First NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3 Images: DOWNTON ABBEY’s Dan Stevens Debuts as Lancelot

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20th Century Fox has unveiled the first Night at the Museum 3 images from director Shawn Levy’s upcoming sequel.  Officially titled Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the third and final entry in the franchise takes the action to London’s British Museum and the city as a whole, where Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens brings the legendary Lancelot to life.  Ben Stiller reprises his role as night watchman Larry Daley, and Robin Williams also returns as the bombastic Theodore Roosevelt.  The previous sequel, Battle of the Smithsonian, raked in over $400 million at the worldwide box office, so the holiday debut for Secret of the Tomb should ensure solid business for the family film.  With these new image debuts today, I imagine a premiere trailer should be on the way shortly.

Hit the jump to take a look at the first images from Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.  The film also stars Ben Kingsley, Rebel Wilson, Rami Malek, Steve Coogan, Owen Wilson, Patrick Gallagher, Mizuo Peck, Bill Cobbs, Dick Van Dyke, and Mickey RooneyNight at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens in theaters on December 19th.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Adds Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito; Eva Green in Talks for Tim Burton’s MISS PEREGRINE

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Disney continues to expand the cast of it’s The Jungle Book adaptation, even if only one actor will ever be seen on screen.  Director Jon Favreau’s iteration recently cast young newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, and he will be the only live-action actor to appear in the film.  The rest of the cast is filled out with CG-animated creatures, and today Disney announced that Christopher Walken and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito have joined the voice cast.  Walken will fill the role of King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, while Esposito will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack.  Other voice actors in the film include Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Sir Ben KingsleyThe Jungle Book is scheduled for release on October 9, 2015.

Hit the jump for news concerning a Dark Shadows actress leading the next film from director Tim Burton.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Prop Images – Marvel Unveils First Look at Ultron, Cap’s Broken Shield, Hulkbuster Armor, and Black Widow’s New Ride

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This year’s Comic-Con was chock-full of peeks at upcoming films and TV shows, but one of the highlights was seeing the first footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron.  The film looks to be quite ambitious in nature, especially when it comes to the villain Ultron, played via motion capture by James Spader.  While it will be a while before the general public gets to see any footage from Joss Whedon’s sequel, Marvel unveiled some props at its Comic-Con booth, offering the first look at Ultron Mark 1, Cap’s broken shield (ominously alluded to in the footage), a piece of the Hulkbuster Iron Man armor, and Black Widow’s new ride.  All of these played a significant role in the teaser footage we saw from the film.

Take a look at the Avengers: Age of Ultron prop images after the jump, but for full context with regards to how they fit into the movie, be sure to read Matt’s extensive panel recapAvengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Watch: DEADPOOL Test Footage Featuring Ryan Reynolds

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The R-rated superhero movie is kind of the Holy Grail nowadays, with the superhero genre at the height of its popularity.  As studios aim to find new ways of adapting the various comic book properties, fans are eager to see one of the big dogs—Marvel Studios, Warner Bros./DC, and 20th Century Fox—take a leap of faith and greenlight a more adult-geared adaptation.  One such property that was essentially made to break down this barrier is Deadpool, and Fox has been developing an adaptation of the comic for some time with Ryan Reynolds attached to star.  The key is finding the right budget to justify an R-rating, which excludes a hefty portion of the traditional target demo for comic book movies.  Tim Miller was most recently attached to direct, and he put together a reel of test footage to show executives what a Deadpool movie look like.  That footage has leaked online, and it’s kind of fantastic.  Reynolds feels perfect for the role, and the tone is spot on.

Hit the jump to watch the Deadpool test footage before it’s taken down.

Over 35 Marvel Comic-Con Panel Images, Featuring the Casts of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and ANT-MAN

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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As you can tell by the absolutely massive amount of Comic-Con content on the site at the moment, it’s been a whirlwind last few days here in San Diego at Comic-Con 2014.  The festivities are winding down, and while we still have a fair amount of SDCC content yet to post, this Sunday we thought we’d bring the large majority of people that were unable to attend the convention a little closer to arguably the biggest panel of the convention: Marvel.  This year, Marvel Studios showcased Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man during its Saturday night Hall H panel, and while the lack of surprises made the proceedings a tad underwhelming, it was nevertheless an entertaining affair.  If you haven’t already, be sure to read our full Avengers: Age of Ultron panel recap and Ant-Man panel recap.

After the jump, you’ll find __ Marvel Comic-Con images from both panels, featuring Robert Downey Jr., Paul Rudd, Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Michael Douglas, Chris Hemsworth, Evangeline Lilly, Samuel L. Jackson, Corey Stoll, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, James Spader, director Peyton Reed, and Thanos himself Josh Brolin

ANT-MAN Comic-Con Panel Recap: Paul Rudd Takes the Hall H Stage to Introduce a New Addition to the Marvel Universe and Preview Footage

by     Posted 2 days ago

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There’s a reason that Marvel Studios is always the last panel of the day on Saturday at Comic-Con.  It closes out the big movie panels of the week with a bang, and this year’s convention was no different.  The studio is no stranger to uphill battles (ie. launching Iron Man, convincing audiences a Cinematic Universe would work), but they faced a curious challenge in Hall H this Saturday by touting Ant-Man months after incredibly talented filmmaker—and Comic-Con favorite—Edgar Wright left the project.

Nevertheless, Ant-Man is still moving forward full-steam ahead, and Marvel brought out new director Peyton Reed and cast members Paul RuddMichael DouglasCorey Stoll, and the now-confirmed Evangeline Lilly.  In addition to revealing a bit more about the film’s story and the roles the aforementioned actors will play, Marvel also unveiled some new footage that gave us a better idea of how Ant-Man will be actualized on screen.  Read my full Ant-Man Comic-Con panel recap after the jump.

CRIMSON PEAK Comic-Con Panel Recap: Guillermo del Toro Reveals Promising First Footage from His Gothic Romance; Gauges Audience Interest in HELLBOY 3

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Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is a Comic-Con favorite.  Films like Hellboy and Pacific Rim went over extremely well at the massive convention in the past, and he’s also just an incredibly likeable guy—he loves movies, monsters, and has no filter when it comes to speaking on the Comic-Con stage.  However, at this year’s Legendary panel in Hall H, del Toro brought a very different kind of film that just may end up being a highlight of his oeuvre.  With the gothic romance horror pic Crimson Peak—which stars Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam—del Toro is aiming to meld the artful and more adult-geared tone of his Spanish-language films (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone) with the colorful and pop nature of his English-language features.

During the film’s Comic-Con panel, del Toro unveiled the first incredibly promising (not to mention gorgeous) footage from the pic and talked about his approach on this feature.  Additionally, del Toro took the opportunity to do an unofficial poll of the audience as to their interest in seeing Hellboy 3 and At the Mountains of Madness.  Read my full Crimson Peak Comic-Con panel recap after the jump.

Legendary to Revive King Kong with SKULL ISLAND on November 4, 2016; Reveals Teaser at Comic-Con

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A couple of years ago, Legendary Pictures surprised audiences at San Diego Comic-Con by revealing test footage of director Gareth EdwardsGodzilla.  The fan reaction to that surprise was a significant factor in Legendary and Warner Bros.’ decision to greenlight the film, and during the Legendary panel at Comic-Con earlier today, the studio didn’t leave without one more surprise.  Some fans were expecting a peek at Jurassic World, though given that Legendary isn’t the primary studio on that film it seemed unlikely.  Instead, we were shown an ominous teaser that concluded with the reveal of King Kong himself and the title Skull Island, which the studio intends to release in theaters on November 4, 2016.  More after the jump.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Comic-Con Panel Recap: Peter Jackson and Cast Look Back on the Entire Tolkein Saga and Tease Conclusion

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There’s no mistaking the fact that director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy adaptation is a true classic and will be a touchtone for many generations to come.  He’s recently returned to complete the J.R.R. Tolkein saga with a three-film adaptation of The Hobbit, and while the response from some fans hasn’t been as enthusiastic, the passion for the series remains.  At the Comic-Con panel for the final Hobbit installment, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Jackson took the stage earlier today along with screenwriter Philipa Boyens and cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, and Graham McTavish.

Since this is (probably) the last time that Jackson will be presenting a Tolkein adaptation at Comic-Con, this panel was a mix between a look back at the entire LOTR saga and a tease of the new film, complete with the premiere of the first trailer and an excellent appearance by Stephen Colbert as the moderator.  Read my full The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Comic-Con panel recap after the jump.

JUPITER ASCENDING Comic-Con Panel Recap: Epic New Trailer Revealed

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One of my most anticipated films of this summer was writers/directors Lana and Andy Wachowski’s original sci-fi pic Jupiter Ascending.  I was bummed when Warner Bros. decided to push the movie to next February, but luckily that gave the studio the opportunity to shed more light on the film at Comic-Con 2014.  Earlier today in Hall H, star Channing Tatum took the stage to present the film’s excellent new trailer and tease a bit more about the pic.  Read my full recap of the Jupiter Ascending Comic-Con panel after the jump.

HITMAN: AGENT 47 Comic-Con Panel Recap: Zachary Quinto and Hannah Ware Reveal First Footage in Hall H

by     Posted 3 days ago

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The video game franchise Hitman is getting a reboot of sorts, and the first footage from Hitman: Agent 47 was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this Friday.  Though star Rupert Friend was unable to attend due to the fact that he’s shooting Homeland in South Africa at the moment, but co-stars Zachary Quinto (who played John Smith) and Hannah Ware (who plays Katia) took the Hall H stage to reveal the first footage and discuss delving into the action genre.  Hit the jump to read my full Hitman: Agent 47 Comic-Con panel recap.

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE Comic-Con Panel Recap: Samuel L. Jackson Plays Eccentric Villain to Colin Firth’s Super Spy in a Colorful Bond Riff

by     Posted 3 days ago

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The last time director Matthew Vaughn adapted a Mark Millar comic, he gave us Kick-Ass.  Now the two are back together for another interesting-looking comic adaptation by way of Kingsman: The Secret Service.  The pic is a twist on the spy genre, as Colin Firth plays a veteran agent of the secretive Kingsman who is tasked with training a young prospect, played by Taron Egerton.  20th Century Fox presented some incredibly promising footage from the film during its Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con this Friday, giving audiences a taste of Firth’s prowess as a deadly-yet-fancy super spy and Samuel L. Jackson’s delightfully eccentric supervillain.

Hit the jump to read my Kingsman: The Secret Service Comic-Con panel recap.

THE MAZE RUNNER Comic-Con Panel Recap: Dylan O’Brien and More Reveal the Grievers; Wes Ball Says He’s Aiming to Shoot Sequel This Fall or Winter

by     Posted 3 days ago

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The “YA adaptation” genre has been rather female-dominated when it comes to feature films, but a unique entry is aiming to take hold this fall with Fox’s The Maze Runner.  Based on the James Dashner novel of the same name, the story revolves around a teenager who wakes up in the middle of a maze with no memory of who he is, surrounded by other teenage boys who also don’t know who they are, where they are, or what the maze is.  Fox touted the film this Friday at San Diego Comic-Con, with Dashner, director Wes Ball, and stars Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario in attendance.

In addition to discussing their approach to the adaptation, entering into a marketplace that has recently been dominated by female-led stories, and changes from the book, Ball revealed that they’re hoping to start shooting the sequel The Scorch Trials later this year if the first film performs well.  Hit the jump to read my full The Maze Runner Comic-Con panel recap.

THE WALKING DEAD Season 5 Trailer and Comic-Con Panel Recap: Cast and Producers Tease “Spectacular Scope”

by     Posted 3 days ago

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With Breaking Bad over and the second half of Mad Men’s final season poised to wrap up next spring, AMC has struggled a bit to find original programming to match its early successes.  That said, one new show hit really, really, really big.  Entering its fifth season this fall, The Walking Dead is not only a ratings juggernaut on cable television, it also gives network favorites like The Big Bang Theory a run for their money in terms of viewership.  Despite a sort of revolving door of showrunners and behind-the-scenes skirmishes, the ratings have continued to grow and its commercial popularity remains higher than ever.  With a spinoff series in the works as well, The Walking Dead franchise is likely to keep AMC afloat for quite some time.

As they do every year, much of The Walking Dead cast (yes, even Norman Reedus) and executive producers Scott M. GimpleRobert KirkmanGale Anne HurdDave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero made the journey to Comic-Con earlier this Friday to preview the upcoming season and reveal the first trailer.  Watch the first The Walking Dead season 5 trailer after the jump, along with my full Comic-Con panel recap. The series returns on Sunday, October 12th on AMC.

A MOST WANTED MAN Review

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[This is a re-post of my A Most Wanted Man review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The film opens in limited release this weekend.]

The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés.  The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material.  Director Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is a solid and sharply smart entry into the spy genre that manages to explore dark characters and difficult topics while foregoing the typical action-heavy formula, sidestepping audience expectations in the process.  This is not a film that takes shortcuts just to make its audience happy, and though the final results may not delve as deep into some of its themes as one would expect, A Most Wanted Man still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller.  Read my full review after the jump.

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