Walt Disney Pictures has come a long way from making full-length animated features like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. In the 21st century, the company has reinvented itself with live-action blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean, state-of-the-art computer animated films like Cars and Frozen, and adaptations of children’s literary classics like Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (out in theaters this March). In recent years, Disney has expanded into more lucrative markets like comic book blockbusters (ie. Marvel comics) and, of course, the Star Wars franchise. The latest Star Wars entry, The Last Jedi, hit the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office sales barely three weeks after its US theatrical release. With a plethora of material to work with, and plenty of money coming in, one would think Disney is far passed its tipping point, but that might not be the case at all. Continue reading →
The wait is over! Fans of the Star Wars saga are flooding movie theaters across the country today as The Last Jedi makes its nationwide debut. Following 2015’s The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up roughly 30 years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and finds a new band of heroes struggling to defeat the evil First Order. But unlike The Force Awakens, which was written and directed by JJ Abrams, The Last Jedi takes on a much darker tone, diving further into character backgrounds and bringing to light the tragic fate of Luke Skywalker and his failed Order of Jedi Knights. That means fans will get to see much more of Mark Hamill in the new film but, given the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, can also expect to see some beloved characters get killed off in the telling. Thus far most critics are hailing writer/director Rian Johnson‘s installment in the series, which is said to be entirely his own, despite what Abrams may have set up with in the previous film. Although The Last Jedi is expected to launch with a worldwide box office haul of roughly $425 million, it will likely not be enough to match the North American Box Office earnings record for 2016. Continue reading →
Even though word of X-Men: Apocalypse was released well before we saw the latest X-Men installation, Days of Future Past, hit theaters this summer, word on whether or not director Bryan Singer would stay on to do Apocalypse was still not clear. Singer directed Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart in the original X-Men blockbuster in 1999, and stayed on to direct X2: X-Men United in 2002, but his involvement with the franchise had since then been nonexistent until he finally returned with the original cast to direct Days of Future Past this year, and according to recent news reports, he has also agreed to stay on and direct Apocalypse as well. Days of Future Past not only included Singer’s original cast, but also the cast of X-Men: First Class, which explored the origins or the relationship between Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr as they formed the group of original X-Men and included such big names as James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Although the plot details are not set in stone at this point, judging by the preliminary cast listings, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t see as much of the original cast this time, with the exception of Hugh Jackman, who will appear on film as the Wolverine for the seventh time. Singer is currently working on the script for Apocalypse with X2 writers Dan Harris and Mike Dougherty, as well as writer Simon Kinberg, and the movie is already set for release on May 27, 2016, so we should be getting more news coming out soon. Stay tuned.
Iron Man 3 director Shane Black has kept the Hollywood gossip scene hungry for news about what his next project will be after the success of his blockbuster sequel last May, but now he seems to have given them some answers. The Wrap has reported that Black will next be directing producer Joel Silver’s murder/conspiracy thriller The Nice Guys, which follows muscle-head and private-eye Jackson Healy and Holland March, respectively, in the investigation of a porn-star’s suicide in connection to someone (Tycoon or businessman) in the American auto-industry. The story takes place in 1970s Los Angeles and the director is currently looking to actors Russell Crowe (Gladiator, American Gangster) and Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March, Gangster-Squad) to take the leading roles. The script comes from Black and screenwriter Anthony Bagarozzi, who has also penned scripts for a couple of film potentials, including Doc Savage and Death Note, but no release date or production schedule has been put into effect at this time.
Check out these two images from director Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming sequel/reboot to Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Blockbuster, Jurassic World. The film takes place on Isla Nublar, the same island that housed the original park built by industrialist John Hammond, 20 years following the disaster in the first film. This time, however, the park is fully functional and open to the public, when, of course, something unexpected happens and all hell breaks loose. These two images give us some insight as to what we may see in the new movie. The park looks completely modernized, far greater in scale than John Hammond’s original, which means the actors will have plenty of room to run and hide from dinosaurs with! The movie is scheduled for release in June, 2015, and features Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, and BD Wong, who played Dr. Henry Wu in the original film. The next step is the trailer, which I’m getting excited to see!