Will there ever be a great movie based on a video game?* I have my doubts. The problem is two-fold: if you stray too far from the material, fans get upset. If you’re too faithful, then you’ve basically recreated the game except the interactive aspect has been removed. But it’s important to keep in mind that most of the videogame movies we’ve seen so far are protagonist-based: Mario, Lara Croft, the Prince of Persia, etc. And then there are movies like Silent Hill and Wing Commander that just aren’t very good. But what if you took a talented director like Duncan Jones (Moon) and let him build a story out of a gigantic video game world? Legendary Pictures plans to do just that by having him adapt World of Warcraft.
Steve recently interviewed Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, who explained how WoW is going to be a successful video game movie. He also talked about the studio’s other upcoming projects including movies from Michael Mann and the directors of Kon-Tiki. Hit the jump for more, and click on the respective links for what Tull had to say about Man of Steel and Pacific Rim/Godzilla.
by Jason Barr Posted: February 2nd, 2013 at 3:07 pm
Prior to last Sunday, Zero Dark Thirty was my favorite pic of 2012 by a considerable margin. However, after my matinee viewing of Silver Linings Playbook, that margin has been replaced with a draw. Whereas Zero provided me with a tension that left me on the verge of breathless at moments, Playbook‘s spectacular performances and head-on portrayal of mental illness and our ability to help each other cope/prevail proved not only hugely entertaining but also quite cathartic.
My 2012 movie scorecard aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our set visit coverage of Oz the Great and Powerful, Duncan Jones being tapped to helm the World of Warcraft movie, more visit coverage from the set of Jack the Giant Slayer, a slew of news from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and a Sundance 2013 wrap-up. A brief recap and link to each of the above is promised after the jump.
A major development is taking place on the long-in-the-works feature film adaptation of the popular video game World of Warcraft. The project has been in the works for a number of years, with Sam Raimi attached to direct for quite some time. Raimi finally dropped off last summer so that he could focus full-time on Oz the Great and Powerful, and Legendary Pictures subsequently brought on screenwriter Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) to rewrite the screenplay, which was initially penned by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan). Now the studio is getting serious about making the movie happen, as Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones has been tapped to take the helm for a planned fall 2013 production start. Hit the jump for more.
[Update: The Tracking Board [via Bleeding Cool] hears that Warner Bros. wants Johnny Depp to star. Tracking boards are not the most reliable source, so treat this as a rumor for now as you note that Depp’s name is being mentioned in certain circles that chase such insider info. More official casting reports should arrive soon.]
2013 looks to be a pretty packed year for sci-fi, but one of the more innovative/exciting films of the genre from the past decade is certainly director Duncan Jones’ 2009 film Moon. Jones made excellent use of miniature effects to create the lunar landscape on a shockingly small budget ($5 million), and star Sam Rockwell turned in a powerhouse performance as he commands nearly the entirety of the film’s screentime alone/opposite himself.
Moon recently aired on BBC2 and Jones, being the generous and Twitter-friendly person that he is, took it upon himself to offer a live commentary on Twitter while the film aired. The filmmaker offered some fascinating insights into the film, including how they finally convinced Kevin Spacey to voice Gerty and the fact that Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum) was poised to tackle the lead role should Rockwell back out at the last minute. Jones was also joined by some of the film’s technical collaborators on the Tweet commentary as well. Hit the jump for some of the highlights. Obviously, major spoilers for Moon follow.
Though the next James Bond film, Skyfall, is due later this year, another kind of Bond films is already in the works. It was announced that Duncan Jones (Moon) has signed on to direct “the action-packed” story of James Bond creator Ian Fleming. Jones had this to say about the gig:
“Fleming lived through one of the most perilous periods in world history, in a position that allowed him a unique vantage point of all the players, all the stakes. He witnesses true heroism first-hand. And he saw the evil men could do. Then, when the war ended, he went off to write fiction. The essential question for me is; where did Ian Fleming end and Bond begin?”
The author masterminded real-life secret operations before he created the James Bond book series, so there’s obviously quite a lot to draw from. Hit the jump for more details.
Following a bit of a mad scramble to replace departing director Gary Ross, Lionsgate seems to have settled on his replacement for the impending Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. We recently learned that the studio had narrowed their list down to two choices: Moneyball director Bennett Miller and I Am Legend’s Francis Lawrence. Now comes word that Lionsgate plans to extend the offer to—drumroll please—Mr. Lawrence! Hit the jump for more.
After hitting the big screen earlier this year, it looks like Duncan Jones’ sci-fi, Groundhog Day reminiscent film Source Code will be getting a television series adaptation as well. THR reports The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios are working on the series adaptation to be set up at CBS, the first off-network sale for ABC Studios. Taking the form of a procedural drama, the series would follows three former federal agents who are part of a top-secret program who will use the Source Code technology to jump into the consciousness of people involved in tragic events.
Although Jones will apparently have no hand in the series (he tweeted earlier that he learned of its development via the almighty Internet), this is one of the better and more appropriate film-to-TV adaptations I’ve heard about in a while, and I’m definitely interested to see how they expand on the complex plot and timelines from the film itself. Steve Maeda (who has worked on Lie to Me and Lost) will write the potential new series, but no word on who might direct the pilot just yet. Stay tuned.
Source Code is a fast-paced thriller in which the military can transport a soldier into the final 8 minutes of a dead man’s memory to gain access to a crime scene that has come and gone. This time-travelling plot device is more than vaguely familiar, as it is a culmination of concepts previously seen in Groundhog Day, Déjà vu, and the Quantum Leap TV series, but, when blended with a Twilight Zone-meets-Hitchcockian adventure vibe, this effort feels wholly original in a year swamped with sequels.
While not as intellectually compelling as director Duncan Jones’ Moon, it wasn’t designed to be. Where Moon was contemplative of its themes and sported a career-high turn from Sam Rockwell, this strong sophomore effort’s goal was to entertain and excite, and it fully succeeds on both counts. Duncan Jones proves he is still a talent to keep close tabs on. After living its first days on the screenplay blacklist, Source Code now finds itself readily available to the widest audience possible on home video. Hit the jump to read my review of the Source Code Blu-ray.
Director Duncan Jones recently did a press tour for his new film Source Code and I was lucky that one of the stops on his tour was Atlanta. With Source Code and his previous film Moon, Jones is quickly emerging as one of Hollywood’s strongest directors for intelligent sci-fi. I, along with several other outlets, sat down with Jones to talk about Source Code, his pet project Mute, another sci-fi project he’s working on that he calls “Like Mute but makable”, and a host of other topics. We also discussed the ending of Source Code and since there are obviously spoilers, I’ve highlighted those portions in red.
Hit the jump to check out the interview and click here to see Steve’s video interview with Jones. Also, thanks to Ben Garman for providing the transcription. Source Code is in theaters now and you can click here to read my review.
With his 2009 film Moon, director Duncan Jones demanded that audiences sit up and take notice of smart science fiction. Audiences then wondered why everything was so quiet, slow, and moody and became impatient for stuff to start blowing up real good. For his second feature, Source Code, Jones has made a more accessible sci-fi that delivers on fast-paced action, lots of explosions, sharp dialogue, while still using sci-fi as a means to explore powerful themes about identity and sacrifice. Even when the story steers towards a forced “happy” ending, it still comes up with enough ambiguity to make the trip worthwhile.
Opening this weekend is Summit Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller Source Code. Directed by Duncan Jones (who previously made the incredible Moon), the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. If you aren’t familiar with the plot, Gyllenhaal stars as a soldier who wakes up in the body of a stranger on a Chicago commuter train and “learns he’s part of a government experiment called the ‘Source Code,’ a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life.” If you’re nervous that Jones was a one hit wonder, don’t be. Source Code is an intelligent thriller that’s definitely worth your time. You can read Scott’s review here. I also definitely recommend it.
A few days ago I covered the Los Angeles press day and I spoke to Jones about t-shirts, what’s his karaoke song, the challenge of editing Source Code, how tough was it to settle on a project after the success of Moon, SXSW, what will be on the DVD/Blu-ray, deleted scenes, and he talks about his next film which he is writing right now. Says it’s an original sci-fi story. Hit the jump to watch:
Opening on April 1 is Summit Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller Source Code. Directed by Duncan Jones (who previously made the incredible Moon), the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. If you aren’t familiar with the plot, Gyllenhaal stars as a soldier who wakes up in the body of a stranger on a Chicago commuter train and “learns he’s part of a government experiment called the ‘Source Code,’ a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life.” If you’re nervous that Jones was a one hit wonder, don’t be. Source Code is an intelligent thriller that’s definitely worth your time. You can read Scott’s review here.
A few days ago I sat down with Gyllenhaal and he told me how the project came together, which of his previous films people always want to talk about, what’s up with David O. Russell’s Nailed, and he tells me what are his karaoke songs. I’ve been asking the karaoke question a lot recently and his answer was one of the best. Hit the jump to watch:
Summit has put the first five minutes of Duncan Jones’ Source Code online for your viewing pleasure. I would advise you to not watch it. Jones does such a great job of building momentum and helping launch you into the movie that while you’ll definitely want to see what happens next, that impulse will be diminished when you end up seeing the film since you’ll know what to expect. Source Code is inventive, thoughtful, and thrilling and it’s best if you just go in cold.
However, if you must see parts of this movie now, then you can check out the first five minutes of the film plus four clips. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan, and Jeffrey Wright. Source Code opens April 1st.
A slew of films are having their world premieres at Austin’s SXSW Film Festival this year, but only one could be chosen to open the Festival up this past Friday evening. Duncan Jones’ Source Code– starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jeffrey Wright, and Vera Farmiga– was granted that honor, and everyone in the audience was curious to see if Jones (whose first film, Moon, marked one helluva debut for this sci-fi-friendly director when it played SXSW two years ago) was going to deliver. So, was Source Code as good as Moon? Did it live up to the hype? Is Jones as on-point directing someone else’s script as he is when he’s directing something he’s written? Find out after the break.
When we last reported on Duncan Jones’ Mute, the project was in limbo. The script is reportedly takes cues from Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and centers on a mute bartender in 2046 Berlin who must go against the city’s gangsters in order to find his girlfriend. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate well to a collector’s cup so the project is having trouble finding funding. Jones, whose new film Source Code opens April 1st, says that he’s going to adapt the story in to a graphic novel and hope that makes the property more attractive to investors. Speaking to Gordon and the Whale, Jones explains:
Although, I can sort of tell you that I’ve been talking to my producer today and we have decided that we’re going to release MUTE as a graphic novel. Because we’ve had so many problems trying to get this film made, you know? The people who are involved with financing films have just been…shy…shy of making the script. So what we decided to do is we’re going to make a graphic novel of it, prove it…prove it to an audience that this works and maybe in the future get the chance to come back and make it.
In the meantime, Jones is working on an untitled project that he hopes will fulfill his need to make a Blade Runner-like “city-based, futuristic sci-fi film.”