Welcome to the Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #5!
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This episode we discuss:
CINEMA SQUAD 3/20/16
Box Office Report
- Coming in 1st at the Box Office this weekend, with $38-Million is Zootopia
- 2nd with $29-Million is Divergent Series: Allegiant
- 3rd with $15-Million is Miracles from Heaven
- 4th with $12-Million is 10 Cloverfield Lane
- And rounding out the Top Five with $8-Million is Deadpool
THEATER – NETFLIX – OR NEVER
- Opening next weekend we have “Batman v Superman” – Mankind faces a new threat as Batman embarks on a personal vendetta against Superman. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, & Jesse Eisenberg star, and the film is directed by Zach Snyder.
- Next we have “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” – A Portokalos family secret brings the beloved characters back together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding. Directed by Kirk Jones, the film stars Nia Vardalos & John Corbett.
- And finally, in limited release we’ve got “I Saw the Light ” – The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life. Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsenstar.
The HOT List – The hottest stories from the previous week in Movie News:
- Before we get into individual movie news, we have an UPDATE on the ongoing discussion of The Screening Room. The Screening Room, Sean Parker and Prem Akkaraju’s day-and-date in-home entertainment service, would charge consumers for a $150 set-top box and then $50 for each 48-hour rental. We discussed this topic as our Closing Segment during our previous Podcast. We can now count Oscar-nominated filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan among those opposing The Screening Room. Shyamalan joins a growing list of colleagues: Roland Emmerich, Brett Ratner, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron and producer Jon Landau. The list who are against The Screening Room is close to rivaling those who are in favor: Peter Jackson, J.J. Abrams, Martin Scorsese, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Taylor Hackford and Frank Marshall. The whole notion of the Screening Room is to create another revenue stream in addition to the box office for major studio films, particularly those that might fall through the cracks in a tentpole-heavy market. However, exhibition and studio chiefs raise a number of cons about the service. Shyamalan said: “It doesn’t matter what type of encryption or forensic watermark you put on a streaming title. Then there’s an endless effort to track the person down who copied the film. Before you catch them, the pirated version will spread like wildfire.”
- Disney announced Tuesday that director Steven Spielberg and actor Harrison ford will make a fifth “Indiana Jones” film, with a release date of July 19, 2019. The press release from the studio said: “Steven Spielberg, who directed all four previous films, will helm the as-yet-untitled project with star Harrison Ford reprising his iconic role. Franchise veterans Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall will produce.” Curiously, George Lucas’ name is missing from the participants in this upcoming sequel. Just days after this announcement, Spielberg revealed that he’ll reunite with screenwriter David Koepp to tackle the script. This marks the fifth time the “Jurassic Park” scribe has written for Spielberg, whose collaborations also include ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park,’ ‘War of the Worlds,’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.’
- Early last week, Sony released the first trailer for Seth Rogen‘s R-rated animated comedy: “Sausage Party.” In a send-up of Disney/Pixar films, the film tells the story of one sausage setting out on a quest to discover the truth about his existence. After falling out of a shopping cart, our hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the Fourth of July sale. Rogen enlisted the talents of Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken to compose the original music. The film also features the voices of Jonah Hill, James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, Michael Cera, and Salma Hayek.
- Warner Bros and DC Entertainment have hired Jason Fuchs to write ‘Lobo’ based off the comic book of the same name. Fuchs is no stranger to the superhero world, as he wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Patty Jenkin’s ‘Wonder Woman’ film starring Gal Gadot. The long-in-development project has seen several writer/directors come & go including Guy Ritchie and Brad Peyton. Insiders suggest that Fuchs will start from scratch with his own take on Lobo — an alien who works as an interstellar mercenary and bounty hunter. The character became a popular figure among fans of DC comic books following his revival in the early ’90s as a biker anti-hero.
- Netflix to the rescue! Last week, Paramount made a baffling decision, pulling the stop-motion animated adaptation of “The Little Prince” from the release schedule days before it was set to arrive in theaters (it would have opened March 18). Paramount has yet to comment on the somewhat mystifying and certainly unusual decision, but now it appears that Netflix has acquired the rights to distribute “The Little Prince movie” in the US. Directed by Mark Osborne (of Kung Fu Panda), The Little Prince features a stellar voice cast, including Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, Benicio Del Toro, James Franco, Ricky Gervais, and Paul Giamatti. The film is based on the beloved 1943 novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert who encounters a mysterious young boy claiming to be an interplanetary traveler on a mission to return to the small asteroid he calls home, and their subsequent dialogue about philosophy, imagination, and human nature. No word yet on when the film will hit the streaming platform.
THE CASTING NET – The latest in casting news:
- Chewie, we’re almost home. Lucasfilm and Disney are getting close to finding their young Han Solo. According to sources, tests were conducted in London last weekend that involved actors Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!), Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), and Taron Egerton (The Kingsman & Eddie the Eagle). Disney and Lucasfilm have searched from Alderaan to Yavin in their search for the new star, with sources saying that more than 2,500 actors have either met or put themselves on tape, becoming part of one of the widest casting calls ever. The character will debut in a Star Wars spin-off film being made by Disney, Lucasfilm and filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and is scheduled for a 2018 release.
- Sixteen years after “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts is eyeing to star in “Train Man,” a courtroom drama about a real-life New York folk hero. Roberts would play a lawyer tasked with defending Darius McCollum, the criminal (and Internet celebrity) known for impersonating public transit authorities in order to drive away subway trains and Greyhound buses. McCollum, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, has been arrested more than 25 times for such crimes. Roberts’ character would be his most recent lawyer, and his previous heists (starting at age 15) are shown throughout the film via flashbacks. The script was written by Simon Stephenson (of the U.K. tv series “Eleventh Hour”). A director has not been hired.
- Simon Pegg is in talks to join Steven Spielberg’s next film “Ready Player One.” The Ernie Cline adaptation, which takes place in 2044, revolves around a highly valuable online virtual reality space called OASIS, in which most inhabitants of Earth spend their free time. Pegg will fill the role of Ogden Morrow, the co-creator of OASIS. Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, and Ben Mendelsohn also star. The film will begin shoots in June for Warner Bros, with a release date of March 30th, 2018.
- ‘Last Man on Earth’s Will Forte is poised to star in “A Futile and Stupid Gesture,” a film that aims to chronicle the tragic story of Doug Kenney. Kenney co-founded National Lampoon with fellow Harvard students Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman shortly after graduation, forming what would become a cornerstone of American comedy that flourished from a humor magazine into a nationwide brand. The success took its toll on Kenney, who moved to Hollywood to work as a writer on films like National Lampoon’s “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” but subsequently developed a serious drug and alcohol abuse problem. “Wet Hot American Summer” director David Wain is attached to helm the project, which is in negotiations to land at Netflix where Wain co-created and directed the prequel series “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.” Ed Helms is executive producing while former Harvard Lampoon editors and “Children’s Hospital” writers Michael Colton and John Aboud wrote the script, based on the 2006 book of the same name by Josh Karp.
- Nicolas Cage is set to star in “Philly Fury,” a thriller penned by Jason Mosberg that Steven C. Miller will direct, with production to begin in May. The story revolves around a Philadelphia businessman whose deadbeat brother is kidnapped for a large ransom. When everyone involved believes the deadbeat is in on the kidnapping, the businessman must take action himself. Cage plays a Philadelphia mobster and alleged kidnapper.
Develop, Ditch or Turnaround
- Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps Entertainment are set to produce “The Woods Run Red” from an original script by Paul Gerstenberger. The story, which combines elements of action, comedy, and horror, is about a group of highly trained government agents masquerading as unsuspecting teens in order to capture the maniacal slasher that has been at a lakeside cabin in the woods for years. It’s being pitched in the vein of “Cabin in the Woods” meets “Predator.”
- “The Birth of a Nation” filmmaker Nate Parker is set to write the movie adaptation of the inspirational wrestling story “Carry On.” Walden Media will develop, finance and produce “Carry On,” based on Lisa Fenn’s upcoming memoir that’s due to be published in August. Fenn, an ESPN producer, went back to her hometown of Cleveland in 2009 to pursue a story about two disabled wrestlers who attended an impoverished public high school. Dartanyon Crockett, legally blind yet the best wrestler on the team, would carry Leroy Sutton, who had lost both his legs in a train accident when he was 11, to their wrestling practices and meets. Fenn formed a connection with the two young men and dedicated the next six years of her life to ensuring their success. Sutton graduated from college and Crockett won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
- “Get Hard” director Etan Cohen has been set to write and direct a remake of “The Cannonball Run” for Warner Bros. The original franchise starred Burt Reynolds, Frank Sinatra, Roger Moore, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dom DeLuise, revolving around an illegal cross country race where participants did whatever it took to win.
- Michael De Luca and Stephen L’Heureux have teamed up with author Dmitry Glukhovsky to develop a feature film based on “Metro 2033,” his best-selling novel that has spawned an 80-book franchise and two cult video games. “Metro 2033” tells the story of a young man named Artyom who survived World War III by hiding in Moscow’s subway system, which became the world’s largest existing nuclear fallout shelter. It’s in the maze of tunnels and stations that comprise the famous Moscow Metro that he and others build a new civilization and culture, mimicking the old world now gone.
- Simon Cowell is boarding the Beatles pic “A Life in the Day,” about the tempestuous friendship/bromance between John Lennon and Brian Epstein. Cowell will produce and partner with Stuart Ford’s IM Global, who have optioned Tony Gittelson’s script, which tells the true story of Epstein who, while selling records out of his father’s appliance store in Liverpool, discovered a band he swore he could make, “Bigger then Elvis!”. That band was The Beatles. Though he had no prior experience, Epstein convinced the band to make him their manager and sparked a music and cultural revolution. Epstein lived an epic life, but he had many conflicts – including his sexual identity and his conservative upbringing. He remained The Beatles manager until his sudden death, reputedly of a drug overdose, at the age of 32 in 1967.
- Broad Green Pictures is developing the comedy “The Fight Before Christmas” based on a pitch from “Daddy’s Home” writer Brian Burns. Burns, whose TV credits include “Blue Bloods” and HBO’s “Entourage,” will pen the script. The story centers on Mrs. Claus leaving Santa after 700 years of marriage and feeling unappreciated for her continued Christmas contributions. She departs just two weeks before the holiday — putting the fate of the holiday in jeopardy — so Santa flies from the North Pole to New York to win her heart back and save Christmas.
- Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer is in negotiations to star in an untitled supernatural Cold War film that Guillermo del Toro is writing, producing, and directing for Fox Searchlight. Details are being kept under wraps, but the movie is described as “a mysterious and magical journey set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1963 with an otherworldly love story at the center of it.” Production on this untitled venture is aiming to get underway this summer.
- Disney has recently acquired movie rights to the fantasy series “The Chronicles of Prydain.” The five novels by Lloyd Alexander, based on Welsh mythology, were published annually from 1964 to 1968 and followed the protagonist Taran from youth to maturity. The books are set in the magical land of Prydain, which resembles ancient Wales and is engaged in a series of battles with Annuvin, the Land of Death. Sam Dickerman is the Disney executive on the project, which has not yet been set with a producer, director or writer. Dickerson is also overseeing Disney’s Tower of Terror film. The first two books in the series served as the basis for Disney’s 1985 animated fantasy movie “The Black Cauldron.”
- Director Ridley Scott is set to produce the feature adaptation of “MY LADY JANE” through his Scott Free Productions banner. Pitched in the vein of “The Princess Bride” and “Enchanted,” the YA story centers around Lady Jane Grey, who is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne – the least of the sixteen year old’s problems, really, given that she’s about to become Queen of England. The novel is a historical retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s brief stint as Queen of England after Henry VIII’s son Edward VI nominated her as successor over his half-sisters Mary and Elizabeth. The real story didn’t end well for Jane, but the book poses the question: “what if there was more to the story… and what if the royals had the ability to shape-shift into animals?”
- 2015 Black List & Hit List script ‘BUBBLES’ by Isaac Adamson has been acquired by Andrew Kortschak and End Cue, and Dan Harmon with Starburns Industries. Starburns previously produced the Oscar-nominated film ‘Anomalisa’ from Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Like ‘Anomalisa,’ producer Harmon will turn the story into a stop-motion animated feature. The spec tells the story of Michael Jackson’s life and history from the perspective of the pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, after being adopted by Jackson from an Austin, TX research facility and given residence at the Neverland Ranch in 1983.
- Lionsgate is bringing the James Rollins thriller “Map of Bones” to life with “Black Panther” writer Joe Robert Cole on board to pen the script. “Map of Bones,” published in 2005, is the second of a dozen novels Rollins’ best-selling Sigma Force series, which combines historical figures and events and creates fictional thrillers that are centered around Sigma Force — an elite covert arm of the U.S. Defense Department made up of former Special Forces officers trained as experts in various scientific fields. The “Map of Bones” story centers on the bones of the three Magi who paid homage to the newborn Jesus Christ. The story starts at a crowded service at a cathedral in Germany when armed intruders in monks’ robes unleash a nightmare of destruction.
- Comic-Con International and Lionsgate have partnered for Comic-Con HQ, their newly named subscription video-on-demand platform. Comic-Con HQ will be an ad-free service, which will include original scripted and unscripted series, recurring daily and weekly entertainment commentary, live and archival programming, film and TV genre titles, and behind-the-scenes access and bonus features from genre titles. Comic-Con HQ will launch with free beta access on May 7 — which is Free Comic-Book Day this year — with its official premiere in June leading up to Comic-Con International: San Diego on July 21-24. The price for the channel has not yet been set.
Gaming personality Adam Sessler (former host of G4’s “X-Play”) will executive produce programs on comics, science and gaming, along with hosting his own interview series.
There will be a general pop culture news show, a late-night talk show, a weekly movie talk in partnership with Complex’s Collider and an all-female panel on pop culture from women’s perspectives.
Original scripted and unscripted series debuting on the platform include: the scripted comedy series “Kings of Con,” inspired by real-life fan convention experiences from “Supernatural” stars Richard Speight and Rob Benedict; and an unscripted series “Her Universe,” hosted by founder Ashley Eckstein, following contestants as they design their geek couture concepts for the catwalk of a live San Diego Comic-Con fashion show.
The platform is promising San Diego Comic-Con access with live-streamed programming, airings of select Comic-Con panels and immersive access to the convention floor and sanctioned events such as the Masquerade and the Eisner Awards. It will also offer an “eclectic collection” of licensed film and TV series from science-fiction, fantasy, cult classics, action/adventure and horror.
- And finally, it’s WONDERCON WEEK! And we announce some giveaways!!