Writer, director, and lead actor Nate Parker (The Great Debaters, Red Tails)’s The Birth of a Nation is now playing in theaters across the country, but not in the light the young filmmaker was hoping for. The film struggled to reach $7 million in domestic box office sales in its opening weekend. Several factors could have contributed to the surprising low, but the most likely cause of the low turn out is Parker’s 1999 rape allegations during his time at Penn State. Although Parker was exonerated, news that his alleged victim committed suicide in 2012 and his handling of the case back in 1999 have caused a great controversy that has women’s rights and sexual assault advocate groups shouting boycott all across the country.
While Parker’s film may be controversial in its own right, the original Birth of a Nation, which was a silent movie released in 1915, was just as controversial, if not more so. The original Birth of a Nation is remembered for its blatantly racial undertones and simultaneous impressive contributions to filmmaking. Continue reading →
With Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Quantum of Solace) sadly stepping down from the role, speculation continues to circle the web as to who is going to replace him as the world’s most famous spy. Although MGM had reportedly offered Craig £68 million for a further two films, plus shares, inside reports have stated that Craig is simply done with the role, and is moving on. And so now must producers Barbara Broccoli (GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough) and Michael G. Wilson (For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill), along with the heads at MGM, decide on a new actor to further the franchise. The favored choice, at least according to all the rumors, is Avengers and High-Rise actor Tom Hiddleston, who has thus far denied all of the rumors, but who, I’m sure, is not completely against the idea. Another name that has come up is Aiden Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Poldark), but according to a more recent report from the Daily Mail, Billy Eliot and Nymphomaniac star Jamie Bell is in actual talks with the producers to take over the role. Continue reading →
The final trailer has arrived for director Bryan Singer‘s upcoming X-Men feature, Apocalypse. If you haven’t been following, the last X-Men movie was Days of Future Past, which found Wolverine going back in time to alter the timeline of the X-Men movies to prevent the end of the world. This new timeline picks up in what I’m guessing would be at least the the late 1980s, and finds Mystique responsible for training the new generation of X-Men to fight Apocalypse, the world’s first and most powerful mutant, who happens to be immortal. Apocalypse awakes after thousands of years and begins amassing power; having seen what humanity has become, he recruits a team of powerful mutants (including Magneto) to cleanse mankind and create a new world order. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, Fantastic Four) wrote the script from a story written by himself and director Bryan Singer (X2: X-Men United, X-Men: Days of Future Past), as well as writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (Superman Returns, Krampus). Continue reading →
Last week we caught the first full length trailer for DC Comics’ upcoming Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. This week, however, Marvel has just rolled out a new trailer for Bryan Singer‘s new (and potentially last) installment in the X-Men film series, subtitled Apocalypse. The film follows the new timeline that was established at the conclusion of Days of Future Past, and finds the young generation of X-Men facing an ancient mutant known as Apocalypse, who has the power to destroy civilization as we know it. Original X-Men director Bryan Singer, who also directed X2: X-Men United and Days of Future Past, returned to direct and co-write the screenplay with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes), along with help from Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris (X2: X-Men United, Superman Returns). Continue reading →
A Comic-Con celebration would hardly be complete without an X-Men panel of sorts, and this year definitely had plenty of news to appease fans. First up, original X-Men director Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie) along with actors Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables, Prisoners), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle, The Hunger Games), Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years A Slave), and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year) displayed an unexpected trailer for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie. The film will pick up in the 1980s, after the conclusion of X-Men: Days of Future Past and although the story details are still pretty murky, the mutants and Professor Xavier will come face-to-face with the ancient mutant Apocalypse, who has been around since the dawn of time and is intent on founding a new civilization from the ashes of the one we know. Joining the mutant cast include Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler, Alexandra Shipp as Storm, and Nickolas Hoult as Beast. The trailer should be available for public viewing at some point soon, so we’ll keep an eye out for that. Hugh Jackman was in attendance for the Apocalypse panel although Wolverine is not expected to be in the movie, but Jackman will take up the role one last time in a new solo Wolverine movie. Two other mutants are also expected to make their independent film debuts: Channing Tatum is expected to appear in an independent Gambit movie and Ryan Reynolds will also be appearing in a solo Deadpool movie. Keep an eye out for further news on these two projects. The full panel is available here on MADE.
We’ve been waiting for more news on this project for a while now, and with an August 14th release date slowing coming up, we finally have a full trailer for F. Gary Gray‘s upcoming biographical drama Straight Outta Compton. Based on the story of the iconic group N.W.A, the film chronicles their rise to fame from the streets of Compton, California, and how their music revolutionized popular culture as they exposed the danger and brutality of the ghetto. The film is being produced by Tomica Woods and original members Ice Cube (Friday, All About the Benjamins) and Dr. Dre, with Gray (Friday, Law Abiding Citizen) working from a script by Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center, Blood Father) and Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard, X-Men: First Class). Making up the cast are actors O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Aldis Hodge (Leverage, The East) as MC Ren, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, and Neil Brown Jr. (Fast and Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, with Lakeith Lee Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy, Selma) as Snoop Dogg and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) as N.W.A manager Jerry Heller. The trailer premiered during this week’s episode of Workaholics, but you can see it here on MADE if you missed out. Enjoy!
The long-awaited sequel to 1994’s classic hit comedy Dumb & Dumber is finally coming to theaters this month, and just in time for the original’s 20th Anniversary celebration! Dumb & Dumber To will reunite comedic geniuses Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels on another wacky adventure as Lloyd and Harry, along with new castmembers Laurie Holden (The X-Files, The Walking Dead) and Kathleen Turner (Romancing the Stone, The Virgin Suicides). The film is directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal). You can see the trailer again here on MADE.
Javier Bardem seems to be gaining a reputation in Hollywood as the go-to movie villain. His portrayal of bounty hunter Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2008, and he also brought the most originality to a James Bond villain in Skyfall (2012) than audiences have seen since perhaps Robert Davi portrayed drug-lord Franz Sanchez in License To Kill (1989) opposite Timothy Dalton. But now there is word from The Wrap that Bardem may be taking the villain role in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will once again star Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Keith Richards as Jack’s father Captain Teague. Actors Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom are also rumored to be returning to the franchise as Captain Barbosa and Will Turner, although this has not been officially confirmed. Bardem would be playing the ghost pirate Captain Brand, who is seeking a supernatural object that will aid him in his quest to get revenge on Sparrow for killing his brother. The new movie will be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg and is expected to begin filming this coming February in Australia (apparently after some reported incentives from the Australian government) and has received a new release date from Disney for July 7, 2017. That is still a very long way away, and even now Pirates of the Caribbean seems like a distant memory of the early 2000s, but maybe Disney will actually pull something decent out of their ever-growing well. I guess we’ll find out in a few years’ time.
So I said recently that I doubted Hollywood could squeeze anymore movie madness into the 2015 schedule; and of course, I was completely wrong!! Warner Bros. has now set a May 15, 2015 release date for Mad Max: Fury Road. Director George Miller, who directed Mel Gibson in the original Mad Max and both its sequels from 1979 to 1985, is bringing the character back to the big screen with new actor Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) taking over for Gibson in the lead role. The movie has had some problems getting off the ground, with delayed filming and then a lot of trouble in post-production, but the company has set the date for the movie as director Miller will finally have his long-awaited sequel completed. Mad Max was a major hit when it was first released, making over $8 million in the US alone. The third film came out 6 years after the original and even starred Tina Turner as the villain. The new movie will costar Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron, and will even feature an appearance with Mel Gibson as a drifter. Details on the plot have been kept pretty quiet, but director Miller assures his fans that it will have plenty of explosions and plenty of violence, so stay tuned for more details!
Paramount has finally reunited with the Farrelly Brothers for work on the long awaited sequel to the original comedy hit that helped make Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels movie stars. Dumb and Dumber To is again being produced, written, and directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly and is even adding some new big names to the cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kathleen Turner, and Laurie Holden. The studio has given the movie a November 14 release date for next year, coinciding with their move to release Anchorman 2 on December 20th. Both movies have been awaiting sequels for at least a decade, and the plan to release them during the holiday season seems an interesting play for holiday box office hauls, but maybe it will play out for the better. Fans have have waited a long time, after all, to see Burgandy’s news team tackle more stories, and Harry and Lloyd haven’t been on the big screen together in almost 20 years, so audiences may just take a two-hour break from their holiday chaos to catch up with their favorite comedy clowns. We’ll see how Anchorman 2 does about a month from now, but the Farrellys will have to wait a whole year before they find out if audiences love Harry and Lloyd as much as they did in 1994!