Oct. 14, 2014 | 4:28 p.m.

Cory Doctorow talks up ‘In Real Life’ and Wang, feels down over gamergate

(First Second)
Cory Doctorow’s short story, “Anda’s Game,” was released in 2004, but it’s only become more relevant in the past decade. Exploring the concept of “gold farming” in video games — the practice of amassing virtual wealth that is then sold to less patient players for real-world currency — Doctorow’s tale offers a fascinating look at video game economies through the lens of a young female gamer. “Anda’s Game” has gained greater gravity as economic and gender dynamics shift in the video game community, making now the ideal time for First Second to release “In Real Life,” a graphic novel adaptation of the story. “I think science fiction’s signature move is predicting the present,” says Doctorow. “If you take stuff that’s already latent and clearly important in the world around us and write about it as though it were something that […]
Oct. 14, 2014 | 2:15 p.m.

‘Maleficent’: Angelina Jolie had ‘wicked fun’ with Disney role [video]

Angelina Jolie says that when thinking about playing a live-action incarnation of Maleficent, the wicked sorceress from Disney’s animated classic, “Sleeping Beauty,” it was chiefly important to preserve at least one facet of the grand villain. “I wanted to make sure we didn’t lose her sense of wicked fun,” the actress says in a new behind-the-scenes featurette included in the Blu-ray and DVD editions of “Maleficent,” due for release Nov. 4. Hero Complex readers can check out an exclusive clip from the special features in the video below. Disney’s lavish retelling of the “Sleeping Beauty” story from the point of view of the dark sorceress became one of the breakout hits of the summer — earning upwards of $69 million in its opening weekend and going on to bring in more than $240 domestically. (Its worldwide total stands at $757 […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 8:23 p.m.

IndieCade wrap-up: Amid ‘gamergate’ storm, a bold new game world rises

Game designer Daphny Drucilla plays "How Do You Do It?" from Nina Freeman, Emmett Butler, Jonathan Kittaka and Deckman Coss at IndieCade. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)
THE PLAYER Imagine, perhaps, you’re a die-hard football fan. Now imagine someone comes along and says, “Hey, football isn’t so smart. It can be played better, team names don’t have to offend an entire community, and what’s with all the abuse scandals?” Maybe you don’t react too kindly to the suggestion that your Redskins should change names. Maybe you’re offended that the game you’ve held dear since childhood is facing criticism. A similar theory was recently applied to video games at IndieCade, the gaming conference and festival that concluded its seventh year over the weekend in downtown Culver City. It went something like this: While big-budget games with guns still rule, independent developers are opening up new avenues with games that tackle police brutality, explore the perils of dementia and address the difficult conversations parents have — or don’t have […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 7:01 p.m.

Robert Downey Jr. in talks to reprise Iron Man role for ‘Cap 3′

Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to reprise his role as Tony Stark for Marvel’s 2016 release, “Captain America 3.” Marvel officially declined to comment, but sources confirmed that Downey would return to the role that catapulted him to superhero celebrity provided that discussions between the actor and the comic book movie powerhouse continued to progress. The news was first reported by Variety Monday night. Downey has made numerous headlines recently while promoting his new drama “The Judge,” dropping various hints about his ongoing relationship with Marvel, mentioning a possible “Iron Man 4,” among other projects. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” directors (and brothers) Joe and Anthony Russo will return to direct the third standalone film to star Chris Evans as patriotic hero Steve Rogers from a script penned by “Winter Soldier” scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Downey and […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 4:05 p.m.

‘SNL’: Bill Hader spoofs ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Divergent,’ ‘Maze Runner’

A screenshot of Bill Hader in a "Saturday Night Live's" fake trailer for "The Group Hopper." (NBC)
“Saturday Night Live” put its own spin on the dystopian young-adult mega-franchise in a fake movie trailer poking fun at the likes of “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent.” The trailer for “The Group Hopper” begins with Pete Davidson’s protagonist Thehero (spoiler — he’s The Hero) entering a walled-off community via underground elevator. “What is this place?” he says. “It looks post-apocalyptic or something.” “The meadowfields,” responds Beck Bennett’s character. “This is where the samies stay until the groupers pass them along to the sorters for sorting.” What follows is an elaborate parody of the box-office dominating, though oft-maligned, young adult franchise, with even more made-up lore, including death-fires, lurkies and zoomerangs. The trailer also features the talents of “SNL” alumnus Bill Hader as a horned sendup of Elizabeth Banks’ ostentatious “Hunger Games” character Effie Trinket. “You are all the same,” says Hader, […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 1:28 p.m.

‘Gotham’: John Doman talks playing Bat-villain mob boss Falcone

John Doman plays Carmine Falcone in "Gotham." (Justin Stephens / Fox)
Though the streets in the hit TV drama “Gotham” are infested with hoodlums, hooligans and malefactors, one man stands at the center of the city’s organized crime — mob boss Carmine Falcone. Played by John Doman, Falcone is the kingpin of the underworld in a city plagued by corruption. Despite his less-than-honest dealings in the city that will one day be Batman’s stomping ground, Falcone views himself as Gotham’s protector. “I’m a businessman,” he tells Det. Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) in the series pilot. “You can’t have organized crime without law and order. I love this city, and I see it going to hell. I won’t let it go without a fight.” That fight might pit him against the likes of good-guy Gordon, not to mention a legion of under-criminals — including Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), Maroni (David Zayas) […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 11:48 a.m.

‘Walking Dead’s’ Norman Reedus to be honored by horror film festival

Norman Reedus, left, and Angus Scrimm are New York City Horror Film Festival's 2014 lifetime achievement award recipients. (NYC Horror Film Festival)
Norman Reedus of “The Walking Dead” will be honored with an achievement in acting award at the New York City Horror Film Festival next month. Reedus, who plays the crossbow-toting Daryl Dixon in the hit AMC zombie series, will be honored for his “strong dedication to the craft” and creating “new heights and depths” as Daryl, according to a press statement from the festival. Aside from “The Walking Dead,” Reedus has acted in Guillermo del Toro’s “Mimic,” “Blade 2″ and the next “Silent Hill” franchise video game, which features a character modeled on Reedus. The actor is also slated to appear in “Triple Nine” and “Air.” PHOTOS: 55 images from ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Reedus will be honored alongside lifetime achievement award recipient Angus Scrimm, the sinister “Tall Man” in Don Coscarelli’s 1979 cult classic “Phantasm.” “The film resonated […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 11:11 a.m.

‘Gotham’: Fox orders a full season of Batman prequel series

The breakout Batman prequel “Gotham” is getting a full series. Fox has ordered six more episodes, raising the series order to 22 episodes, the network announced Monday. The show, which stars Ben McKenzie as a young Det. Jim Gordon, has debuted to critical praise and high ratings, topping Monday night ratings and delivering the network’s highest-rated fall drama debut in 14 years, according to a Fox press statement. “Gotham” is chock-full of Batman backstory, providing origin stories for a host of villains and side characters that fans will recognize from the comics and other movie iterations of the Bat-verse. Starring alongside McKenzie are Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, an outcast who eventually becomes the Penguin; Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, an unpredictable street thief and pickpocket who eventually becomes Catwoman; Donal Logue as Gordon’s shades-of-gray partner Det. Harvey Bullock; […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 7:23 a.m.

‘Planet of the Apes: Evolution of the Legend’: Exclusive first look

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (2014) concept art of the apes hunting wildlife in the forest. (TM & © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved)
Fans of “Planet of the Apes” can get a behind-the-scenes look at the series’ production in “Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend,” out Tuesday from Titan Books. The 256-page tome, from authors Joe Fordham of Cinefex and Jeff Bond (“Danse Macabre: 25 years of Danny Elfman and Tim Burton,” “The Music of Star Trek”), features production art, costume designs, makeup tests, posters, interviews with key crew members, and rare photos from the Charlton Heston-starring 1968 adaptation of Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel “La Planète des Singes” all the way through this year’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” which starred Andy Serkis as ape leader Caesar. The book also features a foreword by “An American Werewolf in London” director John Landis, who portrayed a friend of Jake (Michael Stearns) in 1973′s “Battle for the Planet of the […]
Oct. 12, 2014 | 6:34 p.m.

NYCC: ‘Sleepy Hollow’ panel promises monsters, teases karaoke

Co-Creators/Executive Producers Len Wiseman and Phillip Iscove and cast members Orlando Jones, Lyndie Greenwood and Sakina Jaffrey answer questions from the audience in the "Sleepy Hollow" panel during New York Comic Con. (Fox)
The Fox hit “Sleepy Hollow” added some fresh cast this season, including “House of Cards” veteran Sakina Jaffrey as the new police captain and Matt Barr as a sketchy bounty hunter. But that doesn’t mean these characters have had the expected effect on the series’ topsy-turvy world. “Only in ‘Sleepy Hollow’ can you arrive to bring civility and order and be seen as a party pooper‎,” Jaffrey, who replaced Orlando Jones’ defrocked Captain Irving, laughed to a New York Comic Con audience Sunday afternoon. ‎”But I’m happy to be the local killjoy.” After last season’s finale reveal of Henry Parish as the Horseman of War and — oh yes — as Ichabod and Katrina’s son, the second season has continued the show’s all-in mythology, with Tom Mison’s Ichabod Crane and Nicole Beharie’s Abbie Mills at the center of the action. At the […]
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