Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Guess who’s been hanging out in Middle-earth again! Also after the jump:

  • There will be three more Transporter movies
  • Sly Stallone wants The Raid stars for Expendables 3
  • “Fuck, yeah,” Guillermo del Toro says about having Pacific Rim 2 ideas
  • Details uncovered on Transformers 4‘s new robots
  • Who else has an Anchorman 2 cameo lined up?

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Fox, producer Bryan Singer, and the writing and directing team that included Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn did some deep playing around with the onscreen X-Men franchise in X-Men: First Class. The film recast several primary characters, as it told a story from their youth, but also did a few things that contradicted the existing X-Men movies in a notable way.

Not a big deal for some audiences, but for a continuity-obsessed fan base — one encouraged by the notably knotted timeline of comics featuring the mutant characters — there was a lot to think about.

The next film in the series, X-Men: Days of Future Past, seems like it might address some of those continuity issues. It brings the First Class cast (James McAvoyMichael FassbenderJennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult) into a story that also features original actors Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, as well as Hugh Jackman, whose First Class cameo was one of those little kinks of continuity. How will the older actors be integrated into a story dominated by the younger cast? You probably know by this point that Days of Future Past jumps back and forth on the timeline, and that’s the key. But it sounds like there might not be too much interaction between the old and young cast.  Read More »

Want to watch more behind the scenes videos and see images from The Dark Knight Rises? How does an ABC executive describe Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is Ian McKellen excited to return for X-Men: Days of Future Past? Does a Man of Steel prototype type offer a hint at one of the film’s battles? Has James Gunn commented on his recent controversy? What does the playfield look like for that Avengers pinball machine? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Director Bryan Singer just confirmed on his Twitter that Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will reprise their roles at Magneto and Professor X in X-Men: Days of Future Past, the sequel to X-Men First Class which starred Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as younger versions of the same characters. They’ll be returning too, along with Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult. The film is scheduled for release July 18, 2014. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Old people begin and end today’s Sequel Bits, which include updates on Red 2 and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2. After the jump:

  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is getting sequelized (as The Second-Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?)
  • Eli Roth is interested in The Man With the Iron Fists 2
  • Producer Gregg Wilson chats about the status of Bond 24
  • Ian McKellen details his decision to return for The Hobbit
  • Look at two more photos from The Fast and the Furious 6
  • See new pics from the London-as-Moscow set of Red 2

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A full-length trailer gets somewhere between two and two and a half minutes to make its case, but a typical TV spot only runs about thirty seconds. Best to just to cut to the chase, then.

The new TV ad for Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey barely gets to establish who Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is or why Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is encouraging him to venture out into the wide world before the poor fellow is thrown into the midst of an action-packed fantasy adventure. Naturally, the promo still finds time to play up the film’s connection to the Lord of the Rings trilogy along the way. Watch it after the jump.

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We’ve got some odds and ends from Sequel-Land after the jump:

  • Warner Bros. is seeking writers for Contagion 2
  • Will Black Dynamite 2 be like Blazing Saddles?
  • Ian McKellan almost declined to do The Hobbit
  • See new photos from Catching Fire‘s Georgia set

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This weekend saw the reveal of posters for two of Warner Bros. three big Comic Con showcases: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (seen here), and this one-sheet for Peter Jackson‘s first of two recently-wrapped films adapting The Hobbit.

This sheet for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is quite nice, as it shows Gandalf (Ian McKellen) strolling into the Shire, but it really trades on our memories of the Lord of the Rings films. It’s a good way to ease people back into Middle-Earth. (Though Comic Con audiences probably don’t want to be eased; they’d likely rather get right to a vision of the dragon, Smaug.)

But where is the third of Warner Bros. big films for Comic Con, Zack Snyder’s new Superman movie, Man of Steel? Can we expect a poster or other new image from that film to debut tomorrow, when more media will be awake? We know we’ll see something from the film in the next week, but even the Comic Con schedule is currently free of specific details about the movie and presentation for it.

In the meantime, see the full Hobbit image below. Read More »

Ten years ago this week The Fellowship of the Ring was released. Peter Jackson‘s first Tolkien adaption silenced a great many naysayers who said J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novels could never be properly translated to film. It also fostered a mainstream interest in fantasy movies that continues a decade later.

The development of a film based on Tolkien’s original Middle-Earth novel, The Hobbit, was the subject of speculation as soon as Jackson started work on The Lord of the Rings. Actually making the movie was a terrifically complicated process that involved rights deals, the financial solvency of MGM, a long period of development under original director Guillermo del Toro, and the eventual return of Peter Jackson to the director’s chair.

Now the first teaser trailer — a long teaser, at that — has been released for the first of two films based on the novel. Get the first look at footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, after the break. Read More »