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    Friday
    May232014

    Universal Going To Great Lengths to Finish "Fast & Furious 7"

    In a fascinating write-up over at The Hollywood Reporter, much detail is given into the enormous challenge Universal and the cast & crew behind Fast & Furious 7 are taking on to complete the film, months after the passing of franchise star Paul Walker when filming was only halfway done.

    Besides the massive insurance claim the studio is looking to file (which can be read more in-depth here) in the realm of $50 million, the technical difficulties of competing a movie when your co-lead only completed half his scenes is particularly daunting.

    Currently, the film is in the midst of a grueling, 13-week, effects heavy shoot to finish what was put on hold last November 30th.

    In lengthy detail given by a source behind filming, the following stated in regards to how the late Paul Walker's scenes will be finished:

    "They are finishing the film more or less as scripted, replacing Paul with [computer-generated] face replacement," says this person. "They have two of Paul's brothers as well as an actor to 'play' Paul when needed." (The Walker brothers, 25-year-old Cody and 36-year-old Caleb, both are helping fill in for their brother physically -- Caleb primarily for body size and mannerisms and Cody for the eyes. But the filmmakers need to create a character that not only looks like Paul but also performs like him. That's the actor's job.) Peter Jackson's Weta is tackling the effects work using three cameras (in addition to the main-unit cameras) to capture Walker's stand-ins for face replacement. "There is a massive amount of gear," reports the source. "Everything they want with Paul gets done three times over. Three [actors] times seven cameras per shot is a clusterf--- of money being spent."

    The peice also adds how director James Wan plans to use unused footage from the previous two Fast & Furious installments to help aid with completing scenes.

    While it must be a huge obstacle - both emotionally and technically - to finish a film of this nature when such a huge peice of the franchise is gone, it's refreshing to hear the studio is doing everything they can to ensure things are done the best possible.

    Below you'll see a few pics from filming recently where Paul's brother, Cody, is standing in during what looks to be a 'goodbye' scene to 'retire' the Brian O'Conner character, as the studio had stated they would be doing (notice the dots on Cody's face for digital alignment purposes). 

    Fast & Furious 7 hits theaters April 10, 2015.

    Source:  The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Mail

    Friday
    May232014

    J.K. Simmons Talks "Terminator: Genesis"; Calls the Script 'Very Smart'

    J.K. Simmons - out at Cannes Film Festival promoting his new film, Whiplash - divulged a few details in regards to his role in next summer's Terminator: Genesis.

    The always fantastic character actor stated his initial hesistance to do the picture, but was turned on to it once reading the script:

    “I was leery of it when it first came my way, when my agent sent me the idea for it.  It's a small part, which they insist gets much bigger in the sequels. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the script itself."

    Simmons also states how the film definitely exists within the world of the first two films - James Cameron's films - and stays true to that world created:

    "This, I think, is a reimagining. They don't want to call it a sequel or a reboot. It's the world that James Cameron created with Arnold [Schwarzenegger, obviously]. All the leading characters are characters who have existed in that world – the character I play is new to it."

    Simmons' character is said to be a 'tired, weary detective' who has been following the case of Sarah Connor for three decades.

    The actor also chimes in on his feelings for the script and what he thinks of his co-stars:

    "The script, I think, is very smart, and it's going to be a wonderful part for Arnold to do. Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney are already shooting – we did a table read a few weeks ago – and all of them are going to be great."

    Finally, Simmons gives his thoughts on what to expect of director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) who is helming just his second big budget tentpole:

    "Alan Taylor is a wonderful director – I got to work with him on Oz a couple of times – so I'm optimistic that this can be one of those films. Y'know, it's a big action franchise, but it's also going to be a really intelligent, entertaining, enjoyable film.”

    Terminator: Genesis is due out next July 1st, 2015.

    Source:  Empire

    Thursday
    May222014

    "Planes: Fire & Rescue" Lends a Hand in Promoting Wildfire Prevention

    In an effort to educate the public on how to prevent accidental wildfires, Disney announced today that they are joining the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters to launch a new series of public service advertisements that will feature scenes and characters from Disneytoon Studios’ upcoming animated film Planes: Fire & Rescue. The PSAs are an extension of the Wildfire Prevention PSA campaign, featuring the iconic Smokey Bear, who celebrates his 70th birthday this summer. You can check out an initial awareness poster below.

    According to the U.S. Forest Service, over the past 13 years, an annual average of 6.7 million acres have been burned by wildfire. The most common sources of human-caused wildfires are campfires left unattended, debris burning on windy days, careless discarding of smoking materials and BBQ coals, and operating equipment without spark arrestors. Nine out of ten wildfires nationwide are caused by humans, yet many can be prevented by taking simple steps to properly put out a campfire.

    “When we decided to make ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue,’ our team of filmmakers made several research trips to meet the brave men and women whose job it is to fight wildfires,” says Bobs Gannaway, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” director. “Those research trips changed us and forever impressed upon us the importance of wildfire prevention. To have our character, Dusty, take part in the legendary Smokey Bear’s campaign to prevent wildfires and encourage safe outdoor fire practices is one of the highest honors we could have.”

    Created pro bono by Disney, the new English and Spanish television, out of home, digital and radio PSAs feature leading characters from the film, including air racer-turned-fire-fighting plane Dusty, spirited air tanker Dipper, veteran fire-and-rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and loving tourists Harvey and Winnie. The PSAs encourage audiences to be “Smokey’s Wingman” and do their part in preventing wildfires. The ads teach audiences the proper steps of extinguishing a campfire: drown the fire, stir it, drown it again and feel that the fire is out cold.

    “We are excited to have characters of ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ serve as ambassadors of Smokey's wildfire prevention message," said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "In teaching people campfire safety tips, these PSAs will further the message of wildfire prevention to a broad audience."

    “These PSAs are a wonderful extension of our longest running campaign and one of the most successful public service campaigns in history,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “I’m confident that both the media and the public will embrace these ads and help continue to spread Smokey’s important wildfire prevention message.”

    The PSAs encourage audiences to visit SmokeyBear.com for more safety tips and information on Smokey Bear and the Wildfire Prevention campaign. The website also features an interactive real-time wildfire map and a gallery of historic Smokey Bear ads over the last seven decades.

    Thursday
    May222014

    Poster & Trailer For Mood Indigo With Audrey Tautou

    It takes place in a world where you can travel around on a pink cloud or literally be swept off an ice-skating rink into a hole, Colin, a wealthy young man and inventor of the cocktail-mixing piano, wants to fall in love. With the help of his cook Nicolas and best friend Chick, he meets Chloe, the incarnation of a Duke Ellington tune. But soon after their wedding, Chloe falls ill. She has a water lily growing in her chest. Ruined by medical expenses, Colin resorts to increasingly desperate methods to save his beloved's life…


    Thursday
    May222014

    Gareth Edwards to Direct 'Star Wars' Spinoff for 2016 Release

    Fresh off the 'monster' success of Godzilla, director Gareth Edwards has been set to helm the Disney/Lucasfilm Star Wars spinoff, now officially set for a December 16th, 2016 release date.

    Edwards was thought to be following up his fine work on Godzilla with a straight up sequel, but it looks like the powers-that-be over at Disney and Lucasfilm intervened and nabbed the filmmaker to helm their film next.  And really, how can you say no to a Star Wars movie?

    Edwards is apparently still set to direct not only Godzilla 2 but Godzilla 3 as well, completing a trilogy.  Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull had this to say:

    “Gareth's filmmaking talent makes him one of his generation's most creative and visionary directors.  The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would a Star Wars installment? We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth’s imprint on the Star Wars universe.”

    In terms of this new Star Wars movie, it is not known what the spinoff will be about, though rumors have suggested it to either be a film centered on Boba Fett or possibly a younger Han Solo.

    Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli) will write the script.

    Though I can't say I'm the biggest Star Wars fan, Edwards did a great job with Godzilla (even though I felt the acting was subpar besides Bryan Cranston) and is a great choice to expand upon what Disney hopes will be a new and successful cinematic universe.

    Read the official press release issued by Lucasfilm below:

    In addition to the episodes of a new "Star Wars" trilogy, Lucasfilm and Disney have begun development on multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga. Gareth Edwards will direct the first stand-alone film, with a screenplay by Gary Whitta. The film is due out December 16, 2016.

    Gareth Edwards blazed into the filmmaking forefront with his acclaimed work on "Monsters," a film he wrote, directed and served on as cinematographer and visual effects artist. The skill and vision readily apparent in "Monsters" earned him the high-profile spot directing this year's smash hit "Godzilla".

    "Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited & honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm, said Edwards.

    Gary Whitta's screenwriting credits include 2010s "The Book of Eli" starring Denzel Washington. He is also well known as a journalist and editor in the video game industry, as well as part of the BAFTA award-winning team on Telltale Games adaptation of "The Walking Dead".

    Whitta states, "From the moment I first saw the original movie as a wide-eyed kid, "Star Wars" has been the single most profound inspiration to my imagination and to my career as a writer. It is deeply special to me,so to be given the opportunity to contribute to its ongoing legacy, especially in collaboration with a film-maker as talented as Gareth,is literally a dream come true. I'm still pinching myself."

    Source:  Lucasfilm, Heat Vision, Shock Till You Drop

    Wednesday
    May212014

    Cameras Roll On Director Zack Snyder's "Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice"

    Filming is underway on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the highly anticipated action adventure from director Zack Snyder, starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

    “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” also stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, with Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane returning from “Man of Steel,” Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter in a role newly created for the film.

    “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer.  Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

    Principal photography will take place on location at Michigan Motion Picture Studios and on location in and around Detroit, Michigan; Illinois; Africa; and the South Pacific.

    Set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

    Tuesday
    May202014

    'Foxcatcher' Teaser Trailer

    I realize this trailer came out a few days back but I wanted to make sure it got some space here on our site.

    Below you'll find the first teaser trailer for director Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher, starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffallo.

    The film tells the true story of John du Pont (Carrell), a heir to the DuPont Chemical fortune, who was both a crazed wrestling addict and a mentally ill individual.  du Pont used his wealth to train Olympic wrestling champions, played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffallo, but was later convicted of murder and died in jail in 2010.

    The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival just last week and received ecstatic reviews, praising it as early Oscar bait and making Carrell an early frontrunner for Best Actor.

    Director Bennett Miller is looking to go 3 for 3 with Best Picture nominations as his first two films (Capote, Moneyball) both achieved that distinction.

    Foxcatcher opens in theaters November 14th.

    Thursday
    May152014

    CINDERELLA Teaser Trailer Is Literally Just A Shoe

     

    The teaser trailer for Disney's CINDERELLA dropped online, weeks before Disney ushers in another fairy-tale reimagining with MALEFICENT.

    The trailer doesn't show much but promises a magical film, and something that will likely continue Disney's "Early Summer Princess Dominance" streak.

    The all star pedigree put behind the film has Kenneth Branagh, no stranger to fairy-tales and Shakesperian-esque tales of love and magic with such releases as THOR and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit behind the helm directing Hayley Atwell, Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skaarsgard, and Richard Madden as well as  Lily James as the titular princess.

    The Disney classic releases March 2015. 

    The story of "Cinderella" follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella into the family home. But, when Ella's father suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella since she used to work in the cinders, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother's dying words and to "have courage and be kind." She will not give in to despair nor despise those who abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an employee at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella's hopes of once again encountering the charming "Kit." Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand as a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella's life forever.

    Thursday
    May152014

    'Blade Runner' Sequel Offer Out to Harrison Ford for Return

    In somewhat of an odd bit of news, Alcon Entertainment has issued the below listed press release that Harrison Ford has been offered the chance to return for a Blade Runner sequel, but hasn't actually signed-on.

    I'm not sure if this is a public ploy to put pressure of Ford to agree to reprise his role of Rick Deckard from the 1982 sci-fi classic, but it's certainly notable when a studio wants people to know what's going on behind the negotiation process.

    Being that Ford is set to have a notable role in the new Star Wars trilogy, I wouldn't be shocked if he agrees to do this.  I'm sure his role will be important if agreed upon, but not the lead.  That duty will likely go to a younger, more currently-popular, actor/actress.

    With director Ridley Scott set to return along with original writer, Hampton Fancher, read the full press release below:

    Warner Bros-based Alcon Entertainment (Prisoners, The Blind Side, The Book of Eli) has an offer out to Harrison Ford to reprise his celebrated role of Rick Deckard in its Ridley Scott-directed sequel to Blade Runner, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.

    Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the 1982 adaptation) and Michael Green are the screenwriters.

    While the story is being kept under wraps, it takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original.

    State Johnson and Kosove: "We believe that Hampton Fancher and Michael Green have crafted with Ridley Scott an extraordinary sequel to one of the greatest films of all time. We would be honored, and we are hopeful, that Harrison will be part of our project."

    Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Yorkin will serve as a producer on the sequel along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will co-produce. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEOs of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.

    Among its many distinctions, Blade Runner has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by innumerable polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications.

    Released by Warner Bros., Blade Runner was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" and was directed by Ridley Scott following his landmark Alien. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction).

    Blade Runner was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.

    Source:  Alcon Entertainment

    Tuesday
    May132014

    First Look At Ben Affleck As Batman In "Batman Vs. Superman"

    Zack Snyder just broke Joss Whedon's back by showcasing the first image of The Batman alongside his amazing new wheels. Zack tweeted this photo today as principal photography for the untitled Batman vs. Superman film has started. Admittedly, the lighting in the picture isn't the best but you get a sense of what the Batsuit looks like and it's clear that he isn't covered in riot gear unlike some mainstream adaptations of Batman recently. 

    Much like Zack Snyder's previous films, this looks like a comic book has sprung to life right out of the page. This verison of Batman has all the basic features; a utility belt, a cowl, high-tech gloves and a cape. He's not covered in steel plating or bullet-proof vests. Notably, the logo from the Comic-Con teaser of Batman vs. Superman is on Ben Affleck's chest, and whilst it may seem a little huge it's also reminsice of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns (a story this film is inspired by). Alongside Batman is the Batmobile, which is very simiplistic and classic in design yet feels modern and sleek.

    We now await the new pictures of Superman and a possible Wonder Woman outfit!


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