If we live to be a hundred years old, we may never see another casting process take the internet by storm quite like Disney’s untitled Han Solo movie. Some rumors suggest that the studio looked at thousands of actors for the iconic Star Wars character; this led to dozens of different alleged studio shortlists for the role. Remember when Miles Teller and Dave Franco were the names most likely to step into Harrison Ford’s shoes? That took place one year and about a million Star Wars rumors ago.
When we last left the caped crusader, things weren’t looking all that bright. Sure, he had a new super-friend in the form of Diana Prince, but Superman — the complete-stranger-turned-mortal-enemy-turned-best-friend in Batman’s life — has sacrificed his life to protect Earth (or something) and now the weight of protecting our planet rested heavily on the shoulders of Bruce Wayne. If Wayne could organize others like him, then maybe Earth could stand a fighting chance.
Earlier this week, a few little birdies spoke with /Film about Warner Bros. standalone superhero film The Batman being rewritten completely from scratch. According to the site’s sources, the studio has chosen to start all over again with input from director Matt Reeves; additional sources also noted that Reeves wouldn’t even meet with prospective cast members until sometime this summer. This came on the heels of comments from a Variety reporter that Reeves is still under contract for War for the Planet of the Apes through the end of June, meaning The Batman was unlikely to even enter production until 2018.
If nothing else, the announcement that Warner Bros. is working on expanding the universe of The Matrix really makes me want to revisit the original films. Like most people, I was enamored with the first and disappointed by the sequels; the now-outdated CGI character modeling and frequent technobabble written by the Wachowski Sisters caught me a bit by surprise, and I was unnecessarily tough on the movies as a result. Now, though, I wonder if I might see the sequels with different eyes. When was the last time a blockbuster movie franchises so clearly marched to the beat of its own drum? Maybe this time around I will fully embrace the weird.
With the success of both Deadpool and Logan, 20th Century Fox has found a way to effectively differentiate itself from the other members of the superhero studio trifecta. Disney releases superhero films with broad appeal and a bright aesthetic; 20th Century Fox aims for more mature themes and isn’t afraid to incorporate both violence and profanity into its projects; Warner Bros…. well, they’re working on this, and when they figure out, it’s gonna be yuuuge. You’ll see.
Right now, at this very moment, there are people in Austin, Texas who have seen Edgar Wright’s new film Baby Driver. And yes, I’ll admit it, I’m insanely jealous. It’s not just that Baby Driver is the first film by Wright since 2013’s The World’s End; it’s also not that Wright has assembled one of the more effortlessly cool heist film casts in Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Lily James, and Kevin Spacey; it’s also that the first trailer for Baby Driver seems to show Wright pushing his own stylish sense of rhythmic editing to the max, going all in on his visuals in a way we still haven’t seen in one of his movies. You thought you liked Wright before? Try him with a couple of machine guns a few really fast cars.
For many movie fans, international trailers are an afterthought, an attempt to repackage previously released footage for a new market. But given the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies abroad, it’s probably safe to say that Disney takes its international footage pretty seriously. After all, the previous film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, grossed a total of $240 million domestically and $804 million internationally. Put another way: the film failed to make back its budget ($250 million) in the United States but tripled it abroad.
With Hugh Jackman’s Logan opening in theaters this weekend, the top spot of this list was never in doubt. The questions were always whether audiences would respond well to the first major R-rated superhero movie. Was the big opening of Deadpool an abberation or a sign of things to come? If today’s numbers are any indication, the answer is, maybe a little bit of both.
Isn’t it just like Ryan Reynolds to upstage a colleague? After listening to critics sing the praises of Logan for the past few weeks, fans around the country took their seats on Friday night ready to watch Hugh Jackman strap on his metal claws one last time. And so it came as quite a surprise when the first superhero to appear onscreen wasn’t Wolverine but Deadpool, everyone’s favorite violent and profane superhero — and, if we’re being honest with each other, the entire reason an R-rated Wolverine movie was greenlit by 20th Century Fox.
As a teenager in the ’90s, no actor better represented blockbuster movies than Bill Paxton. Although Paxton wasn’t typically a leading man in those movies — he would often play the brother, the second-in-command, or the comic relief — he served as a kind of talisman of quality. If you saw Paxton’s name in the opening credits of a movie, you knew that the film was going to be better for it.
While Marvel has a reputation for valuing continuity on both sides of the camera, it’s easy to forget that the first two phases of Marvel movies were essentially put together by hired guns. The early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were populated by directors like Alan Taylor, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnston, and Shane Black, one-and-done filmmakers who were either not invited or not inclined to go a second round with the studio.
Over the past few weeks, Josh Gad has systematically been chipping away at the defenses of Murder on the Orient Express co-star Daisy Ridley to try and get his hands on a few tasty Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoilers. We’ve checked in on the series three times over the past month as Gad quickly escalated his efforts, bringing in ringers such as Dame Judi Dench — seriously, how to say no to Judi Dench? — to try and guilt Ridley into letting something slip. And now, for his last-ditch effort, Gad has pulled out all the stops.
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