Is Iron Man 3 the most divisive superhero film ever made? There are those that look at its third act reveal (the archly evil Mandarin exposed to be nothing more than a boorish struggling English actor) as a brilliant deconstruction of the superhero genre, whilst others will maintain it pisses on fifty years of Iron Man comic lore. The ‘Marvel One shot’ All Hail The King (which can be found as an extra on the Blu-ray of Thor: The Dark World) is very much a reaction to that angered subset of fandom. Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) is now a “star” in prison – with his very own doting entourage, lavish prison room and his own exclusive documentary interview. But not all is as perfect as it seems. Slattery’s interviewer (Scoot McNairy) doesn’t have the slightest interest in getting any sort of story/scoop out of his subject – no, he has a far more sinister agenda: to confront Slattery on ruining the good name of the real Mandarin. McNairy’s character though ultimately serves as sounding board for every comic fan that bemoaned Iron Man 3’s twist.
It’s a nifty bit of satire – and on the red carpet for the World Premiere of All Hail the King, I had the opportunity to talk with writer/director Drew Pearce and Ben Kingsley briefly about fan reaction and the satirical undercurrents of the short. Their answers couldn’t have been more different. For the interviews, hit the jump.
We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon. Briefly:
- Meryl Streep has signed on to a small but pivotal role as a historical figure in the feminist movement drama Suffragette starring Carey Mulligan.
- Sir Ben Kingsley has joined the cast of director Anton Corbjn’s drama Life, starring Dane DeHaan as James Dean.
- Paramount has set its sights on its two leads for the big-budget Monster Trucks movie in Jane Levy (Suburgatory) and Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class).
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.
Marvel has released a clip from their upcoming “One-Shot”, All Hail the King. Written and directed by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce, the short takes a look at how actor Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) is spending his time in prison. When the Mandarin twist was revealed, some fans were disappointed because the “Mandarin” side of Kingsley was so entertaining, and as you’ll see in this clip, some people still can’t get enough.
Hit the jump to check out the short, and click here for my interview with Pearce. All Hail the King will be available on the Blu-ray for Thor: The Dark World, which hits shelves on February 25th. Click here to pre-order.
As the old joke goes, the Super Bowl is three hours of commercials interrupted by football. For football fans, this year has a great match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, and there’s the possibility of them playing in the snow, which would be awesome. But you don’t get to dominate the ratings every year by only appealing to football fans. The ads are the comic interludes where everyone can join with an opinion, and I’m always surprised when they’re released online early. This year, a Super Bowl spot will cost a record $4.5 million, and companies are deciding to jump to gun in order draw attention before Sunday. Not that anyone’s complaining, and after the jump you’ll find three ads that will play during the Super Bowl. As always, celebrities sell, so one ad has Scarlett Johansson (although it will be edited for game night since there’s a dig at major advertisers Coke and Pepsi), another has Terry Crews driving around with the Muppets, and a third ad has Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong, and Ben Kingsley being villainous.
Hit the jump to check out the ads.
A few days ago, we brought you the first images of Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) reprising his role for the latest Marvel one-shot, All Hail the King. Today, the first clip from writer-director Drew Pearce’s short film has been made available. It will appear in its entirety on the upcoming Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray. While some long-time Marvel fans may not be happy with how Kingsley’s role turned out in Iron Man 3, the new short may actually offer some comfort.
Click here to pre-order Thor: The Dark World on Blu-ray, and hit the jump to watch the first clip from All Hail the King, which features spoilers for those of you who haven’t seen Iron Man 3 yet.
Available via Netflix Watch Instantly as of late December, last weekend I finally got the chance to check out writer/director Joe Swanberg‘s romantic comedy Drinking Buddies. I should disclaim that it’s near impossible for me to be objective when talking about Swanberg given that he’s a fellow Southern Illinois University alum and few things make me prouder than a Saluki film student enjoying success in the industry. That out of the way, I enjoyed the heck out of Drinking Buddies. Much has been made of the film’s stellar cast and I won’t try and dispute those claims at all. As someone who has never watched a minute of Fox’s New Girl, I loved Jake Johnson‘s turn in the pic and I bought he and Olivia Wilde‘s romantic chemistry hook, line, and sinker. As for Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston? Lets just say that I love each of them in almost everything and this is no exception. All in all, Buddies is a funny, sweet, realistic teetering on the verge of understated look at the universal concept of being just friends.
Instant stream recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit set visit coverage, the first look at the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King starring Ben Kingsley, a set visit recap for Muppets Most Wanted, some villain rumors surrounding Batman vs. Superman, and Adam’s latest installment of Oscar Beat that breaks down the guild nods and what they could mean for Oscar season. Like you might expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Last fall, we learned that Ben Kingsley was shooting a “secret Marvel project”, and last week we reported that the upcoming Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray would contain the latest Marvel One-Shot, “All Hail the King”. Unsurprisingly, that’s the “secret Marvel project”, and now we have the first images and details regarding Kingsley reprising his role as delightful dupe Trevor Slattery. The short will be an epilogue to Iron Man 3 and see Trevor receiving the acclaim and adulation he’s always wanted albeit from within prison. However, not everyone is a fan, and writer-director Drew Pearce (who co-wrote Iron Man 3) says this short will actually provide some comfort to the comic book fans who were upset that Kingsley wasn’t actually the Mandarin.
Hit the jump for more including four images from the short. Click here to pre-order Thor: The Dark World, which will be released on February 25th.
If Agent Carter is any indication, Marvel is figuring out how best to use the “Marvel One-Shots” included on Blu-ray releases for the recent Marvel movies. Steve recently asked Marvel President of Production Kevin Feige if they had already filmed the next One-Shot. Feige came up with a generic response: “The One-Shots come about when we have a fun idea… when we have a fun idea, we put it together and we do it.” Steve pressed for details, and Feige responded, “Well, we’re not talking about it yet.”
Feige would keep just about any “fun idea” under wraps, as per the Marvel code. But this one may be especially juicy. Ben Kingsley‘s revelation that he recently filmed a “secret Marvel project” invited speculation that the next One-Shot is about Kingsley’s character in Iron Man 3. A report surfaced tonight that claims to know the plot of the rumored short. Details after the jump.
[If you haven't seen Iron Man 3 yet, stop reading this article] One of the best film twists in recent years was how Shane Black handled the reveal of the Iron Man’s arch-nemesis, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). It wasn’t just a hilarious surprise, but also a clear sign that Marvel was going to do what was best for their movie rather than try to work around fidelity to the comics (also, there wasn’t much complaining when Ben Kingsley was cast even though he’s not Chinese). Black and Marvel decided to have their Mandarin turn out to be an adorably clueless actor/drug-addict named Trevor Slattery. The character was originally supposed to die at the end of Iron Man 3, but thankfully they kept him around, and now it appears we’ll be seeing him again.
Hit the jump for more.
The Odeon Leicester Square in London was surrounded by eager science fiction fans when I approached the cinema for the Ender’s Game Q&A fan event, being held for the MCM London Comic-Con. The book (by controversial author Orson Scott Card) has its fans and the crowd was there to see the film’s cast and crew. Stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Sir Ben Kingsley were in attendance, joined by the film’s director, Gavin Hood and producers Gigi Pritzker and Roberto Orci. However, the crowd really turned-out for the one and only Harrison Ford. The iconic Star Wars actor was his usual dry self as he took to the stage to discuss the film with his colleagues. There was a buzz in the air and clear excitement as he took to the stage to discuss the film in the lead-up to its release.
Hit the jump for my recap of the Ender’s Game Q&A.
We’ve got some casting news to attend to this morning. Briefly:
- Mark Strong will be reteaming with his Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy co-star Benedict Cumberbatch for the true story The Imitation Game.
- Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson are set to star in the drama Learning to Drive.
- Delroy Lindo has joined the cast of the contemporary Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline.
Hit the jump for more on each casting.
An Alien reunion is in the works. Ripley herself Sigourney Weaver has been tapped to join the cast of director Ridley Scott’s Moses epic Exodus, along with John Turturro (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. Scott is putting together an impressive cast for the pic, with Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton already set to play Moses and Ramses, respectively. Variety reports that Weaver will play Tuya, the mother of Ramses, while Turturro has been tapped to play Ramses’ father Seti and Paul is in talks to portray a Hebrew slave alongside Bale’s Moses. Additionally, Deadline reports that Ben Kingsley is in talks to join the cast as a Hebrew scholar.
Steven Zaillian (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) penned the script for Exodus, and Scott is looking to start production in September in England, Spain, and Morocco. This will mark the first time that Scott and Weaver have worked together in quite a while, though Exodus will see Weaver playing a considerably different role than that of her Alien heroine.
I have a tough time deciding which part of Ben Kingsley‘s Iron Man 3 performances I enjoy more: the Mandarin side or the Trevor side. Earlier this week, we got a deleted scene featuring the former, and now we have one with the latter. The scene shows the hapless Trevor going through a host of accents at Rhodey’s (Don Cheadle) request. It’s pretty funny, but there’s a huge missed opportunity to have Trevor to do an Indian accent.
Hit the jump to check out the deleted scene. Iron Man 3 will be release on DVD, Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray on September 24th. Click here to pre-order the DVD or Blu-ray on Amazon.
I almost feel like whenever we refer to Ben Kingsley as “The Mandarin”, quotes are now required to indicate the misleading name of the character. Some people will never forgive the movie for the bait-and-switch because they wanted to see the Mandarin from the comics, which they were probably never going to get in the movie Iron Man world Marvel had been established. There wasn’t going to be a guy with ten magic rings, and while I understand Iron Man 3 had a radical reinvention of the character for the screen, it was still highly entertaining. For those who can’t get enough of co-writer and director Shane Black‘s take on the character, a deleted scene from the upcoming Iron Man 3 Blu-ray has been released online, and it features Kingsley in his hammy Mandarin persona.
Hit the jump to check out the deleted scene. Iron Man 3 will be release on DVD, Blu-ray, and 3D Blu-ray on September 24th. [Update: We've added a just-released gag reel that will also be on the Blu-ray.]
Summit Entertainment has released the final trailer for director Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of Ender’s Game. The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion. As someone who hasn’t read the book, I was pretty underwhelmed by the previous trailers. However, this final look at the film does a nice job of selling the massive scope of Ender’s Game, and it finally gets across the stakes that Ender faces. The visual effects are mighty impressive and the ensemble cast is more than proven, so here’s hoping Hood delivers a worthwhile adaptation.
Hit the jump to watch the final trailer. The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford. Ender’s Game opens November 1st.