Another week, and it’s a doozy!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Captain Pike, I presume?” story, Star Trek: Discovery has found it’s Captain Pike for their USS Enterprise.
Anson Mount has joined Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 in the role of Capt. Christopher Pike, Variety has learned.
Mount will be the fourth actor to portray Pike, who preceded James T. Kirk as the captain of the Enterprise. Jeffrey Hunter played the role in the original, unused Star Trek: The Original Series pilot, with footage from that episode later being repurposed in the two-part episode “The Menagerie.” Also in “The Menagerie,” Sean Kenney played an older–and the most iconic–version of Pike, confined to a brainwave-operated wheelchair and unable to communicate save for a blinking light. Finally, Bruce Greenwood played the character in the 2009 Star Trek reboot film and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.
Mount is best known for his starring role in the AMC period drama Hell on Wheels. He currently stars in the ABC Marvel series Inhumans, which is not expected to return for a second season, and previously starred in the
NBC legal drama Conviction.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Another Quiet Place?” story, it seem the writers of A Quiet Place have ideas for a sequel.
The John Krasinski-helmed feature had the second-best opening ever for an original horror movie, and that’s interesting because apparently there was once talk of it being part of the Cloverfield franchise. Alas, the plot was too similar to 10 Cloverfield Lane at the time when Paramount was focused on that being an anthology brand.
Well, now A Quiet Place could wind up spawning its own franchise. During a press conference for the movie, Fandango asked screenwriters Bryan Woods and Scott Beck about the possibility of this world being revisited in a sequel. “It’s such a fun world,” Woods answered, in the affirmative. “There are so many things you could do.”
We never learn about the origins of the monsters and what their purpose is on Earth — there are hints about them coming via meteor from outer space, but that’s not necessarily confirmed. And how many other survivors are out there? Maybe we could see another, simultaneous story to that of the Abbott family’s?
“Definitely…There are so many discarded set pieces, too, just hiding out on Word documents on our computer,” Beck added. “So, yeah, there are certainly so many stories you could tell. It’s just really, at the end of the day, who are the characters in this and what does this situation mean to that dynamic?”
Hey, if there’s money to be made, there will be a sequel.
IN THIS WEEK’S “That is one massive battle sequence” story, Game Of Thrones is is a huge hit. And each season gets bigger than the previous one. and this last season is no exception.
The scope has grown so much that HBO and the creators of the series decided to limit the number of episodes to 6 for the upcoming last season, just to maximize the production value.
Well, it seems that the upcoming, final season of the series is going to outdo all the previous ones in at least one way. In a now-deleted Instagram post (screenshot shared on Twitter) by Assistant Director Jonathan Quinlan, fans got a peek at a letter that was sent from the producers of the series to the crew, thanking them for their hard work on a recent 55-day battle scene shoot.
You read that right, 55 days.
The letter said:
“This is for the Night Dragons. For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep shit of Toome and the winds of Magheramorne. When tens of millions of people around the world watch this episode a year from now, they won’t know how hard you worked. They won’t care how tired you were or how tough it was to do your job in sub-freezing temperatures. They’ll just understand that they’re watching something that’s never been done before. And that’s because of you.”
To put that in perspective, the average TV series spends just over a week or so filming an episode. Definitely not 8 weeks for one episode. But then again, Game of Thrones isn’t like any other TV series. Each episode of Game of Thrones basically is its own film. So, the real question is what exactly took so long to film?
This is gonna be awesome.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Don’t diss the Marvel movies” story, Zoe Saldana is calling out “Hollywood elitists” who feel that actors and directors joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe are selling out and looking for an easy paycheck.
Speaking with Net-A-Porter, the actress explained that actors in superhero films often bare a great responsibility to lead by example for younger demographics.
“I feel so proud to be living in space, to be playing green and blue aliens, to inspire, primarily, the younger generations,” Saldana said, referring to her roles as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy and Neytiri in Avatar. “I remember what it was like to be young and to feel completely excluded out of the mainstream conversation of life because I was just little and unimportant and ‘other.’”
Saldana supported her point by referencing the many instances where actors involved in superhero films have visited sick children in character. Ben Affleck, who stars as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the DC Extended Universe, made headlines recently for visiting a terminally ill young Batman fan in the hospital. Actors such as Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, and Chris Pratt have done the same.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Tetsuo and Kineda – live!” story, Thor Ragnarok director Taika Wititi loves Akira.
In a recent interview with Dazed, the interviewer asks about one of Waititi’s more high-profile projects (hopefully) coming in the future, the live-action adaptation of the Japanese Manga (turned animated film), Akira.
“I haven’t really started to get my head around it yet. What I wanted to do was an adaptation of the books, ’cos a lot of people are like, ‘Don’t touch that film!’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not remaking the film, I want to go back to the book.’ A lot of the people freaking out haven’t even read the books, and there are six gigantic books to go through. It’s so rich. But [the anime] Akira is one of my favorite films; my mum took me to see it when I was 13 and it changed my life,” says Waititi.
Not a lot of info, but this would be cool.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Complicated Toy Story” story, Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 has had a lost of ups and downs, but they’ve finally settled on a date.
The sequel was first announced back in 2014, with John Lasseter directing and Rashida Jones and Will McCormack writing the screenplay based on an original story from Lasseter and Pixar mainstays Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and Lee Unkrich—the creators of the Toy Story franchise in the first place. At that time, Disney staked out a June 2017 release date for the project.
But there were rocky roads ahead. In October 2015, Toy Story 4 was pushed back to 2018 as work was still being done on the script. Then a year later, the film was pushed back yet another year as Incredibles 2’s development was going much more smoothly so the two swapped release dates. Then in July 2017, Lasseter stepped down from the director’s chair, promoting co-director Josh Cooley to director and setting Coco co-director Jonas Rivera as the film’s new co-director.
And then, amid reports of sexual harassment from Lasseter, it was revealed that original writers Jones and McCormack had withdrawn from the project some time earlier, with Jones stating that Pixar felt like “a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal voice.”
Stephany Folsom (Thor: Ragnarok) has subsequently come onboard to pen the screenplay. It appears that things are going much more smoothly, as Cooley confirmed on Twitter that the Toy Story 4 release date will indeed be June 21, 2019. About a year and a half out, it appears the team is confident in their ability to hit that date, and so fans can now hopefully look forward to seeing what this sequel’s all about next year.
Well, that’s all a big mess. Let’s see if they can hold on to that date. Unless somebody ELSE does something inappropriate.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Up next: Bond 25” story, Daniel Craig is getting ready to shoot the next Bond film.
The James Bond star confirmed to the Associated Press this week that he will be returning to the super spy role for his next project. The film will be the 25th installment in the long-running franchise and marks Craig’s fifth stint as 007. Danny Boyle, the Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire, will reportedly direct the film, but Craig was tight-lipped when the AP caught up with him at the Opportunity Network’s charity auction that included his personal 2014 Aston Martin.
“We’ll see, we’ll see,” he said of Boyle’s possible involvement.
Craig had a Hamlet-like trajectory when it came to deciding whether or not to re-enter the world of global espionage, fast cars, and beautiful women. At one point he said he would “rather slash my wrists” than play Bond again and said he would only do another film “for the money.” Apparently, the studio paid him handsomely.
Ok, well, that doesn’t bode well for his performance in this next Bond film. If he phones this shit in, it’s going to suck.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Don’t screw this up” story, Apple is developing a drama series from David S. Goyer titled Foundation, based on writer and professor Isaac Asimov’s book series, the company announced Tuesday.
The show will be written and executive produced by Goyer and Josh Friedman, each of whom will serve as the series’ showrunners. Skydance Television is producing Foundation with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross also serving as executive producers.
Based on Asimov’s novel series of the same name, Foundation is set far in the future about humans scattered across distant planets all under the rule of the Galactic Empire. Hari Seldon, a mathematician known for developing the science psychohistory, envisions a looming dark age and the fall of the Galactic Empire. So he gathers together the greatest scientific minds to form the “Foundation” and lead the Galactic Empire into the future, only to be at the mercy of rising warlords.
The Foundation series started as a collection of short stories published in Astounding Magazine in 1942, then became a book trilogy in 1951. Asimov later added to the series in subsequent sequels and prequels with the first installment arriving in 1982.
Asimov’s work has been adapted into film previously, including I, Robot and Bicentennial Man. Foundation was previously sought after for a film series, and in 2016, Jonathan Nolan was developing a Foundation series for HBO and Warner Bros. TV.
And based on those previous adaptations, you can see that no one has yet been able to do Asimov’s work justice. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Goyer doesn’t fuck this up.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Whatever works” story, In an interview, Paul Thomas Anderson brings up this 600-page monster of a script that he has written. And when he’s asked what he will tackle next, he goes back to this mythical script. “What I will probably try to do next, foolishly, is go back to that 600-page thing that I have and try to see if there’s anything to carve out of it,” said Anderson.
How does Anderson think he will be able to take a 600-page script and turn it into a two-hour film? Get this:
“I will probably try to daydream about what I know is in there and wonder how much I can get away with not looking at it and just write from what I know that’s in there that is good. Because when you go back into those 600 pages, it’s a briar patch isn’t it? Right? You start to see something, ‘well this is not a bad idea and maybe I should follow that thread?’ And the next thing you know, two hours later you really pissed the day away, right?” explains the filmmaker.
Uh, ok, Paul. If that’s how it works, go for it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Going back to Deadwood ” story, for those people that are fans of Deadwood, they just got some good news. The long-in-the-works HBO Deadwood movie just received a $4.195 million California tax incentive.
There is no green light for the film yet but HBO applying for a tax credit and getting one indicates that that the network has full intention of making it. It also means that the network has a finished script and financing in place, requirements for a tax benefit application. At TCA in January, HBO president Casey Bloys confirmed that the network was eyeing a fall 2018 production start for the long-gestating movie. According to the California Film
Commission regulations, a film or a TV series generally has to start principal photography within 180 days of being approved for a tax credit in order to receive it, though exceptions are being made in special circumstances.
That means that Deadwood should start filming by the beginning of October.
“Assuming that we could get all the actors back together, I think this is something we would do possibly next fall, fall 2018,” Bloys told Deadline in January. “I’m feeling optimistic about it.”
Three months later, talks with the cast continue, focusing on their availability, and synching up the work schedules of the sprawling ensemble remains the one outstanding issue that is holding up a green light.
“It’s very hard to get people together for a barbecue that lasts an afternoon, let alone to get everyone together for a production that lasts a month or two,” co-star Timothy Olyphant recently told radio host Rich Eisen in an interview.
Landing the sizable tax credit certainly certainly gives incentive to HBO and the Deadwood movie producers to make it happen.
Created by David Milch, Deadwood starred Ian McShane as merciless saloon owner Al Swearengen, along with Olyphant as Seth Bullock, Molly Parker as Alma Garet and Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran. The acclaimed series ran for three seasons from 2004-2006 before abruptly ending its run, and there have been calls for and talk of a revival ever since.
This show needs this revival if only to put some closure on what was a very underwhelming finale. Now if we could just get HBO to do the same with Carnivale.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It’s all coming up “The Rock”” story, Dwayne Johnson’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle crossed $403.7 million at the domestic box office on Tuesday night, making it Sony Pictures’ highest grossing film of all time domestically.
That means it surpassed the studio’s 2002 hit Spider-Man. Jumanji, also starring Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan, has grossed $950 million worldwide.
In addition, Johnson has his new film, Rampage, opening this weekend. AND, the actor has Skyscraper dropping in July, Fighting with my Family in September, Disney’s Jungle Cruise heading into production soon, a Fast and Furious spinoff film on the books for 2019, and a number of other projects in various stages of development, from the DC superhero pic Black Adam to the original thriller Red Notice.
One project we haven’t heard about in a while is he and Shane Black’s adaptation of Doc Savage.
Johnson had this to say about the status of that film:
“First of all, love Shane Black and we’ve had multiple meetings on that project that we were going to work on. Right now, Shane’s doing things. I’m doing things. That project had a few issues, not creative issues but more so business affairs issues — where the project once was, who had rights to it, where we were trying to move it to. There was a lot of that, which we’re still kind of working through. At the end of the day, Shane’s such a spectacular writer or director, but whether it’s that project or something else, we’ve made a pact that we’re going to work together at some point in our careers.”
Well, that sounds a bit like development red-tape Hell. I won’t hold my breath.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Cool casting” story, actor Donnie Yen is set to star opposite Liu Yifei in Disney’s live action Mulan. Niki Caro is directing, and Chris Bender, Jason Reed, and Jake Weiner are producing the movie. The film’s release was recently pushed back by more than a year to March 27, 2020.
Yen recently appeared in another Disney tentpole: 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He also has ties to Chinese singer-actress Yifei, who co-starred in Ip Man 3. Yen just started filming Ip Man 4.
IN THIS WEEK’S “But where’s Rick Moranis?” story, Martin Scorcese is making an SCTV documentary for Netflix.
Scorsese will reunite former SCTV co-stars Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Dave Thomas in front of a live audience for An Afternoon with SCTV on May 13 in Toronto, to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
The reunion will anchor the documentary about the cult TV spinoff of Canada’s Second City to be shot over three days next month in Toronto, with Andrew Alexander, John Brunton and Lindsay Cox producing.
Scorsese, with 12 Oscar nominations and a directing win for The Departed (2006), held long conversations with SCTV alum about their character-driven TV satire series that ran from 1976 to 1984 as he developed his documentary about the famed comedy troupe, most of whom were Canadian artists.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Interesting story idea” story, Paramount Pictures is in negotiations to acquire the rights to the spec Life on Mars with John Krasinski and Platinum Dunes on board to produce.
Krasinski and Platinum Dunes recently worked together on the smash hit “A Quiet Place” and the two have been looking to find another project on which to collaborate following the film’s success. Krasinski is currently not attached to star or direct yet.
Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form will produce through Platinum Dunes.
The project is based on a short story by graphic novelist Cecil Castellucci, We Have Always Lived on Mars, that centers on a woman who is among a handful of descendants of a Martian colony long-abandoned by Earth following a cataclysm. One day, the woman finds she can breathe the air on Mars, upending her world and that of her fellow colonists.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Charlize Theron kicks more ass” story, Charlize Theron confirms that an Atomic Blonde sequel is in the works.
During a recent SFFilm Tribute (via IndieWire), Theron was talking about her filmography, when she dropped a bit of a bombshell about Atomic Blonde. “We’re working on a sequel,” said Theron.
While the first film only made a hair under $100 million worldwide, the film wasn’t a total loss considering the relatively small $30 million production budget.
Of course “working” on a sequel could mean any number of things. “Working” on a script, or on an idea for the film, or whatever. It’s a bit early so we’ll see if the sequel actually happens.
IN THIS WEEK’S “IT, the grown-ups” story, It Chapter 2 is finding it’s cast.
James McAvoy and BIll Hader are in talks to join Jessica Chastain, who has already signed on to star in the next chapter of the Stephen King adaptation.
The second installment of New Line’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It focuses on the adult versions of the characters that were subjected to the terror of demon clown Pennywise, last seen in the 2017 movie that grossed $700 million worldwide.
If deals make, McAvoy would play the role of the adult Bill Denbrough, the unofficial leader of the group of kids nicknamed the Losers Club, who grows up to be a successful author. When he returns to face his past, his old stutter resurfaces. Jaeden Lieberher played the character in the first movie.
Hader will play the adult Richie Tozier, the jokester who grows up to be a DJ. Finn Wolfhard played the character in the first installment.
Chastain is already on board to play Beverly Marsh, the group’s lone female member who as an adult ends up in an abusive marriage. Bill Skarsgard will return as Pennywise.
The kid actors from the movie, Lieberher and Wolfhard among them, are expected to return for the second chapter in flashback scenes.
It: Chapter Two is scheduled to begin production this July and will be released in theaters by Warner Bros. on Sept. 6, 2019.
Andy Muschietti and Gary Dauberman are back as director and screenwriter, respectively.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Reshoots: problem or solution?” story, Shane Black’s new Predator reboot/sequel thing had some big rehoots recently, which were teased on social media by a few cast members and Black himself. And now co-star Keegan-Michael Key has provided some details on those reshoots, revealing that they actually reworked the film’s third act quite heavily.
Speaking with Cinemablend, Key talked about the reshoots and the brilliance of Black:
“We just finished [reshoots] last week, and just about three-quarters of the third act was rewritten. And Shane Black is… he’s just a consummate professional, and a consummate writer. He’s a wordsmith! It was a really, really exhilarating experience, and I think that he’s still one of our most vibrant writers of cinema.”
Well, that just sounds like a lot of sunshine being blown up Shane Black’s ass. I mean, I get it; doing reshoots isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that statement doesn’t give me any significant faith that the third act was solid. It sounds more like Black came up with a better idea after shooting and decided to change the end of the film. Either way, I’m sure I’ll see it for myself and decide.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Terminator next” story, The search for the next Terminator is over. Tim Miller and James Cameron have cast Gabriel Luna in the title role of the sixth Terminator sequel, Deadline reports. Luna is best known for playing Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider on the ABC superhero series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also starred in the El Rey Network series “Matador” and the movies Freeheld and Transpecos.
The untitled Terminator sequel is the first to be overseen by Cameron since he directed, wrote, and produced The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Cameron selected Deadpool director Miller to helm the new installment, which will see original stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton return to the franchise as the T-800 and Sarah Connor, respectively. Story details are being kept under wraps, but the film will serve as a direct sequel to T2, skipping the timelines of the three sequels.
In addition to Luna, actors Natalia Reyes and Diego Bonita are also joining the cast. Blade Runner 2049 star Mackenzie Davis was announced as a cast member at the beginning of March. Paramount has already set a November 22, 2019 release date for the film.
IN THIS WEEK’S “TJ Miller commits a Faux pas” story, Former Silicon Valley actor T.J. Miller was arrested on Monday night by federal officials, accused of making a false bomb threat from a train last month, prosecutors said.
Miller was arrested at LaGuardia Airport in New York City and was charged with intentionally conveying false information to law enforcement, which has a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. He was released on $100,000 bail.
Department of Justice officials said Miller called 911 while on an Amtrak train on March 18, saying that a woman with brown hair and a brown scarf was carrying a bomb in her bag. When the train stopped at Westport, Connecticut, Amtrak investigators had the passengers disembark and sent in a bomb squad to search the train. Nothing was found.
Later, an investigator contacted Miller about his claim. The DOJ said Miller’s description of the woman was different, and that the investigator detected slurring in his voice. Miller said the woman kept checking her bag — which he described as a “black bag carry on suitcase with a handle” — without taking anything out. He also said she kept asking the first-class attendant what the next stop was, and seemed to want to get off the train and leave her bag behind. When asked if he had been drinking, Miller said he only had one glass of wine.
But during the stop, Amtrak officers spoke with the attendant in the first-class car where Miller had been sitting, who said the actor appeared intoxicated when he boarded the train and had multiple drinks while onboard, prosecutors said. The attendant also said that Miller had been hostile towards a woman sitting in a different row from him on the train, prosecutors added. Investigators identified the woman and determined that she did not have the bag Miller described.
So, basically TJ Miller was drunk on a train and because some woman made him mad he claimed she had a bomb. I’m beginning to think he might be a huge dick.
UPDATE: T.J. Miller has been federally charged with calling in a fake bomb threat. Miller was intoxicated enough that he had be escorted off of that train in New York. The bomb threat does carry a possible five-year prison sentence.
I think it might be time for Miller to get some help.
IN THIS WEEK’S “The King of Kong Scandal” story, do you remember that documentary back in 2007 called The King of Kong? It was about these two guys competing to see who could get a score of 1 million on the arcade game Donkey Kong?
One guy, Steve Wiebe, was painted as the hero with a wife and kids and a dream of hitting that goal. The other guy, Billy Mitchell, with all the kooky ties, was painted as the villain, who ended up triumphing over our hero by becoming the first player to hit 1 million points on the game.
Well, it turns out Billy Mitchell cheated.
Twin Galaxies, the world’s largest tracker of video game world records, announced today that after months of research, they believed that Billy Mitchell had cheated to achieve his record score of 1,047,200 on Donkey Kong.
Therefore, they have stripped Mitchell of his Donkey Kong score record and all of his other video game high scores submitted over the years.
Since Twin Galaxies helps the people at the Guinness Book of World records to validate video game scores, presumably the latter will no longer acknowledge the scores of Billy Mitchell either, but they haven’t made an official announcement on that matter yet. This certainly doesn’t bode well for the man with the sweet sweet mullet.
How did Mitchell cheat? A good question, to be sure. Billy Mitchell’s recorded game shows him achieving the aforementioned high score from emulation software rather than a genuine arcade machine. Since that’s a requirement in order to earn an official Twin Galaxies record score, and he intentionally deceived the organization, he has been labeled a cheater and will no longer be allowed to submit scores.
The investigation was completed by Twin Galaxies themselves and at least two different third parties. Everyone conducted their own explorations and came to identical conclusions. Several other experts, hobbyists, and casual observers participated and contributed to this investigation.
With Billy Mitchell’s score cast aside, this means Steve Wiebe is now considered the first player to achieve one million points on Donkey Kong.
I feel like a new documentary is in order. Steve Wiebe should be vindicated on film. throw that guy a parade, dammit!
See ya next time!