Steve Kloves

There has been a lot of speculation as to what director David Yates would work on now that he’s done capping off the Harry Potter franchise with four hugely successful films. He’s got a lot of offers on the table, a lot of irons in the fire, and up until this point it has mostly seemed like he would be able to choose whatever he wants to do. But that may no longer be the case. News coming out of Variety suggests that Yates isn’t going to be able to do whatever he wants to do…but whenever he wants to do. That’s right, Yates is teaming up with the BBC to create a big budget, big screen, Big McLarge Huge version of everyone’s favorite Time Lord, Doctor Who. If you don’t know what Doctor Who is, then man you must really hate things that are British. When you talk about long-running TV shows, you’re talking about Doctor Who. Running all the way from 1963-1989 and then spawning a revival in 2005, Doctor Who is a science fiction show that concerns itself largely with rubber aliens, time-traveling police boxes, scarves, and David Tennant’s floppy hair. So far 11 different men have portrayed the Sonic Screwdriver wielding Doctor, and if Yates gets his way, this new film will introduce a 12th.

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Well, huh. Warner Bros. has reportedly “chosen” (appropriate wording)Ben Affleck to adapt from the source material and direct The Stand, their crack at making a feature (or two…or three…) out of Stephen King‘s massive novel about a post-apocalyptic America, decimated by a government-designed super-flu. The book was previously turned into a somewhat lackluster television miniseries back in 1994 (and I do say “somewhat,” because there are things I liked about it, namely the casting of Jamey Sheridan as King’s constant character, the wicked Randall Flagg). I’m not generally a huge fan of King’s work, but I love The Stand because, it’s late on a Friday so I can work a little blue here, I fucking love post-apocalyptic fiction, and The Stand is a big, sweeping, totally awesome specimen of the genre. The studio reportedly picked Affleck for the job because they “love” him and because he’s “become a cornerstone director” for them. Of course, this film is a huge undertaking for any director, as the book is sprawling and layered and deep and really wonderful, but it’s also, again sprawling and layered and deep. Even King himself has doubted that the book could be made into a feature film. Affleck is turning into a great director, and he’s proven himself able to adapt material (all three of his features, including the currently-shooting Argo come from previously written material, including books and articles), but this is something else. The Stand is, again, a massive undertaking, and I cannot wait to see how this pans out, […]

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Let the hyperventilation begin. As if manna from Heaven being tossed down upon a weary people who didn’t want to see Akiva Goldsman and Ron Howard build The Dark Tower, Hitfix is reporting that screenwriter Steve Kloves and director David Yates are close to making a multi-film deal happen for The Stand over at Warners. As that sinks in, think of the success Kloves had writing the Harry Potter series, and the level of craftsmanship that David Yates brought to the table. It’s no doubt that Potter was a unique sort of lightning – given most of its energy from an unthinkable popularity around the world – but the movies had to deliver, and they most certainly did. Now, this pair has a chance to take (perhaps) Stephen King‘s most iconic work and deliver it the way it deserves – on the big screen. Mick Garris did as fine a job possible with a television mini-series format (and the smoldering tones of Gary Sinise), but it’s time to shift this story about a spiritually-prophesied viral outbreak that kills just about everyone into R-rated territory and make Randall Flagg a truly devastating villain.

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There’s a special kind of challenge in ending a story. Talk to the right writer, and he or she will most likely tell you that typing the last bit of punctuation can be the hardest ink to stamp into the page because even though that’s the goal, it also means saying goodbye to characters you’ve fallen in love with. Characters you’ve fought for and alongside of. Characters that have reflected the best parts of you, shown you your weaknesses and made you all the better for it. We may use stories as escapism, but we have to return to the real world eventually. There’s a special kind of challenge in ending a story because a final chapter has to encapsulate everything that’s played out in the much larger space that’s come before it. It has to confront the audience and its characters with choices they’ve been avoiding, trials that have been kept at arm’s length, and the lessons of all of the smaller tasks has to be used sufficiently against the most dire of consequences in order to be satisfying. It’s been a long journey, but in all of those undertakings, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 succeeds with incredible resolve.

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HalfBloodPrinceReview

We’ve seen the evolution of this series from children’s films to beautiful pieces of cinematic art. Half-Blood Prince is the next step in the elevation and evolution of that art. Yates, the cast and the crew have done something fantastic.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.19.2014
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