News dropped yesterday that Man of Steel director Zack Snyder will be directing a new Star Wars movie, but it’ll be a stand-alone film based on the Seven Samurai, not the first in Disney’s planned trilogy of sequels. A few hours later his spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that it simply wasn’t so: “While he is super-flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars. He is currently in post on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia.”
Confusing right? If you’re like us, then you’re having trouble keeping track of all of the recent Star Wars news. If Zack Snyder isn’t directing Episode VII — or the standalone film, for that matter — then who is? When’s it coming out? Will Carrie Fisher come back? And most importantly, will it at least be better than Phantom Menace? Here’s everything George Lucas, Disney, and others have let slip about what could be the most hotly anticipated movie since, well, the last Star Wars.
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Paramount’s upcoming film adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z was already smelling like a stinker — the $125 million production was originally slated for release this Christmas, only to be pushed back until next summer to accommodate an additional seven weeks of shooting and a third act rewrite by Damon Lindelof (because that’s what that guy’s best at, wrapping things up). That rewrite was eventually done not by Lindelof but by Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard, and with the reshoots complete, the studio released its first trailer for the film last week. And the Internet went apeshit.
Responses on Twitter and film blogs were swift, damning, and nearly universal. The crux of them was that, simply, the film being advertised appeared to bear little to no resemblance whatsoever to the book it was ostensibly based on. “It’s not always wise to judge a movie by its trailer,” writes Film School Rejects’ Robert Fure, “but from our first look it seems Hollywood has screwed the pooch in the most Hollywood way imaginable.” The book’s multi-narrative structure and elements of social commentary are, it seems, gone; the film’s story of a single protagonist taking on an army of fast-moving zombies looks less like World War Z than I Am Legend.
We’ll have to wait until next June to find out if this controversial trailer reflects the entirety of the film — and if the already poison buzz surrounding World War Z will crash its box office chances. But what has become clear over the past two decades is that the explosion of online film culture can hurt a film’s build-up as much as it can help it; though movie geek sites, Twitter, and even Wikipedia can help amass an audience, they can also keep one away. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that the Internet may well have smothered in their sleep.
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So Bob Dyan’s got a new album out today, and while your film editor usually sticks to the movie beat, it’s not like Dylan is just a music figure, or even that vaguest of descriptions, a “pop culture icon.” He’s also an ever-present force in film and television, with his songs (as either writer or performer) appearing in nearly 400 movies and TV shows (according to IMDb). And while at least half of those are lazy filmmakers using the opening riff of Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” cover to convey the turbulence of the sixties, that’s still quite a lot of Zimmy on film — he’s been much more free with his licensing than, say, the Beatles, whose best cinematic cues we ran down a couple of months back. In honor of Dylan’s new record (always a cause for celebration), we do the same for him below — with the same rules, i.e., no covers, no straight-up performances, but scenes where the music of Mr. Dylan is spotlighted, and in turn furthers the action and mood. Our ten favorites are after the jump.
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1. PBS has announced that Ken Burns’ next project for them will be a seven-part, fourteen-hour series called The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, and will feature voice work by Paul Giamatti (Theodore), Edward Herrmann (Franklin), and Meryl Streep (Eleanor). [via Vulture]
2. If you’re a Boss fan with a good half hour or… Read More
1. iSteve: The Book of Jobs, the first official biography of Steve Jobs, will be making its debut sometime in early 2012; it will be written by Walter Isaacson, who is the managing editor of Time, and published by Simon & Schuster. [via CNN]
2. How to make friends: In an attempt to… Read More
1. Despite the fact that Warner Bros. dropped over $100 million to make and market Zack Snyder’s latest film, Sucker Punch, kiddie sequel Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules actually ended up winning the weekend box office, raking in an estimated $24.4 million in ticket sales. [via NYT]
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1. Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter account (which currently has almost 6.4 million followers) was anonymously hacked yesterday by someone at TED 2011 who was trying to demonstrate that many of our favorite web applications don’t use high-security encryption to protect their data. Point made. [via Gawker]
2. The lovely Diane Lane has signed on… Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we were impressed that someone took the time to scrawl the entire first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on a bathroom stall wall. We found Ulysses much easier to understand when translated into bar codes. We were impressed by these customized Nike Dunks… Read More
1. Interesting fact: only 13 percent of Wikipedia’s contributors are women, reports the New York Times. The Wikimedia Foundation vows to increase the number of women contributors to 24 percent by 2015.
2. After taking home top honors at last night’s SAG Awards, The King’s Speech is now considered the front-runner for Best… Read More
As fans of all-female action movies, we wanted to like Sucker Punch. But the trailer, like a lot of director Zack Snyder’s work, seems more concerned with flashing images and adrenaline over development of the narrative or creating connection with the characters. Here’s what we know about the plot: It’s the 1950s. A girl named Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is locked up in a mental institution by her stepfather. In order to escape an impending lobotomy, she must team up with her fellow inmates (Vanessa Hudgens and Abbie Cornish) on a quest that takes places in a video game-inspired alternate reality filled with dragons, robots, and samurai warriors. There are lots of machine guns and explosions. Also: Jon Hamm, but we didn’t spot him here.
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