Movie News After Dark: Spielberg and Abrams, Tree of Life, Avatar 2, Bioshock and The Fuzzy Pack

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up column that didn’t mean to take the night off last night, but was forced into it by some “internet connectivity issues.” Which means, plainly, that its internet provider sucks sometimes. And things happen. Like trains — sometimes they get blown up in small town in Ohio, unleashing unknown terrors upon small-town, late-70s folk. Shit happens, y’know?

My confession of the evening is that I was able to see Super 8 this morning. Reviews are under embargo for now, so I can’t share too much, but know this: whatever level of excitement you hold for it, you’re probably on the right track. Moving on, but not too far, Empire has a great interview with producer Steven Spielberg and Spielberg Jr., director J.J. Abrams. You can check it out after the jump. It’s not spoilery, as Abrams is a good keeper of secrets. But if you want to go in completely untainted, skip ahead and there’s plenty of other news to read.

I love summer movies. The only thing I love almost as much as summer movies is summer movie previews. With that in mind, Eric D. Snider at has made a delightful little statement with his Obsessive Compulsive’s Guide to the Summer Movie Season. Did you realize that Gladiator is the only summer movie to ever win Best Picture? I didn’t.

When the new season of Mad Men finally does premiere, its first episode will have an untested, but familiar face in the director’s chair: Jon Hamm, better known as Don Draper. Hamm told TVLine that he decided to direct based on the job co-star John Slattery did with an episode last year.

Michael Mann may be taking on the story of Henry Ford II, Lee Iacocca, Carrol Shelby and Enzo Ferrari with his next project, Go Like Hell. It’s a racing drama that — for those who didn’t recognize those names — tells the story of the men behind the reinvention of the Ford Motor Company and the constructors of what modern racing is today.

The Total Recall reboot has added John Cho, making for the fourth casting acquisition in two days. Cho will play a smooth talking guy who convinces Colin Farrell to implant fantastic memories into his brain, leaving him convinced that he is a spy.

This weekend, much of America will have the opportunity to see Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life. And if you walk away with it struck with awe (and/or confusion), don’t fret. It’s a movie filled with big ideas, copious symbolism and a lot of quiet time. It’s also a quality story of a family dealing with the nature of the universe. For a better explanation, here is cast and producers on what exactly Tree of Life is about:

World War Z will shoot in June. That is excellent news no matter how you slice it. Best zombie text ever.

Sam Raimi is gearing up his Oz the Great and Powerful film, the prequel to the 1939 musical, The Wizard of Oz. Today it was revealed that Zach Braff will play James Franco’s assistant, the “loyal but under-appreciated” Frank.

Chris Meledandri and Illumination, the company behind the likes of Horton Hears a Who and Despicable Me, have closed a deal for the rights to make an animated film about Uglydoll, the simple yet odd looking plush toys that have swept the nation in recent years. Who knows where this will go, but my hope is that it will end up including this character from Despicable Me, because “It’s SO FLUFFY!”

Hero Complex has an interesting piece about the place where Avatar 2 will be shot. It’s a big warehouse where they will erect green screens and whatnot. Not quite the oceans of Pandora, but producer John Landau appears happier than a pig in slop regardless.

“We’ve had a lot of great talks with great people about it. We got close to great people, but you always have to have all of those pieces in place and that’s going to be very challenging. It’s a moving puzzle, but I’m going to be continually talking to people about it. It’s definitely something that’s still in the conversation.” That’s Irrational Games executive Ken Levine on the prospects of a Bioshock movie.

We close our night with another sneaky trailer for my most anticipated movie of the year (sorry, Mr. Bay). It’s called The Fuzzy Pack and it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, nor does it seem to capture any sort of the tone expressed with Green with Envy, but it does have our favorite furry friends doing a Michael Jackson lean at the end. Cryptic description? Perhaps. Are you going to watch it? I think we all know the answer to that one.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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