Daniel Day-Lewis reportedly quit acting to become a dressmaker

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Well, this is shocking. Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the great actors of this, or any, generation, announced his retirement from the acting world for the simple reason that he wanted to pursue .... dressmaking? His role as a dressmaker, in the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film "Phantom Thread," was such a pleasurable bout of method acting that he's decided to pursue it as a trade.

"PageSix has sources confirming that Day-Lewis "strategically planned to align the end of his acting career with the release of his upcoming high fashion movie Phantom Thread (in which he plays a dressmaker) ... He’s so method, it takes him three years to prepare for a role.” 

"Insiders noted the 60-year-old went method by seriously studying dressmaking for the role and he loved picking up the new skills so much, becoming a professional dressmaker became his new life calling."

This isn't the first time 60-year-old actor has decided to step away from acting to pick up a new trade. Following 1996's "The Boxer," Day-Lewis took what he called, "a leave of absence" from acting by going into "semi-retirement" and going into woodworking. It was one of the weirder stories to emerge from Hollywood as he was a hot commodity at the time. This newfound passion in shoemaking resulted in him moving to Italy where he embarked on an apprenticeship with shoemaker extraordinaire Stefano Bemer.

New Poster for Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk'

Robert Downey Jr. Will Keep Returning for 'Well Thought Out' MCU Films

Here's the quote from Cinema Blend:

"What happens to me is that things are presented to me that are really well thought out by folks that have been doing this correctly for a really long time, and I go like, 'Check.'"

Oh, stop it Robert, we know why you keep coming back ... $$$$

There have been only three Iron Man movies, the last having been released in 2013. There is no evidence that a fourth will ever come to fruition. Why? Again, $$$$. His demands are probably ludicrous because he knows that he is the glue that holds the MCU together, so Marvel's position is, why risk it? We could just pay him an insane amount of money for cameo purposes, just to hold the glue together, rather than pay him $100M for an entire Iron Man movie, or whatever the hell seems to be his asking price these days.

Ron Howard Defends Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace in 1999 Letter


'Spider-Man: Homecoming' IMAX poster

Watching this on wednesday.

Clint Eastwood has started working on a new movie, to be released later this year, “The 15:17 to Paris,” about the three American students who stopped a terrorist attack two years ago.

This is news to me. If he says the plan is to release "15:17" later this year then does that mean Warner Bros. is aiming at a December release? 

"At his office on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Eastwood is busy these days refining the shooting schedule, while his casting directors are choosing the actors, costumers are picking the outfits, and set designers are planning the shots — all routine tasks for a major Hollywood picture. But the film, “The 15:17 to Paris,” which Eastwood says will probably be released later this year, has a story that promises to be unprecedented in its heart-stopping impact, yet which carries a timeless message of people putting their lives on the line to protect others."

Eastwood has now directed 14 movies after the age of 70. Has any director come close to that feat at this late stage in their career? He is still making relevant films at the near twilight of his career. Case in point: "American Sniper" and "Sully." Both had the classicism of old-school Hollywood filmmaking, and yet, they felt vitally alive and current. The resonant theme that binds both is the cost of hero worship. Both films have male characters who feel isolated and flawed, despite being deemed heroes by those around them. It looks like "The 15:17 to Paris" will be treading that line as well. 

In a career that spans more than 50 years in the director's chair, Eastwood keeps honing his craft and, as Time's late great film critic Richard Corliss said, he makes it seem "as if the story is telling itself." Who else can pull off that kind of classic simplicity these days?

"The Accountant" Sequel?

Deadline is stating that Affleck and director Gavin O’Connor are in talks to return for “The Accountant 2.” Somebody decided that it was a legit idea to make a sequel to Gavin O'Connor's entertaining, but somewhat forgettable 2016 film "The Accountant." Am I complaining? Of course not, I enjoyed the film for what it was:: A light, breezy, but exceptionally well filmed action no-brainer. The film has made an impressive $86M domestically. If you don't remember the film, it starred Affleck as an autistic, but brilliant numbers guy that also happens to be an accountant for some of the world's biggest criminals. He also knows how to fight because of his father's constant persistence for rigorous martial arts training when he was a kid.

I wrote last year "Think of it as Affleck's action movie, quite similar to what Liam Neeson did with "Taken" or Keanu Reeves with "John Wick." So no surprise then that Sony thinks they might have something going with this film. It makes sense, "Taken," and "John Wick" didn't make that much money when released, but found a cult following on home video, which is what has also happened to Affleck's film. The action scenes in "The Accountant" were really well-shot and fluidly realized by director Gavin O'Connor, who brought a lot of grit to the boxing fights in "Warrior."

Han Solo: Lucasfilm Unhappy With Alden Ehrenreich's Performance, Hired Acting Coach

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Lucasfilm hired an acting coach for Alden Ehrenreich, as they were not happy with the performance he was giving. Am I surprised? Sadly, not. He was a standout in the Coen Brothers' "Hail, Caesar," but ever since then, Ehrenreich hasn't impressed me in the least bit. First in "Rules Don't Apply," I found his performance was undercooked and not involving at all and then at this year's Sundance Film Festival he starred in the Iraq-War movie "The Yellow Birds," which was considered by many, including myself, as one of the worst films in competiton. Ehrenreich's performance? very underwhelming, no charisma and just plain boredom in his delivery. So, sadly enough, I can see Dsney's concerns here ....

Here's [The Wrap]
"Matters were coming to a head in May as the production moved from London to the Canary Islands. Lucasfilm replaced editor Chris Dickens (Macbeth) with Oscar-winner Pietro Scalia, a veteran of Ridley Scott films including Alien: Covenant and The Martian. And, not entirely satisfied with the performance that the directors were eliciting from Rules Don't Apply star Alden Ehrenreich, Lucasfilm decided to bring in an acting coach. (Hiring a coach is not unusual; hiring one that late in production is.) Lord and Miller suggested writer-director Maggie Kiley, who worked with them on 21 Jump Street."

Also, supposedly, Lord and Miller turned the character of Han Solo into an Ace Ventura-like slapstick character! Oh, how I wish that version of the film was released ...
[Alden Ehrenreich] started to worry that Lord & Miller’s screwball comedy angle was starting to interfere with what the character of Han Solo is really about, even if this was a younger, more reckless take on the character than the one we met in that Cantina on Tatooine. One source described it as being oddly comparable to Jim Carrey’s performance in Ace Ventura at times.

Box Office Week: Transformers 5 takes #1 with a franchise low 3-day opener of $45.3M and 5-day opener of $69M. Meanwhile Wonder Woman passes $300M domestic, passing Man of Steel's lifetime domestic gross in 22 days.

1. “Transformers: The Last Knight” — $45.3 million ($69 mil.)
2. “Cars 3” — $25.1 million ($99.8 mil.)
3. “Wonder Woman” — $25.1 million ($318.3 mil.)
4. “47 Meters Down” — $7.4 million ($24.2 mil.)
5. “All Eyez On Me” — $5.85 million ($38.6 mil.)
6. “The Mummy” — $5.83 million ($68.5 mil.)
7. “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — $5.2 million ($160 mil.)
8. “Rough Night”— $4.7 million ($16.6 mil.)
9. “Captain Underpants” — $4.2 million ($65.7 mil.)
10. “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” — $3 million ($380.2 mil.)

Han Solo: Most of Lord and Miller's Footage 'Very Usable'

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In another interesting THR report on the Han Solo film, the controversy and the problems, I gathered an interesting quote that might hint as something realistically happening, even with Ron Howard now at the director's chair: The use of Chris Miller and Phil Lord's already shot footage.

'How credit will be determined is up to the Directors Guild,' but it seems like what Miller and Lord shot is very much something that can be used by Howard and company. I mean, 90% of the shoot has been completed, you're telling me that they will be re-shooting the entire film from scratch? No way. And, if they do, that would most likely complicate things a lot, set off delays, maybe even lawsuits ...

Here's the exact quote:

"... An insider says much of what Lord and Miller shot will be “very usable.”

'The Incredible Jessica James' has an Incredibly winning performance [Trailer]

This past January I wrote this when I saw "The Incredible Jessica James" at the Sundance Film Festival:

"You know, sometimes a performance just elevates a movie and in Jim Strouse's "The Incredible Jessica James" Jessica Williams lifts a standard romantic comedy into a real winner. Strouse's film is not a groundbreaker, but Williams sure is. Her personality is unique, lovable and totally unique, a star is born."

The movie is not new, surely nothing special, but Williams just owns every frame she's in. There's something about Jessica that makes me thing this isn't the last we'll see of her and that many more projects are coming for the 27-year-old actress in the near future. I don't think the same can be said of its director Jim Strouse, but he did hit the jackpot in casting here.

Official Synopsis:

"Jessica Williams (“The Daily Show”) stars as a young, aspiring playwright in New York City who is struggling to get over a recent breakup. She is forced to go on a date with the recently divorced Boone, played by Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) and the unlikely duo discover how to make it through the tough times in a social media obsessed post-relationship universe."
“The Incredible Jessica James” hits Netflix on July 28th.

'Han Solo' Could Get a Lord & Miller Director's Cut Because of DGA Rule

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Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired as the directors of the, as of yet untitled, Han Solo film and for the last week we've been gathering up as much info as we possibly could to find an answer as to how this clusterfuck of epic proportions even happened. We're all still a little stunned by the news, but a fuller picture has emerged. 

Now comes the twist that nobody could even saw coming.
According to the reports that we've heard, 3/4 of the movie was shot by Lord and Miller. There were around 20 or so days left before the end of the shoot would be completed, that's when Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy decided to fire the directing duo and replace them with new director Ron Howard. Well here's the kicker we just uncovered tonight, there is a little-known loophole within DGA rules that might just force Disney to let Lord and Miller release their own cut of the film. 

The Directors Guild of America has a rule that states that Miller and Lord have the right to cut their own version of the film as long as "at least 90 percent of the movie was finished on their watch." 

The agreement reads:

A director who is replaced after directing ninety percent (90 percent) but less than one hundred percent (100 percent) of the scheduled principal photography of any motion picture shall be the Director of the film entitled to all the post-production creative rights set forth.” 

No one shall be allowed to interfere with the director of the film during the period of the Director’s Cut. There shall be no ‘cutting behind’ the Director as that term is commonly understood in the motion picture industry.” [The Wrap]
Will Lord and Miller have the chutzpah to pursue this or will they go quietly into the night and proceed with their next project, whatever that may be, without causing any more friction with Disney? Being the professionals that they are, with a solid reputation among Hollywood's elite, they might let this go, but if they truly have passion and determination for the vision they created these last 4 months and want to defend what they worked so hard for, then maybe ....

Jake Gyllenhaal Starring 'Stronger' Deals With Boston Marathon Bombing [Trailer]

The Boston Marathon bombing of 2013, which caused 3 deaths and injured 264, led to a massive manhunt, expertly recreated by Peter Berg in last year's "Patriots Day." "Stronger" doesn't focus on that, instead, it deals with one of the victims, Jeff Bauman, who survived, but lost both of his legs. Judging from this trailer Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays Bauman, is going for an Oscar nomination here and it looks like the kind of performance the Academy would reward. David Gordon Green, no slouch to directing above average movies, helms the director's chair here. Suffice to say, I would be very surprised if this doesn't have its world premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Official Synopsis:

"Stronger is the inspiring true story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany). Waiting for her at the finish line when the blast occurs, he loses both his legs in the attack. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the bombers, but his own battle has just begun. He tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family. It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity. Filled with raw emotion, humanity and humor, Stronger is the inspirational real-life story of the man who became the living embodiment of “Boston Strong.” The film also stars Academy Award® nominee Miranda Richardson and is directed by David Gordon Green."

Stronger” opens on September 22nd

Collin Trevorrow: Star Wars 9 Will 'Honor' Carrie Fisher

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As we reported to you a month or so ago, Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia had a "significantly important" role in Episode IX (HERE). The tragic death of the actress has brought upon a lot of questions, most of which involve how to replace her in the ongoing saga. 

Lucasfilm were in the middle of heated meetings to settle the delicate problem at hand. All signs were leading to Fisher getting digitized and then the SW creative team pretty much decided to start from scratch in regards to "Episode IX," due for release in 2019. Now its director, Collin Trevorrow, says they found a way to 'honor' Fisher and Leia:

"She had a major role in the film and it’s something we had to deal with emotionally at first. Now we’ve had to deal with it in very practical ways and in a form of storytelling we know is going to honor her and keep her soul alive, but it is an unfortunate reality that we’re just going to have to handle. It’s been tough emotionally – and logistically we’ll figure that part out, but she was just very important to the Star Wars family and that was the hardest part."

[Star Wars News Net]

Ousted 'Han Solo' Directors, Chris Miller & Phil Lord, Thought The Film Was Supposed To Be A Comedy

As we try to assemble any kind of sane explanation for the firing of Chris Miller and Phil Lord from the "Han Solo" movie, facts are starting to emerge as we are slowly, but surely, coming to better understand the full extent of this cinematic clusterfuck of the highest order.  We're still all stunned by what happened, but a fuller picture is emerging.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller thought they were supposed to 'make a comedy' when they were hired for the job, which coincided with them going a little too far in the comedic side of things. Hell, they brought improvisation into the mix and didn't seem to care about Lawrence Kasdan's script. They though they were making 23 Jump Street. 3/4 of the way through Kathleen Kennedy took a look at the film herself and said "what the ..." or something like that, and ordered the directors to switch the tone, to which they refused. The rest is, as they would say, etched in history, as we will likely never see the slapstick version of the Han Solo movie.

 EW has it exactly like this:

"….others on the project say they pushed too far. It wasn’t just a question of tone. The variations added up to significantly change the story. They may have been brought aboard to give young Han Solo a wiseacre vibe and an irreverent style, but Lucasfilm still felt the directors had a responsibility to tell the story as written.
When dailies began rolling in featuring improvisation from the actors and new ideas from the directors that significantly parted ways with the script, the relationship with the home office at Lucasfilm became fraught. As principal photography for the movie approached its end, it became clear that the filmmakers and producers did not share the same vision for some critical scenes.
Reshoots were always possible (they are factored into almost every major film these days, and each new Star Wars project has undergone them), but as Lord and Miller dug in, refusing to compromise on what they saw as best for the film, the partnership went from strained to fractured. If they wouldn’t do the scenes as Lucasfilm and Kennedy wanted them now, why would they do them that way during reshoots?"
Here's damage cont ... err .... Disney's recent press release welcoming its new director Ron Howard:
At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July."

CONFIRMED: Ron Howard Will Direct Han Solo Movie

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"Ron Howard has been named as the new director of Lucasfilm and Disney’s untitled Han Solo movie, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter exclusively. The official announcement is expected Thursday morning."

"Howard, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, will meet with the actors — Alden Ehrenreich is playing the iconic smuggler, Donald Glover is playing Lando Calrissian, with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke and Thandie Newton also on the roll call — to soothe a rattled set and will pore over a rough edit to see what the project has and still needs. Filming will resume on July 10."

Here's a neat little tidbit from the article as well:

"The movie was scheduled to shoot for three-and-a-half more weeks, with five weeks of reshoots built into the schedule — the latter a standard procedure on large franchise productions."

That is completely nuts. I don't think I've ever seen such a situation occur for a big-budgeted movie. Are you kidding me?! There was less than a month left in the shoot? Dude, what is going on here? They were 3/4 of the way through principal photography. In describing the situation, THR uses the word "unprecedented," I'd use the word "pathetic."

Chris Miller and Phil Lord are talented filmmakers, they probably had a set vision for the film and when Disney caught on they freaked. They have always preferred silly, highly stylized visuals, but it seems like Disney wanted a darker tone to Han Solo, despite the fact that he really was the comic relief of the first three films in the trilogy. But, why did Disney catch on only now? There must be more to this than is being said. I know Lord and Miller were also changing Lawrence Kasdan's screenplay, which didn't sit well at all with Kasdan. 

I really do like the choice of Ron Howard. He's been a consistent Hollywood pro for the better part of the 30 years and THAT is why they hired him. Also, despite the tepid Dan Brown adaptations, he hasn't done much to warrant a red flag, hell he's sneakily created a resume that is, truthfully, impressive. Some of his critically acclaimed work includes ("Apollo 13," "Cinderella Man," "Rush," "A Beautiful Mind," "Frost/Nixon," "Splash," Cocoon.") I can't say I'm a fan of all of those, but they're fairly impressive cinematic oeuvres and, as it stands, he's probably the most competent director to have ever helmed a Star Wars movie.