I would like a vacation even though we just had a vacation. Well, the film world didn’t take a vacation! Welcome to December!
In this week’s “Incredible team” story, prepare yourself for some awesome. Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free London, and Tom Hardy and his company, Hardy Son & Baker are teaming up to produce a Christmas classic.
Steven Knight, the author of Taboo and Peaky Blinders, is set to adapt A Christmas Carol, and several other Charles Dickens novels, for BBC One, with air dates targeted to launch starting in 2019.
“Any question about narrative storytelling is answered by Dickens,” Knight said in a Tuesday press release. “To have the chance to revisit the text and interpret in a new way is the greatest privilege. We need luck and wisdom to do this justice.”
“It’s terrific to be continuing the creative partnership of Scott Free London with Tom and Steve that started with Taboo and continues with this exciting and ambitious anthology of British classics,” Scott added.
Knight, BBC One, Scott Free, and Hardy all worked together on the BBC/FX drama Taboo. Hardy stars in that series and has been featured in Peaky Blinders as well. Though there is no word yet if the actor will appear in the Dickens adaptations, he is thrilled to be part of the project as a producer.
THiS is a really cool collaboration!
In this week’s “Big deal” story, the Avengers: Infinity War teaser poster debuted today and it’s super underwhelming.
Like, really not a bid deal. It’s the big ‘A’ with a purple flare behind it with “Infinity” and the release date of May 4 in the middle. Not much to freak out about. But THEN, they released the first trailer and WOW.
In this week’s “On the cheap” story, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez made his first film, El Mariachi, for a whopping $7000. And now he is going to do that again.
Yes, along with other filmmakers that will participate in the upcoming unscripted series Rebel Without a Crew, producer Rodriguez will challenge five filmmakers — including Scarlet Moreno, Alejandro Montoya Marin, Bola Ogun, Bonnie-Kathleen Ryan, and Josh Stifter — to make their own films for just $7,000, with zero crew to be found.
The twist is that Rodriguez will do the same: make a new film with only a $7000 budget.
Rodriguez and his filmmakers will have just two weeks to shoot their new features, and Rodriguez is apparently still eager to see if he’s got what it takes to make it work. The finished series will air on Verizon Media’s go90 (their “premium mobile entertainment destination”) and the Rodriguez-led El Rey Network.
Rodriguez’s debut film holds plenty of big honors, including Guinness World Records recognition as the lowest-budgeted film ever to gross $1M at the box office. (It went on to make $2M.) In 2011, El Mariachi was inducted into the Library of Congress to be preserved as part of its National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
In this week’s “Mulan is found” story, Disney has found their Mulan star in Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, is set to star as the title woman warrior in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic Chinese tale.
A team of casting directors visited five continents and saw nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, which requires credible martial arts skills, the ability to speak English and the most ineffable requirement of all: star quality. In deference to cultural accuracy, the studio focused on locating an ethnically Chinese young woman to play Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to take her father’s army conscription in fifth-century China.
In Liu, Disney found the complete package. Nicknamed “Fairy Sister” by the Chinese public for her pure and innocent looks and image, she has been one of the country’s most popular actresses of the current generation since breaking out with a series of hit television dramas in the mid-2000s, while she was still a teenager enrolled in the Beijing Film Academy. She is fluent in English, having lived in Queens, N.Y., for part of her childhood, and acted in English in both 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom, alongside Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and 2014’s Outcast, opposite Nicolas Cage and Hayden Christensen (I would’t brag about that one). She also starred opposite Emile Hirsch in Danish auteur Bille August’s period romance The Chinese Widow, which opened the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.
Liu, who has served as a brand ambassador for Dior, Tissot, Garnier and Pantene, most recently starred in the fantasy romance Once Upon a Time, which earned $82.3 million in China this summer. Her other credits include 2012’s The Assassins, which earned Liu her first major acting award (at the Macau International Movie Festival), Never Gone and The Four trilogy. She recently signed with WME and continues to be represented by Chinese manager David Chen.
Niki Caro, who most recently helmed The Zookeeper’s Wife, is directing Disney’s live-action Mulan, which is produced by Chris Bender, Jason Reed and Jake Weiner and eyeing a 2019 release.
In this week’s “Superfly franchise” story, Sony has acquired the rights to remake the 1072 blaxpoitation film. Watchmen scribe Alex Tse will be penning the script.
The film is inspired by the 1972 classic, which starred Ron O’Neal as Priest, a cocaine dealer looking to score one more super deal and retire. The movie was directed by Gordon Parks Jr., the son of Gordon Parks, who directed another blaxploitation classic Shaft — one of the staples in the early years of the genre that took the ’70s by storm.
While the film is a cult hit, its soundtrack may be even more popular. Composed by R&B legend Curtis Mayfield, the soundtrack would go on to become the only to outgross its film’s box office earnings.
The movie eventually got a sequel, Super Fly T.N.T. Sony hopes the latest version will lead to a series of films.
Oh, there’s that word “series”. Franchise franchise franchise.
Sony is already in the process of making a list of actors to meet for the title role. Joel Silver is producing.
In this week’s “Hellboy update” story, the Hellboy reboot film gets a January 11, 2019 release date.
Normally I’d be a bit skeptical of it getting a January date, but these days big films are starting to get released in the slower months of the year. It seems companies are realizing they can fill those slow months with bigger films and actually cash in on them.
The reboot that stars David Harbour as the wise-cracking, well-meaning half-demon. The Descent and Game of Thrones helmer Neil Marshall is directing the project, which also stars Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim.
Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is penning the script with Andrew Cosby and Christopher Golden. Mignola created Hellboy in 1993 as an indie comic about a demon, raised by a professor, working to fight supernatural evildoers for an organization called Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
It’s also really good to know that Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is participating in the script.
In this week’s “More serial killer mind fucks” story, Netflix’s engrossing show Mindhunter has been renewed for a second season.
One of the most talked about new shows this year was Netflix’s David Fincher-produced/directed Mindhunter, which premiered its first season back in October. Fans of Fincher’s Zodiac were treated to 10 mind-blowing episodes of the new series that boasted a plethora of talented directors from The Amityville Horror‘s Andrew Douglas to Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), and Tobias Lindholm (A War, A Hijacking).
Written by playwright Joe Penhall and Scott Buck, Mindhunter is based on the 1996 book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit,” by former special agent John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, which goes behind the scenes of some of Douglas’ highest-profile cases, including the man who hunted prostitutes in Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer, and Seattle’s Green River killer.
The series is set in 1979 and centers on the inquisitive and skilled FBI Agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) who, along with fellow serial killer investigator in the behavioral science unit, FBI agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), interviews serial killers to help them solve current murders.
Netflix has announced a second season earlier this week, which should see the full return of Groff, McCallany, as well as Anna Torv (Fringe), Hannah Gross (Unless) and newcomer Cameron Britton, who portrays serial killer Ed Kemper on the series.
In this week’s “Return to Moonlighting?” story, apparently yes, there is talk of bringing back the show Moonlighting in some form.
Glenn Gordon Caron is almost midway through his first season as showrunner of Bull, CBS’ Michael Weatherly drama about a high-powered trial consultant loosely based on the real-life work of Dr. Phil McGraw.
However, Moonlighting, the legendary romantic comedy starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd, which broke every television rule back in the 1980s, may get the reboot. Caron told IndieWire that he’s often approached about putting Moonlighting back on television. He’s torn on whether to do it — but has some great ideas should it go.
“Maybe you do it with Channing Tatum and Emma Stone? Or for a moment I had this idea of doing it [again] with Bruce and Cybill. I can’t tell you all the ideas I’ve had. But at the same time there’s a voice in my head that goes, ‘leave well enough alone.’ I have this debate with myself constantly.”
One reason to bring it back, perhaps, is to dispell the Moonlighting myth that the show ended because David and Maddie, the characters played by Willis and Shepherd, wound up together after years of will-they-or-won’t-they flirtation.
“The unfortunate thing was, once we did it a bunch of things happened that I had no control over,” he said. “There was a huge writers strike that went on for what seemed like forever. Cybill got pregnant with twins, so she wasn’t able to work for an extended period of time. And Bruce suddenly became a movie star. Those three things created a perfect wave where there was an extended period that we couldn’t make the show. It wasn’t meant to be.”
Caron, however, believed there was much to mine in the fall out from that relationship.
In this week’s “Three and out” story, Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the latest Star Wars trilogy (parts VII, VIII, and IX), says she’s done with Star Wars after Episode IX.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the star said she “didn’t really know what I was signing on to,” when she agreed to do The Force Awakens.
“I hadn’t read the script, but from what I could tell, it was really nice people involved, so I was just like, ‘Awesome.’ Now I think I am even luckier than I knew then, to be part of something that feels so like coming home now,” she said.
When asked if she’d continue to play Rey after the third movie, she definitively said, “No. No, no, no,” adding, “I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films. So, in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.”
As for making a cameo in a reboot 30 years from now, Ridley said anything can happen… but she’s not entirely sure earthlings will be around for another Star Wars reboot.
“Who knows? I honestly feel like the world may end in the next 30 years, so, if in 30 years we are not living underground in a series of interconnected cells … then sure. Maybe,” she said. “But again, it’s like, who knows.
Because the thing I thought was so amazing, was people really wanted it. And it was done by people who really love it.”
But it’s clear that she’s enjoyed her time in the films. “It’s somewhat a reflection of society,” Ridley said of the beloved universe. “But also it is escapism, because there are creatures and there are people running around with f—ing lasers and shit. So, I think, a wonderful mix of both.”
In this week’s “Cleopatra Jones Returns” story, Waner Bros. is reviving their remake of Cleopatra Jones.
The original black empowerment film was released in 1973. The original Cleopatra Jones starred Tamara Dobson as the undercover government agent who used the day job of supermodel as her cover and an excuse to travel to exotic places. The studio has set Misha Green to write the script and produce a film that will present the heroine very much as the female answer to James Bond. Those comparisons were made when the original hit film was released, partly because Jones was so adept at martial arts and drove a Corvette Stingray fully equipped with automatic weapons. In the original, she faced off against a drug kingpin named Mommy (Shelley Winter), with a mission to destroy the poppy plants that were fueling drugs devastating the inner city.
Green is the co-creator, writer and exec producer of the WGN series Underground, who is now working with exec producers Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams on Lovecraft. She is co-creator, writer and exec producer of the upcoming HBO series. She is also writer and producer of the Netflix film The Mother.
In this week’s “No surprise” story, Netflix has renewed Stranger Things for season 3.
In this week’s ” Don’t believe everything you hear” story, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins took to Twitter on Thursday night to tell fans to stop making “false assumptions” about the upcoming sequel to the DC Films hit.
“Quite a few people, including this headline, seem to be completely misunderstanding or making some pretty false assumptions based on one of many vague quotes I made about something I can’t say ANYTHING about,” Jenkins wrote on Twitter, linking to a Collider tweet that reads, “‘Wonder Woman 2’ will have a new love story + will maintain a thematic focus like the first film, says @PattyJenks.”
She added: “Just wait. ;)”
In a recent interview with Variety, Jenkins teased another love story for Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) as well as a couple of “new unbelievable characters.”
“It’s really still going to other values of hers, and a similar formula insofar as making a great, enjoyable fun movie but that ultimately in its third act turns some very big issues, and a very big experience that will aim to have slightly more weight and profundity than it has to have,” she said.
“Because that’s a formula that I really like, and I like the idea of taking somebody on a very solid, great journey but that arrives at a bigger question being answered,” Jenkins continued.
Apparently Jenkins need ot tell people to chill out is because some fans were quick to question why Wonder Woman even needs a love story, and pointed out that the story about Diana Prince should focus on her “heroic, brave, strong side.”
I think we should keep our traps shut until we see what she’s going to do with the sequel.
In this week’s “Monochrome” story, as we have been seeing a few film recently show up with a Black & White version (Logan, Mad Max: Fury Road Black & Chrome Edition), it seems Guillermo del Toro wanted to shoot in Black & White for The Shape of Water.
“When it was in black and white, the budget was $12 million,” production designer Paul Austerberry told EW. “And then Fox Searchlight said, ‘You know, if you make it color, we’ll make it $19.6 million.’ We were struggling at even $19.6 million to get it all down, so thankfully it went that way.”
“I was a bit nervous about the black and white, because color is such a strong element that you can play with in a story or movie to help shape the mood. When people see the movie, they comment a lot on the color, so I’m glad we went that way,” a clearly relieved Austerberry said.
However, for del Toro, he probably would’ve preferred to stick with black and white, but realized if he want the movie to happen at all, he would have to play ball.
“To be disarmingly and horribly honest, it was a pawn sacrifice. It was one of those things that I knew I was not really interested in, but I knew I needed to appear reasonable. ‘Oh, Guillermo. He’s such a nice guy. He gave up black and white,’ ” he explained.
Either way, I am really excited to see it!
In this week’s “He-man and Skeletor” story, it looks like Warner bros. is finally getting their Masters of the Universe film off the ground.
One has to hope that there are enough people that ant to see this movie, but either way, they have signed David S. Goyer to direct it. He is best known for his screenwriting work on The Dark Knight trilogy, will now take the director’s seat of Masters Of The Universe. Goyer has also penned the most recent script for the live-action movie, which will tell the tale of the epic battle between He-Man and Skeletor.
They even set a release date: Masters Of The Universe opens on December 18, 2019.
In this week’s “The Giving Tree” story, James Franco is in talks to direct a new film about the life of artist Shel Silverstein.
In fact, he’ll also star as the prolific children’s book author, cartoonist and lyricist Shel Silverstein. The film will be written by Chris Shafer & Paul Vicknair from the Lisa Rogak book A Boy Named Shel, and it will focus on the personal and professional struggles that made Silverstein a unique voice.
After seeing The Disaster Artist, I’m sure he’ll do a great job.
In this week’s “NOT about the Manson murders” story, Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, as yet untitled, now has a release date.
Tarantino himself recently clarified that it’s not necessarily about Manson or his “family,” but rather that their infamous murders serve as the backdrop for the 1969-set tale.
In any event, Variety reports today that the film, which doesn’t yet have a title but is being produced and distributed by Sony, will arrive in theaters on August 9, 2019.
That date marks the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders. How convenient…an mere co-incidence? I think not.
“Set in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969, Tarantino’s upcoming movie, according to a source who read the script, focuses on a male TV actor who’s had one hit series and his looking for a way to get into the film business. His sidekick—who’s also his stunt double—is looking for the same thing. The horrific murder of Sharon Tate and four of her friends by Charles Manson’s cult of followers serves as a backdrop to the main story.”
Margot Robbie is reportedly being eyed to play Sharon Tate, while names such as Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Samuel L. Jackson have also come up.
At this time, however, no official casting decisions have been made.
In this week’s “Star-Lord has a catfisher” story, actor Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) apparently has a catfisher.
In case anyone has been hit on by Chris Pratt on FaceBook, you can be sure it isn’t him.
Pratt alerted fans Thursday night on his own — verified — social media channels. “PERVY DUDE ALERT!!! (Not a joke),” Pratt said. “It’s confirmed: somebody is trying to pretend to be me on Facebook (and maybe other social media platforms) apparently hitting on a lot of different female fans, trying to get their numbers and who knows what else. I’m not joking.”
He added that he finds the imposter’s behavior “reprehensible,” and that the account will get shut down if he finds out who it is. “Seriously would like to punch them right in the GD mouth,” he said. “You hear that imposter!? Stop.”
The Jurassic Park star warned fans to look for the blue “verified” checkmark next to the name on social media channels, and that any account without the checkmark is fake. “I’m sorry,” he added.
Pratt also urged fans to “tell your siblings. Educate our young ones,” as it’s most likely kids who would be tricked by the catfisher.
“Makes me sick,” he continued. “It terrifies me to think someone could be hurt, their feelings or much worse, by this imposter/potential predator.”
He said several people have warned him about the imposter and it’s “not an isolated incident.”
Pratt ended with a message to the poser: “If it’s you doing it, I’m warning you. Stop right now or you will be very unhappy with the outcome. Go find Jesus. praying for you.”
Well, there’s continued proof that men suck and people continue to use the internet for shitty purposes. Yay, humanity!
Ok, I’m out. See you next week!