Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:57 a.m.
Walt Disney Animation Studios has revealed a first look at “Moana,” an animated feature slated to hit theaters in late 2016. Billed as an “epic comedy-adventure,” the CG-animated movie will transport Disney fans to the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, where spirited teenager Moana sets sail in search of a fabled island. “Moana” is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the filmmaking duo behind “The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog” and “Aladdin.” The tale follows Moana, a born navigator, and her hero, the legendary demigod Maui, as they set off on an impossible mission to fulfill Moana’s ancestors’ quest. Along the way, they encounter enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore, according to Disney. “Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said in a press statement. […]
Oct. 20, 2014 | 10:00 a.m.
Oddly Normal is as conflicted as her name. The smart, sullen schoolgirl star of writer-artist Otis Frampton’s emotionally stormy all-ages Image Comics series is the daughter of parents from different worlds: Her father is an average-as-average-gets Earth guy; her mother is a most unusual woman – a witch from the fantastical Fignation. And being a half-witch girl – complete with naturally green hair and pointy ears — in a typical American school isn’t easy. A social outcast with a sardonic wit for self-defense, she feels like an outsider even in her own family, who live in the sole creepy Victorian manse on a street of cookie-cutter suburban houses. In an angry moment on her 10th birthday, as seen in last month’s well-reviewed first issue, she isn’t careful what she wishes for. “Oddly Normal” No. 2, out Wednesday, continues Frampton’s reboot […]
Oct. 18, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
THE PLAYER On a recent Tuesday evening, more than 50 current and former students of USC’s game design program gathered to talk video games. Student projects were shown and critiqued, but soon students were debating what it means to be labeled a “social justice warrior,” a suddenly trendy term in the video game world thanks to the ongoing battle in the player population known as “gamergate.” Consider gamergate an ownership tug-o-war. Do games belong to their growing audience, or will a broader reach destroy all that’s pleasurable about them — the sex, violence and profanity? You know, the fun. But framing gamergate as only a debate is too kind. From the moment the term emerged as a hashtag in mid-August, it was ugly, messy and convoluted. Female game designers and critics who spoke out about the medium’s future experienced harassment, […]
Oct. 16, 2014 | 3:25 p.m.
Another “Star Wars” veteran has signed on for a role in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “Episode VII.” Actor Warwick Davis, who played Ewok Wicket in “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi,” confirmed Thursday that he had been cast in the new film, currently in production in England. The news came courtesy of a humorous video posted on the official “Star Wars” You Tube channel. Watch it below. “Star Wars: Episode VII” takes place 30 years after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” with original stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker joining Davis as part of the ensemble cast. READ: Warwick Davis talks ‘Harry Potter’ Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and newcomer Daisy Ridley, in addition to Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, performance capture expert Andy Serkis and […]
Oct. 16, 2014 | 11:08 a.m.
A new trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ reveals the ruins of a decimated District 12, the former home of heroine Katniss Everdeen. The one-minute teaser, released Thursday, features narration by Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) as they plot to recruit Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to their resistance movement. “No one else can do this but her,” Hoffman intones. “She won’t be able to handle it,” Moore’s character responds. “The games destroyed her.” The games would be the Hunger Games — an annual televised battle to the death in the future country of Panem. Katniss twice survived the horrors of the arena (in the box office blockbusters “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”) and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of her experiences. The end of […]
Oct. 16, 2014 | 8:25 a.m.
Some of the most creative and innovative work in the video game industry is coming from independent developers working alone or in small teams with limited budgets. Many such games were on display this weekend at IndieCade, the annual expo held in downtown Culver City. The festival attracted video game designers, publishers and fans worldwide who came to showcase and play games that veer from the mainstream. Hero Complex spent a day in the arcade, playing games and talking to creators. Here’s a look at five video games that caught our attention. ‘Gemini’ Playing “Gemini” feels a bit like the scene in Pixar’s “Wall-E” in which two robot lovers dance and twirl in space, trails of light tailing behind them. In this single-player video game, an NYU thesis project from designers Nick Zhang and Atlas Chen, the dance is between […]
Oct. 15, 2014 | 2:07 p.m.
After decades of Batman and Superman movies, sequels, reboots and spinoffs, Wonder Woman is finally getting a turn in the spotlight. DC Entertainment’s leading lady will star in a standalone film in 2017, Warner Bros. announced Wednesday during Time Warner’s investors conference. (DC also announced films for Shazam, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Suicide Squad, Cyborg and a two-part project for the Justice League.) Gal Gadot, who is playing Wonder Woman in 2016’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” will reprise the role in the standalone movie. GALLERY: Wonder Woman through the years “Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe,” Snyder said last year when Gadot was cast. “Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her […]
Oct. 15, 2014 | 12:46 p.m.
Three more Lego-branded movies are coming to the big screen, following the box-office success of this year’s “The Lego Movie.” “Ninjago,” “The Lego Batman Movie” and “The Lego Movie 2″ will hit theaters in the next four years, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced during Time Warner’s investors conference Wednesday. The “Ninjago” movie, scheduled for 2016, is directed by Charlie Bean and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. (“Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu” is already a successful Cartoon Network TV series.) The highly anticipated “Lego Batman Movie,” directed by Chris McKay (“Robot Chicken”), is slated for 2017, and “The Lego Movie 2″ will debut in 2018. “By 2020, Lego me will be giving this presentation,” Tsujihara joked. Tsujihara said Warner Bros. would continue to build the Lego brand across mediums, including video games. TT Games, which […]
Oct. 15, 2014 | 10:15 a.m.
The upcoming “Harry Potter” spinoff film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is going to be the first in a film trilogy, and more movies might be on the way. The movies will be directed by “Potter” veteran David Yates, who directed the latter four films in the eight-part franchise, and will reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara said at Time Warner’s investors conference Wednesday. The “Fantastic Beasts” movies are based on an original story by “Potter” author J.K. Rowling and will mark her screenwriting debut. Release dates are slated for 2016, 2018, 2020 and perhaps beyond. “Jo has a vision for this extension of the franchise, and for the first time, she is writing the script for what she believes is at least a trilogy,” […]
Oct. 15, 2014 | 9:28 a.m.
Wonder Woman is getting her own movie. “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” actress Gal Gadot will star in the film, slated for release in 2017, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced at Time Warner’s investors conference Wednesday. Gadot, who is playing the lasso-wielding Amazon in 2016’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” will reprise the role in a 2017 standalone film. The Wonder Woman film is one of 10 DC Comics-based film franchises Warner Bros. has in production, including two Justice League films and movies based on the Suicide Squad, Aquaman, The Flash, Shazam, Cyborg and The Green Lantern, Tsujihara said. After “Dawn of Justice,” Zack Snyder’s follow-up to “Man of Steel,” opens in 3-D on March 25, 2016, fans can look forward to “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (who wrote “The Fast and the Furious” and “Training […]