by Jason Barr Posted: August 27th, 2011 at 7:44 am
If you’re just tuning in, a few months back we started the weekly “Top 5″ feature as a way of aggregating all of what we deem to be our best, most relevant coverage from the preceding week into one place. The hope is that you, the reader, will have already scoped all of this material out and shared it with your millions of friends (either real, virtual, or both). However, if for whatever reason some of it has fallen through the cracks, you can come here, check it out, and then share it with all of your friends (again, either real, virtual, or both). That in mind…
In this week’s installment, you’ll find all of our coverage from Steve’s Underworld: Awakening set visit and Disney’s D23 Expo, interviews for the Guillermo del Toro produced horror flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and the Paul Rudd comedy Our Idiot Brother, and a slightly improved, slightly less puppet-friendly version of Yoda in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Check out brief recaps and links to all of the above after the jump.
At last weekend D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I was able to speak with Willem Dafoe about director Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. He talked about who he plays (Tars Tarkas), what the movie is about, and the challenges of making the film. For more on John Carter, you can read my 20 things to know about the movie from my edit bay visit. In addition, Dafoe also talked a bit about Odd Thomas, is he going to work with Guillermo del Toro on Pacific Rim, The Hunter (which premieres at TIFF) and Abel Ferrara’s The Last Day on Earth. Hit the jump to watch. You can also watch all my video interviews from D23 here.
A few days ago, I got to talk with Lynn Collins about both John Carter and Ten Year at Disney’s D23 convention in Anaheim. When I spoke with director Andrew Stanton a few months ago about John Carter, he revealed they did some reshoots and the main thing they worked on was Lynn Collins (Dejah Thoris) character. While he wasn’t very specific about what they reshot, Collins was more forthcoming, as she told me they had to “take out some of the punches. There were a lot of punches.” She went on to explain that they were trying to see how masculine could they make Dejah when they first shot it, and they had to figure out how they could they make her a warrior without it coming off as too much.
During the rest of the interview, she talked about her reaction to seeing the teaser trailer, how she got the role, Ten Year, and more. Hit the jump to watch, and click here for all our video interviews from D23.
One of the films that seemed to impress everyone at this weekend’s D23 (Disney’s Comic-Con) was Wreck-it Ralph. The upcoming animated Disney film is about a 8-bit arcade villain named Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) who grows sick of constantly being viewed as the bad guy. Desperate to prove his worth as a hero, Ralph decides to leave his 8-bit world and journey into other arcade games. I’ve heard from everyone that the footage looked great and I think the concept sounds cool. Here’s Tommy’s recap of the panel.
After the presentation, I got to speak with director Rich Moore, Sarah Silverman and Jack McBrayer (they voice two of the characters). Since the movie takes place in the video game world and since Disney also owns Tron, I asked Moore if Tron would make an appearance. He told me:
“We might see a walk on by Mr. Tron himself…the great Bruce Boxleitner. We’re talking with him.”
Hit the jump for more.
At this weekend’s D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to speak with director Dan Scanlon about Pixar’s Monsters University. For those that don’t know, Monsters U is a prequel to Monsters Inc. and it’s the story of how Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) and James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (John Goodman) meet. As you can probably tell by the title, it was at college when they were 18.
During the interview, Scanlon talked about the challenge of making a prequel to such a successful film, how Pixar will rip apart their storyboards until they get it right, the voice cast, what’s the big challenge the animators have to overcome on Monsters U, what did they show the fans at D23, has he started thinking about any Easter Eggs for the film, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
At this weekend’s D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to speak with Kevin McKidd and Kelly Macdonald about Pixar’s Brave. In the upcoming animated film arriving June 22nd, 2012, Macdonald plays an unruly daughter and an accomplished archer who defies a sacred custom of the land and inadvertently brings turmoil to the kingdom. McKidd plays one of the kingdom’s three lords: the enormous Lord MacGuffin.
During the interview, they talked about being at D23, who they play in Brave and what it’s about, how Brave is the first Pixar movie with a female protagonist and what that means, how the movie has changed during the recording process, and I also got in a question about the second season of Boardwalk Empire. Hit the jump to watch.
At this weekend’s D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to speak with producer Katherine Sarafian and director Mark Andrews about Pixar’s next movie, Brave. If you’re not aware, Brave is Pixar’s first film with a female protagonist. During the interview, I asked them why has it taken so long for that to happen, what is the film about, and are they already thinking about the Easter Eggs. They promise there will be a few of them, but you’ll have to look very close. Hit the jump to watch.
In February, we reported that Disney and Pixar would be attaching a new Toy Story short to The Muppets. At this weekend’s D23 Expo, the film’s director, Angus MacLane (“BURN-E”), announced that the short will be titled “Small Fry” and like “Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation”, the whole gang will be back. According to The Pixar Times, “attendees were treated to the short but substantial clip, which gave away a few plot points. Looks like Buzz Lightyear is left behind at a fast-food restaurant and must find his way back home. In doing so he encounters some less popular, happy meal-like toys. One of those toys, a Mermaid of sorts, will be voiced by Glee‘s Jane Lynch.”
Since I skipped Cars 2, I haven’t seen “Hawaiian Vacation”, but it’s tough to go wrong with the Toy Story crew, this premise sounds fun, and “BURN-E” is a quality short. You can check out “Toy Story: Small Fry” when The Muppets opens on November 23rd.
by Tommy Cook Posted: August 21st, 2011 at 9:07 am
At the D23 Expo, Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar previewed their upcoming slate of animated films, showing exclusive footage with select cast and crew present. Among the highlights of the jam-packed panel: Pixar’s Brave and Monsters University, Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, and Disney’s November 2012 release Wreck-It Ralph (about an arcade video game bad guy) all screened exclusive new footage. For the bullet point highlights from the animated portion of the panel, hit the jump. And for coverage on the live action portion of the panel, featuring The Muppets, John Carter, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and The Avengers, click here.
by Tommy Cook Posted: August 20th, 2011 at 10:32 pm
Disney’s D23 Expo (the D standing in for Disney; 23 being a reference to the founding year of the studio – 1923) is kind of sorta like Comic Con, except more family friendly, cleaner, smaller, not as crowded, better smelling. And blue. I swear –it seemed like everything at the Expo was blue. The seats in the auditorium, the rug on the show room floors, the gelled up lights, the screen – all blue. Hell – even the press packet folder was stripped in the color. At times, I felt like I was watching a latter day Derek Jarman flick.
The big highly anticipated panel of D23 – Walt Disney’s presentation (i.e. shilling) of their upcoming slate of films did not disappoint. So jam-packed was the three hour presentation, I’m forced to split my coverage into two parts. The first herein will focus on Disney’s upcoming live action films, whereas the second will cover their forthcoming animated films. Exclusive footage and clips were shown from the likes of The Muppets, John Carter (formerly of Mars), the just-started-shooting Oz: The Great and Powerful and, of course, The Avengers. For descriptions and impressions of the footage shown, hit the jump. And for coverage on the live action portion of the panel, featuring Brave, Monsters University, Frankenweenie, and Wreck-It Ralph, click here.
At today’s D23, Walt Disney released the logo for Tom Burton’s stop-motion animated film, Frankenweenie. If you’re not aware, Burton came up with the idea for Frankenweenie in the early 80′s, but due to budget constraints and never having directed a feature, he decided to make it as a short film. Which, at the time, proved to be a great calling card, as the short led him to directing features. And now it’s come full circle, as Burton has been hard at work bringing Frankenweenie to life as a feature film, and it’s getting released October 5, 2012.
Shortly after showing the packed D23 audience a sizzle reel, I was able to speak with producers Allison Abbate and Don Hahn backstage. They talked about what they showed today, the visual look of the film (it’s both in 3D and black and white) and what year it takes place, the music and score, and when will we see our first look at the film (October). Hit the jump to watch the interview and you can also get a high resolution version of the logo.
At today’s D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to ask Cobie Smulders s a few questions about The Avengers before the presentation for the fans. For those that don’t know, Smulders plays S.H.I.E.L.D. executive director Maria Hill in Joss Whedon’s Avengers. During the interview, Smulders talked about her reaction to getting cast in the film, did she sign a 5 picture deal, a bit on her costume, and she talked about doing a big scene on the Helicarrier with all the superheroes and what that was like. In addition, she talked about How I Met Your Mother and I even got in a Robin Sparkles question. If you watch HIMYM, you know what that means. Hit the jump to watch.
At today’s D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to ask Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. a few questions about The Avengers before their presentation to the fans. We talked about if they’d been enjoying their D23 experience, what footage are they showing the fans from The Avengers, and what’s it been like for them as tons of images and video have been leaking from the set and there is so much interest in the project. Hit the jump for what they had to say.
At today’s D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to ask Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson a few questions about The Avengers before their presentation to the fans. While I had limited time, they talked about how with so many superheroes in the film they had limited screen time, are they looking forward to spinoff films, and are we going to see them fighting on the streets of Cleveland and kicking ass? Hit the jump for what they had to say.
If there was any debate if Loki was the main villain in Marvel’s upcoming Avengers movie, Tom Hiddleston ended it today. That’s because backstage at D23 (essentially Disney’s Comic-Con), I got to speak with Hiddleston and he told me:
“Loki goes toe to toe with every superhero. I have had a one on one with Robert Downey Jr. A one on one with Chris Hemsworth. A one on one with Scarlett. A one on one with Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Sam Jackson. And it’s so exciting to see how the different chemistry is. Not just between the actors. So my one on one with Robert becomes a battle of wit’s and words. My one on one with Chris Hemsworth ends up in both of us knocking ten bells (I think that’s what he said) again because that’s how we communicate. It’s been the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. It’s giant and will be amazing.”
Hit the jump to watch the interview. He also tells a great story about the restaurant Chili’s and seeing movies in Albuquerque.