<p>Kevin Feige and Shane Black seemed amazed that they managed to keep some big secrets for 'Iron Man 3'</p>

Kevin Feige and Shane Black seemed amazed that they managed to keep some big secrets for 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: HitFix

Feige and Black reveal why SHIELD can't save Stark in 'Iron Man 3'

Plus see how surprised they are that they managed to keep a secret

"You won't have that question for us after 'Captain America 2,'" Kevin Feige said. "You'll see. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been busy."

From the moment they sat down to the moment I left the room, Kevin Feige was smiling. Sometimes more than other times, but always smiling. And why not? Phase One of the Marvel Universe movies, one of the most ambitious commercial plans of all time, is in the books and up on the shelf and they pulled it off. They did what they set out to do, and they succeeded in a way that even the most generous best-case scenarios wouldn't have guessed possible.

In "Iron Man 3," Marvel has an enormously confident first step for Phase Two of the Marvel Universe films, and the hiring of Shane Black was a major part of making this such a strong and personal-feeling way to launch the next wave of character movies. When I asked them my enormously nerdy first question at the press day, I tried to keep it very short and simple and direct.

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<p>Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall share a laugh as they talk about the making of 'Iron Man 3'</p>

Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall share a laugh as they talk about the making of 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: HitFix

Guy Pearce and Rebecca Hall talk about playing rough with Tony Stark for 'Iron Man 3'

Two of the co-stars of this summer's Marvel blockbuster share their experience

As we get closer to the release of Shane Black's excellent "Iron Man 3," we'll interviews with some of the cast and key creative crew talking about their approach to the film and some of the outrageous choices they made.

Today, we're joined by Guy Pearce, who plays Aldrich Killian, and Rebecca Hall, who plays Maya Hansen. The two of them are introduced in a sequence set at a major science conference in Bern, Switzerland in 1999. It's a chance to wring some comedy out of Pearce's appearance and Tony Stark's overactive libido, and it also sets up pretty much every major motivation for the way things unfold in the film.

Pearce is intriguing to me because it's obvious the studios all think of him as a guy who can carry a movie, and he's been given plenty of high-profile roles in big films. For some reason, though, there never seems to be any momentum for him as a "movie star." Instead, he's mixed it up with small character roles, strange indie movies, and he makes choices that are hard to predict. His role in last summer's "Prometheus" seemed like one seriously weird bit of casting, especially since it was such a make-up heavy role and there was no payoff to that. I asked him about the way make-up played into this performance, as well as the very aggressive physical nature of his character, and he seemed to be enjoying reactions to the film from people he was speaking with at the press day.

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<p>Jim Carrey's joining the team for 'Kick-Ass 2,' and both Superman and Captain Kirk are back in new forms this summer as our Countdown of the 25 Most Anticipated Films of the season continues.</p>

Jim Carrey's joining the team for 'Kick-Ass 2,' and both Superman and Captain Kirk are back in new forms this summer as our Countdown of the 25 Most Anticipated Films of the season continues.

Credit: Universal/Warners Bros/Paramount Pictures

Summer 2013 Most Anticipated #10-6: 'Man of Steel,' Star Trek,' and the return of Hit-Girl

Five very different films that indicate dark is the way to go this summer

Oh, hi there, Top Ten.

We are in the home stretch now as we count down the 25 Most Anticipated Summer Movies of 2013 here at HitFix, and hopefully what you've seen so far as we've done #25 - #11 is that there is real diversity available at the theater this summer, and a preposterous amount of potential.

Sure, not everything is going to work. I'm sure some of what we've picked here will end up disappointing us, but we wouldn't be film fans if we didn't give ourselves over to the sort of fingers-crossed anticipation that makes it so exciting when we do finally get to sit down and see a film. We have to hope each year that each of these movies is that great version of that film, and certainly part of being a movie lover is that rush that happens when you watch something that gets it all right.

Keep in mind that this is based on voting by most of the editorial team here at HitFix, and we've noticed that we have a pretty wide range of taste represented on our team. There are films in this top ten that represent huge financial undertakings by some of the biggest studios, and there are films in this top ten that are personal visions that are going to be fighting for some elbow room in a blockbuster season.

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<p>The Man of Bronze might be headed to theater screens sooner rather than later.</p>

The Man of Bronze might be headed to theater screens sooner rather than later.

Credit: Bantam Books

Shane Black hints that 'Doc Savage' could be next for him to direct

Could the legendary pulp character finally get done right on the bigscreen?

It seems fitting that we start looking forward to what might be next for Shane Black now that his "Iron Man 3" has started to screen for delighted critics. Black has just given himself a huge boost in trying to get pretty much anything made, because he nailed what had to be a fairly intimidating gig. Stepping into a franchise after two films by the director who kickstarted the whole things and a team-up movie that was one of the biggest films of all time can't be easy, and Black had never directed anything like this.

I've had a chance to read at least one draft of the live-action "Death Note" that Black wants to make, based on a property that's already been a manga, an anime, and a Japanese live-action film, and it's a pretty solid piece of writing. It didn't knock me out, but I'm willing to bet he'd milk it for all it's worth.

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<p>Things get a little rough.</p>

Things get a little rough.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Review: Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr test Tony Stark in action-packed 'Iron Man 3'

HitFix
A-
Readers
A
Marvel bets big on Black and it pays off with the best stand-alone 'Iron Man' yet

"I am Iron Man."

That was Tony Stark's big announcement at the end of 2008's first film in what has become one of the biggest franchises in the world, the cornerstone of an even larger franchise called The Marvel Universe, a creative gamble that has paid off in a huge way. In that moment, Stark, personified rather than played by Robert Downey Jr., not only flipped the superhero formula on its head by revealing his identity to the world but also announced himself as the owner of the character. He's now played Stark five times on film, and there is no one who would argue that in terms of the pop consciousness, Downey is Stark and vice-versa.

In "Iron Man Three," as it's written during the closing credits, Stark finds himself genuinely tested by the Mandarin, a media-savvy terrorist, and a rival businessman who is angling to take away Pepper Potts. From that simple logline, Shane Black has spun my favorite of the standalone films about the character, including the first film. I think Jon Favreau deserves all the credit in the world for getting the entire thing off the ground, finding the right tone to play everything at, creating a credible world that has now expanded in ways that would have been unthinkable a mere five years ago.

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<p>Luke Evans gets his hands dirty in an exclusive clip from the new WWE&nbsp;horror film 'No One Lives'</p>

Luke Evans gets his hands dirty in an exclusive clip from the new WWE horror film 'No One Lives'

Credit: WWE

An exclusive clip from WWE horror film 'No One Lives' gets nasty

One of last year's Midnight Madness films from Toronto gets ready for release

One of last year's Midnight Madness films from the Toronto Film Festival is arriving in theaters shortly, and we were asked if we wanted to premiere an exclusive clip from the movie here at HitFix.

I definitely try to see as many of the Midnight Madness selections as I can, and part of that is because I trust the taste of Colin Geddes, programmer for the section, and part of that is because these tend to be the films that speak to my film geekiest side. They often represent unlikely collisions between different genres or different styles or unexpected partnerships. Perhaps the strangest of those this year saw the WWE producing a horror film that starred Luke Evans and was directed by Ryuhei Kitamura.

Kitamura first gained attention with the swords-and-zombies film "Versus," and he famously struggled to get his adaptation of Clive Barker's "The Midnight Meat Train" the theatrical release he felt like it deserved. WWE Films has been pushing into genre fare pretty much from the moment they decided to get into filmmaking, thinking much broader than just action films.

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<p>Taissa Farmiga and Emma Watson are two of the young stars of Sofia Coppola's new film 'The Bling Ring'</p>

Taissa Farmiga and Emma Watson are two of the young stars of Sofia Coppola's new film 'The Bling Ring'

Credit: A24 Distribution

Emma Watson gets giddy about playing rich in first trailer for Coppola's 'Bling Ring'

The latest from the 'Lost In Translation' director is a fame-drunk true-life story

I understand how you might have different levels of reaction to the various films that Sofia Coppola has directed, but I don't understand at all when I hear people try to downplay her talents as a filmmaker.

As soon as "The Virgin Suicides" ended that first theatrical screening I saw back in '99, I knew I was onboard with whatever she did in the future because that was as clear a display of filmmaker's voice as I've seen in a debut film in the last twenty years. Dreamy, literate, perfectly capturing a specific age in the life of the American teen, "Virgin Suicides" lingered long after many of 1999's more hyped movies started to fade. I quite like "Lost In Translation" as well, and even if I don't love "Marie Antoinette" or "Somewhere," I think they are absolutely the films she set out to make. She has real control over tone and she's great at building spaces for her actors.

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<p>A group of old friends gets together for conversation, beer, and the possible destruction of the Earth in 'The World's End'</p>

A group of old friends gets together for conversation, beer, and the possible destruction of the Earth in 'The World's End'

Credit: Focus Features

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg reunite for new photos from 'The World's End'

Plus Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall in a legal thriller called 'Closed Circuit'

Focus Features doesn't have a new film every weekend this summer, so they have time to pay attention to each film fully, and they've sent out a new batch of pictures to preview the two films they are releasing.

First up, there's Edgar Wright's "The World's End," which we couldn't be more excited about. The reteaming of Wright, Nick Frost, and Simon Pegg is irresistible to us, and with a cast that also includes Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman, it looks like it's going to be something special. Right now, we know very little about the plot and it seems like that's by design. Edgar Wright has played mum about almost everything regarding the film, so all we know for sure is that the film deals with a group of old friends who are reunited to participate in a pub crawl on a night where some very strange things happen in London.

Simon Pegg's look in the film is pretty outrageous, and it's interesting seeing how everyone else looks clean-cut and settled and happy. I hope that more than anything, this is another examination of the strange ways that friendships among men work. It is a thematic vein that has proven quite rich for Wright in the past.

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<p>Don Cheadle was looking happy and healthy when we sat down to discuss 'Iron&nbsp;Man 3'</p>

Don Cheadle was looking happy and healthy when we sat down to discuss 'Iron Man 3'

Credit: HitFix

Don Cheadle talks about new suits and the loneliness of being Rhodey in 'Iron Man 3'

The Iron Patriot discusses his new place in the Marvel Universe

At this point, I think of Don Cheadle as Rhodey, Tony Stark's good friend, and I have to be reminded that he didn't actually play the part in the first film. That's a testament to just how naturally Cheadle stepped into the role when Terrence Howard negotiated himself right out of the sequels, and I think things ultimately worked out the way they were supposed to work out.

When I sat down to talk to Cheadle at the press day for "Iron Man 3" last weekend, I mentioned to him that I drive by the donut shop from "Boogie Nights" at least four times a week just because of where I live in the Valley. "Ever get the urge to rob it?" he asked me with a smile.

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<p>I dunno... this all seems really dark for a Hanz &amp;&nbsp;Frank reboot.</p>

I dunno... this all seems really dark for a Hanz & Frank reboot.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Review: Uneven 'Pain & Gain' gives Dwayne Johnson a career-best role

HitFix
B
Readers
B+
Funny and rude and out of control, is this an evolution of the 'Michael Bay' movie?

Michael Bay is one of the few overtly, blatantly, unapologetically amoral filmmakers working in mainstream Hollywood.

I think a lot of what passes as moral material in mainstream cinema is phony, grafted on without sincerity. When someone learns something about themselves in a movie, more often than not, it's complete bullshit. I have always preferred films that challenge me to have my own reaction to something, that trust me to navigate my own way through a work. I don't mind the big broad strokes of filmmakers working in archetype. I'm all for great bad guys and perfect good guys, as long as it's done well, but I'm equally okay with just watching sociopathic dummies screw up terrible plans.

Good thing, too, because "Pain and Gain" fits that bill exactly. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely deserve credit for writing what feels like a tailor-made Michael Bay movie. Mark Wahlberg stars as Daniel Lugo, a guy who is the perfect customer for the self-help market. He wants to be a success. He wants to be famous. He wants to be a big man in his community. He wants every bit of the American Dream, and he doesn't want to work for it. He expects it. He believes he has a right to it.

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