TIME movies

Dad Says ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movie Helped Son Speak

Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

The boy's inspiration? Groot.

The Guardians not only save the universe on the big screen, they may have also helped one little boy find his voice.

Josh Dunlap reached out to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn on Facebook to share the story of his son Sawyer, who suffers from dyspraxia, a learning disorder that can inhibit motor skills acquisition.

“When Guardians came out Sawyer could only say about three words and would communicate to his mother and I by other means. When he saw Groot, something clicked inside him and he connected with him on a level I haven’t seen,” Dunlap wrote, referring to the character whose only verbal capability is to grunt, “I am Groot.”

“He began to mimic him and he would use the word ‘Bah’ for a lot, but after he saw the film, he would change the tone in which he said it to convey a different meaning,” Dunlap wrote. “He would also start saying Groot for many things as well. Since that, he was finally able to go to a speech class and it has helped amazingly. I just wanted to thank you though, for a script and movie that was written so well that a four year old, three at that time, could connect with someone who had the same language barrier.”

Gunn replied directly to Dunlap, saying, “I love making movies because of stories like this.”

The entire exchange can be found below.


TIME movies

Marvel Premieres First Captain America: Civil War Footage

Marvel/Disney Chris Evans as Captain America

Captain America and Iron Man come to blows in the trailer

Attendees of Disney’s D23 expo got an exclusive look at the first footage from Marvel’s highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War on Saturday. Stars Chris Evans (Captain America) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon) were in attendance to debut the video.

In the footage, Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man face off against each other over a program that would require superheroes to register with the government, with Iron Man supporting the venture and Captain America arguing against it. The members of the Avengers team take sides, with Falcon, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) allying with Captain America and War Machine (Don Cheadle) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) allying with Iron Man.

The superheroes come to blows by the end of the trailer, according to Variety.

Though Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who is expected to make his Marvel Studios debut in the movie, did not appear in the footage, audiences got their first glimpse of Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther. Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Martin Freeman, Paul Bettany and Emily VanCamp are all featured as well.

Marvel head Kevin Feige also teased new details about the Benedict Cumberbatch Marvel movie, Doctor Strange. In a video message, Cumberbatch promised the movie would have “girls, cars, explosions, a bit of astral projection—the usual fare.”


TIME movies

Fantastic Four Meets Doom at the Box Office

20th Century Fox/Marvel Superhero reboot Fantastic Four, out Aug. 7, boasts an impressive young cast, including Miles Teller, Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan.

It's nowhere close to breaking even

Fox’s Fantastic Four turned out to be a fantastic flop, grossing only about $26 million in North America in its opening weekend. The superhero saga had a reported budget of $120 million.

That the comic book adaptation disappointed in a summer chock full of superhero movies came as little surprise, especially after the truly awful reception Fantastic Four received from critics over the past week. At the moment, the movie has just a 9% fresh rating from critics on movie site Rotten Tomatoes, while Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers called out the film for its “soul-crushing, coma-inducing dullness.”

The movie, which featured a star-studded cast, was 21st Century Fox’s latest attempt to adapt the Fantastic Four franchise, following a pair of films about a decade ago that also failed to win over critics. But even with the acidic reviews, the latest Fantastic Four was expected to come close to making $50 million in its first weekend at the domestic box office, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Instead, the film barely cleared $60 million globally.

With its dismal opening, Fantastic Four joins the ranks of recent summer box office busts, including 2013’s The Lone Ranger, which led to Walt Disney taking a reported $100 million write-down.

Even with Fantastic Four’s poor performance, the summer of 2015 has been a relatively successful one for Hollywood, with strong showings from Disney and Comcast’s Universal leading the way for what could be one of the highest-grossing movie summers in history.

TIME celebrities

Watch Deadpool Massage Conan O’Brien With Panda Tears

Talk about a mouthy masseur

In a hilarious sketch on the Conan show, Conan O’Brien gets massaged with panda tears by Marvel character, Deadpool.

Ryan Reynolds, who plays the sarcastic mercenary, appeared on last night’s talk show in conjunction with the release of the official trailer of Deadpool. But there was no need for the actor to explain who the character was for O’Brien declared that Deadpool “once saved my life.”

The show then cuts to a video of O’Brien getting rubbed down by the Marvel superhero, who laments O’Brien’s apparent lack of derriere.

The highly anticipated new film is due to open in cinemas on February 12, 2016.


TIME movies

Here, Finally, Is the First Deadpool Trailer

You've seen the trailer for the trailer. Now here's the trailer

“One thing that never survives this place is a sense of humor,” evil sidekick Ajax, played by Ed Skrein, tells Ryan Reynolds’ character Wade Wilson, a.k.a Deadpool, while strapping him onto a gurney. “We’ll see about that, Posh Spice.” Wilson deadpans.

If the first official trailer for the eagerly-awaited Marvel movie Deadpool is any indication, the movie promises just as many laughs as it does thrills.

The red band trailer, which begins with the cancer diagnosis which prompts Wilson to volunteer for the genetic experimentation program that gives him his superpowers (including an inability to be killed), is an action-packed blur of gunshots, punches, smashed cars and…more jokes.

“You may be wondering why the red suit…well that’s so bad guys can’t see me bleed,” he says during a showdown with several armed gunmen. “This guy’s got the right idea…he wore the brown pants.”

The highly anticipated Deadpool film, set for a 2016 release, is a spinoff from the forgettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine in which Deadpool has a cameo — a fact Reynolds references in the “trailer for the trailer” released Monday.

Watch the full trailer below.

(WARNING: Explicit content and language with graphic violence)

Read next: This Map Shows How All the Future Marvel Movies Are Connected

TIME movies

Deadpool Trailer Coming Tomorrow, Says Trailer

The real trailer will premier Tuesday night on Conan

Looking forward to the next Deadpool trailer? Well, it’s not out yet. But a new trailer for the trailer might be able to tide you over until the real thing is released.

The pre-trailer shows the titular antihero, played by Ryan Reynolds, introducing himself rather dramatically while attempting to smoke a pipe through his costume’s mask. The character closes by announcing that his trailer is coming…tomorrow.

The actual trailer for the film will debut Tuesday when Reynolds appears on the TBS talk show Conan, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film is set for an early release next year.

TIME uniqlo

Uniqlo Aims For Bigger China Gains With New Disney Deal

General Economy Images In Beijing
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Pedestrians walk past a Uniqlo store in Beijing, China.

A new partnership extends Uniqlo and Disney's relationship with Star Wars, Avengers, and Frozen merchandise

Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing retail known for its affordable basics, is doubling down on Disney.

The apparel seller started selling shirts depicting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in 2009. On Monday, Uniqlo announced a new partnership with Disney that will extend its collaboration with the entertainment conglomerate, a move that’s aimed at deepening the apparel company’s presence in China.

For the joint partnership, known as Magic for All, the companies will design apparel, accessories, and plush toys featuring popular characters from Star Wars, Pixar’s Toy Story, Marvel’s Avengers, and Disney’s Frozen.

Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing, told The Wall Street Journal that he hopes the Disney collaboration will further boost sales in China, where growth is essential for Uniqlo. The clothing company has struggled in the United States of late, and while it has performed well in its home country of Japan, the nation’s shrinking, aging population have dimmed its long-term prospects there.

“Our Chinese business is trending very smoothly,” Yanai told the Journal. The company’s versatile mix-and-match clothing seems to resonate with young Chinese workers. The retailer already operates 370 stores in mainland China; it plans to add 100 more annually for the near future.

The company’s new partnership with Disney will be worldwide, but will have a special focus on China. Uniqlo’s largest store worldwide in Shanghai will dedicate an entire floor to the Disney merchandise.

“The Walt Disney Company prides itself on delivering magical experiences to fans of all ages; whether it’s at the movies, retail, our theme parks or at home,” Paul Candland, President, The Walt Disney Company Asia, said in a statement. “Uniqlo shares our passion for storytelling and we look forward to expanding our global collaboration creating unique experiences for fans to immerse themselves in the Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar brands.”

Uniqlo has maintained its optimism for the Chinese market despite criticism of labor practices at its supplier factories there and a recent scandal over a sex video allegedly recorded in a Beijing store fitting room.

Yanai told the Journal that the video was disgusting: “This is the last thing we would have anticipated happening in our store,” he said.

TIME Television

Marvel Will Release a New Netflix Show Every 6 Months

Barry Wetcher— Netflix, Inc. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock in the Netflix Original Series “Marvel’s Daredevil”

Jessica Jones will premiere before the end of 2015

Though the next Marvel film, Captain America: Civil War, won’t premiere until May, more Marvel heroes are coming to your streaming queue—and soon. Netflix announced at the Television Critics Association summer meeting on Tuesday that it will be rolling out a new Marvel superhero series every six months.

Marvel and Netflix teamed up to bring five separate shows to the streaming service, focusing on a group of comic book heroes called The Defenders, a street-level Avengers team. The first in the series, Daredevil, premiered in April. Jessica Jones will be the next superhero to get a Netflix treatment before the end of 2015, followed by Iron Fist and Luke Cage, according to the Associated Press. After each has starred in their own series, all four will join forces for a Defenders show.

The announcement comes as anticipation for Jessica Jones, the first female superhero to headline her own Marvel project, grows. “I’ve been coming to Comic-Con for 12 years, and I think a lot of fans here have been eager to see more women onscreen for a long time,” Dawn Keiser, a 30-year-old Californian told TIME at San Diego Comic-Con in early July. “I was really happy to see the characters Karen and Claire become these heroes on Daredevil, but I really can’t wait for Jessica Jones to be the hero of her own show.”

Krysten Ritter, star of Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, will portray the first major female character with superpowers in a Marvel Studios project. Though Captain America character Peggy Carter stars in a 1940s-set Agent Carter on ABC, she has no powers—nor does Black Widow, the only female Avenger in the films. The first Marvel female superhero movie, Captain Marvel, won’t hit screens until 2018.

If the tone of Daredevil is any indication, Jessica Jones and the other Marvel Netflix shows will be much darker and bloodier than the one audiences know from films like Iron Man and The Avengers.


TIME movies

Ant-Man Wins Weekend Box Office With $58 Million

Beats out 'Minions' and 'Trainwreck' for the top spot

Looks like Ant-Man isn’t so little after all.

Marvel’s latest superhero film debuted to an estimated $58 million this weekend, falling just short of initial estimates but still outstripping Minions to snag first place. On one hand, Ant-Man failed to meet expectations of $60 to $65 million, and it earned the weakest debut ever for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (unless you count The Incredible Hulk, which opened to $55.4 million in 2008). But Paul Rudd’s superhero debut still earned first place, which means that the MCU is now 12 for 12 for #1 openings (and that’s including The Incredible Hulk). Ant-Man was never expected to reach Avengers-level numbers at the box office, and although it didn’t manage to crack $60 million, it wasn’t too far off from other MCU debuts like Captain America: The First Avenger ($65.1 million) and Thor ($65.7 million).

But even though Ant-Man came in first place, the biggest winner of the weekend might actually be Trainwreck. Even though it placed third with an estimated $30.2 million, that’s well above early predictions, which had Amy Schumer’s debut landing somewhere in the mid to high teens. Even though Schumer has basically ruled TV these past few months (and she’s proved that she’s hot enough to be on television), this was the first real test of whether she could carry a feature film. Based on these box office numbers (and generally solid reviews), we should expect to see more from Schumer on the big screen soon.

Meanwhile, Minions took a pretty steep hit of 57 percent in its second weekend, falling to an estimated $50.2 million. The Despicable Me spinoff topped the charts last weekend, earning the second biggest animated debut ever, and this weekend brought its domestic total to a whopping $216.7 million after only 10 days. At the same time, Inside Out regained its lead over Jurassic World, snagging fourth place by only about $300,000. But Jurassic World did get some good news this weekend: Its domestic total is now $611.1 million, making it only the fourth film in history to cross $600 million at the domestic box office.

Here are this weekend’s top five at the box office:

1. Ant-Man — $58 million
2. Minions — $50.2 million
3. Trainwreck — $30.2 million
4. Inside Out — $11.7 million
5. Jurassic World — $11.4 million

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME movies

Ant-Man Director on Paul Rudd’s Sweet Spot and Women in Comic Book Movies

The director explains how he overcame his dislike of 3D to make one of the year's best 3D films

When Ant-Man opens in theaters on July 17, viewers are in for a different kind of action movie. The protagonist’s powers of shrinking and controlling ants aren’t the sexiest in the Marvel canon, and the film’s star, Paul Rudd, is goofier than the average superhero. But with director Peyton Reed at the helm, the result is two hours of delirious fun.

TIME caught up with Reed before the movie’s release to talk about Rudd’s charm, shooting in 3D, playing with genre and female characters in comic book movies.

TIME: What was your relationship with comic books as a kid?

Reed: I had a very intimate relationship with comic books as a kid. I read comics at a very young age, starting in elementary school. I was almost exclusively a Marvel Comics reader—I read a few DC titles but I just gravitated toward Marvel because I loved the stories, I loved the characters, I loved that they were all flawed characters and that there was a sense of humor in the writing and in the editorial style. I was pretty obsessive; I knew comics came out on Tuesdays and Fridays. I would have my dad drive me to the newsstand.

I read that you especially liked Ant-Man. What was the appeal?

As a kid, I loved the powers. Shrinking taps into a childlike thing. I suppose there’s a correlation with how kids play: you’re always down on the floor, on the carpet, playing with whatever toys you’re playing with, imagining those really tiny things are much larger worlds. I loved shrinking, and I also loved how weird the idea of controlling ants was—which, by the way, was one of the biggest challenges of the movie. Is any sane audience member is gonna say, “How is that gonna come in handy?” We really show the audience in a big way what you could do. I just loved in the comics when he would go in ant tunnels; it was such a science fiction concept. I also loved that in the comics he was a founding member of the Avengers, and there was this inadequacy that he felt, because he’s fighting alongside Thor and the Hulk and Iron Man, and these are gigantic powerful heroes, and here he is, this tiny guy. They really leaned into that in the writing, which was great, but then they also turned around and he was maybe the only, not the only but maybe the predominant hero in the Avengers that had a girlfriend, the Wasp. That whole Janet van Dyne/Hank Pym relationship in the comics—it was great to see them fighting as a superhero team, but also the romantic component of that was always great.

What do you think will appeal to people about Ant-Man in 2015?

He’s a really relatable guy. Obviously at the beginning of the movie we see him come out of prison. But his main goal in the movie is to be a better father to his daughter, to earn his way into her life. And that immediately felt like a different dynamic for a Marvel movie. Structurally, you’re just with this guy at the beginning of the movie. Obviously it’s not as easy as he thought in the real world, temptation calls and he succumbs to that temptation—he does this heist and finds himself in possession of this suit. I loved the idea that he was a pretty normal guy who gets sucked into this Marvel world. Also, these movies have gotten bigger and bigger and louder and louder, and this movie was a chance to do the inverse—we went smaller. The great joys of the third-act battle in this movie between Yellowjacket and Ant-Man taking place in a little girl’s bedroom—that, to me, was fun.

How did you approach striking that balance between comedy and high-stakes action in those fight scenes?

It was something that was inherent in the movie from the beginning. There’s an absurdity to Ant-Man’s powers. He shrinks and controls ants, and you have to acknowledge that, but you also have to invest in it. I think that’s where Paul Rudd shines, because you absolutely buy Paul as a hero in the movie but he responds to these absurdities in the same way that you or I would. Paul Rudd is gonna hold your hand through this very strange adventure. I don’t think anyone’s gonna go see Ant-Man thinking that there’s gonna be anything emotional about it, but we really wanted there to be emotional stuff. But also we had a phrase, “treacle cutters.” If there was a very emotional part of the movie, we wanted to puncture it with a joke, and find that balance throughout.

What influences did you have in mind as you started work on the movie?

There’s 50 years of Ant-Man comics, so I would go through and look at different imagery from those comics, and there were elements, visually, that I wanted to bring to the movie. And then it has the structure of a heist movie, so there were rhythms that I wanted the movie to have. I wanted it to start with a little bit of a slow burn, and then once it catches fire, to just take off and move as a heist movie should. And then we added all these elements with Michael Peña and these tips that he provides to Scott Lang—that was something that we added when we were shooting the movie because Peña is just so amazingly funny and I wanted to bolster the visual language of the heist movie even more.

How did you approach shooting in 3D differently? How does it affect the sequences of action, and also dialogue-heavy scenes?

I’m a very compositional director. How things are blocked, how things move and the frames are always important to me. I’ve done predominantly comedies, but I never wanted to be a comedy director that just set the camera there and recorded someone being funny. I want the camera to be very much a part of the action and the comedy of a movie. So it was no different on this movie—it was just finding really striking compositions. I’ve traditionally not been a huge 3D fan. I’ve seen all the 3D movies, but this movie really felt like it organically lent itself to 3D, just because we’re dealing with issues of scale and perspective, and shallow depth of field—things like that. I love the movie in 3D. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I was gonna say that. I really wanted it to be a strong 3D movie, but I was really pleased to see the final results.

What were you trying to accomplish with the character of Hope?

Hope was always in the early drafts of the movie, but Evangeline [Lilly] and I had a lot of conversations early on about her arc in the movie—strengthening and deepening that arc, creating a character who had real issues at the beginning of the movie, particularly with her father, and kind of exploring the origin of those issues. As I said, in the comics, the relationship between Janet van Dyne and Hank Pym was so crucial, and Janet really was not in those early drafts, and I really wanted her somehow to be a presence in the movie. I like how we solved it because it’s really organic to the story between Hank and Hope. Ant-Man is as much Hope’s story as it is Scott’s. I like the idea that Hank Pym has this problem: he needs to get his technology back and destroy that other suit, and he recruits Scott Lang, when in fact the solution to his problem has been under his nose the whole time. Hope is clearly the more qualified person to deal with this issue, but Hank can’t see it. And part of his journey in the movie is becoming enlightened enough to know that he thinks he’s been protecting his daughter, but what he’s really been doing is holding her back and not acknowledging what she can bring to bear on the situation. So in the end when we see her get that suit, it’s been a very satisfying thing for audiences. I, for one, hope that we get the opportunity to really see what that character can do.

What are your thoughts on the current state of women in comic book movies?

It’s always been important to me in my movies—Bring It On, particularly, Down With Love and even The Breakup—to create really real female characters. It just seems like something that used to be a fundamental part of movies in the ‘30s and ‘40s, and then just sort of disappeared. Particularly in this genre of movie, the so-called blockbuster, these visual effects spectacles, there’s weirdly still a reluctance to have a female character at the center of these movies. James Cameron has done this for years: Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, if you look at Terminator, Linda Hamilton’s at the center of those movies, and Titanic and Avatar—every one of his movies, which are the biggest movies in the history of movies, and the lesson still hasn’t been learned.

What were the challenges of making the movie the way you wanted while still fitting into the Marvel universe?

I actually didn’t find it that challenging. When I first came in, one of the things I said is, “Ant-Man has to stand alone as its own movie.” It’s an origin movie, and it has to work as a beginning, middle and end if you’ve never seen another Marvel movie. If you have seen another Marvel movie, there’s absolutely stuff in the movie that enhances the experience. More than anything else, the one thing I kept getting from Marvel was, “Make it different, man.” Bring some imagery and ideas and things to the movie and make it as idiosyncratic as you can. Which, to me, was really liberating, because this is their twelfth movie. And I think Marvel’s biggest fear is to repeat themselves. I think it’s smart how they’ve taken different genres: Guardians [of the Galaxy] is a space opera; Winter Soldier is a ‘70s political thriller; our movie is essentially a heist movie. They really do, not only allow for, but encourage each movie to have its own eccentric tone.

What’s next for you and Ant-Man?

What is next for me is a little bit of a vacation with my wife and my seven-week-old child. After that remains to be seen. There’s definitely a lot more story to tell with these characters, and I’m hoping that we get to do that, because if we do, I would absolutely be on board for that.

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