5 items from 2016
What’s happening in an alternate universe out there where George Lucas followed up Thx 1138 and American Graffiti not with Star Wars but with something else? If there were no Star Wars (or fewer Star Wars), what cinematic gifts would Lucas have given to the world instead? Would there be anything greater than Red Tails and Strange Magic left in him? That’s the perennial question Francis Ford Coppola has us thinking about again. In a Vanity Fair story published on Wednesday, the Godfather filmmaker said this of his American Zoetrope co-founder: “George [Lucas] is kind of a genius, but I think it’s a pity he got so [absorbed in that one franchise]. I hope George isn’t offended, but the truth of the matter is that Star Wars cost us 10 new George Lucas films that would have been wonderful.” What original work would we see if Hollywood weren’t so focused on sequels and remakes? »
- Emily Rome
In 2011 when Slash spoke to Entertainment Weekly about why he wouldn't allow Glee to cover Guns N' Roses' catalog, he said something that has stuck with me: "Glee is worse than Grease and Grease is bad enough." At that point Grease was almost 35 years old. It enjoyed a renaissance with a theatrical re-release in the late '90s, but it's not like Grease was begging to be invoked in Slash's takedown of Ryan Murphy's Fox show. Certainly it's a movie about peppy high schoolers who break into song, but how could a few tunes about summer lovin' and greased lightning have haunted Slash so? Grease Live!, a live Fox musical version of that John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John classic, is coming to charm off our bobby socks this Sunday. Aaron Tveit and Julianne Hough take over for Travolta and Newton-John in the lead roles while Carly Rae Jepsen plays »
- Louis Virtel
When George Lucas first broached the subject of following up American Graffiti, he proposed a bigscreen version of Flash Gordon, which was owned by Universal at the time. Instead, he went on to make the first Star Wars film for 20th Century Fox. Of course, Fox no longer has anything to do with Star Wars, which was sold to Disney, and Fox could use a little space opera magic of their own right about now. And, in no small bit of circular irony, it appears that it is the very property that sent George Lucas running to Fox in the first place that they're turning to for relief. On his Facebook page today, screenwriter Mark Protosevich announced that he's writing Flash Gordon for 20th Century Fox, with Matthew Vaughn attached to direct. That is just plain great news. Protosevich has been first guy in on any number of intriguing geek properties over the years, »
- Drew McWeeny
When actress Candy Clark talks about co-starring with David Bowie in Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 sci-fi masterpiece “The Man Who Fell To Earth,” the 40 years that have passed since the film’s New Mexico production melt away and the vibrancy of the experience is alive with details and insights.
“Nic’s (Roeg) original idea for the role of the alien, Thomas Jerome Newton was the author Michael Crichton, because he was tall and a little bit unworldly. But my recollection is that film producers Arlene Sellers and Alex Winitsky were talking to Nic and I about the casting and I believe it was Alex who said, “Have you thought about David Bowie?”
That was quickly followed-up, says Clark, who had previously co-starred in John Huston’s “Fat City” with Jeff Bridges and the hit George Lucas ‘50s homage, “American Graffiti,” with a real-live Bowie encounter.
“We were fortunate in that Bowie was staying in L. »
- Steven Gaydos
In the 1980s, Vince McMahon and his World Wrestling Federation were untouchable. With the assistance of the phenomenon known as Hulkamania, they’d won the race to go national, beating the Nwa and the Awa down in the process and stealing so much of the latter’s talent that the one-time biggest wrestling promotion in America was forced to close down.
The 1990s, however, saw creative stagnation and some of the worst wrestling television in history… until World Championship Wrestling began to beat the WWF in the ratings, turning a skirmish into a full-fledged Monday Night War. Revitalised by a newfound Attitude, Mr. McMahon and his pet Rattlesnake saw off the competition once again. Riding high, with an indomitable market share and no rivals left in the wrestling business, they’d never be so complacent as to drop the ball like that again… right?
Rewind. In 1976, 20th Century »
- Ben Cooke
5 items from 2016
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