Saturn Awards: ‘Gravity,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Her,’ ‘Walking Dead’ win big

June 27, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
saturnawardsgravity Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

"Gravity" won five Saturn Awards, including best science-fiction film and best actress for Sandra Bullock. (Warner Bros.)

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Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes on "The Walking Dead," won the Saturn for best performance by a younger actor in a television series -- one of the show's three wins. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

saturnawardsbryanfuller Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

Bryan Fuller, who created "Pushing Daisies," "Wonderfalls" and "Dead Like Me" and developed "Hannibal" for television, received the Dan Curtis Legacy Award, named for the "Dark Shadows" creator. Fuller cited Curtis' 1976 horror film "Burnt Offerings" as a major influence. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

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Lance Henriksen, left, presented the Life Career Award to Malcolm McDowell. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

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Melissa McBride, seen playing Carol on "The Walking Dead," won the Saturn for best supporting actress in a television series and declared herself "so nervous, so excited" on the awards dais. (Gene Page / AMC)

saturnawardsnicotero Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

Greg Nicotero, a director, producer, special effects makeup artist and sometime zombie on "The Walking Dead," received the George Pal Memorial Award. He accepted via a video of show stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and Michael Cudlitz taking the Saturn from zombies. Director Robert Rodriguez, who's worked with Nicotero many times, flew from Texas to speak about the honoree at the Saturn Awards ceremony. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

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"Iron Man 3" won three Saturn Awards, including best actor for Robert Downey Jr. (Disney / Marvel Studios)

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Scarlett Johansson was named best supporting actress for her voice-only performance in "Her." She's seen here at the Paris premiere of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." (Francois Durand / Getty Images)

saturnawardsbigbadwolvesdirectors Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

Navot Papushado, left, and Aharon Keshales directed the Israeli horror-thriller "Big Bad Wolves," which won best international film and best music. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

saturnawardscarrie Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

Chloe Grace Moretz, seen in "Carrie," won best performance by a younger actor in a film for her work in the remake. She told the Saturn Awards crowd that "Carrie" director Kimberly Peirce helped her "reach depths I didn't know I could reach." (Sony Pictures)

saturnawardsbreakingbad Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

"Breaking Bad" won three Saturn Awards, including best supporting actor in a TV series for Aaron Paul, right. Multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, though nominated for best actor in a TV series, did not win. (Frank Ockenfels 3 / AMC)

saturnawardshannibal Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

Mads Mikkelson won best actor in a TV series for his performance as everyone's favorite psychologist serial killer gourmand cannibal in NBC's "Hannibal." The show also tied with the canceled "Revolution," also from NBC, for best network television series. (Brooke Palmer / NBC)

14 Saturn Awards: Gravity, Iron Man 3, Her, Walking Dead win big

Malcolm McDowell, seen at the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival, won the Life Career Award. (Alan Heitz)

Accepting “The Walking Dead’s” prize for best syndicated/cable television series, executive producer Scott Gimple, surrounded by cast members past and present, told the crowd, “You have to be a geek to do this. We’re proud to be geeks.”

That was the prevailing sentiment orbiting around the Castaway Starlight Ballroom in Burbank on Thursday during the 40th Saturn Awards, a celebration of genre entertainment.

It was a celebratory evening for AMC’s zombie saga smash hit, as it won a total of three competitive awards and saw one of its top creative forces receive an honorary one.

The blockbuster space-survival film “Gravity” was the night’s biggest winner, claiming five of the eight categories it was nominated in, including best science-fiction film, best actress for Sandra Bullock and best director for Alfonso Cuarón (who has said the film isn’t science fiction, but a drama in space). Producer David Heyman accepted the film’s honors via a video message.

Other films and shows that won multiple awards were the Marvel superhero adventure “Iron Man 3″ (three); Spike Jonze’s exploration of love and technology, “Her” (three); AMC’s descent-into-crime saga “Breaking Bad” (three); NBC’s serial killer thriller “Hannibal” (two); and the Israeli horror film “Big Bad Wolves” (two).

Some highly nominated titles left with one or no trophies. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which had tied “Gravity” with eight nominations, walked away with one award, for Dan Hennah’s production design. A finalist in seven categories, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s” sole survivor was Trish Summerville, who won for her costume design.

Five films or TV shows that had five nominations went home empty-handed: Guillermo del Toro’s robots versus kaiju epic “Pacific Rim,”; J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness,”; Marvel’s  “Thor: The Dark World,”; HBO’s pop culture phenomenon “Game of Thrones”; and TNT’s humans versus aliens saga “Falling Skies.”

Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes on "The Walking Dead," won the Saturn for best performance by a younger actor in a television series -- one of the show's three wins. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes on “The Walking Dead,” won the Saturn for best performance by a younger actor in a television series — one of the show’s three wins. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

Chandler Riggs, who plays troubled teen survivor Carl Grimes on “The Walking Dead,” won the inaugural award for best performance by a younger actor in a TV series on the night before his 15th birthday — and got one of the night’s biggest laughs: “I’d like to thank my family — my dad for quitting his job and taking a huge risk on me … and all my friends for treating me like garbage to keep me humble.”

His cast mate Melissa McBride won the supporting TV actress category, and director, producer and makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero, whose long career also includes work on “Evil Dead II,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Sin City,” received the George Pal Memorial Award, named for the late sci-fi filmmaker (“The Time Machine”) and presented by a frequent collaborator, director Robert Rodriguez.

The Saturn Awards are handed out by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and honor the best in the organization’s titular genres, plus others, in film, television and home entertainment releases. With the addition of best comic-to-film motion picture — “Iron Man 3″ won — there are now no less than nine best film prizes (see the complete winners list below).

“Breaking Bad” producer Peter Gould, who noted that creator Vince Gilligan was away shooting the spinoff series “Better Call Saul,” said the Saturn Awards is the “most sincere, most real” awards show in accepting the late, lauded show’s trophy for best limited-run TV series (meaning 10 episodes or fewer).

It might also be the most self-deprecating awards show.

“We’re on TV live right now — but only on Saturn,” cracked stand-up comedian and “Comedy Central Roast” regular Jeffrey Ross , hosting for the 11th time, during his opening monologue, saying that the ceremony is “like Comic-Con meets a bar mitzvah.” The comic added that the man who first asked him to host the Saturn Awards, his doctor, had brought a priest with him — and that Father Pat was “seated next to the guy who directed the ‘Evil Dead’ remake. Only at the Saturn Awards ….”

Bryan Fuller, who created "Pushing Daisies," "Wonderfalls" and "Dead Like Me" and developed "Hannibal" for television, received the Dan Curtis Legacy Award, named for the "Dark Shadows" creator. Fuller cited Curtis' 1976 horror film "Burnt Offerings" as major influence. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

Bryan Fuller, who created “Pushing Daisies,” “Wonderfalls” and “Dead Like Me” and developed “Hannibal” for television, received the Dan Curtis Legacy Award, named for the “Dark Shadows” creator. Fuller cited Curtis’ 1976 horror film “Burnt Offerings” as a major influence. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

There’s something about the Saturn-shaped statue itself. “Pushing Daisies” creator Bryan Fuller, accepting the Dan Curtis Legacy Award for his high-quality genre television work from Kristin Chenoweth (sporting a dress her character wore in that series), said he had a Starship Enterprise model in his home office that would soon be orbiting around his new prize. “Child’s Play” series writer Don Mancini, hoisting an award for the “Chucky: The Complete Collection” DVD collection, had a more nefarious use in mind: “This would make an awesome murder weapon.”

The horrifying “Hannibal,” which Fuller developed for television, tied with a fellow NBC show, the canceled “Revolution,” for best network television series, and Mads Mikkelsen won best actor for his performance as its titular cultured cannibal.

“On this show, we’ve had human murals, human cellos, human beehives, backs flayed into angel wings and butt cracks filled with blood,” Fuller said in thanking NBC and “Hannibal’s” production companies. “We have no business being on network television, but we are — and that is commendable.”

The show has been picked up for a third season, and in accepting Mikkelsen’s award on his behalf, executive producer Martha de Laurentiis mentioned that at some point the actor will “wear the mask that Tony wore” — Tony being Anthony Hopkins — and waved one like the earlier Hannibal Lecter actor had in “The Silence of the Lambs.”

In an interesting turn of events, the difficult-to-classify “Her” triumphed in the best fantasy film field over movies that fit more easily into the popular conception of the genre, including “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Jack the Giant Slayer” and “Oz the Great and Powerful.”

“A lot of people thought we’d get relegated to best male fantasy film,” “Her” producer Vincent Landay joked in his acceptance speech. “I don’t know if we would have even qualified for this category. We were in preproduction on the film … and all of a sudden Apple came out with Siri. And I thought, ‘Oh, we were a futuristic movie — we’re now a period drama.”

“Her’s” Scarlett Johansson won supporting actress over nominees including Nicole Kidman (“Stoker”) and Emily Watson (“The Book Thief”) — without physically appearing in the film (or at the ceremony). Saturn Awards voters went where other awards voters didn’t: Her lauded performance as the voice of the operating system that Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore falls in love with was not nominated for an Oscar, and was ruled ineligible for Golden Globes consideration.

There were two more honorary awards besides Nicotero and Fuller.

Lance Henriksen, left, presented the Life Career Award to Malcolm McDowell. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

Lance Henriksen, left, presented the Life Career Award to Malcolm McDowell. (Nina Prommer / European Pressphoto Agency)

Malcolm McDowell, whose notable genre work includes “A Clockwork Orange,” “Time After Time,” “Cat People” and voicing the supervillain cyborg Metallo in the late 1990s “Superman: The Animated Series,” received the Life Career Award from past winner Lance Henriksen. A raucous raconteur, McDowell said he was “sick” of talking about “Clockwork,” but soon launched into a detailed story about taking an injection in his posterior in filming a scene for the Stanley Kubrick classic.

Oh — and McDowell played the man who killed James T. Kirk in “Star Trek: Generations.”

“I’m happy to see that there are lots of ‘Star Trek’ people here tonight,” the Englishman said to laughs. “It’s like coming into a nest of vipers…. Listen, [William] Shatner deserved all he got from it. I freed him up to go on ‘Boston Legal’!”

One of those “Star Trek” people was Marc Cushman, who received a special recognition award for his “These Are the Voyages” book series, which delves into the original show season by season.

Several winners accepted awards via video — Nicotero, for instance, had “The Walking Dead” actors Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus and Michael Cudlitz tear his trophy away from zombies. And Robert Downey Jr. celebrated his best actor win for “Iron Man 3″ with a video in which he jokingly announced his upcoming slate, with “title tweaks”: For 2015, “The Judge” is now “C.H.U.D.A.” — for “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Defense Attorneys”; 2016 brings what was to be “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” but is now “Bill and Ted, Cap and Tony: Ultron’s Excellent Adventure”; and 2017 has “Sherlock vs. Mothra” (working title).

The winners on hand were often ecstatic.

Director Mike Mendez, whose “Big Ass Spider” won for best DVD release, said to growing laughter and applause, “I honestly can’t believe I’m here. As one who grew up getting in trouble for bringing his action figures to school and reading comic books instead of my history books, this is a freakin’ Academy Award to me.”

But it’s possible no one was having a better night than Frank Ilfman, who won the best music prize for his work on “Big Bad Wolves” (over the similarly surnamed, and better known, Danny Elfman). Accepting his Saturn, he told the crowd he and his girlfriend were heading to Las Vegas on Friday to elope.

Below is a complete list of winners. For a list of every nominee, see here.

Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture: “Iron Man 3″ (Marvel / Disney)

Best Science-Fiction Film: “Gravity” (Warner Bros.)

Best Fantasy Film: “Her” (Warner Bros.)

Best Horror Film: “The Conjuring” (Warner Bros.)

Best Thriller Film:  “World War Z” (Paramount Pictures)

Best Action / Adventure Film: “Fast & Furious 6″ (Universal Pictures)

Best Independent Film: “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)

Best International Film: “Big Bad Wolves” (Magnolia Pictures / Magnet)

Best Animated Film: “Frozen” (Walt Disney Studios)

Best Actor: Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man 3”)

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”)

Best Supporting Actor: Ben Kingsley (“Iron Man 3”)

Best Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johansson (“Her”)

Best Performance by a Younger Actor: Chloe Grace Moretz (“Carrie”)

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”)

Best Writing: Spike Jonze (“Her”)

Best Editing: Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger (“Gravity”)

Best Production Design: Dan Hennah (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”)

Best Music: Frank Ilfman (“Big Bad Wolves”)

Best Costume: Trish Summerville (“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”)

Best Makeup: Donald Mowat (“Prisoners”)

Best Special / Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould (“Gravity”)

Best Network Television Series Release: Tie between “Hannibal” (NBC) and “Revolution” (NBC)

Best Syndicated / Cable Television Series: “The Walking Dead” (AMC)

Best Television Presentation of a Limited Run Series: “Breaking Bad” (AMC)

Best Youth-Oriented Television Series: “Teen Wolf” (MTV)

Best Actor in a Television Series: Mads Mikkelsen (“Hannibal”)

Best Actress in a Television Series: Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”)

Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series: Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”)

Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series: Melissa McBride (“The Walking Dead”)

Best Guest Star in a Television Series: Robert Forster (“Breaking Bad”)

Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series: Chandler Riggs (“The Walking Dead”)

Best DVD Release: “Big Ass Spider” (Epic Pictures)

Best DVD Collection: “Chucky: The Complete Collection” (Universal)

Best Classic Film Home Entertainment Release: “Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition” (Anchor Bay)

Best Television Home Entertainment Release:“Star Trek: The Next Generation: Seasons 3, 4, 5” (CBS Paramount)

– Blake Hennon | Google+ | @LATHeroComplex

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Comments


One Response to Saturn Awards: ‘Gravity,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Her,’ ‘Walking Dead’ win big

  1. Giselle says:

    Hannibal. Great show. Except. Too much info is released constantly by Martha de Laurentiis ( yeah Mads M. will be wearing " the Mask") and Bryan Fuller. Way too many plot tidbits & selfies by these two. Don't they know the elements of the unknown & surprise are better hooks than a steady stream of info?

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