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, […]
Jan. 15, 2013 | 1:51 p.m.
Another day, another mystery about a director possibly signing on to be a part of the “Star Wars” universe. New York Magazine’s Vulture blog first reported that Zack Snyder had plans to make a “Seven Samurai”-inspired story set in a galaxy far, far away, but hours later, Snyder’s rep contradicted the story in The Hollywood Reporter, saying that the “Man of Steel” filmmaker had no such plans to develop a stand-alone Jedi epic for Lucasfilm loosely inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic. “While he is super-flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new ‘Star Wars,’” his rep told The Hollywood Reporter. “He is currently in post on his two films, ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘300: Battle of Artemisia.’” Vulture, however, has posted an update to its original story, stating that despite […]
Dec. 30, 2012 | 2:11 p.m.
For fans of fantastic entertainment, it was a bountiful year at the box office. The highest-grossing movies of 2012 starred a collection of superheroes, two strong young woman with mean archery skills (Katniss Everdeen and Merida from “Brave”), a suit-sporting super spy and a mild-mannered hobbit who embarks on an unexpected adventure — not to mention a coven of sparkly vampires and a talking stoner teddy bear. With so many movies to choose from, it’s easy to see how audiences might have overlooked a few gems. So as the year draws to a close, we’ve assembled our top picks for films to belatedly check out — as well as a few that no doubt warrant repeat viewings. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” Yeah, yeah, so it didn’t take the box office by storm, and critics griped that the movie wasn’t funny. […]
Dec. 20, 2012 | 5:00 a.m.
San Diego’s Comic-Con International is always full of hype and bombast for movies and TV projects designed to appeal to lovers of genre entertainment. But even in the extensive annals of Hall H lore, the 2010 Marvel panel in which the cast of “The Avengers” assembled on a public stage for the first time still holds a special place in the history of the 6,500-seat auditorium. As the wild crowd cheered stars Robert Downey Jr., Clark Gregg, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo, writer-director Joss Whedon departed from the usual script — one in which filmmakers vow that their upcoming movie will be nothing short of awesome — with typical self-deprecating wit. “I am going to blow it,” he said amid the cheers. “I’m not up to it.” No surprise, really. He […]
Nov. 09, 2012 | 6:51 p.m.
Few stories inspire the kind of passion and devotion shown by the fans of Joss Whedon’s “Firefly.” The short-lived sci-fi western followed Capt. Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and his crew as they stole and scavenged their way across the universe, trying to keep their raggedy spaceship Serenity afloat. “Firefly” was canceled a decade ago, but support for the show has spawned a movie sequel, comic series, packed comic convention panels and now a one-hour reunion special on Science Channel. “Firefly: Browncoats Unite” features a roundtable discussion with cast members Fillion, Summer Glau, Alan Tudyk, Adam Baldwin and Sean Maher and writers Tim Minear and Jose Molina, as well as separate interviews with Jewel Staite, Gina Torres and Morena Baccarin. The discussion reveals closely guarded plans for the second season that never was, including a child for Zoe (Torres) and Wash (Tudyk), […]