Most reviews labeled Batman: Arkham Origins as a serviceable continuation of the series, but it came with the caveat that the developer was WB Montreal instead of Rocksteady, who created the first two games, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. Rocksteady has now “returned” to the series (I doubt they ever really left; they probably just wanted more time to work on their game, and Warner Bros. didn’t want a three-year gap between entries), with Batman: Arkham Knight. A four-minute announcement trailer has been released, and in all honesty, it’s pretty silly. It’s pulling a page from the Man of Steel playbook by having the dead father narrate hopes for his superhero son, and some of the moves Batman does are ridiculous. But Rocksteady’s Arkham games have been incredibly fun, and this will be the first one where you can drive the Batmobile, although I’m not sure how that gets you around faster than being able to fly like in Arkham City.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and a brief plot synopsis. Batman: Arkham Knight will be released later this year on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (so I guess I’m going to have to buy one of those…).
Summit has released a new featurette for Neil Burger’s adaptation of the best-selling novel, Divergent. The story takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups, and faces grave consequences if it’s revealed that she’s “Divergent”. Theo James plays Four, Tris’ instructor and love-interest, and this featurette provides a behind-the-scenes look at the character and his performance. I haven’t seen any of James’ previous work, so I don’t know how he’ll handle the emotional scenes, but from a physical standpoint, he fits the bill.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film also stars Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, and Kate Winslet. Divergent opens on March 21st. [Update: We've also added a new TV spot]
Yesterday, it was reported that Scarlett Johansson is pregnant, which is wonderful for her and her fiancée, but will be a bit of a headache for filming on The Avengers: Age of Ultron. According to E! Online, the production is going to “fast-track her scenes” once she finishes her press tour for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and begins filming overseas on April 5th.
It’s the sensible move since production on a major blockbuster tends to go for months, and they don’t know when Johansson will start to show. It’s going to be difficult to hide a baby bump under the character’s catsuit, so unless Black Widow develops a predilection towards standing behind things, carrying boxes, and wearing frumpy sweaters, filming her scenes ASAP is probably the best way to go. The Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.
Paramount has released the first poster for Transformers: Age of Extinction, and when paired with the Super Bowl spot and the new trailer preview, this movie is going to be insane. Sure, it’s going to be dumber than a stump and have mind-blowing set piece, but on a conceptual level, this looks like the nuttiest Transformers yet. This poster has Mark Wahlberg wearing a confused expression, and perhaps his character is confused because he’s wielding a swordgun. Someone dropped something out of Final Fantasy VIII, put in the hands of a movie star, and it’s going to be in one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. The trigger appears to be a tooth for god’s sake. The kicker is the tagline: “The rules have changed”, which is news to me because I was unaware the Transformers series even had rules.
Hit the jump to check out the poster, and come back for a new trailer and more posters this week. The film also stars Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, T.J. Miller, Titus Welliver, Han Geng, Sophia Myles, and Li Bingbing. Transformers: Age of Extinction opens June 27th.
With next summer’s Terminator: Genesis, the Terminator franchise is getting a reboot except for the one piece it can’t seem to let go: Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was even awkwardly shoehorned into Terminator: Salvation, and now he’ll be along for the new installment even though all of the other major characters—Sarah Connor, John Connor, and Kyle Reese—are being playing by new actors. Speaking to TheArnoldFans, Schwarzenegger said, “We start filming in the middle or in the end of April and it will be a four or four-and-a-half month long shoot. We will be filming it in New Orleans with some of it in San Francisco and maybe a little of it in LA but most of it will be done in New Orleans.”
Hit the jump for the full quote from Schwarzenegger as well as some possible details about the script. The film also stars Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, and Jai Courtney. Terminator: Genesis opens July 1, 2015.
Today, Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day is the giant box set, The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Limited Collector’s Edition, which is the definitive edition of the Hollywood classic. It contains the 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultraviolet copy as well as a 52-page hardcover photo book, ruby slippers sparkle globe, collectible award pin set, a journal, and a map of Oz. There’s also a 4GB “Wicked Witch of the East” flash drive for people who like their flash drives to look like severed legs. If you’ve been waiting to add The Wizard of Oz to your collection, this is the edition to have, and this is the day to do add it since it will be $54.99 for today only. Click here to buy it.
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Last night, Robert Lopez took home an Academy Award for co-writing “Let It Go” from Frozen, and became the youngest person to “EGOT”, i.e. win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. Lopez previously won the Grammys and Tonys for The Book of Mormon, and received Daytime Emmy Awards for music direction and composition for the kids TV series The Wonder Pets.
Per Variety, other “EGOT” members include Whoopi Goldberg, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, and Scott Rudin. So if you need a bit a trivia about last night’s ceremony, you can point at Lopez’ win.
For the first time in at least six year, we have a Best Picture winner that will stand the test of time. Cynics thought the Academy’s highest honor would go to American Hustle, the numbers were pointing slightly towards Gravity, but the Oscar ultimately went to 12 Years a Slave, the definitive major motion picture about slavery. The ceremony itself was an absolute chore, but it was wonderful to see Steve McQueen’s harrowing drama pick up the win at the end. Additionally, Gravity–another great movie–received plenty of love by earning seven Oscars including Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director. Among the acting categories, there were no surprises: Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, and Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress. It was not a shocking night, and the biggest “upset” was Mr. Hublot beating out Get a Horse! for Best Animated Short Film. Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with this year’s winners, especially since Spike Jonze took home Best Original Screenplay for Her.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of this year’s Oscar winners, and click here for my live-blog.
This year, our awards coverage was more extensive than ever, and Adam, our Oscar expert, laid his predictions out over three articles. However, the humble task of sitting through the ceremony and poking fun at it for over three hours falls to me. To be fair, there are a few exciting races this year, especially Best Picture. But when it comes to the actual program, I think we’re going to be rolling our eyes together as the Academy salutes “heroes”, whatever the hell that means.
My live-blogging will kick in around 8:00pm (EST) and then just keep refreshing the page for my latest thoughts on the 86th Academy Awards. I’ll also be tweeting (why only mock the Oscars on one platform?), and you can follow me on Twitter at @MattGoldberg. The 2014 awards race is almost over. Let’s pull each other across the finish line with jokes, faux-outrage, and perhaps, if we’re lucky, genuine happiness towards a deserving winner. The ceremony begins at 8:30pm (EST)
I thought Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was hilarious, and it was no surprise that there was an alternate cut featuring different jokes. There was plenty of riffing on set, and director Adam McKay had a wealth of choices when trying to find the right jokes. Even at two hours, the original breezed by, and while I didn’t like it quite as much on a second viewing, it was still quite enjoyable. Now a “Super-Sized R-Rated” version has been released, and in many ways it improves the original by showing that McKay made the right call on which jokes to use and which ones to leave on the cutting room floor. Although there are some additions in the new version that are superior to the original, the new cut is plenty of bloat to the point where some of the jokes don’t even make sense. The comic timing is completely off as it seems like the goal of the new version was to add more and make it slightly different, but not better or even as good as the original.
Warner Bros. has released an international trailer for the Wachowski Siblings‘ upcoming sci-fi adventure film, Jupiter Ascending. The story follows Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), a recent Russian immigrant who scrubs toilets for a living, but then discovers she has the genetic signature that makes her next in line to be Queen of the Universe. Channing Tatum plays an ex-military hunter tasked with tracking her down. The movie looking like it will be a lot of fun, and it’s also exciting to see a non-adaptation as part of the summer blockbuster season. That probably means fewer people will see it because it hasn’t been pre-sold to them in some other form, but personally, I’m just glad to be getting a new Wachowskis movie this year.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, James D’Arcy, Tim Pigott-Smith, and Doona Bae. Jupiter Ascending opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on July 18th.
We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you this morning. First up, Joel Edgerton has signed back on to play corrupt FBI Agent John Connolly in Scott Cooper‘s Black Mass. The film stars Johnny Depp as notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger and centers on how he amassed his power with the help of his childhood friend Connolly by turning informant on rival operations, and then being warned by Connolly when the feds were closing in. Edgerton signed on almost a year ago, and remained when Depp dropped out, but eventually left the project as well. Depp signed back on three weeks ago, and there was the possibility of Tom Hardy playing the Connolly role, but now Deadline reports that the part is Edgerton’s again. Production is set to begin in two months in Boston, and Warner Bros. is eyeing an October 2015 release. [Update: Deadline adds that, since WB has picked up Black Mass, it has dropped Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's planned Whitey Bulger film, which was to star Damon and be directed by Affleck and just had a new draft of the script turned in by Terrence Winter.]
Hit the jump for the first word on Todd Strauss-Schulson‘s The Final Girls in over two years.
New images have been released for Gareth Edwards‘ Godzilla. Although we recently got a new trailer, plot details remain scarce beyond the eponymous monster running amok and helpless humans trying to figure out how to deal with him. These new images don’t provide any more details, but I’m glad we’re not at a marketing overload point. There’s just enough mystery here to keep it interesting without being gratingly coy about the whole affair.
Hit the jump to check out the images along with a size chart for how all of the various Godzillas stack up against each other. The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn. Godzilla opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 16th.
Non-Stop manages the difficult task of being a solid thriller as well as constantly silly, and the result is a film that was far more entertaining than I expected it to be. Director Jaume Collet-Serra‘s previously filmography has been underwhelming to say the least, and his previous collaboration with star Liam Neeson, the thriller Unknown, was awful. But paired with a solid script from John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, and Ryan Engle, Collet-Serra keeps the story moving, the whodunit a constant question, and utilizes Neeson’s performance to ground the picture so that our eye-rolls don’t do a complete 360.
Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man has been lining up talented actors left-and-right with Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas set to lead the picture, and Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, and Clifton Collins Jr. all circling the film. Now another excellent actor is in the mix as The Wrap reports that Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) is in talks for an unknown role. Because Wright is already going in a different direction with the story by putting Scott Lang (Rudd) center stage and moving the more-familiar Hank Pym (Douglas) to a supporting role, it’s difficult to know how many of the other characters will be plucked from the comics and how many are from scratch. Either way, I hope Wilson signs on since he’s a great addition to every film he’s in. He’ll next be seen in Joe Carnahan‘s Stretch and he’s also attached to star in the indie The Man on Carrion Road.
Ant-Man will open on July 17, 2015. Bill Pope (The Matrix) will handle the cinematography, and Steven Price (Gravity) is composing the score. Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) co-wrote the script.