Drew Goddard

Daredevil

So Edgar Wright won’t direct Ant-Man for Marvel after years of developing it with them. Let’s mourn the lost potential and, since he already made a superhero comic book film with Scott Pilgrim, celebrate his freedom to go make something independent of a well-established universe. Since we’re already doing one or the other (or a little bit of both), we might as well amplify the efforts now that Drew Goddard won’t be running the new Daredevil for Netflix. Latino-Review broke the news on the heels of Wright’s exit that the absurdly tall Cabin in the Woods writer/director will slide away from showrunner status to become a consultant for the blind superhero’s new adventures. Taking his place, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Goddard focuses all of his energy on Sony’s Sinister Six.

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Andrew Weir’s “The Martian” was marketed as being like Cast Away meets Apollo 13. But the movie version is certainly going to be compared to Gravity. The premise of the novel sees an astronaut stranded alone on Mars as he struggles to survive until a NASA rescue mission arrives. Since he’s at least on ground, we can say it has a bit of Moon or even better Robinson Crusoe on Mars. But The Martian won’t have a monkey, and also Gravity is such a big deal after raking in so much money and Oscars that 20th Century Fox will be hoping for something more along the lines of Alfonso Cuaron’s outer space disaster thriller, especially if it’s even half as successful. Fortunately, two new valuable assets have joined the mission. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ridley Scott is set to return to space for the adaptation, which was scripted by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield). Goddard was also supposed to direct, but he’s too tied up with helming Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man spin-off The Sinister Six. So Scott will take over, and not even those disappointed with Prometheus can deny this is a terrific fit. On board with Scott is confirmed star Matt Damon. And this time he’s all rock-marooned without his Gerry pal Casey Affleck. Scott will also produce the movie along with Simon Kinberg (Elysium) and Aditya Sood (Let’s Be Cops). 

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Sinister-Six-Amazing-Spider-Man-2

We’re one step closer to the inevitable fiery collapse of the comic book movie. Maybe. Sony, one of the four studios (count ‘em: Marvel, Sony, Fox, Warner Bros.) currently building an expanded comic book movie universe, has just put another piece into its gargantuan, multi-movie puzzle. That piece? Drew Goddard. Who, technically, had already been ensnared in Sony’s many-Spiderman’d web — he was announced as the writer of Sinister Six back when Sony first rolled out their cinematic Spidey-verse. But now there’s more, as Variety reports Goddard will be directing Sinister Six as well. Goddard’s first and only directorial effort was The Cabin in the Woods, a film that took typical slasher movie conventions, whisked them together with LSD and then laid them all out in a jumble (or something to that effect). Sinister Six is the first big superhero movie in the Big Superhero Movie era that doesn’t have any superheroes (at least, as far as anyone knows). So a director with a knack for outside-the-box thinking is a director well-suited to the project.

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Sinister Six

This is excellent. Sony announced late last night via their viral ElectroArrives website that they — not to be outdone by Warners — are also looking to copy Marvel’s recipe for bank truck deliveries. Only they get to do it with a Marvel property. The interesting twist is that they want to do it with villains instead of heroes. Up first are Venom and The Sinister Six, swirling around in the ether even as ASM3 and ASM4 are also being talked about. However, they aren’t exactly doing it piecemeal; Drew Goddard, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Jeff Pinker and Ed Solomon are all working together to create a cohesive universe out of a comic book world that doesn’t easily lend itself to it. If those names make you smile while shivering, you’re having the right response. For more conflicting feelings, Kurtzman is directing Venom from his own script co-written with Orci and Pinker (with probably zero chance they’ll call on this guy for creative input) while Goddard will be writing and directing The Sinister Six.

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drewgoddard

There’s eventually going to come a day that Marvel Studios is going to make a hiring decision regarding their live action superhero properties that the geek community is going to disagree with. Fortunately for all of us, today is not that day, because a report out of The Wrap is saying that they’ve found the man they want to write their upcoming Daredevil series for Netflix, they’re currently in negotiations to get him signed to take the job, and—my god—they couldn’t have possibly picked a more perfect person to offer the gig to. Seeing as Daredevil is the most recognized and most loved of the four characters Marvel announced they were making 13-episode Netflix series for, his series was the one that was destined to get the most scrutiny, and his was the one that was going to have to recruit the most exciting name to pen the scripts in order for fan enthusiasm to continue to build rather than wane under the uncertainty of the creative direction the world’s reddest superhero would be going in. Well, taking those pressure into consideration, Marvel wasted no time in going out and getting the TV writer who has maybe the most nerd-cred of anyone with television experience right now—Drew Goddard.

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Now that Marc Forster’s World War Z has hit theaters (earning both a respectable-enough $66M since its Friday release and a newly-revitalized sequel plan), it’s finally appropriate to really dig deeply into what the troubled production’s many changes meant to the final product. Well-publicized delays, a bloated budget, and questions about the relationship between its director and the rest of its team have all plagued the film, but the most enduring question about World War Z has long centered on late-breaking script edits that chopped off an entire act and reimagined not only how the film ended, but how the emotional aspects of the film worked to make that new ending work. Of course, there are spoilers ahead if you have not yet seen the film. Last week, we finally got some insight into the long-buzzed-about scripting changes made to the film by Damon Lindelof, Drew Goddard, and (to a lesser extent) Christopher McQuarrie. While it was no secret that the final act of the film had been wildly altered by the three’s post-original-filming contributions (millions of dollars of physical reshoots will remove the secrecy from just about anything), the finer details of those contributions were not readily available until Mike Ryan at The Huffington Post got word from a source about what exactly was changed, edited, and added by the scribes. In short, the entirety of the third act was added (and the original, “Battle of Russia”-centric act was removed) and a related set of smaller scenes that pepper […]

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World War Z Movie

The problems involved with getting Max Brooks’ “World War Z” to translate fluidly to the big screen in the Marc Forster-directed and Brad Pitt-starring film of the same name have been documented seemingly since the film was first announced, with a significant emphasis placed on scripting troubles that eventually turned into final product troubles that necessitated massive reshoots. Even in its early stages, the script for World War Z seemed plagued; as far back as April of 2010, a long-promised final script by Matthew Michael Carnahan (as originally written by J. Michael Straczynski) was continually dangled over both fans and the production itself. Even when that incarnation of the script was (finally) finished, World War Z still wasn’t ready for the big screen – though it was eventually filmed as such. After filming was completed last year, the scripting problems of the film made themselves so obvious to the Paramount brass that the studio brought in not one, not two, but three well-known scribes to “crack” the ending of the film – a rescripted final act that led to weeks of reshoots, millions of dollars spent, and the complete scrapping of a reportedly epic battle set in Russia. A banger of an article written by Laura M. Holson in the June issue of Vanity Fair has so far presented the most wide and researched look at the troubles that ate away at the zombie film, but even that piece wasn’t able to answer the big question – who wrote what? […]

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“In a perfect world, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ would be a lock for a Best Original Screenplay nomination.” – Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit It must be frustrating to write for an awards blog (aka an Oscar blog, since the Academy Awards are always the main focus of these sites), and know that the best films of the year are not necessarily the ones that will be nominated. Magidson’s comment above, from his April review of The Cabin in the Woods, sort of sums that up. But at the same time I don’t know if the movie truly deserves the statement. Something to consider, semantically speaking, is that the Academy’s award is not for “Most Original Screenplay” but “Best Original Screenplay.” This isn’t to say that the script, by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, isn’t well-written, and you’re welcome to argue its case for a nomination. Is it the best-written original screenplay of the year, though? All my time as a movie lover and watcher of the Oscars, including the past few years of hate-watching, the original screenplay category is one I’ve constantly been excited about. It’s the place where you could find some of the more clever and creative efforts, including a number of films that might not get other nominations. You could find a good number of interesting foreign films outside of the foreign-language award ghetto (such as Bunuel‘s two nominations for writing), as well as an interesting showing of mainstream and blockbuster fare, especially in the […]

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Since audiences feasted their eyes on The Cabin in the Woods earlier this year, many have waited for the day they could listen to the commentary. To hear Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon wax nostalgic on horror and let us in on the secrets behind the making of this highly inventive movie would truly be a joy. Now, the DVD/Blu-Ray has been released for this film that’s sure to be on a number of top 10 lists, and not just those of horror fans. So sit back, click off the lights – your computer should light up enough so you can read – and check out all the things we learned listening to this commentary for The Cabin in the Woods. Cue the harbinger.

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Drinking Games

Earlier this year, Lionsgate finally released the much-anticipated horror deconstruction film The Cabin in the Woods. While Joss Whedon got more press for his involvement in that little independent film known as The Avengers, this project with director Drew Goddard turned the heads of many genre fans. (And for the most part, those heads stayed on their bodies.) The Cabin in the Woods hits DVD and Blu-ray this week, offering some keen insights into this meta-movie about five college kids facing untold terrors on a weekend getaway. Even those who aren’t fans of the genre can find something to appreciate while they watch this film, so drink up, and let’s get this party started!

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What’s most bizarre about Marc Forster‘s Brad Pitt-starring adaptation of Max Brooks‘ novel “World War Z” is not all the bad mojo swirling around the film’s production – including a release date shove and weeks of reshoots with “help” from Damon Lindelof – it’s the fact that a book that looks back on a devastating zombie apocalypse appears to be a film that tracks such a breakout as it’s occurring. Which is probably one of the reasons that the beleaguered production of World War Z is now apparently in need of a new ending for the film. Here’s your ending, guys – the zombies win (and Cuba becomes a super power power and everyone in North Korea is gone and most people are, you know, dead). Not so hard, right? Tell that to Paramount. According to Deadline Copenhagen, while Lindelof “cracked a potential new ending of the film” (we can only assume it included not tying up a bunch of narrative threads and forcing the characters to make a a series of increasingly stupid decisions), it was actually Drew Goddard who did most of the actual new writing (thank heaven for small favors). However, even the involvement of Goddard isn’t enough to get this thing copacetic, because the outlet also reports that the project might need yet another writer to sew it up.

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While the year isn’t even half over yet, it’s going to be a hard climb for anyone to topple the summer Joss Whedon is having. If The Avengers box office wasn’t enough to give him the best summer ever (it is), his co-writing and producing on The Cabin in the Woods might be the nudge to put him over the top with most fans. Whedon has a few projects in the pipeline (he wrote the upcoming In Your Eyes and is directing his take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing), but what if you need more Whedon right now!? Turn your eyes to the page, dear friend. Titan Books currently has three Joss-related offerings ready for your perusal. We took a look at them to give you the straight dope on whether they’re just for super-fans or if everyone can enjoy. After all, not everyone is a huge fan of Whedon. Indeed, personally, I’m at best 50/50 on the guy, finding serious flaws within some his work, absolutely loving some of it, and having not ever watched a good chunk of it. The following contains spoilers for The Cabin in the Woods and Joss Whedon’s career.

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Culture Warrior

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Cabin in the Woods Carol J. Clover‘s 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws was one of the rare academic books to become a hit amongst a larger, dedicated movie-going public. The book introduced the term “final girl” (the virginal “good” female who often becomes the final victim or lone survivor at during the final act of a horror film) into the zeitgeist, and it’s an idea that seems so obvious, and is so pervasive throughout the genre, that the fact that a similar term had never been popularized before was simply confounding. It’s also the central organizing conceit to Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods, the most overt act of genre deconstruction to enter multiplexes in quite some time. The final girl does not emerge in Cabin as it does in its normal generic form (as a narrative inevitability, a cliché), but rather Clover’s coined conceptualization of “the final girl” encompassingly structures the film – it is the critique of generic conceit, rather than the routine employment of a generic norm, that acts as Cabin’s narrative impetus.

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When we’re introduced to Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford‘s white-collar characters in the opening scene of The Cabin in the Woods, it becomes wildly apparent Drew Goddard‘s film is not your typical horror picture. They’re tasked with delivering an exceptional amount of exposition, which Goddard and Joss Whedon let them deliver with a pure sense of glee. Unlike Jenkins’s previous horror film performance, The Father in Let Me In, this is a character who is about as Average Joe as they come, and he just happens to have a not-so-Average-Joe occupation. Here’s what Jenkins had to say about comedic exposition, the brilliance of unexpected filmmaking, and why his character Ted in Burn After Reading deserved getting axed to death:

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Genre dissections like The Cabin in the Woods are risky ventures. When filmmakers are clearly intent on both telling a story and offering a self-reflexive statement, there’s a significant chance that one impulse could overwhelm the other. The possible results — an ineffectual drama or a suffocating, pretentious satire — are not pleasant. So it’s fortunate that Cabin director/co-writer Drew Goddard, working closely with producer/fellow writer Joss Whedon, manages the tricky balancing act. His long-awaited horror movie, which has sat on the shelf for more than two years thanks to upheaval at original distributor MGM, is smart and fun, packing unexpected surprises while cleverly recalibrating genre expectations. The film’s about a group of five archetypal college friends — among them the jock figure (Chris Hemsworth), the stoner (Fran Kranz) and the “virgin” (Kristen Connolly) — who head to an isolated cabin for the proverbial weekend getaway. Naturally, something goes terribly wrong while they’re there, but it’s surely not what you think.

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Drew Goddard’s highly anticipated horror film The Cabin in the Woods goes into wide release this weekend, and everyone should make a point to see it. Forget The Hunger Games; this is the cinematic experience of the spring that should drive people to the theaters. By now, you’ve read a lot – possibly too much – about The Cabin in the Woods, and everyone from the director and studio to fans on Twitter are complaining about spoilers flying through the interwebs. In the interest of keeping secrets secret, here are seven spoiler-free reasons to see The Cabin in the Woods this weekend.

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Kristen Connolly in

What can be said about a movie that you’re not supposed to talk about? A lot, apparently. Recently, Kristen Connolly, star of the new genre-bending horror film Cabin in the Woods sat down with us to talk about her role in the film and the production in general. She also let us in on a few secrets about her earlier career in soap operas and what she wears to cook eggs in the morning. At Kristen’s side was director Drew Goddard to throw in his two cents about how the rumor mill has been treating his movie and why he doesn’t like movie trailers or even posters. And there’s blood. Lots and lots of blood.

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Last month was eclectic. We got Disney‘s like-it-or-hate-it box-office bomb, a sweet and violent comedy following the goons of hockey, one ass-kicking and nonstop action picture, an 80s TV show adaptation that was better than it originally had any right to be, and a Tarsem kids’ film that defied most expectations based on that horror story of a trailer. A pretty strong March, and that’s not even counting The Hunger Games. Before we head into the unpredictable summer movie season, we got 30 days filled with a plenty of excellent and probably not-so-excellent releases coming out. Here are 8 1/2 movies worth seeing this month.

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The Cabin in the Woods isn’t much of a deconstruction of the horror genre. In actuality, it’s a love letter from writer/director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon to the genre. Some have labeled the horror-comedy as being in the vein of the Scream series, but The Cabin in the Woods should not be mistaken as a satire. Aside from a few winks here and there, Goddard stays away from smug self-referential storytelling. He tells his own story, rather than making fun of others. Forget the conventions you know about the horror genre, because what you know won’t help you say “I saw that coming!” while watching The Cabin in the Woods. It takes turns we haven’t seen before, making the film all the more difficult to discuss, especially with Drew Goddard. Here’s what Goddard had to say about The Cabin In the Woods and making out with wolves:

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Five young, attractive friends take a weekend trip to a remote cabin deep in the woods, but after a night of partying and a dark discovery in the basement they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives against a nightmarish enemy. As well as you think you know this story, you are wrong. Drew Goddard’s The Cabin In the Woods (co-written by Joss Whedon) takes a stereotypical horror film set-up and does extraordinary things with it. It features more than a few jump scares and creepy scenes, a hefty amount of laughs, and a near-brilliant take on a deceptively common storyline. It’s that last part that serves as the core of the film’s greatness, and instead of being just a simple twist or revelation it opens up a whole new way of seeing the genre. Please note, I’ve avoided true spoilers in the review below. That said, there are some elements that may seem spoilery but actually aren’t. If you’ve seen even a single trailer this is a safe read.

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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