Stan Lee walks out from behind a curtain and emerges into Tony Stark's laboratory, now set up to accommodate cameras and press. Iron Man's suit is encased in the background, the floor is lit up as an enlarged replica of his electromagnetic chest implant, and his inventions, like J.A.R.V.I.S. and his particle accelerator, adorn the far wall. "I don't know how they did it," remarked the famed Marvel creator. "I can't wait to see the rest."
Stan "The Man" was in New York City to promote the latest brain child of Marvel Studios -- the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N., an interactive exhibit for Marvelites at Discovery Time Square that allows fans to immerse themselves in the world of 'The Avengers' films and S.H.I.E.L.D. Filled with movie props and costumes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- including the Chitauri chariot and weapons from 'The Avengers,' Loki's scepter and vintage Captain America memorabilia -- this S.T.A.T.I.O.N. transforms attendants into S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and dives into the science behind the famed superheroes and their abilities.
After checking out this exhibit for ourselves -- but not before Stan, of course -- we sat down with the true believer to chat about this one-of-a-kind experience and what's coming up next in the Marvel movie canon.
With a budget of upwards of a reported $180 million, it may have seemed like a surprise choice to tap Robert Stromberg to direct Disney's tent-pole summer offering, 'Maleficent,' starring Angelina Jolie as the title character made famous as the villain in 'Sleeping Beauty.' John Lee Hancock had been brought onto the project for reshoots, a notion that today Stromberg bristles at hearing -- claiming that Hancock was only there to help make cuts to the first act and any reshoots were still shot by Stromberg. Ahead, Stromberg addresses the reshoot stories in depth.
First of all, if you plan on seeing 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' but haven't yet, this is your one and only warning that a lot of spoilers are contained from this point on. Are we good? OK, here we go...
I can’t believe my good fortune when I found out that I was going to have the opportunity to sit down with a real life Sentinel. I’ll admit, my nerves were getting the best of me, but I have probably never prepared harder for an interview than I did for the Sentinel. I mean, how often does one get a chance to talk to one of the most deadly yet impressive machines that has ever been built in Earth’s history?
It's surprising to listen to a writer almost gleefully explain how he negated his past work, and such is the case with Simon Kinberg, who wrote and produced the time travel storyline of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past.' In 'Days of Future Past,' Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) consciousness is sent back to his younger, 1973 self, in an effort to prevent the mutant-killing Sentinels from ever being created. And, as time travel movies are wont to do, they can change what has come before. And one of those movies that came before, 'X-Men': The Last Stand,' was co-written by Kinberg.
There are some minor, non-specific spoilers in the below exchange with Kinberg (some much more specific ones will publish after the film's release), but he does dive into the psyche of a screenwriter who just may be undoing some of his own work.
Let's call this a victory lap for Nicholas Stoller. And, to be honest, Stoller deserves a victory lap after his movie, 'Neighbors,' surprisingly finished number one at the box office this past weekend (grossing over $61 million domestically to date) ousting 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' from the top spot. And, for Stoller, this marks the first time he's directed a number one film: His previous efforts -- 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' "Get Him to the Greek,' and 'The Five-Year Engagement' -- all fell short. And, for Stoller, he knew he had a hit movie when Universal stopped putting a limit on his daily per diem. Nicholas Stoller is officially a big shot.
Stoller called this past Thursday afternoon to discuss the success of 'Neighbors' (a movie, if you somehow don't know, about Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's quiet neighborhood being turned upside down by Zac Efron and Dave Franco's noisy fraternity) and, boy, nothing can put someone in a good mood like having an unexpected number one movie. Ahead, Stoller takes a 'Neighbors' victory lap; explains why he wasn't worried about naming his movie after an ill-fated John Belushi movie; and, as a bonus. tells us exactly where in the movie we can see Christopher Mintz-Plasse's penis.
Gareth Edwards is exhausted. As 'Godzilla' prepares to open in theaters this week, it marks the end of a four-year journey for the British director. After getting some insight into his production schedule and doing a little math, we calculated that Edwards worked over 13,500 hours making 'Godzilla'. If you worked a normal 40-hour work week, that's over six years of work, and Edwards did that in just two years of filming and post-production. It's an interesting shift for a director who got his start in the business by winning a film challenge where a movie had to be created, start-to-finish, in just two days.
Go Gareth Edwards is tired, but, as he notes, he's certainly not complaining ("The sound of someone complaining about directing 'Godzilla'...that's a guy you want to punch in the face."). The good news for Edwards is, the work has paid off, with this trilling new 'Godzilla' movie. We caught up with Edwards recently in New York City to talk about his lack of sleep, what specific sounds made up Godzilla's new roar and the many easter eggs he has hidden throughout the movie.
Not only did Simon Kinberg write and produce the upcoming superhero spectacular, 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' and its sequel 'X-Men: Apocalypse' and 2015's 'Fantastic Four' reboot -- he's also the creator and executive producer of 'Star Wars Rebels,' a new animated series that takes place between the events of 'Revenge of the Sith' and 'A New Hope.' (Kinberg is also involved in the development of the yet-to-be-announced 'Star Wars' live action movies.)
Kinberg is currently promoting the aforementioned 'Days of Future Past,' but the subject of 'Rebels' did come up (okay, yes, because I asked about it) and Kinberg explains what it's like to write for characters who appeared in the original trilogy (it's rumored Lando Calrissian plays at least a small role) and threading the needle between the people who love the Original Trilogy and the people who love the prequels.
Last week's FX 'Fargo' installment, "Eating the Blame," proved special in a number of regards, not only establishing a direct link between the 1996 Coen brothers Oscar winner and FX's own adaptation, but also for putting Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard's enigmatic mob men, "Mr. Numbers" and "Mr. Wrench," directly in Lester's (Martin Freeman's) path.
We had the chance to chat with Goldberg recently, wherein the 'Fargo' star revealed the difficult nature of shooting, 'Fargo''s movie tie-in and season 2 potential.
Last summer, ‘Saturday Night Live’ hired five new cast members to replace the large shoes left by the departures of veterans Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen – plus Tim Robinson, whose quirky style was, after just one season, reassigned to the writing staff. Those five new hires were Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, Brooks Wheelan, Kyle Mooney and John Milhiser. In January, the show added Sasheer Zamata. Then, in February, after the departure of 'SNL's' most tenured cast member, Seth Meyers, co-head writer Colin Jost joined the cast.
So, in a season filled with new faces – and a now whopping 17 cast members – competing for that ever-precious airtime, it’s notable that the new cast member who, at the very least, has had the most artistic impact on the show – and is certainly the boldest cast member this season – was introduced to the world by a nearly asterisked “promoted from the writing staff” designation...a 37-year-old actor/writer/comedian who used to go by the name Pat O’Brien.
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