Imagine a big, block-lettered MEANWHILE... in the top corner of this post, as you are about to be privy to all of the Marvel Studios information that is underway. Below is an assembly of info on all of the developments regarding several in-the-works Marvel projects... Iron Man 3 is said to begin shooting in Wilmington, NC this coming March, several weeks prior to previously reported schedule dates, which were set close to The Avengers release (May 4). Comingsoon reports that a source involved with the NC production has stated, "[Marvel] will have staff in Wilmington as early as mid-March, with shooting scheduled to begin the last week of April or the first week of May." A Marvel Studios source confirmed somewhat nebulously, "It is not April for sure." The script for the developing Doctor Strange film has been completed by writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan The Barbarian, Sahara). A director is currently being sought. Production on the film is expected to begin this year, with a target release date in 2013. Marvel Studios has set release dates for two other unspecified projects. One is Apr. 4, 2014, and the other is May 16, 2014. Thor 2 is set for Nov 15, 2013, ruling that out. Suggested possibilities include Captain America 2, which is shooting for production by the end of 2012, and Nick Fury.Source: Comingsoon
Marcus Nispel’s silly violent fantasy epic Conan the Barbarian is Hollywood’s second attempt at building a franchise based on pulp author Robert E. Howard’s signature character. The first yielded two films of diminishing quality – 1982’s Conan the Barbarian and 1984’s Conan the Destroyer – and is best remembered for launching the career of future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger whose Austrian accent in the films is so thick as to render the bulk of his dialogue unintelligible.
Playing the title role in the update is Jason Momoa whose muscles aren’t quite as gargantuan as his predecessor’s but whose line-readings are at the very least comprehensible. (His own accent betrays hints of Hawaiian surfer-dude.) Momoa is most famous for his recent turn as a Khal Drogo on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones a far superior work of hard-R sword-and-sorcery fantasy. Thrones like Conan the Barbarian boasts bare breasts and beheadings galore but beneath the sex and savagery lies real intelligence. All the titillating elements are icing on the cake for a series founded on compelling characters and ingenious storytelling
Not so much with Conan the Barbarian. The film begins with a lengthy prologue inexplicably narrated by Morgan Freeman that briefs us on the essential details of the film’s mythology – and you’d best be paying attention because the ensuing film treats story and character as so many enemies to be vanquished. The opening scene announces the movie’s savage B-movie ethos thusly: When Conan’s very pregnant mother is injured in battle (barbarians don’t get maternity leave) his father (Ron Perlman) delivers his son via an impromptu battlefield Cesarean photographed in graphic detail. A warrior is born.
The plot involves a grown-up Conan gunning for revenge against Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang) the sorcerer-chieftan who killed his father and obliterated his tribe the Cimmerians when he was just a boy. Conan is something of a rock star in the marauding world his bloodlust not so all-consuming that he can’t stop to enjoy a flagon of mead with the odd topless slave babe. His credo is cogently expressed as “I live I love I slay I am content” – words to live by if there ever were.
On the path to vengeance Conan links up with a runaway nun Tamara (Rachel Nichols) whose special blood is required by Khalar to resurrect his dead wife. Or maybe it’s needed to conquer the Kingdom of Hyboria. Whatever. The attraction between Conan and Tamara is instantaneous and powerful – what girl can resist such charming lines as “Woman come here ” and “You look like a harlot”? Films like this can usually get by with one female speaking role but Conan the Barbarian offers a second: Marique (Rose McGowan) a scheming goth-witch whose affection for her father Khalar is clearly beyond familial. The role was originally written for a man.
Nispel’s previous films include two horror remakes (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th) and the barely releasable Pathfinder. He directs with casual disregard for context rushing hurriedly from one bloody set-piece to the next coherence be damned. Action is paramount in Conan the Barbarian; the film is positively bursting with it leaving little room for anything that might engage us on any level beyond “guilty pleasure.” Some of the action is memorable some of it tedious but the violence is inspired. In one scene while questioning a man whose nose he’d hacked off just a few frames earlier Conan jams his finger into the man’s exposed nose-hole causing it to spew icky clear fluid. Now that is some enhanced interrogation.
When David O'Russell officially came on board Sony Pictures adaptation of the beloved and best-selling video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, I knew what was coming. It might've taken a few months, but eventually Mark Wahlberg was going to announce his involvement in the film. Though my co-workers (and many on the internet) lobbied for the always-on-the-cusp-of-breaking-out-but-never-does Nathan Fillion for the role, you just can't deny the facts: Wahlberg is O'Russell's muse and this project is a PERFECT fit for the seasoned actor.
Uncharted follows a rugged, Indiana Jones-like treasure hunter who believes he's learned the location of the fabled golden city of El Dorado. Upon venturing to the South American destination, he encounters rival hunters and all sorts of antagonists, making for an epic action adventure. The cinematic potential of this grand story is pretty amazing and it has long been a film that I've said I'd line up to see. As a gamer, I can safely say that I've had more fun playing this game (and it's stellar sequel) than any other in recent memory, so I'm stoked.
Regarding Wahlberg: many will come out against his casting and I don't deny that his personality and the pitch of his voice won't exactly match Drake's, but there aren't many actors out there who could handle a David O'Russell production. Wahlberg is one tough son of a bitch, because this will be his fourth collaboration with the hot-headed helmer (following Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees and The Fighter). We also know that he can handle the heavy amounts of action that the film will call for and Sony Pictures is happy to be back in business with him following the unlikely success of The Other Guys. It's full steam ahead for Uncharted now, which has a screenplay from Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara, upcoming Conan reboot). A 2013 release is targeted, but based on MTV's interview with the actor, that could get pushed up to 2012 if the film does indeed lense next year. Check out the interview below:
Since Disney purchased Marvel Studios, speculation has run wild over which Marvel superhero Disney would bring to the big screen. It turns out that hero may be Doctor Strange. Screenwriting duo Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, of Sahara and the upcoming Conan, have been hired to script a film about the mysterious magician for Marvel and Disney.
The Marvel series, originally written by comics God Stan Lee, tells the story of Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who has his hands irreparably injured in a car crash. He travels the world searching for a cure, and in the process learns sorcery from a hermit in the Himalayas, which he uses to combat the forces of evil and do the usual superhero type things.
Strange is one of a number of superhero films Marvel has in the works, but the tale of the mysterious magician will be the first produced in collaboration with Disney studios. Marvel franchise films Iron Man 3, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America, and The Avengers are being produced through Paramount, while adaptions of The Runaways and Ant-Man are being developed independently.
Columbia, Dimension and Paramount have each planned unsuccessful adaptations of Dr. Strange in the past, with writers and directors from Wes Craven to Guillermo Del Toro attached. Marvel’s choice of screenwriters isn’t as exciting or evocative as others who’ve been considered for the franchise, but a more conservative take on the project could ensure that it actually gets made. While Strange could be a very interesting project- it requires a slightly older male lead, and will have mental and mystical fight scenes over the usual punch-and-fly fare- superhero fatigue may kill this project before it gets off the ground. Which would spare us from the inevitable Dr. StrangeHate jokes if the movie sucks.
Sources: Deadline, Cinema Blend
Based on the novel by Clive Cussler we meet master explorer Dirk Pitt who is just itching to go on his next treasure hunt. He gets that chance when he finds a fabled coin linked to a historical legend and heads to some of the most dangerous regions of West Africa searching for what the locals call the "Ship of Death"--a long-lost Civil War battleship that harbors a secret cargo. But don't waste a second of time wondering how a Civil War battleship found its way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Sahara Desert; no one involved in the movie did either. Along for the ride is Dirk's wisecracking "sidekick" Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) who always knows just what to say in the most dire of situations. Not. The boys also meet Dr. Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) a beautiful doctor who believes that the hidden treasure may be connected to a larger problem that not only threatens the lives of the locals but possibly like the entire world. Whoa dude! Although the guys spend most of the movie blowing things up together you just know that somehow their paths are going to cross again with Eva's and when they do it's gonna be EXPLOSIVE! Like literally. Duuuuuude!
Who can act with all those explosions going off? And in the middle of the desert? McConaughey is so suntanned so blow-dried so lovingly filmed in this movie that I was half expecting the distinctive twang of the "porn guitar" every time he made an entrance. In every shot he's glistening bronzed with a megawatt smile and that laid-back inflection of his that makes it sound like he just rolled out of bed stretched scratched himself and then moseyed himself down to stand in front of the cameras. Similarly Zahn who is usually cast as the hyperactive frenetic best friend is cast as--big surprise--the frenetic hyperactive frenetic best friend. The only difference is that in Sahara he must have been allowed to use McConaughey's personal trainer because Zahn has never looked more studly. He too is all windswept and taut muscles matching McConaughey's frosted tips to frosted tips and squint for squint. Oh yeah Penelope Cruz is in the movie too walking around with horned rimmed glasses perched on her face to show that she's a Serious Doctor Person. Yep that just about does it for the acting.
Matthew McConaughey tells us "the word Sahara actually means 'desert'." If we take our English lesson one step further we can define desert as: "A region of permanent cold that is largely or entirely devoid of life." Yep that about sums the movie up. Although director Breck Eisner has done his best to assemble all the elements and set pieces of an action/adventure film we've seen them all before. Never throw one punch when you can throw 10; never drive in a straight line when you can zoom around in a long sweeping curve being sure to kick up as much dust as you can. And don't sweat the small details like finding a working pay phone or a gas station in the middle of a desert or locating live ammunition in a ship that's 150 years old. Never say "I'll be fine!"(because for sure you're going to die). Or "I'll be right back." (because again you're guaranteed not to). And of course the ever popular "How many times am I gonna have to save your ass?" (c'mon that was rhetorical). We already know that a train is going to be involved; someone is going to get tied to a truck and somewhere somehow there will be camels. It's the desert for heaven's sakes. There's nothing fresh here. Dialogue is just a mere convenience to move the actors from one band of bad guys to the next and none of the actors are really given much to do other than whoop and holler a whole lot. Oh yeah and blow things up. Don't ask how the 150 year old cannonball can still explode. Just leave well enough alone.