If you’ve made use of the internet in the past week, then you may very well be aware of a recent personnel change-up on the set of the gestating Han Solo spinoff film. Original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are out, Ron Howard’s in, but as with most showbiz behind-the-scenes drama, the details have been kept under wraps. That is, until The Hollywood Reporter ran an illuminating new item this morning, getting the dish on what really drove the two filmmakers away from this project. The catch-all code word of “creative differences” does not even come close to doing justice to the antipathy between the Lord-Miller brain trust and Lucasfilm.
Denis Villeneuve’s getting ready to tie a ribbon on Blade Runner 2049. The French filmmaker behind Arrival told Entertainment Weekly that “we are running towards the finishing line right now” on the production due for release October 6, and added that “we are elated. It feels like Christmas as we look at the completed shots.” But directors of generously budgeted studio projects have to say that, nonspecific positivity is pretty much written right into their contracts. Footage, however, cannot lie, and so it’s enticing news indeed that Villeneuve’s little exclusive with EW comes packaged with a new featurette including fresh frames from the hotly anticipated sequel.
The people cannot get enough Batman. He’s everywhere: he fought Superman, now he’s in the Justice League, soon he’ll return to another solo movie, and he ended up back in the news due to Adam West’s passing — we’re living in the Batman-est of all possible worlds. And those Batmaniacs clamoring for more time with the Caped Crusader before he returns in Justice League on November 17 are in luck, because Bruce Wayne and a couple familiar friends will storm nationwide theaters for a special one-night engagement this summer.
Today marks the one-year mark until we get the sequel to the 2015 box-office-crusher Jurassic World, and Universal wanted to do something special to commemorate the occasion. Now look down at that glass of water you've got close at hand. Tiny ripples in the center, a distant thunderous thudding in the distance. New information is close at hand.
In a few short weeks, the general public will get to lay eyes on Edgar Wright’s latest film Baby Driver, which, as has been made clear multiple times elsewhere on this very web site, is absurdly good. Like, unaccountably good. How is the movie so good? Explain yourself, Wright! While he has not yet owned up to whatever dark sorcery made his new film such a blast, Wright has been discussing plenty of other matters as he’s made the rounds on the interview circuit in support of Baby Driver. And the folks at Movie Web wanted the answer to one question in specific: where’s the man stand on sequels?
The fate of Hellboy has long been trapped in development hell, boy. Franchise director Guillermo Del Toro and star Ron Perlman were both interested in another installment, but legal complications made that tricky, then there was scheduling stuff, then the studio was being uncooperative, you name it. Del Toro said it was definitely gonna happen, then that it wouldn’t happen, then that it might happen, then that it probably wouldn’t but hey you never know, then that yes, there absolutely 100% will not be a Hellboy 3. And he’s holding true to those final words, because there won’t be a third chapter of his Hellboy franchise — as the new one’s gonna be a [deep breath] reboot.
Pronouns — terrifying, right? At least when they don’t have antecedents, that is. There’s suspense baked right into the title of It Comes At Night, the upcoming feature from Trey Edward Shults, director of last year’s self-assured debut Krisha. So what is the ‘it,’ and why is it coming at night? The attendees of the Overlook Film Festival are keeping mum, having gotten the first glimpse at the film this past weekend when it popped up as the festival’s secret surprise screening. They offered rapturous but spoiler-free praise, but luckily for the rest of us, a new trailer and poster have surfaced to shed a little light on what’s going on while simultaneously compounding the mystery.
If I learned anything about Abu Dhabi from watching the entirety of Sex and the City 2 while sitting in a tattoo parlor waiting room (which actually happened and is not a joke), it’s that the United Arab Emirates city is a mecca of wealth. The oil-rich nation has concentrated much of its affluence in its capital, and accordingly, the area has exploded with development in recent years. Skyscrapers have cropped up like so many dandelions, massive tourist resorts now dot the coastline, and high-end boutique shopping caters to such fashionable visitors as Carrie Bradshaw and her pals. And while Abu Dhabi’s latest attraction won’t invite as many Dolce & Gabbana puns as one might like, it will delight comic book fans worldwide.
Shooting a movie’s not like performing a play. The theatrical process is primal, all rooted in emotion and immersion within the fictional moment. Production on a feature film requires far more on a technical level, to the point where actors will be ordered to pick up a spoon in the exact same way ten times, just to be safe. (David Fincher famously went through one hundred takes to nail the opening breakup in his magnum opus The Social Network.) For the typical actor, most of filmmaking is waiting around for stuff to happen — but that’s far less tiresome when you get to hang out with Carrie Fisher between calls of “ACTION!”
While the post-credits scene was once a surprise specially afforded to those superfans with the dedication to sit through the final frames of a film, it’s now become par for the course, a de facto advertisement for whatever a franchise might have up its sleeve next. Marvel Studios has turned this into standard operating procedure, to the point where viewers expect nothing less than another tasty morsel of footage, the cinematic equivalent of the delicious fries waiting for you at the bottom of your McDonald’s bag. How to continue taking audiences off-guard, then? Marvel could do no post-credit scene at all, that’d certainly throw people for a loop. Or... they could do five.
The sound of metal grinding against metal. The proud yelp of Mark Wahlberg’s serious-actor concerned voice. (“We’re not givin’ up on Prime, okay?!“) The rippling waves of incoherent computer-generated imagery glinting in the post-apocalyptic sun. It can all only mean one thing: there‘s a new trailer for the latest chapter in Michael Bay’s ongoing giant-fighting-alien-robot opera Transformers. Allow me to quickly assuage any concerns by confirming that yes, a whole bunch of crap blows up real big, yes, a huge CGI thing crashes into another CGI thing, and yes, Megan Fox is no longer with us. But let’s dig in anyway, shall we?
Star Wars is great, everyone’s pretty much on the same page about that one, but the problem is that it’s just so dang long. Eight movies, with more on the way? And they’re all two-plus hours? And there are TV shows?! It would take a viewer days if not weeks to wade through all of that action, and so the minds at Lucasfilm and Disney have done us all the service of condensing Star Wars into segments a little closer to bite-size. In the future, everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes; likewise, in the future, new Star Wars content will be between two and three minutes long.
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