In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column we star with the latest news on development of the next Superman and Spider-man movies. We also have details on the upcoming Green Lantern and Avengers movie, new life for Enders Game and much more news. All that plus the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Nolan begins Superman director hunt + Mad Men’s Hamm too old for Supes?
Chris Nolan and his producing partner/wife Emma Thompson have begun the process of selecting a director for the "Superman" reboot. Deadline New York is reporting that the two have started to meet with their short list of directors for the job. That short list includes: Tony Scott (“Unstoppable”); Matt Reeves (“Let Me In”, “Cloverfield”); Jonathan Liebesman (“Clash of the Titans 2″, “Battle: Los Angeles”); Duncan Jones (“Source Code”, “Moon”) and Zack Snyder (“Sucker Punch”, “Watchmen”). Nolan is expected to submit his choice to Warner brothers within the next few weeks and the article suggests that the project will be fast-tracked to make a 2012 release date. That release year is pretty much locked in because the studio is set to lose certain rights to the character in 2013 after a a recent court ruling which ruled favorably on behalf of the heirs of Superman creator Jerry Siegel. As to who would play Superman, rumors continue to swirl that Jon Hamm is being considered for the role, but the actor is brushing them to the side insisting he’s too old (39) for the part:
"I maybe aged out of that competition," Hamm said of playing Superman. "I don’t know, I think unless Superman’s power was the power of being really old."
Spider-Man love interests casting rumors
Sony and "Spider-Man" (2012) director Marc Webb are continuing to test actresses for the reboot and it’s looking more likely that the project will feature both of Spider-Man’s most prominent love interests: Mary Jane Watson (played by Kirsten Dunst in "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 2") and Gwen Stacy (played by Bryce Dallas Howard in "Spider-Man 3"). Most recently, EW reports that the studio has flown Mia Wasikowska ("Alice in Wonderland") and Emma Stone ("Easy A") into New York to meet with Webb and to read with star Andrew Garfield. "Spider-Man" is expected to begin filming by the end of this year and will be released in conventional and 3D theaters on July 3, 2012.
Ryan Reynolds talks Green Lantern
While at Fantastic Fest promoting his latest film "Buried", actor Ryan Reynolds talked to IGN about his role in the highly anticipated "Green Lantern" movie:
"He’s a character whose superpowers, will and imagination is almost limitless" he explained. "With most superheroes there is a limit to what they can do, but with the Green Lantern there really isn’t, and I think above all the scope is what’s going to separate it from the herd, if-you-will. It’s so huge. I play the Green Lantern, but I might be the tiniest cog in that machine."
Reynolds also talked about the character Sinestro, telling the site that audiences are going to be impressed by Mark Strong’s portrayal of the character:
"Mark’s going to bring something unique in that Sinestro is not just a villain. Sinestro’s someone that audiences are going to gravitate towards. Sinestro is someone that audiences – dare I say – are going to like. But there’s something very volatile and mercurial about him, and I think they’re going to see that as well. Mark Strong’s going to bring a depth to that character that I certainly have been impressed to see."
"Green Lantern" will be released in conventional and 3D theaters on June 17, 2011.
Ruffalo says he’ll play both Bruce Banner & Hulk in The Avengers + More from Whedon and Renner and a casting rumor
In addition to playing Bruce Banner, "The Avengers" star Mark Ruffalo told Vulture that he will also be playing The Hulk, telling the site that the character will be done with "Avatar" motion-capture technology. This would be the first time one actor played both Banner and The Hulk. Both Edward Norton in 2008 and Eric Bana in 2003 played Banner, but the studio opted for complete digital effects to portray the Hulk (and for the 80’s TV series used two different actors). In related news, fellow newcomer Jeremy Renner, who will play Hawkeye in the film, told MTV that his costume will be "reality-based" and not the classic purple suit seen in the comics:
Meanwhile, director Joss Whedon talked to SFX magazine about the film and talked about how he hopes to effectively bring each of the characters in the vast cast to the big screen:
What I will struggle with, in the outline and throughout, is that I would like to put these actors in a room and just make Glengarry Glen Ross," he laughs. "We’re talking about really exciting people and at the same time I have to keep the momentum of the thing going. I can’t let it turn into a lull fest. Knowing that I have enough time to do both of those things – that by the end of the movie you will feel ‘in’ with these guys – is the trick. It’s not an easy one but one that Marvel absolutely honours. They don’t hire Mark Ruffalo [the new Hulk] to say one iconic line and strike a pose. They hire him because he has so much humanity in him. He’s the antithesis of the iconic actor. He’s so human. He was my first choice to play the part, and the fact he is playing the part is nuts! They went to great lengths to make that happen and they understood exactly why he was right for the part.
And finally, a casting rumor: Mania is reporting that Morena Baccarin ("V","Firefly") has been seen visiting a comic shop and purchasing "a bunch of Avengers" comics in between her filming sessions for "V". The actress was reportedly asking the store workers to specifically point out comics with the Wasp in them. Baccarin as The Wasp? "The Avengers" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.
Jackson has Hobbit dispute with labor unions
Just in case MGM’s financial troubles weren’t a big enough hurdle for "The Hobbit" to clear, a labor dispute could further delay the projection or at the very least complicate matters. As HitFix reports, "international labor unions have made public charges against the potential "Hobbit" production in support of New Zealand Actor’s Equity’s attempt to negotiate minimum guarantees on wages and working conditions, residual payments, and cancellation payments to actors engaged for the film." "Lord of the Rings" director, and potential "Hobbit" director, Peter Jackson issued an 1,800 word statement laying out his side of the story claiming the union is using his production as a publicity stunt and a way to widen
membership, and he threatens to move production of the two-part film to Eastern Europe. In casting news, Ian McKellen told The Bolton News that the film will start shooting in January, although there is no mention of the labor dispute in the BN article. Also, a casting call recently went out [via MarketSaw] looking for extras for the film.
Ender’s Game movie back in development
A film adaptation of the popular Orson Scott Card sci-fi novel "Ender’s Game" is back in development. The LA Times is reporting that Gavin Hood ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine") is now attached to the project and has just completed a re-write of Card’s last screenplay:
But the project about a boy hero is now back in active development, sources say, as independent production company Odd Lot Entertainment pushes forward on a movie version of the Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel.
Most interesting, sources say there’s now a big-name filmmaker involved with the project — Gavin Hood, who directed the Oscar-winning "Tsotsi" and last year’s comic book franchise "X Men Origins: Wolverine." Hood has done a rewrite of Card’s most recent script and is developing the project as a director.
That level of involvement doesn’t mean a filmmaker will wind up directing a film, of course. But for a project that’s struggled as much as this one, it’s a start.
Resident Evil 5 will "definitely" be made
With "Resident Evil: Afterlife" opening to a franchise-best $27.7M domestic (and $73.9M worldwide), it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that a fifth "Resident Evil" film is already in the works. That’s what star Milla Jovovich told Vulture:
“This new ‘Resident Evil’ is the first one to ever open at No. 1 worldwide. It’s the biggest movie in the franchise,” Milla Jovovich said. “So we’re definitely going to make another one.”
Jovovich also said the next installment will be more interactive in that they hope to incoporate ideas from fans:
"We’ve been talking to a lot of fans on Twitter and stuff, so it’s probably going to be one of the first movies where we really talk to fans to see what they want, and what characters they want to see. It’s going to be a more interactive process."
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Captain America: The First Avenger
Set video [YouTube]
Watch another video here
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Promotional stills [more at Movies.SpoilerTV.com]
Movie trailer [Trailer Addict]
Let Me In
Promotional stills [more at IGN]
Quad movie poster [Empire]
Promotional stills [more at IGN]
Never Let Me Go
Preview clip: "Deferrals" [Yahoo! Movies]
Paranormal Activity 2
Movie poster [Empire]
Character posters [more at JoBlo.com]
Set images [more at AICN]
Promotional stills [more at StitchKingdom]
U.S. and U.K trailers [StitchKingdom]
Banner posters: Jeff Bridges Garrett Hedlund [Disney]
Cover art for the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Daft Punk [via Collider]
Tron/The Big Lebowksi mash-up [YouTube]
Concept art [JoBlo]
Concept art from when Paul Greengrass was helming the project [more at CBR]
The Wicker Tree
Teaser trailer [Bloody Disgusting]
X-Men: First Class
Interview with James McAvoy (Charles Xavier) [MTV Splash Page]
- Summit Entertainment will not shoot the two-part "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" in 3D, however the studio says it’s too early to rule out converting the film to 3D during post. [Gossip Cop]
- Columbia Pictures has announced that "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" will be released in both 2D and 3D on February 17, 2012. As previously reported, Nicolas Cage will reprise his role as Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider with Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor co-directing. [Superhero Hype]
- Warner Brothers has hired Bryan Fuller to write a live-action adaptation of "Pinocchio". Dan Jinks, who will produce the project, described their approach as "fresh" and "very entertaining". [Variety]
- "Thor" director Kenneth Branagh explains how his film will differ from Jon Favreau’s "Iron Man" movies: "I think Thor comes from a different place story-wise and character-wise. We have both Norse histories for Thor, hundreds of myths and fables told in many different ways, in addition to what Marvel has pillaged for the past 40 years or so to come up with their version of things, which sits in very strong structure, a really strong narrative structure." [Hero Complex | LA Times]
- Ryan Reynolds confirmed that the "Deadpool" spinoff won’t be tied to the events in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine": "It goes in such a different direction than a superhero movie usually goes. It’s a nasty piece of work. It’s just based in so much emotional filth, completely…It’s so different than the superhero movies to date, it departs so far from that."… [Hero Complex | LA Times]
- New details have surfaced about the opening scene to "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides". Read the details at What’s Playing… [via Blastr]
- …There are also new details on The Wachowski’s futuristic gay Iraq War romance "Cobalt Neural 9" at Vulture.
- The horror film "The Cabin in the Woods", from director/co-writer Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon, has been delayed yet again. The project was originally scheduled to be released in January 2010 before MGM pushed it to January 2011 to post-convert it to 3D. Now the ailing studio has simply dropped the film from its January 2011 release schedule with no news on when it may get released. Apparently no work has been done on the 3D conversion. [Shock Till You Drop]
- Check out an interview with "TRON: Legacy" and "Cowboys & Aliens" star Olivia Wilde at Collider.com…
- …And check out an interview with Wilde’s "TRON: Legacy" co-star Garrett Hedlund at ComingSoon.net.
- "Let Me In" director Matt Reeves says there isn’t anything new to report on "Cloverfield 2", only that he and producer J.J. Abrams "talk about it sporadically" but their busy schedules, along with writer Drew Goddard, complicate movement on the sequel. [IGN]
- Sigourney Weaver continues to re-iterate her support for "Ghostbusters III": "…it would be great if we could create a great script and get to work with each other again. So I don’t think we have any ulterior motives, but just to see what happens if we came back together." [Cinematical | Moviefone]
- Drew Goddard has just turned in a new draft of the "Robopocalypse" adaptation which continues to be a possible directiong gig for Steven Spielberg. [Vulture]
- "Kick-Ass" star Aaron Johnson says a sequel to the 2010 film won’t be released anytime soon: "Mark Millar’s very enthusiastic about it, yeah, definitely. I mean, I think he’s sort of set it up for a second one, but it kind of goes through Matthew Vaughn, and what have you, and they’re not going to make one any time soon…They’re going to hold off and wait for that anticipation, I suppose." [Cinematical | Moviefone]
- Warner Brothers CEO Barry Meyer says the studio will be getting "much more entrepreneurial" with regards to their ownership in DC Comics, which likely means an expanded film presence for the superheroes of DC. [Heat Vision | THR]
- Karl Urban assures fans that the new "Judge Dredd" movie will be "darker in tone" than the Stallone film, which he calls a "missed opportunity": "As soon as he took his helmet off the enigma was blown." [Empire]
- Keanu Reeves says that the "Cowboy Behop" movie is likely dead due to its high budget. [Collider]
- Actor/director Alex Winter and actor Keanu Reeves have both confirmed that "Bill & Ted 3" is in development: "…it’s a question of when the script is done, when Reeves is free, when I’m free, and getting the whole damn thing up and running. It’s a whole process. The first thing we have to do is see if we’ve got a script that we all agree on," Winter said. [MTV Movies Blog, (2)]
- James Cameron will reportedly shoot 3D footage seven miles below the sea’s surface that may be used for "Avatar 2". [Daily Mail]
- Guillermo del Toro will serve as a consultant and executive producer on several DreamWorks Animation projects including "Kung Fu Panda 2", "Puss in Boots" and one yet-to-be revealed project along with the November 5 feature "Megamind"… [Heat Vision | THR]
- …Del Toro has also set up a new project at the studio with the working title "Trollhunters". The project is based on a young-adult book del Toro submitted to publisher Hyperion: "It essentially combines fairy tales with modern times and is about how difficult it is to be kid. Normally, kids are idealized in animated films. But the growing pains, married with the notion that there is a world right next to us that is completely plagued by creatures of ancient lore, it’s thematically fitting with the rest of my stuff." [Heat Vision | THR]
- Director Patrick Alessandrin has left the movie adaptation of the video game "Kane & Lynch". Following Wayne Kramer and F. Gary Gray, Alessandrin is the third director to depart the project. [Empire]
- The original motion picture score for "TRON: Legacy", composed and produced by Daft Punk, will be released by Walt Disney Records on Monday, November 22, 2010. [Disney]
- Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has confirmed that the studio has started discussions with Scarlett Johansson about "the idea of a solo [Black Widow] movie and have begun putting together concepts," but notes that "The Avengers" comes first. [Superhero Hype]
- Sony Screen Gems has announced that Kate Beckinsale will reprise her role as Selene in a fourth film in the "Underworld" franchise. Also, J. Michael Straczynski has been brought on board to do some re-write work on John Hlavin’s script. Although he directed the first two installments, Len Wiseman will only serive as an executive producer, with the studio currently searching for a director. [Sony]
- Natalie Portman is reportedly interested in playing the "edgy" Snow White in "Brothers Grimm: Snow White", which may be directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. [Pajiba]
- Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning have joined the cast of J.J. Abrams’ "Super 8". Rounding out the cast for the Steven Spielberg-produced project are Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, Gabriel Basso, Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee and Zach Mills. [Vulture & Risky Biz Blog]
- Tim Burton has cast Winona Ryder and Martin Landau to voice the characters Elsa and Mr. Rzykruski, respectively, on his stop-motion animated feature film "Frankenweenie" which is based on his 1984 short film. [Deadline]
- If Natalie Portman turns down the the offer to star in Alfonso Cuarón’s "Gravity", the studio would like Sandra Bullock for the part. [Cinema Blend]
- Director Guillermo del Toro would like Ron Perlman ("Hellboy") to play a part in his adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft novel "At the Mountains of Madness": "I wrote a part for him. He read it, and if everything falls in place, Ron Perlman has a role in it written specifically for him. Ron plays Larson, the sort of dog guy, the guy that cares for the dogs and the sled. … It’s a fantastic character." [MTV Movies Blog]