Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Foxcatcher" Biopic: Mark Schultz Really "HATES" Bennett Miller

Sony Pictures Classics' true crime biopic and award season contender "Foxcatcher" has one of its real life subjects REALLY PISSED.

Steve Carell stars as Schizophrenic murderer John du Pont, the heir to the DuPontChemical fortune who built a wrestling gym called Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate. In 1996, he shot and killed his close friend, Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Dave Schultz, (Mark Ruffalo) at the training center. After the murder, du Pont locked himself in his mansion for two days while he negotiated with police on the telephone. A motive for the crime was never established, and du Pont died in a Pennsylvania prison at the age of 72.

 Mark Schultz David's younger brother played by Channing Tatum in the film, has used social media to lash out against both the film and director Bennett Miller.

Schultz takes issue with people interpreting that his relationship with John du Pont had an undercurrent of homosexuality. In a lengthy post on his Facebook page, he has a list of complaints about the film's inaccuracies, the key quote coming at the end:

"The personalities and relationships between the characters in the film are primarily fiction and somewhat insulting. Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between duPont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that duPont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn't explicit so I didn't have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will."

It seems though that Schultz didn't have an issue with the film--out since November 14, 2014 until some critics interpreted the relationship in a way that he didn't like. For his part Tatum indicated he didn't interpret the relationship that way since he saw du Pont as asexual.

Things got more interesting a few hours later. Schultz followed up that long piece with a one phrase post: "Bennett Miller is a lying sack of s--t". He also took to Twitter with a few more comments...

That's not even all of them. The more nasty tweets were posted and then  removed--they can still be seen over at HitFix.


Sam Raimi Has Lots Of Regrets About "Spider-Man 3"

Speaking on the Nerdist podcast (via Heat Vision), helmer  Sam Raim admits that he still gets flack about 2007’s Spider-Man 3:

"Each and every one of those Spider-Man movies were pretty damn challenging. I messed up plenty with the third Spider-Man, so people hated me for years - they still hate me for it. It's a movie that just didn't work very well."

Raimi also says that he now feels it was "wrong" for him to make the trilogy's final film because he "didn't really believe in all the characters."

He adds that shifting the focus away from the relationships between the characters was the biggest problem. On top of that: "[Topping the previous two films] went into the thinking of a lot of people that worked on Spider-Man 3, and it was not good for us."

"Spider-Man 3" still grossed $890 million worldwide and remains the highest grossing"Spider-Man" entry in the entire film franchise.

 Despite the overall negative reviews for Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" (my review) last summer  I liked that film--and Andrew Garfield's portrayal a lot better than Tobey Maguire’s in Spider-Man 3

Thanks And Happy New Year

Hey all:

I just wanted to take some time to thank you for your loyal readership of TLR!! 2015 marks 10 years for the blog! When I started posting in the fall of '05 I had absolutely no idea that I would still be at it this many years later....I have had some folks tell me that this little blog is their go to source for movie news--Hearing that is just incredible--considering how many movie news websites there are out there--and that TLR is a staff of one, save for the occasional guest star.  If anyone is interested in posting their film reviews or contributing here use the email address above or PM me via social media (see below) and we will talk about it....

In the new year I plan to be all over the release of Joss Whedon's superhero team up sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron", James Wan's Furious 7-- marking the bittersweet farewell to the late Paul Walker and his alter ego Brian O'Connor. Our return to a "galaxy far, far away" with J J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" gets lots of space as perhaps the biggest "event" film in a generation. Sure the return of  Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker Harrison Ford as Han Solo  and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia is the BIG one...but the run up to 2016's Star Trek 3 should still prove "Fascinating" with  Roberto Orci getting the boot from the center seat and news that Fast and the Furious film franchise director Justin Lin will take over...The fate of "Spider-Man" at Sony Pictures will be announced soon...

In the meantime you can follow me @TheLastReel on Twitter and join the Facebook page. One thing I hope to do next year is up my interaction with my readers--Spread the word folks...NOW is the time...

Thank you all so very much for the support! It means a lot! Party smart as 2015 arrives and may the movie gods smile upon you and yours...

Batman v Superman-DOJ: Weta Digital Working On It

Chatting with Collider (via CBM), Weta Digital senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri was asked if they were involved in the creation of the tease for Zack Snyder's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" showcased at last year's San Diego Comic-Con in July.

 Letteri's response is juicy: "We're doing a completely different sequence. The sequence we're doing is sort of self-contained, I don't think you've seen any of that."

The company's work on "Man of Steel" was also for a 'self-contained' part of the film - the opening sequence set on Krypton.

Letteri's answer suggests that their work will be a similar on the sequel, with the most common speculation is that it will bring Wonder Woman's (Fast Five" star Gal Gadot) homeland of Themyscira.

Some of the shoot was originally slated to take place in Morocco but shifted to New Mexico where a temple structure was built and that likely use plenty of digital extensions.

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. Jason Momoa has been cast as Aquaman,

The death of Thomas and Martha Wayne will be part of the narrative with "Watchmen" actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan said to be playing Thomas.

 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.

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 ," "Captain America: The Winter Soldier") has  been rumored for the role of an (unnamed) villain in the film for quite some time now....TMZ said that he is playing Batman's greatest foe --The Joker.....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 inked 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 new Fall TV Series prequel Gotham starring  , , and

More rumors ran 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.

Back in August Superhero Report posted a photo of actress Jena Malone meeting her "Sucker Punch" director on the set. This led to speculation that she may make a cameo in the film. At the time Malone denied that talk, saying her set visit was just a visit. Channel 10 WILX in Michigan claims to have an anonymous film extra as a source who says that Malone is in the film and she's playing a female Robin aka Carrie Kelley.

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 (Watch an extended trailer). Could more of DC Entertainment's "Justice League" be coming to "Arrow"? The answer is yes...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.

Principal photography has wrapped on the 7-month shoot.

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  post on DOJ is completed Snyder will helm DC Entertainment's long planned Justice League movie The Justice League Part One--penned by "Argo" scribe Terrio.

Ryan Gosling's "Lost River" Gets Limited Theater Run

Variety now reports that actor Ryan Gosling's directorial debut "Lost River" WILL get a limited theatrical bow in New York and Los Angeles after all. Warner Bros also has plans for a disc and VOD release in April.

The film aka How to Catch a one point is described as a "modern day fairytale" with suspense and fantasy noir elements weaved in, the story is set in a vanishing city where a single mother of two (Christina Hendricks) is "swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son (Iain De Caestecker) discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town". The pair must solve the mystery if they're all to survive.

Gosling also penned the script.

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is the male lead Eva Mendes plays 'Cat', a prominent figure of the Big Bad Wolf Club. Rob Zabrecky plays a cab driver. Ben Mendelsohn and Saoirse Ronan also star.

Marc Platt Michel Litvak Gosling and David Lancaster produced the film that  had its debut at this year's Cannes Film Festival and was met with mostly negative reviews.

Wahlberg Wants A "Boardwalk Empire" Movie

Although the HBO period crime drama series "Boardwalk Empire" ended its 5 year run this past fall Executive Producer  Mark Wahlberg tells (via that he plans to do for 'Boardwalk' what he did for "Entourage"- ensure the show lives on with a big screen return:

"My next goal now is to get the movie made and start talking to Martin Scorsese about directing it."

 Scorsese directed the pilot episode of the show, which was created by Terence Winter, with the director taking home an Emmy Award for Best Direction in a Drama Series.

Given the fate of Atlantic City kingpin Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi) at the end of the last episode --it would be hard to continue the story. Nope. Wahlberg seemingly suggests a prequel, story: "We can always go back."

Sylvester Stallone Spoils "Creed" Ending & Rambo 5 Title

Sylvester Stallone confirmed via his Twitter account this week that he's headed to Philadelphia to start shooting the spin-off film in the Rocky series titled "Creed"soon . 

He also posted what appears to be the last page of the film's script in a photo, that seemingly gives away both the ending and a key subplot in the film. You can find out those SPOILERS by clicking here.

The story will feature Michael B. Jordan as the son of Carl Weathers' Apollo Creed character.

"Fruitvale Station" filmmaker Ryan Coogler co-wrote the screenplay with Aaron Covington, that sees Apollo's offspring has no desire to box and yet possesses the gifts and potential of his grandfather. He needs a mentor and seeks out retired fighter Rocky Balboa (Stallone) who isn't eager to return to the boxing world, even as a trainer.

The young Creed will take on a savage opponent named Pretty Ricky Porter (British champion boxer Tony Bellew). Champion boxer Andre Ward is also in the film.  Dear White People and Selma star Tessa Thompson has won the female lead role.

The project was Coogler's idea in the first place.

Stallone, Kevin King, Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff will produce.

the reported fifth and final film in the John Rambo film series has a new title - "Rambo: Last Blood ". There's no word on when production would start here, but it does look like it will be shot before Stallone goes to work on the Gregory Scarpa crime biopic " Scarpa ".

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" Year-End Goodies

The least successful Marvel movie is considered to be 2008's "The Incredible Hulk". It also stands as one of the lesser films in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tim Roth's CG-baddie Abomination was one of its weakest elements according to some.

Roth revealed in a recent interview with Crave Online that, at one point, there was talk of bringing The Abomination back in Joss Whedon's  superhero team up sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron":

"They were going to do it. They did do that. They were thinking, in The Avengers 2 or something. There was a movie we could do that at one point, but way back when. It just kind of got swept under the carpet I guess. That would be hilarious."

In other news regarding the film, caps have gone up from "Ultron Rules: Part 1," a tie-in Lego
-themed comic book and can be found at Clien.Net.

A new photo from the film has dropped - a high res shot of the party scene glimpsed in the film's first trailer.

Finally, a bunch of new promo art for the film gives us new looks as well as fresh details about both The Vision (Paul Bettany) and Ultron (James Spader). Readers on Superhero Hype and Reddit have posted the scans that also reveal minor plot points not yet known:


It seems Ultron is NOT entirely the creation of Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr,) . Rather, he is "first discovered as a simple computer program hidden among the ruins of the Chitauri invasion of New York" as chronicled in 2012's The Avengers film. Stark then experiments on it and the result is the unstable and emotional robot who not only has an army of drones, but also the ability to enter and corrupt any computer network.

The Vision on the other hand is entirely a creation of both Tony Stark & Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). The profile confirms that he will be able to fly, project energy beams and change his density.


Coming Soon released even more promo art on 12/31/14

Post-production  on the 'Avengers 2' continues to meet a release date of May 1, 2015.
Additional filming on the movie is scheduled to take place in January.

Paul Feig Talks "Ghostbusters" Reboot

Director Paul Feig talked to Empire Magazine about the upcomming Ghostbusters reboot at Sony Pictures.

We know that Katie Dippold (The Heat, Parks and Recreation), and Feig, will overhaul the script for the new "Ghostbusters" which will focus on an all-female team according to Heat Vision.

It's also going to be a all out reboot of the series and will seemingly ignore the two earlier films and their continuity in favor of launching a whole new franchise.

The Lego Movie" helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller were eyed for the gig but could not ink a deal. Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II director Ivan Reitman skipped out on calling action for the film in the Spring after the passing of co-star Harold Ramis...

Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg penned the original script

Original cast member actor Bill Murray is cool with the idea and even had suggested who should star in the new film.

Both The Hunger Games film series headliner Jennifer Lawrence and "Pitch Perfect" star Rebel Wilson seem to have had meetings about potentially starring in the new pic.

First up, Feig talked about why he didn't want to make a direct sequel to the two previous films:

"I have too much respect for the original one [to do a sequel]. There's also the feeling that once the world knows ghosts and has seen them busted on such a large scale, they run the risk of becoming pedestrian. There's something fun about introducing our world, which has never seen ghosts to the phenomenon of ghosts. I love origin stories and to introduce new characters."
He also says that the reason for an all-female cast is simply that he thinks it will be funny.

"A lot of people accused it of being a gimmick. I guess I can see the cynics' view of it, but for me I just love working with funny women. People said, 'Why don't you do a mix?' I'm just more interested in the idea of lady Ghostbusters. It's the way my brain works. It won't be called Lady Ghostbusters! Certainly not...Ghostbustieres is the way to go."

Despite the rumored names on the project, there has been no decision about casting as yet and they're waiting for the script to be more complete before they consider casting choices"

"Right now, honestly, there could be 50 Ghostbusters. I'm just waiting to get our first draft of the script together to go, 'Who makes sense in these roles?' If I put the list in front of me of people that have said they want to do it, talk about a Sophie's Choice. When you do a movie like Ghostbusters, people get very interested."

Feig also says that the plan is go for a PG-13 rating rather than an R like most of his films, that said though they also plan to do a darker and scarier update:

"I want ours to be scarier than the original, to be quite honest. Katie Dipold and I are so focused on wanting to do scary comedy. We don't want to hold back. The reason I do a lot of R-rated comedies is that you want a movie to feel honest. But the Ghostbusters world doesn't need that level of swearing. We'll have to be PG-13 with this one. I would like to make it R-rated, but I won't. You want the biggest number of people to watch it and not be put off by it."

Tim Roth On Burton's "Apes" Ending

In my opinion Tim Burton's 2001 attempt to reboot the "Planet Of The Apes" franchise was a disappointing mess--thanks in part to its scratch your head WTF ending.

In the film Mark Wahlberg's astronaut hero Captain Leo Davidson took off in an escape pod, passed back through the time-shifting electromagnetic storm he went through in the first place and ended up back on Earth - an Earth where a monument to the villain General Thade (Tim Roth) stood in the place where the Lincoln Memorial used to be, with apes now running society.

On the stump promoting the historical drama Selma Roth was asked by Crave about General Thade and that ending, which can only be explained if Thade went back in time to Earth at an earlier point than when Wahlberg arrived:

"I think it was he took over, he took control. [Laughs] I think the idea was when they shunted in time that way, he was the President of the Planet of the Apes. [Laughs] Brilliant, I thought. It's crazy stuff. I liked it. I had a good time making it. It was in the old style. It wasn't too much CG trickery."

Negative's aside Burton's "Apes" made a very solid $362 million at the global box office, but the perception that it was a disappointment followed it and so Fox opted not to make a sequel.

 A decade later, thank goodness the studio tried again with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" which became a critical and financial success leading to the awesomeness of  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Ryan Gosling's "Lost River" Skips Theaters Goes VOD & DTD

Collider and Variety are reporting that Ryan Gosling's directorial debut "Lost River" will forgo a theatrical release and instead Warner Bros is  planning a direct-to-disc and VOD release in April.

The film aka How to Catch a one point is described as a "modern day fairytale" with suspense and fantasy noir elements weaved in, the story is set in a vanishing city where a single mother of two (Christina Hendricks) is "swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son (Iain De Caestecker) discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town". The pair must solve the mystery if they're all to survive.

Gosling also penned the script.

Doctor Who star Matt Smith is the male lead Eva Mendes plays 'Cat', a prominent figure of the Big Bad Wolf Club. Rob Zabrecky plays a cab driver. Ben Mendelsohn and Saoirse Ronan also star.

Marc Platt Michel Litvak Gosling and David Lancaster produced the film that  had its debut at this year's Cannes Film Festival and was met with mostly negative reviews

Mad Max: Fury Road: Empire Cover & Miller On Theron

The latest issue of Empire boasts a cover highlighting George Miller's reboot of the Mad Max franchise "Mad Max: Fury Road".

 Tom Hardy will star as post-apocalyptic drifter Max Rockatansky made famous first by Mel Gibson.

The plot sees Max get caught up with a group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa. This movie is an account of the Road War which follows. It is based on the Word Burgers of the History Men and eyewitness accounts of those who survived.

Aussies Megan Gale John Howard, Angus Sampson and Gillian Jones join Nicholas Hoult, Riley Keough, Charlize Theron Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Adelaide Clemens also star. Aussie Supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw will make her acting debut in the pic.

Miller talked with EW recently about the fist fight between Hardy and Theron in the film:

"This is not just two people standing there punching each other. This is a question of which one of them is going to survive."

Miller also  talked about the moment that he realized he made the choice in  casting Theron:

"Charlize was driving the war rig back to base camp, and I was sitting in the cabin behind her. I remember thinking, 'She is the Imperator, and if this was a real wasteland and we were at war, I'd be really happy she's on our side.'"

Warner Bros and Village Roadshow Pictures have confirmed that has a U.S. release date of May 15th 2015.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Vin Diesel Hints At "Inhumans" Role Again

Back in August of this year Fast and the Furious film franchise actor Vin Diesel teased a second  Marvel role beyond providing the voice for Groot in James Gunn's film adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy"

This week, he followed that up posting a photo of himself via his personal Facebook page with the phrase "Are You Inhuman?" and a shirt featuring the logo for the Inhumans film due out by 2018.

In the comics, the concept of 'Inhumans' is taking hold-that follows a race of highly advanced humans who live in a city which is the result of a Kree experiment--they have developed special powers, and this specifically follows the Inhuman Royal Family

The current thinking is that  the mutant characters, such as Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and her twin brother Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)  in writer/director Joss Whedon's superhero team sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" will be renamed 'inhumans'--which would in turn link the film to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.

If he were to be cast in the flick, his likeliest role would be is that of the group's leader Black Bolt.The character doesn't speak, because his voice is so powerful it can trigger city-destroying events. As a result he's undergone rigorous mental training to prevent himself from uttering a sound, even in sleep.

Star Wars: Episode VII: Fortune Favors The Millennium Falcon

The latest issue of Fortune Magazine features an interview with Disney CEO Robert A. Iger that boasts a great look at the Millennium Falcon from J J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens".

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. Warwick Davis is in the film says Variety. Davis has already appeared in two films in the series 1983's "Return of the Jedi" and 1999's "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace".

Franchise creator George Lucas told Bloomberg Businessweek that he begun talks with original stars to have them return for new films -- before he had even begun the process of the ultimately $2 billion dollar 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. Miltos Yerolemou, who had a small but memorable role as Arya Stark's sword trainer in the first season of "Game of Thrones," has joined the cast of in an undisclosed role reports The BBC. The role is said to be a minor one. Greg Grunberg has a role in the pic.

A series of trading cards recently revealed  that Isaac will play a character called Poe Dameron,  Ridley is Rey, Boyega is Finn, the dark hooded Sith character is called Kylo Ren, and the soccer ball droid is BB-8. Stitch Kingdom reports that the studio have registered trademark applications for all of these characters and one more - Captain Phasma.

Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid who played Emperor Palpatine attended the 2014 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 recent post Latino Review claims that Palpatine is part of the new trilogy after all--though played by another actor...

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."

Actor was asked by HeyUGuys whether he'd been invited back to play his character from Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace--Qui-Gon Jinn in the franchise...While the answer was "No" He said that he would be up for a comeback.

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 honcho 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.

While the character was rumored to be getting a solo film last month--Cinelinx posts that the studios are developing a separate trilogy of spin-off films dedicated to the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi--set between the prequel and original trilogy. Their source says:

"First up, they are not talking about an Obi-Wan spin-off movie but a trilogy of Obi-Wan movies . I need to stress that these movies are not connected. They aren't part of a story arc but three separate Obi-Wan adventures set between Episodes III and IV. It seems like the three movie ideas are as follows: One set completely on Tatooine and two where Obi-Wan travels elsewhere in the Galaxy. Qui-Gon Jinn is very much present in these stories. So too is Owen Lars . Several characters from the 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' TV Series would make an appearance. There would be flashbacks to Obi-Wan fighting in the Clone Wars."

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 Avengers: Age of Ultron star Mark Ruffalo previously worked with Johnson on The Brothers Bloom, with Ruffalo playing one half of a brotherly con act. In a recent interview with Collider Ruffalo tells the site that he contacted Johnson to tell him  that he wants to be in the sequel.

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

Series MVP composer John Williams is set to score the film as well as Episode VIII and Episode IX.

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. The injury is also said to have happened during filming on a top secret set rather than on the Millennium Falcon set as was widely reported.

Production took place mainly at Pinewood Studio in England. The film has a confirmed release date of December 18, 2015

"Ant-Man" Movie: Yellowjacket Costume Revealed?

Next week's premiere of the limited series "Agent Carter" will include the 1m 48s-long first trailer for Marvel's "Ant-Man".

In the comics, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is a scientist who invents a substance that allows him to change his size. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) steals the original Ant-Man Pym's equipment and uses it to commit crimes but ultimately becomes a hero.

Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were both considered for the Lang role, but the latter is now doing an adaptation of author Neil Gaiman's  popular comic book series Sandman, with "Man Of Steel" writer David S. Goyer. Rudd was considered a more natural fit by the suits.

Former "Lost" star Evangeline Lilly was tipped to play the female lead Hope van Dyne. Rumors also had Rashida Jones and Bryce Dallas Howard up for the part as well.

David Dastmalchian ("The Dark Knight," "Prisoners") is in the pic but his role is being kept under wraps. Corey Stoll plays the villain Yellowjacket

Here's your first look at Stoll's black and yellow costume from the film that has gone online via a movie banner posted on the licensee site Aykroyd and Sons (Via CBM):

Though he lost out on a role to Michael Pena, actor Clifton Collins, Jr. he is still in the film. The "Pacific Rim" and "Star Trek" actor, did a cameo as a vegan police officer in Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," and has reportedly been cast in a unspecified role. Pena's role is thought to be that of a tough Latino character who has a lot of physical action scenes in the movie.

John Slattery is in the film, likely reprising the role of Tony Stark's father Howard Stark which he played in "Iron Man 2". Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, rapper turned actor T.I., and young actress Abby Ryder Fortson who will likely play the young Cassie Lang (daughter of Rudd's character)

 Martin Donovan ("Weeds," "Homeland") has been cast in a pivotal role.  No details were released about his character.

 Latino Review recently suggested that characters seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier Peggy Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) and Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) in their younger days and the further formation S.H.I.E.L.D will show up 

Actors Patrick Wilson, Kevin Weisman and Matt Gerald all dropped out of the pic.

Peyton Reed ("Bring It On," "Down With Love") took over the director's chair following Edgar Wright's departure in May,

Wright and Joe Cornish co-wrote the initial script. Adam McKay ("Anchorman") was lined up to take over but a deal could not be reached--McKay did some work on the script for the film instead. Gabriel Ferrari and Andrew Barrer will reportedly preform script re-writes Rawson Marshall Thurber and Ruben Fleischer were in the mix with McKay to potentially direct.

The film has a  July 17th 2015 release date.

Aaron Paul Tipped For First Star Wars Spin-Off Film?

Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul is rumored to star in the first of the upcoming Star Wars Spin-Off Films says Making Star Wars.

The rumored story is believed to revolve around Original Trilogy space smuggler Han Solo and his wookie co-pilot Chewbacca.

 "Godzilla" reboot director Gareth Edwards is going to direct the film which will be released in between  J J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" and"Looper" and "Brick" writer-director Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode VIII". There's also rumors that elements from the spin-off will overlap with Ep VIII.

No word on what role Paul would play .

Production on the project is expected to get underway at Pinewood Studio sometime in 2015, likely after the currently shooting James Bond film "Spectre" wraps. It is currently targeting a late 2016 release.

Paul played  Luke Skywalker during the recent live read of The Empire Strikes Back directed by
Jason Reitman.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Box Office Update: Of Good Cheer

The final installment of Peter Jackson's trilogy film adaptation of author J. R. R. Tolkien's book--The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies retained its hold of the top spot--Despite the crowded field of films greeting moviegoers this X-mas frame.

Sony Pictures won a small victory with its decision to release the action comedy "" at the last minute following terrorist threats and the big theater chains bolting. The movie was released in a limited number of theaters online and VOD.

 The Angelina Jolie-directed biopic "Unbroken" and Disney's film adaptation of the classic 1980s Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Into the Woods held up well too.

 The Clint Eastwood-directed biopic "American Sniper" scored big while Tim Burton's comedic drama biopic "Big Eyes" and the long gestating remake of the James Caan-led 1974 crime drama "The Gambler"did biz in line with expectations

Pamela McClintock of THR:

The North American box office rebounded in a big way over Christmas weekend, easing fears that the threat levied against theaters over The Interview would curb moviegoing.

Leading the charge was Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Angelina Jolie's World War II drama Unbroken and Rob Marshall's musical Into the Woods.

In its second weekend, The Hobbit once again placed No. 1, grossing $54.5 million for the four-day weekend, including $41.4 million for the three days. Domestically, the New Line and MGM tentpole has taken in nearly $170 million.

Unbroken and Into the Woods, both launching Christmas Day, vastly overperformed, grossing $47.3 million and $46.1 million, respectively, to land high up on the list of top holiday openings. To boot, Universal's Unbroken marks one of the best showings of all time for a WWII-themed drama, while Disney's Into the Woods marks the biggest launch ever for an adaptation of a Broadway musical.

Based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling biography, Unbroken stars Jack O'Connell as World War II hero Louis Zamperini. The film, nabbing an A- CinemaScore, follows Zamperini as he's stranded in the ocean after a plane crash and then captured and tortured as a prisoner of war.

Thanks to strong interest among both families and adults, Into the Woods continues Disney's winning streak at the box office. The adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musical stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp after Mamma Mia! ($27.8 million).

Into the Woods, receiving a B CinemaScore, earned $31.2 million for the weekend itself, only a hair behind .9 ($31.7 million).

Overall, revenue for the weekend was up by as much as 6 percent over last year. That's welcome news for the film business, which has endured a tough year at the box office, at least in North America. And Hollywood is currently grappling with the unprecedented hacking of Sony,

The cyberattack was reportedly waged by those unhappy with The Interview, the controversial R-rated comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as two bumbling journalists hired by the CIA to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong Un.

At the 11th hour, Sony pulled from its Dec. 25 release after the group behind the hack attack threatened theaters. However, after President Barack Obama criticized Sony for caving, the studio announced Tuesday it would release The Interview in select independent theaters and as a pay-per-view offering on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox and Sony’s own site

The Interview opened to an estimated $2.8 million from 331 theaters for the four-day weekend, fueled in part by flag-waving fans. In its new incarnation, the comedy wasn't destined to be a big grosser in theaters, considering its limited footprint and the fact that it was made available online Wednesday. (It was also quickly pirated.) Pay-per-view numbers weren't immediately available.

"I'm so grateful that the movie found its way into theaters, and I'm thrilled that people actually went out and saw it. The fact that people actually left their houses when they had the option of staying home is amazing," Rogen said in a statement.

After Unbroken and Into the Woods, the other two new Christmas offerings playing nationwide were Paramount's The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor who has a secret life as a gambler, and Tim Burton's Big Eyes.

Rupert Wyatt directed The Gambler, which opened to an estimated $14 million-plus, in line with expectations.

Big Eyes, starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, faltered in its four-day debut, grossing $4.4 million from. It's true that the drama is playing in far fewer theaters that its competitors (1,307), but it's still a major disappointment for Tim Burton, and marks the worst nationwide opening of his career. The film, from The Weinstein Co., centers on artist Margaret Keane (Adams), whose work was claimed by her then-husband, Walter Keane.

Harvey Weinstein's shop still had plenty to celebrate; awards frontrunner The Imitation Game raced into the top 10 as it expanded into total of 747 theaters, grossing $11 million for an early domestic total of $14.6 million.

Director Clint Eastwood's awards contender American Sniper also did huge business, scoring the biggest opening of all time for a limited Christmas release. The movie, based on the real-life story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, grossed $850,000 from four theaters in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas (Kyle was from Texas) for a massive screen average of $212,500.

American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Kyle and earning a coveted A+ CinemaScore, broke records at the ArcLight Hollywood and at the Dallas Northpark 15.

Among holdovers in the top 10, Shawn Levy's family friendly Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb did brisk business in its second weekend, earning $27.9 million for the four-day weekend to come in No. 4. The threequel has now earned $55.3 million domestically, and was up 20 percent from last weekend.

Sony's Annie, opening opposite Secret of the Tomb and Hobbit last weekend, placed No. 5 for the four days with a solid $21.2 million for a domestic total of $45.8 million.

The holiday was also kind to holdover The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, which became only the second release of 2014 after Guardians of the Galaxy to jump the $300 million mark in North America, finishing Sunday with $306.7 million in domestic ticket sales. The tentpole has now earned 669.7 million globally.

Next Up: 2015 begins with the release of the horror sequel The Woman In Black: Angel of Death.

Based upon the book by Susan Hill the gothic tale The Woman in Black followed a young solicitor (Daniel Radcliffe) who takes up a short residence at Eel Marsh House, a desolate and secluded coastal mansion cut off at high tide from the nearby market town in rural England. Alone and sorting out the affairs of the elderly widow owner who recently died, the lawyer is spooked by unexplained noises and visions of a mysterious woman in black.

The follow up sees the property seized by the British government during World War II, and the sudden arrival of a group of evacuated children at Eel Marsh House awakens its ghostly inhabitant.

 Jeremy Irvine, Helen McCrory, Adrian Rawlins and Phoebe Fox star in the film