As a die-hard Stephen King fan, I have a theory: we need one or two filmmakers who truly understand his work to adapt all of his films. Take Frank Darabont. The writer-director has worked on three of King’s most successful adaptations - The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist - and seems to understand the world in King’s head better than any five other filmmakers put together. Given the current wave of ‘80s nostalgia, we’re likely to see more King books be adapted to film, and finding a cinematic King Whisperer would go a long way to avoiding middling adaptations like The Dark Tower.
Given the film’s box office success and surprising - albeit extremely preliminary - Oscar buzz, it’s probably fair to declare 2017 as the year of Wonder Woman. And all this Wonder Woman excitement has fans asking: after we see the character again in this fall’s Justice League, what’s next for the star of the DCEU? Will she jump forward to the modern world in Wonder Woman 2? Will we continue to see her adventures unfold throughout the 1900s? Or will Warner Bros. do something really wacky with her character, like, I dunno, make her the villain of another DCEU movie?
I probably don’t need to tell you that Baby Driver is a good movie; odds are you’ve seen it in theaters - maybe more than once - and might even own have a copy of the soundtrack downloaded on your phone. As good as Baby Driver The Movie might be, Baby Driver The Soundtrack is even better, with a ton of really great songs from artists as diverse as Simon & Garfunkel, Blur, and Martha and the Vandellas. And until now, one of the better production stories has been all the hard work Edgar Wright and company put into securing the rights for each of these tracks.
For someone who has practically perfected the art of the blockbuster action movie - from The Bourne Identity to Mr. and Mr. Smith to Edge of Tomorrow - it seems strange that no major studio has managed to land Doug Liman for one of their tentpole franchises. Despite being (at times) connected to movies like Gambit and Justice League Dark, Liman continues to carve his own path in Hollywood, tackling projects seem to challenge him more than draw on his strengths. To hear the director say it, though, he would sign on the dotted line for one particular Hollywood blockbuster should producers come a-knockin’.
One of the big items to emerge from last weekend’s Comic-Con was the news that Zack Snyder would be taking a backseat in the DCEU going forward. This report - which falls somewhere between a rumor and a substantiated story - spoke directly to a shifting creative hierarchy behind the scenes at Warner Bros. With Geoff Johns now serving as DC’s answer to Marvel’s Kevin Feige, things look increasingly uncertain for the ‘old guard’ of DCEU filmmakers, including both Snyder and Suicide Squad director David Ayer, despite both directors’ involvement in upcoming films.
I’ve always found the intersection of fan culture and Hollywood to be endlessly fascinating. When Joss Whedon took over the reigns of Marvel’s The Avengers, for example, it kicked off a period where a filmmaker’s talent behind-the-scenes was less important than their reverence for the source material. Whedon once wrote a series of X-Men comic books; Duncan Jones had spent years playing the Warcraft MMORPG; Neill Blomkamp adored the Alien franchise; Rian Johnson was an unparalleled Star Wars nerd. It was no longer enough for a studio to hire a director with vision and talent, you also needed to hire someone who identified - or could as least pass a skill check - with the very audience you were trying to target.
You know those rare moments when everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the same thing? Sports, politics, entertainment, whatever… those are the moments that make social media both a blessing and a curse. Take, for instance, a talented (if not slightly unknown) actress named Jodie Whittaker. If you were to go to Google Trends right now and look up her name, you’d see a sudden spike in searches, indicating that everyone everywhere is suddenly obsessed with learning more about her career. Why on earth could that be?
With one of the most-viewed trailers of all time, it appears that Andres Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s It is set to be the rare crossover hit in the horror genre. Fans who haven’t even read one of King’s books are excited to see a group of lovable losers take on Derry’s most infamous - and inhuman - killer. Those familiar with the original novel and television miniseries are also curious: how will Muschietti’s film work without the dual storytelling between past and present? What does It look like when filtered through a modern sensibility?
If we’re lucky, every few years we’re treated to a will-they-or-won’t-they love story that sparks our imagination and warms our hearts. Ross and Rachel from Friends. Jim and Pam from The Office. Daniel and Barbara from Bond 25. Yes, these are classic, iconic love stories, where two people who are destined to be together must nevertheless fight through a series of unfortunate events before going public with their mutual love and affection. Which is all a complicated and jokey way of saying, c’mon, Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli, we know y’all are going to make Bond 25 happen, so just do it already!
Did any new releases come out this weekend? I honestly can’t remember. Someone mentioned that there was a new Marvel movie in theaters - one featuring some sort of Spider-Person - but that can’t be right. I feel like I would’ve seen that, perhaps promoted on an unprecedented level for any superhero movie? Hmm. Well, anyways, here’s the weekend box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
Despite the fact that Spider-Man is Marvel‘s most popular and successful character - by the comic book standards, anyways - the studio hasn’t left anything to the imagination in the Spider-Man: Homecoming marketing blitz. We’ve seen Tom Holland‘s face on everything from car commercials to NBA spots to computer advertisements, ensuring that everyone around the world knew that a Spider-Man film was going to be in theaters this weekend. Heck, we were probably one hip-hop song away from throwing the whole franchise back to the nineties heydays of corporate synergy.
While plenty of fans hold Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man film close to their hearts, it’s probably fair to say that the costume for Willem Dafoe‘s Green Goblin hasn’t aged particularly well. Given the dynamic costumes for the current generation of Marvel villains - including Frank Grillo‘s Crossbones, Cate Blanchett‘s Hera, and plenty more - Dafoe’s Green Goblin seems a little bulky and a lot campy, not unlike a Power Rangers villain that wandered out of his franchise and somehow ended up in the Marvel universe. It certainly gets the job done by the standards of the day, but rewatching scenes from that film suggest that the studio had a missed opportunity to do something a little more memorable with the character.
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