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HCFF: Updates on “The World’s End,” “Star Trek 2,” “Ant-Man” and “Man of Steel”

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“Star Trek 2″
We still have plenty of movies to be excited for in 2012 — hello, “Prometheus,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Hobbit” — but we can’t help but look forward to the blockbuster film slate in 2013. That’s why the Q&A following the screening of “Shaun of the Dead” kept returning to “Star Trek 2.”

“We wrapped last week, and it’s going to be awesome,” Pegg promised.

Not satisfied with that answer, one fan asked Pegg to tell the audience everything there is to know about the movie. Pegg jokingly complied, teasing, “It all starts on the Enterprise. Kirk turns to Scotty and goes, ‘You want it?'”

In all seriousness, Pegg acknowledged that he unfortunately couldn’t tell us much about the movie. But his ambiguous answer was still enough to get us excited for the project.

“I can honestly say it was a fantastic experience, we had the best time, I know this bullshit always comes out at press time,” he said. “With the [first] film having established the characters as they are now, we can really hit the ground running with this one. It’s fast, and it really doesn’t fucking stop until the end. I’m excited. That’s what I’ll say.”

“Ant-Man”
Though we were at the festival to honor Wright’s work on “Shaun of the Dead,” talk inevitably turned to his potential upcoming Marvel project, “Ant-Man.” Wright didn’t give away much about the status of the film — “I have to give a spectacularly vague non-answer,” he hedged — but he did talk about how it felt talking about it following “The Avengers'” record-breaking opening weekend.

“It’s kind of nerve-wracking. I saw Kevin Feige afterwards and I said, ‘How does Shane Black feel?’ ‘Avengers’ just had the biggest opening weekend of all time,” Wright said. “I thought that movie was great, and it was a credit to Kevin Feige for seeing that six film arc and kind of courage to actually commit to that seven years ago. It’s kind of amazing.”

“Man of Steel”
Also not willing to give away much about his upcoming movie was Zack Snyder, who was hilariously harassed all night by “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman to try to give away some tidbits of information about “Man of Steel.” Unfortunately Kirkman’s appeals didn’t work, but Snyder did give a very vague update on the project.

“It’s going really good, I’m cutting right now,” Snyder said. “I’m really excited about it. I think it’s fun to work on. It’s gigantic and crazy stuff. I can’t believe I just said that. Spoiler alert, right? Gigantic and crazy.”

Are you looking forward to these movies as much as we are? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

HCFF: Peter Weller talks “Robocop” remake, “Star Trek 2″ and too much more

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Peter Weller has a lot to say. That’s the main thing that those who attended Saturday’s “Robocop” screening during the Hero Complex Film Festival learned about the actor. He has a lot to say about everything, be it the caves of Lascaux or process trailers or his love of Philip K. Dick. The man went on a wonderfully passionate and slightly unhinged rant for a good hour after the screening of “Robocop,” and everyone present was in for a treat.

In the midst of all that fervor, though, he did talk about quite a few things that we figure those of you reading this site will find pretty interesting. To start, he shared his thoughts on the planned “Robocop” remake that is currently in pre-production. Needless to say, he doesn’t care for the idea very much.

“I couldn’t give a shit,” he said. “I say you know what, god bless them, man. Go make another ‘Robocop.’ I got to tell you this: when I sat there in Dallas three weeks ago to watch this thing, I don’t know. I mean, can they throw a lot of CGI at it and so forth? The morality that’s endemic to the movie that you just watched, it’s hard to replicate.”

He continued, “I mean, it makes you laugh and cry and moves you and hysterical and horrible and all those unbelievable things at once. Well good luck to them. They’ll never do it.”

We agree with Weller, though the way Joel Kinnaman talks about the project has us slightly intrigued. Still, it’s clear from the way Weller talks about the film that it’s near and dear to his heart despite the 25 years that have passed since he filmed it.

It’s some asthetic distance that I have from the film, and I had forgotten the … social history in ‘Robocop;’ you know, I’d forgotten how profound these writers are. They’re not only funny with those extraordinarily acerbic social obsessions like board games called Nukem. I mean, this is 1986. The parameters of friendly aggression even then,” he said.

He added about a recent screening of the movie in Dallas, “I had the first time, I had to say, that I got past the hoopla of the film and was genuinely proud to be part of it, to be really proud to be part of this film, and to see how anthropological it is.”

Weller talked a lot about his upcoming TV series, a modern Western called “Logmire,” but he also teased his role in “Star Trek 2.” He wouldn’t give us any details about his actual role, but he did explain just how strict Paramount was being about actors talking about the movie by telling an anecdote about a recent interaction he had with a man in Dallas.

“This guy is like following me in Dallas and he’s like, ‘”Star Trek,” are you playing an alien?’ And I just turned around — and I’m not going to tell you if I am or not — but I just said, ‘Hey, do I look like an alien?’ and I walked into the thing,” Weller said. “Paramount went just nuts. ‘You can’t say anything!’ I didn’t. What does that tell you? ‘Do I look like an alien?’ What am I going to do, put band aids over my mouth for Christ sake?”

That’s just about as much as Simon Pegg told us the night before after the “Shaun of the Dead” screening, so it seems like Paramount really is cracking down on the actors. Hey, we only have a little under a year to wait to find out the scoop on the flick, since it’s coming out May 17, 2013. That’s not too long in the scheme of things, right?

Do you agree with Weller’s sentiments on the “Robocop” remake? What do you think of the movie’s social message? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

HCFF: Rick Baker on designing the “Men In Black 3″ aliens

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You know who Rick Baker is even if you’ve never heard his name. The legendary make-up artist is responsible for the look of characters and creatures in movies like “An American Werewolf in London,” “Harry and the Hendersons” or “Men in Black” — or, you know, watched Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video — then you’ve seen some of Baker’s amazing creations.

He took the time to swing by the Hero Complex Film Festival on Saturday in a surprise appearance, bringing along one of his “Men in Black” alien masks to show off to the audience. With “Men in Black 3,” his latest endeavor, hitting theaters on Friday, it wasn’t much of a surprise that talk turned to that movie.

“The ‘Men in Black’ movies have a lot of things in them, and sometimes they don’t all make it to the screen. On ‘Men in Black 3,’ we made 127 aliens on last count, so that’s a lot of work. That’s a lot of fun,” he said. “What’s cool about ‘Men in Black’ is I get to do a little bit of everything that I do on all these other films. I mean, we have like likeness makeups, we have crazy aliens, we have puppets and animatronic things. They’re just a blast to work on.”

Baker has plenty of good stories to share from the sets of his many projects, but our favorite was his tale about the making of “Thriller.” He’s the man who’s responsibly for the “werecat” creature that Jackson turns into at the end of the video — an image that has gone on to be almost as iconic as the “Thriller” dance. Baker said that it wasn’t until he was watching the music video film in front of him that he realized how huge it was going to be.

“One of the main memories I have is actually standing in the middle of the night in Vernon, which is downtown Los Angeles,” he said. “I was standing there and it was Michael Jackson and all the zombies that we had just made up doing the ‘Thriller’ dance for the first time, and all of the sudden — up until that point it was craziness in trying to get all this stuff made up and I had all these people to get made up and it was this crazy beat-the-clock thing — and all of the sudden I just sort of saw this and I was like, ‘Oh my god, look at what I’m witnessing here.'”

One audience member asked Baker what his favorite creation he’s ever made was, and his answer shouldn’t surprise fans of Baker’s work.

“I usually say Harry from ‘Harry and the Hendersons’ is one of my favorite creatures that I’ve done. I quite like Harry and feel that he holds up really well,” Baker said. “I mean, that was made in the ’80s and I feel you can show that movie today and people would still accept it. That’s the one I usually say.”

In terms of effects that other people have done, Baker said that the work his protégée Rob Bottin did on “The Thing” is some of his favorite make-up design around.

“We used to sit and talk about, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to do this and wouldn’t it be cool to do that,’ and then Rob ended up doing ‘The Thing’ and did everything that we ever talked about times a hundred,” he said. “I think the stuff in John Carpenter’s ‘Thing’ that Rob did is outstanding. That’s still the quintessential make-up effects movie.”

Are you intrigued by Baker’s take on the movie-making process? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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