Geekscape http://www.geekscape.net podcasts, news, features Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:03:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=485 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape http://www.geekscape.net/_wp_/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.geekscape.net TV-G Check Out Some Of Emerald City Comicon’s Best Cosplay! http://www.geekscape.net/check-out-some-of-emerald-city-comicons-best-cosplay http://www.geekscape.net/check-out-some-of-emerald-city-comicons-best-cosplay#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 01:03:46 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86540 Emerald City Comicon has come and gone, and along with 80,000 eager geeks, hundreds of extremely talented cosplayers descended on the Washington State Convention Centre.

I had a blast talking to some of the costumers throughout the weekend, and the ECCC Cosplay contest featured some of the best cosplays that I’d ever seen. I took a few photos of the costumes I saw at the convention, so take a look below, and let us know which one is your favourite!

DSC_0436

DSC_0431

DSC_0432

DSC_0433

DSC_0439

DSC_0440

DSC_0445

DSC_0448

DSC_0461-2

DSC_0525

DSC_0530

DSC_0534

DSC_0535

DSC_0541

DSC_0544

DSC_0548

DSC_0552

DSC_0554

DSC_0567

DSC_0572

DSC_0580

DSC_0588

DSC_0591

DSC_0598

DSC_0629

DSC_0632

DSC_0644

DSC_0652

DSC_0659

DSC_0667

DSC_0668

DSC_0710

DSC_0712

DSC_0716

DSC_0722

DSC_0726

It’s hard to see in the photo, but that Halo 4 baddie was too big to fit on the stage!

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/check-out-some-of-emerald-city-comicons-best-cosplay/feed 0
Geekscape Interviews: Bill Plympton on Animation, Infidelity and “Cheatin'” http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-bill-plympton-on-animation-infidelity-and-cheatin http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-bill-plympton-on-animation-infidelity-and-cheatin#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:56:16 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86498 Don’t let the accolades fool you. Neither should his unofficial title, “The King of Indie Animation,” given to him by peers and critics alike. Bill Plympton, one of the most prolific and enduring animators in the industry today, remains adamant about his opinions on animation as art and not a commercial. He hasn’t been swayed by money, which he has turned down from bigger studios that would have compromised his vision.

“The distributors, the movie houses, [they all] have … blinders on. They can’t see that there’s a wonderful audience of adults for animation.” There are, as anime fans will tell you on almost a daily basis whether you asked or not.

“I have a lot of friends who have worked at Pixar, and they’re human beings,” he tells me. “They get jealous, they have adulterous affairs and divorces, [even] hook up with prostitutes and things like that, but yet they can’t talk about it.” I quickly imagine Mr. Incredible picking up a streetwalker late in the first act, which brings The Incredibles somewhat closer to its Watchmen roots than possibly intended.

“They can’t discuss it in their films,” Bill tells me. “Whereas I can draw about whatever I want and that’s what makes me an artist talking about my own life. That’s not my thing.”

It must be good to be the king.

A two-time Oscar-nominated animator, Bill Plympton has been a powerhouse in the animation industry for decades. Although he has dabbled in live-action, his main love has always been with what the human hand can draw. Beginning with his cartoon strip Plympton in 1975 for the Soho Weekly News, he quickly worked for publications like the Village Voice, Vogue, the New York Times, Rolling Stone and Penthouse. His television work have included MTV and several couch gags for The Simpsons.

In 2005, he animated Kanye West’s music video for “Heard ‘Em Say,” and followed up the next year with Weird Al’s “Don’t Download This Song.” In 2008, his full-length feature Idiots & Angels, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was decorated at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France. That’s how I first knew of Bill.

His distinctive style is surreal, like watching an expressionistic painting move, breathe and cry. With his latest film, Cheatin, Plympton cranked up his unique art to eleven where you’ll watch a dude with the abs of a straw have sex with women as hips as big as a cannonball. Forced to fund the film through Kickstarter, Cheatin’ is a bizarre journey through the very real emotions we humans experience in our romantic tribulations. What happens when you don’t communicate to your significant other? This is the movie that finds out in the weirdest, most hysterical ways.

I recently spoke to Bill Plympton about his movie, which he hopes could change people’s mind on what a cartoon is supposed to be.

poster2

What is it about animation that influenced you in ways live-action didn’t?

Bill: The possibilities of communication [in animation] are unlimited. The only limits are your imagination. With live-action, you can’t take actors, cut them in half and spin their heads on your finger. Actors aren’t crazy about that. But with animation, you can do anything you want.

Plus, it’s an artistic medium. I grew up as an artist, a painter, a drawer, and I love to draw and I love telling stories with my drawings. I was a comics artist, did cartoons for National Lampoon’s, Rolling Stone, and places like that. So it made sense that I still wanted to tell joke with my drawings that I would get into film. In fact, at a very early age like 6 or 7, I knew I wanted to be an animator. I wanted to be Walt Disney, or Tex Avery. Those were my heroes.

I actually wanted to ask who were your animation heroes that directly influenced you.

Bill: Winsor McCay was a big influence, he was one of the first pioneers of animation. He was an excellent draftsmen and that really influenced me. Also his imagination, his surrealism was really terrific. Also Ralph Bakshi, he was a big influence. He told stories that were adult and not for kids, and there’s a big market for that which they have seemed to have forgotten today.

A guy by the name of Charles Addams from The Addams Family. He did humor cartoons, gag cartoons, but with a very dark side. [laughs] He used pain, suffering and death as topics of humor, and this was an era when he was really popular for The New Yorker. It was the Disney era, so you couldn’t do that in cartoons. But he did that, and he was one of the pioneers of dark humor and he has been a big influence of mine.

CH06

You’ve said before that Cheatin’ was based partly on a personal story of yours. I can safely assume that body-switching machines weren’t in your story, but how much of it remained in the film?

Bill: Just the whole concept of this beautiful couple who were madly in love wanting to kill each other. I thought, even though they wanted to kill each other they’re still hot to have sex, they wanted to kill each other. I just thought that was an interesting dichotomy with these two opposite passions living side-by-side in the same relationship.

Did making Cheatin’ make you rethink that relationship or any relationship you’ve had?

Bill: Yeah, sure does! It just shows you how pernicious and how evil jealousy is. Many people are very quick to become jealous and it can really ruin a good relationship. So I try to keep the jealousy down.

The look of Cheatin’ is really unlike anything I’ve seen. I can absolutely see the surrealist aesthetic. What influenced you to make the film look the way it does, with its exaggerated features and the way you tell the story from shot to shot?

Bill: A lot of my earlier films, if you’ve seen them, things like I Married a Strange Person! or Hair High or Idiots & Angels

I loved Idiots & Angels, by the way.

Bill: That was a nice film, I mean I really liked that film and it was actually quite a successful film, but I didn’t really push the stylization very much. They were almost realistic. With [Cheatin’] I really wanted to stretch the surrealism of the characters, they’re bending their bodies and stretching parts of their physique. Jake, for example, his torso looks like a straw, it’s very muscular and there’s not an ounce of fat on his ab muscles. I wanted to play with that! I wanted to play with that kind of distortion and exaggeration in the anatomy, I thought that was cool.

Also, the technique was the first time I ever used a watercolor technique in my animation. When I was doing illustrations back in the ’70s and ’80s, that was my main look. A sort of water color … I wasn’t able to recreate that look up until now because we have certain programs that can duplicate that watercolor look. So we were able to have my initial animation style recreated in the film, and that’s why I think it looks so good.

CH05

How bizarre is it the way technology advances, the more we can recreate things to look simpler or older?

Bill: [laughs] Yeah, that’s true! That’s a very good point. But what happened was that it was very labor-intensive, you had to put a lot of layers of watercolor on each drawing. We had to hire four more artists to complete the film on time. Unfortunately, the budget ran out because we had to hire more artists. So that’s when we decided to turn to Kickstarter, to get the completion funds for the film. That was a huge success.

Do you see crowdfunding as becoming the next standard in filmmaking?

Bill: I sure do. I’ve done the route where I go to Hollywood and beg for work, beg for commission, beg for money. It’s very demeaning, and very depressing. Very negative. Then I realized, why am I going to these Hollywood big-wig producers, who don’t really understand animation, they don’t like hand-drawn films and they don’t like films for adults. Why not just go to my audience? They’re the ones who really want the film, they’re the ones who want to see it. So it just became very clear to me that I was going [in the wrong direction] to get funding.

I don’t generally use money from outside sources to fund my films, mostly my films are funded by myself — I like the independence, the freedom of that, and I like to keep the budgets low — but [making Cheatin’] was so expensive because of the technique, we had to go outside for money.

CH16

Why do you think our culture so quickly associates animation for children? Not that animation or filmmaking for children is bad, but why are we so linear in this thinking?

Bill: That’s the question I’m asking. I assume it’s just because Disney has been so powerful and so pervasive, that the American audience naturally assumes that cartoons are only a kids’ medium. Which is too bad, because in Japan and Europe they’re beyond that. They know that … animated films for adults are commonplace. But here, the distributors, the movie houses have straight-jackets and blinders on. They can’t see that there’s a wonderful audience of adults for animation.

I have a lot of friends who have worked at Pixar, and they’re human beings. They get jealous, they have adulterous affairs and divorces, [even] hook up with prostitutes and things like that, but yet they can’t talk about it. They can’t discuss it in their films. They have to do kiddie films. Which seems like lying. They’re betraying their artistic sensibilities. Whereas I can draw about whatever I want and that’s what makes me an artist talking about my own life. I’m not talking about some little six-year-old kid’s life. That’s not my thing.

CH11

It’s clear that you’ve walked a very tight line. What has been the most rewarding thing about being renowned as an “adult animator”? What has been rewarding about building your career on this kind of work?

Bill: Just being an audience when the audience loves the film and hearing their applause and adulation has been my payment. I do make some money on the films, like I said I make enough to break even and that’s good, but if people weren’t applauding and didn’t like the film I would stop doing it and do something else.

What do you hope to tackle next after Cheatin’?

Bill: I got two more films I’m working on now. One is a mockumentary on Adolf Hitler. You know Adolf Hitler in real life was a big fan of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, in fact he did drawings of the dwarfs. When I [heard] that I thought, isn’t that the most surreal thing you’ve ever head? Probably the most evil man in the history of civilization loves cartoons. So I thought it would be funny to assume that he was really just a cartoonist and didn’t want to start World War II.

He wanted to be an artist!

Bill: Yeah, so that’s the premise of this film. It’s almost done, we’re just doing the final sound edit right now so it’ll hopefully start making the festival circuit this summer or fall.

CH22

I hope to see it!

Bill: It’s pretty twisted. I don’t know if there’s an audience for it but we’ll see. The second one, and this is very exciting, it’s with an artist and a voice guy named Jim Lujan. I discovered him at San Diego Comic-Con about two or three years ago, and his films are so funny and so witty, and the characters are so unique, similar to my characters, they’re kind of the underbelly of society. Wrestlers, corrupt politicians, and bikers and hookers and go-go dancers and cultists. That kind of life.

So he wrote a script, and he did a wonderful script. It’s called Revengeance, and we’re about a third of the way done with that. It should be finished in, next year, sometime. Right after the Hitler film will be Revengeance. You can check Revengeance out online, we haven’t done [any promotion] on the Hitler film because it’s such a bombshell kind of film, but you can find out more about Revengeance online.

CH24

What are your final thoughts are on Cheatin’? About its heart or what its trying to say to audiences?

Bill: First I hope that they’re amused. And I think that’s very important. I hope they laugh and are entertained. In terms of philosophical messages, there’s no big philosophical message. [laughs] Like I say, jealousy is an evil human trait and we should minimize it. Obviously you can’t make it disappear, but don’t go overboard.

Do you think communication is a theme? I feel like if Jake and Ella communicated they would have avoided all this mess.

Bill: That’s a good one, a lot of people have mentioned it to me. “Why didn’t they just sit down and talk to each other?” And then I told them, they can’t. There’s no dialogue in the film. That would be impossible.

But the other thing I wanted to prove with this film is that there is a market for adult animation. I think there is an audience out there that wants to see this kind of stuff. It was influenced by James M. Cain and a lot of his darker stories, especially his movies. And I think anybody who likes that kind of dark sides of relationships — and nobody dies in the film, or gets injured, it’s just kind of a lot of crazy violence, crazy sex, crazy jokes. So it’s really a happy ending kind of film, but still there is that darker side I want to portray.

Cheatin’ opens in select theatres April 3.

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-bill-plympton-on-animation-infidelity-and-cheatin/feed 0
Ryan Reynolds Reacts to PG-13 “Deadpool” Rating! http://www.geekscape.net/ryan-reynolds-reacts-to-pg-13-deadpool-rating http://www.geekscape.net/ryan-reynolds-reacts-to-pg-13-deadpool-rating#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 21:32:40 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86519 Ryan Reynolds appeared on Extra to discuss the upcoming Deadpool movie and its PG-13 rating. It’s a startling interview, and the actor — a staunch supporter of the character to be as “R”-rated as possible — opens up about his change of heart. But he does express his disappointment, as well as the fans’ negative reactions about the direction the film will be going in.

Deadpool is still set for release next year.

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/ryan-reynolds-reacts-to-pg-13-deadpool-rating/feed 0
ECCC 2015: Chris Roberson Talks Legendary’s ‘Black Bag’! http://www.geekscape.net/eccc-2015-chris-roberson-talks-legendarys-black-bag http://www.geekscape.net/eccc-2015-chris-roberson-talks-legendarys-black-bag#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 20:27:11 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86507 Just before Emerald City Comicon brought thousands upon thousands of geeks upon Seattle’s Washington State Convention Centre, Legendary Comics announced three new series, including a book in the Pacific Rim universe (read my interview with writer Joshua Fialkov here), and two new IP’s.

One of the new books, Black Bag, is written by iZombie and Cinderella alum Chris Roberson. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Chris at Legendary’s Emerald City booth this past weekend.

Derek: Black Bag, of course, was just announced. Why don’t you start by telling me a little big about it?

Chris: Black Bag is about a bored, I hate the word housewife, but she’s a housewife. A suburb wife, who’s subordinated her own ambitions to her husband’s since college. She becomes dissatisfied and realizes that it’s not enough for her, and gets the opportunity to go and be a super-spy for the government. Which she does, but of course doesn’t tell her husband about it, so she ends up leading a bit of a double life as a wife of the partner of a law firm, while at the same time heading to other countries to kill bad people.

D: So it holds kind of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith feeling? Without the Mr. of course?

Kind of, yeah. Or a True Lies vibe and other stuff like that.

D: How did Black Bag come to exist?

C: Bob Schreck from Legendary called me up. It was a Thomas Tull idea, so one that originated within the company. They were looking for somebody to flesh it out, and female super-spies is in my wheelhouse. I did Cinderella for Vertigo in the Fables universe, so I was happy to come on board and help out.

D: So how will Black Bag compare to your work on Cinderella?

C: It’ll have a similar vibe. Again as much as I hate housewife as a term, I also hate strong female protagonist as a term, but that’s kind of what she is. She’s a kick-ass lady, and my entire life I’ve been surrounded by kick-ass ladies, so I kind of know what they’re like.

D: How has working with Legendary Comics as opposed to your traditional publishers?

C: For me it’s all about the personal direct relationships, and I’ve known Bob Schreck for years and he’s one of the smartest people in comics, and he was my editor, so I have zero complaints. It was great.

D: In terms of the great art for the book, did you have a hand in choosing your artist? Or how did J.B. come on board?

C: I definitely had a voice. In every stage of the process, they would send me samples from artists that they were considering, and it was like I had a vote. I wasn’t selecting the candidates, but I had an up or down vote as to whether I thought they would be a good fit or not.

D: Black Bag is your first work with Legendary Comics, do you plan to continue with the company, or with Black Bag, in the future?

C: As long as their checks continue to clear, I’m definitely interested!

D: Awesome. The book looks great, and I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for your time!

Black Bag is set to launch its first issue this Fall, and it sounds really cool. You can take a look at a preview page from the book below, and be sure to let us know if you plan to pick it up!

black bag

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/eccc-2015-chris-roberson-talks-legendarys-black-bag/feed 0
ECCC 2015: Joshua Fialkov Talks ‘Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift’! http://www.geekscape.net/eccc-2015-joshua-fialkov-talks-pacific-rim-tales-from-the-drift http://www.geekscape.net/eccc-2015-joshua-fialkov-talks-pacific-rim-tales-from-the-drift#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:30:52 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86503 This past weekend at Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon, I had the opportunity to have a fantastic conversation with the writer of the just-announced Pacific Rim comic seriesTales From The Drift. Joshua Fialkov is best known for series like Echoes, Elk’s Run, I, Vampire, The Bunker, and The Life After. As a huge fan of Pacific Rim and the world that Guillermo Del Toro, Travis Beacham, and cast/crew have created, I was already looking forward to the new series. After talking with Joshua, my anticipation has skyrocketed, and the November release can’t come soon enough.

Read on for our conversation, and be sure to let us know if you’re excited for the book!

Derek: Why don’t you start off by telling me a little bit about Tales From The Drift. Obviously the book was just announced, and it’s pretty freaking exciting.

Joshua: It is very exciting. I’m a huge Pacific Rim nerd. I love it, and when I went in for the meeting – I haven’t told this to anyone yet so you’re actually getting original material here– when I went in for the meeting at Legendary I didn’t know what I was going in for, but the first words out of my mouth when I sat down were “If you guys want to do more Pacific Rim comics, I’ll do it for toys.”

D: And now that’s how they’re paying you, right?

J: Nah, they are actually paying me money. I did get some toys. Not all the toys though. I still want more toys. If I do more I’m going to work that in. I want the 18-inch ones because oh-my-god they’re so cool.

But yeah, it’s set in the world of Pacific Rim. It’s very much it’s own story though, so if you just want to read an awesome story about robots fighting giant monsters you can totally go there. Also it shines new light on what you’ve seen in the movies. There might even be hints for things to come. It’s set after Tales From Year Zero but before the events of the movie.

D: So it sounds like you’re a huge fan of the film. Of course, it didn’t perform as well around here as many of us were hoping, what do you think about that?

J: I think that eventually it did [alright]. That’s the thing about great stuff. It always finds an audience, even if it didn’t at the time. That’s the great thing about Legendary is that they really believe in their work. They believe in what they’re doing and they stand behind it.

D: On that note, how does it feel to work with Legendary Comics as opposed to your traditional publishers?

J: Between the two Bobs (Napton and Schreck), like that’s 25 years of publishing experience right there, maybe even each. They have a ton of experience in comics, like Bob [Napton]’s been in comics since Image formed, and Schreck worked at Dark Horse and helped found Oni, so you definitely have these guys that really know the business and how this stuff works, so that side of it’s kind of covered. Creatively, they’re super great to work with. They love their properties, and they understand them, and they understand what’s cool about them. You get to just tell these stories that are compelling and fun and you don’t have to worry about approval or crossing over with other people’s stories because it’s one world, there’s one guy on top of that world and that guy is involved and loves everything that he’s working on. Guillermo [Del Toro] has so much passion for the franchise that he’s heavily involved and wants to make sure everything helps craft it into the property he always wanted it to be.

D: Have you been working directly with Travis [Beacham] and Guillermo in developing the book?

J: The story was actually written by Travis, and then we sat down with Guillermo and had a long conversation about the look and the feel and some of the specifics. It’s incredible, because that guy, for all the things he’s working on, had minutia level of detail of the franchise and of what he’s doing and what his plans are. It’s actually been great because you’re talking to the guy who decides as opposed to the committee who decides or the random people who don’t really have an opinion. It’s literally the guy who loves it more than anything on Earth that tells you what you need to know.

D: Stepping back a bit, I know that you loved the film, but what were your impressions of Tales From Year Zero?

J: That’s a weird question. What do you want from me? [raises voice] I though it was delightful. No, it was really good. One of the things that we talked about and one of the reasons I think they hired me is that I’ve done tons of “tie-in media”, but the stuff that I do tends not to feel like tie-in media. I really focus on how to make the story as compelling, and as important as possible. Part of doing that is about raising the stakes and part of doing that is about making the characters compelling enough to stand on their own. One of the things that we talked about, and one of the things that was important to me is that you don’t need to know anything about Pacific Rim to enjoy the comic, especially if you like giant robots or giant monsters.

D: Will we see Stacker Pentecost in the book? And how many times will he cancel the apocalypse?

J: [laughs] We did cancel the apocalypse. It was coming and I said “No, we’re good. Don’t worry about it, maybe later.” No, you might. There’ll be multiple characters from the movie showing up.

D: Obviously you’ve got quite the varied bibliography. After dealing with things like tumours, schizophrenics, murder mysteries, vampires, and more, how do you transition to writing giant robots versus monsters?

J: It’s actually all the same. It sounds funny, but it’s all about– and one of the reasons that I like Pacific Rim so much is that I tend to write about the damage that we do to ourselves. So much of the technology side of Pacific Rim is about that, right. Whether it’s literally within the drift, where you’re your own worst enemy, which we all are so it’s not science-fiction but truth, to even the ecological stuff. All those things have a grounding that’s very human and very real so it’s not that different, but you also get that part where the giant monsters fight the robots.

D: So Tales From The Drift is a standalone four issues. Is open to more afterwards?

J: I hope so. I’d love to continue.

D: And what do you hope to see from Pacific Rim 2?

J: I know like, a teeny-tiny amount about Pacific Rim 2, and it’s awesome. I think again, that Guillermo knows the story that he wants to tell, and it’s going to be so awesome.

Pacific Rim: Tales From The Drift will launch as a four-issue monthly series this November. Presented by Pacific Rim director Guillermo Del Toro, and with a story by Pacific Rim creator Travis Beacham, Tales From The Drift is written by Joshua Fialkov (The Bunker, I, Vampire, Elk’s Run) and features artwork by Marcos Marz (Batman Confidential, Blackest Night: JSA). The book will also feature Jaegers never before seen in combat, squaring off against all-new Kaiju creatures. Legendary Comics has debuted two preview pages from the upcoming book, and the both look gorgeous. Take a look below!

pr_issue_01_pg_01_Preview

pr_issue_01_pg_02_03_Preview

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/eccc-2015-joshua-fialkov-talks-pacific-rim-tales-from-the-drift/feed 0
‘The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs Cast As Our New Spider-Man http://www.geekscape.net/the-walking-deads-chandler-riggs-cast-as-our-new-spider-man http://www.geekscape.net/the-walking-deads-chandler-riggs-cast-as-our-new-spider-man#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:50:01 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86466 Breaking: Last month, Marvel and Sony announced a groundbreaking new partnership that would (again) see a reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise, but more importantly, would officially allow the character to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It was quickly revealed that Andrew Garfield would not be reprising his Peter Parker role in the new series, and the internet has run rampant with speculation of who we’d next see don the blue and red suit ever since.

We can all stop that speculation now, as Sony has just revealed who they’ve chosen for the role. No, it’s not Donald Glover, and he won’t be playing Miles Morales. The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs (Carl, duh) will play Peter Parker / Spider-Man beginning in Captain America: Civil War.

It’s certainly an interesting choice, and certainly not one I’d ever predict. He’s young (16), which I like, and he’s awkward as hell, so he’s already got a one-up on Andrew Garfield (at least as far as Peter Parker goes). I’ll admit that I was initially baffled at the decision, but then I remembered that we shouldn’t hate on this stuff until we actually see what it looks like. Peter Parker is an awkward teenage nerd who isn’t particularly good looking, and Chandler fits right into that description.

Here’s the press release:

After a comprehensive worldwide casting search, Chandler Riggs has been chosen to portray Peter Parker when Spider-Man swings into the Marvel Universe with the release of Captain America: Civil War on May 6th, 2016. Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and newly appointed chairman of Sony Pictures, Tom Rothman.

 

Today’s announcement culminates what has been one of the most eagerly anticipated casting announcements in recent memory. Bloggers, pop culture speculators, and everyday fans have pored over and analyzed every conceivable online rumor in an attempt to discover the identity of the actor to play Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Riggs will immediately begin preparing for the coveted role.

 

Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.

 

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Rothman, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios said, “Spider-Man is a classic superhero — a young man who balances his responsibility to serve humanity and crush evil with the shyness and normalcy of someone struggling to find himself. The role demands an extraordinary actor. You need someone who can magically transform himself from Peter Parker into Spider-Man. An actor who will depict the vulnerability of youth and the strength and confidence of a legendary figure at the same moment. We have found that actor in Chandler Riggs. From the first time we saw him in The Walking Dead, to his glorious screen test which floored all of us, we knew that we had found our new Peter Parker.”

 

Producer Avi Arad added, “I’m incredibly excited about Chandler Riggs. In the Spider-Man tradition, we were looking for a smart, sensitive, and cool new Peter Parker who can inspire us and make us laugh, cry, and cheer. We believe we have found the perfect choice to take on this role and lead us into the future.”

 

Producer Laura Ziskin said, “We are thrilled to have Chandler Riggs for this new incarnation of Spider-Man. We were fortunate enough to meet with a group of fantastically talented young men, and in the end, we all agreed that in addition to being an extraordinary actor, Chandler had the right mix of humor, youth, and pathos, along with an underlying sense of strength and power necessary to bring Peter Parker and Spider-Man to life on screen.”

 

Kevin Feige added “We cannot wait to show you where Marvel and Sony plan to take this beloved character, and we’re ecstatic to show you Chandler in costume, and in motion, later this year.”

Are you down with this announcement? Is there another actor you’d have rather seen cast? And what does this mean for Carl on The Walking Dead? Sound out below!

Riggs

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/the-walking-deads-chandler-riggs-cast-as-our-new-spider-man/feed 0
‘Luke Cage’ To Premiere On Netflix In 2016, Cheo Hodari Coker Announced As Showrunner! http://www.geekscape.net/luke-cage-to-premiere-on-netflix-in-2016-cheo-hodari-coker-announced-as-showrunner http://www.geekscape.net/luke-cage-to-premiere-on-netflix-in-2016-cheo-hodari-coker-announced-as-showrunner#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:03:27 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86494 Briefly: Daredevil is just around the corner, A.K.A. Jessica Jones is well into production, and today Marvel announced that Cheo Hodari Coker has joined Luke Cage as series’ showrunner, and also that the series will debut in 2016.

Cheo has produced popular shows like Ray Donovan and Southland, for which he also won the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series.

Here’s the full release, straight from Marvel:

Netflix & Marvel Television announced today that Cheo Hodari Coker will serve as executive producer and showrunner of the anticipated series, “Marvel’s Luke Cage.” Coker is writing the first two episodes of the series that will premiere in 2016, everywhere that Netflix is available.

 

Most recently, Coker served as a co-executive producer on the second season of “Ray Donovan,” and prior to that was a supervising producer on the critically-acclaimed, fourth season of the drama “SouthLAnd.” Coker was a part of the “SouthLAnd” team that earned the show a 2012 Peabody Award. Coker also garnered a 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series for his work on that show. Coker’s feature film credits include Fox Searchlight’s rap biopic “Notorious.” He authored the book “Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G.” as well. Coker started his writing career in journalism and was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and contributed to VIBE, Rolling Stone, Essence, among other publications. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

 

It was previously announced that Mike Colter (“The Good Wife,” “American Horror Story: Coven”) will play the charismatic lead character, Luke Cage, in the series.

 

“Marvel’s Luke Cage” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

It was revealed back in December that Colter (pictured below) would play Luke Cage, who will first appear in this year’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

Colter

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/luke-cage-to-premiere-on-netflix-in-2016-cheo-hodari-coker-announced-as-showrunner/feed 0
It Begins: Here’s The First Cast Photo From ‘Heroes Reborn’ http://www.geekscape.net/it-begins-heres-the-first-cast-photo-from-heroes-reborn http://www.geekscape.net/it-begins-heres-the-first-cast-photo-from-heroes-reborn#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:35:54 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86491 Briefly: As a huge fan of Heroes initial four season run (yes, I watched it all the way through), I was beyond excited when NBC announced Heroes Reborn in February of last year. The first series ended with an infuriating cliffhanger, and after a resolution was promised via a film, and then via comic book, and then essentially never spoken about again, I thought that surely the universe of Heroes was simply dead.

And then Heroes Reborn was announced, and people like Jack Coleman and Masi Oka were confirmed to return, and I’ve pretty much been squealing with anticipation ever since.

Today, newcomer Zachary Levi tweeted out the first cast photo from the 13-episode series (minus Masi Oka), and the return of one of my favourite shows (at least during a few of my teenage years) feels all the more real. Take a look at the photo below, and be sure to let us know if you’re looking forward to Heroes Reborn!

Yep, it’s really happening.

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/it-begins-heres-the-first-cast-photo-from-heroes-reborn/feed 0
‘Arrow’s Stephen Amell Is Casey Jones In ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2′ http://www.geekscape.net/arrows-stephen-amell-is-casey-jones-in-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-2 http://www.geekscape.net/arrows-stephen-amell-is-casey-jones-in-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-2#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:09:18 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86485 Briefly: Variety has learned that Arrow star and heartthrob Stephen Amell has been cast as Casey Jones in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel. More than six actors were said to have tested for the role, and Amell was apparently chosen due to his chemistry with Fox.

Details on the film are still few (it was first announced back in August), but both Megan Fox and Will Arnett are set to return, while Earth to Echo director Dave Green will take the reigns from Jonathan Liebesman.

I have to say that, while I was definitely not looking forward to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles last year, the film turned out to be a fun, yet forgettable time. It was almost, almost worth it for the cowabunga, don’t you agree?

Are you looking forward to the sequel? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

Casey

 

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/arrows-stephen-amell-is-casey-jones-in-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-2/feed 0
Here’s The Gorgeous Full Trailer For ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’! http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-gorgeous-full-trailer-for-mad-max-fury-road http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-gorgeous-full-trailer-for-mad-max-fury-road#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 05:46:15 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86480 Briefly: Just yesterday Warner Bros. debuted three sexy new TV spots for next month’s Mad Max: Fury Road, and today they’ve debuted an absolutely gorgeous new trailer that’s chock-full of insane looking new footage.

As I noted yesterday, to this day I’m a Mad Max virgin, but that’s a problem that I’ll definitely have solved by the time May 15th rolls around.

In the film, “Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.”

Take a look at the trailer below, and be sure to let us know what you think!

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-gorgeous-full-trailer-for-mad-max-fury-road/feed 0
Geekscape Interviews: Luke Hemsworth, “Kill Me Three Times,” and the Darker Sides of Humanity http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-luke-hemsworth-kill-me-three-times-and-the-darker-sides-of-humanity http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-luke-hemsworth-kill-me-three-times-and-the-darker-sides-of-humanity#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:13:42 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86450 “What do you hope audiences take away from Kill Me Three Times?” I ask the burly, Australian hunk Luke Hemsworth.

“Hopefully a bit of grittiness,” he says. “Something grounded, something not fantastical.” For an absurd movie that involves assassinations and elaborate thefts, there is a grounded nature to Kriv Stender’s neo-noir riot, Kill Me Three Times.

For Luke Hemsworth, it appears gritty and real is something he seeks. Is it to stand out from his brothers, who have played Norse gods from comic books and sci-fi dystopian rebels?

“There’s an effort to differentiate,” he says. “But for me, it’s always been about the work and that I do a good job.”

The eldest of the Hemsworth brothers that have taken over Hollywood, Luke is best known for his role in the Australian soap opera Neighbours. After a string of television guest appearances, he starred in the 2012 miniseries Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, where he portrayed Bandido badass Gregory “Shadow” Campbell.

Directed by Kriv Stenders, Kill Me Three Times is the actor’s full-length film where he plays Dylan, a seemingly simple surfer and auto mechanic with more depth to him than meets the eye. Caught in a love triangle between his lover and her abusive husband, Dylan goes to extreme measures to protect his loved ones.

I recently spoke to Luke Hemsworth about his work in the film, his relationship with his younger siblings and just how much he could relate to Dylan’s extremities.

tumblr_nke8a1IwZ91rie929o1_1280

So I know you were born and raised in Australia. What was it like shooting there? My geography sucks but was production near Melbourne?

Luke: [laughs] No, no. Completely other side of the country. So, I grew up on the east coast and Perth and Margaret River where we shot was on the west coast. And, you know, [shooting] was in very, very remote west coast. I mean, it’s a dream. It’s like sex without a condom, just a little bit better.

You previously described your character, Dylan, as not “as uncomplicated.” What was it about Dylan that spoke to you? What clicked in your head that made you say, “Dylan? Yeah. I’ll play him.”

Luke: Pretty much just getting paid. That’s a great reason. [laughs] But nah, look, you look at these characters and the wonderful part about Dylan is that he’s a wonderful kind of juxtaposition of a light shade and darkness. He’s humanity, but he’s also the bringer of death, personified. [laughs] That’s what you look for as a performer. You want the gamut of everything. You don’t want one note.

Out of everyone in the film, Dylan is among the few who is selfless. How do you feel about playing the only “hero” of the film? Despite that you try to kill someone, of course.

Luke: [laughs] It’s great! It’s great because he’s a sleeper, in terms of the last person you’d expect to come through with the goods. In a lot of ways he’s kind of a reaction as he’s trying to get going. And that shows in the way he prepares to leave.

Was it easy or hard to slip into Dylan’s shoes? Could you see yourself take the drastic measures he takes?

Luke: To protect people, yes. I think he goes to an extreme in terms of his reaction, before he understands what’s actually happened. I definitely, definitely can relate to going to that extreme to protect people you love. I’ve got three girls, three daughters, and there’s nothing that kind of makes you realizes what you would do to protect [them]. But … that’s the attractive part, for me, for acting is treading that line. “Could I do this? Would I do this? What would be my reaction to this?”

What was it like working with director Kriv Stenders and your co-stars? You worked in beautiful Australia. Any fun stories?

Luke: I loved every moment of it. Working with Simon was awesome. Fortunately we got to spend a little time outside work together, some great dinners and lunches. I really got along well with Simon and hopefully he felt the same.

I’m sure he did!

Luke: [laughs] And Kriv is great too, a wonderful human being. He’s incredibly passionate, and very honest with what he wants and wants to do, which makes it easier for all involved.

The world knows your brothers pretty well, but we’re getting to know you a little better. What is it like having family in the business? Does acting bond you guys?

Luke: To a certain degree, sure. Maybe from an outside point of view. But internally, I don’t think so at all. In fact, most of us try to get away from it whenever we’re together. It’s about spending time together and being together, and not thinking about that world. But there’s definitely points when we ask each other for advice. Me, more than anyone. [laughs]

Is having that support system helpful?

Luke: Oh yeah. I’ve got the best support system in the world. [laughs]

Do you hope for one day audiences to see you, Luke Hemsworth, as your own individual, and not as “a Hemsworth brother”?

Luke: Yeah. Sure. There’s an effort to differentiate. In a lot of ways. There are doors that open, and there are doors that close with them being who they are. But for me, it’s always been about the work and that I do a good job. That’s all I kind of try to focus on. The rest is kind of, stuff that happens.

What’s the most fun thing you had in making Kill Me Three Times?

Luke: Man, it’s really sad but the one thing that was amazing for me was getting to surf in this film, but that didn’t get in to the final edit. But we got to surf some incredible waves … That, and the scene with me and Callan Mulvey before all hell breaks loose. It’s a wonderful scene and I always loved it from start to finish, and it was a beautiful day of shooting. Intense, but incredibly rewarding. I think it was one of my favorite scenes of the movie.

Kill Me Three Times is available now on iTunes and On Demand platforms and will hit theaters on April 10, 2015.

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-luke-hemsworth-kill-me-three-times-and-the-darker-sides-of-humanity/feed 0
The Long Troubled ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’ Finally Gets A Release Date! http://www.geekscape.net/the-long-troubled-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-finally-gets-a-release-date http://www.geekscape.net/the-long-troubled-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-finally-gets-a-release-date#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:24:23 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86464 Briefly: I remember being so excited for the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adaptation when it was first announced back in 2009 (the same year that the book was first published). Since then, the film has shifted stars, directors, studios, and more, and after seeing the first image from the actually happening film back in November, we finally know just when we’ll be able to see it.

Screen Gems has scheduled the film for a February 19th, 2016 release, which is less than eleven months away at this point. As before, the film is directed by 17 Again and Charlie St. Cloud director Burr Steers, with a script from Steers and David O. Russell.

really enjoyed the novel, turning something that was nearly impossible for me to get through into something funny, original, and incredibly intriguing. I really can’t wait to see how the film adaptation turns out. For now, take another look at that first image below, and be sure to let us know what you think!

PPZ1

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/the-long-troubled-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-finally-gets-a-release-date/feed 0
Three New ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ TV Spots Remind Us How Incredible It Looks! http://www.geekscape.net/three-new-mad-max-fury-road-tv-spots-remind-us-how-incredible-it-looks http://www.geekscape.net/three-new-mad-max-fury-road-tv-spots-remind-us-how-incredible-it-looks#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:12:30 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86462 Briefly: I’m still not overly familiar with the Mad Max series, but these incredibly gorgeous spots for the upcoming Fury Road are making me rethink my entire life.

In the film, “Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.”

The spots look insane, are action packed, and instantly excite even a Mad Max virgin like myself. Take a look at the videos below, and be sure to let us know how excited you are for this one. Mad Max: Fury Road hits theatres on May 15th!

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/three-new-mad-max-fury-road-tv-spots-remind-us-how-incredible-it-looks/feed 0
Hawkgirl & Rip Hunter Cast For CW’s Arrow / The Flash Spinoff! http://www.geekscape.net/hawkgirl-rip-hunter-cast-for-cws-arrow-the-flash-spinoff http://www.geekscape.net/hawkgirl-rip-hunter-cast-for-cws-arrow-the-flash-spinoff#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:00:44 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86457 Briefly: Today is apparently a hot day for spinoff news. First, The Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead received its first short but sweet teaser trailer, and now both Hawkgirl and Rip Hunter have been cast for The CW’s Arrow / The Flash spinoff.

Law and Order: SVU guest and Broadway star Ciara Renée has been cast as Kendra Saunders / Hawkgirl in the upcoming (and anticipated) as yet untitled series.  Deadline notes that Saunders “is a young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries. When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself, along with wings that grow out of her back, earning her the moniker Hawkgirl.”

Renee

Doctor Who alum Arthur Darvill has also joined the project, and will portray Rip Hunter, “a roguish time traveler who hides the strains of being responsible for history itself behind a facade of charm and wit.”

Darvill

It’s also noted that the series is set to feature three DC characters that we haven’t yet seen on TV, with Darvill’s Rip Hunter being the first announced. The two join already revealed returning characters, like Brandon Routh’s The Atom, Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell’s Heat Wave, and more.

Are you looking forward to the series? Or are we already at critical mass for comic book series on television? Sound out below!

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/hawkgirl-rip-hunter-cast-for-cws-arrow-the-flash-spinoff/feed 0
Disney Will Make a Man Out of You: Live-Action “Mulan” in the Works http://www.geekscape.net/disney-will-make-a-man-out-of-you-live-action-mulan-in-the-works http://www.geekscape.net/disney-will-make-a-man-out-of-you-live-action-mulan-in-the-works#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:52:22 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86452 Fresh off their successful live-adaptations of Disney tales like Cinderella and Maleficent, Disney intends to continue striking while that iron burns hot with Mulan. I’m legitimately excited.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Disney bought a script by writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney’s 1998 animated film.

 

Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We’re the Millers) are producing the new project.

Mulan will be yet another entry in live-action reboots Disney has in the works.

Disney is also making a live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson andDan Stevens. Audra McDonaldjust joined the cast of the project, which will be directed by Bill Condon. It hits theaters on March 17, 2017. And in 2016 Disney will release a new version of The Jungle Book and the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Finally, a live-action version of Dumbo, which will be helmed by Tim Burton, is also in the works.

The success of genre properties like The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones must have unlocked Disney’s awareness of their older audience who have a fond affinity of never growing up past their childhood. How long before we see The Lion King with real lions?

I’m not knocking their decision — a live-action Mulan that looks like Red Cliff? Yes please! — I just think it’s funny that it’s only in this era that Disney could profit from these types of movies. The direct influence from geekier properties are clear, but appropriated into Disney fairy tales (which itself were mostly Grimm stories which clearly Mulan isn’t, but still) is just amusing to me.

Points for Disney for hiring women writers. I do hope they commit to the, uh, ahem, exotic aspects of Mulan and not cast non-Asians in any prominent roles. Of all the ethnicities underrepresented in Hollywood, it’s Asians, man. There were twenty years between Margaret Cho’s failed sitcom to ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat. Twenty.

It is currently unknown when this new Mulan will hit theaters, but I hope it’s soon. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

 

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/disney-will-make-a-man-out-of-you-live-action-mulan-in-the-works/feed 1
A Strange Virus Is Going Around: Watch The First Teaser For ‘Fear The Walking Dead’! http://www.geekscape.net/a-strange-virus-is-going-around-watch-the-first-teaser-for-fear-the-walking-dead http://www.geekscape.net/a-strange-virus-is-going-around-watch-the-first-teaser-for-fear-the-walking-dead#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:04:50 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86441 Briefly: AMC finally revealed the official title just a few days ago, and now we officially have the first teaser for this Summer’s Fear the Walking Dead.

Back when franchise creator Robert Kirkman revealed the first details about the spinoff series, it certainly sounded like Fear the Walking Dead wouldn’t be the full-on prequel that many were hoping for. Fans, more than they wanted to see another side of the United States, wanted to see how this whole shitstorm began, but when Kirkman stated that “The timeline is taking place a little bit earlier than the original show,” it didn’t sound as though we’d be getting the origin story many were hoping for.

The first teaser however, makes us feel differently. It’s very short, but highly revelatory on the timeline of the series (or at least its beginning):

Interesting enough, the teaser’s voiceover states that ‘a strange virus is going around.’ Is just being infected enough to turn someone with a weak immune system into a walker? As we all know, we are all infected, and for most it’s, well, actually dying that turns one into a walker, so it’ll be interesting to see how the first full on zombies come to be.

Fear the Walking Dead is set to debut this Summer, and I’m definitely more excited for this series now that we know just when it’ll begin (timeline wise). How do you guys feel about the spinoff? Sound out below!

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/a-strange-virus-is-going-around-watch-the-first-teaser-for-fear-the-walking-dead/feed 0
Trevor Noah Will Be the New Host of “The Daily Show” http://www.geekscape.net/trevor-noah-will-be-the-new-host-of-the-daily-show http://www.geekscape.net/trevor-noah-will-be-the-new-host-of-the-daily-show#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86435 South African-native Trevor Noah, at just 31-years-old, has been named the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.

From The New York Times, speaking to Noah in Dubai during a comedy tour:

“You don’t believe it for the first few hours,” Mr. Noah said of learning about his new job. “You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.”

 

The appointment of Mr. Noah, a newcomer to American television, promises to add youthful vitality and international perspective to “The Daily Show.” It puts a nonwhite performer at the head of this flagship Comedy Central franchise, and one who comes with Mr. Stewart’s endorsement.

 

“I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Mr. Stewart said in a statement. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” Mr. Stewart added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!”

The Daily Show veteran Jason Jones left his position (with a great send-off) very recently, but even so the selection of Noah is an ace move on whoever’s part it was, Comedy Central or The Daily Show‘s producers or even Jon Stewart himself. (I don’t know who made the decision.)

I’m extremely happy and excited to see a guy like Noah — who is not only a person of color hosting one of the biggest, most influential social/political late-night programs of all time, but also foreign as we march to the next exhaustive election season. Like John Oliver, Noah’s South African accent gives him a sort of objective perspective that isn’t biased by being a born citizen. So when the United States fucks up and (and when we do, we fuck up hard), there will be someone who can really tell it like it is.

Also, he’s just really funny. That’s literally the only real requirement to host anything on Comedy Central. I mean, you remember this, right?

Congratulations, Trevor Noah. I can’t wait to see you do your thing.

UPDATE: The Daily Show has made the official announcement.

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.02.53 PM

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/trevor-noah-will-be-the-new-host-of-the-daily-show/feed 0
Geekscape Reviews: “The Director’s Chair” with Luis Valdez http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-reviews-the-directors-chair-with-luis-valdez http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-reviews-the-directors-chair-with-luis-valdez#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:36:23 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86431 Luis Valdez is an important name. Yet I don’t hear it often.

Perhaps it’s the circles I run in, but in both the classroom and in the outside world, I have noticed director’s names have become buzzwords for people to show off their cred, no matter how hollow they actually are. “I love Tarantino,” I hear often. “Oh yeah? I love Fincher.” “Kurosawa.” “Wright.” “Hitchcock.” “Nolan.” We turn artists into Pokemon cards, a symptom of our obsession of the “’90s kids” label.

But thanks to The Director’s Chair with Robert Rodriguez, we not only get to know better the important filmmakers we know and love — del Toro, Coppola, etc. — it’s a chance to really examine the artist, from his/her own perspective. In the newest episode, filmed in the Ricardo Montalban Theatre featuring “the father of Chicano cinema” Luis Valdez, Robert Rodriguez journeys with Valdez over his childhood, his career, and eventually to his biggest hits in films like Zoot SuitLa Bamba, and The Cisco Kid.

“Film is accessible to us,” Valdez says early on in his interview. “We can do film.” Today in 2015, where we all carry cameras in our pockets, that statement has never been more true.

Luis Valdez is relaxed. This episode of The Director’s Chair featuring him is such an easy 40+ minutes that you nearly forget you’re watching two prominent filmmakers talk. It’s startling considering the gravity of the subjects — racial, class inequality in mid-20th century American history, of which Valdez puts extremely well into the context of his career — because Valdez speaks just like a cool uncle or professor that we’ve all known at least once.

Valdez may not have the deep filmography of previous The Director’s Chair subjects, but that doesn’t make his insight any less enlightening or inspiring. Valdez’s real world run-ins with gangs — his cousin was a “pachuco” which served as a starting point for Zoot Suit – and front lines of protest colors him in ways more interesting than any filmmaker who just made a bunch of movies.

But beyond film, Valdez has been active elsewhere, particularly theatre. He admits in the episode that he’s 74-years-old, but that there is so much he still wants to do. In my interview with Valdez, he discusses working on his newest play, Valley of the Heart’s Delight, and he hopes to turn it into a film. I hope he does too.

“If you break in, you have to bring extra sledgehammers,” Rodriguez says to Valdez. He agrees. If there’s one thing that Valdez won me over in this forty-minute interview, it was his perspective on fighting for the next generation. His background as an activist surely inspired his understanding how difficult it is for new, young people to let their voice be heard.

In some ways, I’m kind of glad cinema snobs don’t mention names like Valdez often. It’s easy for me to discriminate against their false sense of superiority. As they continue to diminish art like they’re Magic the Gathering cards, dropping their knowledge to show off at their convenience, I’ll be here celebrating the visionaries who, like his (or her, in other cases) peers, intend to educate and positively influence the next generation. Valdez, above all, would know all about fighting for the future.

The Director’s Chair with Luis Valdez gets 4 out of 5 stars.

The special premieres tonight on El Rey Network at 8 PM EST/8:15 PT. It will be followed by Valdez’s 1987 classic, La Bamba immediately after at 9 PM EST/9:15 PT.

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-reviews-the-directors-chair-with-luis-valdez/feed 0
Geekscape Interviews: “La Bamba” Director Luis Valdez on Social Injustice, Batman, and Influencing the Next Generation http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-la-bamba-director-luis-valdez-on-social-injustice-batman-and-influencing-the-next-generation http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-la-bamba-director-luis-valdez-on-social-injustice-batman-and-influencing-the-next-generation#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:17:58 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86395 “Injustices grows like weeds,” Luis Valdez tells me. “If you do nothing they’ll choke your whole garden, man.”

It’s a natural metaphor for Valdez to use. He spent his childhood following the harvests in central California valleys with his migrant farmer parents, and he stood on the picket lines with Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers.

“It’s incumbent on every new generation to develop a social conscience and to really defend themselves.”

Hailed as the father of Chicano theatre, Luis Valdez’s voice has been heard on the theatrical stage, the cinema and on the front lines of protests. With a childhood background in theatre, he founded El Teatro Campesino, a theatre troupe composed entirely of farm workers for the United Farm Workers union. Their one-act plays toured migrant camps to entertain and enlighten both farmers and the public alike and were infused with social and political commentary. Valdez’s plays lifted the morale of the strikers during the toughest, most formative years in American history.

Eventually, Valdez would take his talents to the cinema, starting with the bombastic Zoot Suit (1981) starring Edward James Olmos. An adaptation of his smash-hit play, it was based on the Sleepy Lagoon murder trials and the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.

In 1987, Luis Valdez captivated audiences worldwide with the American movie classic, La Bamba, his critically-acclaimed biopic of Chicano rock-‘n-roll star Ritchie Valens, whose untimely death alongside Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson became colloquially known as “The Day the Music Died.” Valdez’s film was nominated for Best Picture at the 1988 Golden Globes and currently holds a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The legendary Luis Valdez will be featured in the next episode of The Director’s Chair with Robert Rodriguez, set to air tonight at 8 PM EST/8:15 PT on El Rey Network. I had the chance to speak to Luis on his appearance on the show, his storied career, the Hispanic origins of Batman, and what the 74-year-old has next in store.

the-directors-char

I apologize for getting a little meta as I interview you about your interview, but what went through your mind when you were first approached about being featured on The Director’s Chair?

Luis: I’ve been in this business for quite a while, I started fifty years ago. So to be invited to speak and have a conversation with Robert Rodriguez on a show on the network he started, I think it’s the mark of the tremendous progress that he has individually made but also for all the rest of us. I love his ambition, I love his grand vision, you know?

At the same time, I’m very appreciative of the fact that he has acknowledged my work in the line of succession with different playwrights and filmmakers and also in my relation to his work. All in all, it was a tremendously exhilarating experience.

Was there anything you discovered or rediscovered about yourself as you retraced your career?

Luis: When you do this, you start at the beginning of your career [that] was really focused on your own needs and obstacles, and ultimately you realize you’re not really doing it for yourself. I mean, if you’re lucky you realize it’s not for you. We love in a society, we live in a world that’s communal. We end up serving others and offer opportunities to your own work, and so the conversation [in The Director’s Chair] really underlined that, I think.

But at the same time that we’re talking about the past, we’re also servicing the future. There are all these young filmmakers, male and female that are watching the program, and looking at this interview between two filmmakers and I’m sure they come away thinking, “I can do this. I know what my future is.” In that sense, it’s a tremendous inspiration.

As one of those young filmmakers, that’s absolutely true. I’m itching to pick up a camera again.

Luis: [laughs]

So this is Geekscape and we’re all comic book nerds here. In The Director’s Chair you described El Pachuco as “Batman.” Can you elaborate a little more on that comparison?

Luis: You know, a lot of people don’t realize the roots of Batman are really Latino. They don’t go back to the bat god, the ones the Mayans had — they had one that was “bat man,” they had sculptures of him, literally they had bats down there — but the other, more relatively recent inspiration for Batman was Zorro. But Zorro was based on the California bandits. Joaquin Murrieta and Tiburico Vásquez.

Tiburico Vásquez was a local, he lived in this town where I live now, [and] he used to wear all in black. He used to wear a cape, he was a dashing figure, he was hanged in San Jose in 1875 but he made the news. Even all the way to New York, they published the news about his hanging. But, the thing is, he was a romantic figure. So that was picked up, I think, [and] absorbed into the figure of Zorro which was a more fanciful, more romantic image of early California.

But then Zorro led to Batman, except now transplanted to the city and wearing a cape, but essentially dealing with crime, but still strange because he’s a “bat man.” So El Pachuco, in some ways, is also dressed in black, black and red, which are the colors of an ancient Aztec god, he comes from the school of hard knocks … I didn’t go exactly [into making him] as the bat god, but there are all these links and if you know history, particularly cultural history, you’ll see that there’s a continuity and it was important that we had a Latino superhero, who was above the constrictions of reality.

So, since Pachuco is mythical, even though they strip him he stands up like an Aztec god. Even though he can be confronted, no one can beat him. He says it’s gonna take more than the US Navy to wipe me out, because no army on Earth can defeat a mythological figure. And every people, in order to be free and to have sovereign power over their own destiny, has to have its own mythology. And so, I was just recapturing these roots for the Latino, but ultimately for all Americans.

Images: Huffington Post, Reality is Scary, Batman Wiki

Images: Huffington Post, Reality is Scary, Batman Wiki

You built your career on the picket lines, so to speak. Young Americans today have been very active, from Occupy Wall Street to Ferguson, Missouri. How do you feel about people speaking up in the way they’re doing it today?

Luis: It’s absolutely essential for every generation to capture that social responsibility. Injustice grows like weeds, okay? The injustices of the world are like weeds, and if you do nothing they’ll choke your whole garden, man.

It comes out of human beings, it comes from the dark side of the human being, when people don’t give a hoot about other people and they’ll steal and rob and rob the food out of baby’s mouths, so it’s incumbent on every new generation to develop a social conscience and to really defend themselves. And that takes demonstrations sometimes.

I wish they didn’t always have to go to the streets, but if we’re lucky we get representatives in Congress that can represent our interests. We have heavy obstacles in terms of the moneyed interests in Congress, there’s a lot of greed and corruption, let’s face it.

Of course.

Luis: So it is all important that young people stay aware and protect themselves.

In La Bamba you casted Lou Diamond Philips as Ritchie and faced a lot of criticism. I personally thought it was kind of cool because I’m Filipino.

Luis: Good for you! [laughs]

But in The Director’s Chair you said “the play’s the thing.” Even today, films are being criticized for racial miscasting. Do you believe audience anger towards those casting decisions are justified?

Luis: It depends on where it’s coming from. A lot of the public responses are based on the prejudices and ignorance, they’ve been inherited from previous generations. If you know anything about history, particularly California agriculture for instance, I grew up with Filipinos, Chinese and Japanese. California has always been a multicultural state, but the thing is, you’ve got to open your eyes and people in general need to get over their own prejudices.

One of the great things about the Delano grape strike is that it combined Filipinos and Mexicans together for the first time in that kind of intense and successful way. There had been strikes dating all the way back to the ’20s with Filipino workers, they were part of the … workforce, in the fields, they had a right to complain about the working conditions, they faced tremendous discrimination and yet, they’re related. They’re like cousins to Mexicans. Mexicans don’t realize that, the Filipinos are like the Asian Hispanics.

My last name is Francisco!

Luis: Yeah! So all that is really something that people can change their minds about if they’re educated. Part of our journey too is to educate people, [which] I like to do through the arts. That’s how you sweeten the lesson, you entertain people but you teach them about their own history.

You said in The Director’s Chair that you still have a lot ahead of you, that you’re in “Act Three” so to speak. Does that mean we might see you direct another film? If so, what kind of movie do you want to tackle?

Luis: I have a new play called Valley of the Heart’s Delight which is still making its way up the ranks towards LA. I would like to film that. I would love to make it a film. It’s a love story between a Mexican farm worker and the daughter of his Japanese employer in Silicon Valley.

It’s [set in] 1941 just on the eve of World War II. It’s intense, it’s based on one of my childhood friends on the love story of his parents because he was half-Mexican, half-Japanese, and so it has been a very successful play, we put it in workshops, and now it’s just starting to climb the ladder. It’ll get to LA, and I hope people will see the possibilities for a movie. I’d love to film that.

Thank you so much for speaking to me today, Mr. Valdez. It’s been a pleasure.

Luis: Thank you, man. Good luck on your career.

The Director’s Chair with Luis Valdez airs tonight on the El Rey Network at 8 PM EST/8:15 PT. It will be followed by La Bamba at 9 PM EST/ 9:15 PT. Check your local listings for El Rey.

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-interviews-la-bamba-director-luis-valdez-on-social-injustice-batman-and-influencing-the-next-generation/feed 0
Did Hugh Jackman Announce He’s Retiring Wolverine on Instagram? http://www.geekscape.net/did-hugh-jackman-announce-hes-retiring-wolverine-on-instagram http://www.geekscape.net/did-hugh-jackman-announce-hes-retiring-wolverine-on-instagram#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:14:53 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=86398 I’m not sure how Hugh Jackman feels about his Wolverine role anymore. On numerous occasions I’ve heard him rave about how he could do something like forty more movies as the Canadian beast, and other times I hear he’s ready to quit. I don’t fault Jackman for finding the role tiresome as an actor; beyond needing to be so physically ripped, it can get boring for anybody playing the same dude for over twelve or thirteen years. But he’s so natural as Logan too, it’s kind of a bummer that there will inevitably be a time when the Wolverine we see on screen isn’t Hugh Jackman.

But are we closer to that day than we realize? Hugh Jackman posted on his Instagram today this oddly cryptic-but-blatant photo.

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 2.14.13 PM

Maybe I’m so out of the loop but is Wolverine 3 even in production right now? The status of that movie hasn’t been my priority so I kind of glaze over any news bits that finds their way online, which is a shining example of responsible journalism.

Coming straight from the man himself, this should put to rest any rumors about Jackman’s further involvement in the X-Men series until we hear otherwise.

What do you guys think?

]]>
http://www.geekscape.net/did-hugh-jackman-announce-hes-retiring-wolverine-on-instagram/feed 0