Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as Hulk

Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as the Hulk in The Avengers.The actor was best known for starring in dramas such as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac, and Shutter Island before he was approached by the director and Robert Downey …

Mark Ruffalo tried to talk Joss Whedon out of casting him as the Hulk in The Avengers.

The actor was best known for starring in dramas such as The Kids Are All Right, Zodiac, and Shutter Island before he was approached by the director and Robert Downey Jr. about the possibility of starring in the Marvel blockbuster as Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter ego.

Talking to Variety, the 52-year-old confessed he was terrified of playing the scientist on the big screen due to the extensive technology and special effects needed to transform him into the Hulk.

“I did try to talk them out of casting me. I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m the right guy, I’ve never done anything like this.’ Between Joss and Robert, they were pretty convincing that I could do it,” Ruffalo recalled, before admitting that he is still scared, even after playing the Hulk in four more Marvel movies.

“I was scared. I was really scared. I’m still scared. The technological aspect of it makes it really hard to work that way. I struggle with it all the time. But my motto is make fear your friend. Just keep pushing yourself into those places where you feel scared or challenged,” he added.

Don Cheadle, who plays James Rhodes and his superhero alter ago War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, said the pair bonded during filming the Avengers franchise as they both had to wear motion capture suits.

“Mark and I get to share that misery,” Cheadle joked. “Everyone else is walking around in their cool clothes. Mark and I are walking around in these unitards with symbols and dots and balls attached all over them.”

© Cover Media

LeBron James: ‘Space Jam 2 is still on target’

LeBron James is confident production on Space Jam 2 is “still on target” for its 2021 release date. The famed basketball player has been attached to star in the live-action/animated sports comedy film, a sequel to the 1996 movie, since 2014, and after…

LeBron James is confident production on Space Jam 2 is “still on target” for its 2021 release date.

The famed basketball player has been attached to star in the live-action/animated sports comedy film, a sequel to the 1996 movie, since 2014, and after multiple delays, filming finally got underway last year, with principal photography wrapping in September.

While production has been halted on many film and TV projects, meaning they will likely miss their scheduled release dates, the Los Angeles Lakers star has insisted his feature is on track to be ready on time for its July 2021 release as the crew is currently in the animation phase.

“Space Jam has always been scheduled to come out in June of 2021 (sic). So, we’re kind of (OK),” he said during an appearance on the Road Trippin’ Podcast. “And a lot of it right now is animation, so being indoors is actually great for us. We’re still on.

“Just like everything in the world, everything is slowed down a little bit, but we’re still on target. I’m looking forward to it. During this time right now, I wish we could release it right now, man, and give people some things to watch in their households. But we got until next year, next summer. We’re excited about it.”

Talk of a Space Jam sequel has been ongoing ever since the release of the original, which starred basketball legend Michael Jordan alongside animated Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny. James’ movie was also hit with development issues, including director Terence Nance leaving the project after filming had begun in June last year. Girls Trip filmmaker Malcolm D. Lee came in as his replacement.

The script was written by Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler and Sev Ohanian.

Space Jam 2, which also stars Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green, is due to hit cinemas from 14 July 2021.

© Cover Media

Don Cheadle joins LeBron James-led Space Jam 2

Don Cheadle has joined the cast of the long-awaited Space Jam 2. The Avengers: Endgame actor has signed on to the sequel in an as yet to be disclosed role and will work alongside Black Panther filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who is set to produce, and directo…

Don Cheadle has joined the cast of the long-awaited Space Jam 2.

The Avengers: Endgame actor has signed on to the sequel in an as yet to be disclosed role and will work alongside Black Panther filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who is set to produce, and director Terence Nance.

The previously announced ensemble includes LeBron James, Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green and National Basketball League (NBA) athletes Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis, and Klay Thompson.

Cheadle has been busy as of late, and aside from his Avengers role, the Oscar nominee also stars in Showtime’s Black Monday.

James has been attached to the project since 2015, while An Oversimplification of Her Beauty moviemaker Nance boarded the film last year.

Space Jam 2 will serve as a follow-up to the original 1996 live-action/animated basketball comedy, which starred Michael Jordan opposite Bugs Bunny and his fellow Looney Tunes

cartoon characters.

Plot details have yet to be revealed, but LeBron hopes to use the film to send a message of encouragement and empowerment to younger generations.

“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes (animated characters) getting together and doing this movie,” he told The Hollywood Reporter last year. “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people (with Black Panther).”

© Cover Media

Sacha Baron Cohen has ‘no respect’ for President Donald Trump

Sacha Baron Cohen was “disappointed and angry” after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.The British actor and comedian has participated in an interview with fellow Hollywood star Don Cheadle for Variety, and during the chat, revealed he wa…

Sacha Baron Cohen was “disappointed and angry” after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.

The British actor and comedian has participated in an interview with fellow Hollywood star Don Cheadle for Variety, and during the chat, revealed he was inspired to make his show, Who Is America?, in response to the former real estate mogul taking political office at the White House.

Sacha said his fury at Trump being elected forced him to make the series – in which he goes undercover in various disguises using prosthetics – to explore why people across America had been prompted to vote for the Republican.

“I thought I would never do this kind of undercover stuff again, because it’s exhausting. It’s terrifying for me. It’s occasionally dangerous. And then Trump gets in, and I immediately felt disappointed and angry,” the 47-year-old shared.

Sacha, who shot to fame as his fictional character Ali G back in 1998, went on to showcase a variety of different personas during his career, including Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev.

And he noted that he had interviewed Trump while outfitted as those characters.

“This was a guy who I’d had no respect for. I’d interviewed him as Ali G. And in Borat, I defecated in front of Trump Tower. That guy becomes the president? And he gets to be the president through adopting these despicable views that were so reprehensible that everyone dismissed him,” Sacha raged. “People felt powerless. I thought, ‘I have to do something with this anger and frustration.'”

While meeting pro-Trump supporters across America during making Who Is America?, the father-of-three told the Marvel star he never intended to hurt or embarrass those who took part.

“I don’t want anyone to get hurt, but I want to see people’s real thoughts. I’m provoking them sometimes to see the effect of this new political culture that we’re in. It’s not just Trump. We’re in the biggest revolution that’s happened in the history of civilisation,” Sacha said.

© Cover Media

Emilia Clarke almost appeared in Iron Man 3

Emilia Clarke was set to star in Iron Man 3 before her role was cut in the final script changes.Co-screenwriter Drew Pearce offered up the big reveal via Instagram over the weekend as he shared an image from the first table read of the second Iron Man …

Emilia Clarke was set to star in Iron Man 3 before her role was cut in the final script changes.

Co-screenwriter Drew Pearce offered up the big reveal via Instagram over the weekend as he shared an image from the first table read of the second Iron Man sequel back in 2012.

”My finest hour: at an early Iron Man Three table read,” Pearce captioned a shot of his name tag, noting Robert Downey Jr., who played the titular character, Don Cheadle, who portrayed James Rhodes / War Machine, and Clarke were all present during the meeting. “Downey, Cheadle, Emilia Clarke (long story, the script changed) … all vaguely terrifying.”

Pearce did not expand on what role Game of Thrones star Clarke had signed on to play or how the script had been changed.

Fellow screenwriter Shane Black also revealed he read the role of Jarvis during the pre-production gathering – a character ultimately played by Paul Bettany.

And previously, Black divulged that Rebecca Hall’s character Maya Hansen actually had a bigger part to play in the narrative at one point, but the writers made the decision to reduce it because Marvel executives didn’t think a female toy would sell.

“There was an early draft of Iron Man 3 where we had an inkling of a problem. Which is that we had a female character who was the villain in the draft. We had finished the script and we were given a no-holds-barred memo saying that cannot stand and we’ve changed our minds because, after consulting, we’ve decided that toy won’t sell as well if it’s a female,” he shared in an interview with Uproxx in 2016. “So, we had to change the entire script because of toy making. Now, that’s not (Marvel producer Kevin) Feige. That’s Marvel corporate, but now you don’t have that problem anymore.”

Feige is now the president of Marvel Studios.

Meanwhile, Clarke also recently shared that she rejected a role in 2015’s Fifty Shades of Grey because she had concerns over being “pigeonholed” as someone who is willing to appear nude onscreen after disrobing for her hit TV series Game of Thrones, in which she played Daenerys Targaryen.

© Cover Media

Don Cheadle had hour to decide if he wanted Terrence Howard’s Marvel role

Don Cheadle was given an hour to decide if he wanted to replace Terrence Howard in the Marvel franchise.Empire star Terrence was the original actor to play Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, taking on the role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in 2…

Don Cheadle was given an hour to decide if he wanted to replace Terrence Howard in the Marvel franchise.

Empire star Terrence was the original actor to play Lt. Col. James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine, taking on the role opposite Robert Downey Jr. in 2008’s Iron Man.

By the time Iron Man 2 came out two years later, Don had been cast as the superhero – a role he’s helmed right up until the latest movie, Avengers: Endgame.

Revealing Robert and producer Kevin Feige called him up to offer him the part during his daughter’s birthday party, saying he had an hour to decide, he told Variety and iHeart’s new film podcast The Big Ticket: “(They said) ‘You just gotta take a leap of faith’. But that’s, like, 10 years. That could be 12 years that we’re talking about. I said, ‘Well, I’m at my daughter’s birthday party.’ They said, ‘Oh, take two hours.'”

Coincidentally, the Oscar nominee bumped into Terrence the very next day.

“We never had any beef,” Don said of his Crash co-star.

Terrence left the Marvel Cinematic Universe on bad terms, and has subsequently blamed Robert for pushing him out of the lucrative franchise.

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in 2013, he told host Andy Cohen that his exit was all down to a money dispute.

“It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man… when it was time to re-up for the second one, (he) took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out,” he stated.

“We did a three-picture deal, so that means that you did the deal ahead of time. It was going to be a certain amount for the first one, a certain amount for the second one, a certain amount for the third. They came to me with the second and said, ‘Look, we will pay you one-eighth of what we contractually had for you, because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.’ And I called my friend – that I helped get the first job – and he didn’t call me back for three months.”

Later in 2015, Terrence reiterated the story, pointing out how much money he’s lost out on as a consequence of being axed from the Iron Man movies.

© Cover Media

Marvel release Avengers: Endgame teaser as fans countdown film’s release

Marvel marked the one-month countdown until Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas by releasing 32 new character posters and a featurette.The next instalment of the super hero franchise begins showing in theatres around the world on 24 April (19), opening in t…

Marvel marked the one-month countdown until Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas by releasing 32 new character posters and a featurette.

The next instalment of the super hero franchise begins showing in theatres around the world on 24 April (19), opening in the U.K. the following day, and in the U.S. on 26 April.

With the fate of some of Marvel’s most loved characters unknown following Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) destruction at the end of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, fans have been given an early glimpse at what’s to come in the new video.

“The fans’ reaction to the end of Infinity War, when half their favourite characters turned to dust, really was indicative of how emotionally connected the world has gotten to these characters,” Marvel president Kevin Feige says in the video.

While Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, comments that people are still “coming to grips” with what’s happened, and Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson says her character has become hardened after the fallout from the last film.

Captain America Chris Evans adds that the characters are all doing their best to keep their head above water.

“But it’s kind of a losing battle – we lost and we’re not used to losing,” he said.

“They’ve truly levelled us, not just literally but morally and emotionally…. The good thing is that it’s always easier to build people back up after they’ve been broken down. That’s what Marvel’s great at doing. It’s that shred of hope that everyone is looking for.”

Some of the cast also shared their character posters on social media with the hashtag #AvengersEndgame and the one-month countdown, including Evans and Don Cheadle, aka War Machine.

Samuel L. Jackson, who stars as Nick Fury in Marvel’s flicks but isn’t credited as being in the new film, shared the featurette, telling fans: “We’re in the endgame now. Watch this brand-new featurette from Marvel Studios’ #AvengersEndgame, in theaters in one month.”

© Cover Media

Frances McDormand’s ‘inclusion rider’ Oscars speech goes viral

Frances McDormand officially set the Internet ablaze with the closing words of her Oscars speech – “inclusion rider”.The veteran actress picked up her second Academy Award for Best Actress on Sunday night (04mar18), for her role as Mildred in Thr…

Frances McDormand officially set the Internet ablaze with the closing words of her Oscars speech – “inclusion rider”.

The veteran actress picked up her second Academy Award for Best Actress on Sunday night (04mar18), for her role as Mildred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a mother demanding answers from a small town police force after her daughter is murdered.

Taking to the stage at the Dolby Theatre, Frances first floored the audience when she asked “all the female nominees in every category” to stand with her, and she name-checked Meryl Streep to encourage the other women to rise.

Then as she was finishing up she stated, “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentleman: inclusion rider,” before curtseying as she exited the stage.

Viewers flocked online to find out what inclusion rider meant, with the term trending on Twitter and Facebook. Actress and writer Whitney Cummings tweeted an explanation, “an inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets. We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can’t find a reason to, here’s one: it will make movies better.”

Backstage after her win, Frances shared that she’d only recently found out about an inclusion rider and she is now committed to the concept.

“I just found out about this last week. This has always been available to all — everybody who does a negotiation on a film — which means you can ask for or demand at least 50 per cent diversity in not only the casting but the crew. The fact that I just learned that after 35 years in the film business — we aren’t going back,” she promised.

The idea of an inclusion rider was first raised by Stacy Smith, a gender equality in film and television researcher at the University of Southern California, in a 2016 TED Talk.

Speaking to The Guardian after the Oscars wrapped, the academic admitted she was “utterly elated” that Frances had mentioned her idea.

“It’s a complete surprise,” a shocked Stacy added.

Following on from Frances’ memorable speech, stars threw their weight behind the idea.

“I’m committed to the Inclusion Rider. Who’s with me?” Brie Larson tweeted, while Don Cheadle told fans: “been doing that” with a thumbs up emoji next to an inclusion rider story.

© Cover Media