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‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ title revealed

- November 6th, 2014

Disney has announced that filming has wrapped on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. They’ve also revealed the film’s full title – Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

force awakens

The film was shot at Pinewood Studios in London and Abu Dhabi. Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow joined the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie in the new film.

On the eve of filming, Abrams released a statement saying, “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again.”

The Force Awakens opens Dec. 18, 2015

It didn’t take long for people on Twitter to make fun of the title with #rejectedstarwarstitles becoming a trending hashtag on Thursday.

Here were some of our favourites.

Watch: ‘Chappie’ trailer with Hugh Jackman

- November 4th, 2014

Sony has just released its first trailer for Chappie, the sci-fi actioner from District 9 writer-director Neill Blomkamp.

Sharlto Copley plays a robot who, with the assistance of a young scientist played by Dev Patel, learns to paint and pen poetry. “He’s like a child; he has to learn,” Patel’s character says in a voiceover.

The film also features a villainous Hugh Jackman, who plays an anti-technology zealot. “The problem with Artificial Intelligence is it’s way too unpredictable,” he says in one scene.

The official plot synopsis is as follows:

Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.

Chappie opens March 6, 2015.

chappie

‘Captain America: Civil War’ will fail without Spider-Man

- October 28th, 2014

When Marvel Studios executive Kevin Feige took to the stage in Los Angeles on Tuesday, journalists and fans sat in awe as film announcement after film announcement was named, the microphone in his hand figuratively dropped.

From the last Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok to the announcement of Captain Marvel and Black Panther, Marvel’s first two-stand alone films featuring a lead actor of colour and a lead actress, the announcements were all a little dizzying.

One of the most exciting announcements, however, came in the form of the final Captain America film, officially named Civil War.

As comic book fans know, Civil War is one of the most important stand-alone series to come out of the publishing house. An all out battle that engages two separate teams led by Captain America’s Steve Rogers and Iron Man’s Tony Stark.

The war begins as a direct result of the United States government implementing the Superhuman Registration Act, asking any person or being with superhuman powers to break their anonymity and disclose who they really are.

civil-war

On one side, there’s Stark and his narcissistic, almost clinical need for constant attention and praise. He believes that as super powerful human beings, mutants, and other worldly creatures they deserve respect for constantly putting their lives on the line for the less than special human inhabitants of Earth.

On the other side there’s Rogers’ camp who believes losing their anonymity puts them at risk during their everyday lives and the lives of their families.

So commences one of the biggest wars ever scripted and illustrated in Marvel comics’ history.

The most important character in Civil War, however, is the young man in the tiny red and blue suit, the black outline of a radioactive spider embroidered on his chest.

While Spider-Man may not be the leader of either camp, he acts as the conscious overtone hanging over the war. He initially sides with Tony Stark revealing his true Peter Parker identity to the world, a crucial moment in the Marvel universe after fighting diligently to keep it top secret for years. Together, he fights Captain America alongside Stark and Hank Pym (meaning Ant-Man will make an appearance in Captain America 3).

spiderman

It all changes, however, when Stark constructs a prison in the Negative Zone, deemed Project 42. When Parker learns Stark is using the underground space to imprison their fellow super humans, he sees the error of his decision and abandons camp, joining Rogers’ rapidly falling side and taking up arms against his former leader.

In many ways, the use of Parker’s character acts as a pseudo-audience member. He’s just as confused as to why they’re fighting and like readers, is learning about the vicious ideas Stark has begun to use to win the war. Parker’s thought process echoes the audience’s own: when did this get out of hand, how is this happening, and is this fundamentally wrong?

Without Spider-Man, Captain America: Civil War just becomes another titanic fight of stubborn men with dominance issues.

spiderman-tony

Marvel Studios has been building up the animosity between Rogers’ and Stark’s characters since before the first Avengers, and as comic book readers are well aware, it all stems from issues they’ve had with Tony’s father and Steve’s pseudo-father, Howard Stark.

A fight between them is obvious, but above all else it’s boring. Civil War only works because of Peter Parker’s shining display of humanity in a war being fought by celestial beings and super human men and women.

It’s fantastical and Peter Parker keeps it grounded, relating to it as any non-super human being would.

Feige and his team may go ahead and produce Civil War without Spider-Man, but without him, it will not be the Civil War fans have come to cherish.

Without him, there is no conscience and there is no heart; the very ideals expressed by Mark Millar in the original pages of the seven part series stripped down to nothing of value to the other characters involved and the audience watching them with hopeful eyes.

‘Fast and Furious 7′ now called ‘Furious 7′

- October 27th, 2014

It looks like Fast & Furious 7 is getting a title change. Newly released posters on the film’s Facebook page have rechristened next year’s sequel, Furious 7.

The first trailer for the James Wan-directed folowup will drop Saturday, Nov. 1, at noon PST.

Furious 7 was originally slated to hit theatres last summer, but was moved following the tragic death of Walker on Nov. 30, 2013, outside of Los Angeles. At the time, the latest film, which integrates Lucas Black from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift into the storyline, was supposed to be the first of possibly three new sequels. New additions Kurt Russell, Jason Statham (as the villain), Djimon Hounsou and director James Wan were tapped to join returning stars Walker, Vin Diesel, Tyrese, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster.

Walker’s Brian O’Connor character will be “retired” from the series, but Fast VIII, IX and X are up in the air.

Walker reflected on the popularity of the franchise in one of his final interviews with Collider last November.

“Well, the studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10. I’ll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there’s at least an 8. That’s a guarantee. The thing that’s pretty crazy is that neither Vin nor I were going back to do the third one. They were going to do a direct-to-video 4. They were going to dispose it and be done with it. But then, Vin was like, ‘No, I’ll come in for a cameo,’ because it wasn’t testing well. He wanted to set up the fourth one and the studio went for it, and we got a second life. It was supposed to be done already.”

fast 7 1

fast 7

Furious 7 opens April 3, 2015.

DC vs Marvel: Which movies are going head to head through 2020?

- October 15th, 2014

Do you know what you’ll be doing in 2020? Don’t worry, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. have you covered.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Warner Bros. and DC executives revealed their full slate of superhero movies through 2020.

Leading off the previously announced Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League titles, DC also confirmed fans should expect to see stand alone Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Aquaman films, too, along with more individual Superman and Batman films.

The news comes just days after rumours flooded the internet that Marvel was pairing up Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Captain America (Chris Evans) for the third instalment of the latter’s popular movie franchise to launch the Civil War story arc.

The overload of news, rumours, and casting whispers has caused a foggy haze to settle over fans eyes. The most important question, still, is when the films will be released?

And in subsequent, which Marvel movie will go head to head with which DC movie?

Although certain dates have been announced, Warner Bros. and Marvel Studios have left the majority of their slots blank, but that didn’t stop us from trying to crack the less than cryptic code.

Note: This list will ignore Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron as DC doesn’t have any films scheduled until 2016. Marvel wins that round via forfeiture.

2016:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice versus Captain America 3

The amount of controversy surrounding the release date of these two films is unbelievable. Both have been previously slotted for earlier or later dates, but changed to better secure a successful weekend win at the box office.

In the end, Warner Bros. and DC decided to take Batman v Superman out of the spring/summer box office game altogether, slotting it for a safe March 26 release date. Post Oscars and pre-blockbuster season will cement its massive financial payday.

If the two were going head to head, however, our bets would be on Captain America 3, which is scheduled to be released on May 6. While Batman v Superman has the curiosity angle where audiences are concerned (who doesn’t want to see if Ben Affleck can pull off the Caped Crusader), the launch of Civil War, easily the most important mini-saga in the Marvel universe, will win over the majority of theatre goers.

Doctor Strange

Casting rumours are always a little hectic, but the amount of names being thrown in the pot for one of Marvel’s oldest superheroes is a little over the top. With that being said, it’s obvious there is no shortage of anticipation for the film. With no DC heroes slotted to take on the wizard, Marvel automatically wins the summer season.

WINNER: Marvel

2017:

First unannounced Marvel film – Hulk movie (May 5)

Considering Hulk is one of the most successful characters to come out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe re-framing, it’s only a matter of time until Marvel Studios Executive Kevin Feige and his team announce the green monster’s stand alone movie. Marvel isn’t going to want to throw a Hulk movie into the middle of blockbuster season, however, and May has always been testing grounds for the studio.

Summer: Justice League (June 23) versus Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (July 28)

As popular as Guardians of the Galaxy is, all bets are on Justice League taking home the summer box office. Much of this depends on how Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice does in 2016, and how much people are willing to complain about director Zack Snyder again on Twitter. The Guardians sequel will undoubtedly pull in bags of money for Marvel, but it’s not a Justice League versus Avengers scenario. Most theatre goers will choose the massive DC team for the first time on screen over Chris Pratt and company’s return.

Winter: Wonder Woman (November 17) versus Ant-Man 2 (November 3)

Like Marvel and the possible Hulk standalone movie, DC isn’t going to risk putting Wonder Woman as their number one contender when it comes to summer blockbuster competition. The November slot is perfect for action buffs who are trying to find a decent movie to watch while in the thrall of horror and Oscar season, guaranteeing a payday for the studio. As for Marvel, they don’t like to keep their franchises too far apart in release dates. November 3 would be almost two and half years after the first Ant-Man is released in 2015, making it the perfect spot for its sequel to debut.

WINNER: DC

2018:

Pre-blockbuster season: Aquaman (March 27) versus Avengers 3 (May 4)

It may seem odd for a movie like Aquaman, not even one of DC’s more popular characters, to go up against the third Avengers movie, but there’s little doubt that’s what Marvel has scheduled. The top of May spot has always been used for an Avengers movie when it’s an Avengers year (alternating otherwise between Captain America and Iron Man), and 2018 will see the third instalment of the film. DC slotting Aquaman a couple of months earlier is their way of retaining as much profit as they can before Marvel’s financial beast is released.

Summer: The Flash (July 27) versus Doctor Strange 2 (July 6)

With the third Avengers movie out there, Marvel could slot whatever they wanted to and still win every weekend at the box office. 2018 would see the appropriate time for Marvel to release a Doctor Strange sequel, and it would be a great Avengers-team free follow up for Marvel fans. This summer belongs to Warner Bros., though, with the Flash’s debut. Starring Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), The Flash is easily the most hyped up DC film following Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

Winter: Howard the Duck (November 2)

Remember the ferocious little duck from the ‘90s, or at the very least the fearsome looking duck from the post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy? This is his time. With no competition from any major blockbuster character, Marvel slotting an unusual character like Howard the Duck toward the end of the year would be their best bet at getting him off the ground.

WINNER: Marvel

2019:

Pre-blockbuster season: Justice League 2 (April 5) versus first Civil War installment (May 3)

Again, May has historically been a massive part of Marvel’s movie roll out. After unveiling they were going to try and bring their beloved Civil War story to the screen, questions immediately poured out from fans about whether that meant they were negotiating securing partial rights to use Spider-Man from Sony. If the latest rumours from the Sony camp are true, Marvel is heading toward that right now. 2019 will give the studios enough time to sort out the legalities and bring Spider-Man into the Avengers universe.

DC will try to give Marvel a run for their money with the Justice League sequel, but if Spider-Man does make it onto the big screen with Captain America and Iron Man in an all out comic book war, there’s no hope for the latter company.

Summer: Shazam (June 14)

Usually, putting a character like Shazam up as the main attraction mid-summer would be a risky decision. With no competition from the Marvel camp, however, it’s a guaranteed success.

WINNER: Marvel

2020:

There’s no competition from Marvel this year (or at least there isn’t yet), so be sure to keep an eye out for the standalone Cyborg film on April 3 and the revamped Green Lantern film on June 4.

WINNER: DC