Still basking in the film’s recent successes at the Venice and Telluride film festivals, Warner Brothers released a new trailer for Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY today. A film that director James Cameron (Aliens, Avatar) praised earlier this week as the, “best space film ever done.”
With the premise well known by this point, the trailer wisely focuses on the pulse pounding predicament of Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), banking on her visceral experience to pique further audience interest. It makes for another exciting look at the film.
The article says Warner Bros. is “looking for someone in their late 20s and are open to all ethnicities,” and that the casting call specifies an actress who possesses height and physicality.
What Batman love interest would need to be tall and able to hold her own in a fight? We just got Talia Al Ghul and Selina Kyle in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I suppose Lex Luthor’s bodyguard, Mercy, is another possibility.
Or, as El Mayimbe wonders, are they really looking for a Wonder Woman? It seems a bit early for that. Then again, if WB and DC really want to build a cinematic universe, it’s good to plan ahead.
For you ARROW fans, The CW has released a new trailer for the show’s upcoming second season. The one minute preview entitiled, “You Better Pray”, features the characters reflecting on the losses they suffered during the first season before affirming their renewed drive to triumph.
We have a Rocket Raccoon and we have an Ultron! Marvel officially announced the casting of each role last week with Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and James Spader playing the titular villain in AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. The director of the latter film, Joss Whedon, has acknowledged the possibility of a team member dying in the AVENGERS sequel. The Gentlemen weigh in on all of these topics as they ponder which hero, if any, will make his or her last stand in AGE OF ULTRON.
The latest STAR WARS rumor has SHERLOCK star Benedict Cumberbatch being the first name officially announced for EPISODE VII.
Film Chronicles reports that the announcement is imminent and is the reason Cumberbatch, last seen as Khan Noonien Singh in this summer’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, left the Guillermo Del Toro film CRIMSON PEAK. It’s worth noting however that sources close to the project said at the time that his departure was, “not due to another project”.
While that particular statement may protest too much, it’s important to remember that this is still just a rumor. As with all internet news about movies scheduled for release in 2015, don’t forget to take the required grain of salt on your way out. May the Force be with you during these times of uncertainty.
UPDATE: Our first sign that this could be just another wild Bantha chase comes from The New York Daily News. They report that a representative for Mr. Cumberbatch told them, “There is no truth to the rumour Benedict has been cast in STAR WARS.” Whether or not this is all a Khan remains to be seen. Stay tuned for further updates.
Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY pulled in a lot of positive attention this week. The first television spots have been released along with one sheets featuring the Sandra Bullock as engineer Dr. Ryan Stone and George Clooney as astronaut Matt Kowalski (both the posters and TV spot can be seen below). The film also earned a large amount of critical praise in its debuts at the Venice and Telluride film festivals.
Variety’s Justin Chang called it, “A nerve-shredding suspenser, a daring study in extreme isolation, and one of the most sophisticated and enveloping visions of space travel yet realized onscreen.”
A.O. Scott of The New York Times says GRAVITY makes, “recent science-fiction epics seem grounded and clumsy by comparison.”
But where GRAVITY’s force may possibly be felt most is during the upcoming awards season, as the film’s direction, performances, and technical achievements are increasingly being mentioned along with the word “Oscar”.
Fresh off the summer movie season, it’s almost hard to believe that a premise so simple could fuel such an amazing film, but I’m excited and really looking forward to seeing GRAVITY when it opens on October 4th.
AMC has released a new THE WALKING DEAD behind the scenes video, hosted by series creator Robert Kirkman.
In the video, Kirkman takes viewers around the sets for the prison that Rick Grimes and his band of survivors call home. Of particular note are the indications that the group has made considerable efforts to turn the prison into a sustainable and defendable home. Among the improvements seen during the tour are dedicated areas for agriculture, newly cleared areas of the prison for additional residents, and animal pens.
These things should lend an air of authenticity (as much as be expected in a television show about a zombie apocalypse) when THE WALKING DEAD returns on October 13.
While reports of an offer being made are just over a week old, Marvel has now made it official: Bradley Cooper is voicing Rocket Raccoon in James Gunn’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Rocket is one of the most unconventional characters in the history of the superhero movie genre (along with his GOTG teammate, Groot), so having an A-list star like Bradley Cooper lending his voice definitely helps. More importantly, Cooper has the comedic timing and range to play well alongside other teammates, such as Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill. Gunn sure sounds happy about the signing.
Gunn has previously described Rocket as the soul of the movie, so casting this role was critical. Cooper will certainly bring more of the mainstream attention this unknown property needs. He also has the chops to deliver the vocal performance this character deserves, so long as the material is there, which it should be with Gunn writing and directing. This could very well be another huge win along an impressive casting streak by Marvel.
Catch up on the latest GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY news and my own musings about the film in our biweekly countdown. The latest installment can be found HERE.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is still 11 months away, but the Marvel movie news gods continue to feed this countdown. Vin Diesel is still talking about Groot while a favorite has emerged for the film’s other prominent voice acting role. Your biweekly journey to Knowhere begins now!
Vin Diesel isn’t Groot… yet.
After previously posting picture of the character on his Facebook page and talking about the role without actually talking about it with the LA Times, Vin Diesel finally uttered the name Groot in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. In the video below, Diesel discusses his July meeting with Marvel, saying that they were originally looking at him headlining a Phase Three film. Diesel’s production schedule did not allow for that and the desire to do something more immediate led to the role of Groot.
Diesel confirms that while he is in talks to play Groot, the deal is not done. If Diesel signs on the dotted line, however, he will be lending more than just his voice to Groot. Diesel mentioned motion capture as another part of the role. This is welcome news despite the reality that a great many people are probably capable of moving around like a tree while wearing a leotard. The more Diesel is involved, the more he can speak to in interviews, and the more Marvel will benefit from incidental promotion of the film.
Now all we need is for Marvel and Diesel’s reps to strike a deal.
Once Chris Pratt was cast as Star-Lord, the most important question on the minds of fans was whose voice they would hear coming out of Rocket Raccoon. Last week, fans came closer than ever to having that answer. Multiple outlets, starting with Latino Review, cited their own sources in reports that Bradley Cooper had been offered the role.
Cooper has not accepted the role and the offer has yet to be confirmed by his reps or Marvel. That said, studios tend not to confirm the offers they make until they are accepted. Warner Bros. never issued a press release when Matt Damon passed on the role of Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT, for example. No one wants to potentially be rejected in the public eye.
In any event, Cooper is the first serious contender reported for the role and apparently Marvel’s first choice. In an interview with Hey U Guys! a few months ago, James Gunn teased that he knew which actor he wanted for Rocket and it was just a matter of time before dream casting would become reality.
We’ll have to wait for a few weeks to see. We’ll get our dream guy, because a lot of people want to do it, so we’ll get the person who’s perfect for the role.
Perhaps Cooper has been that man all along and if so, he’s a very good choice. Sarcasm and snark are two of Rocket’s biggest weapons and Cooper can deliver each extremely well. The banter Rocket has with his teammates is a huge part of what makes the character so enjoyable to read and now watch. It is not difficult at all to imagine Cooper playing very well off of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, and Vin Diesel or whoever utters “I am Groot.” Rocket is funny and so is Cooper.
The only concern is if the grizzled, been-to-hell-and-back nature of Rocket will shine through in Cooper’s voice. An action movie veteran like Jason Statham would have brought that out immediately, but Cooper will have to go into new territory since he’s never really done that. Of course, he’s a more than capable actor, so if director James Gunn wants to showcase that aspect of Rocket, Cooper should be able to do it without much trouble.
Take a Breath
As much fun as all this casting speculation may be, we still have to wait on official word regarding Rocket and Groot. Hopefully, that will come soon, but for now, keep your expectations in check so as not to be disappointed if Diesel or Cooper wind up absent for the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY cast. James Gunn will find the right actors for those roles, so put your trust in that.
Short of official casting news related to the film, I’m going to guess the news on GUARDIANS will be a little slower over the next two weeks than it’s been of late, which should allow time for exploration of the source material. It probably won’t hurt if you do a little reading ahead of time and focus on Brian Michael Bendis’ current GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY run, or the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning run from 2008.
I’ll see you all back here in two weeks, but for now, here’s Chris “Star-Lord” Pratt showing off his pre-GUARDIANS Bautista fandom.
EXCLUSIVE: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Casts James Spader as the Film’s Legendary Villain
The Emmy® Award-winning actor set to play Ultron in the 2015 blockbuster!
James Spader will face off against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the villain in Marvel’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, the sequel to 2012’s record-breaking MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS. The Emmy Award-winning actor will play Ultron in the Avengers’ much anticipated return to the big screen from writer/director Joss Whedon. The film comes to theaters on May 1, 2015.
Spader earned three Emmy Awards for his role as Alan Shore on BOSTON LEGAL and THE PRACTICE, and will return to television this fall in NBC’s highly anticipated series THE BLACKLIST. Most recently Spader was seen in the critically-acclaimed film LINCOLN directed by Steven Spielberg and has previously worked with a long list of accomplished film directors including David Cronenberg, Curtis Hansen, Sidney Lumet, Mike Nichols, Tim Robbins, Robert Rodriguez, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone. David Mamet also directed Spader in the Broadway play RACE.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON will bring the Marvel Universe’s biggest heroes together again to face one of their biggest villains, with MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS director Joss Whedon returning to write and direct the sequel. MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS was released in 2012 and went on to earn $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third-largest grossing movie of all time.
Spader is represented by ICM Partners and his lawyer Melanie Cook at Ziffren Brittenham.
What do you think? Another excellent example of Marvel going outside of the box and finding casting that’s truly unexpected and inspired.
(Wouldn’t it be nice if this happened more often? No silly rumors, no speculation, just BOOM, no wondering, no worrying, here’s your casting. It’s so refreshing.)