Welcome to the new year! Here we go, 2018!
In this week’s “Gunn responds thoughtfully” story, with all the worry and negative opinions about big budget Hollywood blockbusters – superhero movies in particular – director/actor Jodie Foster has added her two cents to the criticizing of these films. In an interview with Radio Times (via Daily Mail) magazine, recently compared the superhero genre to fracking.
“Going to the movies has become like a theme park. Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking – you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth,” she said.
Ouch. She went on to say that these American-produced superhero movies are not just polluting the United States but the rest of the world as well. “It’s ruining the viewing habits of the American population and then ultimately the rest of the world. I don’t want to make $200m (£150) movies about superheroes,” she added.
Conversation has instantly sparked around Foster’s comments, and it didn’t take long for Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to issue a fascinating response on Twitter:
“I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way where spectacle film can’t be thought-provoking. It’s often true but not always. Her belief system is pretty common and isn’t totally without basis. I say not without basis because most studio franchise films are quite soulless – and that is a real danger to the future of movies. But there are also quite a few exceptions.
For cinema to survive I believe spectacle films NEED to have a vision and heart they traditionally haven’t. And some of us are doing our best to move in that direction. Creating spectacle films that are innovative, humane, and thoughtful is what excites me about this job.
But, to be fair, at least from Foster’s quotes, she seems to see filmmaking as something that’s primarily about her own personal growth. For me, that may be part of why I do this, but spending many millions of dollars on a film has to be about more than that – it’s communication – so my experience is merely one spoke on that wheel. But I respect Foster and what she’s done for films and I appreciate her different way of looking at Hollywood’s landscape.”
Those are some intelligent and insightful words form James Gunn. Well said, indeed.
In this week’s “Say goodnight, Scully” story, TVLine reports that this season, the 11th of X-Files, will be Gillian Anderson’s last.
Anderson plays Dana Scully on the hit sci-fi drama alongside fellow co-stars David Duchovny, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis, Annabeth Gish, Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood, and Dean Haglund.
Speaking to TV Guide, Anderson revealed why she is leaving after the upcoming season of The X-Files:
“I’ve said from the beginning this is it for me. … I was a bit surprised by people’s [shocked] reaction to my announcement because my understanding was that this was a single season.”
On Reddit, show creator Chris Carter said he isn’t sure if The X-Files has a future without Scully:
“For me, the show has always been Mulder & Scully. So the idea of doing the show without her isn’t something I’ve ever had to consider.
Was her character given a proper goodbye? I think you will want to sit down and watch the series finale very carefully.”
Ok, I will, for sure. If Scully is given a proper send off, and gives us all closure, I would only be willing to watch one more season of X-Files with Mulder alone for one season. I think, as much as I love the X-Files, it’s time to give Mulder his proper send off as well. Give him – and us – the emotional and narrative closure we need. If you want to create a new conspiracy with a new couple of FBI agents, fine. But we’ll see. No word yet if season 11 will be the last of X-Files or not.
In this week’s “Girl Power!” story, 2017’s three top grossing films were all led by female lead performers.
The three top-performing films of 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Wonder Woman, were all headlined by female leads, the first time this has happened in cinematic history since 1958. It’s been a long time coming, but FINALLY, girls run the world this year.
An unprecedented amount of female-led films topped the box office in 2017, The Wrap reported. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which featured Daisy Ridley‘s aspiring Jedi Rey, skyrocketed to the top of the box office charts this Sunday, becoming the highest-grossing movie of 2017 with $533 million domestically. It was followed closely by Emma Watson‘s Beauty and the Beast at $504 million and Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman at $412 million.
The last time this happened was in 1958 when audiences flocked to Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific (starring Mitzi Gaynor), the screwball comedy Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russell), and the Tennessee Williams drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Elizabeth Taylor), according to data from Box Office Madness, which tracks charts before 1980, and Box Office Mojo, which tracks charts after 1980.
I’m perfectly content to see this happen. I hope the trend increases each year.
In this week’s “Cloverfield related” story, J.J. Abrams has pushed the release date of the next loosely connected Cloverfield film, entitled God Particle. The film is now slated for an April 20, 2018 release.
God Particle, which is produced by Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, was already shifted from its original Feb. 24, 2017 release date to Oct. 27, 2017 after Paramount took it off its schedule, and it was renamed “2017 Cloverfield Movie.”
The project was then moved again to Feb. 2, 2018, but without any marketing surrounding the film only one month away from the release, it was unclear whether it would be proceeding.
God Particle, directed by Nigerian-American filmmaker Julius Onah with a screenplay by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, is set in the near future and tells the story of a team of astronauts on a space station who make a terrifying discovery involving a new energy source — the God Particle” — and their desperate fight for survival. The film boasts an international cast including David Oyelowo, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris O’Dowd, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ziyi Zhang, and Daniel Brühl.
In this week’s “TV returns” story, Fox has renewed The Gifted for a second season, AND Game of Thrones has confirmed their last season will return in 2019.
So, be patient.
In this week’s “Benny Cumbo, a charming boozer” story, actor Benedict Cumberbatch is starring in the upcoming series Patrick Melrose.
The trailer just landed online, and is based on Edward St. Aubyn‘s novels focusing on the title character, an aristocratic playboy who struggles with substance abuse and childhood trauma. Cumberbatch is solid casting for this role and the new trailer shows exactly why.
Patrick Melrose, a five-part mini-series, will dedicate one hour to each of St. Aubyn’s books, adapted by BAFTA award-nominee David Nicholls, while traversing the 60s, 80s, and 2000s, and traveling from France, to New York, to Britain. Also starring Hugo Weaving, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anna Madeley, Allison Williams and Blythe Danner, Edward Berger‘s series is set to air on Sky Atlantic and Showtime later this year.
I do not have Showtime, so I guess I’ll see it after everyone else.
In this week’s “But different HOW?” story, Wonder Woman director, Patty Jenkins, says that Wonder Woman 2 will be “Totally different”.
While fans are indeed curious to know what’s going to happen in the sequel, director Patty Jenkins isn’t spilling any specific details yet, she did hint that the upcoming sequel would be “totally different” than the first film.
Which could mean literally anything, but here we are.
Speaking with ET at the Palm Springs Film Festival, Jenkins (along with Gadot) talked about the whirlwind success of the film, and when the sequel inevitably came up, the director said:
“We’re actually making a totally different film with a lot of the same, similar like things that we love, but it’s its own movie completely, so it’s not ‘two’ to us. It’s an entirely new adventure together that we couldn’t be luckier [to do].”
It’s like giving an answer that isn’t really an answer. It’s uber vague. Why do directors and actors even bother to say anything? It’s terribly frustrating. But, yeah, I’m still super interested.
And if you’re wondering if they want to get Lynda Carter in the next film, here’s what Jenkins had to say:
“We’ll see…Lynda is one of the dearest people to us, has been a great mentor and dear friend. And we actually desperately tried to get her in the first one and we had the scheduling that couldn’t work, so she’s always been a part of our Wonder Woman family. We won’t say anything yet, but we certainly—there’s no lack of trying.”
That would be really cool.
In this week’s “New head honcho for DC Films”story, it was announced this week that New Line Production EVP Walter Hamada, one of the key executives in charge of the label’s horror successes It and The Conjuring franchise, will now oversee DC films at the studio as Warner Bros Group president Toby Emmerich evolves the unit at Warner Bros. Hamada is being named President, DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros.
WEll, let’s see if that makes any difference in the DC Film’s quality.
In this week’s “Netflix gets another boon” story, writer/director Matt Reeves has just signed an exclusive first look deal with Netflix.
The multi-year deal gives the streamer a first pass at any features that Reeves wants to produce and/or direct under his production company, 6th & Idaho.
Reeves’ banner previously had a first look deal at Fox, where he spearheaded the reboot of the Planet of the Apes series.
6th & Idaho is in pre-production on vampire drama TV series The Passage for 20th Century Fox Television, and has a graphic novel feature adaption Mouse Guard set up at Fox.
Reeves just completed the final film in the Apes series, War for the Planet of the Apes, which came out this past July. Over three films, the franchise has grossed over $1.5 billion at the global box office. Next up is the standalone Batman movie at Warner Bros., which he is set to write and direct.
In this week’s “Ridley does Merlin?” story, director Ridley Scott may have his next gig lined up: The Merlin Saga, for Disney.
Scott’s production company Scott Free is also in negotiations to produce along with Gil Netter. Philippa Boyens is the writer.
Disney and Scott’s reps could not be reached for comment. While a deal isn’t closed yet, sources close to the situation believe this will be Scott’s next movie.
Based on the T.A. Barron books, the series followed the origin story of a young Merlin who would go on to become the mentor of the classic literary character King Arthur.
“Merlin Saga” is one of two films Disney is currently developing based on the Merlin character. The studio is also working on a live-action Sword in the Stone, on which Scott also met with execs.
While several films have focused on the King Arthur legend, the only high-profile story to focus specifically on the story of Merlin was the NBC miniseries “Merlin” that starred Sam Neill.
I think I’m more interested i the live action Sword in the Stone.
In this week’s “The Strangers return” story, this March, on the 9th specifically, the sequel to The Strangers comes out.
The Strangers: Prey At Night, is the sequel to the horror film, The Strangers, that came out in 2008. It was a really good, creepy, horror film. Well, the trailer just dropped for this sequel. Here’s the synopsis of this new one:
“A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with some relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive. Johannes Roberts directs this horror film inspired by the 2008 smash hit THE STRANGERS.”
After watching the trailer, though, it seems like just more of the same. Meh.
And in this week’s “Most awesome commercial” story, I leave you to watch this awesome commercial promo for season 3 of Ash vs. Evil Dead. You’ll thank me.