Sunday, August 11, 2013

D23 Expo: Marvel Movies & More Live Action Films

Steve Sievers, Chelsea Sievers and lil baby Sievers took to Disney's D23 convention on behalf of Idle Hands and sent over this report on all the Marvel Studios talk at the show. Well, to be honest, it appears Steve and Chelsea were doing all the work while the baby was just lumping around looking cute. YOU CAN'T GET BY ON YOUR LOOKS YOUR WHOLE LIFE BABY!!! Here's Steve's report coupled with some bits from Disney...

Thor: The Dark World opened with the same footage from San Diego Comic-Con 2013, which is pretty much extended scenes you see in the new trailer. Stars Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins took to the stage with Tom immediately apologizing for not being dressed up as Loki. Many in the crowd cheer him on to sing but he said sorry, not today.

The exclusive scene shown at D23 Expo opens with Natalie Portman lying on some weird medical bed in Asgard. This reminded me of the scene from Star Wars Episode III when Padme was giving birth to Luke and Lelia. (yikes) An Asgard nurse enters the room and a hologram pops up above Jane Foster. It looks like a keyboard and the nurse begins to push buttons for data on the ailing Jane Foster. Jane seems to be in a drugged state and her speech is slow, asking the nurse if this "is a quantum field generator?" The nurse insists it is a "Soul Forge" while Jane is mesmerized with the pretty yellow lights above her. Jane asks questions about the Soul Forge. While the nurse describes what it does, Jane slowly looks over to Thor and says "so basically it is a quantum field generator" as Thor looks on worried about his love from the far side of the room. Its discovered that some kind of dark energy is stuck inside Jane. The Nurse doesn't know how powerful Jane will become.

Odin enters the room and he is PISSED OFF. He can't believe his son has brought Jane to Asgard. "She does not belong here in Asgard any more than a goat belongs at a banquet table." Jane starts to sit up and suddenly speaks like she isn't high at all. "I'm not a goat. Who are you?" she questions with a flustered, annoyed expression. Odin replies "I'm Odin, King of Asgard and ruler of the nine realms." Jane's face slides into an "oh damn" expression. Thor defends his actions. "She is sick, what else am I supposed to do Father?"  Odin replies "You should have left Jane back on Milgard."  Jane, surprised, asks "You told your father all about me?" Odin answers "Yes, I know all about you."

Thor and Odin look over some holographic medical charts in the corner. Thor says "Something is in her father. Something I have not seen before." Odin is stubborn and orders her to go back to Midgard where human doctors can deal with the problem. As an Asgard warrior tries to grab Jane, a blast of dark energy is unleashed from within her, throwing the warrior across the room and against the wall.

End of Scene.

My thoughts on the footage: Is this setting up Jane to become a superhero or possible villain? I'm now interested to see how she gets this dark energy inside of her.

Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.  In the aftermath of Marvel’s "Thor" and "Marvel’s The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness.  Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. The film releases November 8, 2013.

Captain America: Winter Solider started with the same footage they showed at San Diego Comic-Con. As the lights came back up, stars Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie came out on stage. Its funny because all the panels at D23 are scripted ...even the answers from the stars. Chis Evans screwed up a question and when asked what he did before he started filming the latest Captain America film, he replied "I don't know what I'm  suppose to say here." The answer was "Disneyland." Chris: "Oh yes! I love Disneyland. Lets all go now." (I suspect Robert Downey Jr might have a problem with this canned act in the future...or just abandon it all together as he took the stage.)

The D23 exclusive footage began with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet streaking across the night sky. The camera pans inside the jet and we see Captain America, Black Widow, and two other SHIELD agents. Black Widow playfully asks Cpt America "Doing anything fun this Saturday night?" He replies "Well…all the guys in my barbershop quartet are dead no." Cpt America pushes a button and the back of the plane opens. Black Widow: "If you asked Kirsten from Statistics out, she would probably say yes." Cpt America: "I know she would say yes." Black Widow: "To shy or too scared to ask her?" Cpt America: "Too Busy." Then Cpt America jumps out of the plane. One of the SHIELD agents asks Black Widow "Did he just jump with no parachute?" Black Widow nods.

Captain America is hurtling to the sea below. Through the clouds we now spot a big cargo boat docked in the water. It looks like Cpt America is about to swan dive into the water but he quickly swings his body around so his feet hit the water first. We then see Cpt America climbing up the chain connected to the anchor in the water and onto the deck of the boat. There are guards everywhere. He quietly sneaks up behind the first one he encounters like a Ninja and puts him in a sleeper hold. At this point he is at the front of the boat. We see a wide shot of Cpt America running on the deck of the boat knocking out men with his shield as he makes his way to the back of the boat. At first he is doing it more stealthy, but towards the end, he's just kicking ass and taking names. The coolest part was just the sound his shield made when impacting people and the walls. If you played the last Captain America video game Sega released when the 1st movie came out, this looked ripped straight from it. Cpt America was using a lot of combos like bouncing his shield off the walls and taking guards out hand-to-hand while his shield bounces off other bad guys in the background. Of course, his shield returns to him as the last baddie falls. At one point, he throws his shield at a bad guy in a playfull manor, so the guard can catch it without being harmed. Cpt America then punches the shield and the resulting impact floors the guard. It reminded me of WWE superstar Rob Van Dam; when he would throw a steel chair light enough at his opponent so they would catch it, followed by a round house kick into the chair which would crash into his opponent's his head.

One badly beaten bad guy on the floor starts to reach for the fire alarm on a nearby wall. Captain America quickly grabs a knife from the ground and throws it at him. The knife goes through the guys hand and into the wall, pinning him. At the very end of the boat, a guy pulls out a gun behind Cpt America's head and tells him to surrender. The SHIELD Agent who had asked if Cap had a parachute on comes floating out of the sky on his own parachute and zaps the bad guy with his gun. Cpt America turns around and says "Thanks!" The SHEILD agent lands on the deck of the boat and says "Yea, you seemed pretty helpless without me." Black Widow and the other SHIELD agent land on the deck behind him. Black Widow walks up to Cpt America and casually continues their conversation. "What about the nurse who lives across from hall from you? She seems nice." Cpt America: "What about the mission right now?" Black Widow walks over to a stairwell and replies "I'm multitasking." She then jumps down the stairwell as she blasts away at bad guys. Scene ends.

My take on it: Could they be setting up a love connection between Black Widow and Captain America? Who remembers the animated feature Next Avengers with Avengers children taking on Ultron? (Answer: Only us, Steve. Only us.)

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier. The film drops April 14, 2014.

Avengers 2 teaser clip. Starts on a close up of some armor. We hear Iron Man say "I don't play well with others." At first I thought it was Iron Man armor in the shot. The camera starts to slowly pull back. We hear other audio clips from the Avengers movie like Doctor Banner's "We aren't a team, we're a time bomb." Then we hear Agent Maria Hill and Nick Fury talking at the end of the Avengers movie. "What about the Avengers? They will get back together when the world needs them." In the reflection of the armor we see Iron Man, Captain America and The Hulk. The camera now pans back far enough to see that it is the head of Ultron. The helmet lights up red. Then the logo pops up. Ultron's name is the last to fade to black.

...and if you'd like to see a bit of Guardians of the run run...

Also of interest to Idle Hands readers:

·         President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey came on and stirred up Muppet mayhem with details about Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted,” welcoming Ty Burrell to the stage—via Le Maxium, a tiny European car that aptly underscored the actor’s portrayal of French Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. The film also stars Ricky Gervais, plus Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, who greeted guests of the D23 Expo “live” from the film’s international set—somewhere far, far away.

Directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Gervais. Fey is featured as Nadya, a feisty prison guard. Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, “Muppets Most Wanted” hits the big screen March 21, 2014.

·         Disney’s “Into the Woods” celebrated its first public introduction as Sean Bailey shared some details with the audience about the highly anticipated musical. Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award®-winning musical “Chicago” and Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is set to helm “Into the Woods,” which stars Academy Award®-winning actress Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. Marc Platt, who produced the multiple Tony Award®-winning musical “Wicked” on Broadway, will produce “Into the Woods,” along with producers Marshall, John DeLuca and Callum McDougall.

“Into the Woods,” based on the Tony®-winning original musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, surrounds a baker and his wife’s quest to break a witch’s curse in order to start a family. Along the way, they encounter several well-known fairy tale characters and together they learn what happens after “happily ever after.”  The film is slated for a December 2014 holiday release.

·         Sean Bailey thrilled the D23 audience with an exclusive, very early, sneak peek at the vision of Disney’s “Cinderella,” courtesy of director Sir Kenneth Branagh. Though many of the elements are still in development and pre-production, like Cinderella’s gown, the audience enjoyed getting a taste of what they could expect when Disney’s live-action version of the classic fairy tale opens in theaters on March 13, 2015.

Although Disney’s magical and amazing “Cinderella” promises to be faithful to the original fairy tale, the filmmakers will elevate the story, the characters and the visuals to take audiences on a sweeping dramatic journey never seen before.

·         Academy Award®-winning actress Angelina Jolie joined Sean Bailey on stage after the audience had an exclusive first look at Disney’s “Maleficent.” Starring as the title character in the highly anticipated live action film, Jolie chatted with Bailey about the film before exiting to wild applause.

“Maleficent” is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville and is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg. Linda Woolverton, the screenwriter of “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast,” wrote the screenplay. “Maleficent” opens in theaters on July 2, 2014.

·         The D23 audience was treated to a glimpse into the mysteries surrounding Disney’s “Tomorrowland” as Sean Bailey and filmmakers Brad Bird (director, co-writer, producer) and Damon Lindelof (co-writer, producer) talked about the inspiration of the secrets of the black box, which was featured in a short behind-the-scenes piece screened for the audience about the visionary Walt Disney. Although the audience was buzzing with questions, Bailey remained coy, but then announced a special, surprise “Tomorrowland” exhibit opening in the afternoon on the D23 floor that would reveal the contents of the box and more. Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson, the action-packed adventure hits theaters December 12, 2014.

·         Sean Bailey set up the story and talented cast of Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen, and reminded everyone that “Mary Poppins” is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. After showing two clips from the movie to the D23 audience, Bailey introduced Jason Schwartzman and B. J. Novak, who portray the famous composing team of Richard and Robert Sherman, respectively, in the film. In a big surprise moment, Schwartzman and Novak welcomed “Mary Poppins” composer Richard Sherman on stage to greet the excited audience. The two talented actors then engaged the crowd in a rousing, confetti-filled, grand finale sing-along performance of “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” the classic song from “Mary Poppins.”

Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” which is directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Blind Side,” “The Rookie”) and produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer. Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith wrote the screenplay.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

“Saving Mr. Banks” releases in theaters December 13, 2013, limited, December 20, 2013, wide.

CLICK HERE for the entire gallery of images from the D23 Expo Live Action Films Presentation!

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