June 13, 2014 | 11:49 a.m.
While writing his 1984 breakout film “Terminator,” James Cameron lived on McDonald’s, diner coffee and the money he made painting one-sheets for bad direct-to-video movies. The director, who would go on to helm the highest-grossing movie of all time, “Avatar,” expressed a surprising fondness for that early, “zero billion dollar” stage of his career while speaking at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival recently. “It was actually easy to write cause I didn’t have to self-isolate like I do now, from multi-tasking with other businesses, and with a family with five kids,” Cameron said, when he took the stage late last month at the event, which was held at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood May 30-June 1. “I was already isolated… basically just a sad, dark, isolated human being.” In an in-depth conversation between screenings of “The Terminator” and its […]
June 12, 2014 | 6:04 p.m.
While Sigourney Weaver always will be Ripley to some “Alien” fans, the actress said that the development of the character was really a team effort with director Ridley Scott. During a recent appearance at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, Weaver said that, as a young actress, she knew she could trust Scott to help her mold Ellen Ripley in the right way and create a hero not traditionally seen in the science-fiction world. “Ridley was so instrumental in making her as powerful as she was,” she said. “Ridley just has such an eye for what’s real and what’s true and what’s right and I really felt like I could always depend on him completely.” Weaver’s appearance capped off the Hero Complex Film Festival, which took place May 30-June 1 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The […]
June 12, 2014 | 12:46 p.m.
It’s hard to imagine James Cameron’s 1984 film “The Terminator” starring anyone other than Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role. But there was a moment when that iconic piece of casting was in doubt. Speaking at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival recently, Cameron took the stage for an extended Q&A between screenings of “The Terminator” and its sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” to discuss the making of the movie that launched his and Schwarzenegger’s careers. During the conversation, Cameron recalled how Schwarzenegger nearly didn’t get to deliver his famous line, “I’ll be back.” Instead of the Terminator, the movie’s terrifying, nearly mute cyborg sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor, Schwarzenegger was originally up for the role of Kyle Reese, the movie’s hero, who was ultimately played by Michael Biehn. At the behest of his financiers, who were high on casting […]
June 10, 2014 | 3:17 p.m.
Could Sigourney Weaver be preparing to revisit one of her most iconic characters? The answer appears to be yes. News broke this week that the actress would return to the world of Pandora for James Cameron’s upcoming sequels to “Avatar,” but speaking at the Hero Complex Film Festival earlier this month, Weaver also pointed out her willingness to play Ellen Ripley, the heroine at the heart of the “Alien” franchise, one final time. “I do feel that there’s more story to tell,” Weaver said. Weaver’s appearance capped off the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The actress took the stage for an in-depth Q&A between screenings of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 science fiction film “Alien” and Cameron’s 1986 sequel “Aliens.” (Cameron was a guest of honor at the festival on Saturday, on […]
June 03, 2014 | 1:10 p.m.
It takes a village to write three movies at once — or at least that’s how James Cameron is approaching the three “Avatar” sequels. Speaking at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival over the weekend, the “Avatar” director described his strategy for completing the three scripts — which are scheduled to be shot simultaneously beginning later this year — with a technique borrowed from television writers’ rooms. Taking place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters, the Hero Complex Film Festival featured screenings of Cameron’s seminal 1984 science fiction film “The Terminator” and sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” The director took the stage in between the films for an extended Q&A in which he discussed his progress on scripts for the next big film franchise on his plate, the Pandora-set fantasy “Avatar.” “The first thing I did was I sat for a year and […]
June 02, 2014 | 6:08 a.m.
Sigourney Weaver was midway through praising her character of Ellen Ripley, her iconic role from the “Alien” franchise, whom she called “an existential hero” with a firm “moral compass,” when she alluded to a very popular discussion among fans. “Had we done a fifth one, I don’t doubt that her humanity would have prevailed. … “I do feel like there is more story to tell.” Weaver’s appearance capped off the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The actress took the stage for an in-depth Q&A between screenings of Ridley Scott’s landmark 1979 science fiction film “Alien” and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel “Aliens.” (Cameron was a guest of honor at the festival on Saturday, on hand for a Q&A of his own between screenings of “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.”) Weaver […]
June 01, 2014 | 7:34 a.m.
Revolutionary filmmaker James Cameron is one of the most venerated directors working in Hollywood today. But three decades ago, his life was very different. He was earning a living painting one sheets for B-grade movies and using McDonald’s coupons his mother sent to him to eat regular meals. It was during that time that he wrote the script for the film that would transform his career. “I was a sad, dark, isolated human being,” Cameron recalled during an interview onstage at the 5th annual Hero Complex Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood on Saturday, following a screening of 1984’s “The Terminator.” “There was an innocence to it in a funny way. I was the anonymous, angry wannabe filmmaker, and I think there’s some courage to say whatever comes into your head…. I was a free voice in […]
April 29, 2014 | 9:30 a.m.
Revolutionary filmmaker James Cameron, groundbreaking actress Sigourney Weaver and venerable writer-director Joe Dante will be among the special guests at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival, set to take place May 30-June 1 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Festival programming also will include a special tribute to the recent TV series “Battlestar Galactica,” with actors Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and Jamie Bamber and creator Ronald D. Moore; a preview of the animated sequel “How to Train Your Dragon 2″; and a special “quote-along” Sunday matinee showing of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Celebrated Australian comics artist Nicola Scott (“Birds of Prey,” “Secret Six”), who currently illustrates DC Comics’ “Earth 2,” created the out-of-this-world image for this year’s festival poster, pictured at right. The festival will open May 30 with a free screening of the 2003 […]
Sept. 04, 2013 | 6:11 p.m.
The first full-length trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s space thriller “Gravity” is out today, revealing more back story for Sandra Bullock’s astronaut heroine. In “Gravity,” Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) — the only characters whose faces appear in the film — are in their spacesuits, working on the Hubble telescope when debris from a destroyed Russian satellite collides with their space shuttle and sends Bullock’s character spinning away into the darkness. The new trailer (watch it below) begins in silence as text appears onscreen. “At 372 miles above the Earth there is nothing to carry sound,” it reads. “No air pressure. No oxygen. Life in space is impossible.” What follows is much of the same footage already shown in previous teasers — Stone stranded and desperate, Kowalsky barking instructions, and a damaged shuttle hurtling out of orbit. “You’re […]
Aug. 01, 2013 | 12:22 p.m.
James Cameron has expanded his plans for his return trip to the world of “Avatar” — he’s now planning three sequels to the massive box office hit, and he’s bringing four new screenwriters along on the journey. Fox announced Thursday that Cameron has hired Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”), Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (“Rise of the Planets of the Apes”), and Shane Salerno (Savages, Salinger) to collaborate with him on the screenplays for the three films, all of which will be shot simultaneously, with production beginning next year. “Avatar 2″ is scheduled to be released in December 2016, with subsequent films following in December 2017 and December 2018. The Fox statement indicated that Cameron and Jon Landau will produce through their Lightstorm Entertainment banner. Lightstorm will again work with Joe Letteri and his team at WETA Digital to […]