Joss Whedon announced today that he’s officially directing The Avengers, while on stage with J.J. Abrams at San Diego’s Comic-Con. He joked that Marvel didn’t have enough money for a real press release, so he took it up himself to confirm previous reports that he was in talks to direct the film. When pressed for further details, he said that it was way too early to reveal anything.

The news isn’t exactly surprising, but still it’s good to have final confirmation on the matter. As a Whedon fan, I’m excited to see what he can do with the material. Whedon mentioned that he was a huge fan of early Avenger’s comics while growing up, and he seemed understandably excited and humbled at having the opportunity to direct the film.

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Video Blog: Comic-Con 2010 Preview

/Film has landed at Comic-Con, and we’re gearing up to take it on with some great coverage — even though it doesn’t seem like there’s as much cool movie-related events as last year. (At least there’s no Twilight event this time around.) In this video blog, Peter, Adam, Russ, and Devindra chat about what they’re looking forward to the most at the convention, and why.

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Two new horror movie posters landed today, just in time for the Comic-Con’s preview night in San Diego. First up, we have the Comic-Con giveaway poster for newcomer Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which is being produced by Guillermo Del Toro. The poster is an original work of art by Nixey, who is a former comic book artist.

As EW says, the film “centers on a young girl (Bailee Madison) who is set to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in an old mansion they are renovating. She unwittingly unleashes malevolent creatures that try to destroy her entire family.” Disney is releasing the R-rated  film under its now-defunct Miramax banner on January 21, 2011.

Check out the poster after the break, as well as Saw 3D’s official one sheet.

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The Last Airbender

With the release of The Last Airbender, M. Night Shyamalan’s gradual metamorphosis into George Lucas is complete. Just like the Star Wars director, Shyamalan burst onto the scene with a couple innovative films (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable), and displayed a talent for visuals early on. And just like Lucas, Shyamalan’s screenwriting deficiencies, and his inability to properly take criticism from others, have led to his downfall.  His previous film, The Happening, remained enjoyable on an MST3K-level, despite its issues. But with Airbender, Shyamalan delivers a film that’s so singularly misguided, so devoid of a pulse — or anything that made the original series great — it’s like watching a CGI-infused train wreck in slow motion and low-rent 3D.

After my interview with Shyamalan ended, in which he was incredibly enthused and proud about what he had made, I shook his hand and thought, “My god, you have no idea what’s about to hit you.”
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shyamalan-interview

M. Night Shyamalan is a nice guy, which makes the fact that he directed one of the worst films of the year all the more painful. I got a chance to sit down and chat with The Last Airbender director after viewing the film, and it’s clear that he’s passionate about the material, and that he’s very conscious of the racebending controversy. Our discussion touches on him getting used to making a CGI-filled epic film, some material that was cut out, and how he recovered from feeling lost during the production, among other topics.

You can view a video of the interview below (worth watching if only for the moment he realizes something may have been left out of the Blu-ray), download an audio version, or read a transcript of a majority of the discussion. My review of the film, with all the heartache you’d expect from a fan of the series, will be coming soon.

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The A-Team – What Did You Think?

The A-Team

It’s taken several years, but now we finally know what a mainstream action film from director Joe Carnahan looks like with the release of The A-Team, which hits theaters nationwide today. Carnahan proved himself capable of delivering a hard-boiled indie crime feature in 2002’s Narc, directed one of the best BMW Film entries (Ticker), and although I have issues with 2006’s Smokin’ Aces, I still admire that film for what it gets right.

Now with The A-Team, a big-budget remake of the classic 80’s TV series, Carnahan has a shot at becoming more than a beloved indie director.

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lost-season-6-poster-smallIn this bonus episode of the /Filmcast, Devindra and Adam are joined by Katey Rich (from CinemaBlend) and Myles McNutt (from Cultural Learnings) to discuss the controversial Lost finale, and look back at the series as a whole. Was it all a waste of time? Did we get the answers we wanted? Tune in to find out! And of course, spoilers abound.

You can always e-mail the /Filmcast at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.

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scott pilgrim vs. the world poster top

I know we’re a bit late on reporting this, but after listening to Adam WarRock’s excellent Scott Pilgrim rap recap, I just had to share it with you all. The song recaps the first five volumes of Scott Pilgrim in five minutes with some awesomely geeky rhymes. It also recently got some love from director Edgar Wright and  Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, so you know its nerd-approved.

WarRock has a habit creating geeky rhymes that don’t fall into the typical nerdcore category. I also recommend checking out his song about Ira Glass — it’s particularly endearing if you’re a This American Life nerd like me. He’s currently working on a studio album for Fall 2010. He also runs a comic book podcast with his War Rocket Ajax crew.

Take a listen to “I Gotta Believe”, the Scott Pilgrim recap, after the break. You can also listen to it at WarRock’s Tumblr site.

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The Last Airbender

I have a feeling that the controversy surrounding The Last Airbender’s casting won’t die down anytime soon. At a recent round table event, several journalists gathered to chat with Shyamalan about the film. He answered some general questions about it (check out io9’s full coverage of the event), but inevitably the conversation steered towards the race issues surrounding the casting of the film’s leads. Specifically, the casting of white actors in the roles of Sokka and Katara, and Dev Patel in the role of the villain. For a good visual representation of the issue, check out Adam Quigley’s recent post.

Shyamalan seemed to have thought a lot about the controversy, and ultimately champions the film as an example of racial diversity. Some choice quotes from him after the break.

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