The 67th Berlin Film Festival, better known as Berlinale, kicks off each year shortly after the Sundance Film Festival ends, and continues with an impressive line-up of independent films, ranging from comedy to drama and even science fiction. This year the festival closed with the premiere of James Mangold‘s R-rated comic entry Logan, which will see the last outing of Hugh Jackman as the immortal and tormented Wolverine, opposite Patrick Stewart reprising the role of Professor Charles Xavier. In addition, director Danny Boyle‘s long-anticipated follow-up to Trainspotting also debuted at the festival, and saw the original cast return for a look at how the characters are dealing with the realities of life 20-years after the drug-induced original. The festival also played host to a solid line-up of independent films. Unfortunately we’re not able to afford the trip (or take the time off) to make it to Berlin for the 10-day celebration, so this all based on reviews and speculation, but here are just a few noteworthy entries we figured were worth mentioning… Continue reading →
A new trailer has just been released for the new X-Men sequel/independent-stand-alone feature Logan, once again starring Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables, Prisoners) as the Wolverine. This may very well be Jackson’s last outing with the character. Logan appears to take place in a distant, grim-looking future, where his mutation is failing and he plays guardian for Charles Xavier, now suffering from Alzheimers Disease. While the two cope with the loss of the mutants and the X-Men, Wolverine must battle a corporate conglomerate whose only goal seems to be to destroy the world. Just as the two mutants reach the verge of losing hope, they discover a young girl, or clone, who possesses Logan’s same gift of regeneration, and who may very-well-be their only hope of defeating Essex.
Patrick Stewart reprises his role as Charles Xavier, joining Jackman under the direction of The Wolverine director James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma). Mangold assisted in writing the project with screenwriters David James Kelly and Michael Green (Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049), both newcomers to the X-Men movie universe. Boyd Holbrook (Milk, Gone Girl), Stephan Merchant (Hall Pass, The Big Bang Theory), Richard E. Grant (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Corpse Bride), and Dafne Keen (The Refugees) all appear in the supporting cast. Sadly, no other familiar faces in terms of X-Men or mutants in general are expected to be seen in the film. Continue reading →
A Comic-Con celebration would hardly be complete without an X-Men panel of sorts, and this year definitely had plenty of news to appease fans. First up, original X-Men director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) along with actors Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables, Prisoners), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle, The Hunger Games), Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years A Slave), and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year) displayed an unexpected trailer for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie. The film will pick up in the 1980s, after the conclusion of X-Men: Days of Future Past and although the story details are still pretty murky, the mutants and Professor Xavier will come face-to-face with the ancient mutant Apocalypse, who has been around since the dawn of time and is intent on founding a new civilization from the ashes of the one we know. Joining the mutant cast include Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, and Nickolas Hoult as Beast. The trailer should be available for public viewing at some point soon, so we’ll keep an eye out for that. Hugh Jackman was in attendance for the Apocalypse panel although Wolverine is not expected to be in the movie, but Jackman will take up the role one last time in a new solo Wolverine movie. Two other mutants are also expected to make their independent film debuts: Channing Tatum is expected to appear in an independent Gambit movie and Ryan Reynolds will also be appearing in a solo Deadpool movie. Keep an eye out for further news on these two projects. The full panel is available here on MADE.
Even though word of X-Men: Apocalypse was released well before we saw the latest X-Men installation, Days of Future Past, hit theaters this summer, word on whether or not director Bryan Singer would stay on to do Apocalypse was still not clear. Singer directed Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart in the original X-Men blockbuster in 1999, and stayed on to direct X2: X-Men United in 2002, but his involvement with the franchise had since then been nonexistent until he finally returned with the original cast to direct Days of Future Past this year, and according to recent news reports, he has also agreed to stay on and direct Apocalypse as well. Days of Future Past not only included Singer’s original cast, but also the cast of X-Men: First Class, which explored the origins or the relationship between Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr as they formed the group of original X-Men and included such big names as James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Although the plot details are not set in stone at this point, judging by the preliminary cast listings, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t see as much of the original cast this time, with the exception of Hugh Jackman, who will appear on film as the Wolverine for the seventh time. Singer is currently working on the script for Apocalypse with X2 writers Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty, as well as writer Simon Kinberg, and the movie is already set for release on May 27, 2016, so we should be getting more news coming out soon. Stay tuned.
Bryan Singer first introduced audiences to the X-Men back in 1999 and stayed on to helm the sequel X2, after which he seemingly retired from the Marvel franchise. X-Men 3, Origins: Wolverine, and First Class all followed Singer’s films, but without his input as director or collaborator. But now Singer is back to his old tricks, directing his original cast in Days of Future Past more than a decade after the release of the first film. The movie not only reunited Singer and the original X-Men cast (including Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen), but also brought back their younger counterparts who played their respective roles in First Class to incorporate a time travel scenario. Wolverine, it seems, must go back in time to meet with the much younger Charles Xavier in order to prevent a war. With the movie currently being filmed and set for release this coming summer, the studio has also announced that Singer will direct the next installment in the series that is due out in May 2016. X-Men: Apocalypse will also be directed by Singer, and will incorporate one of the most powerful villains from the comic series, Apocalypse, who has waited since the times of Ancient Egypt to study the human race and eventually enslave humanity to allow mutants superiority among the Earth’s species. Sounds like Magneto may have a new side-kick, but seeing as I haven’t read the comics I really don’t know in what direction the filmmakers will want to take the character. According to the comics, Apocalypse killed Xavier in an alternate reality that runs parallel to our own, and in which Magneto leads the clan of “X-Men” in an America ruled by mutants. Perhaps the time travel plot of the first movie will lay the ground work for Apocalypse, but we’ll have to wait for summer to figure that out. Stay tuned!