Five years ago, Keanu Reeves, pushing the half-century mark, but looking – and more importantly, performing like a super-fit, near-invulnerable 40-year-old – returned to the action genre he made his own more than two decades ago (e.g., Point Break, Speed, The Matrix Trilogy). As a result, he turned into one of the most unlikely movie stars of his generation (or any generation for that matter). Little has changed since then. Rather than trying his hand at another big-budget, sci-fi-actioner doomed to failure amid outsized expectations, Reeves chose an entirely different, ultimately far more successful path. The first entry in the series, John Wick was a super-lean, super-efficient, minimalist action-thriller that placed a premium on physical stunts, many, if not most performed by Reeves himself, over logic- and physics-defying CG-enhanced effects. Then and now, John Wick was an anomaly, a glitch (so to speak) in the business matrix. While it didn’t become a mega-hit at the box office, the investment-to-return ratio was more than enough to get a sequel into production three years later, John Wick 2: Chapter 2, and a third entry, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, just two years later. (more…)
Dude! Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges took to social media this past weekend to officially announce his next project. Bridges confirmed on his Twitter page that he has signed on to join the cast of ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle.’ Not only is he adding star power and talent to an already stellar cast, but he is reuniting with Julianne Moore, his co-star in ‘Seventh Son‘ and ‘The Big Lebowski.’ (more…)
Kingsman 2, the sequel to the 2014 sleeper hit, has been making headlines with the A-list ladies who have come aboard. Halle Berry has been cast in what is rumored to be the role of the head of the CIA, while Julianne Moore has been cast as the villain, Poppy. But now we finally have name for the project, as well as some killer concept art, courtesy of Empire Magazine. While the original was surprisingly good and surpassed the expectations of many, the sequel has a lot to live up to. If the concept art is anything to judge by, though, the movie might just stand up to the test. (more…)
The first trailer for Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past hit the Internet yesterday, and there was a lot to take in. What better way to explore what the trailer has to offer than having the film’s director talk us through it? (more…)
It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here! The trailer for Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past is upon us… and it is has EPIC written all over it. Seriously, I was not expecting it to be THAT good. (more…)
Bryan Singer, director of First Class follow-up, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, has revealed Halle Berry’s new Storm costume today on Twitter.
Berry has played the weather-controlling African mutant, Ororo Munroe in 3 X-Men films so far. Singer‘s new film has given her shorter hair and a pretty badass new outfit…we’ll see if her fourth performance as Storm brings anything equally novel to the movie.
Halle Berry joins an ensemble cast which includes Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Fassbender, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Adan Canto, Fan Bingbing and Boo Boo Stewart.
It’s due to open on July 18th, 2014.
Shooting on the First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, begins is only three days and as of now most of the cast has been finalized. Of the original X-Men cast we’re expecting Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, and Shawn Ashmore. Halle Berry has also been confirmed to return as Storm, but with the even more recent announcement she’s carrying her second child her involvement was put in question.
Talking with BBC, Berry assures us she will still appear in Days of Future Past, but her role will have to be altered to allow for the bun in her oven,
One thing is for sure, with another baby on the way mama cannot take time off.
Storm probably won’t be as badass as she was going to be because we won’t be able to do any fighting or flying or things like that. She’ll be different than we originally planned her to be but I still think she’ll be an integral part of this new X-Men movie.
I’m little sad we won’t see Storm in any serious action, but with the cast already on the verge of bloated, I don’t think we’ll miss it. Plus, with her weather altering powers I think she can still be plenty involved without overexerting herself. And she’ll still be playing an “integral part,” whatever that means.
Are you bummed Storm will be sitting on the sidelines for most of Days of Future Past‘s? Just happy she’s in the movie at all? Or would you rather Berry sat this one out all together?
With so many original X-Men cast members returning it shouldn’t be too surprising not all of First Class‘ roster will be back. January Jones and Caleb Landry Jones have confirmed they will not be appearing in Days of Future Past, and we might have to add Lucas Till to that list as well. He played Havok in First Class and with filming starting so very soon it appears he’s not involved. When asked by ShockTillYouDrop, Till replied,
You know what? I wish I could tell you, but unfortunately I still can’t give you an answer.
Which, yeah, means absolutely nothing. Maybe Bryan Singer will bring him in later, but I doubt it.
Okay, so Berry’s definitely in, baby or not, and Till is likely out. What do you think about how the cast of Days of Future Past seems to shaping up?
Sources: BBC via Screen Rant, Shock Till You Drop via MTV
So Jack the Giant Slayer didn’t exactly wow them at the box office over the weekend, probably because people are generally more excited about about Bryan Singer‘s next film, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Oddly, Monday has brought a proverbial avalanche of new X-Men news.
First up is a comment from none other than Chris Claremont. Claremont had a legendary 20-year-run as the writer of Uncanny X-Men, including the “Days of Future Past” storyline in Uncanny #141, so who better to hear from on the subject of the upcoming film version of it. Or at least that’s what Newsarama (via Comic Book Movie) seemed to think.
Here’s what Claremont had to say:
“The challenge, I would think, for Bryan is that the heart of the original story is not the fight with the Brotherhood back in the present day. The challenge, the story, is actually what happens in the future. Getting them to the point where you can send Kitty back, and seeing the consequences of what will happen if they fail, and not knowing at the end how it’s going to turn out. You think it’s going to be a happy ending, but you’re not sure, because pretty much everybody dies — in the comic, anyway. You can’t not be invested. That’s pretty much most of my working life, dancing around or through the X-Men as a concept.
“You could look at it as time travel, or you could look at it as pan-dimension. It’s all a matter of how you want to define it, and I’m sure they’ve got some brainiacs out on the left coast earning a small research stipend figuring out a plausible way of making it fly. That’s the fun and games of Hollywood. How the hell they’re going to fit it into 120 minutes, I have no sodding idea. I’d be looking on this as your basic 1974 film with an intermission.
“In movies it’s a one-shot item too often. If we’re doing Days of Future Past, we need Ororo, we need Logan. OK, we’ve got Hugh Jackman, but that means we’ve got to get Halle Berry. I’m sure some accountant at Fox is going, ‘Huh? ‘We’re talking how much?’ On the other hand, you never know when a major talent is willing to do a Scarlett Johansson, and come in perhaps at scale, just for the fun of it. The really nice thing with Future Past is that you actually have a superhero film — much to everyone’s surprise, I will hope — that is about something. It’s about racism, I hope. It’s about resisting oppression. It’s about fighting for freedom and the cost of fighting for freedom. I will be fascinated to see how they weave the two together.”
Meanwhile, the Days casting train continues to chug along with a pair of announcements today. On the one hand we have news of another returnee from X-Men films past in the form of Oscar-winner Halle Berry, who will reprise the role of Storm in the new film. Singer made the announcement via his preferred media partner, Twitter (brought to you by /Film).
Couldn’t be more excited that #HalleBerry has joined the cast of #XMen #DaysofFuturePast. Hopefully she can improve the weather in Montreal.
Berry will join fellow castmates from the first three X-Men films Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page, Aaron Ashmore and Anna Paquin, as well as returning cast members from X-Men: First Class James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence.
In more Twitter news by Singer (again via /Film) the director introduced the world to the second actor to be cast in the film who’s had no previous X-Men experience.
Thrilled to welcome the brilliant #OmarSy from the amazing film #TheIntouchables to the cast of #Xmen #DaysofFuturePast!
No word on who Omar Sy will play in the film, just as we don’t know who Peter Dinklage will play, probably because they haven’t been in any other X-Men movies before. Days of Future Past should go before the cameras later this summer, for a July 2014 release.
More news as it develops.
There’s been a lot of speculation around X-Men: Days of Future Past in regards to the the future sequence in where actors and mutants from the first series of X-Men films are expected to collide with those of First Class. Director Bryan Singer is returning, having left the director’s chair to produce the series after X2, and with him comes Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page, and possibly others. While out promoting his latest feature, Jack the Giant Slayer, Singer has been fielding questions about who else fans can expect to see make a return appearance as well as what his plans are for the use of CGI in the film.
On the possibility of Halle Berry‘s Storm returning, Singer said to MTV,
I can’t say [whether Storm will be in the film]. I don’t know yet. And it’s not necessarily a deal making aspect at all. I want to make sure it’ll make sense. But I love working with her.
He also mentioned to the Huffington Post it was the same situation in regards to Alan Cumming returning as Nightcrawler, which I’m completely okay with. Look, I’d love to see as many of the original mutants and their actors return as possible, but only if it serves the story. Often the X-Men films suffer under the burden of too many mutants, I don’t want to see them stuff everyone they can into Days of Future Past just to please fans.
Since Singer’s making the press rounds for Jack the Giant Slayer, a very CG-heavy film, he’s being asked about how he’d like to incorporate CGI into Days of Future Past. Obviously, X-Men films have utilized CGI in the past but with today’s ever improving technology more options are open. Here’s what Singer had to say,
A CG Nick Hoult or a CG Ewan McGregor, maybe 20 years from now might be perfect, but it’s a little tough on the eyes when it’s not real. I definitely want to use this technology again, and I might even be using some of it in a different way in X-Men. I don’t want to say how, yet, but I’m definitely using some of this technology on X-Men, which I never used in any of the other X-Men films.
I think we can all agree we’ll see CG Sentinels, there’s no way it’d be cost effective to try and build those things for real. But could we see a fully CGI mutant? Perhaps with an actor using a motion capture suit? That’s a real possibility and it would allow them to include almost any mutant they fancy. But again, I stress that I don’t want Days of Future Past to suffer from the pitfall of too many mutants.
What do you guys think about actors and mutants from the previous films appearing in Days of Future Past? Who could be an option for an entirely CG mutant?
There are a lot of people out there who are going to love Cloud Atlas. Reversely, there are a lot of people out there who are going to hate Cloud Atlas. Me? I sat in the theater intrigued, enthralled and more than a little impressed that such box office heavyweights – including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant – and major Hollywood studio would throw their weight behind such an ambitious project with relatively little chance of return on investment.
Cloud Atlas spans no less than six stories that take place in the past, recent past, present, future, and far future. Several of the actors play multiple parts in all six storylines, which builds on and sells the film’s themes of life, truth, and the inter-connectivity of all people across the barriers of time and space. It’s a classic science fiction story of big ideas, and that’s in spite of the fact that several of the stories don’t even have what would conventionally be considered science fiction elements.
In the 1830s, a young lawyer tries to help a stowaway slave on a boat ride to San Francisco as the ship’s doctor tries to poison him. In 1930s Scotland, a young gay man leaves his lover and becomes apprentice to an aging composer. Forty years later, an ambitious reporter falls into a story of deadly, corporate corruption. In present day London, a book publisher becomes a victim of circumstance as he goes from having a best selling novel to ending up forcible indentured in a nursing home. In the early 22nd century, service industry workers are slave labor to a society of consumers, until one woman becomes a symbol for equality. And in the very far future, 100 years “after the fall,” a scientist seeks the means to contact Earth’s off-world colonies with the help of a simple, almost prehistoric like people.
Aside from the actors, directors Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski weave light threads between each of the various stories. But what’s especially impressive is that they don’t dumb anything down. The film opens with a Hanks’ character from the far future story, sitting in front of a fire delivering a soliloquy, like the beginning of a Shakespeare play. We then get introductory glimpses into each of the other stories, they go by in a flash and as you struggle to keep up you’re getting a sense of the larger work at play. Fortunately, the directors take it easy on us and throttle back to to ease us into the story on each level. Where it goes from there is up to you, the viewer, I think.
The problem with Cloud Atlas is that people’s whose taste rarely tread beyond the typical Hollywood hogwash are going to be blown away with just how deep this movie is. I remember when Inception came out in the summer of 2010 and hearing people talk about how complex it was, and how one almost had to bring a notepad into the cinema with them to keep everything straight. When I saw Inception a couple of weeks later, this proverbial Rubix cube of a maze of a Chinese finger trap of a film never materialized. Sure, it was complex, but I didn’t need a program to keep it all straight.
Another apt comparison might be Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, an art house hit and Academy Award nominee that many felt was given a free pass to deep thematic appreciation because no one wanted to admit that the didn’t get lest they were perceived by the rest of the audience as being stupid. Some of that comes into play in Cloud Atlas, but Tykwer and the Wachowskis are speaking with a clear voice. Granted, they’re reaching back to deal with some of the same stuff they dealt with in the first Matrix, but unlike, say, Speed Racer, it seems like they have something to say again with this film.
And some of it works better than others, and sometimes it seems certain stories are put on pause for too long as attention is drawn to other areas. The chapter that takes place at sea in 1839 was surprisingly lifeless most of the time, but Jim Broadbent as the publisher that ends up trapped in the nursing home with a Nurse Ratched tormentor played by Hugo Weaving had some great highlights and some very funny scenes. There are some rather derivative beats in the 193os music plot and the 1970s business corruption story, but the performances make it work. For style points though it goes to the 22nd century adventure in Neo- Seoul, which realizes better than any other live-action film the vibe and aesthetic of Japanese anime classics like Akira and Ghosts in the Machine.
In the end, Cloud Atlas maybe a case of the parts on their own being greater than the sum. One watches the film transfixed, which is a marvel at the nearly three hour running time. Established Hollywood filmmakers like the Wachowskis are rarely this brazen, or this bold, and I feel that if nothing else, Cloud Atlas should be saluted in those terms. It’s challenging in all the good ways a film should be challenging, but its far from perfect, and in the conflict between those two facts lies the lightening rod that fans will be discussing this film around now and into the future.
On a final note, you may remember the release of Prometheus early this year was the film that was supposed to save big budget science fiction filmmaking, and you may remember how well that turned out. More to the point, I would say that Cloud Atlas fills that order. It suffers from the same problem of thinking itself more ambitious than it actually is, but in terms of audacity and scale, then Cloud Atlas definitely trumps Prometheus. But perhaps that will be the debate of 2012, which movie speaks to the future more… I leave to you Bastards to decide now.