More New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Footage Coming During Next Week’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

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A trailer leak isn’t really a good thing, but it seems to have worked out well for Avengers: Age of Ultron and for those eager to see as much footage as possible, too!  Marvel just revealed that within the first 24 hours, that new teaser trailer scored 34.3 million global views, which decimates the previous record of 20 million views set by Iron Man 3.

Because the teaser trailer arrived prior to that planned Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, Marvel has decided to offer up even more brand new Age of Ultron material during the October 28th episode.  And the studio isn’t stopping there.  Marvel will air even more exclusive Age of Ultron footage during Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop! on November 4th as well.  Hit the jump for all the details.   Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Jesse Eisenberg in Talks to Join the SUICIDE SQUAD as Lex Luthor

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As production is looking to wind down on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. is currently reading its third DC Comics film of the new era: Suicide Squad.  The project is in some ways an odd follow-up to Batman v Superman in that it doesn’t really feature any of the characters that casual fans might recognize, with Warner Bros. instead saving Wonder Woman, Aquaman, etc. for after Suicide SquadDavid Ayer, the writer/director behind Fury and End of Watch, is set to direct and is currently working on the script, and casting has begun with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Tom Hardy all in talks to play members of the titular group of supervillains.

But now it looks like Warner Bros. is keen on adding some connective tissue to Suicide Squad that will make it feel more like a piece of the DC Movie Universe, and it’s a pretty big development: the studio is now in negotiations with Jesse Eisenberg to bring his Lex Luthor character into the Suicide Squad fold.  More after the jump.

Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and More Join James Franco’s ZEROVILLE

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Back in September, James Franco hit the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival rocking a shaved head with a tattoo of A Place in the Sun’s Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor on the back of it.  It wasn’t some oddball stunt like what Shia LaBeouf pulled at Berlin, but rather, while attending the festival to debut The Sound and the Fury and also to accept his Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award, he decided to get a little work done.  Franco took the opportunity to shoot some shots for his next directorial endeavor, a film called Zeroville.

But even though Franco started knocking off shots last month, his co-cast is first being announced now.  It’s being reported that Seth Rogen, Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Dave Franco, Craig Robinson, Joey King and Horatio Sanz will all join him in the film.  Hit the jump for more on Zeroville.

Executive Producer Daniel Cerone Talks CONSTANTINE, Having a Full Season Arc, Easter Eggs, and More

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From executive producer David S. Goyer and showrunner Daniel Cerone, Constantine is based on the wildly popular comic book series Hellblazer from DC Comics.  John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is a seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult, armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wicked wit, but his soul is already damned to hell.  Along with trying to find a loophole out of that, Constantine begrudgingly fights to save the soul of others.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, executive producer Daniel Cerone talked about wanting to create a scary show for network TV, having a full season story arc and a sense of what they’ll do for a second season, not having a final end game, the biggest challenges in dealing with a chain-smoking character with broadcast standards, when and why they decided they needed to write out the Liv character and instead write in Zed from the comics, whether Liv could ever return, Easter eggs, and his desire not to force this character into a formulaic mold.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

ZERO DARK THIRTY Cinematographer Greig Fraser Will Shoot Gareth Edwards’ STAR WARS Movie

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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While Lucasfilm and Disney have been incredibly tight-lipped with regards to director J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, the studios have unveiled essentially nothing about the other Star Wars films in the works.  We know that starting next year, there are plans to release a new Star Wars movie every year, and we also know that the first film after Episode VII will be a “standalone” Star Wars feature directed by Godzilla helmer Gareth Edwards.  After that we have Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII and then Josh Trank’s “standalone” feature, so the studios certainly have a pretty deep bench and no doubt have a master plan of sorts.

With Edwards on deck, he’s started to put together his crew in anticipation of starting production on his secretive Star Wars project in London next year, and the first major addition is a rather exciting one: cinematographer Greig Fraser.  More after the jump.

Exclusive: ABCS OF DEATH 2 Directors Bruno Samper and Kristina Buožytė’s Favorite Deaths; Plus Greatest Movie Deaths Supercut

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First we got to premiere a still from Bruno Samper and Kristina Buožytė’s ABCs of Death 2 segment, then we got to talk to Samper about creating the film and now we’re wrapping up our string of “K is for Knell” exclusives with Samper and Buožytė’s favorite big screen death scenes.

Hit the jump to find out what they picked and to catch a supercut with all of the ABCs of Death 2 directors’ picks in it.  ABCs of Death 2 is currently available on VOD and hits select theaters on October 31st.

Screenwriter Dan Gilroy Talks Tim Burton’s SUPERMAN LIVES; Says They Were Weeks Away from Filming Before Being Shutdown

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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Tim Burton‘s Superman Lives is one of the great “What Ifs” of film history.  While today the concept of Tim Burton directing a Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage seems insane, keep in mind that around the time the movie was planning to shoot in 1998, Burton hadn’t descended into self-parody and Cage was riding a wave of action film hits (The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off) following his 1995 Oscar for Best Actor.  Also, the superhero movie landscape was very different, and while a film like Batman Forever would be soundly rejected today, it was the 2nd-highest grossing film of 1995.

We’ve seen costume sculpts, screen tests, and concept art for the toys, and there’s even a documentary, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, on the way.  Now, with his excellent debut feature Nightcrawler opening October 31st, we got to speak with writer-director Dan Gilroy, who was the screenwriter on Superman Lives.  During the interview, Gilroy talked about the specifics of Burton’s vision, how it compares to Man of Steel, and how close they were to production.  Hit the jump for more.

FORCE MAJEURE Review

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[This is a re-post of my Force Majeure review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  The film opens in limited release this weekend.]

What would you do if a seemingly harmful avalanche were headed towards you and your family?  Would your instinct be to jump up and protect your loved ones, or would you simply ensure your own safety and run?  That’s the question that kicks off the moral dilemma in writer/director Ruben Östlund’s Swedish film Force Majeure, and the choice sets off a ripple through the family dynamic at the center of the film, snowballing over the course of the story until it envelops the entire family unit and even those on the periphery.  While this sounds like the premise of a dark, depressing character study, Östlund succeeds in exploring the issues of instinct and human nature as they relate to familial relationships with a heavy amount of humor, resulting in a moviegoing experience that is both highly entertaining and pointedly thought-provoking.

Exclusive LOW DOWN Clip Featuring Elle Fanning and Peter Dinklage

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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We have an exclusive Low Down clip to premiere.  Based on the memoir by Amy-Jo Albany, Low Down examines the complex relationship between jazz pianist Joe Albany (John Hawkes) and his daughter Amy-Jo (Elle Fanning): “Set against a sensuously textured 1970s Hollywood, the film beautifully evokes a colorful, seedy world of struggling musicians, artists, and vagabonds.”  Peter Dinklage plays one of those vagabonds, offering Amy-Jo a tour of his hole-in-the-wall in the clip.

Lena Headey, Flea, Caleb Landry Jones, and Glenn Close also star.  Low Down opens in New York October 24 and reaches Los Angeles October 31.  Watch the clip after the jump.

Margot Robbie in Talks for TALIBAN SHUFFLE, Lily James and Sam Claflin Circling FINEST, and Luke Evans & More Join Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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We’ve got a few casting announcements to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • The Wolf of Wall Street breakout Margot Robbie is looking to add another comedy to her resume, as she is in talks to join Tina Fey in The Taliban Shuffle—though this doesn’t take her contention for Suicide Squad.
  • Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Lily James (Downton Abbey) are circling director Lone Scherfig’s (An Education) adaptation Their Finest Hour and a Half.
  • Luke Evans is set to star in Kill List director Ben Wheatley’s shootout film Free Fire, which will also include Armie Hammer, Olivia Wilde, and Cillian Murphy.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Ending Features a 45-Minute Battle Sequence; Billy Boyd to Write and Perform End Credits Song

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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With a title like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, there are pretty high expectations for a rather epic-looking battle sequence.  Indeed, Peter Jackson has revealed that the film concludes with a 45-minute fight during the climax, as the various armies of Middle-earth all descend upon the Lonely Mountain now that the dwarven treasure of Erebor is no longer being guarded by that fearsome dragon Smaug.  Jackson is currently putting the finishing touches on the film during post-production in anticipation of its December 17th release, but he recently talked a bit about planning the final battle sequence with EW and also unveiled some rather massive-looking concept art.  Additionally, Warner Bros. has announced that Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd (aka Peregrin Took) will perform the closing credits song “The Last Goodbye”, which he co-wrote with the filmmakers.

Hit the jump for more on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies climactic action sequence as well as the end credits song, including Jackson’s thoughts on how those eagles would’ve made The Lord of the Rings much, much shorter.

Chad Stahelski and David Leitch Talk JOHN WICK, the Changing Color Palette of the Film, the Action Set Pieces, the Keanu Reeves-Led JOHN RAIN TV Series, and More

by     Posted 4 hours ago

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Now playing in theaters is John Wick.  As I’ve said again and again…I loved this movie.  In the film, Keanu Reeves stars as an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.  Filmmakers Chad Stahelski and David Leitch have crafted a fantastic action movie that’s absolutely worth your time and money.  While you might not know their names, you’ve definitely seen their awesome work in films like Speed RacerThe Bourne LegacyThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and tons of others.  On some of what I just mentioned they did the stunts, and on some they directed second unit (which means they directed a lot of the action).  In addition to the films I just mentioned, they run 87eleven, which is the premiere action design team in Hollywood.  When an actor needs to be trained for an action role, they get sent to 87eleven.  While this is their first feature film as directors, I’m beyond confident it won’t be the last.  Trust me.  See John Wick this weekend.

At the recent New York City press day I landed an extended video interview with Chad Stahelski and David Leitch.  They talked about how the finished film compares to what they envisioned, the changing color palette, deleted scenes, the great supporting cast, the different action set pieces, the status of their John Rain TV show with Keanu Reeves and how they want to up the level of what you can do with action on TV, what they did on the Wachowskis Jupiter Ascending, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Concept Art Reveals James Spader’s Ultimate Form

by     Posted 4 hours ago

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After the unexpected trailer release this week, we sort of got the idea of what Avengers: Age of Ultron would look like.  But what we didn’t get was a super clear image of Ultron’s final design in the film (most of the footage of him appears to center on his incomplete form).  But now some concept art has hit that rectifies that issue.  In the film, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) reunite to stop Ultron (James Spader) “from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.”

Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-JohnsonPaul BettanyDon CheadleAndy Serkis, and Samuel L. Jackson also star in the sequel directed by Joss Whedon.  Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.  Check out the concept art after the jump.  I’d consider this a light spoiler

Thursday TV Ratings: SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER Rise; PARENTHOOD Dips

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TV ratings for Thursday, October 23rd are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • ABC’s “TGIT” lineup was all up versus last week.  Grey’s Anatomy rose a tenth to a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 8.6 million viewers, Scandal also ticked up a tenth to a 3.0 rating and scored 10 million viewers (read Allison’s recap here), and How to Get Away with Murder rose two tenths to a 3.0 rating in the demo and garnered 9.87 million viewers.
  • Over on NBC, Bad Judge was down two tenths to a 1.0 rating and notched 4.33 million viewers, A to Z dipped two tenths to a 0.9 rating and scored 3.22 million viewers, and Parenthood was down a tenth from last week to a 1.2 rating and 4.09 million viewers.
  • Fox’s limited series Gracepoint continues to do quite poorly, but last night’s episode was at least steady with last week’s 0.8 rating and scored 3.49 million viewers.  Read Allison’s recap here.
  • The CW’s The Vampire Diaries dipped a tenth to a 0.8 rating and scored 1.65 million viewers, and Reign was up a tenth to a 0.5 rating and garnered 1.35 million viewers.

Classic Todd Solondz Movie WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE Gets Followed Up By WEINER DOG, Swaps Out Heather Matarazzo For Greta Gerwig

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Welcome to the Dollhouse was a funny, but emotionally brutalizing calling card for director Todd Solondz back in 1996 (it paved the way for the even more brutal Happiness).  So I’m sort of circumspect about the “whimsical” nature that his follow-up film Weiner Dog allegedly has.  The ensemble film is apparently tied together “thematically by a dachshund” but nothing pretty or soft really lasts that long in a Solondz film.

The story will revolve around several interconnected threads, one of which will center on Dawn Weiner, the relentlessly mocked protagonist that Heather Matarazzo played in Dollhouse.  This time out the role (for reasons related to art or commerce I’m not sure, maybe both) will be handled by Greta Gerwig.  Hit the jump for more on Weiner Dog.

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