Conceptual artist Phil Saunders, who helped design The Avengers in terms of its conceptual design, recently released some unused art that had been designed for the film that didn’t make the cut. Despite not being included in the film, the unused conceptual art for Iron Man’s suits, the Helicarrier, and aliens are definitely worth checking out.

Included in the recently released concept art, Saunders revealed three different designs for Iron Man’s suit in The Avengers. Phil’s explanation for why Marvel went with the design that ended up in the film is interesting. He says, “Below are the initial 3 sketches I did early on before we knew what the Mk 7 should be. The first was actually a revision of a design I had been thinking of initially for Iron Man 2 before ultimately choosing another project. It was a lighter, more streamlined version of what had come before, trying to integrate a flowing theme wrapping around the ‘RT’ on the chest and mirroring that fast line through the body. This was more of the evolutionary design, and ultimately was approved pretty much immediately as a starting point for the Mk 7.”

Alternate Iron Man suits for ‘The Avengers’

“The next design was playing around with the stance of the suit toward more of a brawler attitude, somewhat beefier and less aircraft-like.” – Phil Saunders

“Lastly was a more extreme departure, trying to create a very different silhouette, sort of the Stark Industries answer to a more heavily militarized suit like War Machine, but drawing from Air Force form language instead of Army.” – Phil Saunders

“The function of the suit in the script lead to the idea of having a more armored suit that over the course of battle would shed its ammo packs and additional armor.” Going on to use some of the styling elements from the first and third concepts, which were then integrated into the new design.” – Phil Saunders

“The final design would incorporate a thruster backpack for the pivotal final battle, which wrapped around the “lats” and “serratus” areas under the arm to form flush mounted adjustable intake vanes.” – Phil Saunders

Alternate Helicarrier concept art

“Before working on the Mk 7 suit with the Visual Development team, I was initially brought into the Art Department to work on the Helicarrier. While ultimately the Production Designer James Chinlund’s direction was pursued by Nathan Schroeder to the version you see on screen, I was tasked with providing some alternative approaches. Below is a sampling of some initial sketches pursuing a combination of naval and stealth-inspired forms. In a more radical departure from the concept of ‘Heli-‘ carrier I was exploring some form of vertical jet engine clusters to lift the massive hull rather than the traditional ducted fans.” – Phil Saunders

Alternate Alien concept art

Saunders also did some work with the Ch’tauri (Aliens) in The Avengers, although the final work was developed by Ryan Meinerding. He had this to say about his work on the alien concepts: “I had a brief stint working on the Ch’tauri (though they weren’t called that at the time) while in the Visual Development department. I took a couple of passes of refining Justin Sweet’s original designs and attempting to define the look of the armor & weapons and how they might integrate into the creature. Ultimately Ryan Meinerding developed the final look in Z-Brush.”

“I imagined the helmet as being a little deceiving, so that ultimately when the mask was ripped off you would find that the creature had air holes in the place of eyes.”

Alternate Quinjet concept art

The next thing that Saunders worked on was the Quinjet. Saunders says, “The initial mandate was a craft that could carry the team plus pilots, travel at hypersonic speeds and take off and land vertically on a carrier deck or in the middle of Times Square. It needed to have windows in the roof (to see Thor land on it in flight) and a ramp opening in the back for loading.”

“My first ideas never went past the rough sketch form as Jos Whedon considered them too sci-fi.”

It’s pretty astonishing to see how these designs originate and where they end up going until they eventually arrive on set of what ended up being the biggest film of 2012. If you’d like to check out more of Phil Saunders’ work, be sure to check out his official website.

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

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Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

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Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?