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By now, you’d think fans of Joss Whedon’s TV show Firefly would come to peace with the fact it’s over. Yes, the show was unceremoniously cancelled in 2002, but Whedon made an unlikely film version for the fans three years later. Since then, almost all its stars have gone on to bigger and better things. And Whedon is now delivering his pop-culture savvy, whip-smart dialogue on a much larger scale. Yet the fans, collectively known as Browncoats, still hold out hope for some kind of return.

With quotes like the following, who can blame them? Though there is nothing at any stage of development, Firefly producer-writer Tim Minear recently said he “would never foreclose the possibility” of a comeback, and suggested a “limited series” on Netflix or something could work. Read More »

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

J.J. Abrams thinks casting Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as Darth Vader’s annoying moms provides the ”pitch-perfect Star Wars energy fans are clamoring for.” Because what can’t these two make better? Also after the jump:

  • Nathan Fillion does his best Darth Vader impression
  • Remember when we thought Episode IX would be out by 1997? LOL!
  • Disney CEO says the Star Wars franchise will follow the Marvel model
  • Is a lower-budget Han Solo origin movie coming in 2016?
  • Seattle’s Ltd. Art Gallery opens its annual Star Wars exhibit

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(This review originally ran during SXSW, in March. As Much Ado About Nothing hits theaters today, we present it once more.)

In the world of drama, nothing is quite as distinct or lovely as the prose of William Shakespeare. His vocabulary, his rhythm, rhymes and descriptions, all established a standard against which others are still measured. Modern day dramatist Joss Whedon also has a distinct style, characterized by wit, humor, and cultural authority. Surely it’s not in the same league as the Bard’s. But with the writer/director’s modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, Whedon has found an enjoyable and surprising balance between the two.

The film will be released June 7, but had its U.S. Premiere this week at South by Southwest. Read more below. Read More »

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This second trailer for Thor Freudenthal‘s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters features a cavalcade of beasties, and also a significant presence from Nathan Fillion, who plays a modernized version of the god Hermes. That’s probably enough to warrant a look from many potential audience members.

Those elements were present in the first trailer, along with plenty of material featuring returning cast (Logan Lerman, Brandon T Jackson, and Alexandra Daddario). But the intent here seems to be to sell the movie as a real spectacle. In that respect it succeeds pretty well. The series still has to truly establish itself as a proper successor to the Harry Potter films — and that may not be possible — but at least it appears to be able to make good on a promise to deliver colorful and dangerous monsters. Read More »

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The cast of Pixar’s Monsters University already included a few expected names and some good newcomers, including Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Dave Foley, Helen Mirren, Julia Sweeney, Joel Murray and Peter Sohn. Now there’s a report that many more recognizable names lent their voices to characters in the film. EW says that Nathan Fillion, John Krasinski,and Bonnie Hunt are among the voice cast of Monsters UniversitySean P. Hayes, Charlie Day, Aubrey Plaza and Alfred Molina also have roles.

In addition to that news, there are new fraternity and sorority posters showing off many characters from the film. You can see those below.  Read More »

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One of the many YA series to get life on movie screens has been Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The first film in the series, The Lightning Thief, bowed in 2010 and introduced film audiences to the story’s modernized take on classic mythological characters.

Like many YA adaptations outside the Harry Potter and Twilight series, The Lightning Thief didn’t quite wow audiences. Unlike many stillborn series, however, this one is actually getting a sequel. Star Logan Lerman may quickly be aging out of the role, but he’s back for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, in which Percy, the half-human son of Poseidon, goes after the legendary Golden Fleece.

This chapter features Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson returning to support Lerman’s hero, and we get to see Stanley Tucci as Dionysus. Oh, and Nathan Fillion plays Hermes, which might be enough to get people watching. Read More »

Joss Whedon‘s last directorial effort, The Avengers, was a massive affair all around. The culmination of Marvel Studios’ ambitious years-long Cinematic Universe effort, the summer blockbuster boasted an all-star cast, a $220 million, and, eventually, a $1.5 billion box office take. So as a palate cleanser, he went super-duper-small for his next film.

Shot over just twelve days at Whedon’s own home during a break in The Avenger‘s post-production period, Much Ado About Nothing reimagines William Shakespeare‘s classic play as “noir comedy” set in present-day Santa Monica. Whedon alums Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Sean Maher, and Fran Kranz all star. Watch the first trailer and check out a poster after the jump.

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It’s a big deal when the new movie arrives from the director of one of the biggest movies ever to set box office receipts blazing. But this time it’s a little bit weird, too. Because the director is Joss Whedon, whose film The Avengers became a massive success early this past summer. His next film, however, is something very different: a black and white adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Whedon shot the film with friends on off days from The Avengers; it’s a true indie.

Now Roadside Attractions and LiosnGate have decided to release Much Ado About Nothing in a few markets on June 7, 2013, with a wide release to follow on June 21. It could be an interesting experiment, to open the film essentially opposite DC and Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel. Read More »

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