Obama Says Sony “Made a Mistake” By Pulling THE INTERVIEW

by     Posted 2 days ago

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While we’ve been passing up more Sony stories than we’ve been posting this week (since we’re declining to publish gossip-y emails and speculative scoops related to the hack), the fact remains that there is some actual, material news coming out of this situation.  And whenever the President of the United States weighs in on status of the new Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg film, that feels like movie news to me.

On the heels of the FBI’s confirmation that North Korea was behind the cyber-attack on Sony, President Barack Obama took his year-end speech as an opportunity to address the situation, denouncing Sony’s decision to cancel the release (going so far to remove clips of the film from the internet) of The Interview.  And I agree with him almost 100%.  Hit the jump for more on Obama’s comments regarding Sony, The Interview, and not giving in to terrorists.

Sony Cancels Theatrical Release of THE INTERVIEW; Mulling VOD Premiere [Updated]

by     Posted 4 days ago

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With the top five theater chains in the country now saying they won’t be showing directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s political comedy The Interview during its scheduled opening day of December 25th, Sony Pictures is now trying to figure out what to do with the film.  In case you somehow haven’t been paying attention, theater-owners today opted to pull The Interview from their theaters after an anonymous hacker group threatened to bomb screenings of the film on opening day.  This is all very fresh, as news of the big theaters pulling out broke hours ago, but the immediate response from many was to ask Sony to simply put the movie out on VOD, ensuring that it will still be shown to anyone that wants to see it.  Now word comes that a The Interview VOD release is definitely something the studio is considering.  More after the jump.

[Update: Sony has officially canceled the December 25th theatrical release of The Interview.  Read their full statement after the jump.]

AMC Orders PREACHER Pilot from Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Sam Catlin, and Neal Moritz; Series Would Air in 2016

by     Posted 18 days ago

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AMC has been developing a series based on the Garth Ennis comic Preacher with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Sam Catlin, and Neal Moritz for about a year now.  Tonight, the network officially ordered a Preacher pilot.  Rogen and Goldberg remarked:

Preacher has been our favorite comic since it first came out.  Garth Ennis is one of our idols and it’s an incredible honor to be working on this.  We promise we won’t make too many dick jokes and ruin it.”

Rogen and Goldberg wrote the script and plan to direct the pilot.  Catlin is the showrunner.  They will shoot the pilot in 2015 for series consideration in 2016.  For more on Preacher, check out Evan’s primer on the story, the characters, and the controversy and our interviews with Rogen and Goldberg.  Hit the jump for the press release.

Kim Jong-Un and James Franco Are Katy Perry Fans in New THE INTERVIEW Trailer

by     Posted 27 days ago

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Sony has released a new The Interview trailer for This Is the End directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s upcoming comedy.  James Franco and Rogen star as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  This new trailer introduces the film’s iteration of the North Korean dictator, played by Veep standout Randall Park.  We only get a brief glimpse of the character here, but it’s a promising introduction and I’m very eager to see how far Rogen and Goldberg take things as the full film progresses.

Watch the new (and apparently final) The Interview trailer after the jump, and if you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage be sure to check out interviews with Rogen, Goldberg & Franco, Park, and his full set visit reportLizzy Caplan also stars.  The Interview opens in theaters on December 25th.

VFX Supervisor Paul Linden Talks Turning Vancouver Into North Korea on the Set of THE INTERVIEW

by     Posted 47 days ago

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Last year when directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were filming The Interview (their directorial follow up to This is The End) in Vancouver, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  As most of you know from the extremely funny red and green band trailers, James Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.

During a break in filming, I participated in a group interview with VFX Supervisor Paul Linden.  He talked about turning Vancouver into North Korea, creating Kim Jong-un’s compound, how the film has a “helicopter tank battle that’s pretty massive,” and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.  The Interview is in theaters December 25th.

Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco Talk Real-Life Inspiration, Improvisation, Franco’s Instagram, and More on the Set of THE INTERVIEW

by     Posted 81 days ago

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Last year when directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were filming The Interview (their directorial follow up to This is The End) in Vancouver, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  As most of you know from the extremely funny red and green band trailers, James Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un (Randall Park).  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.

During a break in filming, I participated in a group interview with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and James Franco.  They talked about how the project came together, pulling from real-life inspiration, improvisation, Franco’s Instagram, how they wanted to do things people don’t usually do in comedy and “abandon how comedies look as much as we possibly could,” how the film should play out like a serious, political thriller that’s loaded with jokes, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either listen to or read the interview.

20 Things to Know About Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s THE INTERVIEW From Our Set Visit

by     Posted 81 days ago

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Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and Dave Skylark (James Franco) are inside a tank in North Korea talking about Katy Perry and margaritas.  They’re debating if drinking fruity margaritas and loving Katy Perry’s music means you’re gay.  After saying the lines a few different ways, directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg call out a few new ways to say the dialogue and I erupt with laughter.  And I’m not alone.  The other reporters I’m with on the Vancouver set of The Interview are also laughing out loud.  So much so that after the take ends, an assistant director comes in the room where we’re watching playback and says they can hear us laughing on set.  While I’m sure they were mad at us for possibly ruining a take, I’m sure it made them happy to know they were making comedy gold.  While I’ve done a lot of set visits, I’ve never laughed as much on a movie set as I did on The Interview.  As a huge fan of what Rogen and Goldberg accomplished with their directorial debut, This is the End, I left Vancouver thinking they were making another home-run.

As most of you know from the red and green band trailers for the film, Franco plays a vapid talk show host who, along with his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), lands an interview with Kim Jong-un.  But their attempt at hard news gets upended when the CIA asks the duo to assassinate the North Korean leader.  Besides getting to watch the tank scene, I was able to speak with most of the cast during breaks in filming.  From the on-set interviews, I’ve put together a list of 20 things to know about the film.  Hit the jump to learn more about The Interview which arrives in theaters December 25.

THE INTERVIEW Red-Band Trailer: Seth Rogen and James Franco Are Massive Sell-Outs

by     Posted 92 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a new, full-length The Interview red-band trailer for the upcoming comedy, and it’s kind of fantastic.  The film marks the directorial follow-up of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg after the excellent This Is the End and sees James Franco playing a popular entertainment news interviewer who, along with his producer (Rogen), is tasked with assassinating Kim Jong Un in North Korea.  While the first trailer was just a taste of what we could expect from the pic, this new one dives deep into the plot while also revealing a bevy of wonderful cameos from the likes of Rob Lowe, Timothy Simons (Veep), and Anders Holm (Workaholics).  Not only does the movie look incredibly funny (and filthy), but the prospect of Lizzy Caplan as a CIA agent is highly promising.

Watch the new The Interview red-band trailer after the jump.  The film opens in theaters on December 25th.

THE POLITICIAN: Vince Vaughn Could Be on the Upswing in New Comedy

by     Posted 110 days ago

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It looks like Vince Vaughn is willing himself out of a career rut with some of the projects he’s been signing onto recently, which is something I’m pretty happy about.  I’ve always loved his comic timing and have found him to be a relatable, charismatic and funny screen presence more often than not.  But the shine started to come off of him over the past few years as his comedies grew more formulaic (in my opinion this fallow period stretches from Fred Claus up until Delivery Man).  But with a role in Season 2 of True Detective and what sounds like a darker film coming up in Term Life, maybe Vaughn truly is taking back his career á la Matthew McConaughey.

The Politician could be another step back in the right direction.  At first glance, it appears possible that this studio project could be another paycheck gig, but with the addition of What If writer/director Michael Dowse behind the camera, its prospects brighten.  Also, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are two of the producers.  Another encouraging sign.  Hit the jump for more on Vince Vaughn as The Politician.

Watch a 20 Minute MTV Special for THE INTERVIEW Introduce James Franco and Seth Rogen’s Characters

by     Posted 125 days ago

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The Interview is one of my most anticipated movies of the year (though it did inch down half a notch on the list when they decided to censor it to appease a military dictator), and I can’t wait to see it at Christmas.  The release date delay was probably made after Sony and MTV had agreed to air this special (this is now a bit of a long lead for such specific awareness), but it’s here and it’s hilarious.

The Dave Skylark Very Special VMA Special aired last night on MTV and very nicely introduces the newsman and producer characters James Franco and Seth Rogen play in the film (along with roasting celebrity guests Nicki Minaj and Iggy Azalea, and Jason Derulo).  It’s about 20 minutes long, so unfortunately it actually has commercial breaks, but you should give it a whirl regardless.  Hit the jump for The Interview character introduction.  The film itself was written and directed by Rogen and his creative partner Evan Goldberg and will be released on December 25th.

THE INTERVIEW Gets a New Release Date; Now a Holiday Movie

by     Posted 136 days ago

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There’s good news and bad news.  The bad news is that The Interview is no longer opening on October 10th and that it has been pushed back by about ten weeks.  The good news it that it’s now opening on December 25th.  While it may be a bit harder (or easier, depending on your family’s holiday schedule) for you to catch the movie on that date (or wait the extra two months), this is still a good thing.  It means Sony’s confidence in the Seth Rogen and James Franco-starring movie is extremely high.

And I’m not surprised.  Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg have an amazing track record with films like This is the End, Pineapple Express and Superbad.  Even The Green Hornet wasn’t all that bad.  Even better, they directed it this new film as well (the incredibly funny This is the End was their feature debut in that regard).  Hit the jump for more on The Interview release date.  And be sure to check out the film’s trailer while you’re at it.

THE INTERVIEW Trailer: Seth Rogen and James Franco Have to Assassinate Kim Jong-un [Updated with Images]

by     Posted 193 days ago

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Sony has released the first The Interview trailer on the heels of the poster release earlier todayJames Franco and Seth Rogen star as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  The trailer makes it clear directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg are willing to go big and broad to serve the funny premise.  The laughs will come with good execution, and these guys have earned our trust on that front.  Like other Rogen/Goldberg scripts (Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is the End, and hey, even The Green Hornet), The Interview appears to strive for an emotional reality with a focus the talk show host/producer relationship amid the crazy.

Hit the jump to watch the Interview trailer.  Lizzy Caplan and Randall Park also star in the action comedy.  The Interview opens October 10. [Update: We've added three debut images from the film after the jump as well.]

Author Blake J. Harris Talks CONSOLE WARS, Exploring the Behind-the-Scenes Battle between Sega and Nintendo, the Film Adaptation, and More

by     Posted 207 days ago

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If you’re around my age and a gamer, you might have gotten wrapped up in the fight over which was “better”: the Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo.  Kids personally identified with these systems, and I can still remember all the minor developments that would cause long debates between me and my friends.

In his new book Console Wars, author Blake J. Harris went behind the scenes of the many battles between Sega and Nintendo.  During our exclusive phone interview, he and I talked about how the book came about, the influence of marketing on consumers, why kids personally identified with these gaming consoles, the film adaptation, his documentary based on the book, and much more.  Hit the jump to check out the interview, and click here to order the book.

TOP 5: NEIGHBORS, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, First Trailer for GOTHAM, New Live-Action POWER RANGERS Movie, SNOWPIERCER Trailer

by     Posted 225 days ago

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Now available via On Demand and iTunes, and in limited theaters June 6th, is writer/director Ti West‘s The Sacrament. I wrote about my anticipation for the film a few months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out last night. For those unaware, the pic utilizes the found footage conceit to immerse viewers in a story akin to that of the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. West fans will likely note how the found footage approach and the emphasis on psychological terror over more conventional scares set The Sacrament apart from the filmmaker’s previous work. In spite of those differences, it utilizes the same slow burn before all hell breaks loose in the final act approach employed by The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers to great effect. Anchored by fantastic pacing and a mesmerizing performance from Gene Jones as the sect’s leader “Father”, the result is West’s most disturbing and lingering film to date.

In addition to a wholehearted recommendation for The Sacrament, this week’s Top 5 also features our review of and interviews for Neighbors, the new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham, word of a new live-action Power Rangers film, and an excellent red-band trailer for Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Discover a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Evan Goldberg Talks about GOON 2; Says They’re Trying to Figure out Deals

by     Posted 226 days ago

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Goon is a great little sports comedy, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend checking it out (it’s currently available on Netflix Instant).  For those unfamiliar with the flick, it stars Seann William Scott as a sweet-natured bouncer who becomes a hockey enforcer.  Michael Dowse directed from a script by Jay Baruchel (who co-starred in the movie) and Evan Goldberg (This Is the End).

The movie has picked up a cult following, and at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Steve asked Baruchel about the status of a sequel.  Baruchel said they were close to finishing a script, and that if they were able to work out everyone’s schedules, they might get it rolling as early as fall 2014.  Steve recently spoke to Goldberg about Goon 2 at the Neighbors junket, and the co-writer was a bit more cautious about the sequel’s immediate future.  Hit the jump for more on the Goon sequel:

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