If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of the Marvel universe, here’s the best chance you’re likely ever going to get. Though “The Avengers” hasn’t even hit theaters yet, “Iron Man 3″ has been in development for a while now and is lined up as the first post-“Avengers” movie to hit theaters. Unsurprisingly, director Shane Black wants to get a head start on the project, and he’s looking for actors. Lots of them.
Premiere Casting, which will handle much of heavy lifting for casting on “Iron Man 3,” had some exciting news for fans living near the Wilmington, North Carolina set of the film. Turns out a lot of locals who work in the film industry could be getting jobs in the next year.
“Received an email this morning. Iron Man 3 will use about 1,000 extras during the film and there will be over 550 crew jobs and will be shooting from May 2012 until January 2013 with a Memorial Day weekend release in 2013,” they wrote on their Facebook page.
The plot for the third “Iron Man” film is being kept under wraps, so it’s anyone’s guess what all those people could be used for. Based on the scenes of mass destruction on the “Avengers” set, though, it could be that the conflicts in “Iron Man” are having global consequences that end up involving a lot of unsuspecting civilians. Either way, star Robert Downey Jr. has said in past interviews that he has his hopes high for this film.
“Bringing in Shane Black to write and direct ‘Iron Man 3′ to me is basically the only transition from Favreau to a ‘next thing’ that Favreau and the audience and Marvel and I could ever actually sign off on,” he said. “It’s kind of like we’re fighting on the same side and at the same time we’re circling each other, so it’s all great. It should be great.”
They say that behind every squat, successful British writer-producer is a lanky, six-foot-seven bespectacled co-creator. All right, maybe no one said that ever, but it certainly applies to the duo responsible for some of the most awkward moments in television history. Masters of cringe comedy Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant produced The Office, Extras and Life’s Too Short — along with many other moments that caused viewers to avert their eyes and squirm in their seats. Even when flying solo in shows like Hello Ladies, Merchant can provide just as many unbearably uncomfortable moments as an incompetent talent agent, an inelegant pick-up artist or just a bloke sharing a story about being turned down by a nightclub doorman.
1. Performing Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty,” Lip Sync Battle
When you have to sway a crowd and you’re built like a flailing-arm inflatable balloon man, you gotta play to your strengths. So when tasked to perform Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” on Lip Sync Battle, Merchant proudly bared his midriff, upper thighs and soul in a cutoff T-shirt and flared leather chaps. While we applaud his self-confidence, we don’t have the inner strength to be caught dead doing that.
2. Discussing his first Golden Globe win, The Graham Norton Show
It’s hard to imagine a time when The Office was something of an underdog, but the original UK version was just a plucky upstart when it won its first Golden Globe. Unfortunately for the then-unknown Gervais and Merchant, their long, awkward walk to the stage was punctuated by the announcer mispronouncing their names and Stephen’s head getting cut off for the front page photo.
3. The Oggmonster, The Office
Although Gervais’ David Brent was the poster boy for The Office, Merchant only appeared twice in the original series as Gareth’s gangly pal Nathan, AKA The Oggmonster. Even more ungainly and off-putting than the Assistant to the Regional Manager, Oggy is pushed to tears by David Brent’s relentless joshing about his appearance. We feel for ya, Oggy.
4. Nudie pen, Extras
In this very NSFW clip from Extras, Merchant plays the highly incompetent agent Darren who, between failing to get acting work for Gervais’ Andy, is caught in flagrante in the company of a novelty nudie pen. Inappropriate, unprofessional and utterly humiliating given the focal point, his moment of self-gratification is somewhat vindicated when assistant Barry is caught doing the same thing.
5. Trip to Rio, The Ricky Gervais Show
Debuting as a radio program in 2001, The Ricky Gervais Show was among the first wildly successful podcasts and spawned countless comedy audio programs in the years since. Co-host and whipping boy Karl Pilkington was the breakout star, but Merchant supplied a heapin’ helpin’ of embarrassment with cringeworthy anecdotes, including this story of his trip to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
Without Gervais on the roster, Merchant shined as hopeless romantic Stuart Pritchard in HBO’s Hello Ladies. Showcasing his true-to-life awkwardness around women, the sadly short-lived series upped the cringe-ante that he and Gervais injected into The Office — and this torturous nightclub scene is perfect proof.
7. Eager wedding guest, Hello Ladies
As we all know, weddings are a meet-cute hotbed, but it definitely requires optimal positioning. Unfortunately for the viewer’s nerve, Stuart is keenly aware of this. Persistent past the point of rejection, he monopolizes the line to congratulate the newlyweds and wedges himself into a table with single women. Eagerness has never been so unsettling.
8. Denying Warwick Davis a loan, Life’s Too Short
Having to turn down a friend in need is so unbearable, most of us will compromise our comfort with favors just to avoid it. Not surprisingly, Gervais and Merchant — playing heightened versions of themselves — don’t have an issue with sidestepping support for diminutive actor Warwick Davis when he asks the successful team for a loan.
9. Behind-the-scenes dance party, Extras
Yes, it’s Stephen dancing for the second time on this list. But honestly, it’s never not cringeworthy.
10. Nightclub zinger, Conan
Single life is unanimously the worst, but it can be easily mitigated through fortune and stardom. And while Stephen Merchant is a household name among comedy geeks, his notoriety has yet to hit the radar of certain LA nightclub doormen. Appearing on Conan, Merchant shares a story of trying to get into a nightclub but being thwarted by the bouncer at the door with a devastating putdown.
There have been countless movies about sports heroes over the years. But every so often those of us whose court is on the couch regretting how many chicken wings we ate on game day get the spotlight. The Benders guys love hockey, but these passionate sports fans from the movies take their team loyalty to some pretty extreme places.
8. Kevin Costner, Field of Dreams
Ray Kinsella (Costner) is such a fan of baseball, he listens to voices in his head and builds a field in his backyard. Thankfully they never made a sequel called “Field of Screams” where the voices tell Ray to murder his family.
7. Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern, Celtic Pride
Aykroyd and Stern play Boston fans who kidnap an opposing team’s player in this Judd Apatow scripted comedy. Much like Tom Brady, they never admit to their crime.
6. Robert De Niro, The Fan
Gil Renard (De Niro) loved the San Francisco Giants so much, he actually kidnapped player Bobby Rayburn’s (Wesley Snipes) son. Couldn’t he have just painted his body orange and black and called it a day?
5. The Fans in Major League
The fans stayed dedicated to the Indians even in tough times, which is pretty admirable since the team consisted of a womanizer, an ex-con and a voodoo practitioner.
4. Patton Oswalt, Big Fan
Patton Oswalt is borderline mental in his NY Giants fandom here, which, if you look at their offense this year, you’d have to be.
3. Robert De Niro (again), Silver Linings Playbook
De Niro’s character has lost it all betting on the Eagles over the years. Nobody tell him about Draft Kings, okay?
2. Toro the Bull, Space Jam
It’s not tough to root for a team consisting of Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny AND Bill Murray, but Toro didn’t just cheer from the sidelines. When push came to shove, he put his horns where the Monstars’ sun don’t shine, and helped turn the tide of the game.
1. Susan Sarandon, Bull Durham
Talk about going the extra mile. Mentor, lover and fan, Annie Savoy (Sarandon) is second only to the jock strap as the ultimate athletic supporter.
Ever wonder if Jackie, Kelso, Fez, Donna, Hyde, and Eric ever made it out of Red‘s basement? According to James Franco, those dumbasses definitely did not.
In a new episode of AOL’s “Making a Scene with James Franco,” the actor peered into the future of the gang from That ’70s Show to see what they’d be up to if the show actually continued into their 70s. Turns out they’re still sitting around the basement, sharing a joint, and listening to some of the Steve Miller Band’s greatest hits.
In the sketch, aptly called “That 70s ’70s Show,” Franco plays both a stoned, elderly Kelso as well as a nostril-hair heavy Eric Forman. The only member of the crew who has made it out of the basement is Donna, who has sadly passed away into a higher plane of existence (yes, it’s possible for them to get higher) leaving Eric to mourn the loss of his one true love.