Patrick Kevin Day

Jan. 21, 2015 | 4:00 p.m.

George Lucas works ‘Strange Magic’ with new animated film

Bog King (Alan Cumming) is fiercely opposed to a powerful potion created by the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kristin Chenoweth) in "Strange Magic." (Lucasfilm)
Forget Joseph Campbell and “The Power of Myth.” The inspiration for “Strange Magic,” the new animated feature co-written and produced by “Star Wars” mastermind George Lucas, was Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to make the movie using existing music and find lyrics from the songs to actually tell the story,” Lucas said recently during a phone conversation from New York City. “I was trying to take my archive of music that continues long after I did ‘American Graffiti’ and go through it.” Opening Friday, “Strange Magic” centers on the unpleasant Bog King (Alan Cumming), a tragic figure ruling over his dark forest with a foul temper and a distaste for anything related to love. That is, until he meets Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood), a fairy princess who has also soured on love, and many […]
Jan. 16, 2015 | 3:33 p.m.

George Lucas details plans to make, but not release, two new films

George Lucas co-wrote and executive produced the new animated tale “Strange Magic,” which arrives in theaters Jan. 23.  The musical romp, directed by Gary Rydstrom, takes very loose inspiration from Shakespeare, telling the story of a monstrous Bog King (Alan Cumming) who finds unexpected love in a magical realm of elves and fairies. But it isn’t the only new movie Lucas has on the horizon. The 70-year-old “Star Wars” creator currently is writing two new features, both experimental movies that hearken back to his student days at the University of Southern California. However, he has no plans to ever release either project publicly. “The way [the films] are, they’re not really movies that can be released,” Lucas said of his upcoming projects during a recent phone call from New York City, where he was promoting “Strange Magic.” “They’re movies more […]
Nov. 13, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.

Star Wars Celebration: Exclusive first look at poster for Anaheim show

"Star Wars Celebration" will be held in Anaheim from April 16-19, 2015. (Lucasfilm)
For many fans, J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” looms on the 2015 release date calendar like a most eagerly anticipated holiday gift that can’t be unwrapped quickly enough. Organizers of Star Wars Celebration, the traveling confab that celebrates all things connected to George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away, are hoping to capitalize on that enthusiasm, looking to build attendance for the 2015 gathering, which rolls into the Anaheim Convention Center April 16-19. (Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at the poster for the 2015 event above.) “It’s going to be really interesting, because we are way ahead with ticket sales from where we usually are this far out,” said Mary Franklin, senior events and fan relations lead for Lucasfilm. “I feel safe saying this is going to be the biggest one yet.” The Celebrations date […]
Nov. 10, 2014 | 10:45 a.m.

‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions': Watch an exclusive clip

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions” is out on home video Tuesday, but Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive sneak peek at a clip from the bonus features. “The Clone Wars,” set in the years between “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” was a fan-favorite series and widely praised for its sophistication and scope. After five seasons on Cartoon Network, “The Clone Wars” was canceled last year without a satisfactory conclusion after Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, ultimately making way for  the new Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels,” which takes place in the time between “Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” Thirteen “Clone Wars” episodes that never made it to air before the show was canceled were […]
Nov. 07, 2014 | 4:06 p.m.

‘Big Hero 6′: Writing group Man of Action recalls Disney movie roots

The four writers of Man of Action are, from left, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle and Joe Casey. (Man of Action)
“Big Hero 6,” Disney Animation’s latest theatrical feature, is a classic superteam origin story. But what’s interesting is that the characters’ original creators function as a kind of superteam themselves. The writing collective known as Man of Action is credited on screen with the characters of “Big Hero 6,” but in reality the group consists of four individual writers: Steven T. Seagle, Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey and Joe Kelly. They have distinct points of view, but together they share everything: both the glory and the workload. “We have a very socialist business model,” says Seagle, who co-created the “Big Hero 6″ characters with Rouleau for Marvel back in 1998. “It shocks and appalls a lot of people. At first we were all skeevy about it, whether that would work in Capitalist America, but it’s really panned out pretty well.” The […]
Oct. 07, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

‘The Flash’ star Grant Gustin slides into superhero role for CW series

Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a young man who gets struck by lightning and becomes the fastest person alive in "The Flash." (Cate Cameron/The CW)
As a child in Norfolk, Va., actor Grant Gustin had an all-consuming obsession with a certain DC Comics superhero — just not the one he’ll be playing this fall when “The Flash” comes to television with his own series. “I went everywhere in Superman pajamas I had amped up with red rain boots and red Fruit of the Loom underwear I wore on the outside,” Gustin said during a recent phone interview. “That lasted for a couple of years. I had baby sitters quit because they didn’t want to be seen in public with me.” Although his passion for the Man of Steel hasn’t subsided — he even had the words “Superman, I love him” tattooed on his arm a few years ago — he’s developing a rival fondness for the fastest man alive since bringing him to the screen […]
Oct. 03, 2014 | 12:15 p.m.

‘Star Wars Rebels': Ralph McQuarrie legacy on view in animated series

Lothal's cities in "Star Wars Rebels" draw their inspiration from Ralph McQuarrie's Alderaan. (Lucasfilm)
The sun was shining brightly on one recent afternoon at Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas’ lush yet cozy retreat in Marin County. But Kilian Plunkett, art director for the new animated series “Star Wars Rebels,” was not outside enjoying a stroll through Lucas’ vineyard or taking a dip in the waters of Lake Ewok. He was inside, in the dim light of the Lucasfilm archive, holding a bit of cinematic history in his hands. At just 18×41 centimeters, artist Ralph McQuarrie’s gouache concept paintings for the original “Star Wars” trilogy are smaller than expected, but then again, so is the Mona Lisa. Physical size bears no relation to the impact these paintings have on pop culture. “I always assumed these things were giant movie poster size,” Plunkett said as he pointed out the finer details of McQuarrie’s style. For “Star Wars” […]
Oct. 02, 2014 | 1:25 p.m.

‘Star Wars Rebels’ animated TV series renewed for second season

A scene from "Star Wars Rebels." (Lucasfilm / Disney)
“Star Wars Rebels” is getting a second season, Disney announced Thursday, the day before the cartoon’s first season premiere. Disney XD has ordered a second season of the new animated series, which has been praised by critics as well as fans who saw a debut screening at San Diego’s Comic-Con International in July or who caught early screenings on digital platforms. “The fan response to the show has been amazing, humbling and inspiring,” Lucasfilm’s vice president of creative development, Kiri Hart, said in a news release. “We’re looking forward to the adventure ahead.” “Star Wars Rebels” is meant to be the origin story of the Rebel Alliance — the group that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo would eventually lead to defeat the evil Empire. Set about five years before the beginning of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New […]
Sept. 28, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Long Beach Comic Con: Mike Mignola happy to dwell in hell with Hellboy

Mike Mignola has gone to hell with Hellboy, and he has every intention of staying there. “I find the hell that I’ve created very, very cozy,” he told a crowd at Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday afternoon. “I don’t want to leave it.” So what’s so great about the “Hellboy in Hell” underworld where Mignola plans to spend most of, or maybe all, of the rest of his career? “If you could look inside my head, this is the world that’s in there,” the Hellboy creator said. “It’s entirely made out of the things I like,” which include old buildings and forests and exclude cars, planes and the pressure of trying to illustrate real places. “I just want to draw that world,” he continued. “The trouble is, that world’s really big, so it’s going to take a really long […]
Sept. 26, 2014 | 10:59 a.m.

Steven T. Seagle returns to comic book superheroes for ‘Imperial’

'Imperial' No. 3
Steven T. Seagle is getting back to basics for his new four-issue Image series “Imperial,” which follows an everyman named Mark who has been selected against all odds to pick up the crown and role of Earth’s superhero, Imperial. Both parties seem less than thrilled at this latest twist of fate. Mark’s got other things to worry about, like his upcoming wedding. And Imperial isn’t impressed with Mark at all. Seagle, who will appear at the Long Beach Comic Con this weekend with his writing collective, Man of Action — a quartet that also includes Duncan Rouleau, Joe Kelly and Joe Casey, recently chatted with Hero Complex about his aims with “Imperial.” The series’ third issue will be released Oct. 8. Hero Complex: Your last few comic book projects have not been superhero stories. Were you itching to get back […]
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