It’s Godzilla week! YAY!
IN THIS WEEK’S “No Star Trek 4 for Thor” story, in a new Variety cover story, Chris Hemsworth got candid about turning down the next Star Trek sequel. Hemsworth was originally in negotiations to star in the fourth “Star Trek” movie (the follow-up to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond), reprising the role of Captain Kirk’s father, George. Talks fell through in August 2018 and at the time money was the reported issue, but Hemsworth told Variety it was actually the script that led him to exit the tentpole.
“I didn’t feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet,” Hemsworth said of the script. “I didn’t want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table.”
Well, that’s enlightening.
Hemsworth next appears opposite Tessa Thompson in Sony’s summer tentpole Men in Black: International, in theaters nationwide June 14.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Scary Cellos” story, Richard Shepard‘s The Perfection is probably not a movie anyone would call predictable. It twists and turns, but more importantly, always reveals more underneath the star cellists of the movie, played with real intensity by Allison Williams and Logan Browning. They keep a movie grounded even as it quickly goes from gross to horrific to funny and to tragic, always keeping the audience on its toes.
Co-written by Nicole Snyder and Eric C. Charmelo, The Perfection pays homage to the cinematic worlds of Brian De Palma and Park Chan-wook. It’s not afraid to go to some dark places with its tongue remaining in its cheek, maintaining its sense of humor all the way until an unsettling end. While Shepard knows the Netflix thriller is not for everybody, based on the reviews, it’s proven to be a must-see for adventurous viewers.
It’s a movie with a lot of color and personality, much like Shepard’s last few movies: The Matador, The Hunting Party, and Dom Hemingway.
IN THIS WEEK’S “he won’t let go of Aliens” story, Last week, the film world celebrated the 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror masterpiece, Alien. Back in 1979, Scott and his talented cast and crew created a franchise, and a subgenre of film, that has become a staple of the industry. And even though the filmmaker hasn’t tried to work on a sequel to his film (as other people have done their best), Scott has been working on a prequel trilogy, which it appears he might actually get the chance to finish.
According to Variety, as part of the outlet’s ‘Alien’ celebration, it is reported that Scott is currently in the script phase of his third Alien prequel that he will also direct. No word on the plot of the third film, at this point, but it’s assumed that it will continue the story of rogue android David and his quest to destroy pretty much everything.
As mentioned, this untitled third prequel would come on the heels of the first two in the series, Prometheus and Alien: Covenant. These films have been highly controversial among the Alien fanbase, as Scott (the godfather of the series) has clearly decided the best course of action in exploring the world a bit more is to completely put the Xenomorphs on the backburner and focus on existential questions of the creation of life and what it takes to be human.
Well, wherever you land on the two Alien prequels, at least we still have the first two Alien films to love.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Our Karma Chameleon” story, MGM is developing an untitled film based on the life of the Culture Club singer, with Sacha Gervasi attached to write and direct.
Producers are Kevin King Templeton, a producer on MGM’s two Creed movies, and Paul Kemsley. George and Jessica de Rothschild will executive produce.
The Boy George film will include his upbringing in an Irish working-class family and his breakout as the androgynous leader of the band Culture Club, which released its debut album “Kissing to Be Clever” in 1982 with the single “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” followed by the hits “Time” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.” He’s sold more than 100 million singles and over 50 million albums as a performer and songwriter, and is the author of two autobiographies.
Gervasi’s credits include The Terminal, Hitchcock, November Criminals and the rock documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil, which won the documentary prize at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
IN THIS WEEK’S “De-aging worries” story, Martin Scorsese’s gangster drama The Irishman will finally be hitting select theaters and Netflix in the fall after a lengthy post-production period that Scorsese is still in the middle of due to the movie’s extensive visual effects. Steven Zaillian’s script for The Irishman, based on Charles Brandt’s novel I Heard You Paint Houses, tells the story of Frank Sheeran, a World War II veteran who became a hitman for the mob and played a role in Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance. Robert De Niro is playing Sheeran across decades, with Scorsese using VFX to de-age the actor to appear up to 30 years younger. The VFX are also being applied to Al Pacino, who stars as Hoffa.
During a recent appearance on A24’s “A Bigger Canvas” podcast, Scorsese admitted to The Souvenir director Joanna Hogg that the VFX required to de-age the actors continues to worry him. De Niro’s present day appearance and his de-aged look will be mixed up throughout the movie (it sounds like Zaillian’s script is not told chronologically and mixes scenes of an older Sheeran reflecting on his younger self), which means viewers will be given numerous opportunities to compare De Niro’s two faces throughout the runtime. For this reason, Scorsese is adamant that every inch of the de-aged faces look realistic.
“Why I’m concerned, we’re all concerned is that we’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said. “When we put them all together, it cuts back and forth….Now, it’s real. Now, I’m seeing it. Now, certain shots need more work on the eyes, need more work on why these exactly the same eyes from the plate shot, but the wrinkles and things have changed. Does it change the eyes at all? If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?”
Scorsese doesn’t want to lose any of De Niro’s intensity when using VFX to make his physical appearance look decades younger, which seems to be the main reason post-production continues to be needed on the movie. Netflix has not announced a specific release date for “The Irishman” yet outside of confirming in the movie’s first trailer that it will open in theaters and on the streaming platform sometime in fall 2019.
Yeah, I can totally see Scorcese’s concern here.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More shark fun!” story, Sharks seem to be all the rage these days for location-based horror, with films like the Blake Lively thriller The Shallows and campy Jason Statham effort The Meg swimming up and trying to nibble on interested parties. Don’t forget 2017’s out-of-nowhere, low-budget success 47 Meters Down, a film once destined for a straight-to-video fate that was picked up last-minute by Entertainment Studios and dropped right in the middle of the summer season. That might be a sign of total failure, but the film was a relative hit, making $61.7 million on a $5.3 million budget.
Though, it doesn’t take a box office expert to know what happens when an inexpensive original horror film makes bank: it gets a more expensive sequel!
47 Meters Down: Uncaged promises less caginess than the first, and slightly more open spaces. The film will find four unsuspecting divers battling it out with a scary species of shark in an old cave system that doubles as an abandoned city, which is far, far more adventurous than the first film’s tight confines of a shark cage (hence…’Uncaged’). If the standard for this series holds, there will be more than meets the shark’s eye with the plot, so buckle in for that.
John Corbett, Nia Long, Corrine Foxx (daughter of Jamie Foxx), Sophie Nelisse, Sistine Stallone (daughter of Sylvester Stallone), Brianne Tju and more will hop in to dangerous waters for this scary shark flick, which looks like it’s going to live up to its promise of terrorizing swimmers in dimly-lit underground interiors. The first film’s director, Johannes Roberts, will return at the helm.
Roberts has also just been hired to write and direct the James Wan-produced Resident Evil reboot.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Harry and Eggsy” story, According to an interview with Digital Spy, director Matthew Vaughn confirms that not only is he finishing up work on the prequel film, Kingsman: The Great Game, but he plans on finishing the story of Harry and Eggsy (played by Colin Firth and Taron Egerton, respectively) in a new sequel that will possibly shoot before the end of 2019. Like it or not, there’s plenty more Kingsman on its way.
“We’ve got to finish off the Eggsy and Harry relationship,” Vaughn said. “The final chapter of their relationship needs to be told, which we’ve got ready to do, and I’m hoping to shoot that later this year or the beginning of next year.”
He continued, “But [Kingsman: The Great Game] has been pushed back to February 14th for coming out, and so, yeah, as soon as that’s done, we’re looking forward to… It’s funny. As Taron was saying, he’s looking forward to becoming Eggsy again, because emotionally it’s a lot less draining.”
it really is surprising that Fox has been so gung-ho about making Kingsman films since the 2017 sequel failed to outgross the first film at the box office. Sure, both films have earned over $400 million worldwide, but the sequel, titled The Golden Circle, not only finished below the first at the box office but also earned far more negative reviews (74% on Rotten Tomatoes for the first film versus 52% for the sequel). For all intents and purposes, Kingsman is on the decline.
But studios will be studios, and The Suits will make decisions that baffle the rest of us. So more Kingsman it is!
IN THIS WEEK’S “DC universe, back in the news” story, It’s been a while since we heard anything regarding The New Gods, the Warner Bros. DC film being directed by Ava DuVernay. But now, we have an update: Tom King, a comics writer whose credits include The Vision for Marvel and DC’s Batman, will pen the New Gods movie script with DuVernay. The New Gods movie will be based on the comic characters created by legendary writer and artist Jack Kirby.
The Wrap broke the news about Tom King joining Ava DuVernay to co-wrote the New Gods movie script. King is an author, comic book writer, and ex-CIA officer with credits on Mister Miracle, Swamp Thing, Nightwing, The Vision and Batman. DuVernay was announced as the film’s director back in March of 2018. Since then, however, there’s been very little news about the film.
Jack Kirby created the New Gods in the 1970s, with the characters first appearing in February 1971 in New Gods #1. Here’s some backstory on the characters directly from DC:
“The New Gods are exactly that—they’re new gods. They came into existence after the world of the old gods, the gods of classical mythology, was destroyed during Ragnarok. The world of these known deities was split and became two separate planets, forever linked, but utterly different. One is called New Genesis and the other is Apokolips.”
“These worlds are referred to as twins, but the reality is that they couldn’t be or look more different. New Genesis is a lush green paradise, while Apokolips is a scorched, nightmarish land marked by massive fire pits. Both these worlds exist outside of the DC Multiverse, meaning the Apokolips on Earth Prime is the same one as on Earth-2. So when the forces of Apokolips attacked Earth-2 in the pages of our Earth-2 comic, they were the same forces that are now invading Earth Prime in “Darkseid War.” However, since they exist outside the Multiverse, they require a special form of transportation to get here—boom tubes.”
Haha- ‘boom tubes’.
Well, we’ll see what happens there. I’ll let you know when I find out anything.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Where in the world is John Connor?” story, so far we haven’t seen much of John Connor in the Terminator: Dark Fate information. However, producer and franchise creator James Cameron assures that a connection between Terminator: Dark Fate and John Connor still exists. In fact, despite the future resistance leader’s notable non-appearance, Terminator: Dark Fate will be a continuation of John Connor’s story.
In an interview on Flicks and the City (via JoBlo), Cameron explained that Terminator: Dark Fate will be continuing John Connor’s story from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, for which Dark Fate plays as a direct sequel:
“I think the best way to think about Terminator: Dark Fate is to think about it as a direct sequel to Terminator 2, the third film in a series if you will. We’ll be continuing John’s story, with Sarah’s story, and the T-800 returns — a different T-800 with a very different role to play than what we’ve seen before.”
Tim Miller directs Terminator: Dark Fate, which ignores the films Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, and Terminator: Genisys and picks up 30 years after the events of T2. In contrast to the big-budget spectacle of the latter films, Cameron promises that Dark Fate will resemble the gritty, violent action of the first two Terminator films as well, promising a hard-R tone:
“I think, tonally, what makes this a direct sequel to T1 and T2 is as much about the tone as it is about the narrative: It’s R rated, it’s grim, it’s gritty, it’s fast, it’s intense, it’s very linear. The whole story takes place in 36 hours. It’s not this kind of grandiose, complex story. It’s just very focused on the characters, it’s very now, it’s very present and it’s just a fast white-knuckle ride.”
Terminator: Dark Fate arrives in theaters this fall on November 1, 2019.
IN THIS WEEK’S “IN MEMORIUM” story, Leon Redbone, the trombone-voiced singer-songwriter whose eccentric, nostalgic Americana style of music found at least a temporarily frequent home on early episodes of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, died today. He was 69.
His death was confirmed by his family in a whimsically worded announcement on Redbone’s website – an announcement that certainly bore a resemblance to Redbone’s own songwriting and conversational style.
“It is with heavy hearts we announce that early this morning, May 30th 2019, Leon Redbone crossed the delta for that beautiful shore at the age of 127. He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover, and a simple tip of his hat. He’s interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett, and Jelly Roll have been up to in his absence, and has plans for a rousing sing along number with Sári Barabás. An eternity of pouring through texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome repose, perhaps followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long overdue discussions with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites. To his fans, friends, and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ” Oh behave yourselves. Thank you…. and good evening everybody.”
Born in Cyprus but raised mostly in Canada, Redbone’s unusual olde-time jazzy, Tin Pan Alley throwback style, sung in a growly voice with a guitar on his knee and Panama on his head, recalled the itinerant blues musicians he revered, a style that didn’t go unnoticed by Bob Dylan, who mentioned Redbone to Rolling Stone magazine in the early 1970s and brought the singer a first round of fame.
But it was Redbone’s appearances on two first-season episodes (a rarity, even then) of Saturday Night Live – particularly a performance of his signature tune “Walkin’ Stick” – that brought national recognition, placing him among that show’s early pantheon of quirky personalities like Andy Kaufman, Albert Brooks, Scred & King Ploobis. In turn, they gave the fledgling NBC late-night comedy an element of counterculture eccentricity. In all, Redbone appeared on SNL four times, including twice in the first season, once in Season 3 (1977) and again in Season 8 (1983).
IN THIS WEEK’S “Disney says ‘Bye Georgia”!” story, various actors and even Netflix have said they will be taking their work out of Georgia since the bill that would make abortion illegal in the state. And now, due to that recently passed anti-choice “heartbeat bill” that is set to go into effect in January, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger thinks his studio will likely leave Georgia, as well.
In an interview with Reuters, the head of Disney was asked what his mega-studio plans on doing if the new law that makes abortions illegal once a heartbeat can be heard on an ultrasound (normally around six weeks) goes into effect in 2020. Would Disney continue to work in the state, after various actors, filmmakers, and production companies (like Netflix) have already threatened to walk away?
“I rather doubt we will,” Iger said. “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully.”
He added, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there .”
After the recent news about Netflix, all eyes went to Disney, who is the largest studio in the world, and films many of its blockbusters (including Star Wars and Marvel Studios films) in the state of Georgia. And now, with Iger’s clear answer, it’s expected that many of the other studios and production companies will follow suit. (Let’s hope!)
Georgia is one of a handful of states that have recently passed, or is in the process of passing, the new abortion restrictions, effectively eliminating women’s right to choose, for all intents and purposes. As has been pointed out by medical and reproductive rights experts, many women don’t discover they’re pregnant until deep into the first trimester (12 weeks in), which means that they would already disqualify for the option of having an abortion.
However, unlike the other states that are passing these “heartbeat bills,” Georgia also happens to be a state that relies on the film and TV industry for tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of revenue each year. It’s been reported that in 2018, the state housed over 450 film and TV productions.
Georgia lawmakers have been defiant with these threats from Hollywood, with the Governor recently downplaying the importance of the film and TV industry to the state’s economy. That being said, losing that much money is definitely going to affect an economy, and perhaps sway the hearts and minds of voters and lawmakers. (Again, we hope!)
IN THIS WEEK’S “Not a lock” story, apparently it’s not in stone yet that Robert Pattinson is the next Batman.
According to comic book film scooper extraordinaire (if there’s such a thing) Umberto Gonzalez, it seems as if Pattinson is still the first choice, but actor Nicholas Hoult is hot on his tail, as both are reportedly being brought into the studio for “screen testing.”
Gonzalez tweeted, “Robert Pattinson & Nicholas Hoult are screen testing for the role. I suspect they’re screen testing in the Batsuit because Wardrobe Department will need full wardrobe test. Additionally, the film will now start production in Q1 2020.”
With all the complaints about Pattinson being the Batman, I’m not sure Hoult would be much of an improvement. I think they both have the acting chops, but neither seem to have the physical presence that I think of when I think of Batman. We’ll see how this all shakes out.
UPDATE: “It IS a lock” story, Robert Pattinson is officially the new Batman.
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. quickly made the choice to cast Pattinson as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, after watching the screen tests yesterday.
Warner Bros. has closed a deal for the Twilight actor to play the Caped Crusader in The Batman.
Matt Reeves’ superhero tentpole hits theaters on June 25, 2021. Variety first reported on May 16 that Pattinson was in negotiations for the part. The studio confirmed on Friday that he had signed a deal.
Pre-production on the Warner Bros.-DC Comics pic is expected to start this summer. No official start date has been set for filming The Batman.
Reeves, the filmmaker behind the last two Planet of the Apes sequels, assumed Batman directing duties from Ben Affleck in January 2017. Reeves will produce The Batman with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Snow White redeux” story, director Marc Webb is in talks to direct the studio’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Snow White.
While the deal isn’t finalized, sources tell Variety that Webb is the top choice to helm the movie.
The Girl on the Train screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson is in negotiations to pen the script for Snow White, which will expand upon the story and music from the 1938 animated classic. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind La La Land, The Greatest Showman, and Dear Evan Hansen, will write new songs for the movie. Marc Platt is on board to produce.
The original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cartoon, based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, was first released over 80 years ago. It was Disney’s inaugural animated feature film and became a massive success for the studio.
There have been several adaptations of the classic tale over the years. Recent iterations include 2012’s Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts and Lily Collins and Universal’s darker take, Snow White and the Huntsman starring Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart.
Webb, best-known for directing “The Amazing Spider-Man” films featuring Andrew Garfield, has also helmed indies like Fox Searchlight’s Gifted and The Only Living Boy in New York.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It was just a matter of time” story, Another week brings another petition from angry Game of Thrones fans that is going viral on the internet.
On the heels of the petition earlier this month to remake Game of Thrones Season 8, which became something of an online movement with over 1.5 million signatures, comes a new one urging Disney and Lucasfilm to fire Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss from writing and directing a new “Star Wars” movie. Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger confirmed May 14 that Benioff and Weiss would be behind the first Star Wars movie to open after the release of this December’s The Rise of Skywalker. Benioff and Weiss’ Star Wars movie is already set on the release calendar for December 16, 2022.
“Like Game of Thrones, Star Wars is only successful because of us – the fans,” reads the latest viral petition, which launched on Care2 petitions website and has already earned over 10,300 signatures and counting. “That’s why we need to raise our voices now, before the film begins and ask Disney to choose someone else to do this movie.”
The petition adds, “Star Wars is more than a popular movie. For many, it’s a childhood and lifelong passion. If we allow Weiss and Benioff to create this next film, we are surely in for disappointment.”
The original petition to remake season 8 spread across the internet like wildfire, but it drew strong criticism from many Thrones cast members. Speaking to The New York Times, Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner slammed the petition in a statement. “All of these petitions and things like that — I think it’s disrespectful to the crew, and the writers, and the filmmakers who have worked tirelessly over 10 years, and for 11 months shooting the last season,” Turner said. “Like 50-something night shoots. So many people worked so, so hard on it, and for people to just rubbish it because it’s not what they want to see is just disrespectful.”
I have to agree. I mean, let’s face it, not everybody is going to like how things turn out in a film or series. Just deal with it.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who played Turner’s sibling on the series, shared a similar sentiment with The Wrap, saying, “I think the petition is just kind of a weird, juvenile gesture. It’s so irrelevant to start petitioning to remake a series. But I’m trying to put that stuff out of my mind. It’s just nonsense, really.”
Yeah, get over it, fans. No one’s going to spend millions to reshoot a show you weren’t happy with.
~ It’s been a good week! See you next time! Cheers!