‘Marvel’s The Punisher’ Casting Details Plus Set Photo

Marvel announced today three roles that have been casted in its Netflix Original Series ‘Marvel’s The Punisher’.

Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia) is set to play Billy Russo, Frank Castle’s best buddy from in his time in the special forces. He is currently at the head of a successful military organization known as “Anvil.”

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Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls) has been cast as Micro, a former NSA analyst who possesses valuable intel to not only Frank Castle, but also others around him.

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Amber Rose Revah (Indian Summers) will play Dinah Madani, a Homeland Security agent vexed by The Punisher.

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In a brief statement, the series showrunner and Executive Producer Steve Lightfoot spoke about the new talent joining the cast.

I’m really excited about the cast we’re assembling alongside Bernthal as Frank Castle. I look forward to watching Ben, Ebon and Amber embody these characters and breathe vivid life into the story we are crafting for this season of ‘Marvel’s The Punisher.’

Executive Producer and Marvels Head of Television Jeph Loeb added: 

We couldn’t be more thrilled about the remarkable talent joining Jon Bernthal in ‘Marvel’s The Punisher.’ Ebon, Ben and Amber are incredibly talented actors and we can’t wait to see them bring these characters to life.

Deborah Ann Woll was also spotted on set filming a scene with The Punisher himself.

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Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal) will write the series’ first two episodes and serve as series showrunner and Executive Producer. Jim Chory (Marvel’s DaredevilMarvel’s Jessica JonesMarvel’s Luke Cage) will also serve as Executive Producer along with Jeph Loeb  (Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage), Marvel’s Head of Television.

Although we don’t have a release date, Marvel confirmed the series will indeed debut on Netflix sometime in 2017.

‘Marvel’s The Punisher’ is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

SOURCE: MARVEL

‘Iron Fist’ Announcement Teaser

On the heels of Luke Cage comes a new teaser for Iron Fist.

Finn Jones as Danny Rand is going to be an excellent addition to the already fantastic Netflix corner of the MCU. The series will introduce the billionaire kung fu master into the mix of the street level heroes in New York City.

In the comics, after years spent in the mythical city of K’un-Lun, Danny Rand— the son of Wendell Rand, co-founder of Rand-Meachum Inc.— returns home vowing revenge for the murder of his father at the hands of his business partner, Harold Meachum. Meachum saw an opportunity to take over control of Rand-Meachum and he seized it when he cut Wendell’s safety rope as the two were crossing a crevasse in the Himalayas on their way to K’un-Lun.

It’s also possible we will get to learn more about The Hand as the series will likely include The Chaste.

The Chaste is an ancient organization created to fight The Hand and stop them from deploying Black Sky. Their warriors have extraordinary mental and physical abilities and their names derive from powers or weapons they have mastered. Maybe we won’t have to wait until season three of Daredevil to see Elektra (Elodie Yung) again as she was resurrected as Black Sky at the end of Daredevil season two.

Iron Fist Premieres March 17th 2017 on Netflix.

Billionaire Danny Rand (Finn Jones) returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting New York City with his kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.

SOURCE: MARVEL

Duffer Brothers Talk Rejection and Success in Hollywood at SXSL

On Sunday, the American Film Institute welcomed artists of the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival to premiere over 700 short films all centered on one theme: The World I Want to Live In. The students were joined by special guests by Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer, Executive Producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, and cast member Millie Bobby Brown.

On Sunday, the American Film Institute welcomed artists of the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival to premiere over 700 short films all centered on one theme: The World I Want to Live In. The students were joined by special guests Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer, Executive Producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen, and cast member Millie Bobby Brown.

The Duffers discussed the challenges they faced for years in Hollywood and how they eventually came to develop the pilot script for Stranger Things:

Matt: 

You’re going to all these studios and these producers and you’re pitching. And you know, all we got was no, no, no… And people are super rude in Hollywood. There’s a ton of no’s and a lot of rejection. Because you come out really excited and it’s just doors getting slammed in your face over and over again and we started to freak out a little bit because it felt for a moment it felt actually impossible.

 Ross:

 We had like a month of money left. And we huddled in our small apartment and we decided to do something we haven’t done. Which is like, we’re just going to write something that we would want to see. Not what we think other people want or what other people think is cool, or what what’s the in-thing in the industry right now. We’re like lets just write something for ourselves.

It would still be some time before The Duffers would find success. Their passion project, Hidden was not received well by the studio resulting in The Duffers having to go back to the drawing board.

The Duffers went on to add that even after they developed the script, look book, and a fake trailer for Stranger (formerly known as Montauk), they still had a hard time getting network executives to see the project the way they saw it but the brothers didn’t give up.

Matt: 

The reason we’re telling you all of this is to try, as much as possible, to tell stories that mean something to you. That matter to you. Tell stories that you want to see out in the world. And I know it sounds easy now but as you get out there in Los Angeles or New York, it’s very easy to kind of lose your way. I mean the phrase ‘chase your dream,’ I don’t think you should chase the dream at all. I think you should chase the feeling you have when you’re making these movies. The way that makes you feel when you’re making something that you love, you should chase that feeling. And I really believe if you do that and you stay true to yourself, and stay true to that then the dream will then follow.

The two then were joined by Executive Producers Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen. The script resonated for Cohen immediately in the same way it did for audiences. Levy described what it was like when Cohen walked into his office with the script for Stranger Things:

You need to stop what you’re doing. You need to read this script. Because there is something special here. These are voices that need to be heard.

Last but not least, Millie Bobby Brown came on stage and talked about what it was it was like to play the intensely emotional character of Eleven with such little dialogue.

You have to express yourself without talking. There would be times where I didn’t know what to do with the scene. I couldn’t cry sometimes and I’d ask the Duffers to just tell me something to make me cry! 

Levy also mentioned how Millie had the courage to ask to do another take after production had already began to move on from a scene:

Thats really rare. For an actor to have the kind of strength to stop and slow down the train to say ‘I think I can do better.’ But even at this young age Millie had a sense of her powers and her abilities as an actor and we who directed the show were smart enough to follow the talent and the instincts of the performer and those are the takes that ended up in the show. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t learn any new information regarding Stranger Things 2 beyond what we already know. The story will take place a year later in the fall of 1984 and will deal with the portal that is still open to the upside down.

Stranger Things 2  hits Netflix sometime in 2017.

QUOTES EDITED FOR BREVITY.

SOURCE: WHITEHOUSE.GOVYOUTUBE

‘Luke Cage’ Season 1 Spoiler Review

Sweet Christmas. Harlem’s hero is here and its about damn time. The new Marvel Netflix series Luke Cage made it’s debut over the weekend, crashing Netflix’s servers along with it. The bulletproof superhero is a well-written, well-cast series that continues to push the bounds of what is achievable on television. Mike Colter is a force as Luke. He wasn’t just playing Luke Cage. He is Luke Cage.

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A hero meant to inspire hope and the battle for Harlem’s soul.

Sweet Christmas. Harlem’s hero is here and it’s about damn time. The new Marvel Netflix series Luke Cage made its debut over the weekend, crashing Netflix’s servers along with it. The bulletproof superhero is a well-written, well-casted series that continues to push the bounds of what is achievable on television. Mike Colter is a force as Luke. He wasn’t just playing Luke Cage. He is Luke Cage.

The first episode takes its time introducing us to the world of Harlem and the culture that is integral to the show. This is the first Marvel series that feels as if it not only takes place in our world, Luke Cage is now.

By the end of episode two, the story kicked into high gear and Luke began his journey to become a hero. The loss of Pops (Frankie Faison) was tragic but necessary. Luke needed his call to action and there couldn’t have been a more powerful way of thrusting him into the center of the drama. Luke knew the only way to shut down Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali) was to destroy him one piece at a time until there was nothing left. But you could tell the clock was already ticking for the villains. These gangsters were doing a good enough job at tearing each other apart. Luke helped accelerate their downfall.

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Mike Colter as Luke Cage. (Netflix)

The fourth episode was no doubt one of the best in the series. The flashbacks were seamlessly integrated with the present day storyline and featured some incredible editing in the sequence where Luke punched his way out of prison in the past and the rubble in the present.

The villains of the show are a mixed bag but for the most part positive. Theo Rossi is a talented actor, however. His performance as Shades wasn’t that great at first. I don’t think he realized it, but the moment he stepped into the room with Mahershala Ali, he was gobbled up by Ali’s talent. Rossi was cheesy and seemed out of place. But as the episodes went on, especially once he started having scenes with Alfre Woodard, he evolved and elevated his performance to the same level as the cast around him.

Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth gives Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk a run for his money. He was brilliantly unpredictable as the suave gangster at the top of Harlem. His sense of humor provided a levity that made him likable so when it came time for his origin story you truly felt for him. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy. It didn’t matter how high he rose in power; he would always be standing on that balcony looking down on the club’s musicians with envy. What moved me most about his character was the look of admiration in his eye whenever Luke was in the room. Luke possessed the integrity that he lost forever when he was forced to murder his Uncle.

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Mahershala Ali as Cornell Stokes A.K.A. Cottonmouth. (Netflix)

Where the series faltered was the way in which its criminals were handled. Cottonmouth was dangerous. His goons, not so much. They were cheesy and it takes you out of the gritty realism that is present throughout much of the show. They sure did some shady stuff out in the daytime huh? But in a way that cheese factor helped lend itself to a Marvel meets The Wire sort of feel.

Alfre Woodard was exceptional as she played Mariah Dillard with tremendous conviction. As corrupt and as criminal as she was, I had so much respect for how far she was willing to go to improve Harlem. It was truly shocking when she murdered her cousin Cottonmouth. Nobody expected his death so early. It was disappointing to see such a talent exit with six episodes left to go but it made sense. Cottonmouths death was crucial to the destabilization of the criminal climate in Harlem. The show would have also risked feeling overcrowded with villains if he was still in the mix once Diamondback finally made his debut.

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Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard in Luke Cage. (Marvel/Netflix)

The midpoint of this series was unbelievable. From Luke being shot to Cottonmouths death, it was twist after twist after twist. My head was spinning. It felt like anything could happen at that point. No one was safe.

As grounded as this series was, even with super strength and cellular regeneration in the mix, it was the introduction of bullets made from alien technology that helped take this show to the next level while still remaining inherently street. Episode six felt like it could have been a finale but the twists of the sixth, seventh, and eighth installments helped set a new stage and rejuvenate the series’ life for the final five episodes, making this one of the most binge-worthy shows ever. (Daredevil should take note of this.)

The final five episodes were exceptional. We got to fully discover Luke’s backstory in Georgia and out came the heartbreaking truth about Reva. It had been frustrating me that we didn’t know more about the history of these characters as I was watching but the brilliant writers held back, waiting for the perfect moments to dole out the truth of the past, having the most impactful effect possible on the present.

Luke coming to the understanding that he wasn’t in love with Reva, rather he was infatuated with the idea of Reva was probably the most real moment in the entire show. Luke is good, though. He and Claire are already Mom and Dad.

The dynamic between Misty Knight and her Lieutenant was also impressive. Instead of Misty butting heads with the L.T. for the duration of the series, instead, she began to learn from her superior and grew because of it. Without that, I don’t think Misty would have been able to survive the series. Thank god she did because she is amazing. The way she was edited back into the crime scenes for her visions was incredible.

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The end of the series was incredibly powerful and inspirational as a bulletproof black man in a hoodie became a hero. Luke battled for his and Harlem’s soul in the street with Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey), sporting a hammer tech suit that was a perfect adaption of his look from the comics. Diamondback was scary and entertaining but I thought he overplayed most of the time, however. He did come to play ball in the climactic showdown with Luke. The action in the Netflix corner of the MCU isn’t as epic as the feature films but that’s what makes it stand out. It’s raw and the fights are much more creative and artistic with the stunts and camera operation. How awesome was it when Luke delivered that last hit launching Diamond back into the air and leaving him nothing more but a broke ass?

What I loved the most about the finale is that all of the villains who were alive at the beginning were still alive at the end. In Luke Cage, the bad guys can win. We can assume we’ll see the return of Mariah Dillard and Diamondback in the inevitable second season.

Luke is heading back to prison but we know that isn’t going to last.

8.9 – GREAT

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‘Luke Cage’ Showrunner On The Shows ‘Inclusive Blackness’

Luke Cage comes at a time when a bulletproof black man couldn’t be any more relevant. Speaking with students at Morgan State University on Thursday, Showrunner Cheo Hodari Choker discussed the shows ‘inclusive blackness’.

Luke Cage comes at a time when a bulletproof black man couldn’t be any more relevant. Speaking with students at Morgan State University on Thursday, Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker discussed the shows ‘inclusive blackness.’

I see ‘Luke Cage’ as what I call ‘inclusive blackness.’ When I say that the show is ‘inclusively black.’ I mean that it is a deep meditation on our culture, but it’s done in such a way that when people watch the show, they don’t feel like they’re excluded from the story or the experience of watching the story.

The show features a mostly African-American cast and it’s incredibly refreshing. Even though the show is dealing with superpowers, theres something about it that feels more true to life than anything else Marvel has done in the past.

Coker also commented on the current state of racism in Hollywood.

The racism in Hollywood is not usually just ‘Oh, you’re black, you can’t do it.’ The new racism is not getting the benefit of the doubt, meaning that you’re not considered for projects because you’re black.

My hope is that the show will be looked back on as a milestone in entertainment history. One that paved the way for superheroes of all races leading their own films or television shows.

I’m currently nine episodes deep into the series and thoroughly enjoying it. Mike Colter is fantastic as Luke and Misty Knight(Simone Missick) is sure to be the fan favorite, however. The stand out performances are coming from the antagonists Mariah Stokes (Alfre Woodard) and Cornell Stokes a.k.a. Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali).

To see what else Coker had to say head on over to the Baltimore City Paper.

Luke Cage is now streaming on Netflix.

SOURCE: BALTIMORE CITY PAPER

Noah Schnapp Talks ‘Stranger Things 2’, Filming Challenges and Fan Response

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Noah Schnapp dishes on what it was like to film some of Wills biggest scenes, the fan response, and what he would like to see for Will in season two.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Noah Schnapp who played Will Byers in Stranger Things dishes on what it was like to film some of Will’s biggest scenes, the fan response, and what he would like to see for Will in season two.

My guess is that maybe he’s going to become evil in the next season. If he’s coughing up these baby Demogorgons, or eggs, or something, maybe he’s incubating or holding these eggs inside of him and he’s trying to fight his good side against his bad side in the next season. That would be cool to see, to see him become evil. 

What do you guys think? Does Will have powers like Eleven? How long will it be before we see him use his powers? Or is it possible that we already did when the wall opened up revealing Will in the upside down?

Noah also spoke of his relationship with his co-stars and what it was like to work with Winona Ryder.

From the start, I knew she was a great person. There were so many moments where she was like my real mom. We were doing a CPR scene and she came up to me with a packet of gum. She gave me a piece, looked me right in the eye and said, “This is so our breath doesn’t smell bad.” Mr. [David] Harbour [who plays Chief Jim Hopper] had to push really hard on my chest, and she went up to my mom to make sure that it was okay. She was just really sweet.

In the weeks following its debut, Stranger Things rose to the top of the most popular shows on IMDB. The internet exploded with fan art, reaction videos on YouTube, and a plethora of unofficial T-shirts on sites like Teefury and TeePublic. Noah talked a little bit about what it’s like to now be recognized on the street. It’s so nice to see these little stars achieve their dreams while remaining humble and grateful for their early success.

When I’m with the other cast, going to interviews, like we did in New York City, people do recognize us. I like meeting fans. It’s amazing to me. Without them, the show wouldn’t be what it is. It’s amazing to meet them and see what they’re all like.

It will be a while before us fans have any concrete information regarding the next season. Stranger Things 2 is set to start filming towards the end of October, early November set for a release sometime in 2017.

To read the full interview head on over to THR.

SOURCE: THR

Shawn Levy On Why ‘Stranger Things’ is a Pop-Culture Phenomenon

In an interview posted this past Tuesday by Take Two, Executive Producer Shawn Levy discusses his experience producing the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things and why the show has become a pop-culture phenomenon.

In an interview posted this past Tuesday by Take Two, Executive Producer Shawn Levy discusses his experience producing the Netflix Original Series Stranger Things and why the show has become a pop-culture phenomenon.

The world felt safer. The world, and it breaks my heart to say this, but the world was safer. And I know that a lot of us yearn for the relative innocence of that– And I do think that the show transports us back to a cultural and global climate that was fundamentally more comforting. It was fundamentally less scary.

Levy also describes season two as “next level” but will still service the shows core characters. The show will grow along with its young cast.

It’s clear Levy was inspired by The Duffer Brothers and the pilot script for Stranger Things immediately. Inspiration seems to be the word coming from everyones mouth involved with the show. From the editors to the production designer, The Duffers brought out the best in everyone resulting in the magical experience that is Stranger Things

To listen to the full interview head on over to Take Two.

SOURCE: SCPR