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Robert Downey Jr. injured on the set of “Iron Man 3″

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During the filming of “Iron Man 3,” Robert Downey Jr. has reportedly sustained an ankle injury major enough to halt production on the movie for the time being.

Disney announced the news, releasing an official statement about the incident though not specifying the details surrounding or extent of the accident. Filming is currently taking place in Wilmington, North Carolina, but it will stop until Downey has recovered enough for it to continue.

“Robert Downey Jr. sustained an ankle injury on the set of Iron Man 3 in Wilmington, North Carolina while performing a stunt. There will be a short delay in the production schedule while he recuperates,” the statement reads.

We highly doubt this will be significant enough to affect the May 3, 2013 release date of “Iron Man 3.” If anything, director Shane Black will just have to go into crunch time once the movie enters post-production.

In addition to RDJ, “Iron Man 3″ stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce and Ashley Hamilton. The story is based on Warren Ellis’s “Iron Man” comic book series “Extremis.” Pearce’s Aldrich Killian looks to be the movie’s big bad as a co-creator of the Extremis serum, which creates a new breed of supersoldier. He and partner Maya Hansen, played by Hall, opt to place the serum in the hands of terrorists and set them up against Iron Man in order to prove the strength of Extremis. It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Kingsley will be playing The Mandarin.

Post your well-wishes for Downey in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Dale Dickey joins “Iron Man 3″ in secret role

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“Iron Man 3″ has a new addition to the cast in the form of “True Blood” and “Winter’s Bone” star Dale Dickey. Or at least her addition to the cast is news to us.

It turns out that Marvel intentionally tried to keep the news of her casting a secret, if Dickey is to be believed. She recently spoke with a local Knoxville, Tennessee blog (via ComicBookMovie.com) and teased her upcoming “Iron Man 3″ role.

“I’m filming now. That’s it. They asked my agent not to put anything in the trades when I was cast over a month ago, so they are trying to keep as much mystery as possible,” she told the blog in a story that ran July 27.

According to her IMDb profile, Dickey is playing a character named Mrs. Davis, though that doesn’t tell us much about the part. But judging by the level of secrecy Dickey is saying that Marvel wanted to maintain about the character, she could be more than meets the eye. Consider us officially intrigued about her part, regardless of its size.

Directed by Shane Black, “Iron Man 3″ is due in theaters on May 3, 2013. It stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce and Ashley Hamilton. The story is based on Warren Ellis’s “Iron Man” comic book series “Extremis.” Pearce’s Aldrich Killian looks to be the movie’s big bad as a co-creator of the Extremis serum, which creates a new breed of supersoldier. He and partner Maya Hansen, played by Hall, opt to place the serum in the hands of terrorists and set them up against Iron Man in order to prove the strength of Extremis. It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that Kingsley will be playing The Mandarin.

Are you looking forward to “Iron Man 3″? Who do you think Dickey is playng? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Marvel unveils upcoming film slate: “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Captain America: Winter Soldier” and more

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Marvel Studios went big at Comic-Con this year. Like, really, really big. After sitting out the San Diego-based convention last year, the studio brought everything we’ve hoped they’ve been working on and announced it to much pomp and circumstance, making them easily one of the big winners of the weekend’s festivities.

Let’s quickly run down what was announced: Ben Kingsley will officially be the Mandarin in “Iron Man 3,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” will be released August 1, 2014, Edgar Wright debuted test footage for the still-not-confirmed “Ant-Man,” “Captain America 2″ will be called “Captain America: Winter Soldier” (oh the implications there) and “Thor 2″ will be “Thor: The Dark World.” Does that scratch your Marvel itch yet?

The “Guardians” and “Ant-Man” news is not surprising, but it is exciting. Not much to go on from those except that it seemed like Marvel was trying to gauge the audience’s take on “Ant-Man” to determine how well the film will do in theaters. That’s not always the best route to take as Wright learned with “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” but from what we hear the crowd went nuts for their first conceptual look at Hank Pym.

Then there are the new titles for the “Captain America” and “Thor” sequels. “Winter Soldier” almost completely confirms that Sebastian Stan’s Bucky will be back in the present day, albeit in a villainous role instead of a sidekick one. We already knew “Thor 2″ would travel into the worlds beyond Earth and Asgard, but the subtitle “The Dark World” only confirms it.

Lastly, that Mandarin news. Shane Black and his “Iron Man 3″ crew nearly had us convinced that the Mandarin wouldn’t have a role to play in the upcoming sequel, but footage screened during Marvel’s Hall H panel definitively proved otherwise. Kingsley will indeed don the nine rings in this upcoming movie, and we couldn’t be more stoked.

Now, when is “The Avengers 2″ officially coming out?

What do you think of Marvel’s big announcements? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!

The 10 funniest superheroes (with video)

Iron Man movie image Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark

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“The Avengers” is going to be the big hit of the whole year, certainly, but while it has its fair share of funny moments, there are actually superheroes whose stock in trade is comedy. One of the most glaring omissions from the otherwise solid Sam Raimi “Spider-Man” films are the crucial element of Peter Parker’s wiseacre nature. In the comic books, he’s always got some snappy patter going to distract his enemies in the midst of a fight – and sadly, “The Amazing Spider-Man” reboot doesn’t look to be going in that direction, either. So, in the interest of four-color funny, here’s a rundown of ten superheroes known for their comedy stylings.


1. The Tick

Gloriously insane and gleefully dorky, Ben Edlund’s lumbering blue lummox of a superhero lived in a weird world where all the goofiest superheroes ever ran about The City and fought criminals like Chairface Chippendale (a criminal mastermind with a chair for a head), El Seed (a talking flower man), and The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight. With his neurotic moth-themed sidekick Arthur, he bellowed his mighty battle cry of “Spoon!” before tossing his nigh-invulnerable self into the midst of chicanery everywhere. Spoofing the superhero genre while reveling in it, it’s hard to get any funnier than this.


2. Batman (Adam West)

Now that the perception of comic book adaptations is a vastly different beast than it was in the decades immediately following the 1960s “Batman” series, nerds everywhere can unclench about good old Adam West and Burt Ward fighting crime in a cheeky, campy and ridiculously stylized version of Gotham City. For years, no one wanted to take comics seriously enough to make a good movie, and folks blamed this show. These days, however, it’s a golden oldie that’s so over-the-top that you can’t tear your eyes from it. Burgess Meredith’s Penguin lives on as everybody’s Dick Cheney impression, Cesar Romero’s Joker and Frank Gorshin’s Riddler are unfortgettable, and every punch lands with a thunderous zowie! And no one can forget the Shark-Repellent Bat-Spray.


3. Spider-Man

As previously stated, the wall-crawler has always had a sterling wit, but you wouldn’t know that by watching Tobey Maguire sling the webs. Even most of his animated adventures are more corny and painful with the quips than they are funny. The current comic books are pretty sharp, however, and the recent “Spectacular Spider-Man” cartoon and the new “Ultimate Spider-Man” animated series bring a really modern comic sensibility to the adventures of Peter Parker and his high school buddies. This current one is big on cutaways to wacky sequences underscoring the goof of the moment. It may be a little hard to take at times, but hey, it’s for kids!


4. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)

Tony Stark was a smooth ladies man, but he was never quite the quipster he is today until Robert Downey Jr. stepped into the role of the Armored Avenger for the 2008 film that made all the Marvel films which followed possible. Is it essentially Downey playing himself and forcing the established comics character to follow suit? Well, yeah, probably, but it works. It works so damn well that it managed to hold its own and vie with “The Dark Knight” as the best comic book movie ever – certainly of that year – thanks in no small part to Downey’s unstoppable quipping and relentlessly charming bastardry. You never know what’s going to come out of this guy’s mouth, and we love it that way. It’s all RDJ’s doing that Tony Stark is now a household name.


5. Deadpool

Wait, didn’t we just do Spider-Man? Ha ha, no, this guy is much more of an antihero than anything else. Fabien Nicieza took a half-assed Rob Liefeld sketch of what was essentially DC’s Deathstroke, gave him Spider-Man’s sense of humor but with a broken bad-guy edge, and thus Wade Wilson was born. It wasn’t until Joe Kelly gave him his first solo series that The Merc With A Mouth really began to flourish into the manic maniac he’s come to be known and loved as. That series bounced back and forth between fourth-wall-breaking craziness and dark and twisted melodrama with stunning ease, and made him into the unluckiest guy in the world despite his unbelievable regenerative abilities. Every time he tries to be a hero, it blows up in his ugly, scarred face, and that just makes him crazier and crazier. Forget what you saw with Ryan Reynolds in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” The best animated appearance was in the feature “Hulk Vs.,” which you can see here to get a sense of how nuts this guy is.

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“Iron Man 3″ officially heads into production, first photo released

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It’s official: “Iron Man 3″ has headed into production.

Though we’ve been hearing about updates from the set for the past few weeks, Disney Studios sent out a press release this morning announcing that “Iron Man 3″ was headed in front of the camera. They also sent out a new official spoiler-free photo from the set that shows Robert Downey Jr.s’ Tony Start staring at his seven Iron Man suits.

The press release issued cites Downey, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau as returning cast members, but doesn’t mention any of the new actors who have been cast. That’s an interesting decision, as we’ve learned that Ben Kingsley, Rebecca Hall, Guy Pearce, Ashley Hamilton and Andy Lou have all come on board. Maybe Disney just doesn’t want to give away any potentially spoilery elements of their characters — or the movie’s plot, since it’s not listed — and thus has opted only to talk about returning characters.

Also not mentioned is that Iron Patriot suit that was spotted on the Wilmington, North Carolina set last week. Expect more set photos pretty soon, as “Iron Man 3″ is also slated to head to Raleigh/Durham, Miami and China.

What we do know about “Iron Man 3″ is that it’s based on Warren Ellis’s “Iron Man” comic book series “Extremis.” Pearce’s Aldrich Killian looks to be the movie’s big bad as a co-creator of the Extremis serum, which creates a new breed of supersoldier. He and partner Maya Hansen, played by Hall, opt to place the serum in the hands of terrorists and set them up against Iron Man in order to prove the strength of Extremis. In all likelihood, Kingsley’s Mandarin villain will be one of the terrorists that they turn to.

Directed by Shane Black, “Iron Man 3″ is due in theaters on May 3, 2013.

Are you looking forward to “Iron Man 3″? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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