Simon Kinberg

April 18, 2015 | 2:56 p.m.

Star Wars Celebration: Familiar faces return for ‘Rebels’ season two

Scene featuring Darth Vader from the second season of "Star Wars Rebels." (Lucasfilm)
Executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg were joined by members of the cast of “Star Wars Rebels” on stage Saturday to give fans a peek at what was ahead for the show’s upcoming second season. Based on the first official trailer, they’ll get a lot of chilling Darth Vader action, plus the return of some familiar faces from the previous “Clone Wars” animated series, including Ahsoka, Captain Rex and Hondo Ohnaka. And there were many other bits just glimpsed in the three-and-a-half-minute trailer. “There are things designed to hit you immediately,” Filoni said at a press conference following the panel. “As you watch a trailer over and over, if they’re designed well, the are layers and there are things you see and you get a little more out of it. It keeps you engaged.” While he wasn’t elaborating too […]
March 06, 2015 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Chappie’ filmmaker Neill Blomkamp takes creative vision to the edge

Chappie (Sharlto Copley) in a scene from "Chappie." (Columbia Pictures)
Neill Blomkamp is a young filmmaker comfortable with risk. For his third feature, “Chappie,” in which gangsters gain custody of a robot endowed with artificial intelligence, the writer-director set out to craft a violent fairy tale about the very meaning of consciousness. And to anchor his South African-set tale, he cast the elaborately tattooed cult rappers Die Antwoord, a duo long on underground credibility but short on mainstream visibility. “You’ve got to run equations in your head, not financial equations, but equations of accessibility — at what degree do you think it’s too far or it isn’t too far,” Blomkamp said in Santa Monica late last year. “The idea of Die Antwoord in a movie, you’re on the outer peripheral edge there. To set it in South Africa, also, you’re pushing it. But I felt that the core story was […]
Jan. 22, 2015 | 7:30 p.m.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ adds Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan

Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp and Tye Sheridan are joining Bryan Singer’s upcoming "X-Men: Apocalypse." Turner will play Jean Grey, Shipp has been cast as Storm, and Sheridan will portray Cyclops. (HBO / Lifetime / WireImage)
“Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner is leading a trio of new actors joining Bryan Singer’s upcoming “X-Men: Apocalypse.” Turner will play Jean Grey, a role originated on screen by Famke Janssen in Singer’s 2000 “X-Men”; Alexandra Shipp has been cast as Storm, originally played by Halle Berry, while Tye Sheridan will play Cyclops, a role that first went to James Marsden. Shipp’s credits include “Drumline: A New Beat,” and she starred for television in “Aailyah: The Princess of R&B”; she also has a role in the upcoming NWA movie, “Straight Outta Compton.” Sheridan has appeared in such features as “Mud” and “The Tree of Life.” Oscar Isaac will star as the powerful villain in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the next installment in the long-running Fox franchise based on the Marvel Comics series. Singer is set to direct the film, which is […]
Nov. 24, 2014 | 11:37 a.m.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Oscar Isaac to star as villain in mutant sequel

Oscar Isaac will star as the powerful villain in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” the next installment in the long-running Fox franchise based on the Marvel Comics series. Bryan Singer is set to direct the film, which is scheduled for release on May 27, 2016. The casting means that Isaac, an acclaimed actor who garnered critical attention for his role in “Inside Llewyn Davis,” among other roles, will have two blockbuster franchises on his resume — he also is due to appear in J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which is set to arrive in theaters late next year. Singer originally announced “X-Men: Apocalypse” on Twitter last December; the movie will see the mutants face off against the popular titular villain of the 1990s storyline “Age of Apocalypse.” “It’s another one of the great ‘X-Men’ storylines, which is cool,” franchise […]
Sept. 22, 2014 | 12:48 p.m.

‘X-Men: Apocalypse’: Bryan Singer to helm next mutant sequel

Bryan Singer will direct “X-Men: Apocalypse” for Fox. Singer originally announced the project on Twitter last December; the movie will be released May 27, 2016, and will see the mutants face off against the popular titular villain of the 1990s story line “Age of Apocalypse.” “It’s another one of the great ‘X-Men’ story lines, which is cool,” franchise writer-producer Simon Kinberg said in an interview with Hero Complex earlier this year while promoting the release of this summer’s hit “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which featured an end-credits cameo by Apocalypse, also known as En Sabah Nur. “Not all superhero movies, comic book movies, will follow story lines from the books, and one of the things we’ve been doing with the ‘X-Men’ movies recently is taking books as inspiration and following those stories,” he said. “One of the challenges of […]
Aug. 04, 2014 | 6:05 p.m.

‘Star Wars Rebels’: Watch seven minutes of new animated series [video]

Excited to see “Star Wars Rebels”? Tonight, you can watch the first seven minutes of the first episode online. Set about five years before the beginning of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” the new animated series follows the adventures of a group of heroes desperately trying to combat the all-consuming might of the Empire, the fascistic government arisen from the ashes of the Old Republic in “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” Although the story will recount the formation of the Rebel Alliance, the group that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo would eventually lead to defeat the evil Empire, at the outset of the show the organization is little more than a ragtag band of aliens and a Jedi Knight in hiding, Kanan (voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr.), who engage in minor skirmishes with Imperial […]
July 24, 2014 | 11:32 p.m.

Comic-Con 2014: Fans get first extended look at ‘Star Wars Rebels’

“Star Wars” fans got their first look at the new “Star Wars Rebels” series on Thursday at Comic-Con with a screening of the first episode, which isn’t due to premiere on the Disney Channel until October. While the animation wasn’t quite finished, and therefore not quite ready for review, it did evoke the look and feel of “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” The exclusive clip above was screened at the panel and gave fans a feel for the lighthearted, more adventurous feel of the new series. At the show’s panel discussion beforehand, executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg appeared before fans for the first time with the show’s cast, which includes Freddie Prinze Jr., Steve Blum, Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray and Tiya Sircar. The new series takes place in the “Star Wars” timeline between “Revenge of the […]
May 23, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’: Simon Kinberg shares franchise secrets

For about four hours in the summer of 2012, Simon Kinberg came perilously close to revealing the secrets of the universe — or, to be more precise, the secrets of several fictional, widely deliberated universes. The busy writer-producer — whose latest blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” storms into theaters Friday — had checked into a San Diego hotel ahead of an appearance at Comic-Con International. But before the afternoon’s close, he’d misplaced an iPad containing sensitive information at the annual pop culture expo, the epicenter of geek movie fandom. “I had ‘Star Wars’ stuff on there, ‘X-Men,’ Neill Blomkamp, ‘Elysium’ stuff,” recalled Kinberg, a trace of anxiety still detectable in his measured voice. “It would have been jackpot for hackers. Thank God the housekeeper just picked it up and was holding onto it.” With the possible exceptions of J.J. […]
April 24, 2014 | 12:56 p.m.

Bryan Singer bows out of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ publicity efforts

Director Bryan Singer, right, with actor Patrick Stewart on the set of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." (Alan Markfield/Fox)
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer has officially bowed out of efforts to promote the May 23 release due to the ongoing legal scandal that erupted in the wake of a teen sex abuse lawsuit filed against him. “The allegations against me are outrageous, vicious and completely false. I do not want these fictitious claims to divert ANY attention from ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’ This fantastic film is a labor of love and one of the greatest experiences of my career. So, out of respect to all of the extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved, I’ve decided not to participate in the upcoming media events for the film,” Singer said in a statement issued Thursday. Just this past weekend, Singer had been scheduled to take the stage in Anaheim for Fox’s presentation at […]
April 19, 2014 | 5:30 p.m.

WonderCon: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past,’ no questions, no Bryan Singer

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” director Bryan Singer had been scheduled to take the WonderCon stage Saturday to tout his upcoming mutant sequel. But Singer canceled his promotional plans in the wake of a teen sex abuse lawsuit filed against him this week. So it was writer-producer Simon Kinberg who spoke to fans about the film, stirring excitement with an extended clip showing mutants of the future, including Sunspot and Iceman, facing off against the destructive Sentinels. Notably, no audience questions were allowed during the “X-Men” portion of Fox’s arena presentation. “Days of Future Past” adapts one of the most popular storylines from “X-Men” history, a two-part story from Chris Claremont and John Byrne that originally ran in 1980. The story takes place in two time periods: in a dystopian future in which mutants are hunted by the deadly Sentinels, […]
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