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Sundance 2018 Ushers In the Age of Independent TV With Indie Episodics Line-Up

Sundance 2018 Ushers In the Age of Independent TV With Indie Episodics Line-Up
At the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, TV is invading the schedule in a whole new way. The Park City film fest has previously dabbled in what’s possible on the small screen, but this year marks the launch of the Indie Episodics section — which will spotlight TV pilots that mostly lack mainstream distribution.

The selections include “America to Me,” a new docu-series by “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James; as well as “The Mortified Guide,” a screen adaptation of the popular stage show “Mortified,” spotlighting the most embarrassing true stories of adolescence. There’s also “This Close,” showcasing star/creators Josh Feldman and Shoshannah Stern (both of whom are deaf), and “Franchesca,” featuring digital star and “The Nightly Show” writer/contributor Franchesca Ramsey.

This marks a major change for Sundance, and a renewed commitment to independent television. While Sundance has featured TV programming since the premiere of “Top of the Lake” in
See full article at Indiewire »

The Disaster Artist review – a turkey that deserves to be reheated

James Franco’s meticulous retelling of the making of ‘the greatest bad movie ever’ is a tragicomic tour de force

As with Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins, James Franco hits all the right wrong notes in this hugely entertaining, true-life tale of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 “disasterpiece” film The Room. Like Wiseau himself, Franco produces, directs and stars in his magnum opus, recreating the chaotic production of an unintentional comedy that has earned Rocky Horror-style cult status as “the greatest bad movie ever made”.

Dave Franco plays model/actor Greg Sestero, upon whose memoir (co-written with Tom Bissell) the sharp screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber is based. We first meet Greg in San Francisco, 1998, sleepwalking through a stilted scene from Waiting for Godot. Enter Tommy (played by James, Dave’s older brother), a whirling dervish of dyed hair, questionable age and bizarre, consonant-obliterating accent (“Wha accenn?”). Part pirate,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Second Opinion – The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Disaster Artist, 2017.

Directed by James Franco.

Starring Dave Franco, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, Josh Hutcherson, Sharon Stone, Ari Graynor, Dylan Minnette, Jacki Weaver, Megan Mullally, Eliza Coupe, Jason Mantzoukas, Hannibal Buress, Jason Mitchell, Kristen Bell, Bryan Cranston, Jerrod Carmichael, Sugar Lyn Beard, J.J. Abrams, John Early, Lizzy Caplan, Adam Scott, Angelyne, Paul Scheer, Melanie Griffith, Zach Braff, June Diane Raphael, Judd Apatow, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bob Odenkirk, Randall Park, Erin Cummings, Nathan Fielder, Tom Franco, Casey Wilson, Greg Sestero, and Tommy Wiseau.

Synopsis:

Aspiring actor, Greg Sestero, meets the mysterious Tommy Wiseau at an acting class and they strike up an immediate friendship. It’s one that takes them to California and the chance to make a movie together – one that will go down in cinematic history.

If you’ve never seen The Room, you’ve probably at least heard of it – the cult
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

No Activity review – Will Ferrell and Bob Odenkirk join faithful Us reboot of Aussie cop comedy

Jk Simmons, Amy Sedaris and Jason Mantzoukas bring new energy to a winning format: Waiting for Godot in a cop car

It seems like just yesterday the first season of Stan’s original Seinfeldian cop series No Activity tore down the freeway, with the actors Patrick Brammall and Darren Gilshenan in the front seats as dunderhead cops on a stakeout.

And by “tore down” I of course mean “parked in a stationary car”. And by “freeway” I mean “cargo wharf at night where nothing ever happens”.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Marvel’s Inhumans Season 1 Finale Review – ‘…And Finally: Black Bolt’

Martin Carr reviews the season finale of Marvel’s Inhumans…

From its inception through to initial release on IMAX screens Inhumans has felt shackled, cumbersome and hard work. Marred by simplistic structuring which won it no easy converts and soon lost anyone else, this expensive exercise in corporate storyboarding did Marvel no favours.

Too many cooks have left this Shakespearean tragedy feeling lacklustre, turgid and riddled with missed opportunities. Effects work though limited in the swan song had an unfinished quality which is unforgivable given those in control. Like almost every episode nothing took a long time to happen. In a funny sort of way you could compare it to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, where someone famously said nothing happens twice. An artful analogy without doubt and perhaps a touch too generous given the comparative subject matter, but you get the point.

In lots of ways you feel
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Chanda Chevannes — “Unfractured”

“Unfractured”

Chanda Chevannes is a Canadian filmmaker, writer, and educator. Her first feature-length film, “Living Downstream,” won several awards, has been screened publicly over 200 times, and was broadcast on six continents. Previously, while living in sub-Saharan Africa, Chevannes created educational films on gender-based violence, which have been used by grassroots organizations to contribute to tangible social change.

“Unfractured” will premiere at the 2017 Doc NYC film festival on November 11.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Cc: “Unfractured” is a triumphant documentary about resistance. It follows an introspective biologist and mother named Sandra Steingraber as she reinvents herself as an outspoken activist to wage an environmental battle with the oil and gas industry in New York State. Sandra and her allies are fighting for a statewide ban on fracking, which is an all-consuming fight.

But at the same time, Sandra is working to raise her two children and trying to care for her husband who has suffered a series of strokes. The film has an incredibly happy ending, but it’s a deep look at both the value and the cost of activism.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Cc: I have known Sandra Steingraber and followed her work for over 15 years. My first feature documentary was an adaptation of Sandra’s book, “Living Downstream.” In that film, Sandra is my central character and I follow her scientific investigation of the links between cancer and the environment. She grew up in rural Illinois, was diagnosed with bladder cancer on her 20th birthday, and found out later that her drinking water had been contaminated with a known bladder carcinogen.

In that film, she is a calm, collected scientist — which is who she also was in real life. But after the film was finished, Sandra started to become really involved in the anti-fracking movement in her adopted state of New York. I was impressed by the diversity of activism happening in the state, and also impressed by the way Sandra was forcing herself to take on a role that seemed so contrary to her shy personality. I had always wanted to make a film that followed an unfolding story, and when I saw what was happening in New York, I couldn’t really imagine a more perfect unfolding story to follow.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Cc: I want them to think about just how ordinary Sandra is. And I want them to walk away knowing that when you fight with your whole heart, you can win. Sandra was one person in a movement of thousands. She put her life on hold for years — as did many of the grassroots activists in New York. And together, fighting with their whole hearts, they achieved what most people thought was impossible.

Environmental films rarely have a happy ending. This film’s ending is unbelievably happy. But it’s also instructive. They fought and they won. We are at a crossroads now: environmentally, socially, economically. We have a fight coming to us on all fronts, and we really have to throw ourselves into that fight. But when ordinary people fight with our whole hearts, we can win.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Cc: The biggest challenge is always funding. The second challenge was sustaining the energy to keep traveling to New York to cover the story. I made 30 separate trips over a year and a half. My crew and I shot 200 hours of footage. When I ran out of money, I started shooting the film myself. There were some days when I would drive down one night, shoot the next day, and drive home. Then I’d teach my college class in Toronto and then drive back down to shoot again. My trips were so frequent near the end that the border guards at the Peace Bridge knew me.

As the mother of two young kids, this kind of a production schedule was incredibly hard to pull off. Now that it’s all over, I’m struck by the way my personal struggles in making the film paralleled Sandra’s personal struggles in the film.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Cc: I was very lucky to have the support of the Ceres Trust, the Canada Council for the Arts, and The People’s Picture Company. These three entities believed in me and my work and liked the idea of telling the story of the fight against fracking in New York.

Because the film was an observational documentary, I wasn’t always sure what it was going to be, or what the final film would look like. And because it was the first time I was following an unfolding story as a filmmaker, I felt like I was wading into uncertain territory and I wasn’t quite sure how confident I should feel about the direction the film would take. And as such, I felt uncertain about how to describe the film to funders. I didn’t want to promise something vastly different from what I ended up delivering.

So, I didn’t approach the fundraising with the same confidence and gusto that I had for previous projects. And there was, in fact, a lot of meandering during the production process. I was deeply inspired by a range of activists and so spent quite a bit of time filming with some of them. And I was curious about the perspective of members of the gas industry, so I also spent time filming with them.

But what first drew me to the project was Sandra and her perspective, and what I ended up with at the end of the day was a film about Sandra and her perspective. And when I look back at the documents I originally sent to my funders, those documents are pretty reflective of the film I ended up making. So, this process taught me that I should have more confidence in my abilities to envision the final film, and that I shouldn’t be worried about making promises I can’t deliver on. I can — and do — deliver.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Doc NYC?

Cc: It means more than I can fully say. The film had its world premiere in Toronto, which is my hometown. We received a standing ovation, won a prestigious award, and I had dozens of young women telling me how inspiring the film was for them. That screening was personally very meaningful for me — for obvious reasons.

But at Doc NYC, we will be playing to a different kind of a hometown crowd. We’ll be showing them a specific perspective of a fight that they know intimately. We’ll be asking them to remember some of the most challenging and celebratory days of their lives, but to view those days through someone else’s eyes. There’s an energy and an excitement for this screening that I can tangibly feel, even from this side of the border. It’s the perfect place to launch the film in the United States, and I can’t wait to experience the film with a New York audience.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Cc: The best advice I’ve received was from my college teacher, who was quoting “Waiting for Godot.” I had been at the same production company for a couple of years and she nudged me to start looking for a new job. Her advice was: “Don’t get too comfortable.” I didn’t follow that advice initially, but when I did, my life and my work really blossomed. Now, when I start to get too comfortable, I shake things up instinctively. It’s disruptive, but also incredibly productive.

The worst advice I’ve received was from a family member. I was worried about something in my relationship, and the advice this family member gave me was that I should not discuss my worries with my partner. That I should hide the truth of what I was feeling, because the truth would only upset him. I tried to follow that advice, but the truth pushed its way out anyway. Once the truth was out in the open, all my worries evaporated.

The advice I was given was so obviously terrible, but it was still incredibly instructive. Because, when it failed, I saw clearly the power of speaking the truth. Since then, honesty and integrity have become the cornerstone values of my life — both personally and professionally, which is a good thing since I’m a documentary filmmaker!

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Cc: My advice for female directors is the same advice I try to give my nine-year-old daughter: be yourself and do what you want to do. Tell the stories you want to tell in the way you want to tell them. It’s good to be kind and it’s natural to be afraid, but don’t let your kindness or your fear stop you from sharing your truth.

Being authentic and outspoken is difficult, and sometimes people will dislike you for these traits. But it’s not your job to make people like you. As a director, it’s your job to be true to yourself and your vision and to use your voice as loudly and firmly as possible. The world — and your audiences — will thank you for it.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Cc: There are so many! But my desire to make “Unfractured” was most inspired by “Startup.com”, directed by Jehane Noujaim and Chris Hegedus. When it had its Canadian premiere in 2001, it was the first time I’d seen a cinéma-vérité film. I was captivated by the unfolding story it told and also by the way in which the film spoke to a very specific moment in history. It was electrifying and inspiring.

Noujaim has gone on to do this subsequently with her other films as well. She has a real knack for it. I admire her and all of her films. And I studied them fairly deeply as I was making “Unfractured.”

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Cc: The system is firmly stacked against women — and women of color, especially. So, sometimes we find ways to work outside the system. Sometimes we find ways to work within the system. It’s a long fight, but I am optimistic that things will change and that there will eventually be gender parity in the key creative roles in the industry. I’m optimistic about this because I see it happening already in small pockets.

For example, a couple years ago, the National Film Board of Canada (Nfb) announced that they would be striving toward the goal of having 50 percent of their films directed by women. For them, this wasn’t a lofty goal, because as our country’s public producer and distributor, they were already working with a very diverse group of filmmakers. But now we are seeing a continuation of this initiative from the Nfb that aims to increase the number of women in other key crew roles, too. We need to shine a light on these progressive moves to encourage other institutions to make similar changes.

https://medium.com/media/15b076e4a9cd1985dc1ac385869da29c/href

Doc NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Chanda Chevannes — “Unfractured” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Tobin Bell interview: Jigsaw, the Saw movies and more

Rob Leane Oct 25, 2017

Ahead of Jigsaw’s release, we chatted to John Kramer actor Tobin Bell about his journey with the franchise...

Warning: this interview contains spoilers for several Saw films, and one for Four Corners, but it’s spoiler-free with regards to Jigsaw.

The Saw franchise began, back in 2004, with Tobin Bell’s John Kramer – aka The Jigsaw Killer - playing dead on the floor of a grimy bathroom. Leigh Whannell and James Wan’s micro-budget horror/thriller spawned six blood-spattered sequels, birthing a franchise that became synonymous with Halloween cinema trips.

But then, in 2010, came Saw 3D. The seventh film in the torture-stuffed series presented itself as The Final Chapter, going full circle - revisiting the bathroom from Saw - and tying up all the loose ends of John’s legacy. John died in Saw III and was autopsied in Saw IV, and then Saw 3D presented a
See full article at Den of Geek »

Tiff 2017: ‘The Disaster Artist’ Review: Dir. James Franco

The Disaster Artist review: James Franco directs and leads the cast as Tommy Wiseau, the legendary modern filmmaker who made The Room, the cult movie often referred to as ‘The Worst Film Ever Made’. This film however, is one of the best of the year.

The Disaster Artist review by Paul Heath.

The Disaster Artist review

If you’ve not heard of the 2003 movie The Room, then you’re absolutely missing out. Made for a reported $6 million, Tommy Wiseau’s film was initially a box-office disaster, hence the title of the dramatisation of its making, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, which comes to the Toronto International Film Festival following a world premiere at the South by Southwest festival earlier this year.

James Franco directs and plays the lead of Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, a film that managed to put a great big smile on my face all of
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Wamg Giveaway – Win Two Tickets to Shotspeare! at Playhouse @ Westport

Shotspeare combines the greatest playwright in history with endless amounts of drunken amusement, creating a must-see comedic twist on classic literature. After years of successful performances in New York City and festivals around the world, Emery Entertainment, Inc. brings this laugh-out-loud show to the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza for a triumphant return engagement October 5-7 for five side-splitting performances. Tickets may be purchased through MetroTix at www.metrotix.com or by calling 314/534-1111. Additionally, tickets will be available at the Playhouse @ Westport Plaza box office one hour prior to show time. All seats are $55.

We Are Movie Geeks has a pair of passes to give away for the opening night performance of Shotspeare! That’s Thursday, October 5th at 8pm. Leave a message below letting us know what your favorite film based on a Shakespeare play is (mine is Forbidden Planet). It’s so easy!

Official Rules:

1. You Must Be In The St.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘The Exorcist’ Is Set To Scare West End Audiences From This October

Forty-five years after William Peter Blatty’s best-selling novel terrified an entire generation, The Exorcist will be unleashed onto the West End stage for the very first time in a uniquely theatrical experience directed by Sean Mathias and adapted for the stage by John Pielmeier.

The Exorcist will play a strictly limited run at the Phoenix Theatre from 20 October 2017 to 10 March 2018. Tickets will go on general sale at 4pm on Friday 11 August.

Widely considered the scariest movie of all time, the film adaptation of The Exorcist sparked unprecedented worldwide controversy when it was released in cinemas in 1973. Winner of two Academy Awards, William Friedkin’s masterpiece saw audiences petrified to the point of passing out and went on to become one of the top ten highest grossing films of all time.

“Oh please, Mother, make it stop! It’s hurting.”

When the medical profession fails to provide answers to young
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Bravo the BBC for its U-turn on axing Saturday Review

Radio 4’s discussion programme has been reprieved. The arts need professional critics more than ever in the age of Twitter

When the Observer film critic Philip French died two years ago, many tributes were paid to the qualities that made him an outstanding reviewer: his breadth of reference, incisive opinions and talent (or weakness) for terrible puns. Less remarked on was his contribution to the BBC’s review coverage of the arts: from the 1960s till his early retirement in 1990, he worked on the weekly radio arts programme The Critics and its successor, Critics’ Forum. The highbrow tone of participants was parodied by Peter Sellers. But the programme’s simple premise – that when three or four people are gathered together in the name of criticism, something informative and entertaining can ensue – guaranteed its longevity.

Since 1998 Radio 4’s Saturday Review has ably filled the void left by Critics’ Forum, with Tom Sutcliffe
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Tony Watch: Laurie Metcalf On ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’, ‘Horace And Pete’ And The ‘Roseanne’ Reunion

For most actors, a 102-line monologue is a challenge. For Laurie Metcalf, who pronounces just such a pamphlet of words near the beginning of A Doll’s House, Part 2, it’s a piece of cake. Barely a burp. Laurie Metcalf has more memory than your laptop, your iPhone and all your crinkled analog photo albums combined. In Lucas Hnath’s Tony-nominated comedy, she plays Nora Helmer 15 years after the most famous departure in modern theater. At the end of Waiting for Godot
See full article at Deadline TV »

‘The Leftovers’ Recap: Kevin Can Wait

‘The Leftovers’ Recap: Kevin Can Wait
Do not read unless you’ve seen “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother),” the seventh episode of the third and final season of HBO’s “The Leftovers.”

For my own amusement, I sometimes imagine describing individual episodes of “The Leftovers” to people who’ve never seen the show.

Let’s try it with this installment, shall we?

“A former sheriff from a small town in New York is in Australia, where his father has become convinced of the existence of a song that will stop the planet from being engulfed in a world-ending flood. The father drowns his son, and the son, Kevin, travels to an alternate realm that he has visited before, where he met God, did karaoke, and killed a woman who had been appearing to him in his ‘real’ life. When Kevin enters this realm again, he is both an assassin (as he was the first time he
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Kevin Feige says “we’re doing things you’ve never seen before” on Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige thinks you are not excited enough for Avengers: Infinity War. No, really. You may be pretty hyped, but Kevin Feige thinks you are not even close to being hyped enough. During a recent interview with Fandango, they asked Mr. Feige about the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War, and this is what he had to say:

“It’s more exciting than people are aware of right now, with what’s happening [on Infinity War],” Feige said. “We’re doing things you’ve never seen before with films based on comics.”

“Never seen before”? That is intriguing, to say the least. At this point in the McU, it is easy to start feeling like we have seen just about everything Marvel Studios has to offer. So, where do we go from here? Avengers: Infinity War will certainly be the most crowded McU movie to date. If done right, it should make
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Slow motion seaside shenanigans with the new Baywatch Trailer

Author: Jon Lyus

It’s miserable here in London right now, but the sheer brilliance of the California sun is keeping the downpour from our minds. This is the final trailer for the big screen Baywatch outing, a venture that has absolutely no right to look this much fun. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron lead a very good-looking team of lifeguards against a property developer looking to take over the beach. Waiting for Godot it’s not, even though we’re certain that The Rock will be announced opposite Sylvester Stallone in that adaptation any time now.

Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach star in the flick, along with Hannibal Buress. They are teaming up against Priyanka Chopra’s oil tycoon, and from the beginning the team behind New Baywatch were keen to distance it tonally from the tea-time safety of the TV series. This is signified perfectly in the new poster for the film,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Film / Notfilm

An experimental film by an Irish playwright, shot in New York with a silent comedian at the twilight of his career? Samuel Beckett’s inquiry into the nature of movies (and existence?) befuddled viewers not versed in film theory; Ross Lipman’s retrospective documentary about its making asks all the questions and gets some good answers.

First there’s the film itself, called just Film from 1965. By that year our high school textbooks had already enshrined Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as a key item for introducing kids to modern theater, existentialism, etc. … the California school system was pretty progressive in those days. But Beckett had a yen to say something in the film medium, and his publisher Barney Rosset helped him put a movie together. The Milestone Cinematheque presents the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s restoration of Film on its own disc, accompanied by a videotaped TV production
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’
Like such kindred spirits in quantity over quality as Tyler Perry and Joe Swanberg, James Franco has made a crapload of movies. Sooner or later, he was bound to deliver a good one. But who would have thought his adaptation of Greg Sestero’s “The Disaster Artist,” an outrageous blow-by-blow account of the actor-turned-author’s friendship with the aggressively untalented and infinitely enigmatic creator of one of the worst movies of this century — “The Room” writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau — would turn out to be the best and most professional entry on his own résumé?

That’s a claim not without caveats, mind you. The version that world premiered at the South by Southwest film festival was presented as a “work in progress” — where it killed to a room full of “The Room” obsessives, many of whom stuck around for a midnight screening of Wiseau’s disasterpiece. And even though IMDb lists
See full article at Variety - Film News »

A Man Needs A Maid

Les Bonnes/The Maids Written by Jean Genet Directed by Oliver Henzler Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club In association with L'Atelier Théâtre Productions at First Floor Theatre, NYC

Writer and activist Jean Genet's early play Les Bonnes (The Maids) was inspired in part by the real-life 1933 murder by two sisters, employed as maids, of their employer and her daughter. In his play, Genet transforms his sensationalistic inspiration into a stylized psychodrama that comments on forms of servitude and dependency, and the result has remained popular since its debut in 1947. Les Bonnes is the first professional production by L'Atelier Théâtre Productions, which "aims at presenting bold and inspiring European plays to a New York audience in the original language" and at creating a community of theater artists in New York who will blend American and European traditions. This production is performed in the original French, with English subtitles (by Lucy O'Brien,
See full article at CultureCatch »

‘Logan’: 10 Ways Hugh Jackman and James Mangold Convinced Fox to Make A Bold and Bloody Superhero Movie

‘Logan’: 10 Ways Hugh Jackman and James Mangold Convinced Fox to Make A Bold and Bloody Superhero Movie
Logan” will open huge this weekend, but the well-reviewed R-rated “Wolverine” sequel starring Hugh Jackman will provide Hollywood with something it needs more than great box office: It means permission to challenge the status quo.

Studios are in trouble. Box office is down four percent for the year to date — and the main culprit is combining familiar franchise properties with tried-and-true formulas.

Of course, “Logan” is the 10th installment in the “X-Men” franchise, which 20th Century Fox launched 16 years ago with producer Lauren Shuler Donner. But “Wolverine” director James Mangold didn’t direct it like a sequel.

Here’s how Mangold threw out the studio rulebook — and why Fox let him.

1. Get the backing of a major star.

Immediately after finishing “Wolverine” in 2013, Jackman and Mangold had a chat: Did they want to do this movie again? “If there was one, it would be his last one,” Mangold told me in a telephone interview.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

‘Logan’: 10 Ways Hugh Jackman and James Mangold Convinced Fox to Make A Bold and Bloody Superhero Movie

‘Logan’: 10 Ways Hugh Jackman and James Mangold Convinced Fox to Make A Bold and Bloody Superhero Movie
Logan” will open huge this weekend, but the well-reviewed R-rated “Wolverine” sequel starring Hugh Jackman will provide Hollywood with something it needs more than great box office: It means permission to challenge the status quo.

Studios are in trouble. Box office is down four percent for the year to date — and the main culprit is combining familiar franchise properties with tried-and-true formulas.

Of course, “Logan” is the 10th installment in the “X-Men” franchise, which 20th Century Fox launched 16 years ago with producer Lauren Shuler Donner. But “Wolverine” director James Mangold didn’t direct it like a sequel.

Here’s how Mangold threw out the studio rulebook — and why Fox let him.

1. Get the backing of a major star.

Immediately after finishing “Wolverine” in 2013, Jackman and Mangold had a chat: Did they want to do this movie again? “If there was one, it would be his last one,” Mangold told me in a telephone interview.
See full article at Indiewire »
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