Sept. 25, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
“The Avengers” finally comes to Blu-ray and DVD, following a record-breaking summer at the box office and half a decade of hype. The Marvel mega-franchise, with cinematic roots that date back to Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” in 2008, is still expanding, with a S.H.I.E.L.D. television series on ABC and a number of movie sequels in the works, including “Iron Man 3,” “Captain America 2,” “Thor: The Dark World” and an as-yet-untitled “Avengers” sequel. The superhero blockbusters proved themselves vehicles for established stars (Robert Downey Jr.) and breakout performers (Tom Hiddleston) as the muscled men chosen to portray the comic classics on the big screen. And since the $1.5-billion success of “The Avengers,” writer-director Joss Whedon — previously best known for creating cult classic TV series “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” — has become a big-budget director and a household […]
Sept. 24, 2012 | 7:51 p.m.
How could Loki, a villain who was defeated by a single superhero in “Thor,” become a believably formidable foe for a team of six superheroes backed by S.H.I.E.L.D.? The question plagued Loki actor Tom Hiddleston, 31, when he was preparing for “The Avengers,” out on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday. “That was what I was so terrified I would fail to do,” Hiddleston said. “It’s a big old movie.” Big it certainly is. “The Avengers,” which cost $220 million to make, was a popular and critical hit, earning more than $1.5 billion worldwide and making director Joss Whedon a household name. The film unites a team of A-list muscle men, many of them already stars of their own Marvel movies, including Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″), Chris Evans (“Captain America”), Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), Black Widow actress Scarlett […]
July 13, 2012 | 6:25 p.m.
Fans of “Firefly” keep the imagined sci-fi Western universe alive, Joss Whedon told more than 4,000 people (many of whom camped in line overnight) in the jam-packed Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con International on Friday afternoon. Whedon also talked about an upcoming comic book series from Dark Horse, which will pick up some time after “Firefly” and “Serenity” left off. The emotional panel, which started and ended with tears and standing ovations, reunited most the main cast of the short-lived but much-loved series. Creator (and “The Avengers” director) Whedon; actors Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin and Sean Maher; and writers Tim Minear and Jose Molina took photos of one another and the crowd as they entered the stage, greeted by deafening applause. “Firefly,” which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, chronicles the misadventures of Capt. Malcolm Reynolds (Fillion) […]
July 06, 2012 | 5:17 p.m.
COMIC-CON: BURNING QUESTIONS As we close in on the 2012 edition of Comic-Con International, we look at some of the burning questions that will be answered in San Diego. What’s next for Joss Whedon? Writer-director Joss Whedon now has a resume that lives up to his reputation — “Avengers” is closing in on a staggering $1.5 billion at the box office — and he returns to San Diego as a triumphant figure who can pick his next shot. Whedon is in the rare position of having cult credibility and mainstream momentum and his next choice will reveal plenty about what career course he plans to set. Will it be “Avengers 2″? Or a “Hulk” film with Mark Ruffalo? (Don’t laugh; the character is considered the second most recognizable Marvel Comics character for consumers of all ages around the globe. Spider-Man […]
June 26, 2012 | 4:35 p.m.
What do you get the filmmaker behind the biggest superhero movie of all time? Perhaps an action figure with a familiar face. As Joss Whedon celebrates his 48th birthday this week (and his film “The Avengers” closes in on “Titanic” at the domestic box office), the writer-director is being immortalized as an action figure, along with Stan Lee, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and Ain’t It Cool News founder Harry Knowles. The action figure is being released as part of collectors’ edition DVDs of Spurlock’s documentary “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope,” due out July 10, just in time for the next edition of the San Diego expo. Whedon, Lee and Knowles appeared in the film, which explores the annual gathering of pop culture creators and fans in San Diego and its unique geek culture. “This big challenge was figuring out […]
May 31, 2012 | 5:21 p.m.
As of Friday, Chris Hemsworth will be on screen playing a fairy-tale character (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) and a larger-than-life demigod (Thor in “The Avengers”). Both roles are rooted in fantasy and science-fiction, but the Australia-born star said his goal as an actor was to find real-world truthfulness in the characters. Hero Complex sat down with Hemsworth, 28, to talk about his new movies, the directors he’s worked with and what’s next for him. HC: What did you learn from “The Avengers” and “Thor” that you were able to bring to “Snow White and the Huntsman”? CH: I remember years ago, an acting teacher said to me, “Vulnerability is such a great asset on screen.” And I think in life, too. Vulnerability, it’s the heart of the truth of who we are. The vulnerability of you doubting something, it’s usually […]
May 29, 2012 | 12:08 p.m.
“The Avengers” is a monster smash and one key reason is the smashing monster in the middle of all the action. It’s been an incredible month for the Marvel Studios film that is now No. 4 on the list of highest-grossing films of all time (the worldwide total is now north of $1.3 billion) and will soon pass “The Dark Knight” as the biggest comic book adaptation film in U.S. history. The big green success of “The Avengers” comes at a golden moment: This month marks the 50th anniversary of the character’s first appearance in the pages of Marvel Comics. To learn more about the Hulk’s history, flip through the photo gallery above but be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option. The Hulk in this film (as realized by actor Mark Ruffalo, writer-director Joss Whedon and the film’s visual effects team) is the one […]
May 15, 2012 | 6:08 p.m.
This story contains spoilers about “The Avengers.” “The Avengers” passed the $1-billion mark in worldwide ticket sales this weekend, and a sequel is already in the works. Does that mean writer-director Joss Whedon will be back at the helm of the franchise that unites Marvel’s box-office heavyweights, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk? “You know, I’m very torn,” Whedon said in a sit-down interview in Beverly Hills before the film’s U.S. opening. “It’s an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even though I feel like I did get to put myself into it. But at the same time, I have a bunch of ideas, and they all seem really cool.” Whether he gets his hands on the sequel, Whedon’s fingerprints are all over “The Avengers,” which echoes some tropes found in his […]
May 11, 2012 | 11:01 a.m.
It’s almost here — we’re just one week from the start of the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival and with the franchise in its third year we’ve moved to a sweet new home (Regal Cinemas at LA Live, where in September we brought you a 30th anniversary screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” with Steven Spielberg and surprise guest Harrison Ford) and expanded the program (four days now with more than a dozen guests, including three that haven’t been announced). To get a bead on the festival, peruse the photo gallery above — be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option if you don’t see text across the bottom of each image – and you’ll get a snapshot description of all of eight of our separately ticketed screenings. The box here on the right leads to the ticketing page. And how about those fun images in the gallery? […]
May 07, 2012 | 4:14 p.m.
Surrounded by a Norse god, a super soldier, a deadly spy, a brilliant scientist who can become an 8-foot-tall rage monster, and, well, Tony Stark, it might have been easy for Cobie Smulders to get lost in the muscle-clad crowd. But the 30-year-old Canadian actress who plays S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in the record-breaking blockbuster “The Avengers” made it her mission to create a space for her character among Marvel’s A-listers, which, of course, include Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. “I feel like I was able to hold my own quite well,” Smulders said, sitting down for an interview on a recent morning. “That was really important to me, because I was quite intimidated…. Not only is it a different genre for me, but it’s with some of the most talented actors […]