Willem Dafoe is the latest actor to join Andew Stanton’s big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ John Carter of Mars. Dafoe will play the role of Tars Tarkas, a brutal and mirthless green Martian warrior, who possesses the ability to feel love and empathy, an unusual characteristic among his savage race. The newly arrived Earth man John Carter develops an alliance with Tarkas after learning his secret. The film is expected to be the first of a possible trilogy, and considering Tarkas fights alongside Carter through the entire series of books, Dafoe likely signed on or has options for sequels.
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Yesterday we learned that Andrew Stanton‘s live-action debut John Cartner of Mars was gearing up for a November shoot in Utah, and that Tom Cruise was circling, but is no longer involved with the project. It stands to reason that in the coming weeks we’ll begin to hear casting announcements.
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20th Century Fox has released six new character photos and the final movie trailer from X-Men Origins: Wolverine on USA Today. The photos include Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed/Sabretooth, Lynn Collins as Kayla Silverfox, Taylor Kitsch as Gambit, Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Will.i.am as Kestrel.
The new trailer concentrates a lot on the story bits shown in the Fox 3-minute preview, with a lot more action from the additional mutants, and nearly every effects shot from the film cut into a fast montage. I think I even saw some footage from the recently filmed reshoots. Check out the trailer after the jump and tell me what you think in the comments!
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Uncertainty has a brilliant set-up: After it is discovered that Kate (Lynn Collins) is pregnant, the young couple finds themselves uncertain about their future. With a magical flip of a coin, the story is split into two alternative realities, showing two vastly different directions their immediate future could take ala Sliding Doors. I am certain that the film never lives up to the magical promises of the plot synopsis, and was baffled at the lack of explanation of why both stories differed so greatly.
One of the stories takes the couple to a July 4th barbecue at Kate’s family’s house, where the discover a stray dog. Olivia Thirlby has an extended cameo as Kate’s sister who plans to give up her college scholarship to peruse her acting dreams in Los Angeles. The other story is set-up like a DJ Caruso-style thriller. It begins when Kate’s boyfriend Bobby (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) discovers a lost smart phone in the back of a cab. Rather than turn it in to the driver, he decides to call the last few numbers on the recent call list and leave messages regarding the missing phone. He eventually reaches someone claiming to be the owner of the phone, and arranges a meet up to hand it over. But when the guy arrives is shot and murdered, the couple are forced to go on the run. A blackmail plot is devised which could either make the couple $500,000 richer or dead. You can probably guess which of the two stories is more interesting.
The film is highly improvised, based on an extensive story treatment. The performances are natural, but sometimes feels free of substance. Instead we are watching reactions and conversations. Some people may enjoy that, and I’m guessing those people might enjoy the highly developed character drama of the barbecue story. Bottom line is the film is entertaining but highly uneven.
The one interesting thing about the unique structure is that both have the same exact backstory. This allows one story to reveal the answers to questions posed in the other story. For example, Kate’s brother is brought up at the barbecue, but you don’t find out what happened to him until it is revealed during conversation in the other reality.
/Film Rating: 6 out of 10
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According to AICN, Ryan Reynolds (Definitely, Maybe) will definitely be suiting up to play anti-hero Deadpool in 2009’s first X-Men spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Reynolds has been attached to the role for some time, including the character’s own flick. This news arrives after several bits of casting info for the film have popped up as of late. Before we get into that, I don’t understand why fanboy sentiment runs so high for Reynolds in this role. I mean, check out the image above (and yes, I liked the dude in The Nines).
Film School Rejects reports that The Blob, one of the more obese villains in comic lore, is set to appear in the Gavin Hood-directed summer tent-pole as well. What’s more, their source says the character will appear as an actor in a fat suit (as opposed to CGI) and pegs the villain’s weight at around 800-1,200 pounds (producers want the latter), which is several milkshakes past his comic book weight of 510. In the comics his skin and fat can absorb missiles, and cannot be punctured, making him a challenge to Logan. Has anyone tried middle school insults? No actor was named, but let’s hope it’s not Mike Myers.
As for the mercenary William Stryker, played previously in the X-Men films by Brian Cox, actor Danny Huston (30 Days of Night, The Kingdom) is set to play a younger version of the character according to JoBlo, against rumors that Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall was a lock for the part. Lastly, giving Wolverine a little relief from all of these heavily armed antagonists (also Liev Schreiber‘s Sabretooth) is the flick’s love-interest, Kayla Silverfox aka Silver Fox, “one of the few female victims of the Weapon X project,” and IESB says she’ll be played by redheaded actress Lynn Collins (Bug, The Number 23).
I didn’t expect this project to skimp and actually thought it’d be cool to see a less crowded X-Men flick, but The Blob news is definitely a surprise. Hugh Jackman wasn’t kidding when he said this would be on the scale (if not bigger) of a regular X installment. No need to worry that this means too many villains in the pot just yet, especially if Hood brings a fresh creative direction as expected.
Discuss: What kind of vibe are you getting from this project thus far?Â