Unlike the previous Obi-Wan Kenobi — sorry, Alec Guinness — Ewan McGregor has long been excited about the prospect of returning for more Star Wars movies, telling Empire Magazine last October that he was the “right age” to make two more movies as the beloved character. While fans were sometimes unimpressed by the prequels, McGregor’s winning performance as the young Jedi was one of the highlights of the film, leading fans to clamor for a standalone Kenobi movie while McGregor was still the right age.
Last week, 20th Century Fox teased the first footage from Kingsman: The Golden Circle via ten glorious seconds of accelerated action. There were gunfights, and Julianne Moore making burgers (I think), and plenty more blink-and-you’ll-miss-it looks as the exciting new world of Matthew Vaughan’s film. So, secure in the knowledge that studios never release trailer teases without the trailer following shortly thereafter, we all gathered around our computers the following day and waited for our first look at the highly anticipated sequel. And waited. Aaaaaaand waited.
When Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro aren’t busy trying to figure out ways to digitally de-age the latter in Netflix movies about professional hitmen, they do field offers from other studios. That seems to be the case now with Imperative Entertainment, the production house that recently snapped up the rights for David Grann’s non-fiction novel Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI. After spending a whopping $5 million dollars for the rights, Imperative immediately pivoted into convincing the two Hollywood stars — and their frequent collaborator Leonard DiCaprio — to accept the project on their behalf.
Dystopian cinema is all the rage right now. Not only is the release of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale only a few days away, we were also recently treated to a series of synchronized screenings of 1984, the film adaptation of George Orwell’s seminal novel. While some may view this as a collective piece of cinematic snark, plenty of others are using these projects as an opportunity to open the door for increased education and awareness about media literacy, politics, and art. And while HBO may only really be interested in art and politics, it is putting one foot firmly in the dystopian game, announcing an upcoming production of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451.
Audiences don’t turn their back on family. That’s the lesson to be learned from this past weekend, anyways, when The Fate of the Furious proved that this is one franchise showing no signs of slowing down. It was never a question of whether The Fate of the Furious would take the top spot this weekend, but even the most optimistic of projections couldn’t have expected the global domination that this movie undertook. Here’s the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
It may seem strange to describe the eighth film in a blockbuster franchise as a transitional moment in the series, but then again, few franchises have had to deal with the death of an actor as essential as Paul Walker. The Fate of the Furious was always going to be a bittersweet affair for those involved; while the movie promised to push new characters and new relationships to the forefront, fans wondered how exactly they would choose to address the loss of Walker’s beloved Brian. The solution screenwriter Chris Morgan came up with should leave diehards and newcomers alike very pleased.
Here’s a story you might’ve missed this past week. With the Fast and the Furious franchise under his belt, we’ve sorta learned to take Dwayne Johnson’s star power for granted. After all, Johnson was the highest grossing male box office star of 2016, suggesting that all you need is a half-decent fight choreographer and Johnson to gross $100 million at the box office. That being said, there was a time not so long ago when Johnson could still go after major Hollywood roles and lose out to more established actors. One such movie was Jack Reacher, which was a role the actor revealed he lost to Tom Cruise.
Studio math might be one part proprietary data and one part alchemy, but here’s something I feel pretty confident saying: when your trailer sets the all-time record for most views in a day, you’re about to make some moolah. We all remember that the first teaser trailer for It had 197 million views in its first 24 hours online, shattering the previous (albeit short-lived) record of 139 million set by The Fate of the Furious. Those would be extraordinary numbers for any movie, but for an unapologetic horror film about a demon clown? Not even the most aggressive Warner Bros. projections could have predicted that.
The universe owes Armie Hammer a superhero franchise. A few years ago, when Warner Bros. was working with Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller on a Justice League movie, Hammer was signed, sealed, and delivered to play a young Bruce Wayne in the film. Hammer would’ve been an interesting choice for the role; he’s funnier and has more range as an actor than most people might expect, suggesting that Hammer could’ve bridged the gap between Christian Bale’s brooding dark knight and Adam West’s silly caped crusader. For my money, Hammer could’ve been the best Batman yet.
Look, I know that Tom Cruise must be getting older. There are lines on his face that weren’t there before and, like many gym rats, he’s been forced to trade leanness for bulk over the years just to maintain his active lifestyle. And I know that, someday, Tom Cruise will reach an age where the aches and pains catch up to him and he’ll no longer be able to pull off at least three incredible stunts per movie. But you know what? Today is not that day, and if this new batch of Mission: Impossible 6 set photos is to be believe, this is not that movie.
For years, one of the internet’s dirty little secrets has been that people really enjoy The Fate of the Furious: Tokyo Drift. A healthy flop at the time of its release — the film’s $60 million gross is half that of 2 Fast 2 Furious, the second-lowest grossing movie in the Fast and the Furious franchise — Tokyo Drift has climbed steadily back into fans’ favor due to the lasting appeal of Sung Kang’s Han Lue and a bit of chronological trickery in a later film that boosted this one’s reputation. It’s amazing how much better a film gets when you stop being mad at it for failing to bring back any of the main characters.
In the beginning, there were illegal street races and high speed heists, and Vin Diesel looked upon that which had created and saw that it was good. But as the franchise continued, the stakes became a little more… let’s say a little more insane. Cars parachuted out of the sky. Characters leapt their vehicles between skyscrapers. Tanks exchanged missiles with a submarine. As each movie has progressively upped the wow-factor of the franchise, there seems to be only one natural outcome for the Fast and the Furious family: they’re definitely going to head into space.
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