The past seven days

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

[UPDATED] New Line delays It reboot indefinitely

Just a day after the announcement that director Cary Fukunaga had departed the reboot of It, the new adaptation of the Stephen King novel, has been shelved indefinitely.

The reboot was originally in production over at Warner Bros. before making the move to New Line Cinema and was intended by Fukunaga to be a two-part film event. Production was set to begin in June with Will Poulter starring as Pennywise the Clown, but it does not seem that it will happen at all. Fukunaga exited the project over the weekend citing scheduling along with rumors that he clashed with the studio over their desire to slash the budget.

Oh well. I didn't want this to happen anyway, so I can't say I'm upset. 

LOL/JK: It appears that in order to avoid an indefinite delay, the project is headed back over to Warner Bros. With this move the budget will remain intact and the setting will return to New York City and the two-script adaptation will also remain... so they say. Oh well. We can't win them all.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cary Fukunaga exits the It reboot

Director Cary Fukunaga is apparently out of the It reboot according to sources close to New Line. A couple reasons are being cited including poor box office performance for Poltergeist as well as budget cuts at New Line. Also, the film shifting studios from Warner Bros. to New Line Cinema has also been mentioned.

This comes just a week or so after confirmation that Will Poulter was on board to portray Pennywise the Clown. The biggest thing up for conversation here is whether New Line will keep the film split into two parts as Fukunaga wanted. I would assume if they are experiencing budget issues they will try and keep production under wraps and only have one film.

To me, this just shows that this is yet another movie that shouldn't be happening. It doesn't need a reboot at all.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Star Wars spin-off #2 is indeed Boba Fett origins

There has been a lot of speculation and rumors regarding what the second Star Wars spin-off is, or was, going to be. I guess Disney decided to spill the beans since Josh Trank "left" the project. Plus it's May the 4th, so here we go.

The second spin-off is confirmed to be a Boba Fett origins story, or at least a story focused on bounty hunters. It's what many people guessed and what a lot of insiders told the internet when the spin-offs were first confirmed. We already had a semi-origin of Boba with Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. We discovered he was an unaltered clone of the Stormtrooper army host, Jango Fett. Boba was left on his own after Mace Windu decapitated Jango in the battle on Geonosis. After that we didn't see Boba until the original trilogy, so there is a pretty big gap of time where this is possible.

This is a bit interesting because Star Wars: Rogue One is basically centered around the birth of the Rebellion and the world of Rebel fighters. Having the second spin-off be about the complete opposite could potentially be a lot of fun. The only question now is who Disney will hire to replace Josh Trank.

Will Poulter is the new Pennywise the Clown

We are in the midst of the new reboot of the Stephen King novel, It. The original television mini-series, starring Tim Curry, aired back in 1991 and sparked a fear of clowns within my age bracket. We now have confirmation that Will Poulter (We Are the Millers) has been cast as Pennywise, the role that Curry made iconic in the original miniseries.

It is coming to us in a two-part film adaptation and will be directed by Cary Fukunaga. Originally casting was leaning towards Ben Mendelsohn, but he was cast in Star Wars: Rogue One and it created a scheduling conflict that couldn't be rectified. Filming is set to begin this summer, so I'm sure we'll get a glimpse at the costume and makeup before too long. I don't hate this choice, but I don't know if he would have been the first actor to come to mind.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

First cast photo from Suicide Squad

Well, minus The Joker. But even with that we are getting our first look at a majority of the cast of Suicide Squad.

Director David Ayer also tweeted out a photo of Will Smith as Deadshot with some oddly light colored hands.

Personally, I don't like the cast photo. I think the whole trend of Warner Bros. making every single DC movie "dark and gritty" is getting old. The entire Suicide Squad looks like a bunch of Hot Topic shoppers in an ABC Family movie. I'm disappointed with Harley Quinn's look, too. I was hoping they weren't going to go the Arkham video game route.  It will be interesting to see The Joker if they were telling the truth and the whole tattooed look wasn't the final decision. Judging from this I don't have high hopes. 

Sorry Warner Bros., but Marvel is still whooping your ass.

Was Josh Trank fired from Star Wars or did he quit?

Just a day after announcing his departure from the Star Wars franchise, there are already rumors about the reasoning behind Josh Trank's decision. Despite his statement giving the impression that the decision was his, there are many speculating that it might have been Disney that gave him the boot.

But why?

Well, the biggest theory is due to the issues behind the scenes of his adaptation of Fantastic Four with 20th Century Fox. There were some issues with Trank's adaptation of the film which, at first, caused a delay of the film's production and release. There's also the matter of the less than thrilling responses the film's trailer has received so far. Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg worked with Trank on Fantastic Four and is on board for the Star Wars spin-offs and sources are claiming that he spoke up to the Disney/Lucasfilm executives about some "unusual behavior" Trank displayed while in development and on set. Apparently he also displayed a lot of uncertainty and was indecisive causing the writers and producers to step in and help him pull his own film together, including taking the reigns for reshoots of the film alongside the film's editor, Steven Rivkin. This behavior very well might have given Disney reason enough to kick Trank to the curb.
Continuing this rumor, sources are claiming that Disney's decision came just prior to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim last week. Trank cited illness as reason for him not appearing, but he might have been asked by Disney not to appear. In addition to his absence, there was no mention of him or his spin-off film throughout the whole weekend. You can't use the excuse of not focusing on the spin-offs because Gareth Edwards' had his own panel for Star Wars: Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones, and we got a short teaser for the film.

So what happens now? We are still getting Star Wars: Rogue One in 2016. Trank's film was originally slated for a 2018 release just after Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII hits in 2017, but sources are claiming that Disney might shift the second spin-off to 2019. That leaves a gap in 2018 that will have to be filled with something if they want to keep a tradition of a Star Wars film every year. 
There is also no telling what is in Josh Trank's future with 20th Century Fox. We will have the chance to see Fantastic Four in August and a sequel has been announced, but Fox has not confirmed writers or a director for it. That is leading many to believe that Trank might be getting fired or has already been fired from that franchise as well. My guess is Fox is waiting to see what the response will be from audiences before officially hiring Trank to direct the sequel, but if the reception is bad and/or the movie is horrible you can expect him to be kicked to the curb once again.

Personally, I never understood why people gave this guy such big opportunities in the first place. It was all based on his directorial debut, Chronicle, and I'm sorry to break it to you but Chronicle was horrible. It was a classic example of a film that looked great on paper but it was a jumbled mess with a lack of vision and direction. Why Fox even gave him Fantastic Four confused me from the beginning and the issues on set proves that he doesn't belong in the world of blockbusters. I'm glad Disney recognized a problem and didn't take the chance.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Josh Trank exits Star Wars franchise

After some longstanding curiosity about the Star Wars spin-off films, it looks like we might have some changes made to at least one of them as director Josh Trank has exited the project.

Trank had been hired to direct the second spin-off film to follow Gareth Edwards', Star Wars: Rogue One. This comes one week after Trank was not in attendance at the Star Wars Celebration convention in Anaheim, CA. He cited illness as reason for missing the weekend, but with this announcement it might have been a ruse to cover up a problem. This also comes just months before his new adaptation of Fantastic Four hits theaters. After initially expressing extreme excitement, Trank made this statement regarding leaving the franchise:
"After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I'm making a personal decision to move forward on a different path. I've put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities. That said, the Star Wars universe has always been one of my biggest influences, and I couldn't be more excited to witness its future alongside my millions of fellow Star Wars fans. I want to thank my friends Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, Simon Kinberg, and everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney for the amazing opportunity and to have been a part of this. May the force be with you all."

Lucasfilm and Disney have already released a statement that production for the spin-off will continue, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a new director hop on board quickly.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rumor: Asa Butterfield tops the list for Spider-Man

Rumor has it that Marvel has its frontrunner for the upcoming (new) adaptation of Spider-Man. After Kevin Feige announced they were indeed taking Peter Parker back to high school and they wanted to cast a real teenager, many actors were added to shortlists throughout the internet. Apparently the actor on the top of the list at the moment is 18-year old British actor, Asa Butterfield.

Latino Review, who is notoriously correct, reported that Butterfield is the frontrunner on Marvel's list of potentials; the list also contains Nat Wolff, Tom Holland, Liam James, and Timothee Chalamet. Some insiders told LR that Butterfield had already been cast as Peter Parker, but Marvel is waiting to announce it. Butterfield is no stranger to the screen despite just being 18-years old. His big breaks included being cast in starring roles in both the film adaptation of Ender's Game and Martin Scorsese's, Hugo.

Either way this casting announcement should come soon as the plan is to include Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War and then have another reboot film for the character by 2017. I have liked Asa Butterfield in what I've seen him in so far and I think he would make a great Spider-Man. We shall wait and see, though. If the internet has gotten the jump on Marvel they might make an announcement sooner rather than later.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Daniel Bruhl to play Baron Zemo in Captain America: Civil War

We learned that Inglorious Basterds actor, Daniel Bruhl, had been cast in Captain America: Civil War months ago but we never got confirmation for which character he'd been cast to play. Bruhl said in a recent interview with The Independent UK that he has been cast as the villainous Baron Helmut Zemo.

If you're not familiar with Zemo, he is the son of one of the top scientists in Hitler's Nazi regime and he directly blames Captain America for the death of his father. Zemo's father, Heinrich, created numerous weapons of mass destruction for the Nazi regime including a large-scale death ray cannon.
He first appeared in The Avengers comics in 1964, so he's definitely a seasoned Marvel character and has been listed on many top Marvel villain lists around the internet. Zemo's abilities include a superior intellect, excellent marksmanship, and extensive training in hand-to-hand combat. Later on in the comic arcs, he was granted superpower abilities of energy, gravitational, and light manipulation. 

Captain America: Civil War is set to begin production this week in Atlanta. It stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Elizabeth Olsen, Daniel Bruhl, Sebastian Stan, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Frank Grillo, and Anthony Mackie.

First look at Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler

Pretty much what everyone expected it to be.

X-Men: Apocalypse is set to hit theaters on May 27, 2016.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Jared Leto's version of The Joker revealed

I am so confused right now.

Now... Jared Leto has been teasing his Joker look for weeks. It started with a haircut and then moved into blonde hair and then green hair and then no eyebrows and then an apparent leaked photo of The Joker in a straight-jacket.
However, I don't think anyone was quite expecting this. For the first time we are seeing the iconic villain without the makeup and stripped down without his recognizable and trademark clothing. It shows Leto as a tattooed and scarred maniac complete with pale skin, green hair, and what looks like silver teeth.

I'm just going to say it. I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. I expected something different because that's kind of a given, especially after the legacy that Heath Ledger left behind. I can honestly say that I wasn't expecting, nor do I want, what we have gotten. If Harley Quinn looks like this too, I quit. I can't even imagine what the other characters are going to look like.
I want to be clear that I'm not doubting Jared Leto's ability to portray this character. I am a big fan of Leto and I think he has great potential to do something great and memorable, but this look is horrible. Here's to hoping this is just how they find him in Arkham and he becomes more traditional later on. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fifty Shades sequel release dates confirmed

We finally have confirmed release dates for the next two installments of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. As it currently stands, to keep with the Valentine's Day tradition, we won't be getting Fifty Shades Darker until February 10, 2017 while the third installment (presumably titled Fifty Shades Freed) will hit theaters on February 9, 2018.

Universal seems to be taking a huge gamble with these release dates. I say that because you would assume these films would be fast-tracked to keep the attention of the public. Having the sequel two years from the first one is a bit crazy. I assumed they'd at least try and film by the end of this year for 2016 and 2017 releases.
This comes a day after Universal announced that Fifty Shades author EL James' husband, Niall Leonard, has been hired to pen the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker. This compromise came after James caused the departure of director Sam Taylor-Johnson and writer Kelly Marcel. Now that it has become blatantly obvious that EL James has taken full control of this franchise there is no telling what is going to happen. For all we know the director for Fifty Shades Darker will be James.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey but I credit that to Sam Taylor-Johnson. The direction was solid and the cinematography was amazing. With her departure I think it's pretty safe to say that the cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey, won't be returning either. We now have a new writer and will have a new director and most likely a new cinematographer. We still have multiple characters that need to be cast (the big one being "Mrs. Robinson") and the remaining actors from the first film are demanding ridiculously high salaries.

This franchise quickly is turning into even more of a joke than it originally was.


Common joins the cast of Suicide Squad

The cast of Suicide Squad just got a new addition. Actor and Oscar-winning musician Common has just been confirmed in an unspecified role. He joins the existing cast of Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevigne, and more.

Suicide Squad is set to open in August 2016.

Elizabeth Olsen confirmed for Captain America: Civil War

Looks like Marvel isn't finished with Scarlet Witch just yet. Elizabeth Olsen, who debuts the character in Avengers: Age of Ultron, confirmed that she will reprise the role of Scarlet Witch in the third installment of Captain America, Civil War, next year. She will evidently begin filming her scenes in Atlanta in a couple weeks.

Marvel has yet to confirm Olsen's involvement, but I'm sure a list of character confirmations are coming. Given the involvement required for this Civil War arc, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of Marvel actors make cameos in this film. My fingers are crossed for another Erik Selvig appearance or Jane Foster.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

EL James' husband to pen Fifty Shades Darker

This just keeps getting better and better.

In a last attempt to meet with Fifty Shades author EL James' ridiculous demands over creative control, Universal has hired her husband to pen the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker. Originally, James (aka, Erika Leonard) was demanding to pen the screenplay for the sequel despite having absolutely no experience.
Niall Leonard, in all fairness, does have some experience including work on some British television shows. He also, apparently, did some uncredited work on the original Fifty Shades of Grey script that was written by Kelly Marcel and his wife, EL James.

This is all absolutely ridiculous. When I first read the article I started laughing thinking, this has to be a joke! But it's no joke and it's all on Universal and Focus Features for giving this bitch so much input on the movies. I don't know if another studio would have negotiated something better when it comes to this woman, but the way Universal has set this up pretty much means they're doing this to themselves.
As it currently stands, Fifty Shades Darker is basically at a stand still. In addition to the screenplay fiasco, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are currently in contract negotiations because they both are demanding a significantly larger sum of money for the sequels; sums that actually exceed the entire budget the first film had.