September 30, 2010

Ciarán Hinds & Violante Placido Join Ghost Rider 2?

HeatVision reports that Ciarán Hinds (Munich, John Carter of Mars, Rome) and Italian actress Violante Placido (The American) are in talks for Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance. Hinds would play the film's villain "the devil" and Placido the female lead. I assume they're referring to the Rider villain Lucifer. The film will be directed by the dynamic duo of Neveldine/Taylor (Gamer, Crank) with Nicolas Cage returning. The site also reveals the film's plot.

"Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider (Cage), hiding out in remote Eastern Europe and struggling to repress his curse. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the devil (Hinds), who wants to take over his mortal son’s body on the boy’s birthday."

Ben Affleck Could Direct Gangster Squad Next

Ben Affleck has become a successful and talented director. He's done some serious excellent work on both Gone Baby Gone and The Town. There is word from Vulture that Ben could continue his run on the crime drama genre. Warner Bros. has offered him the directing gig on Tales From The Gangster Squad. The film explores the true story of a band of secret "off the record" police task force who went after Meyer Harris "Mickey" Cohen, a high-profile gangster who was a member of the "Jewish Mafia" in the 1940's. I get thoughts of a mob focused version of L.A. Confidential which is exciting. Not too long ago it was rumored Affleck had passed on the new Superman reboot.

Jonathan Levine To Direct Little Girl Lost

TheWarp reports Jonathan Levine (Wackness, Mandy Lane) will direct the Little Girl Lost for Universal. The film-noir is based on the pulp novel by Richard Aleas and will be adapted by Michael Becall (Scott Pilgrim). Levine just finished filming the cancer based comedy Live With It (I’m With Cancer) starring Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bryce Dallas Howard. He is also attached to direct the adaptation of the zombie romance novel Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

Emily Blunt Joins Looper

ProductionWeekly reports that Emily Blunt (Wolfman) has joined Rian Johnson's (Brick, Brothers Bloom) Looper. The time travel thriller already stars Joesph Gordon Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer) and Bruce Willis.

Keke Palmer Joining Marvel's Runaways?

Keke Palmer has told Essence that she's been in talks with Marvel Studio for a role in their new teen driven superhero film Runaways (Small Faces).

"['True Jackson, VP'] had me tied up so much that I haven't been able to do much of anything else. But before the show I did a lot of films, so I'm familiar with it. But I'm ready to go back. I've had a nice little break with the steady TV show but I'm definitely ready to do some more films again. I was just asked to join a new Marvel comic project called, 'Runaways.'"

September 29, 2010

First Look: James McAvoy & Others On First Class Set

BleedingCool was able to get some interesting set pictures from X-Men First Class. They show James McAvoy (Professor X), Rose Byrne (Moira) and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) on the set. The last image looks like it could also include our first look at Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) in character.

September 28, 2010

Josh Holloway Joins Mission Impossible 4

RiskyBusiness reports Lost's Josh Holloway has joined the cast of Mission Impossible 4.

RUMOR: Jared Harris & Russell Brand Join Sherlock Holmes 2?

LatinoReview says they've scooped the news that Jared Harris (Benjamin Button) has landed the role of villain Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes 2. The role had been rumored to be going to either Brad Pitt or Daniel Day Lewis.

TheDailyMail is also reporting that British comedian Russell Brand has met with director Guy Ritchie for a role in the film. Recently Stephen Fry and Noomi Rapace have joined the film so it's likely official announcements will be made soon.

Films That Should Be Made: The Spectre

With recent talk from screenwriter Greg Berlanti of how dark The Flash could be. I'm wondering what other characters could be DC Entertainment be thinking of adapting into dark horror themed films. I just discovered the animated short film for The Spectre and I'm hooked in. I believe this character has some serious promise if done properly. The vengeful hero was a cop who was murdered but never moved on to the afterlife. He enacts grave revenge on those he believes deserves it. In the short film he does this by poltergeist means possessing people and objects to monstrous ends.

I've been recently turned back into enjoying the characters from DC. It's been a long time since I've cared for anyone except Batman. Warner Bros.  proved with Watchmen they want to be more risky with their comic book films. With Green Lantern looking to expand the DC Universe I'm confident we'll be seeing more interesting genre based heroes being adapted into movies.

Deadman is one of these heroes who I believe could end up branching out the DC Universe. The story revolved around a murdered Daredevil who becomes a ghostly hero. Guillmero del Toro is somewhat attached to the film but I assume he could end up only be involved with writing/producing duties. I would love to see DC take risks with characters like this one and Spectre. Previously they tried with Constantine but it didn't push the boundaries enough.

WHO SHOULD DIRECT?: I would honestly like someone direct who has a horror background. Yet with somewhat of a auteur pedigree of film making. Some directors that come to mind include Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) and Vincenzo Natali (Splice, Cube). Matt Reeves is currently being looked at to direct both Wolverine 2 and Superman but if he doesn't get hired I think Spectre would be a perfect for him. Vincenzo Natali is another director who likes to work on both horror and comic films. Natali recently said he'd love to make an Alpha Flight film and has been attached to direct Swamp Thing. 

RUMOR: Natalie Portman Up For Lois Lane?

MovieHole reports that their inside source believes that with Darren Aronofsky in talks to direct Superman. The studio is also interested in actress Natalie Portman to play Lois Lane. Portman was apparently inline for Lois back when they were casting Superman Returns but it never happened. Now if they hire Darren they could get the actress they originally wanted for the role. Natalie is no stranger to comic book films starring in films like V For Vendetta and the upcoming Thor.

September 27, 2010

Gore Verbinski To Direct Depp In Lone Ranger?

Deadline reports director Gore Verbinski is in talks with Disney to helm their epic take on the Lone Ranger. The only actor who is attached to the project is Johnny Depp who will portray Tonto. Yet there have been rumors of George Clooney playing the lead. It would be the fifth film Gore and Depp have worked together on. Previously they worked on the Pirates of The Caribbean trilogy and more recently with the animated film Rango. Hopefully Verbinski can do for westerns what he did for pirate films. Considering recent blockbuster type westerns like Wild Wild West and Jonah Hex haven't fared well with quality. Of course the genre mixing Cowboys & Aliens looks to break that streak. It's been a while since we've seen straight-up "fun" westerns like The Quick & The Dead,  Maverick and Young Guns.

Darren Aronofsky Added To List of Possible Superman Directors

While it's still almost two years from it's Christmas 2012 release date. Warner Bros./DC Entertainment and producer Christopher Nolan are hard at work starting up production on their Superman reboot. Previously there had been names like Duncan Jones (Moon), Zack Snyder (Sucker Punch, Watchmen), Matt Reeves (Let Me In), Tony Scott and Jonathan Liebesman (Clash of The Titans 2) listed in the running. Now we have one more candidate, this time one with more awards pedigree. The LATimes reports that Darren has met with the Nolan about the project. As he intensifies his search for a director on the Warner Bros. reboot, Christopher Nolan, who's godfathering the new Superman and producing the David Goyer script, has had discussions with Aronofsky about the job, sources say."

While an interesting prospect I'm sure since his current film Black Swan is getting massive praise and Oscar buzz he's getting lots of offers. Only a couple of weeks go he was connected with possible group of directors to take on Wolverine 2. Darren spoke to MTV during the Toronto International Film Festival giving his thoughts on comic book movies.

"Even though I've been attached to all these comic book [movies], I never really was a comic book kid growing up," he said. "I didn't really have comic books. I didn't really know who Wolverine was until I met Hugh Jackman and got to know it."

"Of course, I grew up with Batman and Superman and Spider-Man a little bit, but I'm not the biggest comic book fan, even though I've been attached to a lot of them," he added. "It would be fun to do one, [but] it's just finding the right situation, the right project."

I'm sort of torn with this news since I had been hoping for Darren to make Wolverine 2 the quality film it should be. Yet I could see him tackling the Superman franchise which has always lacked pathos and real emotion. Elements that his previous films have been brimming with. Darren was attached to direct Batman Begins before Nolan came on board.

TRAILER: True Grit

Del Toro To Write & Direct Trollhunters For Dreamworks

It's not often that high profile directors make the jump to animated films but there's one now. HeatVision reports Guillermo del Toro has signed on to write and direct Trollhunters for Dreamworks Animation. This comes after the director was inspired by the studios gamble on high concept animated film How To Train Your Dragon. The film blew audiences and critics way which could finally see the studio take the Oscar from Pixar. While Guillermo is beyond busy with other projects I don't expect this one to take up much of his time. He's putting the finishing touches on the script before starting production on At The Mountains of Madness. We could see Trollhunters being his next film when Madness wraps post-production. He'll also act as a consultant and executive producer on Kung Fu Panda 2.

September 25, 2010

Greg Berlanti Talks Flash

Greg Berlanti recently talked with SuperHeroHype about the progress of The Flash script. Berlanti is responsible for the Green Lantern script and is currently working with writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim on it's sequel. He went on to talk about the film's tone which is between Lantern and the Dark Knight. Using references to Se7en and Silence of The Lambs to describe the world of Barry Allen. Greg promises the film is darker than we will expect. The science fiction action could be on the level of the original Matrix. This all sounds promising but it's doubtful this film will end up as dark as Berlanti describes. While the Dark Knight was one of the toughest PG-13 films in history, it owed it's rating to the cut-away/implied shots by Nolan. I find it unlikely that the studio will be able to sell this ridiculous character to audiences unless they make drastic changes. Mainly getting rid of the suit and upping the violence/rating.

"Flash' as we're getting into it is interesting, too. Though Barry Allen was a little lighter in the comic, I think because of the nature that he was a CSI and moved in this world of crime before this stuff happened. I think it's tonally somewhere in between 'GL' and 'Dark Knight.' It's actually a little bit darker than when we were working on ('GL'), because you're dealing with somebody who is already a crimefighter in a world of those kinds of criminals and that kind of murder and homicide. I find you talk a lot about different films when you're working on a film, and we spend a lot more time talking about 'Se7en' or 'The Silence of the Lambs' as we construct that part of Barry's world, then I thought when we got into it. It helps balance a guy in a red suit who runs really fast." 

"In 'The Flash,' there's the sci-fi component and there's the crime component and it's fitting those two things together, and the sci-fi thing, we obviously want to nail that and honor that and do that in a way that feels visceral and real and cool and probably more in the tone of 'The Matrix" films or things like that."


AJ Michalka Joins J.J. Abrams’ Super 8

SlashFilm reports AJ Michalka (The Lovely Bones) has joined J.J. Abrams Super 8. She'll join Elle Fanning (Somewhere), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Ron Eldard (Sleepers), Noah Emmerich (Trueman Show), Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee and Zach Mills. The secretive film is expected to focus on a train carrying "materials" from Area 51 which derails in a small town during the 70's.

Stephen Fry Confirms He Is Playing Mycroft In Holmes 2

British comedian Stephen Fry (Blackadder, V For Vendetta) has confirmed to BBC 5's live radio show (via ThePlayist) he's been cast in Sherlock Holmes 2. Fry will play Holmes' older brother Mycroft in the Guy Ritchie film and should give the sequel another boost of comedy. He'll join returning actors Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law along with Swedish newcomer Noomi Rapace. It's expected production will start this fall with the release date set for December 16th 2011.

How Marvel Should Approach The SHIELD Film: PART VI [Nick Fury]

In this installment I'll be covering both Nick Fury and what I'd like to see in the SHIELD film itself. While the other solo films will likely be contemporary the Fury film could be open-ended jumping between both present time and WWII events. Of course unless this aspect of Fury's life is told in Captain America it's likely we could also be introduced to the Howling Commandos.

FURY: I would hope tht Fury film would actually be set during WWII. I doubt this will happen because of the cost of period film. Yet I doubt we'll see enough of the WWII era characters in Captain America. It's expected that Rogers will be the focus of the movie. Mainly I'd like to see the Howling Commandos fighting Nazis and HYDRA. Even if it's only in the introduction of opening credits I'd like to see the on screen origin of Fury. From there on I don't really mind seeing Nick's adventures in the present. My only problem with Nick Fury solo film is that it could negate the purpose of having a SHIELD film. If I had a say the Fury origin would be included into the SHIELD film itself.

SHIELD: Super prisons and the helicarrier should be present if they aren't already shown in Avengers. I'd also like to see SHIELD still portrayed as the ghost-like organization covering their tracks at all costs. I'm not too concerned about cameos I could careless if Cap, Thor, Banner or Stark show up in the film. To be honest I feel anyone but Rogers showing up could be distracting to the audience. Giving the impression this is another Avengers film which it shouldn't be. I do however believe that new characters like Black Panther and Iron Fist should be considered. HYDRA should be the big baddie of the film and should be hellbent on world domination/destruction. Extensive futuristic technology and weapons should also be used perhaps provided by Stark Industries.

MOVIE INFLUENCES: Depending on what time periods the story takes place. The contemporary scenes I'd like to see something like True Lies. If Fury or SHIELD ends up using more WWII events I'd expect references to movies like The Dirty Dozen, Saving Private Ryan, Kelly's Heroes and Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. While Captain America is taking more cues from films like Indiana Jones and The Rocketeer. I expect the Fury origin could be a little more gritty and exploitative in nature.

How Marvel Should Approach The SHIELD Film: PART III [The Agents]

 I've covered both Hawkeye and Black Widow now I'll go over the supporting characters. We already know that  Coulson (Clark Gregg) will be involved with the film so I won't go over him. SHIELD has a long standing history of bringing back characters from the past. If Marvel was going to do that I'd expect they'd do it with Dum Dum Dugan (Neal McDonough) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Sebastian has already stated he's signed on for two films beside Captain America and it doesn't look like Avengers will be one of them. I'm sure if the Infinity Formula is involved they could bring back many of the characters from the film. The most well known SHIELD Agents include Sharon Carter, Gabriel Jones and Maria Hill. Yet knowing Marvel they'll be bringing out bigger heroes into the spotlight.

NEW AGENTS:  Kevin Feige has been vocal about bringing both T'Challa (Black Panther) and Daniel Rand (Iron Fist) into the Marvel film universe. So I would expect that these two could play a bigger role in the SHIELD film. This would of course give audiences a chance to take in the characters before their own films are released.

CASTING: Wesley Snipes has been in talks with Marvel to play Black Panther since 1992 and was still involved up until 2006. It's unknown if Snipes will end up in the role since they've tested other actors such as Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Bourne Identity). Adewale spoke recently to MTV giving the impression he's being strongly considered.

“We’re talking to Marvel about ‘Black Panther… This is the first round, so you know, hopefully they’ll look at ‘G.I. Joe’ and see the potential. But it’s about time we have a black superhero, isn’t it?”

“He’s from a fictional village in Africa and the timing is so right for that kind of character to come through… And while I’m in my prime, this is the time. We’ve got [U.S. President Barack] Obama, now we need something on screen to represent, so… ‘Panther,’ man.”

Adewale's G.I. Joe co-star Ray Park (X-Men) has also been in talks with Marvel for years to play Iron Fist. Back in 2009 Park told MTV he still wants the role.

"I actually want to be Danny Rand -- I want to be Iron Fist, I want to do it," Park said. "I've been blond before. I'll work on the American accent as well."

How Marvel Should Approach The SHIELD Film: PART II [Hawkeye]

Previously I went over how I believe Marvel could be successful setting up the Black Widow solo film. Now I'll be going over my thoughts on Hawkeye getting his own film. There is more wiggle room for my take on the movie since we have yet to see where Marvel will be going with Clint Barton's character, background or origin.

MY THOUGHTS: I would have first talked about Hawkeye's costume but Jeremy Renner has already pointed out it will be similar to Natasha's uniform. The character is best known for his archery skills but lately has been known to pick up a gun or sword. It would make sense if he is superpower-less he'll need more than just skills in shooting arrows when his enemies will be firing bullets back. I'd love to see Clint a mix of both Hawkeye and his recent persona Ronin. Being able to use bows, swords, guns and giving a decent fight to whatever is in his way. I wouldn't mind seeing him as the reluctant fugitive being hunted by SHIELD believing he committed some horrible crime that discredits them. His actions threaten to disband the whole organization. I'm not sure how the relationship between Clint and Natasha will be explored in Avengers but it could be tested with this revelation. Barbara Morse (Mockingbird) could easily be included along with other SHIELD Agents like Maria Hill and Gabriel Jones. Clint's main mission would be to clear his name and reassert himself in the ranks of SHIELD. This could also be the real introduction to HYDRA and how they've inserted themselves worldwide.

MOVIE INFLUENCES: Clint could be more like the Jason Bourne/John McClain type hero. There are plenty of man on a mission type films to choose from but I believe the Bourne and Die Hard series fit best with the character.

WHO SHOULD DIRECT?: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo would be my choice to direct the Hawkeye film. Like Joss Whedon, he's previously worked Jeremy Renner on the fantastic 28 Weeks Later and could give us an excellent over the top action thriller.

How Marvel Should Approach The SHIELD Film: PART I [Black Widow]

I'm going to break down how I believe Marvel could be successful in bringing together the SHIELD film. While the Avengers is made up of Marvel's mightiest heroes, SHIELD on the other hand is mostly highly skilled humans. I believe while they have many superhero films there are many different types of action films they could be emulating for their human characters. Similar to the Avengers the main four characters will be have their own solo films. Nick Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye have their own films currently in development. Hopefully this could lead up to the SHIELD film and be more of a traditional team based espionage action film. My first installment will focus on the femme fatale Natasha Romanoff better known as Black Widow and what her solo film should look like.

MY THOUGHTS: I could see Natasha sent into the world of arms-dealing to see which people are supplying HYDRA with high end technology and weapons. This might lead Widow becoming a mole in A.I.M. which could be led by Baron von Strucker. Along the way she could be pursued by Yelena Belova who is notoriously determined to kill Natasha. I also believe the involvement of superpowers should really be limited here. Like the Iron Man series real world technology and weapons should be the threat. In this case armament of a new HYDRA organization which is looking to terrorize the world. I'm unsure how HYDRA is going to be referenced in Captain America but A.I.M. could be great way to slowly introduce the SHIELD nemesis.

MOVIE INFLUENCES: I'd like to see the studio to use the [Martin Campbell] Bond angle with the Black Widow film. I feel that a stright up spy film could end up defining the character along with showing off her espionage and fighting skills. If they choose to include her origin being raised as an assassin they could barrow elements from La Femme Nikita.

WHO SHOULD DIRECT?: Well my personal preference would be someone who hasn't made a big splash in the world of comic book or action films. My first thought while going over movie influences was of director Andrew Niccol. He has had a decent track record of sleek and interesting films. My favorite of his films being Lord of War and Gattaca. I feel he could bring a wonderful energy and vision to the character.

September 24, 2010

First Look: Chris Evans As Steve Rogers

Yet another piece of Marvel news this time with images from the set of Captain America thanks to INFDaily. We have our first glimpses of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers without his iconic costume and shield. They also have better angles of Haley Atwell in costume.

Jackson Hints Fury Origin In Captain America?

In a bonus feature from the Iron Man 2 DVD/Blu Ray focusing on Nick Fury. Actor Samuel L. Jackson talks about his place in the Marvel universe in the video and mentions his age. He said: "My relationship with his father [Howard Stark]....How old I actually am". This gets me thinking that Fury could very well get his origin told in Captain America. Sam has already been confirmed to be starring in the film. Yet all that's been confirmed is that they would be contemporary bookend scenes. It's expected the scenes would show the discovery and thawing of a frozen Rogers by Fury. Leading to Cap's recruitment into SHIELD and the Avengers. Fury while fighting with the Howling Commandos during WWII was seriously injured and given the Infinity Formula helping him heal fast. The side effect of the serum was that his aging was significantly slowed. It's been confirmed by director Joe Johnston that some of the Howling Commandos will appear. Best friend and fellow Commando Dum Dum Dugan will be in the film played by Neal McDonough (Band of Brothers). His relationship with Tony's father Howard could also play out in the film since Stark will be providing gadgets and tech for the heroes. You never know they very well could be saving this for the Nick Fury film.

Mark Ruffalo Talks Avengers & Hulk Motion Capture/3D

 Vulture was able to talk with Mark Ruffalo who is the third actor to play Bruce Banner on screen. He went on to talk about using insprition from the Bill Bixby series (similar to Ed Norton). Ruffalo from previous interviews seems to be excited to be working with the rest of the cast along with writer/director Joss Whedon. I did enjoy the last Hulk film but I don't think Norton got Banner down. I have high expecttions with Ruffalo now in the role. Even if his scenes will be limited since the amount of characters showcased. Mark also mentions how he'll perform Hulk scenes himself with the help of motion capture and teases the film could be shot in 3D.

"I'm really excited. No one's ever played the Hulk exactly, they've always done CGI. They're going to do the Avatar stop-action, stop-motion capture. So I'll actually play the Hulk. That'll be fun." 
"I really love the first TV version of it, the Bill Bixby one. I'm gonna shoot for that a little bit. He was an everyman in it. He's always on the run and trying to find love. It's really a sympathetic character, before he turns into the Hulk and [frick]s everything up." 

Ruffalo concluded speaking on his excitement of being the first actor to portray the Jade Giant in 3-D, he says, "I hope I don't bulge in anyone's face, that's all I have to say.".

Michael Nyqvist To Play Villain In Mission Impossible 4

HeatVision reports Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist has signed on to play one of the villains in Mission Impossible 4. Nyqvist is best known for his role in the Millennium (Dragon Tattoo, Played With Fire, Hornet's Nest) trilogy playing journalist Mikael Blomkvist. The character is now being portrayed by Daniel Craig in David Fincher's remake. It looks like it's not just Noomi Rapace who is benefiting from the success of the films.

Green Lantern Films Could Move On Without Hal Jordon

Warner Bros. doesn't seem to want to wait and see how successful Green Lantern will be next summer. The studio is already hard at work grinding out a script for the second film. It's been stated a few times this will be the first part in a trilogy. The assumption would be that both star Ryan Reynolds and director Martin Campbell have signed on for all three films. It's been rumored the two sequels will shoot back to back. Now from statements made by Ryan Reynolds when speaking with MTV the fledgling franchise could move on from Hal Jordon. Instead of focusing on the adventures of Jordon future films could follow the stories of fellow human lanterns Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner.

"It's a pretty big universe and there's a lot to explore," Reynolds told MTV News about "Green Lantern's" sequel potential. "There's a lot to explore with Hal and without him. You could do a couple more movies with Hal, then you could move on to a movie with Guy Gardner or Kyle Rayner, any of those guys."

Emma Stone Offered Role In 21 Jump Street

 Emma Stone is becoming the new "it" girl in the world of comedies. It doesn't hurt that she delivers on the funny and charm. Her recent film Easy A opened number two last weekend. Not bad considering the indie comedy only cost $8 million to make. She's now been offered the lead role in 21 Jump Street according to Variety. The role would see Stone re-team with her Superbad co-star Jonah Hill (Get Him To The Greek) who also wrote the film. Johnny Depp has joked about doing a cameo for the film which is based on the television show that made him a teen idol.

September 23, 2010

Kate Beckinsale Returns For Underworld 4

HeatVision says Kate Beckinsale has officially signed on to reprise her role of Selene in Underworld 4. While the fourth installment had the release date of January 20th 2012 nobody was attached for it. Now that Beckinsale is officially back in the series it's unknown if her husband Len Wiseman will return to direct. It's expected that Scott Speedman could be involved too but nothing is set in stone.