Home Entertainment Extras! Why the Mandarin isn't Chinese, Craig Gillespie wants a million dollar arm, Hugh Grant gets his rom-com on, Michael Cera makes Magic, Magic and Frank Grillo may cross bones with Captain America! Plus much more!

Extras! Why the Mandarin isn't Chinese, Craig Gillespie wants a million dollar arm, Hugh Grant gets his rom-com on, Michael Cera makes Magic, Magic and Frank Grillo may cross bones with Captain America! Plus much more!

8 min read

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!

We kick off today with some kickass hip hop. The latest song to be released from the soundtrack to the RZA’s Man With The Iron Fists is this collaboration between the legendary hip hop star turned first time feature writer/director and rock outfit The Black Keys. It’s titled “The Baddest Man Alive” and is not only a pretty funky track, but also features a couple of new scenes from the movie.

And keeping it with The Man With The Iron Fists… If you follow me on twitter then you may already have seen this, but Nu Metro have revealed that they currently do not have a distributor lined up to bring the film into the country for a big screen release. Yet. Things may change though, in which case I will let you guys know ASAP.

Earlier this morning, in one of the Iron Man 3 articles, a reader asked why Sir Ben Kingsley, a half-Indian half-Englishman was chosen to play the traditionally Chinese villain, Mandarin. Well, it seems that we need to upgrade our tin foil hats as Marvel’s Kevin Feige was apparently listening in. Actually the answer was in the EW article that first showed off the Mandarin’s look to the world, we just somehow missed it. Here’s what the article said:

Kingsley is not, of course, Chinese, but Feige says they wanted to blur the background of this version of The Mandarin. “It’s less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end,” Feige says. From his samurai hair, to his royal robe, to his bin Laden-esque beard, and the AK-47 he keeps at his side, Kingsley’s interpretation is a hodgepodge of various warrior motifs.

Steven Spielberg did a rather enlightening 14 minute interview with “60 Minutes” over the weekend, in which he discussed a wide array of topics such as how the anti-semitism and bullying that he experienced in his younger life influenced him as a filmmaker, why he’s probably done making action movies and why he thought that nobody would ever want to see Schindler’s List.

If you’re one of those people that just go to the movies for the shiny explosions and for the sensation of having the sanctity of your rectum destroyed one overpriced box of popcorn at a time, then you’ll probably have no problems in clicking this link which leads to some pretty detailed plot spoilers for Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told, since I didn’t click it. I actually care about the plot in a movie and also have a saintly butthole.

“Hugh Grant is making another Rom-Com? I completely didn’t expect that!” said absolutely nobody, ever. Yep, the British king of romantic comedies will return to the genre that made him famous, stuttering and stammering his way right into female’s hearts as he teams up for the fourth time with director Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks’ Notice, Music and Lyrics, Did You Hear About the Morgans?) for a new untitled rom-com that will see him as “a witty Englishman (Ooh, more surprises!) in Hollywood who won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1998. Fifteen years later, he’s creatively washed up, divorced and broke — so he takes a job teaching screenwriting at a small college on the East Coast” where – shock and awe – he meets and falls in love with a single mom putting herself through school.

Sometimes funnyman Mike Epps has landed the role of always funnyman Richard Pryor in the new Nina Simone biopic, Nina. Zoe Saldane will be playing the title role of the legendary jazz and soul musician (a casting choice that has not pleased Simone’s family and fans) who befriended the famous comedian in the 1960’s, when they were both just starting out in their careers.

Last week, I officially reached my saturation point when it comes to Skyfall promo material and will now be avoiding all other clips, trailers and images so that I can at least save something for the film. But if you’re still cool with seeing everything before the movie, then feel free to hit play on this new clip that shows Bond’s first meeting with the new Q played by Ben Wishaw.

Hammer Films is making a sequel to The Woman in Black, this despite the fact that the story of the first film was complete or that star Daniel Radcliffe, director James Watkins and screenwriter Jane Goldman all wouldn’t be returning. But hey, I guess a $150 million haul at the box office with about $130 of that being profit is pretty hard to ignore. At least Hammer have taken the first step to assuring some confidence in The Woman in Black: Angel of Death as Tom Harper, director of acclaimed indie feature film Scouting Book for Boys, has been chosen to head up the scares at Eel Marsh House this time around.

And in a story so crazy it must be true, Brooklyn bank robber Kevin Crawford’s plans were foiled while trying to make a getaway from his third bank robbery. Crawford ran out the bank and straight into a neighbourhood patrol of local Hasidic Jews. While he was wearing a Red Skull mask from the Captain America movie. You know, the comic book Nazi supervillain, Red Skull. Oy vey!

Variety is reporting that Fright Night remake and Lars and The Real Girl director Craig Gillespie is in talks to helm the Jon Hamm starring Million Dollar Arm. The film will tell “the true story of how sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Hamm) discovered professional [baseball] pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel through a reality show he staged in India with cricket players.”

Arrested Development star Michael Cera gets typecast a lot, but he seems to be breaking out of his dorky mould in this first image for psychological thriller Magic, Magic. In fact he looks like some kind of tightly strung pimp who’s about to lay the smack down on a ho for not giving him his money. Unfortunately though, that is actually not what the movie is about, but this newly released synopsis still makes it sound pretty intriguing and it will be interesting to see Cena break out of his awkward shell.

A young American traveler named Alicia (Juno Temple) begins seeing disturbing images visible only to her, while in the spectacular Chilean lake district. Her best friend Sarah (Emily Browning) suddenly returns to Santiago, leaving Alicia in an unfamiliar country surrounded by strangers (Michael Cera and Sandino Moreno). More and more she unravels, seeing darker visions and hearing chilling noises that send her running into the woods. In this disturbing landscape, she experiences crushing terror and knows that she must escape. A destabilizing, psychological thriller recalling the best works in the genre, this film entices viewers into a world they won’t be able to forget.

If you’ve never seen the Friday the 13th movies or are maybe just holding out for a complete boxset of Jason Voorhees’ slashing exploits, then you may be in luck. A full collection has never been released due to the home rights for the various films being split between Paramount and Warner Bros. But now it’s been revealed that Paramount have sold all their rights to WB, meaning the likelihood of a complete collection just increased quite a bit.

While the later films in the series had about as much cinematic merit as my toenail clippings, the earlier films are great as you watch this hockey mask wearing, butcher knife sporting Pepe Le Pew walk his victims down to their screaming, gratuitously nude deaths.

Last we heard, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was casting for two “very physical” male villain roles, and it seems that they’ve found one in The Grey and Warrior star Frank Grillo. He has apparently been testing for the role which, as revealed by his not-so-cryptic tweet and confirmed by radio host Matthew Aaron, would be that of the assassin Crossbones.

@FrankGrillo: “WOW. Badass fans that Marvel has. Fierce muthas.#bones

@MattAaronShow: “Once again, just wanted to tell you and I’ll be talking about it all week… Frank Grillo has tested for Crossbone in the new Marvel movies”

Crossbones is of course the sociopathic, skull-mask wearing, frequent collaborator of Sin, the daughter of The Red Skull. As to who the other “very physical” villain is, well the role is completely unknown at this point, but the names of Josh Holloway (Lost) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) have been floating around as contenders.

Of all the adjectives out there, the one probably thrown the way of Quentin Tarantino’s characters the most would have to be “cool”. But ever wonder how the acclaimed director achieves that level of refrigeration for his cinematic creations? Well the Press Play Video Blog, is asking the same thing as part of their series of Essays on QT.

Last Updated: October 23, 2012


  1. James Francis

    October 23, 2012 at 17:02

    A full Friday boxset? That would be cool.


  2. James Lenoir

    October 24, 2012 at 09:37

    After the furore that the casting of the last airbender caused (the racebending saga), you’d think Hollywood would start learning from its mistakes. I suppose unlike science or any rational-thinking entity or person, it’s unable to rectify itself. Ben Kingsley may not be “white” (although how he self-identifies is really what’s important. He probably just considers himself British), if I was Asian, I’d be starting to get a little angst-y as well.

    I’m a huge fan of Ben Kingsley, and he’ll probably deliver as the Mandarin, but that still doesn’t disguise the fact that Hollywood’s race views are archaic. a) a film set in an Asia, must star a white (or at least someone of mixed race who looks more white than “asian”) (ex. The Last Samurai). (b) That non-asian star is always “better at being asian” than the asians in the movie (any american martial arts movie created in the last 30 years). (c) the assumption that the typical American would ignore a movie that stars a Chinese or Asian-American lead (even though Jackie Chan or Jet Li are hot commodities) (c) Romance and Asian males are mutually exclusive. (Why the hell couldn’t Jet Li hook up with Alisha?) (d) White guy always gets Asian girl, Asian guy plays with himself, or his car, or his computer, or is just quirky…

    The interesting thing is, that Hollywood has started to realise that their overseas market is actually bigger than their domestic one (even though it took them decades to realise this), and there has been a push to market towards that untapped market… CHINA, and the number of Asian Americans in movies have increased considerably, but it’s still a case of one step forward, and five klu klux klan-like cross burnings on the lawn.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      October 24, 2012 at 10:42

      Yeah, it is unfortunate. In most cases though, it comes down to bankability. When it was announced that Kingsley landed the role, it was a big deal. The movie suddenly started pinging on the radars of folks who may not have been as excited as before. Had they gone with some Chinese star that most people outside of Asia had never heard of, that would never have happened. I wish it were different, but that is unfortunately the nature of the business.

      That being said, this is one time where I’m not really all that fussed about a character being slightly less Asian. The Mandarin’s ethnicity never featured that heavily into the character. He’s powers were extraterrestrial in origin, and while he did have mysticism thrown in, it was more just random Eastern mysticism than specifically Chinese.

      And I have far less of a concern about the fact that he’s not Chinese, than I do about the fact that that mystical element appears to have been dropped completely, as that’s what made Mandarin such a great nemesis. It was always the iconic battle of Tony Stark’s technology vs Mandarin’s magic. And seeing as how Thor opened the door for more magical elements in the Marvel cinematic universe, it is a shame that they’re going right back to guns vs guns again.


      • James Lenoir

        October 24, 2012 at 11:18

        You know when I heard that they were planning on using the Mandarin as the new villain in Iron Man 3, Ken Watanabe’s name immediately sprung to mind. Granted he’s not Chinese… although the whole Ghenghis Khan ancestry thing crosses so many contemporary ethnicities these days. You might be coloured and cape townian, or puerto rican and the chance exist that Ghenghis Khan had his way with one of your ancestors,.

        Don’t know about the magic, but I reckon they’ll probably focus on Mandarin’s rings, and make them tech-based, although you really can’t tell from the trailer.


        • Kervyn Cloete

          October 24, 2012 at 11:54

          Watanabe would actually have been a great choice that can appease both the fanboys and the broader audience.

          From what I can tell, the rings don’t seem to feature much outside of the name of his organization and for more of an aesthetic value.


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