FilmStoned Podcast Episode 8: Batsuit, Upcoming TV Shows, Amazing Spider-Man 2

We discuss the new Batsuit design for what we now know is called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; season finales for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow and upcoming tv shows; and review Amazing Spider-Man 2, on which we end up agreeing more than I expect

Casting Friday: Furious Russell, Lex Cranston, Fifty Shades of Hunnam, more

Each Friday, I will summarize the important casting news or rumors from the preceding week, giving you a preview of who’ll be playing who in the future!

Furious Russell

According to Variety, Kurt Russell (Death Proof, Escape From New York) is joining the cast of Fast and Furious 7. The role had reportedly been previously offered to Denzel Washington.

The sequel is being directed James Wan (SawInsidiousThe Conjuring).

The film’s cast has also recently been supplemented Tony Jaa. “Having a chance to work with Vin Diesel and The Rock already makes me a winner,” said the martial artist about the opportunity. Good for you, Tony!

Kurt Russell has been noticeably absent from the big screens since 2007’s Death Proof, which was also a car-centric movie. Is cars what it takes to bring the actor out nowadays?

Lex Cranston

Despite tweets from Latino Review, which sent a flurry of speculation across the internet throughout August, Bryan Cranston is NOT going to be playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film.

The star of Breaking Bad inflamed some of the rumors himself by saying “I like Lex Luthor. I think he’s misunderstood. He’s a lovable, sweet man.”

When asked by the Boston Globe about the rumored six picture deal, the actor responded with ““Six? This is all news to me. 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.” Presumably, this means he’s not doing it.

Fifty Shades of Hunnam

Pacific Rim and Sons of Anarchy star Charles Hunnam has been cast for the adaptation of the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey book. Hunnam will take on the role of Christian Grey, while his costar Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele (don’t you love it when you can discern the level of writing by the lead character’s names?).

Having not read the book, I have very little to say about these news, except that they’ve happened and that there are a lot of people on the internet that seem to really be either upset or happy about this. Fanboys, amirite?

 

Star Cumberbatch

The rumor, evidently starting at Screen Crush, was that Cumberbatch was poised to join the cast of the upcoming Star Wars sequel, in a villainous role. According to Badass Digest, he was meant to play a Sith. The rumours appeared to have validity due to Cumberbatch having very recently worked with J. J. Abrams on Star Trek Into Darkness – considering the director is now moving across to the other “star” franchise, it seemed reasonable he’d poach one of the actors, as well. The actor had also recently left the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, which, speculation went, may have been to make room for a Star Wars role.

Cumberbatch’s representatives have, however, denied the rumor entirely: “There is no truth to the rumor Benedict has been cast in Star Wars. I think the rumors are circling because J.J. and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek.” At the same time, however, the actor said he would not say no to that opportunity if it came along.

 

Casting Friday: Batffleck, Rocket Cooper, Scarlet Olsen, and more

Each Friday, I will summarize the important casting news or rumors from the preceding week, giving you a preview of who’ll be playing who in the future!

Batffleck

affleckIn what is by far the biggest movie headline of the week, Ben Affleck was confirmed to be playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in the upcoming Batman vs Superman movie. The news coming out last night simultaneously ended months of speculation, and set hundreds of thousands of fans on a joke/complaint tirade across the internet.

This is hardly surprising, as the decision is definitely controversial. Ben Affleck has gone from being written off by Hollywood entirely, to winning several Oscars last year for Argo. His road to redemption has, however, been in more grounded films, playing simpler characters, and letting the film’s writing and directing drive the picture. Is a return to superheroics a good idea for Affleck? That being said, Affleck is clearly a capable actor, and while his resume is not characterized by very broodingly dark characters, maybe that is precisely what the Batman franchise needs. Clearly, the era of the Dark Knight is done, Christin Bale is not returning to the role. Going in a slightly different direction is what the new DC franchise very much needed.

Zack Snyder, director of Man of Steel as well as the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film had the following to say in the press that broke the story: “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.” Ben Affleck is Cavill’s senior by 11 years.

This is not the first we’ve heard of Affleck flirting with the DCU, of course – a year ago, Affleck reportedly may have been offered the director’s chair for a Justice League movie, and turned it down, sources claiming he may simply be not interested if he is not allowed to play one of the leading characters.

An interesting side-note is the fact that Affleck himself has already played Superman – or at least, worn the suit, when he played George Reeves, the 50s TV Superman, in the 2006 biopic Hollywoodland.

The same press release that confirmed the casting news, also reported on an initial release date, which is July 17th, 2015. This sets the release of the film two months after the planned May 1st release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is sure to be the film’s main competition in the box office. So, three years later, we have another Avengers vs Batman rematch in terms of success in the cinemas; a battle which was won by the Avengers in 2012, making over 623 mln. in domestic box office vs Dark Knight Rises‘ 448.

I suppose we really won’t know what to really expect with the direction the character is taking until we begin seeing set photos and a trailer, which will most likely be coming in a bit over a year.

ComicBookResources’ poll currently says 49.3 percent of voters said “I’m not sure – I’ll have to wait and see”, while 34.8 percent selected “He’s absolutely the wrong choice”, and 15.9% – “He’s perfect for the role – I love it!”. What do you think? State your opinions below!

Rocket Cooper

cooperMoving over to the Marvel side, last week we had news that Vin Diesel is voicing Groot in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film. This leaves one spot on the core cast available – that of Rocket Raccoon, the talking, flying, gun-toting racoon.

It may be filled shortly, however. According to Latino Review, which, while having a spotty record, has broken big Marvel news in the past (including the fact the studio is working on a Guardians of the Galaxy film), claims that Bradley Cooper is in talks to voice the character in the upcoming picture.

This news has since been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, making this seem all the more likely to be true.

Scarlet Olsen

olsenThe same article by The Hollywood Reporter also claimed that Elizabeth Olsen, who made big waves in the indie community in 2011 with Martha Marcy May Marlene, and is starring in next year’s Godzilla, is in talks to play the Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Her and the character’s brother Quicksilver are the two major new additions to the hero cast of the film, with all of the Avengers from last year’s film expected to return.

Olsen’s talks for the role are evidently further along than Cooper’s are for the Guardians.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is reportedly in talks to play Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch’s brother. Quicksilver is also set to appear in next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Cumberbatch-less Peak

cumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch has dropped out of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, a gothic horror film which the filmmaker says will be “the first time I get to do a movie more akin to what I do in the Spanish movies.”

According to Deadline, Cumberbatch’s departure is not due to scheduling conflicts – which means there was likely some disagreement or creative difference must have caused it. Perhaps with time, the details of the move will be released.

The film is still expected to star Mia Wasikowska in the lead role.

22 Russell Street

Wyatt Russell, who previously had roles in Cowboys & Aliens and This is 40, is confirmed to have a role in the sequel to last year’s delightfully funny 21 Jump Street, which will feature the returning characters played by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in college. The sequel will be called 22 Jump Street and is set for a June 13, 2014 release.