17 items from 2017
Today in shudder-worthy news: “Shameless” star Emmy Rossum revealed her experience with sexual harassment during the audition process. In a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, Rossum recalled a call she received from her agent about a year ago. “There’s a big movie and they’re going to offer it to you,” her agent told her. “They really love your work on the show. But the director wants you to come into his office in a bikini. There’s no audition. That’s all you have to do.”
“He wanted to know if I was fat now. That was basically the question,” Rossum continued. “‘We really love your work, but we just want to see how tight your ass is.’ Are you fucking kidding me? Last time I checked, I’m not a fucking model.”
Hollywood is infamous for its treatment of young and inexperienced actresses, but Rossum’s story illustrates how actresses further along in their career are also subjected to sexual harassment. She’s a well-known actress with two decades of experience — and still a powerful man in the business felt confident enough to try to exploit her like this.
“I feel like we’re all vulnerable to it,” Rossum admitted at the roundtable. “If somebody with my years in the business would think, ‘Well, I wonder if it’s worth it,’ then what would a girl who doesn’t have my success do? She would do it.”
Rossum wasn’t the only one to talk about a nausea-inducing casting couch story this week. During her press tour for the upcoming Jenji Kohan series “G.L.O.W.” Alison Brie shared her experience auditioning for “Entourage.” According to Entertainment Weekly, Brie was also asked to come in scantily clad. “Early in my career, I auditioned for three lines on an episode of ‘Entourage’ that I had to go on in a bikini!” she said. “Or like shorts and the tiniest shorts. And they were like, ‘Okay, can you take your top off now?’” Brie clarified that she was wearing her bikini under her top, but the rest of the story is still more than enough to creep us out.
In December Rossum made headlines when she demanded a raise for the eighth season of Showtime’s dramedy “Shameless.” She sought pay parity with co-star William H. Macy and came out of negotiations victorious. Rossum’s credits include “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Beautiful Creatures.” She’s directed episodes of TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” as well as an ep of “Shameless.”
Wtf of the Day: Emmy Rossum Was Asked to Wear a Bikini Instead of Audition for a Role was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Well, everybody else here is talking about Wonder Woman, so I guess it’s my turn. Caution: there may be S-p-o-i-l-e-r-s ahead! (Especially my sixth bullet, below.)
It’s been said before, and I’ll say it again. Gal Gadot is to Ww as Christopher Reeve was to Superman. Her portrayal of the Amazon leaves an indelible print upon the character; it’s as if Zeus did indeed exhale, not upon a figure of clay, but upon a two-dimensional comic book form drawn of pen and ink, allowing her to step off the flat page and into the three-dimensional world, granting her life and all the depth and breadth of humanity. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is not some ineffectual weenie who somehow got through basic training, nor is he some steroid-enhanced muscle-bound moose. Nor is he the male version of a 1950s Lois Lane, mooning after love. Nor is »
- Mindy Newell
If you have a theater fan in your life who has been extra hyped these days, it’s likely because the 2017 Tony Awards are nearly here.
The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre (as the Tonys are officially known) recognize the highest honor in U.S. theater — the equivalent of television’s Emmys or the film industry’s Oscars.
With no Hamilton-sized hit this year, the race in the top categories has been pretty wide open and hard to predict — with only Bette Midler’s turn in the revival of Hello, Dolly! a lock for the best actress in a musical prize. »
- Dave Quinn
Alex Kurtzman knows his way around a franchise. The writer-director-producer had a hand in creating million-dollar tentpoles out of Transformers and Star Trek, in addition to scripting the second installment in The Amazing Spider-Man series. With his latest, a reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, he hopes to not only resurrect the iconic bandaged baddie, but spawn an entire cinematic universe of Universal Monster movies, to be known as the Dark Universe.
"It's like childbirth," Kurtzman told Et of the anticipation he feels over fans finally being able to see his take on The Mummy (in theaters now). "The head is crowning, so you're just waiting for the whole world to see your child. It's exciting! It's been a long journey."
Et: In terms of building this new cinematic universe, which came first: the idea of rebooting The Mummy or this »
Three weeks on from the announcement of Universal’s wildly ambitious Dark Universe and it seems any cautious optimism has now been replaced by a crippling feeling of dread – and we’re not just talking about the oncoming Princess Ahmanet and her reign of biblical terror.
Mere hours after industry polling service Nrg slashed its domestic forecast for The Mummy – down to $35 million from the original estimate of $40m – and the first reviews for Alex Kurtzman’s long-brewing reboot are beginning to find their way online. Spoilers: it’s not looking good. Whether this damning critical consensus has much of a bearing on the film’s box office performance will be told in time, but at least for now, Universal and Kurtzman – one of two architects pulling the strings behind the Dark Universe, the other being Chris Morgan – are still keen to construct a brave new world of gods and monsters. »
- Michael Briers
The next great cinematic universe that Hollywood has cooked up is getting ready to set sail this weekend when The Mummy hits theaters. Building your franchise on Tom Cruise's back isn't a bad idea, but Universal has some awful lofty plans for this interconnected monster universe, which they have officially titled Dark Universe. Now, The Mummy director Alex Kurtzman has given us a window into those larger plans, which apparently includes The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera.
Alex Kurtzman, who, in addition to directing The Mummy is producing the larger Dark Universe movies, recently spoke with Fandom in order to promote the release of the movie this weekend. While talking about some of the future plans for Dark Universe, he revealed that the Hunchback and the Phantom, two characters that had not been previously announced for this monster universe, are in the cards. Here's »
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Industry polling service Nrg has adjusted its forecast for The Mummy – and it’s not looking too good for Universal’s budding franchise-starter.
Pegged to launch on June 9th, the report claims Alex Kurtzman’s fantastical reboot is now headed for a domestic opening in the region of $35 million. It’s a somewhat disconcerting downgrade from Nrg’s original estimation of $38 million, which is a tepid debut for a Tom Cruise-fronted blockbuster in and of itself. When pulled together, it’s enough to leave Universal brass on edge, but THR reports that the studio is now looking to The Mummy‘s performance overseas as a way to offset its lukewarm debut in North America, where it looks set to get trampled by the so-hot-right-now Wonder Woman. Indeed, Patty Jenkins’ tour-de-force – an inspiring, beautifully told origin »
- Michael Briers
Universal has some very ambitious plans for their monster movies. That was made pretty clear the other week when they finally made the whole thing official by announcing the Dark Universe. Set to be a shared cinematic universe not too different from what we’ve seen with Marvel and DC – except that it involves monsters instead of superheroes – it all kicks off with The Mummy this month and will also include projects like The Invisible Man and Bride of Frankenstein, among many, many others.
And that’s just the start. If this thing’s successful and the films end up performing well at the box office, you can also expect to see characters like the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Van Helsing get their own movies, too. It’s all very exciting, to be sure, and even though analysts are predicting a bit of an underwhelming »
- Matt Joseph
Universal plans to expand their Dark Universe in some big ways. The Mummy will arrive in a few days, and The Bride of Frankenstein and the Invisible Man are well on their way. It’s a no brainer that Dracula and… Continue Reading →
- Steve Barton
Before tackling the Spider-Man trilogy, Master of Horror Sam Raimi gave the world his own unique brand of superhero storytelling with his 1990 neo-noir/horror/romance mash-up, Darkman, which paid homage to the larger-than-life characters and worlds of comic properties like Dick Tracy and Batman, as well as the tortured titular character in The Phantom of the Opera. A wildly hyperkinetic tale of revenge and loss, Darkman may not be Raimi’s most polished work, but I truly feel that given where he was at that time in his career, and the budget he had to play with, Darkman is easily one of Raimi’s most ambitious efforts (certainly right up there with the first two Evil Dead films).
One of my favorite aspects to Darkman (besides Larry Drake as the absolutely despicable crime boss Durant) has always been the film’s incredible effects, which were designed and created by Tony Gardner of Alterian, »
- Heather Wixson
I remember growing up when the real super heroes wore tutu’s and carried a mop. This may sound strange to some people, but I can assure you this wasn’t a weird childhood fantasy, I am talking about the original avenger Toxie, in The Toxic Avenger (1984). I have enjoyed the continuing story of ‘The Toxic Avenger’ which includes 3 sequels and a children’s cartoon, so when I heard that they would be continuing the story with a new rock musical I was eager to check it out.
I originally saw the musical version of The Toxic Avenger during a limited run at the Southwark Playhouse in 2016 and it was one of the best musicals I have seen. The show is in keeping with the dark violent humour of the original films and had me laughing throughout. The fact it is a musical may not appeal to everyone, but Toxie »
- Philip Rogers
Universal Pictures’ classic monsters are available now on Blu-ray in four bonus-packed box sets; The Mummy Legacy Collection, The Frankenstein Legacy Collection, The Dracula Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man Legacy Collection. And we have two complete sets on Blu-ray to giveaway… Yes, Two!!
The Mummy Legacy Collection
All 6 Films From The Legacy Of The Original Mummy Includes: The Mummy (1932), The Mummy’S Hand (1940), The Mummy’S Tomb (1942), The Mummy’S Ghost (1944), The Mummy’S Curse (1944), and Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)
The original Mummy is one of the silver screen’s most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collection includes all 6 films from the original legacy including the terrifying classic starring Boris Karloff and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the ancient Egyptian monster and continue »
- Phil Wheat
Emmy Rossum has joined the cast of Hard Powder, the new action film that will star Liam Neeson in the lead role. Hans Petter Moland is remaking his original 2014 Norwegian movie In Order of Disappearance from a new screenplay by Frank Baldwin.
Here’s the plot courtesy of Deadline.
Nels (Neeson) is an upright snowplow driver in a glitzy ski town whose life is turned upside down when his son is murdered by the powerful local drug kingpin. He then seeks to dismantle the cartel, but his vengeful crusade sparks a turf war between a local gangster and a Native American mafia boss.
- Paul Heath
MaryAnn’s quick take… Snappy, snappish historical drama about the partition of India rings with sly humor, dry cynicism, and a smack of relevance for today’s divisive politics. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
In 1947, Lord Louis “Dickie” Mountbatten, cousin to King George VI, was sent to India as its last viceroy, to rule in George’s stead — he was Emperor of India, of course — and to facilitate that nation’s transition to independence. And as depicted in Viceroy’s House, Gurinder Chadha’s snappy and later snappish drama about the handover, Mountbatten is initially a rather cheery midwife to the end of the British Empire. Hugh Bonneville (Paddington, The Monuments Men) brings a certain bonhomie to a man described as someone who “could charm a vulture off a corpse,” and Dickie and his wife, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Everybody’s sick with something in “A Cure for Wellness,” be it vanity or avarice or envy, though it’s clear that whatever regimen the mysterious Dr. Volmer has devised isn’t helping one bit with their recovery. As played by Jason Isaacs, who hovers about the movie’s ominous Swiss sanitarium, Dr. Volmer comes across like a character straight out of a classic American International Pictures horror show, and that’s precisely the vibe director Gore Verbinksi appears to be going for in a movie that, while creepy, won’t do much to dig him out of the hole he made for himself with “The Lone Ranger.”
Unfortunately, it feels as if Verbinski has failed to grasp the most important lessons of that misstep, delivering once again an extravagant B-movie homage that is longer, darker, and more unwieldy than the genre demands, while failing to produce a character that »
- Peter Debruge
Here at Et, we’re obsessed with a lot of things -- and for the week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5, this is what we’re most excited about:
Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams was shamefully snubbed for what many consider to be her best performance yet as translator Louise Banks in this film about an alien invasion that pushes humanity to its brink. “It was one of my favorite scripts that I've ever read. It got me right away and it became one of those that I had to do," Adams explained ahead of Arrival’s theatrical release. Of course, the film’s standout performances are not limited to Adams, who shares the screen with Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, both of whom added gravitas to this sci-fi drama.
Arrival debuts on digital HD Tuesday, Jan. 31.[p »
New King Arthur trailer: Warner Brothers have debuted a very brief new look at the forthcoming re-invention of the classic story from Guy Ritchie.
The new King Arthur trailer has debuted online. The 45-second promo for the film, which has a the full title King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, finally comes to cinemas this coming May.
Charlie Hunnam leads the cast of the film, which also includes Jude Law, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen and Eric Bana. Guy Ritchie directs from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Ritchie and frequent collaborator Lionel Wigram.
“I am here now because of you – you created me.”
The film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne.
When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, »
- Paul Heath
17 items from 2017
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