Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dan Aykroyd Says ‘Ghostbusters 3’ Will Happen With or Without Bill Murray

Mr. Dan Aykroyd, you’ve accomplished many things. You’ve been in some of the biggest comedies of all time—Caddyshack 2 notwithstanding—and you’ve used your celebrity to launch a pretty good brand of vodka with an aesthetically pleasing bottle. However, your fascination with making Ghostbusters 3 with or without the involvement of Peter Venkman himself, Bill Murray, is a bit troubling.

In a recent interview on The Dennis Miller Show, Aykroyd said that the plan is to start shooting next spring whether or not Murray finally agrees to participate.

“Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray,” the actor said. “That is our hope. We have an excellent script. What we have to remember is that Ghostbusters is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver]. The concept is much larger than any individual role and the premise of Ghostbusters 3 is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.”

You know, I’d love to be excited about this, Ghostbusters fanboy that I am. But come on. One of the reasons why the original Ghostbusters film worked so well was the fact that Peter didn’t really take the ghostbusting thing all that seriously. He counteracted the stoic nerdiness of Egon Spengler (Ramis) and the giddy exuberance of Ray Stanz (Aykroyd). You add in the blue-collar sensibilities of Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) and you have the perfect team dynamic. Without Peter, things would fall apart pretty quickly, and we’d end up with something a lot worse than Ghostbusters 2.

He went on to say that in the new movie, Ray will be blind in one eye and unable to drive the Ecto-1, while Egon will be too fat to strap on his proton pack. Hilarity will ensue, apparently.

“We need young blood and that’s the premise,” Aykroyd said. “We’re gonna hand it to a new generation.”

Aykroyd wants the new team to include three guys and a young woman. To listen to the whole interview, head over to DennisMillerRadio.com.

Yoda Puppet Gets Digitized in ‘The Phantom Menace’ on Blu-ray

Don’t act so surprised, fellow nerdlings. As reported on /Film and a myriad of other movie sites, Lucasfilm and the folks at Industrial Light & Magic have made additional visual tweaks to the Star Wars films in preparation for the saga’s first-ever Blu-ray release on Sept. 16. Chief among these cosmetic alterations is the appearance of a completely computer-animated Yoda in The Phantom Menace, replacing Frank Oz’s Yoda puppeteering in the 1999 prequel.

Now, I’m certainly not the only person to note that the bug-eyed, creepy and out-of-place version of Yoda in The Phantom Menace was downright ugly, so I’m sure we’re all glad Lucas and his team made the change to at least make the look of the character consistent with the other prequels. However, it’s disheartening that Oz’s final performance as the wizened green Jedi has been excised from the films forever.

If you watched the special features on the Revenge of the Sith DVD released in 2005, you’ve known that a digital Phantom Menace Yoda has been in the works for quite some time, and was probably completed years ago. However, this Blu-ray release will be the first time we’ll see the CGI character in the actual movie.

Head over to /Film to watch The Phantom Menace’s CGI Yoda in action.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Robert Downey Jr. Talks ‘Iron Man 3’ and Reuniting with Director Shane Black

For whatever reason, it’s seemingly impossible for a film studio to churn out a compelling third installment in a superhero franchise. From Superman 3 to Batman Forever to Spider-Man 3, comic book fans typically acknowledge the third installment in a previously successful series as the point at which a combination of studio meddling and creative fatigue reduces formerly compelling protagonists into broad caricatures and, in some cases, even parodies.

Keeping that unfortunate reality in mind, many fans are looking ahead to Iron Man 3 with some trepidation. After all, original director Jon Favreau left the series after the second installment, and many Marvel enthusiasts doubt that new writer/director Shane Black will be able to keep the character of Tony Stark interesting on his own after he teams up with Captain America, Thor, Hulk and the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in next summer’s The Avengers.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog, series star Robert Downey Jr. allayed many fans’ concerns with the future of his character and the series that kick-started the cinematic Marvel Universe back in 2008.

“My sense of it is that we need to leave it all on the field—whatever that means in the end,” Downey said of the film, due out in May 2013. “You can pick several different points of departure for that.”

Downey previously teamed with Black in 2005 for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a tongue-in-cheek take on the film noir genre. Black’s other writing credits include Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2 and The Last Boy Scout.

“He’s more than the sum of his parts and he’s also kind of been a sleeper for a long time,” Downey said of Black. “We’re not talking much about [the script] right now because Shane is off writing and we talked before that and when we are talking again the talking is going to be over pretty quick [because we're on the same page]. It’s kind of like we’re fighting on the same side and at the same time we’re circling each other, so it’s all great. It should be great.”

For the full story, head over to Hero Complex by clicking here.

What if Ghost Rider Has to Pee While He’s on Fire?

Such questions will indeed be answered in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, a sequel to Sony’s almost-terrible 2007 big-screen debut of Marvel’s Brimstone Biker. Nicolas Cage is back as Johnny Blaze, punishing evildoers with his flaming motorcycle, flaming vomit and—shockingly—his flaming urine.

I don’t understand why we’re getting a Ghost Rider sequel, save for the fact that Sony probably needed to churn out another movie to hold on to the film rights. Regardless of why it’s happening, we’ll get to see Spirit of Vengeance in February 2012.

Watch the trailer below.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anne Hathaway Sounds Off on Catwoman Reaction

It’s no secret that comic book and movie geeks are hard to please, even when it comes to hot women in skintight leather. So I guess none of were surprised over the backlash against Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman duds in some leaked photos from the set of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises.

MTV News caught up with the Oscar-nominated actress, who had some interesting things to say about fans’ response to her costume. Watch the clip below.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

‘Game of Thrones’ Director Could Helm ‘Thor 2’

Variety reports that Marvel Studios and Disney are eyeing Game of Thrones director Brian Kirk to electrify Thor 2, set for release on July 6, 2013.

Thor pulled in $447 million worldwide under the directorial leadership of Kenneth Branagh, who has said he will not helm the sequel despite being invited back into the director’s chair. Following an appearance in next summer’s Avengers team-up film, Chris Hemsworth will once again play the titular Asgardian thunder god.

Although there are a few other directors’ names being kicked around, I think Kirk would be an ideal choice given his superb work on HBO’s Thrones series, especially considering rumors that the sequel will delve deeper into Norse mythology.

According to Variety, Thor co-writer Don Payne is returning to write the screenplay. For the full story, click here.

UPDATE: Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman Suit Revealed! Or Not!

Late last week, photos of a catsuited Anne Hathaway straddling a Batpod—totally not a euphemism—made its rounds on the ‘net, generating a ton of speculation as to how Selina Kyle’s feline alter ego would factor into Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which hits theaters next summer.

On Saturday, notorious entertainment blogger Perez Hilton added more fuel to the fire with this unobstructed, full-body still of Hathaway’s Catwoman, complete with futuristic goggles and a noticeable lack of actual cat elements. However, a number of websites and even a few of you have noted that this graphic is a total fake. A fraud. a sham. Not real.

Move along, folks! Nothing to see here!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Look: Henry Cavill as Superman!

This Man of Steel publicity still of Henry Cavill wearing Superman’s iconic threads has been making comic book geeks lose their mind all day, and deservedly so. Judging by the shot, director Zack Snyder’s going to be putting a lot more emphasis on action this time around, which should be a welcome change of pace after Bryan Singer decided to make The Last Son of Krypton mope around for about 30 minutes too long in 2006’s Superman Returns.

Now, Cavill as Superman? He certainly looks the part, even though Superman’s iconic “S” spit curl seems to be missing and the suit looks like it might have more of a scaled texture to it than the spandex we’re used to. However, this graphic—with all of its sparks and twisted metal and unnatural light—suggests that Snyder is still giving in to his excessive stylistic urges. This means we’ll likely see an abundance of slow-motion action scenes and CGI environments which, after his polarizing Watchmen and his bizarre Sucker Punch, might not be received all that well by casual audiences. We’ll see.

Man of Steel is scheduled for release on June 12, 2013.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wort Report Double Feature: ‘Captain America’ and ‘Harry Potter’

And we’re back. It’d be no understatement to say that the last month was the busiest 31 days of my life, and after three weddings and my first-ever trip to San Diego for Comic-Con International I’ve been more than a little worn out. All that being said, The Wort Report is officially back as my life approaches something resembling normalcy.

With all of my traveling in July my free time was fairly limited, but I actually did manage to make it to the multiplex to check out Captain America: The First Avenger as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Now, I’m more than aware that most of you geeks out there have seen both of these flicks, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to revive The Wort Report by weighing in on both of these blockbusters.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel Studios strikes again. Not only does director Joe Johnston’s film work as a standalone World War II-era superhero epic, but it does an amazing job setting the stage for next summer’s Avengers team-up flick. Chris Evans makes Steve Rogers a hero we honestly want to root for, and the film maintains a 1940s serial-esque sense of swashbuckling adventure that sets it apart from Marvel Studios’ other franchises, namely Iron Man, Thor and The Incredible Hulk.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

This was another highly anticipated film that lived up to the hype, wonderfully capping off a series I never thought I’d enjoy as much as I do. Throughout the years, I’ve really appreciated how these movies—much like the books—evolved from kiddie fare into mature dark fantasy that rivals even Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy in its scope.

This second half of Harry’s final adventure hits all of the right emotional notes, largely thanks to superb directing by series veteran David Yates. I’m not crazy about the way the epilogue was handled (Potter and his friends don’t age much in 19 years, do they?), but the film otherwise succeeds as a proper send-off for characters we’ve all grown up with over the past decade.