Extras! 23 January 2015

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Welcome to The Extras! A daily dose of all the smaller movie related news, clips and just plain cool stuff that you might have missed!

  • As we mentioned when we did our list of crazy casting choices that almost happened, Al Pacino was once offered the role of Han Solo in Star Wars, but turned it down because he apparently didn’t understand the script. Seriously. But what if Pacino had been more understanding? Would the movie then have ended up something like this?

  • Marvel may have crushed my dreams of seeing Chiwetel Ejiofor cast as Black Panther, but it looks like the comic book film studio still wants the Oscar winner for something strange. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is apparently courting the 12 Years a Slave star for an “unspecified role” opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the upcoming Doctor Strange. Talks are in a very, VERY early stage so this may not happen at all, but man, I would love it if it did. Especially if Ejiofor was picked as the film’s villain, because as fans of Firefly know, he makes an incredible bad guy!
  • And staying with some superhero casting, now that Jake Gyllenhaal has passed on replacing Tom Hardy in the role of Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad, rumour has it that Warner Bros have set their targets on either Joel Edgerton or Jon Bernthal to play the leader of the motley crew of villains. Seeing as how Bernthal already has a relationship with writer-director David Ayer having just starred in his Fury, I can definitely see the Pacific star getting the nod.

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  • Well, that was fun while it lasted. One of the biggest news stories last year was how Marvel turned an admittedly ludicrous sounding movie like Guardians of the Galaxy into the highest grossing movie in the US released in 2014. Unfortunately, that’s no longer true. Despite essentially being nothing more than a half-movie setup, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1‘s box office takings ticked pass $333.2 million mark on Wednesday, officially claiming the top spot from Guardians.
  • When Amazon’s Transparent won big at the Golden Globes recently, was your first thought perhaps “Who the what now?”. Only available to stream with an Amazon Prime subscription, the award-winning comedy-drama series is not exactly watched by everybody, but that could change this weekend as Amazon will be making the entire show available, absolutely free to watch for everybody. The catch? It will only be available for 24 hours, so you best get to binge watching quick!
  • If you just can’t keep track of all the plot that’s happened in the six Fast & Furious movies released thus far, then… well, then I’m not even sure how you managed to count to six! But nevertheless, if you still can’t wrap your head around things like “drive cars really fast”, “rob people” and “sweat a lot”, then this funny video recapping the entire series up until now in just 3-minutes is just the thing for you.

  • The words “Michael Bay” and “tactful response” don’t often go together, but they will today. Project Almanac is an upcoming teen time travel sci-fi flick being produced by Bay’s Platinum Dunes and its latest trailer features footage of a B-52 bomber crash caused by some time travel shenanigans. Unfortunately, the footage looks exactly like a real-life 1994 B-52 bomber crash at an airfield in Washington that claimed the lives of four Air Force office, which has created an outcry from families of the deceased. First-time director Dean Israelite claims that it was in fact footage of a different crash in Tokyo in 2009, but either way, it’s still in poor taste. And that’s something that Bay vehemently agreed with, as he immediately ordered the scene cut as soon as he found out about the whole mess.

“My relationship with the United States military has been very strong my entire film career. Every branch of service has appeared in my past films or TV shows. I have encountered nothing more than extraordinary brave men and women who serve our country. I’m very proud to be able to represent them professionally in my films.

Unfortunately today I learned that the movie “Project Almanac,” produced by my Platinum Dunes company, directed by a talented first-time director, used a 2-second shot in a grainy news clip of a real B-52 crash. When the director presented his cut to me, I actually thought the short clip was a created visual effect like many of the other shots in the film.

I let film directors make their movies at Platinum Dunes and give them tremendous responsibilities. Well, unfortunately a very bad choice was made to use a real crash instead of creating a VFX shot, without realizing the impact it could have on the families.

I have asked Paramount Pictures to remove this shot immediately from the picture. I want to also extend my deepest apology to the families, and also to the U.S. Air Force.

— Michael Bay”

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“Right now I’m not sure where it is, I don’t know what’s happening with it. I think it’s a question probably to ask [distributor] Relativity…they’re the ones who are really holding the strings to this story and this character. But yeah, I don’t think it’s gonna be something I’m gonna be doing for a while. I’ve got about four or five different projects which I’m lining up for this year, which will take up the majority of my 12 months. So not in the near future, unfortunately.”

  • This year sees Star Wars returning to our screens for the first time since 1983 (What do you mean there were 3 other movies? That’s crazy talk!), but the mega-franchise will have some stiff competition in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Personally though, I don’t see why the two have to go head to head. Can’t we all just get along? Kind of like in this mashup trailer – titled Star Wars: Age of Vader – that slaps the audio from the Age of Ultron on top of footage from the original trilogy. And it’s incredible!

If you have anything you would like to contribute to Extras, whether it be interesting stories, funny videos, or artistic photos of yourself in morally questionable poses, feel free to drop a mail to [email protected]

Last Updated: January 23, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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