The past seven days

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Scoot McNairy rumored for Batman v Superman

Rumors are floating around Batman v Superman (duh) regarding who is playing The Flash. Word has it that Scott McNairy is playing the speedy hero, Barry Allen.

McNairy was spotted on the set of Batman v Superman wearing green fabric on his calves. If you know anything about digital replacement, the green fabric is used for CGI effects and other digital enhancements so naturally the rumors have hit saying the fabric is being used to give him the appeal of being fast.
BvS is being kept completely under wraps so it is impossible to really guess what McNairy was doing on set or what the green legs are for, but if he does wind up playing The Flash I don't think it would be a bad thing. I have never disliked him.

First look at Ant-Man

We got our official first look at Paul Rudd in the upcoming Marvel film, Ant-Man.

Rudd is set to play Scott Lang in the film. Lang is an ex-con who becomes the successor of the Ant-Man suit from Dr. Hank Pym, played by Michael Douglas.
Ant-Man is set for release on July 17, 2015.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New York Film Festival announces lineup

Soon after the Toronto Film Festival ends, we will have the New York Film Festival and it's time to reflect on what possible gems will be introduced to us then. The NYFF runs from September 26th through October 12th.

Opener: Gone Girl

Centerpiece Gala Selection: Inherent Vice

Closer: Birdman of the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

Main Slate:

Beloved Sisters
The Blue Room
Clouds of Sils Maria
Goodbye to Language
Heaven Knows What
Hill of Freedom
Horse Money
Life of Riley
Listen Up Philip
Maps to the Stars
Mr. Turner
The Princess of France
Saint Laurent
La Sapienza
Tales of the Grim Sleeper
Time Out of Mind
Two Days, One Night
Two Shots Fired
The Wonders

Ones to definitely watch for regarding this festival and in Toronto are definitely Whiplash, Gone Girl, Clouds of Sils Maria, Mr. Turner, Foxcatcher, and Maps to the Stars. Some of them screened at Sundance and received very good feedback then. Some have already predicted that Channing Tatum might get an Oscar nomination for Foxcatcher.

Warner Bros/DC confirm Aquaman film

A while back we received rumors that Jason Momoa was in negotiations to play Aquaman in the upcoming Warner Bros/DC Comic movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a separate Aquaman film. There are now reports that Warner Bros. has commissioned not only one, but two Aquaman screenplays and that Momoa's casting is basically confirmed.

Last week we got a schedule of release dates from Warner Bros. through the year 2020 and speculation immediately began on exactly what all of those release dates might be. The plan is obviously to compete with Marvel's Cinematic Universe and create a similar one for the new DC Universe that was kicked off by Man of Steel last year.
So far we have Gal Gadot portraying Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman and it's being assumed that one of the many untitled projects is a solo Wonder Woman film. The focus now has shifted to Aquaman where Warner Bros. is "aggressively" developing the project as they have commissioned two screenplays in hopes that they could use one or combine the two for a quick development process. Script #1 is being written by Gangster Squad writer, Will Beall, while the second script was given to 300: Rise of an Empire writer, Kurt Johnstad.
As far as Jason Momoa goes, there hasn't been any official release by Warner Bros. regarding his casting, but it's pretty much a given that if he is playing Aquaman in Batman v Superman that he will also helm the solo movie and be part of Justice League. Recently a Detroit radio station was caught red-handed teasing the project and Momoa's involvement, but director Zack Snyder made a surprise call into the show and claimed that Aquaman could, "cut the flesh of Superman if they came in contact." If that's the portrayal they're going for then I guess they picked the right actor.

There are so many untitled dates on the Warner Bros/DC schedule so it's difficult to wrap your head around it all, but realistically speaking we could see Aquaman as early as 2016. There is a spot on August 5, 2016 as well as two unfilled dates in 2017 (June 23rd and November 17th). There is no real timetable on Justice League anymore, but many expect it by 2017. Realistically at this point we could have solo films for Wonder Woman and Aquaman in 2016 and early 2017 and have Justice League on November 17th.
However, Zack Snyder is currently shooting Justice League back-to-back with Batman v Superman, so they might turn tradition upside down and release Justice League in 2016 before any other solo films. There really is no telling, but I don't know why they would let a project sit on the shelf for two years after filming wraps.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Marvel moving forward with The Inhumans

After achieving a very unexpected success with Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has announced they are moving forward with a screenplay for The Inhumans.

The last we heard about this project was back in 2012 when Marvel President Kevin Feige discussed the possibility of more unexpected heroes appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after The Avengers. There is already a screenplay that has been developed by Joe Robert Cole and Marvel is evidently ready to shop it around to filmmakers. The project is being approached similar to how Guardians of the Galaxy was in terms of having a screenplay and letting filmmakers revise and make changes.
A brief history on The Inhumans: Basically, this group of heroes are the result of alien experimentation. The Kree (sound familiar?) abandoned the experiments and their subjects, so the group moved on and formed a society on Attilan made up of their own and led by king Black Bolt and his family. They made their first appearance in a Fantastic Four comic back in 1965.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams passes away at 63

Actor and comedian Robin Williams has died at age 63. Authorities and his wife have confirmed his death as he was found dead at home around noon on Monday, August 11th. So far the word is that he died from asphyxiation of an apparent suicide.
Williams struggled with drug and alcohol addiction early in his career. He suffered from cocaine and alcohol addiction after his success on the television series, Mork and Mindy. He kicked his habit after being present on the night that fellow comedian John Belushi overdosed and died during a drug binge in 1982. Williams relapsed in 2006 and sought treatment to kick the habit once again and in July of this year he checked himself into a rehab facility once again for treatment from alcohol. Sources close to him have revealed he had been struggling with depression as of late.

His wife, Susan Schneider, released this statement:
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

My heart is just hurting right now. I don't recall a genuine tear coming to my eye with the death of a celebrity, but my eyes are misty right now. Robin Williams was my childhood. Films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Jumanji, Aladdin, and so much more just defined life and what comedy was for me. Learning those voices as a way to make my family laugh will always sit with me and without this man I wouldn't have ever done it. We have lost a genie, a loveable bat, a man trapped in a board game, an obsessive photo developer, Peter Pan, and one of the funniest men to ever grace this Earth.
It saddens me whenever I see someone who brings such joy to so many others suffer inside and feel that they have no way out. I am sympathetic for his wife, his children, and his friends. Having it be this difficult for a fan to accept makes me realize how unbearable it must be for someone who knew him personally.

May you finally have peace, Mr. Williams. You made my life and the lives of so many others wonderful and full of laughter. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel announced

After an impressive weekend at the box office, Paramount has announced there will be a sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The date the sequel has received is June 3, 2016. Michael Bay will be returning to produce and writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec will return to write the screenplay. 

That date puts it one week prior to Marvel's Doctor Strange, so even if TMNT has a lasting effect the box office ride won't be too long. Some are also thinking announcing a sequel was jumping the gun a bit. This weekend the Turtles brought in $65 million at the box office, but the film cost $125 million to make not including the marketing. That is a lot to make up. Seeing that it is still competing with Guardians of the Galaxy and we have upcoming releases for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Expendables 3, I think this box office ride will also be a short one. They're going to have to rely on the international box office to boost up the numbers.

They also aren't reading the reviews and that's obvious. Just because people went to see it doesn't mean they liked it. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles currently holds a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes and seems to hold an average of 2.5 stars pretty much everywhere else. Just to put the RT rating into perspective, Step Up: All In has a 42% rating. Yes, the fourth installment of a terrible dance franchise has a higher rating. Into the Storm even has a higher rating. I don't think a sequel should be in the cards for Paramount, but Michael Bay never stops. Look at the Transformers franchise.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Universal acquires The Vampire Chronicles

Prepare yourselves for a reboot of Interview with the Vampire.

Universal announced that they have acquired the rights to Anne Rice's classic series, The Vampire Chronicles. The acquisition went to Image Entertainment and Brian Grazer. The rights include all existing novels and any future novels Rice releases. It even includes the screenplay for Tale of the Body Thief written by Rice's son, Christopher Rice. Interview with the Vampire and Prince Lestat were also included in the acquisition.
On board to produce anything that comes of this is Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman (of course) and the President of Imagine Entertainment, Erica Huggins, will oversee production.

We have seen film adaptations of Anne Rice's novels already with the most notable being the 1994 adaptation of Interview with the Vampire. The film starred Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Kirsten Dunst and is considered a vampire cult favorite to this day. We also saw Queen of the Damned in 2002 which was based off the novel of the same name as well as "The Vampire Lestat." Rice has publicly expressed her dislike of the Queen of the Damned film stating that filmmakers mutilated her work.
Rice has also delved into television as well writing the 2001 Showtime series, The Feast of All Saints, and the 1997 CBS pilot, Rag and Bone. NBC had announced in 2002 that they wanted to adapt the "Lives of the Mayfair Witches" book trilogy for television, but it never went into production.

Personally, I have always loved Anne Rice novels and have read a lot of them. I liked Interview with the Vampire but I absolutely hated Queen of the Damned. The soundtrack was the best part of that movie. I am trying to be open to more Vampire Chronicles films, but I just can't jump on. Some things should just be left alone.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Camp X-Ray - First Trailer

This film received less than luke-warm reviews at Sundance, but I think it looks interesting enough to give it a shot. Kristen Stewart seems to be trying to get back to what she does best and that is independent film. I'm not sure how believable this story is going to be to anyone, like me, who knows a lot about the military but we shall see. I'm intrigued.

In Camp X-Ray, Stewart plays a US Army soldier who forms a strange bond with a detainee while stationed at Guantanamo Bay. It also stars Cory Michael Smith, Lane Garrison, and Peyman Maadi. It's set for some form of theatrical release and VOD availability on October 28th.

Lea Seydoux sought after for Bond 24

Sam Mendes has apparently chosen his own personal Bond girl and that girl is Lea Seydoux. If you saw Blue is the Warmest Color you would recognize her as she played a free-spirited young lesbian named Emma.

Bond 24 has hit a couple speedbumps as of late. The most recent being a massive script re-write by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. It seems that the re-write did the trick as casting is now starting to move forward. Director Sam Mendes expressed his desire to cast Seydoux in the role of a young agent. There is no telling whether she would be a villain or an ally, but she would definitely be interesting casting. Seeing that Naomie Harris is returning as Miss Moneypenny I wasn't so sure we were going to have a typical "Bond girl" for Bond 24.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

List of every superhero movie through 2020

With the newest announcements from Warner Bros. regarding the DC Universe, we now have a more clear view of what movie theaters will be showing for the next five years and it's a bit overwhelming. This includes superhero movies as well as the planned Star Wars flicks.

Let's take a look at what we have on tap:

May 1, 2015

The Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel)

June 19, 2015

Fantastic Four (Fox)

July 17, 2015

Ant-Man (Marvel)

December 18, 2015

Star Wars: Episode VII (Disney/Lucasfilm)

March 25, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros./DC)

May 6, 2016

Captain America 3 (Marvel)

May 27, 2016

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse (Fox)

Summer 2016

Star Wars Spin-off #1 (Disney/Lucasfilm)

July 8, 2016

Doctor Strange (Marvel)

August 5, 2016

Untitled DC Project

November 11, 2016

Sinister Six (Sony)

March 3, 2017

Untitled Wolverine Project (Fox)

May 5, 2017

Untitled Marvel Project

Summer 2017

Star Wars: Episode VIII (Disney/Lucasfilm)

June 23, 2017

Untitled DC Project

July 24, 2017

Fantastic Four 2 (Fox)

July 28, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (Marvel)

November 3, 2017

Untitled Marvel Project

November 17, 2017

Untitled DC Project

2017 (unknown)

Venom and/or female Spider-Man spin-off (Sony)

 March 23, 2018

Untitled DC Project

May 4, 2018

Untitled Marvel Project

Summer 2018

Star Wars Spin-off #2 (Disney/Lucasfilm)
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (Sony)

July 6, 2018

Untitled Marvel Project

July 13, 2018

Untitled Fox Project

July 27, 2018

Untitled DC Project

November 2, 2018

Untitled Marvel Project

April 5, 2019

Untitled DC Project

May 3, 2019

Untitled Marvel Project

Summer 2019

Star Wars: Episode IX (Disney/Lucasfilm)

June 14, 2019

Untitled DC Project

April 3, 2020

Untitled DC Project

June 19, 2020

Untitled DC Project

It is worth noting that a lot of the 2016 and 2017 releases are no doubt close to official announcements (cough, Justice League, cough) but for now we just have the dates reserved with the studios. Looking at this full schedule you can really begin to see how ridiculous this is getting. I love superhero movies and all, but damn.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fox delays Poltergeist reboot

Fox announced some release shifts today to go along with some announcements from Warner Bros. They have decided to delay both the Sam Raimi reboot of Poltergeist and the upcoming Matthew Vaughn film, Kingsman: The Secret Service.

Poltergeist was originally supposed to premiere opposite Fifty Shades of Grey on February 13, 2015 but it will now be released on July 24, 2015. Taking the February slot will be Kingsman: The Secret Service which was originally slated for this October.
I think Fox probably saw Kingsman as a more competitive film to go up against the sure to be box office hit, Fifty Shades of Grey. It isn't necessarily a Valentines Day movie, but neither is Poltergeist. I think more people would be apt to choose that one than they would a horror film.

Batman v Superman release changes again

It appears that Marvel has officially won the battle of the release date. Warner Bros. announced that the release date for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has now changed for the third time to March 25, 2016.

BvS previously shared the release date of May 6, 2016 with Captain America 3. The studios have been battling for months over this release date and Marvel refused to budge. Warner Bros. obviously thought their best plan of attack would be to move the date again and grab audiences 6 weeks prior to the release of Captain America.
In addition to this release shift, Warner Bros. has also announced untitled dates for 9 films and 2 "event films" that haven't received titles yet.

The current WB/DC Comics schedule is now:

August 5, 2016
June 23, 2016
November 17, 2017
March 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
November 16, 2018 (event film)
April 5, 2019
June 14, 2019
April 3, 2020
June 19, 2020
November 20, 2020 (event film)

One plus side for WB is that, as of right now, none of these dates are shared with a Marvel project. That will avoid more problems like BvS has experienced. Either way this is a very ambitious schedule and I highly doubt any of these dates will stick if people don't like Batman v Superman and/or Justice League. There is no way.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Jennifer Lee to adapt A Wrinkle in Time

The classic novel, A Wrinkle in Time, has escaped a film adaptation for 50-years but Disney is planning to change that. The mega-giant has hired Frozen director, Jennifer Lee, to adapt the novel for the screen.

A Wrinkle in Time is considered one of the earliest young adult sci-fi novels and it has been read in schools for many years. I remember having to do a book report on it in 5th grade. It follows a young girl who finds out her father was a government scientist. It is assumed that since Lee is writing a screenplay that she will most likely be directing as well, but that isn't confirmed. What is confirmed, for the most part, is this project has fallen under Walt Disney Animation Studios so it will be animated or at least utilize motion-capture CGI.