As Variety’s Peter Debruge hails The Disaster Artist as James Franco achieving “what could become his most iconic role,” others like The New Yorker’s Richard Brody have claimed it’s a good movie, but Franco missed the mark; The Room is a better movie. Truth be told, reviews are always mixed for any movie, but when you compare a new theatrical film to what’s become known as the worst movie ever made, that’s saying something. The Disaster Artist, which is directed by, and stars James Franco, along with his brother Dave and long time collaborator Seth Rogan, follows the making of The Room, known to many as the worst movie ever made. The Room was a production-disaster-turned-cult-classic that was the lifeblood of two aspiring filmmakers, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. The two met and, realizing their dreams of filmmaking, decided to go to Hollywood to make their masterpiece. A $6 billion bill, countless horrendous reviews, and an opening weekend of only 200 ticket sales, however, seemed to literally spell disaster for the young filmmakers. But sometime after the initial release, something unexpected began to happen. Continue reading →
Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Stephen King’s It. As if the brute force of nature isn’t enough to unite Americans in these tumultuous political times, Stephen King’s It might just have done the trick. King, an ardent opposer to Donald Trump, has been in a Twitter-war with the President ever since his infamous 2016 presidential campaign and subsequent election. To quote the author’s own Twitter account, “Trump is no leader. He has 2 default positions: “Not my fault” (it’s China’s) or “not my job” (DACA). What a bitter joke he is!” The feud has gone so far as to cause Trump to block King on Twitter. It also prompted Trump supporters to call for a boycott of director Andy Muschietti’s new adaptation of King’s 1000+ page horror novel, It, about a demon that terrorizes children in a small town in Maine by taking the form of a fiendish clown. The call was made via Reddit, so one might think there was a pretty good chance of a successful boycott. There wasn’t. Continue reading →
There is so much news these days regarding upcoming comic-movie projects that it’s getting hard to keeps facts and rumors straight, but this seems pretty much certain. Michelle MacLaren has agreed to direct the independent Wonder Woman project for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, with Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel) producing. The character will initially appear in Snyder’s upcoming Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then MacLaren’s film will be an independent character project. I am assuming that Gal Gadot will carry the role over from Batman Vs. Superman, but we’ll have to wait and see about that. Another bit of recent news that also seems pretty set in stone (coming from Variety) is that Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Inside Llewyn Davis) has been cast by Twentieth Century Fox to play the title villain in the upcoming X-Men installment Apocalypse. This one is scheduled to hit theaters in May 2016, and will also bring the characters Cyclops and Jean Grey back to the big screen as the film is expected to take place in the 1980s.
Variety recently reported that actor Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Blood Diamond) is set to join the cast of the upcoming King Arthur movie Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur. The film is expected to be the first in a series of six films that depict the story of Arthur, with a cast that will be lead by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim), Astrid Burges-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I Origins) as Guinevere, and Jude Law (Enemy at the Gates, Sherlock Holmes) as the primary antagonist. Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla) will direct the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold (Awake, Edge of Tomorrow). Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures will distribute the movie, which is expected to hit theaters in 2016.
The upcoming reboot of the comedy classic from National Lampoon, Vacation, is already well into production, but Variety has reported that four new cast members have just been added to the line-up. Comedic talents Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric, Awesome Show, Great Work), Nick Kroll (The League, Kroll Show), Michael Pena (End of Watch, American Hustle), and Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) are all set to appear in the upcoming film that already has Ed Helms and Christina Applegate leading the cast. Chris Hemsworth and Leslie Mann are also expected to appear in the film, along with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, who appeared as Clark and Ellen Griswold in the original 1983 classic. Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley will be co-directing behind the camera. The movie is expected in theaters on October 9, 2015.
More comic book news is coming out of Marvel regarding additions to the cast of the upcoming Captain America: Civil War film, scheduled for release in May 2016. We already know that Robert Downey Jr. will star as Iron Man opposite Chris Evans as Captain America and that the two will face-off against each other in battle, but now we have word about another potential villain appearing in the film, and that German actor Daniel Bruhl may be taking the part. Variety has stated that Bruhl, who has appeared in films like Inglorious Bastards and Rush (opposite Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor in The Avengers), will not star as the main villain, but that it’s likely his role will be the main villain in the upcoming Doctor Strange release. Captain America: Civil War is being directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and will appear in theaters after Avengers: Age of Ultron is released next year. Chadwick Boseman is also set to appear in the film as Black Panther. Stay tuned for more news.
Variety recently reported that director Roger Donaldson has been approached by Radar Pictures to direct a modern-day adaptation of the classic Erich Maria Remarque novel All Quiet On The Western Front. The book chronicles the story of a group of German soldiers stationed in the trenches at the German frontline during World War I and their transformations from innocent youth to hardened men by means of the violence and life-changing experiences of warfare. Originally made into a film in 1930 by director Lewis Milestone with actors Lew Ayers (Advice and Consent, Battle for the Planet of the Apes), Louis Wolheim (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Danger Lights), and John Wray (The Death Kiss, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town), it was also adapted for film again in 1979 with actors Richard Thomas, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, and Ian Holm. The original film won two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Milestone) in 1930. Donaldson just directed Pierce Brosnan in The November Man and is also behind such films as Cocktail (1988), Species (1995), Dante’s Peak (1997), and The Recruit (2003). We don’t have any word yet as to who will be cast in this new film, but the release date has already been set for December 30, 2015, so we should see production really getting underway soon.
With the 30th Anniversary of director Robert Zemeckis‘s (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) classic time-travel tale Back to the Future coming up next year, plans are starting to be made to mark the celebration. Variety recently reported plans by IMG Artists and the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency to showcase the film alongside a live orchestra that will play the classic soundtrack by Alan Silvestri as the film progresses. The first performance will be held in Switzerland this coming May with the 21st Century Orchestra, with additional performances pending in worldwide locations. Zemeckis, working with producer Steven Spielberg, released Back to the Future in July 1985 and the film skyrocketed up-and-coming actor Michael J. Fox to movie stardom. It won the 1986 Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing and was also nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Original Music. IMG and Gorfaine/Schwartz performed a similar service for the Star Trek anniversary this year, but seeing as Back to the Future will appeal to a much larger audience across the generation gaps, this one is sure to be just as, if not more, popular. Universal Pictures is also most likely preparing some kind of celebration but that has yet to be announced, so we’ll keep looking out for more news.
Variety has recently reported that director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) will be taking over production of a new Steve Jobs biopic at Sony Pictures and that Christian Bale will be taking the lead role in the film. When Boyle had first come on he had originally been eying Leonardo DiCaprio to take the part, but that plan seems to have fallen flat and now Bale will be stepping in to portray the late Apple founder. The new project will be titled Jobs (even though there was a Steve Jobs movie that came out a few years ago with the same title starring Ashton Kutcher) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin seems to be pretty confident that this project will be much better than Kutcher’s movie. Stay tuned.
Variety recently reported that director Rupert Wyatt’s upcoming remake of the 1974 James Caan classic The Gambler has been moved up to a December 19th release date. While the initial release will be limited to certain cities and then expand nationwide on New Year’s Day, it will qualify the film for the next awards season. Mark Wahlberg will be leading the cast as Jim Bennett, a degenerate gambler who, after borrowing money from his girlfriend and mother, must save his loved ones from the gangsters he is now indebted to. The cast also features Brie Larson, Jessica Lange, and John Goodman and comes from a script written by William Monahan (The Departed, Kingdom of Heaven). James Caan, who had received an Oscar nomination for his role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather just two years earlier, received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in 1974 for The Gambler, and both Wahlberg and Monahan received Oscar nods for their work on The Departed, so maybe this remake will do the original justice, but we’ll have to wait for December or January to find out.