Thursday, 31 July 2014

"My name is Max. My world is fire and blood."

Following the launch at this years San Diego Comic Con, Warner Bros have just released their latest characters one sheets and new footage for George Miller's post-apocalyptic adventure Mad Max: Fury Road.














The footage certainly showcases an impressive blend of brutal physical stunt car action and stunning panoramic desert visuals.

The Mad Max reboot – which finds Tom Hardy (Lawless) taking over the iconic role from Mel Gibson for a new interpretation – promises a return to the stark, post-apocalyptic wasteland where society has long since broken down and lawlessness rules.

But in this world of blood, fire and death there are two rebels who might just be able to restore order. Max is still seeking peace of mind after the deaths of his wife and child, and now battles bad guys wherever he finds them. Then there is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a shaven-headed woman of action who is trying to survive a long, gruelling trip across the desert to reach her homeland. Along the way, we'll be treated to what Miller has described as one long chase scene, full of action and madness. Arguably the very foundations for a Mad Max outing.

With Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Riley Keough (The Runaways), Zoë Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark Of The Moon), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Sleeping Beauty), Nathan Jones (Conan The Barbarian), Abbey Lee Kershaw and Courtney Eaton in the cast, Mad Max: Fury Road is out on 15 May next year.




Ridley Scott options The Devil In The Kitchen

With so many projects currently bubbling away in Ridley Scott's development kitchen, it's a wonder he has time to monitor them all. Still, that's what a production company like Scott Free is there for. Just as well with Deadline announcing yet another development possibility for the Prometheus director: Marco Pierre White's memoir The Devil In The Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness And The Making Of A Great Chef.




Scott has invested alongside fellow producers Giannina Facio and Colet Abedi to buy the rights to White's tome, which somewhat unsurprisingly, chronicles his rise to become one of the pioneers of the celebrity chef archetype. It has all the usual ingredients: a riotous childhood, rock star status in the 1980s kitchen scene bristling with other trendy types and his work training the likes of Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay. Not mention the fact that he was the youngest chef ever to win three Michelin stars, only to give them back.

Scott is so far set to produce. He may end up behind the camera, or he may, as with the recent American Football head trauma drama Game Brain, set it up for someone else to make. But the story of an enfant terrible who became a famous chef does sound like the sort of alpha personality Scott channels well to the screen.

The director's latest, Exodus: Gods And Kings is set for release on 26 December.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

James Gunn set to direct Guardians Of The Galaxy 2

It may not sound like the biggest surprise, but given that only a handful of directors chosen for Marvel projects have returned for more than one film, it's still somewhat newsworthy for Guardians Of The Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman to announce via The Wrap that co-writer/director James Gunn (Super) will be returning for the films sequel.





Even despite his own self-professed weariness after giving over two years of his life to making the first film, Gunn has been talking about how pleased he is with the final product and how sad he will be to stop inhabiting the Guardians universe. The gamble of letting him put his offbeat personal stamp on the film has clearly paid off though, with Marvel also announcing at this years San Diego Comic Con that Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 will be out on 28 July 2017.

The first film, meanwhile, finds American pilot Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord, the object of a manhunt after stealing a mysterious stolen McGuffin orb coveted by the villainous Ronan (Lee Pace).
Whilst in a prison, he meets an unusual suspects line-up of aliens including deadly green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), hulking warrior Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista), talking tree Groot (Vin Diesel) and gruff warrior Rocket Raccoon.

With Benicio Del Toro (Savages), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), Peter Serafinowicz (Saun Of The Dead), Ophelia Lovibond (Mr. Popper's Penguins), Gregg Henry (Slither), Laura Haddock (Da Vinci's Demons), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond), Michael Rooker (Super) and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) rounding out the cast, Guardians Of The Galaxy arrives in the UK on the 31 July and the US on 1 August.

Monday, 28 July 2014

First look at Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Warner Bros have just released their first image of Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) as Wonder Woman for Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel (2013) sequel Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.





The 300 (2006) director tweeted the picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot as the superhero to his 196,000 plus followers while at San Diego Comic Con at the weekend.

The image shows a leather-clad Gadot in thigh high boots brandishing a sword in the midst of a volcano spewing ash. Gadot's costume is certainly a departure from the recognisable red, white, blue and gold outfit that Wonder Woman is best known for. Our guess is that this particular ensemble is all part of the characters Amazonian origin story as Princess Diana of Themyscira.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, of course, picks up the story amid the fallout from Man Of Steel (2013) as the likes of Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) figure out how to exploit paranoia about Earth's newly discovered alien adopted son, while Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is also interested in his motives.

The film will feature returning Man Of Steel cast members Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, with Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) aboard as Wonder Woman alongside Jeremy Irons (Beautiful Creatures), Holly Hunter (Paradise), Diane Lane (Secretariat), Jason Momoa (Conan The Barbarian), Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine), Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty) and Scoot McNairy (Argo). Zack Snyder (300) is busy cranking the cameras now, with the film set for a UK release on 29 April 2016.

First trailer for Kevin Smith's Tusk arrives online

A24 Films have just released their first trailer for Kevin Smith's (Red State) Tusk.





It has become something of a tradition over the years for Clerks (1994) writer/director Kevin Smith to take over Comic Con's Hall H at the tail end of the Saturday programme for one of his rambling, funny and ever candid Q&A sessions. This year was no different, except that he also brought along the trailer for his new horror movie, Tusk.

Justin Long (Drag Me To Hell) stars as Wallace, a podcast host who spends his time travelling around the US and Canada finding interesting eccentric characters with a story to tell. Assisted by friend and producer Teddy (Haley Joel Osment), he's a seeker after the weird and wonderful.

So when he receives a letter from Howard Howe (Michael Parks) who promises a tale of seagoing adventure and reminiscences that include interactions with Ernest Hemingway, Wallace heads to the Great White North to interview the man. Unfortunately for our furry lipped chatterbox, Howard has an ulterior motive: he's looking for someone to turn into a living man/walrus creature. And the tea he serves Wallace is laced with knockout drugs. Soon, Teddy and Wallace's girlfriend Allison (Genesis Rodriguez) are frantically searching for him. But Howard has thought carefully about his crazy plan...

With Smith taking the idea from a strange advert he saw and talked up on his podcast, he's definitely embracing the idea of being a low-budget horror filmmaker. His next couple of films are planned as the other two parts of a loose Canadian trilogy. This one is certainly intriguing and unlike anything he's done before.




Tusk will arrive in the US on 19 September, while Sony Pictures has the film for the UK but is yet to reveal a release date.

"Will you follow me... one last time?"

Warner Bros have just released their first trailer and two new one sheets for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.







The rechristened The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is the final film in the (unexpected) Hobbit trilogy, and arguably the most eagerly anticipated, what with the epic battles, dragons and the necromancer, and – with any luck – aerial dogfights, as director Peter Jackson has hinted at before. Now, stoking the flames of excitement, are a new still from the film featuring Gandalf (Ian McKellen)

Those who haven't read the book will have already worked out that there's a rather large brawl on the horizon, especially with the ending of the second film seeing everyone's favourite wild wyrm Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) about to turn Lake-town and it's inhabitants into toast. For more spoiler details, if you can call them that, read on.

Spoilers for non-readers follow!

The Battle Of The Five Armies, of course, sees goblins and wargs face-off against dwarves, elves, men and giant eagles in a quest to gain control of Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) and Smaug's treasures within. In the book, Bilbo spends much of the conflict unconscious – we wonder whether that will still be the case onscreen? One change this time should see the orcs being led by the Necromancer (also Benedict Cumberbatch), making them even more formidable.

Spoilers end

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will hit cinemas on 12 December 2014, starring, as ever, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt and many more.




New image of Ben Affleck as Batman arrives online

While he may not look a day over 40, the Batman character turns 75 this year – and to mark the occasion, Warner Bros have unveiled a new image of Ben Affleck (Runner Runner) as the Caped Crusader.





The image, first released at the DC Comics booth on the main floor at this years Comic Con in San Diego, has also just been tweeted by Zack Snyder (Man Of Steel), director of the forthcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. And while it doesn't give away much more than the first look at Affleck's Batman (see below), which debuted a few months back, this one certainly gives us a better sense if impressive cowl design. Not to mention Affleck's epic chin.





Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, of course, follows the fallout from Man Of Steel's chaotic battles, with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) exploiting uncertainties about Superman (Henry Cavill) for his own ends. Not to mention Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) joining the action. Snyder is busy rolling the cameras now in Detroit and beyond, with Laurence Fishburne (Contagion), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Jeremy Irons (Beautiful Creatures), Holly Hunter (Paradise), Diane Lane (Secretariat), Jason Momoa (Conan The Barbarian), Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine) and Callan Mulvey (Zero Dark Thirty) in front of his lens.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is set for worldwide release on 6 May 2016.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

New one sheet and trailer for Horns arrives online

Lionsgate have just released their latest one sheet and trailer for Alexandre Aja's (The Hills Have Eyes) Horns featuring a devilish Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings).





If it feels like Horns – adapted from Joe Hill's excellent horror novel – has been lingering in the underworld for a while, that's because it's been for a solid release date following it's successful run at last years festivals circuit.

Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, the never convicted prime suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns growing from his head and soon realises that their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend's tragedy and to exact revenge on her killer.

Directed by Aja from Keith Bunin's adaptation of the novel, Horns is one of those films we're eager to finally see. The cast also boasts the likes of David Morse (The Hurt Locker), Max Minghella (The Social Network), Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13), Heather Graham (Compulsion) and James Remar (Django Unchained), with the film hitting UK cinemas on 31 October – surely the perfect day.



First poster for Neill Blomkamp's Chappie arrives online

For Neill Blomkamp's next slice of science fiction freshness, Chappie, he's tapping into a more comedic vein that was evident in either District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013). Both of those have plenty of wit and laughs, but at the end of the day there is only so much levity to be mined from the sight of Matt Damon being drilled into an exosuit. With the film doing the promotional rounds at this years San Diego Comic Con, the team behind Chappie have just released their first poster.





The director rolled cameras in Johannesburg at the end of last year, with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine), Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), Sharlto Copley (District 9), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Crank: High Voltage), Ninja, Yolandi Visser and Brandon Auret (Elysium), who is voicing the main character.

Chappie, penned by Blomkamp and his old District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell, sees the title character kidnapped at birth by two gangsters and becoming the adopted son of a strange, dysfunctional family. He's a preternaturally gifted prodigy who happens to be a robot.

How that all parlays into the story remains to be seen, but Blomkamp is promising strong visuals and plenty of comedy. "District 9, Elysium and Chappie were all born out of some visual concept first," he told Empire Online back in 2012. "Chappie is the imagery, because I think I'm a visual person first, of this ridiculous robot character. It's much more comedy based, and in an unusual setting."

Chappie will make its bow in the UK cinemas on 6 March 2015.

The Amazing Spider-Man 3 pushed back to 2018

While Sony Pictures has been ambitious with its plans for the expansion of the Spider-Man universe through the current Amazing Spider-Man franchise, the second film in the series wasn't quite the massive smash the studio had been hoping for. Word now comes via Hero Complex that the third film to focus on the web slinger, originally scheduled for 2016, has now been pushed back to 2018.





But if you're wondering what might fill the Spidey void, the villains have your back. The Sinister Six, which Drew Goddard (The Cabin In The Woods) is writing and directing, will step in, taking aim with all its dastardly weapons at 11 November 2016. The film will feature the likes of the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), alongside a variety of others plucked from Peter Parker's rogues' gallery.

As for the third Spidey film, Marc Webb has said he'll return to close out an initial trilogy before getting back to non web-slinging projects and the new release date gives him the time to focus on the film, which Sony will no doubt hope bests the first film's box office takings, an achievement the sequel failed to manage. Expect Andrew Garfield's Peter to be dealing with the fallout from the tragic events of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and presumably finding new love with Mary Jane Watson, whether or not she ends up being played by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), who had already shot scenes but was later cut from this year's film.

First one sheet for Mad Max: Fury Road arrives online

Warner Bros have just released their first one sheet for George Miller's post-apocalyptic adventure Mad Max: Fury Road.




The Mad Max reboot – which finds Tom Hardy (Lawless) taking over the iconic role from Mel Gibson for a new interpretation – promises a return to the stark, post-apocalyptic wasteland where society has long since broken down and lawlessness rules.

But in this world of blood, fire and death there are two rebels who might just be able to restore order. Max is still seeking peace of mind after the deaths of his wife and child, and now battles bad guys wherever he finds them. Then there is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a shaven-headed woman of action who is trying to survive a long, gruelling trip across the desert to reach her homeland. Along the way, we'll be treated to what Miller has described as one long chase scene, full of action and madness. Arguably the very foundations for a Mad Max outing.

With Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Riley Keough (The Runaways), Zoë Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark Of The Moon), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Sleeping Beauty), Nathan Jones (Conan The Barbarian), Abbey Lee Kershaw and Courtney Eaton in the cast, Mad Max: Fury Road is out on 15 May next year.

First look at Duncan Jones’ World Of Warcraft

As this year's San Diego Comic Con gets underway, one of the more hotly anticipated titles is Duncan Jones' (Source Code) cinematic take on the sprawling online multiplayer game World Of Warcraft. Legendary Pictures has a booth set up on the convention floor with the new title displayed as revealed on Twitter.




Also on display is the horde's deadly Doomhammer and the Alliance's mighty Lion Shield.





Jones himself was on hand to introduce the presentation, telling fans a little bit about the context for the film. "There is an awful lot to draw on from Warcraft," he said. "In this case I think it really merits an origin story. We want to show how the world of Azeroth falls into conflict between orcs and humans."

The film only recently wrapped shooting and is headed into a long post-production process, meaning much of the exact plot remains a mystery, though we do now know that Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) is playing a magic-user named Medivh who must return to help his fellow humans when orc hordes invade. We're promised a balanced look at both sides of the conflict, but with so many possibilities from the massive game, it could explore any aspect.

Whether it's close enough to what fans are expecting to allay the fears of the game's nine million-plus subscribers is remains to be seen.

"We were trying to do the set-building and world-building that was done on Lord Of The Rings but also the technology of Avatar," explained Jones. "It was like making both films at once."

With Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), Toby Kebbell (War Horse), Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Dominic Cooper (The Devil's Double), Clancy Brown (Cowboys & Aliens) and Callum Keith Rennie (The Butterfly Effect) also in the cast, Warcraft will be out on 11 March 2016.

Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 release date announced

Three years after Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sailed into cinemas, its hull pockmarked by critical broadsides, Walt Disney Pictures have officially announced the fifth instalment in the long-running nautical franchise, and it turns out you'll have to wait another three years to see it. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, as it the films current subtitle moniker, sees the return of Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) with uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer recruiting some new blood to helm the series' fifth outing.




After Gore Verbinski (Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl) and Rob Marshall (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), this time the director's chair will have to be widened a bit to accommodate two microphone wielders: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. The duo are probably best known for the Scandinavian sailing adventure Kon-Tiki (2012), where they proved their saltwater credentials with aplomb.

Given that Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) eventually grossed over $1 billion this latest announcement isn't terribly surprising. Nor is the fact that Johnny Depp is also due to return, after his other Bruckheimer diversion, The Lone Ranger (2013), didn't pan out as expected.

In total, there will be a six-year gap between On Stranger Tides and the new instalment. And to make you feel really old, it'll have been a 14-year gap since the original film once Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales drenches the screen on 7 July 2017 – significantly later than its original planned 2015 release date, first mooted back in September last year.

New stills for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies arrive online

Warner Bros have just released their first set of sills for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies featuring Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom).











The rechristened The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is the final film in the (unexpected) Hobbit trilogy, and arguably the most eagerly anticipated, what with the epic battles, dragons and the necromancer, and – with any luck – aerial dogfights, as director Peter Jackson has hinted at before. Now, stoking the flames of excitement, are a new still from the film featuring Gandalf (Ian McKellen)

Those who haven't read the book will have already worked out that there's a rather large brawl on the horizon, especially with the ending of the second film seeing everyone's favourite wild wyrm Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) about to turn Lake-town and it's inhabitants into toast. For more spoiler details, if you can call them that, read on.

Spoilers for non-readers follow!

The Battle Of The Five Armies, of course, sees goblins and wargs face-off against dwarves, elves, men and giant eagles in a quest to gain control of Erebor (the Lonely Mountain) and Smaug's treasures within. In the book, Bilbo spends much of the conflict unconscious – we wonder whether that will still be the case onscreen? One change this time should see the orcs being led by the Necromancer (also Benedict Cumberbatch), making them even more formidable.

Spoilers end

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will hit cinemas on 12 December 2014, starring, as ever, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt and many more.

Edgar Wright putting Baby Driver back in gear

Following his surprising departure from Marvel's Ant-Man movie, speculation has turned to what Edgar Wright (The World's End) might do next. There has been talk of him turning his attention to the Night Stalker adaptation he's been developing with Walt Disney Pictures and Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger), but according to Deadline, Wright is instead going top speed on Baby Driver.




The film which is not, you may be saddened to hear, the tale of an infant who turns out to be a whizz at the wheel, is one that Edgar has been writing and developing for years. And it remains shrouded in mystery, since he's trying to keep it quiet. "I think when I do that one I'd like to go completely silent for once," he told Empire Online back in 2009 while making Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010). "Probably because it's not an adaptation or anything, or a sequel to anything else. I'd like to just make it in private, basically." That's no easy task in today's social media-saturated world, but we're certainly hoping he can pull off the trick.

So what might the film be about? We know it has a strong musical element, is a blend of crime and action and is reputedly set in America. It's also unlikely to feature a collaboration with regular cohorts Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Deadline reports that it's not yet set up with a studio, but sees Wright back at his spiritual home with Working Title, which points to Universal Pictures or Focus Features eventually putting the film out.

Nothing is solid yet and there has been no official confirmation from Wright himself, but fingers crossed he enjoys smooth sailing on whatever he does next.

New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV spot arrive online

Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies have just released their TV spot for Jonathan Liebesman's (Wrath Of The Titans) cinematic take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.





As we pretty much already knew, the final versions of the Turtles are more gnarly and more monstrous than perhaps we're used to, although the trailers now make it clear that the flip personalities remain the same. Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines, Michelangelo is a party dude, while Raphael is cool but crude.

The Turtles, brought to life this time via performance capture (as will their rat mentor, Splinter), will go through the motions of their origin story once again, albeit with some tweaks to the familiar story. Exactly what those are have yet to be disclosed, but we do know that their background is tied more closely to the scheming businessman played by William Fichtner (The Lone Ranger), who takes on the guise of Turtle nemesis Shredder. Also involved is plucky reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) who becomes a staunch ally of our pizza loving heroes in a half-shell, despite early reservations based on their looks. If the recent promotional material is anything to go by, she might not be the only one...

With Michael Bay (Transformers) as Executive Producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also features Johnny Knoxville (The Last Stand), Tony Shalhoub (Pain & Gain), Abby Elliot (No Strings Attached), K. Todd Freeman (The Dark Knight), Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Pete Ploszek (Shameless), Jeremy Howard (Accepted), Noel Fisher (Battles Los Angeles), Will Arnett (Jonah Hex) and Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act).





Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrives here on 17 October.

Idris Elba in talks for Guy Ritchie's Knights Of The Round Table: King Arthur

Despite his relatively brief screen time, Idris Elba certainly made an impact donning armour and wielding a sword in both the Thor films. So the idea of him going the chainmail route for Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) planned new take on King Arthur has plenty of appeal. Good news, then, as news come via The Wrap that he's currently in talks for the film.




In what is currently being called Knights Of The Round Table: King Arthur, Elba is wanted to play not Arthur himself, but a version of Bedivere, who is credited in many of the interpretations of Arthurian legend as a noble and loyal member of the King's knights. In Ritchie's take – which features a script by Edge Of Tomorrow producer Joby Harold – he's apparently an older, wiser warrior and a right-hand man to Arthur's father who makes it his mission to train the young man for his true destiny. It would also represent a RocknRolla (2008) reunion for Ritchie and the actor.

Ritchie is still putting the pieces together on this one, and is currently on the lookout for an Arthur and the rest of the main characters. And nothing is known about how the film (or films, given that this appears to be another embryonic franchise) will deal with each part of the saga. The director may not have a locked in cast yet, but he does have a release date, with Warner Bros aiming for a 22 July 2016 release.

"Enlighten me then."

Universal Pictures have just released their first trailer for Sam Taylor-Johnson's (Nowhere Boy) Fifty Shades Of Grey adaption, to the breathy vocals of Beyoncé.





Based on E.L. James' erotic novels, Fifty Shades Of Grey sees the young and virginal college student, Anastasia (Dakota Johnson), fall headlong for the charms of 27 year old billionaire, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), after interviewing him for her college newspaper. Having lost her virginity to Christian, he asks her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a contract that keeps their relationship purely sexual, defining their relationship as one of dominance and submission.

Originally conceived as Twilight fan faction, Fifty Shades Of Grey has since surpassed that series to become a legitimate phenomenon in its own right with the trilogy being translated into 50 languages since its release. To date, the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold over 70 million copies worldwide in e-book and print, making it one of the fastest selling book series ever.




Fifty Shades Of Grey is set to spank into cinemas on 14 February next year.

New character one sheets for Guardians Of The Galaxy arrive online

With the release of James Gunn's (Super) mad space opera Guardians Of The Galaxy just days away, the publicity blitz shows no sign of slowing, with Marvel releasing this latest batch of character one sheets, including Karen Gillan's (Doctor Who) Nebula, Lee Pace's (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug) Ronan, Benicio Del Toro's (Savages) The Collector and Djimon Hounsou's (Blood Diamond) Korath.






















The story, for anyone who may still be unaware, finds American pilot Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), the object of a manhunt after stealing a mysterious stolen McGuffin orb coveted by the villainous Ronan (Lee Pace).

Whilst in a prison, he meets an unusual suspects line-up of aliens including deadly green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), hulking warrior Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista), talking tree Groot (Vin Diesel) and gruff warrior Rocket Raccoon.

With John C. Reilly (Carnage), Peter Serafinowicz (Saun Of The Dead), Ophelia Lovibond (Mr. Popper's Penguins), Gregg Henry (Slither), Laura Haddock (Da Vinci's Demons), Michael Rooker (Super) and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) rounding out the cast, Guardians Of The Galaxy arrives on 1 August.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

New one sheet for Boxtrolls arrives online

Universal Pictures have recently released their latest one sheet for first time feature directors Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi's The Boxtrolls.




The film's titular trolls aren't the likeliest of superheroes. After all they live underground and feast on grubs. This latest promo, however, reveals them in all their endearingly mucky glory as they go about their garbage collecting business below their town's cobbled streets, like a cadre of horror Wombles.
The Boxtrolls is also the third feature length outing from the stop-motion wizards at Laika. Like Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), it promises a meticulously crafted 3D gallivant through a world filled with dark humour and loving lunacy – all seen through a child's point of view.

The story, adapted from Alan Snow's book Here Be Monsters!, introduces the beasties who live underneath the streets of a small, quirky town and crawl out of the sewers at night to steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their kids. At least, that's the legend the townspeople have always believed. In truth, the creatures are a community of lovable oddballs who are raising as one of their own an abandoned and orphaned human boy named Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright).

When the Boxtrolls are targeted by a villainous exterminator bent on eradicating them, Eggs must venture above ground to save them, where he teams with an adventurous young girl to save not only the Boxtrolls but also the soul of his hometown. This "steampunk, Victorian, Monty Python-world seemed perfect for the look of stop motion," director Anthony Stacchi told Yahoo! Movies. "You can't ask for better characters to animate in stop motion than guys who live in magical boxes that pop in and out of the top of."

Appearing alongside Game Of Thrones' Hempstead-Wright is a spectacular voice cast that boasts Ben Kingsley (Hugo), Elle Fanning (Super 8), Toni Collette (United States Of Tara), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows), Richard Ayoade (The Watch), Tracy Morgan (Cop Out), Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (The World's End).

The Boxtrolls will arrive in the US on 26 September and 12 September in the UK.

Uncharted movie to shoot early next year?

After years of complex development, the Uncharted movie has finally gained some momentum with the arrival of Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) as director. Asked when production is likely to get underway, Gordon has revealed that "very early next year" is the plan. "That is months from now," he explains, "but it's like tomorrow, essentially, because the prep is so complicated for the movie." He promises the setting of the film will be "very international" and "all over the world."





The Uncharted series, for those of you unaware, is a globe trotting, loot hunting set of games for the Sony PlayStation, following adventurer Nathan Drake – a descendant of Sir Francis – on his quests to the likes of El Dorado, Shambala and the Iram of the Pillars. The Internet is united in wanting Nathan Fillion (Serenity) to play him onscreen, although back in the days when David O Russell (American Hustle) was set to direct, it looked like we were going to get Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor).

Gordon's own cast is not yet set, but he says he wants his Drake "to be a great actor. That's number one, and then if it's someone who has an actual jaw, that's even better. The game is so well done that you need it to live up to that. There's no way we'd do the inverse of that where it's somebody famous who can't act."

The earliest shot at the screenplay was by Sahara (2005) and Conan The Barbarian (2011) writers Josh Oppenheimer and Dean Donnelly. That version was jettisoned by David O Russell, in favour of his own vision (which seemed pretty divergent from the games), and that in turn was then crossed out and written over by Neil Burger (The Illusionist), and then by National Treasure (2004) writers Cormac and Marianne Wibberley.

Whether any of that work still informs what Gordon has been working on remains to be seen, but he says the script is now "in a very good place". The many fans who believe the games should simply be translated exactly to the screen, however, may still be disappointed.

"It's going to honor the mythology of the game," Gordon explains. "I love the complexity and frankly the sophistication of the storytelling in the game, and we aspire to that, but we don't want to tell the exact same story, of course. I feel like the people who play the games and know them well don't want to just see the same story told. You want extra shades. We'll be honouring some of the most interesting stuff from the first one and building from there."

We're potentially off to El Dorado to find Drake's Fortune then. As for any other details, we'll have to wait and see. There's no release date set for the film so far, but the fourth Uncharted game, A Thief's End, is out exclusively for the PlayStation 4 next year.

Ben Whishaw is the new voice of Paddington

The voice of Paddington in the new live action/CG blend film starring everyone's favourite hirsute Peruvian immigrant has been somewhat up and down of late. Colin Firth (The King's Speech) and the film's producers mutually agreed that he wasn't finding quite the right tone for a character who was coming off younger than originally envisioned. Cue a search for a new set of vocal chords, one that has ended with Ben Whishaw stepping up to the mic.




Whishaw, who is perhaps currently best known as the fresh, younger version of Q from Skyfall (2012), is the man now tasked with bringing new voice to the bear.

"I resisted a little bit, because I had a bad experience doing this kind of work in the past and I thought I was no good at it. But I was persuaded to go, slightly grudgingly," Whishaw tells Baz Bamigboye, admitting that he had "no relationship to Paddington whatsoever, other than that I knew he wore a duffle coat and a hat". He was eventually convinced, however, by the idea that it'll please his 18-month-old niece.

The movie will set the ursine explorer on his path from Peru to Paddington Station. The 'bear out of water' capers that ensue in the Big Smoke reintroduce old favourites like the Browns (Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin), housekeeper Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters) and the cranky Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent), as well as a new nemesis in the shape of demented taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman) looking to seize Paddington for her collection.





Paddington is set to arrive on 28 November.

New trailer for Kite arrives online

Anchor Bay Entertainment have just released their first trailer for Ralph Ziman's (The Zookeeper) Kite.





After a long and often painful journey, Yasuomi Umetsu's hard-edged anime Kite is finally making its way to the screen in live action form.

With shades of Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita (1990) and Léon (1994), the premise has an orphaned schoolgirl, Sawa (India Eisley), wreaking revenge on the sex traffickers who killed her parents. Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained) is Oburi, the ex-police partner of her father who offers guidance and staffs the assassin helpdesk as she navigates the lawless world.

Callan McAuliffe (I Am Number Four) plays Sawa's bestie who doesn't always see exactly eye-to-eye with Jackson's Oburi.

If you've seen Umetsu's two 30-minute animes from 1998, you'll know that the violence is unsparing and this live action version promises to stay true to that. "It's definitely not something that young children should watch!", McAuliffe told Empire Online. "It still maintains a lot of the elements that fans will be happy with. There are things it's impossible to get across with live action, such as the expressiveness of the characters, which would be overly theatrical in live action. So it has a more cinematic feel to it."

Original director David R. Ellis (The Final Destination) died during pre-production with Ralph Ziman taking the reins and shooting the film in Johannesburg. Anime fans will be hoping he has done justice to his predecessor's passion project by bringing Umetsu's vision to life.





If you're in the US, you can catch Kite on satellite provider DirecTV from 28 August, before it moves to VOD and into cinemas on 10 October. There's no word as yet of a UK release date. As always, watch this space.

First trailer for Laggies arrives online

A24 Films have just released their first trailer for Lynn Shelton's (Your Sisters Sister) Laggies.





For some people, the term 'mid-life crisis' conjures visions of blokes with bad comb overs ditching long-suffering wives for pneumatic new models and buying sports cars. But life crises can happen at any time, as Keira Knightley's (Anna Karenina) Megan learns in Lynn Shelton's latest.

Megan would appear to be a carefree young woman on the cusp of 30 with her life in good order. She has a devoted boyfriend in Anthony (Mark Webber) who is ready to propose. But Megan's suddenly panicked that this is everything her life will ever be, and runs off.

She ends up hanging out with teenager Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her single dad Craig (Sam Rockwell). Soon, Megan's experiencing her youth once again, even if that does include making out with Craig. Then there's her friend Allison (Ellie Kemper) who disapproves of Megan's new lifestyle...

Shelton, the director of Humpday (2009), Your Sister's Sister (2011) and Touchy Feely (2013), tends to specialise in these focused character tales, and she's certainly scored a good cast to bring them to life this time.





Laggies is set for release on 10 October in the UK (where it may go by a different name) and 24 October in the US.

New teaser one sheet for Horns arrives online

Lionsgate have recently released their first teaser one sheet for Alexandre Aja's (The Hills Have Eyes) Horns featuring a devilish Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings).





If it feels like Horns – adapted from Joe Hill's excellent horror novel – has been lingering in the underworld for a while, that's because it's been for a solid release date following it's successful run at last years festivals circuit.

Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, the never convicted prime suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns growing from his head and soon realises that their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend's tragedy and to exact revenge on her killer.

Directed by Aja from Keith Bunin's adaptation of the novel, Horns is one of those films we're eager to finally see. The cast also boasts the likes of David Morse (The Hurt Locker), Max Minghella (The Social Network), Kathleen Quinlan (Apollo 13), Heather Graham (Compulsion) and James Remar (Django Unchained), with the film hitting UK cinemas on 31 October – surely the perfect day.

Battle of the Tolkien biopics heats up

His books remain immensely popular even to this day, even without the massive film trilogies they spawned. And interest in Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien appears to be just as fervent, at least among film companies looking to make the definitive biopic. Fox Searchlight is already developing one project and now here comes director Simon West (The Mechanic) with another, Tolkien & Lewis.





Unlike the Fox Searchlight project, this one boasts the extra hook of Tolkien's friendship with Chronicles Of Narnia creator C.S. Lewis. Attractive Films is backing this one, which focuses on Tolkien's involvement in his Oxford colleague's conversion to Christianity, which had a profound effect on his writing. In turn, Lewis encourages Tolkien to finish The Lord Of The Rings.

But their close friendship ends up marred by jealousy, paranoia and religious differences, with Tolkien upset when Lewis becomes seen as the leading light in Christian literature and because his friend adopted Anglicanism rather than Tolkien's own Catholicism.

The company wants the movie ready before Searchlight can hit cinemas, aiming at an Easter release to better target Christian filmgoers. As always, watch this space.

Power Rangers rounds up writers

While the overall reaction to news that Lionsgate and the rights holders were planning another Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been generally met with a collective yawn and a shaking of heads, it hasn't stopped producers from going ahead. The project now has a writing team, in the shape of superhero scripting veterans Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz.





Miller and Stentz have worked on the likes of X-Men: First Class (2011) and Thor (2011), and their hiring offers some hope that the film might actually tackle bigger things than just the usual high schoolers fighting off evil monsters. But they're not alone: Roberto Orci (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), who recently parted ways with writing/producing partner Alex Kurtzman, and is still linked with directing the next Star Trek outing, is aboard to oversee story development.

Little is known about the plan for the new movie, aside from an apparent drive to re-envision the Rangers while keeping to their core mission of saving the world by combining their powers. We doubt all involved would want to harness the idea for a 21 Jump Street (2012) style comedy version, but we might actually watch that.

The writers, who have form with Orci after working on Fringe, are also part of the developing new Terminator TV series and various film projects in the works, including drafts of the Top Gun (1986) sequel and The Fall Guy (1981).

"We're gonna need some upgrades!"

Walt Disney Pictures and Marvel have just released their first trailer and character promos for Don Hall (Winnie The Pooh) and Chris Williams' (Bolt) Big Hero 6.



















Big Hero 6 is set in the slightly futuristic, vaguely fantastical city of San Fransokyo. Our hero is Hiro Hamada, an inventor and creator of squashy robot Baymax, who serves as both his sidekick and best pal. But when their home town comes under threat from a strange masked villain, Hiro must team up with a group of like-minded fellow wannabe warriors, who use their technical skills to create battle suits with different abilities. And even then, they might be in over their heads...

Despite the film's Marvel routes, co-director Don Hall is keen to explain that is a very different outing to the Marvel Cinematic Universe we've become familiar with: "When we first started, we didn't know how all this was going to go. But in our first meeting with Marvel, when John picked Big Hero 6, Marvel was super encouraging to not tie it to their mythology at all. It was like, 'Create your own universe, create your own characters, and don't worry about anything else.'

"I love the Marvel Universe and the mythology of the Marvel Universe [but] if I had to be cognizant of all of that stuff during the course of this movie my brain would have exploded. There was enough in this movie with the new team and this world we've created, it was plenty. As much as I love the Marvel Universe, I'm glad that we chose to create our own thing."

With Ryan Potter (Supah Ninjas), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel), Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), T.J. Miller (Coverfield), Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch), Scott Adsit (We're The Millers), Alan Tudyk (Knocked Up), Genesis Rodriguez (Man On A Ledge), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids), Daniel Henney (The Last Stand), Damon Wayans Jr. (The Other Guys) and James Cromwell (The Artist), Big Hero 6 is out in the US on 7 November with a UK release set for January 30 next year.



First look at Avengers: Age Of Ultron's big bad

Ever since his presence in the film (and its subtitle) was revealed at last year's Comic Con in San Diego, we've been waiting to get our first glimpse of mechanical villain Ultron in Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Now, thanks to the gang at Entertainment Weekly, he's made his first appearance on their cover alongside Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and the raging robot's various forms.





Ultron is the particularly thorny problem that Robert Downey Jr.'s Ironman and the rest will have to deal with in the superhero sequel, once again written and directed by Joss Whedon (The Avengers). And as he confirms to the magazine, it is indeed Stark who creates Ultron, originally designing the self-aware artificial intelligence as a way of reacting to threats, with a legion of drones at his command to let Thor, Captain America and the others get some much needed downtime after saving the world. Sadly, things don't go exactly to plan, with the electronic intelligence quickly figuring out – like so many technology types before him – that the human race is the biggest threat to peace and happiness.

"Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, 'Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better'; he's not just going 'Muhaha, soon I'll rule!'" Whedon tells the magazine. Cue trouble, and for more on what that entails, head to Entertainment Weekly's site, where you can also find new images from the film, including the ones below.














Avengers: Age Of Ultron features Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders back together again alongside an array of new and old friends including James Spader (Lincoln), Paul Bettany (Transcendence), Don Cheadle (Flight), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Andy Serkis (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) and Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted).

Avengers: Age Of Ultron will be out in the UK on 24 April next year.