The past seven days

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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Russo's to direct Avengers: The Infinity War

Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors, Joe and Anthony Russo, have officially been hired to direct Avengers: The Infinity War - Part 1 and Part 2. This isn't much of a surprise as they also were selected to direct Captain America: Civil War. Also in talks for The Infinity War are screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The pair has written scripts for all three Captain America films along with Thor: The Dark World and ABC's Agent Carter.
The Infinity War is going to be the biggest production yet as both parts will shoot back to back in 2016 and 2017. Part 1 is set for a 2018 release while Part 2 is set for 2019. 

A random sidenote, but this also confirms that Joss Whedon is indeed finished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He previously stated that Avengers: Age of Ultron would most likely be his last Marvel film and that seems to be true. He wants to move on and start doing some more original projects. Sad day.

Jennifer Lawrence to exit X-Men franchise

I hope you all enjoy X-Men: Apocalypse because after that installment the X-Men universe will lose Jennifer Lawrence. The actress confirmed that Apocalypse will be her last appearance as Mystique in Fox's longstanding X-Men franchise. Lawrence first appeared as the blue mutant in X-Men: First Class back in 2011. She returned for X-Men: Days of Future Past last year. Personally, I have really enjoyed what she's brought to the character so it's sad to see her go.

X-Men: Apocalypse is proving to be fairly interesting so far. Knowing now that it will be the last we see of Lawrence, it is also going to be just the second X-Men film not to feature Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen. Bryan Singer is returning to direct and we will see new additions Oscar Isaac, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, and Alexandra Shipp. It's set to open in theaters May 27, 2016.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Deadpool officially begins production

It's been years in the making and the production of a solo film for the X-Men character, Deadpool, is finally underway. The Deadpool project was announced after Ryan Reynolds' portrayal of the character in the 2009 film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and it sat in development hell until now. At last year's San Diego Comic-Con some test footage leaked from a couple years back. Since then Fox played catch-up and finally announced the project was actually happening in late 2014 after a massive fan uprising demanding the film finally happen. This also came after Fox confirmed a solo film for Gambit, another X-Men character who appeared in X-Men Origins. Channing Tatum will replace Taylor Kitsch as Gambit in the announced solo film.

Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Gina Carano. It is being directed by Tim Miller.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Matt Bomer joins American Horror Story; Jessica Lange officially out

We still don't really understand what's in store for American Horror Story: Hotel, but we did get a couple more casting tidbits. In addition to the announcement of Lady Gaga, we learned that Matt Bomer (White Collar) and Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock) have joined the cast. Bomer previously had a small cameo on AHS: Freak Show. We still don't know what exact time period or location this season will take place in.

We also got some very sad news regarding Jessica Lange's involvement with this series. Lange confirmed that her involvement with AHS is indeed over and she will explore other projects with Ryan Murphy. Sad day.

Beauty and the Beast receives 2017 release date

Disney has finally set a release date for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The film will hit theaters on March 17, 2017. This release date comes after Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella absolutely crushed it at the box office this weekend.

The studio made a press release emphasizing that the live-action film will accompany "CG Magic," so I would assume that a majority of the characters in the castle will be computer animated to some extent. The studio also announced that Emma Thompson will portray Mrs. Potts and Kevin Kline will play Belle's father, Maurice. They join previously announced cast members Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, and Josh Gad.

Alexandre Desplat to score Star Wars: Rogue One

Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat has landed the job of scoring the first Star Wars spin-off film. Desplat will score Gareth Edwards' Star Wars: Rogue One and will be the first composer aside from John Williams to score a Star Wars film.

Desplat had a very busy 2014 and created scores for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Unbroken, Godzilla, The Imitation Game, and Monuments Men. The Grand Budapest Hotel won him an Oscar this year and he was nominated for The Imitation Game. He's also been nominated for Best Original Score for Philomena, Argo, The King's Speech, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Queen. I think he's a great addition to the Star Wars universe, but I am nervous that it won't have the same feel that John Williams brings to these films.

Jessica Brown Findlay joins The Crow

British actress Jessica Brown Findlay has joined the reboot of The Crow. She will star opposite Jack Huston as Eric Draven's slain fiance, Shelly Webster. Huston was confirmed to be replacing Luke Evans earlier in the weekend.

Findlay is fairly new to Hollywood as her top credits are Downton Abbey and Winter's Tale. She also had a small role in Black Mirror. She was considered for the role of Alice in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, but the role ultimately was given to Mia Wasikowska. I personally don't know this actress at all, so I can't really comment on how I feel about her joining the cast. Unless they have some severe changes from the original, Shelly doesn't last very long so I wouldn't even consider this a lead role. Sarah was more of a lead support so I'm curious to see who they'll cast in that role.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jack Huston to star in The Crow

The Crow reboot has found the replacement for Eric Draven after Luke Evans left the project a few weeks back. Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston will star in the reboot in Evans' place. The studio expressed interest in Huston a couple weeks ago so it seems like they got their wish.
Huston is a bit of Hollywood royalty despite not being a household name. He is the nephew of Anjelica Huston and Danny Huston. In addition to Boardwalk Empire he's been seen in American Hustle and Kill Your Darlings where he played Jack Kerouac. He's currently filming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and will star in the new adaptation of Ben-Hur

This reboot has run into trouble since it was announced, so the fact that it's finally happening is just scary. It shouldn't even be happening.