March 20, 2014 | 6:35 a.m.
“Star Wars: Episode VII,” “Maleficent” and the next three films from comic book movie giant Marvel all will receive the very-big-screen treatment. Disney announced its plans to release a slate of six movies via IMAX on Thursday — the complete roster includes the upcoming “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” due to arrive April 4, as well as Angelina Jolie’s dark fairy tale, “Maleficent,” set to open May 30. Also on the roster are Marvel’s Aug. 1 release “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and a pair of very highly anticipated sequels in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming “Star Wars” film. Rounding out the list is “Tomorrowland,” director Brad Bird’s mysterious live-action project starring George Clooney. It’s not the first big announcement regarding the “Star Wars” film. Earlier this week, Disney via StarWars.com confirmed that the space adventure, due in […]
Aug. 10, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.
Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof might not have had star power to promote their upcoming film “Tomorrowland” at D23 — the film’s George Clooney did not appear at the Anaheim expo Saturday morning — but they did bring the “dusty old box” that inspired the mystery adventure set for release next year. The duo took to the D23 stage near the end of the studio’s live-action presentation Saturday, opening the box, which was supposedly found in the studio’s archives and is labeled “1952.” Together, they reviewed certain of the contents it initially contained, before introducing a bit of evocative animation that had been found inside, but it’s still not exactly clear what the new movie, which Bird is producing and directing, in addition to co-writing with Lindelof, is actually about. Bird noted that “the very word ‘Tomorrowland’ is evocative,” and […]
Jan. 28, 2013 | 2:43 p.m.
Last week, filmmaker Brad Bird sent genre fans into a frenzy of speculation with a simple tweet showing the contents of a box that was supposedly discovered in the Walt Disney Co. archives along with the cryptic message, “The Box… opened.” The box, of course, was just a little something whipped up by screenwriter Damon Lindelof for his upcoming super top secret Disney project “1952,” which is set to be directed by Bird and star George Clooney. Today, that super secret project gets a title: “Tomorrowland.” The film is set to open Dec. 19, 2014. Bird is producing and directing the project, which was written by Bird and Lindelof from a concept by Lindelof and Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Jensen. What’s the movie about? Well, that’s anyone’s guess. The photo Bird tweeted offered some possible clues for fans to ruminate […]
Jan. 24, 2013 | 1:29 p.m.
Director Brad Bird sent genre fans into a whirlwind of speculation on Wednesday with a simple tweet showing the contents of a box that was supposedly discovered in the Walt Disney Co. archives along with the cryptic message, “The Box… opened.” The box, of course, is just a little something whipped up by screenwriter Damon Lindelof for his upcoming super top secret Disney project “1952,” which is set to be directed by Bird and star George Clooney. What is “1952” about? No one knows, but in “Lost” fashion, Lindelof is making his influences and inspirations public for fans to study, searching for meaning in every nuance. The archive box, marked simply “1952,” contains what appears to be photographs of Walt Disney himself, circa the 1950s, posing with a woman in one shot and a military man in uniform in another. […]
Jan. 14, 2013 | 2:10 p.m.
OK, movie fans. Disney would like you to update your moviegoing calendar for 2014 and beyond. In a bit of release date housekeeping, the studio announced today updated release information for some of the biggest movies on its long-range schedule, including the next installment in the rum-soaked adventures of one eyeliner-favoring pirate. The fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie will open July 10, 2015, with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson handling scripting duties for the movie, which, like its predecessors, will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and will star Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. (The previous entry in the franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directed by Rob Marshall, earned upward of $1 billion at the worldwide box office.) Two Marvel films, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” due April 4, 2014 , and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” due Aug. […]
Feb. 07, 2012 | 3:12 p.m.
BATFILMS OF THE FUTURE? The end is near — when the credits roll on “The Dark Knight Rises” this July, it will mark the close of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the final adventure for Christian Bale as the caped crusader of Gotham City. Warner Bros. executives have made it clear they won’t leave the iconic property sitting on a shelf, however, and a new director and star tandem could be inhabiting Wayne Manor by 2014. But how on earth will any filmmaker follow the work of Nolan and company? Working together, Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher and graphic artist Sean Hartter came up with 15 imaginary Batman reboots — and, yes, they did it with tongue in cheek. Rob Marshall’s “Gotham!”: Oscar-nominated “Chicago” director Rob Marshall takes the caped crusader into truly new territory: a musical. Yes, that’s right, after Spider-Man’s […]
Dec. 26, 2011 | 5:45 a.m.
Brad Bird won two Oscars for his animated accomplishments at Pixar, but taking on “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” for his first live-action feature film was, in its own way, just as audacious as the aerial stunts Tom Cruise executes in the new spy thriller. Bird knew that to succeed he would need to draw on his experience — and that meant reaching for a sketch pad and a pencil at every stage of the project. “I would never claim my skill set is unique in all the world, but when you come from animation, you have to know how to represent things visually,” Bird said. “If you have a thought, you don’t have to just talk about it, you can sit down and draw what you have in mind…. There’s so much wiggle room in the way we interpret […]
Dec. 06, 2011 | 3:32 p.m.
Motion-capture apes overran cineplexes this year. Photo-realistic animated worlds teemed with fighting pandas and an adventurous young reporter. But one of 2011’s most jaw-dropping sequences comes courtesy of the human special-effect himself, Tom Cruise, and the craftspeople behind director Brad Bird’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” which opens Dec. 21. In it, Cruise’s spy Ethan Hunt and his squad (Jeremy Renner as Brandt, Paula Patton as Jane Carter and Simon Pegg as Benji Dunn) find themselves in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building. Complications force Hunt to travel several stories above the team’s 119th floor command center — from outside the building — using electronic gloves that allow him to climb glass. The dizzying experience is made all the more vertigo-inducing by being shot in Imax. And, yes, that really is Cruise doing the climbing. Here’s a breakdown […]
Nov. 02, 2011 | 12:25 p.m.
The Los Angeles Times Holiday Sneaks issue runs Sunday, here’s an early look at one of the stories. Brad Bird, who has two Oscars for his Pixar films, is on a mission to make his first live-action blockbuster but, on a recent morning, as he regaled some journalists with behind-the-scenes tales of Hollywood, there was really only one word to describe his raconteur style: animated. Waving his arms, hunching over and making high-decibel sound effects, the writer-director was a one-man cartoon as he unspooled a story about working on the “Ratatouille” recording sessions with Peter O’Toole. It was a good story but one suspects Bird will walk away from his new project, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” with far more exotic memories. The fourth film in the “Mission” franchise, with Tom Cruise back as super-spy Ethan Hunt, opens everywhere on […]
Sept. 28, 2011 | 2:00 p.m.
Brad Bird is thinking big with his first live-action feature film: A deal is being finalized by Paramount Pictures that will open “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” five days early at more than 200 IMAX theaters. The goal, according to the Oscar-winning writer-director of “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” is to bring back a “level of showmanship” to the opening of a big-budget Hollywood film. Bird is so enthused about the plan that last week he brought footage from the film to Rave Motion Pictures 18 to show it as preamble to his interview with Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher. The elaborate, high-adrenaline sequences (part of the 25 minutes of the film that was shot with IMAX cameras) took the action to the top of the tallest building in the world and into the face of a blinding desert sandstorm. GB: There’s been intense interest by studios to release films in the stereoscopic 3-D […]