Details for the Teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Released

Unless you have been living in a cave, you are most likely to know at least something about the upcoming Star Wars Ep VII film under the title of “The Force Awakens”. JJ Abrams is helming the project and shooting certain scenes in IMAX. Details of a teaser trailer has been released on the Internet. However, knowing a director like JJ Abrams, the teaser might not reveal much other than the title. He has been known for releasing teasers that show nothing that will give away a lot of information about the movie. For instance, Star Trek’s teaser only showed people working on the Starship Enterprise. I had forgotten about that teaser until Mark Ahn reminded me about when we saw it at Aspen Institute.

Given that the film is now in post production, any teaser that is released will likely of greater quality than when the teaser for the first Star Wars film was shown back in 1976.

Hollywood Answers the Call for Diversity in LEGO Form

The “movie franchise” concept has taken over Hollywood, who are always desperate for anything that can somewhat guarantee a profit. The “LEGO Movie” is now being made into a franchise. Expect a Ninja LEGO movie, a “LEGO Batman” movie, and of course we will see the “Lego Movie 2”.

Word has come out that the makers of “LEGO Movie 2” are gunning to make sure the movie has more female characters. In the past year, studios have felt more pressure from social media to make movies starring people other than white dudes.

There is no question that films up until now have been made by men, starring men and feature a male perspective. Past films that have starred women like “Tomb Raider” still feel like they’re made to please men.

Many people claim to hate “Twilight”, but those movies are certainly an example of a successful franchise starring a female. “The Hunger Games” is a current series starring a female that has been universally acclaimed.

It is interesting to see almost nobody demanding more movies starring Spanish actors, considering that a large portion of the population of America is of Spanish descent. There is also no outcry about making more films starring Asians. 

I guess it’s one step at a time.

Daniel Bruhl: New Marvel Headline Villain

Move over Tom Hiddleston and Loki, there is a new accent wearing villain in town and he is ready to steal our hearts while trying to destroy the world. His name is Daniel Bruhl and you probably know him from ‘Inglourious Basterds’ where he stole the show as German’s finest Nazi. Bruhl followed up his performance by going on to co-star with Chris Hemsworth in the racing biopic ‘Rush’. This familiarity with Hemsworth may have lead directly to Bruhl getting pulled right into the Marvel Universe.

The Marvel team held an event in L.A. two weeks ago in order to announce some of their filming plans for the next couple of years. They detailed their ‘Phase 3’ plans and didn’t leave out too much info. Among the things they talked about was the fact that Robert Downey Jr. would be joining the new ‘Captain America’ flick–effectively turning it into the ‘Civil War’ story arc that is so popular among fans.

Bruhl was added on to the roster of ‘Captain America 3’ with the note that he can play ‘intense, layered, characters’ with their own intelligent genius. Fans like Keith Mann  were quick to consider Bruhl as a front runner for the role of ‘Doctor Strange’ but other signs have come out to say that he could be playing a villain opposite of Doctor Strange. We’ll have to wait and see as more details float out.

Why Guardians of the Galaxy Is Immune to Criticism

In the past, comic fans have been very prickly about movie adaptations changing characters to serve the director’s vision. A good example of this would be the ridiculous version of Bane in the ultra-campy Batman & Robin. Bane went from the man who broke Batman’s back in the comics to a goofball sidekick for Poison Ivy.

Word has come down that more changes from comic canon will occur in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. What is fascinating is that fans have so much faith in the Disney Marvel franchise that they are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The leader of the Guardians, Star-Lord (played so well by Chris Pratt) has a father. In the comics, his father is an alien named J’Son. In the film, the father is rumored to be Starfox, who is something of a ladies’ man himself.

This works out well in the overall infinity gem storyline, at least according to Christian Broda. In the comics, when Thanos collected the infinity gems, Nebula and Starfox were by his side. This had major repercussions on the storyline and ultimately contributed to Thanos’ defeat.

Guardians of the Galaxy worked because it was about the dynamics between the heroes, which has always been a hallmark of Marvel Comics.

That is why nobody is going to care if they change who Star-Lord’s dad is.

Jeff Daniels Took a Major Haircut To Co-Star in “Dumb and Dumber”

With the long anticipated sequel to the hit comedy Dumb and Dumber set to hit theaters on Friday, the film’s creators, the Farrelly brothers, have been making the rounds to tell stories about the original film and other films from their career. Last week, they revealed that Brett Favre was not their first (or second) choice to make a cameo appearance in There’s Something About Mary and this week, just days ahead of the release of Dumb and Dumber To, they have dropped another fascinating anecdote, this time about actor Jeff Daniels.

 

According to the Farrellys, the studio that produced the original movie so loathed the idea of having Daniels star across from Jim Carrey, that they made a ridiculously low offer to him in hopes that he would turn it away. Per the brothers, Daniels was offered just $50,000 to play Harry Dunne, while Carrey was paid $7 million (on a film with a budget of only $16 million) to play Lloyd Christmas. To the studio’s surprise, Daniels accepted the offer and the rest is history. Fans are certainly glad, as Bruce Karatz couldn’t imagine a sequel without him.

LEGO Movie Sequel to Feature More Female Characters

The mega success of The Lego Movie this summer all but guaranteed a sequel for everyone’s new favorite brick based movie and the team behind that hit is looking to make that sequel even better.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo that both wrote and directed the original Lego Movie together, will both be back on board for the sequel. Although no details about the story or casting have been announced as of yet, what they are promising is more female characters this time around.

In a recent interview with the BBC Lord and Miller both talked about the general lack of female protagonists currently represented on the big screen. Recent box office hits such as Frozen, The Hunger Games, Maleficent, and Brave have proven that a female lead can carry a film to both financial and critical success and Lord and Miller agree there is a growing awareness within the film industry of the need to attract a wider audience.

The two friends have been working together since meeting in college and have a string of recent critical and box office successes under their belts, including Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and their respective sequels, which are also available on Amazon.

My friend Rod Rohrich says that everyone’s favorite animated movie of 2014, The Lego Movie, will get its sequel in 2018.

Jai Courtney to Take on Deadshot?

In the vast world of re-boots superhero movies it is DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’ that seems the most hell bent on shaking things up for fans everywhere. Just last week we received the amazing news that Jared Leto had been tagged to take on the role of the Joker while Margot Robbie was attached to Harley Quinn. With those two big names out of the way it was only reasonable to start seeing some of the other villains get chosen. Now it looks like master martial artist and professional tough dude Jai Courtney is being considered for Deadshot.

Deadshot is a huge fan favorite in the world of comic books due to his awesome body suit, cybernetic eye, and insane trigger finger. He acts, basically, like a Hawkeye on steroids. Deadshot has appeared in the WB’s TV show ‘Arrow’ but it looks like they are planning to reboot the character and really change him up. The decision to bring on Courtney (Divergent, Terminator: Genysis) makes so much sense. With his star rising from the aforementioned films and his screen presence unquestioned, he could be a great fill in for the role. However, big names in Hollywood like Tom Rothman are being quiet about the casting.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ style cast of DC’s top super villains, played by bonafide A-Listers, will make this THE event of whatever summer it reaches theaters.

Is Batman’s Origin Being Tweaked in Batman vs. Superman?

Changing the origin of an iconic superhero character is not something you see done very often. In the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film, the origin of Batman is being tweaked.

No, no one is going to change the origin of Batman, but it looks like there is going to be some attempt to tie-in the death of the Caped Crusader’s parent’s death with the passing of Superman’s parents. Fans such as Andrew Heiberger might be slightly hesitant, but they will mostly wait and see how it plays out.

So, you could say there may be a tweak to the origin, of sorts.

Major changes to a hero’s origin are not exactly without precedent.

Now, the origin of the Hulk was changed in his films, but the days of nuclear testing in the desert are long over so we understand why changes were made when modernizing the Green Goliath’s origin. Why change Batman’s though?

Tweaks happen to. In the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man film, Uncle Ben was killed by a carjacker and not someone robbing the theater Spider-Man was performing at.

Slight changes do have to be made sometimes because doing the same thing movie after movie runs the risk of making a new film seem like a retread. Why watch the same thing again?

 

Extended Age of Ultron Trailer Released

The forthcoming new Avengers film, The Age of Ultron, is due in theaters in May of 2015. Just recently, a new trailer, and extended one, has been released. There is quite a bit more Ultron footage in this trailer and fans of films based on Marvel Comics characters are definitely waiting for this new release to hit the big screens.

James Spader might seem like a strange choice for such a powerful character, but his voice is really compelling. Honestly, you probably would never have thought it was Spader.

The trailer is definitely not short on any action.  But Hollywood producer Tom Rothman says all the classic Avengers are present in the preview and this is surely not going to be a boring film at all.

A new Captain America film is coming soon along with a possible third Hulk film and a definite third Thor project.

Christopher Nolan Supports Ben Affleck as Batman

Anybody following in Christian Bale’s footsteps will have some pretty big shoes to fill. The man is almost manic in his approach to acting and the results he puts up onto the screen are something just short of mythical. So when Ben Affleck was put to the task of taking over the role of Batman fans everywhere understandably groaned. How could the guy who made ‘Gigli’ be the Caped Crusader? It almost wasn’t fair to ask it of him, but here we are. It took a little bit of time but ‘Dark Knight’ creator Christopher Nolan stepped up to the plate to throw in his support for Ben Affleck.

Nolan spoke candidly in an interview of his appreciation for the Affleck casting of Batman. He said that he loved the choice to have Affleck helm the role thanks primarily to the proof of his skill with films such as the Oscar winning ‘Argo’ and the Tom Rothman produced ‘The Town’. Affleck was coming off of a Best Picture win in ‘Argo’ and the clout he’d bring with him made him the top choice for the role of ‘Batman’. But why did Bale have to bounce?

Well, Nolan made his ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy with the mind to keep it as a stand alone entity. This is something that goes in the face of what DC wanted to do with their extended universe.

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