First Glimpses of Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘Doctor Strange’

Come, peer with me now into the all-seeing Orb of Agamotto for a glimpse into the future of the Doctor Strange movie: star Benedict Cumberbatch filming on the set in n Kathmandu, Nepal.

These scenes would appear to be set early in the movie, when disgraced surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange is searching for a cure for the nerve damage to his hands. I have to admit, it is cool to know that production has officially begun on the adaptation of my all-time favorite comic book character — even if I do have very mixed feelings about this production.

I am happy that the movie is being made, but I have serious issues with the casting of Cumberbatch in the lead. He’s a good actor, IMHO, but there has grown up around him a bloated fandom that feels almost like a cult of personality. I really do not understand the slavering awe and worship with which Cumberbatch is treated. It’s like he’s the greatest actor of all time. And this cult of personality will definitely clash with the movie. BC will tower over the film and distract from discussion of the film on it’s own merits.

It happened with Star Trek: Into Darkness. After he was cast, all anyone wanted to talk about was, “Who is Benecict playing? “Is he Khan?” “He’s Kahn, isn’t he?” (And, despite outright lying by the studio, he indeed was playing Khan.) I just don’t want everything about Doctor Strange reduced to whether the Cumberbitches (look ’em up) like his hair in a particular scene.

It’s just not fair that my guy is likely going to be crushed under the weight of his own star. But hey, I should be grateful that Marvel and Disney are willing to pour some cash into this production — unlike the 1978 TV movie made for CBS. And, yes, Cumberbatch is an improvement on Peter Hooten.

Directed by Scott Derrickson and co-starring Tilda Swinton (Ancient One), Rachel McAdams, Mads Mikkelsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Baron Mordo) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Nicodemus West), Doctor Strange will be released Nov. 4, 2016.

Tom Holland Takes Inspiration from Maguire, Garfield for Spidey

tomhollandWhile we all feverishly cross our fingers and hope that the first Marvel Spider-Man movie will not be yet another origin story — c’mon, can they really resist telling it their way? — new Peter Parker Tom Holland recently dropped a hint about he plans to play the character when his flick drops in 2017.

He said he will be inspired by previous wall-crawlers Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield:

“I think it’s impossible not to, they were so great and such real and rich performances, and there’s obviously factors I love and I will continue to try and recreate, but I think the most important thing at the moment is making a film which is obviously of the same character but make it a new and exciting movie.”

 

Holland is working on Spider-Man’s debut in Captain America: Civil War.

The latest Spidey flick will be released July 28, 2017.

No Mask for Baron Zemo in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Baron_zemo01In the first bit of truly bad news about next summer’s Captain America: Civil War, actor Daniel Bruhl revealed that his portrayal of Baron Zemo will be quite unique.

For starters, he will not wear Zemo’s iconic purple mask!

“He does not wear the mask,” said Bruhl, adding that his portrayal of the character will be very different from the printed page:

“You would be surprised; it’s different than what you’d think. It’s loosely connected to this character. But that’s what I like about the Marvel guys, some of the characters and things they’re dealing with always reference to current events so my character is from a different area than you would think.”

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And Now… the Honest Trailer for ‘Avengers: Age of Utron’

Once again, those clever folks over at Screen Junkies have come up with a funny piece — however, similar to Mad Max: Fury Road, the writers were forced to reach for truly bad stuff.

 

Yeah, the jist of it is that the movie couldn’t possibly live up to the insane fan expectations — and it didn’t. That’s the criticism in a nutshell.

But I did like how the voice-over pointed out that in addition to being entertaining on its own, this movie had to set up  Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and who knows how many other follow-ups…

Ex Hannibal in Line for ‘Doctor Strange’ Movie Villain?

Mads_MikkelsenIt’s possible that TV’s former Hannibal Lecter, Mads Mikkelsen, could play the Big Bad in Marvel’s Doctor Strange opposite Benedict Cumberbatch‘s mystic hero — according to Variety, that is.

The showbiz bible says Marvel Studios is in talks with the actor, a veteran of several villainous roles, including the James Bond film Casino Royale. Mikkelsen’s exact role remains under wraps, but sources say he will be an antagonist.

In addition to Cumberbatch, the film also stars Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, with Scott Derrickson directing.

Cumberbatch will play Stephen Strange, a former neurosurgeon who becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, the protector of Earth against magical threats. Swinton’s Ancient One is Strange’s mentor, while Ejiofor’s Mordo is a fellow student who turns on the Ancient One and Strange.

Filming begins later this year. Doctor Strange will premiere Nov. 4, 2016.

 

Our First Glimpse of Black Panther in ‘Civil War’ Action!

Here is the first look at the Black Panther as he will appear in next summer’s Captain America: Civil War. These photos come from location filming in Berlin, and feature Chadwick Boseman‘s stunt double in the Black Panther costume.

Notice the silver accents around the mask and gloves — that’s different from any version of the costume I’m familiar with from the comics.


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New ‘Ant-Man’ Spot Seems… Uninspired

The latest TV spot for Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man simply doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s the music — a dull, repetitive club tune called “2020” by Suuns, which feels completely out of place. (I hope it isn’t used in the film.) Check it out:

Yeah, the whole thing just feels… meh. It’s like all the cool stuff has already been shown, and we’ve seen probably the best laugh lines, so what’s left? Apparently, not much. It all seems so familiar. Really, the only substantive new material is the brief encounter at the end between Scott (Paul Rudd) and his buddies Luis (Michael Pena) and Dave (T.I.).

Ant-Man opens July 17.

 

New Avengers Footage Shown… in Car Commercial!

We all know that product placement is here to stay, as are “the official whatever of whoever” sponsorships. We live with it. But here is a benefit of the advertising partnership: sometimes we get to see cool new footage in the commercials, as is the case with Audi and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A:AoU opens May 1. I presume Audis are available now at your local dealerships.

New ‘Age of Ultron’ TV Spot Is Action-Packed

As the magic day — the first of May — approaches, the promotion onslaught for Avengers: Age of Ultron will begin in earnest. But for a film that looks like this much fun, I don’t think anyone is going to mind! Just watch the third TV commercial:

Did you catch the first clear, full-face shot of the Vision right there at the end, or did you blink? He’s the red-faced guy.

As a public service, here are the first and second TV spots, and the amazing full-length movie trailer.