Spinning Headlines – Week 24: John G. Avildsen & Stephen Furst RIP, Weekend Box Office, Lord & Miller OUT of Han Solo, Daniel Day-Lewis retires, Annabelle, Big Trouble in Little China, Godzilla, Deadpool 2… Spinning Headlines – Week 24: John G. Avildsen & Stephen Furst RIP, Weekend Box Office, Lord & Miller OUT of Han Solo, Daniel Day-Lewis retires, Annabelle, Big Trouble in Little China, Godzilla, Deadpool 2…
RIP John G. Avildsen & Stephen Furst, Weekend box office, "Han Solo" directors get the boot, Daniel Day-Lewis finds better things to do, trailers... Spinning Headlines – Week 24: John G. Avildsen & Stephen Furst RIP, Weekend Box Office, Lord & Miller OUT of Han Solo, Daniel Day-Lewis retires, Annabelle, Big Trouble in Little China, Godzilla, Deadpool 2…

Hello. It’s time to go though the last 7 days or so of movie/TV news again. And again we gotta start in a negative note, but – such are the times we live in I guess.

First came the news of the passing of director John G. Avildsen last Friday at the age of 81. Now, it’s pretty much a generational thing of which was the first film directed by him one has seen; for the generation before me it was Rocky, but since I was born on the year it came out, for me it was Karate Kid. Either way, it’s the sort of “cinderella story”-films he’s most known of. Granted, Rocky V was one he probably shouldn’t have done. Or that goddamn Van Damme-starring Inferno aka. Desert Heat

The second sad news came only a few hours later. Actor Stephen Furst – best known for playing “Flounder” in Animal House and Vir Cotto in Babylon 5 had passed at the age of 63 from complications due to Diabetes. Flounder was of course a classic archetypical comedy character, but it’s really Furst’s magnificent job as Vir that is for me the biggest thing; his character arc of starting out as a kind of innocent aide for Peter Jurasik‘s Londo Mollari until finally rising to be an Emperor was one of the most fulfilling stories of that series. It’s actually a staggering amount of actors from the main cast of that series that have already passed away: Michael O’Hare, Jerry Doyle, Richard Biggs, Jeff Conaway, Andreas Katsulas and now Furst, too.

 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

1 N Cars 3 BV $53,688,680 4,256 $12,615 $53,688,680 1
2 1 Wonder Woman WB $41,268,850 -29.5% 4,018 -147 $10,271 $275,095,580 $149 3
3 N All Eyez on Me LG/S $26,435,354 2,471 $10,698 $26,435,354 1
4 2 The Mummy (2017) Uni. $14,510,960 -54.2% 4,034 -1 $3,597 $57,121,660 $125 2
5 N 47 Meters Down ENTMP $11,205,561 2,270 $4,936 $11,205,562 1
6 4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales BV $8,964,039 -16.3% 2,759 -920 $3,249 $150,572,153 $230 4
7 N Rough Night Sony $8,004,283 3,162 $2,531 $8,004,283 $20 1
8 3 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Fox $7,181,541 -41.0% 2,968 -561 $2,420 $57,795,201 3
9 5 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 BV $5,071,732 -19.7% 1,813 -1,098 $2,797 $374,942,747 $200 7
10 6 It Comes At Night A24 $2,601,468 -56.6% 2,450 -83 $1,062 $11,124,631 2

As expected, Pixar’s Cars 3 did shake things up a bit, taking the top spot from Wonder Woman. But – not by that big of a margin at all (in fact it’s the second-worst opening by a Pixar movie, followed only by The Good Dinosaur‘s $39 million opening in 2015). The other new releases of the weekend were the Tupac Shakur-biography All Eyez on Me, survival horror shark-movie 47 Meters Down and the Scarlett Johanssen-led R-rated comedy/Very Bad Things-remake Rough Night. Next weekend is Tran5formers-weekend, so expect that one to make a lotta money in China.

 

“HAN SOLO” DIRECTORS OFF THE FILM, WITH 3 WEEKS LEFT OF SHOOTING

Yeah – that was kinda a shocker to wake up to today. Disney/Lucasfilm released the following statement:

The untitled Han Solo film will move forward with a directorial change.

“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew,” stated Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

The untitled Han Solo film remains scheduled for a May 2018 release.

I mean – is there even a precedent for something like this in the recent years? Especially on such a high-profile production. Sure – Zack Snyder exited Justice League for personal reason but that was AFTER the main bulk of filming was already done. The Han Solo project has been shooting since February and only had arounf three weeks left, and NOW the directors are shown the exit due to that pesky old “creative differences”-tag. To no surprise Variety quickly broke the news that despite the nice, neutral publicity-jargon printed on the official statement, the directors were just plain FIRED. There are rumors flying around that the production has been plagued by fights between Lord/Miller and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and also writer Lawrence Kasdan, mostly due to the improvisational style the directors are used to working with. But with three weeks to go?

Like, did no one think it could be a problem after a week of shooting? Or even during pre-production. It’s all very strange.

Anyways – I hear Josh Trank might be looking for a job… Just kidding.

 

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS CALLS IT QUITS

Well, that was another unexpected piece of news; Daniel Day-Lewis announced through his spokeswoman Leslee Dart, that after four decades, three Academy Awards plus two nominations and a very selected filmography of just about twenty titles, he’s retiring from acting. His latest completed film, the Paul Thomas Anderson-directed Phantom Thread – which will take place in the fashion world of the 1950’s – will be his last film.

Dart said: “Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor. He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject.
Of course, we’ve been hearing this from other actors before – how many times has Anthony Hopkins said he’s going to call it quits but he always comes back – but I think Day-Lewis might just really hold to it.

 

A CREEPY DOLL MOVIE PART 2 TRAILER

The Conjuring spinoffs keep spinning. I wasn’t a huge fan of the first Annabelle movie, but hey: as long as they keep making these cheap, they will make the cash.

 

A “BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA” SEQUEL IN THE WORKS

…just not in the movies, but in the works nevertheless. John Carpenter is co-writing a sequel comic to his 1986 cult classic for BOOM! Studios. The comic is titled Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack (a not that subtle jab towards the Old Man Logan comic, no doubt). The other writer for the series is Anthony Burch (Borderlands 2) and the artist is Jorge Corona. “Big Trouble in Little China was one of my absolute favorite movies when I was a kid,” said Burch in a statement. “To call it formative to my development would be one hell of an understatement. Its high-fantasy world and lovably lowbrow hero… hasn’t lessened its grip on me in the twenty or so years since I first saw it.”

Old Man Jack is set in the year 2020, and hell is literally on Earth, with the demon god Ching Dai declaring himself ruler of all. Jack Burton is alone in Florida with only his broken radio for company, until one day it picks up a message. Someone is out there in the hellscape, and they know a way to stop Ching Dai.

The first cover was released and it’s pretty cool:

Forget about that presumably-still-starring The Rock-reboot! This is gonna be the REAL deal!

 

“SHERLOCK” CREATORS WORKING ON DRACULA NEXT?

As after four seasons and one special, there are currently no plans in regards of continuing the show Sherlock, it’s creators Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss are now working to give a similar treatment on another classic character; Dracula.

By “similar treament” they mean the same model of three or four feature-length episodes per season – not necessarily setting it in a contemporary world. Negotiations are currently underway with the BBC on broadcast rights in the U.K. No scripts are written yet, as both Moffat and Gatiss are currently working on other projects.

 

CAST & PLOT OF “GODZILLA” SEQUEL REVEALED

With the filming officially started this week, Warner Bros. and Legendary have put out a full main cast-list and a plot description of the Michael Dougherty-directed Godzilla: King of the Mosters. The main cast is: Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, and Zhang Ziyi.

And the plot synopsis is as follows: “The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths – rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

That’s a LOT of monsters.

 

ANOTHER MOVIE THAT JUST STARTED FILMING

…yup – a little movie called Deadpool 2 – or whatever the final title will end up being – also began filming. And as the pic above shows, they started at the X-mansion.

 

THIRD “OKJA” TRAILER

As the movie is closing it’s premiere in Netflix, they put out one more trailer for Okja. It still looks crazy quirky to me.

 

“STAR TREK: DISCOVERY” HAS AN ACTUAL RELEASE DATE

After a lot of delays and some personnel-changes and probably more behind-the-scenes drama that the public even knows about, Star Trek: Discovery is apparently finished enough that the studio was optimistic enough to set an actual airdate for it. That would be September 24th. Of this year, in case you wondered. The first eight episodes will run from Sunday, September 24th through Sunday, November 5th. The remaining seven episodes will then kick off in January.

 

SO ABOUT THAT WHOLE VENOM/MCU THING…

In a bizarre turn of events, produced Amy Pascal suddenly said that the in-the-works Venom movie as well as the Black Cat/Silver Sable movie might now BE connected to the Sony SpiderVerse after all – and as such, to the MCU – after weeks, if not months of saying that they aren’t. And as Kevin Feige was right there sitting next to her and did not shoot that down, I guess that really is the case.

 

NEW “DETROIT” TRAILER

Another trailer for the Kathry Bigelow-directed Detroit is out. Does look intense as hell.

 

OATS STUDIOS VOLUME ONE: RAKKA

Well, there it is – the first short film coming through Neill Blomkamps Oats Studios. I will say this; I liked it. Would I want to see it expanded into feature length? Maybe. But as it is now, maybe this is the right way for Blomkamp to do his thang.

 

MISCELLANEOUS NEWS

-Besides Michael Bay saying Tran5formers will absolutely definitely be his last movie in the franchise, Mark Wahlberg has joined him in that statement. He also gave some hair-related news regarding the movie: “The long hair is the worst thing ever. I look like my mum in the ’70s – it’s just really bad.

Kevin Feige said that the are “NO plans” regarding Fantastic Four. “No discussions about it.” Ouch, I guess he saw that recent reboot as well.

Benedict Cumberbatch has arrived in Atlanta for the filming of Avengers: Infinity War:

Christopher McQuarrie confirmed early last week that Michelle Monaghan had joined the cast of Mission; Impossible 6. And last weekend he followed that by posting a picture of all the main actresses in the movie:

A post shared by Christopher McQuarrie (@christophermcquarrie) on

-And then there is THIS:

Oh come on, you know you want to see it…

 

SPIT-TAKE OF THE WEEK

Watchmen to be adapted for television – strike one. The person to oversee it? Damon Lindelof. Strike two (Leftovers or not – I haven’t even seen that one). Can’t we just leave this one alone? Not everything need a TV adaptation.

That is all.

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I Am Better

Coming from the frozen wastelands of Finnish tundra. Mr. Better seeks warmth from his television & home theater and all the wonders they provide. He occasionally dabbles in the arts of drawing and photography.