March 25, 2014 | 11:53 a.m.

‘Ant-Man’: Corey Stoll looks likely in cast, production begins in June

Corey Stoll photographed at the Los Angeles Times studio on June 12, 2013. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
It looks as if Corey Stoll could be the latest actor to join the cast of Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The “House of Cards” actor is in negotiations to take on an unspecified role in the production, which will be helmed by Edgar Wright and is set to begin filming in June. The planned 2015 release will see Michael Douglas play the original Avengers member Hank Pym, a scientist who, in the comics, invents a shrinking serum that allows him to sneak around in miniature form and surprise foes. The film also will star Paul Rudd as reformed thief Scott Lang, the second superhero to take the name Ant-Man. Additionally, Patrick Wilson, who famously played Nite Owl in Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ legendary graphic novel “Watchmen,” will have a featured role in the movie. It’s unclear […]
March 25, 2014 | 10:39 a.m.

‘Hercules’ trailer: Dwayne Johnson gets mythic, muscle-bound in teaser

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays the title character in "Hercules." (Paramount Pictures)
The new trailer for “Hercules” has arrived, and from the looks of it, the film is hoping to appeal to the “Game of Thrones” crowd with scenes of its muscle-bound mythic hero, massive armies and expansive vistas of a faraway land. Due in theaters July 25, the film, directed by Brett Ratner and based on Steve Moore’s series for Radical Comics, sees Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in warrior mode as the son of Zeus who comes to the aid of the King of Thrace to help defeat a powerful warlord. The movie’s impressive supporting cast includes Ian McShane, John Hurt, Joseph Fiennes and Rufus Sewell, though the trailer emphasizes the film’s CG spectacle with Hercules facing off against fantastic creatures. When it comes to large-scale, action-adventure movies, Johnson is a Hollywood fixture. In recent years, he’s joined the “Fast & […]
March 25, 2014 | 10:28 a.m.

‘Divergent’: Ashley Judd on Natalie Prior, wiping out Woodley

Ashley Judd in "Divergent." (Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)
“Divergent” dominated at the box office over the weekend, shining a spotlight on the talents of young actress Shailene Woodley, who plays the film’s heroine Tris Prior. Woodley was supported by a large cast of many up-and-comers and a handful of seasoned Hollywood veterans, including Kate Winslet, Tony Goldwyn, Maggie Q and Ashley Judd, who plays Tris’ mother Natalie Prior. “Divergent,” based on the bestselling young adult book series by Veronica Roth, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where people are sorted into factions based on personality. Judd and Woodley’s characters are members of Abnegation, the faction based on selflessness, but after Tris finds out she’s divergent (meaning she has aptitude for multiple factions — something that’s not allowed in the rigidly divided society), she decides to hide her divergence and join Dauntless, the faction that values bravery. Though the society lives […]
March 24, 2014 | 9:11 a.m.

‘X-Men’: Days of Future Past’: New trailer for Bryan Singer’s mutant epic

The new trailer for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is out, showcasing the epic scale of Bryan Singer’s mutant saga that’s set to arrive in theaters May 23. A familiar sonorous voice-over opens the clip, pondering what events have led the mutants to the futuristic wasteland seen in the accompanying images. “So many dark battles waged over the years and yet, none of them like this. Are we destined to destroy each other? Or can we change who we are and unite? Is the future truly set?” “Days of Future Past” picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the mutant superheroes’ origins as young people in the 1960s, discovering and learning to manipulate their powers. The new film, adapted from one of the beloved comic book story lines conceived by Chris Claremont, stars actors from “First […]
March 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Divergent’: Kate Winslet shakes things up with a villainous turn

Kate Winslet says she relished the challenge of her calculating character in 'Divergent,' one of the few blockbuster films she's starred in. (Alex J. Berliner / ABImages)
It’s been a year of change for Kate Winslet. The newly married English actress welcomed her third child, received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is playing her first genuine baddie on the big screen in this past weekend’s blockbuster action film “Divergent.” “I wanted to be in a film that was just completely different to everything that I’ve done,” she said last week between sips of cranberry soda at the L’Ermitage hotel in Beverly Hills. “Divergent,” directed by Neil Burger, is the first in a trilogy based on Veronica Roth’s bestselling young adult book series about a future where people are strictly sorted into factions based on their personality: The brave go to Dauntless, the honest to Candor, the kind to Amity, the selfless to Abnegation and the intelligent to Erudite. Shailene Woodley plays a heroine […]
March 23, 2014 | 6:58 p.m.

‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ offers clues at PaleyFest

'Agents of SHIELD' Clark Gregg (Featured image)
The “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” characters and stars have Level 7 clearance. The PaleyFest  audience was granted Level 7 clearance. But the show’s producers and writers are Level 8, and they’re protective of their secrets. But this much was declassified: Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens April 4, and a new episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs April 8 — and, it was hinted repeatedly, the two may be related. (Hey, Cap does work with S.H.I.E.L.D. — and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Jaimie Alexander’s Asgardian Lady Sif, both Marvel movie presences, have appeared on the series.) That piece of intel was released during the ABC comic-book-inspired adventure show’s panel Sunday afternoon at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, where secrets were the order of the day. “This whole  season has been one of jaw-dropping surprises” for the cast […]
March 23, 2014 | 3:58 p.m.

‘Divergent’ director talks deviating from Veronica Roth novel, fan ire

APphoto_Film Review Divergent
“Divergent” director Neil Burger had to create a vivid future Chicago, cast a unique, young female warrior and distill Veronica Roth’s dense, 487-page book into a 139-minute movie. But perhaps his trickiest task was to make a movie that would satisfy “Divergent’s” loyal fan base. At a Hero Complex preview screening of the film March 19 at the AMC Burbank 16 & IMAX theater, Burger discussed how he handled fan expectations and how involved Roth was in the production — right down to a cameo role. “I had thousands of questions for her,” Burger said. Set in a futuristic Chicago where people are divided into factions based on their personalities, “Divergent” stars Shailene Woodley as Tris, a young woman who doesn’t fit into any one faction. PROFILE: Shailene Woodley embraces being divergent Actor Jai Courtney, who plays Eric, an intimidating […]
March 22, 2014 | 2:30 p.m.

‘Divergent’ filmmakers talk finding Tris, Eric’s menacing tattoos

APphoto_Film Review Divergent
“Divergent” director Neil Burger and producer Doug Wick went to great lengths to assemble a dynamic young cast for the film, but the movie’s most important role came easily, according to Wick, after a meeting with actress Shailene Woodley, who had just come off “The Descendants.” “We were preparing to do a worldwide search,” Wick said at a Hero Complex preview screening of “Divergent” March 19 at the AMC Burbank 16 & IMAX theater. “She seemed so exactly Tris. The worldwide search quickly went away.” Based on a novel by Veronica Roth and set in a futuristic Chicago where people are divided into factions based on their personalities, “Divergent” stars Woodley as a young woman who doesn’t fit into any one faction. MORE: What Shailene Woodley’s costars had to say about her Burger, Wick, and Jai Courtney, who plays Eric, the […]
March 22, 2014 | 8:21 a.m.

‘Divergent’: Neil Burger on his approach to creating dystopian Chicago

Zoe Kravitz Shailene Woodley
“Divergent” director Neil Burger wanted his adaptation of Veronica Roth’s dystopian novel to feel different from other futuristic cinema in a crucial way. “We’ve seen other movies set in the future — they’re often dark and cold looking and grim and bleak,” Burger said at a Hero Complex preview screening of “Divergent” March 19 at the AMC Burbank 16 & IMAX theater. “I thought, maybe there’s a different way to go at this… to make the society seem… kind of inviting. It’s much more luminous and the colors are warmer to start with.” Set in a futuristic Chicago where people are divided into factions based on their personalities, “Divergent” stars Shailene Woodley as a young woman who doesn’t fit into any one faction. MORE: What Shailene Woodley’s costars had to say about her Along with Burger, producer Doug Wick and actor […]
March 22, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

‘Muppets:’ Kermit the Frog ready for super-hero duty as Amphibian-Man

Kermit the Frog is a good guy by any measure, but the amphibian A-lister whose latest film, “Muppets Most Wanted,” arrives in theaters this weekend, opened up recently about his bigger ambitions — his desire to possibly tackle more action-oriented movie roles, or even star as a full-fledged superhero. Just who exactly? Well, Amphibian-Man, of course. “Why not? I could breathe underwater, swim faster than a speeding bullet, stuff like that. Sure,” Kermit told Hero Complex. “I do have a Marvel connection.” Disney, of course, owns both the superhero powerhouse studio — whose latest adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Solider” opens April 4 — and the beloved menagerie of talking animals and strange zoological creations born of Jim Henson’s remarkable imagination. In “Muppets Most Wanted,” the troupe falls into the clutches of the world’s No. 1 criminal, Constantine, who, with […]
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