Appearing at the Toronto Film Festival to promote “Hotel Mumbai,” actor Armie Hammer was asked about how the teased “Call Me By Your Name” sequel is coming along, and from the sounds of if things are progressing.
Late last year, during promotional rounds for the Oscar-winning film, filmmaker Luca Guadagnino suggested a potential plan to do a “Before Sunrise” style series of films which would revisit Armie Hammer’s Oliver and Timothee Chalamet’s Elio characters every few years with the actors playing older versions of their characters meeting up again after years apart. Of its current status, Armie Hammer tells Variety:
“It will happen because there are already people working on it and trying to make it happen. How much do I know and how much could I tell you are two very different things. I know a lot, but I can’t tell you anything.
More than anything I trust the artistic direction to Luca and [novelist] André Aciman and to those guys who did such a good job handling it the first time around. The only thing I want to see is I want to see it happen. I want to do it again.
I miss the whole crew. It was such a special time. It was such a collaborative, unique, and totally immersive filming experience that I never really had, nor since. If we get to do another one, I’ll feel really lucky.”
Hammer has also revealed he continues to receive peached-theme gifts due to the film, including a 10-pound bag of peach-flavored Haribo candy. The first film was shot for just $3.5 million and ended up grossing $41.7 million theatrically.
Toronto-based indie filmmakers Jonathan and Justin Gajewski are reportedly developing “Ring King,” a biopic about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s father and Canadian wrestling superstar Rocky Johnson.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia as Wade Douglas Bowles, the elder Johnson started wrestling in 1964. He went on to make his name in the professional wrestling game as a journeyman while fending off racial prejudice as he was among the first black wrestlers to demand and receive a contract.
He retired in 1991 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. The Gajewski twins have optioned his life rights and will produce. The pair has assistant director credits on numerous films shot in Toronto ranging from “Suicide Squad” to “Scott Pilgrim”.
CBS Corp. is reportedly preparing to announce the departure of chief executive officer Les Moonves as the media mogul faces a fresh round of allegations of sexual harassment.
Six additional women have come forward to accuse Moonves of harassment or assault, with claims stretching back decades, in a new report by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker. This follows on from the previous allegations from six other women regarding Moonves during his CBS tenure.
The latest reported incidents occurred in the 1980s and early 2000s and include claims that the executive forced women to perform oral sex on him, exposed himself, and used intimidation and physical violence. One of the women, veteran TV exec Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, filed a complaint late last year with the Los Angeles Police Department. The publication reports that their law enforcement sources found her “allegations credible and consistent” but prosecutors declined to pursue charges because the statute of limitations had expired.
The revelations add pressure to exit talks that were already underway at the network with the announcement of his exit expected imminently. It’s unclear what financial impact they will have, but these fresh allegations could make a dent in Moonves’ settlement package which was originally expected to total more than $US100 million.
Moonves, in a statement to the New Yorker, acknowledged three of the encounters while maintaining that they were consensual. Moonves is expected to be succeeded as CEO by Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello temporarily as the board would then begin a search for a full-time replacement.
CBS and controlling shareholder National Amusements Inc., who has been battling for board control with Moonves, didn’t have immediate comments on Sunday. As part of separate negotiations, CBS would end efforts to dilute the Redstone family’s 80% voting stake through National Amusements Inc. and potentially dismiss board members who staged an attempted coup. In exchange, National Amusements would agree to honor the independence of a new board and vow it won’t mount a new effort to merge CBS with Viacom Inc. for at least 18 months.
As the story continues to unfold, new wrinkles are cropping up. A new report at The Huffington Post details a source claiming Moonves was obsessed for years with ruining Janet Jackson’s career following the infamous Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction because “Jackson, in his mind, was not sufficiently repentant.”
Reviews were terrible, but that didn’t stop people turning out for “The Conjuring” spin-off “The Nun” which easily took the top spot at the weekend box-office with a franchise-best $53.5 million opening over the three day weekend.
The story is even better worldwide, where “The Nun” launched simultaneously with the domestic release – something the franchise has never really done before. As a result, it pulled in an incredible $77.5 million just overseas – combined it took in a whopping $131 million worldwide debut for a film done on a tight $22 million budget.
It’s especially impressive considering that not only was the film savaged by critics, it nabbed a not so impressive C Cinemascore from audiences. The Jennifer Garner-led action film “Peppermint” also opened over the weekend to even worse reviews, but a decent $13 million in third place. The only other new wide opener was faith-based “God Bless the Broken Road” which bombed with just $1.6 million.
“Crazy Rich Asians” continues its strong reign in second place with a further $13.6 million and a domestic total of $136 million after four weeks. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” is going from strength-to-strength with a worldwide total of $726 million so far and looks ready to soon surpass “Mission: Impossible II” domestically to become the biggest film in the franchise. The microbudget John Cho mystery thriller “Searching” held strong, falling just 25% and taking in a further $4.5 million.
“Titans” is the first of the three commissioned live-action series for the DC Universe streaming service and has been in production for many months ahead of its debut on October 12th. “Doom Patrol” recently kicked off filming and is looking likely to have an early 2019 debut.
Lagging behind, but still very much on the way, is the new series adaptation of “Swamp Thing” which is still in the midst of casting ahead of filming beginning in the Fall. Writer Gary Dauberman (“The Nun,” “IT”) is working on the series alongside filmmakers James Wan (“The Conjuring”) and Len Wiseman (“Live Free or Die Hard”) and spoke with Slashfilm this week about their aims for the series.
First up, the creature itself which he confirms is a physical costume and says: “it’s going to look amazing and less of the ‘man in suit’ that you’ve seen in the movie and the other TV show”. That suggests a blend of practical and CG enhancement. He’s also made it very clear that Swamp Thing would have a hard R rating:
“We always set out to make Swamp Thing as hard R as we could and go graphic with the violence, with the adult themes and make it as scary as possible. Because we’re doing it through the DC streaming service, they really pushed us, although they didn’t have to push hard, for us to go as extreme as we could. We really took our inspiration from the Alan Moore run in Swamp Thing, this landmark I think run. Fans of that series will know it gets pretty weird and extreme and scary.”
The series certainly sounds like it’s aiming to match the tone of the comics. One thing it won’t be doing, at least not for now, is connecting itself with the other shows on the service. Dauberman says the opportunity is there but they’re not following through on it at this time:
“I think the opportunity is there if we want to [connect the series] but it’s not mandated. I think we could if, in the future, it organically works itself out to be that way. I haven’t discussed that with the guys from Titans and they haven’t discussed it with us.”
That’s in stark contrast to “Doom Patrol” which is using the fifth episode of “Titans” as a ‘backdoor pilot’ of sorts. No premiere date for the series has yet been set but it’s likely not until the late Spring or Summer next year.
Reshoots have just kicked off on the untitled fourth “Avengers” movie and Jeremy Renner, the most notable absentee in “Avengers: Infinity War,” has taken to Instagram to tease his return to the role Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye (or Ronin?).
What brings the master marksman back into the fight is unclear, but it’s rumored the seemingly retired ex-Avenger will rejoin the team after at least some his family falls victim to Thanos’ snap.
Also today, the directors have also posted a photo of a superfan visiting the film’s set this week. At present we’re not sure how long the additional photography is going on for, but Joe and Anthony Russo have plenty of breathing room with the film currently set to hit theaters on May 3rd 2019.
While reviews for “The Predator” were mixed out of Toronto, reviews for the new “Halloween” whichi screened last night were much more positive with plenty of them calling it a return to form for the series.
Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions held the premiere of David Gordon Green’s slasher sequel at the film festival and the reaction varied between good and great. With fifteen reviews counted, the film sits at an impressive 93% and an 8/10 average rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. The film opens October 19th, and here’s a sampling of reviews below:
Variety: “Green has pulled off what he set out to do, tying up the mythology that Carpenter and company established, while delivering plenty of fresh suspense – and grisly-creative kills – for younger audiences.”
THR: “Carpenter should be pleased, and so should genre buffs – for once, this is a pic their less geeky girl/boyfriends should enjoy.”
EW: “The movie mostly works because it’s so fundamental, and funny too: Michael still never speaks; his mask and his slow, deadly, deliberate walk say everything they need to.
Nerdist: “For all of the deep and fascinating semiotic analysis of this film, it’s also just a great Halloween movie.
The Playlist: “Thrilling, atmospheric, and brutally violent, Halloween (2018) delivers exactly what fans want from the series and then some.”
Bloody Disgusting: “All in all, Halloween is a worthy entry in the franchise…the core cast is good to great, as is the violence and the gore. Everything really clicks at the finale.”
Cinemixtape: “David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” may not be perfect, but it’s exactly the rough-and-tumble twenty-first century sequel that Carpenter’s film deserves.”
Collider: “We finally have a new Halloween movie that moves the franchise forward and respects its legacy.”
Dread Central: “Halloween pays loving and respectful homage … while making a very bold and decisive claim for its own existence. This is the real deal and it is every horror fan’s dream come true.”
Indiewire: “The movie would be a harmless, discardable remix of standard horror notes if not for Curtis, who charges through the movie as if she never stopped running four decades back.”
North American Theater Owners president and CEO John Fithian, representing exhibitors at the Toronto Film Festival this week, has urged Netflix to follow the lead of rival Amazon and show their movies at the local multiplex.
Talking with THR, Fithian says: “Our model can work for their movies too. But if you want to play theatrically, come play theatrically. There’s a model that works, and it works for Fox, Amazon and all these companies, because a theatrical movie is different.”
Then Fithian stipulates a condition on that invitation: “It has to be a substantive commitment to theatrical, not just a marketing play. It’s not just a little dip into theatrical. You have to give [a movie] a chance to work.”
Netflix is aggressively embracing A-list directors to make movies for its streaming service at the moment and has previously expressed a desire to have their films released in cinemas.
However, to date, they have only screened their potential awards films such as “Mudbound” on a handful of screens mostly due to exhibitors being rigid about the theatrical movie window of at least three months between films screening at the multiplex and arriving on a home video platform.
On the one hand a theatrical release offers the advantage of perceived prestige, awards consideration and potential box-office success should a film go theatrical. On the other, there’s the disadvantage of suddenly more additional costs of millions in marketing and distribution, far more complicated deal making when it comes to doing anything with their films, and potentially bad word of mouth during the theatrical run.
There’s also the fact that their user base is worldwide, meaning films would be delayed by many months so that one or a handful of countries can get a theatrical run which could very well flop.
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” which Netflix is releasing both in a small handful of cinemas and on its streaming service, was the toast of the recent Venice Film Festival and won its top honor. It and Bradly Cooper’s “A Star is Born” have seemingly emerged as the two early favorites to nab a Best Picture Oscar.
Both HBO and producer Damon Lindelof have made it clear that the upcoming cable series adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic graphic novel “Watchmen” will be loyal in spirit but very different narratively from the original work.
It’s a welcome move, Zack Snyder’s 2009 film adaptation being an at times overly faithful adaptation – so much so there’s little need for another again so soon, especially with that film rising in estimation over the past near-decade. The pilot for the series began filming earlier with an impressive cast and while Moore famously won’t talk about adaptations of his work, Gibbons has spoken about the new series with EW saying:
“I do know a little about it. I’ve had conversations with Damon, and I’ve read the screenplay for the pilot. I don’t think it’s my place to say too much about it, other than I found Damon’s approach to be really refreshing and exciting and unexpected. I don’t think it’s gonna be what people think it’s going to be. It certainly wasn’t what I imagined it to be. I think it’s extremely fresh. I’m really looking forward to seeing it on the screen.
I’ve been resistant to the comic book prequels and sequels, but what Damon’s doing is not that at all, it’s very far away from that. While it’s very reverential and true to the source material (by which I mean the Watchmen graphic novel that Alan and I did), it’s not retreading the same ground, it’s not a reinterpretation of it. It approaches it in a completely unexpected way.”
Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Jeremy Irons, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Adelynn Spoon and Lily Rose Smith all star in “Watchmen” which is reportedly set to premiere sometime in 2019.
At the start of the year, 20th Century Fox did something unexpected with its “X-Men” spin-off film “The New Mutants” film. Having already begun marketing the film with a trailer and key art, they ended up delaying it from its planned April release – pushing the movie back first to February 2019 and then later that year in August.
A delay of well over a year for a relatively small film suggested serious problems, and/or more likely massive reshoots – the latter confirmed with the film undergoing a major overhaul and introducing an entirely new character to what was an already completed narrative.
The delays are understandably frustrating for fans, and more so for those who worked on the film including “Split” actress Anya Taylor-Joy who plays Magik in the movie. Back in March, the actress said the delay was “disappointing, frustrating in fact” but added: “it’s more important to make sure that we get it right than rushing to make a date.”
Now, half a year on, she’s spoken to Collider and seems more upbeat about the project and the reshoots helping the movie find its real tone:
“It’s crazy exciting! I love my character. I have such a connection to Illyana. I absolutely adore her, and getting to play her is super fun because she’s sassy and Russian and a little bit psycho. She’s just so much fun to play.
I don’t find [the delay] frustrating because when the film comes out, we want it to be something that will make the fans truly happy.
Taking the time to do it, whilst people might find it a little bit frustrating to wait for it, when we deliver it, it’s going to be fantastic. That’s the most important thing. And getting the opportunity to play the character again is just great.
I think we’re making the movie that we set out to make, in the beginning. That’s what we’re going to end up delivering to people. It feels like the movie we all signed up to do, which is good.”
Alice Braga, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga co-star in the film about five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fighting to escape their past sins and save themselves.