Shane Black begins shooting on "Iron Man 3" next month.
Really, that's the thing that excites me most. I am such a fan of "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" that even if you told me Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. were collaborating on a film called "Drew McWeeny Is A Big Fat Jerk," I'd still be excited.
Since the film is in the final stages of prep, it makes sense that we're going to start hearing casting decisions in the weeks ahead, and today's news, via Variety, is that Ben Kingsley is in final talks now to play a villain in the film.
No word on if this is "the" villain in the film, but I would imagine Kingsley isn't going to sign on to stand around in the background. Latino Review broke the story in March, and since then, I've heard the same rumors that other people are reporting about this film loosely building off of the Extremis storyline that ran in the comics, but if this is "adapted" the way the other Marvel movies have been, you'll recognize elements but in a radically refigured way.
Latest Blog Posts
Shane Black begins shooting on "Iron Man 3" next month.
Feist tapped into the photographic work of Argentinian artist Irina Werning for an effective music video for "Bittersweet Melodies."
Old photos of the solo subjects are placed side-by-side with new photos, with the same poses, clothes and setting. And of course there's a dog. Of course. It's entertaining, then funny, then pensive as the viewer him/herself begins to muse what their own photo would look like. Bittersweet.
So the main message I get from Disney's announcement today about the March 14, 2014 release date of "Maleficent" is that they really, really, really, really want this to be as big as "Alice In Wonderland."
After all, they mention the film no less than three times in one paragraph, and that's because many of the key creative people on this film were involved with that film. I'm sure Disney would love for this to earn them another billion dollars, like "Alice" did, and claiming a release date this far out seems to be a clear indicator that they expect this one to be a monster.
There's a big difference between Angelina Jolie working with a first-time director making the jump from production design and Tim Burton collaborating with Johnny Depp, though, and I'm still not sold on the idea that the general public is rabid about getting tons of new fairy tale movies. "Mirror Mirror" hardly set the world on fire, and two years is a long time to expect a trend like this to sustain heat.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
After a few weeks with mega-jumbo Firewall & Iceberg Podcast installments, this week's is a trifle shorter, owing in part to fewer new shows debuting and in part on Dan's desire to please his dad (a podcast listener without ample free time) while staying with him this week for Passover. Still, we had time to offer unleavened opinions on "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23," "NYC 22," the terrific "Girls" and last night's "Mad Men," in addition to asking a few pieces of your mail.
Even though Adam Lambert’s July 7 concert with Queen at Sonisphere was cancelled, he will play the part of the band’s lead singer for at least four shows in 2012.
Queen’s Roger Taylor says Lambert will play with the band, which also includes original member Brian May, on June 30 in Kiev, another Kiev show where Queen and Elton John will share the bill, and two July shows at the Hammersmith Apollo in London in July. Taylor told Billboard.com that the London shows will provide an “alternative...for some of the people who had bought tickets” to Sonisphere.
John Mayer may be back on vocal rest, but his guitar is speaking just fine for him. Listen below as he delicately weaves in and out of an instrumental version of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games.”
It’s a gorgeous, haunting, stripped down version on an electric guitar. As Idolator suggests, we completely agree that it sounds like something out of a Western, with the slight echo and feeling of loneliness. You can almost imagine a tumbleweed rolling by.
[More after the jump...]
LONDON - If you're a movie fan, its to your advantage to live overseas this spring and summer. Not only are big summer blockbusters such as "The Avengers" and "Battleship" opening across the globe before landing in the states, but so is highly anticipated animated fare such as Aardman's "The Pirates! Band of Misfits."
The legendary company's first stop-motion feature length film since "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit", "Pirates" is also Aardman co-founder Peter Lord's first directorial effort since the worldwide smash "Chicken Run" in 2000. Based on Gideon Defoe's "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists" (the film's UK title actually), the 19th century tale centers on the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) who isn't as successful plundering the Seven Seas as he'd like to believe he is. A bit too goofy and unintentionally kind hearted to dominate his profession he sadly finds himself disrespected by his peers including Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek), Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and the Pirate King (Brian Blessed) among others. In fact, our anti-hero is chronically an also-ran in the annual Pirate of the Year Award and becomes obsessed with finally winning the top award this time around. After randomly meeting a young Charles Darwin (David Tennant - go with it), the Pirate Captain discovers his beloved Polly isn't a parrot at all, but actually a long thought extinct bird. When Darwin slips that the discovery of Polly could provide the presenter with a lucrative award, the Pirate Captain decides to venture to London to show his bird off. Of course, that means coming dangerously close to Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) whose official motto is "I Hate Pirates!" And there, ladies and gentlemen is your villain.
In January, Lord traveled to Los Angeles and I took some time out during a busy awards season to talk with the animation legend about "Pirates." At the time, Lord was understandably nervous about how moviegoers and critics would react to his latest passion project, but he shouldn't have been. To date, "Pirates" has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and solid 76 on Metacritic. The film has also had a fine start at the box office with over $25 million worth of tickets sold overseas in less than two weeks. That has to be reassuring for a project Lord has been working on for five years. Unlike many book adaptations, "Pirates'" creator Gideon actually wrote the screenplay. Pretty surprising considering how much Lord says the story "evolved" as a movie from its literally beginnings.
"It is really quite different from the book actually," Lord says. He then bluntly adds, "I think Gideon is brilliant at comedy and comedy writing funny situations, but the character was not his strong point, but so that’s evolved."
Lord became interested in turning the children's novel series into a movie because "It had such a funny tone and it was this very unique and eccentric world that [Gideon] had invented that was I’d never seen anything like it and that really, really appealed to me. I mean what can you say about that world? Like it’s very inaccurate."
Considering some of the strange plot twists and the intentional historical inaccuracies in the film (Aardman was asked to stage an exhibit around 'Pirates' at the National Maritime Museum, but felt uncomfortable about it), I asked Lord if the film was meant to be a farce. He replied, "I don’t know. Well, to me a farce is a very specific sort of meaning. It’s definitely absurdist."
Lord later added, "The story has a kind of a swaggering confidence, which you go along with and only afterwards you might think, 'That didn’t make a damn big of sense,' but it doesn’t really matter because it’s not really about that you know."
Finally seeing "Pirates" in London today, the first reaction I had was to just how gorgeous the production design by Norman Garwood ("Brazil, "The Princess Bride") is. In particular, The gigantic Pirate Captain's ship set is a wonder and Lord spoke reverentially of it.
"When it came into the studio the first time it was like the tribal totem - you know because everyone knew what the film was about when that was in there" Lord says. "It was like it sat there in its green screen set and everyone just loved it. If I was feeling depressed about something I would go and hug it you know. The detail is amazing. We have this amazing model making team that’s so brilliant and it’s full of detail and it’s full of comedy. Everything was beautifully worked out."
18 months of shooting, 40 physical sets, and 8,000 removable character mouths later, Lord is so pleased with "Pirates" that he admits they've already thought about a sequel.
"We have a good idea, but I hope that the film does well enough that they want a sequel because I’d love to do it again. I’d love to," Lord confesses. "It’s just a great world to be in and if we do then that’s a good reason to keep the sets."
"The Pirates! A Band of Misfits" opens nationwide and in 3D on April 27.
Fiona Apple kicks off her summer headlining tour on June 19, the same date that her first album in seven years comes out, the impossibly long-winded “The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.”
The tour starts at the State Theater in Ithaca, N.Y. on June 19 and concludes July 29 at the Hollywood Palladium.
Apple performed three songs from the album, including first single, “Every Single Night,” on her Spring tour, including during her SXSW show.
6/19 Ithaca, NY State Theatre 4/20 10 AM
6/20 Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House 4/20, 10 AM
6/22 Mashantucket, CT MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods 4/20, 10 AM
6/23 Holyoke, MA Mountain Park 4/20, 10 AM
6/24 New York, NY Randall's Island on sale now
6/26 Washington, DC Warner Theatre 4/13, 10 AM
6/27 Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre 4/13, 10 AM
6/29 Danbury, CT Ives Concert Park 4/20, 10 AM
6/30 Boston, MA Citi Performing Arts Center 4/14, 10 AM
7/1 Portland, ME State Theatre 4/20, 10 AM
7/3 Montreal, QC Olympia Theatre 4/21, 12 PM
7/4 Toronto, ON The Sound Academy 4/20, 10 AM
7/6 Cleveland Hts., OH Cain Park 4/21, 10 AM
7/7 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit 4/27, 10 AM
7/10 Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre 4/21, 10 AM
7/11 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre 4/20, 10 AM
7/13 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium 4/21, 10 AM
7/14 St. Louis, MO Peabody Opera House 4/20, 10 AM
7/16 Minneapolis, MN Orpheum Theatre 4/14, 12 PM
7/17 Kansas City, MO The Midland by AMC 4/20, 10 AM
7/20 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre 4/20, 10 AM
7/21 Salt Lake City, UT Kingsbury Hall - University of Utah 4/21, 10 AM
7/24 Vancouver, BC Orpheum 4/20, 10 AM
7/25 Seattle, WA Paramount Theatre 4/20, 10 AM
7/26 Portland, OR Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 4/20, 10 AM
7/28 Oakland, CA Fox Theater 4/15, 10 AM
7/29 Hollywood, CA Hollywood Palladium 4/27, 10 AM
The third annual TCM Classic Film Festival kicks off Thursday and as I'm slowly slipping back into the saddle this month, I'll be hoping to attend this and that over the swift four-day event.
As I look over the schedule, I'm actually pretty impressed at the number of anniversary restoration screenings. The fest kicks off with one of them, in fact, a 40th anniversary showcase of Bob Fosse's "Cabaret." There's also "Two for the Road" (45th anniversary), "Grand Illusion" (75th), "The Longest Day" (50th)...
...yep, there's more: "Fall Guy" (65th), "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (75th), "Casablanca" (70th), "Dr. No" (50th), "Singin' in the Rain" (60th), "Moonstruck" (25th), "Call Her Savage" (80th) and perhaps the centerpiece of the week, a restoration of "A Night to Remember" a day short of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
Prepare for the revival of the phrase "holy Moses." Scottish quintet Admiral Fallow makes regular use of the exclamation in their new single "The Paper Trench," arriving ahead of their Nettwerk debut "Tree Bursts in Snow."
There's a positive charge between lead singer Louis Abbott's wordy brogue and Sarah Hayes' pure, buoyant vocals; half the song is met with a third harmony and powerful rhythmic guitars, banging in time with the fours, Abbott's narratives weaving easily like a thread meeting needle. The single is an accurate taster for "Tree Bursts," which has its darker moments too. Overall, the term "indie-folk" doesn't begin to describe the band's fullness of sound, which allows in punctuation like that of multi-instrumentalist Kevin Brolly's clarinet, or Hayes on flute. They're rounded out by a stacked rhythm section of bassist Joe Rattray and drummer Phil Hague.
It's appropriate that Admiral Fallow produced this set and their initial album "Boots Met My Face" with fellow countryman Paul Savage of the Delgados, a band whose own pop sound whirred with a similar energy and blender of folk-influenced rock sounds. "Tree Bursts in Snow" was also mixed by mastering master Greg Calbi, who's left his signature on albums from The National, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver.
Last week's "Awake" was the first episode of the series that NBC hadn't sent out to critics in advance, and as a result it was the first episode I didn't get around to reviewing, because it took me several days to see it. But "That's Not My Penguin" was perhaps the show's strongest episode so far, making the shrinks vital to the series again by pointing out just how unhealthy Britten's situation is if we believe that one of the worlds isn't real.
Thus far, Kyle Killen and Howard Gordon have put aside any doubts about the creative viability of the concept. This all may come crashing down eventually, but right now they're doing a fantastic job of juggling, and I can't wait to see what they do next.
And if you're as engaged by the show as I am, then you don't have to wait until Thursday night at 10 for at least a taste of the next episode, titled "Ricky's Tacos," as we have a clip — exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours — from early in the episode in which a trip to the drive-through offers an unexpected clue for Detective Britten.
Enjoy, and I'll do my best to get to this one in a timelier fashion.