Joss Whedon

Aug. 29, 2013 | 9:15 a.m.

James Spader cast as villain Ultron in Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

James Spader, right, has been cast as the titular villain in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron." (Dan Steinberg / Associated Press)
James Spader will play the titular villain Ultron in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Joss Whedon’s upcoming sequel to 2012’s “The Avengers,” Marvel announced Thursday. The film is set for release May 1, 2015. Spader joins the “Avengers” franchise as a respected, Emmy-winning actor (“The Practice, “Boston Legal”) with an extensive filmography that includes projects directed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh, among others. He’s returning to television next month as the star of a new NBC series “The Blacklist,” playing an international criminal. Whedon is to film his highly anticipated sequel to “The Avengers” at Britain’s venerable Pinewood-Shepperton facility, the same soundstages that played host to Marvel’s upcoming “Thor: The Dark World,” set for release later this year. PHOTOS: Marvel’s Comic-Con announcements It’s unclear how closely the film will tie to the recently finished “Age […]
July 21, 2013 | 9:39 p.m.

Comic-Con: Tom Hiddleston talks ‘top-secret’ Loki Marvel panel stunt

Actor Tom Hiddleston speaks onstage as his character Loki during Comic-Con International 2013 in San Diego. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
English actor Tom Hiddleston blew the Hall H audience away Saturday at San Diego’s Comic-Con International when he took the stage at the Marvel panel as his character Loki, who not only has a prominent part to play in the upcoming “Thor: The Dark World” but also earned his title as the god of mischief in Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor” and Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers.” On Sunday, just before a signing event with his “Thor: The Dark World” director Alan Taylor, Hiddleston, clad in a crisp white dress shirt and without his wig, sat down with Hero Complex to reveal just how he managed to pull off one of the most exciting surprise appearances at Comic-Con 2013. HC: How much fun was that? TH: It was fun. It was absolutely amazing. It’s only my second time in Hall H. The last […]
July 20, 2013 | 11:39 p.m.

Comic-Con: Marvel’s ‘Age of Ultron,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ more

Tom Hiddleston in character as Loki at the Marvel Studios panel. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Marvel Studios pulled out all the stops for its Hall H panel presentation during Comic-Con on Saturday, wowing with surprise after surprise, including an introduction by Tom Hiddleston in full Loki costume, an unannounced discussion with the entire cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and an appearance by “The Avengers” director Joss Whedon, who unveiled the sequel’s title: “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The panel also focused on “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The lights cut out as the panel began, and a disembodied voice hissed, “Humanity, humanity, look how far you’ve fallen,” chastising the audience for “sweltering in line” and “huddling in the dark like beasts … in this meager palace of Midgard, the arena they call Hall H.” A spotlight revealed “Thor: The Dark World” costar Hiddleston, decked head to toe in his […]
July 20, 2013 | 9:44 a.m.

Comic-Con: Joss Whedon wants you to ‘cry and hug and riot’

Joss Whedon traveled to the Toronto Film Festival in September 2012 to premiere his film "Much Ado About Nothing." The film played over the weekend in Austin at SXSW 2013. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Joss Whedon is a busy guy, but his fans would love for him to do more. In fact, judging by the questions asked during the Dark Horse Joss Whedon panel, fans would prefer if Whedon did everything there is to do — from revisiting a Wonder Woman movie to Shakespeare to Broadway to more comics. Scott Allie, head of Dark Horse Comics, was introduced Whedon to a rousing ovation. The vibe at the panel was celebratory, even reverent. “Thanks, Joss Whedon, for looking at me” was one of the greetings the filmmaker received when he opened the floor up to questions, which was right away.  There were no updates from Whedon or long speeches about the industry — he knows his crowd and knows that they most likely already know what he’s doing. “I’m not here for your entertainment,” said […]
July 19, 2013 | 7:04 p.m.

Comic-Con: Joss Whedon shows ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ pilot

Joss Whedon screened his anticipated new Marvel Television/ABC pilot, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,”  at Comic-Con on Friday, revealing a superhero show firmly in the humorous Whedon mold, and one that feels as if it were written expressly for the crowds packing the San Diego Convention Center this weekend. The pilot, written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Whedon’s brother Jed (who happens to be married to Tancharoen), resurrects Clark Gregg’s well-liked Marvel movie character Agent Phil Coulson, who was dramatically killed off in “The Avengers.” “I didn’t like being dead,” said Gregg, after receiving a standing ovation from the audience. “But I really loved my death.” In the new show, Coulson assembles a team of espionage and law enforcement agents, including flying ace Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), surly black-ops specialist Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), brainy computer geek Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), science genius […]
June 20, 2013 | 11:24 a.m.

Robert Downey Jr. suits up as Iron Man for two ‘Avengers’ sequels

Robert Downey Jr. has signed a deal to reprise his role as billionaire genius/playboy/inventor Tony Stark in two “Avengers” films. 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 08, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

Joss Whedon wants more female superheroes. Who would you pick?

(CBS; Marvel; Warner Bros.)
It comes as no surprise that Joss Whedon, who created one of fandom’s most beloved superheroines in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” thinks Hollywood should make more movies about female superheroes. Whedon is credited with writing strong women in genres where female characters often fall victim to cliched, two-dimensional portrayals. With so many comic book heroes dominating the multiplex, “The Avengers” director is upset at the scarcity of women in leading roles. “Toymakers will tell you they won’t sell enough, and movie people will point to the two terrible superheroine movies that were made and say, ‘You see? It can’t be done,’ Whedon told the Daily Beast this week. “It’s stupid, and I’m hoping ‘The Hunger Games’ will lead to a paradigm shift. It’s frustrating to me that I don’t see anybody developing one of these movies. … My daughter watched […]
June 05, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

Joss Whedon, Clark Gregg talk ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ Whedon fans

(Los Angeles Times; ABC)
Joss Whedon has spent the last 15 years writing and directing tales of teen vampire-slayers, demon detectives, space cowboys and superheroes, but all the while, Whedon and his wife, producer Kai Cole, have nurtured a love for Shakespeare. The couple hosted Sunday gatherings for the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” cast and other friends to perform Shakespeare’s plays, and for years Whedon talked about maybe, someday, directing a Shakespeare film. The opportunity came after “The Avengers,” when the couple chose to forgo their vacation time and instead invited dozens of actors, many of whom had appeared in Whedon’s previous undertakings, to film a modern take on “Much Ado About Nothing” in their home. Among the recruits was Clark Gregg, fresh off his Agent Phil Coulson role in “The Avengers.” Gregg plays Leonato, father to Jillian Morgese’s lovestruck Hero. “Much Ado About Nothing” […]
May 15, 2013 | 4:43 p.m.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Joss Whedon, Clark Gregg on Coulson return

Chloe Bennet, left, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen and Brett Dalton star in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Bob D'Amico / ABC)
Coulson lives! After nearly a year of rumors and anticipation among Marvel fans, ABC officially ordered a first season of the new television series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” last week, sending Marvel fans all aflutter. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is set in the same world as last summer’s blockbuster smash “The Avengers,” which united Marvel’s muscled superheroes Iron Man, Captain American, Thor, the Hulk and others, and featured the international law enforcement and espionage organization. Clark Gregg, who played S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson in “The Avengers” and previous Marvel films, is reprising the role for the TV series, donning his suit and sunglasses once more to lead a team of crime-fighting agents: Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), […]
April 05, 2013 | 11:44 a.m.

‘The Star Wars!’ Dark Horse gives Lucas script comic book treatment

The critically acclaimed "Star Wars" No. 1, written by Brian Wood, sold out of its third printing in March. It was another good sign for Dark Horse's Scott Allie, right. (Dark Horse Comics / Jesse Christiansen)
The Force is strong with Dark Horse Comics editor in chief Scott Allie. The Oregon-based company recently announced plans to publish George Lucas’ original screenplay for “Star Wars” as an eight-issue comic series launching in September, adapted by Lucasfilm executive editor and writer J. W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew. As first drafted in 1974, “The Star Wars!” told the story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker, an alien named Han Solo and evil Sith Knights. Many had long speculated that the complete original version would never see the light of day, conflicting as it does with the saga’s mythic canon. But Allie said they found a powerful ally in Rinzler. “We ran some samples by him in order to show proof of concept, and now here we are,” Allie said. “We’ve had a great relationship with Lucasfilm for […]
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