The past seven days

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sony will not release The Interview at all

Just kidding on that whole VOD/DVD release. Sony Pictures responded to criticism about cancelling the theatrical release of The Interview by canceling its release altogether. The studio released a statement that they have no plans to release the James Franco comedy at all after US officials reportedly linked the Sony hack and theater threats to North Korea. As of yesterday the studio said they were looking into releasing the film on VOD and on home media, but those plans have apparently changed.

This decision could mean the rights to the film could go to another studio, but after all of this controversy I don't know what studio would want to pick this film up. On the other hand, if another studio did pick it up they could make a lot of money because there are a lot of people who have now said they'd watch the film just out of spite, even if they didn't want to see it to begin with. As it currently stands, this will result in a loss of millions of dollars to Sony Pictures as the film alone had a budget of $42 million. That isn't even counting the money spent on marketing and actor salaries. The Sony leaks told us that Seth Rogen received $8.4 million while Franco received $6.5 million.

Like I said in my previous posts about this, I didn't want to see The Interview to begin with and I wouldn't even watch it out of spite like many are saying they would. I thought the premise was stupid and I was surprised when I first heard about it that a studio actually funded the idea. I'm not saying I'm a supporter of North Korea or of Kim Jong-Un, but a little common sense would tell you it wasn't a very good idea in the first place. I'm sure at some point this film will see the light of day, but it isn't looking too promising right now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Viola Davis joins Suicide Squad

Warner Bros. and DC have officially cast Oscar-nominee Viola Davis in the upcoming adaptation of Suicide Squad. Davis will portray Amanda Waller, the government official in place to oversee the group's operations. She is essentially the Nick Fury of the Suicide Squad.

Davis was among the shortlist of sought after actresses for the role which also included Octavia Spencer and Oprah Winfrey. There are still some kinks to work out with her schedule as she is currently on the television series, How to Get Away with Murder, but I am sure they can work it out. There are also rumors that Davis might get a Summer job filming some small easter eggs for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Viola Davis gained a lot of popularity after the 2011 film, The Help, which earned her nominations for an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA. She's also been seen in Ender's Game, Get on Up, Prisoners, and Eat Pray Love

Sony pulls theatrical release of The Interview

After several theater chains such as AMC, Cinemark, and Regal Cinemas decided to not show the upcoming Sony release, The Interview, the studio has decided to pull the film from its theatrical release altogether. This is a result of the recent "Sony hacks" by internet hackers as they issued 9/11-type threats against theaters still choosing to show the film next week. The studio is already exploring options to release the film such as an on-demand style VOD release or straight to DVD.

Sony's response was:
"Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."

Many theater chains who ultimately decided to drop the film prior to Sony's announcement have now come out and said the cancellation is due to Sony's lack of confidence in the film. Regal Cinemas made a statement saying they feel the cancellation is due to negative press over the film and that the studio had lacked confidence since news first broke of the film. Others feel that it would have destroyed the usual high box office numbers over Christmas and would have forced families to not see films such as Annie and Night at the Museum 3. Rest assured, those are still your holiday releases for this year and you won't have Seth Rogen or James Franco present to ruin it.

I don't think this is a bad move by the studio. People online are bitching about freedom and how the studio has given into the hacker demands, but the way I see it is this whole situation had no victorious outcome. You either screen the movie and potentially risk thousands of American lives or you pull the movie, lose some money, and give the hackers what they want. I don't see it as a freedom issue. I see it as playing things a bit safe and trying to avoid something terrible. Whether the threats had validity or not, I can guarantee that no one wanted anything going down at any theater in America. The last thing we need is more Century 16 shootings or bombings. Come on, people. Just wait until Sony releases it on VOD or DVD and shut up about it.

In my opinion, The Interview was a stupid premise to begin with and if I remember correctly it had already received a delay due to the subject matter. It was a gamble by Sony to even make this movie and they obviously lost the bet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sony hackers threaten attacks on theaters screening The Interview

The Sony hackers have just upped the stakes on their recent releases against Sony Pictures Entertainment. In a new group of files today, the internet hackers issued threats against every theater screening the upcoming James Franco comedy, The Interview. Yeah, the movie where Franco and Seth Rogen are recruited by the CIA to kill the leader of North Korea. The group claims 9/11 style attacks will hit at different times and different places for all theaters screening the film under the belief that the film will cause a war with North Korea.

The message is as follows:
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.
More to come…"

Personally, I am happy that I wasn't planning on seeing The Interview to begin with but at the same time this all seems to be overkill.  These hackers have released a great deal of things including the script for the upcoming James Bond film, private studio emails, and full unreleased movies so I think they might just be enjoying the spotlight and figured that terrorism was popular enough at the moment.
Another thought I had, which I don't know how this would help matters, was that Sony is doing this themselves to boost popularity of the studio. Sony releases haven't done so well lately so they definitely needed the hype. I don't know if this is a good way to go about it, but there haven't really been any top agencies going after these hackers. With threats like these coming out I am a bit confused why the FBI hasn't launched a probe on these hackers, but that might just be me.

So yeah, you might want to wait until The Interview comes out on DVD if any of this has credibility.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bond 24 officially titled Spectre

We now have an official title for the upcoming "Bond 24" film that is set for November 2015. Bond 24 has received the official title, Spectre. Along with the announcement there was also the first teaser poster that came with a small hint of its own.

The title is short for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion and it is notoriously led by Ernest Blofeld.  
Spectre will have Daniel Craig returning as 007 and recently announced that Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz had joined the cast, too. It was previously thought that Waltz would be playing Blofeld, but the press conference suggested differently.

In addition to the teaser poster we got a glimpse at the new Bond car, an Aston Martin DB10.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Full Suicide Squad cast revealed

It seems that there was a lot of truth behind the rumors behind Suicide Squad as we now have the main cast out in the open. In addition to a prior announcement of Margot Robbie playing Harley Quinn, the rest of the cast includes:

Jared Leto as The Joker
Will Smith as Deadshot
Tom Hardy as Rick Flag
Jai Courtney as Boomerang
Cara Delevinge as Enchantress

This will mark Jared Leto's return to the screen after his Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club He will also have a lot of eyes on him because he is the first actor to tackle The Joker since Heath Ledger's performance in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight back in 2008. Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his performance as the DC villain.
Will Smith was previously rumored for Boomerang but that role has gone to Jai Courtney. DC Universe veteran Tom Hardy will be filling the shoes of the Suicide Squad's military leader, Rick Flag. Hardy previously played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

The film isn't completely cast because Warner Bros. is still looking for an actress to play Amanda Waller. The role was previously played by Angela Basset in 2011's Green Lantern but the studio is evidently wanting to further distance themselves from that trainwreck. Actresses on the shortlist, according to sources, are Octavia Spencer, Oprah Winfrey, and Viola Davis. Out of those choices I think I would go with Viola Davis, but there is no telling what direction they will go.
There is also no mention on whether any characters from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will have cameos or not, but the main one to expect would be Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. If anything he might have a small cameo or at least some mention.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Jurassic World - First Trailer

I don't really know what I was expecting, but this isn't it. The CGI is just painful to look at.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - First Teaser

I don't know about you, but I am intrigued.

One thing I am a bit curious about is John Boyega. If he is a Stormtrooper does that mean the clones were eliminated? Or have civilians gained the chance to join alongside the clones?
Another thing I am curious about is this Sith creature. Is it human? Is it some form of life? Either way, that lightsaber looks pretty creative. 

#TheForceAwakens #StarWars #EpisodeVII

Friday, November 14, 2014

Daniel Bruhl joins Captain America: Civil War

German actor Daniel Bruhl has officially joined the cast of Captain America: Civil War. Bruhl will be playing an undisclosed villain and is also rumored to be the main villain in Doctor Strange as well.

Marvel made the official announcement before anyone else managed to leak it, but they neglected to mention exactly which role he will be playing. If the Doctor Strange bit is true it will reunite him with Benedict Cumberbatch as the two shared the screen in The Fifth Estate.
So far it seems that Civil War is going to be a key point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it is apparently going to unite a ton of characters together and set the course for the rest of the films. I say that because along with the announcement of Marvel's film schedule they announced that Chadwick Boseman was set to play Black Panther and that he would make his first appearance in Civil War. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see a Guardians of the Galaxy cameo or an introduction to Captain Marvel, either.

Either way, it should be interesting to see what character Bruhl has been brought on to play. You might recognize him as the Nazi poster child in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds back in 2009. He also previously shared the screen with Marvel alum Chris Hemsworth in Rush.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christoph Waltz rumored for Bond 24

Rumor has it that Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz has signed on to play the villain in Bond 24. Filming is set to begin next month so it is a bit surprising that more casting announcements haven't hit yet. If this is true I think it would be a great casting choice. Bond 24 is set for release on November 6, 2015.

Waltz will be seen next in Horrible Bosses 2 and has come pretty accustomed to playing the villain. He won an Oscar for his portrayal of a brutal Nazi officer in Inglorious Basterds and has also played the bad guy in Water for Elephants, The Green Hornet, and had been rumored to be in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Fifty Shades of Grey - New Trailer

We have the second, and probably final, trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey. The trailer shows a lot more footage than the first one did and it also gives some insight to the sexual nature of the film. Fifty Shades of Grey is set for release Valentine's Day 2015 and stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Margot Robbie to play Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad

After learning that Jared Leto was being courted to play The Joker, many started speculating on who would be cast to play Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. We now have our answer and it is Australian actress, Margot Robbie.

Robbie was most recently seen alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street and was also a season regular on the short-lived television show, Pan Am. The is fairly young at the age of 24, so it might be a hard sell for people to believe that she is a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. That is, unless they write that aspect of the story out of the movie.
If you are somehow unfamiliar with Harley Quinn, she began as psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel inside Arkham Asylum where she was assigned to The Joker. She quickly was manipulated by him and became obsessed with him. To comic fans, she is known as his psychotic sidekick girlfriend. She comes equipped with a black and red jester suit and white face paint. This will be the first time the character is portrayed on the big screen, but she was originally introduced in the Batman animated series. She has also appeared in Rocksteady's Arkham games for Playstation, Xbox, and Wii. She was a bit different in the games (aka, more of a sexy version of Harley), so there are a couple ways Warner Bros. could go with this character.

This does make the rumors surrounding The Joker have a bit more substance as you can't really have Harley Quinn without The Joker. If they are serious about including him, and about Jared Leto, I think they are teasing everyone even more with this casting announcement. Suicide Squad is set to open in theaters on August 5, 2016.

Image via Crave Online

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jared Leto rumored to play The Joker

With Warner Bros and DC quickly putting their own universe together there are rumors circulating about which actors will play upcoming film characters. A big rumor we got today is regarding Suicide Squad which is set for release on August 5, 2016. Apparently, Oscar-winner Jared Leto is in the mix to play a new version of the popular DC villain, The Joker.

So far Suicide Squad has Will Smith, Tom Hardy, and Margot Robbie in various stages of negotiations. Leto was previously in contention for the role of Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the role ultimately went to Joaquin Phoenix (Benedict Cumberbatch is now Doctor Strange).

We haven't really seen or heard from The Joker since Heath Ledger's acclaimed, and Oscar-winning, performance in The Dark Knight back in 2008. Many people felt that after Ledger's unbelievable performance that the character should be left alone. There isn't any confirmation that The Joker will be part of Suicide Squad or that Leto will be playing that character, but he is apparently circling around a major role in the film that "could prove to be The Joker."
Now... this is somewhat interesting as some people, including myself, thought that Jena Malone's casting in the DC Universe could possibly be Harley Quinn. Even if Malone is not connected to the role, it has been rumored that the famous sidekick will be part of Suicide Squad. Leto's role was previously attached to Ryan Gosling, but he was reluctant to sign a multi-film contract with press obligations.

Suicide Squad follows a team of villains who begin executing dangerous missions for the US Government to avoid major prison sentences. As a result, they have the ability to roam free among the DC heroes undetected until they commit a major crime or offense.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Toy Story 4 confirmed for 2017

Disney CEO, Bob Iger, confirmed today via an investor call today that Disney and Pixar will release a fourth Toy Story film in 2017. John Lasseter will return to direct as will Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. And, naturally, the film will be released in 3D.

This isn't necessarily unexpected as Toy Story 3 was dynamite and kickstarted the franchise a bit. We have had Toy Story short films since Toy Story 3 and a fourth film has been rumored for a year or two already.
I personally find this somewhat disappointing because I think Pixar is turning into sequel territory and it's unfortunate. We have Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur coming up, but we also have Finding Dory and announced sequels for The Incredibles as well as a third Cars film. I don't like it. Pixar is best with original stories.