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The Playlist

Robert Downey Jr. Wanted Bill Murray For 'Iron Man' But, Of Course, He Was Impossible To Get In Touch With

  • By Simon Dang
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  • May 31, 2012 11:20 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Bill Murray is know for not having an agent, and if you want to get in touch with him, the word is that he's got a 1-800 number where you can leave a message, and if he feels like calling you back, then he will (if you have it, please send it to us, thanks). Thus, every time he stars in a film, there's generally a humorous tale about how the project managed break the communication barrier and/or how there was concern that he might not actually show up. For instance, after months of answering machine messages, Sofia Coppola resorted to cold-calling Al Pacino in the hope that he (who Coppola heard lived in the same region as Murray) could put her in touch with him for "Lost In Translation." Then, even after meeting Murray through Mitch Glazer, Coppola only had a verbal agreement from the actor and didn't hear from him again until he miraculously showed up in Tokyo a week before lensing began. Now comes another Murray tale of frustration and answering machines via Robert Downey Jr.

Marvel-Mania: Joss Whedon Torn About Whether To Do 'Avengers' Sequel; Robert Downey Jr. Got Paid More Than Rest Of Cast Combined

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 17, 2012 3:30 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Another day, another dollop of Marvel related news. Super hero movies like "The Avengers" are a team effort, only they're not so much when it comes to the payscale. Awkward for all involved? The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that the motormouthed and scene-stealing Robert Downey Jr. (who reportedly has a lot of say when it comes to these movies; see the director having to re-convince him of some strong ideas) will get paid a cool $50 million for his involvment in Joss Whedon directed film thanks to bonuses and backend deals (and that figure may even rise as the box-office for the superhero film continues to soar). The bad news for the rest of the team that helped out in this group effort? Apparently even combined the rest of the cast didn't make that much money. The next time they all do press together and RDJ inevitably tries to steal the spotlight, that's going to smart.

Warner Bros. Still Want Tom Cruise For 'El Presidente' & Are Eyeing Robert Downey Jr. To Join Him; Jay Roach To Direct

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 14, 2012 5:54 PM
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  • 3 Comments
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. About two years ago, reports went around that Warner Bros. were hoping to re-team "A Few Good Men" duo Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson for "El Presidente." It was denied a couple days later, with reps saying that Cruise wasn't officially attached, but clearly the studio were interested...and they still are, as the project is now surfacing again.

Weekend Box Office: 'The Avengers' Assemble The Biggest Opening Weekend In History With $207 Million

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 6, 2012 11:50 AM
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  • 17 Comments
Box office: you just got Avenged. Combining the feature attractions of four separate blockbusters, "The Avengers" was looking to at least surpass the first weekend gross of "Iron Man 2," which pulled in a non-3D three-day total of $128 million during this weekend two years ago. However, few expected the team-up film to approach the final domestic tallies of both "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger," roughing up previous weekend record-holder "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part Two." That 3D-enhanced final installment of the "Potter" series still holds the record for the biggest opening day at $91 million, but "The Avengers"' $80 million Friday wasn't as frontloaded, and the film will finish Sunday at the top of the blockbuster opening weekend summit. Hooray money!

Joss Whedon's Batman, How Black Widow Nearly Got The Axe & 15 More Revelations From 'The Avengers' Press Tour

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 4, 2012 12:00 PM
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  • 5 Comments
If it's somehow escaped your notice, "The Avengers" is in theaters today. One of the biggest gambles in blockbuster history, it looks to have paid off: the reviews have been hugely positive, it's already closing on $300 million from the international box office, and stands to break records over this weekend in the U.S. too.

Before They Assembled: The Best Performances From The Cast Of 'The Avengers'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 15 Comments
For all the many strengths of "The Avengers," there's one that writer-director Joss Whedon can't take credit for: the casting. Of the main characters, only one, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, hasn't appeared in one of the previous five Marvel movies that have led to this point. So given the casting committee that assembled The Avengers, it's something of a miracle that it's ended up with one of the most enjoyable collection of actors in a big tentpole movie for quite some time.

Joss Whedon’s Advice For A ‘Justice League’ Movie & More From The Cast Of 'The Avengers'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • May 3, 2012 10:03 AM
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  • 21 Comments
After years of rumors, what ifs and hearsay, perhaps the most unlikely -- and certainly the most ambitious -- comic book movie of all time is finally hitting theaters this weekend. Beyond the mere logistical nightmare of pairing this massive cast with the equally massive budget required for such an undertaking, the green light for an “The Avengers” movie was dependent on the success of five other films before it. But here we are, with the film set to take North America by storm with hugely positive buzz and fanboys salivating for the penultimate moment when they finally hear “Avengers assemble!” echo across the megaplex.

Review: 'The Avengers' Has Its Issues, But Mostly Delivers Thrilling, Engaging, Blockbuster Fun

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • April 30, 2012 10:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Everything that works in “The Avengers” really works, but not everything works in “The Avengers.” A virtuoso collection of action set pieces framed by an uninspiring “getting the team together” narrative which should have been accomplished in all of those post-credits sequences in earlier Marvel movies, Joss Whedon’s stab at superheroes delivers plenty of what makes both him and his subject matter appealing, as well as an abundance of mythological set-up that’s somehow simultaneously redundant and contradictory. But as the best (or perhaps most consistently engaging) Marvel movie since the original “Iron Man,” “The Avengers” is a winning piece of popcorn entertainment that does better with characters in an ensemble setting than many ever did when they starred in their own vehicles.

Is Hong Kong Superstar Andy Lau Joining The Cast Of 'Iron Man 3?'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 24, 2012 8:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The power shift in the blockbuster world is starting to drift away from Hollywood. The U.S. still makes the bulk of the product, of course. But particularly for action and science-fiction movies (doubly so for those in 3D), studios rely on overseas grosses, especially in Asian markets like Japan, India, Korea and, most importantly, China, all of which are hungry for tentpole product to make their movies profitable. It's a telling indicator that blockbusters like "Battleship" and "The Avengers" are landing overseas weeks ahead of their debuts in the U.S. And more and more, studio movies are engineered from the ground up to play well abroad as Chinese and Indian companies are increasingly financing large chunks of blockbusters, and international stars crop up in the pictures -- take Japanese actor Tadanobu Osano, who plays essentially the second lead in both "Battleship" and the upcoming "47 Ronin."

Review: Marvel's 'The Avengers' Is Immensely Satisfying, Entirely Thrilling & Possibly The Best Superhero Movie Yet

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2012 7:05 PM
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  • 33 Comments
The first scene of " The Avengers" is not very good. Deep in a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base, scientist Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) is conducting experiments on The Tesseract, the blue cube that powered the Red Skull's experiments in "Captain America." Expriments that, unfortunately, bring to earth Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the vengeful brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), last seen plummeting from Asgard into oblivion. Loki manages to take down S.H.I.E.L.D's best -- Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) -- with ease, and soon the base is decimated. It's a perfectly acceptable place to start, but there's something off about the execution: it's stilted, awkward and humorless, and the action is pretty uninvolving, with a TV-level of scope.

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