The Normal Heart (which airs May 25 on HBO) is the story of a great love. Not just the one between Ned (Mark Ruffalo) and his boyfriend Felix (Matt Bomer), who’s dying of AIDS, or the one that finds both men fighting to keep their friends alive during the early 1980s, before anyone really knew what this so-called “gay cancer” was. It’s the one that starts with the HBO project’s creator, Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story), and his infatuation with something he read back in college. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Mark Ruffalo (1-7 of 7)
It’s taken 30 years for Larry Kramer’s incendiary play The Normal Heart to make it to the screen. Heart, which premiered in 1985 and had a 2011 Tony-winning revival on Broadway, is one of the first literary works to tackle the AIDS crisis and boldly criticize the lack of government support to fight the disease. In this week’s EW cover story, the cast and crew talk about the challenges of bringing Heart to life, the transformative production, and their hopes for the film’s legacy.
Despite involvement from names like Barbra Streisand, who owned the rights for 10 years, The Normal Heart appeared to be destined for only theater until Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy acquired the rights in 2009 with his own money. “I really believed in it,” explains Murphy, who first read the play in college and directed the film version. “Larry set a very high price. I gulped and said, ‘Okay,’ and bought it. I think he wanted to see, ‘Is this kid serious?’ And I was.” Kramer, who’s HIV-positive and currently recovering from unrelated medical complications, was unable to speak to EW but emailed that Heart made it to the screen “because of Ryan Murphy caring passionately about getting it made, abetted by [exec producer] Dante Di Loreto.” READ FULL STORY
Avengers Assemble! While filming for the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron has been in progress since early April, today marks the first official day that all six Avengers — Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner — were reunited on the set, according to a tweet from Ruffalo.
Though that alone would have been enough to excite fans, the actor — seemingly well aware of what the public really wants — took things one step further by tweeting out a few photos of the cast posted on his Instagram and Tumblr. One photo shows the elusive Black Widow herself, a.k.a. Johansson, in a character-branded track jacket. (And it looks like the short red curls are back to stay!) The other? A reunion photo with Ruffalo’s fellow science bro Downey, Jr., of course.
Every week, EW will imagine a sequel to a movie that we wish would happen — no matter how unlikely the idea really is.
Let me start off by stating the obvious: Not every film needs a sequel. As Darren Franich poignantly pointed out: “Every big-budget movie Hollywood releases now is not just a movie. It’s also an advertisement for a potential sequel, or spinoff, or alternate-universe prequel-reboot.” Valid point, and in most cases, this is true. However, sometimes a full story simply can’t be told in two hours (theoretically speaking) or less. No matter how much you might have loathed The Dark Knight Rises, you have to admit that it wrapped things up pretty cleanly and gave the audience some sense of closure. That’s a sequel’s purpose — closure. Do they always attain it? Of course not. But for every Grown Ups 2, there’s an Iron Man 3.
That being said, most of the flicks released widely this summer were a bit lackluster. One, however, stood out for me. Has anyone seen Now You See Me? Sure, I was dragged to see a matinee viewing, but I’ll admit it: I was smitten. I don’t know if it was Isla Fisher getting the screen time that she deserves, the so-stupid-it’s-clever plot or the sight of an always-welcome Morgan Freeman, but Now You See Me was a gem that could have an equally special follow-up. Don’t believe me? Let me defend my case.
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There are good years, and then there are great years, and then there are the kinds of years that Joss Whedon had in 2012. In May, Lionsgate released Cabin In The Woods, the long-delayed, widely acclaimed po-mo horror flick, co-written and produced by the cult pop auteur. (Drew Goddard co-wrote and directed the film.) In July, Whedon attended Comic-Con and celebrated the tenth anniversary of his gone-too-soon TV series Firefly at one of the most emotional panels the annual fan-fest has ever seen. In September, Whedon went to the Toronto International Film Festival and premiered Much Ado About Nothing, a micro-budget, literally homemade adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy. ”That was an incredible experience,” recalls Nathan Fillion, who stars in the film (set for release next summer). “The man got three standing ovations before he got on stage. That’s just indicative of the kind of fandom that Joss creates. I have never seen anything like it.” In October, The CW aired – for the first time on television – Whedon’s 2008 Emmy-winning online opus Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Shortly before Halloween, the man who created Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Dollhouse took to the Web to say a few words about the defining issue of the 2012 presidential campaign – a zombie apocalypse – via a very funny, very personal, very partisan video viewed by over 7 million people.
Oh, and there was Marvel’s The Avengers. Whedon wrote and directed that, too. Grossed $1.5 billion worldwide. Maybe you saw it.
No one could claim that The Avengers are an evenly matched team of superheroes. Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) are more-or-less indestructible — Thor can even fly, for Odin’s sake — whereas Captain America (Chris Evans) is just the most fit human being ever with a seemingly shatterproof shield. And while Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are supremely talented, they are very much earthbound mortals. Then there’s Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), who can fly and shoot rockets and such, but is embodied by a highly flawed man who’s always just a hair away from death.
But what about the actors playing all of these roles — are they as lopsidedly matched? READ FULL STORY
Unsure who Black Widow is? Having trouble deciphering the Hulk’s roar? Can’t tell the difference between Iron Man and the Iron Giant? In anticipation of the release of The Avengers on May 4, EW’s team of super geeks is here to help guide you through the mythos with our seven-part series of superhero primers, the recently declassified “Avengers Files.” It doesn’t matter if you’re a comic book connoisseur or a Nick Fury newbie — follow along this week as we deconstruct Earth’s mightiest heroes and pose the question: Which Avenger is the mightiest?
Name: Hulk, The (Incredible)
First comic appearance: The Incredible Hulk No. 1 (May 10, 1962), created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.
First movie appearance: 2003’s Hulk directed by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s Ang Lee, whose artsy-fartsy superhero spectacular fizzled. Global gross: $245 million. READ FULL STORY
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