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Shadowhunters, Rain, American Horror Story: Hotel, and other TV productions have made recent TV show casting, TV movie casting, and TV directing news. These shows and movies air on FX. American Horror Story: Hotel (FX) Sarah Paulson has officially joined the cast of “Ahs: Hotel.” Rain Katee Sackhoff is set to topline [...]
- Rollo Tomasi
Filmmaker Pierre Morel ("Taken") will direct the Lifetime drama pilot "The Clan Of The Cave Bear" for Fox 21 TV Studios, Lionsgate TV, Imagine TV and Allison Shearmur Prods. The work is based on the first book of Jean M. Auel's Earth’s Children series.
The story is set more than 25,000 years ago when Neanderthals shared Earth with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla (Millie Brady) a child of the 'Others'. Linda Woolverton wrote the pilot and is executive producing with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Allison Shearmur, Francie Calfo and Jean M. Auel.
Meanwhile, "Charlie's Angels" and "Terminator Salvation" director McG has signed on to direct the pilot episode and serve as an executive producer on ABC Family's "Shadowhunters" series. Ed Decter wrote the pilot script and will serve as show runner.
An adaptation of Cassandra Clare's »
- Garth Franklin
Taken helmer Pierre Morel will direct the Lifetime drama pilot The Clan Of The Cave Bear, from Fox 21 TV Studios, Lionsgate TV, Imagine TV and Allison Shearmur Prods. Based on the first book of Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series, The Clan Of The Cave Bear takes place at a time in prehistory more than 25,000 years ago when Neanderthals shared Earth with the first early modern humans and a band of cave dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla (Millie Brady) a child of… »
Cannes – Shaping up as one of the big event TV series to come out of Europe as it ramps up ever more ambitious TV fiction, Rola Bauer’s Germany-based Tandem Productions (“Pillars of the Earth”), a Studiocanal company, is said to be developing epic TV drama “Lionshearts: The Crusade,” linking with the BBC and “24’s” Robert Cochran.
Helmer of the 2008’s first “Taken,” which gave Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp its biggest movie franchise ever, France’s Pierre Morel (“Taken”) is believed to have committed to direct the first two episodes.
Producer and co-creator of Fox’s “24,” Cochran is attached to “Lionshearts,” which turns on the most famous crusade of all, the Third Crusade of 1191-92. English-language and almost certainly a big epic BBC primetime series,
“Lionhearts: The Crusade” looks a firm candidate for a U.S. deal of some sorts. As Tandem prexy Bauer pointed out last month, made over the last 15 years, »
- John Hopewell
Taken created a genre of action films starring older male protagonists. Why are they all men? Because in movies, women still aren’t allowed to take vengeance on behalf of others – they have to be victimised first
At this point, the thing that Pierre Morel, Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen created with Taken, and what Liam Neeson gave his shovel-shaped Gaelic face to, has become its own genre. Call it whatever you’d like – dadsploitation, old-man vengeance and on-screen midlife crisis come to mind – but with Neeson having expanded beyond the Taken films into similarly pitched affairs like Non-Stop and Run All Night, and other ageing male movie stars like Kevin Costner (3 Days to Kill) and Sean Penn (The Gunman) trying to out-Neeson the man himself, this is more than just a franchise of films. It’s a trend, and as long as these movies keep costing next to nothing and keep making money, »
- Kevin Lincoln
★★☆☆☆ With The Gunman (2015), Sean Penn becomes the latest inductee into that club slowly being filled by older gentlemen with a particular set of skills. Pierre Morel was a key figure in the meteoric rise of the 'geriaction' genre with his explosive Taken (2008), not only launching Liam Neeson's own brand of ass-kicking but transforming the subgenre from camp silliness to exploitation gold. It's now seven years later and a raft of imitators have tried their hands with varying success, while the Taken series has itself suffered from diminishing returns. If this latest staid entry into the canon is anything to go by, few lessons have been learned in recent times. »
- CineVue UK
The Flickering Myth Podcast grabs some guns…
On today’s episode of the Flickering Myth Podcast, Luke Owen, Scott Davis and Rohan Morbey sit down to give their thoughts on Sean Penn’s attempt at “doing a Liam Neeson” with The Gunman, from the director of Taken. The trilogy also discuss the idea of having older action stars and whether this fad is over before its started in the wake of The Gunman bombing at the box office.
You can subscribe to the Flickering Myth Podcast via iTunes, update your RSS feed or listen via Sitcher or using the player below…
And don’t forget to check out past episodes via the Flickering Myth Pocast website or use the player below:
- Luke Owen
It's hard to feel sorry for Sean Penn, but after "The Gunman," which he starred in and produced, got whacked this weekend by "The Divergent Series: Insurgent," maybe a little sympathy is in order. Then again, maybe he's just one more aging male movie star this winter -- after Will Smith, Vince Vaughn, and Liam Neeson -- who's run up against the hard fact that girls and young women are the driving forces behind the box office so far in 2015.
"Insurgent's" success should have been a surprise to no one. It opened with an estimated $54.0 million, only about $600,000 less than the original "Divergent" opened with on this same weekend a year ago. Since the first film, "Insurgent" stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Miles Teller have become bigger draws. Plus, the new movie has a 3D ticket surcharge that the first one didn't. Even if it didn't reach the »
- Gary Susman
Ever since the release of Taken in 2009, it seems that older actors are trying to jump on board the action train. Sean Penn’s The Gunman is the next stop, but his first attempt has not been overly successful.
Opening to very middling reviews (the film currently holds 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and 39 on Metacritic), The Gunman has opened to just $5 million domestically with no word yet on how it did internationally. The reported budget for the film is $40 million, so this is undoubtedly unfortunate news for the various production companies who financed the movie.
See Also: Movie Review – The Gunman (2015)
This puts The Gunman on par with other 2015 box office flops Mortdecai, Blackhat, Unfinished Business and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and is a fraction of what 3 Days to Kill made last year on its opening weekend – perhaps showing that the popularity of this subgenre has started to fall already. »
- Luke Owen
"The Divergent Series: Insurgent" took first place at the domestic box office this weekend with slightly under $54 million, which is almost exactly what the first installment grossed during its opening weekend a year ago. Internationally, "Insurgent" took in another $47 million for a worldwide debut of $101 million. The new movie cost $110 million to make, which means that it will easily become profitable. "Insurgent" has a 32% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. Meanwhile, Sean Penn attempted to replicate Liam Neeson's success in the action genre with "The Gunman," which is directed by Pierre Morel (Taken). Unfortunately the film flopped, grossing only $5 million, which was only good enough for fourth place. It is the lowest opening for a Penn movie (in more than 2,000 theaters) ever. It also has a terrible 14% fresh rating. »
Robert Schwentke’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the second entry in the Divergent franchise adaptation of Veronica Roth’s novels, took home $54 million to rise to the top of the box office on its opening weekend. The opening roughly matches the first weekend total of the film’s prequel, which bowed with $54.6 million. Last week’s box office champion Cinderella saw a drop of nearly 50 percent to end up with $34.5 million over the weekend, landing it in second place, while Jaume Collet-Serra’s newest feature Run All Night saw a similar drop in revenue from last weekend to round out the top three.
Taken director Pierre Morel’s newest action feature The Gunman also made its debut by landing in the top ten, as the Sean Penn-starring film’s $5 million total landed it in fourth place. The other opening weekend film to land in the top ten was Do You Believe? »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Final numbers will tell the true story on Monday, but based on estimates we can confirm the "Divergent" fan based definitely showed up for the the series' second installment this weekend. "Insurgent" took in an estimated $54 million over the three-day compared to the $54.6 million "Divergent" earned a year ago. Initially, "Insurgent" was behind the original by $1.4 million following Friday's opening day. On Saturday, however, "Insurgent" actually grossed more than "Divergent did by roughly $220,000 and Lionsgate has the Sunday estimate for "Insurgent" as $870,000 higher than how "Divergent" performed. That's a bit aggressive and might help the studio with shareholders paying attention to weekend box office reports, but Monday's finals will prove whether the estimate holds or not. Even if it doesn't, the sequel basically preformed on par with the first film in the franchise. The results also let the studio know that despite pre-release polling that claimed more men were interested in "Insurgent, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Solid ground doesn’t exist in the cinema of Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson. Theirs is an action cinema of distress where the mental instability of each protagonist blurs the boundaries of seemingly tight spatial parameters. Conflict unfolds violently and manipulatively within manmade (and psychological) bubbles, as vast as the multiple boroughs of New York City or as small as the cramped fuselage of a passenger jet. There is no escape, only the desperate and unflinching pursuit of truth, moral direction, and family safety. The bad guys often win, but the good guys always gain closure.Angular compositions and desperate tracking shots populate 2011’s Unknown, 2014’s Non-Stop, and 2015’s Run All Night. Images overlap, tip, ascend and dive to visualize the world as one big box of quick sand. The camera propels through space like a boomerang, challenging logic and defying gravity with reckless abandon. Every step forward brings us »
- Glenn Heath Jr.
Many had hoped that "Insurgent" could improve upon the opening of its predecessor this weekend and signal a big step forward in the franchise. Based on the film's $21.3 million Friday, they may just have to be satisfied with the status quo. The second adaptation of Veronica Roth's Young Adult novel series, "Insurgent's" Friday was just behind "Divergent's" $22.7 million a year ago. It eventually ended up with a $54.6 million weekend. At this point, "Insurgent" will likely earn somewhere between $48-52 million. Walt Disney's "Cinderella" continued its magic in second place earning another $9.5 million for $97 million in just eight days. Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of the classic fairy tale is well on its way to becoming a very profitable player for the studio. Sean Peen tried to return to action films with Pierre Morel's "The Gunman," but audiences weren't interested. The thriller is a rare misfire for Open »
- Gregory Ellwood
"The Divergent Series: Insurgent" (Lionsgate) scored an easy top position yesterday to dominate the Top Ten with $21.3 million haul (including Thursday preview shows). Though a strong number, it lagged slightly behind the $22.8 million "Divergent" took in exactly one year ago. This differs from the trajectory seen with both the "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" series, where the second entry's initial Friday improved on the opening day take. This is also a bit more disappointing since lead actress Shailene Woodley had a second smash hit "The Fault in Our Stars" last summer to increase her draw. Whatever slight shortfall "Insurgent" showed though is minor compared to the total failure of "The Gunman" (Open Road), a mostly European action production from Pierre Morel, the director of "Taken," with Sean Penn attempting to leap into Harrison Ford/Liam Neeson territory. It managed less than $1.8 million, still »
- Tom Brueggemann
Chicago – If you’re going to see a Sean Penn action movie, I guess “The Gunman” would be appropriate. As he and the filmmakers inject some reality in the usual motivations, the puzzle pieces don’t connect well and in the end are not that interesting. That is not to say that the film is bad.
Sporting a body that he doesn’t mind exposing as shirtless while in his fiftysomething status, Penn is a thinking man’s action hero, part assassin and part humanitarian. It’s rather interesting that he kills someone Lee Harvey Oswald style, but after that the story devolves into a vague revenge on that hit, seemingly seven years later, yet with the same ripples over Sean’s muscly form. There are some good moments, including a booby trap that needs to be reactivated, but overall the movie almost dares you not to care, and the female lead follows suit. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Remember when action movies starred young and enthusiastic Hollywood stars? You'd be forgiven for not being able to remember the last time you went to a cinema and the latest thriller didn't star Liam Neeson. Nowadays action movies are a place for aging stars to try and revitalise a flagging career and try to show off a flair for kicking ass. The latest such star is Sean Penn in The Gunman, a vaguely political thriller from Pierre Morel, director of the movie that started this geri-actioner craze, Taken. I say vaguely political, because as far as story goes, The Gunman is to politics as The Transporter was to the automobile industry. Penn plays Jim Terrier, a grizzled ex special forces working security for a mining company in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also moonlights as an assassin, and takes on a shadowy job that sees him forced to flee the country, »
- email@example.com (Dave Higgins)
Chicago – There were basically two careers for Pierre Morel, before he directed the mega-hit “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, and afterward. The French-born cinematographer, camera operator and now director is releasing “The Gunman,” an action film that stars Sean Penn. Like “Taken,” the motivations for the action are based in the real world, and “The Gunman” travels to Africa, London and Barcelona on his way to redeeming his soul.
Morel has had an adventurous career, in both European cinema and in notable films, beginning with his days as a camera operator on “The Truth about Charlie” (2002), “The Dreamers” (2003) and “Before Sunset” (2004). He was the cinematographer on “The Transporter” (2002) and Director of Photography on “Love and Other Disasters” (2006). His breakthrough came in 2008, when he directed “Taken.” The film resonated with audiences, and allowed his career to move into a new direction.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Shailene Woodley fights back against the Faction system in this weekend’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent. When we last left them, Tris Prior (Woodley) and her rebel boyfriend Four (Theo James) had broken free of Erudite’s tyrannical rule, as led by Jeanine (Kate Winslet).
For those not into the Ya scene, maybe The Gunman will be more your bag. While Liam Neeson is off becoming a target for the mob in Run All Night, his frequent collaborator Pierre Morel, the director of Taken, has buddied up with Sean Penn for this weekend’s The Gunman.
- Cineplex Entertainment
The Gunman, 2015.
Directed by Pierre Morel.
A sniper on a mercenary assassination team, kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Terrier’s successful kill shot forces him into hiding. Returning to the Congo years later, he becomes the target of a hit squad himself.
In 2009 director Pierre Morel resurrected Liam Neeson’s career while simultaneously transforming him into an action star that as of late, is simply allergic to playing hard-boiled, down on their luck bad-asses that have a score to settle or someone to protect. You can’t go two months without Liam Neeson invading your local cinema, which makes the accomplishment of Morel’s Taken franchise that much more remarkable. So here we have The Gunman, which doesn’t star Liam Neeson but rather Sean Penn. Why? Maybe they thought lightning would strike twice, »
- Robert Kojder
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