the question."


James Earl Jones, the man behind the voice of Star Wars villain Darth Vader was asked by Variety recently about the possibility of playing the character in more films, perhaps one of the Spin-Off Films for example set before "Return of the Jedi". He said: "Oh no. I've got no illusions that I will or even hankerings to be in them, but I'm very proud to have been part of the original."

Abrams wrote the script with Lawrence Kasdan for the film. Oscar winner Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3," "Little Miss Sunshine") vacated his job scripting the next film--after disagreements over which characters the film will focus on.

Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark") and Simon Kinberg ("Sherlock Holmes," "X-Men: Days of Future Past") have reportedly closed deals to pen the final two installments of the new "Star Wars" trilogy. Kasdan and Kinberg are also indeed writing the stand alone/origin Star Wars features. Company CEO Robert A. Iger recently revealed that the studio has three features in the works - not two as previously indicated.  "Godzilla" reboot director Gareth Edwards is going to direct the first of the upcoming Star Wars Spin-Off Films. "Fantastic Four" reboot and "Chronicle" director Josh Trank is officially set to direct the as yet Untitled Number 2 stand alone spin-off film.

The plan is to have each of these films come out in the years when we don't see a new episode of the saga - They would come out in 2016, 2018 and 2020. We still don't know which characters these spin-offs will focus on. Current franchise chief,
Kathleen Kennedy spoke to Yahoo about the stand-alone films saying that they will NOT affect the main narrative of the Episodes.

Looking ahead "Looper" and "Brick" writer-director Rian Johnson has inked a deal to both pen and call action on "Star Wars: Episode VIII" as well as write a treatment for "Star Wars: Episode IX".
The series MVP composer John Williams is set to score Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Kasdan and Kinberg would also join the projects as producers with Kennedy.

There was 
a scheduled two-week production hiatus in August to allow for adjustments in the shooting schedule following Ford's recovery from that injury where he  broke his left leg

Production is scheduled to take place through September at Pinewood Studio in England. The film has a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Doctor Strange Movie: Joaquin Phoenix Almost Set To Star?

A while ago The Wrap had Joaquin Phoenix is in talks for the lead role in Marvel's long gestating Doctor Strange movie. And then last week This Is Infamous had it that "Boardwalk Empire" and "American Hustle" cohort Jack Huston.was the latest potential to play the Sorcerer Supreme.

According to Collider Phoenix and agency reps say the deal hasn't been finalised yet, and there's still a few last details to work out. He did confirm that Phoenix and Marvel met this week about it. Phoenix could still walk away, the multi-picture commitment likely being the sticking point, but for now it seems as if the studio has him in mind and we'll know either way in the next few weeks whether Phoenix will sign on the dotted line.

 Now part of the studio's phase three or four plans--Created in 1963 in the comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko --Doctor Strange tells the story of an arrogant surgeon who is injured in a car accident and goes on to become the Sorcerer Supreme of the universe. Using his magical powers Strange protects the earth from attacks from other realms.

The recently hired Scott Derrickson was first reported in contention for the director job earlier this year, along with names like Jonathan Levine ("Warm Bodies") and Mark Andrews ("Brave").

"Kung Fu Panda" scribes Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger were said to be poised to pen a recent screenplay draft. Back in January 2012, Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer-the writing duo behind the recent remake of Conan the Barbarian had their work seemingly approved by the studio. Just yesterday we learned that Jon Spaihts, best known for writing the early and more "Alien"-inspired drafts of Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" is in talks to rewrite the script. The tone of the film will be similar to that of "Iron Man".

Actor/writer Justin Theroux ("Mulholland Drive," "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle"), Viggo Mortensen and Joel Edgerton were mentioned for the lead as well. "Inception" and "The Dark Knight Rises" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the last actor in the mix before Johnny Depp's name was mentioned

Depp is said to have had a meeting "to discuss taking on the role of Dr. Strange." His strong ties to Disney, Marvel's owners, makes him an ideal candidate

On the heels of the director potentials Bleeding Cool reported that: "According to one pretty solid Marvel-adjacent source, Mads Mikkelsen apparently is, or has been, somewhere in the mix for the film's early casting discussions."

Deadline had Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch hovering over the pic recently--The main issue for both actors is scheduling..They already have various commitments elsewhere. Both of them starred together in 2011's "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," remake and the 2007 telemovie "Stuart: A Life Backwards" Badass Digest reported that recent Oscar winner Jared Leto is (or was) being eyed to play the lead.

Edgar Ramirez has been mentioned as well---possibly playing bad guy Baron Mordo.

There's no specific release date for "Doctor Strange," yet it will likely take one of the slots that the studio has staked out-recently Production on the film is expected to get underway next year.

Lucas Till Fixes Up "The Disappointments Room"

THR reports that Lucas Till has joined the supernatural thriller "The Disappointments Room" for Relativity Media.

Kate Beckinsale will play a mother who moves her family to a colonial mansion in the country. She begins to lose her sanity as she learns of the home's bloody past and sees visions of a dead girl.

Till will play a mysterious carpenter who works on the family's home in what is being described as a flashy role.

"Prison Break" actor turned "Stoker" scribe Wentworth Miller wrote the script from which D.J. Caruso will direct. The film is inspired by a true event. Caruso did a rewrite on the script.

Geyer Kosinski will produce the film.

Production is due to begin on Sept. 8 in North Carolina.

Steve Carell Tipped For "Acme" Flick

Heat Vision reports that "X-Men: First Class" writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz will pen the script for Warner Bros' Looney Tunes Untitled Acme Warehouse Project.

Steve Carell has been tipped to star in the film that will blend live-action and CGI in a movie that explores Looney Tunes's fictional Acme Corporation, known for making dangerous products.

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa in talks to direct. If a deal is finalized, the directors will reunite with Steve Carell, who starred in their 2011 romantic comedy "Crazy, Stupid, Love".

Plot details are being kept under wraps. It will not, center on the Looney Tunes characters.

Dan Lin and Roy Lee ("The Lego Movie") will produce.

The Russo Boys Talk "Captain America 3"

"Captain America 3" co-director Joe Russo was recently asked by what elements from Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" will be returning for the upcoming sequel:

"Certainly Captain America will be back. The expectation would be that Bucky will be back and there's certain characters in the Marvel Universe that Cap has a strong connection to but we've also got some tricks up our sleeve for this one an we're hard at work. That's a very crowded summer and there's high expectations so we're all hard at work trying to exceed those expectations and really carve out a big, splashy idea for Captain America 3."

Cinema Blend asked Russo if there are other members of The Avengers he would like to include similar to the way  Black Widow, (Scarlett Johansson) was utilized in "Winter Soldier".

Russo confirmed they've already got someone set, but adds that they'd love to crossover with characters outside of the Marvel Studios fold:

"That's such a hard question because we've kind of already done that. Do they have to be under contract with Marvel? Maybe they are at another studio. When I started collecting, The Secret Wars was one of the first books I ever bought, so that's always been an obsession of mine to see something of that scale done - a crossover. I don't know if that would ever be possible, with all the different situations at the studios. But I would love to see a lot of characters on screen together."

He was also asked to comment on the release date showdown for May 6th 2016 between "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Captain America 3"

The DOJ release was delayed a full 10 months for a number of reasons. As a result, the original release date of July 17th 2015 was no longer. The studio then targeted a May 6th 2016 release. They quickly inserted the fantasy Pan into that original slot....Nobody thought that the comic book pics would ultimately share the date--Sure enough DOJ blinked--and will now open on March 25th 2016.

While fanboys loved to speculate what the outcome was gonna be Russo was gracious:

"We knew when they announced that it was somewhat of a placeholder, that it was a game of chicken to see if Marvel really had a film that was going to land on that date or not. We knew it was never going to happen. We knew those two films would never stay on that date. So we knew somebody was going to move."

Meanwhile, Joe's brother and fellow co-director Anthony Russo answered a few questions about the Cap 3. He tells

"I can't divulge who is going to be in the film, but I think fans are going to freak out when they hear about it. We wanted to push the character forward into the modern age with The Winter Soldier, and we want to keep pushing the character forward. We always want to be true to who Captain America is, but we want to surprise people about where he can go and what he's capable of. That's about as specific as I can get about where we might take him."

Anthony confirms a new draft has just come in from writers  Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely and it included the character of the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) will play a part:

"The relationship between Cap and the Winter Soldier was never resolved at the end of the last movie. Thinking about where that relationship can go is a piece of the puzzle for us for sure. That character is a wonderfully, beautifully tragic figure in the sense of is he the world's most feared assassin or is he the world's longest serving POW. Is he innocent by reason of insanity or the equivalent of it because he's been mind controlled or is he irredeemable? Is he ever going to be acceptable to Cap again as the friend that he used to be before he was the Winter Soldier? These are very philosophical, emotional questions that pique our interest and definitely form one layer of the next movie."

Russo also talked to MTV News and was asked if the next film will essentially provide a sense of closure for Steve Rogers and actor Chris Evans. He says:

"I will say this: yes, for satisfying storytelling, you want a beginning, middle and end. That's the natural arc that we all thrive off of in narrative. The great thing about the [Marvel Cinematic Universe], just like the publishing, it's a very vast, inter-connected universe, where characters will have their rise and fall, so to speak, and hand off to other characters. As the cinematic universe moves forward, you may start to see the cinematic universe adopt that same pattern."

Speaking with Collider, we are told that the threequel's subtitle will be revealed shortly:

"It will be soon. Look, sometimes the announcement waits on certain business deals to be completed so we're just kind of waiting on the business end of the issue to sort of settle itself and we'll be ready to announce it.  But we're hoping in a month or so at the most."

Joe Russo adds to Cinema Blend that: "I think when people learn the title of Cap 3, they'll understand that Marvel is continuing to take really big swings" indicating it could well take its name from a famed Captain America comic book arc. The success of "Guardians of the Galaxy" is also allowing them as writers to "take more chances, we can be riskier."

Asked if Frank Grillo would return  as S.H.I.E.L.D; operative Brock Rumlow will return--In the comics the character becomes the villain Crossbones.

Joe says: "I mean, listen, we didn't - he's not alive at the end of Winter Solider for no reason, so let's just say that.  But, you know, strict Marvel policy of nondisclosure."

Production on the next film is slated to begin in April in Atlanta, Georgia.

Charlie Hunnam Ciircles Guy Ritchie's "King Arthur"

Sons of Anarchy and Pacific Rim star Charlie Hunnam is now the favorite  to star as King Arthur in director Guy Ritchie's "Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur" for Warner Bros says Deadline.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Fall" star Jamie Dornan was previously suggested as a potential candidate a few weeks ago, but his commitment to the steamy sex franchise may have blocked him from doing the role If that report is true then there's bit of irony considering Dornan replaced Hunnam in the lead role in Grey after he suddenly left the film

The film is the first in a proposed 3-movie fantasy re-telling of the King Arthur legend.

"Pacific Rim" star Idris Elba would portray Bedivere, who serves as the right hand man to Arthur's father, and is tasked with teaching Arthur how to lead an army.

 Joby Harold penned the script for the first part.

 Akiva Goldsman, Lionel Wigram Harold and Tory Tunnell will produce.

Ritchie and Wigram developed a version that fell apart when David Dobkin's "Arthur & Lancelot" got much closer to production. Ultimately that project never came to be either due to budget issues.

The film is currently slated for a July 22nd 2016 release.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stan Lee Will Appear In Kevin Smith's "Yoga Hosers"

Legendary comics creator Stan Lee has joined the cast of the action-adventure film "Yoga Hosers".

Johnny Depp's daughter and Kevin Smith's daughter Harley Quinn Smith star in the project which features almost the entire cast of Smith's upcoming horror film "Tusk" returning for this second installment of Smith's True North Trilogy

The two girls play fifteen-year-old yoga fans who have an after-school job at a Manitoba convenience store. When an ancient evil rises from beneath Canada's crust and threatens their invitation to a Grade 12 party, they join forces with a legendary man-hunter from Montreal named Guy Lapointe (Depp) to fight for their lives.

Lee in Smith's comedy Mallrats.

The cast also includes Michael Parks, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, Ralph Garman, Jennifer Schwalbach Harley Morenstein Tony Hale, Natasha Lyonne, Austin Butler, Adam Brody, Tyler Posey and Jason Mewes.

The project is being dubbed a comic book movie. Smith says: "Instead of yet another dude saving the day, our antiheroes are the most feared and formidable creatures man has ever encountered: two fifteen year old girls."

Elizabeth Destro and Jordan Monsanto are producing the pic.

Production is underway

Vacation Reboot Finds 2 Sons

Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins are set to join the cast of the upcoming Vacation reboot says Variety.

The original series of 4 films from 1983-1997 followed the Griswold family as they took a summer road trip across America, a European Vacation, stayed home for a Christmas Vacation, (the best of the sequels in my opinion) and a Vegas Vacation with mishaps happening all along the way.

The new version is said to focus on a now adult Rusty Griswold ("The Hangover" and "Cedar Rapids" star Ed Helms)--ee The character has been played by multiple actors over the years by Anthony Michael Hall, Jason Lively Johnny Galecki Ethan Embry.

Rusty plans to take his family on a road trip similar to the one he and his parents and sister took to 
Walley World, America's greatest amusement park.when he was young. Christina Applegate will play Helm’s strong-willed wife who might be losing interest in him.

  Gisondo and Stebbins are set to play Rusty's sons 

Both Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are expected to cameo

The film will be written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstien The pic was delayed last year due to script work.

Charlie Day will play a river raft touring guide. Chris Hemsworth will play Audrey's boyfriend, an up and coming anchorman. While it isn't known exactly when production will begin, Hemsworth will shoot his role before doing "The Huntsman" which starts production early next year.

Chris Bender and David Dobkin will produce the reboot.

New "Horns" Peek: "The Devil Has Claimed You!"

A new international trailer and one-sheet are out for the big screen version of Joe Hill's 2010 novel Horns has arrived.

Daniel Radcliffe will play Ig Perrish, the lead suspect in the violent rape and killing of his girlfriend. Hung over from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his head. Their power drives people to confess sins and give in to selfish impulses - becoming an effective tool in his quest to discover the circumstances of his girlfriend Merrin's (Juno Temple) death.

The Social Network's Max Minghella will play Lee Tourneau, a supposedly “compassionate public defender” who has a “hidden dark side”. Joe Anderson James Remar and Kelli Garner also star.

Alexandre Aja called action using an adapted script written by Keith Bunin.

Shia Labeouf signed on to lead the film at one time.

Hill, son of Stephen King serves as executive producer on the pic.

Peter Guber and Cathy Schulman produced the pic that hits theaters and VOD this Halloween.

I find myself getting jazzed to see this one...