Dwayne Johnson Talks HERCULES, Using Yak Hair, Working with Brett Ratner, Almost Getting Russell Crowe on Board, and More

by     Posted 147 days ago

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Last week at CinemaCon, I was able to participate in a great roundtable interview with Dwayne Johnson for his upcoming film Hercules.  Not to be confused with the Hercules movie that came out earlier this year, Brett Ratner’s take on the Greek legend is billed as “a revisionist take on the classic myth set in a grounded world where the supernatural does not exist.”  The story takes place after Hercules’ famous 12 labors, and has him “traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he’s hired to train an army for an epic battle.”  As you can see in the trailer, Johnson looks like he’s having a lot of fun in the role.  The film also stars John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph FiennesPeter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, Robert Maillet, and Irina ShaykHercules opens in 3D on July 25th.

During the extended interview Johnson talked about how the project came together, the tone (which he compares to Gladiator and 300), his look in the film and why he wanted it to stay under wraps during production, why he wanted Ratner to direct, how it’ll be PG-13 but they “pushed the limit,” why they filmed in Budapest, and so much more.  In addition, Johnson revealed they almost got Russell Crowe in the film but “we just couldn’t make the schedules align.”  Hit the jump for the interview.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. Talk Hard-R Comedy LET’S BE COPS, Nudity, Improvising, Joe Swanberg’s DIGGING FOR FIRE, and More

by     Posted 152 days ago

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I’ll admit it: director Luke Greenfield’s Let’s Be Cops just wasn’t on my radar.  While I’m a fan of Greenfield’s The Girl Next Door, I wasn’t sure what to expect with his new comedy starring  Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson.  However, after watching the great-looking red band trailer at CinemaCon, I think we might have an early contender for box office surprise of the summer.  If you haven’t heard of the film, Let’s Be Cops stars Johnson and Wayans Jr. as two friends who impersonate police officers using rented uniforms and a car purchased on eBay, but in the midst of all their fun they run into trouble with a dangerous Russian mobster.  The film also stars Nina DobrevRob RiggleJames D’Arcy, and Keegan-Michael Key and it opens August 13th.

Shortly after presenting the trailer at CinemaCon, I landed an exclusive video interview with Johnson and Wayans Jr.  They talked about how the project came together, how much was improvised, the test screenings, how it’s a hard R-rated comedy with nudity (they say it’s like the 80s movies where it’s a big comedy, then it turns and the action happens), deleted scenes, working with Greenfield, the promotional tour for the film, and more.  In addition, Wayans Jr. talked about his upcoming standup tour and Johnson discussed about his small role in Jurassic World and how he’s about to start filming director Joe Swanberg’s next film Digging for Fire, which starts filming soon and will also star Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Brie Larson.  Hit the jump to watch.

TOP 5: First Teaser Trailer for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, NOAH, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, SABOTAGE, CinemaCon Coverage

by     Posted 156 days ago

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I’ve decided to use this weekend’s release of Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah as an opportunity to reflect on the director’s most soul crushing work to date: his adaptation of the Hubert Selby Jr. novel of the same name, Requiem for a Dream. While I’d list Black Swan as my favorite Aronofsky film, Requiem stands alone as a devastating look at the nature of addiction that, by its end credits, will assure you that nothing decent will ever happen to you again. The film netted the great Ellen Burstyn her sixth Academy Award nod while Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans provided equally powerful performances as heroin addicts whose trajectories only bend downwards. While its story and characters offer little to be optimistic about, Requiem all but cemented Aronofsky’s place among the most skilled and uncompromising filmmakers of his generation. If you haven’t already, check out the film on Amazon Instant Video where it’s available to stream. Just be sure you’re not already in an emotionally fragile state or else you’re in for a long night.

Aronofsky reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first teaser trailer for director Jonathan Liebesman‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, interviews for and Matt’s review of Noah, the new trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sabotage interviews and Matt’s review, and Steve’s coverage of CinemaCon from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Andy Serkis Talks Directing THE JUNGLE BOOK and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES; Reveals First 20 Minutes Is Just the Apes

by     Posted 157 days ago

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A little while before picking up his CinemaCon Vanguard Award, I landed an exclusive video interview with Andy Serkis.  During the interview, Serkis talked about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and directing The Jungle Book for Warner Bros.  For fans of the Apes franchise, Serkis says the sequel is completely different than the first movie and reveals that the first 20 minutes of the movie focuses on just the apes.  In addition, he’s seen a rough cut and think it’s a very powerful film about identity and tribalism, and 90% of the film is shot on location because of advancement in motion-capture technology.   He also revealed that seeds are planted for a third movie, which already has Matt Reeves set to return as director.

Regarding his directorial debut, The Jungle Book, Serkis praised the dark script and how developing Animal Farm gave him the tools to create the motion-capture animals in The Jungle Book.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Kevin Costner Talks Mike Binder’s BLACK AND WHITE, His Ambitious Plan to Make a Western Trilogy, THE EXPLORERS, MAN OF STEEL, and More

by     Posted 157 days ago

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A few minutes before picking up his Cinema Icon Award last night at CinemaCon, I landed an exclusive video interview with Kevin Costner backstage.  Since I’m going to be talking with him this weekend for Draft Day (which once again shows he’s the king of sports movies), I decided to use my limited time to talk about when he might direct again, future projects, and his awesome work in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel.

Like he told me on the set of Jack Ryan (which was one of the best on-set interviews I’ve ever done), Costner has been developing a number of possible projects, but what he wants to direct doesn’t necessarily line up with what the studio wants him to direct.  He talked about financing Mike Binder’s Black and White, how he has an idea to make a Western trilogy all at once then release them on Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Independence Day in a 12-month span, wanting to adapt the novel The Explorers (the first of five books) for television, and Man of Steel.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Check Out TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Trailer Images and Synopsis Before Trailer Hits Thursday

by     Posted 159 days ago

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We got our first look at Megan Fox and Will Arnett in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles earlier in the week.  Tonight we add two trailer screengrabs.  One offers a better glimpse at Fox as April O’Neil, snapping photos in the subway—the other features Raphael!  The snow obscures a clear look at the face as an inverted Raphael crashes into a jeep.  All shall be revealed tomorrow when the trailer drops.  (Watch Steve’s video blog from CinemaCon after seeing the Turtles trailer here.)

Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) directed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot for an August 8 release.  Alan RitchsonPete PloszekJeremy Howard, and Noel Fisher play the mo-cap turtles.  William Fichtner and Danny Woodburn co-star in the Michael Bay production.  Check out the images along with the CinemaCon synopsis after the jump.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Theater Cup Minifigs Revealed

by     Posted 159 days ago

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Steve is currently at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, which is basically Comic-Con for theater owners.  The convention is an opportunity for studios to preview this year’s big movie offerings for theater owners, and it also acts as a showcase for many products that will appear in theaters across the world throughout 2014 and beyond.  While attending the convention, Steve was able to grab images of some minifigure soda cup tops for Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which will presumably be available in theaters ahead of the August releases of both films.  For fans itching to see more of the characters from Guardians and TMNT, these minifigs offer a new look at the Marvel superheroes and the Turtles.

Hit the jump to take a look at the images, and click here to check out custom 3D glasses for some of this year’s big tentpole films.  Guardians of the Galaxy opens in theaters August 1st, while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens on August 8th.

Custom 3D Glasses for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, MINIONS, TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS 2

by     Posted 159 days ago

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While we mostly cover CinemaCon for the footage from the movie studios, there is plenty more going on at the convention than just preview footage.  Near the main theater where the studios present their upcoming movies to theater owners, tons of other industry folks are showing off their latest offerings for theater concession stands.  While walking around that area of the convention, I found what’s sure to be popular with kids in the very near future: custom 3D glasses for Transformers: Age of ExtinctionTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesMinions and Spongebob Squarepants 2.

As you can see in the pictures after the jump, each pair of glasses is definitely influenced by the movie and I’m sure kids are going to love them.  And maybe even a few adults, too.  Let me know what you think about the glasses in the comments and which ones you’d buy.  For more CinemaCon coverage, click here to check out minifigs for TMNT and Guardians of the Galaxy.

CinemaCon Video Blog: TRANSFORMERS 4,TMNT, LUCY, FAST & FURIOUS 7, UNBROKEN, FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, MINIONS, JURASSIC WORLD, and More

by     Posted 160 days ago

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With CinemaCon in full swing in Las Vegas, over the past 24 hours I’ve managed to see the first footage from a lot of upcoming movies from Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios.  Yesterday, Paramount unveiled the first teaser trailers for Hercules and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a lot of footage from Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction.  Today, Universal showed attendees footage from Luc Besson’s Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken (which looks like it’s going to be an awards contender), Fifty Shades of Grey, Fast & Furious 7, Minions, Dumb and Dumber To, a CGI-only trailer with voice over for Jurassic World, and a lot more.  Like previous years, Universal’s presentation really impressed me with the wide variety of great looking movies.  Hit the jump for more.

Will Arnett Talks TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and Whether Batman Could Be the Star of THE LEGO MOVIE Sequel

by     Posted 160 days ago

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Shortly before introducing the world premiere of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaser trailer at CinemaCon yesterday in Las Vegas, I managed to speak with Will Arnett on the red carpet for a few minutes.  In the film, Arnett plays Vernon Fenwick, who works alongside Megan Fox (April O’Neil).  During the brief interview, Arnett talked about how he got involved in the film, what it was like working for director Jonathan Liebesman, the first image released from the movie, and if there is any chance Batman could be the lead in The LEGO Movie sequel (he did the voice).  Hit the jump to watch.

Mark Wahlberg Talks TRANSFORMERS 4, Rupert Wyatt’s THE GAMBLER, Peter Berg’s AMERICAN DESPERADO, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 161 days ago

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Just a short time ago in Las Vegas, I landed a great video interview with Mark Wahlberg on the red carpet before Paramount’s presentation at CinemaCon.  During the interview Wahlberg talked about making Transformers: Age of Extinction, the action sequences, working for director Michael Bay on a big budget summer movie versus a smaller film like Pain & GainRupert Wyatt’s The Gambler, Peter Berg’s American DesperadoWilliam Monahan’s Mojave, and the New England Patriots (we’re both fans of the team).

The big news is that Wahlberg revealed American Desperados will be shooting this September and he has a small role in Monahan’s Mojave (which hadn’t been revealed until tonight).  For those unfamiliar with the story for American Desperado, it’s based on a series of interviews between Generation Kill author/journalist Evan Wright and super-criminal Jon Roberts, who was the focus of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys.  Roberts’ life story can be filed under “stranger than fiction,” as he recounts being born into Mafia royalty, running guns for the CIA, smuggling cocaine for the Medellin cartel, and brushing elbows with the likes of Richard Pryor and Jimi Hendrix.  Hit the jump for the interview.

CinemaCon: Posters for SPIDER-MAN 2, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, TF4, THE BOXTROLLS, EXPENDABLES 3, and Many More

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Continuing our coverage from CinemaCon 2014 (Comic-Con for theater owners), I snapped a ton of pictures of the many posters and theater standees on display today.  Included in this article are The Expendables 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Boxtrolls, Transformers 4, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Earth to Echo, Edge of Tomorrow, From the Rough, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Deliver Us From Evil, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Purge: Anarchy, Neighbors, and many more.  Hit the jump to check them out and look for a lot more updates from CinemaCon all week.

And click here if you missed the first posters for director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer, Brett Ratner‘s Hercules, Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold.

First Posters for THE EQUALIZER, HERCULES, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, DRACULA UNTOLD, and UNBROKEN

by     Posted 162 days ago

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With CinemaCon starting tomorrow in Las Vegas, I arrived earlier today to take pictures of the new posters on display.  For those unaware, CinemaCon is a convention put on for theater owners in order to get a look at what the studios have to offer for the rest of the year, and where vendors can show new products for theaters to buy.  It’s basically Comic-Con for theater owners.  Besides showing off never before seen footage, the studios often bring the cast and the filmmakers.  Over the course of a few days, Hollywood comes to Las Vegas.  So over the next few days expect tons of updates.  I’ll have new posters, thoughts on the new movie footage, and exclusives interviews.  It should be a fun week.

While walking around, I located the first posters for director Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, Brett Ratner‘s Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson, Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gary Shore’s Dracula Untold, and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken.  While the posters are just the logos of the movies, I figured you’d like to see them.  Hit the jump to check them out.

New CinemaCon Trailer for THE WOLVERINE Offers Glimpse at Silver Samurai

by     Posted 1 year, 123 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released a new trailer for The Wolverine.  This is the footage that was shown a few weeks ago at CinemaCon, a convention for theater owners, and it’s understandably heavy on the action.  Whlie the previous trailers have played up director James Mangold’s Western approach to the story, this one is very much focused on staging The Wolverine as a big summer movie with loads of action and a badass turn from Hugh Jackman.  There are bits and pieces of new footage folded in, with a brief look at Wolverine fighting Silver Samurai and Svetlana Khodchenkova’s Viper seemingly ripping her face off.

Hit the jump to watch the CinemaCon trailer.  The film also stars Will Yun Lee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Brian Tee, Rila Fukushima, Tao Okamoto and Svetlana Khodchenkova.  The Wolverine opens on July 26th.

Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig Talk THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, Filming in Iceland, Balancing Fantasy and Reality, Comparisons to the Original, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 133 days ago

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A few days ago at CinemaCon, Ben Stiller premiered the first footage from his upcoming movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.   In the film, Stiller stars as the eponymous LIFE Magazine proofreader who, incapable of standing up for himself in the real world, retreats to a fantasy where he becomes his poised, confident opposite.  On his quests, he seeks to find a missing image taken by a photographer played by Sean Penn.  The movie stars Kristen Wiig as his love interest, and Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt, and Kathryn Hahn.  While Stiller is known for his great work behind the camera on Tropic Thunder and Zoolander, Walter Mitty is definitely his most adult work to date and the footage I viewed show heart, humor and restraint.  Look for this to be an Awards contender at the end of the year.

Shortly after premiering the footage, I participated in a small press conference with Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig.  They talked about balancing fantasy and reality, Steve Conrad‘s script, comparisons to the original, the tone, filming in Iceland, David Bowie (the song Major Tom plays a role in the film), how the script changed when actors signed on, and more.  Hit the jump to either listen to or read what they had to say.

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