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 […]
April 19, 2014 | 9:35 p.m.
Luc Besson’s return to full-tilt action filmmaking with “Lucy” revved up the crowd at the Universal presentation at WonderCon on Saturday. Set for release Aug. 8, “Lucy,” written and directed by Besson, stars Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule who ingests some contraband and finds herself with enhanced abilities, apparently because the chemicals enable her to access more of her brain. (Johansson has been on a professional run lately, with turns in films including the Academy Award-winning “Her,” in which she gave voice to a sentient operating system; April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Under the Skin”; and next month’s indie restaurant movie “Chef,” directed by Jon Favreau). In Anaheim on Saturday, Besson screened two sequences from “Lucy,” the first of which showed Johansson’s character learning to exploit the powers she’s unlocked by taking advantage of more of her […]
April 14, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
In a competing superhero franchise, the wisecracking sidekick might have summed up “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” with a well-timed “Holy meta-narrative, Batman!” Drafting the sequel to 2011’s hit comic book movie adaptation “Captain America: The First Avenger,” screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely faced challenges above and beyond delivering the kind of slam-bang action-adventure associated with a nearly unstoppable super soldier dressed in star-spangled fatigues. “Cap 2″ (as the project became known) needed to fit squarely into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That is, into a narrative continuum established by the movie’s production company Marvel Studios where costumed heroes such as Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye and the Hulk have turned up in one another’s tent-pole movies since 2008. PHOTOS: ‘Captain America’ stars walk the red carpet Encompassing future films and TV shows whose plot lines and outcomes are all, to […]
April 08, 2014 | 6:15 a.m.
When Anthony Mackie turned up for his first tour of superhero duty as the Falcon in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” he immediately found himself strapped into a costume with wings and instructed to leap backward through the air and land on a safety mat far below. Mackie isn’t someone who’s fearful of heights — he’s a certified sky diver with more than 30 jumps under his belt — but the situation still gave him pause. “If I jump out of a plane, I have a parachute that I know is going to work, so I‘m good,” Mackie said. “But if I have some dude who’s holding a string who’s like, ‘I got you! Go ahead, jump!’ that makes me nervous, especially if I’m 50 or 100 feet off the ground swinging face-first at the pavement. Everybody had a good […]
April 02, 2014 | 12:48 p.m.
Scarlett Johansson is back on the big screen in a big way this weekend in both “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and the sci-fi-inflected art house film “Under the Skin,” but those films aren’t the only projects that see her in take-charge genre mode. Set for release Aug. 8, “Lucy,” written and directed by Luc Besson, stars Johansson as a drug mule who ingests some contraband and finds herself with enhanced abilities, apparently because the chemicals allow her to access more of her brain. “It is estimated most human beings only use 10% of the brain’s capacity,” Morgan Freeman’s character explains in the trailer. “Imagine if we could access 100%. Interesting things begin to happen.” Interesting things indeed. In addition to learning Chinese in an hour, altering her perception of time and moving things with her mind, the trailer also […]
April 02, 2014 | 11:16 a.m.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” arrives in theaters Friday with the promise of bringing to the screen the famous 2005 comic book storyline by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting that inspired the name of the Marvel sequel, but star Chris Evans and fraternal directing team Anthony and Joe Russo also looked back to certain cinematic landmarks to help bring a contemporary resonance to the superhero tale. It seems to have worked — critics have widely praised the film in early reviews and Marvel already has announced its plans to bring the Russos back to direct the third “Captain America” film, which takes place months after the events depicted in “Avengers” and opens with Steve Rogers having remained in the employ of international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and occasionally teaming with Scarlett Johansson’s spy Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black […]
April 01, 2014 | 3:19 p.m.
In his current position as movie chief at Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige might rank as one of the most envied men in Hollywood right now. The company has enjoyed a nearly unmatched run of box office success stretching back to the release of 2008’s “Iron Man” and appears poised to celebrate a new record-breaking opening with the arrival of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” this week. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the new film takes place months after the events depicted in “Avengers” and opens with Steve Rogers having remained in the employ of international espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. and occasionally teaming with Black Widow on key missions. After an attack on S.H.I.E.L.D. top dog Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) puts the hero in conflict with the organization’s leader, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford in a key supporting turn), he finds […]
March 28, 2014 | 12:00 p.m.
When it comes to the superhero spy game, an easy facility with falsehood can get you far. Which helps explain the unlikely friendship that develops between Chris Evans’ unfailingly forthright patriotic hero and Scarlet Johansson’s ethically dubious operative in Marvel’s latest comic book adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” “She made a life based on lies and deceit and malleable morality, and Cap couldn’t lie if he tried to,” said Evans, seated beside his costar in a sparsely furnished chamber at a Beverly Hills hotel. “These aren’t two characters that you would necessarily know had so much in common,” Johansson agreed. “They’re deceivingly similar. They’re having this huge identity crisis…. ‘What do I want? Why do I want it? What do I need from someone else?’ We started to say, ‘Maybe they see the reflection in one another.’” Arriving in […]
March 27, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens in less than two weeks, bringing Marvel’s star-spangled superhero back to the big screen for the first time since 2012’s “The Avengers.” The film, a sequel to 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) working for S.H.I.E.L.D., where he reports to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and sometimes teams up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). He also finds a friend in fellow military man Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), also known as Falcon. Although he’s adjusted to many aspects of modern life, he doesn’t know who to trust in a world of increasing moral ambiguity. MORE: From the set of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ “For Steve, it’s about what is right,” Evans said in an interview with Hero Complex. “He’s relatively acclimated to the modern day — it’s not tech […]
March 26, 2014 | 4:31 p.m.
The theatrical release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is less than two weeks away, and Marvel is counting down with two new, slightly spoiler-y video clips spotlighting Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the titular villain. (Those who want to be surprised about the Winter Soldier’s identity should stop reading now.) Set after the events of 2012′s “The Avengers,” the “Captain America: The First Avenger” sequel finds Evans’ hero working for S.H.I.E.L.D., where he’s not sure who he can trust. His past quite literally comes back to haunt him in the form of a close friend turned enemy. In the newly released featurette, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige reflects on the inspiration for the villain, Ed Brubaker’s 2005 “Captain America” story line “Winter Soldier,” which Feige called “one of the best ‘Captain America’ stories in the comics over the past […]