X-Men: First Class – Matthew Vaughn talks some more

Well. it’s been a busy week for Matthew Vaughn. As well as putting the finishing touches on X-Men: First Class, he also seems to be giving interviews left, right and center.

The latest is with Entertainment Weekly, where he has this to say about some of the characters and storyline:

“The best way of describing it is X-Men meets Bond, with a little bit of Thirteen Days thrown in for good measure. It’s set in the ’60s, and I basically molded a young Magneto on a young Sean Connery. He’s the ultimate spy — imagine Bond, but with superpowers…

“In the beginning of the film, no one knows that mutants exist, and all the mutants don’t know that each other exist. They’re all in hiding. Kevin Bacon plays a very megalomaniac mutant [Sebastian Shaw] who decides that he can take over the world and that mutants are the future. Erik and Charles then meet each other and hook up with the CIA to try and prevent World War III. You find out everything about what went on between Erik and Charles…”

He also sheds some light on what happenned a few years ago, when he was originally due to helm X:Men: Last Stand, but left as he didn’t believe he would have enough time to complete the film:

“That’s true. It was as simple as that. In retrospect, I probably would have had more time then than I do now, which is highly ironic. But I also have more experience now than I did then. And I had no idea how big-budget filmmaking worked, so I was just applying small-budget independent-style logic to the wrong equation. And when I saw the film, I realized that Fox would have given me all the tools I needed. I was just stupid enough not to take them. But we both decided to cross the bridge together again. I definitely had burned a bridge. But they asked, so we met and we both kissed and made up and went off to make the film.”

X-Men: First Class stars James McAvoy, January Jones, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till, Kevin Bacon, Jason Flemyng, Oliver Platt, Bill Milner, Zoe Kravitz, Morgan Lilly and Rose Byrne.

X-Men: First Class is directed by Matthew Vaughn, from a script by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman, based on a story by producer Bryan Singer.

Thor – International relase dates confirmed

The official Thor website has been updated with a list of the film’s international release dates. Interesting to note is that most countries get to see it a week before the US!

Here’s this list in full:

North America

  • United States – May 6 (we are guessing this also includes Canada)

Latin America

  • Argentina – April 28
  • Brazil – April 29
  • Chile – April 28
  • Colombia – April 29
  • Mexico – April 29
  • Panama – April 29
  • Peru – April 28
  • Venezuela – April 29

Middle East / Africa

  • Egypt – April 27
  • Israel – April 28
  • Lebanon – April 28
  • South Africa – April 29
  • United Arab Emirates – April 28

Asia Pacific

  • Australia – April 28
  • Hong Kong – April 28
  • India – April 29
  • Indonesia – April 29
  • Japan – July 2
  • Korea – April 28
  • Singapore – April 28
  • Malaysia – April 28
  • New Zealand – April 28
  • Philippines – April 29
  • Taiwan – April 29
  • Thailand – April 29

Europe

  • Austria – April 29
  • Belgium – April 27
  • Croatia – April 28
  • Cyprus – April 29
  • Czech Republic / Slovakia – April 28
  • Denmark – April 28
  • Finland – May 6
  • France – April 27
  • Germany – April 28
  • Greece – April 28
  • Hungary – April 28
  • Iceland – April 29
  • Ireland – April 29
  • Italy – April 29
  • Netherlands – April 29
  • Norway – April 28
  • Poland – April 29
  • Portugal – April 29
  • Romania – April 28
  • Russia – April 29
  • Serbia & Montenegro – April 28
  • Slovenia – April 28
  • Spain – April 28
  • Sweden – April 29
  • Switzerland-French – April 29
  • Switzerland-German – April 27
  • Switzerland-Italian – April 29
  • Turkey – April 29
  • Ukraine – April 28
  • United Kingdom – April 29

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Thor stars Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddlestone, Stellan Skarsgard, Clark Gregg and Idris Elba, and is due for release summer 2011.

The Avengers – Could production be stalled by money issues?

Bleeding Cool are quoting ‘certain people’ who are saying that Marvel/Disney are getting the jitters over the size of the budget for The Avengers.

“…Marvel are demanding they get it all done on the relative cheap… Some people say it can’t be done. Others say it can be done – even if then, in certain well heeled Los Angeles bars, they assure each other that it can’t. And while some people have walked off the project, others are planning a longer game. Basically do the work, then when they run out of budget (which they believe they will) trust that Marvel Studios and their investors will pony up the extra necessary cash rather than leave the movie unfinished… As a result of such staff changes, pre-production has been delayed weeks – possibly months…”

Oh dear. Without further clarification of their sources, it’s difficult to know how seriously to take this news. Marvel have been good at keeping budgets under control so far – the first Iron Man, for example, was a modestly budgeted affair that made huge returns.

With their films, Marvel has a track record of choosing quality actors as opposed to more expensive ‘stars’, but due to the very nature of its characters, The Avengers is going to be a very FX heavy, expensive production.

With a guaranteed hit from a built in audience built up over a few years of Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America movies, it would be a shame if Marvel started scrimping on the pennies now. Hopefully this is just a – surely very common – case of a studio looking for some last minute savings here and their before filming begins, rather than a wholesale slashing of departmental budgets and tearing out of script pages.

The Avengers is due for release in summer 2012. The film is written and directed by Joss Whedon and stars Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Clark Gregg, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson

Iron Man 2 – Blu-ray and DVD released today

Don’t forget, UK readers can now pick up the new Iron Man 2 Blu-ray and DVDs from today.

You can pick up the 3-Disc Blu-ray special edition, which includes a digital copy and DVD version here for just £14.99.

This is loaded with extras, including:

Disc 1:

  • Contains the movie in HD with optional commentary by Jon Favreau

Disc 2:

  • Ultimate Iron Man: The Making of Iron Man 2 (HD)
  • Easter Egg (HD)
  • Featurettes (HD)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD) with optional commentary by Jon Favreau:
  • > Alternate Opening
    > Coulson at the Senate
    > The Sub-Orbital Jet
    > Tony’s Workshop (extended)
    > Natalie Wears the Gauntlet
    > Flying Party Girl
    > Mark II Security
    > Element Rediscovered (extended)

  • Concept Art Galleries
  • Theatrical Trailers: Mr. Stark (HD), World (HD), IMAX Kids (HD) / Other Marvel Trailers: SEGA – Iron Man 2 Video Game (HD), SEGA – Iron Man 2 Video Game Prologue (HD), Avengers Animated Trailer (HD)

Disc 3

  • Contains a digital copy of the feature and the feature in standard-definition

The 2-Disc DVD can be picked up here for £15.93, though it has fewer extras, and no word on what, if any, ‘easter eggs’ this might include.

Iron Man 2 – New Blu-ray review

DVD File have posted their review of the Iron Man 2 Blu Ray.

As expected, it looks like image and audio quality are top notch, while the extra features also get a very good score. You can check the review out here.

We’ll keep you updated when more noteworthy reviews appear.

Don’t forget, you can pick up the 3-Disc Blu-ray special edition, which includes a digital copy and DVD version here for just £14.99, and the 2-Disc DVD (with fewer extras) can be picked up here for £15.93.

Iron Man 2 – Behind the scenes on the ‘Thor hammer’ after-credits sequence

With the Blu Ray and DVD release of Iron Man 2 just a few weeks away, you can now check out this short featurette about the filming of the after-credits scene which introduces Thor’s hammer, and was actually directed by Thor director Kenneth Branagh.

Don’t forget, you can pick up the 3-Disc Blu-ray special edition, which includes a digital copy and DVD version here for just £14.99, and the 2-Disc DVD (with fewer extras) can be picked up here for £15.93.

Ghost Rider 2 – Release date set as production begins.

Columbia Pictures has begun production on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in Bucharest, Romania, with release date set for February 17th 2012. The film will be released in 3D.

I really didn’t enjoy the first film, but enough people did for it to make over $220m worldwide, so I suppose a sequel is inevitable.

On the upside, this one is being directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who brought us the extremely kinetic Crank films, so hopefully GR2 will at least be less lethargic and more visually exciting than the first film.

Fingers crossed!

Black Widow to get a solo film?

SuperHeroHype have a transcript from a Q & A that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige hosted for the upcoming Iron Man 2 Blu-Ray and DVD release.

Amongst the Iron Man 2 discussions, Feige confirms that early development work is already underway for a solo movie featuring Scarlett Johansson’s Iron Man 2/Avengers character, Black Widow.

According to Feige:

“We’ve already started discussions with Scarlett about the idea of a solo movie and have begun putting together concepts, but “The Avengers” comes first.”

So, it’s still ealry days, but it’s nice to see that supporting characters will get the chance to shine after The Avengers.

The rest of the interview is well worth checking out, and you can read it here.

Don’t forget, you can pick up the 3-Disc Blu-ray special edition, which includes a digital copy and DVD version here for just £14.99, and the 2-Disc DVD (with fewer extras) can be picked up here for £15.93.

X-Men: First Class – Yet more casting!

With filming imminent on Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men prequel, some more last-minute casting news is being reported by Variety.

Firstly, contrary to previous rumours of Alice Eve’s casting, ‘Mad Men’ star January Jones has landed the part of Emma Frost.

In addition, they report that Bill Milner (Son of Rambow) will play Magneto as a young boy, Morgan Lilly (2012) will play a young Raven, and that Zoe Kravitz has also signed for an unspecified role.

They join a cast that includes James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Caleb Landry Jones, Lucas Till, Kevin Bacon, Jason Flemyng, Oliver Platt and Rose Byrne.

X-Men: First Class is directed by Matthew Vaughn, from a script by Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman, based on a story by producer Bryan Singer.