The Avengers

May 15, 2013 | 4:43 p.m.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Joss Whedon, Clark Gregg on Coulson return

Chloe Bennet, left, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen and Brett Dalton star in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Bob D'Amico / ABC)
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 03, 2013 | 4:24 p.m.

‘Marvel’s Avengers Assemble': First look at the animated lineup

“Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” on Disney XD’s Marvel Universe block. (Disney XD)
Iron Man is back in the multiplex in a big way this weekend with “Iron Man 3,” but the character also features prominently in “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” a new animated series set to premiere July 7 on the Marvel Universe block on Disney XD, with a special one-hour sneak preview on May 26. Hero Complex is bringing you a new look at the team. The heroic lineup, which also includes Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye and Black Widow, is the same as the Avengers who assembled for Joss Whedon’s 2012 blockbuster, with the notable inclusion of one of Captain America’s oldest friends and partners, the Falcon. A previous series, “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” offered glimpses of numerous Marvel characters, but “Avengers Assemble” marks the first time this lineup has appeared on a television show. The series stars Adrian Pasdar […]
April 04, 2013 | 5:15 p.m.

Roger Ebert: A look back at five reviews of fan-favorite films

Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, has died. He was 70 years old. Here, Ebert attends the IFP Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on March 22, 2003. (Lionel Hahn/Abaca Press/MCT)
Film criticism lost a singularly significant voice Thursday with the death of Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Ebert, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 70. Earlier this week, Ebert had announced he would be taking a “leave of presence” from his writing, but the news of death shocked the film community, with many celebrities taking to Twitter to express their sad surprise and warm memories of the man who, with his longtime partner Gene Siskel, patented “two thumbs up” as a major cinematic endorsement. As a way to pay tribute to Ebert’s lasting legacy and influence, this seemed like a moment to reflect on his thoughts on five landmark fan-favorite movies, specifically, “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “The Matrix,” “Avatar” and “The Avengers.” Not all of them received an unqualified thumbs up. The following excerpts […]
April 03, 2013 | 3:37 p.m.

‘Avengers’ assemble — in England! Sequel shooting plans revealed

The Avengers are going to England. Screen Daily is reporting that writer-director Joss Whedon will film his highly anticipated sequel to “The Avengers” at the country’s venerable Pinewood-Shepperton facility, the same soundstages that played host to Marvel’s upcoming “Thor: The Dark World,” set for release later this year. Released in May of last year, “The Avengers” was a success of massive proportions, earning more than $1.5 billion worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing movie at the box office, while managing to please critics at the same time. “Even if you’re frustrated by the relentless calculation of Marvel Studios’ plan for world cinema domination, fed up by the shameless way the studio used several of its earlier, at times pro forma superhero movies to promote this one, even if you don’t particularly like comic-book adaptations, this film just might make a believer […]
March 11, 2013 | 7:34 a.m.

‘Much Ado’ at SXSW: Shakespeare sparks a Whedonverse reunion

Joss Whedon traveled to the Toronto Film Festival in September 2012 to premiere his film "Much Ado About Nothing." The film played over the weekend in Austin at SXSW 2013. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Joss Whedon — the man behind TV’s sci-fi western series “Firefly, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its spinoff “Angel,” as well as the big-screen mega-hit “The Avengers” —  is notorious for his loyalty to his actors, who pop up again and again in his projects. His latest, “Much Ado About Nothing,” which played Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival over the weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, is hardly an exception. For his take on the Shakespearean romantic romp, Whedon turned to veterans such as Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion to appear (as Leonato and Dogberry, respectively). Fran Kranz plays Claudio, while Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof play Beatrice and Benedick. Sean Maher is Don John. There’s also a smattering of newcomers, including Jillian Morgese as Hero. At a panel at SXSW over the weekend, […]
March 08, 2013 | 11:30 a.m.

‘Iron Man 3′: Trajectory of a superhero [Photos]

The Mark III armor is seen in the first "Iron Man" film.  Tony Stark created Mark III due to flaws in his previous armor. (Marvel)
Iron Man long sat near the heart of the Marvel Universe, leading his own series and often occupying a prominent spot among the Avengers. But ever since Tony Stark’s 2008 film debut, featuring Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, the character’s popularity has skyrocketed to the top of the superhero echelon. Ignoring “The Avengers,” which featured Iron Man, only Batman and Spider-Man have topped Iron Man’s popularity at the box office. Each “Iron Man” film has grossed more than $300 million domestically, leading Marvel’s single-character cinematic efforts. Not bad for a character that was once more commonly known for the seminal “Demon in a Bottle” storyline, in which Stark confronted alcoholism, and the Black Sabbath song “Iron Man.” Iron Man’s first appearance came in March 1963 in “Tales of Suspense” No. 39. Created by Marvel’s luminaries of the time […]
March 08, 2013 | 8:04 a.m.

Hulk rumors: Mark Ruffalo says no standalone Hulk film — for now

Mark Ruffalo has been addressing rumors — and the clamoring of Hulk fans — about the possibility of a standalone movie featuring the Hulk. Not now, he says. Ruffalo went the Twitter route to dispel rumors that he would be the focus of a new film. He sent a series of tweets Thursday. First, he said: “A lot of folks have been asking about the Next Hulk. The next time you see my Hulk it will be in the Avengers2. No plans for stand alone.”  He followed that with: “I am not giving up on another stand alone HULK. But it’s not in the works right now. One never knows what the future will bring.” He clarified that even further a bit later — notice the time on this, 1:37 a.m. Friday.  This is the kind of thing that keeps […]
March 06, 2013 | 10:45 a.m.

MTV Movie Awards: ‘Avengers,’ ‘Dark Knight’ top nominations

The cast of "The Avengers," heavily nominated in the genre awards season picking up where the Oscars left off. (Credit: Marvel)
This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. “The Avengers,” “Dark Knight Rises” and Martin Freeman are among the films and performers nominated for the MTV Movie Awards. What’s that? You thought Hollywood’s awards season was over? Well, it’s just getting started for fan-favorite movies that rarely have a shot at the shiny hardware for best-movie Oscars and Golden Globes. The MTV Movie Awards will be announced April 14 after you —  yes, you! — get to vote in the online popularity contest. The coveted Golden Popcorn statuette will be handed out in such offbeat categories as best kiss, best shirtless moment and best fight, in addition to more traditional categories such as breakthrough performance and movie of the year. James Bond jilted: Mendes rejects “Skyfall” follow-up Freeman is nominated for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” in a […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 11:20 a.m.

Oscars 2013: ‘The Avengers’ cast to join forces at ceremony

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), left, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in a scene from 2012's “The Avengers.” (Marvel)
Cast of ‘The Avengers,” assemble! You have been summoned to the  Oscars. Members of “The Avengers” cast including Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will gather together to present at the Hollywood awards show, the show’s producers announced Wednesday. But the super group of actors will not be complete: Scarlett Johansson is currently busy with her Broadway show “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” a spokeswoman from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told The Times. Chris Hemsworth, who stars in the film  “Thor: The Dark World,” set to come out in November, also will not be part of the group. Although none of “The Avengers” actors is up for an Oscar this year, many of them have been nominees in the past. Downey was nominated in 1993 for his lead […]
Jan. 30, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

‘Hawkeye’ scribe Matt Fraction: Maybe comics can be less ‘comic-y’

"Hawkeye" No. 2 (Marvel Comics)
Matt Fraction used to live in the New York area that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. To help out the community, the Marvel Comics scribe did one of the things he does best: He wrote an issue of “Hawkeye.” The new comic book about the heroic archer/super spy has been seen as one of the best coming out of Marvel lately, and it is Fraction’s fresh take on Clint Barton and his downtime away from the Avengers that draws readers. In “Hawkeye” No. 7, which is drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist Steve Lieber and artist Jesse Hamm, Fraction humanizes the most human of Avengers even more by putting him in a situation that many had to face — albeit without trick arrows and S.H.I.E.L.D. training. Fraction had to act fast, banging out the book over his Thanksgiving holiday, and recruiting […]
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