With a filmography that includes roles in some of the highest-grossing movies of all time including The Avengers, Iron Man and the Star Wars series Samuel L. Jackson clearly knows how to pick ‘em. And that is entirely intentional. His current film Django Unchained, in which he is reunited with frequent director Quentin Tarantino opened to strong grosses on Christmas Day and is already looking like another solid box office hit.
In the film he plays Stephen, the conniving house slave for Leonardo DiCaprio‘s despicable character Calvin Candie. As the manipulative slave, Jackson says he is playing perhaps the most hated negro in cinematic history. He’s fine with that. “At least he’s a memorable character. I mean Quentin writes interesting characters. I’ve been pretty despicable in most of his films. People loved Jules (Pulp Fiction) but he’s a murderer. People loved Ordell (Jackie Brown) but he’s a murderer. Stephen has an unusual take on slavery. He’s okay with it,” he says and is not worried about what African American audiences might think (Spike Lee has already chimed in to express his displeasure with the film’s depiction of slaves). “I hope he’s reviled, and people want to see him die. People enjoy him, but it’s strange. He’s a funny guy in a way, despicably funny. People laugh at Stephen and what he does, but you know they do want to see him dead.” But still slavery is a serious subject and Jackson … Read More »
I’m hearing that How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders has emerged as the front runner for the role of SHIELD Agent Maria Hill in the Joss Whedon-directed The Avengers and that a deal could be done before the weekend is out. The role has been the subject of high speculation since Samuel L. Jackson gave it up in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he would be reading as Nick Fury alongside five actresses vying for an unidentified female sidekick role. That audition happened yesterday. Reports had V’s Morena Baccarin, Jessica Lucas and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as other candidates. Smulders wasn’t completely unknown to Whedon. In fact, he liked her as a candidate for Wonder Woman when he was working on that superhero film. Deadline has learned that the role is Maria Hill, who in the comics was the ruthless interim executive director of SHIELD, who was not above blackmailing and bullying superheros to get her way. She was eventually supplanted in that top job by Tony Stark aka Iron Man. As with all Marvel movies, the deal comes with a pile of options for appearances in future superhero films. She’s repped by UTA and Roar. Marvel Studios starts production in April, which presumably falls into Smulders’ TV hiatus on the CBS sitcom.
The Avengers will be released by Disney May 4, 2012, and it shapes up as … Read More »
Samuel L. Jackson gave an interview to Jimmy Fallon last night that has the geek crowd salivating and speculating. Jackson said his Nick Fury character will be getting a new female sidekick for The Avengers movie that will pool all the Marvel Comics superheroes. Jackson said that he’ll test with five young actresses this Friday. I’m sure that the Marvel suits aren’t happy that Jackson revealed this. But having had the pleasure to do The Playboy Interview once with Sam, I can tell you that this is why Jackson left me wishing I could ring him up every week. He tells it like it is. Here’s the video (please excuse the annoying ad that precedes it):
2ND UPDATE: Marvel tonight put together the most high-profile panel of any Hollywood studio at this year’s Comic-Con. From left to right, ”Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr., “Agent Phil Coulson” Clark Gregg, “Black Widow” Scarlett Johansson, “Thor” Chris Hemsworth, “Captain America” Chris Evans, “Nick Fury” Samuel L. Jackson, and the newest members “Hawkeye” Jeremy Renner and “Hulk” Mark Ruffalo (TOLDJA! Marvel & Ruffalo Ink Hulk Deal), as well as The Avengers director Joss Whedon, and Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige who’s also the producer. It was indeed a big deal that the studio assembled “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Agent Coulson together on screen and on stage for the first time. That prompted an insane reaction by assembled audience: massive standing ovation at end, and same when Jackson came out, and same for Whedon announcement. Also there was a good reaction for Thor stuff. Captain America didn’t give fans a lot, but still generated a decent crowd pop.
Here’s what happened at the very end of today’s panel: Auditorium goes dark. Samuel Jackson’s voice starts talking about earth’s mightiest heroes. A giant “A” onscreen becomes “AVENGERS.” Out comes Jackson, and introduces the team. Clark Gregg! Scarlett Johansson! Chris Hemsworth! Chris Evans! … Read More »