Yvonne Villarreal

July 30, 2013 | 1:53 p.m.

Flash may get his own show on CW; ‘Arrow’ will introduce DC hero

The Flash may be getting his own TV show, the CW announced Tuesday at the Television Critics Assn.’s summer press tour. The CW will introduce the Flash during the second season of “Arrow” before giving the scarlet speedster his own drama series, aptly named “Flash.” “We plan to introduce a recurring character [on “Arrow”] and an origin story for Dr. Barry Allen, who you know as The Flash,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz. “We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully it will go well. We do want to expand upon the DC Universe. We think that there are rich characters that we can use and we thought this was a very organic way to get there.” The Flash, the lightning-quick DC hero, first appeared in comics in 1940 and became a member of the Justice League of America. (“Arrow” producers have hinted […]
Jan. 23, 2013 | 7:07 p.m.

‘Spartacus’: Star Liam McIntyre makes ‘tough guy’ confession

It was a festive occasion for a melancholy moment. The cast and crew of Starz’s series “Spartacus” gathered in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night for a lavish red carpet kickoff to the show’s closing chapter. Titled “Spartacus: War of the Damned,” the epic final season focuses on the brutal, bloody war between the rebels led by Liam McIntyre’s Spartacus and the Roman army, a story line that will involve two prominent new villains: Marcus Crassus (Simon Merrells) and a young Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance). “We realized that — historically — it’s a tricky thing to tell,” said creator and executive producer Steven S. DeKnight. “Historically, it’s all over the place. There is no linear story once they start the war. The rebels break apart, come back together, break apart. They go south, south, east, west. We really wanted to tell […]
Oct. 08, 2012 | 6:03 p.m.

‘Arrow’: CW series producers say Royal Flush Gang is in the cards

The creators of CW’s upcoming “Arrow” already have promised a grittier Green Arrow — Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen sports a leather-and-hoodie ensemble from Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, and the world he inhabits on the new series premiering Wednesday is designed to believably be home to a rough-hewn vigilante. But that doesn’t mean that the producers, including”Green Lantern’s” Greg Berlanti and “Smallville’s” David Nutter, are prepared to abandon the character’s comic book roots — DC characters including China White, Huntress and Deadshot will get some screen time.  And now it seems the Royal Flush Gang are on deck to shuffle things up as well. “Arrow” producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and star Amell met with reporters Monday to tout the new superhero drama and revealed that the costumed cadre of supervillains will […]
Feb. 12, 2012 | 2:06 p.m.

‘Walking Dead’: Jon Bernthal’s Shane adopts zombie ‘new world order’

The post-apocalyptic drama “The Walking Dead,” which resumes its second season Sunday on AMC, prides itself on its sprawling ensemble cast: one part zombies looking for their next meal, the other part survivors trying not to become dinner. Although all the survivors have struggled to maintain a semblance of humanity and sanity, no one has struggled with it more than Shane, played by Jon Bernthal. (Spoiler alert: If you’re not caught up on this season, you may want to stop reading now.) In the midseason finale, the incessantly brash Shane initiated a zombie shooting spree, enraged that the owner of the farm where he and a group of survivors were staying had been housing a swarm of the living dead in a nearby barn. After opening the barn doors, Shane shot the creatures as they stumbled out, to demonstrate his […]
July 25, 2011 | 11:27 a.m.

Comic-Con 2011: Spider-Man, Steven Spielberg and TV tribes

With great power comes great responsibility, and maybe that’s why Andrew Garfield’s expression alternated between somber and seasick an hour before he faced the spotlight glare of Comic-Con International. “We all know how big a deal this is,” said the 27-year-old British-bred actor who will wear the mask in “The Amazing Spider-Man” next summer as Sony Pictures tries to reboot the franchise that has earned close to $2.5 billion at the box office. “We don’t need to talk about it. We know what is at stake. We know the fans are everything.” That’s the potential burn — and signature sizzle — of Comic-Con, the annual, four-day San Diego pop culture expo that concluded Sunday. Dating back four decades, the event has grown from its scruffy comic-book swap meet beginnings into an extravaganza attracting 120,000 people, and Hollywood has come to […]
July 23, 2011 | 10:32 a.m.

Comic-Con 2011: ‘Spartacus’ gets a facelift with new season

“I am Spartacus!” Liam McIntyre delivers the line ferociously in the Season 2 trailer that played during the “Spartacus: Vengeance” panel Friday night at Comic-Con International. And there was no refuting his declaration. His new disciples in the room cheered him on. McIntyre takes over the role originally played by Andy Whitfield, who left the Starz period drama due to his ongoing battle with cancer. “It’s an absolute mind-bending journey so far,” McIntyre said. “It’s a great privilege. A Great honor … a great responsibility.” And the cast has been supportive of his arrival—hazing the newbie would have been kind of difficult: “There’s not a lot of pants [on the show] to pull down.” Still, he couldn’t help note the bittersweet aspect of taking on the role that fans identify with someone else. “It’s hard. You kind of wish you […]
July 22, 2011 | 3:18 p.m.

Comic-Con 2011: ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ promises dark days ahead

At the “Torchwood: Miracle Day” panel held Friday at Comic-Con, death from laughter was a definite possibility — even though Capt. Jack (and dozens of folks dressed like him) were in the room. From bouts of singing to sexual innuendos, the cast (mostly Barrowman) had the full room chuckling heartily. Not the sort of thing we usually see on the sci-fi series, created by Russell T. Davies. In the fourth installment of the “Doctor Who” spinoff, which premiered earlier this month on Starz, no one on Earth is dying and it’s up to immortal, time-traveling Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and company to figure out why. After “Torchwood: Children of Earth” ended its run on BBC America, Barrowman was pleased when he heard “Miracle Day” was a go — on a different channel.  “I thought they’d be stupid not to […]
Feb. 07, 2011 | 5:24 a.m.

‘Power Rangers Samurai’ looks for fighting chance with new generation

Los Angeles Times television writer Yvonne Villarreal looks at Nickelodeon’s new fight club… Eighteen years — and 15 iterations — after they premiered, the Power Rangers are still demonstrating their mighty morphin’ abilities. Now Nickelodeon is introducing a new generation of kids to the long-running franchise of teenage costumed heroes with the prime-time premiere Monday of the live-action series “Power Rangers Samurai.” “The show has been a point of entry into action adventure, sci-fi and fantasy for young children for so many years,” said Pete Danielsen, executive vice president of programming for Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. “And we hope that remains true as we add it to our lineup.” In the new edition, shot in New Zealand, five spirited teens battle monsters under the guidance of a samurai mentor to save the world. “There’s no other show for kids […]
June 30, 2010 | 12:09 p.m.

A bittersweet ‘Toy Story’ for John Morris, voice of Andy: ‘You have to say goodbye to being a kid’

Yvonne Villarreal is back on the Hero Complex with a story about John Morris, who grew up in the role of Andy, the heartfelt human at the center of a “Toy Story“ that began in 1995.   His own toy story began 18 years ago. John Morris was a little boy, just 7 years old, and when he became part of Hollywood history he wasn’t even paying attention — he was too busy playing with some X-Men action figures to notice that he had won the voice role of Andy, the earnest and imaginative youngster at the center of Pixar’s “Toy Story” franchise. “It was an open casting call for boys,” Morris, now 25, recalled. “I knew I was there for a job. But, I mean, at that moment, it was just about me and my toys. I was playing and was in my own world. I think that’s what got […]
June 27, 2010 | 3:14 p.m.

‘Twilight’ fans moon over ‘Eclipse’: ‘It was way better than “New Moon” ‘ [updated]

The fans have spoken. Hero Complex contributor Yvonne Villarreal covered the big premiere for “Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” and the reviews from the fans are in. Here’s a snapshot of the fanfare and a taste of what true believers have to say about the film, which opens June 30.  After turning the space outside the Nokia Theatre into a tent city earlier this week, hundreds of screaming “Twilight” fans — many toting posters with messages such as “I want to play ‘Pat the Pattinson’ ” or “My heart goes nutz for Lutz” scrawled in brilliant colors — got their wish at the world premiere Thursday of “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”: photos with Robert Pattinson, a glimpse at Kellan Lutz’s Calvin Klein underwear and, for a few, last-minute tickets to see the film. “It’s still such a struggle in the car on the way here,” […]
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