by Jackson Posted: October 21st, 2012 at 12:50 am
Movie series take many forms. Some, such as James Bond, are almost like non-episodic television, with very little connection between the individual films save for the primary character. On the other end of the spectrum is The Lord of the Rings series, serialized from start to finish, shot together and released on a schedule to maximize such. Somewhere in between lies the Terminator series, available now in the 5-disc Blu-ray box set Terminator Anthology.
What is interesting about the Terminator series as a collection of films is that they at once have that interconnectedness of story, due to their epic scope spanning the series, and episodic individuality, due not only to the vast periods of time that pass in between each story and the movies’ releases. Hit the jump for my review of the box set.
Opening this weekend is the action-comedy This Means War. Directed by McG, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy portray the world’s deadliest CIA operatives who are also inseparable partners and best friends…until they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Rather than giving up and allowing one of the two to continue seeing Witherspoon, Hardy and Pine put their CIA gadgetry and know-how to work in order to derail each another’s relationship with the girl. For more on the film, here’s six clips and Matt’s review.
During the recent Los Angeles press junket, I was able to land an exclusive video interview with McG. We talked about making This Means War, the battle with the MPAA over rating and what they had to cut to get a PG-13, test screenings, deleted scenes, and what will be on the Blu-ray (it’ll have a Bond-style title sequence). In addition, with McG attached to so many other projects, I got updates on his TV pilot Guilty (about a lawyer that’s been disbarred), Spring Awakening, Dead Spy Running (a spy movie that Stephen Gaghan is writing and possibly directing), Face It (a romantic comedy), Monster Squad (he’s not involved anymore), Medieval (the status is up in the air at Regency), Tink (will star Elizabeth Banks as Tinkerbell), I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President (they haven’t cracked the script yet), Puzzle Palace (a thriller like Die Hard about a boy who has to break in to 1 Police Plaza in New York), Ouija (he’s not involved anymore), The Girl Who Conned the Ivy League (will star Amanda Seyfried as a girl who steals someone’s identity to attend an Ivy League school), and we also talked about the 30 to 40 minutes of deleted scenes from Terminator Salvation and an alternate ending where Skynet wins. Hit the jump to watch.
A self-admitted lover of technology, it’s no surprise that McG is producing the new media series Aim High, premiering on Facebook and Cambio on October 18th, and mixing the quality of any television series or big screen feature with interactive content. Using technology to break down the wall of separation between the viewer and the show, Facebook will incorporate the pictures from your profile into the six-part first season, while looking to do the same with your personal music for a possible second season.
At a press day for the web series, McG spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about the appeal of working on such a cutting edge project, assembling such a strong cast, the challenge of getting such a quality product done in such a small time frame (less than two weeks) and without a great deal of money, and why he thinks mixing acne with espionage is a winning formula. He also talked about juggling so many projects at once, in both film and television, how fun it is to create something that touches the world, knowing when to move on from something that isn’t working out, and his hope of someday releasing a DVD cut of Terminator: Salvation with the extra footage from the film. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
At the press junket for the new interactive web series Aim High, starring Jackson Rathbone (Jasper in The Twilight Saga) and Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights), executive producer McG was there to express his passion for the cutting edge project that will incorporate viewers’ personal Facebook profiles into the story of a high school student (Rathbone) living a double life as a government operative while dreaming of the most popular girl in school (Teegarden).
While we will run that portion of the interview closer to the web series’ October 18th premiere, we did want to let you know what he had to say about what else he’s currently juggling. In post-production on the action-comedy This Means War (starring Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine) and with six television series currently in development for next season, McG said that he’s looking at a few films right now and will probably decide what he’ll focus on next before the holidays. With so many things on his plate, not everything will end up actually getting made, which he said may be the case with the Ouija board movie that Universal dropped from their production schedule. And, while he knows they did a lot of things right with Terminator: Salvation, he also knows that they did a lot of things wrong, so only time will tell whether or not that director’s cut with all the additional footage will ever be released on DVD/Blu-ray. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
If Terminator Salvation killed the Terminator franchise (and I believe it did), then Hannover House looks like it will be punching the corpse. Via a press release, the company says that it will develop Terminator 3000, a $70-million, 3D animated feature “based on the characters and situations introduced in the original Terminator feature.” And here’s the best part: “Story details for Terminator 3000 are being kept under close wraps, but the writers and production team have a stated goal of minimizing violence in order to obtain a PG-13 level of material.” Not to nitpick, but Salvation had plenty of violence an still got a PG-13. The MPAA really doesn’t have a problem with violence as long as it’s not gory. [For the sake of clarity, the image above is not from Terminator 3000]
Production is scheduled to begin in January 2011. Hit the jump to check out the press release.
A few days ago, we reported the rights to the Terminator franchise were going to be auctioned off today, and after a marathon bidding session between a number of parties, it seems the Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor has won the auction and now owns the rights to all future Terminator movies and TV shows. While Sony and Lionsgate both submitted bids, it seems the offer from Pacificor was too sweet, as they not only paid $29.5 million for the rights, but they let Halcyon keep the revenue streams from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation. In addition, Halcyon will also get $5 million for every Terminator movie made from now on. It’s a hell of deal for Halcyon, as they not only got a nice lump sum payout, but Terminator 3 and Salvation will continue to generate money for the foreseeable future.
While the future of the Terminator franchise is not yet known, Pacificor is now in the drivers seat. I’m confident we’re going to see more Terminator movies, it’s just a matter of time. (via Deadline)
UPDATE: It seems Pacificor is now talking with Sony and Lionsgate to handle future Terminator films. These talks are currently underway, so expect plenty of updates. (via LATimes)
As most of you know, the Halcyon Group put the Terminator franchise up for sale in September of last year. Up for grabs are all future rights to Terminator TV series, DVDs, merchandise, and, of course, feature films. This is one of the reasons a sequel to McG’s Terminator Salvation hasn’t happened yet.
With bidding for the rights to the Terminator franchise set to close today, I was wondering who was going to step forward at the last minute and submit an offer. While Lionsgate submitted a bid last month (they offered $15 million and a 5% cut of future gross receipts), Sony decided to get in the ring today as they also submitted an offer.
More after the jump:
Are there really six other movies this year that can compete with the visuals of Avatar, which is clearly on a mission for world domination? According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, apparently so. The Academy has announced these seven films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 82nd Academy Awards: Avatar, District 9, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2012.
Thursday, Jan. 21, all members of the academy’s Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films, and then pick the three they think should make it to the final round on Oscar night. The Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, Feb, 2, at 5:30 a.m. PT.
Having seen all of these except 2012 (I just couldn’t bring myself to do it), if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek being the final three, with Avatar being the big winner. What do you think?
2009 was another big year for movies thanks to, in varying degrees, the recession, 3D ticket prices and Taylor Lautner’s abs. For funsies we have compiled a fairly trivial movie calendar for the year that was. Here you will find all the big events that, for whatever reason, may not have gotten a lot of media coverage. Hit the jump to begin reminiscing about the past 12 months:
With Avatar the reigning champ and Sherlock Holmes still to come, Hollywood crossed the $10 billion line for the first time in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales for 2009. Through Sunday, the total stood just $36 million short of crossing the $10 billion line, according to tracking firm Hollywood Box Office, and was set to plow across it Tuesday night.
The year’s top box office attractions were Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and with hits like Harry Potter and The Hangover, Warner Bros. was the North American box office champ among studios. And with both Robert Downey Jr.’s take on Sherlock Holmes and the return of those rascally rodents in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel coming in time for Christmas, the final take is expected to top $10.4 billion.
Hit the jump for a list of the top 20 domestic box office hits of 2009.
Last night I posted the first of my “7 Days with Producer Dan Lin”. As I explained yesterday, I spoke at length with the Sherlock Holmes producer about not only his latest film, but everything he has in development. Since the conversation ran so long, I’ve decided to break up the interview into many smaller parts. Yesterday we covered the Lego movie and Gangster Squad, and today it’s about the Terminator franchise.
As one of the executive producers of Terminator Salvation, I decided to ask Lin what he thought about the ending they released versus the one that got shelved due to it leaking on the internet. I also asked him what’s the status of future Terminator movies and was Salvation a profitable experience for all parties.
Hit the jump for what he had to say:
With Terminator: Salvation, two things are apparent: McG shouldn’t be underrated, and franchise filmmaking robs franchise films of anything challenging. TS is the fourth entry in the Terminator canon, and it is the first of the franchise to be set during the future wars (usually shown in brief flashbacks) that fans had long clamored for. It also has a distinctive feature in that it’s the first film without the heavy participation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. My review of Terminator Salvation after the jump.
We have a little grab bag of geek news for you tonight. First up, Jack Black is getting animated again, this time would focus on cryptozoological animals like Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, and James Carville. Based on a pitch from screenwriter Jason Micallef, Black is currently set to produce, but Heat Vision says he’s not committed to voice act in the project at this point. Black’s vocals led 2008′s Kung Fu Panada which went on to gross $216 million domestically and $631 million worldwide. He’ll return to voice Po the Panda in the 2011 sequel, Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom. He also did a great job voicing lead character Eddie Riggs in Tim Schaeffer’s video game Brütal Legend (unfortunately, the game itself was one of the biggest disappointments of 2009).
In another story, Director McG (which stands for “I’ll spend the rest of my career explaining why I call myself ‘McG’”) said in a commentary on BD-Live for Terminator: Salvation last night (where he was asked why he calls himself “McG”) that he wants to make Terminator 5 and 6. While McG wants this, Halcyon is still trying to auction off the rights to the franchise. Also, Terminator: Salvation only managed to break even with a worldwide gross of $371 million. While that is considerably more than its reported $200 million budget, once you factor in prints and advertising it was not the successful re-launch folks were hoping for after 2003′s Rise of the Machines. So the question becomes once somebody buys the rights to the franchise, will they want McG continuing his intended trilogy? [Gizmodo]
Finally, two more featurettes for Avatar have come online. To see the featurette about the ecosystem of Pandora click here, and hit the jump to see the featurette about the story. Remember six months ago when we hardly knew anything about this movie? I miss those days.
After seeing “Terminator Salvation” and its disappointing gross of $125 million (according to Box Office Mojo, it cost $200 million to make), I made a prediction that the series would see a re-boot before it saw another sequel. Since “Terminator” is one of the few major franchises not owned by one of the big studios, the rights will be auctioned off this week. Its sale price will signal not only the worth of “Terminator” but the value of intellectual property in Hollywood. Hit the jump to see if its worth more than just scrap metal.
When I spoke to McG when he was promoting “Terminator Salvation”, one of the things he told me was he’d be including 30 to 40 minutes of deleted scenes on the eventual DVD/Blu-ray. He talked about an alternate ending and John Conner giving a big speech. But the big deleted scene he mentioned was Moon Bloodgood topless. In fact, the scene in question has been talked about since the film was being shot as a number of us who visited the set actually saw the scene in McG’s trailer while in New Mexico. Also, he’s mentioned it countless times in interviews and at conventions.
So with the DVD/Blu-ray getting released on December 1st, part of the scene has leaked and it’s after the jump. The reason I say part of the scene is what you’re about to watch is not exactly what I saw on set. When you get to the twenty second mark, you’ll see Bloodgood put her hands over her breasts. When I saw the scene, her hands never covered anything. It’ll be interesting to see if what I saw is on the DVD/Blu-ray, or if it’ll just be a memory from my set visit. Either way, take a look: