April 24, 2013 | 4:55 p.m.
“Iron Man 3″ will open in the U.S. and in China on May 3 — a rare feat of so-called day-and-date timing. But for all of the pre-production publicity about how Disney’s Marvel Entertainment and China’s DMG Entertainment joined forces to make the superhero sequel an international collaboration, the few extra sequences shot for the Chinese version of the movie won’t be part of its American release. In an interview Monday, Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and the producer of “Iron Man 3,” described the scenes as “a very minor extra story line” that involves a character named Dr. Wu (Wang Xueqi). Actress Fan Bingbing has a role as well, as a woman close to the doctor. “Iron Man 3″ co-writer and director Shane Black did not direct the scenes that filmed in China, and star Robert Downey Jr. […]
April 05, 2013 | 11:50 a.m.
Movie directors often tell their actors to act small — you’re not in a theater, and the last row in the balcony doesn’t need to hear you. British director Danny Boyle doesn’t follow that script. Only with slightly larger-than-life performances as a foundation, he says, can you start adding strange stuff on top. “Actors will often do nothing,” Boyle said last Saturday at an early screening of his art heist thriller “Trance,” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim. “It’s safer to do very, very little. You know that kind of muttering acting.” Boyle said he encourages his cast to ramp it up a bit, because that allows the filmmaker to add bizarre elements to what otherwise would be a realistic story. “You can get the surreal in — because the bed that you’re on is not absolutely bedded […]
April 04, 2013 | 11:48 a.m.
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.
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.
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 11, 2013 | 6:15 p.m.
Ridley Scott, the director of “Blade Runner” and “Alien,” has signed a deal with the gaming and streaming media website Machinima to produce a dozen short sci-fi films that will use filmmakers from Scott’s commercial production company. The most successful of the short films could be developed into features, Machinima and Scott announced Monday. Scott will serve as executive producer, and the 12 shorts will be made by directors working for Scott’s advertising concern, Ridley Scott Associates. Machinima, which says it reaches 262 million viewers monthly, recently started work on a feature-length version of its “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” series. Scott’s advertising roster includes such heavyweight filmmakers as Kathryn Bigelow, Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes and Neill Blomkamp. Scott most recently returned to science fiction himself with last year’s “Prometheus,” which took place in the same universe as his landmark “Alien” and […]
Jan. 03, 2013 | 8:30 a.m.
It might not be as well known to some moviegoers as “Friday the 13th,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” or “Saw,” but “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” ranks high among the most revered titles in the horror genre. The 1974 serial killer story by Tobe Hooper sent five friends into the clutches of the Sawyer family, a clan of rural cannibals. Although the film’s central villain, the power tool-wielding Leatherface, lived on in sequels and a 2003 remake starring Jessica Biel, the series has lain dormant since 2006’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” which was a flop critically and commercially. Now, director John Luessenhop (“Takers,” “Lockdown”) and a team of producers are resurrecting Leatherface with “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” The movie opens Friday and is expected to do strong business of as much as $18 million in its debut weekend. “From the […]
Dec. 17, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
It’s technically a small part in a big movie, but that’s just because Bilbo Baggins isn’t that large. For Martin Freeman, who plays the diminutive title role in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy, the actor has never stood taller. Best known for his current role as Dr. John Watson in the BBC’s modern-day “Sherlock” and past work on Britain’s “The Office,” the 41-year-old actor will be a presence in American multiplexes for a long time to come. In addition to starring in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” which opened to a strong $84.8 million in its first weekend, Freeman returns in next December’s “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” and 2014’s “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” Because the story unfolds several decades before “The Lord of the Rings” takes place, the production was unable to recast the 81-year-old Ian […]
Dec. 11, 2012 | 2:10 p.m.
“‘I’ve always tried to make movies that pull the audience out of their seats. … I want audiences to be transported.” That was Peter Jackson speaking earlier this year about what he was hoping to achieve with his return to Middle-earth. With the first installment in that epic saga, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” set to open Friday, we thought it might be fun to offer you the chance to watch the entirety of Peter Jackson’s conversation with Hero Complex contributor John Horn, which was recorded at Comic-Con International in July, just before the announcement that the two-film adaptation of “The Hobbit” would become a trilogy. PHOTOS: 60 images from ‘The Hobbit’ In the interview, the filmmaker revealed how he selected the footage that was unveiled at the pop culture expo, describing the scenes as “more character-based” while still speaking […]
Nov. 29, 2012 | 12:30 p.m.
There’s no question one of the most eagerly anticipated moments in Peter Jackson’s new “Hobbit” trilogy will be the first appearance of the great dragon Smaug. In an interview earlier this year, Peter Jackson said the creature, played by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, will have a “little cameo” in the first installment, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” and he described the challenges inherent in presenting one of literature’s most famous dragons on-screen. “The trouble with redesigning dragons I’ve found is… you very quickly can go into science fiction territory, and I don’t want to do that,” the filmmaker said. “I want to present the most venal, scary, decrepit, nasty dragon I possibly can.” Jackson spoke with Hero Complex contributor John Horn at Comic-Con International in July, just before announcing that the two-film adaptation of “The Hobbit” would become a trilogy. Watch […]