Jan. 09, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.
South African actor Sharlto Copley has starred in each of Neill Blomkamp’s features, first as a xenophobic bureaucrat in the director’s debut, the sci-fi parable “District 9,” nominated for an Academy Award for best picture, then as a vicious mercenary in another dystopian tale, 2013’s “Elysium.” For Blomkamp’s latest, the futuristic fable “Chappie,” due March 6, he again takes a lead role, but this time the actor’s face won’t appear in the final film. Copley’s movements, however, give physical life to the title character, a childlike robot bestowed with an unusual kind of artificial intelligence who must find his way in a hostile world. FULL COVERAGE: Winter Sneaks 2015 “The [primary] reason it feels real is Sharlto was there,” Blomkamp said last month. “The actor was physically interacting with other actors. There’s no tennis ball situation where they’re acting off […]
Jan. 06, 2015 | 4:54 p.m.
Hayley Atwell reprises her “Captain America” role as coolly capable spy Peggy Carter in Marvel’s new short-order series, “Agent Carter,” which premieres Tuesday night on ABC. While the adventure takes place in 1946, it deals with some decidedly contemporary themes, according to the English actress. “In terms of her actual personal journey, it’s something that’s very modern,” Atwell said late last year on “Agent Carter’s” Los Angeles set. “In many ways, she could be considered a woman before her time. There happens to be no one else in the series yet that is like her, that has caught up to her abilities that’s a woman. She’s having to pave the way.” Set one year after the events depicted in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the series opens with Peggy still grieving for Steve Rogers, who is purported to have died […]
Jan. 02, 2015 | 9:00 a.m.
Gracefully poised on a grand staircase inside historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, seamed stockings just so, Hayley Atwell radiated old Hollywood glamour as she waited for the cameras to roll. The star of ABC’s new limited series “Agent Carter” rested one hand on a carved wooden balustrade as makeup artists retouched her red lips, then at the director’s cue launched into a Tracy-Hepburn-style routine with actor James D’Arcy, the duo dissecting the details of a recent break-in at the home of billionaire inventor Howard Stark. Set in 1946, “Agent Carter” arrives as the latest small-screen venture from comic book entertainment powerhouse Marvel and sees Atwell reprise her role as supremely capable spy Peggy Carter from both “Captain America” films. FULL COVERAGE: Winter TV preview The eight-episode series, which premieres Tuesday, features a number of key characters from Marvel lore, […]
Dec. 31, 2014 | 8:32 a.m.
The new year is shaping up to be a momentous one for genre entertainment. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” will reunite Marvel’s mightiest superheroes in the tentpole sequel; “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — the first film in a new trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away — will once again see Jedi and Sith battling on the big screen; “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a reimagining of the action-packed post-apocalyptic film that launched Mel Gibson’s career, will see Tom Hardy take the wheel; and dinosaurs will once again roam the silver screen in “Jurassic World.” Those are just a few of the sci-fi and superhero silver screen offerings for 2015. Hero Complex looks at 15 of the most exciting releases slated for 2015 in the gallery above and the list below. ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ Feb. 6, 2015 The latest venture from […]
Dec. 26, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Chris Taylor headed to San Francisco’s AMC Metreon 15 on Black Friday for a 10 a.m. screening of “Fury,” but it wasn’t just the Brad Pitt tank drama that he’d come to see. Taylor was among the throngs of fans who made their way to 30 theaters across the country that day to be among the first to watch the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which will return the legendary space opera to the big screen in 2015. “There’s one guy in the theater in the back row already watching the trailer over and over again on his iPhone,” recalled Taylor, the author of the new book “How Star Wars Conquered the Universe.” Also, he said, “there were stormtroopers in the audience.” Nor was the excitement confined to cinemas; online, the clip was reportedly viewed more than 20 […]
Dec. 22, 2014 | 12:51 p.m.
English actor Richard Armitage shares some interesting traits with his “Hobbit” alter ego, valiant dwarf Thorin Oakenshield. “I had to be pretty honest with myself because you do get asked that question a lot, ‘Where are you like the character?'” Armitage said earlier this month. “I’m very stubborn and pigheaded like Thorin… I’m a little bit taller than him. And I can grow a beard at an astonishingly weird rate.” Armitage’s confession was one of the highlights of the special Imax preview screening of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which took place Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & Imax. Armitage was joined on stage for a Q&A following the movie by his “Five Armies” costar Lee Pace, who plays the Elven King Thrandruil. Check out video from the conversation below. The final installment […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 1:47 p.m.
Of all the visually striking sequences in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” one of the most arresting comes well into the film, the final installment in Peter Jackson’s latest fantasy trilogy, where dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield is wrestling with the greed and arrogance that threaten to rob him of his honor. At a special Hero Complex fan screening of “Five Armies” on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, Thorin actor Richard Armitage explained how that scene came together — it was born out of collaboration between Armitage and Jackson. “There were so many moments of experimentation throughout the course of filming, but this was toward the end of the shoot,” said Armitage, seated beside his “Hobbit” costar Lee Pace. “It was just a simple stage direction which said, ‘Thorin sees his reflection […]
Dec. 18, 2014 | 11:23 a.m.
Even for the stars of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” the film’s impressive visual scale can come as something of a surprise. At a special Hero Complex fan screening of the film on Dec. 11 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, actors Lee Pace, who plays the Elven king Thranduil, and Richard Armitage, who stars as the dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, explained what it’s like to watch director Peter Jackson’s vision unspool on screen after having spent so much time on the New Zealand set. “You see a lot of stuff that you never knew was there when you were shooting it,” Pace said. “I remember talking to Pete about the army, ‘It’s going to be a big army, right?’ ‘Oh yeah, it’s going to be big.’… Then I watch the movie back and […]
Dec. 17, 2014 | 4:00 a.m.
Richard Armitage came to the New Zealand set of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” primed for combat. The concluding installment of Jackson’s three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel features clashing tribes of warriors racing into conflict over an unimaginably vast treasure inside the mountain kingdom of Erebor. Armitage, the English actor who plays hirsute dwarf king Thorin Oakenshield, has been preparing for battle since his acting school days with some very talented classmates. “One of the reasons I went to drama school was because I really wanted to learn stage fighting,” a clean-shaven Armitage explained recently. “Weirdly enough, David Oyelowo was my fight partner at drama school — Benedict was maybe two years behind me…. We won so many competitions together. I’ve still got the trophy on my mantel. It’s a little helmet on a […]
Nov. 26, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
Jennifer Kent was a successful actress in her native Australia when she wrote a letter to art house provocateur Lars von Trier, whom she had long admired but never met. She was seeking career advice — Kent hoped to transition behind the camera — so she reached out to one of the world’s most singular directors. Not long after, she found herself shoveling snow and handling other odd jobs on the set of Von Trier’s divisive 2003 drama “Dogville.” But she also had the rare opportunity to shadow the Danish filmmaker and study his take-no-prisoners approach. “I didn’t need to learn about the technical process of filmmaking,” Kent said earlier this month, during a visit to L.A. “I needed to develop courage in my own voice.” Her unconventional course of study appears to have paid off. With her new horror […]