Author and Screenwriter Gillian Flynn has blown our mind with Gone Girl and Sharp Objects. She’s back with UTOPIA, unveiled today at COMIC-CON@HOME.
Utopia centers on a group of comic fans who meet online and bond over their obsession of a seemingly fictional comic called, “Utopia.” Together, Ian (Dan Byrd), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), Samantha (Jessica Rothe), Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges) and Grant (Javon “Wanna” Walton) unearth hidden meanings cloaked within the pages of “Utopia,” predicting threats to humanity. They realize these are not just the makings of a conspiracy; they are very real dangers coming alive right now in their world. The high-stakes adventure brings the group face-to-face with the comic’s famed central character, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), who joins them on their mission to save the world while harboring secrets of her own. The series also stars John Cusack as Dr. Kevin Christie, Rainn Wilson as Dr. Michael Stearns, Farrah Mackenzie as Alice, Christopher Denham as Arby, and Cory Michael Smith as Thomas Christie.
See the Teaser Trailer:
All eight episodes of UTOPIA arrive on Amazon Prime Video this Fall.
Although the end of Summer often triggers a chorus of sighs, it also means that FAN EXPO CANADA‘s back in Toronto. The annual convention now in its 22nd year, bringing together the greatest figures in Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime and Gaming with their Fans in a true celebration of “geeking-out”, takes place at Metro Toronto Convention Centre between Thursday, September 1 through Sunday, September 4, 2016.
127k Fans were expected to attend this year with star-power unparalleled. Appearing this year are the likes of Jack Gleeson, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Frank Miller, Gillian Anderson, George Takei, William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Adam West, Burt Ward, Christopher Lloyd, Anne Heche, Linda Blair, Hayley Atwell, Ben McKenzie, Morena Baccarin, Charlie Cox and the headliner, Mark Hamill. This also marks the final time that Marvel icon Stan Lee will be appearing in Canada.
Riding the high of international sensation POKÉMON GO, Fan Expo Canada introduced for the first time a Pokémon Go Lure Party giving attendees a chance to advance levels on the game and collect rarePokémon.
Several series premiered episodes at Fan Expo Canada including the likes of Travelers, The Killjoys, Son of Zorn and YouTube series Carmilla.
Netflix Canada getting into the spirit also presented a retro 90s-theme Dance Party for attendees to mingle. The Canadian League of Gamers eSports Tournament debuts at Fan Expo Canada also this year. More info on that here.
We had the chance to sit-on some panels and even chat with some of talent appearing this year. Here are some highlights and memorable quotes:
JACK GLEESON, GAME OF THRONES
“People just love to hate me”, says Gleeson on his role as King Joffrey Baratheon on the record-breaking HBO series. The 24-year-old Irish actor adds “I just give ’em a hug and we are alright”, when people transfer their dislike of him on the show to him in real life. On whom he’d like to see take the throne on Game of Thrones, he chooses Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). “We need a woman to knock some sense into people.”.
JOE QUESADA, Chief Creative Officer, MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT
The Comic Book Writer, Artist and Editor from New York grew-up loving the likes of Black Panther, Daredevil, Punisher and The Inhumans. When he was brought-on to Marvel in the late ’90s, he admits he wanted most to work on these books. He tells us, “They were paying artists $14 per hour back in 1990!”. After being appointed CCO in 2010, he has helped transform Marvel Entertainment into the powerhouse it has become once again. He admits, “I am the luckiest son of a bitch in Comics right now.”.
STAN LEE, FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF MARVELCOMICS
The Marvel legendary is making his final Canadian appearance at Fan Expo 2016 and was a great sport appearing from start to finish. He spoke at his hotly-buzzed panel, reflecting back on his career. On the many iconic characters he has developed, he says “I really don’t have a favourite character. I love them all. I love Silver Surfer, I love Doctor Strange, I love Spiderman. I love them all. But every time I get asked the question I always say Spider-Man and the audience goes ‘yay’.”.
Of all the talented actors to bring his character to life on-screen, he reveals “My favourite actor is Robert Downey Jr. I asked him if anyone ever has called him Bob? He said sure you can call me Bob, Bobo. So now I call him Bobo.”.
ADAM WEST & BURT WARD, BATMAN
We all grew-up at some point watching the Batman live-action series of the ’60s. How amazing is it that Batman and Robin both were at Fan Expo Canada together this year in spirited fashion?
Ward, known best for his role as Robin gives his Co-Star West the highest praise. “There were a lot of fine actors who played Batman, but there’s only one Batman and that’s Adam West!“. West jokingly replied, “I deserve that!”. On some of the highly-physical work he did on the series, he kids “They took out a $3 million life-insurance policy on me and I’m convinced by the end of the show they were trying to claim it!”.
West, reflecting on Catwoman remembers, “She gave me a curious stirrings in my utility belt!”.
GILLIAN ANDERSON, THE X-FILES
Work has brought the TheX-Files star back to the City to film, including upcoming series AMERICAN GODS. At her panel, she shed some light on her Agent Scully character saying, “She is quite square and I’m not, but I like her.”.
JOHN CUSACK, HIGH FIDELITY
The well-known Actor appeared in a package offer with his equally-brilliant sister Joan. While he is quite political on Social Media, he made an interesting analogy at his panel, “I see Twitter as curation and graffiti.”.
JOHN BARROWMAN, DOCTOR WHO/ARROW
The spirited Scottish-American Actor appeared at a hot ticket panel to thunderous applause. He tells his Fans, “If you don’t follow me you’re missing out on my fabulous life!”.
On his theatrical pursuits, he does say that his dream role on-stage would be Mac in Mac and Mabel.
MARK HAMILL, STAR WARS
The iconic Star Wars Actor made a rare appearance at Fan Expo this year and offered a VIP Experience to Fans and spoke at multiple panels. He tells his Fans, “This isn’t a show it’s an intimate conversation between thousands of my new best friends and me”.
On the upcoming continuation of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, he says “Gareth Edwards said five words to me that’s the biggest spoiler.”.
CHARLIE COX + ELDEN HENSON, DAREDEVIL
The two stars originally were to be joined by Marvel‘s Daredevil Co-star Jon Bernthal, although he was unable to make Fan Expo 2016 in the end. The duo spoke at a panel today and when asked which Marvel character they’d like to appear as a cameo on their series, Cox chose Black Widow. Henson however is a fan of Chris Pratt and would like to see his Star-Lord appear on the series.
A fun fact revealed is that the portrait on the wall at the 15th Precinct in the series is actual one of Stan Lee!
MAT FRASER + NAOMI GROSSMAN, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW
Speaking to our Justin Waldman and Siobhán Rich, the two stars of the popular FX Series reveal some personal details about their experience.
Fraser tells us about filming a bed scene with Jessica Lange, “Of course, she’s hugely attractive but when you’re acting you’re acting. […] She pulled me in close. She made it really intimate. She nailed the scene: she nailed the intimacy between two actors to make the scene believable. Because she is a star in every sense of the word.”.
Grossman talks to the series’ shorter seasons, stating “As an actor it’s amazing. Because with the exception of me everyone’s gotten a chance to play another role. So I hope to have that opportunity.”.
CHARLES MARTINET, MARIO
We enjoyed most our chat with charismatic Charles Martinet, who voices Video Game icon Mario.
We’re officially at the halfway point of TIFF ’14 and we’re still kickin’ it with tons of Stars to snap around the City!
Our day began bright and early with an appearance on 99.9 VIRGIN RADIO where we chat about Channing Tatum and spotting Stars at TIFF!
Full Audio below:
Tonight’s marquee Gala was David Cronenberg‘s Cannes-acclaimed Film, MAPS TO THE STARS. Fans queued bright and early outside TIFF Bell Lightbox for a chance to see one of the Film’s Stars, Robert Pattinson of The Twilight Saga. Filmed in Toronto last Summer, the odd Story centers on a washed-up Actress (Julianne Moore) looking for a Career resurgence. See the Stars below, some of which headed over to the NKPR IT Lounge (enter to win a Prize Pack here!) afterward for some Photos with Caitlin Cronenberg‘s – Daughter of David – in her W Magazine Portrait Lounge.
Newcomer Evan Bird
THE IMITATION GAME While walking on-foot, I also stumbled upon the Cast of The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Matthew Goode and Keira Knightley. The Film, getting tons of Oscar buzz, re-tells Mathematician Alan Turing‘s struggles in the WWII Era.
LEARNING TO DRIVE Sir Ben Kingsley who was just in Toronto earlier this year filming LIFE, was spotted downtown today doing Press for his latest effort, Learning to Drive.
ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST Academy Award Winner Benicio Del Toro may be a genius Actor but had a bit of struggle understanding the concept of a Selfie! We spotted him arriving tonight, as he gets ready to premiere his latest Film, Escobar: Paradise Lost.
If anyone’s show longevity in Hollywood, it’s Academy Award Winner Ethan Hawke. Work has brought the Star to Toronto on multiple occasions in recent years and his latest, Good Kill premiered tonight at Ryerson Theatre. The Actor was partying at the Storys Building afterward.
All Photographs taken on the NIKON D3300 and communicated via the Samsung Galaxy S5.
It absolutely is our favourite time of the year again and announced this morning is the official list of Talent coming to Toronto for TIFF ’14! We look forward to seeing plenty of returning names – some just here last year like the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Kate Winslet – and also plenty of Stars from years past making their way back here once more!
Among the names attending TIFF ’14 this year include:
Jon Stewart, Martin Scorcese, Richard Gere, Andrew Garfield, Viggo Mortensen, Gael Garcia Bernal, James Franco, Jane Fonda, Chloë Moretz, Brit Marling, Laura Dern, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Redgrave, Vera Farmiga, Al Pacino, Tina Fey, Haley Joel Osment, Robert Pattinson, Ansel Elgort, Alice Eve, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Shannon, Dax Sheppard, Robert Duvall, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Hailee Steinfield, Justin Chatwin, Method Man, Jennifer Connelly, Bobby Cannavale, Kuoth Wiel, Cassie Williams, Danny Webb, Dominic West, Jung Woo-Sung, John Boylan, Sam Worthington, Tye Sheridan, Andrew Scott, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman, Connie Britton, Reese Witherspoon, Evan Bird, Zhao Wei, Han Ye-Ri, Melissa Benoist, Haley Bennett, Sonja Bennett, John Travolta, Julianne Moore, Isaach De Bankolé, Dan Stevens, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Xavier Dolan, Peter Stormare, Ben Schnetzer, Abigail Spencer, Ellen Barkin, Bill Pullman, Charlotte Aubin, Kate Winslet, Ryan Reynolds, Rene Russo, Roger Waters, Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Loreto Aravena, Tobey Maguire, Aubrey Plaza, Tobey Maguire, Gemma Arterton, Juliette Binoche, Zhang Yimou, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kristen Wiig, Adam Sandler, Rose Byrne, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Murray, Daniel Barber, Liam Aiken, Mike Leigh, Olivier Assayas, Richard LaGravenese, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Anna Kendrick, Morgan Freeman, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Rosario Dawson, Chris Rock, John Cusack, Benedict Cumberbatch, Octavia Spencer, Keira Knightley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie, Patricia Clarkson, J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Priyanka Chopra, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Winterbottom, Justin Chon, Steve Carell, Gong Li, Hayden Christensen, Tory Kittles, Jordana Brewster, Holliday Grainger, Max Irons, Lone Scherfig, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Paul Bettany, Daniel Barnz, Noah Baumbach, Barry Avrich, Jennifer Aniston, Akon, Nick Kroll, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Greta Gerwig, Omar Sy Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, Kevin Smith, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Faye Marsay, Bill Nighy, Justin Long, Christopher Plummer, Marton Csokas, David Cronenberg, Sarah Gadon, Tom Schilling, Tom Hardy and more!
TIFF also will be hosting a series of In-Conversations-With as part of their Mavericks Programme. Joining-in are the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Jon Stewart, Dan Savage, Julie Taymor and several more!
As is the case always, it’s sometimes not just who’s coming – it’s who they’re bringing. Don’t be surprised if Jennifer Garner brings Husband Ben Affleck along and be warned if Andrew Garfield brings Emma Stone along!
Who’s on our list of Must-Meets? Plenty! We hope finally to get a positive moment with Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet! Excited about Martin Scorcese, J.K. Simmons, Bobby Cannavale, Miles Teller, Corey Stoll, Tobey Maguire, Rose Byrne, Michael Douglas and newer names like Max Irons and Douglas Booth, that’s for sure. And did we read TINA FEY!?!? Finally! AND WHERE IS TOM HARDY?!?!
The list is always subject to surprise and no-shows as we know all too well!
In celebration of her glorious Best Actress win in Cannes yesterday, here is the Trailer for David Cronenberg‘s gripping MAPS TO THE STARS, starring Julianne Moore. Filmed between Toronto and Los Angeles, this Thriller follows a Hollywood Family chasing fame and Celebrity. Moore‘s performance as a desperate, aging Actress has has singled-out early as the performance to look-out for this forthcoming Awards Season. Expect this to debut in a grand way this September at TIFF ’14!
Acclaimed British Actress Olivia Williams is among the Talent currently in Toronto filming David Cronenberg‘s latest Drama, Maps to the Stars. Tonight we spotted her returning back from a weekend Getaway at Lake Muskoka, impressively driving herself in her rented car, two hours outside the City. She was extremely lovely and humble, excusing her appearance not having any make-up on, before snapping a Photo graciously. Surely you will agree the Star of Films like Hanna, An Education, The Sixth Sense and upcoming Seventh Son, is absolutely stunning even without being made-up?
The Film, which just began production recently, already has seen several Members of its Principal Cast in town including John Cusack, Julianne Moore and Mia Wasikowska, who had the Tabloids and Entertainment Shows busy after she was spotted kissing Boyfriend Jesse Eisenberg last week here in the City. Robert Pattinson Fans have been awaiting updates anxiously about his arrival and the Twilight Star still has yet to be seen in Toronto.
Maps to the Stars, is said to be a scathing look at Hollywood’s relationship with Western Culture, filming in Toronto till mid-August.
With a lack of Marquee Features to film in Toronto this Summer, David Cronenberg‘s long-gestating project, Maps to the Stars is confirmed to film in Toronto between Monday, July 8 through Monday, August 12, 2013. Co-produced by Entertainment One and Prospero Pictures, the Film as of last week had inked multiple distribution deals in Cannes and is said to be on the verge of closing even more deals in several other markets soon including Mexico, Hong Kong, India and Brazil.
The dark Drama based upon the Novel Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner, who also helms the Script, is said to be a scathing attack on Hollywood Celebrity Culture and the pursuit of Fame. Its most recognizable face, Robert Pattinson stars as Jerome and as announced prior, Julianne Moore and John Cusack star also as Havana and Sanford respectively. Moore was in the City just last Summer filming the Carrie Remake and we look forward to seeing her around again!
Recent additions to the Cast include Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and Newcomer Evan Bird in the shocking role of a drug-addicted Child Actor. Toronto’s own Sarah Gadon, who has starred in Cronenberg‘s last two Films A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis (opposite Pattinson), reunites with him a third time here.
One Man, eight Presidents. The Butler tells the True Story of Cecil Gains (played by both Aml Ameen, Forest Whitaker), who served eight Presidents between 1952 and 1986, having a front-row seat as political and racial History was made in the United States. The Film marks Oprah Winfrey‘s big return to the Big Screen, playing the pivotal role of Gloria Gaines, his Wife.
Lee Daniels (Precious, The Paperboy) features an All-Star Cast including Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, Mariah Carey, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Alan Rickman, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Cusack, Melissa Leo, Lenny Kravitz, Minka Kelly, James Marsden and several more.
Seen widely as a Contender at the Oscars, the The Weinstein Co. Film originally was to get an October release, but gets pushed-back to August 16, 2013, meaning no TIFF Premiere unfortunately!