12 items from 2017
Update: Sony has now released the official cast list for the film, confirming Connelly’s involvement.
Spider-Man: Homecoming has one of the most impressive casts of any movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. The credits list is full of exciting names, including Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover and Jon Favreau. And that’s not even mentioning all the young and upcoming stars, like Zendaya, Laura Harrier, Angourie Rice and obviously, Tom Holland. Even in this late stage, however, just two weeks before the movie hits theatres, we might have just found out that another big name is set to appear.
Now that press screenings for Homecoming have begun, more and more details about are starting to leak out and earlier today, some eagle-eyed fans noticed that IMDb now lists Jennifer Connelly as appearing in the film. The movie database credits the actress in the role of ‘Karen/Suit Lady.’
In case you don’t know, IMDb can literally be edited by anyone, so we have to be wary of accepting this at face value. After all, this is the first time we’ve heard of the actress being attached to the production. However, going by the character credit, it sounds like the site’s saying she only has a cameo part in the film. As such, this small a role could possibly have slipped through the net and gone unnoticed by the media.
If this turns out to be true, Homecoming will mark Connelly’s third role in a comic book movie. Back in 1991, she appeared in The Rocketeer as the titular jetpacked hero’s girlfriend Jenny. Then in 2003, she starred as Betty Ross in Ang Lee’s Hulk.
It looks like we’ll have to wait until the film opens to see if this rumour holds any weight, but thankfully, there’s not too much longer to go now, as Spider-Man: Homecoming arrives on July 7th. »
- Christian Bone
Disney and Lucasfilm have announced that Ron Howard will officially be taking over Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were let go from the project earlier in the week for "creative differences" and speculation began on who would takeover the Star Wars spin-off. Ron Howard was the frontrunner along with Joe Johnston (Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Rocketeer), who also worked on the visual effects of the original Star Wars trilogy, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the script for Han Solo.
"At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. With that in mind, we're thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July."
No other official information was given, but the movie is apparently still on track to hit its May 25th, 2018 release date.
Ron Howard, who also directed George Lucas' Willow and starred in Lucas' 1973 movie American Graffiti, was approached in the late 90s to direct The Phantom Menace. Howard's style should fit in perfectly to the vision that Lucasfilm has while hopefully adding his own creative spin on the hotly anticipated movie. Creative control has been in the news a lot for Disney and Lucasfilm, with some critics accusing the studios of hiring directors and basically using them as puppets to adhere to a specific vision. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has stated that critic's speculation is untrue and that he had full creative control under the watch of Lucasfilm and Disney.
The Academy Award winning Director is set to meet immediately with the cast and crew to go over what has been shot and discuss the next steps. The production is currently on a break, but has several weeks of reshooting already planned for later in the year. Production started back at the end of January 2017 at Pinewood Studios under the production title, Red Cup and is close to three-quarters finished. It is not clear at this time if Howard will order more reshoots or how he will take credit on the production. Sources close to the project report that Miller and Lord were let go because they were taking the character of Han Solo in a more comedic approach and that their shooting style wasn't seeing eye to eye with Lucasfilm and Disney.
Ron Howard has spoken about how George Lucas inspired him to direct. Lucas wasn't much older than Howard when he was directing American Graffiti and Howard remembers his eye for detail being particularly inspiring, mentioning that Lucas spent just as much time choosing the cars for the movie as he did when choosing the actors. Howard has also recently talked about why he chose to turn down Lucas' request to direct The Phantom Menace by saying that he was the third director approached and that ultimately, he didn't want to have to step in and follow Lucas' act. »
It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Star Wars fans, as it was abruptly announced that the popular directing duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) are no longer at the helm of the as-yet untitled Han Solo movie – which is supposedly set to be the second Star Wars Anthology film. While the studio is apparently still insistent that the release date of May 2018 has not changed, the logistics of the situation is certainly cause for concern.
As it stands, the production seems to have been filming for between four and five months, and is reportedly less than a month away from finishing principal photography. Time for reshoots has been scheduled for later in the summer – as is the case for most big budget movies – but the directors have just been “let go.” It’s the timing of this drastic change that rings the loudest alarm bells for those that have been patiently waiting for a look at the early years of the beloved rogue, simply because Lord and Miller have clearly already done the larger share of the work. If, as they said in their statement, their “vision and process weren’t aligned with [their] partners” on the film, what effect has that incompatibility had on the months of footage already in the can?
If the creative conflict is indeed evident in the footage it is, perhaps, a positive move to have the filmmakers exit, stage left. With a few weeks of principal photography left, the entire reshoot schedule, and all of the post-production phase to work on, the replacement director – whoever it’s eventually revealed to be – still has a fighting chance of delivering a decent movie. But who might that replacement be?
We’ve already heard reports that Ron Howard is on the shortlist, but The Hollywood Reporter is now suggesting that two more names have cropped up – both of whom have a prior association with Lucasfilm and the Star Wars brand. Firstly, there’s Lawrence Kasdan, who’s rumoured to be the person with whom Lord and Miller found most of their creative differences on the Han Solo movie set.
Kasdan has four Academy Award nominations to his name, thanks to his work as both writer, producer and director of an impressive list of movies. Most significantly, with regard to Star Wars, however, Kasdan co-wrote the scripts for The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens – which means he’s been instrumental in crafting the character of Han Solo for decades. He also co-wrote the script for the Han Solo spinoff with his son, Jon. Kasdan is the obvious choice to take the reins, then – but the legality of such a move is in question, given that the Director’s Guild of America apparently has rules prohibiting a person already working on a film from stepping into the director’s seat.
Secondly, there’s Joe Johnston, who’s also an accomplished director in his own right. Apart from having helmed such effects-heavy fare as Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, The Rocketeer, Jumanji and Jurassic Park III, he also delivered Captain America: The First Avenger – arguably one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s also well-versed in the minutiae of Star Wars, having worked on A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi, The Ewok Adevnture, Ewoks: The Battle For Endor, and Star Wars: Droids as – variously – visual effects operative, actor, production designer and writer.
If the goal is to bring in an experienced hand to steer the beleaguered Han Solo film over the finish line, while ensuring the movie remains true to the iconic character made famous by Harrison Ford, then Lucasfilm would do well to lock in Joe Johnston. At this point in the proceedings, however, the next developments are as unpredictable as the departure of Lord and Miller in the first place. »
- Sarah Myles
While we don’t know the exact details of their departure, save for reports that their style clashed with that of screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan’s vision for the movie, this does leave a huge hole in production; who will replace them? The movie is releasing in less than a year, and there is certainly time to finish production, but there is still a lot of work to do this early in the production process. As it happens, rumors of directors are already sprouting up, and the biggest name to be thrown around is none other than Ron Howard. According to Deadline, Howard is likely the man for the job.
Howard would be an excellent choice to step in and finish the movie. He has two Academy Award nominations, and one win (A Beautiful Mind). Obviously, the guy has talent. Also, Howard knows how to convey speed on screen. Remember Rush with Chris Hemsworth, and Daniel Bruhl? That movie had incredible racing sequences, and we know that Han Solo is going to feature plenty of high-speed action. Howard is the sure-bet.
Also rumored are directors Lawrence Kasdan and Joe Johnston. Kasdan was co-writer for the Han Solo movie, as well as The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens; The man clearly understands the universe, and can step right in (although DGA rules may complicate matters, as they state that someone already working on a movie cannot replace an outgoing director). Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Rocketeer) is another Star Wars veteran, working on the visual effects for The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Both would be great to keep the movie on track, and possibly improve on it.
Of the names rumored, there really is no bad choice. Does Disney go with a man who has won an Oscar for directing, or two men who know the universe like the back of their hand? Who would you like to step in to direct the Han Solo spinoff? Let us know in the comments below…
Han Solo stars Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) as the famous smuggler, Donald Glover (Atlanta) as Lando Calrissian, Woody Harrelson (War for the Planet of the Apes) as Beckett (Solo’s mentor), Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Thandie Newton (Westworld), Ian Kenny (Sing Street) and Michael K. Williams (The Night Of) in as-yet-unrevealed roles. It is set for release on May 25th 2018.
… You can find Jordan on Twitter (@JordJJones), and Facebook. »
- Jordan Jones
Update: THR is reporting that in addition to Ron Howard and Lawrence Kasdan, Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger) is also in the running to direct. Just as we were sitting down to record this week’s podcast, the internet exploded with some apparently earth shattering news: Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the […] »
After announcing last year that the Chronicles of Narnia franchise will be "restarted" with the new movie The Silver Chair, the producers have finally found their director. Joe Johnston has signed on to direct this fantasy adventure, marking his first movie since the 2014 thriller Not Safe For Work. No cast members have been set at this time, but this story will feature characters from the original C.S. Lewis novels, who haven't been featured in any of the previous movies.
Variety broke the news today, which comes eight months after producer Mark Gordon joined forces with Sony's TriStar Pictures, eOne and The C.S. Lewis Company for this restart. David Magee came aboard to write the screenplay in 2013, although the studios haven't set a release date or a production start date at this time quite yet. Here's what producer Mark Gordon had to say about bringing Joe Johnston in to direct The Silver Chair. »
Get ready to jump back in the wardrobe and get transported to the magical world of Narnia! Lions, Witches, Princes, Silver chairs, and now, a new director.
The Chronicles of Narnia oddly enough is a franchise of films that I have really enjoyed. The first film more than the sequels that followed, but still they were all entertaining in their own right. The franchise started out at Disney then as the profits began to drop they let Fox take the reins. After they saw no major profits, they too dropped franchise. Now it looks as if Sony is ready to restart the franchise with a brand new look.
Sony has tasked Joe Johnston, director of Jumanji, The Rocketeer, and McU staple Captain America: The First Avenger to bring the story back to life. Mark Gordon is set to produce alongside Narnia writer C.S. Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham, as well as Vincent Sieber, »
- email@example.com (B.C.)
Is “Captain America: The First Avenger” the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies? The correct answer is, of course, “for the first half, yes.” The introduction to Chris Evans’ WW2 super-soldier is an evocative, beautifully realized, rather charming, funny-without-being-quippy joy in its first half, and certainly the most emotionally potent of the Marvel films, before getting quite boring quite fast in its action-heavy second half.
Even so, it remains one of the better McU movies, so it’s a little puzzling that Joe Johnston, the film’s director — who was also behind films including “The Rocketeer,” “Jumanji,” “Jurassic Park III” and, uh, “The Wolfman” (though he only came on to that mess a month before shooting began, so don’t blame him too much) — didn’t get more credit for it.
- Oliver Lyttelton
Author: Scott Davis
It looks like we are going to returning to Narnia very soon with news that a new film based on the works of C.S. Lewis is gearing up for production.The Mark Gordon Company, TriStar Pictures and eOne are setting up the film and have secured a director already in the form of Joe Johnston, the filmmakers behind such classic adventures as The Rocketeer, Jumanji and Captain America: The First Avenger. The new film, which will adapt The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, is the fourth in the film series but will act as a reboot for the series.
The Silver Chair is set decades after “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and sees “Eustace Scrubb and his friend Jill Pole are brought to Narnia by Aslan to find the missing heir of a now elderly King Caspian. The missing Prince Rilian disappeared while on a quest »
- Scott Davis
Stretching his “dangerous fantasy world contained inside a magical wooden box” muscles yet again, Jumanji director Joe Johnston has signed on for TriStar’s upcoming Narnia movie, The Silver Chair. Johnston—whose credits also include Jurassic Park III, The Rocketeer, and Captain America: The First Avenger—will be the first director to helm a film in this latest attempt to bring C.S. Lewis’ beloved religious allegories to the screen, picking up where Walden Media’s lavish Chronicles Of Narnia films left off.
The Silver Chair sees the unfortunately named Eustace Scrubb—last seen looking like Will Poulter in Walden’s Voyage Of The Dawn Treader—return to the fantasy kingdom with his friend Jill, in search of Narnia’s missing prince. Variety reports that Life Of Pi screenwriter David Magee will adapt Lewis’ timeless prose for the screen.
- William Hughes
Not unreasonably, Howard Hughes is a figure of fascination in cinema. From Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator to Terry O'Quinn in The Rocketeer, to characters who were inspired by him, like Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever or Howard Stark in the Marvel cinematic universe, the billionaire businessman's on-screen influence feels fitting for his early status as a movie tycoon.
Now, Warren Beatty directs, produces, writes and stars in Rules Don't Apply, whose convention-busting title reflects the way in which it runs counter to other cinematic treatments by putting the spotlight on two of Hughes' many employees. Set during the tumultuous years of 1958 to 1964, the film focuses on virginal Virginia beauty queen Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins), an actress who's new to Hollywood, and Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich), a chauffeur who drives her around. »
"She’s such a compelling figure, with such a fascinating life story, that I was thrilled when Dynamite Senior Editor Joe Rybandt asked me if I could build a comic book mini-series around her.
"After a lot of research into the life and times of Bettie, I chose to put her in Hollywood at the start of the fifties and the beginning of her modeling career...built on some corners of her real biography, and the real history of the time. I hope I’ve made my fictional Bettie as funny, as sweet, »
- Michael Stevens
12 items from 2017
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