Brad Bird and Edgar Wright Endorse Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

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Every Christopher Nolan film nowadays comes with high expectations, but the anticipation for Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar is, shall we say, outta this world (I’m so sorry).  Interest is at a fever pitch for the film, which promises astonishing visuals, scientifically grounded inter-dimensional travel, and strong performances from Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, etc.  As with all Christopher Nolan films, though, Interstellar has been shrouded in secrecy, so refreshingly we still know very little about the kind of movie we’ll be seeing.  However, the film is now fully complete and private screenings have started to take place.

While there’s no doubt some kind of embargo placed on Interstellar reactions for the time being (critics see it very soon), two highly talented and trusted filmmakers have weighed in with their thoughts: Brad Bird and Edgar Wright.  See what they had to say about the film after the jump.

Charlie Cox Says the DAREDEVIL Netflix Show Is “Much, Much Darker” Than Anything Marvel’s Done Before

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Whether you’re a fan of their output or not, there’s no denying that Marvel Studios’ ambition is impressive.  They seem to really be swinging for the fences by kicking off the Civil War storyline in Captain America 3, and while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t the slam dunk many were expecting from the studio’s first foray into television, their subsequent TV offerings promise to at least move into different territory.  The upcoming ABC series Agent Carter has a period setting and is essentially a prequel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix show will kick off a mini Marvel universe on the small screen.

We recently got our first look at Daredevil star Charlie Cox as the titular superhero, and now the actor has spoken a bit more about the Netflix series, saying it’s significantly darker than anything Marvel has done before.  Read on after the jump.

James Wan Returning to Direct THE CONJURING 2, and Maybe a DC Comics Movie

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Filmmaker James Wan is returning to the horror genre.  While the director behind Saw and Insidious hit a high mark with last year’s terrific The Conjuring, he subsequently opted to try his talents outside the horror genre by taking over the Fast & Furious franchise.  Fast & Furious 7 proved to be an incredibly tough shoot due to Paul Walker’s unfortunate passing in the middle of production, with Wan recently telling us it was both the hardest film he’s ever made and the one he’s most proud of.  Thanks to the massive commercial (and critical) success of The Conjuring, Warner Bros. set the wheels in motion for a sequel.  The film was initially slated to open next Halloween, but it was unclear if Wan would be returning to the director’s chair or if he would continue to focus his talents on other genres.

Last night Warner Bros. announced that it was pushing the release of The Conjuring 2 to 2016, and now it appears we have a reason for the release date shift: Wan is, in fact, returning to direct.  Hit the jump for more, including Wan’s future with the Fast & Furious franchise.

Monday TV Ratings: GOTHAM and THE BLACKLIST Slide; SLEEPY HOLLOW Ticks Up

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TV ratings for Monday, October 20th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • NBC’s The Blacklist dropped a considerable four tenths from last week, earning a 2.4 rating in the 18-49 demo and scoring 9.37 million viewers.
  • Fox’s silly yet enjoyable Gotham (read Dave’s recap here) was also down, garnering a 2.2 rating and 5.99 million viewers for a drop of two tenths from last week.  Sleepy Hollow ticked up to a 1.8 rating and scored 5 million viewers.
  • Over on CBS, The Big Bang Theory was down a tenth to a 4.4 rating and 15.65 million viewers, while the second season premiere of The Millers earned a 2.2 rating and scored 9.13 million viewers.  That’s down a tenth from last year’s season finale, but the comedy lost half of its lead-in audience from TBBT.  The new drama Scorpion was even with last week’s 2.4 rating and scored 10.52 million viewers, and NCIS: Los Angeles was up a tenth to a 1.7 rating and 8.65 million viewers.
  • ABC’s Castle dipped three tenths to a 1.6 rating and 9.29 million viewers.
  • The CW’s The Originals matched last week’s 0.7 rating and scored 1.54 million viewers, and Jane the Virgin was up a tenth to a 0.7 rating and 1.75 million viewers.

Pixar Confirms Peter Sohn as THE GOOD DINOSAUR Director with Teaser Video

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The folks at Pixar are no stranger to significantly overhauling their films during production—Ratatouille and Toy Story 2 were both essentially started over from scratch when Brad Bird and John Lassetter replaced the previous directors, respectively—but The Good Dinosaur has been a curious case.  The film was initially planned as Up co-director Bob Peterson’s first Pixar film as principal director, but Peterson was removed from the project nine months before release.  Then, eight months before release, Pixar pushed The Good Dinosaur off its May 2014 release date all the way back to November 25, 2015.  When Peterson was taken off the project, Pixar neglected to name a replacement and simply stated that the Pixar Brain Trust was acting as interim director for the time being.

The last official word we heard about the film was over a year ago, but now things appear to be back on track as Pixar has finally confirmed the film’s director as Peter Sohn, who was to act as Peterson’s co-director on the project.  Hit the jump for more, including a short teaser video from Sohn himself.

Adam McKay Says UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT Isn’t Happening; THE BIG SHORT Is Next But STEP BROTHERS 2 Could Happen in a Few Years

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Adam McKay is certainly one of the most talented people working in the comedy genre today, with a career that goes back to his days as head writer on SNL and includes writing and directing evergreen comedies like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and Step Brothers.  Recently, though, McKay has shown an ambitiousness that sees him branching out into different avenues.  He tackled his first sequel with the absurdly funny Anchorman 2, he worked with collaborator Paul Rudd to rewrite Marvel Studios’ upcoming superhero film Ant-Man, and his next film may seem him taking on dramatic material.

Steve recently sat down with McKay in anticipation of the upcoming short film series We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss, and during the course of their conversation he provided updates on a number of upcoming projects.  He revealed that his Uptown Saturday Night remake is not going forward, but said it’s looking like he will next tackle the housing/credit crisis film The Big Short, adapted from the Michael Lewis (Moneyball) book of the same name.  He also discussed other projects that are in the works, and said Step Brothers 2 is ready to go but he wants to tackle a few other kinds of films first before going back to another sequel.  Much more after the jump.

Simon Kinberg Explains Why We Haven’t Seen Anything from THE FANTASTIC FOUR

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As we laid out recently, there are a lot of superhero movies coming up; the year 2016 will bring us seven such films alone.  One of the biggest question marks in the near future, however, is The Fantastic Four reboot.  It’s not so much that there’s doubt about director Josh Trank (Chronicle) rebooting the material, or that fans are unsure about the casting—Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Tobey Kebbell is a really solid lineup.  It’s that we haven’t seen a single thing from this movie yet.  Granted, it isn’t set to hit theaters until next August, but by this point we’ve usually seen something from a property of this scale.  Marvel released the first Ant-Man image and poster the week that filming began.  Warner Bros. has been rolling out a number of promo images for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and that doesn’t come out until 2016.

There’s been plenty of speculation as to why 20th Century Fox hasn’t shown anything from The Fantastic Four yet, but producer Simon Kinberg recently offered an explanation for the delay: it’s all about making the best first impression possible.  More after the jump.

Fox Orders Comedy-Horror Anthology Series SCREAM QUEENS from GLEE Creators

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Producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have had a pretty successful partnership that goes back to Nip/Tuck, with the duo spearheading the hit FX horror anthology series American Horror Story and the upcoming true crime anthology series American Crime Story.  Murphy and Falchuk added one more person to their team in creating the Fox comedy Glee, producing the musical comedy series with Ian Brennan.  As Glee winds down its current final season, the trio is planning a new show to premiere in Fall 2015, Scream Queens.  Fox has given a straight-to-series order for the comedy-horror show, which will also be an anthology series that “resets” each season with a new setting and story.  Hit the jump for much more on the show.

Director David Ayer Says His SUICIDE SQUAD Movie Is “THE DIRTY DOZEN with Supervillains”

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Warner Bros. dropped a number of news bombs last week when it unveiled its slate of DC Comics movies through the year 2020, announcing casting and director news in the process.  One of the more curious revelations was the fact that a Suicide Squad movie would be the first DC adaptation to hit theaters after the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March 2016.  Instead of following the sure-to-be-massive superhero pic up with something more recognizable like Wonder Woman or even Aquaman, Warner Bros. is going with a more obscure title that will certainly be an outlier in the superhero genre.

Fury and End of Watch director David Ayer was confirmed as the director of Suicide Squad—the story of a group of supervillains on missions—during the news dump, and now Ayer has spoken a bit about his plans for the comic book adaptation.  Ayer likened the film to the Lee Marvin-fronted 1967 classic The Dirty Dozen, and spoke about its lack of heroes.  Read on after the jump.

Disney Animation Announces New Ocean-Set Adventure Film MOANA for Release in 2016; Concept Art Unveiled

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On the cusp of the release of Walt Disney Animation’s first Marvel adaptation, Big Hero 6, the studio has announced a new animated film for release in 2016.  Moana is described as “a sweeping, CG-animated comedy-adventure” that revolves around a spirited teenager and born navigator who sets out to fulfill her ancestors’ quest.   The filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker is directing, and their previous credits include The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Treasure PlanetMoana takes place in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, and the story finds the titular adventurer teaming up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, and traversing the ocean, encountering many creatures in the process.  We initially heard word of this film last year, with a report saying it would be done in the animation style of the fantastic short Paperman.  The visuals are unconfirmed in today’s announcement beyond the fact that it is CG-animated, but it would certainly be swell to have a uniquely styled animated film in theaters from Disney.

The film will be released in late 2016, but the studio still doesn’t have any film scheduled for release in 2015.  The animal-centric Zootopia is slated for March 4, 2016 and the folkloric Giants is also in development.  It’s possible one of these films could be moved up, or 2015 could be the first year without a Walt Disney Animation film since 2006.  Check out the first Moana concept art and the official synopsis after the jump.

THE COMEBACK Makes a Comeback in Full-Length Trailer for New Episodes

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HBO has released a full-length The Comeback trailer for the revival of the critically acclaimed but short-lived comedy series starring Lisa Kudrow.  The cult favorite premiered in 2005 to rave reviews, as its mockumentary style followed a washed-up sitcom actress whose “comeback” on a new sitcom was captured by a documentary crew.  In many ways the show was ahead of its time, and Kudrow was magnificent in the lead role.  HBO has resurrected the series for a new six-episode event, and this new trailer shows that everyone is back—yes, even Jane.  This new engagement picks up nine years after the events of the first season, as Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish has been tapped to star in an HBO series.  The trailer is really, really funny, and I can’t wait to devour these new episodes when they premiere on HBO next month.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Comeback trailer.  The show also stars Malin Akerman, Kellan Lutz, Lance Barber, Robert Michael Morris, and Mark Berman.  New episodes of The Comeback begin airing on HBO on November 9th.

Weekend Box Office: FURY Tops the Weekend with $23.5 Million; GONE GIRL Crosses $100 Million

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Director David Ayer’s World War II film Fury topped the box office this weekend, dethroning David Fincher’s Gone Girl with a solid $23.5 million.  The unrelentingly brutal Brad Pitt-fronted picture had one of the best openings for a WWII film of all time, placing fourth just behind Saving Private Ryan, Inglourious Basterds, and the current champion Pearl Harbor.  It also marked Ayer’s biggest opening as a director by $10 million, and audiences were satisfied by the finished result as the film netted an A- CinemaScore.  Another of the weekend’s big new releases, the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature The Book of Life, pulled in $17 million and landed in third place overall, while the Nicholas Sparks romance The Best of Me scored a mere $10.2 million for fifth place, making it the lowest debut for a Sparks drama ever.

Read the full weekend box office report and get a look at the complete Top 10 after the jump.

Adam McKay Talks Rewriting ANT-MAN with Paul Rudd; Reveals They Added “a Giant Action Sequence”, Made the Film Bigger and “a Little More Aggressive”

by     Posted 6 days ago

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While Ant-Man was one of the first feature film projects that Marvel Studios began developing, it went through some rather dramatic changes just months before finally starting production this summer.  Filmmaker Edgar Wright had been developing the movie for years, writing the screenplay with Joe Cornish and even casting the majority of the roles, but he left the project a few months before production over creative differences with Marvel.  The studio worked quickly to keep the project together and eventually signed Peyton Reed to direct, but before that Anchorman and Step Brothers director Adam McKay briefly flirted with the director’s chair.  While McKay subsequently opted not to take the helm, he did agree to come onboard as a screenwriter, fine tuning the script in the months leading up to the start of filming.

Steve recently spoke with McKay in anticipation of the upcoming short film series We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss, and during the course of their conversation McKay talked a bit about his involvement with Ant-ManPaul Rudd told us at Comic-Con that he had been working with McKay “every day for six weeks” on the Ant-Man script, and McKay confirmed as much in this new interview, elaborating on how he got involved in the project and his initial apprehension.  McKay also discussed the nature of the rewrite, saying they added some action beats and made the script “a little bigger, a little more aggressive, and funnier in places.”  Much more after the jump.

Mondo Unveils GREMLINS and FARGO Knit Sweaters

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If you want to prepare for the holidays in style, the good folks at Mondo have you covered.  Today they unveiled a pair of heavy knit sweaters that are currently available for pre-order, and they’re pretty fantastic.  There’s a Gremlins knit sweater and a Fargo knit sweater, each designed by Middle of Beyond and made out of 100% acrylic.  Both sweaters range in size from XS to 3XL, and they’ll run you $85 each.  The Fargo one is based on the TV series rather than the Coen brothers masterpiece, but it’s solid nevertheless.  My favorite, though, is the Gremlins sweater.  It walks the fine line between stylish and tacky, and it features a variety of different Gremlins from Joe Dante’s 1984 film.

Hit the jump to take a closer look at the sweaters and to find out how you can get one for yourself.

Thursday TV Ratings: GRACEPOINT, SCANDAL, and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER Dip; VAMPIRE DIARIES Rises

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TV ratings for Thursday, October 16th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy was even with last week’s 2.4 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 8.45 million viewers, while the network’s other two dramas were both down.  Scandal (read Allison’s recap here) dipped 3% to a 2.9 rating and scored 9.84 million viewers, while a terrific episode of How to Get Away With Murder dropped 13% from last week to a 2.7 rating and 9.67 million viewers.
  • On Fox, Bones matched last week’s 1.6 rating and scored 6.41 million viewers, while Gracepoint (read Allison’s recap here) continues to falter, dropping 11% to a 0.8 rating and 3.82 million viewers.
  • NBC’s Bad Judge dipped a tenth from last week to a 1.2 rating and 4.69 million viewers, A to Z matched last week’s 1.0 rating and scored 3.36 million viewers, and Parenthood was even with last week’s 1.3 rating and scored 4.14 million viewers.
  • Over at The CW, The Vampire Diaries was up 13% to a 0.8 rating and scored 1.96 million viewers, while Reign rose 25% to a 0.5 rating and 1.36 million viewers.
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