Wednesday, April 28, 2010

V's Valerie on lizard babies, mouse-eating and more!

What's a mother-to-be to do when she finds out her baby daddy has been lying to her from the start of their relationship and, beyond that, he's not even human? Actress Lourdes Benedicto (ER/24), who plays Valerie Stevens on ABC's V, told us in an exclusive interview that everything her character has been going through will come to a head in tonight's episode, "Heretic's Fork."

"What happens in tonight's episode is the climax of the relationship between her and Ryan and is what the audience has been waiting for, 'cause the audience has known all along that Ryan is a V and he has been keeping it from her," said Benedicto. "She's going to find out the truth of many truths tomorrow night. I think that's going to be really exciting and seeing her have to make decisions and deal with those decisions and repercussions. It is a good episode."

One of those truths involves the fact that Ryan (Morris Chestnut) actually slipped Valerie phosphorus from the mothership that was needed to insure the survival of the baby hybrid ... a pregnancy that wasn't supposed to be possible. And the baby's growing at breakneck speed, and the ultrasound pics show a tail.
"She won't be able to go back from [what he did], no," said Benedicto.
Trust may be a hard thing to come by when Valerie discovers what he's done, she admitted. "It's a sci-fi show, but ultimately what's great about it is that it really focuses on and tries to deal with real human emotions and real human situations," she said.
According to Benedicto, while Valerie's innocence will be lost, she'll gain something else. "I think what's great about this situation is that we'll get to see her really take command of her own fate, as much as she can, and really become a part of her own destiny and decide what she's going to do with this baby. And is she going to forgive Ryan? Is she going to trust him again? We'll see her struggle with those choices, and we'll see her make those decisions and the repercussions of that. I think that's the beauty of it. That's what we really want to see with our characters is how they deal with everything that life throws at them—especially lizard babies," she said with a laugh.

In the promo for tonight's episode, when High Commander Anna (played by Morena Baccarin) discovers that the pregnancy exists, Anna orders that the human woman carrying the "mongrel" baby and the Visitor who impregnated her be found and dissected. Then Anna releases one of her new supersoldiers to go after them.
Yes. They're pretty badass. The stakes are getting higher for everybody ... all the characters, the stakes are getting higher. The life-and-death situations are getting a lot more real and scary. These soldiers, they mean business. And there's going to be some pretty cool special effects in this episode, too. So it should be really fun to watch," said Benedicto.

Something else that was fun to watch this season was pregnant Valerie's ravenous appetite and her reaction to a dead mouse. In what was likely a nod to the original series, where the Visitors downed rodents as snacks, Valerie sees the dead mouse in a trap, picks it up, and for just a moment we think she might eat it.
"My character has definitely been the one that plays a lot of homage to the original, being that she has the alien birth and then with the rat and everything. So it is kind of nice to serve that purpose. ... As far as doing the scene, I was really afraid they were going to use a rat, as opposed to a mouse, and that I don't know if I could have actually, physically picked it up without probably hyperventilating. So once they decided it was a small mouse and a little mouse, it was lot easier to shoot," said Benedicto with a laugh. "And I just sort of had to jump in with both feet and not think about it too much."

V airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
sci-fi wire...

Iron Man 2 cast reveals behind-the-scenes secrets!

In anticipation of Iron Man 2's May 7 opening, the entire cast and director Jon Favreau met the press over the weekend in Beverly Hills, Calif., and we were there.
Following is an edited transcript of the entire press conference, which featured stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke and Don Cheadle, director Favreau, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and writer Justin Theroux.
For Robert and Jon, I wanted to ask what pressure you felt doing a sequel to the first, which was such a blockbuster?

Downey: Do you mean, like, feel like it's past tense? I didn't sleep last night. Jon?
Favreau: I've never done a sequel before, unless you count me being ... on Batman Forever as a sequel, as an actor. For me, there wasn't the same pressures that you're used to feeling, especially coming up with smaller movies ... where you're throwing a party and you don't know if people are going to show up. Here we knew people were going to show up. We just wanted to make sure everybody that showed up had a good time and this was going to be as fun or more fun than the last party. So, different kind of pressure. ...

Jon and Kevin, can you talk about the timeline for Iron Man 2 and how it fits in with Thor, Captain America and Avengers?

Favreau: I'll let Kevin field that one.
Feige: The second question, and it's about that? That's nifty. I think Jon has already revealed on his Twitter that Iron Man 2 takes place [before] or slightly concurrently with The Incredible Hulk. But other than that ... It takes place before, but if you're paying attention towards the end of the film, you'll see a little clue that tells you that it's happening before The Incredible Hulk.

Favreau: The whole idea of an easter egg is you don't talk about it. ...
Mr. Favreau, there was a snippet in the trailer where Pepper was in the plane with Tony. Was that meant to be a part of the Stark Expo scene where he's flying down from the plane?

Favreau: Yes. We had different versions of things that we tried. That was something that we tried, that was something that was a great image and a scene that's gonna be on the DVD. But we had two different versions of it, and because of the pacing and the way we reveal Tony Stark, it felt really good to flow into the drop down and reveal him for the first time on the stage. For those of you who haven't seen the movie, this doesn't make any sense. But oftentimes, in the editing room, we figure out what combinations of scenes ...

Downey: Gwyneth is just finding out that that scene was cut, Jon. You might be a little more sensitive.

Cheadle: You're in for a big surprise.
Paltrow: Nothing would surprise me.
Gwyneth and Scarlett, I think the Tony character is surprised that you guys can work together quite well later in the movie. Who do you think can work together better to save the world, you two girls or Tony and Rhodey? And why?
Paltrow: Well, if Scarlett and I were doing it, the body count would be different. Less bloody.

Johansson: More organized. We'd just stack them. I don't know, I mean, I think that we, with the brains and the muscle and the beauty and the blond, I feel like we'd have maybe a better chance, but you guys can fight for yourselves.
Paltrow: We're unstoppable.

Johansson: We are. It's true. Unstoppable. I don't know. I feel like if I could wield the guns and the karate-chop movements and you can, like, be the brains behind the operation. That's your one superpower. I will out-think you. ...
Mickey, that was an electrifying performance. Can you talk about what it was like to play that character and how much fun you had?
Rourke: I had a lot of fun.

Can you elaborate?
Rourke: I just woke up. It was great because I worked with some great people and he's, this one here [indicates Favreau], is real easy to work with, makes it fun. It was nice because I'd just come off working on a film that was no budget and I didn't have a chair to sit in. I remember the first day, I asked for a cappuccino and they said, 'What kind would you like?' ...

Justin and Jon, you guys discovered a lot on set on the first movie. How much did you discover this time, and Justin, how much of your script are we seeing on screen and how much is the group coming together and changing things?

Theroux: It's a heavily improvisational script in that everyone gets to sort of chime in. So my job as the writer was to really just stay on the dance shoes of Robert and Jon and Gwyneth and everybody and just sort of try and rewrite things on the fly. So we did have an extensive development process, obviously, sort of where we actually had a script. And then that ball just keeps rolling into production, and then once we're on set, it gets very frenetic and very fast.
Favreau: The story is very well fleshed out, the actual story; what has to happen in each scene we understand. We leave a lot of room within those scenes and try to do multiple cameras sometimes or stay up and rewrite. And Justin was doing multiple passes, sometimes double-digit passes on scenes, because we learned things from each scene that we shoot. We try to shoot pretty much in order. And what's nice about having the actors you see up here is they're all very good stewards of their characters emotionally and they're used to being in films where you don't have the safety net of all the high technology and the explosions. And so, if they have an issue with something we're asking the character to do for the story, we discuss it and we figure out a way so that it can work for them as a performer and also for the movie.
Don Cheadle, your character was played by
Terrence Howard in the first movie. How did you feel when the opportunity arose to play the role in this movie, and how cool was it for you to put on the War Machine suit?

Cheadle: Well, I don't know why the War Machine suit is actually made of metal and his [indicates Downey] was made of light fiberglass material. (Laughs.) Maybe it was just an initiation. But, you know, I felt very fortunate to be given the opportunity to work in a film like this. Terrence is a friend, and I've known him for a long time. I was one of the producers on Crash, put him in that, so it was good to also kind of see him and put anything to bed that people may have been thinking was a problem. It wasn't. We're cool. Look, it's a lot of fun. We get to play with the best toys and the best technology. It's just kind of doing what you liked to do as a kid, but all fleshed out. A lot of fun.

Downey: The reason Don's suit was heavier is that it's almost impossible to get that mirror-like look of a polished metal with CGI. I would not wish it on an enemy. ...
For the three gentlemen on the end, you've got a rogue's gallery with Iron Man, but it's not as well known as something like Batman or Spider-Man. Were there other villains considered? And talk about the decision to go with Whiplash and Mickey's casting.

Favreau: I met with Mickey at this hotel. Remember? I brought him some artwork and we thought, Whiplash in the comic book is a guy wearing tights with a big plume, big purple feather coming out of the top of his head. That wasn't what we wanted. But what's the tech version of that? ... And so we were thinking of, we were concocting a version of a Russian, thinking of Viggo [Mortensen] in Eastern Promises and the tattoos. That could be a cool in. So it's going to be a Russian, and then we're like, Marv [from Sin City] and The Wrestler, between those two, between the fan boys and the independent film community, he was back with a vengeance. It was like, "My God, there's a lot of people, we're not going to have a tremendous amount of screen time. Who's going to be able to be there, make an impression and you feel like this guy's in trouble?"

So Mickey brought a lot of intensity to both those roles. We did some artwork, and then I met with him, sat down with him, and we talked about everything. It was before all the awards started to happen. We had a nice little connection, and I talked to people that worked with him, and they said great things about him. His talent is undeniable. And so, that started, that conversation ended, and then Robert was on the road with him doing the tour, because he was on the Tropic Thunder awards tour, and he, I think, was lobbying every time they sat together to try to get him to join the movie.

Downey: I really worked you like a rib, didn't I? It was embarrassing. I was literally begging you in public. ...
Rourke: We had a great time. We had a lot of fun. I think we were, we were doing this improvisation where I said, 'Bring me some vodka. This wine is s--t.' And I just moved the wine over, and [Sam Rockwell] took his glass and said, 'Yeah, this is s--t.' (Laughs.) He was fun to work with.
Downey: Mickey, I think we've waited long enough. Can we please talk about the parrot already? (Laughs.) I don't know why the parrot is not on the poster personally.
Rourke: He's home.

Favreau: Yeah, he bought one after. It's the one that's in the movie. ...
For the two of you [Robert and Gwyneth], there's a real Moonlighting thing going on between the two of you, the banter between you is great. But the kiss was, of course, very highly anticipated. How was it shooting that scene?
Downey: I couldn't get her off me. It was embarrassing.

Paltrow: It was great, because both my husband and his wife were right there.
Downey: She said to me that I didn't know what I was doing, like it didn't feel good. And I'm like, you know what? First of all, we're all friends. So what would be creepy would be if I was coming off all sexy to you while we're shooting. ... By the way, I've done that in movies, and it creeps them out. So what am I going to creep you out for? ... Despite what she said on set, she still thinks about it. [Laughs.] ...
And finally, Scarlett was fantastic as Black Widow. There was talk of a spinoff movie. Is that still a possibility?

Favreau: Hell yes.
Feige: Yes. Absolutely.
Jon, we heard about a few of the scenes that might wind up on the DVD. What other cool extras do you have planned?

Favreau: Well, we have, there's a lot of featurettes. We were running cameras behind the scenes all the time. We don't like to really show too much of it before the movie comes out, to keep some surprises. But everything was very well documented, as you can see, a very interesting group of people. And so, between the interviews, you get a really good sense of ... We're fans of these movies, Kevin and I are always swapping back and forth books and things about the movies that we grew up loving. And so we document it very well, and so there's going to be pretty extensive featurettes and then commentary this time around, and then also deleted scenes that we thought would be interesting for people to see. So it's more a movie-fan set of extras, people who really want to immerse themselves. If you don't, it's going to be boring. If you don't like that kind of thing, it's going to be ... We did overkill on this one.

Gwyneth and Scarlett, can you tell us more about your specific roles in this movie and how, in this movie, you have strong, intelligent women? You aren't just sex symbols.
Johansson: Well, I think that I've never really seen a film of this genre where the female characters were, that they're kind of, that their sex appeal kind of came second. I mean, of course they're sexy characters. When you have a sexy secretary or a girl swinging around by her ankles in a catsuit, that's innately sexy, but these characters are ... They're intelligent, they're ambitious, they're motivated and calculated in some, to some degree. It leaves ... I probably would have, to be just a pawn in a story of a whole bunch of men just fighting it out and, you know, rolling around and getting down and dirty, and there you are to be sort of the vision in a tight catsuit is sort of a boring thing to me. I think that Jon made that really clear in the beginning, that he felt, as far as Black Widow or Natalie was concerned, that she was, you know, mysterious and nuanced and something to kind of peel back the layers to, that there was something there. He wanted that. I think that's why this film is so much more dynamic to me as an audience member. I've never been a huge fan of this genre, really. I think because it was always sort of one-note and very explosive. I think this, because Gwyneth and I are able to be the brains behind the operation in some aspect, there's kind of a happy medium there. It kind of adds to the charm, the charisma, of the finished project.

Paltrow: Oh. I agree with Scarlett. (Laughs.) I think it's a very smart decision, actually, to have women that are capable and intelligent, because it appeals to women. So it's not only a film for 15-year-old boys, it's a film that can relate to a lot people on a lot of levels. Like, a lot of my girlfriends like it because of the romance or Scarlett, the trailer, it's appealing. "Oh, who is she?" It doesn't look like, it doesn't look gratuitous. It looks like there are interesting women in the movie. Certainly from the first one, too. My character is quick, and she's articulate. It makes it so that, when you take your kid, if you're a mom, it's really fun for you to watch as well. It's really fun to see women who are kind of aspirational and smart, sexy all at the same time.
Cheadle: I think 15-year-old boys are going to like that too.

Johansson: It's awfully kind of old-fashioned, actually, in the best sense of the word. These characters are like those fabulous femme fatales of the golden age of Hollywood. That Bette Davis, more than the Jayne Mansfield, you know, which I think is so much more dynamic to watch. ...

Mr. Downey, I'm wondering about the physical challenges and perhaps the emotional and intellectual of this as well and what the boundaries of that were for you. ...
Downey: ... We just labored really hard to say, "OK, we're audience members who made the first Iron Man successful, and we're smart, which is kind of why we were drawn to it, so what do we expect?" We kept putting ourselves into audience seats. So, for me, the mental and emotional aspects and development of Tony were, to me, it's strange to say personal, because it's not necessarily relating to my life, so to speak, but just the mythology of saying you're something and being that thing are something entirely different.

And also this whole idea of Howard Stark and the legacy and the shadow of that legacy that we were always talking about, Mickey and I, about being kind of two sides of the same coin. One who was kind of able to escape that captivity and one who saw his father die in the ruins of improper recognition and having to reckon with that. So really all of the characters, you know, Black Widow/Natalie is bringing me back to an extended family I've always had, and Mickey, as Anton, is telling me that all is not well and people have vendettas for reasons I might not understand but I need to understand. And Rhodey is there saying, "Hey, you've always had me there on your wing, so why won't you really let me help you?" And obviously the Pepper thing is really about love. ...

(At this point, the Iron Man poster backdrop falls off its support frame, and Downey, Feige and Theroux begin clowning around with it until the press conference ends.)
sci-fi wire...

A surprise director for the controversial final Twilight

Summit Entertainment has officially confirmed rumors that Bill Condon, screenwriter and/or director of films such as Gods and Monsters, Kinsey and Dreamgirls—not to mention '80s genre fare such as Strange Invaders and Strange Behavior—has been hired to direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the final entry in the massively successful film franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's novels.
Summit president of production Erik Feig said in the official press release, "Bringing Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand, and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity."

Meyer herself chimed in, adding, "I'm so thrilled that Bill wants to work with us. I think he's going to be a great fit, and I'm excited to see what he does with the material."

The press release did not indicate whether Breaking Dawn would be subject to either of the trends that studios are currently enforcing on their tentpole pictures, i.e. being filmed in or converted to 3-D or broken up into two parts, although the latter has also been rumored for the Twilight finale.

The hiring of Condon comes following recent rumors that 30 Days of Night's David Slade—the director of the third installment in the series, Eclipse (out June 30)—had run into trouble with Summit over the tone of his film, with reports of reshoots and a change in editors on the project. The studio has sought to dispel those rumors, telling E! Online that it is "very happy with Slade."

Condon himself said in Summit's press release, "I'm very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life on-screen. As fans of the series know, this is a one-of-a-kind book—and we're hoping to create an equally unique cinematic experience."
The filmmaker is perhaps understating the case. Breaking Dawn is the most controversial book in the series, and as reported by last November, its many outrageous plot points—Bella and Edward violently consummating their relationship, Bella's monster baby nearly tearing her apart during childbirth, and werewolf Jacob's unnatural relationship with the child—would present a challenge for David Cronenberg, let alone a more mainstream director like Condon (no word on whether he'll get a crack at writing the thing—regular Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg is back again).

Condon, however, did start out in genre work and has a feel for it, while his efforts on Kinsey and Dreamgirls also show a flair for the sexually provocative and the theatrical, respectively. He'll get a chance to bring all that to the table for Breaking Dawn, while juggling the demands of Summit, Meyer and, most important, the fan base.
sci-fi wire...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife: New monsters, new heroes, new FX

♦The new film, shot in high-def 3-D with the same cameras used in Avatar, will be heavily influenced by the Resident Evil 5 video game, with Wesker as the main villain and brother-sister team Claire and Chris Redfield (Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller) joining Alice (Milla Jovovich).
♦Forget the
crappy 3-D back conversion of Clash of the Titans; this film was conceived from the ground up as a 3-D feature, and it looks fabulous.
♦The new movie will feature new costumes, new locations and new music and will be more global in scope, with a story that ranges from Alaska to Japan to Los Angeles and onto a massive Umbrella Corp. ship.
♦There will be familiar creatures from the games, as well as some new ones, including underwater zombies, burrowing zombies and split-headed zombie dogs.Following the report of our set visit is an edited Q&A with director Paul W.S. Anderson, who steps behind the camera again.
On a day in November of last year, we visited a set that was a giant white room with walls that appear to be braced steel, apparently aboard the Umbrella ship. There are vertical man-sized glass cylinder pods, as well as examination tables on which lie "bodies" of the undead in white jumpsuits.

There's a giant white door at one end.
We're watching the action unfold on a high-def 3-D video monitor; the action is actually being shot in 3-D. "Wesker," played by Shawn Roberts, is in a chair, wearing a black Matrixy-looking outfit. His black profile pops against the stark white background.
In the shot, Wesker dodges something thrown at him (knives, which will be inserted in post-production) by Alice (Jovovich).
In another scene, we watch a fight scene between Bennett (a henchman played by Kim Coates) and Alice. In one shot, Coates—who is dressed in a battered black suit —trains a pistol on Alice. Alice does a roundhouse kick to knock the gun out of Bennett's hand, then kicks him square in the chest.
After one take, Coates shakes his hand: Jovovich has apparently kicked his hand instead of the gun. "That was just the finger," he says with a smile.
In another take, she misses the gun and hand entirely. "I missed the gun. ... It was too high. ... Can you hold it a little higher?" She laughs good-naturedly.

In another take, she nails both the gun and Coates square in the chest. After the cut, she flashes that big famous smile.
Another scene: Jovovich has to act as if snarling vicious zombie dogs have just entered the room, ready to attack. They're not really there, but she acts as if they are: She freezes, backs up slowly, a sharp intake of breath, a narrowing of the eyes, looking around, primed, then quickly dodges to the left, as if something has leaped at her, and quickly runs out of frame.
Later, as a lighting reference for the visual-effects guys, crew members bring in models of the dogs themselves and place them in the white room, then move them around. The zombie dogs are black and bloody, and their heads split open vertically to reveal large ranks of nasty teeth.
To lampoon this activity, Jovovich later brings in a small piece of plastic dog poop, places it on the floor, then moves it around. The crew laughs heartily.
We also toured the art department, where we saw concept sketches and designs of the various locations and props in the movie, as well as the props themselves, including shiny bladed weapons in a leather wrap and a mockup of an Umbrella Corp. nuclear weapon.

Paul W.S. Anderson, talk about coming back to this franchise as a director and what you brought you back and what you want to do with it that's different.
Anderson: I never really thought I went away, because I've written all of the movies, and I've produced them all and certainly provided services above and beyond the average producer on two and three. I was on set most of the films and called "action" and "cut" a lot of times and did all that good stuff. And so I was excited about the fourth movie, I guess, conceptually, because what I felt we should do with it, we should try to make it a conceptual jump, like Terminator did [with] T2. It was still the Terminator franchise, but it was something kind of bigger and grander. That was our idea with this Resident Evil, to make that kind of conceptual jump. It will still be Resident Evil, it will have all the really cool Resident Evil things in it—the characters from the game, the dogs that you've seen—but, you know, the dogs on a new level. These dogs are a massive improvement on the dogs before. I think some of the sets we're building, the locations we're using, are giant. Again, like a big conceptual jump to try and make the movie kind of a bigger and grander event than the first trilogy was.
Was there a particular game? It seems like there's an aura of Resident Evil 5 over this one.
Anderson: Yes. ...
I kind of knew they would tell me that Wesker was in the game, kind of, but they would never really confirm it. And, sure enough, he was the main villain. He was the main villain in the movie as well. And completely by coincidence, a large chunk of this movie takes place on a big ship, and there was the ship from Resident Evil 5. We had the dogs in already. We had an awful lot of stuff that they had already put into Resident Evil 5, so what I did was, I just did a whole big pass on the script to kind of bring it more in line with the imagery of the latest game, because I thought the latest game was fantastic. ...
There's a whole fight scene that we're about to shoot that we start next week with Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller, which is taken almost—well, is taken—shot by shot from Resident Evil 5. ...

It's where Chris is fighting Wesker, ... the two of them are fighting Wesker, and the character from the game, we're putting Claire in there, so it's brother and sister fighting against Wesker.
What's great in the game is it's one continuous shot, where the camera rotates around Wesker fighting the two, and he just kicks their asses. But they never cut, which of course you can do in animation. It's a bit more difficult in live action. So what we're going to do is we're probably going to shoot the fight in 10 different segments and then seam it together in visual effects so the finished effect will be as though the camera never stops rotating around.
It's really cool, because you go around them and then you kind of go underneath. It's going to be a nightmare, and everyone's tearing their hair out on set trying to figure out how to do it, especially with the 3-D rigs, which are huge. You've probably noticed that.
It's a very different experience shooting in 3-D, because the camera rigs are so large. Everything we've become accustomed to in the last 10 years as filmmakers, which is cameras getting smaller and smaller and you can just throw them on your shoulder and stick them in a car and do whatever you want, you can't do any of that now. You're forced to put things on dollies and track and cranes. It's kind of like a throwback to an old-school way of filmmaking. So for this kind of very flexible shoot, we're having to reinvent the wheel a little bit.
In terms of the story, how do you re-conceptualize the Resident Evil movie for 3-D with this change in the way you have to shoot it?
Anderson: I wrote a script that I felt kind of emphasized depth, because I think that's very suitable to 3-D, obviously. But I kind of feel like I've always directed movies a little like they were ride films anyway. ...

sci-fi wire...

Chris Evans doesn't know jack about Captain America

You may have read something, somewhere about this little movie called Captain America and who might be playing the lead role: former Fantastic Four co-star Chris Evans. Did you know he's not even much of a fan?

"I'm not a big comic-book reader," Evans told a news conference at WonderCon in San Francisco on Saturday, where he was promoting the upcoming
The Losers. "You know what I mean? I don't really have a history and a love for comics. I didn't grow up reading them. But they're fantastic for films."

Evans beat out a host of young Hollywood actors for the coveted role, including The Office's John Krasinski.

"The beautiful thing about comic books, even movies based on novels, you have a blueprint," Evans added. "You have a tangible thing to say, 'Listen, this is the story we're going to work.' Especially in comic books. You have a color palette. You have a visual home base to kind of root yourself in. So, as an actor, it's nice knowing the people behind the visual elements of the film have this kind of blueprint to work off of."

So why Captain America? "I don't know," he stammered, as the gathering of reporters laughed. "I don't know. It's just, ... it was, ... I don't know." He chuckled.
"I think Marvel is doing a lot of good things right now," he said. "And it's a fun character. Even if it wasn't a comic book. I think the story of Steve Rogers is great. He's a great guy. Even if it was just a script about anybody, I would probably want to do it. So it wasn't necessarily about the comic itself. It was about ..."
At this point, Evans' Losers co-star Zoe Saldana chimed in: "It was about the tights."
Evans laughed. "Anytime I can get in blue tights. ... He's a great character. He's a great character to play. He just happens to be a comic-book character."

Not sure how comic fans are going to feel about that. Especially after the casting drama. But it certainly doesn't hurt to have the lead character working on, well, the character and not the franchise.

The First Avenger: Captain America will be released on July 22, 2011. The Losers opens April 23.
sci-fi wire...

Cool! New Buck Rogers to get the Iron Man treatment

Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson next takes on the classic sci-fi franchise Buck Rogers, and he told reporters at WonderCon that he's going back to the original concept—a man thrust 500 years into the future (in this case, the 26th century)—with the help of the guys who put the spark in Tony Stark.

Screenwriters Art Markum and Matt Holloway are working on a Buck Rogers script, and that's a good sign: They worked on the script to the first Iron Man movie, so they've done well by comics before.

The writers have hashed out a storyline going back to the original concept. "You take a relatable modern-day man, you put him in the far-flung future," Anderson told a group of reporters in San Francisco on Saturday, where he was promoting Resident Evil: Afterlife. "I think what Markum and Holloway will do—which they did with Iron Man—which is bring a lot of kind of humanity and character to the story. So I think they're going to write a great Buck character in the way that they wrote a great Tony Stark character."

"I always start with a love of the source material," Anderson said. "That's the thing all of those things have in common. I love Aliens and Predators. I used to play and love Mortal Kombat. I love Resident Evil. I love Buck Rogers. I read the comic strips as a kid, the old comic strips. I watched the TV show. I love the source material, and then I take that love and knowledge of the source material and then try and put my own spin on it."

Anderson added: "In the case of Buck Rogers, I'm going to have the help of Markum and Holloway, who wrote the original Iron Man [and] who are terrific writers. It's not just going to be me. They're going to be bolstering my visual vision of what Buck should be with, I think, some tremendous character work."
Buck Rogers was last adapted as a television series in 1979, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Anderson promises a serious sci-fi epic adaptation from his team. "You're dealing with Earth in 500 years' time, so your imagination can run rampant as to what that is," Anderson said. "We're going to do it straight. There won't be the kind of camp factor that you had in the '70s show."
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Star Wars: Clone Wars to reveal Boba Fett's mysteries

An upcoming series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes promises to fill in the backstory of the young Boba Fett, the bounty hunter introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, the show's creators told us at WonderCon. (Spoilers ahead!)

"I wanted to ask the question: How does he become that guy?" supervising director Dave Filoni said in an exclusive interview in San Francisco over the weekend. "Much like George [Lucas] did with Darth Vader, but Boba's path is already set kind of in a much more direct way than young Anakin, because he saw his father die firsthand at that very early age [in Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones]. How did that affect him? How does that raise questions about the clones that are around him, because they look like his dad? He's a clone, but does he feel like a clone?"

Attack of the Clones explained that Boba was a clone of Jango Fett, with aging slowed down to appear as his son. Now the animated series shows how female bounty hunter Aurra Sing became an important figure in Boba's adolescence. "How does Aurra come in, and what is she doing mentoring him, and what is she asking of this kid?" Filoni said. "Why does she want to work with the kid? Does she see something of herself in him? These are all things that we discussed when we were building to the characters to put into the story."

To voice the animated form of Boba Fett, Filoni got Daniel Logan, the young actor who played Boba in Attack of the Clones. Logan's a little older now, but he's still young Boba. "It was kind of like putting on a pair of boots that you haven't put on for a long time, and trying to fit an 8-inch foot into an 7-inch boot is kind of different," Logan said. "My voice got a little bit [deeper]. I started getting hair on my chest and all the rest of my body, and something happened."

Filoni said Logan's voice still preserves the qualities he needed to portray young Boba Fett. "The voice worked well, though, I think," Filoni said. "When you listen to Daniel as young Boba, it's still young Boba. I think that's the cool thing. Boba Fett iconically is the helmet. We know the helmet. We don't know the guy underneath. So Boba Fett in the prequel era is Daniel. He is that boy. I think that's why it was so important to get him back. If you had somebody else do it, it would just look like him. This time, I think, it really just feels like him, because Daniel's portraying the character."
As bounty hunter Aurra Sing, voice actress Jaime King got to play a vital role in the creation of a Star Wars legend. "Just imagine a very intense bounty hunter like Aurra Sing mentoring Boba Fett as a dark, motherly figure," King said. "That's where it gets really interesting. It's kind of like Mommy Dearest. I grew up with movies like that. Then, all of a sudden, I come across Aurra Sing, who has this dark, motherly quality about her. You get to see that it's really not about taking care of someone at all. It's really just about taking care of herself. It's very fun as an actor to explore those kind of weird things that I don't necessarily relate to but in a way I can explore and understand just through delving into the character. She has very clear intentions on what it is that she wants, and it's not bound by emotions, and it's not bound by things that most females get bound by. It's just really about money, and it's about power. She'll basically do anything to get that. It's fun to be able to play a character like that, that's so single-minded but so manipulative in achieving her desires."
Mommy issues were the way to go with Boba. He had a father figure in Jango Fett, and he's surrounded by male clones. "I mean, he's a clone, so that sets Boba in a different light," Filoni said. "He's one of millions of kids who look just like him, but in his mind, he's his father's only son. He's the one that's special. He's the one that grows differently. In that way, too, with Aurra, she takes him on. Why? Was she a friend of Jango's? What's in it for her? We ask that. It was important that she be somewhat motherly to him, but also she is an adult and she has her own motives. I think she sees a bit of herself in Boba when she was young, when she was kind of on her own, abandoned."

Filoni doesn't answer all the questions. He still wants to keep Boba Fett a little mysterious, like Clint Eastwood in his Man With No Name westerns. "I think it still maintains the mystery of the Man With No Name that Boba Fett's very much based on, because there aren't really definitive answers, I think," Filoni said. "Boba Fett in Empire seems different to me. Even as a kid, I thought Boba's a villain, because he's taking down Han Solo with Vader, but he's paid. He probably needs the money. Jango Fett has a famous line: 'I'm just an ordinary man trying to make his way in the galaxy.' You kind of get that Jango feels that justifies what he's trying to do, trying to make a means to an end, trying to pay the bills. He's that guy. How did Aurra influence Boba for good or for bad to become the Man With No Name, with kind of his own sense of justice, his own sense of law at a time when the Empire is the law? Those are some interesting questions."

Boba Fett first appears in the April 23 episode of The Clone Wars, then again in a two-part season finale on April 30 on Cartoon Network.
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