Movie News After Dark: ‘First Class’ X-Men Pics, Natalie Portman, A Hitchcock Biopic and Ninja Gnomes

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

Hello, Betty Draper. The photo in this evening’s header is from an LA Times report from the set of Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class. Instantly I’m drawn to it, as these retrofied shots look far better than the one we saw the other day. It may help quell the “THIS IS GOING TO BE A DISASTER!” vibe that’s erupted on the web. Leave it to the internet to make snap judgments about a film before seeing anything substantial.

I’ve read this essay about how Terence Young brought the character of James Bond to life several times this evening. It is endlessly fascinating. And I’m glad that David Chen saw fit to Tweet it, as it has enriched my 007-loving life.

Speaking of X-Men: First Class. It looks like our first glimpse of O.G. mutants in action will come during the Super Bowl, along with trailers for Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Super 8, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Cowboys and Aliens, among others. Time for those of you without hair on your chests to whine in between commercials while the rest of us have a complete, bathroom break-free experience of pure sports and entertainment bliss. That is to say that I will be urinating while the Black Eyed Peas play the halftime show. Not on the TV, mind you.

What if I told you that the writer of Black Swan had worked up a draft of Stephen Robello’s book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho.” And that Montecito Pictures were in touch with Anvil! The Story of Anvil director Sacha Gervasi to direct. And that it would be the biopic of Alfred Hitchcock. Would you believe me? Does it sound too strange and wonderful to be true? Well friends, believe it.

Neill Blomkamp‘s next film, Elysium has received moneys from Sony, who will distribute. Even greater is the news that Syd Mead, the man responsible for the look of Blade Runner, will be putting his stamp on the film’s look and feel. Did that just make you all tingly? Because it sure made me feel tingly.

Wired magazine conducted a 51-minute interview with director Christopher Nolan, in which he divulges a great deal of secrets about Inception. This is worth your time.

Charlie Jane over at io9 has a comprehensive look at Why Captain America is ruling our screens and Wonder Woman isn’t. It’s an interesting angle to take, to say the least.

Robert Downey Jr. will no longer be playing Oz, the Great and Powerful for Sam Raimi. Please raise your hand if this doesn’t surprise you, as this project has been gestating far too long to hold down a spot in Downey’s ever-cramped schedule. Yes, my hand is raised. And yes, I’m typing with one hand.

Speaking of the folks at io9, they’ve pulled together a cool gallery of concept art from the upcoming invasion flick Battle: Los Angeles. Here’s a quickie for those who don’t like to click links:

Mike White is walking away from the director’s gig on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, making him the second director to exit the production (David O. Russell being the first). It proves again how stupid this idea might be.

Ricky Gervais will make a cameo in The Office. This may be a spoiler for those of you who watch the show, but I have a feeling that you won’t mind. It’s one of those things that seemed obvious from the start. David Brent and Michael Scott would eventually have to meet. And now that Gervais is on the outs with all of Hollywood, the low-hanging fruit seems like the right dish.

Behold 8 Milestones in the Evolution of Natalie Portman. Having seen her latest joint, No Strings Attached, I’m convinced that she is a superb actress. She successfully made 90+ minutes of Ashton Kutcher enjoyable. I kid you not.

Will the new Spider-Man have no J. Jonah Jameson? If I had the voice and the panache, I would shout very loudly a la J.K. Simmons about how absurd this is. Sadly, I’m relegated to quietly shaking my head with discontent.

Hugh Hefner has promised to bring Playboy to the iPad very soon. Now we’ll be able to “read the articles” from multiple issues without having those damn static-clingy pages making it look like we covered them in sticky stuff. Damn you, static!

We usually close with something humorous. Sadly, none of my faithful readers sent me humorous (for shame), so I’m going with a curiosity of mine. I wasn’t at all interested in Gnomeo and Juliet, the retread of a classic tale told through the eyes of garden gnomes, until this evening — when I learned that both Ozzy Osbourne and Hulk Hogan will be providing voice talent. That’s a big what-the-hell. It lead me to this featurette, which makes the film look quite good. I’m especially drawn to the ninja-gnome action.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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