REEL NEWS: MARCH 2ND-MARCH 9TH
This week in news; more results of COVID-19, trailers for films from Phil Lord/Chris Miller and Jordan Peele (seperatly, not together; although that would be a wild combo); and Batman has a new ride.
James Lipton (1926-2020)
Host of Inside the Actor’s Studio, James Lipton passed away aged 93 from bladder cancer. Lipton was best known for his in-depth conversations with actors in front of aspiring acting students at Michal Schimmel Centre for the Arts at Pace University’s New York City campus. His focus on the craft of filmmaking and insight into the personal lives of some of the biggest names made the show engaging and insightful.
Uncharted Movie Developments
The long-gestating Uncharted movie has added some new additions to the cast, and found another directing for its revolving seat. Antonio Banderas joins Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, although his role is not confirmed, as well as Sophia Ali and Tati Gabrielle.
After losing more directors than The Flash project, Ruben Fleisher, director of Zombieland and Venom, has signed on, following on from the departures of (deep breath); Travis Knight, Dan Trachtenberg, Shawn Levy, Seth Gordon, Neil Burger, and David O. Russell who signed on and left in 2010. So, let’s see how long that lasts.
COVID-19 vs 007
The Coronavirus became James Bond’s greatest enemy, with the virus forcing MGM to cancel the Chinese Press Tour and Premiere for the film for the safety of the cast and crew. It all came to ahead when on Thursday, MGM announced it would delay the release of the blockbuster Bond bash till November 12th, again citing health and safety reasoning.
More likely, MGM saw the risk the virus would have on the film’s financial gain with people being warned about large public gatherings as well as theatres shutting down for that very reason. MGM have made the smart move with the report being they will lose $30-50million for the delay as opposed to losing 30% of potential box office earnings. The question remains who will be the next to succumb to the contagions.
Filming on The Batman has begun and after revealing Robert Pattinson (R.Bats) as the Caped Crusader, director Matt Reeves has showing the Dark Knight’s own Knight Rider-eqsue Batmobile.
Gone is the tank qualities of The Tumblr, or the slickness of Ben Affleck’s supercar, or the toyetic style of Keaton’s. Instead we get something no one expected, which is a throwback to Adam West’s Batmobile, of all Bats. Looing more like a retrofitted muscle car, the neon-red tail fins and open exhaust are a direct tie, if more modern approach to West’s version.
The more of the visual aesthetics of this movie are revealed, the more it indicates that this will not be a direct origin story, but will see a Batman in the infancy of his crime busting crusade.
Netflix + Taika Waititi + Roald Dahl=Pure Imagination
Netflix and Taika Waititi have partnered to create two animated series based on Roald Dahl’s classic ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. The first series will be more directly tied to the original book, and may be a straight adaptation of the story. The second will focus on the human apricots that are the Oompa-Loompa’s. Waititi will direct, write and executive produce and may even don the role of the affable Wonka.
As Netflix VP of Original Animation Melissa Cobb put it, “If Dahl had created a character of a filmmaker to adapt his work, I’m pretty sure he would have created Taika”. This will mark the beginning of Netflix’s partnership with The Roald Dahl Story Company which will see new adaptations of classics like ‘Matilda’, ‘The Witches’ and ‘The BFG’.
The Last of Us HBO Series with Creator and Chernobyl Writer
The hit Play Station game, ‘The Last of Us’ is final getting a live-action adaptation with HBO announcing the series.
Writer of award-winning min-series, ‘Chernobyl’, Craig Mazin is on board to adapt the show along with the original creator Neil Druckmann. That’s certainly one way to avoid the ravid fans complaints about the show eventually deviating from the game.
The game has been described as cinematic so a live action form was an inevitability and of course the internet have cast the lowest common denominators and choosen Hugh Jackman and Millie Bobby Brown to play the grizzled, old fatherly figure who suffers from loss and trauma; and the gifted and feisty young girl (respectively of course).
Mazin said to The Hollywood Reporter; “Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honoured to do it in partnership with Neil”.
There is no conformation as to whether or not this is actually going to be a straight adaptation of the game, or in the vein of the recent ‘Watchmen’ TV series, one set in the world with new characters.
In a blow to the independent arts circuit, the Texas film/music/game festival South By Southwest has been cancelled, thanks to COVID-19.
SXSW has run for 32 years and has been an important place for indie artists to find an audience for their works. The Austin City Mayor announced the decision, mindful of the massive impact this would have on the city and its economy with many businesses thriving on the film and music fans flocking to the city for the festival.
Last year alone SXSW hosted the premiere of Jordan Peele’s Us,Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut Booksmart and the remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary along with smaller films like Little Monsters, so it sucks that the world is deprived of unique and creative films.
The latest film from powerhouse Phil Lord and Chris Miller has a new trailer, and demonstrates a similar creative animation style than their last masterpiece, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Connected focuses on a family road trip which is interrupted by a robot uprising. It gives off an “old man yells at Cloud” energy, with the main lead’s disdain for technology and the heavy-handed title about online connection and a more spiritual, deeper, blah, blah blah ‘human’ connection. If it wasn’t from the minds behind The LEGO Movie or Spider-Verse, then it would be as surface level as that, but expect Lord and Miller to commit to something more substantial than that.
After last weeks’ Candyman trailer, the next Peele produced horror film, Antebellum has also released a trailer.
More cerebral than the Candyman trailer, this trailer feels similar to the Us trailer with it’s unsettling music and lack of narrative insight. This being Peele produced, expect more commentary on America as a whole and an expression of the African-American experience. This time, directors Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, may focus on America’s history with Janelle Monáe’s character being displaced in time. As the title suggests, this is a pre-Civil War time since antebellum translates to ‘occurring before a particular war’.