HOLLYWOOD – Avengers: Infinity War is here.

And so here is our SPOILER FREE review. 100% SPOILER FREE. Go Ahead and read on. Because there are no SPOILERS. If you want SPOILERS go elsewhere because you ain’t getting them here buddy.



HOLLYWOOD – Benedict Cumberbatch is to make his directorial debut with a big screen adaptation of BBC cult sci-fi show Blake’s 7.

Fans of BBC cult show Blake’s 7 were celebrating today, when Benedict Cumberbatch announced that he would be directing a movie of the 80s science fiction series. He spoke EXCLUSIVELY with The Studio Exec about his long-cherished project:

Of course I was a bit young for Blake’s 7 when it was first shown (1978-1981), but my uncle had them all on video cassette because he worked for the BBC and I got hooked. For me it was a little bit more sci-fi than Doctor Who, which I also loved. Blake’s 7 was just something else though.

Cumberbatch won’t be playing Blake though.

No I’ve got Tom Hardy for that role. He’s so charismatic. I’m not sure if people would believe me as that sort of leader.

But he will be acting as Ker Avon, an ambiguous member of the seven.

It is a role I’ve been dying to play my whole life. Of course, it’ll be hard to live up to Paul Darrow’s masterful performance. Paul Bettany is on board to play Villa and Cate Blanchet will play the arch-villainess Servalan.

Blake’s 7 will be released in 2019.


HOLLYWOOD – The Vice President Mike Pence is to have his own movie starring and directed by Paul Bettany.

Paul Bettany is to play Mike Pence in a new film he is also slated to direct. The Da Vinci Code star spoke to the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about the project:

It’s great. I’ve been fascinated by Mike Pence for years. The film explores the early life of the future Vice President when he was a great student of literature.


Yes, that’s what the film looks at.

Not his idea of post-abortion funerals or curing gays?

No. The man inside the man is someone with a keen love of the great American poets. And one in particular.

Who would that be?

Ezra Pound.

And the name of the movie?

Pound and Pence.

That title is the only reason you’re making the movie.


Pound and Pence will be released in 2018.


HOLLYWOOD – A number of Johnny Depp’s friends and family have come out in defense of the Pirates of the Caribbean star, saying that he never abused them.

Following the domestic violence allegations by his soon to be ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp’s friends and family are circling the wagons. His daughter Lily Rose Depp took to Instagram to defend her father and attack Heard, and former partner Vanessa Paradis has also gone on record saying that Depp is ‘the sweetest, gentlest man’. And colleagues and friends including Paul Bettany have also voiced their support via social media: Depp was the ‘sweetest, kindest, gentlest man’. Of course, all of this could be true and the trial by twitter and tabloid currently going on is repellent, but it is taking place via both sides. Comedian and Depp supporter Doug Stanhope went so far as to write a guest column for The Wrap claiming that Heard was blackmailing Depp, and working on ‘some ruse to f*ck him over’.

God knows. I wasn’t there. But  neither were any of these other people. And a lot of what they are saying is irrelevant. It’s perfectly possible for a human being to be multi-faceted. Someone who violently abuses their spouse can be ‘gentle and sweet’ to their daughters and friends and colleagues, ex-girlfriends and comedian pals. The monster of popular imagination doesn’t square with the facts. Abusive behavior might be confined to one person. That person might not necessarily be an angel – after all, who is? But the media’s attacks on Heard have brought out a whole series of accusations, bringing into play Heard’s bi-sexuality to suggest it was that which sent Depp into a jealous rage. An explanation which begins to sound dangerously like a justification.

Again I don’t know what happened. I don’t know Johnny Depp or Amber Heard. (I did send off a rash tweet when this whole thing kicked off so mea culpa for that). However, there is a chance this is not going to remain a mystery. There will be an investigation and according to Heard’s version of events there were witnesses to some of the behavior. But in the meantime it might be an idea to try to keep the noise down. Who am I kidding though? Right?


HOLLYWOOD – The new trailer to Captain America: Civil War dropped and with it the first sight of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, but what did we really learn.

The Studio Exec FACT Squad is currently being ripped asunder (which is not good) by a civil war about which side to support on Captain America: Civil War, so we sent both halves of the warring squad into battle to find out five FACTS about the new film from watching the trailer once on a phone with a poor Wi-Fi connection.

1. It is historically inaccurate. Although the characters wear ‘costumes’ they are not correct to the period from 1861-1865 in which the Civil War took place.

2. Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner,Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl are in it

3. Tony Stark loves Captain America’s perfect teeth but there’s an edge there.

4. New York, Washington and Skikky-lovia have been destroyed. Everyone looks serious, including William Hurt who is playing Michael Douglas, Robert Redford and Jeff Bridges.

5. Black Panther isn’t actually a panther. And Spider-Man isn’t actually a Spider.

For more FACTS click HERE.


HOLLYWOOD – In the latest in our series of 47 Films You Have to See Before You Are Murdered in Your Dreams, Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany star in Peter Weir’s seaworthy Patrick O’Brian adaptation Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

In a world where there are way too many hyphenated titles and way, way too many sequels, Peter Weir’s fantastic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is the one that got away. Pirates of the Caribbean will be repeated until you’re seasick but Master and Commander is the magnificent one off, a heroic broadside of a movie.

Based on two of the Patrick O’Brian novels in the long running Aubrey/Maturin series spliced together, the film tells the story of Captain ‘Lucky’ Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe) commanding the HMS Surprise and his hunting of the phantom privateer the Acheron in the Southern Oceans. Weir plumbs his source material brilliantly, with almost every character named without necessarily being introduced and with wonderfully observed period detail, from the food to the language. On one level a perfect adventure film, the sea battles are terrifyingly authentic with most combatants killed from flying splintered wood rather than cannonballs and smoke enveloping the scene. But as well as buckling swashes, this is a subtle bromance between the bluff but bright and a tad heavy Captain and his close friend, musical partner and proto-Darwinian the ship’s doctor Stephen Maturin, played by a pitch perfect Paul Bettany.

Whether Weir was uninterested in repeating himself – he is after all the director of such diverse greats as The Truman Show, Dead Poet’s Society, Gallipoli, The Cars that Ate Paris, Witness and the sublime Picnic at Hanging Rock – or the studio was disappointed that they hadn’t got a Gladiator Goes to Sea, Master and Commander 2 never set sail. However, it would be churlish to focus on that.

Weir throughout his filmography has consistently explored closed worlds with their own rules and culture and the HMS Surprise is a perfect setting for him to explore his concerns and Crowe and Bettany give command performances in a well oiled ensemble. Master and Commander is that rarity, an action film which is clever, witty and fantastic fun.

For more of the 47 Films You Have to See Before You Are Murdered in Your Dreams Click Here.


HOLLYWOOD – Paul Bettany is confirmed for Gods of Egypt 2: Gods of Central Africa to be filmed early next year.

Wimbledon star, Paul Bettany has been confirmed for a lead role in Gods of Egypt 2: Gods of Central Africa, the sequel which will take the action of the first film deeper into the heart of whitest Africa.

We had a chance to speak to Paul about the role and this is what he told us EXCLUSIVELY:

I’ve been very lucky making movies but one thing that irks me is that as an Albino it is very difficult to find roles that allow me to play them in my natural complexion. Most directors want me to ‘pink up’ so that my complexion doesn’t distract from the story. I don’t agree with it and the Albino community are rightly irritated by my choice, but given the paucity of Albino roles, what can I do? The one exception was The Da Vinci Code but here the paradox was I was playing a villain and so my complexion was being used against the profile of the wider Albino community.

But the new film…

Gods of Egypt 2: Gods of Central Africa will take us into the deepest heart of Africa. Gerard Butler is back as Thet, a God who will rise again wanting revenge and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau plays Horus. I am Honkius, the great White God of Central Africa, who is seeking to take over the whole of the continent and place it under my pallid thrall.

That sounds great.

It does, doesn’t it? Alex Proyas already had the script ready even when he was making the first film and the advance publicity has been so good that the studio decided we should start preparing the follow up. Ridley Scott is going to executive produce, because he basically executive produces everything now. And my role will be a great step forward for the Albino community who are finally getting some representation.

But you’re still playing a villain?

Yes, that is true but just the fact and can play him in my own skin and don’t forget… he’s a God.

Gods of Egypt 2: Gods of Central Africa will be released in 2018.


AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON: REVIEW – The Avengers return in Joss Whedon’s slick screwball comedy.

Crash, Bang, Wallop – what a picture! There’s wit – fan service – action scenes and other stuff, but to be honest I’m getting a bit tired of Marvel and superhero pictures in general. There’s nothing wrong with the picture. Far from it. The gang are back together and fighting Hydra in some snowy mittel-European Ruritania, providing The Avengers with a nice ‘elsewhere’ setting in some exciting punch ’em up scenes: the hero shot comes early! And then we have a glowing blue doo-hah which must be protected because it’s so powerful. But Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) can’t help but fiddle with it in an attempt to create an artificial intelligence defense system which would effectively render the Avengers obsolete.  Oopsy-daisy! Ultron turns into a super villain intent on wiping out humanity.

Despite the clear intelligence of Whedon as a filmmaker, his actually characters are whoppingly stupid, none more so than the ‘genius’ Stark, who frankly gets off incredibly lightly for his potentially genocidal error. There’s some soap opera with the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) grab some of the funniest lines, proving that occasionally it’s the straight men who can snatch the laughs when the self-knowing wit of RDJ grows wearisome. Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Paul Bettany are new heroes, the former seems to be spending this phase of her career tripping through rubble (see also Godzilla).

So it’s fun and all that. But I can’t say I care as much as perhaps I’m led to believe by score etc. that I should. I don’t care about Hulk and Black Widow. I’m unconvinced by the moral conundrums, when no one seems to want to take responsibility for their actions. Doctor Banner is supposed to be the conscience of the group but after he wreaks havoc through a city center his only solution seems to be to run away. And perhaps I’m weighed down by the prospect of another two Russo brothers directed movies: The Avengers: Infinity Wars Parts One and Two, but I’m beginning to suffer from a genuine fatigue with this sort of thing, regardless of its quality. It’s going to go the way of the Western. There are simply too many and no matter how good an individual film might be – and this is a stand out entry – there are only so many times you can watch a city destroyed, a blue doo-dah purloined, a bunch of costumed sociopaths ruminate on morality before you begin to think it might be time for the whole sub-fascist circus to be wrapped up and put away.

For more Reviews CLICK HERE.