This holiday, Epic Games has a special present for all you Gearheads out there… actually, 12 presents, along with a few other surprises as well! Beginning December 23, the Gears multiplayer experience will transform into the 12 Days of Gearsmas.
On the first day of Gearsmas, everyone gets a Noobsaw. This means that shots will not interrupt the Lancer’s Chainsaw. Once it gets revving, only a kill can stop it.
On the second day of Gearsmas, it’s time for some melee instagib. One attack will tear your enemy to shreds in the usual messy fashion, with no need to hit twice.
On the third day of Gearsmas, you’ll get three Frag Grenades for every pickup. Worried about saving that last grenade? Just throw it—you’ve got three of ‘em.
On the fourth day of Gearsmas, Boomshots rule the day. Four shots, more bang for your boom.
On the fifth day, Wingman converts to five one-man teams. Get ready for 1x1x1x1x1 action all day.
On the sixth day, you get six satellites powering the Hammer of Dawn. Think infinite ammo, Gears 1–style.
On the seventh day, each mortar gets seven shells instead of the typical three. Bombs away!
On the eighth day, it’s a blast from the past with eight retro gamers—four vs. four, in classic Gears action. (Note that Horde and Wingman won’t be affected by this change.)
On the ninth day, the Boomers invade Horde mode. You’ll get squads of Boomers on all waves ending in the number 9. (12.31.09)
On the tenth day, you’ll get 10 waves of Kantus to spice up your Horde experience—if you can survive it, that is…
On the eleventh day, eleven meatflags will be taunting (Chaps + 10 players = 11!), so you can go ahead and add double experience to Submission matches.
And the twelfth day? How about all 11 modifications applied all at once? Get ready for total action-packed Gears mayhem!
If that wasn’t enough, there’s still one more surprise: Golden weapons will be unlocked for all 12 days, and the current double XP will convert to triple XP. And that means that Days 11 and 12 will be 6x XP in Submission. Chaps better get his running shoes on!
Happy holidays from everyone at Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios, enjoy the festivities, and have a very merry Gearsmas!


Marvel Stockholders Approve Disney Merger

Source:Marvel Entertainment
December 31, 2009

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. announced that at a special meeting held this morning, Marvel stockholders approved the adoption of the Agreement and Plan of Merger entered into by Marvel and The Walt Disney Company, which provides for a merger in which Marvel will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney.

Marvel anticipates that the merger, which, based on the closing price of Disney's common stock on December 30, 2009, has an estimated value of approximately $4.3 billion, will be completed today after the close of the market.

The completion of the merger is subject to satisfaction of remaining conditions disclosed in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus filed by Disney with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Rule 424 on December 2, 2009.


Kevin Feige on a Decade of Marvel on the Big Screen

December 30, 2009

Marvel.com has posted a new column in which Marvel Studios Producer and President Kevin Feige relives 10 years in the life of Marvel on the big screen. He touches on all the films that were released, like the "X-Men," "Spider-Man," "Iron Man," and "Hulk" movies, and he even mentions Thor, a part which we're reposting below:

To be honest the thing that I'm most excited about right now though, is the screen test we just finished for "Thor." We've done some costume tests and watching the Asgardians walk onto the sound stage takes me back to that first time I saw the X-Men on the set all together in Toronto. Only it was unlike anything we've ever put on film before! It's great to be starting the next decade in such an exciting way just as we did last decade. We're really redefining the comic book genre and what a Marvel movie can be. It's going to be great.

You can check out the full column here!


Is the 360+ a new Xbox console shipping with Project Natal?

July 28, 2009
Project Natal is an exciting development in the world of gaming because it takes the foundation that the Nintendo Wii, and to a lesser extent the Playstation Eye, has created and builds on it. Could it be that Natal will be launched as part of a new Xbox console? And could that console be called the 360+? Microsoft is clearly setting up Project Natal to become a big part of its gaming future. The controller-less motion-sensing camera device was unveiled at E3 2009 and pretty much stole the show. But Natal has yet to secure a release date, and we also don’t know if it will be released as a peripheral or built in to a new model of the console.
Ryan Geiss is a man that should know the answers to these question, seeing as he is a graphics programmer currently working on Project Natal for the Xbox 360. Could it be that he inadvertently let slip some key information in a post on his blog? Geiss’s update from June 1 originally said:
I can finally disclose that I’m one of the core developers of the human-tracking algorithms for Project Natal (click for more info), bringing full-body motion control to the Xbox 360+.
Geiss has now removed the “+” from the post but he hadn’t done so for almost two months until eagle-eyed readers had spotted it and the story spread around the Web. Clicking for more info leads to lots more information about Natal but nothing about any new Xbox console being prepared for shipping at the same time. So was it just a careless keystroke or is there more to it than that?
It would seem unlikely that Geiss had pressed “+” by mistake at the end of that sentence purely because that’s not a symbol that is usually pressed in error due to its positioning. But Geiss is an intelligent man, so I also doubt that he’d have given something as big as the existence of a new Xbox console away, or its name for that matter.
Interestingly, the existence of a new Xbox 360 to ship with Project Natal built in to it would gel well with comments made in June by Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft. His suggestion of a new iteration of the Xbox with technology that is “really, really, close” to real life and a “natural interface” were quickly shot down but the evidence seems to be building.


Android to be Next Front for Cyber Attack in 2010

File under: News
By: Chuong Nguyen | Date: 30-Dec-09

As if defending your computer against worms, Trojans, and malware wasn't enough, a new report from Kaspersky--a firm that coincidentally also makes software to protect against such internet attacks--predicts that 2010 will be the year for Android attacks. While tech analysts have predicted Android growth in 2010, Kaspersky analyst Roel Schouwenberg predicts that Android will be also be the target for cyber attacks:

'Android users, in particular, seem ripe for plundering. "The increasing popularity of mobile phones running the Android operating system, combined with a lack of effective checks to ensure third-party software applications are secure, will lead to a number of high-profile malware outbreaks," he says.

Cyber-security firms have in the past made predictions and attempts to push virus protection software to smartphone users, but to date there hasn't been too many attacks on many platforms. Attacks on the mobile front have been far fewer than on the desktop, but that could change as more people migrate to smartphones to maintain computing powers while on the go.


Morgan Says Next 007 Film is "Shocking"

December 21, 2009

Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen) talked briefly to MI6 about what we can expect from James Bond 23.

The site says that Morgan has been writing the first draft of the screenplay from July until October of this year. "It's a shocking story", he said after admitting he couldn't give anything more away.

Pre-production work on the 23rd installment, and third 007 film starring Daniel Craig, has been put on hold until the expected sale of MGM goes through.


X-Men: First Class Might Supersede Magneto Spin-Off?

Source:Heat Vision
December 21, 2009

The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog talked to Bryan Singer about his recent announcement that he'll direct X-Men: First Class. He says that he's working with screenwriter Jamie Moss on developing the screenplay and that he will likely shoot Jack the Giant Killer first.

Singer has an interesting quote in the interview, however, saying that the "Magneto" spin-off might not be necessary considering what they'll be doing for "First Class."

"This story would probably utilize some of the Magneto story because it deals with a young Magneto, so it might supersede that because this would explore that relationship between a young energetic professor and a disenfranchised victim of the Holocaust," said Singer.

He did add that he doesn't see an exhaustion of the franchise: "The X-Men universe is boundless. These are great characters. And as young characters, they are quite different than the characters we have seen in the contemporary movies."

You can read the full interview--in which he also discusses his relationship with 20th Century Fox, Battlestar Galactica and Excalibur--by going here.


Sherlock Holmes Director Guy Ritchie!

Source:Edward Douglas
December 21, 2009

Anyone who's been following Guy Ritchie's career since Lock, Stock and Two Smokin' Barrels way back in the late '90s probably has at one point or another wondered what the British filmmaker might do if given more money and someone else's toys to play with. They finally have a chance to see what he does with Sherlock Holmes, Ritchie's revamping of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Victorian-era detective team, pairing Ritchie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

There are a lot of expectations for the movie, not only from fans of Ritchie's earlier movies but also those who've enjoyed previous incarnations of Holmes and Robert Downey Jr.'s growing legion of fans after last year's double whammy of Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. You normally would think those audiences would be mutually exclusive, so it's a strange combination on paper for sure.

While this version of Holmes certainly has a lot more humor and action than we've come to expect from Sir Arthur's literary heroes, it still remains faithful to his novels, right down to the all-encompassing case, this one involving the mysterious Lord Blackwood, played by Mark Strong, who has seemingly come back to life after being tried and hung with far more nefarious plans that involves secret societies and the supernatural. Only Holmes and Watson can stop him, but they're having their own problems, Holmes with a former flame and jewel thief Irene Adler, played by Rachel McAdams, and Scotland Yard's incompetent Inspector Lestrade (Eddie Marsan), while Watson has just gotten engaged, something that threatens to break-up the long-standing partnership.

Playing in this time period with these characters (and considerably more money) has really allowed Ritchie to flex his directorial muscles, the results being as impressive as when Christopher Nolan was handed Batman or J.J. Abrams took over "Star Trek," and possibly the first version of Holmes that can appeal to Americans who know nothing about the character as well as the British literary crime buffs who've voraciously read Doyle's work countless times.

ComingSoon.net sat down with Ritchie for the third time in two years and found that as always, he can be a tough nut to crack maybe because he obviously doesn't like doing interviews and tends to get bored if you don't ask him challenging questions. Not that we don't love talking to the guy and we tried our best, but you'll have to decide for yourself who came out the winner in our latest bare knuckles match-up.

ComingSoon.net: When we talked last year, I might have asked you how this came about and just to refresh my memory, was it Joel who first brought this to you?
Guy Ritchie: No, Lionel Wigram, who's one of the execs at Warners. He approached me first.

CS: Okay, so what was your first reaction when you were presented the material?
Ritchie: It was positive. It was positive. I mean, it didn't happen immediately. I thought the script needed a bit of work and whatnot, but they agreed with all of that and they agreed with some of my comments and stuff. Once that happens and I'm relatively proactive and excited about the prospects, the enthusiasm is contagious.

CS: I think a lot of people who've seen the movie were surprised, because you kept a lot of stuff that's clearly Holmes, much like Lionel's been saying from the start, and the movie remains fairly faithful to the books, which most people don't believe when they see the trailers for the movie.
Ritchie: I think some people do. I think the cynics won't. But, yeah, I mean, we did try and derive it from the source, so I mean, it's supposed to be Sherlock Holmes and Watson, right? We did try to remain true to Mr. Doyle... Sir Doyle... Sir Conan.

CS: I think people see the commercials or trailers and immediately think, "This is gonna be like 'Lethal Weapon' in Victorian London," but when you see the movie, it really is an authentic Sherlock Holmes adventure.
Ritchie: Do you think the people know who Joel Silver is?

CS: Yeah, of course they do, movie fans obviously do, but the point is that the movie is very faithful to something Sir Arthur may have written despite being an original case. When you read the script, was there stuff from the books you wanted to bring into it or did you go back and find things you wanted to bring in?
Ritchie: Sure. I mean, all of us, anyone that was creatively involved, did whilst making the movie click through or was immersed within all the stories, so inevitably, we've tried to let that authenticity percolate. So yeah, I mean we were conscious and cognizant of the fact that we were trying to remain authentic.

CS: In this case, it's such an intricate plot that you must have had everyone right down to the prop department on board with what needed to be done. Did that require a lot more planning or preparation than normal?
Ritchie: Yeah, things like that would take care of themselves. It's an entity onto itself, but it's an entity that also takes care of itself and I don't know if that happens consciously or unconsciously, but yeah, stuff just happens by kinetic energy.

CS: It seems like it would almost impossible not to have spent a lot of time beforehand putting those puzzle pieces together, working with Lionel and the writers, because it doesn't seem like it could possibly have been as easy as you make it sound.
Ritchie: We knew what we were doing before we did it.

CS: Well, yeah, I would assume so...
Ritchie: So yeah, I mean, there were certain prerequisites which were unavoidable, right? So we did our homework.

CS: And did that involve a lot more preparation than any of your other movies in that sense?
Ritchie: Not really, not really.

CS: A lot of your previous movies are very tightly plotted with a lot of characters.
Ritchie: F*cking plotted, they are, they are. I mean, this script is relatively easy compared to anything I've done previously, but at least it's a linear narrative, so in that respect it was much easier than anything I've previously done.

CS: So what happens when you bring Robert into this kind of setting? Everyone I've talked to, including him, say he's very impromptu, always having ideas and wanting to improvise on set, things like that. I feel like throwing him into the mix is interesting because you have to put all these puzzle pieces together and then he brings an X-factor to the mix.
Ritchie: It just works. I mean, Robert and I had a collective agreement of who Sherlock Holmes was in that he's developed or evolved, but he and I always kind of had an empathy on who Holmes was, so if he went too far, I'd put the reins on him. If he didn't go far enough, I'd encourage him. But he and I were pretty much in agreement 90, 95 percent of the time. So again that's part of it. It picks up this unconscious kind of kinetic energy, creative energy and these things do. How they do, I have no idea, but imagine – and anything's that created at some point involves this kind of unspoken kind of energy, you know?

CS: You'd think so, but it feels like on most sets there's so much time put into writing and preparation you kind of have to have a game plan. You can't really just go in and start filming...
Ritchie: You do, you do, you do have a game plan. You go in with a game plan. But, you know, f*ck it, you can only go through a step to the left or a step to the right, you know what I mean? You can and I think that just gives it more of the character.

CS: Have you had that sort of collaborative relationship with any other actor you've worked with before like Jason (Statham) or this really very different?
Ritchie: I don't think it was very different. I mean, Robert is a bit Sherlock Holmesian himself, so yeah, his noggin works at 100 miles an hour.

CS: As quickly as yours I would imagine.
Ritchie: Well, quite... actually his seems to work a lot faster than mine 'cause I don't always know what he was talking about. But yeah, so as long as I can understand what he's talking about then we were in agreement. It's just sometimes he can go a bit too quick for me to keep up, but no, I mean, it's funny. With the benefit of hindsight, I'm not sure if I can remember that he was awkward in any way. Well, he could've been more awkward, but...

CS: I wouldn't think it would be awkward, but I've heard all these stories from "Iron Man" where Robert's literally having the writers rewrite whole new scenes on the day they're shooting.
Ritchie: Yeah, I don't think we had a lotta that. We did have a bit of it, we did have a bit of it.

CS: I also want to ask about doing a period piece, because it's interesting to go from "RocknRolla" which was very much modern day London back to the city during Victorian times. Had you always had an interest in the city during that period?
Ritchie: Sure, I mean, I like a stylized London, so to be in London during that period is fertile with the aesthetic. London was at its zenith then and it was blossoming like it's never blossomed before, so it really took on a character of its own, London, so yeah, it's a requisite character within the equation, isn't it?

CS: Yeah, absolutely. Did you end up having to build a lot of it? I know you did get to shoot on many of the actual locations, but did you have to go in and add or remove a lot of stuff using CG?
Ritchie: Sure. Actually we ended up in Brooklyn for a month on a soundstage, yeah, so we ended up here doing all the special effects. Where we could, we didn't. Where we had to, we did. So obviously the reconstruction of Tower Bridge was quite tricky in situ, so Tower Bridge was in Brooklyn.

CS: Did you feel like there were any big challenges or hurdles you were facing by making a bigger movie like this? Was recreating old London one of them or not really?
Ritchie: Not really. (Laughs) I mean, zeroes is zeroes, right? I've found them less intimidating as I've gotten older, if it's a million or 10 million or 100 million, I'm not sure if the pressure feels any different. You just seem to have more friends when it's 100 million. I suppose in that sense you have a greater responsibility, but then you have greater muscularity too, but the studio was very supportive in what they saw as a filmmaker's idea, a filmmaker's film.

CS: Did you find you were getting a lot more notes and a lot more things where you had to kind of...
Ritchie: No, I didn't get any of that. No, no, no, there was never any, "Oh, we'd like a bit more of this or we'd like a bit more of that." The studio pretty much let us get on with it and they encouraged what otherwise they might've traditionally shied away from. They wanted sort of "isms," you know what I mean? They wanted Guy Rithchieisms. They wanted some kind of an influence.

CS: I've talked to filmmakers who've made thirty to forty movies and I've talked to guys that have made like one movie. When you go from something like "RocknRolla" or "Revolver," which is very much your own thing, your own idea. And then, you go to something like this where you have an iconic character, an actor who is at the top of his game, at a big studio, does any of that register with you as being very different or do you just approach it the same as any other movie and do your thing?
Ritchie: In general it didn't make any difference in terms of kind of ownership if you know what I mean. I've gotten to like not feeling quite so responsible if you know what I mean. That was more of a relief than anything and it was good to be sorta part of a collective thing rather than leading a charge.

CS: We're being told to wrap this up, so I guess I need to ask you what the future brings now that you've finished this.
Ritchie: That's relatively boring because I've only got a dull answer for that: I don't f*cking know. (laughs)

CS: Well, we've already been hearing talk about Lionel wanting to do a sequel to this.
Ritchie: I know, but we don't f*cking know. They always talk about sequels so ask me another one...

CS: I also wanted to ask you about "Lobo."
Ritchie: But that's future, that's boring, boring, boring.

CS: Okay fine, let's see. Okay, I guess I'll ask you about the music, which I quite enjoyed.
Ritchie: The music. Good, good.

CS: I really feel like music's been a very important part of all of the other movies and for this one you were working with more traditional music...
Ritchie: Ish... Iiiiiish... When you say traditional, traditional, a traditional score, or traditional as in indigenous traditional?

CS: It's a little bit of both. You have some Irish music which is very traditional, and it's also very different from the music we normally expect from you. I'm curious about how you wanted to incorporate the music into this.
Ritchie: Well, I'm bound to a certain period, right? So I didn't want to start f*cking around all over the place in terms of cheating from what period I was gonna use from, so I tried to stick to a period and tried to stick to a thing. So it was mostly indigenous music of that time, like the rock and roll of Dublin over that boxing scene was of that period. So I tried to remain – there's quite a lot of things, in European gypsy going on there, but I tried to sort of represent what would've been happening in the grass roots level of society. So I tried to stick to a sort of more visceral score; I didn't want to make it too grand.

CS: People have been saying great things about it, because the music is very different for Hans Zimmer as well. Did you give him a lot of direction where you wanted him to go with it?
Ritchie: Well, I think that was just the pair of us, you know? It was the pair of us. That's what I wanted. You know, we ended up with a bit of both, right? We ended up with a bit of traditional in the traditional sense which I thought was a good idea--we didn't want to go too left field--but at the same time I feel as though we broke sort of new ground.

CS: Was this the first time you've edited while you were still shooting?
Ritchie: No, I've always worked at that pace. I'm quite aggressive about the editing and that starts on the first day of principal photography. I want that scene cut by the end of day.

CS: Right. Is it usually a case where you still have the location and you can still redo things if you're not happy how it's cut together?
Ritchie: It's all sorts of reasons, right? Partly in case you've missed something, you might be able to mop it up. Secondly, you just want to have the confidence that what you're doing is actually going to make sense.

Sherlock Holmes opens everywhere on Christmas Day, Friday December 25. (If you're all good boys and girls, maybe we'll have a very rare interview with Eddie Marsan before then.)


Walt Disney Studios 2010 Preview

Source:Walt Disney Studios
December 18, 2009

ComingSoon.net has received Walt Disney Studios' 2010 Preview, featuring 12 releases. To view info on each movie, just select the titles, and to see the images, click on 'View Pics' (release dates are subject to change):

January 29, 2010
When in Rome (Comedy) (View Pics)

March 5, 2010
Alice in Wonderland (Fantasy Adventure) (View Pics)

April 2, 2010
The Last Song (Drama) (View Pics)

April 22, 2010
Oceans (Documentary) (View Pics)

May 28, 2010
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Fantasy Action Adventure) (View Pics)

June 18, 2010
Toy Story 3 (Animation) (View Pics)

July 16, 2010
The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Comedy Adventure) (View Pics)

August 6, 2010
Step Up 3D (Drama) (View Pics)

September 24, 2010
You Again (Comedy)

October 8, 2010
Secretariat (Drama)

November 12, 2010 (limited; wide: Nov. 24)
Rapunzel (Animation) (View Pics)

December 17, 2010
Tron Legacy (Adventure, Sci-Fi) (View Pics)


Singer Talks More About X-Men: First Class!

December 18, 2009

In the last few days, we've learned that X-Men and X2: X-Men United helmer Bryan Singer is returning to direct X-Men: First Class for Fox and that Jamie Moss will write the new script. Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg are producers.

Variety learned more from Singer, who said that the studio sparked to a detailed treatment he wrote for the film.

"This is the formative years of Xavier and Magneto, and the formation of the school and where there relationship took a wrong turn," Singer said. "There is a romantic element, and some of the mutants from 'X-Men' will figure into the plot, though I don't want to say which ones. There will be a lot of new mutants and a great villain."

In the film, Xavier and Magneto will be twenty-something, and the film sounds similar in construct to the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek.

"Whether it's 'Batman,' 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Star Trek,' if the characters are good, you want to see them on their journey even if you know their destiny," Singer said. "I put myself in the fan's position, and I think this story is something I would want to see, and so will they."


WB Purchases New Script for Steve Carell

December 18, 2009

Warner Bros. Pictures has bought an untitled spec script by Cars and Bolt screenwriter Dan Fogelman that is a star vehicle for Steve Carell, reports Variety.

Carell will play a father whose life unravels while he deals with a marital crisis and tries to manage his relationship with his children.

The trade says that Fogelman wrote the script specifically with Carell in mind, and WB paid a premium for that. The script becomes a candidate for one of two films Carell will do during his hiatus from "The Office," the other being Mail-Order Groom with Tina Fey.


Paramount Pictures 2010 Preview

Source:Paramount Pictures
December 17, 2009

ComingSoon.net has received Paramount Pictures' 2010 Preview, featuring 10 releases. To view info on each movie, just select the titles, and to see the images, click on 'View Pics' (release dates are subject to change):

January 15, 2010 (Wide)
The Lovely Bones (Drama) (View Pics)

February 19, 2010
Shutter Island (Psychological Thriller) (View Pics)

March 12, 2010
She's Out of My League (Romantic Comedy) (View Pics)

March 26, 2010
How to Train Your Dragon (Animated Fantasy-Adventure) (View Pics)

May 7, 2010
Iron Man 2 (Action Adventure) (View Pics)

May 21, 2010
Shrek Forever After (Animated Fantasy Comedy) (View Pics)

July 2, 2010
The Last Airbender (Fantasy Action-Adventure) (View Pics)

July 23, 2010
Dinner for Schmucks (Comedy)

November 5, 2010
MegaMind (Animated Comedy) (View Pics)

Fourth Quarter 2010
Morning Glory (Comedy) (View Pics)