Monthly Archives: December 2013

Variety reports:

Monty Python Reunion Announcement - Press ConferenceMonty Python has announced that there will be a “historic gathering of the entire Python team” on BBC talkshow “The Graham Norton Show” on New Year’s Eve.

The BBC holds broadcasting rights to the existing Monty Python TV material and so the Pythons’ appearance on the talkshow could open the door to further collaboration.

The troupe — which comprises John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam — also announced that it has added five further dates to its run of live London shows, which goes under the banner “Monty Python Live (Mostly).”

Marvel Liveblog features “Avengers Arena” and “Avengers Undercover” writer Dennis Hopeless. Here are a few highlights:

“Avengers Undercover” hits newsstands  in March 2014

Avengers Arena

Avengers-Arena-18Dennis comments on his experience writing “Avengers Arena” and his letter to fans on the last page.

Arena was a challenging project from the very beginning. Like I said in that letter to fans, it’s not a concept I would have pitched on my own. I was hesitant to write a story based on such a dark concept using fan favorite characters I’ve loved for years. But the result was a book that really tested me as a writer and brought out some of the deepest character work I’ve ever done. It really has been the highlight of my career.

About the art — “Kev Walker[sic] can’t get enough credit for the art in Arena. He made all of us look much better.”

His favorite death — “Nico’s death might have been the most upsetting. My father died in a somewhat similar way and writing her internal monologue was a pretty taxing experience. I’m proud of how that turned out but it’s still pretty tough for me to read.”

Nara’s Death – “Taking characters like Nara, who we did not know before this book, and really making their deaths feel heartbreaking and important. I enjoyed turning Nara’s story on its head right there before she made the sacrifice. She wasn’t very easy to like for 14 issues then we really tried to make you fall in love with her before she died.”

On selecting character – “I asked about Young Avengers and Wolverine and the X-Men characters very early on. Because none of the Arena characters could appear in other series, it became clear we needed to focus on characters who weren’t currently being used. I toyed with putting Molly and Klara in the book and decided they were too young.”

Is Reptil dead? – “In my head, Reptil died saving everyone from Nico’s nuclear blast. But we purposely kept that ambiguous so as to leave the character on the table. If another writer pitches an awesome Reptil story, it wouldn’t be too hard to say he survived.”

Inspiration for new characters – “Cullen was inspired by my love of Ulysses and Elsa Bloodstone with a dash of my man crush on Cullen Bunn.

Aiden started out as Scottish He-Man.

Nara is half Namor half Mean Girl.

Katy… I don’t know what I was up to when the Apex Twins came to me. Their name is a play on words that nobody got.

Becca is a female teenage Deathlok AND a bad pun. How could I NOT create that character?

Oh, and I named Nara after a Sushi restaurant here in Kansas City.

The Point of Death – “That was my main goal. If we were going to do this horrible thing to all these awesome characters, we needed to try and do them justice.”

Avengers Underground

Avengers UndercoverThe villains – “Lots of villains. We’ll be exploring all of the different boroughs within Bagalia and introducing the villains who live there. Son of Satan plays a big role in the book as the head of the demon-filled Hell Town neighborhood. They aren’t in a death match but their new environment isn’t a whole lot safer. Bagalia is like a super villain Dead Wood. Piss off the wrong bad guy and she’ll put holes in you.”

The cast – “All of the survivors except X23 and Darkhawk are in the book. Those two won’t be in the first couple issues but I wouldn’t rule out some kind of cameo later.”

First story arc – “A big chunk of the first story arc centers around that question and others. Did Arcade really win? Did anyone really survive? Nothing turned out exactly how the people involved expected.”

1486743_584456478275294_846386075_nDisney D23 interviewed Emma Thompson about how she prepared for the role of P. L. Travers in the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”:

I always make it my first priority to panic, then I read. I read the Mary Poppins books and her other works. In fact I read as much as I could find. I watched all the documentaries I could find, I listened to the tapes of her work with the Shermans, (which took forever), I met friends of hers and was granted precious access to their memories and archives. I lay in darkened rooms and thought. Then I tried to forget all about it. There’s only so much you can do before you have to dive off the roof without a parachute.

The WWE and this cryptic tweet may indicate that the “Animal” Dave Bautista is returning to wrestling since shooting Guardians of the Galaxy is over. Bautista plays the warrior “Drax.”


According to the Daily Mail:

A play based on J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter tales will open in the West End within two years.

Rowling will not write the stage piece — however, she will co-produce and collaborate with a playwright.

The play, to be steered by prominent London and New York producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender, will mine  ‘the previously untold story of Harry Potter’s early years as an orphan and outcast’.

Harry Potter’s theatrical adaptation will seek to ‘offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard. A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom destiny has plans…’

Read more:
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Anna Paquin as Rogue

Anna Paquin as Rogue

Entertainment Weekly reports this exclusive interview with Bryan Singer:

“Through the editing process, the sequence became extraneous,” explains Singer. “It’s a really good sequence and it will probably end up on the DVD so people can see it. But like many things in the editing process, it was an embarrassment of riches and it was just one of the things that had to go. Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in. Even though she’s in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won’t appear in it.”

Singer emphasizes that the decision had nothing to do with the Oscar-winning True Blood star, who was on set for only week of Days of Future Past, or with her performance. “She did a fantastic job,” says the director. “She was awesome in the sequence. She’s a brilliant actress. I would work with her in a heartbeat.”
Singer, who is still editing the film in advance of its release on May 23, 2014, has already broken the news to Paquin. “She completely understood,” he says. “It’s very disappointing, but she’s very professional and she knows that stuff happens, particularly with material you shoot early on in production. Films evolve.”

The following is an official statement from Sea World regarding it use of captive Killer Whales and the movie, Blackfish (now on Netflix):

An Open Letter from SeaWorld’s Animal Advocates

SeaWorld LogoInaccurate reports recently have generated questions about SeaWorld and the animals in our care. The truth is in our parks and people, and it’s time to set the record straight.

The men and women of SeaWorld are true animal advocates. We are the 1,500 scientists, researchers, veterinarians, trainers, marine biologists, aquarists, aviculturists, educators and conservationists who have dedicated our lives to the animals in our care as well as those in the wild that are injured, ill or orphaned. Whether it’s a sea lion, manatee, sea turtle or whale, we are on call 24/7.

Here are some important facts about SeaWorld and our work:

SeaWorld does not capture killer whales in the wild. Due to the groundbreaking success of our research in marine mammal reproduction, we haven’t collected a killer whale from the wild in 35 years. In fact, only two of the whales in our care were collected by SeaWorld and they continue to be in our care today. In addition, our research has led to a much greater understanding of whales in the wild, giving researchers important scientific insights surrounding marine mammal reproduction.

We do not separate killer whale moms and calves. SeaWorld recognizes the important bond between mother and calf. On the rare occasion that a mother killer whale cannot care for the calf herself, we have successfully hand raised and reintroduced the calf. Whales are only moved to maintain a healthy social structure.

SeaWorld invests millions of dollars in the care of our killer whales. In the last three years alone, we have invested $70 million in our killer whale habitats and millions of dollars annually in support of these facilities. Our habitats are among the largest in the world today. They are state-of-the-art, multimillion-gallon environments of cooled and filtered water that allow for the highest and safest standards of care. We give our animals restaurant-quality fish, exercise, veterinary care, mental stimulation, and the company of other members of their species.

SeaWorld’s killer whales’ life spans are equivalent with those in the wild. While studies continue to define the average life span of killer whales in the wild, the most recent science suggests that our killer whales’ life spans are comparable — indeed, five of our animals are older than 30, and one of our whales is close to 50.

The killer whales in our care benefit those in the wild. We work with universities, governmental agencies and NGOs to increase the body of knowledge about and the understanding of killer whales — from their anatomy and reproductive biology to their auditory abilities. Some populations of wild killer whales have been classified as endangered or threatened, demonstrating the potential critical nature of these research opportunities. This type of controlled research and study is simply not possible in the wild, and has significant real-world benefits to the killer whales that live there.

SeaWorld is a world leader in animal rescue. The millions of people who visit our parks each year make possible SeaWorld’s world-renowned work in rescue, rehabilitation and release. We are constantly innovating when it comes to this care: Our veterinarians have created nursing bottles to hand-feed orphaned whales, prosthetics to save sea turtles, and a wetsuit to help injured manatees stay afloat during rehabilitation. Whether it’s the result of natural or man-made disasters, SeaWorld is always on call and often the first to be contacted. We have rescued more than 23,000 animals with the goal of treating and returning them to the wild.

Naturalist Baba Dioum put it best when he said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.”

At SeaWorld, this has been our calling since we first opened our doors 50 years ago. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly. More than 400 million guests have visited SeaWorld. We are proud that their experiences here have a lasting and positive impact on them, and on the world in which we live.

The truth about SeaWorld is right here in our parks and people. Our guests may enter our gates having never given much thought to the remarkable animals in our oceans. When they leave with a greater appreciation for the importance of the sea, educated about the animals that live there and inspired to make a difference, we have done our job.

Vin Diesel GrootMarvel reports over the weekend:

The star of the Fast and the Furious and Riddick franchises will lend his voice to Groot in Marvel’s live-action “Guardians of the Galaxy,” rounding out the team that includes Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Drax (Dave Bautista).

In the far reaches of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an unlikely cast of characters including Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket Raccoon must join forces to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions. Directed by James Gunn, the live-action “Guardians of the Galaxy” will take fans to new corners of the Marvel Universe when it hits theaters August 1, 2014.

More on

Star Wars WeekendsStar Wars Weekends will be held every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from May 16-June 8, 2014.

  • Weekend I: May 16 – 18, 2014
  • Weekend II: May 23 – 25, 2014
  • Weekend III: May 30 – June 1, 2014
  • Weekend IV: June 6 – 8, 2014

Star Wars Weekends combines the power of the Force and the magic of Disney into a galactic special event that has become a fan favorite through the years. Star Wars Weekends features the largest collection of official Star Wars characters found at any theme park in the world, star conversations with Star Wars celebrities, a Death Star-sized motorcade through the park and plenty of entertainment fun for guests of all ages.

Paul Rudd Cast as Marvel’s Ant-Man

Paul RuddAccording to the Hollywood Reporter late Wednesday night:

Paul Rudd had been chosen to star in the movie, which is being directed by Edgar Wright and already has a release date of July 31, 2015.

Rudd was in contention for the role with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and although Rudd was the front-runner for some time, Marvel took its time pulling the trigger.

Ant-Man could be Marvel’s more quirky offering since it’s in the hands of Wright, a director known for his fan-favorite films such as Hot Fuzz and The World’s End,which balance action, sci-fi and comedy.

Many speculate that Ant-Man will be the Scott Lang, reformed thief hero, vs. Hank Pym, crazed scientific genius.