<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - TV, movies, music and celebrity news]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcchicago.com/entertainment/entertainment-news http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Sat, 26 Jul 2014 08:16:27 -0500 Sat, 26 Jul 2014 08:16:27 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Comic-Con Gets First Look at "Mockingjay" Trailer]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:49:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452679646.jpg

The trailer for the next film in the popular "Hunger Games" series is making its premiere at Comic-Con.

Fans gathered 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.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Samsung]]>
<![CDATA["Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer Debuts]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:19:27 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/edt-2434_TP_00064BR.jpg

The wait is finally over.

A "Fifty Shades of Grey" movie trailer deemed "too hot for morning TV" by NBC went live Thursday morning.

The steamy trailer debuted in an abbreviated version on "Today," and gave a glimpse of the provocative romantic drama for which the book trilogy by E.L. James is best known. After it went on air, the full 2:17 minute-long version hit the web.

#FiftyShadesofGreyTrailer became a trending hashtag on Twitter within minutes of the trailer's release.

Michael Philips, film critic at The Chicago Tribune, tweeted about the new trailer with a hint of sarcastic enthusiasm.

"Today" also confirmed that Beyonce re-recorded her 2003 hit song, "Crazy in Love" for the movie's soundtrack.

The film, due out next Valentine's Day, stars Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.

"Today" will air an exclusive interview with the two stars of the film on Friday.

<![CDATA[Jon Hamm Answers a Knock at "The Tonight Show" Door]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 07:20:49 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-07-26+at+7.56.17+AM.png Jon Hamm answers an imaginary knock at "The Tonight Show" stage and a bit of chaos ensues. ]]> <![CDATA[Comic-Con: Saturday's Must-See Events]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:09:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/FRD-DS-00694rv2.jpg

Saturday is always awesome at Comic-Con International in San Diego. 

It's the first day weekend ticket holders can make the scene, and attendance surges as fans and cosplayers hit the convention center for some of the most highly-anticipated panels on the 2014 program.

Marvel unleashes their latest in Hall H (will Benedict Cumberbatch take on the mantle of Doctor Strange?), George Miller returns with "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Simpsons" celebrates 25 years, "Constantine" debuts, and cosplayers and costume fans can revel in creativity at the annual Masquerade showcase and competition.

Check back throughout the convention for updates on what's happening, the hot news and all the latest celebrity pics coming out of San Diego.

And don't forget to download the official NBC Comic-Con 2014 App to optimize your fan experience.

Here's what we're excited for on Saturday July 26:

"The Simpsons"

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of everybody's favorite denizens of Springfield with creator Matt Groening, executive producer Al Jean, supervising director Mike Anderson, and director for life David Silverman. Find out what's next for Treehouse of Horror and Simpsorama, and get the scoop on the highly-anticipated Simpson's app due later this year. 10:45 a.m. Ballroom 20

DC Comics-Batman 75 Too Tough Trivia: Riddle Me This!

Think you know everything there is to know about the Caped Crusader? Is your breadth of Dark Knight knowledge great than your fellow Batman fans? In this 75th anniversary year of the cowled detective, test your memory and understanding of Gotham in this Batman-themed trivia panel. You may even win some exclusive prizes. 10:00 a.m. Room 6DE

Warner Bros. Pictures

The studio that brought Batman to the big screen returns to Comic-Con with a special panel showcasing three upcoming movies: "Jupiter Ascending" is the first original science fiction film from filmmakers Lana and Andy Wachowski since their game-changing "Matrix" trilogy and stars Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis; "Mad Max: Fury Road" returns director George Miller to the post-apocalyptic universe he created three decades ago with Mel Gibson, except this new take on the legend stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Hugh Keays-Byrne, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley; "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" sees director Peter Jackson return to J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth for the finale of Bilbo Baggins' quest to thwart the dragon Smaug and return the dwarfs to Lonely Mountain, with a cast comprised of Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly and Cate Blanchett. 10:00 a.m. Hall H

Legendary Pictures

Legendary Pictures presents a panel featuring their upcoming slate of highly anticipated films, including the highly-anticipated "Warcraft," based on the World of Warcraft video games, starring Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, Rob Kazinsky, Dominic Cooper, Daniel Wu and Clancy Brown. 12:25 p.m. Hall H


Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Jaime Murray and the rest of the cast of Syfy's groundbreaking multi-platform series will be on hand to discuss the show's biggest moments and tease what's next. 1:00 p.m. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

"The Blacklist"

James Spader ("The Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Boston Legal") hits San Diego with executive producers Jon Bokenkamp ("The Call") and John Eisendrath ("Alias") to discuss the first season of the hit NBC series and the future of Raymond "Red" Reddington. "The Blacklist" returns September 22 at 10:00 p.m. following "The Voice." 1.45 p.m. Room 6A

Frank Miller's "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For"

Check out exclusive footage from the highly-anticipated sequel to "Sin City" from graphic novel legend Frank Miller starring Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson and Lady Gaga. Co-directors Miller and Robert Rodriguez and special guest cast-members will take the audience into the "Sin City" world with a sneak peek and Q & A session. 2:50 p.m. Hall H

"Grimm" Season 4

"Grimmsters" will flock to this panel and Q & A session featuring "Grimm" stars David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz, Bree Turner and Claire Coffee. Wesen watchers can discuss the season finale and grill the cast on what's to come when "Grimm" returns to NBC on October 24. 3:00 p.m. Ballroom 20

DC Entertainment: Batman 75th Anniversary

Perhaps the greatest superhero ever created, Batman has dominated pop culture for more than seven decades, and to celebrate. DC takes a look back at the Caped Crusader's rich history and previews what the future holds for the great detective. Batman legends Kevin Conroy, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Ralph Garman, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee and Peter Girardi will be on hand, as well as surprise special guests. 4:00 p.m. Room 6BCF

"True Blood" Panel and Q&A

HBO "True Blood" will celebrate its 10-episode seventh and final season at Comic-Con with a bittersweet goodbye panel moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly. There's been no official word yet whether stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgård will be present, but to make a bad vampire pun, there's a bloody good chance! 5:00 p.m. Ballroom 20

"Constantine" Pilot Screening and Q&A

John Constantine is a man waging war against the forces of darkness — from both within himself and the outside world — in the new series "Constantine" coming to NBC. A working-class con man and occult expert, he's voluntarily checked himself into an asylum and sworn off investigating matters of the supernatural after a tragic accident. But when a cryptic message arrives, he is called out to resume his old life and battle the gathering forces of darkness. Based on characters published by DC Entertainment ("Hellblazer"), the series stars Matt Ryan ("Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior"), Harold Perrineau ("Lost") and Charles Halford ("True Detective"). "Constantine" will premiere on NBC at 10/9C on October 24. 5:15 p.m. Room 6BCF.

Marvel Studios

One of the hottest tickets during San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige and special guests will pull back the curtain on an inside look at the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Will fans be lucky enough to see a sneak peek of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the sequel to the blockbuster "Avengers"? And will Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") make a Comic-Con surprise appearance reveal that rumors of him being cast as Marvel sorcerer Doctor Strange are in fact true? Cumberbatch was at Comic-Con on Thursday to promote "The Penguins of Madagascar," and told E! News he would indeed be back at the convention center on Saturday. 5:30 p.m. Hall H

HBO Presents the Comic-Con International 2014 Masquerade

2014 marks the 40th Comic-Con Masquerade, and Ballroom 20 becomes cosplay central. Attendees will strut their fabulous original and re-created costumes in front of a panel of guest judges. Awards will be handed out in front of an audience of more than 4,000 for Best In Show, Judges’ Choice, Best Re-Creation, Best Original Design, Best Workmanship, Best Presentation, Most Beautiful and Best Young Fan.

Doors will open for audience seating at 7:45 p.m., but the line will start much earlier. Tickets for seating will be given out free to those lining up near Ballroom 20 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, with overflow seating available in Rooms 5AB, 6A and in the Sails Pavilion (tickets not required). 8:30 p.m. Ballroom 20.

<![CDATA[Celeb Tweets You Missed from Comic-Con ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:47:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CCClarkDuke.jpg

It wasn't just the fans showing all the excitement of Comic Con over social media.

TV and movie stars alike were tweeting selfies, jokes and sharing photos over Twitter.

Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Comic-Con: the Power and Politics of Cosplay]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:55:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Babes-of-Comic-Con-Blurb-20.jpg

The act and art of costume play, or cosplay, has become one of Comic-Con's biggest draws, rivaling the appeal of celebrity appearances and perhaps even the comic books.

"Cosplay has become the emblem of convention culture," says Rob Salkowitz, author of "Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture." "It has been the face of Comic-Con for so long and is almost like a marker of what makes this kind of fandom special and unusual: The idea that grown ups attend in all kinds of crazy costumes is not only accepted, it’s expected."

At its simplest, cosplay is the act of dressing as your favorite pop culture character (or variation thereof) and having fun. More complex is the power the growing phenomenon now wields as cosplayers descend in their tens of thousands on events such as San Diego's Comic-Con, bringing with them big costumes, big bucks and big questions regarding codes of conduct.

According to a recent survey of more than 2,600 frequent attendees conducted by online ticketing service Eventbrite, events such as Comic-Con generate $600 million annually in ticket sales alone. 

"These things are big business and cosplay is part of the appeal that gets the casual fans in the door," explains Salkowitz, who worked with Eventbrite on their data research. It revealed that of all the motivators in attending comic and fandom events, cosplay was a top three reason for 23 percent of men and 50 percent of women.

Cosplay popularity has reached as far as network television with PBS ("Cosplay: Crafting a Secret Identity") and SyFy ("Heroes of Cosplay") hosting series based around the performance art. There's a documentary feature film in post-production ("Cosplay Dreams 3D"), and the genre has spawned its own subset of celebrities such as Yaya Han and Traci Hines who have successfully parlayed their costuming abilities into full-time businesses.

"The women who come to comic and fan conventions are twice as likely to be dressing up as the guys," says Salkowitz. "So a lot of the cosplay is from women or girls who are going to what has been a traditionally – up until the last 10 or 15 years or so – male oriented fandom."

And with more and more women attending in costume – some in revealing attire true to their character's origin – a new issue has arisen regarding conduct at conventions.

"The buzz phrase in cosplay right is 'cosplay does not equal consent,'" explains Salkowitz. "Some women and men dress in provocative costumes or costumes of characters who have a sexual persona and some people at conventions take it the wrong way and they hassle people about it."

Last month, a group called GeeksforConsent.org publicly criticized San Diego Comic-Con for not doing enough to protect women in costume who attend the annual event.

At the time, Rochelle Keyhan, creator and director of the group, told San Diego's NBC7 that many costumed women walked away from the convention feeling uncomfortable and violated. "They’ve been harassed, either sexually with pretty verbal harassment, or physical groping, or being followed around the convention space," said Keyhan.

In April, organizers from Seattle's Comic-Con event put up "cosplay is not consent" posters in an effort to make their zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy clear to attendees.

While not matching Seattle's highly visible declaration, San Diego Comic-Con for the first time sent attendees its anti-harassment policy via email two days before the event started. "We have long had a code of conduct and, in the past, it has appeared on page two of our events guide given to attendees at the show," said Comic-Con spokesperson David Glanzer via email. "We feel our policy is stronger than most because it is not limited to harassment. Our policy allows us to address issues we feel are offensive regardless of whether someone is harassed."

Harassment of a sexual nature is not the only type to exist at conventions.

"There is a lot of bullying that goes on," says cosplayer and Comic-Con attendee Lawrence Brenner. "Within the community people can be attacked if they are the wrong body type, even baseline things such as ethnicity. Things that are really moronic that you would hope people had gotten past a really long time ago."

Gender-bending cosplayers and people playing characters outside of their racial and cultural backgrounds are often met with criticism, notes Salkowitz: "Fans are very attached to traditional versions of characters. For example Marvel announced the other day that they are changing the gender of Thor to a woman, and that the new Captain America is going to be African-American and stuff like that – gender and race identity issues – certain fans react poorly to."

It's a conversation that is sure to be ongoing as the public perception, acceptance and enjoyment of cosplay grows. And with more large corporations spending big sponsorship dollars to have their products attached to comic and fan gatherings, Salkowitz believes it's in the convention's interest to address such criticism.

"Big consumer brands can’t afford to be associated with events where a convention space is known to be uncomfortable," Salkowitz says. "People who are cosplaying are there to have a good time and are as entitled to a good experience at these conventions as anybody else."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Interactive: Comic-Con By the Numbers]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:45:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/edt-120846320.jpg

What's the big deal about San Diego's Comic-Con International?

The annual convergaence of movie, comic and science fiction fans is the largest such gathering in the United States and is the world's third largest comic conference.

It is also a huge cash cow.

The 4.5-day international carnival has been held at San Diego Convention Center since 1991. It is forecast to bring in $178 million worth of economic impact to the region, or nearly $1,400 for each attendee.

That includes $78 million of direct spending to local business, 55,772 room nights for hotels, and $2.6 million of tax revenue for the government, according to the center’s forecast report.

So, say hi to the zombies and superheroes!

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[McConaughey Makes Surprise Comic-Con Visit]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:43:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452624060.jpg

Celebrity surprises are part of the fun each year at Comic-Con and that proved to be the case Thursday when Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made an unannounced appearance at the massive event.

The A-lister and director Christopher Nolan delighted fans when they made a surprise drop into Comic-Con, specifically Hall H.

The pair spoke on stage during the Paramount Studios presentation in the exhibit hall at the San Diego Convention Center and showed a new trailer for their film “Interstellar,” according to a report from TIME, as well as snapshots from Getty Images.

“By far, this is the most ambitious film that Christopher Nolan has ever directed,” said McCoughnahey.
“Interstellar” hits theaters on November 7 and also stars Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastaine.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Costumes of Comic-Con]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:08:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Costumes-Comic-Con-45267843.jpg Comic-Con wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for the fervent fans in outrageous and elaborate costumes and makeup. Here are some snapshots from the convention floor of those incredible costumes at 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Freeman, Fallon Talk on Helium ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:00:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452624042.jpg

Morgan Freeman dished on his science show while sucking helium out of balloons with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.”

But first, Fallon showed Freeman a viral clip of comedian Frank Caliendo reading a letter written by LeBron James published in Sports Illustrated announcing his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Caliendo delivers the basketball players words with a spot-on impression of 77-year-old’s trademark voice.

“You know you’ve arrived when people start doing impressions of your voice,“ Freeman said. “That’s brilliant.”

Finally, Freeman and Fallon talked about the “Lucy” star’s science show “Through the Wormhole” while sucking helium from balloons to the audience’s delight.

“I really shouldn’t be doing this,” Morgan joked. “It’s very undignified.”

The distinguished actor also spoke on helium in a segment on his show.

Watch the two talk on helium in the video above, or here if you are viewing on mobile. 

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon Hashtags: #MyWorstBirthday]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 03:12:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/886785-001.jpg Jimmy Fallon reveals Twitter responses to #MyWorstBirthday on "The Tonight Show."]]> <![CDATA[Meyers Talks "Late Night" Writers' Hijinks]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:42:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2014-07-25+at+2.49.48+AM.png Seth Meyers explains that "Late Night" writers have been causing trouble in 30 Rock.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers Rails Against Trees on "Late Night"]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:36:08 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trees.png In a "controversial" segment, Seth Meyers reveals his anger about trees that wasn't able to be broadcasted or edited.]]> <![CDATA[Freeman Chats With Fallon While Sucking Helium]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:33:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452624058.jpg Actor Morgan Freeman talks while sucking helium out of a balloon with Jimmy Fallon on "The Tonight Show."]]> <![CDATA[Meyers Reveals New "Fredex" Package]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:30:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Fredex-hoodie.jpg For his segment "Fredex," Seth Meyers explains that "Late Night" sent a box of props to Fred Armisen who is in Portland filming the next season of "Portlandia." Meyers reveals a video of Armisen improvising a new character out of the random assortment of objects.]]> <![CDATA[ Comic-Con: Friday's Hot Happenings]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:17:53 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/gameofthrones14_157.jpg

The second day of the annual gathering of pop culture aficionados takes a small screen turn as blockbuster series "Game of Thrones" and "The Walking Dead" hit Comic-Con on July 25.

Also on offer are tips and tricks for Cosplay beginners, a look at Batman in the '80s and '90s (the Dark Knight turns 75 this year), how to create "Star Wars" origami, the latest from 20th Century Fox, a chat with the cast of "Orphan Black" and the world premiere of "Batman: Assault on Arkham."

Check back throughout the convention for updates on what's happening, the hot news and all the latest celebrity pics coming out of San Diego.

And don't forget to download the official NBC Comic-Con 2014 App to optimize your fan experience.

Here's what we're excited for on Friday:

"Star Wars" Origami

Origami master folder Chris Alexander (author of "Star Wars Origami") is back at Comic-Con and ready to impart his master folding techniques so that you too can create "Star Wars" origami figures. Attendees will fold an exclusive convention model along with other art from a galaxy far, far away. Materials included. 10:00 a.m. Room 7AB

AMC's "The Walking Dead"

Get your undead on with this highly-anticipated panel featuring series stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman, and Michael Cudlitz, along with showrunner Scott Gimple and special effects makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero. They'll discuss the season 4 finale shocker and what to expect when season 5 stumbles in looking for live victims come fall. 12:20 p.m. Hall H

Batman in the '80s and '90s

2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman and Comic-Con is celebrating with numerous panels and events dedicated to the Dark Knight. Panelists Chuck Dixon (writer, "Batman," "Airboy"), Kelley Jones (artist, "Batman," "Deadman"), Graham Nolan (artist, "Detective Comics," "The Phantom," "Joe Frankenstein"), and Brian Stelfreeze (artist, "Shadow of the Bat," "Daymen") will reveal how they kept Bruce Wayne and his bat alter ego going strong through the '80s and '90s. 12:30 p.m. Room 5AB

Cosplaying 101: Costuming for Beginners 

Catherine M. Fisher (award-winning costumer), Mike Schiffbauer (master prop maker and costumer), and Bob Mogg (Steampunk expert) will talk the basics of costuming and impart tips and tricks to help those new to cosplaying get started. 1:00 p.m. Room 29A

The Future of Geek

Has geek peaked? Industry-watchers Heidi MacDonald (The Beat), Rob Salkowitz ("Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture"), and Tim Beyers (Motley Fool) discuss the convention, movies, and publishing money trail and look foward to where it may lead fandom business in the coming years. 1:00 p.m. Room 28DE

"Game of Thrones" Panel and Q&A

Westeros comes to Southern California. HBO's most-watched series "Game of Thrones" battles into Hall H for a panel featuring stars Gwendoline Christie, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, Rory McCann, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams. Serious fans will join the queue early for this event. 1:40 p.m. Hall H

20th Century Fox Presentation

Fox is showcasing a slew of new pics at their annual SDCC panel: "The Maze Runner," "Let’s Be Cops" with Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., the animated "The Book of Life" from producer Guillermo del Toro and starring Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana and Ron Perlman, "Kingsman: The Secret Service" with Colin Firth and directed by Matthew Vaughn, and "Hitman: Agent 47" starring Zachary Quinto. 4:20 p.m. Hall H

"Orphan Black"

BBC America's award-winning original series returns to Comic-Con with stars Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, Dylan Bruce, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristian Bruun and Ari Millen in tow. They'll be discussing the addictive thriller's second season - which just landed on DVD and download platforms. 6:00 p.m. Room 6A

World Premiere of "Batman: Assault on Arkham"

The next entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe original movies is based on the bestselling "Batman: Arkham" video game series. To save Gotham the government assembles a group of villains and forces them to break into Arkham Asylum to retrieve top-secret information stolen by the Riddler. But it's the Joker who gets sprung and plans to use a dirty bomb to blow up Arkham Asylum and the city. Batman must use all his detecting powers and brawn to thwart the Joker and his cohorts. "Batman: Assault on Arkham" will be available on Digital HD on July 29 and as a Blu-ray Combo Pack on August 12. 7:00 p.m. Ballroom 20

Photo Credit: HBO]]>
<![CDATA[Stars of Comic-Con 2014]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:58:59 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/edtAP341012781383.jpg Check out all the hottest celebrities attending Comic-Con 2014 in San Diego.

Photo Credit: Richard Shotwell /Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron's Letter Read in Morgan Freeman's Voice]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:55:42 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lebron+freeman.jpg

ESPN hosts of "Mike & Mike" couldn't stifle their bursts of laughter when LeBron James's letter from Sports Illustrated was read aloud in a spot-on impression of Morgan Freeman's "Shawshank Redemption" voice.

Frank Caliendo, a comedian and impressionist, read James' letter about his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers aloud on Thursday's broadcast of "Mike & Mike," in a low, breathy, and slow voice that was instantly recognizable as a parody of Freeman's.

Both hosts, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, had their hands over their eyes and mouths to soften their laughter — and snorting — over the comedian's on-point performance.

Watch the video above, or if you're on a mobile device, watch it here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: McDonald Sings More Yahoo! Answers]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:41:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Ice-Stuck.png

Once again, Tony Award-winning singer Audra McDonald sang replies to real Yahoo! Questions on Wednesday’s "The Tonight Show."

Jimmy Fallon and actor Josh Charles read the questions, while McDonald soulfully sang the funny replies.

“How can I be the life of the party?” Fallon asked while pretending to play the piano.

“Learn how to juggle, everyone loves a juggler,” McDonald sang in response.

McDonald also sang answers on “The Tonight Show” back in March.

Hear McDonald sing the hilarious responses in the video above.

<![CDATA[Meyers' Wife Made Him Put Stuff in Storage]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:36:13 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Meyers-Get-Rid-if.png On "Late Night," Seth Meyers shows stuff his wife made him put in storage after their recent move.]]> <![CDATA[Meyers: Birthday Wishes, Messages to Neighbor]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:42:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/birthday.png Seth Meyers wishes Twitter users happy birthdays while sending stern messages to his neighbors.]]> <![CDATA[Fallon: Audra McDonald Sings Yahoo! Answers]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:30:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/Audra-McDonald.png Tony Award-winning singer Audra McDonald sings replies to real Yahoo! Questions on "The Tonight Show."]]> <![CDATA[Comic-Con: Thursday's Big Events]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:08:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/thunderbird-1.jpeg

Following Wednesday evening's brief preview, Comic-Con makes the jump to light speed Thursday when the first full day of events kicks-off in San Diego.

A celebration of what's hot in comic books, film, TV, video games, costumes and collectibles, the four-day festival is expected to attract more than 130,000 fans to the San Diego convention center and environs.

Fan-boys and -girls will flock to the big events - especially the cast reveals and sneak peeks of highly-aniticipated blockbuster movies. This year's titles lighting up the pop cutlure radar include "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Antman," Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" and the final installment of the latest Tolkien-based trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

NEWS Happy 75th Birthday Batman: The Enduring Appeal of the Dark Knight

TV series loyalists can get their fill of "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead," "Orphan Black," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Gotham," the Batman-based police procedural from Fox that will debut in the fall.

Check back throughout the convention for updates on what's happening, the hot news and all the latest celebrity pics.

And don't forget to download the official NBC Comic-Con 2014 App to optimize your fan experience.

Here's what we're excited for on Thursday July 24:

Spotlight on Bill Finger, the Co-Creator of Batman

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the movie "Batman" and the 75th anniversary of character's debut. And Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader's co-creator, would have turned 100 this year. At this special panel, Finger's living descendants Athena Finger ("The Cape Creator: A Tribute to Bill Finger") and her son Benjamin will celebrate his life and achievements. Others on the panel include Bob Kane's biographer Tom Andrae ("Batman and Me"), actress Lee Meriwether ("Batman: The Movie's" Catwoman), author Marc Tyler Nobleman ("Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman") and executive producer Michael Uslan ("Batman," "The Dark Knight film trilogy"). 11:30 a.m. Room 4

USA Network Teases "DIG"

USA's newest series "DIG" will make its debut at Comic-Con. The show follows an FBI agent stationed in Jerusalem, who, while investigating a murder, uncovers a global conspiracy 2,000 years in the making. Series stars, Jason Isaacs ("Harry Potter"), David Costabile ("Breaking Bad") and Alison Sudol ("A Fine Frenzy" will discuss the series' concepts and attendees will be treated to an exclusive preview before "DIG" premieres in the fall. 11:30 a.m. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

NEWS Secrets Behind Comic-Con's Exclusive Toys Revealed

Charles Schulz and Social Commentary in Peanuts

Through the gentle humor and slapstick antics of the "Peanuts" gang, creator Charles Schulz quietly offered up a look at the social and political climate of the changing world around him. This presentation by Corry Kanzenberg (curator, Charles M. Schulz Museum) explores the intersection of "Peanuts" and the topical world, and is followed by a Q & A panel featuring Seth Green ("Robot Chicken," "Family Guy") and Art Roche (content director, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates). 12:00 p.m. Room 25ABC

NASA's Next Giant Leap

The 45th annual Comic-Con coincides with the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, and to celebrate NASA is making its first official appearance at the San Diego fest. "NASA's Next Giant Leap" will be moderated by actor Seth Green with a panel featuring Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, current NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green, and JPL systems engineer Bobak Ferdowsi ("Mohawk Guy" from the Curiosity rover landing). They'll be discussing NASA's plans to send humans deeper into the solar system than ever before, and the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket, which will carry humans to Mars. 3:00 p.m. Room 6A

DC Comics: Batman 75: Legends of the Dark Knight

Batman has become one of the most enduring characters in popular culture. To celebrate the Dark Knight's 75th anniversary, legendary Batman creators Neal Adams, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Denny O'Neil, and Scott Snyder will man this historic panel to discuss the great detective's legacy. 3:30 p.m. Room 6BCF

Comic-Con 2014: What We're Geeking Out Over

"Thunderbirds" at 50

5, 4, 3, 2 ... 1 - Thunderbirds are go. The beloved British series featuring marionettes and incredible rescue craft that fueled the imaginations of kids of all ages in the 1960s gets the Comic-Con treatment 50 years since it first debuted. Originally created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, "Thunderbirds" is currently being given a CGI reboot by ITV and will return to screen in 2015 as "Thunderbirds Are Go."  Creators and producers of the new series will discuss the importance of heritage programming and what's next for the Tracy family and their heroic rescues. 4:30 p.m. Room 8

"Hannibal": Embrace the Madness

The creative minds behind the award-winning NBC TV series "Hannibal" are getting together. What's on the menu? Season 3 dish and what goes on behind-the-scenes. Panel speakers include executive producer/creator Bryan Fuller and stars Caroline Dhavernas (Dr. Alana Bloom), Scott Thompson, and Aaron Abrams (Special Agents Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller). 4:45 p.m. Ballroom 20

The Heroes of "Star Wars Rebels"

This new animated series explores the 20-year stretch of "Star Wars" history between Episodes III and IV, and it's a dark time in the galaxy. "Star Wars Rebels" executive producers Dave Filoni and Simon Kinberg as well as series stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Tiya Sircar, and Taylor Gray will offer up a preview of this highly-anticipated series coming to Disney XD in the fall. 6:00 p.m. Room 6BCF

"Sharknado 2: The Second One"

A Sharknado is about to hit the Big Apple! "Sharknado 2: The Second One" stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Kari Wuhrer, and Judah Friedlander and director Anthony C. Ferrante discuss the sequel to the SyFy TV movie that became a social media phenom in 2013. 7:15 p.m. Room 6BCF

Photo Credit: ITV]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Johnson, Fallon "Hustle to Get the Muscle"]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:50:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452537218.jpg

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jimmy Fallon hilariously pretended to be an unsuccessful TV fitness duo on Tuesday’s episode of “The Tonight Show.”

Before the two began their workout, Fallon talked about a 1996 photo that the “Hercules” star posted on Instagram. The two proceeded to poke fun at his dated attire in the picture.

“You basically broke the internet with a throwback photo from 1996,” Fallon joked. “I want to talk about the chain around the turtleneck, the Fanny pack and the rag under your elbow, so you don’t get any dust on your turtleneck sleeve.”

“That’s a Tag watch, a fake tag, but I’m owning it,” Johnson said.

Then, Fallon presented Johnson with an action figure of version of the Instagram picture. You can see the action figure in the video below.

Finally, Johnson and Fallon pretended to be a semi-famous fitness duo from the 1980s in a series of vintage workout videos.

As “The Fungo Brothers,” the two used a thigh-strengthening device, performed the dance move “The Twist,” and used Shake Weights. The two also repeated their catchphrase: "You've got to hustle to get the muscle."

Watch the hilarious skit above and below.

Photo Credit: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank]]>
<![CDATA[Meyers Reveals Live New Yorker Cartoons]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:48:16 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/New-Yorker-Cartoons.png While New Yorker editor David Remnick stopped by "Late Night," Meyers used the opportunity to recreate some of the publication's cartoons live.]]> <![CDATA[Johnson Receives Action Figure From Jimmy Fallon]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:45:10 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452537196.jpg Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson receives an action figure version of an unflattering Instagram throwback picture that trended on social media. Johnson also tells Jimmy Fallon about his new movie "Hercules."]]> <![CDATA[Johnson, Fallon Reveal Workout Videos ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:53:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/452537256.jpg Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jimmy Fallon show fake clips of a semi-famous fitness duo called, "The Fungo Brothers." Part 2 of 2.]]> <![CDATA[Johnson, Fallon Reveal Workout Videos ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:53:38 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/452537254.jpg Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jimmy Fallon show fake clips of a semi-famous fitness duo called, "The Fungo Brothers." Part 1 of 2.]]> <![CDATA[Happy Birthday Batman: the Dark Knight Turns 75]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:21:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GalleryComics_1900x900_20140716_BM_75YEARS_538d08b108efe7.84144989.jpg

Caped Crusader, World's Greatest Detective and Dark Knight. Just three of the titles bestowed upon Batman in the 75 years since he first appeared in the story, "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate," published in DC Comics' "Detective Comics" #27.

Since then, the crusader in the bat-eared cowl has been reimagined countless times. Not only on the pages of comic books but on television (live-action and animated), in feature films (big screen outings combined have earned more than $3.5 billion at the global box office), in graphic novels, as the star of video games, in fan fiction and as countless toys (including Lego). He's been the inspiration for tattoos and fashion; Batman even influences beards and mustaches.

To honor the 1939 creation of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, DC has declared July 23 to be Batman Day. (And they're celebrating by slashing the price of 750 digital Batman titles to $.99 each for one week only beginning July 22.)

"He's a major part of all of our lives here. Arguably the most popular superhero in the world," says DC Entertainment co-publisher and comic book creator Jim Lee, who notes that the largest family within the DC lineup is the Batman family of books. "There is a humongous appetite for anything Batman-related"

WATCH: First Trailer for New Batman Series "Gotham" Released

Over the decades, fans of millionaire Bruce Wayne and his bat alter-ego have flocked to newsstands, comic conventions, TV screens and theaters to pay homage to the character that has transcended decades and genres.

"Batman has probably the most affecting, primal origin story of any superhero," says Michael E. Uslan, executive producer of every big screen Batman adaption since 1989 "Batman" directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton in the title role. "His origin story is that of a kid who sees his parents murdered before his own eyes in the street and at that moment makes a decision – in the belief that one person can make a difference in the world – to get the guy who did this. And to get all the bad guys, even if he has to walk through hell for the rest of his life to accomplish it.

"That’s a story that transcends age, demographics, borders and cultures," continues Uslan, who is also executive producing the Caped Crusader's next film installment, "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," scheduled to hit theaters in 2016. "And I think that is an essential reason Batman works all around the world."


He's also one of the most relatable superheroes ever created.

"Batman not having superpowers is part of the appeal, but in my mind it’s not the fact that he doesn’t have the powers, it’s the fact that we can all relate to not being the strongest one in the room," says Lee, who has penned and overseen various incarnations of the character during his career at DC. "It’s the fact that he is the underdog – whether he is in the Justice League or taking on a villain with super powers, he’s just like you or me and has to rely on his training to get him through. That really makes him such an inspiration. He is the ultimate underdog who more often than not prevails."

Multiple access points to the franchise has fed fascination for the character and allows fans to experience numerous storylines across varied platforms. Today, the majority of new fans come to the comic books after seeing one of the movies, the animated TV series, or played one of the hit "Batman: Arkham" video games.

NEWS Comic-Con: What We're Geeking Out Over

Rather than dilute the franchise, Lee believes such broad exposure on multiple platforms only strengthens the individual iterations and leads to greater creativity. "When you look at the huge marketing budgets behind these blockbuster movies and video games, you see their ability to reach millions of potential readers all over the world." True to his over-riding passion, though, Lee still takes pride in the fact that "comics still remain the source material for so many of these great adaptations and media representation of the character."

Even artists entrusted to expand the Batman mythos in comic form have arrived at Wayne Manor via portals such as the campy 1960's live-action TV series starring Adam West. 

It was that incarnation first encountered by artist Graham Nolan, who drew Batman for DC in the early '90s and created the look of the now-iconic villain Bane. "That was my first introduction to the world of comics and I always loved Batman, primarily because of that TV show," says Nolan.

Nolan admits there is pleasure in being associated with a character that goes back 75 years, but says he never set out to create a hugely popular villain. Bane first appeared in "Batman: Vengeance of Bane" #1 (January 1993) and "for some reason the character resonated. It hit all the right buttons at the right time. Bane's involvement in the big storyline endeared him to a lot of fans and he fit perfectly into the rogues' gallery of villains." 

PHOTOS Batman Through the Years

And while Batman's humanity and quest for justice are constant audience touchstones, it's the villains that never fail to shock, delight, horrify, and most importantly perhaps, continue to draw audiences in to the detective's dark world.

"I subscribe to [Marvel Comics guru] Stan Lee's theory of supervillains," says Uslan. "Stan says the greatest superheroes, the most long lasting superheroes, are the ones that have had the greatest supervillains. And Batman’s rogues' gallery of supervillains is the best. With the Joker inarguably being the best supervillain ever created."

Joining the jokester with the maniacal grin in this police lineup of Gotham City's baddest are the umbrella-wielding Penguin, Catwoman, ancient assassin Ra's Al Ghul, The Riddler, Poison Ivy, Bane, Two-Face, and the faceless Hush.


But enemies and age show no sign of slowing the Bat. From Frank Miller's seminal 1986 graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns" (which heavily influenced the live-action films of directors Burton and Chris Nolan that followed), to "Batman: The Animated Series" and through continuing comic-based adventures created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, it appears Batman is only hitting his stride.

In the fall, Fox is set to premiere "Gotham," a new origin series based around the auxiliary characters of the Batman universe. Based on the video games, "Batman: Assault on Arkham" is a new animated feature that will make its debut at Comic-Con on July 25 and be released digitally on July 29. A plethora of anthologies and merchandise marking his 75 years have been published, and "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" will land on the big screen in 2016.

While executive producer Uslan won't directly address any questions concerning the highly-anticipated big-budget film, he describes the accord between the titular characters in the DC universe as being "one of the strongest kind of buddy film relationships that you will find in the world of comics. ... The greatest partnership in the history of comics has been that of Batman and Superman. It goes back to World’s Fair Comics 1940 when they appeared together on the cover for the first time." 

DC's Lee hopes Batman hangs around for another 75 years, and personally wishes to return to drawing the character one day: "I’ve got some storylines I started that never quite got completely finished. Fortunately I have years hopefully ahead of me to tell those stories."

First it's celebration time at Comic-Con. Batman graces the cover of this year's souvenir program, and numerous panels are devoted to the Caped Crusader. Lee will sit in on a couple of discussions and describes from past experiences that a room full of Batman fans is always "very-charged," and likens making an appearance in one as being similar to a stand-up comic nailing every joke of the set. "They get every everything and laugh at every joke. They are there to want to have an awesome public display of their love of Batman."


Photo Credit: DC Comics - Scott Williams/Jim Lee]]>