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March 31, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.

J.K. Rowling ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ set for movie trilogy

When J.K. Rowling revealed plans for a “Harry Potter” spinoff film adapted from her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” fans rejoiced at the idea of returning to the wizarding world the author rendered in such detail in her worldwide bestsellers about the Boy Who Lived. Turns out, there will be more than just one movie. Warner Bros. has announced its intention to release a planned trilogy of films based on “Fantastic Beasts,” with all three screenplays written by Rowling herself. Originally published in 2001, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” arrived as a 42-page textbook of sorts, chronicling the adventures of its fictional author and Hufflepuff hero Newt Scamander — Newt is a magizoologist (one who studies magical creatures, of course). In a release issued last year when the first film project was originally announced, Rowling specified that […]
March 27, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.

Batman 75th anniversary: Warner Bros., DC reveal Bat-logo, Bat-plans

batman75logofeaturedimage
Sunday will mark 75 years since Batman first appeared in “Detective Comics” No. 27, and if you thought DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. were going to let that go unmarked, then you’re crazy enough for Arkham Asylum. Today marks the beginning of brawling billionaire Bruce Wayne’s yearlong diamond jubilee, with the launch of the anniversary celebration’s online hub, www.Batman75.com, and the release of a commemorative logo that will feature on many DC comics and Warner Bros. products. And, Gothamites, July 23 is Batman Day: There will be celebrations at comic shops, bookstores and libraries, complete with a free Caped Crusader comic special to the occasion. The months ahead also bring the “Batman Eternal” weekly comics series, the first-ever home video release of the ’60s “Batman” television series starring Adam West, convention events, a 25th anniversary edition DVD of Tim Burton’s […]
Feb. 11, 2014 | 11:51 a.m.

‘Gotham’ Fox TV series casting: The Penguin, Alfred and more

Several actors have been cast in the upcoming Fox series "Gotham." Click through the gallery for a look at some of the actors who will populate Batman's hometown. (Los Angeles Times; NBC; Tribeca Film)
Alfred Pennyworth, the Penguin and more classic Batman characters have been cast in Fox’s upcoming series “Gotham.” The one-hour drama, from Warner Bros. Television, focuses on the origins of Batman’s ally, Commissioner James Gordon and the villains who made Batman’s hometown famous. Actor Ben McKenzie, known for roles in “Southland” and “The O.C.,” will star as Jim Gordon, Warner Bros. announced earlier this month, and Robin Lord Taylor, Zabryna Guevara, Sean Pertwee and Erin Richards are now joining the cast. Taylor (“Another Earth,” “Accepted”) has been cast as Oswald Cobblepot, the orphaned outcast who eventually becomes the gentleman villain the Penguin. Zombie fans may recognize Taylor from his guest appearance as Sam in an episode of “The Walking Dead” last season. In “Gotham,” Taylor’s character is described as having the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a […]
Feb. 08, 2014 | 4:11 p.m.

‘Gotham’ casting: Ben McKenzie to star as James Gordon in new Fox show

Actor Ben McKenzie will star in Fox's upcoming series "Gotham." (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
“Gotham” has found its Jim Gordon. Actor Ben McKenzie, known for roles in “Southland” and “The O.C.,” has been cast in the lead role of “Gotham,” the upcoming Fox series that centers on the experiences of James Gordon before he became the famous police commissioner and key ally of Batman, according to a release issued by Warner Bros. Television on Saturday. In addition to exploring Gordon’s younger years, the show will chronicle the origins of many of the villains who have challenged Bruce Wayne’s superhero alter ego. Bruno Heller, whose credits include the CBS procedural “The Mentalist” and HBO’s epic drama “Rome,” wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producer. Danny Cannon will direct and executive produce the pilot. Gordon was most recently brought to life on the big screen by Gary Oldman, who was a key part […]
Jan. 31, 2014 | 10:17 a.m.

‘Superman/Batman’: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred

Jesse Eisenberg is set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred Pennyworth in the new Batman/Superman movie, the upcoming "Man of Steel" sequel. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
Jesse Eisenberg will play famous villain Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder’s untitled sequel to 2012′s “Man of Steel,” which will see Henry Cavill’s Superman match wits with Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Actor Jeremy Irons also has been cast as Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred, according to a statement issued by Warner Bros. Friday. The character had been played by Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Gotham City trilogy. Though Internet rumors last year widely suggested Bryan Cranston would be tapped to play Luthor, the role ultimately went to Eisenberg, famous for roles in such films as “Zombieland” and “The Social Network.” In that David Fincher film, he played Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and earned an Oscar nomination for his performance. PHOTOS: Meet the Batman/Superman cast “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, […]
Sept. 12, 2013 | 1:06 p.m.

J.K. Rowling’s spinoff film: ‘Harry Potter’ stars react on Twitter

News that J.K. Rowling is writing a “Harry Potter” spinoff movie has magical-minded Muggles, including actors from the original films, abuzz on Twitter. The author and Warner Bros. on Thursday morning unveiled a new agreement to make more movies based on Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — a 42-page textbook of sorts, published in 2001 after the fourth “Harry Potter” novel — and the adventures of its fictional author, Newt Scamander. “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling said in a press release. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to […]
July 20, 2013 | 7:29 p.m.

Comic-Con 2013: ‘Godzilla,’ ‘300’ follow-up storm Legendary panel

'300: Rise of an Empire' and 'Godzilla' (featured image)
“Godzilla” was king during Legendary Pictures’ panel presentation in Comic-Con’s Hall H on Saturday. Fans in the 6,500-member audience cheered during the bass-pounding “Godzilla” preview footage, which, in addition to showing off its titular kaiju, revealed a first glimpse of a winged monster that could be Mothra. The panel also featured presentations for “300: Rise of an Empire” and “Seventh Son.” FULL COVERAGE: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 “Godzilla” is directed by Gareth Edwards, whose ambitious independent film “Monsters” garnered critical praise for its mashup of big visual effects and small art-house atmosphere. It’s exactly what attracted “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston to the project. “It was fantastic because he was able to make a monster movie also into a character-driven component where you really felt for these people,” Cranston said of “Monsters.” “And that’s what he transformed this ‘Godzilla’ into.” […]
July 20, 2013 | 6:13 p.m.

Comic-Con: Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise talk ‘Gravity,’ ‘Edge of Tomorrow’

Tom Cruise and Bill Paxton discuss "Edge of Tomorrow" at Comic-Con. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Zack Snyder’s announcement of a planned Superman and Batman film may have generated the most buzz out of Comic-Con’s Hall H on Saturday, but it was footage from Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller “Gravity” that had the hall’s 6,500 attendees in silent, rapt attention. “Gravity,” a suspense-filled story about two astronauts stranded in space, features only the faces of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. “If I was going to be stranded in space, I wouldn’t mind being stranded with them,” Cuaron quipped during the panel. When Bullock walked onto the stage with producer David Heyman, she was greeted by loud cheers, and several people screamed, “I love you, Sandra!” FULL COVERAGE: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 She recalled the intense physical demands of the role, which required her to be in a 9-by-9-foot, LED-lit cube for the majority of filming, suspended from […]
July 06, 2013 | 3:38 p.m.

Comic-Con 2013: ‘Hunger Games,’ Marvel sequels among Saturday’s lineup

The Comic-Con International schedule for Saturday, July 20, is out, with projects including “The Hunger Games,” “Godzilla,” and “Thor: The Dark World” among the upcoming movies topping the schedule for Hall H, the event’s premier 6,500 seat venue. Legendary and Warner Bros. kick off the Hall H programming with presentations on the “Godzilla” reboot from director Gareth Edwards, which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen and Juliette Binoche, with David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. “Seventh Son” will follow the king of the monsters onto the stage — the Jeff Bridges-starrer also features Julianne Moore and Ben Barnes. In the same session, Warners’ presentation will showcase a trio of its own projects without ties to Legendary: “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Gravity” and “The LEGO Movie.” “Rise of an Empire” is neither a sequel or a prequel to Zack Snyder’s […]
July 01, 2013 | 4:52 p.m.

Comic-Con: Peter Jackson won’t bring ‘The Hobbit 2′ to San Diego

J. R. R. Tolkien fans hoping for a glimpse of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in Hall H will have to wait. The second “Hobbit” movie won’t be coming to San Diego’s Comic-Con International, director Peter Jackson announced Monday on the film’s production blog. “I just want to pass on some news, which I’m sure is going to be disappointing to anyone going to Comic-Con this year, any fans,” Jackson said in a video posted on the blog. “A couple of days ago I told [Warner Bros.] that I just really wasn’t ready to present anything of ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ at Comic-Con this year.” Disappointing it may be — especially for attendees who are shining their One Rings and getting their elf ears fitted for some Tolkien-themed cosplay — but at least Jackson appears to have a good […]
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