In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column, we have all the latest buzz on Iron Man 2 (and Iron Man 3), details on the next (two) Alien movies, an update from Bill Murray on Ghostbusters 3, and much more, including the latest box office numbers, casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Early buzz: Iron Man 2 + Black Widow spin-off possible?
Reviews are starting to trickle out for "Iron Man 2" and the consensus seems to be ‘not as good as the original’. With 38 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is currently sitting at 74% (28 Fresh, 10 Rotten). Here’s a sampling of some of the reviews:
The Hollywood Reporter
"Everything fun and terrific about Iron Man, a mere two years ago, has vanished with its sequel. In its place, Iron Man 2 has substituted noise, confusion, multiple villains, irrelevant stunts and misguided story lines."
"Iron Man 2 isn’t as much fun as its predecessor, but by the time the smoke clears, it’ll do."
"If the movie often borders on smug, it’s equally happy to be only lightly reverent to the comics it’s based on. And I’d defend it as smug on purpose — one long, high-fiving in-joke about its own sure-fire success."
Iron Man was a rare blockbuster that stayed with you — the sequel all but evaporates the moment it cuts to black."
Perhaps the most positive review comes courtesy Harry Knowles of Aint It Cool News:
IRON MAN 2 is comic movie crack! I remember how I was after I saw SPIDER-MAN 2. It felt like the world finally f–king got it. I thought we’d always have films increasingly badass from that point—and SPIDER-MAN 3 was not better. And I got a tad sad. When you see a comic book movie that is absolutely the best of what that character can be on screen—it is euphoric. Something to celebrate, to revel in. I’ve been a comic geek my entire life. I remember when Bob Layton really began blowing my mind with IRON MAN. This is that… but on film… with hundreds of talented awesome artists, technicians and craftsmen all supporting that vision.
Looking towards the future, director Jon Favreau told ComingSoon.net/SuperHeroHype that a third film is years away and he may not return as director:
‘Iron Man 3’ is years down the road, and that has to reflect the reality of what’s been established not just in ‘Iron Man 1 and 2,’ but in movie time, between this film and that film, is ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ ‘Thor,’ ‘Captain America,’ and ‘The Avengers.’ I haven’t had to inherit anybody else’s backstory yet–it’s just simply what we chose to use or not use from the comic books–so I’m feeling like I’m passing the baton and after all those movies are done, it’s time to sit down and discuss if there’s something I can bring to it, if it’s something we want to do together, but that’s way down the road."
"Iron Man 2" hits conventional and IMAX theaters May 7. Here are some ‘bites’.
- Read a transcript or listen to a recent press conference with the cast and crew at Collider.
- Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said a "Black Widow" spinoff centering on Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow is "[d]efinitely possible"… [SCI FI Wire]
- Writer Justin Theroux has confirmed the end-credits easter egg in the film. Without spoiling anything, click over to Collider and io9 for details.
- Olivia Munn’s cameo has been revealed. She’ll play [highlight to view] a TV personality: "She plays an on-air correspondent reporting from an event that Tony Stark attends. It’s the same event that Stan Lee’s "Larry King" is at." [IGN]
First look at the late DJ AM’s cameo [Hero Complex blog]
Sneak peek: "New Assistant" [SCI FI Wire]
Watch more sneak peeks here
Ridley Scott wants two Alien prequels + Confirms 3D
At a press junket for "Robin Hood", Ridley Scott confirmed that the upcoming "Alien" prequel will "of course" be in 3D, however Scott mentioned that one of the problems with 3D is that you can’t shoot in low-light so they’re be working on the lighting issue in post. Scott also revealed that he’s developing two "Alien" prequels [Collider]:
You’re developing the Alien prequel, are you developing it as a series of films or a longer storyline?
Scott: It’ll be two. It’ll be prequel one and two. Then Alien 1.
Are you going to shoot the prequels together or shoot them separately?
Scott: At the moment I’m just trying to get the first one out.
While who knows if two films will ever happen, if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, how can you not be excited.
Scott also talked about the status of the prequel — they have a fourth draft — and revealed plot details:
It’s set in 2085, about 30 years before Sigourney [Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley]. It’s fundamentally about going out to find out ‘Who the hell was that Space Jockey?’ The guy who was sitting in the chair in the alien vehicle—there was a giant fellow sitting in a seat on what looked to be either a piece of technology or an astronomer’s chair. Remember that? …
And our man [Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas] climbs up and says "There’s been an explosion in his chest from the inside out—what was that?" I’m basically explaining who that Space Jockey—we call him the Space Jockey—I’m explaining who the space jockeys were.
Bill Murray on Ghostbusters 3: "[I]t’s just hogwash" and "a myth"
Bill Murray is again chiming in on "Ghostbusters 3", calling it a "myth" and "hogwash" until he sees a "great script" [Cinema Blend]:
“It’s just a myth. It’s like the white alligator in the sewer, you know? Who’s seen it, really?”
“It’s just really the movie studio. They love the franchise, they’d just like to re-create it again. All this talk is just talk. It drives me nuts, it’s just people talking. And now, it’s like, on the street people go ‘hey, hey, hey,’ you know, why don’t you go back to high school? Quit bothering me. Until someone actually creates a great script it’s just hogwash, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s interesting that people are interested in it, they’d like to see it. It was a great thing, it really was fun. Maybe it should. And if it’s such a good idea, then someone will write the screenplay.”
The Hobbit, Superman, Batman 3, Fury Road and more in IMAX
A recent IMAX press release stated that "The Hobbit" would be released in IMAX in 2013, but a spokesperson for Warner Brothers says the date was a typo:
The first part of "The Hobbit" is still slated for a December 2012 release. The second installment will presumably be released the following year.
With regards to the press release, it was for a new deal struct between IMAX and Warner Brothers for up to 20 films to be released in IMAX over the course of the next three years (through 2013). In addition to “The Hobbit”, the films include “Batman 3”, “Superman”, “Dark Shadows” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” parts 1 and 2.
Clash of the Titans and Journey to the Center of The Earth sequels + Final Destination 5
Warner Brothers is developing a sequel to “Clash of the Titans” which could be ready as early as 2012. Sam Worthington will return to play Perseaus, but Louis Leterrier will not be back as director (although he’ll remain as executive producer) [Deadline New York]:
Berlanti will write the story and the studio is already canvassing the agencies for a writer and director who can whip the movie into shape to shoot before Worthington makes Avatar 2.
Deadline New York also reports that New Line and Walden Media are prepping a sequel the to 2008’s "Journey to the Center of the Earth", but original star Brendan Fraser may not return:
The reason: the studio wants to make a fall, 2011 release date which would mean hiring another director to replace Eric Brevig, who’s busy with another Warner Bros 3D film, Yogi Bear. Fraser wants to be loyal to Brevig and is resisting New Line’s suggestion of filmmakers like Brad Peyton. New Line’s alternative would be re-fashion the film around Josh Hutcherson, who played Fraser’s character’s son in the original film.
And in other development news, Eric Heisserer ("The Thing" prequel, "A Nightmare on Elm Street") has been tapped to write a script for a fifth "Final Destination" (in 3D) film for New Line. I guess "The Final Destination" wasn’t so final after all, huh?
Confirmed: Bill Condon will direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
Summit Entertainment has confirmed last month’s report that Bill Condon ("DreamGirls") will direct "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" [Press Release]:
“Bringing Stephenie Meyer’s BREAKING DAWN to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity,” said Erik Feig, President of Production and Acquisitions, for Summit Entertainment.
Added author Stephenie Meyer, “I’m so thrilled that Bill wants to work with us. I think he’s going to be a great fit, and I’m excited to see what he does with the material.”
“I’m very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book – and we’re hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience,” said Bill Condon.
First look at The Destroyer from Marvel’s Thor
Very, very little has been revealed from Kenneth Branagh’s "Thor", which has been filming in New Mexico, but Latino Review got their hands on a spy image of The Destroyer:
As per my source, THE DESTROYER is sent to earth by Loki to destroy Thor. It stands at about 9 feet tall.
The Destroyer is an enchanted suit of armor forged by Odin, and when it first appeared it was hinted that the Destroyer had been created as a weapon to face some dark menace from the stars. The Destroyer is used by Thor’s arch-foe Loki on several occasions, and each time has actually come close to killing Thor.
Check it out below.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
A Nightmare on Elm Street
George Romero’s Survival of the Dead
Promotional still [/Film]
New poster [Yahoo! Movies]
New trailer [Yahoo! Movies]
Aaron Johnson and Chloe Moretz discuss a potential Kick-Ass 2 [IGN]
The Last Airbender
Trailer #3 [YouTube]
First trailer [Trailer Addict]
Featurette on Danny Trejoy’s character "Cuchillo " [YouTube]
Teaser poster [EW—check out an interview with Wes Craven by clicking on the link]
New trailer [MySpace]
Toy Story 3
Trailer #2 [YouTube]
- Previously on TrekMovie.com: Abrams Next Directing Project A Collaboration With Steven Spielberg?
- "Transformers 3" will begin seven weeks of shooting in Chicago starting in early July… [Production Weekly]
- …The site also tweets that Marvel’s "The First Avenger: Captain America" has opened a production office at Shepperton Studios, with principal photography scheduled to begin June 28. [Production Weekly]
- Universal has delayed "The Adjustment Bureau", the George Nolfi-directed / Matt Damon-starring based on a Philip K. Dick story, from July 30, 2010 to September 17, 2010. [Box Office Mojo]
- Paramount Pictures is developing a third “The Ring”, this one in 3D. The film is being geared more towards teens than the first, with aims to reinvent the franchise. [Heat Vision blog]
- "Avatar" producer Jon Landau talks about what the additional scenes in the extended cut — to be released in theaters this August and on Blu-ray this November — will feature: "We’d like them to touch on some of the backstory that we did not have time to address. We’d like them to touch on exposing people to a little bit more slices of the world of Pandora that they might not have seen, and we’d like to have a little bit more action in there in a couple spots"… [SCI FI Wire]
- …As an update to last week’s story, "Avatar" sold a total of 6.7 million DVD’s and Blu-rays in four days in North America alone. That includes a record 2.7 million Blu-rays, a new best-seller for the format (eclipsing the 2.5 million Blu-rays sold of "The Dark Knight", which took 18 months to hit that mark)… [20th Century Fox]
- …In sequel news, "Avatar 2" will take place several years after the events of the original and will lay the groundwork for the other moons in the system. And there’s also no cap on the amount of sequels, this franchise doesn’t have to be just a trilogy. [Market Saw]
- Adam McKay ("Anchorman") is reportedly on the top of the list to direct an adaptation of Garth Ennis’ "The Boys". [Film School Rejects]
- "The Losers" opened to a disappointing fourth place last weekend with $9.4M. "Kick-Ass" dropped to fifth place in its second weekend with $9.3M, while "How to Train Your Dragon" took first place with $15.4M in its fifth weekend. [Box Office Mojo]
- Breck Eisner’s "The Crazies" will hit DVD and Blu-ray on June 29. [Overture Films]
- Marvel Studios plans to make smaller films in the $20-40 million range drawing on their extensive catalog of B-list characters. [CHUD]
- Check out an interview with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige discussing "Iron Man 2" and other upcoming Marvel movies at [Comic Book Resources.
- Producer Brad Fuller ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") says it’s "all systems go" on "Monster Squad": "We’re meeting with writers every day on that", but they’re still "trying to figure out" how to remake "The Birds". [Bloody Disgusting]
- The "Sherlock Holmes" sequel, which will reunte stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law with director Guy Ritchie, could be shot in 3D. [Hero Complex blog]
- James Cameron offered some thoughts on "Battle Angel Alita" which could be the director’s next project: "It takes place in a future world, a world that has cyborgs, but are you human if you have a mind, if you have a heart, if you have a soul? It’s a journey of a young girl who tries to discover herself and what she learns upon that journey." [SCI FI Wire]
- Shia LaBeouf may be dedicated to making "Transformers 3" great, but that doesn’t mean he’s excited to return: "My mind battles with me all the time. My mind hates the fact that I’m going back to Transformers 3, but the kid in me loves it. The actor in me, who is looking to challenge himself, isn’t going to get it on in Transformers and I know that…I wasn’t happy with the second movie and unless the third one is better than both, then we failed." [Femalefirst.co.uk via TFW2005]
- There’s a report that Columbia Pictures may have to make a "Ghost Rider" sequel without Nicolas Cage due to a deadline and Cage’s involvement in a third installment in Disney’s "National Treasure" franchise: "Insiders confirm to Vulture that Columbia is facing a ticking clock on the rights to the BBQ-skulled Marvel Comics character: Legally, if the studio isn’t in production on a sequel by November 14, 2010, the franchise automatically reverts to Marvel — which means the comic company’s new owner, Disney". [Vulture]
- The third trailer for Christopher Nolan’s "Inception" will screen in front of select prints of "Iron Man 2" (in both conventional and IMAX theaters). [First Showing]
- "FlashForward" showrunner / "Green Lantern" co-writer Marc Guggenheim has been tapped by Warner Brothers to write "Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever". The film is based on an original ide and treatment by Adrian Askarieh that "re-imagines Da Vinci as a member of a secret society who falls headlong into a supernatural adventure that pits the man against Biblical demons in a story involving secret codes, lost civilizations, hidden fortresses and fallen angels". [Heat Vision blog]
- "District 9" star Sharlto Copley expects a sequel to the 2009 hit "in about two years’ time." [Empire Magazine]
- Eric Heisserer ("A Nightmare on Elm Street") was brought in to re-write the script to "The Thing" prequel and says that if everything goes right, the film will serve perfectly as "the first half of a double feature", explaining: "So that the last shot of this film will be two Norwegians and a chopper chasing after a dog. And you can plug in Carpenter’s film and they will both feel and look as they have been made around the same time." [io9]
- Will Smith is reportedly leaning towards making "Men in Black III" his next film… [EW]
- …In related news, Sony has opened up production offices at KaufmanAstoria Studios with plans to star shooting in August. [Production Weekly]
- Bruce Boxleitner ("Babylon 5", "Tron Legacy") will star in the Syfy original movie "Area 51". Boxleitner "will star as a military hero nearing retirement". The TV movie will premiere in 2011. [SCI FI Wire]
- Tony Todd, who voiced The Fallen in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", will play a human character in "Transformers 3"… [Transformers Live]
- …And Robert Paul Taylor tweeted that he landed a role in the film. [Twitter via Transformers Live]
- Chris Evans recalls the process of being cast as Captain America in Joe Johnston’s "The First Avenger: Captain America" as "intimidating" adding: "It was a challenging process for me, trying to decide whether or not to do it. I came down on the side of going for it because I really think Marvel is doing some great things these days, the script is great and it’s going to be a fun character to play." [ScreenStar]
- There’s a rumor that Vanessa Hudgens is one of the front runners to play Spider Woman in Marc Webb’s 3D "Spider-Man: Begin Again". [MTV.co.uk]
- Paul Reubens will voice the character Jokey in Raja Gosnell’s live-action / CGI 3D film "The Smurfs". [Deadline]