'The Avengers' Movie

Sunday Mail, 8 May 1988, page unknown, Mel Gibson To Step Into Avengers Role, Unknown, Australia.

New York Daily News, 21 June 1994, page 20, Hollywood: 'Avengers' feature has strong ap-Peel, Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith, USA.
While producer Cubby Broccoli is gearing up to start his latest 007 epic with Pierce Brosnan as star, film maker Jerry Weintraub is prepping his big-screen version of "The Avengers" - and says, "It's the woman's role that's the choice role.  She'll be the James Bond of the movie."  Weintraub has sought for 10 years to find a winning way to translate the vintage series, in which Patrick Macnee played Mr. Steed and Diana Rigg served as Emma Peel, into a feature film.  "And it's finally worked - it's happening," says the producer.  "Sure there will still be a Mr. Steed, but it's the Emma Peel role that will be the standout.  It's the best woman's role that's come along in 25 years."  Weintraub says he expects to start his "Avengers" in February - unless he makes a Sylvester Stallone movie first.  Right now, he's supervising editing of the Stallone/Sharon Stone feature "The Specialist," and says that he and Sly are deciding between five scripts that might qualify as their follow up project.

Sunday Mail, 15 February 1996, page unknown, NICOLE, THE NEW AVENGER - Following in Emma Peel's Boot-Steps, a beauty from Oz, Angela Mollard & Alex Clarke, Australia.

Daily Mirror, 23 February 1996, page 17, Matthew Wright's Diary, Matthew Wright, England.  STEEDY EARNER, piece about Ralph Fiennes being signed up for the part as Steed.

Daily Mail, 15 March 1996, page unknown, Ralph Fiennes Is Set For £2m Avengers Lead Role, Baz Bamigboye, England.

Daily Mail, 29 November 1996, page unknown, Gwyneth will be the latest Avengers girl, Baz Bamigboye, England.

Daily Mail, 11 April 1997, pages 42,43, Connery cashes in as the baddie, Baz Bamigboye, England.

Soundtrack, June, pages unknown, title unknown, author unknown, USA. Article on Avengers movie soundtrack.

Daily Mail, 13 June 1997, page 35, To be an Avenger, you need a sense of Uma, no author, England.

Daily Mail, 14 June 1997, Avengers film drama, no author, England.
A SPECIAL effects explosion went out of control and started a major roof blaze on the set of the £40 million film version of The Avengers last night.  More than 60 firefighters tackled the fire at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.  No one was hurt and none of the film's stars, who include Uma Thurman as Emma Peel and Ralph Fiennes as John Steed, was on the set at the time.  Producer Jerry Weintraub said last night it was too early to say whether the fire would delay production of the film, due to be completed in September.  'It's a serious blow,' he said, 'but the Avengers always deal with everything.'

The Express, 14 June 1997, page 13, Avengers film fire, no author, England.
FILMING of the £40 million remake of The Avengers was disrupted last night when sparks from a special effects explosion set the studio alight.  Scores of firefighters fought the fire in the 60 metre high roof of E stage at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.  The movie stars Uma Thurman as Emma Peel and Ralph Fiennes as John Steed, but none of the cast was present.  Fire officers complained that the studio had failed to tell them that a controlled explosion has been planned.

The Guardian, 14 June 1997,page 4, Two injured in fire on Pinewood set, Vivek Chaudhary, England.

The Independent, 14 June 1997, page 4, 'Avengers' film set in flames as explosion goes wrong, Clare Garner, England.

The Sun, 14 June 1997, page 11, Avengers Stunt Razes Film Set, Ally Ross and Thomas Whitaker, England.
The Avengers movie was thrown into chaos last night when a stunt explosion sparked an inferno - destroying a £1million set.  Flames leapt hundreds of feet into the air as six fire crews fought the blaze.  It was caused when a special effects bombing set the roof alight at Pinewood studios, Bucks.  The set was built to resemble an underground car park for the film of the classic Sixties TV series.  Producer Jerry Weintraub said: "Fortunately no actors were there."  An Avengers movie worker said: "Thank God no one was killed."  Shooting started only this week for the £40million film, which stars Uma Thurman as Emma Peel and Ralph Fiennes as John Steed.  A fireman was hurt.  It took TWO people to write that??

Time, 30 June 1997, page 68, Spies Like Them, Again, no author, England.  Small preview piece.

Daily Mail, 30 June 1997, page unknown, You, sir, have just been Avengered, no author, England.

Daily Telegraph, 30 June 1997, page 7, Steed returns with trusty umbrella in true British fashion, Simon Midgley, England.

OK!, 11 July 1997, pages 1 (small pic) and 1 unknown, Ralph Fiennes: English Patient Star Turns Avenger, no author, England.  Behind the scenes of the 'Steed training session' sequence.  Bowler, brolly and brogues in place, Ralph Fiennes proves that John Steed has not lost the knack of despatching villains in style.  Taking on the role made famous by Patrick MacNee, Fiennes will play opposite Uma Thurman's cat-suited Emma Peel - she beat Liz Hurley and Sharon Stone to the part - in a movie version of The Avengers, currently being fimled in Hambleden, Bucks.  These shots suggest the action will be laced with plenty of comedy - Fiennes is seen here fending off a deadly milkman among others.

Evening Standard, 20 July 1996, pages unknown, How Uma T Grew Up To Be Emma P, Tamasin Doe, England.

OK, 27 June 1997, page 8, Avengers for the nineties, no author, England.  Behind the scenes preview pics.

Radio Times, 19-25 July 1997, page 12, People, no author, England.  Small gossip piece: Hasn't Come Dancing changed since they abolished the strict dress code?  Quick, quick... it's Ralph Fiennes as John Steed, filming a fight scene for the movie version of The Avengers

Manchester Metro News: Trafford Edition, 17 October 1997, pages 1,2,  Meet Kelly, the girl who really fights like Emma Peel, author unknown, England.  Interview with stunt woman.

Space Trek Special, 1998, pages 10 and 11, The Avengers, Some doofus, England. NOTE: I've transcribed this as it's the most (unintentionally) funny piece on the film you'll ever read.

Cult Times Special, Summer 1998, pages 40-45, Fashion Victims, Cleaver Patterson, England. Also features an episode guide for the real Avengers on pages 46 to 51, but I think we've all seen one of those before.

Starburst issue 239, July 1998, pages 26-29, The Newest Avengers, Judy Sloane. Jerry Weintraub interview.

Starlog issue 252, July 1998, pages 35-37 and fold-out The Art of The Avengers supplement, Future Designs, Joe Nazzaro, USA. Interview with illustrator Sylvain Despretz.

Cinefantastique, August 1998, pages 32-34,37,38,40, The Avengers - Patrick Macnee recalls his long association with the series and discusses the latest feature, James Murray, USA. NOTE - Some editions of this issue feature 'The Avengers' on the cover, others feature 'Virus'.

Cinefantastique, August 1998, page 35, Ralph Fiennes - The English Patient dons John Steed's bowler hat, Fred Szebin, USA.

Cinefantastique, August 1998, page36, Sean Connery - The former 007 as the cold-hearted Alex de Wynter, Fred Szebin, USA.

Cinefantastique, August 1998, page 39, Uma Thurman - Filling Mrs. Peel's leather suits, Fred Szebin, USA.

Cinefantastique, August 1998, page 41, Eddie Izzard - Cult comic plays Connery's bodyguard, Alan Jones, USA.

Flicks issue 11, August 1998, cover and pages 22-25, Revenge Is Sweet, England.

SFX issue 41, August 1998, pages 62-66, Jerry Spies, Chuck Wagner, England. Jerry Weintraub interview.

Starlog issue 253, August 1998, pages 45-48, Agents in Wonderland, Will Murray, USA. Don MacPherson interview.

X-Posť issue 25, August 1998, pages 44-47, Avenging Again, Alan Jones, England. Jerry Weintraub interview.

The Sunday Mirror Personal Magazine, 2 August 1998, pages 1,10,11,12,14,15, no title, Dave Rogers, England.  Re-drafted excerpts from The Avengers: The Making of the Movie.

Daily Mirror, 8 August 1998, pages 12 and 13, The Master Avenger, Kevin O'Sullivan, England. Patrick Macnee interview. NOTE - this article is about both 'The Avengers' film AND the real Avengers and is thus listed here and in the 90s listing.

The Times Magazine, 8 August 1998, pages 1,16-21, The Kick Inside, Robin Eggar, England.  Uma Thurman interview.

The Times Magazine, 8 August 1998, pages 62-67, New Avengers, fashion direction by Heath Brown, England.  Fashion spread of 'Avengers'-influenced fashion.

The Guardian, 11 August 1998, page 5, Avengers hype bypasses critics, Janine Gibson, England.

Daily Mirror, 14 August 1998, page 17, Film Fans Slam New Avengers, Alex Richardson, England. "The Avengers - the film that critics weren't allowed to see - was panned by the audience at a preview screening last night. Fans leaving the cinema were unimpressed after watching the 90 minute big screen version of the cult 60s TV series, released worldwide today. It stars Ralph Fiennes as stiff upper-lipped John Steed and Uma Thurman as his side-kick Emma Peel, fighting mad scientist Sean Connery's bid to hold the world to ransom by controlling the weather. Meg Leitch said: "It was dire. The dialogue was stilted. It was such a waste of talent. Sean Connery was just hammy." Friend Vivien Korn said: "There were a few funny lines but they can't replicate the TV series. It makes you realise how good the Bond films are in comparison." But tourist Ulrike Nau, 26, of Hamburg, said: "I really enjoyed it."

Daily Mirror, 14 August 1998, The A-List Supplement, Cover and page 3, A Sense of Uma, Richard Wallace, England.

The Independent, 14 August 1998, page 10, Latest incarnations of Steed and Peel are dead on arrival, Ryan Gilbey, England. 'Review'.

The Manchester Evening News Go Section, 14 August 1998, pages 1,8, Sex A-Peel, Kevin Bourke, England.  Uma Thurman interview.

Daily Mirror, 15 August 1998, page 23, Why critics want Avengers revenge, Richard Wallace, England. Review / Theory about critical mauling.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Living Section, page 1, Uma's Emma, 'Avengers' slip on a Peel, Steve Murray, USA.  Film review.

USA Today, 17 August 1998, page unknown, This film's viewers must be avenged, Mike Clark, USA.  Film review.

The Guardian Media Section, 21 August 1998, page 5, Putting the kinky boot in, Nick Paton Walsh, England.  Post-release re-actions to the film.

Manchester Evening News, 21 August 1998, page 16, Double life of secret Avenger, Edward Swinden, England.  Interview with stunt-woman.

The Guardian G2, 24 August 1998, page unknown, The ScAvengers: Comic Strip, David Shenton, England.  This strip also appeared on the 25th, 26th and 27th, and is reprinted at The Avengers Illustrated.

Newsweek, 24 August 1998, page 59, Champagne That's Lost Its Fizz, David Ansen, USA.  Film review.

Time, 24 August 1998, page 74, Steed on a Banana Peel, R.C., USA.  Film review.

Empire, September 1998, pages 78-84, 86, The Mod Couple, Ian Nathan, England.

Femme Fatales, September 1998, pages 16-19, Uma Thurman Emma Peel, Frederick C. Szebin, USA. NOTE - Other articles in this magazine discussed the real Avengers and these will be noted in the '90s' section.

Film Review, September 1998, pages 46,47,48, Wynter Kills, author unknown, England.  Sean Connery interview.

Film Review, September 1998, pages 30,31, Picture Paradise, Alan Jones, England.  Eddie Izzard interview.

Neon, September 1998, page 80, Q&A: Uma Thurman, author unknown, England.

Sci-Fi Teen issue 2, September 1998, cover, pages 34-37, 54, and fold-out poster, The Avengers Arrive, Bill Warren, USA.

Starburst issue 241, September 1998, pages 40-45, Agents Extraordinary, Alan Jones, England.

Starlog issue 254, September 1998, cover, pages 31-34 and fold-out poster, Lady Avenger, Ian Spelling, USA. Uma Thurman interview.

Total Film issue 20, September 1998, pages 55-57, Such a very English affair..., David Gritten, England.

Xposť #26, September 1998, pages 1,34-36, Special Agents, Paul Spragg, England.

Dreamwatch #50, October 1998, pages 28-30, Second Class, Anthony C. Ferrante, England.  'The Avengers' director and screenwriter explain what went wrong.

Dreamwatch #50, October 1998, page 68, The Avengers, Alistair McGown, Scotland.  Film review.

Sci-Fi Universe, Vol. 4 #6, October 1998, pages 34-39,77, Avengers Assemble, Dr. Craig Reid, USA.

Sight and Sound, October 1998, pages 38,39, The Avengers, Kim Newman, England.  Film review.

New Straits Times, February 29, 2000, Comedies for the Children, R.S. Murthi, Malaysia.
THE AVENGERS
(US, 1998, DVD, 31 chapters)
Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery
Running time: 89 minutes
Rating: (OK for kids)

AMAZING that even its US$60 million budget fails to make this big-screen adaptation of the intriguingly capricious 1961 British TV spy series come alive.

It may have to do with the fact that many older viewers who grew up with the original TV series starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg won't be able to identify with Ralph Fiennes' and Uma Thurman's stiff John Steed and posturing Emma Peel respectively.

But the main fault lies in the plot itself - about the agents' efforts to thwart the plans of a supervillain (Sean Connery) who threatens to wreak weather havoc in Britain. It just doesn't cut it.

Oh yes, the special effects are great but somehow it all just doesn't gel.  Skip this one, or if you're into audio effects, rent the DVD only for that as well as maybe extra features like a behind-the-scenes look and clips from The Avengers TV series.

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