Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

Ben Mendelsohn Joins the Cast of Ready Player One

We haven’t heard too much about the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One following the news that Steven Spielberg would be directing the film. On the heels of that announcement we learned Spielberg was hoping to pull Gene Wilder out of retirement for a specific role, but nothing really solidified there.

Now we have word that Ben Mendelsohn has joined the cast as the villainous Nolan Sorrento. Mendelsohn has been impressing lately with roles in The Dark Knight Rises,  Mississipi Grind, his excellent turn on Netflix’s Bloodline, and a role in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale.

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Countdown to Halloween: Famous Monsters Of Filmland

We’re taking a look at one of the first and most famous of all Fanzines, Famous Monsters of Filmland. Created by Mr. Science Fiction himself, Forrest J. Ackerman, both the man and the magazine have had an immense influence on generations of artists and industry vets, from Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to Rick Baker and Dennis Muren.

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Olivia Cooke to Star in Spielberg’s Ready Player One

Olivia Cooke has become quite the hot commodity lately after her starring role in the indie flick Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. There have also been rumors swirling about her being on the short list of candidates for a lead role in Star Wars Episode VIII. The 21 year old’s stock doesn’t look like it’s going dive anytime soon either, now that she has landed the lead role of Art3mis in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of Ready Player One.

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Ready Player One: Spielberg Wants Gene Wilder For Unnamed Role

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a pop culture junkie’s wet dream of a book, and one I have been continuously sharing with friends since I first read it a couple of years ago. RPO is one of those books that was optioned for film before it even released, with a number of potential directors already expressing interest in the film adaptation since. It wasn’t too long ago that it was announced that Steven Spielberg (who?) would be taking over as director. We haven’t heard much about the film until some very interesting and potentially amazing news dropped.

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Steven Soderbergh Recut Raiders Of The Lost Ark As A Silent Movie

To show the importance of staging in filmmaking, director Steven Soderbergh reworks Steven Spielberg’s classic adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark into a moodily, affective black and white silent film. The film is essentially stripped of many surface elements to highlight the deeper ones (at least for Soderbergh). No more color or witty banter from Harrison Ford, and we lose John Williams iconic score. Soderbergh replaces all of the soundtrack with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score from The Social Network, not to draw comparisons between the two films but rather to provide audible accents to the staging.

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Jurassic World Snatches Release Date in 2015

Universal Pictures officially announced on Tuesday that Colin Trevorrow‘s (Safety Not Guaranteed) upcoming Jurassic Park sequel, will be titled Jurassic World. The movie has also been given the release date of June 12th, 2015. The Wrap got the scoop on this story late yesterday adding that the film will be shot in 3D. Trevorrow will be directing from a script written by himself and Derek Connolly.

jurassic park t-rex

Much like Disney World compared to Disneyland, the title itself is a big fat hint that this film will expand the world and attractions (in this case meat-eating, prehistoric beasts) established in the previous three films, with the rumor being that the “Jurassic World”  in the title will be a fully functioning theme park. Numerous sites reported a few weeks ago that The Office’s John Krasinski was up for the role of a Dino wrangler, suggesting that there will be more than the odd paleontologist on the menu. This will really up the ante in terms of drama when things inevitably go belly up.

There has still been no word as the whether Jurassic World will be a sequel, reboot or re-imagining to Spielberg‘s classic series. I would prefer the film to be a continuation of the story. In a world where large corporate companies will jump on any franchise they can see as marketable, it seems logical that someone would want to rebuild Hammond’s failed dreams from the original films. While this idea was explored in the mediocre Jurassic Park: The Lost World, I don’t think it was explored to its full potential.

That idea itself is ironic as the first three Jurassic Park films took in $1.9 billion at the box office and this year’s 3D re-release of the original film has brought in $114 million globally. So it seems obvious that Universal would want to go bigger and bolder for the next instalment as it seems there is still plenty of money to be made from the franchise.

Jurassic-Park-3D

Let’s just hope when Jurassic World opens on June 12th 2015, like the theme parks guests, we are not left wanting our admission fee’s back too.

New Poltergeist Movie: Reboot or Sequel?

This is news that will no doubt split the options of horror fans completely down the middle, but word is that the casting for the new Poltergeist film is well underway. The director is Gil Kenan (Monster House, City of Ambers) with Rob Tapert, Roy Lee and Sam Raimi on the production side of things (Raimi at the moment just seems like he will produce any horror film he can get his hands on!). The screenplay is in the hands of writer David Lindsay-Abaire (with previous work from Juliet Snowden and Stiles White among others). No news on who has been cast so far, but filming will start in Autumn 2013 and will take place in Toronto. Monster House is a fun little children’s movie, but not very scary while the original Poltergeist in places made kids jump out of their seats. Can Gil get the right balance of fun and fear that the great Spielberg and Hooper managed to do?

In this slightly different story Eric Bowen and his family move to a new town after Eric loses his job. Madison, his daughter is abducted and Eric comes to the realization that nothing is more important than his family. Eric’s wife Amy has the ability to communicate with the dead, and Carrigan Burke; host of the TV show ‘Haunted House Cleaners’ is brought in to help out. The movie will also feature Carrigan’s ex who just so happens to work as a parapsychologist at the local university and pops up to look into Madison’s disappearance.

poltergeist remake kid clown

Now let’s turn the movie on its head; it would seem the plan is not for a straight reboot, but in fact more of a sequel, much like the new Evil Dead was. It will take place years after the Feeling’s left town. One key scene in this new vision of the Poltergeist universe has the children finding that classic cinematic tool a sliding panel. Guess what they find? Loads of stuff from the Freeling’s which includes the Star Wars bed sheets, Christmas decorations and that classic black and white TV. Personally, I would have just burned all this stuff after their traumatic events, but that’s Hollywood thinking for you. So like the Evil Dead remake we are getting a new set of characters mixed with the old style of movie we expect from this series including the killer tree, the clown and the unseen ghost people Madison talks to in the original.

poltergiest

I appreciate the fact that these changes are meant to give a fresh look to the 1982 movie, but I am unclear on if this is for the better. The girl in the Poltergeist is the thing that most people remember from the original, so reaction may depend on how much we actually see or hear of her in the movie. If the film focuses on the parent’s tribulations and they have no chemistry together then we may have a film devoid of emotional content.  Nice inclusion of a Most Haunted style TV host, but it seems like we have already seen this type of post modern twist before with the Fright Night remake (I know he was an illusionist in that, but it is the same type of cocky character I am expecting to see here to). Will we see a happy ending here? I doubt it Hollywood hates happy endings in horror at the moment. Will we see the house get sucked into limbo? Will it look as good with CGI effects or is the movie going to employ physical effects to create the ghosts? The look of the ghosts in the original movie were superb and even today are fun to watch. Can the new movie live up to these spectres?

poltergiest spirit

The final question we need to ask ourselves here is do we even need another variation on Poltergeist? Recently film goers have had remakes, reboots and sequels thrown at them from every possible genre and it seems like no film is safe from getting taken off the shelf and given a cinematic new lick of paint. With the amount of ghost and demon possession movies already out there now and all of them seeming very similar, what is Poltergeist the remake going to offer that we have not already seen? Still this approach seems to have worked for the new Evil Dead movie, giving us a new set of characters and new Deadites to enjoy, so there is no reason why this sequel will not have the same success. If nothing else it will bring in new audience to this classic movie and the established fans will no doubt be interested to see how this new movie plays out. It is early days yet and it will be interesting to see where this project goes. More news when it arrives.

Sources: Bloody Disgusting, Beware the Horror, and Moviehole