We first spoke with Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez by phone when they wrote and produced the second season of Daredevil. They are big fans of /Film, especially Ramirez, so when I met them in person at a Marvel Television cocktail party for the Television Critics Association, it was fun to geek out together in person.
Ramirez and Petrie went from showrunning Daredevil to showrunning the long-anticipated Marvel TV series The Defenders. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will meet in the fifth Marvel TV series on Netflix in 2017. Here is what Petrie and Ramirez were able to say about the upcoming show at this point. Read More »
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With Kubo and the Two Strings, the CEO & President of Laika, Travis Knight, makes his feature directorial debut. Knight’s 3D stop-motion / CG hybrid follows a brave young hero named Kubo (Art Parkinson), as he goes on an epic quest to retrieve what’s needed to defeat Raiden the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes). Along for the samurai’s emotional adventure are Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey).
The Japan-set film’s style was inspired by ink wash paintings, Noh theater, and period doll making. One of the biggest influences for Knight, besides the famous woodblock painter Kiyoshi Saito, was ukiyo-e (translation: pictures of the floating world). The director was most drawn to the work of Hokusai and Hiroshige, and the former’s “Great Wave off Kanagawa” clearly inspired the film’s opening sequence, which we talked about with Knight.
During our time with the filmmaker, we discussed the work Laika put into crafting some of Kubo and the Two Strings‘ most visually stunning sequences, in addition to why they’ll never make sequels. Below, read our Travis Knight interview.
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Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 by Fred Topel
FX’s miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was such a sensation, they presented a second panel on it for the Television Critics Association. Now all ten episodes have aired, more than reporters got to see in advance of the premiere, and it is nominated for Emmys, so the creators and stars came back to discuss it.
At a cocktail party following the FX panel, screenwriting duo Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski got separated. I got to speak with Alexander about their work crafting the series based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life and real events. I’m still obsessed with the jurors, as the episode on their sequestration seemed like the biggest tent in the whole circus. Alexander and Karaszewski have some more true story screenplays in the works, and Alexander told us the extent of their work on the Death Wish remake in our interview. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 by Fred Topel
CBS did not present a Television Critics Association panel for their upcoming series Training Day, based on the 2001 movie, but the cast and creators attended their evening party. Screenwriter Will Beall adapted the movie for television under producers Antoine Fuqua and Jerry Bruckheimer. I actually ran into Beall just as he was about to leave the party, in line at a waffle truck parked for dessert.
Beall said this was the first formal interview he had given on Training Day, which now has veteran Det. Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton) take rookie Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell) under his wing. The movie had Denzel Washington as a corrupt cop training a rookie played by Ethan Hawke. Beall is also working on the feature film scripts for Aquaman, The Legend of Conan, and Robin Hood, and we discussed them all during our conversation. Training Day could be on CBS this fall or midseason. Note: this interview contains spoilers for the movie Training Day. Read More »
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 writer/director James Gunn is one of the most active big directors on social media. If you’re not following him on Twitter or Facebook, you should be. He regularly talks very honestly about his past and current projects as well as the filmmaking industry at large. Yesterday the filmmaker did a Question & Answer session on Facebook, which included some good bits of intormation which I think is worth highlighting. He talks about the collaboration process with other Marvel directors, future Marvel movies, how he had an oppurtunity to direct a DC movie, how Guardians Vol 2 improves over the first installment and much more.
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In light of its 14 Emmy nominations, FX had a second Television Critics Association panel for The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story after introducing the show in January. Among the panelists were Joe Robert Cole, a screenwriter who wrote pivotal episodes five and eight, chronicling the jurors’ visit to the crime scene and their epic sequestration.
After the panel, FX had a cocktail reception with its talent and we got to speak with Cole one-on-one. Cole is currently at work on the Black Panther film screenplay with co-writer/director Ryan Coogler. Cole shared in-depth details about his O.J. Simpson juror research and was open to discussing his approach to Black Panther. Read More »
Director David Lowery‘s reimagining of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is a very, very loose remake. It’s more detached from the original film than any of the other live-action Disney remakes. For Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks, a boy, Pete (Oakes Fegley), and a dragon, Elliot, were all they needed to take from the 1977 musical.
Halbrooks and Lowery’s tale of friendship is character-driven and sparse. Unlike most films we’ve seen this summer, it’s not driven by set pieces or conventional spectacle. Pete’s Dragon is basically a big budget drama. At the film’s press day, Lowery was kind enough to discuss crafting his latest picture with us, how the story evolved, working with Robert Redford, and how a bank commercial inspired him.
Below, read our David Lowery interview.
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Wes Bentley‘s first big breakout role was in the 1999 Best Picture Winner, American Beauty. Over the past few years, we’ve seen Bentley in all sorts of films, including Interstellar, The Hunger Games, Knight of Cups, and two comedies more people should’ve seen, Welcome to Me and Weirdsville. The actor’s latest role is in director David Lowery‘s Pete’s Dragon, a remake of Disney’s 1977 musical.
In this adventurous, sparse and often somber reimagining, Bentley plays Jack. His brother, Gavin (Karl Urban), is the antagonist, while his girlfriend, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), is one of the film’s heroes. Similarly to Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, backstory and past conflicts are often left unspoken and suggested. At a recent press day, we discussed the often complicated relationships within Pete’s Dragon with Wes Bentley, who also told us about working with young actors, his time at Julliard, and his experience on Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups.
Below, read our Wes Bentley interview.
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On February 17, 1936, Lee Falk’s comic strip hero The Phantom was introduced to the world. Over the following years—as the character reached millions of fans through an unparalleled-for-that-era level of worldwide syndication—The Phantom became an international sensation. The comic strip (clearly) excelled in many countries around the world, but perhaps none more so than Australia. So it seems fitting that, six decades later, the man who would finally bring this hero to the big screen would be an Australian himself: Simon Wincer.
To learn about how The Phantom was made, I spoke at length with Simon Wincer. But it took a little while before we even got to talking about the masked crusader. Because, frankly, there was just too much to talk about. Like how Wincer swooped into to replace the original director of Free Willy (and ended up helping to save that film). Or how he helmed an Emmy-dominant, prestige miniseries (years before such things were du jour). We spoke about all those things and much more (like the cinematic value of manure). Below is a copy of our conversation…
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