GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
As we reported last Friday here at CBR, "The Hangover" veteran Bradley Cooper will voice everyone's favorite anthropomorphized raccoon in the film. The announcement completes the Guardians filmic line-up, which also includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and -- if his agents make it happen -- Vin Diesel as Groot. The film is shaping up to be one of Marvel's wilder and more interesting project, collecting actors such as Karen Gillan, Benicio del Toro and Glenn Close in other roles. With this interest in mind, Empire released a preview of its upcoming print interview with Marvel grand pooba Kevin Fiege, who talks about the film. "You will learn more about Thanos in 'Guardians,' for sure. Certainly you'll get more than the one turn-around-and-smirk. You'll get much more than that," he says of the marquee villain, though he point's out that Lee Pace's Ronan the Accuser is the principle antagonist.
Release date: August 1st, 2014
Bryan Crantson jokes with the Boston Globe about his possible role as Lex Luthor in the "Man of Steel" sequel. "I think that maybe my name is bandied about because I'm known to be bald. 'What bald guy can we get?' The reality is they can take any actor and shave his head or put a bald cap on him," he says. As to his plan for the immediate future, which includes a play and directing an episode of "Modern Family," the former Heisenberg plans to "relax the rest of the year. There's some irons in the fire, things that people are talking about, but nothing is set." If he does end up playing the greatest criminal mind of our time -- um, after Walter White, of course -- Jesse Pinkman will get the credit. He called it immediately after Walt shaved his head.
Release date: July 17th, 2015
THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Walking to the theater to see Pacific Rim again, I noted to a friend that Christopher Eccleston must be the most advertising-adverse-but-in-demand actor working today. The ambivalent Ninth Doctor is missing from U.S. posters for a smaller film called "Unfinished Song" despite being third billed and has yet to appear in any "Thor" publicity. As though the internet heard my comment, Comic Book Movie spotted a first publicity image to include Eccleston as Malekith:
Well, it's certainly recognizable as Eccelston, but I'm not sure if this counts. Meanwhile, Superhero Hype has an on-set interview they conducted with Chris Hemsworth while the film was still in production last year. Asked about where the film fits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe tapestry, the actor said, "I think they all link up in some way, but I think Marvel is pretty adamant about them being their own stories, 'cause I was wondering if we were going to start doing cameos of everyone's film, but I guess that would take away from the impact of all of us when we do finally come together, so I think these stories they kind of segue off into their own world."
Starring Chris Hemsworth, release date: November 8th, 2013
THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
The Los Angeles Times rounded up some Twitter reaction to the announcement that James Spader will be Ultron in the super-powered sequel, including this gem from Tom Hiddleston: "Go on, James Spader. Go get 'em." Director Joss Whedon notes how much he loves the connection fans are making between Spader and Robert Downey Jr. and their infamous 1980s meeting in "Less Than Zero" and Scott Kurtz jokes that Marvel got his letters.
Directed by Joss Whedon & starring everybody, release date: May 1st, 2015
THE EXPENDABLES 3
The future is certainly a strange and terrifying place.
Starring everybody else, release date: August 15st, 2014
THE INCREDIBLE HULK
Lou Ferrigno claims his status as "The" Incredible Hulk while chatting with The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex. "The truth is, I've been the Hulk my whole life," he explains. "The Hulk was the beginning of me, a platform as an actor to grow. I don't think anybody else can play the Hulk like I could. I was able to show emotions even with all of the makeup. I don't think it can be duplicated." Certainly not with a dude in green makeup. I doubt that will ever happen again. Ferrigno's status is confirmed by his cameos in the Hulk movies -- right down to "The Avengers," in which he provided the Hulk's screams and even his most memorable line.
Release date: On home video now!
A MASTER RETIRES
As reported by Deadline and other outlets, animation legend Hayao Miyazaki plans for his recently complete "The Wind Rises" to be his last feature. Though Miyazaki considers retiring after every film since "Princess Mononoke," I can believe this is it. He's in his 70s and animated movies are complex beasts of scale and endurance. Maybe it's time to just draw by the seaside. That wouldn't be a bad life.