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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Could Get Henry Cavill To Star

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the upcoming adaptation of the classic 1960's spy series may have found its main hero. After the exit of Tom Cruise last week left the production in an uncertain state, Variety is reporting that Warner Bros may be doing some internal hiring and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. could very well be getting The Man of Steel; specifically the new Superman, Henry Cavill.

The latest development is actually ripe with irony, since back when it was still a Tom Cruise vehicle, Cavill actually met for the role of the main hero's partner, Illya Kuryakin. That part would eventually go to Armie Hammer, whose own star is possibly set to surge when he plays the titular masked man in this summer's The Lone Ranger alongside Johnny Depp. Now, it seems the guy that didn't get the part of the sidekick, who has since become FREAKING SUPERMAN will now "cruise" into the role of the film's primary protagonist. That role will be for suave spy, Napoleon Solo, a member of the super-secret international espionage agency called U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.).

For a while, it appeared that the film, which has already experienced directorial and starring shuffles, was set to reside in limbo while it found its new star, possibly making critical adjustments. Thus, Cavill coming on board would certainly be a serendipitous development for director, Guy Ritchie, co-star, Armie Hammer (who will probably not have to be recast), and for Warner Bros, since Man of Steel is looking extremely promising for its launch on June 14. By the time The Man from U.N.C.L.E. hits theaters (no release date has been revealed), Cavill could very well be a bankable household name with a huge paycheck glistening in front of him for not only a Man of Steel sequel, but possibly a lead role in a potential Justice League superhero mega-movie. In essence, they've traded an aging (but still bankable) action star in Cruise for someone who could very well be the next big thing.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. swaps a cape and blue onesie for a Brooks Brothers suit and is set to begin production this fall leaving a release for sometime in late-2014 a possibility.

[Source]

Transformers 4: Comic Relief Added, First Look At Optimus Prime, More

Transformers 4 continues work on director, Michael Bay's next world-wrecking robotic rampage. Not only has the film procured another cast member with the talents of comedian, T.J. Miller, but photos (the very first from the film) showing some of Autobot characters in their vehicle form have been released. -- And yes, one of those Autobots is Optimus Prime!

Miller, who is currently on the new Fox sitcom, The Goodwin Games, has also been seen in films such as She's Out of My League, Cloverfield, Unstoppable, and was the voice of Tuffnut in How to Train Your Dragon. However, this role in Transformers 4 could be his most prominent since, according to The Wrap, Miller's character will be buddying-up with the film's main protagonist played by Mark Wahlberg.

"Miller will play a blue-collar mechanic who is a longtime friend of Wahlberg's character."

Translation: He's the hero's wacky, one-liner-dropping, best buddy and the film's comic relief. Miller will now join Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, and Bingbing Li in what will surely be an unmitigated orgy of explosions and giant robots wrecking our cities just for good measure.

...And speaking of those giant robots who like cause explosions and wreck our cities, the very first photos from the film have been released. With production having started near the border of Arizona and Utah, a majestic desert backdrop provides the perfect setting for the unveiling of three Autobot vehicles, most notably, the newest version of the benevolent big rig himself, Optimus Prime...who is covered in flames. Because flames make things look badass...apparently.

Transformers 4 tries its best to keep you chuckling while the world ignites in a whirlwind of robotic rage...and flame decals when it hits theaters on June 27, 2014. Check out the photos of the Autobot vehicles below!

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James Bond: Skyfall Director Sam Mendes To Return?

James Bond isn't the type to harp on one love, but it seems that he could uncharacteristically end up waiting for someone in particular...for the next occupant of the director's chair. Despite initially bowing out, citing a commitment to theater productions, Deadline is reporting that Skyfall director, Sam Mendes is in talks to return for the next entry in the Bond franchise.

With its $1.1 BILLION take, last year's Skyfall was undoubtedly the most successful entry in the half-century, 23 film (24, if you count the unofficial Never Say Never Again) history of the franchise in which Bond battles terrorists, spies, and STDs. Considering that its 2008 predecessor, Quantum of Solace, which carried the same Bond in Daniel Craig only grossed $586 million (about half of Skyfall's take), the folks behind the Bond franchise must have come to the conclusion that the critical ingredient in the winning formula involves Mendes. However, with Mendes keen on returning to his first love of the theater, the temporary vacancy erupted rumors of other helmers taking the "Bond 24" job like Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson), David Yates (The Harry Potter franchise), Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King's Speech), Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), and recently, even the auteur of avant-garde action himself, Christopher Nolan.

Yet, despite huge names like that in the mix, the behind-the-scenes focus of the franchise stewards kept turning back to Mendes. Indeed, when he initially bowed out of "Bond 24," due to theater commitments with a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear, the overlords of the Bond brand in producers, Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli ultimately decided that Mendes was worth the wait and have altered the production schedule of the upcoming Bond film so that he could fulfill his theater commitments. In fact, according to the report, the wait for Mendes won't create too much of a delay and production of "Bond 24" could commence as soon as next year.

So, it looks like Mendes will be trading his Willy Wonka golden ticket for another pass to MI6's secret lair and the scheming of Goneril for Bond's gonorrhea. While in 2006's Casino Royale, Daniel Craig introduced us to a darker, tortured, more badass version of Bond, Mendes managed to add vulnerability into the mix with Skyfall, while not sacrificing any of that tortured badassness that we have come to expect. "Bond 24" with Sam Mendes back at the helm should be quite the heavily-anticipated spectacle.

[Source]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Set Photos With A Suited-Up Rhino

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 appears to be in the process of shooting what we could assume will be an epic battle. While the film's shoot has proven to be photo-friendly, the latest crop to make their online debut seems to have let the cat out of the bag when it comes to the transformation actor, Paul Giamatti will undergo for his villainous role as The Rhino. -- And giving director, Marc Webb the benefit of the doubt, we must assume that it's far from the final product.

Shooting on New York's Park Avenue, the latest spate of set photos show, amongst other things, Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man teaming up with a costume-cloned kiddie identified as Jorge Vegas and a mind-blowing leap courtesy of Garfield's Spidey stunt double. However, the giant pachyderm in the proverbial room would have to be the shots of Paul Giamatti doing some acting work in a bizarre gigantic wheeled contraption wearing what looks to be a robotic shoulder piece exposing only his head. From this, it certainly does appear that Giamatti's version of fortune-deprived Russian thug, Aleksei Sytsevich/The Rhino will make his super-villainous turn courtesy of an Iron-Monger-esque giant robotic suit, presumably completed via CGI. It should be a somewhat analogous proximation to his comic book counterpart who became permanently bonded to a super-durable, strength-endowing armor through a radioactive experiment.

Yes, these shots of Giamatti look ridiculous, but with a little post-production digital TLC, it should look every bit the cataclysmic showdown it was surely meant to become. Much of the villain's signature aesthetics, including (hopefully) the key component of the Rhino's horn should be present by the time we get to the final product. However, with Jaime Foxx's Electro also set to shoot sparks at Spidey, as well as Chris Cooper's Norman Osborn making his villainous debut, you can bet that this battle is but one leg of a miscreant marathon that 'ole Webhead will have to run.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will have a version of Rhino eligible to park in handicap spaces when it hits theaters on May 2, 2014. Check out some of the new photos below!

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Tom Cruise Leaves Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Tom Cruise has finally come out...of the cast of a major motion picture in which he was set to star. According to a report by Deadline, Cruise has dropped out of the upcoming Guy Ritchie-directed film adaptation of classic TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. due to his desire to focus on the upcoming fifth entry of his signature franchise, Mission: Impossible. So, it seems that Cruise won't be cheating on MI with another spy franchise, after all.

Cruise was originally locked-in to this contemporary reboot of the 1960's spy series to star alongside up-and-coming leading man, Armie Hammer, who himself is currently set to share top billing with Johnny Depp in another TV adaptation reboot, The Lone Ranger on July 3. The original 1964-1968 series starred Robert Vaughn as American spy, "Napoleon Solo" and David McCallum as his Russian partner, "Illya Kuryakin," who work together for a super-secret espionage agency called U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement.) Unlike S.H.I.E.L.D., they may not have the help of superhumans, but did display on television a poignant nonpartisan alliance for the forces of good during the heated days of the Cold War.

For director, Guy Ritchie, currently on a financial and critical roll with the Sherlock Holmes films, the setback comes after the project already experienced a few directorial and starring shuffles, which at one point had Steven Soderbergh at the helm and George Clooney to star. The acquisition of Tom Cruise would have ensured that he'd have one of the most bankable movie stars of all time set to kick-off this new venture. Now, he goes back to the drawing board in what will certainly be a frantic scramble to find a feasible replacement star. -- Of course, no timetable has been given for the project and it could very well be the case that the addition of Armie Hammer was a chemistry-casting and the exit of Cruise could also mean Hammer's exit, as well.

Cruise, on the other hand, has just completed All You Need is Kill, a futuristic military movie set for next summer. (Even though the title sounds like a demented Cirque du Soleil Beatles/Slayer hybrid show.) The star is also quickly moving forward with his already-confirmed return for Mission: Impossible 5, which is already enjoying the benefit of a screenplay from Drew Pearce, the writer of the white-hot Iron Man 3.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E., sans Tom Cruise, will try to find the right star and tell him "you complete me" when it hits theaters on a date to be determined.

[Source]

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Quicksilver Added, Controversy Ensues

X-Men: Days of Future Past has added yet another team member to its mutant clown car of a cast. Director, Bryan Singer's latest film-related announcement on Twitter would be used to welcome actor, Evan Peters to the cast for his role as Pietro Maximoff, aka mutant speedster, Quicksilver. And yes, you read that correctly. Quicksilver: The same character who, with his sister, Scarlet Witch, was all but set to hop aboard the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2015 for Joss Whedon's The Avengers 2. -- SCANDALOUS!

The news is undoubtedly good for Peters, who you may have seen on American Horror Story and in a supporting role in another underrated comic book film adaptation, Kick-Ass. However, his recent fortune has been eclipsed by the controversial nature of his role; an aspect that Singer seemed to tease.

"Before he was an #Avenger, he was just a REALLY fast kid. Thrilled to say #EvanPeters is joining #XMen #DaysOfFuturePast as #Quicksilver."

Singer would eventually delete the Avengers-acknowledging tweet, replacing it with a less-provocative version, but it does seems that there's more than a bit of gamesmanship happening between Fox and Marvel Studios when it comes to the cultivation of characters from the pages of Marvel Comics to the big screen. In fact, a recent report by HitFix claims that Quicksilver's only scene in Days of Future Past is a speedster-centric sequence that Singer feels only works with the character. Conversely, Joss Whedon reportedly had (and maybe still does have) BIG plans for Quicksilver and his sister in The Avengers 2, which are apparently quite relevant to the still-developing plot. The move to bring the character into the comically-crowded Days, which we don't know was the idea of Fox or Singer himself, has unleashed a flood of fan backlash, bringing to light the flimsy legal loopholes to which each side of this issue must abide if they are to use the characters.

So, who is right or wrong in this puzzling battle over a character that...well, not too many people really cared about until the studios started fighting over him?

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Timecop Reboot Split-Kicks Into Gear At Universal

Timecop, the 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle which remains his high-grossing most critically-acclaimed film is getting the reboot treatment. 

The original film, which was based off an anthology title, Time Cop published by Dark Horse Comics, was a favorite amongst action/sci-fi fans for its rather original concept. Van Damme played Max Walker, an agent with the TEC (Time Enforcement Agency) who tackles the forces of a corrupt politician (Ron Silver) using the quantum coaster to "Biff Tannen" some funds by safe stock market bets in the past and also to threaten his enemies with the specter of nonexistence. The film showcased Jean-Claude dispatching baddies in peak form with split-centric moves, as well as Ferris Beuller's girlfriend (Mia Sara) looking extremely arousing as the resident love-interest whose death the time-touring tin man must prevent. Sure, the 1994 film may not have been thinking too much about its own longevity when its plot only gave the invention of time travel a scant 10 year window with its "future" setting of 2004, but it is generally hailed as the deepest performance of Van Damme's (normally berated) acting career.

At the same time, Timecop, while a popular franchise in its day, spawning a 1997-1998 TV series and a 2003 straight-to-DVD sequel, has hardly been relevant in recent years, so expectations from moviegoers are probably little to none. As a result, you should probably expect this new film to carry very little resemblance to the Van Damme film, probably looking to expand on its time-bending premise far beyond the few periods visited in the 1994 film.

In keeping with the idea of this reboot effort distinguishing itself, it seems that it will also move forward sans the "Muscles from Brussels" himself. The Hollywood Reporter states that Van Damme is not involved with the project. Of course, that is certainly subject to change and a cameo of some kind would seem the proper thing to do, if anything, for the sake of legacy. While no substantive release window has been revealed, a supposed "re-imagining of the concept" is currently out for writers. Producer, Marc Shmuger has been added via Universal's Global Produce banner working alongside fellow producer Tom McNulty.

So, while Timecop certainly isn't a property brimming with a vocal fanbase rabidly demanding its immediate return under threats of civil disobedience and hunger strikes, it appears that (for some reason,) it will nevertheless be the next property to get the now-common reboot treatment.

[Source]

Star Trek Into Darkness: J.J. Abrams Unveils Sprinkly Deleted Scene

Star Trek Into Darkness has already exposed its secrets. However, the topic of "exposure" seems to be a controversial point when it comes to the gratuitous, instantly-Internet-famous (some have said "sexist") scene with Alice Eve's Carol Marcus rocking her space lingerie. That's why director, J.J. Abrams wanted to use his appearance on Conan last night to clear the air...by showing a deleted scene proving that there originally was plenty more skin to go around in the film, especially when it came to Benedict Cumberbatch's villainous "John Harri-Khan." -- And yes, it's an actual deleted scene from the film, NOT a parody.

The scene, depicting a bare-chested Benedict taking a moment to ensure that monstrous B.O. won't be his instrument for genocide, is what Abrams calls "the shower of evil." Yet, despite its sinister, possibly-puzzling undertones, it was made to serve as evidence that the film was, in the very least, an equal-opportunity offender in its gratuitousness. Indeed, Abrams is also quick to point out that Into Darkness also contains a skin-centric scene with Chris Pine's Captain Kirk, giving a little something back for the ladies, but does admit that the Carol Marcus peep show could have been handled in a more subtle way.

Regardless, it seems that we may have gotten our first sneak peak at what could eventually be made available on the DVD/Blu-ray extras. Sure, it's nothing exciting enough to spill your "space seed" over, but it's an interesting (and actually kind of funny) tidbit about the current box-office topper. Check out the new footage below...NOW!

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Jurassic Park IV Could Be A Reboot?

Jurassic Park IV made headlines two weeks ago when Universal Pictures announced that the long-in-the-making sequel would be delayed until a time to be determined. However, a recent comment by the 1993 original film's star may have provided a clue towards the motivation for this delay.

In a recent interview with New Zealand's Stuff.co.nz, the eccentric paleontologist who enjoys threatening children with fossilized raptor claws, Dr. Alan Grant himself, Sam Neill gave what could be a major scoop when it comes to the filibustered fourquel. When asked by his home country publication on whether or not he would be reprising his role as Dr. Grant, Neill reveals that his return is unlikely and then candidly states:

"I'm told it's a big reboot, a total re-jig."

And that's about as far as he goes. Considering the brevity of the reveal, there's always the possibility of an incorrect context or misunderstanding. In fact, the very idea is a stark contrast to previous statements made by producer, Frank Marshall reiterating the film's status as a proper sequel. However, circumstances may have changed and if the film is indeed a reboot, then it would definitely explain the ambiguous reasoning behind the delay. (Especially since announced delays usually have the new release date in hand.)

At the moment, it does appear that the would-be fourth film's choice for director in independent filmmaker, Colin Trevorrow remains in place (for the moment anyway,) but it may be the case that the script by by Rise of the Planet of the Apes scribes, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver could be in jeopardy, potentially making way for a new screenplay adaptation of the original 1990 Jurassic Park novel by Michael Crichton. Thus, while the reasoning for the initial selection of Trevorrow could still be valid, the Safety Not Guaranteed director could very well have a vastly different task on his hands than he originally thought. He wouldn't be simply following-up, but actually rebooting one of the most lucrative film franchises of all time. It would certainly be one of Hollywood's biggest directorial trials by fire for a big-budget genre newcomer. -- Of course, that's if Universal doesn't just decide to say "screw it" and call J.J. Abrams.

Jurassic Park IV or Jurassic Park "Rebooted" is currently delayed until a date that has yet to be revealed.

[Source] [Via]

Man Of Steel: Action-Packed New Trailer With Plenty Of Zod Smack Talk

Man of Steel has dropped another massive montage of intense of action that it calls a "trailer." Clearly, Henry Cavill's Superman is destined to face even more Earth-shattering insanity at the hands of his powerful enemies than we could have fathomed. We knew he'd be busting some heads, but we never thought he'd be swimming in a sea of skulls. 

It seems that just when you think you've got a handle on the movie, it goes and releases yet another trailer that redefines your perceptions. With the sound backdrop of Michael Shannon's General Zod giving the people of Earth his insidious ultimatum, we get the explanation for the whole "You Are Not Alone" viral campaign for the film that started last month with various static-filled video snippets of Zod's threats. However, in this trailer, the dangers go far beyond the specter of vids with horrible bandwidth. Indeed, we see firsthand the potential apocalyptic implications that Zod and his escaped Kryptonian criminal cohorts like first-time-speaking Faora (Antje Traue) are bringing to our big blue pearl. -- And it's a hell of a lot worse than the White House-squatting, black ABBA jumpsuit-sporting, kneel-fetishist trio of precursors we saw in Superman II.

The film has definitely created a thematic strategy with its various trailers and TV spots with each one giving fans a different aspect of the film. Make no mistake, this one is focusing on the lengths of lunacy to which Zod will go to get his perceived vengeance against his former jailer, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) through his space-orphaned super-son. While it's doubtful that even if there was someone on Earth willing to snitch out freaking Superman, it wouldn't make much difference since the fight will clearly come straight back to him in the form of a mid-air supersonic right hook!

Man of Steel harvests Superman's tears to grow giant-sized crops at theaters on June 14. Check out the new trailer below!

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Halo Live-Action Series In The Works, Steven Spielberg On Board

Halo is apparently set for a live-action incarnation...just not on the big screen as years of rumors and speculation seemed to indicate. Microsoft's big unveiling today of its new console, Xbox One (an event which, if we still had a staff of videogame journalists, we would have been ALL over) would come with kind of a non-gaming surprise. Directorial deity, Steven Spielberg appeared via video to reveal that he will be involved as executive producer with a live-action Halo TV series, which be available exclusively through Xbox One with the next-gen system's streaming-centric hardware.

Certainly, the Xbox One presentation came across as the debut of a fancy, elaborate, voice-operated streaming TV box that happens to play videogames, if you are so inclined. It's clear that Microsoft really, REALLY wants their hardware to be the centerpiece of your living room. Now, with the announcement of this Spielberg-headed Halo series as the apparent flagship of Xbox Live's broader, quasi-Netflix business model, their intentions have never been more clear. Additionally, the console will distinguish itself from the established streaming services by supplementing shows like the upcoming Halo with interactive content.

As for Halo's live-action possibilities, the games have certainly provided all the necessary framework for compelling serial storytelling from humanity's apocalyptic interplanetary wars with zealot alien invaders, The Covenant to the arrival of a shared enemy in the parasitic race, The Flood. The property has certainly come a long way, especially after years upon years of lallygagging which at certain points in time had names like Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp seemingly set to helm a potential feature film. Instead, the story of the ultimate high-jumping, Warthog-riding Spartan solider, Master Chief and his sexy hologram helper, Cortana will become the centerpiece of a series which arrives by way of a completely redefining medium. With the series in the reliable hands of Steven Spielberg, who will collaborate with the IP's ever-watchful gatekeepers over at 343 Industries, the potential buzz from this series could, ironically enough, provide THE watershed moment for the upcoming videogame hardware itself.

No timeline has been revealed regarding when the Halo TV series will debut, but the console on which it will manifest, Xbox One, will reportedly debut "later this year." (Translation: "Holiday Shopping Line Madness.")

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The Wolverine: New Trailer Finds Things To Live For

The Wolverine has unleashed another beserker-rage-rocking trailer. Chock full of new unmitigated violence focusing on Wolverine fighting and killing stuff, the underlying drama still manages to push through the gratuitous gall.

It seems that Wolverine has been spending his time camping in the wilderness with a big bushy beard (and possibly drinking his own pee) looking like some kind of tortured, but more handsome Grizzly Adams. Unfortunately, even there, he can't escape from constant torturous dreams about the events which occurred in this film's chronological predecessor, X-Men: The Last Stand. (Yeah, we're all still trying to get over that movie.) For Logan, these dreams focus on his late would-be love, Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) who he had to "put down" like some kind of Dark Phoenix Old Yeller in the aforementioned franchise debaser of a film. Indeed, the beautiful Jean seems to be the focus of his dreams, which are wet for a different reason these days: From the blood that he shed.

The mourning and regret over that incident seems to have left our hero willing to embrace the end, in spite of his indestructible skeleton and mutant healing powers saying otherwise. (Of course, he could always just toss himself into a volcano, but whatever.) Thankfully (maybe), a man whose life he saved ages ago could have a way to undo nature's ultimate buff and let him finally rest. Of course, it's never that simple and it seems that Logan soon finds himself embroiled amongst an intricate drama involving another one of his former loves, Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto) involving ninjas, a weirdish sexy assassin, arranged marriages with gangsters, sultry serpentine mutant vixens, and his classic comic book nemesis, The Silver Samurai...who, for some unknown reason, is FREAKING HUGE.

The Wolverine makes the most out of eternity when it hits theaters on July 26.

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past: First Look At Jennifer Lawrence As Mystique

X-Men: Days of Future Past has probably given the Internet a gift with the latest sneak-peak-tweet from director, Bryan Singer. This time, we get a our first look (quite a look, actually,) at Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Raven Darkhölme, aka Mystique. -- And she's naked...technically.

When Lawrence played the role in 2011's X-Men: First Class, her character was a youthful, capricious shapeshifter, who made the effort to appear human and blend in with the norms; something she felt necessary to be accepted by not only humanity, but perhaps by her childhood friend, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy.) Well, by the end of that film, she embraced her inner-angst, making the not-too-subtle satirical declaration, "mutant and proud" and displayed her natural blue-scale-strewn form. Now, she's seen sans clothing, similar to the ass-kicking, acrobatic version played by Rebecca Romijn in the later-set original X-Men Trilogy.

While it's difficult to tell what role she'll have in this time-bending bonanza, Singer's tweet describes Lawrence's Mystique as "vengeful." It's a rather curious description since First Class only ended with her defection to the group of militant mutants led by Michael Fassbender's Magneto and didn't seem to leave her character in a particularly bitter place. However, as some may recall in 2006' X-Men: The Last Stand, Romijn's version of the character was certainly left with plenty to be vengeful about when it came to Ian McKellen's Magneto, who pretty much tossed her under the proverbial bus after she was accidentally "cured" of her mutantism. -- A few aspects which begs a question: Since there are no reports of Romijn returning, is Lawrence seen here playing the Mystique of 1973 OR the contemporary clothe-less counterpart? Perhaps, she's playing both?

X-Men: Days of Future Past takes the "girl on fire" and douses her flames with cooling blue body paint when it hits theaters on July 18, 2014. Check out the full photo of Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique below...which also happens to show her "below." -- Don't worry, it's work-safe, but it's an image that will probably stick around in your head for at least the rest of the day.

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Star Wars Rebels: New Animated Series Announced

It appears that the Star Wars animated universe has been brought back to life with plans to tackle an era which will be pleasing to old-school fans. The Disney-sized Lucasfilm coalition have announced that production has begun on a new animated series set to debut in fall of 2014 called Star Wars Rebels. Kicking off with a one-hour special premiere on Disney Channel, the show will then settle into its home on the regular schedule of Disney XD.

Just a few short months after new franchise owners, Disney dropped the grim news that the long-running animated staple, Star Wars: The Clone Wars would be a victim of their own equivalent of an "Order 66" mass franchise refurbishment, it seems that plans were already in the works for a new phase. While the former series explored the period inbetween Star Wars Episodes II and III, Star Wars Rebels will actually fill the rich and mostly untouched territory spanning two whole decades with the period between the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the very first Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope. (Although, this does not bode well for the enduring canonical place of The Force Unleashed video games, which was set within that time period.)

While fans of The Clone Wars still anxiously await the series' proper denouement via the announced "bonus material" set to drop, they should be relieved to know that the old show's supervising director, Dave Filoni will return on Rebels with a title bump to executive producer. Filoni will work alongside exec producer peers in Simon Kinberg screenwriter of X-Men: First Class, Sherlock Holmes, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Greg Weisman, a veteran of notable animated shows like Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man, and the acclaimed classic 90's series, Gargoyles. Additionally, Filoni will be bringing much of the creative personnel from The Clone Wars like art director, Kilian Plunkett, which should also induce a sigh of relief among fans of the late series.

Much like with the bittersweet announcement of The Clone Wars' end, the heralding of this "new hope" of a show comes with a behind-the-scenes video featuring Dave Filoni discussing the new, grand task of tackling the hunt for the last vestiges of the Jedi and the beginnings of the Rebellion against the Empire. Check it out below!

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James Bond: Christopher Nolan To Direct Next Film?

James Bond is riding higher than ever after the unprecedented grosses and critical acclaim from last year's Skyfall. However, it seems that the next installment could see the famous MI6 agent get a director who's successfully re-envisioned a certain grizzled voice vigilante. According to UK's The Daily Mail, the one and only Christopher Nolan was approached to helm the Bond franchise's next shaken, not stirred sequel.

While the modern Bond films typically do not stick with one helmer, the success of Skyfall seemed to initially warrant the return of director, Sam Mendes. However, he was apparently forced to withdraw, due to commitments with theater productions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and King Lear. -- That's where Nolan allegedly comes into the picture. While the report is far from confirmed, the claim is that Nolan, the visionary director behind The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception has been approached by the biggies behind the Bond franchise, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G .Wilson to occupy the director's chair which still sports Mendes' proverbial ass groove. -- And that is about the extent of the details.

Despite the confidence in its own intel, the report does raise some clear obstacles which may prevent Nolan from taking a project that is, even for a director of his stature, a huge opportunity: Namely his current project, Interstellar. Indeed, Nolan is working on another mind-bending writing/directorial effort which is said to be a space thriller which will explore themes reflected in the research of famous physicist, Kip Thorne. A top-level cast in Matthew McConauhey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine are locked in and the film, due at theaters November 2014, seems on the verge production soon enough. As a result, Nolan may not have the time to tackle a major, meticulous production like a Bond movie without the franchise experiencing another long lapse between films. Not only would MGM want to avoid squandering the momentum built by Skyfall, but current James Bond, Daniel Craig isn't getting any younger, either.

It will be interesting to see not only if this rumor has any legs, but if the scheduling could be worked out for Nolan to nab this dream gig and have it be released at a reasonable time period.

"Bond 24" could sport a Nolan-esque pulse-pounding suspenseful soundtrack to artificially amp-up even the most innocuous of scenes when it hits theaters at a date to be determined. (It's penciled in for 2016.)

[Source]

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