Thank You All!

Star Wars Birthday

by: Jay Carlson

The dates August 14th and 15th are pretty special to me. Chances are you had never heard of us before those dates last year. When I say us, I mean me, I was the only person writing on Indie Revolver back then. Those posts early on were probably not very good, I know I’d be embarrassed to look back at them now. Up until August 14th I was grinding away for quite a while, happy to just get a handful of daily clicks. I kept at it and when opportunity knocked I answered. The results of that knock were posted in the late afternoon of August 14, 2014 when I released the first images of the new Stormtrooper helmets from what was then only known as Star Wars: Episode VII. The images went viral and that one post was visited by over a million people in 24 hours. It was a whole new ballgame for us after that.

Since then we’ve been extremely lucky, I’ve had the opportunity to visit film sets, interview actors, writers and directors who I admire and watched a lot of films. Most importantly, I’ve spoken with a ton of other film fans. That’s what this was all about for me, meeting and talking to others who love movies the way I do.

I’d like to get gushy for a minute to deliver some specific thank-yous to some pretty special people…

There is my brother from another mother, S. Scott Stanikmas. Without S. Scott working like a madman, Indie Revolver would not be what it is. He honestly amazes me on a consistent basis, tirelessly spending his free time killing himself to pump out as many articles as possible… and he NEVER complains. Without him doing what he does, I would not have the opportunity to work equally hard, behind the scenes. I consider him a partner in every sense when it comes to Indie Revolver. I don’t say it enough, but thank you for coming on and shaping this whole thing with me.

There are my less frequent but still very talented contributors, Marcus Rivera and Adam Glass. You guys are a huge piece of Indie Revolver’s early identity and I’d love to see more of you both in the future.

Not to be forgotten is my wonderful fiancé and occasional contributor, Lizzy Ferro. I appreciate all the sacrifices you’ve made to allow me to pursue this thing and all the support along the way. It was your encouragement that kept me going early on.

I’d be remiss to not mention the help of Alisha Grauso. We haven’t talked in quite a while, but our talks and your encouragement early on meant a lot to me. I appreciate every opportunity and piece of advice you sent my way.

Andy Crump, we work in the same city and I see you out at screenings but we don’t talk nearly enough. You’re one of the most talented sons of bitches out there and are capable of making everyone else feel lazy and inadequate each time you post something new. You have been the most welcoming guy I’ve met while doing this. I owe you a helluva lot more than just a couple lines in this post.

Douglas, you’re one of my oldest and without a doubt my dearest friend. Your insight and critique have meant the world to me. You have contributed to what this has become in more ways than you could ever realize. You are the most talented, kindest and most generous person I have ever met. You make me strive to be better in every aspect of life each and every day. Julie, you get a gold star for allowing us to geek out about things that you and Lizzy Ferro could care less about.

Honorable mentions go to Gabriel Gray (whoever you are), Ervan Norman, Kelvin Chavez (a real class act), Umberto Gonzalez, Germain Lussier, Jeff Sneider, Jason Ward, Ryan Adams, Jaskee Hickman, Gallery 1988, Hero Complex Gallery and Maudie Garrett. Whether you realize your contributions or not, they were in there. (I apologize for anyone I left off, I’m sure there are a bunch.)

Most of all, YOU! You all make this so much fun. I am humbled by those of you who have sent words of encouragement to us. (Most recently @BenjaKenobi-it meant the world, by the way) I love talking to you all, so leave comments! I wish I heard from you all half as much as I hear from Droncz87. That guy is an all-star!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much. We’re just getting started!


Alright, if you’ve made it this far I’d say you deserve a reward… What should it be….?

Here, have a look at a new piece of Star Wars: The Force Awakens concept art featuring Maz Kanata.

We’re told this image may come from the scene we referenced in our previous Knights of Ren article in which Maz is sharing a vision with Rey, Finn and Han. (Based off the description I’m reasonably certain this is the image that was referenced by MSW a while back here before we knew Maz was a she.)


Jay Discusses ‘He Named Me Malala’ With Academy Award Winning Director Davis Guggenheim


Davis Guggenheim

by: Jay Carlson

Academy Award winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim sat down to discuss his newest film, He Named Me Malala. The film centers on the important story of Malala Yousafzai,, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.  The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally.


Question: What brought you to the story of Malala?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: These producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, were hunting down the life rights. The book was sort of pre-published and they had read some early chapters. They had acquired the life rights of Malala and her father and they were so blown away after meeting her in person that on the plane ride back to L.A. they were like, this can’t be a feature, it should be a documentary. And so they called me.

Then when they asked me I was like give me a few days and so I read, I was just reading more about her. I only knew a little bit. Like most people I knew that she was shot on her school bus. If that was it, it may not have been enough but I became very interested in this idea of this father/daughter relationship. I have two daughters and it made me wonder, what was the chemistry between these two people? What was it that made them so interesting? So that pulled me in.

Q: How did Malala and her family respond to having the cameras on them?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: They were very into it. (Originally) They were unknown people in the Swat Valley, where the whole thing happened. It was a beautiful place, a very peaceful place until the Taliban came in. They felt at that time to tell their story was a necessity, to bring help. In the movie she Malala 2starts blogging for the BBC, she starts speaking out publicly. So for them telling their story is part of their mission…. Which is refreshing. Often you start to bring out a camera and people run away from you. You can’t pretend that if you bring in a camera crew that people that people are just going to totally ignore it and act normally all the time. That being said, they were very open and very comfortable. The trick is that if you’re there long enough, people end up acting the way they’re going to act. People tend to be tense and self-conscious for a bit then they become themselves.

Q: Before you brought the cameras out you had lengthy interviews with the family. What was the experience like in those three hour conversations and if they differed with later interactions?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: In a fundamental way. People change when you bring a camera in a room. But people want to communicate they want to connect. Doing these very simple one on one interviews, you and me just talking, with no one else around. It can be different when you’re talking and someone is holding a pole over your head. I just sat in Malala’s office, just me and her and talked for three hours. She came out saying, “I’ve given so many interviews but I’ve never told anyone this.” There’s a spirit of intimacy in those conversations and there’s a spirit of wandering. Meaning you’re not deciding where the conversation is going. It’s like doing an interview without any notes.  I recommend it if you haven’t done it.  To make a connection and follow where it goes. Sometimes that’s hard if you have a story to write. Sometimes you want to cover the five beats you need to cover. If you’re really listening to the answer, sometimes that answer leads you to the next place. Instead of skipping along the surface and covering five different things, it takes one thing and it goes deeper.

Q: Were there any documentary films that you had in mind when you were going through the process as inspirational pieces?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: There was a film, Waltz with Bashir, which was an animated Israeli film. VERY different, very different.  But it was a documentary with a lot of animation. I studied it. They had built an animation company, so I was interested in how they did it. Weirdly, I’ve never told anyone this, I looked at the film Grizzly Man. I looked at a lot of movies. I studied how that movie goes back and forth between a lighter tone and heavier tone and how it intercuts that. This is like… I’ve never made a movie like this before, very difficult story structure. It doesn’t really hold up as a comparison to another movie. For good or bad.

Q: There’s a moment in the film where we see a montage of talking heads talking about their hesitancy to have Malala thrust as this figurehead for all of the Middle East. What do you think the objections are in these communities to her being this Westernized figure?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Well there are a lot of people who love her and think she’s amazing. Then there are people… I don’t want to give too much voice to the negativity but in simple terms people think… her poorly informed critics think she’s a tool of the West. I think people in the region say, why doesn’t she just come home? If she loves her country so much why doesn’t she just come home? And it’s very clear in the movie that it’s not safe for her to go home yet.

Q: Did you have any personal safety concerns since your subject was a target of the Taliban?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: I think she’s safe. What’s beautiful about her is that she doesn’t live in fear. Her mission is really important to her. She worries and is scared for sixty-six million other girls who don’t have school. On her eighteenth birthday she asked if she could go back to the refugee camp that we were at. She connects very closely to those girls who are experiencing what she went through.

Q: What about as a result of the film in general? Were you concerned that there would be any sort of response from members of the Taliban?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Not really. I suspect they won’t like the film, but I didn’t make it for them. Whenever I make a film I think of a very specific audience… I mean I want the film to be for everyone, but I really thought of a teenage girl in Japan or in New Jersey or in India, I thought what would this young girl think of? How would they watch this movie?

Q: What was your hope for a Western audience to take away from this? Aside from just education. What do you think a teenage girl from New Jersey has to learn from Malala?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: I have two daughters that go to a safe school, but I think there are a lot of things that keep them from feeling confident and speaking out. I think there’s a lot to learn from Malala because she was an ordinary girl who was brave enough to speak out for what she believed. And I know from myself that there are many things that bother me and disturb me and I say nothing.Malala 4 So I think that there’s a lesson in this for everyone. If she can do it, if she can risk her life to do it, I can do it. I can speak. How important that is and how that simple value is forgotten. That simple act. Malala and her father talk about how it was their duty to speak out. I think a lot of us shirk that duty.

Q: A lot of documentary filmmakers say that they’ll usually go into a project having one film in mind and by the time they’re done with it it’s a completely different film.

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: That’s a good question.

Q: What was that process like for you with this film?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: I think if you start with a film in mind and you make that film, it won’t be very good because the process of documentary is discovering your story as you go, especially if you’re shooting new material. Things are going to happen that you never imagined. I never imagined the moment of Malala and her brother’s arm wrestling or her older brother saying he was the favorite child of the mother, things like that. Also the more fundamental deep questions that come up. When you make a movie you go on a journey and that’s a journey of discovery. My father who made great documentaries said, “Let the story reveal itself to you.” That was such a great lesson. If you’re open as you make it, you’ll find things you never imagined.

Q: You mentioned you were inspired by Malala and her family and their relationships and how they interact. Was there anything that surprised you about the family and the way that they interact together?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: I think it’s easy to think that she’s a superhero. Sometimes you see these extraordinary people and you think, I know I can’t throw a football like Tom Brady, I can’t sing like Beyoncé, I could never be Malala.

She was born that way. I think that’s the surprising thing for me, she was an ordinary girl. Her life could have gone another way very easily. Part of it is the love of her father and her mother, but also it was her deciding to make a choice that made her extraordinary. That’s what’s so interesting, I think we all have that potential in us.

Q: The film opens with an animated interlude about the story of the original Malala, who she is named after. Where did the idea of using the animated segments come from and what do you think it communicates?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Necessity is the mother of invention, right? I find, as you said, that you don’t know where the movie is going to go. Sometimes your biggest problems become the inspiration for interesting, creative ideas. Malala told me the story of Maiwand, which happened like a hundred years ago, or the story of her mother selling her books for candy, which she did in a place with no cameras. Those pieces are fundamental to the story. So how do I do that? Do I do reenactments with guys in helmets or an actor playing her mother, selling her books for candy? The thought of not putting those elements in the movie wasn’t a choice, in my opinion. Some documentaries get kind of hamstringed by those things and the filmmaker says, “I don’t have those things, I’m not going to put them in the movie.” I had done some animation in other movies, but smaller things. So I decided to build an animation company in my studio in Venice. I had a team of animator’s hand drawing these images. It was pretty fun… and hard.  Really hard. The other part about it is the way Malala and her father were telling these stories, it had a kind of romantic longing. Almost a storybook feel. Sometimes that’s what I go for. Not just literally what they’re saying but what the feeling is. This battle could be told from the told from a half Jewish half Episcopalian guy from L.A. with long hair but I decided to animate it from the point of view of a young girl. If you’re saying, “I was named after this character.” What would that be like? So we kept redrawing and redrawing and I wanted it to feel like she’s imagining this girl climbing a mountain. It’s a storybook mountain.

Q: Did Malala have any input into how the animation looked?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: A little bit. Early on I showed them and said, “I’m going to do this.” And they were like, “What? I don’t understand.” But when I showed them they said, “Oh this is very beautiful.” They were great. They just sort of trusted me to tell their story and they loved it.

Q: There’s obviously moments you capture in a documentary, moments, shots that you didn’t plan. Were there ever any moments where the cameras weren’t on that you kick yourself for something that you may have missed?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Always. We were there when she didn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize because everyone thought that she was going to win that year. Then we weren’t there when she did win the following year. She was at school and her teacher came in and told her in class that she’d won the Nobel Peace Prize. That would have been cool capture. No one thought that she was going to win then and we couldn’t be at the school anyway. That’s one of many.

Q: One of the things Malala doesn’t talk about very much is her personal suffering. I was wondering about how you tried to talk to her about it. When asked directly she didn’t want to answer.

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: You see I kept asking her that question. She clearly didn’t want to go there.

Q: Besides Malala’s suffering was there anything else that anyone else in the family was hesitant to discuss?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: A lot of people ask about the mother, why she isn’t as present in the film. Malala 3People read a lot into that. It’s actually a simple answer, Custom. Her custom from this part of the
world, being on camera is a bit immodest. Not from religion, but from tradition. In the beginning she didn’t really want to be a part of it, but towards the end she really wanted to be a part of it.

Q: When you’re making a documentary have you ever gotten to a point when you start to worry that there isn’t enough “meat on the bone” for what you were hoping to capture? If so, how does your process change based on that?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Oh yeah. I’m always doubting, I’m always worrying. I still… I watched the movie two nights ago and I thought, “Why did I do that? Why didn’t I do this?” I’m never quite satisfied.

Q: It’s a high wire act compared to narrative features.


Q: With a narrative feature you have a script page, you shoot your coverage and you’re done. With a documentary, you’re just out there and you’re trying to make sure you capture enough of those special moments. Then you’re finding the film in the editing room.

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Narrative people have it easy. They have a script. Good ones make the script better. At the very least it’s a map of where you’re going. In documentaries you don’t have that map, you don’t have a script. The first day you have your script is the last day of editing. It’s like, “Ok, that’s what it was.” Finding it is really hard. REALLY hard.  Especially a movie like this that intercuts different times, it’s like a massive puzzle. It’s a puzzle that took a year and a half to solve. We were editing for a year and a half.

Q: What questions are people asking and is there something that they’re not asking that you wanted to get across?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Sometimes the fundamental themes that are buried in the movie you feel but don’t necessarily acknowledge. And sometimes it should just stay that way. I think at the core of the movie it builds to this choice. I’m not the first person to say this but great characters are defined by the choices they make. When you’re forced to commit one way or the other. Am I in or am I out? To me the movie builds towards a choice of a girl… To speak out and risk her life and her father to let her do it and what are the things that led to that choice? To me, that’s really essential because you read about her as a girl who was shot on a school bus. That’s a victim story. But I don’t think (the film) is a victim story. I think this is about her making a choice, which inspires me. That’s what defines her. Her choice to speak out.

Q: It’s right there in the title, HE named me Malala. You mentioned at the beginning that it was a father/daughter story. When did that emerge? At what point when speaking with the family did you realize that he was such a key player?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Right when I started reading about her. I thought, “Oh, this is interesting.” Maybe because I have two daughters. As a filmmaker the more I’m drawn in a certain direction… I could easily have made a geopolitical film that talks about Afghanistan and Pakistan and the history of that region. What are the forces that were there to create the Taliban and what’s America’s involvement? But I was really interested in this father/daughter story. The bigger mystery (to me) was this father/daughter… what were the ingredients to this relationship?

Q: Was there anything that you found surprising about their dynamic that you hadn’t realized before you went into it?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Everything. You go in with an open mind, but you go in with questions. Is he a puppet master? Is she just a puppet? That’s certainly not the case, in my opinion. Did naming her influence how she acted? What is the nature of destiny? Did she choose this life? Something about the title provokes those questions. I want the title to provoke those questions.

Q: What is your hope with the film coming out?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: The dreamy version of it, and I love to dream, is it’s more than just a movie it’s a movement. There are sixty-six million girls who are out of school and Malala feels very deeply connected to them and wants to help them. She always talks about how each one of those girls have a story just like hers. The hope is that people see this film and connect to that and maybe speak out. Maybe the Malala fund raises the money to build some schools. Maybe it influences world leaders and changes policy.

Q: What you think Malala’s future will look like after the film?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: Can’t wait to find out. Sky’s the limit. She’s such an amazing person. She has all the potential in the world.

Q: What’s next for you?

DAVIS GUGGENHEIM: I’m going to take a sabbatical and be a dad. I’ve been on too many airplanes and not a present dad so I’m going to make dinner every night and bring my kids to school. Work less. I don’t have another project. Unemployed currently.

Q: Thanks, Davis.

He Named Me Malala opens nationwide today. It’s a remarkable and inspiring story that everyone should make the effort to see.

Trailer: The Ladies of Jane Austen’s Classic Kick Some Ass in ‘ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’!

Pride Predjudice Zombies 1

Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Director: Burr Steers
Writers: Burr Steers, David O’Russell
Cast: Lily James, Sam Riley, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Lena Headey

Trailer: The Coen Brothers are Back With an All-Star Cast for ‘Hail Caesar’!

Hail, Caesar

Four-time Oscar®-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

IR Halloween: Image Comics’ ‘Outcast’ Possesses Supernerd

Outcast Logo

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Writer Robert Kirkman might be typecast as “the horror guy” after his many series at Image Comics, but the man does it so well that there’s no negative connotation to it. After conquering the zombie genre with the hugely popular The Walking Dead and taking on a government assassin with a supernatural twist in Haunt, the scribe decided for his next project to tackle the issue of demonic possession with artist Paul Azaceta in Outcast.

The story centers around a young man named Kyle Barnes who, over the course of the first few issues, we learn has first-hand experience with possession – having been possessed followed by having his demon exorcised. But the forces of evil are still holding sway over his life, whether it was by taking over his mother and leaving her in a catatonic state or by subduing his wife and making him almost kill her in front of their daughter. No matter what, the dark side has been right by Kyle’s side. He feels burdened with that, living a life of solitude in his childhood home haunted by the demons of his past. But a chance for redemption comes in the form of local priest Reverend Anderson (one of the few people who will actually associate with Kyle by choice), who calls upon the young man to help him with what he believes to be a case of possession.

Kyle is now entering a world that he thought he knew but is wholly unprepared for. He soon learns that demonic possession is all around him, affecting people without being obvious. He also learns that he has power over the demons that live inside these humans. The entities call him “Outcast” and flee their vessels at his touch (or at the very least experience a great deal of pain and become very agitated).

This could be seen as a blessing or a curse though. Just as Kyle saves one young boy and sets him right he turns another child catatonic, leaving her as dead to the world as his mother. Add onto this the fact that the Devil (or one of his higher ranking servants) is living within a stone’s throw of Kyle and regularly visiting the demonically afflicted in the area. He’s also been tormenting Reverand Anderson, carving him with filthy sigils and making him doubt his faith for not having made any real change with his work, but Kyle is seemingly blind to this for the time being.

Kirkman has said that he has a very set plan for this series and he knows exactly where he wants it to end up, which is great. Stories that have a clear path tend to have a better narrative flow, as the storytellers know they want to get from Point A to Point Z and have to hit certain plot points in between. And RK’s writing style is great, adding emotion to every character. Kyle’s voice is full of frustration as he tries to figure out what he is and Reverend Anderson’s grief over his failure to save his flock is palpable.

The art provided by Paul Azaceta is ethereal. It isn’t a super defined style, like Greg Capullo or Todd McFarlane, but it conveys all the emotion you need. One standout scene from a recent issue comes to mind: While gassing up the car after a long road trip with the good reverend (and a particularly difficult exorcism that left the aforementioned young girl in a coma), Kyle stops and takes a look around to see everyone staring at him. Azaceta pulls each face into their own mini box, giving each onlooker their own close-up but still being vague enough that you can’t tell possessed from regular human, making this one giant creepy guessing game. It’s a very moody two-page spread that sticks with you.

With an order for a TV series from Showtime that will be based on the comic, Outcast is turning out to be one hell of a ride (pardon the pun). With only a years worth of issues out so far it shouldn’t be too hard to catch up with this story on a long, lazy weekend afternoon. Kirkman and Azaceta have definitely taken hold of me as a reader…and I’m not looking to exorcise this comic from my pull list anytime soon.

It’s Official! F. Gary Gray Signs on to get Fast and Furious!


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

After a grueling search, Universal has chosen a director for the eighth installment in their Fast And Furious franchise.

Gary Gray has officially signed on to sit behind the camera for the first of three films that will bring a close to the story of Domenic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his family.

The filmmaker sent out a tweet announcing his involvement and his happiness at being included in the high-octane series:

Gray is just coming off the summer hit Straight Outta Compton but he has done some impressive action work in the past. He helmed the remake of The Italian Job, Law Abiding Citizen and A Man Apart, which also starred Vin Diesel.

Production is expected to begin as soon as possible to hit the checkered flag that is the release date of April 14, 2017.

Upcoming Pixar Slate Including ‘Incredibles 2’ and a New Date for ‘Toy Story 4’


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

PIXAR has decided to excite its fan base and throw down some release dates for some of its highly anticipated films. And one of them is something fans have been waiting years for.

The biggest news is that Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 now has an official release date. The superhero family flick will drop into theaters on June 21, 2019. And while it is a little under four years away, at least we know when we can expect it.

Bird commented last month about the progress of the film, saying that the script was about three quarters done and that storyboarding had already been started.

Nothing is known about the plot, but Bird has been saying for a while now that his focus isn’t on the powers but rather how the people react to having and using them. And with the family now comfortable with going out in public and using their powers perhaps we’ll see a story dealing with how the world reacts to the heroes returning.

In a bit of disappointing news it would seem that Toy Story 4 has been pushed back. No reason was given for the jump from June 16, 2017 to June 15, 2018, but seeing as this is the franchise that launched the PIXAR ship I don’t blame them for taking their time in getting this one right. We know it will be a love story between Woody and Bo Peep, but other than that the studio is keeping everyone in the dark.

Speeding into TS4’s old spot is Cars 3. I’ve never been a big Cars fan but if the kids love it and it makes money at the box office I don’t see the studio walking away from that anytime soon.

Also on the schedule is the closely approaching The Good Dinosaur on November 25, the highly anticipated Finding Dory on June 17, 2016 and Coco on November 22, 2017.

Marvel Studios Moves Film Dates and Phase Four News!


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

With the addition of Ant-Man and the Wasp to Phase Three, some films needed to get shuffled around to accommodate the newest project. But these are tiny heroes so the moves weren’t too off-putting.

Marvel Studios already made the announcement that Black Panther would be getting a bump up, going from July 6, 2018 to February 16, 2018. With T’Challa looking to make his debut in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War I’m of the mind that the sooner we get to see the regal superhero in a solo film the better.

Unfortunately another film had to get pushed back a bit further. Captain Marvel has been pushed from November 2, 2018 to March 8, 2019.

These new date aren’t the only ones the studio has claimed. Looking forward to Phase Four, Marvel Studios has planted their flags in three prospective dates for future film.

We can expect movies on May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020 and November 6, 2020. Being so far off means even speculation as to what these films could be is futile. But with three films in one year we can assume at least one will be a major Avenger in a solo film while the other two could possibly be sequels for some of the smaller characters (Doctor Strange or another Guardians Of The Galaxy) or brand new concepts for the big screen.

I wouldn’t expect concrete confirmation as to what Marvel Studios is planning any time soon though. At least until Phase Three is almost at an end, in late 2018 or early 2019.

Official Synopsis for ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

xmen_apocalypse logo

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

We don’t have a trailer yet (except for the bootleg footage that surfaced online after San Diego Comic Con), but the official synopsis for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse has surfaced.

Buried in a press release announcing the pairing of the next chapter in FOX’s mutant saga with M&Ms (because why not?), we have a basic idea as to what we can expect:

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

Ever since Apocalypse was teased in the post-credits scene of X-Men: Days Of Future Past fans have been eagerly anticipating director Bryan Singer’s next film. Apocalypse is a great way to bring the trilogy that started with X-Men: First Class to a close. He’s probably one of the biggest bad the mutants face in the comics so it’s only appropriate that he finds his way to the silver screen.

The usual suspects are back with fan favorites Mystique, Beast, Professor X and Magneto being joined by new mutants Cyclops, Nightcralwer, Storm, Jubilee and Jean Grey.

X-Men: Apocalypse will bring destruction to theaters all over on May 27, 2016.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Coming in 2018!


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

It looks like Marvel Studios has big plans for their smallest heroes.

After doing a decent amount of bank at the box office ($409M worldwide) Marvel Studios has officially announced a sequel to Ant-Man. And fans won’t even have to wait for Phase Four to see it.

Scheduled to hit theaters in summer of 2018 will be the aptly titled Ant-Man and the Wasp. Marvel is touting that this will be their first film released with a female superhero’s name in the title.

This was set up with the first of two post-credit scenes at the end of Ant-Man. The scene in question is when Hope Van Dyne (Evageline Lilly) is shown a prototype Wasp suit (like her mother Janet used to wear) by her inventor father, the original Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). The two then share a look that says it’s time to get this suit battle ready.

Lilly will return to comprise one half of the titular duo, with Paul Rudd also coming back to reprise his role of Scott Lang a.k.a. Ant-Man.

This film takes Black Panther’s spot in the lineup, with T’Challa taking a bump and releasing February 16, 2018 (which is actually closer to the original date it had of November 3, 2017 before the big Sony / Marvel Studios Spider-Man deal).

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige did promise that Wasp would make her debut in Phase Three. Fans all over thought that it would probably be as a bit player in one of the two announced Avengers: The Infinity War films, but now we know better.

Now if we can just get that Black Widow film…

‘X-Files’ Blu-Ray Box Set to Reveal the Truth This Holiday Season


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Wish lists the world over can scratch another show off.

First it was the resurrection of Twin Peaks on Showtime and the (currently) complete Blu-ray box set. Then we had the classic 1966 Batman TV show debut in high definition… Now fans will be able to get their hands on the complete 9 season run of The X-Files this holiday season.

While FOX hasn’t put out an official announcement yet, a number of sources are saying that a complete box set is slated to hit stores December 8 2015. TVShowsOnDVD has the picture of what fans can expect to see on retailer’s shelves this shopping season:


And a basic description of the set has surfaced online as well:

Now for the first time, all nine exhilarating, groundbreaking seasons of The X-Files, along with special features, can be yours to own on Blu-ray! Although they began as reluctant partners, FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (Golden Globe winners David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) ultimately form a powerful bond as they struggle to unravel deadly conspiracies and solve paranormal mysteries. Blu-ray Collector’s Boxset contains full seasons 1 – 9.

Sure fans might crap on the fact that you have to own the subpar later seasons or that it would seem the box set won’t contain the two films making it incomplete in a sense, but this is the first time the entire run will be out on blu-ray! I’ve turned into a high-def snob in the last few years and am drooling with anticipation in adding this to my shelf.

And for those not indoctrinated in the ways of Mulder and Scully this gives them a month and a half to catch up before FOX premieres the new six-episode revival on January 24, 2016.

Does Anyone Want to See a Remake of ‘8 Millimeter’?


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Back in 1995 David Fincher made a huge splash directing the darkly genius Se7en and Andrew Kevin Walker became one of the most sought after screenwriters in Hollywood. It’s just too bad that his follow up effort 8MM was treated like a joke and pretty much left to whimper and die like the snuff film at the center of the mediocre mystery.

Walker has even talked about how let down he was by the film and how the experience soured him on the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown. In interviews he talked about how he cringed at some of the lines he heard in the trailers and that he couldn’t bear to watch the film and see a bastardized version of his vision on the big screen.

In an interview Uproxx conducted with Walker they asked about the inevitable possibility of a Se7en remake, but the screenwriter was more up for a re-envisioning of the Nic Cage / Joaquin Phoenix mystery-thriller:

Half-jokingly my reaction would be, why don’t we leave Se7en alone and I think it’s time to go re-make 8MM, which I would love to do. But if they want to make Seven into a TV show, if they want to make Seven into a cartoon — there was a comic book exploring John Doe’s character, which I think is not an interesting exploration — you don’t have any control over it. You just have to go with the flow. But it’s been nice that it’s been this movie that has not be remade or sequelized or prequelized. That’s been terrific.

There were some good moments in 8MM but as a big studio flick it never fully embraced its dark side. Sure Cage was warned repeatedly that he was getting in too deep, but it never had that sense of danger or air of trouble. I’d love to see a darker, meaner update that sticks closer to Walker’s original vision.

But it’s unlikely that we’ll get it, even with Hollywood’s hard-on for remakes and playing it safe with established material. So for now we just have to deal with a half-hearted effort brought to us by the guy who put nipples on the Bat-suit.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Joins the Cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’!

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

In moves that rival the Furious 8 director search in quickness, Star Wars Episode VIII has cast one of its two primary female parts.

Collider is reporting that Gugu Mbatha-Raw has signed on to take a trip to a galaxy far, far away.

While not confirmed by Disney, Collider is confident that their sources are strong in this one.

Stories have surfaced in the past week naming Mbatha-Raw a top contender for Liongate’s Robin Hood film, but production of that may have conflicted with Star Wars forcing the actress to choose one over the other. If that was the case it seems the actress has made up her mind.

Originally Tatiana Maslany, Olivia Cooke and Gina Rodriguez and Mbatha-Raw were all on the shortlist for a pair of female roles in the upcoming Episode VIII. But with Cooke signing on for Ready Player One and Maslany now reportedly joining Lionsgate’s Boston Marathon Bombing film it would seem Disney and LucasFilm’s top choices are dwindling.

Nothing is known yet about the character Mbatha-Raw is set to play. The only thing we know for sure is that Rian Johnson is set to write and direct and that Star Wars Episode VIII is slated to hit theaters May 26, 2017.

Rick Moranis Turned Down ‘Ghostbusters’ Cameo But is Still Open to Acting

Rick Moranis Ghostbusters

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen Rick Moranis on the big or small screen. The now 62-year-old actor took a break in 1997 after his wife tragically passed away from breast cancer, opting to be a good dad and stay with his kids. That doesn’t mean Moranis has given up on the acting game all together, though.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moranis talked about why he’s stayed away for so long and what could possibly bring him back:

I took a break, which turned into a longer break. But I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest, I’ll probably do it. It wasn’t a formal decision. It began in an already busy year where I declined a film that was being shot out of town as the school year was beginning. But I was fortunate to be able to continue to make a living writing and doing voice work in Manhattan.

So it’s not that he shunned acting – he just wants to find the right part.

Thankfully that right part wasn’t in Paul Feig’s Ghosybusters film. Apparently he was approached to cameo in the female-centric reboot but didn’t see the point in his involvement:

[But Ghostbusters] didn’t appeal to me. I wish them well. I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?

If only the rest of the original cast followed Moranis’ logic…

Fans should be happy that Moranis has found happiness in his life. If he never came back to the acting world he at least left a body of work that was entertaining and (for the most part) funny.

But there’s always hope for one more movie, right?

‘Alien: Paradise Lost’ Will Have More Than Just a Cast of Two to Terrorize

Prometheus Fassbender

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

When Prometheus ended, Noomi Rapace’s Dr. Shaw and Michael Fassbender’s android David (or at least his head) were seen shooting off into space to look for answers from the enigmatic Engineers who probably created mankind but also created the creatures that would become the Xenomorphs.

But how much fun is a sequel if the aliens in question only have one and one-fifth victims to chase?

Ridley Scott has the answer to that question. In talking with AwardsCampaign, the filmmaker talked about how our survivors from the first film will actually run across a new crew of space travelers for the Xenomorphs to antagonize:

It’s going to be its own separate thing because they are going to the planet of the Engineers and they are going to see what happened there. It was a disaster. And they will be in that alien craft that takes them there, but with a new group that’s incoming, a new group of travelers in the beginning of the first act.

As to exactly who these astronauts will be is anyone’s guess at the moment. They could be space scavengers or interstellar pirates. It could be a rival team of scientists hoping to piggyback on the Weyland Corporation’s discoveries or if Scott wanted to give us a mild sense of connectivity it might be a team of Space Marines that intercept Shaw and David en route to answering another distress call.

All that we do know for sure is that the Prometheus sequel Alien: Paradise Lost will be Ridley Scott’s next film, prepping for start in early 2016.

F. Gary Gray in Exclusive Talks for ‘Furious 8’

F. Gary Gray

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Much like the high octane roadsters driven by the cast, the search for a director for the next Fast And Furious film is flying by just as quickly.

Just a day after it was announced that there were three contenders for the coveted role it would seem Universal has cut that number down by two. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the studio has set its sights on F. Gary Gray, and the director wants in on the action as well.

Sources are saying that “Gray has told the studio he wishes to initiate negotiations for a deal.”

Things are looking extremely promising. The director met with Vin Diesel on Monday and the actor shared a photo of the two on social media. They just happen to be sitting in front of a corkboard covered in images from past Fast And Furious films:

It’s unknown exactly what kind of deal Gray and Universal will enter, but you’d have to think it would include some kind of rider that ties the director in for the final two films as well. As long as the next one goes good, that is.

As of right now Furious 8 is penciled in for April 14, 2017.

Will the New ‘Spider-Man’ Film an “Ultimate” Edge??

Miles Morales Spider-Man

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

We already know that the Spider-Man debuting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and in the upcoming reboot will be Peter Parker. But does that rule out a cameo that some might consider…Ultimate?

I’m speaking of course of the Ultimate Universe Spider-Man himself Miles Morales. Back before we got the Parker confirmation there were rumors that to diversify their universes Marvel Studios and Sony were entertaining the idea of the multiracial Morales as the wall-crawler.

While speaking with Yahoo Movies to promote the blu-ray release of Cop Car, director Jon Watts was asked if we might see Miles Morales appear alongside Peter Parker:

I can’t talk about that, because, you know, that will reveal too much. We’re still writing the story…we haven’t finished all the way through the story yet, so who knows?

The fact that he isn’t at liberty to confirm or deny is a good sign for Miles Morales fans. This means the powers-that-be might be entertaining the idea to at least introduce the character in he hopes of one day using him.

We might have to wait until casting begins for the scheduled Spider-Man reboot to see if we can spot anyone that fits Morlaes’ description.

Shining Prequel ‘The Overlook Hotel’ Won’t be Your Average Origin Story


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

When it was announced that a prequel to The Shining was in the works it was rightfully met with trepidation. Stanley Kubrick’s classic tale of madness is perfect all on its own.

But Warner Bros is doing its damnedest to make sure this movie, titled The Overlook Hotel, stands on its own and isn’t played out like your average origin story. And the studio wants to assure fans that the way the film is being handled is with the utmost care.

First it’s in the scripting. The story is based on Stephen King’s deleted prologue, called “Before The Play” and was written by The Walking Dead showrunner Glenn Mazzara.

Variety first reported that the gist is it’s “the origin story of the Overlook Hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson. A robber baron at the turn of the 20th century, Watson scaled the remote peaks of the Colorado Rockies to build the grandest resort in America, and a place he and his family would also call home.”

The next shot in the one-two punch is the directing. Over the summer it was reported that Mark Romanek would helm the film. The man behind films like One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go has a unique vision and if left to his own devices could produce an interesting piece of work.

Producer James Vanderbilt spoke with Collider and reassured the public that Warner Bors was committed to making the best film possible:

One of the things that’s amazing about [Mark] is that he’s a strong filmmaker with his own convictions, and Mark is gonna make the movie Mark is gonna make… I think there’s something wonderful about a director who says, ‘No, this is the film.’ Fincher was the same way. It’s like, ‘This is the movie I wanna make. If you don’t wanna make that movie, that’s totally cool, then we won’t make the movie.’ And now as someone who’s directed a film, that’s kinda what you want. You want the captain of the ship to be like, ‘I know what the film is, I know how to make it, let’s go do it.

You want a real filmmaker like Mark doing it… Honestly I think people will really be excited about it, because it’s not like ’20 Years Before The Shining!’. I don’t want to give too much away about the story but the way Glen cracked it and the way Mark has sort of cracked it, it’s completely its own film, which I think is super smart. It’s not like, ‘When Scatman Crothers was young, he…it’s not that.

It’s good to know that a studio will still get behind a filmmaker when they have a vision and let him see it out. But as the saying goes “Talk is cheap.” We’ll see just how far WB is willing to let Roamnek go when we get the final vision on the big screen.

‘Black Panther’ Close to Hiring a Screenwriter

Black Panther

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

There were reports that even though he’s being courted for Furious 8, Marvel Studios was looking at F. Gary Gray to direct Black Panther. But new word is that the studio is looking to nail down a script first before looking for a director.

And they might have found just the writer for the job. The Wrap is saying that Joe Robert Cole is being looked at to write the script for the Phase Three film.

Cole’s only other claim to fame is writing and directing the 2011 thriller Amber Lake. He was in line to write the 2019 releasing Inhumans for Marvel Studios, but it’s being said that he’s off of that film to focus solely on Black Panther.

The screenwriter comes from Marvel Studio’s in-house program, much like Guardians Of The Galaxy scripter Nicole Perlman.

The film is set to star Chadwick Boseman as the superhero who also happens to be the reigning king of the sovereign nation of Wakanda. He’ll debut in next year’s Captain America: Civil War before his own solo film drops July 6, 2018.

Ellen Page in Talks for Flatliners Remake

Ellen Page 1

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Flatliners isn’t really an unsung classic. Which is why the remake has been flying under the radar with nary a peep being said against it. The original film starred Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, Kiefer Sutherland and William Baldwin as med students who traverse into the afterlife by flatlining and having their associates resuscitate them.

The new version, which comes from a script by Ben Ripley, has been kicking around for a few years now with nothing really happening with it until recently.

Variety is reporting that not only does the film have a director but it may have its first star.

Looking through the lens will be Niels Arden Oplev. The director’s biggest claim to fame so far has been the original Swedish film version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Currently in negotiations to work in front of the camera is Ellen Page. The actress would take up the Julia Roberts role if she were to sign on. Page has a diverse resume and this would be another unique role for her.

I don’t know if now is the right time for this remake to come out. While not a direct interpretation of Flatliners, this year already saw the release of the underwhelming Lazarus Effect which could be looked at as the Flatliners’ bastard cousin. I’m just afraid that people would see a similar trailer and equate one with the other and automatically dismiss it. Realistically, there will probably be enough room to breathe between the two, as Flatliners isn’t dropping anytime too soon.

Other than that, with the advances in digital effects and the like, this could be an interesting film. I’ll wait until I see how the rest of the cast rounds out until I give my final judgement on how the project looks.

Three Top Contenders Race to the Front of the Pack for ‘Furious 8’


by: S. Scott Stanikmas

After Vin Diesel taking to Facebook and stirring the pot regarding the director of the eighth installment of the Fast And Furious franchise, it looks like we’ve now got a good idea as to who Universal is looking at to sit behind the camera.

The Hollywood Reporter says that the studio has narrowed the primary list down to a top three. The trio being looked at are F.Gary Gray, Louis Leterrier and Adam Wingard. The Wrap is reporting that Gray is the current frontrunner.

Gray seems like a safe choice. His N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton was a sleeper hit this summer. And he’s got action cred on his resume as he helmed films such as the remake of The Italian Job (which featured Jason Statham), Law Abiding Citizen and A Man Apart (which also starred Vin Diesel).

The studio can’t go wrong with Leterrier, either. The filmmaker brought us the first two Transporter films, The Incredible Hulk and Now You See Me. While his films might not always capture audiences there’s no denying he has what it takes to deliver the goods.

The dark horse here is Wingard. Known primarily for horror like You’re Next, The Guest and segments in the V/H/S and The ABC’s Of Death anthologies, he’s not really known for the all-out action that the Fast And Furious franchise requires. But let’s not forget that James Wan was only known for horror (the SAW franchise, Insidious and The Conjuring) before knocking it out of the park with Furious 7.

The studio was originally looking to bring back Justin Lin or James Wan to helm the next film (or trilogy of films) but the two were busy with prior commitments to Star Trek Beyond and The Conjuring 2 respectively.

Vin Diesel threw his hat on the ring for the job via Facebook, but that idea was quickly shot down according to industry insiders. It was also being said that Universal wasn’t too happy with Diesel using social media to try and gauge fan reaction to personnel decisions.

The trio will likely meet with execs from Universal and Diesel within the coming weeks to share their vision of what the final three films in the Fast And Furious franchise could be. They might not be the only ones interviewed, but as of right now these three men seem to be the top choices.