When we last reported on the possibility of a Gremlins remake/reboot, the status was basically, “Sure, anything’s possible, but don’t count on it any time soon.” Today, that status remains mostly unchanged except Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and David Katzenberg (The Hard Times of RJ Berger) have reportedly signed on to produce. According to Bloody Disgusting, Warner Bros. is “officially moving ahead”, but production likely remains at a very early stage since Steven Spielberg, who executive produced the original through his Amblin Entertainment, still has to give the green light.
No director or writer is attached, although I assume it’s possible that Grahame-Smith could pen the flick. Grahame-Smith recently completed a draft for a sequel to Beetlejuice, so he’s experienced with trying to resurrect 80s movies that should best be left alone.
20th Century Fox is doing a bit of polishing on their Fantastic Four reboot script. Jeremy Slater was tapped to pen the redo last summer shortly after Josh Trank (Chronicle) signed on to direct, and with a March 2015 release date looming, the studio is ready to start heading towards production. Just the other day we learned that X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn is joining the project as producer, and now word comes that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer author/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith has done some script work on the film. Hit the jump for more.
Cue that iconic opening music: Looney Tunes is relevant again! Former SNL comedienne Jenny Slate has been tapped by Warner Bros. to pen the feature reboot. Much like Sony’s successful adaptation of The Smurfs, the Looney Tunes reboot would blend CG and live-action in order to bring the characters to life on the big screen. Although no word has been released as to Slate’s take on the property, fans can be almost certain of seeing Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Wile E. Coyote, Tweety Bird and more. Hit the jump for more on Slate and the Looney Tunes movie.
This weekend’s box office turned out to be pretty predictable. Brave, the thirteenth feature from fan-favorite Pixar studios, came out on top with an estimated $66.7 million from 4,127 locations. Easy to see that one coming. More of a question mark was Fox’s R-rated counter-programmer Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Many expected the film to crash in epic fashion; and while $16.5 million from 3,106 locations is not great, it is better than Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy managed last weekend so… yay?
||Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
||Snow White & the Huntsman
||Rock of Ages
||That’s My Boy
||Men in Black 3
||Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Earlier this week I literally dreamed about The Dark Knight Rises. Not that I was in the movie. Not that I was Batman. Just that I was in the theater watching it for the first time. And I woke up with a sense of joy that followed me around for hours. Even now I can’t decide exactly what this says about me or whether it’s a good or bad thing that I’m so excited for a single moviegoing experience. Part of me is a little disappointed in my subconscious for dreaming on such a micro level. Another part is encouraged that it finds such joy in the “little things”. Regardless, those precious two hours and forty-five minutes or so on midnight of July 20th can’t get here soon enough.
All personal issues aside, this week’s iteration of the Top 5 includes the new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, Brave interviews with John Lasseter, director Mark Andrews and more, Brendan’s latest Cinemath feature, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World interviews with Steve Carell, Keira Knightley and more, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter interviews with Tim Burton and co. The search for a brief recap and link to each concludes after the jump.
Opening this weekend is director Timur Bekmambetov‘s (Wanted) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Based on the book of the same name from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author Seth Grahame-Smith and produced by Tim Burton, the film imagines that Lincoln’s mother and grandfather were killed by a vampire and that the president’s resolve to end slavery was due in part to the “fact” that vampires were involved with the slave trade. Playing Lincoln is newcomer Benjamin Walker and he stars alongside Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverageand three clips with twenty minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.
A few days ago I got to speak with Timur Bekmambetov and Seth Grahame-Smith in New York City. We talked about making Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, what historical events from Lincoln’s life they felt needed to be included, what was cut due to budgetary reasons, their favorite movies, and Bekmambetov gave a Wanted 2 update. Hit the jump to watch.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter attempts to walk the line between solemn grit and bombastic action. The film stumbles around the line, falls off of it, gropes in the dark to find the line again, give a big goofy smile at no one in particular, regains a wobbly balance before taking a proud stride forward only to constantly repeat this bizarre range of motions. The film is an exercise in pushing the limits of going big while keeping a straight face. In its action scenes, there’s not a shred of doubt that director Timur Bekmambetov is trying to find laughs in lunacy to make up for the dearth of humor in the “serious” scenes. But what appears to be an attempt at balance simply comes off as measured schizophrenia, and what should be a fun twist on half-remembered American history instead becomes a dark twist on historiography.
In last week’s opening paragraph I welcomed the summer movie season into the fold by way of The Avengers. Earlier this week it dawned on me that another season is upon us as well. One that is nearly as costly as a summer blockbuster, albeit far less anticipated by yours truly: wedding season. Over the course of the next few months, I’ll attend no fewer than four ceremonies/receptions (not including my own) and, while I’ll be honored to have been invited to share a special moment with friends new and old, I’ll likely fall behind on my summer movie checklist. So, if you start noticing Top 5 opening paragraphs having less to do with film than what type of dessert was served at the reception, you have my most sincere advance apology.
Wedding disclaimers aside, awaiting you on the other side of this week’s Top 5 is James Cameron saying he only wants to make Avatar movies from now on, the first trailer for director Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad, Prometheus‘ R-rating, Matt’s letter of recommendation for Joss Whedon, and Dark Shadows coverage including interviews with Johnny Depp, Tim Burton, and Seth Grahame-Smith. A brief recap and link to each ensues after the jump.
With director Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows opening this weekend, I recently got to interview screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith. Starring Johnny Depp as a vampire who awakens in 1972 after having been buried for 200 years, Dark Shadows is based on the 1970s TV series with the same name and it also stars Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Gulliver McGrath, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote, Ray Shirley, and Jonny Lee Miller. For more on the film, here’s 20 images, 9 clips and 12 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the set, and Matt’s review.
During my extended interview with Grahame-Smith, we talked about how he got involved in the project, his anxiety about having his first film released, how John August contributed to the project, deleted scenes, and what might be on the Blu-ray. In addition, with Grahame-Smith involved in some other high profile projects, we also talked about the Beetlejuice sequel, Tim Burton’s Night of the Living, Unholy Night, and a lot more. Hit the jump to check it out.
Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows is a series of flawed assumptions resulting from remarkable incompetence. Burton believes he’s blended a gothic style with a campy comedy, but his film is neither. The characters act at being a bunch of kooky, Addams Family-style misfits, but they’re nothing more than vague, one-dimensional sketches or, in the case of the protagonist, a confused contradiction. Seth Grahame-Smith‘s script thinks it has balanced out the story elements into a compelling narrative, but it’s a poorly plotted mess that eschews character development in favor of a softball joke or clumsy dark humor. With the exception of a great performance from Eva Green, Dark Shadows flails wildly at concocting a strange brew, and only comes up with weak tea.
The black and white, stop-motion animated 3D film Frankenweenie, from director Tim Burton and based on the ideas in his 1984 live-action short, is a heart-warming tale about a boy and his beloved dog. After unexpectedly losing Sparky, young Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan) sews him back together and harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life, but quickly faces unintended and sometimes monstrous consequences for his actions. The voice cast also includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Atticus Shaffer and Winona Ryder.
During an early press day for the film, in which we got the chance to preview nearly 30 minutes of the film, director/producer Tim Burton talked about expanding the original story from his short, where the idea originally came from, casting actors that he hadn’t worked with in a while to voice some of the characters, how the stop-motion medium has changed over the years, his hope that younger audiences will want to explore the monsters that he’s paying tribute to in the film, and post-converting to 3D. He also talked about the fact that Seth Grahame-Smith is working on writing Beetlejuice 2 and that he might be interested in getting involved depending on what he thinks of the script, the rumor about him doing a Pinocchio movie with Robert Downey Jr., and that Big Eyes is in the works, but that you never know what will be ready to go next. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
A new featurette for director Timur Beckmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has gone online. Bits and pieces of new footage are interspersed with Beckmambetov, writer Seth Grahame-Smith, and producer Tim Burton talking about the film. Essentially they’re selling the movie as a valid entry in the superhero genre, with Burton going so far as to compare their Abraham Lincoln to Batman. I wasn’t a huge fan of Beckmambetov’s Wanted, and I’m still not convinced that Vampire Hunter won’t be a series of action sequences filled with so-earnest-it’s-cheesy dialogue. I’d love nothing more than to be pleasantly surprised, but I still feel like the film would’ve been a lot more fun if the premise had been played tongue-in-cheek.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette. The pic stars Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Rufus Sewell, Anthony Mackie, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead and opens in 3D on June 22nd.
I don’t know if there’s any footage left to squeeze out of The Avengers, but the Marvel Marketing Machine (which could be the villain in a presumed sequel) is still cranking out propaganda, which you can get caught up on here. We posted a new TV spot for the heroic assembly movie earlier today, but a new featurette has debuted as well. Luckily, Dark Shadows has decided to release their own featurette which focuses on the Collins’ family. The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon and starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg and Cobie Smulders opens May 4th. Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfieffer, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Johnny Lee Miller and Helena Bonham Carter opens a week later on May 11th. Hit the jumps to check out the new featurettes.
With a cast that sports Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pfeiffer, it’s easy to lose Christopher Lee in the mix. This new Dark Shadows featurette reminds us that Lee is a consummate master of the horror genre and can boast a role that will forever be cemented in cinematic history. There’s a nice visitation of classic (ie non-Twilight) vampire movies that serve as inspiration for Depp’s version of Barnabas Collins, an imprisoned vampire who is awakened in the 1970s and must protect his dysfunctional descendants. The film, directed by Tim Burton, also stars Gulliver McGrath, Bella Heathcote, Ray Shirley, and Jonny Lee Miller. Dark Shadows opens May 11th. Hit the jump to check out the featurette.
Having previously collaborated on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Dark Shadows, it comes as little surprise that screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith and Tim Burton are teaming up yet again. The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author will reportedly pen Night of the Living, a stop-motion animation custom-made for the dark director. According to Grahame-Smith, the story idea had been brewing for years, but he took it to Burton while the duo worked on Dark Shadows. Grahame-Smith also noted that Burton’s stop-motion films Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride struck him as an ideal format for Night of the Living. Plot details are limited, but we previously reported that the movie might revolve around a “a town of peaceful monsters who must learn how to fight when it is invaded by humans.” Hit the jump for more.