Sept. 19, 2014 | 11:56 a.m.

‘Doctor Who': Nick Frost, Michael Troughton to guest star in Christmas special

Nick Frost, left, will be guest starring in the 2014 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (Los Angeles Times; BBC America)
“Shaun of the Dead” actor Nick Frost will guest star in this year’s “Doctor Who” Christmas episode, the BBC announced Friday. “I’m so thrilled to have been asked,” Frost said in a BBC America news release. “I’m such a fan of the show.” Frost will be joined by Michael Troughton (“Breathless,” “The New Statesman”), the son of Patrick Troughton, who portrayed the second incarnation of the Doctor in the late 1960s. Also guest-starring are Nathan McMullen (“Misfits”), Faye Marsay (“The White Queen”) and Natalie Gumede (“Coronation Street”). They will of course be accompanied by Peter Capaldi, the Doctor, and Jenna Coleman, his companion Clara. The Christmas special, to be shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios, is directed by Paul Wilmshurst (“Strike Back”), who also directed this season’s seventh and eighth episodes “Kill the Moon” and “Mummy on […]
Sept. 18, 2014 | 5:47 p.m.

‘Deadpool’ set for 2016; ‘Fantastic Four,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed’ delayed

A comic cover for "Deadpool." (Jason Pearson, Ed McGuinness / Marvel)
Another Marvel superhero is coming to the big screen. “Deadpool” is officially set to open in theaters on Feb. 12, 2016, after Fox shifted release dates for several productions, including “The Fantastic Four” and “Assassin’s Creed,” on Thursday. “Green Lantern” star Ryan Reynolds, who played a version of the character in 2009’s “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” has long been expected to headline a Deadpool movie, but Fox did not immediately confirm who will take the role in the upcoming project. Meanwhile, “The Fantastic Four” reboot, originally slated for a June release, now slides into the Aug. 7, 2015, spot previously held by “Assassin’s Creed.” Directed by Josh Trank (“Chronicle”), “The Fantastic Four” stars “Divergent” actor Miles Teller as Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic; “Chronicle” alumnus Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, the Human Torch; Kate Mara as Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman; […]
Sept. 18, 2014 | 12:17 p.m.

‘Star Wars’ video shows off Millennium Falcon with a Bat-surprise

(Bad Robot)
The Batmobile hitches a ride with the Millennium Falcon in a new video released by “Star Wars: Episode VII” director J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot. The 36-second clip was posted quietly to YouTube Thursday morning under the title “Hunka Junk” — a nice nod to Lando Calrissian. The video pans across Han Solo’s iconic space freighter before ending with a shot of the “Dark Knight” trilogy’s Batmobile tumbler clinging to the Falcon’s underside. The genre mashup is the latest jab in an online battle between Abrams and “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” director Zack Snyder, who instigated the back-and-forth by tweeting an image of “Man of Steel” star Henry Cavill dressed in Jedi robes and wielding a light saber. #SuperJedi pic.twitter.com/PyNbELK8UZ — ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) July 24, 2014 Last month, Bad Robot responded with an image of C-3PO donning Batman’s […]
Sept. 17, 2014 | 2:15 p.m.

‘Maze Runner’ director talks Dylan O’Brien, James Dashner, real grime

Dylan O'Brien in a scene from "The Maze Runner." (Ben Rothstein/20th Century Fox)
In the new film “The Maze Runner,” a teen named Thomas is suddenly deposited into the Glade, a pastoral enclave surrounded by a massive maze that is home to a community of boys, none of whom has any memory of his past. During daylight hours, the doors to the labyrinth stand open and the boys are free to explore its pathways — but at night, danger threatens anyone who ventures inside. In adapting James Dashner’s wildly popular young adult novel, first-time feature filmmaker Wes Ball had some reason to identify with Thomas’ dilemma. He, too, was thrust into an unheralded new world filled with challenges while shooting the movie, which arrives in theaters Friday — namely, staving off snakes and horseflies while directing an ensemble cast composed almost entirely of young men in the sweltering summer climes of rural Louisiana […]
Sept. 17, 2014 | 2:00 p.m.

Long Beach Comic Con lineup: Mignola, Man of Action among highlights

Mike Mignoa, left, Amanda Conner and Cecil Castellucci. (Los Angeles Times; DC Entertainment; First Second)
Discussions of race and gender in comics and spotlight sessions devoted to “Hellboy” mastermind Mike Mignola, Man of Action Studios and the zany minds behind “Robot Chicken” will be among the featured programming at Long Beach Comic Con, which rolls into the Long Beach Convention Center on Sept. 27. In its sixth year, the convention will offer a range of panel discussions and in-depth conversations with creators including in the convention’s 104 A auditorium, which this year will be redubbed the “Hero Complex” theater for the weekend. Contributors to our site will moderate the sessions in the auditorium on Sept. 27-28; what follows is a detailed look at the programming for the two days. Hope to see you there. Sept. 27 Adapting Comics for Media: Archie Comics chief creative officer and “Afterlife With Archie” writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa will be joined […]
Sept. 17, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Marvel, George Takei among honorees for LGBT Center Vanguard Awards

Marvel Entertainment and George Takei will receive Vanguard Awards from the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Pictured are Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada, left, and Takei. (: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images / Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
Marvel Entertainment and activists George and Brad Takei are set to receive Vanguard Awards at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 45th anniversary gala Nov. 8. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky will also be honored with a Vanguard Award at the ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, which celebrates efforts to promote tolerance and understanding of LGBT people. Marvel is being honored for its LGBT characters and story lines “that parallel the struggle to end discrimination against our community, has helped brighten the lives of LGBT kids — and adults alike — around the world,” Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean said in a statement released early Wednesday. Marvel Comics has received a great deal of attention of late for its efforts to bring more diversity to its publishing roster. In July the company revealed major story […]
Sept. 16, 2014 | 1:25 p.m.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ plot details: Tony Stark’s plan backfires

Mark Ruffalo, left, as Bruce Banner and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in a scene from Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Jay Maidment/ Marvel)
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” ranks as one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2015 — and now, it’s become a little bit clearer what fans will see when the movie opens next May. Check out the official plot synopsis released this week by Marvel: “When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.” Joss Whedon’s follow-up to his $1-billion-plus 2012 hit, “The Avengers,” will reunite the star-studded cast of […]
Sept. 16, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Five Armies’ banner captures Middle-earth in widescreen

A panel from "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" tapestry. (Warner Bros.)
A massive new poster for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” depicts the ambitious scope of Peter Jackson’s upcoming Middle-earth film, the final installment in the writer-director’s latest trilogy based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The striking tapestry includes not only Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen’s wizard Gandalf, but also nearly all of the key characters — including Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and his company of dwarves; elves Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and Thranduil (Lee Pace); even Benedict Cumberbatch’s dragon Smaug. Click through the gallery above to see portions of the image — click here for the full, scrollable view. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the […]
Sept. 16, 2014 | 10:28 a.m.

Tom Hiddleston set to star in Legendary King Kong film, ‘Skull Island’

Tom Hiddleston will star in Legendary’s upcoming “King Kong” reboot, “Skull Island.” Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“The Kings of Summer”) is set to direct the film, scheduled for release Nov. 4, 2016. Legendary originally announced the project in July at San Diego’s Comic-Con International, screening a surprise teaser for the film at the conclusion of its panel presentation in Hall H. Max Borenstein, whose writing credits include Legendary’s long-delayed “Seventh Son” and this summer’s hit “Godzilla,” penned an initial draft of the script, which is said to center on the island that was King Kong’s home. Hiddleston’s been on a run lately. His upcoming projects include another film for Legendary — Guillermo del Toro’s Victorian horror story “Crimson Peak” — director Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel “High-Rise” and the Hank Williams biopic “I Saw the Light,” in which he’ll […]
Sept. 15, 2014 | 10:46 a.m.

‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ trailer: Jennifer Lawrence in action star mode

Katniss Everdeen is ready to help lead the rebellion in the new trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” the next installment in the blockbuster film franchise, which is set to arrive in theaters  Nov. 21. As Katniss, actress Jennifer Lawrence reluctantly finds herself the symbol of hope in the world of Panem, which is now in full on revolt against the autocratic Capitol. She’s forced to wrestle with her conflicted feelings while preparing to face off against the ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland). “I never wanted any of this,” Lawrence is heard saying at the start of the new clip. “I never wanted to be in the Games. I just wanted to save my sister.” Watch the new clip below. The trailer arrives on the heels of the release of a series of character posters spotlighting the “rebel warriors” […]
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