The past seven days

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.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - First Teaser

After an unexpected leak of the trailer last night, WB and Zack Snyder decided to just go ahead and release the first teaser for Batman v Superman today despite an IMAX event still scheduled for next week.

All I really have to say is that it looks like it could potentially be good, but I'm still not 100% on board. I think this version of Batman looks buff as hell and is definitely intimidating, but I don't really like the pegging Superman as a villain. I also hate that Batman voice. It sounds like he's speaking via a voice modulator... unless they are doing that on purpose to hide Affleck's real Batman voice.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Second Teaser

Ooh, I am getting pretty excited about this one. I didn't think I was going to be, but I definitely am.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies gets a release date

It's actually happening, folks.

The long developed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies finally has a release date. The film is set for release on February 19, 2016. The film, directed by Burr Steers, stars Lily James, Sam Riley, and Bella Heathcote.

This film has been in developmental hell for years. It's gone through several actresses, writers, and directors before finally settling on a cast. I honestly never thought it would see the light of day. The book was very enjoyable, so we'll see if it does the story any justice.

Tron 3 title and schedule revealed?

We received very credible rumors that a long awaited sequel to Tron: Legacy was filming in Canada this summer and there is now a rumor about the film's title as well as a start date.

Word is that Tron: Ascension will start filming in Vancouver this October. The shoot is scheduled to continue until February 2016. The biggest questions include whether Garrett Hedlund and/or Olivia Wilde would return. Also, the question of whether Daft Punk would return to compose the score is another question.
There are also some holes left from Tron: Legacy such as Cillian Murphy's cameo as Edward Dillinger, Jr. and the fact that Rinzler was actually TRON. They could continue on those key points or they could simply think of another way to continue the story. Only time will tell. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sam Taylor-Johnson exits Fifty Shades franchise

This isn't really a surprise, but Universal announced today that Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return to direct the Fifty Shades of Grey sequels. She quite famously clashed with Fifty Shades author, EL James, on set and after James demanded to pen the script for Fifty Shades Darker it's assumed that was the final straw for her.

Sam Taylor-Johnson had this to say about her departure:
"Directing Fifty Shades of Grey has been an intense and incredible journey for which I am hugely grateful. I have Universal to thank for that. I forged close and lasting relationships with the cast, producers, and crew and most especially, Dakota and Jamie. While I will not be returning to direct the sequels, I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three."

The film has been a surprising success at the box office despite rather overwhelmingly negative critical reviews. It's another franchise, it seems, where the fans love it but the critics hate it. Like I said, this isn't really surprising but I think it's perhaps the biggest mistake Universal could have made regarding this franchise, aside from allowing James to pen the scripts.
The movie wasn't great but it wasn't horrible and I credited Sam Taylor-Johnson for a lot of that. The element she brought to the film was a pleasant surprise and she gave it a mood that was tolerable.  I think losing her puts the sequels at great risk of becoming gimmicky, corny, or feeling mismatched with the first film. We've seen this with film franchises too many times such as Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, etc.. Some films outshine the others while some are downright horrible and it's all the direction. Directors bring a lot of elements to a film and when they depart or enter, they have the power to change the whole dynamic of the story.

Mark my words, that will happen with this franchise. I would go far enough to say each film will have a different director. Given what Sam Taylor-Johnson put up with regarding EL James' involvement, I don't think any director in Hollywood will tolerate her shit for more than one film. It's come out that James feuded with Taylor-Johnson over the ending of the film, the dialogue, and how Christian Grey was portrayed. With that said, I would bet that Universal will seek out a director that has similar ideals to EL James or is willing to tolerate the ridiculous amount of control the studio gave her.

First glimpse at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

Many were skeptical about Jesse Eisenberg being cast as the legendary Superman villain, Lex Luthor, but a first glimpse at the actor as the character shows that he just might be able to pull it off.

Gone are Eisenberg's trademark curly locks and his usual pleasantly clueless facial expression.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fifty Shades of Unrated hits Blu-Ray this May

Universal announced today that the long rumored "unrated" cut of Fifty Shades of Grey will indeed hit Blu-Ray this spring. The unrated version of the film contains an additional three minutes of footage and also has an alternate ending. It will be released on Blu-Ray on May 8th.

You also might want to notice that I just said Blu-Ray. This unrated cut of the film will only be released on the Blu-Ray format, so if you've managed to come this far without upgrading to Blu-Ray you're pretty out of luck with this one. However, the disc will also contain the theatrical version and over two hours of bonus features so it's not a total ripoff. The digital release and the DVD will both have the theatrical cut included.

Other bonus features exclusive to the Blu-Ray are:
  • The World of Fifty Shades of Grey featurette - Focuses on the artistry in creating the Fifty Shades world along with profiles of Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
  • Christian Grey featurette - Explore the world of Christian Grey
  • Christian Grey profile - Discover who Christian Grey is
  • Jamie Dornan profile - Meet the actor behind Christian
  • Christian's Apartment featurette - Take a tour of Christian's infamous Escala apartment
  • Christian's Wardrobe featurette
  • A Rich Man's Toys - Revisit Christian's cars, helicopter, private jet, and even more toys any fan from the book recognizes
  • Ana featurette - Explore Anastasia Steele and what makes her so relatable
  • All About Ana featurette
  • Dakota Johnson profile - Meet the actress behind Anastasia
  • Ana's World featurette - Explore Ana's life prior to meeting Christian and see how it changes when she enters Christian's lifestyle
  • Ana's Wardrobe featurette
  • EL James & Fifty Shades - Come face to face with the woman who created the Fifty Shades phenomenon
  • The Pleasure of Pain featurette - Meet with the film's BDSM consultant and explore the props included within the "red room"
  • Interactive on-set tours
  • Music videos from Skylar Grey, Ellie Goulding, and The Weeknd 
  • "Earned It" behind the scenes featurette - Explore the making of the video for The Weeknd's, "Earned It"

Bonus features the DVD release will share with the Blu-Ray are few, but they are:
  • The World of Fifty Shades of Grey - Friends & Family featurette - Meet the actors behind the main character's friends and family
  • Behind the Shades featurette - Director Sam Taylor-Johnson joins producers EL James, Dana Brunetti, and Mike De Luca along with the cast to discuss the most challenging aspects of making the film.

I guess instead of moving forward on production of the sequels they decided to go all out for the Blu-Ray release. For those upset about not having a Blu-Ray player or whatever, a majority of these featurettes have been up on YouTube since the theatrical release of the film. You're welcome.

Fox orders new episodes of The X-Files

Guys... this is really happening.

Fox has ordered a 6-episode "special event" from creators of The X-Files. There isn't an official air date yet, but Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are both set to return as Agents Mulder and Scully. Show creator Chris Carter is on board, as well.
The X-Files aired from 1993 to 2002 and spawned two films and spin-offs. Most supernatural related things in film and television find themselves either compared to the show or flat out connect themselves to it.

Most people online so far are cynical, but I'm excited. I mean, who didn't love this show?

Chloe Sevigny joins AHS: Hotel

Chloe Sevigny hasn't been seen in a season of American Horror Story since she appeared in Asylum, but the fifth season (aka, Hotel) will mark Sevigny's return to FX's anthology series.

Sevigny's appearance on Asylum was shortlived but memorable. She portrayed Shelley who was committed into the Briarcliff asylum as a nymphomaniac. She was pretty fantastic in Asylum so she should be a decent addition to the cast of Hotel which, so far, is a fairly even mixture of new and old faces. She joins the existing cast of Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, and Lady Gaga. We know for sure that Jessica Lange won't be returning, but it is possible we might still get to see Sarah Paulson, Taissa Farmiga, Emma Roberts, Evan Peters, or Kathy Bates once more.

American Horror Story: Hotel is set to hit in October of this year on FX.