Sept. 01, 2011 | 12:22 p.m.
This is a big year for gearbox souls — this happens to be the 90th anniversary of playwright Karel Capek’s “R.U.R.,” which introduced the term “robot” to the public imagination when it premiered in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1921. No one appreciates the word more than Hollywood, which has given us memorable mechanical people in films as diverse as “Metropolis,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Star Wars,” “The Terminator,” “Transformers” and “WALL-E,” to name just a hard-wired few. Next up on the assembly line — the Oct. 7 release “Real Steel.” The sci-fi movie pairs leading man Hugh Jackman with “Night at the Museum” director Shawn Levy, but the real stars are the gleaming gladiators who bash each other to bits and bolts in prize fights that have become a national obsession in the film’s version of near-future America. The […]
July 21, 2011 | 1:47 p.m.
“Wolverine” star Hugh Jackman made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con on Thursday morning to promote his robot boxing movie “Real Steel,” answering questions and bestowing swag upon a cheering crowd. In the film, Jackman plays a down-and-out former boxer 10 years in the future when the sport is no longer done by humans, but rather 2,000-pound robot gladiators, two of which Jackman showed off to the crowd at the event. “The world of human boxing is being superceded by robots who box,” Jackman said. “They’re badass. They’re unbelieveable. They’re great. But the reason I love the story was the human element of it. It’s a father-son relationship.” Jackman said his character, Charlie Kenton, goes on an emotional journey and compared “Real Steel” to classic sports movies. “His son turns up on his doorstep, and the two of them go on this great […]
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 […]
March 30, 2011 | 8:30 a.m.
John Horn checks in from CinemaCon in Las Vegas … Hugh Jackman won’t be playing Wolverine as soon as he wanted, so he’s breaking into song while he looks for a new director. Darren Aronofsky, who was scheduled to direct Jackman this summer in 20th Century Fox’s “The Wolverine,” backed out of the project this month. “He would have made a great film,” Jackman said in an interview Tuesday in Las Vegas, where he was promoting “Real Steel” at the annual theater owners gathering called CinemaCon. “But it wasn’t the right time for him personally.” Jackman said the start of photography should only be delayed a matter of weeks. But the film also could need to change its production location, as it was originally set to be shot in Japan, which is still recovering from its catastrophic earthquake. “That’s in limbo […]
March 18, 2011 | 11:21 a.m.
At 24 Frames, our must-read sister blog, Steven Zeitchik wonders if the great arthouse experiment is losing steam in superhero cinema. When Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” movies became a massive critical and commercial success a few years ago, it touched off one of the more unexpected mini-trends in modern filmmaking. Suddenly quirky directors were being handed the reins to big-budget men-in-tights tentpoles, as studios looked to replicate the formula that had the director of “Memento” scoring with splashy movies about a caped crime-fighter. It was an arrangement that seemed to give everyone what they wanted. Studios gained credibility and the potential for a massive hit, while the auteurs got to play with a bigger budget and on a bigger stage without (they hoped) giving up much artistic freedom. Plus they got to make a greenlighted movie, which in this climate may […]
March 17, 2011 | 12:39 p.m.
Darren Aronofsky, the Academy Award-nominated director of last year’s “Black Swan,” falls in love with a project, gets his star to pack on the pounds and gain new muscles for the role and then leaves the movie. It happened several years back with “The Fighter” and now, it’s happened again. This morning, news came that Aronofsky has officially departed “The Wolverine,” leaving star Hugh Jackman all bulked up and with no one to direct him in battle. Twentieth Century Fox confirms Aronofsky has officially moved on from the project, which didn’t have an official start date but was expected to go before cameras in late spring, with the filmmaker stating that he didn’t want to be away from his family for a long period of time. In a statement, Aronofsky said, “As I talked more about the film with my […]
March 14, 2011 | 4:00 p.m.
It’s such a fun time to be a movie fan if you happen to enjoy ARGs, puzzles, stunts and elaborate marketing campaigns that lead toward a film’s opening weekend like tasty bread crumbs in the forest-floor of digital pop culture. Here’s one now reaching crouton level: Since February there has been a “coming soon” site on WRB.com with a shiny metal logo for a league sport called World Robot Boxing floating between two steel cables. If you Googled the term you’d quickly find articles and references to the upcoming Shawn Levy film “Real Steel,” which Hero Complex readers already know has the look of a film that might surprise people. This past weekend at the big gamer gathering called PAX East, attendees found some die-cut, paper gizmos that look like the remote controllers used in the trailer for the film. On the flip side of those […]
Feb. 01, 2011 | 6:38 a.m.
Hugh Jackman got on the phone Monday to talk to our Geoff Boucher about his upcoming projects. Here’s what he had to say about his return to the metal-clawed mutant persona that has been the signature role of his Hollywood career. Geoff Boucher: I remember coming by your office back in the summer of 2009, and you were already talking about your hopes of making a movie out of Marvel’s 1982 ”Wolverine” miniseries, the classic by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. And now you’re doing just that — and with director Darren Aronofsky, of all people. You must be thrilled. Hugh Jackman: I’m really, really pumped about it. I feel like all the planets are finally aligned to make a great movie. We finally have the character and with this mythology — ever since [the 2000 Bryan Singer film] “X-Men,” when I was kind of hanging around […]
Jan. 28, 2011 | 11:56 a.m.
On paper, the film “Real Steel” is about a near-future America in which robot gladiators bash in each other’s mechanical skulls for cheering crowds — it’s a mash-up of NASCAR gearhead passion and Ultimate Fighting Championship blood lust with a dash of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robots. That premise, though, makes the opening scene in the film all the more startling. Instead of clanging thunder and CG metal mayhem, the story begins on a lonely Heartland highway with the twang of a forlorn guitar. The star of the film, Hugh Jackman, is the picture of world-weary loneliness as he drives a truck to a rural fair amid the wheat fields. He parks and stares through the windshield in silence and the camera lingers, and lingers, and lingers. It’s an unhurried portrait of regret in twilight hues, something you might expect to see in a film like “Crazy Heart” or “Lone Star.” […]
Nov. 25, 2010 | 7:00 a.m.
With Gore Verbinski saddling up to direct “The Lone Ranger” for Disney, and his “Pirates of the Caribbean” star Johnny Depp already attached as Tonto, the question is, who will play the Masked Man? Hero Complex has some suggestions for Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Vote and let us know whom you’d like to see yelling, “Hi-ho, Silver!“: Hugh Jackman: As Wolverine, Jackman channeled old-school laconic tough guys, and as a cattle driver in “Australia,” he honed his horseman skills. Plus, the world may be finally ready for another singing cowboy. Jon Hamm: Born with a jaw line for period movies, Hamm is due for a franchise role. But can we really trust Don Draper to lasso the bad guys? George Clooney: At nearly 50, Clooney may be too senior for the part, but “The Lone Ranger” is the ultimate […]