Tuesday, July 28, 2015

X-Position: Bowers & Sims X-plore the X-panded World of "X-Men '92"

CBR: This week, "X-Men '92" masterminds Chad Bowers and Chris Sims return to X-POSITION to answer your questions about everything from the series' future to working with artist Scott Koblish to Westchester's rogues gallery.

I particularly enjoyed your iteration of X-Force, specifically Psylocke using the focused totality of her telepathic powers. Now that we have seen how exceptionally destructive this group is, is there a possibility that these characters will get a minor deconstruction considering how much they encompass certain comic book trends of the '90s? I'm sure Cassandra Nova has quite a lot to say to these incurably violent members of Westchester.

Sims: Oh, Nova haaaaaaates X-Force. That's one of the reasons she was so mad to see Betsy busting in on her "therapy session."

Bowers: Nova's only advice to X-Force is, "Go away, and die." There's no rehabilitating those guys. 

Sims: As you'll see in upcoming issues, her plan to deal with them is completely different from her plan to deal with the X-Men. Wolverine, you can reason with. Cable and Deadpool, on the other hand...

Friday, July 17, 2015

X-Men: Apocalypse star Olivia Munn on Psylocke’s Costume

EW: Olivia Munn is visibly psyched to be joining the X-Men universe. The actress, last seen on HBO’s The Newsroom, is a huge fan of the comic book series and takes it very seriously. Says Munn, “My sister just graduated magna cum laude from law school. My little brother just became a master physicist, he’s going to go get his PhD. That’s where they’re at. And yet we talk about X-Men as if we’re talking about the Civil War.”

One of the most striking aspects of Psylocke is her rather risqué outfit, a conscious choice made by Apocalypse, who dresses all of his minions. “Psylocke’s outfit or uniform or suit or whatever you want to call it is very sexual,” admits Munn. “I’ve got like my thigh-highs and a halter, but the thing about that, and that was important, is that it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing as long as we’re all aware of who she is. She’s very strong and she’s very lethal and she’s very powerful, and it doesn’t really matter what she’s wearing as long as you have that strength and that presence.”

But wearing skin-tight latex does have its challenges. “Now it fits like a glove, but it’s kind of hard because there’s been times where I’m pulling and it pops like a balloon, which did happen day one,” admits Munn. “Day one, I was like, ‘Uh, guys, uh, do we have a backup? Sorry I popped my crotch.” 

To continue reading the cover story on X-Men: Apocalypse, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

First Official Look at Apocalypse, Psylocke and Magneto in "X-Men: Apocalypse"

EW: Apocalypse is coming for the X-Men. Or, more specifically, a giant 5,000 year-old Egyptian mutant who goes by that very unfriendly name and is the focus of the latest installment in Fox’s X-Men franchise. “He’s believed to be the first mutant, whatever that means,” says star Oscar Isaac. “He is the ­creative-slash-destructive force of this earth. When things start to go awry, or when things seem like they’re not moving towards evolution, he destroys those civilizations.” Think of him as a god who does gut renovations.

Also consider him the creative team’s way of topping the previous X-Men film, the epic Days of Future Past. That flashbacking film combined both casts of the original franchise (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, etc.) with the newer castmembers (Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy) and became the top-grossing entry in the series with $750 million worldwide. “The problem with Days of Future Past is it’s hard to sequelize,” says writer-producer Simon Kinberg, who’s been with the franchise since 2006. “Whenever we talked about the sequel, the challenge was that it needed to feel not necessarily bigger visually, but that the stakes needed to feel bigger.” So not only does Apocalypse want to destroy the world—pretty big stakes—but the film that contains his name will serve as a pivot point in the series, shifting the focus toward younger versions of classic characters such as Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Jean Grey (Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner), and Cyclops (Tye Sheridan). “This is kind of the introduction to them,” says director Bryan Singer, returning for his fourth X-Men movie. “At the same time, it has concluding aspects of those previous stories.”

In this week’s cover story, EW is on the set for your first look at next summer’s comic book blockbuster. As the new film opens, 10 years have passed and Raven (Lawrence), Charles (McAvoy), and Erik (Michael Fassbender) are still estranged, but not for much longer. The Big A awakens from his Egyptian tomb, sizes up the global ’80s vibe, and decides he’s not down with the Reagan era. “It’s a chaotic world of conflict and war and destruction,” Singer says. “It’s one giant civilization that now requires one giant culling. That’s why he needs ­special assistants in this process.” He finds teenage Storm living on the streets in Cairo, Angel (Ben Hardy) duking it out in a fight club in Berlin, and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) working behind the Iron Curtain for the mutant-broker Caliban. But his big get is Erik, who has been attempting to live a “normal” life in Poland. “He’s fallen in love and he’s basically left his metal ways behind,” Fassbender says. Pretty quickly, though, his world is shattered and “normal” is no longer an option. Says Fassbender, “Apocalypse finds Erik at a low ebb and recruits him.”

Miles away, meanwhile, Raven is on her own, helping rescue mutants who are oppressed or enslaved, including the teleport Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Raven knows nothing about Apocalypse, Lawrence says, but “she hears about what happened to Erik and she wants to seek him out and help him.” This instigates a reunion between Raven and Charles, who has seen his school for extraordinary students flourish. “He’s not teaching anybody how to fight at the moment,” McAvoy says. “He’s teaching people how to control their abilities so that they can work at a bank. But of course this movie challenges all of that.” When Apocalypse’s plot to reboot the world is made clear, the stage is set for an epic mutant vs. mutant war.




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Olivia Munn Talks Psylocke



Good Housekeeping: On a sunny spring day at Chicago's Morton Arboretum, Olivia Munn is gamely acting the part of a girl on a Hawaiian vacation, mugging for the camera with a pineapple and dancing around vintage suitcases. After her GH cover shoot wraps, she plops down on the couch and says she's feeling kind of hungry, though not for anything remotely resembling her fruity prop: "Right now I really want a corn dog."

What's awesome is that she isn't kidding. Anyway, Olivia, 35, can handle the extra calories. For months, the former Daily Show correspondent and Newsroom star has been logging grueling two-hour workouts to get herself into superhero shape for Marvel's X-Men: Apocalypse. In the movie, which comes out next year, she plays the telepathic, telekinetic blade-wielding mutant Psylocke. "She's a little scary. She has no problem battling and killing," Olivia says. "I love how strong she is."

It's been well documented that Munn practised sword-fighting for X-Men Apocalypse, but few know that she is a certified black belt in karate. "I'm the fourth of five children," she explained. "All of us started karate at around age 5 and studied it until we were about 16 - and we weren't allowed to stop practising until we had achieved black belts."

"The things that stayed with me the most from that training were the discipline not to give up when something feels too hard and the confidence that comes from knowing that if I keep working hard, I'll achieve my goal, even if it feels impossible."

Her movie X-Men: Apocalypse opens on May 19, 2016 in the UK and May 27, 2016 in the US.

Monday, July 13, 2015

SDCC: Full Comic-Con Trailer For 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Leaks

ComicBookMovie: Following yesterday's Deadpool and Suicide Squad leaks, the "exclusive" San Diego Comic-Con trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse has now been posted online in low-quality. Courtesy of AlphaNerd, the footage features some heavy dialogue and a little bit of action with the mutants including the titular supervillain, En Sabah Nur . It was said during Fox's presentation that the production had only completed five weeks of filming, so both the footage and the visual effects are little rough.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

SDCC: X-Men: Apocalypse



SlashFilm: The secret that wasn’t really a secret at all for this year’s Comic Con was that Fox would assemble the full cast of Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Apocalypse on the stage in Hall H. It seemed like nearly everyone was here for other films already, so as long as they could get Michael Fassbender on a plane things would be good to go.

Fassbender was there, smiling broadly, along with nearly everyone else in a major role in the film: James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Lucas Till, Ben Hardy, Lana Condor, and Olivia Munn.

Singer also showed off about five minutes of footage from the first weeks of the film’s shoot. Now, the footage! Keep in mind that this was said to be footage from about five weeks of shooting, without effects. We see very little in terms of powers in this footage — it’s almost all interactions, character stuff, and building suspense.

They showed off the first ever teaser trailer, which revealed the iconic Marvel Mutants who will fight at Apocalypse's side as his very iconic Four Horsemen. These mutants have been brainwashed and manipulated into serving as the villain's personal guard. They become Death, War, Pestilence and Famine. We already knew that Angel, who becomes Archangel, will be one of the four, presumably Death. The character is played by Ben Hardy. The other three are Olivia Munn's Psylocke, Michael Fassbender's Magneto and Alexandra Shipp's Storm. This explains why we saw Cyclops fighting Storm in early concept art.

***

The footage begins with the opening of a familiar X-door, revealing the silhouette of what appears to be Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey. But after a quick montage of weather and disaster-type shots, we see those images are being dreamed by the new young Jean Grey, played by Sophie Turner. “I saw the end of the world. I could feel all this death.”

She’s in bed, and Charles Xavier (with a full head of hair) is sitting nearby speaking to her. “Jean. It was just a dream.”

Fade to a flyover of a very old city. There’s voiceover: “I’ve been called many things over many lifetimes. Ra, Krishna, Yaweh.”

Then Moira Mactaggart. “Ever since the world found out about mutants there have been secret societies, cults, who see them as some kind of second coming or sign of god.”

We see a hooded figure walking into a room. It’s pretty clear this is the first voiceover narrator. We’re also pretty sure it’s Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse. “I was there to spark and fan the flame of man’s awakening. To spin the wheel of civilization.”

Moira: “I was tracking one of them, they believe that tens of thousands of years ago an ancient being was born. The world’s first…” Finished by Xavier: “mutant.”

Amid this, we’ve got shots of Raven looking worried, Beast, in furry fanged form, looking like he has some sort of problem. There are some close of shoots of the hooded guy, and a pan up what, on second viewing, can be seen to be Apocalypse’s chestplate, with a small version of the signature ‘A.’

The hooded figure again. “You are all my children. And you’re lost. Because you follow the wrong leader.” (In here, overlaid, there’s some additional dialogue that is hard to make out.) “Everything they’ve built will fall, and from the ashes of their world we’ll build a better one.”

Also cut into this footage are quick shots characters including Magneto, shorn of costume, Nightcrawler, and Storm. By the way, Storm looks aweome, like a nearly perfect realization of the mid ’80s white-mohawked goddess. And as the lines above are spoken, we see that she’s with Apocalypse.

That dialogue leads into a shot of Magneto, in a factory of some kind, or perhaps a mill, where he seems to be working. He turns. “Who the fuck are you?”

And then there’s the full reveal of Apocalypse, he’s big and armored, and blue-purple. He looks nuts, and pretty fantastic. He also looks surprisingly like the classic early visions of the character. His response to Magneto: “Come and see.”

Shots in here of Cyclops, a brief shot, and we briefly see Psylocke, also with a very classic-looking costume. We see Quicksilver a couple times, once running, wearing a Rush band t-shirt.

“Mutants are being hunted, living in fear,” says Raven.

Xavier is trying on Cerebro, and we see shots progressively moving in on him. “He can control all of us,” he says.

Other dialogue, about a storm approaching, and a fight.

Close up on Xavier in Cerebro, “I’ve never felt power like this before.”

The final shot is a full view of Xavier in pure classic form: in a suit, in the wheelchair, totally bald. McAvoy looks great.

***


ComicBook.com: The cast of Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse dropped by Conan O'Brien's show, which is filming at San Diego Comic-Con, and Olivia Munn described how she squeezes into her Psylocke costume.

The 34-year-old actress had her cast mates and even the redheaded talk show host blushing as she explained the process she goes through to put on her X-Men costume. She says it involves two women applying copious amounts of lube to her body so she can fit into her tight superhero suit that is made of latex.

Friday, July 10, 2015

SDCC: Inhumans & Mutants Collide in All-New, All-Different Marvel

CBR: When "All-New, All-Different Marvel" arrives this October, the fates of the Inhumans and the X-Men will be intertwined more than ever before. Paralleling the upcoming plot development, the characters also shared a panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, taking place towards the end of the day on Thursday.

"That's a mean looking team of X-Men," pointed out Cullen Bunn when the cover for his series, "Uncanny X-Men," popped up on the presentation. "I've been living in the head of Magneto for twenty issues and I couldn't escape. I wanted to put together a team that, really, is upholding Xavier's dream but don't have any business doing so."

"This book invites comparisons to 'Uncanny X-Force,'" said Alonso. "These are a bunch of bad guys. The reformed Sabretooth has a moral compass but he has a problem there."

"Sabretooth is sort of the good guy on the team," said Bunn with a laugh. He said that the roster -- which includes Magneto, Psylocke, Fantomex, Mystique and Sabretooth -- will expand some.

"I feel like when I went into this, I made a list of characters I want to have in 'X-Men,'" said Bunn. "Jeff took Magik and Nightcrawler. He's sort of a miser and a jerk. [laughs] You have to look at the characters that give us the most emotional impact. Certain characters work best with the story I'm trying to tell. You'll see new characters and new takes on existing characters."

A longtime X-Men reader asked how these new ongoings will honor the history of the franchise. "The X-Men mean a lot to me," said Bunn. "The thing me and my dad did together was collect 'Uncanny X-Men.' I love those comics. My dad passed away a few years ago so he didn't get to see this happen. The team in my book is very different from a team you've seen before, but the stories I'm wriitng will reflect that legacy. These characters reflect the things I love about 'Uncanny X-Men.' Characters in a role you haven't seen before, but they will live up to Xavier's dream in a different way."

"Jeff took Nightcrawler and wouldn't give him up," said Bunn. "I knew Jeff's team and the book I was putting together and roster kept changing. One of my rosters at one time had Rachel Grey and Nate Grey on it because I love both those characters. But I really wanted to do a book that could easily be differentiated from what Jeff's doing. This was the team, where we landed with Magneto and this group, these are two different X-books that show different sides of the world."

"There's nothing redundant about these two books," said Alonso. "There's also nothing redundant about the two Wolverine books, which hasn't always been the case."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Inferno #3 Spoilers & Art


Spoilers: The assembled X-Men, all of whom now wear matching costumes – including Psylocke – engage Illyana’s demon horde in battle. The forcefield overhead decays and collapses. The whole of the Inferno empties and converges on the X-Men while Darkchild claims she’s won. Meanwhile, Mr. Sinister reveals how’s everything is playing out exactly as he planned.

Master of Kung Fu #3 Spoilers & Art

Spoilers: Lady Mandarin, the mistress of the School of Spirit Blades, is one of the great masters who compete for the Emperor’s throne in trial by combat. The Emperor Zheng Zu sends all masters to the Thirteen Chambers to fight each other. Shang-Chi defeats most of them, including Lady Madarin who attempts to use her spirit blade on him, but is soon subdued. There is only one master for Shang-Chi to face: Iron Fist.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Axel Alonso and Cullen Bunn on 'Uncanny X-Men'

Axel Alonso shared his thoughts on Uncanny X-Men at his weekly Axel-In-Charge column. Check it out:

Also on the X-Men subject -- Cullen Bunn and Greg Land are on "Uncanny X-Men," but it's a very different Uncanny X-Men than readers are used to, led by Magneto and with other characters primarily known as villains, including Sabretooth and Mystique. What inspired this change in direction in the return of one of Marvel's longest-running titles?

Alonso: The X-Men find themselves in a unique situation after "Secret Wars." They live in a world that not only hates and fears them, but -- thanks to the Terrigen Mists -- is a lot more dangerous. The new Uncanny team is resolved to protect mutants by all means necessary, whatever the cost. What lines are each of these characters willing to cross to save their kind? Well, look at that roster. I mean, they're even more hardcore than the X-Force.

Cullen Bunn, the writer of the upcoming Uncanny X-Men also remarked:

Bunn: Just jumping in real quick. There's not much I can say about the book's direction. I will say this, though. Marvel didn't shove any characters at me. There was no push to make it more like the movies. These characters (and you haven't seen the full roster yet) were my choices. Did I pick some because they were "cool"--yep. I think they will be cool. I think it will be cool to give them some of the direction and continuity they might have lacked. I think it will be cool to explore some of the inter-character dynamics and history of these characters. Anyone who thinks I've forgotten any history of these characters (like Sabretooth trying to gut Psylocke) is fairly far afield. And... yeah... a team like this could very easily tear itself apart. Maybe they will. Is it a strange lineup... you bet! I approached this as a group of characters who (mostly) have no business trying to uphold Xavier's dream... trying to do just that.

When asked about the characters' classic costumes, Bunn replied:

Bunn: Yep.... most recognizable versions on the promo image. That's all.

On Twitter, he said:

Bunn: Greg just went for the most easily recognized costumes in the promo image.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cullen Bunn and Greg Land Relaunch Uncanny X-Men featuring Psylocke


According to BleedingCool, Cullen Bunn and Greg Land will relaunch Uncanny X-Men, starting in October. Land last drew Uncanny X-Men when Kieron Gillen was the writer. But who will our Uncanny X-Men be? It seems it's Magneto, Sabretooth, Psylocke, Mystique and Fantomex. Quite a change. A rather bloodthirsty change. The tagline? “Bigger threats require more threatening X-Men.”

Other relaunches include:

Extraordinary X-Men by Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos featuring Storm, Old Man Logan, Nightcrawler, the young Jean Grey, Colossus, Magik and Iceman.

All-New X-Men by Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley featuring the young Beast, Cyclops, the X-23 Wolverine, Iceman and Archangel.

Old Man Logan by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino.

Wolverine (X-23) by Tom Taylor and David Lopez.

Deadpool by Gerry Duggan and Mike Hawthorne.

Sunday, June 28, 2015