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This photo released by courtesy of Radius-TWC shows Salma Hayek in a scene from the film, ‘Everly.’ Hayek’s role in Everly was her toughest yet. (AP)
Comic-Con gets first look at ‘Mockingjay’ trailer George Miller reboots ‘Mad Max’

SAN DIEGO, July 27, (Agencies): A dynamic new lead and an epic-scale chase will be at the center of the new “Mad Max” reboot, as Australian director George Miller reignites his explosive action thriller franchise as the fight for survival in the wasteland rages on. “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the fourth installment of the “Mad Max” franchise that began in 1979 with Mel Gibson in the lead role, saw a post-apocalypse dystopian Australia where police officer Max Rockatansky battles hardened criminals of the outback. Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros’ “Fury Road,” due in theaters next year, is set 45 years in a post-apocalyptic future, and Miller said the whole film is a “105-minute chase scene through the wasteland.” “Everyone in the story is either a villain or a good guy; this is a very dangerous world and everyone you encounter could be out to kill you to simply to take what you have. So it’s all survival,” the director told Reuters. The film has been about 15 years in the making, and Miller said that initially he was working with Gibson, but after 9/11, the project was scrapped. By the time the director picked it up again, Gibson was past the age he wanted Max to be. “It’s not about an old Mad Max, it’s about the same Mad Max,” he said.

British actor Tom Hardy picks up the mantle of Max, and Miller said he embodies many of the qualities he first felt with Gibson. “They are (both) the guys who are very lovable, and at the same time they’ve got their dark side, and that contrast is at the core of their charisma.” Not much is known about the plot, but fans at San Diego’s annual Comic Con were treated to exclusive footage on Saturday, which showed leading characters including Max and Nux, played by Nicholas Hoult, in action and explosion-filled clips. Much of the first three films centered on the battle for energy resources and fuel, a conversation that was just beginning to gain traction at the time. Three decades later, Miller said, the same issues remain pertinent.
“I’m beginning to realize that’s the nature of the world and humankind, and we’re always fighting these kind of struggles, these tensions,” Miller said. “In many ways, the world is getting a lot better, but there’s still lots of stuff out there that could go wrong.” Max, who becomes a lone, hardened warrior in his journey, will find himself once again caught up in other people’s journeys and problems in “Fury Road.” Joining Hardy is actress Charlize Theron, who plays Imperator Furiosa, a character that Miller described as an “equal” to Max, and who leads a slew of female actresses in the film franchise that was previously male-dominated. “She’s just a hardcore warrior with a purpose and it’s really the engagement of the two that is the central conflict that helps the story unfold,” Miller said.
In one of Comic Con’s most awaited presentations, Marvel superheroes of all kinds from Iron Man to Ant-Man took over the fan convention on Saturday, as leading actors revealed surprises to films that will showcase the characters. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the highly anticipated sequel to 2012’s superhero ensemble “Avengers,” brought out a star-studded panel that included Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America) and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury). “This is the longest bench of talent I’ve ever been on,” Downey said. “I become a little less significant every time and that’s fine because they’re all just that good.”
In 2012, “Avengers” became the fastest film to cross the $1 billion milestone at the global box office. The sequel introduces Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver, Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany as The Vision. James Spader will play villain Ultron. The audience at the Marvel showcase was shown a sneak peek that begins with the group of superheroes joking over drinks. The banter quickly turns to action-filled drama as the superheroes have to reunite to save people from Ultron. Olsen, one of the two women on the panel for the film, said her character’s use of magic “ends up adding something epic to the fights, it’s a new element.” Spader said he enjoyed his turn as the villainous 8-foot (2.4-metre) tall robot Ultron, describing the experience as “startling and surprising and challenging and exciting.” Walt Disney-owned Marvel Studios has become a dominant force at the box office with superhero films franchises such as “Iron Man,” “Captain America” and “Thor.” Mavel is releasing “Guardians of the Galaxy,” about a rogue group of galactic heroes on Friday and the film is already drawing strong reviews from critics and word-of-mouth with fans. “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” was announced on Saturday’s panel as scheduled for release on July 28, 2017, and James Brolin was revealed to be super villain Thanos, entering the stage wearing Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet.
The trailer for the next film in the popular “Hunger Games” series is making its premiere at Comic-Con.
Fans gathered last Friday at the Capitol Gallery in downtown San Diego, where holographic versions of two characters from the film offered visitors a silent welcome before the minute-long teaser trailer was shown. The trailer opens with a hovership landing and a meeting between leaders of the rebellion, where Phillip Seymour Hoffman and a gray-haired Julianne Moore discuss Katniss Everdeen’s role. Meanwhile, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) declares the Mockingjay symbol illegal. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is shown entering the underground bunker where refugees of Panem are hiding, and she agrees to take up their cause.
Being the first to see the trailer for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I” was only part of the Capitol Gallery experience, which occupied a portion of the Hard Rock Hotel. In an all-white setting inspired by President Snow’s Capitol color scheme, visitors could enjoy treats from Peeta’s bakery, witness colorful Capitol fashions, design souvenir T-shirts and have their photo taken with the holographic characters.
Even the trailer-viewing experience seemed designed by the Capitol: In an all-white room, fans were offered all-white candies and snacks before being shown into pod-like chairs, where they watched the trailer on personal Samsung tablets. The trailer also can be seen on Samsung devices at Best Buy stores beginning Saturday before it’s released widely next week.

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