THE RUSSO BROTHERS SHARE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE’S BIGGEST PROJECT YET, ‘AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR’

 

Avengers Infinity War

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR..L to R: Director Joe Russo, Director Anthony Russo and Scarlet Johansson (Black Widow) on set. ..Photo: Chuck Zlotnick..©Marvel Studios 2018

Marvel Studios will make history when it releases Avengers: Infinity War, the unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s sort of an unprecedented experiment because never before has someone taken very successful franchises [of this scale] and merged them all together,” says Anthony Russo. “It was exciting for us. The reason that we wanted to do the film was because the level of ambition was so high with it.”

The film has a complex and unique tone because it is made up of several franchises that have very different tones. “We like to combine things that don’t seem like they belong together and see what you get. We describe it as like a mad scientist process,” adds his brother Joe.

Grounding on emotional truth

Iron Man, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther — with so many big characters and personalities, with each one bringing something integral to the table — how did the co-director brothers balance it all out?

We always try to ground it in an emotional truth for the character,” says Joe. “If something doesn’t feel emotionally true or emotionally real for a character, then we can’t follow that storyline. We have to always use that as our guidepost through the narrative, and that’s how we hold everything together ultimately.”

Strange alchemy”

Another thing the brothers used to guide them is ‘strange alchemy’ — and no, it is not specifically about Doctor Strange. “Strange alchemy is a phrase that we came up with in the writer’s room when we were working on breaking the story for Infinity War, where we basically said the exciting aspect of this film is that we’re going to take all of these characters from different franchises in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we’re going to put them together,” shares Joe. “It means ‘strange’ in that how can we create odd or eccentric ‘alchemy’ between characters. Who can we put together that’s going to create the most sparks and fireworks? Conflicts between heroes can be entertaining.”

Joe further explains, “Of course, if you take Doctor Strange [played by Benedict Cumberbatch], who’s a narcissist, and you put him in a room with Tony Stark [played by Robert Downey, Jr.], who’s a narcissist, that would be two beta fish in a tank. Something is going to happen. If you take Thor [played by Chris Hemsworth] from Thor: Ragnarok and you put him in a spaceship with the Guardians of the Galaxy [led by Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord], something absurdist and insane is going to happen. We spent a lot of time moving cards around and thinking about how the alchemy would play out between certain groups of characters until we landed on the stories that we have in the film and the character groupings that we have in the movie.”

I don’t think that they’ve seen anything on this level of intensity with these levels of stakes and ramifications in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before. There’s nothing comparable to it. If Marvel Studios has been writing a book for the last ten years, then these are the final chapters of the book. There’s finality, and there will be endings. And there will be new beginnings. I think rarely, especially in “Avengers: Infinity War,” do commercial movies go to the place that this film goes to.”

Avengers: Infinity War opens in Philippine cinemas 25 April 2018.

ABOUT MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Anthony and Joe Russo direct the film, which is produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay. Avengers: Infinity War opens in Philippine cinemas 25 April 2018.

NEW “VENOM” TRAILER REVEALS THE ANTI-HERO

Venom

Columbia Pictures has just revealed the new trailer for its upcoming action thriller Venom which may be viewed at https://youtu.be/_F2oqfNg140.

Check it out now and watch Venom in Philippine cinemas October 5.

One of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass characters comes to the big screen, starring Academy Award® nominated actor Tom Hardy as the lethal protector Venom.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a script by Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner and Kelly Marcel and Will Beal,Venom also stars Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze and Reid Scott.

Venom is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

CREED II RETURNS TO THE RING AS PRODUCTION BEGINS

Creed 2, michael jordan, sylvester stallone

Production begins today in Philadelphia on Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures (MGM) and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Creed II, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, reprising their roles of Adonis Creed and Rocky Balboa respectively. Creed II is the continuation of the Rocky saga and sequel to the 2015 critically acclaimed and crowd-pleasing 2015 hit Creed, which took in more than $170 million at the worldwide box office. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), who directed the first film, returns to the franchise as an executive producer on Creed II. The new film is being directed by Steven Caple Jr., who helmed the acclaimed 2016 drama The Land.

“When I wrote and directed Creed, I wanted to tell a human story about a family from a new perspective, while also paying homage to the Rocky characters we’ve all grown up knowing and loving. I’ve known Steven was an amazing filmmaker since our days at USC film school together, so I can’t wait to see what he, Sly, Mike and Tessa bring to this next chapter,” said Coogler.

Caple Jr. said, “It’s an honor to be a part of the franchise and work with such a thoughtful team. I got involved because I’ve always been a Rocky fan and I enjoy stories with heart and substance. But when Ryan put his touch on Creed I felt another level of connection to the franchise. It started to feel personal for many different reasons. This next Creed is a tale beyond the boxing ring and dives deep into family, legacy, and fears. I’m excited to share my view and collaborate with the talented cast and crew.”

“Ryan and Steven are voices for their generation and their shared vision for Creed has brought the Rocky franchise to an entirely new audience. We know audiences will continue to embrace the legacy that Sly created so many years ago,” said producer Irwin Winkler.

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

Also reprising their roles from the first film are Tessa Thompson as Bianca, Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne, Wood Harris as Tony ‘Little Duke’ Burton, and Andre Ward as Danny ‘Stuntman’ WheelerThe new cast is rounded out with Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu as Viktor Drago, Dolph Lundgren returning to the role of Ivan Drago, and Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle. Creed II will be distributed theatrically in the U.S. by MGM on November 21, 2018, and Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film internationally.

Caple Jr. directs from an original screenplay written by Stallone based on characters from the Rocky franchise. The film is produced by Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton and Stallone. Coogler, Jordan and Guy Riedel will executive produce.

Collaborating with Caple Jr. is a creative team led by director of photography Kramer Morgenthau (Thor: The Dark WorldGame of Thrones); production designer Franco Carbone (The Expendables, Billionaire Boys Club); costume designers Lizz Wolf (A Single Man, Dreamgirls); art director Jesse Rosenthal (Black Panther, Trumbo); fight coordinator Daniel Hernandez (Avengers: Infinity War, The Fate of the Furious); technical boxing advisor Robert Sale (Grudge Match, Ali); special effects coordinator Patrick White (Baby Driver, Deepwater Horizon) and VFX producer Crystal Dowd (Straight Outta Compton, Pitch Perfect 2). Filming will take place primarily in Philadelphia with additional locations in New Mexico.

Creed, directed by Coogler, was released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema in November 2015 and went on to garner many honors for Stallone, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Q&A WITH OSCAR-NOMINEE AND “RAMPAGE” STAR NAOMIE HARRIS

Naomie Harris on Rampage

Although she’s appeared as Moneypenny in three James Bond movies, Oscar nominee Naomie Harris (Moonlight) shares the her latest film, New Line Cinema’s epic action film, Rampage, was far from an obvious match for her.

I’m more of an indie film person,” she adds. “However, I absolutely loved the script. It’s rare to see a film like this infused with so much heart.”

In Rampage, primatologist Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

Question: What drew you to Rampage and to the character of Kate?

Naomie Harris: I was in the middle of promoting Moonlight and was being perceived as the character I played in that film, Paula. I always like to play completely different characters, to surprise myself and have a varied body of work. The role of Kate in Rampage is a million miles away from Paula, and I wanted to do something fun and playful and lighthearted.

I also connected with Kate because I empathized with her journey and her desire to make a difference in the world and to right the wrong that she has created – a pathogen that has become weaponized.

Q: How was it to work opposite Dwayne?

Harris: It was wonderful working with Dwayne because he has such incredible charisma. His million-watt smile lights up an entire room. You can’t help but be charmed and moved by it. Dwayne brings such commitment to the set that it changes the energy there. Everybody’s spirit is lifted. That was delightful to see.

Q: For many of your scenes with George the gorilla, you work opposite performance capture artist Jason Liles. What was it like working with Jason?

Harris: Jason gave us so much and really helped us connect with George. At first, I didn’t realize we were going to have the privilege of working with an actor playing George. I thought we would have a cardboard cutout as our point of reference. So, it was amazing to have Jason there, because he gave us all the emotions to react to. And he’s such a brilliant performer. I remember a scene where George is crying. Jason was welling up and his nose was running. He was so in the moment, and we couldn’t help but be moved by him.

Q: What was your favorite moment on the set of Rampage?

Harris: Every day was amazing, thanks to [director] Brad Peyton, who has such passion for the film. He reminds you that the heart of our work lies in giving the audience an emotional experience, as well as taking them on a ride. Every day working with Brad was phenomenal. He has more energy and passion than any other director I’ve worked with.

Behind the scenes, the entire Rampage crew was so helpful and supportive, and I developed a special relationship with my hair and makeup team. I also had the privilege of having all my friends and all my family visit our set in Atlanta, stay with me, and meet Dwayne, which was an amazing moment for them. He was so generous with his time, and took photos with all of them. They won’t forget that experience, and neither will I!

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from Rampage when they see it?

Harris: It’s a fun popcorn movie, and two hours in the cinema that will transport you on a great adventure. You’ll experience thrills, some laughs, and be moved by it, as well. You will have a great time with Rampage.

In Philippine cinemas Thursday, April 12Rampage is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

“PACIFIC RIM UPRISING” OPENS AT NO.1 WITH P47.2-M FOR 2-DAY EASTER WEEKEND

Pacific Rim Uprising

Universal Pictures’ monsters vs. robots epic adventure Pacific Rim Uprising arrived in Philippine cinemas at No.1 for the Easter Weekend.  The highly awaited sequel scored a robust P47.2-M in box-office gross in two days, March 31 and April 1.

The crowd-pleasing movie is expected to generate further interest and increase sales, echoing its global trend.  So far, Pacific Rim Uprising has made a smash $231.9 million worldwide.

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous “Kaiju.” Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi)—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war.  As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction.

Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (The Fate of the Furious’ Scott Eastwood) and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left. Rising up to become the most powerful defense force to ever walk the earth, they will set course for a spectacular all-new adventure on a towering scale.

Now playing in Philippine cinemas Pacific Rim Uprising is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.  Use the hashtags #JoinTheUprising #PacificRimUprising