Confirmed: 'Avatar 2' To Be Projected in Glasses-Free 3D

Inquisitr reports, following Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment and Christie Digital are officially working toward making Avatar 2-5 in 3D, but without the goofy 3D glasses. Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment would gain access to Christie Digital’s brand new technological wizardry: An RGB laser projection system.

Screenrant says:

"This new system has been described as “pure laser” in the tech community for its ability to use 60,000 lumens to provide bright images at incredibly high frame rates. The result will be clearer pictures than ever before, which is always preferred – especially in 3D. The deeper details of how the technology works is not yet available, or is it known how widely accessible glasses-free 3D will be initially. Considering the amount of movie theaters that would have to swap out projectors to accommodate for the new system, it could be a slow roll out to start."

James Cameron has promised innovation with the new Avatar sequels. This would surely get way more people willing to watch 3D if they don't need to incorporate those goofy, uncomfortable glasses. As someone that already wears glasses at the movies, I can't stand wearing these uncomfortably dim specs. Trust Cameron, this is a man that has continuously been ahead of movie technology for decades.

Earlier last year he had mentioned the attempt to use non-glasses 3D:

“I'm going to push. Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range and high frame rates — the things we are working toward. I’m still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We’ll get there.”

“magic has to amaze … and that involves constant creation of new tools and techniques. The audience’s eyes adjust to what we did, and so we need to up our work.”

“Movies are going to look better than they’ve ever looked. They already do and they are going to continue [to look better]. Anything we can imagine, we can put on the screen.”

I'd of, of course, rather have him concentrate on story and characters, but this is the sort of stuff that makes us love the man. Cameron absolutely pushes the technical limit, HOWEVER, his earlier work is superior filmmaking because it had everything to offer. Good storytelling, fantastic visuals and good dialogue.

"Avatar" was well worth seeing because of the technical accomplishment that it was. The story itself, its lazy message and terrible dialogue were not positives that came out of it. 

Full HollywoodReporter coverage of James Cameron at the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers' Centennial Gala can be found HERE

"Downfall" director says you probably shouldn't compare Trump to Hitler

You can’t compare Trump to Hitler,” Hirschbiegel said. “He’s certainly not a dictator or a tyrant who slaughtered his own people, as Hitler did.” Instead, the director said that the parallel exists only in the impulses that catapulted Trump to the White House. “Overall, there seems to be this tendency where people do not believe in the political system and they feel betrayed by the elite,” he said. “That’s why they’re looking for figures like Trump or Teresa May. They put hope in people like that, which is terrible, because these people only work by a system of right or wrong, or winning and losing. That’s childish. That’s not what civilized people should do in a diverse, globalized society.

Colin Trevorrow Says It's 'Heartbreaking' the way 'Book of Henry' was received, but still 'stands by the movie'

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Trevorrow is coming off his own worst nightmare, "The Book of Henry." I decided to catch a press screening of the film earlier this week because, well, I wanted to see some of Trevorrow's chops before the "Star Wars" storm hits next year. What I didn't expect was the worst movie of the year, which, as it stands now, "The Book of Henry" most definitely is. A sentimental, misguided, confused and jumbled mess of a movie. A horrid mix of genres that never adds up. 

Trevorrow has finally weighed in, to Variety, on the hate, and yes it is hate, that the film has received from critics and audiences:

It’s a little heartbreaking, without getting too personal. It came to us as a bit of a shock because we had screened this movie to so many people, and we’d had reactions from so many people that we felt we knew what we had and we knew how it was affecting the audience. And that actually hasn’t changed. It affects audiences in the same way that we thought it would.
We did not anticipate that level of vitriolic dislike for the film. In the end, do I want to be somebody who pleases both audiences and critics? Absolutely. Is that hugely disappointing? It is."
I do stand by the movie. I know it’s something I am very proud of, and everyone who made it is very proud.” 
"Star Wars" fans buckle your seat belts, the next few months might be a very bumpy ride because there will be no end to the rumors that Trevorrow will be fired from the Episode IX director's chair. If Disney is sticking with their man they will have to publicly back him up, then we can shake off the rumors and hope for the best with Trevorrow's final product. In the meantime, we have speculation and Trevorrow tweeting the saddest of tweets:

George Lucas Supports Ron Howard Directing the Han Solo Movie: "I think he'll be great."

Although it had to come courtesy of a storm of Paparazzi photographers hounding Lucas, he did find a way to sneak in a comment about his old friend Ron Howard nabbing the Han Solo job:  "I think he'll be great.

Howard and Lucas go way back, in fact 45 years ago today Lucas and Howard began shooting “American Graffiti” in San Rafael, California. Howard was even quoted as telling a Cannes Lion audience last Friday: “I’ve been around the ‘Star Wars’ universe from the beginning." A famous story has Howard talking to Lucas, in between takes of "American Graffitti," and Lucas telling Howard his next movie will be a "Space opera." “ He said, ‘Yeah, I want to do a science-fiction movie,’ ”Howard said last week, “ ‘but a really fun one like “Flash Gordon” with the effects of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001.” ‘ I thought, ‘That sounds like a kind of crazy idea.’ ”

Howard was even considered to direct a film from the “Star Wars” prequels, but his response was rather simply “You direct it, George — you direct it.”

'The Batman' Director Matt Reeves Promises 'Noir-Driven' Detective Movie

What Matt Reeves has done in "War For the Planet of the Apes" is bloody brilliant. The third, and presumably final, chapter in the "Apes" series is one of the most entertaining movies I've seen this year. The miraculous thing about it is that it barely has any dialogue. Sure, there are lines uttered here and there, but the fact that 99% of the apes can't speak and the main human character, a teenage girl, is deaf which results in a film that relies HEAVILY, instead of visuals, to tell its story.

"War" is better than "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" as it relies more heavily on character than actual war. There's no excess here, just pure unadulterated thrills that rely on the audiences smarts to pull through. Don't worry summer movie buffs, there is action, gloriously on display, especially in its final third, but Reeves is after much much more here. He's made the closest thing to a silent movie that we will likely have in today's Hollywood zeitgeist.

The director chatted with New Trailer Buzz (via Batman-News) about his love for Batman and the "Apes" series, but more intriguingly what his vision is for "The Batman."

"I see a parallel, emotionally, between Caesar and Batman in that they're both characters who are tortured and trying to sort of grapple within themselves to find a way to do the right thing in a very imperfect, and to some degree corrupt, world, And so it's really that emotionality that I'm interested in. I want to do a very point of view-driven -- you know, this film and with all films what I try to do in an almost Hitchcockian sense is to use the camera and use the storytelling so that you become the character and you empathize with that point of view, and I think there's a chance to do an almost Noir-driven, detective version of Batman that is point-of-view-driven in a very, very powerful way that hopefully is going to connect you to what’s going on inside of his head and inside of his heart."

If this is true at all I would think Riddler would be perfect. Turn Riddler into a Jigsaw for the Saw movies type killer that leaves clues to his next crime. I could also see a movie version of The Long Halloween story, it would very much fit the Noir style. I just don't know how they could translate it from comic to screen well. I know Deathstroke was to be the big bad, just don't know how he would fit the noir style. That's exactly what the character needs, we've had Batman as the superhero and we've had Batman as the vigilante, having Affleck showcase the criminal detective would be a perfect spin on his tenure, providing he stays on which I hope he does. So many villains lend themselves for such a style too; Riddler, Hush, Calendar Man, Court of Owls etc.

Actor Michael Nyqvist dead at 56

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The actor Michael Nyqvist has died at the age of 56. Sad news, really solid actor. He was great in Swedish "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and "John Wick." Apparently, cancer which only he and his close ones knew about. His family released this statement:

"Today, we are sad to announce that actor and author Michael Nyqvist died on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 after a brief illness. Michael Nyqvist was 56 years old and will be greatly missed. The family asks to mourn in silence."

Edgar Wright Will Never Watch Marvel's Ant-Man

“Baby Driver” premiered at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival  with, mostly, rave reviews. This is the first film director Edgar Wright has released since 2013’s “The World’s End.” His aborted plan to direct “Ant-Man” was probably the cause of the delay. Whatever happened with him leaving the Marvel movie we might never fully know, but Uproxx has interviewed Wright and, among the questions that were asked, "Ant-Man" came into the conversation.

Wright admits that he’s still frustrated by the Ant-Man fiasco, but it's his admitting that he hasn't even seen "Ant-Man" that really strikes home. It was his baby for the better part of a decade before he was "let go" of his duties as director on the project. He says the closest he's gotten to seeing the film was when someone was watching it next to him on a plane. Ouch.

"I didn’t. I haven’t seen it and I haven’t even seen the trailer. It would kind of like be asking me, “Do you want to watch your ex-girlfriend have sex?” Like, “No, I’m good.

Makes total sense to me, why would he even want to watch it? I mean, the film itself wasn't bad, but his version would have most probably been the superior version. This is the guy that made "Shaun of the Dead," and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," two of the most visually arresting studio films of the past 10 or so years. 

His latest, "Baby Driver," stars Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx. The film tells the story of a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) forced to work on  a heist for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey). No surprise here, but the film is a visually driven, candy-colored mashup of “Drive,” The Driver” and Michael Mann’s “Thief.” In other words, it’s a cinematic delight. Wright doesn’t do boring, he’s one of the most visually interesting filmmakers working today and “Baby Driver” proves that once again. You can watch this film with no sound and still get sucked into Wright’s dream of a movie. He drives this film into sheer visual nirvana. Take that Marvel.

New Poster for 'Ingrid Goes West' - Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, Oshea Jackson Jr, and Wyatt Russell

This was one of the best movies I saw at Sundance. Over time I can see this being a defining movie of the current generation of click-bait, photo snapping millennials. Aubrey Plaza gives a towering performance. Matt Spicer also gives us auspiciously promising filmmaking debut.

I wrote this about the film for Awards Daily:

"If there ever was a film that dealt with our craze for social media in the most intelligent and assured way, it would be Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West. Thee film has a career-making performance from Aubrey Plaza as an emotionally unbalanced, celebrity obsessed millenial (Aubrey Plaza) who decides to head out west and stalk an Instagram celebrity (a pitch-perfect Elizabeth Olsen) to the brink of martyrdom. It’s one of the best dark comedies to come around in ages and smartly updates the stalker genre for the social media generation. A perfect fit if you ask me."

Here’s the official synopsis:

"Following the death of her mother and a series of self-inflicted setbacks, young Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) escapes a humdrum existence by moving out West to befriend her Instagram obsession and LA socialite Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). After a quick bond is forged between these unlikeliest of friends, the façade begins to crack in both women’s lives — with comically malicious results."

“Ingrid Goes West” opens on August 4th.

GQ Magazine defends original Spider-Man trilogy and calls for Raimi, Maguire & co. to return

Tobey Maguire will always be my Spider-Man.

GQ's Scott Meslow has, more or less, stated what I've been saying all these years: The Raimi Spider-Man movies are still the definitive portrayal of the web-slinger on screen. I am watching "Spider-Man: Homecoming" on Wednesday, but I doubt it could ever reach the peak of the freewheeling, and unconstrained by MCU marketing Raimi series. Hell, I also liked "Spider-Man 3." Sure, it overreached a bit with its running time and the lack of Venom, but it certainly retained the heart of the first two movies, something that the money-grabbing Marc Webb movies had none of. Webb's career has been in limbo ever since those movies.

"Spider-Man 2" may still be the most perfect superhero movie of the Marvel universe, Raimi is the guy who came closest to pouring Stan Lee's brains onto the screen. My favorite thing about Raimi's Spider-Man movies? They're the only Superhero movies I can think of that really indulge in the sheer unadorned fun, goofiness of the comic books. "Homecoming" does look likes it's trying to reattain that, but Raimi's films had a campiness about them which felt genuine.

I wrote this about "Spider-Man 2" back in the day:

"After the watchable "Spider-Man" in 2002, director Sam Raimi made the most important and influential Marvel film imaginable: "Spider-Man 2." This was still 4 years away from "The Dark Knight," but the mind-blowing mix of action, humor, heart, character in "Spider-Man 2" changed the game. In Alfred Molina and his Dr. Octoppus villain, superhero movies had their most complex and scariest villain to date. The film also climaxed on an action sequence, atop a moving train, that could surely be considered one of the very best ever shot on celluloid. And, how about that final shot? Mary Jane finally figuring out Spidey's identity by the subtlest of gestures? Raimi perfected the game with this movie, he took everything that came before him and upped the ante at every level. "Spider-Man 2" was considered by many film fans as the best "Superhero ever made." until Nolan changed the game himself with his Batman trilogy."

Here's an excerpt from Meslow's GQ "Spider-Man 3" defense:

"Well, Sam, it’s still true. I do like Spider-Man 3—and 10 years after its original release, I'm still happy to mount a defense of it. As hot takes go, this one is closer to lukewarm. I’m not making the case that Spider-Man 3 is the best superhero movie of all time, or even that it’s the best Spider-Man movie. It's pretty clearly the worst of the ones Raimi made. But I still think Spider-Man 3 has been unfairly overlooked, and criticized for all the wrong reasons. (Honestly, that dancing-in-the-street sequence is a blast.) Much of the movie is good, and the parts that are bad are still interesting. At the very least, I’ll take a compelling mess like Spider-Man 3 over a by-the-numbers retread like the Amazing Spider-Man franchise any day."

Here's my take on the "Amazing Spider-Man" movies: They just weren't good enough. Webb was coming off a highly stylized film debut, "500 days of Summer," which earned good box-office and rave reviews. He had to contend with the fact that Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 2" was THE best depiction of the the web-slinger we had ever seen at the movies or on television. What happened with that 2004 sequel might never be replicated again. It was such a perfect blend of story, effects, performance, and direction. Webb's two movies didn't even come close to touching that masterpiece. They were O.K, but that just wasn't good enough. That's why the Webb reboots felt like money grabs more than any kind of artistic statements.

Here's Webb defending his films: 

It’s hard for me to think about it, in terms of regrets. There are so many things that I’m proud of. There was an ambition with the second movie, in particular. The idea that it’s a superhero that can’t save everybody is something that I’m really proud of. I’m really proud of the ambition of that because it’s an important message, and I believe in that. I believe in what we were after,” he told Collider. “They’re really, really difficult movies to make. They’re complex in ways that people don’t fully understand. They weren’t disasters. But in terms of regrets, I don’t think of it in those terms. I felt really, really fortunate to have that opportunity. That’s a whole other long, in-depth conversation that I probably shouldn’t have publicly. I loved everybody involved. I really did. I didn’t have an adversarial relationship with the studio, at all. There were a lot of very smart people. These are just incredibly complicated movies to make. I am proud of them, in many ways, and I stand by them. I’m certainly not a victim, in that situation.

Warner Bros. developing a live-action Superman: Red Son movie

In this day and age, a Twitter exchange can be considered news, case in point the conversation between Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Mark Millar. The back and forth, seen below, they had has revealed that Warner Bros. has some kind of plans in place for a movie based on Millar’s Superman: Red Son. Den of Geek UK has confirmed, from their reliable sources, that there are indeed plans for an adaptation. Ben Affleck as Batman, and Henry Cavill as Superman would not be involved.

"Superman: Red Son was an ultra popular short-run comic series in 2003 which depicted an alternate reality where Kal El landed in the Soviet Union rather than the United States. The comic charted Superman’s entire career, and his battles with Batman, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, the Green Lantern Marine Corps and Wonder Woman. It was incredibly well-received upon its release, with Cavill revealing in an interview that it was one of four comics that inspired his performance in Man of Steel." [Flickering Myth]

I like Vogt-Roberts, especially what he did with "Kong: Skull Island." I wrote this about the film in February:

"I was pleasantly surprised by King Kong: Skull Island, an entertaining B-movie with enough guilty pleasures and awe-inspiring action to make you overlook the cliches. No, really, this is a film that just wants to entertain and does so in spades. "Kings of Summer" director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has actually even one-upped the Jurassic Park franchise by making a creature movie that ups the ante in action and suspense. Take that "Jurassic World.

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.

'War for the Planet of the Apes' Is the Best Film of the Trilogy

What Matt Reeves has done in "War For the Planet of the Apes" is bloody brilliant. The third, and presumably final, chapter in the "Apes" series is one of the most entertaining movies I've seen this year. The miraculous thing about it is that it barely has any dialogue. Sure, there are lines uttered here and there, but the fact that 99% of the apes can't speak and the main human character, a teenage girl, is deaf which results in a film that relies HEAVILY, instead of visuals, to tell its story.

The embargo, which is supposed to be lifted on the 26th, asks that I not reveal any plot points, but I will say this: "War" is better than "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" as it relies more heavily on character than actual war. There's no excess here, just pure unadulterated thrills that rely on the audiences smarts to pull through. Don't worry summer movie buffs, there is action, gloriously on display, especially in its final third, but Reeves is after much much more here. He's made the closest thing to a silent movie that we will likely have in today's Hollywood zeitgeist.

David Fincher confirmed to direct Brad Pitt's World War Z sequel

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World War Z 2" producer David Ellison has gotten his dream director for the project in David Fincher. Earlier in the year he had stated that “There’s a script that we’re incredibly happy with, and it’s just getting a couple of key deals closed… We hope [Fincher] makes the movie.”

Yahoo movies has confirmed the news via Paramount, head honcho Jim Gianopulos


I have difficulty trying to see this as a good fit, but Fincher has surprised us more than once in his career. This film, to me, harkens me back to his directing debut: Alien 3. It's a similar genre which relies on a lot of jump scares. I sure hope Fincher gives us something fresh and inventive, but what's the potential for that to happen here? Fincher has stated in the past that he wants to make movies that a big audience will go to see, he wants his movies seen NOT forgotten. With that in mind, I completely understand why he would choose such a project, the original Z, directed by Marc Foster, was plagued with reshoots and controversy, but it was a mega blockbuster.

Let's just make sure Fincher gets total creative control here. This would be Fincher's first all-out blockbuster, although, I guess, you could make a case for "Alien 3" as well. Fincher hasn't directed a film since 2014's "Gone Girl." At some point he was supposed to direct Ben Affleck in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on A Train," but IMDB doesn't have that project listed anymore. Scrapped? Who knows. Fincher will be collaborating with Brad Pitt for the fourth time with this "World War Z" sequel.

Fincher Ranked

(1) Zodiac
(2) The Social Network
(3) Fight Club.
(4) Gone Girl
(5) Se7en
(6) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
(7)Panic Room
(8) The Game 
(9) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
(10) Alien3