At 72, Academy Award–winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is as busy as he has ever been during his long and impressive career and shows no signs of slowing down. Currently doing press for his next movie, Universal's The Wolfman, Hopkins is also in the midst of shooting Marvel Studios' Thor and has a starring role in four other movies that are in various stages of production.
Even though it's still early in the Thor shoot, Hopkins recently gave kudos to the director, Kenneth Branagh, who he called an "extraordinary guy, a wonderful actor, and a terrific director." During the Wolfman junket, Hopkins also praised that movie's director, Joe Johnston, calling him "one of the best" directors.
Oh, he's great. Joe Johnston just gets on with it. He's another one. But he's very calm. I mean, he had a lot of pressure on the film because he didn't have much preparation. He came in to replace another director ... and he's very um, very focused, very amenable. He's got the double-edged thing where he's concentrated, he's, uh, knows what he wants. But you can go to him and say, "Can I try this?" "Yeah, do it." That's the best director you can work with and he's sure of himself. And there was a lot of pressure on him. He kept his patience.
Hopkins admitted that he was only "supposed to be talking about Wolfman" at the junket, but he did briefly discuss Thor with a reporter for Collider, as well. In the movie, Hopkins will portray the Marvel Comics version of the mythological Norse god Odin, the father of Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth). Hopkins said that he was "not well-read in Norse mythology" and admitted to doing little research for the role.
I'm not a great researcher. Although I've got the whole Marvel comics book, but I haven't read it yet. It's very dense. I'm not into that culture. Like Wolfman, this is a big cultural thing isn't it, these monster movies? I've never been caught up in that.
Thor is currently in production, with an intended release date of May 6, 2011. The Wolfman opens February 12. Posted 02.09.10 by BrentJS
The Wolfman has gone through several delays, and both Emily Blunt and producer Scott Stuber have tried to explain them. Blunt said the movie "needed to cook a little bit more" while Stuber said the delays were caused by the "complex" visual effects work. In an interview with ShockTillYouDrop, director Joe Johnston shed some light on the visual effects issues that caused The Wolfman delays.
What happened — and this has happened to me many times before — in pre-production you try to make the film affordable. There's a certain amount of money you can spend and there was a sequence in the original script where [Benicio Del Toro] rampages through London, very similar to what we ended up with, and it ended at this conservatory. We couldn't afford a London chase, but we [could] afford the conservatory part. So we shot that. After we cut the film, we recognized — everyone recognized — that, "Gee, we want this action sequence of him rampaging through London." We went back to shoot it, along with another sequence. We added about 200 more visual FX shots, which meant not only did we have to push the release date, we had to come up with more FX money. Also, once we cut it together, the conservatory scene played at a different pace. It didn't fit anymore. You didn't want to see the Wolfman stop at this conservatory where a ball is happening and everyone thinks he's in a costume — which is what the gag was. So, it's in the deleted scenes. [laughs] If you really want to see it, there it is.
Johnston also admitted that there was a bit of a struggle between himself and Universal over what kind of movie The Wolfman was going to be, but that Johnston was still able to make The Wolfman unique amongst typical horror movie fare.
Posted 02.09.10 by Ryan
There's always a battle with the studio about what the movie is. I think I was fairly successful in convincing the studio that mine was the right version or with, at least, postponing the battles until it was too late. I don't think it's the movie they thought they were going to get and they're pleasantly surprised with what it is and how it turned out. With a movie this size you can't turn to them and say, "Hey, leave me alone to make a movie and I'll show you what I have in ten months." It doesn't work that way. It takes a lot of energy just todeal with that side of it. You've got the guys in the studio and it's like, "Okay, I'll listen to your ideas, but you have to listen to mine." It's definitely a power struggle.
Visually I wanted the film to look like it belonged in 1890. That's important, I didn't want it to look like a film that was shot in 1890, but when you watch the film, you recognize you're in a different place. And you reset the constructs in your mind. You're not expecting Saw VI, or something. This is different. Something like that is tough for a studio to recognize. I understand why. Selfishly, it's not my money and I want to put my version of the movie on the screen.
New Orleans finally scores a field goal in the second quarter. It's now 10-3, and the long-awaited trailer for The Wolfman was just shown.
Starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, this looks to be a worthy update of the original black-and-white horror of 1966. Posted 02.07.10 by reelz
Hey all you movie fans who also love football! It's close to kick-off time, and the Colt's are favored by 5 against the Saints. We'll be blogging the movie trailers during the game, so stay tuned to learn who paid $2.5 million per spot to hype their flick.
Early reports say three studios have coughed up some big bucks for their big-ticket movies. Disney is showcasing Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Jerry Bruckheimer's video game movie Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Universal isn't saying what it spent its millions on, but we can guess that it'll be for The Wolfman and Robin Hood. Finally, Paramount will air a TV spot for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island during the game, with a pregame slot for M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender.
(Queen Latifah is crooning America the Beautiful now, and Carrie Underwood will sing the National Anthem.... Get READY!!!)
Conspicuously missing from this list is the sure to be blockbuster of May, Iron Man 2. Why Paramount decided to leave this one out is a wonder. Of course, there are bound to be some surprises, so stay tuned and we'll load them all up here at Reelz.com when they come online. In the meantime, here is the first one we've already found for you...
(New Orleans calls heads and wins the toss. They will recieve! More movie trailers on their way.) Posted 02.07.10 by reelz
Director Joe Johnston recently said that he was ready to put his latest movie, Universal's The Wolfman, behind him and focus on his "next job," directing Marvel Studios' The First Avenger: Captain America, and that seems to be exactly what he is doing. While he has been making the prerequisite press rounds in support of The Wolfman, he seems to be talking far more about the upcoming adventures of the "Star-Spangled Avenger" than about the Universal update.
Last month, Johnston spoke at length about what interests him about the character and discussed the basic plot of the movie. In the past week, Johnston has updated the movie to "in prep" and said that casting of the lead role will happen "soon." Now, Johnston has divulged even more information pertaining to casting the lead role of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Cap), discussed his depiction of Cap's iconic costume and revealed what villain will be working to foil the hero.
At least a portion of The First Avenger: Captain America will be set in WWII Europe, so Johnson admitted to the L.A. Times that it was necessary to come up with a reality-based reason why Cap would be running around a battlefield sporting a brightly-colored flag costume.
The costume is a flag, but the way we're getting around that is we have Steve Rogers forced into the USO circuit. After he's made into this super-soldier, they decide they can't send him into combat and risk him getting killed. He's the only one and they can't make more. So they say, "You're going to be in this USO show" and they give him a flag suit. He can't wait to get out of it.
It was never in the comics because they didn't really need it. In comics, he puts on the costume and the reader just justifies because of the nature of the medium.
Johnston also said that the USO costume will not be the only costume that Cap dons during the course of the movie.
In the first USO sequences, the frustrated patriot will be wearing a version that is closer to the classic Jack Kirby-designed costume, but then later as the super-soldier hits the war zone he will be wearing a sturdier, more muted version that he makes himself that is more like battle togs. The stripes across his mid-section, for instance, will be straps, not colored fabric.
He realizes the value of the uniform symbols but he modifies his suit and adds some armor, it will be closer to the Cap costume in some of the comics in more recent years... this approach, it's the only way we could justify ever seeing him on a screen in tights, with the funny boots and everything. The government essentially puts him up there as a living comic-book character and he rips it off and then reclaims some of its imagery after he recognizes the value of it. We think it's the best way to keep the costume and explain it at the same time.
Johnston went on to tell the Times that he was currently "testing five or six guys" between the ages of 23 and 32 for the lead role and that he had to "have somebody locked in before I leave March 1 for London." At a recent press junket for The Wolfman, Johnston elaborated on the casting further, saying that he didn't think he could make the movie "without an American playing the part" and that he was "looking for a complete unknown." Johnston also said that the movie would be shot in HD, which could be converted to 3-D, if the studio decides to go in that direction.
We're not going to be shooting it specifically to be 3D, but this is the first film I will have shot in high def and I think it's one of the first's Shelly [Johnson, cinematographer] will shoot in high def too, [so] it'll be a new experience for both of us. And it gives you a lot of flexibility in post, which I learned from [editor] Walter Murch ... when you shoot a movie in high def if you want to zoom in 200% you can. But in film you can only go 15 or 20% at most before you start seeing grain and degradation. In high def you can basically reshoot the film in post — if you want to — so I'm looking forward to trying that.
Last, but not least, AICN and ComingSoon both report that Johnston has revealed the villain of the movie to be Cap's perpetual comic book nemesis, the Red Skull.
The First Avenger: Captain America is currently scheduled to begin production in June, with a release date of July 22, 2011. Posted 02.07.10 by BrentJS
With the release of The Wolfman imminent, director Joe Johnston is looking to put the troublesome production behind him and focus on his next project, Marvel Studios' The First Avenger: Captain America.
I've got my next job and I'm not going to worry about the success or the failure of [The Wolfman]. I can only use my instincts and say, "I think this is the best version of that scene. This is the best take. This is the best piece of music for this scene." And I can't start second-guessing myself and thinking, "What does the audience want to see? What does the studio think is the best solution for this?" You can't start doing that, because after a while it all becomes a blur and you forget what your original instinct was.
Johnston recently spoke about what appeals to him about the character of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, and in a recent interview with FilmJournal, Johnston offered an update on the status of the production.
We're in prep. Rick Heinrichs is production-designing and we're set up down in Manhattan Beach [California]. It's the part of the process that I love the most. We have eight or ten really talented artists, and we all just sit around all day and draw pictures and say, "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we could do this?" It's that phase of the production where money doesn't matter: "Let's put all the greatest stuff up on the wall and [then later] see what we can afford."
Captain America is expected to go into production in June. The coveted role of Captain America has not been cast at this time. Posted 01.31.10 by BrentJS
Director Joe Johnston has been quietly lining up his next projects while his long-delayed latest film, The Wolfman, languishes in post-production. In a recent interview with BoxOffice to promote The Wolfman, Johnston confirmed that he was in the process of developing not only a fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, but a fifth and sixth, as well.
Well, there is going to be a Jurassic Park IV. And it's going to be unlike anything you've seen. It breaks away from the first three — it's essentially the beginning of the second Jurassic Park trilogy. It's going to be done in a completely different way. That's pretty much all I can tell you.
Johnston also dropped some plot details about of one of the most highly anticipated comic book movies currently in development, The First Avenger: Captain America. Johnston, attached to direct, teased that the film version of Captain America will be "something different" and not what fans might "expect," but added that it will be a "a lot of fun."
It is influenced by the comic book, but it goes off in a completely different direction. It's the origin story of Captain America. It's mostly period — there are modern, present-day bookends on it — but it's basically the story of how Steve Rogers becomes Captain America. The great thing about Captain America is he's a super hero without any super powers. Which is why this story, among the hundreds of superhero stories, appealed to me the most. He can't fly, he can't see through walls, he can't do any of that stuff. He's an everyman who's been given this amazing gift of transformation into the perfect specimen — the pinnacle of human perfection. How does that affect him? What does that mean for him emotionally and psychologically? He was this 98-pound weakling, he was this wimp, and he's transformed instantly into this Adonis. You'd think he got everything he wanted. Well, he didn't get everything he wanted. The rules change at that point and his life gets even more complicated and dire. For me, that's the interesting part of the story. It's got some great action sequences in it and some incredible stuff that we've never seen before. But at the heart of it, it's a story about this kid, who all he wants to do is fit in. This thing happens and he still doesn't fit in. And he has to prove himself a hero — essentially go AWOL to save a friend. Eventually at the very end, I don't want to give away too much, but he does fit in. But it's the journey of getting him there that's interesting.
It is unclear from the interview just how far along in the development process the new Jurassic Park trilogy might be or when Jurassic Park IV might go into production. The First Avenger: Captain America is currently scheduled to begin production in June. Posted 01.15.10 by BrentJS
The Wolfman has suffered through several delays, which is usually a bad sign. Actress Emily Blunt has tried to explain the delays by saying that the movie "needed to cook a little bit more," and producer Scott Stuber agrees, though his explanation involves more technical details.
The visual effects work was so complex that some of the stuff wasn't ready. There were so many textures we had to create, like landscapes of London and all the elements within the London sequence; they just weren't where they needed to be.
It's an authentic, make-up-driven film, but there are transitional pieces that we needed to do in CG, so you didn't have to cut away during the change in the monster. Integrating the make-up and the effects to make them feel like one cohesive whole was always going to be a challenge and it's something we've had to work through.
Beyond the special effects delays, Stuber says another scene was needed.
We needed one more piece between Benicio [Del Toro] and Emily [Blunt]. We added a new scene during the post-bite, pre-transformation sequence when he's starting to realize something's wrong.
Despite everything, Stuber remains confident about the movie, calling it "a big quality piece of entertainment" that's "beautiful, rich, gothic, tragic - it's everything you hope it would be." Posted 12.28.09 by Ryan
Popular horror magazine Fangoria inadvertently dropped the news that Marvel Studios' live-action adaptation of the classic Captain America comic books will go into production during June of next year. The information appears after a quote from Joe Johnston about how little time he had to prepare for The Wolfman after taking over for its original director, Mark Romanek.
Principal photography was now less than four weeks away. "By the time I got on a plane and arrived, it was three," recalls Johnston, speaking from the art department of The First Avenger: Captain America, which he's readying for a June start.
Paramount plans to release The First Avenger: Captain America on July 22, 2011. No cast announcements have been made as of yet. Posted 12.28.09 by BrentJS
The release date for The Wolfman has been delayed several times, leading to much online speculation as to what was going wrong with the Joe Johnston-directed production. Emily Blunt, who stars in the movie, explained to ShockTillYouDrop why she thinks the movie has suffered from so many delays.
I think with a film like that, because there are special effects and it's a big movie, you can't accelerate its release date. It's not fair and so I think it just needed some more time. They needed to cook a little bit more. But the film is so good, so I'm really happy that they waited and I think it's the best time for people to see it.This fall is all about the awards seasons and all of that, so I don't know if it's that kind of film. It's not. It's a werewolf movie. It's a brilliant…more of a throwback to the old Lon Chaney films and it's classic and gothic and eerie but I don't think it competes with the slasher movies in that way because I think it's better. I did my job, they loved the movie so, I almost feel this is the best time because I feel like more people are going to see it in February anyway.
Blunt may be able to give some context to the delays, but couldn't explain why editors Walter Murch and Mark Goldblatt were hired to help work on the movie, including the footage from six weeks of reshoots.
I don't know what happens behind those scenes. I think it's important to get as many influences as possible on a film of that scale, with that much effects that need to take place.
Whatever Murch and Goldblatt did, it seemed to have the desired effect. The MPAA has rated the movie "R" for "bloody horror, violence, and gore". Blunt may not feel feel like The Wolfman will compete with slasher movies, but the rating is good news to slasher fans, who will make up a large percentage of The Wolfman's audience. Posted 12.13.09 by Ryan