Another fun-filled week of stuff happening and stuff!
In this week’s “Ingenious Title” story, director Ron Howard posted a little video of himself announcing that the Han Solo Star Wars movie has wrapped priniciple shooting and they now have an official title of the film: Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Gee, thanks for finally putting all of our anticipation to rest. Sure as Hell don’t need a drum roll for that one.
In this week’s “What’s that smell?” story, film maker Harmony Korine’s next film, a stoner comedy starring Matthew McConaughey, is titled The Beach Bum. It was scheduled to start shooting this past July, but hasn’t even started as of yet.
The film will follow the misadventures of the rebellious and lovable rogue Moondog. Previously, the director has described the movie as “a cross between a Cheech and Chong movie and that movie ‘Scarecrow,’ ” but it appears he has one more trick to add to the mix.
In an interview with Telerama, on the occasion of a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the filmmaker shared some details about the upcoming movie, most notably, that he wants you to see it….and smell it….
“It’s a comedy with Matthew McConaughey and Snoop Dogg, about somewhat depressive marijuana smokers, in the spirit of Cheech and Chong,” Korine explained (via Google Translate). “The action takes place in Key West, in the extreme south of Florida. I would very much like to see the film, when it’s released, be shown in rooms that spread curls of marijuana [smoke]. It is possible in some states, such as California, that have legalized this drug for [medical use]. We already have about thirty rooms that have accepted.”
I gotta wonder how serious he is about all this.
In this week’s “Mother Bot” story, Hilary Swank is starring in the sci-fi thriller, I Am Mother, currently shooting in South Australia’s Adelaide Studios.
Swank is joining Clara Rugaard in a unique mother-daughter story.
Rugaard portrays the first of a new generation of humans raised by “Mother” – a kindly robot designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of mankind. But their unique bond is threatened when a blood-drenched woman (played by Swank) inexplicably arrives, calling into question everything she’s been told about the outside world.
I Am Mother is based on an original concept by director Grant Sputore and writer Michael Lloyd Green. The screenplay was on the 2016 Black List.
I Am Mother is Sputore’s feature debut. The special effects team at WETA Workshop (Avatar, The Lord of The Rings) has created the titular robot.
Sounds good to me!
In this week’s “I’m sorry, what’s it called?” story, Antonio Campos (Afterschool, Christine ) is set to rewrite and direct the upcoming horror film, Splitfoot, based on a 1936 article in The New Yorker about the first documented haunted house, written by journalist and bestselling author Carl Carmer.
It follows the true story of a deeply damaged New Yorker reporter who, in the 1930s, travels upstate to the remote town of Lilydale, NY, the mecca of American spirituality, a place where a person can’t even buy property without proof that they talk to the dead. Cynical about the prospects of the spirit world, the temptation of contacting his dead son leaves the reporter vulnerable to something much more dangerous than the dead.
Fox Searchlight developed the film and will distribute. Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler of Condé Nast Entertainment are producing the project along with Denise DiNovi, while David Greenbaum and DanTram Nguyen will oversee production for Searchlight.
in this week’s “Mamma Mia!” story, the one and only Cher has joined the cast of the sequel to Mamma Mia!, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
I guess I’m just not the demographic for this, which would explain why I’m curious as to the reason for this sequel. But then, hey, I’ve still never seen Grease, so who am I to say?
Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, and Christine Baranski are returning, with Ol Parker writing and directing. The film goes back and forth in time to show how relationships forged in the past resonate in the present. Lily James will play the role of Young Donna. Young versions of Rosie and Tanya will be portrayed by Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn, respectively. Young Sam will be played by Jeremy Irvine, while Young Bill is Josh Dylan and Young Harry is Hugh Skinner.
I’ll assume some of you know who all those characters are and are all very excited.
The movie began shooting in September in the U.K. and Croatia. Yippee.
In this week’s “Guillermo Meets Miami Vice” story, genius Guillermo del Toro announced that he is going to make a documentary about Michael Mann. WHAT.
While presenting the new director’s cut of Heat at the Lumière Film Festival, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux made an announcement sure to please cinephiles: Guillermo del Toro is making a documentary about Michael Mann.
No other information is available as of yet, though the news is in keeping with del Toro’s habit of pursuing as many different movies as possible. (His list of unrealized projects is longer than his actual filmography, with everything from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Hobbit to At the Mountains of Madness and Silent Hills leaving fans to wonder “what if?” forever.)
So true. But this one is so strange to me. I mean, I love Michael Mann’s films, but of all the things del Toro could be doing…I don’t know.
In this week’s “Must…watch..it…all…” story, Netflix has a new term out there: binge-racing. It’s refers to how fast people watch a show on Netflix. Sometimes people will watch an entire TV show in one sitting. They have complied a list of their Top 20 Binge-Raced Shows. And here it is:
1. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
2. Fuller House
3. The Ranch
4. Marvel’s The Defenders
5. The Seven Deadly Sins
6. Trailer Park Boys
7. Santa Clarita Diet
8. F is for Family
9. Orange is the New Black
10. Stranger Things
11. Friends from College
12. Grace and Frankie
13. Wet Hot American Summer
15. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
16. House of Cards
17. Master of None
20. Arrested Development
Hey, at least there’s nothing by Adam Sandler on the list.
In this week’s “A warrior and his baby” story, the writer of Se7ven, Andrew Kevin Walker, is set to add his writing talents to a new adaptation of writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima’s Love Wolf and Cub.
Lone Wolf and Cub started as a manga published from 1970 that actually had 28 volumes. I remember these when First Comics did a reprinting of them with Frank Miller covers.
This new live-action movie will be produced by Justin Lin and Steven Paul. Lin still has his eye on the director’s chair but no announcements have been made just yet.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Kevin Walker has joined Paramount’s plan to adapt the seminal story about a disgraced executioner and his son as they wander the countryside as ronin, seeking revenge on those who wronged them. (It’s worth mentioning that protagonist Ogami Ittō’s son is a toddler, so he’s not carrying out much vengeance early on.) Totaling nearly 9,000 pages, the manga has already been adapted into a series of six live-action Japanese films in the 70s and two TV series. But now Paramount wants to take a crack at it.
The project has been set up with the studio for nearly 15 years, off and on, with Darren Aronofsky showing interest once upon a time. The addition of Kevin Walker is a rather interesting one. Long a favorite script doctor/screenwriter of David Fincher, having collaborated on Se7en, Fight Club, and The Game, Kevin Walker certainly isn’t afraid to go to dark places when it comes to revenge stories.
I’ll be interested to see where all this goes.
In this week’s “How much?” story, for the last season of Game of Thrones, EACH of the six remaining episodes will cost… $ 15 million.
In this week’s “Spooky Mutants” story, writer/director Josh Boone is making The New Mutants which is scheduled for an April 2018 release.
Based on the trailer that was recently poted online, we see a very different kind of X-Men/superhero movie.
Stacey Snider, the chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox, explained the studio’s approach to giving some flavor to the superhero movies in their X-men line.
“If we’re going to make a superhero movie, we have to ask ourselves: What’s our version? What’s a Fox Marvel film? When you look at films like Deadpool or Logan or the upcoming New Mutants, you’ll see they have their own personality. Great effort has been put into making sure they’re differentiated. New Mutants is about these teenagers who are just coming into their powers. It’s like watching mutants go through adolescence and they have no impulse control, so they’re dangerous,” she explained.
Dark, moody, and yes, even a little scary, New Mutants marks the beginning of what the director hopes will be a series of superhero flicks doing something very different.
“We brought it to Fox as a trilogy of films, really all based on that long run by Sienkiewicz, and kind of incorporates some stuff from later issues in the ’80s,” he said. “These are all going to be horror movies, and they’re all be their own distinct kind of horror movies. This is certainly the ‘rubber-reality’ supernatural horror movie. The next one will be a completely different kind of horror movie.”
“Our take was just go examine the horror genre through comic book movies and make each one its own distinct sort of horror film. Drawing from the big events that we love in the comics,” Boone added.
Ok, this could be a really interesting idea, especially with the potential for burn-out being very possible very soon- even for those that are fans of the superhero genre.
In this week’s “Phase 4” story, Kevin Feige, the Marvel Comic Universe head honcho, and director James Gunn, say that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be the beginning of Marvel’s Phase 4.
The Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet storyline will wrap up all of that with a tidy bow, and the next storyline will begin.
Feige said: “Well, all I’ll say is the films we are working on now – which take us through to the Avengers Untitled in May of 19 – that’s really all we are focusing on. And we are focusing on bringing, by that point, an unprecedented, 22-movie, continuous shared fictional narrative to a conclusion in a satisfying way.”
Apparently people flipped out thinking he meant that the Marvel films were done after that. Suuuure, they’ll just give up on a massive money-making machine. You know there’ s more coming, and of course, that’s confirmed with the statement about Guardians of the Galaxy 3 being that start of the next phase.
So yeah, the Marvel films still aren’t going anywhere soon.
In this week’s “That seems important” story, director Tomas Alfredson (Let The Right One In, Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy) says that 10 – 15 % of the script of his new film, The Snowman, wan’t filmed.
Pardon me? It seems like that would be important to anyone that would want to see the murder mystery film and have it make sense.
The adaptation of Jo Nesbo‘s best-seller may have assembled a helluva cast including Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloe Sevigny, and more, and snared director Alfredson, but the production wasn’t easy, and it turns out early reviews weren’t kind. The final film has two credited editors, and while the thriller underwent reshoots earlier this year, it seems that even then, they just couldn’t get everything in the can.
According to Alfredson, 10-15% of the script remained unfilmed, which seems kind important when you’re trying to tell a murder mystery. “Our shoot time in Norway was way too short, we didn’t get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing,” the director told NRK. “It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture.”
So it turns out the director partially blames the lack of time on the producers, who as soon as they got funding, rushed the film into production. “It happened very abruptly, suddenly we got notice that we had the money and could start the shoot in London,” Aflredson explained.
Ok, well that does not bode well for this film. It opens this weekend. I was interested in seeing it, but now, not so much.
In this week’s “Elsewhere?” story, J.J. Abrams says he plans to take the Star Wars franchise “elsewhere”. Huh?
In a recent interview with the BBC, alongside composer Michael Giacchino, Abrams said, “Well, it’s certainly something that I’m aware of now working on Episode IX — coming back into this world after having done Episode VII. I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were.”
Abrams added, “At the same time, we have to take them places that they haven’t gone, and that’s sort of our responsibility. It’s a strange thing – Michael’s worked on things like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek and Star
Wars, and these are the things of dreams. Yet we can’t just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere.”
Abrams directed and produced Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. He is also serving as an executive producer on the upcoming film “The Last Jedi,” out this December, which Rian Johnson directed. Abrams will co-write Episode IX with Chris Terrio.
In this week’s “William Friedkin thinks US movies suck now” story, director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) thinks Hollywood have been reduced to nothing but blockbusters.
Ok, well, he isn’t wrong, really.
And though it’s been quite some years since those big hits of his, the 81-year-old filmmaker isn’t exactly pining for a return to the commercial arena. “In America, I would not want to be an active filmmaker now,” he told an audience at the Lumiere Festival in Lyon on Thursday, shortly after delivering a masterclass at the classic film festival. “When I started, there were greater opportunities to make many different films in America. Now, it’s reduced to blockbusters, with very few exceptions.”
Appropriately, he was making that assertion in an introduction to a 4k screening of his under-appreciated 1977 masterpiece Sorcerer, a meticulous thriller that famously got buried by Star Wars when it hit theaters just one month after George Lucas’ sci-fi phenomenon. Friedkin’s Paramount production — a reimagining of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 “The Wages of Fear,” adapted from the same novel — involves a quartet of criminal outcasts led by a gritty Roy Scheider as they dynamite through a dense Latin American jungle. “I felt that for an American audience who had not seen this film it was possible to do a completely different version of that story with a new cast,” he said.
Friedkin, who has been making the rounds sharing his life story since the release of 2014 memoir “The Friedkin Connection,” took the opportunity at the Lumiere Festival, a nine-year-old event jointly run by Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, to make some broader observations. Speaking to an international crowd, he made some general observations about the state of the art form. “As your great French critic asked once, ‘What is cinema?’” Friedkin said, paraphrasing the late Andre Bazin. “Today, we have to ask it again, because in Hollywood especially, it’s changed completely.”
He singled out the struggling foreign language market in the U.S. as indicative of a broader struggle to maintain moviegoing standards in the country. “Now, we see few films from other countries in very limited cinemas,” he said. “35mm is almost dead, it’s dying. I don’t have an answer for this, I don’t know if this is what the audience wants or what the studios want them to force-feed them to have.”
Interestingly, Friedkin hasn’t retired from filmmaking completely. He recently directed The Devil and Father Amorth, a 68-minute documentary about real-life exorcisms that premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, in which the filmmaker purports to have captured an unstaged exorcism on camera. Friedkin said the project came together in 2016, after he visited the Italian town of Lucca to receive an award for his opera work.
It seems weird to me that he believes this excorcism was real. But that’s a whole other story. Read up on William Friedkin for more of that. We’ll still consider him to one of the great directors either way.
And in this week’s “Worst timing ever” story, the big natural disaster film of the season, Geostorm, comes out today, and it’s just about the worst time for a movie like this to come out in theaters. You know, seeing as Puerto Rico was just hit with a massive hurricane and is still without any basic human necessities for the past month.
Way to go, producer Dean Devlin (Independence Day, The Patriot). He even directed it. This movie looks lame anyway, and on top of that, they just announced Independence Day 3. As if Resurgence was so great we needed more. Ugh. William Friedkin is totally right.
I’d love to wrap this one up with some funny, weird celebrity story, but there’s really just more horrible news about what shitbag Harvey Weinstein has done to women. Fuck that guy, his company, and anyone complicit.
I don’t know, go online and watch videos of kittens and puppies. That always makes me feel better.