Jon Spaihts

Deep in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, a transport vessel stocked with cryogenically preserved humans suffers a minor malfunction: Keanu Reeves is unfrozen ninety years too early. Now, we’re all familiar with the urban legend that Reeves is actually an immortal being from a time long ago (and if not, please educate yourself at Keanuisimmortal.com), but the upcoming Passengers is science fiction, and thus allows for a fictional Reeves that will die of natural causes within nine decades or so. So what’s a space-Keanu Reeves to do? Well, according to Deadline, he’ll be defrosting Rachel McAdams for a strange new kind of science fiction-y love story. Passengers has the potential to be truly fascinating: the screenplay was written by Jon Spaihts, who wrote the original, Damon Lindelof-free draft of Prometheus, and will be helmed by Brian Kirk, who’s cut his teeth on a long list of TV shows including Game of Thrones, Luther and Boardwalk Empire. And while McAdams may have an endless stream of tattered romantic comedies in her wake, her roles in Midnight in Paris and To the Wonder should be proof enough that she can handle something a little headier. Now, the only thing left to question is whether Reeves can emote well enough to simulate love.

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muschietti

Universal has been making money off of its monster franchises for about as long as movies have existed, so there was never any question as to whether or not we’d eventually get another reboot of The Mummy. There was definitely a huge question surrounding what another crack at The Mummy would look like though. Would it be a moody, fairly contained film like the Boris Karloff-starring original from 1932? Or a big budget adventure tale like those Brendan Fraser-starring films from the late 90s and early 2000s? Well, when it was announced that Total Recall reboot and Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman was going to be in charge of the project around a year ago, it seemed inevitable that it was going to be much more a case of the latter, and people were not happy. Who the heck wants to see a glossy, generic movie about an ancient, withered creature, after all? But, thankfully for everyone, Wiseman’s stay with The Mummy franchise was short-lived, and now it’s looking like a director who could give us something much closer to the former is being recruited to come on board and save the day.

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Whether you loved Prometheus or hated it with every fiber of your being, you can’t deny the fact that it was at least successful in continuing a cinematic conversation about it long after it debuted in theaters. After the film’s Blu-ray release in October, the original script was leaked online, sparking a slew of articles to be written about the differences between it and the final film. (For a look at FSR’s take on that, check out J.F. Sargent’s The 8 Worst Parts of Prometheus Made Sense In the Original Script.) This week, coinciding with the leaking of that script, we’re going straight to the horse’s mouths about the writing of Prometheus. As interesting as Ridley Scott is, let’s lend an ear to the writers of the film as they discuss the differences in the many drafts of the film. If you haven’t seen the film yet, be warned: there are many spoilers in the discussion below. And on to the commentary…

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Simply put, Prometheus is the most divisive film of the summer. The Internet’s anticipation had been at an all-time high for years leading up to its release, so when the film didn’t end up being “the greatest thing ever!” more than a few people came away disappointed. From a wonky third act to a few head-scratching character decisions, much of the film’s problems were laid upon co-writer Damon Lindelof‘s Twitter feed. In terms of what didn’t work, many labeled the movie “Lostian.” Now, Lindelof is discussing those issues and critics, with the exception of the ones that actually matter. There’s been some legitimate criticisms made over Ridley Scott‘s return to science fiction, but Lindelof doesn’t appear to be all that interested in discussing them…or perhaps no one has simply asked him about them yet. In an interview with the SpeakEasy blog at the Wall Street Journal, Lindelof (kind of) talked about the reception of Prometheus. Unfortunately, he never went beyond declaring the divisiveness a case of “I love ambiguity and you guys just, I dunno, don’t!” Even as a big fan of Prometheus who has no problems with the film’s ambiguity, Lindelof’s stance comes off mildly dismissive of the film’s biggest critics.

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“Who doesn’t love an orgy, Jack?,” Prometheus co-writer Damon Lindelof asked me, possibly being the first person to ask me such a thing. But, really, who could disagree with Mr. Lindelof? Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi opus is filled with all kinds of beings, making for the vicious and high-minded brand of orgy. What does the film have to say about if we, our creators, and our creations all got together and “partied” for a few days? In short: we’d eat each other. Prometheus is a story of characters making mostly questionable decisions, leading to horrific events. Even at the end when a character acknowledges humanity’s greatest flaw, that said character continues to do what they all get wrong in the first place, which is: asking too many questions. The film is about the dangers of searching for answers, a hurdle Lindelof, as a writer, has famously faced before. Here’s what the screenwriter had to say about the dark and hopeful side of Prometheus, the egoism of David, and the Mad Libs-esque storytelling he’s drawn to in our spoiler-heavy discussion:

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Ridley Scott Alien DVD Commentary

Prometheus is Ridley Scott‘s latest magnum opus, a groundbreaking cinematic achievement beyond our wildest imaginations. At least that’s what we’re all hoping for with the film. At the very least we’ll take a return to the sci-fi terror Scott unleashed on audiences earlier in his career, but Prometheus is a film moviegoers all over will be talking about. We’d love to hear Scott talk about it, probably along with screenwriter Damen Lindelof. We’ll take Jon Spaihts just because he comes with the package deal, but it’ll be a commentary that delves into the depths each man had to go to craft yet another legendary, sci-fi tale. That will be amazing. Anyway, here’s the commentary for Alien. Seriously, though. How can you introduce Alien?

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The site’s most anticipated film of the summer, Prometheus, has long been kept under lock and key for sometime now. “Is it an Alien prequel or isn’t it?” Obviously, the film shares stylistic and world ties to Alien, but would we see the origin of the Xenomorph? That’s a question which remains a mystery, a big question mark that the film’s co-writer Jon Spaihts may or not have taken on with his work. The questions Spaihts, director Sir Ridley Scott, and Damon Lindelof are exploring are clear: searching for answers we should not have the answer for, what it means to be human, and the mystery of the Space Jockey. Answering some of those major questions can’t be easy, but, as Jon Spaihts put it, although Prometheus will shed light on some burning questions fandom has, it could possibly create new ones as well. Here is what screenwriter Jon Spaihts had to say about building a whole world, the thematic and visual importance of a female protagonist, and why Prometheus is more 28 Days Later than 28 Weeks Later:

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Over a year ago it was announced that director Gabriele Muccino (Pursuit of Happiness) was going to helm Passengers, a long-in-development sci-fi love story. The film has been at Keanu Reeves‘s own Company Films, with Reeves also intending to star in the project. Now we know Muccino will not be making Passengers, as he was never officially set to direct the film to begin with (though he was once attached to the project), according to writer Jon Spaihts. For those of you who are unaware of Passengers, our Cole Abauis so eloquently described it as being “focused on a poor astronaut who wakes up almost a century before everyone else in hyper-sleep, so he also dooms a beautiful woman to loneliness so that he doesn’t have to grow a beard and slowly go crazy. Or so he can woo her with his flowery prose and energetic line delivery.” Earlier today I spoke with Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts, who gave us an update on the project. For starters, Spaihts says the film has gotten a financier and may not be too far off, “We are well into development. We have a marvelous director, a financier that stepped up very generously, and we’re making final tweaks and polishes. I suspect you’ll hear announcements sooner rather than later.”

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Universal’s classic movie monsters have always been an important part of their history, and a profitable part of their stable of trademarks. Normally they don’t let too many years go by without making a movie featuring a the wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, or a mummy. So, it should probably come as no surprise that they’re currently looking for ways to further extend their Mummy franchise, the latest incarnation of which started with Stephen Sommers’s 1999 film that starred Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. Variety reports that they’re looking to do a reboot of the whole franchise, and in order to get things started, they’ve hired writer Jon Spaihts to come up with a script. Spaihts isn’t really a widely known name as of yet, but considering he’s got a co-writing credit on Ridley Scott’s upcoming project that’s set in the Alien universe, Prometheus, that’s probably going to change pretty quickly.

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