Extras! Ant Man is surprising, Joe Dante is burying his ex, Another holiday for the best man, Simon Pegg is definitely on a mission, Channing Tatum is unprofessional on set, and Brittany Murphy may have been poisoned! Plus much more!

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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!

And the countdown to Doctor Who-mas (okay, that name needs serious work) continues! This time around we have the 10th (or is that 11th?) Doctor, David Tennant, to give us an introduction to the 50th Anniversary Special, Day of the Doctor, which appears to be taking the show’s traditional low budget approach to some new extremes.

And now for something way more serious and potentially shocking. When actress Brittany Murphy passed away in 2009, it was definitely a tragedy. When her husband at the time, Simon Monjack, also passed away 5 months later, it was even more tragic. Then it became a bit of a farce as conspiracy theories started circulating stating that Murphy and Monjack had been assassinated by the US Dept. of Homeland Security for their public sympathizing with DHS whistleblower Julia Davis.

The evidence? According to the coroner’s reports for the couple, both had succumbed to cardiac arrest brought on by a combination of pneumonia and anemia, and both in the same house. And in the land of the tin-foil hat, there’s just no such thing as coincidences like these. Huffington Post wrote a lengthy article about it, and some of it was full on crazytown, resulting in it being quickly forgotten except on the fringes of the internet.

However, some new evidence has come to light, which may just flip this whole thing on its head. At the time of the couples’ deaths, Murphy’s parents were convinced that some toxic mold found in their home had something to do with their symptoms. The LA County Health Department disagreed, but Murphy’s parents sued them to get some hair and blood samples for independent testing.

Those test results are now in, and it seems the Health Department was right: no toxic mold. However, what was found was way more alarming. The report noted a presence of 10 heavy metals, normally found in rat poison. The report then goes on the claim that the only “logical explanation” for these substances’ presence, was through “exposure to these metals (toxins) administered by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent,” i.e. Brittany Murphy was poisoned.

We’ll post more info as it becomes available.

And now, to take our mind off such heady matters, heres the new TV spot for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which has some new footage including a few brief glimpses of the titular dragon.

Out of all of Marvel’s future movie endeavours, the one we’ve been waiting for the longest is undoubtedly Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. The fact that despite it having been in development for so long, and Wright’s massive fan appeal, that people still don’t know what to expect from the tale about the size changing superhero, is something that’s not completely lost on Wright. In fact, he’s kind of counting on it, it would seem.

“I want to make him into a badass [laughs]. No, I always liked that comic and I always thought it would be an interesting thing to see in live-action. That’s why I [showed] that Comic-Con test that we did for Marvel, to show this fight scene like a proof of content, like this is what the action is going to look like. I think a lot of people who maybe don’t know the character sort of see that test and go, “Oh, right, I get it. It’s like an action film,” so that’s the idea. I think people will be surprised by what kind of movie it is, and so in that respect it’s something that I know is going to stand out because it’s got a very different story and is a very different movie.”

A few weeks back, some rumoured casting descriptions popped up on the net, all hinting at the film having some serious comedic tones. Those descriptions may still only be the vaguest of rumours, but doesn’t meant that the humourous angle, something Wright has done brilliantly in all his movies, won’t be present.

“Well, I think the Marvel movies are funny, you know? I think generally the Iron Man films and The Avengers is funny. They’re not ever in the comedy section, but they are funny and entertaining, so I think it’ll be something in a similar vein to that.”

I may have some mixed feelings towards the new rebooted Robocop movie, but these cyborg-tastic Square Enix\Play-Arts Kai action figures based on the new movie gets only one very specific feeling from me. And it’s not a family friendly one, I can tell you that.

ROBOCOP-PLAY-ARTS-KAI-3

ROBOCOP-PLAY-ARTS-KAI-1

This weekend past saw a god taught some humility by a couple of mortals, when comedy sequel The Best Man Holiday ate a huge chunk out of Thor: The Dark World’s box office takings. It may have taken 14 years for this sequel to be made, but after a $34 million domestic opening weekend, it seems that Universal want the wait to be way shorter for another film. They’ve already tapped Malcolm D. Lee to write, direct and produce a follow-up to his surprise hit, although the ensemble cast of Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau, Monica Calhoun and Melissa De Sousa have not been locked down yet to return.

And speaking of Malcolm D. Lee… We have a discussion going currently about equality on screen, but what’s happening behind the camera may be worse. With Lee’s success with The Best Man Holiday this past weekend, it pushes the director’s total career box office earnings to $208 million. That may not seem like a huge amount compared to some big Hollywood directors, and yet it’s enough to net him the 7th place on the list of all time top earning African American directors. And the six people above him are not doing all that much better, in case you were wondering.

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But if you think that’s bad, wait until you get to the part about the highest earning female African American director. Spoiler alert: It’s pretty grim.

Hey, looks like you’re running low on WTF?! Here, allow me and this clip about movie characters reacting to the news that Google+ is being integrated into Youtube to top you back up again.

Now that Simon Pegg has finished hunting down three flavoured ice creams with his buddies, it’s time to get serious. Well, as serious as movie where people where disposable faces can be. That’s right, Pegg has confirmed that he will be reprising his role as scene stealing tech specialist Benji Dunn opposite Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible 5.

”Yes, absolutely [I’m back]. I’m looking forward to doing that. I’ve already started eating one carrot a day in order to be in shape. Actually that’s not good for you, don’t do that!”

Here’s a new featurette for Saving Mr. Banks which goes on to explain why Tom Hanks was cast as in the true life late as Walt Disney. Personally, I think they could have saved themselves a whole lot of time, by just summarizing thusly: Because he’s Tom bloody Hanks, that’s why!

Joe Dante, he of Gremlins and Piranha fame, hasn’t made a horror comedy in decades, despite the fact that he’s kind of great at it. He was last behind the camera for a feature film with 2009’s The Hole, and has since been keeping busy with some TV work, including a stint of episodes on Hawaii Five-O. 

But looks like he’s giving up the floral shirts to go back to his roots, as he’s been tapped to direct Burying Your Ex, a new horror comedy starring Star TrekAnton Yelchin, Twilight‘s Ashley Greene and Texas Chainsaw‘s Alexandra Daddario.

The film, penned by Alan Trezza (and based off his own short film), follows “Max (Yelchin) and Evelyn (Greene) as their relationship takes a nose dive once they move in together. Max discovers how controlling and manipulative Evelyn is but he’s too scared to break up with her. When fate steps in and Evelyn dies in a freak accident, newly-single Max prepares to move on with Olivia (Daddario). His romantic life becomes complicated when Evelyn rises from the grave and sets out to get her boyfriend back, even if that means turning him into one of the undead.”

If you’ve been pointing and laughing every week at Oliver Queen’s fashion runway makeup “mask” in Arrow, well then it seems your laughing days are numbered. It’s been revealed that the character is finally going to be getting his very own domino mask to match his comic book counterpart. And apparently it’s all thanks to you. CBM have spoken to some Arrow production staff who have revealed that they really listen to their fans and try to give them what they ask for, like the classic mask.

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg also explained another reason for the mask’s significance: no more stiff necks for Stephen Amell.

“Conceptually, it was something we wanted to do because Oliver himself is evolving as the Arrow–  from vigilante to hero, sort of from Arrow to Green Arrow — and we wanted to see that progression in his costume as well. As Oliver is embracing being a hero, being a hero means stepping out of the dark and being more of a symbol, so he has to take steps to conceal his identity more.”

“It’s going to allow the Arrow to interact with people who don’t know his identity in a much more organic way than having him constantly keep his head down,”

Arrow-mask

Looks like we finally one bit of concrete info regarding Star Wars: Episode VII. It seems that everybody’s favourite 56k modem impersonating droid, R2-D2 has been confirmed to appear in the new film. Remember that behind-the-scenes pic that was released last week? Remember the two nameless gentleman standing between JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy? Well they are Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, fellow Star Wars fans and members of the worldwide R2-D2 Builders Club (yes, that’s a thing), and they apparently Kennedy was so impressed with their personal work, that they’ve now been hired full-time to build the famed astromech droid and robot friends for the film.

Damn it to Hades. How am I supposed to keep stoking my hate-fires for Channing Tatum, when he just keeps being awesome lately? This turnaround all began with 21 Jump Street, and fittingly that’s where the latest incident also comes from. Tatum, having seen the insanely cool Jean Claude Van Damme Volvo ad, just like the millions of you guys out there, has posted a video of himself on the set of comedy sequel 22 Jump Street, where he offers his own version of the famous ad. And it’s brilliant.

Charming Potato indeed.

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: November 20, 2013

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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