Extras! James Gunn caught in sexist controversy, Jon Hamm has an Epic Fail, Ian McKellen talks X-Men: Days of Future Past, First look at Rebecca Hall in Iron Man 3, Reese Witherspoon takes a walk on the wild side and Nicolas Cage is a true classic! Plus much more!

Welcome to The Extras! A daily dose of all the smaller movie related news, clips and just plain cool stuff that you might have missed!

There’s some controversy happening over in the comic book world that could spill into the movie one. A post showed up on The Mary Sue yesterday, slamming Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for comments he made on a poll on his personal website. The poll – which actually went up in early 2011 before Gunn landed the high profile Marvel directing gig  - was for “The 50 Superheroes You Most Want To Have Sex With” which might have already raised some eyebrows. But it was Gunn’s apparent , that really comes across as misogynist and homophobic comments like calling for certain lesbian characters to be “cured” of their ways or referring to gays as “fruit”, that drew all the ire, even prompting a petition to go up calling for him to be removed as director from Guardians.

The offending post has since been removed from Gunn’s site, and the director has poster this statement in his defence on both his official Facebook page as well as through GLAAD:

“A couple of years ago I wrote a blog that was meant to be satirical and funny. In rereading it over the past day I don’t think it’s funny. The attempted humor in the blog does not represent my actual feelings. However, I can see where statements were poorly worded and offensive to many. I’m sorry and regret making them at all.

“People who are familiar with me as evidenced by my Facebook page and other mediums know that I’m an outspoken proponent for the rights of the gay and lesbian community, women and anyone who feels disenfranchised, and it kills me that some other outsider like myself, despite his or her gender or sexuality, might feel hurt or attacked by something I said. We’re all in the same camp, and I want to do my best to make this world a better place for all of us. I’m learning all the time. I promise to be more careful with my words in the future. And I will do my best to be funnier as well. Much love to all

“- James Gunn”

On the one hand, I’d like to think that Gunn isn’t stupid enough to have posted all those negative things – and meant it – and then just left them around when he landed the Guardians gig, knowing full well they could bite him in the ass. On the other hand though, his statement sounds like a whole lot of backpedalling and “some of my best friends are black” -ing.

On a far less serious note, here’s an awesome new video that was released as a bit of promo for the UK home release of The Amazing Spider-Man. It features the puntastically named London freerunner, Peter Parkour, doing just about whatever a spider can. Well except for the whole web-slinging bit.

If you thought we were excited for Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart joining X-Men: Days of Future Past, then just listen to what McKellen himself has to say about the matter, as well as what he thinks of Michael Fassbender playing his younger self:

“What a gas! I mean, Patrick Stewart and I have been have just been playing “Waiting for Godot” throughout England and in the West End of London. So, we’ve stayed in touch. We can’t believe it [laughs]. I thought these were Fassbender and McAvoy’s parts, but — no, no — we’re back! We’ll give them a run for their money! I mean, I haven’t read the script, so I don’t know how much we’ve got to do. But, to be back in that world, and for Bryan to be doing it — with all the success he’s had in the meantime — it’s wonderful. Wonderful.”

“I thought [Michael Fassbender in X-Men: First Class] was exactly that: first class. Excellent… I thought he was better than me. But, we weren’t quite playing the same character because he was so much younger than me.”

Wreck-It Ralph writer Jennifer Lee has apparently done some levelling up of her own, as it’s been revealed that she will be joining Chris Buck (Tarzan) as co-director for Disney’s new animated adventure Frozen. Either Lee must have really done something right or Buck – an industry veteran – is doing something wrong, as production on Frozen has been underway for a while now already, and bringing in a co-director at this stage is certainly not common.

The film, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” stars Kristen Bell (well her larynx at least) as the spirited Anna, who sets out “on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell.””

Despite it’s very rocky start, Spider-Man Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark has turned into quite the success story. Now it looks like the Aussies are trying to ape that success. Literally.

King Kong, a $30 million adaptation of the famed film will be hitting the Australian theatre scene next year, complete with a 20ft animatronic Kong. With the production not looking to branch out internationally until 2014, you might not get a chance to see what all the monkeying around, but luckily this new sneek peak has popped up online.

Mad man Jon Hamm will be experiencing an Epic Fail soon. Written by Kevin Costello, the 20th Century Fox comedy will see Hamm as “a down-on-his-luck high school teacher who recruits two students to stage his wife’s kidnapping so he can play the hero and rekindle their marriage.” Expect hijinks and lots of cigarette smoking to ensue.

At the beginning of 2012, with a schedule of nothing but sphincter destroying blockbusters ahead of me, I was certain that my cardio-pulmonary system just simply wouldn’t make it. Unfortunately (or is that fortunately?) though, a few of those big hits ended up being a little disappointing in either the scripting or directing department. Where none of them disappointed though, was the visuals. And now 10 of them have officially appeared on the shortlist in the Best Visual Effects category for the Oscars.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Cloud Atlas
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
John Carter
Life of Pi
Marvel’s The Avengers
Prometheus
Skyfall
Snow White and the Huntsman

10 Minute excerpts from these films will be screened for the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who will the pick 5 of them as nominees to go head to head on the big night. Personally, I think Snow White and The Huntsman should take it for the amazing effect of getting Kristen Stewart to smile once or twice.

Here’s a new featurette for Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad where the cast and director talk about how their goal is to create this generation’s The Godfather or Untouchables. Which is about as lofty a set of goals as you could aim for. Whether the succeed in that or not, at least they have Emma Stone in a tight red dress.

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing - you know, that whole contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy that he made in between smoke breaks on The Avengers (and you think you have multitasking skills?) – has received an official release date of 7 June 2013. The film was shot in under two weeks mostly in and around Whedon’s home with a veritable who’s who of frequent Whedon collaborators like Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Clark Gregg and Alexis Dennisof among others.

A couple new images for Iron Man 3 have popped up over at Marvel.com, giving us our first look at Rebecca Hall as Dr Maya Hansen, the inventor of the Extremis technology and apparently a scientific match for Tony Stark, and also a rather cool looking up-close shot of the new Iron Patriot armour.

Godzilla’s chin double Reese Witherspoon will be getting Wild with Nick Hornby (An Education). No, this is not some weird slightly sexual show on E! but rather the Oscar nominated Hornby’s adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”. Witherspoon will produce and star in the true story of how Strayed single-handedly trekked the 1,100-mile Pacific Crest Trail after she lost her mother, her marriage and her family stability all at the age of 22.

Hornby had this to say about the project:

“I loved Cheryl Strayed’s memoir. It’s moving, funny, painful and brave, and the moment I’d finished it I wanted someone to let me have a go at adapting it, because it was clear to me that it could make a wonderful movie. I’m thrilled to be given the chance; the fact that this chance was given to me by Reese Witherspoon, a great actress who feels exactly the same way about the book as I do, makes this project all the more exciting.”

I’m not a fan of tweaking or remaking classic films, but there’s one exception to that rule: Adding in some Nicolas Cage!

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About The Author

Hello ladies. Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped watching horrible Michael Bay movies, he could be as much of a hardcore film geek as me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a South African movie blog with the man your man could be as big a film geek as. What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it. It’s a warm box of freshly popped popcorn, butter melted awesomeness wafting in your face just like you like. Look again, the popcorn is now diamonds. Anything is possible when your man stops watching Michael Bay movies. I’m on a horse.