Movies


July 25, 2014 | 8:09 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Fox panel features ‘Maze Runner’ spoiler, Biz Markie

James Dashner and from left, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Dylan O'Brien attend 20th Century Fox's panel for "The Maze Runner" on Day 2 of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 25, 2014, in San Diego. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Six thousand-odd Comic-Con International attendees came into 20th Century Fox’s Hall H panel wondering if there would be any big surprises of the sort Paramount offered yesterday with the appearance of Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey. A very early look at “X-Men: Apocalypse”? A tease of the new “Fantastic Four”? Well, the answers to those questions were no and no. But, as it happened, there were a couple of didn’t-see-that-coming moments, including at least one that may not have been entirely welcome. Toward the end of the presentation for the upcoming dystopian thriller “The Maze Runner,” which is adapted from a bestselling YA novel, the film’s star, Dylan O’Brien, was asked by an audience member about the most difficult scene he had to film. O’Brien thought for a moment and then answered that it was the death of a major character — who he named. Comic-Con 2014: Full coverage […]
July 25, 2014 | 8:04 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Daniel Radcliffe makes his Hall H debut with ‘Horns’

Director Alexandre Aja, actor Daniel Radcliffe and writer Joe Hill attend Comic-Con International 2014 at San Diego Convention Center on July 25, 2014 in San Diego, Calif. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Grab almost any Comic-Con International attendee and ask for his or her top pop-culture obsessions and the “Harry Potter” franchise is likely to rank near the top. Yet, surprisingly, the star of the “Potter” films, Daniel Radcliffe, never actually attended the convention until this year. Radcliffe’s inaugural Comic-Con appearance — which served to promote his upcoming horror dramedy “Horns,” which opens Oct. 31— kicked off with a mass Hall H rendition of “Happy Birthday” for the actor, who turned 25 on Wednesday. (How old does that make you feel?) “Horns,” which is adapted by director Alexandre Aja from a novel by Joe Hill (both of whom were also on hand), recounts the dark tale of a man named Ig (Radcliffe) who is falsely accused of killing his girlfriend and starts to grow a set of horns that seem to have a mysterious disinhibiting effect on those around him. Comic-Con 2014: Full […]
July 25, 2014 | 4:56 p.m.

‘Doctor Strange’: Joaquin Phoenix negotiating to star in Marvel film

Joaquin Phoenix at the premiere of the film "Her'' during the 8th Rome International Film Festival on November 10, 2013, in Rome. (AFP/Getty Images)
Marvel might have found its Stephen Strange. Oscar-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix is in negotiations to star in the upcoming Marvel project, part of the studio’s phase three roster of comic book blockbusters, which will be written and directed by Scott Derrickson (“Deliver Us From Evil,” “Sinister”). Phoenix, whose lengthy resume includes lauded turns in “Gladiator,” “Walk the Line” and “The Master,” was most recently seen on-screen in James Gray’s drama “The Immigrant,” and Spike Jonze’s futuristic love story, “Her.” “Doctor Strange” will bring to the screen Stephen Strange, the former neurosurgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme who is the Marvel Universe’s greatest protector against magical peril – and one of his fellow superheroes’ most sought after advisors. First appearing in a Stan Lee-written and Steve Ditko-drawn story in “Strange Tales” No. 110 in 1963, the brilliant magician has fought such foes as […]
July 25, 2014 | 3:19 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: mtvU’s first Fandom Awards salutes ‘GOT,’ ‘Mars’

"Game of Thrones" actors Natalie Dormer, left, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau accept the OMG Moment of the Year award for the "Purple Wedding" episode at the first-ever mtvU Fandom Awards at Petco Park during Comic-Con International on Thursday in San Diego. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
SAN DIEGO — There are plenty of Hollywood awards shows where people get gussied up in tuxedos, designer gowns and jewels on loan from Harry Winston. There are not so many, however, where attendees can be found dressed as superheroes, zombies and scary clowns. Just such an event was held Thursday night in San Diego’s Petco Park, where about 4,500 Comic-Con-goers gathered for mtvU’s first Fandom Awards. The ceremony, which will air on the college-demographic-targeted channel on Sunday night, was designed to celebrate exactly the sort of fervent, obsessive pop-culture ardor that draws droves of people to Comic-Con International every year. Other awards shows may be voted on by fans (think the People’s Choice Awards), but in this one the fans themselves were the winners. FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 The inspiration for the Fandom Awards came out of internal research […]
July 25, 2014 | 2:03 p.m.

Comic-Con: Watch Benedict Cumberbatch talk Sherlock, ‘Penguins’ and more

Benedict Cumberbatch. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Benedict Cumberbatch made his first trip to Comic-Con on Thursday with DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar,” and after leaving the shrieks of Hall H, he stopped to chat with Hero Complex. Cumberbatch talked about the trick of playing the smartest guy in the room, from a modern detective in “Sherlock” to an animated wolf who runs an elite undercover interspecies task force in “Penguins of Madagascar” to World War II codebreaker Alan Turing in the upcoming drama “The Imitation Game.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 “I’ve been very, very fortunate so that it looks like there’s something going on behind my eyes that looks like I’m thinking about or understanding or encompassing the brilliance of their minds,” Cumberbatch said. “Brilliant people have private moments of self-doubt, which we can all relate to, but they also have these extraordinary moments of discovery.” In the midst of extreme fandom […]
July 25, 2014 | 1:27 p.m.

Comic-Con: Sam Raimi, Neil Druckmann surprise with ‘Last of Us’ panel

Sam Raimi attends "The Last of Us" sneak peek panel on Day 2 of Comic-Con International  on Friday, July 25, 2014, in San Diego. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
With “The Last of Us,” Naughty Dog craftsman Neil Druckmann helped create one of the most emotionally affecting survival games ever released. Now, as he writes the script for Screen Gems’ upcoming big screen adaptation of “The Last of Us,” he’s endeavoring to make the first truly great video game movie. Druckmann and filmmaker Sam Raimi, who will produce the film through his Ghost House Pictures banner, surprised the Hall H crowd at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Friday morning with a presentation devoted to the project, which is still in its nascent stages, hoping to stoke fan excitement for its upcoming adaptation of the apocalyptic survival game. “The Last of Us” was one of the most widely lauded games of 2013. The story tracks Joel, who is hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a quarantine […]
July 25, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn prepares for liftoff

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times )
About midway through Marvel’s new interstellar adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” plays over a shot of a ramshackle spaceship traveling toward a mining colony called Knowhere. The planet is actually the severed head of a fallen titan (or deity) where workers of alien races, some with candy-colored skin, collect valuable bone and fluid to ship to the outer reaches of the cosmos. The sequence could have been cribbed from the imagination of surrealist trickster Alejandro Jodorowsky, perhaps as part of his unrealized cinematic adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel “Dune.” Yet it’s far from the only over-the-top landscape in the film, which arrives in theaters Friday as Marvel’s riskiest venture. Based on a fairly obscure comics series, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is the first major studio film to be directed by James Gunn, a subversive stalwart […]
July 24, 2014 | 6:27 p.m.

Comic-Con: ‘Interstellar’s’ Nolan, McConaughey make surprise showing

Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey
With this year’s Comic-Con feeling relatively light on huge tent pole movies compared with recent years, Hollywood observers wondered in the run-up to the convention whether the studios had any surprises up their collective sleeves. In its Hall H presentation, Paramount offered two fairly big ones in the forms of actor Matthew McConaughey and director Christopher Nolan, who took the stage to offer an early look at Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi epic “Interstellar.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Despite his fanboy-fave pedigree thanks to films like “Inception” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy, Nolan had never actually attended Comic-Con before. “I’ve heard a lot about this really being a place where people are most passionate about movies and popular culture in general, so I thought I’d come see what all the fuss is about,” he said. “I’m not disappointed and I’m extremely honored to be here.” Making his own first Comic-Con appearance, McConaughey […]
July 24, 2014 | 5:56 p.m.

‘Batman’: Zack Snyder tweets new portrait of Ben Affleck as Dark Knight

Ben Affleck as Batman
Zack Snyder, the director of the upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel that will bring together Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, released a new photo of actor Ben Affleck in Batman’s cape and cowl on Thursday, the opening day of Comic-Con International 2014. The close-up shot arrives one day after July 23, which had been officially declared Batman Day to honor the hero’s 75th anniversary. Set for release on May 6, 2016, “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” will see Henry Cavill reprise his “Man of Steel” role as Superman, with Affleck taking over as Batman and Israeli actress Gal Gadot portraying Wonder Woman. Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the film, which will lead in to a planned “Justice League” movie that Snyder also will direct. Warner Bros. has not yet confirmed which characters will appear in […]
July 24, 2014 | 4:46 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Stan Lee bows out of San Diego signings due to illness

Fans hoping for a chance to meet Stan Lee at Comic-Con International in San Diego were disappointed to learn Thursday that the Marvel icon was forced to bow out of his scheduled appearances at the pop culture expo. The culprit? A case of laryngitis. In a statement released Thursday, the first full day of Comic-Con 2014, a spokesman for Lee said, “Unfortunately, Stan Lee has lost his voice due to laryngitis and is unable to attend this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and has regrettably had to cancel his appearances. Stan is otherwise well and in good health, though he is disappointed to miss the event and wishes everyone a great time.” FULL COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2014 Lee, 91, had been set to attend the convention on Friday and Saturday. Marvel enthusiasts will, however, be able to catch a glimpse of the […]
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