INDIE REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: The Plot and Problems of Paul Feig’s GHOSTBUSTERS

by: Steve Sullivan

Filmmaking is a medium still in its infancy, and as a uniquely expensive popular art form it has spent the entirety of its formative years shackled to industry. Economic and creative interests rarely coincide, but Hollywood has spent a century seeking harmony between great storytelling and larger profits. The studios’ batting average has climbed and dropped throughout the seasons, and from time to time they’ve stepped up to smash one over the fences. Ghostbusters was a grand slam when it was released in 1984, one of the most beloved films that Hollywood has ever produced.

For twenty-five years, hopes for a third entry in the series were at lifted upon waves of Dan Ackroyd’s enthusiasm only to be smashed each time upon the rocks of Bill Murray’s inhospitable shores. The former has more invested in the property; the concept was his brainchild and Ghostbusters represents a distant high point in his career. While Peter Venkman may be Bill Murray’s most famous role, the eccentric actor has found new success and late-career validation in offbeat indies and dramatic parts. Together with director Ivan Reitman and their co-star/writer Harold Ramis, the two were said to exercise veto power over the Ghostbusters franchise and seemed eternally out of sync on its future. Sony Pictures, who inherited Ghostbusters by purchasing Columbia Pictures while the second film was still in theaters, remained hesitant throughout to revive Ghostbusters without Murray’s involvement. It wasn’t until Ramis passed away in February of 2014 that the studio began to consider the viability of new directions.

In October, Sony announced that they’d chosen Bridesmaids’ Paul Feig to write and direct the next installment of Ghostbusters. Feig revealed that the new film would be a hard reboot set in a world without Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman, and Winston Zeddemore, and that the new ghostbusting team would be comprised entirely of women. The director found himself facing intense and immediate backlash, and has responded to the criticisms with public statements about his detractors’ misogyny and oversensitivity.

“It’s so dramatic,” Feig said in a Variety interview published this week. “Honestly, the only way I could ruin your childhood is if I got into a time machine and went back and made you an orphan.”

The reboot’s naysayers do not all belong to the camps which Feig has called out. In sniping back at the bored Twitter fringe, he addresses tangential social issues but sidesteps the growing frustration with the way Hollywood executives make creative decisions. It’s unsurprising that Feig’s not able to summon a strong defense for his approach. He wasn’t interested in the job, but former head of Sony Pictures Amy Pascal kept pushing to bring him on board.

“I was courting him for like a year,” Pascal told Jenelle Riley. She was convinced that the project needed “somebody who was going to do an entirely different idea, equally brilliant and completely their own thing.”

Sony Pictures is home to precious few dependable franchises. While James Bond is enjoying a critical upswing, the studio has somehow managed to misfire on three consecutive outings with Spider-Man while fast-tracking a second Smurfs sequel which nobody wants. Pascal and Sony saw Feig as a sure thing in the wake of the director’s impressive run at the box office, and their business-first approach led them to pursue a talent who admitted he had no clue how to approach the property. When Feig eventually suggested that he could deliver his usual brand of female ensemble comedy wallpapered with the Ghostbusters brand, Sony celebrated that they’d signed their man.

The problem with the new Ghostbusters is not that Feig wrote his story around a team of women. What’s troubling is that Sony hired a director who’s got a limited comfort zone and force fit an iconic property into that mold.

Filmmakers have been reinterpreting stories in movies and television from the beginning. The lack of respect often shown to remakes by critics is not always reflected at the box office, as familiar brands continue to fill theater seats. Nor can it be said that a derivative film can’t be an interesting exercise. Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Mann each revisited their own stories in order to improve upon them. Gus Van Sant attempted to relive Hitchcock’s Psycho experience shot-for-shot. For most, the titles of Ocean’s Eleven and The Maltese Falcon conjure images of their impressive remakes over the originals. When a talented filmmaker has a bold vision for a new direction, it’s often worth giving them the opportunity to try. Sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the fate for Ghostbusters.

Recently, we had an opportunity to read a breakdown of the reboot’s story. Far from being inspired or confident, the outline of the new Ghostbusters film represents a departure from the familiar story in mostly unimportant ways. The scientists who strike out on their own business venture are, of course, women instead of men. Their adventure begins at Columbia, the real-life school which stood in for the university which banished Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler to the private sector. The script goes out of its way to reference the original film unnecessarily – a realtor shows the women a firehouse before they find their ultimate headquarters above a chinese restaurant (where one might assume they’ll spend “the last of the petty cash”). The movie promises an origin story for a reinterpreted Slimer; their company car is an old white hearse. If the film is going to spend so much time winking at its predecessor, why discard its solid foundation to begin with? Ghostbusters was a concept ready-made for expansion, as an eager Venkman once promised that “the franchise rights alone” would make them rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Pascal was reassigned within the Sony Pictures organization after hackers released her private emails featuring racist jokes about President Obama and complaints about working with Angelina Jolie. In the months since her departure, Sony has projected a confused image on the Ghostbusters front. With Feig’s film in pre-production, the studio let slip that another team (including Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt) was also developing their own Ghostbusters script. It may be too much to hope that Pascal’s replacement, the notoriously penny-pinching Tom Rothman, is reconsidering the Feig project for creative reasons, but it would certainly be welcome.

The true magic of great comedies rarely lives on the page, but is revealed only when the writing, direction, performances and editing succeed together. Paul Feig’s attempt at Ghostbusters may ultimately be funny when it elbows its way into theaters in July of next year, but being funny alone will not earn it a place with the original.

The story outline (which we’ve confirmed is legitimate) is reprinted in full below. This is a lazy treatment for a treasured property. Ghostbusters deserved better.

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  • Kristen Wiig will be playing Erin Gabler, a science professor at Columbia University, who years prior co-authored a book with Abby Bergman, played by Melissa McCarthy, titled “Ghosts From our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively – The Study of Paranormal Knowing.“
  • The two have not spoken in years but are brought together when Erin is approached by a gentleman looking for help with a haunting. It’s during this interaction that Erin learns that Abby has made their book available online. Erin fears what the book could do to her credibility if it’s discovered and approaches her old friend to take the book out of circulation. Abby agrees only after she offers to bring her and her colleague Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) along to look into the haunting.
  • Abby is a professor of paranormal studies at a third-rate university in the Bronx where she works with Jillian.  Jillian is the Egon of Feig’s story. She’s invented a PKE Meter that she brings to test during this first investigation.
  • At the site of the haunting they encounter slime followed by the ghost of a young girl who proceeds to slime Erin. (Sound familiar?) Abby catches the incident on film. The video goes viral but the majority of the public doesn’t believe the video is real. The circumstances around the situation cause Erin to lose her job at Columbia.
  • Abby proposes the three set up a business investigating paranormal disturbances. Erin reluctantly agrees and the three embark on setting up a paranormal extermination business.
  • They next need to locate an office for their new business. The realtor shows them a perfect spot, a renovated fire house that is way too far out of their price range. They instead end up in an apartment above a Chinese restaurant.
  • We are next introduced to Patty Tolan, played by Leslie Jones, who works in the tunnels under New York City. While underground she encounters the film’s villain Rowan Elgin (The role Peter Dinklage is rumored for) carrying a device. She pursues Tolan but he gives her the slip. After losing him, she stumbles upon his device attached to the wall. A ghost in clothing from the 1600’s appears from the device and chases Patty until a train appears and hits the ghost, causing it to vanish.
  • Meanwhile, Erin, Abby and Jillian and their new intern named Kevin are brainstorming ideas for a logo for the business website when Patty arrives. Patty brings them down to the tunnel to show them the device.
  • Patty proposes that they let her join the team, offering them the use of her uncle’s vehicle for the business, an old white hearse.
  • The newly formed team gets their first official gig at Rockefeller Center where they are hired to get rid of the ghost of a fat Mafioso. They test out Jillian’s newest invention, the Proton Pack, on the ghost. The pack ends up shooting off the ghost’s arms, legs and torso, leaving only a disembodied green head (Yup, Slimer). The head manages to get away.
  • Much like their previous video, the video of their fight with the fat green ghost again goes viral, but again it’s viewed as a hoax. The evening news reports on the event, jokingly referring to them as the Ghostbusters.
  • The team’s next call brings them to a comic convention where they arrive dressed in old underground maintenance uniforms provided by Patty carrying Proton Packs, blending in with all the other cosplayers. A battle breaks out when they locate the demon-looking ghost. The crowd cheers, thinking it’s all part of the convention.
  • The Ghostbusters eventually deduce that the rise in paranormal activity is the result of Rowan who has ties to very old secret society and has been working on building a machine that will release all the ghosts in the city to facilitate the release of an ancient Sumerian god of darkness who will bring about the end of all humanity.
  • They get to Rowan too late as his machine has created a large supernatural cloud that begins to rain slime. The Army arrives to provide assistance but the raining slime causes them to become possessed. The team must find a way to stop Rowan as his machine begins to release a horde of ghosts from all periods of New York history.  While there is no Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, there is a ghost T-Rex.

Indie Revolver Talks to Ex Machina Director Alex Garland About Auteurs, Star Wars and a New 28 Days Later Film!

by: Jay Carlson

Indie Revolver recently had the opportunity to sit down with writer/director Alex Garland to discuss his newest film, Ex Machina. You might know Garland through his previous work as a comic artist or novelist (He wrote the novel that was adapted for the Danny Boyle film, The Beach). More than likely you know Alex Garland for the movies he’s written. Most notably Garland is responsible for reanimating the zombie genre (along with the Resident Evil video games) with his script for Danny Boyle’s 2002 film 28 Days Later. He also wrote the amazing action film Dredd, as well as Danny Boyle’s Sci-Fi film, Sunshine.

With Ex Machina Alex Garland created a dark, complex, science fiction masterpiece, but don’t call him an auteur, “I’m not really interested auteur-ship.” Garland continues his thought, “Woody Allen? That could be another story. I’ve got no idea. He might be an auteur. I’m not saying that auteurs don’t exist; I’m just talking about my own experience.”

Garland embraces the idea that every member of his crew is an integral cog to the creative process. “What I’m doing is filmmaking, but it’s not that I am the filmmaker. It’s that I am one of a group of people who are filmmaking. That would include a DOP (Director of Photography), a production designer and the director and writer and producer and you could just keep going down the list of all the HOD.’s (Head of Department) who are really bringing distinct things to the movie. I would be taking too much credit on this film if I appropriated that. It would also be being unreasonable to the H.o.D’s on the previous film if I then allocated it. So I’m just trying to get (rid of) this pyramid structure thing ‘cause I don’t realty buy it. I’ve never really observed it and I don’t really care about it. The best thing about film for me is the collaboration, this group of people working together. “

“You must know if you’ve been observing how films are made, directors don’t always do the thing we allege they do. I mean, you must, because it’s impossible. And also, why do productions fight so hard for DOP’s? That line that you often get in reviews is the way directors mount the camera or the performance that the director got out of the actor. Why would we fight to get these people if it’s the director who is dragging this stuff out of them, or micromanaging the whole thing? I’ve never seen that. And because I’ve never seen it, I wouldn’t know how to do it anyway. The collaboration is the big deal to me.”

“This for me is the truest example of how films actually get made. In my experience… There’s a whole thing in Dredd where there’s this drug… it’s kind of a drug movie in one respect. It’s based around this drug called Slo-Mo, with some nice imagery attached to it. There’s a scene, one of the most beautiful bits of imagery on the film and actually a scene that helped us define the other bits of drug imagery that appeared where Ma-Ma, the character played by Lena Heady gets stoned in the bath. She gets wasted and she puts her hand in the water and she pulls it up and these droplets kind of become iridescent and it’s lovely. A beautiful piece of imagery… Beautiful bit of photography. That shot largely exists because Michelle Day, who is a name that never appears on the cards, although in this film I did put her on the cards (Day is credited as the Set Decorator for Ex Machina) but normally she’d be buried in the roll up, said “I think Ma-Ma should have a bath right in the middle of her room and she should get stoned in the bath because that would be the best place to get stoned. She could lie on the bed but wouldn’t it be great if she was in the bath? And then, when she’s getting stoned she could play with the water and it would look really beautiful.” Me and the DOP and a bunch of other people go, “That’s a great idea, let’s do that.” We have a conversation with Lena. “Are you prepared to have a bath?” You know, because an actress might not want to do that or whatever. But basically the shot that Michelle predicts becomes something that informs a huge number of the other shots that wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t said that. Now, nobody watching the film could have any way of attributing that thing to her because we don’t present film that way. We present it as.. Typically there’s a film and then there’s a name in brackets and that’s the director’s name. But also it’s too complex. There’s no way to extrapolate from the credits who did what or when they did it or how it happened. Now, that’s one example of Michelle and one of the reason’s I dragged her out of the roller and put her in the cards. To try and acknowledge (her), because she does this like fucking fifty times a movie. I’ve worked with her now on, I think, five films and so I don’t want to sound to preachy or go on a thing about it but I’m getting pissed off by this director thing, I’m bored of it. I’m really bored of it. It doesn’t seem accurate to me and I would rather talk about Michelle and  a bunch of other people. A lot of the beauty that exists in this film, I can say exists because it’s not mine. There’s Rob Hardy, this DOP is fantastic. He’s such a clever, intuitive, gifted DOP. If you look at his other films, it’s still there. It’s nothing I did.”

Garland continued to heap praise on his crew when asked to elaborate that collaborative effort in Ex Machina. “Grips and focus pullers… Focus pullers can do a shot three times and then just think to themselves, “I’m just going to throw it over there just to see what happens.” And that turns out to be the best and most intuitive thing to do. Almost everything is the consequence of a group of people having a conversation. Ideas often can’t even get traced back to one person… Do you know what I mean? The only dishonest thing you can say is, especially on a film like this, is that it’s all the director. That’s the bit of bullshit, you could say.”

When the point is made that, even though the director might get an undue amount of credit for a successful film, they also shoulder a lot of the blame if a film is a failure, Garland concedes a bit. “I guess. But all that would be is another representation of something which might be broadly inaccurate. I have to say, of course because I haven’t worked on films that I haven’t worked on. Maybe what I’m saying is only true in my line of sight. I just suspect it isn’t because I’ve worked with enough crews to get the vibe, you know I’ve been doing it for fifteen years. Again, say Woody Allen is an auteur. I really won’t disagree, I’m sure it’s true. It’s just the blanket application that we tend to do that I’m disagreeing with. I’m trying to be reasonable rather than unreasonable. “

It’s no secret that two-thirds of Garlands main cast consist of actors taking part in what could be the biggest film year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Garland sheds a little light on the Star Wars casting process of his two leads “They got that gig, like after… I think we were at least three-quarters of the way through post production. Films are often cast surprisingly soon to when they go into prep. As I remember, both those guys signed on two weeks before it was announced. Two and a half weeks? Something like that. I guess there might have been a conversation six months before but for other reasons I don’t think there were because of the process.”

When asked if there were any thoughts about holding Ex Machina back in order to cash in on the Star Wars sweepstakes, Garland says, “I just.. No. The conversations I had about a film like this is, is there a weekend anywhere where we can come out without getting obliterated? (Laughter) But that is true. This film, the reason it’s coming out this time of year is because there’s the awards corridor and then you get a bunch of these adult drama… we’re never going to live… like we’d be dead in seconds in that space. Then there’s the tent poles. You know, May to summer or whatever?”

Don’t expect to see Garland stepping behind the camera of a Star Wars film though. When asked whether or not he’d be interested in stepping into a sandbox like that he surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) had the following to say, “I did (work in a sandbox like that) in a small sort of British way with Dredd, I think. That’s a preexisting comic, 2000 AD. But what you mean is am I going to chuck my hat in the Star Wars ring? It actually isn’t (something that he would be interested in). There are various reasons, but I would not be suited for that. My sensibilities are wrong. I’ve been doing this long enough… Look at my track record. There’s something… at a certain point you have to go, “There’s a pattern here.” SunshineDredd and Never Let Me Go. Years ago we had a hit with this movie, 28 Days Later. I don’t want to sound self-deprecating, I’m really pleased with how everything has worked out but there’s something in there would not lead you to suggest that what I should be doing is running a 150 million dollar film.”

When asked about the possibility of another film in the 28 Days Later series, of which Garland wrote the screenplay and served as a producer on its sequel 28 Weeks Later, he had the following to say “There is. We’re talking about it at the moment. We spent a long… The thing about 28 Days (Later), the first one, was that it had kind of an aggression to it and it had sort of a subversive element to it. And the sequel ideas that kept getting brought up, floated or discussed amongst us were a bit, kind of tame and they were franchise kind of ideas. Then we sort of came up with something with a bit more bite. And so we’re going to give it a crack. But it’s very early days. Very early days.”

Ex Machina is out now in select theaters. I can’t recommend this film more highly. It truly is an exceptional film.

INDIE REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Teaser Poster and Trailer Presentation Details!

 

by: Jay Carlson

A good friend passed the following info over about the Batman V Superman trailer presentation that is set to take place in select Imax Theaters on Monday April 20th.

Were you lucky enough to secure a spot? If so, it looks like you’re going to be a Special Ambassador for the film going forward!

Below, are pertinent details for the BvS event:

Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 9am PDT

  • Zack Snyder tweets a special :05 clip “the tease of the tease” that does not contain trailer footage.
    He tells fans that they can sign up for special Imax screenings of the trailer on Monday, April 20 at 7pm local time. 
  • Fans go to batmanvsupermanmovie.com/imax  to sign up.
    Each person who signs up is allowed to bring 1 guest.
    US Tix serviced thru Ticket Box
  • People who sign up are treated as special ambassadors to the film and are told about select events before the rest of the world via email.

Monday, April 20, 2015 at 9am PDT

  • Zack Snyder tweets the teaser one sheet to further build excitement.
  • Monday, April 20, 2015 at 7pm local time 
    • The ENHANCED trailer is screened in Imax theaters in US, Canada with an exclusive intro from Zack Snyder. 

Show flow:

  • Zack Intro (he asks fans not to video tape the footage) – 20 seconds
  • ENHANCED Trailer – 2 mins and 11 seconds
  • Zack Returns (stoke fan excitement and show the trailer again) – 37 seconds
  • ENHANCED Trailer – 2 mins and 15 seconds
  • End on Hashtag #BatmanvSuperman
  • All attendees are given special exclusive mini-onesheets.
  • All attendees are sent via email a special digital asset TBD

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 9am PDT

  • NON-ENHANCED Trailer is released worldwide online.

No Hulk Movie, But are we any Closer to a Black Widow Film?

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

So we know that we’re not getting a new solo Hulk movie any time soon. Anyone who read that article (or any number of my Marvel pieces) knows that I’d be very much behind a Black Widow film if they ever wanted to give it to us.

Well, Scarlett Johansson may have just made me smile a little more today. In an interview with Collider, the actress talked about the possibility of a standalone Black Widow movie.

She said the following:

I think that there’s room for a standalone movie. The character has a really rich origin story and I’ve been really fortunate to kind of place all these layers on top of one another and kind of build up this character to this point where I think I can now start to peel them away and reveal different sides of her and really focus on—I think I’ve been able to grow with the character, the character’s been able to grow with me.

Her dilemma that she faces it’s a deeply personal one, she has this great, huge, epic kind of calling and now is suddenly going, ‘Wait a minute. I have this epic calling, but I wanna make a choice for myself. I feel like I’ve put in the hours, I should be able to make active choices’ and she inevitably chooses the heroic path and kind of puts her own personal desires and needs aside. Those are things that kind of butt up against each other and interesting things happen when you have a character that’s pulled in many different directions and in my mind there’s room for plenty more Black Widow and certainly more—I think I could see her in a standalone film.

I’ve spoken to Kevin about it. I mean, of course, of course we’ve had that conversation before, and I think Kevin would also like to see a standalone film. I think I can speak for him and say that. That’s all, really. Right now I think this character is used well in this part of the universe, but I think that Kevin—I mean, we’ve talked about it and we both share similar vision for what could be a standalone series.

Johansson does talk about how the character (and her contract) evolved after the studio saw how much of a positive reaction her on-screen efforts garnered. I think it was a combination of her humor and physicality that made her a fan favorite. I think she was one of the best parts of Iron Man 2 and The Avengers.

I would love to see a Scarlett don the catsuit for a solo adventure. It’s just too bad we’ll have to wait until Phase Four and 2020 at the earliest to see that happen.

Ryan Gosling Cast in ‘Blade Runner’ Sequel

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

The sequel to Blade Runner is gaining some major steam as it moves closer to its summer 2016 principal photography start. You may have missed it, what with the new Star Wars trailer debuting today, but Harrison Ford will have a new co-star when he returns as Rick Deckard. The Blade Runner 2 producers announced that Ryan Gosling is joining the project.

The original film, directed by Ridley Scott, centered on a dystopian future set in 2019 Los Angeles. The sequel will take place several decades after the events of the 1982 classic.

Original director Ridley Scott will handle the executive producing duties this time around, handing the reins over to Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve. The script will come from original Blade Runner writer Hampton Fancher and Michael Green.

Right now almost everything else is being kept under wraps. That includes plot details and who exactly Gosling will be playing playing.

I’m not too sure how to judge this. Many fans are already crying foul play, saying a sequel is sacrilege. Gosling has his pick of whatever project he wants though, so he must see something of note in this movie. It’s tough to say at this point in time, especially not knowing any real details. For now, I’m intrigued.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer #2 Has Arrived!!!!!

 

Get your first look at the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser #2!

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as “Star Wars” returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.

The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer.

More Star Wars Promotional Art Featuring Kylo Ren, Stormtroopers and More!

by: Jay Carlson

10:00 EST – UPDATED WITH MORE KYLO!

Making Star Wars have added some additional Kylo Ren pieces that I’ve included below!

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Twitter user Tim Veekhoven has posted a few new images of promotional art to his Twitter that he “found on Facebook” that feature our best look yet at the final look of Kylo Ren, the chrome trooper (also being referred to as Captain Phasma) and the various other stormtroopers.

I can absolutely confirm that these pieces of art are legitimate pieces of promotional art and that is indeed the final Kylo Ren helmet.

Take a look at the images below:

What do you think? I’m getting jazzed to see what else is in store for us at Celebration!

Chris Pratt is ‘The Real McCoy’ for Universal

by: Jay Carlson

After a heated bidding war Universal has landed the Chris Pratt action-adventure The Real McCoy.

The story centers on the true story of prohibition bootlegger Bill McCoy, whose product inspired the phrase “the real McCoy”, meaning that his product was strong and hadn’t been watered down.

The pitch for the film originated with The Judge writer, Bill Dubuque and producer Tom McNulty who then brought the project to Pratt.

Pratt is quite possibly the most in-demand actor at the moment after the unbelievable success of Guardians of the Galaxy and the early buzz for Jurassic World. He’s also attached to star in Cowboy Ninja Viking and Passengers. He’s currently shooting Antoine Fuqua’s Magnificent Seven alongside Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio.

What do you think of Pratt’s upcoming film slate? Will he continue to establish himself as THE go-to actor after Jurassic World opens?

‘Wonder Woman’ has a New Director

by: Jay Carlson

Well that didn’t take very long.

Warner Bros. managed to fill the Wonder Woman director’s chair before it went cold. According to The Hollywood Reporter Patty Jenkins has stepped in just days after it was announced that Michelle MacLaren was leaving due to “creative differences”

Jenkins is best known for directing Charlize Theron to an Academy Award for her 2003 directorial debut, Monster.

This isn’t the first brush that Patty Jenkins has had with the superhero genre, you might recall that she was at one point attached to direct Marvel’s Thor 2.

DC was surely motivated to keep the momentum going on Wonder Woman as they currently have it slated for a 2017 release.

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman will first be seen in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, set for release on March 25, 2016.

I’m far less excited for Patty Jenkins than I was for Michelle MacLaren. MacLaren was responsible for some of the greatest episodes of the greatest show ever made, Breaking Bad. Jenkins is a nice choice, who is obviously a skilled director, just not as skilled as MacLaren.

What do you think? Do you have an opinion of Patty Jenkins one way or the other? Let us know in the comments below!

Our First Full Look at the Stormtroopers From ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’!

by: Jay Carlson

Back in August we revealed the first look at the new stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Today, thanks to Star Wars Underworld we have our first look at a the rest of the Stormtrooper’s armor in J.J. Abrams upcoming film, courtesy of the program for Star Wars Celebration, which officially kicks off tomorow.

This is the first time we’re seeing the helmet unobstructed from the front which shows the asymmetrical breather/vent. We were unable to see this in the shot from the teaser trailer, due to the way the shot was composed (See the image at the op of the page). Another thing to note is the fact that each stormtrooper now carries a rifle and a pistol, which sadly, look a bit plastic.

This will surely be the first of many amazing reveals in store for us this weekend, thanks to Celebration. I can’t wait to see what else J.J. and crew have in store for us!

What do you think about the full stormtrooper reveal? Let us know in the comments!

 

Matthew Vaughn in Talks to Direct ‘Flash (Ahhhhhhhh!) Gordon’!

alex-ross-flash-gordon

by: Marcus Rivera

Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: Days of Future Past) is in talks to helm Fox’s remake of Flash Gordon; the pulp comic strip hero who debuted back in the ’30s, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Most fans will remember the character from the cheesy, but entertaining ’80s movie which featured Sam Jones as Flash along with the amazing soundtrack provided by Queen. SyFy revived the property as a short-lived TV series that ran from 2007-2008.

This new take on the iconic character will be written by J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay along with George Nolfi. Sony’s Neal Moritz recently tried to get his own version of a Flash Gordon flick off the ground, but to no avail as Sony decided to pass on the project.

So with a director now in place (unless talks fall though, which seems to be happening frequently these days), who do guys think would suit the roles of Flash, Dale Arden, Hans Zasrkov & Ming the Merciless? Vaughn had a huge hit this year with Kingsman grossing over $392 million so here is hoping that Vaughn can bring that same magic to Flash & Co.

First Look at Luke Cage in Marvel’s ‘AKA Jessica Jones’

by: Jay Carlson

Fresh off of the release of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix we have a look at Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Netflix’s upcoming, A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

A.K.A. Jessica Jones is the second of five series that will air on Netflix later this year. We’ll see Colter starring in his own series, Luke Cage at some point after he appears in Jessica Jones. after that we will see a series based on Iron Fist. All leading up to The Defenders, which will see the heroes of the previous four series’ teaming up.

Has Daredevil made you excited to see where they go with these other series? I loved it, as it added a whole new dimension to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a street level superhero to offset all of the titans in the Avengers. I only wish we would have the opportunity to see a similar approach to Spider-Man.

Zack Snyder Releasing 120 Frames of the ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ Trailer Soon!

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

So we’ve all been waiting patiently for ANY footage from Warner Bros regarding Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Well now it looks like we’re getting what we asked for.

Latino Review dropped some knowledge on us today. This Thursday at 9 am PST (an hour before the launch of Star Wars Celebration), director Zack Snyder will debut five seconds, a whopping 120 frames, of the upcoming teaser trailer to his much anticipated film. Then, via some kind of sign-up system, there will be a chance to view the trailer theatrically on Monday, April 20.

Really? Five Seconds? First the crappy “on set” still from Suicide Squad and now this? Warner Bros really knows how to yank a fanboy’s leg. It’s not even a teaser trailer – it’s a trailer tease.

Rumor is the reasoning behind this little campaign has to do with the possibility of the BVS teaser being attached to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which sees an overseas release on April 22. So instead of seeing it bootlegged like hell, WB is being proactive and getting the jump on this one.

Even if it’s not attached to the new Avengers film (which drops Stateside on May 1), we do know that the trailer will definitely be showing before Mad Max: Fury Road which hits theaters in the States on May 15.

True Detective Director to Tackle ‘The Alienist’

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

The first season of True Detective was an epic masterpiece thanks in part to the tandem of writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto and director of all eight episodes Cary Fukunaga.

And now Fukunaga will bring his unique vision to another crime story. The director has been tapped to helm the TV adaptation of the Caleb Carr novel The Alienist according to The Wrap.

The following was the official press release:

Set in the tenements and mansions of Gilded Age New York City, Caleb Carr’s 1994 novel The Alienist tells the story of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler who, with the help of newspaper reporter John Moore and police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, uses the emerging discipline of psychology to track down one of New York City’s first serial killers.

Amy Powell, president of Paramount Studios (co-producers of the project along with Anonymous Content LLP) had the following to say:

THE ALIENIST is a fascinating and distinctive, fast-paced psychological thriller that is wonderfully evocative of the unrivaled Gilded Age of New York City. Cary Fukunaga’s unique vision and ability to render compelling, distinctive and superbly atmospheric direction is the perfect voice for this television series.

So it sounds like Fukunaga is pulling another True Detective and directing the entire series himself, which would be pretty cool. If he’s got the vision for it, the least the company can do is let him see it through.

Now word yet on what channel will air it or when, but as soon as more news becomes available we’ll be sure to bring it to our readers.

That Hulk Movie Everyone Wants? Not Happening Any Time Soon…

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

I feel bad for Bruce Banner and his rage-fueled alter ego. They can’t seem to catch a break.

First they have a film from Ang Lee that confuses the hell out of the general populace (Is it a drama? A superhero film? An eggplant?) which I totally loved. Then we get an action packed Hulk film from a new director with a new guy playing puny Banner. They tried to ignore Lee’s version and did a pretty good job of it. It was on the outer-outer fringe of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was there just enough to get Hulk in The Avengers. And that’s where the not-so-jolly Green Giant finally connected with audiences everywhere.

Mark Ruffalo was awesome. Joss Whedon GOT the character. Now all we needed was a new solo Hulk film to let Ruffalo flex his muscles (so to speak).

And we waited for it to get announced during Phase Two. Nothing. Well, there’s always Phase Three, right? Nope again. It’s starting to look like a solo Hulk film is about as likely as a solo Black Widow film. But at least now we have a reason.

In an interview with Collider, Mark Ruffalo sat down to talk about the Jade Goliath and his future on the big screen.

Ruffalo had a few interesting tidbits – that he’s signed on for at least another 4 or so films, that he could show up in other solo flicks and not just Avengers, and that Universal Studios still own the rights to standalone Hulk films.

Wait, what? Then how does the Hulk appear in the MCU movies?

Well, Universal doesn’t own the character (like Sony and Spider-Man, meaning Marvel had to strike a deal to lease the character) but they apparently DO own the rights to distribute the film should it get made. And that may stick in Disney’s craw just a bit now that Disney owns Marvel, and by extension the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So that’s the most likely reason why Marvel Studios hasn’t pulled the trigger on a solo Hulk film. But they have until 2020 and Phase Four to clear all this madness up. Let’s cross our fingers that eventually we’ll get that standalone film before we all forget why we now really dig the character.

And while we’re at it, let’s not give up hope on that Black Widow film either.

‘John Wick’ Directors Taking on Period SWAT Film

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, the duo behind the 2014 action smash John Wick, have signed on to direct a period piece about the first SWAT team, which right now has the working title Shanghai SWAT Project (which actually sounds pretty badass), according to the folks at The Tracking Board.

The film will center on William E Fairbairn, a British soldier that became a legendary cop. Between the World Wars, Fairbairn was sent to Shanghai in the 20’s and 30’s to help clean up one of the most dangerous places on the planet. While he was there, Fairbairn was attacked and stabbed a dozen times. Although left for dead, Fairbairn recovered. And when he did come back it was with a team of the best operatives from around the world. He created the first SWAT team to combat the criminals that ran Shanghai.

Faibairn is famous for creating a unique fighting style called Defendu and is said to be the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond character.

If this film calls for action (which it most definitely will), you couldn’t ask for better men behind the camera than Stahelski and Leitch. Besides directing John Wick, the duo worked in the stunt department for a lot of the most action packed movies of the last two decades. The Matrix series, 300, V for Vendetta, The Wolverine…the list goes on and on!

This Fairbairn is the kind of guy that NEEDS to have a movie made about him. I’m shocked it’s taken me this long to hear about how kick-ass this guy was…or that it’s taken this long for Hollywood to get something like this in development.

It’s not known at this time where this film will fall in the duo’s schedule. They have this and the upcoming John Wick sequel on their plates. And they may still be in the running for the Chris Pratt vehicle Cowboy Ninja Viking.

Whenever this gets made, expect me to be in line day one to see it!

Star Wars Celebration Will Live Stream Panels and New Footage!

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

What a glorious time to be a Star Wars fan.

Starting at 10 am on Thursday April 16, StarWars.com and Verizon will be live-streaming more than 30 hours of content to the fans not able to make the trip to Anaheim this year. This is a first in the history of Star Wars Celebration!

It all starts with the Star Wars: The Force Awakens kickoff panel featuring director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy. From there it’s a cavalcade of Star Wars panels featuring the likes of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and so many others. They’ll be broadcasting the Star Wars fan film awards. We’ll get a look at the new EA videogame Battlefront. And in between all the on-stage action, the StarWars.com crew will host interviews with celebrity guests inside their own personal Mos Eisley Cantina!

Exclusive clips will be available on demand from Verizon long after the final credits roll on the Celebration, meaning fans can re-live the excitement long after the live streams are over.

And the official Star Wars Twitter account revealed that any exclusive footage will be part of the streams. That’s right, no cutting out and no asking for money for an upgrade. Any footage that the fans in Cali get to see, we get to see as well.

It all starts at 10 am PST this Thursday April 16, so get your excuses ready as to why you need to call in sick to work. It’s gonna be a fun weekend!

The First Set Photo From ‘Suicide Squad’ as Principal Photography Begins

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

First we got the first photo of the cast sitting down at a table read. Then we got a blurry photo of Jared Leto doing a decent Killing Joke homage. Now we get the first official set photo from David Ayer’s upcoming Suicide Squad film:

Well, that was…lame. So the official shooting title is BRAVO 14. Wow. Big reveal.

I get that we’re not going to get anything good until San Diego Comic-Con or whenever Warner Bros wants to get us talking, but I’m of the mind that nothing is better than this kind of tease.

I’ve been one of the biggest fans as this goes on, with more and more obscure characters being added almost weekly and awesome rumors and reveals being leaked left and right. I’m starting to get burnt out on Suicide Squad now though.

Maybe Warner Bros needs to hold back on the footage and photos being released for a while. Let us fans forget about it a little bit, then really WOW us with a huge reveal like Harley and Deadshot together, or the Joker in the shadows of his prison cell.

What do you think IR readers? Are you getting as burnt out as I am? Or do you want MORE!?