After being prodded by a fan’s question, Quentin Tarantino confirmed that he is moving forward with his feature western The Hateful Eight. The announcement was made at Dynamite Comic’s panel for the Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic-book. Everyone in Room 6BCF erupted with cheers.
In fielding fan questions, Tarantino also teased that he’s working on an extended cut of Kill Bill that would include animated footage that was cut out of the original 2003 film.
Taking the stage this afternoon, Tarantino also earned the second biggest standing ovation at Comic-Con this weekend after Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron clip in Hall H. The whole idea for a Django Unchained-Zorro crossover comic book sparked when Dynamite CEO and publisher Nick Barruci phoned Django producer Reginald Hudlin prior to the film’s release and pitched “Django meets Zorro.” (Zorro has been one of the titles in Dynamite’s library for some time as well as The Long Ranger). When Hudlin brought the idea up to Tarantino over dinner, the filmmaker immediately took to it. It was always part of his vision to have a Django western paperback series.
“I loved this idea, not only because I like western comics in general, but I also loved Zorro in all his iterations whether it was the Disney series or the William Witney films. I thought it was a great idea of taking the most famous, fictional Mexican western hero and putting him together with the newer, famous black western hero,” said Tarantino.
“I don’t want to make a ton of Django movies so this offered me a chance to keep control of the mythology, but to tell different … Read More »
13th and 14th UPDATES, Sunday, 6:30 AM and 8 AM: As the industry waits for next weekend’s Guardians of the Galaxy to lift the summer box office blues (it will start next Thursday at 7 PM), this weekend is wrapping up: Lucy will end the 3-day with $44M for Universal, director Luc Besson and our new solo, female action star Scarlett Johansson. On a budget of what the studio claims to be $40M, this picture should turn a profit with international yet to weigh in (it doesn’t open until next weekend) and Johansson already an known entity overseas from all the Marvel movies she’s been in. Now, if Sunday moviegoing drops more than 20%, Lucy will come in around $43.5M for its debut weekend. Its second weekend could dive, given the mixed reviews and the C+ CinemaScore it received Friday night.
This weekend continues to be down around 14% from last year at this time, and overall moviegoing is off about 6% from 2013′s record-breaking box office year and what was the all-time highest summer (with a total of $2.753B from the beginning of May through Sept. 2). So far, May 2nd to July 27th 2014 is $2.930B compared to last year’s $3.674B year’s for the same period. Now, if you bring the April bow of Captain America: The Winter Soldier into the mix, moviegoing is off 14%. No wonder everyone is waiting with baited breath for the debut of Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy which could lift the box office about 15% to 20% next weekend up over the equivalent weekend in 2013. It’s tracking for a $65M to $75M opening but veteran distributors think it could go to $80M.
RELATED: Can Guardians of the Galaxy Help Rescue Summer Box Office?
Universal weighed at 8 AM that Lucy the fifth No. 1 opener for the studio this year and Johansson’s top opener where she was the lead in a film. That’s fair. It did equally well among genders (literally a 50/50 split). Lucy also marks the 2nd biggest weekend ever for a French-produced film (it is from Besson’s EuropaCorp.) behind only Taken 2 which grossed $49M in its opening weekend (EuropaCorp./Canal +). Among the Top Ten French produced films, EuropaCorp. now has seven of those. Well done.
The unsung hero for Lucy? It would be Peter Cramer, co-president of production for the studio, who really championed this project, was instrumental in bringing it into the fray, and oversaw the production on behalf of Universal. Read More »
The hottest panel following Marvel’s one-two punch of Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, American Horror Story finally made its Comic-Con debut, except way across from Hall H in Room 6DE, one of the smaller rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. AHS exeuctive producer Tim Minear described the fourth season of the series, Freak Show, as ”(director) Douglas Sirk meets the movie Zodiac.”
One by one, each of the actors revealed their new identities: Emma Roberts is Maggie, Sarah Paulson will play Siamese twins Bette and Dot, Michael Chiklis is Evan del Toreado, Angela Bassett is his wife Desiree Dupre, and Evan Peters will play del Toreado’s son Jimmy Darling. Minear said that there will be “a villain who will rival the rubber man and the minotaur from previous seasons. John Carroll Lynch will play him, and he will scare the shit out of you.”
Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ and More
Missing from the panel was Jessica Lange, who is over in Spain shooting the Weinstein Company comedy Wild Oats. Also missing: any teaser or glimpse of Freak Show. Boo! Nonetheless, the fanboy crowd didn’t mind as they stormed the cast for autographs after the panel. Read More »
We finally know the first of the Marvel films that Disney has been setting aside dates for: Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 will arrive July 28, 2017. That leaves five unidentified superhero flicks between November 2017 and May 2019. The announcement came during Marvel’s Comic-Con panel tonight. Guardians star Chris Pratt and director James Gunn appeared via video from London, where they are promoting the first movie’s release overseas.
Related: Comic-Con: Marvel Teases New ‘Guardians’ Animation Series
The panel also included the Avengers cast, who were introduced one by one and asked what it’s like to be in the third-highest-grossing film of all time. Throwing roses out to the Hall H crowd, Robert Downey Jr introduced all those in Avengers: Age of Ultron sans Scarlett Johansson: Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), Paul Bettany (The Vision), James Spader (voice of Ultron) and Elizabeth Olsen (as Scarlet Witch).
Related: Comic-Con: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Cast Pic
Whedon couldn’t be here because of an injury. Feige said, “Scarlett couldn’t be here because she’s pregnant.” Then she introduced a clip via video from Age of Ultron in which the team, in a penthouse, play a round of trying to pick up Thor’s hammer. Tony Stark puts his Iron Man hand on, Captain America makes a go. Then Ultron crashes the party. Iron Man gets in a big super suit as apocalypse dawns again. A lot of crash-bang-boom, like the finale of the first film. Playing throughout the trailer is a child singing, “I Got No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio. Last shot in the clip shows all the Avengers lying dead in a massive heap against a black sky, with Tony Stark the only one standing alive. The audience gave the clip a standing ovation. Amplifying the room’s mood was Josh Brolin walking in as Thanos. Read More »
At Comic-Con on Saturday, Marvel officially introduced Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll onstage alongside the central cast of Ant-Man, the stand-alone superhero flick that director Peyton Reed took over from the recently exited Edgar Wright. Marvel honcho Kevin Feige revealed that Lilly, already in town for Warner Bros’ Hobbit panel earlier in the day, will play Hope Pym, daughter of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who is looking to pass the Ant-Man mantle on to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in the pic. Stoll will play Darren Cross, a colleague of Pym’s who obtains Pym particles and dons the villainous mantle of Yellowjacket.
Related: Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ Stars And Director Talk Hall H Virginity, Paul Rudd’s Abs (Video)
There’s just one hitch: Lilly said she hasn’t even seen a script yet. ”I can’t tell you anything else about her because I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve been evading the press over the last two days at Comic-Con about who I’ll be playing.”
Related: Will Risky ‘Ant-Man’ Be Marvel’s Waterloo Or Greatest Triumph?
She’s not the only one who may not have the latest Ant-Man info. Lilly was at first introduced as playing the role of “Hope Van Dyne” instead of Hope Pym, causing confusion for some fans. Read More »
The Marvel Studios panel is set to kick off any minute and the cast of Avengers: Age Of Ultron is ready to go. Check out the pic:
The Blacklist star James Spader may have been snubbed for an Emmy nomination this year, but he got a lot of love today from the Comic-Con crowd. The actor drew a roar from the more than 1,000 fans in the packed room 6A of the San Diego Convention Center. “It’s been quite a journey, this craziness — and the craziness really started last year right here at Comic-Con,” Spader said after the applause died down. Then again, one year after his debut at the confab and with a breakout show success in the crime drama, the man who plays former super-fugitive Raymond Reddington is a geekfest multitasker this time round thanks to his part as the primary villain in next year’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron pic – which got a big cheer when Spader mentioned his work on the Marvel movie.
Related: TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done
Not that the panel didn’t cut to the Blacklist chase. There was a big casting announcement with the revelation that Mary-Louise Parker would be joining the NBC series in Season 2 in a recurring role as a character named Naomi Highland. EP/creator Jon Bokenkamp didn’t reveal any more details of the former Weeds star’s Blacklist involvement, but he described the character as “completely tied to Reddington.”
Related: Emmy Snubs: ‘The Blacklist,’ James Spader And More
Then there is the question of relationships on a show all about unknown relationships. “The question of who is Reddington to Elizabeth Keen is the central conceit to the show,: responded Bokenkamp to questions of whether Reddington is the rookie FBI agent’s father, “but we’re really not going to answer that.” From burn marks to pocket photos and the secrets of a dying man, the May 12 Season 1 finale set up a lot for the show’s return – especially about who Reddington really is and what his relationship with Keen might be. Spader himself had some thoughts on the big question. “The real relationship is their present relationship,” the lead actor said. “Destinations aren’t enough. The ultimate answer should be that looking backwards.” Read More »
The Marvel Animation universe just got a lot bigger today. With perfect timing to the upcoming live action pic, the superhero giant revealed a new Guardians Of The Galaxy animation series this morning at Comic-Con. No news on when the series will debut but it will be on Disney XD . A literally explosive 1-minute preview of the series was shown today with the Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord characters appearing. The GOTG movie, of course, debuts next week on the big screen.
Of course, Marvel being secretive Marvel they didn’t say much more about the GOTG series but the applauding fans seemed cool with that. “Enjoy the cartoons, that’s what you are supposed to do on a Saturday morning,” Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb joked with the crowd earlier as he introduced the event.
The panel in the San Diego Convention Center’s near full huge Room 6BCF was hosted by Marvel Animation VP Stephen Wacker, SVP Eric Radomski and VP Cort Lane. Fred “the voice of Hulk” Tatasciore in the green giant’s animated series joined them too.
Besides the announcement of the new series, most of the panel was full of screening some of Marvel Animation’s already established jewels in the crown projects. There was a full first-ever showing of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors which premieres on Disney XD in September. There were also clips from the upcoming now officially confirmed upcoming … Read More »
Looks like the greater Marvel Universe is officially coming to the upcoming Marvel’s Agent Carter – at least behind the camera. It was announced today during the Marvel TV panel at Comic-Con that Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be helming the second and third episodes of the ABC series set to debut in 2015. Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson will helm the fourth episode, with Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito set to direct the first one.
Related: TCA: ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates
The announcements were made after a short teaser video was shown to a packed Ballroom 20. Mostly a voice-over via President Harry Truman, the post-WWII-set series promised fans that they would discover a “different side of the Marvel Universe.” Agent Carter picks up in 1946 and the first version of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming together as the Cold War heats up. Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb said the show hasn’t started stated filming and the writers room opens next week.
The cast of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also on the panel with Clark “Agent Phil Coulson” Gregg coming out to a thunderous standing ovation. The panel confirmed Lucy Lawless will join the show in the second season as a longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Isabel Hartley. British actor Nick Blood will also join as a mercenary, and Reed Diamond, who appeared on Joss Wheldon’s 2009 Fox series Dollhouse, will also be added. The panel was treated to a specially made video of Patton Oswalt in his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Billy Koenig role jokingly lecturing the crowd on security.
Related: ABC Picks Up ‘Marvel’s Agent Carter’, Renews ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros hosts its Comic-Con panel tomorrow morning where Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is expected to be front and center, but here’s a morsel to nibble on today. I’m hearing that after he absolutely crushed the script on that film, Oscar-winning Argo scribe Chris Terrio is being courted by the studio to come aboard and script its Justice League movie. That superhero mash-up will be DC Comics‘ answer to Marvel’s Avengers juggernaut. Not that well known prior to Argo, Terrio has fast become an A-list scribe, and a favorite of writer-directors. He’s got Bunker Hill with Ben Affleck, and The Foreigner, among several big pics. Terrio’s repped by WME.
Related: Zack Snyder Locked For ‘Justice League’
Affleck’s going to star as Batman in the Zack Snyder-directed Justice League and Henry Cavill will reprise Superman, while Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman and Game Of Thrones alum Jason Momoa is on the docket to play Aquaman. Might be the highest-priority film at Warner Bros for new film division managers Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll.
Related: Comic-Con: Ben Affleck As Batman Shows Up … Sort Of
EXCLUSIVE: Don’t expect Patrick Wilson, Matt Gerald and Kevin Weisman to be at tomorrow’s Marvel Studios Hall H presentation at Comic-Con. That trio has dropped out of the ever-morphing Ant-Man movie that has Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas and The Hobbit‘s Evangeline Lilly starring. The movie has been in some state of flux after director Edgar Wright dropped out over differences in creative vision with Marvel’s Kevin Feige, so not surprisingly there is speculation that the trio’s exit is for the same reason that Wright departed and was replaced by Peyton Reed. Marvel insiders adamantly dispute that.
Related: Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari In Negotiations For ‘Ant-Man’ Rewrite
We’re told by insiders that Gerald and Weisman’s characters were omitted in the newly evolved version of the script. Wilson, on the other hand, had a scheduling conflict as production on the movie got delayed, and that is why he won’t be there. Lilly is at Comic-Con to tour a children’s book and Peter Jackson’s final Hobbit installment, The Battle Of The Five Armies. We wouldn’t be surprised to see her at the Marvel panel along with Rudd, Douglas and Reed. Feige always pulls out the stops on Comic-Con, so we expect star-studded updates on Avengers: Age Of Ultron and some vamping on the imminent release Guardians Of The Galaxy. Feige is always good for a few … Read More »
Composers from a number of Marvel and DC film and TV projects will be talking about their craft at the second annual “Musical Anatomy of a Superhero” panel tomorrow, Thursday, July 24th, from 3-4 PM in the Hilton Bayfront Indigo Ballroom. John Ottman (X-Men: Days of Future Past,Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer), Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy, Salem) Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Blake Neely (CW’s The Flash, Arrow) and Christophe Beck (Frozen, Edge of Tomorrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will take attendees behind the scenes on their musical process and show clips, some never-before-seen. The event is produced by Costa Communications.
This weekend’s domestic box office was off a whopping 28 percent, which has people wondering why. Could it be the quality is just not there? “Yeah, what the hell is going on, right?” said one distributor when I asked. “It’s content driven. We’re in a slump at the moment, but next year will be better. This year, I don’t think it’s any indication that problems are anything but the content.” As in quality, or lack thereof, and I think that most Deadline readers would concur that though this summer has seen some gems (like The Fault in Our Stars, Apes, Heaven is For Real), they’ve wrapped around some real stinkers (A Million Ways to Die in the West, Moms Night Out).
By the way, Paramount’s Transformers:Age of Extinction has made $659.1M internationally and around $228M to date domestically, is on track to become the 19th picture ever to move past the $1B mark and could end up in the Top Ten all-time worldwide grossers. But others have fallen flat. As we’ve noted in the past, it’s a cyclical business. Some of the pictures from 2014 moved to 2015 to avoid having to deal with the World Cup. Next summer looks more promising: the April 3rd release of Fast and Furious 7, followed in May by the highly-anticipated The Avengers: Age of Ultron and then The Fantastic Four, Jurassic World, Ted 2, Minions and Terminator.
But here’s the question: When will the industry see a movie that will go four consecutive weekends in a row at No. 1? (see chart below, courtesy of Rentrak). And could Disney/Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy do it? Read More »
Dinesh D’Souza and the team behind the recently released documentary America: Imagine The World Without Her still want to know why Google won’t display the show times for their movie. Earlier this week, lawyers for the conservative author/filmmaker sent a second letter to the tech giant’s chief legal officer David Drummond trying to get the situation resolved, I’ve learned. The July 16 letter from Sheppard, Mullin attorney Kelly Crabb requested “that Google correctly display information for America: Imagine The World Without Her in the same way it displays information for other movies currently in theaters.”
You’d think that would be a simple enough request for one of the world’s top search engines. But in this case, you’d be wrong. “I don’t know what the point of a search engine is if people can’t access the information they’re looking for,” a frustrated D’Souza told me today. In addition to no showtimes listed, no click-through poster for the pic appears in the Google banner search result — though 2004′s Team America, Fox’s The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Disney/Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the as-yet-unreleased The Avengers: Age Of Ultron do. Read More »
Marvel has introduced its new Avengers: Age Of Ultron baddie in a splashy EW cover spread, which also reveals the superhero sequel’s backstory tweak: Tony Stark creates Ultron to help the Avengers fight crime, only to see the self-aware A.I. bot (James Spader) turn on humanity itself. Here’s the first-look cover image that’s stoking anticipation for more Marvel superhero reveals at next week’s Comic-Con:
Marvel Comics‘ PR teased yesterday that it would be revealing an explosive new comic book title on The View. Why would Marvel choose that girly gab fest to unveil a superhero? Turns out they had good reason. They seem to have fired the Mighty Thor (in the comics at least; don’t worry, Chris Hemsworth, you haven’t been axed from tentpole duty) and are introducing a female replacement for the venerable God Of Thunder. It’s a new female superhero creation who has been handed the baton, or rather the mighty hammer, and will swing it against evil. Explained Marvel editor Will Moss: “The inscription on Thor‘s hammer reads ‘Whosoever holds this hammer, if HE be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.’ Well, it’s time to update that inscription. The new Thor continues Marvel’s proud tradition of strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Black Widow and more. And this new Thor isn’t a temporary female substitute. She’s now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy.” Wow, Chris Hemsworth, call your agent quick! The new comic will be written by Thor: God Of Thunder‘s Jason Aaron with art from Russell Dauterman. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: No big surprise that today Marvel and Disney asked the Supreme Court to deny a petition from the heirs of Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men co-creator Jack Kirby. “This case presents a factbound application of a test uniformly adopted by the lower courts under a statute that does not apply to works created after 1978,” said a response filed today (read it here). “It implicates no circuit split, no judicial taking, no due process violation, and no grave matter of separation of powers. It does not remotely merit this Court’s review,” added the media giant’s main attorney in the matter, R. Bruce Rich. In case, Marvel’s rejection of the heirs desires were not clear enough, the Disney-owned company really hits it hard elsewhere in today’s response. “In likely recognition of the fact that the statutory question does not satisfy the requirements for this Court’s review, petitioners turn to a series of bizarre constitutional arguments raised for the first time in this Court,” says Marvel. “Those arguments only underscore that none of the questions presented merits this Court’s plenary consideration.”
In a move that could have huge copyright implications for the entertainment industry if it went before the nine justices and they found in the heirs’ favor, Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby petitioned the SCOTUS this spring to hear their much-denied case. The heirs contended they had the right in 2009 to issue 45 termination notices to Marvel and others including Fox, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Pacific Ocean Post, the postproduction sound facility in Santa Monica, is closing its doors for good at the end of business today, throwing some 15-20 employees out of work. The company did post sound for blockbusters including The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Despicable Me 2 along with Best Picture Oscar winner Argo.
POP Sound’s closure is the latest chapter in the collapse of a once-vast empire of sound mixing and editorial facilities owned by Empire Investment Holdings. Empire-owned Soundelux, Hollywood’s largest independent post house, recently filed for bankruptcy, and its facilities in Hollywood, Burbank and Santa Monica have been closed, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs.
Related: Soundelux Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy; Pink Slips For 30
“Everything is being closed,” Soundelux bankruptcy attorney Leslie Cohen told Deadline. “It’s moving into equipment liquidation mode under Chapter 11.” And a POP sound mixer said: “I’ve never seen so many companies going down all at once. I absolutely loved working here, and to see it all going down is incredibly sad.” Read More »
The Very Big Opening of Transformers: Age Of Extinction did nothing to lift the box office for the first half of the year. It’s basically flat when compared to 2013, down .8%. The box office summer — which semi-officially begins the first Friday of May — is way off, down 14.9% from 2013, when the box office was plumped up by such films as Iron Man 3 and Monsters University. We have neither a $300M grosser nor do we have a $100M opening weekend yet. It would be great to see Fox’s The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes pull it off, but expectations are that we won’t see it until November, when Lionsgate bows its adaptation of the first part of the last book of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games‘ trilogy, Mockingjay.
Last year was a record year at the box office. “Comparing to last year’s record, you have to keep up and hit it of the park every time and that’s difficult to do. It’ll happen next year, but it a cyclical business,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media anaylst with Rentrak. “People can talk about all these external forces going on like The World Cup and weather, but when you have the product, it delivers.”
Right now, Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures Godzilla is the only picture in history to have had an opening weekend larger than $90M that has yet to cross $200M mark for its domestic cume. This past weekend … Read More »