02-06-13 • Comics, FilmPosted by Adam A. Donaldson
The Avengers may have been the biggest movie of 2012 at the box office, but when it came to Oscar love it got a total of one nomination for Best Visual Effects. Now giving The Avengers recognition in this category is a bit like saying apple pie is the best tasting apple-flavored dessert, but for a consolation prize, the Oscars are giving what fans really want: a reunion of the Avengers themselves.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this morning that several, though sadly not all, of the main Avengers cast will take part in an awards presentation at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony on February 24. Sadly, it seems as though Black Widow and Thor – or at least their portrayers Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth – are unavailable, but this is honestly the closest thing we’ll get to a sequel till 2015.
The Avengers men. In formal wear. Handing out awards. To other people. I can picture it now.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – “Marvel’s The Avengers” cast mates Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will present together on the Oscar stage, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.
“We are happy to re-unite the ‘Avengers’ cast to present on our show,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Audiences who enjoyed the year’s biggest box office hit will be excited to see these terrific actors back together again.”
Downey has twice been nominated for an Oscar, for his leading role in “Chaplin” (1992) and for his supporting role in “Tropic Thunder” (2008).
Evans, who will be making his first Oscar show appearance, will be seen in the upcoming “The Iceman.”
Jackson was nominated in 1994 for his supporting role in “Pulp Fiction.” He can also be seen in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Django Unchained.”
Renner was nominated for his leading role in 2009 Best Picture winner “The Hurt Locker” and for his supporting role in “The Town” (2010). Renner had roles in this year’s “The Bourne Legacy” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (2011).
Ruffalo received his first nomination for his supporting role in 2010 Best Picture nominee “The Kids Are All Right.”
Oscars® for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
02-04-13 • Comics, FilmPosted by Adam A. Donaldson
In what’s either going to be extremely awesome, or extremely disappointing news depending on whether or not it’s true, El Mayimbe at Latino Review has dropped a very interesting piece of scoopage.
First, a preamble. You may have noticed that the Hulk has been mysteriously absent from the development slate of Marvel Phase II. True, Guillermo Del Toro and David Eicke were developing a live-action TV series based on the Hulk, but del Toro himself has confirmed that those plans more or less ground to a halt a year ago. It’s also true that Mark Ruffalo, who played the character to some acclaim in The Avengers, is signed on for five more Marvel films under his contract, and doesn’t it seem rather unlikely that Marvel would keep Ruffalo in the back pocket until Avengers 2 in 2015?
So could Marvel be planning something big in Hulk’s future? More than another solo film, but an event that ties together all the characters introduced and not yet introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What possible, Hulk-centric story could possibly do that?
If you said Planet Hulk, then you get the prize.
In the comics, Planet Hulk is a storyline where in a group of the world’s most powerful heroes called The Illuminati – which is made up of Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, Professor X, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Doctor Strange – send the Hulk into space after one too many rampages. Hulk crash lands on the planet Sakaar, where after leading a rebellion against the tyrants that rule the planet, the Hulk finally manages to find peace, even taking a mate. But when the ship that carried him to Sakaar explodes, and kills his pregnant wife and many of the planet’s inhabitants, the Hulk leads his army home to get revenge on the heroes that sent him to space in the first place in the storyline World War Hulk.
So how could this breakdown in movie form? Mayimbe reveals that Avengers 2 will feature a Hulk gone wild, and the end result will be a decision by multiple power players in the MCU deciding to cast the Hulk out into space. This would lead to a solo Planet Hulk movie to be released sometime between Avengers 2 and Avengers 3, which would then be followed by a full-on World War Hulk that would make up the storyline in Avengers 3.
Impressed yet? That would be a bold decision on the part of Marvel to pursue this plan. It would definitely require a degree of inter-connectivity rarely seen across franchises, even more than Marvel’s dipped their toe in thus far. But given Ruffalo’s popularity as Bruce Banner/the Hulk, and the characterization by Joss Whedon in The Avengers, Marvel would have to be crazy not to want to capitalize on that. And doing Planet Hulk would give a lot of meat for an actor like Ruffalo to chew on while doing something completely different than watching Bruce Banner on the run from Thunderbolt Ross for another 90 minutes.
Phase II kicks off later this year with Iron Man 3, and continues on through Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers 2. Phase III will feature Ant Man and rumored projects like Doctor Strange, Black Panther and more. The Avengers 2 is scheduled for release on May 1, 2015.
11-20-12 • Comics, FilmPosted by Adam A. Donaldson
So yeah, I know (nearly) everyone out there hated the 2003 movie version of Hulk directed by Ang Lee. I didn’t, but it’s more or less universally-acclaimed that it was terrible. Regardless, Ang Lee broached the subject recently in an interview with Vulture about his latest movie, Life of Pi.
The ambitious project, based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, involves a lot of visual effects work and CG, especially considering that the main characters include a tiger, a zebra, a hyena and an orangutan. According to Lee, his work on Hulk gave him the ground work and practical experience he need to make Pi. He also talked about his reaction to Mark Ruffalo‘s Hulk performance in this past summer’s The Avengers, as well as a, uh, reconsideration of the work he did with the character almost 10 years ago.
I learned quite a bit about CG from The Hulk, and I wouldn’t have been able to do Life of Pi without that. But it’s easier to create an animal, because there exists a good reference — so a tiger or a hyena is easier than a 2,000-pound rage monster. The hardest thing to do is the weight, not the skin, because there’s no reference for something that size that is agile. And the technology’s improved, so you can have more details with Mark’s Hulk. My problem is that I took the whole thing too seriously. I should have had more fun with it, instead of all the psychodrama! [Laughs.]
So there! Let’s let bygones be bygones now that Ang Lee’s admitted that he dropped the ball on Hulk. You can now go back to your Michael Bay bashing, which is undoubtedly already in progress.
Comic book and movie fans love the most recent version of Marvel‘s big green gamma powered machine, the Hulk, but it’s had an abysmal movie run in its past. Ang Lee’s Hulk was embarrassingly terrible while Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk delivered a bit more – thanks in part to Edward Norton, but Marvel Studios and Universal Pictures were both unimpressed with their final box office totals.
Now that we live in a post-Avengers world, we’ve seen what a proper Hulk can act and look like thanks to JossWhedon, Mark Ruffalo and the many hours of work the wizards in the visual effects business did. With such praise about every aspect of the character’s execution, the Hulk series that ABC and Guillermo delToro have been “developing” for ages should be a breeze to get going, right?
The movie and television site Screen Rant spoke with Industrial Light and Magic’s Jeff White, one of the Visual Effects Supervisors for The Avengers, and discussed the challenges Guillermo will most likely face for a series based around a different/younger Hulk and Bruce Banner:
“I think we’d have to have a lot of Banner. You know I think from beginning to end we got much faster at doing shots. We learned a lot about the process and about how to light him and how to make him look good. One of the things that was interesting was when we started off we kind of took our typical approach of really art directing the lighting, like rim, rim, rim, you know super stylized. And he really looked fake and kind of popped out. And what we found is that we ended up having to kind of flatten out his lighting to get him to sit in there with the rest of the Avengers. So I think after learning things like that, you know we could – if you’re talking about a TV schedule and how fast you need to turn around production, it would be a matter of, you know trying to build off everything we did for the movie and then, you know get him in there, get him lit. You wouldn’t have time to do the – you know all the really detailed shape, you know per frame corrections that we do.”
Since the Avengers’ Hulk is one of the most sophisticated visual effects of the entire movie, with CGI and motion capture used in a majority of Ruffalo‘s scenes as Hulk, fans are going to expect the same kind of treatment on television. Seeing another actor get painted green and appear once or twice an episode just doesn’t quite cut it anymore, so what kind of quality can we expect?
“I think that would be one of the big challenges. How do you turn that much animation around and still have it be believable? Because there is like animation, then simulation then, you know sort of hand correction after that. And I think where we found the biggest time suck ends up being is all the facial work, getting the eyes to look right and then how much that changes once you start lighting him.”
It all come down to the body type, as The Avengers Hulk was designed specifically for Ruffalo’s body and facial features. Sure, Marvel has the access and knowledge to use the current modeling of the Hulk on TV, but unless Ruffalo signs onto the series (which is highly unlikely) the current character models, motions and emotions are effectively useless. And even with these issues are somehow miraculously sorted out, the main issue is going to be the quality of the character.
White does mention that the TV effects team could possibly “youngify” the Hulk model, saving both the shows budget and visual effects time, but the character would still have to be based on an entirely different actor.
“[Even if you could youngify him], it would still be a challenge because you’d really have to put some thought and design work into it. For us, some of the hardest shots were not Hulk or Banner but what does he look like when he’s half-way there because on one you have a reference of a real guy and on the other you have all this artwork and then half-way in between there’s this weird amalgamation of how much brow and how much cheek and what do his eyes look like. For us, those were some of the more difficult shots was figuring out the half-way in between. Especially because Jossdidn’t just want the transformations to be like either a slider or a guy who is a balloon. So that ended up being quite difficult.”
There’s no doubt that should this project go forward, which many of us are hoping, the visual effects team is going to having a taxing amount of work ahead of them. Unless these problems are addressed first and foremost, the conflict between great visuals and what’s practical will always be present.
And seeing as ABC is also currently working with Marvel on the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series, everyone is going to want to stay on their “A” game – that is, if they want another Hulk film once Avengers 2 hits theaters May 1st, 2015.
Want to see Captain America struggle with a parachute? Ever wonder what it would have been like had Alan Rickman played Loki? Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the 4 minute gag reel from the Avengers and damn it is actually funny. No only are we treated to the likes of Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston,Clark Gregg, and Mark Ruffalo being hilarious. We also see Cobie Smulders being really freakin hilarious. PLUS more Hawkeye/Jeremy Renner screen time than the actual film!
The Avengers will be available on DVD and Blu-ray next month. To whet the appetites of nerds everywhere, Marvel has released a deleted scene featuring Bruce Banner.
Memba that scene where Bruce Banner fell from the S.H.I.E.L.D. hellicarrier crashing into an old abandoned warehouse? The same one where Harry Dean Stanton wakes him up and has a bit of sage-like moment?Yeah, that scene was actually 56 seconds longer.
Well, here’s the full scene, as it was intended:
As you can see, Joss Whedon intended this moment to play up Banner’s “Who am I?”struggle. However, you can see why it was cut. It’s rather awkward.
The clip will be included in The Avengers Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and DVD which will be available on September 25th, 2012
Since announcing Marvel would be teaming with the incredibly talented Guillermo del Toro for a new live-action Hulk televison series on ABC, both studios and Del Toro have been mum on details. The only other news we’ve heard was it will debut sometime in the new year, but at Comic-Con the director sat down with MTV for a progress update.
Still in the early stages of development, the director of Hellboy and the upcoming science fiction film Pacific Rim, said:
I have had a couple of minutes with Marvel since ‘Avengers,’ and they have the screenplay. We’re waiting for a particular writer to do a rewrite on the pilot. That’s where we are right now. But we’re still on.
It should be noted Marvel’s current Hulk/Bruce Banner played by Mark Ruffalo will not be a part of the series, but has agreed to reprise his role in future films. This sounds like pretty good timing, what with Marvel announcing its upcoming line-up of feature films and other various projects, and surely Guillermo will draw inspiration from Joss Whedon and The Avengers.
I think ‘Avengers’ is beautiful because you give a movie like that — that size, that scope — to a guy that has the tone and the pulse of those things dead on, and that’s beauty or curse, you know?
Obviously it won’t carry the same strength and charisma of the silver screen super heroes, but this Hulk series will definitely be a contender for viewers in the new year. As long as the studios and Del Toro can carry over or adapt what’s been developed in Marvel’s movie-verse they should have a gamma strengthened hit on their hands.
Each and every week we scour the internet for nothing but the best in nerd based art. We leave no digital stone unturned, we poke and prod every net based nook and cranny. Why? Because we love you, and we love to bring you weekly Nerd Art Dumps.
ABOVE: CAT FIGHT! Or… I suppose Bat fight. It a battle of the Gotham’s extended Batman family as Batgirl takes on Batwoman in what looks to be the beginning of an all out slug-fest. While artists Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes have created an awesome melee between these heroines, it could use a little more tickling for my tastes. [Nickel Double]
Hit the jump for a Disney dresses, Doctor Who’s tandem bike and MOAR! (more…)
I believe we all agree The Hulk from The Avengers was the greatest representation of The Hulk on film, ever. It’s almost wholly due to Mark Ruffalo‘s performance, including motion capture, and the incredible animators who really brought out his mean side. Their Hulk was perfect.
Now find out why. In the video below you’ll go behind the scenes of their Hulk creation process. It’s pretty in depth, but hey, it paid off nicely, didn’t it?
I hope this is some indication of what we’ll be seeing special features-wise when The Avengers releases on DVD/Blu-ray.
All right, now this is sort of related, soooo do you want to see Tom Hiddleston, AKA Loki, talk about Jurassic Park and then do a velociraptor impression? Sure ya do!
Hearing Hiddleston talk about Jurassic Park with such reverence only makes me want to watch that flick again soon. It really is the best. And how about getting Hiddleston cast if they ever try and make another Jurassic Park, his raptor’s pretty darn good.
Now before we delve to this weeks Superhero Round-Up we should probably address the giant 600lbs gorilla in the room. The one with all the money. The Avengers, Joss Whedon’s little movie about Earths Mightiest Heroes, is on track to the predicted one billion dollar mark. The Hollywood Reporter reports the movie is already at the $800 million dollar mark worldwide, and with the only real competition this weekend being Tim Burton’s soon to flop Dark Shadows… yeah… it’s going to make its billion by Sunday, guaranteed. If you are playing the homegame, the only other movie to hit one billion that fast was James Cameron‘s Avatar.
Will The Avengers be the biggest superhero movie ever? Well very shortly we’ll look at two other movies that hit the big screen that are going to try for the title. We have word on the next trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man plus new set pics and a couple new shots from The Dark Knight Rises. Speaking of upcoming movies, if you are are all hot for a sequel to X-Men: Last Stand, the dude who played Iceman says cool it. Also, Mark Ruffalo has a few words for all the Hulk haters but up first, It’s Robert Downey Jr. opinion on The Dark Knight!