So many things happening, I hardly know where to start. I guess I’ll start s of chronologically.
In this week’s “Weird, but I would have watched it for sure” story, Apparently the Will Ferrell film Anchorman had a VERY different plot before it was rewritten to the film we now know.
Will Ferrell explained, while on the Bill Simmons Podcast:
“The first version of Anchorman is basically the movie Alive, where the year is 1976, and we are flying to Philadelphia, and all the newsmen from around the country are flying in to have some big convention,” Ferrell explained. “Ron convinces the pilot that he knows how to fly the charter jet, and he immediately crash-lands it in the mountains. And it’s just the story of them surviving and trying to get off the mountainside. They clipped a cargo plane, and the cargo plane crashed as well, close to them, and it was carrying only boxes of orangutans and Chinese throwing stars. So throughout the movie we’re being stalked by orangutans who are killing, one by one, the team off with throwing stars. And Veronica Corningstone keeps saying things like, ‘Guys, I know if we just head down we’ll hit civilization.’ And we keep telling her, ‘Wrong.’ She doesn’t know what we’re talking about.”
In another surprising addition, none other than auteur Paul Thomas Anderson agreed to help Ferrell and producer/co-writer Adam McKay get the film made, even if it was “a little too weird.” Thankfully (some might say, but not me), Ferrell and McKay took another crack at it, and we now have the much-beloved comedy as we know it.
It could all be a bit, but I want it to be real! I want to see that film! Murdering Orangutans? Throwing stars? If there is ever a Anchorman 3, I want this to be it.
In this week’s “Transformers Forever”, story, Paramount Pictures could potentially churn out another 14 Transformers movies.
Bay says that they have “14 stories written,” and while that doesn’t mean there will be 14 more Transformers movies, it does mean that Paramount is currently sitting on 14 potential Transformers movies. There’s a chance none of them will get made, but there’s a significantly more likely chance that all 14 will get made
This is a horrifying thought, but at least Michael Bay won’t be making every one of them. In fact, it’s possible that this one coming out this summer, the 6th one, may be his last.
“With every Transformers film, I’ve said it would be my last,” he wrote. “I see the 120 million fans around the world who see these movies, the huge theme park lines to the ride and the amazing Make- A-Wish kids who visit my sets, and it somehow keeps drawing me back. I love doing these movies. This film was especially fun to shoot. But, this time might really be it. So I’m blowing this one out.”
I’ll believe it when I see it, man.
Turns out, even Mark Wahlberg is moving on after this latest installment. Wahlberg recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show and mentioned that the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight will be “the last one” for him, adding “so I get my life back”—presumably because the millions of dollars isn’t enough to stand next to green screens to pretend you’re acting with giant robots.
In this week’s “How much?” story, Tom Cruise’s The Mummy is approaching the $ 300 million mark worldwide, still not as much as Universal would like.
However, the more baffling thing to me is that Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has managed to cross the $ 500 million mark worldwide.
Continued proof that the movie-going public still isn’t as savvy as we’d like. I really thought it would end with this one, but with money like that, you know they’ll keep going.
In this week’s “Finally, an air date” story, Star Trek: Discovery has finally been given an air date. On Sunday, September 24, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on regular CBS, then right after on CBS Access online will show the second episode. Then the first half of the 15 episode season will be available immediately for viewing for about 6 weeks until Nov. 5th. Then they won’t show the rest of the episodes until January 2018.
Yep, they’re giving us the episodes in two chapters, as they call it. I’m beginning to be less and less optimistic about this show.
In this week’s “Jurassic Something” story, Colin Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World, won’t be helming the sequel since he’s all busy working on Star Wars IX, but he and his writing partner Derek Connolly have been working on the script for Jurassic World 2.
Trevorrow states: “Derek and I wrote for about the first eight months and then when he had to move on I kept going and I was actually the on-set writer on that movie.”
He continues: “It is thus far my favorite creative collaboration that I’ve ever been involved in in that J.A. Bayona is a completely different kind of filmmaker and thinker than I am, yet we do have a lot of things in common so I was able to craft something specifically for another filmmaker that I admire. I built a Spanish horror thriller with dinosaurs in it that I probably wouldn’t have built for myself.”
He also says he thinks it will be better than his Jurassic film. And if you were worried about it being just more of the same “human get chased and eaten by dinosaurs” stuff, he has this to say:
It’s just deeper, it’s more character-based, it definitely leans into suspense especially in the second half. It does have the big action in the middle and there’s a sequence in the middle that I’ve been watching…I’ve started to see stuff come together and it’s just insane….”
“It’s definitely about our greed and the depths of depravity that humans will sink in order to satisfy their need for profit. We’re certainly continuing with a lot of those themes but in different ways. But without spoiling anything there’s definitely new themes that have never been examined in a Jurassic movie before that we’ve gotten into that I really think will expand people’s idea of what these movies can be, that it’s not just people running away from dinosaurs on an island.”
Ok, I’m intrigued. I truly want them to explore new ground and do something different, so this gives me hope.
RELATED: The poster for the film, Jurassic World 2, has been posted, and the title as well. It’s called Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Oooo, mysterious. The title does create intrigue to me. I’m curious to see what that could mean in the context of a Jurassic Park movie.
The cast for Fallen Kindom is solid: Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will reprise their roles from the last movie. Jeff Goldblum — who appeared in 1993’s Jurassic Park and in 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park — joins the sequel. The rest of the cast includes B. D. Wong, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall, Justice Smith, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin, and James Cromwell.
In this week’s “Still doesn’t say much” story, a somewhat vague synopsis of the Godzilla sequel, now tentatively titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters, has been released. Here’s the official wording is as follows:
The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Gee, thanks for the, uh, so-called update…
In this week’s “So, does he get a watch or what?” story, three-time Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis is retiring form acting.
Yep, the 60 year old actor has one more film coming out; Paul Thomas-Anderson’s film about high fashion, and then Day-Lewis is done.
No reason for his retirement has been given. In a statement, Day-Lewis’ spokeswoman, Leslee Dart, confirmed the news: “Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject. ”
Ok, fine. Don’t tell us why.
In this week’s “WHAT?” story, writer/director’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie) have officially been fired from the Star Wars Han Solo spin-off film. YIKES!
It would seem that they have been at odds with Kathleen Kennedy, who is producing the film, practically since day one.
Their exit comes after months of conflict with producer Kathleen Kennedy, others from her LucasFilm team, and co-writer and executive producer Lawrence Kasdan, and the two directors hired to infuse the “Star Wars” universe with a tongue-in-cheek sensibility.
Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set.
The duo also clashed with Kasdan, who has been an integral creative part of several Star Wars movies, dating back the the 1980 The Empire Strikes Back. Like Kennedy, he questioned many of the pair’s directing choices.
“Kathy, her team and Larry Kasdan have been doing it their way for a very long time. They know how the cheese is made and that’s how they want it made,” said the source. “It became a very polarizing set.”
In statements accompanying news of the directing shakeup, both Kennedy and Lord and Miller alluded to differing visions for the project.
“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,” said Lord and Miller in a statement.
Kennedy promised a new director would be announced shortly. Sources say Ron Howard is in talks to take over the film, but there is no deal as yet.
Ok, Ron Howard would be a poor choice to take over this film. And let’s face it, if you’re thinking of Ron Howard as a replacement, how the Hell did you think that Lord and Miller were the guys you wanted to make this in the first place? Practically anyone could tell you that those creative styles are drastically different.
Some insiders believe that while Kennedy wants to make a splash by hiring young indie directors such as Gareth Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), she’s ultimately unwilling to empower them to make their own creative decisions.
I am worried. With several weeks to go on production, that means a lot of footage has been shot, so there are going to be a lot of reshoots just to try to keep the tone of the film consistent all the way through. Ack.
They are still sticking to the May, 25, 2018 release date, though.
UPDATE: It’s official! Ron Howard will now be the director of the Han Solo spin-off film. And that is a terrible terrible thing. I have grave doubts now about this project. The styles of Lord and Miller are quite different than Howard’s, and frankly, Opie isn’t my fave director. DO NOT LIKE THIS TURN OF EVENTS.
In this week’s “Downton goes big” story, Downton Abbey is getting the feature film treatment and will head into production next year.
The series, which follows the lives of an aristocratic English family, ended its six season run on ITV in the U.K. and PBS in the U.S. in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and the producer of the show, Carnival Films, and its studio owner, NBCUniversal, have frequently spoken about making a “Downton” movie.
Julian Fellowes wrote the TV series and has been working on the script for the movie.
Noting a film has been in the works for some time, Michael Edelstein, president at NBC Universal International Studios, told the Associated Press: “We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”
In this week’s “Long time no see” story, Neve Campbell has joined the cast of Skyscaper, Dwayne Johnson’s big disaster actioner scheduled to hit screens July 13, 2018.
The 3D action thriller written and to be directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, has Johnson starring as a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and war veteran who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, he must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building above the fire line.
I haven’t seen Neve Campbell in anything in ages, but I haven’t been keeping up with Netflix’s House of Cards where she has apparently become a series regular. Well, I guess she showed me.
In this week’s “Man on the moon” story, Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land), has a new film in the works, First Man; a film about Neil Armstrong’s moon landing.
Ryan Gosling has signed on to star as Neil Armstrong, and Kyle Chandler and Cory Stoll have also joined the cast.
Chandler will portray Deke Slayton, a WWII pilot, aeronautical engineer, and test pilot who was picked to be part of the Mercury Seven astronauts. However, before he could make the flight, he was diagnosed with a medical condition and wasn’t able to take part.
Stoll is in talks to play the legendary Buzz Aldrin in the film. Of all the astronauts from that era, Aldrin is perhaps the best known, still in the public eye decades after the moon landing.
Lastly, THR reveals that Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) is suiting as well, playing the first American to walk in space, Ed White.
First Man is Chazelle’s first time directing a film that he hasn’t written. Spotlight writer Josh Singer penned the script, which is based on the James Hansen biography, “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.”
In this week’s “There’s a first time (second) for everything” story, two guys that don’t usually do sequels are doing one.
In a profile on new Paramount chief Jim Gianopulos, it has been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter that David Fincher officially has signed on to direct World War Z 2, with Brad Pitt in the leading role. That’s literally all that is given in the profile, as Gianopulos states “we’re in advanced development” on the sequel, then confirms that Fincher and Pitt are involved.
All the rewrites and reshoots generated some seriously negative buzz about World War Z, but the film ended up being a surprise hit. In fact, it made about $ 540 million worldwide, and then franchise talk started.
So, here we are talking about both Fincher AND Pitt signed on for the sequel. Money talks, people.
In this week’s “Most dangerous documentary” story, this Saturday (tomorrow) June 24 at 10 pm on Animal Planet, you can watch the documentary about the most dangerous film ever made – ROAR.
I love this film because it’s batshit crazy that anyone would attempt to make it.
For 11 years, producer-director Marshall; his wife, the actress Tippi Hedren; and their children, including then-fledging actress Melanie Griffith, lived, ate and slept in the company of 150 lions, tigers, cheetahs, and jaguars.
Then they decided that they should make a film about this lifestyle in order to bolster their cause of animal conservation. It didn’t exactly work, mostly because the giant cats had a tendency to try to eat the cast and crew.
Oh, and the film’s shoot was plagued from the start, both by financial difficulties (Marshall and Hedren sold almost everything they had to finance it), and a series of horrific, seemingly random plagues, including floods, wildfire, and disease. And you know, all the maiming and such.
When Drafthouse Films re-released the film back in 2015, the forward-thinking distributor sold the feature with a canny (and true) tagline: “No animals were harmed in the making of this movie. 70 members of the cast and crew were.”
Ouch. The most notorious of these injuries was cinematographer Jan de Bont being scalped by a lion. And no, this is not one of those exaggerations. He was literally scalped from about the top of his head, to the back base of his skull. Yikes.
I would love to see this documentary but I cut back my cable subscription so I have to find it elsewhere. Sad face.
In this week’s “Spiderman surprises” story, with Spiderman: Homecoming not far away, and the Marvel/Sony deal appearing to be a bigger deal than we thought, it looks like we’re going to get some interesting cameos in Homecoming.
The cast listing shows us Gwenyth Paltrow appearing as Pepper Potts, as well as Donald Glover showing up as Aaron Davis, aka The Prowler, AND Michael Mando, aka Scorpion. If that weren’t enough for Spidey fans, there will be two Shockers; Logan Marshall-Green as Jackson Brice, known as Shocker # 1, and Bokine Woodbine as Herman Schultz – Shocker # 2. There were two characters in the comics to play Shocker, if that wasn’t clear.
That’s a lot of cameo action right there.
In this week’s “Neptune’s calling” story, veteran actor Tommy Lee Jones has just signed on to join Brad Pitt in the deep space epic, Ad Astra.
The film is to be directed and co-written (with Ethan Gross) by James Gray for New Regency.
Not many details are available, but in Ad Astra (which means “to the stars” in Latin), Pitt would play the slightly autistic space engineer Roy McBride. Twenty years after his father left on a one-way mission to Neptune in order to find signs of extra-terrestrial intelligence, McBride travels through the solar system to find him and understand why his mission failed.
Jones will play the father character, and apparently the film has a bit of Heart Of Darkness vibe, set in deep space.
Ok, I like the sound of that.
In this week’s “Rocko Returns” story, let us all rejoice! Rocko’s Modern Life, Nickelodeon’s popular animated show from the ’90’s is making a comeback!
The kids network has announced a continuance of their stroll down Nostalgia Lane as the titular Australian wallaby, his dog Spunky, steer best friend Heffer, neurotic turtle buddy Filburt, and his neighbors the Bigheads are all coming back for a one hour TV movie on Nickelodeon in 2018.
Titled Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, it will bring back all the original voice cast members.
For those who don’t remember, the voice cast features Carlos Alazraqui (The Fairly OddParents) as Rocko, Spunky, and Leon; Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Heffer Wolfe, Chuck, and the superhero Really Really Big Man; Mr. Lawrence (yes, that’s his full name) as Filburt Turtle and Maitre D’; Charlie Adler (Blaze and the Monster Machines) as Ed Bighead, Bev Bighead, Mr. Dupette, Grandpa Wolfe, and Mrs. Fathead; Linda Wallem (Nurse Jackie) as Aunt Gretchen and Dr. Hutchinson; Jill Talley (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Nosey; and creator Joe Murray as Ralph Bighead, a character who became a cartoonist in the original series, seemingly somewhat based on Murray himself.
As for where we find these wacky characters this time, Nickelodeon revealed that the movie sees all of our characters returning to Earth after somehow being lost in space since 1996, which is when the original series ended. Upon their return, Rocko is having a hard time dealing with modern life in the 21st century while his friends Heffer and Filburt have no problem fitting in, embracing every aspect of technology, social media, food trucks, and more.
In a very meta and somewhat dark twist, Rocko begins to think that his nostalgia for the past can save him from the tortures of the modern world. So we’re getting a nostalgic animated TV series revival where the lead character gets nostalgic for the time that the TV show took place.
This sounds like lots of wonderfulness! Look for this in 2018!
In this week’s “Oh, do tell!” story, Curtis Armstrong, Tom Cruise’s co-star in Risky Business, says the now mega-star balanced Bible Study and blow jobs.
Ok, so Curtis Armstrong has just his memoir, Revenge of the Nerd, named, of course, after his his starring role in the film of the same name. He clearly has some stories to tell of his younger days, and this particular co-star doesn’t get a free pass. He eventually wrote about his time on the set of Risky Business, revealing Tom Cruise’s nighttime activities (via THR):
“Returning late one night, I found three or four young girls — late teens, I suspect — lined up in the hall outside of Tom’s room. I remember thinking, ‘Tom’s going to be really upset if these hot girls interfere with his Bible reading.’ So I asked them, with all the stern gravitas of my 28 years, if there was something I could do to help them. They just stared at me, and at that moment, Tom’s door opened and another girl came out, adjusting her hair and taking off down the hall, while the first girl in line slipped into Tom’s room.”
This is a pretty wild accusation on the part of Curtis Armstrong. And while the details are salacious enough to capture the attention of most movie fans, it’s important to note that this is a second hand account of Tom Cruise’s behavior in the 80s. That being said, Armstrong goes on to poke fun at Cruise’s playboy antics, saying:
“This was a young man who knew something about time management and understood how to successfully juggle Bible study and blow jobs. I went to bed alone that night thinking it served me right for not being religious.”
Well, that’s quite the story. If the rest of the book is anything like this stuff, it’ll sell millions when it releases on July 11. And this is obviously before the Scientology shenanigans, as it’s known that Cruise was raised Catholic.
You think it’s true? I do. C’mon, a young Tom Cruise about to be a huge star? Ladies lining up outside his room doesn’t sound too improbable to me.
Whew! All that and Johnny Depp at the Glastonbury Festival making some crack if an actor has ever assassinated a President? Then he had to apologize for saying it. That’s bullshit. What a week!
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, pretty much standing by Depp on this one.