Aug. 06, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Scarlett Johansson was most recently on screen playing a chemically enhanced drug mule in Luc Besson’s sleeper hit “Lucy,” but it wasn’t the actress’ first action-packed role this year. Back in April, Johansson reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff (better known as Black Widow) in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” conceived as Marvel’s answer to the gripping thrillers of the ’70s. The film, which sees Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers team up with Black Widow on a number of key missions, even as the patriotic superhero comes into conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford in a key supporting turn), currently stands as the highest grossing domestic release of 2014, having surpassed $259 million at the U.S. box office. Those who missed it in theaters — or simply want to see it again — now have a chance to catch […]
July 26, 2014 | 7:59 p.m.
Marvel is famous for its Saturday Comic-Con International panel, and this year, the comic book studio didn’t disappoint — confirming that “Guardians of the Galaxy 2″ will open on July 28, 2017, and debuting new footage from Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated 2015 release, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Represented on stage by movies guru Kevin Feige, Marvel brought out the members of its sprawling A-list “Avengers” cast — Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, James Spader and Elizabeth Olsen to wild applause (the crowd in the 6,500 seat Hall H had been chanting “Marvel” and doing the wave, rock concert-style, before the session even began). (If you’d prefer not to know anything about the “Avengers” sequel, this might be a good time to stop reading.) Although writer-director […]
April 14, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
In a competing superhero franchise, the wisecracking sidekick might have summed up “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” with a well-timed “Holy meta-narrative, Batman!” Drafting the sequel to 2011’s hit comic book movie adaptation “Captain America: The First Avenger,” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely faced challenges above and beyond delivering the kind of slam-bang action-adventure associated with a nearly unstoppable super soldier dressed in star-spangled fatigues. “Cap 2″ (as the project became known) needed to fit squarely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That is, into a narrative continuum established by the movie’s production company Marvel Studios where costumed heroes such as Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye and the Hulk have turned up in one another’s tent-pole movies since 2008. PHOTOS: ‘Captain America’ stars walk the red carpet Encompassing future films and TV shows whose plot lines and outcomes are all, to […]
April 09, 2014 | 4:05 p.m.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” blasted into theaters this past weekend, bringing to the screen a tale inspired by the famous 2005 comic book story line by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting and earning a record-breaking $96.2 million in domestic theaters. But the movie also has bigger ideas on its mind — drone technology, government surveillance, corruption and the unchecked consolidation of powers are all engines that drive a narrative in which Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers begins to uncover a conspiracy at international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. He finds allies in Scarlett Johansson’s spy Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who has his own heroic identity as the Falcon, but also in Nick Fury, the cagey operative made famous by Samuel L. Jackson in a growing number of Marvel movies (and even […]
April 08, 2014 | 6:15 a.m.
When Anthony Mackie turned up for his first tour of superhero duty as the Falcon in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” he immediately found himself strapped into a costume with wings and instructed to leap backward through the air and land on a safety mat far below. Mackie isn’t someone who’s fearful of heights — he’s a certified sky diver with more than 30 jumps under his belt — but the situation still gave him pause. “If I jump out of a plane, I have a parachute that I know is going to work, so I‘m good,” Mackie said. “But if I have some dude who’s holding a string who’s like, ‘I got you! Go ahead, jump!’ that makes me nervous, especially if I’m 50 or 100 feet off the ground swinging face-first at the pavement. Everybody had a good […]
April 07, 2014 | 10:14 a.m.
Mark your calendars. The release date showdown between Captain America and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman is now official — Marvel has confirmed that its follow-up to the box office smash “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will open May 6, 2016, the same date staked out by Warner Bros. for its “Man of Steel” sequel. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” soared to a domestic box office record of $96.2 million in its opening this weekend, making it the best-ever April debut of a movie. The latest in an unbroken chain of big screen successes for comic book movie powerhouse Marvel, the sequel, generated just more than $207 million in its first 10 days overseas. The follow-up to 2013’s “Man of Steel,” which will pair Henry Cavill’s Superman with Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, is also set to […]
April 06, 2014 | 10:15 a.m.
In this weekend’s record-breaking Marvel sequel “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” actor Sebastian Stan is the man behind the mask of the lethal assassin referenced in the title. The character is one from hero Steve Rogers’ past reborn in villainous form — and anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet and wants to preserve the surprise of the antagonist’s identity might want to stop reading now. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the film brings to the screen the famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting and puts Rogers (Chris Evans) inside a political thriller. Cap begins to uncover a conspiracy at the international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and turns for assistance to allies including Scarlett Johansson’s spy Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie’s veteran Sam Wilson, who has his own heroic identity as […]
April 02, 2014 | 11:16 a.m.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives in theaters Friday with the promise of bringing to the screen the famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting that inspired the name of the Marvel sequel, but star Chris Evans and fraternal directing team Anthony and Joe Russo also looked back to certain cinematic landmarks to help bring a contemporary resonance to the superhero tale. It seems to have worked — critics have widely praised the film in early reviews and Marvel already has announced its plans to bring the Russos back to direct the third “Captain America” film, which takes place months after the events depicted in “Avengers” and opens with Steve Rogers having remained in the employ of international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and occasionally teaming with Scarlett Johansson’s spy Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black […]
April 01, 2014 | 3:19 p.m.
In his current position as movie chief at Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige might rank as one of the most envied men in Hollywood right now. The company has enjoyed a nearly unmatched run of box office success stretching back to the release of 2008’s “Iron Man” and appears poised to celebrate a new record-breaking opening with the arrival of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” this week. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the new film takes place months after the events depicted in “Avengers” and opens with Steve Rogers having remained in the employ of international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and occasionally teaming with Black Widow on key missions. After an attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. top dog Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) puts the hero in conflict with the organization’s leader, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford in a key supporting turn), he finds […]
March 28, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
When it comes to the superhero spy game, an easy facility with falsehood can get you far. Which helps explain the unlikely friendship that develops between Chris Evans’ unfailingly forthright patriotic hero and Scarlet Johansson’s ethically dubious operative in Marvel’s latest comic book adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” “She made a life based on lies and deceit and malleable morality, and Cap couldn’t lie if he tried to,” said Evans, seated beside his costar in a sparsely furnished chamber at a Beverly Hills hotel. “These aren’t two characters that you would necessarily know had so much in common,” Johansson agreed. “They’re deceivingly similar. They’re having this huge identity crisis…. ‘What do I want? Why do I want it? What do I need from someone else?’ We started to say, ‘Maybe they see the reflection in one another.’” Arriving in […]