Welcome to the summer head start edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report. Here’s what’s topping today!
The Marvel Heroes: Age of Ultron marked their 2nd best weekend debut last week with 187 million smackers as they go towards milestone territory. While that was going on, the folks at Entertainment Weekly interviewed Joss Whedon, who plays the mighty Thor on the team, explained why Spider-Man was cut out on the final product even though the web slinger was one of them comic-wise. So why did Marvel took Spidey out of the movie Danny?
Danny Angelfish (via Entertainment Weekly)- With Avengers: Age of Ultron behind him, Joss Whedon has been surprisingly open about the filmmaking process for one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. But it was no easy process to bring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes back to the big screen, as Whedon revealed in a new interview.
Whedon spoke on the Empire Film Podcast about what did—and didn’t—make it into the film. As much time as Age of Ultron spends on its action spectacle and tie-ins to the rest of the cinematic universe, Whedon also clearly wanted the film to explore the pathos of its heroes, which came in the form of dream sequences each character has at the hands of Scarlet Witch.
But those dreams, and the extended visit to Hawkeye’s farmhouse hideaway, were a struggle to keep in the film.
“The dreams, the farmhouse, these were not the things [the executives liked]… these are things I fought to keep,” Whedon said, later explaining that he only had a day to shoot each dream sequence.
Whedon described how others who had input on the film wanted Thor’s excursion into a cave in search of answers to take up a bigger chunk of the film. The scene didn’t test well with audiences, but the belief was that this sequence, which hints at the overarching plot concerning the Infinity Stones, was necessary.
“With the cave it really turned into, they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and said, ‘Give us the cave or we’ll take out the farm’—you know, in a civilized way,” said Whedon, who also liked a version of the cave scene. “And I respect these guys, they’re artists, but that’s when it got really, really unpleasant.”
The cave appears in the film, albeit in a much shorter version than originally planned, and Whedon at one point even contemplated taking it out. His editors convinced him something had to be shown of the plot, rather than have Thor just explain what happened. “I was so beaten down at that point I was like, ‘Sure, okay. What movie is this?’” Whedon explained.
Whedon also addressed the ending, in which a new Avengers lineup—Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, and The Vision led by Black Widow and Captain America—appears. And while the director wanted all of those characters there, he would have been happy with a few more.
“I said, ‘It would be great if we could just add a few more, if you guys could… have a Captain Marvel that you made a deal for,’” Whedon explained. “And they talked about it… and I was like, ‘And Spider-Man, would you do that too?’ So I would have put both of them in, but neither of the deals were made.”
Of course, a Captain Marvel movie has been announced, though no actress has been cast, and Spider-Man is set to appear in the MCU soon, perhaps as soon as the next Captain America sequel.
And in regard to that final scene, which cuts Captain America off after he says the word “Avengers…,” leaving a presumed “assemble” never to be said. It turns out, Chris Evans never said that word.
“I made sure we never shot him saying it, because I was positive some executive was going to go ‘Uh, you forgot to put in the last word,’” Whedon said.
The Simpsons had a rough outing recently during their crossover with Family Guy a few months ago. With Maggie as an exception, the family had trouble matching the same traits with the Griffin’s, safe for Bart, Stewie, Lisa, Meg, and Chris. Now the Springfield family could reach their crossover counterparts as they avoid trouble ahead. Have they done it Johnny?
Johnny Trout (via Entertainment Weekly)- Springfield forever! Or at least a few more years.
Fox has given the longest-running scripted prime time series of all time—aka The Simpsons—a two-season renewal, EW has learned. The pickup runs through the 27th and 28th season, and will bring the tally to a whopping 625 episodes for Homer and his family.
The 22-episodes-per-season deal was completed just in time to ensure that there will be no delay in the airing schedule for next season, as the show has a reserve of seven holdover episodes and each installment takes at least six months to produce. There was little doubt that the show would go on: The Simpsons continues to be a ratings draw, especially with young men. As we near the end of season 26, it ranks in the top 10 among Men 18-to-34 while averaging 6.2 million viewers per episode and a 2.9 in the adults 18-to-49 demo.
It’s hard to put the record-breaking run of the show, which has claimed 31 Emmys, in perspective, but consider this: It would take you 12 days (including commercial breaks) to watch every episode —all 574 of them—through this current season. And to compare it with two other long-running animated comedies, South Park only passed the 250-episode mark late last year, and Family Guy hit that same milestone this weekend.
Famous comic book writer Ben Renner created 3 comic books in his lifetime, The Big Bad Fox, A Perfect Christmas, and A Baby To Deliver. It came together yesterday as Renner’s comics became animation reality. Which company took the 3 pack Dan?
Dan Barry (via Animation World)- Superights has announced its first collaboration with newly-launched production company Superights.
The new project is a collection of three TV specials adapted from Benjamin Renner’s eponymous comic books: The Big Bad Fox, A Baby To Deliver and A Perfect Christmas.
Surprising, funny but also moving and tender, in a falsely simple graphic style to better emphasize the zany characters’ expressions, each story will take the book’s heroes (a weedy fox, a naive rabbit, a stupid duck and a grumpy pig) to a crazy adventure outside the farm.
Designed and written by Benjamin Renner — who will also direct the first special, the program is produced by Didier Brunner’s new production company Folivari for Canal+ and StudioCanal. Both previously worked together on Ernest & Celestine, which earned an Oscar Nomination for best animated feature in 2014.
“We feel extremely honored to collaborate with Folivari on such a high quality program and to represent their talents on the international market,” says Morgann Favennec, Deputy MD in charge of international sales & acquisitions. “The premises are so brilliant that there is absolutely no doubt Benjamin and Didier will deliver theatrical quality tales for worldwide family audiences.”
Superights is already closing pre-sales for the show.
Checking the Penguins tally, 1,670 fans sign in as Team Skipper awaits word on more news from DreamWorks after their major slip-up last week on Wall Street.
With Memorial Day in just 3 weeks away, Summer movie season’s starting to sizzle! Here’s what you can expect from your local retailer this month:
Black or White
Fifty Shades of Grey
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
We’ll also be looking forward to the release of SpongeBob Movie 2: Sponge Out Of Water on DVD next month as well as newly dated release of the Shaun the Sheep movie in August which broke the wires last week. Plus, all of your favorite shows including tonight’s Thursday night lineup, are gearing up the biggest summer ever! Be here on the next edition of Gene Scallop’s entertainment report.