17 items from 2017
Pete Dillon-Trenchard Jun 24, 2017
Spoilers ahoy, as we dig through the many callbacks and references in World Enough And Time...
This article contains lots and lots of Doctor Who spoilers.
Pain… Pain… Pain… That’s one of the main emotions I experienced while watching this week’s (rather excellent) Doctor Who, as I knew this weekly round-up of references, similarities and generally interesting ‘stuff’ was going to be a whopper. That doesn’t mean I haven’t missed anything, though, so if you spot something I’ve not mentioned, do the honourable thing and leave it in the comments section below...
Poll Winners’ Party
So, Genesis Of The Cybermen, then. In case you missed the episode’s biggest sledgehammer of a reference, »
Blood Sweat Honey will offer services ranging from producer representation, film festival strategy, script and post-production creative consulting to theatrical release, hybrid distribution, marketing and international consultation.
Dowd has been involved in the indie film industry for over 45 years, and has consulted on films such as “Blood Simple,” “The Black Stallion,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Gandhi,” “War Games,” “Desperately Seeking Susan,” and “The Blair Witch Project.” A founding member of the Sundance Institute and Sundance Film Festival and inspiration for “The Dude” from the Coen brothers’ “The Big Lebowski,” Dowd has extensive knowledge of scriptwriting, marketing, distribution and exhibition. Currently, he is working on interactive transmedia series “Our Classic Tales that Fuel Our Future,” which will be released this fall.
Nohe is a film distributor and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of executive and management experience in the film industry. Most recently, he was a partner in Circus Road Films, where he helped more than 100 films find distribution. Nohe has broad-based relationships with talent agencies, managers, publicity firms, festival programming, post-production, marketing, and theatrical distribution. Nohe has worked with filmmakers including Christopher Nolan on “Following” and Bill Condon on “Gods & Monsters.”
Related storiesMoone BoyDinner for SchmucksOcean of Pearls »
- Erin Nyren
Luke Owen looks at directors who left/got fired from movies during production…
With the shocking news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have vacated the director’s chairs for the yet-to-be-titled Han Solo movie over “creative differences” (some sources say they were forced out), I thought it was time to look at some other directors who faced similar issues.
It’s no secret that making a tentpole movie for a studio is tricky. Duncan Jones has been very vocal as of late about the issues he had with last year’s Warcraft, and it was rumoured a few years ago that Gareth Edwards faced an uphill battle with Warner Bros. and Legendary on 2014’s Godzilla reboot. The 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie had its script re-written the weekend before production started with no input from the directors, who were then locked out of the editing room during post-production (they were eventually let back in).
Most of the time directors leave before production actually starts, and someone new is brought in. Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, Patty Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World, Rick Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith both left The Flash, Ben Affleck stepped down from The Batman, Stephen Herrick left Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; the list goes on. But very rarely does a director leave (or get fired) while the movie is in production. Usually if a studio loses faith in the director at that point, they would bring in someone else to “oversee” the movie and get it over the finish line. The aforementioned Godzilla saw this very occurrence, as did Mission: Impossible II when the legendary Stuart Baird was brought in to “fix” the movie Jon Woo originally helmed. Baird in fact has a long history with this, being a fixer on titles such as Superman: The Motion Picture, The Omen and Lethal Weapon.
There are still four or so weeks left on the Han Solo movie (plus the already planned reshoots), so let’s look back at a few other directors who left/got fired from their films.
The Wizard of Oz, 1939
It seems crazy to think that one of the most beloved movies of all-time had such a tumultuous production, but The Wizard of Oz in fact saw six different directors helm the movie. Norman Taurog originally shot test footage, but was quickly replaced with Richard Thorpe who shot for around two weeks when Taurog was moved to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Producer Mervyn LeRoy felt that Thorpe was rushing the production, and his short time on the film was probably not helped when original Tin Man Buddy Epsen was hospitalised after the metal make-up coated his lungs and left him on an Iron Lung.
None of Thorpe’s footage made it into the final cut (although he did shoot Dorothy’s first meeting Scarecrow and several scenes at The Wicked Witch’s castle), and George Cucker came in after Thorpe was fired. However, Cucker didn’t actually shoot any footage, and was there to simply oversee the plans to re-shoot all of Thorpe’s work until Victor Fleming came in. Although he was eventually the only credited director, Fleming left before production ended to film Gone with the Wind, and the shooting was finished by King Vidor and LeRoy.
Gone with the Wind, 1939
Speaking of Gone with the Wind, George Cucker had been developing the movie with producer David O. Selznick for around two years, but was removed from the project three weeks into production. According to reports, the decision to remove Cucker was Clark Gable’s and it angered fellow co-stars Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland who went to Selznick’s office to demand he be re-hired. In Cucker’s place was Victor Fleming, who shot the majority of the movie over ninety-three days (although Cucker was secretly coaching Leigh and Havilland behind the scenes). Fleming wasn’t the final name on the movie however, as he had to take a short break due to exhaustion and Sam Wood shot for around twenty-three days.
Although considered a Stanley Kubrick movie, he wasn’t the first name attached to Spartacus. After David Lean turned down the movie, it was offered to Anthony Mann who was then fired by star Kirk Douglas after just one week of production. According to Douglas in his autobiography, Mann was “scared” of the size and scope of Spartacus and wasn’t capable of finishing the film.
Superman II, 1980
Shooting for Superman II was done alongside Superman: The Motion Picture in 1977 with Richard Donner doing both films. However the film was under a lot of pressure, with overrunning schedules and budget, which producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind and Pierre Spengler attributed to Donner. After everything was shot for Superman: The Motion Picture, Superman II was placed on hiatus. Once Superman: The Motion Picture was an instant hit, the producers brought in Richard Lester to replace Donner on Superman II and shoot around the footage already filmed. Why Lester replaced Donner is still up for debate. Spengler has claimed that Donner was asked to come back but refused, while Donner claims he only found out Superman II was getting underway when he received a fax from the Salkinds telling him his services weren’t required.
The cast and crew did not take the replacement lightly, with creative consultants Tom Mankiewicz and editor Stuart Baird refusing to return for the sequel, along with Gene Hackman who was replaced with a body double. Although Marlon Brando had already shot everything for both movies, he successfully sued the Salkinds who then cut him out of the sequel. Years later, Warner Bros. released the Richard Donner cut of Superman II on home video as Superman II: The Donner Cut.
Piranha II was originally set to be directed by Roger Corman graduate Miller Drake, who envisioned a version of the movie which saw the return of Kevin McCarthy (who died in the original film). Drake was then replaced with James Cameron who was working on the film’s special effects department, and he then re-wrote the script under the pseudonym H.A. Milton. However around two weeks into production, Cameron was fired by producer Ovidio G. Assonitis who felt he wasn’t doing a good enough job. Assonitis wouldn’t let Cameron review any of the footage he’d shot during his time on the movie, and was even making all of the day-to-day decisions.
A regularly reported story was that Cameron broke into the editing room while the producers were in Cannes to cut his version of the movie, which was then re-cut by Assonitis. “Then the producer wouldn’t take my name off the picture because [contractually] they couldn’t deliver it with an Italian name,” Cameron said in a 1991 La Times interview. “So they left me on, no matter what I did. I had no legal power to influence him from Pomona, California, where I was sleeping on a friend’s couch. I didn’t even know an attorney. In actual fact, I did some directing on the film, but I don’t feel it was my first movie.”
WarGames began life as a very different movie titled The Genius in 1979 about a much older gentlemen, but this changed when writers Walter F. Parkes and Lawrence Lasker discovered a large youth-movement in the computer world, who would later be known as hackers. The character of David Lightman (played by Matthew Broderick) was even modeled after hacking enthusiast David Scott Lewis.
When the film went into production it was being helmed by Martin Brest who was then removed from the movie 12-days into shooting after a disagreement with the producers. In his place was John Badham, whose first act was to lighten the tone of the movie. “[Brest had] taken a somewhat dark approach to the story, and saw Matthew’s character as someone who was rebelling against his parents, and who was just kind of stewing inside,” he told The Hollywood Interview in 2009. “There was that tone to it. I said ‘If I was 16 and could get on a computer and change my grades or my girlfriend’s grades, I would be peeing in my pants with excitement!’ And the way it was shot, it was like they were doing some Nazi undercover thing. So it was my job to make it seem like they were having fun, and that it was exciting, but it wasn’t this dark rebellion.” »
- Luke Owen
Partners bring more than 65 years of industry experience.
Blood Sweat Honey will specialise in providing strategic counsel to independent filmmakers, offering producer representation, festival strategy, script and post-production creative consulting, and hybrid distribution and marketing strategy.
Dowd (main picture), the inspiration for the character of ‘The Dude’ in the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski, has worked in the independent sector for more than four decades as a producer, distributor, exhibitor, festival director and producer’s rep.
He and several partners are preparing to release the transmedia series Our Classic Tales That Fuel Our Future this autumn.
Nohe is a film distributor, filmmaker and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of executive and management experience in the film business »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Mark Harrison Jun 5, 2017
Arcing storylines enrich Doctor Who and reward its audience, Mark suggests...
Warning: contains spoilers for Doctor Who series 10.
Unlikely as it might seem to long-time readers of this site, there might be some people who have only just started watching Doctor Who this year. After a year off air, Steven Moffat's brief going into this year's excellent tenth series seems to have been to give the show a soft reboot, picking up with Peter Capaldi's Doctor some time after the last series and ushering in the arrival of Pearl Mackie's new companion, Bill Potts.
To that end, the series started out with an enjoyable run of standalone episodes, boiling the show down to its essence of a madman in a box taking a young woman on adventures in time and space. »
Pete Dillon-Trenchard Jun 3, 2017
Everything’s wrapped up, and much later than usual… After three episodes, we’ve finally said goodbye to the Monks. Fortunately, we’ve not said goodbye to our weekly round-up of references, similarities and general observations, so here’s our guide to this week’s episode… If you’re more eagle-eyed than we are, let us know what you’ve seen in the comments below!
The Memory Cheats
Though this is the first time the human race’s memories have been rewritten en masse (as opposed to time itself being rewritten, which has happened on multiple occasions, particularly since 2005), individuals’ memories have been played with from time to time, »
Pete Dillon-Trenchard May 20, 2017
The references and nerdy spots we caught in Doctor Who series 10: Extremis...
This article contains spoilers. Lots of them.
Whether you like it or not, we’re now halfway through this series of Doctor Who, and it’s time for the stakes to get higher; we now know who’s in the vault (or at least, who the Doctor thinks is in the vault), there’s a massive alien invasion waiting to strike, and oh yeah, the Doctor’s still blind. While you bite your nails waiting for next week’s instalment, here are our viewing notes with all the vaguely interesting things we noticed about this week’s episode. As ever, if you’ve noticed things we haven’t, »
Brad Pitt is only human.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, the 53-year-old actor talks about his tell-all interview with GQ Style magazine, where he admitted to "stoner days" and "boozing too much" in the past, and also opened up about his split from Angelina Jolie.
"I can't remember a day since I got out of college where I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something," he candidly said in the magazine spread released earlier this month. "Truthfully, I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good."
When talking to AP, Pitt -- who told GQ that he's been sober for six months -- seems happy with his decision to come out about his prior vices. "I’ve got no secrets. I’ve got »
Pete Dillon-Trenchard May 13, 2017
So many spoilers, as we go looking for references in Doctor Who series 10, Oxygen...
This article contains spoilers for Doctor Who series 10, up to and including Oxygen.
See related Vib-Ribbon to return?
Space zombies, near-death experiences and what we can only hope is a temporary change for the Doctor… In Oxygen, writer Jamie Mathieson has quite literally played a blinder. And for the more observant among us, there were a handful of pop culture references and callbacks to earlier stories. Here’s our weekly round-up of the ones we noticed, along with the odd bit of wild speculation and things we just found interesting.
Oh, and look out for an extra article on Monday which takes a closer look at a few bits of graphic design this series - including the answer to a question which has been plaguing some of us for a couple of weeks now. »
Pete Dillon-Trenchard May 6, 2017
This article contains lots of spoilers for Doctor Who.
See related Power Rangers, boob armour, and impractical costumes
Knock, Knock is a real treat - a spooky, atmospheric tale with an emotional core and some brilliant guest performances. And in a sense it’s a real treat for this writer too, as it’s one of those Doctor Who episodes that’s so fresh and unlike anything the series has done before in its 54-year history (intentionally or otherwise) that this article is significantly shorter than usual; we hope that’s okay. But as ever, if you think you’ve spotted something we’ve missed, please do leave it in the comments below...
Poirot’s Last Case
We’ll start with a reference that wasn’t - in »
Mark Harrison May 10, 2017
Over Doctor Who's long history, what prompted the decision to leave for those in the lead role?
All sorts of things have killed off the Doctor. In the last half century, Doctor Who's unique approach to recasting the lead character has seen him fettled by old age, as punishment, by radiation poisoning, falls big and small, dodgy operations and time itself. There are plenty of in-universe reasons for why the Doctor regenerates, and the outgoing Time Lord Peter Capaldi promises that his upcoming demise will be suitably timey-wimey, but what of the behind-the-scenes reasons that the Doctor has to go?
See related DC Comics movies: upcoming UK release dates calendar Batman V Superman: where does it leave the Justice League? Why cinema needs Batman: the world’s greatest detective Zack Snyder interview: Batman V Superman Deborah Snyder & Charles Roven interview: Man Of Steel
“While you're enjoying it, »
Don Kaye May 15, 2017
Director John Badman looks back at his disco classic four decades later...
Saturday Night Fever is the film that made John Travolta into a legitimate star, launched the Bee Gees to the pinnacle of pop success and introduced the world to the subculture, music and fashion of disco dancing - specifically the scene in the clubs of the insular blue collar Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bay Ridge. The movie made the scene and music into a national phenomenon that lasted several years, until the disco craze petered out in the early '80s.
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The whole thing was based on a New York magazine article called 'Tribal Rites Of The New Saturday Night', written by a British journalist named »
Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow: you know these names as superheroes who comprise a team – the Avengers. Star-Lord, Drax The Destroyer, Gamora: these are also superheroes who make up a team – the Guardians of the Galaxy. So what – if anything – differentiates these two savior squads? An Avengers film thrills through action, while Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 strikes development depth and marvels at cosmic swirls of psychotropic ether.
By way of sequel furtherment, James Gunn has created far more than an offbeat Marvel franchise. His collection of misfits represent the most personal, emotionally-tethered personas across the entire McU, soulful and composed beyond marketable costumes or A-list names. Soak in the psychedelics, kick out the jams and zoom alongside the galaxy’s zaniest outlaws once again – Vol. 2 rocks with the goofiness of an air-guitar virtuoso, even if storytelling skips a few beats (Nicole Perlman does not return as co-writer).
Where Vol. »
- Matt Donato
If you thought that Shades of Blue Season 1 was fierce, it’s got nothing on the intensity of Shades of Blue Season 2 Episode 2.
Mutually assured destruction.
Perhaps someone needs to sit Woz and Stahl down and explain that concept to them...or simply have them watch the movie War Games.
The point is to let your enemy know that you have lethal means of crushing them, without ever using it. With that knowledge should come the realization that if either side uses their weapons, but sides will be destroyed.
Of course, it only works when someone is capable of putting their rage aside long enough to look ahead and see the inevitable consequences of their actions.
Neither Wozniak or Stahl appeared to have that capability when it came to one another.
I was disappointed in Woz for using the footage of Stahl with the prostitute.
First, it let Stahl know »
- Christine Orlando
The annual jamboree in Austin, Texas, has been about so much more than just film and TV for many years.
Attendees can listen to keynotes by extraordinary people on all manner of topics – be they sports, medicine, politics, technology, activism – the list goes on.
True to Screen’s roots, the list that follows is culled mostly from the world of content creation with one or two gravity-defying exceptions.
March 11. After Edgar Wright quit as director of Ant-Man over creative differences, he went to work on something creatively different. The result will be on view at SXSW as the action thriller gets its world premiere. Ansel Elgort stars as the eponymous getaway driver; a man in love who tries to break away from the life of crime »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Earlier this month the world celebrated Safer Internet Day, a worthy initiative that aims to improve all aspects of web security across the online world. In the UK alone, hundreds of organisations did their bit to promote the safe and responsible use of digital technology. We’re fully behind the cause, of course, and it also brought the topic of discussion around to the history of web security and how exactly we got to be at the point we’re at today.
Now that nearly every household has access to either a laptop, smartphone or tablet (or even more likely, a combination of those), it’s easy to forget that our perception of online security is the most sophisticated it has ever been. Thanks to the efforts of many modern online security providers, tech users now tend to get a nice, user-friendly explanation of their program that translates complex industry »
- James Smith
A version of this article originally appeared on EW.com.
The cast of the second cycle of American Crime Story keeps getting better
Matthew Broderick has just signed on to the next edition covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He’s going to play Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) Director Michael D. Brown, who was in charge of the government’s response to the disaster and was widely singled out for criticism. “Brownie,” as President George W. Bush dubbed him, was handed the Fema reins despite lacking any qualifications for the job and was perceived as being in over his head. »
- James Hibberd
17 items from 2017
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