This holiday season will see another Star Wars film dominating the release schedule. Unlike last year’s Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens, whose fan anticipation was the highest since Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace in 1999, Rogue One has already been plagued by script rewrites and unscheduled reshoots. This was in part owing to the lack of direct relevance to any of the original series characters, but also to fan polls that suggested disappointment with earlier plot lines. Nevertheless, production has pushed on and the second trailer for the new film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was just released this week. Rogue One is based on a story by John Knoll (Star Wars: Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi, Avatar) and Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth), which was adapted to a script by Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum, House of Cards) about the Rebel Alliance’s plan to steal the plans to the Death Star, laying the grounds for the epic trilogy that follows with Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope (1977). Director Gareth Edwards (In the Shadow of the Moon, Godzilla) helmed the project with actors Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, The Amazing Spider-Man), Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Casino Royale), Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond the Pines), Alan Tudyk (I Robot, Dodgeball), and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Lee Daniel’s The Butler). Oscar nominee James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King) is also returning to provide the voice of Darth Vader, whose presence in the film will likely hold the biggest intrigue for fans of the series. Check out the new trailer right here on MADE, and enjoy the weekend!
In the wake of one of the most highly anticipated sequels ever made (Star Wars: The Force Awakens…duh!) comes a new documentary from writer/video documentarian Jon Spira (Suityman, Anyone Can Play Guitar) called Elstree 1976. The film is an assemblage of archive footage and interviews with extras who were present on the set of the original Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope (although, at the time, it was simply titled Star Wars) in 1976. The film features the actors reminiscing about their personal memories against the backdrop of archival footage, and about how being in the film forever affected their lives and careers. Actors including David Prowse (A Clockwork Orange, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi), who starred as Darth Vader in the original film trilogy (although Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones (Field of Dreams, The Lion King)), Garrick Hagon (Mission Impossible, Spy Game), who starred as Biggs in the originals, and Angus MacInnes (Witness, Captain Phillips), who starred as the Gold group squadron leader, all make appearances in the film. If this one is in a theater near you, I would definitely consider checking it out this weekend. Watch the trailer here on MADE.
A new sci-fi thriller called 10 Cloverfield Lane is opening in theaters this Friday, March 11th, 2016. Although you might recognize the title, aside from the name, there is apparently no other connection to the original 2008 thriller Cloverfield, which involved a monster of sorts attacking the residents of New York City. This new movie comes from director Dan Trachtenberg from a script by screenwriters Josh Campbell (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Van Helsing), Matthew Stuecken (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra), and Damien Chazelle (Grand Piano, Whiplash) about a woman who is involved in a car accident and is held in a shelter by two men who believe the world has been affected by a widespread chemical attack. Starring in the film are actors John Goodman (The Big Lebowsky, Argo), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard, Death Proof), John Gallagher (Margaret, The Newsroom), Douglas M. Griffin (Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years A Slave), Suzanne Cryer (Wag the Dog, Silicon Valley), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hangover), and Sumalee Montano (Nashville, Veep). The trailer is available here on MADE; check it out on the big screen this weekend!
This May will mark the 30th anniversary of acclaimed writer/director John Hughes‘ iconic tribute to truancy, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Like most of Hughes’ films, the movie was filmed in Chicago, where the director was from, and features some of the city’s most memorable sites, including Wrigley Field, Calder’s Flamingo in downtown’s Federal Plaza, and Von Steuben Day, during which Ferris hijacked a parade float and led the city in a fanfare of The Beatles‘ Twist and Shout. To celebrate, the city of Chicago is planning an all out Ferris Fest celebration on the weekend of May 20th-22nd, which will feature a bus tour that follows Ferris’s “tour de Chicago” on that day off. There will also be a recreation of Ferris’s bedroom, and fans will get the chance to sit in Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane’s seats in Wrigley Field. The day will wrap with a screening of the movie at Hughes Theater. Thus far none of the original lead actors, namely Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, and Mia Sara, have committed to making an appearance, but the event organizers are still hopeful at least a few of them will make an appearance. If you’re a fan of the movie, or just want an excuse to visit Chicago for the weekend, be sure to mark your calendar for the event. Tickets will most likely be sold in advance, but so far as we know they are not yet available. Check back for more updates.
A few months back we heard the first whisperings of an upcoming remake of the 1977 Walt Disney classic Pete’s Dragon, and now we have the first teaser trailer for the new movie, which is due out in August. Writer/director David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) adapted the original S.S. Field story with co-screenwriter Toby Halbrooks (Robots Are Blue, Dig) about a young orphan named Pete who goes on extraordinary adventures with his friend, a giant dragon named Elliott. Leading the cast are actors Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help, Jurassic World), Robert Redford (All The President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Karl Urban (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Bourne Supremacy), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, Interstellar), Craig Hall (King Kong, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), and Oakes Fegley (This Is Where I Leave You, Prism) as young orphan Pete. This will be the third Disney remake that’s due out this year, at least that we’ve been watching. The first is the new adaptation of The Jungle Book from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef) coming out this April, and the second is the The Legend of Tarzan from director David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), starring Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) and Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglorious Basterds), which is due out in July. The trailer for the new Pete’s Dragon is available here on MADE. Look for more updates on these three movies coming out soon.
Last year, one of the big selections at the Toronto International Film Festival was acclaimed director Ben Wheatley‘s new suspense-drama High-Rise. Wheatley (Down Terrace, Sightseers) worked again with screenwriter Amy Jump (Kill List, A Field In England), who adapted the script from author J.G. Ballard‘s novel about the residents of a high-rise building, in which strange events begin to take place. Starring in the film are actors Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Midnight in Paris), Jeremy Irons (The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance), and Sienna Miller (American Sniper, Foxcatcher). Along with a Platform Prize nomination for Wheatley at Toronto, the film also received high marks at the British Independent Film Awards and the San Sebastian International Film Festival. A new teaser trailer was released just this week in preparation for the big-screen release happening this March. You can watch it here on MADE.
Also opening in theaters today is the new acclaimed drama from Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) titled The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, The Departed) and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Lawless). We have a review for The Revenant available here on MADE at the link below. Enjoy the weekend!
A new boxing drama titled Creed is opening in theaters today, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Writer/director Ryan Coogler (The Sculptor, Fruitvale Station) pitched the script to Sylvester Stallone (Rambo, The Expendables) about a semi-sequel in the Rocky film series that finds former Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa mentoring the son of his old friend and rival Apollo Creed. Stallone will be reprising the role of Balboa alongside lead actor Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) as Adonis Creed, with actors Tesse Thompson (When A Stranger Calls, Selma), Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show, Just Wright), and Ritchie Coster (American Gangster, The Dark Knight) appearing in the supporting cast. This will be the first time Stallone has reprised his Oscar-nominated role since 2006’s Rocky Balboa, which he also directed. Ryan Coogler directed this new film from a script he cowrote with Aaron Covington (The Mischievous Case of Cordelia Botkin, Potter’s Field). Personally, the fact that Stallone is once again on the big screen is really upsetting, and as far as seeing a new boxing movie, the studios should really have pushed for a later release considering the already forgettable Southpaw just opened in theaters not even six months ago. That being said, Michael B. Jordan is an excellent actor and Coogler received high marks for Fruitvale Station at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Maybe if Stallone’s screen time is kept to a minimal it might turn out alright, but chances are I won’t be the first to see it, so you’ll have to let me know.
Also opening in theaters today is Victor Frankenstein with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Woman in Black) and James McAvoy (Wanted, X-Men: First Class). Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Fresh off its last festival stop at the Toronto International Film Festival, the latest blockbuster from Oscar-winner Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus), The Martian, is now playing in theaters across the country. Based on the book by author Andy Weir, the film features an all-star cast led by Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, The Departed), including Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, A Most Violent Year), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jeff Daniels (Speed, The Newsroom), Michael Pena (End of Watch, Fury), Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Game of Thrones), Kate Mara (House of Cards, Captive), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men, 12 Years A Slave). Screenwriter Drew Goddard (Cloverfield, World War Z) adapted the script from Weir’s book about an astronaut who becomes stranded on Mars and must survive against all odds in order to return to his family on Earth. Watch the trailer one more time here on MADE, then see it on the big screen this weekend!
The Fourth of July is reason enough to go out and celebrate, but Chicagoans have a few extra reasons for going out this year. The Cubs and the White Sox are both in town this weekend, The Grateful Dead will be at Soldier Field Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, and Windy City RibFest will be happening in Uptown at the Lawrence and Broadway intersection. RibFest will be open from 12pm-10pm Friday and Saturday, and 12pm-9pm on Sunday, and will feature some of the finest rib vendors around, including Aussom Aussie Australian BBQ, BBQ King Smokehouse, Chicago BBQ Company, and Porky Chicks BBQ. Music and festivities, including several local music acts and arts & crafts activities, will be available as well. There is a recommended donation amount of $5. Enjoy the weekend!