Access Week In Geek: Sam Jackson Spills ‘Avengers’ Secrets (February 4, 2011)

In the Access “Week In Geek,” Sam Jackson spills some secrets from the upcoming Marvel movie vault, Hugh Jackman talks about bulking up for “The Wolverine” and an update on “The Dark Knight Rises.”

SAM JACKSON SPILLS “AVENGERS” SECRETS - Samuel L. Jackson appeared on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday night and probably much to Marvel Studios’ dismay, he unleashed what was probably some headline news sure to please movie fans of the upcoming “The Avengers” and its slate of crossover superhero movies.

“In the next month or so I have to do one day on ‘Thor,’ another day on ‘Captain America,’” Jackson told Fallon. “And in April we start ‘The Avengers,’ the big deal with everybody.”

“That’s some secret good stuff. If we were at Comic-Con, there would be a riot,” Fallon said after Jackson’s revealed his upcoming appearances as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury.

In 2012’s “The Avengers,” Jackson will join Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) in the all-star game for Marvel’s big screen super heroes. Before “The Avengers” though, he will apparently have stand alone cameos in this summer’s “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” as he did at the conclusion of “Iron Man” (though he had more screen time with a supporting role in “Iron Man 2”).

“’Thor’ and ‘Captain America’ are pretty much done, but I haven’t done my part yet. I’m just connective tissue for them to join ‘The Avengers,’” he said.

Given that “Captain America” is predominantly set in the 1940s, it is now likely to assume that that Jackson’s Nick Fury will appear at the end of the film when Chris Evan’s shield wielding super soldier is revived in the present day Marvel movie timeline after being frozen in ice for decades.

Jackson also broke news on a new female character to possibly join his character in S.H.I.E.L.D.

“I’ve gotta screen test five actresses on Friday. They have this new character. What I guess is my sidekick that’s with me all the time. They’re auditioning some girls right now for it.”

The Hollywood Reporter followed up the next day with a list of possible candidates on the hot list for this role:

Morena Baccarin (“V”), Jessica Lucas (The CW’s “Melrose Place”), Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother”), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World”).

Baccarin previously worked with “Avengers” director Joss Whedon on his short lived FOX TV show “Firefly” and its theatrical sequel “Serenity.” Although “V” is currently in its second season on ABC, the show wrapped production on its 10-episode order in December. She has been high on the rumor mill to play the Wasp, a founding member of the Avengers, even before Whedon was set to direct the film. As previously reported on, Baccarin addressed those rumors and said she was willing to re-team with Whedon if he called her to take part in “The Avengers.”

HUGH JACKMAN PUMPED & PUMPING FOR “THE WOLVERINE” – “I’m really, really pumped about it. I feel like all the planets are finally aligned to make a great movie,” Hugh Jackman told the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog about his excitement for “The Wolverine.”

“Straight off, it’s not a sequel, it’s a stand-alone, and I think we’re going to make one that people will describe as the best of the bunch,” he revealed.

Jackman will reteam with Oscar nominated director Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) for the fifth big screen adventure for the popular “X-Men” mutant.

“I’m as excited as anybody to see what we come up with. I know we’re going to be met with huge expectations. The expectations will be high, but he’s one of the great filmmakers out there. I worked with him before [on ‘The Fountain’]”, he said. “I’m beyond thrilled.”

Also expect to see a lot more of Jackman. Although Hugh says he currently weighs in at 210 pounds (with several weeks still away before filming begins), Arronofsky has insisted that Jackman actually bulk up more than the previous times he has played Wolverine.

“I was 190, something like that. I don’t know how much I want to give away about it, but Darren said with the last one, ‘Hey you looked great, but you’re so tall that in those long shots you looked kind of like Clint Eastwood, and that’s not Wolverine.’ He said that Wolverine, in the comics, is powerful, stocky, you know, he’s short and thick. So he said, ‘I want you to go there, get bigger,” Jackman said of his plans for the new film.

In what is sure to thrill hardcore fans, Aronofsky wants to get the chacter closer to the look of the comic books. One physical difference Jackman brought to the big screen version of Wolverine was his height. The Aussie actor probably stands almost a full foot taller in real life than the character does in the source material.

“He’s thick and it’s chunky and it’s powerful. I always think of Mike Tyson when he first came on the scene. Sometimes, he was a full foot shorter than his opponents and bent over [with this] massive build.“

“THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” UPDATES – Deadline reported this week that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in talks to rejoin his “Inception” director for the third and what will likely be the final film for Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. As always, rumors are flying fast as to who he might play, but it’s probably best to not even speculate at this point because Nolan is usually two steps ahead of everyone with the shroud of secrecy sorrounding his films.

Visual Effects Supervisor Paul Franklin dropped some hints to Screen Junkies about working with Christopher Nolan on the film, specifically on whether Tom Hardy will be digitally enhanced for his role as the muscle bound villain Bane.

“You’d have to ask Chris. I think he has his plan but we’re at a very, very early stage on the picture at the moment,” Franklin revealed.
”Obviously Two-Face was an example of fantastic digital prosthetic. They put tracking markers on Aaron Eckhart’s face and replaced one side of his face with CG. So that obviously had to be a digital thing but it’s based on a real performance. Aaron was delivering the lines, giving the performance,” he said.

“She looks phenomenal in the wardrobe,” said Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer regarding Anne Hathaway in her screen test for the film.

In an interview with Bleeding Cool, Nolan’s longtime collaborator since 2000’s “Memento” was specifically asked if Anne was tested for Catwoman, and not Selina Klye (the character’s alter ego). Neither Warner Bros. nor Nolan has yet to make any mention of Catwoman in regards to the film. But Aaron Eckhart was only referred as Harvey Dent leading up to “The Dark Knight,” leaving moviegoers to speculate if he would appear as the disfigured Two Face at some point in the movie, and we know how that turned out.

“The Dark Knight Rises” is scheduled for a July 20, 2012 release.

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