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The Rock teaming up with DC in 2014

- December 31st, 2013
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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. REUTERS FILES

It appears DC Comics smells what The Rock is cooking – and it wants some.

Dwayne Johnson has revealed on Twitter that he and Warner Bros. are teaming up to create something “cool.”

 

Could that mean Johnson is set to join Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel sequel? If he does appear, we’d lay our money on the action star playing the supervillain Doomsday instead of Lex Luthor.

Johnson is no stranger to the comic book world. In the past, he has been linked to the role of Black Adam in a proposed Shazam movie, and he was also in talks to bring DC’s interstellar bounty hunter Lobo to the big screen.

If The Rock joins the DC Universe, which character do you think he should play? Sound off in the comments.

Paul Walker’s scenes will be featured in ‘Fast & Furious 7′

- December 23rd, 2013

Updated:

Universal has confirmed that Paul Walker’s scenes will be part of Fast & Furious 7. In a statement released to EW the studio said, “Continuing the global exploits in the franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker lead the returning cast of Fast and Furious 7, which will be released by Universal Pictures on April 10, 2015. James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series, and Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel return as producers.”

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Vin Diesel first announced that Fast 7 will be released on April 10, 2015, Sunday night.

Originally slated to open July 11, 2014, the new date will presumably allow director James Wan and writer Chris Morgan some time to revise the script to “retire” Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner character from the long-running franchise after the actor’s death in a fiery car crash on Nov. 30.

Diesel broke the news on his Facebook page and shared a photo from the last scene the pair shot together.

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Diesel wrote: “The last scene we filmed together…There was a unique sense of completion, of pride we shared… in the film we were now completing… the magic captured… and, in just how far we’ve come… Fast and Furious 7 will be released… April 10th 2015! P.s. He’d want you to know first…”

Earlier this month, there was speculation that Walker’s brother Cody might step in and film some of his remaining scenes, but there has been no official announcement on how the film will address the fate of Walker’s character.

In addition to Walker and Diesel, Fast & Furious 7 stars Lucas Black, Jason Statham, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

In an interview with Collider last month, Walker confirmed that Universal was eyeing as many as three additional sequels.

“The studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10. I’ll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there’s at least an 8,” he said. “That’s a guarantee.”

‘Game of Thrones’ star Emilia Clarke lands Sarah Conner role in ‘Terminator: Genesis’

- December 14th, 2013

Turns out starring on Game of Thrones is pretty good training for battling cyborgs. So it’s no surprise – okay, maybe a little – that Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) is set to play Sarah Connor in Terminator: Genesis.

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Emilia Clarke. REUTERS FILE

According to Variety, Clarke and Brie Larson (21 Jump Street) tested for the part in the upcoming reboot, which is being helmed by Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor.

Zero Dark Thirty star Jason Clarke has been cast as the new John Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to return to the franchise that cemented him as a leading action star.

Connor has been played by Edward Furlong, Nick Stahl, Christian Bale and Thomas Dekker in previous Terminator films and a short-lived television series. So I think it’s fair to say that no one has yet mastered the role.

The new film, which is slated to hit theatres on July 1, 2015, will now focus on on casting Kyle Reese, who was played by Michael Biehn in the 1984 original (wow, that makes me feel old).

Plot details are scarce – at one point it was rumoured that the film would take place in the 1940s and feature Arnie battling The Rock – but Terminator: Genesis will be the first film in a new standalone trilogy.

In an interesting twist, copyright for the Terminator franchise reverts back to James Cameron in 2019, so the new films will have to be produced fairly quickly.

What do you think of the casting? Is it good news for the franchise? Are they making a mistake bringing Arnie back for a fifth instalment? Sound off in the comments.

Fast & Furious 7 rumour: Paul Walker’s brother to film final scenes

- December 14th, 2013

Earlier this week we brought you the news that screenwriter Chris Morgan is in the process of rewriting Fast & Furious 7 to “retire” the late Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Conner from the series. I know it sounds morbid, but Fast 7 is one of the most highly-anticipated films of 2014, and with filming halfway done, it’s a foregone conclusion that director James Wan is going to have to finish the picture.

Universal has suspended shooting the film until January at the earliest so Morgan can revise the script in a way that gives O’Conner a proper sendoff and sets the franchise up for an eighth instalment with stars Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Michelle Rodriguez Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Lucas Black. But as for how filmmakers will account for Walker’s film exit (presumably he’d be killed off in the series) will be tricky given how he died in real life.

Today’s latest Fast 7 rumour hints that Walker’s younger brother, Cody, may step in and film his final scenes. The source of the news is the Daily Mail, so take it with a heaping grain of salt.

The pair look similar and Cody, again this is a rumour, could conceivably film Paul’s scenes “from behind and at distance.” If they need to shoot something close-up, Paul’s face could be CGI’d in post-production.

Of course nothing is certain, and the Daily Mail is quick to point out that Cody’s involvement is by no means a lock.

“If Cody agrees it’s because he wants to honour his brother’s memory. There are many details that still need to be worked out, but right now the family and cast and crew are all still grieving.”

If this is the way filmmakers proceed, then it will allow Fast & Furious 7 to play out, for the most part, the way it was intended before setting up ensuing sequels that could focus on Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and Lucas Black’s Tokyo Drift character, Sean Boswell.

What do you think of the idea? Sound off in the comments.

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What will Paul Walker’s death mean for ‘Fast and Furious 7′?

- December 1st, 2013

UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fast 7 won’t be scrapped. Filming, which was set to resume Monday, will be delayed.

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Following the tragic death of 40-year-old actor Paul Walker Saturday afternoon, one of the biggest questions in the weeks and months ahead will undoubtedly be: What happens to the Fast & Furious franchise?

Walker was currently shooting the seventh instalment in Atlanta with co-stars Vin Diesel, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Ronda Rousey, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Lucas Black, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster and director James Wan. Filming was then scheduled to move to Abu Dhabi in January, with the finished product hitting screens July 11, 2014.

The actor’s final post from his Twitter page teased Fast 7:

The Fast & Furious series was one of Universal’s most profitable franchises, and the role of Brian O’Conner was the one Walker was most well-known for. It was also a part he loved being identified with.

“I get that a lot,” Walker told USA Today from the Atlanta set of Fast & Furious 7 in one of his last interviews. “I’m Brian a lot more than I’m Paul Walker, which is awesome. When I hear, ‘Hey Paul Walker!’ my hair stands up on the back of my neck. It’s uncomfortable. But when I hear ‘It’s Brian!’ it’s cool. I like Brian.”

In a recent interview with Collider, Walker revealed that there were plans for as many as three more Fast & Furious films after the seventh.

“The studio supposedly wants 8, 9 and 10,” Walker said. “I’ll be 50. Even if 7 were to [tank], there’s at least an 8. That’s a guarantee.”

It’s unclear how many more scenes Walker still had left to shoot on Fast & Furious 7, but he was central to the franchise and his character, along with Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, would have continued to be a focal point in ensuing sequels.

Other actors have died during a film shoot, and directors have found a way to complete the picture. Heath Ledger’s final scenes in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus were completed by Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp. More recently, director George Sluizer completed River Phoenix’s Dark Blood 20 years after the actor’s death.

For a film of this magnitude, I imagine that Wan and scriptwriter Chris Morgan will have to rework the storyline so that the seventh film honours Walker’s legacy and provides closure for the franchise.

But given how he died, and the subject matter of the Fast & Furious films, how they account for his character’s fate will have to be handled with the utmost care.

Despite whatever plans Universal had for the series, I can’t envision Fast & Furious without Brian O’Conner. He was the heart and soul of those movies.

For many people, myself included, the Fast & Furious films had become a summer tradition. It was popcorn fun at its best – and I mean that in the highest regard. It was a series that continued to evolve and get better with each new entry (Tokyo Drift being the lone exception).

“The thing that’s pretty crazy is that neither Vin nor I were going back to do the third one,” Walker told Collider. “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.”