Sony Pictures Removes Latest THE INTERVIEW Promo along with All Clips; Cancels Worldwide Release

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Last night, Sony Pictures released a new The Interview spot proclaiming “In Franco and Rogen We Trust”.  Sony had previously yanked the movie from theaters following the major theater chains’ refusal to show the film after the cyber-terrorists who hacked Sony releasing a new statement threatening attacks on theaters that screened the picture.  The new promo provided hope that perhaps the studio was going to release the film on VOD, but it looks like their trust in Franco and Rogen has dissipated.

The studio has now taken down the promo from their YouTube page as well as any clips from the film, perhaps in the hopes that we’ll forget it ever existed because if there’s any way a studio can further appease a terrorist organization, they’re more than willing to do so (just ask Paramount, who refused permission to screen Team America: World Police for theaters that wanted something to replace The Interview).  Hit the jump for more on these unprecedented developments in this bizarre and depressing situation.

New EX MACHINA Featurette Explores the Themes of the Upcoming Sci-Fi Film Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander

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A new Ex Machina featurette has gone online, and it has me even more excited for the movie.  Written and directed by Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine), the film stars Domhnall Gleeson as a computer programmer who wins a contest to meet with the CEO of a large search engine company (Oscar Isaac), but when he arrives, he discovers he’s part of an experiment to test the artificial intelligence of an android (Alicia Vikander).  It’s a terrific premise, and in this featurette, the cast and Garland explain the various themes they’re trying to explore with the movie.  I was hoping the picture would play at Sundance, but sadly, I’ll have to wait until April to see it.

Hit the jump to check out the Ex Machina featurette.  The film opens April 10th.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Director J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Chewbacca, and More Say “Thank You” for Donations

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Back in May when Star Wars: The Force Awakens started filming, director J.J. Abrams announced the “Force for Change” campaign, which invited fans to donate to support UNICEF in exchange for prizes and even a chance to have a cameo in the movie.  The winner of the cameo was announced in August, but even if you didn’t win, you still helped raised over $5 million dollars to support UNICEF programs.  And for that, Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy, crew members, R2-D2, and Chewbacca say “Thank you.”  I suppose C-3P0 was off somewhere being an ungrateful jerk, whining about something or other.  Fucking Threepio.

Hit the jump to check out the Star Wars: The Force Awakens thank you video.  The film opens December 18, 2015, and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker.

New JURASSIC WORLD Image Has Chris Pratt Ridin’ with Raptors; Director Colin Trevorrow Teases the Threat of “The Other”

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Yesterday, we got a new Jurassic World image of Chris Pratt hanging out with a raptor, which felt like a way of doubling down on one of the more controversial aspects of the first trailer—shouldn’t raptors be scary?  Isn’t it cooler if they’re wild and undomesticated?  Of course, we don’t know the context of this perceived friendship or how it will play out, so I’ll give director Colin Trevorrow the benefit of the doubt, especially since a new image has been released that shows researcher Owen (Pratt) riding a motorcycle alongside his raptor pals.  But perhaps they’re not friends as much uneasy allies since this time there’s a much bigger threat out in the park.

Hit the jump to check out the new Jurassic World image and learn new details about the plot.  The film also stars Bryce Dallas HowardNick RobinsonTy SimpkinsVincent D’OnofrioIrrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy and Judy GreerJurassic World opens in theaters in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 12, 2015.

James Gunn Reveals Uncut AWESOME MIX: VOL. 1; Includes Cheap Trick and Three Dog Night

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Guardians of the Galaxy has its flaws, but its one of the few films of 2014 where my mind kept drifting back to it and all the scenes I loved.  It’s easily one of the most enjoyable films of the year, and part of the enjoyment comes from its delightful soundtrack.  It’s not that all of the songs are great (“The Pina Colada Song” plays on a loop in Hell), but they gave the movie its own vibe and atmosphere.

However, what we got in the film wasn’t the original, uncut “Awesome Mix: Vol. 1″.  Director and co-writer James Gunn has revealed the full set-list, which includes some fun songs that didn’t end up in the movie such as Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” and Three Dog Night’s “Never Been to Spain”.  Hit the jump for the full setlist and to learn how Gunn settled on the final soundtrack.

ANNIE Review

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The story of Annie, whether it’s in the comics, the stage play, the 1982 adaptation, or Will Gluck‘s new, updated version, requires relentless positivity to combat its cynical message.  Annie must devote an entire song to the power of optimism because the story basically celebrates the lottery and the benevolence of the wealthy while also trying to show that love is the most valuable treasure of all.  One way to handle that conflict is to put on the biggest smile possible.  The other is the route Gluck has gone with his version, which is to be constantly clever, charming, and embracing a modern twist on the character even if it requires new songs that may not be quite as memorable as “Tomorrow” or “Hard-Knock Life”, but still channel the fun and upbeat attitude of the character.  Filled with great performances from most of the cast, Annie is a funny, joyous update that keeps the musical’s upbeat attitude intact while still dancing to its own tune.

Alamo Drafthouse and other Theaters Denied Permission by Paramount to Show TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE

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This is why we can’t have nice things when people give into terrorism.  Terrorism wants us to be afraid, and fear causes people to make bad decisions.  Movie theaters—places where people are already reluctant to go for a variety of reasons—pulled The Interview following non-credible threats from the cyber-terrorists who attacked Sony.  Sony subsequently canceled the film’s release, and after slightly mulling over a VOD release, decided against it with no further plans for release (passing on VOD may have been a way to collect on the insurance).  These are bad decisions that can set a dangerous precedent and ramifications.  We already saw a glimpse of it yesterday with New Regency canceling the Gore Verbinski comedy Pyongyang.

The Alamo Drafthouse responded to being unable to show The Interview by making the good decision to show another comedy that poked fun at North Korea, Team America: World Police, a film that holds up on its own merits, not just because it’s become timely.  But now Paramount Pictures is shutting down screenings; screenings that would tell terrorists, “We will not let you control what we are and aren’t allowed to watch.  We don’t live in your shithole country.”  Hit the jump for more.

First CRIMSON PEAK Image Features Jessica Chastain in Gothic Garb for Guillermo Del Toro’s New Ghost Story

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Guillermo Del Toro‘s Crimson Peak is easily one of my most-anticipated films of 2015.  It’s been eight years since Pan’s Labyrinth was released, and the director will now be returning to a smaller canvas following Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Pacific Rim (not to mention the false starts on The Hobbit and At the Mountains of Madness).  Crimson Peak is part-ghost story, part-gothic romance, and part-haunted house flick.  Putting that combination together in the hands of Del Toro is an incredibly exciting prospect, and that’s not to mention a stellar cast featuring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam

The first Crimson Peak image has been released, and it shows Chastain in a beautiful crushed blue velvet dress, standing in dilapidated surroundings.  The trailer we saw at Comic-Con (one of the few that hasn’t officially been released online) was terrific, and I’m eager to see what else Del Toro has in store.  Hit the jump to check out the image, and click here for our set visit report.  Crimson Peak opens in regular theaters and IMAX on October 16, 2015.

Check out New Images from THE VOICES Starring Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton; Film Set for Release in Theaters and VOD on February 6th

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I missed The Voices at Sundance and TIFF, and it has hurt both times because I’ve heard the film is delightfully insane.  Insane to the point where even though Lionsgate acquired, there was the question if the movie could even be released.  Thankfully, the film now has release date and Lionsgate has provided some new images as well.  Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, and Jacki Weaver star in the psychological thriller about Jerry Hickfang (Reynolds), a factory worker who fancies his co-worker in accounting.  Per the official synopsis, “When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation.”  Adam liked the film when he saw it at Sundance, and I can’t wait to finally give it a look when it’s released on VOD and in theaters on February 6th.

Hit the jump to check out The Voices images.

Evangeline Lilly Provides New ANT-MAN Details; Says It’s “Very Much a Heist Film”

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Ant-Man really does feel like the red-headed stepchild of the Marvel franchise right now.  I know it hasn’t been forgotten and we’ll hear more about it in the not-too-distant future, but right now it has the misfortune of coming off the heels of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it’s not considered big enough to kick off Phase Three (which will begin with Captain America: Civil War).  That’s not to mention the production drama that went down before filming.

But that doesn’t mean the movie won’t be good, and I’m excited to see a film that looks different from anything we’ve seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Evangeline Lilly is excited too, and she recently commented on the upcoming superhero movie.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.  Ant-Man opens July 17, 2015, and also stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “Ti” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Jordi Mollà, and Michael Peña.

New LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT Images Feature Tye Sheridan, Ciarán Hinds, and Ayelet Zurer in the Biblical Drama Starring Ewan McGregor as Jesus

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There are a lot of must-see films for me at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and hovering around the top of the list is Rodrigo Garcia‘s Last Days in the Desert.  The plot takes place during Jesus’ forty days in the desert, but here’s the twist—Ewan McGregor is playing both Jesus and the Devil, and Jesus is tested by the Devil when confronted by the fate of a family in crisis.  We previously saw McGregor as Jesus, and now we have images of the family—Tye Sheridan (Mud) as “The Boy”,  Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones) as “The Father”, and Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel) as “The Mother”.

Hit the jump to check out the new Last Days in the Desert images.  The film will make its world premiere on January 25th at 6:30pm in the Eccles Theater.

Don’t Expect to See THE INTERVIEW Anytime Soon; Sony Says It Has “No Further Release Plans”

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Following last night’s news that Sony had decided not to release The Interview after major theater chains refused to screen the film, I saw people on Twitter popping up saying that Sony should release the movie on VOD right now as if there was some switch waiting to be flipped.  Considering that movies stay in theaters for 3-4 months before hitting VOD, I don’t think there was someone at Apple or Amazon waiting by the phone, ready to put the film up for rent or purchase at a moment’s notice.

I don’t know how we’ll see The Interview, but I double it will be anytime soon.  Hit the jump for more.

Sony Hack Fallout Continues; New Regency Cancels Gore Verbinski’s PYONGYANG Starring Steve Carell

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Some people are joking that the Sony hack is a viral campaign for The Interview, but a more accurate joke would be a viral campaign for Blackhat, a movie about how much power a hacker can wield in the digital age.  Movie theaters have caved to terrorist threats, and now New Regency is avoiding the problem altogether by canceling Gore Verbinski‘s adaptation of Guy Delisle‘s graphic novel Pyongyang, which is a memoir following “the French-Canadian cartoonist’s travels through North Korea after obtaining a work visa (a rarity for a Westerner) for his job on a children’s cartoon show,” but his journey becomes complicated when he’s accused of espionage.

According to The Wrap, Verbinski was prepping to start filming in March with Steve Carell set to star in the comedy, but now New Regency is the latest company to cave into fear, which is exactly what terrorists want.  This is a movie the company could have billed as “From the Director of Pirates of the Caribbean” and starring a likely Oscar-nominee, and they’re choosing to drop it.  With The Interview and now Pyongyang, the message is clear: don’t make fun of North Korea or else.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of Delisle’s book.

Want to Write for Collider? We’re Now Accepting Internship Applications

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I’ve been working for Collider since 2007, and over the years we’ve added great people to our team. The site continues to expand, and we are now accepting applications for paid internships (if you are still in college, you can receive college credit).  One position is Los Angeles-based and the other is based outside of L.A.  If you’re looking to build a portfolio, get real experience writing about movies professionally, and contribute to our great site, we would love to read your application.

Hit the jump for more details on who we’re looking for, the responsibilities of the job, and how to apply. We will be accepting applications through January 1st and begin looking through them shortly thereafter.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Director Jon Favreau Shares Behind-the-Scenes Images of Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and More

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Jon Favreau is a pro at working social media (he even made using Twitter a plot point in Chef), and he’s using his skills to showcase his upcoming film, The Jungle Book (not to be confused with Jungle Book: Origins, which is being directed by Andy Serkis).  The director has released the first set photo from the movie along with behind-the-scenes images of voice actors Bill Murray (Baloo), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Christopher Walken (King Louie), and musician Kermit Ruffins.  The film will be a blend of live-action and CG animation, with Neel Sethi filling the live-action role of Mowgli, a young boy who is raised in the jungle by wolves and goes on a journey of self-discovery when he comes to the civilized world.

Hit the jump to check out The Jungle Book set photos.  The film opens October 9, 2015, and also features the voices of Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and Giancarlo Esposito.

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