Archive | Directors

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Breaking: James Gunn Already Set To Write/Direct GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2

Posted on 25 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

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Typically, studios like to see how a film will do before they sign the writer/director up for a sequel, but Marvel is not your typical studio.

The Wrap has found out through an interview with Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman that the film’s director and co-writer James Gunn will be returning as writer and director for an as yet announced sequel to that film.

While GotG has yet to be released, it currently has an enviable 100% fresh rating from advance reviews  at Rotten Tomatoes. Marvel likes to lock up creatives that get that kind of good buzz, case in point them locking the Russo Brothers in for Captain America 3 four months before Captain America: The Winter Soldier even opened.

Our own Rich Drees has also interviewed Ms. Perlman. Be on the lookout for that interview coming up soon.

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See The Unfinished THE DEATH OF ‘SUPERMAN LIVES': WHAT HAPPENED? Documentary Trailer

Posted on 25 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

BurtonSupermanLivesWhat is it about San Diego Comic Con time and unfinished documentaries about unseen comic book films?

Last year, Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four was looking for backers around this time. Now, it’s a documentary about the failed attempt by Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage to bring Superman Lives to the screen.

The film is titled The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? and will be done by producer/director Jon Schnepp. Schnepp has created a trailer for the film, and we see immediately that he has already spoken to many of the players from that project, including Burton, initial screenwriter Kevin Smith, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, production designer Rick Heinrichs, screenwriter Wesley Strick, costume designer Colleen Atwood, special effects supervisor Steve Johnson, storyboard artist Tim Burgard, and associate producer Derek Frey, with comic book writer Grant Morrison interviewed to provide context.

Schepp also got his hands on more of the legendary test footage Nicolas Cage shot for the project, including a shot of him flying. There is also a lot of unseen production art on display.

Schnepp is trying to raise the final $85,000 he needs to complete post production on the documentary. Currently, he has $7,332 of that on a fundraiser on the Fan Backed website. And, as is typical with this sort of fundraiser, there are rewards attached to certain donation levels ranging from getting you name in the end credits for $25 to becoming a producer for $25,000 which entitles you to every other perk from every other tier plus busts of Nicolas Cage and Brainiac from the movie.

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Edgar Wright Sets BABY DRIVER As Next Project

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Rich Drees

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It has not been that long since Edgar Wright and Marvel Studios parted ways after the writer/director had spent years developing Ant-Man for them. But Wright appears to not be one to stew over the split and has already set what his next project will be – Baby Driver.

Deadline is vaguely describing the film as “a collision of crime, action, music and sound… [t]hat sounds like a close cousin to the Cornetto Trilogy.”

No word yet as to whether Wright would team up with his Cornetto Trilogy leads Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, though even if they aren’t the leads in the film I would not be surprised if they made some sort of an appearance.

Baby Driver is a film that Wright has been looking at doing for some, with it being mentioned as a possible project back in 2008 when Wright signed a two-picture deal with Working Title. The World’s End was his first film delivered under that agreement and now Baby Driver will fulfill the second obligation.

As a fan of Wright’s, I was definitely disappointed to see him exit Ant-Man back in May. But the fact that he’s already lined up his next project does take some of the sting out of it. Sure I would love to see what a director like Wright could bring to a collaborative effort like Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, but I think I would like it more to see what next original project he has in store.

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Roberto Orci On SPIDER-MAN Franchise: “Not Officially Involved In It”

Posted on 13 July 2014 by William Gatevackes

 

roberto_orciBreakups are always hard, especially when there are children involved. You try to work together to provide your kids with what they need to go forth in the world, but that becomes tougher once other things occupy your time. And for Roberto Orci, it has become almost impossible.

Orci recently made an amicable split with writing and producing partner Alex Kurtzman, but the team was expected to stay together on anything that was already in the works. This was thought to include Sony’s planned Venom (which the pair was going to write and Kurtzman was going to direct) and The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Orci has stated in an interview with IGN when asked directly about the latter that he was not officially involved in it.

A lot of this might have to do with Sony’s uncertain scheduling. Orci said:

I don’t know what their plans are for that franchise. I don’t ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I’ve read probably as much as anyone else. There’s a love for the Sinister Six, the idea of Venom — there’s an idea of Spider-Man’s going to be one of these characters that’s part of our business. He’s such a popular character. Spider-Man’s not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined.

If Orci is going to to direct Star Trek 3, as is rumored, he simply might not be available for the Spidey films. Whether or not this is another nail in the coffin of Sony’s plans to spin off Spidey into a shared universe remains to be seen. The idea seemed haphazardly thrown together from the get go, and the disappointing grosses and reviews for The Amzing Spider-Man 2 caused many wags to question of a line expansion was a good idea. Now they are going to have to go forward without one of the lynchpins of said expansion.

More on this as it develops.

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Weinsteins Pass On Producing Smith’s CLERKS 3

Posted on 08 July 2014 by Rich Drees

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Writer/director Kevin Smith’s relationship with indie mogul Harvey Weinstein goes back two decades when Weinstein acquired and distributed Smith’s very first film, Clerks. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Weinstein has passed on producing Smith’s planned third installment of the misadventures of Smith’s two Jersey-ite register jockeys.

Speaking with Screen Daily (via Variety), Smith revealed that Weinstein balked at the idea of producing Clerks 3 due to its price tag.

[The Weinsteins] passed. I went in with a $6m budget and they were, like, ‘Oh no Kevin, this is too high’. Bob offered us distribution but they weren’t going to finance it.

What’s surprising about this is that Smith’s indie films – we’re going to ignore his one studio effort, Cop Out, done for Warner Brothers – have always been produced on ridiculously low budgets and have always turned a profit, despite the fact that he has never really had a box office blockbuster. Clerks II, which Smith made in 2006, had a price tag of just $5 million, cleared almost five times that much at the box office, clearly putting it into the black. And that’s before ancillary revenue like home video kicked in. You would think that $6 million would be an easy price to pay for Weinstein.

Weinstein, whose company does own the rights to the franchise through his the Weinstein Company, did offer to distribute the pic should Smith get it financed through other means. And that shouldn’t be too hard a trick as Smith has managed to land independent funding for his last couple of features, Red State and Tusk. If it comes to it, Smith, who has been adverse to the idea of established filmmakers such as himself using crowdfunding means like Kickstarter to finance projects, has indicated that he would pay for the film out of his own pocket. But this does put a crimp into Smith’s plans to shoot the film at some point later this year.

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Frank Darabont To Direct SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN 2

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Rich Drees

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Fairy tales don’t have “happily ever after” endings when they can instead launch franchises. At least that’s what Universal is thinking in having a sequel in development to their 2012 film Snow White And The Huntsman. The Wrap is now reporting that the studio has settled on writer/director Frank Darabont to direct their planned follow up.

Darabont apparently beat out Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and Andy Muschietti (Mama) for the gig, with the studio and producer Joe Roth reportedly very excited by the director’s idea for a sequel.

One person who ay not be coming back, or at least only coming back in an extremely limited capacity, is the film’s Snow White, Kristen Stewart. The Warp is reporting that the sequel will put much more of an emphasis on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character, and given the actor’s growing popularity from his role as Thor in Marvel Studios’ superhero films, it is possible that the new film will rebrand the franchise to stress Hemsworth character more prominently. If Stewart were to return, it only be in a small cameo role.

Charlize Theron, who played the evil queen in the first film, is expected to return for more villainy.

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MGM’s WARGAMES Reboot Gets A Writer And A Director

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Rich Drees

WarGames

MGM is currently in negotiations with with Dean Israelite to direct and Arash Amel to script their planned remake of the 1983 thriller WarGames. According to Deadline, the studio is close to signing Israelite, who just made his directing debut on Paramount’s InSurge and Platinum Dunes’s American Almanac.

GM has been trying to get a WarGames remake off the ground for a while now and had previously had Seth Gordon Green interested in the project.

The original film starred Matthew Broderick as a computer hacker who inadvertently breaks into a military computer and almost cause a nuclear war. Although the technology in the film is definitely of its time and hasn’t aged well over the last three decades, the premise itself still has plenty of relevance with things like identity theft and cyber-terrorism being ongoing concerns of the day.

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J.J. Abrams Not Doing Full STAR WARS Trilogy

Posted on 20 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

JJAbramsAt least Star Trek got two films out of him!

rianjohnsonNumerous sources are reporting that J.J. Abrams will be one and done when it comes the new Star Wars trilogy, and that he will be handing the reins over to Rian Johnson starting with Episode VIII.

The only question is what will be the extent of Johnson involvement. Both Deadline and The Wrap say that he will be writing and directing Episode VIII and a treatment for Episode IX. Deadline says Johnson will also be directing the latter movie, while The Wrap says he will only be writing it.

While I do have to say that I loved Johnson’s Looper, the one concern I have about this is that Johnson’s typical tone is a bit darker than what you’d expect from a Star Wars film. I don’t know if this means that future episodes will be darker or that Johnson will be adapting his style to fit.

Even though Johnson is a skilled and talented director, the fact that Abrams is doing all the films is a bit disappointing. While changing directors mid-stream in the Original Trilogy did give us The Empire Strikes Back, it also gave us Return of the Jedi.

More on this as it develops.

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THE BATMAN Might Be On For 2019 With Affleck Directing

Posted on 19 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

batman-vs-superman-ben-affleck-batmobileI think I have El Mayimbe figured out. He sees a geek film issue that needs addressing, like, say, why wasn’t there a Batman film in the list of DC Comics films leaked weeks ago, goes to his “sources,” and comes back with an “exclusive.” Other news outlets pick up the story, Latino Review gets site hits, and everyone is happy. Well, everyone except the fans who believe El Mayimbe, and are disappointed when the rumors eventually turn out to be false, because, well, El Mayimbe doesn’t have that good of  a track record.

El Mayimbe is quoting sources saying that Ben Affleck will be starring as the Caped Crusader in The Batman, which is set to arrive in theaters in 2019. Affleck might also direct.

Of course, on the one hand, this seems entirely plausible. After all, Warners isn’t going to let one of their most successful comic book franchises sit idle when they create a DC Comics shared universe, are they?

But if this is true, why didn’t DC add it to the list we got a week or so back? This would have been pretty big news and would certainly be a good addition to that list. Also, Affleck will be 46 or 47 (depending on when the film comes out) in 2019, which, with the exception of Robert Downey Jr., is a bit long in the tooth to be playing a superhero.  Add to the fact that the films that he directed and acted in up to this point were more ensemble pieces where his role wasn’t really the showiest in the films. That wouldn’t be the case here.

El Mayimbe realizes the weakness of the rumor, or perhaps his less than stellar track record, because he couches the news with him saying that this “is what I’m hearing the studio’s plan is, which is of course subject to change.” So, remember kids. If this rumor doesn’t pan out, El Mayimbe wasn’t wrong. The studio simply changed its plans.

Developing.

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Is Bryan Singer Being Removed From X-MEN: APOCALYPSE?

Posted on 09 June 2014 by William Gatevackes

BryanSingerBryan Singer has just directed the incredibly successful X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that has returned to franchise to greatness, not only in terms of grosses but also reviews.

Bryan Singer is also the focus of a scandalous lawsuit where he is accused of coercing a male minor into have sex with him using his Hollywood connections vis a vis the victim’s desire to become an actor as leverage.

The former should lock Singer in as director of X-Films for the rest of his life if he so chooses. The latter should have him dropped as a hot potato for any future, big budget project. The question became, which direction world Fox go?

A new rumor has it that Fox is choosing option number two.

Radar Online is reporting that the studio wants Singer to step down from directing X-Men Apocalype because of his impending court case. The reason Radar gives isn’t necessarily because the studio thinks Singer is guilty or the nature of the crime he is accused of.  The reason sources gave Radar is that the court case might cause costly delays during production of the film as Singer would have to take time off to defend himself from the charges. And it is believed that Singer would do just that because there is evidence that he might have been shooting the first X-Men film at the time the alleged abuses took place.

Fox appears to want Singer to step down willingly, offering him the chance to handpick his successor and stay on as a producer, but all attempts at negotiating a graceful exit for Singer has not been well received by the director.

This is a messy situation and if these rumors are true it’s bound to get a whole lot messier.

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