April 30, 2015 | 9:55 a.m.
With “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” hitting U.S. theaters tonight, this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday revisits “Iron Man,” the film that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Released seven years ago this weekend, on May 2, 2008, “Iron Man” followed the success of Sony’s “Spider-Man” and Fox’s “X-Men.” “Iron Man” opened to positive reviews, and ticket sales skyrocketed. The film earned $102 million during opening weekend and eventually grossed $585 million at the international box office. Comic book fans and critics praised Robert Downey Jr.’s cocky performance as billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, validating what had been seen as a questionable casting decision. “There were people in our company who directly said, ‘No. You can’t [cast Downey]. Next,” Marvel Studios President and producer Kevin Feige told The Times shortly before the film’s release. But Feige and director Jon Favreau […]
April 06, 2015 | 12:34 p.m.
Think you’re the ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe fan? L.A.-area viewers can prove their mettle by binge watching all 11 MCU films — including an early screening of the upcoming “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” — as part of the Ultimate Marvel Movie Marathon at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on April 20. For $70 a pop, fans will be treated to “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and, if they’re still awake (or alive) some 29 hours later, “Age of Ultron.” In addition to the films, the marathon will include a costume contest, raffles and giveaways, and “special guests” (keep your fingers crossed for Stellan Skarsgård). Viewers who survive all 11 films will receive an exclusive poster […]
Jan. 12, 2015 | 6:47 p.m.
A new trailer for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is out, teasing a grim battle in which Marvel’s mightiest superheroes have to protect a world that, apparently, might not want them. “We have no place in the world,” Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) says in the trailer, which debuted during the broadcast of the College Football Playoff championship game Monday night. “Age of Ultron” reunites the Marvel superheroes, including Widow, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) in a battle against Ultron (James Spader). “Everyone creates the thing they dread,” intones the villainous automaton, one of Tony Stark’s inventions gone awry. But if the new trailer is any indication, the Avengers’ biggest faceoffs might be against each other. The new trailer reveals more than a little conflict between Marvel’s […]
Oct. 29, 2014 | 7:56 a.m.
A new video clip from the upcoming superhero blockbuster “Avengers: Age of Ultron” features Marvel’s mightiest in a fun-spirited faceoff involving an otherworldly weapon. The clip, which debuted during Tuesday’s episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” shows the Avengers gathered at what appears to be Stark Tower, enjoying drinks and takeout. When Thor (Chris Hemsworth) places his hammer, Mjolnir, on the coffee table, a challenge of sorts is issued. “Whosoever, be he worthy, shall have the power — yeah, whatever man, it’s a trick,” Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye says, mocking the inscription on the Asgardian hammer. “No, it is much more than that, my friend,” Thor laughs. “If I lift it, do I get to rule Asgard?” Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) challenges. “I will be fair but firmly cruel.” What follows is a comedic montage of superheroes attempting to lift the […]
Oct. 13, 2014 | 7:01 p.m.
Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to reprise his role as Tony Stark for Marvel’s 2016 release, “Captain America 3.” Marvel officially declined to comment, but sources confirmed that Downey would return to the role that catapulted him to superhero celebrity provided that discussions between the actor and the comic book movie powerhouse continued to progress. The news was first reported by Variety Monday night. Downey has made numerous headlines recently while promoting his new drama “The Judge,” dropping various hints about his ongoing relationship with Marvel, mentioning a possible “Iron Man 4,” among other projects. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” directors (and brothers) Joe and Anthony Russo will return to direct the third standalone film to star Chris Evans as patriotic hero Steve Rogers from a script penned by “Winter Soldier” scribes Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Downey and […]
June 20, 2013 | 11:24 a.m.
Robert Downey Jr. has signed a deal to reprise his role as billionaire genius/playboy/inventor Tony Stark in two “Avengers” films. Marvel.com posted news this morning that the actor has signed a two-picture agreement to climb back into the Iron Man armor for “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3.” The first “Avengers” sequel will be written and directed by Joss Whedon and is set to begin production in England’s venerable Pinewood-Shepperton facility in March. The film is set for release May 1, 2015. “We fit each other pretty snug, and I feel like when I’m him I know what to do,” Downey told Hero Complex earlier this year of his relationship to Tony Stark. “At the same time, I don’t know why I know what to do. I just know that I do. There’s still just a sense of wonder […]
June 06, 2013 | 6:15 p.m.
Steve Rogers won’t be back on the big screen until next year, when Marvel releases “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but a tiny, blocky Cap is set to feature prominently in one of the year’s most anticipated video games. The patriotic hero will be among the 100 playable characters featured in “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” — an impressive all-star ensemble that includes Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Silver Surfer, with the mercenary Deadpool dropping in and out to offer commentary on the action. In the game, due on all major platforms in October, the Marvel team is called upon to save the world from new threats from Loki and the hunger of Galactus, and to find the powerful pieces of a shattered Silver Surfer surfboard. Cosmic cubes, Asgard and the Daily Bugle all make appearances, as does a […]
May 10, 2013 | 5:56 p.m.
So it turns out that rescuing a bunch of people sucked out of a hole in Air Force One at 30,000 feet is actually harder than Robert Downey Jr. makes it look in “Iron Man 3.” Who knew? The audacious action sequence that occurs midway through director Shane Black’s superhero sequel, known by those on the film crew as the “barrel of monkeys” scene, required a mix of real-world guts and digital ingenuity to pull off. The guts were supplied by the Red Bull skydiving team, who stand in for the crew of the president’s plane in the scene — the effects that placed them believably within the story came from Digital Domain, the VFX shop that created about 250 of the shots in the movie, including 35 different Iron Man suits, a wholly digital Air Force One and a […]
May 07, 2013 | 1:26 p.m.
Looks like “Iron Man 3” director Shane Black is sticking with the world of superheroes for now. Sony announced today that Black will co-write and direct “Doc Savage,” a new film based on the popular pulp hero from the 1930s and ’40s. First introduced in 1933, Clark Savage Jr. was a physician, scientist, inventor and adventurer who had great strength, a photographic memory and was skilled in martial arts. The character has appeared in comics and on radio and other media — he’s had a movie as well, 1975’s “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze,” starring Ron Ely. Black, who co-wrote the “Doc Savage” screenplay with Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry, told Hero Complex last month that he would be interested in following “Iron Man 3” with “an adventure picture,” and “Doc Savage” certainly fits the bill. PHOTOS: Shane Black: […]
May 06, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
“Iron Man 3” pits genius billionaire Tony Stark, played with panache by Robert Downey Jr., against a terrorist plot that threatens to bring the most powerful people in the world to their knees. But that threat is not quite what it seems. Reader beware: Spoilers lie ahead. Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin may be the face on the posters and the focus of the movie trailers, but lurking in the background is Aldrich Killian, another visionary genius like Stark, but one whose circumstances led him down darker paths. Killian, played by Emmy-winning actor Guy Pearce, is the founder of the private brain trust AIM, which helped develop the Extremis virus. Extremis imparts superhuman strength and regenerative powers to its subjects, and Killian takes full advantage of the effects. In many ways, Killian is a foil for Stark, using his mind (and the […]