Apologies for the delay on your Movie News Cheat Sheet, but between post-Comic Con exhaustion and a diverted flight, had I rushed to post, you might have ended up with a list of gibberish. Then again, the keywords would still likely be there. Marvel, The Winter Soldier, Hoffman, Heavensbee. You’d be able to put together the piece, right?
Well, you don’t have to worry about it now because a coherent Cheat Sheet has arrived and it’s packed with the biggest news from Comic Con as well as a few pieces that cropped up during the week beyond San Diego. We’ve got updates on “Independence Day 2,” “Catching Fire,” “Wolverine 2,” “Thor 2,” and even a few items that have nothing to do with sequels!
Ready for it? Here we go …
1. “Independence Day 2” Might Really Happen: Must go faster? Not really. Sixteen years after the July 3, 1996 release of “Independence Day,” the sequel is finally starting to come together. Writer-producer Dean Devlin told THR, “Whether or not we can make this happen, if we can get all the pieces to come together, that’s gonna be challenging. But creatively, for the very first time since we did the original, I feel we have a worthy concept, a worthy path to go.” Devlin also explained that it was a conscious decision not to have “Independence Day 2” arrive soon after the original because “we still wanted to honor the first one.” No word on what this magical story idea entails, but Devlin reassured, “I think it took a long time, but I feel like we finally got something that really feels like, ‘that’s worth seeing as a sequel to ‘Independence Day.’”
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman is Plutarch Heavensbee: We’ve known that the offer went out to Philip Seymour Hoffman to portray the new Head Gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee, in the “Hunger Games” sequel, “Catching Fire”, for quite some time, but now it’s official; Hoffman is in! For those of you who still haven’t caught the first film or read the books, SPOILER ALERT; Plutarch is the man that takes Seneca Crane’s (Wes Bentley) position after President Snow presents him a bowl of Night Lock. Any Head Gamemaker has an intense task ahead of him, but Plutarch in particular has his hands full. Not only does he have to follow up the Games that featured the very first pair of victors but he also must plan a Quarter Quell, a Games that crops up every 25 years and is basically the yearly event with an especially sadistic twist aimed at reminding the citizens of Panem of the disastrous results of the rebellion. And who better to take on that job that an Academy Award winner? (via Lionsgate)
3. The Mandarin vs. Iron Man: Many speculated that Sir Ben Kingsley’s “Iron Man 3” villain would be The Mandarin and now it’s official. Via Comic Book Resources, the Comic Con footage offered up a few quick shots of a samurai sword, but really drove the point home with one final sequence during which Kingsley removes a hood to reveal “a samurai-style circular patch of dark hair in the middle, a long train of hair protruding from it,” and finally, “The Mandarin, face-on, seated and sporting a full, long, bushy, dark beard.” When director Shane Black took the stage, he noted, “This guy is The Mandarin.”
4. “The Dark World” and “The Winter Soldier Are Coming:” At the very start of the Marvel panel at San Diego Comic Con, producer Kevin Feige unveiled some interesting news; the “Thor” sequel will be titled “Thor: The Dark World” and the “Captain America” sequel will be “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” What’s the deal with “Thor: The Dark World?” Your guess is as good as mine. On the other hand, the “Captain America” subtitle reveals quite a bit. For those of you who aren’t in the know when it comes to comic book movie source material, Wikipedia breaks it down explaining Winter Solider is really Captain America’s best friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Bucky’s killed in a plane explosion, but his body is recovered, sans one arm, revived in Moscow, and programmed to be Winter Solder, an assassin for Department X. In addition to the new title, the “Captain America” sequel might also be getting a new star. According to THR, Anthony Mackie is in negotiations to join the cast. No word from Marvel on who Mackie will portray, but, rumor has it, he could become Sam Wilson, also known as The Falcon, a hero who telepathically talks to birds and can take flight thanks to the powers derived by his suit.
5. Ant-Man Comes to Comic Con: Clearly quite a few big stories came out of the Marvel panel, but one of the biggest of the bunch is definitely the “Ant-Man” test footage unveiled by Edgar Wright. Wright took the stage and admitted the test footage was “completely unfinished” and was entirely CGI so Ant-Man was a wholly computer generated character, but he dimmed the lights and let it roll anyway so as to give fans a sense of the character and the environment he plans to create. No word from Marvel on who will play Ant-Man, when they plan to shoot or even a release date, but Cinema Blend was on hand to deliver a full description of the test footage shown so that will have to suffice until more details surface.
6. “Godzilla” Poster & Clip: What better way to follow up a micro budget monster movie than with a “Godzilla” remake backed by Legendary Pictures? I interviewed Gareth Edwards on the floor of New York Comic Con just two years ago and now he’s in Hall H at SDCC showing off footage from one of the hottest upcoming releases. ComingSoon.net was in the building for the big show and got a peek at the trailer for Edwards’ latest. Apparently it features a demolished city, folks talking about the end of the world, a giant creature and “the classic Godzilla scream.” Read all about it over at the ComingSoon.net live blog and click here to check out the film’s very first poster.
7. Jessica Biel for Viper: It’s taken quite a while, but we’ve finally found a reason to be somewhat excited for “Wolverine 2,” Jessica Biel. As reported by Deadline, in addition to rumors that Will Yun Lee, Brian Tee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Rila Fukushima and Tao Okamoto are joining the cast, word got out that Biel has accepted the role of Victoria/Viper. Apparently Viper straddles the line of good and evil, but is mostly an enemy to both the X-Men and the Avengers, and has a special connection to Wolverine.
8. “Fantastic Four” and “Rust” Get Directors, “Daredevil” Loses One: 20th Century Fox took a step back from San Diego Comic Con this year, but the studio has a handful of updates on a few upcoming projects. As reported by Deadline, “Chronicle” director Josh Trank is a go to direct the “Fantastic Four” reboot. “Attack the Block” director Joe Cornish also has his next project locked down. He’s directing “Rust,” a film based on the Royden Lepp novel about Jet Jones who crash lands on earth and brings a giant decommissioned war robot with him. David Slade, on the other hand, is opting to ditch the “Daredevil” reboot because he’s directing the pilot for “Hannibal” and the shooting schedules conflict.
9. Trailers: “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” “Frankenweenie,” “The Dark Knight Rises:” Thanks to San Diego Comic Con we’ve got our very first look at Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” The piece features some stunning visuals, but it isn’t exactly the “Wizard of Oz” prequel I imagined, as it doesn’t really feel like it takes place in the same world. “Frankenweenie,” on the other hand, is all I hope it to be and more. This time around we’ve got an homage trailer and the throwback format perfectly complements the material. Last up is another piece of promotion material for this weekend’s big release, “The Dark Knight Rises.” While all the trailers for the film have impressed, this one is particularly striking thanks to the look back at the previous Christopher Nolan Batman films, which build towards the explosive events of “The Dark Knight Rises,” upping the stakes more so than ever.
10. Box Office: As expected, “Ice Age: Continental Drift” was the weekend’s big winner, but with just $46.6 million to start, it didn’t manage to get the franchise back on top, coming nowhere close to the series’ biggest opening, $68 million for “The Meltdown.” “The Amazing Spider-Man” held on rather well, only dropping 44.2% and taking another $34.6 to the bank. “Ted” took an even lesser hit, losing just 30.4% of its weekend two profits for $22.4 in weekend three. “Brave” dropped 43.1% for another $11.2 million, bringing its grand total to just under $200 million while “Savages” fell just 41.4%, adding another $9.4 million to its domestic total. (via Box Office Mojo)