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Movies, TV and Comic Books

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    ABC and Marvel Studios appear to be upping their game with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the show enters the back-nine episodes of its first season; last week's episode saw Stan Lee cameoing and J. August Richards' Mike Peterson transforming into the cyborg Deathlok, while we've also got a guest appearance from Jaimie Alexander's Lady Sif to look forward to on March 11th, and we've got our first look at the Thor and Thor: The Dark World star as she'll appear in the upcoming episode 'Yes Man' courtesy of TV Guide...

    "We always have our radar up for ways to tie our series into the Marvel films and bringing in an Asgardian really cements that connection," states co-showrunner Jed Whedon. "Lady Sif comes here on a hunting mission — sent by Odin — to find her arch-enemy Lorelei and bring her back to Asgard. It throws our agents for a loop when they find themselves in a fight right alongside this powerful woman from Thor's world." 

    Meanwhile, J. August Richards has also spoken to HeroComplex about his character's transformation into Deathlok, stating that "Everything with Marvel is on a need-to-know basis, so I didn’t officially know [I was going to be Deathlok] until the second episode I did, which I think was the 10th episode in the season. Information is carefully guarded over there. I definitely didn’t know that I was Deathlok. I even had a costume fitting, and I didn’t know what I was being fitted for. I feel like I’ve researched this role my whole life because I was a comic book collector as a kid. Once I found out that I was playing Deathlok, I unearthed my old comic book collection. Fortunately I had the Guide to the Marvel Universe, all of them, and I looked up Deathlok and read a little about him there. I started doing research on the Internet, and then Marvel was kind enough to give me access to some of the older comics. I read some of the Michael Collins versions of Deathlok and got what I needed from that, but I also wanted to make sure that my research and my information were based on what I was doing on the show."

    Richards then went on to explain how his research informed the Mike Peterson incarnation of Deathlok: "I was drawn more to the Michael Collins version because this character is such a good man, such a good moral, decent person. For [Peterson] to do the things he’s asked to do as Deathlok are very difficult for him. When I showed up to play the character for the first couple of days, I was still trying to find it. Obviously these are circumstances that I can’t relate to, but I had to really use my imagination to get at what it would be like for Mike Peterson to be turned into Deathlok. Once I figured it out, it was like night and day, just a huge epiphany on what was going on internally for this character. I feel blessed that I’ve been asked to play this character because I always want to play the person behind the superhero. Even when I’m playing a lawyer or a doctor, I want to play a person. A human being. It’s challenging physically, mentally, emotionally and even in the circumstances of the production. The makeup and the costumes. It’s a huge challenge, but it’s something that I love so much."

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    Sadé Green reviews the fourth episode of Girls season 3...

    After last week's hilariously cringe worthy episode, 'Dead Inside' explored the extreme self-involved tendencies of the Girls and blimey... they are unbelievable!

    It has always been evident that Hannah, Jessa and Marnie (somehow Shoshanna doesn't seem as bad compared to these three) have really been lacking in Vitamin D on account of being shoved so far up their own backsides. But this week was a new low as Hannah and Jessa could not muster up a single ounce of empathy towards their respective situations.

    Poor, 'woe-is-me' Hannah (Lena Dunham) has to deal with the death of her editor  David (John Cameron Mitchell), her 'champion', but all Hannah can think about is the future of her e-book. Completely aghast with Miss Self-involved's behaviour, Adam (Adam Driver) struggles to comprehend how his girlfriend can be so heartless when an acquaintance has just met his untimely end. In the meantime, having heard about the death of David, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) decides to visit the grave of her childhood buddy Susan (Melonie Diaz), only to find out that she  faked her own death. When Jessa arrives to confront Susan, she is confronted herself, with a few hurtful truths regarding her own behaviour. Of course, having seen the wonderful life Susan now has with her super-cool husband, Princess Jessa sarcastically retorts, “This won't last, you know.”

    As Hannah continues her reign as Miss Self-involved, Adam's sister Caroline (Gaby Hoffmann) and Hannah's weird neighbour Laird (Jon Glaser), take her on a gallivant around the local cemetery (a bizarre but fitting scene) where Hannah begins to realise she must show some feelings towards others if she is to keep a firm hold of Adam.

    In an angering episode, it is truly hard to believe that 'Dead Inside' is actually a really enjoyable experience. Seeing Adam's route to becoming the sanest character on the show has been refreshing – his firm hold on reality has ensured he is becoming the man Hannah needs in her life (he is trying his best to keep her friends grounded too) rather than the complete douche bag we despised during Season 1 and 2. Meanwhile, it is hard to hide your glee about Marnie's internal suffering. Her treatment of Charlie (Christopher Abbott) in the last two seasons, means she was due some karmic retribution.

    An episode of Girls doesn't have to be all fun and games to be entertaining. If you come away angry and irritated by this weeks exploits, you will soon realise the true talent of the writing team: Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow. To make the audience resent 90% of your characters as well as making you want to tune in again for the following episode is quite a skill.

    'Dead Inside' is definitely worth a watch.

    Sadé Green

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    Tom Cavanagh joins The Flash pilot
    According to The Wrap, Tom Cavanagh (Scrubs, Ed) has joined the cast of The CW's Arrow spin-off pilot The Flash, with the site revealing that he'll play Harrison Wells, "a rock star in the world of physics and the mind and money behind Central City’s S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator. He becomes a pariah after his lab explodes. But he redeems himself when he discovers that his failed experiment accidentally created the world’s fastest man, The Flash (Grant Gustin)."

    Filming on The Flash is set to begin next month, with a cast that (so far) includes Candice Patton (The Game) as Iris West, Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) as Iris' father Detective West, Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) as Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost, Rick Gosnett (The Vampire Diaries) as Eddie Thawne and Broadway star Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe. The pilot is being directed by David Nutter, from a script by Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti and Geoff Johns.

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    R.I.P. Shirley Temple (1928 – 2014)
    Former Hollywood child star Shirley Temple has passed away from natural causes at her home in Woodside, California, aged 85, her family has announced. Born in 1928, Temple began her career aged just three, appearing in a series of shorts before enjoying her breakthrough in 1934 with Stand Up and Cheer!. That same year she found international fame courtesy of her role in Bright Eyes - which included her rendition of the song ''On the Good Ship Lollipop' - and in 1935 she was the recipient of a special Juvenile Oscar, making her the youngest person ever to be honoured with an Academy Award.

    Temple’s superstar status continued throughout the 1930s, with the young actress and singer Hollywood’s biggest box office draw between 1935 and 1938, appearing in films such as Curly Top, The Littlest Rebel, Poor Little Rich Girl, Dimples, Wee Willie Winkie and Heidi. Temple struggled to maintain this level of success during the following decade, and announced her retirement from the silver screen in 1950, having appeared in 14 shorts and 43 features. She continued to appear on television, hosting the likes of Shirley Temple's Storybook and The Shirley Temple Show, and would later explore her political ambitions, unsuccessfully running for the United States Congress in 1967 before serving in various positions under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush.

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    Captain America: The Winter Soldier LEGO trailer
    With Marvel's first Phase Two offering of 2014 fast-approaching, YouTube users Antonio Toscano and Andrea Toscano have painstakingly recreated the first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Solider with LEGO, and you can check it out after the official synopsis for the upcoming superhero sequel....

    "After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier."

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Community) and stars Marvel veterans Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) alongside franchise newcomers Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper and Robert Redford (All Is Lost) as Alexander Pierce. The film opens in the UK on March 26th and in North America on April 4th.

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    Zachary Leeman talks to screenwriter Jack Reher about his script for the PIN remake...

    Not too long ago, we talked to screenwriter Jack Reher about the life of screenwriter and some of his projects currently in production. Among those was the remake of the 80s cult movie PIN.

    In a strange turn of events, Reher has released his script for his remake to the web and tweeted it out to his followers not too long ago. The move was to convince fans of the darker tone of the remake and to convince producers that PIN was not just another PG-13 slasher flick, but a thoughtful and creepy R-rated horror movie in the vein of slow boiler flicks like Psycho.

    Still, it’s a strange move for a screenwriter to take (leaking his own screenplay) especially when we consider the recent backlash from writer/director Quentin Tarantino when his own script got leaked.

    PIN is a strange and creepy story about a family of people teetering on crazy. At the center of the family is the young son Leon who is beginning to have an unhealthy relationship with Pin, a mannequin from his father’s doctor’s office.

    I sat down with Reher to discuss his leaking of the script and what the deal is with this new remake of PIN. Enjoy…

    Zachary Leeman: Why have you released the script for your remake of PIN?

    Jack Reher: Unfortunately, this day and age with the interweb, every script eventually finds its way online. It's only a matter of time. What happened to Tarantino is another discussion; that was a breach of trust within the people that had The Hateful Eight. I have seen the constant volley of disagreement recently go back and forth about remakes and reboots. Now, I understand from a studio's perspective, "If it made money in 1983, surely it will make the same coin today with modern effects and a hip cast..."

    That's a double-edged sword. I appreciate that. I admire it. Personally, I loved the prequel to THE THING and what Heisserer did within the confines of the Norwegian camp. A clever stroke. Maybe not the CGI and wish that there were practical effects, but I give them credit for not simply remaking Carpenter's or Howard Hawks'.

    I want a comparison available so that there is a bit of love going into this remake. It's always nice when audiences are excited about an upcoming film, instead of the pre-hate and judgment. Remember when Jackie Earle Haley was cast as Freddy Krueger? I dug the casting. But diehards were against anything without England.

    ZL: What's the difference from the original film, the novel and your film?

    JR: I really went back to the source material. The novel. Neiderman also wrote The Devil's Advocate. Okay book, great film. Jonathan Lemkin did a bang up job adapting that, pulling the themes and creating a great role for Pacino (originally the Devil was to be played by Sharon Stone, so he wrote it that way first, then she left, then for Pacino).

    The original film for Pin has a lot of cool ideas. I expanded on them. Gave them meat. Grounded the characters in a modern reality. Terry O'Quinn's role in the original was awesome. So I made the role of Dr. Linden have even more depth. He's a torn man. Trying desperately to keep his family together but not knowing any other way than to be like a doctor and TREAT the symptoms.

    His wife, my God, the OCD and meticulousness of her 'cleaning the world', she can take care of everyone but herself. Ursula is just the sweet, young teen going through the trials of everyday life, as her body evolves and changes into an object of desire. And Leon. An undiagnosed schizophrenic, confiding in the inanimate medical doll in his father's office, telling PIN his secrets, fears as the rest of the world progresses and he's holding back in this psychologically damaged space that he wants to help his father keep the family unit together. Not let the outside world destroy it. And if anyone interferes, he will kill.

    ZL: What's the appeal of this story to you?

    JR: I think the appeal to me is that this is a modern day Psycho. We all know Hitchcock's classic. This sort of spins the dial and reboots the concept for a modern day audience. Leon is the epitome of nuts. We're just waiting for the hinges to fully give way and him to unleash. But he's a genius at the same time. Sort of like an un-college-educated Hannibal Lector. When Leon's watching you, he's figuring things out. He's digging deep, finding your fears, and by the end of every scene, either he likes you or you're soon to be dead.

    ZL: Where is PIN at in production right now?

    JR: We've got some great potential cast lists from the agencies right now for the various roles. Things are chugging along.

    ZL: When can fans expect to see this movie?

    JR: I can't begin to guess that. I'd say sometime in 2015. I remember when Mark Canton came and lectured my class at the AFI Conservatory. He made a crack at when he was at Sony and joked about production... he showed us a black production crew t-shirt that said MEN IN BLACK - SUMMER 1994. Sony was very excited about the film, but it didn't hit screens till 1997.

    ZL: What do you have to say to fans that find the original film who may concerned about your remake or even fans of the novel that may have similar concerns?

    JR: Don't be concerned. I love this film. I've loved it since I was a kid and when I became involved with the rights of it years back, I told all the parties that this is a film worth revisiting and that I would elevate it to something great. It's not a slasher. That's NOT what Pin ever was. It's not a generic bargain-bin horror flick with teens running around. This is a slow-burn of a psychological thriller that delivers the goods on every level. Even if you are familiar with the original, you're not familiar with this version which takes it and runs like a madman into the darkness. It's more profound. Darker. More terrifying. The characters are more textured and crucial to the story. There are no throwaway ones like most horror films nowadays stick in there just to have a "cool kill". Pin has never been about that. And this remake honors that as you will see in my script.

    Many thanks to Jack Reher for taking the time for this interview. You can read his script for PIN here.

    Zachary Leeman

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    J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) looks set to start shooting Star Wars: Episode VII in May according to reports from HitFix. The production will run from May to September 2014 at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.

    If this is true, we can expect a flood of casting details in the upcoming months. Last week, it was revealed Gary Oldman was the latest star to have held discussions with Disney and Lucasfilm, while a host of other stars such as Saoirse Ronan, Jesse Plemons, Zac Efron, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, Adam Driver, Matt Smith, Jason Flemyng and Judi Dench have all been rumoured. Meanwhile, it's also expected - but still unconfirmed - that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will reprise their roles as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia.

    Star Wars: Episode VII is set for release on December 18th, 2015.

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    Jai Courtney and Boyd Holbrook up for Kyle Reese in Terminator: GenesisAccording to Deadline, A Good Day to Die Hard star Jai Courtney and Boyd Holbrook, star of the upcoming western Jane Got A Gun, are the final actors in the running for the role of Kyle Reese in Terminator: Genesis.

    The part was previously played by Michael Biehn in the 1984 original and Anton Yelchin in Terminator: Salvation, while other actors previously linked to the role for the reboot include Thomas Cocquerel (Anzac Girls), Sam Reid (The Railway Man), Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie), Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy).

    Already cast in Terminator: Genesis are Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke (The Great Gatsby) as John Connor and Arnold Schwarzengger as the titular Terminator. The film is being directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) and is set for release on July 1st, 2015.

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    The latest trailer for Richard Ayoade’s The Double has debuted online, and you can check it out below...

    The Double centres on Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) who is overlooked by everyone he knows, including his crush Hannah (Mia Wasikowska). Simon's meagre life is upended when he meets James Simon (also played by Jesse Eisenberg) - a man who’s identical in appearance but completely opposite in personality.

    Also starring alongside Eisenberg and Wasikowska are Wallace Shawn (Toy Story), Yasmin Paige (Submarine), Craig Roberts (22 Jump Street), Chris O’Dowd (Thor: The Dark World), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Paddy Considine (The Worlds End).

    The Double opens on April 4th in the UK and May 9th in the US.

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    Well. This is certainly a piece of news that might anger some.

    In an interview with Coming Soon promoting his latest movie Non-Stop starring Liam Neeson, Jaume Collet-Serra discussed the original Akira and his thoughts on his live action adaptation, should it ever come to fruition. While he was very praising of certain aspects of it, he certainly feels that he can improve it.

    "You have to be respectful of the source material" Collect-Serra said of Akira. "Otomo adapted his own work from a manga into an anime and both things are completely different and genius. The only way to do a live version of Akira is to take the spirit and adapt it. It will be as different as the anime was from the manga. I hope that I can bring strong characters. In the original source material, I don’t think the main characters are the protagonists. What I’m hoping is to bring characters."

    He then went on to add, ""nobody’s interesting. Tetsuo’s interesting because weird sh*t happens to him, and Kaneda is so two-dimensional. That’s part of the Japanese culture, they never have strong characters. They’re used as a way to move the other philosophy forward."

    While it's not a done deal that Jaume Collet-Serra will direct the movie that has spent the better part of a decade in "Development Hell", he seems very sure of his vision for the movie.

    What are your thoughts on Jaume Collet-Serra's vision for a live action Akira?

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    Trailer for the graphic novel X-Men: No More Humans
    Marvel Entertainment has released a trailer for its upcoming original graphic novel X-Men: No More Humans by writing Mike Carey and artist Salvador Larroca, and you can check it out right here after the official plot description...

    "Following the shattering events of Battle of the Atom, the X-Men awaken to find all the world’s humans gone. From normal everyday folks to the Avengers and Fantastic Four, all Homo sapiens have disappeared. It’s up to the disparate sides of the X-Men to come together, get to the bottom of this mystery and find a way to get the humans back. But do all of the mutants want their human brethren to return?"

    X-Men: No More Humans is set to hit shelves in May.

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    Joss Whedon's hugely-anticipated superhero sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron has officially went into production today, with filming kicking off in Johannesburg, South Africa for two weeks. The choice of location would appear to suggest that Earth's Mightiest Heroes could be heading to Wakanda, although the Gauteng Film Commission has seemingly put an end to that speculation by suggesting that Whedon and company are ""shooting Johannesburg as Johannesburg." Either way, we should probably expect an official announcement from Marvel confirming the start of principal photography soon.

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron will bring the curtain down on Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the release of this year's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. The follow-up to 2012's mega-blockbuster sees MCU veterans Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) all returning while Paul Bettany will expand his role as J.A.R.V.I.S. by playing The Vision. Meanwhile, Godzilla duo Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2) and Elizabeth Olsen (Oldboy) are set to appear as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and James Spader (The Blacklist) and Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) have both joined the cast in villainous roles portraying Ultron and Baron Strucker repsectively.

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    Put that cookie down! Jingle All The Way 2 is incoming...

    WWE Studios and 20th Century Fox are teaming up for a belated sequel to the 1996 Christmas classic Jingle All The Way. There will be no Arnold Schwarzenegger this time round who instead will be replaced by Larry the Cable Guy (Cars, Cars 2).

    Jingle All The Way has become somewhat of a 'joke' Christmas movie to be enjoyed ironically and has been torn to pieces by websites and podcasts over the years including The Nostalgia Critic and How Did This Get Made?.

    The film featured Schwarzenegger as a father who was trying to buy his son a Turbo Man doll during the Christmas rush. It was supposed to be a satire of Christmas fads like Cabbage Path Dolls, Power Rangers and Buzz Lightyear and became a hotly contested court battle between 20th Century Fox and Brian Webster/Murray Hill Publishing who claimed they'd stolen the idea from Webster's screenplay Could This Be Christmas?.

    Jingle All The Way 2 will be directed by Alex Zamm, who also helmed the straight-to-DVD Tooth Fairy 2 which also featured Larry the Cable Guy.

    20th Century Fox and WWE Studios have also announced they are working on a fourth instalment of their Marine franchise with The Marine 4 featuring current WWE superstar The Miz.

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    Kermit and the gang are heading back to the big screen next month with the release of Muppets Most Wanted, but we've teamed up with the lovely people at Disney to offer one lucky reader the chance to win four tickets to a special London preview screening of the film on Sunday, February 23rd. Read on for a synopsis and details of how to enter this fantastic giveaway...

    Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two.

    Muppets Most Wanted is directed once again by James Bobin (The Muppets) and stars Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey alongside a host of cameos from the likes of Sean Combs, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Zach Galifianakis, Salyma Hayek, Tom Hiddleston, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, Danny Trejo, Stanley Tucci, Usher and Christoph Waltz.

    To be in with a chance of winning, firstly make sure you like us on Facebook (or follow us on Twitter)...

    ...Then complete your details below, using the subject heading "MUPPETS". The competition closes at midnight on Saturday, February 15th
    . UK entrants only please. Each winner will receive two tickets to the preview screening, but of course you'll have to make your own way there.

     By entering this competition you agree to our terms and conditions, which you can read here.

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    “I’m working in Detroit on Batman vs. Superman [2016] and its super cold there,” states Patrick Tatopoulos (Dark City) who along with surviving a polar vortex which has swept North America is handing the production design for the project which brings together the two iconic DC superheroes. “At the end of 300: Rise of an Empire [2014] I met with Zack [Snyder] and he said, ‘I going to do this movie and want you to design it.’  I was stunned.  I thought, ‘Wow! Great.’  That’s where it started.  This is a crazy huge movie.  It’s taking a lot of energy but it’s something that someone like me needs to do in his lifetime.” 

    “There’s a project that is close to me that I was going to direct and I said, ‘I need to do this,’” reveals Tatopoulos, who also helmed Underworld: Rise of the Lycons(2009).  “Working with Zack again was important to me because he’s an amazing director with an incredible vision.  Batman and Superman is something I’ve always wanted to do.  I would have chosen one or both.  I got the offer and jumped on it.” The highly anticipated big screen teaming of the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) and the Dark Knight (Ben Affleck) has been delayed from its original 2015 release date.  “The big chunk that we want to do for the movie is there but there is so much more to do.  For me, it’s been a blessing that it has been pushed a little bit.”

    Batman vs. Superman is set for release on May 6, 2016 with a cast that also includes Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White), and Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth).

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    Paramount Pictures has released the first two character posters from Darren Aronofsky's upcoming epic Noah, featuring Russell Crowe (Man of Steel) as the Biblical hero and Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream) as his missus Naameh....

    "NOAH is a close adaptation of the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark. In a world ravaged by human sin, Noah is given a divine mission: to build an Ark to save creation from the coming flood."

    Noah is set for release on March 28th, with a cast that also includes Douglas Booth (Romeo and Juliet), Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Emma Watson (Harry Potter), Anthony Hopkins (Thor: The Dark World), Ray Winstone (Snow White and the Huntsman), Kevin Durand (Resident Evil: Retribution), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Frank Langella (Robot & Frank), Maddison Davenport (The Possession), Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad), Marton Csokas (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Dakota Goyo (Real Steel).

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    Coming hot on the heels of the announcement that Ben McKenzie (The O.C., Batman: Year One) is set to play Detective James Gordon in Gotham, it's been revealed that four more names have joined the Batman prequel series with Fox casting the roles of Bruce Wayne's trusted butler and father figure Alfred Pennyworth, a pre-Penguin Oswald Cobblepot, Gordon's boss Captain Essen, and his fiance and future Mrs. Gordon Barbara Kean.

    British actor Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) has been cast as an Earth One-style Alfred, whom Variety describes as "a tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London, Pennyworth has loyally served the Wayne family. Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he’s fiercely protective of the young Bruce Wayne — the boy who will eventually become Batman."

    Taking on the role of Oswald Cobblepot is Robin Lord Taylor (Another Earth), with the character description stating,"with the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal, Cobblepot is a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney, and hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor."

    Also joining the cast of the show are Zabryna Guevara (The Guilt Trip) as Detective Essen, who "balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop", and Erin Richards (Being Human) as Barbara Kean, "a sophisticated emergency doctor, Kean stands by her husband amid the corrupt world of Gotham."

     What do you make of these additions to the cast? Let us know your thoughts...

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    Channing Tatum has had a good few years and this shows little signs of slowing down; he's got 22 Jump Street, Jupiter Ascending, The Book of Life and Foxchatcher all set for release this year, and now he's started work on the script for Magic Mike 2, posting an image of himself gazing at a bust of Matthew McConaughey on Instagram with the caption: "What better way to start writing #MagicMike2 than with my old friend Dallas? #runatribe."

    Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike was a semi-autobiographical look at the life of a male stripper and the sequel is set to continue this, although working more as a road movie.

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    Luke Owen looks at why 2014 will be the year of Chris Pratt...

    Fans of Parks and Recreation will already know the name Chris Pratt. Outside of Nick Offerman's Ron Swanson, Pratt's loveable and slightly dense Andy Dwyer is one of the most beloved elements of the hit show. Whether he is shining shoes, singing for Mouse Rat or being his alter-ego Bert Macklin, Chris Pratt never fails to raise a laugh. His comedic timing is perfect, he can do slapstick when needed and he is charismatic and good-looking enough to command the screen even when he is just in the background. As a supporting actor he's great, but now is the time to show that he can also be the leading man. 2014 is going to be Chris Pratt's year.

    Every year, without fail, a new emerging actor comes out of the woodwork to star in a big budget action movie and is tipped to be 'the next big thing'. In the past we've seen the likes of Sam Worthington and Taylor Kitsch prepped to take the title, mostly due to their baby-face good looks and ability to strike cool poses on a movie poster. But once the glean has fallen from Avatar and John Carter, you realise that good looks is all they have. Neither actor is particularly bad, they're just functional at best. To become 'the next big thing' one must be able to show they can do more than just look good on a poster and remember lines of dialogue. They must be able to show versatility and, more importantly, have a presence about them that makes people want to buy a movie ticket to see them.

    Chris Pratt has this.

    Some might be hesitant to back Pratt as a leading man, seeing him as just a sitcom actor. But let us not forget where Ashton Kutcher got his humble beginnings. And Unlike Worthington and Kitsch, Pratt isn't an actor who is all style and no substance.

    Last month Pratt showed that he was more than just the 'likeable simpleton' in the poorly marketed Delivery Man. His role was simplistic in nature, to be the comedy best friend to the mis-cast Vince Vaughn and the trailer marketing posed him as such. But once you actually get into the meat of the movie and realise it's more than just your typical "Vince Vaughn Comedy" you'll find that Pratt pulls off scenes that require straight acting, namely the court scenes that happen at the start of the third act. While reviewing the movie, I noted that Delivery Man would have benefited from someone other than Vaughn in the lead role as he carries with him 10-or-so years of bad-to-average comedy movies that weighed down the project and that Pratt would have made for a much better leading man. Had Delivery Man been made away from the Hollywood system (like the movie it was based on had) and been manufactured with indie movie sensibilities, there is no doubt that Pratt would have been given the David Wozniak role and the movie would have been all the better for it.

    But there are two movies out this year that are putting Chris Pratt in the leading role ahead of being one of the major players of next year's Jurassic WorldThe LEGO Movie and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

    The LEGO Movie has surprised a lot of people by being met with almost universal praise, except those who loved Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, who were harbouring high expectations from the start. And within that, it's Chris Pratt who has been given a lot of credit for the movie's success and enjoyment. Providing voice work is not as easy as one would think and many seasoned actors struggle to do anything more than simply reading lines. Looking back at last year's The Croods, the majority of the cast are fine with the exception of Nicolas Cage who struggled give Grug a defined character through his voice alone. In the end, Grug was just a series of ones and zeroes that sounded like Nic Cage. In fact, the entire voice cast of Turbo suffered through the same problems with Ryan Reynolds sounding more bored than he was on the set of R.I.P.D.. But just from watching the trailer, you can see that Pratt isn't simply reading from a script - Emmet has been bought to life and Pratt has given him a personality fitting of a leading (LEGO) man. This is just another string to the man's already impressive bow.

    Providing a voice is one thing, but being one of the central elements of one of the year's biggest movies (and biggest risks for Marvel) is another. Taking on the role of Peter Quill in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is sure to cement Pratt as 'the next big thing'. Being that this is a Marvel production, there is a high chance we'll see the cheeky comedy side of Pratt we've all come to love, but it will also give him the chance to flex his acting (and action) muscles in a leading role in a big budget comic book movie. Guardians of the Galaxy is a space gamble for Marvel, but this should be the movie that propels Chris Pratt into the public eye. They are not taking this project lightly and the rumoured plans for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as part of Phase Three is a clear indication that their marketing machine will be behind this movie (and therefore Pratt) once the trailer is released. Guardians of the Galaxy could be a huge jumping block for Pratt to then take on more challenging roles, just as Chris Hemsworth did with last year's critically acclaimed Rush.

    And good for him. Many actors get given the 'next big thing' moniker, but Chris Pratt is an actor who genuinely deserves it. He has worked hard to reach this stage of his career and he has enough talent to see it through.  And while 2014 will be the year to launch him into the stratosphere (both figuratively and literally), for Chris Pratt it's just the start.

    Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth's co-editors and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.

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    Trevor Hogg chats with Addison Timlin about her transformation from a young Gypsy on the theatrical stage to a girlfriend on the big screen who has to deal with Satanic mayhem... 

    “I grew up doing theatre in New York when I was a kid,” recalls Addison Timlin who is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  “I did a musical called Gypsy which Sam Mendes [American Beauty] directed and that’s when I fell in love with playing a character who was quite a departure from me.  It was something I felt a lot more passionate about and attachment to creatively.”  The Oscar winning British director consistently travels between the worlds of theatre and film.  “I had great understanding of how Sam worked and had a great relationship with him; he guided me into playing a young and vulnerable Gypsy pushed aside.   Sam held my hand through that in way which was nurturing and kind.  It was such a rewarding experience for me to pull off.”  Timlin was limited by her age when auditioning for roles.  “I did TV shows here and there playing a rebellious teenage daughter.  My first feature film was Derailed [2005] which was right after I did Gypsy and had a good experience doing that.  The second one was called Afterschool [2008] which was directed by a young guy [Antonio Campos] and his film company; they went on to become quite successful with Martha Marcy May Marlene [2011] and Simon Killer [2012]. It opened my mind to independent filmmaking and that was what I wanted to gear towards.  Right after high school I got a TV show shooting out in L.A..  It was a show for NBC that never made it to the airwaves; however, after that I got Californication [2007 to present, Showtime] which opened a door into a wider platform to be recognized and then shortly after came Odd Thomas [2013].”

    Odd Thomas is a cinematic adaptation of the book by Dean R. Koontz about a short-order cook (Anton Yelchin) in a small town with ability to see the dead and evil creatures who shares a strong spiritual bond with his childhood sweetheart Stormy Llewellyn (Addison Timlin).  “I auditioned for the role and then auditioned again with Stephen Sommers [The Mummy] and Anton. There were a few girls in contention for the role who were all talented actresses.  I can’t exactly pinpoint what it was but would have to chalk it up to the chemistry that was in room between Anton and me.  Stephen had already cast Anton as Odd; he is such an incredible actor. The two of us had a real understanding the relationship between Stormy and Odd, and the all encompassing love between them.”  Critical to the supernatural mystery was to make the pivotal romance believable.   “For the movie to work and to honour the book that relationship had to really work between these two people.  You have to care about the town being saved because that’s where they exist.  It’s the driving element behind the whole thing.”

    The source material was invaluable when researching the roles.  “After I got the part I read the book and so did Anton to get more information about these characters to develop their relationship and to have an understanding of it,” states Addison Timlin.  “What doesn’t make into the screenplay is very much there between the lines.  I had my copy with me all the time and underlined things.  A lot of it was how her apartment looked.  It was all of these eclectic little features that create this safe space for her; that was a big thing for me.  I’d spend some time collecting things, little mementos from my life and weird things I had around or would see to make that space come alive as it was in the book.  My mom is an artist and she had made some hand-painted sculptures, little figurines and candlesticks as things that I had in Stormy’s apartment.  Then also there’s a line in the book that says she has a moral anchor of a ship which was something I had myself saying all the time to think about the people in my life and things.”  Timlin believes, “She’s the kind of character that people want to know and have in their life.  I fell in love with Stormy because her whole being is to be good and to always be doing the right thing.  Stormy is a selfless and strong willed young woman with a powerful presence; she’s the one who grounds Odd from all of the chaos that is in his mind.”

    As a director Stephen Sommer is known for making movies which are hybrid of action and comedy.  “My part of the story was to try to keep it as true as possible and also to show up and carry the relationship of the two of them,” remarks Addison Timlin.  “Stephen had Anton and I watch a couple of old movies together, like the fast talking films of the 1940s where they’re overlapping each other and finishing each other’s sentences.  Anton and I got to spend a lot of time together before we started shooting.  I was focused on making the relationship feel like it had been there for a long time and have that element of the movie come intermediately through all of the comedy and action.  The rest of it as actor you have to walk away from with your hands up and let it all go to the masterminds behind the movie to bring it all together.”  Unlike his usual roles Willem Dafoe (Mississippi Burning) gets to have some comedic moments as the Police Chief Wyatt Porter.  “Willem is an incredible actor and his body of work is mind-blowing.  We were excited to have him.  He was a lovely guy to have around and had a calming presence.  Willem would come to set often on days he wasn’t shooting to watch us; it was helpful for him as the character because these were two people who the Chief knows well and cares for deeply.  Also Willem said he enjoyed watching young actors working.  We were shooting in Mexico so there wasn’t a whole lot to do.”

    While Odd Thomas courts danger his cellphone often rings resulting in some witty exchanges with a petrified Stormy Llewellyn. “Those were tricky sometimes,” explains Addison Timlin.  “Anton and I would try as much as possible to be on the other end of those phone calls.  Often because of the tight schedule I would be shooting in the ice cream parlour and he would be with the second unit shooting some driving or scooter stuff.  We tried to get a rhythm going by reading the scenes in a room together over and over again to understand the timing so when we were shooting separately and someone was reading off-camera it would serve as a reference point of how the two would be interacting.”  The title character is unique.  He’s not exactly what you think of to be the action hero guy who is at the centre of the film. The fact that Odd is so rooted in his love for another person, his compassion for people, and the desire to protect the people he cares about, it’s a hard thing not to like.  I found Anton to be an incredible actor and he’s easy to love and to root for; a lot of people will watch the movie and feel like they know him.”

    Addison Timlin is not finished starring in otherworldly projects as she will be appearing in The Town That Dreaded Sundown [2014] and Fallen[2014].   “I’ve had a lucky couple of years and I’m excited that those movies are going to be out in the world soon.  I’m leaving to start shooting Fallen next week and the baseline of all of these films, despite the fact that there is a supernatural element in all of them, is that they’re all emotionally driven stories with relatable strong characters.  In that sense the genre might be following a little bit but I’m also finding a lot of new challenges and exciting things as an actor and person to bring into these stories.”  A $35 million lawsuit involving the producers of Odd Thomas delayed the release of the picture back in 2013.  “I’m happy to see that the movie is finally getting its feet in the world. It’s a special experience that I had.  I have a great affinity for all of those involved as well for Odd and Stormy.  I love that movie so much.  It’s a big part of who I am and am excited to share it with people.”

    Many thanks to Addison Timlin for taking the time for this interview and make sure to read our review of Odd Thomas

    Just in time for Valentine's Day, Odd Thomas will be screening across Canada as part of Sinister Cinema which is presented by Cineplex Entertainment’s Front Row Centre Events and Raven Banner Entertainment beginning Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 7:00pm.

    Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada.
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