In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column we start off with news of HD Star Wars and a look at a long-lost deleted scene. Plus Captain America and The Avengers are both going 3D, but taking different routes. We also have a updates X-Men First Class and X-Men Wolverine 2. Plus more, including the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Star Wars will be released on Blu-ray in 2011 + Watch a deleted scene from ROTJ
During his appearance at "Star Wars Celebration V" last week, George Lucas announced that all six "Star Wars" films will be released in a Blu-ray boxset next fall. The set will also include new bonus features, including a long talked about (and thought to be lost) deleted scene from "Return of the Jedi" showing Luke Skywalker assembling his green-bladed lightsaber. Actor Mark Hamill was also at the event, remarking that it was another case of an introduction scene being cut (like his Anchorhead intro from New Hope). Although Geeks of Doom discovered a 2009 interview Mark Hamill did at Comic-Con where he says he never shot such a scene. Looks like Lucas used a stunt double. Regardless, thanks to someone at the event, the clip is available to view on YouTube.
Here’s some miscellaneous video and image content for "Star Wars", including a look at the special Jon Stewart action figure Lucas presented to "The Daily Show" host at Celebration V.
Stewart Trooper [more at Collider]
Fan project: Star Wars: Uncut [Star Wars: Uncut]
Captain America director defends 3D convert + Joss Whedon talks rewrite + Set images/video
2D to 3D film conversions have gotten a bad rap (and deservedly so) but director Joe Johnston hopes to change that with "Captain America: The First Avenger". In an interview with Earth’s Mightiest, Johnston explained the reasoning behind his decision to shoot the film in 2D and convert it to 3D in post:
The cameras and their necessary hard and software made up one of the most cumbersome and unwieldy packages I’ve ever had the misfortune to work with. I couldn’t move the camera at a high rate of speed, I couldn’t fit it through tight spaces, lens changes took 45 minutes…if the two lenses weren’t perfectly calibrated to the exact same focal plane, the shot was unwatchable. It’s harder to fast cut an action sequence because your eye needs time to re-establish the depth of each shot. The biggest drawback is that it would have added 30 days to the schedule. For all these reasons and more, I decided to shoot the picture 2D and convert it.
But Johnston assures fans that they’ll get the conversion right with ‘Captain America’, by shooting separate passes to record all the info needed for the 3D convesion.
In related news, "The Avengers" director Joss Whedon spoke with Earth’s Mightiest about the work he did on touching up the "Captain America" script:
"I just got to make some character connections,” explains Whedon. “The structure of the thing was really tight and I loved it, but there were a couple of opportunities to find his voice a little bit — and some of the other characters — and make the connections so that you understood exactly why he wanted to be who he wanted to be. And progressing through the script to flesh it out a little bit."
Lastly, the first images — and video — from the set of the film have been released online. The project, code-named "Frostbite", has begun filming in London and The Media Club and Hey U Guys have written up reports. There’s even a video from the set. Check those out below. lastly, check out a casting call for "Frostbite", err ‘Captain America’, over at Live for Films.
The Avengers will be shot in 3D + Whedon on Ruffalo’s Hulk
Despite Johnston’s preference to shoot ‘Captain America’ in 2D and do the 3D in post, Marvel will not be taking the same approach with "The Avengers". Showbiz 411 reports that Joss Whedon will shoot "The Avengers" in native 3D. Meanwhile, Comic Book Movie discovered an interview Whedon gave during Comic-Con last month. Here’s an excerpt from the interview where he talks about casting Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk [via Comic Book Movie]:
To me, I wanted Mark [Ruffalo] because he connects with you. He is a guy who you feel that he is you and he reaches out to you in a way that I don’t feel the performances as Banner have really done. And this also has to do with the way the narrative works, but I feel I wanted to come at Banner and The Hulk visually from a new place. And I wanted somebody that had the quality that Mark has which is somebody who has taken hits from life but is not defined by that. He’s taken a hit and he stood back up. He’s not thinking about himself necessarily. Mark is a very giving guy and actor. When he looks at me onscreen I’m like, ‘That’s me. That’s the guy.’ And he’s like that as a person. And just talking to him about The Hulk I learned so much more about the character of Bruce Banner than I had ever even thought of. It was an instinct I thought no one would support. The studio were completely into it. Robert Downey Jr was super supportive. And you know everybody welcomed him into the fold and I was so excited because, to me, he’s going to be the first Banner."
Watch the full interview at About.com. "The Avengers" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.
Shortlist for Spider-Man’s love interest?
A shortlist has surfaced online for possible "up-and-comer" actresses to play Spider-Man’s love interest in Marc Webb’s 2012 3D reboot. According to Heat Vision, the love interest in the film will not be Mary Jane (who was played by Kirsten Dunst in the three Sam Raimi films). The site reports that it could be Gwen Stacey (played by Bryce Dallas Howard in "Spider-Man 3"), or someone else entirely. Here’s the list:
- Imogen Poots
- Ophelia Lovibond
- Lilly Collins
- Teresa Palmer
- Emma Roberts
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead
"Spider-Man" starts shooting before the end of the year and is scheduled to hit theaters on July 3, 2012.
David Slade to direct Wolverine 2?
20th Century Fox’s choice to direct the "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" sequel has reportedly been narrowed down to two: David Slade and Robert Schwentke. But the choice may have already been made, with Vulture reporting that the studio has settled on Slade ("The Twilight Saga: Eclipse") pending approval of the film’s star (Hugh Jackman) In related news, Jackman reportedly dropped out of another film to free up his schedule for ‘Wolverine 2’. The film is expected to be released in 2011.
Paramount fast-tracking new TMNT franchise
In a deal reported to be worth close to $1 million, Paramount has hired Art Marcum and Matt Holloway ("Iron Man") to re-imagine a new live action feature film based on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Deadline Hollywood reports that the studio wants TMNT to be "its next huge franchise" and they have turned to Michael Bay’s production with a frast track production and script due by October for a 2012 release.
January Jones, Oliver Platt, Rose Byrne and Jason Flemyng join X-Men: First Class
The cast for "X-Men: First Class" is filling up quick. Over the past week, no fewer than four actors have been cast in the Matthew Vaughn-directed spinoff. A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that filming is scheduled to get underway in London on August 23, 2010. Here’s a run-down of the recent cast additions:
- Jason Flemyng will play Nightcrawler’s dad, Azazel. [Empire]
- Rose Byrne will play Xavier’s love interest Moira MacTaggert, a scientist and authority on genetic mutation. [THR]
- Oliver Platt will play a non-Mutant by the name of The Man in Black. No details further details have been revealed about the character. [Deadline New York]
- January Jones will play Emma Frost, Zoe Kravitz will play Angel, Bill Milner will play a young version of Magneto and Morgan Lily will play a young Raven (who becomes Mystique). [Deadline New York]
Those actors round out a cast that already includes Michael Fassbender (Magneto), James McAvoy (Xavier), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee), Lucas Till (Havoc), Edi Gathegi (Darwin) and Kevin Bacon, who is playing an as-yet unknown villain. "X-Men: First Class" is scheduled to hit theaters on June 3, 2011.
UPDATE: AICN also has a new update on First Class with an exclusive chat with Bryan Singer.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (direct to video)
Promotional stills [more at Shock Till You Drop]
Avatar: Special Edition
Promotional stills [Collider]
Movie poster [Collider]
Dead of Night (formerly titled "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night")
Movie trailer [YouTube]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I
Promotional stills [more at YourEntNow]
I Am Number Four
On set video [YouTube]
The Last Exorcism
Movie poster [Blastr]
Let Me In
Promotional stills [more at /Film]
Resident Evil: Afterlife
International trailer [MovieWeb]
Teaser poster [Shock Till You Drop]
Rejected TV ad [via Blastr]
"For Your Consideration" ad [Funny or Die]
Watch another set video here
Vanishing on 7th Street
Movie trailer [Shock Till You Drop]
- Previously on TrekMovie.com: Star Trek Composer Michael Giacchino Scoring New Star Wars Ride
- Although Andrew Garfield stars in David Fincher’s "The Social Network", the director didn’t give much of an endorsement for the actor to play the lead role in Marc Webb’s "Spider-Man" reboot: "I can’t imagine [Garfield] in spandex, I can’t imagine him being comfortable," said Fincher. "He’s a wonderful actor, he’s incredibly skilled and empathic and a lovely guy. So it’s nice to see that." [MTV Splash Page]
- Sony Screen Gems has pushed back the release of "Underworld 4" to January 20, 2012. Additionally, the studio has re-set the film to be released in 3D. [Box Office Mojo]
- Hayden Christensen claims that there hae been discussions about a sequel to 2008’s "Jumper": "We’re talking about it right now actually…Hopefully [the story will go] somewhere a little darker. I think there’s a lot you can do with it. It was sort of set up in a way it’s gonna be mother hunting son and possibly even maybe sister hunting brother. We’re talking about it, trying to figure it out." [MTV Movies Blog]
- "Hellboy 3" is probably not going to happen any time soon: "I would love to do it," continued del Toro. "But the heartbreak for me is that I know how it ends and I don’t know if I want to see that ending. But I would love to do it." Other factors hampering movement on the third film include star Ron Pearlman’s attachment to the hit cable series "Sons of Anarchy" as well as previous statements from the character’s creator Mike Mignola. Mignola has expressed aprehension at seeing del Toro’s vision on film because he still believes he has years worth of stories to tell. [MTV Splash Page]
- Universal Studios has sent out survey’s testing interest in a "Lord of the Rings" theme park in the style of the recently opened "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". [Mice Chat via The One Ring]
- This is interesting. Sony is accusing the producers of "Skyline" of ripping off elements from their upcoming alien invasion film "Battle: Los Angeles". The issue surrounds the visual effects house Hydraulx. Sony hired the company to do the VFX work for "Battle: Los Angeles" and Sony is concerned directors Greg and Colin Strause — who own Hydraulx — are essentially making a cheap version of their film (budgets are rumored to be $100M vs. $20M). The big head start at the box office — with "Skyline" debuting four months before "Battle: Los Angeles" (11/12/2010 and 3/11/2012) — is a major concern to the studio… [Deadline & The Wrap]
- …A rep for the Strause brothers issued the following statement: "Any claims of impropriety are completely baseless. This is a blatant attempt by Sony to force these independent filmmakers to move a release date that has long been set by Universal and Relativity and is outside the filmmakers’ control." SPE declined comment as did Relativity." [Deadline]
- Edgar Wright ("Scott Pilgrim vs. the World") described his adaptation of "Ant-Man" as "essentially a high-tech spy heist film with somebody with a very particular power." [Vanity Fair]
- Here are a few notes from a leaked Paramount e-mail for upcoming projects: [The Wrap]
- …"World War Z": "They love the new Matt Carnahan draft and it looks like this is coming together. Brad Pitt to star, Marc Forster to direct."…
- …"G.I. Joe 2": "They’re VERY happy w/the Reese & Wernick draft. Good chance that Sommers may direct the sequel after all."…
- …"Max Steel": "Damiani & Leven writing; this feels like it has lost momentum. Taylor Lautner attached."
- Peter Berg’s "Battleship" is a go, but there’s a report that Universal actually considered scrapping the $200M-budgeted project (!!) this past June. The film is currently slated to be released on May 18, 2012. [THR]
- Just the link for this one. Follow the source for details on the villains that will be featured in Martin Campbell’s "Green Lantern". [Comic Book Movie]
- J.J. Abrams will begin filming "Super 8" late September in Weirton, Virginia. [Production Weekly | Twitter]
- Shia LaBeouf has revealed that a script is being written for "Indiana Jones 5" and the idea is "crazy" (in a good way, he says): "They’re script writing right now. … I got called into Steven’s office and he pitched a little bit to me and it sounds crazy, it sounds really cool." [Showbiz Spy via /Film]
- Marvel will be releasing a comic book adapation of the original "Tron" movie. "Tron: Movie Adaptation" #1 will arrive in stores on November 3. The cover art (not final) is included below. [via Comics Alliance]
- Previously on TrekMovie.com: Karl Urban Confirmed As New Judge Dredd + Karl Talks Favorite Star Trek Moment
- Seth Rogen ("Green Lantern", "Paul") will voice the lead character in DreamWorks Animation’s "Boo U". The 3D animated comedy "centers on a ghost who must return to ghost school to learn how to be a better spook." [Heat Vision]
- Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated model Brooklyn Decker has joined the cast of Peter Berg’s "Battleship". Decker will play opposite lead star Taylor Kitsch… [Latino Review]
- …Also joining the cast will be Hamish Linklater. He’ll play a scientist named Cal. [The Wrap]
- "Super" director James Gunn has revealed that Rob Zombie will provide the voice of God in the upcoming movie. [James Gunn | Twitter via Bleeding Cool]
- Karl Yune has joined the cast of Shawn Levy’s robot boxing movie "Real Steel". Yune will play the role of Tak Mashido, a robot boxing designer. [Variety]
- Josh Hartnett will star in Paul McGuigan’s time travel thriller "Tomorrow". The film is about "a man who is desperate to save his family on the day of their murder, but can’t control the short-term time travel phenomenon he’s trapped in." [The Wrap]
- Glenn Morshower will return for Michael Bay’s "Transformes 3". [Glenn Morshower]
- Sam Worthington has been confirmed to be starring in Alex Proyas’ "Dracula: Year Zero". The film will begin shooting in June 2011. [Encore & Collider]
- Emily Montague has joined the cast of Craig Gillespie’s 3D remake of the vampire classic "Fright Night". Montague will play Doris, a victim of the head vampire. [Dread Central]
- Alice Eve was originally cast in the role of Emma Frost in "X-Men: First Class", but the actress and her management successfully petioned Fox to have her released from her contract. She did this because she was apparently unhappy with recent script changes… [Comic Book Movie]
- …At the same time, however, Marvel is reportedly interested in her to play a minor villain role in "The Avengers". And if that weren’t enough, she’s also reportedly being pursued to play Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman in Fox’s reboot "Fantastic Four: Reborn". [Comic Book Movie]