Variety reports that Joss Whedon will direct a standalone Batgirl movie for Warner Bros. and the DCEU. Whedon will also write the film and serve as producer. Variety notes that comics writer and producer Geoff Johns will be one of the people who oversees the project.
This is pretty huge for a variety of reasons.
First of all, Whedon has jumped from Marvel Studios to DC, having helmed the first Avengers movie and its sequel. Whedon seemed burned out physically and creatively by Avengers: Age of Ultron, which may explain why the Russo brothers are handling the next two Avengers entries.
On top of this, this project came together quickly in the last month. In the meantime, the standalone Batman movie from Matt Reeves and Ben Affleck seems to be hitting a snag. It's unclear if this Batgirl movie will beat The Batman film to release.
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The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival runs from Wednesday, April 19th through Sunday, April 30th. The slate is packed this year, and includes special gala screenings of the first two Godfather movies with Francis Ford Coppola and the cast in attendance as well as a screening of Reservoir Dogs with Quentin Tarantino and cast members in attendance.
Yesterday the festival announced the first ever Tribeca Games Festival, running Friday, April 28th and Saturday, 29th. Hideo Kojima is the inaugural keynote conversation guests. Ken Levine (BioShock) and Sam Lake (Quantum Break) are among the many others in attendance. The festival will open with the first group-play of Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy game as well as a Mura Masa concert. Additional programming includes discussions about art and design for games like Overwatch and a discussion about the oft-maligned (but maybe prescient) film adaptation of Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man.
This isn't the first year that Tribeca's done games-related programming. They've done special special showcases of LA Noire and Beyond: Two Souls, and in recent years have built up a solid VR/interactive showcase as part of the film festival. Last year, for instance, I wrote about the VR short Allumette.
Alec Kubas-Meyer and I will be covering the Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Games Festival this year. So expect to hear from us goofy mugs at some point in late April.
For tickets and more information, visit tribecafilm.com/games.
The official press release is included below.... read + comment
It, the re-clown-boot, which previously underwhelmed, nay, whelmed with first look material has put on its big boy clown pants for this new teaser trailer (clocking in at a full 2:32).
Allow me to say, I'm intrigued again. No more quips. No more gags. This appears to feature real child acting (reminiscent of the oh so popular Stranger Things, cinematography, and a really eerie vibe that promises scares-a-plenty (loving the anamorphic widescreen composition!). I know I've said a Tim Curry-less It just wouldn't feel right, but this latest adaptation seems to offer a lot, and may just prove to be Steven King's first true adaptation as a real hit at the box office.
Holy smokes. So many cues from the book. So much potential. I'm in: are you?
... read + comment
There was a time where I thoroughly enjoyed Adam Sandler's work. His early comedies like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore were actually funny, and his dramatic turns seemed to be setting him up to move into legitimate acting roles. Then he just sort of gave up and decided to make millions of dollars making crappy comedies. I can't really blame him, but I can blame Netflix for supporting him. A few years back the streaming service gave him lots of money to make whatever movies he wanted and now they're giving him more to make 4 more.
The problem is that all of his Netflix movies were so far pretty bad. I was hoping that with unlimited power he might try to do something interesting again, but instead it was just the Adam Sandler and His Pals show all over again -- and that gets pretty dark. Sandler's first two attempts, The Ridiculous Six and The Do-Over, were none to good either. He does have Sandy Wexler coming out next month, which actually looks like it could be decent given it seems to ditch the goofball comedy for a more emotional story that Sandler is actually good at.
After that, who knows. Hopefully the films continue to improve and by the end of the next five we get an actually good movie.
[via Variety]... read + comment
The first Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer gave us a taste of the Marvel Studios webslinger, which seems to have a charm and ease that Sony never managed to get right in their Amazing films. The happy-go-lucky/I-love-saving-the-day side of Spidey is part of what makes Spider-Man one of the best heroes in comics.
In this new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer, we get the other part of what makes Spidey a great hero: the woe-is-me/I-can't-do-this side. The weight of the world is on Spidey's shoulders, and sometimes he doesn't know if he can make it work, yet he tries as hard as he can anyway.
Enough of my jibber jabber. Here's the new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Warning, though, this trailer seems to give away a lot of surprises.
[embed]221406:43482:0[/embed]... read + comment
Based on the Sundance hype alone, I added David Lowery's A Ghost Story to our list of the most anticipated movies of 2017. There's something about Lowery's work that gets at me right. He even managed to make a pleasing remake of Pete's Dragon (which I assumed would be a crummy cash-in on an IP only familiar to Baby Boomers and older Gen-Xers).
A trailer for A Ghost Story has just showed up online, and it looks like we're in a cosmic and supernatural meditation on life and death. It looks like it could be fantastic. Check it out below.
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It's been a weird twenty something years. Power Rangers has seen good days and bad days, both supreme bouts of popularity and near cancellation. Yet somehow, this series has survived so long that it's managed to get three different adaptations to the big screen. To be honest, when I first started watching Power Rangers all those years ago I never thought I'd be as committed to the series as an adult.
One of the reasons it's manged to have strong, lasting power is the fact that Power Rangers reboots itself every year. Thanks to the footage garnered from Toei's Super Sentai series reinventing the wheel, Power Rangers is allowed to experiment with crazier ideas every year.
But how do they compare to one another?... read + comment
It's been a long time and many children later since Angelina Jolie donned the tank top and short shorts of Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider. So, needless to say, we are owed, nay due a remake, or a reboot, or a relaunch, or something.
I forgot one: origin story, as director Roar Uthaug put it in an exclusive interview with GQ.
Uthaug is a Norwegian director, whose films have played predominantly european screens--a virtual unknown to US audiences, while Alicia Vikander, the next Lara Croft, is probably best known for her work in Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Jason Bourne.
The new film will take inspiration not only from the entire Tomb Raider canon, but also from the 2013 reboot of the video game franchise and its sequel, and apparently, that particular reboot decided to cash in on the then huge clout of young brunette heroines with bow and arrow (aka Katniss Everdeen / Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games).
The lead image with this story was actually of Lara holding a piece of driftwood, apparently as either a weapon, or a defensive tool. Driftwood is brittle stuff. Since this piece is supposed to highlight the backstory and extensive capabilities of Lara Croft, I might have gone a bit more grandiose than earning a fire starting badge for the first look image. The follow-up image with bow and arrow is more on point, if not something we haven't seen recently. Hopefully there's no mention of a dystopian anything in the movie.
[Via GQ]... read + comment
Justice League is technically one of Flixist's Most Anticipated of 2017 out of morbid curiosity. After getting a glimpse at this first official trailer, I'm not really sure what to think. It seems it has a less dour tone than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (good), but also seems really busy (bad).
So, as with all of the DC Comics/WB adaptations I'll expect the worst. That way if it's not a trash fire it'll be a success. At least it looks better off than previous films at first glance. Everyone here (especially Jason Mamoa's Aquaman) looks good, and it could be fine.
Then again, we've been burned before.
Justice League comes to theaters this November.
[embed]221397:43479:0[/embed]... read + comment
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7th.... read + comment
More so than any of the reviews I've written, I feel I have to preface this one a bit. Since I (literally in some cases) hold the Power Rangers brand so close to my chest, I've been keeping a close eye on the reboot since the moment it was announced three years ago. I've poured over every detail, every image, every trailer, and I've worried about everything a fan could possibly worry about.
But I'm going to try my best to keep this fair. As much as I love the series, I also know to handle this property as I would any other reboot or remake and critique it professionally on its own merits or faults.
That being said, I wish Power Rangers was either a triumph or disaster. At least with either extreme I'd have something concrete to write about here.... read + comment
It's been a while since we reported on the adaptation of the Death Note manga, but apparently director Adam Wingate and crew have been busy for there's a new trailer for the Netflix original film Death Note:
Death Note isn't due to be released until August 25th, so there's plenty of time to familiarize yourself with existing versions of the content (manga, anime, Japanese films / television) or to stew in anticipation or lack thereof. For my own part, it's enough time re-watch the anime and bask in the Light of how brilliant-come-simple the story is: fantastic concept serialized to the right length, never diluting the impact of decisions or event within the story. This is not your average, bloated, designed to keep running series. It is designed to come to a satisfying conclusion in its own, due course.
The story revolves around high school student Light Yagami, a high school student who finds a notebook with the power to kill whomever's name is written in it, and L, a super detective out to stop him. But it's intense! And this adaptation promises to be as well. Are you familiar with the story? What do you think the odds are that Netflix delivers? I'm curious for your thoughts as their latest adaptation, Iron Fist, has fallen flat with reviewers and audiences alike.
... read + comment
Logan had a lot going for it. In addition to the pathos of an aged Wolverine, the film featured a surprise promo for Deadpool 2. Now, Deadpool 2 isn't in production yet, but Fox likes money and they want to make more of it because people liked Deadpool and want to give Deadpool more money. (Deadpool earned $783 million worldwide.)
Casting is underway for the film, with Zazie Beetz of Atlanta signed to play Domino. Ryan Reynolds and his merry band really want Michael Shannon to play Cable in the film. Shannon is a brooding and brilliant actor, while Cable is everything meatheaded about comics in the 1990s. It's a weird match, but dude played Zod. If being in superhero movies means he can still make really challenging indie movies in between, he's got my vote. Deadpool 2 will probably be better than Man of Steel anyways.
Heat Vision also reports that David Harbour of Stranger Things is also in the running, but since he is not Michael Shannon, he has a severe disadvantage.
Would you want Michael Shannon as Cable? Who would you cast if you could? Let us know in the comments.
[via Heat Vision/THR]... read + comment
After breaking Kickstarter records and making nerds of a certain age feel nostalgic, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is officially back with 14 episodes and gearing up for a Netflix premiere in April. Over at Entertainment Weekly, they debuted the first trailer for the rebooted show. The charming, low-rent special effects are back, and so is Mary Jo Pehl, apparently.
For your first look at Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt, Hampton Yount, and Baron Vaughn in action, check out the trailer below.
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I am out of the loop. Or out of whatever loop the Captain Underpants worldwide phenomenon was occurring in. For that I am sorry, for it seems I was missing out on something quite clever and funny.
The first trailer for the Dreamwork's film is out and it kind of looks hilarious. Evidently the books they're based on are pretty funny too, but if the animation studio's track record is any key then we'll be getting a nice blend of adult and kid humor. That's actually a tall order for a film whose title involves underpants.
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Our own Nick Valdez has been writing numerous features and lists for Power Rangers Month, examining the various iterations of the show in the lead up to the new Power Rangers movie this week. That's a lot of repurposed footage, ay yi-yi yi yi!
In addition to describing how to reboot the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Nick reposted an older piece of his about the abysmal 1995 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie. That movie is about as good as you think, meaning it is very bad.
Over at Honest Trailers, they gave their own opinion on the 1995 cash-grab, which you can watch below.
Keep an eye out for more Power Rangers Month pieces by Nick this week, including his review of the new film.read + comment
I have fond memories of the first couple Tony Hawk games, particularly the first three Tony Hawk's Pro Skater entries for PS1. Sure, the Tony Hawk franchise has seen lots of downs the last couple of years, but the fond feelings for those first games are still there. And yes, I do occasionally sport an onion on my belt. Why do you ask?
Ralph D'Amato, a producer on several Tony Hawk games, is currently working on a documentary called Pretending I'm a Superman. Directed by Ludvig Gür, the film chronicles the development of Tony Hawk going all the way back to the late 1990s. The film is 20% completed, and features interviews with Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Neversoft producer Scott Pease, and many others.
The team has turned to Indiegogo to raise the necessary funds to finish the project. Here's the pitch video (prepare to skank):
[embed]221388:43473:0[/embed]... read + comment
The first season of Iron Fist was the worst kind of disaster--a boring disaster. At least half of the season was devoted to a corporate takeover plot. Iron Fist features more scenes in corner offices and conference rooms than fights, which isn't what I'd want from a martial arts superhero show. To top it off, the character Danny Rand is a clueless doofus. He's played by Finn Jones, a charisma vacuum without a martial arts background.
Yesterday, Buzzfeed published a piece about Lewis Tan, an Asian-American actor who tried out for the lead role in Iron Fist. The producers picked Jones instead, but they decided to cast Tan as the single-episode bad guy Zhou Cheng. Tan appears in episode 8, and his fight scene steals the show. In fact, Tan's drunken boxing showcase is easily the best fight of the entire season.
Tan made a major impression in just a few minutes on screen, which made people wonder how he would have fared as Danny Rand/Iron Fist. In the mighty Marvel tradition, I am here to provide an answer to the question: "What if Lewis Tan played Danny Rand in Iron Fist?"
Excelsior!... read + comment
Iron Fist is such a tremendous failure on so many levels that it's fascinating to dissect. It's not fascinating to watch, however. The latest Marvel series on Netflix is a 13-hour bore that's 15% martial arts show and 85% boardroom drama. There's maybe 5 hours of story (I'm being generous) stretched out like a cheap sweater and just as stylish.
Did you want an unevenly paced superhero show that's mostly about the internal politics of a major corporation? Where every other scene involves two rich siblings discussing the plot in a corner office or a conference room?
Iron Fist is the epitome of inessential television. It's TV as background noise--the sort of thing you play while getting other things done. I was going to say it was TV as radio, but that's not fair to the radio, which can usually be fun, smart, and exciting. Iron Fist is none of these, though its biggest sin is its dispassionate fight choreography. Iron Fist is a martial arts show that sucks at the martial arts, which makes sense since our protagonist Danny Rand (Finn Jones) basically sucks at everything.... read + comment
Through its 24 seasons or so of existence, Power Rangers has become a show with its own set of traditions. Each season of the show may change, but a lot of the core elements stay the same: a rocking theme, colored spandex, and there's always a special ranger who comes in partway through the season and is a veritable badass.
Beginning with Tommy Oliver's Green Ranger changing kids lives in the 90s and going until the less well-known sixth Rangers of today, not all of these Rangers have been great.
For this ranking, I've factored in how well each sixth Ranger fit into their team, how they were introduced to the story, and overall coolness factor. A lot of nerd science went into this very important list.... read + comment
Avatar 2 is delayed. This is not a repeat from 2016. It is also not a repeat from 2015. The theme for the 2018 Avatar 2 delay will be "Under the Sea". With this many delays, I swear James Cameron is secretly making a Don Quixote movie.
Cameron himself said that the film is delayed because of additional Avatar sequels.
"What people have to understand is that this is a cadence of releases," Cameron said. "So, we’re not making Avatar 2--we're making Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5. It's an epic undertaking. It’s not unlike building the Three Gorges dam."
On the note of dams, I didn't give a damn about the first Avatar, and I don't give a damn about these sequels. It's about damn time Cameron made another boisterous action movie, though. Dammit.
[via The Independent]... read + comment
The Matrix should not be rebooted (even if there is a right way to do it). Hell, with the way the franchise dovetailed I'm not sure if it should come back in any form. But it is, of course, and we heard it was going to be a reboot. However, the probable screenwriter for the new film, Zak Penn,, is saying otherwise in a bit of a Twitter rant.
Basically, we're getting a Matrix universe, not a totally new Matrix franchise. Given the current state of Hollywood this makes total sense, and if you've read the Matrix comics or watched Animatrix as Penn suggests then you know there are a lot of other stories out there.
I guess I can kind of see this working out as long as they're full of great fight scenes, but as I said above the franchise could barely survive three films. Maybe there actually isn't enough there to make an entire universe.... read + comment
The other night we learned that Warner Bros. is developing a reboot of The Matrix, with an interest in Michael B. Jodan as the lead. Zak Penn has been tapped to write the treatment for the reboot, but nothing else is solid at the moment. The Wachowskis may not be involved in the project at all.
We're drowning in reboots and remakes these days, and the idea of remaking The Matrix seems unnecessary. It's so tied to its period--a groundbreaking work inextricable from the 1990s. I can't believe it's almost 20 years old. Where did the time go?
But what if you had to do a reboot and wanted to make the Matrix reboot matter? I think The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded provided solid story potential for a reboot. I also think The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions offer examples of what might not work in a new series.
This may all be preliminary fan fiction, but here's how I'd do The Matrix Rebooted.... read + comment
The live-action adaptation of Rampage seems to be moving forward without any hitches. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is playing the hero of the film, and director Brad Peyton promises scares and the feels. Today Heat Vision reported that Malin Akerman is in talks to play the villain of the movie.
So, is Akerman playing all of the army guys?
No. Not quite. In addition to this casting news, Heat Vision provided the following synopsis of the Rampage film:
Like the video game, the film will feature three creatures--a monstrously transformed gorilla, crocodile, and wolf--who wreak havoc on North American cities and landmarks. Only one man can stop them: the animal-loving hero played by Johnson.
Akerman will play the movie's villainess, a calculating head of a tech company that is behind the monsters.
Oof. That sounds less fun than a movie in which The Rock plays all three monsters and Akerman plays everyone in the armed forces. Trust me, the version of Rampage in my head I just described is awesome. The octopus was very scary.read + comment
Making to epic science fiction films back to back must be tiring so I can understand why when James Gunn revealed that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is definitely happening he also was pretty wishy-washy on if he'd be involved in it. Talking to Complex the director shared his thinking, while casually dropping the confirmation bomb.
“There will be a Guardians 3, that’s for sure. We’re trying to figure it out,” he said like it was no big thing. “I’m trying to figure out what I want to do really, that’s all it is. I got to figure out where I want to be, what I want to spend the next three years of my life doing. You know, I’m going to make another big movie; is it the Guardians or something else? I’m just going to figure it out over the next couple of weeks.”
Gunn's direction is one of the things that set Guardians apart from the rest of the Marvel universe so him leaving could be a big blow.... read + comment
The Batman seemed back on track when Matt Reeves signed on to direct the film. Maybe, just maybe, things would be looking up for the new solo Batman film and the DCEU as a whole.
Scratch that. There's been another setback.
According to a tweet from Justin Kroll of Variety, Reeves is committed to work on War for the Planet of the Apes through June. (The film comes out July 14.) That means Reeves wouldn't come on board The Batman until the second half of 2017, which could push actual production back to 2018.
In addition, there are rumors that the screenplay for The Batman will be rewritten from scratch by Reeves and his team. The first version of the script was co-written by Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns, with additional work by Chris Terrio. It's unclear if any elements from the first screenplay will be retained in the new version.
A while back we noted that the second Justice League film would be delayed until the completion of The Batman. Now I'm not so sure. The DCEU remains in flux. But maybe Reeves and the crew taking time to make a good movie rather than rushing out some product will be for the best.
[via /Film]... read + comment
As I've learned watching through 831 episodes of Power Rangers for two thirds of my life, a Ranger is only as good as their suit. A suit design can make or break a series through first impressions, and bad designs have indeed turned fans away from some seasons of the show in the past.
I don't know much about fashion, or have any finalized way of judging these suits so you'll probably read a lot of the same complaints, but with my Power Rangers expertise I've been able to parse out which ones were the coolest and which were the least powerful.... read + comment
Pixar's Coco was one of our most anticipated movies of 2017. Disney and Pixar released the first teaser trailer for the film today, and it looks like a magical blend of music, mariachis, Dia de Muertos, and ghosts. This is the best kind of blend. Honest.
Plus, check out that guitar. It is freakin' cool looking.
Watch the teaser trailer for Coco below.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. wants to reboot The Matrix. Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, story credits on X2 and The Avengers) is in talks to write the reboot treatment. Warner Bros. reportedly wants to model the new Matrix franchise after Disney/Lucasfilm's approach to Star Wars. This is a much better idea than modeling the new Matrix franchise after the company's own fledgling DC Extended Universe.
The landmark 1999 sci-fi action film from the Wachowskis is a distillation of what everyone thought was cool and edgy in the 1990s. It was followed by two sequels in 2003, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. The less said about Revolutions, the better.
This proposed reboot is in very early stages. The Wachowskis are not currently involved, and it is unclear what their contractual agreements are regarding participation or blessing of this project. It's also unclear if the original cast--Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving--will return in any capacity. There is speculation that Warner Bros. would like Michael B. Jordan to be part of the Matrix reboot, but as THR notes, that's getting ahead of themselves.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a strong entry in the Star Wars saga. It perfectly captured the feeling of playing Star Wars as a kid, and it all hung together well even with some major reshoots and restructuring. Many credit the film's veteran co-writer Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, the Bourne films) with guiding the film through the reshoots and post to what we have today.
Director Gareth Edwards has been slowly revealing more of the changes made to Rogue One during editing and post-production. While we still don't know just how much Gilroy did, we have some new details about changes to Rogue One below.
Keep in mind that there are MAJOR SPOILERS for Rogue One after the cut.... read + comment