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In this edition of The Week in Spandex, we look at Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom, Silver & Black, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man, The Defenders, Deadpool 2, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Fantastic Four, Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 2, Justice League, Gotham City Sirens, Aquaman, The Flash, The Batman, Batman and Harley Quinn, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Watchmen, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Titans and more…
There’s less than a fortnight to go until the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Sony and Marvel have released some new promotional material this week, including a couple of clips and TV spots [see here and here], a new one-sheet [see here], and character posters for Tom Holland’s wall-crawler, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Michael Keaton’s Vulture [see here], while Sony also unveiled the official cast list, which revealed a number of surprise additions and villains [read it here, but beware of spoilers]…
…In other Homecoming news, we also got a look at promo »
- Gary Collinson
Last night I was unfortunate enough to stumble upon a film I’ve not seen in nearly a decade. It’s an epic failure of a movie, an odious mess of horribly-shot action, gross depictions of women, bizarrely-placed racism and woefully bad writing. The movie was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and I would argue to this day that it’s the worst movie ever made.
— Luke Owen (@ThisisLukeOwen) June 22, 2017
I watched more of it than I wanted to, really, but only because watching it in 2017 took me back to that fateful night I saw it in theatres in 2009. I wasn’t overly keen on the first Bayformers because – childishly – it wasn’t “my Transformers”, it wasn’t the same robots in disguise that I loved so dearly as a child. Instead it was a typical Bayhem blockbuster, complete with overt sexism and hilariously bad product placement. But Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a whole new level of awful. It was insulting, incoherent and down-right unpleasant. In my review at the time I called Transformers: Age of Extinction a “three hour headache”, but on reflection Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was way worse.
What struck me this time around was just how distasteful and reprehensible the film was when it came to its approach of female characters. I was aware of it back in 2009 – how could you not be – but I’d almost forgotten just how bad it was. Bay films Megan Fox the same way he sexualises the vehicles the Transformers transform into; objects to make small-minded, primitive male audience members salivate. It’s frankly vulgar. In an age where we’re praising Wonder Woman for a great portrayal of women on screen, it’s easy to forget that less than ten years ago this is what we had.
People took Marvel and Scott Derrickson to task – quite rightly so – for more-or-less forgetting that Rachel McAdams was in Doctor Strange, but Bay’s treatment of Megan Fox and co-star Isabel Lucas in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is something else. Fox’s character is draped over a motorcycle with a tight vest and tighter shorts, and Bay makes sure we get a full view of her ass before her face. In a scene where Isabel’s Decepticon shape-shifter tries to seduce Shia LeBeouf’s bumbling Sam, Bay places the camera so we can see her panties. One would imagine this would be the reveal that she’s actually a robot, but the camera is more interested in the colour of her underwear than her character.
While promoting the film Fox let it slip to Jason Soloman at The Guardian that her audition wasn’t your usual affair. “She told me she went to director Michael Bay’s house to audition and he made her wash his Ferrari while he filmed her,” Soloman wrote. “She said she didn’t know what had happened to that footage. When I put it to Bay himself, he looked suitably abashed. ‘Er, I don’t know where it is either.'” She also compared Bay to Hitler, an interview that got her in so much hot water several crew members posted an open letter to Fox calling her, “dumb as rocks” among other things. “When facing the press, Megan is the queen of talking trailer trash and posing like a porn star,” the loathsome note stated. “And yes we’ve had the unbearable time of watching her try to act on set, and yes, it’s very cringe-able. So maybe, being a porn star in the future might be a good career option. But make-up beware, she has a paragraph tattooed to her backside (probably due her rotten childhood) easily another 45 minutes in the chair!'” Well doesn’t that sound like a nice crew to be around? I wonder who could breed this kind of contempt for their female co-workers?
“Megan developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment stuff that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael, who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women,’ LeBeouf told the Los Angeles Times in 2011.”Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality. It’s summer. It’s Michael’s style. And I think she never got comfortable with it. This is is a girl who was taken from complete obscurity and placed in a sex-driven role in front of the whole world and told she was the sexiest woman in America. And she had a hard time accepting it. When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. We’re on the run. And the one thing Mike lacks is tact.”
So Michael Bay objectifies women, what else is new? We all knew he was like this and we’ve oddly just let it slide while his idiotic movies make billions of dollars around the world. But what makes me so sad about all this, what upsets me the most, is that these are movies targeted at kids.
The Transformers are, and always will be, glorified toy commercials. The original 1986 movie was made simply to take out the old toyline and bring in a new one. Paramount and Hasbro penned the deal for a live-action Transformers movie to make and sell more playthings to kids. And, to be honest, there’s nothing wrong with that. Star Wars is the most toyetic movie ever made, but it features rich, deep, loveable characters who go on wonderful adventures. Bay’s Transformers movies feature none of that, and instead paints a picture that women are there to be ogled and drooled over. The producers can claim they’re aiming the Transformers movie series at the teenage market (as if that was a good excuse), but the figures sure as hell aren’t. They’re sold to small, impressionable children.
As a comparison, let’s compare Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to the 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie. One features a song which features the lyrics, “dare to be all that you can be” while the other has a woman dry-humping a motorcycle for teenage boys to jack off to. Both are marketed to kids. Just think about that.
Bay putting this sort of nonsense in Bad Boys II is one thing, but a movie designed to make children pester their parents for action figures is something entirely different. And that’s why Michael Bay is a disgusting, deplorable director – and he should be ashamed of himself.
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth, the co-host of the Flickering Myth Podcast and the author of Lights, Camera, Game Over!: How Video Game Movies Get Made (which you can pre-order from Amazon UK and Amazon Us). You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen. »
- Luke Owen
Mark Ruffalo celebrated National Selfie Day by bringing the Science Bros together once again on the set of Avengers: Infinity War. Unlike the lunchtime photo where Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo were flanked by Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong, this image features these scientific heroes sharing a moment together between takes on the Infinity War set. Given the massive size and scope of Avengers: Infinity War, it remains unclear how many actual Science Bro moments fans will get,
This photo from Mark Ruffalo's Instagram doesn't show either of the actor's costumes, but we can see a large blue screen behind them. Naturally, this blue screen could be used for anything, and Mark Ruffalo didn't offer any more details about what's going on behind the Science Bros in this photo. It's been more than two years since we last saw Mark Ruffalo's not-so-jolly Green Giant on the big screen, when he stole a QuinJet and took off for parts unknown at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thankfully, we'll get to see Hulk on the big screen later this year in Thor: Ragnarok.
While many fans have been clamoring for a Planet Hulk adaptation, Thor: Ragnarok may be the closest that we'll get to that story being told on the big screen. We know that Thor will be exiled from Asgard and taken to a gladiator planet, where the reigning champion is in fact the Hulk. Mark Ruffalo teased in an interview last January that the Hulk story arc will connect both Thor: Rangarok and Infinity War, although what that connection may be is uncertain. Thor: Ragnarok is said to center on an "intergalactic road trip" with Thor and Hulk, who have never been the best of friends throughout their Avengers tenure.
There have also been rumors that Avengers: Infinity War may have a connection to the 2008 Phase 3 movie The Incredible Hulk, with actress Liv Tyler reportedly reprising her role as Betty Ross for this movie. Still, since Marvel hasn't confirmed any cast members or character for Avengers: Infinity War yet, all we have are rumors to go on. Marvel did bring back Betty Ross' father, General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross (William Hurt) back into the fold in last year's Captain America: Civil War, so it's certainly possible that his daughter may also return. If they both do come back, they'll be part of an ensemble that the Russo brothers revealed had as many as 67 characters.
We also showed you another photo earlier today featuring the Doctor Strange Sanctum Sanctorum, featuring the Russo Brothers and Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson. While no details were given with that photo, the more we see from this epic adventure, the more fans will start to piece together, but as of now, there is very little to go on, with no official synopsis and no full cast list, although we have seen several stars on the set through recent set photos. Marvel hasn't confirmed when production will wrap on Avengers: Infinity War, but that may happen soon, since filming has been under way for nearly six months. Take a look at this Science Bros photo from Avengers: Infinity War below. »
Yesterday Robert Downey Jr. shared a behind-the-scenes photo from Avengers: Infinity War showing that Benedict Cumberbatch is now on set to film scenes as the Sorcerer Supreme, and now we’ve got another set photo, this time featuring directors Anthony and Joe Russo hanging out in the Sanctum Sanctorum with Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson.
As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.
Avengers: Infinity War opens on April 27th 2018 in the UK and May 4th 2018 in the Us and will feature an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Benedict Wong (Wong), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Sean Gunn (Rocket) Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Kraglin), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Benicio Del Toro (The Collector), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Winston Duke (Man-Ape) and Peter Dinklage and Terry Notary in unconfirmed roles. »
- Gary Collinson
Not to be outdone by Robert Downey Jr.'s Illumnati set photo yesterday, the Russo Brothers shared a new image from Avengers: Infinity War today, which returns to the Sanctum Sanctorum from Doctor Strange. While the good Doctor himself (Benedict Cumberbatch) wasn't present, this image does feature Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who shared the image on Twitter. Unfortunately, neither the Russos nor Scott Derrickson would shed any light on what is being shot in the Sanctum Sanctorum as of yet.
The image debuted on both the Russo Brothers Instagram and Scott Derrickson's Twitter early this morning, which shows all three filmmakers looking over what is likely the script for Avengers: Infinity War, presumably for a scene involving the Sanctum Sanctorum. Benedict Cumberbatch just began shooting on Avengers: Infinity War last week, nearly six months after filming got under way. We reported in January that a stand-in would be used for Benedict Cumberbatch, as he finishes shooting the true story adaptation The Current War, where he portrays Thomas Edison. Broadway actor Aaron Lazar was brought on to serve as the actor's stand-in, with Benedict Cumberbatch said to reshoot all of the scenes where his stand-in's face was shown.
The Sanctum Sanctorum was first established in last year's Doctor Strange, which also featured a post-credits scene in the New York Sanctum, featuring Chris Hemsworth's Thor, which will tie into this fall's Thor: Ragnarok. As for Avengers: Infinity War, since there is practically nothing confirmed about the story thus far, it's anybody's guess why the Sanctum is being used, but we did see both Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong having lunch together in yesterday's set photo, and it's certainly no coincidence that this set photo comes just a day after both Doctor Strange stars were spotted on the set.
It's possible that the Sanctum scenes will have something to do with the fifth Infinity Stone, the Time Stone, which was part of the Eye of Agamotto. After the events of Doctor Strange, the Time Stone was placed back in the library of the Kamar-Taj in Tibet, with Stephen Strange promising to never wear it again in public until he learns how to master its powers. While the Sanctum Sanctorum doesn't connect to the Kamar-Taj, it's possible that some of Thanos' forces may believe the Time Stone is there, which could be why there are scenes in the Sanctum Sanctorum, but that is pure speculation at this point. Still, with Strange and Wong coming back for this adventure, there could be any number of reasons why the Sanctum Sanctorum, or possibly the other Sanctums in London and Hong Kong are being used.
While at first Marvel was planning on shooting Infinity War and Avengers 4 at the same time, the studio decided to shoot both movies separately. After Avengers: Infinity War wraps production, the cast and filmmakers will have a short break before starting production on Avengers 4. The title for the fourth Avengers movie is said to be a spoiler for Infinity War, so we likely won't know the Avengers 4 title until after Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on May 4, 2018. Until then, take at the latest photo from the Avengers: Infinity War set. »
- Andrew Auger
Though it may err on the side of hyperbole, Avengers: Infinity War looks set to be a groundbreaking event movie that takes Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a handful of other famous characters from the McU canon and projects them onto a colossal, near unprecedented canvas.
Such a formidable undertaking has been reserved for Joe and Anthony Russo, who will no doubt call upon their experience on Captain America: Civil War when pitting the Avengers against Josh Brolin’s Thanos. But the Russo brothers aren’t the only creators working to make Infinity War a reality, as the film’s latest set photo attests.
First unearthed via Twitter, below you’ll not only see the famous Sanctum Sanctorum, but also Scott Derrickson himself, director of last year’s Doctor Strange standalone pic. From what we understand, Derrickson’s role as a creative consultant is to ensure Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme is properly represented when placed in the company of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If nothing else, it adds weight to those reports claiming Strange is set to have a fairly major role in Avengers: Infinity War come 2018.
For an ensemble movie that isn’t expected to launch until May of next year, it’s been a fairly busy week for Infinity War, after Robert Downey Jr. shared a set photo featuring Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, and Mark Ruffalo. The latter is back on board as Bruce Banner (Aka The Incredible Hulk), Stark’s old’ science buddy, and below, you’ll find the two Avengers posing for a photo to mark National Selfie Day.
Following the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming (July 7th), Thor: Ragnarok (November 3rd), and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (February 16th), Joe and Anthony Russo will stage Avengers: Infinity War on May 4th, 2018. One year later, the Russo brothers plan to get the gang together for the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4, which has been slated for a release on May 3rd of 2019. »
- Michael Briers
TNT’s Snowpiercer pilot has added two new cast members, with Narcos‘ Roberto Urbina and Roots‘ Katie McGuinness joining the potential TV series, which is being directed by Doctor Strange’s Scott Derrickson and is based on the 2013 film by Bong Joon-ho.
Snowpiercer is set seven years after the Earth has become a frozen wasteland, forcing the surviving members of humanity to live aboard a gigantic train that never stops moving as it travels across the world. It explores class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival.
Urbina will play Avi, part of a polyamorous relationship that’s reeling from a personal tragedy. He also works on the Breach Team, the train’s equivalent of a fireman.
McGuinness will portray Josie McConnell, a strong, no-nonsense woman who lives in poverty at the tail of the train. Josie cares for her sick husband as well as their precocious son. She would do anything for her family, and when unforeseen circumstances turn their lives upside down, she’ll learn exactly how far she’ll go.
- Ricky Church
Narcos alum Roberto Urbina and Katie McGuinness (Roots) are set as series regulars opposite Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs in TNT's pilot Snowpiercer, a futuristic thriller drama based on the acclaimed 2013 feature by Bong Joon-ho. The hourlong drama pilot, directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson, is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland and the remnants of humanity inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe… »
Alison Wright (The Americans) and Benjamin Haigh (The Conjuring 2) have become the latest additions to the cast of TNT’s Snowpiercer pilot, which is based upon the 2013 feature from director Bong Joon Ho and takes place on a frozen, post-apocalyptic Earth where the survivors inhabit a gigantic train that circles the world.
Deadline reports that Wright will portray Lilah Anderson, who is described as “careful and quiet but a pragmatic and independent thinker. Lilah lives with her husband and daughter in a fourth-class cabin and works in the train’s nail salon. Lilah doesn’t know how strong she is, but she’ll soon be forced to find out.”
Haigh is set to play Fergus McConnell, “who lives in the back of the train amongst poverty. He helps his mother care for his sick father, and does his best to contribute to the daily struggles of life in this part of the train. »
- Gary Collinson
Alison Wright (The Americans) and Benjamin Haigh are set as series regulars opposite Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs in TNT's pilot Snowpiercer, a futuristic thriller drama based on the acclaimed 2013 feature by Bong Joon-ho. The hourlong drama pilot, directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson, is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, and the remnants of humanity inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. It… »
The Snowpiercer television series for TNT has gained two cast members opposite Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs and Mickey Sumner. Captain Fantastic’s Annalise Basso and Two for One‘s Sasha Frolova have become series regulars in the adaptation of Bong Joon Ho’s 2013 sci-fi film.
The pilot will be directed by Doctor Strange‘s Scott Derrickson and is set years after Earth has become a frozen apocalypse. The few survivors live in a gigantic train that travels the world without stopping. The original film starred Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-ho and Jamie Bell.
Basso will play Lj Anderson, a quiet, diligent, Midwestern girl, who lives with her parents in a fourth-class cabin and works in the greenhouse car. Poor but not as desperate as those that live in the tail of the train, Lj has made peace with her daily routine until a major event shakes up her world. »
- Ricky Church
Annalise Basso (Captain Fantastic) and Sasha Frolova are set as series regulars opposite Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs in TNT's pilot Snowpiercer, a futuristic thriller drama based on the acclaimed 2013 feature by Bong Joon-ho. The hourlong drama pilot, directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson, is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, and the remnants of humanity inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe… »
The wheels keep a-turning on the casting train for TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” adapted from the critically acclaimed Bong Joon-ho (“Mother,” “Okja”) film of the same name. Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (“Requiem for a Dream,” “Noah”) and Mickey Sumner join Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton,” “Black-Ish”) for the Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “Doctor Strange”) -directed pilot.
- Elizabeth MacLeod
Jennifer Connelly will star in TNT’s hour-long Snowpiercer pilot, which will be directed by Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange). They previously collaborated on The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. Now, they’re working on a new series based on director Bong Joon-ho‘s propulsive sci-fi thriller (adapted from a French graphic novel of the same name). Joon-ho is executive-producing the show along with Chan-wook Park (Oldboy). […]
- Jack Giroux
Back in November of last year it was announced that TNT had given the green light to a TV pilot for Snowpiercer, based on the acclaimed 2013 movie from Bong Joon Ho, and now we have word that Jennifer Connelly has signed on to star opposite Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs.
Snowpiercer will take place seven years after the Earth has become a frozen wasteland, with the survivors inhabiting a gigantic train that circles the globe. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson is helming the pilot, which has been written by Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), who also serves as showrunner.
Connelly is set to play Melanie Cavill, “a First Class passenger who works as the Voice of the Train – responsible for making the daily announcements over its Pa system. Though many in her VIP position are dismissive of the lower class passengers, Melanie is curiously fascinated by them.”
Diggs, who was cast last month, »
- Gary Collinson
Another day, another exciting piece of casting news to report concerning TNT’s Snowpiercer pilot.
Not even 24 hours have passed since we caught wind of Jennifer Connelly’s casting – the Oscar-winner has been set as Melanie Cavill, a first class passenger who works as the Voice of the Train – and it’s now been confirmed that Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha, Battle of the Sexes) has reserved her seat aboard TNT’s icy, post-apocalyptic thriller.
Based on Bong Joon-ho’s modern cult classic of the same name, the pilot will largely take place aboard the titular vessel as it hurtles through a barren wasteland in perpetuity. Climate engineering is to blame for the global catastrophe, and after a series of rogue experiments triggers a full-blown ice age, the remnants of humanity are forced to live out the remainder of their lives on the hulking train known as Snowpiercer. Their existence is »
- Michael Briers
RelatedJennifer Connelly to Star in Snowpiercer Series Adaptation at TNT
Set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe, all as class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival are called into question. Sumner will play Bess Till, a brakeman who is part of the train’s security force who suddenly finds herself caught up in »
Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha) has landed a lead opposite Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs in TNT's pilot Snowpiercer, a futuristic thriller drama based on the acclaimed 2013 feature by Bong Joon-ho. The hourlong drama pilot, directed by Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson, is set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, and the remnants of humanity inhabit a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe. It explores class warfare, social… »
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