Written by Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields, the story will center on a scientist named Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga), who studies kaiju for the Monarch agency, and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). They get kidnapped by an organization that has their own special plans for the monsters, but machinations lead to the dangerous creatures being unleashed upon the world. The impressive cast also includes Kyle Chandler, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Zhang Ziyi, Thomas Middleditch, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds, David Strathairn, and Ken Watanabe.
This past fall we learned of an interesting potential future for both the Scream and Hellraiser franchises. Sitting down with Miramax CEO Bill Block, I asked if there was a possibility of the two legendary horror brands returning in similar fashion to the new Halloween, and the executive responded in the affirmative – confirming that they are “part of the new program.” We haven’t heard any real updates about the developments since then, but apparently it’s something that Blumhouse Productions is game to get in on.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to speak with Jason Blum for the first time since the release of Halloween, and given the success of his first collaboration with Bill Block I specifically inquired about his interest in new chapters for both Scream and Hellraiser. Blum confirmed that there have been some talks about those particular franchises, and while nothing is currently in active development, it is a road that he is interested in traveling:
And after Halloween, why not? Michael Myers’ franchise was in a rather bruised and battered state before director David Gordon Green’s canon-altering sequel, and the 2018 movie was hailed as a wonderful revitalization and was a monster box office hit for Blumhouse, Universal Pictures, and Miramax. The film was made with only a $10 million budget, and by the time it was done playing in theaters worldwide it raked in $253.7 million.
Admittedly bringing back classic horror franchises didn’t exactly work as a stellar strategy when Platinum Dunes produced a string of them between 2003 and 2010 (including Marcus Nispel’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Andrew Douglas’ The Amityville Horror, and Samuel Bayer’s A Nightmare on Elm Street), but it’s also important to note that we are A) now living in a different filmmaking era, and B) not talking about simple remakes.
Cinematic horror as a whole arguably has more heat right now than ever before, and part of that stems from increased audience engagement, but also from a wider respect for the genre within the industry, and greater interest from talented filmmakers. All of that not only means more resources and energy put towards projects, but also more openness to risk and new ideas.
As they always have been, both Scream and Hellraiser are franchises loaded with potential, though they also have their own interesting complications. In the case of the former, there is the fact that the brand is still active with a television series that is developing a third season, not to mention the fact that all four of the previous Scream films were directed by one man: the late, great Wes Craven. At the same time, however, it’s such a natural series to bring back, if not just because there is endless meta commentary to be made about the status and progression of the genre.
Hellraiser has also never really fully gone away, with a new direct-to-video feature released just last year, but the overall brand could definitely use the same kind of comeback that Halloween just got. The world Clive Barker created of puzzle boxes and Cenobites is a wonderful nightmare, and all the franchise needs is a filmmaker with an exciting new vision, and resources to give them.
If it isn’t clear, this is a development we’re very interested in following, and while there isn’t much forward motion right now, we’re keeping an eye out for news. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months/years – and also do yourself a favor by seeing the latest Blumhouse creation, Happy Death Day 2U, which is now playing in theaters everywhere.
After years of development, Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, and Rodney Rothman’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse absolutely blew minds when it debuted back in December 2018. Hailed by many as one of the best films of the year, it received a near-universal warm reception, and became a must-see big screen event. This is actually still the case, as the movie is still playing in many theaters nationwide, but soon fans will be able to take the experience home with them, as the digital, and physical media dates have been announced, along with the surprise that the release will soon be getting a new Spider-Ham short film.
This news was revealed by Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse producer Chris Miller on Twitter, noting that digital downloads will be available on February 26th, while 4K, Blu-ray and DVD copies will hit stores on March 19th. A promised “Kingpin-sized ton of extras” will come along with all purchase options, and apparently that includes a new little bit that will star John Mulaney’s fan-favorite character from the blockbuster.
Sadly not much is known about the plot of the Spider-Ham short film, how it will utilize its central character, or even if it will be in-canon with the events of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. However, it’s also rare that we can be truly surprised by pop culture in this modern era, so maybe this is a case where it will be fun to go into watching it without knowing anything at all.
Hailing from a much more cartoon-y universe (Earth-8311) than the one inhabited by Miles Morales or any big screen version of Peter Parker, Spider-Ham made his big screen debut in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, but has been making readers laugh since he was introduced into that pages of Marvel Comics in 1983. He was originally a one-off character, but immediate popularity resulted in an on-going series, and he has been making regular appearances ever since.
Contrary to expectations, Spider-Ham began life as an anthropomorphic spider named Peter Porker who was dramatically transformed forever when he was bitten by a radioactive pig. Like most webslingers in the multiverse, he is a strong believer in “with great power comes great responsibility,” and as a result has done battle with villains like Eelectro, Mysteriape, and the Green Gobbler. Perhaps the short will give us more of him living in his own universe?
For what it’s worth, John Mulaney has already been out there pitching his vision for a Spider-Ham movie. Last year the comedian suggested putting the character in a plot akin to All The President’s Men or Spotlight – following Peter Porker as he investigates a heavy story for the Daily Beagle. We don’t expect that this idea has anything to do with the short that we will soon get to see, but it’s still a fun idea to think about.
It won’t be long until we have all the details, as you may have noticed that Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’s digital release date is just a little over a week from today. It’s a release we’re tremendously excited for here at CinemaBlend, and will be covering in depth, so stay tuned for more updates and cool behind-the-scenes stories about this wonderful blockbuster in the coming weeks – and you’ll be able to watch it compete in the Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards next Sunday, February 24th.
Nobody is quite sure what to expect from the Oscars on Sunday, but at least some of the show’s entertainment has now been confirmed. While it had previously reported that the the idea of having Queen perform at the Academy Awards this weekend had been scrapped, current Queen front-man Adam Lambert revealed on Twitter today that the band will, in fact, perform this Sunday.
The original report that claimed the Academy was interested in having Queen perform at the Oscars stated that the band would potentially open the show and perform music from Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie nominated for Best Picture which tells the story of the band and its original lead singer, Freddie Mercury.
At the time, it seemed that idea had already been dropped. It’s not clear if Queen wasn’t interested or if the Academy just changed its mind about having the band play. Now that we know Queen will perform, it seems that either the idea never really died, or whoever killed the idea initially had a change of heart.
How exactly the Oscars was going to handle the portion of the show that wasn’t strictly the handing out of awards has been a major question since Kevin Hart stepped down as host of the show and the decision was made to go forward without a host at all.
The host’s job is largely to bind the show together and give it all a cohesive feel. Without that role being filled it’s been anybody’s guess what kind of show we were going to get.
If Queen does in fact open the show, it will certainly set a unique tone for the Oscars, though it has not yet been confirmed if Queen will actually open the Academy Awards or perform at some other point.
It’s certainly does go to show exactly how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is looking to change things up. The music that we were expecting to hear on the show, the nominees for Best Original Song, was originally going to be limited to only two of the nominees, and now, while all five songs will be performed, the word is each will only be given 90-seconds, rather than being able to perform the complete song. It seems the time that is being saved is being given over to Queen.
Having Queen perform at the Oscars certainly makes a lot of sense. Bohemian Rhapsody is that rare movie that is both an Oscar contender and a popular movie that did well at the box office. It is exactly the sort of film that the Academy wants to focus on as it continues to try and dig out of the slump that the Oscars are currently in. Ratings for the show have been hitting record lows in recent years as there appears to be a growing disconnect between the movies that get nominated and the movies that the average moviegoer actually goes to see.
Will people actually tune in to see Queen perform at the Oscars? We shall see.
We’ll never see what Zack Snyder’s fully realized DC Universe would have looked like, but the man himself promises it would have been amazing. In a recent social media post the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director was asked if we would ever have seen a Flashpoint storyline in the DC film universe if things had gone as Snyder originally envisioned. In response, Snyder left a single word, “better.”
Exactly where the current DC film universe is going as a cohesive world is far from clear but the one thing that does seem to be accurate is that Zack Snyder will not be at the helm. While Snyder is still technically a producer of the franchise, he left Justice League before reshoots were completed and his focus as a director now seems to be on an adaptation of The Fountainhead rather than anything involving comic book superheroes. Snyder says that he learned of Affleck’s decision to leave the role of Batman when everybody else did, which would seem to confirm he’s not directly involved in the franchise anymore.
Originally, Justice League was announced as being a two-part movie but that idea got squashed into a single film. How much of what Justice League turned out to be was the work of Snyder as opposed to Joss Whedon, who came in to handle reshoots, has been a topic of contention ever since.
Justice League largely floundered at the box office, but many vocal fans believe that if Snyder had been able to complete the movie himself a far superior film would have resulted.
Snyder doesn’t elaborate at all on what he means, but you can bet that fans all sort of had their minds blown at the idea. What exactly was Zack Snyder’s grand plan for the DC heroes? He calls Ben Affleck the Best Batman Ever in his post, so one can certainly guess that Affleck leaving the role right now was certainly not part of Snyder’s road map. Certainly, a great deal of material was lost when Justice League became a single film, but we still have little idea what would have been in that longer story or where it would have pointed afterward.
James Cameron doesn’t seem to do anything quickly. He’s just now working on sequels to Avatar after talking about them for the last decade. However, it seems that the writer/director/producer’s latest project, the Robert Rodriguez directed Alita: Battle Angel, has been an idea kicking around since even before Avatar became a thing. In a recent interview, Rodriguez reveals that James Cameron first presented the idea of Alita to him back when he was working on Sin City, and Cameron already had a lot more than a simple concept. According to the director…
Of course, Alita would not become the next movie James Cameron would direct, because the aforementioned Avatar would then become the film that took up all of Cameron’s time. Cameron himself hasn’t directed a feature film since Avatar, largely because while those sequels have taken a decade to get off the ground, they’ve always been a work in progress.
Yet, Alita: Battle Angel would also never be an idea that completely disappeared either. It would always be something James Cameron would want to make happen. Eventually, he would decide that in order for it to happen at all, somebody else would have to direct it, and so Cameron’s friend Robert Rodriguez, who had been shown the idea all those years ago, would end up taking the chair.
Sin City was released in April of 2005 so we’re looking at sometime in 2004 or early 2005 or so when this first meeting actually happened.Clearly, based on the material Robert Rodriguez tells Rolling Stone Cameron had already created, this wasn’t entirely a “new” idea even then.
Rodriguez himself admits that bringing the comic book to life was going to be a tall order. It’s likely at least partially for that reason that we didn’t actually see the movie for 15 years. Technology needed to progress to a point where the design would work.
It seems we’re there now, and so far Alita: Battle Angel is being embraced by the audience. It did better than expected at the box office over this past weekend, bringing in $36 million since Thursday, and while it likely still has a long way to go financially speaking, creatively, it looks like James Cameron was able to get exactly what he wanted on the big screen.
One can only guess what he has in store for those Avatar sequels.
Some of the best casting in recent memory had to be the decision to cast Tom Hanks, who is generally regarded as being actually as nice as he seems to be in the movies, as Fred Rogers, the children’s TV show host who also appears to be pretty much exactly the guy he played on the small screen. Beautiful Day on the Neighborhood will tell the story of Fred Rogers and an unlikely friendship, and now our first look at the film itself appears to show the movie’s two main characters meeting for the first time. Check it out.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will co-star Matthew Rhys as a journalist named Lloyd Vogel, who is based on real-life journalist Tom Junod. In the film, Vogel will begrudgingly accept an assignment to write about Rogers, but after meeting the man, Vogel will begin to give up his natural skepticism and begin to embrace Rogers’ perspectives on empathy and kindness.
The image released on Twitter by Sony appears to show the moment that these two characters will meet in the film. They’re on the set of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, with various backdrops and models in the background that make up Rogers’ house and the land of make believe.
While we had previously seen one official image released which showed Tom Hanks in costume as Fred Rogers, that appeared to be a simple publicity shot, this is the first look at the film itself.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood aired its final regular episode in 2001 and Fred Rogers died in 2003, but there may be no better time to make a movie about the man that so many children grew up with. Last year the documentary film Won’t You Be My Neighbor took a look at the man behind the television show. It was a highly regarded and well reviewed film, that somehow was not nominated for an Academy Award because clearly the Oscars didn’t learn anything from Mr. Rogers.
Still, if you did love Won’t You Be My Neighbor, then you’re probably all set for a movie like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. While the world often seems dark and cynical, knowing that somebody like Fred Rogers was actually a real human can make you feel a lot better about everything. The fact that Fred Rogers is being played by Tom Hanks only makes the entire thing feel that much more like the cinematic equivalent of a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate.
Though, if you haven’t seen Won’t You Be My Neighbor yet, allow me to recommend that you not watch it on an airplane. You get some really questioning looks from people wondering why you’re crying your eyes out by yourself on a plane.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is set for release this October.
The next James Bond movie recently had its release pushed back, and now we may have some more details as to why. Originally set to bow in February 2020, the film has now been pushed back to April and the reason appears to be that there is a general feeling that the script needs work. It also is getting a set of fresh eyes as The Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z. Burns has reportedly been handed rewrite duties.
According to the Playlist, this isn’t a simple polish of the existing script by longtime Bond script writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, but a major overhaul that, assuming no other changes are made after Scott Z. Burns is finished, is likely to net him the top screenwriting credit for the new movie.
The 25th James Bond movie has had a long road already, and it seems that things are far from over yet. For the longest time it seemed that the only important question regarding the next Bond film was whether or not Daniel Craig would return to the lead role. After numerous rumors in either direction, and the betting odds perpetually shifting between one potential new candidate and another, Craig did agree to return.
It’s unclear exactly what the issue is with the current script so it’s impossible to know exactly where Scott Z. Burns is focusing his efforts, but it does sound like the problems are significant.
Bond 25 was set to go before the cameras next month, but that start date has been pushed back to April along with the revised release date. Either way, that still doesn’t give Burns a great deal of time to whip Bond 25 into shape. He’s only got a couple of months to apparently completely overhaul the script from something that’s apparently not good enough into something that everybody is happy with.
On the plus side, Eon Productions picked the right guy for the job. Burns is an accomplished script doctor who has done uncredited work on numerous films to punch up existing projects. He’s certainly got the skill, though it sounds like this movie requires a lot more work.
Among other things, this means that everything we’ve heard about what the new Bond movie might be about is completely in flux. Even if all the previous rumors were accurate, all of those details may have changed once the new version of the script is ready.
If filming begins as scheduled in April we can assume the new script was a success, otherwise, we might be in for more delays before it’s all said and done.
The original Happy Death Day opened on October 13, 2017 to a robust $26 million. Critics largely dug the “Groundhogs Day meets Slasher/Horror” genre mix, and Jessica Rothe sold the insanity of having to live your final day over and over until you broke the loop. A sequel made all the sense in the world, and yet, the incredibly clever Happy Death Day 2U opened to a lackluster $9 million in estimated ticket sales over the weekend. While not a disaster – because Blumhouse kept the reported budget at $9 million for the sequel – that opening number still begs the question, “Why the hell did y’all snooze on Happy Death Day 2U?”
Most sequels outperform their predecessors at the box office, as the studio no longer has to educate the audience on what to expect. Happy Death Day 2U brought its entire cast back, so fans of the original should have been curious as to where the story was going to go after the initial thriller.
We’re going to get into spoilers for the rest of this article, so punch out of this if you haven’t yet seen Happy Death Day 2U – which is a LOT of you – and go see that sequel!
The marketing for Happy Death Day 2U might have hurt the film’s chances of luring an audience, but with good reason. The trailers and commercials made it seem like a rehash of the first film, with Jessica Rothe’s character, Tree, waking up to relive her birthday again. And again.
But that’s because the ads for Happy Death Day 2U hid a major plot point of the sequel, and something that set it apart. While there are slasher elements to this one, writer/director Christopher Landon took a sci-fi approach to try and explain the time loop, and I thought 2U was more clever than the original film. Different, by design, but more inventive and actually emotional.
Part of me wonders if the Valentine’s Weekend release date worked against Happy Death Day 2U? Putting the original in October, when mainstream audiences are looking for a scare, probably helped to propel the first movie to box office heights. February has proven to be a fertile month for movies to open, but this weekend, more theatergoers chose either Alita: Battle Angel or the date-night-friendly Isn’t It Romantic, both of which performed better at the box over opening weekend.
It’s very possible that positive word of mouth from the people who did see Happy Death Day 2U propels it in the weeks to come. Upcoming releases like How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Fighting With My Family aren’t exactly competing for the horror crowd. I’ll continue to beat the drum for Happy Death Day 2U, mainly because I love the fact that it branched away from the roots of the original, while still finding ways to build on the central storyline. Not to mention the fact that Christopher Landon told us he has the idea for a third movie, and he promises it’s bonkers. But with this box-office opening, he might not get a chance to make it.
If you made it this far, and you are one of the ones who simply decided to skip Happy Death Day 2U over the weekend, head to the comments section and let us know why. We’re curious. And then bookmark our 2019 Movie Release Schedule, so you can stay up to date with everything else that is opening for the rest of the year.
If you’re a serious Star Wars fan, then odds are you’ve been more than a little excited in recent weeks. It’s 2019 now, which means we’ve entered the same calendar year in which Star Wars: Episode IX will be released. The film’s marketing push should be getting under way any minute now. Any…minute…now… Fans have serious expectations that a title and a trailer are just on the horizon. Fans what to get the first look and they want it now, but nothing seems to be moving on the Lucasfilm side of things. Although, a recent tweet from the Star Wars UK Twitter account, has people wondering if something may be about to happen.
If this is the calm before the storm, then the storm is coming, right? And the storm will be here soon, right? And the storm, in this case, is the trailer for Star Wars Episode IX, right? Or, barring that, at least the release of the first poster which includes the title of the bloody movie, right?
By this time two years ago, the title for Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been released, which led many to expect that we’d have more information about the final film in the trilogy by now than we actually do. At the same time, that means that a title announcement could come at any time, and so fans remain on edge wondering when it will happen. Comments like this one from an official social media page are the sorts of things that get attention. Does this mean some sort of announcement is imminent?
It is, of course, possible that this is an intentional reference that “the storm” is on the way and we should all be ready for something to drop soon. Of course, it’s equally possible that this is just a general statement. Things are calm now, just wait until the promotional machine goes into gear.
Principal photography on Star Wars: Episode IX was announced to have officially wrapped on February 15 and this tweet was released the next day. It could just be a reference that with filming done, things are calm in the Star Wars universe for now, though that will be changing before too long. The Twitter account is the one dedicated to UK fans, and that’s where most of the filming for Episode IX took place.
If there’s a silver lining to all this madness, it’s that there is very likely an end date where we know we’ll have all the answers, or at least all the answers Lucasfilm will give us. Star Wars Celebration starts on April 11 and if the event doesn’t end with a title and a trailer being revealed, you can be pretty sure that Star Wars fans might not leave Chicago standing. If somehow that event ends and we still don’t have a trailer you can be pretty sure there will never be one.
Things might be revealed before the event of course, but the closer we get to it without a title or a trailer the more likely it becomes that Lucasfilm will just wait until then.
Whether this tweet is a specific harbinger of things to come to just a general comment on the state of Star Wars, it’s certainly accurate. Whether it’s even possible to make fans more excited then they already are is unclear, but apparently Star Wars is going to try.