It’s been nearly 17 years since Bryan Singer’s X-Men movie ushered in a new era of superhero movies, and in that time, we’ve seen studios crank through actors with alarming frequency. We’ve seen three Spider-Man, a handful of Batmen, three Punishers across the big and small screens, and dozens of big-budget Marvel and DC movies break records at the box office. In the midst of all this chaos has been Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, the one actor-character combination that seemed immune to bad reviews and flagging box office numbers. And with Jackman set to take one final turn as Wolverine in Logan, the actor is taking a little time to stop and reflect on his impact in Hollywood.
This past weekend, fans from around the world flocked to the Javits Convention Center in New York City to attend the annual conference put on by the Toy Industry Association, Inc. In recent years, Toy Fair New York has become a hot spot for movie fans as well, with new action figures and toy sets offering first looks at the comic book adaptations of the following summer. One of the big hits of this year’s conference was Spider-Man: Homecoming, with a few new character designs and even a potential look at the film’s final battle.
There’s just a few months left until Wonder Woman hits theaters, which means it’s time for Warner Bros. to get down to the business of promoting the crap out of this movie. When I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in theaters, the crowd greeted her character during the climactic fight scene with wild cheers and applause, suggesting to me that audiences are ready to embrace the first standalone superhero movie. We’ve had the first two rounds of movie trailers; now it’s time to open the floodgates on teasers, TV spots, and production rumors. Let the games begin!
Although it’s been years since I stopped collecting comic books, I can still remember the excitement and frustration of variant covers. Nothing triggered the collector in me quite like the multiple variants of a key issue; instead of owning just one copy of issue #500 of whatever, I found myself weighing the options of picking up multiple copies of the same thing, especially when I really enjoyed one or more of the variants. It was the perfect way for Marvel or DC to bait the hook in me, and it wasn’t long before they realized they could do the very same thing with their movie posters.
When you’re in the business of making movies as large as those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even the first few days of production are a pretty big deal for fans. This is doubly so when you’re launching Avengers: Infinity War, a superhero crossover event unlike anything audiences have ever seen before on film. So last night, when Marvel released a brand new production video complete with new cast interviews and some key concept art, people rightfully lost their minds. You think you’ve seen movie hype? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Since announcing that Ben Affleck would no longer be directing the upcoming standalone The Batman film, Warner Bros. has been in a full-blown crisis mode, working overtime to find a talented new director and prove all those “Is the DC Cinematic Universe doomed?” articles wrong. Back in January, Forbes reported that the Warner Bros. shortlist featured several interesting names, including George Miller, Denis Villeneuve, and Matt Reeves. And now, less than two weeks after The Batman lost its director, it appears that Warner Bros. has settled on its replacement.
There are a lot of ghost pirates in these Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The newest film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, centers on a whole new crew of spectral baddies (led by Javier Bardem) on the hunt for Johnny Depp’s most famous creation, Captain Jack Sparrow. Will he prevail? Well, dull, yes he will. He’s the one whose face is in the actual Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
While not exactly a household name, Jason Isaacs has very quietly put together an impressive resume of villains over his 30 years in Hollywood. Anyone who was in high school in the late ’90s will remember him from Mel Gibson’s The Patriot — I can’t possibly be the only person who had a lazy substitute history teacher, right? — but he’s also worked regularly in film and television, from frequent collaborations with Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson to his most memorable role in the Harry Potter franchise. Often evil, always great.
If there’s a silver lining to 2017, it’s that Hollywood is gearing up for an excellent year of action blockbuster sequels. Over the next few months, we can expect follow-ups to Guardians of the Galaxy, John Wick, Furious 7, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and, of course, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And often neglected from these lists — but no less exciting from an action fan’s perspective — is Matthew Vaughn’s sequel to Kingsman: The Golden Circle, one of the more ridiculous action movies to be released in the past few years.
While countless football fans — myself included — embark on a stomach and liver-related training regimen for next weekend, there is more to the Super Bowl than just the game on the field. The Super Bowl has always secretly been a big day for cinephiles as well, featuring big trailers for much-anticipated movies and clever commercials from some of the best filmmakers of our generation. Directors such as Doug Liman, Ridley Scott, and Judd Apatow have all directed Superbowl commercials, and now you can add two more big names to the mix: Joel and Ethan Coen.
While the Academy Awards may leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who think artists shouldn’t be forced to compete, there’s no denying that an Oscar nomination is still a powerful piece of validation for a lot of filmmakers, especially those from other countries. Filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi — whose 2016 film The Salesman will be seen by many Americans due to its Best Foreign Language Film nomination — should be able to take this time to engage with audiences about the importance of this work. Instead, Farhadi will have to watch the Academy Awards on television like the rest of us.
After a breakout role in the popular Netflix series Stranger Things, it was only a matter of time before Millie Bobby Brown made her feature film debut. Many fans of the Star Wars films have pointed out her uncanny resemblance to a young Carrie Fisher and raised the possibility of a Princess Leia standalone movie. And while that film seems destined to happen at some point — after all, for better or worse, the internet typically gets what it wants — it appears that Brown has targeted another blockbuster science fiction franchise for her big screen break out.
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