Actors Dane Dehaan and Rooney Mara have been tapped to star in a new movie musical set in the 1920s. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actor will play the titular character of Ziggy, a hunchback escape artist who arrives in New York City in the late 1920s and falls in love with Mara's character, a powerful media mogul's fiancee.
Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann's protege Diesel Schwarze will make his feature directorial debut with the project, and Grammy-nominated producer Alex Da Kid will curate the score.
Da Kid, who has collaborated with artists such as Eminem, Dr. Dre, Rihanna, Imagine Dragons and Nicki Minaj, will be developing the original music with Schwarze, DeHaan and Mara.
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow remembered her father on what would have been his 41st birthday on Friday (12Sep14) by posting a sweet message online. The teenager uploaded shot of herself with the actor when she was a small child and wrote, "Happy Birthday, I love you".
The Fast and Furious star was also remembered by co-stars Ludacris and Vin Diesel on his birthday.
Ludacris posted, "Happy Bday to an Angel today @paulwalker (sic)," while Diesel added a note on Facebook.com, which read "Honouring our brother..."
Walker lost his life in a car crash in November (13).
Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel
The Guardians Of The Galaxy have ended the summer on a high by becoming the year's highest grossing moving in the U.S..
The action film's $16.3 million (GBP9.6 million) Labor Day weekend take was enough to take it back to the top of the box office for a third week, overtaking fellow Marvel Studios superhero blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier along the way.
Guardians of the Galaxy has now made over $274 million (GBP161 million) since its release at the beginning of August (14).
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake comes in second with $11.8 million (GBP6.9 million) and Chloe Grace Moretz's new movie If I Stay rounds out the new top three. Low-budget horror film As Above, So Below is the week's highest debut, entering the U.S. box office at four with an estimated $8.3 million (GBP5.2 million).
Actor Vin Diesel has launched his own challenge to encourage fans of Guardians Of The Galaxy to plant a tree in honour of his character Groot. The action star was nominated by his Guardians director James Gunn to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in order to raise funds and awareness for the ALS Association.
However, instead of pouring freezing cold water over his head like many celebrities before him, Diesel decided to put a twist on the task and called on Gunn do something for the environment in homage to his talking tree alter ego Groot in the blockbuster film.
In a video posted on Instagram.com, Diesel says, "Yes I accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but I raise you - plant a tree for Groot."
Diesel even planted his own tree after challenging the filmmaker and shared a photo on Facebook of him digging into the ground to make way for the new shrubbery.
Gunn gladly accepted the environmentally friendly challenge and not only planted a magnolia tree in his backyard, but promised that if 50 fans also take on the task and post photos of the result on social media with the hashtag #PlantaTreeForGroot, he will donate $5,000 (£3,014) to the Rain Forest Trust, which aims to protect rain forests around the world.
Guardians Of The Galaxy has returned to the top of the U.S. box office to become the highest-grossing film of the summer (14). The superhero film, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel, earned $17.6 million (GBP10.4 million) in its fourth weekend on release (23-24Aug14), taking its total to $251.9 million (GBP148.2 million).
Coming in at number two is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with $16.8 million (GBP9.9 million), while Chloe Grace Moretz's If I Stay takes the third spot with $16.4 million (GBP9.6 million).
Rounding out the top five are Let's Be Cops and When the Game Stands Tall.
Vin Diesel has nominated Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie and Russian leader Vladimir Putin to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after dunking a bucket of freezing water over his head while standing on the back of a truck on Tuesday (19Aug14). Diesel has joined a host celebrities who have taken the challenge and nominated famous friends to follow their lead to raise awareness about the disease.
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy grooved its way to a cool $94 million intake over the weekend, proving that Marvel can get as weird and silly as its wants and people will still flock to the theaters. It’s a huge moment for the studio, proof that Marvel is king of the superhero mountain top. But we have to wonder what the box office results would have looked like if anyone else had dared to make a Guardians of the Galaxy. What if the film didn’t have the big red Marvel stamp sewn into every inch of marketing? If Guardians didn’t tease its tenuous connections to the Avengers cinematic universe, would people have still coughed up nearly a hundred million dollars to see it? The answer: no way.
The truth is, if any other studio tried to make a film about a tree, a misanthropic raccoon, and two green people, it would have been laughed out of the theaters without making its money back. If the film were was just an original script with no ties to comic books, it would have a hard enough time just getting made, let alone becoming the biggest August opening of all time. But since this flick isn't simply Guardians of the Galaxy but Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, a talking racoon has suddenly become the key to box office success.
Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't look or feel like any of what Marvel has ever done before. The film is much more of a space opera than your standard superhero flick, but the film doesn't need superheroes to be successful. In building its universe, Marvel has created a phenomenon of must-see movies. The studio has turned its films into a mosaic, a puzzle of films to be sorted out and put together by fans, pieces that come together to form one larger picture. Even though Guardians is the weirdest piece yet, it still has necessary connections to other movies. Marvel has created a fleet of unmissable films. If you want to understand everything that happens in Avengers: Age of Ultron, you better make sure to see Guardians of the Galaxy. It's a spectacular marketing plan, one helped by the fact that Marvel's films are generally pretty good, but one that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for other blockbusters without recognizable source material or connections to larger franchises. Sadly, the only way an space opera like Guardians of the Galaxy could have survived in today's film market is if it's a part of a Marvel's cinematic universe.
The sad truth is that big sci-fi blockbusters don't do well unless they're a part of some larger franchise or well established universe of films. It’s why the nearly great Edge of Tomorrow only managed to scrape together $28 million in its opening weekend. We bet if the Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner was proceeded by the page flipping Marvel title card, it would have made twice its opening weekend gross. We're also willing to bet that if Marvel had created a story about giant robots beating back a swarm of monsters and set it in their cinematic universe, it would have made three times as much money as Pacific Rim, a film whose lifetime domestic gross amounts to what Guardians of the Galaxy made in half a week. Sadly, films like Edge of Tomorrow and Pacific Rim only prove to studios that there's no use in tyring to produce blockbusters that aren't already a part of recognizable franchises or universes. People aren't interested anymore.
Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn has penned an open letter to fans thanking them for helping to propel the superhero film to the top of the North American box office. The movie, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel, earned $94 million (£55.3 million) in its opening weekend (01-03Aug14) across the U.S. and Canada, and now the filmmaker has taken to Facebook.com to express his gratitude to moviegoers.
He writes, "Thanks to all of you who saw (and are seeing) Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, from the bottom of my heart.
"The Guardians are a group of oddballs, outcasts, and geeks. The movie is for anyone who ever felt cast aside, left out, or different. It's for all of us who don't belong. This movie belongs to you. And, today, I think we're doing okay.
"I am of course happy with all the film has accomplished box-office-wise. But what touches me the most is that the film I told the folks at Marvel I wanted to make two years ago is the film that you're seeing in theaters today - it's that so many of you seem to be directly EXPERIENCING the film I INTENDED... And for that, I am profoundly grateful..."
Guardians of the Galaxy also proved to be a big hit around the world, raking in a further $66.4 million (£39 million) outside North America.
Guardians Of The Galaxy has rocketed to the top of the North American box office, earning a stellar $94 million (£55.3 million) in its opening weekend (01-03Aug14). The superhero film, which stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel, easily beat last week's top film Lucy, which falls to number two with $18.2 million (£10.7 million).
Coming in at number three is James Brown biopic Get On Up, starring Chadwick Boseman as the late Godfather of Soul, earning $14 million (£8.2 million).
Rounding out the top five are Hercules with $10.7 million (£6.3 million) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, grossing $8.7 million (£5.1 million).
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
Almost immediately upon exiting my screening of Guardians of the Galaxy, I was hit by a friend and fellow movies writer with the inevitable question: "Better than The Avengers?" Even though Guardians is less a superhero movie than a space adventure, the new release is bound to win (or suffer) comparison to the 2012 hit that broke box office records and redefined the possibility of the already prosperous comic book feature.
But it's no easy question to tackle — is Guardians of the Galaxy (which is great) better than The Avengers (which is great)? I'm still not sure. But when you allocate the debate toward specific elements braved by the films, you close in on something resembling an answer. So here we go. Which movie is better in terms of...
Action?The Avengers. James Gunn is still new to the blockbuster game, and needs to work out a few bugs in his action sequence methodology. Joss Whedon, though generally more of a small-scale player himself, showcased some pretty stellar sequences in '12.
Characters?Guardians of the Galaxy. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket, and Groot are not simply snappy vehicles driving us toward exciting set pieces. They and their pangs (and quirks) are the sincere core and draw of this story. You'll be surprised at how much empathy a misanthropic raccoon can command.
Villain?The Avengers, in a big way. Loki was the virtual highlight of his movie, while Guardians' Ronan the Accuser is a moreover anonymous figure that simply spouts colorless threats of tyranny.
Performances?Kind of a toss-up. In Guardians, Chris Pratt is a standout as hero Star-Lord, Dave Bautista is a surprisingly charismatic Drax, and Bradley Cooper and (especially) Vin Diesel managed some pretty impressive vocal charms as Rocket and Groot, respectively. But we'd be remiss to forget how inviting the snarky Robert Downey Jr., caustic Scarlett Johansson, brooding Mark Ruffalo, and flamboyantly wicked Tom Hiddleston all were.
Humor?Guardians of the Galaxy. Yes, The Avengers had terrific moments of comic relief, but these were peppered delicately throughout a tense (albeit joyful) action-adventure movie. Guardians is as much a comedy as it is a genre picture, and its material is sharp and wry.
Coherency?The Avengers. Whedon's flick is astoundingly neat and well-packaged for how grand (and kooky) it is. Guardians' biggest mis-step is probably is clumsy construction.
Special Effects?The Avengers, thanks once again to experience... and an extra $50 million in budget.
Thrills?Probably, again, The Avengers, though not by a wide margin. Something about Whedon's sleek design, meticulous plotting, and an everpresent severity made the whole thing seem a little more gasp-worthy.
Je ne sais quoi?Guardians of the Galaxy. The real victory of Gunn's new film is its spirit, its warm and inviting personal touch. It might have its bugs, but the tidy perfection of The Avengers wouldn't have been appropriate for a film of its theme and motives. Overall, we'd champion Guardians as our preferred Marvel adventure for this reason alone: it's got that special heart that doesn't come around to big budget blockbusters all too often.
But don't just take our word for it. Sound off below!