January 28, 2015

Joss Whedon Criticizes Lack Of Female Superhero Films; Could He Make CAPTAIN MARVEL?

Feminist filmmaker Joss Whedon has been a pioneer for female genre material ever since creating the breakout character Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Spending most of his career opening doors for actresses/female characters to be taken serious as leads of genre television series and feature films.

Even playing in the sandbox of my female-led franchise with his script for Alien Resurrection writing for the iconic genre character Ellen Ripley.

In an interview with Digital Spy he calls out Hollywood's "stupid people" blocking female-led comic book films. Also, pointing to fact Fox has access to the best female Marvel characters which isn't leaving Marvel Studios with much to work with. He would know since he wrote for the X-Men comics.

"It's a phenomenon in the industry that we call 'stupid people'," Whedon said. "There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny that goes on. 
"You hear 'Oh, [female superheroes] don't work because of these two bad ones that were made eight years ago', there's always an excuse." 
"Hunger Games is a different structure and aesthetic to a certain extent, but these narratives where people are bigger than life and they're in these terrible, heightened circumstances, it's all part of the same genre," he said. 
"Marvel is in a position of making a statement simply by making [a female-led] movie, which I think would be a good thing to do. "But it has to be a good movie, it has to be a good character, and most of the best characters in Marvel are owned by Fox, let's face it!" 
Fox has yet to announce development a female driven superhero film since Elektra bombed.

Although, there has been talk from X-Men producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg being interested in making Kitty Pryde and Mystique films but it's all been talk so far.

Whedon knows only too well what studio suits think of female superhero projects, Warner Bros. took an axe to his Wonder Woman film which had Cobie Smulders attached to star.

The studio is finally moving forward with a new adaptation with Breaking Bad's Michelle MacLaren and Gal Gadot in the titular role.

Joss would later gravitate towards Marvel and give us The Avengers, the big daddy of the comic book film genre.

Developing Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow into a total badass which was expanded upon in Captain America: Civil War. Not to mention giving Cobie a second-shot at the genre playing S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill which has led to both becoming big supporting players in the cinematic universe.

When he was set on making it's sequel Age of Ultron he did all he could to add more female characters into the already cast heavy film. Giving us Godzilla's Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlett Witch and Marco Polo's Claudia Kim as a scientist friend of Tony Stark.

He's all about talking about Hollywood making these female comic book films but will he end-up making one of his own?

These new statements sound like there is a bit of a fire in Whedon to possibly tackle the genre, we'd all love to see him prove his point.

Joss was in attendance at the big Marvel event in October which he seemed really only there to help support Ultron. However, since he's already talking about leaving the Avengers franchise he could have been there for other motives.

This was the first official reveal that Marvel was making Captain Marvel and even was bold enough to set the release date for July 2017. If you've seen footage from the event people went apeshit when the film's title card was revealed.

Kevin Feige would go on stating the film had been in-development almost as long as Guardians and Doctor Strange, adding that news of a writer and director was coming soon.

Some speculate we'll hear the announcement around the time of the release of Age of Ultron, as production would likely have to begin sometime in 2016.

The Whedon link to Carol Danvers goes back a while when he first stated he hated the character, and then in an interview with HeyUGuys over the summer did a 180 on that previous statement.

Rumors of Danvers casting started back in 2012 around the time Whedon was developing the untitled sequel's early outline. The talk at the time was that the role would appear in the second film.

Since then we've been hearing that she might be in the film after all with a possible cameo at the end of the film, we'll know for sure if Carol is in the film come May.

Talk of the development on the solo film hit the trades about a year ago it was suggested the script was being written in-house at Marvel Studios.

Meaning that an outsider hadn't been hired to write it, giving us the impression it was either someone like Guardian's Nicole Perlman (who was apart of their screenwriting program) or an existing writer at the studio, which points towards a female centric writer like Joss Whedon.

Whedon is more than capable to handle this kind of material and it would allow him to move into a different aspect of the Marvel universe as Kevin has stated her adventures are indeed set in the comic universe.

I'm sure the big question during Age of Ultron's press tour will be, is Joss Whedon going to write or direct Captain Marvel?


Does Marvel Studios Have Big Plans For Paul Bettany's VISION?

We haven't see Paul Bettany's Vision show-up in recent Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers but the actor seemingly already has an idea when we'll be seeing his character next.

Paul Bettany spoke to an Australian news outlet (via ComicBookMovie) giving the impression the studio has given him a better idea of what his future projects could be.

“That’s the really great thing about the Marvel gig for me. I have never known if I have had a job six months out ever in my life. And now I know that they have plans and I can be even more judicious about the stuff that I do outside of that work. I can wait for the right thing and feel really attached to it.”

There is a bit of chatter of where The Vision could be seen next, mainly he could be appearing in both Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. It hasn't been confirmed but sources are clearly hearing that Marvel wants more of the character.

During the early days of Marvel Studios they did commission a Vision feature film script when they first put together the Marvel screenwriters program, that program also gave Marvel drafts for Guardians of The Galaxy, Black Widow, Inhumans and possibly Captain Marvel.

Back in 2009, Variety reported on Marvel hiring a group of writers to develop film scripts for characters such as Nighthawk, Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and of course Vision. It's possible since Vision is getting an introduction in Age of Ultron that he could be a viable candidate for a spin-off.

In the future we could see Vision getting his own film or at the very least branching-out towards a bigger role which the latter is already expected via rumors. We really don't have a clue what Marvel wants to do in Phase Four, a lot of things could happen.

I'm sure Marvel wants to test the waters with how audiences react to him in Age of Ultron before moving forward with bigger plans.


Sony Announces GHOSTBUSTERS Release Date; Bill Murray And Peter Dinklage Wanted?

Sony has announced that the release date for Paul Feig's Ghostbusters reboot will be July 22nd, 2016.

Production is expected to begin this summer in New York City with Feige confirming the cast will include Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarty, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon.

Hit Fix is reporting that Sony is looking to give both Bill Murray and Peter Dinklage roles in the film. Dinklage is said to be possibly wanted for the mechanical genius villain of the film. We know Sony is desperate to get Murray's blessing on the project and really want his involvement.

I think Murray might be bit more open to not reprising his original role which is said to be the case, let's just not end-up seeing him play a ghost which he originally wanted to do.

Bill famously shredded a draft of the Ghostbusters 3 script and sent it back to the studio.


Alain Moussi From 'KICKBOXER' Remake Wants A Crack At Playing Marvel's 'IRON FIST'?

Martial artist Alain Moussi (Wolves, Pacific Rim) is currently filming the remake to the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Kickboxer and took to Facebook teasing a desire to play Marvel's Iron Fist.

Alain would later clarify on Twitter he'd love the role but isn't in the running, just getting into the comics.

He's no stranger to Marvel productions as he did stunt work on X-Men Days of Future Past. The French speaking Canadian stuntman turned actor was born in Central Africa in Libreville, Gabon and could give the MCU a bit of an international kick it's been lacking.

I don't think too many people would mind if Rand become a French character, he could even end-up having ties to Batroc connecting him to the Captain America franchise.

The Kickboxer remake includes fellow Marvel alumni such as Guardians of The Galaxy's Dave Bautista and Captain America: The Winter Soldier's George St. Pierre. I'm sure the film is on the studio's radar.

It's not bizarre to think Marvel would consider someone with an actual martial arts background, when an Iron Fist film was originally being developed X-Men's Ray Park (G.I. Joe 1-2, Phantom Menace) was attached for the role.

I could see Marvel still strongly considering someone with an actual fighting/stunt background to play Iron Fist to make the character a bit more convincing on screen without a huge amount of work from a stunt double.

Let's also not forget that Netflix is involved here which is the home to some seriously badass martial arts films. Netflix has partnered with The Weinstein Company to make a feature sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with Blade 2's Donnie Yen starring opposite Michelle Yoeh in The Green Legend.

You can even see the classic genre's influence on their series Marco Polo which they just renewed for a second season.

I'm personally hoping the series is bit of modern version of David Carrdine's Kung Fu mixed with The Shaw Brothers flicks and with a bit of the fun energy we've come to expect from a Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan film.

This is coming from someone who grew-up on this stuff and is rooting for Marvel to resurrect this dying genre which inspired the character in the first place.


'IMITATION GAME' Director In Talks For 'PASSENGERS'; Script From 'PROMETHEUS' Writer

Variety reports that Sony is currently in negotiations with Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum to helm their sci-fi flick Passengers. He's best known for the Oscar nominated film which earned him a Best Director nomination, studios will likely be knocking his door with many projects.

Another one of his films is a slick thriller Headhunters which is totally worth watching if you get the chance.

Passengers is based on a spec-script from screenwriter Jon Spahits that Sony bought on the spot.

Set on a spacecraft in the future with thousands of passengers making an interstellar voyage to a distant new planet. One passenger awakens from cryogenic sleep 90 years before anyone else and decides to wake up a female passenger, sparking the beginning of a love story.

Jon is best known for having his original Prometheus script rewritten by Damon Lindelof, I urge you to seek out his original draft and compare it to the film it's actually pretty damn good.

This new project is seeming taking cues from David's creepy spying on Shaw during her hyper-sleep.

He's also landed high profile screenwriting gigs with Marvel Studios penning Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange along with writing a draft of Universal's Mummy reboot.

Casting hasn't begun but a couple of names have been attached to the project in the past and they include Reese Witherspoon (Wild, Inherent Vice), Keanu Reeves (John Wick, Speed, Point Break) and Rachel McAdams (True Detective, Notebook). The actors have since moved on from the film but could be lured to return with Morten Tyldum's involvement.

The genre is hot again thanks to films like Gravity and Guardians of The Galaxy making huge box office.

I'm sure he'll be getting a bunch of offers but Sony has managed to allow some creative freedom to their sci-fi directors in the past with Neill Blomkamp being able to make wildly different movies like Elysium and the upcoming Chappie.

Other big sci-fi projects with sprawling casts coming soon include Ridley Scott's The Martian and Ben Wheatley's High-Rise.


January 27, 2015

GHOSTBUSTERS Cast Revealed; Includes Kristen Wiig And Melissa McCarthy

Ghostbusters director Paul Feige has revealed his cast for the reboot via Twitter.

The all female cast includes Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy who were hopefuls since the announcement of the project. The pair previously worked on Feige's wildly successful Bridesmaids.

Leslie Jones
Oddly enough, the other two cast members are lesser known actresses best know from their work on Saturday Night Live. They include Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon, it's great to finally see some diversity in the end.

Kate McKinnon
Originally, we had heard like ten names in the mix for roles including Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence, none of the actresses in the mix were of color which was shocking to say the least.
Production on the film is expected to begin this summer in York


Liam Hemsworth Eyed For Lead Role In 'INDEPENDENCE DAY' Sequel

The Wrap reports that Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth has been offered the lead in Roland Emmerich's sequel to Independence Day.

Will Smith was in talks to return but ultimately decide to pass on sequel while Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are expected to reprise their roles.

Fantastic Four's Michael B. Jordan is said to be rumored for another lead role in the film.


Disney Rebooting INDIANA JONES With Chris Pratt?; Actor Could Replace Harrison Ford

Our good friends over at Latino Review have been proven right yet again.

Deadline is confirming their previous report that Lucasfilm and Disney were planning on rebooting the Indiana Jones franchise with a new actor. They are reporting the studio is in early talks with rising star Chris Pratt to replace Harrison Ford as the titular hero.

While this might be great news for Pratt fans he's a busy bee these days, as he's about to shoot a remake of The Magnificent Seven alongside Denzel Washington. He also is expected to shoot a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy in early 2016 and possibly a sequel to Jurassic World something soon if it does well this summer.

Bradley Cooper seemed like a mighty fine option at the time but looks to be too high-profile at this point. His huge box office for American Sniper and his three Oscar nominations might make him too expensive at this point.

We already know that his Guardians co-star can fit the role as Star-Lord's character was greatly influenced by Jones. It's possible that Chris might not be able to juggle three franchise roles like this, but let's try to be optimistic.

This could also explain why he turned down Sony's offer to play Nathan Drake in the Uncharted film.


Latino Review is adding that Disney is looking to release the film in 2018-2019 while Variety puts Chris Hemsworth into the mix as well.


Gareth Edwards' 'STAR WARS' Film Lands New Screenwriter; Boba Fett And Han Solo Featured?

A couple of weeks ago it was confirmed by Gary Whitta (Walking Dead, Book of Eli) that he would be moving on from penning the script for Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spin-off to focus on Fox's adaptation of Mark Millar's Starlight.

Some sites were reporting that franchise writer-producer Simon Kinberg could be coming in to replace Whitta, but that doesn't seem to the be case.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Lucasfilm has hired About A Boy, A Better Life and Cinderella writer Chris Weitz to handle rewrites. It's unknown if the script will be getting page-one rewrites or just touch-ups since production is expected to be soon as casting is already underway. Weitz is an Oscar nominated writer thanks to About A Boy which should help fans feel better about his connections to Twilight.

Latino Review is also giving a bit more insight into the film's plot which had said to revolve around a group of bounty hunters hired to secure the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance.

They are also stating that the spin-off will be shooting on location in Mexico with the country possibly doubling for Geonosis, last seen in Attack of The Clones and where Jango Fett was killed by Mace Windu.

This connection to the Fetts might explain why they are hearing that both Han Solo and Boba Fett are going to be in this film.

We've been hearing for ages that these spin-offs would be focusing on one or the other, but having both as major characters would give more freedom to the other spin-offs. Along with exploring their history with each other which was teased in the two original sequels.

How they fit into the film is currently a mystery but it's possible they could have lead roles in this film. At the very least could be setting up their own movies in the future like Josh Trank's untitled sequel. since we know Solo has a criminal past as a smuggler

Concerning the film's casting lineup it's looking like the lead might be a female character. The studio is already reportedly looking at actresses such as Kate Mara, Rooney Mara, Tatiana Maslany and Felicity Jones.

It's possible this character could be already established in the universe, in my opinion it might end-up being linked to Boba Fett or the Rebel Alliance. Latino Review seemed to be taking guesses at what the role could be including characters from Clone Wars, but a couple obvious choices are being left-out and I'm not entirely sure about Lucasfilm setting a film around characters that obscure.

I wouldn't be entirely surprised if we saw Star Wars Rebels' Sabine turnout to be this female character the actresses are testing for. We've been hearing that Rebels which is now confirmed to be set in official canon is likely set during the time period when this spin-off is taking place. Allowing for the characters to interact with people like a young Han Solo or Boba Fett.

Sabine fits the timeline of this spin-off and is the right age for casting.

There has even been hints that characters from the show could be showing-up in this spin-offs or will end-up getting their own movies. Another rumor is that new characters setup in the spin-offs would start appearing in the main films. In the case of Gareth's film would likely be played by older actors if they crossover into Rian Johnson's Episode VIII.

Sabine could be sent into a group of bounty hunters posing as one of them but officially working for the Rebels who are likely bankrolling this daring heist. She could be placed into the group to make sure they don't hand over the plans over to criminals like the Hutts for even more cash or sellout to the Empire by sabotaging the mission.

There's been some talk that Boba's wife or daughter (likely changed to Jango's daughter to fit timeline) could be the character as well. Sabine is Mandorlian and it wouldn't be hard to imagine her actually being related to Jango, maybe being his legitimate daughter and revealed to be the sister of Boba. We know that family plays a big role with the original trilogy and it could become a theme here as well.

Having a film that explores the Mandorlian culture would be something we've never had with the films. Considering they are just as important as the jedi, sith and criminal underworld in the expanded universe.

It's possible we could see the Mandorlian Wars folded into the new films at some point. Since filmmakers are now allowed to pick bits from the games and books for the new films.

However, there is other information that speculates that if a spin-offs did include Fett it would sort of reboot the character slightly. Making a new mystery person behind the mask after killing the Jango clone then becoming the Boba Fett persona.

Prequel fans I'm sure would go nuts but honestly severing ties to the prequels is a good thing. Lucasfilm has already established Stormtroopers aren't clones anymore, so it's possible they could boot the clone Boba as well. Re-establishing a bit of mystery with the character which did make his character cooler not really knowing his origin.


First Teaser Trailer For 'FANTASTIC FOUR'; Along With Poster And Screenshots

20th Century Fox has released a teaser trailer this morning for their reboot of Fantastic Four.

I have to say that for a teaser trailer it's solid and looks like it could easily be apart of the rebooted X-Men universe, if indeed Fox moves forward with a crossover film down the road.

I'm curious what most naysayers think now that this trailer seemingly refutes all the fruitless online gossip that the film was going to be a total mess. At least this teaser gives the impression it'll be a lot more cinematic than the original two garbage films.

Let's just remember Josh Trank is being asked to quickly put together a sequel before Lucasfilm scoops him up for a Star Wars movie.

People were losing their mind that no promotional materials were being released although nothing but images were released for Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. which comes out the same month. Even Ant-Man, that comes out a month earlier only recently dropped a teaser trailer.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the trailer along with the first poster.


Official Images From 'FANTASTIC FOUR' Set; Josh Trank Influenced By THE FLY And SCANNERS

Collider had an exclusive in-depth interview with both writer-producer Simon Kinberg and director Josh Trank about what to expect with Fantastic Four.

Adding our first look at Michael B. Jordan in costume as The Human Torch on the set alongside Kinberg.

In the interview the two confirmed that they did consciously prevent promotional materials from leaking early and wanted to control how audiences are first introduced to these new characters. I assume taking cues from how Lucasfilm treats the Star Wars franchise when they have a new film.

The rest of the cast includes Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Toby Kebbell and Jamie Bell.

We won't have to wait too much longer to get a glimpse of the rest of the cast and more importantly seeing them in motion. The talk being that the trailer will be officially released by 20th Century Fox later today.

Simon and Josh are re-teaming for both Fantastic Four 2 set for 2017 release and a Star Wars spin-off which is likely aiming for a December 2018 release date.

Josh Trank would site films such as David Cronenberg's The Fly and Scanners as big influences on the film along with a mixture of comics from the 60's and Ultimates.

You can read the entire interview at Collider.


January 26, 2015

Casting Call Confirms Daniel Bruhl Is Playing ZEMO In "CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR'

A casting call for Marvel's Captain America: Civil War has seemingly found it's way onto a casting website called MovieCastingCalls (via ComicBookMovie) and they are revealing a key role in the film.

This wouldn't be a spoiler in the slightest if it's indeed on this casting call, but it names Daniel Bruhl's (Inglorious Basterds) character as the Captain America villain Baron Zemo.

We had been under the impression it could have been either Zemo or Doctor Strange villain Karl Mordo. Bruhl previously worked with Doctor Strange's Benedict Cumberbatch in The Fifth Estate and Thor's Chris Hemsworth in Rush.

The reason we thought it might be Mordo is that the role was said to possibly crossover to Doctor Strange, Zemo could easily fit into a film like Strange if he's really into a occult stuff.

If you want to give audiences a villainous version of Captain America, Zemo is the way to go. He eventually setups the group The Thunderbolts who actually aligned themselves with Stark during Civil War.

This isn't 100% proof of his role but if it's circulating on an official casting call it's a good chance that he's playing Zemo in the film.


Joss Whedon Fuelling Talk Russo Bros. Will Direct 'AVENGERS INFINITY WAR'

We've been hearing for months that The Russo Brothers will be taking huge steps to be the masterminds behind Phase Three movies starting with Captain America: Civil War. There's been chatter that they'll even be taking over directing duties on the Avengers franchise from Joss Whedon on Avengers Infinity War.

In a new interview with Empire Magazine (via Comic Book Movie), Joss Whedon is seemingly hinting to his exit of the Avengers franchise. Leading us to assume that the Russos will indeed be replacing him. Here's what Joss had to say when asked if he'd be returning to make more films.

"I couldn't imagine doing this again," he reveals, referring to the time and effort which has gone into the sequel. "It's enormously hard, and it be, by then, a good five years since I created anything that was completely my own. So it's very doubtful that I would take on the two-part Infinity War movie that would eat up the next four years of my life. I obviously still want to be a part of the Marvel Universe - I love these guys - but it ain't easy. This year has been more like running three shows than any year of my life. It is bonkers."

We haven't seen Marvel allow a director to make more then two installments within these franchises and it's looking like they won't be making the exception for Whedon.

This doesn't mean he's completely done with the Marvel universe, we know he's been trying to develop a new Hulk film and he could even be involved with Captain Marvel.

It should also be noted that there is a lot of material in Age of Ultron which is setting-up Black Panther, so that's a third project he could end-up working on.

Also, check out the first non-cartoon group photo of the Avengers on the cover of Empire.


Emma Watson Confirmed For Belle In Disney's Live-Action BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

The Wrap has learned that Harry Potter actress Emma Watson has closed a deal to play the role of Belle in Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty And The Beast.

She has confirmed the news on her Facebook page, hinting that there could be some musical numbers incorporated from the animated film.

The film will be directed by Bill Condon but don't let the Twilight links fool you, the script was recently rewriting by Perks of Being A Wallflower's Stephen Chbosky

Emma had been attached for the competing project over at Warner Bros. which had Guillermo del Toro set to direct, the project sort of fell apart and Watson decided on switching to the Disney project instead. Apparently, she got the blessing from del Toro to move to the other film instead.

Disney has already made a killing with live-action adaptations of Alice In Wonderland and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty). It's expected that both Cinderella and Beauty could be huge successes as well.


New Names Linked For SUICIDE SQUAD; Karl Urban And Jason Clarke In The Mix For Flagg And Deathstroke

A new crop of names are being linked for roles in David Ayer's Suicide Squad via JoBlo.

It looks like there is a fifth actor being looked at for the role of Rick Flagg, and it's Dredd himself Karl Urban. You might remember it was only a couple of days ago that Karl was being linked for the villain role in Aquaman. I'm sure we could be hearing even more actors but Karl is an interesting addition to the mix of names.

I have my own thoughts why so many actors are passing on this part.

The role of Flagg was originally alluring to Tom Hardy before the part was scaled back in Ayer's rewrites and the role could be a lot more minor than people are expecting it to be. Basically, they're looking at big names but the part doesn't seem to have enough bite to attract the level of actors they want for it.

Flagg could also be off-putting to a lot of these candidates mostly because it could kill their shot at a leading superhero franchise. Marvel usually avoids casting actors who have been apart of DC films and taking the role could nix franchise potential in the DC side as well.

Again, from what I've been hearing Flagg might not even be in sequels, the role is pretty minor compared to the comics and this could be a tough sell to rising actors like Jake Gyllenhaal (already passed), Jon Bernthal and even Joel Edgerton.

Tom, Jake and Joel had been linked for Marvel Studios franchise leads, so it's unlikely we'd see them taking DC scraps which Flagg is starting to look like.

JoBlo is affirming talk that Deathstroke is indeed in the film but won't be on the actual team.

Joe Manganiello is said to the Ayer's first choice as he previously worked with Ayer on Sabotage.

Aussie Jason Clarke is also being considered for the role.

It's not hard to see why the studio would want to have Clarke play the role having a huge breakout hit with Dawn of the Planet of The Apes last summer. He's also playing the new John Connor this year in Terminator: Genisys opposite Captain Boomerang's Jai Courtney

The role itself could end-up becoming one of the more important characters moving forward into the DCCU, as there is crossover potential with the Batman films along with a solo film which had been developed and produced by David Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins).

Other actors such as Ed Harris (The Rock, A History of Violence, Enemy At The Gates), Gary Sinise (Forest Gump) and Max Martini (Sabotage, Pacific Rim, The Unit) are linked for roles but those are considered spoilers, feel free to check out the link to have some of the film's plot ruined.

Production is expected to begin in April at Pinewood Studios, Toronto with a release date of August 5th, 2016.