May 30, 2013 8:55am EST
The Avengers didn't assemble all on their own accord, we must recall — the credit for the team's ultimate construction goes in large part to that one-eyed jetsetting bald man Nick Fury, played in the Marvel films by one Samuel L. Jackson. Every superhero team needs a leader like Fury. A no-nonsense chief to dole out assignments, bark about the severity of each mission, cut through the red tape of municipal bureaucracy when their troops inevitably violate the local law enforcement's protocol. And traditionally, a well-dressed middle-aged man with some degree of facial hair. But for the Guardians of the Galaxy, this role could be filled by Glenn Close.
Deadline reports that Close is signed on to run the Nova Corp, Guardians' answer to The Avengers' S.H.I.E.L.D. agency. While John C. Reilly was recently tacked onto negotiations for a role earning comparison to the 2012 blockbuster's Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Close's potential position in the developing film should mostly resemble that of Jackson's high-ranking character. Nova's got quite the eclectic staff so far.
Meanwhile, Guardians is also mustering an attractive group for the team in the field: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and the possibility of Jim Carrey? Excitement is brimming.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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May 28, 2013 7:44pm EST
Nicolas Cage is set to be honoured at an upcoming Italian film festival in recognition of his lengthy career. The Con Air star will be handed the Ischia Legends Award at the Ischia Global Film & Music Fest, which is scheduled to take place in July (13).
Festival founder Pascal Vicedomini reveals Cage is receiving the prize for his "daring performances and fearless choice of roles".
The actor joins Samuel L. Jackson and producer Arnon Milchan as a recipient of the prestigious honour.
May 14, 2013 3:40pm EST
Rapper Drake looks set to dominate the upcoming BET Awards after landing 12 nominations. The Best I Ever Had hitmaker received five nods in the category of Video of the Year, with his promos for Started From The Bottom, HYFR (with Lil Wayne), No Lie (with 2 Chainz), Poetic Justice (with Kendrick Lamar), and Problems all getting nods, while he'll compete with collaborators A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz and Lamar in the Best Collaboration category.
In addition, Drake's Problems and Started From The Bottom are up for the Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award, and he'll also battle with Lamar, Future, 2 Chainz, and A$AP Rocky for the title of Best Male Hip Hop Artist. The Best Female Hip Hop Artist trophy will be a fight between Nicki Minaj, Eve, Rasheeda, Rye Rye, and Azealia Banks.
Other nominees include Beyonce, who will duke it out with Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Tamar Braxton, and Elle Varner for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist, and Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, and Miguel, who will battle to become the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist.
Meanwhile, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Don Cheadle, Common, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, and Denzel Washington will do battle for the top acting nods, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, Sparkle, and Think Like A Man are up for Best Movie.
The winners will be announced during the Los Angeles ceremony, hosted by Chris Tucker, on 30 June (13).
May 14, 2013 12:22pm EST
Samuel L. Jackson and Ellen Degeneres helped honour their pal Steve Harvey in Los Angeles on Monday (13May13) as the comedian and TV personality received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Tony Award-winning Family Feud host donned a flashy yellow suit as he celebrated the achievement with friends and fans before thanking his wife Marjorie and their children for their never-ending support.
Pulp Fiction actor Jackson was on hand to photograph the occasion, as was U.S. TV psychologist Phil McGraw, and comedienne DeGeneres delivered a few remarks, joking, "When they asked me to come and do this today, I didn't have to think - I said yes right away, then I realised that I wasn't getting paid and I tried to back out, but I couldn't, it was too late. So I'm here."
The veteran entertainer admits he was overcome with emotion to be recognised for his lengthy radio and television career - telling Eonline.com, "People call it luck, but what luck actually is - luck is when hard work runs up into opportunity and people describe it as luck. I do work very hard, I kid you not - but I'm also a recipient of a lot of grace and mercy."
May 07, 2013 8:44pm EST
You'd think most actors would at the chance to even get a part in an epic comic book film, but things might be different for the upcoming Avengers sequel. According to a new report, negotiations for the film are turning into a Hollywood-style Hunger Games. And, man, it seems like a real challenge to get the odds to be ever in your favor.
A recent report from the folks over at Deadline portray the ongoing negotiations between Marvel Studios and its actors to be fraught with tension over the reprising thespians' worth versus company secrecy and parsimonious behavior in the name of profits. Naturally, skepticism about the lack of transparency is troubling for many, as Marvel is owned by the publicly traded Walt Disney Company, meaning its books are up for the scrutiny of the masses. See why the Internet likes public knowledge so much? Internet loves scrutiny.
It all begins with Robert Downey, Jr, as most interesting things do. RDJ has been playing the media circuit game of late in order to promote his latest work with the renowned comic book house, Iron Man 3. The film has already made him $35 million in its first 12 days out; a number that will only continue to rise and may bring Downey his biggest cinematic payday yet. Now that its contract renegotiation time, though, Downey's been hinting that retirement might be on the horizon for Tony Stark unless Marvel comes back with some enticing numbers. In Hollywood, getting money is a complicated tango to say the least. But Downey is reportedly not just dancing for himself, but for all of his Avengers costars.
Deadline purports that Marvel and Disney have yet to finalize several cast members' salaries (which includes, for some: upfront pay, backend compensation, break even and box office bonuses) — including lynchpin Downey. Considering the impressiveness of the cast roster (Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson), such a feat sounds majorly costly. No doubt causing Headache City, population: Bob Iger. The Walt Disney Company's Chairman and CEO has been obsessive in his push for Avengers 2 for at least a year, so it seems logical that the company will want to tie these loose ends up sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, it sounds like the biggest hurdle to jump has an almost philosophical quality to it: when it comes to epic, franchise films such as Avengers and its spawn, how much are the actors who portray these superheros worth? Marvel claimed its break-even number was astronomically high ($1.1 billion, globally) for Avengers, a point that Deadline questions with a quote from a rep to Marvel executives Kevin Feige and Louis Esposito, stating "If Avengers wasn’t profitable until then, why would you make it?" Certainly a question worth asking, especially in today's marketplace.
One response is: well, these movies make money. And not just Monopoly money: real, serious business money. In the first three days alone, Iron Man 3 made $195.3 million, doing the seemingly impossible by beating out The Avengers' $185.1 million global opening weekend take last year.
But still, The Avengers was a film where some of the main actors reportedly received relative pennies (about $200,000) compared to Downey's $50 million. Hemsworth was allegedly low-balled with a $1 million pay-out (pending the acheivement of a $500 million box office break-point) even though he'd previously received $5 million for his work in Snow White and The Huntsman. But is the opportunity that being in a Marvel universe production worth the pay cut? Downey doesn't seem to think so. From the report:
"He's the only guy with real power in this situation. And balls of steel, too. He’s already sent a message that he's not going to work for a place where they treat his colleagues like s**t," one source explains. Another rep tells me, "I have four words for Marvel – 'F**k you, call Robert.'" As Downey himself has said publicly about his $50M-plus payday, "I’m what’s known as a strategic cost," adding that Marvel is "so pissed" he earned that much."
So is Marvel doing these actors a favor, being stingy with their profits, or simply operating a business in a fiscally conservative but lucrative manner? The seeming disregard for certain actors or parts that have become associated with the properties themselves is no doubt disconcerting — but is it any different from what most of us normals have to go through on a daily basis? Jobs come and go, people are cut or underpaid regardless of how integral their work is or how ingrained the association is between the worker and the work all the time. Often, huge personal sacrifices must be made in the name of opportunity and the like — that's just 2013. Is Marvel's profit share skewed and seemingly unfair? Yeah, sure, okay. But while for Hollywood this all is quite Hunger Games-esque, for most people reading this, the first thought is ultimately: jeez, rich people problems.
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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May 01, 2013 11:58pm EST
Ll Cool J has dedicated his new song to Chris 'mac Daddy' Kelly following the Kris Kross star's death on Wednesday (01May13). Kelly was pronounced dead at the Atlanta Medical Center in Georgia after he was found unresponsive at his home in the city.
LL Cool J was stunned to learn of the 34 year old's passing and has decided his latest track, Jump On It, will be a tribute to Kelly.
After posting a link to an audio stream of the song on Twitter.com, he added, "R.I.P Chris Kelly. This song is now officially dedicated to you. May God embrace your soul & lift up your family."
Ludacris also took to his page on the microblogging site and tweeted, "One of my motivations as a kid to even get into the rap game. You will be missed. R.I.P. Chris Kelly."
Nicki Minaj added, "So sorry to hear that. Sending love to his family. RIP Chris", while Samuel L. Jackson offered, "How unfortunate. Waaay (sic) too young. My sympathy to all his people."
R&B singer Monica lamented, "Chris Kelly, may the peace of God comfort your family & all of those who love u (sic)."
Stars including Sean 'Diddy' Combs, Russell Simmons and Alyssa Milano have also paid tribute to Kelly on Twitter.
April 26, 2013 8:05am EST
Samuel L. Jackson and the Backstreet Boys were among the stars who came together in Los Angeles on Thursday (25Apr13) to help Seth Rogen raise more than $400,000 (£250,000) for an Alzheimer's disease charity. The Knocked Up actor and his wife Lauren Miller oversaw the second annual Hilarity for Charity bash, which they set up to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association in honour of Miller's mother, who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 55.
Comedian Kevin Hart took to the stage for a stand-up set, during which he joked about his recent DUI arrest, but the evening took a sombre turn when Samuel L. Jackson opened up about his own mother's battle with Alzheimer's prior to her death last year (12).
He told the audience, "I have the potential to be one of the people you're raising money for. It's a pretty devastating disease... but (those who have it) can also be very funny. I enjoyed her life and I'm glad I had her. You're all here and you're all going to be able to do something for a lot of people."
The Backstreet Boys provided the musical entertainment, performing a number of their hits, and Rogen revealed his director pal Judd Apatow had promised to match up to $15,000 (£9,375) in donations from the evening.
An email sent from Apatow to Rogen read, "If you don't donate, I will keep my money and spend it on private jets and Botox for my children. (Daughter) Maude has a wrinkle between her eyes I would like to smooth out, and Iris has some crow's feet that look terrible on 10 year olds."
Rogen joked, "He's had a lot to drink, so I just hope this is legally binding."
April 22, 2013 7:25am EST
Actor Samuel L. Jackson once "nearly killed" a golf fan when he accidentally sent a ball sailing into the crowd on a top course in Scotland. The Pulp Fiction star, who is an avid golfer, was playing in a celebrity tournament at the famous St Andrews course when the embarrassing incident occurred in front of a camera crew.
Jackson says, "I nearly killed a couple of spectators on live TV. I was playing the Old Course and managed to mess up a simple chip on the 18th hole and hit a lady in the crowd.
"She was OK, but it was kinda embarrassing because all my friends in the U.S. saw it."
The Hollywood star admits he loves dressing up in traditional Scottish plaid patterns while playing, adding, "I love golf because it's the only sport where you can dress like a pimp and nobody bats an eyelid. I once had a load of tartan (plaid) outfits made for a competition and out-pimped the whole course."
April 19, 2013 1:46pm EST
Patton Oswalt's pitch to Disney for Star Wars Episode VII on last night's Parks & Recreation, released earlier this week in its full, unedited form, is a hallucinatory explosion of geek imagery. It imagines a red lightsaber-wielding Luke, an adulterous Leia, a chump Han Solo, a Sarlaac-regurgitated Boba Fett, and a disembodied Chewbacca tangling with the omnipotent alien warlord Thanos from Marvel, along with Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Greek gods from Clash and Wrath of the Titans. Because Sam Worthington will not rest until he's in every franchise. Some of it makes perfectly geeky sense, like bringing back Brian De Palma to write the opening crawl. (Seriously, I've suggested that myself.) It also strikes fear that Star Wars, like the Marvel films also produced by Disney, probably will have post-credit scenes from now on.
Our good friends at EW.com took Oswalt's pitch and ran with it, producing this fantastic fake poster below that imagines Disney's multiple franchises existing in one continuous multiverse.
Click over to EW.com to see the full-size image, designed by photo editor extraordinaire Jef Castro. A few questions, though. Is Luke so determined to pay tribute to his father that he doesn't just wield his red lightsaber, he also dons daddy Anakin's Darth Vader armor? Is Leia cut out of the poster — only her hand, being kissed by her lover Lando Calrissian, is visible — because that is how underwritten the female roles really are in Oswalt's vision? And will Samuel L. Jackson really still be playing Nick Fury in Episode VII, even though he played Mace Windu in the prequels?
This is all we can say, EW: "Impressive...most impressive."
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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April 15, 2013 12:22am EST
Superheroes Iron Man, the Black Widow, Thor, The Hulk and Captain America were the big winners at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (14Apr13), landing three honours for Marvel's The Avengers. The cast of the film picked up the Movie of the Year and the Best Fight trophies, while Tom Hiddleston was named Best Villain for his role as warmonger Loki.
It was also a great night for Bradley Cooper and ceremony host Rebel Wilson, who were double winners - Cooper claimed the Best Male Performance award for his role in Silver Linings Playbook and also took home the Best Kiss honour for his smooch with co-star Jennifer Lawrence, while Australian comedienne Wilson scored the Breakthrough Performance prize for Pitch Perfect and she also joined the cast of the film to pick up the Best Musical Moment award.
The full list of winners is:
Best Male Performance - Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Female Performance - Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best WTF Moment - Jamie Foxx & Samuel L. Jackson (for the explosive Django Unchained climax)
Best Fight - Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner vs. Tom Hiddleston in Marvel's The Avengers
Best On-screen duo - Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane as Ted (Ted)
Best Kiss - Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
Breakthrough Performance - Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect)
Best Shirtless Performance - Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II)
Best Villain - Tom Hiddleston (Marvel's The Avengers)
Best Musical Moment - Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Alexis Knapp, Ester Dean and Hana Mae Lee (Pitch Perfect)
Best Scared-as-s**t Performance - Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)
Movie of the Year - Marvel's The Avengers
Best Hero - Bilbo Baggins (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Generation Award - Jamie Foxx
Trailblazer Award - Emma Watson
Comedic Genius Award - Will Ferrell