Mar 2012 14

by A.J. Focht

[Above: First look at the Jim Lee designed cover for DC’s Free Comic Book Day]

The Avengers is a less than two months away and each week more information about the film is released. Most recently, SFX Magazine interviewed members of the production including Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Director Josh Whedon. Hiddleston revealed some of Loki’s motives and Whedon further talked about the troubles with juggling so many heroes. Tickets for the midnight showings of The Avengers go on sale as early as March 16th. Those lucky enough to be near an affiliated AMC theatre can also catch the $40 Avengers Marathon that includes: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor 3D, and Captain America 3D all before the midnight showing of The Avengers 3D.

Potential spoilers have leaked for the upcoming Iron Man 3 project. Playing off the storyline to come in The Avengers, Iron Man 3 will explore the Extremis storyline where Tony Stark uses nano-technology to become one with the Iron Man suit. For Iron Man comic fans, this is not as much of a surprise as the first Iron Man movie followed the Extremis origin and not the original origin. Another interesting thing on the video was confirmation that three Avengers: Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man will all be getting sequels regardless of how The Avengers does, whereas, the future of The Hulk franchise will be dependent on the performance of The Avengers.

There is a lot happening in the world of comics. The first preview for DC’s Free Comic Book Day book has been released. Marvel comics has also released four more cover previews for the upcoming Avengers vs. X-Men. Also, I called it weeks ago and now everyone else is catching on. With the release of the newest Spider-Men teaser, many are coming to the conclusion that Miles Morales and Peter Parker will be meeting in the main Marvel verse.

DC is also making some changes with their comics. April will be the last month for a few of the New 52 that didn’t sell as well such as Static Shock, Hawk & Dove, and Men of War. They are also changing up artists. Starting in May, Detective Comics and Batwoman are getting new artists. Why they are replacing Batwoman’s artist after it was widely voted the Best Art in a Comic in 2011 is beyond me.

DC has also released more information, including covers, for Before Watchmen. The comics go on sale starting in June, but you may want to read the latest comments of Watchmen creator Allen Moore before buying them. In short, Moore is still upset he was screwed out of the rights for Watchmen, and he kindly asks if you do buy Before Watchmen that you stop purchasing all of his other works.

Joss Whedon has three movies coming out this year including The Avengers, but he hasn’t given up the fight for Firefly. In short, he said:

“I keep thinking they’re going to call me, crunch the numbers and say ‘Hey, we can make money from this!’ — but they don’t. I would never rule it out, I love those people. But I can’t just wait by the phone.”

Speaking of watching projects rise from the dead, Warner Bros is talking to Javier Bardem about The Dark Tower movie. Ron Howard still is set to direct the first film, perhaps with Bardem as the Gunslinger. The studio has purchased the script, and it is likely to start shooting in 2013.

The cast from the upcoming Evil Dead remake is nearly full. Most of the roles in the film have been cast and an official premise has been released:

“Levy leads the cast as Mia, a troubled young woman struggling to come to terms with the recent death of her mother. She retreats into a remote cabin to detox from her drug addiction, along with a circle of friends that includes her BFF (Lucas), her estranged brother David (Fernandez), his fiancee (Blackmore), and the gang’s academic pal Eric (Pucci). While in isolation, however, the group discovers the Book of the Dead and unwittingly unleashes malicious supernatural forces.”

Finally, George Takei was so excited when he raised the money for his upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance that he decided to share a little something with all his fans. I leave you with George Takei’s Happy Dance.

Mar 2012 14

by Fred Topel

“I just like to feel that rush of fear.” – Paul Dano

Paul Dano has been one of the most interesting actors to watch in the last 10 years. He’s done several hard hitting indie dramas like L.I.E. and The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and that famous “I’ve abandoned my child” scene in There Will Be Blood. His youthful face has kept him in teen comedies, dramas and dramedies, from The Emperor’s Club to The Girl Next Door.

It was probably Little Miss Sunshine that made viewers learn his name. Stuck in the van with Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette and little Abigail Breslin, Dano played the older brother who just wanted to join the Air Force. Since then he’s popped up in big studio movies like Knight & Day and Cowboys & Aliens.

Currently, Dano stars in Being Flynn, based on author Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night In Suck City. Dano plays Nick, then an aspiring author volunteering at a homeless shelter. His estranged father Jonathan (Robert DeNiro) comes back into his life and even shows up at the homeless shelter. Jonathan Flynn left before his wife Jody (Julianne Moore) killed herself, a suicide Nick believes he caused with a short story he wrote. Guilt, homelessness and even falling into drugs himself makes Nick a very juicy role for Dano.

Dano gave us some time to speak with him when he visited Los Angeles with the film. Though I’ve been watching him for a decade this was actually the first time I met him in my Hollywood career, although for all this time I’ve been saying his name wrong. I learned the correct pronunciation of Dano after hearing all of the Focus Features staff refer to him all day. Good thing I didn’t make a “Book ‘em, Dano” joke because that’s not how it’s pronounced.

Read our exclusive interview with Paul Dano on

Mar 2012 08

by Damon Martin

Everyone knows soap operas…those daytime shows our moms and grandmas used to watch when we were away at school with improbable storylines where someone’s mother ends up being their sister, or they are in fact married to their sister who also happens to be their mother.

They have been chiseled at for years as lesser television with cheesy dialogue, bad acting, and laughable storylines. But the low brow art form has also been an important piece of the American television landscape for more than 50 years. Now, however, they are seeing a painful and rapid decline, and their ultimate demise could be in sight.


Mar 2012 07

by A.J. Focht

With The Amazing Spider-Man set to release this coming July, it might seem a little early to be thinking of a spin-off movie for the series, but it looks like Sony already is. The company is negotiating with Josh Trank, director of this year’s indie superhero hit Chronicle, to take the lead on the Venom movie. The idea of a Venom movie has been tossed around by Sony since 2008, but they are hoping to use the success of the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man to launch the spin-off. Trank has already shown us he knows how to handle the hero-to-villain transformation so a Venom film should come as natural to him.

Speaking of The Amazing Spider-Man, last week, Stan Lee revealed he is a playable character in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man videogame. There is no word on who Stan Lee’s character in the game will be, or if this will tie into his cameo in the movie. But fear not true believers, The Amazing Spider-Man game will be released on June 26 and all will be revealed then.


Mar 2012 07

by Fred Topel

“The joke doesn’t necessarily stop when the movie ends.” – Tim Heidecker

If Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s TV show is Awesome, Great Job!, you know their movie has to be even bigger. So their movie is bigger than awesome, it’s Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. However, the movie is not a collection of sketches like their TV show. Billion Dollar Movie is actually about Tim and Eric blowing a billion dollars filming an unreleasable movie. So to pay back the investors, they have to revamp a mall full of crazy stores to make it a billion dollar business. The film still breaks the fourth wall and takes breaks for weird sketches, but there’s sort of a plot in there.

Heidecker and Wareheim premiered Billion Dollar Movie at Sundance, promising the audience it had been de-Rango-ed, which I didn’t get. They actually had two films at the festival. Heidecker stars in the experimental film The Comedy, which is named ironically. Set in a community of hipsters in Williamsburg, New York, the film is a statement about hipsterism. Wareheim has a smaller part in The Comedy too.

Wareheim and Heidecker were understandably exhausted when they did interviews on Main Street. Not only had they had midnight screenings the night before, but they stayed for the Q&A (where the audience gets a chance to ask them questions) and their own after party. I, at least, skipped the Q&A to get some sleep and prepare questions. Both films were notorious, with many audience members walking out. The Shrim scene in Billion Dollar Movie was probably the breaking point for many. I don’t even want to describe what it is, just look it up.

Read our exclusive interview with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim on

Mar 2012 01

by A.J. Focht

The Avengers | Samuel L. Jackson | Robert Downey Jr. | Chris Evans | Movie Trailer | Review

A new trailer for The Avengers came out today, and a new official movie poster has been released. The movie hits theatres on May 4, and will launch the summer superhero season.

There has been a lot of talk about Ryan Reynolds reprising either of his super powered rolls as the Green Lantern or Deadpool. While promoting his upcoming movie Safe House, Reynolds gave us some more insight on both projects. Deadpool is a work in progress, and Reynolds thinks the script is fantastic. Thankfully, he mentioned the new script has nothing to do with the Wolverine movie. The main concern is getting the producers to cut a check for a rated R superhero movie. As far as Green Lantern, Reynolds knows nothing of plans to do a sequel after the horribly received first film, but he did immediately turn the conversation back to how awesome a rated R Deadpool movie would be.

A new member has been added to the cast of The Walking Dead. David Morrissey has been cast as the Governor on the show. The Governor is the dreadful leader of another group of survivors and will be a regular next season. The third season has also been expanded to sixteen episodes.

To go along with the first photos from the set of Star Trek 2, a behind the scenes video has hit the web showing Spock getting the shit beaten out of him by Benedict Cumberbatch’s character over and over again. While we still don’t know who Cumberbatch is, it’s clear he is a villain able to overpower Spock – which is no easy feat.

Despite the years of backlash and ridicule Star Wars: The Phantom Menace has received since its release in 1999, it is now on its way to being the 10th highest grossing film ever worldwide. Due to the fact the 3D version sales are being added directly onto the original movies sales (a cheap move if you ask me), The Phantom Menace has been gradually climbing the charts since its extra dimensional release. If it makes just $1.5 million more it will overtake The Dark Knight, which currently hold the #10 spot.

While Star Wars is cheating its way into the record book, The Hunger Games has legitimately broken the record for most advance tickets sold a full month before its release. With a major following growing to match that of Harry Potter or other such fan backed literature, we can only hope The Hunger Games will take the spotlight away from the Twilight series.

The first official trailer for The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra animated series has been released. It takes place seventy years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender and follows the adventures of the new Avatar, Korra. The trailer still doesn’t give a firm release date, but it does say coming soon.

After the incredibly successful Black & White sequels to the Pokémon game series, Nintendo has now announced two more sequels currently titled, Black & White 2. This is an odd move for the Pokémon games as their past sequels have always been titled after different colors on different islands. This may mean these are the first Pokémon games to directly sequel previous games (if we don’t count offshoots like Yellow, Crystal, etc.) and if they keep the title, it will be the first to have a number moniker in the title. The game is scheduled to release in Japan in June 2012 and here in August 2012.

Feb 2012 27

by Damon Martin

The decision Hollywood made a few months ago to remake Buffy the Vampire Slayer without series creator Joss Whedon was met with more than just a little venom from the fans that followed and supported the series for seven seasons and a continuing run into the comic book world.

It appears that some of those voices were heard after first time writer Whit Anderson was hired to write a script, and upon further review, the producers behind the project were thoroughly unimpressed with what he came up with; The Los Angeles Times reports the script was “was rejected completely.”

The project is now on hold awaiting a new writer, but it may end up getting shelved all together after the fans of the Buffy-verse revolted against the idea of a movie remake without its creator’s involvement.

Some of the actors who made up a big part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series for seven years were also soundly against the idea of a movie remake sans Whedon. Especially considering most of them are still young enough to reprise roles in some kind of movie, if Whedon ever decided to make a go of it.

“Without Joss’s participation it is likely to be almost as good as the original film,” said James Marsters, who portrayed Spike during the hit series’ run when speaking to SuicideGirls. “Cause at least Joss wrote that one.”

The original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film –– which starred Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, Rutger Hauer, and Paul ‘Pee-Wee Herman’ Reubens –– was released in 1992 and was a critical disaster. However, it became a bit of a cult hit among science fiction fans.

Whedon wrote the original film and created all the characters, but the Hollywood machine twisted, turned, and trounced on his ideas throughout the making of it, and the result is what ended up being released.

The film’s ultimate failure is what put Whedon back into creative mode to bring Buffy and her cohorts back, this time to the small screen. The show ran for seven years and has continued to be one of the most popular and talked about shows in the science fiction fan realm, and even hit syndication.

“I don’t think it’s Buffy without Joss Whedon,” said Mark Metcalf, who portrayed ‘The Master’ throughout the first season and several other appearances during the show’s seven season run. “He was the source of it, originally, even before the movie. It was his idea and the series came about because he wasn’t happy with what they did with the movie.”

Marsters and Metcalf are just two of the players from the Buffy TV universe that didn’t seem to be on board for a remade movie, and despite their best efforts Hollywood seems to have come to that realization as well.

Metcalf may have summed it up best when speaking about the potential project, if it ever does get completed.

“I won’t go see it,” Metcalf stated.

Buffy or no Buffy, Whedon has obviously kept busy. He wrote and directed the big budget superhero film The Avengers which hits theaters this summer and is expected to be one of the year’s biggest films.