May 21, 2013 | 3:27 p.m.
Production is underway for “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and director Bryan Singer is offering fans a behind-the-scenes peek at the action via Twitter, posting pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage and more. “Days of Future Past,” due out in July of 2014, picks up after Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 prequel “X-Men: First Class,” which chronicled the mutant superheroes’ origins as young people in the 1960s, discovering and learning to manipulate their powers. “Future Past” aims to bridge the gap between “First Class” and the original “X-Men” film trilogy. Singer, who also directed 2000′s “X-Men” and 2003′s “X2,” on Monday tweeted a photo of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, who is reprising her role as shape-shifting mutant Raven, better known as Mystique. The snapshot shows Lawrence in full costume — revealing blue body suit and paint with a shock of […]
May 20, 2013 | 5:52 p.m.
Remember Patton Oswalt’s eight-minute “Parks and Recreation” monologue about his proposed plot for “Star Wars: Episode VII”? It took YouTube only one month to animate the comedian’s suggestions, spider-Wookiee and all. During a guest spot on the NBC comedy last month, Oswalt played a Pawnee citizen aiming to filibuster a City Council vote. He launched into a lengthy, improvised speech about his ideal story line for the upcoming “Star Wars” sequel. The outlandish plot includes a resurrected Boba Fett, Marvel’s villain Thanos (teased at the end of “The Avengers”), Tony Stark, the gods from “Clash of the Titans” and “Wrath of the Titans” and a beheaded and mechanized Chewbacca, among other awesome but unrelated characters from the realm of genre entertainment. The full speech was released on YouTube, drawing more than 2.7 million views and attracting the notice of J.J. […]
May 17, 2013 | 5:09 p.m.
Fans of the BBC sci-fi series “Doctor Who” know that this season’s biggest mystery isn’t about sinister aliens or otherworldly adventures, but rather about the origins of the latest in the Doctor’s long and lovely line of traveling companions. Played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, Clara Oswald has been dubbed “the impossible girl.” Before the Doctor (Matt Smith) recruited Clara, a London nanny, to join him on his jaunts through time and space, he had met her before — or at least he met two women who looked just like her. Both women died, and Clara’s existence baffles the Time Lord. Coleman’s Clara has big shoes to fill after the departure of Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, a fan-favorite companion who shared the screen with Matt Smith’s Doctor for 2 1/2 seasons. Like Amy, Clara is adventurous and spirited and not afraid […]
May 16, 2013 | 5:32 p.m.
Will a Wonder Woman TV series ever get off the ground? The CW isn’t giving up yet. The network had been developing a pilot called “Amazon” about teenaged Diana (think “Smallville’s” pre-Superman Clark Kent), but the series was passed over for the CW’s fall lineup. When asked Thursday if the warrior princess could still come to the CW, network President Mark Pedowitz said, “Oh God, yes! “It is being redeveloped,” he said. “We’re waiting for the script to come in. We have not seen it yet. We are preparing to pilot it off-cycle should the script be what we want it to be.” Pedowitz said that although “the basics” were all there, the execution was lacking. “We do not want to do something that doesn’t work for that particular character,” he said. “It’s the trickiest of all the DC characters […]
May 16, 2013 | 3:58 p.m.
Two classic Studio Ghibli films are getting the Blu-ray treatment. Disney is releasing Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” on May 21. This year marks the 25th anniversary for “My Neighbor Totoro,” which follows sisters Satsuki and Mei (voiced by Dakota and Elle Fanning, respectively, in the Blu-ray’s 2005 Disney dubbing) as they move to the countryside and discover their new neighbor, a furry forest spirit named Totoro. Only children can see the strange animal ghost — “a seven-foot forest spirit who looks like an outsized cross between a bunny rabbit and a fuzzy throw pillow,” critic and historian Charles Solomon wrote in his 1993 Times review of the film. “Guided by their supernatural friend, the sisters share a series of adventures, soaring over the landscape while Totoro’s roars make the winds blow,” Solomon wrote. “But the story […]
May 15, 2013 | 7:35 p.m.
The highly anticipated sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot “Star Trek” opens in theaters tonight, but Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Leonard Nimoy and more “Star Trek Into Darkness” stars walked the silver carpet Tuesday evening for the film’s Hollywood premiere. The film follows Capt. James T. Kirk (Pine) and his Enterprise crew as they embark on a revenge-fueled manhunt to capture the man behind a terrorist attack on Starfleet. The search takes them to a war-zone world, putting the ship and the lives within it in danger and causing Kirk to question his abilities as captain. “I think a lot of maturing happens in this film for Kirk, for a man who thinks he knows everything and leads with his gut and leads with his heart, and is all kind of passion and heart,” Pine said during the film’s presentation […]
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), […]
May 11, 2013 | 1:14 p.m.
The Hero Complex Film Festival kicked off Friday evening with a 25th anniversary screening of “They Live,” a 35th anniversary screening of “Halloween” and an onstage conversation with the filmmaker behind both movies, John Carpenter. Carpenter discussed his motivation in making “They Live,” a campy but subversive sci-fi flick that starred professional wrestler “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as the film’s blue-collar hero Nada, who discovers an alien conspiracy to mind-control the people of Earth using invisible messages. Carpenter called “They Live” his most political film and said it was his response to consumerism and class disparity in the 1980s. “By the end of the ’70s there was a backlash against everything in the ’60s, and that’s what the ’80s were, and Ronald Reagan became president, and Reagonomics came in,” Carpenter told the sold-out theater at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. […]
May 08, 2013 | 5:13 p.m.
“Odd Duck,” by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon, chronicles the quirky friendship between two ducks — Theodora, who swims with a teacup balanced on her head, and her scruffy neighbor Chad, who loves astronomy and snow angels. The tale is a celebration of strangeness, says Castellucci, who admits to being a bit of an odd duck herself. Castellucci has made a name for herself across media as former indie rocker (then known as Nerdy Girl and Cecil Seaskull), filmmaker, opera libretto writer and award-winning author of books and graphic novels, including “The Plain Janes,” “The Year of the Beasts” and “First Day on Earth.” For “Odd Duck,” the Canadian writer teamed up with artist Sara Varon (“Robot Dreams”) to create the story’s whimsical format — a sort of hybrid between comic and picture book (take a peek in the gallery […]
May 08, 2013 | 3:51 p.m.
Let’s hope that Richard Madden has an easier time wearing a crown in “Cinderella” than he does in “Game of Thrones.” Madden, who plays King in the North Robb Stark in the hit HBO series, has been cast as the glass slipper gal’s prince in Disney’s upcoming live-action “Cinderella” film, the studio announced Wednesday. “Cinderella,” slated for a 2014 release, is set to star “Downton Abbey” actress Lily James as the rags-to-riches heroine and Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, her evil stepmother. Kenneth Branagh is directing, and the screenplay was penned by Aline Brosh McKenna (“The Devil Wears Prada”). Simon Kinberg, who was recently recruited to write a stand-alone “Star Wars” spinoff film, is a producer on “Cinderella.” Kinberg and McKenna (the two are friends) hatched the plan for a live-action update of the classic fairy tale. PHOTOS: ‘Game of […]