Once a year, usually around Christmas, a portal in time opens on the internet and whoever is the lucky one, can take a look at the web of the future, but only for a few minutes.
This year, I was the lucky one and I caught a glimpse of the internet of 2025 and cribbed all the entertainment news I could, before the portal closed.
JJ Abrams talks Police Academy reboot
from Empire Online, November 2025
Director and notorious “franchise saviour” JJ Abrams is at it again! Now it’s resurrection of the classic 80s action comedy franchise Police Academy he chose as his next endeavour.
We met Mr. Abrams for a very enlightening conversation today and he explained to us why he thinks that the comedy vehicle is still a concept that will score with modern audiences. But before we can talk all things Guttenberg, we gotta address some unavoidable questions that have been burning not only under ours, but millions of moviegoers fingernails for the last decade. Abrams knowingly smiles when we cautiously approach the all the burning fan questions and criticisms regarding his entries in the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones franchises that have been piling up over the years. Some of it might be your usual nitpicking of the nerdy kind, but what about the more valid criticisms?
“Yes, we made a few mistakes”, Abrams openly admits without hesitation, “but we learned from them for future projects.”
Such an unexpected candidness coming from a top Hollywood power player is of course refreshing and disarming, but we still want details. What are the most common points that still crop up on the fan forums and how can the director justify them?
“Of course I will always be thankful to Disney for giving us [Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan] this once-in-a-lifetime chance, but they also put us under a lot of pressure when we were writing the movie. (…) Many story turns and elements have not been in our original script while we were already halfway through the shoot (…) I don’t know if Lawrence [Kasdan] added them or Robe.. I mean some uncredited studio writer and if it happened on the behest of Disney. That said, I am still very happy with the result.”
Still, Disney interventions aside, he only himself can take the blame for a few other story blunders. “The idea of letting Luke appear for the first time in the last five minutes of the movie, only to be stabbed by Kylo Ren with a lightsaber from behind, was maybe…slightly misguided (…) It was my homage to Halloran from The Shining (…) An artist cannot develop if he doesn’t make mistakes. I am always learning.”
Abrams is less loquacious when it comes to his Indiana Jones reboot, Indiana Jones and the Mysterious Artifact from the Past. “I might have reconsidered the twist of revealing Sallah as the bad guy. And maybe radio-controlled Nazi Zombies were not as funny and retro anymore as we thought.”
But let’s leave the past behind. Why Police Academy, Mr. Abrams?
“I think it has a lot of potential. The original series went too far at some points as we all know, but some other venues have never been explored. I always dreamed of putting my own vision of Police Academy out there, but on the other hand I have to be careful- I still want to treat the original films, especially the first one, and even more important, the fanbase with the utmost respect. There is a lot of pressure on us to not f@#k this up.” How was it to work with Steve Guttenberg, who might have a comeback of Joe Piscopo- levels (means: enormous) ahead of him? “He is a legend (..) On the first day of the shoot , I said to myself: You are directing Mahoney himself here! Somebody wake me up!”
Yet, after some test screenings with mixed results, Abrams is heading back to the set for reshoots. Troubles? “That’s nothing out of order, reshoots happen all the time.”Abrams says, seemingly unperturbed.
According to our sources, the initials “JJ” still stand for an artist who continues to divide the audience. People who already set their eyes on the raw cut can apparently be divided into two camps: His critics who see the revival as “another soulless cash-in that does not capture the spirit of the original.” And his fans who attest that “(..) this is by far the best Police Academy movie in a long time.” “Guys who bash Abrams are just jealous”, one particularly outspoken fan says, “They are juvenile idiots living in the past and cling to their old movies. They see everything through the lense of nostalgia and cannot accept that things are changing, pathetic. I for one am somebody who is open-minded and who is still able to enjoy movies as what they are and I am very excited for this reboot of a 40 year old film that was a big part of my childhood.”
One element that was unanimously rejected by both fans and detractors though was the decision to replace actor George Gaynes (“Lassard”), who was due to his advanced age only able to provide his voice, with a CGI-animated, mo-capped double. Although we are now at a stage, where CGI is almost indistinguishable from reality, computer-generated actors still face a wall of rejection, at least in most cases. “They are not there yet”, is the consensus among the test audience, Gayne’s simulacrum was described as “dead-eyed” by the majority. Abrams shrugs. “It is as it is. Although it’s a little odd, admittedly. When we did the same with Harrison Ford five years ago for Indiana Jones, no such complaints cropped up. Nobody noticed.” The role of police president “Lassard” has now to be recast with a real actor, according to rumours countless of Hollywood’s more and less notable 60+ actors are already lining up for this prestigious gig.
What’s up next? “I will leave the direction of Police Academy II – yes, it’s already in early development stages- to someone else. Then I will turn to more personal projects, I think I deserved something more introspective, self-indulgent at this point in my career.” Is a return to the Star Wars movies out of question? “They offered me to direct More Saucy Shenanigans with Salacious Crumb recently, but I turned it down. I will now tackle a remake of Weekends at Bernie’s next.” A flat-out remake? How is this a “more personal movie”?
“I know how that sounds, but it is. In some ways, this movie sums up my career perfectly.”
JJ Abrams: Mysterious as always.
Salem’s Lot remake finished, first reactions
from HollywoodReporter, August 2025
Remakes are still going strong and no end of this trend is in sight. The latest example would be the brand new interpretation of Salem’s Lot, directed by Justin Lin. His version of the famous Stephen King novel does not represent a new adaptation of the book, but actually adheres closely to the TV-adaptation by Tobe Hooper from 1979.
Means, all the story changes that were made with the transition from page to small screen will be retained for its big screen debut as well. “This is the version people remember and love”, producer Harvey Weinstein explains this decision.
The plot, for the uninitiated: Up and coming writer Ben Mears (Asa Butterfield) returns to his hometown Salem’s Lot to face his childhood trauma and distil it into another bestseller novel. But when he tries to buy the house where he once had a horrifying supernatural experience, he discovers it has already been sold to two mysterious new owners who turned it into a shop. Little does he know that the two gentlemen, Kurt Barlow (Bruce Willis) and Richard Straker (Kevin Smith), are a bloodthirsty vampire and his human helper respectively, bent on turning the townspeople into fellow bloodsuckers.
While sticking closely to Hooper’s vision in many regards, some updates were inevitable. Straker is now selling movie-, comic book- and ice hockey- memorabilia. Kevin Smith, wearing his trademark hockey jersey, plays Straker as a smug, insufferable and know-it-all shop owner whose credo is “the job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking customers”. “Geriatric Europeans are not scary anymore,” Lin weighs in, “so we went with a comic book collector from new Jersey.”
Bruce Willis’ role sticks pretty close to the original, feral Nosferatu-inspired vampire: He appears only for a few minutes of screentime in full makeup and has only three lines that are basically just unintelligible grunts. Willis recently declared that this was his favourite role and favourite film shoot of all time. Insiders confess that a few scenes had to be digitally retouched, when it was discovered during editing that Smith was making faces every time he appeared with Willis together in the same frame. Salem’s Lot will be released around Halloween next year.
Michael Bay returns to action cinema
from Variety, July 2025
After a break of almost four years, action director Michael Bay returns to the genre that he is most famous for. Paramount confirms that he is currently attached to a project that is based on a script that has been circulating in Hollywood for years, original working title: Men of Glory. The material seems to be tailor-made for the director who never made a secret of his leanings. “Some people call my movies propaganda. I call them the sincere artistic expressions of a man who happens to be a patriot. Being a patriot apparently seems to be a crime though nowadays. But I don’t care, I love my country and I will not bend my principles for anyone.”
Yet, the project will still be going through a few redrafts before a shoot can be considered, as Paramount Pictures recently went through some substantial changes when it merged with Shanghai Film Studio just last year.
The new official synopsis and press statement: “A group of stranded NAVY Seals faces a hitherto unmatched challenge when they are confronted with a (yet unspecified) terrorist threat in a (yet unspecified) country. Together with a group of PLAs (the Chinese “People’s Liberation Army Special Operations Forces”) they battle their biggest enemy so far.”
Bay: “This is my homage to the brave Americans out there who fight for our country so we don’t have to….and to the Chinese. It’s not just a movie, it’s an open statement directed at our enemies. Whoever they are right now.” He is not afraid to call out his own people either: “America has gone soft and whiny, with liberals and social justice warriors -warriors! bah!- dictating the course of politics. How can we succeed with all these whiny pussies that are offended by anything?” On a more thoughtful note: “It’s just sad that we are not allowed to say anything we want anymore. I am not gonna lie, I took a break because the criticisms became too much. When people called me a ‘fascist` that hurt me deep inside there [points to heart]. That was mean. (…) Good news for for everyone who yearns for a good ole fashioned action fest that celebrates what it means to be an American and the power of Confucian values, look out- there is something coming up for you in the next three, four years!”
The screenwriting credits for all existing drafts include Robert Orci (original script: he is also responsible for the oneliner “Democra-THIS!”), Skip Woods, Zhang Yimou (who suggested to retitle the script into Men of Glory, Infinite Courage and Wisdom) and all 35 members of the recently founded “Board for Evaluation of Western Film Culture of the People’s Republic of China”.
*the idea for the middle piece about Salem’s Lot is based on a comment by our frequent commenter Turd Escaped the Gravy. Thanks a lot!