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TrekMovie.com Sci-Fi Movies: Thor, Ghost Rider 2, Ghostbusters 3, Flash Gordon, Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception + more

Cross-posted at TrekMovie.com

In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column we have another glimpse from Thor, a confirmation for a new Ghost Rider, a delay for the next Mad Max, (another) death for Ghost Busters 3, rumors for Avatar 2, an actor for Ant-man, and much more.

Summary of column contents:

  • Marvel Studios announces signings for Captain America and Thor + New Thor image and Comic-Con posters
  • Nicolas Cage confirms Ghost Rider sequel
  • Breck Eisner wants his Flash Gordon movie to be start of new franchise
  • Bryan Singer talks X-Men: First Class casting
  • Murray claims Ghostbusters 3 is dead…again
  • Adrien Brody is Ant Man? Maybe, Avatar 2 rumors + Avatar: Special Edition theatrical re-release TV spot
  • Mad Max: Fury Road production delayed
  • Inception wins weekend with $62.8M; 2nd biggest original sci-fi launch of all-time (behind Avatar)
  • New images from the set of Transformers 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and new media from Conan, Gatchman, Machete, Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows and more.
  • An update on the Superman movie
  • Another Hobbit casting rumor

All that including the latest casting bites, images, box office and videos.

GENRE MOVIE NEWS

Marvel Studios announces signings for Captain America and Thor + New Thor image

Marvel has released this new photo from “Thor” featuring Thor kneeling before his father Odin in the throne room of Asgard… [Collider]:

…as well as these two Comic-Con posters for ‘Captain America’ and ‘Thor’ [Yahoo! Movies]

Marvel Studios has also announced that they will be doing signings for both “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor” at Comic-Con this Saturday. Here are the details:

Marvel Studios is proud to announce the signing schedule for its two hotly-anticipated blockbuster films, “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” at Comic-Con International in San Diego!

The complete Marvel Studios signing schedule for Saturday July 24 at the Marvel Booth (#2329), is below:

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: “Thor” signing-Kenneth Branagh

12:30 p.m. – 1:30p.m.: “Thor” signing-Chris Hemsworth & Tom Hiddleston

2:00 p.m. – 3:00p.m.: “Captain America: The First Avenger” signing-Chris Evans & Hugo Weaving

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: “Captain America: The First Avenger” signing-Joe Johnston

Each signing is a ticketed event and requires a specific ticket for that individual signing. Fans should come to the Marvel Booth (#2329) as soon the convention opens to the public on Saturday morning for a chance (no purchase necessary) to receive one of the limited number of signing tickets.

Don’t miss your opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event at Comic-Con International in San Diego, courtesy of Marvel Studios on Saturday, July 24, at the Marvel Booth (#2329)!

Marvel Studios is scheduled to release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters, including “Thor” on May 6, 2011, “Captain America: The First Avenger” on July 22, 2011 and “Marvel Studios’ The Avengers” on May 4, 2012. See “Iron Man 2″ in theaters now.

Please Note That All Times & Guests Are Subject To Change.

Nicolas Cage confirms Ghost Rider sequel

During an appearance on “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson” last week, Nicolas Cage confirmed that he will return to reprise his role as Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider in “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” [via ComingSoon.net]:

“There’s gonna be a new one,” Cage told Ferguson after the host presented him with a model of a flaming skull, “I just made the deal today.”

Cage also confirmed a recent rumor that “Crank” directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor will direct the sequel.

Breck Eisner wants his Flash Gordon movie to be start of new franchise

Breck Eisner is developing a new “Flash Gordon” movie for 2012, but the director told Airlock Alpha that the film is being written as an origin story with the hopes of it being the start of a new ‘Flash’ franchise:

“It’ll be a franchise for sure. “It will be a stand-alone story. It definitely won’t be left open for more, but the ultimate goal is to turn it into a franchise. It will be an origins story for Flash. He’s going to Mongo, he’s gonna save the planet, and it will have a superhero buy-in and will be unique. It is very much a superhero origins story.”

Eisner added that the film will be based on the original 1930 comic strips updated to “as if the strips were drawn today, “It will be an action and adventure sci-fi”, he concluded.

Bryan Singer talks X-Men: First Class casting

“X-Men: First Class” producer Bryan Singer has confirmed recent rumors that he wanted Taylor Lautner (“Twilight”) to play a part in the film. Singer told blastr that it was ultimately Lautner’s busy schedule that made it impossible:

“I wanted Taylor [Lautner] to do it, I really did,” Singer said in an exclusive interview. “He’s doing a movie in Pittsburgh called Abduction, and then he’s got the next Twilight movie. We talked about it a lot—he is a friend—and I really wanted to make it work. It just doesn’t look like it’s possible to do it.”

Singer also confirmed that Kevin Bacon has been cast as a villain (although his deal hasn’t been finalized yet) and that James McAvoy (Charles Xavier / Professor X) Mike Fassbander (Magneto) and Nick Hoult are confirmed:

“Kevin Bacon, I do believe, is going to happen,” Singer said even before the deal is inked for sure.

“James McAvoy is definitely cast as a young Charles Xavier, Mike Fassbender is in the movie, Nick Hoult, those are for sure,” Singer confirmed.

In releated news, Forces of Geek is reporting that Kevin Bacon will play Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club in the film. “X-Men: First Class”, directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass”), is scheduled to hit theaters on June 3, 2011.

Murray claims Ghostbusters 3 is dead…again

Despite the studio’s desire to see “Ghostbusters 3″ get off the ground, original star Bill Murray is once again dismissing the project. Here’s what he told GQ, telling the magazine that much of the blame can be placed on the poor performance — both critically and commercially — of last year’s comedy “Year One”:

GQ: Is the third Ghostbusters movie happening? What’s the story with that?

Murray: It’s all a bunch of crock. It’s a crock. There was a story—and I gotta be careful here, I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. When I hurt someone’s feelings, I really want to hurt them. [laughs] Harold Ramis said, Oh, I’ve got these guys, they write on The Office, and they’re really funny. They’re going to write the next Ghostbusters. And they had just written this movie that he had directed.

GQ: Year One.

Murray: Year One. Well, I never went to see Year One, but people who did, including other Ghostbusters, said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen in their lives. So that dream just vaporized. That was gone. But it’s the studio that really wants this thing. It’s a franchise. It’s a franchise, and they made a whole lot of money on Ghostbusters.

Ouch. Read the entire interview with Murray at GQ.

Adrien Brody is Ant Man? Maybe

Various sources are reporting that Adrien Brody is in the running to play Ant Man in Edgar Wright’s film and/or “The Avenger”. First up, John Campea of AMC’s Script to Screen reported the following:

“Take this for what its worth, but I was just told Adrien Brody is most likely going to be “Ant Man” for Edgar Wright”

That was followed up by Latino Review’s El Mayimbe who tweeted this:

“I personally checked w/my pals at Paradigm (Adrien Brody’s agency) & at press time, YES they were pursing Ant Man but got nothing yet.”

However, The Playlist chimed into the conversation to report that they have spoken to “sources very close to the project this morning and its evidently untrue.” Perhaps we’ll get an official update on the project (along with as “The Avengers”) at Comic-Con.

Avatar 2 rumors + Avatar: Special Edition theatrical re-release TV spot

There are a couple of interesting “Avatar 2″ updates to report on this week. MarketSaw claims that there is no final script or breakdown for the sequel, but there is a breakdown of the Jake / Warrior King story arc:

I have this confirmed from three top sources. Another source said “Yeah no ready script at all. What I’ve heard it’s more of a pitch. But the storyline and where the characters go is already there and quasi discussed. I don’t know where he (Cameron) is, but he’s not in the states.”

Yet another source said: “News will start to gather soon on Jim’s next adventure into another world “or two”, I do have news for your readers, I have heard Jim wants to push the Alien world further into the abyss. Pandora best prepare for all war, because I promise you it’s on it’s way.”

The site adds that, as previously reported, “Avatar 2″ will take place several years after the original with the Oceans of Pandora playing a key role:

“The oceans play a key role. It will also lay the groundwork for the other moons in the system. Things are going to get quite “weird” to the point of becoming somewhat abstract! Each movie will stand on its own and there will definitely be NO shooting the sequels back to back. Trilogy? Actually no. The sky is no limit for this universe – the plot lines are endless.”

Meanwhile, Fox has begun airing this TV spot for the upcoming “Avatar: Special Edition” theatrical re-release:

On August 27, return to Pandora and re-experience James Cameron’s History-Making Epic film, with more than Eight Minutes of Never Before Seen Footage- exclusively in Digital 3D and IMAX® 3D. Since – and largely as of result of – AVATAR’s release last December, the number of available digital 3D screens has exploded, and moviegoers who missed experiencing the film in 3D, as well as fans that want to return to Pandora again, will now have that opportunity.

Fox and Cameron are on record stating they felt they left “several hundred million dollars” on the table this spring when the film was pulled from 3D theaters to make room for “Alice in Wonderland” (among other 3D features). “Avatar” currently stands at $2.73 billion worldwide (with a breakdown of $749.7M domestically and $1.98B foreign).

Mad Max: Fury Road production delayed

Tom Hardy (“Inception”, “Star Trek: Nemesis”) told MTV that production on George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” has been delayed:

“[We’ve] stopped,” Hardy said when asked about the film’s progress. “They pushed it back a little bit so I’m not up against it at the moment, so I’ve lost some weight, that’s it.”

Hardy, however, says that he expects production to get back on track soon. Hardy also spoke about his co-star, Charlize Theron:   “She’s amazing,” he said. “Snap, she’s amazing. That woman is incredible.” Watch the video clip below. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is expected to hit theaters in 2012.

Inception wins weekend with $62.8M;  2nd biggest original sci-fi launch of all-time (behind Avatar)

Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” won the weekend with an impressive $62.8 million making it the second biggest original sci-fi launch of all-time behind James Cameron’s “Avatar” ($77.0M). Produced on a budget of $160 million, the Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer easily led the weekend ahead of “Despicable Me” ($32.8M / $118.4M cume) and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” which failed to impress with a disappointing $17.6M ($24.7M). That’s a very bad start for the expensive — $150M budget — project.  Moving back to “Inception”, although the film wasn’t released in 3D Nolan is a big advocate of IMAX and the film impressed in that venue grossing $7 million or 12 percent of its business in a record 197 IMAX locations. That’s the best ever opening for a IMAX 2D title. In other news, “Inception” is considered a very complex film. With that in mind the folks over at Giant Freakin Robot have put together this graphic helping you deal with the complexity: The 5 Levels Of Inception, An Infographic (Note: This is very spoiler heavy so click the link to view the image only if you’ve seen the film or don’t care about getting spoiled)… “LOST” co-creator Damon Lindelof, meanwhile, has his own theory about the ending.

PREVIEW Videos & Images

Conan

Promotional stills [Facebook]

Devil

Promotional still and poster [IGN]

Gatchaman

Teaser trailer [Imagi Studios via Twitch]

The Goon

Comic-Con teaser trailer [MTV Splashpage]

Hansel and Gretel in 3D

Poster [Collider]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Featurette: “The Story” [YouTube]

Watch two more featurettes here and here

Lost Boys: The Thirst

DVD cover art [Shock Till You Drop]

Machete

Promotional still of Lindsay Lohan’s character [FilmTotaal via Movies.SpoilerTV.com]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Set image of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack [Jerry Bruckheimer — plus more set images via Movies.SpoilerTV.com]

Predators

Concept art [more at Alex Toader Art via io9]

Priest

Promotional stills [more at /Film]

RED

Character posters: Karl Urban and Mary-Louise Parker [Collider]

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

U.K. quad poster [Blogomatic 3000 via Bleeding Cool]

Trailer remix #6 – “Yeah” [ComingSoon.net]

Watch the other remix’s: “Prepare” | “Hey” | “Love” | “Ramona” | “Fight”

Scream 4

Set images [more at Before the Trailer, (2)]

Sucker Punch

First look at the cast [Emily Browing Online]

Transformers 3

Set images [more at ComingSoon.net, Before the Trailer & Movies.SpoilerTVcom]

Set video [YouTube / more via Movies.SpoilerTV.com]

Tron Legacy

Banner #7 [Hey U Guys]

MOVIE BITES

  • Zack Snyder says he sees “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” as more an adventure film in the style of Lucas’ “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones franchises” than say “Shrek”: “I want to make an adventure film…Kathryn’s book is full of wars and battles, so we just try not to decapitate anybody.” [blastr]
  • Sam Raimi is attached to direct “Earp: Saints for Sinners”, an adaptation of Matt Cirulnick’s graphic novel re-imagining Earp “in a future in which he takes on outlaws in a ravaged society where the only boomtown left is Las Vegas.”. Cirulnick will write the script for the project… [Heat Vision]
  • …In related news, Raimi is confirmed to be taking on “The Wizard of Oz” prequel “Oz, the Great and Powerful” as his next directorial project. [Heat Vision]
  • Seth Grahame-Smith, writer of the best-selling novel “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”, will write a new draft of the Tim Burton-directed “Dark Shadows” adaptation. [Deadline]
  • Production on “Transformers 3″ recently wrapped in Chicago and director Michael Bay and the cast offered praise for the city of Chicago and its residents: “It’s just a beautiful place. I’ve been all over the world, and this is truly a great place to shoot,” Bay said. Chicago will figure “prominently” at the end of the movie. [TFW2005]
  • Following up on last week’s report on the new “Superman” film “Man of Steel” (unconfirmed title): Jonah Nolan appears to be the top contender to direct, but it’s not a done deal. Also, they are looking at a TV star to play the lead, but it doesn’t look like it’s Zachary Levi. Additionally no one is believed to have tested for the part yet but someone is being considered: “[He’s a] popular TV actor that no one is thinking of, but everyone will be thrilled with if he pulls on the blue tights,” says the source. [MovieHole.net]
  • …Check out an interview with “Inception” star Cillian Murphy over at Collider.
  • Toys R Us will begin selling select comics at their national stores. including “Batman: Brave & Bold”, “Justice League of America” and “Superman”. [Bleeding Cool]
  • Despite recent weak box office outings (including 2009’s $12.8M-grossing “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li”), Capcom says that more “Street Fighter” films are in development. [GamerLive.TV via Collider]
  • Dnyamite will publish Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Prince of Mars” comic book adaptation “Warlord of Mars” and will sell the first issue for just $1. Sneak peek below, more at Bleeding Cool:

  • Michael Bay’s studio The Institute will produce “Hansel and Gretel in 3D”. The film, based on the classic Grimm Brothers fairytale, is scheduled to begin production in Germany spring 2011. [ComingSoon.net]
  • Tim Burton is attached to develop and will direct Disney/DreamWorks’ big screen adaptation of the board game “Monsterpocalypse”. John August has already starting writing the script with input from the game’s creator Matt Wilson. [/Film]
  • Warner Brothers has picked up Colin Trevorrow’s script for the futuristic war movie “World War X”: “Story’s centered on a man recruited by a team of government agents to stop a terrorist from the future who is using time travel to reshape history”. [Variety]
  • Confirmed: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s 2007 double-feature “Grindhouse” will hit Blu-ray on October 5, 2010. [High Def Digest]
  • You can read the first nine pages of the upcoming novel “I Am Number Four” — which is being adapted for the big screen — from author Pittacus Lore over at EW.
  • Don Mancini, writer of all the “Child’s Play” movies and director of “Seed of Chuck” has revealed that they’re developing a remake to the first film. [Shock Till You Drop]
  • Click on over to the British Academy Film and Television site to watch Peter Jackson showcase stop-motion films he created from his youth. The director showed off his work to Ray Harryhausen whom was honored by the BAFTA. [via Cinematical]

CASTING BITES

  • There’s a rumor that Sylvester McCoy (who played the seventh Doctor of “Doctor Who”) has been cast as Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit” movies. McCoy was thought to be a major contender for the same role in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy before the role went to Ian Holm. [Screenrush via The One Ring]
  • With a report debunking Zachary Levi auditioned for the role of Clark Kent in the “Superman” reboot, now comes another rumor for the film. This one says that Nathan Fillion (“Serenity”) will don the cape. We’ll see. [Comic Book Movie]
  • “Inception” star Leonardo DiCaprio reveals that he turned down several high-profile sci-fi roles including Robin in Joel Schumacher’s “Batman Forever”, Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” and Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas’ “Attack of the Clones” / “Revenge of the Sith”. [Shortlist via CinemaBlend]
  • Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”) has joined the cast of Rupert Wyatt’s “Rise of the Apes”. Felton will play the son of Brian Cox’s character who is a co-owner of an ape facility… [ComingSoon.net]
  • …David Oyelowo (“The Last King of Scotland”) has been offered the role of “Steve Jacobs” in the project. [Bloody Disgusting]
  • Will Smith will star in and produce “The Legend of Cain”, “an epic re-telling of the Biblical sibling tale, this time with a vampiric twist.” Smith will play Cain in the film. [Deadline New York]
  • Sandra Vergara, the sister of Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, has been cast in DreamWorks’ remake of the 1980s horror classic remake “Fright Night”. Vergara will play “the girlfriend and assistant to a magician, played by David Tennant, reluctantly recruited by Anton Yelchin to fight off a vampire.” [Heat Vision]

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