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Spirit Awards: Mary Elizabeth Winstead would “love” to work with Edgar Wright again

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead made waves in 2012 with her role opposite Aaron Paul in the critically-acclaimed drama “Smashed,” but we still love her best for her role as Ramona Flowers in Edgar Wright‘s “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.” Wright is known for using his favorite actors in multiple films, so we couldn’t resist asking Winstead when we caught up with her at the Spirit Awards if she would ever want to work with the director again.

“Oh yeah,” she told IFC on the red carpet. “I mean, he’s so busy. I can never keep track.”

Wright definitely does know how to keep himself busy, having just completed “The World’s End” and now gearing up for his Marvel superhero movie “Ant-Man.” When we asked Winstead if she would try to finagle herself a part in that movie — after all, it still hasn’t cast any leads yet — she laughingly admitted that she’d love to be involved.

“Sure, I can be in ‘Ant-Man.’ Why not?” she said. “I love him and hopefully we’ll work together again.”

“Ant-Man” is slated to launch the third wave of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films after “The Avengers 2″ hits theaters. It was announced back in October that the movie will have a November 6, 2015 release date, which means Wright has plenty of time to figure out the way he wants to approach the lesser known superhero’s story — and who he wants to cast as its leads. As he said recently, he plans to borrow from his “Scott Pilgrim” experiences to make the movie.

“It’s a way of doing a superhero film within another genre. I wanted to tell an origin tale in a slightly different way. It’s part of the Marvel cinematic universe, but it also feels like its own piece,” Wright told IGN. “It’s a big effects movie, so I’m pleased to go into it having done ‘Scott Pilgrim’ and ‘The World’s End’ because you’re always learning more about that side.”

Would you like to see Winstead take a role in “Ant-Man”? Tell us 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.

Spirit Awards: David Oyelowo addresses “Black Panther” rumors

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As the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase Two continues to film, speculation is running rampant about which films will be included in Phase Three. “Ant-Man” is the first flick to be released in the third wave of Marvel movies with its November 6, 2015 release date, but what will come after that? Superheroes like Doctor Strange or the Hulk have been tossed around for standalone movies, and many believe a Black Panther film is only years away.

In fact, “Black Panther” is all but confirmed. Latino Review claimed back in June that a the flick was in development, though their timeline of the movie’s release was off. Stan Lee told AceShowBiz in November that “‘Black Panther’ is being developed,” calling the character “one of my favorites.” “All the [Marvel] heroes will eventually be made into movies,” he claimed.

Marvel has had the rights to “Black Panther” since 2005, and many names have swirled since for the role of T’Challa. One that continues to pop up is “Red Tails” actor David Oyelowo, who would definitely be suitable for the role. IFC caught up with Oyelowo on the Spirit Awards red carpet and asked him if he would be interested in playing the title character in a “Black Panther” movie.

“If the script is right,” he answered. “It’s all about the script for me. I don’t discriminate between an independent film, a studio film, a play, a radio play, a TV show; if the script is great, I’m there.”

The script was apparently right for “The Butler,” Oyelowo’s upcoming Lee Daniels film based on the story of real-life White House butler Eugene Allen. He plays Louis Gaines in the movie, and stars opposite actors like Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman, Mariah Carey, Melissa Leo and even Oprah Winfrey. Oyelowo’s excitement for the project was palpable as he talked about it on the red carpet.

“It’s a love letter to America, that film,” he explained. “It charts the birth of the Civil Rights movement in this country and the reason why those actors signed on is just, again, a love of storytelling, a love of film, a love of this country and a love of the fact that sometimes you can both educate and entertain with what we do, and I think that film really represents that, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

“The Butler” is being released by The Weinstein Company and does not yet have a release date.

Do you think Oyelowo would be a good fit for a “Black Panther” movie? Are you looking forward to “The Butler”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Edgar Wright teases a “slightly different” approach to “Ant-Man”

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With “Ant-Man” due out on November 6, 2015, Edgar Wright has a lot of planning to do to make this film a reality. Fortunately, he’ll soon be dedicating all his time and effort to the flick, and teased some big ideas for the movie in a recent interview.

“It’s a way of doing a superhero film within another genre,” Wright told IGN. “I wanted to tell an origin tale in a slightly different way. It’s part of the Marvel cinematic universe, but it also feels like its own piece.”

According to Wright, he’s happy he waited until now to tackle Ant-Man. He explained that he and Kevin Feige have been collaborating on this idea during the entire time “Ant-Man” has been rumored, but he wanted to make “The World’s End” before he jumped into this movie. Plus, working on that gave him time to practice with special effects, which will be a big part of “Ant-Man.”

“To be honest, the later I do it, it feels like I could learn more, especially about special effects,” Wright said. “It’s a big effects movie, so I’m pleased to go into it having done ‘Scott Pilgrim’ and ‘The World’s End’ because you’re always learning more about that side.”

Wright screened test footage from “Ant-Man” at Comic-Con in 2012, and he said he’s been tinkering with it ever since. He’d like to show the completed product at some point in the future; fingers crossed he means Comic-Con 2013.

IGN also asked the director what his favorite Marvel movies have been so far, and we’re glad he gave the correct answer: A tie between “Iron Man” and “The Avengers.” If those are the standards he’s holding himself to, “Ant-Man”should be fantastic indeed.

“I guess my two favourites would have to be ‘Iron Man’ and ‘The Avengers,'” he said. “I’ve enjoyed all of them and I think those two are the ones that score highest on the popcorn metre. That totally work as great crowd-pleasers. And I think what they’ve managed to do in terms of ‘The Avengers’ coming after a five-film cycle, is kind of extraordinary and unprecedented in cinema history. To bring together four other franchises into one. It couldn’t have gone better could it? It’s amazing.”

Do you like Wright’s plans for “Ant-Man”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“The World’s End” new images head to the bar

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As “The World’s End” heads steadily through production, Empire magazine has debuted two new images from the upcoming Edgar Wright film. In the first, which can be seen above, we get to witness the full cast taking part in the most important activity of all: Drinking.

From left to right are Martin Freeman as real estate agent Oliver, Paddy Considine as “one-time-rocker-turned-architectural-consultant” Steven, Nick Frost as successful lawyer Andy, Eddie Marsan as car dealer Peter and Simon Pegg as leading man Gary King. To give you a sense of how he and Frost will interact in this movie, they are described as estranged best friends.

The second image, which we’ve included below, shows King as “mankind’s last hope, standing alone in the face of whatever influx of evil the movie has in store for us.” “It’s a much bigger proposition than the other two films,” Pegg explained to Empire.

The poster for “The World’s End” was released back in October at the same time an official synopsis debuted. Due out on October 25, 2013, “The World’s End” tells the story of a group of friends going on an epic pub crawl the same night an apocalyptic event occurs. The film serves as a conclusion for Wright’s “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy, which also includes “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.”

Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.

What do you think of this first image from “The World’s End”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“The World’s End” official image debuts as filming wraps

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The apocalypse might not have happened on December 21, but at least “The World’s End” did arrive. Edgar Wright fittingly wrapped his newest film on the same day of the Mayan apocalypse, and Simon Pegg tweeted the first image from the movie.

“That’s a wrap. See you next year. #theworldsend” he tweeted.

In the photo, we see Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine standing outside a pub. Judging by the look on Pegg’s face, the group didn’t find what they were looking for.

The poster for “The World’s End” was released back in October at the same time an official synopsis debuted. Due out on October 25, 2013, “The World’s End” tells the story of a group of friends going on an epic pub crawl the same night an apocalyptic event occurs. The film serves as a conclusion for Wright’s “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy, which also includes “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.”

Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.

What do you think of this first image from “The World’s End”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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