TV


Sept. 29, 2014 | 12:16 p.m.

‘SNL’ spoofs Marvel success with ‘Guardians’ star Chris Pratt

(NBC / screenshot)
Is Marvel so successful that it can do no wrong in the eyes of moviegoers? Maybe, according “Saturday Night Live.” In the show’s premiere this weekend, “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt joined the “SNL” cast in a satirical trailer poking fun at Marvel’s ever-expanding roster of superhero films and their apparent box-office invincibility. The faux trailer begins with images from “Guardians,” which has earned some $644 million at the worldwide box office, and a voice-over explaining that, after the success of a film based on “a super-obscure comic book” and the hype surrounding the studio’s eagerly anticipated “Ant-Man” (“It’s about a guy who talks to ants. What? Yeah!”), Marvel doesn’t need comic books anymore. “We made a superhero team by pointing at a bunch of random words in the dictionary,” the trailer deadpans, introducing “Creatures of the Cosmos,” […]
Sept. 26, 2014 | 11:11 a.m.

Marvel settles dispute over superhero rights with Jack Kirby estate

One of the most contentious court battles in comics has come to an end. Marvel and the members of Jack Kirby’s family issued a joint statement Friday to announce that the long-running legal case over royalties related to characters created or co-created by the legendary pioneer has been settled out of court. The short statement read in full: “Marvel and the family of Jack Kirby have amicably resolved their legal disputes, and are looking forward to advancing their shared goal of honoring Mr. Kirby’s significant role in Marvel’s history.” During his decades in comics, Kirby created or co-created Captain America, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer, Magneto, the Black Panther, Ant-Man, the Red Skull, Galactus and dozens of other comic book characters, helping define Marvel Comics during the Silver Age. The issue had been […]
Sept. 25, 2014 | 2:21 p.m.

‘The Strain': Kevin Durand channels his inner Viking warrior for Fet

Kevin Durand stars in "The Strain." (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
There are few things that will bond a cast of actors more closely than two consecutive weeks of filming at night in close confines during a polar vortex event in Toronto, according to actor Kevin Durand, who plays the towering exterminator Vasiliy Fet in “The Strain,” FX’s hit series adapted from the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. But the experience of shooting the eighth episode, “Creatures of the Night” — which sees the show’s ensemble of heroes fending off hordes of attacking vampires from inside a Brooklyn convenience store — didn’t just help him forge lasting connections among the actors, Durand said. It also allowed him to channel his inner action hero. “I love getting physical with characters,” Duran said in an interview earlier this year on the Toronto set of the show. “With this guy, there’s […]
Sept. 25, 2014 | 5:11 a.m.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': Seth Green on voicing Leonardo

Seth Green as Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon
Fans of Nickelodeon’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are in for an otherworldly Season 2 finale on Friday, but they won’t have to wait long for more from the mean, green fighting machines. The cartoon’s third season debuts next week, with “Robot Chicken’s” Seth Green taking over the role of the Turtles’ leader, Leonardo. Friday’s two-hour finale pits the radical reptiles against a Kraang attempt to transform New York City into their own version of Dimension X. Check out an exclusive clip from the episode in the video below. After the events of the finale, the heroes in a halfshell find themselves without a master, without a home and on the run. Hero Complex readers also get a first look at Green’s performance as Leonardo in a scene from “Within the Woods,” Oct. 3’s season premiere, which sees Leo struggling with […]
Sept. 24, 2014 | 11:04 a.m.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, more talk Season 2

B.J. Britt and Clark Gregg in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
“It’s all connected.” That was the familiar refrain Tuesday night from Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” producers and cast after the ABC series’ Season 2 premiere aired. (And, if you’ve yet to see the new episode, consider pausing here and coming back after you’ve watched. Spoilers ahead.) Those words were clearly true from the new season’s get-go, as it started with a taste of the 1940s-set upcoming series “Agent Carter,” starring Hayley Atwell, with a strange and powerful obelisk her team boxed up back then driving the quick-paced, twisting-and-turning action for Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) present-day S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Season 2 picks up with S.H.I.E.L.D. still in shambles from the disastrous double-agents revelation of HYDRA and the destruction seen in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” that changed the course of the show. HYDRA is still active, there’s that obelisk, the mystery of […]
Sept. 22, 2014 | 4:34 p.m.

‘Gotham': Penguin actor Robin Lord Taylor cites Tim Burton influence

Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), left, and Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), in a scene from "Gotham."  (Jessica Miglio/Fox)
Among the many villains in the new Fox series “Gotham,” actor Robin Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot might stand out as one of the more unhinged personalities Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) encounters as he finds his feet on a new beat in the corrupt city. One pointed scene in the premiere episode, which arrives Monday night, plays up Cobblepot’s rather robust enthusiasm for enhanced interrogation methods in the service of ruthless crime boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). But Oswald isn’t just some deranged lunatic, the actor points out — as “Gotham” unfolds, he promises, viewers will learn more about what motivates the character, and possibly even find some ways to sympathize with him. “The MO of the show,” he said, is “taking the fantastic and making it real.” In an interview with Hero Complex late last week, Taylor, whose […]
Sept. 22, 2014 | 1:19 p.m.

Stephen King’s JFK time-travel thriller ’11/22/63′ coming to Hulu

Stephen King, left, and J.J. Abrams. (Brownie Harris/CBS; Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
Stephen King’s time-travel novel “11/22/63″ is being adapted for small screens. A nine-hour event series based on the thriller is coming to Hulu via J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot Productions, Hulu announced Monday. Abrams, the creative mind behind the likes of “Lost” and “Fringe,” is no stranger to bizarre tales of time-travel and parallel realities, and it seems this series will be no exception. In King’s “11/22/63,” published in 2011, high school teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy, only to face obstacles including Lee Harvey Oswald, romance and a past resistant to change. Bridget Carpenter — whose previous credits include “The Red Road,” “Parenthood” and “Friday Night Lights” — will write the teleplay based on the novel and will executive produce along with King, Abrams (“Lost,” “Fringe”) and Bryan […]
Sept. 19, 2014 | 3:22 p.m.

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.': Watch Lucy Lawless in season premiere [video]

Clark Gregg, Lucy Lawless and Ming-Na Wen in Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (Kelsey McNeal/ABC)
ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” returns for its second season Tuesday, and Marvel on Friday released a new clip from the premiere episode, featuring Lucy Lawless in her new role as Isabelle Hartley, a seasoned S.H.I.E.L.D. veteran helping to rebuild the organization after its spectacular destruction — a key point in Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” that directly impacted the ongoing narrative of the show. Lawless, beloved by fans for her turns in such series as “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Battlestar Galactica,” is one of several new actors joining the show’s ensemble in its second season. Watch the new clip below. Reed Diamond, Nick Blood, Henry Simmons and Kyle MacLachlan will each play a role in “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” upcoming run of episodes, as will Adrianne Palicki, who will be joining the cast as Bobbi Morse, otherwise known as Mockingbird. Palicki’s previous television […]
Sept. 19, 2014 | 2:15 p.m.

‘Supergirl’ series flies to CBS in new wave of comic book-inspired TV

"Supergirl" is coming to CBS. (DC Entertainment)
Supergirl is soaring onto the small screen in a new one-hour drama, the latest in a flurry of TV shows based on comic book superheroes. CBS has given a series commitment for the show, DC Entertainment confirmed Friday. The series will be written and executive produced by “No Ordinary Family” team Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”) and Ali Adler (“Chuck,” “Glee”), with Sarah Schechter (“Pan”) also executive producing. Supergirl, comics fans know, is Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El. Like Kal-El, Kara escaped Krypton before it was destroyed and arrived on Earth after her cousin, with whom she shares an array of superhuman abilities. The show will focus on a 24-year-old Kara who is ready to stop hiding her powers and become a hero. It won’t be Supergirl’s first time on screen; Helen Slater played the character in the critically panned 1984 […]
Sept. 19, 2014 | 11:56 a.m.

‘Doctor Who': Nick Frost, Michael Troughton to guest star in Christmas special

Nick Frost, left, will be guest starring in the 2014 "Doctor Who" Christmas special. (Los Angeles Times; BBC America)
“Shaun of the Dead” actor Nick Frost will guest star in this year’s “Doctor Who” Christmas episode, the BBC announced Friday. “I’m so thrilled to have been asked,” Frost said in a BBC America news release. “I’m such a fan of the show.” Frost will be joined by Michael Troughton (“Breathless,” “The New Statesman”), the son of Patrick Troughton, who portrayed the second incarnation of the Doctor in the late 1960s. Also guest-starring are Nathan McMullen (“Misfits”), Faye Marsay (“The White Queen”) and Natalie Gumede (“Coronation Street”). They will of course be accompanied by Peter Capaldi, the Doctor, and Jenna Coleman, his companion Clara. The Christmas special, to be shot in Cardiff at BBC Wales Roath Lock Studios, is directed by Paul Wilmshurst (“Strike Back”), who also directed this season’s seventh and eighth episodes “Kill the Moon” and “Mummy on […]
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