The buzz is feverish for Marvel Studios’ SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS! Starring Toronto’s own Simu Liu, the Action-Fantasy takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Shang-Chi (Liu) was trained at a young age to be an Assassin and after living a normal life in San Francisco, he’s draw-in to the Ten Rings organization, having to face again a part of his life he left behind. The Film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy) and stars a notable Cast including Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Sir Ben Kingsley, Meng’er Zhang and Ronny Chieng.
We got to sit-in on on the global Press Conference for the Film and joining us were:
Destin Daniel Cretton – Director
Kevin Feige – Producer
Simu Liu – Shang-Chi
Awkwafina – Katy
Ben Kingsley – Trevor Slattery
Meng’er Zhang – Xialing
Ronny Chieng – Jon Jon (Moderator)
Destin Daniel Cretton is asked what drew him to take on directing SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.
Cretton: I feel the stories I am drawn to are a combination of humour and optimism, but also not shying away from the very real darkness and pain that we all experience as humans. I think this Movie really does encapsulate a lot of the things that I believe in.
Sir Ben Kingsley talks about cultural conversation and social impact of his Oscar-winning role in Gandhi and whether Shang-Chi in terms of storytelling and societywill have similar impact.
Cretton: When you hear Destin‘s intentions behind this story, they are crystal-clear, lucid, pure motives. They are life-enhancing and not patronizing, because they do introduce in a beautiful way, memory, ancestry, loss and families torn apart, reunited and reconfigured. All of this is from Destin‘s heart, Kevin‘s heart and the Writers’ hearts. And if your motives are pure as a storyteller, the angels will come to assist you with that story.
This story ultimately will be healing because it’s not propaganda, it’s just a really beautiful story. I as an Actor, Trevor (reprising his Iron Man 3 character)of course is a Shakespearean actor and he finds himself transported into a completely exotic environment, but he survives. And thanks to the welcome Kevin, Destin and my beautiful colleagues gave me. I have done 17 out of Shakespeare‘s whole canon of plays, so I’m sort of a Shakespearean actor. As soon as I arrived on-set, the fact that my colleagues were of a different culture was immaterial and irrelevant. We are Actors together and we live on empathy and transformation and this is our currency. All the rest is irrelevant. If we can demonstrate that energy, ultimately it will be healing and soothing.
Meng’erZhang talks about stage acting and film acting, playing Shang-Chi‘s estranged sister, Xialing.
Zhang: Oh, it was so different because this was my very first film experience and I am so lucky to work with all of them. Sir Ben, I asked him a lot of questions on-set. As he said so beautifully, when we are on-stage, we are landscape artists and when we are in front of camera, we are portrait artists. And I felt that gave me a very clear image. I literally took notes!
Kingsley: I thought you were just correcting my spelling!
Zhang: I also remember when we were doing some stunts, it was so different from stage acting. I remember the makeup team doing the final touch-up on my fringe to make sure everything was perfect. Someone came to tell me ‘Meng’er, there’s going to be a bit of wind and water’, so I said ‘Okay!’ and I was ready. Then, 3-2-1, action! And then the wind was like… (making aggressive wind sounds). And then okay, reset! (laughing).
Awkwafina talks about physicality of her character Katy, a close friend toShang-Chi.
Awkwafina: I’d say this was slightly more physically demanding. But not physically-demanding as in like wind, but more like I was falling as a team with gravity. When I fall, my neck kinda gives out. It’s kind of a ‘me issue’ as I don’t have the will power to lift it up.
I actually went to a race track and learned how to drift, which was really fun but probably not practical in any scenario. And I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow.
Simu Liu comments on working with some of the Film’s heavy hitters.
Liu: It was like Impostor Syndrome every single day. Truly, it was such a treat. I did all I could do not to mess it up. When I was first cast, I did my final screen test with Nora (Awkwafina) and she did such a wonderful job putting me at ease. My nerves were sky-high. I was an Actor from Toronto and never had ever allowed myself to imagine being part of the MCU(Marvel Cinematic Universe). I mean, it’s the craziest dream someone could possibly dream. Nora did a great job putting me at ease. And just being in the moment with me. We had such a beautiful chemistry. This bickery, old couple chemistry right from the get-go. As I met more members of the Cast like Tony Leung, Michelle Yeoh and Sir Ben, every day it was like waking-up to another dream. And then having Meng’er come join us too when we were all in Sydney, it was fantastic. She was great. I can’t wait for people to watch the Movie because who you are in real life and in the Movie, they are really parts of you, but really so polar opposite.
Ronny, you were fine. We were shut down for four months during the pandemic.Ronny, was living a couple floors above me.
Awkwafina: Ronny, would come with me and sneak into the gym and say ‘I’ve been working out with Simu!’
Chieng: I’m trying to get that free Marvel workout. You know what? I’m going to use this pandemic to get super-ripped and I end up doing 10% of the weights Simu was doing every day!
Simu Liu talks about on his casting.Is it true he Tweeted at Marvel and got the role of Shang-Chi?
Liu: When you Tweet at Marvel, you’re thinking it’s going to some 19-year-old intern and nobody’s gonna ready that or care what I have to say! Maybe they did!
Feige: I did not see that! Unfortunately Simu, it was not your Tweeting. It was your acting ability and constant professionalism and multiple reads and meetings that you did. Now did Sarah Finn our Casting Director see that, that I don’t know! That’s a cosmic wonder!
Daniel Destin Cretton comments on the use of Mandarin-Chinese in scenes in the Film.
Cretton: The conversation behind which language they should be speaking was always rooted in the logic of the character and who would naturally be speaking what language. So that started in the Writers’ Room and once our Actors came in, it was always a dialogue. These are bilingual, trilingual, quadrilingual characters who could speak whatever made sense at the time. So we were constantly having the conversation what made sense for the scene.
Feige: One moment I particularly like is where Simu‘s character speaks to Awkwafina‘s character and says ‘Oh no, my Chinese isn’t good’ and Simu’s character says, ‘Don’t worry, I speak ABC!’.
Awkwafina: That was really a big moment. Culturally, you just never see that.
Liu: ABC means American-born Chinese but it’s the first time in a Movie where someone just calls it out!
Marvel Studios Canada release SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Friday, September 3, 2021.
This looks amazing! Chris Evans and Michael Kenneth Williams star in THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT, only on Netflix!
Inspired by remarkable true life rescue missions, THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT is the incredible story of a group of international agents and brave Ethiopians who in the early 80s used a deserted holiday retreat in Sudan as a front to smuggle thousands of refugees to Israel. The undercover team carrying out this mission is led by the charismatic Ari Kidron (Chris Evans) and courageous local Kabede Bimro (Michael Kenneth Williams). The prestigious cast also includes Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michiel Huisman, Chris Chalk, Greg Kinnear and Ben Kingsley.
See the Trailer:
THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT streams on NetflixFriday, July 31, 2019.
Filmed right here in Toronto, we were beginning to wonder what happened to this Movie! Check out the new Trailer for BACKSTABBING FOR BEGINNERS starring Theo James and Ben Kingsley.
Based on a true story, an idealistic young employee working at the UN investigates the grisly murder of his predecessor and uncovers a vast global conspiracy, that may even involve his own boss, in this gripping and timely thriller.
See the Trailer:
eOne Films release BACKSTABBING FOR BEGINNERS, coming soon.
Well I know what we’ll be doing Victoria Day weekend! Netflix launches the official Trailer for upcoming original feature, WAR MACHINE starring Brad Pitt!
In a film for our times, writer-director David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) recreates a U.S. General’s roller-coaster rise and fall as part reality, part savage parody – raising the specter of just where the line between them lies today. His is an anti-establishment, pro-soldier exploration in the form of an absurdist war story of a born leader’s ultra-confident march right into the dark heart of folly. At the story’s core is Brad Pitt’s sly take on a successful, charismatic four-star general who leapt in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by his own hubris and a journalist’s no-holds-barred expose. War Machine addresses the debt we owe to soldiers to question the purposes to which they are being directed.
War Machine stars also Emory Cohen, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Will Poulter, Lakeith Stanfield, Meg Tilly, Tilda Swinton and Sir Ben Kingsley.
Some new stills:
See the Trailer:
Netflix Canada stream WAR MARCHINEFriday, May 26, 2017.
Right in time for the Super Bowl comes this gorgeous looking new Trailer for THE JUNGLE BOOK!
Synopsis: “The Jungle Book” is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, who embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known.
THE JUNGLE BOOK also stars Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson and Giancarlo Esposito.
See the Trailer:
See the Poster:
Those who Re-Tweet the Trailer from the official Trailer from the @TheJungleBookTwitter account will get a special message from Director Jon Favreau!
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release THE JUNGLE BOOK on Friday, April 15, 2016.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
Pacific Northwest Pictures, Search Engine Films + Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win a copy of LEARNING TO DRIVE on DVD! Some of us missed it in its theatrical run. Don’t miss this chance to see the Movie which was runner-up in the voting at TIFF ’14 for People’s Choice Award.
In Learning To Drive, Patricia Clarkson plays a Manhattan writer who takes driving lessons after her husband of 20 years suddenly leaves her. Her Sikh instructor (Ben Kingsley) has marriage troubles of his own, and the two form an unlikely but charming friendship behind the wheel. This witty and feel-good comedy charts the steps the pair must take as they gradually reconfigure their emotional language – and move forward into new lives.
Clarkson and Kingsley are surrounded by an impressive supporting cast in the Film, including Jake Weber, Sarita Choudhury, Grace Gummer, Samantha Bee and John Hodgman. Isabel Coixet directs.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK! Canadian Readers only, please.
Pacific Northwest Pictures (PNP) + Search Engine Films release on DVD and VOD, LEARNING TO DRIVE on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
Mongrel Media and Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win ROBOT OVERLORDS on Blu-ray.
Following an alien invasion, Earth’s inhabitants are forbidden from leaving their homes while their new Robot Overlords carry out their mysterious research. But when a band of adoptive siblings find a way to override their implants, a quest begins to find a missing father, even if it means defying an empire. Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley star.
I have been intrigued since seeing a Teaser but this looks just phenomenal. And maybe we just might see this at TIFF ’15? A boy can dream, right? We know this much – the Film will open the 53rd New York Film Festival this September. You’ll be gasping where this new Trailer ends off!
Twelve people have walked on the moon. Only one has ever, or will ever, walk in the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.
Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), is aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, who overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.
Robert Zemeckis, the master director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. With innovative photorealistic techniques and IMAX® 3D wizardry, The Walk is genuine big-screen cinema, a chance for moviegoers to viscerally experience the feeling of reaching the clouds.
See the Trailer:
Sony Pictures Canada release THE WALK on Friday, October 2, 2015.
Canada! We know you love Ryan Reynolds and we’re excited to partner with VVS Films on an exciting Screening Giveaway for SELF/LESS, in theatres July 10, 2015! Screenings take place Wednesday, July 8, 2015 in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax.
A terminally ill elderly billionaire (Ben Kingsley) who is dying from cancer buys a chance for eternal life through an experimental underground medical procedure called “shedding,” which transfers his consciousness into the cadaver of a younger man (Ryan Reynolds).
However, the promise of immortality turns into a nightmare when he experiences flashbacks that reveal the disturbing origins of his new body and he discovers a secret organization that will kill to keep their cause quiet.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will on Facebook and indicate for me your City. Click “share” on this Post from there for an extra chance, or Tweet the below:
http://www.mrwillwong.com/selfless @MRWILLW wants us to #win Passes to see #SELFLESS! Out 7/10!
VVS Films release SELF/LESS on Friday, July 10, 2015.
Production fully is now under-way for Anton Corbijn‘s LIFE, which we reported previously would be filming in Toronto. The Drama, based on True Events and the friendship between LIFE Magazine Photographer Dennis Stock and Pop Culture Icon James Dean, stars The Twilight Saga Megastar Robert Pattinson, his third Movie to film in the City over the past three years, and up-and-coming Talent Dane DeHaan.
Filming took place today in the Downtown Core at a Building ridden with Bedbug problems in the past, with both external and internal shoots taking place for much of the afternoon. As a torrential downpour of sloshy wet snow handicapped the City midday, the Shoot moved indoors where a Movie Premiere scene within the Film had commenced.
Appearing in the Scene is Academy Award Winner Sir Ben Kingsley, who was reported as having flown into the City for the Film earlier this week, cast as Canadian-born Studio Executive Jack Warner. Spending much of his day in his Trailer, the mustached Thespian was guided along with a Handler under an umbrella, dressed warmly in a green Canada Goose Parka. “I’m afraid you will take my Photo and show it to your Friends on the Internet!”, said Kingsley when asked by Fans to pose for a Group Photo. Despite declining to pose for a Photo, upon returning for a Touch-Up later in the day, he threw a quick wave to Fans.
Meanwhile DeHaan, who plays Dean inthe ’50s-set LIFE, was enjoying the Olympics in his Trailer. He had an earlier wrap, seen heading home in a Plaid Jacket, Toque and Glasses.
The Film’s Star, Pattinson, was spotted smoking a cigarette in a hidden area of the Building he was filming at in the afternoon, later retiring to his Trailer for a six-hour-long break which saw him lunching on a Subway Sandwich, craving a large bag of Potato Chips in the evening brought to him by his Assistant. The handsome 27-year-old British Actor who plays the Lead Role of Stock, donned a Canada Goose Parka and was seen exiting quietly, his hood concealing his face. His Private Bodyguard Dean aided him along to his vehicle, narrowly avoiding a serious fall on the extremely slippery footing. Fortunately he made it unscathed and fall-free to a late night of filming!
LIFE continues filming west of Toronto tomorrow and is slated to wrap Production late March.
We’ve had a wonderful history with Pattinson over the past few years. Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane, shall we?