TIME movies

X-Men Director Bryan Singer Dismissed from Sex Abuse Suit

Director Bryan Singer attends the 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party on March 2, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Director Bryan Singer attends the 22nd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar Viewing Party on March 2, 2014 in Los Angeles. Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images

The X-Men director has been dismissed from a sex abuse lawsuit, but others are still pending

Bryan Singer, who directed several films in the X-Men series, has been dismissed from a federal sex abuse case filed in May by a British actor identified only as “John Doe.” Singer filed a motion to dismiss a few weeks ago, arguing that Doe’s suit was without merit.

“We are pleased the case was dismissed,” said Marty Singer, the director’s attorney, to the Hollywood Reporter.

The original suit claimed that the director had attempted to rape a then-17-year-old in a London hotel room. Singer has denied the allegation. Other suits filed against the X-Men director alleging underage sex abuse are still pending.

The three films in the franchise that Singer directed—X-Men, X-Men 2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past—have grossed over $600 million, according to Box Office Mojo. He will also direct X-Men: Apocalypse, which is in pre-production and slated to release in 2016.

[Hollywood Reporter]

 

TIME Video Games

With Firefly Cast Reuniting, Firefly Online Sounds Like the Franchise’s Next Big Thing

The cast of Joss Whedon's fan-loved Firefly will reprise their roles in the upcoming Firefly Online video game.

First you wanted a Firefly movie, and then you got one (and hey, it was pretty good). Then you got a comic — actually several comics, plus a roleplaying game, plus a novelization of the movie. After that, you made your own documentary about the series, and then you went and made an unofficial sequel to the movie that made over $100,000 for five separate charities. How the heck, short of creator Joss Whedon himself announcing another Firefly movie or TV-quel, do you top any of that?

Maybe the cast of the show reuniting, and not for another misty-eyed convention wingding, but as characters you’ll be able to interact with in Quantum Mechanix and Spark Plug Games’ upcoming Firefly Online, due out this summer for PC, Mac, iOS and Android?

Okay, maybe that doesn’t top a series part deux, but then if you’re partial to games over TV shows or movies, perhaps it does. And it’s really happening: i09 reports (via Comic-Con, transpiring now through Sunday) that all of the original Firefly stars will reprise their roles in the game, including Alan Tudyk, which is significant if you’ve seen Serenity. In the game, players captain their own customizable ships, assemble crews, then create jobs for each other while playing through various narratives and exploring a universe with hundreds of visitable worlds.

No pressure, development teams: as one commenter put it to i09, “If this game is bad the developers better prepare for pitchforks and torches outside their office.” Indeed, fandom is fickle, though the appetite for new Firefly content may be enough to help the game over any preliminary rough spots if the underlying concept measures up.

You can check out the game and read more about it at the game’s official website, keepflying.com, and here’s the first gameplay trailer, just released.

TIME Music

Hear YouTube Superstar Troye Sivan’s Single ‘Happy Little Pill’

EMI Australia

His EP drops Aug. 15 — and pre-orders have already buoyed it to the top of the charts

One of YouTube’s biggest stars may be on his way to becoming the next big pop act.

Troye Sivan, a 19-year-old from Australia, is one of the video blogging community’s most beloved personalities; his YouTube channel has more than 3 million followers and his clips have accumulated 91.4 million views. (No big.) Earlier this summer, Sivan announced he’d signed a deal with EMI Australia and would release an EP, titled TRXYE, on Aug. 15. “Happy Little Pill,” the first single from the five-track set, dropped earlier this week — and it seems primed to move the teen into the big leagues, with melancholy lyrics and a downtempo electronic sound that give off a world-weary vibe.

“I wrote this song during a bit of a rough time for someone super close to me, and for myself, and it still means as much to me as the day i wrote it, and i’m still as in love with it as the day i wrote it,” the singer wrote on his Tumblr, when he shared the song with fans.

Now, the EP is No. 1 on iTunes and has soared to the top of iTunes charts all over the world. Earlier today, the star tweeted that TRXYE had hit No. 1 in 17 countries, while “Happy Little Pill” was at No. 1 in 13 countries. (Again, no big.)

Sivan isn’t new to singing — he was performing on shows like StarSearch in the early 2000s and has created other EPs in the past — but his crazy popularity suggests the teen is ready for the big leagues and testifies to the mounting influence of YouTube celebrities. Given, too, the massive success of his earlier song “The Fault in Our Stars” (inspired by the film), Sivan seems ready for IRL superstardom.

It’s about time — the world could use a replacement for #BieberFever.

TIME

How Nicole Perlman Became the First Woman to Write a Marvel Movie

Nicole Perlman headshot
Courtesy of Creative Artists Agency

The Guardians of the Galaxy scribe talks about her milestone at Marvel

Nicole Perlman’s interest in space started early — and with the help of real-life rocket scientists. When she was growing up in Boulder, Colo., in what she calls “a very nerdy family,” her father would host a science-fiction book club that counted among its members many employees of the aeronautics companies based in the area. The rocket scientists would come to her house and discuss their favorite books; noticing her interest, her father bought the 15-year-old Perlman copies of physicist Richard Feynman’s two autobiographies.

That fateful gift started Perlman, now 33, on a path that led to her writing Guardians of the Galaxy, in theaters Aug. 1. The movie is Marvel’s big leap away from its more established superhero properties into the depths of outer space. It’s also the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have a woman as a credited writer — but getting there wasn’t exactly easy.

While in college, Perlman had written a script called Challenger about — no coincidence — Richard Feynman. The project garnered major acclaim and landed her on Variety‘s 2006 list of writers to watch. But the script never became a movie, and neither did any of the other projects — like a Neil Armstrong biopic and a Wright Brothers project — that came her way in its wake. And, though she felt pigeon-holed into the biopic space, she was having trouble getting where she wanted to be, which was sci-fi. That trouble was no coincidence.

“[Science-fiction movies] are the kinds of movies I enjoy watching, much as I really enjoy history and science,” she recalls, “but I was noticing that I was having trouble convincing people, when I was pitching on projects, that I would be capable of doing this. There was a little bit of an attitude of, ‘Well, you’re a woman, you’re not writing romantic comedies, we’ll give you the Marie Curie biopic.’”

She kept trying. She pitched one company a project with a sample that they loved, but they told her that even though they appreciated her take on the article they had optioned they weren’t sure she could write the more action-heavy parts. “They kept saying, ‘This is a guy’s movie, you know, it’s really a guy’s movie.’ I didn’t want to say, ‘Are you saying a woman can’t write a guy’s movie?'” Perlman recalls. “What is a guy’s movie anyway? If you’re making a movie that’s just for one gender, what’s the point?'”

That frustration was how she wound up at Marvel. Back in 2009, the company launched a writer’s program that sounds like something along the lines of the old studio system: several writers would sign on for a period of two years to work full-time on Marvel properties and see what happened. It was a risk, untested and defying the typical screenwriter schedule, which usually involves stacking several projects at different stages, and it came with no guarantee that anything would make it to production. But Perlman applied and decided that, when she got it, this was her chance to show the world that she could do it, to write science fiction at a company where risks could be taken (and where, during the filming of Iron Man explosions, the buildings would shake).

She was offered several lesser-known Marvel properties to focus on, and she chose Guardians, once again defying expectations despite its obvious match with her sci-fi propensities. She wanted a project where the “super”-ness of the heroes came from their personal histories and their planetary origins, not weird circumstances like radioactive spiders or chemicals.

“I can’t tell you what the other titles were that they were offering up on the table, but I can tell you that one of them was a little bit more appropriate for me, just based on gender,” she says. “I think they were a little taken aback when I chose Guardians, because there were ones that would make a lot more sense if you were a romantic-comedy writer or something like that.”

Perlman immersed herself in the Guardians universe — a more complicated feat than she had anticipated, given the sprawling world of the series — and spent two years writing a draft. “I was definitely the only woman screenwriter that I’m aware of,” she says, “but they never made me feel disenfranchised for being a woman, which I really appreciated because I definitely have felt that at other studios.” In late 2011, she was asked for another draft with a quick turnaround, and in early 2012, James Gunn, who shares the writing credit with Perlman and also directed Guardians, came on board to work on the script. That was pretty much the end of Perlman’s involvement with the movie.

But Guardians was already on its way to being the first Marvel writers’ program script to make it to production. (It’s not uncommon for a movie project like Guardians to have several rounds of writers, often more than are credited, as credits are determined by complicated guild regulations. Perlman herself has been in that situation: she worked on Thor while at Marvel without a credit, just as it’s possible that other female screenwriters before her time worked on Marvel projects without writing credits.)

Perlman’s not really part of the Guardians publicity machine — “There’s not a lot of reason for me to be out there on the promotional junket,” she explains — but it’s hard to believe that she would have time for it, anyway. Her IMDb page is unlikely to keep its one-project-only status for long, as she’s working on a feature film project with Cirque du Soleil, a TV project, a sci-fi adaptation of the book The Fire Sermon for DreamWorks and several other passion projects. She’s also on the steering committee of the Science & Entertainment Exchange, a National Academy of Sciences effort to encourage writers and other creative people to connect with real scientists for science-inspired projects.

Though she was done writing by the time Guardians began shooting, Perlman did get to visit the set — an experience she describes as comparable to telling someone about your dream and then seeing them recreate it based on their idea of it: surreal and amazing and full of things you didn’t even know you had thought up.

Including explosions.

“I like to think I can be just as good at blowing up things as I am at crafting relationships between characters,” Perlman says. “I went out of my way to try and tell a story that was a little more unusual because I didn’t want to bring anything that was weak to the table as a female writer. You don’t want to be a woman writer about whom people could say ‘a woman can’t write science fiction.’ I think that in that way it very much spurred me to do the best work that I could. But I didn’t add more romance because I was a woman or anything like that.”

That said, Perlman hopes that, despite reaching a gender milestone at Marvel, being “a woman writer” — as opposed to just “a writer” — is a time-limited thing. Of the attention being paid to comic-book Thor’s upcoming female incarnation and the new Miss Marvel (written by a friend of Perlman’s, G. Willow Wilson), Perlman says she sees why it’s important to pay attention to women making inroads in the comic-book world, herself included. But she hopes that attention is soon paid for other reasons. “I do still feel like it’s a little bit like, ‘Wow, it’s so crazy that a woman is doing this!’ I look forward to the time when it won’t be that crazy,” she says.

And there’s already evidence that that future is here: Perlman appeared on an all-female Comic-Con panel about science-fiction in Hollywood on Thursday, but the gender of its participants wasn’t mentioned in its title. “I thought that was so great, because that’s the obvious hook: like, put these women in a box and let’s all look at them! It’s just like these are people who are working and they all have stories to tell and they happen to be women,” she says. “I think we’re not there yet, but that’s where it’s headed.”

TIME Music

deadmau5 Sounds Off on DJs, Antagonizing Everyone and His Label: Q&A

F. Scott Schafer

Plus, an exclusive premiere of a minimix from his new album

deadmau5 is a busy man. Joel Zimmerman, the Canadian electronic music producer known best by his stage name, not only just released his first double album, while(1<2), but also just finished competing in the Gumball 3000 rally, a Cannonball Run-style race that runs from Miami to Ibiza. While Zimmerman’s race in his Nyancat-decorated Ferrari was cut short due to a license suspension in France, his album was racing to the top of the dance charts, debuting at #1 on the iTunes chart and #4 on Billboard.

while(1<2) shows deadmau5 at this best — pairing unforgettable beats and hooks with sparse, film score-esque soundscapes and pushing the boundaries of the electronic and dance music form into minimalist atmospherics. The album is his first on Astralwerks and clocks in at a whopping 25 tracks, including remixes of two Trent Reznor songs, “Ice Age” by How To Destroy Angels and “Survivalism” by Nine Inch Nails.

Zimmerman recently remixed the ambitious album; TIME is premiering that track here:

TIME talked to the producer over IM about making music, picking fights and racing his so-called “Purrari”:

TIME: Do you still enjoy strapping on your mau5 head?

Deadmau5: At times. Other times it’s just uncomfortable, physically.

You just released a new track called Carbon Cookie. Can you tell me about that?

I had 30 minutes to kill. Not sure what I was doing, I think I was starting some track for half a second there and then facepalmed…. and just went with it. They usually end up in the recycling bin to be honest, I just figured whatever, but surprisingly enough, there was a melody in there that I’m throwing onto another track… so it wasn’t a total loss.

Were you trying to make a comment about EDM or just having fun?

A bit of both, I guess. They go hand in hand for me, but it’s hard to comment on anything “EDM” and not have a laugh.

What would you call electronic dance music?

Well, EDM used to be the broad term for it, I thought…. but I don’t know. I rarely follow the s–t as it as. I only really get a good taste of it when you gotta, like, do those festival gigs, and you’re playing last, which means more often than not you have to hang around all day and endure what everyone else is doing until your slot. Of course, that doesn’t include everyone, lots of great dudes making great music out there

When you have to “hang around all day and endure,” isn’t that because you’re headlining the festival?

Sometimes yeah, other times, well… catering, a sunny day, and good company always beats hanging out at a hotel.

What do you think is the major difference between the music you create and what other artists on the bill at a festival are doing?

Well, I get stuck in these DJ festivals mostly.

Right, and you’ve pretty firmly stated your aversion to being referred to as a DJ. What do you see as the main difference between what you do and DJs?

The genre, as it were, just seems pretty disposable to me in the sense that, you produce all this music, put 100% of you into your show, and you’re followed up or opening for some guy playing a CD player of some other dude’s s–t. That’s the gist of it.

Your new album is clearly carefully crafted. How long did it take you to make?

About a year or so.

There are 25 tracks on the album, so that seems pretty quick!

There were some projects included in there that I’ve been kicking around for many years, just couldn’t find the right spot for some of it. I think the album was a great time and place for me to showcase some of it.

The album feels very cohesive.

Well I’ll always have a skewed view on it, just due to my own familiarity with some of the work. I think that’s something every artist views things from time to time. I’d be pretty saddened to hear anyone say “Yeah, listen to this… God I’m awesome, the way this all sits together” about their own work.

Was that intentional or does it just reflect a mindset or mood that ran through its creation?

Nothing really intentional about the overall vibe. I’m pretty emotionally detached from a lot of things. LOL.

Oh really? You just get in the studio and …what?

Work. Create. Learn.

But what goes into making a song if not emotion?

Just a load of experimentation. I like to think of “the studio” as a laboratory, where I can go in, learn tricks, apply, revise, and release. I’d figure I had about the same emotional attachment to my craft as a guy over at NASA does over… NASA stuff.

How do you know if something is good enough for release? You said earlier that you stick stuff in the recycling bin a lot.

Maybe some here and there, but nothing worth crying over if I ever win a Grammy.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a craftsman or an engineer?

Well, the artistry comes in when you strive to detach from everything else you’ve heard a million times and once that part’s in, the brunt of the work is, what you said, sonic craftmanship and engineering.

How do you detach yourself? Is it something you have to learn?

It’s not something I’d recommend, or even knew how to do — it’s just something I’m naturally good at. I’m pretty sure a good psychologist could figure it out, but I don’t waste much time wondering why I am the way I am. There are some guys out there who make great music who may or may not be super-emotionally attached to their work. To each their own. I know some brilliant “EDM” artists… who can compose some really interesting melodies, but can’t engineer for s—t and vice versa. Its’ a rare gift to have both.

There’s been a lot of talk about artists that you don’t like or respect, so who do you like? What’s on your iPod?

Boards of Canada, Tycho, Com Truise, James Holden, many others. Jon Hopkins, amazing stuff!

What music were you playing in your car during the Gumball rally?

This:

Everything else was wiped from my iPod. No joke.

Really? That would make me drive extra quickly, just to put a stop to it. Your album has two How To Destroy Angels remixes, how did that come about?

Well, quite simply, I just really enjoy those works…. and sometimes I just wander off whatever I’m doing and re-produce / remix whatever you want to call it just to put a spin on it for my own satisfaction…. basically I just asked for permission to include those works into the album as they fit in nice, and Trent [Reznor] was kind enough to give us the green on it.

Reznor has moved into doing film scores now. Have you considered that career path at all?

Perhaps at one point, but from my understanding, it’s very time consuming!

This was your first album with Astralwerks. Do you feel like it’s a good fit for you there?

This answer is going to suck, because I feel obligated to just say things how they are. I don’t know anyone at Astralwerks. I’m sure they get on great with my manager and team, but I’ve never heard anything from them. I’m sure they do a great job at distribution. So yeah, thanks guys. I’m a little bummed out at their lack of interest in calling me, or emailing me, but that’s every major label. Sucks having to kinda do everything yourself…I’ve always imagined as a kid or whatever, being signed to a major, walking into their office, and having “meetings” and coming up with cool ideas and working on them together. I guess that’s where the importance of self reliability comes into play.

Are you looking for a collaborator? Or have you come to love your independence?

Maybe not musically, but creatively. “Hello, Mr Astral last name Werks, Joel here! How are you? Man, we should have some of my music scored! Let’s book an orchestra and get something done, what a cool project, and then we could press a limited edition set of it and sync out some to film, or just for fans. I actually asked for that about 8 months ago…. still haven’t gotten a response. Not expecting one anymore, so looks like I’ll just have to do this s–t myself.

You run your own record label now, mau5trap. Are you trying to do things differently there?

Well, mau5trap’s a little different. I have a solid team of people who I’ve known and trusted for many many years helping me out with that and they’ve been doing a great job. I chime in with my thoughts from time to time, but for the most part, I’m quite pleased with it.

And one of your new artists, Colleen D’Agostino, contributed vocals to one of your tracks.

Yeah, wouldn’t that have been awesome if Astralwerks procured that for me? Nope, my lawyer did (she’s cool as f–k). I love my lawyer. And I love Colleen. Never met her yet, but she’s got a voice… All natural talent, too. I love the lack of autotune.

You just competed in the Gumball 3000 Rally and drove from Miami To Ibiza. What was the best part of the race?

Winning. There were so many amazing moments, which is what made it so great for me. I cant even count the “omg remember when…” moments.

Would you do it again? Or have you already moved on to the next thing?

I’ve already booked my spot for next year’s run. In like Flynn.

I read that you didn’t get your driver’s license until you were 30, so are you making up for lost time?

Yeah… and today I was whipping around in an indy500 car in Toronto at the Honda Indy earlier today. I love driving. Specifically, I love driving fast. When legally permitted to do so.

What made you finally get your license?

Living in LA. I just moved there. You can’t get anywhere in LA without a car, before I was in downtown Toronto, no need for nothing!

Do you mind having a reputation as an antagonist? Or do you feel that by calling people out you are pushing music further?

Well, the way I see it, I just call it the way it is, or the way I see it. I don’t just spout off “made up s–t.”

Right, but you do it publicly, where as many people do that in their heads.

Yeah, I guess I catch myself thinking — why do I even bother? But then again, what changes either way. Plus, it’s entertaining.

Do you think you would be where you are in your career without social media?

Nope. Probably not.

Have any vendettas you’d like to air?

Not today, my friend, not today.

MORE: How Bad Is Paris Hilton’s DJing? Deadmau5 thinks it’s the Mayan Apocalypse

MORE: A DJ School for Babies in Brooklyn

TIME Television

The Same Man Has Played Detective Poirot for 25 Years, But Now He’s Out of Mysteries

Plus: the exclusive premiere of a trailer for the final season of Agatha Christie's Poirot

In 1989, when actor David Suchet began playing Detective Hercule Poirot on the TV series Agatha Christie’s Poirot, it’s unlikely that he could have guessed where it would take him. Now, 25 years later, Suchet has played Poirot in a whopping 70 separate mysteries — and it’s come time to hanging up the mustache. Though other long-serving actors may give up a role for a variety of reasons, Suchet didn’t really have much of a choice: the series has run out of Christie stories, having covered what The Guardian calls all of the “substantial” fictions about him. (Poirot appears in dozens of novels and short stories, as well as a play.)

The lucky 13th season wrapped up its U.K. broadcast last November with Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, and the five-episode season begins broadcasting for U.S. audiences on July 27 on PBS and July 28 via the streaming service Acorn TV; the final three episodes will be available for U.S. viewers only via Acorn.

As one of the characters in the trailer premiering above puts it, “this is a terrible loss for the world.” Chances are she’s not talking about Poirot, but for Agatha Christie lovers the sentiment fits.

 

 

TIME

This Supercut Shows What Cheesy 80’s Movies Thought Computer Hacking Looked Like

Bring on the cliches

There’s a series of electronic beeps over a Tron soundtrack. The screen is filled with a series of green letters and then a psychedelic interface. This is computer hacking, as told to you by any number of 1980’s computer films, oozing with cheesy perfection.

FoundItemClothing.com made the video, which features scenes from Real Genius, War Games, and Spies Like Us, to name a few.

TIME Music

Go Behind the Scenes With Nico & Vinz at The Tonight Show

TIME chats with the Afro-Norwegian duo, best known for their summer hit "Am I Wrong," before their performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Though you may not recognize their names (yet), their tune is definitely recognizable — Nico & Vinz‘s single “Am I Wrong” is currently sitting at number one on the Top 40 airplay chart.

Earlier this week, TIME caught up with the Afro-Norwegian duo as they headed to the NBC studios to rehearse with the Roots before their performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

In their down time, the pair both constantly have earphones on, often singing out loud or dancing to a silent rhythm.

“I’m listening to some sketches we did in Norway, songs,” says Vincent “Vinz” Dery during a short car ride, chuckling. “Listening to ourselves.”

But even given the high stakes, neither appeared nervous. “We’re kind of confident because the chemistry between us is great onstage,”says Nico Sereba, the other half of the duo. “I mean, we’re playing with the Roots, which is one of the best bands in the world.”

In the video above, Nico & Vinz sit down backstage before the show to discuss their unique sound and how they balanced work — as high school substitute teachers — and music.

But be warned: their catchy, upbeat song will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

TIME movies

Behind the Scenes Look at Lucy, Scarlett Johansson’s Newest Film

Go behind the scenes of the highly-anticipated film Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. The film explores an individual’s brain capacity — the film posits that humans currently use 10 percent of their brains, while asking what might happen if 100 percent was accessed. The film tells the story of a young woman who, when put under extenuating circumstances against her will, is scientifically altered in a way that allows for her to access a much greater capacity of her brainpower. In this sneak peek, the two stars discuss exploring brain capacity, as well as the film’s main character, Lucy. You can see Lucy in theaters nationwide beginning Friday.

TIME Video Games

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Release Bumped Up a Week

October 7 was looking a little crowded. But September 30? Not so much.

Warner Bros. and developer Monolith’s upcoming attempt to make you a heroic Nazgul, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, is apparently coming along well enough to earn a rare release date bump: instead of October 7, the game will release on September 30 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, followed on October 2 by the PC version (via Steam).

The game’s PR team says that’s because of “fans’ excitement.” I’m speculating, but I’d wager the more likely reason is that Tuesday, October 7 was a little crowded. On that day, we’ll see major releases like Driveclub (PS4), Alien: Isolation, NBA 2K15 (the latter two for PC, PS3/4 and Xbox 360/One), NBA Live 15 and Project Spark (Xbox One). That, and two days prior, Activision’s Skylanders Trap Team hits. So I’d wager Warner Bros. and Monolith backed up to September 30 because it’s wide open: the only major rival that day is Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox 360/One).

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is about zipping around Tolkien’s “land of shadow” just after Sauron (nee The Necromancer) shows up and wreaks demigodly havoc. You play as Talion, a raised-from-the-dead ranger who can thus tap the same sort of eldritch otherworldly powers the Nazgul could (and since this is a game designed to make you feel ridiculously formidable, plenty more besides).

The twist involves something called the Nemesis System, which is developer Monolith’s way of making its world and the things you encounter in it feel procedural. Each adversary you encounter has unique attributes that feed an elaborate ecology of behaviors, and your encounters ripple through that ecology, changing your relationship to other enemies and ultimately creating your own personalized bosses. Every time you play, that deck reshuffles.

Whether the reshuffling feels lively and organic in the playing or too obviously generic remains to be seen, but expectations are high, as they ought to be, given the level of affection and esteem for Tolkien’s world.

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