June 04, 2011 | 7:26 a.m.
The mighty mutants of the Marvel Universe are back on the screen with “X-Men: First Class,” which hit theaters this weekend. The retro adventure begins in World War II and tracks through to the Cuban Missile Crisis to tell the secret history of mutants and set the stage for adventures shown in previously released films. There are a lot of new faces – good and evil mutants such as Azazel (played by Jason Flemyng), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Riptide (Álex González) and Darwin (Edi Gathegi) — but we’ve put together a photo gallery that explains some of the connections (and disconnects) between this throw-back adventure and the four previous Fox films. Just click “CAPTIONS ON” to read it but be warned there are some mild spoilers in there. – Jevon Phillips and Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED January Jones stressed by sexy suits Why is Kevin Bacon […]
June 03, 2011 | 6:32 a.m.
“X-Men: First Class” hits theaters this weekend, but the producer of the film, Bryan Singer, is already hard at work on his next project, “Jack the Giant Killer,” the Warner Bros. film due in theaters next summer. Over at 24 Frames, our must-read sister blog, Steven Zeitchik just interviewed the filmmaker, who said this new project was a welcome “antidote” to his sometimes smothering labor on ”Valkyrie” (2008). ”With that movie, I was so obsessed with the accuracy and the history and the detail, and this film is a fantastical time in England. It’s not pegged to a particular time in history, and it deals with fun and broad characters,” the “X-Men” auteur said. “Jack” — which counts among its writers Singer’s “Usual Suspects” and “Valkyrie” collaborator Christopher McQuarrie — plays off an English fairy tale of unknown origin. In many of the […]
April 26, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.
Here’s an early look at my “X-Men: First Class” preview in the Summer Sneaks issue in the upcoming Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar issue. How’s this for unexpected territory in a superhero film: “X-Men: First Class” not only uses the Kennedy years, the Civil Rights movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis as a backdrop for its retro tale, the movie’s story of two massively powerful mutants who struggle against bitter prejudice was directly informed by the complicated lives of Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “It came up early on in the rehearsal period and that was the path we took,” says Michael Fassbender, who stars as the emotionally scarred Erik Lehnsherr, who will become the militant mutant known as Magneto. “These two brilliant minds coming together and their views aren’t that different on some key things. As you […]
April 22, 2011 | 12:10 p.m.
Look, up in the sky … yes, that’s right, Hollywood is again returning to Metropolis to chronicle the adventures of the most famous super-hero of them all, Superman. We’ve put together a photo gallery with the filmmakers, cast, executives and interested bystanders in this project that promises to be one of the most-anticipated films of 2012. Click on the gallery’s ”VIEW CAPTIONS” option to read the inside scoop on each of the players. The big question for everyone: Will the character created during the Roosevelt administration still fly with contemporary audiences? – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Eastwood: I was offered Superman role in ’70s Snyder: My favorite Superman artist is… Grant Morrison on the socialist Superman Morrison to Hollywood: Make Superman a “brawler” Look, up in the sky it’s … Henry Cavill Synder: Superman is a tough one to crack U.K. actors now play Superman, Batman, […]
Feb. 10, 2011 | 5:39 p.m.
The trailer for “X-Men: First Class” landed today and immediately tilted the landscape of this summer’s slate of superhero films – if this smart, sleek and sinister trailer is representative of Matthew Vaughn’s retro-mutant film as a whole, then it’s suddenly unwise to view “First Class” as a second-class citizen compared with the two big Marvel Studios releases, “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor.” The makers of the Fox film, however, say they never viewed the summer season as a competition against the Marvel films or Warner Bros.’ “Green Lantern.” “You can never think about that,” producer Bryan Singer said. “That’s just something you can torture yourself with or stress out about, but you can’t do that and sit there and think, ‘What are they doing? We need to do that.’ That’s the worst thing you can do. You have to make your own […]
Jan. 19, 2011 | 2:47 p.m.
The movie posters promise that “X-Men: First Class” will be released June 3, but on Tuesday cameras were still rolling on the Fox film’s set and director Matthew Vaughn, making his biggest major studio feature film to date, sounded like a man running out of time. “I’m at that stage where I feel like a boxer against the ropes,” the director said as his crew prepared for the next shot on a location set in Long Beach. “I’m just throwing punches and taking them as they come and making sure I don’t hit the canvas.” In the pages of Marvel Comics, the X-Men have been the ultimate outsiders for decades — even other superheroes view the strange mutant crew with mistrust, prejudice and disdain. So it’s fitting that “First Class,” the fifth Hollywood adventure for the heroes, will arrive in theaters this summer with so […]
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”: […]