A closer look at the outrageous costumes of 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Credit: Warner Bros.

A closer look at the outrageous costumes of 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

The details are part of what helps sell the reality of George Miller's world

The last time I saw Warner Bros. put together a big soundstage full of costumes for a film, it was "Man Of Steel," and my kids loved getting the chance to get close up to Superman's costume or the twisted bank vault door.

At Friday's "Mad Max: Fury Road" press day, they had a soundstage set up for all of the interviews and then also to display some of the costuming from the movie. While I'm embargoed until May 12th on the film itself, I'm allowed to say that there is a remarkable depth to the world that Miller has created this time around. The budget for "Fury Road" is more than all three of the other films combined, and then some, and it seems like a lot of that was used to help build a physical world in which Miller and his cast could get lost.

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Josh Trank's departure from 'Star Wars' sets off a cavalcade of rumors
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Josh Trank's departure from 'Star Wars' sets off a cavalcade of rumors

It seems like a case of occupational cruelty to us

Josh Trank will no longer direct a "Star Wars Anthology" film.

That is the extent of the story that is being accurately and responsibly reported tonight. What you will also see if you start clicking on Josh Trank stories is a whole lot of smug "Told you so" shade being thrown at the filmmaker as people clamor to make sure you know that they'd heard some rumors. Rumors that none of them, for fairly obvious reasons, were willing to run as news on their sites, and therefore rumors that they should not be reporting now.

UPDATE: There is an article on Hollywood Reporter's website that was published after this piece went up. To be clear, this is not about the work of Borys Kit and Kim Masters, who are very good at what they do, but is instead about reporters speaking in vague terms on Twitter and other social media without being willing to actually print the stories they are referring to.

For the record, I don't know what went on with Josh Trank on the "Star Wars" film he was attached to, and I don't know what went on with Josh Trank on the set of "Fantastic Four," either. What I do know is that rumors can do just as much damage as fact in this town, if not more. Rumor is easier to pass along, because all you have to do is qualify it as "rumor," and then you're off the hook. That's if you're doing it in person. I would tread very lightly if I were thinking about publishing a story tonight about any of those rumors. If you didn't have a second source or someone willing to go on the record yesterday, you still don't today, and just because Trank and Disney sent out a press release does not suddenly give you room to start spilling all the rumor you want.

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Marvel's Kevin Feige is giddy to welcome Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange
Credit: HitFix

Marvel's Kevin Feige is giddy to welcome Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange

And Cumberbatch is pretty excited in his own right

Has it really only been seven years since "Iron Man"?

If it seems like a lifetime ago to me, I can't imagine what it feels like to Kevin Feige, who has been right there at ground zero the entire time. When we sat down to talk at the press day for "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," I wanted to find out how he feels when he looks around right now at the rest of Hollywood, everyone struggling to play the same game Marvel's playing, imitating what they've done, scrambling to create shared universes.

We also talked about the upcoming "Doctor Strange," which represents a personal victory for Feige, who has been a long-confessed super fanboy for the character. It sounds like they found the right guy to play the part, though, because he says Cumberbatch is just as big a fan. Marvel should just make a video of the two of them talking about old Doctor Strange comics so people can see that giddy energy for themselves.

The thing I respect the most about Feige is his focus. It seems very simple when you look at the way Marvel's films have been produced and released so far, but at each step, there have been very vocal doubters. They are indeed a commercial juggernaut now, but they weren't just handed that success. When even your studio's biggest missteps are modestly entertaining at worst, you're doing something right, and in this case, it's all about loving the thing you're doing. Kevin Feige and the big-brained army of guys he's got working with and for him are all doing their best to take care of these characters and to respect each new idea they introduce.

The real reason everyone's imitating Marvel? Because Feige makes it look simple.

The real reason not everyone can have that success? Because it's not as simple as he makes it look.

"Avengers: Age Of Ultron" is in theaters everywhere now.

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'Jump Street' hires 'Broad City' writers, expands to include all-female sequel
Credit: Sony Pictures

'Jump Street' hires 'Broad City' writers, expands to include all-female sequel

The most meta series in town just got meta-ier

There's something lovely about creating a movie franchise that seems dedicated to the sole purpose of making wicked fun of the entire idea of movie franchises, but then again, we should be getting used to Phil Lord and Chris Miller finding a fresh way into things.

There's been coverage today about the new "Jump Street" all-female sequel, with Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs onboard to write that film. That's good new. I think "Broad City" is a terrifically-written comedy, and if them writing the movie means there's any chance we'll see either Abbi or Ilana in the "Jump Street" film, that would be awesome.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson perfected the skid for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Credit: HitFix

Aaron Taylor-Johnson perfected the skid for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

And Elizabeth Olsen was eager to get into the action

When making a sequel to a successful film, one of the things that happens is the introduction of new characters.

When you're making a sequel to one of the most successful films of all time, though, the actors playing those new characters would be well within their rights to be completely terrified and overwhelmed by the experience.

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Why 1988 was the best year in movie history
Credit: Universal/Touchstone/Orion

Why 1988 was the best year in movie history

From 'Rain Man' to 'Roger Rabbit,' this was the year the '80s got it right

All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays.

While I tend to think of the '80s as a crassly commercial lull between the artistic adventurousness of the '70s and the independent experimentation of the '90s, there were things about the '80s that i hold dear in terms of what I love about movies. And if you're talking about the best of the '80s, the year that crystallized all the things the decade did well was 1988, a year that looks upon closer inspection like an embarrassment of riches.

One of my twenty favorite films of all time, as outlined in this article, was released in 1988, which automatically makes it a year worth closer consideration. The '80s may have begun with one of his strongest films, but the decade as a whole was a difficult one for Martin Scorsese, one of the most vital American filmmakers working at the time. His struggles to find a place in the '80s studio game make sense because he didn't make easy films to digest, and the '80s were all about easy to digest. It was the era of the highest of high concepts, and that just wasn't Scorsese. He made the year's most controversial film, and "The Last Temptation Of Christ" remains one of his finest hours, a powerful and adult movie that explores the inner life of someone who is said to be equal parts divine and human. It's a timeless film in look and style, and as soon as it was released, the controversy died down and the film was, sadly, not a hit.

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Paul Bettany and James Spader on bringing Ultron and the Vision to life
Credit: HitFix

Paul Bettany and James Spader on bringing Ultron and the Vision to life

Spader was determined to do as much as he could while playing the 'Avengers' bad guy

On the day I did all of my "Avengers" interviews, I had Toshi and Allen with me. They'd seen the movie the night before, and they were still on spring break, so they were there on the Disney lot with me. We walked into each room and they got to meet the various actors, and they were struck with a case of the shy that day that was sort of amazing considering how many people they've met over the years.

The funniest reaction they had, though, was in one of the very last rooms we went into, where Paul Bettany and James Spader were paired. I was very careful to talk around my reactions to The Vision in my review of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," but I'll have plenty to say in the "Second Look" piece we'll publish at the start of next week. In short, I think he does great work, and I have no idea how Marvel plans to handle that character moving forward. They've just taken a big step forward into the hyper-weird, and I'm dying to see how long audiences will go along with them for what is getting increasingly comic bookie.

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The case of the missing Mae Whitman and 'Independence Day 2'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

The case of the missing Mae Whitman and 'Independence Day 2'

The 'Duff' star has been recast in the upcoming sequel. What could be the motive?

Before we begin, I want to make something very clear. Nothing I am about to say in any way negates the very good work Maika Monroe did in both "It Follows" and "The Guest," work which got her more attention and made her into the town's new It girl at the exact moment Fox was looking for someone to star in the new "Independence Day" sequel. I get why she was hired, and I wish Monroe well. I like her work, and I am not surprised Hollywood is eager to figure out how they can cast her in bigger films.

But on the same day that casting decision is announced, I get an e-mail about the upcoming home video release of "The Duff," a film that stars Mae Whitman. The film opened to a $10.8 million weekend, and it's earned around $34 million for CBS Films/Lionsgate so far. I mention this only so that I can point out that "It Follows" and "The Guest" together only total around $15 million at the box-office. And I mention this only so I can ask the question from a position of sold financial footing…

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'Wild Tales' filmmaker set to write 'Six Billion Dollar Man' for Mark Wahlberg
Credit: Universal Home Video

'Wild Tales' filmmaker set to write 'Six Billion Dollar Man' for Mark Wahlberg

Peter Berg will direct what just got a whole lot more interesting

As soon as I walked out of "Wild Tales" at Cannes, I started wondering who the first studio would be to hire the filmmaker to make a big American movie. From just one film, it is clear right away that he's good at drama, suspense, and comedy, and he has an aggressive visual style that works whether he's staging two people having a conversation or a giant CGI sight gag involving a jumbo jet.

But the real strength of "Wild Tales" is the screenplay, a witty and savage anthology piece that lays bare quite a bit about Szifron's feelings towards his home country, Argentina, and the state of that particular union. As good as Szifron is behind the camera, he's equally gifted at the keyboard.

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From 'Ultron' to 'Aloha': HitFix's ultimate guide to 2015's summer movies
Credit: Universal/Marvel/Warner Bros

From 'Ultron' to 'Aloha': HitFix's ultimate guide to 2015's summer movies

Not just what you should be excited about, but why

When I was in high school, "Premiere" magazine made its US debut, and I still remember finding that first issue on the stands with "Dragnet" on the cover. For many years after that, "Premiere" was my favorite film magazine, bar none.

One of the best things about the magazine, particularly in its prime, was the way they put together their Summer Movie Preview issue each year. It wasn't just because they put together a comprehensive list of everything that would be in theaters during the season, but that they wrote about things from a position of authority. They knew things. They offered real insights. By the time I finished reading their Summer Movie Preview, I felt like I had a real handle on not only what I wanted to see, but just how it all came together.

As a result of that, when we put our own Summer Movie Preview together, I feel strongly that it should be both thorough and original, offering you perspective or information that you won't find anywhere else. HitFix's editor emeritus, Greg Ellwood, joined me in ranking the films and writing them up, and now we're ready to share our take on what you can expect from the summer of 2015, which gets underway Friday when "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" opens in the US, following its massive triumphant roll-out in several overseas markets.

The main thing I hope you take away from reading this is that no matter what your movie tastes, there's something out there for you this summer. I know people love to complain about remakes and sequels, but there are so many different types of things on this year's list that it seems to me you'd have to be actively looking to feel excluded to actually take any offense. Here's hoping everyone makes it out of the summer as excited as they are going in.

CHECK OUT THE 2015 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW RIGHT HERE!

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