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Marvel's Best Anti-Hero Is Finally Getting A Movie

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deadpool

It's taken years of rumors, one (possibly strategically) leaked video, and a whole lot of Internet fussing, but we're finally FINALLY getting a "Deadpool" movie. Twentieth Century Fox has officially scheduled the X-Men spin-off for Feb. 12, 2016, but hasn't officially said yet whether Ryan Reynolds will star. (But he's pretty much got to star or Fox is going to be alienating this movie's entire core fan base.)

For those unfamiliar with Deadpool, he's known to Marvel fans as the Merc with a Mouth, and for good reason. The red-and-black clad swordsman kills lots of dudes in his hyper-violent comic books, all while cracking wise and regularly breaking the fourth wall. He's a fast-talking comic book character with severe mental issues who realizes he's a comic book character.

Reynolds has been trying to star in this movie since about 2003 and in recent interviews has shown no signs of moving on. He played Deadpool in the critically-panned "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" in 2009. And while fans absolutely hated that movie's mouthless version of the character, they loved Reynolds in the role. A few years back he shot some test footage for a potential "Deadpool" movie, and that footage actually made its way online about a month ago, renewing fan interest in the project. (We've included it below.)

Earlier this month Reynolds told the Niagara Falls Review it was "unfortunate" the footage leaked, but he was excited about the reaction to it.

"The movie has been in a state of limbo for a while," he said. "There was such an overpowering reaction to the footage, you sort of feel like, 'Oh, so we weren't crazy for our reasons for loving this character, for loving this role.' It's interesting to see the power of the Internet. It's awe-inspiring, actually.

"And it's neat that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram can move mountains when used in the right way."

SEE ALSO: Bryan Singer Teases The Script For Next 'X-Men' Movie

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How A Low Budget Teen Rom-Com Became A Phenomenon At The Box Office

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Fault in our stars, kissTo say that the feature adaptation of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars was a success would be an understatement, especially when we take into account the movie's modest $16 million budget. It's a big week for the Josh Boone directed film, not only because it just released on home video this week, but it also managed to pass the $300 million mark at the worldwide box office. 

Deadline reported news of the milestone today. The site also notes that it was producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey who pursued the adaptation and encouraged Fox to move it forward. Their efforts obviously paid off. The Fault In Our Stars' domestic gross has surpassed $124 million at the box office, $48 million of that was earned in its opening weekend. The film brought in another $174 million-plus internationally, bringing the total to cross the $300 million mark. 

Fans of John Green's novel probably don't need an explanation as to how this movie performed so successfully. However, Deadline brings up some good points about the factors that may have helped Fault reach box office success, including the stars of the film,John Green's involvement and impressive social media presence, and Fault's release proximity to Divergent. Were these elements a winning formula for box office success? Let's take a closer look... 

Star Power And Good Timing

the fault in our stars castShailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are up and comers, no doubt. Their talent and chemistry played a huge factor in The Fault in Our Stars turning out to be a great adaptation of a great book. But it also helps that both actors starred -- Woodley more prominently than Elgort -- in the feature adaptation of Divergent, which came out earlier that year and brought in $54 million in its opening weekend. Elgort and Woodley's involvement in Divergent likely helped boost their star power a bit leading into Fault's release. 

It seems worth noting that The Fault In Our Stars' total box office surpassed Divergent's. While Divergent performed better domestically, with $150 million brought in stateside, Fault's impressive international gross pushed the film past Divergent's $286 million worldwide haul. 

Green Power And Social Media

the fault in our starsJohn Green is no stranger to the internet, and the internet is where all of the people are. That in itself has huge value to a movie in terms of generating buzz and interest. Being smart, personable and charismatic goes a long way, and John Green is all three. The millions of YouTube followers who subscribe to John and his brother Hank's channel can attest to that. The author having his own massive following likely helped add some exposure to the film. 

Beyond that, Fox's efforts to promote The Fault in our Stars weren't limited to simply flooding the internet with clips and trailers, but extended to finding ways to bring fans together, including launching a nationwide tour. They also did an advanced screening event called "The Night Before Our Stars, which probably helped boost that opening weekend box office. Tickets for the screening were $25 a piece. 

Good Source Material

john green the fault in our starsGood source material doesn't guarantee a great movie, nor does it guarantee a successful movie. In addition to great direction, a solid script, which didn't stray too far from the book, and outstanding performances by Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern and everyone else involved, The Fault In Our Stars certainly benefited from its source material and the fan base that came with it. Whether it's the romance between Hazel and Gus, the challenges Hazel faces with her illness and her determination to meet her favorite author, or simply Hazel's candid, sometimes humorous narrative, the book has a lot of appeal and it translated nicely to the screen, which likely contributed to its success at the box office. 

Fault's June release date may have also played a factor in its box office success. At least, Fox may seem to think so as they just scheduled the feature adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns for June 19, 2015. Will it find similar box office success? 

The Fault In Our Stars is now available on DVD/Blu-ray

SEE ALSO: It wasn't just you — 'The Fault in Our Stars' cast and crew cried while making the movie

AND: Why 'The Fault in Our Stars' author wrote a fictional book about kids with cancer

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Stan Lee's Favorite Cameo Will Come In The 'Avengers' Sequel

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Stan Lee Smile

Marvel has made a habit of sneaking little winks and nods to their comic books into Marvel Studios films – references that only the most eagle-eyed of fans will spot. Then there’s the requisite Stan Lee cameo; a moment just about everyone in the audience has come to expect, notice, and loudly cheer for.

Sometimes Lee’s cameos are very quick – like in Thor when he arrives in the desert with his pick-up truck to try and haul away Mjolnir. Other times his cameos are a little meatier – for instance when Lee stops and talks with Peter Parker in Time Square in Spider-Man 3. Lee also usually has no issue revealing his cameo before the film even releases! Which he did when he shared the details of his appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man prior to its release.

Well, Stan the Man is at it again, and during a recent Twitter Q&A he revealed not only which is his favorite cameo, but that it’s actually from Marvel’s next film: The Avengers: Age of Ultron. A bit of a cop-out, yes, but also a pretty clever way to tell fans your favorite cameo is one they haven’t even seen yet.

Here is Lee’s response when asked about his favorite Marvel cameo: 

There’s no doubt Lee’s latest cameo will be funny – after all, that’s sort of the point. But is there more meaning to his comment, “worth waiting for“? Obviously, all the phrase likely means is it’s a cameo worth waiting to see once Age of Ultron releases, but perhaps he’s hinting at his cameo being one of Marvel’s credit scenes?

Their more recent films have begun including two scenes in the credits – one during and another after. Typically, one of these scenes will be played for a laughs while the other scene is used to tease what’s coming next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So who knows? Maybe we’ll see Lee grab some shawarma with The Avengers once they’re done battling Ultron.

Then again, Lee’s cameo could change before Age of Ultron even releases. If you’ll recall, Lee initially had a different cameo in The Avengers than the scene we saw in the final film. The original cameo was part of a much larger arc for Captain America that was later cut once the film’s focus shifted – but Cap and Stan Lee’s exchange was eventually shared as a deleted scene. His cameo in this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy had to be changed as well, but in this case due to scheduling hiccups.

We’ll all be waiting with bated breath to learn what Lee’s latest cameo will be – but in the mean time, which of his current cameos is your favorite? Sound off in the comments below!

The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015.

SEE ALSO: Marvel's best anti-hero is finally getting a movie

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How Liam Neeson Became An Accidental Action Star At 61

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liam neeson a walk among tombstones

Liam Neeson has a new thriller out this weekend, "A Walk Among the Tombstones."

Since his appearance in 2009's hit "Taken," the once dramatic actor who was nominated for an Oscar in 1993's "Schindler's List" has become one of Hollywood's most sought-after action stars — at age 62!

After "Taken," Neeson starred in a string of box-office hits including "Unknown,""The Grey," and "Non-Stop" which allowed him to deliver his "particular set of skills" over and over again in similar films.

It's an envious role to actors like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, '80s action stars who have tried to revitalize their careers for younger generations after the success of "The Expendables," only to turn up with box officebomb after box officebomb.

However, most actors don't suddenly decide to make the switch to action star later in life.

The change in Neeson's career came after the sudden death of his wife of 15 years in March 2009.liam neeson wife

Natasha Richardson, daughter of British actress Vanessa Redgrave, died of a traumatic brain injury after she fell and hit her head while taking a beginner ski lesson in Quebec, Canada.

liam neeson natasha richardson

In an interview with Anderson Cooper for "60 Minutes" earlier this year, Neeson said he returned to work days after his wife's death.

"I'm not good without work,"Neeson told Cooper"I just didn't want to, especially for my boys, to seem to be wallowing in sadness or depression." 

"Taken" debuted two months before Richardson's death. Neeson thought the film would be straight to video, but the $25 million movie became a hit, making $226.8 million worldwideA sequel debuted to $50 million opening weekend in 2012 and made more than $375 million worldwide. 

Since 2009, Neeson has starred in more than a dozen action films including big-budget film "Clash of the Titans" and there are more to come.

"Taken 3" is currently set for a January 2015 release. Neeson is reportedly making near $20 million to reprise his role.

According to a 2011 Esquire interviewNeeson said it has been this work which has helped him get through Richardson's passing.

"I think I survived by running away some," said Neeson. "Running away to work. Listen, I know how old I am and that I'm just a shoulder injury from losing roles like the one in Taken. So I stay with the training, I stay with the work. It's easy enough to plan jobs, to plan a lot of work. That's effective. But that's the weird thing about grief. You can't prepare for it. You think you're gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work."

While the now 62-year-old actor told Cooper he's a "wee bit embarrassed" by his success as an action star, he believes it's something his wife would be pleased to learn.

"She'd be very chuffed at that," said Neeson.

You can watch the full "60 Minutes" interview here.natasha richardson liam neeson

SEE ALSO: Why Liam Neeson films are a guaranteed success at the box office

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New 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Set Photos Tease The Millennium Falcon And X-Wing

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jj abrams x wing

With production currently underway at Pinewood Studios in London, new photos have been released from the Star Wars: Episode VII set, offering new looks at the Millennium Falcon and an X-Wing fighter.

No actors were spotted on the set, but we get perhaps our best looks yet at the Millennium Falcon and X-Wing, which are partially covered by tarps. Take a look at the images below, or click here for a better look, then read on for more information. 

We reported last week that John Boyega's character may be flying a black and chrome X-Wing ship that matches his Stormtrooper costume. The plot reportedly revolves around John Boyega and Daisy Ridley's characters, who finds a lightsaber that belongs to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), which sends them on a journey to return the Jedi weapon to its rightful owner.

We have previously seen the Millennium Falcon in a number of different set photos, and we'll most likely see many more images as production continues in London.

Star Wars: Episode VII comes to theaters Dec. 18, 2015, and stars Boyega, Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Hamill, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, and Lupita Nyong'o. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.

SEE ALSO: Adam Driver's Role In 'Star Wars' May Have Just Been Revealed

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3 Reasons Marvel Will Probably Kill Off One Of Its Most Popular Characters

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loki thor poster thor 2 sequelLooking back on the past eight years of Marvel Studios films, there are certain events in particular that we can look to as being truly major moments and decisions. The casting of Tom Hiddleston as Loki in "Thor" and making Loki the main villain of "The Avengers" both qualify. With an impressive mix of psychotic charisma and shocking pathos, the God of Mischief has been established as one of the great cinematic comic book villains, and we can’t wait to see more of him in "Thor 3." But those of you hoping that his stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will last beyond that may not want to count your chickens until they hatch. 

Of course, nothing has been made official by Marvel or Tom Hiddleston (do you expect them to give away the death of a big character?), but we’ve been staring into our Crystal Ball of Speculation and have put together some pieces suggesting that Loki’s days on the big screen may be numbered. What could seal his fate? Read on to find out.

1. Hiddleston’s Star Is Rising, And Skull Island Is Coming

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki may be a fan favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that doesn’t change the fact that being a villain means that he’s perpetually playing second fiddle. As the titles suggest, "Thor,""The Avengers," and "Thor: The Dark World" largely focus on the hero characters and their respective stories, and Loki has been deemed a supporting character in all of his appearances so far (though Marvel has, of course, made a habit of playing up his role a bit). As charismatic and enchanting as Loki has been in the Marvel movies, Hiddleston couldn’t actually be blamed for wanting to be the legitimate lead of his own big blockbuster franchise. And that’s where the actor’s newest project comes in. 

As we reported last week, Tom Hiddleston has officially signed on to play the lead in "Skull Island," the new feature from Legendary Pictures that will take movie-goers back to the mythical birthplace of King Kong. The part is the biggest that Hiddleston has landed since he was first tapped as Loki, and while we don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, there is some pretty obvious franchise potential to be mined here. As much fun as the actor has playing Loki, I don’t think many of us would be surprised if he decided to move on and pursue something bigger for himself. 

2. Ragnarok Is Calling

thor anthony hopkins

While it has yet to actually be mentioned within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ragnarok plays a pretty massive role in the legacy of Thor comics. Based on the stories of Norse mythology, the event is a prophesized apocalyptic battle also known as the Twilight of the Gods that leads to the utter and complete decimation of Asgard. In the comics, it is said that it is Loki’s destiny to bring about these end times, and if that’s an element that is introduced to "Thor 3," it could wind up spelling out the end for the God of Mischief. 

Nothing has been actually officially confirmed about the plot of "Thor 3" yet, but if you take into account comments made by Chris Hemsworth last year about an Armageddon-themed direction for the franchise, then that could spell very bad things for Loki. As we’ve seen play out in the comics, the events of Ragnarok once again pit brother against brother, but the massive stakes could just be too much for Thor, leading him to actually put a permanent end to his crazy sibling’s reign of terror (potentially via decapitation). This would certainly be a very sad moment for Hiddleston fans, but it would also be a massively emotionally big-screen moment for the series and could have consequences that stretch across the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

3. It’s Time For Thor To Move On

thor loki the dark world

It may have been sold as featuring Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith as the central villain, but "Thor: The Dark World" was really more about further developing Thor and Loki’s relationship. Shifting focus away from the Dark Elves and their mission with the Aether, one could easily argue that the movie is actually more about how the God of Thunder’s perception of and relationship with his brother had changed since the events of "The Avengers." This certainly yielded interesting results, but at the same it also did its part to limit Thor’s growth as an individual character. Eventually the hero is going to need to move beyond his very special sibling rivalry if he wants to progress, and potentially the best way to pull that off would be to kill Loki in "Thor 3." 

Given that "Thor: The Dark World" ended with Loki sitting on the throne of Asgard with Thor none the wiser, "Thor 3" is most certainly going to have a plot involving the God of Mischief (be it Ragnarok or another), but it could be in Marvel Studios’ best interest if they end the villain’s arc there. Thor comics are filled with all kinds of cinematic possibilities, from the story of Beta Rey Bill (one of the few individuals in existence other than Thor who can lift Mjolnir) to the hero’s battles against The Enchantress and The Executioner, and if Loki isn’t around as a distraction, the movies can give these characters the cinematic treatment they deserve. 

SEE ALSO: Marvel's best anti-hero is finally getting a movie

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After Controversy, Bryan Singer Will Return To Direct 'X-Men' Sequel

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bryan singer

An article on Deadline today confirmed what had long been suspected: Director Bryan Singer will be directing X-Men: Apocalypse, having closed a deal with Fox to helm the latest installment of the popular comic-book franchise.

Singer has directed three films in the series, slipping back into the director’s chair for this year’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past after stepping away to make Superman Returns.

That film arrived alongside a series of lawsuits accusing him of sexual abuse. Those suits have been settled, removing the last question mark about Singer’s involvement. So we can all just put aside any troubling, lingering questions and settle in and enjoy the new X-Men movie now, right?

Co-written by Singer and Simon Kinberg, the film’s name suggests that it’ll bring the character of Apocalypse, first introduced in a 1986 issue of X-Factor, into the X-Men movie universe.

Fittingly, the film will apparently be set in the 1980s, and may feature teenage versions of popular X-Men characters like Jean Grey and Storm (and less popular characters like Cyclops). Who will play them? Not even Professor X knows at this point. (He’s a telepath, not a psychic.)

SEE ALSO: Bryan Singer Teases The Script For Next 'X-Men' Movie

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How The 'Avengers' Director Saved 'Toy Story' From An Unwatchable Early Script

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toy story disney buzz lightyear

Pixar's iconic "Toy Story" might never have happened if not for help from future "Avengers" writer and director Joss Whedon.

Based on original Pixar short "Tin Toy," an early rough draft of "Toy Story" was a disaster.

Here's how it was described by Amy Pascale in the recent "Joss Whedon: The Biography": [T]he movie was unwatchable. The story had lost the heart that Tin Toy had; the leads, Woody the cowboy and Buzz Lightyear the astronaut, were sarcastic and unlikeable—not exactly ideal heroes for a children’s movie." Notably, the lead character of cowboy Woody was "a bitter toy who berated and insulted all the other toys and was bound and determined to destroy Buzz."

It wasn’t until Whedon, who had recently created "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," was asked to step in and help refocus the entire script that the film started to look more like the version of "Toy Story" we know.

"They sent me the script and it was a shambles," Whedon recalled in "Joss Whedon: Conversations.""But the story that [John] Lasseter had come up with was, you know, the toys are alive and they conflict. The concept was gold."

What was originally planned to be a three-week job turned into more than six months of working with Pixar. 

One big decision was whether or not the movie should be a musical like recent Disney hits such as  "The Little Mermaid,""The Lion King," and "Beauty and the Beast." Whedon, like Pixar head John Lasseter, decided that wasn’t a good idea.

“It would have been a really bad musical, because it’s a buddy movie,” Whedon told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s about people who won’t admit what they want, much less sing about it. Woody can't do an 'I want' number--he's cynical and selfish, he doesn't know himself. Buddy movies are about sublimating, punching an arm, 'I hate you.' It's not about open emotion."

One of Whedon's biggest contributions was an insight about astronaut Buzz, according to Pascale:

Joss worked closely with Pixar’s team as everyone got their heads around the idea of Toy Story as a buddy picture. Buzz Lightyear had always been conceived as a Dudley Do-Right: dim-witted but cheerful and self-aware. Joss helped them reenvision the character as an action figure who isn’t aware that he’s a toy, and who therefore takes his job as an Intergalactic Space Ranger quite seriously. It was a huge epiphany that turned the whole movie around and created the chemistry in Toy Story.

toy story buzz lightyear

One Whedon change that didn't make the final cut involved Mattel's Barbie. According to EW, the writer, known for strong female characters, wanted the doll to swoop in and save both Woody and Buzz from the film's antagonist, Sid. However, Mattel wouldn't give permission for Barbie to appear.

The animated movie was finally given the greenlight to be filmed in April 1994 and after several more rewrites with Whedon, the film became the first full-length computer animated movie, ushering in a new age for other animated pictures.

"Toy Story" went on to make $361.9 million at the box office and was nominated for three Oscars.

Subsequent sequels performed even better at theaters, with 2010’s “Toy Story 3” grossing over $1 billion worldwide.

SEE ALSO: 2 reasons Disney movies often don't have moms

AND: Tom Hiddleston sent an amazing email to Joss Whedon after reading "The Avengers" script for the first time

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Everything We Know So Far About 'Taken 3'

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taken 3 liam neeson

Liam Neeson may not have made a big splash at theaters with his latest film, "A Walk Among the Tombstones;" however, that will change when the 62-year-old action star's next movie hits theaters. 

USA Today revealed a first look at "Taken 3," the sequel to Neeson's 2009 film in which he plays a retired CIA agent seeking revenge on the men who kidnapped his daughter. 

While we can't wait for Neeson's next action flick, it doesn't hit theaters until January.

Until then, here's everything we know about the film.

1. What it's called:

"Tak3n." Yes, the number will be worked into the tile.

2. What it's about:

This time it doesn't sound like anyone in particular is kidnapped. Instead, someone's life is literally "taken."

Via USA Today:

This time, he's the hunted prey after he's framed for the murder of someone close to him.

"I have to go on the run, I'll put it that way, from the not-so-lawful types and the lawful authorities," says Neeson, choosing his words carefully. "Bryan Mills served his country faithfully, but now even they are after him. They must not like me."

Unlike previous films, "Tak3n" will not involve any overseas traveling. "Taken 2" director, Olivier Megaton will return while Forest Whittaker will join the cast as an officer hunting Mills down.

3. How much Liam Neeson is reportedly making:

According to Deadline, Neeson signed a deal "in the vicinity of $20 million" for the sequel. That's a giant leap from his reported $1 million salary for "Taken."

4. When it will be released:

20th Century Fox will release "Tak3n" January 9, 2015.

5. Will there be a "Taken 4"?

Don't count on it. Neeson has said this third film will close out the franchise.

"It's a rollicking good story," Neeson told USA Today. "But I think this is the end."

However, Neeson was adamant a third film wasn't happening for some time, too.

SEE ALSO: How Liam Neeson became an accidental action star at 61

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Why 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Has Had So Many Set Photo Leaks

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star wars millennium falconDo you regard yourself as a Star Wars nut? Do you think your knowledge and devotion to George Lucas’ series is beyond compare? Now ask yourself; would you buy a drone and fly it over Pinewood Studios just to get a glimpse of Star Wars Episode VII being filmed? If you said no, then you’re not even close to be on the top echelon of Jedi connoisseurs. If you said yes, I’m not sure whether to be impressed or ashamed of your antics. I think I'm a bit of both.

Drones that have been hovering over parts of the English studio have now been blamed for the many leaks regarding the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Earlier this month, one of these vehicles was able to spot rebel pilots and crew running around the base, and the individual who recorded the footage, who is known as YouTube user, 3dlp, then speculated that they were either "rushing to evacuate the base" from possibly an "imminent attack," or "rushing to get their ships launched to go and assist in a battle somewhere." 

Despite the fact that these glimpses are hardly compelling/conclusive spoilers, LucasFilm will be furious that they’re out there because they were already fully aware of that drones could hover over and record their shoot. Back in June they even ordered a DroneShield to try and tackle the issue. Motherboard recently got a hold of an order form that confirms Pinewood purchased the device, which can supposedly "provide advanced warning of helicopters and drones" and is "commonly used by paparazzi and media." 

drone motherboard

Unfortunately for Pinewood they never actually got their hands on the product, as their application to export the DroneShield was denied by The State Department - who, as you can imagine, keep pretty close tabs on these sorts of purchases. Since May, Pinewood have applied several more times for the DroneShield to be sent to them, but it’s still yet to arrive after four months of waiting. Want to know what you can actually see courtesy of the drones? Then check out the YouTube footage below:  

Looks as though LucasFilm and Pinewood genuinely do have a "Star Wars" on their hands now. Get it? Because the drones are flying in the air. And Star Wars is set in space. I’m sorry.

SEE ALSO: New 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Set Photos Tease The Millennium Falcon

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Vin Diesel Teases New Photos From 'Fast and Furious 7' With Paul Walker

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Vin Diesel has been quick to keep fans apprised of any "Fast and the Furious 7"updates on his Facebook account

Tuesday, the "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor shared new photos from the set featuring himself and the late Paul Walker who passed away late last year in a car crash.

The seventh installment in the series is expected to pick up where the last film left off with the group mourning the loss of one of the crew while seeking revenge on the man responsible played by Jason Statham.

The first photo shows Diesel as his character Dominic Toretto with both of his hands wrapped.

vin diesel fast and furious 7

A close look at the background shows a photo off to the side with Diesel's on screen family including Walker, who he affectionately refers to as Pablo off screen.

dominic fast and furious 7 

The other photo shows Diesel dressed up in a scene with Walker.paul walker fast and furious 7

Walker's character Brian O'Connor is supposed to be retired in the next film. The actor filmed many of his scenes while look-a-like brothers Cody and Caleb will also fill in for him. The film will reportedly use new technology to merge archived audio of Walker's voice with his brothers'.

Diesel also shared that he had a first look at the trailer for the film which he says left him "speechless."

Universal came to visit, to show the trailer for FF7...

Speechless... yeah, it was that INCREDIBLE!

I must also say, that it was emotional and bittersweet... we all went above and beyond to make Pablo proud, but man, I wish he could see what we have created and just how far we have come.

He added that the film should make Walker proud.

We wouldn't be surprised if we see a teaser trailer for the film soon. 

"Fast and Furious 7" will be released April 3, 2015 in theaters.

SEE ALSO: Vin Diesel: It has been 'awkward and uncomfortable' adjusting to Paul Walker visual effects in "Fast and Furious 7"

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Why William Shatner Returning For 'Star Trek 3' Makes Total Sense

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Shatner for WWFAs is to be expected, the Internet is all a-buzz with the latest rumors concerning Star Trek 3.

It’s been a crazy week for the third installment in the rebooted franchise – we’ve learned it will probably start shooting in February, that the story will most likely take place in deep space during the crew’s five year mission, and that the characters should hew more closely to their TV counterparts.

william shatner rifleThat’s a lot of info – but the real bombshell was the revelation that William Shatner might re-don his Starfleet tunic and appear in the new film. Naturally, like all things Star Trek, this news provoked two distinct and opposite reactions: fan jubilation and fan derision. I think bringing Shatner in for a part in the new film is actually a good idea, and here are a few reasons why.

The most obvious rationale for bringing Shatner back into the fold is plain old fan service. I know some of the Star Trek fanbase is really tired of seeing the new films (which went out of their way to try to divorce themselves from original canon, then take every opportunity they can find to tie back into it…) present updated riffs on classic Star Trek. I can even sympathize with that viewpoint at times, if only because it doesn’t feel fair to the new crew to constantly have them playing second fiddle to fan nostalgia. 

That being said, having Shatner return as Kirk is a bit more interesting than working Khan into the second film, or any of the other nods littered throughout Star Trek ’09 or Into Darkness. This is Captain Kirk – without him and Leonard Nimoy, we don’t have a Star Trek to reboot. We haven’t seen Kirk and Spock together since 1991. It’s time for this to happen, even if it’s just a tiny cameo. In fact, maybe it’s best served by being a tiny cameo where we can all have a minute to remember what made us love this franchise in the first place and then move on. 

Abrams and company had an opportunity to do this with 2009 film, which gave Nimoy’s Spock a pretty prominent role, but excised Shatner completely. Had Abrams’ worked both characters into Trek ’09, we could have had our moment to acknowledge two beloved characters, then gotten on with getting to know the new crew. Instead, the Shatner omission has made it feel like there’s unfinished business to be addressed – business that should have been dealt with two films ago. 

SEE ALSO: These Maps Prove 'Star Wars' Is More Popular Than 'Star Trek' In The U.S.

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'X-Men: Apocalypse' Just Gave Us 2 Big Clues To Where The Sequel Is Heading

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x men days of future past beast wolverineWith X-Men: Days Of Future Past being available on Digital HD at the moment, and the official Blu-ray/DVD release on track for October 14th, now's a good time to revisit the world of Professor Charles Xavier and his gifted and talented youngsters we call the X-Men. However, this is also a good time to look ahead to see what's coming down the line for everyone's favorite uncanny mutants. Now, two new websites look like they're going to give us exactly that sort of information between now and X-Men: Apocalypse's 2016 release date. 

The official X-Men Movies website, amidst the fanfare for the home video release ofX-Men: Days Of Future Past, has two new websites it's advertising: the TandemInitiative.com and M-Underground.com. While these two sites look like nothing special on the surface, it's what's hiding in plain sight that really gets us going about what the future present looks like after the events of the future past. 

Looking at the Tandem Initiative first, we see a site that's looking for a few good mutants to display their powers and share their story with the world. Encouraging its visitors to spread the message #WeAreGifted, Tandem wants you to show off your powers in exchange for the chance to be one of five people chosen for a full genome sequencing, courtesy of Tandem's very own research labs. Of course, if you're a mutant, you should probably think twice before submitting any sort of proof of said condition to anyone until you've fully vetted them. Something about a genetic research facility actively searching for mutants just sounds so... entraping. 

On another front of the mutant revolution is the "news site" M-Underground. Through their own investigative journalism, it has been revealed that the late Senator Ted Kennedy's plane crash in 1964, as well as his "original" draft of the speech he gave at the 1978 Democratic National Convention, are both tied to his mutant abilities in some sort of secret history that might explain the Kennedy Curse as a mutant hate crime of the largest scale. Of course, when you look at the evidence of Senator Kennedy's mutant genomics, it's no surprise that there's a gigantic Tandem Research stamp on all of the pertinent medical reports. 

So what does this all mean for X-Men: Apocalypse? For starters, it looks like Tandem Research/The Tandem Initiative are going to be something to look out for going forward. They have historical connections to knowledge we don't have yet, and it's yet to be seen whether they're a threat or a safe haven. Also, it looks like M-Underground is going to be the feed that helps catch us up to speed with the events of the mid-to-late 1970's and the early 1980's, leading up to the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, which is set in 1983. 

With more than a full year now and the release of X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016, these two websites are going to have a lot of work ahead of them to not only fill in the gaps between the films, but also to keep the fans excited and informed about the X-Men universe. Considering the bang up job Fox managed to turn out with the viral marketing for Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and even X-Men: Days Of Future Past, we could be seeing some interesting materials coming to us in the space between battles. 

X-Men: Days Of Future Past will be available on Blu-ray and DVD next month, and the extended edition is scheduled to hit store shelves sometime in 2015X-Men: Apocalypse will be in theaters on May 27th, 2016

SEE ALSO: After Controversy, Bryan Singer Will Return To Direct 'X-Men' Sequel

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Keanu Reeves Says He Would Return For 'Speed 3'

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speed keanu reeves

"Speed 2: Cruise Control" is one of the greatest 'bad' sequels ever made and part of it's charm is the absence of original Speed star Keanu Reeves who refused to participate. This left Sandra Bullock alone on a cruise ship with Jason Patric for a premise that was too over the top to take seriously. For years, Keanu Reeves has balked at returning as Officer Jack Traven, the role that put him on the action hero map (though "Point Break" came a few years before hand). Now, it sounds like Keanu might be changing his tune.

A certified action icon after taking on the role of Neo in "The Matrix" and it's sequels,Keanu Reeves was at Fantastic Fest this past week where he was promoting his return to the genre in "John Wick." In the movie he plays a deadly assassin out to avenge the death of his dog and retrieve his vintage sports car. It was a favorite at the Festival, and while speaking with The Nerdist, Keanu Reeves actually says 'sure' to the idea of returning for "Speed 3."

"Oh, my gosh! Speed 3: Redemption! Sure...You know what I mean? Jack Traven just dusting it off!"

Last year when he was asked about returning as Jack Traven, the actor seemed annoyed with the question and replied:

"That bus has left."

That was before every 90s property suddenly became a hot commodity both on the big screen and on TV. While Keanu Reeves's answer is a little on the jokey side, its entirely possible that we could see him returning to this legendary role from 1994 that was the 8th highest grossing movie of that year with $121.2 million domestically and $350 million globally. It seems the film's staying power in its 20th anniversary is starting to change Keanu's mind just a little bit.

Do you want to see Keanu Reeves return in "Speed 3?" If so, which mode of transportation should he be on this time? Or should he get back on the bus? You can check out his interview here:

SEE ALSO: Keanu Reeves To Star In, Produce Action Series ‘Rain’

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Disney's First Animated Marvel Movie Is Already Looking Like A Hit

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big hero 6 baymax hiro

Disney had a massively huge success in last year's billion dollar animated movie, "Frozen." Can they do it again this fall?

Come November, Disney will release its first animated movie based on Marvel characters, "Big Hero 6." Until now, Disney has relied on Marvel to produce live-action hit after hit with the likes of "Captain America" and "The Avengers."

Disney just put out the second trailer for the film and it looks like the one parents have been waiting for to take their kids to see.

Based on the comics of the same name, the first trailer for the film primarily focused on a plush white robot named Baymax, but not much else to show what the movie would really entail. 

The second trailer focuses on a more somber story, about a boy Hiro Hamada who loses his brother and sets out on a mission to find him along with a group of pals. Together, they transform themselves into a league of high-tech superheroes to hunt down a mysterious figure.

big hero 6

With no Pixar release this year — it's the first time that has happened in nine years — that gives "Big Hero 6" some big shoes to fill as the sole Disney animated picture of the year in theaters.

Expectations are also high after the massive success of "Frozen," with some suggesting Disney has already entered a second golden age of hit films. (The first was in the '90s with a string of hits including "The Little Mermaid,""Aladdin,""Beauty and the Beast," and "The Lion King.")

We'll get a better look at the film next month when Disney brings a sneak peek of the film to New York Comic Con.

"Big Hero 6" is in theaters Nov. 7.

Watch the full trailer below:

SEE ALSO: 2 reasons Disney movies often don't have moms

AND: How the "Avengers" director saved "Toy Story" from an unwatchable script

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How A Box-Office Bomb Killed The Chances Of A Black Widow Movie

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black widow the avengers age of ultron scarlett johanssonThanks to fun roles in Joss Whedon's The Avengers and Joe and Anthony Russo's Captain America: The Winter Soldier (and to a lesser extent Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2), Black Widow has been firmly and successfully centered as the female lead of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. But what you may not know is that there was actually a Black Widow movie in development long before Scarlett Johansson tried on her first pair of stingers... and it was killed by one of the uglier box office bombs of the last decade. 

Comic Book Resources has a full breakdown Black Widow's long flirtation with live action - which actually dates back to an attempted Daredevil/Black Widow television show back in the 1970s - but the more interesting details are about the Black Widow movie that nearly got made back in 2004. At the time, actor/screenwriter David Hayter was coming off the comic book movie success of both 2000's X-Men and 2003's X2 (both of which he had a hand in writing), and Lionsgate offered him an opportunity to write a Black Widow script and make it as his directorial debut (this was a time before the movie rights to the character went back to Marvel). What he created was a fairly faithful adaptation of the super spy's origin story from the comics, but unfortunately the project wound up being doomed by a whole bunch of other similar features that were coming out around the same time. 

Some of you may remember the time in the early '00s when there was a boom of female-led action films, partially generated by the growth of the video game movie market. The original Resident Evil, starring Milla Jovovich, and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, with Angelina Jolie, both did well at the box office - as did the epic Quentin Tarantino two-parter Kill Bill. Sadly, you may also remember that this trend didn't wind up lasting too long thanks to the release of some serious stinkers. There were a few titles like this, such as Ultraviolet and BloodRayne, but in the story of the Black Widow movie that almost was, there is one standout title:

Aeon Flux posterKaryn Kusama's Aeon Flux, based on the animated series of the same name, came out in 2005 and was a complete disaster. Completely trashed by critics and a total dud at the box office, the film was really a disaster on all fronts and ended up being the final nail in the coffin for Black Widow. Said Hayter in a 2011 interview, 

"Aeon Flux didn’t open well, and three days after it opened, the studio said, 'We don’t think it’s time to do this movie.' I accepted their logic in terms of the saturation of the marketplace, but it was pretty painful."

It's impressive that less than a decade has passed since all of this went down, and yet the entire blockbuster environment is completely different. Now fans are actively asking for a Black Widow film, and while it doesn't seem to be in the cards just yet, Marvel certainly has no plans on putting the character back on the shelf any time soon. She will next be seen on the big screen in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will be in theaters May 1, 2015. 

SEE ALSO: Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" contains a darker version of the iconic opening from "Lost in Translation"

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A Woman Is Suing Disney For $250 Million Claiming 'Frozen' Ripped Off Her Life Story In 18 Ways

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elsa disneyA woman reportedly is suing Disney for the whopping sum of $250 million (with an "M") because she is convinced that the entertainment giant based Frozen on her 2010 autobiography, and not on the fables of Hans Christian Andersen. 

Let it go! All the way to court. 

You can scan the entire lawsuit here. Essentially, Isabella Tanikumi filed a suit against the Walt Disney Company in the U.S. District Court claiming that the study plagiarized her book Living My Truth in the plot of the smash-hit animated feature Frozen. It’s only when she starts to map out the similarities between Frozen and her autobiography that things start to fall apart. For instance, she claims: 

1. Both stories take place in a village at the base of a snow covered mountain.
frozen arendelle

2. Both stories contain two sisters who are close in age.

3. Both sisters love each other deeply.

frozen snowman

4. One of the sisters is injured in a horrible accident. The lawsuit woman’s sister falls in custard. Anna from Frozen hurts her head.

5. Both sisters lose memory of their accidents.

6. Lawsuit sisters were caught in a horrible earthquake. Frozen sisters lost their parents in a boating accident. These situations pushed everyone together.Frozen boat scene

7. Lawsuit sister and Ana both fall for a tall, dark and handsome man.

8. The sisters meet two love interests named Hans and Cristoff and Hans and Kristoff.

hans frozen

9. Both Kristoff and Cristoff tell the women about someone they know with healing powers.

10. Both sisters get betrayed by their love interests.

11. Lawsuit sister and Elsa both become reclusive.

12. Lawsuit sister and Elsa both try to hide their injuries.

13. Both stories continue a key scene under the moon.

14. Both defects are exposed in front of children.

15. The cover of the lawsuit girl’s memoir is a hand with sprinkles. The cover of the Frozen DVD is a hand with sprinkles.

16. Both stories use open gates as metophors.

17. Lawsuit sister and Elsa both die, though Elsa comes back to life.

disney frozen anna

18. Both stories talk about hearts being cold. 

All in all, Isabella Tanikumi comes up with 18 tenuous similarities between her autobiography and Frozen, which doesn’t seem like a lot, considering the universal nature of the items that she has singled out. She might as well mention that both stories were written using words, and that they both might have been penned on paper. The court likely is just going to toss this whole thing out, so why not have some real fun with it, right? 

The money is the eye-catcher. Asking for $250 million is BEYOND egregious. Would Tanikumi even bother with a lawsuit if Frozen had earned $20 million at the box office? Probably not. But the animation behemoth took in a massive $1.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales. It is dominating on the home video circuit. It had the third-highest domestic gross for 2013, despite having opened in November. And "plaintiffs" like Tanikumi want a piece of the pie. 

We’ll continue to track the progress of this lawsuit. Do you think she has a case? Or is this a case of someone being greedy, and trying to seize an opportunity? Weigh in below. 

SEE ALSO: One Of The Best Songs In ‘Frozen’ Almost Didn’t Make It Into The Movie

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How The Incredible Opening Scene In 'Back To The Future' Was Filmed

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Back to the Future cameraThe opening shot of Back To The Future really tells you absolutely everything you need to know about Doc Brown. The incredible number of clocks reflect both his kookiness and fascination with time; his automatic dog food opener shows us both the love for his dog, Einstein, and his love for inventing; and both the malfunctioning toaster and missing coffee pot immediately tell us that he's kind of a disorganized dude. This was all captured in one glorious take by director Robert Zemeckis, but you wouldn't believe the amount of work and coordination that it all took to happen. 

The video you see below comes from Vimeo user Jamie Benning, who has launched the first installment of a video series that is based around a recent interview he did with Back To The Future's special effects supervisor Kevin Pike. In the short first chapter, the behind-the-scenes magician explains some of the impressive efforts that were necessary to make the long opening shot of the movie work. This big challenge involved not only a full crew being hands on with all of the clocks and various pieces of equipment, but even specialized treatment of the props.

Practically every frame in the sequences has something special about it, such as the fact that it took a group of 20 people to make sure that all of the clocks worked in sync and operated properly, but my favorite bit of trivia is towards the end when Pike begins to talk about the dog food opener. The special effects crew actually constructed a fully functional machine designed to open cans, but got thrown for a bit of a loop when they failed to get approval for the kind of chow they were originally experimenting with. Because the new type of dog food didn't have the consistency that Zemeckis wanted, the cans had to be heated up while the camera on the crane was going through the scene. Says Pike, "We literally had a torch underneath, heating up the cans, so that the dog food would pour out and flop into the bowl in the comedic fashion that Bob designed."

Robert Zemeckis may come across as kind of a perfectionist in that story, but can you blame him? The comedic plop that's in the film is just perfect. 

back to the future gif

As interesting as this video is, the best thing about it is that it's only the beginning. We will definitely be keeping our eye our for more of these cool videos about Back To The Future

SEE ALSO: A 'Back To The Future' Musical Is Opening Next Year

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New Stop-Motion Animated Movie 'The Boxtrolls' Took Nearly 10 Years To Make

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boxtrolls poster

The Portland, Ore.-based animation studio Laika has been making stop-motion feature films for about a decade, with the new “The Boxtrolls” the third in a line that started with two movies nominated for the animated-feature Oscar, 2009's “Coraline” and 2012's “ParaNorman.”

Set in a ramshackle, hilly village run by a group of white-hatted snobs more devoted to cheese-tasting than serving the community, “The Boxtrolls” is a 3D romp about the collision between the village and the subterranean-dwelling Boxtrolls, who scavenge for trash but have been targeted for extermination by a nefarious baddie named Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley). Isaac Hempstead-Wright plays a human boy named Eggs by the Boxtrolls who've raised him, and Elle Fanning is a young girl who befriends Eggs when he ventures aboveground.

See videoElle Fanning's Winnie Hatches Plan to Save Eggs From Ben Kingley's Evil Snatcher in ‘Boxtrolls’ Trailer (Video)

“The Boxtrolls” opens on Friday under Laika's deal with Focus Features, which has helped push both of its previous features into the Oscar race. Laika is owned by Nike co-founder Phil Knight and run by his son Travis, who is both the CEO and an animator on its films.

Travis Knight joined “Boxtrolls” directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable to talk to TheWrap about the film's long and tangled development.

TheWrap: This film has been in the works for many years, hasn't it?

Travis Knight: Laika started almost 10 years ago. We started with two projects. The first was “Coraline.” And the second project we took on was “Here Be Monsters!,” written by Alan Snow. So it's been slow cooking in a corner of the studio for nearly 10 years. A lot of that time it's just been a small group of people trying to crack the story, which I think is the case anytime you do an adaptation.

What was the trickiest part of this particular adaptation?

Knight: “Here Be Monsters!,” the book, is a 550-page tome filled with environments and characters and all that, and we had to distill all that down to a film. Ruthless economy is involved. You've got to strip away the stuff that's extraneous to the core story, and sometimes it takes a while to figure that out.

Also readToronto Debuts of ‘Song of the Sea and ‘Princess Kaguya’ Heat Up Oscar Animation Race

In early versions of the script, we tried to stay very faithful to the book. We had all kinds of characters and fun stuff happening, and it was really fun and entertaining, but it was frenetic. And in the end, it was hollow. There was nothing holding it all together. And it wasn't until we really stopped, paused and tried to get to that core emotional thing that resonated with all of us that we were able to say, yes, this is a story that we want to tell.

What was the core story that resonated?

Anthony Stacchi: It was the idea of an orphan boy and his surrogate family. That was in the book, and in our first version of the story, but you couldn't see it for all the rest of the stuff. In the book, the underworld is inhabited by a number of different creatures, all of them very charming, Cabbage heads, trotting badgers, rabbit women, who are just these women who knit rabbit suits that they wear. [laughs] Alan Snow's a strange dude.

But when you had to establish the cabbage heads and the cabbage head queen and a lot of other stuff, there wasn't the time. We needed to trim it all out so we had the moments to have the emotional connection between the characters. And honestly, while the story of the boy being raised underground and finding his place in the world was always there, we needed to have a mirror story of a little girl with her own family issues from aboveground, who's full of the prejudices of people from aboveground. They need to bump up against each other to move the story along and generate emotion, and that was missing in that other iteration.

See videoCeeLo Green Sings for New ‘Boxtrolls’ Trailer (Video)

Knight: I lured Tony to Portland from the sun-soaked splendor of Southern California, and I think part of that experience helped filter into the story. Tony had an unsparing commute: His wife and his newborn son were down in L.A., and he was commuting to Portland and leaving them behind for long periods of time. As any parent knows, that starts to rip you apart. And that idea started to filter into the story. That's when we thought, yes, we have something here that anyone can understand – the idea of families and parents.

Do you miss anything from that other version?

Stacchi: I loved that other iteration, and we had a whole version of the script which read really nice on the page. But when we storyboarded the whole thing, and we felt like, we don't know what's important here. It was clear when we put it up on reels that it wasn't good enough.

Tony, you'd never directed a stop-motion film. And Graham, you'd never directed any kind of feature. How steep was the learning curve?

Graham AnnabaleHuge. Harrowing.

Stacchi: Steep isn't the word for it. You know that guy who pushes a rock up a hill? It was that guy.

Annabale: Sisyphus. Up a sheer cliff.

Knight: But the funny thing about that is that I think the sort of challenges that both Tony and Graham were up against was something that gets to the core of what we try to do at the studio. I don't feel like we're ever doing the right thing unless I'm afraid, unless I feel like I'm out of my league and out of my depth and don't know I'm gonna survive it. That goes to the culture. Drowning, throwing yourself in the deep end and then trying to figure a way out.

boxtrolls crewWhat was the hardest sequence to figure out?

Stacchi: We knew we needed a scene where Eggs is in a really uncomfortable situation, so we did a scene where he's at a tea party with Winnie and her parents, and it was great. Everybody at the studio thought it was really great, because you feel Eggs’ pain at being a fish out of water. But because that scene wasn't big enough, we added a waltz scene and made it part of that.

Anybody steeped in stop-motion would have said, “Do you really want to do that?” But the fact that we didn't know what we were doing benefitted us, and Travis didn't tell us. So we boarded it and kept forging ahead, and Travis was going to the heads of the departments and saying, “Do you know about the waltzing scene?” And finally somebody said to us, “When are you going to show us this scene?”

Annabale: We do breakdown meetings for each of the sequences, and typically there's a lot of energy in those meetings. All the heads of the departments are there buzzing over who's gonna do what, and everybody divvies up the workload. But when Tony and I started that breakdown meeting, the room was dead quiet. No one was talking, and everyone was leafing through the packets looking at each other like, there's no way. And we knew right then, we may have overstepped here a little.

Also readDisney, DreamWorks Animation and Lucasfilm Slammed With Lawsuit Over ‘Non-Poaching’ Agreements

Stacchi: Giant mecha-drills stomping around the market square destroying everything? No problem. A little waltzing scene? Nightmare.

Scenes like that seem to be a real blend of techniques. It's not all stop motion, there are times when CG comes in. Was it more of…

Annabale: A hybrid. That was one of the singular things about this show.

Knight: It is and it isn't. It's been part of our core process since “Coraline,” where we've had this big swirling gumbo of techniques. There are things that go back 100 years, and things that we're inventing. So CG technology, hand-crafted stuff, hand-drawn animation, it's all been part of our tool-kit from the start. And because of the things that this story needed, it just challenged us on all fronts.

See videoCuddly Robot Baymax Is a Crime-Fighting Marshmallow in Latest ‘Big Hero 6' Trailer (Video)

As the CEO, how much time did you have to actually work on the movie?

Knight: Umm… a lot.

Annable: He does the most footage out of all the animators.  First on, last off.

Knight: It's a pain in the ass, obviously. Any kind of animation is hard, and particularly stop-motion. But I do think it's important for me personally to be involved in the creating of the art – not just telling people what to do, but also being a member of the crew. And I also think that it goes to the philosophical core of the company: We are a community of artists. We are all filmmakers, and we all contribute as much as we can whenever we can, from the PA to the CEO.

Stacchi: The real question is, how much footage did Jeffrey Katzenberg and John Lasseter get done last week? [laughs] Actually, John could do it if he wanted to – he used to be an animator. But I don't think Jeffrey's going to touch a puppet or a computer anytime soon.

As directors, could you guys overrule Travis?

Stacchi: In the morning, when he came in in his animator cape, there was a little overruling. But in the afternoon, when we were showing him where the project was going, it got a little harder to overrule.

Annable: Yeah, the dynamic changes at that point. But everybody in the company puts on their different hats, switches gears and makes it work.

Stacchi: Honestly, there are 350 people there with odd, strange skills. And if you can calm down and let them do what they do, they're just gonna make you look better most of the time.

SEE ALSO: One Huge Change In The 'Frozen' Storyline Helped Make It A Billion-Dollar Movie

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Hollywood Is The Most Sexist Place In America

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study backed by the United Nations casts light on the troubling lack of progress the film industry has made in its portrayal of women. Actresses command just 30.9 percent of speaking roles in cinema and are twice as likely to be overtly sexualized as their male counterparts, according to the report commissioned by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. But perhaps most revealing is the dismal percentage of female characters in professional positions.

Studying popular movies across 11 countries, researchers tabulated the numbers of male and female characters depicted in respected disciplines like law, medicine and science. To complete the picture, we took their analysis a step further, comparing the film percentages with the actual statistics on gender distribution in the American workforce — and it doesn’t look good. Career women are even more drastically under-represented on screen than they are in real life, which is already a bar that leaves much to be desired.

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Female characters find themselves particularly unwelcome in law and academia. Only 9.1 percent of on-screen lawyers are female, though women comprise 34 percent of legal professionals in the United States. It’s worse still for female judges, whose real-world figure of 27.1 percent drops to only 5 percent in film.

Female professors are particularly scarce in movies — at just 5.9 percent compared with men — though 39 percent of full-time faculty members in U.S. universities are female. Women doctors and clergy members have a relative advantage here, but even so, their on-screen representation (at 14.8 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively) remains a far cry from the truth (30.4 percent and 13 percent).

Interestingly, while Hollywood gives short shrift to career women in general, it apparently has a soft spot for female reporters. Journalism stands out as a bastion of gender parity in film, with an on-screen press corps that’s even more diverse than it is in reality. (Note that the data we used specifically applies to the gender composition of newspaper newsrooms. In other media subfields, the disparity may be less pronounced — for example, women comprise 40.3 percent of employees at local TV news stations.)

But the mere presence of professional female characters shouldn’t be hailed as a victory. The authors of the study point out that these roles, when they do exist, are often reduced to stereotypes and comedic fodder.

We love you, Elle Woods, but we can do better.

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