Posted: 28 Apr 2009 06:15 AM PDT
Sadly, J.J. Abrams is not doing any online press for Star Trek, so I have to resort to pulling his best quotes from other non-online press outlets. This selection today comes from Rotten Tomatoes (they got away with this by recording it early in London), where they have a video interview with Abrams that is fairly fascinating to watch. If any of you have seen Abrams’ talk at TED (if not, watch it here), you’ll remember that he talks about one of his all-time favorite films, Jaws, at one point in his presentation. Well near the end of this interview, Abrams talks about his own five favorite films – one of which, of course, is Jaws.
In case you might’ve missed those five, here they are again: Jaws, Philadelphia Story, Star Wars, Tootsie (what the?), and Rear Window. One of my other favorite parts of the interview is how Abrams mentions that he’s “still learning” as he goes and that he uses the phrase “in my limited experience.” That’s a very humbling statement, especially coming from someone who just finished directing a $150 million reboot of a beloved sci-fi franchise. Even at this point (this is only his second film), Abrams still says he’s a director who is constantly learning from his mistakes and improving every single day. He certainly has my respect.
Posted: 28 Apr 2009 06:00 AM PDT
In this episode of The Film Feed, the guys break from form and provide for your listening pleasure a discussion on the process of judging and analyzing movies. However, before they get too self involved, Sean, Will and Clark cover the latest in movie news. Sean gives no hesitation in showing his blatant hatred of Obsessed, and Clark espouses his love for the many alternate endings of Wolverine. Meanwhile, Will reinforces his desire to see another live action version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Be sure to vote in this latest Geek Tournament round, and tune in next week for our guide to the summer movie season!
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Posted: 28 Apr 2009 04:31 AM PDT
First it was Predator, now it’s Aliens, too? Last week it was confirmed that Robert Rodriguez is officially rebooting the Predator franchise with a new feature called Predators. So what about Aliens? Does Fox want to resuscitate that franchise, too? Well, if you believe what Tom Rothman says in this interview over on IESB, then it may indeed be possible that they’re trying to get Ridley Scott to come back and make another. “There’s been some talk,” Rothman said when asked about another Alien movie. We last wrote about this rumor in December, with Sigourney Weaver talking about the potential return of Ellen Ripley.
When Ridley Scott’s name is specifically brought up, Rothman seems to get a bit excited. “I think he’s toying with the idea… and that would be great for us. It’s always been a matter of, really, if you could get the originator to do it… So we have our fingers crossed.” Of course they have their fingers crossed, because if they get Scott back for another Alien movie, then they’ve pretty much got a guaranteed hit on their hands! Sigourney Weaver already hinted about Scott’s involvement previously. “We’d have to go back to the drawing board on [the alien]. Ridley said that right away when we first talked about [a fifth film],” she said.
I’m a bit baffled that the very same director who once said “sci-fi films are as dead as westerns” is now considering not one, not two, but three huge sci-fi projects following Robin Hood. The first is an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, although that seems the least likely of the three. The second is an adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, which has been talked about as his sci-fi follow-up to Robin Hood. And the third, of course, is another Alien movie or some feature involving the character of Ellen Ripley, although this also seems very unlikely at this point. I think Rothman is just being overly hopeful.
Honestly, I’m much more interested in seeing something new in the Alien franchise rather than the Predator franchise. I think it has so much more of a legacy to it (just look at the directors – Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, Jean-Pierre Jeunet), whereas Predator was just a successful action series and not much more. Even if they get something going without Ridley Scott, as long as they hire some damn good writers and a great director, I’ll at least be mildly excited, whereas with Predator, I don’t really care about it and won’t care about it until we probably have a trailer. Only time will tell what happens next!
Posted: 28 Apr 2009 12:30 AM PDT
Now that we officially know that Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo – also known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – are due back on the big screen in live-action form by 2011, everyone wants to know exactly how they’re going to pull it off. Last week TMNT co-creator Peter Laird talked briefly about the face replacement technology and confirmed that they’ll actually use full body suits. But what about the story? Our cohorts at MTV caught up with Laird and got him to reveal more about some early ideas and his hopes for this origin story, beyond that it’ll include April O’Neil, Casey Jones, and Shredder.
“I can say that at this point there are a lot of positive feelings about a Batman Begins-style ‘reboot,’ which would, of necessity, include a retelling of the Turtles’ origin story,” Laird told MTV. I get giddy just imagining a gritty PG-13 Batman-like TMNT movie, but that probably won’t happen, because I’m sure studios will focus on its connection to kids. Even though Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s comic did debut in 1984 and has a lot of older fans. Laird continues, “Having said that, I would also be into an all-new story, if it was decided that that was a more desirable direction. Either way is fine with me, to be honest!”
And as for other wild ideas, Laird throws some more crumbs out for fans. “I would not be unhappy to somehow see the tale of Baxter Stockman and the robotic ‘mousers’ folded into this movie, as well as some elements possibly setting up the TCRI connection for a possible sixth (or seventh) movie. But I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself there.” For those of you also confused by that “sixth or seventh” reference, I think he is eluding to the eventual progression of the series. As in, we’ve had four movies at this point (including the animated TMNT movie of 2007), so this new one would be the fifth Turtles movie.
If you’re a longtime fan of the comics, then all of this should definitely be getting you very excited. I know I’m just getting pumped to see so much talk of the Turtles back in the mainstream news again. And as for the full body suits, Laird reiterates that they won’t screw this up again. “The basic idea, as I understand it, is to do an all live action shoot, with actors and stuntmen in full Turtle suits,” then later use CGI to add facial expressions. The reference he uses is Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean. “This technology has been proven to be incredibly effective if done correctly.” I’ve heard enoguh, bring on the Turtles!
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 11:09 PM PDT
One of the many reasons why the original 1981 Clash of the Titans is so great, is that the effects and creatures were designed and created by the one-and-only Ray Harryhausen. Unfortunately because he is now 88 years old, he is no longer working on any features, which means as much as I’d love to see him work again, they’ll be starting over from scratch on the upcoming Warner Brothers remake directed by Louis Leterrier. As I was looking over the press release sent out today announcing that production had started on Clash of the Titans, I noticed that a lot of the technical people working on this all seem just as talented.
We already know that the cast features Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Mads Mikkelsen, Jason Flemyng, and Alexa Davalos. And we also know that Louis Leterrier is directing from a screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. So let’s get on to the technical details behind this.
Shooting the film as the director of photography is Peter Menzies, Jr., who previously shot Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The General’s Daughter, The 13th Warrior, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Four Brothers, Shooter, and Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk most recently. Working as the production designer is Martin Laing, who designed the futuristic worlds of City of Ember and McG’s Terminator Salvation. Working as costume designer is Oscar winner Lindy Hemming, of GoldenEye, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Batman Begins, Casino Royale, and The Dark Knight most recently.
And on the special effects side, working as the visual effects supervisor is Nick Davis, of Entrapment, Troy, and The Dark Knight most recently. Working as the prosthetics supervisor is Conor O’Sullivan, of The Last Samurai, Rescue Dawn, and The Dark Knight most recently (seeing the pattern?). Working as the special effects and animatronics supervisor is Neil Corbould, of The Day After Tomorrow, Kingdom of Heaven, Superman Returns, and Defiance previously. And working as the makeup and hair designer is Oscar winner Jenny Shircore, of The Phantom of the Opera and Elizabeth: The Golden Age previously.
If you didn’t notice the pattern, at least three of those working on the technical side of this, including the visual effects supervisor, also worked on The Dark Knight. It definitely looks like Warner Brothers is sparing no expense and really going all out to make sure this looks incredible. Even as a huge fan of the original, I’m actually looking forward to seeing this remake, partially because I’m excited to see what a new generation of artists and filmmakers can do with such a classic story. Stay tuned for updates on this!
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 11:00 PM PDT
With Taken earning a tremendous $143 million at the box office since January, director Pierre Morel has quickly become a highly sought after director, even in Hollywood. He’s already got one film in the can, called From Paris with Love staring John Travolta (we featured a trailer for it back in December) that Lionsgate will bring to US theaters on February 19th, 2010. But what else is on Morel’s plate? We’ve heard some rumors about Taken 2 being written, but that might not be ready for a while. Instead, Paramount has just acquire an untitled Tokyo-set thriller that will be developed as a directing vehicle for Pierre Morel.
The script for the thriller, which I think might be formerly known as Tokyo Underworld, is being written by Frank Baldwin, who has written a few unproduced screenplays. The story follows a CIA operative, stationed in Japan but on the verge of retirement, who is ordered to carry out a final mission. He finds himself caught in the middle of an international conspiracy. The film will be heavy on action and intrigue, a lot like Taken, which is obvious considering everyone in Hollywood wants that same success. I never saw District B13, but I think Morel has quite a bit of directing talent, and can’t wait to see From Paris with Love as well.
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 10:15 PM PDT
Another day, another remake. Universal (didn’t we mention them yesterday?) will remake the 1991 comedy Drop Dead Fred, but of course, they’re modernizing it. British hotshot actor Russell Brand is set to headline their remake, in the role of the havoc-wreaking imaginary friend that British actor Rik Mayall played. The 1991 original starred Phoebe Cates as a wallflower who loses her job and is forced to live back at home, where she’s reunited with her childhood imaginary friend, who promises to help but causes more chaos. Dennis McNicholas, one of the writers of the upcoming Land of the Lost remake, will pen this.
This new take on Drop Dead Fred will be more in the tone of Beetlejuice, with a world set around the concept of imaginary friends. Someone at Universal really loves Russell Brand, because not only did he star in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which was somewhat of his breakout role in the US), but he’s set to star in his own spin-off Get Him to the Greek for the studio. While more remakes are never good, and I won’t be supporting this one, I’m intrigued by Universal’s fascination with Russell Brand. Do people really like him that much? He was fine as an asshole in Sarah Marshall, but I don’t care to see more of him. Do you?
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 08:15 PM PDT
We’ve seen numerous trailers and even a few TV spots previously for Terminator Salvation, so at first glance I wasn’t expecting to feature these new TV spots. But after watching them, I noticed that Warner Brothers is really trying to get people hyped up and they’re trying to get them to forget about the PG-13 rating. And most importantly, all of ILM’s visual effects work is finished, so it looks exactly the way they want it to look. There are some huge improvements in this footage visually over almost anything we’ve seen previously. And for that reason alone, these deserve to be seen. Check them out and look for differences.
Watch the third TV spot for Terminator Salvation:
Watch the fourth TV spot for Terminator Salvation:
After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor (Christian Bale) struggle to keep the machines from finishing the job that they began.
Terminator Salvation is directed by McG, of both Charlie’s Angels movies and also We Are Marshall previously. The script was written by writing duo John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris, of Into the Sun, The Net, The Game, and Terminator 3 previously. Additionally, Christopher Nolan’s brother Jonah Nolan helped rewrite the script before shooting. This marks the awaited return of the Terminator franchise after Terminator 3 hit in 2003. Terminator Salvation arrives in theaters on May 21st this summer.
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 06:17 PM PDT
Fox Searchlight has just debuted the official trailer for Max Mayer’s Sundance hit Adam. This wonderful film ended up being one of my very favorite films I saw at Sundance this year (in addition to 500 Days of Summer, another Fox Searchlight film). And it just so happens that a quote from my review made its way into this trailer, which is quite exciting (you can see it at 1:27 in). Any of you who are fans of either Hugh Dancy or Rose Byrne or just want to see a trailer for one of the most wonderful films about falling in love you’ll ever see, then please watch this. Adam still remains one of my absolute favorites this year so far.
Watch the official trailer for Max Mayer’s Adam:
You can also watch the trailer for Adam in High Definition on Yahoo
Adam is both written and directed by Max Mayer, of only the 1998 comedy Better Living previously and a few episodes of “Family Law”. This first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and won the Alfred P. Sloan prize for a feature film with science as a theme. It was bought by Fox Searchlight for $1.5 million. Searchlight will now be bringing Adam to limited theaters starting on July 29th this summer.
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 06:00 PM PDT
Sony Pictures has struck a deal with Aardman Animations, the stop-motion company behind Wallace & Gromit, to develop and distribute two new animated features – Arthur Christmas and Pirates!. Aardman was previously partnered with DreamWorks Animation, but split with them after Flushed Away performed poorly. Pirates! will see Aardman co-founder Peter Lord back behind the camera for a movie done in hand-crafted stop-motion animation, like Henry Selick’s Coraline this year. Since Flushed Away hit in 2007, Aardman has been laying lowing, developing these two films and their scripts to perfection.
Pirates! will be based on ““The Pirates!”, the best-selling series of books by Gideon Defoe and is intended to be a swashbuckling adventure with both surreal and broad comedy. The story follows a group of pirates who journey to London, meet Charles Darwin and a talking chimp named Mister Bobo, and an enemy looking to wipe them out. Arthur Christmas, for which Aardman is working with Sony Pictures Imageworks (for what I believe will be a CGI animated movie), will tackle the question of how Santa delivers all his presents in one night. Sarah Smith and Barry Cook are directing from a script by Peter Baynham.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be moving forward on these two movies,” Peter Lord told THR. “The most important elements of any animated film are story and character, and we believe that in these films, we have characters to charm and stories to delight and engage.” We’ll be sure to keep those of you interested in these projects up to date on all the latest. For a glimpse at some concept art, head over to Richard Bazley’s blog.
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 11:24 AM PDT
Before we even get to see what Josh Brolin looks like as titular character Jonah Hex, and before we even get to see what John Malkovich or Michael Shannon look like, our very first photo from Warner Brothers’ Jonah Hex is, of course, of Megan Fox. Thanks to the site Movie Gab (which I don’t suggest visiting because of their rather inappropriate ads), we’ve finally got a good photo of Megan Fox in her old west outfit. This isn’t the first time any photos of Fox on the set of Jonah Hex have popped up, but this is the first time we’ve seen her fully in costume. Once you take a look at this, you’ll know why we just had to post it.
In Jonah Hex, Megan Fox plays Leila, a gun-wielding beauty and the love interest of Hex, a disfigured bounty hunter who is tracking down a voodoo practitioner that wants to raise an army of undead to liberate the South. Former Pixar animator Jimmy Hayward is directing this for a August 6th, 2010 release date. Shooting started earlier this month in both Sylmar, California as well as St. Francisville, Louisiana. I’m not sure when we’ll get our first real look at Josh Brolin, who I also can’t wait to see considering his disfigured face is so integral to the character, but you can be sure we’ll be on the lookout for more. Looking good?
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 11:21 AM PDT
Humpday was one of a few films coming out of Sundance this year with a lot of early buzz. It’s a hilarious “mumblecore” comedy directed by Lynn Shelton starring Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard (who you’ll see below). I gave it a solid 7.5 out of 10 rating at Sundance, but I know I recommended it to a lot of people because it was actually pretty damn good. The official poster for Humpday has debuted in NY Mag’s Vulture today and is quite a sight to see. For those who have no clue why they’re looking at two half-naked out-of-shape guys standing in front of a pretty pink background, just read on for more details about this.
We don’t have a trailer for this yet, but I expect we’ll see one soon, so stay tuned for that as well!
Humpday tells the story of two straight college friends who reunite after years apart, fall back into their old habit of competing in increasingly outrageous dares in order to one-up each other, and, at the end of a wild night out, challenge themselves to have sex together in a gay porno for an art film contest.
Humpday is both written and directed by filmmaker Lynn Shelton, of We Go Way Back and My Effortless Brilliance previously. Because this was highly improvised, there are no other writers credited. This film first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where it sold to Magnolia Pictures for somewhere under $1 million. Humpday will now arrive in very limited theaters starting on July 10th this summer.
Posted: 27 Apr 2009 10:29 AM PDT
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, right? Apparently not. If you thought that there weren’t any more wild ‘n crazy concepts out there, just wait until you hear this. Final Destination 2 and Snakes on a Plane director David R. Ellis has been hired to direct a high concept 3-D horror film called Humpy Dumpty. Check out what this is about. When an alien mother is “abused” by two rednecks in the deep south, she gives birth to a a half-human, half-alien creature that eventually goes on a murderous rampage. Believe it or not, they’re actually making this. Script was written by newcomer Billy Majestic.
Former New Line exec Mark Ordesky is producing through his recently launched shingle Amber Entertainment along with Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones of the iDream Company and Darry Welch from Instinctive Film. Production on Humpy Dumpty will begin this September. Beyond the reason that David R. Ellis can actually handle crazy concepts like this fairly well, I’m really hoping it turns into the next Snakes on a Plane. Oddly enough, Variety doesn’t call it a comedy, even though that concept certainly makes it sound like it’ll be quite hilarious to watch. We’ll let you know when we hear more on this.