Trailer for ROCKY spin-off CREED, due November 25, 2015!

Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, and MGM Pictures have unveiled the first CREED trailer for FRUITVALE STATION writer/director Ryan Coogler’s next addition to the ROCKY franchise. The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the son of world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. When Adonis decides he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, he heads to Philadelphia and lures the one and only Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) out of retirement to help him train.

This is one of my favorite trailers of the year so far. I love that rather than trying to cash in on ROCKY as quickly as possible, it really gives Jordan center stage and he absolutely owns it. He is completely inhabiting a new character that clearly has a chip on his shoulder and a desire to forge his own legacy while having to reconcile it with the father he never knew. Sports movies usually aren’t my thing, but I’m actually excited to see this film.

CREED also stars Tessa Thompson (SELMA), Phylicia Rashad, and English pro boxer Anthony Bellew and opens in theaters on November 25th.

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Michael Bay’s Benghazi actioner 13 HOURS set for January 15, 2016!

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Paramount Pictures has announced a release date and expanded title for director Michael Bay’s next film, which does not involve robots. 13 HOURS will hit theaters on January 15, 2016, which is the same weekend that this year’s AMERICAN SNIPER went wide and subsequently became the highest grossing film of 2014 (it counts as a 2014 movie because it first opened in limited release on Christmas). It is currently unclear if Bay’s film will—gasp—get an Oscar-qualifying run in December, or if it’ll simply open everywhere in January. Regardless, it’ll be facing off against the comedy sequel RIDE ALONG 2, the animation sequel THE NUT JOB 2 (this exists?!), and the YA film THE 5TH WAVE.

As the subtitle suggests, 13 HOURS tells the story of the six members of the security team that fought to defend the Americans stationed at the embassy in Benghazi when it came under attack. John Krasinski leads a cast that includes James Badge Dale, Max Martini (PACIFIC RIM), Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black), and David Denman (The Office). The screenplay was penned by The Strain author/writer Chuck Hogan, adapted from the book by Mitchell Zuckoff.

Bay hasn’t tackled more dramatic-skewing material since 2005’s THE ISLAND (his only box office failure, despite being one of his better films), and the last time he went for historical action-drama territory we got PEARL HARBOR, but given the release date, Paramount will no doubt be positioning 13 HOURS as an AMERICAN SNIPER-esque tale of heroism abroad. Whether the movie will be any good or not remains to be seen, but it’s not hard to imagine 13 HOURS being a pretty sizeable hit—especially with Bay at the helm.

First trailer for Oliver Stone’s NSA whistle-blower drama SNOWDEN!

Open Road Films has released the first teaser trailer for Oliver Stone’s upcoming thriller SNOWDEN. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as government contracter Edward Snowden and recounts how he obtained and absconded with thousands of classified NSA documents, which he then disseminated to the press in the interest of informing the public about privacy breaches from its own government.

SNOWDEN opens in theaters on December 25th and also stars Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage.

ANT-MAN takes a dip in new clip, film hits July 17, 2015!

Back in April the very first ANT-MAN clip hit the web revealing how Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) finds the Ant-Man suit, but now it’s time to catch a glimpse of what happens when he puts it on for the first time. Marvel just posted the first official clip from the film in which Lang makes the mistake of giving the suit a test run in a bathtub.

It’s one thing to show off snippets of ANT-MAN in action in a trailer, but it’s another to see Lang shrink down to the size of an ant in the context of a lengthier scene. I’ve had some fun with the marketing campaign thus far, but this clip is the first promo to suggest that the film could sustain the zany adventure and sell ANT-MAN as a very capable hero.

ANT-MAN is due in theaters on July 17th and also stars Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris and Bobby Cannavale.

STAR TREK BEYOND title confirmed, sneak peek at uniforms/plot tease!

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Let the next Starfleet voyage begin! #StarTrekBeyond #LLAP

It’s Justin Lin’s first time at the helm of a STAR TREK movie and he’s already putting social media to good use. In less than 140 characters, Lin managed to not only reveal the first behind-the-scenes image from STAR TREK 3, he also so much as confirmed the threequel’s presumed title, STAR TREK BEYOND. Now whether the title is formatted this way to appease the hashtag gods or just to continue the trend of eschewing colons (like STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS), I’m not entirely sure.

First up, we get a new look at the “Starfleet: United Federation of Planets” patch. We’re no longer at the Academy, and if Lin’s subtext of “Let the next Starfleet voyage begin!” is any indication, then hopefully we’re actually headed off of Earth for a lengthy period of time.

Next up is his first hashtag, basically confirming the title of STAR TREK BEYOND. Screenwriter/cast member Simon Pegg may have unofficially confirmed this title a little more than a month ago, but now that Lin’s tagged it in a social media post, you can pretty much bank on it.

STAR TREK BEYOND hits theaters July 8, 2016. Live Long and Prosper.

Marvel’s SPIDER-MAN reboot to be “John Hughes”-esque, feature new villains!

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Last week, we learned that Marvel had cast Tom Holland (THE IMPOSSIBLE) for the new SPIDER-MAN. One the studio’s big selling points on their new Spidey is that they would be taking the character back to high school and really exploring that aspect of his life rather than making it a blip on his way to college. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN went slightly more into Peter’s high school life, but not with any real depth. That may finally change with the SPIDER-MAN reboot, and with a very particular vision in mind.

At the recent press day for ANT-MAN, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke to Birth.Movies.Death. about what we can expect in terms of tone:

“It’s the soap opera in high school, and those supporting characters, that are interesting,” said Feige. “Just as we hadn’t seen a heist movie in a long time, or a shrinking movie in a long time, we haven’t seen a John Hughes movie in a long time. Not that we can make a John Hughes movie – only John Hughes could – but we’re inspired by him, and merging that with the superhero genre in a way we haven’t done before excites us.”

Feige went on to explain that the film will not only have the standard life-and-death stakes that come from a superhero fighting a supervillain, but those that come from the personal drama of high school life.

“Particularly at that age, in high school, everything feels like life or death. The tests feel like life or death,” says Feige. “Coming home from being out with your friends seemed like life or death.”

If Marvel and director Jon Watts (COP CAR) really stick to this tone, it will help set SPIDER-MAN apart from not only the previous Spidey films, but all other superhero movies as well. Part of what makes Peter Parker’s life so hard is that he’s trying to balance the rigors of a normal high school life while fighting crime and trying to keep it a secret. I hope that getting to see more of Peter’s high school life will help flesh out the character and give him a distinct presence in the MCU.

But no matter how bad things get in high school, there will still be supervillains to make the wall-crawler’s life more miserable. Thankfully, Spider-Man has a rich rogues gallery, and Feige says, “Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.”

Rumor: GUARDIANS 2 to be titled GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2?

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Few expected Marvel Studios’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY to be as monstrous a success as it was, but the film went on to gross a massive $774.1 million worldwide, which is pretty huge for an unknown property that didn’t feature any “big” movie stars. Granted, the “Marvel Studios” brand is now powerful enough to propel lesser-known IP’s like GUARDIANS to solid box office, but the film wouldn’t have done near as well if it simply wasn’t very good. Co-writer/director James Gunn crafted a unique, fun, and funny take on the space opera genre, and audiences turned out in droves.

And as with any movie that’s a huge success, talk immediately turned to a sequel after its August release. Marvel announced a May 5, 2017 release date for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 before the first film even hit theaters, and while we’ve learned that the follow-up is “more emotional” and will delve into Star-Lord’s parentage, we don’t know too much about the project just yet–including its title.

However, while Collider was speaking with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige during the press day for ANT-MAN, Feige was explaining the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 shooting schedule when he potentially let slip the title of the highly anticipated sequel:

“We start shooting GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2 in February-March 2016.”

At the end of the interview, Collider asked Feige if he had just revealed the film’s title, but the Marvel exec was noncommittal. If this is indeed the official title of the sequel, it will likely be visualized with a “Vol. 2” rather than spelling out the full word “Volume.” But regardless, it’s a fun enough spin on a sequel title that’s in keeping with the GUARDIANS spirit. As you well know, Star-Lord’s famous mix tape from the first movie was called “Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1.”

Obviously Marvel hasn’t officially announced the title just yet, but given that this is coming from the president of the studio, it seems possible that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is what will be splattered across billboards, posters, and backpacks galore come Spring 2017.