Spinning Headlines – Week 36: Sully, Westworld, Vince Gilligan, Alien Nation, Free Fire, Live By Night, Super Troopers 2…
Okay, time for that all-non-important weekly news and rumor-control that is called the “Spinning Headlines“. It’s actually quite convenient to have this placed here on Sunday, as it presents the opportunity for things like:
THE WEEKEND BOX-OFFICE PROGNOSIS
|2.||When the Bough Breaks||$15.0||$15,000,000|
|5.||The Wild Life||$3.4||$3,400,000|
|6.||Kubo and the Two Strings||$3.2||$40,847,680|
|9.||Hell or High Water||$2.6||$19,823,734|
And, well, lookie here – like was foretold last week, it was indeed Clint Eastwood‘s true-story drama “Sully” that ended up on top position there with a $35,5 million gross($4 million of that from IMAX screens). And it is Eastwood’s second biggest opening-weekend ever. The only one above it is 2014’s “American Sniper” which took $89 million. The reviews for “Sully” have been generally on the positive side; one thing that caught my eye instantly is that Eastwood has apparently kept the story really lean and tight, as the film’s running time is a mere 96 minutes. I’d call that a really welcome change in these times when nearly very high-profile studio movie seems to clock at a minimum of 130 minutes…
“WESTWORLD” SHOWRUNNERS PLAN AHEAD
It’s been a few weeks since we got that really kick-ass full trailer for HBO’s “Westworld” and now lead actor James Marsden has shed some light on the overall plans for the show and also shed some light on that mid-production hiatus which raised some questions earlier this year. It turns out that it was NOT all about catching up with the writing of the second half of the season – it was also about planning ahead. Here’s what Marsden said to Entertainment Weekly:
“It wasn’t about getting the first 10 [episodes] done, it was about mapping out what the next 5 or 6 years are going to be. We wanted everything in line so that when the very last episode airs and we have our show finale, five or seven years down the line, we knew how it was going to end the first season – that’s the way Jonah and [executive producer J.J. Abrams] operate. They’re making sure all the ducks are in the row. And it’s a testament to Jonah and Lisa and HBO that we got them right, especially the last three scripts. They could have rushed them and get spread too thin. They got them right, and when they were right, we went and shot them.”
So there’s a LOT more “Westworld” to come – of course depending on how the first season will be received by the audience. You can bet that HBO has a lot bet on this one, as their flag-ship “Game of Thrones” is slowly winding down and some of their other big investments like “Vinyl” got an fairly early death.
Jonathan Nolan DID address the “GoT”-comparisons by saying: “We would joke that we don’t have George, we don’t have the novels. We have a fantastic original film, but that’s a little under two hours of storytelling. So our joke was we have to write the ‘novels’ first, and then adapt them and then go shoot them. We didn’t want to have a story that repeated itself [each year]. We didn’t want the Fantasy Island version of this [where new guests arrive at the park every season]. We wanted a big story. We wanted the story of the origin of a new species and how that would play out in its complexity.”
“SHIN GODZILLA” TRAILER
Aka. “Godzilla: Resurgence“. This is for the fans – you know who you are 😉
Official synopsis for the film, which will be a limited theatrical event and will be in specific theaters from October 11th-18th only(in Japanese with English subtitles):
“Make way for the ultimate homage to one of the most enduring legends of the big screen—Godzilla! The King of the Monsters is back in Tokyo for a city-crushing crusade that speaks to the very roots of the world-renowned franchise.
It’s a peaceful day in Japan when a strange fountain of water erupts in the bay, causing panic to spread among government officials. At first, they suspect only volcanic activity, but one young executive dares to wonder if it may be something different… something alive. His worst nightmare comes to life when a massive, gilled monster emerges from the deep and begins tearing through the city, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. As the government scrambles to save the citizens, a rag-tag team of volunteers cuts through a web of red tape to uncover the monster’s weakness and its mysterious ties to a foreign superpower. But time is not on their side—the greatest catastrophe to ever befall the world is about to evolve right before their very eyes.”
“BREAKING BAD”-CREATOR’S NEXT
Seems that the “Breaking Bad“-masterminds Vince Gilligan and Michelle MacLaren have set their sights on something completely different; the word arrived this week that they are working on an HBO miniseries based on the non-fiction book ‘Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People’ by Tim Reiterman. Yes, seems that Gilligan and MacLaren are going to head to Jonestown. Gilligan will write the miniseries and MacLaren will direct, with Octavia Spencer co-producing the series with the two. Reiterman is, of course, one of the few survivors of the events at Jonestown, and his book has been considered the de facto description of the events.
Three years ago filmmaker Ti West took the basis of the Jonestown incident in his found-footage thriller “The Sacrament“, but he moved the event into a modern-day setting.
REMAKE-NEWS OF THE WEEK
You know me: you know that usually I’ve been throwing all remake-news into the “spit-take of the week”-segment – but on this one, I’ll make an exception: there’s a remake of the classic 80’s buddy-cop movie “Alien Nation” in the works. That in itself doesn’t sound very good, does it? But here’s the catch: it seems that director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter”,”Mud”, “Midnight Special”) is now in negotiations to write and direct that one.
For all those who don’t know, “Alien Nation” starred James Caan as a racist cop forced to team with an actual alien played by Mandy Patinkin in a Los Angeles circa 1991 where humans have lived alongside extraterrestrial humanoid beings whose spaceship has crash landed there three years earlier. I would imagine that this story, remade into the way the world seems to be right NOW(racist, bigoted, hateful – take your pick), there would be plenty of new and fresh ways to tell this – and if Nichols is wanted at the helm, I’d imagine the powers that be have realized that as well. Definitely one to keep on the map.
“FREE FIRE” TRAILER
I’ll be perfectly honest: I had heard absolutely SQUAT about this new film from director Ben Wheatley (“Kill List”, “Sightseers”, “A Field in England”, “High-Rise“) – and it caught me completely off-guard as it appeared in the net this week. Color me insanely intrigued. Here’s a plot synopsis of the film:
“Set in late 70s Boston, the film stars Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Michael Smiley, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor and Sam Riley. Larson plays Justine, a woman who has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen (Murphy, Smiley) and a gang led by Vernon (Copley) and Ord (Hammer) who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired in the handover, a heart-stopping game of survival ensues.”
And is it just me or is Armie Hammer slowly starting to redeem himself from “The Lone Ranger“? First “The Man From UNCLE” and now this.
DC’S REVISED STRATEGY
Warner/DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns shed some light on the new, revised creative strategy on the DC Cinematic Universe in a world after “Batman V. Superman” and “Suicide Squad“. Apparently since “BvS”, the time table for “hope and optimism” was accelerated regarding “Justice League”. Which was already pretty evident in the Comic Con-teaser of that film. Of course, Johns also kinda hints that the audience MAY have misunderstood things as well: “Mistakenly in the past I think the studio has said, ‘Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that’s what makes them different.’ That couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn’t think he’d make tomorrow better, he’d stop.” Johns also stated that Batman’s slightly murderous proclivities in “BvS” “will be addressed” and Zack Snyder’s “controversial flourishes” will be fewer.
I’m more interested in “will the writing be less stupid?“. But I guess it’s just me. And a few others. Okay – many others.
AFFLECK’S NEXT DIRECTORIAL FEATURE TRAILERED
Well, there’s the first look at “Live By Night” – the Dennis Lehane-adaptation written, directed, co-produced and starring Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin, the prodigal son of a Boston police captain who works his way up from bootlegger to notorious Florida gangster.
I think it looks damn good – Affleck the director has had quite a streak with his pictures so far.
THE BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
In my trailer on Day One of Super Troopers 2. pic.twitter.com/IU7NlRuJGE
— Jay Chandrasekhar (@jaychandrasekha) September 7, 2016
Jay Chandrasekhar announced that the filming of “Super Trooper 2” has begun. ’nuff said.
P.T. ANDERSON & DAY-LEWIS REUNION GETS GREENLIGHT
Well, after it was announced a few monts ago that writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson was seeking to reunite with his “There Will Be Blood“-star Daniel Day-Lewis for a film that would take place in “the couture world of 1950s London”, it has now become official: during the Toronto International Film Festival it was announced that Focus Features has won the bidding war between Fox Searchlight Pictures for the films distribution rights. Focus will handle domestic distribution with Universal Pictures distributing internationally. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is producing the movie, with Anderson and JoAnne Sellar producing through his Ghoulardi Film Company. So, as all the deals are now in place, the still-untitled film is now greenlit and slated to start production in January with an eye on a late 2017 release.
A “SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING” VILLAIN GOT TOTALLY SPOILED
— about tom holland (@abouttomholland) September 5, 2016
Not the MAIN villain, mind ‘ya – that is the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton – but a supporting villain which in this case is Shocker, played by Bokeem Woodbine. A short description of this classic Spidey villain who has been around since 1967:
“Shocker, a.k.a. Herman Schultz, is a brilliant inventor and engineer who dropped out of high school in New York City and makes a living as a talented burglar and safe-cracker. His powers are derived through homemade gauntlets that project concentrated blasts of vibrations using compressed air.”
And besides Vulture and Shocker, the film will also feature Michael Chernus as The Tinkerer. Gosh darn it – I hope Sony is not trying to stack too many villains into one movie again. We all know how that ended before….
SPIT-TAKE OF THE WEEK
Writer/director Jared Hess – the creator of such films as “Napoleon Dynamite“, “Nacho Libre”, “Gentlemen Broncos”, “Don Verdean” and “Masterminds” has his next gig lined up. Apparently it’s the THIRD part of the Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson buddy-comedy series “Shanghai Noon”/”Shanghai Knights”.
That is all.