Watchmen star Patrick Wilson has dealt the producers of new Marvel film Ant-Man another blow by exiting the project. He joins Matt Gerard and Kevin Weisman as part of an exodus that began when director Edgar Wright left in May (14) due to creative differences.
Peyton Reed was hired to replace Wright last month (Jun14).
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter scheduling conflicts led to Wilson's departure.
Paul Rudd is attached to star in the superhero project, which will also feature Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.
After teetering on the cusp of creative disaster, Marvel has finally put its Ant-Man film back on track, but the project - now on its second director - still looks like a bit of a question mark for the blockbuster studio. Luckily we might have some new answers flowing through the rumor mill. According to some new rumors from JoBlo, Paul Rudd's Scott Lang character will be a petty thief and single dad that steals the Ant-Man technology from Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas. There are also whispers of the identity of the new villain, as the site also alleges that comic book character Darren Cross will be the film's central antagonist. In the comics, Cross is the founder of Cross Technological Enterprises, a large bio-tech firm that rivals other Marvel universe corporate giants like Stark Industries and Oscorp. Cross will reportedly have a suit similar to Ant-Man's but more militaristic, and might be played by Corey Stoll or Patrick Wilson. It's important to note that Cross' character in the comics takes on a Hulk-like appearance, but the film might not head in that direction, given the current rumors. Cross' cousin, William Cross, is also a villain named Crossfire in the comics.
While these are all rumors, and should be taken with the appropriately sized grain of salt, we wonder if Ant-Man would benefit from heading in a different direction villain-wise. Darren Cross is only the latest in a long parade of evil businessmen wreaking havoc in the Marvel universe. There's been Jeff Bridges' Obadiah Stane in the first Iron Man, Sam Rockwell's sniveling Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2, and Guy Pierce's Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3. But even outside of Disney's output, comic book films are completely stuffed with corporate boogeymen. There's the enterprising Bolivar Trask in this year's X-Men: Days of Future Past, and yet another rendition of Lex Luthor via Jesse Eisenberg in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The sinister businessman has remained a well used trope in the sprawling Marvel universe, and while it makes sense that Tony Stark would frequently bump heads with other enterprising industrialists, hearing that Ant-Man might also be clashing with big immoral businessmen has us wishing that the film would look for some other antagonists. Ant-Man, whose chief ability is to grow very small and still retain his normal strength, is comic book absurdity at its very finest, and the fact that he can communicate telepathically with ants makes it even more over the top. It feels like the powers that be at Marvel should have something zanier up their sleeves than yet another cutthroat capitalist in a three-piece suit that worships the American dollar. A weird hero should have even weirder rogues to do battle with.
With all that said, there might be more to Darren Cross than meets the eye. Maybe the character does turn into a giant pink Hulk in the film's climax? We'll just have to wait and see.
Filmmaker Peyton Reed has signed on to helm beleaguered superhero movie Ant-Man after several other directors turned the job down. Brit Edgar Wright was originally set to handle the film, but walked away from the project in May (14) citing creative differences with the movie's bosses.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues director Adam McKay was then approached but refused the job due to commitments to other projects, and DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber also declined an offer to take control of the project.
Marvel bosses have now announced that Bring It On director Reed will take charge of the film, with McKay agreeing to help script the movie.
Paul Rudd is set to star as the title character, with Michael Douglas playing a scientist who devises a potion to shrink the superhero to insect proportions.
The producers of the forthcoming Ant-Man movie are scrambling to find a replacement for director Edgar Wright after filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber became the latest prospect to turn down the job. Wright quit the Marvel film adaptation last month (May14) after falling out with studio executives, and they subsequently entered into talks with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' Adam McKay.
On Sunday (01Jun14), he revealed he had walked away from negotiations due to other commitments, and bosses subsequently turned their attentions to Thurber, who directed DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story and last year's (13) We're The Millers with Jennifer Aniston.
However, he, too, has rejected the role, according to movie blog ThisIsInfamous.com.
Reports suggest Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer is another top target for Ant-Man chiefs, who previously promised fans Wright's exit would not impact their scheduled release date of July, 2015.
Paul Rudd will take on the role of the titular superhero, while Michael Douglas, Michael Pena and Evangeline Lilly have also been cast in the highly-anticipated movie.
Director Edgar Wright has quit Marvel Studios' Ant-Man movie after falling out with film bosses.
The executives and Wright issued a joint statement on Friday (23May14), revealing creative differences were behind the decision. The note reads: "Marvel and Edgar Wright jointly announced today that the studio and director have parted ways on Ant-Man due to differences in their vision of the film. The decision to move on is amicable and does not impact the release date on July 17, 2015. A new director will be announced shortly."
The film was previously a labour of love for the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director, who initially started developing the project in 2006 and co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Cornish. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena and Evangeline Lilly have been cast as the stars of the movie.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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The Watchmen star Patrick Wilson has signed up for another superhero movie after joining the cast of Marvel's Ant-Man, reports Deadline.com. Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly are already attached to the film, which will be directed by Edgar Wright.
The cast of Edgar Wright's superhero adventure, Ant-Man is growing at an exponential rate, and after the recent additions of Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, and Michael Pena to the cast, Evangeline Lilly is now being considered to play the female lead.
Lilly is no stranger to genre film, after spending six years battling smoke monsters on Lost, and appearing in Peter Jackson latest The Hobbit movie. While the jury is still out on who the actress will play in the upcoming film, the scuttlebutt over at Variety is hinting that she might be cast as the daughter of Hank Pym (Douglas), and a love interest to Scott Lang (Rudd, Ant-Man himself). Since Lily is taking her first step into comic book filmmaking, we wondered what roles the rest of her Lost castmates could play. We've already heard rumors of Josh Halloway being considered to play Aquaman, or some other DC fixture, in the bizarrely cast Batman vs. Superman. We think his casting as Aquaman could work, given he plays the hook-handed and more roguish version of the character, and not the vintage boy scout of the sea of yesteryear that probably cries a lot after watching Finding Nemo. So now that we're in Lost mode, which superheroes can we match up with the other islanders?
Matthew Fox (Jack)What Character?: The Red HoodWhy: The Red Hood is a former incarnation of Robin who gets blown up by the Joker and feels betrayed that Batman never killed the dastardly clown in retaliation. Those are some Jack-level daddy issues. We've already seen Fox play maniacal in Tyler Perry Presents: Alex Cross, so maybe he could pull it off in a future Batman movie.
Terry O'Quinn (Locke)What Character?: Lex LuthorWhy: Terry O'Quinn is already bald so that's already a mark in his favor, but his period as "Evil Locke" showed that the actor exuded the right mix intelligence, charisma, megalomania to be Superman's greatest foe.
Naveen Andrews (Sayid)What Character?: ArchangelWhy: Archangel or Warren Kenneth Worthington III was a young rich playboy whose mutant powers manifested into a pair of giant wings that allowed him to fly. Several very comic book-like plot developments turned him into a dark and misunderstood anti-hero. Sayid had a similar slide into darkness during Lost and, Naveen Andrews is well-equipped to play a similar character.
Emilie de Ravin (Claire)What Character?: JubileeWhy: Jubilee is a young and feisty member of the X-Men. Actress Emile De Ravin has a lot of the same exuberance and sweetness that has made the character such a popular addition to the X-Men mythos over the years.
Dominic Monaghan (Charlie)What Character?: SpeedyWhy: Green Arrow's troubled sidekick grappled with a crippling drug addiction, and is generally underappreciated in the comics world for being the sidekick of a character whose only ability is to shoot arrows pretty well. Who is better to play Speedy than Dominic Monaghan, who plays a wounded drug addict extremely well in Lost.
Jorge Garcia (Hurley)What Character?: The KingpinWhy: Jorge Garcia has always played the nice guy, but maybe it's time for some career diversity. We want to see the actor take on a role that's really a 180 from anything that he's done before.
Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim (Jin and Sun)What Character?: The Wonder TwinsWhy: One of Lost's most crushing moments was the demise of Jin and Sun. In fact, we still wonder why Jin didn't leave Sun behind, no matter how painful it would have been, to raise their baby, but that's an Internet rant for another day. Bringing the actors back in roles where they would hardly ever be separated from each other is the only remedy for our post-Lost blues.
Harold Perrineau (Michael)What Character?: The PunisherWhy: Michael lost his only son on the island, and has done some unsavory things in order to find him. Loss has driven him to do some terrible things, but deep down he's still a good guy, just a bit misguided with the methods he uses.
Malcolm David Kelley (Waaaaaaaaaalt)What Character?: Franklin RichardsWhy: Walt seemed like a normal kid in Lost's first season. That is until he started using creepy backwards speak and was revealed to have some sort of mystical connection with the island that had viewers going "What the f**k is up with that kid". He could definitely play Franklin Richards who also seemed normal, before becoming a reality-warping mutant.
Michael Emerson (Ben Linus)What Character?: Doctor OctopusWhy: Michael Emerson played the manipulative and intelligent Ben Linus in Lost, and he'd be perfect to play Dr. Otto Octavius in the new Spider-Man series.
12 Years A Slave has been given yet another big Oscar boost after landing three nominations for the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association's 2014 Dorian Awards. Director Steve McQueen's acclaimed movie's haul from Hollywood's gay community, includes Film of the Year.
The drama will go up against American Hustle, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her and Laurence Anyways.
12 Years' star Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated for Film Performance of the Year - Actor, and his co-star Lupita Nyong'o will compete for the Film Performance of the Year - Actress award.
The two will face off with Hollywood heavyweights including Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), James Franco (Spring Breakers), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena) and Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color).
In television, Orange Is the New Black, American Horror Story: Coven, Behind the Candelabra, Breaking Bad and Mad Men will compete for TV Drama of the Year, while The Big Bang Theory, Getting On, Girls, Ja'mie: Private School Girl, Modern Family and Veep will duke it out for TV Comedy of the Year.
Among the small screen actors up for Best Performance awards are Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Robin Wright (House of Cards).
Meanwhile, veteran comedienne Lily Tomlin, who wed her longtime partner Jane Wagner on New Year's Eve (31Dec13), will receive the Timeless Star accolade, which is given to "an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit."
The awards will be announced on 21 January (14), with a formal ceremony to be held in Hollywood on 9 March (14).
WENN / Marvel
There are three ways to sell a movie: sex, violence, and Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie Golden Globe Award winners. Super producer Kevin Feige knows this, and he has roped Sunday night's victor Michael Douglas into the Ant-Man cast. Not a match you would have made, but this is the direction that superhero movies are heading in.
No longer is Marvel stardom limited to refurbished comic actors, abdominably-gifted newcomers, or future self-obsessed outsider art renegades. This latest wave of comic book movies has seen the inclusion of performers of the highest esteem. Douglas joins Paul Rudd, the media-literate public's equivalent of the freakin' pope, in action comedy master Edgar Wright's Ant-Man feature, an announcement that comes a few months after Guardians of the Galaxy tacked on the likes of legends Glenn Close and Benicio del Toro, Academy pet Bradley Cooper, and mainstream comedy mainstay John C. Reilly. Actors with varied, successful careers are flocking to the superhero circuit — good news for the masses, who are taking new interest in this line of releases (which, in turn, is great news for the studios), but is it good news for the existing fans?
While we've seen broad audiences take to superhero flicks since Spider-Man and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man represent a league of superhero series that have, up until now, thrived on small but devoted communities of comic book fandom. The announcement of their film adaptations sparked tiny bursts of glee, but also questions: how are they going to do this right? Guardians and Ant-Man are especially weird properties that A) wouldn't appeal to Avengers-sized audiences as is, but B) would outrage the established fans were it to reform toward general palatability. We can't assume just by the casting of Rudd and Douglas that Ant-Man is going the Hollywood angle, but we can wonder exactly what it has up its sleeve.
Iron Man 3 presents a good example of the concerns of die hard fans (not Die Hard fans though — they probably loved Iron Man 3, which is exactly what we're talking about). The third chapter for Tony Stark, handled by action-comedy kingpin Shane Black, transformed the genre of the Robert Downey Jr. trilogy into something like that which you'd see in his Lethal Weapon scripts, or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. And to those not stringently adhered to the Iron Man mythology, the movie was fantastic. Fun, goofy, malleable, creative, and hilarious. To those who wanted the Mandarin and Extremis they knew from the comics, it was... enraging.
But more even than the issue of contextual changes is that of the sense of the aforementioned communities of comic book fandom. There is something special about being part of a small union of like-minded, unappreciated folk — e.g., being one of the few who hopped on the Arrested Development bandwagon before the series got its post cancelation hop-ons (but to be fair, you're gonna get some hop-ons). This adherence to exclusivity, this "I was into it before everyone else" mentality, they're not entirely healthy or condusive to authentic appreciation of a piece of art. But the phenomenon was born from necessity: way back when geekiness of all sorts was brandished and those belonging to said genus were ostracized (you know, in that long dead era known as high school), it was the very idea of finding others like you and reveling in your elite appreciation for some piece of underdog genius. It helped many of us get through tough times. Love for comic books, specifically — and what's more, the idea that you were one of a small, special, unique force of "superhuman" devotees — charged some much-needed positive vibes. And although we all should be more than willing to open up our beloved titles and characters to the world, there is always that hesitation. Does Marvel expanding its reach to everyone, does everyone's appreciation of what you once held dear and sacred make it less so? Do these stories about "different" people need to be read and loved only by people who identify as different in order to have their desired impact?
Maybe. But figure this: maybe, this way, they're reaching a young watcher or reader who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to benefit from their glory. Maybe this is the only way that these tales of justice, strength, humanity, integrity, and imagination can get through to everyone who needs them. Don't feel as if you're being forced to sacrifice your place in an "elite" supergroup. Think of it as the characters that saved you moving on to do the same for the rest of the world.
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