“Captain” Called To Duty
In addition to the big news this week that Chris Evans has reportedly signed on to play Captain America in Marvel Studios’ “The First Avenger: Captain America” (and in other cross-over Marvel films as well), there were several other interesting casting announcements made this week.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Angela Bassett will join Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively in “Green Lantern.” Bassett will be playing Dr. Amanda Waller, who in the DC Comics lore was a government agent in charge of overseeing the group of former super villains known as the Suicide Squad. The character was also featured in Cartoon Network’s animated “Justice League Unlimited” series and also made a surprise appearance on The CW’s “Smallville” this season played by Pam Grier. Waller has taken on various incarnations in the different shows, but one can’t help but wonder if Bassett’s version set to appear in “Green Lantern” will be used as a bridge character in any additional upcoming DC Comics based films the same way Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury has been used in the Marvel Studios films.
Also, Michael Bay revealed on his website that John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, and Ken Jeong will be joining Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Optimus Prime in “Transformers 3.” We can assume Jeong will be there for the (human) comic relief, but as much of an onscreen presence Malkovich can command, he could just as easily provide a pretty menacing robot voice for a new Decepticon.
TO 3-D OR NOT 3-D
In other Michael Bay news, the high octane director was very vocal in an Deadline interview with Mike Fleming this week regarding his opposition to what some consider the near out-of-control trend of studios converting films shot in 2-D to 3-D shortly before their theatrical release.
“Right now, it looks like fake 3-D,” Bay told Deadline. “This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3-D.”
Bay tried the process on some of his own “Transformers 3” test footage and told the site he was left cold by the experiment.
James Cameron, whose “Avatar” has been the big game-changer in the 3-D onslaught, also weighed in this week to Access Hollywood while promoting the film’s Blu-Ray Earth Day release.
“First of all, filmmakers should want to make their movies in 3-D. The director that directed ‘Clash of the Titans’ (Louis Leterrier), he didn’t direct a 3-D movie. He directed a 2-D movie and they slapped 3-D onto it at the last second in a way that I don’t think can possibly work,” Cameron said.
Coming from two of Hollywood’s top directors, whose films are consistent works of technical wizardry, one would hope studios would allow filmmakers more voice in the 3-D decision in the future. Just because a film is presented in 3-D in theaters doesn’t mean it was ever intended at the outset to be seen in 3-D.
“Avatar” was shot using a 3-D system that Cameron had been developing since 2003’s “Ghosts of the Abyss.” The next “Spider-Man” film (set for release in 2012), will be shot in 3-D, conceived and subsequently shot with the extra dimensions in mind by its director, Marc Webb. However, many of the live action films now being presented in 3-D (“Alice In Wonderland”) and future 3-D releases (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “Green Lantern”), are being shot as normal 2-D productions.
As Cameron alluded to Access, perhaps some of the scenes and shot decisions director Louis Leterrier made on the set of “Clash of the Titans” might have been vastly different if it was planned as a true 3-D film from the outset. “Green Lantern” was announced for 3-D presentation ever before a single frame of the film was shot, so director Martin Campbell can keep that firmly in mind and carefully plan out his film based on that.
Tim Burton has prior experience with 3-D conversion with “The Nightmare Before Christmas,“ a film he wrote and produced and has been annually re-released at Halloween using this process, while directors like Leterrier and “Harry Potter’s” David Yates could possibly see their films’ perspectives drastically changed at the last minute. And it will be interesting to hear down the line if “Spiderman 4” director Marc Webb knew his film was going to be shot in 3-D before he signed on. Though if the public keeps filling up the multiplexes and paying the higher 3-D ticket prices, the trend will inevitably continue.
MUNN TALKS “IRON MAN 2” RE-SHOOTS
Olivia Munn is perhaps one of funniest woman on TV you may not have heard of … yet. The raven-haired stunner is the co-host of G4 TV’s popular daily dose of all things geek chic, “Attack of the Show,” has a book coming out in July titled “Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek,” and has a cameo in the upcoming “Iron Man 2.”
In an interview with Complex Magazine, Munn revealed she had to re-shoot all her scenes in the sure-bet summer blockbuster.
“Jon Favreau called and was like, ’I’ve got good news and bad news: This is what’s happening in editing but we all really like you,’” she told the mag regarding her part. “Marvel and Jon had to add another character from the Marvel universe to keep me included.”
While re-shoots are typically not a good sign for a film, one has to remember this is “Iron Man 2” after all, and the trailers look kick-ass. But Munn reassured us that her second go round on the set was necessary and for a reason that should please fans.
“As they started to edit they realized it was becoming darker than what they’d expected and what my scenes had allowed for,” she said. “My parts were lighthearted and comedic.”
If there is one thing that makes fans happy these days, it’s the darker tone, not the lighter. Lesson learned — always go more “The Dark Knight” than “Batman and Robin.”
A new action-packed preview trailer for “Dr. Who” hit the Web this week, offering fans a longer preview of Matt Smith’s upcoming tenure as the recently regenerated 11th Doctor. A shorter teaser aired on BBC America following the final appearance of David Tennant’s 10th Doctor in January in “The End of Time: Part Two.” Smith has some big shoes to fill following the successful run Tennant had playing the long-running British science fiction icon. The new Doctor arrives on this side of the pond on April 17 on BBC America.