31 Mart 2010 Çarşamba

Big Iron Man 2 Viral Update: Nifty Stark Expo 2010 Website

Big Iron Man 2 Viral Update: Nifty Stark Expo 2010 Website: "
Stark Expo 2010

Ever since Stark Industries started accepting job applications last July, we've been waiting for an Iron Man 2 viral to kick off. Although this new website isn't necessarily connected to that original site, it looks like this is the only big viral element of Iron Man 2's online marketing campaign that we'll see. A brand new website for the Stark Expo 2010 has launched at starkexpo2010.com and it contains some pretty nifty photos, graphics, and a plenty more. There's a little bit of interactivity and it's pretty cool to check out, but besides that I don't think this leads to any other viral websites or anything else exciting. Read on for more details.

The site says the opening date is May 7th, 2010 which is not-so-coincidentally the same day Iron Man 2 arrives in theaters nationwide. There's a fairly awesome gallery of photos (rather, concept art images) if you click on the may box in the middle of the site. And there's also a teaser video and interactive 3D map of the expo area for those of you planning out where you're going to spend time once you get inside. If only they were actually planning on opening this expo for real, that would be awesome. Sadly, I think this website is just a virtual tie-in to the expo in the movie, which we're guessing plays a very important part in the plot.

As far as we know, no one else has found any hidden clues on the site anywhere, but there maybe some out there, so start looking around. I've included some of the concept art photos from the gallery below as well. Head over to the website and let us know if you find anything cool hidden on there (or anywhere else on the web) related to Iron Man 2. There's only 38 more days left until the sequel arrives in theaters everywhere!

Stark Expo 2010

Stark Expo 2010

Stark Expo 2010

Discover More: Cool Stuff, Hype, Viral News


Sam Worthington Confirms Involvement in 'Dan Dare' Movie

Sam Worthington Confirms Involvement in 'Dan Dare' Movie: "
Sam Worthington / Dan Dare

Earlier this month we reported on a casting rumor that Aussie actor Sam Worthington would be playing Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future in an upcoming adaptation of the sci-fi British comic book series about the chief pilot of the Interplanet Space Fleet. I didn't think the news was false, however it's always good to get solid confirmation from the person involved. MTV talked with Worthington recently, who confirmed that he is involved with Dan Dare as well as another comic book adaptation called The Last Days of American Crime (first reported last November). Best of all, he seems pretty damn excited about taking on Dan Dare.

''Dan Dare,' same type of thing — we're seeing how they're going to develop it and where they want it to go,' he said. 'I'm at that stage now where I want to do movies where I get my $16 worth. … Something like 'Dan Dare,' there was something in the reboot by [Garth Ennis] that was amazing.'

If he enjoyed the series enough and feels like a Dan Dare movie could be one that is worth paying $16 for, then I'm all for it, too. That reboot he's talking about is a reboot of the comic that launched in 2008 through Virgin Comics (pick it up on Amazon). Introduced in 1950, the property is one of the UK's most successful comic series ever and is described as a British version of Buck Rogers. Originally, no writer or director was attached, but I have a feeling they have a script or spec at least, or else Worthington wouldn't be speaking so enthusiastically about this. I'm not even sure why, but I'm pretty damn excited about this adaptation as well.

Discover More: Casting News, Movie News, Opinions


Stephen Dorff Joins War of the Gods, Possible Title Change?

Stephen Dorff Joins War of the Gods, Possible Title Change?: "
Stephen Dorff

Slowly but surely the cast of the Greek mythology epic War of the Gods has been growing and it sounds more and more intriguing. Now Variety reports Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies, Blade - seen above) will join Kellan Lutz, Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto in the Tarsem Singh (The Fall) directed film, which tells the story of Theseus, a warrior (Cavill) who leads his men into battle with immortal Greek gods to defeat evil elder gods of the Titans in order to save mankind. Dorff will play Stavros, a master thief who joins him on his quest. There's also rumblings (via SlashFilm) that it may now be titled Dawn of War.

Though it sounds a bit generic on paper, Singh's enthusiasm and talk about his style and approach to the film definitely makes it sound pretty killer. Tarsem explained a bit to Empire back in January of this year:

'It's turning into, basically, Caravaggio meets Fight Club. It's a really hardcore action film done in Renaissance painting style. I want to see how that goes; it's turned into something really cool. So it's a bit like Baz Luhrman doing Romeo + Juliet in Mexico; it's just taking a particular Greek tale and half contemporising it and telling it.'

That sounds pretty awesome to me. But we'll be waiting until November 11th, 2011 (yes, 11/11/11) before we see it in theaters - as that release date was recently set by Universal. After all, this Renaissance painting presentation is going to take a lot of time to perfect in post-production and will be an effects bonanza not entirely unlike 300 or the new Clash of the Titans (due out this weekend). Though, I'll admit the cast leaves a little something to be desired, Singh is a fantastic up-and-coming filmmaker, and having him behind this project rather than another big name director makes it all the more intriguing. Anyone else interested?

Discover More: Casting News, Movie News, Opinions


Anna Faris Drafted in New Line's Remake of Private Benjamin

Anna Faris Drafted in New Line's Remake of Private Benjamin: "
Anna Faris

It looks like Goldie Hawn is the key to a new trend in remakes. Not only did we recently learn that Jennifer Lopez is moving in on a remake of the romantic comedy Overboard, but now Risky Biz reports New Line is looking to remake the 1980 comedy Private Benjamin with Anna Faris starring. Amy Talkington (that sounds like a made up name) is in line to write the script which will be a new take on the story of a spoiled woman who joins the Army after her husband dies during sex on their wedding night. Believe it or not, this is a well-respected comedy that was one of the top grossing films of 1980 and even got Hawn an Oscar nom.

Even the screenplay (co-written by Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer and Harvey Miller) was nominated for an Oscar that year, and it sounds like this remake will tread softly in following their footsteps. Risky Biz reports that the new take will set the story in contemporary times with modern wars as the backdrop, but they don't want to poke fun at the men and women in the service or take political potshots (obviously), but rather stay focused on the empowerment elements and build on the fish-out-of-water comedy. This is another in a big push of remakes of older comedies from New Line and Warner Bros, who also have a reboot of the National Lampoon's Vacation series on the way, not to mention a Police Academy remake. But does anyone care?

Discover More: Casting News, Movie News, Opinions


M. Night Shyamalan Responds to Last Airbender Race Issues

M. Night Shyamalan Responds to Last Airbender Race Issues: "

The Last Airbender

I have a feeling that the controversy surrounding The Last Airbender’s casting won’t die down anytime soon. At a recent round table event, several journalists gathered to chat with Shyamalan about the film. He answered some general questions about it (check out io9’s full coverage of the event), but inevitably the conversation steered towards the race issues surrounding the casting of the film’s leads.

Shyamalan seemed to have thought a lot about the controversy, and ultimately champions the film as an example of racial diversity. Some choice quotes from him after the break.

When asked about the casting issues surrounding Sokka, Katara, and the Fire Nation, he responds:

Here’s the thing. The great thing about anime is that it’s ambiguous. The features of the characters are an intentional mix of all features. It’s intended to be ambiguous. That is completely its point. So when we watch Katara, my oldest daughter is literally a photo double of Katara in the cartoon. So that means that Katara is Indian, correct? No that’s just in our house. And her friends who watch it, they see themselves in it. And that’s what’s so beautiful about anime.

As a fan of both the Avatar series and anime, I’m going to have to disagree with Shyamalan on this one. While many anime characters do display Western features, much of that is simply stylistic. The trend towards large-eyed characters, for example, originally came from visionary artist and animator Osamu Tezuka — who was greatly influenced by Disney cartoons and other Western animation. Avatar, in particular, is a series that also doesn’t rely too much on the large eye style, and actually does feature non-ambiguous race depictions.

I’ll give Shyamalan some credit on his last point, because its certainly the case that we can see ourselves in other characters regardless of their race. But at the same time, it doesn’t discount the fact that the film replaces all-too-rare minority depictions in media with standard white actors. It’s perfectly understandable for the film to stray somewhat from the source material, but when it means removing one of the few lead role depictions of non-white characters in a children’s series, it’s less so.

I do have a bit more sympathy for Shyamalan’s casting plight after reading the roundtable reports. He mentions that he spent a lot of time finding the perfect actors for specific roles, and didn’t keep their race or ethnicity in mind. Once he did land a role — for example, Dev Patel as Zuko — he was forced to shape the look of many other characters around them. After casting Patel, Shyamalan had to look for an Uncle Iroh that resembled him. He initially considered Ben Kingsley, but settled on Shaun Toub after loving his performance in Iron Man. And because of the casting for those two characters, the entire Fire Nation ended up having an Indian/Arabian look.

UGO also managed to talk to Shyamalan in a private call, where he summarized his feelings on the fan outrage:

Well, it is the most culturally diverse tent-pole movie ever made. And I’m proud of it. It’s part of what drew me to the material, to see the faces of our whole world in this new world. And only time will assuage everyone and give them peace. Maybe they didn’t see the faces that they wanted to see but, overall, it is more than they could have expected. We’re in the tent and it looks like the U.N. in there.

I don’t deny that The Last Airbender could wow us in its use of ethnically diverse background casting. I just wish we saw the same in the film’s lead casting, and that the villains didn’t end up being conspicuously darker than everyone else.

Ultimately, I get the sense that Shyamalan does care a lot about the project — enough to mount formidable arguments for his choices. Be sure to read the full writeup of the roundtable over at io9, where he goes in depth about many other aspects of the film.


Spielberg Paranoia Claims from Nicole LaPorte’s Book The Men Who Would Be King

Spielberg Paranoia Claims from Nicole LaPorte’s Book The Men Who Would Be King: "


Former Variety writer Nicole LaPorte has a book coming out in May called “The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks“. The New York Post has gotten an early look at the book, and has published a listing of some of the more shocking claims.

According to the upcoming hardcover, Steven Spielberg is so paranoid about security at his office that a never-used motorcycle is kept permanently parked outside in case he needs to make a quick escape. Escape? From what? The book claims that the director’s “passion for secrecy sometimes suggests a burgeoning near-paranoia.”

Other claims include: A plexiglass half-moon (what one Dreamworks security guard refers to as the “dome of silence”) is hung above Spielberg’s office desk to keep sound from reverberating, ensuring that his phone conversations remain ultra-confidential. According to the upcoming publication, Spielberg orders that a black cloth must be draped over the projection booth window to hide the screen when his long-time editor screens prints, and has live camera streamed to his home when he is not in the office — just in case. And not as surprising, Spielberg requires that every document that leaves the office, be it a script, development report, or even a memo, must be coded, so that if it ever to fall into the wrong hands the person responsible for the breach could be identified.

If any of this is remotely true, I’m beginning to understand where the movie Eagle Eye came from (Spielberg contributed the original paranoia-inspired idea). But it’s only paranoia if everyone isn’t out to get you. Remember that in September 2007, Spielberg’s office was burglarized. Photos, scripts, budget books and other important documents were stolen during the break-in. After trying to sell the stolen property to online movie websites, the thief was arrested and pled guilty to one count of receiving stolen property and one count of commercial burglary. He was sentenced to 28 months in jail.

From what I recall, no mention of any recorded footage or security craziness was made during the trial, which leads me to believe that not all of the allegations above are completely accurate. The book is being published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, so it must have been combed by big money lawyers. LaPorte claims that the facts in the book were learned after conducting nearly 200 interviews with current and former employees. As you might expect, DreamWorks’ three founders, Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, did not cooperate in the project.

Spielberg’s rep tells the Post that the claims above “is so far from the real world of Steven that it doesn’t deserve a comment. If the rest of the book is like this excerpt, readers can expect very little of what they read to be true.”One thing is for sure, true or false, big claims (like the ones above) will definitely sell a few books.

Update: Providing more information as to why someone like Spielberg might want a quick get-a-way cycle outside his office, Devin from CHUD reminds me that the filmmaker was the target of a bizarre kidnap attempt by an obsessed fan in 1997. According to Netscape:

The fan, Jonathan Norman, had reportedly been stalking Spielberg for some time when he trespassed onto the fantasy film guru’s Malibu estate and was nabbed by a guard. Police later found pictures of Spielberg and his family, duct tape, curtain rods, handcuffs and a utility knife in Norman’s possession, and determined that he was planning to kidnap and rape the director. Norman, as it turned out, was a paranoid schizophrenic.

The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks book cover

For those interested, here is the official description from the book:

For sixty years, since the birth of United Artists, the studio landscape was unchanged.Then came Hollywood’s Circus Maximus—created by director Steven Spielberg, billionaire David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave the world The Lion King—an entertainment empire called DreamWorks. Now Nicole LaPorte,who covered the company for Variety, goes behind the hype to reveal for the first time the delicious truth of what happened. Readers will feel they are part of the creative calamities of moviemaking as LaPorte’s fly-on-the-wall detail shows us Hollywood’s bizarre rules of business.We see the clashes between the often otherworldly Spielberg’s troops and Katzenberg’s warriors, the debacles and disasters, but also the Oscar-winning triumphs, including Saving Private Ryan.We watch as the studio burns through billions, its rich owners get richer, and everybody else suffers.We see Geffen seducing investors likeMicrosoft’s Paul Allen, showing his steel against CAA’s Michael Ovitz, and staging fireworks during negotiations with Paramount and Disney. Here is Hollywood, up close, glamorous, and gritty.

And here are a few of the early review quotes:

“Power, grandiosity, arrogance, and incomprehensible ego. It’s Hollywood, of course, and Nicole LaPorte’s exhaustive non-fiction narrative of DreamWorks and the bizarre triumvirate of Spielberg, Geffen, and Katzenberg is stunning. The book reads like a novel and the reporting is impeccable. If you pick up one book about Hollywood, make it this one.” —Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and former coproducer of NYPD Blue

“Here is the brilliant, brutal, misguided, narcissistic history of DreamWorks in all its glory, with David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Steven Spielberg working unscripted, without handlers or publicists dimming the lights.into in a rosy glow. Nicole LaPorte has written a lively, cunning studio history that should be required reading for all students of modern Hollywood.” —Mimi Swartz, author of Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron

“This book has all the right elements: deep-dish research, attitude to burn, page-turning readability, and a great subject. It belongs up there with the classics of Hollywood reportage.” —Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘n’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood and Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America

“Nicole LaPorte may never be able to eat lunch in Hollywood again, but her potential loss is our gain: The Men Who Would Be King is a riveting and honest portrayal of three of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry. I couldn’t put it down and neither will you.” —William Cohan, author of House of Cards

The 512-page book can be pre-ordered now on Amazon for around $18-$19. The book will hit store shelves on May 4th 2010.


We’re Getting Old - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Live-Action Movie Was Released 20 Years Ago Today

We’re Getting Old - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Live-Action Movie Was Released 20 Years Ago Today: "

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I just learned that the Steve Barron-directed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie hit theaters exactly twenty years ago today - on March 31st 1990. I remember dragging my father to the local multiplex and waited in a line that stretched around the block to see this film on opening night. We’re all getting old… Feel free to leave your memories of the film after the jump. I’ve also included the film’s theatrical trailer for your enjoyment.


Sheldon Turner to Make Directorial Debut with By Virtue Fall

Sheldon Turner to Make Directorial Debut with By Virtue Fall: "
Sheldon Turner

During this past awards season, there was plenty of praise surrounding Jason Reitman for his work on Up in the Air (my personal favorite film from last year), but hopefully you also heard Sheldon Turner's name being tossed around since he co-wrote the adapted script along with Reitman. Now the writer is set to make his directorial debut as Variety reports Turner will direct By Virtue Fall. He also wrote the script, which is about a man who is framed by his mentor and winds up in prison. Once released, he's fixated on getting revenge on his former partner, who has flourished in his new life and tried to cleanse himself of the past.

Sounds pretty generic, but aside from Turner's involvement behind the camera, producer Nicolas Chartier, who also made an Oscar splash with the Best Picture winning The Hurt Locker, is also on board. Turner has long desired to direct, and By Virtue Fall was one of those films he couldn't put into somebody else's hands, 'I approach it cautiously and reverently. This script was the first I've written that made me feel like I had no choice but to embark on my directing career. I cannot imagine anyone else directing this script.' Hopefully, we won't have wanted somebody else to direct it in the end either. Stay tuned as this project develops.

Discover More: Movie News, Opinions


New Posters: Iron Man 2 Character Poster and True Blood Season 3

New Posters: Iron Man 2 Character Poster and True Blood Season 3: "Marvel has released a new character poster for Iron Man 2, and HBO has released another teaser poster for True Blue Season 3. Check out both, after the jump.


New Posters: Iron Man 2 Character Poster and True Blood Season 3

New Posters: Iron Man 2 Character Poster and True Blood Season 3: "Marvel has released a new character poster for Iron Man 2, and HBO has released another teaser poster for True Blue Season 3. Check out both, after the jump.


Stephen Dorff Joins Tarsem’s War of the Gods

Stephen Dorff Joins Tarsem’s War of the Gods: "

Stephen Dorff

Stephen Dorff (Blade, Public Enemies) is the latest actor to join Tarsem Singh’s War of the Gods, a new Greek mythology epic which will be filmed in a like 300.

Relativity Media paid mid-six against seven figures for the script by Charley and Vlas Parlapanides. Sleeper Code/Machine Gun Preacher scribe Jason Keller penned the most recent draft of the script. The official logline follows:

“A purported bastard who retains an allegiance to his mother despite the fact that he longs to join the quest of a king who is battling demons in ancient Greece later embarks on a grail of discovery that has him finding he is the king’s son and also fated to become his country’s greatest hero as he leads the successful war against long-imprisoned Titans who are hoping to use the demons to restore their power.”

Dorff will play Stavros, a character that Variety describes as “a master thief who joins Theseus on his quest to help free Greece from the dark threat of the Titans.” Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto plays Phaedra, an oracle priestess who must join Theseus (played by Henry Cavill) on his quest to prevent the cataclysmic war from erupting. Mickey Rourke will play King Hyperion and Twilight’s Kellan Lutz will play Poseidon. Warner Bros had toyed around with the idea of buying the Gods script for their remake of Clash of the Titans. Obviously, Clash was the first to go into production, and will hit theaters on April 2nd 2010. The same week production will begin on War of Gods. Universal Pictures will release the film on November 11th 2011.

Singh told Empire:

“It’s turning into, basically, Caravaggio meets Fight Club,” he said. “It’s a really hardcore action film done in Renaissance painting style. I want to see how that goes; it’s turned into something really cool. This guy who I really love, who’s the only one person in it right now, is the brother in The Tudors, Henry Cavill. I’m going for a very contemporary look on top of that so I’m kind of going with, you know, Renaissance time with electricity. So it’s a bit like Baz Luhrman doing Romeo + Juliet in Mexico; it’s just talking a particular Greek tale and half contemporising it and telling it.”

Earlier this month, The Montreal Gazette claimed that pre-production was put on hold while producers considered the possibility of shooting the movie in 3D in the wake of Avatar’s amazing success. But there is mo mention of 3D in the Hollywood Trades. It has also been rumored that the studio had changed the title of the movie to “Dawn of War“.

Tarsem is an Indian-born music video director (”Hold On” by En Vogue, “Sweet Lullaby” by Deep Forest and “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.), became acclaimed in the world of commercial directors, and made his feature film directorial debut with The Cell, followed by the 2006 film The Fall. He is known for his incredibly visual imagery and art direction. If you haven’t seen any of his films, check out the trailer for The Fall embedded below:


U.S. Copyright Group Sues 20,000 Individual Movie Torrent Downloaders; Lawsuits Targeting 30,000 More Are On The Way

U.S. Copyright Group Sues 20,000 Individual Movie Torrent Downloaders; Lawsuits Targeting 30,000 More Are On The Way: "


In what looks like it may be a repeat of the RIAA’s litigation against individual music piraters, Eriq Gardner at THR, Esq. is reporting that over 20,000 movie torrent downloaders have been sued recently for copyright infringement by US Copyright Group in Washington D.C. federal court. Five lawsuits have been filed against people who illegally downloaded the films Steam Experiment, Far Cry, Uncross the Stars, Gray Man, and Call of the Wild 3D. Lawsuits on behalf of five more films targeting another 30,000 people are on the way.

According to Gardner, US Copyright Group is utilizing proprietary technology from a company called Guardaley IT which allows them to see which movies are being downloaded via torrents in real-time. The Group is suing on behalf of a coalition of independent film producers (not on behalf of the MPAA, which nonetheless expressed interest in using the technology).

The lawsuits so far have been for films that aren’t widely known. The reasoning for this is to create a low key “launch” for these lawsuits, which are very much test cases for whether or not the legal strategy could work on an even wider scale. According to one lawyer at the Group, “We’re creating a revenue stream and monetizing the equivalent of an alternative distribution channel.”

There are several reasons why the MPAA has been loathe to sue individual movie downloaders thus far. Gardner lists three:

  1. Many believed that the RIAA lawsuits were a huge PR disaster, repeatedly attacking customers that were ostensibly music lovers and drawing loads of negative press.

  2. Current methods of identifying users can be unreliable. IP addresses can be faked and “false positives” can result in innocents being targeted.

  3. Internet Service Providers (ISP) aren’t eager to hand over the private information of their customers.

Thus far, one ISP has handed over 71 names and addresses, with eight of them already settling. If the current lawsuits yield financial dividends, it’s possible that downloaders of more popular films will be the next targets. If that goes well, larger groups like the MPAA might decide that the lawsuit game is one worth playing, although the future of this strategy is far from clear.

I’m all for content producers getting their fair share of the money, but suing individual downloaders has proven to be catastrophic in the past for a myriad of reasons, and it doesn’t look like this time around will be any different. Plus, my heart just goes out to the person out there who’s now being forced to pay thousands of dollars because he wanted to enjoy Uwe Boll’s Far Cry for free on a lonely Friday night. Doesn’t his life already contain enough disappointment?