Sci-Fi Movies Friday: Transformers 3, Thor, The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Predators, Cowboys & Aliens + more

In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column there is big news for Transformers 3 with Megan Fox out and speculation as to why and who will replace her. We also have Avengers rumors, Thor details, news of a Comic Con documentary, and tons of new images and previews, including Predators posters and the first image from Cowboys & Aliens. All that plus celebrating Empire Strikes Back and the latest box office numbers, casting bites, and more.




Megan Fox exits Transformers 3; She says it was her decision + Rumored replacement
Paramount Pictures has decided against picking up Megan Fox’s option to star as Mikaela Banes in "Transformers 3". Deadline first broke the news of Fox’s departure, reporting that the decision "ultimately" fell on director Michael Bay:

(So he gets his revenge for her remark comparing him to "Hitler".) Right now Bay and writer Ehren Kruger et al are finishing up the script for the threequel and "giving Shia a new love interest makes more sense for the story," an insider tells me. Bay will start casting immediately for the new female co-star.

However, shortly after the news broke, Fox’s publicist issued the following statement contradicting reports that she was booted:

"Megan Fox will not be starring in Transformers 3," reps for the actress, 24, tell PEOPLE. "It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best."

…which in turn was backed up by reporting from The Wrap’s Deal Central:

Megan Fox walked away from "Transformers 3" because director Michael Bay was "verbally abusive" toward her and "she had enough and decided to get out early," an individual close to the actress has told TheWrap.

Both Deadline and The Wrap are sticking to their reporting. Moving forward, The Wrap reports that Gemma Arterton ("Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time") is at the top of the list of potential replacements which also includes models Bar Rafaeli, Miranda Kerr and Brooklyn Decker. Separately, AICN reports through "trustworthy sources" that Zoe Saldana, Hayden Panetierre, Vanessa Hudgens, Amber Heard, Camilla Belle, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Ashley Greene, Julianne Hough, Jessica Lowndes and English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are also being considered for the new role. "Transformers 3" hits theaters on July 1, 2011.

Interview with Shia LaBeouf [YouTube via TLAMB]

Rumor: The Skrulls in The Avengers?
Could the villain of "The Avengers" be The Skrulls? That’s what Comic Book Movie is reporting according to two sources "close to production", although they caution that they haven’t been able to confirm it with the studio (but this does back up CHUD’s reporting from last July):

"…the shape-changing alien race the Skrulls are being used as the main antagonists for The Avengers. Not only that, but the Skrulls will ‘brainwash’ and use the Hulk in a similar fashion Loki did in the comics. Don’t expect a full on alien invasion, though; that will have to wait for a sequel. The Skrulls’ role will be largely clandestine, similar to the way S.H.I.E.L.D. operates. "

CHUD has posted a follow-up report:

Since Joss Whedon hasn’t written the script it’s hard to say what will be in the final movie. My sources last year told me to expect the movie to open with The Avengers coming together to stop a rampaging Hulk; in the comics the Hulk’s rampage was instigated by Loki, but it could just as easily be spurred by the Skrulls, who are shapeshifters. My sources told me to look at the first 12 issues of The Ultimates, Mark Millar’s reboot of The Avengers in the Ultimate Universe, for a basic structure for the first film.

Meanwhile, CBM goes on to report that the Kree, the enemy of the Skrulls, "will also have a presence as Earthly allies." And lastly, the site reports that rather than try to work out deals with Fox and Sony, rights owners to Spider-Man, Wolverine and the Fantastic Four, etc., Marvel Studios will instead "pretend they don’t exist in the Marvel Cinema Universe until those companies inevitably grow tired of them."

Chris Hemsworth talks Thor
Speaking at the Australians In Film Breakthrough Awards, "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth discussed the upcoming Kenneth Branagh-directed film [SPOILERS]:

"I just finished shooting last Thursday, and saw "Iron Man 2" the other day–which I loved–and saw the tag at the end. I was with a bunch of mates and we all got kind of giddy watching it. I can’t wait! It was such an incredible four months shooting that film, and I think the film’s going to be fantastic."

Hemsworth also discussed his take on the character:

"We just kept trying to humanize it all, and keep it very real. Look into all the research about the comic books that we could, but also bring it back to ‘Who is this guy as a person, and what’s his relationship with people in the individual scenes?’ And working with someone like Kenneth Branagh, who has all those bases covered and has so many ideas, it was a hell of a time!"

"Thor" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 6, 2011.

First image from Cowboys & Aliens

Director Jon Favreau has tweeted the first camera test picture (below) from Cowboys & Aliens, the comic book adaptation produced and written by Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. He later revealed to Collider that the image is of Daniel Craig, who plays one of the cowboys in the old west who will be taking on the aliens.

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will be 3D
As previously rumored, Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross has finalized the decision to shoot "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" in 3D. The film’s release date of May 20, 2011 will remain in place. ‘On Stranger Tides’, directed by Rob Marshall, returns Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and co-stars new additions Ian McShane (Blackbeard), Penelope Cruz (Blackbeard’s Daughter) and Sam Claflin (Philip).

Morgan Spurlock will direct documentary Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fans Hope
In February it was revealed that Morgan Spurlock was working with Joss Whedon on a documentary about Comic-Con. Now we have complete details on the film, which will be called "Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope".

COMIC-CON EPISODE FOUR: A FAN’S HOPE will begin shooting in June and culminate its principal photography at this year’s Comic-Con in July. Morgan Spurlock will direct the film and Thomas Tull will produce alongside Spurlock’s Warrior Poets producing partner, Jeremy Chilnick. Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles will executive produce. The film will capture not only a moment in time that literally touches hundreds of thousands of people, but a world that inspires us all – but more than anything else, it will show us that whether at home or away, in costume or not, en masse or alone, we should all have the courage and confidence to be ourselves.

"Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fans’ Hope" will begin shooting this June and finish principal photography at this year’s Comic-Con in July.

PREVIEW Videos & Images

The Awakening

Teaser poster [/Film]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Poster [Narnia Web]


Henry Cavill as Theseus, Mickey Rourke as King Hyperion and Frieda Pinto as Phaedra [Rogue Pictures]

Watch some behind-the-scenes videos here


TV spot [YouTube]

Iron Sky

First footage Teaser []

John Carter of Mars

Set images [JCOM]

Jonah Hex

Character posters [two more at IMP Awards, (2)]

Promotional stills [more at HitFix]

TV spot []

Watch another TV spot here

King Kong 360 3-D (Universal Studios Hollywood ride)

Teaser trailer [Crave]

The Last Airbender

New international posters [more at IGN]

Promotional stills [more at]

Lost Boys: The Thirst

Behind the scenes stills [more at JoBlo]


Poster [Trailer Addict]

Movie trailer [Yahoo! Movies]



International posters []

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Interviews with the cast and crew [IGN]

The Smurfs

Neal Patrick Harris on set [Yahoo! Movies]

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

TV spot []


Domestic and international posters [Shock Till You Drop]

Super 8

Viral newspaper articles [ — more via Super 8 News]

Toy Story 3

Behind the scenes: "Look on the Sunnyside" [Yahoo! Movies]

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

New character banners []

New clip: "The Volturi Decide" [Yahoo! Movies]

Watch two more clips here


  • Shia LaBeouf feels he "dropped the ball on the legacy [of Indiana Jones]" with the fourth installment ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’: "You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg]. But the actor’s job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn’t do it. So that’s my fault. Simple…." [LA Times]
  • Drew Barrymore is reportedly attached to direct the "Wizard of Oz" sequel "Surrender Dorothy". First announced in 2002, the project centers around the great, great granddaughter of Dorothy who "has to learn how to use the power of those ruby red slippers to keep the Wicked Witch of the West from taking control of the kingdoms of Earth and Oz." [Pajiba]
  • The rights to Christopher Farnsworth’s "Blood Oath" have been picked up by Warp Films and the film is being fast-tracked as a feature franchise about a vampire secret agent. [Heat Vision blog]
  • David Fincher is in negotiations with Disney to direct what was formerly the McG-helmed "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea".
  • "Iron Man 2" held onto the top spot last weekend with $52.0 million (down 59% from the weekend prior). Through yesterday, ‘IM2’ is at $224.7M domestically and will cross $500M worldwide this weekend (currently at $479.7M worldwide). The original "Iron Man" was at $191.3M through this same point domestically. [BOM]
  • "Star Wars" attractions "Star Tours" will close at Disneyland Park on July 27 and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 8 and re-open in 2011 with "a new 3-D, immersive experience that’ll take guests to familiar places in the Star Wars galaxy."… [Disney Parks]
  • …Speaking of which, did you know that it was 30 years ago today that "The Empire Strikes Back" was released in theaters (May 21, 1980)?…
  • …And the first draft of the film has been leaked online. Check it out at Crave.
  • "Metropolis: All New Restoration" will be playing 13 states and in Montreal, Canada over the course of the next several months. [Kino]
  • The epilogue in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be created using a mix of CG and prosthetics, says co-star Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy): "For nearly two months, we’ve all been doing prosthetic tests and all sorts of preparation for the epilogue," Felton said. "I’ve been having some aging training. You’ve got to walk differently. There’s a slump in your walk." [MTV]
  • Disney has made a pitch for a live-action reimagining of the classic fairy tale "Cinderella" (working title). Aline Brosh McKenna ("The Devil Wears Prada") wrote the script. [Deadline]
  • Blake Lively talks about her role in "Green Lantern" in the June issue of Vogue magazine.
  • "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" will be released in IMAX theaters internationally beginning May 19 with 20 locations. The film will open at another 33 locations in conjunction with its release starting on May 28, 2010… [IMAX]
  • …Check out an interview with director Mike Newell at
  • "Shrek Forever After" will open in a record 194 IMAX theaters domestically simultaneous with the film’s wide release on May 21, 2010 and in 45 IMAX locations internationally starting on May 20. [IMAX]
  • Paramount Pictures has picked up Jordan Canan’s sci-fi adventure comedy "Field Trip". The story is said to involve time travel, a high school teacher and his students. [THR]
  • 20th Century Fox will release "Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition" on Blu-ray June 29, 2010. Cover art is included below. In addition to an all-new retrospective documentary entitled "Evolution of the Species: Hunters of Extreme Perfection", the release will also contain a $10 certificate for "Predators" which hits theaters on July 9. [/Film]

  • Writer Nick Stoller offers his thoughts on "Stretch Armstrong" and "The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time" in a new interview with
  • Paul Greengrass won’t be directing the James Cameron-produced 3D remake "Fantastic Voyage". Greengrass has instead chose to focus on "Treasure Island", although he isn’t locked into that project either. [Deadline]
  • Sharlto Copley denied recent rumors that he dropped out of "I Am Number Four" over creative differences relating to him wanting his character to have prosthetic Spock-like ears: "I don’t know where that came from! I was working on a prosthetic look for the character, but not for an alien look at all, no," he revealed. "He was going to look human. There was no difference of opinion on the physicality, on trying to look like Spock or anything. I love that." [MTV]
  • Sony/Columbia’s "Battle: Los Angeles" has been pushed back three weeks to March 11, 2011. [BOM]
  • Veteran screenwriter Alvin Sargent has been brought on board to fine-tune Columbia’s "Spider-Man" reboot from director Marc Webb. Sargent is working off a script by Jamie Vanderbilt. Sargent did uncredited rewrite work on the original "Spider-Man", and had a shared credit on "Spider-Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3". [Heat Vision blog]
  • Check out "Jonah Hex" set visit interviews with Josh Brolin [Comic Book Resources, Cinematical], John Malkovich [Comic Book Resorces] and Will Arnett [Cinematical, Comic Book Resources].
  • "There’s nothing tongue-in-cheek" about "Conan" says co-star Stephen Lang: "And there’s nothing send-up about the world we’re creating, though hopefully the movie is made with a lot of wit…To me, in spirit, the movie we’re making is lot more like ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ or ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.’ It’s this huge adventure, these otherworldly things, these rip-snortners," Lang adds. [MTV]


  • Keanue Reeves will star as the male lead in Gabriele Muccino’s "Passengers", described by producers as "Adam & Eve in Space". [THR]
  • Jemaine Clement ("Flight of the Conchords") is in final negotiations to play one of the villains in "Men in Black 3". Clement will be playing a villain named Boris, who is described as being both "charmy and creepy". [Heat Vision blog]
  • There’s a rumor that Nathan Fillion ("Firefly") is "pretty much locked" to play Henry Pym, aka Ant-Man, in director Edgar Wright’s upcoming adapation. The casting decision is expected to be announced around Comic-Con time. [Marvelous Marvel]
  • Sam Worthington will star as the lead in DreamWorks’ "Quatermain". The film will also mark Worthington’s debut as a producer on a feature project. [Heat Vision blog]
  • Katherine Heigl will star in "The Age of Adaline", a sci-fi love story, whose plot is described thusly: "…a young woman, born at the turn of 20th century, who is rendered ageless after an accident. After years of a solitary life, she meets a man who might be worth losing her immortality." [THR]
  • Peter Facinelli, Ashely Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser and Nikki Reed will all return as members of the Cullen Family in "The Twilight Saga" Breaking Dawn".[]
  • James Franco ("Spider-Man") will star in 20th Century Fox’s Rupert Wyatt-directed "Rise of the Apes". Production begins July 5 for its planned June 24, 2011 release date. [Deadline]
  • Paul Dano ("There Will Be Blood") will play a cowboy in Jon Favreau’s "Cowboys & Aliens" (July 29, 2011). [Deadline]
  • Lake Bell ("Surface") is in negotiations to join the cast of "Scream 4" (April 15, 2011) and offers have gone out to Ashley Greene ("Twilight"), Hayden Panettiere ("Heroes") and Rory Culkin ("Twelve") for "key starring roles". [Heat Vision blog]
  • Gary Oldman will offer is voice to DreamWorks Animation’s "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom". Oldman will voice a character named Peacock who "helps Po [Jack Black] find the bandits but is more than he seems." [Heat Vision blog]

MISC Videos & Images


Batman #700 cover art by Mike Mignola [DC Comics The Source]


Improv Everywhere: "Who You Gonna Call?" [YouTube via Collider]

Star Wars

Boba Fett in the ESPN logo [The Daily What]

Rare "The Empire Strikes Back" images [Maxim — more via]

"Premakes" The Empire Strikes Back (1950) [YouTube via SCI FI Wire]

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I really love this column….

Interesting 50’s footage of ESB.

Don’t forget the Myst Movie! ;) It is official; just not an official date since it hasn’t been picked up by a company, yet. for more details. Also check out the cenimatic trailer and wallpapers while you’re there.

Thanks. Now every time I see ESPN I’ll see Boba Fett.

That “Cowboys and Aliens” alien sure has a weird-looking head!

Scott B. out.

I’m excited to see Ian McShane in the next PotC film! Loved his Al Swearingin from Deadwood.

Can’t wait for “Prince Of Persia”. Also looking forward to “Predators” as well as the “Predator” special edition Blu Ray.

As for the “ESPN” logo containing a vague image of Boba Fett, that was really stretching it.


Even though I have never seen “Deadwood” I think Ian McShane will steal the show as Blackbeard.

How Geekly pathetic is it that I recognize most of those clips and the music beds too in the Empire premake video

I know that it is a spelling error, but I love it….

“The Twilight Saga” Breaking Down”

I wish this “saga” had broken down on page one…. would have saved the world a lot of hurt. And that is the professional opinion of this doctor.

THE STAR WARS CRAWL WAS DONE LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man we have come a long way

awsome trailer for Empire. I’ll bet even george lucas will appreciate it.

**Neil. Neil. NEIL Patrick Harris. Not “Neal”.
It’s a pretty glaring typo. ^^:

The best part of being dragged by my friends to the movie theatre for “Eclipse” will be nitpicking every detail. Why? Because I read Dan Bergstein’s hysterical “Blogging Twilight (/New Moon/Eclipse/Breaking Dawn)” on Sparknotes.

And then all my friends will know that the only two remaining characters should be Seth and Emmett. And it will be as enlightening as a good ol’ episode of TOS.

I too was like eh! Really?
In all these years it never occured to me to think how it was done.

Mickey Rourke is never gonna get rid of his long hair, is he? :-D

Lucas did right in basing the Star Wars galaxy on the old movie serials, as that “premake” proves. Great escapist entertainment.
The Empire Strikes Back is 30 years old. Unbelievable…

“Michael Bay was verbally abusive towards Megan Fox”.

Hehe I can imagine how that went. She called him on how terrible a filmmaker he is, and he had a tantrum.

i must also thank rosario,anthony n cast for their excellent updates–great job as usual–so quartermain lives again–pretty good british scifi from many years ago–byebye eye candy megan fox-wasnt she like the only reason to watch transformers hahha–shia blaming himself for the indy movie not working–sorry shia u werent that big of a factor–but nice of him to wanna take the blame–empire strikes back thirty years ago-talk bout a long time ago in a—-oh i feel so ooolld

Lindeloff on Jimmy Kimmel.

Cool !

Any news on the “UFO” movie that Joshua Jackson is supposed to be doing?

And why is Nathan Fillion’s next project such a small role?

Fillion may not want to get too busy, given that he has a starring role on Castle now. He’s the show’s main character. I’m sure that takes a fair amount of his time.

Any Empire Strikes Back fans should check out this amazing trailer for a complete overhaul called ‘Empire:Revisited’ that a guy called Adywan is working on –

While you wait for that to come out, check out his first masterpiece called ‘Star Wars:Revisited’ which is now up on YouTube in 13 sections –

Oops, that second link should be this instead –

I personally don’t think that Megan Fox walked away from Transformers. I’m more apt to believe that they dropped her like a rotten egg. And I can’t blame them. Maybe this Transformers will focus on being a good movie than a “Hey, come watch stuff blow up and look at a hot chick”

Can’t wait for Cowboys and Aliens. Looks to be kool. Thor and Avengers and the Hulk and so on. This is Exciting!!!!.

1. Doesn’t look like Shia likes giving interviews. That’s fine. Let him be stand-offish and continue making bad movies. Thought he was supposed to be “the next Tom Hanks” according to some mag a couple years ago.

2. Think “The Last Airbender” is gonna surprise people. Or, as a fan of the animated series, I hope so.

3. “Megamind” looked good until four words, Will Ferrell..and..Tina Fey.

20. Captain Dunsel… “And why is Nathan Fillion’s next project such a small role?”

Not much time for movies, since he’s starring in ABC’s “Castle”. If you’re in a book store sometime soon, look at the back cover of “Heat Wave” by Richard Castle.

Fan of the Narnia movies, but can’t believe they are taking so long to come out. Guess I was spoiled by LOTR’s back-to-back-to-back. Wow, those were great years (err, for movies I mean).

Is it me or does Shia seem like he’s on something?

22-23 Cervantes, you want to tell us why that cut is worth watching? Not doubting you, just want some more info before I devote my time to it.

@21 and @26


ANT man. SMALL role. Get it?


30- It’s the weekend. Brain is off in the shop.

Some of these look like real fun. I’ll reserve judgement on the others.

Is it me or does Inception look like a copy of Dark City?

Frieda Pinto is smoking hot, that is all.

So lets see just how well Transformers 3 does with out Megan Fox, lol. I personally hate Michael Bay films and won’t be conned into wasting my $8 to throw away 3 hours of my life again, especially now that its not going to have any eye candy. Glad she left.

#30 wickedjacob – just watch even the first YouTube section of it in that I linked to above. Adywan spent 2 years color-correcting, fixing many continuity errors, enhancing the SFX dramatically, and remixed the whole thing with a superb new 5.1 soundtrack.

Simply put, it’s a truly ‘special edition’ of Star Wars. And his Empire edit should look equally fantastic.

Oh, and Han shoots first again…

“Megan Fox will not be starring in Transformers 3” …cheers maybe this time they’ll try an actress

The link to enlarge the first Twilight Saga: Eclipse poster doesn’t work!

Cervantes knows what he’s talking about. I’ve already seen the movie along with several other Star Wars and Star Trek fan edits. These are no hack jobs by any means. They are strictly pro. Complete with new jewel box art and labels.

Go to and check out their extensive library of movies. Click on the header link labeled for all the links to download the RAR files. There’s much joy to be found there. There’s even a version of Generations WITHOUT Kirk in it!

The fan edit community is becoming huge. I just downloaded a new movie of TMP that was released just yesterday on another site after much anticipation that blows the directors cut away!

I’m a bit of a move buff but also a Marvel fan from way back. So I’m particularly looking forward to the Marvel icon movies: Thor, Captain America and the Avengers.

As well as being an Australian science fiction writer, I’ve written quite a bit of Marvel fan fiction (especially Thor) read by quite a few folk on sites like fan fiction net.

Just scroll down below my author profile and you will see nearly 40 fan fiction stories here:

Or, maybe check out some of my sci-fi:


Another “Pirates of the Carribean”? YES! Love those movies!!! And with Penelope Cruz? Sweet! She’s so cool…

Also, I am so so so looking forward to “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”!!!

I love the Narnia movies and have read the books almost all my life. I think this next movie will do good, knowing there will be a very interesting character who has a very intersting…..experience (I’m thinking of Eustace to all who are as childish as me and have read the books). A lot of changes and new storylines and new characters. Not to mension it has a new director, which will be interesting also.

The only thing is…..everything is all so darn far away!!!

I’ve read more about the dismissal of Fox from Transformers and agree with some of the bloggers…why do they need a female lead anyways (except for the horny fanboys to goggle over)? Her role wasn’t important to the plot.


I’d go one step further and not bother with any human physical actors. Its not like a whole lot of people go to see Shia LaBuef. They go to see giant robots smash each other. :-)

“Maybe this Transformers will focus on being a good movie than a “Hey, come watch stuff blow up and look at a hot chick””

Flat chance as they seem to be looking for a new love interest for Shia´s character… As i see it, they should at least keep the Mikaela character, letting Shia´s alone or drop him all together as well and focus on the Bots…
And like it or not, Megan was one of the selling points of the previous movies.

#40 Enterprisingguy

What is that new TMP edit called, and who is it by? I wasn’t aware of something along that lines being released recently….

46 Cervantes:

I posted the information earlier but it was deleted for some reason.

Go to the following link to read about it. I think you will enjoy it.

Thanks for the info. Enterprisingguy. I’ll certainly check it out. :)

My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.