July 30, 2014 | 3:53 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': Zoe Saldana channels masculinity for Gamora

“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.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ poster withdrawn over 9/11 concerns

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.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy': ‘Behold,’ Dave Bautista says (only) as Drax

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 29, 2014 | 3:05 p.m.

Paolo Rivera: ‘Daredevil’ artist on ‘Valiant’ return to monthly comics

"The Valiant" Cover
Paolo Rivera won two Eisner Awards for his lush work on Marvel’s “Daredevil,” but he hasn’t produced regular interior art since leaving that title in 2012. This October, he returns to monthly comics with “The Valiant,” a new miniseries written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt. Uniting Valiant Comics’ superhero characters against a threat that has evolved through time, this project gives Rivera freedom to stretch his creative muscles in a fledgling comic-book universe, and early preview pages and concept designs promise all the detail and dynamism of his work at Marvel. Born and raised in Daytona Beach, Fla., Rivera was introduced to comic books by his father, Joe Rivera, a painter of custom motorcycles who kept assorted issues around the house. “I grew up in Florida not too far from Disney,” Rivera says. “I was a kid who could […]
July 28, 2014 | 2:14 p.m.

‘Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ trailer brings war to Middle-earth

Ian McKellen  and Luke Evans in "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."  (Mark Pokorny /Warner Bros.)
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, […]
July 28, 2014 | 1:35 p.m.

Comic-Con: Guillermo del Toro talks ‘Crimson Peak,’ ‘Pacific Rim 2′

If there was one creative force who appeared to be nearly omnipresent at San Diego’s Comic-Con International this year, it was Guillermo del Toro. The busy writer-director was on hand for the pop culture expo to discuss a slew of projects: his 2015 horror film, “Crimson Peak,” starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston and Charlie Hunnam; his FX TV series, “The Strain,” adapted from a trilogy of vampire novels he wrote with Chuck Hogan; the upcoming animated movie he’s producing, “Book of Life,” which arrives in theaters Oct. 17; and “Pacific Rim 2,” the sequel to last summer’s movie that paid glorious homage to the Japanese pop culture he adored as a child in Guadalajara. After debuting the first scenes from “Crimson Peak” at the Legendary Comic-Con panel in Hall H on Saturday, Del Toro sat down with Hero […]
July 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

Comic-Con: Waid, Quesada, Slott on Marvel’s 75th, Daredevil’s 50th

Daredevil is coming to television. (Marvel)
Who is the most important person in Marvel Comics history? Several audience members responded to Mark Waid’s question by shouting back “Stan Lee!” No, the Eisner Award-winning “Daredevil” writer told the crowd gathered for a panel about Marvel’s 75th and the Man Without Fear’s 50th anniversaries. But they were close: It’s Lee’s wife Joanie, Waid said. In 1961, Lee “was starting to feel burned out” after 20 years and about 10,000 issues of various genre stories under the direction of publisher Martin Goodman, said Waid, an expert on comics history, and was looking to do something else with his life. “It was his wife Joanie,” Waid continued, “who said … ‘If you’re done with comics and go away and do something else, at least take one last shot and do something that you really want to do… And if it […]
July 28, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

Comic-Con: Chuck Palahniuk on ‘Fight Club 2′; Lemire, Kindt at Dark Horse

FightClub2DarkHorseSDCC14Featured
Chuck Palahniuk paused while describing the story of the upcoming “Fight Club 2” to read the Comic-Con reminder that some audience members may be under 18. He then mentioned, in moderate language, that the unnamed narrator from his 1996 novel and fellow support group faker Marla, now married in the 10-issue Dark Horse comic book continuation, “haven’t had great sex in 10 years,” since Tyler Durden was around. “And Marla is desperate to get laid the way she got laid by Tyler, even if it means titrating her husband’s medication so that late at night she can coax Tyler out of suppression,” Palahniuk said, “even if it means doing this to the extent that Tyler is more and more in the world and eventually destroys their home and their family and drags them into chaos” in search of the couple’s […]
July 28, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Hollywood stirs fan fervor to the very end

avengers-duo
If Hollywood seemed a tad quieter than normal this past weekend, there was a good reason: Like moths to a porch light — or Batman to the Bat Signal — film and television creators, executives and stars were drawn en masse to downtown San Diego in an effort to drum up excitement for their upcoming wares at the annual Comic-Con International pop-culture expo. The unveiling of the first footage from the highly anticipated superhero mash-up “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and an extended early glimpse at “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” may have sent the biggest reverberations through the four-day film, television, video-game and comic-book fest. But there was plenty of other news to stir the excitement of the 130,000 or so convention-goers who descended upon the San Diego Convention Center, many decked out in costume, to watch exclusive […]
July 27, 2014 | 10:44 p.m.

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′ video: Katniss’ rebel cause

The new teaser for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″ is out, showing how Katniss Everdeen reluctantly finds herself the symbol of rebellion in the world of Panem, and the target of ruthless President Snow. The clip for the new film, due out in November, opens with a conversation between former games maker Plutarch Heavensbee (the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Julianne Moore’s Alma Coin discussing how Katniss (played again by Jennifer Lawrence) is the only person capable of uniting a downtrodden populace terrorized by Donald Sutherland’s Snow. QUIZ: Test your ‘Catching Fire’ knowledge, Katniss fans The film arrives as the third installment in the “Hunger Games” franchise, adapted from Suzanne Collins’ bestselling post-apocalyptic novels. The movies have been box-office giants, with last year’s “Catching Fire” earning more than $854 million worldwide, and they’ve helped transform Lawrence into an […]
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