Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Oscar-nominated performance in 12 Years a Slave earned him quite a bit of attention, but he’s about to get even more of a spotlight if his next deal goes through. Ejiofor is reported as being the frontrunner for the villainous role in Sam Mendes’ Skyfall follow-up; Mendes will direct the untitled 24th and 25th installments of the James Bond franchise. While no official offer has been extended and the parties in question are not in formal talks, Ejiofor is considered the man to beat by other actors vying for the role. Hit the jump for more.
One of the great things about Skyfall (and there are many) is the phenomenal cinematography by Roger Deakins. Obviously Deakins always turns in fantastic work, but his collaboration with director Sam Mendes on the James Bond pic was jaw-droppingly gorgeous—which makes the news that Deakins won’t be returning for Bond 24 that much more disappointing. After some wavering, Mendes and Skyfall screenwriter John Logan agreed to direct and write the next Bond film, respectively, but In Contention’s Kris Tapley took to Twitter today to break the sad news that Deakins will not be back as cinematographer. Hit the jump for more.
Before the thrilling adventures of James Bond hit the page or screen, they were experienced first-hand by author-to-be, Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper). The four-part original drama Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond tells the fascinating story of the man whose own life and escapades were the inspiration for one of the most iconic figures in modern literature.
During the BBC America portion of the TCA Press Tour, director Mat Whitecross and executive producer Douglas Rae talked about how this project came about, how they created the look they wanted, Ian Fleming’s weird relationships with women, using the music, and the ongoing popularity of the spy genre. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
A new trailer for Fleming: The Man Who Would be Bond is now available thanks to BBC America. The mini-series features Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) as Ian Fleming, the man who would become best known as the author behind the suave super-spy James Bond, but not before he’d have a few adventures of his own. While I don’t know for sure whether or not Fleming’s real-life exploits were anywhere near as explosive as this new trailer, the series certainly looks to be a fun watch.
Also starring Lara Pulver (True Blood, Sherlock), Annabelle Wallis (Hello Carter, The Tudors), Lesley Manville (Maleficent, Another Year), Anna Chancellor (The Hour, How I Live Now) and Samuel West (Van Helsing), the four-week event stars Wednesday, January 29th at 10pm/9C on BBC America. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day is the Bond 50: The Complete 23 Film Collection with Skyfall Blu-ray for $99.99 (67% off). They had the same Gold Box Deal about a year ago and it only lasted a few hours before selling out. So if you have yet to pick up this fantastic box set, today’s the day to grab it. But don’t wait too long because it’s only on sale while supplies last or midnight tonight.
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The legacy of the James Bond film franchise is not without its twists and turns, many of which are excellently captured in the documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. One of the more difficult stories related to the film series involves Thunderball, which began with an original screenplay by Bond creator Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory, before Fleming decided to cut McClory out of the picture and publish the novel Thunderball—based on the idea the two hatched together—with nary a mention of McClory. The result was a decades-long legal battle and two “unofficial” Bond films (Thunderball and Never Say Never Again), but at long last the entanglement has ended.
Hit the jump for more, including what this means for the Bond franchise going forward.
With Comic-Con 2013 officially open, earlier tonight I was able to walk around the convention floor for Preview Night. In years past, before the convention sold out the moment tickets went on sale, you could walk around Preview Night casually picking up what you wanted, while also checking out the cool new toys. This is no longer the case. These days, as soon as the doors open, badge holders rush in to try and buy the numerous exclusives only for sale at the convention. While I get why everyone is racing to buy things, I do miss the days where it was all a little more casual.
While walking around the convention floor, I was able to take over 150 pictures. Included in the assortment are pics of Lego, toys, posters, art, comic books, The Walking Dead, the Marvel booth (Thor 2), some amazing Sideshow Collectibles, vintage Superman costumes from the films and TV shows, original props from The Wizard of Oz, James Bond, Watchmen, Indiana Jones, the PS4 and Xbox One, and so much more. However, while I saw many cool things tonight, I definitely think one of the highlights is the brand new LEGO Delorean from Back to the Future! Hit the jump to check it all out.
We’ve got some very exciting James Bond news to share today. While it’s been looking like Skyfall director Sam Mendes was going to return to direct Bond 24 for a while, Sony officially announced today that Mendes has closed his deal to helm the pic, with Skyfall scribe John Logan onboard to write the screenplay. Moreover, a release date for the film has been firmed up, as Bond 24 now joins the absolutely insane list of films that will hit theaters in 2015. The pic will open in the UK on October 23, 2015, and in the US on November 6, 2015. It’s essentially the same release date strategy as Skyfall.
The pic is currently slated to open in the US opposite Edgar Wright’s Marvel film Ant-Man and the untitled Peanuts movie, but one imagines Marvel will alter the Ant-Man release date slightly so Bond and the superhero pic don’t cannibalize each other at the box office. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Earlier this month, we reported that Skyfall director Sam Mendes was not only locked for James Bond 24, but was also looking likely for James Bond 25. This was a welcome change from his previous stand of opting out of the sequels to focus on other projects. Unfortunately, you may want to hold off on that celebratory martini. At the premiere of his stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mendes spoke with HeyUGuys, and said, “In answer to the question you’re going to ask, I don’t know yet. I’m in discussion over the ‘B’ word and I won’t make any decision until this is open. It’s taken a long time to get this open and this has been my focus.”
That doesn’t mean he’s out of the running, but he’s definitely not locked down. I assume this must be a little frustrating to Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. Skyfall was the biggest hit in the franchise, and it would be nice to quickly follow up on that success. Audiences won’t lose interest in Bond, but after Skyfall, we want to see 007 sooner rather than later.
Skyfall set high expectations for James Bond 24, but the right pieces are falling into place in order to meet the challenge. Last week, we learned that Sam Mendes would likely return to direct Bond 24 (and possibly James Bond 25), and now Bond has his girl. According to Yahoo! Movies UK, Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz will play the Bond girl in Bond 24. Yahoo!’s story notes that when she turns 40 next year, Cruz will be the oldest Bond girl to date (and therefore charmingly age appropriate to the 45-year-old Daniel Craig). Her age is a fun bit of a trivia, but getting to the actual casting, Cruz is a fantastic choice. She’s sharp, she’s sexy, and she can easily hold her own against Craig. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson reportedly tried to get Cruz in the past, but were unable to do so due to scheduling conflicts.
Filming on Bond 24 is set to begin next summer. While a 2016 release had been mentioned, if the film shoots in summer 2014, then a 2015 release could be a serious possibility.
It looks like director Sam Mendes (Skyfall) is double dipping in the James Bond negotiations as it’s being reported that he’s locked Bond 24 and appears very likely to direct Bond 25. Mendes was recently reported as being both opting out of the next installment, then in talks to direct it and now unofficially confirmed by ShowBiz411. The site also reports the likelihood of Mendes helming the 25th film in the James Bond franchise. That chain of events either unfolded with Sony allowing Mendes to wrap up his other commitments before starting on Bond 24 and allowing him to carry out his storyline with star Daniel Craig, or he just waited until they piled enough moneybags on the scale.
Are you excited to see Mendes return for Bond 24 and, likely, Bond 25? Let us know in the comments!
As someone whose only firsthand experience with the Star Trek franchise comes by virtue of J.J. Abrams‘ two Trek films, I know I’m in over my head when the topic presents itself. When you mention Trek, you’re referencing (either directly or indirectly) a rich legacy filled with peaks and valleys, genre-defining characters and moments, and an international fanbase that rivals any of pop-culture’s most enduring titles. And yet here I am, with two films under my belt (both of which I enjoyed), talking about it. Obviously, I have nothing at stake with regards to Star Trek Into Darkness. Whether you like it or dislike it is of no consequence to me. My only aim today is to extend a humble word of caution to the Trek fans who have years of equity built-up in their beloved franchise: be careful not to dismiss or begrudge it solely because it’s trying to appeal to the largest possible audience. Abrams’ Trek films aren’t above reproach, but they also aren’t void of redeeming qualities. Try to at least acknowledge some of those qualities when tearing into them or risk coming off as someone whose real issue is that a bunch of people now enjoy this thing that you once considered yourself unique for liking.
All preachiness aside, this week’s Top 5 includes several interviews from Star Trek Into Darkness, rumors surrounding Christopher Nolan being approached to direct James Bond 24, the first trailers for Marvel’s new ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a new trailer for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim, and new photos and a video from the set of director Jose Padilha‘s RoboCop remake. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
In the past, Christopher Nolan has expressed interest in directing a James Bond film. Last summer, Nolan, a long-time fan of the series, said he was serious about the prospect, but added “It would have to be the right situation and the right time in their cycle of things.” Although it is absolutely not the right time in their cycle of things, Daily Mail reports that there have been informal talks about directing James Bond 24 between Nolan and Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G .Wilson. As you may recall, Broccoli and Wilson tried to get Skyfall director Sam Mendes to return, but he passed on the gig. In March, we learned that MGM wanted a new Bond movie within 3 years, so the clock is ticking to get someone in the director’s chair.
The assumption that Nolan would direct Bond 24 is preposterous because Nolan is at work on Interstellar. Pre-production is underway, roles have been cast, and a November 7, 2014 release date has been set. Unless Nolan wants to piss off everyone at Paramount and Warner Bros (the studios behind Interstellar), he’s not doing Bond 24. If there have been any informal talks, I believe they would be for James Bond 25. That would be the smart, pro-active move, but right now the focus should be (and will be) on who’s doing the 24th film.
Imagine an art show that focuses on “prominent characters of fiction and their often creative ways of getting around.” If that sounds cool, then I recommend checking out the new Hero Complex Gallery show called “Righteous Rides…And the Dudes Who Drive Them” that opened in Los Angeles tonight. The show is located at 2020 South Robertson Blvd., Studio D (90034) and it’s filled with artwork based on the rides from Blade Runner, Akira, Bullitt, Back to the Future, Star Wars, James Bond, Ferris Bueller, Prometheus, Transformers, Up, Star Trek, and so many others it’s too many to list here. The most important thing to know is that the artwork is really well done and it’s definitely worth the drive.
However, since most of you live outside of Los Angeles, I took pictures of everything on display and after the jump you can check out about 70 images from the show.
Trance returns Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle to the territory where he began his visionary filmmaking career. Delving into the heart of extreme human behavior, he has crafted a wildly twisting mind puzzle that explores identity, madness and perception via the altered state of hypnotic trance. Opening April 5th, the crime thriller starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel centers on the line between truth, suggestion, and deceit and how it begins to blur after an art heist goes terribly wrong.
In an exclusive interview, Boyle revealed why he wanted to make a film with a woman at the center, why it’s always a battle to secure financing even after you’ve been successful, how the studio dictates casting, why the film presented unique challenges compared to other films he’s directed, how he researched the world of art, heists and hypnotherapy, how he collaborated with his creative team on the film’s visual style, why he won’t helm a James Bond film, what he thinks about the comic book genre, and why the idea of directing a superhero movie doesn’t appeal to him.