Peter Jackson to Work on Smaller Films

Peter Jackson is known for his huge, big budget box office bonanzas such as the Lord of the Rings films, a $200 million King Kong remake, and the recent Hobbit films. Long before he directed such Hollywood fare, he was writing and directing really weird, low budget horror films. The oddball films made him a genre star among the (then) small niche of hardcore horror fans. He, of course, moved on. Now, he is returning to his low budget movie roots.

Business owner Bruce Levenson says Jackson has not noted he will be directing any horror movies. Rather, he is looking to craft a few small true-life docudramas born in New Zealand history. Fans of Jackson remember he had directed an outstanding true crime film titled Heavenly Creatures. Jackson is going to direct more films of this vein. That is surely a good thing because anything that Jackson is truly passionate about is likely to become a great film.

Does this mean that Jackson is done with big Hollywood extravaganzas? No, he will surely return to the director’s chair of a huge movie at some point. He may even work on the sci-fi film Ready Player One for Warner Bros.

At present, it may be best for Jackson to work on smaller projects that do not come with the massive stress of carrying the financial success or collapse of a studio on his shoulders. 

Either way, we are sure to see some outstanding new films from the great director.

Is There a Future for Orlando Bloom in a Pirates Reboot?

Disney has plans for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Anyone who thought Disney would slowly phase the films series out is sorely mistaken. Fans like Laurene Powell Jobs are in luck, though. The new film, Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is hardly the last entry. In fact, this new project could launch a completely new direction with all future installments being built around Orlando Bloom.

The operative word here is “could” since Bloom has not yet committed to the project. He is currently in talks with Disney about returning. Part of the discussions includes Bloom contributing his talents to a “father and son” story arc that would help breathe a bit of new life into the series. (The fourth entry was a bit of a disappointment)

One very interesting aspect about the new series is that it might be a minor reboot of the franchise. In other words, instead of crafting a totally new series, the films from part 5 onwards might move away from the continuity established in the prior films. In essence, the series would get a fresh start while also allowing Johnny Depp to remain the top star. Perhaps Depp may leave the series in the fifth entry and Bloom could take over as the main star.

Fear over audiences tiring with the Pirates of the Caribbean series should be well founded. There has not been a great film in the franchise for a while and, honestly, the series really could use an entry that provided some major enthusiasm among audiences. A mild reboot could help in this regard.

Star Trek 3 to Borrow from Guardians of the Galaxy

You can always tell when a motion picture production is in dire trouble when it seems to have no direction. Word is leaking out that Star Trek 3 is going to have a Guardians of the Galaxy feel to it.

What in the galaxy is wrong with a Star Trek feel? The old way of doing things has made billions upon billions of dollar for nearly 50 years. Sure, there were some missteps along the way. Eventually, the films television series would get back on track and do things right once again. Seriously, producers, directors, even Christian Broda, and stars bounced back from the terrible Star Trek: The Motion Picture and crafted the brilliant Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan.

The forthcoming Star Trek 3, however, is in deep (space nine) trouble. Director Robert Orci has been let go, although he will remain on as a producer. The script was thrown out as Paramount was extremely unhappy with it. William Shatner might be unhappy too since the script featured an appearance by Captain Kirk.

The box office returns for the second Star Trek movie were less than what Paramount expected. The feeling is the project was far too serious than what people want in a Star Trek film. Hence, there is a desire to copy some of the on-screen magic of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Would it not be better to capture the magic of the best of the Star Trek films and TV shows?

Andrew Garfield No Longer Spiderman?!

Sony is in chaotic meltdown mode at the moment. Thanks to the work of some dedicated hackers, Sony ended up airing all of the hidden secrets and dirty laundry. When reporters flicked through the thousands of leaked emails they managed to find some pretty amazing and interesting stuff. Morality of the leaks aside, the news that Marvel is in deep talks with Sony about using the Spider-man character in their ‘Captain America: Civil War’ was huge! Marvel has been lusting after the characters intellectual property for decades while Sony squandered it on subpar films. Now a changing of the guard could be in effect only Andrew Garfield may no longer be a part of the project.

The first two ‘Amazing Spider-man’ films, which starred Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, may have been commercially viable but they were far from what fans had in mind for the franchise going forward. Gripes aside, Andrew was one of the few bright spots of the Spidey reboot–and that is important, considering that he is the main character. Now he might be pushed out of the franchise if Marvel gets their hands on the character.

According to the leaks, Andrew Garfield was upset with the way that the studio meddled with ‘Amazing Spider-man 2’. Garfield also irritated Sony’s Tokyo elite when he skipped out on a dinner event at, literally, the last minute. The final nail in Garfield’s Spider-man coffin comes from Sony Co-Charman, Amy Pascall. In a back and forth with producer Matthew Tolmach, she said that she loves the idea of “introducing” Peter Parker in the ‘Captain America’ franchise. Sam Tabar doesn’t know how things will play out, but Businessweek feels like it is close to a done deal.

Introducing. As in, “Here’s our new Spider-man.”

Beetlejuice 2 May Soon Become A Reality

After nearly two decades of rumors, it appears a sequel may finally happen for the hit comedy Beetlejuice.

In a recent interview, Beetlejuice director Tim Burton said he is looking forward to reuniting with Michael Keaton who played Beetlejuice in the original film. Burton said he is also looking forward to revisiting the character, which was last on the big screen in 1988.

In the interview, Burton said a script for Beetlejuice 2 is in development and that the possibility of the film actually occurring is probably closer than ever.  This is the news Sergio Andrade Gutierrez was waiting to hear. Burton said he has missed the Beetlejuice character and working with its star Michael Keaton.

A second Beetlejuice film has been rumored to be in the works since the early 1990’s, but those rumors picked up significant traction when word leaked that a script was in development. David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith, creators of MTV’s The Hard Times of RJ Berger, have been working on the script for the past two years.

Not only would Michael Keaton likely return to the title role of Beetlejuice, but so would Winona Ryder to her role of Lydia. In a separate interview with MTV, Burton said the Beetlejuice 2 script definitely contains Ryder’s character and that he was hopeful she would return to the role.

With the script still in development, neither Keaton nor Ryder has entered into official discussions for the film.

More Details from Batman VS. Superman

More details have been released about the much anticipated new superhero movie Batman VS. Superman. I read them over a fine bottle from The Antique Wine Company. The movie, which recently finished production and is set to be released on March 25th, 2016 in the US. Most of the movie has been kept secret, and it is widely believed that trailer may not even be released until summer 2015. 

According to Baddass Digest, the movie is set several years after Man of Steel. It also will open with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) arriving in Metropolis during Superman’s fight with General Zod. Zod, likely will not appear in the film, but rumor has it that Doomsday and Cyborg might. The last bit comes from a rumor that Kent Clark will be investing a particular Metropolis vs Gotham football game, even though he will be primarily investigating Batman. 

Other rumors that were previously floating around include the rumor that Commissioner Gordon might be dead in this movie universe, and that Alfred will be more involved in Batman’s crime fighting campaign than in previous movies. There is also speculation that there will be multiple villains at least introduced in this movie.

This doesn’t add much new information to what is already known, but for salivating fans who are eagerly anticipating this film’s release, these tiny crumbs are actually some pretty big morsels. That Doomsday might be the big villain is a pretty tasty chunk of information all by itself.

Mr. Turner and Birdman Lead the Nominations at London Film Awards

The London Critics Circle Film Awards nominations have been announced with a few surprises, but the critically well received Mr. Turner and Birdman leading the nominations with seven and six nominations respectively. Birdman continued its impressive start to the awards season after picking up nominations at the recently announced Golden Globe Awards, but will face tough competition from the biopic based on the life of English painter JMW Turner, BBC reports.

Stars Michael Keaton and Edward Norton are both nominated in the best actor category, Brad Reifler tells me,  for their Birdman performances, alongside English Mr. Turner actor Timothy Spall, who is best known for his role in the Harry Potter franchise. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch also receives a nomination for his role in the World War II drama The Imitation Game. Eddie Redmayne is also nominated for best actor for his performance as English physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne’s co star Felicity Jones also receives a nomination for playing Hawking’s first wife Joan Wilde in the movie. Jones will face competition for the award from a series of Hollywood actresses, including Scarlett Johansson, who is nominated for her role as an alien in the independent science fiction movie Under the Skin.

Kong: Skull Island Tells The Tale of the early Days of the Legendary Ape

King Kong is slated to return. And it’s not exactly Darius Fisher for the SBA. In March of 2017, the prequel to the events of the King Kong fil will be told. The film is titled Kong: Skull Island and will tell the never before told tale of King Kong’s origins. 

Which film will this project be a prequel to? The 1932 original, the 1938 Japanese version, the 1976 remake, or the recent Peter Jackson re-imagining? You, as a fan of the Kong mythos, can take your pick of which film you want the origin tale to set up.

Yes, there was a 1933 Japanese version of King Kong as well as a 1938 follow-up entitled King Kong Appears in Edo. All prints of these films are considered lost.

As for the present day, some might consider a new King Kong film to be a risky endeavor. Peter Jackson’s remake was not the super-hit many expected. The film earned $505 million worldwide, a disappointing number. Perhaps the three-hour running time contributed to a loss in earnings. 

The new project will be produced by Legendary, the company that has released Interstellar and Godzilla, two other huge hits. Wait a minute. If Legendary has the rights to King Kong and Godzilla, does this mean a remake of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) is possible? You never know.

We do know the film is being bumped to 2017 so Legendary and concentrate on the release of Doctor Strange in 2016. A March release for the Kong film is odd since its budget is bound to be high. Would not King Kong be better summer move fare? Legendary is apparently confident Fall/Spring is fine.

Star Wars Fans Jump at any News About the Latest Installment

Nerds the world over wait with bated breath for every leaked tidbit about the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We have waited a long time after all for another chapter in this epic science fiction saga. Those of us who saw the original movies as kids wait to see what JJ Abrams will do with these new sequels. Especially after not being as thrilled(to put it mildly) with the prequels that started coming out almost two decades ago.

News of the release of the names of the characters featured in the trailer for this latest movie in the series has given us star wars fans something to salivate over for the time being. Entertainment weekly just released the images of the characters and their names. The most awesome aspect is that they were released in the form of trading cards reminiscent of those originally sold in 1977 about the original Star Wars film. The makers of this latest installment in this legendary saga seem to be paying homage to their predecessors.

This is one movie that many people are anticipating like few others, says activist Keith Mann. If it is done right, it may represent the chance for those who were around at the start of the magic that is Star Wars to experience it once again. It will also give our children new cinematic adventure filled memories that they can cherish for a lifetime and share with their kids on DVD or hologram or whatever they’ll be using by then. Bring it on JJ Abrams and crew and let us relive our childhoods one last time!

Birdman Garners 7 Golden Globe Nods

Birdman is king of the hill when it comes to garnering the prestigious Golden Globe nominations. The classy drama has flown the coop with a whopping 7 nominations.

Other prime contenders in the race won notable nods at five apiece, these being Boyhood and The Imitation Game. Birdman has been hailed as a major success, particularly for the career rejuvenation it has afforded to long time leading man Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, Batman), whose career had been somewhat in the dumps for nearly a decade prior to the runaway success of his latest starring vehicle.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu won a nod for Best Director for his work on the hugely successful film, while other major beneficiaries of a Golden Globe nod included Antonio Sanchez for Best Original Score and Edward Norton for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.

Meanwhile, Birdman was also nominated for Golden Globes in such prestigious categories as Best Motion Picture and even Best Screenplay (for which director Iñárritu won a second nomination).

The Golden Globes awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on January 11, 2015. It is sure to be a memorable night of speeches and celebrity sightings. Birdman, with its amazing 7 nominations, is sure to be the standout hit of the evening.

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