July 20, 2013 | 11:39 p.m.
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.
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.
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. has signed a deal to reprise his role as billionaire genius/playboy/inventor Tony Stark in two “Avengers” films. Marvel.com 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.
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 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.
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 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 […]
April 03, 2013 | 3:37 p.m.
The Avengers are going to England. Screen Daily is reporting that writer-director Joss Whedon will film his highly anticipated sequel to “The Avengers” at the country’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. Released in May of last year, “The Avengers” was a success of massive proportions, earning more than $1.5 billion worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing movie at the box office, while managing to please critics at the same time. “Even if you’re frustrated by the relentless calculation of Marvel Studios’ plan for world cinema domination, fed up by the shameless way the studio used several of its earlier, at times pro forma superhero movies to promote this one, even if you don’t particularly like comic-book adaptations, this film just might make a believer […]
March 11, 2013 | 7:34 a.m.
Joss Whedon — the man behind TV’s sci-fi western series “Firefly, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its spinoff “Angel,” as well as the big-screen mega-hit “The Avengers” — is notorious for his loyalty to his actors, who pop up again and again in his projects. His latest, “Much Ado About Nothing,” which played Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival over the weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, is hardly an exception. For his take on the Shakespearean romantic romp, Whedon turned to veterans such as Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion to appear (as Leonato and Dogberry, respectively). Fran Kranz plays Claudio, while Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof play Beatrice and Benedick. Sean Maher is Don John. There’s also a smattering of newcomers, including Jillian Morgese as Hero. At a panel at SXSW over the weekend, […]