Wondercon ’14: 20th Century Fox Presentation

Maze RunnerFox pictures have a number of exciting movies coming out this year, spanning a number of different audiences.

Guest moderator Ralph Garman introduced the first movie, How to Train Your Dragon 2. Director Dean DeBlois and surprisingly Jay Baruchel (voice of Hiccup) took to the stage. After showing a completed first five minutes of the movie (which looked fantastic by the way) DeBlois elaborated that this second film of what is to be a trilogy takes place five years after the first movie, showing how our characters and the village have both grown and learned to make living with dragons part of their daily lives. “We also see that Stoick (Hiccup’s father) has changed from seeing his son as an embarrassment, to becoming an overly proud dad that has high hopes for his son. Hiccup can’t deal with these aspirations.” And we’ll be introduced to a new villain, Drago Bludvist, and how he plans to put a permanent wedge between the humans and dragons. How to Train your Dragon is coming to theatres June 13th.

Following next, Ralph Garman introduced the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to the stage. Director Matt Reeves, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, and Andy Serkis. “This movie follows years after the virus is released from the first movie and humans are extinct, or that they are thought to be,” says Matt. “We see that Caesar now is the leader of his tribe, and he has a family; a wife, one teenage son and a new baby.”

As it later introduced into the film that humans are still alive, it creates a conflict between the two species and inside Caesar himself. “Caesar is an ape, but he also had a human dad,” explained the director. “And he knows how it is to lose someone you love, so he’s empathetic to the survivors. He has to walk a fine line between his feelings and keeping his tribe together. And we see how there was a possibility that two could have lived together, but of course we all know what happens. That’s not a surprise.”

After watching the short movie clip they show us and listening to the discussion of the internal struggles on both the important parties of the movie, it’s difficult to decide who you want to root for. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will be seeing theatres this July 11th.
Based off the widely popular young adult book by the same name, Maze Runner is what I see as a futuristic Lord of the Flies. This movie adapted by James Dashner’s book has all the makings of the next Hunger Games, by which I mean futuristic technology set in a forest setting, and the murder of teenagers. The movie does have some exciting action shots for those who like to run and fight, thrown in with a lot of CGI.

Presenting the movie were the director Wes Ball, author James Dashner, actor Will Poulter, and actor Dylan O’Brien (made famous by the series Teen Wolf). The author confessed that for his book a number of influences were the book Ender’s Game, the book Lord of the Flies, the show Lost, and his fear of mazes. “Remember in the Shining with the maze scene? Mazes creep me out. If you’ve ever been in a corn maze then you know.” The anticipated Maze Runner will be out September 19th of this year.

Moderator Ralph Garman introduced a last minute addition into the screening lineup. Coming out this fall is a spy movie called Secret Service. Its notable actors are Colin Firth (famous for many things including his portrayal of Mister Darcy in a BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice) and Samuel L. Jackson who will be playing the villain in this movie. Its setting is somewhere in the U.K., and the premise is that it deals with an organization that is funded by private investors as to not be hampered by politics and bureaucracy. The action sequences appear to be a faster paced Avengers, and technology stolen by Spykids. Still a work in progress.

And finally, what the Arena seemed to be waiting the most for, Ralph Garman introduced X-Men: Days of Future Past. The extended trailer and snippet of the movie looked beautiful and action packed. Unfortunately as a last minute change up, director Bryan Singer didn’t show (for reasons I’m sure we all know), but in his stead we had writer Simon Kinberg. He elaborated on things in the movie spanning from the politics in the 70’s, art styles of the bleak future and bright past, and as well as the convoluted concept of time travel. “Even though in the original comic that the movie is based off of they had Kitty go back in time, we decided that Wolverine worked better. James Cameron really helped us with the idea of time travel and how it scientifically would work, so you’ll see a lot of that in the film.”

In part of his final words, Simon Kinberg also added that he hopes this movie will make up for the failures of the 3rd X-Men movie, which was based off of the Dark Phoenix comic arc. X-Men: Days of Future Past will be out May 23rd; Not soon enough.

Studio Coffee Run: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver confirmed, Iron Man 3, Secret Service, Annie etc.

Iron Man is smashing records and breaking hearts, and it hasn’t even hit the States. Grab your fleece snuggie, oversized soda container, popcorn jug, and get ready for your super hero movie news fix for the week.

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The Iron Man franchise has generated $195.3M worldwide, knocking down Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($193M) from 9th place in the top international weekend openings. The movie and cast have  been getting some favorable reviews and high praise. (via hindustantimes)

This will be the largest release for any Hollywood film in India till date.  The movie being distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, will be released in about 450 digital screens and almost 350-400 single screens. The normal range for any big budget Hollywood movie is 200-250 screens.

Meanwhile, Marvel Studios head Keven Feige has confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that certain mutant siblings will indeed appear in Avengers 2:

Some online rumors turn out to be true, however. A source confirms to EW that the twin characters Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be joining The Avengers 2, which Whedon hinted at recently when he said he was writing a brother-sister duo into the movie. Feige maintains a poker face on that scoop, saying only: “I’m not confirming or denying. The draft could change six months from now.”

Well played, Kevin Feige, well played.


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Oscar winner Colin Firth has been cast to play Uncle Jack in the movie adaptation of Mark Millar’s The Secret Service comic. This is exciting news for fans of the series. Firth is a international renaissance man when it comes to acting, he can play anything.

For those not in the know, the comic is about a James Bond superspy who works for MI6 and takes his slacker nephew under his wing. Named ‘Uncle Jack’ in the comic, he mentors his nephew Gary in tradecraft, in the hopes that Gary can change and become an MI6 agent.

Per Mark Millar, “This is James Bond meets My Fair Lady.”

Director Matthew Vaughn also co-wrote the film script with Jane Goldman, the same team that brought you the first Kick Ass film and X-Men First Class. Both say the film will follow the comic closely. The film is expected to to be released November 14, 2014. (via Latino Review)

 

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Production photos of Marvel’s Captain America: Winter Solider surfaced on my Tumblr feed. It looks like Steve Rogers is finding his place in the “new” world by integrating penciled neck suits; and there are also photos of the Black Widow kicking ass. It hasn’t hit me until now, but the cast for the sequel looks pretty impressive:

Starring Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johansson, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Maximiliano Hernández, Robert Redford and Georges St-Pierre, the story picks up where Marvel’s The Avengers left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014.

Click here for more photos of Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans at their day job. (via Super Hero Hype)

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Jamie Foxx and his team are currently in negotiations with Sony to play a part in the Annie remake set to release in 2014. Foxx would play Daddy Warbucks, but the character will be renamed to Benjamin Stacks (Get it? Who says Hollywood doesn’t have any original ideas?).

The movie will be under the direction of Will Gluck and the producers list include Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith. The only confirmed cast member is Quvenzhane “Hush Puppy” Wallis to play Annie. I know the girl can act but can she hold a note with Ray Charles? Emma Thompson and Aline Brosh McKenna revised the script, but no confirmation if they read or stuck to the comic strip. (via Hollywood Reporter/HEATVISION)

Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies.  He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat.  You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas.