Transformers The Last Knight - Michael Bay's Secret Weapon

There are plenty of movie lovers out there who just don’t like the movies of Michael Bay. But no matter how ridiculous the action is in his movies, or how silly the story may be, you can’t deny that he is one of the most proficient and efficient directors working today. All of the stories you hear about how crazy this man is on movie sets are true. But it’s because of his demand for excellency that the cast and crew respect him, working intensely to ensure that the production is moving quickly and efficiently.

Some might find Michael Bay’s intensity unnecessary and over the top, but it’s his raw, unbridled passion for filmmaking, albeit in his own unique style, that has resulted in one of the most impressively run film sets I have ever seen. In fact, pushing his crew to do such hard, fast work has resulted in one particular innovation that is essentially Michael Bay’s secret weapon to shooting a mega visual effects blockbuster like Transformers: The Last Knight in such a speedy, productive fashion, and it’s not the Bayhem camera that we’ve talked about before.

Find out what Michael Bay’s secret weapon is after the jump. Read More »

Transformers The Last Knight

This past summer, Paramount Pictures gave us the opportunity to visit the set of Transformers: The Last Knight while they were shooting up in Pontiac, Michigan. The experience of being on a Michael Bay movie set is one that I’ll never forget, if only because of the amount of explosions, gunshots and debris myself and other members of the press saw in front of our eyes. We’ll have more about the experience of being on a Michael Bay production soon, but this portion of our set visit is dedicated to the story and characters.

While most moviegoers aren’t necessarily going into a Transformers movie with a lot of concern for the story and character development, that doesn’t mean there aren’t longtime fans of the franchise interested in how the battle of the Autobots and Decepticons continues in Transformers: The Last Knight. That includes the return of some human characters from previous movies, a few new ones and a deep dive into the mythology of Transformers in general. And of course, there are plenty of new Transformers, and one returning Transformer that fans will be happy to see more of.

In this set visit report, we run through everything we learned about the story, including where we find our human characters with regards to their relationship to Transformers. There are plenty of new details here that haven’t been revealed until now, so get the full rundown in our Transformers The Last Knight set visit report below. Read More »

Additional Doctor Strange Scenes - Benedict Cumberbatch

Academy Award-winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne has worked on a bunch of the previous Marvel Studio films, but the challenge to adapt Doctor Strange‘s costume for the big screen was harder than even she could have imagined.
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tilda swinton doctor strange interview

Today we continue our coverage from the set of Doctor Strange with our interview with Tilda Swinton, who plays the Ancient One in the comic book movie adaptation. During our on-set chat, Swinton talked to us about how her character is different from the original comic book version, her physical transformation for the role, her character’s relationship with Stephen Strange, what it’s like to play timeless characters,  staying true to the comics even though it seems they are presenting a different vision of this character and much more. Hit the jump to read our Tilda Swinton Doctor Strange interview.

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange being trained by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Karl Mordo in Doctor Strange

When actor Benedict Cumberbatch burst into our room on the set of Doctor Strange, he looked as if he had just come from the North Pole. Specs of snow covered his hair and shoulders, while tiny icicles hung down from his facial hair. He clutched his arms around himself and declared “I bring greetings from Everest. Hello.” We had not stepped on the soundstage yet, so this was the first time we saw Cumberbatch in costume, and it was not what any of us were expecting.

I think maybe we were anticipating the actor to be dressed in his Doctor Strange costume, but they were filming a scene from earlier in the movie when Stephen Strange is conducting his training with The Great One in Kamar-Taj. The doctor has just come back through a portal from Mount Everest.

What follows is our conversation with Benedict Cumberbatch from the set of Doctor Strange earlier this year. We talk about the scene he was filming that day, the costumes and weapons he gets to use, why he wanted to be in this Marvel movie, the pressure of being a very different Marvel film, the evolution of his character and much more. Hit the jump to read our Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange Interview now.

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Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange) and Director Scott Derrickson on set. of Doctor Strange

We continue our on-set Doctor Strange interviews with the director himself, Scott Derrickson. Between filming scenes, Derrickson talked to us briefly about the movie’s possible soundtrack, the adaptation process in a Marvel movie, what its like working in collaboration with Marvel Studios, the struggle to make magic feel different from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, the film as a martial arts based supernatural action movie, the fantastical visual imagery, why Scott loves the character, how the film’s humor is like Captain America: Winter Soldier, how Benedict Cumberbatch brings the humor to the movie, why they chose Kaecilius to be the villain for this story, why they made the changes to Wong and The Ancient One, and more. Hit the jump to read out full Scott Derrickson Doctor Strange interview.

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Doctor Strange - Benedict Cumberbatch

In February 2016, I traveled to London to get a glimpse at another dimension and visit the set of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. While on set we got a chance to have a long chat with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who as always, provided us with a lot of hints at what to expect from the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Feige talks about Doctor Strange’s origin story, how the movie will be different from the comics, rooting crazy concepts in real science, does Steven Strange know about The Avengers, how the film is more respectful to other cultures than the original source material may have been, how this movie was inspired by The Oath, which characters might connect with the RunawaysMads Mikkelsen‘s character Kaecilius, multiple dimensions, the trouble with writing magic action, how Mordo is different in the movie, Rachel McAdams‘ character Christine Palmer, is the eye of agamotto an infinity stone, the genre of the film, how this film will defy expectations, Steven Strange’s role in the larger MCU, will we see cameos from the other Marvel characters, and much more.

If you’re a Marvel fan and have ever read a Kevin Feige interview before then, you know this is well worth your time. Hit the jump to open the portal.

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SUICIDE SQUAD

Amanda Waller may be the mastermind behind the Suicide Squad in the movie, but in real life David Ayer was the one calling the shots on the Suicide Squad set. The director seemed like a bit of a surprising choice for the film, given that most of his past work has been more gritty and grounded. But when we spoke to him on the film’s Toronto set last year, he described Suicide Squad as “the perfect assignment for me.”

We also spoke a bit about how that particular “skwad” was assembled, the Joker as the “third rail” of comic book movies, Ayer’s love of Batman, and the pressure to “not fuck it up.” Read our Suicide Squad David Ayer interview from the set below.

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SUICIDE SQUAD - Joker and Harley Quinn

Even your average non-geek will have a pretty good idea of who the Justice League or the X-Men or the Avengers are. But in comparison, the characters of Suicide Squad are a relatively unknown bunch. Aside from Harley Quinn, none of them are really what you’d call household names. And even if you do know these guys from the comics, the versions in the movie are all-new. No one’s met these iterations yet.

So during our set visit, we got the skinny on all the new bad guys and not-so-bad guys, from Amanda Waller to Deadshot to (of course) the Joker. Get all the new Suicide Squad character details below, including info on their backstories, costumes, and storylines.

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SUICIDE SQUAD

Warner Bros. expanded its DC cinematic universe in a big way this spring with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but fan reactions were mixed. Many complained the franchise was too dour, too grim, too serious. But Suicide Squad could just be the film to change all that.

When I visited the Toronto set of Suicide Squad last July, it was just days after the very first trailer had killed at Comic-Con — absolutely slaughtered, really. Suddenly, people who’d never even heard of the Suicide Squad a month ago (which is to say, pretty much everyone who doesn’t self-identify as a DC nerd) was dying to know more about this playful, colorful group of baddies. Who were these weirdos? What were they going to do in the DC universe? On day 68 of the film’s 98-day shoot, I joined a group of other journalists on set to find out.  Read More »