May 01, 2013 | 3:00 p.m.
By mid-April, “Iron Man 3” was beginning to look like the surest of sure things. Three weeks before the film was to arrive in U.S. theaters, early reviews and box-office tracking suggested that the latest installment in the adventures of Robert Downey Jr.’s charming superhero Tony Stark might rival or even surpass the $2-billion success of last summer’s hit “The Avengers.” But on a Monday afternoon just days before “Iron Man 3” was set to premiere in London, the film’s director and co-writer, Shane Black, wasn’t taking anything for granted. “If the movie’s a huge hit, I’ll pump my fist in anticipation of the fact that I’m still viable,” Black said, sitting on a rolling chair in a dusty, sparsely furnished office at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. “The fact that I have a chance to come in and […]
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. […]
May 06, 2012 | 10:12 p.m.
Turns out Hulk isn’t the only one who can deliver a big green smash. Joss Whedon just scored a Galactus-sized success with “The Avengers,” which not only topped the “Harry Potter” single-weekend record, it made the once magical Hogwarts crowd seem like, well, schoolchildren waving sticks in the air. The sixth Marvel Studios release just completed the best opening weekend in movie history, earning $200.3 million at the domestic box office, an especially staggering number when you consider that previous mark by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2″ was $169.2-million. More than that, with all the sparkling reviews, director and co-writer Whedon has a genuine summer cinema supernova — Tony Stark is still at the center of the Marvel Studios universe, but now he’s not the only one standing there in the warm glow of cascading cosmic rays. The numbers are bigger the deeper you look. The North […]
April 26, 2012 | 5:43 p.m.
The news is grim — a team member has gone down, the worst is feared — and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) exchange pensive looks while, all around them, the agents of a super-spy agency called S.H.I.E.L.D. tend to their duties as an off-planet enemy force threatens the entire planet. The scene, being filmed on an elevated set, was watched from a safe — and ironic — distance by Joss Whedon. “You know, you shouldn’t worry too much,” the director and co-writer of “The Avengers” reassured a visitor to the New Mexico set. “This kind of stuff happens here almost every day in the Marvel universe.” It does feel sometimes like Hollywood has become a digital factory dedicated to cosmic dangers, costumed heroes and CG magic but “The Avengers” is a special case even in this summer […]
April 18, 2012 | 6:59 a.m.
SPIDER-MAN AT 50: It’s the 50th anniversary of Marvel’s greatest icon, and all year Hero Complex will talk to notable names about the character’s success and singular appeal. In this installment: Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, talks about his favorite issue of Spider-Man. Before the Marvel Comics of the 1960s, the typical comic book superhero might have to stand up to bullets, boulders, magic spells or even the occasional alien missile but none of them ever got hit with hard luck in their personal life quite the way Peter Parker did in the July 1967 story called “Spider-Man No More!” The tale, by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, appeared in the 50th issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” found young Parker reeling from the news of his Aunt May’s failing health but also dealing with his sinking school grades and a bounty put on his head by the […]
July 27, 2011 | 8:27 p.m.
“Thor” director Kenneth Branagh is walking away from Asgard, and no one is sadder than star Chris Hemsworth. “I’m really disappointed,” Hemsworth said of Branagh’s decision to pass on “Thor 2,” which is aiming for a July 2013 release and may begin filming next May. “Ken built that character, and everything I know about the Thor world I learned while shoulder-to-shoulder with Ken. I learned so much from him.” By all reports, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige invited Branagh back to follow up his success of “Thor,” the May 6 release that has grossed $447 million in worldwide box office. The 50-year-old filmmaker seemed energized by the prospects of a sequel too, both in private and in public. In the end, though, the marathon devotion required for a major visual-effects epic and the urgency to get the script process underway were the […]
July 27, 2011 | 6:03 a.m.
The Hulk will appear in his third feature film next year when Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo gets green in Joss Whedon’s ”The Avengers.” On Sunday, at the final day of Comic-Con International, fans got their first sense of the character’s new visage thanks to a Marvel promotional poster that depicts both the angry giant as well as Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, shown in sad silhouette. I caught up with Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and producer of “The Avengers,” to talk about the new green movement. GB: Will we see anything substantially different in the visual realization of the Hulk? KF: Well, I don’t know about substantially different. It will be as different as ”The Incredible Hulk” was from Ang Lee’s “Hulk” in terms of its look and design, but it is Hulk. The image we released on the last day of Comic-Con — which got a tremendous […]
July 12, 2011 | 3:52 a.m.
Square-jawed superhero Steve Rogers lays strangely immobile in the bowels of an enormous “suborbital bomber” — a contraption that looks like Howard Hughes’ legendary Spruce Goose if it were pimped out for Darth Vader. His eyes closed, the hero might be lost in deep contemplation or possibly praying for help to foil an evil plot, in this case the impending launch of a missile targeted at a major American city. But from a certain vantage point, his face pressed against the glass encasing the weapon, it sure looks as though Captain America’s snoozing. Even if Chris Evans, who plays the weakling soldier wannabe turned strapping superhero in the new film “Captain America: The First Avenger,” were catching a few winks, it would be tough to blame him. The actor, 30, had to bulk up at the gym to better embody […]
June 11, 2011 | 11:57 a.m.
Marvel Studios printed up 100 copies of a special poster just for the cast and crew of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and we’ll be giving away five of them on Sunday at the Hero Complex Film Festival in Hollywood. The retro-minded poster (and a nod to the first issue of the comic book) was created by the talented Paolo Rivera, whose many credits include covers for ”Fantastic Four,” “Spectacular Spider-Man” and “X-Men: Unlimited.” I’m thinking that one of those posters might go to the person in audience with the best Marvel Universe costume. The giveaway will be part of our big Marvel presentation on Sunday. We’ll be showing, for the first time anywhere, the new trailer for “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the wartime adventure directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans as the star-spangled character that has been fighting the good […]
April 15, 2011 | 12:20 p.m.
DAYS OF THUNDER: We’re counting down to the May 6 release of “Thor” with a month of on-the-set reports, exclusive photos and interviews with the cast and crew of the first truly cosmic Marvel Studios film. Today: An exclusive report on the music of the movie. Where do you go to celebrate your first No. 1 album on the Billboard Top 200? For the Foo Fighters , the answer appears to be Asgard. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed Friday that the music of Dave Grohl’s band was a late addition to “Thor,” the May 6 adventure that stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. The song “Walk” will play during a scene in which the titular hero, stripped of his powers and marooned on Earth, retreats to a New Mexico roadhouse to drink away the night with boilermakers and carouse with […]