March 19, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
It’s 2 p.m. on a Thursday, and Theo James is ready for his weekend to begin. “Can I get just a single shot of tequila?” the English actor asks a server at a trendy downtown L.A. eatery. Seconds later, James, 30, breaks out a movie star grin and an apologetic “Just kidding,” and takes another sip of espresso. If there were a faction for class clowns in the dystopian future, James, clearly would be sorted into it, given his talent for deadpan one-liners and his gift for winking, witty sarcasm. There’s little of that sort of levity, however, in the actor’s new movie, “The Divergent Series: Insurgent.” Opening Friday, the film is the second in a planned four-part adaptation of Veronica Roth’s best-selling YA trilogy about one special girl who sets out to bring down a corrupt system. A younger […]
March 06, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
Neill Blomkamp is a young filmmaker comfortable with risk. For his third feature, “Chappie,” in which gangsters gain custody of a robot endowed with artificial intelligence, the writer-director set out to craft a violent fairy tale about the very meaning of consciousness. And to anchor his South African-set tale, he cast the elaborately tattooed cult rappers Die Antwoord, a duo long on underground credibility but short on mainstream visibility. “You’ve got to run equations in your head, not financial equations, but equations of accessibility — at what degree do you think it’s too far or it isn’t too far,” Blomkamp said in Santa Monica late last year. “The idea of Die Antwoord in a movie, you’re on the outer peripheral edge there. To set it in South Africa, also, you’re pushing it. But I felt that the core story was […]
Feb. 18, 2015 | 3:30 a.m.
Early in the making of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” visual effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti invited a raccoon named Oreo to spend a few hours in his London office. He was looking for inspiration for one of the movie’s central characters, the mouthy wiseguy Rocket Raccoon, and the natural world seemed like a productive starting place. “They touch everything. They’re very tactile animals,” Ceretti recalled in a phone interview last week. “We spent a lot of time filming the way he moved so the animators could reference that. Even though it’s a raccoon that can walk and talk, we just want to make him look as present in the image as possible so people don’t question it.” Ceretti’s intensive study sessions paid off. “Guardians” is one of five films vying for the Oscar for outstanding visual effects at Sunday’s 87th […]
Feb. 11, 2015 | 4:30 a.m.
Spider-Man first swung into the imaginations of comic book readers more than 50 years ago in the pages of “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15. The character soon became Marvel’s icon of the Silver Age, appearing not only in comics but also on television, video games and even migrating to Broadway. Now, he’s poised for new life on the big screen — and he’s under new management. Under a deal revealed Monday, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige will have an opportunity to reframe the iconic character, bringing Spidey into Marvel’s blockbuster cinematic universe before the hero goes spinning back to anchor his own franchise for Sony Pictures, his movie home since 2002. Feige’s expanded involvement in Spider-Man’s movie future might be the best thing to happen to Peter Parker since Mary Jane Watson moved in next door. The architect of Marvel’s movie […]
Feb. 05, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
Mark Hamill might not have a lot of screen time in director Matthew Vaughn’s new film, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” but what he has is certainly memorable. In the opening sequence, which arrives in theaters Feb. 13, Hamill watches an operatically violent tussle unfold inside the remote chalet where his character, a kidnapped professor, is being held. The blood-spattered action sets the tone for the gleefully violent R-rated sendup/love-letter to classic spy flicks. The scene likely will ring familiar to comic readers who know the Mark Millar-Dave Gibbons title that inspired the film (notably, the comic was co-created by Vaughn), though it does play out a bit differently on the big screen. Hamill is not, as he was in the comic, appearing as himself, nor is he listening to complaints about the inferior quality of the “Star Wars” prequels. In […]
Jan. 26, 2015 | 11:12 a.m.
“Doctor Who” star David Tennant will play a villain in Marvel’s upcoming Netflix show “A.K.A. Jessica Jones,” a 13-episode series set to premiere later this year. The Scottish actor has been cast as Kilgrave, an enigmatic figure from the heroine’s past whose reappearance shakes her world, Marvel announced Monday. Tennant, who has recently appeared on American screens in the mystery series “Gracepoint,” is best known for his turn as the time-traveling protagonist in “Doctor Who.” His five-year tenure as the 10th incarnation of the Time Lord revitalized TV’s longest-running sci-fi series and paved the way for its popularity this side of the pond. “I’m so honored and excited by the prospect of David inhabiting this multifaceted character,” said writer-producer Melissa Rosenberg in a post on Marvel’s blog. “He can deliver the most heart-wrenching moment to the driest of lines, and […]
Jan. 22, 2015 | 7:30 p.m.
“Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner is leading a trio of new actors joining Bryan Singer’s upcoming “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Turner will play Jean Grey, a role originated on screen by Famke Janssen in Singer’s 2000 “X-Men”; Alexandra Shipp has been cast as Storm, originally played by Halle Berry, while Tye Sheridan will play Cyclops, a role that first went to James Marsden. Shipp’s credits include “Drumline: A New Beat,” and she starred for television in “Aailyah: The Princess of R&B”; she also has a role in the upcoming NWA movie, “Straight Outta Compton.” Sheridan has appeared in such features as “Mud” and “The Tree of Life.” Oscar Isaac will star as the powerful villain in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the next installment in the long-running Fox franchise based on the Marvel Comics series. Singer is set to direct the film, which is […]
Jan. 15, 2015 | 12:35 p.m.
Tom Hardy is no longer a member of “Suicide Squad.” The actor has dropped out of Warner Bros.’ upcoming adaptation of the DC Comics title about an all-star roster of villains who act as mercenaries. Hardy, who brought to the screen the Batman villain Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises,” had been set to star as Rick Flagg, but scheduling commitments forced him to leave the film, which is set for release Aug. 5, 2016, sources said Thursday. The story was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter. David Ayer, who most recently helmed the Brad Pitt World War II tank drama “Fury,” will write and direct “Suicide Squad.” The ensemble cast includes Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Boomerang and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress. Oscar winner Leto will be […]
Jan. 14, 2015 | 11:57 a.m.
In Marvel’s latest series for ABC, the 1940s adventure “Agent Carter,” James D’Arcy provides the perfectly cultured counterpoint to Hayley Atwell’s sophisticated spy as Edwin Jarvis. The man Friday to Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark, Jarvis becomes a key ally for Peggy as she sets about to try to clear Howard’s name after he’s accused of treason — their Tracy-Hepburn-flair unquestionably add to the period charm of the limited-run show. “It’s a really fun role to play,” D’Arcy said on the set late last year. “They write such fabulous banter for us. We have fun when we’re shooting, we have fun when we’re not shooting; it’s great.” (Click through the gallery above for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Agent Carter.”) Set one year after the events depicted in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the series sees Peggy working for […]
Jan. 09, 2015 | 6:30 a.m.
In “Jupiter Ascending,” Andy and Lana Wachowski (“The Matrix” trilogy, “Cloud Atlas”) present another wildly original sci-fi tale, this time about Chicago house cleaner Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), who learns from an alien protector, Caine (Channing Tatum in guyliner), that she’s actually the queen of the universe with the rights to rule over Earth. Dan Glass, the movie’s visual effects supervisor who oversaw some 2,050 shots, recently described the aesthetic approach to the outre adventure, which arrives in theaters Feb. 6. FULL COVERAGE: Winter Sneaks 2015 Click through the gallery above for an up-close look at “Jupiter Ascending.” — Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex RECENT AND RELATED: FULL COVERAGE: Winter movie sneaks 2015 15 must-see movies of 2015 ‘Jupiter Ascending': Mila Kunis stands to inherit Earth ‘Jupiter Ascending': Wachowski sci-fi film postponed Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum raise sci-fi heat ‘Ant-Man’ trailer sees […]