Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
Okay, Ruffalo. Sell it. Tell us why, with so many properties to choose from and all the money required to breathe life into its leviathan of promising characters, Marvel is "entertaining the idea" of another standalone movie for the Hulk. After all, the first two attempts at a Bruce Banner-centric picture resulted in sour reviews and lackluster box office intake. Ang Lee's maudlin interpretation of the character, as portrayed by Eric Bana in 2003, nearly sapped us of our Spider-Man highs, while Louis Leterrier's lunking, charmless 2008 version left us mourning the days when an Edward Norton headline meant a sure thing (there might not have ever been days like that, but it sure seems like there were at some point). But two years past the Hulk's gallant return to Bixbian form in The Avengers, and you're coming to DigitalSpy with the news that Marvel is considering another go at the rage-filled green giant for a spin-off feature?
All right, we'll hear you out: "There's still nothing definitive, not even a skeletal version of what it would be. I look forward to going down that road, if we could crack that nut." Clearly, you and Marvel alike share our skepticism, which is, in its own way, comforting. As lovers of Banner in his comic book, television series, and Ruffaloan form (and that last bit includes your appearance in the Iron Man 3 stinger, for which you seem to share an affinity: "If they did Iron Man 4 and Banner’s in that, that’d be very cool."), we'd love nothing more than the Hulk granted his cinematic due. But such a complicated character takes patience and plotting... more so than Leterrier hocked at the screen in '08, but not quite as much as Lee wove so dreadfully in '03. A happy medium. Something that the Phase 2-and-on psychology might be able to bring to life.
Seems like you've convinced us, Ruffalo. Maybe there is some hidden gold left to mine for a Hulk movie. Just... be careful this time, okay?
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Illusionist heist drama Now You See Me is set for a sequel after making a magical $350 million (£219 million) at the international box office last year (13). The surprise hit about a group of rival magicians who join forces to rob a bank will return with its original cast and a new director, according to insiders.
Jon M. Chu, the man behind the G.I. Joe sequel, is in talks to take over from Louis Leterrier, according to Variety.
Dave Franco, who starred in the summer, 2013 film, recently addressed rumours of a sequel, stating, "I've heard a pitch of the story. It's actually going to be really exciting. I was slightly weary, just because you never know when it comes to a sequel. But I think the first one opened up enough avenues. There are many directions left to explore. There are many places that it can go."
Franco starred alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher and Mark Ruffalo in the hit film.
Actress Isla Fisher is set to join her husband Sacha Baron Cohen in new comedy Grimsby.
The Great Gatsby star will join Cohen, Rebel Wilson and Gabourey Sidibe in the movie about a British spy who is forced to go on the run and team up with his soccer star brother, according to TheWrap.com.
The project, which begins production this summer (14), also reunites Fisher with her Now You See Me director Louis Leterrier. Cohen is among the several producers.
Louis Leterrier, director of the most unlikely hit of the summer Now You See Me, has now set his sights on the disparate worlds of espionage and British soccer fandom.
The filmmaker is set to direct the Sacha Baron Cohen flick Grimsby, which follows a British black-ops agent who is forced to go on the run with his long lost brother, an English football hooligan. With Now You See Me, Leterrier had managed a feat that few had before: making magicians cool — something that Mind Freak Criss Angel has failed to do for the better part of a decade. The director added a flair of freewheeling arrogance to the magicians in the Robin Hooding illusionists' caper film, and can probably do the same to Cohen's farcical tale of spies and soccer fans. Leterrier's experience with both action and comedy should give him the ability to capably craft Cohen's upcoming spy comedy, with credits that include the first two Transporter films and The Incredible Hulk.
According to Variety, Leterrier had been aggressively pursuing Grimsby ever since finishing Now You See Me, and has met with Cohen and Paramount execs several times in order to hash out a deal on the project. Hopefully his persistence results in a successful film.
Director Louis Leterrier's magician heist movie Now You See Me is set to be revived for a sequel after becoming a surprise summer (13) hit at the global box office. The crime caper was made for $75 million (£50 million) and featured an ensemble cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Sir Michael Caine and Isla Fisher.
To date, Now You See Me has pulled in almost $235 million (£157 million) across the world, with the film still yet to open in China, Australia and Japan, and bosses at Lionsgate have decided to make a follow-up to the Summit Entertainment picture.
It is not yet known if any of the original stars will return for the sequel, but the project has already been scheduled to hit theatres next year (14), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A good magic show isn't all about the payoff — in fact, it can't be. In order to dazzle, mystify, and distract an audience all the way up to the big reveal, a performing illusionist must put on one hell of a spectacle. The nature of this material can vary: For the likes of David Blaine and Criss Angel, it's all about the thrill. For Penn & Teller, it's about comedy. For Siegfried and Roy, it's about being as ostentatious as humanly possible. But all three of these ideas, dissimilar though they may be, are rooted in fun — a fact that the magician-stocked heist film Now You See Me seems to forget halfway through its run.
In fact, the Louis Leterrier movie does have a good deal of fun stocked away: its would-be central team of Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco play a motley crew of dissimilar magicians who band together after a mysterious meeting to form a Robin Hood troupe of high level criminals. The group, dubbing themselves the Four Horsemen, use magic shows to rob banks and insurance companies, distributing the money to the working class men and women who have been wronged by big business (yet who can still afford a trip to Vegas and tickets to a magic show... let it slide). The team's elaborate performances make for some of the film's best material, second only to the behind-the-scenes squabbling that stems from personal rivalries and ideological differences. Eisenberg's narcissistic card trickster frequently butts heads with Harrelson's no-nonsense "mentalist" and Fisher's daredevil... all of whom look down upon Franco's sleight-of-hand street hustler.
All attention devoted to the Four Horsemen, whose origins are embedded in mystery, is charming and entertaining, thanks largely to the charisma of the players in question — Eisenberg and Harrelson haven't lost their Zombieland chemistry. Unfortunately, we get barely any time to witness this glory, as Now You See Me seems bent on lending its focus to the other side of the story: FBI Agent Mark Ruffalo's pursuit of the criminal team, and his interractions with Interpol Officer Mélanie Laurent and magic-debunker Morgan Freeman all the while. Far less engrossing than any of the Horsemen's antics, Ruffalo's journey plays out like any hot-on-the-chase summer crime thriller, with the hard nosed agent obsessing over the case, entertaining paranoid conspiracies, and alienating his colleagues and cohorts. For a movie that sells itself on its magic and its all-star cast, it doesn't really seem that interested in either, devoting far more time than necessary to the chase. Why, you might ask?
For the big twist. Of course a summer movie, and one delivered on the pretense of magic, has a big twist ending. Whether it needs, deserves, or benefits from one is another question (the answer: No). But Now You See Me seems to put all its eggs in the big reveal basket, investing a crescendoing burn to the identity of the enigmatic stranger who brought the Horsemen together. Meanwhile, it misses out on what every magician knows to be a key component of the act: the act itself. The lead-up is just as important as the ta-da. And while Now You See Me has plenty of magic up its sleeve in the form of its central tricksters, it's too focused on what's behind the curtain to enjoy the show all the while.
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Director Louis Leterrier has lashed out at Warner Bros. executives for risking his reputation as a filmmaker by rushing to convert his Clash Of The Titans remake into an critically-panned 3D blockbuster. Promoting his new movie Now You See Me in an interview with website The Huffington Post, Leterrier calls his 2010 movie "famously horrible", insisting movie bosses rushed to add 3D as "a gimmick to steal money from the audience."
The Transporter filmmaker claims Warner Bros. executives forced him to take the blame after the ancient Greek action epic was panned by fans and critics alike, but now he insists the finished product was not the movie he signed on to make.
He says, "It was a very tough experience. I was literally thrown under the bus... I still have a good relationship with Warner Bros., but at one point it was like, 'Yeah, Louis chose the 3D.' And I was like, 'No, guys, I didn't choose the 3D. I actually told you it's not working. I couldn't control it. I said don't do it.'
"It was famously rushed and famously horrible. It was absolutely horrible, the 3D. Nothing was working, it was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience. I'm a good boy and I rolled with the punches and everything, but it's not my movie."
Misdirection is the key to a great magic trick. The viewer looks to one hand, the magician executes the trick with the other. Now You See Me uses the same technique; a cat and mouse game between a collective of magicians-turned-criminals and their policing pursuers, the new movie twists and turns like an adeptly executed card trick. Once you see where it's going, it goes the other way.
So it's no surprise that the posters for the Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans, Incredible Hulk) thriller would be equally mesmerizing. Front and center in this exclusive new poster is costar Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds). In the film she plays an Interpol agent chasing after the main quartet of sleight-of-hand thieves (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher). On this new one-sheet, she's the center of a hypnotic pinwheel we're sure is distracting us from the real trick.
Now You See Me slips into theaters May 31. Check out more motion posters from the film of Morgan Freeman (at Comingsoon), Jesse Eisenberg (at Cinemablend), Dave Franco (at The Nerdist), Isla Fisher (at Popsugar), Woody Harrelson (at Film School Rejects), Mark Ruffalo (at Crave Online), and Michael Caine (at Movies.com).
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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Actress Isla Fisher feared for her life when she filmed underwater scenes as an escapologist for upcoming movie Now You See Me after the chains she was wearing became tangled. The Wedding Crashers star plays a glamorous daredevil in the new film, and one scene required her to be chained up and submerged in a tank of water.
Fisher had to appear to panic during the shoot - but she began to worry for real when her shackles got caught and she couldn't reach a safety button which would drain the tank.
She tells Britain's Mail on Sunday, "They had a guy who was off camera, but he was a long way away with a can of oxygen. By the time I realised I couldn't get up and beckoned for him, I realised that I had run out of air.
"Luckily, I managed to get free and stay level-headed and got out before it went even more horribly wrong. The director (Louis Leterrier) said to me, 'Wow. I've worked with so many actors on big action movies, and you're the only one who's done all their own stunts.' I said I didn't know I had a choice. I thought you just had to get on with it."
Z will chronicle the story of orphaned teen Diego Moreno as he goes from raising his younger sister to becoming a master crime fighter in Los Angeles.
The series will be penned by Whit Brayton and Zack Rice, while The Incredible Hunk filmmaker Louis Leterrier has signed on to direct.
If it is picked up, it will air on the USA Network in early 2013, reports industry publication Variety.
Casting details have yet to be announced.
Actor Antonio Banderas has twice played the mysterious avenger on film, most recently in 2005's The Legend of Zorro.