THE GRUDGE Coming Back to Theaters in a Franchise-Launching Reboot; Sam Raimi to Produce

by     Posted 28 days ago

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Gather round, children, and I’ll tell you a tale, a tale of a time when the spirits of young Japanese girls haunted movie theaters around the world.  The fad likely started with 1998′s Ringu, a horror movie that inspired Gore Verbinski’s 2002 film, The Ring.  That same year, writer-director Takashi Shimizu took the genre further with Ju-On: The Grudge.  True to form, that film was also remade in America, with Takashi again at the helm and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a starring role.  I tell you this because even though The Grudge managed to churn out a few sequels, the property is now headed for a total reboot with plans to build a new franchise.  Hit the jump for more.

Screen Gems to Distribute THE LAST OF US; Naughty Dog and Sam Raimi on Board as Producers

by     Posted 42 days ago

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Naughty Dog, the award-winning studio behind The Last of Us, is getting some help from Screen Gems in distributing their live-action movie adaptation.  The story follows hardened survivor, Joel, and his young and capable partner, Ellie, as they attempt to traverse the American landscape which has been devastated by a viral pandemic.

The game’s creative director, Neil Druckmann, will write the film’s screenplay as well as produce alongside the company’s co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, Game Director Bruce Straley, and Sam Raimi via Ghost House Pictures. Hit the jump to read the press release.

Fede Alvarez Still Attached to EVIL DEAD 2; Says the Priority Is ARMY OF DARKNESS 2

by     Posted 168 days ago

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Yesterday, we reported that, according to Evil Dead writer Rodo Sayagues, he and director/co-writer Fede Alvarez would not return for Evil Dead 2, and had been off the project for months.  Alvarez took to Twitter to explain that people shouldn’t believe everything they read on the Internet, and also told Bloody Disgusting that this was a matter of an interview getting lost in translation.  “Rodo meant we’re not actually making Evil Dead 2 right now because the priority is Sam [Raimi's] Army of Darkness 2,” says Alvarez.  “But the plan of making a sequel to our Evil Dead is very much alive.”

This is still a tad confusing.  It does provide further confirmation that Army of Darkness 2 is really in development, but it’s worth noting that Alvarez’ remake and Raimi’s previous series are completely separate.  It’s possible that Sayagues and Alavarez are working as producers and/or writers on Army of Darkness 2, which could be neat.

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 309 days ago

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Although Walt Disney never got a chance to see his own version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz stories brought to the screen before his death in 1966, director Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful makes a valiant attempt at recreating Disney’s vision.  The big-budget, 3D reimagining of Baum’s collection of stories introduces small-time magician turned prophecy-fulfilling wizard, Oscar Diggs (James Franco) as he’s swept up into the magical world of Oz where must sort out the intentions of three very attractive witches (Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz).  Accompanied by a flying monkey and a china doll (voiced by Zach Braff and Joey King respectively), Diggs must discover the goodness within him if he’s to save the people of Oz from the tyranny of the wicked witch.

Now available on Blu-ray, Oz the Great and Powerful is a visually dazzling addition to the Oz films that acts as a prequel to 1939′s The Wizard of Oz.  While it comes nowhere near the caliber of that classic tale, this new imagining is a welcome journey back into the Emerald City and the unique lands that surround it.  Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.

Watch the Full Opening Credits Sequence for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

by     Posted 1 year, 27 days ago

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As director Sam Raimi’s fantasy-adventure Oz the Great and Powerful is currently dominating the box office, Disney has decided to release the film’s great opening credits sequence online for our viewing pleasure.  As with The Wizard of Oz, the beginning of Raimi’s film plays out in black-and-white and in Academy ratio.  The opening credits are a great introduction to the world of the film, and they’re quite fun to take in when presented in 3D.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full opening credits sequence, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film.  Oz the Great and Powerful is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Sam Raimi to Direct Fox Pilot RAKE

by     Posted 1 year, 29 days ago

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Just recently, director Ang Lee surprised many by signing on to helm the pilot for an FX drama series called Tyrant as his next project after winning the Best Director Oscar for last year’s Life of Pi.  Now another talented filmmaker is delving into television following immense success in theaters, as Oz the Great and Powerful helmer Sam Raimi has agreed to direct the Fox drama pilot Rake.  The potential hourlong series stars Greg Kinnear as a criminal defense lawyer who’s described as “brilliant, frustratingly charming, and [having] zero filter.”  The pilot is based on an Australian comedic drama series of the same name, and is being executive produced by Peter Duncan and Peter Tolan (Rescue Me).  Hit the jump for more.

Writer-Director Fede Alvarez Talks EVIL DEAD, Cutting Down to an R-Rating, the Appeal of the Extreme Violence, EVIL DEAD 2, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 29 days ago

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A couple weeks ago, Fede Alvarez‘ remake of Evil Dead premiered at SXSW to an ecstatic crowd (click here to read my review).  For those unfamiliar with the film, the story centers on five friends who go to a remote cabin in the woods, and stumble upon a demonic evil that begins possessing them one by one, which causes horrific scenes of gore and mutilation.

I got the chance to interview Alvarez at SXSW, and we talked getting down to an R-rating from an NC-17 rating, the appeal of the film’s extreme violence, working with Sam Raimi, developing a sequel to the remake, and much more.  Hit the jump to check out the interview.   Evil Dead opens April 5th.

Director Sam Raimi Talks OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, 3D, Deleted Scenes, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 38 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Sam Raimi’s fantastic prequel to The Wizard of OzOz The Great and Powerful.  The film centers on a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams).  Loaded with incredible visuals, amazing 3D, and a beautiful world created by production designer Robert Stromberg (Alice in Wonderland, Avatar), Oz is the type of movie that definitely should be seen on a movie screen and it’s absolutely worth the extra charge to see it in 3D.  Oz The Great and Powerful also stars Zach Braff and Joey King.

Recently, I got to speak with Raimi.  After exchanging gifts, we talked about why he wanted to make Oz in 3D, deleted scenes, how he’s been waiting to hear what people think about the film, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Fede Alvarez Talks EVIL DEAD Sequel and Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD 4; Says EVIL DEAD 2 Will Be “100% Original”

by     Posted 1 year, 39 days ago

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After last night’s ecstatic SXSW screening of Fede Alvarez‘ remake of Evil Dead, it was announced that a script is currently being written for the sequel.  Earlier today, I got to interview Alvarez, and near the end of our conversation, I brought up his plans for Evil Dead 2.  He says fans can expect that he’ll be in no way copying Raimi’s Evil Dead II, and this the new sequel will be “100% original”.  Also, since we’ve previously reported that Sam Raimi intends to start work on a script for Evil Dead 4, I asked Alvarez about his involvement with that film.

Hit the jump for what he had to say, and click here for my Evil Dead review.  The film opens on April 5th.

Sam Raimi Not Interested in Directing OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Sequel

by     Posted 1 year, 40 days ago

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With Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful opening today and news that the studio has already tapped screenwriter Mitchell Kapner to pen a sequel, it was only a matter of time before attention turned to director Sam Raimi as to whether or not he’d return to helm a follow-up.  With big box office franchises, as Disney is hoping Oz turns into, the studio wants a quick turn-around on the next film and would need to secure a director sooner than later.  Is Raimi up to the challenge or will a journeyman director be swooping in to take the opportunity?  Hit the jump to see what Raimi had to say (it’s spoilery on the movie’s ending).

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Review

by     Posted 1 year, 41 days ago

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We can find truth in deception.  We find the deeper truth beneath the artifice.  Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful makes no secrets of its deception, and shows how deception can be used for good or evil.  We just don’t call it deception when it’s used for good.  Then it’s an illusion, not a trick.* Oz creates a beautiful illusion that we can get lost in not because of the visual effects wizardry or the size of the canvas, but because of the honesty of the characters and Raimi staying true to his oddball style.

POLTERGEIST Remake to Be Directed by Gil Kenan

by     Posted 1 year, 42 days ago

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With news that Gil Kenan (Monster House) will be directing MGM’s reboot of Poltergeist, you can finally put to rest the rumors of Sam Raimi (Evil Dead) sitting in the captain’s chair.  Raimi will still be behind the scenes as a producer on the remake of Tobe Hooper’s 1982 classic horror film.  Written by committee, the most recent adaptation has seen work by David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz the Great and Powerful), Scott Derrickson (Sinister), Juliet Snowden (The Possession), Stiles White (Boogeyman) and Paul Harris Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose).  That’s quite the mix of horror writers in there, with Lindsay-Abaire holding it down for the familial aspect of the story that centers on a suburban home possessed by spirits.  Hit the jump for more.

Sam Raimi Reveals Why He Left WORLD OF WARCRAFT and SPIDER-MAN 4

by     Posted 1 year, 43 days ago

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Once upon a time, Spider-Man director Sam Raimi was set to direct the adaptation of Blizzard’s uber-successful MMORPG, World of Warcraft. It was a time for celebration amongst movie fans and gamers alike as Raimi seemed like a bold, exciting choice for the project which promised to rival the scope of films such as The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And then, with the wave of a wizard’s staff, Raimi was off the project. While World Of Warcraft is now getting back on track with Duncan Jones (Source Code) in the director’s chair, we never quite knew what was the cause behind Raimi’s departure.

Until today that is. Hit the jump for the full story, including further details on why he also left Spider-Man 4, and what he thinks of Marvel’s wonder boy, Joss Whedon.

Sam Raimi Talks OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, Musical Tribute to THE WIZARD OF OZ, Challenges of 3D, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 45 days ago

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From director Sam Raimi, Oz the Great and Powerful imagines the origins of the wizard that was first brought to life in author L. Frank Baum’s book The Wizard of Oz, in a fantastical adventure that utilizes 3D to enhance what is truly an awe-inspiring movie-going experience.  When small-time circus magician Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is unexpectedly carried from Kansas to the vibrantly beautiful Land of Oz in a tornado, he soon meets three witches – Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams) – who are unsure about whether he truly is the great wizard that they’ve been expecting.  In one of the biggest tales of fake it ‘til you make it, Oscar must use his magical skill and a little ingenuity to help good triumph over evil.

At the film’s press day, director Sam Raimi spoke at a press conference about how his experience on the Spider-Man trilogy taught him that you can’t be loyal to every detail of the original source material, the brief musical tribute to the original film, the challenges of ensuring the 3D wouldn’t cause the audience headaches from watching it, whether he was ever tempted to make the wicked witch scarier, doing the wire work with Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz, and what it means to him personally to accomplish what Walt Disney was never able to, in making a film for the studio that’s set in the Land of Oz.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Sam Raimi Says He Plans to Work on EVIL DEAD 4 Script This Summer

by     Posted 1 year, 47 days ago

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Well this is a bit of pleasantly surprising news.  Ever since Army of Darkness was released in 1992, Evil Dead fans have been wondering if/when we would see a fourth film in the beloved horror franchise.  Though writer/director Sam Raimi never publicly shut the idea down, the production of the Evil Dead remake left many wondering if Raimi had closed the door on the old franchise in favor of putting together a new series of Evil Dead films.  Well it appears that Deadites can have their cake and eat it too, as Raimi recently revealed that he and his brother Ivan Raimi plan to work on the script for Evil Dead 4 this summer.  Hit the jump for more.

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