May 01, 2015 | 12:05 p.m.
Chris Hemsworth has been a god for many movies now. In “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” director Joss Whedon’s sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers,” the Australian once again picks up the hammer of Thor, an Asgardian prince and the Norse god of thunder. Hemsworth’s Thor continued his feud with his brother Loki from the original “Avengers” in two solo features, with a third arriving in 2017. Being a warrior deity is a demanding job. “The last couple of years have been nuts, kind of since ‘Thor 1.’ Last year was the hardest because I did two films back to back and was trying to lose weight through all of them,” Hemsworth said. With such a powerful character, many of Hemsworth’s concerns for “Age of Ultron” and his character were physical. Weight was an issue (“Losing the weight is being underfed and […]
April 24, 2015 | 7:00 a.m.
In Universal’s upcoming 3-D adventure “Jurassic World,” the globe’s most unique theme park has added some exciting new attractions, including a shark-munching mosasaur and a pack of trained velociraptors. But one favorite, fearsome dinosaur will make an appearance too. “The T. Rex in this movie is the same T. Rex from ‘Jurassic Park,’” said director Colin Trevorrow, who also co-wrote the much-hyped fourth film inspired by the work of author Michael Crichton. “She’s been on the island for 22 years. She’s still alive. She’s a little older, and she’s angry.” FULL COVERAGE: Summer Movie Sneaks More than two decades after Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” wowed moviegoers with its groundbreaking depictions of prehistoric animals, Trevorrow’s “Jurassic World,” set to open June 12, is aspiring to instill the same sense of wonder by paying homage to the beloved 1993 adventure but also offering […]
April 24, 2015 | 5:30 a.m.
LONDON — A helicopter hovered in the July afternoon sky, cameras rolling on board, to capture the cascade of glass raining through the sky. An ear-shattering explosion had just blown out the windows of a multi-story structure, sending civilians running for cover and Captain America straight onto the windshield of a nearby car. Actor Chris Evans winced with pain as he peeled his battered superhero frame off the shattered vehicle. Moments later, he was in top form once more, striding through a field of crumpled vehicles next to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor to do battle with the mighty foe that gets title billing in this summer’s highly anticipated Marvel outing, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” arriving May 1. “Some days, you’re like, can’t they just talk?” quipped writer-director Joss Whedon as he worked out some last-minute fight choreography with a stunt coordinator […]
April 23, 2015 | 11:58 a.m.
It takes a special sort of actor to embody a towering robotic villain with the ability to make Tony Stark lose his cool, but if anyone can fit that bill, it’s James Spader. The respected Emmy-winning actor (“The Blacklist,” “Boston Legal”) whose extensive filmography includes projects directed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh, among others, joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the iconic comic book antagonist Ultron — a character that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige suggested might have a larger role to play beyond just the new sequel. Hero Complex caught up with Spader on his last day of filming “Age of Ultron” to learn what it’s like to inhabit such an unusual character and what drew him to the role. What interested you in playing Ultron? He’s certainly not your conventional villain. When […]
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 […]