Jay Sits Down With Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and Writer Jesse Andrews to Talk ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’

Me and Earl

by: Jay Carlson

I was fortunate enough to speak with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon as well as writer of the source novel and screenplay Jesse Andrews when they passed through Boston recently. Gomez-Rejon might not be a name you know yet but he’s certainly on the come lately after the Sundance success of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. He’s had an interesting trajectory up to this Alfonso Gomez Rejonpoint, with one of his earliest credits as an intern on the excellent Alexandre Rockwell indie film In the Soup starring Steve Buscemi and Seymour Cassel. From there, he moved on to work as a PA on projects such as Casino with Martin Scorsese and 21 Grams with Alejandro González Iñárritu. All the hard work finally got him gigs directing second unit footage on movies like Babel and Argo and finally settling in as a director with American Horror Story and remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon: Working for Scorsese shifted everything. The people you’re exposed to, that knowledge of film history… All of a sudden you’re watching these films with him and he just sets the bar. The three years of PA’ing before (directing) prepare you to keep that job. Going back and talking about this is so weird, you know? I was so young, it was so surreal. As surreal as being at Sundance and there is Scorsese and you’re with him, you know? And you’re just watch like a ninja. You’re just quiet and taking everything in and if he needs something, you’re there with whatever he needed.

Jesse Andrews: (To AGR) You drove him around, right?

AGR: On weekends.

JA: You’re not great with directions. (laughing)

AGR:  I’m good with lefts and rights. (laughing) His teamster would be working nights on Casino. Friday he’d take off after dropping Scorsese off and then I would drive him home Saturday morning and keep the car for that weekend for whatever Marty wanted. That means driving home Saturday morning because usually teamsters with night shoots (Mimes someone leaning and sleeping)… So I’m on set, I’m working 16, 18 hours or whatever. (And I have) to get Marty home and you’re driving home at eight in the morning and you’re doing this (mimes droopy head bob behind the wheel). It was so hard… And then you get lost. That’s the worst part. I drove in to an ally one time and he’s like, “What is this, a rubout?”

I was driving Alejandro (González Iñárritu) on 21 Grams… Benecio, Alejandro, Sean Penn, Naomi Watts… All the assistants drove the actors. It was also a fairly small movie. There I am in Memphis and what do I know about Memphis? And I’m working 20 or 21 hour days and I was on seven days a week, to the point that I physically didn’t think I could finish the job. It was that taxing on me physically because there was no down time. Sometimes he’d be 45 minutes late to the set because I would literally stop and say, “Alejando, I don’t know where I am.” I’d put it in production reports and get yelled at by producers. I’d be like, “Don’t have me drive the director then!” (laughing)

Another time on 21 Grams Alejandro says that he wants me to take his family, his parents who have flown in from Mexico City, his wife and kids and take them all to Graceland. I got lost. (laughs) I’m not kidding. I end up at a dead end with a highway over me and the family is there and Graceland closes! So then I have to drive them all back.

Now I can sense that if someone’s driving me and took a wrong turn… I know what they’re feeling and I’m like, “Don’t worry about it, I know. Don’t worry about it. It’s going to be ok!”

The success of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl has been a whirlwind for Writer Jesse Andrews. Me Jesse Andrewsand Earl is Andrews’ first published novel but he’s been at it for a bit.

JA: When I started writing this book I had already written two books that hadn’t gotten published and were never going to be published so I had no certainty that this wasn’t going to be another of those books. Maybe I’m just doing that for the rest of my life, and that’s fine. I just became much more wedded to process over the outcome.

Indie Revolver: How much of Me and Earl was drawn from your own experiences?

JA: This is not literally my story. I didn’t have a classmate who went through this. Where it comes from is that when I set out to write this book my grandfather was terminally ill. He wasn’t going to be around much longer and I was just thinking a lot about grief, about how incomplete and frustrating any exchanges with someone who is going through something like that… you know someone who is not going to be here that much longer. You never say the thing you wished you had said. You never do the thing you wished you had done. You’ll always recriminate yourself because it wasn’t enough, it wasn’t complete. I saw my mom going through this, too, her father was dying. I knew if I could take that and make something funny out of it and hopeful too, but not unreal. If I could find something in there… that would be something and that was my goal. I had no confidence that I was necessarily going to get there.

IR: So did you set out to adapt your own book? Was that part of the deal when you sold the rights?

JA: I didn’t build that in. It didn’t even really occur to me that that was something that I could do. I just wrote a book… I was ecstatic just to have a book published. Then the selling of the film rights was this very abstract unreal thing to me until my agent put the manuscript in front of this guy Dan Fogelman.

In an interview with Dan Fogelman a couple months ago about his first directorial effort, Danny Collins he spoke a little about his experience on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Dan Fogelman: I just did this movie that was in Sundance, it’s my most recent thing and it just won all of Sundance. It won the whole thing. I produced it, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It’s exceptional, the movie is exceptional. This director is so talented. He’s going to be my generation’s next important director. I think 25 years from now he’s (going to be) my generations Scorsese. I think he’s that good. I didn’t write the script, the novelist (Jesse Andrews) adapted his own book and I taught him how to write the screenplay. We worked through the script together over the course of years and I put a lot into it. The director then took it and made his own version of it. It was such a cool process watching this. The first time I saw it I was like “Whoa.” He took it an elevated it and did it all differently and it’s artistic and cool and I Love that. It’s really something else.

JA: (Regarding Dan Fogelman) He’s a beast. He’s just like this pure beautiful human being and incredibly talented. It was kind of his idea and also my agent’s idea to, if they could, give me the first crack at adapting it. (Producers) Indian Paintbrush was crazy enough to take us on. I think the project became much more appealing once it had Dan packaged in with it, but the arrangement was that he would guide me through the writing process and really make himself available in a way that I think is unusual for a producer/writer relationship. So I got to learn from this total master of his craft. I just tried not to screw it up. (Fogelman’s part in getting the film to the screen) wasn’t a small part. This film wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for him. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to write it without someone like him and there’s only one person like him, it’s him and I got to hang out with him. So it’s amazing.

IR: Alfonso, what brought you to the film?

AGR: My dad had passed away and I was having trouble trying to understand it. Then I got this beautiful gift by Jesse that allowed me that opportunity deal with it and give it a shape and do it through this beautiful, weird sense of humor. That’s why I felt very connected to it. I thought the script dealt with (illness and grief) beautifully and elegantly and age appropriate, whatever that means because it was age appropriate for me.

IR: It’s a bold move to jump into making a film about illness and dying when you’re going through something like that personally. I would have been trying to make anything but something dealing with illness and dying.

AGR: I had been doing that for four years. Until you finally have to deal with it. The only way I could express it was through images and movies and doing what I think I was meant to do, I don’t know. This gave me that opportunity.

IR: Going through that stuff is so relatable. It’s Universal. The film really broke my heart. My son just found out one of his best friends has Leukemia this week and he has a friend that kind of reminds me of Earl. Seeing this film really hit home.

AGR: Hopefully it’s not a downer because the script handled it with such grace and so much humor and that was very important to me.

IR: It didn’t break my heart in a bad way. It’s just such an affecting, well-made film and you really cared for each of those characters.

AGR: It was comforting to me, making the film. Hopefully people feel that. It captured adolescence and I saw myself in Greg before the Bernthal scene and after the Bernthal scene.

IR: How great was Bernthal in this, by the way?

AGR: Isn’t he?

JA: He was great. He’s incredible. He’s a great ad-libber, too. He was one of the few who every take was different and it was good shit. Him and Molly Shannon did some amazing ad-libbing.

IR: Jesse, you’ve written a novel and now a screenplay, what’s the plan going forward? Screenplays? Books? A little of both?

JA: Yeah, both. It’s really creatively fulfilling to get to leverage each one against the other, going from one world to the other and back. They’re so different. The economy and discipline in writing a screenplay… you don’t have a lot of space and you have to choose your words very carefully and that’s energizing but then after a while you want to really stretch out and to go to a book is great. You can just babble for a really long time, relatively speaking. When I write dialogue in a book I like to put in a lot of umms and ahhs and repetition and really try to give a naturalistic feeling to make it sound like kids talk. You can’t really do that in a movie. There are other ways to make it feel real or hyper real but not through that. Not through space. So I’ve done both actually since this. I’ve done a couple adaptations of other books, I wrote my own script and then I wrote my second young adult book first draft which just got bought by Abrams and I’m about to go into revisions. Hopefully it comes out spring of 2016.

IR: Alfonso, What’s next? You’re casting a movie now? (News had broken days before that Collateral Beauty would be Gomez-Rejon’s next film and had landed Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara)

AGR: Possibly. Yeah, that was leaked to the press. It’s not real yet. I’d rather not talk about it because it might be something else. There’s like three things that could potentially go and that is one of them. If the script comes together then that would go quickly (probably) in the winter but it could be something else. I don’t know who leaked that probably some bullshit producer who wants it to be real. It’s uncomfortable when that happens. So there’s a lot of stuff, who knows what it’s going to be? I know we’ll have food on the table for at least a year.

JA: Eight months.

AGR: (laughing) Eight months, tops. As opposed to the years prior. There’s a lot of opportunities now.

IR: How has the success of Me and Earl changed your lives?

JA: More opportunities. I spend a lot more time now hitting refresh on the twitter search for mentions of this movie. I’m a young adult author technically and I have less than two thousand followers which is mortifying. It’s so embarrassing that my media presence is appallingly nothing. For me it’s a huge amount of work to agonize over a tweet and it gets two favorites then it disappears into the abyss. But yeah, better opportunities. I got to a point where I had made peace with the idea that I would never get here, or even approaching here and now stuff is happening.

AGR: My life changed, I think both of our lives changed after that screening at the Eccles Theater. As a filmmaker now.. people are listening because they’re able to see something that is closer to your own voice and they’re liking it and now they have some trust in you as a director. That as a filmmaker is wonderful. When all you want to do is make movies and you need millions of dollars it’s tough to be able to talk and speak through your movies, so now it’s an opportunity to do more of that and that’s nice.

IR: Thanks guys. I really loved your film

AGR: Jay, thanks a lot.

JA: Thanks, Jay.

I had a wonderful time speaking to Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and Jesse Andrews. Stay tuned for part two of our Me and Earl and the Dying Girl interviews with Olivia Cooke, Thomas Mann and RJ Cyler.

I highly encourage you to get out to see the film tomorrow, June 12th in select cities with a bigger rollout in the weeks following. To see exactly when the film is hitting your neck of the woods click HERE.

INDIE REVOLVER EXCLUSIVE: A Very Detailed Plot Synopsis for Paul Feig’s GHOSTBUSTERS Revealed!

by: Steve Sullivan

Relatively speaking, 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 Aykroyd’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.

______________________________________________________________________________

  • 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.

Radcliffe, Dano and Winstead Join the Cast of ‘Swiss Army Man’

Daniel Radcliffe 1

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

The upcoming film Swiss Army Man sounds like a pretty crazy idea. Deadline reports the film’s premise as “a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.” Add to that the fact that Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have all signed on and you’ve got a decent cast as well.

Announced about a year ago through Sundance Labs, this will mark the feature film writing and directorial debut of Daniels (the team of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert). The pair, whose most well known work is for music videos like “Turn Down For What,” said that this started off as a crazy idea and blossomed into something so much more:

Swiss Army Man started out as a silly short film idea years ago involving a stranded guy riding a dead body’s farts off of an island like a jet ski. That was it. Then we started trying to come up with some sort of story that would give us an excuse to do that in a movie and we accidentally wrote a really deeply personal story. Now it’s become this puzzle of a story that still fascinates us. And it’s sort of the ultimate feature-sized example of the narrative and visual roller coaster movies we’ve been working on the past few years together. It’s gonna’ be our Apocalypse Now, where we disappear into the forest for weeks and lose our minds and discover who we are as men.

We’re making a movie where one guy is dead but has a disembodied voice and the other guy is in drag half the movie and then we’re trying to mix drama, crass comedy, sincere nostalgia, and survival thriller moments all into the same scenes.

No word yet on who would play what part, but with the three actors mentioned earlier I’m in no matter what happens now.

Daniels could start filming as early as July to get the film into Sundance for next year.

A ‘Back to the Future’ Remake Will Only Happen Over Robert Zemeckis’ Dead Body!

Back to the Future

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Back to the Future is one of the greatest movie series ever. It’s not perfect in any sense but it’s a wonderful couple of movies that tell an excellent story.

So thankfully we won’t have to sit through the indignation of a remake any time soon.

The Telegraph recently sat down with Robert Zemeckis and he was pretty straightforward about his feeling regarding any possible remakes:

“Oh, God no. That can’t happen until both Bob and I are dead. And then I’m sure they’ll do it, unless there’s a way our estates can stop it.”

“I mean, to me, that’s outrageous. Especially since it’s a good movie. It’s like saying ‘Let’s remake Citizen Kane. Who are we going to get to play Kane?’ What folly, what insanity is that? Why would anyone do that?”

There it is. Zemeckis is repulsed by the idea of a remake. And who can blame him? I would hate to see these movies remade. While the name alone would probably generate cash, it would probably get ripped to shreds by fans and critics alike.

Zemeckis also expressed his displeasure in the Romancing the Stone remake. Unfortunately, he doesn’t hold any sway in that one getting redone.

For now, we can at least count on the fact that a remake of BTTF will literally happen over Zemeckis’ and Gale’s dead bodies.

Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen and Kate Winslet In the First Amazing Trailer for ‘Steve Jobs’

 

Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at its epicenter.

Steve Jobs is directed by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle and written by Academy Award® winner Aaron Sorkin, working from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography of the Apple founder. The producers are Mark Gordon, Guymon Casady of Film 360, Scott Rudin and Academy Award® winner Christian Colson.

Michael Fassbender plays Steve Jobs, the pioneering founder of Apple, with Academy Award®-winning actress Kate Winslet starring as Joanna Hoffman, former marketing chief of Macintosh. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple, is played by Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels stars as former Apple CEO John Sculley. The film also stars Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan, Jobs’ ex-girlfriend, and Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original members of the Apple Macintosh development team.

The First Trailer for Rocky Spinoff ‘Creed’ Looks AMAZING!

 

From Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema comes award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s “Creed.” The film explores a new chapter in the “Rocky” story and stars Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role. The film also reunites Coogler with his “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.

Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title…but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?

“Creed” also stars Tessa Thompson (“Selma,” “Dear White People”) as Bianca, a local singer-songwriter who becomes involved with Adonis; Phylicia Rashad (Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias”) as Mary Anne Creed, Apollo’s widow; and English pro boxer and former three-time ABA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Bellew as boxing champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan.

Coogler directs from a screenplay he wrote with Aaron Covington, based on characters from the “Rocky” series written by Sylvester Stallone. The film is being produced by Robert Chartoff, Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King Templeton and Sylvester Stallone, with Nicholas Stern executive producing.

Joining Coogler behind the scenes are director of photography Maryse Alberti (“The Wrestler”) and costume designers Antoinette Messam (“Orphan”) and Emma Potts (“127 Hours”), as well as his “Fruitvale Station” team: editors Michael P. Shawver and Claudia Castello; production designer Hannah Beachler; and composer Ludwig Göransson.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures present, in association with New Line Cinema, a Chartoff Winkler Production, “Creed.” Opening on November 25, 2015, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, with select international territories as well as all television distribution being handled by MGM.

Where can you Expect to see the First Footage From ‘Captain America: Civil War’?

captain America Civil War Logo

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

With a premiere that is a little over 10 months away, Captain America: Civil War will be here before we know it. But we may only have to wait a few weeks to see the first actual footage from the upcoming film that’s being touted as Avengers 2.5.

/Film recently got confirmation from Marvel Studio’s own Kevin Feige that one of the two Ant-Man bumper scenes during the credits is an actual scene from the upcoming Civil War.

Feige said that “Yes, that is material shot for Civil War,” stating that the scene may be shown from “different angles” and it may be “different takes” but it will be our first look at the next film from Marvel Studios and the starting point of Phase Three.

Many are comparing it to the Thor’s hammer scene at the end of Iron Man 2.

I haven’t seen it yet and I’m trying to stay away from spoilers on this one until I can see it properly on a big screen, so I don’t know exactly what the scene will entail, but if it’s in the vein of introducing a major piece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that we haven’t seen yet, I’m all for it.

You can see the scene when Ant-Man hits theaters July 17.

What are This Season’s Best Dressed Paranormal Experts Wearing… and Shooting? Take a Look at the Suits and Proton Packs of Paul Feig’s ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot!

ghostbusters 1

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Fans of the original Ghostbusters are very divisive and vocal about their support (or lack thereof) for the new version being directed by Paul Feig and starring Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Just the other day I had a GB shirt on and was stopped by a fellow fan as I was picking up lunch and got into a conversation about how little faith he had in the upcoming remake.

But at least Feig is giving a nod to the old school in his version.

Recently Feig tweeted a photo of the new outfits the quartet of ladies will be using when they suit up to bust ghosts. He accompanied it with #whatyougonnawear:

They look like raincoat versions of the old ones Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore used to wear. There’s a couple of orange stripes here and there and it doesn’t look like there are any identifying name tags (which could lead to a funny scene with Wiig and McCarthy mixing up suits), but other than that, Paul Feig is keeping it pretty DIY looking in his interpretation of the ‘busting suits.

Feig also released the first shot of his updated version of the iconic Proton Pack with the hashtag . The original version is easily one of the greatest and most original looking movie props in the history of film. This new one pales in comparison to that original version.

I would imagine this will be followed by an image of the team tomorrow or the very near future with the hashtag #whoyougonnacall. My assumption is that this is because there are some planned shoots outside in Boston coming up and they’d rather unveil the team themselves rather than a paparazzi shot.

Now we just have to see how they look with slime or marshmallow on them and we’ll really know how “original” they look.

Curious what the plot of Feig’s film will be? Click HERE to see our exclusive full breakdown of Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters film.

News on Upcoming ‘Sandman’ and ‘Justice League Dark’ Films

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

So there have been some major developments over at Warner Bros regarding their non-mainstream comic book adaptations.

First is the news that Sandman will be moving from Warner Bros proper to the New Line brand. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to produce and direct (and rumored to star as well), this could be good news for the quirky comic.

Much loved by a rabid fanbase, many feared that being under a big studio banner would mean the film version would probably lose some it’s offbeat and underground flair in favor of big-budget, committee mandated corporate schlock. With New Line more known for its genre films (albeit at a smaller budget), this could be just the break Sandman needed to thrive.

This also seemingly bodes true for any future adaptations of Vertigo comic properties. Being a more mature and off-the-wall offshoot imprint of DC Comics, it only makes sense that Vertigo comic films go to Warner Bros genre and offshoot film company.

So where does this leave Justice League Dark, a film with many Vertigo mainstay characters like John Constantine, Swamp Thing and Zatanna? The Hollywood Reporter is saying that JLD will stay right at Warner. With DC Comic integrating many of those characters into the regular DCU, it only make sense to keep any movies there as well.

But the bad news is that Guillermo del Toro is no longer involved in the development of that film.

Seeing as del Toro has a pretty full docket of projects in front of him already, it’s not really shocking to hear this. It is a bit of a bummer, though. GdT would have been perfect for the project, mixing comedy with horror like he’s done on so many projects before.

It looks like Justice League Dark may not even see the light of day. This film is so low on Warner Bros’ priority list, it would be shocking if they even remembered they were developing it. Which is a shame. This along with Suicide Squad could have been DC’s and WB’s versions of Guardians of the Galaxy – something no one expected that was unlike anything Marvel Studios had done up to that point in time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Official Title and Story Tone Revealed

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

James Gunn’s little movie that could, Guardians of the Galaxy, was such a great piece of storytelling. It had drama, action, comedy and heartfelt tear-jerking moments (if you weren’t moved by “WE are Groot,” then I feel bad for you). So how does Gunn top this film? By just doing what he does best and upping the ante.

First let’s start with the title. During an Ant-Man press junket, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige let the title slip and a little later on James Gunn confirmed the official title:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

This makes sense for a couple of reasons. The way that comic books name their trade paperback collections is usually in volumes. With this being the second film, Vol. 2 does fit. Also, at the end of the first film, Star-Lord finally opens the gift his mom gave him back in the day, and it’s AWESOME MIX VOL.2. So with a new tape we get a new story and a new direction for the film to possibly go in.

James Gunn was super relieved that someone other than him finally blabbed a bit of news about the upcoming space-action-drama-comedy. The filmmaker is known for accidentally dropping little hints on social media that I’m sure the studio probably wishes he wouldn’t.

As far as story goes, we know that Chris Pratt has read the script and it made him cry. James Gunn elaborated a bit on what we can expect when we finally get to see the Guardians return to the big screen:

“It’s gonna be exciting. I think it’s a more emotional movie. I think it’s both a bigger movie and a smaller movie ‘cause we focus more intensely on some of the characters. We get to learn a lot about fathers in the second movie, and I think we focus a lot on that…”

“[T]he new script is actually funnier than the first script, or at least seems to be from the reactions. I don’t have to introduce a bunch of new characters so it gives way more room for development – emotional stuff and humorous stuff. It’s very freeing.”

In superhero movies, more often than not the sequels are excellent due to the first movie having to be an origin story. But films like Superman 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Dark Knight, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 and X2: X-Men United have all proven to be wildly successful second chapters in their respective franchises. Could James Gunn join this list of fan favorite films?

We’ll find out when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theaters May 5, 2017.

New ‘Spider-Man to Channel John Hughes

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Now that Spider-Man has been cast and a director has been found, the story is next thing most fans are worrying about. Recently /film caught up with Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige and asked him to nail down just what kind of Spider-Man movie when the franchise gets rebooted for a second time.

The studio head told the website that “Spider-Man will be a ‘John Hughes’ movie.”

So what that tells me is that we’ll get something in the tone of what Hughes did in his high school set films like Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This means a ton of heart and hopefully some lighthearted laughs…well, as many as can be expected from a kid whose uncle died because he refused to use his powers for good.

There were also rumors that we’d see a villain that we haven’t seen before. With a clean slate on this reboot, Feige felt like it was time to tell a personal story with someone we haven’t seen yet.

Could this mean Mysterio? Kraven the Hunter? Or someone else completely that fits in with the vibe of high school-age Peter Parker? This could be a chance to tell the story of someone who doesn’t want to rule the world – just someone that is misunderstood and doesn’t care that his actions hurt people.

Whatever the case may be, we’ve got Tom Holland signed on to don the red-and-blue tights with webs in the armpits. It’s going to be hard to top the pinnacle of Spider-Man films for me – Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Hopefully Holland can bring a Hughes-esque performance to director Jon Watts’ vision.

The rebooted Spider-Man film from Marvel Studios and Sony is expected to hit theaters in the summer of 2017.

Important Character in ‘Ant-Man’ History Will be Shown in Upcoming Film

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

This definitely has some SPOILER material in it, so I’ll use my usual spaces for those that want to go in on July 17 and see Ant-Man completely fresh…

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Still with us? Awesome!!

So as many astute comic fans know, Hank Pym was originally married to Janet Van Dyne in the Marvel Comics universe. The two were a superhero team, with Pym being Ant-Man and Van Dyne taking on the role of the diminutive Wasp.

Now with Michael Douglas playing an aged Hank Pym, questions were swirling as to what role (if any) Janet Van Dyne would play in the upcoming film.

Collider’s Matt Goldberg had a chance to visit the set last year and here’s his report on the status of the Wasp:

“In Ant-Man, we see her briefly, although they didn’t cast a name actress for the role because you only get a close-up on her eyes. Wasp, who is Pym’s wife in the movie, appears in a flashback, and while we don’t know if she dies or gets lost in the microverse, Pym blames S.H.I.E.L.D. and resents superheroes. It’s a clever motivation for why Pym hasn’t been active as a superhero for decades, and it also explains why Wasp isn’t a main character in the movie. Furthermore, if she’s been “lost” and isn’t dead, it opens the door to bring her back later even though, like Pym, she’d be much older unless the microverse slowed down time or something.”

Add to that Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige’s comment to website ScreenRant:

“It factors in, in a number of spoiler-ish ways, but we will see Janet Van Dyne in action in this film. And part of sort of what happened to her. And then we will understand why that is the reason that he doesn’t want his daughter to follow in those footsteps. One of the reasons why he’s always so upset about superheroes in general, dismissive of them in general and also a reason why he doesn’t want her to put on the suit. Because another very logical question in the movie is, why are you hiring this ex-con to put on your suit and do this? The answer is, because he has abilities in cracking security networks and in pulling off heists that nobody else has. Which is really why he needs to do it. But Hope is infinitely more capable of actually being a superhero in the beginning of this film, and we learn sort of that that’s ultimately when Hank reveals for the first time for the audience, and even the first time to Hope, what actually happened in the past and why he’s so nervous about putting on that suit. But there are things that we see towards the end of the film that indicate she could, she could get one of her own.”

So at least we know that Janet Van Dyne didn’t just get written out of existence – Marvel is just waiting for the right time to debut her on the big screen.

Ant-Man opens in theaters July 17.

Showrunner Considers Second Season of Daredevil to be Daredevil vs Punisher!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

One of the more well received series this year was the Marvel / Netflix series Daredevil. This marked the first in a bunch of shows that would highlight and showcase Marvel’s street-level heroes. Fans and critics alike agreed that Daredevil was probably one of the best things Marvel has done. So an announcement for a second season was pretty much a forgone conclusion.

With the addition to the cast of Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, the vigilante known as The Punisher, fans have wondered what we would see – will Punisher and Daredevil butt heads? How will the two interact in their missions to clean up Hell’s Kitchen? We saw Daredevil and Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk have opposing views as to how to help HK and we saw how that ended up (SPOILER ALERT: Fisk ended up in jail). What will the outcome be when the two anti-heroes clash?

Nerdist caught up with Marco Ramirez, who along with Doug Petrie will serve as showrunner for the upcoming season. Ramirez confirmed that the next season will be Daredevil vs The Punisher.Daredevil Punisher

That doesn’t mean that Castle is Fisk’s place at the top of the crinimal food chain. It most likely means that in the Kingpin’s absence, a void has been created. A bunch of greedy criminal will most likely try for a power grab – and that’s when The Punisher will hit, cutting a bloody swath through the underworld element in Hell’s Kitchen.

So it will be a battle of morals. While he may have violent ways as a means to an end, Daredevil isn’t a killer. The Punisher is a killer, plain and simple. But don’t think it won’t be a physical battle. I expect many fights brutal and violent fights between the two vigilantes.

There have also been rumors of Elektra and Bullseye being involved in the next season. How they get involved is still up in the air. Could Wilson Fisk be pulling string from his prison cell to ensure his spot is still there for him when he eventually gets out?

We’ll find out when season 2 of Daredevil hits Netflix in 2016.

Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto Already Signed for ‘Star Trek 4′

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

KIRK AND SPOCK ALREADY SIGNED FOR STAR TREK 4

Even though filming has barely begun on the third Star Trek film (which is currently being touted as Star Trek Beyond), the studio is already looking ahead in terms of continuing the franchise.

The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, the actors behind Captain James T. Kirk and Spock respectively, have been signed on for a fourth installment – and with some hefty raises to boot. Word going around is that the actors’ raises will up the next film’s budget by $10-$15M before anything else even gets put on paper.

Back when Paramount did a reboot in 2009 they signed all the principal actors – Pine, Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin and John Cho – to three picture deals. That’s not unheard of. When the studio went ahead with the sequel, Into Darkness, many of the actors got decent raises, but apparently nothing that would break the bank.

But now all of them have actually turned into bigger stars. Most notably Pine, who has a bevy of leading man roles under his belt, and Saldana who most recently played a key role in the sleeper hit Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel. With name recognition comes the bargaining chip of being able to ask for a bigger slice of the pie.

This in no way means that a fourth movie is a foregone conclusion. Paramount will most likely see how the next film does before signing on for a fourth. However, this does bode well for Trek fans, as it shows that Paramount is hopeful that this will turn into a franchise for years and years to come.

The third Star Trek film, written by Simon Pegg & Doug Jung and directed by Justin Lin, is expected to hit theaters July 8, 2016.

‘Triplets’ Starring Schwarzenegger, Devito… and Eddie Murphy?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Back in the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger could pull off a pretty decent comedy. Kindergarten Cop, Twins and Jingle All The Way were pretty funny. Since returning to acting after his stint as California’s governor, Arnold has done action and dabbled in drama. But he hasn’t tried to do another full-on comedy yet.

But that might change soon.

Triplets, a sequel for Twins, has been in development since 2012. Writer / actor Josh Gad has even written a couple script drafts, but has said that the project has been “put on hold” for the time being.

It doesn’t sound like anyone told Arnold that, though. While doing some press for the upcoming Terminator Genisys, the Austrian strongman appeared on Howard Stern and gave us some insight as to the current status of the project:

“Now we are talking about a sequel, where we find out at the funeral of our mother, that when we read the will, that there’s three of us. Eddie Murphy is going to be the third one and so they go, ‘How did that happen’ There’s an African American coming in here and all of a sudden he’s our brother. So we go to do the research but he can only get the money if we find him, so now we have to get him involved.”

Schwarzenegger also confirmed that if and when they get a green light, Eddie Murphy is totally on board to play the third brother:

“Eddie Murphy loves the idea. Danny DeVito and I had lunch with Eddie Murphy over at my house, and we talked about the thing, and we were laughing and laughing the whole meal through because it was such a funny idea. And of course, who wouldn’t like it.”

Even though they may not be in their comedic prime, I still think the spark could be there for a funny movie. The gag reel alone for these three stars would be hilarious.

Word is also that on top of writing, Josh Gad would also be involved onscreen. The gag would be that Gad (who more resembles DeVito) would play Schwarzenegger’s son while DeVito would have a son that resembles Schwarzenegger.

Emma Watson Joins James Ponsoldt’s Follow up to ‘The End of the Tour”

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

After Alicia Vikander dropped out of the upcoming techno thriller The Circle, the next name being thrown around for the film’s female lead was Emma Watson. And now the rumors are fact.

Director James Ponsoldt recently raved to Variety about his new leading lady. “Emma Watson is one of my favorite actors, and her incredible talent, sensitivity and deep intelligence will bring an electric energy to The Circle,” he said.

Watson will join Tom Hanks, who plays the co-owner of a cutting edge tech company. Her role is Mae, a newcomer at Hank’s character’s company, The Circle.

The film will showcase a company that links together users’ email, social media, banking and retail accounts to make one single unified online ID. Mae starts to look deeper and sees that dark side of unifying all this information in one place.

I like the sound of this film, I’m always a little leery of new tech that promises to make everything simpler. The themes of privacy, security and humanity and what we lose by becoming too connected speak highly to me.

Ponsoldt will direct from his own script, which is an adaptation of the novel by Dave Eggers.

The casting of Emma Watson is sound in my book. Of the three main Harry Potter franchise actors, I think she’s had the best streak of films since those movies ended. She’s been in films such as The Bling Ring, Noah and The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. And she’s currently filming Disney’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. A diverse portfolio of work and she still has a huge film career ahead of her.

Shooting for The Circle is slated to begin this September.

Jason Statham Confirmed for ‘Fast and Furious 8’!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

When Furious 7 ended, I knew Jason Statham would be back. His character, the unyielding British badass Deckard Shaw, was one of the few villains to survive a Fast and Furious film. Sure he was put in a jail cell so deep underground he could get a suntan from the Earth’s core, but that shouldn’t stop Shaw from finding a way out to terrorize Dominic Toretto again.

And now we have confirmation from the man himself. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Statham told us about his return to the franchise:

We’re already talking about doing another one, Part 8. I’m a newcomer, I just got invited to the party in this last one, so it’s nice to know I’m going to be doing another.

That makes Statham the third confirmed name for the film, alongside Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. It has been hinted at by Diesel that Kurt Russell would return as the mysterious G-man that made his debut in Furious 7.

The next installment is rumored to take place in New York City. I sure hope they don’t run into any gridlock!

Fast and Furous 8 has already been penciled in to hit theaters April 14, 2017.

Is Marvel Planning Another Villain Besides Thanos in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

With eyes firmly set on the future, Marvel Studios is planning big for the grand event that’s been teased since the bumper scene featuring Thanos at the end of The Avengers. With the filming of Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 & 2 set to take a whopping nine months (!) to film, it’s no shock that Marvel wants to get all their ducks in a row.

So it only makes sense that Marvel is looking to cast the other bad guy that joins Thanos in the giant epic right about now.

Wait, what?

Recently a listing on Acting Auditions (via MovieWeb) has a casting call for The Magus, a secondary villain besides Thanos for Infinity War Part 1. The call read like this:

Adam Warlock’s bad side, the Magus, separates from his body and assembles the Infinity Gauntlet. Magus creates doppelgangers of Earth’s heroes as part of his plan to recreate a universe of evil.

Adam Warlock is a niche fan favorite comic character that has been asked about since Marvel went cosmic with The Avengers. Many fans thought he’d get a shout out or appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, but that didn’t come to fruition.

I’m going to call a bit of shenanigans on this. Could they introduce Adam Warlock in the upcoming films and give fans a chance to get to know him so that when he turns bad it’s more of a gut punch? Sure, but the only film that makes sense is the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.

Could they do that in one movie? James Gunn made us care about the entire team of Guardians in a little less than two hours, so if anyone can do it he can. But he would probably need to sacrifice some of his story to do this. And from what Star-Lord himself Chris Pratt has been saying about the script, it’s perfect as is already.

Another thing that nips at me is the wording. Why include the name of the character? He’s obscure so only real big time comic geeks would probably recognize the name. Maybe they did it to give potentials a chance to read up on who they’d be playing? Sure, makes sense – but since this character hasn’t even made his feature film debut yet you’d think Marvel Studios would probably want to keep this info a little more under wraps.

While it would be cool to see The Avengers fight evil mirror versions of themselves, it seems a little too far-fetched for me. For now, I’m filing this under RUMOR until we actually see the Adam Warlock character get introduced on celluloid.

We’ll know for sure when Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 hit theaters in November 2018.

New ‘X-Files’ Photos Surface!

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

The new X-Files revival has been shooting for a little while now. After a pretty disappointing teaser photo from the set showing stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in character, we finally get some proper teaser photos.

Now we can see a little more character wise thanks to the folks at EW.

New to the X-Files universe are Annet Mahrendu and Joel McHale, pictured above. Mahrendu will play a woman that believes she gets abducted by aliens on a regular basis, while McHale is a conservative talk-show host that gets everyone’s favorite agents to do a little paranormal snooping for him.

We know about Duchovny and Anderson reprising their roles of  Agents Mulder and Scully respectively. It’s also been reported that Mitch Pileggi will return as Walter Skinner and William B. Davis will once again portray the Cigarette Smoking Man.

Rumored for appearances are Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick as well as fan favorite trio The Lone Gunmen.

The X-Files is set to premiere in late January 2016 on FOX.

Aaron Eckhart to go ‘Live!’

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

Could this be the start of a new trend?

It was recently announced through a press release by Solution Entertainment Group that Aaron Eckhart would star in their upcoming action film Live! But the news of the actor’s casting wasn’t the biggest part of the story – it was the fact that this movie will be an action flick set AND filmed in real time!

The official story synopsis from the press release gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect story wise:

Shot in real time, the original script tracks disgraced cop, Kyle Penny (Eckhart), on his hunt to rescue Police Commissioner Volk’s kidnapped daughter, trapped somewhere in the city with only 80 minutes to live. A deranged killer on his heels, Penny’s only hope is teaming with Ava Brooks, an ambitious young online reporter who films the wild chase live.

This sounds a little too good to be true. I’d expect some magical editing ala Birdman to achieve the sense that this was shot in one continuous take. Too much could go wrong too quickly, and the budget on an action movie can skyrocket real fast.

The film is set to be helmed by rookie directors Darrin Prescott and Wade Allen. The duo are no strangers to film however, working as second unit action directors and stunt coordinators on films like Drive, John Wick and Divergent: Insurgent.

The script will be from Jeremy Drysdale, whose major writing credits include the Johnny Knoxville film Grand Theft Parsons and the story for a couple of video games. Who knows, this could be his big breakout!

No word was given on when shooting was supposed to start, but my guess is it will be after extensive rehearsals and planning.

IR Film Review: Patrick Brice’s ‘The Overnight’ is a Strange, Honest and Heartfelt Delight

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by: Jay Carlson

One of my biggest fears is being thrown into new situations where I don’t have the support system of my closest friends. I’m shy and slightly socially awkward, so the thought of packing up and moving away and having to start all over again is the stuff of nightmares for me.

Because of this I can relate to the situation facing Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling), a couple who are strangers in an even stranger land, Los Angeles. They’ve recently packed up and moved from Seattle with their son, RJ and are desperate toconnect and find some friends in their new town. While at a local park Alex meets another father Kurt (Jason Schwartzman), oozing trendy hipster cool who invites the whole family over for pizza night so the kids can have fun and the adults can all spend some time getting to know each other better.

They arrive at the palatial home of Kurt and his lovely wife Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) and are having a fine dinner, chatting and enjoying some time getting to know their new friends.

Once the kids get to sleep the film kicks into another gear as the couples begin to peel away layers, both emotionally and literally. Schilling proves to be the perfect surrogate for the audience, questioning where this ride is going while Scott floats further into the drug and alcohol fueled abyss. Schilling is pitch perfect throughout the film, no matter what situation she finds herself in.

As the night goes on, Brice manages to deftly take these couples to places you would never expect, switching gears from heartfelt to comedic on a dime while never striking an inauthentic note. There are awkward and squirm inducing moments but they never feel false or unearned due to the film’s unflinching honesty and heart. This mix makes for an terrific film that constantly rewards its audience with depth and humor.

Brice masterfully plays with our preconceived notions of what trendy L.A. people are really like, making us question if there is more to Kurt and Charlotte than they’re letting on or if this is just a normal evening. I wouldn’t dream of spoiling more of the film  as it’s a surreal and cathartic ride.

None of these moments would work if not for the magnetic cast who make each scene crackle with nervous electricity. Schwartzman oozes charisma as a charming and disarming L.A. hipster, a character that would have been easy to loathe if played by a lesser actor. Kurt is the lynchpin to the film, if his performance didn’t work the rest of the film would have been fighting an uphill battle.

Adam Scott is also great as a character that most would classify as the straight man of the film, but he manages to elevate Alex to far more than something so two-dimensional thanks to his earnest performance and Brice’s sharp writing.

I’d be remiss to not mention Judith Godrèche who mesmerized as Kurt’s European wife. Godrèche manages to charge each scene with a sultry exotic sexuality that you don’t see very often these days.

Patrick Brice’s The Overnight is awkward, audacious and hilarious in all the best ways. He’s certainly got a unique voice that proves he’s a filmmaker to keep your eye on.

Grade: B+

Is FOX Hoping for a Fantastic / X-Men Film in the Near Future?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas

If there’s one thing movie studios seem to love lately, it’s the idea of a shared movie universe for their characters. After Marvel Studios made it look effortless, everyone wants in on the trend. And FOX, who happens to have its fair share of Marvel properties, is no different.

The studio owns the rights to both Fantastic Four and X-Men, so of course rumors of a crossover film have been swirling for years. But these things are easier said than done. After both series needed some serious rebooting and retooling, it looks like FOX may want to take another swing at it.

Latino Review is saying that the “mystery Marvel movie” that Fox nabbed the July 13, 2018 spot for could be a possible X-Men / Fantastic Four crossover.

This is contingent on a few things though – how successful Josh Trank’s FF reboot is and how people react to the new kids introduced in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse (this is the last hurrah for many of the current cast members like Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult).

If Trank’s movie busts or the crowds don’t take to the new students at Xavier’s School than this could be off quick and FOX will probably hotshot something else into its place, like a Deadpool or Gambit sequel if those properties do well.

Now this isn’t set in stone. LR says that “it’s far from a done deal.” But creating something like this takes time, so it would make sense if FOX was thinking ahead at this point in the game.

The new Fantastic Four is out this August and X-Men: Apocalypse will devastate theaters next year in May.