Extras! RIP Richard Matheson, The origins of an ice cream, Space opera Asteroids, Paul Giamatti gets down(ton), Mother Russia hit girl, and Those Aussies really know how to monkey around! 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!

Unfortunately we have to kick off today’s proceedings, acclaimed author Richard Matheson has passed away yesterday at the age of 87. While details around his death are still a bit sketchy, his daughter, Ali, confirmed his passing with this message posted on fellow author John Shirley’s Facebook page.

“My beloved father passed away yesterday at home surrounded by the people and things he loved…he was funny, brilliant, loving, generous, kind, creative, and the most wonderful father ever…I miss you and love you forever Pop and I know you are now happy and healthy in a beautiful place full of love and joy you always knew was there…”

Matheson was famed for writing several novels and stories that were adapted into film such as I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, The Incredible Shrinking Man and most recently, Real Steel. Several of his short stories were also turned into episodes on classic anthology series The Twilight Zone.

From one master storyteller to another… It’s been a while since Studio Ghibli stalwart Hayao Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) has entranced us with his animated movies, but the Japanese director is finally back with The Wind Rises, a story based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer who designed the Zero Fighter plane used by Japan in WWII. Please note, I said “based on”, because last time I checked, WWII fighter planes did not have feathers on their wings, as can be seen in this first teaser footage from the film.

Earlier today we got the first look at that mucho explosivo retro poster for Paul Feig’s The Heat. Feig will apparently be keeping things action packed for his next gig, Susan Cooper, a hopeful franchise starter that follows a female version of James Bond. With the film being billed as an action-comedy, some folks though are a bit confused by what kind of movie it will be. Will it be a sort of Johnny English parody or more straight-faced flick? Feig spoke to ComingSoon.net about it (as well as the non-plans for Bridesmaids 2) where he elaborated.

“Well, I mean, it’s honestly the exact same tone as “The Heat,” you know? Because I don’t consider “The Heat” – what I don’t want people to think is like, oh, it’s just one of these parodies where it’s kind of like, you know, she’s pretending to be James Bond or something. It has to be like a real character who goes on this kind of real situation, but then it’s how she interacts with the world and with the people around her, that’s where the comedy comes from.”

Speaking of posters that make you go “DAYUM!!”, director Guillermo Del Toro has unveiled a new IMAX exclusive Pacific Rim poster designed by artist Sergio Grisanti. The poster is part of the new IMAX FanFix series, and is just a thing of insanely detailed beauty. Click to embiggenate that epic monster brawl and see what I’m talking about.

pacificrim_IMAX_SG_poster

Well, let nobody ever accuse Paul Giamatti of not diversifying. The actor is currently all about the face tattoos and smashing arachnids with his (hopefully) CGI rhino suit over in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it’s been revealed that he will soon be joining the cast of award winning British period drama Downton Abbey.

Did you know that every frame of Toy Story, the very first fully computer generated feature film, took between 4 and 13 hours to render? EVERY SINGLE FRAME. You can learn all about it and much more with Pajiba’s 25 Facts You Might Not Know About The Pixar Films

In case you may have forgotten about just how much lunacy is prevalent in Hollywood, let me remind you: Veteran producer Lorenzo di Bonaventure wants to make a movie based on classic 80’s arcade game Asteroids. So what hell can they do with a game that consists of nothing more than a couple of white lines and shapes on screen? Apparently a whole lot, according to di Bonaventura:

Wait… Somebody thought Asteroids was going to be a disaster movie?! And its now going to be a space opera?!!! WHAT?!!!! MORE EXCLAMATIONS!!!!!!!!

As a proud South African, there are very few things in life I hate more than saying nice things I about Australia. But no matter how patriotic you are, it will nigh impossible to not be impressed with this 19-foot tall giant ape puppet created for a stage production of King Kong currently playing in Melbourne. The famous ape requires 10 on-stage puppeteers and 3 off-stage operators to work, but the results are just incredible.

They say that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Though, as a big guy myself, it’s generally been my experience that the smaller they are, the more they beg you to stop standing on their sternum. But I guess not all folk of large stature have my natural barbarian instincts though. Take Olga Kurkulina, the statuesque Russian female bodybuilder that plays the villainous Mother Russia in Kick-Ass 2. According to star Chloe Moretz, who as Hit Girl needs to take on the giantess, she’s quite the opposite of her intimidating visage.

“It was a lot of fun. She’s like seven feet tall, broad, 200 pounds, pure muscle, and I’m just like this five foot five, 100 pound little girl, and I’m like, ‘Um, you’re twice the size of me and twice the weight of me so hi. Let’s fight.’ It was kind of amazing, but I was terrified of her at first and then I realized that she’s just the sweetest person you’ll ever meet. She literally didn’t even know how to punch someone because that’s how sweet she was. She never ever needed to know how to hit somebody. She’s so strong and everything, but she didn’t even care. She’s not a fighter.  So it was really kind of funny and sweet to see this lover who’s not a fighter at all be a fighter and really sell that.”

You may have heard us mention a few times that Edgar Wright’s upcoming The World’s End is the final installment in the “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy”, but how could three movies (the previous two being zombie-comedy Shaun of the Dead and buddy-action comedy Hot Fuzz) that have nothing to do with each other actually be considered a trilogy? Ice cream. Ice cream and wall jumping and handbrake turns and throwing things at people’s heads.

Don’t worry, it all makes much better sense in this featurette for The World’s End that explains exactly how the three movies fit together.

Last Updated: June 25, 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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