For Luis Antonio, the creator of Annapurna Interactive’s intriguing new thriller Twelve Minutes, the idea for a game with a built-in time loop narrative began with a basic question. “Most games already have an aspect of repetition: you keep dying and repeating a level. But what if the character was actually aware of this? What would be the repercussions?”
Twelve Minutes is a top down point-and-click experience about a man (voiced by James McAvoy) who comes home to have a romantic evening with his wife (voiced by Daisy Ridley), only for a police detective (voiced by Willem Dafoe) to suddenly burst through the front door, accuse the wife of murder, and beat the man to death. But death is not final: instead, the man ends up right back at his own front door at the start of the evening, with only a few minutes to figure out a way to prevent this horrible situation from unfolding the same way over and over again.
I had a chance to play a preview build demo of the game and chat with Antonio about the project’s origins, evolutions, and his hopes that its inherent accessibility (all you need is a mouse) might convince non-gamers to give it a shot.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch a featurette that highlights the immense female talent behind the camera of Woman Woman. Plus, watch James McAvoy make a cake inspired by His Dark Materials for The Great British Bake-Off. And finally, listen to a stuntman break down motorcycle stunts from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and more. Read More »
James McAvoy (Split, The Chronicles of Narnia, Wanted) is set to star in a new version of My Son, a French missing person thriller which initially came out in 2017. Here’s the interesting part: McAvoy won’t be given a script or any lines of dialogue, so he’ll essentially be blindly making his way through the narrative in real time on the set. Read More »
As independent video games continue to push the creative envelope, they’ll continue to attract top-tier Hollywood talent to participate. Case in point: Twelve Minutes, an upcoming interactive time loop thriller that features voice work from Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class), and Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse). Check out the game’s trailer and learn more about it below. Read More »
Taking on the role of Morpheus in The Sandman is a daunting task for any actor. It’s not just because the character has never been seen beyond the comic book page before, nor because it’s hard for any human actor to try to put themselves into the role of an immortal, anthropomorphic personification of Dreams. For James McAvoy, who plays the lead character in the Sandman audio drama for Audible, it was particularly difficult to play a character who was so inhuman and so silent — two very difficult elements to convey across the medium of audio. But McAvoy was up for the challenge, and up for the honor of being the first actor to ever portray Morpheus in an adaptation.
“Personally what I love about Gaiman’s writing [is not only] the strange fantastical worlds, but actually characters that you can identify with,” McAvoy said in a roundtable press conference over the phone ahead of the release of The Sandman audio drama. “Even if they are the lords of the Dream Realm and they’re not strictly human, there’s just something that compels you and brings you into them.”
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Now that 20th Century Fox is part of The Walt Disney Company, the rights to make new X-Men action figures inspired by the film franchise now lie at Hasbro. That’s why Marvel Legends is finally getting back around to making figures based on the X-Men movies, and they’re starting by celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original X-Men movie, the one that launched the comic book movie craze of the 21st century.Get a load of the first wave of Marvel Legends X-Men movie action figures below. Read More »
Neil Gaiman‘s surreal comic book masterpiece The Sandman seemed like it would prove to be unadaptable — though attempts to bring it to live-action have been made over the years. But before The Sandman would ever hit our screens (with the latest project being made as a Netflix series), it will hit our eardrums. An audio drama adaptation of The Sandman is set to debut on Audible this month, with a star-studded cast led by James McAvoy set to tell the story of Dream, the metaphysical king of dreams and imagination. As we get closer to the debut of this improbable adaptation, DC has released a trailer for the Sandman Audible drama, giving us a preview of McAvoy in the title role.
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Neil Gaiman‘s comic book series The Sandman has long been one of Hollywood’s white whales — a seemingly unadaptable series following the adventures of the physical embodiment of Dreams that the industry has tried and failed to bring to the big screen for years. But while chatter of the in-development Netflix series has (unsurprisingly) died down, The Sandman will be adapted in another medium for the first time: audiobooks. A Sandman audiobook is set to debut this July, narrated by Gaiman himself and featuring a star-studded cast led by James McAvoy, who takes on the title role of Dream.
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His Dark Materials wants you to take it seriously now. And with the first episode of HBO and BBC’s TV series adaptation of Philip Pullman‘s beloved fantasy adventure novels, it achieves just that — albeit to both positive and negative effects.
Long tucked away in the children’s sections of libraries and bookstores, the His Dark Materials novels have legions of fans who have desperately wished for Pullman’s twist on Milton’s Paradise Lost to be taken seriously as a smart, even times philosophical, fantasy adventure story. In its first episode, “Lyra’s Jordan,” it’s clear that His Dark Materials TV series is most definitely “made for adults.” Prestige director Tom Hooper bestows upon the series a muted color palette and lots of shadowy corners for the whispered schemes to take place, while Jack Thorne‘s script crafts a vast web of intersecting storylines that are much more complicated than that of the book’s original adventure story revolving around the bull-headed orphan Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) on a quest to rescue her friend. But by shifting the focus away from Keen’s fiery little heroine, we never get to really know “Lyra’s Jordan” or the rich, vibrant world that Pullman created — the first episode is a little too heavy on table-setting and a little too fixated on those shadowy corners.
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We do not speak of the 2007 feature film The Golden Compass. Chris Weitz’s botched adaptation of the acclaimed Philip Pullman fantasy novel came at the tail end of a string of Harry Potter knock-offs, and suffered from being reduced into a typical children’s fantasy adventure without all the religious themes and dark undertones that made Pullman’s epic inversion of Milton’s Paradise Lost so great. But I’m inevitably going to draw comparisons to that nonsensical disaster of a film in this review of His Dark Materials, HBO and BBC’s lavish, enthralling, and infinitely more successful adaptation.
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