Movie News

Sharknado 2

We’re all refreshing Sharknado‘s Twitter on an hourly basis, right? I’m going to assume that, yes, most of society is, so you probably already heard the news this morning that Sharknado 3 is real, and it already has a below-average shark pun tethered to its name: Feast Coast — okay, technically the word “feast” isn’t specifically a sharkological term, but put it in close enough proximity to the word “Sharknado” and it fits just fine. The details come from an Orlando-based Sharknado press tour, alongside the fateful Twitter reveal explaining just what a “Feast Coast” is. Apparently, it’s a stretch of coastal America from Washington, DC, to Florida marauded by airborne sharks. Then comes IGN with a scant few details more. The film will begin by hurling sharks at our nation’s capital (this is apparently “what [Washington, DC] deserves,” according to Syfy and Chiller President Dave Howe, who seems to hold a shark-based grudge against big government), then travel southward until it ends in Orlando. No cast has been announced yet, but it’s a safe bet that Tara Reid and Ian Ziering will return. Also, it’s probably best to assume that “Feast Coast” isn’t actually the subtitle for Sharknado 3, as Syfy is likely to hold another contest on social media to come up with the name, like they did for Sharknado 2: The Second One.

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Scarlett Johansson in UNDER THE SKIN

Earlier this week came news of WB/DC’s Suicide Squad, and the sparkly list of celebs wanted to play various morally murky supervillains. And right afterward came an update from Deadline- yes, Tom Hardy, Will Smith and Margot Robbie are super interested in pursuing some supervillainy (save for Ryan Gosling, who’s being all finicky). But in one throwaway sentence of that Deadline piece was something even more shocking (more shocking than Will Smith playing an outright villain, if you can believe it). It seems Robbie was free to pursue Suicide Squad because her previous target, the live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, had ditched her to pitch woo at Scarlett Johansson.

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Suicide Squad

Amidst all the DC Comics hooplah that’s got everyone so riled up (Ezra Miller, a solo Cyborg film, the dreaded words: “Part Two”) was a piece of news that was more or less confirmed a month ago: David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad. It’s a project that’s been in discussion for about a year (the words “suicide” and “squad” were first mentioned in reference to Warner Bros. back in December), and last month Ayer was said to be circling the project — meaning he’ll take it, probably, unless a stray tennis ball knocks him out of orbit and towards another gritty WWII tank movie. And when WB put out yesterday’s ten-page rap sheet of upcoming flicks, there was Ayer’s name at number two on the list — right next to a “Suicide Squad” and a “2016.” In case you haven’t seen the Squad pop up on Arrow, the Arkham game series or their recent animated movie (they’re so hot right now), here’s a quick summation of what makes this squad so suicide-y. The Suicide Squad is a team of DC antiheroes (and outright supervillains) recruited by Amanda Waller (think DC’s Nick Fury, but more dickish), used as a super-secret superpowered blacks ops team. It’s a win-win for all: the various Squad members (usually, names like Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger and Count Vertigo) get years off the multiple prison sentences they’re all constantly serving (they are supervillains, after all), while Waller gets a hit squad that can suffer a few casualties without anyone losing sleep at […]

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Universal Pictures

What would Jurassic Park be without that iconic poster design? It seems so simple: take a circle, slap a rectangle over the top and let a dinosaur skeleton chill in the open space that remains. But somehow, circle + rectangle + dino skeleton = instant iconicism. There’s power in that odd, street sign-shaped design — so much so that every subsequent Jurassic Park film has been content to slap the logo on a solid color background and call it a day as far as poster marketing goes. (Sure, the original had all of these incredible John Alvin poster designs, but there’s a reason they went unused- in the end, the minimalist tease is so much more effective). And while we’ve seen a hint of what Jurassic World‘s dinocircle would look like — back when the film was first announced, it came with a cold metal update on the original icon — that wasn’t nearly its final form. Was it too simplistic? Too close to this near-identical design from a 2003 Jurassic Park-building sim game? Who knows? This new teaser poster for Jurassic World, however, just might be the finished product. Revealed to the world by director Colin Trevorrow on Twitter, it’s everything one would expect from a Jurassic poster — classic shape on a sparse background, with a logo to boot: “The Park is Open.” Hopefully future posters will be just as plainly informative about the park-to-be: “Tickets On Sale Now.” “Visit The Snack Bar For Some Jurassic Fries.” “Hey, Is That […]

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Sony Pictures

Once upon a time, Johnny Depp was a reasonably sane actor with only a few zany hats in his personal collection. Once upon a time, the name “Pirates of the Caribbean” conjured up animatronic seafarers, skeletons guarding plastic treasure and that skipping track playing “yo-ho yo-ho” over and over in a dark tunnel until it was time to leave and get a delicious churro. That all changed in 2003 when Disney realized turning their park rides into movies was a valid business venture (thanks for the Haunted Mansion memories, Eddie Murphy), and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was born. Four movies — and Depp staggering around doing his best Keith Richards impression (and an actual Keith Richards eventually too) — later we can now look forward to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. It’s certainly about time that they used that phrase, isn’t it? It’s the first warning you get while taking your dingy down the river into the tunnels of Disney’s most treacherous ride, and it’s definitely worth heeding. And now, the person likely to be putting that motto into practice for Captain Jack Sparrow in Depp’s fifth go-round as the drunkest, cunningest commander of the high seas, is noted portrayer of villains, Javier Bardem.

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Sony Pictures / ScreenGems

As it has been decreed by the Ancient Ones, all that was once film must now be TV. So it should be no surprise that, as of Sunday, we’ve got two more film franchises to be thrown on Hollywood’s towering pile of movie-to-TV ventures: Resident Evil and Underworld. From Variety comes the news on Resident Evil- Constantin Films, the production company behind the franchise, told the publication they’re shifting Resident Evil to the small screen after the sixth film (tentatively titled Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) comes and goes. Then, over at IGN (which we picked up on via Digital Spy) came similar news from Underworld guru Len Wiseman- first a spin-off without Kate Beckinsale, then a main series film with Kate Beckinsale, then everyone packs up and moves to television. Wiseman also said the words “expanding” and “universe” in regards to all this new Underworld, but let’s slam that particular Pandora’s Box shut for now. With these two, we’re getting into hokey sitcom-level coincidence territory- two different studios revealing new TV shows, having done so on the exact same day with the exact same movie. Because Underworld and Resident Evil are practically twins- if you were to read the words, “Female hero in skintight leather blasts holes in horror movie monsters with dual-wielded pistols, then takes a break to marry her director who’s given the entire series a mild blue color filter,” you would have zero way of guessing which franchise we’re talking about.

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Labyrinth Movie

By announcing Billy Crystal‘s involvement with Which Witch, a new animated film that has him taking on starring, writing and producing duties, the Jim Henson Co. quietly slipped in just a few other, minor items. The studio, which is now run by the late Jim Henson’s children Lisa and Brian Henson, is ramping up its feature film side after focusing on television ventures for some time; and four films involving beloved Henson properties are on the way. While the rights to The Muppets were sold to Disney in 2004 — and those rights have definitely not gone to waste — the Henson Co. has enough franchises in their arsenal to pad their slate. According to Variety, aside from Which Witch, the studio is working on a Fraggle Rock film, a sequel to Dark Crystal, a movie based on Emmet Otter (there was a 1970s TV movie, Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas) and a film centered in the world of Labyrinth. They also optioned the rights to “Frog and Toad” in 2012, but there hasn’t been any news on that front since.

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Marvel

The Internet hasn’t entirely exploded yet, but it might. The plans for Marvel’s much anticipated ‘Phase 3′ of cinematic universe adventures is beginning to take shape and it all seems to revolve around the competitive side of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. With the news that Robert Downey Jr. is in talks to take a much larger role in Captain America 3, it’s a confirmation that Marvel may unleash a version of its “Civil War” series, based on a 2006 run by Mark Millar. It’s a development that should have the most hardcore fans very excited. For everyone else, let’s explore for a moment how cool this might be.

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The Professional

It looks like the totally hypothetical Cinematic Teen Hit Girl Club is getting a brand new member. Deadline reports that The Giver star Odeya Rush has signed on to star in Hunter’s Prayer, a Jonathan Mostow-directed action-thriller about “a young girl who teams up with the assassin hired to wipe out her family to find the person responsible.” Oh, a buddy flick! Sam Worthington is already on board to play said assassin, who helps Rush’s Ella “navigate the tangled web of hitmen and thugs on her quest for justice.” And we thought you could just PayPal hitmen money.  Rush now joins a subgenre of films that center on guns, girls and (screw any attempts at alliteration) just plain illegal activities. And yet, said subgenre isn’t nearly as bankable as it once (oh so briefly) was, so why do we keep getting films about gun-toting teens with attitude? (Don’t say, “because it looks cool!”)  

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IndieGoGo

There are things that are spooky and scary and go bump in the night, monsters and demons and specters and whispering voices– the things that haunt your nightmares as a child and give you that foreboding feeling that you’ve tried to get rid of as an adult. And also there’s Iggy Pop. He’s definitely in there somewhere, probably between the boogeyman and saying “Bloody Mary” three times at a slumber party. That sounds about right. The Godfather of Punk, who is no stranger to the film world, has teamed up with Dario Argento to morph into a monster that probably hasn’t crossed most of your minds for some time, given the fact that there have been approximately 8,000 Dracula and Frankenstein adaptations to digest. Argento has launched an Indigogo campaign to turn Iggy Pop into the titular monster of The Sandman – a “Christmas horror” film, which they are careful to remind readers is about the “REAL Sandman” (possibly a pointed reference to a little Neil Gaiman project?)

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Lego Batman

Time to rip off this Band-Aid: The Lego Movie 2 is being postponed. I know how you must feel — take as much time as you need to fume, or sob, or ragepunch a hole through a few fully built LEGO sets. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Lego Movie 2 is being pushed into some shadowy date beyond 2017, because — and here’s the good news (our anti-Band-Aid) — their priority is now a Lego Batman movie. Feel better?

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The Mortal Instruments

Talk about immortality! (Sorry.) The Hollywood Reporter shares that The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare’s bestselling and beloved YA book franchise (that first started as Harry Potter fan fiction, lest we forget), is bound for the small screen. And, no, you’re not misremembering things here – the series has already made one attempt at adaptation, with last year’s underperforming feature film, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The Lily Collins-starring feature was originally imagined as a franchise starter, but the film made less than $32m at the American box office (interestingly, the feature did make a grand total of $90.5m with worldwide receipts, but such a take still puts it in the bottom half of YA adaptations). Although there has been some chatter about lensing a second feature, it now appears that these Instruments are pointing in a different direction. Constantin Film, the rights-holding production company, will now revisit the series as a “high-end drama series,” with writer and producer Ed Decter on board as showrunner. 

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little house on the prairie cast

Sometimes TV series adaptations stir up something furious in us, a sudden supercharged desire to destroy the unholy abomination before it taints something we love (ahem, The Equalizer). Other times, they don’t seem like such a bad idea, as is the case with Little House on the Prairie. In our current climate, where people (me) are going around tagging TV adaptations as “unholy abominations” that should probably be purged from society, we could all use a palette cleanser. And there’s none better than Little House, a series as plain, tall and uniformly wholesome as TV could ever be. Or maybe not, because as The Hollywood Reporter has announced, the Little House movie has picked up Sean Durkin as its director. The same Sean Durkin whose only feature credit is Martha Marcy May Marlene, which is also about a quaint little family living out in the wilderness — only Durkin’s version has a few more instances of rape and psychological torture. For those screamingly obvious reasons, he’s an odd pick for Little House, but the last director Sony had lined up for the project was just as bizarre: David Gordon Green, whose indie dramas and freaky comedies with Danny McBride have just as little to do with gentle pioneer families and the soft rustle of the country wind through your prairie bonnet.

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Tomorrowland

If we’re being completely honest, we’ll do just about anything George Clooney says. Last year alone he saved art from the Nazis in The Monuments Men and inspired Sandra Bullock to get her ass back to Earth with a pep talk from the great beyond in Gravity. So when he shows up in this Tomorrowland trailer and asks us to come along with him to “a secret place where nothing is impossible,” we’re so in…

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Final Destination 3 rollercoaster

High school is a rough time for everybody. There’s piles of homework to get done while having a part time job, dealing with your first relationships and broken hearts, trying to nail down that perfect extracurricular record, wondering if you’re cool enough (or punk enough) and that whole deal where a psychopath killer wants to axe you and everyone you know. Ugh, nobody understands teens. This was covered in The Fault in Our Stars, right? Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, the writing duo who penned Neighbors, are bringing us a teen horror comedy called Thrill Ride, which Cohen will also direct. In the grandest of traditions, a graduating class of truly atrocious teenagers set off for their Senior Night at an amusement park, which their school has generously rented out for the entire night (mine was at Disneyland, where legend has it some kids dropped acid on the Matterhorn and in a later year an intrepid couple got kicked out for having sex inside the Haunted Mansion). Because the first rule of Senior Night is there are no rules, mayhem reigns and the kids have some good ol’ fashioned fun taking advantage of the park with no lines and nobody telling them what to do. Let’s preface this with the note that the school is inhabited by terrible, ruthless monsters, as in it’s being described as a “particularly cruel high school where bullying has become the norm.” Suddenly, the merriment is over and the kids start dying in a spectacular fashion that becomes more […]

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Bryan Cranston in Godzilla

You remember Bryan Cranston, right? White guy, about average height, tendency to shave his head and scowl out meth-related menace from behind a bushy goatee? Since Breaking Bad ended last year, Cranston’s been floating from project to project, picking up a role here and there but nothing truly memorable since his hair grew back and his perma-grimace softened. Cranston’s added another post-Breaking Bad role to his list: The Infiltrator. Like the title implies, Cranston will play a guy who infiltrates. In this case, that guy would be the real-life Robert Mazur, a Customs and Excise agent who went undercover into the highest circles of Columbian drug cartels, specifically the Medellin cartel headed up by Pablo Escobar. So the absolute highest of the high in South American drug circles. Based on Mazur’s autobiography of the same name, The Infiltrator will be helmed by Brad Furman, who’s got a solid working relationship with Cranston after the two did The Lincoln Lawyer together. Ellen Brown Furman will be handling the screenplay.

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Casey Affleck

It’s no secret that Casey Affleck hails from a little town in Massachusetts called Boston. Like his brother (Batman), he’s never been one to be quiet about reaping his hometown pride and defending its honor. So it makes perfect sense that Affleck has signed on to produce and star in Boston Strong, a film chronicling the days following the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Boston Strong, based on the book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge, will be penned by the writers behind The Fighter, Eric Johnson and Paul Tamsay.  Johnson and Tamsay optioned the rights to the story in July 2013 and were undecided on making a film or a television series; in April 2014 there were plans for a miniseries, but that has since fallen through and Boston Strong is back on as a film.

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OJ Trial of the Century

Ryan Murphy, pioneer of the drastically-different-yet-eerily-similar Glee and American Horror Story (they’re both just so cheery), has announced his latest TV venture. And it’s something just as offbeat: a 10-episode TV adaptation of Jeffrey Toobin‘s “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which will form the first season of his newly minted American Crime Story spin-off series. Which we all saw coming, obviously. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy is recruiting some top courtroom talent for what’s being titled American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (screenwriters of The People vs. Larry Flynt) are scripting the first two episodes, while Murphy will direct an unknown amount. The People v. O.J. Simpson, which started off as a Fox miniseries before being shipped over to FX, will focus on the trial — and the hodgepodge of media crazy that followed it — from the perspective of the lawyers. And as you can assume from its American Something Story moniker, the series is an anthology, with each successive season covering a different real-life crime. Presumably others as hotly-debated as the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.

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Robin Hood Men in Tights

The criteria for “does this movie deserve its own expanded universe?” keep on plummeting. Way back in the wilds of 2008, forging an expanded movie-verse required some kind of source material that was already an expanded universe. Marvel Comics and DC Comics properties and precisely nothing else. Then came the Universal Monsterverse, which was okay because the studio had already done it before (starting with 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man). Now all you really need for an expanded universe are two things: a general action/adventure theme and more than one character. Does “Robin Hood” fit both? Sure! A “Robin Hood” expanded universe it is, then. The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Sony is currently forking over seven figures ($1m against $2m, which in studio-ese means “$1m now, another $1m if we actually make the movie) for a new take on “Robin Hood” from writers Cory Goodman (Priest) and Jeremy Lott. Entitled Hood, it’s described as tonally similar to the Fast & Furious and Mission: Impossible movies, only set in a world where the fastest vehicles are horses and the coolest spy tech is the old arrow-on-a-string zipline (exasperation aside, an extended ziplining spy sequence could actually be kind of incredible). And of course, Hood was pitched using the words “universe” and “Avengers.”

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The Purge Anarcy 01

In 2013, The Purge introduced us to the whimsical concept of a United States of America with one day every March when anarchy reigns. It’s a respectful, ordered anarchy — don’t get that wrong — where these blessed citizens can take out their frustrations with each other and their society in a government-sanctioned 24 hours of murder and mayhem. All crime, no matter how small or how massively atrocious, is legal and encouraged. There’s really no time like springtime. The film ends with the valuable lesson that maybe you should keep an eye on your impressionable, emotional children during Purge night and at least switch the security system code on them before things start getting out of hand (boundaries, kids — listen to your parents). Then came a second film, The Purge: Anarchy, with the terrors and thrills of the holiday continuing. And now, since our intrepid citizens of the near-future have just a blast on that second Purge night, it makes perfect sense that a third installment is in development. The Purge 3? The Purg3? Let’s go with that.

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