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“It’s a little heartbreaking, without getting too personal,” he told the Empire Podcast. “It came to us as a bit of a shock because we had screened this movie to so many people, and we’d had reactions from so many people that we felt we knew what we had and we knew how it was affecting the audience. And that actually hasn’t changed. It affects audiences in the same way that we thought it would.”
“We did not anticipate that level of vitriolic dislike for the film,” he added. “In the end, do I want to be somebody who pleases both audiences and critics? Absolutely. Is that hugely disappointing? It is.”
- Dixie Limbachia
Sony and Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” continued to dominate social media buzz with 113,000 new conversations last week, according to media-measurement firm ComScore and its PreAct service.
The activity was spurred by a news conference with the cast in New York on June 25, and announced details for the 2019 sequel. It was the second week in a row that the sixth Spider-Man movie had topped the PreAct chart.
Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” produced 59,000 new conversations last week after the studio released set photos on June 22 and 25. Producer Kevin Feige revealed details for some of the Marvel characters’ fates and that the the movie — which opens May 18, 2018 — would be the final installment.
- Dave McNary
It has been a time of great turmoil in the Star Wars anthology universe lately. First came the news that directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were booted from the Han Solo film, and today comes a dishy report from The Hollywood Reporter detailing the directors’ insistence upon improvisational comedy at the expense of Lawrence Kasdan’s script, as well as a reportedly troubling lead performance from Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. And honestly, if this movie were shaping up badly, it is probably for the best that they shifted ownership of it to noted Star Wars enthusiast Ron Howard. If there is one thing that you do not want, it is to betray the legacy of Han Solo. It is fair to imagine the mighty displeasure of the Star Wars-viewing populace were such a thing to be mishandled.
Now comes this anonymous screed from a former Star Wars »
- Clayton Purdom
Welcome back to Mailbag, a series about the sometimes weird, sometimes fun stuff we get in the mail. Today, assistant editor Alex McLevy receives a Star Wars-themed Funko box commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first Star Wars. In the box, you’ll find Star Wars pins, patches, and armbands; Han and Greedo salt and pepper shakers; and a Luke Skywalker Funko, fully equipped with an X-34 landspeeder. As always, we’re giving away this entire box to a special Star Wars fan if you follow The A.V. Club on Instagram. Be on the lookout for a photo of a Funko box, and comment on our Instagram post saying you want it for a chance to win. »
- Baraka Kaseko
As the Han Solo “Star Wars” movie prepares to move forward under new director Ron Howard, a report has surfaced that says Lucasfilm was not only displeased with the progress being made by recently fired filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but also by the performance by the project’s leading man, Alden Ehrenreich. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm decided to hire an acting coach well into the film’s production in order to get a performance the studio felt Lord and Miller were not getting out of the actor. Also Read: Here's the Loophole That Would Give Lord and Miller. »
- Jeremy Fuster
Director Colin Trevorrow is amassing a pretty diverse resume making the move from his feature directorial debut, the independent comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, to the box office juggernaut Jurassic World, and that trend is only going to continue with Star Wars: Episode XI when it opens on May 24, 2019. But first, he's got The Book of Henry in theaters right now. This one brings Trevorrow back to a smaller, more intimate production. It stars Naomi Watts as the mother of two young boys, one of which is incredibly smart for his age and supports the family in ways … »
- Perri Nemiroff
Ahead of the fall launch of Idw Publishing's Star Wars Adventures comic book, more aimed at younger readers than the current Marvel line of Star Wars material, the San Diego-based publisher will be making a surprise earlier visit to a galaxy far, far away with the U.S. debut of an all-ages adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The 80-page graphic novel is written by Alessandro Ferrari, with art from a group of Disney artists intended to bridge the gap between Star Wars and traditional Disney animation, making it more attractive for younger audiences. This group has previously adapted both »
- Graeme McMillan
We have no specific term, in film criticism, for the auteur producer. The French came up with the auteur concept, later amplified by the American critic Andrew Sarris, in the 1940s to specifically describe directors who maintained artistic control of their own films – in contrast to the general practices within the Hollywood studio system of the time. The term implicitly hints that a movie’s artistic credibility suffers when the director is sidelined: it becomes bland and impotent, like a soufflé that has failed to rise. But what happens when the producer of a movie is as artistically determined and laudable in endeavour, if not more so, than the person in charge of the cameras? »
- Ben Child
While it seems likely we’ll never fully know what happened on the set of the still-untitled Han Solo “Star Wars” spinoff feature, the first of what seems to be an inevitable stream of new reports has revealed a mess of new information. And what a mess it is.
Over at The Hollywood Reporter, Kim Masters weighs in on the kerfuffle, detailing a divided production hindered by a series of philosophical disconnects and differences that apparently could not be overcome by either recently fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller or Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
The new report holds that “matters had already reached a boiling point in mid-June,” just days before Kennedy fired Lord and Miller, as the directors’ more relaxed shooting style — THR specifically mentions a day when they didn’t start shooting until 1P.M., and only utilized three setups as opposed to the dozen or so »
- Kate Erbland
Lucasfilm likes to keep fans dangling when it comes to Star Wars, especially the core films in the Skywalker Saga. The Force Awakens marketing campaign kept the biggest takeaways close to the vest — not even journalists were allowed to screen the film for the domestic press junket — and a similar bare bones-style lead-in is happening with The Last Jedi. Opening this December, the film’s first trailer came out in April, and since then we’ve seen a photo spread in Vanity Fair with little else. This leaves lots of room for speculation. One of the earliest reports … »
- Nick Romano
“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough has an interesting theory about why President Trump has suddenly reversed himself in recent admissions that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and that the current Republican health care bill is “mean.” On Monday’s show, the MSNBC star credited Barack Obama’s “Jedi mind tricks.” “We got ‘Star Wars’ fans here? Anybody ‘Star Wars’ fans here?” he began. “You didn’t know exactly where Barack Obama went. But if you saw, obviously he went to the island where Luke went, and he has come back with these extraordinary Jedi mind tricks.” Also Read: »
- Thom Geier
Rebooted franchises reek of cheap Hollywood cash grabs, but in light of those expectations, the refurbished “Planet of the Apes” franchise pulls off a minor miracle. With “War for the Planet of the Apes,” technological wizardry and first-rate storytelling combine into a bracing action-adventure that concludes the best science fiction trilogy since the original trio of “Star Wars” movies.
That’s not to say the movie’s a flawless achievement, devoid of ham-fisted dialogue or predictable plot twists that often hobble movies designed for mass market appeal. But insofar as the premise is concerned, it catapults beyonds the cheesy nature of the material to deliver a serious, gripping big screen achievement elevated by astonishing special effects and filmmaking prowess to match.
The second entry directed by Matt Reeves following 2014’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” the dynamic finale continues Reeves’ ability to transform the man-versus-simian premise into a fiery war movie, »
- Eric Kohn
In the original “Planet of the Apes” movies, Caesar and his simian co-stars were buried beneath layers of prosthetic makeup, severely limiting their ability to emote. In Fox’s recently rebooted “Apes” trilogy (three and counting), the computer-generated chimps appear more human than the homo sapiens — which is clearly what the series has been working up to. In purely technical terms, director Matt Reeves more than achieves that goal, although it requires rigging the screenplay and reducing the human characters to crass two-dimensional stereotypes in the process.
Dawn has risen, and “War for the Planet of the Apes” picks up at a point where the world has been divided into two camps: those deeply impressed by all that directors Rupert Wyatt and Reeves have done with the franchise, and those who couldn’t care less. If you already find yourself on the side of the “Apes” enthusiasts (a fittingly militant lot), then “War” will likely be a »
- Peter Debruge
With all of the crazy news surrounding the Han Solo movie these days, it’s hard to accurately gauge how this movie will turn out. With Phil Lord and Chris Miller actually being fired from the project (apparently because they believed they were making a comedy), and being abruptly replaced with Ron Howard, and even rumors that Han Solo star Alden Ehrenreich took issue with the creative direction of the film… how are fans not supposed to panic?
Well, according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, there is absolutely nothing to fear. Speaking to Screen Rant, the CEO had this to say: “First of all, we have a great cast, we have a great script and we have a great director. It’s gonna be fine. I’m very excited.”
See Also: Lucasfilm were right to hire a new Han Solo director, but it’s their fault, not Lord and Miller »
- Jordan Jones
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Spaceballs, Bill Pullman spoke to THR about Mel Brooks’ classic spoof and revealed that he hadn’t seen Star Wars prior to making the film, nor did he watch it to prepare for the Han Solo parody role of Lone Starr.
The actor stated “I missed it the first time around. I just needed Mel to tell me what was going on. I didn’t need to see Star Wars to know what the whole thing was.”
Pullman also discussed how back in the day, filmmakers thought that blue screen could damage the eyes, saying: “They had a belief back in those days that the blue screen was bad for your eyes. I can’t remember if it was Mel or the assistant directors who heard this, but they would call cut and everyone would put on their sunglasses.”
It is known that Mel Brooks »
- Robert Kojder
Although they were recently fired from directing the Han Solo Star Wars story spinoff, Phil Lord and Chris Miller are still creating an animated Spider-Man feature utilizing the Miles Morales interpretation of the web-slinger.
However, that isn’t stopping audiences from wanting to see a live-action interpretation of the character as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Peter Parker himself Tom Holland seems to agree with the fans.
Speaking at a press junket for Spider-Man: Homecoming (courtesy of ScreenRant), Holland was questioned about the possible inclusion of Miles, stating that:
“That would be something that I would be very up for doing, it’s something that I would really really hope to happen. I think Miles Morales is a great character, I think it would be fantastic to have an actor of color playing a superhero on screen and I just think it’s going to be something very »
- Robert Kojder
The Last Outing?
Back in 2014, Transformers: Age of Extinction was roundly trashed by critics but the film ended up being the only release to pass $1 billion at the box office that year. It seemed like Transformers was a critic-proof franchise. However the fifth outing, Transformers: The Last Knight, has had a very poor showing at the domestic box office which will pile pressure on its international presence. Transformers: The Last Knight took advantage of a 5-day opening to earn $69.1 million, although its official weekend opening was just $45.3 million. 2007’s Transformers opened to $70 million while Transformers: Age of Extinction earned $100 million over the three-day period. Luckily, the international opening was much better, and in total the $217 million production has made $265 million worldwide. Read more here.
Bay Not Out
- Luke Owen
In 2015’s surprisingly poignant “Bajrangi Bhaijaan,” filmmaker Kabir Khan had even the most dogged of Salman Khan’s skeptics reaching for tissues, giving him the reputation as the one writer-director who could at last bring out a certain depth in the actor that, frankly, many of us didn’t think was there. So when “Tubelight” was announced as the duo’s next release, much of the excitement was rooted in the hopes of another winning collaboration.
“Bajrangi” and “Tubelight” have lots in common: Salman in the lead as a man-child with a golden heart. The lessons of loving thy neighbor and never giving up hope. An impossibly adorable child as Salman’s sidekick, pivotal to selling us on those messages. But where “Bajrangi” effectively harnessed the actor’s mega-star persona into a simple character that still — in true Salman tradition — had a significant moral undertone, “Tubelight” struggles to strike that balance, »
- Anisha Jhaveri
- Dan Zinski
- Amanda Hayman
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