Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been hovering around the role of Quicksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron since July, but yesterday came the official confirmation we’ve all been expecting for roughly half a year. The Wrap has the big news, along with the reason why such a super-speedy character was cast at a Mr. Magoo-like rate. It seems that Taylor-Johnson had already been booked up for some time with his Godzilla publicity tour, and it’s taken some time to ensure the actor will be able to both join the Avengers and tell the world how he was almost stepped on by a giant lizard. Elizabeth Olsen, strangely enough, is also a part of Godzilla and Age of Ultron, yet according to Samuel L. Jackson she was good to go a month ago without all these negotiating dilly-dallies. But now it’s all been worked out, and including Jackson’s slip about Olsen as Scarlet Witch and James Spader‘s casting as Ultron, it looks like all the major new additions for Age of Ultron have been locked in. Of course, there’s still loads of Avengers goodness to be seen before May 1, 2015 rolls around. We’ve yet to obsess of Quicksilver’s costume, his super-speed visual effects and if Taylor-Johnson will sport the same ridiculous pointy silver haircut as his comic book counterpart. Once that’s taken care of, and the same has been done for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers can finally assemble once more.

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Kick-Ass 2

Last time it was spring, not the end of summer. It’s hard to forget the time surrounding the release of Kick-Ass. Especially for anyone who spent that time writing at the intersection of film and nerds. To its credit, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass was very successful in one area: it engaged a small but passionate base of fans. To outsiders, it was crazy and probably more than a little dumb. But to those who saw it for what it was, Kick-Ass was a hyper-violent, intensely vulgar commentary on the entire comic book culture. It was a blast. So much so that we found ourselves defending it as its box office debut looked more like a stab to the gut than a triumphant victory. It was a hard fought battle for movie geeks. Our scuba-suited champion was gunned down in his prime. Three years later, we should probably be glad just to have a sequel in Kick-Ass 2. But after seeing it, maybe we should’ve let it go.

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god

Roland Emmerich‘s Godzilla was somewhat of a disaster. Not in how it was another “disaster movie” from Emmerich, but in terms of pure banality. With such a wonderfully iconic monster, the end result wasn’t what it should’ve been. Even the design of the creature felt all wrong. It’s been 15 years since we’ve seen Godzilla on a canvas that big and, despite the box office success of Emmerich’s film, we (thankfully) haven’t had to sit through more of that Godzilla interpretation. With next summer’s reboot, director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) doesn’t want to simply make another piece of disaster porn. He’ll have Godzilla, and plenty of other monsters, roaming the world, but during the film’s Comic-Con preview over the weekend, Edwards appeared far more interested in the characters we’ll see played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and Elizabeth Olsen. For Edwards, in addition some realistic camerawork, the three of them are what will ground this movie. If you want to know more about how Edwards grounded this monster pic and what to expect come next summer, here’s what Edwards and the cast had to say about the film at Comic-Con:

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Kick-Ass 2

Didn’t make it into Hall H this afternoon to see the Universal Pictures presentation? Don’t worry about it. Not even in San Diego? Not even a problem. Universal has released this 4-minute extended NSFW Kick-Ass 2 trailer online, fresh off its Comic-Con debut. It features a much better look at the tone, the action and the personalities of the Jeff Wadlow-directed affair. It does a much better job off offering a tone closer to that of the Matthew Vaughan-directed predecessor and spouts off some choice language. One can’t help but think that it’s going to be a foul-mouthed affair, mostly considering the name of the film’s villain.

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Sam Taylor Johnson

There was some discussion after Universal and Focus Features locked down the hotly sought after rights to make Fifty Shades of Grey as to whether it was the kind of movie that had to have a female filmmaker at the helm. The answer is probably a little bit conflicting for everyone. On the one hand, it’s pleasant to imagine that a story that has seemed so focus toward and done so well with women would mean a natural opportunity for a bright female filmmaker to take part of the spotlight. On the other, who’s to say that any story necessitates one gender or another behind the camera? Tough questions that will linger beyond Fifty Shades, but at least for this film, Universal and Focus’ answer is no longer in the abstract. According to Variety, Sam Taylor-Johnson is going to take the job. A relative newcomer to the directing game, she has only Nowhere Boy under her belt when it comes to features. Of course she made a mark with it, earning several award nominations for the flick and its actors — one of whom is Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Anna Karenina). The pair met during filming and married soon after. The casting is far from finalized, but the Variety article claims a source vouching for Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a candidate for the lead Grey male role while The Wrap says he’s not going after it.

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dicaprio

What is Casting Couch? It’s likely the only news roundup on the Internet today that has nothing to do with new iPhone features. Instead we’re dealing with movies, and their casting of names like Josh Duhamel, Christoph Waltz, Reese Witherspoon, and Sofia Vergara. History buffs are usually fascinated by Grigori Rasputin—who was an advisor to the Russian Imperials at the beginning of the 20th century—because political rivals shot him, stabbed him, poisoned him, and nuked him while he was hiding in a fridge, and the guy still somehow managed to keep living. Movie fans are likely to be fascinated by Rasputin because Warner Bros. has just bought a script about his life, called Rasputin, and they’re developing it as a starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. This, of course, means that we’re going to get the chance to see DiCaprio grow a crazy long beard and likely try out a Russian accent, which just sounds like so much fun. [Deadline]

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Kick Ass 2

After years of chatter and back and forth, Kick-Ass 2 is finally hitting screens later this summer, and Universal has unveiled a foul-mouthed (in the best way), bloody, and biting (no, truly biting, stick around for that one) red band trailer to show off their new sequel. What are we in for with this outing? Well, it’s clearly Hit-Girl’s (Chloe Grace Moretz) world, and we’re all just living in it (including Aaron Taylor-Johnson‘s eponymous Kick-Ass), even as Christopher Mintz-Plasse reveals his new persona as “The Motherfucker” and Jim Carrey stomps and chomps his way across the screen as Colonel Stars and Stripes. Put on your favorite superhero mask (don’t forget to align those eyeholes) and watch the new red band trailer for Kick-Ass 2 after the break.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s the whitest casting round-up you know. Even though everyone knows that Godzilla is the true star of any Godzilla movie, there usually has to be some sort of human element on the ground to give the fire-breathing lizard’s destruction some sort of context. So Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla reboot is in the need of a principal actor, presumably a young and fresh-faced one, because Deadline is reporting that the newest actor they’re courting for the job is Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In addition to having the whitest name on the planet, you know Taylor-Johnson from recently blending into the wallpaper in Savages and shrinking into the background of Anna Karenina. Let’s hope that if he gets the Godzilla gig he’s able to rekindle a little bit of that spark he showed in Kick-Ass, because he certainly didn’t come out of 2012 looking like the next big thing.

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Anna Karenina Review

Director Joe Wright’s latest film, a lush and visually striking adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” is uniquely suited to the filmmaker’s tastes and tones. Joining his other love-struck and leading lady-centric films like Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, Wright again adapts well-tread material with an eye for emotion, dizzying and overwrought as it may be (or truly, as it can be). Utilizing a “theater-set” concept to frame up his film, Wright’s Anna Karenina offers up his most original film yet, but one that still fails to ultimately come together and connect with his audience. Tolstoy’s novel has been adapted countless times before and in a variety of mediums. While not a complicated story, the trials and tribulations of the young Mrs. Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) are still ripe for discussion and dissection, and Wright’s choice to keep the film in the book’s period setting does nothing to diminish its aching relatability. A dazzling society maven, Anna’s life centers on her husband (the beloved politician Alexei Karenin, Jude Law, whom she seems to simply admire, not adore), parties, and her young son. Mildly upended by the news of her brother’s (Matthew Macfadyen) cheating ways, Anna sets off to visit the broken family in Moscow and to help mend some long-simmering wounds. Upon her arrival in Moscow, she meets the dashing (sure) Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and the pair eventually fall into an all-consuming affair that threatens to destroy every element of Anna’s life.

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Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall

Earlier this summer, we learned that a Kick-Ass sequel called Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall was likely to go into development and was likely to be written and directed by a guy named Jeff Wadlow. Well, turns out that not only is all of that coming to fruition, but a bunch of casting has already been taken care of, so now the film is looking (surprisingly enough) super official. First off, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse were all rumored to be negotiating to come back and resume their roles from the first film, and that has indeed happened – but they’re not the only names that have officially come on board. The storyline in Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s “Kick-Ass 2” comic revolves around Kick-Ass joining a newly formed crew of crime fighters called Justice Forever, which means that this new movie sequel is going to need to cast a lot of new actors in a lot of new superhero roles.

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