Well, despite being at Comicon this week, I am still able to get some all-important film news to you, albeit a tad late. So, let’s find out some stuff!
It may hardly be news, but San Diego Comicon International is well under way, and I had the pleasure of being there for Ric Meyer’s Superhero and Kung Fu Extravaganza! It was really fun and I am honored to be a part of it.
In this week’s “While you are at Comicon” news, director Adam Wingard has made a new horror film, The Woods, and it turns out it’s a sequel to The Blair Witch Project! In fact, The Woods was the working title, which has now been changed to Blair Witch. The premise of the found footage film is as simple and straight-forward as it should be: a group of friends go camping and frightfully discover they are not alone.
People in attendance at a Comicon premiere were blown away to find out it was a Blair Witch sequel. The rest of us won’t get that surprise twist. I assume that won’t affect the impact of viewing it? i’ll find out when I see it. Blair Witch comes out on September 16.
In this week’s “Box Office info” story, Star Trek Beyond opened Thursday night to about $ 5.5 million, and is expected to take in around $ 60 million this weekend. Well, I know it will take my money this weekend. I’m seeing it Saturday night. I’ll let you know what I think.
In this week’s “The harder you sell theory” story, the new movie in the Ice Age franchise, Ice Age: Collision Course, gets the biggest promotional push in the franchise’s history. With 18 corporate partners for the release of the 5th installment in the Ice Age films, it nearly redefines the notion of “selling out”. You have to wonder if that means the film is just not as good as its’ predecessors. Why else, in a time where sequels are frowned upon perhaps more than ever, would you throw so much product partnership at it?
The previous Ice Age films have been only mildly entertaining, so I don’t think it bodes well either way.
In this week’s “Kong gets a selfie” story, the teaser poster for Kong: Skull Island has been released. It’s kind cool, actually. The film stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the film takes place in the 70’s and follows a group explorers that arrive on an uncharted island and discover that things are not at they appear there. I imagine, in particular, the presence of a really big ape. And he’ll be bigger than previously shown, too. I assume because if Legendary Pictures wants to pit him against Godzilla down the line, he’s going to have to be freakin’ huge.
I’m having a lot of mixed feelings about this Godzilla/Kong universe they want to create.
In this week’s “Back to square one” story, The Aquaman film has a new – and old – writer. The script will be written by Will Beal, who was actually writing the film when Warner Bros. was developing several different tracks for the project. Beal’s script will be based on the detailed treatment by Geoff Johns and James Wan. Wan is still on board to direct. Beals has a few credits under his belt, mostly episodes of Castle and the film Gangster Squad. But he’s also on board to write the new Conan film for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well, somebody’s career just took off.
In this week’s “Non-violent robot” story, Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant gets a bit more power with the release of a new making of documentary. Directed by Anthony Giacchino, The Giant’s Dream: The Making of The Iron Giant, highlights the unique circumstances that led to The Iron Giant’s existence in the first place, all framed by Bird’s dual quests: to change the perception of animation, and to advocate against gun-related violence.
“I think the medium can do a lot more then it’s doing,” Bird said in a post-screening Q&A. “I’m not someone who thinks [animated and live-action movies] are radically different things. You’re still trying to keep the audience emotionally connected to the characters. You’re still juggling timing, movement and music.”
It’s still one of my all-time favorite films, let alone animated ones.
In this week’s “Yes, it’s a TV show” story, Ghost Rider is coming to Marvel’s Agents of Shield. But it won’t be the Ghost Rider you might remember, and it certainly won’t be Nicholas Cage.
This will be a more recent version named Robbie Reyes, and he’ll be driving a 1969 Dodge Charger imbued with Hellfire. Sounds fun! I may continue to tune in to Agents of Shield, even though it’s been sort of hit and miss. They will be changing the time slot to 10 PM next Fall which will let them get a bit edgier.
In this week’s “Save your damn self! I don’t need no man!” story, Disney’s upcoming animated film, Moana, will be breaking a long-time tradition: the idea that a woman character, no matter how strong, needs a male character to complete her.
Moana takes place in the South Pacific about 2000 years ago, and follows the 16-year old title character who sets out to recruit the banished demigod Maui as part of a plan to save the world. Moana is voiced by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho and Maui is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It also appears that Johnson will sing a song in the film that was specifically written for him by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony-award winning writer of Broadway’s Hamilton. The Rock is going to sing? Wow. This guy is ticking off every box in the actor’s repertoire. AND, there will be no romantic connection at ALL between Moana and Maui. Moana will have, in fact, NO romantic partner at all.
Disney: getting all progressive n’shit. Five Kittenhands to that.
In this week’s “Don’t believe everything you read” story, With all the talk of James Bond the happens, Idris Elba does have something to say regarding him playing the coolest secret agent in the world: “It is the wildest rumor in the world,” he said on Good Morning America Thursday, adding that there have not been any “talks with me and studios about any of that.”
Aw, well. It would be cool, but alas, it doesn’t appear to be happening. But you CAN see him as the villain Krall, in Star Trek Beyond right now in theaters.
In this week’s “Do you know what you’re in for?” story, Jennifer Hudson seems to have gotten roped into Adam Sandler’s next film for Netflix. Poor woman.
The next film is titled Sandy Wexler, with Sandler as the title character. He plays a talent manager with a group of eccentric clients who finds himself falling in love with a singer named Courtney Clark after discovering her performing at an amusement park.
Well, that doesn’t seem quite as low brow as his usual nonsense, but that doesn’t exclude the possibility of fart jokes or any other such childish yuks. Why Jennifer Hudson would ever attach herself to this is beyond me, other than TONS of money. So, yeah, maybe. Still, really Jennifer? REALLY?
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, thanking you for another installment of the Weakley Film News. There’s always something kooky going on.