It’s the week before Christmas, and plenty is stirring in film news this week!
IN THIS WEEK’S “In memorium” story, Penny Marshall, who starred alongside Cindy Williams in the hit ABC comedy “Laverne & Shirley” and then became a successful director, died on Monday night at her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes, Variety has confirmed. She was 75.
Marshall was the first woman to direct a film that grossed more than $100 million, the first woman to direct two films that made more than $100 million, and she was only the second woman director to see her film Oscar-nominated for best picture.
Marshall began her directing career by helming several episodes of Laverne & Shirley. With little experience, she replaced Howard Zieff as director on her feature directorial debut, the Whoopi Goldberg vehicle Jumpin’ Jack Flash, which grossed a respectable $30 million in 1986. Far more successful, however, was Marshall’s second outing, the 1988 sentimental comedy Big, which sported a subtle, delightful, Oscar-nominated performance from Tom Hanks — and hauled $151 million worldwide, reportedly becoming the first film directed by a woman to cross $100 million.
Her third film, the critically acclaimed Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, and based on the Oliver Sacks book, reeled in $52 million and drew three Oscar nominations — including best picture and best actor for De Niro. The movie was only the second directed by a woman that was nominated for best picture (Randa Haines’ Children of a Lesser God was the first, in 1986).
A League of Their Own, set in the world of women’s baseball during World War II, and starring Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell, made$132 million worldwide, including about $25 million overseas. The movie was selected in 2012 for inclusion in the National Film Registry.
I grew watching Laverne and Shirley. Penny Marshall was pretty much a staple in our house when I was a kid. this is a bummer.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Why wait?” story, Resident Evil reboot to be directed by 47 Meters Down filmmaker Johannes Roberts.
In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, James Wan reveals that he is no longer producing this film. “I’m not doing that anymore. That has been dropped,” Wan confirmed. “I hate it when my projects get announced. It makes it seem like I’m attached to a lot of things when in fact I’m not necessarily doing so many things.” Our original article follows.
Last year, /Film wrote about how James Wan (Aquaman, The Conjuring) would be producing a Resident Evil reboot, revamping the popular video game franchise on the big screen after Paul W.S. Anderson’s long-running series of films finally came to an end. Now it seems the reboot has found its director: Johannes Roberts, the man who helmed 47 Meters Down.
Variety reports that Roberts has been hired by Constantin Film to direct the Resident Evil reboot. He previously directed The Other Side of the Door and The Strangers: Prey at Night, and has 47 Meters Down: The Next Chapter set to hit theaters in 2019. The earlier movie adaptations of the popular games followed Alice, a former security guard for the Umbrella Corporation, a company that unleashed a virus on the planet that turns people into zombies.
The last entry in Anderson’s Milla Jovovich-led movie franchise, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, debuted in 2016, and even though the movies never earned great reviews, they all made enough money to give franchise this distinction of being the highest-grossing film franchise based on a video game.
It’s a franchise that is barely cooled from the last film, and they’re already looking to reboot. Maybe let it fade away for a few years before you jump back on it? I don’t know. This is so much *yawn*.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Luther goes long” story, A movie version of crime series Luther is moving forward, with writer-creator Neil Cross working on the script, the show’s star Idris Elba confirmed at the launch of Season 5 in London.
“We are really advancing on getting a movie version [of the show] up on the screen,” Elba said. “Neil is beavering away on writing this thing, and I think the remit for the film is to scale it up.”
Elba added: “Luther has all the ingredients to echo those classic [neo-noir] films of the 90s like ‘Seven’ and Along Came a Spider, and I think what we would like to do is use that blueprint to create Luther the film.”
He continued: “It will be more murder, more Volvos, more frowning Luther… essentially we just want to try to take it to a much bigger audience and scale, and perhaps international as well.”
This is excellent news!
IN THIS WEEK’S “In the can” story, After kicking off production in New York City this past September, director Todd Phillips has now taken to Instagram to announce that filming has wrapped on Warner Bros. and DC Films’ Joker, which sees Joaquin Phoenix taking on the role of the Clown Prince of Crime for a gritty, 80s-set standalone origin story for the iconic Batman villain.
Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. Todd Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.
Joker is set for release on October 4th 2019. The cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beatz, Bill Camp, Francis Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hope, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, Shea Whigham, Douglas Hodge, and Dante Pereira-Olson.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Deadwood – it’s happening!” story, production photos have appeared online that prove the Deadwood movie is actually happening.
EW has our first look at official Deadwood movie images, and if you’re a Deadwood fan, they don’t disappoint. There are only two pics, and in the grand scheme of things, they don’t tell us much. Still, it’s damned exciting to see them.
There are two photos to be seen, one of Ian McShane as Swearengen, and one of Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock, who is now a U.S. Marshall.
Also returning along with McShane and Olyphant: Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcomson (Trixie), John Hawkes (Sol Star), Anna Gunn (Martha Bullock), Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), Robin Weigert (“Calamity” Jane Canary), William Sanderson (E.B. Farnum), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) and Gerald McRaney (George Hearst).
The Deadwood movie will arrive sometime in 2019.
Aaaand, IN THIS WEEK’S “Nic Cage on Nic Cage” story, when Nic Cage speaks, it’s always a treat. The stuff he has gogin on in his brain are always…interesting.
An enigmatic, talented, and unusual acting presence on screen, the Academy Award-winning actor is perhaps even more mysterious and thoughtful during interviews, often talking about his craft, inspirations, and film choices. And in a new interview with Collider, we get another glimpse into the man behind the memes, and it’s glorious.
Cage says that the action film Face?Off isn’t just good, it’s one of his best ever.
“I’m very proud of [Face/Off] and I think it is one of the best movies I’ve ever made because of the challenge and if we had not hit that bullseye, we all would have probably stopped working because it was a big movie and there was a lot of money on the line,” says Cage. “Fortunately, the three of us and everyone else in the movie managed to work together in a way that the alchemy was there so it was fun and exciting.”
And finally, we have to point out a great quote that Cage gives about exactly what term he would use to describe his chosen profession. You see, the actor doesn’t see himself as an actor. No, he’s something more than that.
“Well I can’t always say that I am this and with the risk of seeming like an arrogant, sanctimonious snot, I would say being a shamanic performance artist is something I aspire to,” explains Cage.
“Shamanic performance artist”. Oh yeah, that’s the Cage stuff right there.
Ok, folks, it’s the holiday season and I’m off to travel to see family tomorrow, so this will be me, signing off. I’ll be back in 2019 with some seriously wacky news for the new year! Cheers!