We’ve got a couple of rather interesting casting stories to report this evening. First up, Wally Pfister has added another familiar face to the cast of his directorial debut Transcendence. Pfister previously worked as a cinematographer, most notably collaborating with Christopher Nolan on all of his films, and now Batman Begins and Inception star Cillian Murphy has been tapped to play one of three male leads in Transcendence. The film stars Johnny Depp and is rumored to concern a scientist whose brain gets uploaded into a supercomputer, but confirmed plot details are being kept under tight wraps.
News of Murphy’s casting comes courtesy of Latino Review, but further details regarding his character are unknown. Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, and Kate Mara also star. The film is due out April 25, 2014. Hit the jump to find out which Seinfeld alum has been cast as Master Splinter in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles redo.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Ninja Turtles, is starting to take shape. After recent news that newcomer Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) had been tapped to play Raphael, more casting news has come down the line about the rest of the turtle team. Deadline reports that Pete Ploszek will play Leonardo, Jeremy Howard will play Donatello, and Noel Fisher will play Michelangelo.
Hit the jump to find out more about the cast of the new film. Ninja Turtles is due out June 6, 2014.
The first of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been cast in Jonathan Liebesman‘s Ninja Turtles. According to Deadline, Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) will be picking up a pair of digital sai to do the motion capture performance for Raphael. For those unfamiliar with TMNT, Raphael is usually the wise-cracking rebel of the group, which tends to bring him into direct conflict with the group’s by-the-book leader, Leonardo. Last month, Megan Fox was cast as reporter April O’Neil.
Despite dropping “Teenage” and “Mutant” from the title, Liebesman and producer Michael Bay have said that this reboot will build off the original comic books by Kevin Eastman. Fans raised on the animated series were a bit miffed when Bay announced that the characters would be created by aliens rather than radioactive “ooze”. However, Eastman says the movie will have “Raid: Redemption-style fight scenes” and “epic Rise of the Planet of the Apes sort of effects,” so perhaps that will make some of the changes easier to accept. Ninja Turtles is due out June 6, 2014.
In the wake of Paramount’s endless push backs and delays regarding its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (now simple called Ninja Turtles), Nickelodeon has quietly developed a new (and improved?) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series set to air this fall.
The first official trailer for the series begins, naturally, at the beginning – four turtles! an accident! a secret! “They were trailed for battle,” the narrator recounts solemnly, “and now, when their city is under siege, the fate of humanity is in their hands” (or feet, perhaps). The original TMNT cartoon was one of my absolutely favorites as a kid, and it seems Nickelodeon may be doing a decent job of resurrecting the franchise for a new generation of fans. To see the trailer, hit the jump.
Opening tomorrow is director Jonathan Liebesman’s (Battle: Los Angeles) Wrath of the Titans. In the sequel to Clash of the Titans, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is tasked with stopping the titans and saving Zeus (Liam Neeson) from Hades’ stranglehold (Ralph Fiennes). The film also stars Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell and Danny Huston. And for those wondering how the sequel turned out, Wrath of the Titans is what I hoped Clash of the Titans would be. It’s got a solid story, incredible effects, and the 3D is really well done. I’ve seen it twice (including IMAX 3D) and it’s definitely recommended. For more on the film, here’s five clips.
At last week’s press junket in New York City, I got to sit down with Liebesman for an extended interview. During our wide-ranging conversation we talked about how he got involved in Wrath of the Titans, his process for addressing the things that didn’t work in the first film, the visual effects, editing, the monsters, how important was it to be accurate with the mythology while still being able to take dramatic license to make the story work, and more. In addition, Liebesman talked about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (officially titled “Ninja Turtles”), Odysseus, his untitled Julius Caesar movie with producer Basil Iwanyk, the Battle Los Angeles sequel, and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
Last week, producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman had to wade through the overblown reaction to making the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the upcoming live-action movie originate from an “alien race” even though that’s where the infamous ooze comes from in the original comics. Then a new spat came about from the rumor that the live-action film would simply be called “Ninja Turtles“. On his official website, Bay has confirmed the new title, and Paramount dropped the “teenage” and the “mutant” for simplicity (read: marketing). He also added that “The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers.”
I don’t mind the title change. However, it does seem like they’re moving away from making the characters teenagers. It looks like the Turtles will be adults who “act like teenagers.” You know, like the adults who are losing their shit over a title change. Hit the jump for Bay’s full quote. Ninja Turtles is set to open on December 25, 2013.
Earlier tonight, Adam Chitwood, Dave Trumbore, and I recorded the first episode of Collider’s new podcast, The Collision. In our debut episode, we talked about the controversy over the live-action adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the positive response to the latest Prometheus trailers, and reviewed The Hunger Games. We had a lot of fun talking, and we hope you enjoy listening. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section so we can know how to make the show better.
Click here to listen or download our first episode. Click here to add The Collision to your RSS feed. An iTunes link will be available soon.
by Jason Barr Posted: March 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am
In this week’s opening paragraph I want to use a few lines to encourage reader feedback. The “Top 5″ weekly feature has been up and running since May of 2011 and has undergone very few presentation and/or aesthetic changes along the way. Because I’m thrilled when you, the reader, chooses to spend a few weekend minutes with me, I want to make sure that I’m consistently delivering something you look forward to checking out. That said, I invite any and all “Top 5″ feedback be e-mailed to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t worry, constructive criticism isn’t required. We could all use a good “you suck because you suck” sentiment to keep us honest every now and then.
Awaiting you in this week’s “Top 5″ is a slew of interviews for The Hunger Games, a recap of Michael Bay‘s campaign to turn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into aliens so as to make them more believable (yes, you read that right), a NSFW international teaser trailer for David Cronenberg‘s Cosmopolis, a sparkling new Prometheus trailer, and all of our WonderCon 2012 coverage. In case you don’t know the drill, I’ll remind you that a brief recap and link to each follows after the jump.
Michael Bay caused quite the hubbub the other day with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans. He’s producing a new iteration of the lovable characters in the form of a live-action reboot directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans). Said hubbub was caused when Bay commented that the turtles in the reboot would be “from an alien race.” Fans were perplexed given that the word “mutant” is right in the title of the series, and “alien race” would imply that these new martial arts-inclined turtles weren’t mutated, but are actually extra terrestrial beings.
Steve got the chance to speak with Liebesman at the press junket for Wrath of the Titans earlier today and the director took the time to clear the air about his version of TMNT. He addressed the “alien race” comments, talked about his approach to the characters, revealed whether they’re thinking CGI or practical effects to bring the turtles to life, and said when he thinks they’ll start filming and where. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Yesterday, some people found a new reason to dislike Michael Bay when he revealed that the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be “from an alien race.” Even though I liked TMNT as a kid, I wasn’t outraged as much as I was confused. If they’re aliens, then where does the “mutant” part come in? (Matt Patches pointed out on Twitter that aliens could have been the ones to do the mutating as opposed to the ooze from the TV series and 90s movies) I was also confused by Bay’s comment that because of the change from mutants to aliens, “kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie.” I didn’t see the value in making kids believe the turtles are non-fictional characters.
But other fans were greatly upset over the change, and to those fans, Bay has a message: “Chill.” Hit the jump for more. The live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie will be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) and written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). The movie is slated to open on December 25, 2013.
My beloved franchise when I was a kid was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was a little too late for Thundercats and too early for Power Rangers, and for this I am grateful. In retrospect, TMNT is just as goofy, but the turtles still have a place in my heart. Keeping this in mind, I’m trying not to get too upset over producer Michael Bay‘s recent revelation that the turtles in the upcoming live-action movie will be aliens, not mutants. Hit the jump for what Bay had to say about the change along with my thoughts about it.
[Note that this project is separate from the new animated TV series that's airing on Nickelodeon in the fall. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is due out on December 25, 2013.]
Almost three weeks ago we brought you the first look at Nickelodeon’s forthcoming animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series. Today, we have some very cool character posters from the series that is set to hit cable television screens in 2012. Personally, I’m a fan of the harsh lines that the characters feature as it gives them a comic book feel that simultaneously emphasizes their badass nature (especially Donatello, I mean, the dude is super smart and is self-confident enough to fight with a freaking walking stick). Hit the jump to check out the posters for yourselves.
Jaws dropped on 90’s kids the world over when it was announced that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be returning to television, on the network that housed every 90’s kids’ favorite lineup of phenomenal TV series: Nickelodeon. Since the announcement that Paramount would be putting together both an animated TV series and a live-action feature film, not very much in the way of details has been revealed. Well now, a teaser for the animated series has been released and gives us our first look at Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo. Hit the jump to check it out.
Anyone who sat through the agony of what he did with The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones probably knows George Lucas will do just about anything with CGI, but is he really producing a CGI-animated musical … with fairies?
According to Heat Vision Blog, that’s exactly what’s in the works as a “top-secret” project at Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch. Kevin Munroe, who directed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie TMNT, is reportedly directing the project with a script by David Berenbaum, who penned the screenplays for Elf and The Spiderwick Chronicles.
But more importantly than all that: fairies? Really? That’s the only plot detail HVB reports about the project. If Lucas has proven anything, though, it’s that when he gets an idea in his head – no matter how crazy or downright awful it might seem to the rest of the world – he usually just does it anyway.
Hit the jump to find out what else Lucas and Munroe also have on their movie plates.
If 7-year-old me read the trades, he would be beside himself today with the news that his favorite TV show, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” would be moving to his favorite network, “Nickelodeon”. Present-Day me thinks that’s adorable, reflects on our current milieu of toy-based properties and their relationship to the emotional development of adults, and then returns to some recreational reading. 7-year-old me weeps for his future.
No matter your age or the age of your sad-inner-child, hit the jump for what this means in terms of rebooting the project, the upcoming film, and how a new generation can bug their weary parents for every new action figure of Raphael (or whomever their favorite ninja turtle may be).