Saturday, 27 July 2013

"More powerful than even the fear of death itself, is the will to win."

Universal Pictures have released their latest one sheets and trailer for Ron Howard's (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon) Formula 1 biopic, Rush, which charts the passionate, dangerous rivalry between drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda back in 1976. 

Written by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen), Rush chronicles the real life high speed competition that played out between hotshot English wheel man Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian perfectionist Lauda (Daniel Brühl). While one is a dashing playboy with a wild social life, the other is a quieter but no less driven genius of the track. Their rivalry became legend both on and off the Grand Prix circuit as they pushed themselves ever further in the pursuit of victory and glory.

"Folks from the era are fond of saying of the 1970s F1 racing that it was a time when sex was safe and driving was dangerous. That’s the way they lived," explains Howard. "These folks aren’t forthcoming with a lot of details but there are a lot of winks and nods. I really did sort of fall in love with the sport. I love teams but yet the drivers are really unique talents and fascinating personalities, which is why I was involved in the story. Peter Morgan wrote these characters brilliantly and there’s great acting opportunities blended with this cool, visceral action."

Hardcore Formula 1 fans are sure to have a thousand trivial observations about the period piece, which naturally has to deal with the very real problems of shooting the races in a cinematic fashion without relying too heavily on CGI. The general feel, however, is a positive one, and with Howard returning to Academy Award® winning territory, this could be one to look out for come awards season.

Co-starring Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy, Cowboys & Aliens), Natalie Dormer (Game Of Thrones) and Alexandra Maria Lara (The Reader), Rush screeches onto our screens on 13 September.

John Williams to score Star Wars: Episode VII

John Williams, the legendary composer who crafted the iconic, sweeping music of all six films in the Star Wars saga, is returning to score Star Wars: Episodes VII, VIII and IX, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced today at Star Wars Celebration Europe.

"I had breakfast with someone very important to the Star Wars family on Friday," she teased, "and he has committed to being involved in the next three films, and that is Mr John Williams."

Williams' grand orchestral compositions for Star Wars are among the most loved and recognisable in movie history, from the classic 'Main Title' theme introduced in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope to the ominous 'Imperial March' from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back to the stirring 'Duel of the Fates' from the prequel trilogy.

In a video played at Celebration Europe Williams said: "I've loved doing the Star Wars films, with all the fanfares and flourish. The galaxy far, far away – I actually feel like I'm still in it, that I've never really left it. Having worked on all of the the six films, I'm just happy to be continuing to be part of the whole fun of doing it."

Kennedy also went on to explain why Williams' involvement with the new movies was a must, "Every time I hear John’s music, it just gives me the chills. It’s so important to the saga. We’re all really excited that he’s a part of this."

Williams, whose career spans over six decades, has won five Academy Awards and has scored some of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time, including Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones series, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Lincoln, and countless others.

The composer joins a growing list of all star creators including director J.J. Abrams, screenwriter Michael Arndt, and consultants Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, who are currently shaping Star Wars: Episode VII for a 2015 release.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

First X-Men: Days Of Future Past one sheets unveiled

Last weeks X-Men: Days of Future Past panel at Comic Con featured four of the actors playing two characters: Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy, who have both played Professor Charles Xavier over four combined films, and Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, two actors who have starred as mutant revolutionary Erik 'Magneto' Lehnsherr. Now 20th Century Fox has released their first one sheets in a clever piece of marketing that features a mash-up of the young and old Marvel mutants.

No doubt these will be the first of many character posters to make their way onto the web over the coming months, keeping the publicity machine ticking over now that the madness of the Comic Con has died down.

Directed by X-Men alumni Bryan Singer, X-Men: Days Of Future Past finds the heroes struggling to change a dark alternate future in which nearly all mutants have been captured and forced into internment camps by Bolivar Trask's (Peter Dinklage) giant robot Sentinels. Professor X and Magneto find a way to send Logan (Hugh Jackman) back in time, where he tracks down and attempts to get the younger versions of the X-Men (including the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) to help change the future.

With Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Anna Paquin (True Blood), Ellen Page (Juno), Halle Berry (Cloud Atlas), Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Bingbing Fan (Ironman 3), Shawn Ashmore (The Ruins), Omar Sy (Micmacs), and Lucas Till (Stoker) rounding out the cast, expect X-Men: Days of Future Past here on May 22 next year.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Andrew Kevin Walker will be playing with Fire

Just as the prospect of Hollywood completing Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy seemed to be fading, news comes that part two, The Girl Who Played With Fire, has a new screenwriter and now seems a viable concern over at Sony Pictures. The studio has hired Seven (1995) scribe Andrew Kevin Walker to pen another draft of the screenplay originally written by Steve Zaillian and will be looking to reunite Daniel Craig (Mikael Blomkvist) and Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander) in the near future.

The question is, exactly when and with which director calling the shots? David Fincher is now tied up with Gone Girl, while Craig has another Bond outing looming on his schedule. Next year seems the likeliest option to shoot before Bond 24 kicks off and Craig is busy saving the world from a different kind of evil.

It was recently announced that Fincher's long gestating and very pricey 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was officially, well, 20,000 leagues under the sea. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fincher has ditched the project after trying and failing to secure his pick of a leading man. Walker, his screenwriter on that foiled project, is now charged with adapting the second in Larsson's trilogy of thrillers instead.

The Girl Who Played With Fire follows on from events at the end of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and sees Lisbeth Salander wealthy but rootless. Returning to Sweden, she's implicated in the murder of a journalist and reliant on Mikael Blomkvist's assistant to get to the bottom of yet more Scandinavian murk.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

"If you want the truth, you should seek it out for yourself. That's what they're afraid of: you."

Dreamworks Studios have just released the latest trailer for their upcoming Julian Assange biopic, The Fifth Estate.

Whatever your opinion of him may be, hero, martyr, villain or just an odd Aussie guy with unusual hair, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is surely one of the era's most polarising figures. With the maverick hacker still taking refuge in London's Ecuadorian embassy, and his story seemingly having a distance yet to travel, it seems somewhat premature for a biopic. But that's exactly what The Fifth Estate is providing.

The film, which was previously known as The Man Who Sold The World, sees director Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) swapping vampires for controversial true life figures.

"It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it's revolutionised the spread of information," says Condon. "So this film won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgement. We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked."

Adapted by Josh Singer from David Leigh, Luke Harding and Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s books, Fifth Estate will track the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, when the site and Assange himself exploded into worldwide infamy thanks to some highly confidential – and classified – document leaks.

Rather than an origin story for Assange, or a cloak and dagger thriller set among the zeroes and ones of the hacking community, The Fifth Estate sensibly ties both strands into a tale of fraying friendship.

The bond between Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his closest confederates, Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl), first buckles then breaks under the strain of global scrutiny and power politicking.

This pair of leads are in impressively good company, with Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones, Captain America: First Avenger), Laura Linney (The Savages), Anthony Mackie (The Adjustment Bureau), David Thewlis (War Horse), Peter Capaldi (In The Loop), Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) and Carice van Houten (Black Book) lending support.

The Fifth Estate is out on 1 January 2014.

First official still from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes revealed

Just days after the unveiling at Comic Con in San Diego, 20th Century Fox have released the first official still from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, featuring Caesar (Andy Serkis) as he leads his army of battle ready primates.

Stepping into the second instalment of the rebooted Apes franchise, Cloverfield (2008) director Matt Reeves recently revealed to Comic Con his plans for next year's film and brought his cast for the ride.

"I was obsessed with Planet Of The Apes as a child; I wanted to BE an ape," says Reeves. "When I saw Rise, I felt that watching it made me an ape, and that happened because of what Rupert and Andy Serkis and Weta did, which was to connect with what being an ape was, and I wanted to honour that and carry it forward. We wanted to do a Caesar-centric story that started in the world of the apes."

"When that movie ended there was a viral apocalypse that was about to begin, and we all know that that story goes on a trajectory towards the original Planet Of The Apes. So how could we tell that story and bring in humans worthy of it? That's what we've tried to do."

Set 10 years after the events of Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Reeves is keen to point out that “the movie is not a post apocalyptic film. Caesar rules a primitive but majestic kingdom. [This film is about] the way they come into being. They are thinking and wondering… are the humans gone? Because it’s all from their point of you. Then [once the human survivors are discovered], it becomes a question of survival. Can they co-exist and can they survive? Whether or not they can find a way to live together…”

"I asked them to show me the footage of everything Andy had done wearing the crazy grey suit that he wears, then I watched him up against the footage," says Reeves, talking about how he first approached the franchise. "It was so emotionally real. I think the key is you take the one fantastic element – they’re intelligent apes – and you let that be the one fantastical element. We went out to the woods, to use the natural light there, to keep it real. I want the reaction to be ‘Oh yeah, and they’re apes!’ You have the cover of the genre to protect you."

"I did not jump too far from the events of Rise," Reeves adds. "What was exciting for me was watching the apes learn how to speak. Three or four words in the first movie, here they are somewhere on the way to the '68 movie, where they are fully conversational."

Serkis had something to add on the language front too. "[The apes] communicate through the American sign language that allows for a universal sign language with the rest of the apes. There’s some gestures and vocal speaking. Then there are the young apes learning to speak better and faster than their parents."

"One of the big challenges of this movie was to take Caesar forward," says Serkis, "to have him become a leader with responsibility for a society of 2000 apes, to inject some of the humanity he grew up with into that society so it would be a peaceful and egalitarian one. He's ten years older; he's a leader, a mature leader; he has a wife and teenage son. It's really all about the choices and reactions to the arrival of the humans and Caesar's response to that. It's about teaching the apes language as well as sign language. It's very rich and fertile ground for exploring the inner ape and also a lot about humanity."

"What's great about the Apes franchise is it's about us," said Reeves, "a way to look at our nature. The movie is really about character and psychology. It's about who are these characters and how do we get from A to Z."

With Jason Clarke (Lawless, Zero Dark Thirty), Keri Russell (Dark Skies), Judy Greer (The Descendants) and Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Rises) rounding out the cast, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes will be in screens on 18 July 2014.

Tom Hanks and Ron Howard head for Inferno

Dan Brown's Inferno may only have been released in May, but plans are already under way for a film adaption of the novel.

It was announced this week that Tom Hanks is to reprise his role as Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbology professor and main character of Dan Brown's series of bestselling books. The Inferno adaption is to be directed by Ron Howard, director of The Da Vinci Code (2006) and its sequel, Angels and Demons (2009). Imagine is on board to produce, with David Koepp penning the screenplay.

This outing finds Langdon in Italy, grappling with a chilling puzzle revolving around Dante's Inferno, first part of the epic 14th Century poem The Divine Comedy. Their he'll face a new and cunning adversary with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, global plagues and futuristic science.

The decision to adapt Inferno as the next film follows a dispute over the third instalment of Brown's series, The Lost Symbol. In 2012 it was announced that Danny Strong, an Emmy-winning writer (who also played Jonathan Levinson in television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer), would adapt the novel as a screenplay. However, Howard refused to direct the film and little has been heard about the project since.

Inferno sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in its first week of release, although this is only half the 550,000 copies The Lost Symbol sold on publication in 2009. However, the film franchise has traditionally performed well for Sony Pictures, who own the film rights. The first film grossed more than £500 million worldwide, with Angels and Demons raking in £320 million at the global box office.

Inferno is due to be released in December 2015.

"You want to know how powerful I am? Well I want to know too. I'm Electro!"

In recent weeks the internet has been awash with pictures of Jamie Foxx in his full Electro get-up for Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Now with Comic Con in full swing (excuse the pun), Sony is starting to ramp things up, putting out this short teaser showing the man himself talking to an off-screen scientist as he’s strapped into a mechanic device.

It may only be a quick burst of from the film, but it’s enough to give us a tease of the main villain.

Foxx recently revealed to MTV about Electro's origin: "What you'll see is that, for his whole life, no one is talking to him. People have stolen his ideas at the big company. He's a nobody. At a certain point, Spider-Man bumps into him and says, 'You're my guy. You're my ears and eyes on the street.' Then he says his name [Max Dillon], and no one has ever said Dillon's name. He goes, 'Wow!' and, when Spider-Man leaves, he sort of thinks 'I am Spider-Man's partner!'. He's cutting out Spider-Man's face and pasting it on all his boards... [Then] everything goes bad with his mom. She doesn't remember his birthday. He has something tragic happen and, when it turns on, he lights it up."

There's a lot of detail here, from the potential Oscorp connection to the budding friendship between the two lead characters – a friendship, it's safe to say, that should turn pretty sour by the end of the film. As for his relationship with this mother, that's a key part of Electro's character, which ties in neatly with the Marvel comic book canon.

"There are a lot of incarnations of Electro in the comics, and I tried to think about a yellow and green suit and couldn't make any logical sense of that." Webb told the Comic Con panel. "There are elements of his creation I want to protect, but I'll say that when you see a storm cloud come over the horizon and there are those flashes of incredible lightning, that's what we wanted from Electro. I also wanted to protect the emotion of Jamie's performance, and step away from a mask to create a creature that felt human but also godlike. It felt important to give Spider-Man an antagonist who felt creepy and threatening but also immensely powerful."

As well as dealing with bad guys, the plot finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) juggling his new found superhero world with his usual life – not the least of which is his ongoing relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

So he’s naturally not best pleased when, in trying to dig further into his past for clues about his real nature, he also has to deal with the arrival of Electro and new enemy Rhino (Paul Giamatti). There’s also time for meeting up with old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), whose father Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) runs Oscorp.

The Amazing Spider-Man sequel is scheduled to swing in on 18 April 2014.

Edge Of Tomorrow one sheets now online

Warner Bros have just released their latest one sheets for Tom Cruise's new science fiction thriller Edge Of Tomorrow (originally titled All You Need Is Kill).

Edge Of Tomorrow finds Cruise as Lieutenant Colonel Bill Cage, dropped into the middle of a near-future conflict between humanity and a seemingly unbeatable alien race. Cage is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously sent on what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, he finds himself thrown into a time loop where he fights and dies in the same battle, but with each repetition, learns to engage his adversaries with increasing skill.

Despite the title shift, the movie remains based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka's original novel. Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau, Looper), Bill Paxton (Titanic), Kick Gurry (Speed Racer), Dragomir Mrsic (Wallander), Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue), Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood) and Franz Drameh (Attack The Block) are among the cast, with Jumper director Doug Liman calling the shots.

The film is set for release here on 30 May next year.

First I, Frankenstein character one sheets arrive

Lionsgate have released these rather stylish character one sheets ahead of this years Comic Con in San Diego. I, Frankenstein features Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Battle Los Angeles) as a slightly more handsome (if somewhat scarred) take on Frankenstein’s creature.

With Stuart Beattie taking a second stab at directing one of his scripts (based on the graphic novel from Underworld’s Kevin Grevioux), I, Frankenstein is set in a dystopic present where vigilant gargoyles and ferocious demons rage in a battle for ultimate power, Victor Frankenstein's creation Adam (Eckhart) finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality.

During the Comic Con panel Eckhart said, "This is a Frankenstein who's been walking the Earth for 200 years and is seemingly immortal. He gets caught up in a supernatural war between demons and gargoyles; the demons want to discover the secret of Frankenstein's eternal life, and so he's caught between the two and the fate of mankind rests on him."

Grevioux went on to say, "After Underworld, I was trying to find a way to bring another monster to life in a modern context, and I wrote a screenplay and based on that I wrote the graphic novel trying to find a way to make Frankenstein an action hero - and I think we did that."

Various supernatural types duelling it out for something special seems your usual Grevioux fare, but this neat twist on Mary Shelley’s classic creation could prove to be the sleeper success of 2014.

I, Frankenstein will be out in January next year.

Johnny Depp on board for Alice In Wonderland sequel

Despite garnering fairly lukewarm reviews across the board, Alice In Wonderland (2010) was hugely lucrative for Disney, so much so that a sequel always seemed inevitable.

The original’s $1 billion worldwide take was at least partly down the presence of crowd pleaser Johnny Depp, and so Disney will be thrilled to have entered final negotiations with the star over a potential return.

According to Deadline, discussions have reached an advanced stage, with Depp looking increasingly likely to reprise his role as The Mad Hatter.

With Muppets (2011) director James Bobin replacing Tim Burton in the director’s chair, the sequel has yet to receive an official release date, but expect that to change as soon as Depp has officially announced.

In related Disney/Depp news, Depp has also moved his production company, Infinitim Nihil, to the Mouse House, signing a new multi year first look deal to develop and produce film projects. Let’s not forget he has a new Pirates Of The Caribbean adventure pencilled in for 2015, with Kon-Tiki (2012) directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg preparing to bring Captain Jack Sparrow back to our screens.

Superman to face Batman in Man Of Steel sequel

There have already been quite few surprise at this years Comic Con in San Diego. None more so than when Zack Snyder took the lectern and announced "some shit's going to happen up here". And it certainly did, with the news that Warner Bros are planning a Superman/Batman team up for the Supes next outing in 2015. Sequel to this year's Man Of Steel which has already grossed $621m worldwide.

"I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for supporting the movie," said Snyder. "It was great working with such an awesome character and have everyone respond. But I wanted to come up personally, because I know there's been a lot of speculation about what we're doing, and I wanted it to come from me and say that it's official that we're going to do another Superman movie."

"The truth is I'm not going to tell you what it's about, but I can say that maybe there's a single element that will be in the film that I could help you out with. And so I was thinking about how to do that, and I pored through the DC Universe to find a way to tell you this thing, and I came across a thing that might sum it up. We're writing it now, so it doesn't exist, but there's a thing to help you understand. So I have a friend here, Harry Lennix, who was in Man Of Steel, and I bring him out because his voice is better than mine. He's going to read a little thing - we're not adapting this thing, but it will help you."

Lennix read, "I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you." The quote is taken from Frank Miller's highly acclaimed The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel. Needless to say the crowd went slightly nuts.

Then Synder revealed this image of the Superman shield with the Batman logo imposed behind it.

Here is the official Warner Bros. press release:
BURBANK, Calif., Jul 20, 2013 — On the heels of the worldwide success of "Man of Steel," director Zack Snyder is bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time–Batman and Superman–for the first time on the big screen. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. 
The current hit, "Man of Steel," has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcoming film brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.
Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in Summer 2015. 
Silverman stated, "Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way." Kroll added, "We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel’ is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us."
Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted, "Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DC Entertainment could not be more excited for Zack’s continuing vision for the DC Universe." 
Zack Snyder, who made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con today, breaking the news to audiences there, later said, "I’m so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can’t wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Super Heroes in the world." 
The new film brings back Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder as producers. This time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan. 
Thomas offered, "Whilst our ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy is complete, we have every confidence that Zack’s fresh interpretation will take the character in a new and exciting direction. His vision for Superman opened the door to a whole new universe and we can’t wait to see what Zack does with these characters." 
The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.
2015 is certainly shaping up to be the biggest year for blockbusters ever.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Marvel unveils Agent Carter One Shot

Continuing with their popular Comic Con tradition, Marvel have debuted their latest short (or One Shot) Agent Carter at the Reading Gaslamp in San Diego. This rather fab, Pulp Fiction esque poster was debuted by Entertainment Weekly ahead of the Comic-Con screening.

Following in the footsteps of last year's Avengers follow-up, Item 47, Agent Carter is a fun packed 15 minute vehicle for Hayley Atwell's vivacious yet formidable wartime agent, Peggy Carter, last seen shedding a tear as Steve Rogers disappeared off her radar at the end of Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

"Fans of the first film really wanted to find out what happened to Peggy afterwards", elaborates Atwell, "so Marvel are also making a short film, which is basically 'What Peggy Did Next'."

The bittersweet ending of that movie, and the shifting of Steve Rogers into the present day, seemed to spell the end for any significant Marvel presence for Atwell, who impressed so highly in The First Avenger. As it turns out, not only did Peggy become a firm fan favourite, but Marvel's top brass, including studio chief and One Shot director Louis D'Eposito, also wanted to give her a storyline that put her front and centre. Cameras rolled in March for just under a week, and now four months later D’Esposito has unveiled his film in front of a feverish audience packed with giddy fans.

Set one year after the events of The First Avenger, Peggy - still raw after the loss of Steve Rogers - has been transferred to a new government agency, where her boss (Bradley Whitford) seeks to oppress and undermine her at every turn, keeping her glued firmly to her desk. But when a tip-off comes in, Peggy sees her chance to take on a dangerous mission.

Suffice to say Peggy kicks some serious butt, as this short clip demonstrates.

We can also expect to see plenty of neat Easter eggs and cameos from key Captain America players. Not to mention a self-mocking post-credits sting from a company that’s become synonymous with the practise.

At $750,000 it certainly has a budget that dwarfs any short film I can think of and production values to match.

Those lucky enough to be at this years Comic-Con have reported that the short really belongs to Atwell, delivering in her usual fine feisty fashion, whether she's defying her boss or smacking an anonymous henchmen around the head with a briefcase. In fact, based on this form, it's somewhat a shame that Atwell won't be playing a key role in the Captain America franchise. That said, we'd be more than happy to watch a series of Agent Carter shorts.

Sadly that's unlikely to happen. D'Esposito recently confirmed that Marvel are currently unlikely to accelerate their One Shot production schedule beyond one a year, and that the subject matter for next year's short is yet to be decided. It's a safe bet, though, that just as Agent Carter is designed to link in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, whatever they come up with will tie in with either Guardians Of The Galaxy or The Avengers 2.

Rumour has it we can expect to see the Agent Carter One Shot for ourselves when it appears as an exclusive extra for the Blu-ray release of Iron Man 3, due later this year.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

First trailer for Spike Lee's Oldboy reboot now online

The first trailer has arrived for Spike Lee's (Malcom X, 25th Hour, Inside Man) ambitious, intriguing remake of Chan-wook Park's brutal 2003 film Oldboy. Although those of you coming to the story completely fresh, might want to skip the red band trailer to avoid too many spoilers.

Lee’s take on the Manga cult classic, sees advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) imprisoned for reasons he can’t fathom, locked away in solitary confinement for 20 years and then just as mysteriously released to seek vengeance against those he thinks are responsible. Who is telling the truth? And who will survive?

Lee certainly seems to have cooked up a stylish, moody film here – the big challenge will be in standing up to Chan-Wook’s original. With Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Django Unchained), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones), Sharlto Copley (District 9) and Lance Reddick (White House Down) in the cast, Oldboy will be out on 6 December.

"I won't have her turned into one of your silly cartoons!"

Walt Disney Pictures has just released the first trailer for their upcoming and eagerly anticipated Walt Disney biopic, Saving Mr. Banks.

Saving Mr Banks finds Tom Hanks as Disney, and chronicles his struggle to convince Mary Poppins author
P.L. Travers that his company deserved the chance to turn her classic tale into a film. Travers was opposed to the idea, and the picture shows Disney bringing her to Disneyland in an attempt to woo her over.

"She was a woman of quite eye-watering complexity and contradiction," Thompson told Time’s site. "Often I play people who are controlled by some very clear guiding moral principles. Like Margaret Schlegel in Howards End, guided by the early principles of feminism and equal rights, and Elinor Dashwood in Sense And Sensibility, guided by the principles of decency and honour. There are very clear moral prisms these women pour life through, and I understand that very well. And Travers was not like that at all. She was far more chaotic and confused and morally various."

Travers didn’t feel that Disney had quite got the core of what Mary Poppins is all about, and it takes some time for him to get to the core of the matter: the story is really about Travers’ own family, and, in particular, her father.

This promises to be light and breezy with some typically Disney emotional overtones, anchored of course by Hanks and Thompson doing what they do best and acting the hell out of their roles. Directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), Saving Mr Banks will be out on January 17 next year.

Sam Mendes back for Bond 24

Sony Pictures have today confirmed the Sam Mendes will be back behind the camera for Bond 24. The director, so assured on Skyfall but initially hesitant to commit to another 00 instalment, has thrilled the Bond faithful with the news that he'll be back for another slug of espionage.

Last years Skyfall became both the highest grossing film in the Bond franchise and the highest grossing film in the UK of all time, with $1.1 billion in worldwide ticket sales to date.

The film also won two Oscars. One for Adele's best original song and another for sound editing.

It's proving to be a busy period for Mendes, currently helming the West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Douglas Hodge, in London.

"I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments", Mendes said in a statement, "the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time."

Wilson and Broccoli added: "Following the extraordinary success of Skyfall, we're really excited to be working once again with Daniel Craig, Sam Mendes and John Logan."

Bond 24 already has a UK release date set for 23 October 2015, while the US release is scheduled for 6 November.

First trailer for Seventh Son arrives online

Russian director Sergey Bodrov (Mongol) is making his English language debut with Seventh Son, a somewhat loose adaptation of The Spook's Apprentice, the first part of the popular The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. If you have read the book, you can expect some pretty major changes in story. Judging by the trailer though, expect this to be seriously epic fantasy with some pretty impressive visuals.

Jeff Bridges stars as Master Gregory, a wandering wizard known as a 'spook', who fights off witches and demons preying on townspeople, but who is himself an object of scorn and suspicion. His young ward Tom Ward (Ben Barnes), is the seventh son of a seventh son, born with inate gifts for magic but untrained when Julianne Moore's slinky but evil Mother Malkin escapes her bonds and starts gathering witches for a major showdown.

Reunited for the first time since The Big Lebowski (1989), Bridges and Moore are certainly keeping tongues firmly in their cheeks, with hammy performances bordering to match the fantasy material. That said, with the potential for plenty of big budget action set pieces, the scale and spectacle may yet outweigh what looks a slightly hackneyed set-up.

Seventh Son also stars Kit Harrington (Game Of Thrones), Antje Traue (Man Of Steel), Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina), Olivia Williams (Hyde Park On Hudson), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Jason Scott Lee (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story).

Seventh Son opens in the US on 17 January 2014, with a UK date to be confirmed.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

First teaser poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier

With the geek mecca that is the San Diego Comic Con just over a week away, we are likely to get a good look at some footage from the latest Marvel Phase 2 instalments, including Steve Rodgers' next outing in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But before any of that kicks off, Marvel is offering up this teaser poster, which simply features the Captain's battle ravaged shield.

The Winter Soldier sees Chris Evans' hero still struggling to embrace his role in the modern world, despite the events of The Avengers. Here he teams up with fellow Avenger Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow) to battle a powerful, shadowy enemy in Washington, D.C.

It's no spoiler that the shadowy enemy in question is none other than his resurrected friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who has been cybernetically altered to become the ultimate assassin, giving name to the sequels subtitle.

Along for the ride are Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, The Adjustment Bureau) as the feathered Sam Wilson (a.k.a. Falcon), Frank Grillo (The Grey, Zero Dark Thirty) as the gun-friendly Brock Rumlow (a.k.a. Crossbones) and mixed martial artist Georges St-Pierre as the springy Georges Batroc (a.k.a. Baltroc The Leaper).

There is also confirmation from Marvel that Hayley Atwell will be returning as Peggy Carter, though presumably this will be a flashback sequence contrary to what she herself has said. Toby Jones' Arnim Zola will also be returning, again presumably as a flashback. Joining the regulars are Emily VanCamp as Agent 13 (a.k.a. Sharon Carter, a relative of Peggy's), Maximiliano Hernández as Agent Jasper Sitwell, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, and of course, Samuel L. Jackson returning as S.H.I.E.L.D. head honcho, Nick Fury. Not to mention screen legend Robert Redford who will playing Agent Alexander Pierce, a senior leader within S.H.I.E.L.D.

In the directors chair(s) are brothers Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me And Dupree, Community) who are returning to features after spending the last seven years producing for TV.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is due for release on 4 April 2014.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

New Lovelace trailer arrives online

Millennium Films have just released their latest trailer and one sheet for Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's (Howl) Lovelace, their biopic which finds Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables) as Linda Boreman, the woman who would become the famous and infamous Deep Throat (1972) star, Linda Lovelace.

Lovelace charts Boreman's rise and ultimate fall, from her early meetings with future husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard), to her lusty dive into the world of X-rated cinema and the problems that followed.

While the trailer initially plays up some of the more fun elements, including the slightly goofy porn crew, the film also chronicles the abuse she suffered at the hands of the creepy Svengali Traynor and the tough choices she had to make. Outwardly, she seemed to be the poster girl for women's independence, while her personal life was much more complicated.

Expect a bittersweet take on an unusually lived life.

Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman the film also features an ensemble cast including Juno Temple (Killer Joe), Chloë Sevigny (Hit & Miss), Chris Noth (Sex And The City), Adam Brody (Mr & Mrs Smith), Robert Patrick (Gangster Squad), Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct), Hank Azaria (Love & Other Drugs), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) and Howl star James Franco as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

Lovelace is out on 23 August.

Drew Struzan documentary draws up a trailer

Whilst some of you may be unfamiliar with his name, most of you will certainly be familiar with his work.

If there is one person indelibly linked with movie artwork across the last few decades, it's poster genius Drew Struzan. A man who has beautifully crafted some of the most iconic one sheets of all time for films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner and the Harry Potter series. Though he has been acclaimed for years, only now is he getting his full documentary due with Drew: The Man Behind The Poster.

Telling the tale through exclusive interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Thomas Jane, Sam Witwer, Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, and many other artists, critics and filmmakers,

Featuring exclusive interviews with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Michael J Fox, Harrison Ford, Thomas Jane, Frank Darabont and Guillermo del Toro, the feature length documentary spans Struzan's early life and career producing album cover art, through his success as one of the most recognisable and influential movie poster artists of all time. The feature also covers Struzan's illustration methods, carefully fashioning each image to fit both the film and a feeling.

Here too are 5 of my favourite Struzan one sheets:

1. Star Wars (1977)

2. Blade Runner (1982)

3. Cannonball Run II (1984)

4. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

5. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

The piece will premiere - somewhat fittingly - at this year’s Comic Con in San Diego, with a screening on 19 July, before a Stateside roll out on a very limited number of screens on 16 August. There’s no word as yet on a UK release date or even if it will make it to our shores. We can but hope…

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

"Today we are cancelling the apocalypse!"

Warner Bros have just launched there fourth an final trailer for Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim. This latest promo throttles back on the giant robots versus massive monster take downs and instead introduces us to the pilots behind the towering Jaeger machines.

Pacific Rim may feature lots of epic clashes between giant creatures, but it also includes a human story of loss, fear, connection and spirit. On the verge of defeat, the fate of mankind lies with two unlikely heroes - washed up former pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) - who team up to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past.

Amongst the latest promos released ahead of the launch includes this fantastic featurette with del Toro talking in some detail about his meticulously designed Kaiju.

With Guillermo del Toro marshalling the madness and keeping a close eye on the actors, Pacific Rim also features Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses), ex-Eastender Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini (Colombiana), Clifton Collins Jr (Crank: High Voltage), Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises) and old del Toro mascot Ron Perlman (Hellboy).

Pacific Rim roars onto our screens on 12 July.