'The Dark Knight Rises' Trailer LEGO-ized

Thanks to ParanickFilmz for today's dose of coolness, inspired by The Dark Knight Rises. They released a shot-for-shot remake of the TDKR trailer using LEGO and stop-motion animation. What I find remarkable about this clip is the facial expressions of the little plastic figures. They actually convey emotion and almost give me the impression that this could work as a full-length film. Okay, that might be going a bit overboard, but I still think this is a great piece of work. Agree?

Thanks to Collider and Kotaku for the heads up.

Wanna Be In The Movies? Iron Man 3 Casting Call

Robert Downey Jr. - Marvel Studios
Hey actors and wannabe actors - here's a great opportunity to be in a major superhero epic, and who knows, perhaps meet Robert Downey Jr. in the process. Feature Film Casting has posted details about the casting call for Iron Man 3, which is scheduled to open on May 3, 2013.

According to the article, you must be available between May 21, 2012 and September 7, 2012 and be in the Wilmington, North Carolina area.

We have to point out that the announcement is written by a source not connected to Marvel or Disney, so please read it carefully if you want to audition for a part or apply to be an extra. Check out the info below, and go to FFC for the whole scoop.

Iron Man 3 is a film by Marvel Studios and stars Robert Downey Jr. as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man, Gwyneth Paltrow as Stark's assistant, Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine, and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanov/Black Widow. Shane Black, who also directed 2005's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, will direct a screenplay that he will co-write with Drew Pierce.

From FFC -
Principal actor auditions and extras casting registration is underway for the Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios superhero feature film "Iron Man 3". Shooting will take place in the Wilmington, NC area and other locations in North Carolina from May 21, 2012 through September 7, 2012. The film's main stars are being cast out of Los Angeles, however many supporting and day player acting roles will be cast in North Carolina. All of the extras, photo-doubles and stand-ins for the films stars will be cast in North Carolina. The production will create 550 "high-quality, well-paying jobs" and 1,000 talent opportunities in N.C.
 Thanks to The Daily Blam for the heads up.

Emma Stone and Marc Webb Talk about New Spider-Man

Sony Pictures
Back in 2010, when Sony announced it had given the Spider-Man franchise to director, Marc Webb, I was on board immediately. I liked the trilogy that Sam Raimi and company created, but every time I re-watched the films, they seemed to have not aged well. (BTW- Can you believe it's been ten years since Spider-Man was released?) I've been excited to see a new version of Spidey, and nothing I've seen or read so far has dampened my enthusiasm for this film.

Case in point - a new article on The Hollywood Reporter that offers some interesting quotes from Webb, and Spidey's (and Andrew Garfield's) galpal, Emma Stone. Sounds like Webb wants to create an entirely new cinematic world for Spider-Man that will set his movie(s) apart from the Raimi-helmed flicks. Check out a couple of highlights below, and for the full scoop, head over to the article on THR.

Stone was asked about her character, Gwen Stacy, and if Gwen is an intellectual match for Peter Parker.

"Yes, because he's second in their class. I think that's a huge part of her attraction to Peter, that he's a stand-up guy in this version of the movie. I mean, from the very beginning, he displays some very heroic qualities, but he's mysterious to her; they haven't really ever connected even though they've been in school for a long time. So her attraction is very clear from the very beginning; it's not him coming after her, it's kind of more her interest is piqued by him." -Emma Stone
Webb was asked how much the The Amazing Spider-Man relies on Raimi's version of the character.

 "It’s a totally independent universe, and we make different assumptions about certain parts of the character without subverting the iconography of Spider-Man. There are certain obligations we have -- like he wears a suit and he gets bitten by a spider -- but the context surrounding that is new and different and set off by an event that happens years before. And it's a new story in that sense." -Marc Webb
Marc Webb
 Webb also points out the underlying theme of ASM and how it's different from the first trilogy.
"Well, there is a certain amount of things that we wanted to do in it, like the mechanical web-shooters, for example, which was partly a way to dramatize Peter Parker as a science whiz and his science abilities. But there’s things that we felt obligated to differentiate ourselves in a certain way. But really to me what was interesting is that it's a story about a kid who grows up looking for his father and finds himself. Right? And that’s something we haven't seen before, but everything emerges from that, and I wanted to define the movie according to those terms. And so it doesn't rely on that universe, it doesn't contradict it necessarily, but it's a different world." - Marc Webb
What do you think of Webb's comments about this being "a different world"? Are you convinced that ASM will be as good or better than the original Spidey trilogy, or are you still skeptical?

Click on the link below for lots more info.
WonderCon 2012: Emma Stone and Marc Webb Spill 'Amazing Spider-Man' Secrets - Hollywood Reporter:

Which Superhero Will Reign at the Box Office?

The battle lines are being drawn, and Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., and Sony Pictures are all counting on their superhero movie to be the mega-hit of 2012. We're still about a month and a half away from the start of the "cape movie" onslaught (starting with Marvel's The Avengers on May 4, USA), but it's not too early for some speculation on which flick is going to rule the box office this summer. 

Of course, we judge movies on their overall quality and how well the story is told - so when we say "the biggest" or "most popular", we're not in any way saying that one will be "better" than the others. As we all know, ticket sales and high quality don't always go hand in hand.  Having said that, let's have a little fun guessing which one of these movies audiences will flock to in the next few months. If ever there was a "Year of the Superhero", 2012 is definitely it - with The Avengers,  Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3, USA) and Warner's The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, USA) all vying for the public's movie-going dollars. Which one of these flicks do you think will be crowned the most popular superhero movie of the year?

Marvel Studios
We started thinking about this topic after reading an article on USAToday.comin which a couple of experts give their opinions on which movie will rack up the most ticket sales. The article also points out that 2011 was a down year for the major studios, with many big budget movies such as Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger doing okay, but not great in terms of attendance. So, the studios are counting on these three A-list characters to help make 2012 a banner year.

Here's our prediction on how the Big Three will do at the USA box office  -

Seldom has a movie garnered as much fan interest as The Avengers and it will come very close to breaking The Dark Knight's record for superhero movie opening weeks. By every indication up to this point in time, there's no reason to believe that The Avengers will be anything but a huge success. It will make around $150 million in the first seven days, which would put it in second place behind The Dark Knight in terms of all-time first week ticket sales. By the time The Amazing Spider-Man opens on July 3, it will already top the $300 million mark. Based on how previous Marvel movies performed and the fact that this one features four iconic heroes, $450 to $500 million is a reasonable guess as to how much it will make overall. One final prediction - before the second weekend, Marvel will announce the opening date of The Avengers 2 (probably sometime in the summer of 2015).

Sony Pictures
The Amazing Spider-Man faces an uphill battle at the box office for several reasons. First, it's following The Avengers, and that film is going to set an incredibly high bar in terms of action and compelling characters. "Amazing's" two young stars, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, have a huge fan base, and there is a lot of curiosity about this new Spidey, but that won't be enough to give it "Avengers-like" numbers. Unless the story and visual effects are absolutely, well...amazing, it's bound to pale in comparison to Marvel's team of A-list heroes.  Even though we think it might turn out to be an improvement over the original Spider-Man film from 2002, the public might view it as a re-tread and skip it. If this were any other year, The Amazing Spider-Man would be the biggest superhero movie, but with this competition, it's bound to finish third in the box office tally.

Warner Bros.
When everything is said and done, The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) will be crowned the most popular and highest-earning superhero movie of all time. It will break the opening week record set by The Dark Knight in 2008 ($158 million) and will go on to earn around $550 million in total. This prediction is completely reasonable based on three key factors - 1) The public interest in this movie has been growing wildly for a full year, and it's only getting more intense as the opening day draws near. This public fascination with TDKR is due largely to director, Christopher Nolan, who has masterfully set up TDKR as the final chapter in his Batman story that he began with 2005's Batman Begins. 2) There's even speculation that Nolan might have Bruce Wayne/Batman die, which has kept the internet rumor mill (and fan interest) running at a fever pitch like few films ever have. By the time this movie opens on July 20, no one will want to be the person in their circle of friends who doesn't know how the story ends. 3) It's Batman. The Dark Knight is one of only a few superheroes who is universally known, even by non-comic book fans, and there's something about his story that almost everyone finds fascinating. Combine Batman's popularity with Nolan's intelligent, thought-provoking storytelling, add jaw-dropping visual effects, and there's really no way The Dark Knight Rises can't set a new box office record for superhero movies.

So, now that you know our predictions for The "Year of the Superhero", what are yours? Do you think Batman will reign as king of the box office or is there any chance that Christopher Nolan and company could stumble in this final chapter of the Dark Knight trilogy?

'The Avengers' Trailer Done as a 1960s Cartoon

There's something about old-school animation from the 1960s that everybody seems to love - especially when it features classic Marvel superheroes. Now, take those cartoons and mash them up with the soundtrack from the latest trailer for The Avengers (which you can see here) and you've got something that really rocks.

Kudos to LeoCurbeloFilms for putting this together and posting it on their YouTube channel. They did a great job synching the dialogue and sound effects. Kinda makes us want to dig up those old Marvel cartoon DVDs we've got around here somewhere.

Thanks to ComicsCavern for the heads up.