Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with director James McTeigue (V For Vendetta) about his new film, Ninja Assassin. As many of you know, McTeigue started in Hollywood as a second assistant director on films like Dark City, and made a name for himself as the first assistant director on The Matrix films. He famously took the reigns from The Wachowski Brothers, directing big screen adaptation of Alan Moore’s comic book V For Vendetta (currently ranked #178 on IMDb’s top 250 of all time).
His latest film, Ninja Assassin, hits theaters on November 25th. I caught a sneak preview screening during Comic-Con, and while I’m barred from reviewing the movie, I will say that the action is bloody awesome and worth the price of admission alone. I was also able to talk briefly with James about his next project, a period thriller titled The Raven, a fictionalized account of the final five “mysterious” days of Edgar Allan Poe‘s life, and the big screen adaptation of Altered Carbon that he’s been developing.
Read our entire exclusive interview with James McTeigue after the jump.
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I’m sitting on the lawn outside of Hall H at the San Diego convention center where thousands of people are lined up to see Comic-Con’s first 3D panel (oh yeah, and that Twilight sequel). I’m unable to connect to a fast internet connection, but MTV has released a movie trailer for James McTeigue’s Ninja Assassin. But just because I can’t watch the trailer, doesn’t mean you can’t. Check out the trailer embedded after the jump.
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As Comic Con approaches, we’ll be learning more and more about what we can expect at this year’s geek fest.
First up, I’ve learned that Derrick Comedy’s Mystery Team will not only have a booth on the convention floor, but will be holding a panel and a special sneak preview screening at the con. No word on the exact dates. Writers/stars Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson, producer Meggie McFadden, and director/editor Dan Eckman will be on hand at the panel debuting an all-new Mystery Team short film. On the convention floor:
Come bust kid criminals with Oakdale’s best eighteen-year-old kid detectives the Mystery Team in their storefront slash crime lab. Meet the filmmakers, take pictures with actual setpieces, and submit a mystery of your own for solving.
Next up, Donnie Darko/Southland Tales director Richard Kelly says he will be making an appearance at the con to promote his upcoming sci-fi thriller The Box, starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella. The panel will take place on Friday, July 24th as part of the Warner Bros presentation. Cameron, James and Richard will be in attendance to present a first look at the trailer and “other cool stuff.”
More after the jump.
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Courtesy of Boing Boing there’s a new video online that showcases some behind the scenes Ninja Assassin footage, cut with an interview with John Gaeta, the film’s FX head honcho. Some picture-in-picture footage is shown and while it appears implicit that this comes from the finished film, I’m not convinced. The post work on display in these boxed-in clips isn’t particularly tasteful and some might even consider it tacky. Check it out for yourself because the video has been embedded after the break.
Ninja Assassin, for those of you with other things on your mind, comes from within arms reach of the Wachowskis. Gaeta was the Matrix bullet time co-ordinator, director James McTeague previously made V For Vendetta, and the film’s ninja assassin Raizo is played by Rain, the Korean pop star that appeared in Speed Racer. Throw in Sylvester Stallone and Gina Gershon and we’d have covered everything, I think.
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Walt Disney Pictures has announced a July 16th 2010 release for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Jon Turteltaub-directed family adventure film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Marvel recently moved Thor out of the weekend, but now the Mouse House production will go head to head with Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi action film Inception. Disney has two other event films scheduled for Summer 2010: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time hits theaters on May 28th and Toy Story 3 will be released on July 18th.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros has set The Wachowski Brothers-produced James McTeigue-directed Ninja Assassin on November 25th 2009, up from a TBA 2010. Richard Kelly‘s sci-fi thriller The Box has been moved from November to Halloween weekend, up against Youth in Revolt, and a week after Saw VI.
Universal Pictures has released the first movie poster for Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies on MSN. Some people are comparing the poster to The Dark Knight Joker banner. The trailer will hit theaters on Friday, along with the teaser trailer for The Wachowski Brothers-produced Ninja Assassin. After the jump you can watch the Entertainment Tonight advertisement featuring a brief preview of the trailer which will be on tonight’s show. I’ve heard that the Public Enemies trailer will be online either Wednesday or Thursday.
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/Film reader Christopher M scored this bad ass fight choreography/stunt training video showing some of the work of 87 Eleven (the stunt team that worked on 300, Watchmen, Matrix and Bourne films) on The Wachowski Brothers-produced, James McTeigue-directed Ninja Assassin. Check it out after the jump.
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/Film reader Jacob sent over this footage from The Wachowski Brothers’ Ninja Assassin.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Well, those expecting a kid-friendly cameo from the likes of Chim-Chim in the Wachowski-supervised Ninja Assassin can begin sobbing. JoBlo got its digital mitts on two new photos—one extra bloody—from the martial arts actioner from director James McTeigue (V For Vendetta). Seen here is the Michael Jackson of Korean pop (or so I’m told over and over), Rain, who stars as the lead in the film, a renegade ninja looking to slash it up against his former clan and avenge the death of a friend. I was expecting less carnage from this picture, but Rain looks like he’s ready to challenge Tong Po from Kickboxer ’89 to a death match. The film opens Jan ’09.
Discuss: Ninjas. Also, Ninja Assassin: what are your expectations?
So, for the record, we pay no mind to Script Girl‘s buxom scoops, but if a rumor allegedly originates via radio in Berlin, we’ll throw out a “might be true” lasso. Nurse Ratched, are you there? However, the following equation: Keanu Reeves + Wachowski Brothers + Plastic Man has a probable ring to it. Back in the ’90s, the Wachowskis wrote a script based on Plastic Man, the “golden age” comic book character (and later fringe Justice League member) and shopped it around town. You can read their old draft here. Post-Matrix, the brothers have harbored the project as a viable option. Now, a tipster tells CHUD that their producer pal, Joel Silver, gave an update on German radio…
“[The tipster] claims that Silver says that Keanu Reeves will be playing Eels O’Brien (the real name of Plastic Man). Apparently this is the start of a new love period between Reeves and the Wachowskis, as Silver (via tipster) said that the brothers want to work with him on all their future projects.”
With their protege, James McTeigue, helming Ninja Assassin (which Silver was discussing apparently), Larry and Andy Wachowski haven’t chosen a project to follow-up Speed Racer, one of this summer’s rare belly flops. Obviously, a superhero film with Reeves would be a safe bet in today’s marketplace…albeit one centered on an eccentric character with lower pop culture visibility than Ant-Man?
Plastic Man originated in the ’40s. He was but a mortal goon until chemicals leaked into a bullet wound and enabled his body to stretch like rubber. Via Wikipedia…
“Plastic Man can stretch his limbs and body to superhuman shapes, lengths and sizes, with flexibility and coordination extraordinarily beyond the natural limits of the human body. He can become entirely flat so that he can slip under a door, use his fingers to pick conventional locks, pose as inanimate objects such as vehicles or pieces of furniture, and disguise himself by changing the shape of his face. There is no known limit to how far he can stretch his body.
“He once disguised himself as Batman’s utility belt.”
Well then, I think it’s safe to say that Plastic Man‘s fate hangs on the success of The Dark Knight. So, remember, Plastic Man is counting on you this weekend. Until then, if this rumor develops or gets vaporized, we’ll update accordingly.
Discuss: Keanu Reeves and The Wachowskis and Plastic Man. Would you see it? Also, please explain how Plastic Man’s powers differ from Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards (shoddy franchise films don’t count yet)? He’s more sardonic?