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Total Film News


Quentin Tarantino teases cinema release for Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:51:00 GMT

Quentin Tarantino has revealed that his original vision for Kill Bill, subtitled The Whole Bloody Affair, is on its way to cinemas in 2015.

Before bowing to studio pressure and splitting it in half, Tarantino had originally planned to release Kill Bill as one, ultra-long film, including a significantly extended version of the anime sequence from the first half.

"What’s going on with that is originally back when Kill Bill was going to be one movie, I wrote an even longer anime sequence,” says Tarantino. “I.G. [the Japanese Anime Studio] who did Ghost In The Shell said we can’t do that and finish it in time for your thing. And you can’t have a thirty-minute piece in your movie.”

“I said okay. It was my favourite part but it was the part you could drop. So we dropped it and then later when I.G. heard we were talking about doing Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, they still had the script, so without even being commissioned, they just did it and paid for it themselves.”

“It’s really terrific,” he continues. “Anyway, The Weinstein Company and myself were talking about actually coming out with it sometime, not before the year is out, but within the next year with limited theatrical engagement as well.”

Whether or not that would include a UK release has yet to be confirmed, but we’ll be keeping our fingers firmly crossed in the meantime…








Film4 FrightFest 2014 announces guest line-up

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:35:00 GMT

Film4 FrightFest 2014 has announced a hugely exciting lineup of special guests, with horror legend Robert Englund the headline name to be making an appearance at this year’s fest.

The man behind Freddy Krueger will be attending the festival to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of A Nightmare On Elm Street (screening 24 August), as well as promoting his new film, The Last Showing, on 22 August.

Another big name on the schedule is Alan Moore, who will be introducing and discussing his short film trilogy, Show Pieces, while scream queen Maika Monroe will also be in town for the opening film of the festival, The Guest.

Total Film is proud to be sponsoring this year’s Guest Of Honour, with Aussie star Essie Davis the guest in question, having scored widespread acclaim for her outstanding turn in breakout success, The Babadook.

Other major names in attendance will include John McNaughton, Nacho Vigalondo and Adam Green, with a whole host of other directors and stars booked in to present their work. You can take a look at the full program here.

Based at VUE West End London, Film4 Frightfest 2014 will take place between 21 – 25 August, with tickets available to purchase online here.








Legendary keen on Joe Cornish to direct King Kong prequel

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:16:00 GMT

It's just days after Legendary announced its King Kong prequel, Skull Island, at Comic-Con, and the wheels already appear to be in motion with regards to securing a director.

Deadline
reports that the studio has Joe Cornish in its sights, with the director having received an official offer to take the helm on the new project.

Given that Cornish has turned down a number of big-budget projects of late, it remains to be seen whether he says yes to this one, although surely the property’s cult status will appeal to his inner fanboy, at least on some level…

The report also reveals that the new film will be written by Max Borenstein, who previously penned the script for Legendary’s Godzilla update, and will focus on Kong’s origins on the titular island that time forgot.

Whether or not Cornish accepts, Legendary has already confirmed a US release date of 4 November 2016 for this one, so expect a directorial appointment to be made sooner rather than later.








New trailer for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For blasts online: watch now

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:55:00 GMT

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has released a new red-band trailer online, demonstrating just how little has changed in the moral cess-pool from which the film takes its name…

In terms of plot, the new trailer establishes Powers Booth’s crooked senator as the big bad of the piece, before hurtling off into an orgy of severed limbs, push-up bras and badass one-liners.

Eva Green looks more than likely to steal the show here as Sin City’s latest femme fatale, while there’s also a first look at Lady Gaga, seen here helping Joseph Gordon-Levitt out of a jam.

Check out the new trailer, below…



Not the subtlest of trailers then, but in terms of capturing the tone and feel of Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s universe, it gets the job done in blood-soaked style.

Co-directed by Rodriguez and Miller, and co-starring Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba and Mickey Rourke, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will open in the UK on 25 August 2014.








New trailer arrives for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies: watch now

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:39:00 GMT

A new trailer has arrived online for The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, in which Thorin Oakenshield’s company of Dwarves makes one final stand against the vengeful dragon, Smaug.

Unfortunately for them, Smaug isn’t the only foe they will have to worry about, with Sauron taking the opportunity to strike at the heart of Middle-earth by sending hordes of his orcs to stack the deck even further.

The new trailer gives us a brief taste of the battle ahead, and mighty spectacular it looks too…

Take a look at the new footage, below…



Peter Jackson always did know his way around a mass combat scene, and there are signs here that we could have something to measure alongside Helm’s Deep. It should be quite the tussle…

Directed by Jackson and co-starring Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Ian McKellen, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies will open in the UK on 12 December 2014.









Chris Pratt talks Jurassic World

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 08:41:00 GMT

We were lucky enough to chat to the Guardians of the Galaxy cast, and managed to snaffle some time with Peter Quill himself, Chris Pratt.

Not only is he heading up this summer's most fun blockbuster, but he's also at the forefront of cinema's return to Isla Nublar in Jurassic World.

So given the opportunity, we quizzed the star on the one thing he's most excited about audiences seeing in the dino-sequel.

His answer got us more than a little excited.

Guardians of the Galaxy opens in UK cinemas 31 July 2014.








Bruce Campbell to star in Evil Dead TV series?

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:57:00 GMT

One of the more leftfield announcements at this year’s Comic-Con came from Sam Raimi, who announced that an Evil Dead TV show is something he is currently working on.

The director revealed that he is currently writing the new show with his brother Ted, and original star Bruce Campbell, with the latter now suggesting that he will be making a return in front of the camera.

Campbell broke the news in reply to a fan on Twitter, who asserted that the show would only be worth watching with Bruce in the leading role. “That’s the plan,” was the star’s response.

Neither Raimi nor Campbell have gone much further detail-wise, so we don’t know where the series will fit in with the timeline of the original trilogy, or whether it will relate in any way to the recent franchise reboot.

What we do know, however, is that a Campbell-starring Evil Dead series is good news indeed. Fire up the chainsaw, re-spray the Oldsmobile and saw off that shotgun… Ash is back.








Quentin Tarantino confirms he will direct The Hateful Eight

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:07:00 GMT

After seeing his script leaked online, and angrily putting a pause on production, Quentin Tarantino has now confirmed that work on The Hateful Eight is moving forward once more.

The news broke at a Comic-Con panel Tarantino was attending over the weekend, during which an audience member asked him straight out whether he would still be directing the film.

After a second or two of attempting to skirt the issue, Tarantino finally relented, revealing that, “yeah – we’re going to be doing The Hateful Eight.”

For anyone who missed the leaked script, the new film will follow the disparate passengers of a stagecoach and the tensions that emerge between them when their journey is diverted by a fearsome blizzard.

No word as yet on an official opening date, but it’s thought that production could begin on this one in November, ahead of a release in late 2015 / early 2016.  








New teaser trailer lands for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1: watch now

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:55:00 GMT

A new teaser trailer has arrived online for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1, in which the battle lines between the Capitol and the rebellion are clearly drawn.

“No-one else can do this but her,” says Plutarch Heavensbee of Katniss Everdeen, and sure enough, our heroine is going to be in the firing line again as she faces off against President Snow’s regime.

Indeed, it looks like she will meet some fearsome resistance, as Snow cranks up the terror in order to cling on to his position of power.

Take a look at the new trailer, below…



Looks as though the games themselves were child's play (if you’ll excuse the pun) in comparison with the battle that’s coming over the horizon. This is all-out war…

Directed by Francis Lawrence and co-starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1 will open in the UK on 21 November 2014.








Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller already considering Sin City 3

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:40:00 GMT

Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have been discussing their plans for the Sin City franchise, with a third film apparently already in the pipeline.

“Robert and I are already talking about Sin City 3,” said Miller at Comic-Con. “So you'd better show up for number two or they won't pay for it.”

And speaking of that second film, there is also a new red-band TV spot to check out, featuring a number of dames to whom killing is simply second nature…

Take a look at the new teaser, below…



Given that there was a nine year gap between films one and two, it may be that we have to wait a little while for Sin City 3 to arrive in cinemas, but it’s heartening to know that the intention is there…

Co-directed by Rodriguez and Miller and co-starring Eva Green, Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will open in the UK on 25 August 2014.








Fox snaps up Edgar Wright for Grasshopper Jungle adaptation

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:26:00 GMT

Edgar Wright is busy filling up his slate in the wake of his Ant-Man departure, with Fox having recruited the director to helm their forthcoming young adult adventure, Grasshopper Jungle.

Adapted from the novel by Andrew Smith, the film will follow a classic coming of age story with a sci-fi twist, as its teenage hero finds himself battling the twin foes of adolescence and giant bugs.

Indeed, there’s more than a little mirroring between the protagonist’s raging hormones, and the MO of said bugs, who are driven purely by their desire to fight, eat and reproduce…

Described in Deadline’s report as “Stand By Me meets Attack The Block”, the property seems a good fit for Wright, whose next directorial project will be the recently announced Baby Driver.

Timings have yet to be confirmed on the new film, but it’s nice to see Wright’s schedule filling up again, after the disappointment of the Ant-Man situation. Onwards and upwards!








Comic-Con 2014: Watch the new Mad Max: Fury Road footage online now

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:03:00 GMT

Director George Miller was at Comic-Con 2014 to present the world’s first footage from Mad Max: Fury Road. If you couldn’t make it to San Diego, fear not, as the footage has now landed online, and you can watch it below.

Miller described the film as a “western on wheels”, and the trailer is a suitably stripped back and lean affair. There’s dust, cars, explosions, and plenty of Tom Hardy brooding charismatically. Plus, you get a couple of brief glimpses of Charlize Theron’s badass Imperator Furiosa.

Returning to the “familiar” terrain of Mad Max’s post-apocalyptic future, Miller said that the most most comparable time to his dystopia would be the dark ages. “Even if it's in the future, we have gone back the more elemental behaviors. More medieval. The setting is very spare and clear.”

Watch the Mad Max: Fury Road Comic-Con footage below now:

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“It’s not a reboot and it’s not a sequel, the best description I have is a revisit,” said Miller of the difficult-to-categorise follow-up. Well, that clears that up then.

 

You can find out what it is for sure when Mad Max: Fury Road opens in the UK on 15 May 2015.








Comic-Con 2014: 10 Things We Learned From The Marvel Panel

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 01:15:00 GMT

It was the panel that Comic-Con attendees had been waiting for, as Marvel gave an update on their crowded slate, including Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Guardians Of The Galaxy 2. Get all the key details below:

1. Evangeline Lilly confirmed for Ant-Man (but she hasn't read a script yet)

It was one of the worst-kept secrets in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Evangeline Lilly's involvement in Ant-Man was finally officially confirmed by Marvel. And not just that, but her character was confirmed too: she'll play Hope Van Dyne, the daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). And that surname? It suggests she's the offspring of Janet Van Dyne, AKA The Wasp. Will Lilly get to show off her own set of superpowers? The actress might not even know herself yet, as she admitted she hadn't read the script.

2. Yellowjacket will be the Ant-Man villain

We'd known for a while that House Of Cards actor Corey Stoll was in the Ant-Man cast, but Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige confirmed that he'd be playing the vilain of the piece, Darren Cross (AKA Yellowjacket). He'll steal Pym particles to give himself similar powers to Ant-Man. Cross is a business partner of Pym's, although Stoll hinted that he takes the company in a direction some might consider evil.

3. Ant-Man already has a teaser (even though it doesn't start shooting until mid-August)

There was no completed footage involving face-time with the actors to show us, but we did get a snazzy teaser that started with a pan around a lab and finished with Rudd’s character falling about before hopping onto an ant and taking flight.

4. And it will be funny...

The teaser shown flaunted a sense of humour both irreverent – “Superheroes, what a goddamn joke,” says Douglas in voiceover - and a bit salty. “I think somebody already shrunk your balls,” adds Douglas’ Pym.

5. Elizabeth Olsen needs to mind her words about Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Olsen's one of the newcomers to the Avengers family, playing Scarlet Witch (twin sister of Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver), a character that also appears in the X-Men universe. Talking about bringing new powers to the MCU, Olsen said, "There's now magic, mut-... mutated people." narrowly avoiding infringing on Fox's X-verse's ownership of the term mutant. And according to Robert Downey Jr., Olsen is very much in control of her bewitching powers. "She actually cast a spell on me two weeks ago," he quipped. "It burns."

6. Andy Serkis plays a human

We also caught a close-up of mo-cap pioneer Serkis – looking, for once, like Andy Serkis. No performance capture role for Mr S? Or is that just what we’re meant to think? Let the speculation begin!

7. Thor's hammer is really heavy

The Age Of Ultron teaser kicks off with the gang chillaxing together… by trying to lift Thor’s hammer off a coffee table. Cue comedy as Stark and Rhodey fail to prove themselves worthy despite having a go with their iron gauntlets; then an eyebrow-raiser as Cap steps up and actually manages to shift it. Just an iota, but still.

8. It's going to be dark

Later on there’s a Cap shocker in store: his seemingly indestructible shield torn in half, as part of a nightmarish scenario involving a pile of prone bodies. “It’s the end of the path I started us on,” Stark says elsewhere, underlining the apocalyptic tone.

9. Josh Brolin is Thanos

Another of the poorly kept secrets of the MCU, Brolin confirmed that he was playing the film series' ultimate big bad when he marched onto the Hall H stage wearing the Infinity Gauntlet (Thanos' giant gold glove-thing). This means Brolin will become a regular fixture in the upcoming movies, as he's a key player in the Guardians Of The Galaxy mythos, as well as being the Avengers' ultimate enemy.

10. Guardians 2 is on its way

While the first film hasn't even hit cinemas yet, Marvel are so confident that they've already greenlit a sequel. Writer/director James Gunn and star Chris Pratt appeared via video link to confirm that a sequel would arrive on 28 July 2017, with Gunn once again pulling double duty. Looks like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be expanding for some time yet.








Comic-Con 2014: Legendary confirms Godzilla 2 monsters and King Kong reboot

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 01:10:00 GMT

Legendary Pictures didn’t reveal any Jurassic World footage during their Comic-Con panel (boo!), but that might be because they’ve got plenty of other monsters on their slate.

Gareth Edwards appeared via video message, joking that he’ll be busy with “a small little sci-fi film” (that’ll be his Star Wars spin-off), but he did confirm that he’ll be back to tackle the Godzilla sequel after that.

He also introduced a brand new clip of Godzilla roaring (was he on top of Alcatraz Island?), as a thank you to the fans who have made it a huge hit world worldwide.

Legendary then went on to tease the three monsters that Godzilla might be facing in the sequel, and they’re classics: Rodan (a pterosaur), Ghidorah (a three-headed dragon) and Mothra (a, erm, giant moth).

In another surprise monster-related announcement, Legendary announced that they would be releasing a film called Skull Island in 2016. As you’ll remember, it’s the home of King Kong. The teaser footage showed off a pterodactyl, some monkey, and right at the end, Kong himself (at least, we thought it was him). If there was a whiff of anticlimax about the footage, it was because the prehistoric-looking island made the crowd think they were watching a Jurassic World teaser - no such luck...

This new film incarnation isn’t related to Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake, and will focus on the wildlife on the island itself (so don’t expect to see the Empire State Building).








Comic-Con 2014: First look at Warcraft trailer

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 01:00:00 GMT

Duncan Jones has unveiled the first footage from his much-anticipated Warcraft adaptation.

Comic-Con attendees got a brief but enticing look at the fantasy epic, which isn’t due for release until 2016.

Even so, the teaser shown looked as polished as the shields and swords that featured in its opening shot of an Alliance armoury.

Cue voiceover: “I’ve spent more time protecting my king than my own son… does that make me loyal, or a fool?”

Cut to images of Alliance soldiers, followed by shots of Orcs and more voiceover: “I’ve lead thousands of warriors into battle. Does that make me a leader or a coward?” Next: a montage of battle preparations, and the big question: “Is war the only answer?”

“Yes” seems to be the answer, the teaser signing off with scenes of conflict including a money shot of a man chest-stabbing an Orc.

The grandeur, sweep and photo-realism of the footage evoked two reference points Jones was happy to cop to: “We’re trying to do the set-building and world-building that was done on Lord Of The Rings,” he commented, “but also the technology of Avatar. It’s like making both films at once.”

He also pitched the film as Warcraft Begins, opening up the property to audiences beyond the gaming world. “There’s a lot of films that want to make origin stories,” he said. “But I think in this case it merits an origin story. We want to show how the world of Azarath falls into conflict between Orcs and humans.”

Warcraft opens in the UK on 11 March 2016.


Comic-Con 2014: Hitman: Agent 47 trailer unveiled

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 00:37:00 GMT

Also part of 20th Century Fox’s Comic-Con panel was Hitman: Agent 47, the reboot of the videogame actioner.

This time out, Rupert Friend stars as the numerically monikered, genetically altered assassin for hire. Friend wasn’t present in Hall H as he was shooting Homeland in South Africa, but he introduced the exclusive trailer footage via a video message.

The trailer opens with a remixed version of ‘Voodoo Child’, with Friend’s antihero handcuffed to the table in an interrogation room. The back of his head (which is stubbly, as opposed to clean-shaven) bears the trademark barcode tattoo, albeit in a slightly redesigned form. Asked for his name, he answers, “47.” His interrogator retorts, “That’s not a name!” “No, but it is mine…”

The action kicks off when 47 shows off his Bourne-esque skills. Jumping up from his seat, he pulls his handcuff-chain into the line of fire of a rifle that’s been mounted on the table and pointed at him. All in slow-motion, naturally.

Also spotted in the trailer is 47 walking through a security gate metal detector, and drawing back his coat to reveal that he’s armed to the hilt with various guns, Matrix-style. A line of dialogue acts as the voiceover, intoning: “He’s an engineered human being: stronger, faster, more intelligent than normal people.”

There’s plenty of slo-mo gunplay, plus a helicopters blades smashing into the side of a skyscraper, as well as the impressive sight of 47’s car being pinned by several grappling wires, which the SWAT team then slide down. It all looked very slick and glossy, with the film’s Berlin and Budapest locations also shown off.

Zachary Quinto plays John Smith, and during his panel, he quipped, “The character’s more complicated than the name… I tend to respond to characters that have more going on than meets the eye.”

The Star Trek actor was keen to big up Agent 47’s selling points too. “The scale and the scope and the style of this film is all really dynamic and exciting, but it’s rooted in the relationships between these characters.”

Hitman: Agent 47 is set to open in the UK on 20 March 2015.








Comic-Con 2014: Kingsman: The Secret Service shows key, action-packed scenes

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 19:36:00 GMT

Spy caper Kingsman: The Secret Service blew the doors off Comic-Con’s Hall H with a storming presentation on Friday 25 July, showcasing two big, slick action sequences.

Comic creator Mark Millar hosted the panel, and talked about missing the fun in modern spy movies, laughing, “When Bond kills a guy now, he cries in the shower about it afterwards.”

Director Matthew Vaughn prepared a video intro for the crowd with Mark Hamill in tow. Vaughn wore a Kick-Ass mask, and after a brief intro, he spun the camera to reveal Hamill wearing a Hit-Girl wig, and sporting a bushy beard.

“I’m in the UK working on an obscure, low-budget independent film,” quipped Hamill. “The beard, by the way, is unrelated to this movie. I’m up for the title role in the George Lucas story…”

This led straight into the first clip from the film, which will be familiar to fans of Millar’s source comic (although it’s a slight twist on that scene, which also featured Hamill himself).

Here, the Star Wars actor plays an English-accented university lecturer, and he’s being held captive in a ski lodge by some high-end goons. Before long, a debonair secret agent (Jack Davenport), busts in to stage a rescue, taking out the bad guys with flair (Kick-Ass’s visual panache and penchant for violence is evoked in the acrobatic gunplay and multiple headshots). A classic Bondian hero, Davenport even finds time to sip on a vintage Scotch.

He’s soon stopped in his tracks by someone who’s likely to be one of 2014’s most memorable henchmen (or women). Gazelle (played by Sofia Boutella), has sharp blade attachments to her amputated-to-the-knee legs, and she uses them to slice Davenport in half, straight down the centre. This paves the way for Valentine, Samuel L. Jackson’s villain, to enter and hint at a grander plan. “I promise by the time I find out who he works for, you and I will be the best of friends,” he lisps in a high-pitched voice. “Two Jedi masters in one scene – my God!” gasped Millar after the clip.

Jackson was present on the panel, and admitted that it had been a lifelong dream to star in a spy film. “I’ve been watching James Bond movies since From Russia With Love, and always wanted to be in one,” he said. “An opportunity presented itself to be in a film that was very much like that, and they asked me to be a character that would be like a quintessential Bond villain.”

The second scene shown focussed very much on the interaction between gentleman spy Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and his young recruit Eggsy (Taron Egerton). “In the film I play his mentor, but in reality the roles were quite reversed,” gushed Firth of Egerton. “I took so much inspiration from this boy… He will not need an introduction after this film comes out.”

This particular scene was set in a London boozer, and saw Eggsy rebelling against Hart and his ivory tower/silver spoon upbringing, until the pair were interrupted by a gang of yoofs looking to settle a score with Eggsy, who suggests making an exit.

Hart tries to appeal to the troublemakers. “I’ve had a very emotional day, I’d appreciate it enormously if you could just leave us in peace so that I can finish this pint of Guinness.”

When it’s clear that they’re not going to leave them be, Hart locks the doors to the pub, and begins taking them out in spectacular (and immaculately coiffed) style, with the help of his trusty umbrella. In full on badass mode, Firth dispatches them with ease, in an eye-poppingly frenetically choreographed scene, in which Vaughn breathlessly outdoes even his Kick-Ass rucks for speed and intensity. The end of the fight reveals Hart’s umbrella to be the most gadget-packed since Batman Returns.

Finally, the panel was wrapped up with the reveal of a new trailer, which featured some fun interplay between Hart and Valentine. “Do you like spy movies?” asks Valentine. “Nowadays they’re all a little serious for my taste… I always felt the old Bond films were only as good as the villains,” responds Hart.

The trailer goes on to hint at Valentine’s nefarious plan that wipe out huge swathes of the world’s population - "Mankind is the virus, and I’m the cure." - as well as promising even more high-speed action. Roll on October…

Kingsman: The Secret Service opens in the UK on 17 October 2014.








Comic-Con 2014: First look at Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:47:00 GMT

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman has been revealed in an exciting first-look by Zack Snyder, who was presenting his Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice at Comic-Con 2014.

Glad in Xena-esque get-up, Gadot's Diana Prince looks almost like a gladiator, with the costume design going for more of a fantasy feel than a sci-fi vibe.

Check out the image in full below:

[Click on the image to see it in hi-res]

Snyder also presented the first footage of Ben Affleck's Batman at the panel. Clearly inspired by Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, the rain-soaked footage saw Bats in a souped-up suit pulling the cover off of the bat-signal, clearly spoiling for a fight with Henry Cavill's Superman.

Cavill, Affleck and Gadot all joined Snyder on-stage in what was possibly the highlight of Comic-Con so far.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice opens in the UK on 29 April 2016.








Comic-Con 2014: Tense footage from The Maze Runner revealed

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:41:00 GMT

20th Century Fox hosted a big Comic-Con panel in Hall H on Friday 25 July. Comic-book fans might have been disappointed that there was no word (or footage) from the new Fantastic Four reboot which opens next year, and no update on X-Men: Apocalypse, but the footage from The Maze Runner seemed to please fans and impress newcomers.

With stars Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Will Poulter joining director Wes Ball and the book’s author James Dashner on-stage, two scenes from the film were presented, alongside a previously unreleased trailer.

The first clip – destined to draw Hunger Games comparisons – saw O’Brien’s Thomas in an industrial lift, being raised upwards at great speeds, until he finally emerged into the sunlight of ‘the Glade’, with its residents gathering around to inspect the newcomer. Thomas then sprints for his life across the grass, before tripping and collapsing in a heap. From the industrial aesthetic of the lift, to the contrast with the grassy Glade, and the imposing concrete maze hanging in the back, the scene was tense and atmospheric, as amnesiac Thomas struggles to get his bearings.

“There’s not much to go off of, but that’s almost cool, it’s almost easy – it’s very natural for what the character’s going through,” explains O’Brien. Scodelario, meanwhile, wasn’t daunted by joining a big group of boys. “We had a wonderful time, we all bonded straight away,” she smiles. “It feels very brotherly with them, they look after me.”

The second substantial clip shown featured the maze’s predators, the Grievers. Ball admitted that he’d kept these creatures concealed during the marketing campaign, but he wanted to give the Con crowd a treat, and revealed a sequence in which Thomas is chased through the maze by one of the biomechanical arachnids (think a Mirkwood spider crossed with a Terminator and you’re part way there). It was another tense clip, suggesting that this might actually be a little scarier than it’s other YA stablemates. Ball claimed to have taken inspiration from Alien and Jurassic Park.

And before the panel wrapped up, Ball revealed some concept art for what they hope will be the next film in the series: The Scorch Trials. Based on the second book in Dashner’s trilogy, the film will have a completely different look and feel, suggesting that this won’t be a franchise that sticks to a formula. (Although if this one’s a hit, what’s the betting that the third book will be split in two for the film adaptation?)

The Maze Runner opens in the UK on 10 October 2014.

Are you looking forward to The Maze Runner? Tell us below…








Comic-Con 2014: Kevin Smith unleashes creepy Tusk trailer

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:14:00 GMT

Kevin Smith returned to his now traditional Comic-Con slot to host another evening of profanity, insight and movie chat.

The loquacious Clerks director regaled the crowds with tales from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, describing how he was moved to tears by standing inside J.J. Abrams’ recreation of the Millennium Falcon.

He also reiterated that his Cop Out star Bruce Willis is the most difficult person he’s ever worked with, and he chatted at length about his career, his homelife and his passion for podcasting.

But the reason that a lot of people were there was for a glimpse of his latest film, Tusk, based on the extremely creepy high-concept of an aging seadog (Michael Parks) taking a man (Justin Long) hostage, with the express intention of turning him into a walrus, via some pretty suspect surgical procedures.

Despite the disturbing premise, there are some unsettlingly humorous moments in the trailer, which you can watch below:

Smith promised that the effective editing of the trailer means that what you see above amounts to less than 20 per cent of the finished film.

Tusk opens in the US later this year, with a UK release date to be confirmed.








Comic-Con 2014: Daniel Radcliffe reveals full Horns trailer

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:27:00 GMT

Daniel Radcliffe made his Comic-Con debut with Horns, a twisted horror tragedy based on the novel by Joe Hill.

Despite making his name starring in eight Harry Potter films (a franchise that’s attracted no small fandom), Radcliffe had never been into the convention’s Hall H until today. Horns sees the actor play a young man accused of the rape and murder of his girfriend, and after a night of heavy drinking, he awakes to find that he's sprouting a pair of demonic horns from his forehead.

The audience was treated to the new US trailer for the film, which has now arrived online via MTV, and you can check it out below.

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In addition to the trailer, the panel audience was also shown an extended scene in which Radcliffe convinces a bunch of swarming journalists to duke it out for the chance of an exclusive interview (a scene Radcliffe claims he took no small pleasure in).

That scene also saw him march into a bar for a drink, where we witnessed the effect his newly grown horns have on people who see them: it becomes impossible for them to do anything other than spill their deepest secrets. The bartender admits to wanting to burn his place down for the insurance money (and he does so before the scene’s out), and his patrons reveal their own latent desires. Meanwhile, Radcliffe cuts an increasingly haunted figure, as ‘Personal Jesus’ blares on the soundtrack.

Radcliffe admitted that part of the appeal of Horns was that it defied genre, describing his character as “somebody who’s going through a torrid time in his life and is trying to keep what is left of his humanity around him.”

Hill admitted that he didn’t originally envisage his novel as source material for a film, thinking that it would be too dark and difficult for the screen.

Horns opens in the UK on 29 October.








Comic-Con 2014: Star Wars Rebels footage bows

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:25:00 GMT

 

Whether or not Comic-Con 2014 will bring any Episode VII exclusives remains to be seen, but we’ve at least had some fresh Star Wars action in the form of a Rebels sneak peek.

Three clips plus a new, Easter Egg-y trailer from the new animated TV show were shown to fans. The first clip debuted new baddie The Inquisitor – and more importantly, The Inquisitor’s double-bladed, spin-action lightsaber.

“We’re always looking for new ways to design weaponry,” explained exec producer Dave Filoni. “And that includes new lightsabers.” Filoni also promised us new Stormtroopers, too.

The second clip saw protagonists Ezra (the new Luke) and Zeb (the new Chewie) embroiled in a rooftop chase involving a stolen TIE Fighter. 

Clip number three notched up the suspense as the ladies of the gang – Hera and Sabine – poked around an abandoned hanger, only to discover that they’ve got creepy-crawly company.

The new trailer, meanwhile, teased guest appearances from one or two classic-trilogy characters.

Summing up Rebels, exec producer Simon Kinberg pitched a combo of seminal Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie’s work, “the tone and essence of the original movies and then something completely different.”

He expressed pride in the ensemble of pre-New Hope freedom fighters whose efforts to elude the Empire’s galaxy-wide grip will be the show’s focus.

“The intention is for everyone, especially the next generation of Star Wars fans, to fall in love with these characters the way we fell in love with Han and Leia and Luke,” he said. “I believe they can stand alongside any of the great Star Wars characters.”

Kinberg also hinted that the characters might not be confined to cartoon land. “It would be a treat to see them in live action,” he enthused. “Certainly in the new Lucasfilm there’s a lot of synergy between the live-action side and animation.

“We’re all in conversation with each other and if the right combination happened, it’d be amazing.”








Comic-Con 2014: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel reaction

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:07:00 GMT

While Interstellar may have stormed in and stolen the show at Paramount’s Hall H presentation at this year’s Comic-Con, it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that dominated the panel up to that point.

The reboot brought along original Turtles creator Kevin Eastman, as well as some of the Platinum Dunes producers who brought the film to life (Michael Bay was not among them). Eastman was clearly enthused about the latest incarnation of his creation, saying, “I’ve seen the movie, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I was brought in very early on, and [the producers] wanted me to help make this movie all you expected it to be. I’m so proud of it, I think you guys are going to absolutely flip out when you see it.”

Megan Fox and Will Arnett, who play reporter April O’Neil and bumbling cameraman Vernon Fenwick, were also on the panel. “Megan and I interned at Channel 6 for 18 months [in preparation],” wisecracked Arnett, and both actors admitted that Michaelangelo was their favourite Turtle.

Two fairly substantial scenes were screened for the crowds. The first, was a fuller version of the initial encounter between O’Neil and the Turtles that you’ll have seen in the trailers. The sequence began with Fox’s reporter chasing a story on the Foot Clan, and heading into a subway where they were about to make their attack. Led by Karai (Minae Noji), the Clan took a bunch of hostages, and threatened to start offing them if the Turtles didn’t show up.

Shrouded in shadows, the half-shelled heroes turned up to save the day, before scarpering to a rooftop, where they were snapped by O’Neil and her trusty smartphone. Trying to convince her to hand over the photos, she’s freaked out by their grotesque appearance. “You’re ninja, mutant, turtle teenagers?” she asks, before passing out. “When you put it like that it sounds ridiculous!” they laugh in response.

Pop-culture gags play a big part. Raphael is mocked for putting on his Batman voice, and Michaelangelo has a soft spot for funny cat videos on the internet. There was a general irreverent tone, particularly from 'Mikey'. “We’ll find you O’Neil.. Sorry, that came across super-creepy!”

The movie references game thick and fast when they took her down to their sewer base, which was referred to as, “Our Fortress Of Solitude, our Hogwarts, our Xavier’s Academy.” When O’Neil glimpses Splinter, she knows his name (“What if she’s a Jedi?”). Splinter clearly knows who she is too, ending the scene by saying, “We meet again…” Looks like there might be some new backstory tinkering going on here.

Director Liebesman explained that the creepy looking Foot Clan were given a paramilitary aesthetic “to make it believable in today's world. They have to be formidable."

In the second extended sequence shown, O’Neil, Fenwick and the Turtles were fleeing a bunch of unidentified bad guys by driving a truck down the side of a snowy mountain (again providing a fuller look at scenes spotted in the trailers). Key to the scene was the interaction between the Turtles, who all have their own skill-sets, and Donatello was given more room to shine in this sequence – a glasses-wearing scientist, his comedy nerd credentials seem to have been played up for this film.

Finally on the Turtles front, there was a sizzle reel trailer, featuring Shredder (including a close-up of his mask), Splinter, and a fight between the two that sees the Turtles’ rat-master spinning through the air in slow-motion to avoid a barrage of blades. And it ended on Raphael uttering the catchphrase, ‘Cowabunga!’

Also at the Paramount panel was The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water, with voice actor Tom Kenny on hand to introduce the new trailer, in which Bob and his Bikini Bottom pals end up going above the shoreline – in 3D-animated, superhero form – to save their world. Or something. It was certainly a bizarre sight to see the newly muscular characters interacting with a live-action world.

And there was a brief glimpse of Project Almanac, a found-footage time-travel thriller (briefly retitled Welcome To Yesterday). Directed by Dean Israelite (cousin of Turtles director Jonathan Liebesman), the clip showed a bunch of teens gathering round and preparing to travel back in time. There was no sign of the tech that they were using, but they were armed with a Go-Pro and other camera equipment, to capture their journey back 24 hours.

Swirling through a vortex-y thing, they land back in their neighbourhood the previous day, and one of their number finds his sleeping, day-younger self, and draws a smiley face on the back of his neck, which then magically appears on his own neck. There was some irreverent banter (‘Did you see that film Looper?), and things turned glitchy when the sleeping guy turned round and saw his future self in his bedroom. Chronicle is clearly an influence, so it’ll be interesting to see how it measures up to that film, which refreshed both the superhero and found-footage genres.








Comic-Con 2014: Sam Raimi to produce The Last Of Us

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:01:00 GMT

Maisie Williams could be taking the lead in the upcoming adaptation of The Last Of Us.

Game creator Neil Druckmann revealed at Comic-Con that the actress – best known for her role as Arya in Game Of Thrones - is in talks to play the role of Ellie.

Druckmann made the announcement alongside Sam Raimi, who is set to produce the big-screen version of the PS3 horror hit.

“I won’t be directing the movie but I’ll be all over it,” Raimi said. Druckmann too will have a large degree of creative control, not least writing the screenplay. 

Released in 2013, the game is set in a zombie-ravaged US, which the young Ellie attempts to navigate with the aid of fellow survivalist Joel.

“It’s a great character story, a great love story,” said Raimi, who refuted suggestions that it was ‘too soon’ to bring the game to the big screen.

“If it was anything else I would say it is too soon, but I have faith in this [adaptation] being great.”

Raimi also revealed that he is working on an Evil Dead TV show with several long-term collaborators.

“I always loved working on [the Evil Dead movies] with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, and my brother [Ted] and I are writing the Evil Dead TV show right now – with Bruce Campbell!”

 








Watch the first Whiplash Trailer online

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:28:00 GMT

Drum roll please… Whiplash, the Sundance wowing, Grand Jury prize winning, buzz gathering indie has released its first trailer.

The debut of director Damien Chazelle (who also won the jury prize at Sundance last year for the short film that grew into this feature), Whiplash is the story of a teenage jazz drummer and his brilliant/bullish/bonkers teacher.

Miles Teller (Divergent, That Awkward Moment, soon to be Mr Fantastic…) plays musical prodigy Andrew Neyman to J.K. Simmons’ ruthless Mr Fletcher – an orchestra leader who seems to take teaching inspiration from Full Metal Jacket.  

When Total Film caught the film’s debut at Park City in January, we called it “surprising, intoxicating and euphoric” - a triumph which will “either make you want to listen to Charlie Parker records or screw over your friends and family and die drunk and alone in your '40s just to know you were the absolute best.”

Set for release in the States in October, expect Whiplash to make a sizeable bang over here before the end of the year.