Jessica Chastain turned down Doctor Strange to wait for bigger Marvel role

Jessica Chastain turned down a role in Doctor Strange because she had her sights set on a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.The two-time Oscar nominee was approached by Scott Derrickson, who directed the 2016 fantasy blockbuster starring Ben…

Jessica Chastain turned down a role in Doctor Strange because she had her sights set on a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The two-time Oscar nominee was approached by Scott Derrickson, who directed the 2016 fantasy blockbuster starring Benedict Cumberbatch, to play the role of Christine Palmer.

Palmer is a surgeon and the girlfriend of Stephen Strange, who helps him recover after his devastating car accident. However, she dumps him after an argument over their relationship, but the pair eventually reunite when Strange becomes a sorcerer. Palmer saves his life when he’s badly injured during a fight with villain Kaecilius.

Doctor Strange writer C. Robert Cargill revealed during an interview on the Junkfood Cinema podcast that he and Derrickson wanted Chastain for the role, but she candidly turned them down, leading them to cast Rachel McAdams instead.

“This is the interesting thing that Hollywood’s starting to find out, is that a lot of the actresses out there want to be superheroes as much as the actors do. I know this happened with Scott. He went to Jessica Chastain to get her on Doctor Strange, because we were considering her,” he explained.

“And she’s like, ‘Hey, look, this project sounds awesome, and I would love to do it. But I’m only going to get one shot at being in a Marvel film and becoming a Marvel character; and I trained in ballet, and I really want to wear a cape.’ And that was the coolest rejection ever.”

Chastain went on to star in last year’s X-Men spin-off Dark Phoenix, in which she played the leader of an alien shape-shifting race.

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Tom Holland confirms Sony had ‘wonderful plan’ to transition Spider-Man out of MCU

Tom Holland has insisted producers at Sony had a “wonderful” plan to write Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after talks broke down last summer.The web-slinging superhero was briefly ousted from the MCU after negotiations between heads at…

Tom Holland has insisted producers at Sony had a “wonderful” plan to write Spider-Man out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after talks broke down last summer.

The web-slinging superhero was briefly ousted from the MCU after negotiations between heads at Disney, who own Marvel Studios, and Sony Pictures, who own the screen rights to the comic book character, stalled.

A new deal was eventually announced in September, a month after talks had originally broken down, but in a new interview with MTV News, Holland revealed that Sony bosses already had a plan up their sleeves to help smoothly transition Spider-Man out of the MCU if a deal wasn’t reached.

“(The) future for Spider-Man was still very bright with Sony and we had a really, really wonderful idea how we could sort of transition into a Spider-Man without the MCU,” he said.

He also noted that Sony’s Tom Rothman and Amy Pascal were “really confident” they had the perfect idea to “make a film of the calibre that Spider-Man requires”.

Holland first played Spider-Man, and his high school student alter-ego Peter Parker, in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and has since portrayed the beloved superhero in two standalone films – Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, and last year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.

A third movie will begin filming in July, and Holland told fans they shouldn’t be worried about the future of his character.

“I’m really glad to be back in the MCU and to have the team back together because I kind of feel like it’s where he belongs now,” the 23-year-old gushed, before heaping praise on Disney boss Bob Iger for bringing him onboard to help keep Spider-Man at Marvel. “It was a pretty cool experience and also the best bragging rights ever, I saved Spider-Man.”

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Mark Ruffalo: ‘Kevin Feige almost quit Marvel Studios over representation issues’

Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce …

Mark Ruffalo has claimed Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige almost stepped down from his role in 2012 after quarrelling with Disney executives over a lack of diversity and representation.

In a new interview with The Independent, the actor, who plays Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), recalled how Feige once told him that he had approached leaders at the company over concerns about the depiction of women in superhero movies and was so incensed by their reaction that he threatened to quit.

“When we did the first Avengers, Kevin Feige told me, ‘Listen, I might not be here tomorrow,'” Ruffalo shared. “And he’s like, ‘Ike (Isaac Perlmutter, Disney’s largest shareholder at the time) does not believe that anyone will go to a female-starring superhero movie. So, if I am still here tomorrow, you will know that I won that battle.'”

Feige’s passionate pitch eventually prompted a change in the studio, with Captain Marvel, the first female standalone movie in the MCU, fronted by Brie Larson, released last year.

And Ruffalo was full of praise for the Marvel boss, especially in relation to the way in which he is championing equality and diversity.

“Because Kevin wanted black superheroes, women superheroes, LGBT superheroes, he changed the whole Marvel universe,” the 52-year-old explained. “We now have a gay superhero on the way, we have black superheroes, we have female superheroes – Scarlett Johansson has her movie coming out, we have Captain Marvel, they are doing She-Hulk next. No other studio is being that inclusive on that level.

“They have to, though. This is the f**king world.”

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Haaz Sleiman cried after filming history-making gay kiss for Marvel’s Eternals

Haaz Sleiman has recalled how everyone cried on the set of new superhero film Eternals after he filmed a gay kiss scene.The upcoming blockbuster, which focuses on a race of immortal beings created by the Celestials, will not only feature the Marvel Cin…

Haaz Sleiman has recalled how everyone cried on the set of new superhero film Eternals after he filmed a gay kiss scene.

The upcoming blockbuster, which focuses on a race of immortal beings created by the Celestials, will not only feature the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first same-sex kiss, but two of the characters will be in an openly queer relationship.

Sleiman plays a supporting cast member in the movie, who is married to Brian Tyree Henry’s immortal hero Phastos, and the couple have a child together.

He discussed the groundbreaking move by Marvel producers in an interview with NewNowNext and noted he wants audiences to understand his character’s “beautiful and loving” relationship with the first-ever gay superhero.

“It’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set. For me, it’s very important to show how loving and beautiful a queer family can be,” the 43-year-old explained. “Brian Tyree Henry is such a tremendous actor and brought so much beauty into this part, and at one point I saw a child in his eyes, and I think it’s important for the world to be reminded that we, in the queer community, were all children at one point.

“We forget that because we’re always depicted as sexual or rebellious; we forget to connect on that human part.”

Eternals, which takes place after the devastating events of last year’s Avengers: Endgame, will see the immortal beings uniting to defend Earth from the Deviants.

The comic book flick, also starring Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani and Kit Harington, is scheduled to hit cinemas in November.

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Bob Iger fires back at criticism of Marvel movies

Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at Th…

Disney boss Bob Iger has hit back at Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola over their criticism of Marvel movies.

Iger, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, which owns Marvel Studios, made an appearance at The Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in California on Tuesday night, and during an interview, was asked what he thought of Scorsese’s view that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) flicks are “not cinema”, and Coppola’s opinion that such blockbusters are “despicable”.

“Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are people I hold in the highest regard in terms of the films they’ve made, the films I’ve liked, the films we’ve all watched,” he stated, according to reporters at Fast Company. “But when Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable,’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ for someone who had committed mass murder.

“I don’t get what they’re criticising us for when we’re making films that people are obviously enjoying going to and they’re doing so by the millions.”

Iger then insisted that Marvel films actually support the wider movie industry because they draw in viewers and allow cinema executives to show more independent films. He also compared Ryan Coogler’s box office smash, Black Panther, to Scorsese and Coppola’s movies.

“Are you telling me that Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something that somehow or another is less than anything Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on,” the 68-year-old asked.

Following Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Robert Downey, Jr., Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan have all defended the MCU. However, Doctor Strange star Benedict Cumberbatch expressed support for both sides of the argument during a chat on SiriusXM’s The Jenny McCarthy Show on Tuesday.

“I know there’s been a lot of debate recently with some very fine filmmakers coming to the fore saying these film franchises are taking over everything,” he explained. “But, lucky us actors who get to do both kinds of variety, at either polarity (in terms) of budgeting.

“I agree, we don’t want one king to rule it all and have a monopoly and all that, and it’s hopefully not the case and we should really look into continuing to support auteur filmmakers at every level.”

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Ken Loach joins filmmakers slamming Marvel movies

Veteran British director Ken Loach has joined Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in slamming Marvel movies.Scorsese’s comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles over their merits, with a…

Veteran British director Ken Loach has joined Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in slamming Marvel movies.

Scorsese’s comment that superhero blockbusters are “not cinema” has sparked a fierce debate in filmmaking circles over their merits, with a host of Marvel alumni defending the movies, and Coppola calling them “despicable”.

Now, the two-time winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or prize has told British broadcaster Sky News he finds the Marvel superhero movies “boring” and “nothing to do with the art of cinema”.

The director, whose films Kes, and I, Daniel Blake focus on working-class lives, and once directed an advert for McDonald’s, compared Marvel films to fast food and said they were all about profit rather than art.

“They’re made as commodities like hamburgers, and it’s not about communicating and it’s not about sharing our imagination,” he raged. “It’s about making a commodity which will make a profit for a big corporation – they’re a cynical exercise.

“They’re market exercise and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema. William Blake said, ‘When money is discussed – art is impossible.'”

The 83-year-old’s latest movie Sorry We Missed You deals with the struggles of life in Britain’s low wage economy.

Explaining why he thinks more naturalistic cinema is important, he added: “It can laugh with us, it can cry with us, it can learn about our deepest feelings and what it is to be human – you find that in the everyday.”

Following Scorsese and Coppola’s criticism, the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, Robert Downey, Jr., Natalie Portman, and Sebastian Stan have all defended the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Natalie Portman & Sebastian Stan address Francis Ford Coppola’s criticism of Marvel movies

Marvel movie stars Natalie Portman and Sebastian Stan have responded after director Francis Ford Coppola called the superhero films “despicable”.Just weeks after fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese labelled films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) “no…

Marvel movie stars Natalie Portman and Sebastian Stan have responded after director Francis Ford Coppola called the superhero films “despicable”.

Just weeks after fellow filmmaker Martin Scorsese labelled films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) “not cinema”, The Godfather director defended his peer as he added: “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Speaking to journalists in France as he was awarded the Prix Lumiere for his contribution to cinema, Coppola added that he thinks moviegoers need to learn something from what they see on screen.

“We expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” he explained.

Portman addressed the remark as she attended the L.A. Dance Project gala in Los Angeles on Saturday night, telling Variety: “I think there’s room for all types of cinema. There’s not one way to make art.”

The actress played Jane Foster in 2011’s Thor and sequel The Dark World in 2013, and will be starring opposite Chris Hemsworth once again in the upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder.

Meanwhile, Stan, who is most famous for playing James ‘Bucky’ Barnes/Winter Soldier in the films, also hit back at Coppola’s comments as he took part in a panel discussion during the 2019 Fandemic Tour on Sunday in Houston, Texas.

“He’s (Coppola) one of my heroes and I was listening to him and meanwhile, I just spent the day with all of you,” he said. “People have been going up to me like, ‘Thank you so much for this character,’ ‘This movie helped me out so much,’ ‘This movie inspired me. Now I feel better. Now I feel less alone,’ so how can you say these movies are not helping people?”

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Rachel Weisz felt ‘liberated’ working with female director on Black Widow

Rachel Weisz found working with a female director on Marvel’s upcoming Black Widow movie “liberating”.The actress stars alongside leading lady Scarlett Johansson in the first female-fronted movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The flick is als…

Rachel Weisz found working with a female director on Marvel’s upcoming Black Widow movie “liberating”.

The actress stars alongside leading lady Scarlett Johansson in the first female-fronted movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The flick is also one of the studio’s first to be directed by a woman, and Rachel found working alongside Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland an eye-opening experience.

“There is something that happens in a scene when a woman is across from another woman,” she told T Magazine’s 2019 The Greats issue of working on the film. “It sounds really pompous, but you are free from the history of ownership – I really mean that. It’s liberating.”

While the studio is renowned for its impressive blockbuster flicks – including Avengers: Endgame, which recently became the highest-grossing movie of all time – Rachel confessed she was surprised by the passion and integrity of those involved behind the scenes.

“It doesn’t feel Hollywood to me, big budget – it feels like the people there are the stewards and guardians of this storytelling they care about,” the 49-year-old considered.

Filming has wrapped on the movie, which is currently in post-production, and Scarlett told Entertainment Tonight she can’t wait for fans to see the finished cut, enthusing: “I love it. I’m so proud of what we made. Now we get to sprinkle the magic all over it. Get it ready for audiences.”

Black Widow is slated to hit cinemas in May 2020.

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Sylvester Stallone cut scenes he ‘really loved’ from new Rambo movie

Sylvester Stallone cut scenes he “really loved” from the new Rambo movie because “nobody wants a whiny hero”.The 73-year-old is back as the Vietnam War veteran in Rambo: Last Blood, and the former soldier is unable to find peace as he is forced to prot…

Sylvester Stallone cut scenes he “really loved” from the new Rambo movie because “nobody wants a whiny hero”.

The 73-year-old is back as the Vietnam War veteran in Rambo: Last Blood, and the former soldier is unable to find peace as he is forced to protect his loved ones from yet another threat.

Stallone wanted to bring back Rambo so “that it’s not violence for violence’s sake”, but eventually ended up sacrificing the scenes of dialogue he had written in an effort to please audiences.

“I understand that there’s a certain level of expectancy with me,” he told Variety. “If I do a film, I start to sense that the audience is going, ‘OK, enough of the acting, let’s see some actual physical locomotion.’

“I’ve written scenes for Rambo where he explains himself, but you have to let those go. We get it. You’re the product of a horrible war, damaged material. So all the stuff that I really loved, where he explains his angst, doesn’t really work. Nobody wants a whiny hero. They just don’t. Don’t talk so much; just do it. Do it, and also, don’t be vulnerable.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the Rocky icon gave his scathing review of the movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which have dominated the box office since 2008.

“These films now are scientific. They’re made by techno-wizards. They don’t have to interact with actors to the extent you used to, because the machines do the work,” Stallone explained. “And that’s not to denigrate the actors. In a Marvel film, you’re not going into the subtleties. You’re dealing with a canvas so big, so huge, that it becomes to me almost like watching a fireworks show. You’re swept away by this magnificent display of technology.”

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Samuel L. Jackson responds to Martin Scorsese’s Marvel criticism

Samuel L. Jackson has responded to Martin Scorsese’s scathing criticism of the Marvel superhero movies.In a recent interview, the Oscar-winning director compared the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to theme parks, and said he pitied the li…

Samuel L. Jackson has responded to Martin Scorsese’s scathing criticism of the Marvel superhero movies.

In a recent interview, the Oscar-winning director compared the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to theme parks, and said he pitied the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson for having to compromise their acting abilities to star in them.

Now, Jackson, who plays Nick Fury in the MCU, has fired back at The Wolf of Wall Street filmmaker and defended the Marvel movies.

“I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either,” the 70-year-old told Variety. “We happen to, but not everybody (does). There are a lot of Italian-Americans who don’t think he should be making films about them like that… Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn also responded to Scorsese’s statements and expressed his sadness in a series of posts on Twitter.

“Martin Scorsese is one of my five favourite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way,” the 53-year-old wrote. “What I’m saying is I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre.”

Karen Gillan, who plays Nebula in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and Avengers: Endgame, also leapt to the defence of the MCU, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I would absolutely say that Marvel movies are cinema. Cinema is story-telling with visuals.”

The Goodfellas filmmaker sparked outrage last week when he told Empire magazine, “That’s not cinema… Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

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