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It's 1994, and aspiring filmmaker Kerry Conran sits down with his Macintosh IIci to begin work on a short film that's a throwback to the buccaneering adventure serials of the '30s and '40s. In those post-Jurassic Park days, computer-generated visual effects technology was still in its infancy, but Conran, a former CalArts student, saw the potential to tell a story he'd dreamed about. After four years of painstaking work with blue screen and his already-obsolete Mac, he fashioned a black and white teaser trailer for The World of Tomorrow.
Alongside Conran for the entirety of the journey was his brother Kevin Conran, who served as production and costume designer on both the short and eventual feature film. Speaking to Digital Spy from his home in California, Kevin recalled the lightbulb moment when his brother first pitched him the idea.
"At the time I was working as a freelance »
Pedro holding up a copy of his "Bad Education" screenplayToday's Useless Trivia! Not one, not two, not three, but Four Oscar nominated writers of contemporary cinema share this birthday: Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Pedro Almodóvar (Talk To Her), Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Incredibles), and John Logan (Gladiator, The Aviator). Only Pedro has won for writing (though Bird is also a multiple Oscar-winner) but it's a neat and weird coincidence, yes?
What's your favorite Almodóvar screenplay (besides Talk To Her that is which rightfully scooped up the Oscar)?
Do you think Brad Bird deserved to win Original Screenplay in his years at bat (2004 and 2007)
P.S. You guessed it: This year's Oscar Chart Updates for Best Screenplay, Original and Adapted are now available. »
- NATHANIEL R
The Mission: Impossible franchise isn’t known for particularly iconic villains, but that could be about to change as British actor Sean Harris has apparently been offered the role of the fifth movie’s lead villain.
The last movie – Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol was a huge box office success with almost $700 million worldwide, and Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) steps into the director’s chair for the fifth instalment, taking over from Brad Bird (The Incredibles). Tom Cruise will of course return as Ethan Hunt.
The currently untitled Mission: Impossible 5 »
- Josh Wilding
Pixar’s The Incredibles was absolute perfection. I couldn’t be happier that director Brad Bird is working on the story for the sequel. As light and fun as the movie was, it had some dark and intense moments — small children were in perilous situations half the movie and a whole lotta superheroes were killed. Bobby Burns took those darker scenes and laid Syndrome’s more menacing speeches over them in this fake trailer that imagines The Incredibles as a Christopher Nolan film. He even cuts it to Hans Zimmer’s music from the Dark Knight trilogy to great effect.
This trailer features a lot of Syndrome. If they ever decide to do a live action film about the superhero family (I hope they don't), Tj Miller would make for the perfect Syndrome. He sounds enough like Jason Lee (the voice of Syndrome for the animated film) and looks just like the character. »
- Eli Reyes
Pixar Animation Stuidos
Thanks to the meticulous and painstaking way they create every single detail of their films, there aren’t many who have as much success with their films as Pixar Animation Studios. Perhaps one reason they are nigh on perfect is that the cast of each film reflects the way in which they are made: it’s all about teamwork. There isn’t one Pixar film which has an outright star as all of them either focus on the buddy movie double act, or even a whole group or family of central characters.
This is clearly something that is important to Pixar as a company, as any employee, from director to cleaner, is allowed to pitch an idea for a film, and it is the people who work for them who are often considered their most important assets. This goes not just for those who work for Pixar full time, »
- Ian Coomber
Regardless of what role he plays, Samuel L. Jackson always steals the scene as the funny guy. From Stephen in Django Unchained to Nick Fury to Frozone in The Incredibles, Jackson’s uproarious delivery is unparalleled. Next, he’ll have his chance to tackle (action) comedy head on, when he co-stars along Kevin Hart in The Black Phantom.
Jackson, who is replacing Jaimie Foxx in the film, will play a notorious hitman who is hired to kill Hart’s character, a hired gun for the mob. When Hart’s character realized he has been double crossed, the two hitmen form an interesting buddy-cop bond, except they’re pretty much the complete opposite of cops.
The script, which was first announced in 2009, is being developed by Screen Gems, the studio which produced Hart’s successful Think Like a Man series. This film marks the first time Hart and Jackson have worked together. »
- Harrison Okin
As one person put it to me, "It's nice to have a trade covering, you know, the trades, because we haven't really had that in some time." Indeed, it's fantastic to see our colleagues at Variety dig in and represent the industry as they are with the newly branded "Artisans" initiative, and it's a long, long time coming. It is and has been an underreported element of the business, but I've happily seen that slowly shift in the decade we've been diligently, sometimes obsessively, covering below-the-line here at In Contention. From the word go, we made these artists a priority around here. They have an insight into the process that is always preferable to the soundbyte-prone "stars" of the circuit, and as someone who has always come at this work from that perspective, those chats are typically the most fulfilling to me. As we've forged ahead, we've witnessed other outlets »
- Kristopher Tapley
I mother-think it goes without mother-saying that this mother-video is Nsfw. It.s hard not to have a rock solid opinion about Samuel L. Jackson. There is absolute fandom, or there is absolute unfandom; the middle ground is as absent as Mace Windu.s hand. A lot of that comes from the kinds of films that Jackson stars in, which are generally features where the term "motherfucker" can be thrown around willy nilly, and there.s usually a dead body or twelve involved. (His foul mouth is noticeably absent from his Nick Fury appearances and films like Jurassic Park and The Incredibles, but just imagine the possibilities.) As such, the above video will either appeal to you immensely, or it will offend you. And if you clicked on this video knowing that it would offend you, you some kinda dumb motherfucker. Sorry. None of you are dumb motherfuckers. I got »
Public interest in the Tom Cruise-anchored Mission: Impossible franchise had started to wane after the lackluster second installment, but 2011′s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol did a tremendous job of breathing new life into the blockbuster series by bringing in The Incredibles director Brad Bird and introducing appealing characters played by Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton. So, now that casting for Mission: Impossible 5 is finally getting under way, we’re definitely interested in who’s joining Cruise’s super-spy Ethan Hunt for his next adventure.
Luckily for fans, the main cast of Ghost Protocol, including Renner, Patton and Simon Pegg, is returning, and today brings news that two more terrific actors have been brought into the fold. Deadline reports that 30 Rock alum Alec Baldwin, who previously played another iconic spook in Tom Clancy adaptation The Hunt for Red October, is circling a role in the film, while Variety is »
- Isaac Feldberg
We know how superhero stories start: normal person gets powers, gets reluctant, becomes heroic. But why does it have to be like that?
An alien baby is evacuated from a dying home planet and grows up to discover that he can use his immense power on Earth and the values instilled by his adoptive parents to protect the world. A young boy’s parents are gunned down in front of him and he dedicates his whole life to making sure if never happens to anyone in his city again. A teenager gains exhilarating powers and is then taught the responsibility that comes with that power by the tragic death of his uncle.
These are all great examples of iconic and interesting origin stories, which shape the respective superheroes to which they relate. But in a world of reboots and endless franchise mileage, do they necessarily have to be the »
Andy Serkis reprises this acclaimed performance as hyper-intelligent primate Caesar in the highly anticipated sequel to last summer's franchise relaunch Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which is scheduled for release this summer. A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species. Sony Classical is pleased to announce the release of the original motion picture soundtrack of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, composed by the Academy Award®-winning Michael Giacchino (Ratatouille, Up, The Incredibles). Directed by Matt Reeves, »
- Pietro Filipponi
Tom Cruise is one of very few Hollywood actors to maintain his immense star power throughout the entirety of his career. The 51 year old superstar began his career with the likes of Risky Business and Top Gun, and has since gone on to star in mega-hit blockbuster films such as Minority Report and War Of The Worlds.
As one of the most famous actors on the planet, Cruise has quite a vast and expansive filmography. However, the seemingly ageless adrenaline junkie is perhaps most famous for the incredibly lucrative Mission Impossible franchise. With four films under his belt Cruise isn’t interested in stopping any time soon, as he is currently prepping to shoot the fifth film in the action-packed spy series. After Brad Bird (The Incredibles) revitalised the franchise in 2011 with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the critical and financial success of the sequel immediately earned itself a follow-up. Now »
- Ben Read
Though composer Michael Giacchino has recently been delving into big studio tentpoles like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World, he hasn’t turned his back on the studio where he won his Oscar. During a recent pre-concert Q&A, Giacchino confirmed that he will be reuniting with Up director Pete Docter to score Pixar’s Inside Out, which takes place inside a young girl’s mind and revolves around anthropomorphized versions of her emotions. This will be Giacchino’s fifth feature film with Pixar, having previously scored Up, Ratatoullie, The Incredibles, and Cars 2 in addition to a number of short films—most recently Toy Story of Terror!. Hit the jump to see what Giacchino had to say and for more on his upcoming slate. While speaking before a concert for Star Trek Into Darkness in Switzerland (via Pixar »
- Adam Chitwood
Out of all of Pixar's upcoming films, the one I want to see the most (besides The Incredibles 2, of course) is Inside Out. The animated movie comes from Up director and Toy Story scribe Pete Docter, and Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, John Ratzenberger and Phyllis Smith will be lending their voices for the film. We already know the movie will be set inside the mind of a young girl and involve her emotions, and now Pixar has released a synopsis for Inside Out, »
- Jesse Giroux
For the first time since the 2005 gap between The Incredibles and Cars, 2014 will not see the release of a new Pixar film. This month was originally supposed to see the debut of the studio’s The Good Dinosaur, but production troubles arose last year and after removing director Bob Peterson from the project in August, its release was pushed to November 2015 and a replacement film for 2014 was never announced. Pixar’s follow-up to Monsters University will finally arrive in June 2015, and it’s an incredibly promising project. From Up and Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter, Inside Out takes place inside the mind of a young girl, and the protagonists are anthropomorphized versions of the young girl’s emotions. Though we’re still over a year out from the pic’s release, a new Inside Out synopsis has arrived that sheds more light on the film. The animated pic features the voices of Amy Poehler, »
- Adam Chitwood
John Williams thought it compelling enough to return and score the next three “Star Wars” films for J.J. Abrams, but it appears the prospect of returning to another of his brilliantly-composed franchises, “Jurassic Park,” wasn’t something Williams wanted on his resume (not that this guy has to worry about his resume, having won five Oscars throughout his career). Michael Giacchino will score the new t-rex footprint in the franchise, “Jurassic World.” The Jp and Star Wars worlds are already intertwined with Spielberg and Lucas sharing Williams for both scores, but the pact grows tighter with the next generation. Giacchino is a long-time collaborator with Abrams, having scored “Lost,” “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “Star Trek,” “Super 8,” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” But the connections don’t stop there! Giacchino also scored “Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” and “Cars 2” for Pixar—a company famously grown from the computer division of Lucasfilm. »
- Joshua Encinias
Michael Giacchino tries his best T-Rex impression.
This is a good sign for Colin Trevorrow’s return to the Isla Nublar world and Giacchino has been on the rise for a while now, you’ll also know his sensitive side for the likes of Up (plus The Incredibles and Ratatouille) and those slow-mo beach reunions in Lost, and I think they’re all a perfect fit. There are also rumours that he’ll be possibly be using some of John Williams score, it’d be hard not to, but at the moment it all seems like new work is on the way. Interestingly, one of the first orchestral scores was for a video game and which one was that? None other »
- Dan Bullock
Portrait: Art StreiberThough it’s almost hard to imagine a Jurassic Park film without John Williams composing all the music, that’s exactly the situation we had with Jurassic Park III, where Don Davis stepped in. For Jurassic World, director Colin Trevorrow has hired a more natural successor to Williams’ mantle, in Michael Giacchino.The composer who has made us laugh, cry and thrill for the likes of Up, The Incredibles, Star Trek, Super 8 and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is clearly delighted to score the gig, given that he began his big screen obsession making short dino films when he was nine. According to the statement on his hiring picked up by The Hollywood Reporter, Giacchino says it’s “an incredible opportunity to bring full circle the journey of dinosaurs and film that started in my backyard over 30 years ago.”It’s not even Giacchino's first time working in »
The composer is best known for his work on J.J. Abrams movies such as Super 8 and Star Trek, along with Pixar movies such as The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Up, which won him an Oscar for Best Score.
Michael Giacchino released the following statement to The Wrap, where he reveals this project brings his journey as a composer full circle.
"My first stop-motion movies at 9-years-old involved stories where dinosaurs and men were trapped together on long-lost islands or far away planets. My first composing job was to write the score for the Steven Spielberg-produced video game based on the film 'The Lost World, which was one of the earliest console video games to feature an original orchestral score. Having the chance to work on »
Production is well underway on the fourth installment of Universal Pictures' dinosaur franchise Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, but it's now being announced that Oscar and Emmy-winning composer Michael Giacchino has come on board to compose the film's score. Giacchino is well regarded for his Emmy-winning compositions for the ABC show "Lost" as well as his work on many great films from Pixar Animation Studios, including Up (for which he won an Oscar), Ratatouille and The Incredibles.
- Ryan Turek
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