Robert Downey Jr. Joins ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

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It looks like the team-up of Spider-Man and Iron Man seen in Captain America: Civil War won’t be the duo’s last.

Robert Downey Jr., who plays the red and gold-armored Marvel character, has closed a deal to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony’s reboot of the web-crawling superhero, sources tell THR.

Tom Holland will star as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and is making his debut as the character in Civil War (and already garnering praise for his take on the role).

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

The movie establishes a key relationship between Tony Stark/Iron Man and Parker and Homecoming will continue that thread.

Homecoming has been casting up ahead of its June start of production. Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, while Zendaya is one of the female leads. Tony Revolori, who starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Laura Harrier, who appeared in the soap opera One Life to Live, are also boarding the production, which is being produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Read the rest of this entry »


Marvel Unveils ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Licensees

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) ..Ph: Jay Maidment..?Marvel 2015

 reports: Marvel has unveiled a dozen of the licensees for next year’s “Captain America: Civil War” in the wake of  Marvel-Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” grossing $1.35 billion at the worldwide box office.

Marvel gave retailers a first look Wednesday at Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas with categories including apparel, accessories, footwear, core toys, sporting goods, consumer electronics, seasonal, costumes, party goods, stationery, food, home furnishings and collectibles.

“The Avengers team is both aspirational and hugely merchandisable, made up of multiple, unique heroes coming together with amazing skills, cool vehicles and a high tech headquarters. Captain America: Civil War’ not only gives us new storytelling for our favorite superheroes, but also introduces new ones allowing us to expand product lines for kids and fans.”

–Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products

Hasbro, Lego, Funko, Hot Wheels, Rubies, Mad Engine, C-Life, Jay Franco, Global Brand Group, Kellogg’s, Hallmark and American Greetings have signed on. The show will exhibit finished art and initial renditions of products, which will began landing on store shelves about eight weeks prior to the May 6 opening.

Paul Gitter, senior VP of licensing for Marvel at Disney Consumer Products, told Variety that the overall campaign will build of the success of licensed products for “Age of Ultron.” Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers’ Overpowers the Box Office

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Sequel ‘Age of Ultron’ pulls in $187.7 million domestically, but falls short of record set by the original film

Ben Fritz writes: Only for Marvel could this seem like a less-than-superheroic opening.

Avengers: Age of Ultron” opened to a phenomenal $187.7 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates, the second-biggest debut of all time. But many in Hollywood were surprised it came in 9% lower than the record set three years ago by the original “Avengers,” which also opened the first weekend of May and kicked off summer moviegoing season.

Saturday night’s boxing match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, along with the Kentucky Derby and NBA and NHL playoff games, undoubtedly depressed grosses a bit for “Age of Ultron,” from Walt Disney Co.’s consistently successful Marvel Studios. What’s not yet clear is whether the decrease in ticket sales indicate any audience weariness for Hollywood’s accelerating pace of big-budget “event” films.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

The movie industry is expecting a blockbuster summer at the box office, thanks primarily to highly anticipated sequels such as “Jurassic World,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” “Ted 2 and “Minions,” as well as Pixar Animation Studios“Inside Out.” If even a portion of the population is growing tired of such films, that could be bad for major studios.

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In good news, however, there are no signs of fatigue overseas. “Age of Ultron” has collected $439 million internationally after opening in many countries last week. Compared with the first “Avengers,” it has grossed 7% more in U.S. dollars and 31% more in local currencies in the same markets over the same period of time, said Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of distribution.

The most successful foreign country is South Korea, where the Avengerssequel has grossed $55.4 million. Part of the movie was shot and takes place in that country. This weekend, “Age of Ultron” set a record for the biggest opening of all time in Mexico, with $25.5 million. Read the rest of this entry »


John Anderson: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review: A Superpowered Spectacle

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Superheroes return in Marvel’s effects-and wit-filled sequel

John Anderson writes: Those truly committed to the Kremlinology of Marvel Comics will find “Avengers: Age of Ultron” a revelatory piece of 3-D entertainment. Who knew that the evil Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) had been working on the kind of robotics that would provide superhero/industrialist Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the groundwork for developing an artificial intelligence that could threaten the existence of all human life on Earth? Who knew The Incredible Hulk could be a romantic lead?

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For those more concerned with what “The Avengers” movies do best—outsize spectacle and wry comedy—“Age of Ultron” has to be declared a victory. “Victory should be honored with revels,” declares hammer-throwing Scandinavian elocutionist Thor (Chris Hemsworth). “Who doesn’t love revels?” answers snark specialist Stark. “Revels” is a good word to describe it all, if one tends to revel in effects-driven mass destruction for the good of mankind.

[Read the full text here at WSJ]

Director Joss Whedon, under the auspices of the almost supernaturally profitable Marvel-Disney alliance, has brought back the core of 2012’s “The Avengers”—Mr. Hemsworth, Mr. Downey, Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mark Ruffalo (the Hulk), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye)—along with several subordinate supervillains and heroes to embellish the plot and set up the sequel (well on its way, to judge by the closing moments of “Ultron”). They include the brother-sister act of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), whose superpowers are the result of Strucker’s experiments and whose antipathy toward the Avengers is rooted in the devastation visited upon their native Sokovia by now-reformed war merchant Tony Stark.

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If any of this seems complicated—the fictional Sokovia, for instance, or that there was also a Quicksilver in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”—you really have to just let it go, the momentum of the movie being too much for cogitation. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Is the Next Big Step for Korean Model-Turned-Actress Claudia Kim

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Imagine making your film debut in a movie that likely will gross more than $1 billion at the global box office. It sounds like a dream, but for South Korean model-turned-actor Claudia Kim, who has an important supporting role in Marvel‘s Avengers: Age of Ultron,” it is reality.

“I’m just so grateful. I auditioned without knowing what kind of project it was,” the 30-year-old Kim told Speakeasy in a telephone interview earlier this month. “Really, I was excited that finally I could do a movie. I’m so happy how it turned out.”

[Read the full text here, at Korea Real Time – WSJ]

Kim had previously appeared in Netflix’s “Marco Polo” series as well as several shows in her native South Korea, and now she is rubbing elbows with the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and James Spader. In “Age of Ultron, she plays Dr. Helen Cho, a leading scientist who hangs with the Avengers but ultimately becomes a pawn in the villainous Ultron’s (Spader) plan to dominate the world.

“I’m just so grateful. I auditioned without knowing what kind of project it was. Really, I was excited that finally I could do a movie. I’m so happy how it turned out.”

— Kim, in a telephone interview with Speakeasy earlier this month

Yet, while Kim is pleased to be involved in a project of this size and popularity, she tries to keep her career in perspective.  ”It’s still just another step for me, and it’s not because of this that I have such high expectations for the next project,” she said. “I’m just going to continue to think about what kind of films I want to do and what’s out there for me to audition for, and I love trying.”

From left, Cobie Smulders, Chris Evans, Don Cheadle, Claudia Kim, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. -  Marvel

From left, Cobie Smulders, Chris Evans, Don Cheadle, Claudia Kim, Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr. – Marvel

Kim also talked about how she discussed South Korean cinema with Evans, who starred in South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Snowpiercer,” and she revealed which “Avengers” cast member really went out of his way to make her feel comfortable on set. An edited transcript of the interview follows.

When you read the part of Dr. Cho, she is very involved with the Avengers, she’s hanging out at parties. Did you approach the part worried that you would be around all these big superhero types, or were you fairly confident in yourself?

Of course I was nervous and excited at the same time. I felt the same way on set, but everyone was so welcoming, they made me feel really comfortable. Personally, I loved the challenge.

What did you guys do on down time? Was there was a lot of talk? Did you have fun? Did you hang out?

What was so inspiring and something I wanted to learn was how comfortable they were on set. All together, they got along so well. They were just making jokes, and within that process they would think of something even more brilliant. I was just enjoying that process, really.

Was there any particular cast member that you felt you really connected with?

I can only say such nice things about everyone, but James Spader really — he’s such an established actor, and he has so much more experience, and I was so grateful because he would really take care of me. He would ask, “Where should Dr. Cho be in this moment?” Or, “How do you feel about this?” He would really talk to me from my perspective. He would really care for me, and I’m so thankful for that.

Uli Latukefu, left, and Claudia Kim in ‘Marco Polo.’ Netflix/Everett

Uli Latukefu, left, and Claudia Kim in ‘Marco Polo.’ Netflix/Everett

When you finally saw the movie, and you saw yourself in front of this 10-foot evil robot instead of James Spader, how did that make you feel? Read the rest of this entry »


‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’: Hundreds of German Theaters Boycotting Marvel Film

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Ryan Gajewski reports: The heroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron won’t be assembling at a number of German theaters.

“We are worried, particularly about eastern Germany. When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theaters to close.”

—  Karl-Heinz Meier, spokesman for advocacy group I.G. Nord

Theaters in 193 small towns in Germany are refusing to screen the Marvel blockbuster, citing Disney‘s raised rental fee for the film, according to German publication Deutsche Welle. In total, the film is being kept from 686 screens.

Cinema owners told DW that they were taken aback when Disney announced it was upping the fee from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales. Additionally, Disney is cutting its advertising spend and will not provide advances for 3D glasses. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Marvel Mania: Who’s Up for Some New ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Footage?

 writes: It seems like Marvel can do no wrong these days. Every movie the company releases is a smash hit at the box office, and the upcoming film Avengers: Age of Ultron should end up being one of the studio’s biggest blockbusters of all time. Now, with the new Avengers movie inching ever closer to its premiere less than three weeks from today, Marvel has once again teased fans with a brand new clip from the film.

We’ve seen several Avengers: Age of Ultron trailers at this point, and Marvel has released a number of clips as well. We even have some great behind-the-scenes footage to enjoy from the upcoming superhero flick. And now, we can toss yet another tantalizing clip onto the pile….(read more)

BGR


[VIDEO] Tony Stark’s New Element: Iron Man 2010: ‘It Tastes like Coconut…and Metal’

Tony Stark aka Robert Downey Jr. is testing the new element he rediscovered

 


[VIDEO] It’s Hulk vs Iron Man In New ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron‘ Teaser Trailer

Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1, 2015

The trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron have so far given us hints of an epic, city destroying, to-hell-with-the-clean-up and insurance costs battle between the Hulk and Iron Man and a new TV spot teaser from Marvel gives us just that little bit more.

We still have no idea why Iron Man dons the Hulkbuster armor to take on his rage-filled fellow Avenger, but we do get to see more of Black Widow, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Captain America and Hawkeye and Nick Fury all look equal parts concerned, confused and a little afraid….(read more)

The Hollywood Reporter


Iron Man is Forever. Robert Downey Jr. Isn’t

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For The VergeRoss Miller writes:

After weeks of back and forth, will he or won’t he, Marvel finally announced Robert Downey Jr.‘s next appearance as Tony Stark / Iron Man, playing counterpoint to Chris Evans’ Steve Roger in the NSA-fueled Captain America 3.

But the most interesting part of the announcement is this behind-the-scenes blurb from Variety:

Originally, Marvel wanted to hire Downey for a small role, which would have required just three weeks of work. But Downey wanted Stark to have a more substantial role in the film’s plot, which would give him more screen time and naturally a bigger payday. This angered Marvel Entertainment chief Ike Perlmutter, who ordered the screenwriters to write Iron Man out of the script entirely, according to 51ZfnmGAFdL._SL250_sources with knowledge of the situation.

[Order the Big Box Iron Man 3 Movie Collection: Iron Man / Iron Man 2 / Iron Man 3 [Blu-ray]

Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. Tony Stark, likewise, is Robert Downey Jr. (with a dash of Elon Musk). There’s no point arguing otherwise; so much of Stark the character feels like an extension of Downey’s own. Marvel Studios has merged the two personalities into one inextricably linked entity, which is why Marvel is more likely to write the character out completely rather than recasting. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Official Trailer ‘The Judge’ Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga

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From the YouTube description:

In theaters October 10th. From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes “The Judge,” starring Oscar® nominee Robert Downey Jr. (“Tropic Thunder,” the “Sherlock Holmes” films, the “Iron Man” franchise), Oscar® winner Robert Duvall (“Tender Mercies,” “Crazy Heart”) and Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring”). The film is directed by David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”).

In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

Starring alongside Downey, Duvall and Farmiga are Vincent D’Onofrio (TV’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent“), Jeremy Strong (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln”), Dax Shephard (TV’s “Parenthood”), and Oscar® winner Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade,” “Friday Night Lights”). The film also stars Oscar® winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter,” “Prisoners”), Leighton Meester (TV’s “Gossip Girl”), Ken Howard (“J. Edgar,” “Michael Clayton”), Emma Tremblay (“Elysium”), Balthazar Getty (TV’s “Brothers & Sisters”), David Krumholtz (“This Is the End”), Sarah Lancaster (TV’s “Chuck”), Grace Zabriskie (TV’s “Big Love”) and Denis O’Hare (TV’s “True Blood”).

Best reason to watch, right here: Vera Farmiga.

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Read the rest of this entry »


How Director Jon Favreau Learned to Cook for his New Movie