Tag Archive | "Guillermo del Toro"

Guillermo del Toro Expands ‘Trollhunters’ Universe With ‘Tales of Arcadia’ Trilogy Series

Guillermo del Toro Expands ‘Trollhunters’ Universe With ‘Tales of Arcadia’ Trilogy Series

Guillermo del Toro is brining ‘Tales of Arcadia’ to Netflix.

Guillermo del Toro has announced that the world of Trollhunters will expand to become a trilogy of series called Tales of Arcadia.

On the surface, Arcadia appears to be a slice of timeless Americana, but it is no ordinary town.  It lies at the center of magical and mystical lines that will make it a nexus for many battles among otherworldly creatures including trolls, aliens and wizards.  DreamWorks Trollhunters, the first installment in the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, will be followed by two additional series 3 Below in 2018 and a final chapter Wizards set to debut in 2019.

Following Trollhunters, DreamWorks 3 Below will focus on two royal teenage aliens and their bodyguard who flee a surprise takeover of their home planet by an evil dictator and crash land in Arcadia. Now on the run from intergalactic bounty hunters, they struggle to blend in and adapt to the bizarre world of high school all the while attempting to repair their ship so they can return and defend their home planet.

DreamWorks Wizards brings together the three disparate worlds of trolls, aliens and wizards who have found themselves drawn to Arcadia. The final chapter of the Tales of Arcadia culminates in an apocalyptic battle for the control of magic that will ultimately determine the fate of these supernatural worlds that have now converged.

Premiering in 2016 to critical acclaim, Trollhunters introduced audiences to the seemingly quiet town of Arcadia and an ordinary kid who embarks on an extraordinary adventure in a hidden world right beneath his feet featuring the voices of Anton Yelchin, Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman, Steven Yeun, Anjelica Huston and more. The first season lead the Creative Arts Daytime Emmys with six wins, more than any other program, including writing for an animated program (Marc Guggenheim), directing (Rodrigo Blaas, del Toro), casting (Ania O’Hare, Mary Hildalgo) and a voice acting win for Grammer.

DreamWorks Trollhunters is created and executive produced by del Toro with Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow), Rodrigo Blaas (Alma) and Chad Hammes (Dragons: Race to the Edge) and Christina Steinberg (Rise of the Guardians) serving as executive producers.  Dan Hageman (The Lego Movie, Ninjago) and Kevin Hageman (The Lego Movie, Ninjago) serve as co-executive producers.

www.netflix.com/trollhunters
www.netflix.com/3below
www.netflix.com/wizards

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Blu-ray Review: Arrow Films’ “Ray Harryhausen Special Effects Titan”

Blu-ray Review: Arrow Films’ “Ray Harryhausen Special Effects Titan”

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This ridiculous heat wave encompassing the area kept Steve Johnson inside surrounded by ice cold beer and a truckload of Arrow Films releases. This time around he takes a look at “Ray Harryhausen Special Effects Titan.” Featuring interviews with the man himself and those he influenced, this career spanning documentary is not one to miss.

Here’s a quick synopsis before we engross ourselves in the life of a legend.

The remarkable career of the movie industry’s most admired and influential special-effects auteur, the legendary Ray Harryhausen, is the subject of “Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan.” Leaving no doubt as to Harryhausen’s seminal influence on modern-day special effects, the documentary features enlightening and entertaining interviews with the man himself, Randy Cook, Peter Jackson, Nick Park, Phil Tippet, Terry Gilliam, Dennis Muren, John Landis, Guillermo Del Toro, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and many more. These filmmakers pay tribute to the father of Stop Motion animation and films such as “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “It Came From Beneath The Sea,” “The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad,” “Mysterious Island,” “Jason And The Argonauts” and “The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad” – the films that enthralled them as children and inspired them to become filmmakers. These are the wonders of a world without words, viewed through man and nature’s own prisms of symmetry, savagery, chaos and harmony.

REVIEW: By a show of hands, who hasn’t heard of Ray Harryhausen? If you raised your hand and love science fiction or horror films, do yourself a favor and learn about the man. I was going to say slap yourself in the face, but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. Anyway … Harryhausen is one of the most influential people to work in the motion picture business. The place to start with your education should be this documentary, “Ray Harryhausen Special Effects Titan.” After finishing, watch all of his films. Hell, do it vice versa, I don’t care. Just do it. You will not be disappointed. By the end of your marathon viewing of the documentary and his films, you will recognize his influence on some of today’s greatest directors and special effects artists.

“Ray Harryhausen Special Effect Titan” covers the entire span of Harryhausen’s career and features a bevy of behind the scenes footage and in depth interviews with the man himself. Harryhausen pulls back the curtain on the majority of his films and explains how he achieved the wonders he put to screen. Viewers are also treated to personal stories of his influence from a variety of high profile directors and special effects wizards including Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, John Landis and Rick Baker. Those are a few of the huge names who profess their love to Harryhausen throughout the documentary. I have always been aware of Harryhausen’s role in shaping cinema, but I didn’t realize how much he influenced some of my favorites in the business until I saw side-by-side comparisons. The directors and special effects artists featured in the film borrowed heavily from Harryhausen. We cinephiles owe a lot to Harryhausen. God knows what cinema would look like without his influence.

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Arrow continues delivering the goods with the special features on this disc. First up, the viewer is treated to an audio commentary featuring the makers of the film. I enjoyed it quite a bit and would suggest checking it out. Following up the audio commentary is a feature entitled “Treasure Trove,” where original Harryhausen models were unboxed and filmed. What I would give to have one of the originals up on the bookshelf! Next up are interviews and outtakes with the directors and special effects artists featured in the film. Hearing these giants of cinema turned into fanboys was cool to witness. Harryhausen meant the world to these artists and it shows. The most heartfelt moment on the disc is a feature entitled “A Message to Ray.” In it, Ray Bradbury, Ken Ralston, Randall William Cook, Guillermo del Toro, James Cameron and Vanessa Harryhausen each send their love and admiration to Harryhausen. While it is short, this is the best feature on the disc and may be one of the best features I have ever seen. A couple of Q&A’s are also included featuring the makers of the film and Harryhausen himself. Rounding out the special features are deleted scenes, the original trailer and a Ray Harryhausen trailer reel.

If you are a fan of sci-fi or horror you need to pick this up. Do not hesitate. Go now. Ray Harryhausen’s influence on today’s greatest filmmakers and special effects artists cannot be denied. I consider Harryhausen nothing short of a genius and he deserves all of the praise given to him in this documentary. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Ray. I am glad you had an opportunity to shine.

About The Writer
Steve Johnson, affectionately known as “The Harmony Bad Boy,” is one of the original staff writers for Icon Vs. Icon. When he’s not doing manly things, grilling encased meats, or downing copious amounts of craft beer, Steve spends his time exploring the world of horror. His obsession with the genre began by seeing ‘The Evil Dead’ and ‘An American Werewolf in London’ at an inappropriate age. Thanks mom and dad; you created this monster.
Twitter: @dastomper

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THE STRAIN: FX’s Hit Series To Return With Season Two Premiere on July 12

THE STRAIN: FX’s Hit Series To Return With Season Two Premiere on July 12

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Returning this summer!

The Strain returns to FX this summer for its highly-anticipated second season on Sundays at 10 PM e/p, beginning July 12th. The award-winning thriller from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse, based off of the best-selling The Strain Trilogy by del Toro and Chuck Hogan, was the most-watched new cable drama of 2014.

As the second season unfolds, the transformation has begun. It can no longer be denied — New York City is rapidly falling to an evil epidemic, and no one is coming to its rescue. Its citizens must fight or die. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll) and his unlikely allies tried to take down the embodiment of this evil — the Master — and failed. Now Eph and Dr. Nora Martinez (Mia Maestro) concentrate on creating a biological weapon to wipe out the creatures, while Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) searches for an ancient book he hopes will reveal the strigoi’s entire history…and possibly a way to kill them. Meanwhile, the Master is out for revenge, unleashing new and even more terrifying breeds of bloodthirsty creatures after our team.  Our team must find a way to defeat him before the infection spreads too far and becomes irreparable … before they become monsters themselves.

The Strain hails from Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Carlton Cuse along with Co-Creators/Executive Producers/Writers Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Gary Ungar, J. Miles Dale, Bradley Thompson, David Weddle and Regina Corrado serve as Executive Producers. The Strain is produced by FX Productions.

Season 1 of The Strain was 2014’s most-watched new scripted series among all basic and pay cable networks in Adults 18-49 (2.4 million). On a Live+7, multi-run basis, The Strain received 6.28 million Total Viewers and 3.49 million Adults 18-49 per week.

Season two of The Strain joins FX’s summer lineup, which begins with the television premiere of Louis C.K.’s latest standup special Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store on Thursday, May 28 at 11 PM e/p, immediately following the Season 5 finale of LouieTyrant returns for its second season on Tuesday, June 16 at 10 PM e/p. The series premiere of Denis Leary’s new comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll on Thursday, July 16 at 10 PM e/p will be immediately followed by the premiere of the second season ofMarried at 10:30 PM e/p.

The Strain on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheStrainFX
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheStrainFX
G+:  http://bit.ly/1zN8eR0

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Check Out The Chilling First Trailer For FX’s ‘The Strain’ Season 2

Check Out The Chilling First Trailer For FX’s ‘The Strain’ Season 2

The war between humans and vampires rages on in ‘The Strain’ Season 2. Check out the trailer and prepare yourself for the return of the series, which is lated to return this summer on FX. The network has not officially announced a debut date, so stay tuned!

The Strain is a high concept thriller from Co-Creators, Executive Producers and Writers Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The series, starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland and Miguel Gomez, tells the story of “Dr. Ephraim Goodweather” (Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. Goodweather and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. Emmy® Award winning Writer and Producer Carlton Cuse serves as Executive Producer, Showrunner and Writer. Guillermo del Toro is Executive Producer and he Directed the Pilot episode. Chuck Hogan is Executive Producer and Writer. Gary Ungar also serves as Executive Producer.

The Strain on Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheStrainFX
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheStrainFX
G+:  http://bit.ly/1zN8eR0

the-strain-season2

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THE STRAIN: FX Orders Second Season of Acclaimed Hit Drama Series

THE STRAIN: FX Orders Second Season of Acclaimed Hit Drama Series

'The Strain' lands a second season

‘The Strain’ lands a second season

FX has ordered a 13-episode second season of its newest hit drama series The Strain from Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuseit was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions.  Season 2 of The Strain is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2015. There are seven all-new episodes remaining in Season 1 airing Sundays at 10 PM ET/PT on FX.

The Strain marks the first time FX has aired an original series on Sunday night and the move has shown its mettle, ranking as the #1 new series on cable (broadcast or premium) in 2014 in delivery of Adults 18-49. The series also recorded the most-watched series premiere in FX history with 12.7 million Total Viewers, which surpassed the network’s initial projection of 10 million Total Viewers. The Strain is the first drama series produced solely by FXP (FX Productions).

Due to the popularity of the show, Fox Home Entertainment will release Season 1 of The Strain on DVD and Blu-ray™ everywhere on December 2.

“We’ve never had any doubts about The Strain,” said John Landgraf. “Working with Guillermo del Toro, Carlton Cuse, and the brilliant cast led by Corey Stoll has been everything we had hoped it would be and more.  It is thrilling when you have a show that is a creative and commercial hit, which is a rare accomplishment in this increasingly crowded marketplace. We look forward having it on FX for as long as Carlton, Guillermo and Chuck Hogan need to tell this epic tale.”

On a weekly basis, the critically acclaimed series is averaging 11 million Total Viewers and 5.2 million Adults 18-49 inclusive of VOD and online viewing (most current and will increase with the accumulation of more data).  On a first-run only Live+7 basis, the series is averaging 4.5 million Total Viewers and 2.6 million Adults 18-49. The Strain’s 1.2 million Adults 18-34 (first-run L+7) places it in a tie for the top spot in that demo among all new cable series to launch in 2014.

“I am thrilled!  Another season to spread the virus!” said del Toro, who directed the pilot and co-wrote the best-selling books The Strain with Chuck Hogan.  “Working with Carlton, Chuck and FX has been immensely rewarding and we have such sights to unveil in the upcoming episodes—the blood hits the fan on this one, mankind becomes an endangered species.”

Cuse said, “It’s been immensely satisfying over the last year-and-a-half to work with the incredible team at FX, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan to bring The Strain to life.  I am grateful for all the blood, sweat and tears (but mostly blood) given to the project by all involved, and I could not be more excited to continue telling this epic story.”

The first six episodes of The Strain are currently available on FX’s VOD platform FXNOW for authenticated subscribers of the network, and future episodes will be available after they air on FX.

In next week’s 7th episode, “For Services Rendered” (airs this Sunday, August 24 at 10:00 PM ET/PT), Setrakian, Eph, and Nora formulate a plan to track down the Master using Jim as bait.  Eichhorst and Setrakian’s pasts are revealed.  At the Luss home, Neeva struggles to protect the children while encountering a mysterious stranger whose help she may not want. Teleplay by Bradley Thompson &David Weddle; directed by Charlotte Sieling.

The Strain is a high concept thriller from Co-Creators, Executive Producers and Writers Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. The series, starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland and Miguel Gomez, tells the story of “Dr. Ephraim Goodweather” (Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. Goodweather and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself. Emmy® Award winning Writer and Producer Carlton Cuse serves as Executive Producer, Showrunner and Writer. Guillermo del Toro is Executive Producer and he Directed the Pilot episode. Chuck Hogan is Executive Producer and Writer. Gary Ungar also serves as Executive Producer.

Guillermo del Toro and Cuse are represented by WME.

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THE STRAIN: FX Unleashes ‘The Strain Transformation’ App

THE STRAIN: FX Unleashes ‘The Strain Transformation’ App

FX’s newest hit series, The Strain, from acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro and executive producer Carlton Cuse, has a warning for the general public: They may be infected with The Strain.

The Strain Transformation app is available as a free download in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Fans can discover what will happen when an ancient parasitic plague enters their system and transforms them into a monstrous vampire. From examination to diagnosis, they’ll see their transformation in seconds. The app enables the infected to quickly share photos of their results on Facebook and Twitter to inform and warn their friends of the spreading infection. It offers exclusive video and access to The Strain social media, including the official Strain Facebook and Twitter pages.

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FX worked with the agency Neo-Pangea to execute the Transformation App experience.

The Strain is a high concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City.  He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.  As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

The ensemble cast of The Strain stars Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, Miguel Gomez and David Bradley. Writer, producer, director and novelist Guillermo del Toro has built his career on bringing fantasy and horror to vivid life.  He wrote and directed the dark fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth, which garnered six Academy Award nominations, including one for del Toro for Best Writing, Original Screenplay.  The film went on to win three Oscars®.  Named by The Hollywood Reporter as a “Master of Horror,” del Toro’s other film credits include Pacific RimHellboy and the upcoming Crimson Peak starring Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Jessica Chastain.

The Strain, Sundays at 10pm

 

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Review: ‘Pacific Rim’ Explodes Onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and HD Digital Download 10/15!

Review: ‘Pacific Rim’ Explodes Onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and HD Digital Download 10/15!

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Guillermo Del Toro‘s latest cinematic thrill ride hit, ‘Pacific Rim,’ hit theaters earlier this summer and certainly didn’t disappoint! The film starts of by introducing the impact of a portal to an alien world opening under the ocean. The opening of this portal unleashes an alien onslaught of larger than life creatures, known as Kaijus, who are hell-bent of destroying Earth’s inhabitants. The governments of the world team up to battle the creatures, eventually doing creating Jaegers, which are huge robots piloted by two mentally linked pilots who act in tandem to control their heavy metal war machines.

'Pacific Rim'

‘Pacific Rim’

At first, it seems the people of Earth are able to handle this alien threat. However, as the creatures grow in strength and numbers, humanity seems to be hurdling ever closer towards an inevitable apocalypse. In a last-ditch effort to thwart the alien invaders, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) assembles a team composed of world’s few remaining Jaegers in hopes of destroying the portal that links Earth and the Kaijus’ home world. In hope of making the mission a success, Pentecost recruits emotionally scarred Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), who lost his brother to an alien foe on an earlier mission, causing him to step back from the fight. Becket is teamed with Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), an untested trainee, in hopes of saving the human race and putting an end to the alien scourge once and for all.

‘Pacific Rim’ is the type of film many of us dreamed of seeing in our youth as our action figures and toy robots battled it out in our backyard sandboxes. The film boasts an all-cast, the film includes Charlie Hunnam, Max Martini, Clifton Collins Jr., Rob Kazinsky, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and the always enjoyably gruff Ron Pearlman. However, the true star of the film is the awe-inspiring special effects Guillermo Del Toro employs to bring this incredible world of Man Vs. Monsters to life! When it comes to the on-screen brawls, it is interesting to see Del Toro balance a more traditional style of moves versus the blurrier more chaotic action of recent robot flicks, such as Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ franchise. In short, I feel with visual effects so life-like and a fast-paced story played out by a cast of solid character actors, it is almost impossible not to get sucked into this film within the first few moments. While the story isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, this film is a great way to enjoy with kids or alongside a friend for a sci-fi outing; so pop some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the ride!

RATING: 4/5 Stars

“Pacific Rim” Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack contain the following special features:

· Audio Commentary by Guillermo del Toro
· The Directors Notebook
· Drift Space
· The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim
· The Shatterdome
· Focus Points
· Deleted Scenes
· Blooper Reel

“Pacific Rim” 2-Disc Standard Definition DVD Special Edition contains the following special features:

· Audio Commentary by Guillermo del Toro
· Drift Space
· The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim
· The Shatterdome
· Focus Points
· Deleted Scenes
· Blooper Reel

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‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Extended Edition To Hit Blu-ray In November

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Extended Edition To Hit Blu-ray In November

An Epic Adventure!

An Epic Adventure!

Fans of Middle-earth will have the opportunity to gain a broader experience of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeyfrom Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, when the epic fantasy adventure is released as an Extended Edition on Digital Download October 22nd and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD on November 5th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). A production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, this new cut includes 13 minutes of extra film footage that extends individual scenes, making this the must-see, definitive version for fans. All disc versions of theExtended Edition include nearly nine hours of new bonus features and will be available just ahead of the December 13 theatrical release of the second film of the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

“I’m thrilled that the Extended Edition will give fans the opportunity to experience certain key scenes in the film as they were originally shot, as well as an abundance of special features,” said Jackson. “It’s exciting to present this expanded and enriched version of ‘An Unexpected Journey’ to allow fans to fully immerse themselves in the movie, before seeing the second part of the trilogy.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition will be available as a 5-disc Blu-ray 3D set ($54.98 SRP) that features the Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray versions of the Extended Edition; a 3-disc Blu-ray ($35.99) and a 5-disc DVD ($34.99) The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD all include UltraVioletTM which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the Extended Edition in high definition to a wide range of devices including computers and compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.*

The nearly nine hours of new special features boasts audio commentary with Peter Jackson, director/producer/screenwriter, and Philippa Boyens, co-producer/screenwriter, and “The Appendices,” a multi-part documentary focusing on various aspects of the film and the Trilogy. Complete special feature details are provided below.

The first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was nominated for three Academy Awards®[i].

SYNOPSIS: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated trilogy adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the Goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him; he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities…A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

The screenplay for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh.  The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), Present a WingNut Films Production, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  All three films in The Hobbit Trilogy, also including The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and the final film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production.  Warner Bros. Pictures handled worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution handled by MGM.

ALL-NEW SPECIAL FEATURES ON BLU-RAY 3D, BLU-RAY AND DVD:

  • Commentary with Peter Jackson, Director/Producer/Screenwriter and Philippa Boyens, Co-Producer/Screenwriter
  • The Appendices – A multi-part chronological history of the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, covering pre-production in the various departments of the film in the months leading up to the start of principal photography, the boot camp training for the main cast, the work done on set chronologically through the three shooting blocks and in the world of its digital effects.
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth

 

Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.

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No Ordinary Monster: Doug Jones Gives Us A Look Inside His World!

No Ordinary Monster: Doug Jones Gives Us A Look Inside His World!

Doug Jones is a rarity in today’s entertainment industry. He is a man known less for his face and more for his exciting body of work. Chances are you likely encountered him as one of the Gentleman in the award winning episode of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” Abe Sapien in “Hellboy” and “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”, Pan and the terrifying Pale Man from the multi-Oscar-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth” or a legendary title character in “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.” Most of his roles require this dedicated artist to endure countless hours in the makeup chair to bring these unique characters to life. However, he doesn’t rely on the prosthetics alone to sell a performance. His acting ability hearkens back to the days and talents of movies greats like Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff, who put every ounce of their body and soul into a performance.

How did he get to that point, you ask? It started simply enough. Doug Jones was born in May 1960 in Indiana, where he grew up in the city’s Northeast side as the youngest of four brothers. After attending high school, he headed to Ball State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and a minor in theatre. During his schooling, Jones donned the costume of the school mascot, was part of a mime troop, and honed his skills as a contortionist.

After a theater run in his native Indiana, he followed his dreams to Los Angeles. His breakout role came in an unusual form, as he captured the role of a McDonald’s character, Mac Tonight, that was destined to become an iconic pop culture character around the globe. Since then, it has been a non-stop roller coaster ride establishing him as one of the hardest working people in show business. With an ever-growing resume running the gambit from film, television and web series to commercials and music videos with the likes of Madonna and Marilyn Manson, Jones continues to gain critical praise as well as new legions of dedicated fans with each new outing.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with this amazing actor to discuss his start in the entertainment industry, how his unique skill set established him as one of Hollywood’s most interesting artists, his process for bringing a character from script to screen, and what new projects lie in store for him!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am a good ole fashioned, mid-western boy!

They say the entertainment is not for the faint of heart. I am sure this especially holds true for a mid-western boy like yourself! How did you get your start in the business?

Doug Jones

Well, I am going to go back to my time in Indiana where I spent time on the high school stage. In college, I was the mascot for the school. I was in a big bird suit as Charlie Cardinal and I was also a part of the mime troop there. We were called Mime Over Matter! So that was some early training that I did that I didn’t realize that I was getting for the career that I have now, wearing big costumes and learning the art of mime where I communicate with my entire body, not just the verbal dialog that comes out of an actors mouth. That was the early training that got me started. Then coming out to Los Angeles in 1985, a long, long time ago, I took a job at a bank just to make the excuse to move. The bank fired me after eight months! [laughs] Which they should have because I sucked as a banker! The favor that they did me that day was pushing me out into the L.A. market as an actor, much earlier than I had planned on. I took a television commercial acting workshop that I saw advertised in “Backstage” magazine. It turned out that the class was taught by an agent. That agent, after my second class, said, “Here’s my card, please call me at the office.” So that is kinda how I got my first agent. Then I was on my way doing TV commercials within six months of that. My fourth TV campaign booking was the Mac Tonight campaign for McDonald’s. That was the crescent moon head that sang at the top of a floating cloud with a piano. That was the campaign that kinda marked me as, “Tall, skinny, goofy guy who moves well. Wears a lot of prosthetics and costuming and doesn’t complain in the makeup!” That was the big one for the creature effects makeup people! A lot of actors are known to be divas, we are very selfish people! [laughs] I had said yes to doing something not human, therefore it comes with a cumbersome costume or some time in the makeup and that was fine. That was extraordinary to them for some reason! That is where the mid-western part of me came in. I had a work ethic that was as simple as, “If you say yes to something, you do it and don’t complain.” You just shut up and do it! [laughs] Apparently, that wasn’t done here at the time I guess! I was very surprised that I got the reaction that I did from that arm of Hollywood-land. The creature effect makeup people were the ones who then referred me to the next job and the next job and the next job. Before long, the roles were getting bigger and I was more acquainted with the directors, producers and writers that I was working with, so the referrals started coming from all ends. Here I sit today with the crazy, wacky career that I have had!

Who were some of the influences who inspired you? You have been compared to Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff of our generation. Did they factor in?

Oh yeah, yeah! Early childhood, haunting memories are staying up late on Friday night to watch Sammy Terry, the local Friday Night horror host, who wore a ghoulish vampire costume and would say, “Hello, I am Saaaaammmmy Terrrrrrrryyy!” [in a low vampire-like voice] He would introduce the horror movie of the week. I stayed up every Friday night to watch whatever the movie was. “The Mummy” was the first film of Boris Karloff’s that I remember seeing and he haunted the poop out of me! Those close ups where he opened his eyes wide was enough! How he physicalized walking around as a mummy was great. Of course, I saw “Frankenstein” after that. “Phantom of the Opera” with Lon Chaney was enough to sell me on him! They were absolutely early influences of mine. That is why I have been holding a torch, campaigning and hoping for a return of that Golden Era, where monsters were movie stars. The era where the actors playing them were press worthy, would have their name in the opening credits and that kind of thing. We lost that for a long chunk of time. Guillermo del Toro is one of those directors who took me on and made me a part off his family, so to speak, and he would write monster parts for leading men. He writes monsters as those old Golden Era monsters were, where they were the highlight of the film, not just something that came in to scratch up the lead actors, but ones who had a sympathetic cause or he might be a bad guy but it is against his own will or he is stuck in a conundrum himself or something sympathetic. That is where an audience wants to know who is playing that role and find that actor intriguing. I owe Guillermo del Toro just an awful lot for writing and directing me in roles that brought about those comparisons to those old Golden Era actors that I admire so much!

Absolutely! Having worked with Guillermo del Toro several times now, what have you learned from his direction?

Guillermo del Toro & Doug Jones

I have learned that my owns fears of my own shortcomings are stupid! [laughs] He is one of those directors that directs every actor that he has in front of him very differently. I saw that the most when I was on the set of “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” where I had way more on-screen time with Ron Perlman and Selma Blair. All three of us were handled very differently by Guillermo. He knew how our buttons pushed and he would find the space that we needed to be in, communicate with us in that space and then get out of us what he needed. It was fascinating to watch! He is such a studier of people and that is why he writes people so well and that is why he writes monsters with people issues so well, because he really knows people. That carries into his direction. It really inspired us as actors. He is amazing and knows more about my strengths and weaknesses than I do from an outsiders point of view, who has really absorbed and observed me. So when he says that I can do something that I really feel like I will fail miserably at, when Guillermo says I can do it, I have to trust him. And I do now! I learned that on “Pan’s Labyrinth.” When he told me that I was the only actor that could play the Fawn in the film, I was sure that someone else could have played better, perhaps even someone that could speak the Spanish as a native language, let’s just pretend there was someone there already. He kept assuring me that, no, I was the right choice. I was fighting him on it even! I am really glad that he won that fight! [laughs] Because that has become one the benchmarks in my career that I am so honored and grateful to have.

What is your typical process for bringing a character from the script to the screen and does that process differ when prosthetics are involved?

It does. I do like to physicalize any character that I play, even if it is a guy in a T-shirt and jeans. I think when you take on a character, you take him on physically from head to toe. Each human character might walk differently, talk differently, jester differently, run, squat or jump away from things in fear differently. So, I do bring that to my human characters as well. But when I am playing a character that is not human — actually, I just signed a contract for a new movie yesterday, which I can’t tell you about yet because the official announcement has not been made yet but I just signed on for a major studio film where I will be playing an other worldly creature. I knew this was coming so I have been back at the gym for a little over a month now. I have been doing some weight training, get my aerobics health back up and my heart rate back up to an athletic range because it is going to be very physically demanding for me. That is number one for me. I have to think like an athlete as well as an actor when I am taking on something with prosthetic layers and athleticism built into the role. After I get off of the phone with you, I will be headed over to the creature effects shop to get my first life cast and fittings done. I will see the creature designs today! At the meetings that I have had before, you have everything from “tall, postured and skinny” to “heavier, leaned over and groveling on all fours.” So I don’t know what design they picked but I will find out later today! When I see what the posture the drawings are and the girth of that suit, I will be more specific at what I am doing at the gym. It will include me going to the aerobics floor after all of the classes are done. I will use the mirrors and the big wood floor to learn my walks, my squats, my tosses, how does he crawl and what does the script call for. That is also very important. This role is going to call for a lot of tension and fight scenes and that kind of thing. I need to find some physicality with myself and the mirror. As I go back to the creature shop for more fittings, I will see if what I worked out at the gym is going to be feasible or not, can I move or not, will the costume or the makeup restrict or enhance what I have already worked on. It is a multi-step process! Then of course, the director comes in at some point and says, “I hate all that. Let’s try this instead!” [laughs] or says, “I love what you are doing!” We will have that discussion with his notes. So it is a multi-step process to get this to filming day.

Wow! That is really amazing. As you said, it all comes back to your early days as a mime. You have a very cool new project coming out in regard to that and the challenges that presented themselves along the way.

'Mime Very Own Book'

Oh my gosh, the book! This is one of those projects that took me out of the film and television world for just a minute to explore my roots as a mime. We talked about that mime troop that I was in, Mime Over Matter, right!?

Right!

It’s a big ole catch phrase! Did ya catch that catch phrase?

Oh, of course!

Yeah, see! That is funny! That is humor! [laughs] This book, which comes out in December of 2011 and it is pre-orderable on Amazon.com right now, is called “Mime Very Own Book” — another little play on words! This book, as the title might suggest, is just full of punny, pun, pun humor and is kind of a send up of all pop culture. Famous artworks, famous movie posters, iconic photos or moments captured in time in history, we redo with me as a mime, pose for pose, pun for pun! We have everything from me with my arms PhotoShopped off as Venus De Mime-lo or me with boxer shorts on and gloves with me on the floor as well, having been knocked out as Mime-hammad Ali, right?! Yelling, “Get up! Get up, sucka!” [laughs] That is one of the famous photos that we re-did. We also did old movie posters like “Say Anything” with John Cusack only ours is “Don’t Say Anything.” It’s a mime thing! Come on now! [laughs]

[laughs] That’s great!

We do other catchphrases too, like “A Mime is a terrible thing to waste!” or “Once Upon A Mime … ” right!? And what would that look like in photo! We also did a multi-page section where we told the story of “Little Red Miming Hood” where I play Little Red Miming Hood and the grandmother and the wolf, all as mimes! It is really the most ridiculous book I have ever imagined! The publishing company is Medallion Press in Chicago and they approached me about doing this a couple of years ago. Publishing takes a little bit longer than movies even. We had a three-day photo shoot where we took thousands of pictures, once the ideas were conceived. There are four co-conspirators that have authorship of it, including myself. Scott Allen Perry came up with many of the ideas and directed the photo shoot. Our publisher Adam Mock, who was also conceptual and had tons of ideas. All the tomfoolery that I just mentioned to you had to come out of someones brain and these two are nuts! You need someone who is really kooky to figure this book out! Our photographer Eric Curtis does the most brilliant things with light and capturing the moment, more than any photographer that I have ever worked with. The four of us are all listed as authors of this book. I cannot wait! We have an eight page flyer promo thing that just has a few images from the 250 pages that you will see in December and even this eight pager makes me laugh my little butt off!

It sounds great and I can’t wait to get a look at it to see what you guys have come up with!

We have an official website that just went up at www.mimeveryownbook.com!

I know you have many new projects going on. What can you tell us about those?

Doug Jones

Right now, this week, my second episode of “The Guild” comes out. I made my first appearance on “The Guild” last week, which is a very popular web series with Felicia Day, of course! As web series go, this one is among the most popular ever and she is kinda paving the way for this new medium. This is Season 5 of “The Guild” which means that it has been going on for five years already. Season 5 takes place at a gaming convention. At this convention, as you learn last week, one of the members of The Guild, who is played by Robin Thorsen, a hilarious, platinum blonde, lovely woman, stumbles upon the steam punk booth at the convention. In the steam punk booth there are three very snooty people dressed in period clothing, goggles and futuristic gadgets and I am one of those three people. I have been having the most raging ball with this! We affected fake British accents and the whole thing! For the steam punk lovers out there, we are not making fun! I swear, I promise! We are celebrating all that is steam punk and taking it to another degree! “The Guild” is one of those shows where everything is irreverent anyway, so we love steam punk and that style. I wear steam punk clothing on the red carpets all the time, so it was really fun for me to delve a little bit farther into a caricature of a steam punk person. Every new episode of “The Guild” starts on Tuesday on Xbox, if you are a game player and that same Thursday, that same episode will show up on MSN and Bing. There are all of these portals that I am only slightly aware of because I am not tech-savy! [laughs] You can easily find links if you follow Felicia Day or “The Guild” on Twitter. So that would be @feliciaday or @theguild on Twitter about where you can find them! I show up in about four or five episodes, so that is very exciting!

Speaking of Felicia Day, we also have “Dragon Age: Redemption” which is another web series based on “Dragon Age” the video game, where I play the main nemesis, bad guy in. As of Comic Con, I can tell you who I am now! I am Saarebas who is a Qunari mage. The gamers out there, especially those who play “Dragon Age II,” that will make some sense to them. Hopefully that will be starting sometime this Fall. They are being kind of gray about what our start date is with that web series. Then I am in a third web series, which is also based on a video game, called “Fallout: Nukabreak.” It is from the same people who brought you the short film of the same name on YouTube. It was a fan film that ended up with a couple of million views. It has now developed into a web series and I play a very colorful and fun character in that! That series just started last week and I believe that they have a new episode every two weeks. I show up at the end of episode 3 and take up the entire fourth episode. That is another fun thing to look for! I believe you can find that one on YouTube by searching “Fallout: Nukabreak.”

Then there is also, oh my gosh, I am such a promotion pig right now! [laughs]

It can’t be helped! You are very busy man!

Doug Jones: Jumping For Joy!

[laughs] Yes! Last weekend, my French movie, that I did a couple of years ago, “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life,” was finally released in the United States. The film is based on the life of singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourgh and I play his alter-ego. He is a very famous and iconic French singer/songwriter from the 1960s and ‘70s. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his death, so it is very timely that the film is being released now. It is a biopic but it also has a fantasy element to it and that is where I come in! Being his alter-ego, I am a very extagerated, cartoony version of him. It was a five-hour makeup application, which was done by the makeup artists, Oscar winners, from “Pan’s Labyrinth” that created this very cartoony looking and big beaked — I have a huge nose, huge ears, everything that Serge Gainsbourgh hated about his own face. The call me, my name in French is La Gueule, which means ugly mug. That was kind of a fun character to play! “Oh, I get to play Ugly Mug? Great! Mom will be proud!” [laughs] As biopics go, this is one of the more creative ones that I have ever seen. It is in the French language with subtitles. It just started in New York and L.A. last weekend and it will be inching its way across the country to other cities throughout November. If you go to my personal website, which is www.thedougjonesexperience.com, there is a little box on my homepage that will show you all about “Gainsbourg” the movie and has click-ables, one with more info on the movie itself and another with what cities and dates. That will take you to our distributor’s page, which is www.musicboxfilms.com. They will tell you all about when you can look for it in a city near you.

You truly have an amazing story to tell. As busy as you are, have you given any thought to writing an autobiography about your journey in the industry?

Yes! It is funny that you would bring that up because now that I have a relationship with Medallion Press in Chicago, I did briefly discuss with them an autobiography. A lot of actors do autobiographies but I want mine to be different somehow. If I do one — Guillermo del Toro has talked about doing “Frankenstein,” his own take on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” as a movie. It wouldn’t be a remake of the 1930s one with Boris Karloff but his own imagining of what the book should be. In my own mind, I decided that if I get to play Frankenstein’s Monster, as he has told the press I will be doing, that experience needs to be in the book. For sure! That is a couple of years away from happening, so I think that somehow tying in a monster, becoming one and feeling like one in my own real life, like “The Road to Frankenstein” or something about being a monster would be the theme of it where you get glimpses of my gawky childhood and my career under rubber, actually playing monsters. I somehow want to tie all of that together with a sympathetic twist on how a geeky kid’s dreams can come true!

I am sure you received great advice along the way on your journey in the film industry. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to someone who has been inspired by your work?

Doug Jones: The Man Behind The Mask

Well, golly! I get asked all the time by actors who want to do the specific type of acting that I do if I have any advice. The first thing that I tell them is that you need to think like an actor first, don’t think like a monster or a creature. You need to have acting skills to where you can take on a character, feel his needs, his wants, his desires, his fears and be able to analyze the script and figure out how your character plays into that script, how the character interacts with the other characters in the story, just like any other actor would do. Then you can take on the physical traits that we were talking about earlier. That is where it all starts. My inspiration for that is actually not someone who is in the movie industry. He was the man who taught me how to do mime back in college, a guy by the name of Reed K. Steele. He was a tall, skinny, goofy guy just like me! Watching him work an audience silently and learning how to feel, he had an audience laughing or crying minutes away from each other. I have been translating that into the film world and into the roles I play now, he was the biggest inspiration that I have had as a mentor. Otherwise, I also got a good piece of advice from a director once. I was complaining one time about my agent, this was years and years and years ago, more than 10 years ago. Ya know, actors will always complain about their agents and managers! They are, “never doing enough for us” or “we don’t get out enough” or “I am not seen by casting people enough,” blah, blah, blah! We always want to complain about that! So, I was having one of those day! [laughs] A director friend of mine who had done a short film that was Oscar nominated that year said to me, “Doug, I know that your agent probably isn’t doing enough for you BUT your success as an actor does not rest in the hands of your agent or your manager. It rests in the hands of your relationship with directors.” That is a piece of advice that has come absolutely true for me! It is the directors that I meet and that collaboration between director and actor that proves to be what snowballs into the next job and an actual career that moves in a direction. You know what I mean?

Absolutely! Is there anything you want to say to your fans before I let you go?

Hellboy's Abe Sapien and Doug Jones

Oh my goodness! Well, if anyone calls themselves a fan of Doug Jones or as I dubbed them years ago, Fan-sabiens, I love you, I love you, I love you! Thank you for giving me the career that I have! Without you, I don’t have a job or nor would I have a house! Please come out and see me if I am going to be in a city near you at the convention appearances that I make. That is another bit of info you can find on www.thedougjonesexperience.com, my appearances page that will show you what cities I will be in with dates, times and click-ables to take you to the event websites to get tickets and all of that. I love, love, love coming out into the middle of the country and meeting fans. Meeting the people who have watched the TV shows and films that I have appeared in and have been supporting me all of these years is amazing! That is why I am such a hugger! I feel that I owe all of you such a huge hug! So, come on out and hug me if you see me coming to a city near you!

Thanks so much for your time, Doug! I hope we get the chance to speak with you again very soon! You are such an inspiration!

You are extremely kind! Thank you so much for having me today! Big love! Bye bye!

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Additional Photos by J. Regan Hutson – Check out his work at www.jreganhutsonphotography.com!

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Chilling New Website For ‘Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark’ Launched!

Chilling New Website For ‘Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark’ Launched!

FilmDistrict has just announce that the official site for DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (in theatres August 26th) isNOW LIVE.  Surprises and terror lurk behind every click as you explore Blackwood Manor. Click the link below to begin your exploration (and don’t forget to turn up the sound on your computer)

OFFICIAL SITE:  http://www.dontbeafraidofthedark.com

Also, FILMDISTRICT will be taking the stage at Comic-Con 2011 TOMORROW, Thursday, July 21 at 2:00 pm in Hall H with a panel that will feature DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK‘s Guillermo del Toro and Troy Nixey with DRIVE ‘s breakout director Nicolas Winding Refn. At 9PM fans will have the chance to meet and get signed posters from these filmmakers plus DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK Guy Pearce and DRIVE ’s Carey Mulligan and Ron Perlman at Bar 207 at the HARD ROCK HOTEL (207 5TH Avenue)!

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