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For a project beleaguered with numerous setbacks, during which time Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston and Barry Levinson were all attached to helm the crime drama, it appears the long-gestating biopic Gotti has finally settled on its director in Kevin Connolly.
Deadline has the report, revealing that despite an unsteady path to development, John Travolta remains attached to star as Gotti Sr., the New York mob boss who went down in history as one of the deadliest the Big Apple has ever seen during the ’90s. From extortion to loan-sharking, racketeering to illegal gambling, Gotti was a high-profile member of the Gambini who shared many of the devil-may-care characteristics of Al Capone – he was even found guilty of tax evasion much like the infamous Chicago gangster.
For Connolly’s big-screen depiction of the devious crook, though, the story will unfold from the perspective of his son John Jr. – no word yet »
- Michael Briers
The story focuses on the relationship between John Gotti Sr., the head of the Gambino crime family who died in prison in 2002, and his son John Gotti Jr. who took over the family business. The younger Gotti served time in prison, but then successfully escaped conviction in four subsequent racketeering trials.
John Travolta is still aboard to play Gotti Sr. in the project which aims to begin production in January. Lionsgate Premiere will release the film domestically.
Numerous high profile names have been linked to the film over the years including Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Lindsay Lohan, Kelly Preston and Anthony Hopkins along with filmmakers like Nick Cassavetes, Joe Johnston and Barry Levinson. Each previous version collapsed due to funding issues. »
- Garth Franklin
First it was Nick Cassavetes, then Joe Johnston and then Barry Levinson. Now it looks like the long-developing John Gotti biopic, still set to star John Travolta, finally has its ultimate director in Kevin Connolly. Travolta has been aboard throughout the entire tortuous journey as Gotti Sr., the Gambini Family mobster convicted in 1992 of murder, extortion, racketeering, loan-sharking, illegal gambling and, just like Al Capone, tax evasion. The all-round goodfella died in prison in 2002. His story will be viewed from the point-of-view of his son John Jr. (yet to be cast) who himself wasn't unknown to the law. He served a nine-year sentence for racketeering, but insists he's now on the straight-and-narrow. That ought to be a relief to the team behind the film, on which he's a producer, having sold his "life rights". Early version were going under the moniker Three Generations, although it's unclear if that's still the case. »
Although in real life, United States troops haven’t fought on native soil since World War II, in the confused alternate reality of Dito Montiel’s “Man Down,” there’s an urgent battle raging at home today. For countless American veterans — and one scuzzy-faced ex-Marine played by Shia Labeouf in particular — the armed conflicts they face abroad are nothing compared to what awaits them upon their return. With that in mind, Montiel reunites with Labeouf (whose star has dramatically skyrocketed — and just as swiftly plummeted — since “Saints”) in this appallingly manipulative psychological thriller, which scolds audiences for not caring enough about our veterans, while counting on the well-meaning message to excuse this otherwise awful mess of a movie.
“America, we have a problem!” screams the bold, blood-red graffiti scrawled across the bombed-out remains of some American city, delivering what amounts to the subtlest message “Man Down” has to offer. What that problem is (zombies? »
- Peter Debruge
When we asked our staff to vote on the best comic book movie adaptations, we were afraid the results would consist only of superhero films. While there are many superhero movies listed below, it is great to see a bulk of non-Hollywood films appearing on the list as well. We set out to compile a list of 50 movies but as it were, we ended up with 5 ties, and so the list consists 55 films instead. Let us know if you think we missed something. Enjoy!
Spielberg’s first venture into animation is one of his best. Taking notes from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Spielberg crafted another spirited, thrilling, and always entertaining adventure. The Adventures of Tintin is one of the most pleasurable, family-friendly experiences, that boils down to one grand treasure hunt. There’s much to admire on-screen, but it is the spectacular »
Two decades ago, TriStar and director Joe Johnston rolled the dice on a Jumanji film, a big-screen adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s book of the same name, and even today, it’s widely considered to be one of the very best and endearing films of its generation. Fast forward to the here and now, and Sony is primed to blow the dust off its long-dormant reboot.
Truth be told, yesterday’s release date rollout was the first tangible hint that the reboot was still on the cards, with the studio slating its modern retelling for a release on December 25, 2016.
Originally hired in 2012, it’s understood that screenwriter Zack Helm is still attached to write Jumanji, though in the time that has lapsed since, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the script was doctored before Sony eventually shepherds the project in front of the cameras. Before that, »
- Michael Briers
'Pixels' movie with Adam Sandler. 'Pixels' movie weekend box office: Adam Sandler vs. 'Ant-Man' Despite its underwhelming domestic box office debut last weekend, Marvel's Ant-Man may turn out to be the winner in North America this weekend (July 24–26, '15) thanks to another underwhelming debut: that of the Adam Sandler Pixels movie. According to weekend box office projections found at Variety, the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels is expected to open with $25 million from 3,723 locations – following a $10 million Friday take (including $1.5M from Thursday previews). If so, that'll place Adam Sandler's latest lowbrow comedy – now in 3D – on a par with Sandler domestic disappointments like Jack and Jill and Funny People. Deadline.com, for its part, is expecting $27-$28 million by Sunday evening. Sat., July 25, update: According to studio box office estimates, Pixels underperformed on Friday, taking in $9.2 million. That's below figures for Jack and Jill and, adjusted for »
- Zac Gille
'Ant-Man': Paul Rudd as Scott Lang. 'Ant-Man' box office below expectations: Lowest Marvel Cinematic Universe domestic debut Starring Paul Rudd as a bug-like (sizewise) action hero, Ant-Man was expected to open with $60-$65 million from 3,856 U.S. and Canada locations this past weekend, July 17-19, '15. That didn't happen. A mere three days ago, Variety enthused that Ant-Man was "marching to a solid $65 million weekend at the U.S. box office." But instead of a $65 million domestic debut like those of Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, Ant-Man bowed with a considerably more modest $57.22 million (down from the studio's $58.04 million Sunday estimate), including Thursday evening screenings. This latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry averaged a highly disappointing – especially for an McU entry with loads of steeper-priced 3D and IMAX / Pfl screenings – $14,841 per location. But really, why "highly disappointing"? Trailing 'The Incredible Hulk' Even taking into account the fact »
- Zac Gille
From comic-book adaptations to sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Here are the new geek-skewed shows coming to Us TV in 2016...
The world of TV has never been so crowded and, at the same time, geeks have never had it so good. As saturated as the big screen is with superhero films and sprawling shared universes, that mentality has well and truly bled onto the small screen too.
So there’s a lot of comic-book adaptations coming up in 2016 from Marvel, DC and others, but genre TV is represented across the board with science-fiction, fantasy and horror represented at pretty much every network and cable channel in the Us.
Here's some of the geek TV that will be making its way to us from the Us next year.
Aka Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Part of Netflix’s own connected slice of the McU, there has been a lot of confusion over when we »
Marvel's dominance of the superhero movie game will face stiff competition next year when Warner Bros. kicks off their DC film slate with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner film chief Greg Silverman caused a stir when he said that WB, unlike Marvel, is letting their directors fulfill their visions, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige took exception to the idea that Marvel isn’t being fair to its filmmakers. Countering Silverman’s comment, Feige told THR that if you watch the McU movies, it’s obvious that each film has the mark of their respective directors, and the studio is not giving these filmmakers the shaft. As Feige put it: Iron Man and Iron Man 2 are as Jon Favreau films as you can see. Kenneth Branagh has his stamp all over Thor. Captain America: First Avenger is very much a Joe Johnston »
Whenever interviewers have a chance to sit down with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, they take the opportunity to ask him every question they can think of. So when I read the interview posted by The Hollywood Reporter, it didn't surprise me how many topics they cover in a short amount of time. Other than the obvious questions about Ant-Man and how important it is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (a lot, apparently), he goes on to cover everything including diversity in Hollywood, Spider-Man, and creative control. Marvel Studios doesn't allow creativity Earlier in the month, WB executive Greg Silverman discussed the differences between WB/DC's strategy and Marvel. He stated WB hires "master filmmakers" that are going to make their own movies with creative control, and suggested it is in some way different than what Marvel Studios does with their films. readmore postid="179084" In response to this, Feige says, »
- Charles Dean
With Jurassic World now officially the fastest movie to reach the $1 billion mark (in just thirteen days!), it seems as though the world has gone back to 1993 and dino-mania is running wild once again.
To celebrate the success of the movie, we’ve looked back through the history books to bring you five things you may not know about the Jurassic Park franchise.
Harrison Ford has always had a great working relationship with Steven Spielberg and his partner in crime George Lucas. Not only was he the star of Spielberg’s ode to adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s, Raiders of the Lost Ark and its subsequent Indiana Jones sequels, but he was also featured in American Graffiti and the Star Wars trilogy, the products of George Lucas. »
- Luke Owen
The prolific Oscar winning composer James Horner has died in a plane crash at the age of 61. (June 22, 2015). Variety confirmed the news Monday evening.
Brilliant Composer James Horner, friend & collaborator on 7 movies has tragically died in a plane crash. My heart aches for his loved ones.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 23, 2015
Listen to samples of his genius. James Horner will be profoundly missed.
From James Horner’s bio (Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency):
Having composed the music for more than 130 film and television productions, including dozens of the most memorable and successful films of the past three decades, James Horner was one of the world’s most celebrated film composers.
He earned two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for »
- Michelle McCue
Nb: the following contains spoilers for Jurassic World.
For Universal, the success of Jurassic World is the $500m pay-off to a story which began well over a decade ago. Work on a third Jurassic Park sequel originally began after the release of Joe Johnston’s coolly-received Jurassic Park III way back in 2001, yet the film languished in a pre-production quagmire as writer after writer seemingly struggled to crack the story.
William Monahan (The Departed, Kingdom Of Heaven) was the first screenwriter to step up to the plate, announced at a time when Keira Knightley was reportedly in the running for a major role. Around that time, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough were also thought to be returning to their respective roles of Ian Malcom and John Hammond. »
Nice Splice: Narrative Hasn’t Evolved in Trevorrow’s Dino Reboot
If there’s one aspect depicting the fickle nature of the human consumer the latest chapter in the dinosaur franchise reboot Jurassic World manages to get right, it’s the impossibility of pleasing those jaded and desensitized audiences in search of tapping into their initial sense of wonder. And so, twenty years after Steven Spielberg’s 1993 juggernaut Jurassic Park, wherein two mediocre sequels have added to the familiarity factor (including the original director’s inability to match his initial exuberance), we’re gifted with a sequel that’s, production wise at least, the best of the franchise’s offspring. But while much energy was placed in jazzing up creature effects, Colin Trevorrow can only go so far with a conventional script he also tinkered with alongside Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Derek Connolly. Basically, this is the same old »
- Nicholas Bell
"Jurassic World" is the first film in this hugely successful franchise in 14 years and early reviews say it harkens back to Steven Spielberg's original "Jurassic Park," which chomped its way to a staggering billion dollars in box office receipts back in 1993. It went on to win all three of its Oscar bids for those jaw-dropping visual effects, inventive sound editing and complex sound mixing. Could this fourth film in the series do as well on both fronts? -Break- Watch dozens of video chats with 2015 Emmy contenders The first sequel, 'The Lost World," also helmed by Spielberg, lost the 1997 Oscar race for Best VIsual Effects to "Titanic," which rodes a tidal wave of success to a record-tying 11 Academy Awards. "Jurassic Park III" came out in 2001. Directed by Spielberg protege Joe Johnson ("Honey, I Shrunk the Kids") it did decent..." »
I don’t know if anyone involved in Jurassic Park III had an idea about why the movie needed to be made other than Universal Pictures keeping the IP alive. Steven Spielberg had moved on, and if he couldn’t find life in a sequel, who was going to be able to attempt it just four years later? Going with Spielberg’s former VFX art director Joe Johnston wasn’t a terrible bet, but it was also a journeyman choice. Johnston was proficient enough to get the job done, but lacked the vision to see anything through beyond “more dinosaurs.” This time, the movie spins the wheel and lands on a slightly more credible protagonist with Sam Neill returning to play Alan Grant, who is lured to Isla Sorna under the false pretenses of being a dinosaur guide to wealthy couple Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Téa Leoni »
- Matt Goldberg
“No one’s impressed by a dinosaur anymore,” notes one character early on in “Jurassic World,” and it’s easy to imagine the same words having passed through the lips of more than one Universal Studios executive in the years since Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg’s 1993 “Jurassic Park” shattered box-office records, along with the glass ceiling for computer-generated visual effects. Two decades and two lackluster sequels later, producer and studio have spared few expenses in crafting a bigger, faster, noisier dinosaur opus, designed to reclaim their place at the top of the blockbuster food chain. What they’ve engineered is an undeniably vigorous assault of jaw-chomping jolts and Spielbergian family bonding that nevertheless captures only a fraction of the original film’s overflowing awe and wonderment. Which should still be more than enough to cause a T-Rex-sized ripple effect at the summer multiplex turnstile.
If the first “Jurassic Park »
- Scott Foundas
14 years ago, Universal Pictures was banking on the re-invention of one of its top movie franchises becoming its biggest hit of the summer. The studio handed one of its greatest money-making franchises to a visionary director and tasked him with breathing new life into a sagging franchise. This director would need to create a movie that winked at its past, while also expanding its world beyond its memorable but somewhat limiting premise. Sound familiar?
Long before Jurassic World there was Jurassic Park III, a 2001 movie that has largely been swept under the rug by fans of the blockbuster film series. Pinpointing exactly why Jurassic Park III is so often ignored is difficult. When Jurassic Park III is referenced in the public discourse, it's often unfavourably compared to the original Jurassic Park or disregarded as being as bad or worse than The Lost World. Make no mistake - Jurassic Park III is much, »
Directed by Joe Johnston
Continuing our look at the original Jurassic Park trilogy, we now come to the third film in a franchise that didn’t lend itself to franchising very well in the first place. Simply titled Jurassic Park III (with 3 claw marks!), the film represents the last gasping attempt to milk the groundbreaking 1993 techno thriller of its fandom after the darker and scattershot turn the franchise took with The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997. Released in 2001, another 4 years between sequels, but now long after dinosaurs had captured the movie-going zeitgeist. We’d been through an alien invasion and a disaster movie fad since then and had moved on. We’d cloned a sheep and science was continuing to demystify genetic engineering. If the franchise was going to remain relevant it would have to present us with a new idea, »
- Charlie Sanford
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