What?! another week of shocking and enlightening news!
IN THIS WEEK’s “This isn’t good” story, Disney fired writer/director James Gunn form Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
Gunn posted some inappropriate jokes on Twitter some years ago before he did the first Guardians film and now Disney has fired him.
Frankly, the tweets were super inappropriate, but Gunn has commented about how he was a different person then; as he would say things to be shocking or controversial. Those days are behind him, he says, but he understands why Disney fired him.
Personally, I think if it was that long ago, and he has put things in context, maybe firing him was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. But, the climate is very different these days.
UPDATE: Days after Disney ousted Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn for recently resurfaced controversial tweets, hundreds of thousands of fans have called on the studio behind the comic-book franchise to rehire the filmmaker.
Selma Blair, Dave Bautista, and director Joe Carnahan were among those who shared a Change.org petition on social media, urging Disney to “realize the mistake they made and not do it again in the future.” As of Monday morning, it has collected over 168,000 signatures.
“If people are punished despite changing, then what does that teach people about owning mistakes and evolving? This man is one of the good ones,” Blair wrote.
Bautista, known for his role as Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, further defended Gunn, saying the resurfaced tweets were results of a “cyber Nazi attack.” “What will you do when the #cybernazis attack you? Who will stand by you? Who will cowardly distance themselves from you? Who will punish you for horrible JOKES in the past instead of defending you for INSPIRING millions? MILLIONS!!!,” he wrote.
Gunn was fired on Friday after a series of decade-old tweets were unearthed that made light of offensive topics, such as rape and pedophilia.
“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said.
Gunn, who directed the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films, issued an apology on Friday, writing, “In the past, I have apologized for humor of mine that hurt people. I truly felt sorry and meant every word of my apologies. For the record, when I made these shocking jokes, I wasn’t living them out. I know this is a weird statement to make, and seems obvious, but, still, here I am, saying it.”
He made jokes in REALLY bad taste, 10 years ago, and is paying for them NOW?
RELATED: Bobcat Goldthwait joined the ranks of celebrities to rise in support of James Gunn, with the comedian calling on Disney to remove his voice from an upcoming Disneyland theme park attraction to avoid appearing hypocritical.
In an Instagram post today, Goldthwait notes that he’s done his share of shocking and outrageous acts (say, rappelling nude from the top of the Oakland Coliseum during a Nirvana concert in the 1990s).
“I would hate for you to come off as hypocritical so I’m suggesting you remove my voice from the attraction that’s coming to your park. It’s called WORLD OF COLOR – VILLAINOUS, and I reprise the role of Pain, a role I played in HERCULES,” Goldthwait writes. “You see here’s the deal, years ago I made a lot of sarcastically shocking and offensive jokes. Many that I’m embarrassed about now, and I’d hate to make you guys look bad seeing that I’m openly critical of the president and his administration, and you seem to be taking your lead from some of his radical fringe supporters.”
Goldthwait suggested Disney might also want to glance at James Woods’ past tweets, “They’re a hoot!” Woods voiced Hades in the 1997 animated film Hercules.
LOL. Ok, that’s funny. 🙂
IN THIS WEEK’S “King of (Crime) Comedy” story, Robert De Niro is in talks to join Joaquin Phoenix in Todd Phillips’ untitled Joker origin movie, sources confirmed to Variety.
Sources say De Niro would be portraying a talk-show host who plays a part in driving Phoenix’s character to go mad and become the Clown Prince of Crime. According to insiders, the script has ties to De Niro’s film King of Comedy, about a failing comedian who kidnaps a popular talk-show host to gain fame. In this case, the roles would be reversed, with De Niro playing the smug host.
Phillips is on board to co-write and direct the Warner Bros. movie.
Well, isn’t that something.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Not a good remake choice” story, Deadpool 2 director David Leitch is in early talks with Warner Bros. to come on board a remake of Bruce Lee’s 1973 classic martial arts actioner Enter the Dragon.
The Enter the Dragon remake is in early development, without actors or writers attached.
The original was directed by Robert Clouse, and starred Lee, John Saxon, and Jim Kelly. The film was first released in Hong Kong six days after Lee’s death at the age of 32.
The movie was selected in 2004 for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Lee stars in the pic as a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong who is approached by a British intelligence agent investigating a crime lord. He persuades Lee to attend a martial arts competition on the criminal’s private island in order to gather evidence.
Ok, really, who the Hell are you going to find that’s as iconic as Bruce Lee? Nobody, that’s who.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Dredd” story, Judge Dredd may never get a sequel to that 2012 film (which is great, btw), but a new TV series is in the works.
The Judge Dredd TV show, entitled Judge Dredd: Mega-City One, now has a completed pilot script, and the writers have charted out the first two seasons in the event it gets picked up as a series.
This weekend at San Diego Comic-Con International, word came out that Rob Williams, who has written stories featuring the Judge Dredd character in the U.K. anthology comic 2000 AD for more than a decade, served as the “creative lead” for the TV pilot script. The Hollywood Reporter says he teamed with a number of other writers to break the stories for the first two seasons of Judge Dredd: Mega-City One, which isn’t a Dredd solo show but instead an ensemble piece about the brutal, take-no-prisoners police force in a futuristic megalopolis that takes up a majority of the east coast of the United States.
Word about this series first came out in May of 2017, when IM Global and Rebellion Productions announced that they were teaming up to bring this authoritarian comic to life. Karl Urban spent the entirety of 2012’s Dredd under the character’s iconic helmet (unlike Sylvester Stallone in the godawful 1995 movie adaptation), and while he’s been asked a million times since then if he’s interested in returning for a sequel, it turns out that he’s had conversations about reprising the role in the TV series. Whether or not that actually happens still remains to be seen, but fans who have wanted to see more of his interpretation of the character have to be pleased that the option at least still appears to be on the table.
Still no word on directors, actors, or an official timetable for this series.
Well, I’m not holding my breath, but wouldn’t that be a treat?
IN THIS WEEK’S “Get ready for the C–ksuckers to fly story, HBO is officially moving forward with it’s Deadwood movie!
The announcement was made by HBO programming president Casey Bloys at the TCA summer press tour on Wednesday.
“All of these people worked hard to get this together,” Bloys said. “It’s been a logistics nightmare getting all the cast members’ schedules together, but we are there. It is greenlit.”
Bloys also said the movie is currently scheduled to begin shooting in October for a spring 2019 air date, but added that the date is not “set in stone.”
This is not the first time Bloys had been questioned about the potential movie. Just last year, he praised the script he got for the film from series creator David Milch.
“I wanted a script that would stand on its own … I’m happy to say that David totally delivered on that. It’s a terrific script,” Bloys said at the time.
Fans of the HBO series have been clamoring for more stories set in the Deadwood world ever since the series ended in 2006. The drama ran for three seasons and 36 episodes, with many critics regarding it as one of the best television series of all time. The show picked up 28 Emmy Award nominations during its run, ultimately winning eight.
The show took place in the 1870s in Deadwood, S.D., and charted the titular community’s growth from a camp to a town. The large ensemble cast included actors Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, and John Hawkes.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Well that injury cost money” story, For his latest outing, agent Ethan Hunt is being squeezed like never before.
Thanks to Mission: Impossible — Fallout star Tom Cruise’s on-set ankle injury and recuperation, the film’s budget ballooned to a franchise high, making the profit margins even tighter for Paramount and Skydance. The eight-week hiatus pushed Fallout’s final tally to roughly $250 million, a source tells The Hollywood Reporter. The franchise’s previous outing, 2015’s Rogue Nation, cost about $170 million.
But insiders caution that Fallout’s real costs were closer to $180 million given that most of the extra costs associated with the injury will be covered by insurance because Cruise broke his ankle during production.
That’s a whole lotta “Ouch”!
RELATED: Tom Cruise has revealed that a crucial stunt in Mission: Impossible – Fallout took more than 100 takes to film.
Speaking to IMDb, the action star talked about the challenge of shooting a skydiving sequence that involved falling at 200 mph from nearly 5 miles up.
“We weren’t getting it. It wasn’t working,” Cruise said. “We’d jump out [at] 25,000 feet, land, and the whole team would be there. We’d look at the take and know, did we get the take or not?
“It was 109 takes, and the moment that we got the shot was an exhilarating moment. I’ll never forget that moment.”
Cruise is reportedly the first actor to complete a high-altitude, low-opening (HALO) jump on camera. It was a technique developed in the 1960s by the U.S. Air Force to airdrop military personnel into hostile territory undetected.
The stunt demanded Cruise jump out of a plane at 165 mph, at 25,000 feet (normal skydiving occurs at around 13,000 feet), and then positioning himself just a few feet from the camera while falling at 200 mph.
I have my problems with Cruise, but I’ll give him one thing: he gives 110 % in his films.
IN THIS WEEK’S “It’s Home Alone on weed” story, Twentieth Century Fox has set up the comedy project Stoned Alone with Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds producing and potentially starring in the movie.
Augustine Frizzell, who directed the comedy Never Goin’ Back, has been signed to direct. Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider wrote the script from an idea by Fox executive Matt Reilly with the project centering on a 20-something loser who misses the plane for his holiday ski trip and gets high at home — only to then discover that thieves have broken into his house.
The project, which is in early development, is reminiscent of Fox’s 1990 comedy Home Alone, which starred Macaulay Culkin as an 8-year-old boy mistakenly left behind at his Chicago home when his family goes to Paris for Christmas vacation. Home Alone was a massive box office success with $476 million in worldwide grosses.
Reynolds will produce through his Fox-based Maximum Effort production company and Maximum Effort’s George Dewey will be an executive producer. Reynolds is a producer on the Deadpool movies, which have combined for more than $1.5 billion in worldwide grosses.
Hmmm. Jury is still out on this for me.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A little bit of Rear Window” story, Gary Oldman will star opposite Amy Adams in Fox’s psychological thriller The Woman in the Window from director Joe Wright.
Tracy Letts wrote the screenplay for the movie, which will be produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush. The Woman in the Window is based on A. J. Finn’s best-selling novel, which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and remains the year’s top selling adult-fiction title.
The story centers on a woman who’s a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine, watching old movies, recalling happier times, and spying on her neighbors, including witnessing a crime involving a new neighboring family. Oldman will play the family patriarch.
Still, it sounds interesting.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Well, that’s a good choice for Bosley” story, If you missed Charlie’s Angels, you’re going to get another reboot.
Charlie has found his Angels. Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott are officially confirmed to star in Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels reboot, with newcomer British actress Ella Balinska completing the crime-fighting trio. Banks is pulling double duty on the Sony Pictures pic, serving as the film’s director while playing Bosley, the handler and intermediary between the detectives and their elusive employer, voiced in the original series by Dynasty‘s John Forsythe.
Jay Basu and Banks penned the script based on earlier drafts by Craig Mazin and Semi Chellas. The pic will now be released September 27, 2019, moving from its original June 7 date.
The film will follow a new next generation of Angels working for the mysterious Charlie. Since the original films (starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu) based on the 1970s TV series, The Townsend Agency has grown considerably and gone global, providing security and intelligence services to a variety of private clients with offices and highly trained teams worldwide. This film focuses on one of those teams.
Ok, I guess that’s relevant.
IN THIS WEEK’S “So many Mowgli’s” story, Netflix has acquired Andy Serkis’ live-action Mowgli from Warner Bros. for an undisclosed price and will release the movie next year.
The deal is one of the biggest acquisitions for the streaming service. Warner Bros. had planned to debut the movie on Oct. 19.
Footage screened at CinemaCon in April and the subsequent first trailer for Mowgli showed that Serkis crafted a darker version of The Jungle Book, based on Rudyard Kipling’s classic 19th century tale of a boy who grew up in the jungles of India.
Warner Bros. appeared to be making a major effort to differentiate the movie from Disney’s 2016 hit The Jungle Book, which generated $966 million at the worldwide box office. The CGI footage for Mowgli features threatening beasts such as the malevolent tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Mowgli’s friend Bagheera is voiced by Christian Bale.
Serkis is portraying Baloo in this version (Bill Murray played the bear in The Jungle Book), adding to his extensive resume for CGI characters after playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films and Caesar in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.
The film also stars Rohan Chand as Mowgli, Matthew Rhys, and Freida Pinto, with motion capture performances by Cate Blanchett and Naomie Harris, in addition to Cumberbatch, Bale, and Serkis. The Netflix news was first reported by Deadline.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Not Rumple-MINZE!” story, Sources tell Variety that Sony is in development on Rumpelstiltskin with Peter Dinklage attached to star and produce.
Patrick Ness has been brought on to pen the script with Karen Rosenfelt, Circle of Confusion’s Matt Smith and David Alpert, David Ginsberg, and Josh Weinstock also producing.
Sources say the film is still in deep development and would not be Dinklage’s next project after Game of Thrones ends. They add, however, that it is a priority for the actor and studio.
Plot details are being kept under wraps aside from the film focusing on the mythical character that Dinklage would play. The character first appeared in a Brothers Grimm tale and follows a miller who lies to the king, telling him that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king calls for the girl, shuts her in a tower room filled with straw and a spinning wheel, and demands she spin the straw into gold by morning or he will cut off her head. When she has given up all hope, an imp-like creature, a.k.a. Rumpelstiltskin, appears in the room and spins the straw into gold in return for her necklace.
Though the return is good in the short term, Rumpelstiltskin’s motives lie in the long term and end up costing the girl more than she could have bargained for.
It’s unknown if the story will be set in modern times or its original setting.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Dead, but not gone” story, Carrie Fisher will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX after all, Disney announced Friday, using previously “unseen footage.”
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said director J.J. Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Mark Hamill was also added to the cast along with Billy Dee Williams, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Lourd are also starring.
It’ll be interesting to see what the context of her scenes will be.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Ok, that’s a bit much, yes?” story, (INFINITY WAR SPOILERS – if you don’t know by now) Marvel fans attending San Diego Comic-Con 2018 didn’t get the chance to see any footage from Captain Marvel or the upcoming fourth Avengers movie, but they did get a chance to grieve together over the Infinity War ending that left Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Star Lord, Black Panther, and more superheroes dead. As reported by io9’s Germain Lussier, Marvel set up a booth near Petco Park in San Diego that offered grief counseling sessions for upset fans.
The booth featured posters with positive affirmation quotes like “We Are Groot” and “You are Stronger Than Vibranium.” Once inside, a group of 10-12 fans met with an actor posing as a counselor. The session included fans working their way through the following questions: What’s your first memory of the MCU? What was something it did that surprised you? What was it like when you saw the end of ‘Infinity War’? Who was the most shocking loss?
The final part of the process was the chance to take a group hug photo with a giant Hulk. While inside the booth, fans were treated to donuts and got the chance to watch a deleted scene from the movie. You can read more about the Marvel booth at io9.
Wow. I mean….wow.
Ok, kids. That’s it for this week. Next week, I am in Las Vegas for the Creation Star Trek Convention! so, needless to say, there won’t likely be a film news post here. I will be mostly drunk all week with a slew of Star Trek fans. Hey, man, it’s not dorky if you’re drinking single malt scotch while you’re talking about Trek! …So I tell myself. so, until next time, Live Long and Prosper, and CHEERS!