Steven Zeitchik

March 06, 2013 | 5:10 p.m.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful': Sam Raimi on 3-D fantasy, James Franco

With three “Spider-Man” films on his resume, Sam Raimi has overseen some pretty large projects. But the director said that none of them quite prepared him for “Oz the Great and Powerful.” “Spider-Man lives in a world that already exists, and we were just creating the CG to put into it,” Raimi told Hero Complex in a recent interview. “With ‘Oz’ we had to create a world from scratch. No blade of grass or flower existed before. It was all generated by artists and props people and botanists.” Opening Friday, “Oz the Great and Powerful” represents the first directorial effort from Raimi since his 2009 horror movie “Drag Me to Hell,” and stands as his grandest filmmaking challenge to date, simply from a technical standpoint if no other. In fashioning his take on the world conjured by L. Frank Baum, […]
March 04, 2013 | 2:31 p.m.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful': Michelle Williams on Glinda inspiration

In both L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” novels and Victor Fleming’s 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” Glinda the Good Witch is all-knowing, aware of everything that happens in Oz and, for the most part, what needs to be done about it. But there’s a different Glinda in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” the Sam Raimi-directed film that opens to high fan anticipation this Friday. As played by Michelle Williams, the wand-waving beacon of goodness can sometimes be just as helpless and in-the-dark as the people she’s there to lead. That was a conscious choice made by Raimi, and one that he and Williams discussed often on set, the actress told Hero Complex. “Glinda can’t be omniscient because then she has no struggle,” Williams said. “If she already knows everything about the situation, there’s nothing for her to discover.” Designed as […]
July 11, 2012 | 7:17 a.m.

Comic-Con: ‘Star Trek,’ Spider-Man in free Hero Complex mag

Comic-Con Hero Complex Magazine
Who are the 50 greatest science fiction characters in television history? We answer that question with the latest edition of Hero Complex: The Magazine, which will be distributed for free at the doorstep of Comic-Con International this week in San Diego. We’ve printed up 100,000 copies of the glossy magazine for fans headed to the world-famous pop culture expo —  but if you’re not headed to the San Diego Convention Center you can also pick up a copy at six comic book stores: Meltdown Comics  in Los Angeles; the Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks and Northridge; and any of the three Midtown Comics in New York City. The choice we made for our cover portrait is completely logical: Mr. Spock of the USS Enterprise as portrayed by Leonard Nimoy on “Star Trek” in the 1960s. How many other Starfleet […]
April 08, 2011 | 4:40 p.m.

‘Deadpool': Tim Miller targeted as director

Deadpool merc with a mouth
Is a viable “Deadpool” film finally coming into the crosshairs? Ryan Reynolds has made no secret of his dark ambitions for Marvel’s “Merc with a Mouth”  and now Steve Zeitchik, who writes our must-read sister blog, 24 Frames, says there’s a director on board: According to two people who were briefed on the project but not authorized to talk about it publicly, visual-effects savant Tim Miller is set to come on and make his directorial debut with the movie. Fox could not immediately be reached for comment. Miller knows superheroes, and Fox knows him: The filmmaker worked on effects for the studio’s comic-book films such as “X-Men” and “Daredevil.” More recently, he worked on effects for the visuals-heavy “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” You can read the whole piece right here. – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Feige: Captain America as moral compass […]
April 03, 2011 | 12:04 p.m.

‘Hanna': Saoirse Ronan, a Jason Bourne for the ‘Glee’ generation

Saoirse Ronan in "Hanna"
To the distress of legions of fans, the Hollywood version of “The Hunger Games” is moving on without Saoirse Ronan carrying the bow of hunter-girl Katnisss Everdeen. But don’t fret for the 16-year-old New York native; she has plenty of other pursuits in front of her, including “Hanna,” which reunites her with director Joe Wright, the filmmaker who guided her to an Oscar nomination at age 13 for her performance in his acclaimed film “Atonement.” Steven Zeitchik, who leads our must-read sister blog 24 Frames, sat down with Ronan and Wright for a lively interview and the lengthy resulting article can be found in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar section. Here’s a quick excerpt from the sprightly conversation… “If Saoirse hadn’t been involved I wouldn’t have given it much attention,” Wright says. “But because she was, I thought I should take it seriously.” The result […]
March 17, 2011 | 8:07 a.m.

‘Limitless’ explained: ‘Instead of a nose job, a brain job’

Film Title: LIMITLESS
Los Angeles Times writer Steve Zeitchik gets inside the brain of “Limitless” director Neil Burger… Strolling around Manhattan’s Chinatown and Central Park, where he filmed scenes from his new film “Limitless,” director Neil Burger is reliving his movie’s arc. And his career. Which may not be all that far apart. “I always think about what’s the difference between being tenacious and having an inability to learn from failures,” he says on the warm Saturday in March, reflecting on his checkerboard directing path. “The difference between the homeless guy who wanted to be a great painter and the guy who is a great painter could be anything. It could be something small, like he dropped his keys at the right time and looked up and saw the gallery owner on the street. Or it could be something you never even find […]
Jan. 10, 2011 | 6:04 p.m.

Christopher Nolan is no lock for Oscar nomination

Christopher Nolan at BAFTA Awards (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Steven Zeitchik weighs in on Christopher Nolan’s  chances in the Oscars race following his Director’s Guild nomination. Here’s an excerpt… The DGA is about an accurate a predictor of the best director category at the Academy Awards as you can get: It’s foretold at least four of the five Oscar nominees in all but two of the past 12 years.  That would seem like great news for those hoping to see “Inception” get some attention in front of the approximately 40 million U.S. television viewers (and many more around the world) at the end of February. To date, Christopher Nolan’s movies have been nominated mostly in technical categories, and he was nominated once as a screenwriter (for “Memento“), but he has never landed a prized best-director slot, a source of irritation for his many fans. This year, the DGA nomination […]
Jan. 06, 2011 | 5:24 a.m.

‘G.I. Joe': Has director Stephen Sommers been relieved of command?

Cobra
Stephen Sommers was a divisive choice to direct “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” the 2009 movie that became a global hit despite lukewarm reviews (and prompted Sommers to offer some, er, words of his own to critics). Those who were on the fence about the filmmaker can unhook themselves: After reports this summer that Sommers would be returning to direct a planned sequel, it looks like he won’t be doing that after all…. THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST – Steven Zeitchik RECENT AND RELATED TOP 10: The best G.I. Joe vehicle toys of 1980s Snake Eyes talking? Hama says it almost happened Paramount flies the flag for G.I. Joe Darwyn Cooke: “G.I. Joe” toy art was key influence Sgt. Rock film reloads — but won’t be set in WWII Stallone: “Velcro muscles” made me expendable Stallone: “I’m contemplating an ‘Expendables’ sequel” Rampage Jackson’s […]
Nov. 17, 2010 | 2:00 p.m.

‘Last Exorcism’ director will remake French film ‘Martyrs’

martyrs
Some interesting news on the horror front from 24 Frames, our must-read sister blog… Cineastes and hardcore horror fans are already familiar with the French film “Martyrs,” Pascal Laugier’s dark and violent tale centering on two teenage girls who are not what they appear to be. Now broader American audiences could become familiar with the movie too. Producers on the Hollywood remake have just hired a director: Daniel Stamm, the filmmaker behind this summer’s horror hit “The Last Exorcism,” will shape the film for an English-language audience. (Oh, yes, the movie comes from the producers of “Twilight.”) As most horror-crazy types could tell you, Laugier’s 2008 original was a hit in Europe and a cult success here. It tells of Lucie and Anna, orphans who establish a friendship, until one of them inexplicably goes on a murderous rampage to avenge […]
Oct. 27, 2010 | 9:57 a.m.

‘Deadpool’ may lock and load with unknown Swedish director

Our sister blog 24 Frames, a must-read for Hollywood scoops, has some insider info on the “Deadpool” director job…  Ryan Reynolds (Jay Clendenin/Los Angeles Times) The story that’s unfolded around who will direct “Deadpool,” the Ryan Reynolds movie based on the Marvel anti-hero, has been almost as colorful as anything that appeared in the comic book itself. Robert Rodriguez was going to helm it, then he wasn’t, then he was, and now he’s not.  But sources familiar with the project say a new name has emerged for the director’s chair, and it’s an unconventional one: Adam Berg, a heretofore little-known Swedish commercial and video director. Berg has never directed a feature before, but he gained plenty of acclaim with  “Carousel,” a stylish short (you can check it out below) made for Philips Electronics that won the prestigious Cannes Lions International […]
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