Sci-Fi Movies Wednesday: Avatar, Captain America, Clash of the Titans, Dune, Harry Potter + more

Sci-Fi Movies this week includes updates on Captain America, John Carter of Mars, Cowboys & Aliens and Dune, plus we’ve got news on 3D conversions for Clash of the Titans and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (and possibly even Transformers 3).  Plus more coverage on the new domestic box office champ Avatar (including new DVD/Blu-ray and sequel details) and more including the latest casting bites, images and videos.


Clash of the Titans, Deadly Hallows & Transformers 3 in 3D
It looks like "Avatar" may be living up to the hype and changing the way movies are made. Warner Brothers has made official what we reported last week: "Clash of the Titans" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1" will be released in 3D.  The studio also confirmed that "Clash of the Titans" will be pushed back one week to April 2nd of this year.  ‘Deathly Hallows, Part 1’ is still scheduled to be released on November 19th.

Meanwhile, Variety reports that Paramount Pictures is in talks with "Transformers 3" director Michael Bay and ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) about going 3D with the film.  Talk is currently surrounding whether to shoot in 3D — which could delay its release — or have the film converted to 3D in post-production.

Clash of the Titans international trailer [IGN]

More from Morel On Dune Remake + maybe 3D too
Director Pierre Morel ("From Paris with Love") told MTV that none of the elements from Peter Berg’s "Dune" script will be used in his take on property:

"We’re starting from scratch," Morel said. "Peter had an approach which was not mine at all, and we’re starting over again. I don’t think we’re going to keep any elements of the Peter Berg script."

Morel added that a deal announcing the writers for the project will be made "official" next week.  Morel expanded on his intentions for the project in an interview with the Tribeca Film blog, once again re-iterating his desire to remain faithful to Frank Herbert’s novel:

"…I want to stay true to the book. Saying that, I also think that there’s a lot of scenes that are not described in the books—it’s just mentioned, like the bad guys attacking something—and it might make sense to include those in the movie, not just by mentioning it but showing them, and that would maybe [call for] some action scenes, yes. It’s not about action. It’s not the point. It’s not about [making] an action movie. It’s just doing Dune. It’s like a huge universe thing, and there’s such a fanbase, like guys who have been reading that forever—you can’t mess with that.

Finally, Morel told MTV that he would "love [Dune] to be 3D": "It’s the kind of movie that has the scope to be 3D," Morel said. "Will they do it in 3D? I’d push for that, but I don’t know. As a viewer, I’ve just been watching Avatar with my kids twice in the theater already and had a blast. It’s an amazing experience."

Daniel Craig Confirmed for Cowboys & Aliens; Olivia Wilde In Talks
Daniel Craig (aka James Bond) is officially in as the lead character Zeke Jackson in director Jon Favreau’s adaptation of the graphic novel "Cowboys & Aliens""Star Trek" vets Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are producing the project and wrote the script with "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof.  Craig replaces Robert Downey Jr. who in January had to drop out of the project over a scheduling conflict with the proposed "Sherlock Holmes" sequel.  According to THR’s Heat Vision Blog, Wilde will play a character named Ella who "joins up with [a] mysterious gunslinger [Craig] in an unlikely uprising against an alien invasion."

Trailers for Johnston’s Wolfman + WW2 Captain America & Casting Soon
"The Wolfman"
director Joe Johnston offered some story details about his next project, "The First Avenger: Captain America".  In an interview with Film Journal [via Screen Rant], Johnston revealed that the film’s story will take place during World War II and the present day:

The film, [Johnston] says at this early stage, will begin "in 1942, 1943" during World War II. "The stuff in the ’60s and ’70s [comic books] we’re sort of avoiding. We’re going back to the ’40s, and then forward to what they’re doing with Captain America now."

In related news, Johnston told SCI FI Wire that the casting process will begin soon:

"We need to cast it soon," Johnston said. "We have a very short list, but we’re still juggling actors here. I’d say within the next couple of weeks we’ll have ourselves a Captain America, I hope."

Check out some new videos from Johnston’s "The Wolfman", which opens next Friday, February 12th, below.

New clip: Transformation [Trailer Addict]

Six more clips: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |5 |6

Behind the scenes: Benicio Del Toro [Yahoo! Movies]

Disney Releases Official Synopsis for John Carter of Mars
Walt Disney has released the official synopsis for director Andrew Stanton’s adaptation of "John Carter of Mars", which has begun production in London [Collider]:

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (”Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E”), JOHN CARTER OF MARS brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (TAYLOR KITSCH), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (WILLEM DAFOE) and Dejah Thoris (LYNN COLLINS).

Avatar At $2B Worldwide + DVD/Blu-ray Talk and Sequel Rumors
Over the weekend, "Avatar" broke the 7th weekend record with $31.3 million which helped propel it past $2 billion worldwide, becoming the first film in box office history to reach that mark.  "Avatar" was already the #1 film overseas and worldwide, but yesterday (Tuesday), it cleared its last major hurdle.  Sitting at $601.1 million domestically, "Avatar" is now the all-time #1 film domestically (beating the $600.8 million recorded by "Titanic").  Considering this weekend’s competition — "Dear John" and "From Paris with Love""Avatar" will very likely hold the number one spot again. 

Meanwhile, some news has broken out over the past week with regards to potential sequel and the upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release.  Speaking to analysts during his company’s quarterly earnings call, News Corp. (parent company of 20th Century Fox) CEO and Chairman Rupert Murdoch revealed that the studio is in "very early talks" with director James Cameron for a sequel.  However, Murdoch was quick to caution analysts "not to hold your breath for an early one", indicating a longer than normal development cycle for the sequel.  The issue of the DVD/Blu-ray release was also brought up, with Murdoch signaling a release sometime during the company’s current fiscal year — which ends June 30th — but not in 3D (at least not at first).  In related news, MarketSaw has some early details on the proposed sequel, which they claim will be made within the next 4 years:

Just what is being discussed right now? Well for one, what we saw in AVATAR’s finale was just a battle. AVATAR 2 will be full blown war. War is coming – Jim Cameron war that is! We know that Cameron and Landau are taking AVATAR sequels OFF of Pandora and I am working closely with my sources to determine exactly where they will take place.

And finally, remember that 70-minute "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" review?  Well Mike from Milwaukee, WI is back with this two-part 18-minute review of "Avatar" (although I personally didn’t find it as funny as his ‘Phantom Menace’ review). Watch it below.

Watch part two here

Trailer and image from "The Losers" featuring Zoe Saldana
The next project for Avatar and Star Trek Star Zoe Saldana is "The Losers", an adaption from the graphic novel of the same name. Zoe plays "Aisha" who is a cold-blooded combat expert. This week a new trailer for the film was released and a new promo image. 

Movie trailer [MSN Movies]

<a target="_new" href=";from=customplayer_en-us_movies_movietrailershub&#038;fg=MsnEntertainment_MoviesTrailersGP2_a&#038;vid=1b9d070f-aff2-47f6-8a86-9b2b44ec4fc6" title="&#039;The Losers&#039; Exclusive Look" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Video: &#8216;The Losers&#8217; Exclusive Look</a>

And here is a new promotional image from the film [via LA Times’ Hero Complex blog]


The Crazies

Promotional stills [one more at HitFix]

Green Lantern

More concept art [io9]

Hot Tub Time Machine

Movie poster [EW]


UK quad poster [Empire]

The Last Airbender

International poster [Empire]

Shutter Island

Promotional stills [more at Collider]

The Smurfs

Character design — B&W — first look [UGO]

Tron Legacy

Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn [/Film]


Alice in Wonderland

"Alice (Underground)" (End credit song) [YouTube]

The Crazies

Two new TV spots [Collider]

New clip: "Is He Dead?" [Hulu]


International red band trailer [MSN]

<a target="_new" href=";from=sp&#038;vid=df8e1600-9d67-47ce-9b2b-6171d203b64d" title="Kick-Ass - Trailer" data-wpel-link="external" rel="external noopener noreferrer">Video: Kick-Ass &#8211; Trailer</a>


  • "Green Lantern" star Ryan Reynolds says that he has been in constant contact with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick: "I talk to them every single day. We’re all very sick of each other already. It’s actually a really wonderful creative trifecta — we’re having a very good time." [MTV Splash Page]
  • Italian director Gabriele Muccion is in advanced talks to direct the Keanu Reeves sci-fi romantic drama "Passengers".  The film is described as "a love story set on a spaceship." [Variety]
  • Universal Pictures has created a viral website for the Union, the company that sells robotic organs in the upcoming film "Repo Men".  Check it out at
  • Here’s how Anna Kendrick, who plays Stacey Pilgrim in Edgar Wright’s "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World", describes the film: "There’s nothing to compare it to. It’s like the energy from ‘Ferris Bueller’ and the action from ‘Kill Bill.’ It’s amazing"… [MTV Movies Blog]
  • …Speaking of ‘Scott Pilgrim’, Universal Pictures has set an August 13, 2010 release date for the film.  Putting it up against the Sylvester Stallone directing/producing/starring action film "The Expendables"… [BOM]
  • …And in other release date news, MGM has pushed back the release of "Hot Tub Time Machine" by one week to March 26th while Magnolia has set a May 28th release date for "George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead". [BOM]
  • Check out two on-set interviews — from 2008 — with "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaugn and star Aaron Johnson at CBR here and here.
  • "Flight of the Conchords" co-creator James Bobin has been offered — and accepted — directing duties on Disney’s upcoming "Muppets" movie. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog & NY Mag’s Vulture Blog]
  • There’s a rumor that "Jurassic Park" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" could be hitting Blu-ray this November 4th.  "Jurassic Park III" was not listed. [Planete HD via]
  • Guy Ritchie’s "Sherlock Holmes" is getting an early home video release.  Warner Brothers has announced that the nearly $400M-grossing adventure film starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law will hit DVD and Blu-ray on March 30th, just three months after its theatrical release… [DVD Active]
  • …Here are a few more home video release dates: "The Box" (Feb. 23rd), "2012" (March 2nd), "Where the Wild Things Are" (March 2nd) and "Ninja Assassin" (March 16th). Worth noting, one of the bonus features on the "Ninja Assassin" Blu-ray will be a sneak peak at Louis Leterrier’s "Clash of the Titans". [DVD Active]
  • In a recent interview with comic book writer Mark Millar ("Wanted"), Millar revealed that the script for the sequel is "almost ready" and that he expects it to begin shooting soon.  He also revealed some basic plot details. Watch the interview below ("Wanted 2" talk starts at 3:05). [IGN]
  • Lakeshore has picked up the script for "I, Frankenstein". The project is based on a comic from "Underworld" co-creator Kevin Grevioux (who wrote the script).  Patrick Tatopoulos ("Underworld: Rise of the Lycans") is attached to direct. [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]
  • "Incredible Hulk" director Louis Leterrier suspects Edward Norton would reprise his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in "The Avengers", but only if it was a different take on the character: "That would be a problem if you do the same thing over and over again. Edward’s never done the same movie twice, so I don’t think he would do that." [MTV Splash Page]
  • Paris’ Buf Compagnie will serve as the lead Visual Effects house on "Thor". [Variety]
  • As you may remember, 19 months ago the old animatronic Kong attraction was destroyed in a fire on the Universal Theme Park back lot. Since then, Peter Jackson (who directed the 2005 remake) has been working with a group of special effects experts to create a new more realistic 3D attraction that will open at the park this summer. [LA Times]
  • Producer Joel Silver says the feature film adaptation of the "Sgt. Rock" comic books will not be based in 1940s Europe and will instead be set in the future: "What we’ve done is gone back to it and we’ve done a new draft that actually came in this week." [LA Times’s Hero Complex Blog]
  • Based on seeing the production designs and reading Alex Garland’s script for "Judge Dredd", ‘Dredd’ creator John Wagner says he’s hopeful about the project: "While I can’t go into detail about the content I can say that it’s high-octane, edge of the seat stuff, and gives a far truer representation of Dredd than the first movie". [2000AD Review via io9]
  • "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" may have topped its predecessor in box office receipts ($402.1M domestically), but the film didn’t play all that well with critics and now the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation has released its nominees for the worst movies of the year and ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ tied with "Land of the Lost" for the most nominations with seven, including for worst picture and worst director. []
  • Sam Raimi is currently attached to direct "The Shadow" for Sony Pictures and given his recent departure from "Spider-Man 4", the director is reportedly interested in making the film his next project. You can check out a script review over at IESB.


  • Zac Efron has signed a deal to star in "Fire", Universal Pictures’ adaptation of the Image Comics graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis. [Deadline Hollywood]
  • Shawn Roberts plays Albert Wesker in "Resident Evil: Afterlife": [He’s the] head of the Umbrella Corporation who is responsible for the outbreak of the T-virus, or the Uroboros virus", Roberts revealed. [Shock Till You Drop]
  • Nicholas Hoult has joined the cast of George Miller’s "Mad Max: Fury Road".  Teresa Palmer, Zoe Kravitz and Adelaide Clemens are also in talks to join.  Hoult will play a character named Nux, and Kravitz a character named Five Wives who is part of a group which includes Palmer and Clemens who "are part of a convoy being chased by bad guys". [THR’s Heat Vision Blog]


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that better not be senestro

Incredible Hulk might finally get there if they let Edward Norton get it more his way.

I’ve had dreams about seeing Zoe from that angle…

What about the Greatest American hero. Any news on that one. So much going on out there. I hope that release Avatar in 3d on Dvd. Would be woth getting. Capt America should be great as long as they keep it to the roots. Transformers was actualy pretty good. Land of the Lost was a joke.

Captain America sounds like it will be everything Sgt. Rock should be. Setting Rock in the future instead of WW2–give me a break!

Setting Sgt. Rock in the future is completely missing the point. It kinda reminds me of when Conan was first gonna be put on film, and Oliver Stone wrote a screenplay that took place in the future after a global apocalypse. Some characters are defined by their settings in such a way that removing them from that setting defeats the purpose of using that character at all. If you wanna make a movie about soldiers in the future, do it, but don’t pretend that it’s Sgt. Rock.

uh, what happened to “repo chick”? the trailer vanished after being mentioned here last week.
i was so looking forward to that.

condolences to whoever wrote “transformers 2”. i blame the director, for… everything that is wrong with movies these days.


Blaming the director for a bad movie is just plain… foolish.

In a way, the whole concept of the Oscars, etc., is rather foolish. Movies can only be approached in a holistic way. Generally, it’s hard to tell if it’s merely good acting with great writing, or the other way around. Or was that good acting the result of good directing, or in spite of it? Or, what may be good directing for one actor may hurt another actor’s performance. How many changes did the writers have to make because of the producer? How many bad cuts did the editor have to leave in because the director wouldn’t leave him alone? Things of that nature.

With a train wreck like Transformers 2, I think it’s a bit of everything, but it’s hard to definitively say.

Wonder Woman Movie. . . any love from anybody? Please . . .

I really don’t see why my post regarding James Cameron had to be erased.

I don’t know if that’s Sinestro. That concept art looks cool, but I think a GL’s uniform should look simpler. I won’t complain if they use it though. It doesn’t bother me that much.

Actually I looked at it again and the uniform looks pretty cool. For Sinestro. I wouldn’t want to see Hal Jordan wearing a uniform like that.

The face by the way looks cool. The hair would be different for Sinestro, because he usually has it short, but I think it could work.

I’m not totally opposed to Hal Jordan wearing a uniform like that one, but I hope he wears one like they showed in earlier concept art.

FTA – Based on seeing the production designs and reading Alex Garland’s script for “Judge Dredd”, ‘Dredd’ creator John Wagner says he’s hopeful about the project: “While I can’t go into detail about the content I can say that it’s high-octane, edge of the seat stuff, and gives a far truer representation of Dredd than the first movie”.

I *knew* he would say that!

#15 – Your last line……


Take that everyone else.

lol, they used a sci-fi typo (eurostile) in the clash o.t. titans trailer… it´s the one they also used many times in star trek (registry on hull etc.) or many other sci-fi movies (as labels in space stations/ships etc…)

i think, it doesn´t quite fit to the titans…

they need to make Hulk 2: Planet Hulk

The only way I will be satisfied with the Avengers movie is if they get Tobey Maguire in there for one last hurrah as Spider-Man.

On the worst movie of the year bit, I never saw Land of the Lost, but I still have to say that I cant imagine how it could have been more of a waste of time than Transformers. Even if it was just as lame, I doubt it was as long. When ever I think about seeing that movie I still wanna punch Michael Bay.

As much as I loved AVATAR in 3D I’m not too sure i’m a fan of so many movies being released in 3D, please no Transformers 3 in 3D and please, please DO NOT have the next Star Trek movie in 3D!

Loving seeing Sam Worthington have so much success, makes me proud to be an Aussie, especially the hint of the Aussie Accent he has in every film!

If I wait a few years to see Avatar, then it’s sort of 4D. ;)

In case anyone is interested, I saw that Big Lots has the Star Trek 2009 figures now. 3.00 for the small ones and 5.00 for the medium ones.

Is it just me, or does that look like Doobie Smurf? Or maybe his cousin, Cracky Smurf.

Seriously…that Smurf is about to fall into the uncanny valley.


The apparent absence of a serious desire to do a Wonder Woman movie is mystifying to me. A great big movie with all the mythology and the right leading lady could be teh awesome. She’s one of the primary, first rank, iconic superheroes, and deserves a worthy big screen debut IMHO. There must be another Linda Carter out there somewhere who could do the part justice.

I hope Raimi does a good job with The Shadow. No camp, for the love of all things holy! And don’t try to explain him, his mysteriousness is what made him great and different. Let his agents represent the audience and wonder who he is and compare notes and theories. His appeal dies when you know all about him. It’s like in the original Alien movie, when Tom Skerrit is trying to get away from an alien closing in on him, not seeing the monster save for only that split second as it lunged at him made it all the more cooler and scary.

I hope the CAPTAIN AMERICA movie rocks and has plenty of Kirby influence in it!!! I also think a very cool SHADOW film would be fun. Sorry I am a comic book/pulp lovin geek! ;)

For some reason i am more interested in the thor movie and how kirbyesque they may make it–cap is kinda too old style to me–todays america is not as openly patriotic-so not sure how it will be received–thor if done right could be lotr on steriods-especially if they made it look kirby scifi/cosmic/gods–

I simply do not understand why everyone thinks Revenge of the Fallen was crap. I guess it’s because it’s a fun movie aimed at an audience that can appreciate such things. It’s not made for elitist critics with superiority complexes and “refined taste”. It’s made for real people who actually watch movies and just want to enjoy it without nitpicking and criticizing the plot and finding all kinds of reasons why they think it’s preposterous. It’s a movie about freaking giant robots. It’s not SUPPOSED to be anything else. I wish people would either appreciate what it is and shut up if they can’t.

I saw it ten times and liked it just as much as the new Star Trek. Maybe that makes me a moron, maybe not. But I think the fact that it made more money than anything else last year until Avatar came along is an indication that not EVERYONE thinks it’s garbage.

Excuse me but what right is it of something called the Golden Raspberry to decide what constitutes a good or bad movie? What the hell is a golden raspberry supposed to be anyway? They wouldn’t know a good movie if it ran them over with a tractor. Transformers is amazing, I don’t care what anyone says.

I too am holding out hope that Wonder Woman will be made soon. I too am amazed that one of the most iconic superheroes of all time hasn’t received her due on the big screen. If you can make movies like Troy, Alexander the Great, Clash of the Titans, etc. you can surely do an Amazon tale of epic proportions and show Mt. Olympus, Tartarus, the Isle of Themiscyra (Paradise Island), the Underworld of Hades, Poseidon’s UnderSea Kingdom, legions of Amazon warriors, Nazi soldiers, Soldiers of the Dead or War God Ares, Mythic monsters such as the Hydra, Harpies, Nemean Lion, Minotaur, etc. , etc., etc., A MOVIE OF MYTHIC PROPORTIONS that would rival & surpass anything to date in this realm/genre of film. Wonder Woman should not be viewed/treated as just another superhero film, but moreso as a Fantasy film a la Ray Harryhausen. It would have the advantage of not only being a great Fantasy/Mythological movie but of being the 1st of its kind since Red Sonja perhaps but with a universally well known/established or easily identifiable figure as its main protagonist. I think however, just like Green Lantern or Thor, her unique Amazonian nature & culture & environment has to be focused upon in order for it to succeed, otherwise she is just another costumed hero with nothing unique/special to offer IMHO.

#23, BIG LOTS!? Really!?

That is_disturbing_news. Now that Star Trek has been knocked out of the lime light with the Oscars, we’re not likely to hear a thing about it in the media until Paramount starts marketing the next film 2 years from now. If the toys are already headed to a low-end discount bargain store so soon after the successful DVD release, that means it is fast fading from national consciousness, and likely already lost some of its cool edge.

Are there Avatar toys? Could it be having a “Star Wars” effect on Trek merchandise?

#31 I entirely agree.

#29 I entirely agree with you also. I watched the Transformers movie last week and it was a blast. Great fun.

JUDGE DREDD? That I would see.

I saw avatar toys right when the movie came out-they were odd because the figures of the na’vi warriors were the same heights as the human gis etc…n if u saw the movie u know the na’vi are like 9-10 ft tall–maybe more—so whoever made the toys wasnt being very accurate–

28. Captain America ought to be fine if they handle the character in The Avengers in the way they handled him in The Ultimates!

With regards to Transformers 2, I simply found it overlong and relentlessly loud. It felt like a blast of a 90 minute movie stretched to two and a half hours!

I miss 90 minute movies. If a film needs to be long, then fine, but I get put off by every other movie being closer to three hours than two!