The past seven days

Saturday, June 27, 2015

I bid farewell to Blogger

I have been blogging on this website for quite sometime now and it's been fun, but I have found a new arena to blog on that gives a better outlook and outcome for the posts created.  As a result, I am bidding farewell to this blog and won't post on it anymore. If you're still interested in reading posts and reviews from me, you can find me on Movie Pilot (here).

Time to pick up my popcorn and move on. See you guys later. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Maleficent sequel announced

$750+ million dollars later, Disney saw one of its biggest releases in recent years with Maleficent. Despite how lousy the movie itself was people did like it and it made a ridiculous amount of box office revenue. Linda Woolverton is returning to write the script and Angelina Jolie is being approached to reprise her role as the classic villain.

Maleficent was sort of a character origins story. It followed the villain and we got to see how she became so evil and essentially painted her in a sympathetic light. Especially as we got to see her develop a rather loving relationship with Princess Aurora. I personally didn't like it one bit.
However, it is worth mentioning that Jolie is practically impossible to nail down for sequels. Aside from voice work in Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2, she hasn't been in a sequel since reprising the role of Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life back in 2003. She declined sequels for Wanted and Salt and has since moved on to more directing than acting. I would assume that a Maleficent sequel depends on her returning so if she declines I would think Disney will scrap it or completely reinvent it once again.

Halloween Returns set for July start date

There have been rumors and speculation about a new Halloween movie since Rob Zombie's H2 was released in 2009, but there is now official word from Dimension Films that Halloween Returns is set to begin filming in July.
In the directors chair will be director/screenwriter Marcus Dunstan. In addition to directing, Dunstan co-wrote the screenplay with longtime writing partner Patrick Melton. The pair previously wrote scripts for several Saw films, Piranha 3DD, and both Collector films.

Personally, I'm not as excited as just about everyone else seems to be. I saw what Melton and Dunstan did to destroy the Saw franchise and also remember how horrible Piranha 3DD was. I enjoyed The Collector for what it was, but The Collection was pretty bad in comparison. Seeing these guys attached to my favorite horror franchise doesn't give me much hope. Here's to hoping they don't give us something worse than H2.

Pitch Perfect 3 receives a release date

After a rather successful opening for Pitch Perfect 2, Universal has announced that there will indeed be a third installment (aca-believe it) and that it will hit on July 21, 2017. That smacks it right in the center of Summer release season and actually puts it in between the new revamp of Spider-Man and the third Planet of the Apes.

Also included in this release was confirmation that Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson will be returning to complete the trilogy. No word yet on whether the other members of the Bellas will return, like Hailee Steinfeld, but I highly doubt that Kendrick and Wilson will be the only returning cast members. It is also unclear whether Elizabeth Banks will return to direct.

Jack Huston exits The Crow

And yet another reason why they need to just stop pushing this reboot.

After replacing Luke Evans in the upcoming reboot of The Crow, Jack Huston has now exited the project. There really isn't any disclosed reason as to why Huston left the film, but the rumors are regarding creative differences and/or scheduling. It seems as though whenever something moves forward there is something that pops up that sets them right back where they were. Variety and several other sites are claiming that the studio is trying to move quickly on replacing Huston and the top candidates are Jack O'Connell and Nicholas Hoult. Pre-production has already begun in London, so I would expect to see any re-casting news in the next week or two.

In addition to all of this, the studio announced today that Forrest Whitaker was in negotiations for an unspecified role. It looks like they are still pursuing Andrea Riseborough for the lead villain role, too. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Jurassic World sets domestic box office records

The fourth installment of the Jurassic franchise, Jurassic World, has just smashed its way through records with its release this weekend. The film brought in over $500 million internationally and $262 million domestically at the box office this weekend which makes it the biggest domestic box office opening of all time. Jurassic World beat the previous record setter, Avatar, which opened with $259.9 million back in 2009.

What makes this so impressive is the film was released on a non-holiday weekend. Most of the time movies see the big box office tallies are holiday weekends or summer releases later on in July and August. This is very impressive.
I went to see it today and despite the dinosaurs looking horrible, the movie was pretty enjoyable and fun. Definitely not as good as the first one, but it wasn't by any means bad. I'm sure it will continue to bring in the bucks throughout the week.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Good Dinosaur drops entire voice cast

The voice cast for Pixar's The Good Dinosaur was looking pretty awesome. That is until practically the entire voice cast was dropped and replaced.

The cast which previously included Reese Witherspoon, Bill Hader, John Lithgow, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, Lucas Leff, and Frances McDormand has been completely dropped with the exception of McDormand. The new voice cast is as follows:

Raymond Ochoa as Arlo, the Apatosaurus

Jeffrey Wright as Poppa, Arlo's father

Steve Zahn as Thunderclap, the Pterodactyl

AJ Buckley as Nash, a T-Rex

Anna Paquin as Ramsey, a T-Rex

Sam Elliott as Butch, a T-Rex

Frances McDormand as Momma, Arlo's mother

Marcus Scribner as Buck, Arlo's brother

Jack Bright as Spot, Arlo's human friend

This marks a first time that Pixar has completed a film and recorded all of the dialogue and then re-recorded with a brand new cast. This would also make sense as to why the teaser trailer had absolutely no dialogue in it. This also came after Pixar all but scrapped The Good Dinosaur entirely. We were originally supposed to get the movie last year, but when the studio delayed it to revamp the entire story it resulted in no 2014 Pixar release and two releases for 2015.
I was really excited for The Good Dinosaur until the shit hit the fan... and until seeing the teaser. To me, it looks very subpar for Pixar. The dinosaurs look overly cartoonish and I think dropping the voice cast for, in my opinion, bad voices is a mistake.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mockingjay: Part 2 - First Teaser

We have our first look at the war moving into the Capitol in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2... and it looks pretty awesome.

Jon Bernthal joins Daredevil as The Punisher

The Walking Dead's Jon Bernthal officially joined the Marvel universe today as Frank Castle (aka, The Punisher). Bernthal will primarily appear in season two of the Netflix series, Daredevil, but it is important to remember that the actors signing onto Marvel television shows have film options in their contracts. This might be paving a future path towards another Punisher solo film.

 Bernthal is most recognizable to television viewers as Shane from The Walking Dead where he exited the zombie drama after two seasons. He's also been seen in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury and also appeared in the short-lived series, Mob City.

The Punisher previously had a film treatment back in 2004 with Thomas Jane in the lead role. It was alright for what it was, but still nothing special. That film eventually got a sequel, Punisher: War Zone, in 2008 complete with Ray Stevenson in the lead role but the franchise kind of died after that. 

To those unfamiliar with The Punisher, he is basically a similar vigilante to Matt Murdock (aka, Daredevil). He acts as an individual with a mission to keep Hell's Kitchen clean by any means necessary. He crosses the line of life and death that Murdock doesn't want to cross so it should prove an interesting feud, or ally, for him. My guess is they are bringing in as many potential allies as possible for Daredevil seeing that The Kingpin is in jail and very angry and rumor has it that Bullseye will be a part of season two as well. It's naive to think they will introduce all of these villains and leave Murdock out on his own.

I personally really loved the Daredevil series and I think the character is well suited for a show and not a single film. It works and I'm happy to see Marvel is exploring the television/streaming platform for lesser known, or lesser liked, heroes and villains. It also leaves good potential to tie everything together so I wouldn't be surprised to see cameos from some of these actors in Phase Three films. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Warner Bros. revives Akira adaptation

Akira seems to have some life once again. The question is for how long.

Daredevil writer/showrunner Marco J. Ramirez has been tapped by Warner Bros. to write a new script for the live-action adaptation of Akira. Ramirez previously worked on shows such as Sons of Anarchy and Da Vinci's Demons.

Akira has been in development for years. The latest revival of this project was back in 2011 when the cast attached to the film was Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, and Gary Oldman. The project was indefinitely postponed right before filming to polish the script, but it never picked itself back up. With the success of Daredevil it seems that Warner Bros. is trying to turn to what is working to get this project off the ground one way or the other.

Confirmed: Marvel is skipping SDCC 2015

It's been rumored for months, but we now have confirmation that Marvel will not have a Hall H panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con International. Marvel has been the star of Hall H for quite a few years now and it's a bit confusing as to why they are skipping this year.

Many are speculating this is due to Marvel's somewhat lackluster panel last year. They had attempted to use the platform to announce all of Phase Three, tease Guardians of the Galaxy, and announce Joaquin Phoenix as Doctor Strange, but his negotiations fell through just prior to the convention. As a result, they didn't reveal much at all.
However, there are a couple options why. Seeing that Marvel is a Disney owned entity now, Kevin Feige might decide to save whatever they have for the D23 Convention in Anaheim. They are Disney owned, after all. Another theory is they just don't have enough to show. Captain America: Civil War just started filming, Spider-Man hasn't begun production yet, and there is no point trying to hype Ant-Man because it's hitting next month.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

James Wan to direct Aquaman

This might be the one movie so far that Warner Bros. has done right regarding the new DC Universe. The studio has brought on horror director James Wan to direct Aquaman starring Jason Momoa.

Wan is coming straight off an overwhelming success of Furious 7 along with the lingering success he had with the 2014 horror hit, The Conjuring. He is also well known and respected among moviegoers for the Saw franchise as he co-wrote and directed the first film and co-produced all seven as well as the Insidious trilogy. Wan is currently in pre-production for The Conjuring 2, but he is up for the challenge of joining the DC Universe.

Personally, I'm a bit disappointed that Warner Bros. snagged him and not Marvel. I think he fits in better with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I won't count him out. I've been a fan of his since the beginning of his career and I definitely know he can do great things. Whatever he does will be better than the bullshit Zack Snyder pumps out.

So far Aquaman is set to make a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it's assumed he will appear in the Justice League films. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Eddie Redmayne officially joins Fantastic Beasts

Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne has been on the radar for a while to play Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Warner Bros. officially announced yesterday that Redmayne has landed the lead role and will star in the film.

Demand and popularity surrounding Redmayne has increased since his rather surprising Oscar win for portraying Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He's previously starred in Les Miserables, My Week with Marilyn, and Jupiter Ascending

The film will be directed by David Yates with Potter author JK Rowling making her screenwriting debut. Warner Bros. is still in the casting process with several actresses testing and being considered for the roles of Tina, Jacob, and Queenie. Fantastic Beasts is currently set to hit theaters on November 16, 2016. It will be the first Harry Potter related film since the initial franchise ended with The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 back in 2011.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tron 3 officially... not happening

Despite recent rumors surrounding a third installment of Disney's Tron franchise, it appears that Disney decided to take matters into their own hands. The studio announced that there are currently, and possibly never, plans to film a third installment of the franchise.

The rumors were claiming that filming was set to start in Vancouver late this year with Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde returning as well as director Joseph Kosinki returning.

I would have liked to see a third Tron, but oh well. In a way it bugs me but at the same time it doesn't.

Rick Baker's retirement is actually a big deal

Hollywood make-up legend Rick Baker has retired from the industry. This is not only sad on numerous levels, but it should serve as a wake-up call for Hollywood.

Baker has had some pretty notorious clients and done a lot of groundbreaking projects in the world of practical effects and make-up. He frequently worked with pop legend Michael Jackson as he created the zombies in Michael Jackson's iconic video for "Thriller," created numerous ghosts and monsters for the "Ghosts" short film, and created the extraterrestrial characters in Captain EO. He was also instrumental in the groundbreaking werewolf transformation in An American Werewolf in London, created alien transformations in the Men in Black movies, brought Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes to life, and he turned Eddie Murphy into the morbidly obese Klump family in The Nutty Professor.

Despite his body of work, he cites the quick hurry of Hollywood and the ease of turning to digital effects. You could look at this as Rick Baker being ready to retire or you could see it as him feeling forced to retire because he can't work anymore. His newer projects, such as Maleficent and Men in Black 3, were heavily tainted with CGI and the quick production forced a lack of time spent on practical effects.
Other legendary practical make-up artists, like Greg Nicotero, have seemed to find a way to balance the digital world and practical world but I find that a hard compromise to have to make. I'm all for the return of practical effects because, in my mind, they look better than half the digital stuff out there.

Deadpool officially wraps filming

It's done. It's actually real!

Principal photography for Deadpool movie has officially wrapped. I've been trying to stay away from set photos and spoilers that the trolls of the internet have kindly leaked just about everywhere, but seeing that filming is done is like... this is really happening. Finally!

We are set to get Deadpool in theaters on February 12, 2016. It is directed by Tim Miller and stars Ryan Reynolds, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Ed Skrein, Morena Baccarin, and Briana Hildebrand.

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.

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.

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.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Josh Gad joins Beauty and the Beast

We've heard Josh Gad already portray a ridiculously annoying snowman in Disney's Frozen and it seems like the studio isn't finished with him yet. In addition to being confirmed to return for Frozen 2, he just joined the cast of the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. He will play Gaston's devious sidekick, Le Fou.

He joins existing cast members Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Prince Adam/The Beast), and Luke Evans (Gaston). Gad rose to popularity after landing a lead role in the original Broadway run of The Book of Mormon and has since been seen in The Wedding Ringer, Frozen, and is currently co-starring with Billy Crystal on FX's The Comedians.

Fantastic Four 2 delayed one week in 2017

After confirmation that Star Wars: Episode VIII will be hitting on May 26, 2017, 20th Century Fox has decided to shift the sequel to this year's Fantastic Four reboot by one week. Fantastic Four 2 was originally set to hit theaters on June 2, 2017 but the studio wants more of a break between the two films and it will now be released on June 9th.

As it currently stands, Fantastic Four 2 has June 9th to itself but I highly doubt that will hold. Not to mention we haven't seen Fantastic Four yet and there is no telling how it's going to be received. If it sucks and people hate it, Fox might scrap the sequel altogether. Only time will tell.

Fantastic Four stars Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, and Toby Kebbell. It hits theaters on August 7th, 2015.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Star Wars spin-off receives an official title

Gareth Edwards' Star Wars spin-off now has a confirmed leading lady and an official title. Star Wars: Rogue One is currently set for a December 16, 2016 release and will star Oscar-nominee, Felicity Jones.

Many are speculating, including myself, that the Rogue One title isn't necessarily referring to a single character but to a ship. Originally the rumor was that the film would focus on a young Han Solo, but with Felicity Jones being cast in the lead role I don't think it will have much to do with Solo. The title also could be referencing the "Rogue Squadron" within the Rebel Alliance. Let's not forget Luke was the "Rogue Leader" for a while.

In addition to this news, Disney also announced today that Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released on May 26, 2017 with Rian Johnson directing. It appears the studio wants to get back to the May tradition Star Wars has always carried.

Disney confirms Frozen 2 is happening

Disney has been quiet about the continuation of Frozen and has even gone far enough to deny that a sequel was in development, but today the studio broke their silence and officially confirmed that a Frozen sequel is indeed happening.

The only information they gave aside from the fact that it is in development is that Josh Gad is returning as Olaf the talking (and annoying) snowman and that Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck are returning to direct. Apparently Disney decided to greenlight a sequel after having such a great time making the Frozen Fever short that is screening before the live-action adaptation of Cinderella.

This doesn't surprise me one bit. I personally hated Frozen and I was hoping the whole thing was going to die out, but I guess that's too much to ask for.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fifty Shades stars demand higher salaries for sequels

Fifty Shades of Grey has managed to bring in over $500 million internationally since the Valentine's Day release and apparently the actors want to bring in some of the profits. The film's lead actors, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, are reportedly demanding higher paychecks for the still unannounced sequels.

Dornan and Johnson were each paid $250,000 for Fifty Shades of Grey and were given a 3-film contract along with it. They are entitled to box office bonuses that they are no doubt rolling those right now, but the bottom line is Universal negotiated such low salaries to keep the film's budget low. Why? No one knew if this film was going to be successful. The international box office shows that viewers were curious enough to see it, but the 73% drop in the second week shows that people weren't into seeing it more than once.
It seems that the actors are trying to negotiate for deals similar to what actors in the Twilight and Hunger Games franchises have gotten. An example being how Jennifer Lawrence's salary from The Hunger Games to Catching Fire went from $500,000 to $10 million. Kristen Stewart had a similar jump as she went from making just $2 million for Twilight to over $12 million for the final Breaking Dawn film. She also became the highest paid star in Hollywood back in 2012 and currently has a net worth of $70 million. As it currently stands, Dornan's net worth is sitting around $3 million while Johnson is at $1 million.

You can't blame the actors for wanting a bigger slice of the pie, especially considering the amount of money this movie raked in. However, there are a lot of people out there that think Universal might seek a less expensive option for the sequel which would be replacing the actors. Personally, I don't think they'd replace the actors given the familiarity they have with this story and the fact that Dakota Johnson was fantastic but you never know. Weirder things have happened in Hollywood.
There currently is no start date for the Fifty Shades sequels and Universal has yet to officially announce them, but insiders are claiming that Universal is aiming for releases in 2016 and 2017.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Rumor: Tron 3 shooting this year in Vancouver

VanCity Buzz is reporting that Disney has set plans to finally move forward with the third installment of the Tron franchise. According to the article, production is set to begin in Vancouver this fall with Garrett Hedlund returning as Sam Flynn and Joseph Kosinski returning to direct.

We received the sequel, Tron: Legacy, back in 2010 and pretty much haven't heard anything regarding the third movie since the lackluster reception with both reviews and the box office numbers. Disney is no stranger to dragging their feet on future projects, but if this is true it's assumed that the reason is due to the success with Marvel and the assumed future success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year.
Personally, I wasn't the biggest fan of Tron: Legacy but it wasn't by any means horrible. I enjoyed it for what it was but that was about it. The best part of the movie was the score by Daft Punk, so hopefully Disney could work their magic and get them to return for one more film. It just wouldn't be the same without that music. Also note that a release of a third film would accompany the opening of the new Shanghai Disneyland in China which, coincidentally (?), has a Tron-themed ride being built.

I'm not opposed to a third Tron. I'll go see it if it ever sees the light of day.

Tim Burton to direct Dumbo reboot

Disney still has faith in Tim Burton as it appears he will direct the upcoming live-action reboot of Dumbo. There is no timetable on when this project will be moving forward and if Burton is truly directing, it will have to wait a while. He is currently wrapping Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the rumor is his next film will be Beetlejuice 2.
If you've somehow never seen Dumbo, it follows a baby circus elephant who is tormented by others for having large ears. His mother is locked up after trying to protect her baby and he is forced to perform dangerous stunts in the circus. After much humiliation, Dumbo discovers his large ears actually allow him to fly and he amazes the crowds with his newly discovered talent.

Personally, I always thought Dumbo was ridiculously sad so I never liked watching it. Even as a kid it would always upset me. But from what I can remember, I think Tim Burton is an interesting choice. It would be interesting to see a version similar to what he did with Frankenweenie, but if it's truly live-action I would expect something similar to Alice in Wonderland. In other words, an overly colorful CGI dump.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Wolverine 3 to start filming in 2016

The Wolverine director James Mangold went to Twitter to confirm that the sequel, still starring Hugh Jackman, will begin filming sometime in 2016. The only thing we really know about this project so far is that it's been in development at Fox pretty much since The Wolverine hit theaters in 2013 and it's set for a 2017 release.

Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine seven times since making his debut as the character in 2000. He previously stated that he wanted to wrap up his tenure as the character after this new Wolverine film, but he now says that he wants to play the character as long as X-Men movies are being made.
I'm pretty sure Jackman is on board to play Wolverine in X-Men: Apocalypse but I'm not positive. We're getting Apocalypse on May 23, 2016 while the release for the third Wolverine movie is set for March 3, 2017. 

Toy Story 4 not a continuation of the Toy Story trilogy

Pixar Studio president Jim Morris dropped a bomb on everyone regarding the announced fourth installment of the Toy Story franchise. Morris stated that rather than making it a continuation of the existing trilogy, Toy Story 4 is being pitched as a romantic comedy.
"The third movie ended in a beautiful way and completed a trilogy. I think this movie is not part of this trilogy. It is a separate story, which in turn I do not know if will be continued. Never begin a project with that in mind. It is not a continuation of the end of the story of Toy Story 3. Temporarily it is, but it will be a love story. It will be a romantic comedy. It will not put much focus on the interaction between the characters and children. I think it will be a very good movie."

So far all we really know about this Toy Story 4 project is it's aimed for release in 2017. In a way, I understand them not wanting to continue the story because Toy Story 3 was truly a beautiful ending. It wrapped up Andy very nicely and it showed how these toys really were a family no matter what happens. But with that said, I don't understand why they have to make another full movie. They've been successful with the short films and TV specials so I would continue on with that. But that's why I don't work at Pixar.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Can you complete the ultimate Marvel marathon?

AMC Theaters and Regal Entertainment are giving moviegoers in select cities the ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe experience with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Select theaters will be screening an 11-movie Marvel marathon starting on April 29th. Yes, this marathon begins with Iron Man and ends with Age of Ultron. There is no word on if those who complete the marathon will get special perks or prizes, but those who choose to complete it better expect to bring blankets and some coffee... and prepare to fork out a hefty price to see all 11 films.

The schedule looks like this:

6:00pm - Iron Man
8:25pm - The Incredible Hulk
10:35pm - Iron Man 2
1:00am - Thor
3:10am - Captain America: The First Avenger
5:30am - The Avengers
8:48am - Iron Man 3
11:15am - Thor: The Dark World
1:45pm - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4:20pm - Guardians of the Galaxy
7:00pm - Avengers: Age of Ultron

So far it looks like Regal is only showing the marathon in Houston, Ontario (CA), Atlanta, and King of Prussia (PA). AMC doesn't give the locations, but I'm sure they will surface before too long.
Personally, I wouldn't do this but I can see why people would. The idea of staying awake that long in a movie theater just isn't happening.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Poltergeist shifts release date

Not much to talk about here, but the reboot of Poltergeist has moved dates for release and will now hit two months earlier than originally expected. We will now get it on May 22nd instead of July 24th.

Also moved with Poltergeist was the upcoming Fox comedy, Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy. That will now hit theaters on June 5th instead of May 22nd.

Taking the old Poltergeist release of July 24th is Paper Towns which was originally supposed to be released on June 5th.

Dan Stevens joins Beauty and the Beast

Downton Abbey star, Dan Stevens, is reportedly joining the cast of Disney's upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Stevens has been cast as The Beast (aka, Prince Adam) while Dracula Untold star Luke Evans has been cast as Gaston. Stevens and Evans join the previously solo cast member, Emma Watson.

So far this cast is all British so I would expect that trend to follow with future characters that will be cast. Twilight director Bill Condon is on board to direct with the film being produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.
Beauty and the Beast is joining a list of animated classics being adapted into live-action movies. Kenneth Branagh's version of Cinderella hits this month while we've already gotten an adaptation for Maleficent along with the loosely based Disney musical, Into the Woods

Monday, March 2, 2015

Rumor: Lily Allen in talks for Fifty Shades sequels

More rumors surrounding the yet to be officially announced Fifty Shades sequels. The newest rumor to join the pack is that British musician, Lily Allen, is in talks to join the sequel(s) because she was seen with Fifty Shades of Grey director, Sam Taylor-Johnson, at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood for over an hour.

Now... there is no telling if this is even true, but if it is my guess would be that Allen will be a part of the soundtrack and not the film. Allen has only four film credits to her name and two of them are short films. Seeing how successful the soundtrack to the first film has become and how Universal has stated that creating a strong soundtrack relevant to the film was a priority I don't think they will let another installment be released without another great soundtrack.
However, on the odd chance that Allen is being sought after to act in the film it might be possible that she's on the radar to portray Christian's ex-submissive, Leila Williams. If that isn't it I would guess she will be part of the office staff at SIP where, no doubt, Anastasia will be hired at in the sequel.

Netflix sets premieres for OITNB and more

Netflix has ended the wait for many eager viewers regarding series premieres and returning seasons. Among the list included Orange is the New Black, Sense8, and Wet Hot American Summer.

OITNB will kick off its third season on Friday, June 12th. The show is coming off a couple award season wins and this season will be the first, so far, to not feature Jason Biggs.

Canadian sci-fi drama, Between, will premiere at some point in May. The show follows a pregnant teenager living in the wake of a disease that has killed everyone over the age of 21. It will run for 6 episodes that are each an hour long.

Sense8 is the newest offering from the Wachowski's and it will premiere on Friday, June 5th.

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp premieres Friday, July 17th.

Also getting premiere dates on the streaming service are Chris D'Elia: Incorrigible (April 17th), What Happened, Miss Simone? (June 26th), and Jen Kirkman: I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) will hit on May 22nd.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy passes away at age 83

Leonard Nimoy, most famous for his role as Spock in Star Trek, has died at the age of 83. Nimoy was hospitalized earlier this week with chest pains due to end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Along with his TV and film fame from the Star Trek franchise, Nimoy was an author and photographer. He published several books throughout the years and even delved into directing as he directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Rest in peace, good sir. You have indeed lived long and prospered.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jamie Dornan is not quitting the Fifty Shades franchise

Rumors have been running rampant regarding the unannounced, but inevitable, Fifty Shades sequels and the latest victim was the franchise's lead actor, Jamie Dornan. The rumors were that he was reportedly quitting the franchise because of his wife's discomfort with the role and his popularity.

Dornan released a statement today via his representative to set the record straight:
"Jamie is delighted that the film is breaking box office records worldwide and whilst the studio has not made any formal announcements about sequels, he is looking forward to making the next film."

In addition to that, it was made clear that Dornan would not be making any further statements until the sequels are officially announced. Many sources are now saying that both Dornan and Dakota Johnson have already signed contracts for the sequels and it's just a waiting game until the studio sorts out the problems and announces them. Johnson previously let it slip in an interview with Telegraph that it was a good thing she was excited for the sequels because she has to do them. 

I think at this point the best thing to do regarding this franchise is to not believe anything you read or hear unless it's coming directly from Universal.

American Horror Story: Hotel to be its 5th season

It seems that Lady Gaga's performance at the Oscars on Sunday was a precursor to much bigger things. Not only did she absolutely kill it, but she's nabbed her first leading role in the FX anthology series, American Horror Story... AHS: Hotel, to be specific.

Hotel is a bit of a surprise given the "Operation Top Hat" hints that were planted throughout Freak Show and the alien subplot in Asylum. However, Hotel does have some promise as it could bring the show back to its roots with a Murder House type theme where the events are related to the location. They very well could go a route similar to The Shining and it could work.
As far as Lady Gaga goes, I'm not too pro on her being in a lead role but she will definitely bring in viewers and for all we know she might not be that bad. She definitely is a performer and she has the creep factor down so we'll see how it unfolds.

Here is a teaser that was posted today:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rumor: Jamie Dornan to quit Fifty Shades trilogy

Rumor alert!

There are several online sources that are releasing articles stating that Fifty Shades of Grey lead actor, Jamie Dornan, is going to quit the franchise. In the reports they are citing that the discomfort his wife has felt over the sex scenes and his friendship/appearances with co-star Dakota Johnson has led him to the decision to leave the franchise after just one film. This comes in the midst of heavy rumors that director Sam Taylor-Johnson won't return to direct the second or third film, should they ever be officially announced.
These rumors started out of Australia after the magazine NW published an article stating that Dornan's wife, Amelia Warner, is mainly to blame for him choosing to leave the franchise. The insiders are claiming that Dornan took the role because he felt it would skyrocket his career and that he assured his wife that the inevitable attention from millions of other women wouldn't change their marriage. Another kicker included in the rumor is that instead of blaming his wife for her cold feet, he is blaming Dakota Johnson for their lack of chemistry stating that she gave him nothing to work with. Personally, I find that hard to believe seeing that she was the best part of the entire movie.

Anyway, the rumors are all over the internet now; Yahoo, Vulture, Daily Mail, IMDB boards, etc.. Universal has still not announced that sequels are official due to the rumored feud they are having with Fifty Shades author, EL James, over her demands for complete creative control including writing the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker herself. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson still is up in the air and she went from saying she was on board for the sequels to not saying a damn thing. The first rumors about people jumping ship were about her due to her issues with EL James during production of the first movie. I still think sequels are inevitable given the success the film has had at the box office, but movies can't move forward without the pieces that put them together. If you have no screenwriter, no director, and a recognizable lead actor missing you have no movie. It's not looking good at all. At this point the only member of the cast seemingly excited about the potential future of this franchise is Dakota Johnson.
I've already said it, but if the sequels do happen I bet we won't see them for 2-3 years. Given the issues before Fifty Shades Darker has even gone into production it would be in their best interest to film the sequels back to back and just put space in between the releases. In other words, pull a Mockingjay and Breaking Dawn and just get it all over with at once so you don't have to worry about this crazy crap. Bottom line is they can't re-cast Christian Grey. Jamie Dornan brought him to life, the fans loved him, he's all over the place, and bringing in another actor would just be dumb. This isn't like replacing Evan Peters in Kick-Ass 2 or booting Terrence Howard from Iron Man. They were part of the franchise, but they weren't the face of it. If Dornan really does walk the sequels are dead. Period.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ben Woolf dies at age 34

American Horror Story actor, Ben Woolf, has died at age 34 after complications from a car accident..

It's been said that Woolf was crossing the street when he was struck in the head by the side mirror of a vehicle while crossing the street in Hollywood on Thursday night. He had been in critical condition since then.
Woolf was an AHS veteran as he appeared in season one (Murder House) as Infantata and in season four (Freak Show) as Meep. He appeared in a total of five episodes of American Horror Story and was featured in the finale of AHS: Freak Show just last month.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is likely not happening

It's been rumored that a sequel for the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would be hitting for quite sometime now, but issues with Sony and director David Fincher stalled the project indefinitely. There's now more hints from actress Rooney Mara that any potential sequels are dead.

Mara told E! Online that she was sad that it doesn't seem to be in the cards, but it doesn't look likely at all. The film didn't hit as well at the box office as Sony would have wanted to begin with, but interest in an American version of the Millennium trilogy seemed to fizzle very quickly. David Fincher decided to move on and the studio was unwilling to pay Daniel Craig's post-Skyfall salary. At one point there were even rumors that The Girl Who Played with Fire would omit Craig's character entirely.
I personally loved Fincher's version and I really liked the books, but the source material wasn't that great. They managed to make great films out of the books in Sweden with Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. I just don't think Americans were quite prepared for a dark trilogy like this. It's a shame but it is what it is.

Fifty Shades of Grey reaches $400 million worldwide

Despite a crazy 73% drop at the domestic box office in the first week, Fifty Shades of Grey has managed to stay on top (oh that pun) and bring in over $400 million at the worldwide box office. Domestically it brought in $130.1 million in 10-days while it brought in $280.5 internationally.
The US decline is assumed to be due to the film's holiday release (Valentine's and President's day weekend), but it has proven to be more of a driving force overseas as the decline on the other side of the world was only 57%.

However, it still managed to dominate (the puns keep rolling) the US box office as it still outperformed Kingsman: The Secret Service and new releases Hot Tub Time Machine 2, The DUFF, and McFarland, USA. People are trying to excuse the low performance of these films due to how films usually underperform on Oscar weekends and with the massive winter weather throughout the country, but let's be real... people are still interested in Fifty Shades of Grey. People who didn't go over the busy weekend waited a week and saw it over the lousy films it competed against for a second week in a row. It also is still playing in the most theaters by still taking up space on 3,655 screens.

Get used to it, guys.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Academy Award Winners

The night was full of some pretty big surprises! The big winners of the night turned out to be Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, although only one of them walked away with the Oscar for Best Picture. Birdman took home a total of four statues including Best Picture and Best Director. Boyhood was a huge favorite to win, but the only statue it managed to bring home was for Best Supporting Actress. Eddie Redmayne shocked audiences by taking home Best Actor and Julianne Moore took home a well deserved Best Actress statue.

Here is a list of the winners:

Best Picture: Birdman

Best Actress: Julianne Moore - Still Alice

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Birdman

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette - Boyhood

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons - Whiplash

Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore - The Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo - Birdman

Best Animated Feature: Big Hero 6

Best Film Editing: Whiplash

Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat - The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Song: "Glory" - Selma

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki - Birdman

Best Foreign Film: Ida (Poland)

Best Documentary Feature: CITIZENFOUR

Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Visual Effects: Interstellar

Best Sound Editing: American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash

Best Animated Short: Feast

Best Live-Action Short: The Phone Call

Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Aside from the winners, the show just ran really long. There was no reason for Jennifer Hudson to perform after the In Memoriam segment because it simply took too long and although Lady Gaga was surprisingly excellent, why did they feel the need to pay tribute to The Sound of Music? Like seriously, there was no reason. Not to mention Joan Rivers was not included in the In Memoriam which is a real shame.
Neil Patrick Harris did what he could with the rather lousy dialogue and jokes he was given, but the opening to the show was fantastic. They tried to capitalize on jokes that have been done to death since last year's show (aka, Adele Dazeem) and NPH seemed to be exhausted about halfway through the show and tried to rush it. I think Ellen Degeneres edged him out by a little bit and was a better host overall. Sorry, NPH.