‘Fantastic Four’ Director Josh Trank Says Studio Blocked Him From Casting A Black Actress As Sue Storm

Josh Trank directed/wrote the 2015 film ‘Fantastic Four’ which made a little over $160 million worldwide. It was a pretty big film, with names like Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan attached.

But in a recent interview with Geeks of Color, Trank revealed his dream cast would have been more diverse.

He really wanted a black actress to play Sue Storm, but the studio pushed back on the idea, and instead, they went with Kate Mara.

I was mostly interested in a black Sue Storm, a black Johnny Storm and a black Franklin Storm. But when you’re dealing with a studio on a massive movie like that, everybody wants to keep an open mind to who the big stars are going to be.

When it came down to it, I found a lot of pretty heavy pushback on casting a black woman in that role.

Thinking back on the incident now, Trank feels a little embarrassed/ashamed that he didn’t walk away.

Because those aren’t the values I stand for in my own life, and those weren’t the values then or ever for me. Because I’m somebody who always talks about standing up for what I believe in, even if it means burning my career out, and I feel bad that I didn’t take it to the mat with that issue.

He shouldn’t beat himself up too much, considering he was still young and somewhat new to the industry. Heck, he’s only 36-years-old now.

It’s great that he’s speaking out about it though. We have to be honest with these things in order to improve in the future.

Kate Mara And Ellen Page Will Star In Romance Drama ‘Mercy,’ Get All The Details Inside!

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When Ellen Page makes a promise, she doesn’t break it. The 29-year-old actress recently told reporters that she is committed to taking roles that support women and gay characters. She wants to focus on projects that are meaningful to her.

She will continue her journey with the forbidden love drama titled Mercy. The movie will be directed by Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom Ezer, who made her feature debut with Princess in 2014. It received mostly positive reviews from critics, and those who didn’t like it, applauded her for refusing to succumb to the rules of Hollywood.

Kate Mara will co-star in this film as Mercy and Page will take on the role of Lucy, the daughter of a man on death row falling in love with Mercy. This is a huge problem because Mercy is “on the opposing side of her (Lucy) family’s political cause.”

And you can see where the conflict will come in. A forbidden love, family drama, a dude on death row…that’s pretty much all you need. Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa will produce the movie, and they sent out a statement explaining how excited they are to be working with all three women…

“We were so enthralled by Tali’s first film and have been looking to work with Ellen and Kate for years. This is the perfect project to bring everybody together.”

Mercy will start filming in Cincinnati next month. No official release date has been set, but we will keep you posted. If you need some Ellen Page in your life right now, you can check her out in Netflix’s Tallulah.

Paul Giamatti And Kate Mara Star In First Trailer For Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Morgan’

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Ridley Scott’s son, Luke Scott, has officially made his feature directorial debut with the sci-fi thriller Morgan, and he has some talented actors helping him out. The film, based on a Black List script by Seth W. Owen, stars Kate Mara, Paul Giamatti, Anya Taylor-Joy and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The project followsa corporate risk-management consultant who is summoned to a remote research lab to determine whether or not to terminate an at-risk artificial being.

While discussing the film with EW, Scott painted an interesting picture, “What Morgan really alludes to is human beings becoming, in a sense, the creator. Not in a traditional religious sense, but an idea that we have the capabilities to become our own creator.”

It certainly sounds interesting. I was a huge fan of Ex Machina last year, and this sounds like it’ll be exploring the same issues. What happens when our creations become more powerful than we are?

You can check out the official synopsis and trailer below. Morgan will hit theaters September 2nd.

“A corporate troubleshooter (Kate Mara) is sent to a remote, top-secret location, where she is to investigate and evaluate a terrifying accident. She learns the event was triggered by a seemingly innocent “human,” who presents a mystery of both infinite promise and incalculable danger.”

 

Movie Review: The Martian (2015) – A Sharp, Clever Movie That Is Free From Sappy Sentimentality

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The Martian, featuring Matt Damon, is crushing it at the box offices and pleasing critics alike. So what is it about this space based flick that has so many people rushing to the theaters, while calling it Scot Ridley’s best movie since Blackhawk Down? Let’s find out.

The premise is a bit of Cast Away, without the crippling depression and soccer ball friends. Matt Damon plays Matt Watney, an astronaut who went on a mission to Mars, only to get left behind after his crew gives him up for dead following a storm. The movie is surprisingly simple, with Watney trying to find a way to get home, while the people back at NASA try to get him back. There’s also a lot of film time that features the crew that left him behind. Despite three different storylines and scenes going on, they manage to match it all together pretty seamlessly.

Matt Damon is pretty impressive in this movie, playing the affable and sarcastic Watney with cocky vulnerability. He plays his part with enough humor to keep this from turning into a heart pounding Gravity copy, and instead, making it a bit lighter and fun.

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What I loved about this movie was the complete absence of clichés. The only thing working against Matt was time. There are no evil politicians plotting against him, no crazy space aliens or weirdly nefarious rivals bent on his demise. Instead it’s a space movie that focuses on the science of space, rather than the fantastic.

That allowed Matt’s character to create his own urgency, rather than driving it with a cliché like a wife pining away for him at home, or a precocious kid begging the president of NASA to save his daddy. Instead they made Matt likeable enough in his own right to make people root for him.

Both Jessica Chastain and Jeff Daniels play leaders in their own right, with Chastain running the return crew and Daniel’s running the home base in NASA. Both leaders are compassionate and competent, devoutly devoted to bringing Mark home, even as time works against them.

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The movie is contained entirely within NASA. There’s no clichéd outside pressure or unnecessary characters. Instead, it plays out much in the same way I’d imagine a real space disaster would play out. The movie allows us to focus on that, without dragging us away into too many superfluous side stories.

For such a serious premise, the movie is surprisingly funny, with more than a few laugh out loud moments. The laughs come from a genuine place and fit in seamlessly, thanks to the excellent writing and surprisingly bare bones premise. It’s a sharp, clever movie that is free from sappy sentimentality.

It’s not just worth the watch. This is a must watch. For anyone who has ever doubted Matt Damon’s acting talent, this movie will make you look at him in a new way. This is a clever, refreshing intelligent movie that doesn’t try to be to high minded. It simply works that way because it was intelligently written.
WE GIVE IT: 4.5 STARS!

four and a half stars

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Movie Review: The Fantastic Four (2015) – The Critics Were Right, It’s Terrible

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Great, another remake of the Fantastic Four. That’s never happened before, except in 1994, 2005, 2007 and just a guess, but there’s probably at least five other Fantastic Four adaptations underway. This one isn’t a stand out, unless you’re looking for something that’s stand out bad.

If that’s the case, this fits the bill.

This one, directed by John Trank, never really stood a chance. Many anonymous insiders have been trashing this movie since before it was released. Even Trank complained that he had a ‘fantastic’ version of the movie that was subsequently ruined but 20th Century Fox. Just about everyone involved seemed completely uncommitted to this project.

This review is going to be spoiler heavy, because it’s literally not worth watching the 80 minutes of tedious backstory, followed by the 20 minutes of equally tedious climax.

First off Miles Teller plays Mr. Fantastic. This 28-year-old actor seems a bit young for the role, so they fixed it by…making his character even younger? For some reason they portray Reed Richards as an 18-year-old self-taught world class genius who discovers the secret of inter dimensional travel during a school science fair.

Also with him is Ben Grimm (aka the Thing) who plays a boy bullied by his older brother. As if to shoehorn in his catch phrase, they make it so the older brother yells out “it’s clobbering time” just about every time he’s about to beat on his kid brother, which is kind of depressing

Ok, anyway back to the science fair. Of course wackiness ensures when they accidently break the gymnasium. Luckily, Dr. Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey) and his adopted daughter, Sue (Kate Mara) just happen to show up to announce they are also attempting to master inter-dimensional travel. So Reed gets a full scholarship that conveniently places him closer to his love interest.

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There’s a bunch of other characters as well, including an entirely forgettable bad guy, but I really stopped paying attention about half way in. It just gets to be too much, like they really want to make sure they shove in as many back story moments as possible in order to cash in on the nostalgia. The problem is, this film is so far removed from the original that it bears little resemblance to any of the original characters.

The cast was utterly forgettable, the screenplay poorly written and ridiculous even by superhero movie standards and the entire thing dragged on so long that half the time I forgot what the point was by the time they reached it.

It just didn’t work. Making all the actors so seemingly young, while trying to shove in too many origin stories, made everything feel rushed and idiotic. I can kind of see why this movie was getting trashed even by the people that made it. The actors sleepwalked through their roles, in a script so filled with clichés and plot holes it could be used as a colander.

I can’t give it a worth the watch. In fact, I hope the Fantastic Four perfect their inter-dimensional technology so I can find a new place where this movie never existed.
We Gave it: 1 Star: Official Movie Trailer and Movie Poster Below

1 star

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Michael B. Jordan Reveals How Many Pounds Of Muscle He Had To Gain For His Role In ‘Creed’

Just two weeks ago we saw the first trailer for the Rocky spin-off, Creed. And surprisingly, it looks like it’s going to be a fantastic movie. We told you in the trailer post that the star of the film, Michael B. Jordan, worked his butt off for this role.

In October of last year, he told The Daily Beast that he was working out constantly with Sylvester Stallone and trying to put on weight. “We’re putting the time in now to get it right.” He said during the interview.

And if you have seen the trailer, then you know Jordan was obviously successful with his weight gain. But just how much muscle did he put on? And how exactly did he do it? Well, E! News spoke to Michael B. Jordan and his Fantastic Four co-star Kate Mara at Comic-Con.

“How good does his back look in that trailer?” Mara asked during the interview, obviously wanting to make her co-star a little uncomfortable. “I got in shape. It’s pretty cool.” Michael replied. He also revealed that he gained 24 pounds of muscle for his role as Apollo Creed’s son.

How did he do it? Diet and exercise, of course. “Honestly, diet has a lot to do with it and lots of water.” He said before Mara added, “He was so annoying during our movie—every 30 minutes he was eating something.”

According to Jordan, he ate a lot of chicken, rice and broccoli. “Literally in the middle of takes, I would just be eating food.” I always find it strange when these stars talk about gaining muscle for a role, and they always talk about how they ate nothing but chicken and broccoli. You know they were throwing in some junk food. I mean, do you know how much chicken and broccoli he would have to be eating to gain that much muscle? He certainly wasn’t getting enough calories from chicken and broccoli.

Anyway, you can check out Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four next month. Creed won’t hit theaters until November 25, 2015.

 

Matt Damon Fights For His Life On Mars In First Trailer For ‘The Martian’

Legendary director Ridley Scott appears to have another hit with the upcoming science-fiction film, The Martian. Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) is the writer behind the project, which stars an impressive list of actors, including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara and Jeff Daniels.

The Martian is based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, and those who have read the book describe it as Apollo 13 meets Cast Away. That probably got your attention, right?

The first trailer for the movie shows Matt Damon as NASA astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, who gets stranded on Mars after his crew is forced to leave the planet due to a dust storm with dangerously high winds.

Damon’s character notes in the trailer that it would take “four years for another manned mission to reach me, so in the face of overwhelming odds I’m left with only one option: I’m gonna have to science the sh-t out of this.”

You can check out the official synopsis and trailer below. The film hits theaters October 2, 2015. You will not want to miss this one.

“During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and is left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission.”

 

First Trailer For ‘Fantastic Four’ Released: Can You Handle The Awesomeness? (VIDEO)

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Fox released the first teaser trailer for Josh Trank’s reboot of the classic Marvel series, Fantastic Four. The internet went nuts when the trailer was released yesterday, and as you might expect, fans either hated it or loved it.

The trailer down below confirms that this version of the series will be following the origin story of the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, which should please most of the hardcore fans, depending on its execution. Fantastic Four is scheduled to be released August 7, 2015, and is expected to be one of the biggest hits of the summer.

Miles Teller, who is coming off a fantastic performance in Whiplash, leads the team as Mr. Fantastic. Michael B. Jordan will be playing The Human Torch, Kate Mara takes on The Invisible Woman, and Jamie Bell rounds things off with The Thing.

As we mentioned above, Josh Trank (Chronicle) is the director behind the film. He worked with a script he wrote with writers Jeremy Slater and Simon Kinberg.

Check out the trailer down below, and let us know what you think. Hate it? Love it? Need to see more of it?