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Famke Janssen Explains How The X-Men Trilogy ‘Set The Tone’ For The Marvel Universe

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Famke Janssen Explains How The X-Men Trilogy ‘Set The Tone’ For The Marvel Universe

Nowadays, if you haven’t seen a new Marvel Studios movie you will be told by someone you’re living under a rock. Films and TV shows based on Marvel comic books are often among the most prevalent pop culture moments and each movie breaks box office record after record, most recently with Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s tough to remember a time when superhero movies were huge, but when the X-Men trilogy was hitting theaters there was nothing else like it being made

With the comic book movie boom very much still in hyper speed, the X-Men’s original Jean Grey, Famke Janssen shared her perspective on the genre having been part of the dawn of the era. In her words to CinemaBlend: 

You know what’s so interesting about the X-Men franchise is they really changed the nature of those types of movies because before that they had been incredibly glossy and the costumes – everything was over the top. And when we started making them, the whole idea was that we were grounding these people in reality. They were just everyday people like you and me, but they happened to have superpowers. That was very much what we were trying to do with those films and from that moment on, those types of superhero movies have changed as a result of that. So it was interesting to be part of that journey and see how things changed.

Famke Janssen offers some great points about why the X-Men movies were so influential to where we are today with Marvel movies.  They were perhaps the first movies of their kind to be rooted in reality and the world as we know it rather than be a live-action cartoon of comic book pages. Janssen continued: 

The other thing that was very much part of the X-Men franchise was a fair amount, maybe half as many women as there were male superheroes had never been seen prior to that. Maybe you had the one gratuitous female superhero in the movie here or there, but they set the tone for a whole new world of superheroes and I think that’s really cool and interesting.

It’s true. The X-Men movies were groundbreaking at the time for including a nearly even amount of men and women characters in the main cast. I mean we’re talking about Halle Berry’s Storm, Anna Paquin’s Rogue and Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique alongside Janssen. The early 00s was a time for experimentation for the superhero genre and the X-Men movies not only hold up today, they continued to forward her story in the franchise until just a few years ago. 

Famke Janssen’s last appearance in the franchise was in 2014’s Days of the Future Past, but with her most recent project, Redeeming Love, some of her X-Men past caught up with her when one of her The Last Stand co-stars became her co-star again. Eric Dane, who played Multiple Man in the 2006 film recalled with CinemaBlend being on the set of the film early on in his career: 

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Famke gave me a ride to set once because she had a super fancy car they were driving her around in Vancouver. This was the third X-Men, so she was just about to become Dark Phoenix. And she was part of this massive action franchise that I had this very small role in. There were a hundred of me but it was very tight and I just remember going ‘Wow, she’s taking me for a ride in her car to set, I’ve made a good impression.’ Oh my, we were out in the woods that day. Just out in the middle of the woods. Wild. With hundreds of extras. Ah, the good ‘ole days.

Dane fondly remembers being on the set of the massive Marvel project. He recalls the early impression the Jean Grey actress had on him as they shot some major sequences for The Last Stand. The pair star together in Redeeming Love, a romance film based on the book by Francine Rivers. Check out CinemaBlend’s review of the film and see Redeeming Love in theaters now.  

Interviews

Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Pick For ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’

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Quentin Tarantino Reveals His Pick For ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’

It may not feel like it sometimes, but any upcoming movie has the chance to be named “the greatest movie ever made” by someone out there. However, that honor does have some specific caveats if you’re someone like filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. Not only has the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director chosen a Steven Spielberg classic for that very distinction, Tarantino also explained just why that title is very specific. 

In an upcoming interview with our in-house podcast ReelBlend, Quentin Tarantino made his fourth appearance to talk about all things movies; the first since the big live show at the New Beverly Cinema. Promoting his new co-hosting gig on The Video Archives Podcast, Tarantino had yet another spirited discussion about cinema, which led to his pick of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws as  the greatest “movie” ever made. That distinction is important, as the Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood director made that perfectly clear through the following remarks: 

I think Jaws is the greatest movie ever made. Maybe not the greatest film. But it’s the greatest movie ever made. And then there are other movies that can get in its rarefied air. But as far as a movie, there’s no making it better than Jaws. There’s no ‘better’ than Jaws. It is the best movie ever made. And it shows how badly timed most movies made before Jaws were.

Leave it to Quentin Tarantino to separate his tastes in movies into those two separate, important camps: “movies” and “films.” In this case, the designation of a movie almost sounds like it’s shorthand for the blockbuster opuses that Steven Spielberg made a name for himself with. Which means that “films” are presumably more of the independent/art house titles that have higher pedigrees, and usually end up on the lists of best picture nominees every year.

Strangely enough, Jaws is one of six horror movies to have Best Picture nominations, so the line could blur just a bit in that respect. Putting aside the “movies” versus “films” debate, Quentin Tarantino isn’t using that separation to be a snob. Later on in the conversation, he explained how spectacles such as this are their own form of art, and how Steven Spielberg came to be someone who perfected it: 

What I meant by that, to one degree or another, is that Spielberg and a lot of his cohorts grew up seeing those kinds of movies in the theater. Henry Levin’s Journey to Center of the Earth, he’s gonna run to go and see that. Richard Fleischer’s Fantastic Voyage. He’s going to run and go see it. Gordon Douglas’s Them! He’s going to run and go see. Now… most of them weren’t directed that well. They were assignments given to journeyman directors who did their best with them. That was how we were used to seeing comic book — that kind of movie experience. As opposed to a Spielberg, who was like, ‘No, this is exactly the kind of movie he likes. This is exactly the kind of movies he was put on earth to make. And he’s going to make it, within an inch of his life, as effective as it possibly can be. And, you know, Michael Anderson, isn’t putting that kind of work in Logan’s Run.

Spielberg, and “cohorts” like George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Copolla all latched onto genres that were pulpier entertainments in their childhood, only to make them into something new. Through films like Jaws, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, and The Godfather, we saw a generation of directors taking movies they loved and reviving them through their own personal lenses. Which is exactly what Quentin Tarantino would do when he stepped onto the scene with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction; and it’s also why he’s such a staunch supporter of the cinematic experience. 

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If this conversation boils down to anything, it’s game recognizing game. Much as Steven Spielberg idolized the movies that helped make Jaws, Quentin Tarantino has reverence for the bearded director and his dedication to making the movies that sparked his love of cinema. Though considering the history his collaborator Samuel L. Jackson has had with sharks, you have to wonder if this has already sparked any sort of humorous conversations between the two?

You’ll be able to watch, and listen, to Quentin Tarantino’s latest appearance on ReelBlend, as it’s set to hit YouTube tomorrow. Meanwhile, Tarantino may not have his tenth and final film in the works just yet, but you can still enjoy the man’s gift for words in two very cool ways. 

Tarantino’s Video Archives podcast, which he co-hosts with friend and collaborator Roger Avery, is currently streaming wherever you find fine listening material. However, if you also want to read the man’s thoughts on ‘70s filmmaking in his upcoming book Cinema Speculation, which you can currently preorder on Amazon (opens in new tab); or any other fine bookseller.

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‘Prey’ Interviews With Amber Midthunder, Dan Trachtenberg And More!

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The stars of “Prey,” Amber Midthunder (“Naru”), Dakota Bevers (“Taabe”), Dane DiLiegro (“The Predator”), director Dan Trachtenberg and producer Jhane Myers discuss their new “Predator” movie in this interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. They discuss the “Prey” audition moment that landed Amber Midthunder her role and more!

You can stream “Prey” on Hulu on August 5.

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Interviews

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ | Marvel Comic-Con Interviews with Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan & More

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ | Marvel Comic-Con Interviews with Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan & More

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” stars Chris Pratt (Peter Quill / Star-Lord), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Will Poulter (Adam Warlock), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Sean Gunn (Kraglin / On-Set Rocket), Chukwudi Iwuji (The High Evolutionary) and writer Director James Gunn discuss their upcoming Marvel film and conclusion of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy in this post-Hall H interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con 2022.

Video Chapters

  • 00:00 – Chris Pratt on Finding “Your Side”
  • 00:35 – Chris Pratt Teases What’s Ahead For Star-Lord and Gamora In GOTG 3
  • 01:24 – Karen Gillan LOVES ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Fan Reactions
  • 02:00 – Karen Gillan Weighs In On Nebula Unaliving Nebula in ‘Endgame’
  • 02:32 – James Gunn Teases a “Darker” ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movie
  • 03:20 – Sean Gunn on Baby Rocket’s Difficult Backstory
  • 04:30 –  Pom Klementieff on Welcoming New Marvel Actors to the ‘Guardians’ Family
  • 05:15 – Pom Klementieff Teases A More Badass Mantis In ‘Guardians 3’
  • 05:35 – Will Poulter Teases Adam Warlock Origins in ‘GOTG 3’ 
  • 06:32 – Chukwudi Iwuji on The High Evolutionary and His Motivations
  • 07:20 – Chukwudi Iwugi Praises James Gunn’s Dialogue
  • 08:15 – Chris Pratt Recalls His Last Day of Filming the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Trilogy
  • 08:55 – James Gunn Is Literally Always Writing and Rewriting Scripts
  • 09:49 – Will Poulter Wants to Play Adam Warlock Again “If Marvel Will Have Me”

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