Jan. 04, 2011 | 9:53 a.m.
‘Mad Men’s’ prim Betty Draper takes on dangerous curves and expectations as Emma Frost: ‘I’m sure,’ she tells our Rebecca Keegan, ‘I will still disappoint someone.’ When January Jones was initially cast as mutant telepath Emma Frost in “X-Men: First Class,” she was eager to for the chance to break out of the retro 1960s world of Betty Draper, her character on “Mad Men.” Imagine the actress’ surprise when she learned that prim Betty and the vixen Emma could be partners in time. “When I heard that this installment of ‘X-Men’ was gonna take place in the ’60s I was like, ‘Oh my God, you must be kidding me!’” Jones said. “But I read the script and familiarized myself with the character of Emma Frost. She’s so, so far from Betty and from ‘Mad Men,’ and it takes place in that time but […]
Oct. 06, 2010 | 3:25 p.m.
BRYAN SINGER AT THE AERO THEATRE ON OCT. 7 and JAMIE LEE CURTIS ON OCT. 16 Bryan Singer is back in the mutant business as the producer of next year’s “X-Men: First Class,” but on Thursday he will be celebrating a different band of antihero outsiders during a special screening of the 1995 crime masterpiece “The Usual Suspects” at the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre. The 7:30 p.m. event is a presentation of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, but I will be there as moderator and flying the Hero Complex banner — which means you can rest assured that the Q&A will include some questions about the filmmaker’s two X-Men films as well as his work with director Matthew Vaughn’s “First Class” film, which is shooting now in London. I’m back at the Aero on Oct. 16, by the way, to interview Jamie […]
Aug. 06, 2010 | 4:18 p.m.
The clock is ticking on the superhero craze in Hollywood, according to Matthew Vaughn, the director now filming “X-Men: First Class” for Fox in London. “It’s been mined to death and in some cases the quality control is not what it’s supposed to be,” Vaughn said. “People are just going to get bored of it.” Vaughn, who produced, directed and co-wrote “Kick-Ass,” says he pounced on the chance to make a film about the uncanny mutants from Marvel Comics because he expects the current boom in superhero cinema to fizzle out in the near future. “I’ve always wanted to do a big-budget superhero film and I think we’ve kind of crossed the Rubicon with superhero films,” Vaughn said. “I think [the opportunity to do one], it’s only going to be there two or three more times.” “Then,” he added, “the […]
May 28, 2010 | 4:18 p.m.
24 Frames, our sister blog, has a big scoop on “X-Men: First Class,” the cinematic return to Marvel mutantkind that is being directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass“) and fast-tracked for summer 2011 release. Here’s an excerpt… The studio is hiring James McAvoy to play the role of Charles Xavier, the professor who organizes the X-Men band of mutants into a group (and force for good). Patrick Stewart played Xavier in the original set of pictures, but of course as an origin story, many of the characters in “First Class” will skew younger. McAvoy, who’s next up in the Robert Redford post-Civil War drama “The Conspirator,” has played in films with superhero themes before, primarily as a lead character in the assassin picture “Wanted.” THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST – Steven Zeitchik RECENT AND RELATED Bryan Singer on “First Class”: […]
March 18, 2010 | 12:58 p.m.
EXCLUSIVE This is a longer version of a story that will appear in the Sunday Calendar section of the Los Angeles Times and also on the cover of Brand X. Through the years, comic-book films took audiences to all the predictable places, including the grim streets of Gotham City and the doomed spires of planet Krypton, but, a decade ago, a new type of comic-book film had the audacity to set its opening sequence in a truly unexpected place — the gates of Auschwitz, where Jewish families were being marched through mud on their way to death and despair. From those first moments, “X-Men” set itself apart from the entire Hollywood history of comic-book adaptations and marked the beginning of this current era of fanboy cinema, which has dominated the box office and elevated San Diego’s Comic-Con International into something […]
Oct. 13, 2009 | 3:50 p.m.
Over the weekend, the AP had a short story from Busan, South Korea, where filmmaker Bryan Singer made it sound it like his return to the “X-Men” franchise may be more than just a rumor. Here’s an exceprt, links added by me: “I’m still looking to possibly returning to the ‘X-Men’ franchise. I’ve been talking to Fox about it,” Singer said at a talk at South Korea’s Pusan International Film Festival. “I love Hugh Jackman. I love the cast,” he said, referring to the Australian actor who plays Wolverine. Singer said he enjoyed making science fiction and fantasy movies because they allowed him to discuss serious issues through entertainment. He said the “X-Men” series, which follows a group of mutants with superpowers who struggle to fit in with humans, is about tolerance and social structures. He said he likes to “trick […]
Oct. 12, 2009 | 4:43 p.m.
FOUR FRANCHISES AT A CROSSROADS Talk about heroic: Four film franchises, one decade, more than $10 billion worth of theater tickets sold. And more than that, in their very best moments, each of these franchises shown above delivered sparkling adventure and escapism for moviegoers. Now, though, with the decade winding down and all four franchises sitting a nice tidy trilogy, the question must be asked: Isn’t three the magic number? Do we really need a fourth movie from any of these aging popcorn enterprises? Clearly, all of them will be written up in the Hollywood history books but right now the indelicate must be asked: “How can we miss you if you won’t leave?” Last week we gave you an in-depth report on this quartet of mega-franchises and their quests for a fourth visit to theaters. We told you how “The Hobbit“ must escape the the towering shadow of “The Lord of the […]
Oct. 09, 2009 | 5:56 a.m.
FOUR FRANCHISES AT A CROSSROADS: PART THREE This week we’re taking a look at four major trilogies from this decade that are looking to add a fourth film despite substantial challenges — not least among those challenges the skepticism of moviegoers who may wonder whether some of these Hollywood vehicles are running on empty. You can find the other three installments of the series right here. “X-Men” The story so far: With the triumph of comic-book properties in Hollywood today, it’s easy to forget how startling Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” was when it arrived in 2000. Sleek, sophisticated and respectful of its studied source material, the Fox film ran counter to the then-standard Hollywood approach of turning comic-book adaptations into smirking cartoons that insulted loyal fans of the properties. The $75-million film made $296 million in worldwide box office (it finished as the eighth-highest-grossing film in America that year) and later won […]
Oct. 05, 2009 | 2:04 p.m.
They are four of the biggest franchises in Hollywood history and each is at a major crossroads. This week the Hero Complex will look at “The Lord of the Rings,” “Spider-Man,” “X-Men” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” and size up their future as they attempt to move past their original trilogies and into a new decade. Tuesday ”Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit“: How can Guillermo del Toro possibly match up to Peter Jackson’s magical conquests ($2.92 billion in global box office and 17 Oscars including best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay)? At least he has Jackson on his side … Wednesday “Spider-Man“: Director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are back for more and that’s no surprise considering “Spider-Man 3“ had the highest-grossing opening weekend of the wall-crawling films — and went on to make $891 million worldwide. Still, the last film got […]
Jan. 23, 2009 | 4:52 p.m.
Remember when Bryan Singer ("The X-Men," "Usual Suspects") was all set to remake "Logan’s Run"? Well, Chris Lee, a feature writer at the Los Angeles Times and frequent Hero Complex contributor, was chatting with Singer for a story on the history of the Sundance Film Festival, and the tangential topic of "Logan’s" came up. And, well, it doesn’t sound like the remake is going to survive through Carousel anytime soon. "At the moment, I haven’t decided. I really don’t know," Singer told Lee. "I’m taking a genuine break. The last four years have been really busy with the miniseries, the TV and the movies. I’m taking a few months to collect myself and figure out what I’m going to do in that regard. We did a lot of development on that movie and a lot of work. […]