As we inch ever closer to 2012, summer movies that have – for the past months and in some instances years – attempted to maintain total secrecy will begin to come into sharper focus, as studios carefully mete out official information, building anticipation for these heavy hitters of the blockbuster season. One such project that has existed within a haze of mystery, rumor mongering, and misdirection is Prometheus, director Ridley Scott's first science fiction film since 1982's Blade Runner. The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly contains a substantial article and photo spread, so today we have new scans from the film, featuring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, Logan Marshall-Green, cool space suits, the bridge of the titular spacecraft, a giant head sculpture, and some very H.R. Giger-inspired production design.
There's a little challenge in marketing Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, as 2007's Ghost Rider performed pretty well and increased awareness of the Marvel Comics character, but was not generally well received by audiences or fans. So how can the sequel, which is very nearly a reboot in many important respects, bank off that awareness whilst also promising a wholly different experience, courtesy of aggro-directing duo Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor? Two new pieces of poster artwork for the sequel suggest that the approach in selling Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance is to go way, way over the top in order to convey the film's wild tone, which is miles away from Mark Steven Johnson's cartoonish round with the property.
As directors, Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine have an aggressive style that figuratively punches the audience in its solar plexus and then throttles its crotch. That approach is potentially perfect for a comic book character who is alternately a human biker and a demon spawn with a flaming skull where his head should be. With two new pieces of poster artwork for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, someone in marketing at Sony Pictures has nicely encapsulated the Neveldine/Taylor style (seen in films such as Crank and Gamer) with some pretty nifty images. So good you can practically feel your crotch getting mercilessly pummeled.
Like a watch that's expensive enough to steal, a proper heist movie is intricate and precise, with interconnected components working in harmony together to create a compelling story that always stays ahead of an audience's expectations. The structure of many films in this subgenre provide a template for an ensemble in which every character contributes something specific to the larger narrative goal while also populating the cast with unique personalities, all sharing the same basic motivation but clashing nonetheless.
As the title so succinctly conveys, Tower Heist is most definitely a heist movie. In the film, which hits theaters tomorrow, a group of hardworking hotel employees who discover that they've been the victims of a craven Ponzi scheme executed by a ridiculously wealthy, slick bastard, played by Alan Alda. With the schemer under house arrest in his lavish penthouse residence, a cast of characters played by Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Sidibe, and Michael Pena conspire to exact revenge by robbing him blind. In honor of Tower Heist and its tremendous ensemble cast, our latest Rogue 10 is a collection of characters who basically steal their respective heist movies, those irreplaceable and awesome characters who could support their own solo adventures with ease.
Mark Steven Johnson's 2007 take on Ghost Rider wasn't really the balls-to-the-wall demonic actioner that plenty of folks must have been hoping for, but was instead more of a standard superhero origin tale with a flaming skull and some nice new leathers. The upcoming sequel, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, is not a reboot, as it once again stars Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze and does not explicitly disavow the first film, but new directors and co-writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor are definitely taking a different approach. How different? The Comic-Con tagline for the sequel was "Fucking Your Shit Up in 3D February 2012."
At the SpikeTV Scream Awards this week, the first official clip from Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance played for the crowd and the audience at home. Now, of couse, that clip is online, complete with the sounds of a cheering crowd from the horror-centric awards show. The clip briefly shows Johnny Whitworth as the villainous Blackout before he turns into a demonic something-or-other, then re-introduces Ghost Rider himself.
Over this last summer, Marvel Studios had its second two-movie summer following the one-two punch of Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk back in 2008. The first of 2011's Marvel movies, Thor, managed to introduce the Asgardian setting and cosmic elements to the cinematic universe without fuss, which should allow the titular Thunder God played by Chris Hemsworth to integrate nicely into Joss Whedon's The Avengers.
For 2013, Marvel was planning another double-decker summer, with Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 both sating our need for seasonal superheroics, but now, it seems Disney and Marvel have pushed Thor 2 back about three and a half months to Thanksgiving.
When Alien arrived in theaters back in 1979, not only were audiences wholly and deliciously unprepared for the chestburster scene, but they also weren't expecting Sigourney Weaver's Ripley to end up being the character who escaped the Nostromo, as a then-unknown Weaver was surrounded by far more recognizable faces. Of course, Ripley went on to become something of an icon, and for his return to the science fiction universe of Alien, director Ridley Scott has created another strong female leading role. Noomi Rapace, the actress who first played Lisbeth Salander in the original Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, stars in Prometheus as Elizabeth Shaw, and while the 3D science fiction-horor film remains oh-so mysterious, Rapace has revealed some key elements of Shaw's character, and she sounds familiar in some crucial respects.
Of all the mysterious high-profile movies set for 2012, Prometheus might just be the most mysterious. Unlike, say, a trilogy-capping superhero movie, Ridley Scott's first science fiction film in 30 years hasn't needed to film on any metropolitan streets, and the production has managed to keep story and shooting details well under wraps. The "It's not really an Alien prequel but yeah it's totally an Alien prequel" movie has been playing a shell game for months, disavowing information from all over the place and, by some accounts, actively spewing disinformation online to throw spoiler-hounds off the trail.
Famously verbose Lost co-executive producer and screenwriter Damon Lindelof, who rewrote Prometheus from previous drafts by Jon Spaihts, recently discussed the film at length, and while there are plenty of vague teases, Lindelof also verified some information and discussed story and characters, specifically those played by Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender.
Swedish born actor Stellan Skarsgard may be best known for his roles in dramatic films like The Hunt for Red October, Good Will Hunting and Ronin, but thanks to Marvel Studios’ Thor, the actor will now forever be known as Dr. Eric Selvig to millions of super hero fans.
While the character is original to the Marvel film universe and did not appear in the comics, he will have a major role in next summer’s highly anticipated super hero team-up The Avengers, which will feature characters from all the Marvel movies including Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger fighting the good fight together. In Thor, Skarsgard’s Selvig is a research scientist working with the son of Odin’s love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), but as anyone who stayed through the end credits knows, he also has a very interesting relationship with Thor’s brother Loki.
Guillermo del Toro continues casting Pacific Rim, the mega-monster event movie that will combines two separate Japanese influences, pitting the massive, city-destroying monsters of Kaiju against humans piloting anime-inspired mech-bots. Variety reports that the one and only Clifton Collins Jr. is the latest addition to the slowly assembling ensemble. He joins Sons of Anarchy star and Undeclared alum Charlie Hunnam playing the lead, a pilot of one of the aforementioned mechs, with Stringer Bell himself Idris Elba as his mentor. Charlie Day of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is also set to play a presumably high-pitched scientist in the science fiction epic.