houdini

10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg is in talks to direct The Secret Life of Houdini, based on the William Kalush and Larry Sloman’s book The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero which portrays the master magician as a secret agent investigating the occult.  The pitch for the movie is that Houdini was not only the world’s greatest escape artist and magician but also “part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes.” Learn some details about this Dan Trachtenberg Houdini movie, after the jump.

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Star Wars female directors

In a lot of ways, the Star Wars franchise is more female-friendly than ever. Rey and Jyn are positioned as the first new protagonists of the Disney era. Women like Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart are in charge behind the scenes at Lucasfilm, and women make up half the executive team. But there’s one area of Star Wars filmmaking that shows a disappointing lack of progress: even now, every single filmmaker who has directed or is slated to direct a Star Wars movie is male.

And although Kennedy has insisted we will see some female filmmakers join the Star Wars franchise someday, it sounds like that day might still be a ways off. In a recent interview, Kennedy said the difficulty so far has been finding female filmmakers with the right experience.  Read More »

westworld episode 9 spoiler review

If last week’s episode of Westworld was the show taking in a deep breath, “The Well-Tempered Clavier” is that breath being let out in a hurricane of twists and turns that tore down many of the series’ facades and brought several key characters to their knees. And it isn’t just an avalanche of answers to questions – it’s as rich and thoughtful and weird as the show has ever been.

As always, I’m here with ten literal and rhetorical questions about what went down. Let’s dive in.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Theme

Like Harry PotterFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a fantastical adventure grounded in real-world themes of prejudice and acceptance. Like Harry PotterFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them uses a powerful dark wizard to stand in for the tyrants and hatemongers who’ve rained down terror on minorities throughout history. Like Harry PotterFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hinges on a group of more open-minded heroes, some of whom belong to those metaphorically marginalized groups themselves.

And also like Harry PotterFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them does all this with few actually oppressed minorities in sight. It’s time for the Potterverse to open up and become more inclusive. (Spoilers ahead for Fantastic Beasts.Read More »

westworld epsiode 8 ford

We are getting closer to that mysterious maze, yet we return with some more Westworld theories for you to consider before the penultimate episode of the HBO series. We take a look at a mind-blowing theory which suggests a connection between Dolores and Wyatt. Did Doctor Ford order Bernard to kill? Could Arnold have a much different appearance than we were led to believe? Might we have found the location of Westworld? Plus, a possible reason for the flies in Westworld and more speculation about another human who might be a host. All this and more, after the jump.

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john-musker and ron clements interview

Directors John Musker and Ron Clements are the directors behind Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, The Great Mouse Detective, Treasure Planet, and Disney’s last hand-drawn animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. Over the past 20 years or so they’ve helped create some of the studio’s most iconic scenes.

Their latest is Moana, a large-scale musical they first started thinking about five years ago. Set on an island in Polynesia, the story follows Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) as she leaves her island, travels the Pacific Ocean, and goes on a spiritual journey with the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). They encounter all kinds of monsters, danger, and beauty on their adventure.

We recently discussed Moana‘s scope, the realm of monsters, how the story changed, Jemaine Clement, and more with the directors behind Disney’s latest animated picture, which features original tunes from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina.

Below, read our John Musker and Ron Clements interview.

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star wars catalyst

James Luceno‘s new novel Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel has to fill a very specific gap in the Star Wars timeline – it’s a prequel to a prequel, while also being a sequel to the prequel trilogy.

Specifically, it explores the backstory of key characters from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, following them as they survive the Clone Wars and the rule of the newly formed Galactic Empire. Even more specifically, it tells the stories of Galen Erso, a genius scientist manipulated into helping build the Death Star, and Orson Krennic, the vicious Imperial commander in charge of building the new moon-sized super-weapon.

If you plan to read Catalyst, this article is not for you. It’s a pretty good book, albeit in a “for dedicated Star Wars fans only” kind of way. It’s brisk. It’s fun. It’s full of little details that will please and intrigue the already initiated. But if you’re a more casual fan, the kind of person who wants to know the backstory of various Rogue One characters before you see the movie but don’t want to actually read a Star Wars novel, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about Catalyst.

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FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: David Heyman interview

David Heyman has been with the Harry Potter film franchise since its very beginning, producing all eight films released from 2001 through 2011. Now he’s back for the spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is slated to run for a total of five films. In an interview with /Film, Heyman discussed how the project got going, working with J.K. Rowling, the unusual new hero, and the scary appeal of Grindelwald. Plus, a minor update on his Willy Wonka movie. Read our Fantastic Beasts David Heyman interview below.

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David Yates interview / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Director David Yates is already intimately familiar with the Harry Potter cinematic universe, having helmed four of the eight movies. But Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them offered him a chance to do something a little different within that universe — namely, design a whole new corner of that universe from the ground up. During a recent press day in New York, he spoke with /Film about his hesitation (or rather, lack thereof) to return to the Potterverse, his plans for the sequel, and the deleted Fantastic Beasts scenes we didn’t see in the theatrical cut. Read our full David Yates interview below.
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Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them logo

Walking out of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, I found myself confused. This is the first installment of an announced five-film series but the movie somehow feels like a standalone one-off movie. I know critics like to complain about films which seem to exist only to set up a potential franchise, but this felt to me like the exact opposite. As the characters concluded this adventure, I felt like I was shutting the book on their stories. What could the Fantastic Beasts sequels possibly be about? Who might they focus on? Let’s take a deep dive into the Wizarding World to discover what we know and can speculate about the Fantastic Beasts sequels.

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