If you're ever casting a major motion picture and you need a reliable badass to bring some gravity to the proceedings, you'd do well to snag Ray Stevenson. The Irish-born actor played Titus Pullo on HBO's Rome, smashed skulls in the thoroughly ridiculous Punisher: War Zone, and appeared as bad guys in The Book of Eli and The Other Guys. More recently, he showed up as Volstagg in this summer's Thor. Apparently, director Jon M. Chu has no need for advice on Stevenson, since he cast the intimidating Mr Stevenson as a villain in next summer's sequel G.I. Joe 2: Cobra Strikes.
Ever since the post-credit sequence of the first Iron Man, Marvel Studios has been using each new franchise film to built towards the crossover The Avengers, currently in production under director Joss Whedon. With that film only a year away, though, we're starting to get an idea of the post-Avengers strategy. After successfully introducing the Asgardian God of Thunder in May's Thor, Marvel and Disney have announced that the tentatively-titled Thor 2 will hit theaters on July 26, 2013. Breakout star Chris Hemsworth will once again wield Thor's hammer, but Thor helmer Kenneth Branagh is not returning to direct.
The first poster for Captain America: The First Avenger dropped way, way back in February, before we'd seen even a glimpse of actual footage from the film, and that teaser poster featured a muted color scheme and a somber Cap. A second poster dropped today, in anticipation of an all new theatrical trailer, and this one is a whole lot more colorful and enjoyably propagandistic. This time, the focus is on Chris Evans' square jaw, a magic-hour sunset, and that exquisite shield, all with the stars and stripes flapping away in the background. Give a hardy salute to this handsome piece of posterism.
In Thor, Chris Hemsworth's title character wields a godly hammer that not only brings the thunder, but also returns to him like an obedient dog even after being hurled into the face of a frost giant or two. In the upcoming fellow Marvel movie Captain America: The First Avenger, Chris Evans plays the eponymous avenger, whose shield not only deflects bullets, but also returns to him after being slung at a Nazi or HYDRA baddie. A new behind the scenes featurette is all about Cap's shield, and it includes plenty of new footage, while going bck to the shield's cameos in Tony Stark's garage circa Iron Man and Iron Man 2.
Following the successful launch of Thor at the start of May, things have been pretty quiet on the Marvel Studios front as of late. With just over a month until the final puzzle piece leading up to next summer's The Avengers, though, Marvel and Paramount are set to escalate the promotion of Captain America: The First Avenger like none other. To wit: a whopping twelve new images from the film that mostly skip over Chris Evans in his full Cap costume, opting instead to highlight skinny Steve Rogers, supporting characters, and evocative WWII-era sets. Also present are two menacing new looks at Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, along with an entire army of HYDRA shock troops.
In Spider-Man, the first iteration of the familiar red-and-blue costume sported by Tobey Maguire is a crude sweatpants-and-balaclava combination, while Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr)'s Mark I super-suit in Iron Man is cobbled together from missile components in a Afghan cave. Similarly, the frequently-discussed and now-familiar costume that Steve Rogers so strappingly wears into battle in Captain America: The First Avenger is not the first patriotic outfit that Chris Evans will wear in the film. Today brings our first look at its amusingly spandex-style predecessor, complete with little wings on the mask.
Not many directors can successfully carry the marketing of a major summer movie without recognizable stars, an identifiable source material, or even a clear concept. Though it is only his third feature film, Super 8 was sold principally as collaboration between writer-director JJ Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg, whose early films served as inspiration for the would-be blockbuster. The nostalgic adventure opened with an estimated $37.0 million in receipts. This is not the huge take that would necessarily be expected from a Spielberg-Abrams joint, but it does exceed last week's less-than-stellar expectations.
As rumored, Leonardo DiCaprio is almost set to collaborate with Quentin Tarantino, as he is reportedly in talks to play the villain in Django Unchained, a Spaghetti Western-inspired revenge tale set in the post-Civil War American South. DiCaprio, who previously flirted with the role of Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds, joins fellow no-yet-locked actors Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, who ended up playing Landa. While DiCaprio will in all likelihood end up in the film, it seems that Will Smith is considerably less likely to star as Django, an escaped slave on a quest to free his wife.
The fifth entry of the theatrical X-Men franchise was the only major new release this weekend, but despite that, some box office forecasters predicted that X-Men: First Class would finish its first weekend behind last weekend's juggernaut The Hangover Part II. Alas, the mutant prequel debuted in first place, with The Hangover Part II dropping substantially after its huge opening and Kung Fu Panda 2 also seeing its audience dwindle considerably. First Class's estimated haul of $56 million is being interpreted as a disappointment by some, but context is crucial.
What happens when the sequel to the most successful R rated comedy of all time is released on Memorial Day Weekend? The Hangover Part II happens, earning an estimated $86.48 million over three days, accounting for the biggest weekend ever for a live-action comedy. Kung Fu Panda 2 followed in second place, not quite living up to its predecessor, with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in third place. It's an unusual weekend though, as both Hangover and Panda opened on Thursday, and will continue making it rain through Monday.