Between Marvel's ever-expanding cinematic universe, Sony's tangled web of Amazing Spider-Man characters, and the way Fox keeps rolling out X-Men films, Hollywood is in the middle of a veritable superhero onslaught. However, NikkiFinke.com reports that things are only just getting started, with DC and Warner Bros. planning to roll out their own interconnected series very soon. In addition to Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studios are working on a Justice League movie and solo films for Wonder Woman and Shazam, as well as a Flash/Green Lantern crossover and yet another outing for Superman.
Warner Bros. was set to officially unveil the plans at this year's Comic-Con, along with new details about the upcoming Sandman film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a tentative release schedule that would take them well into 2018. According to the site, the studio has been working on this for some time, and even delayed the release of Batman Vs. Superman so that it would better fit with the rest of the planned universe. With so many films lined up for such a short period of time (expect at least two DC films a year for the next four years) it can be a little difficult keeping track of everything on the slate. We've run down everything we know about the upcoming DC/Warner Bros. universe, along with the reasons you should get excited about them. Although it is kind of hard to be enthusiastic about two Man of Steel sequels.
Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Release Date: May 2016 Who's In It: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Laurence Fishburne will all reprise their roles from Man of Steel, and will be joined by Ben Affleck as Batman, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. What We Know About It: Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but it will feature Superman facing off against a "older, worn-down" Batman in some capacity. The film's also supposed to be both a follow up to Man of Steel and a prequel for the Justice League movie, so Wonder Woman and Cyborg will be involved in some capacity, although thus far it's not known how much screen time they'll get. How Excited We Are For It: Anything that gets fans as riled up as this film has is definitely worth seeing. As of right now, though, it's hard to predict if it will live up to all of its hype.
Shazam Release Date: July 2016 Who He Is: Originally known as Captain Marvel, Shazam is the altar ego of sports reporter Billy Baston, who was given magical powers by an ancient wizard who wanted Billy to help people. When he says "Shazam!" he is transformed into a super-human with powers from six mythical heroes: wisdom from King Solomon, strength from Hercules, stamina from Atlas, the power of Zeus, courage from Achilles, and speed from Mercury. What We Know About It: Not much. A Shazam film was rumored to be in the works until recently, when Peter Segal (who was on board to direct) left the project, citing the difficulties of turning Shazam's story into a film. Nobody was expecting it to turn up on the schedule, especially with such a close release date. How Excited We Are For It: It's hard to be excited about a project that nobody saw coming, but we're definitely intrigued to find out more. However, if this is indeed the secret DC character that The Rock has been hinting at recently, we're officially on board.
Sandman Release Date: December 2016 Who's In It: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is set to produce the project, and is also rumored to be starring as Dream. What We Know About It: To start, it has nothing to do with the other comic book movies that Warner Bros. is working on. The film, which is based on Neil Gaiman's wildly popular series, has been in development for 25 years, but this time Gaiman is involved in production, which is a good sign. However, the script is being written by David Goyer, which could cancel out some of that goodwill. How Excited We Are For It: Cautiously optimistic. The release date is the biggest sign of confidence we've seen so far, but there are still too many elements up in the air for us to to completely drop our guards.
Justice League Release Date: May 2017 Who's In It: Thus far, we're guaranteed to see Affleck, Cavill, and Gadot as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, respectively, as well as Ray Fisher as Cyborg. The studio has yet to cast the remaining team members, although Matt Damon and Jason Momoa have both been rumored for Aquaman. What We Know About It: It will be DC and Warner Bros' answer to The Avengers, so expect lots of action, explosions, and angst. It should also be connected to Batman Vs. Superman in some way, but that's all that's been revealed thus far. How Excited We Are: We're going to have to see Batman Vs. Superman first, but we're definitely looking forward to this one. Hopefully, the studio will use this as an opportunity to add some much-needed levity to the dark, gritty universe they're currently building. What's the point of a superhero film without the wisecracks?
Wonder Woman Release Date: July 2017 Who's In It: The only one we can say for sure is Gadot as Diana Prince a.k.a. Princess Diana of Themyscira a.k.a. Wonder Woman.What We Know About It: Next to nothing. DC and Warner Bros have wavered for so long on making a Wonder Woman movie that we have no idea what to expect, although we do have very high hopes. How Excited We Are For It: Are you kidding? We'd buy tickets now if we could. Fans have been clamoring for a Wonder Woman movie for so long that it's hard not to be a little skeptical about its chances of actually making it into theaters, but until we hear otherwise, we're just going to enjoy knowing that a Wonder Woman film is finally on its way.
Flash/Green Lantern Release Date: December 2017Who's In It: Though the DC universe technically already has a Green Lantern in Ryan Reynolds, they haven't hinted at whether he'll be reprising his role, or if they're looking in a new direction (probably the latter).What We Know About It: Again, next to nothing. We don't even know which iteration of the Green Lantern will be part of the team. It would make sense to continue with Hal Jordan, but if they're looking to differentiate this Lantern from Reynolds', they might be better off choosing a different alter ego. How Excited We Are For It: Not very. The last Green Lantern film was terrible, so we don't have a lot of confidence that this one will be better, and we can get our Flash fix with the upcoming CW show, so we won't be marking our calendars for this one just yet.
Man of Steel 2 Release Date: May 2018 Who's In It: Cavill, of course. We also wouldn't be surprised to see Adams, Fishburne, and Diane Lane come back, since they've all signed on for Batman Vs. Superman... unless any of them faces a grim fate in that film, which isn't too unlikely.What We Know About It: It will most likely deal directly with the events of Batman Vs. Superman and Justice League, although we are suprised to hear of this "official" Man of Steel sequel, considering Warner Bros. has been billing Batman Vs. Superman as such for some time now. How Excited We Are For It: We're in favor of anything that promises to get the memory of the first Man of Steel out of our head. Here's a chance to fix your mistakes, Warner Bros.
Every day seems to bring news of another biopic film in the works. What can we say; audiences can't get enough of famous dead celebrities — and presidents, for that matter. While J.D Salinger might roll over his in grave over the latest Salinger documentary, the autobiographical film puts the power and story into the hands of the filmmaker with deeply personal results that blend fact with fiction imperceptibly. Here's a sampling of some memoir-cum-movie picks.
Short Term 12
Screenwriter and director Destin Cretton took his time spent working at a foster care facility and turned it into one of the most moving films of this year. His first-hand experience shapes the film and prevents it from veering into after-school special territory, while making the audience feel like they experienced it with him.
When faced with a grim diagnosis such as spinal cancer, it helps to have Seth Rogen as your best friend to help you cope through comedy. After being diagnosed at the age of 24, comedy writer Will Reiser wrote a screenplay with Rogen about what happened to their friendship after the diagnosis and all the awkward interactions that illness can bring.
Jonathan Caouette made indie film history when he made his autobiographical documentary for only $218.32. Then again, most of the film is made up of family movies and personal footage from age 11 and up. While it may not be familiar to a large audience, Caouette's story is equally troubling as it is fascinating — thanks to his manic mother and schizophrenic storytelling.
This movie just further proved that none of us would ever be as cool as Cameron Crowe. At the ripe age of 16, he finagled a job reporting for Rolling Stone, toured with the Allman Brothers Band, lost his virginity to three groupies AND made a highly successful movie out of it. Also, rest assured; Penny Lane is real.
Lena Dunham's commitment to rooting her HBO series Girls in reality is well documented; as anyone who's seen the Q-tip episode can attest. Before she mined her real life experiences of gay ex-boyfriends and British ex-pat artists as best friends, her first feature laid the groundwork for all the creative-nonfiction that was to follow. If it's hard to separate Dunham from her onscreen personas, than that means her job is done.
More:Test Audiences Doing Their Best To Ruin 'August: Osage County'How Roger Corman Helped Invent Modern HollywoodJoseph Gordon-Levitt Answers Reddit's Questions
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
David Koepp is no stranger to a solid action movie — he was the screenwriter for Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, and Spider-Man before he turned his eye towards directing — and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer, and 2012's The Dark Knight Rises) is slowly becoming a familiar name paired with Hollywood's best movies, big and small. The duo of creatives have joined forces for this week's Premium Rush, a chase thriller that leaves behind the usual over-the-top tropes in favor of crazy stunts and a unique world: New York City bike messengering. If anyone could pull it off, it was these two, and the off-beat premise works. Koepp's intimate action flick wows with on-location stunts and zippy dialogue to match, with Gordon-Levitt and an army of stuntmen making it all look easy as pie.
Turns out, Premium Rush wasn't so easy to actually get in the can. Unless you think flying through the window of a taxi cab is "easy." I sat down with Koepp and Gordon-Levitt to discuss how the two brought the innovative stunts to life without spending too many days in the hospital:
Hollywood.com: Premium Rush is about the thrills of zipping through New York City traffic on a bike, but it's also about being absolutely in love with that feeling. It made wonder: do the two of you remember when you learned to ride a bike?
David Koepp: I remember vividly my kids learning to ride, because it happened recently. I remember my son Nick was learning to ride the bike and it was just killing him. He just kept falling. He could hold the bike, but he couldn't stay up. It was one wipeout after another. I remember he brought it back to the house at one point and threw it on the porch and said, 'Don't ever make me go on this horror machine again!' I love 'horror machine.' He got it one day.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I was probably six or seven, something like that. Growing up with an older brother… they can do everything, you can't do anything! There was that. I remember it as a truly magic moment. And I mean magic as in unexplainable. You don't know why now it's working and ten minutes ago it wasn't. It's not like you figured it out in your conscious head or anything. Now it works, now you can do it. So quickly this thing that was impossible… you don't remember why you would fall over. It's just natural.
And then (no pun intended) you feel 'the rush.' Which is why I love your character in the film. He just loves biking so damn much. David, how did you become enthralled by this love and the world of biking?
Koepp: I live [in New York City] and you see bike messengers and they almost hit you all the time. And you wonder, who are those a**holes? And I like a movie that takes place in a contained period of time or a contained place. I had this image in my head of what I called a 'map movie.' I wanted to see a map and a guy who had to get from point A to point B.
Gordon-Levitt: So that's the reason the movie takes place between Harlem and Chinatown?
Koepp: Kinda [Laughs]. It takes you all the way down and all the way across. Columbia [University] and Chinatown, and that's how those evolved among other reasons, then I wanted him to do it on a bike because I hadn't seen bikes going through the streets of New York and it seemed like an incredible cinematic opportunity that I hadn't seen since Quicksilver [dir. Thomas Michael Donnelly, 1986].
I was surprised to see the bike messengering community being so close-knit and vivid.
Koepp: They're really tight. Online there is the New York Bike Messenger Association and I just started reading that. It's a really tight community. So we then started meeting a few of them. As advisors for the movie, but they're also in the movie. What I loved about it is that they have an ethos, and a really simple one. 'I want to ride my bike.' And that's it. You look for more, but it isn't there. 'I want to ride my bike. If I can get paid to do it, all the better.'
Gordon-Levitt: I found strong sentiments in that community of environmentalism — more bikes, less cars. I found a lot of people really quite conscious of the fact that riding a bike, which comes from a basic love from when you're a kid… that if more people rode bikes and less people drove cars, that the world would be a better place.
It's not a hobby, it's a lifestyle.
Gordon-Levitt: And a statement.
We featured a video on the site where real life bike messenger/your stuntman Austin Horse…
Koepp: Isn't that a great name?
The perfect stuntman name, in fact. Watching him speak, Horse exudes that lifestyle. Did you learn about the biker character through him? Did he bleed into the performance?
Gordon-Levitt: Certainly. He's a very different guy than the character I play in the movie. Austin is gentle, mild-mannered and extremely considerate, whereas Wilee is more of a balls-out punk rocker on two wheels. But once Austin gets on a bike… it's kind of funny to see because he's a modest dude who gets on a bike and he's like a superhero. He turns heads. I rode around with him — we'd go for rides on the weekends — and people turn their heads and watch him.
Koepp: The first time we shot him, he said, 'How fast do you want me to go?' And we said, 'Well, go as fast as you can go.' And he says, 'Well, I can go pretty fast.' And I thought: 'We have cars.' So it's take one and he was just gone. There was no prayer of keeping up with him. So I say, 'Cut… eh, take a little off it.' [Laughs] A motorcycle would do much better weaving with him. There's a fluidity to it that's amazing.
Gordon-Levitt: It's beautiful. Anytime you see someone do something with a God-given talent, when they're that excellent at it… and that's at the core of these action scenes. It's not some grand, CG whatever. It's about really talented guys doing things for real.
Koepp: Being able to admire what real people can do. It was important that it was a stunt movie. The actors always wanted to do more than we would let them do. I think it's an incredible physical accomplishment.
Reality is a key component of this movie. What were the logistics of shooting on the actual streets of New York, trying to pull off stunts while surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city?
Koepp: It was a nightmare. It was really, really, really f**king hard. I'm happy when people say, 'It looked like so much fun!' because that means you didn't see us sweat. The city is tough. It's uncontrollable. A New York City 'lock up' doesn't exist. You think you have it but then a diplomat drives over the cones in your lane and makes Joe crash. Or a SWAT team barrels through [laughs]. There's never total control.
How does that work for the acting side of things? There is a lot of talking and riding in this movie. Is having an element of danger helpful to the performance?
Koepp: [To Gordon-Levitt] You know, we never talked about that.
Gordon-Levitt: The time when the SWAT team barreled through was not helpful for my performance [laughs].
Yikes, no actual accidents I'd hope.
Gordon-Levitt: Oh no, there were accidents. One really bad one.
Koepp: Do you still have that? [Gordon-Levitt lifts up his right arm to reveal a scar.] Oh. Sorry about that.
Gordon-Levitt: This is 11 of the stitches. The other 21 of them are scattered around. What's cool though is that you actually put it at the end of the movie after the credits.
Koepp: It was a scary moment. So we had three lanes of 6th Avenue closed. Joe's riding uptown and all there is is our stunt cars and our stunt drivers. And the rule is the stunt cars can't change lanes — only the guy on the bike can change lanes. He's got weavability and no one is going to cut him off. So a diplomat in an SUV in the free lanes decides he doesn't like the traffic. So he drives over the cones and into our lane, right as we call action. So here comes Joe at 30 mph and the guy cuts him off. Then the diplomat, who I'm sure is an a**hole from some awful country (although we never found out which), is also angry and decides he's going to get out of his car and yell at people. Now Joe has to use his Bike-O-Vision [Wilee's stylistic Spidey Sense in Premium Rush]: he can either go straight and hit the guy (doesn't seem like a good idea), swerve to the right into live traffic where they aren't expecting you, or go this way where you can't tell what's up there but, fingers crossed, there's nothing and you'll be OK. So you go with that. Except there's a cab. He crashes through the back windshield of the cab and cut himself to ribbons. It was awful, because there was about 30 seconds between his crash and the moment I hear it, so I have to go check if he's dead or not. That was the worst part for me.
Gordon-Levitt: You get so flooded with adrenaline that I didn't feel any pain at all. Not until later that night. I flew off the handlebars and went through the windshield and I was immediately like, 'Oh s**t, sorry! I'm fine.' And then you look at it and you're like, 'Oh Jesus Christ, look at that!' Dave comes running up really scared, really nervous. I told him, 'You have to record this!' I cajoled him, after lots of convincing, to take out his phone and shoot some video of me bleeding and the broken glass. To my delight, when I saw the movie he actually put the footage in after the credits.
Koepp: When you got it….
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Sony Pictures/Premium Rush Tumblr]
'Premium Rush' Stuntman on the Death-Defying Lifestyle of Bike Messengers
No, You Can't Fasten Your Seat Belt: Movie Chase Scenes with Odd Vehicles
It's Joseph Gordon-Levitt VS. New York in 'Premium Rush' — TRAILER
After Jonathan Levine burst onto the indie scene with All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness, I thought that the studios would come calling and we'd be seeing his next film shortly after the 2008 bow of the latter. It's taken more than three years for the director to get his next movie made, but it's looking like it's going to be worth the wait.
The project is called 50/50, though it was once known as I'm With Cancer and even "Untitled Cancer Comedy" before that. It's based on screenwriter Will Reiser's personal experience as he battled the fatal disease at a young age and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard and more. Because of its balanced tone, relevant subject matter and supposedly wonderful performances, this could be Summit Entertainment's best chance at reliving the Oscar glory it scored with The Hurt Locker just two years ago.
Check out the trailer for the film, which hits theaters September 30th.