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Turmoil continues to envelop Sony Pictures’ top executive ranks, begging the question of when and if the current administration can turn around the struggling studio and put an end to the upheaval that has been plaguing its Culver City lot for months.
Sony’s worldwide marketing and distribution chief Jeff Blake, who agreed Tuesday to “step aside” and leave the studio after 22 years, joins the exodus of executives who have spun through the studio’s dizzying revolving door over the past year. Several division heads were fired, including worldwide marketing president Marc Weinstock; home entertainment chief David Bishop; senior VP of media relations Steve Elzer and Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies. Matt Brown, executive VP, worldwide commercial for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; executive VP of global communications Ann Boyd; VP of global communications Jason Allen and home entertainment and acquisitions public relations head Fritz Friedman also left.
- Alexandra Cheney
Jeff Blake is leaving his post as chairman of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures, a position he’s held since 2005.
Blake, who has been at the studio for 22 years, will exit Aug. 1. Sony did not immediately indicate if Blake’s slot will be filled.
Blake joined Sony as president of Sony Pictures Releasing in 1992 and became vice chairman in 2002. He began working in 1974 at Paramount in distribution.
Speculation has been growing in recent months that Blake, who’s well-known and well-liked within the business, would depart.
The shift comes with Sony Pictures Entertainment under scrutiny following a mixed performance in 2013 and so far in 2014.
The studio saw strong performances from “22 Jump Street” and “Heaven Is for Real” and its franchise “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″ delivered over $700 million worldwide. “RoboCop,” shared with MGM, performed far better overseas ($184 million) than domestically ($58 million) and “The Monuments Men” turned in a middling performance with $155 million worldwide. »
- Dave McNary
Hey posers, I got something for ya! Director James Merendino has released a teaser trailer for Punk's Dead: Slc Punk! 2, the upcoming sequel to his 1998 cult movie Slc Punk! Although Matthew Lillard and Jason Segal won't be back for the follow up, Michael Goorjian will return as Heroin Bob, and he will also be the narrator this time. The film also stars Ben Schnetzer (Warcraft) as Bob's son Ross, as well as Hannah Marks (The Amazing Spider-man) and Sarah Clarke »
- Jesse Giroux
Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has taken to Twitter to debut some exclusive artwork for the dino sequel from illustrator Mark Englert, which will be available exclusively at the San Diego Comic-Con later this week…
Jurassic World is written and directed by Colin Treverrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) and stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (Terminator Salvation), Jake Johnson (New Girl), Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Omar Sy (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Bd Wong (Jurassic Park), Irrfan Khan (The Amazing Spider-Man), Judy Greer (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer), and Lauren Lapkus (Orange is the New Black). The film is set for release on June 12th 2015.
The post Comic-Con artwork for Jurassic World appeared first on Flickering Myth. »
- Gary Collinson
Writer-director James Merendino has released a teaser trailer for “Punk's Dead: Slc Punk 2.” Matthew Lillard starred in the 1998 cult classic, which co-starred Devon Sawa, Adam Pascal, James Duval and Michael Goorjian. Those four original cast members return to reprise their respective roles of Sean, Eddie, John the Mod and Heroin Bob, the latter of whom returns from the grave in the teaser. Also read: ‘Slc Punk!’ Sequel Shooting This Summer With Heroin Bob Set to Return The sequel introduces Ben Schnetzer (“Warcraft”) as Heroin Bob's son, Ross, while Machine Gun Kelly co-stars as a character named Crash. The new female »
- Jeff Sneider
Last week it was revealed that Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man screenwriter Roberto Orci was stepping onboard Lionsgate's big screen reboot of Saban's Power Rangers. He will develop the plot for the film along with X-Men: First Class screenwriters Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz. IGN caught up with Orci to talk about the project and he revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes bits about working with Saban. »
"Here we are now, 14 years since the first Marvel movie I worked on. At that point it had been eight years and for about those eight years people had been asking ‘How much longer gonna last?’ ‘When are people gonna get tired of these movies?' And my answer always was ‘People only get tired if a whole slew of terrible ones come out.’ And it was our job to make sure that doesn’t happen," Marvel honco Kevin Feige said last week. "If there are other people out there interested in that not happening as well, I’m all for it!" And while there have been patchy superhero movies (see Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man" for example), for Marvel at least, they've kept the quality level mostly consistent, so why not continue? In fact, we've already heard they've got a roadmap of movies loosely planned to 2028, and last week the »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This weekend, a very loose rumor circulated that Sony was canceling The Sinister Six as a potential spinoff to the troubled Amazing Spider-Man series. That would leave Sony with two (or more, or less!) direct follow-ups to The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as a spinoff featuring the character of Venom. It's unclear what would happen with those three other films. But The Sinister Six should have a leg up, given that much of the not-very-successful The Amazing Spider-Man 2 spent time teasing a villain free-for-all. Sony has made a number of dubious decisions regarding the Spider-Man films. Pulling the plug on The Sinister Six could very well be the worst. The Sinister Six has been linked to a potential January shoot, to be written and directed by Drew Goddard. It was recently revealed that it would definitely hit theaters before the Alex Kurtzman Venom. And it has been suggested as »
For this week’s quiz we were going to tie in to the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by keeping it simple with one question: what the hell happened at the end of the 2001 reboot? But hey, even Tim Burton couldn’t answer that one, so instead, with the San Diego Comic Con-International on the horizon we’ve decided it’s high time we tested your knowledge of superhero movies. So, if you’re feeling confident, take the quiz below and see how many of the 25 superhero movies you can name – and don’t forget to share your score for all to see…
Question 2 Watchmen Minutemen Justice League
Question 5 The Fantastic Four Fantastic Four Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Question 6 Superman: The Movie »
- Gary Collinson
Jessabelle just wants to heal, but she’ll get hell for her efforts. Wheelchair-bound as she recuperates from a car accident that killed her boyfriend, Jessabelle returns home to be near her father, but ends up getting too close to a malevolent spirit that haunts the house. Originally slated for a late summer release, the premiere of Jessabelle has been pushed back slightly by Blumhouse Productions to a different season.
Jessabelle will now hit theaters and on-demand services on November 7th. For those unfamiliar with the film, we have the synopsis, cast list, and trailer:
“From the mastermind producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes the ghostly tale of Jessabelle. Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook of Sleeping Beauty) comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return — and has no intention of letting her escape. »
- Derek Anderson
While at Showtime portion of the TCA Press Tour, President David Nevis took some time to talk about new and returning programming. During the interview, he spoke about their new comedy pilots, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (directed by Mark Webb) and Roadies (from Cameron Crowe and J.J. Abrams), Penny Dreadful season 2 and how it will have a human antagonist, the status of Happyish (the series starring that Philip Seymour Hoffman), what the real reason was behind the choice for the ending of Dexter and the possibility of the show returning, how long The Affair could run, and how he’d still like to do a Halo series. Check out what he had to say after the jump. Question: What can you say about your new comedy pilots? David Nevins: Our two comedy pilots are Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Roadies. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a change of pace for us. It’s a pilot »
- Christina Radish
Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Daredevil, Big Hero 6, The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, The Sinister Six, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gotham, The Flash, Arrow, Constantine, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Powers, Heroes Reborn, SuperTed and more….
Wow, there’s been so much superhero news this week, you’d think it was Comic-Con already! We will of course start things off with Marvel Studios’ hotly-anticipated sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, with Entertainment Weekly giving us our first look at the film thanks to a cover image featuring Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the new bad guy Ultron (James Spader), which was followed up by a batch of »
- Gary Collinson
In a shocking turn of events, Marvel has announced its intention of courting more lady readers by transforming the burly Norse God Thor into a buxom Goddess. This change could have wide-ranging consequences on Marvel’s comic book universe, opening up a host of possibilities for Thor-centred adventures told from a feminine perspective.
This change could also have intriguing implications on the cinematic Marvel universe. As the recent Spider-Man reboot The Amazing Spider-Man proved, studios have no patience when it comes to recasting comic book properties that have run their course. The very masculine Chris Hemsworth has taken three swings up at bat playing the God of thunder. With another Avengers and third Thor film on the horizon, Hemsworth’s portrayal of the Norse hero might soon run its course.
It won’t be long before Marvel decides to give Thor a fresh coat of paint. If »
- Travis Earl
Universal Studios was home to some of the most iconic horror movies of the twentieth century, including Frankenstein, The Bride Of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Creature From The Black Lagoon and Dracula. Acting legends Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney. Jr lurched, stumbled and swooped across our screens, spawning a thousand nightmares and Halloween costumes.
Now it looks like the studio is planning a relaunch. Universal dipped its toe into its bank of monsters previously of course, with Van Helsing and The Wolfman among others. But this new project will present a unified approach.
At the moment Alex Kurtzman (Transformers, Star Trek, The Amazing Spider-man) and Chris Morgan (The Fast And The Furious) are on board. First Universal Monster to get the modern treatment is The Mummy, pencilled in for 2016.
So horror fans, is this good or bad news? Will you be doing the monster mash or diving »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
Earlier this year we broke down The Best & The Worst Of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," and needless to say, there was a lot more of the latter than the former. And as with any big budget tentpole, particularly one racing to get into theaters two years after the first entry, a lot of decisions had to be made about which new characters to introduce, and which others were worth saving for down the road. One of the decisions that grabbed the most headlines was dropping Shailene Woodley's brief appearance as Mary Jane Watson altogether. But as it turns out, there were lots more little things that got shaved away as the movie was written and shot. Badass Digest breaks down some of the big and small changes made in the script along the way. Among the most interesting nuggets is that J. Jonah Jameson was in early drafts (and »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes was a surprise success. After Tim Burton’s failed attempt to reignite audience interest in Planet Of The Apes we all wondered why Fox were bothering with another venture into the world. We were all foolish though as Rupert Wyatt managed to give the old story a modern and relevant twist, with Rise tackling controversial topics such as animal testing and cruelty.
At the heart of the film was a genetically-altered ape, Caesar, a super-intelligent being who grew-up with humans and believed himself to be human. The moment when he realises that he has been misled and discovers his actual place in society was gut-wrenchingly sad. So immersive is the character that it’s easy to forget that his on-screen visage is just computer-generated pixels. The real reason we love Caesar so much is because of the man responsible for capturing the performance: Andy Serkis. »
- Kat Smith
The name of the game in blockbuster filmmaking right now is “Cinematic Universe,” meaning we’re beginning to see film continuity and shared storytelling define the way studios make tentpole films. Marvel started the trend with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and DC will be following suit with their burgeoning Justice League-centric universe that began with Man of Steel. 20th Century Fox has created a shared, cohesive universe for the X-Men franchise, while Sony is building one around The Amazing Spider-Man films, with villain-centric spin-offs like Venom and Sinister Six.
The “shared universe” mentality has spread to non-superhero properties as well, like the Fast and the Furious franchise (which pays respect to past films by bringing old characters into new installments), and Disney’s longterm plan for Star Wars (which will include official saga “Episodes” as well as spin-off films and solo character adventures).
Universal is now hoping to take »
- James Garcia
The studio is seeking to reboot and unify its many horror properties, reports Deadline.
Kurtzman is best known as the writing and producing partner of Roberto Orci on properties including Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. The pair recently announced their decision to work on separate projects.
Morgan wrote five of Universal's popular Fast and Furious films.
The first film will be The Mummy, which is planned for release on April 22, 2016.
The monster movie plans follow various attempts to create unified superhero movie franchises, most successfully under Marvel Studios. »
Where have all the blockbusters gone?
That’s the question on Hollywood’s lips as the summer box office pants its way past midpoint. With less than two months to go, this season’s crop of tentpole films look shaky, despite a gorilla-sized $73 million opening weekend for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.”
Overall, there have been more raunchy comedies and fewer family films — and, in fact, fewer tentpoles packed the season vs. last year. China’s box office is surging, while the domestic market shrinks. And the endless stream of sequels and reboots has failed to lure away crowds from the World Cup, barbecues and the beach.
Box office revenue from the first week of May through the most recent weekend is down nearly 20%, as “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” failed to match the massive grosses of such 2013 popcorn films as “Iron Man 3, »
- Brent Lang
Today, Deadline is reporting that Universal has selected Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan will be in charge of creating a shared cinematic universe for their classic movie monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. Kurtzman is best known for collaborating with Roberto Orci on screenplays/stories for Michael Bay'sTransformers films, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek films and Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man films. While Chris Morgan has written five of The Fast & Furious films. For a long stretch Universal let their classic movie monsters collect dust, but in the past few decades they've attempted to reboot those franchises with films like: The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Dracula Untold. Now Kurtzman and Morgan will nurture a cinematic universe that will connect all of the monsters in their stable. "They’ve begun the »
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