Oh look, it’s another week already. More stuff! More happenings! More!
In this week’s “Surprise casting” story, actress Glenn Close will return to television in Amazon’s Sea Oak, a half-hour comedy pilot described as a zombie drama and family revenge comedy.
Sea Oak revolves around Aunt Bernie (Close), a meek, unmarried woman with no children in a working-class Rust Belt City who dies tragically in a home invasion. Compelled by sheer force of dissatisfaction, she comes back from the dead full of rage and determined to get the life she never had. She proceeds to inflict a range of demands on what’s left of her nuclear family, including a quasi-stripper nephew and two feckless nieces, who live in a low-end subsidized hellhole of a housing complex called Sea Oak.
Glenn Close as a zombie. Ok, Amazon, you’ve intrigued me.
In this week’s “Tom Cruise runs (ruins) everything story, The Mummy which released this week, was apparently plagued with problems. The main one was Tom Cruise himself.
Apparently he was given a whole lot of control over virtually every aspect of the making of the film. According to Variety, “The reboot of The Mummy was supposed to be the start of a mega-franchise for Universal Pictures. But instead, it’s become a textbook case of a movie star run amok.”
Somehow that doesn’t surprise me very much.
As Hollywood is playing the blame game on what went wrong on The Mummy, which had a measly domestic opening of just $32 million, many fingers are pointing to Cruise. In the same way that he commanded the stage at the film’s premiere, leaving his cast standing awkwardly by his side, several sources close to the production say that Cruise exerted nearly complete creative oversight on The Mummy, essentially wearing all the hats and dictating even the smallest decisions on the set.
Universal, according to sources familiar with the matter, contractually guaranteed Cruise control of most aspects of the project, from script approval to post-production decisions. He also had a great deal of input on the film’s marketing and release strategy, these sources said, advocating for a June debut in a prime summer period.
Insiders say that The Mummy cost $190 million to make, with another $ 100 million in marketing and release worldwide. It’s making money overseas, but there is still concern whether it will make it’s money back. Also, with the being supposedly the beginning of Universal’s Dark Universe movies, the rest of those films, like Johnny Depp in The Invisble Man, and Angelina Jolie in talks for The Bride Of Frankenstein, may not get made.
Also it turns out that Cruise commissioned two other writers along with McQuarrie to crank out a new script. Two of the film’s three credited screenwriters, McQuarrie and Dylan Kussman, an actor-writer who played small roles in The Mummy and Jack Reacher, were close allies of Cruise’s. The script envisioned Nick Morton as an earnest Tom Cruise archetype, who is described as a “young man” at one point. Tom is no longer that.
His writers beefed up his part. In the original script, Morton and the Mummy (played by Sofia Boutella) had nearly equal screen time. The writers also added a twist that saw Cruise’s character become possessed, to give him more of a dramatic arc. Even though Universal executives weren’t thrilled about the story — which feels disjointed and includes Russell Crowe as Dr. Jekyll — they went along with Cruise’s vision.
Cruise also spent a lot of time in the editing room, making decisions there, too. Director Alex Kurtzman, well, whatever, when you’re a ‘friend’ of Tom Cruise, I guess you just let things happen without protest.
I don’t even want to spend the time on The Mummy. Tom Cruise just ruins everything.
In this week’s “Joss Whedon, making changes”, story, the Justice League movie gets a change in music. Danny Elfman comes on board, replacing Junkie XL, who was composing the film’s soundtrack. Junkie XL is now movie over to the Tomb Raider film, also at Warner Bros., while Elfman takes over on Justice League. Elfman worked with Whedon on Avengers: Age of Ultron as well, adding music where composer Tyler Bates began.
All this makes me wonder how different Justice League will be with Whedon taking over for Zack Snyder for the post production stage of the film.
In this week’s “Classy Mutant villain” story, actress Jessica Chastain has been added to Foxs’ X-Men: Dark Pheonix film. She will take on villain Lilandra, alien empress of the Shi’ar.
It appears that Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbinder have all signed on to return as well.
The only weak link here for me is director Simon Kinberg – he wrote X-Men: The Last Stand, which was not so great. However, he wrote X-Men: Days of Future Past, so maybe that evens things out? I don’t know, but we’ll see. Keep in mind this will be his first time as director.
in this week’s “Bring back the 80’s”, story, the Transformers spinoff movie, Bumblebee, will take place in the 1980’s, the time when the original cartoon of the Transformers show was airing.
Director Travis Knight‘s (Kubo and the Two Strings) prequel won’t be as busy or as large as Michael Bay‘s Transformers movies, either. A few new details have come out about the film, which will star Hailee Steinfeld (Edge of Seventeen).
Transformer World 2005 listed a few new pieces of info from the story, starting with the setting, that it’ll star fewer robots, and we should expect a different and lighter tone. Knight and Paramount are apparently aiming their film at a younger audience, not the teenage boys Bay makes movies for.
In the prequel, Steinfeld will reportedly play “a tomboy who also holds a job as a mechanic after school.” The first movie’s “boy and his car” storyline grounded the first Transformers and felt like a callback to the movies of the ’80s, so maybe the 1980s setting will only help further capture that vibe for Knight’s pic. The CEO of Laika and director of Kubo getting behind the camera for Paramount’s first spinoff makes Paramount’s first Transformers spinoff a bit more promising. Bumblebee is one of the 14 Transformers movies currently in development.
Bumblebee opens in theaters June 8, 2018.
In this week’s “Bad ideas keep coming” story, Cannonball Run is getting a reboot, and it’s getting Central Intelligence director Rawson Thurber to helm.
Reno 911 stars Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant are also in talks to write the script.
The original franchise starred Burt Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dom DeLuise. The films centered on an illegal cross-country race where the participants played dirty tricks on one another.
Warner Bros. has acquired all rights and sequel rights to the film.
Thurber recently directed the Dwayne Johnson-Kevin Hart action-comedy Central Intelligence, which grossed almost $217 million worldwide on a $50 million budget, and is currently developing Johnson’s Skyscraper at Legendary.
In this week’s “A match made in heaven?” story, Henry Selick is finally going to helm a new project. And it will be produced by Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Civil War).
The Tarsier Studios video game Little Nightmares will be made into a TV series with the pilot, and perhaps more episodes, directed by Selick.
Little Nightmares follows Six, a nine-year old girl in a yellow raincoat who finds herself trapped on the bottom of a horrifying ship named the Maw, plagued by an insatiable hunger.
The story follows Six, controlled by the player, throughout the ship while avoiding the clutches of such grotesque and nightmarish characters as The Janitor, the Twin Chefs, and the Lady. It’s a very stylish platform game that makes immediate impressions on viewers and players alike, staying with you long after its all over.
There are planned expansions for the surreal horror game, including a three-part “Secrets of the Maw” arc which will focus on a new protagonist. Sounds like a perfect setup for a Season 2, no?
I’d totally watch this show.
In this week’s “Busy man gets busier”, story, Idris Elba looks to be a movie star this year, but the right TV show apparently will keep on the small screen for a while yet.
He will return to star in Luther, the 5th season of the gritty BBC America series. It’s a great show, so that’s good news to me.
In this week’s “Rumours, rumours”, story, apparently there’s talk going around about actor Armie Hammer being in talks for the Green Lantern movie, or being in the Shazam movie for DC.
Armie Hammer, however, has no idea what that’s all about. According to him, no one has called or approached him to be in either of those films.
I suppose that’s a good thing to some folks. But you know, when an actor denies stuff like that, you never know if they’re sincere or just deflecting..
In this week’s “Whatever” story, Gwenyth Paltrow says she’s probably going to leave acting.
The Oscar winner told Matt Lauer of The Today Show that she plans to put her acting career on hold in order to focus on running her business.
Paltrow is founder and CEO of Goop, a health and beauty lifestyle brand that she launched in 2008 as a simple newsletter run out of her family kitchen. Goop has since developed into a fully-functioning business, brand and online platform.
Although Paltrow is diving head-first into her business, she hasn’t completely turned away from acting. She said she will still “do a little bit here and there” when she has the time.
She last starred in 2015’s box office flop Mortdecai, opposite Johnny Depp.
Well, if that were my last film, I’d be looking to step out of the acting spotlight for a while, too.
In this week’s “They’re THAT good” story, singer Lorde confessed on the Tonight Show that she was the owner and creator of the Instagram page dedicated to onion rings called @onionringsworlwide.
Now closed, that page was her expression of how wonderful onion rings are.
“I naively didn’t realize that it would be a thing that I was going to different places and trying the onion rings at each of those places,” the New Zealand native told Jimmy Fallon.
“I think they’re underrated as well. I don’t think they get enough credit,” the two-time Grammy winner agreed with Fallon of the golden fried appetizer.
Earlier this week, the 20-year-old singer’s secret onion ring review page on the photo sharing app was exposed. “Every onion ring I encounter, rated,” the bio read.
Before the account was taken down, @onionringsworldwide garnered a total of 24 followers, including Lorde, Universal Music promotions director Justin Warren, and Lorde’s keyboardist Jimmy Mac, according to Newshub.
Well, everybody’s gotta have a hobby.
In this week’s “UFO sighting reported by…who?” story, the famous Phoenix Lights UFO sighting from 1997 was seen by about 20, 000 people. But the first person was, Kurt Russell. He was flying his son to visit his girlfriend in Arizona, and they saw those lights. They called it in to the airport, and the rest is history. Russell is a regular Fox Mulder.
Thanks for tuning in this week! See you next time!