7 items from 2017
Ron Howard, freshly tasked with taking over directing the “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff movie, said he’s been around the space-epic franchise from the very beginning — and that he’s ready to immerse himself deeply into studying “Star Wars” lore.
“I’ve been a fan forever,” said Howard, speaking Friday at the Cannes Lions advertising and media conference. “It’s gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe.”
Disney’s Lucasfilm on Thursday officially tapped Howard to finish making the movie, after studio president Kathleen Kennedy fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller this week because the duo were seen as overstepping their remit by going off-script with comedic touches.
Howard recalled that in 1972, George Lucas told him about his plans for a “fun” sci-fi film, incorporating special effects like those used in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” when Howard was appearing as an actor in Lucas’ “American Graffiti” (which also featured Harrison Ford, who went on to play Han Solo).
When “Star Wars” came out, on opening day Howard said he and his wife, Cheryl, went to go see it — and they stood in line for two hours to get in. “I was so moved by the movie,” he said. “I was transported by the movie… We literally left almost speechless.” They decided to see it again, and waited another 90 minutes in line.
Shooting on the “Star Wars” Han Solo movie was three-fourths completed when Lord and Miller were given the boot. Howard has already begun work on the project, with shooting set to resume July 10. The movie was already scheduled for five weeks of re-shoots later in 2017.
Howard appeared on stage at the Palais des Festivals’ Lumiere Theatre here with Wpp’s Sorrell and Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution. (Howard and Kraft were previously scheduled to appear at a post-panel press conference but only Sorrell showed up.)
Han Solo Firing: Will Ron Howard Share Directing Credit With Lord & Miller?
Sorrell’s Wpp is an investor in Imagine Entertainment, the production company co-founded and run by Howard and Brian Grazer. With the infusion of $100 million from Raine Group last year, Howard said the company is planning to expand beyond TV and film into branded-content work.
“That’s one of the reasons I’m here [at Cannes Lions],” Howard said. “The next iteration of Imagine, the one we hope goes forward and beyond us, is all about storytelling.”
Asked by Sorrell about their thoughts on President Trump, Kraft declined to comment while Howard chimed in with this: “I’m really hopeful that when this presidency is dramatized years from now, it is as a lovely, hilarious Broadway musical called ‘Trumped.'”
Also on the panel, Kraft commented on the process of picking high-quality talent while looking for people who can check their ego at the door.
“We’re in an ego-driven business — and when we’re doing well, the question is, who gets the credit?” Kraft said. He added, however, “You have to put up with a certain amount of nonsense… People who are really talented, off the charts, are different.”
Sorrell quipped: “We have no egos in the advertising business. We don’t even know how to spell ‘ego.'”
Howard, in his 30-plus years as a filmmaker, has made more than 50 movies including “Night Shift,” “Splash,” “Cocoon,” “Parenthood,” “Backdraft,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Apollo 13” and “A Beautiful Mind,” which won four Academy Awards including for best director and best picture. However, his more recent films, including “Inferno,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Rush” and “The Dilemma,” have fared poorly at the box office.
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- Todd Spangler
His hire comes after the movie’s original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired Tuesday, while in the middle of production after clashing with producer and Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer/executive producer Lawrence Kasdan. The duo, who had previously overseen “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street,” wanted to inject more humor into the storyline and encouraged improvisation, something Kasdan did not appreciate.
12 Directors Who Were Pushed from the Director’s Chair
Howard will begin work immediately. The picture still has several weeks left on its shooting schedule, and five additional weeks of pre-scheduled reshoots that were planned for later this year. The exact amount of time and money that it will take to actually complete the production (which was about three-quarters finished when the directors were fired), will vary depending on how much rewriting and reshooting Howard deems is necessary after reviewing the script and shot footage.
It is unclear just how Howard will be credited and whether he will share directing credit with Lord and Miller, or potentially take no credit at all (though that seems unlikely). Lord and Miller have the right to appeal any decision, but ultimately, the Directors Guild of America will make the call.
Howard previously worked with Lucasfilm on 1988’s “Willow,” a fantasy adventure that garnered two technical Ocscar nominations (visual effects and sound editing) but was a box office disappointment. Howard’s credits also include hits such as “Parenthood,” “Splash,” “Backdraft,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Apollo 13” and 2001’s “A Beautiful Mind,” about the brilliant, anti-social mathematician John Nash, which won four top Academy Awards including best director and best picture.
These days, however, the former child actor is in need of a big hit. He’s had a string of duds that include “Inferno,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” “Rush,” and “The Dilemma.” His last significant success was 2009’s “Angels & Demons.”
Related stories'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Firing Is Latest in Long Line of Director ExitsWhy Movies Need Directors Like Phil Lord and Chris Miller More Than Ever'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Fired After Clashing With Kathleen Kennedy (Exclusive) »
- Brent Lang
Author: Dave Roper
With Actors, Directors, Actresses and Screenwriters under our collective belt and Cinematographers still to come, we presently turn our eye towards Composers, whose music lends so much to the films they work on.
As with the other lists, credit is given for not merely one or two sterling scores, but rather a consistently excellent body of work with specific stand-out films. To be blunt, this is a trickier prospect than it at first appears. Just because a film is terrific or well-loved doesn’t necessarily mean that the score is itself a standout. We begin with perhaps the most obvious and celebrated film composer of them all…..
Goodness me. The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Long Goodbye, Catch Me If You Can, Star Wars, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Superman, Et, Born on the Fourth of July, »
- Dave Roper
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Virus is now out on a new Blu-ray from Scream Factory, and to celebrate the latest home media release of the 1999 sci-fi thriller, we've been provided with three Blu-ray copies to give away to lucky Daily Dead readers.
Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray copy of Virus.
How to Enter: We're giving Daily Dead readers multiple chances to enter and win:
1. Instagram: Following us on Instagram during the contest period will give you an automatic contest entry. Make sure to follow us at:
2. Email: For a chance to win via email, send an email to email@example.com with the subject “Virus Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on May 9th. This contest is only open to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States. »
- Derek Anderson
The first week of May has some really stellar home entertainment offerings that genre fans will undoubtedly want to add to their personal collections. Jackson Stewart’s wickedly fun Beyond the Gates makes its way to Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, and for those who missed it in theaters earlier this year, Rings arrives on both formats as well. Scream Factory is also giving the sci-fi thriller Virus a brand new HD release, and for those who have been on the lookout for the recent indie horror flick, The Barn, you can now grab the movie on Amazon.
Other notable releases for May 2nd include Camino, Fear, Inc., The Naked Cage, The Windmill, Tunnel, and The Hexecutioners.
Welcome, curious viewers…have you the courage to go Beyond The Gates?
After their father’s unexplained disappearance, two estranged brothers (responsible »
- Heather Wixson
An eclectic array of international producers are assembling on intriguing European Film Market (Efm) script See How We Are, the new project from Gregory Widen, the creator of the Highlander and The Prophecy franchises.
Producers on the fantasy project include Stephen L’Heureux (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) of Solipsist Films, Phin Glynn (Mad to be Normal) of Bad Penny Productions and Wild Tales [pictured], The Secret In Their Eyes and Neruda producer Axel Kuschevatzky.
Widen, who also wrote 90’s thriller Backdraft, has written the script and will direct, marking only his second feature as director after the first instalment in The Prophecy (1995) franchise, starring Christopher Walken and Viggo Mortensen.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Scream Factory has announced that Virus (1999), starring Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Scream Queens), William Baldwin, and Donald Sutherland (Hunger Games franchise), will make its Blu-ray debut in North America on May 2nd.
The Virus Blu-ray special features have yet to be announced, but stay tuned to Daily Dead, as we will inform our readers when that news becomes available, and check out the official announcement and cover art below.
From Scream Factory: “We are now taking pre-orders for our upcoming release of the 1999 sci-fi thriller Virus which makes its Blu-ray format debut in the U.S. & Canada! A release date is planned for May 2nd.
Legendary Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis plays the navigator of a tugboat crew which loses its cargo during a hurricane. In the calm eye of the storm, they come across a Russian research ship floating dead in the water. Boarding the vessel, they initially believe it to be deserted… »
- Tamika Jones
7 items from 2017
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