Amy Kaufman

Aug. 13, 2013 | 3:38 p.m.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Vin Diesel talks possible Groot role

Vin Diesel, right, has been cast as Groot in Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy." (Concept art / Marvel Studios; Giles Keyte / Universal Pictures)
Is Vin Diesel really going to play a talking tree? That’s the question some of the actor’s 45 million followers began asking Sunday after Diesel posted a picture on his Facebook page of Groot, an alien creature featured in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the latest Marvel property to get the big-screen treatment. For months the actor has been teasing a possible collaboration with Marvel, posting on social media about secretive meetings with the studio and promising impending “big news.” “Guardians” has certainly enjoyed its share of the spotlight lately, with promotional pushes at Comic-Con International last month and Disney’s D23 expo in Anaheim this past weekend. The film, now shooting in London, will combine live action and computer animation to tell the story of roguish antihero Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, (Chris Pratt) and his squad of aliens (including the furry, […]
April 17, 2013 | 6:09 p.m.

‘Pacific Rim’: Is Guillermo del Toro’s film the new ‘Transformers’?

Gipsy Danger in a scene from "Pacific Rim," due in theaters July 12. (Warner Bros.)
After footage of “Pacific Rim” played at CinemaCon this week, the whispers were palpable. “This looks like a new ‘Transformers,’” many in the crowd of theater exhibitors could be overheard saying. Indeed, Guillermo del Toro’s July release — the first he’s directed in five years — does prominently feature hulking, mechanical robots. But the filmmaker believes “Pacific Rim” and Michael Bay’s franchise share little in common. “I think that the reference of the mechanics — the robot design — is completely different than that universe,” he said, referring to “Transformers.” “But if [moviegoers] are talking about how big the franchise is, I welcome it. If anyone says there are any visual similarities, they are design blind.” Del Toro was sitting in the basement of the Colosseum at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, shortly after a new trailer for his film was […]
April 17, 2013 | 2:38 p.m.

‘Star Wars’: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a scene from 1977's "Star Wars." (20th Century Fox)
The Force is strong with Alan Horn. At CinemaCon on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Studios chairman said the company plans to release three “Star Wars” films by the end of the decade — one in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In between those movies, “we expect to have pictures derived from that universe,” Horn said, indicating that spinoff movies should be expected in 2016 and 2018 as well. The news comes six months after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a surprise deal for $4.05 billion. At the time of that deal in October, the company said it planned to release a seventh live-action “Star Wars” movie in 2015. It has since been announced that J.J. Abrams will direct that film, while Oscar winner Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″) has been tapped to write the screenplay. PHOTOS: J.J. Abrams career […]
April 13, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Avengers’: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston carry ‘Thor’s’ hammer

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston at "The Avengers" premiere. Credit: Getty Images
Marvel found a hit in last summer’s “Thor,” which did well enough at the box office to spawn a sequel and earn star Chris Hemsworth a place in “The Avengers.” But in the latter film, the Australian native has to share screen time with a handful of A-listers — Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, to name a few — something he admits he found difficult to adjust to. “You have a much clearer story line, obviously, in your film, and in this film you have to read between the lines a lot more,” Hemsworth said. “It’s tougher working with a huge ensemble, because you can fall into the trap of trying to make too much out of the one line you have. But you’ve just gotta trust that the script supports everybody.” “The Avengers,” which opens May 4, […]
April 12, 2012 | 3:00 p.m.

‘Avengers’: Mark Ruffalo’s childlike inspiration for the Hulk

hulk4
Mark Ruffalo’s ripped Hulk appears fearsome on the surface, but “The Avengers” star says his inspiration for the character came from a far more meek place: His 10-year-old son. “I literally based the entire character on [him],” the actor told Hero Complex at the film’s premiere in Hollywood on Wednesday night, where the red carpet was filled with stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson. The film opens nationwide May 4. “[He's] in this most horrible place as a young person where you have the force of nature streaming through your body, but the rest of the world is expecting you to behave, and I think that’s a little bit like the Hulk and Bruce Banner. I think that character was written for that 10-year-old child inside of us that is trying to fit into a very complex and […]
Feb. 23, 2012 | 10:09 a.m.

‘John Carter’ director Andrew Stanton to skeptics: ‘Trust us’

Writer and director Andrew Stanton arrives at the premiere of "John Carter" on Feb. 22, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Matt Sayles / Associated Press)
“John Carter” will arrive at theaters with something to prove — the Disney fantasy epic is expensive, the trailers haven’t won over the Comic-Con crowd and early polls of moviegoer interest aren’t very pretty at this point — but director Andrew Stanton said his years at Pixar working on projects like “WALL-E” and “Toy Story” taught him to ignore the early skeptics. “That’s always been the case,” Stanton said on the red carpet before the film’s Wednesday premiere in downtown Los Angeles. “People don’t remember how much naysaying there’s been on how much of the other stuff we’ve worked on. You just gotta trust us. We really put our heart and soul into making movies that you’re going to have a real good time watching.” “John Carter,” based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs bookshelf hero who debuted a century ago, opens on March 9. Taylor […]
Feb. 03, 2012 | 3:44 p.m.

Daniel Radcliffe: My days as ‘messy drunk’ were less than magical

Daniel Radcliffe (featured image)
Daniel Radcliffe says he didn’t develop a drinking problem because he was Harry Potter, even though he knows that’s what most people assume. “What ‘Potter’ did do was put me around people who were older than me, and I heard all of their amazing stories about their drunk nights. I just started thinking, ‘That’s what I want,’” said the actor, 22. “I don’t think I ever had one, great drunk night, but I had heard about them, and that was what I was desperately trying to pursue.” On an early morning this week, Radcliffe looked bleary-eyed at his hotel, having just flown to Los Angeles to promote his new film, “The Woman in Black.” The movie, released Friday, marks one of the few times in more than a decade that audiences worldwide will see the actor play someone other than […]
Jan. 14, 2012 | 1:00 p.m.

‘Prometheus’: Damon Lindelof promises an epic

Noomi Rapace, center, and Michael Fassbender, right, are explorers of a distant planet in the movie "Prometheus." (Kerry Brown / 20th Century Fox)
When the enigmatic television series “Lost” came to a close two years ago, show co-creator Damon Lindelof thought he was done working on scripts with shadowy plot lines. Then he got an offer to write “Prometheus,” a Ridley Scott-directed science-fiction film whose story has been kept tightly under wraps since its inception. “Coming out of ‘Lost,’ I was like, ‘What a relief it’ll be to leave mystery and secretiveness behind,’” recalled the 38-year-old, who also was one of the writers who penned last year’s “Cowboys & Aliens.” “Then I found myself in the same situation, and I thought, ‘Here we go again.’” Months before the film’s June release, little is still known in Hollywood about the 3-D “Prometheus,” whose ensemble cast includes Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba. The movie was initially billed as a prequel to […]
July 20, 2011 | 1:32 p.m.

‘Captain America’ premiere: Chris Evans was drafted to duty by Marvel

Chris Evans
In “Captain America: The First Avenger,” Chris Evans plays a man who can’t wait to wear a uniform but off-screen it sounds as if the actor was reluctantly drafted to duty. Evans had so much trepidation about taking on the role of Steve Rogers — and his red, white and blue alter ego — that he repeatedly turned down the part. But director Joe Johnston and Marvel Studios executives felt strongly that he was the right man to carry the shield of Captain America. “Unfortunately, before he said ‘no,’ we envisioned him in the role. And then we went on to screen test 12 or 15 guys and we were never really happy with what we were getting and we felt like we were settling if we went with any one of those guys,” Johnston explained on Tuesday at the […]
July 20, 2011 | 1:17 p.m.

‘Avengers’: Downey says Joss Whedon brings ‘depths of discovery’

Robert Downey Jr
If any actor knows the anxieties and payoff of stepping onto the silver screen as a superhero, it’s Robert Downey Jr., who super-charged his career by donning the armor of Iron Man for a franchise that has pulled in more than $1.2 billion  in worldwide box office. On Tuesday at the premiere of “Captain America: The First Avenger” at the El Capitan Theatre, Downey said he knew what it was like to walk a mile in the red boots of Chris Evans, the latest Marvel Universe star. “Evans has had just a nerve-racking summer up to this point,” he said. “Up until this night, you’re starting to get the feedback and people are saying, ‘Wow, this really works. And we’re happy and reviews are good and it looks like the numbers are gonna be good.’ It’s a horrible part of the job that we do. […]
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