Bradley Cooper And James Spader Join The Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Blacklist - Panel
James Spader (Photo credit: titi-)
Hot on the heels of last week's 'Ben Affleck is Batman' news comes even more geektastic casting info. On Thursday (8-29-13) Marvel Studios announced that James Spader would voice the CGI character - Ultron - in the follow-up to 2012's 'The Avengers' - appropriately titled 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'. In the film (targeted for a May 1, 2015 opening), Ultron will battle Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor, as well as new additions, the enchanting Scarlet Witch and the super-fast Quicksilver.

Ultron
Ultron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the comic books, Ultron is a sentient, maniacal robot created by Henry Pym (Ant-Man), but in 'Age of Ultron' it's rumored that his creator will be Tony Stark. Think of Ultron as a cross between HAL in '2001: A Space Odessy' and The Terminator. Ultron also has a long history of wanting to destroy the Avengers going all the way to the beginnings of Marvel's comic book lore.

Spader is a great addition to the cast and it'll definitely be interesting to see how he approaches such a unique character. Of course, Ultron will be a fully CGI creation, so Spader will only lend his voice talents to the role. For more on the Spader casting, watch the video below.



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Bradley Cooper - Rocket Raccoon - Disney/Marvel
In the other big casting news of the week, on Friday (8-30-13) Marvel announced Bradley Cooper signed on to provide the voice for Rocket Raccoon in Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. It's been rumored that Cooper was interested in this role, so this news wasn't a huge surprise. Cooper joins an already impressive ensemble cast, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Glenn Close, and Lee Pace.

Here's the official announcement from Marvel about Cooper voicing Rocket Raccoon -

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"Rocket Raccoon has finally found his voice!

Academy Award-nominated actor Bradley Cooper has officially joined the cast of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” lending his voice to the fan-favorite raccoon that will join Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista) on their epic adventure.

Cooper has previously starred in “Silver Linings Playbook,” for which he was nominated for an Oscar®, “Limitless,” “Place Beyond the Pines” and the “Hangover” trilogy, the latter of which has grossed $1.4 billion globally. He will next be seen in “American Hustle” which will reunite him with “Silver Linings Playbook” director David O. Russell. “Guardians of the Galaxy” will mark Cooper’s first voiceover work.

In the far reaches of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an unlikely cast of characters including Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon must join forces to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions. Directed by James Gunn, the live-action “Guardians of the Galaxy” will take fans to new corners of the Marvel Universe when it hits theaters August 1, 2014, but in the meantime stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest news as it breaks, including official casting, first looks and more!

In addition to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including “Thor: The Dark World” on November 8; “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” on April 4, 2014; “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015; and “Ant-Man” on November 6, 2015."

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For quick roundup of the latest 'Guardians of the Galaxy' news, check out the video below.


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Watch Newly Released Animated Concept Art For 'The Avengers'

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If you're a fan of the behind-the-scenes magic that make today's superhero movies possible, then you'll like what I have today. Artist Federico D'Alessandro created these animatics (animated storyboards) for 'The Avengers', and they all show awesome action scenes. Some of the scenes that D'Alessandro created made their way into the final film version. However the first one I posted below shows Iron Man taking on a small army in a scene that wasn't used.

Just a heads up - in the second video, there's a scene that could be a tad spoilery about 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'.



This next animatic shows Tony Stark talking to his artificial intelligence construct - Jarvis. It also shows a much different version of the meeting between Loki and Stark.

(Note: A recent rumor says that the villain in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' (2015) is actually an evolved, evil version of Jarvis. If you listen carefully to what Jarvis says in this clip, that rumor makes a lot of sense.)



Next up is a toe-to-toe battle between Loki and Iron Man aboard a speeding train.



Finally, check out the climactic 'Battle of New York'. If you look closely at the end, you'll see Janet Van Dyne (Wasp) assembling with the other Avengers.



I hope they include some of these scenes in future Marvel movies. Whaddya think?
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Watch This Fan-Made Trailer For 'Man of Steel 2'

batman, superman, symbols
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The follow-up to 2013's mega-hit 'Man of Steel' might be two years away, but that didn't stop a YouTuber from making an awesome trailer. Check out the video from soylentbrak1 below and see how the real thing might look with Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This trailer is so cool it mght even sway a few anti-Affleck people over to the other side. I love how it conveys the same serious tone and intensity of 'The Dark Knight Trilogy' and 'Man of Steel'.



Below are some details about the trailer, courtesy of soylentbrak1 -

Cast:
Clark Kent: Henry Cavill
Lois Lane: Amy Adams
Perry White: Laurence Fishburne
Bruce Wayne: Ben Affleck
Alfred Pennyworth: Jeremy Irons
Lex Luthor: Bryan Cranston

This was already half made but with another actor as Bats, since the release of the news tho (which im def starting to warm too) I decided to put the official actor in the role, as always, comment and enjoy!

Footage:
Man Of Steel Fan Opening
Breaking Bad
Trouble With The Curve
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Cold Light Of Day
Total Recall 2012
Man Of Steel
State Of Play
Hannibal TV Series
The Haunting
Night Train To Lisbon
Nikita TV Series
Daredevil
Batman Seeds Of Arkham
Elysium
The Prestige
The Prototype
Iron Man 2
The Dark Knight
Batman vs Deadpool Fan Film

Music:

I Will Find Him - Hans Zimmer
Arcade - Hans Zimmer

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More 'Batman Vs. Superman' news...

bryan cranston, lex luthor
Bryan Cranston / Lex Luthor - DC Comics
Last week, cosmicbooknews.com reported an alleged scoop, stating that Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) has signed a 6 picture deal to play Lex Luthor. Several high profile blogs ran with the story and reported it as factual. However, as of 8-28-13, I have yet to see any type of confirmation from Warner Bros. Cranston (along with Mark Strong) were the two actors who seemed to have the inside track on the Luthor role, so this rumor certainly could be legit. I'm sure we'll find out soon if Cranston really did land role. 

Finally, acting-auditions.org posted the details about the casting call for 'Batman Vs. Superman'. Of particular note are the locations where director Zack Snyder and company will film the superhero epic. The casting announcement specified the cities of Detroit, Toronto, and Morocco as locations that Snyder will use. If you fancy being in a superhero flick, check out the site for info on how to audition or to apply to be an extra.

That's it for today. Let me know what you think of the trailer. 
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New Details Emerge About Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

guardians of the galaxy, concept art

One year from now, Marvel Studios will unveil its biggest gamble yet - the superhero space epic, Guardians of the Galaxy. When I say "gamble", I mean it's the first movie the studio has produced that doesn't star one of its iconic characters, like Iron Man or Hulk. Nope, GotG will introduce a new, cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe, and a new cast of characters to go along with it.

Since most movie-goers aren't familiar with the GotG characters, I think we can expect to see a lot of background info coming from Marvel in the next few months. In fact, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige got the ball rolling with an extensive interview with EmpireOnline last week. In the chat, Feige dropped several details about the flick that shed light on the new characters.

Highlights From Kevin Feige's 'Empire' Interview

  • GotG takes place in the same time period as 'Iron Man 3' and 'Thor: The Dark World'.
  • The main villain will be Ronan the Accuser - played by Lee Pace. (This is major news because up til now it wasn't clear who the main bad guy would be.)
  • We'll learn more about Thanos in 'GotG'. (I'm sure you remember Thanos - he was the purple-skinned dude from the post-credits scene in 'The Avengers'.)
  • Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana) will start off as a baddie, but then joins the Guardians. 
  • Rocket Raccoon will be a genetically and mechanically altered creature - an "experiment" from one part of the galaxy. (It was also revealed recently that Bradley Cooper is close to signing a deal to voice the CGI Rocket Raccoon.)
For an excellent roundup of what we learned in the Feige interview, check out the video below from Clevver Movies.



Bonus: GotG has been filming in the London area for about a month, but we haven't seen too many spy pics of the outdoor scenes. Last week, we got our very first look at Michael Rooker's character - Yondu. Thanks to superherohype.com, you can check him out in all his blue-skinned glory below.

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'Guardians of the Galaxy' opens on August 1, 2014
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How The 'Ben Affleck As Batman' Movie Deal Went Down

unofficial fan-made image via 
Are you wondering about the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing that lead to Ben Affleck becoming the next Batman?

Okay, I admit, unless you're a Batman nut or a film nerd, you're probably not wondering - but if you are, then read on.

Borys Kit of Heat Vision posted an analysis of the secret talks and backroom deals that took place in the last few months between Affleck and Warner Bros. Check out Why Ben Affleck Said 'Yes' to Batman (Analysis) to learn how the deal went down.

Kit also offers solid theories on why Warner Bros. wanted Affleck and how playing Batman makes a lot of sense for both the studio and the actor. One of the reasons I like Kit's article is because I agree with a lot he says. As I said before, I was stunned by the Affleck news at first, but later I realized it was a good call. Affleck is a veteran actor who can handle the pressure the role will bring, and the studio gets a talented, A-List star who can be an integral part of their movie universe for years to come.

Highlights From The Heat Vision Article


  • The announcement about Affleck came after a long negotiating process lasting several months.
  • Warner Bros. began looking at Affleck for the role shortly after 'Man of Steel' finished production (early 2013).
  • Director Zack Snyder contacted Affleck to gauge his interest.
  • The talks between Affleck's rep and Warner Bros. were so secret that WB execs didn't know about them.
  • Affleck is signed on for multiple movies.
  • Affleck could potentially be lining things up to direct and star in the future 'Justice League' movie.
Clevver Movies also has a quick rundown of the Batman casting news in the video below. Take a look and let me know if you think Warner Bros. and Affleck made the right decision.


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Top 10 Funniest Ben Affleck As Batman Memes

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Well, we're 48 hours into the Affleck era of Batman history, and the fallout from the announcement is still going strong.

The Pro-Batfleck and Anti-Batfleck camps are firmly entrenched in their positions and no reconciliation appears possible. Really, I've never seen anything like this reaction to a casting announcement - Have you?

As for me, I'm just amused at how worked up people get over stuff like this. Frankly, some of the comments about Affleck being somehow unqualified to play Batman are nonsense. I mentioned yesterday that I'm giving Warner Bros. the benefit of the doubt, and I think the Bat-franchise is in good hands. I was happy to see two movie industry badasses take a reasonable stand and show their support for Affleck. Check out what Fox creative consultant Mark Millar and 'The Avengers' director Joss Whedon Tweeted below.



However, some people didn't waste time showing what they thought of Affleck becoming the next Dark Knight. Behold 10 of the funniest, snarkiest, most creative memes from fan-artists around the web.

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