Aug. 15, 2014 | 1:36 p.m.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” opened in theaters Aug. 1 to become Marvel’s latest success — the quirky cosmic adventure is closing in on more than $200 million in domestic box office, and a sequel is already on the calendars for July 28, 2017. While audiences responded to the film’s wild menagerie of creatures and interstellar locales, many shared a favorite moment. The scene in question takes place at the end of the movie and involves Groot, the sentient tree voiced by Vin Diesel, one of the five members of the “Guardians” team that also includes Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord; Zoe Saldana’s green assassin, Gamora; Dave Bautista’s vengeful Drax the Destroyer; and Groot’s pal Rocket, a machine-gun-wielding raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper. Check it out below — unless, of course, you haven’t yet seen “Guardians,” in which case you […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 2:29 p.m.
Batman and Superman will no longer be staring down Captain America the next time they appear on the big screen. Warner Bros. will now open “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” Zack Snyder’s follow-up to “Man of Steel,” in 3-D on March 25, 2016. The film previously had been set to open May 6, 2016, opposite Marvel’s third “Captain America” film. The studio also revealed that it plans to release two DC Comics-based films annually starting in 2016: They will be released on Aug. 5, 2016; June 23, 2017; Nov. 17, 2017; March 23, 2018; July 27, 2018; April 5, 2019; June 14, 2019; April 3, 2020, and June 19, 2020. A new release date schedule also includes two untitled Warner Bros. “event” films — opening Nov. 16, 2018, and Nov. 20, 2020. PHOTOS: The roles that led Ben Affleck […]
Aug. 06, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.
Scarlett Johansson was most recently on screen playing a chemically enhanced drug mule in Luc Besson’s sleeper hit “Lucy,” but it wasn’t the actress’ first action-packed role this year. Back in April, Johansson reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff (better known as Black Widow) in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” conceived as Marvel’s answer to the gripping thrillers of the ’70s. The film, which sees Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers team up with Black Widow on a number of key missions, even as the patriotic superhero comes into conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D. leader Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford in a key supporting turn), currently stands as the highest grossing domestic release of 2014, having surpassed $259 million at the U.S. box office. Those who missed it in theaters — or simply want to see it again — now have a chance to catch […]
Aug. 05, 2014 | 4:38 p.m.
Want to know what it would be like to take a ride in Peter Quill’s spaceship, the Milano? Well now you can, courtesy of a new clip that sees “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt offer a guided tour of the vessel, which of course is piloted by his Marvel alter ego, the troublemaker better known to some corners of the universe as Star-Lord. With its wild menagerie of creatures and interstellar locales, “Guardians” dazzled moviegoers in its opening weekend, raking in more than $94 million at the box office to become the latest in a string of outsized hits for Marvel Studios. Directed by James Gunn and rooted in a 2008 comic book series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, the $170-million film is the first installment in a new franchise; “Guardians 2″ is set to arrive […]
Aug. 04, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.
Vin Diesel is behind the wheel on the Burbank lot of Walt Disney Studios. But instead of one of the Mopar classics or souped-up Mazdas that helped shape his gruff and intimidating persona in the wildly popular “Fast and Furious” movies, the actor is in a very different kind of vehicle. He is piloting a golf cart. “The pressure is on!” Diesel jokes, as he maneuvers the cart along a paved path at just a few miles per hour. An ill-timed crash would surely ruin his hard-charging reputation. Diesel’s latest movie, the cosmic adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is yet another kind of vehicle for the actor, one with similar risks for his reputation. Though he’s noted for his tough-guy exterior, the actor’s brawny physique is never glimpsed on screen. Only his voice can be heard in his role as […]
Aug. 01, 2014 | 11:45 a.m.
Rarely is there an upside for an actor to have his character killed off one of the most popular series on television. But when Michael Rooker received the news that his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” was coming to an end, he took some comfort in knowing that another opportunity was waiting in the wings. The popular character actor has a pivotal role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s epic space adventure that arrives in theaters Friday, playing Yondu, a bandit who is something of a mentor to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. “Yondu is a responder, he’s a doer,” Rooker said recently. “He’s the leader of a group of interstellar piracy-type guys and a very paternal figure for Peter Quill. He’s his kid pretty much and he taught him how to […]
July 30, 2014 | 3:53 p.m.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” takes audiences on a cosmic carpet ride into the farthest reaches of the Marvel universe, with its story of an unlikely team of interstellar heroes who band together to stop a supervillain from achieving his genocidal aims. But for Zoe Saldana, who plays the resourceful assassin Gamora — known in comic book lore as the most dangerous woman in the galaxy — the role was one rooted in earthbound inspiration. The former dancer developed the character’s physicality after watching footage of a bullfighter and deciding that she should move gracefully, with elegant precision. Grappling with the trauma of Gamora’s past, however, led Saldana in another direction. The green-skinned alien is the last surviving member of her race, an orphan who was trained to be lethal by her adopted father Thanos (Josh Brolin), and her plight reminded […]
July 29, 2014 | 4:55 p.m.
When Dave Bautista took the stage at Marvel’s Comic-Con International panel in San Diego last year, he was overcome by emotion sitting beside his “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast mates. The film had only begun shooting, but when the former champion WWE wrestler talked about winning the role of Drax the Destroyer in the interstellar adventure, he appeared overwhelmed. “There’s a point where I go to set every day and I still can’t freaking believe I got this job,” he said at the time. “It’s something that I wanted more than anything I ever wanted in my life. When I got it, I broke down and cried like a little baby.” One year later, Bautista, 45, seems just as moved when he thinks back to being cast in “Guardians,” which blasts into theaters Friday as the first installment in Marvel’s […]
July 29, 2014 | 3:05 p.m.
Paolo Rivera won two Eisner Awards for his lush work on Marvel’s “Daredevil,” but he hasn’t produced regular interior art since leaving that title in 2012. This October, he returns to monthly comics with “The Valiant,” a new miniseries written by Jeff Lemire and Matt Kindt. Uniting Valiant Comics’ superhero characters against a threat that has evolved through time, this project gives Rivera freedom to stretch his creative muscles in a fledgling comic-book universe, and early preview pages and concept designs promise all the detail and dynamism of his work at Marvel. Born and raised in Daytona Beach, Fla., Rivera was introduced to comic books by his father, Joe Rivera, a painter of custom motorcycles who kept assorted issues around the house. “I grew up in Florida not too far from Disney,” Rivera says. “I was a kid who could […]
July 28, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.
Who is the most important person in Marvel Comics history? Several audience members responded to Mark Waid’s question by shouting back “Stan Lee!” No, the Eisner Award-winning “Daredevil” writer told the crowd gathered for a panel about Marvel’s 75th and the Man Without Fear’s 50th anniversaries. But they were close: It’s Lee’s wife Joanie, Waid said. In 1961, Lee “was starting to feel burned out” after 20 years and about 10,000 issues of various genre stories under the direction of publisher Martin Goodman, said Waid, an expert on comics history, and was looking to do something else with his life. “It was his wife Joanie,” Waid continued, “who said … ‘If you’re done with comics and go away and do something else, at least take one last shot and do something that you really want to do… And if it […]