Spinning Headlines – Week 25: RIP Michael Nyqvist, Weekend Box Office, The Han Solo Situation, Jackie Chan, Deadpool 2, Dark Phoenix, Star Trek: Discovery, Jurassic World 2, Westworld S2…
Hi. Time to take a look at the previous weeks’ worth of movie/TV-headlines again.
First off, it’s (again) time for another obituary. As a complete shocker, the news broke out yesterday that Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist had suddenly passed away at the age of 56, following a battle with lung cancer. This came totally out of the blue, and it’s even more shocking as Nyqvist, who had already had a long career in Swedish cinema as well as appearing in other Scandinavian productions, only recently gained more of an international fame after his appearance in the Swedish film adaptations of the Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium-trilogy (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”) – much like his co-star Noomi Rapace. After appearing in those movies he got cast as the villainous Hendricks in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol as well as playing the quirky Russian mob boss in the first John Wick-film. I’m sure he would’ve played many more great characters in years to come, but again: fuck cancer.
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
|1||N||Transformers: The Last Knight||Par.||$44,680,073||–||4,069||–||$10,981||$68,475,562||$217||1|
|4||5||47 Meters Down||ENTMP||$7,088,262||-36.7%||2,471||+201||$2,869||$23,914,194||–||2|
|5||4||The Mummy (2017)||Uni.||$6,060,495||-58.2%||2,980||-1,054||$2,034||$68,744,165||$125||3|
|6||3||All Eyez on Me||LG/S||$5,806,975||-78.0%||2,471||–||$2,350||$38,599,294||–||2|
|7||6||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales||BV||$5,396,243||-39.8%||2,453||-306||$2,200||$160,161,569||$230||5|
|9||8||Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie||Fox||$4,284,115||-40.3%||2,328||-640||$1,840||$65,747,291||–||4|
|10||9||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||BV||$3,023,042||-40.4%||1,468||-345||$2,059||$380,236,369||$200||8|
Well, the Bayformers volume 5 did somehow manage to creep into the top spot, in spite of absolutely devastating critical response. They have been calling it “the worst of the Transformers films”, which I think says a LOT. I have to point out one thing though: while the film has grossed a worldwide $272,393,872 as I type this thing, $199,200,000 of that has come from foreign territories. The jig in thw US of A seems to be up – I reckon it will just barely break the $100 million-barrier there. Nothing else new really even opened last weekend – I guess the big ticket this week will be Despicable Me 3…
SPIT-TAKE OF THE WEEK
I know – why is this so far up in this weeks column? Well – it’s got to do with the honestly tragicomic proportions that the Lucasfilm’s still untitled Han Solo-movie has reached after it’s directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired off the project last week – and got very unceremoniously replaced by Ron Howard.
It was in the following days, all through the weekend and into this week that things got really interesting. So just to take a quick tour through all that has been told in various news-outlets, through whatever sources – some may be true, some may not, but it’s all downright hilarious:
First off, the directors were not the first ones fired from the movie – editor Chris Dickens was apparently let go in May and was replaced by Oscar-winning editor Pietro Scalia (who has for one thing, worked on most of Ridley Scott’s films in the last 20-ish years). At the same time is was told that Lucasfilm was not happy with star Alden Ehrenreich‘s performance and had in fact hired an acting coach for him.
But this week the story took another turn; apparently Ehrenreich had ALSO been at odds with the directors and voicing his concerns about their approach to the lead character – who apparently was becoming “oddly comparable to Jim Carrey’s performance in Ace Ventura at times.”
Then there is the matter of the Directors Guild-rules: as the two directors had already filmed over 90% of the film, they are in fact guaranteed the credit AND a delivery of their cut of the movie, no matter what Howard will do in the remaining 3 weeks of filming plus the five weeks scheduled for reshoots. So the big question is: who the hell will be credited for the final version? But an even bigger question is – and I’ll repeat myself from last week here – if there were SO many problems in this project from the get-go, why in The Hell did no one react sooner?
Whatever the end result may be, I’d say that due to all this absolute chaos the franchise definitely has become less enchanting for any future filmmaker to wanna partake in.
“THE FOREIGNER” TRAILER
No – not the Steven Seagal-vehicle from the early 00’s. This is what I guess could be called “Jackie Chan going the Liam Neeson-route”. But It does look fairly interesting, and Chan has both a solid co-star in Pierce Brosnan and a solid director in Martin Campbell here. Could be good.
MORE “DEADPOOL 2” CASTING
The young New Zealand actor Julian Dennison (“Hunt for the Wilderpeople“) has joined the cast of the Deadpool sequel, as the above Instagram-post shows.
“X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX” CAST PHOTO
Most of the cast of Fox’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix met the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at lunch and took the above photo that James McAvoy shared on Instagram. Yeah – I kinda had forgotten to cover the news in the previous weeks that the movie is in production and set to start filming in Vancouver right about now with pretty much the entire cast of X-Men Apocalypse returning (and Jessica Chastain in negotiations to play a villain as well as the yet uncast character of Dazzler making an appearance) and Simon Kinberg directing as well as writing. Well – now you know.
“WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES” FINAL UK TRAILER
This is coming out pretty soon, isn’t it? I think I saw some early reviews somewhere. Not that I’ll look into those – I’ll just see this based on the way I loved the hell out of the previous two films, and with the hope that they can make three out of three and finish this trilogy in a satisfying way (if that happens, there might be hope for 20th Century Fox yet).
“TREMORS” PILOT PICKED BY SYFY
It’s no secret that I love the movie Tremors to death. I even have a soft spot for some of the follow-ups, but the one thing that the original movie always had and the sequels didn’t, was Kevin Bacon. But – the Bacon is about to get back to the world of Graboids with the help of producer Jason Blum, and the reboot TV-series they have been developing just got a pilot order from SyFy.
Bacon will make his return as Valentine “Val” McKee, the Nevada handyman who tussles with gigantic man-eating sandworms. The reboot will “look at what happens to the character a quarter of a century on.”
“It’s the only character I’ve ever played that I was interested in exploring 25 years later,” Bacon said. “It (Tremors) is a really good movie. I don’t go back and watch my movies but because we were doing this one, I had to go back and look at it. It’s just the idea of this loser who is living a very ordinary life and has an extraordinary experience with these monsters and becomes, for a moment, a hero.”
Now they just need to get Fred Ward back as well, and all is good…
“STAR TREK: DISCOVERY” DETAILS & DIRECTOR REVEAL
No-one's thinking Blue Steel, right? https://t.co/4QvzUEg67R
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) June 21, 2017
…and they revealed that the Starfleet uniforms now have some chainmail in them as well, btw.
Well, I guess it’s not that surprising that Jonathan Frakes would return to the Star Trek universe again. The showrunners of the upcoming series Star Trek: Discovery, Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts gave the news yesterday that Frakes is indeed one of the directors working on the show. “Jonathan Frakes will rejoin the Trek world with Discovery,” writer-producer Berg said. “He’s a fantastic guy and great director.” Harberts added: “Our cast is dying to work with him.”
The showrunners also gave out some details and influences on the show. First off, we got more info on the lead character played by Sonequa Martin-Green, named Michael Burnham. “Burnham [has] spent a lot of time on Vulcan, but she’s human. Sarek [Spock’s father, played by James Frain] plays an important role in her life, which has been completely planned until she makes a very difficult choice that sends her life on a very different path. When we meet her, she’s the First Officer on the Starship Shenzhou [captained by Philippa Georgiou, played by Michelle Yeoh]. And Burnham’s choice that we’re alluding to is most difficult choice you can make – it affects her, affects Starfleet, affects the Federation, it affects the entire universe. That choice leads her to a different ship, the Discovery [helmed by Captain Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs] and there we begin what Gretchen and I call our ‘second pilot‘”, said Harberts. “The joy is in the journey. The advantage to her not being in charge of the bridge right now is we get to tell stories from a very different point of view. It’s a fresh feeling because we’re not on the bridge all the time. We get access to more parts of the ship.”
And as far as visual & otherwise-influences of the show, they had this to say: “I think Nicholas Myers’ [sic] film are [sic] a touchstone, and not just because he’s been on staff with us. His storytelling is complex and intellectual and yet there’s a lot of room for character voices and character work, he’s done such an incredible job with the franchise. In terms of scope and scale, there’s something about Star Trek: The Motion Picture that really speaks to us as well. CBS has allowed us to find a cinematic language that’s wider in scope — our aspect ratio is 2:1 — and it just lends itself to a very lyrical way of telling the story. And just visually speaking, there’s also a little hint in terms of what J.J. Abrams did, a little bit, in terms of some of the visuals.”
SOME “WESTWORLD” SEASON 2 HINTS
The creators/showrunners of HBO’s Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy appeared in Variety’s Remote Controlled podcast and gave some little hints as to where the show would go to after that explosive finale. And also addressed one of the million fan-theories as to “was that really the REAL Dr. Robert Ford that got blasted away at the end there?”.
“I think the sacrifice he [Ford] makes at the end of the first season is very real. I think there will be an opportunity to explore a little bit more of the backstory of how this park came to be, a little more of that story. We’ll see the character’s presence will be felt in that sense in terms of filling in a few more of the gaps about the early history of this place.
It’s an ambitious season. We always knew that we wanted the stakes and the scope to increase dramatically and that means the scale of production increases as well. We have an amazingly talented group of writers, directors, and crew coming back and gearing up for what I think and what I hope will prove to be a season twice as ambitious as the first one.”
The whole podcast is good. Give a listen to it if you have a chance – they address for example the balancing act of giving away too many/too little clues as they know there are a million of people debating and theorizing online instantly after an episode has aired.
“JURASSIC WORLD 2” GETS TITLE & POSTER
In one year, life finds a way. pic.twitter.com/32Cu62xn1Y
— Jurassic World (@JurassicWorld) June 22, 2017
And There it is.
OH; YOU KNOW YOU WANNA SEE THIS…
-Apparently the character Jake Busey is playing in The Predator is the SON of the character played by his father Gary Busey in Predator 2, Peter Keyes.
-Screenwriter David Leslie Johnson (“Aquaman,” “Orphan,” “Wrath of the Titans”) has been assigned to write a script for a third Conjuring film. No news yet, if James Wan will return as a director or only remain on board as a producer. It’d be a shame if he didn’t.
-Actresses Jane Levy (“Don’t Breathe”) and Sissy Spacek are set to star in Hulu’s “Castle Rock,” the upcoming psychological-horror drama series based on the many literary works of Stephen King.
-The filming on the Coen Brothers new western TV miniseries for Annapurna TV, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, is slated to begin next month. The only details on this first foray into television by the Coens are that it’s “the stories of six individuals weaving together in the old West at the end of the Civil War.”
–Daniel Day-Lewis may have gone even deeper into character in his last film as before, as now they are saying he quit acting to become a real dressmaker…
That is all.