March 31, 2012

CAST EM': Captain America 2

This week we got the official news that Marvel Studios is indeed moving forward with a Captain America sequel. Moving from script development to searching for directors which gives the impression that the studio is aiming to start production as soon as Thor 2 ends it's shoot. Here are a couple actors I'd like to see considered for roles.

It's unknown at this point if supporting characters like Nick Fury, Black Widow or Hawkeye will be major players in the Captain America 2. Since we've been hearing that fellow Avengers wouldn't be showing up in future solo sequels. As Steve is now deeply involved with SHIELD it would make sense to agents return along with new ones. It's also unknown where these WWII flashbacks will come in. They very well could explore another WWII era villain that leads to discovery of the Infinity Formula slowing down the aging of the Howling Commandos. Allowing the Howlers to also be in still around in present time now apart of SHIELD.

GILLIAN JACOBS AS SHARON CARTER: It was reported that Community directors the Russo brothers had been linked as possible candidates to helm the sequel. This lead me to believe that if hired they'd look to some of their Community cast members to fill roles. One actress that comes to mind is Gillian Jacobs for the role of Sharon Carter. Gillian has a striking resemblance to Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter) in certain angles which would help feed into the idea that Peggy and Sharon are related. Jacobs was recently linked to the Evil Dead remake but ultimately passed on it. Some of her non-Community roles include Choke (directed by Clark Gregg), The Box, Seeking A Friend For The End of The World and Burt Wonderstone.

LAZ ALONSO AS FALCON: Laz seems like an actor that would be friends with Chris Evans which important for the role. I get the feeling that he'd make a great Falcon and if the studio ends up making a Falcon spin-off he might be able to handle his own franchise. Alonso co-starred with First Avenger actor Derek Luke (Gabe Jones) in the WWII film Miracle At St. Anna along with supporting roles in films like Avatar and Fast And Furious. He recently got a large amount of exposure from the series Breakout Kings.

ANDREA OSVART AS CONTESSA: This stunning Hungarian actress is slowly gathering some status with small roles in films like Spy Game, Casanova and Duplicity. Recently she landed a lead in the Transporter television series along with the Chilean earthquake horror flick Aftershock alongside Eli Roth. Andrea is able to speak/act in perfect Italian, Hungarian and English. Considering Contessa is an Italian SHIELD agent this seems like a solid casting choice.

SAM CLAFIN AS UNION JACK: Clafin is generally known for supporting roles in rather large event films. He previously took roles in films like Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides along with this summer's Snow White And The Huntsman. Sam has a connection to First Avenger's Hayley Atwell as the two starred in the mini-series The Pilliars of The Earth. I think he'd make a decent Joey Chapman who apparently moonlights as a race car driver when he's not fighting terrorists.

RALPH FIENNES AS BARON STRUCKER: Ralph Fiennes has been long been a fan favorite for the role villain Baron Strucker. I feel like he could be equally as menacing as Hugo Weaving was as the Red Skull. Ralph is open to genre films starring in The Harry Potter Films, Wrath of The Titans, Skyfall, Red Dragon and Strange Days. He's also known for strong dramatic performances in films like The Reader, Schindler's List, The English Patient, End of The Affair, The Constant Gardener, Hurt Locker and Coriolanus. His pedigree as an actor makes him the best choice for role.

DANIEL BRUHL AS BARON ZEMO: The German actor has been very successful in his own country but hasn't made that large of a splash in Hollywood. He started to get more of an English following in the last couple of years thanks to his role as Zoller in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourous Basterds. He's able to play both sides of the coin similar to Tom Hiddleston (Loki). The comparison seems fair as Zemo was also a conflicted Avengers villain which could help setup the Avengers sequel.

BERENICE BEJO AS MADME HYDRA: Berenice showed off her skills as a psychical comedian in The Artist which means those skills could translate into action scenes. We haven't heard much about the Argentinian/French actress getting offers for event films like this since her Oscar nomination. However, Marvel is usually the type of studio to wait until the Oscars to pursue actresses/actors for supporting roles. Berenice is able to speak three different languages including Spanish, French and English which could be a great asset for an agent of HYDRA.

Rundown Of Possible Villains And Allies For Captain America 2

Marvel Studios is currently on a search to find a director to helm Captain America 2. As ten names are in the running but only four of those have been revealed. Kevin Feige, Chris Evans and the writers have stated that the sequel could be set in the present and may also include WWII flashbacks. There have been hints to what villains we can expect for the second installment but it's sort up in the air when it comes supporting heroes. Director Joe Johnston mentioned that Marvel could be saving Winter Soldier for his own spin-off, so he could be excluded until that happens. I've come up with some ideas of what the new additions should be along with previous hints to who the villains could be. I'm hoping that Marvel is smart enough to hold off bringing back Red Skull and Zola until later on in the franchise.


SHARON CARTER: The niece (grand niece more likely) of Peggy Carter, Sharon was inspired by the WWII adventures of her Aunt Peggy alongside Captain America. This lead her decide to follow a similar path into the military eventually becoming an elite SHIELD Agent. While nothing has been confirmed there is speculation that Amanda Righetti was playing this character at the end of The First Avenger. I'm sure this will be cleared up in Avengers if not there is still hope that Sharon Carter will indeed end up Cap's new love interest. Perhaps also helping fill in the blanks of what happened to Peggy.

FALCON: Sam Wilson better known as The Falcon was a protege of sorts of Cap and the two had series of team-up comics. If Cap assembles a present time team I would expect Marvel to include one of Steve's best friends. I'm not sure if his costume from the comics would translate well but it could be interesting to see him re-imagined as a fighter pilot/SHIElD Agent. I could see the sequel becoming a buddy superhero film if Falcon does show up.

CONTESSA: The SHIELD agent was one of the few actual female characters without powers in the Marvel universe that's been able to stick around for decades. Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine would eventually exit SHIELD to become the new Madame Hydra replacing Viper. It would be interesting to see one of these agents turn out to be a sleeper for HYDRA or to for her to just switch sides over jealously or money. One of my biggest problems with the Marvel films is that they rarely have more than one female heroine in their films. Avengers is going to up that with Maria Hill and Black Widow in the same movie but it's unknown how much "action" Hill will actually see. This is another character that Amanda Righetti could have playing at the end of First Avenger.

UNION JACK: Joey Chapman is the current iteration of the British legacy hero Union Jack. Joey got his own Easter Egg in Iron Man 2 as one of the drivers listed in the race, so Marvel has established he exists in the film universe. The masked hero wears a bulletproof costume, is a knife/sword expert along with exceptional training in martial arts and other weapons (guns ect). James Montgomery Falsworth of the Howling Commandos played by JJ Field was also a shout-out to Union Jack in the First Avenger. Falsworth and his family took up the Union Jack persona before passing it down to Chapman. Union Jack is also a member of The Invaders and if we don't see the return of Howling Commandos in present time (ala Infinity Formula) the Invaders could be a great replacement team name.


BARON ZEMO: Zemo had been rumored since the casting of First Avenger and it was revealed by the screenwriters that he indeed was in early drafts of the script. Zemo is easily Cap's second most popular villain and needs to be front and center if he is used. If he ends up in the sequel he's costume will need some remodeling and I doubt an actor will be hidden by a mask for the whole film.

BARON STRUCKER: Strucker has a rather large presence as the contemporary head of HYDRA being it's leader continuing the villainous terrorist group started by the Red Skull. We could see HYDRA becoming a world threat again with the classic green uniforms finally being used. I have to believe that both Strucker and Madame Hydra are strong candidates because they've been used in the Super Soldier video game and the current Avengers cartoon from Disney. Baron Strucker was also in the early drafts of the First Avenger script but was ultimately removed.

MADAME HYDRA: Madame Hydra is Strucker's second in command and the leader of the HYDRA sub-group The Serpent Seven. The role has been filled by many different women including Viper and former SHIELD agent Contessa Valentina Allegro De Fontaine. It could be an interesting to see SHIELD infiltrated by HYDRA having them trying to take the group down by covert methods.

A.I.M.: Writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus have mentioned their affection for Modok who is the leader of the arms dealing terrorist group A.I.M. They even stated they wanted to include Modok in a sequel having Peter Dinklage (Games of Thrones) in the role. A.I.M. could just as easily fit in Iron Man 3 depending on the direction Marvel is going for with that. If Modok does end up in the film they'd have to make him a lot more realistic to be taken seriously as a villan.

March 30, 2012

A Beat-Up Ryan Gosling On The Set Of 'Only God Forgives'

Nicolas Winding Refn Wants To Make 'I Walk With The Dead' With Carey Mulligan Next

Dutch writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Drive) talked to ThePlaylist about his upcoming film Only God Forgives which is currently shooting with Ryan Gosling in the lead. He reveals that he's aiming to make his sex thriller/horror film I Walk With The Dead next which has Drive actress Carey Mulligan (Shame) attached. Not much is known about the film besides it might be set in LA and Tokyo with a large amount of sex scenes. 

The horror elements are unknown as well at this point but I have to assume vampires might be the focus. When I think of Nicolas making a horror film it makes me think of Tony Scott's vampire sex thriller The Hunger. Either way it looks like the Logan's Run remake will be further delayed with this news. 

Kevin Feige Hopeful Ant-Man Will Happen Soon

BleedingCool was able to speak with Marvel's Kevin Feige who calls the shots when to comes the Marvel Cinematic Universe at Marvel Studios. He gives another encouraging statement on Ant-Man which has Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim) attached to direct. The film is co-written by Joe Cornish (Attack The Block) and Wright, the pair previously worked together on the script for Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn.

"It’s somewhere. I’ll just say it’s closer than it’s ever been in its long maybe eight year history, and I usually e-mail Edgar every two or three days and over those eight years its got further away and closer… we are now closer than we’ve ever been. So I hope it will come together shortly."

Wright's other projects could conflict with him directing Ant-Man as he's also lined up Baby Driver, World's End starring Nick Frost/Simon Pegg and Disney's The Night Stalker which stars Johnny Depp. I wouldn't be surprised to see Joe Cornish end up taking over directing duties on the superhero film.

10 Directors In The Running For Captain America 2

Well it looks like Joe Johnston's next Marvel film might actually be a Winter Soldier film as the director isn't returning for the Captain America sequel. Vulture reports that Marvel Studios is now looking at new ten directors to helm Captain America 2. Some of the candidates include F. Gary Gary, George Nolfi, Anthony and Joseph Russo which is an interesting group of directors. The latter two are best known for the NBC comedy series Community. Nolfi was a screenwriter handling films like Oceans Twelve and Bourne Ultimatum before making his directing debut with the Adjustment Bureau. F. Gary Gary has been able to handle rather large films with projects like the Italian Job, Negotiator and Law Abiding Citizen. The names of the other six directors haven't been released but I assume this could be drawn out search.

It's expected that the sequel will be released in the summer of 2014 as previously stated by Chris Evans. Currently the script is being worked on by First Avenger writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus. I think if someone like Nolfi is hired to direct he could boost the action set pieces with his own rewrites. The Russo brothers could also inject some humor into film which had some decent wisecracking moments in the first film. Marvel is an odd bunch as they could very well end up hiring a director only to replace them later on. For my money I think F. Gary Gary is solid choice as he's an excellent action director when given a good cast and script.

Warner Bros. Developing Attila The Hun Film

Deadline reports that Warner Bros. has picked up a Attila The Hun origin film from screenwriter Nicholas Schoenfeld. Attila will focus on the early days of the notoriously brutal warlord/leader who held his own Empire and dared to challenge the Romans.

The site is comparing this project to Dracula: Year Zero so it's expected to be another hyper violent battle film as well. Warner Bros. seems like they're currently itching for more 300-like material. Since Attila and Dracula: Year Zero could be franchise replacements for 300. Since it's likely Battle of Artemisia will be the last 300 film.

Sony Pickups White House Down From Screenwriter James Vanderbilt

It's been a very good day for screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) as Variety reports. He was hired my MGM to do some rewrites on MGM's Robocop remake which Sony is distributing. Vanderbilt also sold his spec-script White House Down to Sony for an estimated $3 million. The action film is being compared to a mix of Die Hard meets Air Force One. Sony Pictures seems to be happy with James' work on their summer tentpoles Amazing Spider-Man and Total Recall. James is also currently working on Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the studio.

Trailer For "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World" Starring Steve Carell And Keira Knightley

Trailer For Sci-Fi Comedy "Safety Not Guaranteed" Starring Aubrey Plaza And Mark Duplass

Teaser Trailer For 'Take This Waltz" Starring Michelle Williams And Seth Rogen

New Prometheus Images From Empire

Gerard Butler Latest Actor Set For Motor City

Variety reports that Warner Bros. might have finally found their lead actor for Albert Hughes' Motor City. Previously actors such as Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Dominic Cooper and Jake Gyllenhaal had be involved with the role but ultimately walked form the project. They say that Scottish action star Gerard Butler (300) in now in negotiations to take on the main role.  Gary Oldman is set for the villain while Amber Heard is playing the female lead.

Butler recently signed on for the White House action film Oylmpus Has Fallen and is expected to have a cameo in 300: Battle of Artemisia. I really hope there is a resurrection of Butler's action career as he hasn't exactly made the best decisions with his last couple of films.

New Dark Shadows Posters Get More Creative But Still Colorful

James McAvoy In The Mix For Arthur And Lancelot, Colin Farrell Backs Out

Deadline reports that Colin Farrell (Total Recall, Fright Night) has exited talks with Warner Bros. for the role of Lancelot in Arthur And Lancelot. Gary Oldman had been tapped for the role of Merlin while Marion Cotillard (Inception, Dark Knight Rises) had been linked for Morgana. They also add that actors including James McAvoy (First Class, Wanted) had been in the mix for the title role of Arthur. James is set to return for the sequel to X-Men First Class which could shoot later this year.

Eight Actresses In The Running To Star Alongside Johnny Depp In The Thin Man

Deadline reports a bevy of actresses are currently in the running for the female lead in The Thin Man. They include Emma Stone (Amazing Spider-Man, Gangster Squad), Eva Green (Dark Shadows, Casino Royale),  Amy Adams (Man of Steel, The Fighter), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Emily Blunt (Five-Year Engagement), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers, Burke And Hare), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy, Bourne Legacy) and Carey Mulligan (Drive, An Education). The comedic detective story starring Johnny Depp focuses on a husband and wife who are socialites-turned-detectives. Rob Marshall (Pirates 4) will handle directing duties let's just hope it's an improvement on his previous films.

Another Actor Joins 300 Battle Of Artemisia

CinemaBlend has caught wind of an announcement that Australian actor Callan Mulvey (The Hunter) has joined the slowly growing cast of 300: Battle of Atremisia. He joins Eva Green, fellow Hunter co-star Sullivan Stapleton, Jamie Blackley and Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes. Mulvey has also landed a supporting role in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.

James Vanderbilt Hired To Do Rewrites On Robocop

James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) is gather quite a reputation after his commercial writing jobs with Sony on Sam Raimi's axed Spider-Man 4, Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man and Len Wiseman's Total Recall reboot. He also recently was tasked to start outlining Amazing Spider-Man 2. There is word from Variety that James has been hired by MGM to do some rewrites on Jose Padilha's Robocop remake which stars Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, Snabba Cash).

FIRST LOOK: Official Logo For Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel

March 29, 2012

Xavier Gens Should Direct The Escape From New York Remake

New Line Cinema has been slowly developing a remake of John Carpenter's cult favorite Escape From New York. Producer Neal H. Mortiz (Total Recall) got a hold of the project and screenwriter Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) took a shot at the script. Scottish actor Gerard Bulter was attached for Snake Plissken when director Len Wiseman (Total Recall, Die Hard 4) was going to make the film. Wiseman dropped out to make Total Recall instead and it lead to Butler's exit as well. Jonathan Mostow (U-571) came on to also work on the script with some intention to direct. That also didn't pan out so the studio looked to newcomer Breck Eisner and he's the last name attached to the remake. Jeremy Renner had been rumored for Snake but he would later deny his involvement.

While Len Wiseman could have made a fun action film I doubt the quality would have been there. I recently watched The Divide from French director Xavier Gens (Frontier(s)) which is a mix of genres that includes psychological thriller, science fiction and post-apocalyptic horror. The film isn't breaking new ground as it takes key elements from projects like The Walking Dead and Screamers. That being said it ended up a great little low-budget genre flick. There are even some moments it felt like an John Carpenter film, I assume it was also taking cues from his films as well.

If New Line wants a visionary director who can work with a lower budget then I believe that Gens should be given a shot. Breck Esiner's films Sahara and The Crazies didn't exactly set the world on fire. As a fan I don't have confidence in his limited vision. I feel the only reason he's being looked at is because he'll do it on the cheap. Xavier would be an inspired choice compared to Mostow, Eisner and Brett Ratner.

Anchorman 2 Is Happening Original Cast Returning

Channel 4's own Ron Burgundy appeared on Conan tonight to reveal that Paramount has greenlit the long in-development Anchorman 2. Deadline adds that Adam McKay will be back as the writer and director with Judd Apatow producing. Will Ferrell is back but so are Paul Rudd and Steve Carell. Variety's Jeff Snieder also mentioned via Twitter that David "CHAMP"Koechner is also on board. As of now it's unknown if other supporting actors like Christina Applegate, Seth Rogen, Chris Parnell, Vince Vaughn, Fred Willard and Ben Stiller will be returning as well.

First Poster For The Total Recall Remake

Marvel's Kevin Feige Briefly Comments On Avengers 2

Even though Avengers hasn't even been release the sequel is already being talked up. Making the sequel might be a high priority for the studio after the final box office numbers are in. Joss Whedon recently nixed the idea that we would see the Kree/Skrull war in the Avengers franchise because Marvel believes it's big enough for it's own film. That being said, Joss isn't locked in for the sequel as of yet so anything is possible at this point.

Marvel's Kevin Feige the godfather of the Marvel Studios' films was asked by CinePremiere (via CBM) about the possibility of Civil War being used in future films. The statement is short but is enough for excitement to start developing for the eventual sequel.

"Exceptional story [it is] and at some point would be great."

Fans like myself have been championing the Civil War storyline for the sequel. It would allow Marvel to gradually release their next phase of superhero films like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and Iron Fist before Avengers 2. The Civil War storyline has Iron Man and Maria Hill forcing anyone with powers to join SHIELD, give up being a hero or go to superhuman prison. That aspect would be excellent because the villains would be the heroes themselves allowing a deeper conflict. They end up choosing sides with Iron Man/SHIELD one team and Cap leading the other team of heroes against who are against whole ordeal.

He also commented on the possibility of bringing in heroes like Spider-Man and Wolverine into the franchise. Of course the two characters are setup at Fox and Sony it looks like they're going to be staying with those studios. However, Feige says "never say never".

"No plans for now and the advantage is that none of these characters are part of the core team. The contracts are very clear and there has been no pressure to get them back, but never say never, because four years ago this was a dream so who knows what might happen in the future. "

My understanding is that there was a lot of creative interaction between the Marvel offices and Sony on the Amazing Spider-Man than on the previous films. Giving the impression that the relationship between Marvel and Sony is stronger than with the other studios. Marvel/Disney are handling the new cartoon series Ultimate Spider-Man. We see Spider-Man interacting with other Marvel heroes including Nick Fury, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Agent Coulson. The cartoon will help get out the awareness of Spider-Man to young kids who haven't had a contemporary Spidey cartoon to watch. I wouldn't count out a Spider-Man cameo in future films since it would be a great way to promote future Amazing Spider-Man films if anything else.

March 27, 2012

Zooey Deschanel Could Join Sci-Fi Film About Time

Variety reports that Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer, Elf, Hitchhiker's Guide) could end up the female lead in About Time alongside Irish actor Domhall Gleeson (Harry Potter Films, Never Let Me Go, True Grit). The time-travel dramedy written and directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Pirate Radio) focuses on Tim (Gleeson) who discovers he's from a family of time-travellers and uses these new abilities to better his life. Zooey would play Tim's love interest but she hasn't officially singed on just yet.

Actor Toby Kebbell Talks Akira, Confirming It Was Stupid

During an interview with IFC during the promotion of Wrath of The Titans British actor Toby Kebbell commented on the now on-hold Akira. Toby had been in the mix for the role of Tetsuo, giving the impression he turned it down because it was a creative nightmare. Considering he's a fan he called the studio out on their many many mistakes on the adaptation.

“They were like, ‘This is going to be a big franchise!’” he explained. “So I said, ‘Then in that case, understand that I’ve read the comics, and I’ve read the comics that got turned into the annuals, and then the annuals that got turned into the one-off anime. So if you really want to do it, then why don’t you look at the six comics and just put two into each film?’”

 “They were like, ‘Welllll…’” he shrugged. “So I told them, ‘Then this is a remake [of the animated movie], and I don’t want to do a live-action remake of the cartoon, because [the cartoon] is perfect and you’re not going to do it dark enough — so therefore, I don’t want to do it.”

 “I was desperate to play Tetsuo, but Tetsuo in the comic and annual form,” he explained. “He’s brilliant in the anime, but if you know anything about the comics, they cut so much of the story out. You care about him, because it’s brilliantly done, but you don’t really care about Kaneda, who isn’t.” 

 “The other thing they wanted to do was make [Tetsuo and Kaneda] brothers,” he continued. “I was like, ‘The point is that Tetsuo can’t comprehend how someone who isn’t his brother could love him so much — and that’s where his wrath and his rage come from. Do you not see that? Why have you made them brothers? What the fuck are you doing?’”

Chloë Moretz Offered Lead In Carrie Remake

It looks like Chloë Moretz (Hugo, Kick-Ass) is cementing her status as our modern day scream queen as THR reports she has been offered the lead in the Carrie remake. Moretz has been slowly been raking up horror roles with Let Me In, Dark Shadows and now Carrie making her the modern day Jamie Lee Curtis.   Julianne Moore is in the mix for the role of her nutty/religious mother which I hope happens.