In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column, Christopher Nolan offers his first public comments on both Superman and Batman 3, there are new trailers for Tron Legacy and Iron Man 2, an update on Marvel’s search for Captain America (plus casting details for Smurfs and Conan), an updated synopsis for Thor and Marc Webb talking Spider-Man. Plus more, including Alien, Green Lantern and Sucker Punch all going 3D and the latest box office numbers, casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Christopher Nolan talks Superman and Batman 3
"The Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan has spoken for the first time about the upcoming Superman project, telling the LA Times "It’s very exciting; we have a fantastic story". Nolan adds that because of his team’s work on the two "Batman" films, he feels they "can do [Superman] right", adding "We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right." Interestingly enough, Nolan says the idea for the film came about after writer David S. Goyer and Nolan’s brother Jonah hit a story impasse on the third Batman movie:
"He [Goyer] basically told me, ‘I have this thought about how you would approach Superman,’" Nolan recalled. "I immediately got it, loved it and thought: That is a way of approaching the story I’ve never seen before that makes it incredibly exciting. I wanted to get Emma [his wife and producer] and I involved in shepherding the project right away and getting it to the studio and getting it going in an exciting way.”
Nolan wouldn’t comment on who will direct — steering clear of speculation that his brother Jonah would helm the project — choosing instead to speak more generally about the franchise:
"A lot of people have approached Superman in a lot of different ways. I only know the way that has worked for us that’s what I know how to do," Nolan said, emphasizing the idea that Batman exists in a world where he is the only superhero and a similar approach to the Man of Steel would assure the integrity needed for the film. "Each serves to the internal logic of the story. They have nothing to do with each other."
Nolan also talked a bit about "Batman 3", again offering no specifics, but he did make it clear this will be his last Batman film:
"Without getting into specifics, the key thing that makes the third film a great possibility for us is that we want to finish our story," he said. "And in viewing it as the finishing of a story rather than infinitely blowing up the balloon and expanding the story."
Nolan said the key surviving characters from the two first films and the actors who play them will be back. "We have a great ensemble, that’s one of the attractions of doing another film, since we’ve been having a great time for years."
Be sure to head on over to LA Times’ Hero Complex blog to read the entire article. Christopher Nolan is currently editing his next film, "Inception", which is scheduled to hit conventional and IMAX theaters on July 16, 2010.
Tron Legacy & Iron Man 2 movie trailers
Trailers for both "Tron Legacy" and "Iron Man 2" debuted over the last week and you can check them both out below (as well as a few new images from both films).
Tron Legacy movie trailer [Trailer Addict]
Iron Man 2 movie trailer #2 [Trailer Addict]
Iron Man 2 promotional still [Paramount]
Iron Man/War Machine standee and character posters [Paramount]
Tron Legacy promotional still [/Film]
Tron Legacy billboard #3 [/Film]
Marc Webb talks Spider-Man reboot
During last Friday’s Independent Spirit Awards, director Marc Webb talked about how he plans to take "Spider-Man" in a different direction from former director Sam Raimi:
"[Sam Raimi] did something fantastic, but I do think the mythology of Spider-Man is wide and vast, and there’s more opportunity to explore that cinematically," he said of working in the shadow of Raimi’s three-film blockbuster franchise. "Sam is not only a great guy but a fantastic director and it’s a humbling prospect, but I’m looking forward to it."
Webb also touched briefly on the casting process, which he says will be "casting a wide net" for the title role, declining to rule out a potential rumored contender such as Joseph Gordon Levitt who some may consider too old for the part. "Spider-Man" (in 3D) is scheduled to hit theaters on July 3, 2012.
Captain America casting: Four are reportedly in contention
There has been a lot of activity in recent days surrounding the casting of Captain America / Steve Rogers in Joe Johnston’s "The First Avenger: Captain America". Earlier this week, consensus seemed to be forming around John Krasinski ("The Office"), with Fox 411 proclaiming he was basically Marvel’s only focus at the moment and that the ball was in his court. But Krasinski is now reportedly out of contention. Deadline New York and THR’s Heat Vision blog are reporting four actors — including two new additions — are in contention. Those four are:
Mike Vogel ("Cloverfield"); Garrett Hedlund ("Tron Legacy"); Chris Evans ("Fantastic Four") and Wilson Bethel (HBO’s "Generation Kill")
In related casting news, Screen Rant reports that Robert Buckley (who at one point was considered for the title role) may have instead been cast in the role of Cap’s sidekick, Bucky. "The First Avenger: Captain America" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 22, 2011.
Neil Patrick Harris and four others cast in Smurfs movie
Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") has been cast as the lead live action character in Raja Gosnell’s 3D live-action/animated "Smurfs" movie. No further details yet, but "live action character" tends to suggest he’ll be playing Gargamel, no? Meanwhile, Variety reports that Jonathan Winters, George Lopez, Katy Perry and Alan Cumming will all lend their voices to the film:
The 84-year-old Winters, who voiced multiple characters on the long-running Hanna-Barbera cartoon version of "Smurfs," will play Papa Smurf. Pop singer Perry is in talks to portray Smurfette, Alan Cumming is taking on Gutsy Smurf and George Lopez is onboard as Grouchy Smurf.
"Smurfs" is scheduled to hit conventional and 3D theaters on August 3, 2011.
Updated Thor synopsis released
Paramount and Marvel have released an updated synopsis for Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming "Thor":
Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the epic adventure, “Thor,” which spans the Marvel Universe from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is the mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and is forced to live among humans. A beautiful, young scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), has a profound effect on Thor, as she ultimately becomes his first love. It’s while here on Earth that Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth.
"Thor" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 6, 2011.
Alien prequel, Green Lantern and Sucker Punch will be 3D
"Star Wars" and "Alien" art director Roger Christian told Shadowlocked that Ridley Scott’s upcoming "Alien" prequel will be shot in 3D. Meanwhile, Box Office Mojo has confirmed with Warner Brothers that Zack Snyder’s "Sucker Punch" (March 25, 2011) and Martin Campbell’s "Green Lantern" (June 17, 2011) will also be 3D. We know that "Sucker Punch" will be converted to 3D in post since he has already completed filming on it, but "Green Lantern" hasn’t begun filming yet so it’s unclear if that will be shot in 3D.
Stephen Lang and Rachel Nichols join Marcus Nispel’s Conan
Stephen Lang has confirmed to MTV that he will play the villain Khalar Singh in Marcus Nispel’s "Conan" (originally reported by Latino Review):
"I’ve accepted the role of Khalar Singh…I have no idea how I’m going to do it," Lang laughed. "First I’m going to find out how I’m going to sound. I’m going to get back on a Mongolian pony and ride like the wind. I’m going to flash my scimitar. I’m going to cut the nuts off Conan and his father."
Meanwhile, Latino Review is reporting that Rachel Nichols ("Star Trek", "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra") has been cast as Tamara. Last year a casting call was leaked that gave character breakdowns. I’ve included the relevant sections for the two characters below.
Khalar Singh is in his 40s to 50s, Asian or Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Mongol, Turkish, or Persian, open to all ethnicities; commanding in size and manner, a warlord and formidable warrior, brilliant, cruel, weathered and tanned by the many campaigns he has waged and won. He is driven in his quest to find the Queen of Acheron and has been building an empire to do so.
His goal is to find the Queen whose blood will bring life to the demonic minions of Acheron while making himself king of this hellish power. With this power, Khalar will protect his legacy against the onslaught of master sorcerer, Thoth-Amon so that his weak son, Fariq may rule after his death. While riding into a Cimmerian village to recruit his old comrade, Corin, his large collection of mercenaries slaughters them to the last soul when Corin refuses to join them. The village’s only survivor was young Conan. When Khalar’s search has finally narrowed to the likely discovery of the queen at a monastery of female monks, he also learns Conan is older and hungry for revenge…
Tamara is 18 to 24 years old, Caucasian or Middle Eastern, open to all ethnicities; beautiful, studious, correct, a novitiate of a Greek influenced monastery. A master of martial arts, she has been trained to be the Queen’s servant, bodyguard and best friend. She and many other female bodyguards to the queen have been in hiding most of their lives because of the curse of Acheron, which would take the queen’s life to bring almost immortal power to its king. When Khalar Singh, a powerful warlord with ambitions to become the king of Acheron, storms the monastery and captures all of the novitiates, she is separated from Ilira, the one she must protect. With all of her strength and will, Tamara is determined to find and rescue her. She finds herself in league with Conan because of a mutual need to find Khalar Singh. She is not in the least intimidated by Conan’s size or grim demeanor and their alliance eventually blossoms into something that surprises them both…
Alice in Wonderland breaks Avatar’s 3D / IMAX opening weekend records
Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland" opened to a huge $116.1M domestically over the weekend. That figure includes new records for 3D ($80M) and IMAX ($11.9M–included in 3D total), beating previous high marks set by James Cameron’s "Avatar". Overseas ‘Alice’ grossed $100.5M, for what amounts to a worldwide opening weekend of $216.6M.
PREVIEW Images & Videos
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Daniel Radcliffe talking about the epilogue [MTV Hollywood Crush]
Hot Tub Time Machine
Interview with cast [IGN]
Watch another interview here
Interview with Michael Shannon (who shot a cameo for the role Doc Cross Williams) [MTV]
Outdoor character posters [more at Cinema Blend]
Interview with Aaron Johnson, Mark Millar and Matthew Vaughn: "Who Is Kick-Ass?" [IGN]
Legend of the Guardians
Promotional stills [USA Today]
Teaser trailer [Yahoo! Movies]
Movie poster [Warner Brothers]
The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue
Movie trailer [Twitch]
Paranormal Activity 2
Paranormal Activity star Micah Sloat on the sequel [MTV]
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Final poster [UGO]
New images [more at SCI FI Wire]
Red band movie trailer [Trailer Addict]
Toy Story 3
New character poster (Stretch) and final poster [Yahoo! Movies]
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
10-second sneak peek at the teaser trailer (the complete teaser trailer will be released tomorrow) [YouTube]
- Previously on TrekMovie: Bob Orci & Alex Kurtzman ‘Win’ Razzie For Transformers 2 – Provide TrekMovie With Acceptance Speech
- Disney’s "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" will be released to IMAX theaters internationally simultaneously with the film’s wide release on May 28, 2010. [IMAX]
- 20th Century Fox has announced "Alvin and the Chipmunks 3D", a third installment in the franchise, will be released on December 16, 2011…
- …In other release date news, Disney has set a March 11, 2011 release date for Simon Wells’ 3D adaptation of the children’s book "Mars Needs Moms". Seth Green and Joan Cusack will voice characters in the film…
- …And Warner Brothers has set a June 4, 2010 release date for Vincenzo Natali’s "Splice". Natali also revealed that he’s heading to the editing room next week to make a few changes before its theatrical release. [Box Office Mojo & Fangoria]
- B-movie king and new Oscar honoree Roger Corman talked about his upcoming Syfy original movie "Sharktopus" in an interview with SCI FI Wire.
- Despite the film’s premise, "Hot Tub Time Machine" star Rob Corddry says that after hours of meetings, they came to the conclusion to just focus on the comedy and not get too bogged down on the time travel aspects. [SCI FI Wire]
- Starting in July, J. Michael Straczynski ("Babyon 5") will be taking over DC Comics’ "Superman" and "Wonder Woman" series on an ongoing basis. [DC Comics blog]
- The first chapter of Seth Grahame-Smith’s new novel "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter", which has been optioned as a potential film by producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, is available to read online here. [via io9]
- ABC Family has acquired the network television premiere rights to Tim Burton’s "Alice in Wonderland". The film will debut on the network in 2012. [ABC Family]
- Ryan Reynolds talking about the "Green Lantern" costume: "Um, it ah snug. The costume is snug. It doesn’t leave a lot, uh, it doesn’t really camouflage too much. So it’s going to be interesting." [E! News via io9]
- Disney says they renamed "Rapunzel" to "Tangled" to better appeal to boys, believing the new name to be less gender-specific. [LA Times]
- "The Shadow" has reportedly been picked up by 20th Century Fox after formerly being at Sony Pictures and Sam Raimi is no longer attached to direct. Instead it’ll be David Slade (of ‘New Moon’ and "Thirty Days of Night" fame). [Latino Review]
- Jock, artist and designer for Peter Berg’s upcoming "Battleship" says the director is going for a look not unlike his other movies, one that is "raw and real and aggressive and frightening and hard and tough." [IGN]
- Summit Entertainment has confirmed that they’ve replaced "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" editor Art Jones with Nancy Richardson (who edited Catherine Hardwicke’s "Twilight"). The studio is not blaming Jones, and say the switch was made because Richardson "understands the emotion of the characters" better. [EW’s Hollywood Insider blog]
- DreamWorks has begun negotiations with Craig Gillespie ("Lars and the Real Girl") to direct the studio’s horror remake "Fright Night". [LA Times’ 24 Frames blog]
- Alice Braga, who co-stars in the upcoming Nimród Antal-directed "Predators", says the new Predators "are dark" and "are really, really scary". Braga added she’s unsure whether the film will get an R-rating, but suspects they may shoot for PG-13: "I think they might try to do PG-13…I’m not sure, I hope not actually. You know what, I think they [might] not [be able to do it PG-13] because there are some dark scenes in it, like the other films. So I think it’s going to be R." [io9]
- Mark Millar, creator of the comic "Kick-Ass" says he and director Matthew Vaughn have already begun discussing ideas for a potential sequel: [SPOILERS–highlight to view] "Red Mist surviving, becoming the super-villain was always planned, but the idea was that he was going to be a more minor character in the first film…the second movie, it’s going to get very, very dark what goes on with him. " [IGN]
- Columbia Pictures is expected to begin casting for "Men in Black 3" soon and actors rumored to be in consideration for a new character named Yaz include Josh Brolin ("Jonah Hex"), Sacha Baron Cohen ("Sweeney Todd") and Jemaine Clement ("The Flight of the Conchords"). [Bloody Disgusting]
- Liev Schreiber says that Hugh Jackman has read the screenplay for "Wolverine" but Schreiber isn’t sure whether his character (Sabretooth) will appear in the sequel. [io9]
- Amanda Seyfried ("Dear John") confirmed on the Oscar Red Carpet Sunday night that she will play the title character in Catherine Hardwicke’s "The Girl With The Red Riding Hood". [via The Playlist]
- Michael Sheen, who plays the Volturi "Aro" in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse", thinks he’ll likely return for the fourth film ‘Breaking Dawn’. [The Toronto Sun]
- Jesse Ventura revealed on the Howard Stern Show that he just got done filming a scene for Wachowski brothers’ secret futuristic war project (unclear yet if it’s a short or full-featured movie). [/Film]
- The casting breakdown for "Iron Man 2" on IMDB could provide a clue that G4 host Olivia Munn may be playing Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) in the film. [via AceShowbiz]
- Original "Barbarella" star Jane Fonda says she would like to see Kate Bosworth play the role in the sequel. [THR’s Showbiz 411 blog]
- Check out an interview with "Let Me In" and "Kick-Ass" star Chloë Moretz at Movieline.
- Corey Haim ("The Lost Boys") died early Wednesday morning of an apparent drug overdose. He was 38. [TV Guide]