If you spend enough time reading interviews with writer-directors, you may find yourself wondering how big a role music plays in the creative process. Hollywood is littered with movies that were written under the influence of a particularly strong playlist; filmmakers who have been given control over every aspect of production, from screenplay the final cut, can sometimes appear to be writing to the music that influenced them along the way. That’s one of the beautiful things about the work of James Gunn. Not only does he exhibit a delightfully eclectic taste in ’70s and ’80s music, he often finds ways to bring those songs directly into the action of his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
Now that Deadpool 2 is officially underway, fans are no-doubt curious as to what Ryan Reynolds and company have planned for the second outing of the character. The stakes are certainly higher with audiences; sure, Deadpool blew audiences and critics alike away, but that script had been percolating for years before it finally saw the light of day. Can the creative team manage to turnaround a Deadpool sequel on a more traditional timeline without losing any of the charm of the original? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
For the past week, fans have been doing their best lawyer impressions and trying to figure out how movies like Venom and Spider-Man: Homecoming will connect in the broader Marvel universe. It wasn’t that long ago that Sony producer Amy Pascal hinted that Venom would be somewhat connected to the Spider-Man of the MCU, which confused the heck out of all of us and started the rumor mill working overtime on how Sony and Marvel’s properties might work together. Of course, as is always the case with the particularly juicy rumors, there was always the chance that someone misspoke.
As excited as we are for this summer’s Atomic Blonde — you can read our own glowing review from this year’s SxSW if you still need a gentle nudge — you’d think we’d be all over every new piece of footage from the movie. But it seems a few clips managed to slip through our fingers this past week, so I’m taking this opportunity to bring you back up to speed. Two new Atomic Blonde clips, each themed to a piece of period-appropriate music? Plenty of Charlize Theron kicking [expletive] and taking names? Yeah, that’s definitely worth circling back a little bit for those of you who may have missed these clips.
Is Tom Hardy doing OK? I mean, financially? After years of alternating between prestige films (The Revenant, Dunkirk) and more idiosyncratic projects (Legend, The Drop), Hardy seems to have accepted a streak of surprisingly mainstream blockbuster roles. After being attached to Ubisoft’s video game adaptation Splinter Cell for several years, Hardy recently shocked fans by accepting the title role in Sony’s Venom spinoff. And now, perhaps most surprising of all, is the rumor that Hardy is very close to signing on for the role of Jafar in Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake. At this point, maybe we should create a GoFundMe for whatever gambling debt Hardy seems to have racked up.
Based on how this weekend’s box office numbers shaped up, odds are good that you either saw Wonder Woman this weekend or you avoided the theater altogether. It was a record-setting few days for everyone’s favorite warrior princess — sorry, Xena — but things were decidedly less rosy if your movie was… well, literally anything else. Here are the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
Since 2003, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher has been a divisive source of comedy and political commentary. If you believe the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, then the last few years have been particularly kind to the series; Maher has come under attack for his comments on an Ann Coulter protest at the University of California at Berkeley or his decision to give alt-right poster child Milo Yiannopoulos the chance to spread his message of intolerance to the masses. And while Maher has survived and even thrived at the center of controversy, his recent use of a racial slur on the show may be the final straw for even his most ardent supporters.
Someday, I hope someone makes a documentary about Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5. First the project was held up by Ridley Scott, then Blomkamp released concept art that kinda-sorta forced the studio’s hand, then Blomkamp’s Chappie bombed and 20th Century Fox started dragging its heels, and then Scott started saying that the project was never actually anything substantial to begin with. No Alien sequel, no matter how fun, could possibly match the twists and turns of Blomkamp’s real-life struggle to get the film made.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Sin City is about to become a television series. Back in 2013, Bob Weinstein of The Weinstein Company made headlines by saying that his company had plans for a television series set in the Sin City universe that would bring back both Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller in some capacity. And while that didn’t exactly pan out the way that the Weinsteins hoped, that project was apparently more asleep than dead, because the news broke today that The Weinstein Company has all their ducks in a row for a Sin City series.
While I’m sure Broadway purists probably turn their nose up at the musical adaptations of Hollywood films, I have to admit, I’ve always enjoyed seeing some of my favorite films get the musical treatment. Right this very moment, you can fly to New York City and catch a diverse group of stage adaptations like Groundhog Day, Kinky Boots, Waitress, Amelie, School of Rock, and A Bronx Tale, not to mention the predictable number of classic Disney animated movies. So the news that another movie adaptation is getting the musical treatment is not at all surprising, even if its source material is a little less traditional than most.
Behold, the gag reel. Long a staple of the home video market, the gag reel was perhaps at its most popular in the 1990s, when Jackie Chan released a string of movies that included painful outtakes during the closing credits. When studios realized that they could package an entire DVD release around the special feature menu, the gag reel became a mainstay of any comedy releases over the last 15 years. And because Deadpool was one big improvised joke with enough physical humor to make Mel Brooks blush, it was a natural fit for the film’s Blu-ray release as well.
I’ve often wondered if there will come a time when people will heartily defend the Resident Evil franchise. They’re not perfect movies, of course, and they increasingly have very little to do with the video game franchise they’re based on, but there are moments when Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction and Milla Jovovich’s star-power combined to elevate the whole affair into a kind of pulp extravagance that plenty of films cannot match. Given a bit of distance — or at least a bit of separation from a crowded field of VFX-driven action movies — maybe these films could get a critical boost to match their box office numbers.
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