In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column Superman gets a daddy and reveals more details, The Hobbit starts filming, Robocop and Daredevil pick up a directors while Wolverine loses one, and more details including Captain America synopsis and image. All that plus the latest casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE MOVIE NEWS
Confirmed: Kevin Costner is Jonathan Kent in Zack Snyder’s Superman
Warner Brothers has officially announced that Kevin Costner will play Jonathan Kent, the adoptive father of Clark Kent, in Zack Snyder’s "Superman" movie. From the release:
Snyder stated, “Jonathan Kent is the only father figure Clark has ever had, the man who was there to help Clark understand what he was meant to do in the world as Superman. Kevin will be able to communicate the quiet strength of this rural American man who raised the greatest super hero of all time.”
Costner will star alongside Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman) and Diane Lane (Martha Kent). Meanwhile, Snyder spoke to Hero Complex | LA Times about his plan for the film:
"Literally, the one thing that everyone can start to think about is that we’re making a movie that finally goes with the approach that there’s been no other Superman movies. … If you look at Batman Begins, there’s that structure, there’s the canon that we know about and respect but on other hand there’s this approach that pre-supposes that there haven’t been any other movies. In every aspect of design and of story, the whole thing is very much from that perspective of respect the canon but don’t be a slave to the movies."
Check out the rest of the interview here. Snyder, meanwhile, has debunked recent reports that Viggo Mortensen was in the movie, telling Latino Review: "Yeah Viggo is not going to be in the movie let’s say that right now. I can clear that up." Snyder also talked about his goals for the film:
"I don’t think it’s about trying not to do what’s been done. It’s just when I say that I mean that’s a way for us to start fresh and kind of be able to say what mythology do we want to sort of endorse or exploit. Look all of us involved with project have a great respect for Superman. Trust me when I say I want this movie to be awesome and I want Superman to be awesome, you know that’s true. It’s not so much about like what I do and don’t want to do in regards to what’s been done, we need to like…I think for the audiences stake you want us to shed that…let that weight off our shoulders so we can go and make a great movie."
Also, in an interview with Jake’s Takes (via Comic Book Movie) promoting his latest film, "Sucker Punch" (March 25, 2011), Snyder dropped this hint about the main villain: "There could be a character in the movie that other people might refer to as ‘Superman’". That has some people strongly suggesting Snyder is referring to the character Bizarro. Rounding out this week’s "Superman" updates, check out another interview with Snyder discussing the decision to choose Henry Cavill for the role of Clark Kent/Superman over at Splash Page | MTV and check out an interview with Diane Lane over at USA Weekend. The new "Superman" movie is currently slated for release in December 2012.
Filming begins on The Hobbit + New set images
Production has started on the Peter Jackson-directed two-part adaptation of "The Hobbit". WB/New Line/MGM have also launched an official blog and have released two images featuring Peter Jackson on the set of the film [via Peter Jackson | Facebook]:
A new synopsis has also been released:
“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.
Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
In related news, Warner Brothers has set a June 28, 2011 release date for the previously announced Blu-ray release of "The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended Edition)". "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" — both rumored titles — are due to be released into theaters in late 2012 and late 2013, respectively.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt cast in "The Dark Knight Rises", but role unconfirmed
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has joined the cast of Christopher Nolan’s "The Dark Knight Rises", but we don’t quite know exactly what role he’ll be playing in the film. Variety broke the news that the actor had been cast in the film, and they reported — and continue to report — that he’ll be playing Alberto Falcone, son of Mob boss Carmine Falcone (played by Tom Wilkinson in "Batman Begins"). However, shortly after that news broke Entertainment Weekly chimed in saying that while Gordon-Levitt has been cast in the film, he won’t be playing Alberto Falcone:
"But a source close to the situation says that recent reports that Gordon-Levitt will play Alberto Falcone (a.k.a. the Holiday Killer) — the son of former mob kingpin, Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) — are incorrect."
Looks like we’ll just have to take and wait and see approach to finding out just who Gordon-Levitt will be playing in the film. "The Dark Knight Rises" is scheduled to hit theaters on July 20, 2012.
Official synopsis for Captain America: The First Avenger + New photo and clip
Pictured above is a brand new image of Chris Evans in Joe Johnston’s "Captain America: The First Avenger". And below you’ll find a teaser for the upcoming new trailer followed by a brief sneak peek clip [via Comic Book Movie]:
The official synopsis has also been released:
Captain America: The First Avenger” will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America. As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving.)
And lastly, Crave Online is reporting the film will be undergoing re-shoots. It’s unclear how extensive/important the re-shoots will be or who will be involved with them. ‘Captain America’ is scheduled to hit conventional and 3D theaters on July 22, 2011.
Hunger Games author comments on casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss
Suzanne Collins, author of the bestselling novel "The Hunger Games", has commented on the confirmed casting of Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Katniss Everdeen in Gary Ross’ upcoming big screen adaptation. Here’s an excerpt from her statement [via Inside Movies | EW]:
"In her remarkable audition piece, I watched Jennifer embody every essential quality necessary to play Katniss. I saw a girl who has the potential rage to send an arrow into the Gamemakers and the protectiveness to make Rue her ally. Who has conquered both Peeta and Gale’s hearts even though she’s done her best to wall herself off emotionally from anything that would lead to romance. Most of all, I believed that this was a girl who could hold out that handful of berries and incite the beaten down districts of Panem to rebel. I think that was the essential question for me. Could she believably inspire a rebellion? Did she project the strength, defiance and intellect you would need to follow her into certain war? For me, she did."
Read the complete statement here. In related news, Access Hollywood and Inside Movies | EW are reporting that both Alex Pettyfer and Josh Hutcherson have confirmed that they are in contention for the lead male role of Peeta. Hutcherson has actually read an earlier draft of the script and met with director Gary Ross, however he says he’s just one of many to get to that stage: "But they’re meeting a lot of people right now. One can only dream."
David Slade to direct new Daredevil movie
20th Century Fox has tapped David Slade to direct a new "Daredevil" movie, Variety reports:
"…the untitled film will be a continuation of the superhero pic, and will not contain material from the Ben Affleck-toplined version released by Fox in 2003."
Writing on his Twitter account, Slade has confirmed he’s attached to direct:
"So without breaking confidentiality, yes Daredevil, we have a great outline for a very strong character driven take on Mr Matt Murdock…It will bare no relation to the previous Daredevil movie in any way. We are at early planning stages and have not yet discussed any cast."
While Slade is remaining mum, Heat Vision | THR is reporting that the new film will be an adaptation of the Frank Miller-written / David Mazzucchelli-illustrated "Born Again" comic series. That story featured the Kingpin of Crime discovering the identity of Daredevil. The site adds that the project doesn’t have a writer and Fox wants to continue the story begun in the 2003 film that starred Ben Affleck, but Affleck is not involved in the new project.
Martin Sheen praises The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield + Lizard confirmed
Martin Sheen plays Uncle Ben in Marc Web’s "The Amazing Spider-Man" opposite Andrew Garfield, and the actor spoke glowingly about his fellow castmate in an interview with TotalFilm:
He’s very athletic, he’s in great shape. He plays basketball and he works out every day. He’s fit. Very wiry, thin, tall, very physically focused. … He works in a very organic way – he loves accidents, when something happens in a scene that causes him to do something else. I went through a couple of very emotional scenes and he was right there, focused. … And he was the same off camera. He didn’t slack off. No, sir! He was equally emotional off camera. Very impressive. He’s going to be a huge star.
Meanwhile, in a radio interview with The Retro Radio, actor C. Thomas Howell has confirmed that the Lizard will be a villain in the film. "The Amazing Spider-Man" is currently filming in Los Angeles and begins filming in New York City in April. The film is scheduled for release in conventional and 3D theaters on July 3, 2012.
MGM changes Red Dawn remake villains from the Chinese to the North Koreans
Producers of MGM’s remake of "Red Dawn" have approved up to $1M in changes to the script to change it’s villain focus from the Chinese to the North Koreans [via LA Times]:
But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.
Details on what will be altered:
As a result, the filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from “Red Dawn,” substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake.
New synopsis for Joss Whedon’s The Avengers
A casting call sheet for Joss Whedon’s "The Avengers" has been released that seems to confirm previous rumors that it will feature a war between alien races The Kree and The Skrulls. The call sheet features the following story description [via Before the Trailer]:
A superhero team called “The Avengers” do battle against two separate alien extraterrestrial humanoid life forms. The Avengers are a superhero team, consisting of a group of Marvel Comics heroes aka “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”. The aliens that The Avengers will fight are called “The Kree” and “Skrulls”. These two extraterrestrial races become embroiled in a war for ages that ultimately makes its way to Earth, and the Avengers unite to intervene with all their power and might combined.
"The Avengers" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, 2012.
Darren Aronofksy pulls out of The Wolverine
20th Century Fox and Darren Aronofsky have jointly announced that Aronofsky has exited as director of "The Wolverine". Aronofsky cited his unwillingness to be out of his home country for an extended period of time (up to 1 year). Here are their respective statements:
Aronofsky: “As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of ‘The Wolverine’ would keep me out of the country for almost a year. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won’t be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again.”
Twentieth Century Fox: “While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do ‘The Wolverine’, we also understand and respect his reasons. Having done both ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan’ with Darren, we know he is an extraordinary talent and we look forward to working with him on other projects in the future. Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making ‘The Wolverine’. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.”
As noted in the release, Fox says they plan to "regroup and move forward aggressively", but Inside Movies | EW says there is no short list of filmakers to take on the project, and with the disaster in Japan, the studio is said to be "in no rush" to find a replacement:
“I think we’re going to let it air out a bit before we approach another director,” says the source. “The one good thing, after losing Darren and what’s going on in Japan, is that we have a great script and the star attached and ready to go.” In fact, given that so many key elements are already in place, the source says it’s still possible that a new director could ramp up production on The Wolverine as early as this summer.
Jose Padilha closes deal to direct Robocop
Jose Padilha has closed his deal to direct MGM’s "Robocop" remake. The director recently spoke out about the project in an interview with MotionTV (translated into English). Here’s an excerpt [MotionTV via Collider]:
Q: So when can we expect RoboCop to come out?
Padilha: It’s a project I’m developing from the very beginning together with Josh Zetumer, which is the screenwriter, and there’s no deadline really. When the screenplay turns out good enough, then we will start shooting.
You can watch the video interview below. English subtitles begin at 3:20.
Previously on TrekMovie: Star Trek’s Chris Pine in contention for Akira
As previously reported by TrekMovie, Warner Brothers/Legendary Pictures has reportedly received Steve Kloves’ rewrite of the live action adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel "Akira", and the director Albert Hughes and studio brass are now out to various actors to cast the two major roles. Deadline reports that Chris Pine (Star Trek’s Kirk) is one of the actors that has been sent the script for the character Kaneda. He’s up against Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix for the role. The other major role, Tetsuo, is out to Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy. Here’s a brief description of the planned story:
"The story takes place in the rebuilt New Manhattan where a leader of a biker gang saves his friend from a medical experiment."
The project is expected to be made over 2 films — each of which will cover 3 books in the series – and production is expected to begin this August.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
First look at Stephen Lang as the villain, Khalar Zym [Newsarama]
Interview with Eva Green discussing her character Angelique [Movies Blog | MTV]
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Promotional still [SnitchSeeker]
Behind the scenes featurette [YouTube]
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Promotional stills [more at Scream 4 | Facebook]
Promotional stills [more at io9]
Interview with Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish [Collider]
Poster [IMP Awards]
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Underworld 4: New Dawn
Set images [more at Celebutopia]
- Disney has canceled Robert Zemeckis’ upcoming remake of the Beatles film "Yellow Submarine". The move is likely a result of the recent horrible performance of the Zemeckis-produced 3D film "Mars Needs Moms", which opened last weekend to just $6.9M, less than 5% of the film’s reported $150M budget. Zemeckis is free to shop the project to another studio. [Heat Vision | THR]
- Warner Brothers has pushed back Jonathan Liebesman’s "Clash of the Titans 2" from March 23, 2012 to March30, 2012. The move puts the fiom out of direct competition with "The Hunger Games"… [Box Office Mojo]
- …In other release date news, Disney has pushed back the Pixar film "Brave" one week as well, from June 15, 2012 to June 22, 2012, while Fox has moved up "Rise of the Apes" from November 23, 2011 to August 5, 2011. [Box Office Mojo]
- Disney has hired Karl Gajdusek to re-write the script to Joseph Kosinski’s sci-fi action project "Horizons" (formerly titled "Oblivion"). The original draft was written by William Monahan. [Heat Vision | THR]
- Lionsgate is currently looking into several directors to take on "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", but author Seth Grahame-Smith is reportedly one of them. Grahame-Smith may co-direct the project with producing partner David Katzenberg. Another name being mentioned as a possible director for the project is Craig Gillespie. [Heat Vision | THR]
- Breck Eisner is in talks with Summit Entertainment to direct "The Last Witch Hunter". Timur Bekmambetov is attached to produce the project, while Cory Goodman wrote the script. [Deadline]
- The new edition of DC Comics’ graphic novel "Green Lantern: Secret Origin" features an introduction written by Ryan Reynolds. You can read the introduction here. "Green Lantern" hits conventional and 3D theaters on June 17, 2011. [via Comic Book Movie]
- Check out an interview with Zoë Kravitz, who plays Angel Salvadore in Matthew Vaughn’s "X-Men: First Class", at The Independent.
- 20th Century Fox has acquired an untitled space adventure project produced by McG and to be scripted by David Callaham ("Doom", "The Expendables")… [Deadline]
- … Sony, meanwhile, has acquired the rights to Daniel Kunka’s alien invasion spec script "Agent OX". The project "follows a human spy living on an alien planet who must stop and invasion of Earth". Neal Mortiz is producing. [Variety]
- Here’s the description for Peter David’s novelization of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon": "ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN…All humankind was watching that fateful day in 1969. But only a handful knew the real mission behind America’s triumph in space. Now the treacherous Decepticons have set their sights on unearthing government secrets. The only hope of averting a crisis rests on the Autobots—yet who knows what remains in the shadows, hidden from man and machine?" The novel will be available on May 24. Michael Bay’s ‘Dark of the Moon’ hits conventional and 3D theaters on July 1, 2011. [ComingSoon.net]
- The earthqauake/tsunami disaster in Japan has reportedly forced Legendary to ask Guillermo del Toro to re-write the screenplay of "Pacific Rim" so that no creature attacks take place in Japan… [Bloody Disgusting]
…In related news, the studio reportedly at one point asked del Toro to turn the film into a new "Godzilla"…which he refused. [Bloody Disgusting]
Jodie Foster says her next directorial project will be a sci-fi thriller, but the project is still a ways off and doesn’t have a title: "There’s a family element to it, but it’s much more a genre movie…I’d like to do that ’cause that’s a world I live in as an actor but I’ve never really gone to as a director. I’d still have to have all the other stuff in a film. It can’t just be, ‘There’s a bad guy, there’s a monster.’ It has to have all the other stuff too." [Hero Complex | LA Times]
Choreographer Daniel Ezralow has reportedly exited the troubled musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark". Chase Brock has been rumored as a potential replacement. The musical is scheduled to open on June 14, 2011. [Variety]
Disney has reached out to author Michael Chabon to re-write the Jon Favreau-directed family adventure film "Magic Kingdom". The original draft was written by Ron Moore, but a new direction/writer was sought after Favreau boarded as director. Chabon would be that new direction. [Heat Vision | THR]
Timed with the release of this summer’s of "Captain America: The First Avenger". a "Director’s Cut" of the 1990 "Captain America" movie from Albert Pyun will be released this May on Blu-ray. The new version will be 124 minutes — vs. the 97-minute that was officially released — and will also feature a new 5.1 soundtrack. [io9]
Paramount’s $125M Brad Pitt-starring big screen adaptation of the Max Brooks novel "World War Z" could be dead unless the studio finds a partner to share financing. Marc Forster is attached to direct, with Pitt also producing. [Vulture]
"Cloverfield" director Matt Reeves says a sequel is still on the way, but they "just don’t know when…At the moment we are talking about the story quite a lot. Drew Goddard, who wrote the original, is going to pen the sequel and JJ Abrams is very much involved." [TotalFilm]
Paramount Pictures has ended their 4-year quest to develop a new new movie based on the novel series "Dune". Paramount allowed their rights to the property lapse, Richard P. Rubinstein, who controls the rights, said: "I’m going to look at my options, and whether I wind up taking the script we developed in turnaround, or start over, I’m not sure yet." [Deadline]
- Logan Marshall-Green has joined the cast of the Ridley Scott-directed / Damon Lindelof-scripted "Alien" project "Prometheus". Marshall-Green will play a love interest to Noomi Rapace’s character and joins previously cast Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Sean Harris and Kate Dickie. "Prometheus" is scheduled to hit theaters on June 8, 2012. [Shock Till You Drop]
- Alan Tudyk will play Stephen A. Douglas in 20th Century Fox’s adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". Tudyk joins previously cast Benjamin Walker (Lincoln), Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jimmi Simpson and Robin McLeavy. Timur Bekmambetov is directing the 3D film for release on June 22, 2012. [Variety]
- Michael Ealy will play the male lead opposite Kate Beckinsale in "Underworld 4: New Dawn". His character is described as "a police detective who hunts the vampiress and ultimately teams up with her." [Deadline]
- Alec Baldwin says he has dropped out of "Men in Black 3": "I’m not doing that. I’m out of it; the schedule didn’t work out". [Vulture]
- Johnny Whitworth has revealed that he’ll be playing the character Blackout in the upcoming film "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance". [AMC Theaters | YouTube via Shock Till You Drop]
- Michelle Ryan, Hary Treadaway, Honor Blackman and Jack Dollan have been cast in Matthias Hoenes "Cockneys vs. Zombies". The film centers around "a group of bank robbers who unlock a 350-year old vault only to unleash an army of zombies". [THR]
- Ian McShane has been cast as a king in Bryan Singer’s "Jack the Giant Killer". Nicholas Hoult stars as Jack, with Eleanor Tomlinson playing the princess and Stanley Tucci an adviser/villain to the king. Ewan McGregor, Bill Nighy and John Kassir round out the cast. [Heat Vision | THR]
- Sienna Guillory has confirmed that she will be reprising her role as Jill Valentine in "Resident Evil 5". [Sienna Guillroy | Twitter]
- Derek Mears ("Friday the 13th") and Thomas Mann have joined the cast of Tommy Wirkola’s "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters". They join previously cast Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen and Ingrid Bolso Berdal in the March 2, 2012 film. [Bloody Disgusting]
- Julianne Moore will play Mother Malkin, "the most sinister of witches" in Warner Brothers’ "The Seventh Son". She joins previously cast Jeff Bridges in the Sergei Bodrov-directed horror film.[Bloody Disgusting]
- Stan Lee has tweeted that he’ll soon be filming his cameo appearance for "The Amazing Spider-Man". [Stan Lee | Twitter]
- Michael Gough — perhaps best known as playing Bruce Wayne’s butler/adviser Alfred Pennyworth in "Batman", "Batman: Returns", "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin" and as the "Doctor Who" villain the Celestial Toymaker — has passed away. He was 94.