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I'll do my best to read and respond to your e-mails. Sci-Fi Movies: Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Gravity, TRON: Legacy, Paul, POTC 4, Spider-Man Musical + more [UPDATE]

Cross-posted at

In this week’s Sci-Fi Movies column, we learn that Jon Favreau won’t be directing Iron Man 3 (but he will direct Magic Kingdom), while David Fincher has been confirmed for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Also, Gwyneth Paltrow says her character Pepper Potts is not in The Avengers, the Spider-Man gets another delay, and TRON: Legacy posts a solid debut. Plus more, including the latest casting bites, images and videos.


Jon Favreau won’t direct Iron Man 3

Jon Favreau has decided not to direct "Iron Man 3" and will instead direct "Magic Kingdom" for Disney. The "Iron Man" / "Iron Man 2" director explained his decision in an interview with the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog:

"Marvel and I both came of age together,” Favreau said. “The years that we shared were a pivotal experience. [Marvel Studios President] Kevin [Feige] has a firm grasp on the many franchises and how they all interweave and I am happy that I had the opportunity to establish the world that these characters can now play in…. ‘Iron Man’ has given me tremendous opportunities and Kevin and I are enjoying a lot of momentum in our careers thanks to the ‘Iron Man’ films. I look forward to seeing what others can do playing in the same world."

"Iron Man 3" is scheduled to hit theaters on May 3, 2013.

Gwyneth Paltrow says she won’t be in "The Avengers" + George Clooney joins in Gravity

Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed she won’t be reprising her role as Pepper Potts in "The Avengers". At least for now:

"No. No Pepper. I think it’s a for sure. I think they’re starting shooting soon, and they probably would have asked me by now."

As noted, this could change in the future as production gets underway on "The Avengers". Joss Whedon begins shooting the film in February 2011 and it’s set for release on May 4, 2012. In other casting news, Warner Brothers has confirmed that George Clooney will replace Robert Downey Jr. to star alongside Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D sci-fi film "Gravity" [via Deadline]:

Clooney will replace Downey in the role of team leader of a space station. He and Bullock’s character, off working on a shuttle, are the sole survivors when the space station is decimated by the debris field from an exploded asteroid. Bullock will carry much of the action adventure, a mother who is hellbent on returning to her young child back on earth. Clooney is working the space schedule around The Ides of March, the adaptation of the Beau Willimon play. Clooney is directing and starring alongside Ryan Gosling in the political drama for Sony Pictures Entertainment and Cross Creek Pictures.

"Gravity" is expected to hit theaters in 2012.

TRON: Legacy opens with solid estimated $43.6M / $66.6M worldwide

Joseph Kosinksi’s “TRON: Legacy” pulled in a strong $3.6 million from Thursday midnight screenings including over $1M from 228 IMAX theaters. The 25+% gross from IMAX represents a new record (note: it’s not the highest IMAX gross, just a record by percentage of total take). Heading into the weekend estimates for the 3-day frame ranged anywhere from $40-$50M. [UPDATE] According to estimates, the film took in $18.0M on Friday (this includes the $3.6M from midnights), $15.1M on Saturday and is projected to take in $10.5M on Sunday for an estimated 3-day cume of $43.6M from 3,451 theaters (or approximately 5,600 screens). 3D played a huge part in the film’s gross. 2,424 theaters presenting the film in the format and all together accounted for 82% of the gross. That includes 234 IMAX 3D locations which made up 24 percent of the total gross. As a point of reference, last year “Avatar” had a 71 percent 3D share at 2,038 locations. On the the international front, “TRON: Legacy” opened in about half of its markets with $23M for a weekend worldwide take of $66.6M.

New trailers: Paul and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

New trailers have been released for "Paul" — which stars Star Trek’s Simon Pegg — and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides". There’s also a new poster for "Paul". ‘On Stranger Tides’ is scheduled to hit conventional, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters on May 20, 2011. "Paul" hits theaters on March 18, 2011. Check out the trailers, and poster, below.


Teaser poster [Collider]

International trailer [YouTube]


"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

Movie trailer [Yahoo! Movies]

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark delayed until February

The $65M broadway production "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" has experienced yet another delay. The musical, directed by Julie Taymor and featuring music by U2 and the Edge, will now open on February 7, 2011. Producers will use the added time to re-write scenes and possibly add more songs.

“The creative team is implementing truly exciting changes throughout the preview process,” said producer Michael Cohl. “Due to some unforeseeable setbacks, most notably the injury of a principal cast member, it has become clear that we need to give the team more time to fully execute their vision. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is an extremely ambitious undertaking, as everyone knows, and I have no intention of cutting a single corner in getting to the finish line.”

Previews for the show, which began on November 18, will continue through the new debut date. The musical was most recently scheduled to open on January 11, 2011.


PREVIEW Videos & Images

Battle: Los Angeles

Movie poster []

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

Italian poster [BadPoster |]


Concept art [Edmund Woodward via Bleeding Cool]

Set images [more at Mania]

Green Lantern

Promotional stills [ShockYa]

The Green Hornet

Promotional stills [more at IGN]

Movie poster [IGN]


Set images [more at Ace Showbiz]


Movie trailer [Yahoo! Movies]

Real Steel

Promotional stills [Blastr]

Season of the Witch

Clip [via Beyond Hollywood]

Watch another clip here

The Smurfs

Movie poster []

Superman Lives (aborted Tim Burton 90’s project)

Test footage of the Superman costume [YouTube via Comic Book Movie]


  • "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" got off to a poor start last weekend, grossing a franchise-worst $24.0M. That was less than half of what ‘Prince Caspian’ opened to in 2008 ($55.0M). On the positive side, the film grossed a solid $65.8M in its overseas debut. [BOM]

  • "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" director Rob Marshall revealed that the film starts in London after Jack escapes the King and is captured: "There’s a big carriage chase—you saw some of that in the trailer, he jumps from carriage to carriage—and then he gets kidnapped. Prior to that he meets Penelope Cruz’s character and they have a love-hate thing and, we find out, that it goes back years". [Hero Complex | LA Times]

  • …Check out another interview with Marshall discussing the film at

  • During their work on the now-canceled documentary on Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey", Douglas Trumbull and David Larson uncovered 17 minutes of previously unseen footage. The video likely would have been seen in the documentary "2001: Behind the Infinite — The Making of a Masterpiece". Trumbull says WB found the footage buried in a salt-mine vault in Kansas and its perfectly preserved. It’s unclear what WB plans to do with the footage. [via Blastr]

  • SXSW has announced that Duncan Jones’ "Source Code" will open the SXSW 2011 Film Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday, March 11, 2011. [SXSW]

  • …In related news, composer Clint Mansell, who worked with Jones on "Moon", won’t be scoring the new film due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, Chris Bacon has been brough on board as composer. [Badass Digest]

  • "Corpse Bride" co-director Mike Johnson is working on a stop-motion animated adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" titled "Oz Wars": "The Land of Oz will be re-imagined using stop-motion to create a world that’s dark, slick, sexy, and dangerous. It’s long been a goal of mine to create a hard-hitting, grown-up action film using stop-motion animation. Oz Wars is my opportunity to do that." [via io9]

  • Ron Howard provided an update on his ambitious adaptation of Stephen King’s "The Dark Tower". The plan is to turn the novel into a film trilogy with a network between the films: "It is going well, and it has been incredibly stimulating to work on…It’s dense, a great author’s life work is not to be taken lightly. It has been utterly fascinating to explore it, and we are having great creative conversations. I’ve begun tossing and turning at 3 in the morning over it, so that’s a good sign." The first feature is scheduled to hit theaters on May 17, 2013. [Deadline]

  • Warner Brothers has set a March 30, 2012 release date for Jonathan Liebesman’s "Wrath of the Titans". [BOM]

  • Timur Bekmambetov will begin shooting "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" in New Orleans late January 2011. [NOLA]

  • Josh Brolin says the script for "Men in Black 3" is "fantastic" and promises "it’s not ‘Jonah Hex’", adding "No, it’s great, it’s fantastic," he said of the current "Men In Black 3" script, "but that’s all I can say." [Splash Page | EW]

  • Zack Snyder may shoot "Superman: The Man of Steel" in Vancouver, Canada. [Vancouver Sun]

  • Director Michel Gondry calls critical fans of "The Green Hornet" "fascistic" in their values: "I usually identify with the nerds but these ones just reinforce the social rules. Their values are fascistic,” Gondry said". [via The Playlist | indieWIRE]

  • "Green Lantern" co-writer Marc Guggenheim says although they had to cut out the Superman cameo from the film due to budgetary reasons, he really wants it in the movie and jokes that Tom Welling could serve as the actor for the cameo: "I really wanted it to be in the movie. You never know—it can still happen. If Tom Welling has a free hour or two, you never know." [Splash Page | MTV]

  • Disney has confirmed that David Fincher will direct "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". [Hero Complex | LA Times]


  • Anne Hathaway is reportedly attached to star in the "Barbarella" remake. The project is currently without a director. [Pajiba | Twitter]

  • Neve Campbell is in talks to star alongside Josh Hartnett in Roland Joffe’s "Singularity": "Campbell will play Hartnett’s wife and fellow archeologist in 2015, who gets stuck in a sunken ship while trying to retrieve a ring". [THR]

  • Lou Ferrigno has revealed that that he may have a cameo in "The Avengers". [Nuke the Fridge]

  • Bill Hader and Anna Farris have been linked to "Ghostbusters 3", but the two say they haven’t been contacted about the film. None the less, they both say they’d be interested if asked. [The Playlist & MakingOf]

  • "Star Trek" alum Tom Hardy will reportedly not be playing the villain Hugo Strange in Christopher Nolan’s "The Dark Knight Rises"… [Batman-On-Film]

  • …Fellow "Star Trek" alum Eric Bana is said to be eying 20th Century Fox’s big screen adaptation of the Seth Grahame-Smith novel "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". The actor is reportedly scheduled to meet with director Timur Bekmambetov to discuss the part. [The Wrap]

  • Matt Damon is in talks to join Neill Blomkamp’s ("District 9") sci-fi "Elysium". Damon joins Sharlto Copley ("District 9". "The A-Team") in the secretive project. [Deadline]

  • Lily Collins will play Clary Fray, "a talented demon-hunter", in Scott Charles Stewart’s "Mortal Instruments". The film is based on the young-adult novels of Cassandra Clare and could servec as a potential new franchise. [Inside Movies | EW]

You can follow Russ on his website at Your Entertainment Now and on Twitter at

  • Basement Blogger

    Rosario, agree with your comment over at that Tron: Legacy could use more Tron. By the way, we’ve lost Anthony over at Could you get him to show us he’s still around? I mean I haven’t had a comment deleted in over a week!

    • Texted and received a text from him tonight. All is good. He was just “off the grid” for a little while.