The day was June 22, 2001. George W. Bush was midway through the first year of his presidency. TNT had just reinvented itself with the slogan “We Know Drama.” Annoying suburban children across this country were thrilling to the pop-punk sounds of Blink-182′s latest album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. And a movie called The Fast and the Furious was hitting theaters, opening the same weekend as Dr. Dolittle 2. It was teen-dreamboat Paul Walker’s first starring role. It more or less invented the idea of Vin Diesel, Action Star. And it launched one of the most surprising and durable franchises in modern Hollywood — which looks poised to have its biggest moment yet with Fast & Furious 6, opening Memorial Day. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: This Week's Cover (1-10 of 177)
Watch out — she’s armed.
Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow have been hoping to get Tony Stark’s ladylove Pepper Potts into some armor ever since the second Iron Man movie, fulfilling the character’s comic book evolution from the damsel in distress to the high-powered heroine known as Rescue. With Iron Man 3, it finally happens. “It’s sort of the comic-book version of a Cinderella story,” Paltrow says of her character’s four-film arc. “She starts timid and sort of cleaning up after Tony, and then she evolves into full strength and a superhero.”
But there’s a chance that her first time in the suit may also be her last …
In this week’s cover story, Entertainment Weekly explores a question that everyone who sees Iron Man 3 this weekend will be asking: Is this the end?
The makers of Man of Steel had to start thinking like a cadre of supervillains: how do you get under Superman’s invincible skin and really make him hurt?
This week’s cover story reveals how the new film (out June 14) attempts to humanize the superhuman by finding new flaws and vulnerabilities. The most common one, however, was off the table: “I’ll be honest with you, there’s no Kryptonite in the movie,” says director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) Those glowing green space rocks – Superman’s only crippling weakness – have turned up so often as a plot point in movies, the only fresh option was not to use it. Anyway, if you want to make an audience relate to a character, a galactic allergy isn’t the way to do it.
Henry Cavill (Immortals), the latest star to wear the red cape, instead plays a Superman who isn’t fully comfortable with that god-like title. This film reveals that even on Krypton, young Kal-El was a special child, whose birth was cause for alarm on his home planet. (More on that in the magazine) And once on Earth, his adoptive parents, Ma and Pa Kent (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane), urge him not to use his immense strength – even in dire emergencies — warning that not every human would be as accepting of him as they are. So Clark Kent grows up feeling isolated, longing for a connection to others, and constantly hiding who he is. As a result, Man of Steel presents the frustrated Superman, the angry Superman, the lost Superman. “Although he is not susceptible to the frailties of mankind, he is definitely susceptible to the emotional frailties,” Cavill says.
That’s just the set-up. Once the Kryptonian villain General Zod (Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Shannon) arrives to threaten the Earth, eventually the passionate Superman steps forward, too. It helps that he has a reason to care about the home he’s defending, and we can all thank Amy Adams’ Lois Lane for that. “I think she’s very transient. She’s ready to pick up and go at a moment’s notice,” Adams says of the hard-bitten journalist. “I think that definitely could be part of what she sees in Superman — not really laying down roots, not developing trust.”
Based on footage EW has seen, the film (which was directed by Zack Snyder and shepherded by Christopher Nolan) has plenty of building-smashing, train-slinging, heat-vision-blasting battles to cut through the emotional heaviness. “You want to give the audience great spectacle. You want them to go to the movie, be eating their popcorn and be like, ‘Wow!’” says Man of Steel producer Charles Roven, who also worked on The Dark Knight trilogy. “But it’s just not good enough to give them the ‘Wow.’ You want them to be emotionally engaged. Because if you just have the ‘wow,’ ultimately you get bludgeoned by that and you stop caring.”
Those who’ve long felt the super-confident, super-controlled Superman has gotten super dull may be glad to see him finally challenged in ways that go beyond bullets bouncing off of his chest.
For more on Man of Steel and 108 other summer movies — including Johnny Depp’s views on playing The Lone Ranger‘s Tonto (“He’s damaged. He’s just looking to get back on track”), Jennifer Aniston’s prep work for the comedy We’re the Millers (“This fabulous dance instructor just pulled the inner stripper out of me,”), and Sandra Bullock’s first impressions of working with Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig on The Heat (“The first week I was like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’”) — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands April 12th.
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her astute band of associates specialize in solving problems — from the outrageous and illicit to the shocking and salacious. But we — and millions of weekly viewers — find ourselves with one problem that even they can’t fix: We’re addicted to Scandal. This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly goes behind the scenes of television’s sexiest drama for a journey through its rise to a show that has taken over our TVs — and Twitter feeds — thanks in part to the forbidden romance between Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn). “I feel like The West Wing brought us Washington as we’d all want it to be,” explains Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. “And this show brings us Washington as we hope it would never be.”
And that, of course, is what makes ABC’s Scandal such a fun, live-tweet-every-oh-my-God–moment viewing experience. Every Thursday between 10 and 11 p.m., hordes of fans gather online to do just that: The show has averaged more than 220,000 tweets per episode since January, according to SocialGuide; some of these fans include Oprah Winfrey, Lena Dunham, and Mary J. Blige. “Bill Clinton was another person where I was like, ‘What?! You watch Scandal?!’” Washington says. “I feel like it happens at least once a week — that I am totally floored by somebody who watches the show.”
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Nobody ever said making the most expensive zombie movie of all time would be easy. For Brad Pitt and the filmmakers behind the upcoming thriller World War Z, it certainly hasn’t been. This week’s issue of EW takes you inside the tumultuous production of the blockbuster hopeful, which has involved reshoots, re-writes, and a budget that has ballooned from $125 million to over $170 million. “These movies are very intricate puzzles, and you have to keep winding the mechanisms,” Pitt says, while on the Paramount lot. READ FULL STORY »
What is it with legendary British pop culture icons celebrating their fiftieth anniversaries? Who knows — and “Who” is exactly the right word. In 2012 both the Rolling Stones and the Bond movies turned 50 and this year it is the turn of British science fiction show Doctor Who (yes, we know the Doctor is actually much older than 50, but let’s not get into that right now). To mark the occasion, this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly offers a choice of two collectible covers — one featuring Matt Smith’s Doctor, Jenna Louise-Coleman’s new “companion” Clara, and a Dalek and the other boasting Smith and a Cyberman, who will be among the monsters our time-traveling hero battles in the half-season of eight new Doctor Who shows which BBC America will premiere on March 30 at 8p.m. ET.
That, however, is just the tip of the celebratory Who-berg — the flashing light atop the Doctor’s time- and spacecraft the TARDIS, if you will. For our Doctor Who cover story we visited the show on location in Wales, grilled executive producer Steven Moffat about the upcoming episodes and the 50th anniversary special, which is being broadcast this fall, and luncheoned in Manhattan with Smith. In our Who package you’ll also find a breakdown of all 11 Doctors and, perhaps best of all, an essay by Peter Jackson in which the Lord of the Rings director recounts his Who-love and announces his price for directing an episode. You’ll think the magazine is, well, bigger on the inside…
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You may think you know how brutal HBO’s beautiful dark twisted fantasy Game of Thrones can get, but to paraphrase Wildling temptress Ygritte: “You know nothing about season 3.” Based on roughly the first half of the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the fan-favorite A Storm of Swords, this season continues the ultra-complex story of rival families vying for power in a fantasy kingdom where winter and summer last for years. It includes some of the most rousing jump-off-the-couch moments of triumph in the saga’s five-books-and-counting history — as well as its most bloody casualties. In geek terms: It’s The Empire Strikes Back of the Thrones-verse. “Emotionally, this season really goes for the jugular,” Thrones executive story editor Bryan Cogman tells Entertainment Weekly in this week’s issue. “In some cases, quite literally.”
The emotional ramp-up couldn’t happen at a better time. Game of Thrones is bigger than ever, and about to get bigger still. Last year viewership climbed to rank as HBO’s third most-popular show of all time, averaging 11.6 million viewers weekly across all the company’s platforms. With season 2’s DVD release breaking the network’s sales records last month, it’s a safe bet that Thrones viewership will soon catapult to even greater heights. But will season 3 also be the best one so far, as fans dearly hope?
Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are reluctant to raise expectations any higher, but are optimistic. “Like the book, it builds,” Benioff says. “Once the season kicks into gear, we’ve already seen stuff that makes me think it will be the best one yet. And it ought to be.” While season 2 poured a disproportionate amount of resources into the final couple hours, this round has major moments throughout; a “hammering propulsion,” as Weiss puts it. “There’s major massive events happening like I don’t think we’ve ever had before,” Weiss says. One particular “Scene Which Shall Not Be Named,” as Benioff called it, left the Thrones team devastated. “I’ve never seen the crew so emotional,” Benioff says. “If the scene has that effect on the people making it who know what’s coming, if they’re that overpowered, I think it’s going to have an overwhelming effect on people watching it.” READ FULL STORY »
This week's cover: Matt Damon and Michael Douglas go 'Behind the Candelabra' in HBO's Liberace biopic
Yes, that really is Michael Douglas and Matt Damon under the prosthetic makeup, wigs, and crystal-trimmed suits — all part of their costumes for Behind the Candelabra, the new Steven Soderbergh-directed HBO movie (airing May 26) about the stranger-than-fiction romance between Liberace (Douglas) and his young lover, Scott Thorson (Damon) from 1978 to 1982. In this week’s issue, Damon and Douglas give a frank, funny interview about filming one of the weirdest, glitziest gay love stories ever put on film, one that required both actors to do things they’d never done before onscreen. Like, say, wearing a metallic thong — and nothing else. “Every Sunday night, this girl would come to my house and I would stand in my garage and I would hike my boxer briefs up into the crack of my a– and she would give me a spray tan,” explains Damon, who spends plenty of the movie in tiny swimsuits, and wasn’t too excited about his real-life wife seeing his bronzed backside. “We’ve been through three childbirths, we’ve been in the trenches, there are no secrets. But I really wish she didn’t see that. That’s too much.”
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Close your eyes and begin listing all of the various characters, dialogue, imagery, creatures, props, sets, and songs you can from The Wizard of Oz. Chances are, it’ll take you about as long to finish as it took Dorothy and her companions to traipse their way to the Emerald City. That’s because the 1939 film is a part of our collective cultural memory, a work of American mythology so fundamental that it permeates our everyday lives. (Don’t believe me? Grab a box of Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, visit the ruby slippers in the Smithsonian, or watch any one of these movies.)
So how do you go about making a movie that tells the story of what happened before Dorothy’s house flew over the rainbow and landed lickety-splat on the Wicked Witch of the East? Basically, how do you make a prequel to everyone’s childhood? “Very carefully,” says Sam Raimi. The director of the Spider-Man and Evil Dead trilogies was at first extremely hesitant to take on Oz the Great and Powerful—the huge and expensive family film out March 8 that Disney hopes will hit the same sweet spot as 2010′s Alice in Wonderland—for a very simple reason: “The original is my favorite film of all time,” he says. ” I didn’t want it sullied. I didn’t want to be involved in a production that might trade off the goodwill of that film, so I didn’t even want to read the script at first. Luckily I did. And then I realized that it wasn’t at all what I thought.”
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