Vin Diesel Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, His Reaction to the Finished Film, Another RIDDICK Sequel, KOJAK, XXX 3, His HANNIBAL Trilogy, 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 Vin Diesel.  He talked about his reaction to watching Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time, taking his kids to the screening, the status of another Riddick sequel, upcoming projects like Kojak, his Hannibal trilogy, xXx 3, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries SHOW ME A HERO Starring Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener; Paul Haggis to Direct

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HBO is back in business with The Wire and Treme creator David Simon.  Though the insanely smart and wonderfully talented writer is currently developing a Martin Luther King Jr. miniseries America: In the King Years at the network, it appears that a miniseries of a different sort will materialize first.  HBO has now given the greenlight to Show Me a Hero, which is based on the non-fiction book by Lisa Belkin and tells the story of Nick Wasicsko, the youngest big-city mayor in the country in the 1960s who was forced by a federal court to build a number of low-income housing units in white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, New York.  The result of the effort was the eruption of tensions in the city and the destruction of his political future.  Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener are poised to lead the six-hour drama.

So we’ve got David Simon writing a racially charged miniseries with Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener starring.  Sounds fantastic right?  Well then we have the director: Paul Haggis.  More after the jump.

Jamie Foxx Playing Mike Tyson for the Writer of THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

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This could work.  This could really, really work.  Jamie Foxx is now attached to play Mike Tyson in an as-yet Untitled Mike Tyson Movie.  Equally good news?  Terence Winter is writing the project.  Even if you’re not familiar with Winter’s HBO work on The Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire, you’ve surely seen The Wolf of Wall Street by now.  Even if this movie follows the standard, tired bio-pic formula can you imagine the panaché they could pull this off with?  Winter wrote the hell out of Wolf of Wall Street.  It’s true that Tyson is in some ways even more reprehensible than Jordan Belfort, but that doesn’t mean there’s not an interesting story there.

There isn’t a director yet, but I imagine it won’t be too hard to find one with this combo.  Hopefully they don’t sanitize the less than savory aspects of Tyson’s life but, given the frankness of Tyson himself and his one-man show Undisputed Truth, I doubt they will.  I’m not a fan of Tyson (it’s hard to pull for a convicted rapist) so I’d much rather see an honest character examination than a glorification.  Hit the jump for more on the Untitled Mike Tyson Movie.

Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, and More Band Together to Keep Kodak Film Alive; Deal Being Struck with Studios

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Though the rise of digital photography only began a little over a decade ago, the switch to digital has been on an exponential rise in the past few years, which has seen traditional film violently sidelined.  One might think it’d be beneficial to all to have a choice between shooting on digital or on film, and it is, but the final say really comes down to a business decision on the studio’s part.  Shooting digitally is now far cheaper than shooting on film, not only because you’re not paying for film prints, but because shooting digitally actually makes the production move at a faster pace.  However, there are a few highly regarded filmmakers who have been lobbying hard to keep film alive, and it appears that their activism has led to a serious deal between studios and Kodak that will keep the film company (the last of its kind) from going out of business.

Hit the jump for more on this deal, which was championed by the likes of Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams.

ATARI: GAME OVER Trailer Goes Behind the Scenes of the E.T. Video Game Failure

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Writer (and with this project, director) Zak Penn is best known for films such as The Incredible Hulk and X2 (along with the upcoming Pacific Rim 2), but with Atari: Game Over he turns his attention to a smaller-scale story about the demise of one of the world’s worst video games.  The game in question?  Atari’s E.T. tie-in, which was rushed on a 5-week production schedule in order to be ready for stores by Christmas.  Those in charge? Atari’s founder Nolan Bushnell and the designer of the E.T. game, Howard Scott Warshaw.

Now we have a look at the trailer for Atari: Game Over and it seems really compelling.  It’s a classic rise and fall story, the kind of narrative that occurs millions of times over in every culture of the world that we are eternally doomed to repeat.  It also just looks like a really fun documentary that expands nicely on that “games buried in the desert” story we’ve been hearing for a while now.  Hit the jump for the Atari: Game Over trailer. The film hits Xbox this fall, hopefully some other platforms are announced as well.  Also, check out our Comic-Con panel recap.

DIVERGENT Deleted Scene Reveals Edward’s Eye Stabbing

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If you’ve read Divergent, you probably noticed that one particularly unforgettable scene never made it into the movie – the eye stabbing.  In the book, during Dauntless initiation, the #1 ranking transfer initiate, Edward (Ben Lamb), is stabbed in the eye in the middle of the night.  It’s a pretty brutal moment in the book, so it is reasonable that they opted to cut it from a PG-13-rated film, but they actually did shoot it and it’ll be on the Divergent DVD and Blu-ray special features menu.

You can’t get a copy until August 5th, but Summit opted to unveil the long lost stabbing scene a little early.  Hit the jump to check out the Divergent deleted scene and also to find out what Lamb himself had to say about shooting it during our set visitDivergent also stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Kate Winslet.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Reveal Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf

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A batch of new Into the Woods images from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical has landed online.  The Disney production stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters.  Today’s new images reveal quite a few of these, including Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf, and Chris Pine as Prince Charming.  It’s an absolutely stacked cast, and Marshall had everyone sing live on set, so it should be interesting to see the final result come together this Christmas.  With these images debuting today, I imagine a first trailer is right around the corner.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods images, and click here to watch the first trailer.  The film also stars Meryl Streep, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie MauzyInto the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

New INTERSTELLAR Trailer Opens Up the Film’s More Cosmic Elements

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Paramount Pictures has released a third Interstellar trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi drama.  The film stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  I am so incredibly looking forward to this film and love how this new trailer expands upon the second one from a few months ago.  You really get a sense of the film’s scope and cosmic elements.  I’m really hoping this film sticks the landing like Inception did for me, when Nolan is really inspired in his work (unlike TDKR), it’s really something to behold.

Hit the jump to watch the new Interstellar trailer.  The film also stars Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet, and Matt Damon.  Interstellar opens November 7th.

Read Tom Hiddleston’s Thank You Letter to Joss Whedon for THE AVENGERS

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When you hit a certain level of fame, land a key role in the Marvel universe and are busy booking parts in some of the most highly anticipated movies the industry’s got to offer, it’s easy to start looking at that person as a big name star and losing sight of the humble, passionate and very thankful human being they really are.  Tom Hiddleston’s always been outspoken about his love of the Marvel films and given 100% when it comes to sharing the excitement with fans, but in case you need a reminder, you can find it in Joss Whedon: The Biography.

The book includes a letter Hiddleston wrote to Joss Whedon after reading Whedon’s draft of The Avengers for the very first time.  It’s funny, thoughtful, genuine, and will undoubtedly make you love the guy even more than you probably already do.  Hit the jump to read the letter in full.

First ROCK THE KASBAH Image From The Film’s Set Shows Off All-Star cast

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It looks like we now have our first image from the set of director Barry Levinson’s new movie Rock the Kasbah.  In the film Bill Murray stars a music manager who goes on the USO tour to Afghanistan with his last remaining client.  Once there, “he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”

Rock the Kasbah also stars Kate Hudson, Bruce Willis, Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel and Scott CaanMitch Glazer (The Recruit) wrote the script.  I really like the idea of a $20 Million budget comedy with an original scenario and a cast like that.  It feels like the kind of mid-budget comedies Hollywood made up until 2008 or so.  It’s sort of a shame that the kind of material that used to be considered a mainstream “popcorn flick” would practically be considered limited-release/VOD film in this current climate.  I’m glad this film is getting better treatment (at least on the budget side of things).  Hit the jump for a better look at the Rock the Kasbah image.  Here’s hoping we hear more from Open Road on this one soon.

CON AIR Director Simon West Says He’d Like to Make CON AIR 2 a “CON AIR in Space” Sequel

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One of the more curious sequel possibilities floating around the past few years has been Con Air 2.  Director Simon West’s 1997 actioner was a modest success at the box office, grossing $224 million worldwide, and while it was a classic Jerry Bruckheimer actioner with many quotable Nicolas Cage lines and a nutty John Malkovich performance, it was somewhat forgotten as the bigger and more four-quadrant friendly blockbusters of the 2000s started changing the moviegoing landscape.  However, fans of Con Air (myself included) were intrigued to hear back in 2011 that West was keen on making a Con Air sequel, and while the film has obviously failed to materialize, West recently spoke a bit more about what he’d like to do with the follow-up, and the “hook” may surprise you.  More after the jump.

Comic-Con: SUPERNATURAL Cast and Showrunner Talk Season 10, a “Musical-ish” 200th Episode, Bringin Back Felicia Day, and More

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From a show that in its early years spent every season on the bubble for cancelation, Supernatural and its story pitting the power of family against the forces of Heaven and Hell—with a hefty dose of epic manpain—has ballooned in popularity to become one of The CW’s tentpole programs. The show is now approaching two landmarks: its 10th season and its 200th episode. At Comic-Con, we sat down with stars Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins, as well as showrunner Jeremy Carver, to discuss secrets of the new season, including Sam and Castiel’s reactions to Dean’s demonic transformation, returning characters, and the 200th “musical-ish” episode. 

Emile Hirsch Joins Craig Roberts’ Directorial Debut JUST JIM

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Though Submarine star Craig Roberts is just 23 years old, he’s already gearing up to begin production on his directorial debut.  Roberts will lead Just Jim, which revolves around “a teenage loser whose life is turned around by the appearance of an enigmatic, handsome neighbor.”  ScreenDaily reports that Emile Hirsch has now joined the cast, and one imagines he’d be a swell fit for the aforementioned neighbor.  Filming begins in Wales this week, and co-stars include Aneirin Hughes, Nia Roberts, Richard Harrington, Matthew Aubrey, and newcomers Ryan Owen and Charlotte Randall.  The pic will be released in the UK and Ireland sometime in 2015.

The Welsh Roberts—who was recently seen onscreen in Neighbors, The Double, 22 Jump Street—previously directed a music video for the band Los Campesinos, but Just Jim marks his first time helming a feature film.  He’s definitely a promising young talent in front of the camera, so I’m curious to see how he fares behind the scenes.

Tate Taylor Talks GET ON UP, Hosting Cast Dinners, Breaking the Fourth Wall, His Interest in Doing a Hulk Movie, JOYLAND and More

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You know what happens when your second feature film goes on to score over $216 million worldwide and snag three Academy Award nominations and a win?  You get a lot of scripts coming to your door.  However, the funny thing is, Tate Taylor didn’t get his follow-up to The Help by accepting an offer, but rather by going after a project himself.

On Friday, August 1st, Get On Up is coming out and we got the chance to sit down with Taylor to talk about making the move from The Help to a James Brown biopic, shooting an ambitious film on a tight schedule, his interest in doing a big budget sci-fi film, what happened to his Joyland adaptation and much more. Hit the jump to check it all out.

Comic-Con: Phoebe Tonkin Talks THE ORIGINALS Season 2, Hayley’s Mental State, Her Relationships with Elijah and Klaus, and More

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The titular family in The Originals is always caught between having each other’s back and going for each other’s throat, so it’s no easy trick to be the girl stuck in a love triangle with two Original brothers.  Yet somehow Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), the lady in question, managed to make it through the first season – kind of.  Before taking the stage for a Comic-Con panel I sat down with Tonkin for a roundtable interview.  She talked about Hayley’s mental state at the start of season two, how she’s dealing with the loss of Hope, her relationships with Elijah (Danielle Gilles) and Klaus (Joseph Morgan), her experience filming the emotional season one finale, and more.  Hit the jump to see what she had to say about The Originals season 2, and please be aware there are major season one spoilers.

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