CONSTANTINE Recap: “The Darkness Beneath”

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If you chose to spend your Halloween evening with NBC’s Constantinewell then you my friend made a wise decision indeed!  This hour was chock full of smoke, fire, and explosions, along with zombie miners, vengeful gypsies, and prophetic painters.  The spooky series has shown glimmers of its potential, and it’s clear that the players are enjoying their roles in this supernatural world.  Sure, some questionable storytelling choices and episode editing remain, but I’m surprised by just how much I’m enjoying Constantine so far.

Want to see where the series is headed?  Be sure to check out this recent interview with David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone.  Then, hit the jump for our Constantine recap.

Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo Will Direct LEATHERFACE, The TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE Prequel

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A few months ago the news hit that the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film would be called Leatherface and would be a prequel to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic Texas Chain Saw Massacre (I will always remind people that some films in the franchise combine the words “chain” and “saw) and a prequel to last year’s Texas Chainsaw 3D.  And now the film has found its directors in Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, the French duo best known for helming Inside and Livid.

To me this is ultimately good news because it at least sounds like they’re aiming for something new. Stylistically this will most certainly not be a retread of  Texas Chainsaw 3D, which had a great opening weekend at the box office before dropping off somewhat drastically.  It feels like producers Carl Mazzocone and executive producers Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman are cognizant of the issues that sank that film and are taking steps to rectify some of them.  I’m also hearing good things about the script by Seth M. Sherwood.  Head inside for more on Maury and Bustillo directing Leatherface.

David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone Talk CONSTANTINE, How Much They’re Pulling from the Comics, Adding DC Occult Characters, If We’ll See Swamp Thing and More

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From executive producer David S. Goyer and showrunner Daniel Cerone, Constantine is based on the wildly popular comic book series Hellblazer from DC Comics.  John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is a seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult, armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wicked wit, but his soul is already damned to hell.  Along with trying to find a loophole out of that, Constantine begrudgingly fights to save the soul of others.

During a recent luncheon with a handful of press, David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone talked about how much they’re drawing from the comics, just how far this show will go, having an unlikeable lead character, dealing with NBC on the morally complex story path that they’re on, why they decided to bring in Jim Corrigan, how many of the DC occult characters might be seen this season, whether there’s any chance we might see Swamp Thing, how big of a role the Newcastle incident will play, whether they ever considered calling the show Hellblazer, and that they’re already planning which storylines from the comics they can pull in, later on.  Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

ROBOCOP Writer to Pen Script for Channing Tatum’s GAMBIT Movie Based on Treatment by Chris Claremont

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20th Century Fox is officially moving forward with the Gambit movie.  Word started to surface a few months ago that an X-Men spinoff featuring the card-wielding mutant was in the works with Channing Tatum set to star, and now Fox has hired screenwriter Josh Zetumer to get to work on a script while Tatum is indeed officially attached to lead the feature.  This isn’t the first movement on the project, however, as Marvel Comics writer Chris Claremont apparently wrote the treatment for the Gambit movie, which will form the basis of the screenplay.  More after the jump.

Ansel Elgort, Brenton Thwaites, and More in the Mix for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 Role

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Slowly but surely, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is coming together.  While the film was initially delayed over script concerns, it’s now firmly back on track with production set to begin early next year in Australia under the direction of Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.  We recently learned that Javier Bardem is in talks to play the film’s villain, a Ghost Pirate, and now word comes that casting is set to begin for a “dashing young lead” character.  After Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley exited the franchise following the third installment At World’s End, Disney introduced two new young leads in On Stranger Tides as played by Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Astrid Berges-Frisbey (I Origins).  Their story concluded in that film, but it’s no surprise that Disney is again looking to add some young blood to the upcoming fifth installment.

So which actors are being considered for the young male lead role in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales?  Find out after the jump.

MAGIC CITY Movie in Development with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Bruce Willis, and Bill Murray

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Many similarly themed shows came and went in the wake of Mad Men’s success, and one such series was Starz’s Magic City.  The show took place in 1959 Miami and revolved around a club owner, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is forced to make a deal with a mobster.  It ran for two seasons on the network, but it is now getting new life in the form of a Magic City movie.  Variety reports that creator Mitch Glazer will direct a feature film iteration of the show, with Morgan, Danny Huston, Olga Kurylenko, and Kelly Lynch poised to reprise their roles from the series.  Moreover, Bruce Willis and Bill Murray are being added to the mix as new characters, though specifics aren’t provided at this time.

The Magic City movie will be set in 1962 and once again revolve around Morgan’s Miami club owner.  Further details are unknown, but QED will shop the project to buyers at the American Film Market next week.

GONE GIRL Is Now David Fincher’s Highest Grossing Film Domestically

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In case you needed further proof that Gone Girl is a bona fide hit, the film has now become director David Fincher’s highest grossing film on the domestic charts.  With a domestic total of $127.8 million and climbing, the satirical thriller has surpassed Fincher’s previous victor of the domestic charts, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which topped out at $127.5 million.  It’s an impressive feat to be sure, and while anticipation was certainly high due to the popularity of author Gillian Flynn’s novel, it helps that Fincher’s film manages to be wildly entertaining, bitingly funny, and somewhat terrifying at the same time.  So where does Gone Girl rank in relation to Fincher’s filmography on the worldwide charts, and how does Fincher’s oeuvre fall in line as a whole?  Find out after the jump.

RIDDICK Director David Twohy to Helm Time Travel Thriller REPLAY

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Filmmaker David Twohy is poised to tackle time travel in his next film.  Deadline reports that the director behind the Riddick trilogy will helm the thriller Replay for Relativity.  The story follows a test subject in an experiment who is sent four days into the future, only to discover that his son has been killed and he’s being accused of committing the crime.  When the day is over, he wakes up to find it’s now the previous day, thus beginning a murder mystery in reverse as he must solve the murder before he reaches the day of the initial experiment, which is when the killing occurred.  The project was penned by Joe Gazzam, who is writing the upcoming Cliffhanger remake.  This is not to be confused with the other time travel movie called Replay, which is based on Ken Grimwood’s novel and previously had Robert Zemeckis in line to direct.

Twohy’s directorial credits have veered into dark tones with movies like Below and Pitch Black, but he has plenty of experience in the sci-fi realm and also co-wrote The Fugitive.  Production on Replay is expected to begin in early 2015.

Adam McKay Talks WE THE ECONOMY, Tackling Income Inequality, His Outspoken Political Views, and More

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 adam-mckay-The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas

Now available online and for free is We The Economy: 20 Films You Can’t Afford to Miss.  Produced by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan, each of the short films is helmed by a filmmaker using their own creative vision to help explain the U.S. economy.  The shorts run 5-8 minutes each and they try to explain the role of government in the economy, what causes inequality, what is money and globalization, and a lot more.  It’s a great series that tries to tackle a very serious subject in an entertaining way.  Watch them here.

With director Adam McKay helming The Unbelievably Sweet Alpacas (which tackles income inequality in a My Little Pony-inspired universe), I recently spoke to him about how he got involved in the project, his outspoken political views and how he uses social media to address them, how We the Economy gives unbiased economic information, why My Little Pony factors into his short, how Republicans and Democrats used to care about the welfare of America but now it’s about transnational corporations, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say and make sure to watch his short here.

Christopher Nolan Doesn’t Rule Out Another Superhero Movie; Warner Bros. Pressed Him to Produce JUSTICE LEAGUE and a BATMAN Reboot

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If Marvel Studios and Iron Man is responsible for influencing one half of the current superhero movie climate, then Christopher Nolan and Batman Begins can take credit for the other half.  How many times have you heard “gritty reboot” and Batman Begins name-checked when describing a potential new project or an updated take on an existing property?  Nolan brought a grounded and serious tone to the superhero genre with his Dark Knight trilogy, specifically The Dark Knight, and many imitators have surfaced in his wake.  Nolan closed out his Batman adaptation with The Dark Knight Rises, but many fans of the franchise would no doubt love to see Nolan put his spin on another superhero.

So what does Nolan think about returning to the superhero genre?  Well he’s not particularly crazy about it, but he won’t entirely rule it out either.  Hit the jump for more, including how Nolan figured into Warner Bros.’ delay in getting its DC Movie Universe off the ground.

Emma Stone and Edward Norton Talk BIRDMAN, Reaction to the Finished Film, Working with Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki, and More

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Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of 2014: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of the year and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you will want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

At the New York City press day I landed a video interview Emma Stone and Edward Norton.  They talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography, Emmanuel Lubezki, their reaction to the finished film, the fact that Norton saw Birdman for the first time in the same theater David Fincher showed him Fight Club, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Peeta Sends a Message in the Latest THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) snatched Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) out of the arena at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a reason.  He’s got big plans for the Boy with the Bread and thanks to this latest TV spot, we’re getting an extended look at them.  While Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are busy prepping Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to lead the rebellion, Snow is using Peeta to destroy it.

Hit the jump to catch Peeta’s message to his co-74th Hunger Games victor and everyone else defying The Capitol in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.

Alex Garland to Write and Direct Enviro-Horror Thriller ANNIHILATION

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Just yesterday, the trailer debuted for 28 Days Later, Dredd, and Sunshine writer Alex Garland’s directorial debut, the fantastic-looking sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, and now Garland is lining up another incredibly promising directorial project.  Variety reports that he has been tapped by Paramount to write and direct an adaptation of the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation. The books are at once terrifying and incredibly compelling, with each novel written from a different perspective and with a unique authorial voice.

The first book, Annihilation, follows the expedition of four women who are sent into the mysterious “Area X”, a portion of land in the United States that has been secretly quarantined due to abnormal activity.  They are the twelfth expedition sent into Area X.  The second ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as the members turned on one another, and the eleventh expedition returned as shells of their former selves, all dying of cancer shortly after coming back.  More after the jump.

Author Joe Hill Gives Update on the LOCKE & KEY Movie; Says Fox Passed on the TV Pilot Because It Was “Too Scary”

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It’s no secret that I love the Locke & Key graphic novels that are written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez.  It is a story of dark fantasy and wonder about Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and that only scratches the surface.  When I saw the pilot that was made for the 2011 TV season (starring Miranda Otto, Mark Pellegrino, Jesse McCartney and Sarah Bolger), I loved it so much that I was both shocked and greatly disappointed to learn that it wasn’t picked up and I would never get to see how it would continue.

Then came word that Alex Kurtzman, who was an executive producer on pilot, was now looking to make a trilogy of films to tell the Locke & Key story.  So, when I got on the phone with author Joe Hill to talk about the big screen adaptation of Horns, hitting theaters on Halloween, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to get an update on the possibility of seeing Locke & Key on the big screen.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and stay tuned for what he had to say about Horns.


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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the most recent film from the director of Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange, a nice indie music dramedy produced by Judd Apatow, Zach Braff’s long-awaited directorial follow-up to Garden State, and more.  Briefly:

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