For almost two years, the go-to descriptor for Disney's Tomorrowland has been "mysterious." The very nature of the tentpole's story has been kept a secret. Until now, as the concept behind the project formerly known as 1952 has come to light.
Unless it hasn't. See, this could just be the next step in an elaborate mystery box game designed to keep us all very confused about what Tomorrowland is. But that doesn't appear to be the case.
Back before the vampire craze of the late-Naughties, Guillermo del Toro envisioned The Strain as an epic, horrifying vampire tale for television. When network interest ended up being predicated on making his story more of a comedy, however, the director opted to turn the tale into a novel trilogy co-written by Chuck Hogan. Having finished out the literary story, though, it looks like The Strain and its sequels may well come to television after all.
Actress Bai Ling has been successfully working in both Chinese, and American film and television projects for the better part of the last thirty years.
She first gained attention in the United States for her role as Myca in the beloved action film The Crow, and since then has gone on to appear in such popular and critically praised films as Nixon, Red Corner, Wild Wild West, Anna and the King, She Hate Me, Lords of Dogtown, Southland Tales, Crank: High Voltage, and Love Ranch. But it was her work on two of television’s most popular shows, Entourage and Lost, as well as two fan-favorite sci-fi films, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, that made the actress a household name around the world. Now Ling returns to the big screen with a small but pivotal role in the new movie Knockdown, which was released on DVD June 5th and opens in theaters on June 8th.
Knockdown, which was directed by Todd Bellanca, tells the story of undefeated boxing champion Jack “The Ripper” Stemmons (Casey T. Evans), and how his career was destroyed by a bookie (Tom Arnold) after he fixed one of Jack’s fights. In a rage, Jack brutally attacks the bookie and then escapes from everything he has ever known. Exiled half way around the world in Bangkok, Jack falls victim to the exotic and addictive spell of a prostitute named Nok (Ling). He soon learns that a scheming gangster sent the prostitute to trap him and get him back in the ring, but this time, in Bangkok’s notorious underground fight clubs. No matter how hard Jack tries to distance himself from his violent history, it is only a matter of time before his past; present and future collide in a twisted climax.
I recently had a chance to speak with actress Bai Ling about her performance in Knockdown and her experience making the film. Ling discussed her the new movie, why she took on such a small but important role, her mysterious character, her sexuality, being a woman, filming the intense sex scenes with co-star Casey T. Evans, tattoos, Bangkok, and why director Todd Bellanca desperately wanted her to be in the film.
Since he reinvigorated the Mission: Impossible franchise with the nigh-universally lauded Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, a big question has been just what Brad Bird would direct next, as his second live-action feature film. Anyone hoping that the animation maestro-turned-blockbuster-live-action helmer would get his passion project 1906 off the ground next might have to wait, as Brad Bird has signed on to Disney and Damon Lindelof's super-secret 1952.
Opening in theaters on April 13th is a new science fiction action film from writer/producer Luc Besson (Taken, The Transporter) and directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger called Lockout. The movie combines elements from some of the best genre films of the past twenty years including Die Hard, Blade Runner, Escape From New York, Demolition Man, and Avatar. Lockout features an excellent cast of actors including Guy Pearce (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Memento), Maggie Grace (Taken, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1), Peter Stormare (Armageddon, Constantine), Lennie James (Snatch), Joseph Gilgun (Harry Brown), and Vincent Regan (300, Clash of the Titans).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with actress Maggie Grace to discuss her work on Lockout. The actress talked about the new movie, its '80s and '90s action film influences, why its not just "Taken in Space," her character and how the part is different from her role in Taken, working with Guy Pearce, the relationship between their characters, the film's humor, working with two directors, and the movie's mind-blowing visual effects.
At WonderCon 2012 in Anaheim, California on Saturday, actress Maggie Grace (Taken, TV's LOST) appeared in front of a Ballroom full of fans to discuss her upcoming futuristic action film Lockout, which also stars Guy Pearce (L.A. Confidential, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) and was written by Luc Besson (Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick had a chance to speak with Maggie Grace before her panel on Saturday about Lockout, as well as the upcoming Taken sequel. Grace discussed her new film, the idea that it is "Taken in Space," working with directing duo James Mather and Stephen St. Leger, Guy Pearce kicking ass, and the plot of Taken 2, which involves Grace's character actually rescuing Liam Neeson and Famke Janssen's characters this time around.
Best known for his career-defining role as Michael Dawson on the phenomenally successful TV series LOST, actor Harold Perrineau has been giving impressive performances on television and in film for more than twenty years. The gifted actor has appeared in such popular movies as Smoke, Romeo + Juliet, 28 Weeks Later, and The Matrix Trilogy, as well HBO’s ground breaking TV series Oz, and ABC’s short-lived but critically acclaimed series The Unusuals. While Perrineau will return to television this summer on the new TBS series The Wedding Band, first he will be seen on the big screen opposite Oscar-winner Nic Cage, and Guy Pearce in Seeking Justice, which will open in theaters on March 16th.
In the film, which is helmed by veteran director Roger Donaldson (No Way Out, Thirteen Days), Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance) plays Wil Gerard, a man that’s wife (January Jones) has been brutally attacked. While she is in the hospital, Will is visited by a mysterious man named Simon played by Guy Pearce (Memento). Simon says that he represents an organization that helps people who are “seeking justice,” and makes Wil an offer that he cannot refuse. Simon will arrange to have a complete stranger exact vengeance on his wife’s attacker, in exchange for a favor from Wil in the future. He agrees to the deal, and unwittingly puts himself into a dangerous underground vigilante program. While continuing to protect his wife from the truth, he quickly discovers that his quest for justice could lead to deadly consequences and that all is not as it seems. Perrineau plays Jimmy, Wil’s best friend and confidante who has a big secret of his own that may be closer connected to Wil’s mysterious organization than he ever could imagine. Actress Jennifer Carpenter (TV’s Dexter) and veteran actor Xander Berkeley (TV’s 24) round out the film’s talented cast.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with actor Harold Perrineau about his role in Seeking Justice. The talented actor discussed the new film, his character, why he wanted to do the movie, working with director Roger Donaldson, Nic Cage’s unique approach to acting on and off the set, playing a character with a secret and creating his back-story, whether he would “seek justice” or not if given the chance, his next film; which is Kathryn Bigelow’s Untitled Bin Laden Project, his upcoming new TV series, and how he feels now looking back at his time on LOST.
Today was new book day at a comic book shop near you, and one of the big new issues was the first in writer Brian K. Vaughan's new original series, Saga. Appropriate, then, that the night also brought news relating to the book that put Vaughan very much on the pop-cultural map. New Line is continuing its years-long attempt to make Y: The Last Man into a movie by hiring a fresh writing team to start from scratch.
I recently had the immense pleasure of speaking with one of my all time favorite actors, Titus Welliver, about his prolific and impressive television work. But as accomplished as his TV resume is, the actor has just as distinguished of a film and stage career. Welliver first gained attention in the groundbreaking off-Broadway play “Riff Raff,” which was written, directed and co-starred actor Laurence Fishburne. He would eventually reprise the critically acclaimed role that he originated on stage as the sympathetic drug addict and part-time thief Billy “The Torch’ Murphy in the film adaptation of the play entitled Once in the Life, which also starred Fishburne and marked his feature film directorial debut. In fact, while the actor and I were chatting about the making of Once in the Life and his work in "Riff Raff," which also happens to be my all time favorite stage play, the actor happened to mention that he and Fishburne are discussing doing a revival of the show. “I have to say Laurence and I have been sort of toying with the idea of doing the play again even though it's been about twelve years since we made the film,” Welliver admitted.
While the actor is probably best known for his extensive television work that includes playing Silas Adams on HBO’s Western-based series Deadwood, the pivotal role of Kyle Hollis on the brilliant but short-lived NBC series Life, season three villain Jimmy O’Phelan on FX’s motorcycle gang series Sons of Anarchy, a recurring role on the current Fox series Touch with Kiefer Sutherland, and of course, as the Man in Black (A.K.A. the Smoke Monster) on ABC’s cultural phenomenon Lost. But he’s also appeared in many popular feature films including The Doors, Mobsters, Twisted, Assault on Precinct 13, and most recently Man on a Ledge, which opened on January 27th and is in theaters now. But his most famous film roles have come from his collaborations with fellow actor and now critically acclaimed writer/director Ben Affleck. Welliver first appeared in Affleck’s Boston-based directorial debut Gone Baby Gone as Lionel McCready, and also appeared as FBI agent Dino Ciampa in The Town (also set in the Boston area) opposite Jon Hamm (TV’s Mad Men). Now, Welliver will achieve the hat trick by also appearing in Affleck’s upcoming third directorial effort Argo, which will be the first of his films, as a director, not set in Massachusetts.
In addition to his successful stage and film work, actor Titus Welliver has appeared on some of the most iconic and beloved television series of the last decade and a half. While he was a regular on HBO’s acclaimed series Deadwood, Welliver has been mostly featured as a guest star on such popular and critically acclaimed shows as NYPD Blue, Prison Break, Supernatural, Life, The Closer, Suits, The Good Wife, and Sons of Anarchy, where he played the season-three villain Jimmy O’Phelan. But the actor is definitely best known by television audiences for his role as the Man in Black (A.K.A. – the Smoke Monster) on ABC’s mysterious island-set series Lost.
Welliver’s television domination will continue this week with the conclusion of his three-episode arc on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which culminates with Wednesday night’s episode entitled Willows in the Wind. The actor will reprise his role on the long-running CBS series as Mark Gabriel, the CEO of a Blackwater type company. In fact, Wednesday January 25th marks a big night for the accomplished actor because in addition to his episode of CSI airing, it is also the premiere of Fox’s new series Touch, which stars Kiefer Sutherland and features Welliver in a pivotal recurring role. The actor will also be appearing on an arc of NBC’s Grimm, as well FX’s upcoming series Powers, which is based on writer Brian Michael Bendis’ extremely popular comic book series of the same name.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Titus Welliver, who has truly been one of my favorite actors for a very long time. While we had a chance to discuss his latest film Man on a Ledge, and his role in Ben Affleck’s next directorial effort Argo, that portion of our conversation will run later in the week so that I can tell you now about what the actor had to say regarding all of his upcoming television projects. Welliver spoke candidly with me about working on multiple television shows, if he would like to return to being a series regular, his role on CSI, why Kiefer Sutherland’s performance on Touch will surprise you, which comic book character he will be portraying on Powers, his character on Grimm’s dark history, why he thinks the well reviewed series Life was short-lived, and what one fan of Lost said to him about his legendary role on the now-classic show.