Robert Downey, Jr. is convinced it is only a matter of time before he is on stage collecting a Best Actor Oscar. The Iron Man star has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, once for 1992's Chaplin and again in 2008 for his comedic turn in Tropic Thunder.
However, Downey, Jr. has no qualms about missing out on Hollywood's biggest prize to Al Pacino and Heath Ledger respectively, because he knows he will eventually hold the fabled golden statuette in his hand.
He tells American GQ, "I know it's going to happen. That's just a fact. I, personally, would be shocked if we went to the end of the tape (my life) now and I didn't have at least one. Because it just doesn't make sense. That's why I don't mind showing up and watching everybody else get them."
Despite his self-confidence, the actor insists he doesn't strive for critical acclaim, adding, "I don't care. I used to think I cared, and I couldn't care less. Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't get a little choked up, but it is amazing to see how people are literally hyperventilating when they get up there, because they have such an attachment to this outcome. I mean, it's not like we're at the f**king Olympics or something."
We got a pretty good deal out of Christopher Nolan's Batman series. Fans were treated to some of The Dark Knight's most iconic villains: The Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Ra's al Ghul, The Scarecrow, and Bane. A good list. But not a complete list.
There are plenty of Batman bad guys that fans were hoping to see make their way into Nolan's trilogy. Of course, when you consider just how well these additional criminals might have worked in Nolan's Gotham, you'd have to put some special effort into the very important component of casting.
Just as Heath Ledger delivered the best Joker anyone could ask for, these unseen baddies would require some extremely precise deliberation to determine who could fit them appropriately to this generation's Batman universe. And while we don't claim to have the casting abilities of Christopher Nolan, we think we've done a pretty fair job pairing up our favorite Gotham villains with the actors who'd do best with them.
Click the link below to start off on a cast list for the Nolan movie we never saw — beginning with Poison Ivy.
You don't know that The Dark Knight Rises comes out on Friday? Wait, you don't know who Batman is? What kind of cave have you been living in? Not a bat cave, obviously. Wow, you really need some help — not just psychologically, but knowing just what the heck the caped crusader is all about. We're going to answer all your questions below.
Who is Batman?
Are you kidding me with this? Honestly?
No, I really have no clue who he is.
Fine, but we're not doing this for Harry Potter, Santa Claus, and the Beatles. It's not my fault you are culturally illiterate. Okay, so Batman is a comic book super hero who made his debut in 1939 in DC Comics.
What are his super powers?
Well, he doesn't have any powers. He's a billionaire named Bruce Wayne who is a skilled fighter and has all these cool gadgets and stuff that he keeps on a utility belt.
So his power is basically that he's really rich. Where did he get his money?
From his parents who are usually classified as "industrialists," but it seems like they run some sort of defense company.
Yes, Bruce Wayne is basically just Dick Cheney with a worse attitude and a mask. But the parents aren't around anymore because when he was a young boy, Bruce watched them be murdered by muggers. Right in front of him. That's why he learned how to be a super awesome kung fu expert who fights crime at night while being a billionaire playboy by day.
Aren't playboy activities like going to parties, getting drunk in night clubs, and sleeping with hookers usually nighttime activities as well?
Hey, no one said it was easy.
If Batman is only in comics, why should I know who he is?
Are you kidding me with this? Seriously? Okay, there was a TV show in the '60s where Adam West—
You mean the mayor of Quahog?
So, you watch Family Guy but you have no idea who Batman is? You're crazy. Yes, Adam West played Batman in the '60s and it was an incredibly popular if campy show in which Batman and his sidekick, Robin, faced off against a bunch of different villains. Then Tim Burton made a Batman movie in 1989 and a few sequels. And then Christopher Nolan started the whole thing over again in 2005.
Who is this Robin lady?
He's not a lady. Robin is Batman's sidekick and partner-in-crime. Originally he was Dick Grayson, Batman's "ward" who was a circus acrobat whose parents died in an accident. Batman took him under his wing (har har) and made him into a high-flying crime fighter. Since then, in the comics at least, there have been a few different Robins.
Are they gay?
Some people kind of think so, but ostensibly, they are not. But, you know, they also kind of are.
So, why is everyone talking about Batman now?
Because on Friday the final movie in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises comes out.
These are different from the '90s movies?
God, yes. Are you even listening? Tim Burton made two, Batman and Batman Returns both starring Michael Keaton as Batman. Then Joel Schumacher made two, Batman Forever with Val Kilmer and Batman & Robin with George Clooney. There were nipples on the Batsuit.
God, that sounds awful.
They were. The sequels got put on ice until Christopher Nolan took over. He rebooted the series.
Batman wears boots?
No, that means they restarted the movie's mythology from the beginning. Gosh, you really are a simpleton, aren't you? So, in the first movie, Batman Begins, Batman is played by Christian Bale and after he sees his parents killed he's all moody and sad and emo and listens to The Smiths a lot and goes off on a quest to become the ultimate ninja badass. Then he comes back and has to kill Ra's al Ghul, one of the men who trained him in super secret ninja arts. He also defeats the Scarecrow, who uses a drug to make people very afraid. Katie Holmes was in it.
The one who divorced Tom Cruise?
The very same.
Wow, she's very famous. So this movie must have been popular?
Oh god yes, but not as popular as the second movie The Dark Knight, which made exactly $17 bazillion (okay, actually $533 million domestically) and is the third highest-grossing U.S. movie of all time. In this sequel, Batman takes on his traditional archenemy The Joker, who is a psychopath with a white face and grin plastered on it.
He sounds like a clown.
Exactly. He's like a clown with a really warped sense of humor. He was played by Cesar Romero on TV and Jack Nicholson in the 1989 movie. Heath Ledger, who died after filming the movie but before it came out, won a posthumous Oscar for his role in the film. He was really quite awesome.
Are there any other characters that I should know about?
Well, there is Alfred, who plays Batman's tireless and humorous butler. In the Nolan movies he's played by Michael Caine. There is also Catwoman, who is a feline-inspired baddy who has been in lots of Batman stories and is in The Dark Knight Rises, played by Anne Hathaway.
I don't like her.
What are you talking about? You don't even know who Batman is. How are you gonna talk smack about Anne Hathaway?
I just don't. I'm sorry.
That's stupid. Then you probably hate Tom Hardy, who plays Bane, the other baddie in Dark Knight Rises, who is like a 'roided out strong man with ties to Occupy Wall Street or something.
What does OWS have to do with any of this?
I don't know, I haven't seen the movie yet!
Then why are you the one teaching me all about Batman if you don't even know how it ends?
Well, I kind of do, because David Letterman ruined it for everyone.
Maybe you should go see the movie and then tell me what happens.
Please, you're not going to go see the movie anyway. You don't even know who Batman is. What is wrong with you?
Wait, wait. Is Batman the one with the cape and the pointy ears and the yellow belt?
Oh, I totally know who that is. Nevermind.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
Negative 'Dark Knight' Reviews Send Internet Commenters Off the Deep End
A Non-Geek's Guide to 'The Avengers'
The Non-Geek's Guide to Spider-Man
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Kuwaiti billionaire Naseer Al-Kharafi wants to tear down an existing Victorian home overlooking Hampstead Heath park and replace it with a larger building in a neo-classical style.
Funnyman Jones, who lives near the park, is upset over the proposal and is set to join fellow opponents in voicing their disapproval at an official planning inquiry next year (11).
He claims Al-Kharafi and his architect Robert Adam have ignored an earlier agreement to restore the original property, which dates from 1871.
Jones tells London's Evening Standard, "I don't think they should get away with it. The new house is the same thing but bigger and therefore not at all the same thing. My point is that if they agreed to certain conditions then they shouldn't be allowed to change them."
Clint Eastwood and Oscar-winning writer Brian Helgeland will team up on an adaptation of the best-selling novel, Mystic River, for Warner Bros.
The novel, now in its ninth week on the top 10 New York Times bestseller list, follows three childhood friends whose relationship breaks apart after a tragic incident. They are brought back together 25 years later when they are all linked to a murder investigation.
Eastwood and Helgeland also are collaborating on another Warner Bros. project, the mystery/thriller Blood Work, an adaptation of a novel by Michael Connelly. Eastwood is set to produce, star and direct from Helgeland's screenplay.
Academy Award-winning scribe Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) wrote and directed the upcoming A Knight's Tale with Heath Ledger. Eastwood directed last year's hit Space Cowboys.
Tatum O'Neal is a "Scoundrel"
Making a comeback after more than a 10-year absence, Oscar-winning actress Tatum O'Neal (Paper Moon) will star opposite Tim Curry (Charlie's Angels), Julian Sands and Lacey Chabert (Party of Five) in The Scoundrel's Wife, an independent project.
Set in Louisiana in 1942, a young widow (O'Neal) is suspected of helping the Germans in a small bayou town, after the German U-boats have sunk American ships.
O'Neal, divorced from ex-husband John McEnroe, returns after spending the last decade raising their children.
Hoop dreams for Lil' Bow Wow
Fourteen-year-old double platinum rap singer Lil' Bow Wow will get his feature film debut in Like Mike for 20th Century Fox.
Lil' Bow Wow will play a kid who finds a pair of magical sneakers worn by basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Suddenly, the teen is transformed into a NBA hero.
Written by Michael Elliot, the story was inspired by Lil' Bow Wow, whom Elliot met on the set of MTV's seriesHip Hopera.
"He loves basketball, loves Michael Jordan, and he's an exceptional basketball player" Elliot told Variety.
"It's every kid's dream to play in the NBA, and it's not like Big, where he becomes a man. In this case, it's more fun if he stays a kid."
Lowe gets "Framed"
Rob Lowe, hot off his acclaimed role as deputy communications director in the hit NBC drama series The West Wing, will star in the TNT original movie Framed, based on a BBC miniseries of the same name.
Lowe will play a New York detective who takes a key member of a money-laundering scheme into custody and prepares him to testify in court. Things gets complicated as the detective's strong ethical code is placed in jeopardy when the witness offers him millions of dollars to help him escape.
The film will be directed by Daniel Petrie Jr. (Toy Soldiers) and executive produced by David Brown (Along Came a Spider) and Kit Golden (Chocolat).
Foley is a "Fuddy" Duddy
NewsRadio star Dave Foley has signed to star in Fox's comedy pilot, What's Up, Peter Fuddy?, with David Steinberg set to direct and co-written by Emmy winner Jay Kogen (Frasier).
The show's premise is Truman Show-esque: a Nightline-style news show follows the daily activities of an insurance adjuster Fuddy (Foley), who is forced to appear on the show to defend his actions.
Foley re-teams with Steinberg and Kogen after working together on the comedy The Wrong Guy. The feature was never released but it won the best screenplay award at the 1999 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.
The pilot also stars Jamie Denbo (Lost Souls), as Fuddy's wife, and Craig Anton (The Army Show), as Fuddy's next-door neighbor.
"MiB2"'s villainous Janssen
The X-Men's heroine Famke Janssen is in negotiations to play the villainous vamp in Columbia Pictures' Men In Black 2 for director Barry Sonnenfeld.
Production is scheduled to start in June. Although the plot is under wraps, most of the original film's stars will be in the sequel, including Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as agents J and K, respectively. Janssen will play bad bombshell Serleena and Johnny Knoxville (MTV's Jackass) will be featured as a two-headed alien. The cast also includes Rosario Dawson (Josie and the Pussycats) as Smith's love interest.
"Annie" and Reba: together again
Country superstar Reba McEntire will reprise her role as Annie Oakley in a CBS-TV movie version of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun.
Currently starring in the Broadway smash hit, McEntire is a perfect choice to play Annie for the CBS movie, producer Howard Braunstein told Variety. She also will executive produce the film.
Currently in development, the movie could air by the February sweeps, depending on the potential strikes. McEntire will continue with the Broadway production through May 27. She's concurrently starring in an untitled comedy pilot for the WB Network.
"Crouching Tiger" creates Chinese boom
Hot off the tremendous success of Ang Lee's Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, co-production partner Columbia Pictures Film Production (an offshoot of Sony Pictures Entertainment) has announced plans for four pictures to go into production in 2001.
First up is Big Shot's Funeral, a comical film about a world-famous director who comes to China to make an epic about the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty (can anyone say The Last Emperor?). It will star Donald Sutherland, Ge You and Rosamund Kwan and directed by Feng Xiaogang. It will be shot in English and Chinese.
Next is another Chinese/English film, a mystery, called Double Vision starring Tony Leung, Ka Fai and David Morse (The Green Mile). The film followed the hunt for a serial killer by a determined Taiwanese police detective and an American FBI expert.
Third is an untitled action flick directed by Corey Yuen, who choreographed The X-Men and Romeo Must Die. The film will kicked it up with technological wizardry while centering on family bonds. Finally, set for production later this year is Heroes of Heaven and Earth, a Chinese-language adventure epic to be directed by He Ping and starring Jiang Wen.
Miramax wants in the "Know"
Miramax Films is negotiating to handle the North American distributions rights for Al Pacino's next film, People I Know.
The film, already in production and co-starring Kim Basinger, Tea Leoni and Ryan O'Neal, is about a New York press agent who gets into the corrupt world of politics, celebrity and illegal drugs. O'Neal plays a client, a famous actor, who is embroiled in a scandal that hurts his plans to become a senator.
Pesci as The Bull
Mafia hitman Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, to be exact.
Oscar-winner Joe Pesci is in negotiations to play the mobster for New Regency Productions. Gravano left the federal witness protection plan to go into partnership with a band of wealthy suburban kids selling ecstasy.
The film, tentatively titled Sammy the Bull, will only have Pesci's involvement if it is released as a feature film. Originally, New Regency was developing the project as a television movie.
"Bridget Jones" part II
Working Title Films, producer of the recent box office hit Bridget Jones's Diary, is already considering a sequel.
Based on Helen Fielding popular novel series, Working Title has optioned her second book Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and is negotiating with her for the screenplay.
The producers of other hits, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, have never previously made a sequel, "but when you get numbers like this, you've got to think about it," Working Title co-chairman Eric Fellner told Variety.
It is still undetermined whether Renee Zellweger will reprise her role, as well as Hugh Grant, whose smarmy character is not in the second novel.