Wednesday, April 16, 2014
It's been confirmed that both UK and US showings of Amazing Spider-Man 2 will feature a mid-credits trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past. The footage in question is straight from the film and not a crossover by any means. However, this might be the beginning of something bigger. It means that Fox and Sony understand the power of cross-promotion, concerning their Marvel characters. If anything, it's proving a bit of goodwill between the two studios. This isn't a giant leap towards Spidey showing-up in Wolverine 3, or Wolverine in Amazing Spider-Man 3, but could lead to the studios actually working something out for future. We know that X-Men producers Hugh Jackman and Lauren Shuler Donner have been talking-up the idea of joining the franchises.
Marvel's Kevin Feige has downplayed the idea and said they had zero plans of doing this. Giving the impression Disney and Marvel don't want anything to do with making this happen. Combining the characters would give more creditability to the other studios, and in the end disprove Feige's entire idea that Marvel can be successful with their own roster. It's true, Marvel Studios has been spending a lot of time and money developing their brand and film universe. Sharing it with Fox and Sony is likely never going to happen, when they have Disney protecting their interests and actively trying to retrieve the film rights.
Splitting a budget/profits of a massive film three-ways could be a legal nightmare, even more so when on of the three parties is actively trying to regain the rights entirely. My thought is that we might have chances of seeing Fox and Sony working together connecting their Marvel universe than every seeing Marvel Studios warming-up to the idea. The key factor here is producer Avi Arad, who's worked on X-Men, Fantastic Four (still credited and involved) and Spider-Man franchises. Sony and Fox are watching the crazy amount of success that Marvel has been making post-Avengers, and I'm sure they are frustrated as hell. The new Spider-Man movies might be earning the most money, but they are catching a lot of criticism from fans/film critics alike, putting together an event film could really boost all three franchises.
We recently learned that Sony is planning on delaying The Amazing Spider-Man 4, which was eyeing a May 4th, 2018 release date. This slot apparently could go to one of the two spin-offs, which means there is only one major Spider-Man release officially. Oddly enough, this is the same summer that Fox planned an unnamed Marvel release for July 13th, 2018. At this point the X-Men: First Class /Wolverine/Amazing Spider-Man trilogies will be completed and Fantastic Four 2 will have already been released. It would be perfect timing to release a massive team-up, as it's also the same year projected for the release of Avengers 3.
The two studios are already gearing-up for a massive amount of X-Men (Gambit, Magneto, Deadpool, X-Force, Mystique) and Spidey (Sinister Six, Venom, Black Cat?) spin-offs, which are all in different development stages (some only mentioned in passing). If Marvel isn't willing to play-ball, it's possible we could see the two studios split costs and make it happen on their own. Avi has the ear of both Fox and Sony at this point, along with a previous working relationship with X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner. I'm sure he's hatched some sort of pitch of Spider-Man characters and Fantastic Four teaming-up with the X-Men. Even though, Matthew Tolmach and Avid Arad have actually dismissed any plans to join The Avengers. Their comments are concerning working with Marvel Studios, but not Fox, as Avi is still producing with for the new Fantastic Four movies.
In the era of Avengers and Batman Vs Superman/Justice League, the next step in superhero franchises is the event team-up. While people have already assumed Fantastic Four/X-Men team-up is down the line, adding Spider-Man to that lineup could put it on equal footing to the other big films. It's hard to believe we'll ever see a united Marvel universe, but this could be as close as we'll ever get. These studios are also in the business of making money, and if they're able to get a billion dollar film out of combining characters, they'll at least consider making deals with each other.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
There were possible plot-points concerning Fox's Die Hard 6/Die Hardest revealed back in November. Screenwriter Ben Trebilcook revealed to WhatCulture that McClane would be invited by the Nakatomi Corporation to Japan for the 30th anniversary of the hostage crisis. Mentioning the tone would be more similar to the 90's film Rising Sun.
“I can say that McClane is invited to Tokyo by the Nakatomi Corporation to be commended for his bravery and efforts in saving 36 lives, celebrating this on the 30th anniversary of the Nakatomi Hostage Crisis,”
“It’s by no means 'Black Rain,' perhaps has a slight “Rising Sun” type tone. It’s also not a double-act buddy-buddy story. McClane began on his own and should end on his own. Of course he’s had assistance in various guises, aiding him in his ventures; but it’s not ‘Lethal Weapon’ or a Jackie Chan film.”
He also talked that Zeus Carver (played by Samuel L. Jackson) from Die Hard With A Vengeance could be returning.
"My story, being set in Japan, obviously has Nakatomi playing an extremely significant role; in a way that.. well, it’s John McClane in Japan and if you’ve seen any Japanese movies or at least know anything about their culture at all, you know it would have a lot of potential to be nuts. It’s not Ichi The Killer, but it is crazy and as real as you can get in these realms. It’s violent, but not over the top nor unnecessarily Loony Tune like Olympus. It’s well researched, faithful to the franchise, yet giving a possible audience such a refreshing punch to the face, they’ll be saying ‘Wow. I really wasn’t expecting that.’ You want a nugget, don’t you? I’m pretty sure it’s out there. A few Japanese fans on Twitter put two and two together when I uploaded a picture of a Katana (Samurai Sword) with some kanji reading ‘Zeus’. Yes, I’ve written Zeus Carver in for Samuel L Jackson."
"Like I said before, it’s not a buddy-buddy script, but you can’t ignore him. Zeus played a major part in McClane’s life. They went through a lot together. They would certainly, without a doubt, still be in contact. A guy I know, Stel, wrote the 51st State (aka Formula 51) with Sam the Man. I put the idea to him and he said Sam would probably love to have a sword in a movie; that’s how you could woo him. Let’s say I have a Better Tomorrow 2 vibe. Have you seen that film? Tell you what else? Probably the best ‘Yippie Ki Yay’ one could ever hope for. "
There is now a bit more hinting to Jackson and Willis reuniting for the 6th installment, as LatinoReview tweets it could be happening. Stating the project is out to screenwriters, but will have to involve both Zeus and John in the film, the size of Zeus' role is unknown. This could mean that Fox has moved-on from Trebilcook, I'm sure dishing a majority of the plot wasn't a good move, on his part.
The last two installments hired two directors, that didn't really add anything to the franchise. There has only been one director that has returned to make a sequel, and that was John McTierman. He's arguably one of the greatest action directors of the 80s, helming other films such as Predator and The Hunt For Red October. John recently was released from prison (over some wire-tapping charges, which is ironic post-NSA scandal) and is ready to get back to work. Die Hard and Die Hard With A Vengeance are the strongest chapters, and were directed by McTierman. Having him return, considering all the elements which are expected to be in the film, would be a very smart move. I can see John taking all the familiar things and giving us a bigger/better action flick.
At one point it was rumored that Shane Black (Last Boy Scout, Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) would consult on the project, it's unknown how true this is. That said, Shane Black is being linked to the project and knowing how the buddy-film dynamic works, he'd knock it out of the park as well. It doesn't hurt that his last film earned $1.3 billion, and Doc Savage is still stuck in development.
MTV caught up with 22 Jump Street star Channing Tatum, and asked him about his desire to take-on the role of Gambit in future X-Men films. Tatum confirms meeting with franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner about the part. Lauren has already praised Channing in interviews, and even went as far as to mention Gambit getting his own movies. The status of a spin-off is way down the line, but Bryan Singer has mentioned he could include the character in X-Men: Apocalypse. I wouldn't be overly shocked if Tatum ends up joining that cast, as it sounds like both sides are very interested.
“I met with Lauren Schuler Donner. I would love—Gambit’s my really only X-Men that I’ve ever loved. I [mean] I’ve loved them all, they’re all great, [but] I don’t know I guess just being from down south—my dad’s from Louisiana and I’m from Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida—I don’t know I just related to him. He’s just kind of a suave; he’s the most un-X-Men X-Man who’s ever been in X-Men, other than maybe Wolverine. He’s kind of like the anti-hero; he’s a thief. He’s not even like a hero, he’s kind of walking the line of grey. He loves women and drinking and smoking, he’s just a cool guy that happens to have a good moral center.”
“I hope it does [come together]. You never know, it’s a weird industry. If the stars align, I would play it. I’m already working on the accent.”
Once upon a time, there was a Magneto origin film being developed at Fox. They asked David S. Goyer (Blade, Batman Begins, Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman) to write a script for the spin-off and was loosely attached to direct. The film would start-off during the Holocaust and eventually see Magneto hunting down Nazis. This was eventually given the axe, and the script was shelved with elements being used in X-Men: First Class. At the time the studio was afraid the tone in Goyer's script was too dark for an X-Men film.
While speaking with Yahoo!, Michael Fassbender mentioned a desire to get his own movie as Magneto. Stating it "will happen" and "should happen". He went as far as to acknowledge the Goyer script. Considering "talk" of Gambit and Mystique movies, it's not hard to imagine Fox resurrecting the old Magneto solo flick.
“I would be interested [in a Magneto spin-off] sure,” says the Irishman, “Apparently there was a script floating around, but I haven’t read it."
Last we heard from Goyer concerning Magneto was back in 2009, he still seemed positive about the project getting made. Even though, First Class was being fast-tracked at the time.
THR reports that the feature version of Mark Millar's comic Superior has landed at Fox. The Superman/Shazam! homage will be produced by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Secret Service, X-Men: First Class), but a director hasn't been named. It has been hinted this could be the next directorial effort for Vaughn. A writer hasn't been announced, it's very possible Jane Goldman could pen the screenplay.
Superior will be the third collaboration between Millar and 20th Century Fox. Matthew Vaughn is already in post-production on The Secret Service and director Joe Carnahan (Blacklist, Narc, The Grey) recently completed the script for Nemesis with his brother.
The time is here, we finally have our first glimpse of David Fincher's feature adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl. Flynn also wrote the script and changed the entire third-act, just for the sake of the movie. Ben Affleck stars as the husband of a missing woman played by Rosamund Pike. After certain things are revealed, Affleck's character becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. The film will be released on October 3rd, and will likely get some awards attention.
Hans Zimmer (Amazing Spider-Man 2, Man of Steel, Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception) has confirmed an interest in creating the score for Zack Snyder's Batman Vs Superman. It's not a for sure thing, as the composer admits he still needs to talk to Zack about ideas, before anything happens or is finalized. Zimmer's scores should really be apart of these new DC movies, some consistency there would be a great first-step. The Man of Steel sequel featuring the Super Friends is aiming for a May 6th, 2016 release date, which is head-to-head with Captain America 3.
“We’ve already had a couple of chats, and once I finish the movie that I shall not talk about I will probably head over to where Zack is shooting his movie and just hang out a bit and see if we can come up with any ideas.”
“That’s my problem, that’s my dilemma. I don’t want to betray, if that’s the right word, the Dark Knight movies. That was Christian, it was Christian’s role.”
“It’s not just that it was nine years of our lives, so you want to stay honest and honourable to that period. So it’s really about, ‘Is there something else I can find that I haven’t tapped into?’ Which I don’t know until I sit down with Zack.”
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Looks like it's not Morocco that will be the home of Tatooine in Star Wars: Episode VII, but the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi and the surrounding area will be the site of production for at least four weeks starting in May. Adam Driver and Peter Mayhew have been the only cast members confirmed for the film.
"Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Star Wars: Episode VII will shoot in and around the city-state, which is part of the United Arab Emirates, beginning mid-May. Sources also say it would be a four-week shoot."
Warner Bros. is prepping the production of Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch) next film which will be based on the legendary tale of King Arthur. The studio has set the release for July 22nd, 2016 via Deadline. It's expected that the studio will begin casting, as soon as he finishes post-production on the period spy-flick The Man From U.N.C.L.E., which stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.
It's going to be a busy summer lineup as some of the other films include X-Men: Apocalypse, Captain America 3, Batman Vs Superman, and Amazing Spider-Man 3. The film will be released alongside other massive films in July, such as Tarzan, the next Planet of The Apes sequel and an untitled film from Marvel Studios (likely Doctor Strange or Thor 3). He recently completed shooting the
French magazine Premiere (via ThePlaylist) has caught-wind of an updated casting list of Bond 24 from Sony, apparently the new addition is Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. She had been rumored to be in the mix back in June and it's quite possible she's landed one of the two new female roles in the film. The second, according TheWrap is a Scandinavian woman with a troubled past. Craig recently dropped out of a indie film, which could mean Sam Mendes is ready to begin production on the 24th installment. Her husband Javier Bardem played the baddie in Skyfall, which might have played a part in her being approached for the role.
TheWrap also linked Chiwetel Ejiofor as in the mix for the villain role, which could make this one of more interesting Bond casts ever. The returning cast includes Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw. Production is expected to begin soon, with the release date set for fall (October in the UK and November in the US) of 2015
Someone from Universal Pictures has been posting images of vehicles from Jurassic World on Instagram. The pictures were picked-up by fansite JurassicWorldUniverse. We see what must be an abandoned Jeep (29 was actually used on screen as one of Hammond's vehicles) from the first film. The new park is said to be set on the original island, which hasn't been seen since the first film. The second image shows us a more modern armored vehicle that will the park will be using. Apparently, both are heading to location shooting in Hawaii.
Apparently, Lucas Arts had been secretly working on a Darth Maul video game at Red Fly Studios, titled Battle of The Sith Lords. Along with revealing the game, GameInformer posted a treasure-trove of artwork from the canceled game. It looked impressive enough and could have been a massive success, and was said to be an open world type game (not unlikely 1313). So why would Disney pull the plug on it?
It's revealed that Red Fly Studios had free reign over the project and were never given a script, that was until the Lucasfilm/Disney merger. It's rumored that because Disney works with EA Games that the project was shelved. There could be other motives behind this as well.
My own speculation is that Lucasfilm and Disney might have movie plans for the character and didn't want Maul's origins or story dictated by an unaffiliated video game company. This isn't the first time Disney has killed a Star Wars video game. That had connections to upcoming movie developments.
The theory stems from the Star Wars game 1313, around the same time it was announced Disney had indeed bought the Star Wars rights and Lucasfilm, the game was suddenly canceled. This was a bit shocking, but Disney could do whatever they liked. It was later revealed the rumors had been true and 1313 was in fact a Boba Fett game. We've been hearing since 2011 that Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnston (who helped co-create Fett) had been pitching George Lucas a Boba film, and possibility even had an outline for project back then.
Soon, after the announcement Star Wars: Episode VII was happening, talk of even more movies started hitting the trades and blogs. They included a prequels for Yoda, Han Solo, Boba Fett and even an interesting Seven Samurai inspired jedi film pitch from Zack Snyder. Eventually there was word from that Lawrence Kasdan (Fett's other co-creator), had been tasked to write the script for the Boba Fett film. Kasdan and Simon Kinberg had been hired by Lucasfilm to pen spin-offs for the studio, that relationship led to Larry being hired to rewrite the script for Episode VII.
At this point we have no clue if there is a Darth Maul movie being developed at Lucasfilm, but we do know that the character is still alive via The Cone Wars. And this game was going to include his robotic body and his apprentice/brother Savage, the group Death Watch and would take place during the rule of the Empire, so post-Episode III. The game also suggests Maul and other Sith lords were at odds with the Empire and didn't abide by the "rule-of-two". Nothing says Maul will be in the new films, but it's very possible he could be apart of the spin-offs.
Lucasfilm went out of their way to first resurrect Maul, and then keep him alive at the end of the series.
Out of all the prequel characters, Maul was the most interesting and the animated series supported that. One piece of art confirmed this game was to take place during the rule of the Empire, with an officer that looks very similar to actor Ralph Fiennes.
Below is the stellar concept artwork from the game via GameInformer. It the artwork also includes many different sith bosses that Maul would have had to fight. There is also footage from the game floating online as well.
It looks like the Spider-Man spin-offs are now high priority at Sony, only with Spider-Man 3. How important are they? Well Sony's Matt Tolmach told DenOfGeek they are putting Amazing Spider-Man 4 on hold, until they figure out what they are doing with Amazing Spider-Man 3, Venom and The Sinister Six. Focusing their energies on making the two spin-offs before the fourth installment.
"Before we know what we do with Spider-Man 4, we're going to do Sinister Six, Venom and Spider-Man 3. There is going to be a lot of crossover in those movies. So we're just not at Spider-Man 4, because we still have a whole other Spider-Man movie and two other movies. So we don't know yet what [Spider-Man 4] is going to be"
The third movie is still set for release in June 2016, but Venom and Sinister Six are happening before the fourth movie. Given that that spot is highly valued at Sony, either three could take the May 2018 spot. Bumping-up the spin-offs to 2016 and 2017, before Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2018 could make for an interesting third film. As it stands Drew Goddard (Daredevil, World War Z, Cabin In The Woods) is writing and directing The Sinister Six, while Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek 1-2, Lost, Transformers) will be writing and directing Venom. Marc Webb is expected to direct Spider-Man 3, but has not committed to making the fourth film.
Most people don't remember this, but around the time of the production for X-Men Origins: The Wolverine there was talk of more spin-offs. Characters like Magneto and Mystique were posed to get their own origin films as well. David S. Goyer was hired to write and possibly direct a Magento film, that wasn't to be. The elements of that film were used in Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class, possibly a similar fate for Mystique's origin as well.
The Mystique film hadn't been fully realized by the studio at the time, but Rebecca Romijn was still attached for the role. Later on, the studio developed First Class and Jennifer Lawrence was cast as a young Raven. This might have been the best thing for the character, as we got to see her develop as a fully functioning female lead. We've seen Mystique go from villain side-kick, to become the largest standout female character currently in the franchise. Standing alongside Magneto and Xavier in First Class, and now with Wolverine in Days of Future Past.
A third Wolverine (March 3rd, 2017) spin-off is in the works and producer Lauren Shuler Donner has previously mentioned a desire to pursue Deadpool and Gambit solo films. While speaking with EW she does briefly hint to the potential of developing a Mystique film again.
“There was a regime [at the studio] that didn’t see the worth in [spin-offs], and the current people who run Fox understand, embrace it, and we’re going to do right by it,” says producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who’s produced all of the X-Men films. “I’d like to do Gambit. I’d like to do Deadpool. We’ll see. There’s a lot of really great characters.”
With shapeshifter Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) taking a pivotal role in Past‘s plot, Donner says she’d be interested in taking that character into a solo film.
Producer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg, who is currently building the new X-Men universe with Bryan Singer also sees the value of a Mystique movie.
“I love what Jen Lawrence has done with her, and I feel like because she is in such a crowded ensemble, there’s so much more opportunity if you were to follow her solo.”
This makes a lot of sense, as Oscar winning actress Jennifer Lawrence is already the face of a massively successful billion dollar franchise, with Hunger Games (earning $1.5 billion in just two installments and two more on the way). While none of the X-Men films have been able to break $500 million worldwide, both of Lawrence's films have (Games earning $691M and Catching Fire raking-in $864M). She has the talent, following and box office numbers to support her own comic book franchise.
Jennifer is also expected to return for a role in X-Men: Apocalypse, which is could begin production sometime in 2015. Fox has also announced a release date for an untitled Fox/Marvel film in 2018. A lot of people suspect this could be X-Men/Fantastic Four Crossover, Gambit, Deadpool, X-Force or even Silver Surfer, but it's now possible that it might end-up Mystique as well.
THR says Oxford acting student Maisie Richardson-Sellers could be in the mix for role in Star Wars: Episode VII. The young Oxford actress is mostly known for school theatre work. This wouldn't be too shocking as Lucasfilm have been looking at every actor and actress for roles. It's said the role is a long descendent of Obi Wan Kenobi, who would interact with the Skywalker and Solo kids. I have to side with THR with this character info, as they've been able to confirm a lot the Star Wars scoops from other sites.
"One of the roles yet to be filled is that of a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendent of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi."
Another bit of news from THR, is that the seventh film will head back to the dangerous desert planet of Tatooine. It might be the home planet of Luke Skywalker, but we've seen it five times previously. A majority of Phantom Menace and A New Hope taking place on Tatooine. I understand what Abrams is thinking by connecting the new era of Star Wars to the planet. However, it doesn't seem like an original way to push forward a new wave of Star Wars films. As the previous films have spend plenty of time using it as a setting, a bit uninteresting if you ask me.
I would have hoped the film would explore different planets if we're forced to deal with old characters.
Bringing back the original cast is understandable, but there have been rumors their roles could be larger than expected. I'm not sure how J.J. Abrams could manage to make 60-70 year old actors convincing action leads in a kids movie. When the new trilogy is expected to showcase a new generation of jedi. Not even factoring-in neither Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher being major on-screen leads since the early 80s.
I'm not the only one who feels this way, THR also wrote an article, titled "Could 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Be Too Enamoured With The Original Films". The piece focuses on the lack of original steps the production is currently making. Keeping a lot of the same creative people from the original trilogy. While not pushing forward with new and fresh ideas.
We've been hearing from multiple sources that there is major in-fighting between Abrams and Lucasfilm. Leading to script rewrites and basically a massive overhaul of the director of the film just months before it's production. It's possible that George Lucas is still trying to the calling the shots. Whether that's through Kathy Kennedy or J.J. Abrams is unknown.