James McAvoy

Dec. 05, 2013 | 2:12 p.m.

‘X-Men Apocalypse’: Bryan Singer announces 2016 mutant sequel

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer appears to have announced, via Twitter, that another installment in the mutant franchise, “X-Men Apocalypse,” is due for release in 2016. The filmmaker on Thursday afternoon sent the following tweet: #Xmen #Apocalypse 2016!— Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) December 05, 2013 Few additional details are known — though Fox did confirm later in the afternoon that the movie will be released May 27, 2016 — the tweet implies that the film might involve the popular titular villain of the 1990s story line “Age of Apocalypse.” Singer is already immersed in the world of the Marvel comics mutants, working to finalize his 2014 release, “Days of Future Past,” which arrives in theaters May 23. The upcoming film picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the superheroes’ origins as young people […]
July 20, 2013 | 7:08 p.m.

Comic-Con: Entire ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ cast greets Hall H

Actors Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen promote "X-Men: Days of Future Past" during Comic-Con International. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Hugh Jackman wasn’t the only “X-Men” star to travel to San Diego to appear at Comic-Con International this weekend — the entire cast of Bryan Singer’s upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past” assembled on the Hall H stage during the Fox panel Saturday afternoon. Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Peter Dinklage, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Evan Peters, Shawn Ashmore and Omar Sy joined Jackman and elder statesmen Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, along with director Singer, writer/producer Simon Kinberg and producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Hutch Parker, to thunderous applause. Sy joins the cast as Bishop, and Peters will play Quicksilver. A short segment of moody, evocative footage from the film, which is still in production in Vancouver, was screened for the audience, and the returning actors genially chatted about reprising their roles for the […]
April 04, 2013 | 11:48 a.m.

‘Trance’: Danny Boyle embraces dark side with heist thriller

Anybody familiar with Danny Boyle’s movies (“Trainspotting,” “Shallow Grave,” “28 Days Later,” “Slumdog Millionaire”) knows he is fond of disturbing images, and he doesn’t alter the course with his new art heist thriller “Trance.” The British filmmaker, speaking  Saturday at an early screening of “Trance” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim, said he was drawn to “Trance’s” darker side largely as an antidote to his directing the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Boyle shot “Trance” while he simultaneously  preparing the games, then finished work on the film after staging the ceremonies. “It was wonderful to do something so different to that big celebratory, endlessly positive, family-friendly” event, Boyle said of shifting from the games to “Trance.” “To go to the dark side on the other days was really, really wonderful.” The film stars James McAvoy as […]
April 03, 2013 | 12:21 p.m.

‘Trance’: Danny Boyle talks time-shifting art heist thriller

Danny Boyle’s art heist thriller “Trance” is as much about the theft of a precious painting as it is a study of memory. When a robber named Simon (James McAvoy) suffers a brain injury, he can’t remember where he hid the stolen masterpiece, so a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) helps him rewind his mind to an earlier time. Consequently, “Trance,” which opens Friday, rapidly shifts between the present and the past — sometimes so quickly the audience has to sort out whether it’s watching a memory or a current event. “Einstein said that the only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once,”  Boyle said Saturday at an early screening of “Trance” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim. “I think cinema is a complete contradiction of that — because the wonder of cinema is that everything […]
April 02, 2013 | 4:30 p.m.

Danny Boyle finds his inner feminist with heist film ‘Trance’

Danny Boyle, the director of the movie "Trance" photographed a the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 15, 2013. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)
Director Danny Boyle has directed some strong women in a number of memorable roles: Think of Freida Pinto in “Slumdog Millionaire,” Naomie Harris in “28 Days Later,” Kerry Fox in “Shallow Grave” and Virginie Ledoyen in “The Beach.” But the British filmmaker had never cast a woman as the dramatic axis of any of his productions until Friday’s “Trance,” which stars Rosario Dawson as a hypnotherapist trying to help an amnesiac art thief (James McAvoy) recall where he stashed a stolen  masterpiece. Boyle first encountered the “Trance” screenplay nearly 20 years ago, when writer Joe Ahearne sent it to the filmmaker. Ahearne wanted to direct the movie himself, and eventually did as a television movie in 2001, but the script’s central premise — and the chance to have a female protagonist— stuck in Boyle’s mind. “The idea of a woman […]
March 18, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

‘Trance’: See Danny Boyle’s new thriller early, free in Anaheim

Rosario Dawson in "Trance." (Susie Allnutt/Fox Searchlight)
“Trance,” the latest film from Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), doesn’t open in theaters until April 5, but Hero Complex readers will be able to see the art world-set thriller early — and free — at a special screening March 30. Boyle will be on hand for a Q&A moderated by Hero Complex contributor John Horn following the film. The first feature from Boyle since the 2010 drama “127 Hours,” “Trance” stars James McAvoy as Simon, a fine art auctioneer who becomes mixed up with a criminal (Vincent Cassel) and seeks the help of a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson). There was a sneak preview of the film earlier this month at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest Film Festival, where Boyle and his longtime musical collaborator Rick Smith from the English techno duo Underworld partnered on a DJ set at a […]
June 04, 2011 | 7:26 a.m.

‘X-Men: First Class’: Meet the mutants in our photo gallery

"X-Men: First Class" (Fox)
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 […]
June 02, 2011 | 3:56 p.m.

‘X-Men: First Class’: James McAvoy is ready to get bald for a sequel

James McAvoy as Charles Xavier in "X-Men: First Class." (20th Century Fox)
“X-Men: First Class” star James McAvoy was back at his home in London on Wednesday and waiting for the film’s opening weekend with the mix of anxiety and excitement you might expect. The film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, has been enjoying some stellar early reviews, and the actor who now plays Charles Xavier can’t help wondering if that means he will be losing his hair and his on-screen sense of humor in the months and years to come. The Fox film that opens Friday is a prequel to previous “X-Men” films — this one is set in the 1940s and 1960s — and Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer  have talked about two more films that would follow this new story and add chapters that would fall, chronologically, in the decades leading up to the earlier movies. In those, Patrick Stewart portrayed Xavier as a serious man with big thoughts […]
June 01, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.

‘X-Men’ star Kevin Bacon has a solution to fame — a $500 disguise

Kevin Bacon at the premiere of "X-Men: First Class." (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
A couple of years ago, Kevin Bacon needed a few degrees of separation from his fame. He daydreamed of a crowded place where people didn’t tug at his sleeve to gush about “Footloose” or quote “Diner.” Finally, he went to a Hollywood makeup specialist and invested in a custom-made disguise that was weirdly simple but completely effective. He paid the $500 and then, with an anxious glee, he took his new rubber face to the Grove shopping center to experience an afternoon without autographs. “You wouldn’t have recognized me if I was standing next to you,” Bacon said with a faraway expression. “It was really bizarre and I didn’t really like it. I didn’t like it at all. People cut in front of you and when you’re at a check-out counter it’s just … different. People weren’t all that nice […]
April 26, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.

‘X-Men: First Class’ star: MLK and Malcolm X influenced our story [updated]

James McAvoy, left, plays Charles Xavier, and Michael Fassbender is Erik Lehnsherr, the future Magneto. (Marvel Studios)
Here’s an early look at my “X-Men: First Class” preview in the Summer Sneaks issue in the upcoming Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar issue. How’s this for unexpected territory in a superhero film: “X-Men: First Class” not only uses the Kennedy years, the Civil Rights movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis as a backdrop for its retro tale, the movie’s story of two massively powerful mutants who struggle against bitter prejudice was directly informed by the complicated lives of Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “It came up early on in the rehearsal period and that was the path we took,” says Michael Fassbender, who stars as the emotionally scarred Erik Lehnsherr, who will become the militant mutant known as Magneto. “These two brilliant minds coming together and their views aren’t that different on some key things. As you […]
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