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‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Review: Marvel Soars Into Space With Sci-Fi Excellence

July 29, 2014 - 8:00pm

I’m still trying to figure out how Guardians of the Galaxy works. It’s a movie set in an unfamiliar universe, it introduces several new characters with diverse backstories on numerous worlds, and features a talking raccoon, a fighting tree, familial death, and multiple villains, all set to seventies and eighties pop music. On paper, there’s no way the movie should work. But not only did writer/director James Gunn find the perfect mix to make it work, Guardians of the Galaxy soars. All of those elements marry each other just right to tell a singular, direct and entertaining story. Along the way there’s room for jaw-dropping and innovative action, beautiful visuals, robust characterizations and more laughs than probably all the other Marvel movies combined. Yes, Marvel has another winner in Guardians of the Galaxy. Read the rest of our Guardians of the Galaxy review below.

In its first three scenes, the varied tone of Guardians of the Galaxy is instantly set. There’s an emotional, heartbreaking first scene, followed by a surprising and wacky second scene and then a cool, Indiana Jones style action scene. Those are the three main components of the film. As the story presses on, all three of those tones are interlocked in a beautiful balance. Things never get too emotional without a joke. Things never get too action packed without some heart, and nothing’s excessively comic at the expense of action.

The story focuses on the five main characters, and the way in which these radically different beings form a bond. Each character – Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Groot (voice of Vin Diesel) and Rocket (voice of Bradley Cooper) – is given just enough back story and setup that they have specific personality goals to achieve over the course of the film. Rocket Raccoon has an inferiority complex, Gamora has daddy issues, Star Lord has mommy issues. Even though they’re comic book badasses, everyone is flawed and vulnerable in some way. Those character pay-offs, in tandem with the story pay-offs, give the film numerous chill-inducing moments.

In particular, the three actors who actually appear on screen shine in the movie. Pratt is a worthwhile and formidable hero, Saldana is a vexing foil and Bautista is the perfect straight man. Throw in two hugely charismatic CG creations (each excellent in their own way) and no matter who is the center of any particular scene, it’s exciting and enjoyable.

A lot of that also comes from the fact the film is infused with the sensibilities of James Gunn’s previous work. The whole film teems with sly dialogue, funny asides and dark humor. There’s even a joke about bodily fluids in the movie (not that one or that one. THAT one), all of which give Guardians a rewarding unpredictability.

This is the first time Gunn has been given a huge canvas and he embraces it. Every action scene feels like it’s crafted by someone who has finally been set loose to create ideas they’ve dreamt of for years. Each action scene has something you probably haven’t seen before, which is pretty awesome. Scenes like thousands of ships combining to form a mesh barricade or Star Lord piloting one ship, while still inside another ship, make the film feel like the biggest action film of the summer.

But really, what holds Guardians of the Galaxy together is its humanity. Sure there’s lots of action and humor but it’s the quiet moments, the pauses, the knowing glances, that make the experience feel so wonderful. That humanity (or whatever passes for humanity when talking about Rocket and Groot) grounds an otherwise fantastic movie as something we can all relate to.

If there’s anything negative to say about the film it’s that Gunn has made a Disney movie. It rides the line of its PG-13 rating content wise but never demands much of the audience. There’s very little subtext or subtlety. Very few beats aren’t laid out to easily digest, save for some of those quiet pauses. Not that a movie like this needs them, but with such a diverse cast of characters and locations a hint of deeper meaning would have enhanced the story.

Anyway, I could gush endlessly about the good things in Guardians of the Galaxy and that’s probably why it works. Pretty much every single element, no matter how crazy or simple, explodes off the screen into a wholly satisfying, entertaining theatrical experience. It might just be my favorite Marvel movie to date.

/Film rating: 9 out of 10

The post ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Review: Marvel Soars Into Space With Sci-Fi Excellence appeared first on /Film.

Simon Pegg Still Won’t Say He’s Not In ‘Star Wars Episode VII’

July 29, 2014 - 6:45pm

Simon Pegg won’t appear in Star Wars Episode VII, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be part of the film in some other way. In a recent interview, Pegg continued to say what he’s always said about the film. He’s a huge fan, he’s friends with writer director J.J. Abrams, he’s visited the set, but him appearing would take people out of the movie. So he continues to say he won’t be on screen in Episode VII. But he also won’t, and hasn’t, said that he’s not in the movie at all, which is now leading to speculation the Shaun of the Dead actor might provide some kind of voice or performance capture where his face wouldn’t be an issue.

Follow the Simon Pegg Star Wars mystery below.

This latest round of Simon Pegg Star Wars talk began at Comic Con where Benedict Cumberbatch spoke to MTV.

Get More:
Movie Trailers, Celebrity News

If you don’t want to watch the video, here’s the quote. Cumberbatch was asked if he and J.J. Abrams discussed him being in Star Wars and if it came close.

J.J. and I are friends, so yeah, possibly. But I think J.J. is very good at creating something original out of something known, and I think apart from his continuing use of Simon Pegg — and who can blame him, frankly — it made sense not to do it.

Cumberbatch also didn’t rule out never being in any Star Wars film, he’s just not in this one.

Back to Pegg though, those comments make it sound like he’s in the movie, right? So Vulture asked Pegg about them directly. He acknowledged that Cumberbatch said the above thing and added this:

Well, J.J. uses me in different roles, and we’re good friends. I feel like my face in Star Wars would pop people out of the movie. Look, I love Star Wars, and I don’t want people to watch and go, Oh, there’s Simon Pegg’s face. The film is cleverly cast with these amazing, unknown actors.

That’s not an answer. So the report followed up directly, “So you’re not in the movie?” His response, quoted from their site.

[Smiles.] Of course I visited the set. It’s amazing, and I love Star Wars. I want to see everything happening. It looks wonderful, and you need to believe those characters. Any type of stunt casting might just pop you out of the movie.

Again, he specifically avoided answering the question. Why? Two possible reasons. One, he’s in the movie and doesn’t want to lie. Remember Pegg famously denied Kahn was in Star Trek Into Darkness and will never live that down. Or two, because he knows keeping the answer vague results in articles like this one.

As a Star Wars fan, I’d love for Pegg to show up in some small role. The guy is an uber fan, great actor, and he could certainly add something without appearing and taking people out of the movie. Plus, he’s providing a voice for the Phineas and Ferb Star Wars show.

But did he do something for Episode VII? We’ll have to wait an see.

What do you think of this latest episode in the Simon Pegg Star Wars saga?

The post Simon Pegg Still Won’t Say He’s Not In ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ appeared first on /Film.

Warner Bros. Options Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ Novels

July 29, 2014 - 6:08pm

If I had to name one fantasy or sci-fi book series that I can’t believe hasn’t been turned into a film or TV series yet, it would be Anne McCaffrey‘s Dragonriders of Pern. Actually, I did say this, and not even that long ago. The Pern books are a strange blend of fantasy and sci-fi, filled with great, well-defined characters, politics and scheming, and giant telepathic dragons. It’s stuff that might have been a hard sell ten years ago. In the wake of Game of Thrones and so many other sci-fi and fantasy successes on TV and in film, the time is right. And Warner Bros. has just optioned all of it. 

Deadline reports the Pern deal, saying that new WB exec Drew Crevello, who worked on the X-Men series at Fox, is behind the deal. This option covers 22 novels.

There’s a lot about Pern that is pretty neat, but I won’t spoil the scope of all of it here. In short, the right creative team could build a Game of Thrones-style series out of these books. And because the novels are older, there is more room to take liberties in the adaptation, and push things only implied by the material into explicit reality.

The first books tell of a world that has fallen into an unusual conflict, in which an essentially feudal society supports a dwindling but still powerful class of warriors. The warriors’ power comes from the fact that they ride giant fire-breathing dragons, with which each rider has direct telepathic communication. Stories say the dragons once protected the planet from a periodic rain of all-consuming spores, but those rains haven’t taken place for decades. The dragons say most people, are no longer needed, their appetites unwelcome.

And then the spores return. Their renewed attacks coincide with the rise of a fiery young woman, Lessa, who becomes rider of the planet’s last young queen dragon. She rallies a tiny force of beasts to protect her charges from the spores, but faces exhaustion and impossible odds. And then she learns of another dragon ability, and a plan forms.

I rather wish that we’d already seen that ambitious one-time plan for a TV + film adaptation of The Dark Tower borne out already, because Pern is a series that could benefit from a combined effort on film and television. But even a big film series would be great — there are absolutely thrilling moments in McCaffrey’s books, and I’d absolutely love to see them on screen.

The post Warner Bros. Options Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ Novels appeared first on /Film.

Superhero Bits: Avengers Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Batman v Superman, Hulk, Spider-Man

July 29, 2014 - 6:00pm

Want a closer look at Captain America’s shield in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Will you be able to see the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Comic Con footage online? What kind of videos can you find about Guardians of the Galaxy and more at the Marvel Youtube? Have Mark Ruffalo and Lou Ferrigno ever met? Did the Deadpool creator have good stuff to say about the leaked footage? Was one of Ultron’s drones hidden at Comic-Con? How many things are wrong with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Why did Spider-Man get arrested in New York City? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.

Cinema Sins tackle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Superhero Hype wrote about the history and origins of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

A detailed look at Captain America’s broken shield in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Comic Con footage won’t make it online officially, according to Variety.

Here’s a new Guardians of the Galaxy TV spot featuring some quote from some guy on some website. But also, the Marvel YouTube page has a TON of AWESOME Comic Con coverage. You could spend your afternoon watching movies.

Comic Book writes about a image snapped at Comic Con that may or may not be one of Ultron’s drones.

Awesome image from the set of Iron Man with Jeff Bridges, Stan Winston and more.

Set photos from Batman v Superman show some messed up vehicles in a famous city.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits >>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over TWO pages. Click the link above to continue to the second page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Avengers Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Batman v Superman, Hulk, Spider-Man appeared first on /Film.

WTF: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Poster Accidentally References 9/11

July 29, 2014 - 5:30pm

The phrase “epic fail” may not be as fashionable as it once was, but sometimes it really is the only way to express just how horribly something has gone wrong. Case in point: Can you come up with a better way to describe a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster that combines exploding building imagery and a 9/11 release date? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Gawk at the controversial Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 9/11 poster the jump.

Paramount Pictures Australia proudly posted their new TMNT poster on Twitter. The tweet has since been deleted, but you can still get an eyeful thanks to the magic of screenshots (via Cinema Blend).

And here’s a bigger version of the poster itself.

Paramount yanked the image as soon as they figured out their mistake. And just so we’re clear, there’s no reason to believe it’s anything but a mistake. It’s not like Paramount has anything to gain from intentionally pissing people off. Moreover, the 9/11 connection probably doesn’t spring as readily to their minds as it does to ours.

Still, it was a major world event, and an expensive studio blockbuster like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles no doubt has a whole chain of people who have to sign off every time a new piece of artwork goes out. You’d think someone, at some point, would have noticed this awkward juxtaposition and pointed it out.

Ironically, had this poster been released in the U.S. it wouldn’t have attracted nearly as much controversy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens August 8 here in the States, so it wouldn’t have had that offending release date.

And it is that unfortunate combination that’s at issue, not the picture itself. In fact, the same artwork was released a few days earlier without issue in Hong Kong, where the movie lands August 7. Plus, American cities including New York get destroyed with alarming regularity in big-budget actioners. That’s nothing new.

Overall, this is hardly the worst thing we’ve ever seen a studio do. But it’s probably the last thing Paramount needs for a movie that’s already attracting a lot of skepticism. Bet they miss the days when all they had to do was fend off rumors about alien origins, huh?

The post WTF: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Poster Accidentally References 9/11 appeared first on /Film.

Sequel Bits: ‘Pacific Rim 2′, ‘Ted 2′, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Star Trek 3′, ‘Blade’

July 29, 2014 - 5:00pm

You want more of the kaiju world? You got it. Guillermo del Toro promises we’ll see more of that in Pacific Rim 2, though not necessarily in the way you think. Also after the jump:

  • Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is getting a sequel
  • Ted 2 has started shooting; see some set photos
  • Sherri Shepherd climbs aboard Ride Along 2
  • Zachary Quinto says Roberto Orci will direct Star Trek 3
  • Chris Pratt is so pumped for you to see Jurassic World
  • Wesley Snipes wants to hunt Twilight vamps in Blade IV

Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist is getting a sequel. Titled Street Fighter: World Warrior, the follow-up will pick up where the last series left off. Ryu and Ken are on their warrior’s pilgrimage, while M. Bison’s criminal organization Shadaloo will come into play. Guile, Chun-li, and Sagat will also be introduced.

The new series will arrive in late 2015 or early 2016. That should give fans plenty of time to catch up on the last one, which hits DVD, Blu-ray, TV, VOD, and download-to-own October 28 in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. [Polygon]

Universal has been dying for a Ted sequel ever since the first one came out, and now it’s finally getting one. The Seth MacFarlane-directed comedy began shooting last week. /Film reader Aaron sent us some set pics, which you can see below.

@slashfilm #Ted2 is filming down the street from my house. pic.twitter.com/gp5chRxQz3

— Aaron King (@ATheKing88) July 29, 2014

@slashfilm pic.twitter.com/wUSeqEgCbq

— Aaron King (@ATheKing88) July 29, 2014

@slashfilm looks like they're using the archive section of my local library #Ted2 pic.twitter.com/Dya2ph4z5Y

— Aaron King (@ATheKing88) July 29, 2014

@slashfilm apparently they removed all the books from the archive and replaced them with law books for the scene

— Aaron King (@ATheKing88) July 29, 2014

Ted 2 opens June 26, 2015. [Studio System News]

Fresh off of a seven-year run on The View, Sherri Shepherd has booked a new job on the big screen. She’s boarding the cast of Ride Along 2, joining Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Ken Jeong, and Olivia Munn. Tim Story is directing. Ride Along 2 opens January 15, 2016. [Deadline]

Roberto Orci keeps emphasizing that the Star Trek 3 directing gig isn’t his quite yet, but Zachary Quinto sounds pretty sure. “He is a cornerstone of what we built with that iteration of the franchise and I am looking forward to getting back to it,” he said, stating that Orci “will direct.” He also spoke about the series in more general terms.

The great thing about [the Star Trek] experience has always been that it has evolved and unfolded very organically and I think that is the case for where we are now. They are working on the script. They are taking it to the next level and I am sure within the next weeks and months we will get more information on when it is going to happen and what the story is. It is in formation mode now.

Star Trek 3 does not yet have a release date. [Sky via Trek Movie]

Wesley Snipes wouldn’t mind having another go at the Blade series.

I’d be open to it. I think we’ve got some stones left unturned and there’s some latitude left for us to build on and I’d love to get back in the suit again and do some things I’ve learned how to do now that I didn’t know how to do then. I think we’re better at making that kind of a film now. Some of the things we did in the early parts of the franchise were experimental and now they’ve become customary in a lot of the Avengers films and other comic book adaptations.

Snipes also has some thoughts about how to update the franchise. “Blade chasing the Twilight kids around? Hey man, there’s always a possibility, and I’m open to it,” he said. “There have been rumours around that we may explore the opportunity, so give me one more shot!” [MTV News via Comic Book Movie]

There’s no doubt Chris Pratt wants you to see Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, but he really, really can’t wait for you to see the Jurassic World in Jurassic World.

I’m excited about people seeing the park. The park is up and running. John Hammond’s dream has come true, and there’s now a park with 20,000 visitors a day. And everything he dreamed of and more is there at the park, and you will see it as an audience member when you see this movie. And then you will see it get torn down. [Laughs]

Jurassic World opens June 12, 2015. [Total Film]

We got a small glimpse of the kaiju world in Pacific Rim, and Guillermo del Toro promises we’ll see even more of that in Pacific Rim 2. “If you think are we invading their world, we’re not, but we’re showing more of that world,” he said.

On top of that, we’ll also be seeing more of our own world. While the first film was mainly shot in Toronto, the follow-up will expand outward.

No, it’s all over the world this time. I want it to be different enough to the first one that you don’t feel you’re seeing the same movie. I’m doing a little more location-oriented stuff, there are night battles, but there are also daylight battles. The things we do in the action scenes is very different from the first one. We are expanding the mythology of the Anteverse. We are taking the characters into a completely different journey this time because Raleigh for me solved his problem the minute he was able to go full circle and save Mako by sacrificing himself, which is what he couldn’t do with his brother. He’s not on that journey anymore, he’s on a new journey.

As for when and how all of this will unfold, del Toro offered some new details on the timeline.

We start designing in three weeks. We get the first draft of the screenplay in three weeks; Zak Penn and I are co-writing and then there’s a long, long, long journey of drafts and design. It took nine months to design “Pacific Rim”; it will take nine months or more to design the second one. We start scouting for the movie in the summer next year, July, and then we start shooting in November. Then it’s a long year of post after we wrap and we’ll probably be showing the movie in January/February 2017 to test audiences.

Pacific Rim 2 lands April 7, 2017. [STYD, Hero Complex]

The post Sequel Bits: ‘Pacific Rim 2′, ‘Ted 2′, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘Star Trek 3′, ‘Blade’ appeared first on /Film.

‘Atari: Game Over’ Trailer: Digging Up Evidence of E.T.’s Demise

July 29, 2014 - 4:15pm

In 1983 Atari dumped a ton of unsold E.T. video game cartridges in a New Mexico landfill. That’s s documented fact, but one that is strange enough that it took on the allure of urban legend. Last year a company excavated that landfill as part of a documentary on the fall of Atari and the early ’80s video game industry. The results have been seen in photos, but now you can see video, thanks to the Atari: Game Over trailer. Watch below.

 

Atari was a pioneering video game company, and the first truly dominant company in the home gaming market thanks to the Atari 2600 console. But by the end of 1982 Atari was fractured into uncooperative divisions, and had failed to follow up the hardware success of its first major console even as clones and competitors arrived on shelves. Third-party games, many of which were sub-par titles, flooded the market.

Making things worse was Atari’s own ability to churn out undercooked games, such as the officially licensed Pac-Man home conversion, and most notoriously the licensed E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial game. E.T. was given a scant five weeks of development. Shallowly conceived and over-produced, the title could never hope to sell through its inventory. The game didn’t single-handedly kill Atari or the industry, but it was the focal point for many problems, and the poster child for the video game industry crash of 1983. 

Atari buried thousands of unsold copies of E.T. in a New Mexico landfill, and a few months ago a group dug up that site as part of a documentary on the company’s history. This is the trailer.

Some of this trailer is hopelessly mired in hyperbole. Try to process statements like “The dreams of a generation buried underneath the garbage… you can hear it screaming or something” and “it’s like opening the Ark of the Covenant.”

But there’s a good story here, about the rise of Atari, and the hubris of the first stage of the video game industry. Hopefully there will be some understanding about how the company’s disorganization and seeming dominance contributed to its fall.

Atari: Game Over premieres on Xbox Live this fall. Trailer via Xbox.

The post ‘Atari: Game Over’ Trailer: Digging Up Evidence of E.T.’s Demise appeared first on /Film.

Nine New ‘Maze Runner’ Posters Tease Large Mysteries

July 29, 2014 - 4:00pm

That new trailer wasn’t the only Maze Runner item to hit the ‘net in the past few hours. Nine new Maze Runner posters, most of them created by artists outside the marketing department, were released. They really sell the scope of this story, which is based on a novel by James Dashner and directed by Wes Ball.

In the film, a young man named Thomas  (Dylan O’Brien of MTV’s Teen Wolf) finds himself in The Glade. That’s a mysterious open space in the center of a massive maze, with seemingly no way out. As he and many other young guys try and figure out what’s going on, the game changes when Teresa (Kaya Scodelario of Skins) arrives. Not only is she the first girl, she has memories of who Thomas was in his life before the Glade.

You can see lots of that and more in the trailer and fans loved the movie. Plus, Fox teased a potential sequel a month before release. So things are looking good for The Maze Runner, and these posters look good too. Check out the new Maze Runner posters below.

Here are the nine Maze Runner posters via Yahoo and First Showing.

Combine these posters with the new trailer and the Comic Con panel and I have to say, I’m very intrigued by The Maze Runner. I think there’s some very cool, mystery potential here.

The Maze Runner opens on September 19. It also stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, and Ki Hong Lee.

When Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

The post Nine New ‘Maze Runner’ Posters Tease Large Mysteries appeared first on /Film.

Page 2: BTTF, LEGO, Star Wars, Mike Tyson, He-Man, Orphan Black, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, RoboCop, Guillermo del Toro

July 29, 2014 - 3:00pm

Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 36 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness.

Header Photo: Joey Spiotto’s “Storytime: a little gallery show”

A Comic-Con Intervention: 3 Humble TV Requests for Next Year

What We Learned From Comic-Con: Movies Were an Afterthought

Recycling Is Not Awesome For Emmit

In Defense of Comic-Con

After Years of Attending, Comic-Con Has Lost Hype But Not Passion

Star Wars Here Goes Nothing Poster

WB Dazzles Comic-Con, Hall H With Supersized Screens

10 Most Ridiculously Priced Comic-Con Exclusives on eBay

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures – Rebel Aces Preview #2

Analyst: Amazon Prime Membership Tops 27 Million Globally

Mike Tyson Mysterieslooks like Scooby-Doo on hallucinogens

Help Robert Meyer Burnett And Mark A. Altman Kickstart A Series Revisitation Of Their Ode To Geekosity, FREE ENTERPRISE

SIDESHOW’S ECHO AND FIVES SIXTH SCALE FIGURES – FIRST LOOK

Syfy Developing Alien Invasion Drama From Michael Horowitz & Hypnotic

Continue Reading Page 2 >>

The post Page 2: BTTF, LEGO, Star Wars, Mike Tyson, He-Man, Orphan Black, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, RoboCop, Guillermo del Toro appeared first on /Film.

Star Wars Bits: Dave Filoni Talks ‘Rebels’, Mark Hamill’s Beard, More Simon Pegg Rumors

July 29, 2014 - 2:30pm

Why is Star Wars Episode VII upsetting Irish bird conservationists? Find out after the jump. Plus:

  • Dave Filoni talks Star Wars: Rebels and Star Wars: A New Dawn
  • Check out the cover of a new novel featuring Asajj Ventress
  • Hasbro unveils a bunch of new Star Wars toys and figures
  • Benedict Cumberbatch maybe hints at Simon Pegg casting
  • … but Simon Pegg himself isn’t saying anything either way
  • Mark Hamill discusses his “contractually obligated beard”

Dave Filoni has a lot to say about Star Wars: Rebels, which premieres this fall. In the interview below, he talks about the Rebels timeline, the fallout from Order 66, and more.

Voice actor Steve Blum gets in a few comments about developing his character, Zeb Orrelios.

Here, Simon Kinberg joins Filoni to talk about how Star Wars: Rebels might tie into Star Wars Episode VII. This being Star Wars, they don’t get too specific.

[Clevver, HitFix]

But before we get to Star Wars: Rebels, author John Jackson Miller will set the scene with the prequel novel Star Wars: A New Dawn. Due out September 2, it’ll be the start of the new Star Wars off-screen canon (now that the old EU has been rendered narratively irrelevant). Get the details from the Star Wars: A New Dawn Comic-Con panel here.

Possibly even more exciting is the news that Star Wars: The Clone Wars characters Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos will be back in a brand-new novel by Christie Golden. Check out the cover below.

@dave_filoni has announced upcoming @starwars novel with Asajj #Ventress & Quinlan Vos, based on unaired #clonewars pic.twitter.com/NoyNl349VK

— StarWarsBooks (@DelReyStarWars) July 25, 2014

[StarWars.com]

Got enough Star Wars toys in your life? If you’re a collector, the answer is always “no.” So Hasbro has unveiled a whole bunch of new toys and figures at Comic-Con, from the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels as well as from the Saga Legends line, the Star Wars Command line, and the Black Series. See some of them below, or all of them here.

[StarWars.com]

Rumors that Simon Pegg could be in Episode VII have been swirling ever since he was spotted on set, and Benedict Cumberbatch has now added more fuel to the flame. While denying his own involvement in the project (he said “it made sense not to do it”) he made a reference to Abrams’ “continuing use of Simon Pegg.”

“Continuing,” as in continuing right now in Episode VII? We don’t know, because Pegg himself isn’t saying anything.

Well, J.J. [Abrams] uses me in different roles, and we’re good friends. I feel like my face in Star Wars would pop people out of the movie. Look, I love Star Wars, and I don’t want people to watch and go, Oh, there’s Simon Pegg’s face. The film is cleverly cast with these amazing, unknown actors. [...] Of course I visited the set. It’s amazing, and I love Star Wars. I want to see everything happening. It looks wonderful, and you need to believe those characters. Any type of stunt casting might just pop you out of the movie.

At first it sounds like he’s saying he’s not in it, but then he refuses to give a firm “no.” Maybe all that stuff about his face is him suggesting he’ll be behind a mask or disguise of some sort? Or maybe he’s just trolling us. Certainly he’s no stranger to toying with or outright lying to the public. [MTV, Vulture]

Mark Hamill thinks it’s just “fantastic” to return for Star Wars Episode VII, in case you were wondering. “It was certainly unexpected — I already had a beginning, middle and end; I never thought we’d come back,” he said. “To go on to those sets that evoked so many memories, it is just astonishing.”

However, “it is really about the new generation of characters,” he said. “We are just there to lend our support and grow contractually obligated beards.” Not that he minds — he thinks the new cast is “so talented,” “so diverse,” and “so good.” Meanwhile, he sounds pretty optimistic about Harrison Ford‘s prognosis after his ankle injury: “It will take more than that to stop Harrison Ford!”

See Hamill address his bushy beard in a video from Fox’s Comic-Con panel below.

[THR]

Star Wars Episode VII may not actually be filming in another galaxy, but it is getting to visit some beautiful, exotic Earthbound locales. Skellig Michael, a tiny island several miles off the coast of Ireland, has been added to the list of shooting locations.

Shooting began this week and will continue through August, with the island even closing to the public at some point to accommodate the production. Mark Hamill is among those on set. The Movie Bit has some photos of the setup.

However, there may be a big downside. Irish wildlife conservationists are worried that filming will interrupt the breeding season of local birds, including puffins, peregrine falcons, and guillemots. “I would have preferred the filming to take place in September than in July, when we have a lot of breeding birds still,” said Dr. Steve Newton of BirdWatch Ireland.

For its part, the Irish Film Board insists that the filming schedule was “designed specifically to avoid disturbance of breeding birds” and was approved by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. [THR, The Guardian, The Independent]

The post Star Wars Bits: Dave Filoni Talks ‘Rebels’, Mark Hamill’s Beard, More Simon Pegg Rumors appeared first on /Film.

Wes Ball Teases ‘In Search of Humans’, a Photographic CG Animated Movie

July 29, 2014 - 2:00pm

I’m not sure if /Film readers are looking forward to The Maze Runner, as it might look like another young adult book adaptation. But the footage that was screened at Comic Con surprised those in attendance, and I think it will we will all be pleasantly surprised by the film when its released.

We’ve been following filmmaker Wes Ball since the release of his computer animated short film Ruin a couple years ago. (He has a deal with Fox to eventually make a big screen adaptation of the short.) Ball is part of a new generation of filmmakers who display a mastery of computer-generated imagery and know how to use it as part of the filmmaking toolset. Yesterday the filmmaker went on a mini-rant on Twitter about how he believes audiences are ready for a fully-CG computer-animated feature film for adults, and how he wants to see a “photographic” quality computer-animated feature. He even teased a project he’s been working on for some time. Check out some concept art, a poster and a concept pitch teaser trailer for Wes Ball‘s In Search Of Humans. Learn more, after the jump.

Here is the conversation between Wes Ball and journalist Matt Patches on twitter:

I think audiences are 100% ready for a full CG, adult animated movie made with a strong live-action sensibility.

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

@wesball Two points: 1. Are we done with 2D? Is there no hope in the industry? 2. You have to watch Nick's Legend of Korra. It's just that.

— Matt Patches (@misterpatches) July 29, 2014

@misterpatches 1. 2D is great, all that really matters is good story. Personally, I'm more interested what 3D allows me. 2. It's on my list.

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

@misterpatches it was a long time ago. I think the trick is style. And constraining the reality.

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

@misterpatches Along the lines of style… I think 'photographic' is the goal… not 'photo-realistic'. Big difference.

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

@wesball Rango inched towards this. ILM is clearly up to the task.

— Matt Patches (@misterpatches) July 29, 2014

@misterpatches Exactly… and of course WETA. Who were the first to successfully pull it off with Avatar in my opinion.

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

@misterpatches I guess it just takes someone who can convince them otherwise. Apes is not far from what we're talking about either.

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

@misterpatches one day I may make this that way. pic.twitter.com/58gpFrpdDl

— Wes Ball (@wesball) July 29, 2014

So what is this In Search of Humans project that Wes Ball teased at the end of this conversation? Its a project that Wes Ball and his company Oddball Animation have been developing for quite some time. (I found Ball talking about making a webseries out of the project in 2007, so its been in his mind for that long.) This might not be the adult animated movie Ball was initially talking about, but its definitely an example of what he wants to do with a “photographic” quality of animation in a feature. Here is a larger look at the concept poster that Wes Ball tweeted for In Search Of Humans:

Looks incredible, right? Wes Ball also made a pitch teaser trailer which he put online a few years back, watch it below:

Feels very Amblin-era Spielberg to me, which is exciting. Ball also put some concept art online for the project:

 

 

 

 

 

Wes Ball has also put a series of other animation tests online that you can check out at OddballAnimation.com.

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James Gunn and Kevin Feige Tease ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Easter Eggs

July 29, 2014 - 1:30pm

Guardians of the Galaxy opens Friday and hopefully you are making plans to see it. It’s truly a fun ride, jam-packed with awesomeness. However, one scene in particular is extra packed with neat stuff. That’s Benicio Del Toro‘s big scene, in which he appears as the Collector. As his name suggests, the Collector has a lot of different things in his room. Both director James Gunn and producer Kevin Feige told us to be on the lookout for some exciting Guardians of the Galaxy Easter Eggs during the scene.

Below, read their quotes about the scene which include some minor, non-plot related spoilers.

First up, James Gunn. Check back next week for the full interview: 

/Film: All right, in the Collector scene I saw a Dark Elf, I saw a Chitauri.

James Gunn: Yeah.

I heard that’s where Howard the Duck is [NOTE: He is, right above the Collector the first time you see him]. Are these things just there because he’s a collector? Or are they teases for the future?

Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in the Collector’s Museum. And for me, it was mostly just really fun. As a Marvel fan, giving the actual fans something that they can freeze frame on their Blu-Ray at home and just kind of pick out everything that’s in there. So there are, I mean, seriously all those boxes have something interesting in them, so it’s pretty fun.

Now, we go to Kevin Feige. Click here for the majority of the interview:

/Film: What is something that somebody watching this movie won’t notice on the first watch? Something that might be a tease ahead or might be just a cool little Easter egg?

Kevin Feige: In the Collector’s lab?

That seems like the obvious scene, but any scene, really.

Well I think there are a number in the Collector’s lab for sure. I mean, there’s Cosmo which is the obvious one. Which everybody sees. But there are a lot of things in there. There’s Dark Elf in there.

I saw a Chitauri.

There’s a Chitauri in there. There’s a Slither reference in there. Did you see that?

No!

From his movie.

All right. So that’s the scene that people will probably have to look at.

It’s the scene that was, you know, that we always wanted to do. The Collector. And we wanted to use him the way we use him in there. But as it came time to fill all those things, it became crazy, crazy potential.

***

So be on the lookout during the Collector’s scene for a bevy of Easter Eggs when you see Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend.

We’ll have much more from Gunn and Feige later this week and next.

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One-Week Forrest Gump IMAX Release Announced To Celebrate 20th Anniversary

July 29, 2014 - 1:00pm

Paramount Pictures has announced they will be releasing Forrest Gump in IMAX theaters for a one-week run to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary.  The film has been digitally re-mastered for the IMAX format and released domestically starting September 5th 2014. Later in the month, the film will hit home video in a special Diamond Luxe Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on September 30th. Read the full press Forrest Gump IMAX release after the jump.

Forrest Gump IMAX Press Release

FORREST GUMP CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH EXCLUSIVE ONE-WEEK IMAX® RELEASE ON SEPT. 5

LOS ANGELES – July 21, 2014 – IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX; TSX:IMX), Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB), and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment today announced that Robert Zemeckis’ Academy Award® Best Picture-winning Forrest Gump will get an exclusive one-week IMAX® re-release, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the film’s original theatrical release in 1994. The film will be digitally re-mastered for the immersive IMAX® format and released domestically by Paramount Pictures in IMAX® theatres starting September 5.

Forrest Gump, which won six Academy Awards including Best Actor (Tom Hanks) and Best Director, will also receive a special Diamond Luxe Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment September 30. The Diamond Luxe edition features a new sleek and durable collector-style packaging, with a state-of-the-art sophisticated design.

“As a ground-breaking achievement in both cinematography and visual effects for its time, Forrest Gump has become a modern American movie classic,” said Greg Foster, Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and CEO of IMAX Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to once again collaborate with our longtime friends and partners Bob Zemeckis, Tom Hanks and Paramount. This film deserves a platform like The IMAX Experience® to help make its 20th anniversary one to remember.”

“On behalf of the entire Forrest Gump family, it is with great pleasure and pride that we bring Forrest Gump back to the big screen using the latest technology for the ultimate IMAX experience,” said producer Wendy Finerman.

Originally released in theaters by Paramount Pictures, Forrest Gump stars Hanks in the title role, a man who — despite his sub-normal IQ — led an extraordinary life, with a ringside seat to many of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. The award-winning film went on to gross more than $675 million at the global box office, of which nearly $330 million came from North America, making it the highest-grossing film of all time when it was released in 1994.

The film also stars Robin Wright, Sally Field and Gary Sinise in his Oscar-nominated role as the cantankerous Lieutenant Dan.

The IMAX release of Forrest Gump will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.
About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com and WBUltra.

About IMAX Corporation

IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices
in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. As of March 31, 2014, there were 840 IMAX theatres (707 commercial multiplexes, 18 commercial destinations and 115 institutions) in 57 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

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Here’s What Potential ‘I Origins’ Sequel Would Be About

July 29, 2014 - 12:30pm

The movie I Origins, now in theaters, isn’t called that just to be clever. Writer/director Mike Cahill originally sold a film called I to Fox Searchlight, but it was too big to make at the time. So he looked at the backstory to that film and made I Origins in hopes that he’d eventually get to make I. That struggle is detailed at this link.

Now that the movie has opened in a good amount of theaters (and hopefully some of you checked it out) we wanted to dig deep into some spoilers. Specifically, how the end credits tag of I Origins (yes, there’s mind blowing, must-see Nick Fury tag on the film) would directly lead into I. Below, read what Cahill had to say about how about the super spoilery coda scene leads directly into I.

Click here to read about the origins of the original movie, I. Below, there are massive spoilers for I Origins.

I Origins deals with iris biometrics, which is basically the idea that everyone’s eyes are unique like finger prints. In the film though, scientists discover some people who’ve died share an eye pattern with newborns. Are these new people the reincarnation of those old people? That’s the question the film deals with in the framework of a love story.

I won’t spoil that part, but I do want to spoil the end credits scene to being to explain what the I Origins sequel, I, would be about. Again massive spoiler below.

At the very very end of the credits, scientists in the movie begin to run the iris’s of some of history’s most famous people through a massive data base. They’re trying to find out if there are people alive today who share an eye with people like Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, etc. When the scientists go through the photos, you realize that almost every famous “good person” such as Elvis, John Lennon, MLK, John F. Kennedy Jr., has a match in the system. Someone has their eyes. The “bad people” though – Saddam, Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, etc. have “no match.” They either haven’t been reincarnated, or aren’t in the database. The film suggests, then, if you are good, you get to continue on. If you are bad, you do not. And that almost feels like scientific proof of a higher power deciding on who gets reincarnated and who doesn’t.

With that knowledge, here’s an excerpt of my conversation with Mike Cahill where he explained how that scene is the direct entry into what the I Origins sequel, I, would be.

Mike Cahill: I would take place in the future.

/Film: And it’s a result of that scene? 

Exactly.

Asking ‘What are the implications if everybody ever might have been reincarnated?’

Right. When a baby is born in this world. Once this discovery sort of gets out into the world, here are the implications. Number one, very wealthy people start leaving their fortunes to their future selves. Not just their kids.

Oh interesting.

Right? So you can inherit… you can grow up in the middle of like poverty stricken wherever, scan your eyes and find out you were, you know, this dot com millionaire who left this fortune to you. Also there are people who find out they that were not so good and have to deal with that. And that’s where emotionally it’s interesting to me. ‘Cause it’s like I like sci-fi for the purpose of getting at something human. And if you find out you were a bad dude, what do you do? And that’s a metaphor for our own suppressed pasts that we don’t wanna deal with, right?

Sure.

Like ‘That’s not me. I have nothing to do with that.’ And yet that may influence us subconsciously, our behavior. So we don’t have free will until we acknowledge it.

Is that idea something that you’re still trying to crack then?

I’ve got a lot further to cracking it right now. And so Searchlight’s really excited about it. So we just kind of have to, you know, if people like this movie, we’re gonna…

Make the movie, yeah, sure. 

If three people see it, then, you know.

Yeah, it’s gonna be an issue.

Check back later this week for the full interview with Cahill where we talk about the placement of that scene, the philosophies in the movie and much more.

I Origins is now in theaters. Click here to find a theater near you.

The post Here’s What Potential ‘I Origins’ Sequel Would Be About appeared first on /Film.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Animated Series Coming to Disney XD; Watch Full Comic-Con Panel

July 29, 2014 - 12:00pm

Most people don’t know where Disney XD is on their television channel lineup, but that’s going to change soon. That’s not only where Star Wars Rebels will debut later this year, but also the home for a Guardians of the Galaxy animated show. There’s no word on exactly when it’ll air, but it’s a show that’s been in the works for a while. The characters have been appearing on other Marvel Animation shows for some time in preparation.

With the announcement, about one minute of footage was screened at Comic Con, and we have a description of the debut. Read more about the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series below and watch the full Marvel Animation Panel.

Deadline was in the Marvel Animation panel at Comic Con where Marvel Animation VP Stephen Wacke debuted the footage. Geek Magazine has a brief description.

The 60-second clip opens to a futuristic city scape, with Rocket Raccoon evading a laser shooting probe. Rocket jumps off a tall structure, rolling on his back as he blasts the probe. An unseen voice says “Hey, fuzzy,” and is revealed to be Star-Lord.  ”if we’re going to be hanging out together you’re going to need bigger blasters.” The scene fades to the Guardians of the Galaxy logo.

The Guardians of the Galaxy film opens this week, and if all goes according to plan, should make its characters into household names by Monday. That’s why Marvel Studios already announced a sequel for July 2017, in addition to this animated series. It’ll be a great way for fans – especially younger ones who don’t live on the internet – to continue to engage with these characters as James Gunn sits down to write and eventually direct the continuing adventures of Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and Drax the Destroyer.

We’ll keep an eye out for more news on the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, but for now here’s the full Marvel Animation Panel.

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New ‘The Maze Runner’ Trailer Pits Dylan O’Brien Against an Impossible Puzzle

July 29, 2014 - 11:31am

Comic Con fans got a preview of The Maze Runner, directed by Wes Ball based on the book by James Dashner, and the fans loved it. Now there’s a new Maze Runner trailer, which delves a bit deeper into the story of a young guy named Thomas (Dylan O’Brien of MTV’s Teen Wolf) who finds himself in the Glade, a wholly unusual community in the middle of a massive labyrinth. There he and the other boys similarly exiled try to survive and escape the maze. Things get more complicated when Teresa (Kaya Scodelario of Skins) shows up. She’s the first woman to arrive in the Glade, and she already knows Thomas. 

At Comic Con, a longer clip was shown that featured an encounter with a Griever, and illustrated how Thomas begins to deal with those creatures. They’re a lot larger than the brief look in this trailer makes them appear, and their bio-mechanical design is definitely unsettling. We know there’s a sequel to this film already in the works, so we’ve got a pretty good idea how it ends, but we can look forward to those creature encounters. And not having read the book, I’m curious about the resolution to this whole maze situation.

The Maze Runner opens on September 19. It also stars Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Aml Ameen, and Ki Hong Lee. Trailer via Yahoo.

When Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape. Based on the best-selling novel by James Dashner.

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See The First Photos From ‘Night At The Museum 3′ Before A Trailer This Week

July 29, 2014 - 11:00am

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb opens December 19 and it’ll be the third and final film in the trilogy. Directed by Shawn Levy, the films star Ben Stiller as a museum security guard who discovers everything in the museum comes to life after hours. In this third film, the group – which includes characters played by Robin Williams, Owen Wilson and Steven Coogan  - travel to London when the artifact that makes their nightly lives begins to decay.

The first few images from the film have now been released, including glimpses of Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, The Guest) as Sir Lancelot and the revelation the film goes out of the museum and onto the streets. The trailer hits later this week but, for now, see the first Night at the Museum 3 images below.

Here are the first Night at the Museum 3 images from USA Today. Head there to read more about the plot.

New characters in the London setting this time around include a new security guard, played by Rebel Wilson, and the keeper of the tablet, played by Ben Kingsley.

These movies are hugely successful and really perfect for the Christmas crowd. I will say, though, while I enjoyed the second film more than the first, I’m not particularly interested in this. I get that it’s different from the first two and that I’m not the target audience, but the whole “Let’s go to London” angle for a big sequel twist feels like it’s getting played. Even on television, moving the story to the UK is a lazy way of trying to give a property a new feel with still keeping the language understandable for general audiences. 24: Live Another Day is one example, Thor: The Dark World comes to mind, I’m sure there are others. Maybe Levy and Stiller have done something different, fun and exciting here but these photos don’t get me particularly excited to watch a trailer.

What do you think about Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb?

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Paul Greengrass Developing ‘Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda’ to Direct

July 29, 2014 - 10:00am

Paul Greengrass has been linked to an adaptation of the book Agent Storm: My Life Inside Al Qaeda and the CIA. The book is about Morten Storm, a one-time Islamic radical who became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence. Sony has picked up rights to the book, and Scott Rudin will produce with Greengrass reportedly developing the adaptation, and potentially directing. 

THR reports the story. Rudin and Greengrass last teamed on Captain Phillips. The book, which will be published in September, is written by Storm, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister. Storm was a Danish national who converted to Islam after spending time in prison in London. He eventually moved to Yemen to study, and became involved with extremist groups there. Eventually he was recruited by the CIA to inform intelligence agencies on the movements of jihadist organizations.

 

 

Here’s more info from the book description:

Morten Storm was an unlikely Jihadi. A six-foot-one red-haired Dane, Storm spent his teens in and out of trouble. A book about the Prophet Mohammed prompted his conversion to Islam, and Storm sought purpose in a community of believers. He attended a militant madrasah in Yemen, named his son Osama, and became close friends with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born terrorist cleric. But after a decade of Jihadi life, he not only repudiated extremism but, in a quest for atonement, became a double agent for the CIA and British and Danish intelligence.

Agent Storm takes readers inside the jihadist world like never before, showing the daily life of zealous men set on mass murder, from dodging drones with al-Qaeda leaders in the Arabian desert to training in extremist gyms in Britain and performing supply drops in Kenya. The book also provides a tantalizing look at his dangerous life undercover, as Storm traveled the world for missions targeting its most dangerous terrorists , and into the world’s most powerful spy agencies: their tradecraft, rivalries, and late-night carousing, as well as their ruthless use of a beautiful blonde in an ambitious honey trap. Agent Storm is a captivating, utterly unique, real-life espionage tale.

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Why ‘Skull Island’s Surprise Reveal Confused Comic Con’s Hall H

July 29, 2014 - 9:00am

Saturday afternoon at the end of Legendary Pictures’ Hall H presentation at 2014 San Diego Comic Con International, Studio head Thomas Tull left the crowd with one last surprise — an announcement teaser for a King Kong prequel Skull Island. Instead of surprise and excitement, the crowd was left confused. That was definitely not the reaction that Legendary had intended. Why did the packed Hall H crowd have that reaction? I have a theory about the Skull Island confusion which you can read, after the jump.

A “one last thing” announcement of a new movie set within the King Kong-universe should have surprised and excited fans, but most people in Hall H were left in confusion. Here are some tweets from those live in the panel:

Legendary wraps up with a teaser for a movie called "Skull Island" with a King Kong like gorilla. Very muted audience reaction.

— Ben Fritz (@benfritz) July 26, 2014

This was unexpected: #Legendary just announced new King Kong movie called SKULL ISLAND. Crowd is confused. "REALLY?" yells one guy. #SDCC

— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) July 26, 2014

WTF, Legendary is doing their own King Kong movie called Skull Island? Does that mean we'll see Kong in Godzilla 3?

— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) July 26, 2014

Legendary announces SKULL ISLAND with a teaser that wraps its panel … King Kong beats his chest and … that's it? I guess? #SDCC

— Josh Lincoln Dickey (@NotoriousJLD) July 26, 2014

I think I know why the packed Hall H crowd was left confused by the Skull Island announcement teaser trailer that concluded the Legendary Pictures presentation. I think the reaction was a result of a few ad-libs made by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and Thomas Tull, affected by some hopes and expectations.

After presenting a first look at Crimson Peak, director Guillermo del Toro polled the crowd about two potential projects he could eventually direct: Hellboy 3 and At Mountains of Madness. The Comic Con crowd went nuts at the mention of both projects, but as expected given the venue, the response to Hellboy 3 was noticeably louder. When Legendary head Thomas Tull returned to the stage at the end of the panel, he made an impromptu public response to Guillermo, saying that he’ll talk to the filmmaker about both of those projects after he makes Pacific Rim 2 (which already has a April 7th 2017 release date).

So when Thomas Tull revealed that he had one more thing, the Hall H crowd was already thinking all of these things. Is this teaser connected to a future Guillermo del Toro project? It didn’t help that the clip opens on a rain storm pouring down over big waves in the ocean, a scene that looked eerily like something from Pacific Rim. (Was it ever not raining during the ocean fight sequences?)

Then there was the voice over culled from Heart of Darkness, which has an old style almost like that of H. P. Lovecraft, the author of At Mountains of Madness. And after we pulled up on the island, the voiceover even told us that the wilderness had “gone mad”.

And I’m sure many people at Comic Con were hoping for Legendary to surprise us with a Jurassic World teaser. While some knew better, the prehistoric creatures on the island probably led some in the crowd to think this was going to be a Jurassic World reveal.

It's interesting that @Legendary & @UniversalPics reveal of Skull Island backfired as the crowd was chanting and expecting Jurassic World.

— Chris P. (@ChrisLikesDinos) July 28, 2014

No Jurassic World. The Skull Island teaser looked like it might be a Jurassic World sneak peek, but it wasn't to be. #ComicCon

— Empire Magazine (@empiremagazine) July 26, 2014

They showed footage we all thought was JURASSIC WORLD… but it was SKULL ISLAND! A new King Kong movie! #SDCC

— Devin Faraci (@devincf) July 26, 2014

So when the trailer concluded with the skull shaped cave, big gorilla and SKULL ISLAND title, and the audience was confused. After the announcement, many even tweeted that Guillermo del Toro was involved, either as a producer or director. I think that’s just more confusion caused by Tull’s public statement to del Toro right before running the Skull Island reveal.

Thomas Tull announces SKULL ISLAND!!!! With GDT Probably directing! Plus they showed a little teaser, looked awesome.

— LatinoReview-Kel (@Latinoreview) July 26, 2014

It is also possible the people were underwhelmed by the thought of a King Kong prequel, but I really believe my theory above is why the teaser trailer was met with such a muted reaction.

 

 

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Watch the ‘Orphan Black’ Comic-Con Panel Moment That Made Tatiana Maslany Cry

July 29, 2014 - 8:00am

It’s easy to get jaded about Comic-Con. The food is terrible, the lines are long, and the panels can be hit-or-miss. But every year, there are a few moments that make you drop your cynicism and remember what makes it magical.

One of this year’s unexpected highlights came during the Orphan Black Comic-Con panel, when a fan stepped up to share a very personal story about how the show had helped ease her coming-out to her family. The anecdote literally moved Tatiana Maslany to tears. Watch the touching moment after the jump.

The Q&A portion of the Orphan Black Comic-Con panel got off to a sweet start. The first fan presented Maslany with “The Best Actress in the World” and got a warm hug from Maslany in exchange.

Gifts given to @tatianamaslany at the @OrphanBlack #SDCC panel. pic.twitter.com/vDEnNEXlqc

— Dalton Ross (@DaltonRoss) July 26, 2014

But it was the next exchange that really got everyone choking back tears. The fan introduced herself as Taylor and then addressed Maslany and her co-star Jordan Gavaris.

First of all I want to thank you. Before I started watching the show I was really in the closet and I was totally ashamed of who I was. I hated myself. I started watching the show and seeing Cosima and seeing that everything is not about her sexuality and that she is more than her sexuality. My parents weren’t okay with me being gay. I started watching the show with my mom and it’s helped us start to rebuild our relationship. Because she sees Cosima and shees that it’s okay and that people are more than their sexuality. I want to thank you for that.

Taylor then continued: “What’s it like to have that effect on people’s lives and know that you’re changing people’s lives and you’re making people more comfortable with who they are and you’re saving lives like you did for me? So I just wanted to know, what’s that like?”

Maslany, who’d been wiping away tears, seemed at a loss for words. “That, I mean…” she began. “That’s amazing. I mean, I have no words. That’s incredible.”

Luckily, Gavaris was able to offer a more eloquent response.

We like to be reductive in life sometimes. I don’t know why. But it’s a social construct, social trend, whatever you want to call it. We reduce people down to things like sexuality. Their diseases, like cancer or M.S. Or their race. Or their sex. Or their gender. Or whether or not they like Game of Thrones. But that is not who people are. People are complex, as we say in the show. People are diverse. There are much more interesting things to you than your sexuality. Thank you for what you said.

Watch the Q&A portion of the Orphan Black Comic-Con panel below (thanks to True Blood Fan Source for the video). The exchange described above begins around 1:45.

The post Watch the ‘Orphan Black’ Comic-Con Panel Moment That Made Tatiana Maslany Cry appeared first on /Film.

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