Comic-Con: Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom Talk THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

by     Posted 34 minutes ago

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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the third in a trilogy of films that bring the masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, to life.  It is an epic conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves, who have reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, but have unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.  And there are even greater dangers ahead, as darkness converges on their escalating conflict, and the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must either unite or be destroyed while the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett and Orlando Bloom spoke to press at a conference, in which they talked about why the title of the third film changed, the progression of the tone, from the first film to this one, perfecting the voices of Smaug and Gollum, the creation of Tauriel, the experience of revisiting characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and how long it might be before any of the films get remade.  Peter Jackson also talked about why The Silmarillion will probably never get adapted for film, and how he feels about a new King Kong film.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Trailer and Poster: Peter Jackson’s Trilogy Concludes in Epic Fashion

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer for the final chapter in Peter Jackson‘s Hobbit trilogy.  This is the trailer they showed us at Comic-Con on Saturday, and it’s interesting to see how the prequel trilogy is trying to pull into The Lord of the Rings by using “The Steward of Gondor”, which was sung by Pippin (Billy Boyd) in The Return of the King.  The song still works here because it’s sad and somber, but the line that sticks with me from this trailer is when Thorin asks his company, “Will you follow me one last time?”  It’s a line that’s really directed towards the audience, but there’s a weariness to it that’s surprising.  It’s almost like saying, “Well, we’ve already come this far.  May as well finish it out.”

Check out the The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer and new poster after the jump, and click here to read our full Comic-Con panel recap.  The film stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando BloomThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in theaters on December 17th.

Joaquin Phoenix Reportedly in Talks to Play DOCTOR STRANGE

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Move over Benedict Cumberbatch and those persistent rumors.  Marvel and director Scott Derrickson might have found their Doctor Strange.  Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to star in the titular role for Marvel’s potential new franchise.

I think this is perfect casting because I think Phoenix is essentially always a great choice.  He’s one of the finest actors of our generation and can effortlessly disappear into pretty much any role.  Hit the jump for more on Joaquin Phoenix potentially playing Doctor Strange.

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Comic-Con Panel Recap: A Great DreamWorks Animated Film Might Be on the Way

by     Posted One week ago

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Following the panel for Home, DreamWorks Animation moved to Penguins of Madagascar.  In the upcoming spinoff, the scene-stealing penguins take the lead, and are joined by a wolf named Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) and his covert team of protective animals as they try to stop Dave (John Malkovich), a malevolent octopus.  Even though I’ve never been much for the Madagascar movies, the Penguins have always been wonderful, and I was interested to see if they could carry their own movie.  Judging by what they showed us today, they could have one of the funniest films of the year.

Hit the jump for my Penguins of Madagascar Comic-Con panel recap.

Benedict Cumberbatch Addresses DOCTOR STRANGE Rumors; Suggests He Had Conversations about the Role

by     Posted One week ago

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Having appeared in Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Hobbit films, one might think that Benedict Cumberbatch would be a Comic-Con veteran by now.  However, the actor just made his Comic-Con debut promoting the DreamWorks Animation film The Penguins of Madagascar, in which he plays a wolf.  No stranger to speculation, after he departed Hall H Cumberbatch took part in an interview with MTV News in which he actually addressed a major superhero rumor head-on: whether he will be leading Marvel’s Doctor Strange.  See his answer after the jump.

Watch THE IMITATION GAME Trailer Starring Benedict Cumberbatch; Drama Will Open the 58th London Film Festival

by     Posted 10 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first The Imitation Game trailer.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  Judging by this trailer, I’m sure there will be superficial Sherlock comparisons since Turing is brilliant but off-putting to those around him, but I think this looks like a solid World War II drama with some good performances.

Hit the jump to check out The Imitation Game trailer.  The film opens November 21st, and also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  Additionally, The Imitation Game will open the 58th BFI London Film Festival on October 8th. [Update: We've added the U.K. trailer after the jump.]

Martin Freeman Says a SHERLOCK Christmas Special May Air in 2015

by     Posted 31 days ago

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Earlier this year, actor Martin Freeman revealed that a special one-off episode of Sherlock might air between seasons.  This was exciting news, as the time-consuming schedule of putting together a full season of Sherlock is pretty difficult now that Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch are very in-demand actors, meaning season four is likely a few years away.  Now Freeman has offered a bit of clarity regarding the one-off, revealing that a Sherlock Christmas special is in the works, likely to be released in December 2015.  Hit the jump for more.

THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch Is a Wolf in Animated Spinoff

by     Posted 50 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has released the first The Penguins of Madagascar trailer for the upcoming spinoff of the animated Madagascar franchise.  Directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie), the film finds the scene-stealing penguins leading a film of their own as they’re joined by a wolf named Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who leads a covert team of protective animals.  Though the pic may seem like an easy way to extend the lucrative series, this trailer is actually quite funny.  The pic appears to be a throwback to the action films of the 80s and 90s, and the titular penguins are a great source of physical comedy.

Hit the jump tow watch the first Penguins of Madagascar trailer.  The film also features the voices of John Malkovich, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, and Peter StormareThe Penguins of Madagascar opens in theaters on November 26th.

TOP 5: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Josh Trank Lands STAR WARS Spinoff Film, EDGE OF TOMORROW, DOCTOR STRANGE, JUPITER ASCENDING Delayed

by     Posted 54 days ago

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The Fault in Our Stars will break you. Don’t think for a second that it won’t. If you come out of it saying otherwise then there are only two explanations: you’re lying or you’re a sociopath. Either way, I’m not sure we can be friends. Led by terrific lead turns by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (and solid supporting efforts by Laura Dern and Nat Wolff), director Josh Boone‘s adaptation of the John Green novel disguises a lesson in how much of a cold hard bitch the universe can be as a romantic teen drama. Every sweet moment that Hazel and Gus share (of which there are plenty) has an all-consuming gray cloud overhead. Even the catharsis that comes from pelting your ex’s car with eggs only lasts as long as the inevitability of your own mortality will allow. For all of its borderline grief-inducing moments, The Fault in Our Stars is actually a solid entry in the genre that handles its subject honestly and respectfully. It deserves praise for this even if it does depress the hell out of us along the way.

In addition to more on The Fault in Our Stars, this week’s Top 5 also includes Chronicle director Josh Trank landing a Star Wars spinoff film, Matt’s Edge of Tomorrow review, Scott Derrickson getting the Doctor Strange gig as well as casting rumors surrounding the pic, and Warner Bros. pushing Jupiter Ascending back from next month to February 2015. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

DOCTOR STRANGE Casting News: Marvel’s Short List Includes Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch

by     Posted 55 days ago

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Word has it that Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch are on Marvel’s short list of actors to play the lead in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange film.  Then again, it’s not really fair to label this as news since these two are on pretty much everyone’s short list from big-budget studio pictures down to your uncle’s buddy cop movie Kickstarter campaign.  Just a couple of days ago, we heard that Jared Leto was rumored to be circling the role as a more “controversial choice.”  Hardy and Cumberbatch would certainly be much less risky choices to play the arrogant surgeon who becomes the Sorcerer Supreme.  Hit the jump for more.

THE IMITATION GAME: New Images from the Alan Turing Biopic Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

by     Posted 56 days ago

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He’s not a superhero in the comicbook sense, but genius mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing saved many lives during World War II thanks to his deciphering of Nazi codes.  Today, new images debuted from director Morten Tyldum’s Turing bioppic, The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.  Also appearing in the new images is Cumberbatch’s co-star, Keira Knightley, who plays a woman from a very conservative background who not only forms a complicated relationship with Turing but is there for him until the end.  That end came not long after his own government convicted him on charges of “gross indecency” as a homosexual; he took his life two years later at the age of 41.

Also starring Mark Strong, Matthew GoodeRory KinnearCharles DanceAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard, the film opens November 21st.  Hit the jump to view the new The Imitation Game images.

Benedict Cumberbatch Replaces Guy Pearce in BLACK MASS; Adam Scott Joins Cast

by     Posted 71 days ago

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Production is currently underway on director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) Whitey Bulger film Black Mass with Johnny Depp in the lead role, but a couple of last-minute casting changes have been made.  Guy Pearce was originally set to play the mob boss’ brother, Billy Bulger, but the Boston Globe reports that Pearce had to drop out for unknown reasons and now Benedict Cumberbatch will fill the role.  The London-born Cumberbatch did a surprisingly solid job of nailing the Oklahoma accent for last year’s August: Osage County, so he makes a fine addition to Black Mass.  Additionally, THR adds that Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott has signed on to play an FBI agent in the crime drama, marking a change of pace for the comedic actor.

Cooper is coming off the commercially disappointing Out of the Furnace, but Black Mass is shaping up to be quite promising.  In addition to Depp, Cumberbatch, and Scott, the cast also includes Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple, and Jesse Plemons.  A release date has yet to be set, but a fall 2015 release (ie. an awards push) for Black Mass doesn’t seem out of the question.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 86 days ago

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The prospect of Peter Jackson directing an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit was an exciting one.  After all, this was the guy behind the brilliant Lord of the Rings trilogy, and now he had even more advanced technology at his fingertips to bring Tolkein’s world to life.  That excitement, however, was dampened by the release of the first film in Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as the result was a bloated, CG-filled disappointment that seemed to relish in meandering instead of advancing the plot.  The sequel, then, was released to significantly lowered expectations, and while Jackson’s second film is an improvement over An Unexpected Journey, it still carries many of the same faults.  Hit the jump for my The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Blu-ray review.

Martin Freeman Says a Special SHERLOCK One-Off Episode May Air Between Seasons

by     Posted 98 days ago

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BBC’s Sherlock is undoubtedly one of the best shows on television, but it also happens to feature two incredibly in-demand actors as its leads.  Though showrunners Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have confirmed that there will be a fourth season of the show, it may be some time before it comes to fruition.  Not only are Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman very busy, but each season of Sherlock takes roughly six months to shoot, which is a major time commitment for all involved (especially Moffat, who also acts as showrunner on Doctor Who).

While it may be a couple of years before we see Sherlock season four, Freeman recently revealed that they have discussed making a Sherlock special episode, acting as a one-off in order to appease fans during the wait between seasons.  Hit the jump for more.

Benedict Cumberbatch Rules Himself out of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and DOCTOR WHO

by     Posted 109 days ago

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According to Benedict Cumberbatch Star Wars and Doctor Who are two franchises he won’t be a part of in the near future.  For Star Wars: Episode VII, fronted by his Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, it wasn’t for lack of trying on Cumberbatch’s part.  It appears as though he would have liked a part in in the highly anticipated film, but, alas, he will not appear on the casting sheet.  Cumberbatch was rumored to have a role in the film quite a few months ago, but we’ve yet to hear any official word (ie, from the studio itself) one way or the other.  As for Doctor Who, it certainly sounds as if Cumberbatch has a zero level of interest in ever joining the franchise.  Honest truths or studio spin?  You make the call after the jump.

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