You think you know who the 5 best screen villains of all time are? Check out our list and see who made the cut!


Mads Mikkelsen nabs the role of one of the most infamous serial killers in film history.


We honor who we believe to be the 5 best character actors to NOT win an Oscar.


Matthew McConaughey Joins DiCaprio for Scorsese's THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Matthew McConaughey is on a bit of a roll lately.  Starting with THE LINCOLN LAWYER last year, he has taken roles in lower-scale films like THE PAPERBOY, MAGIC MIKE and KILLER JOE.  So it's no surprise the actor has set his sights a little higher for his next project.

McConaughey has joined the cast of Martin Scorsese's upcoming film THE WOLF OF WALL STREET.  The story follows the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) a young investment broker who sees his success dwindle after a series of criminal investigations.  McConaughey will play Belfort's first boss and mentor.

Already cast in the film is the aforementioned DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, Jean Dujardin, and Kyle Chandler.

Production begins next month in New York City.

So what do you think?  Good for Matthew?  Think he's got the chops to handle Scorsese?



Vince Vaughn To Star In and Produce Thriller THE RISK AGENT

So, apparently Vince Vaughn has decided to branch out a bit.

A couple weeks ago, we reported that the funnyman had signed on to star in the action/adventure film GUNSLINGERS, and today DEADLINE is reporting he's lined up another project.

Vaughn will star in THE RISK AGENT, based on the book by Ridley Pearson.  The story is set in China, and follows a Chinese National working for an American construction company who is kidnapped along with his security detail.  To assist in their return, the company hires a hostage retrieval organization called Rutherford Risk.  Since private investigation is illegal in China, Rutherford calls in an Asian accountant named Grace Chou, and an American combat expert named John Knox to rescue the hostages before they end up dead.

Vaughn's production banner Wild West Picture Show Productions acquired the rights to the novel and will produce the film.

So, Vaughn is switching things up.  Good or bad?

(photo courtesy of IndieWire)



Ok, so after seeing THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and THE AVENGERS (THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN just didn't do it for me), I still have an appetite for more big screen superhero flicks.  I sat for a couple of days really thinking about what I want to see next, and it occurred to me.  Who is the one fantastic superhero (debatable) who I just can't get enough of, and has the ability to be extremely entertaining and visually appealing at the same time... That's right:



As much as I love Sam Raimi, the character was done a MAJOR disservice when Topher f$%king Grace was cast as Eddie Brock in SPIDERMAN 3. (for the uninitiated, Eddie Brock is the man who becomes Venom)  I mean come on... Topher Grace?  Had they even SEEN Venom before?  Eddie Brock isn't some lanky, sardonic douchebag.  He looks more like this:

Yea, in case you're wondering, that's a mullet.  If you ask me, it makes him even cooler (see ROADHOUSE)  Brock, in the comics, is a large and intimidating guy.  He becomes the first host of the alien symbiote after Peter Parker/Spiderman rejects it.  Brock's career as a newspaper photographer is ruined after he gives fabricated pictures of the Sin-Eater to the Daily Bugle.  Spider-Man eventually takes down the Sin-Eater, and as a result, Brock is fired and his wife leaves him.  He develops a strong hatred for Spider-Man, and after encountering the symbiote and transforming into Venom, he focuses all of his attention to destroying the webslinger once and for all.  Sounds awesome right?  No?  Well it should.  In the Spider-Man universe, Venom is Spider-Man's most dangerous enemy.  He shares a lot of the same powers that Spider-Man has and it makes it difficult for Spidey to take him down.  On top of all of that?  He's friggin scary as hell!  I mean look at this guy!

As far as casting goes, well it turns out I've got the perfect guy.  He's got the size, the intensity, the experience... Ah jeez, it's TOM HARDY!  I mean, we saw how great he was as Bane.  He certainly freaked me out.  Not to mention he can go apeshit crazy at the drop of a hat, so how is he NOT qualified?  I bet he'd do it too.  I'm pretty sure he can do an American accent...

In terms of story, Venom has been the good guy  "anti-hero" before.  I think they could go that route to develop a coherent story and cut Spidey out of it altogether.  But I say SCREW that.  I love Venom as the bad guy.  I think villains are the meat and potatoes of comic books.  After all, the more evil and sinister the villain, the more bold and courageous the hero.  So why not dedicate an entire movie to one of the most sensational comic book villains ever?  My idea:  Venom is a villain in New York City and then Carnage comes into town and creeps in on Venom's territory and we've got a Venom VS. Carnage story!  Who wouldn't pay to see that!

Last time I checked, Sony still owns the rights to the Venom character.  At one point this year, producer Avi Arad mentioned that Venom should get his own movie.  I completely agree with this sentiment.

So how many Venom fans are out there?  Do you agree with me here?  Am I crazy?

Edgar Wright, JJ Abrams, Mark Protosevich To Team Up For COLLIDER Sci-Fi Film

It's always exciting when powerhouse filmmakers team up on a single project.  We've seen it before with Spielberg/Lucas, Scorsese/Coppola, and now Wright/Abrams.

The two filmmakers are developing a project called COLLIDER for Paramount.  Details of the story are currently unknown, but DEADLINE is reporting that it began as an original idea from Edgar Wright.  Mark Protosevich (I AM LEGEND) will pen the screenplay while Abrams produces, and Wright directs.

Protosevich is starting to gain some attention.  He scripted the upcoming Spike Lee version of Park Chan Wook's OLDBOY with Josh Brolin and the adaptation of the video game MASS EFFECT which is set up at Legendary Pictures.

Wright has THE WORLD'S END with frequent collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and Marvel's long awaited ANT-MAN film.

Abrams, of course has the upcoming sequel STAR TREK 2 coming up, as well as various television projects.

So, you excited to see what this is all about?  I could get down with it.


First Trailer for MAN OF STEEL Arrives!

One of my favorite parts of my screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES was the surprise teaser trailer for the upcoming Christopher Nolan-produced Superman reboot, THE MAN OF STEEL.

It doesn't really give too much away, but by the looks of it, this is a Clark Kent we've never seen before.  Zack Snyder (WATCHMEN) is directing the film, and it definitely has a darker, more serious tone.

So alas, the trailer for MAN OF STEEL:


REVIEW: The Dark Knight Rises

PLOT:  Eight years after the death of Harvey Dent, Gotham City has entered an era of peace.  Still reeling from the death of Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, exiled to his mansion and hidden from the public.  When a menacing madman called Bane infiltrates Gotham and brings the city to it's knees, Bruce Wayne emerges as Batman to stop him before he destroys the city for good.

REVIEW:  Christopher Nolan is a clever man.  His interpretation of the Batman mythos has been one of the most thought-provoking film franchises of all time.  In THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, we see a Gotham City and Bruce Wayne as we've never seen them before.  Things are different to say the least.  Commissioner Gordon is stricken with guilt over perpetuating the lie of Harvey Dent's malicious crimes.  Gotham is peaceful.  Batman is gone.  I have to say, in the beginning I was intrigued, wondering where the story would go.  Indeed it does take a VERY sharp turn... So, was it everything I hoped for?

You bet your ass it was. I can easily say that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is a brilliant film, and a perfect end to a legendary trilogy.  Christopher Nolan is firing on all cylinders here, and he ties together threads from the previous two installments nicely.  So let's just jump right in here shall we?

First of all, I don't think there is any director out there who can cast a film as perfectly as Christopher Nolan.  Christian Bale delivers what I believe to be his best outing as the Caped Crusader, and it's easy to see why this guy is as revered as he is.  He brings a humanity and complexity to Bruce Wayne that I've never seen any previous actor do.  Sure Bruce Wayne is a rich and powerful man, but somehow Bale makes him seem like a regular guy who is trying as best he can to bring some good to a city that needs it badly.  The veteran players also bring their A-game with Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine returning to their respective roles.  Special mention goes to Michael Caine who really had some tough emotional scenes in this film that even got me a little misty.  (Had to be said).  

The new folks breathe some new life into the film as well.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt shows up as Gotham cop John Blake.  Blake is an honest man and a very intuitive investigator trying to do good by the city he loves.  A product of an orphanage supported by Wayne Enterprises, he sees the good that Bruce Wayne is capable of, and helps to coax him back into society.  Marion Cotillard also shows up as Miranda Tate, a board member at Wayne Enterprises who tries to help Bruce get his fusion project off the ground.  Anne Hathaway, despite my general indifference towards her, does a fantastic job as Selina Kyle AKA Catwoman.  So all in all, the new characters lend a great deal to the story within THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.  But, I'm leaving somebody out, because he requires a little more detail...

Tom Hardy delivers one of the most physically intimidating villains of recent memory as the diabolical terrorist Bane.  After his intoduction to the story involving one of the most elaborate and visually stunning action sequences in which Bane hijacks a CIA plane and retrieves a hostage, you know you're dealing with a different breed of bad guy.  Most of Hardy's face is obstructed by Bane's mask which is explained as a device which provides relief from an agonizing pain that he incurred after a skirmish (I won't elaborate as to give nothing away), yet most of his performance is delivered with his eyes.  Hardy seems to be tuned in to how effective eye contact can be (especially when you look the way Bane does) and Nolan capitalizes on this by framing each shot of dialogue directly on Hardy's face.  Equally effective is Bane's voice which has been a very contentious issue since the debut of the first trailer.  Really, it's one of the most frightening aspects of the character.  Sure there were a few instances where I couldn't tell what he was saying, but it did the trick.  Hardy's Bane thankfully doesn't compare at all to Heath Ledger's Joker.  That's not to compare the two, as no comparison can be made.  These are two extremely different villains.  Where the Joker tested Batman psychologically, Bane tests Batman physically.  Hardy is a really fascinating actor.  Over the last couple of years, his star has certainly shined and it's a credit to his ferocious and intense delivery in every film he appears in.  For further inspection of Hardy's capability, I recommend you watch BRONSON.  You won't be disappointed.


The action sequences in TDKR are incredible.  This film hits a fever pitch on the destructo-meter with Nolan practically leveling Gotham throughout the duration.  This is certainly an epic film in scope, and definitely the most ambitious of the three Batman installments.  We're introduced to Batman's new vehicle, an aerial combat vessel called "The Bat" (not the Batwing, I assume Nolan's attempt to further distance himself from previous films) which lends to some very exciting sequences towards the end of the film.  The most jaw-dropping sequences occur after Bane lays seige to the city, destroying almost every avenue of escape.  A montage of these events echoes images from 9/11 New York City.  It's truly powerful to see, and I suppose Nolan was aware of the type of reaction it may provoke.  It makes it all the better to see Batman swoop in to take care of business.

The story is tremendous and there are a few surprises hurled at us toward the end of the picture.  (not to mention a definite hint at the expanding of the story... that's all I'll say) As I stated before, Nolan revisits themes from the previous two films which means that if you haven't seen BATMAN BEGINS or THE DARK KNIGHT in a while, you should go back and watch them before taking in TDKR.
I did, and it made the viewing experience that much more thought-provoking.  Really, I see all 3 films as one giant film, as the continuity is perfectly in tact.

So, I can happily say that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is an instant classic.  Christopher Nolan has created a series of films that are not only great comic book movies, but great movies, period.  I suspect that audiences will agree.  It's a bittersweet feeling when the credits roll, because you know that Nolan's contribution to the character is complete, but it's left a lasting impression and it's redefined the pedigree of how amazing a "comic book movie" can be.  See this film.

SCORE:  5 out of 5 Stars


Regarding The Tragedy in Aurora...

When I woke up today and read the news about the senseless massacre at the DARK KNIGHT RISES midnight show in Aurora, Colorado, my heart sank.

I've been reading the coverage of the murders all day long and it's becoming more and more apparent that the alleged shooter, James Holmes, is criminally insane.  There's no rhyme or reason for the punishment he administered to those innocent people.  It also desecrates an institution that so many people venture to, in an effort to escape the hard and rigorous nature of their daily lives.  The victims of the shooting went to escape for a while and through no fault of their own, paid the ultimate price.

It's hard to even make sense of it really.  What makes somebody do this kind of thing?  What sort of incident precedes the decision to take a life?  I don't understand it.  Maybe that's the point.  Maybe it's that you can't understand it that makes you human.  Maybe the fact that Holmes does, makes him something else entirely.

Through all of this, the movie that we were all waiting to see, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, has picked up a stigma.  Now I'm not saying that TDKR is the biggest victim.  That's obviously not the case at all.  What I'm saying is that this act, as senseless as it is, should not stop you from seeing the film.  Although I would understand if it does.

DAMEN OF ARABIA! would like to extend our condolences to the families and friends of the victims in Aurora, Colorado.


Kenneth Branagh Takes On Villain Role in New Jack Ryan Movie

So, basically Kenneth Branagh likes to keep himself busy.  Last year he helmed Marvel's THOR film, which was easily his biggest directing project to date.  Today's news is actually pretty cool.

The Shakespeare-loving actor is not only directing the new Jack Ryan film for Paramount, he's also playing the villain.  Thus making him the coolest son of a bitch in film history.

Chris Pine (STAR TREK) will play the famous Tom Clancy hero (previously played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck) but this time Ryan will be a financial analyst living in Moscow, who uncovers a plot by the Russian government to devalue American currency and destroy the U.S. financial system.

Branagh has decided to play Viktor Stazov, the main villain who masterminds the grand scheme to cripple America.

The last time we saw Jack Ryan was in THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (which I still don't think is a terrible movie) and that was all the way back in 2002.  I miss him.

What about you?  You think Branagh is backing himself into a corner?  You ready for a new Jack Ryan flick?



THE WOLVERINE Viper Casting: Round 2

Ok, let's hope this is the last time we have to update this Viper casting news.

With Jessica Biel backing out of the role because of "cold feet", James Mangold is forging ahead with the casting process for the villainous character in THE WOLVERINE, and it looks like he may have found a suitable replacement.

You may not know who Svetlana Khodchenkova is now, but if she wins the role of Viper, you will.  The relatively unknown beauty was featured last year in Tomas Alfredson's incredible adaptation of John Le Carre's TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY.  Her role was small, but she shared many a great scene with current THE DARK KNIGHT RISES villain Tom Hardy.

The Viper should be an interesting addition to this story which will follow the Frank Miller series for the character that saw Wolverine in Japan taking down some samurai.

SO, what say you folks?  Better than Biel lookwise (for the character of course).


Writer Simon Kinberg Comments on X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Sequel

I will go on record and say that X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is criminally underrated.  I put it up there with the best of the genre (ie THE DARK KNIGHT). Director Matthew Vaughn hit the best of each character perfectly, and the cast (err January Jones) was outstanding.

Writer Simon Kinberg told COLLIDER that the film will be "extraordinarily ambitious" in terms of scale.  He also said "It is unlike the other X-Men movies yet very much a celebration of the X-Men movies."

The Huffington Post reports that when speaking about Michael Fassbender's Magneto, Kinberg says "Magneto becomes the villain ultimately of the franchise but he’s a much more complicated character as a young man. He’s someone you sympathize with, you care about you root for even though might not necessarily agree with his methods, you understand his philosophy."

When asked about the tone of the film, Kinberg says "I can tell you it’s been a very fluid process in the sense of we really went into it, Matthew, Jane and myself, just wanting to create a movie that was as ... I’m very proud of First Class .. as dramatic as that movie, I think it is as dramatic as that movie, but more epic, mythic in a way as well."

No release dates have been set for the film.  

SOURCE: Collider

Robin Williams Will Play Dwight Eisenhower in THE BUTLER

I don't know what it is about Robin Williams.  He's either the most versatile actor, most under-appreciated dramatic actor, or both.  Either or, he's built a career on playing different types of characters.  This next role though is a first.

Williams has agreed to play former POTUS Dwight Eisenhower in director Lee Daniels' upcoming film THE BUTLER.

THE BUTLER is based on the story of Eugene Allen, who served as the butler for 8 presidents over 30 years.  Daniels has lined up a pretty impressive cast that includes (deep breath): Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Terrence Howard, John Cusack, and Jane Fonda.  Can anyone say "Oscar Bait"?

Daniels most revered film to date is the Oscar-winning drama PRECIOUS, which garnered considerable attention around awards season in 2009 and also landed Oscars for Best Supporting Actress (Monique) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher).  His next film, THE PAPERBOY, with Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman will be released in the fall.

Williams has two comedies on their way to release.  First he can be seen in THE BIG WEDDING with Robert DeNiro and Diane Keaton, and then LOOK OF LOVE with Ed Harris and Annette Bening.




Kevin Kline Joins DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas in LAST VEGAS

You read the headline right?  Could there be a better cast for this movie.

Legendary actor Kevin Kline will indeed join other legendary actors Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas in the "buddy" movie LAST VEGAS.

LAST VEGAS is about four friends who throw a bachelor party for the only one of them who has remained single their whole lives.  I'm kind of getting the sense that the producers of this film are hoping to capitalize on the success of the HANGOVER franchise by inserting the best "older" actors of this generation.  I have to admit though, I am intrigued.

All four of the main actors in this film are Oscar winners:

  • Kevin Kline - A FISH CALLED WANDA (Best Actor)
  • Robert DeNiro - THE GODFATHER PART II, RAGING BULL (Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor, respectively)
  • Morgan Freeman - MILLION DOLLAR BABY (Best Supporting Actor)
  • Michael Douglas - WALL STREET (Best Actor)
Jon Turtletaub (NATIONAL TREASURE) will helm LAST VEGAS and production is set to begin this fall on location.

So, THE HANGOVER with grandpas....  You game?

SOURCE: Collider

Amy Adams to Re-Team With David O'Russell For AMERICAN BULLSHIT

Well, if this film has any one thing going for it, it would be it's fantastic title.

David O'Russell's next project, AMERICAN BULLSHIT, has snatched up Amy Adams.  The pair previously collaborated for the Mickey Ward bio-pic THE FIGHTER.  Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner are also close to signing on to star in the film.

The true story follows a notorious con artist and his mistress as they are forced to work with an ambitious FBI agent to help take down other con artists.  Renner is said to be playing the agent, while Cooper and Adams will play the con artist and his mistress respectively.

Adams has two very high profile projects on the way.  First she'll show up in P.T. Anderson's "is it or isn't it Scientology" film THE MASTER with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.  Then she'll be Lois Lane in director Zack Snyder's Superman reboot MAN OF STEEL opposite Henry Cavill, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner.

Cooper has the upcoming SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, also directed by O'Russell scheduled for release in August and Renner has THE BOURNE LEGACY hitting theaters later this year.

SOURCE: Variety



Johnny Depp WILL Star in Wes Anderson's Next Film THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

A couple of weeks ago we reported that Johnny Depp had taken meetings with Wes Anderson regarding his next film.  Well, it looks as if those meetings went pretty well.

Depp has signed on to headline Anderson's next film THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.  Expected to join Depp are frequent Anderson collaborators Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman.

Details of the film are still unknown, but I'm sure with Depp involved casting announcements will start rolling in during the coming weeks.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL will be produced by super-producer Scott Rudin once again, having collaborated with Anderson previously on all of his films since THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS.

So what do you think folks?  Could this be the film to re-establish Depp's indie cred, or is it a bad move?  I'd be more inclined to believe that this will be a massive success since Anderson after all, is a god damned genius.




Anthony Mackie To Play "The Falcon" in CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER

So in my earlier article from Comic Con regarding the Marvel panel, I explained that Marvel had updated the Captain America sequel title to CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER.  Before that, news regarding the project had been relatively sparse.

Today we have the first big casting announcement for the sequel with Anthony Mackie (THE HURT LOCKER) joining the film as "The Falcon".

The Falcon, in comics past, was Sam Wilson.  Wilson wears a suit that enables him to fly, and he can also communicate with birds.  I'm sure most of you are probably thinking, "uhhhh...", but I have faith that Marvel can think of a way to introduce the character in a way that will make him irresistable to audiences.  I mean, Hawkeye was never really that 'awesome', but we still loved him in THE AVENGERS right?

JOBLO points out that the writers seem to be following the storyline where a presumed dead Bucky Barnes is brainwashed by the Russians and becomes an enemy of Cap.

I think this is an excellent casting choice.  Mackie is a "hey it's THAT guy" actor who always delivers top notch performances.  I'm glad to see Marvel taking notice.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER will hit theaters next year.


Vince Vaughn To Star in GUNSLINGERS for BRAVEHEART Scribe

It's very rare these days when you see Vince Vaughn in a film that isn't a comedy.  People forget that after SWINGERS, Vaughn made a name for himself by starring in a variey of different films like CLAY PIGEONS, PSYCHO and THE CELL.   So when we get reports of one of these types of projects, it tends to catch us by surprise.

And so it goes, Vaughn will star in an original action/adventure film for Randall Wallace (BRAVEHEART, SECRETARIAT).  DEADLINE reports that the film will follow "iconic and heroic figures from the past colliding with contemporary urban reality".  Sounds interesting enough.

It's interesting to think about which "figure from the past" Vaughn would play.  Doc Holliday?  Billy the Kid? The possibilities are endless!

Vaughn can next be seen in the sci-fi/comedy THE WATCH opposite Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill, and has the Shawn Levy directed comedy THE INTERNSHIP after that with Owen Wilson.

So, as I said, this has the potential to be good.  That's just my opinion.  What say you?