Aug. 06, 2014 | 2:29 p.m.
Batman and Superman will no longer be staring down Captain America the next time they appear on the big screen. Warner Bros. will now open “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Zack Snyder’s follow-up to “Man of Steel,” in 3-D on March 25, 2016. The film previously had been set to open May 6, 2016, opposite Marvel’s third “Captain America” film. The studio also revealed that it plans to release two DC Comics-based films annually starting in 2016: They will be released on Aug. 5, 2016; June 23, 2017; Nov. 17, 2017; March 23, 2018; July 27, 2018; April 5, 2019; June 14, 2019; April 3, 2020, and June 19, 2020. A new release date schedule also includes two untitled Warner Bros. “event” films — opening Nov. 16, 2018, and Nov. 20, 2020. PHOTOS: The roles that led Ben Affleck […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 9:38 a.m.
The spring blockbuster “Divergent” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD this week, bringing the first movie installment based on Veronica Roth’s young adult book series to home video. The sci-fi adventure film, which has earned nearly $275 million at the worldwide box office since opening in March, helped catapult its young cast, including rising star Shailene Woodley, into the public eye. Woodley portrays Tris Prior, a girl who discovers she doesn’t fit neatly into any of her society’s five rigidly divided factions in a dystopian future Chicago. She joins Dauntless, the faction based on bravery, where she meets Four, portrayed by English up-and-comer Theo James (“Downton Abbey,” “Golden Boy”). Four, a leader in Dauntless, helps train Tris and the other initiates while hiding his own mysterious past. James will reprise the role in the upcoming sequels — 2015’s “Insurgent,” 2016’s “Allegiant — […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Scarlett Johansson was most recently on screen playing a chemically enhanced drug mule in Luc Besson’s sleeper hit “Lucy,” but it wasn’t the actress’ first action-packed role this year. Back in April, Johansson reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff (better known as Black Widow) in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” conceived as Marvel’s answer to the gripping thrillers of the ’70s. The film, which sees Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers team up with Black Widow on a number of key missions, even as the patriotic superhero comes into conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford in a key supporting turn), currently stands as the highest grossing domestic release of 2014, having surpassed $259 million at the U.S. box office. Those who missed it in theaters — or simply want to see it again — now have a chance to catch […]
Aug. 05, 2014 | 4:38 p.m.
Want to know what it would be like to take a ride in Peter Quill’s spaceship, the Milano? Well now you can, courtesy of a new clip that sees “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt offer a guided tour of the vessel, which of course is piloted by his Marvel alter ego, the troublemaker better known to some corners of the universe as Star-Lord. With its wild menagerie of creatures and interstellar locales, “Guardians” dazzled moviegoers in its opening weekend, raking in more than $94 million at the box office to become the latest in a string of outsized hits for Marvel Studios. Directed by James Gunn and rooted in a 2008 comic book series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the $170-million film is the first installment in a new franchise; “Guardians 2″ is set to arrive […]
Aug. 04, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
Vin Diesel is behind the wheel on the Burbank lot of Walt Disney Studios. But instead of one of the Mopar classics or souped-up Mazdas that helped shape his gruff and intimidating persona in the wildly popular “Fast and Furious” movies, the actor is in a very different kind of vehicle. He is piloting a golf cart. “The pressure is on!” Diesel jokes, as he maneuvers the cart along a paved path at just a few miles per hour. An ill-timed crash would surely ruin his hard-charging reputation. Diesel’s latest movie, the cosmic adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is yet another kind of vehicle for the actor, one with similar risks for his reputation. Though he’s noted for his tough-guy exterior, the actor’s brawny physique is never glimpsed on screen. Only his voice can be heard in his role as […]
Aug. 01, 2014 | 11:45 a.m.
Rarely is there an upside for an actor to have his character killed off one of the most popular series on television. But when Michael Rooker received the news that his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” was coming to an end, he took some comfort in knowing that another opportunity was waiting in the wings. The popular character actor has a pivotal role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s epic space adventure that arrives in theaters Friday, playing Yondu, a bandit who is something of a mentor to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. “Yondu is a responder, he’s a doer,” Rooker said recently. “He’s the leader of a group of interstellar piracy-type guys and a very paternal figure for Peter Quill. He’s his kid pretty much and he taught him how to […]
July 30, 2014 | 3:53 p.m.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes audiences on a cosmic carpet ride into the farthest reaches of the Marvel universe, with its story of an unlikely team of interstellar heroes who band together to stop a supervillain from achieving his genocidal aims. But for Zoe Saldana, who plays the resourceful assassin Gamora — known in comic book lore as the most dangerous woman in the galaxy — the role was one rooted in earthbound inspiration. The former dancer developed the character’s physicality after watching footage of a bullfighter and deciding that she should move gracefully, with elegant precision. Grappling with the trauma of Gamora’s past, however, led Saldana in another direction. The green-skinned alien is the last surviving member of her race, an orphan who was trained to be lethal by her adopted father Thanos (Josh Brolin), and her plight reminded […]
July 29, 2014 | 7:40 p.m.
Paramount Pictures Australia is apologizing for and immediately discontinuing a poster from the upcoming “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film that contains an image reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. On the Australia poster, the four hero turtles are shown jumping out of an exploding skyscraper with the Australia release date of Sept. 11 in red lettering below. “We are deeply sorry to have used that artwork for the marketing materials promoting the September 11 opening in Australia,” said Tom Roache, head of publicity for Paramount Pictures Australia, in an email. “Combining that image and date was a mistake. We intended no offense and have taken immediate action to discontinue its use.” The skateboarding heroes, created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in the early 1980s, were made famous in the animated TV series that ran from 1987 to 1996. […]
July 29, 2014 | 4:55 p.m.
When Dave Bautista took the stage at Marvel’s Comic-Con International panel in San Diego last year, he was overcome by emotion sitting beside his “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast mates. The film had only begun shooting, but when the former champion WWE wrestler talked about winning the role of Drax the Destroyer in the interstellar adventure, he appeared overwhelmed. “There’s a point where I go to set every day and I still can’t freaking believe I got this job,” he said at the time. “It’s something that I wanted more than anything I ever wanted in my life. When I got it, I broke down and cried like a little baby.” One year later, Bautista, 45, seems just as moved when he thinks back to being cast in “Guardians,” which blasts into theaters Friday as the first installment in Marvel’s […]
July 28, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.
The first official teaser trailer has arrived for “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the film that will bring to a close Bilbo Baggins’ journey and mark the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s years-long cinematic exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth. Set to open Dec. 17, the film enjoyed a high-profile presence at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this past weekend, where Comedy Central host and massive Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert was on hand to moderate the Hall H presentation devoted to the series, dressed head to toe in the Lake-town garb he wore in his brief cameo in the last “Hobbit” film. Joining Colbert and Jackson on the stage were a full assortment of familiar faces from both the “Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” films, including Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, […]