John Williams Confirms That He'll Return To Score Star Wars: Episode VII

When Disney had announced that they had bought LucasFilm and would be making an all new Star Wars trilogy along with solo spinoff films for certain characters, it's safe to say the fan community was given a surprising shock. But soon followed an even more shocking announcement that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams would now be taking the reigns from creator George Lucas. Well fans can rest assured that at least one major element of the original films is set to return for the next trilogy, and that's the classic musical score of composer John Williams. Williams who's famous for numerous iconic themes including that of Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Superman (To name a few) is probably best recognized for his instantly classic Star Wars themes. While many had believed Abrams' involvement would mean his long time collaborating composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Star Trek, Super 8) would be coming onboard this time rather than Williams, it seems Abrams' definitely wants to keep the fans happy with this element of the film.
Williams most recent works have mostly been collaborations with Steven Spielberg for his films Adventures of Tintin, War Horse and Lincoln. While he's composed the main themes for many famous film franchises, with a few exceptions Williams has rarely not returned to compose the sequels, such was the case for the Harry Potter series (Which brought on numerous composers throughout it run including Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hopper, Alexandre Desplat). Williams was also not asked to compose the scores for either Superman Returns (Where he was replaced by X-Men composer John Ottman) nor Man of Steel (Replaced by Dark Knight composer Hans Zimmer). So it's easy to see why there were some concerns that Abrams wouldn't be bringing back Williams to compose the new Star Wars films despite the fact that he did indeed return for Lucas' Star Wars prequels.
Abrams' usual collaborator Giacchino probably won't be too offended by not being asked to take part in the project, especially due to the fact that he has a busy schedule himself. Giacchino already signed on to replace Patrick Doyle as the composer for Matt Reeve's Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. He'll also be providing the score for the Wachowski's next sci-fi film Jupiter Ascending which stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, as well as Brad Bird's next film Tomorrowland starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie. Had Williams not returned, Giacchino would've easily been the best candidate for the job, as his scores themselves carry a heavy influence of that of Williams. Given Giacchino's past with both Pixar and Disney, he'll probably be the first person they call if there's ever a falling out with Williams.
While Williams will most likely stay on for the duration of new trilogy, he has really only confirmed his involvement with Episode VII. It'll also be interesting to see whether he decides to compose the spinoff films Disney has planned (Which include a Boba Fett and Han Solo film) despite the fact that they probably won't be directed by Abrams. While Williams currently has a clear schedule for numerous future Star Wars project, there is still a possibility he could be asked to compose Jurassic Park Iby director Colin Trevorrow.
Universal most likely has a similar idea in mind for the new Jurassic Park film as Disney has for Episode VII, using this film to launch an all new trilogy. If Williams is indeed asked to score JP4 as well, it could lead to conflicting schedules between the two films. While there's been no word from Trevorrow on who he's considering to score the film, it's must likely that Williams will probably opt out of returning to score the Jurassic Park IV since it'll be released the same year as Episode VII. Hopefully they can work out some sort of schedule that'll allow Williams to contribute to both, but for now the only real confirmation we have is that he will be returning to score J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII. I guess that's good enough for us fans, at least for now.

So what do you think of John Williams returning to score Star Wars Episode VII? Would you have preferred Michael Giacchino or someone else take over for him? Let us know below.

Marvel's Avengers Sequel Gets An Official Title And Villain; Avengers: Age of Ultron

Fan-boys and girls all rejoiced last Saturday night, as this year's Comic-Con in San Diego brough us the title of the latest Marvel film; Avengers: Age of Ultron. Towards the end of the famous Hall H panel that Marvel Studios' occupies during each Comic-Con, director Joss Whedon made a surprise appearance to announce the sequel's title. While there had been rumors that Marvel would make a surprise announcement of some sort in relation to Avengers 2 or another unannounced future film, the duration of the panel was spent focusing Marvel's current line up of films which include Thor: Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy. But of course, Marvel managed to come through once again with a pretty major announcement that finally confirms the film's villain; Ultron.

For those who aren't familiar with Ultron, he's a six foot sentient robot with an adamantium exterior shell (The same material Wolverine's claws are made of). He has a mind of his own, practically indestructible, and yes, he has indeed killed members of The Avengers in various comics and films. His soul purpose is to exterminate humanity and build anew in his vision. He is extremely difficult to penetrate and can rebuild himself in a matter of minutes. Ultron is not one of those villains that goes away with the swipe of their finger. Interestingly Joss Whedon chose to have Ultron and his origin explained in the film but has confirmed that it's original creator Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man) will not be making an appearance. While Edgar Wright's Ant-Man is confirmed to include Pym and will be released just six months after Age of Ultron hit theaters, Whedon has also made comments that his origin of the character will differentiate from that shown in the comics.
Whedon had the following to say on whether the film would be an adaption of the Age of Ultron storyline written my Brian Michael Bendis:

“A lot of people—because we called it Age of Ultron and there was a book, Age of Ultron just recently—assumed that was the storyline we are doing, which is not the case. We’re doing our own version of the origin story of Ultron. The other thing is, in the origin story, there was Hank Pym. So a lot of people assumed that he was going to be in the mix, but he’s not. Because we’re basically taking the things from the comics for the movies that we need and can use. A lot of stuff has to fall by the wayside. Ultron was their chief villain. He’s been the Avengers villain for so long. I was amazed anybody was surprised that it was going to be him in the movie. We are crafting our own version of it where his origin comes more directly from the Avengers we already know about." 

In the quote Whedon practically confirms that Hank Pym won't be taking part in this version of the character's origin, which has led many to believe that Tony Stark might in fact be the creator of Ultron in Whedon's version of the character's origin. Stark clearly has expertise when it comes down to robot technology, and he's made his own A.I. butler in the form of J.A.R.V.I.S., his home computer. Various fans have been contributing their ideas on the creation of Ultron, and the most popular has been the belief the Ultron could be Stark's attempt at an upgraded J.A.R.V.I.S. that ends up going rogue. With this is merely a fan's vision of the character's origin, it would make a lot of sense and could lead to Paul Bettany (Who voice J.A.R.V.I.S. in the Iron Man films) now getting a physical and villainous role as Ultron.
Interestingly enough fans were expecting the tyrant Thanos to make his appearance in the sequel due to his inclusion in the first film's after credits scene, but it would seem Marvel's saving the Mad Titan for an appearance further down the line in Avengers 3 (And a possible small role in Guardians of the Galaxy). While Ultron may not be as a big a threat as Thanos, he's still quite the challenge for the team, especially in comparison to their last foe; Loki. The other interesting additions to the film would have to be that of twin mutant siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and it'll be interesting to see how their addition to the film will contributes to the team's battle against Ultron.
Another aspect of Age of Ultron that fans may be wondering about is the contributions of Iron Patriot and Falcon, and whether or not they will help in the fight against Ultron. While War Machine's absence in the first Avengers film was later explained in Iron Man 3, it'll be interesting to see whether he'll at least make a quick appearance this time around. With Joss Whedon already introducing two new characters and the rest of the first film's cast all returning for hopefully larger roles (In particular Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye) the addition of both Iron Man and Captain America's sidekicks doesn't seem very likely this time around. While both Don Cheadle and Anthony Mackie have expressed interest in joining the line up for the sequel, there has yet to be any announcements from Whedon or either actor. I guess we'll have to see by the time Comic-Con 2014 rolls around.
In some smaller news regarding The Avengers: Age of Ultron Joss Whedon has taken note that Scarlet Witch will not be wearing her traditional costume in the film but rather an altered concept of it. One statement made was involving her head piece which will apparently not be a traditional crown like piece from the comics but more of a headband. No information has been released on whether Quicksilver will be wearing his traditional costume or not.
So there you have it. The Avengers 2 has finally received a name and a new threat; Ultron. What are your thoughts comments and ideas on the upcoming Marvel Film? Comment Below.

Warner Bros. Officially Announces Superman/Batman Team Up Film For 2015 With Zack Snyder Directing

As we've learned from the past, Comic-Con is definitely an event us movie fans should always keep an eye on, as almost all the biggest comic book movie news breaks then and there. And sure enough this year was no exception, with the announcement that Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder will be releasing the first on screen team-up for arguably two of the world's most iconic heroes; Superman and Batman. All though Man of Steel may have garnered mixed reviews from critics, the film was still considered to be one of the biggest box office successes of the year, unlike it's predecessor Superman Returns. While it had been rumored that the film's success would be the indicator for whether Warner Bros. would start production on their Justice League film, it turn's out they had another plan up their sleeves. 

And that of course was this all new Superman and Batman team-up film, and while there are of course no real details to go off of yet, the film will in fact be the sequel to this summer's Man of Steel. Cast members Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Laurence Fishburne are all set to reprise their respective roles of Superman/Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Ma Kent, and Perry White. Director Zack Snyder will also be returning to the director's chair for this film along with writer David S. Goyer, now having the responsibility of rebooting the Batman character just merely three years after Christopher Nolan's famed Dark Knight trilogy.
While DC's Legendary Hall at Comic-Con this year seemingly was only going to focus on the studio's upcoming animated films, Snyder took the stage to the surprise of many of the halls attendees. Initially it was though that he'd be announcing the sequel to Man of Steel 2 and it's official title and/or it's release date. But instead he handed over the mic. to Man of Steel star Henry Lennix (Who portrayed General Swanick) and resisted the following quote from Frank Miller's famed The Dark Knight Returns:

"I want you to remember Clark, in all the years to come. In all your private moments. In all the years to come, my hand at your throat. I want you to remember, the one man who beat you"

And soon after the following Batman/Superman logo was projected onto the screen behind them:
A Batman/Superman film seemed like the most reasonable option for Warner Bros. to go with in order to reboot Nolan's Batman with a new version that will fit in Snyder's Man of Steel universe, and it's an especially smart move with Christian Bale's version still so fresh in movie goers minds. There's no doubt that the film will present a lot of challenges for Snyder, Goyer, and WB as the next couple of months will probably be devoted to searching for the next actor to fill the cape and cowl. With a number of possible actors being up for the job, including those who Snyder had considered for the lead in Man of Steel, as well as numerous other actors that'll be keen to take up the mantle.
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time a team-up film between Batman and Superman has been in the works, with numerous attempts in the early 2000's with names like Josh Harnett, James Franco, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and many others are brought up as potential names to star and either of the title roles. Wolfgang Petersen (Troy) was originally on board to direct the film, which was meant to reboot both the Superman and Batman characters for an all new decade to come. It's interesting that Warner Bros.-now ten years later-has finally come to like the idea of a team-up film between both characters. Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne's connection has been shown numerous times throughout the history of DC Comics, with such things as an interest in Lois Lane, Wayne's business partnership with Lex Luthor, and their distrust in each other as heroes all being reasons the two tie so well together
While I'm pretty psyched that we'll finally be able to see the two kicking ass together on the big screen (Or possibly each other's asses) I do have some doubts about Warner Bros. rushing into a team-up film like this after only having had one Man of Steel film. While a Batman/Superman films will definitely be very beneficial for the new rebooted Batman, it sort of takes away from Clark Kent and Man of Steel's supporting characters, who we really didn't get to see too much character development from. Man of Steel 2 would've been the ideal film to help focus more on these character, but with the addition of a new Bruce Wayne (And probably his supporting characters such as Alfred, Jim Gordon, and Lucius Fox), this might end up being another film where we don't fully get to see the Clark Kent character fleshed out.
Bringing back Snyder and Goyer is another thing I'm a bit skeptical about, mainly because the two will now have a whole new character to worry about. Now it worth fore-mentioning that the reason that I'm concerned about their involvement isn't because I don't think they can handle. Snyder shown through is resume that he's more than capable of adapting comic book character right off the page, and having seen his work on the film Watchmen Snyder's style is arguably even more fit for Batman than it is for Superman. And Goyer's already co-written the scripts for all of Nolan's Batman films, so his understanding of the character should be immense.  Hell, even Night Owl from Watchmen had a similar costume and combat technique to Batman, it's save to say our new Batman is in good hands.
But my main concern is actually what this means for the director that'll eventually head the new Batman series, as that director won't have the chance to introduce their own Batman and will instead have to just work off the version Snyder already created. I had been worried that Snyder would now be the go to guy for WB (That is with Nolan out of the picture) and their reliance on him rather than other director will eventually lead to some issues, because as far as I know; Snyder can't keep up a Superman and a Batman franchise simultaneously. Ruben Fleischer could be a reasonable choice, as his style of film-making is very similar to Snyder's and the two already have met in the past, having directed Gangster Squad last year for WB he's probably on their radar as a potential candidate for the directing gig. 
With my concerns a side though, if Warner Bros. really has thought this move through like I hope the have, it should definitely be a huge milestone for their DC Cinematic Universe (And eventually a Justice League film). Both Snyder and Goyer have proven that they can really bring us the action right off the pages of the comics, and with a good villain to face off against the duo the film really sounds like a recipe for success, not to mention how bankable the Superman and Batman labels will be together on screen. We'll keep you posted on all the latest casting rumors for Bruce Wayne/Batman and any other headlines concerning the Superman/Batman film.
So what do you think of Warner Bros. decision to make a Superman/Batman film? Is it a smart or disastrous move? Who would you like to see as our new Batman?

Fan-Cast: 6 Actors I Believe Could Play Lex Luthor In Man of Steel 2

After about two years of built up anticipation, Zack Snyder's Man of Steel has finally hit theaters.  While it's so far garnered some mix reviews from fans and critics alike, the film's projected box office grossing seems to be enough for Warner Bros. as they've already hired both director Zack Snyder and writer David S. Goyer to return for the sequel. Now the big question remains open to speculation, just who will Superman be facing this time around?

One of the main reasons I feel people don't really take Lex seriously in film is the fact that he's practically the polar opposite of Superman, yet we're actually supposed to believe this bald and out of shape middle aged man is supposed to take down the most powerful man on our planet, with a green crystal. So in this case, with Zod already providing for quite a threat to the Man of Steel, now Luthor's really got a hard act to follow. So I personally believe the key to making Luthor a more threatening and memorable villain is by simply making him a younger physical villain. It's a change that's already been made in the comics years ago, and it's about time we see it on the big screen too.
I like to think of Lex as almost a reverse mirror of Clark Kent and his personality and morals. Now while Bizzaro may be considered the "reverse Superman", Lex is really the reverse of his human side. While we still don't know how Snyder and David S. Goyer will be handling the relationship between Lex and Clark, in many incarnations the two both grew up together in Smallville, and started from very similar humble beginnings. One of them of course becoming the corrupt business mogul and CEO of LexCorp, while the other became the beacon of hope for humanity. And as fate would have it these two ended up crossing paths once again, and forged one of the greatest rivalries in comic book history.
So it's about time we finally got to see that on the big screen, and a younger Lex with a deeper connection to Clark Kent is exactly what would suit the version of Superman Snyder and Goyer are bringing to the big screen. That being said, Lex Luthor can literally make Superman's life hell, and he's willing to go to all lengths to accomplish that. He can time travel, he has created numerous beings to kill Superman including Bizarro, Metallo, and Doomsday, and he even has his own Warsuit the runs on Kryptonian technology and makes him an even physical opponent for Superman. So it's about time we finally get a look at that, and Snyder's definitely the right guy to give it to us. Anyway, now that I'm done with my rant, here are six actors I could see taking on Superman's arch-foe in a Man of Steel sequel.

6. Christopher Meloni
Okay so my first choice on this list in basically impossible at this point, I just couldn't get past how awesome he'd be in the role. The thing is, when Christopher Meloni was first added to the cast of Man of Steel, I was ecstatic that one of my own choices for the role of Superman's arch-rival Lex Luthor was actually going to be in the film. Well as it would turn out, they ended up casting the guy I thought would be the perfect Lex Luthor into some military colonel role. Pretty underwhelming, but even though he played Colonel Hardy in Man of Steel, there's no denying Meloni would've made for a pretty great Lex Luthor. While he's best known to most for his role in Law and Order, but the role that really convinces me how great of a Lex he could've been is his part as Roman on True Blood. He played the whole charismatic evil leader angle already as Roman, and he did a pretty damn good job at it.

5. Mark Strong
I figured I'd get the least likely choices out of the way first which is the main reason why Mark Strong isn't higher on this list.  Mark Strong is probably one of the most underrated villain actors right now, but the poor guy just can't catch a break with the roles he's getting. One of those roles just so happens to be DC's Green Lantern, where he played Sinestro who probably got fifteen minutes of screen time in the whole movie, despite being the strongest character of the film. We'll probably never be able to see Strong truly take on the evil side of Sinestro with a Green Lantern sequel being so unlikely, so what if Strong could finally get the role he deserves with Lex Luthor.
The main problem here is that if you think about it from the perspective of the execs. at Warner Bros., does it really seem like a smart idea to recycle an actor from your sad excuse of a superhero movie (Green Lantern in case you guys forgot) and just plug him in to yet another DC villain role and pray it'll workout this time. The sad truth is, while Strong has all the necessary characteristics and acting ability to give us a memorable Lex Luthor, from his business corruption to his pure hatred for Superman, Strong as Lex is just a risk Warner Bros. probably won't be taking.

4. Jason Isaacs
Where to begin with Jason Isaacs. Yet another pretty underrated actor, and one of my personal current favorites, yet it's still a mystery to me why he hasn't played a superhero villain yet. While I'm sure Jason Isaacs is a pretty cool guy in real life, this man was born to play villains, plain and simple. Jason Isaacs made such an impression as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, that I could've honestly seen Isaacs' taking on the part of He Who Must Not Me Named himself. While the villain of Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin was really the role I was rooting for Isaacs to be cast in, that part has since gone to Chris Cooper, so the door's open for Isaacs to play just about any villain role he wants. The match-up of Isaacs' Luthor and Henry Cavill's Superman would definitely be a great onscreen dynamic. He has the charismatic qualities of Lex, and he can pull off the almost double personality of him being such a well liked figure by the public, yet such an evil threat behind the scenes.
My main issue with Isaacs is that the guy's almost too good a villain actor to be wasted on a role like Lex. Isaacs has shown his range through countless roles in the past, and in all honesty I can think of about ten other comic book villains I would want to see him tackle before Lex Luthor. That isn't to say Lex Luthor isn't a character that requires an actor with range, but I feel that putting Isaacs into a role like Lex would be constraining him from showing his full acting potential. Where as say a role like Batman's enemy Ras Al Ghul would be a better fit for Isaacs. Case in point, as badass as it would be to see Isaacs' and Cavill  go toe to toe, Lex Luthor isn't the best suited comic book villain out there for him. But hey, if Snyder decides to get him in role, I'm all good with that.

3. Bradley Cooper
Out of all my picks on this list this is probably the most risky, and I recognize I'll probably get a lot of crap for it but I stick by it. A rumor that Cooper would be featured in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel as Lex sprung up about a year ago (Which as we all know turned out to be false), and quite frankly, I was pretty worried about the rumor being true. That was back when I'd really only seen Cooper in The Hangover series and Limitless, and while he might've been able to slightly show off his dramatic acting chops in the latter, it wasn't enough to convince me he'd be believable as Superman's arch-nemesis. 
Now since then that rumor has come and gone and I've definitely come around to the idea of Cooper as Lex, primarily because of his outstanding performance in last year's Silver Linings Playbook. Cooper was not only able to display the dramatic and emotional complexity he can bring to roles (Given the right script of course) but at times in the film he truly came off as a pretty scary mentally unstable person, yet he still manages to make his character charismatic. It's something that can definitely work to his advantage if he ever ends up playing Lex.
The main problem with Cooper as Lex is the fact that, well, he's Bradley Cooper. My main concern is that people wouldn't really be able to take Cooper seriously in the role, and even though he'd be playing a very different role from what he usually does, people would still just see Bradley Cooper instead of seeing Lex Luthor. On top of that Cooper's a pretty serious actor in Hollywood right now, and even if way back when he was a rumored candidate for DC's Green Lantern, it seems a comic book movie isn't exactly up Cooper's alley at this point in his career. It'd be great if he'd take a crack at it and prove that he can pull off a really sinister role, but with Cooper being an Oscar nominee (Most likely seeking another) it doesn't seem like a very realistic option.

2. Michael Fassbender
Now I'm starting to lean more to the younger actor choices for Lex. Michael Fassbender's name has been coming up a lot recently for the part of DC's next Batman and even our next James Bond, but I could personally see him pulling off a distinct and intimidating Lex Luthor. Like Isaacs, Fassbender is kind of typecast into these villain roles, but it's only because he's so damn good at it. Out of all the actors on this list, Fassbender would probably bring the darkest portrayal of Luthor and truly showcase his hatred of Superman and determination to finish him off. Fassbender's showcased his talents in countless films including X-Men: First Class, Shame, and Inglorious Basterds, each of which showed just how menacing he can be on screen.
But there's a few problems I have with Fasssbender as Luthor, and they're the main things holding him back from being my top choice. First off is the most obvious, which is that fact that Fassbender's already starring in a superhero franchise as Magneto, so the chances of him crossing over to the other side (By that I mean DC) and playing yet another comic book villain aren't likely. Now on top of that, while I feel that out of all my choices Fassbender would showcase the most threatening Luthor, I don't feel that'd he'd be able to pull off the character's charismatic side.
What makes Luthor such a distinct villain is he's good at hiding his evil, and the public all falls for it (To the point that they vote for him as President) and it's something I just can't see Fassbender pulling off believably. But those points aside, the main reason he isn't my number one choice is because he unfortunately just can't hide his Irish accent. It constantly comes out in many of his films, and it really isn't his fault, but he can't hide his accent nearly as well as Henry Cavill hid his. The accent is pretty strong and distracting, and would hold Fassbender back from pulling off the Corporate American Lex Luthor. Sorry Fassbender.

1. Jon Hamm
Is it the most original choice? Not by a long shot, but there's no denying just how perfect Hamm is for Luthor. Where as the other actors on this list have their advantages and disadvantages, Hamm is the only one with the perfect balance of all the qualities needed for a different and memorable take on Lex. It's worth mentioning that Hamm himself was brought up by many for the role of Superman, and I think it'd be a great play on things to have Luthor resemble Superman in more ways than one (He could easily pass a relative of Cavill). It'd be great to see the two on screen together (Not to mention they both would bring in a lot of female viewers), and it really emphasizes on the whole "mirror image of Clark Kent" I talked about wanting for this version of Lex in the beginning of this article.
Hamm's best known for his role on AMC's Mad Men as Don Draper, a character who has many parallels to Luthor. Hamm's no stranger to the corporate American executive role, so he's already got one of the many qualities of Luthor down. He's also expanded his acting into film recently, and he gave a surprising performance in villain role of Ben Affleck's The Town. He definitely did a fantastic job in that film and was one of it's main standout performances, and it show's that Hamm has what it takes to portray to make his role very intimidating to the audience as well as making him a believable threat to the film's protagonist. 
Hamm's also an incredible actor with great versatility among his roles, and it helps that he's got a good balance between humor and dramatic acting chops. Like Heath Ledger's Joker, Lex has to be very charismatic and should be able to even get a few laughs from the crowd, something Hamm should have no trouble doing. Out of all the people Snyder should be taking into consideration for Lex in Man of Steel 2, Hamm is without a doubt the best fit as he's exactly what Luthor needs to be. In the past Hamm's even done a video for Funny or Die in which he played Luthor himself, and while it was intended as a joke it's really a great portrayal of exactly how a modern version of the Lex should be. Check it out below:
Well there's my list of Lex Luthor candidates for a Man of Steel sequel. Did I leave out any other suitable contenders for the part? Sound off below.