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“Wrath of the Titans” screenwriter offers updates on “The Flash,” “Jonny Quest,” and “Bleach” movies

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In “Wrath of the Titans,” screenwriter Dan Mazeau authored a tale of characters who overcome great odds in battles against all manner of mythological creatures. And while some might find the universe of Greek legends a little overwhelming, Mazeau appears to be right at home crafting tales of fantastic heroes and villains.

During the recent press junket for “Wrath of the Titans,” IFC asked Mazeau for an update on some of the other projects he’s working on these days, including films based on DC Comics’ scarlet speedster The Flash, classic kid adventurer Jonny Quest, and the popular manga and anime series “Bleach.”

“Warner Brothers is in the process of figuring out what their method is for releasing their superhero movies,” said Mazeau when asked about his script for a live-action movie based on The Flash. “They had ‘Green Lantern’ come out, and I think ‘Flash’ is high on the list of what would be next.”

“It’s a matter of a lot of things coming together — the right story and the right filmmaker and the right sort of visual approach to Flash, because he can’t just be a guy who runs fast,” he said of the project, which would feature the Silver Age version of the character, Barry Allen. “That was important to me while I was writing my script. Fingers crossed, though — hopefully there will be some news soon.”

As for “Jonny Quest,” his screenplay based on the 1960s cartoon about a boy who accompanies his father on adventures around the world, Mazeau said the project has a few obstacles to overcome before it can find its way to the screen — specifically, finding the right actor to play the title character.

“It’s difficult for a movie to come together,” said Mazeau. “You have to get the right pieces. One of the challenges with ‘Jonny Quest’ is that you have a lead who’s a young kid. The movie stars that are young kids are few and far between, but Dan Lin and the guys over at his production company are working on it and hopefully there will be something soon.”

“It’s a cool one, though,” he added. “I think it’s something that could make for a real amazing movie if done right. ‘Jonny Quest’ combines all this amazing wish fulfillment as a kid, but also there’s real danger to it. There’s real weight to it. People die in the ‘Jonny Quest’ cartoons. I think ‘Spy Kids’ was fun, but it’s lighter than what ‘Jonny Quest’ would be. Making sure it has a little edge to it was important to me, and I know it was to Dan and the other producers, too.”

While the two aforementioned projects are in a state of limbo at the moment, Mazeau seemed hopeful about the momentum behind “Bleach,” a film based on Tite Kubo’s celebrated manga and anime series about a teenager who inherits the powers of a “soul reaper” to fight demons and ferry spirits between this world and the afterlife.

“I love ‘Bleach!’ ‘Bleach’ is awesome,” laughed Mazeau. “It’s been a long process getting to write the script. Getting the rights from the Japanese company that owned them was a complicated process. But early on we set down with Tite Kubo the creator and the publisher of the series, and we had a long meeting, making sure we’re respectful to the property. Nobody wants to, well… Let’s just say that if you enjoyed [the live-action] ‘Dragonball Z’ movie, that’s great, but I thought it was a noble effort that ultimately didn’t succeed. That’s what we’re trying to avoid. We want to make sure this movie lives up to what the manga is.”

“I’m currently working on ‘Bleach’ and the idea is to set it in Japan and really be respectful to the source material,” he added. “It’s an amazing story. I’ve been shorthanding it as an ‘action-adventure Sixth Sense,’ but obviously on a bigger canvas than that. So I’m incredibly excited about that. It’s a good one.”

“Wrath of the Titans” hits theaters March 30, and stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, and Toby Kebbell. Keep an eye on IFC.com for more from the “Wrath of the Titans” press junket.

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Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Liam Neeson in “The Dark Knight Rises” officially confirmed

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It’s been pretty much confirmed in the past, but if you were in desperate need of some definitive proof, you now have it. Warner Bros has announced that Liam Neeson will be reprising his role as Ra’s al Ghul in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Of course, they didn’t just come right out and say it, but instead slipped the little nugget of information away in a press release. Neeson stars in the upcoming “Wrath of the Titans,” and ComingSoon.net got their hands on the production notes for the flick. In them, Warner Bros reveals that Neeson will definitely be in the third and final Batman film.

“Neeson next appears in Peter Berg’s actioner ‘Battleship,’ and he also will be seen in Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated action thriller ‘The Dark Knight Rises,'” the production notes read.

Well, there you have it. Neeson first appeared in “Batman Begins” as the villainous R’as al Ghul. It has long been speculated that Martion Cotillard will play his daughter, Talia al Ghul, in “The Dark Knight Rises.” The trailer for the film features a voiceover by Neeson, so it’s fitting that he return to the franchise in some capacity for its final installment.

Back in January, Neeson had admitted that he had been on set, but wouldn’t give away any details regarding his scene.

“I was on set for maybe an hour-and-a-half and the director didn’t tell me anything of what it’s about,” said Neeson. “So, I’m being very honest when I say I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

“The Dark Knight Rises” is due to hit theaters on July 20. It stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman.

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Chimera, Minotaur, and Titans… The “Wrath of the Titans” team reveal their favorite creatures

wrath of the titans chimera

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If you’ve seen any of the trailers or clips for “Wrath of the Titans,” you know that the film isn’t skimping on creature cameos for Perseus’ return to the big screen.

Whether it’s a well-known mythological monster like the bull-headed Minotaur or the massive, world-shaking titan Kronos, “Wrath of the Titans” offers a veritable cornucopia of creatures culled from legends and brought to life on the screen to battle Perseus (Sam Worthington). During the recent press junket for the film, IFC asked the cast and creators of the film which creatures they thought were the most memorable of the bunch.

“I loved the Chimera, because I love interaction,” said director Jonathan Liebesman of the fire-breathing beast that terrorizes Perseus’ village early in the film. “I love things running through walls. Completely creature-wise, the Chimera was the most fun. It’s fun on set blowing shit up, saying ‘There’s going to be a Chimera going from here to here, so let’s set explosions on that wall and blow it up.'”

“Wrath of the Titans” screenwriter Dan Mazeau agreed with Liebesman, calling the Chimera his favorite of the creatures that made the leap from page to screen.

“I would also say the Chimera fight in the beginning,” he said. “That was one of the first things we wrote, and it really stayed the same throughout the entire process. It was just a whole lot of fun to write Sam getting his ass beat by this incredible creature, and to have it realized in such a way is almost better than you imagine.”

For actor Toby Kebbell, however, it was the maze-dwelling Minotaur that left the biggest impression on him.

“I was there in the labyrinth when we were filming all of that, and the Minotaur was excellent,” said Kebbell, who plays the demigod Poseidon in the film. “The makeup was excellent. The boy doing the work put his heart and soul into it. The Minotaur was always my favorite anyway, reading books of Perseus and those kinds of stories — Medusa and Jason and the Argonauts and all of that…”

Still, it’s hard to ignore the biggest creature in the film, Kronos, a gigantic titan made of stone and lava with fists the size of a small village and a desire to destroy the world.

“Kronos is fun in terms of decimating huge areas, but all of that is created in a computer, so for a director that’s a little less fun,” admitted Liebesman. “But I have so much faith in our visual effects supervisor. I have so much faith in him and the technology that I felt comfortable saying, ‘Here’s the frame, and Kronos is going to be there, and we’ll add him on.’ The most difficult thing with Kronos is if you’re creating something that big, how does it interact with the world and how do you have your characters interact with him in a way that’s interesting? That’s more of the challenge. Kronos is interacting with things miles away.”

“Wrath of the Titans” hits theaters March 30, and stars Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, and Toby Kebbell. Keep an eye on IFC.com for more from the “Wrath of the Titans” press junket.

Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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