Archive for the ‘Casting’ Category

 

So I love comics. I love movies.

Naturally I love comic book movies. Ok, well not all of them. Some of them suck pretty badly. However a majority of them, especially as of late, have been pretty damn good. (I mean, have you see the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Trailer??)

If you don’t know anything about the comic book fandom let me explain. If you are part of the comic book fandom, I apologize for the explanation, but feel free to expound upon it.

The best thing about the comic book fandom is the accessibility to the industry folks. This isn’t just at comic conventions, but really heavy within social media. Right now there are a handful of creators that I could email and ask a question and actually get a response- that is NOT some auto generated non-sense. How many sports fans can say that? Or movie buffs? It’s not like I could shoot an email to say, George Lucas and not get an almost instant response like some comic book writers and artists.

That is, in my humble opinion, what makes us unique as a fandom. It’s great. It truly is! There are extremes, but in general, comic book fans are pretty effing cool about things. So much so, I cannot begin to tell you how many charities the industry has, or when something goes south (i.e. 9/11, Hurricanes, Typhoons, Earthquakes etc) the fandom- and the industry- rally together to help in anyway they can.

Do you want to know how many times my faith in humanity has been restored because of the fandom? Too many to count. Some of which never made any news, that was only known by a handful of creators and the people that were in trouble.

However there is something that I need to address. This is strictly aimed at those extremists. In this case, the ones that go nuts around actors and other celebrities in the industry.

 

STOP IT. 

FUCKING STOP ACTING LIKE MORONS. 

Yeesh.

Working/Living in Chicago I have come across a lot of celebrities and politicians. So much so, when I interviewed for a job for a new flagship store on State Street years ago, the GM flat out asked me how I would react in X or Y celebrity walked in. Considering we were attached to a famous hotel, the 2 years I was there, I lost count how many times we had to close down per orders of Secret Service (yes, THE Secret Service) or block off areas for incoming movie stars/sports teams to avoid a rabid fan attacking someone.

This post was really started after reading this– a tiny bit whiny- a beit heartfelt post about certain fans of the Hiddlestoners fandom. What’s a Hiddlestoner? A fan of Tom Hiddleston. You know him probably best as the guy that played Loki. To be honest, my favorite role he has done hasn’t been Loki (which is just mindblowing), but actually as Prince Hal in The Hollow Crown. But that’s also because I am a Shakespeare fan. Regardless, I was discussing this with my fellow Movie/Comic Geek best friend, Scourge. We started doing comparisons, and he came up with a great analogy that I am totally giving him credit for:

Robert Downey Jr= Elvis Presley

Tom Hiddleston= The Beatles.

Both actors have wholeheartedly embraced their roles as Iron Man and Loki respectively. Downey runs around and sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t think he is Tony Stark.

Image

What’s great (and could also backfire eventually) is that the Marvel Studios office encourages this. It feels as though the West Coast office has been trying to bring the comic fandom ideal over to its movies for awhile. I thought that for quite some time. But 2013 SDCC confirmed it for me.

 I would like to point out that it takes some mighty fine talent to quiet Hall H with the move of one finger. Hiddleston just cracks me up with the above video. Along with some of his tweets. Its obvious that he loves not only playing Loki, but the fans.

Image I am very tired of seeing fans attack celebrities- whether its in the movies or in the comic book world. In this day and age of 24 hour news, it feels as though fans demand, nay, expect to have this instant gratification from their idols. Do I admire and respect Hiddleston and Downey? Yes, because they are damn talented actors. I think it would be absolutely hilarious to have both of them at a dinner party because, I have the impression from interviews they have both done, that they are genuinely nice, funny gentlemen.

That’s the catch folks- what you see in interviews, clips, pinterest, tumblr etc, is just that- an impression.

Think about this: you are going about your day, running some errands, doing a bit of shopping at your favorite store, maybe grabbing coffee and catch up time with a good friend. Then some random person whom you have never seen before nor probably ever will again, walks up to you acting like you are the oldest friends on the planet.  This happens EVERY TIME YOU WALK OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.

After awhile, wouldn’t you get a bit pissed off?

Don’t give me the story that “Oh celebrities know this comes with the job” Bull shit, absolute bullshit.  They know they will have fans, that some of their anonymity goes right out the window, but it does NOT mean, that as a fan you have the right to interrupt them at any given moment.

Scourge worked at a restaurant for awhile back in Ohio. Because of the location of said restaurant, he ran into A LOT of celebrities (I mean, the list is pretty extensive and mindblowing). When X person would walk into the restaurant, he would eventually have to take over the table because the waitress was wigging out to much or have other patrons back off because the celebrity couldn’t even finish their meal.

The most Scourge would ever say to these people that would even address the fact they were celebrities was “Hey I really liked [insert album, game, etc here]. Thanks for that”. Even that sentence was a bit much for him. Scourge told me that usually it was the silent head nod acknowledging their presence and then leaving them be.

Best example of crazy that ticked me off:

When Public Enemies was in town filming, I noticed one night that there were no parking permits put up around my neighborhood. On my way hope I also noticed alot of gear trucks parked along certain streets. The next morning Scourge and I went to go return a DVD . Scourge went in one direction and I doubled back over to Portage Theater where I was pretty damn certain they were filming. I made small talk with the lighting guys unloading a trailer. Outside of talking about gear, they refused to mention anything.

Scourge called me to tell me if I ever was going to hire a security firm, not to hire X company because the guard was a chatty cathy. Turns out Scourge found out that Johnny Depp was inside the theater.

Kick ass.

Meanwhile I called Ellie Sully and told her to make her way over to the theater, because at the least, as a production designer, she had to see the costumes that the extras were wearing. It was hotter than Hades that day and the three of us were sitting on the curb of a side street just watching everything. Ellie Sully was looking at things from an artist perspective, while Scourge and I were dissecting security and operations. Eventually the neighborhood kids figured out what was going on, and someone (not us) told them that Depp was inside. There were these 4 girls, around the age 15 that were absolutely having a melt down that Depp was inside.

We decided to hang on the curb to see if we could catch a glimpse of Depp. Not because its Depp (that was a partial reason) but Ellie Sully wanted to see his costume while Scourge and myself were making a bet on a security procedure of how they were going to get Depp out of the theater and around the mess of one ways in the neighborhood back to his trailer on the other side of six corners.

Sure enough Depp came out and I was right on my guess of how security was doing things. Depp gets in an SUV an as they pull out on the side street, he rolls his window down to wave to everyone. That was nice!

Then the 4 girls in question proceeded to chase the SUV throughout the neighborhood. Meanwhile the three of us decided to get something cold to drink, so we walk to the other side of six corners to a store where the trailer happened to be in the parking lot. I just remember watching the girls faces as they tried to figure out how we were already there, munching on stuff after Depp’s car pulled in. Depp got out and went right to his trailer to get changed. Do I blame him? Nope.

The girls were so disappointed that they were crying. I am not saying the simple crying, but the type of crying that involves huge gasps of air because they are practically hyperventilating. Eye roll.

I can’t speak for musicians but I can say making any sort of film is EXHAUSTING. I don’t care if you are actor, crew, producing- whatever role, it is exhausting. It’s a mind drain. It’s emotionally draining. You wouldn’t think this, but trust me, its true.  Art in general is an artist putting some part of themselves on the world stage for everyone to dissect and analyze.

So in essence, if you see a celebrity outside of an actual appearance they are making at a convention or tv show etc. Be nice and leave them alone. If you can’t help yourself, be polite, don’t take up their time. They are human beings and just think about how you would feel in their shoes.

So to those out their that are all in the “beatlesmania” type knocking on glass windows as a celebrity is trying to eat dinner or asking for an autograph while in the bathroom (I saw this happen once) STOP IT BEFORE YOU RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!  

So in the last little bit I wrote about this (read it here ) I was talking about Marvel Studios and their batch of films (better known as the MCU).

Since the last posting, and I apologize for the delay (family matters arose), D23 came and went with no real major announcements.  However, over at the Distinguished Competition (DC/ Warner) a huge announcement almost broke the internet in half.

Batfleck.

Ok. Here’s the thing, Warner did this. It’s a done deal. The likelihood of WB recasting after this… slim to none. Stop wasting time on petitions. Really folks.

I promise this post does circle back to producing, but take a look at some of the commentary over at Comicbookmovie.com about about this news.

Some of my *favorite* comments:

Image

This is why I have a hard time reading comments on stories such as this. Fans don’t know what they are talking about.

Let me explain the chain of command on a production (in regards to Casting). A Director tells the Casting Director (CD) what they are looking for based on the Director’s interpretation of the script. The CD presents a number of possibilities. The Director auditions/screen tests the actors and makes a decision and hires them. In a big Hollywood production such as this, the Producer needs to sign off on it and deal with negotiations with either the actor and/or agent.

So, at this moment Julie, its not WB’s fault. Blame the producer if you want to blame anyone.

Image

There are a number of comments similar to this one, comparing Daredevil to Batman. (Which, from a Geek’s perspective, is easily done).

Sigh, they say you “are only as good as your last picture”. Folks, that’s Argo, not Daredevil, but I will go with the comparison for the moment.

I’ve stated before, I am a huge fan of the Daredevil comic book. (my twitter handle is @murdocksgirl). I have watched the film multiple times for multiple different reasons, both the theatrical cut and directors cut. I could got through and list multiple problems with the film (but that’s another post for another day), I can tell you Affleck wasn’t the problem with that film.

But what does this have to do with Producing? Planning. It really does, and I have to give credit to Warner Brothers for locking down a multi-picture deal with Affleck long before he won the Oscar for Argo.  So now you are a director at Warner Brothers and you want a hot star for a lead iconic role? If I was the Director, I would have been calling the top brass at Warner seconds after Afflecks NOMINATION for Argo going “Give me Affleck”

And I am betting that is what happened.

But this makes sense. WB has announced for awhile now they want to set up their team equivalent to the Avengers, Justice League as a picture. Now I personally think they are going about it the wrong way with this detour to Batman V. Superman, but thats just my two cents. Will Affleck be in the Justice League Movie also? I sure hope so, and based on this casting decision from WB, it feels as though they are making Affleck the RDJ equivalent to the film (the “godfather” for the actors).

It’s actually quite smart and also quite dangerous. From my producing chair, it’s nice to have an actor that can also speak director- they can act as a go-between translator for the rest of the cast.

Then again, they can also try to overrun the film (I am having flashbacks to stories surfacing about Edward Norton being a diva on the Incredible Hulk set)

In my previous post I mentioned that producer’s play therapists, babysitters and Captain’s of starships. What I forgot to mention is that they are a bit futurists. You have to think 12 steps ahead of the game and try to mitigate all possible problems that arise.

Don’t believe me?

Scourge can vouch this statement as he is the one I usually play “If I ruled the world” game with.

I predicted Affleck as Batman 3 years ago. Bale was already on the way out of the franchise and wanted to do other things. My reasoning behind that prediction was a) Daredevil and Batman are similar characters, b) Affleck would jump on it to get rid of the Gigli and Daredevil remarks that are still floating around and c) his “star power” was on the rise.

Another Example. Back in late 2007, I was able to go into a very kick ass site used by professionals thank you to a very awesome professor at the time who had access. I knew about Ant-Man being on the production slate at Marvel back then, along with Captain America, Thor and the Avengers.

Good Producers plan far out ahead.

Great Producers plan out far ahead, and avoid problems at all costs.

The Best Producers do all that, and have 30 backup plans in place if something completely left field throws a wrench into the system.