Extras! Willow is coming to Blu Ray, Tom Hardy as Mad Max, Ben Affleck loses Focus, Ridley Scott heads to the Vatican and Saruman wishes you a Metal Christmas! 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!

Because there are few things as annoying as an autoplaying clip hiding somewhere on a webpage, we’ll kick off today with the the new motion poster for Dreamworks’ The Croods… Which of course by now has already scared the Christmas pudding out of you with it’s screams. Sorry, but you need to learn to read faster.

It is a pretty cool motion poster though.

Before watching The Hobbit, I made the decision to not reread Tolkien’s novel. The last time I read it was in 1994 which meant that I could pretty much just remember the broad strokes of the story and thus would not end up writing an article on The Five Most Irritating Ways Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Deviated From The Book as Joanna over at Pajiba has.

Speaking of Peter Jackson, remember how a while back Doctor Who star Matt Smith said that he’d love to see the New Zealand director direct an episode of the greatest science fiction series of all time (totally unbiased opinion, I promise) and Jackson responded saying he’d be up for it? Well Jackson showed up to the premiere of the show’s Christmas special, The Snowmen, and while there was asked whether he’d be up working with Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat on an episode:

“Well, you never know, we may well do.”

Oh Jackson, you terrible fanboy tease, you!

Dear gods, what an amazingly unexpected Xmas gift this is. The movie that initially got me into the whole sword and sorcery fantasy genre, Willow, is finally being released on Blu Ray. Here’s the press release blurb along with the announcement trailer.

Journey to the far corners of your imagination with Willow, for the first time ever on stunning Blu-ray! Written and produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, the film tells a timeless fantasy tale in which heroes come in all sizes…and adventure is the greatest magic of all. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the unforgettable classic has been fully digitally restored and debuts on Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack March 12, 2013 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

When young Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis; Harry Potter franchise) finds an abandoned baby girl, he learns she is destined to end the reign of the wicked Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh; “Upstairs, Downstairs”). In order to protect the child, Willow must team up with a rogue swordsman (Val Kilmer; Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) and overcome the forces of darkness in the ultimate battle of good versus evil!

The Willow Blu-ray and DVD include a dazzling array of extras with never-before-seen exclusive content such as deleted scenes with remarks from Ron Howard, a personal video diary of Warwick Davis, matte paintings and much more. In addition, look out for Ron Howard’s new introduction for the original 1988 featurette “The Making of an Adventure,” as well as special effect legend Dennis Muren’s new intro to his piece, “From Morf to Morphing: The Dawn of Digital Filmmaking.”

Due to the fact that he’s far too busy making awesome movies, Ben Affleck has dropped out of Focus, the romantic comedy from Crazy Stupid Love writing and directing duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. Affleck would have starred as a professional conman falling for Kristen Stewart’s newbie criminal. Well dodged, Affleck.

Samantha Banks may not be well-known name in Hollywood but that’s all about to change. The actress has recently made the jump from stage to screen in Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables in a performance that’s apparently already got a few bigwigs’ attention, as she has been cast opposite Kylie Minogue in Walking On Sunshine, a musical comedy set to 1980′s pop songs about “a mother and daughter who fall in love with the same man in Spain.”

If you’ve been watching that trailer for Joseph Kosinksi’s Oblivion over and over trying to spot more and more cool stuff, well then let me lend you a hand. Well, actually let Kosinski himself lend you a hand… er, voice, as he’s done a 12, yes 12-minute long version of the trailer filled with his own commentary. It’s a rather cool little insight into the world and characters that Kosinski has created, including a couple of new nuggets about the film.

And just like I suspected, turns out that Star Wars story from Reuters about how Luke Skywalker would be returning to Yavin 4 in the new films was actually just down to bad fact checking rather than some big scoop.

TheForce.net spoke to Reuters about their story and they explained their mistake:

“This was a mistake. I misunderstood what fan clubs had told me and shown me in book plots and that storyline has not been announced by Disney. Perhaps I should have written something along the lines of ‘Yavin 4 appears in several Star Wars book plots and while Guatemala fans said they hope film crews return to Tikal [the Gautemalan temple used as a set for Yavin 4 in the original films], the company has not announced plans for the new episode.”

Ridley Scott is headed to The Vatican. No, Noelle, not to ask forgiveness for Prometheus. The Oscar nominated director will be directing the pilot episode and producing The Vatican, a new series hoping to get picked up on US broadcaster Showtime, described as ” a provocative contemporary genre thriller about spirituality, power and politics – set against the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic church.” Two-time Oscar nominee Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco) wrote the script for the pilot.

Ben Affleck would just like you all to know, just so that we’re clear, that he was actually never in the running for the Justice League directing gig. He does have quite a few ideas about it though.

“I just want to make it clear because it’s not like I had something to even pass on. Because someone will eventually do ‘Justice League’ and they’ll go, like, ‘Ben Affleck passed on it,’ and it won’t be true. So I don’t mind setting the record straight. It’s one of those things where the closest I came was some people talked to me about it like at a meeting. They were like, ‘Here’s the stuff we’re doing,’ you know? ‘Here’s what we’re looking at.’ That kind of thing. And they suggested it. But I don’t think there’s a script. I don’t think there’s anything.”
“I think there’s a DC ‘Avengers’ that could be done because they have the characters for it, and there’s some stuff in the comics now that’s kind of interesting, and it’s cool. That’s what Marvel does so well. They do a lot of things well, but one of the things that I’m really impressed by is how they coordinated all those movies. I mean, you never see somebody make a whole movie with the eye of, like, building it into new sequels, but that’s because you’re just hoping it’s a hit and you’ll do it again.
“But for shooting these kind of satellite movies with the notion that later on you’ll build the planet that they’re orbiting around, and coordinating it all ahead of time, and imagining how the story’s going to work and flow with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, it’s a big deal. You don’t see that level of organization much in movies. You know what I mean? It’s like enough to just get one movie together and off the ground.”

Principal production wrapped up in Namibia and our very own sunny South Africa earlier in the week on George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road. And while we’ve seen very little official material on the film, we now do get our first glimpse of Tom Hardy, who replaces Mel Gibson in the title role for this fourth film in the series, thanks to the actor’s own kindness. As a way to mark the end of shooting Hardy handed out autographed photos of himself in costume to the crew as memento, and of course those pics have ended up online.

Must say, I’m really missing the one-sleeveless leather jacket, but other than that, I think Hardy should rock the role (see what I did there?). I have to make mention of the film’s synopsis courtesy of George Miller once again though, because it is easily one of the best/craziest I’ve ever seen.

“Mad Max is caught up with a group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa. This movie is an account of the Road War which follows. It is based on the Word Burgers of the History Men and eyewitness accounts of those who survived.”

Movies.com is busy dishing out all kinds of awards for the Best and Worst Science-Fiction Movies of 2012. It’s a very interesting list, but I’m linking for two main reasons: The fact that they share my love of Sound of My Voice and for giving John Carter their “Self-Righteous Punching Bag Award for a Good Movie That Everyone Hated”.

While those awards get handed out, MTV are looking at handing out demerits as it lists The Biggest Plot Holes of 2012. Easily worked up, devout The Dark Knight Rises fans might want to give this one a pass.

And now we reach the end of the very last post over here at The Movies for 2012. This has been a very tiring year as we desperately tried to have Darryn housebroken (which we was never fully successful, alas my poor sense of smell) so we’re taking a well deserved break. Which means that you’re going to have to find your Twilight bashing somewhere else until we return on the 7th January 2013.

So to end off 2012 and send us truly into Christmas mode with a bang, we’re going to play out with veteran actor Christopher Lee (currently seen in Th Hobbit as Saruman) singing his rendition of that classic ditty “Little Drummer Boy”, from his new heavy metal album. Yes, everything you just read was correct.

Metal Christmas, everybody!

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  • Decembermaloy

    Willow, damn that movie still gives me goosebumps, time to donate my DVD to someone and then get the Blu-ray

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kervyn-Cloete/610830836 Kervyn Cloete

      I’ve already started the Strong Hinting campaign with the missus.