Man of Steel is out, it’s a hit, and the sequel is on the fast-track. For everything I liked about the movie, I felt it was a bit of a letdown. I’ve heard from multiple people, including our own Steve Weintraub, that Man of Steel is the Superman movie they’ve always wanted to see. When it comes to the action, I can agree with that assessment. But when it comes to the character—the man in the suit—I felt he was absent from almost the entire movie. I can respect director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David Goyer‘s attempt to find a new perspective on the character and slightly reinventing the origin story to do so. Origin stories are tough because it’s about working towards the character people know and love. You can kind of see that Superman at the end of Man of Steel, although I don’t know how he got there.
In any case, it looks like they’ve arrived, and I’m interested in where the sequel will take the Man of Tomorrow. After the jump, I’ve listed five things I’d like to see in Man of Steel 2. [Warning: spoilers ahead.]
As a fan of many of their movies, I’ve been wanting to go to Pixar, for some time now. And since you have to either work there, know someone who works there, or get an invite to go there, I jumped at the recent opportunity to make the trip to Emeryville, Calif.to do interviews for their latest feature film, Monsters University, and had a great time while I was there. The film follows Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal), who arrives at the campus with the dream of becoming a Scarer while James “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) feels like he doesn’t have to put in the time or work to succeed because he was born with his talent. When their journeys both prove to be a bit more complicated than they anticipated, they find help and friendship in the unlikeliest of places.
At the film’s press day, actor Billy Crystal talked about how easy it was to get back into the character, how great it is to play off of actor John Goodman during their recording sessions, what kind of student he was in college, why Mike Wazowski is the favorite character he’s played, how much his grandkids love it, why they never made a sequel to the original film, and finding satisfaction in every medium he works in. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Hemlock Grove, Eli Roth‘s gothic horror series, has received the green light from Netflix to start production on a second season. The campy but atmospheric and ultimately satisfying first season showcased the uneasy friendship between two attractive supernaturals (played by Bill Skarsgard and Landon Liboiron) from very different backgrounds in a small Pennsylvania town amidst a backdrop of gruesome murders, family secrets and some very curious onlookers.
The series is based on the Brian McGreevy novel of the same name, and while the author said in a Reddit AMA earlier this year that there will not be any more books in his series, the Netflix series obviously has no intention of slowing down (is this what Game of Thrones fans should expect if George R. R. Martin doesn’t hurry up with his next installments?) Hit the jump for more about a new showrunner, and what Roth says viewers can expect in the upcoming season.
Director Morten Tyldum (Headhunters) has been set to direct Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Ghostman from author Roger Hobbs. The bestselling, overnight sensation centers on the title character, a hired professional who cleans up after botched heists and helps fugitives escape the law. Unfortunately for the Ghostman known as “Jack,” other dangerous and interested parties are searching for him as well. Peter Craig (The Town) has written the adaptation; Craig also rewrote the script for The Imitation Game, which Tyldum is also helming. Hit the jump for more.
Sadly, an immensely talented actor from what may very well be the best television series in history has unexpectedly passed away. James Gandolfini died of a possible heart attack earlier today in Rome at the age of 51, reports confirm. Gandolfini was born in New Jersey and broke out with his performance as Virgil in 1993’s True Romance. The actor went on to star in the HBO drama series The Sopranos from 1999 to 2007, earning three Best Actor Emmys in the process. The show itself truly changed television forever, and Gandolfini’s brilliant performance as patriarch Tony Soprano was the foundation for the series’ success. He was also active on the stage, appearing in the 2009 Broadway production of God of Carnage, and had many, many memorable feature film roles including Where the Wild Things Are and In the Loop.
Gandolfini had recently wrapped a co-starring role opposite Tom Hardy in Animal Rescue, and he will also appear in Nicole Holofcener’s new film. Our deepest condolences go out to Gandolfini’s family, friends, and colleagues. The acting world is a lesser place without him.
Check out a collection of featurettes and TV spots from the following films:
- The Lone Ranger – Gore Verbinski’s latest action film starring Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner and James Badge Dale opens July 3rd.
- World War Z – Marc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos and James Badge Dale opens June 21st.
- R.I.P.D. – Robert Schwentke’s action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges opens July 19th.
- Pacific Rim – Guillermo del Toro’s robots-vs-monsters movie starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day opens July 12th.
Hit the jump to watch all the videos.
Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for the animated sequel The Smurfs 2. Directed by Raja Gosnell, the film finds Gargamel (Hank Azaria) creating his own version of Smurfs called “Naughties” in the hopes of bottling the powerful “Smurf-essence.” Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry) finds herself caught up in the plan and is at risk of turning into one of the Naughties herself. The new trailer highlights plenty of goofy shenanigans that kids may or may not find funny, but the film looks like it has a very limited appeal for adult audiences.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays and features the voices of Sofia Vergara, Jonathan Winters, Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, George Lopez, Anton Yelchin and John Oliver. The Smurfs 2 opens in 3D on July 31st.
The graphic novel Locke & Key has had a difficult road to being adapted in the past, but the prospect of seeing the story translated onscreen just became quite a bit more promising. Heat Vision reports that Universal has picked up the supernatural comic series to develop as a feature film, with Star Trek and Transformers scribes/producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci onboard to produce. Created by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, the graphic novel centers on three siblings who return to their family home in Massachusetts following their father’s murder, where they stumble upon magical keys that give them various powers and abilities.
Locke & Key was initially developed as a potential television show produced by Kurtzman and Orci, but Fox ultimately decided to pass on the Mark Romanek-helmed pilot in 2011. There’s no guarantee that a feature film adaptation will make it all the way to production, but Universal is certainly going to give it a go. Hit the jump to watch the trailer for the failed pilot.
Two veteran directors have added a couple of very talented actors to their next films. First up, Jason Schwartzman has signed on to star alongside Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, and Krysten Ritter in director Tim Burton’s true story Big Eyes. The story focuses on the artistic coupling of Margaret (Adams) and Walter (Waltz) Keane. Walter became famous in the 1950s and 60s for paintings featuring saucer-eyed kids, though it was the shy Margaret who really did the work. Margaret eventually tired of the misplaced credit, which led to a divorce and a heated court battle to prove authorship of the paintings.
It’s refreshing to see Burton stepping out of his comfort zone casting-wise with this film, as Schwartzman makes yet another Burton-newbie added to the cast. The Wrap reports that the actor will play a San Francisco art gallery owner named Ruben in the film. Hit the jump for casting news concerning Ron Howard’s next film.
At E3, Sony basically dropped the mic and walked away. Microsoft had fumbled horribly with Xbox One by telling gamers that the system would need to check-in online every 24 hours just to play games offline, and that gamers were restricted the buying, selling, and loaning of used games. Meanwhile, Sony responded thusly when promoting the PlayStation 4.
Now Microsoft has done the only thing they could do: relent. Microsoft president of interactive entertainment Don Mattrick has announced that they’ve listened to the complaints, and basically let Xbox One operate the same way as the Xbox 360. It was a necessary change to get Microsoft back in the game, but will it be enough? Each system will have exclusive titles, but Xbox One will still cost $100 more than PlayStation 4. The trade-off is a system that brings in Kinect and also tries to replace your cable box. If that’s worth it to you, click here to pre-order the Xbox One. Hit the jump for Mattrick’s announcement, which includes a list of all the changes the company has made to the Xbox One.
A batch of new images from the upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novel Divergent has been released online, focusing on the film’s protagonists Tris and Four, played by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) and Theo James (Downton Abbey). Directed by Neil Burger (Limitless), the film takes place in a futuristic society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Tris is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.” The images give us some great looks at Woodley as Tris and James as Four (her instructor), both outfitted in their Dauntless uniforms. Book fans will also be happy to recognize some memorable locations from the book, including the training room and the ferris wheel.
Hit the jump to check out the images in full. The film also stars Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Ansel Elgort, Christian Madsen, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Ben Lamb, and Amy Newbold. Divergent opens on March 21, 2014. [Update: We've updated the article with additional images from EW featuring the first looks at Kravitz, Courtney, Maggie Q, and more.]
Anchor Bay has sent us an exclusive poster and clip for the upcoming comedy Pawn Shop Chronicles. Directed by Wayne Kramer (The Cooler), the film is three short stories connected by items from a Southern small-town pawn shop. The twisted tales involve “a man searching for his kidnapped wife, a couple of white-supremacist meth heads, and a sad-sack Elvis impersonator.” It sounds like the fun insanity that permeated Kramer’s underseen 2006 film Running Scared. This clip doesn’t show any of that movie’s electric cinematography and pacing, but that doesn’t mean those aspects will be absent from the rest of the picture. As you can see from the trailer, the potential is certainly there.
Hit the jump to check out the exclusive poster and clip. The film stars Brendan Fraser, Elijah Wood, Vincent D’Onofrio, Thomas Jane, Lukas Haas, Norman Reedus, Chi McBride, Matt Dillon, and Paul Walker. Pawn Shop Chronicles opens in theaters and hits VOD on July 12th.
San Diego Comic-Con is a must-attend event for toy collectors. This year, one of the hottest toys will be Super7′s Alien “ReAction Figures”. As we previously, the 1979 Alien action figures were canceled, and these 3 3/4″ figures are based on the prototypes. Now, under supervision from 20th Century Fox, Super7 will sell these limited edition figures at SDCC. Per the press release, “Each is stylized exactly as items from the ‘golden age’ of action figures with approximately five points of articulation, accessories, and period-authentic blister card packaging.”
There will be four different exclusives related to this line at San Diego Comic Con. Hit the jump for details and images. The 2013 San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 18 – 21st.
After first being first put into motion last year, a director has finally been set for Universal and Focus Features’ Fifty Shades of Grey movie. In case you live in a hole and have somehow managed to remain blissfully unaware, the film is based on an erotic trilogy of books by author E.L. James that tracks the relationship between college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey. After rumors swirled about the likes of Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright being interested in taking the helm, a bit of a surprise choice has been settled on to direct the Fifty Shades of Grey movie: Nowhere Boy helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson. Hit the jump for more.
As director J.J. Abrams gears up to start production on Star Wars: Episode VII early next year, the filmmaker has presumably begun thinking about casting for the highly anticipated sequel. A rumored casting breakdown hit the web a week ago that claimed Han and Lei’s twin children would be the protagonists of the film, but given that it read like it was written by a 14-year-old fanboy and revealed way more than typical casting breakdowns normally do, we were dubious of its validity. Now another casting breakdown has hit the web, and this one seems much more solid.
Apparently the Star Wars casting directors have sent out a brief breakdown of the film’s lead characters to agents in the US and UK, and the list reveals that the main cast involves two teenage girls, two young men in their 20s, two middle-aged men, and another older man around age 70. Hit the jump to read the full breakdowns and let the guessing games begin.