Paul Rudd, our hero
Look, there’s Paul Rudd with a big cut over his eye, looking all gloomy? Thoughtful? Heroic? Marvel Entertainment this week unveiled this first set photo from San Francisco, where shooting has begun on Rudd’s superhero adventure, “Ant-Man.” Rudd stars as Scott Lang, aka the title character, a con man who gets his hands on a suit that gives him the power to shrink down to ant-size and (unlike the Marvel comics version) gain incredible strength.
Michael Douglas plays his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, who created the suit and must team with Lang to pull off a big heist and save the world, of course. Evangeline Lilly is Hope Van Dyne, Pym’s daughter and, we assume, Scott’s love interest.
Shooting will soon move to Atlanta, the base for the film’s production. Edgar Wright was attached to direct the film for years but left the production earlier this spring, citing creative differences with Marvel. He was replaced by Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”).
The movie is due in theaters July 17.
Hero … or villain?
In other save-the-world news, Dwayne Johnson tells The Associated Press that he’ll star in an upcoming DC Comics movie but can’t decide between superhero Shazam or his arch-nemesis Black Adam. He’s always loved that villain, but the studio might think he is born to play a (money-making) hero. Either way, he says, “I am putting my heart and soul and my bones into this role.”
Director Andy Serkis now has a full menagerie of actors — doing motion capture, animation voices and live action — to populate his “Jungle Book: Origins” film scheduled for October 2016. It’s based on Rudyard Kipling’s short stories and, says Entertainment Weekly, is supposed to be a completely different take from Jon Favreau’s equally star-filled “Jungle Book,” coming a year earlier.
But how different can they be with so many of the same characters: Kaa the python (Cate Blanchett for Serkis and Scarlett Johansson for Favreau), Shere Khan the tiger (Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba), Bagheera the panther (Christian Bale and Ben Kingsley) and Baloo the bear (Serkis and Bill Murray). It’s a real jungle in Hollywood.
R.I.P., ‘Movie Guide’
Film critic Leonard Maltin has been putting out paperback movie guides since 1969, but the 2015 edition, due out Sept. 2, will be his last, reports Deadline.com. Too many people are getting their film blurbs from the Internet. “We still have a loyal readership,” Maltin says. “It’s just smaller than it used to be.”
| Sharon Hoffmann, firstname.lastname@example.org