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Updated: 24 min 8 sec ago
As antiheroes go, it’s tough to find one more “anti” than Dexter Morgan. He’s a serial killer, for God’s sake. But he can’t stick around Showtime forever, so this summer, he’ll help usher another shady character into the channel’s lineup.
Following Dexter on Sunday nights this month will be Ray Donovan, starring Liev Schreiber as a fixer of problems who — wait for it — can’t seem to fix his own problems. The drama isn’t set to premiere until June, but Showtime’s getting a head start on the buzz by debuting the first episode online for free, almost two weeks early. Check it out after the jump.
To get more specific with the plot details, Ray is a man who specializes in cleaning up the messes left behind by LA’s rich, powerful, and famous. But his own world goes topsy-turvy when his dad (played by Jon Voight) is unexpectedly released from prison after a 20-year stint.
Also among the cast are Paula Malcomson as Ray’s wife Abby, Kerris Dorsey and Devon Bagby as his kids, Steven Bauer and Katherine Moennig as his colleagues, and Pooch Hall, Dash Mihok, Eddie Marsan, and Elliott Gould as his assorted relatives and acquaintances. Ann Biderman (Southland) created the show.
That Showtime is premiering the show after Dexter says a lot about their confidence in it. The last show to win that plum spot was Homeland in 2011, and we all know how well that worked out for them. Watch the show below to see if their faith pays off:
Ray Donovan debuts June 30 at 10:00 PM, right after Dexter‘s eighth and final season premiere at 9:00.
Set in the sprawling mecca of the rich and famous, RAY DONOVAN does the dirty work for LA’s top power players. The new one-hour series stars Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award nominee Liev Schreiber in his first lead television role as the go-to guy who makes the problems of the city’s celebrities, superstar athletes, and business moguls disappear. This powerful drama unfolds when his father, played by Oscar® winner Jon Voight, is unexpectedly released from prison, setting off a chain of events that shakes the Donovan family to its core.
Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 46 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness.
Header Photo: ’How To Train Your Dragon‘ Toothless Dragon Cosplay
Ten Ways to Make a Dungeons & Dragons Movie Not Suck
The 10 Most Disastrous Film Productions of All Time
Illustrated Versions Of Iconic Vehicles From Movies And Television
10 Classic Star Trek Plot Devices That Could Inspire The Next Movie
The 17 Most Terrifying Movie Masks
In Case of Zombies…
The Five Biggest Challenges of Building a Film Museum
10 Screenwriting Tips You Can Learn From Goodfellas
Star Trek TNG Enterprise Ice Tray
10 Kid-Oriented Cartoons That Adults Can Dig As Well
Ron Howard Narrates Tweets, ‘Arrested Development‘ Style
8 Epic End-of-the-World Movie Moments
Frozen teaser poster
ALL THE PIXAR MOVIES RANKED FROM WORST TO BEST!
Transformers: The Ride – 3D at Universal Studios Florida Time-Lapse Video and Autobots
Patricia Clarkson Joins The Maze RunnerContinue Reading Page 2 >>
Dean Parisot has done a few big-screen directing gigs in the past two decades (Galaxy Quest being the fan favorite) but mostly worked in TV during that period. Now he’s headed back to the big screen with the reins of Red 2 in hand. Summit may be happy with that sequel because the studio is reportedly giving Parisot something a lot more interesting than the geriatric assassins movie: a film about Harry Houdini.
Or at least, it will be a film inspired by Houdini. This is the one scripted by Noah Oppenheim based on William Kalush and Larry Sloman‘s book The Secret Life of Houdini, The Making of America’s First Superhero. As that title makes clear, this one goes a bit beyond the bounds of portraying Houdini as an escape artist.
Deadline has the report. Now, Houdini was far more than an escape artist, and the source biography tries to explain all of the man’s various interests. Here’s a description of the book:
Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar. Since his death eighty years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy. The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame — his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.
The “secret life as a spy” part has been a big sticking point for people with respect to this book, but in fact Houdini did so much that there’s plenty to draw on to paint a vivid and varied portrait of his life.
2013 is turning out to be a pretty good year for people who were glued to their TV sets in the mid-aughts. First Arrested Development made its highly anticipated return on Netflix with a 15-episode fourth season, and now the long-promised Veronica Mars movie sequel has finally started shooting.
To mark the first day of filming, the official Veronica Mars Twitter account has uploaded a couple teaser-y images from the production. Elsewhere on the web, the first batch of set photos hint at a reunion between Veronica (Kristen Bell) and her onetime love Logan (Jason Dohring). Check ‘em out after the jump.
@veronicamars tweeted the Instagram pics below.
— Veronica Mars (@veronicamars) June 18, 2013
— Veronica Mars (@veronicamars) June 18, 2013
As a longtime fan, I’m just thrilled to see the team is back at work — but these pics don’t really give away much of anything. For a more revealing look, we can turn to Buzz Sugar‘s snaps from the set.
The pictures feature Veronica hovering over Logan’s fancy-looking convertible, outside what appears to be the 09ER club shown in the Instagram pic. It’s tough to tell what exactly going on here, but the pair may have quite a bit of catching up to do. Thomas previously confirmed that Veronica and Logan haven’t seen each other for nearly a decade at the start of the movie.
The movie sequel picks up with Veronica on the occasion of her 10-year high school reunion. She gets pulled into her first P.I. case in years when Logan is implicated in the death of his pop-star girlfriend. Poor guy can’t catch a break. As those who’ve seen the series will recall, Logan’s teen years saw him dealing with (spoiler alert!) his girlfriend’s murder, his mom’s suicide, his dad’s incarceration for his girlfriend’s murder, and framing for a different, unrelated murder.
Aside from Bell and Echolls, Neptuners expected to return include Tina Majorino (Mac), Daran Norris (Cliff), Francis Capra (Weevil), Chris Lowell (Piz), Percy Daggs III (Wallace), Ryan Hansen (Dick), Krysten Ritter (Gia), Amanda Noret (Madison), and Enrico Colantoni (Keith). Warner Bros. will distribute the picture. No release date has been set at this time.
Paramount Pictures has released a new poster for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. A new trailer is set to hit the interwebs tomorrow (if an international version doesn’t surprise us tonight). Hit the jump to see the full mustache.
Official “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” Info:
With the ’70s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) — all of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy … while taking New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. Produced by Judd Apatow, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. Directed by Adam McKay.
Jurassic Park 4 was gearing up to begin filming when the plug was abruptly pulled a few weeks ago. Rumor had it that Steven Spielberg was not happy with the screenplay. Whatever the real story may be, Universal Pictures and producer Frank Marshall decided to put the project on hold while they focused their efforts on development without having the pressure of chasing an announced release date.
ComingSoon spotted a huge banner at Licensing Expo 2013 in Las Vegas today which features the Jurassic Park logo and the year “2015″. The film was originally set for a June 13th, 2014 release date before production was halted, so this isn’t an old date. Again, this could just be hopeful thinking on the part of Universal at this point as nothing has been officially announced.
Another thing worth noting is that while everyone had assumed that the film would, at very least, be released in 3D, the Licensing Expo book says that the film will actually be shot in 3D.
Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow is still set to helm Jurassic Park 4, and last we heard the screenplay was being worked on by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
Trevorrow last tweeted last week that he was back in the office working on the Jurassic sequel:
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) June 12, 2013
And earlier this month Colin promised to have “more news soon”:
@JP4Committee Not at all. More news soon.
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) June 2, 2013
It seems ironic that a film about a youth-centric society would itself be growing old, but that’s what’s been happening with the Logan’s Run remake. The project entered development about two decades ago and has passed through a number of high-profile filmmakers since then to no avail. So now, the studio’s looking outside the usual Hollywood circles to help make it happen.
The studio has just tapped Ken Levine, creator of the BioShock video game franchise, to write the sci-fi screenplay. Levine’s not entirely a Hollywood outsider — he got his start in screenwriting and playwriting before finding success in the video game industry — but he’s still a pretty unexpected choice. Hit the jump to get the details.
Based in the 1967 novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, Logan’s Run is set in a dystopia in which all citizens are terminated at a certain age (21 in the book, 30 in the 1976 movie adaptation) as a means of population control. Though a few Runners try to escape their fates, they rarely succeed as the society employs operatives called Sandmen to find them. At the center of the plot is Logan, a Sandman who himself becomes a Runner.
Directors Skip Woods, Bryan Singer, Joseph Kosinski, and Carl Erik Rinsch are among those who’ve taken a crack at Logan’s Run over the years. Most recently, Nicolas Winding Refn was attached to direct a version rewritten by Andrew Baldwin and starring Ryan Gosling. But that incarnation fell through as well. It isn’t clear whether Levine will draw from previous drafts while working on the film, but in any case getting some fresh blood involved may help.
Gamers can rest assured that Levine’s move into cinema isn’t a permanent one. Deadline reports that the developer will continue in his capacity as creative director of Irrational Games. However, he was willing to branch out for Logan’s Run because he considers it to be a passion project.
After introducing us to a new, rebooted vision of the Spideyverse in last year’s The Amazing Spider-Man, director Marc Webb is planning to expand that mythology in a big way with next year’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Mary Jane Watson (Shailene Woodley), Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), and Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) are among the classic comic characters who’ll be making their first appearances in the sequel, and now it looks like we can add Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat (Felicity Jones) to that number as well.
Since Jones boarded the cast earlier this year, there’s been no confirmed info on whom she’d be playing. However, the actress herself has seemingly given herself away in a new interview. Watch it after the jump.
News of Jones’ casting first broke back in January. Sony didn’t offer any official details on her character at the time, but a rumor quickly spread that she’d be playing Hardy / Black Cat. Now, thanks to a clever bit of manipulation on the part of Flicks and the City reporter Jan Gilbert (via Bleeding Cool), we may have an answer.
Asked whether she’s “looking forward to everyone seeing [her] as Black Cat,” Jones squirmed and stammered out an awkward response.
Um, well, uh, possibly. I don’t know. Yeah, I kind of—it’s um. Yeah, if that happens, that would be wonderful.
You can see the exchange for yourself below; Spider-Man chatter begins at 0:57.
That’s not exactly Jones saying “Yes, I’m playing Black Cat,” but her discomfort suggests that Gilbert is at least on the right track. The actress seems to be caught off guard, as she very well might if she’d been told not to divulge her character to the press. Or she may be confused because she’s playing Felicia but not Black Cat in the next movie — a subtle but not insignificant distinction.
This is Jones’ first big superhero pic, so she’s probably not as practiced as deflecting questions as some of her co-stars are. But seeing as she’ll be getting that question a zillion more times before the movie opens, I’m guessing she’ll get used to it quick.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens May 2, 2014. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Sally Field return from the first film.
No moviegoer walks into a theater excited about all the brands they’re about to see featured onscreen, but when a typical tentpole budget falls in the nine-figure range, product placement is a necessary evil. And sometimes, “evil” really seems like the best word to describe it — there’s nothing more obnoxious than a film that stops in its tracks so the hero can extol the virtues of a certain soft drink.
But Neill Blomkamp is hoping that the judicious use of product placement in Elysium will actually enhance the movie instead of taking away from it. Rather than simply tossing in any company that’d fork over the dough, Blomkamp went to pains to find brands that fit into his futuristic world. Read more about which companies he chose and why after the jump.
On some level, it’s tough to make a film look realistic without any corporate brands. We’re used to seeing Absolut logos on our vodka and Samsung logos on our TVs; when a character uses a generic cell phone with a fake brand it can be even more distracting than if he’d just flashed the latest iPhone model. The problem starts when a product doesn’t fit into the scene, or when it otherwise calls too much attention to itself.
So Blomkamp made the effort to fill Elysium with brands that he felt were appropriate, going so far as to reach out to companies himself. “This film has been an oddity in the product-placement world because I am not looking for any money from the brands we are using,” he wrote to the automobile company Bugatti. “I really want them because I [can] make the film better.”
For example, he’d chosen Bugatti in particular because it made sense to him that the ultra-wealthy characters of Elysium would drive luxury cars — albeit not ones exactly like the ones on the road today. “If you had a bunch of rich people living up there, they would have the equivalent of Ferraris and Bugattis that they fly around with,” he explained to The Wall Street Journal. “Basically, what I wanted to do was make a Bugatti that’s 150 years in the future, and those don’t come with wheels.”
In contrast, the poorer citizens on Earth are driving more affordable cars like the Nissan GT-R. Sure, they’re not exactly cheap now, but the ones in Elysium will be less James Bond than Mad Max. “The GT-R is one of the coolest high-performance cars for sale out there now,” Blomkamp said. “I wanted to make the GT-R the Earth’s version of a high-performance car.” Still other brands will surface in unusual places, like the Kawasaki armor sported by Matt Damon and the Versace med pods used by the elite class.
It’s too early to tell how Blomkamp’s careful approach will actually play on the screen, but the thinking behind it certainly seems sound. Hopefully he’ll be able to remind others that product placement doesn’t always have to be awkward and annoying. Elysium opens August 9.
You’ll see the TLC logo come up at the head of the trailer below, but this isn’t some lifestyle movie. Produced by Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, Letters to Jackie gives voice to letters sent to Jackie Kennedy from people around the world, expressing grief after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The film is based on Ellen Fitzpatrick’s book of the same name, and features letters read by actors such as Jessica Chastain, Channing Tatum, Frances McDormand, Zooey Deschanel, and Anne Hathaway.
Bill Couturié directed Letters to Jackie, which will air on TLC this fall.
The film features readings from Bérénice Bejo, Demián Bichir, Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Allison Janney, John Krasinski, Melissa Leo, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Hailee Steinfeld, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams.
Until recently, crowdfunding was the province of dirt-cheap indies from as-yet-undiscovered filmmakers. Then Rob Thomas came along with the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter campaign, and now it seems like every week another established Hollywood figure is turning to moviegoers to get his or her next picture made.
This week, that person is James Franco. The multi-hyphenate has launched an Indiegogo campaign seeking $500,000 for a trilogy of short films based on his Palo Alto short story collection. But it’s not (just) his own career that Franco’s looking to advance. The movies will be directed by four up-and-comers — Nina Ljeti, Vladimir Bourdeau de Fontenay, Bruce Thierry Cheung, and Gabriel Demestree — and all profits will go to charity. And of course, there are prizes in it for contributors as well. Hit the jump to find out what $7,000 gets you.
Franco has chosen to use Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding option, which allows him to keep all the dough raised by the deadline even if the goal is not met. So far, with 30 days still left to go, the campaign has raised $16,270 of its $500,000 target. The funds will be split evenly between the three films: Ljeti and de Fontenay’s “Memoria,” Cheung’s “Killing Animals,” and Demeestere’s “Yosemite.”
The tentative plan is to shoot this August and wrap by September, so the movies can then hit the festival circuit. It’s not clear at this point whether Franco plans to appear in any of the movies. Any profits eventually made from the sale of the films will be donated to Art of Elysium, which encourages artists to dedicate their time and talent to ill children.
Backers can contribute any amount they wish, with rewards ranging from $10 for “official backer status” to $5,000 for a walk-on role to $10,000 for an executive producer credit and VIP dinner. More off the beaten path are a 15-second personalized voicemail greeting for $450, or an original painting by Franco for $7,000.
While a well-known name certainly helps a crowdfunding campaign gain notice, it can’t guarantee financial success. Zach Braff was able to raise $3 million for his movie project, but Melissa Joan Hart and Zosia Mamet recently flopped hard with their efforts. In all cases, the presumably rich celebrities took some heat for turning to relatively less wealthy people for money.
Franco’s campaign, though, seems to straddle the line between crowdfunding’s indie beginnings and its recent Hollywood popularity. His fame helps to attract attention and therefore money, but he’s using that power to help unknown artists. Check out his pitch video below, or hit his Indiegogo page for more info.
As exciting as it is to think about J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt collaborating on a new Star Wars movie, one interesting aspect of that lineup is who’s not involved. Though George Lucas invented that universe, and though he’ll stay on the franchise as a “creative consultant,” he won’t be driving the new trilogy in any real sense. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate, but either way it’s definitely something different.
For his part, Lucas seems to welcome that change. While he’s happily talked up Abrams as an “ideal choice” to take the series forward, he apparently hasn’t done much at all on the new films so far. In fact, he hasn’t even spoken to Abrams about Episode VII yet. Hit the jump to read Lucas’ comments.
Lucas and Abrams are definitely on good terms — Lucas hasn’t been stingy in his praise of Abrams, and Abrams himself has said that he plans to turn to Lucas for help. “The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do,” he said this spring.
It doesn’t sound like he’s gotten around to doing that just yet, however. Lucas revealed to Access Hollywood that the two have yet to sit down together.
I have not spoken to J.J. He’s been busy with Star Trek, and I’m sure that he’ll let me know when he’s got some questions. So, you know, that’s all going well. Kathy tells me it’s working out great.
Not that Lucas minds all that much. “I think it’s great,” he said of passing on the torch. “I don’t have to worry about these guys any more.”
It’s likely that the lack of communication between Lucas and Abrams so far has as much to do with the timing as anything. As Lucas points out, Abrams has been tied up with Star Trek Into Darkness until very recently. I’m sure they’ll put their heads together at some point in the process, and I look forward to seeing what happens when they do.
But all in all, it’s probably for the best that Lucas is genuinely stepping aside to let Abrams do his own thing. There’s not much point in hiring notable talents like Arndt and Abrams if they’re just going to carrying out Lucas’ wishes. This way, we get to see what fresh blood can actually bring to this classic franchise.
Frozen started off as a pretty straight-up adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Snow Queen. But, as we detailed earlier today, it mutated to become something rather different. Now it is a story of “two sisters torn apart by a big family secret,” with Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) as the elder sibling, who cursed her kingdom to be permanently on ice, and Anna (Kristen Bell) as the younger, who tries to find Elsa after she flees the kingdom.
Based on some of the concept art we’ve seen, I expected one thing from the film — something rather grand and pretty. But this first teaser trailer doesn’t deal with family or curses, and it isn’t “grand,” exactly. It has a much smaller conflict in mind. Take a look for yourself below.
Why is the reindeer a dog? That’s odd. (His name, by the way, is Sven. Not, ahem, Maximus.)
I find this looks more like a DreamWorks Animation or Blue Sky trailer than what I expected from Disney, even though Frozen will almost certainly have a less overtly goofy vibe for most of the story. We’ll see how much like Tangled it ends up being. There’s even (gulp) a whiff of ’70s Disney animation, in the way the snowman is designed. That said, some of the snowman’s actions are clever, and since Josh Gad voices him, he may also be quite funny.
Kids will probably be open to this, but still, Disney’s older fans might need to see a bit more before booking tickets.
Frozen is directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, with original songs and music by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. It opens on November 27, 2013. Teaser via StitchKingdom.
When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.
2013 was supposed to be the year of Frank Miller. There were two adaptations of his books due out in the second half of this year, 300: Rise of an Empire and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. But Warner Bros. decided last month to push the former back to 2014, and now Dimension Films is following suit with the latter.
Sadly, that means Miller aficionados will be waiting almost a whole extra year to revisit his grim and gritty town. But hey, we’ve been waiting on a sequel for seven years already — what’s one more? Hit the jump to get the new date.
The Weinsteins’ Dimension Films announced today that Sin City: A Dame to Kill For had been moved from October 4, 2013 to August 22, 2014. The movie currently has that new date all to itself, though Guardians of the Galaxy, Dracula, and The Expendables 3 are all slated to open earlier that same month. No reason has been given for the decision.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For would have been one of two Robert Rodriguez-directed sequels coming out this fall, the other being Machete Kills. That picture is still scheduled for September 13. Miller’s other upcoming movie, 300: Rise of an Empire, is slotted for March 7, 2014.
Both Miller and Rodriguez had been talking up the Sin City sequel for years before Dimension Films officially put it into motion last spring. The wait had been so long by that point that Sin City‘s fans and even its stars had begun to lose faith that it would ever happen. At least now we know for sure the film will arrive eventually — it’s just a matter of waiting.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For combines stories from Miller’s books with new plotlines written just for the movie. Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, and Jaime King are returning from the first film, joined by franchise newcomers Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Stacy Keach, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, and Juno Temple.
[Source: Box Office Mojo]
To say Summit’s Highlander reboot has been as long-lived as its characters would be a massive exaggeration, obviously, but it has been kicking around for quite a while now. And it’ll be sticking around for some time yet, as it’s now headed back to square one. Ryan Reynolds has just dropped out of the project, months after director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo exited. Hit the jump to get the details.
Summit first began developing their new Highlander several years ago. Justin Lin was attached early on, but departed in 2011 so he could make Fast and Furious 6. Fresnadillo replaced him soon afterward, only to leave himself in November 2012 over creative differences. Reynolds stayed on for a spell, but with the studio still unable to lock in a director he’s apparently grown tired of waiting.
The script has passed through a few different hands over the years. Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man) were behind the first draft, and Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight) was brought on for rewrites in 2011. The most recent draft was penned by Noah Oppenheim (the upcoming The Maze Runner).
The film centers on Connor MacLeod, an immortal warrior who’s pulled into a game for the Prize. His fiercest competition is the brutal Kurgan. Reynolds would have played MacLeod, who was portrayed by Christopher Lambert in the 1986 original. Highlander got off to a shaky start in its initial release, but eventually gained enough of a following to spawn four sequels and live-action and animated TV adaptations.
While Reynolds’ departure forces producers Neal Moritz and Peter Davis to start from scratch, a source tells The Wrap that a clean slate could prove a blessing. Whomever they hire to direct will be able to book a new lead, rather than trying to work with Fresnadillo’s choice.
Reynolds, meanwhile, has plenty on his plate even without Highlander. He has two more films due out this year, DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo and the Men in Black-esque R.I.P.D. He recently wrapped Atom Egoyan’s Queen of the Night and Marjane Satrapi’s The Voices, and is attached to star in Tarsem Singh’s Selfless.
Star Wars Bits: Zack Snyder, Neill Blomkamp, ‘Star Wars: Battlefront’, Anthony Daniels, Warwick Davis
Luke, Leia, and Han are all set to appear in the new Star Wars trilogy, but what about their trusty pal C3PO? Anthony Daniels will only say “wait and see.” Also after the jump:
- Here’s why you shouldn’t believe those Star Wars plot rumors
- Warwick Davis wants to audition for Episode VII
- Zack Snyder talks about what Man of Steel might mean for Star Wars
- Neill Blomkamp doesn’t think he’s right for Star Wars
- Peter Mayhew‘s lightsaber gets him in trouble with the TSA
- Nerdists sets hosts for the Course of the Force relay
- See costume test pics from Star Wars: A New Hope
- EA announces a new Star Wars: Battlefront
- Watch a 50-minute 1997 documentary about George Lucas
We’re sure you’ve all been smart enough to take those recent Star Wars Episode VII plot rumors with a big fat grain of salt, but now journalist Drew McWeeny goes even further, arguing that we shouldn’t believe them at all.
McWeeny, who’s racked up a lot of credibility when it comes to this stuff, dismisses the recent Jacen and Jaina Solo talk as “100%” bull. In fact, he says, it’s unlikely the Extended Universe books will make it to the big screen at all. Head over to HitFix to read his reasoning.
In truth, despite the constant chatter and speculation, there isn’t a whole lot we know for sure about the new films. One thing that’s clear, however, is how many people want to be part of the new film.
Warwick Davis appeared as Ewok Wicket in Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and as Wald (among others) in Episode I – The Phantom Menace, but he’s hoping he can cross over to the dark side upon his return to the galaxy far, far away. “My ideal role would be a villain, preferably with a light saber,” he said in a recent interview.
While he’s not part of the cast yet, he’s hoping the same strategy that got him into the prequel trilogy can get him into the sequel trilogy. “Years ago I would drop lots of hints to George [Lucas], sending him faxes and I think he got so tired of it he said ‘just put him in the film,’” he recalled. “I am hoping to drop a few auditions in there and to tease out a few details about the new films.” [The Sun]
Meanwhile, Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. C3PO) is being a little cagier about his hopes for Episode VII. Asked whether he’d been approached about the new film, he gave a hesitant “Well…” before continuing:
What I always say to that is “Wait and see.” Let’s keep the suspense going. [...] I’d rather not comment. You will recall I’ve always had a rather discreet attitude, or a professional sense of discretion. I don’t blab things about the script. I think that would be very unprofessional, or childish.
Happily, Daniels was more candid about C3PO’s presence, or lack thereof, in Star Wars In Concert (he’s in negotiations), Lego Star Wars (he just recently wrapped a new episode), and Star Wars: Rebels (he’s not involved). [Bleeding Cool]
Earlier this year, Zack Snyder shot down reports that he’d be directing a Seven Samurai-inspired Star Wars flick. However, it doesn’t sound like he’s entirely ruled out the possibility of making a Star Wars movie. An interviewer recently asked him whether Man of Steel might be a “calling card” of sorts that could lead to work in Star Wars. Snyder’s response was vague but ultimately positive.
If someone were to see the movie and say, like, “Dang, this guy can make a sci-fi movie,” that’s cool. But… yeah. I like to think that I kind of did that before this, but… yeah. I think so. It’s something to regard.
I can’t blame the guy for not wanting to give a definite answer at this point. But if you’re a fan hoping for a Snyder-directed Star Wars, there you have it — something to pin your hopes on. [First Showing]
Standing in stark contrast to all the eager actors and filmmakers is Neill Blomkamp, who continues to maintain that he has no interest in tackling a Star Wars movie of his own. “I love Star Wars. I really, really love Star Wars,” he said. “But I’m not the right guy. And also, just taking ideas that already exist in Hollywood is just not for me.” [IGN]
Add lightsabers to the long, long list of things you’re not allowed to bring on an airplane. Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, tweeted that the TSA was refusing to let him through with his lightsaber-shaped cane.
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) June 3, 2013
Ultimately, though, he was able to use the power of social networking to convince the agents to return his cane.
Magic words to TSA are not "please" or "thank you".. It's "Twitter".. cane released to go home.. pic.twitter.com/pb4r8g3DH7
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) June 3, 2013
Nerdist Industries is getting the pieces in line for their second annual Course of the Force relay run. Chris Hardwick, Jessica Chobot, Alison Haislip, Alex Albrecht, VH1′s Carrie Keagan, and Ashley Eckstein (Clone Wars) have been set as hosts and correspondents for the event, which starts at Skywalker Ranch on July 9 and finishes at San Diego Comic-Con on July 16. Get more details here. [Nerdist]
C3PO and Darth Vader’s costumes are iconic today, but it took artist Ralph McQuarrie a few tries to get them right. Below, check out some of his earlier test designs.
[via Geek Tyrant]
The LucasArts game studio has been shut down, but the Star Wars video games will keep coming. Electronic Arts announced last week that they are working on Star Wars: Battlefront, the first to come out of a licensing agreement between the video game publisher and Disney. The new shooter appears set on the ice planet Hoth, and features an appearance from an AT-AT. Watch the teaser below.
No release date has been announced for the game. [LAT]
As Star Wars barrels into the future with Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, now seems like a good time to look back to the franchise’s roots. A 1997 documentary titled George Lucas: Flying Solo from BBC Omnibus examines his early years, going all the way back to his short films.
James Erskine directed the film, which features appearances by Lucas collaborators like Francis Ford Coppola, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Irvin Kirshner. See the 50-minute doc below.
[via The Playlist]
/Film Interview: ‘Man of Steel’ Producer Charles Roven Discusses Morality, Visual Effects and Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan and David Goyer aren’t the only people involved with Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel. Producer Charles Roven has been along for the long superhero ride, too. Roven, who produced all those films along with Three Kings, Twelve Monkeys and others, is one of the unheralded architects of Warner Bros. DC line-up.
We sat down with the producer (center, with director Zack Snyder and producer Deborah Snyder) on the occasion of the Man of Steel release to talk about the film’s moral dilemmas, the level of destruction, challenges in effects, what the name “Christopher Nolan” meant to the marketing, as well as updates on films he’s attached to from Warcraft to Voltron and Uncharted.
Beware, this interview is filled with spoilers for Man of Steel. Nothing major, but enough that we held it until after the film’s opening weekend.
/Film: From the second Zod reveals himself, the movie has a really condensed timeline. It doesn’t let you catch up. Kal-El has to make all of these decisions so everything happens very quickly. The world doesn’t have the chance to react. Was that pace always part of the script — not making the story take place over several months?
Charles Roven: You know, we spent the most amount of time working on everything that was going on between the characters from the time that Zod revealed himself and we felt exactly like you are saying. When Zod appears, there’s a few things that are happening there. He challenges Earth to help him find this guy, but he also tries to co-opt him. So we were talking about “How long can we afford to leave Clark’s choice out there?” We felt that for as long as it was literally personal, there really wasn’t a choice. By “personal,” I mean when Martha is in danger, but once he’s faced with the potential annihilation of the race, then he has to pause for a minute and go “Holy shit.” “The legacy of where I come from…” And so we felt that that was a great Sophie’s Choice.
Going off that a little bit, after the movie we were talking about films like Transformers 3 and The Avengers, which both have similar city-wide, destructive finales. You guys top that. Was that the ambition?
It was a natural extension of what Zod needed to do in order to convert Earth, right? We did have discussion about “Should it just start in Metropolis?” Or “Should we get a sense that it’s happening around the world? So that it’s actually going to be much quicker?” We did talk “Do we need to have the world engine over here? Could we have the world engine just be part of the Black Sea?” We did talk about that. We ultimately decided we really wanted to and once we made it global, because in Transformers, by virtue of what they are doing, it’s in one city and the same thing with The Avengers. They are just in one city. Once we made it global, it was much more devastating.
What was the most challenging thing to create once you guys had everything in the can, post production-wise? Was it specific shots, or actions?
We were very fortunate that Zack was so dialed in. We felt so strongly about the script that we had, and Zack storyboards literally every shot of the movie with his own design. Then occasionally it might turn into pre-viz or he might give it to another storyboard artist to flesh it out, but every single shot he has drawn. So he has an unbelievable focus on what he’s doing and as long as the script is locked or tight, which it was, we didn’t really feel… So we didn’t have to shoot any additional photography. All we really had to do was finish the shots and then make a decision about whether or not we needed it, because some times actors’ performances mean you need less of something, because the actors are so good or you don’t want to overdo your welcome on a particular scene. So I would say the biggest thing we wanted to do in post-production was make you feel even in the shots that had big visual effects, that it was still part of the fabric of the realism of the movie.
We know Christopher Nolan helped break the story and was also a producer on the film. However, most people associate him with Batman. So you’ve got Superman and Batman swirling around with no set plans for a crossover. Were you aware by using his name people would connect Batman and Superman in that way? Or was it just Christopher Nolan’s name means a certain level of quality?
I think that Christopher Nolan’s name, in terms of selling the movie, does speak to quality of the films he is involved in. Now he’s never really been just a producer on a movie and in this case he’s not just a producer, he did break the story, so he’s got “story by” credit. So much of these kinds of things happen by circumstance. I was producing Dark Knight Rises with Chris when the script for Man of Steel came in and it became apparent that the studio wanted to accelerate the production on Man of Steel to the point where I don’t know that Chris ever would have directed it. I don’t think he would have, but there was no real decision he could make about it, because they wanted to shoot this.
We started shooting Dark Knight Rises in May. We started shooting Man of Steel in August, so that’s all that there was. But we always knew that Chris’s name was going to be associated with the film, because he helped create it, he was a producer on it, and the world knows him as a quality filmmaker who also did the Dark Knight trilogy. Those were great genre movies, but they were also great movies. The trilogy was a great trilogy and will go down in history. I think all of those things are a factor.
We saw LexCorp. in there a couple of times. Are there any other easter eggs people should look for?
Yeah, there’s an easter egg you should look for. [NOTE: This interview was conducted before the Wayne Enterprises logo was revealed. It's probably what Mr. Roven was referring to.]
Also, was there ever a discussion of the Marvel type stinger at the end?
I think we left it with the easter eggs we left in there and there are some easter eggs in there that you should look for.
Peter, who runs my site, talked to you years ago about a Flash movie. Now we’re looking at expanding the DC Universe. Is that still something that you’re involved with?
That script that was written years and years ago was a David Goyer script and that script is not… We haven’t moved forward with that script right now. At a certain point I was taken off the Flash project. Warner Brothers asked me when they were doing their consolidation thing and they put together their first Justice League that was going to… I think it was probably around the time just after George Miller fell out of Justice League and they announced a consolidation of their DC brand. Maybe when Diane Nelson took over and Jeff [Robinov] asked me, he said “Hey, we’d just like to bring everything back other than The Dark Knight.” And I said, “No problem. You guys are my partners. If that works for you, okay.” So I haven’t had any conversations about The Flash since that point.
Okay, cool. I have to wrap up, so I’m going to name three things that you’re attached to and hopefully you can tell me what’s updated with them? First could be Duncan Jones’s Warcraft.
First quarter 2014 we’re going to shoot that movie. We are moving forward. Obviously Legendary is making that film and I’m having a great time with Duncan producing it with his producing partners. Stewart Finnigan is executive producing it with us, Duncan’s partner, and Alex Gardner is producing it with me.
A Voltron movie?
Voltron, we are still in the script development stage.
Okay, and last is Uncharted.
Let’s say Voltron is at the beginning of the development pipeline still and Uncharted is about to emerge.
Okay, so that’s further along is what you are saying?
Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder, is now in theaters.
Briefly: Do you want to see Prometheus 2? Personally, that’s a difficult question to answer. The ending of last year’s Ridley Scott film (warning: spoilers ahead) didn’t leave me hungry for more, but there’s still a framework there in which a good story could be told. Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender would likely feature in a film that explores how Rapace’s character and the remains of Fassbender’s android go off in search of further truth about the alien Engineers. And there’s that xenomorph appearance at the end of Prometheus (pictured below) which must factor in somehow.
Now we’re a step closer to seeing what happens next. The Wrap reports that Jack Palgen, who wrote Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence, is Fox and Scott’s choice to script. The site says the producer/director has signed off on Palgen’s story for the sequel, and that a deal is imminent. Since we know little about the Transcendence script, there’s little way of knowing whether or not Palgen is a good choice for this sequel.
Jon Spaihts wrote the script that became Prometheus, with Damon Lindelof doing a rewrite under the scrutiny of Scott. Presumably Scott would direct the sequel, but as always with him, it’s difficult to say for certain until he announces a deal.
/Film Interview: ‘Pacific Rim’ Screenwriter Travis Beacham Discusses How ‘Tales From Year Zero’ Influences the Film
While Guillermo del Toro will likely get the credit, good or bad, once Pacific Rim comes to theaters, it was Travis Beacham who got him there. It was Beacham who, while walking on the beach, cracked the idea to pit giant robots against giant monsters in what eventually became this summer’s film. Beacham was the one who developed it and got it to Legendary; and only then did del Toro take over and make it his own.
So while the director went off and made a movie for us all to enjoy on July 12, Beacham got to work on expanding the film’s backstory. He’s hard at work on a sequel and also wrote a prequel graphic novel that’s now in stores. Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero is set before the film, explaining what happened the first time the Kaiju attacked Earth, and how the Jaeger program was started. Characters played by Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Clifton Collins Jr. all appear in the novel, expanding on their motivations, fears and personalities. It’s an entertaining read that can only make Pacific Rim better.
We spoke to Beacham about the book, specifically how several of its smaller details might wind up playing out on screen once Pacific Rim hits theaters. He also touched upon how the director influenced it, how far along Pacific Rim 2 is, some hints at what we might see there and how the film features his favorite scene Guillermo del Toro has ever done.
Be aware that some spoilers for the Pacific Rim graphic novel follow.
/Film: I read the comic over the weekend and it got me even more excited for the movie, which was kind of impossible. How much of the backstory, if any, was in the script at any stage that ended up in the novel?
Travis Beacham: Not really any of it, I think. I mean it was sort of something we had been thinking about for a while, not specifically in the context of a graphic novel, but in putting the world together and figuring that out and sort of figuring out the process of the movie and the history of the in world story. You know, we came up with a few of these beats already, so when it came time to talk about the graphic novel, it just seemed like a natural thing to dramatize rather than just sort of duplicating the events of the movie.
So you’re essentially reverse engineering stuff? Like “I created this character beat for Charlie Hunnam’s character, so let’s delve into that a little bit”?
Yeah, there is sort of a beat with the character of Raleigh that was in the first draft of the script, that I think you get in the third part of the comic and a bit more of it in downscaled versions. Things like the eureka moment where Dr. Schoenfeld figures out the idea for the jaegers. He’s watching his kids play with their toys on the floor. That was sort of part of the mythology all along, but had never really been included in the draft. So yeah, and some of it is just stuff that we figure out along the way in putting the graphic novel together and using these headline moments to go there in kind of a dramatic narrative.
So the movie started as your pitch and then Guillermo came on later but Guillermo was reportedly “hands on” with this graphic novel, too. What exactly does that entail?
He approved the scripts. He was in the loop very early on. I think at the beginnings… I don’t think he was still on set, but he was editing the movie and I think getting it together, so he was really hip deep in that and sort of became more involved as his time allowed, but he always wanted to be in the loop and he was a big fan of doing the graphic novel this way and by the end when we were getting pages, his notes were very, very specific. He definitely had a lot of opinions about how it was put together.
Early in the graphic novel we see Gypsy Danger being taken away. Is that something expanded upon in the movie?
What you’re seeing in the graphic novel actually takes place in a time that’s sort of between the pre-title opening sequence of the movie and the rest of the movie. That’s where the framing sort of takes place. Despite that, I think it does fit that and does suggest a few things that happen in that opening scene, but nothing Guillermo or I would consider major spoilers.
The two things from the book that weren’t really fully explained were that Gypsy Danger is being pulled away, and he’s the hero robot we’ve seen in all of the marketing. Also, they keep referring to this “Wall” and that’s the reason they stopped the jaeger program. Are those two things stuff that is in the movie?
Yeah. That’s sort of the world we are coming into in the movie. This was partly the leaked part of the world we are stepping into which the movie goes to expose, and they’ve sort of… The governments of the world have deferred to this “Wall” program, because the jaegers need repairing after they get busted… The Kaiju are getting stronger. More and more of them are coming out. It’s just becoming more and more expensive, so this wall has become a plan B that’s very gradually becoming a plan A. That’s the world that you come into in the movie.
And the other main characters in the graphic novel: Naomi, Tendo, Jasper, are they at all in the movie or do they just exist in the graphic novel?
Tendo is played by Clifton Collins Jr. and you can see him in some of the trailers. He’s the guy in the trailers who is sitting at the consoles in the control room. Naomi and Jasper are not in the movie.
All right. Now with the first Kaiju attack, in San Francisco, [above] they win by nuking the Kaiju. Does the film deal with the fallout of detonating a nuclear bomb on US soil?
Sort of. The way that the movie is kind of set up is for the most part is it takes place a good twelve or so years into the war, so the first Kaiju attack and the first jaeger are in the movie’s past. It introduces you to all of those concepts, but the movie is more focused on a few characters rather than on the world as a whole. It’s sort of a drop in in the style of Blade Runner or something where you’re in this world that has a lot of texture and history and all of that, but really you are with just a handful of people and the problems with the drama are their problems and their dilemmas and the dilemmas of the world sort of interface with that.
There are three Kaiju attacks before they really get the jaeger program going, I believe. So is there any explanation, or is it just sort of “this is how we make movies” that the Kaiju stop coming and give us the time to develop this technology?
No, they didn’t necessarily stop coming. Part of it is just that we did it really fast. We got it together really fast. The inspiration for the whole time frame there is the Apollo program. If you look like in 1960, there was no such thing as an astronaut, it was a totally fanciful concept, but nine years later or whatever we were landing on the moon, which is just astonishing.
It’s an astonishing leap in technology and for the most part it was because of the fear of the Soviets and this is kind of the same principle where the fear of these giant monsters has sort of triggered an unusually quick development in technology.
There’s also this beautiful moment in the graphic novel where the doctor, Caitlin Lightcap, figures out almost by accident that you need at least two minds to run a jaeger. That seems like such an important concept to the entire story. Do we have a similar moment in the movie, like this is your “Eureka” moment? Or is it just sort of alluded to in the backstory once we start the movie?
It’s a given once you get into the movie, but it is… That idea is critical to this story and the movie. I always feel like there just wouldn’t be a Pacific Rim without that idea. Like that idea is sort of at the heart of the entire world of Pacific Rim. I think I would still be walking around vaguely hoping somebody would make a giant monster versus robot movie if I hadn’t realized there were two pilots.
There’s an almost ethereal place when those two people meet in their minds. Is there a visual representation of that or is that similar to what we see in the film?
We don’t make much of it in the film. I think in the first draft there was a bit more stuff that took place like that, that head space, but I think ultimately for a first movie it was decided not to spend much time there or play around with it that much. It would be kind of a third buy for the audience to make in a big movie. I think we are going to get into that later, definitely if there are further incarnations of the story. That’s definitely part of the mythology we want to explore a bit more. With the graphic novel or hopefully sequels or that sort of thing. There is one part in the movie that really deals with it and it may by my favorite sequence I’ve ever seen Guillermo direct. I love, love this one bit in the movie. It’s where memories drift and I think it’s just really well done.
You mentioned you guys were thinking about a sequel. Obviously nothing is official yet until the movie comes out and audiences dig it, but how far along is that process now? Do you guys just have some outlines, general ideas, or have you actually started writing script pages?
Oh yeah. Yeah, I’ve started writing page one. It’s been a very… and this has come at the end of some very active conversations we’ve had about it. I’m sure the first of many, many conversations we will have about it, but I’m sort of formally or informally putting scenes together and that sort of thing.
Last thing. It’s a pretty interesting time for you. We are talking about this movie you have coming out, then you have the graphic novel with a lot of really good information that sets it up. What’s it like to have see people getting excited for this huge movie that you’re so passionate about?
For me it’s really incredible and it’s a moving experience even, because it starts off very quietly. You’re by yourself in the beginning and you have nothing to go on as to whether or not it’s special, just apart from your own instinct or desire to feel. And having seen what Guillermo’s done with it and the life he’s brought to it, and what the cast has done with it and how they have sort of made their characters their own, I think it’s just one of those things where everyone involved has miraculously and against all odds been picturing the same movie. That’s just a really rare experience. I think this idea has always been a favorite of mine and if I would hope to get through the rigors of Hollywood relatively unscathed on the other side. I think it would be this one. It’s just been… I just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know? It’s been a very positive experience.
Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero, written by Travis Beacham with art by Sean Chen, Yvel Guichet, Pericles Junior, Chris Batista and Geoff Shaw, is in book stores now. Pacific Rim opens July 12.
When MTV unveiled their new take on Teen Wolf in 2011, their efforts were initially met with eyerolls from folks old enough to remember the original Teen Wolf. The new series didn’t bear much of a resemblance to its ostensible source material, which had been a somewhat cheesy ’80s comedy. If anything, the new show was much more like the angsty Twilight, with its ripped, frequently shirtless shapeshifters.
But perhaps it’s for the best that MTV took the property in an entirely different direction after all. Because according to Jack Black‘s new Teen Wolf sequel Adult Wolf, Scott Howard’s life went on a steep downward trajectory after adolescence. ”Back in high school I had it all: Brains, skills, girls, but after graduation, everything just fell apart,” he reflects. “Now I’ve got no job, no girlfriend, and one very annoying roommate.” Check out the “sizzle reel” after the jump.
Black unveiled Adult Wolf on Jimmy Kimmel Live. As revealed in the video below, the onetime teen wolf’s life has gotten downright depressing. His equally hairy, equally cranky father (played by Black’s Tenacious D partner Kyle Gass) isn’t much better off. Worse, their very unhappiness is the reason they can’t turn back into humans anymore — they’re stuck “because our hearts are filled with bitterness and regret,” as the papa wolf explains.
But there’s hope! A nasty encounter with John C. McGinley inspires the pair to get their lives back on track. All they need is $9,000 for a full body wax — and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a father-son basketball tournament coming up with a $9,000 prize for the winner. Ed Begley Jr., Rachel Bilson, and John Wall (of the Washington Wizards) also star.
Okay, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear, this isn’t an actual follow-up to Teen Wolf — there’s no such thing in the works, unless you count the aforementioned MTV show. But doesn’t it kinda seem like just a matter of time before someone sees this video and decides it’s a good idea to make it actually happen? Do you think the results would be better or worse than Teen Wolf‘s real sequel, Teen Wolf Too?