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 […]
Feb. 06, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.
BATFILMS OF THE FUTURE? The end is near — when the credits roll on “The Dark Knight Rises” this July, it will mark the end of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the final adventure for Christian Bale as the caped crusader of Gotham City. Warner Bros. executives have made it clear they won’t leave the iconic property sitting on a shelf, however, and a new director and star tandem could be inhabiting Wayne Manor by 2014. But how on earth will any filmmaker follow the work of Nolan and company? Working together, Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher and graphic artist Sean Hartter came up with 15 imaginary Batman reboots — and, yes, they did it with tongue in cheek. Matthew Vaughn’s “Batman: Mad City”: Maybe the future of Gotham is in the past? That approach worked in a big way for […]
Sept. 10, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.
“X-Men: First Class” just hit shelves on Blu-ray and DVD, a good reason for Hero Complex contributor Jevon Phillips to catch up with one of the top influences in the X-movies: producer Lauren Shuler Donner. Donner was excited about the release, mentioning that “every drawing and concept art and costume change” were saved to help fill out the release for fans. Alternate Blu-ray/DVD covers – ‘X-Men: First Class’ (Fox) Jevon Phillips: This installment was one of the best-reviewed films in the franchise, why do you think it connected so well with critics? Lauren Shuler Donner: It was a couple of factors. First, we grounded it with a real historical event, and didn’t skirt around the fact that this story would’ve taken place in the early ’60s. By basing it around the Cuban Missile Crisis, it gave it some credibility and took itself […]
June 05, 2011 | 7:23 a.m.
The sleekest superhero film of the summer is “X-Men: First Class,” and Steven Zeitchik has an astute look at the business moves behind the mutant epic that has taken a proven franchise into new territory. Here’s an excerpt, but read the whole piece (With “X-Men: First Class,” Fox tries a new mutation), which ran on the front page of Saturday’s Business section. Although the fifth installment in the franchise about superhero mutants resembles many of Hollywood’s summer offerings — a big-budget action movie based on a popular comic book series — the latest “X-Men” is a vastly different creature that presents some unique marketing challenges. The movie, which cost News Corp.-owned Fox and its two financial partners $160 million to produce before tax breaks, replaces its most bankable star, Hugh Jackman, with an ensemble of less proven younger actors led […]
June 04, 2011 | 7:26 a.m.
The mighty mutants of the Marvel Universe are back on the screen with “X-Men: First Class,” which hit theaters this weekend. The retro adventure begins in World War II and tracks through to the Cuban Missile Crisis to tell the secret history of mutants and set the stage for adventures shown in previously released films. There are a lot of new faces — good and evil mutants such as Azazel (played by Jason Flemyng), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Riptide (Álex González) and Darwin (Edi Gathegi) — but we’ve put together a photo gallery that explains some of the connections (and disconnects) between this throw-back adventure and the four previous Fox films. Just click “CAPTIONS ON” to read it but be warned there are some mild spoilers in there. — Jevon Phillips and Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED January Jones stressed by sexy suits Why is Kevin Bacon […]
June 02, 2011 | 3:56 p.m.
“X-Men: First Class” star James McAvoy was back at his home in London on Wednesday and waiting for the film’s opening weekend with the mix of anxiety and excitement you might expect. The film, directed by Matthew Vaughn, has been enjoying some stellar early reviews, and the actor who now plays Charles Xavier can’t help wondering if that means he will be losing his hair and his on-screen sense of humor in the months and years to come. The Fox film that opens Friday is a prequel to previous “X-Men” films — this one is set in the 1940s and 1960s — and Vaughn and producer Bryan Singer have talked about two more films that would follow this new story and add chapters that would fall, chronologically, in the decades leading up to the earlier movies. In those, Patrick Stewart portrayed Xavier as a serious man with big thoughts […]
June 01, 2011 | 4:20 p.m.
A couple of years ago, Kevin Bacon needed a few degrees of separation from his fame. He daydreamed of a crowded place where people didn’t tug at his sleeve to gush about “Footloose” or quote “Diner.” Finally, he went to a Hollywood makeup specialist and invested in a custom-made disguise that was weirdly simple but completely effective. He paid the $500 and then, with an anxious glee, he took his new rubber face to the Grove shopping center to experience an afternoon without autographs. “You wouldn’t have recognized me if I was standing next to you,” Bacon said with a faraway expression. “It was really bizarre and I didn’t really like it. I didn’t like it at all. People cut in front of you and when you’re at a check-out counter it’s just … different. People weren’t all that nice […]
May 26, 2011 | 10:20 a.m.
Matthew Vaughn can be a loose cannon in interviews, but according to veteran actor Kevin Bacon, the director of “X-Men: First Class” is more of a cruel sharpshooter on the set. “He’s not gentle in the way he directs, to say the least,” said Bacon, who stars in the June 3 release from Fox. “Matthew would sit by the monitor and shout something that’s borderline insulting. But every time he said something — or screamed something — it was right on the mark.” In the period film, Bacon portrays mutant mastermind Sebastian Shaw, a megalomaniacal villain who is hoping to escalate the JFK-era Cold War into a full-on nuclear firefight. The movie is the latest entry in Fox’s franchise based on the X-Men and their mutant melodrama, which became a signature publishing sensation for Marvel Comics, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. Vaughn’s entry […]
April 26, 2011 | 2:23 p.m.
Here’s an early look at my “X-Men: First Class” preview in the Summer Sneaks issue in the upcoming Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar issue. How’s this for unexpected territory in a superhero film: “X-Men: First Class” not only uses the Kennedy years, the Civil Rights movement and the Cuban Missile Crisis as a backdrop for its retro tale, the movie’s story of two massively powerful mutants who struggle against bitter prejudice was directly informed by the complicated lives of Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “It came up early on in the rehearsal period and that was the path we took,” says Michael Fassbender, who stars as the emotionally scarred Erik Lehnsherr, who will become the militant mutant known as Magneto. “These two brilliant minds coming together and their views aren’t that different on some key things. As you […]
Feb. 23, 2011 | 9:16 a.m.
James McAvoy leads the way to the past in “X-Men: First Class,” which opens June 3 and presents him as a younger Charles Xavier, the mutant master who sees the world in very different ways than his frenemy, Erik, who is destined to become Magneto. Our Geoff Boucher caught up with McAvoy a few weeks ago while the 31-year-old Scottish actor was shooting the Fox film in L.A. GB: It sounds like you had your hands full with the water-tank work here in L.A.? JM: It was me saving Michael Fassbender’s … which is always fun. We worked together before, we met on “Band of Brothers,” which was my first TV job and probably his first or second. We both ride motorbikes, you know, scooters, around London, and every now and again, we’d pass each other and stop and give an old pump […]