Tuesday, 19 September 2017

James Wan set to produce new horror Sweet Tooth

He has already had great success producing other filmmakers' work, especially with the likes of David F. Sandberg's short to feature conversion Lights Out (2016). Now James Wan is looking to repeat the winning move, with hews arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that he has picked up the rights with New Line Cinema to Dutch horror short Sweet Tooth.

Fellow producer Chris Bender (The Hangover) is also aboard the latest effort, helping to usher Dutch director Nico van den Brink into Hollywood filmmaker status. Van den Brink will work with a writer to turn his short into a feature film, adapting the story of a woman who comes home to her apartment to discover that her neighbours, a mother and two kids, have been killed. She is horrified, but that also turns into terrified when she hears the laughter and movement of the children.

The director has worked on a variety of short films and ad campaigns, but will make his feature debut with the movie, which New Line Cinema will release. Wan, meanwhile, is currently busy on Aquaman, aiming for a 5 October 2018 release date.

"Get it from your father-in-law – he has all the money in the world."

Sony Pictures have just released their first trailer and one sheet for Ridley Scott's (Prometheus) All The Money In The World.

We all know Ridley Scott has been on a real tear of late, churning out film after film. But it felt like he had only just started production on Getty kidnap drama All The Money In The World, and yet we now have our first trailer.

The film chronicles the 1970s kidnapping case that involved Paul Getty (Charlie Plummer), grandson of billionaire American industrialist J. Paul Getty (Kevin Spacey). Swiped during a night out, he was kept chained in a cave for six months and a ransom demanding $17 million was delivered to the family.

Unfortunately for the younger Getty, his grandfather didn't think much of his father or his party lifestyle, and, initially believing the teenager might have staged the whole thing himself, at first refused to pay. He was also unmoved by the pleas of Paul's mother, as Gail Harris (Michelle Williams) had divorced his son and snubbed his money to raise her children alone, so she turns to an unlikely ally in Getty advisor Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg). One of Paul's ears was posted to the family, and eventually a $2.9 million sum was stumped up. It affected Paul for the rest of his life and he died aged 54. Nine of the kidnappers were arrested, and two were sent to prison.

All The Money In The World will be out in the UK on 5 January.

Chris McKay discusses Nightwing movie

Warner Bros and DC Entertainment announced a further extension to their DC Extended Universe back in February, with word that The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay would be tackling a Nightwing film. Now he has been discussing his plans for the new movie in an interview with Collider.

Talking with Collider while out promoting The Lego Ninjago Movie (which he produced), McKay mentions his history with the character and the opportunities it provides for stories. "I'm a big comic book fan, and being able to do the story of Nightwing, to do a Dick Grayson story, which is a character that every single person in the world knows, but has never really had a lot of screen time," he says. "They make a billion Spider-Man movies and a lot of Batman movies, and they've tried The Hulk. When they were making the Tim Burton movies, they were always like, 'Oh, maybe we'll do Robin in this now. Maybe we'll save Robin for Returns. Nope, we'll save it for the next one.' With Christopher Nolan, people were like, 'Is he gonna do Robin?' When they made Batman V Superman, they were talking about it. I'm a big fan of underdog stories, and he is one of the biggest underdog stories in comics. And he's a character that I grew up with. I like the arc."

He has also got plans for what his take will entail. "It's gonna be a fucking badass action movie with a lot of heart and emotion. It's gonna be a crazy, fun ride. Whoever gets cast as Nightwing, and any of the other actors around, are gonna go through a fucking boot camp experience because it's gonna be a lot. I'm not gonna do a lot of CG. It's gonna be all real shit. It's gonna be real stunt work, and they're gonna need to do all of the stuff on camera and do it credibly."

"For the cast and the crew, it's gonna be a visceral experience, and for the audience. It's not gonna be like a lot of these movies where there's a lot of CG and flying, and things like that. Everything he does is gonna have to be real. His superpower is being really fucking good, as a human being, at fighting and gymnastics and shit like that, so you're gonna see that on screen. It's gonna be fun!"

For more from McKay, head over to the Collider site here.

Obviously, given that that the movie is at such an early age, there is no mention of when it might come out. The next DC Extended Universe release is Justice League, which will arrive in cinemas 17 November.

New redband trailer for The Shape Of Water arrives online

Fox Searchlight have just released their latest red band trailer for Guillermo del Toro's (Pacific Rim) The Shape Of Water.

With one trailer out there in the world and the film enjoying some positive reactions at the Toronto International Film Festival, it is time for another look at Guillermo del Toro's latest, The Shape Of Water.

The Shape Of Water is an otherworldly tale that is set against the paranoid backdrop of 1960s America. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation, looked down upon because she is mute. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified discovery, a creature of the water (Doug Jones).

But when she bonds with the mysterious being, she invokes the suspicion and fear of her bosses, including the likes of Michael Shannon (The Iceman) and Richard Jenkins (Jack Reacher).

The Shape Of Water will be in US cinemas on 8 December before heading to the UK for 16 February.

First look at David Harbour as the new Hellboy arrives online

We have been through the usual rounds of announcements and casting, but now the team behind the new Hellboy have released our first look at the central character to avoid leaked blurry on set set shots from random photographers. Launched via the movie's official Twitter feed is the first image of actor David Harbour (Stranger Things) in full Hellboy prosthetics and costume.

We have to say, he looks pretty impressive. There are some nice touches here to make him distinct from Ron Perlman's interpretation, but on the whole, this is still recognisably Big Red.

The new movie, which is shooting now, has director Neil Marshall (The Descent) overseeing a story that finds Hellboy and his friends battling an evil sorceress (Milla Jovovich) whose mind is firmly bent on revenge. Ian McShane (John Wick), Sasha Lane (American Honey), Penelope Mitchell (The Fear Of Darkness) and Daniel Dae Kim (Insurgent) are also in the cast.

"You want a piece of me? Come and get it!"

Sony Pictures have just released their latest trailer and one sheet for Joseph Kosinski's (Tron: Legacy) Only The Brave.

With the wild weather conditions around the world, we have all been reminded of the heroic work of first responders and those who willingly put themselves in harm's way to protect others.

Only The Brave follows the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group within the Prescott Fire Department in Arizona specialising in battling wildfires. They were sent into action in June 2013 against the Yarnell Hill Fire, which threatened the Arizona town of Yarnell.

Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad) plays the leader of the ragtag team, who had been training hard for the likelihood of just such a fire, but even they didn't realise the toll it might take, despite earning a reputation as the 'Seal Team Six of firefighters'. Miles Teller (Whiplash) is a new recruit, Brendan 'Donut' McDonough, looking to help his family with the dangerous job.

Joseph Kosinski directs this one, which also features Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Jennifer Connelly Blood Diamond), Taylor Kitsch (John Carter), Andie MacDowell (Four Weddings And A Funeral) and James Badge Dale (World War Z).

Only The Brave will arrive in UK cinemas on 10 November.

Dave Callaham set to co-write Wonder Woman sequel

The gears are really starting to turn on the much-anticipated Wonder Woman sequel. With Patty Jenkins now officially returning to direct, the writing process is in full swing. Now news arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that Dave Callaham (The Expendables) will be joining Jenkins and DC writer Geoff Johns in developing the script.

Jenkins, despite her seeming unofficial status as director, has been working with Johns for a while on a treatment for the new movie, and Callaham is aboard as it moves into the scripting stage. He has also worked on the likes of Godzilla (2014) and the less than loved video game adaptation Doom (2005). But since his work on The Expendables (2010), he has been keeping busy on various movies in development, including a sequel to Zombieland (2009).

Little has been announced for the new Wonder Woman, save that Gal Gadot will be back as the Amazonian warrior princess. Rumours have pointed to another potential look back in time, such as setting the film in the 1980s, but there is also scope for a modern day film that takes place in the wake of the Justice League films.

Wonder Woman 2 is currently scheduled to arrive on 13 December 2019, but with Star Wars: Episode IX recently shifting to a 20 December date that year, chances are that Diana may decide to move. As always, watch this space.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

New one sheet for The Shape Of Water arrives online

Fox Searchlight have just released their latest one sheet for Guillermo del Toro's (Pacific Rim) The Shape Of Water.

The Shape Of Water is an otherworldly tale that is set against the paranoid backdrop of 1960s America. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation, looked down upon because she is mute. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified discovery, a creature of the water (Doug Jones).

But when she bonds with the mysterious being, she invokes the suspicion and fear of her bosses, including the likes of Michael Shannon (The Iceman) and Richard Jenkins (Jack Reacher).

The Shape Of Water will be in US cinemas on 8 December before heading to the UK for 16 February.

9 of the most regretted mistakes in movie history... according to the people who made them

Regrets? We have all had a few. Most people's mistakes, however, aren't captured on camera for the rest of eternity. Pity, then, the red faced actors and directors who have made films while quietly knowing that things weren't perhaps going the way they should.

Here are nine movies where the people in front of, or behind, the cameras have had to live with their mistakes making it into cinema history – and their thoughts on what exactly went wrong.

Film: Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The mistake: Venom

Hard as it is to believe now, two reboots on, but there was once a time when a Spider-Man big-screen outing was merely an unattainable Hollywood dream. Evil Dead (1981) creator Sam Raimi cracked it, making two films with warmth, humour and three-dimensional villains. And then he went and spoiled it all with Spider-Man 3.

There is such a thing as villain overload. The conflict with Harry Osborne (James Franco) had been methodically built up over the first two films and reached a head here. The Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), meanwhile, had the makings of a classic Spider-Man foe – as sympathetic as he was sinister.

Alas, Sony Pictures insisted that Raimi also include Venom (Topher Grace), a character beloved of many younger Spider-Man fans, but, crucially, not by Raimi himself. The character simply doesn't fit into the film and, worse, Peter's corruption by the black symbiote suit turns him from loveable dork into peacocking bell-end.

"I didn't really believe in all the characters," Raimi would later admit. "I think [raising the stakes] was the thinking going into it, and I think that's what doomed us."

And in case you have any doubts about what he thinks of the movie, he has since called it "awful".

Film: Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015)
The mistake: Giving the author too much control

EL James' erotic novel Fifty Shades Of Grey caused a global sensation on publication, bringing S&M to book shelves and boosting sales of rope, cable ties and duct tape to boot.

A film adaptation was a certainty, and Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) was hired to direct it, with a little help from the author... whether she wanted it or not.

Most novelists get only minimal say over how their work is adapted for screen. Not so with James, who was granted a high level of power and wielded it over the director, allegedly quarrelling over every diversion from the original text, while demanding that screenwriter Kelly Marcel's script be rewritten to match the novel's – famously awful – dialogue.

Taylor-Johnson has spoken of "lots of on-set tête-à-tetes" with James, and that she is steering well clear of the sequel. "Would I go through it again? Of course I wouldn't. I'd be mad."

Of course, the final cut was a huge commercial success (despite the critical drubbing) so perhaps James was on to something after all.

Film: Blade Runner (1981)
The mistake: Giving in to the money men

Ridley Scott's other science fiction masterpiece turns 35 this year. Nowadays it is available in a plethora of different cuts, but audiences at the time only had one – with an infamously weak final scene.

The film's investors were unhappy with the bleak implications of the ending, which suggests that Rachael (Sean Young) is reaching her termination date and that Deckard (Harrison Ford) himself may be a replicant.

One of them told the director to insert an "uplifting" ending where the two escape to the country. Scott argued, "Well if they go off into a beautiful wilderness, why do they live in this dystopian environment?"

He was overruled.

An infuriatingly hand-holding epilogue was hastily assembled using spare location footage from The Shining (1980) and a flat voiceover from a plainly furious Ford. "Tyrell had told me Rachael was special, no termination date. I didn't know how long we'd have together. Who does?"

Thankfully, Scott has since excised it from the film, restoring the appropriately fatalistic edge he had planned.

Film: The Hobbit trilogy (2012-2014)
The mistake: Rushing it.

Anyone would have a hard time living up to Peter Jackson's epic The Lord Of The Rings trilogy – including, it turns out, Jackson himself. Originally conceived as two films, The Hobbit hit a rocky patch when director Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim) quit the project, forcing Jackson to return to Middle-earth.

The Lord Of The Rings was in pre-production for three and a half years before filming even started. Not so with The Hobbit.

"Because Guillermo del Toro had to leave and I jumped in and took over, we didn't wind the clock back a year and a half and give me a year and a half prep to design the movie, which was different to what he was doing," Jackson revealed in a frank interview on the The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Blu-ray.

"It was impossible, and as a result of it being impossible I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all."

We would like to say it doesn't show, but...

Film: Diana (2013)
The mistake: Playing Diana.

Oliver Hirschbiegel's (Downfall) biopic of Princess Diana had the air of disaster about it from the off, but few would quibble with the casting of Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible) – a serious actress who brings credibility to any project.

As the film was released to universally poor reviews, however, it became clear that the actress was unhappy, to say the least.

While Hirschbiegel has said he has no regrets about making the film, it is clear that his star has. Watts walked out of an interview with Simon Mayo while promoting the movie and has since referred to it as "a sinking ship".

She later told Harpers Bazaar: "I got seduced by the fantastic character. Ultimately there were problems and it ended up taking a direction that was not the one I was hoping for. With risk there is every chance it's going to fail." And fail it did.

Film: Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
The mistake: Including footage of real violence.

This infamous Italian horror flick frequently shows up on lists of the most violent films of all time. Director Ruggero Deodato's tale of a documentary crew who fall prey to a man-eating tribe is arguably the first found footage feature – and so realistic its director almost ended up in jail, after it was suspected he had really killed his cast.

He hadn't, but the film does include several scenes of genuine cruelty to animals.

There is no getting around it – the film is nasty. Monkeys, turtles and other animals are all shown being killed on camera. Deodato has said he regrets filming those sequences, justifying it by saying: "The death of the animals, although unbearable – especially in a present-day urban mindset – always happened in order to feed the film's characters or the crew, both in the story and in reality."

Recent edits of the film, however, have notably trimmed back some of these sequences.

Film: Battlefield Earth (2000)
The mistake: Getting involved with Scientology.

What more is there to say about Battlefield Earth? It is arguably the pinnacle of Hollywood folly and a film that prematurely tarnished John Travolta's resurgent career post Pulp Fiction (1994). The trash science fiction outing, based on Church of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard's novel, was an enormous flop.

And its screenwriter knew that it was going to fail.

In a 2010 essay for the New York Post entitled 'I penned the suckiest movie ever – sorry!', screenwriter JD Shapiro spilled the beans on what went wrong with the film. And it started with his motives for getting involved – he had heard the Scientology centre was a good place to meet women.

After that, things got much worse when John Travolta's people began to tinker with his script.

"My screenplay was darker, grittier and had a very compelling story," Shapiro wrote. "They changed the entire tone... [Their] notes wanted me to lose key scenes, add ridiculous scenes, take out some of the key characters."

When he refused to comply, he was fired, leaving us with the glorious disaster we know and love today.

Film: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
The mistake: Lying about Khan.

Before a single frame of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009) sequel had been shot, fans were speculating that it might feature Khan Noonien Singh, the superhuman villain originally played by Ricardo Montalbán.

Not so, said Abrams – Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse) was playing a rogue Starfleet officer named John Harrison and not Khan.

Then, half-way through the film Harrison, locked in a cell on the Enterprise, hisses "My name... is Khan!" Cue a fatigued sigh from fans worldwide – and a deep sense of irritation that they had been lied to.

"I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront, 'This is who it is,'" Abrams has since admitted, while laying part of the blame at the studio door. "It was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you've really got to know what Star Trek is about to see this movie. That would have been limiting."

Film: Rocky V (1990)
The mistake: Forgetting Rocky's root.

The many Rocky sequels are of variable quality, but most are at least fun. Not so for Rocky V, which supplants the robots and Russians of Rocky IV (1985) for a dose of grim reality as Rocky loses his hard won fortune and ends up back at square one, re-opening Mickey's Gym and training up-and-coming fighter Tommy Gunn.

Sylvester Stallone – who, let us not forget, is the star of such legendary turkeys as Rhinestone (1984) and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992) – has called the film, "Without a doubt one of the biggest disappointments in my life."

The series had reached its natural conclusion with Rocky IV and Balboa's defeat of Ivan Drago. Going back for one last round forced Stallone to take his beloved boxer to new, dour and joyless places – in this case brain damage, parental neglect and street brawls.

"The audience didn't want to see the downside of the character," he has since said. "They wanted him to remain on top. I should have known that. I fell into a sense of self-parody."

Happily, Stallone got to rectify the mistake with the superior Rocky Balboa (2006), and again in the  terrific Creed (2015) – a far better take on the Rocky as a mentor tale.

"He's an old man running circles around the lot of us!"

STX Entertainment have just released their latest trailer for Martin Campbell's (Casino Royale) The Foreigner.

The Foreigner finds Jackie Chan (The Karate Kid) as a restaurant owner in London's Chinatown who has a dark past and is mourning his family. So you can understand his reaction when his teenage daughter is killed in an attack orchestrated by rogue Irish terrorists. When the justice system brings him no satisfaction, he decides to track down the people responsible himself. Pierce Brosnan (The Ghost) is Liam Hennessy, a former IRA member who is now a government official.

With David Marconi (Die Hard 4.0) adapting Stephen Leather's novel The Chinaman, the film has been through a few development wobbles and has taken a while to reach screens. But after securing Martin Campbell for the director's chair, it is finally on the way – in the US at least, where it will land on 13 October, following a launch in China on 30 September. As for UK audiences, we will have to wait and see if and when it makes it to our shores.

New trailer and one sheet for Coco arrives online

Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios' have just released their latest trailer and one sheet for Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and Adrian Molina's Coco.

Written by Molina, Coco is the story of young Mexican Miguel (Antony Gonzalez), who wants to be a music legend like his hero, Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). But there is a problem – music has been banned in Miguel's family for years, but no one will quite tell him why.

Yet when our hero (accompanied by loyal canine Dante) accidentally finds a way into the Land of the Dead, he teams up with a trickster named Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) and sets out to discover the truth.

Cheech Marin, Edward James Olmos, Renee Victor and Sofia Espinosa also feature in the voice cast for the film, which is heading to US cinemas for Thanksgiving, but frustratingly now won't reach UK screens until 19 January next year.

Director Angela Robinson set to adapt Strangers In Paradise

She has Professor Marston And The Wonder Women heading to screens this year, but writer and director Angela Robinson (True Blood) already has her eye on a future project. News arrives via Variety that she is aiming to adapt Terry Moore's graphic novel series Strangers In Paradise for the screen.

Robinson will work with the writer and artist on the script for the film, adapting the long running illustrated series. The story follows Katchoo, a beautiful young woman living a quiet life with everything going for her. She is smart, independent, and very much in love with her best friend, Francine. Then Katchoo meets David, a gentle but persistent young man who is determined to win Katchoo's heart. The resulting love triangle is a touching comedy of romantic errors... at least until Katchoo's former employer comes looking for her and $850,000 in missing mob money.

"I've been wanting to adapt Strangers In Paradise for over a decade, since the first time I read it and couldn't put it down," Robinson tells Variety. "Terry Moore writes real female characters with such breathtaking sensitivity. With Strangers In Paradise, he pulls off the nearly impossible – a sexy, stylish crime story with tons of heart. I look forward to our collaboration!"

Professor Marston And The Wonder Women, which chronicles the man who created Wonder Woman, and the women in his life who inspired the character, has premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and will hit the London Film Festival in October ahead of a 13 October release in the US and a 10 November arrival in UK cinemas.

Star Wars: Episode IX release date moves to December 2019

Like the destiny of our heroes in that galaxy far, far away, so it has come to pass that with J.J. Abrams   (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) now aboard to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX, Lucasfilm have announced via Twitter that the film's release date has been shifted back to 20 December 2019.

The man who made Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and who helped to launch Star Wars back into the world clearly believes he needs that extra time to start from scratch on the script and Lucasfilm agrees. It is hardly a shock that all involved would want to chance to finesse this one – like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there is a lot riding on wrapping up the current trilogy.

Star Wars shifting about the schedules will likely cause other studios to make release adjustments down the line so as to avoid the behemoth too. Right in the movie's sights at the moment is the Wonder Woman sequel, which, even with its own first movie's success, might not want to tackle the coming threat.

And the new date for Episode IX was just one of the various release slots announced or confirmed by Walt Disney Pictures, with Guy Ritchie's (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) live action Aladdin landing on 24 May 2019 – replacing the Star Wars entry – Marc Forster's (World War Z) Christopher Robin movie expected in August 2018, Ken Branagh's (Cinderella) adaptation of Artemis Fowl scheduled for August 2019 and the Santa Claus daughter outing, now known as Nicole, aiming for 8 November 2019. Less lucky is comedy Magic Camp, which had been set for an April 2018 release but is now without a date.

Jack Huston joins The Irishman

Jack Huston has already worked with Martin Scorsese on one project, as he was part of the cast for Boardwalk Empire, which Scorsese produced and helped to launch by directing the pilot. Now, though, the actor is getting his shot at a big screen job for his old boss, with news arriving via Deadline that he is set to join the cast of The Irishman.

Scorsese already has an impressive cast on hand for the film, with Robert De Niro (Casino), Al Pacino (Heat), Joe Pesci (Goodfellas), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets), Ray Romano and Bobby Cannavale (Vinyl) all locked in place.

Adapted by Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) from Charles Brandt's book I Heard You Paint Houses, ('painting houses' being slang for victims' blood spray) the film will follow the life of mob hit man Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran (De Niro), whose career allegedly included the slaying of union leader Jimmy Hoffa.

Netflix is backing the film, though the company is obviously planning a quick theatrical release, in the hopes that this drama could score some awards.

Huston has worked on Alexandre Moors' (Blue Caprice) The Yellow Birds and will be seen in An Actor Prepares.

"What kind of person are you?"

StudioCanal have just released their first trailer and one sheet for Jaume Collet-Serra's (Non-Stop) The Commuter.

Liam Neeson has been suggesting recently that his time with action movies is coming to an end. He has still got one or two more in the can, though, with The Commuter being his fourth collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra. The pair have previously given us Unknown (2011), Non-Stop (2014) and Run All Night (2015).

Thier latest venture finds Neeson as a insurance salesman travelling by train to work who unwittingly gets caught up in a criminal conspiracy that threatens not only his life, but that of those around him. Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring) is a mysterious woman who drags him into the whole affair, offering an enticing opportunity, but one that comes with some deadly downsides... Naturally you can expect phone action from Neeson and lots of running through carriages.

Writers Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi cooked up the concept, and the cast also includes Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul), Sam Neill (Hunt For The Wilderpeople) and Elizabeth McGovern (Kick-Ass). It will arrive in UK cinemas on 19 January.