Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #6!

Welcome to the Cinema Squad Podcast – Episode #6!

Each week we bring you the latest movie news, covering everything from script to screen.  On this episode, we are discussing the week of March 21st – March 27th, 2016.  Check it out below:

Or you can catch the podcast on iTunes! (where we recently made the NEW & NOTEWORTHLY LIST)  Just search for Cinema Squad on iTunes and we’ll pop up.  Be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss an Episode.  And please RATE US on iTUNES!

This week we have a special guest: ‘Chicago Fire’ Writer Liz Alper!!

This is our longest running episode (at 2.3 hours), but the discussion was so energetic and fun that the time just flew by! This might be our best episode yet!

This episode we discuss:


Box Office Report

  • Coming in 1st at the Box Office this weekend, with $170-Million is Batman vs Superman
  • 2nd with $23-Million is Zootopia
  • 3rd with $18-Million is My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  • Tied for 4th & 5th place with $9.5-Million each are Divergent Series: Allegiant & Miracles from Heaven.


  • Opening next weekend we have “Everybody Wants Some” – The spiritual sequel to ‘Dazed & Confused’ about a group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood. Zoey Deutch, Blake Jenner, & Tyler Hoechlin star for director Richard Linklater.
  • Next we have “Kill Your Friends” – An A&R man working at the height of the Britpop music craze goes to extremes in order to find his next hit.  Nicholas Hoult, Rosanna Arquette & James Corden star.
  • And finally, in limited release we’ve got “Miles Ahead ” – An exploration of the life and music of Miles Davis. The film marks the directorial debut of Don Cheadle who also stars along with Ewan McGregor and Emayatzy Corinealdi.

The HOT List – The hottest stories from the previous week in Movie News:

  • Ben Affleck’s long-awaited directorial follow-up to Best Picture-winner “Argo” finally started rolling cameras late last year, and now Warner Bros. has given the Prohibition era crime thriller “Live by Night” a vote of confidence by way of an October 20, 2017 release date. Affleck wrote, produced, directed, and stars in the Dennis Lehane adaptation, which follows the son of a Boston police captain in the 1920s as he makes the rise from bootlegger to notorious gangster.
  • Yet-to-be-released fantasy action movies “Assassin’s Creed” and “Splinter Cell” are already being eyed for sequel treatment. “Assassin’s Creed” is now in post-production, having been directed by Justin Kurzel with Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons among those in the lead roles. It is set to release in North America and multiple other territories on Dec. 21. “Splinter Cell” is set to be directed by Doug Liman with Tom Hardy as star. It has 2017 indicated as a likely release date. Catchplay, the films’ Taiwanese co-financier, says that U.S. producer New Regency is looking at turning the two into movie franchises. In January last year Catchplay struck a three movie deal with New Regency, covering “Assassin’s Creed,” “Splinter Cell,” and “The Revenant.”
  • Luc Besson has released the first photo from his sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”  The picture posted on Besson’s Instagram account on Thursday shows Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne wearing blue futuristic bodysuits. The two play time travelers in a cast that also includes Rihanna, Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke and Herbie Hancock. The movie, set to be released on July 21, 2017, is budgeted at $180 million and shooting at Besson’s Cite du Cinema studios outside Paris. The story is based on the beloved 1967 French comics by artist Jean-Claude Mezieres and Pierre Christin.Untitled.png
  • After Gal Gadot’s debut as DC Entertainment’s premiere heroine in this week’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” next year’s solo “Wonder Woman” will go back to the beginning for the Amazon Princess.  Well a new image for the movie has debuted via Entertainment Weekly, revealing the three women who raised Diana on Paradise Island.  The three are Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), General Antiope (Robin Wright) and Lieutenant Menalippe (Lisa Loven Kongsli). “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins said that the trio are jointly responsible for preparing Diana for her adventures ahead. “She is the only child they raised together,” she explained, “and their love for her manifests in a different way for each of them.”  “Wonder Woman” will be released June 23, 2017.Untitled2.png
  • “Bridget Jones’s Baby” released its first trailer last week, with Renee Zellweger returning to the role she originated back in 2001. With two men in her life, a pregnant Bridget Jones must figure out who’s the father of her baby. Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey co-star in the film which is set to be released on September 16th.
  • In other trailer news, Summit Entertainment has released the first look for “Lone Survivor” director Peter Berg’s true-story action drama “Deepwater Horizon.” The film stars Mark Wahlberg and recounts the heroism of the brave men and women who saved numerous lives during the 2010 BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, which was the world’s largest man-made disaster in history. The film also stars Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, Kurt Russell, and JohnMalkovich. Deepwater Horizon opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on September 30th.
  • In MORE trailer news, Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for ‘The LEGO Batman Movie,’ the animated Caped Crusader’s spinoff feature from “The LEGO Movie.” Will Arnett returns to voice the Gotham vigilante in the satirical spin on the classic comic book character for director Chris McKay (who’s directed on “Robot Chicken”).  From a script by Seth Grahame-Smith, the film centers on the solitary Bat of Gotham whose world is turned upside down when Robin and Batgirl come on the scene. “The LEGO Batman Movie” is set to arrive in theaters February 10, 2017.
  • Last week Warner Bros. also released the first trailer for “The Hangover” filmmaker Todd Phillips’ comedic drama “War Dogs.” Previously titled “Arms and the Dudes,” the film is based on a true story and stars Jonah Hill and Miles Teller as two ambitious young men who become weapons traders for the U.S. government, landing multimillion-dollar arms contracts before everything comes crashing down.  The film also stars Bradley Cooper and Ana de Armas and opens in theaters on August 19th. Be sure to catch all these trailer on, we post a Weekly Trailer Park every Friday with all the movie & tv trailers from the previous week. (Weekly Trailer Park:

THE CASTING NET – The latest in casting news:

  • Jason Sudeikis is pursuing another dramatic venture with his latest project, AMATEUR.  Directed by Ryan Koo from his own script, the story centers on a talented basketball player who struggles to fit in with older players on his high school team, and his new coach. Sudeikis will play the coach, opposite Wood Harris and up-and-comer Michael Rainey Jr. in the lead. Netflix is financing and taking global distribution. The film also marks the feature film debut for rising director Koo.
  • “The Perfect Guy” star Michael Ealy has been attached to LD Entertainment’s reboot of supernatural thriller “Jacob’s Ladder.” The reboot is a modern-day paranoid action thriller about two brothers. The script was written by Jeff Buhler (“Pet Cemetery”) and Sarah Thorp (“The Bounty Hunter”). David Rosenthal, who directed Ealy in “The Perfect Guy,” is set to direct. Principal photography is set to begin mid-May.
  • Emma Stone is attached to star in the Black List spec script “Letters From Rosemary.” The script tells the story of Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy, the first-born daughter to Rose Fitzgerald and Joseph Kennedy Sr. and the eldest sister of President John F. Kennedy and senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. After displaying behavioral problems that caused her to fall behind the achievements of her siblings due to a mental disability that was long kept secret, Joseph Kennedy arranged one of the first prefrontal lobotomies for her when she was 23. The procedure was botched and left her permanently incapacitated. The spec, written by first-timer Nick Yarborough, will take a look at the moments leading up to the procedure and how it affected the family going forward.
  • After portraying a premier villain from the world of comics, Margot Robbie is set to play one of the most infamous figures from the world of sports. “The Suicide Squad” actress has signed on to play figure skater Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya” from writer Steven Rogers (who wrote ‘Kate & Leopold’).  Harding rose to prominence at 21 years old, winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and nabbing second in the World Championships. She was pegged as a favorite for the 1994 Winter Olympics.  A month before the Games, fellow American skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Harding’s ex-husband and one of her bodyguards hired someone to break Kerrigan’s legs ahead of the competition. The resulting attack caused a bruised leg and forced Kerrigan to withdraw from the competition, which Harding won.  Harding pleaded guilty in March 1994 to conspiring to hinder prosecution in the attack and was ultimately banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for life. Bryan Unkeless (The Hunger Games) and his Clubhouse Pictures will produce with Robbie and her LuckyChap Entertainment. No director is attached yet.
  • Next year, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will return to cinemas after a six-year absence. Plot details are under wraps for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, but it is being reported that they’ve decided to do some additional shooting to add Paul McCartney to the cast.  There are currently no details on McCartney’s character, but we assume he’ll be a pirate or some kind. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens May 26, 2017.
Develop, Ditch or Turnaround
  • Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke and Jason Mitchell are in negotiations to star in the indie drama “Mud Bound.”  “Bessie” director Dee Rees is writing and directing the film. Virgil Williams (“Criminal Minds”) penned the screenplay based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel of the same name that revolves around a city worker in a WWII-torn country who relocates his family to a failing Mississippi farm and is forced to overcome insurmountable hardships, including his brother’s return from war.
  • New Line has tapped “Lights Out” director David Sandberg to direct “Annabelle 2,” which has landed a prime release date of May 19, 2017.  “Annabelle,” directed by John R. Leonetti with James Wan producing, generated over $250 million in worldwide grosses on a $6.5 million budget as a spinoff from Wan’s 2013 hit “The Conjuring.” The film’s storyline centered on a possessed doll named Annabelle, as described by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, and set in California in 1969. Gary Dauberman (who wrote the first Annabelle) returns to write the script. Cast has not been set.
  • Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures has acquired Lyndsay Faye’s acclaimed novel “Jane Steele” along with Ocean Blue Entertainment and Prescience in association with Altus Media. Inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre, Faye’s novel is a piece of historical fiction that tells the story of Jane Steele, a fresh and determined Victorian orphan, who – unlike her idol Jane Eyre – does not accept her lot in life without a fight. Fiercely intelligent and resourceful, Steele is forced to resort to extreme measures to make sure that life turns out the way she needs it to. The reimagining of Jane Eyre as a serial killer is a humdinger of a potential lead role for a major actress. No word yet on who’s adapting this one, but the world surely is fertile for a mischievous mind.
  • Taylor Kitsch will make his feature directorial debut and will star in “Pieces,” a drama that he also wrote. Kitsch will play the lead role in the story of about three best friends from Detroit who change the course of their lives by intercepting a drug run. Peter Berg (who directed Kitsch in “Lone Survivor” and the Friday Night Light series) is producing.
  • Gunpowder & Sky, the youth-focused studio launched by ex-Viacom exec Van Toffler in January, has signed an exclusive deal for a film adaptation of “Eat, Brains, Love,” a comedic zombie road-trip novel by Jeff Hart. It’s the story of a pair of high-school sweethearts who contract a mysterious zombie virus and devour the brains of half their senior class. They set off on a cross-country journey to discover a cure, while being pursued by a teen psychic sent by the government’s top-secret Necrotic Control Division to track them down. Gunpowder & Sky is said to be in talks with potential screenwriters.
  • Miguel Arteta will direct “Sorta Like a Rock Star” for Fox Searchlight. Arteta will develop the project with Ol Parker (of “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”) penning the script. Based on the novel by “Silver Linings Playbook” author Matthew Quick, the story follows Amber Appleton, a high school senior who secretly lives in the back of a school bus after being booted out of the house by her mother’s boyfriend. The bus, which is called Hello Yellow, is the same one that her mother uses to drive kids to school. With unyielding optimism, Amber is put to the test after a fatal tragedy.  Arteta last directed Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner.
  • Lake Bell is writing and directing “What’s the Point? (And Other Fair Questions About Marriage)” with Ed Helms attached to star.  The ensemble comedy is about the concept that marriage should be a seven-year contract with an option to renew.  The film, in which Bell will also co-star, is a follow-up to “In A World…,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and earned Bell the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award.
  • Up-and-coming filmmaker Luke Snellin will direct the movie adaptation of the short story collection “Let It Snow.” Universal landed the rights to the anthology series in 2014 following the success of Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars,” which was a huge hit for Fox 2000. Weaving together three unexpected romances that take place over the course of one Christmas Eve, “Let It Snow” is written by Green, Maureen Johnson (“13 Little Blue Envelopes”) and Lauren Myracle (“Internet Girls”). “The Fault in Our Stars” screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber revised the screenplay, originally written by Kay Cannon (who wrote ‘Pitch Perfect’).
  • “Money Monster” star Julia Roberts is attached to produce and star in the adaptation of New York Times best-selling author Melanie Gideon‘s debut novel “WIFE 22” for Working Title Films. Kris Swanberg is penning the script, from an original draft by Ayelet Waldman.  The dramedy is about a woman in a midlife crisis who agrees to anonymously participate in a survey about marital happiness, only to experience a reawakening through the power of confessing to the mysterious ‘Researcher 101′ who fields her responses. Gideon’s novel – her first work of adult fiction – was first published in 2012 by Ballantine Books. Tonally similar to Bridget Jones Diary, the story unfolds through a series of Facebook status updates, Google searches, and questionnaires, satirizing the cultural obsession with the internet and the ease with which we reveal things to strangers, but not to those we love.
  • Kevin James has been tapped to star in “44,” a feel-good and inspirational true story of Joey Williams, a 44-year-old Tennessee family man who returns to college in order to fulfill his dream of playing collegiate football.  The Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. movie will be penned by Christopher Parker (who also wrote “Heaven is For Real”). Not director has been assigned.

Closing Discussion

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