Film

One and Done: 10 Directors Who Exited Movie Franchises After the First Film

The rumors were swirling for a while, but now she’s made it official: Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson won’t be back for the remaining two (or, if they’re following the unfortunate current trend, three) film adaptations of E.L. James’ bestsellers. “While I will not be returning to direct the sequels,” she told Deadline, “I wish nothing but success to whosoever takes on the exciting challenges of films two and three.” This “one and done” pattern is surprisingly prevalent among big movie franchises. While many series keep the same director for multiple entries (Spider-Man, X-Men, Pirates of the Caribbean), if not all the way through (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Transformers, The Dark Knight), some filmmakers go through the work of creating a world, making crucial casting decisions, and starting a franchise, only to decide — or have someone decide for them — that they’re not going to go through it all again. Here are a few other filmmakers that were in for a penny instead of a pound. … Read More

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Who Should Direct the Next ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Movie?

Say what you will about Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie — but it was, at the very least, a more competently made endeavor than Fifty Shades of Grey, the book. Along with Dakota Johnson, who brought a disarming wit to a flat Mary Sue character, the credit for this belongs to director Sam Taylor-Johnson. Previously known for music-inspired projects such as the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, she managed to condense 500 pages of Cinderella capitalism and awkwardly rendered sex into two hours of solid Hollywood Romance Product. But, likely due at least in part to clashes with Fifty Shades author E.L. James, Taylor-Johnson has announced that she’s exiting the franchise.

Considering that Universal has already greenlighted adaptations of the final two books in the series, the obvious question is: Who will direct the next film, Fifty Shades Darker? Though, frankly, I’m doubtful that Taylor-Johnson’s replacement will be anyone to get excited about, here is an unnecessarily lengthy list of audacious and entirely unlikely suggestions. Only a few of them are American, because Americans rarely make great movies about sex. … Read More

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Sony Pictures Plans Protoculture-Pumped Live-Action ‘Robotech’ Film Franchise

The Robotech franchise, which had been languishing in Warner Bros.’ vaults since they secured the film rights in 2007,… Read More

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Let’s Overanalyze the Autobiographical Elements of Noah Baumbach’s ‘While We’re Young’

In our memoir-obsessed and “reality”-infused culture, the search for autobiographical details and correlating avatars in the works of filmmakers who create personal (or Personal, or “personal”) works is a temptation we should be able to resist, and rarely can. The image of neurotic writers gleefully mining their own lives for raw material is one so deeply entrenched that it dies hard, even if it’s ultimately a reductive lens through which to approach the work. All of this is a long way of getting around to saying that I’ve seen Noah Baumbach’s new film While We’re Young, and it’s got me weirdly worried about him. … Read More

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10 Groundbreaking Documentary Exposés of Closed, Secret Worlds

Sunday night, HBO will present the television debut of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s excellent (and controversial) documentary exposé of the history and practices of the Church of Scientology. The film is a barn-burner — not just because it’s compelling and well done (though it is), but because it gives such prominent exposure to an organization whose inner workings have largely remained behind closed, locked doors. This is one of the most valuable services nonfiction film can provide; some movies share history, some solve crimes, and some tell secrets. Here are some of the best docs in the latter category. … Read More

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Director Sam Taylor-Johnson is Officially Out of the ‘Fifty Shades’ Business

Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson will not return to the wildly successful sex-and-airplanes franchise, Deadline… Read More

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