Iron Man Robert Downey, Jr. has branded the summer blockbuster Guardians Of The Galaxy the "best Marvel movie ever". The Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced a new superhero in Peter Quill/Star Lord, played by Chris Pratt, earlier this month (14), and the film quickly become a hit, surpassing the $500 million (£301 million) mark in the global box office.
In a recent interview with the Toronto Sun, Downey, Jr. graciously admits the newest addition to the Marvel family is the one to beat.
He said, "Guardians of the Galaxy, in some ways, is the best Marvel movie ever. It's odd for someone with - on occasion - an ego the size of mine to actually say that...
"It's like you have a great quarterback, and his brother plays for another team, and then you say: 'Look, this is their second cousin and we think he has a great arm and he should start.' And then he goes and wins the Superbowl!"
Ironically, Guardians director James Gunn said at the film's recent press conference in London that he and Pratt have discussed at length what would happen if Downey, Jr. and the rest of The Avengers had a face-off with Quill and his team.
Gunn revealed, "Chris and I were driving somewhere the other day and in the car we were having one of our ridiculous conversations and we were talking about all the different things that could happen to the Guardians in this universe, like we do endlessly, we talk about it constantly.
"And he was saying, 'Dude seriously, I really really think that Star Lord should kill Iron Man. Like it would be so awesome and if he shot him, people would be so surprised".
Warner Bros. bosses have partnered with coffee company Eight O'Clock Coffee to recreate the cafe from beloved TV series Friends to mark the 20th anniversary of the show. Fans visiting New York this autumn (14) will be able to visit the pop-up Central Perk in downtown Manhattan.
The coffee house will be stuffed with actual furniture from the show, including the iconic orange sofa, which Jennifer Aniston and her co-stars sat on.
Actor James Michael Tyler, who played barista Gunther, is expected to make appearances after the new Central Perk opens on Lafayette Street on 17 September (14). The cafe will close on 18 October (14).
In conjunction with the Friends anniversary, fans all across America will be able to pick up an Eight O'Clock Coffee Central Perk-themed blend.
Pierce Brosnan signed up for new spy thriller The November Man in a bid to conclude his journey as James Bond. The actor's run as 007 came to an abrupt end after four films when he was suddenly replaced by Daniel Craig, and he admits he never got the chance to get the franchise or the spy film genre out of his system.
So when producer pal Beau St. Clair presented him with the new film, Brosnan jumped on board, hoping it would help him exorcise Bond once and for all.
He tells WENN, "After my four outings as James Bond there seemed to be unfinished business in the way that the Bond films finished in my life and the demise of Bond going offstage left into the night; it seemed like there was a certain void there... The Bond was so big and mighty in my career.
"I wouldn't be in the company of you all, talking about The November Man if it hadn't been for James Bond. There was a desire, need and want to make this film. I love the title. It has a sensuality and a mystique to it. It has a complexity of character and a punch and a grit to it, which gave me the opportunity to really take the gloves off and be hard as nails and be ambivalent in my moral values as a character. There was a complexity there that was seductive and enticing."
Ironically, the new film also features actress Olga Kurylenko, who was a Bond girl opposite Craig in Quantum of Solace.
She says, "It feels like I've done two Bond films! It was wonderful working with Pierce; it was a gift. It was great with tons of action and we both already have certain skills so we were prepared with all our past and all the Bond movies."
Brosnan adds, "There was a similarity in the role because Olga had been with Daniel in the Bond movie. But it was Olga's work and her talent and beauty and vulnerability that just made sense."
And the film's stunt co-ordinator was Mark Mottram, who was Brosnan's James Bond stunt double.
The actor jokes, "He and I saved the world a couple of times."
Hit comedy The Inbetweeners 2 has soared to the top of the U.K. box office chart with opening weekend (08-10Aug14) takings of $21.3 million (£12.5 million). The comedy sequel, which stars James Buckley and Simon Bird, knocked Guardians of the Galaxy from the top spot. The superhero blockbuster fell to number two with takings of $5.7 million (£3.3 million).
The sequels continued to reign at the box office as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hung on at number three with $3 million (£1.7 million) and Planes 2: Fire & Rescue made it to number four at around the $1.7 million (£1 million) mark.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 rounded off the chart at number five, taking $1.5 million (£893,792).
The Inbetweeners 2 set a new British cinema record with its mid-week opening, which netted £2.7 million ($4.6 million).
British actor Craig Fairbrass has filed suit against his Hollywood movie managers over allegations they cost him money for his 2014 action film The Outsider. The Cliffhanger star accepted a $25,000 (£14,726) advance to play a military contractor in the movie, but agreed to defer his $40,000 (£23,529) fee from ZG Entertainment managers Mark and Christine Holder until after the film's March (14) release.
His filmmaking partner, The Outsider writer/director Brian Miller, also opted to defer his $15,000 (£8,824) purchase price for the script and instead allowed ZG Entertainment bosses to option his screenplay for just $1 (£0.59).
Miller also postponed collecting his $50,000 (£29,412) payment for directing the movie, which also starred James Caan, and was promised a cut of the film's proceeds, according to Los Angeles court papers, obtained by editors at Entlawdigest.com.
The director and his star claim they have yet to receive the full funds from the Holders and they're demanding an accounting of ZG Entertainment's funds and all profits from The Outsider. Fairbrass and Miller are also seeking damages for breach of contract, fraud and copyright infringement.
British singer Sam Smith is in talks to record the theme tune for the next James Bond movie, according to a U.K. report. The Stay With Me singer would follow in the footsteps of superstars including Adele, Madonna and Dame Shirley Bassey if he is picked to sing the anthem for the next film in the 007 franchise.
Bond star Daniel Craig is reportedly keen for Adele to follow up on her 2012 Oscar-winning theme tune for Skyfall, but producers are said to want to sign up Smith instead.
A source tells British newspaper The Sun, "Sam is our top choice. He has the profile, cool image and astonishing voice to record a Bond theme.
"And there is only so long we can hold out for Adele. Daniel Craig was pushing for her because she did such a great job last time around."
The coveted job would be a major boost for 22-year-old Smith's already blossoming career and it would mark the first time a British male singer has recorded the Bond theme tune in three decades. Rocker Simon Le Bon was the last British male to sing a Bond theme when he recorded A View to a Kill with Duran Duran in 1985.
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
Almost immediately upon exiting my screening of Guardians of the Galaxy, I was hit by a friend and fellow movies writer with the inevitable question: "Better than The Avengers?" Even though Guardians is less a superhero movie than a space adventure, the new release is bound to win (or suffer) comparison to the 2012 hit that broke box office records and redefined the possibility of the already prosperous comic book feature.
But it's no easy question to tackle — is Guardians of the Galaxy (which is great) better than The Avengers (which is great)? I'm still not sure. But when you allocate the debate toward specific elements braved by the films, you close in on something resembling an answer. So here we go. Which movie is better in terms of...
Action?The Avengers. James Gunn is still new to the blockbuster game, and needs to work out a few bugs in his action sequence methodology. Joss Whedon, though generally more of a small-scale player himself, showcased some pretty stellar sequences in '12.
Characters?Guardians of the Galaxy. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket, and Groot are not simply snappy vehicles driving us toward exciting set pieces. They and their pangs (and quirks) are the sincere core and draw of this story. You'll be surprised at how much empathy a misanthropic raccoon can command.
Villain?The Avengers, in a big way. Loki was the virtual highlight of his movie, while Guardians' Ronan the Accuser is a moreover anonymous figure that simply spouts colorless threats of tyranny.
Performances?Kind of a toss-up. In Guardians, Chris Pratt is a standout as hero Star-Lord, Dave Bautista is a surprisingly charismatic Drax, and Bradley Cooper and (especially) Vin Diesel managed some pretty impressive vocal charms as Rocket and Groot, respectively. But we'd be remiss to forget how inviting the snarky Robert Downey Jr., caustic Scarlett Johansson, brooding Mark Ruffalo, and flamboyantly wicked Tom Hiddleston all were.
Humor?Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, The Avengers had terrific moments of comic relief, but these were peppered delicately throughout a tense (albeit joyful) action-adventure movie. Guardians is as much a comedy as it is a genre picture, and its material is sharp and wry.
Coherency?The Avengers. Whedon's flick is astoundingly neat and well-packaged for how grand (and kooky) it is. Guardians' biggest mis-step is probably is clumsy construction.
Special Effects?The Avengers, thanks once again to experience... and an extra $50 million in budget.
Thrills?Probably, again, The Avengers, though not by a wide margin. Something about Whedon's sleek design, meticulous plotting, and an everpresent severity made the whole thing seem a little more gasp-worthy.
Je ne sais quoi?Guardians of the Galaxy. The real victory of Gunn's new film is its spirit, its warm and inviting personal touch. It might have its bugs, but the tidy perfection of The Avengers wouldn't have been appropriate for a film of its theme and motives. Overall, we'd champion Guardians as our preferred Marvel adventure for this reason alone: it's got that special heart that doesn't come around to big budget blockbusters all too often.
But don't just take our word for it. Sound off below!
James Franco and Chris O'dowd's Broadway revival of John Steinbeck's classic novel Of Mice And Men bowed out on a box office high as it closed on Sunday (27Jul14) after raking in just under $1.04 million (£611,765) for the week's eight performances. The big figure set a new record for the show's venue, the Longacre Theatre, as it was the first time one of its productions had crossed the $1 million (£588,235) mark. The play had already recouped its $3.8 million (£2.24 million) investment in its first 12 weeks on the Great White Way.
Getty Images/Kevin Winter
Do you remember where you were when Batman V Superman was announced? When the first glimpse of Avatar was bestowed upon the world? Probably not, but for the Comic-Con faithful, these moments are gospel. San Diego Comic-Con has become the destination for any geek worth his salt, and a select few moments throughout the convention's history have become legendary to fans across the world. Here are the most memorable moments from Comic-Cons past.
The Batman V Superman announcementRight at the tail end of the 2013 Warner Bros. panel, a Jittery Zack Snyder turned up to announce that he was working on a sequel to Man of Steel. Then, with help from the booming voice of Harry Lennix and a choice excerpt from Frank Miller's classic Batman tale The Dark Knight Returns, Warner Bros. dropped a bomb on Hall H with the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (which was then untitled). When the logo blazed on screen with all its glory, SDCC 2013 had hit its definitive peak.
Michael Keaton earns the cowlEveryone remembers the ballyhoo made about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight, but comic book fans had been complaining about casting long before then. All the way back at Comic-Con 1988, the fervor about the new Batman movie was high; many fans didn't think Michael Keaton could pull off the Caped Crusader. But most of these detractors quieted down when the original creator of Batman, Bob Kane himself, stopped by the Con and gave the actor and Tim Burton's production his blessing via a set visit. He also showed up with a ton of set photos and production designs to ensure fans that his creation was in good hands.
Twilight comes to Comic-ConFor nearly 40 years, Comic-Con had been a place for more male-focused geekery. But in 2008, the playing field was leveled when the Twilight saga was given a panel in the hallowed nerd pantheon that is Hall H. This of course brought droves of Twilight fans to the convention center, who of course butted heads with seasoned veterans of the Con who though the new visitors didn't belong. But Twilight's domination of that year's festivities were undeniable. The vamps were here to stay.
The Avatar preview screeningIf there's one thing to learn from Comic-Con, it's that you shouldn't always buy into the hype. Hyperbole flows through San Diego like a river, and people will champion anything and everything as a gamechanger. But the hype around the preview screening of Avatar at 2009's convention was so massive, it was hard not to believe. The preview of James Cameron's spectacle-laden adventure left many Con-goers slack-jawed with awe.
The Avengers assemble in Hall HJoss Whedon has long been a popular face at comic-con, but he might as well have been coronated as king when he brought every member of The Avengers on stage for the first time in 2010. It was a moment that Marvel studios had been steadily building up to for years, but seeing all of those heroes (albiet in street clothes) in one place at the same time was magical.
The Iron Man trailer premiereUnsuspecting fans at the first ever Iron Man panel were greeted with a surprise visit from Jon Favreau, and an even bigger surprise: the first look at a new trailer for Iron Man. The trailer was only a few seconds long, showing Iron Man shooting through the sky, but it was enough to send the hype for the upcoming film skyrocketing. It was surefire proof that Marvel was doing right by all these heroes.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World wows the crowdIn a rare treat, fans at the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World panel were treated to a screening of the film. Edgar Wright's dazzling comic book adaptation won heaps of praise from attendees, and Hollywood's relationship with the convention was riding high. Unfortunately, the studios soon found out the convention hype doesn't always equal ticket sales, and the film fizzled out of the box-office without recouping it's budget.
Karen Gillan goes baldMaybe it was just a really convincing wig, maybe we just couldn't wrap our heads around those deep red locks being fake, or maybe we just don't usually expect to see people ripping hair off of their heads at Comic-Con. But at the panel for Guardians of the Galaxy, after being confronted by host Chris Hardwick with accusations that her character in the upcoming space opera is bald in the comics, the actor unleashed her buzzed head to the world, and everyone lost their minds.
20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
The Planet of the Apes franchise has a deep lineage of interesting writers penning different chapters about our future simian overlords. With the latest installment of the franchise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hitting theaters this Friday, we've decided to put the spotlight on the scribes that have brought the ape-ocalypse to life throughout the years.
Rod SterlingFilm: Planet of the ApesNotable Works: The Twilight ZoneRod Sterling was the creator of the legendary sci-fi anthology TV series The Twilight Zone, whose influences continue to touch every inch of modern sci-fi storytelling. Besides The Twilight Zone, Sterling has also written a number of films, including thrillers like The Yellow Canary and Seven Days in March. He also created another anthology series, Night Gallery, which featured stories focusing on horror, supernatural, and macabre elements.
Michael WilsonFilm: Planet of the ApesNotable Works: Lawrence of Arabia, It's a Wonderful Life, The Bridge on the River KwaiBesides co-writing the first entry of the Planet of the Apes franchise, Michael Wilson wrote an astounding number of cinematic classics, including Lawrence of Arabia, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. If Wilson's credits weren't interesting enough, the writer was blacklisted from the Hollywood studio system after being accused of being a communist. During this time, he wrote a number of films overseas. One of which was Salt of the Earth, a film written, produced, and directed by filmmakers blacklisted by Hollywood during the McCarthy era.
Paul DehnFilms: Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the ApesNotable Works: Goldfinger, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Murder on the Orient ExpressPaul Dehn is the most prolific screenwriter of the franchise, penning scripts for four out of the five original films in the series. Outside of the Planet of the Apes franchise, Dehn has written several spy thrillers including the James Bond film Goldfinger and a film adaptation of John le Carre's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. He also wrote the screenplay for Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express.
John William Corrington and Joyce Hooper CorringtonFilm: Battle for the Planet of the ApesNotable Works: The Omega Man, Boxcar Bertha, General HospitalThis married couple and screenwriting duo has lent its talents to five films over the years. Besides Battle for the Planet of the Apes, they also wrote the screenplay for Omega Man, another apocalyptic film starring Charlton Heston in the lead role, and Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha. The writing team is also known for their work on soap operas, having written for long-running soap staples like General Hospital and One Life to Live.
Lawrence Konner and Mark RosenthallFilm: Planet of the Apes (2001)Notable Works: Mona Lisa Smile, The Sorcerer ApprenticeLawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthall have worked together on a diverse number of projects including Mona Lisa Smile, Star Trek VI, and The Sorcerer Apprentice. They also, funnily enough, penned the script for Mighty Joe Young, another film about primates, but one with far fewer apocalyptic overtones. Lawrence Konner has also written for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire though without his writing partner.
William Broyles Jr.Film: Planet of the Apes (2001)Notable Works: Entrapment, Apollo 13, The Polar Express, Cast AwayWilliam Broyles Jr. is a bona fide A-list Hollywood screenwriter with numerous films under his belt including Jarhead, Unfaithful, The Polar Express, and Cast Away. His script for for Apollo 13 was nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.
Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver Film: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the ApesNotable Works: Avatar 3, Jurassic WorldMarried screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver had a handful of films under their belt, but the duo really broke out with their script for 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which revitalized the franchise and earned them a Saturn Award nomination for writing. Ever since, the pair have become a hot commodity for sci-fi blockbusters. Jaffa and Silver were hired to write the upcoming tent-pole films Jurassic World and Avatar 3.