Movie News

Marvel Studios

Before this year’s Comic-Con even bowed, Marvel Studios had already staked their claim, announcing a jam-packed schedule for the next five years, a continuation of their Marvel Cinematic Universe that is somehow both very ambitious and totally expected. As the news of this new calendar dropped in the days leading up to Comic-Con, it seemed fair to assume that the Marvel panel would include a section on those upcoming films and what titles are arriving when (remember back in 2012, when the Marvel panel included a gobsmacking section that announced Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, complete with official titles, titles treatments and concept art? remember what a hit that was?). And, with news about their Doctor Strange film reaching a fever pitch before and during the convention, it also seemed like a good time to throw the fans a bone about that one (even just a release date, as a casting announcement would have likely obliterated Hall H). Yeah, that didn’t happen.

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Bates Motel

Bates Motel still remains a surprising success. Not only in terms of ratings, but its quality. A prequel to Psycho showing a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) sounded like a joke a few years ago, the kind of idea doomed to fail. But the first season turned out to be a highly enjoyable show. Vera Farmiga does consistently great work, Highmore is good fun, and, every once in a while, there’s some genuinely good drama, thanks to Norma Bates, who’s the heart and soul of the show. Unfortunately, there was s a slight drop in quality with season two. Bates Motel is at its best when it’s just Norma and Norman getting through problems or the never-ending trope of the nerdy kid going after “the cool girl” when the right one is there all along: Emma (Olivia Cooke). Once Norman starts watching High School movies, hopefully he’ll smarten up. Where the show began to falter was the all-too-heavy focus on the town’s drug war.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller wasn’t afraid to let it all hang out during the Comic-Con press conference for Mad Max: Fury Road. And by “it,” I’m of course referring to the legendary 67-year-old filmmaker’s wild ambition. Miller has been trying to make Fury Road for a long time. Hearing him speak at the Comic Con press conference, it’s easy to see why his heart has been in this sequel for well over a decade: it’s not your average summer movie. Mad Max: Fury Road is an almost nonstop chase. 80% of the movie is comprised of action. To make it sound even sweeter, Miller wanted to deliver stunt-heavy action that leaned on practical effects. Dangerous stunts and chases is what this series is all about, so, thankfully, the filmmaker hasn’t forgotten a part of what made his trilogy so special.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy

Within the past few minutes, Marvel Studios wrapped up their presentation at Comic-Con in San Diego. According to media in attendance, there was quite a bit of footage for Avengers: Age of Ultron shown to go along with the Ant-Man casting news that preceded it. And while there were not any major announcements about future films like Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel or anything into what could be considered Phase 3 of their Marvel Cinematic Universe, they did confirm one project’s release date: Guardians of the Galaxy 2. In a pre-recorded video announcement from London, director James Gunn and actor Chris Pratt confirmed that Guardians 2 would hit theaters on July 28, 2017. This confirms the rumors from earlier in the week that James Gunn would be back to write and direct the sequel. Even though the first movie hasn’t hit theaters, Marvel and Disney appear to have more than enough confidence to greenlight a sequel. Based on early reviews, Guardians will more than likely have no problem delighting fans as the Marvel train rolls on. In the mean time, the rumor mill continues to churn for other Marvel projects…

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Marvel Ant-Man Test Sneak 3

Marvel’s Ant-Man is due in theaters July 15, 2015. It begins shooting in two weeks, according to the cast and crew who took the stage this evening at Comic-Con. Kevin Feige and newly installed director Peyton Reed took to San Diego Convention Center’s Hall H to talk Ant-Man with some of their cast, confirming a few roles along the way. The studio finally confirmed the casting of Evangeline Lilly (Lost) and Corey Stoll (The Strain) and revealed their roles alongside the Comic-Con debuts of stars Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas.

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Godzilla and King Kong

After Warner Bros. left the stage, having previewed their upcoming slate from Batman v Superman to the final Hobbit movie, their perennial partner in crime, Legendary Pictures took the stage at Comic-Con to show off what they’ve got planned over the next few years. Among their many previews were two big announcements that feature powerhouse monsters of cinema: King Kong and Godzilla. One is getting a sequel while the other is getting a prequel.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Warner Bros. took the stage this morning at Comic-Con in San Diego to show off some of its upcoming film slate, including a quick look at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (yes, they are still serious about that title). According to reports from various media attending the event, Zack Snyder took the stage, fresh off a plane that came directly from the film’s set, to show off a short teaser trailer. He also welcomed the trinity of headlining cast — Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot — to the stage before also showing off some images of the cast in their costumes. After the break, we’ve got descriptions of the footage and a first (slightly blurry) look at Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman armor, complete with a sword.

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Marvel Studios

Updated: New posters are being released throughout the weekend. As they become available and form a larger poster, we’ll update this page. One of the studios expected to take this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con by storm, as they have in years past, is Marvel Studios. While other studios seem to be avoiding the convention and its droves of buzz-spreading fans — namely 20th Century Fox not bringing Fantastic Four or any new X-Men news — Marvel is doubling down on the place that seemingly launched its success (see: Iron Man in 2007). This year their big panel is the crown jewel of Comic-Con’s Saturday programming, but that won’t stop them from starting early. As they did for The Avengers, they have begun releasing character posters for Avengers: Age of Ultron that will probably all fit together nicely as one big spread. First up: Iron Man, Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, Captain America and a lot of Ultrons. A lot of Ultrons. There’s also a very cool Ant-Man poster, in case multiple Avengers isn’t enough for you.

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Piranha 3D

Four years ago Piranha 3D made an appearance at Comic Con. At the time, people weren’t expecting much from the movie. Director Alexandre Aja was just coming off the disastrously bad Mirrors and his remake of the Joe Dante film didn’t exactly look promising. In the end, Piranha 3D turned out to be a delightful surprise. It was funny, self-aware, and everything Piranha 3D should be. The sequel, however, was not. Two years after the first movie Piranha 3DD scored a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and only grossed $8m worldwide. Now compare those numbers to the first movie’s 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and $83m global box-office take. The drop in quality is rather apparent. Maybe that wouldn’t have been the case if Aja got to make the sequel he envisioned.

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A24

Kevin Smith‘s attempt to reinvent or re-brand himself as a genre director began in 2011 with the uninspired and fairly forgettable (aside from Michael Parks) Red State, and now three years later he’s ready to take another stab at a dark and possibly horrific story. But while his last film featured extreme members of the religious right as the villains his latest appears to be focused on someone even nuttier. Tusk is about a man (Michael Parks again) who lures a podcast host (Justin Long) into rural Canada on the pretense of telling a weird and mesmerizing account involving a disaster at sea and the walrus who saved his life. The man is after more than just one night’s companionship though, and the podcaster discovers too late that he’s become a part of the tale… and the tail a part of him. Check out the first trailer for Kevin Smith’s Tusk.

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Leprechaun Origins

One of the smaller reveals at Comic-Con was yesterday’s look at Leprechaun: Origins, the new WWE-branded reboot of those terrible films where Warwick Davis would put on a hokey green Halloween costume and murder teens, Irish folklore, and good taste. For the eighth film in a franchise taken seriously by no one, ever, Leprechaun‘s offering of a trailer and poster weren’t gonna cut it; not when Christopher Nolan could descend at any moment and whisper, “Spaaaaaaace,” inciting mass panic in the streets. So Leprechaun: Origins upped its game the only way it could: revealing the yet-to-be-revealed design of its new, Hornswoggle Leprechaun. And for those who just asked, “What’s a Hornswoggle?,” he’s a WWE wrestler (real name: Dylan Postl) who happens to be a dwarf, and also happens to wrestle in a leprechaun outfit, because the WWE is where good taste is body-slammed until it is dead.

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Tim Burton in Death of Superman Lives

I’m not going to rehash the story of when I met Kevin Smith while working a movie theater box office in the mid ’90s and how he told me about the experience of writing a Superman movie (those days filmmakers didn’t have to be guarded about things being easily spread on the Internet after chatting with fans). You can read what he said then in a piece I wrote early last year on the Kickstarter campaign for The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? Now it’s time to see what Smith says now, in the first trailer for the documentary, which is about the failed project. Also in this trailer are a lot of other prominent people who worked on Superman Lives, including director Tim Burton (who is nearly driven to suicide talking about the sad fate of the film on camera), Lorenzo di Bonaventura (then the Warner Bros. exec who greenlit the movie; now producer of the Transformers and G.I. Joe film franchises), production designer Rick Heinrichs (Oscar winner for Burton’s Sleepy Hollow), Wesley Strick (screenwriter who took over from Smith), special effects artist Steve Johnson (who went on to do Spider-Man 2) and costume designer Colleen Atwood (a three-time Oscar winner, including one for Burton’s Alice in Wonderland). There’s no interview with Nicolas Cage, unfortunately, but there is footage of him being fit for his costume, and some test footage of his version of Superman flying. Check out the trailer below.

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Trio

Nobody will ever have the balls to remake Back to the Future or The Terminator. They are the untouchable time travel classics. And without them we couldn’t have a movie like Hot Tub Time Machine, which paid it all back in homage in ways that wouldn’t make a lot of sense for people unfamiliar with those earlier cultural staples (and who’d just be confused now if there were multiples of them). Not a whole lot about the 2010 comedy mirrors BTTF, yet the ending has a similar, albeit more extreme, case of the present being altered for the better thanks to changes made via a trip to the past. The movie concludes with a brilliant joke: Rob Corddry‘s character has used his knowledge of the future (present) to invent Google before Google (he calls it “Lou-gle”). Sorry to spoil that for anyone who hasn’t seen the first HTTM already, but them’s the breaks when sequels happen — they tend to lead off from the ending of the original. It’s like The Terminator. You can’t not know how it ends if you know anything about Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Of course, back then you had seven years to catch up. This time you only have only four, as Hot Tub Time Machine 2 hits theaters this Christmas. The sequel continues to follow in the footsteps of the BTTF series. Back to the Future Part II didn’t need to happen, but it did happen, and it also kind of elaborated on a joke that concluded the original. And also […]

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Shazam

Will he play the titular Shazam or will he play the nemesis Black Adam? That seems to be the question of the day for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is either giving the world insight about an upcoming DC superhero role via his Twitter account or trolling everyone during the week of Comic-Con. It would be a nice, albeit cruel ruse to continue to talk about a big superhero reveal while Comic-Con is raging, especially on a weekend when you’re big tentpole Hercules hits theaters. We will likely know much more tomorrow afternoon when Warner Bros. takes the stage in San Diego to lay out their plans for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and beyond, but for now we’ve got these tweets from The Rock himself.

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Winchester House

If there’s one thing that little old ladies with way too much money and time on their hands are good for, it’s eccentricity. Such is the case with a one Mrs. Sarah Winchester, the widow of Mr. William Wirt Winchester. She was heiress to the massive Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the creator of the legendary Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. The story behind the sprawling, misshapen and believed-to-be-haunted mansion is just as fascinating as a peek inside its endless corridors and doors that lead to nowhere. And now, according to Variety, the Spierig Brothers (Predestination) are taking the whole tale to the big screen with Winchester. After the premature deaths of her infant daughter (to marasmus in 1866) and her husband (to tuberculosis in 1881), Sarah Winchester sought the guidance of a spiritualist, who gave her some rather unconventional advice. Her misfortune was being caused by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles — Native Americans, Civil War soldiers and anyone else who caught the misfortune of stepping in front of the barrel of their brand of gun. The only way that Sarah could escape the same fate as her baby and husband was to flee the East Coast for California and continuously build a home for herself to appease these malevolent spirits. As long as she kept building the great house, she would never die.

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SpongeBob SquarePants movie

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbant and yellow and porous is he! SpongeBob SquarePants! Who is going to haunt your nightmares until the end of time? SpongeBob SquarePants! If you’re familiar with SpongeBob SquarePants the television show, you already know what happens when SpongeBob is out of the sea. No, he doesn’t turn into one of these dudes, he’s just a yellow kitchen sponge. It’s a solid sight gag, and also just weird enough to make both kids and parents laugh. Fine, yes, it’s also kind of disturbing, but it’s disturbing in all the right ways. This, however, is just terrifying. SpongeBob is now bound for the big screen with the 2015 feature, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and our very first look at the new film bowed at Comic-Con yesterday. Good luck with the sleeping.

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Miles Teller and JK Simmons in Whiplash

Do you miss the days when J.K. Simmons was a sadistic, sociopath prison rapist? Nowadays, he’s not so much into the dangerous manipulation and sex abuse – not when there’s a steady line of cop, military and general “authority figure” roles that let Simmons speak to us with his particular manner of sarcastic wisdom. But all those lectures on what we don’t know about our insurance have gotten a little stale. It’s time for Simmons to reclaim his rightful place on the “please stop screaming at me, sir” throne. He’ll do so with Whiplash, this year’s Sundance darling that stars Miles Teller as a young jazz drummer who just wants to make it big, man, and Simmons as the big man who will guide Teller to his dreams of being the next Buddy Rich. Oh, and Simmons’ preferred method of musical instruction is screaming so close to your face that his saliva strands brush your eyelashes. That’s the twist with Whiplash. Unlike most films where a character is super good at playing some kind of instrument, music isn’t the all-enlightening force that will right our hero’s wrongs and provide that outlet for creative expression that lets us know how deep and yet also flawed he is. Here, music is a platform for the scary bald man to beat you, then threaten much worse: he’ll “gut you like a pig” if all drumming is not perfect from now until the sweet release of death. Watch the new trailer for the movie below.

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Harry Treadaway and Rose Leslie in Honeymoon

Newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway of Penny Dreadful) and Bea (Rose Leslie of Game of Thrones) have had it up to here with your conventional wedding behavior and are taking a honeymoon off the beaten path. Keep your lush white sand beaches and ice cold tropical drinks with their tiny whimsical umbrellas that magically get refilled by a kindly bartender, okay? They’re not interested. They’re heading off to a decrepit cabin in the spooky, spooky woods for some quality one on one time in order to relax and not get turned into zombies, thank you very much. Honeymoon, directed by Leigh Janiak and written by Janiak and Phil Graziadei, seems to follow a familiar path for young lovers on vacation in a secluded location. They’re about to face certain and treacherous peril, and there’s not a lot that they can do about it – if the first trailer for the film is any indication. As any good horror movie lets you know, if you’re attractive, horny and out in the woods, the forces of evil are going to be knocking on that cabin door in about five minutes looking to harsh your mellow. Hope you can get your security deposit back on the rental cottage, kids. Or at least see the silver lining in all this and tell the folks back home about the bitchin’ summer you had with your sweetheart amongst the trees? 

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Pixes vs King of Kong

One of our favorite documentaries of all time here at FSR, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters debuted back in January 2007 at the Slamdance Film Festival. Before it even released in theaters that August it had become an enormous cult sensation, particularly with people who aren’t normally into nonfiction films. Also before it even opened, director Seth Gordon was recruited by New Line (who also distributed the doc) to remake the feature, presumably to share the goofy story of rival arcade game champions with a much broader audience that wouldn’t ever, ever watch a doc, no matter how entertaining. It’s totally unnecessary, and those doc-despisers don’t deserve this story if that’s how they’re gonna be, but that’s Hollywood for you. As with most plans to redo docs as dramatic or “narrative” films, though, this one has been taking its sweet time — and doesn’t seem like it’ll ever really happen. Gordon was given other offers from New Line in the meantime to direct other big Hollywood movies such as Four Christmases, and he’s since been attached to a bazillion other projects. Yet over the years, he’s consistently confirmed that a King of Kong remake is still going forward, with minor details revealed that it could actually be more like a sequel and that it will be shot mockumentary style. And according to IMDbPro, following a couple years of unknown status, the project is now listed back in the script stage as of April 21st. But the more we see of Adam Sandler‘s upcoming […]

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General Atmosphere - Day 2 - Comic-Con International 2012

Today marks the start of the San Diego Comic-Con International, a 4-day celebration of the popular arts that draws north of 100k people to Southern California’s most lovely city. It also draws all the marketing power of movies, television, pop art, comics and just about anything else that can be classified as geeky or nerdy. As we do throughout the rest of the year, we’d like to point you in the direction of great reads around the movie blogosphere. But in the absence of many great longform pieces from Comic-Con, we’re just going to give you the Required Clicks — the images, videos and news you shouldn’t miss this weekend. Just remember to leave a tab open for us, as we will also be delivering all kinds of Comic-Con goodness this weekend.

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