10 items from 2017
It's been less than 24 hours since Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were unceremoniously fired from the Star Wars spin-off, but there are already three candidates that have emerged as front-runners to take over the production. New reports have surfaced which claim that Ron Howard, Lawrence Kasdan and Joe Johnston are currently in the mix as candidates for this coveted directing gig. LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy stated in her statement yesterday that a new director will be announced soon, but it remains to be seen how soon that announcement will come.
Deadline reports that Ron Howard is the front runner for the directing gig, while acknowledging that Lawrence Kasdan has been mentioned as a possible replacement. Another report from The Hollywood Reporter claims that Joe Johnston, who started his career by working on the visual effects for the original Star Wars trilogy, has also been mentioned as a possible replacement. That report also includes new details about how Lawrence Kasdan may not even be allowed to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
There are already rules in place at the Director's Guild of America (DGA) that prevent anyone already working on a movie to take over for a director that is being replaced, with the only exception being for a "short-term emergency." Since Lawrence Kasdan co-wrote the Han Solo spin-off script with his son Jon Kasdan, these rules may prevent the filmmaker from stepping in as a director. Lawrence Kasdan had also revealed in 2015 that Han Solo: A Star Wars Story will be his last Star Wars movie, after writing or co-writing the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he has also directed hits like Body Heat, The Big Chill and Silverado.
Whether it's Ron Howard, Joe Johnston or another filmmaker, whoever replaces Phil Lord and Chris Miller may not even get credit for his or her work. Given that they were fired with just a few weeks of the shoot left, LucasFilm would most likely prefer that the new filmmaker get director's credit, but since Phil Lord and Chris Miller were on set filming since February, which obviously gives them strong grounds for directorial credit, although the new director will oversee the post-production process and the reshoots which have already been scheduled for this summer. However, it's entirely up to the DGA, as to who gets directorial credit, and unlike the Writers Guild of America, there is no appeals process, meaning the DGA's decision is finale. It's also unlikely that the guild will give credit to Lord, Miller and their successor, since the DGA is already not terribly fond of two directors on one movie. The guild's rules state that there shall be only one director for film, but waivers can be granted, which have become more and more commonplace in recent years, especially for more established directorial teams.
Another report from The Hollywood Reporter speculates that Han Solo: A Star Wars Story may even become an "Alan Smithee" film, although that won't happen since that pseudonym has been discontinued since 2000. For decades, if a filmmaker was so unhappy with the final cut of the film that he wanted his name taken off, the name that was put on the film instead was "Alan Smithee." The name was discontinued in 2000 after the film Burn Hollywood Burn used Alan Smithee as an actual character, played by Eric Idle, and after the real meaning of the name became more well-known throughout Hollywood.
This report also states that, whoever takes over the project, will spend the next several weeks, with production shut down, to go over the footage that has already been shot, re-edit the material that has already been filmed and pick up production from there. Despite this unique setback, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story will not be moved from its May 25, 2018 release date, but that could change if it takes longer than planned to find a director. Still, with three solid candidates in play, we may hear who's directing this Star Wars movie sooner rather than later. »
The Sherlock Holmes director has conjured up an entertaining rollercoaster that crashes through Arthurian legend, with only the occasional stall
Guy Ritchie’s cheerfully ridiculous Arthur is a gonzo monarch, a death-metal warrior-king. Ritchie’s film is at all times over the top, crashing around its digital landscapes in all manner of beserkness, sometimes whooshing along, sometimes stuck in the odd narrative doldrum. But it is often surprisingly entertaining, and whatever clunkers he has delivered in the past, Ritchie again shows that a film-maker of his craft and energy commands attention, and part of his confidence in reviving King Arthur resides here in being so unselfconscious and unconcerned about the student canon that has gone before: Malory, Tennyson, Bresson, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle etc. Instead, Ritchie launches into an all-purpose tale of medieval brigands and scofflaws. It’s more of a laugh than Antoine Fuqua’s solemn take in 2004.
Continue reading. »
- Peter Bradshaw
In August 2014, fans the world over were rocked by Robin Williams' death, and the comedy icon's final film is now on its way to hitting screens across America.
The sci-fi comedy, Absolutely Anything, features Williams as the voice of a talking dog named Dennis. The story follows Simon Pegg as a random earthling who is given unlimited powers to shape the universe as he sees fit by a group of eccentric extra-terrestrials -- and one of the first things he does is bestow the power of human speech on his pet dog.
The film, which premiered in the United Kingdom in August 2015, is coming to American theaters on May 12.
Aside from being Williams' last film, the sci-fi farce is also notable for being the first movie to reunite every living member of Monty Python for their first project since 1983's Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life.
After coming out more than two years ago in the U.K., Robin Williams' final movie is going to get released in the U.S. The comedy Absolutely Anything, in which Williams voices a dog, has finally secured distribution from Atlas Distribution Co. Outside of the appeal that comes from Robin Williams, the movie also serves as something of a Monty Python reunion, which isn't likely to happen again on the big screen.
According to Deadline, Absolutely Anything will be given a limited release, with Atlas hoping to get the movie in theaters on May 12. Terry Jones, who directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian and The Meaning of life, directed Absolutely Anything from a script that he wrote more than 20 years ago. The movie also stars Monty Python alums John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin. So comedy fans have several very good reasons to go see this movie. »
Exclusive: Absolutely Anything, the comedy that stars Simon Pegg and Robin Williams as the voice of his faithful dog — the last feature film that the Monty Python crew have worked on together — has found distribution. Atlas Distribution Co. will distribute the Terry Jones-directed film theatrically. The film also stars his Monty Python pals John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin. Outside of documentaries, the Monty Python crew have not worked on a feature film together… »
Last year, my wife, Susan and I were sitting in our parked car on a cul-de-sac in the hills of Brentwood, California, just outside the bougainvillea draped gate that led to Garry Shandling’s Spanish villa. With great melancholy, we were ruminating and paying tribute to our good friend when a postal worker pulled up and sprang out of her jeep with a handful of deliveries. As she headed toward Garry’s mailbox, I gently alerted her that Mr. Shandling had passed away four months earlier and wouldn’t be needing those letters. She somberly responded that she was aware of that, but it was her duty and the law to continue to deliver the Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons, an Architectural Digest subscription and other mail still addressed to him.
2016 was not a good year for a narcissist to die. It was akin to being on an airplane going down with about a dozen famous people »
- Kevin Nealon
Joe Richards Mar 24, 2017
Need to find a bit of movie happiness? Here are 25 films that might just do the trick...
Let's face it, we could all probably do with a little bit of cheering up right about now. Times are scary and times are tough, so it's perfectly natural to look for some kind of reassurance that everything will indeed be all right in the end.
Film is perhaps one of the most powerful and effective tools in doing this. It can be a transportative experience, an escape from reality, and, most importantly, it can act as a reminder of all that is good in the world.
With that in mind, here’s a list of 25 movies that are almost-guaranteed to make you smile and restore your faith in humanity...
In truth, any of Charlie Chaplin’s films are perfect for those times when you just need to smile. »
The ending of this year's Oscar telecast may go down as one of the most talked-about in history, as the wrong film, La La Land was announced as Best Picture. Bonnie & Clyde stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway reunited to present the final award, on the 40th anniversary of that classic film, but when Warren Beatty opened the envelope, he was surprised to discover that the envelope was actually for Best Actress, which Emma Stone had just won for La La Land moments earlier. The accounting firm of Price Waterhouse and Cooper issued a statement apologizing for this unfortunate error, while we have also compiled a number of tweets from celebrities as they watched this on-stage drama unfold. Take a look at the accounting firm's full statement below.
Louisa Mellor Jan 23, 2017
This review contains spoilers.
See related Stan Lee’s Lucky Man episode 4 review
Pfwoar! The BBC’s latest bonk-buster sizzled onto screens this weekend. Sunday nights are now sin-day nights thanks to this steamy shag-fest starring Emily Watson, 50, as a cheating, knicker-dropping mother-of-two. Viewers were shocked to see married granny-to-be Yvonne on the receiving end of regular knee tremblers in racy outdoor romps with Ben Chaplin’s sexy smooth operator. One saucy scene even saw the flirty fifty-year-old ditch her underwear and go commando. Literally. She took off her knickers. Where her lady parts are kept. And did it. Loads of times. With a man. And she’s fifty. Fifty.
We’re not grown-up enough to be cool about sex in the UK. Unlike our pals in continental Europe, »
Let me be the last to wish you a happy new year. Actually you – and my Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind audience – are the first people upon whom I’m bestowing these tidings. I’m writing this on Boxing Day because I’m leaving town for a week. I think I’m going to Chicago, where I shall reflexively ask Barry Crain for Sonic Disruptors pages.
While in the Windy City, I will be meeting up with my ol’ pal and fellow ComicMix columnist John Ostrander, another expatriated Chicagoan. He will be in town along with Mary Mitchell to visit (or annoy, as the case may be) a gaggle of his relatives. We will be doing at least two things together, the first of which is having a profoundly fabulous dinner with also-fellow ComicMix columnist Marc Alan Fishman and the Unshaven Comics crew, and as many wives and children »
- Mike Gold
10 items from 2017
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