Sci-Fi Movies Monday: The Avengers, The Hobbit, Iron Man 2, Green Lantern, Spider-Man 4, X-Men + more

In Sci-Fi Movies this week, we’ve got updates on several of the X-Men franchise films (including, Wolverine 2, First Class, Deadpool and Magneto), an update on Spider-Man 4 by director Sam Raimi, news of Green Lantern pulling production out of Australia, Jon Favreau talking Iron Man 2 (and why he’s not directing The Avengers), Roland Emmerich on the possibility of an ID4 sequel and more, including box office numbers and the latest casting bites, images and videos.


Sam Raimi: Less Villains in Spider-Man 4 + Film Will "Get Back To The Basics"
Those of you concerned about there being too many villains in "Spider-Man 4" can rest easy, director Sam Raimi says they won’t be making that mistake again, and hopes instead to "get back to the basics" with the sequel:

"I think having so many villains detracted from the experience. I would agree with the criticism." I think I’ve learned about the importance of getting to the point and the importance of having limitations, and I’m hoping to take that into a production where I’m actually allowed to explore with more of the tools to pull it off with a little more splendour. I hope I don’t lose that edge that I’ve just found. That would be my approach to Spider-Man 4: to get back to the basics."

Meanwhile, Raimi says that screenwriter Gary Ross is still working on a draft of the script so nothing has been fully locked down yet:

"What we’re trying to do right now is really understand the journey Peter is going to go on this time and have the villain maybe be a counter to that growth, something that he has to overcome," Raimi said. "Or maybe he has to grow in a way to overcome the villain, because there always seem to be stories of coming of age, of a young man growing up and learning things about life, so once we are identifying the exact movement that Peter has to grow to, I think the villain—and we’re trying this right now; we’re trying to choose a villain based on who would be the proper counter to that growth, so we really have dramatic conflict."

Updates on Wolverine 2, First Class, Deadpool and Magneto
While promoting the Blu-ray release of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", producer Lauren Shuler Donner talked about plans for future ‘X-Men’ films, including ‘Wolverine 2’, ‘First Class’, ‘Dead Pool’ and ‘Magneto’.  Here are some excerpts courtesy Empire Magazine.  Of all the upcoming projects on tap, the sequel to "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is the furthest along:

It’s actually the story we wanted to use for the first Wolverine film, but [Fox head honcho] Tom Rothman preferred to set the character up with an origin story first. This movie will really focus on the relationship between Wolverine and Mariko, the daughter of a Japanese crime lord, and what happens to him in Japan. We’re very fortunate to have a story mostly outlined for us [from the comic book arc co-written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller]. And we wanted an A+ writer, so we want to Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie, The Usual Suspects). He came in and has tightened the story and got really immersed in the whole thing – he’s in Japan in his head!

When describing "X-Men: First Class", Donner chooses to compare it to Harry Potter:
"Harry Potter is a bit of a role model for us, absolutely. But we want it to be like the recent, darker Potters. It should not be a kiddie movie – we’re in the X-Men world so you can’t suddenly change the tone." And when it comes to "X-Men Origins: Deadpool", Donner says that they’ll likely be ignoring the version of Deadpool we saw in ‘Wolverine’:

"I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane.

It’s going to be a dark, snarky, very funny movie. It’s the hardest story to tell, I think. There’s no clear cut villain – though you do have great baddies from the comic-books like Black Tom, Slayback, Blind Al and the Weasel. Blind Al is this blind woman in his house, who he abuses and mocks… it’s terrible. But you find out that she was a convict who did something terrible and he saved her from execution. So he lets her live in his house and she looks after him, but they both torture each other. Anyway, there are good stories and we’re figuring out which ones to incorporate.

The hope is to make a decision on a writer for the film by November. And finally, in regards to "X-Men Origins: Magneto", Donner says it’s the least likely of films to be made: I’m not sure that film is going to be made. The studio has a wealth of potential stories, and they have to stand back and decide which ones to make. And Magneto, I think, is at the back of the queue. Maybe it’ll get made in five years – who knows? I can tell you that Ian McKellen won’t be playing the character the whole way through."

Green Lantern No Longer Filming in Australia
It’s official.  Warner Bros. has confirmed that they are pulling their production of "Green Lantern" out of Australia due to the falling U.S. dollar.  According to THR, the studio said that “the current global economic situation, including fluctuations in currency valuation and overall costs,” was the main reason for the decision.  Since the shoot was announced by WB six months ago, the falling U.S. dollar has resulted in an increase of about $20 million to the cost of production.  Despite the hiccup, the film is still scheduled for release on June 17, 2011 with WB expected to move production to either Mexico or Canada.

Jon Favreau Won’t Direct The Avengers + Talks Iron Man 2
Due to other commitments, Jon Favreau ("Iron Man 2") will not be available to direct "The Avengers", although he will be involved as an executive producer:

“They’ll have to [find a different director], because I’m not going to be available,” he explained. “It’s something I’m being the executive producer on, so I’ll definitely have input and a say.”

“It’s going to be hard, because I was so involved in creating the world of Iron Man and Iron Man is very much a tech-based hero, and then with ‘Avengers’ you’re going to be introducing some supernatural aspects because of Thor,” he continued. “How you mix the two of those works very well in the comic books, but it’s going to take a lot of thoughtfulness to make that all work and not blow the reality that we’ve created.”

Favreau also talked about "Iron Man 2", telling MTV that despite all the characters they’ve added for the sequel, the central relationship will remain that of Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.):

"I think the central relationship is still those two characters," Favreau told MTV News. "It’s still Pepper and Tony." "We introduce Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and she has a dual identity, so that ends up affecting both the superhero side of things and the personal side of things—as I think all good superhero plotlines do," he explained. "Then we have Don Cheadle. We’ve upped Rhodey’s significance in the film and now I think the cat’s out of the bag about War Machine, so he’s in that suit," he said. "How does he become War Machine? What’s his relationship to Iron Man?" "We also have Mickey Rourke and we have Sam Rockwell, two of the best actors of our time. We really have an embarrassment of riches," said Favreau.

Watch the video below.  "Iron Man 2" hits theaters on May 7, 2010.

Ian McKellen Talks The Hobbit
Ian McKellen (Gandalf) was a guest on the UK program "The Paul O’Grady Show" and revealed that he has received both scripts for "The Hobbit" (the second would be for the sequel/bridge).  Before he received the scripts, McKellen chatted to Empire Magazine about the films, revealing that they would begin shooting next March or April

"[Director] Guillermo [del Toro] even told me at one point, ‘We’re going to film for 383 days.’ He’s got that artistic autism! Jackson’s the same; they’re very, very, very alike. They also very different, but they’ve so much in common. They both can’t stand Hollywood and have wonderful imaginations, and they’re both obsessed with gore and fantasy. Both of them laugh a great deal. Guillermo’s one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met. His English vocabulary is way superior to mine!”

Where the Wild Things Are Wins Weekend; Paranormal Activity A Strong Third
Spike Jonze’s adaptation of the Maurice Sendak novel "Where the Wild Things Are" debuted to an impressive $32.7 million over the weekend for a first place finish, and helping the box office improve nearly 40 percent over the comparable October frame from the year prior.  The film opened on 3,735 theaters including 145 IMAX sites which contributed a solid $3.1 million.  Meanwhile, "Paranormal Activity" expanded to 760 theaters this weekend and grossed a third place $19.6 million for a first place per theater average of $25,813.  The highly rated supernatural-horror film has grabbed an impressive $33.2 million in four weeks of mostly limited release (this weekend marked the film’s first nationwide push).  The film reportedly cost only $11,000 to make and is quickly becoming something of a phenomenon.  Some other highlights from the weekend (click here to see the complete weekend):

  • "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" added $8 million over the weekend to pass the century mark ($108.2 million domestic/$136.4 million worldwide).
  • "Zombieland" declined less than 50% in its third weekend, adding $7.6 million for a new cume of $60.6 million, making it the highest-grossing zombie movie on record.
  • "Toy Story / "Toy Story 2 (in 3D)", recently extended past its initial "in theaters for 2 weeks only" run, fell more than 60% in its third weekend ($3 million).  The double-feature has still managed to gross an impressive $28.6 million.

Roland Emmerich Talks Independence Day Sequel
Roland Emmerich ("2012") says he and Dean Devlin would love to make a sequel to the 1996 hit "Independence Day", but the project is currently stalled:

LatinoReview: I heard there was a script for a sequel. What’s the real reason there is no sequel?

Emmerich: Dean Devlin and I are still set to make a sequel likely because we’ve found some sort of idea and we approached FOX and FOX has not quite figured out how to incorporate Dean’s and my deal, and Will’s (Smith) deal. Will wants to do it in some sort of a package they can live with.  So it’s just been in negations now since forever, and naturally FOX says “Why don’t you do it without Will Smith?” I said Will is essential for us, for this movie and actually for the audience too. And, so, it’s in limbo and lately the studios are fighting. Like gross players, and Will is a gross player and is probably the only gross player right now who’s worth his gross. So we’ll see what happens. I would love to do it.

Emmerich confirmed that there’s a story for the sequel: "Oh yeah! There’s a story. There’s a very really good great story, a very cool one," but wouldn’t elaborate on any details, "No, I think Dean would like burst through this door…," he said jokingly.


Astro Boy

Stills [more at IGN]


New poster [SCI FI Wire]

The Green Hornet

Set images [SpoilerTV-Movies]


How to Train Your Dragon

Storybook and 3D Viewer [ via SlashFilm]

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

U.K. poster [First Showing]


Character banners [more at JoBlo]

The Princess and the Frog

Poster [BET]

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

Stills [SCI FI Wire]

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Scans from People Magazine [more at t-mauricexo via SpoilerTV-Movies]

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Press stills [more at SpoilerTV-Movies]

Artwork [IGN]


  • Chris Messina will star in Universal Pictures’ horror-thriller "Devil" based on a story by M. Night Shyamalan about a group of people trapped in an elevator, with one of them being the devil… [Variety]
  • …Logan Marshall-Green, Jenny O’Hara, Jacob Vargas, Matt Craven, Bojana Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend and Caroline Dhavernas will also star in the film. [THR]
  • Kirsten Prout ("Kyle XY") has joined the cast of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse".  She’ll play Lucy, a vampire from Jasper Hale’s (Jackson Rathbone) past. [E! Online]
  • In an interview in the German edition of Gentlemen’s Quarterly, actor Matthias Schweighöfer said that he is in the running for a role in Kenneth Branagh’s "Thor" and also mentioned that both Jude Law and Robert DeNiro have joined the cast. [GQ via Ain’t It Cool News]
  • Kristen Schaal ("Flight of the Conchords") will voice a new character in "Toy Story 3".  Blake Clark will also be joining the cast, taking on the role of Slinky (for Jim Varney who passed away in 2000). [Lee Unkrich via SlashFilm]
  • Derek Mears ("Friday the 13th") will have a role, likely as a Predator, in the Robert Rodriguez-produced/Nimrod Antal-directed film "Predators". [ShockTillYouDrop]
  • Stan Lee said that he has been approached by Kenneth Branagh who has promised him a cameo in "Thor", but he doesn’t yet know what the cameo is. [Collider]
  • Jim Sturgess and Kristen Dunst have been cast in the sci-fi romance "Upside Down" from director Juan Solanas. [Production Weekly]
  • Aubrey Plaza (Julie Powers) talks about the process she went through to get cast in Edgar Wright’s "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and her experience working on the film. [Making-Of]


A Christmas Carol

Japanese trailer

Behind-the-scenes: "Perfect Partnership"


Fantastic Mr. Fox

Six clips

The Fourth Kind

TV spot

Watch another TV spot here

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

On-set interviews and clips

Iron Man 2

Behind-the-scenes footage featuring Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr.

Paranormal Activity

Trailer #2

Toy Story 3

Theatrical trailer

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Featurete from the DVD/Blu-ray: "Behind the Action"

More clips from the DVD/Blu-ray here, here and here

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Interview with director Gavin Hood and Len Wein (character’s creator) [via SlashFilm]


  • Universal Pictures has launched both a Facebook page and a Twitter account for the upcoming alien-abduction film "The Fourth Kind"… [Universal]
  • Production on MGM’s reboot of Tobe Hooper’s classic horror story "Poltergeist" has been pushed to early 2010, therefore MGM has postponed the film’s release from Thanksgiving 2010 to an undetermined 2011 date. [Bloody-Disgusting]
  • Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan") has been hired to write the screenplay to the Sam Raimi-directed adaptation "Warcraft: The Rise of the Lich King". [MTV]
  • South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s next project is called "Snow Piercer".  It’s based on a French graphic novel about the end of the world.  He says he would like to begin filming in 2011. [Collider]
  • Summit Entertainment has denied a report that they’ve greenlit "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn": "The film has not been greenlit—and thus no decisions about the film’s shooting location, start date, the director, etc. … have been made."  It’s really only a matter of time though right? [Gossip Cop via SCI FI Wire]
  • Lionsgate has launched a new official website for "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus".  Lionsgate is the U.K. distributor of the film, which hit theaters in that market this past Friday.  ‘Doctor Parnassus" hits theaters in North America December 25, 2009. [Lionsgate]
  • "The Lovely Bones" has been selected for the Royal Film Performance 2009. [Paramount Pictures via]
  • Producer Allison Abbate ("Fantastic Mr. Fox") revealed that she is in talks with Tim Burton to make a feature-length, stop-motion version of Burton’s 1984 short "Frankenweenie".  Abbate added that the film could be made in 3D and in black and white and would take about 2 years to film. []
  • Summit Entertainment has launched an official Twitter account for the "Twilight" film franchise. [Summit Entertainment]
  • "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich revealed that Randy Newman has begun writing the score for the film. [Lee Unkrich]
  • Wes Anderson spoke out about the "directing via e-mail" controversy surrounding "Fantastic Mr. Fox". [via SlashFilm]
  • Jackie Earle Haley is reportedly up for the role of Sinestro in director Martin Campbell’s "Green Lantern".  Haley was asked about the rumor and said that he hasn’t been contacted about the role, but would consider it if offered: "I know the guys that are doing it. It’s exciting to me," he said. "It makes me want to go get the Green Lantern comics and start reading up."  The report also notes that the plan is to have Superman cameo in the film [Ain’t It Cool News and MTV]
  • The new issue of The New Yorker was on has a profile on "Avatar" director James Cameron and is well worth the read.  Check it out here.
  • Bill Murray said that he won’t be doing "Ghostbusters III" until he sees "a really good script", adding: "…it has to be a serious script before I leave the house…I’m not going to make one just to make another one you know we made a second one and you know it was okay but it wasn’t as good as the first one." Watch the clip below. [via Latino Review]

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I would love to see how the events in Independence Day were resolved… what would the world be like post mega-alien-destruction?

Hold out for that good script Murray. No one wants a crap Ghostbusters movie. If it isn’t good, just leave it.

Could care less about Independence Day or Ghostbusters 3. Why don’t I care about GB3? We already have it in the form of a kick-arse video game. WITH Bill Murray!

And thank the Great Bird of the Galaxy. Deadpool should be a reboot, he was totally screwed up at the end of Wolverine. Don’t know WHY they’re keeping on with Wolverine though. Hopefully it’s better than the first.

HOBBIT!!! I sure hope that Sir McKellan isn’t just being optimistic, I want that movie!

2 — Absolutely!

Of course, they’ll make “Junior Ghostbusters” with kids… but, we can ignore that.

2… Well, he signed on for Ghostbusters II, so I’m not sure we can trust Mr. Murray’s opinion of a ‘good script’.

Mr. Rogen, the Green Hornet, will be very unhappy if that gun goes off while he’s wearing it.

#3 – I have high hopes that “The Hobbit” will turn out great!

Regarding future X-Men movies:

Is there really that much interest left out there for it? After the initial weekend box office take, Wolverine sank really, really fast.

Regarding Where The Wild Things Are:

I went with a group of a dozen friends ages 40 – 58 to go see it. I was bored out of my mind. I thought it was torture to sit through, but maybe it was just me.

Then when it was over, all the rest of my friends look at each other and had that WTF look on their faces. Nobody liked it. When someone asked me what part I liked best about the movie, my answer was, “When the end credits rolled.”

If you watch the clip of Bill Murray, he is saying he doesn’t want to do another so-so Ghostbusters. It is implied that he didn’t hold out for a good script that time, and now he is insisting on it.

Green Lantern better be a comedy.

It looks stupid as hell.

My god! These arbitrary comic book movies or superhero movies utilizing nameless nobodies. The only time I’ve ever heard of Green Lantern was on the Big Bang Theory. Enough is enough.

I don’t know if I’ll even see ghostbusters 3 without harold ramus, If bill backs out, so will dan, and there it goes…I’ll bet william atherton would like to be in it, don’t know about moranis..(he may never do another film again) Weaver? probably..It’s like….

mad max without mel? no..
terminator without arnie? no..or not much..
Robocop without weller? straight to video…


I liked ID4, it was the first movie I got to go to by myself after getting out of the hospital in 1990, until then I was so full of tubes and wires of the docs monitoring me it seemed like 25 hours a day. But while in the Hospital I did see STM:UDC and Pretty Woman, and with the unedited bathtub scene. I hope the Hollyweed people do not try to fine tune ID4 #2 and screw it up thinking they can make more money that way. Where in actuallity the only ones that make more money ar set makers and the grips, not the studio and giving less real viewership.

Some of the other movies sound good, but I’ll need to hear more than their dreams to form real views on something that will be real.

Speaking of a film project I have herd little if anything about is a film planed by a German Fanfilm maker, it is of Hiter escaped, built a base on the south pole, went to the moon. And now in the 21st century as he is dying the fourth rieght is returning to Earth to take control for at least a 1000 years. Their promo clips looked real good, but forget the name of it. Files of those promos are on the terabytes on my other computer.
This PC only has a quarter a terabyte.

The best I can recall is some thing like “New Moon”, and every time I see a new title with Moon in it I look to see if that’s it.

@ 7:

Of course there is! And Wolverine did not sank. It got a total ww bBO of 370 million. Just 10 million short of TREK XI.
IMHO it was the best movie this season.

I just hope they will make W2 rated R, and will truly unleash the beast. As for the other X-films… keep ’em coming.

Yes Randy Newman will be back for Toy Story 3. He helped write the musical vocabulary for Pixar. Brad Bird.

Wolverine was horrible! I couldn’t stand it and have no desire to see it again, or a sequel….just bugs me that more is happening with that load of tosh then Trek!


Green Lantern is arguably right up there with Wonder Woman in terms of DC’s recognizable heroes. Tied at #3 ain’t bad. Not only has he been involved in most of the recent major DC universe events, but he’s been considered one of the “Big 7” and a major player on the Justice Leage, and he also has a fairly rabid fan base. Some GL fans hate OTHER GL fans, depending on which Lantern one supports.

However it is that you somehow haven’t heard of him doesn’t mean a whole lot in comparison to his popularity in reality. It better not be a comedy, and it will be huge. GL fans have been waiting a long, long time.

I read the book on the after math of ID4 and it was good. I hope they continue the story and of corse bring back Will Smith and Bill Pullman as they were very intregal in the Movie. I remember the poster that showed a Pic of the Earth and it says. (Earth. Take a good look. It could be your last) Loved that poster. Toy Story 3 will be great. Spidy should be good as usual as Sam Raimi is a great director. Can’t wait to see the Hobbit.

Michael Bay = Moron.

##11 – Spockish: It took you six years to be able to see a film out of the hospital? (ID4 came out July 2 1996).

@ 14: To each his own.

I liked Wolverine because it was not over the top. It did not try to be big, impressive, effectloaded (something XI was IMHO).

Wolverine was a well filmed revenge story, Rambo style. I loved the 80ies setting, I loved the character interaction, the action and especially the score.

That Christmas Carol looks like a friggin nightmare. I think these motion-capture films are horrific.

#19 “…Wolverine […] was not over the top. It did not try to be big, impressive, effectloaded ”

I guess we saw different films, then.

5… I was just reading yesterday that the whole concept of the move was changed AFTER he signed on. That’s according to a quote from him tho… and it was 20 years ago so who knows?


The Chris Claremont / Frank Miller story set in Japan is from the original Wolverine mini series of the early 1980’s and is considered one of the Characters best stories… Logan is an old man… this story… if done properly will expose Wolverine in a more dramatic light. I’m sure there will be the obligatory action sequences and one-liners… but the original story is solid.

As for Spider-Man… the Kraven the Hunter story.. also from the 80’s … is another often sited “mature” story line that I’m sure Raimi would love to put on film… but it may not be to the Movie Theatre audiences taste… ie. Watchmen.

oh… and Thor is my most anticipated movie to be seen… right behind Star Trek IX(?)

The Spider-Man films never resonated with me like Iron Man or The Nolan Batman films…not quite sure why…I actually liked Spider-Man 3 when I saw it, but haven’t seen it again since…I never could wrap myself around Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson for one.

I am excited about Thor, though…great casting so far, and although I’ve never seen a Branagh film, I was hesitant about Favreau, and I watch Iron Man about thrice monthly!!! And if you never read Thor, just try picking up the latest run by J M Stryzinski…it is one of the best Marvel titles on a monthly basis!!!!!!!

I really hope that the Wolverine sequel is better than the first…it was an okay film, but they lost me with the Deadpool disaster and the adamantium bulletts……..UGH!!!!!!! How could that have happened???? The next Fox X-Men film should be a First Class approach to the classic X-Men characters…just add Emma Frost…Hayden Pannatierre????
I have never been a fan of Deadpool, and i can’t figure out what is so appealing about the character…I actually liked Ryan Reynolds interpretation of the character, but then they raped him in the last act!!!! UGH again!!!
I would see a Magneto prequel way before a Deadpool solo film! But I’d bee first in line for a First Class flick, OR a Singer directed X-Men 4…as long as Hallie Barry is NOT in it!!! Bring back Cyclops, though, and Kelsey Grammer was awesome as Beast…

Nuff Said!

@ 19. Wolverine was garbage. If it was “set in the 80s” no one could tell because everything, from the vehicles to the computers looked very modern day. The only thing that looked dated was Hugh Jackman’s haircut.
And what revenge did he seek? For his girlfriend who faked her death, yet he was unable to tell *despite having an accute mutated sense of smell*. And don’t get me started on them deciding to use Adamantium Bullets to try and kill him after he defeats the one mutant in the movie who’s power is shooting guns really well. The level of dumb in that flick, not to mention the atrocious effects made it worse than X-Men 3.

But like you said, to each his own. ; )

jocor (Post #9)

Those are photos from the set of “The Green Hornet” not “Green Lantern!”
“Green Lantern” won’t even start shooting until March 2010.

Has anyone else noticed how Sci Fi Movies Monday has no news about sci fi? Is it just me or does anyone else not give a damn about all these stupid comic book movies that completely dominate sci fi movie news? I have been a sci fi fan since the mid-eighties and I do not consider comic book movies sci fi anymore than rambo or die hard is sci fi.