Several months out from release, AMC Theaters held a live chat with director James Gunn, actor Chris Pratt and Marvel's Kevin Feige for the upcoming film adaptation of the Marvel comic "Guardians of the Galaxy". The full 30-minute chat can be viewed below.
No new footage or surprise guests were shown, but plenty of new details have come forth about the film which Gunn describes as having "a lot of old-school space opera about it."
Asked about the film's connection to the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, Feige says: "[It] couldn't be more distant in geography to the other films. 99% of this movie takes place on the other side of the galaxy. Nevermind the themes and character interaction... there are a handful of characters you'll see in this movie who will carry through to other films as threats to Earth."
While adapting all the characters was difficult, Gunn says Michael Rooker's Yondu character in particular "was a big deal... he has a more delicate superpower... If you believe who they are as characters and what their intentions are, then it works... You have to fall in love with a talking raccoon and believe that he exists. Take these outlandish concepts, make it fun, but making it as believable as possible."
The characters of 'Bug' and 'Tantalus' were in early drafts but didn't make the film. Asked about fan-favorite Cosmo, Feige says: "Rocket was always going to be the focus. But, fans of Cosmo will have to wait and see the movie."
Asked about the use of 'Hooked on a Feeling' in the trailer, Gunn says: "There's a lot of things that people will find out when they see the movie. The song's in the movie. We know about the Walkman. Quill has a Sony Walkman and that song's on his mixtape."
The whole point of the project according to Feige was "to do something new... something original... doing something, frankly, that most people had never heard of." Gunn adds: "I do think that it is a completely original movie, and I do think that it is a character piece at the core of it."
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's "Guardians" comic story lines heavily inspired the film, the humour in particular. Pratt spent seven months losing weight and getting into fighting fit shape for his role as Star-Lord.
Asked about additional shooting, Feige says "we build that in from the very beginning on the actor's schedules, in the actual budget. We always build in additional time for when a cool idea comes up. James has had some cool ideas so we're going to get after that."
The first official photo of the three meddling pixies, Knotgrass, Flittle and Thistletwit in Disney's live-action adaptation of "Sleeping Beauty" have arrived. Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple star in the roles. [Source: EW]
Star Wars: Episode VII
"Legit" comedian Jim Jeffries surprised everyone this week while appearing on Sirius XM's Opie and Anthony Show. Jeffries talked about a recent meeting with Carrie Fisher and revealed that she will be in London for a full six months working on the J.J. Abrams directed "Star Wars: Episode VII".
Opie and Anthony then went on to question his news as they heard she was only doing a cameo. Jeffries scoffed at that, re-iterating that "she's there for six months!" [Source: Cinema Blend]
Melissa Roxburgh ("Arrow") has joined the cast of The CW's backdoor pilot episode for the spin-off series "Supernatural: Bloodlines" (formerly known as "Supernatural: Tribes"). The pilot airs as part of the ninth season of "Supernatural" on April 29th.
The series follows various mafia-esque monster families that run the underbelly of Chicago and are being tracked by a newly minted hunter trying to stop them. Roxburgh will play Violet, a member of the powerful werewolf pack who shares a forbidden love with family rival David (Nathaniel Buzolic). [Source: The Live Feed]
The excitement over the May 27th release date announcement of Ubisoft's long-awaited video game release "Watch Dogs" has been tempered over the past few days in the wake of the recent trailer.
The company has come under fire on various game forums like NeoGaf for the apparent major downgrade of the games visuals in comparison with the now famous E3 2012 trailer.
The gameplay still looks fine, some elements are about on par (facial animation), while smoke effects appear to have actually been improved. That, however, seems to have come at the cost of the environmental physics effects - lighting, movement, anamorphic lens flares, explosions, etc. have all been seemingly simplified to early PS3/360 levels.
An already infamous animated GIF has been making the rounds comparing the E3 2012 reel for the game, and what's said to be the PS4 version of the game from a recent hour-long demo played by some game journalists. The difference is both highly apparent and rather concerning.
Ubisoft's PR and event manager, Tessa Vilyn, has responded to the reports with denials (via GamePur) saying:
"Believe me the game is not downgraded, that would just be a bit ridiculous... I saw the game it looks incredible. It looks what a next gen should look like. Really they didn't downgrade anything, its just a little different then when you first saw it i guess. It really does look great."
It has been revealed the game runs at 960p 30fps on Xbox One, 1080p 30fps on PS4, and up to 4K and 120fps on PC. What about that Wii U version? Turns out it's still coming, but the team needed more time to make full use of the platform. Senior producer Domnic Guay tells Polygon:
"We wanted that team to have the time to explore the GamePad and be able to have fun with it and see how far they could push it. It's also an interesting platform, because it has its own strength, which we want to take advantage of."
Following his delivery of the South by Southwest keynote on Saturday at the Austin Convention Center, filmmaker Marc Webb has spoken about "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and addresses one major fan complaint - too many villains.
It was that problem which brought down "Spider-Man 3," and Webb tells THR "we're obviously familiar with the complaints people had" about that film. Have they found a remedy? "We're very careful to make sure the stories intertwine. For Peter Parker, it's very important that you create obstacles that are difficult to overcome."
As a result the villains aren't as prevalent as you may think. Webb says that Paul Giamatti's Rhino for example is only "in the movie for four minutes." Webb is embracing a "more is more" approach though when it comes to the overall film:
"I'm going to embrace the spectacle. I'm not going to be beholden to smallness. I want it to be fantastic, to be big, to command and express that feeling when you're a kid and reading the comics. ... I didn't want to hide or shy away from that."
Sony have also released a new featurette for the film today, 'Becoming Peter Parker', which you can see below:
Lionsgate has acquired the film rights to the Bigfoot found footage thriller "Exists" which had a highly successful midnight premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.
Eduardo Sanchez ("The Blair Witch Project") helms this new take on the sasquatch myth in which five friends who must battle the legendary monster during a camping trip in the remote Texas woods.
In a statement, Sanchez says: "I'm really excited about working with the talented team at Lionsgate. We've had great history together and they really understand Exists and see the tremendous opportunity to reboot Bigfoot for a new generation."
Producer Jane Fleming adds: "It is especially gratifying to sell the film at SXSW in Austin so close to Bastrop, Texas where we shot Exists with an amazing Texas-based cast and crew. We look forward to working with Lionsgate to bring Ed's vision to the masses."
Source: Heat Vision
Production on FX's "Anger Management" series has been pushed due to the absence of star Charlie Sheen who has missed several days of work in recent weeks. Lionsgate has been using stand-ins for the actor in certain scenes.
The situation has gotten so tense with Sheen's fellow cast members that they are threatening to stop working if the absences persist. The delays are not expected to push the overall end date of production of the series.
Lionsgate and FX are committed to producing 100 episodes of the series with around two-thirds of that number complete. Shooting on the show is expected to finish this fall.
Sheen has been reportedly performing as usual when he is on set, but several have noticed his erratic behavior (even by his standards) of late. Recent health issues have also said to have been a factor.
A lot of money is at stake here. If a 100 episode order is complete, the series could generate between $350-500 million in revenue via network license fees, international sales and syndication revenue.
Source: The Live Feed
Following his debut film "Whiplash" sweeping the top prizes at this year's Sundance Film Festival, filmmaker Damian Chazelle has begun setting up his next project - the youth-oriented musical "La La Land".
The Los Angeles Times reports that the California-set romantic musical follows an aspiring actress and jazz musician who fall in love. Their relationship is soontested by the high-stress environment of the city's arts and entertainment community.
No cast has been set yet but various studios are reportedly interested in both financing and distributing the project. Filming will take place in Los Angeles.
Following on from yesterday's domestic trailer, a new international trailer has arrived for Scott Derrickson's new supernatural chiller "Deliver Us from Evil". This shorter and gorier preview focuses more on the exorcism aspects of the film which stars Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez.
Motion posters continue to be an 'in thing' for now and Lionsgate have unveiled three new ones for their supernatural thriller "The Quiet Ones" scheduled to hit cinemas on April 25th.
The three focus on the film's leading stars Jared Harris, Sam Claflin and Olivia Cooke. Check them all out below:
While there was several teasers created for the Superbowl, FOX has now unveiled the first promo trailer with actual footage from their upcoming event series "24: Live Another Day" which revives the hit action series. The 12-episode new season premieres May 5th.
Warner Bros. and Legendary's highly stylised, ancient Greek epic "300: Rise of an Empire" is headed for a $40 million-plus domestic opening weekend following a very strong $16+ million take on Friday.
The R-rated fantasy-meets-history film is also off to a strong start overseas with $12.1 million from 31 markets in its first two days, taking the top spot in all but two of those markets and pacing 20% ahead of Zack Snyder's original 2007 film.
It won't come close to the record-breaking $70.9 million domestic opening weekend of the first film, but this is still seen as a strong start for the $110 million-budget follow-up that is expected to top DreamWorks Animation's "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" which also opens this week.
Reviews for 'Empire' are tracking slightly behind the first "300" which scored mixed reviews. 'Empire' managed a 47/100 Metacritic score compared to the first's 51/100, while its Rotten Tomatoes average score of 4.9/10 is definitely shy of the 6.1/10 for Zack Snyder's film.
It has been a busy day for previews for some smaller titles scheduled to hit over the next few months.
First up the official U.S. trailer has arrived for "Tracks," John Curran's film about the nine-month journey in 1978 undertaken by Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska). Davidson walked from Alice Springs in Central Australia to the West Australian coast, crossing three deserts in the process.
Adam Driver also stars in the film which opens in Australia this week. This trailer though is the same as the already released international one, albeit with MPAA and TWC title cards.
Wasikowska also stars alongside Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in Jim Jarmusch's darkly comic, romantic vampire drama "Only Lovers Left Alive". The U.S. trailer for that has now hit.
Then there's the red-band trailer for the UK dark comedy slasher tale "Stage Fright" in which Minnie Driver gets it in the first fifteen seconds. The story involves a deadly school camp staging of "The Phantom of the Opera" but with a kabuki influence.
Korean actress Kim Soo Hyun has confirmed on Twitter a rumor that began back in January - that she has joined the cast of "Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron". She tweeted:
"After a long wait, I'm so happy to be back with great news. I have a lot to do ahead of me, but for now, the words 'Welcome to the Marvel Universe' are amazing and kind of overwhelming. I was a fan of Marvel Comics, and if you really like something it looks like fate can make it happen."
It's still unknown what role she will play in the film, an unnamed Marvel official telling Korean news agency OSEN:
"It would be a spoiler, so we can't tell you which character Kim Soo Hyung will play. Marvel always prohibits telling too much about the story. Her character is already decided and the scene is already written so we cast Kim Soo Hyun, but we can't let you know about her character. We only can say that her character is a substantial supporting role."
Filming is slated to begin in Incheon City, South Korea shortly.
Syfy have announced a Thursday July 31st premiere date for "Sharknado 2: The Second One". The follow-up comes a little over a year after the original film aired.
Ian Ziering and Tara Reid reprise their roles as Fin and April in the follow-up in which a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a "sharknado" on the city's population and its most iconic sites.
Perez Hilton, Robert Klein, Biz Markie, Pepa from Salt-N-Pepa, and wrestler/Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle have all joined the cast of the telemovie which includes the already announced Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Andy Dick and Judah Friedlander.
Anthony C. Ferrante will return to direct the sequel from a screenplay by Thunder Levin. Production is now underway.
Source: The Live Feed
Patrick Sabongui ("Almost Human," "White House Down") has joined the cast of The CW's proposed "Arrow" spinoff series "Flash" starring Grant Gustin as The Flash. Sabongui will guest star in the pilot as Central City Police Captain David Singh.
If the show goes to series, Sabongui's role is expected to be expanded to recurring status. Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Rick Cosnett and John Wesley Shipp also star. [Source: The Live Feed]
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Former "The Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver is set to star in his own HBO weekly news talkshow which kicks off April 27th at 11pm. The network has unveiled the first promo for the show which you can see below:
Game of Thrones
HBO has also released "Catch the Throne," the "Game of Thrones"-themed mixtape which features contributions from Big Boi, Common, Wale, Daddy Yankee and Bodega Bamz. The entire ten-track album can be heard online through Sound Cloud.
E!'s "The Soup" has spoofed HBO's highly acclaimed "True Detective" series, tackling one of the few yet common complaints about it - the character's occasionally unintelligible dialogue. From mumbled sentences, thick accents, and slang that may as well be gibberish to some (especially international viewers), people remain enthralled even if they can't quite follow it all the time.
"Sinister" director Scott Derrickson along with actors Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez have teamed for the police-centric demonic possession drama "Deliver Us From Evil" based on 'true accounts'.
The first trailer for the supernatural spooker has arrived and effectively sells the creepiness with the focus mostly on a single sequence set within a child's bedroom.
An impressive live-action commercial has been unveiled for Sucker Punch's PlayStation 4 exclusive title "Infamous: Second Son" which hits stores on March 21st.
Sony has also unveiled a bit more information regarding the 'Legacy DLC' pack that comes bundled with the special edition of the game. The DLC essentially is a series of missions birding the gap between "inFamous 2" and "inFamous: Second Son", showing how Cole MacGrath's actions in New Marais set in motion a chain of events leading to the now forceful occupation of Seattle by the oppressive Department of Unified Protection.
Source: European PS Blog
The drastic weight losses by Christian Bale for "The Machinist" and Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club" now have new competition - in the form of Mark Wahlberg.
People reports that Mark Wahlberg has lost an astonishing 61 pounds (27.7Kg) for his role as a literature professor who is addicted to gambling in the upcoming remake of "The Gambler".
Wahlberg says: "I started at 196 lbs (89kg) and got down to 135 (61kg). I began with a liquid diet. Then I completely changed my training program and gave up wine, bread and pasta. Now I'm eating small portions of protein throughout the day and jumping rope a lot."
Graphic design artist Milton Glaser has created a psychedelic image that will be used as the key art for the upcoming seventh and final season of the Emmy-winning AMC series "Mad Men".
Series creator Matthew Weiner reportedly grew up with a poster of Glaser’s work in his home. The new season premieres Sunday, April 13th at 10PM.
FOX has gotten around to its show renewals early with four more of its series scoring early pickups for new seasons.
Freshman comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will be back for a second season, serial killer drama "The Following" will return for a third season, comedy "The Mindy Project" will be back for a third season, and "New Girl" will return for a fourth season.
The quartet join Fox's long-running "Glee" which was already picked up for a final season to air next year, along with a second season of "Sleepy Hollow" and a tenth of "Bones".
This marks a change for FOX which became famous for bumping off struggling shows early. Even though "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has had difficulty finding an audience and "The Following" has dropped in its second season, Fox is sticking by them.