Alexandre Aja Talks HORNS, The Perks of Working with Daniel Radcliffe, Blending Genres, His Approach to Adapting a Book, and More at Comic-Con

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With Horns, arriving in theaters October 31st, we get to see a softer side of Alexandre AjaHorns stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ig Perrish, a grieving man widely believed to have raped and murdered his beloved girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple).  When Ig wakes up with a set of horns and a newfound ability to make people do and say the most devious of their desires, he sees it as an opportunity to seek revenge on the real killer.  As a director and producer known for intense horror films (The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension) it’s fun to watch Aja stretch his range and deliver some genuinely sweet romance and touching dramatic moments.  However, fans don’t need to fear he’s lost his horror touch – Horns also delivers on genre elements, including some beautifully bloody practical effects.

Before his Comic-Con panel on Friday, I sat down for a one-on-one interview with Aja.  He talked about navigating through so many genres in a single film, why he loves Joe Hill‘s novel, whether or not adapting a novel is different from remaking a film, casting Daniel Radcliffe, and More.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Mark McGrath Talks SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE, His Reaction to the First Film, Adjusting His Performing Style, Script Changes, and Releasing a Solo Album

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In the Syfy original movie Sharknado 2: The Second One, directed by Anthony C. Ferrante from a screenplay by Thunder Levin, a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished iconic sites, and leaving Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) to save the Big Apple.  The film also stars Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kari Wuhrer, Judah Friedlander, Judd Hirsch, Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick and Perez Hilton.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath talked about how he got involved with Sharknado 2, being a fan of the first film, adjusting his big performing style to the subtleties of acting, why he enjoys getting lost in a character, that they had to do a lot of script changes on the fly, how great it was to get to shoot in New York City, and the social media phenomenon of Sharknado.  He also talked about why he still loves touring with Sugar Ray, and why it might be the right time to finally release a solo album.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

SALOMÉ | WILD SALOMÉ Trailer Sheds New Light on Al Pacino’s Jessica Chastain Project

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Wow, how long has it been since we’ve heard from Wild Salomé? Almost three years, that’s how long.  But now it appears as though Al Pacino’s examination of how Oscar Wilde’s play impacted his mind is finally being primed for release (despite playing at the Venice Film Festival in 2011).  And now it’s going to be packaged as a double bill with Salomé, what is apparently Pacino’s actual adaptation of the play.  Bonus? They both star Jessica Chastain.

Right now it seems as though this double bill will only be screening in the U.K. (Stephen Fry is hosting a screening on Sunday, September 21st) but we’ll let you know if that changes.  Hit the jump for the Salomé and Wild Salomé trailer!

ANT-MAN Director Peyton Reed Talks Stepping Into Edgar Wright’s Shoes, the State of the Script and the Film’s Villains at Comic-Con

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Director Peyton Reed, known for his fantastic work in Bring it On and Down With Love, was most certainly facing an uphill battle this past weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con. After all, he’s not just the new director on Ant-Man, he’s replacing geek-beloved auteur Edgar Wright on the project.  It takes a confident hand to introduce yourself as the guy who replaced Wright at this kind of convention, but I’m confident Reed will turn in a good movie (however different it may be than Wright’s take).

But life moves on and Ant-Man is marching forward (as ants do) with cast members Paul RuddMichael DouglasCorey Stoll, and Evangeline Lilly still in place.  Steve caught up with Reed at SDCC right after the film’s panel and was able to spend a few minutes with him getting a status report on the project.  Topics include the state of the script, how it fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film’s villains and more.  Hit the jump to watch.  Ant-Man opens July 17th, 2015.

Benicio del Toro Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Playing the Collector, His Marvel Contract, INHERENT VICE, PARADISE LOST, and More

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Opening this weekend is director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  As most of you know, the story follows five intergalactic misfits—Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)—as they set out to protect a powerful and mysterious orb from the villainous Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).  Loaded with great performances, an extremely funny script, and some fantastic action sequences, Guardians of the Galaxy should be a big hit with moviegoers and it helps to explain why Marvel was so quick to announce that a sequel is coming July 28, 2017.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Benicio del Toro, who plays The Collector.   He talked about how he got involved in the Marvel universe, his contract with the studio, how the look of the Collector came together, upcoming films Inherent Vice and Paradise Lost, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE MAZE RUNNER Debuts Nine New Posters; Some With a Refreshingly Classic Look

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20th Century Fox has released nine new posters for The Maze Runner (this is in addition to the surprisingly good trailer that hit earlier today), director Wes Ball’s adaptation of the James Dashner novel.  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 either.  As stakes continue to mount, though, they realize they must find a way out before it’s too late.

The character posters fall a little flat to me, but the conceptual ones out of this batch are really worth a look.  The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson. Hit the jump to check out the The Maze Runner posters.  The film opens in theaters on September 19th.

Comic-Con: Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson Talk KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE, Finally Getting to Do an Action Movie, Putting a Twist on Bond, and More

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Based on the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn, Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super secret spy organization that recruits a street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program, as a global threat is emerging.

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H (read our full recap of the panel right here), co-stars Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson spoke at a conference, in which they talked about what drew them to this project, how a movie like this reminds an actor of the time that they were lost in a fantasy world, as a kid, getting to kick some ass, and what their characters’ motivation is.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII Director Rian Johnson Teases Overall Direction of the Film

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Last month we got the utterly fantastic news that Rian Johnson will be writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, (in addition to crafting a treatment for Star Wars: Episode IX).  Johnson’s Looper is such an incredibly strong film that I have to imagine there will be a certain amount of quality gained from this if he’s allowed a reasonable amount of control over the project.  While details are still thin on Episode VIII (let’s face it, they’re still thin on Episode VII so I wouldn’t expect this to get better anytime soon) this is a sign that Lucasfilm and Disney are at least somewhat concerned with the stewardship of this franchise as a piece of entertainment (in addition to the obvious interest in it as a brand).

Now Johnson is beginning to tease out some (admittedly vague) thoughts on the project.  Hit the jump for some initial thoughts from Star Wars: Episode 8 director Rian Johnson.

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Images Unlocked on the Film’s Website

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So what’d you think of that Fifty Shades of Grey trailer?  Ready to go to work for Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) at Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.?  Now you can.  The film’s website, greyenterprisesholdings.com, is operational and offers some information on Christian’s company as well as tasks that need completing if you enroll in his internship program.  If you do things like create a Grey Enterprises ID and share the trailer, you get special rewards including badges and stills from the film.

Don’t feel like showing Fifty Shades some love via social media?  We’ve got those new Fifty Shades of Grey images for you after the jump.  The film also stars Dakota Johnson, Marcia Gay HardenJennifer Ehle, Max MartiniLuke GrimesRita OraEloise MumfordDylan NealVictor Rasuk, and Callum Keith Rennie, and opens in theaters on Valentines Day 2015.

Comic-Con: Damon Wayans Jr. Talks LET’S BE COPS, Improvising, Scary Ride-Along Research, NEW GIRL, and More

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The action comedy Let’s Be Cops is the ultimate buddy cop movies, except for the fact that they’re not actually cops.  When two struggling pals (Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr.) dress as police officers for a costume party, they get tangled up in real-life crime and become neighborhood sensations.

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, actor Damon Wayans Jr. spoke to press at a conference, in which he talked about how much fun the film was to make, that probably 70% of the movie is improvised, how the fact that everything they’re doing is actually illegal sets it apart from other buddy comedies, working with Jake Johnson on this vs. New Girl, going on a scary ride-along for research, how every scene went off the rails but still made it into the film, the great message of the film, and how unlikely it is that there will be any more Happy Endings.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Comic-Con: M. Night Shyamalan Talks WAYWARD PINES, the Difficulty of Learning the TV Process, Keeping the Show Grounded, and More

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Based on the best-selling novel Pines by Blake Crouch and brought to life by filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines is the intense new mind-bending, 10-episode event thriller from Fox.  When Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) drives to the town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, to search for two missing federal agents, mysteries within the town pile up and Burke quickly begins to wonder whether he’ll ever make it out again.  The show also stars Terrence Howard, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Toby Jones, Juliette Lewis, Reed Diamond, Shannyn Sossamon, Tim Griffin and Charlie Tahan.

While at Comic-Con to premiere the series, executive producer/pilot director M. Night Shyamalan spoke to press at a roundtable interview about what attracted him to this script, why TV is a better medium for this story, getting their first choice actor for each role, working with such a talented cast, how hard he found the TV experience, and developing a show and character bible that shifted completely, as they went.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

TIFF Midnight Madness Images: First Looks at [REC] 4, CUB, BIG GAME, TOKYO TRIBE, and More

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Earlier today, the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival unveiled lineups for a few of its other programs, including the Midnight Madness category, which celebrates the “wild, wacky, and weird” in film.  This year’s lineup is rather eclectic, and we’ve got debut images from some of the movies to give audiences a taste of what to expect.  They include Big Game, in which a 13-year-old boy must save the president of the United States (played by Samuel L. Jackson), Cub, about a Cub Scout pack that encounters a feral boy in the wild, Electric Boogaloo, which recounts the story of Cannon Films, director Sino Sino’s Tokyo Tribe, and more.

Check out images from the Midnight Madness films after the jump.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4th – 14th.

Comic-Con: Julie Plec Talks THE ORIGINALS, What’s Coming in Season 2, New Characters, the Possiblity of a Caroline Crossover, and More

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Spin-offs are a tough gig, but with The Originals the CW has an undeniable success on their hands. Building on the mythology established in The Vampire Diaries, creator Julie Plec followed original vampires Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Rebekah (Claire Holt) to New Orleans where they forged new alliances, battled old foes, and of course, had it out with each other on the regular.

In anticipation of the second season, the cast and crew were on hand at Comic-Con 2014, but before their panel I sat down for a roundtable interview with executive producer/showrunner Julie Plec. She talked about some new characters heating things up in season two, if we can ever expect to see Caroline, what is going to be the biggest threat to the original family, Klaus’s biological father, and more. Check out what she had to say about The Originals season 2 after the jump.

Morten Tyldum Set to Direct the Book-to-Film Adaptation of CHAIN OF EVENTS

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Morten Tyldum’s Headhunters follow-up, The Imitation Game, won’t make its big debut until the Toronto International Film Festival in September, but the film is picking up Oscar buzz, so it should come as no surprise that Tyldum has already locked another project, the big screen adaptation of Fredrik T. Olsson’s Chain of Events.  The book doesn’t even arrive until November 4, 2014, but Warner Bros. snatched up the rights last August and is already making moves to get the movie version going.

The book is being described as “World War Z meets The Da Vinci Code,” and covers what happens when a former cryptologist is kidnapped and assigned to solve a coded message while his ex-wife tries to track him down.  Hit the jump for more.

THE LONGEST WEEK Trailer Has Jason Bateman and Billy Crudup Fighting for Olivia Wilde’s Affections

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Gravity Ventures has released The Longest Week trailer online.  The movie stars Jason Bateman as an affluent 40-year-old whose allowance is cut off by his parents, and is forced to move in with his friend (Billy Crudup).  However, their friendship becomes strained as they compete to win the heart of a beautiful woman (Olivia Wilde).  This comedy looks so light that it might actually float away, and although I really like the cast (which also includes Jenny Slate), I’m surprised they’re in something that seems so forgettable.

Hit the jump to watch The Longest Week trailer.  The film opens in theaters and will be available on VOD on September 5th.

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