Planet of the Apes

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

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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.
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Where Are All the New Sci-Fi Movie Franchises?

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Well, there’s going to be a new Alien movie, and for some reason, this is good news. Word broke yesterday that Neill Blomkamp, writer/director of District 9 and the forthcoming Chappie, closed a deal with 20th Century Fox to helm a new film in the sci-fi/monster franchise, and everyone is very excited, somehow ignoring the fact that Ridley Scott’s 1979 original has yielded exactly one good sequel (James Cameron’s Aliens) and no fewer than five more that are varying degrees of terrible (Alien 3, Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator, Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, and Scott’s own Prometheus). That’s a 16 percent sequel success rate, kids, so let’s maybe keep it in our pants for a minute — particularly as Variety is reporting that the Blomkamp Alien is “separate from Prometheus 2, which Fox is still making with Ridley Scott.” Oh, cool, so they’re making like a whole Alien Cinematic Universe, awesome idea, A-plus you guys. But here’s the more pressing issue: in this era of mega budgets and limitless effects possibilities, why has science fiction fallen so specifically prey to the endless sequel-remake-reboot machine? Where are the new sci-fi franchises?
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All Reboots Are Not Created Equal: In Praise of the New ‘Planet of the Apes’

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For years now, Hollywood’s obsession with “reboots” has embodied, along with the endless glut of sequels and remakes, the industry’s exhausting refusal to try anything new or original, coasting instead on past successes and established brands. The most egregious example is the Spider-Man franchise, which burned out after three films, only to get a reboot a mere dozen years after it started, recycling much of the same origin story, characters, and narrative beats, but there have been others: The Pink Panther, Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Man of Steel, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, etc. But there are exceptions to every unfortunate trend, from the sequel (The Dark Knight) to the remake (True Grit) to the reboot, and with the second film in the new Planet of the Apes series rolling into theaters this week, perhaps something can be learned about how this kind of thing can be done — and if it should be attempted at all.
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The 25 Best Time-Travel Movies Ever Made

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Twenty-five years ago this week (yes, twenty-five, look it up) Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure made its theatrical debut, telling for all posterity the tale of two California slackers who use a phone booth/time machine to gather historical figures for a class project. It was but one variation on a favorite cinematic device: time travel. It’s been done in comedies and dramas, sci-fi and action movies, on budgets giant and miniscule, in spaceships and in DeLoreans. There are dozens of time travel flicks out there, but these are our …Read More

15 of the Greatest Beach Scenes on Film

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Despite the unseasonably chilly weather, it’s about that time to head to the sandy shores of your choice. If, by chance, you’re unsure of the proper way to enjoy your beach visits, you’re in luck: the beach has proven to be a familiar setting for a Hollywood movie or two. While sometimes used as a place for rambunctious fun and often chosen as the backdrop for romance, the beach is a go-to cinematic spot …Read More

Mind-Blowing Matte Paintings From Classic Movies

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Before 3D modeling came along, filmmakers had to rely on simpler means to give the illusion of a lavish set: paint. To create a dystopic city or elegant hall without spending the entire budget on a physical set, matte painters would create impeccably detailed backgrounds for the characters to look out into or even directly interact with. Reddit user Rowsdower_Rowsdower put together a compilation of some of the best photorealistic landscapes from classic films, many including photos of the artists at work. Here are some of our favorites from the collection.
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