Summer is just around the corner and with it comes some of the most anticipated movies of the year. The comic book adventures promise to be bigger, bolder and badder than ever, but there’s more on the horizon than that. There’s sci-fi, animation, fantasy, thrillers and action and even a smattering of drama coming soon to a screen near you. And there will be enough comedy for every funny bone—comedy with ghosts, with music, with mothers and with neighbors. With gangsta cats and CIA agents, with weddings and with romance gone awry.
One night a few years ago, director Bryan Singer was at the Saddle Ranch Chop House in Los Angeles, half-drunk, having a good time when a dark cinematic vision popped into his head.
"I was with a bunch of friends, buzzed, eating chicken wings," Singer recalled on a recent afternoon as he sat in an edit bay on the 20th Century Fox lot. "Suddenly, I was like, 'How about you see a boy and you don't know what he's doing — and then we reveal that he's building a giant pyramid effortlessly, and nearby on a sand dune are four men on horses?'"
That first glimpse of the "X-Men" franchise's next villain — an ultra-powerful mutant with a god complex known as Apocalypse, first introduced in the comics in 1986 — would ultimately become the post-credits tag at the end of 2014's "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which went on to gross nearly $750 million worldwide. Now the fearsome, hulking villain will get his full turn in the spotlight in "X-Men: Apocalypse," which hits theaters May 27.
I grew up a Jewish kid in a Catholic neighborhood, I was an only child, I was a nerd in school, I was struggling with sexuality issues — all sorts of things were happening.... So when I suddenly come across this universe that's all about misfits and outcasts who become superheroes, it intrigued me.
The Russo brothers might be nerd royalty now — having directed 2014's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and this summer's sequel, "Civil War," before being entrusted with Marvel's crown jewel, "The Avengers" — but when they shot the pilot for the cult TV series "Arrested Development," their dailies terrified a Fox executive.
"They called us up after seeing the first day of dailies, we were on set on Day 2, and they said, 'This is a disaster!'" Anthony Russo recalls of his early work on the 2003 comedy series created by Ron Howard and Mitch Hurwitz.
"To be fair, we were running four or five cameras at a time," brother and directing partner Joe Russo interjects. "We knew we were going to grab two seconds here, three seconds there."
There was the guy who tweeted that he hoped she'd die in a fire, the one who sent her Facebook messages warning that she'd fail at her job and the online news commentator who quipped, "Never trust a writer with a head shot."
"I did find that last one funny," said Katie Dippold, who has written the new "Ghostbusters" movie with director Paul Feig. A reboot of Ivan Reitman's beloved 1984 supernatural comedy, this "Ghostbusters," which will be released July 15, stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as a mismatched group of paranormal investigators.
Like many people associated with the new film, Dippold has been on the receiving end of some strangely personal backlash related to the gender of the movie's stars.