If you’ve even given the Internet a cursory glance over the last few weeks, you’re probably aware that Chris Pratt is having a moment right now. Thanks to a starring role in Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the biggest movies of the year, even people who’ve never seen an episode of Parks and Recreation or Everwood are being clued into his goofy, lovable charms. But playing Peter Quill is bound to have more long-term effects on Pratt’s career than simply giving him a venue to showcase his French-braiding skills – the question that remains is whether these will be positive effects.
Obviously, getting to play a superhero in a Marvel film is going to be amazing for any actor. They’re easily the biggest, most-exciting films of the year; they guarantee you plenty of press attention and new fans, and open you up to countless new opportunities and projects. But what about the times Pratt won’t be protecting the galaxy? Actors who star in superhero and sci-fi franchises often struggle to break out of the shadow of their famous characters. Leonard Nimoy and George Takei will always be Spock and Sulu, no matter what other projects they pursue; despite the beard, Mark Hamill is still known as Luke Skywalker; even Michael Keaton has yet to surpass his Batman fame. Once you become recognized for a single, beloved character, it’s hard for fans to see you any other way, which could result in Pratt being stuck as Star-Lord for the rest of his career.
Despite being part of one of the most iconic franchises of all time, only Harrison Ford was really able to break away from his Star Wars character, which he did by jumping straight into the Indiana Jones series. Pratt is taking a somewhat similar path, following up Guardians of the Galaxy with Jurassic World, which should help keep him in people’s minds as something other than Star-Lord. Still, from what we’ve heard, Pratt’s character Owen seems to be similarly confident and wise-cracking, which could result in him being typecast as the good-looking jokester. Considering the fact that Pratt only just stopped being typecast as the “chubby, dumb best friend,” that’s not necessarily a step forward, even if it does guarantee him more leading roles. And since there are so many more actors in Hollywood who specialize in those kinds of roles, it means that Pratt will face a lot more competition for parts.
Becoming known solely as Star-Lord could also make it harder for Pratt to play the kind of supporting character roles that he’s done well with lately, like the underdog baseball player in Moneyball and the good-hearted but doofy colleague in Her. Now that he’s considered a leading man, he might not be considered for those roles anymore. Even if he is, it could be hard for audiences to see him as anything else, which could pull them out of the film. Sure, Star-Lord’s a nice guy and all, but who would actually believe that he’s working at a company that writes love letters?
Look at some of Pratt’s superhero contemporaries: it doesn’t matter what film Robert Downey Jr.’s in, he’s most likely playing the handsome jerk. Scarlett Johansson is almost always the tough girl. And Jeremy Renner is... constantly overlooked. It would be very easy for Pratt to get typecast as the rule-breaking wisecracker. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be great at those parts – he obviously plays them well – but it does put him in a box.
However, Pratt does have an extensive background in television, which gives him an advantage over some of his fellow Marvel heroes. Andy Dwyer and Peter Quill have a fair amount of similarities, but where one is a schlubby slacker, the other is an adventurous go-getter. And both are different still from Bright Abbott, the obnoxious football player Pratt played on Everwood. He’s already proved that he has the range to handle a variety of characters, and now that people are finally paying attention to him, that should help open him up to a different slate of roles and opportunities. Pratt’s got the talent and the charm to play almost anything, as his extensive sitcom past proves, so to keep him locked into one type of character for the rest of his career would be disappointing.
The wishes of theater nerds everywhere were granted Thursday when they were finally able to get their first look at the long-awaited, highly-anticipated film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Well, at least a few of their wishes were granted. While the clip introduces all of the major characters, gives us a glimpse at the spooky, magical atmosphere and shows off what Meryl Streep would look like as a fairy tale witch, there was one key element missing from the teaser: there was absolutely no singing. Considering that this is an adaptation of one of the most iconic musicals of all time, that’s a bit of a problem.
There was no doubt that Into the Woods would turn out to be a grand, visually stunning affair. After all, this is a Disney production, and fairy tales are their specialty. Even those who were worried that the studio wouldn’t be able to handle the darker elements of the play were comforted by the dragons, thorns and cursed castles that made up the Maleficent set. But the one thing that fans were concerned about is whether the cast would be able to handle the demands of Sondheim’s difficult score.
Sure, we know that Daniel Huttlestone knows his way around a classical theater score, and that Anna Kendrick and James Corden have an impressive set of pipes on them, but there are still plenty of cast members whose lack of musical theater pedigree makes us a bit nervous. Streep might be the greatest actor of her generation, but even she had difficulty with the songs in Mamma Mia, and those are pop songs. Johnny Depp might be creepy enough to play the big bad wolf, but his last stab at a Sondheim musical didn’t fare so well. Giving fans a look at some of the musical performances in the film would be the best way to assure fans of the musical that Into the Woods is in good hands, but avoiding the score completely has just done the opposite.
Walt Disney Studios
We know it’s only a teaser, but not featuring any singing whatsoever doesn’t seem like a good omen. It feels almost as if the producers are deliberately trying to hide something from moviegoers, whether it’s that the soundtrack isn’t done being mastered, or that some of the performances aren’t up to snuff, or even the fact that Into the Woods is a musical in the first place. If theater nerds really don’t have anything to worry about, why not pop a line or two into the trailer? We know what creepy fairy tale forests look like; that’s not why we’re interested in seeing Into the Woods.
Of course, we might just be getting all worked up over nothing. Perhaps the producers felt it was better not to try and cram songs into a two-minute space, or they want to get people curious about the film before they can properly showcase all of the talent they’ve got. Or maybe they’re just trying to grab the attention of the people who loved Maleficent but might not be interested in a musical otherwise. But it’s hard not to be a little nervous about the way such a difficult production will turn out if so much is still being kept under wraps.
However, we are willing to be a little less critical if the next trailer actually features Stephen Sondheim’s name in it somewhere. Into the Woods opens – hopefully with a bit more singing – on Christmas Day.
For all that the Internet has talked about Guardians of the Galaxy and Boyhood and each of the movies that has, at some point in the past few months, been dubbed the “most anticipated film of the year,” there really only is one film that earns the title in earnest: Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. It’s his first film since wrapping up the Batman trilogy, Matthew McConaughey’s first film since winning an Oscar, and it has a plot that’s more tightly guarded than whatever’s happening on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII. There’s no way that any other film released in 2014 can hold a candle to Interstellar.
Look, it doesn’t really matter what we write here, because we both know that you’re too busy watching the trailer to find out what Nolan pictures when he imagines outer space to actually care what the article says. We could try and give you’re a brief overview of the plot (Earth has run out of resources and the only solution to solving the crisis is to send McConaughey up into space); we could try and posit some theories about who Jessica Chastain is playing (although, let’s be real, there’s only one logical option); we could talk a bit about the first glimpse we’ve gotten at McConaughey’s fellow astronauts (all very good looking, all very philosophical); we could even break down the poetry that Michael Caine recites in voice over to look for clues (it’s Dylan Thomas, for what it’s worth), but it doesn’t really matter.
That’s the thing about being the hands-down most anticipated film of the year: it doesn’t matter what anyone has to say about it, as long as it’s exciting. And while the first teaser trailer was a bit underwhelming sepia-toned for all the hype that Interstellar has received, this one delivers on all fronts. It’s explosive, beautifully-shot, packed with emotion and effects and just enough plot details to keep things intriguing without giving everything away. It’s epic. It’s enticing. It made us feel things.
But most importantly, it just makes you want to see the movie even more. So, sorry Richard Linklater and Chris Pratt – this year has really just been a countdown to Interstellar. Only four more months to go until November 4.
"Shut up crime!” It's the comic battle cry of the Crimson Bolt, a crimefighter garbed in a red patchwork costume and doling out steel-lugged justice to line butters and other scum of his city. Before being snatched up to helm Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn wrote and directed 2010's Super, a darkly comic deconstruction of the superhero genre, nestled right in the middle of the genre's hostile takeover of American cinema. The film follows Frank Darbo (Rainn Wilson, in one of the best performances of his career), a nebbish fry cook with only two good memories in a life filled with pain: 1) marrying the love of his life, and 2) helping a police officer subdue a criminal. When his wife (Liv Tyler), a recovering drug addict, slips back into addiction thanks to a local high level dealer named Jacques (Kevin Bacon), it is only a matter of time before Darbo snaps. And snapping for this man, who can only see the world in black in white, is to don a homemade superhero costume and beat ne'er-do-wells with a monkey wrench.
Super is an examination of what it would mean to be a superhero in the real world. It asks the question: What if someone lifted the techniques, methods, and moralities from a comic book, and applied them to real life? And the result is something far less fun than the Avengers, or even the similar-in-concept Kick-Ass. Frank's quest to rid his city of crime is one of a deluded man. While all manner of people decide to take the streets into their own hands in the pages of comic books, Super posits that anyone would have to be legitimately insane to become a costumed vigilante. It's not the whim of a well-adjusted individual, but someone who is severely broken in some way. It's a thread that Batman comics have been pulling for eons, but one that hasn't quite made it up to the big screen in a big blockbuster production.
Gunn's directorial debut is a much different superhero film than Guardians of the Galaxy promises to be, but it's easy to see why Marvel was so keen on having Gunn bring the property — Marvel's weirdest venture to date and a considerable gamble for the studio — to life. With Super, Gunn proves his deep understanding of the psychology of comic book superheroes, of the type of lunacy that it takes to become a vigilante. And to varying degrees, Both Super and Guardians are films that mess with the status quo of what most filmmgoers expect from their costumed heroes. At its core, Guardians of the Galaxy is a tale about a handful of galactic misfits that band together to save the day. Rocket, Groot, and Peter Quill don't resemble the stalwart Superman or the endlessly charming Tony Stark. Instead, they are the misfits. They are the losers, the outcasts, the downtrodden, the guys with a couple of screws loose. The Guardians of the Galaxy are more Frank Darbo than Clark Kent, and they are in the hands of a director that understands that.
Zoe Saldana has learned to embrace her body flaws after deciding to relax her work-out and diet regime in the past year. The pregnant Avatar star has bared all for the September (14) cover of Britain's fitness and lifestyle magazine Women's Health, but explains she doesn't look her best because she hasn't been exercising as much as she used to.
The 36-year-old mum-to-be, who posed for the photoshoot weeks before going public with her baby news, says, "This past year I've had to start letting go. My body dictated it as if saying, 'Slow the f**k down!'
"I'm less toned. I do look in the mirror and see things I don't want... (but) I do feel beautiful in a way that even when I was working out a whole lot, I sometimes didn't, because there have been times that I was really slender and I didn't like that I sometimes looked a little too muscular and flat-chested. You'll never be completely happy, so, at the end of the day, it's like, 'F**k it! Just be happy, regardless."
In her revealing new cover shoot, a seated Saldana poses with her knees tucked into her chest to cover up.
Rock band Foo Fighters will headline the closing concert for British royal Prince Harry's Invictus Games competition in September (14). The Everlong hitmakers will top the bill for the gig, which celebrates the end of the Paralympic-style sporting competition for wounded military personnel, which was organised by the royal.
The rockers announced the news on their Facebook.com page, writing, "Invictus Games, look out... THE FOO FIGHTERS ARE COMING. What a perfect way to finally return to the UK for the first time in years... been waaaay too long (sic)! Thanks for having us, it is truly an honour to come play for these incredible men and women. Can't wait to do our thing for you."
Also scheduled to perform at the concert in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are Ellie Goulding, British rockers Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt and singer/songwriter Ryan Adams.
The closing concert will take place on 14 September (14) and highlights will be broadcast in the U.K.
James frontman Tim Booth has added novelist to his resume after starting work on a "ghost love story". The Laid singer, who has also found success as an actor and appeared in Batman Begins, admits that writing his first novel is the hardest thing he has ever done.
He tells WENN, "It is taking up a lot of time. I'm going to a great writing class in L.A. It's kind of a ghost love story but it's pretty traumatic. It doesn't look like it's going to have a happy ending. It's gonna take me a few more years. I'm slogging my way through it. I'm 150 pages in so I'm not gonna give up now."
But Booth has had to set down his pen for the time being as he tours with James on the back of the group's 13th album La Petit Mort.
Speaking to WENN before boarding a plane for shows in Italy and Peru, he says, "I can't write when I'm touring or travelling."
Stevie Nicks had to work hard to land a duet with Tom Petty on the classic rock ballad Stop Dragging My Heart Around because he insisted his band the Heartbreakers was a no-girl zone. Petty reveals the Fleetwood Mac star refused to give up, even though the rocker and his bandmates mocked her dress sense and refused to let her join them in the studio for sessions.
He tells Men's Journal, "She wouldn't quit. She showed up at my house every night for a year. (I told her), 'There's no girls in the Heartbreakers."
But Nicks refused to give up and followed the band on tour: "(It was) 'Stevie's in room so-and-so, Stevie wants a song'.
"We gave her a hard f**king time: 'No way you're coming to a session. Look at the f**king clothes you've got on'. The fact that she stuck around was amazing."
Her persistence paid off and Stop Dragging My Heart Around became a top five hit in 1981.
San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel.
Guess Who's Set For a Bloody ReturnIt’s difficult to imagine anyone bouncing back from the tense bloodbath that capped off the second season of Hannibal, but Bryan Fuller doesn’t want you to worry about the state of your favorite characters, because several of them made it out of there – although not all of them made it out alive. Deadline reports that Raul Esparza’s Dr. Chilton did, however, and he will appear next season, presumably to get revenge for being shot in the face. Eddie Izzard and Kacey Rohl will also be making an appearance or two, but while he did say the former would only pop up in flashbacks, he declined to reveal whether Abigail is still in one piece. (The series also unveiled the second season blooper reel, which is exactly as delightful as you’d expect.)
Advanced Television Resurrection Now that Community’s sixth season is under way, it’s time to ask the most important question of all: When are the Greendale Seven coming back? At a panel Thursday night – appropriately titled “Communty: REBORN” – show runner Dan Harmon and the cast revealed that fans should see the Study Group back in action sometime after Christmas (via CinemaBlend). But don’t call into work to binge watch just yet, as Yahoo! will be released episodes on a weekly basis, just the same as if it were still on NBC. Still, you can expect some changes thanks to the change in platform, as Harmon has said that the writers are interested in testing the limitations of their new format. (Although we know how well Abed does with change…)
Teen Wolf Howls On… Teen Wolf might be in the middle of its fourth season at the moment, but the panel in Ballroom 20 only had eyes for the future, and with good reason: creator Jeff Davis revealed that the show already been renewed for a fifth season. According to EW, the upcoming season will also be the longest yet, with the episode count bumped up to 20 from season four’s 12. Of course, it will run in two parts and your favorite characters will probably be killed, but nobody said living in Beacon Hills was easy.
Incredible Interstellar After single-handedly revitalizing the Batman franchise and confusing people everywhere with Inception, Christopher Nolan finally made his Comic Con debut to talk about his upcoming film Interstellar, alongside Matthew McConaughey (via EW). Although they didn’t reveal much about the movie, they did showcase a new trailer that gives a better look at the mysteries it contains (which, unfortunately, the rest of us won’t get to see for a while), and Nolan revealed what inspired him to explore outer space. A little disappointingly, it was physics.
TMNT Needs Less Pizza, More Girl Power At least, according to Megan Fox. The actress has been making the rounds at Comic Con to promote the film, which hits theaters in mid-August, and in an interview with HitFix, she revealed that her April O’Neill will kick a little less butt than she had hoped: "A lot of girl power ended up on the cutting room floor, unfortunately. I had a really awesome scene where I was fighting The Foot Clan, but I think they were like, 'Why would a tiny journalist be able to kick so much ass?’” Silly producers, we writers have plenty of pent up anger. Let the girl fight!
Actress Jennette Mccurdy has broken her silence following the cancellation of her hit kids TV show Sam & Cat, revealing she has now left the Nickelodeon network altogether and hopes to move on with her life. The hit iCarly and Victorious spin-off, which also featured singer Ariana Grande, was axed earlier this month (Jul14) following a stand-off between McCurdy and producers, which led to her refusing to attend this year's Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards to pick up the Best TV Comedy prize.
Grande has already posted a lengthy statement about the show's demise on Facebook, and now McCurdy has spoken out as part of a Reddit.com fan chat on Thursday (24Jul14).
It appears she was unhappy with her role model status that landed her in trouble with TV bosses when images of her in just her underwear appeared online earlier this year (14).
She wrote, "I am not a role model. I don't claim to be, I don't try to be, and I don't want to be. This world is one seemingly most keen on judgment and negativity, despite all the hearts and smiley emoticons. To remove myself from the role model battle, the falsified standard set by the bubblegum industry, is - in my eyes - to remove myself from the counterintuitive battle of attempting to be something perfect while being glaringly aware of my imperfections."
And she clearly isn't making any apologies for the saucy images she claims an ex-boyfriend posted online, which landed her in hot water with Sam & Cat bosses.
She added, "I am proud of the way I live my life. I am proud of my choices. I am proud that no one can call me fake or say I don't stand up for myself. I am proud that my friends and family would say that I'm a good person. Calling a celebrity a role model is like calling a stranger a role model.
"The knowledge you have of a celebrity is no more than a caricature drawn by media tastemakers specializing in selling you an image you’re dying to buy. It’s good to have heroes, but you have to look for them in the right places. They say don’t look for true love in a bar, well I say, don’t look for role models on screens...
"Sure, I still love my teddy bears. I still love a heart emoji (the white heart in the pink box is my favorite) and I still have a soft spot for American Girl dolls. I still love a cute dress, a good pop song, and a vanilla-scented candle. But these things don't define me or determine that I am any kind of a role model. What defines a person as a role model is the way they live their life. And no offense, but none of you know how I live my life."