In the first part of my interview with Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the filmmaker discusses how video games, anime, and other films influenced his vision of a King Kong movie. Hit the jump to learn about his various Skull Island influences.
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Right from the start of Logan, it’s obvious James Mangold‘s film isn’t your average superhero movie. Putting aside the R-rating the filmmaker doesn’t waste, there’s also the fact that comic book heroes rarely look as broken and feel as real as Hugh Jackman does in his final outing as the beloved mutant. The story isn’t about a hero who saves the day; it’s about a man who desperately needs saving.
The unconventional comic book movie, which is always more interested in its three central characters than hurrying up to the next set piece, is co-written by Mangold, Michael Green (American Gods), and Scott Frank. Frank is the writer behind two knockout Elmore Leonard adaptations, the director of The Lookout and A Walk Among the Tombstones, and the author behind Shaker.
We recently spoke with Frank about Logan, his novel, and more after he wrapped shooting his western Netflix series, Godless. We’ll be sharing more from our conversation with the writer-director in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can read our spoiler discussion about Mangold’s film below.
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Yesterday, we talked about the 16 minutes of Wonder Woman that Warner Bros. Pictures and director Patty Jenkins showed us at their post-production facility in London, not to mention details on the story presentation that laid out the events of the first act of the movie for us. Now we get to dive deeper into all the work that Jenkins has poured into this movie, which has been something she had pursued on and off for 10 years before she finally ended up behind the camera.
In between watching the Wonder Woman footage, we were able to speak with Jenkins as a group for about 40 minutes, talking about everything from how the film changed throughout the various pitches she made over the years to how much of an influence Richard Donner’s Superman has been on the movie, and how they chose to approach the character through a modern lens.
Read on for our full group interview with Patty Jenkins. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017 by Angie Han
For weeks, the critical buzz on Logan has been that it’s a fitting end to Hugh Jackman‘s 17-year tenure as Wolverine. And now that the film’s actually been out for a few days, and most of you have had a chance to see it, it’s time to talk about how it sends off the iconic superhero character. During a recent press day, I had a chance to sit down with director/co-writer James Mangold and dig deep into the spoilers for this latest and last Wolverine movie.
I won’t say anymore up here, lest I ruin the film for those who haven’t watched it yet. But those of you who have, click through to wade into spoiler territory with Mangold and me. Read More »
Posted on Friday, March 3rd, 2017 by Angie Han
If Logan really and truly is Hugh Jackman‘s last Wolverine movie — and so far, everyone’s still insisting it is — it’s tough to imagine a better way for him to go out. After 17 years, this is the finale he deserves: intense, emotional, and perfectly true to the character. Which isn’t to say we won’t miss him. To date, Wolverine’s appeared in every single X-Men movie but Deadpool. His absence is sure to be felt as the franchise moves forward, with more core X-Men movies and more spinoffs like Deadpool 2.
So during a recent press day, I sat down with producers Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker to talk about all of that. We discussed the pressures of giving Jackman a proper sendoff, the intricacies of X-Men continuity, the likelihood of more R-rated spinoffs, and status of the next X-Men movie (which may or may not be a Dark Phoenix adaptation). Read our Logan producers interview below.
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Have you ever wondered what the Mafioso version of The Producers would look like? Neither had I, until screenwriter Dan Gordon (Passenger 57, The Hurricane) said this:
Phil said, “I’m giving you the opportunity of a lifetime and you’re giving me bullshit…you wanna be a director? Come get the ticket and come to New York. If you don’t, I’ll find someone else.” So I pack my duffel bag and I flew to New York that night. And I wound up making this independent film called Potluck. But what I didn’t know was it was a money-laundering operation for a crew—it was a mixed crew of the Gambino and Genovese crime families—and they were looking for the youngest, stupidest kid they could find and I was the jackpot.
And from there, Dan Gordon proceeded to tell me an epic, unforgettable truth-really-is- stranger-than-fiction story about the sketchiest movie ever (kinda) made…
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Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017 by Angie Han
Last night, Moonlight capped off its years-long journey to the big screen by taking home Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards. For those following this year’s race, the film’s win didn’t come as a huge surprise (though the way that win was announced is another story). It topped a slew of year-end critics’ lists in December, and emerged as one of this season’s awards frontrunners in January. But it wasn’t always so clear Moonlight would catch on quite the way it did. Few of the cast or crew are what you’d call household names, though there’s a good chance you’ve seen at least some of them before.
One of the movie’s more familiar faces belongs to André Holland, who’s spent years doing everything from cinema to theater to broadcast comedy to prestige cable drama before drawing some of the best reviews of his career for his portrayal of a grown-up Kevin in Moonlight. In the weeks leading up to last week’s Oscars, I had the chance to chat with him about the film’s incredible journey, his work with Barry Jenkins and Steven Soderbergh, the role of art in today’s political landscape, and the unusual stylishness of the Moonlight cast. Read More »
Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut, Get Out, is not a movie that’s easy to put in a box. There are laughs, thrills and scares alongside genuinely intimate and dramatic scenes. Peele can get a big laugh and a scare in the same moment, without the two ever clashing. Tonally, Get Out is eclectic while being solid as rock and a part of the credit goes to the cast.
A part of what makes Get Out effective as a thriller is that before things get progressively worse for Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) during one terrifying weekend, Peele and the cast makes you believe in these characters. They feel like a real couple, so when there’s danger, it feels real. Like Peele, the actors have little trouble navigating the different tones at play in Get Out.
Williams, who you can now see in the final season of Girls, recently spoke with us about her experience making the film, her character’s pretty nutty arc, and how a team on the same page can do their best work. Get Out is a tough movie to discuss without spoilers, which this interview does contain. There are warnings below, but you might be better off reading the interview once you’ve seen the film.
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In Get Out, Daniel Kaluuya doesn’t play the typical thriller/horror movie lead. The character makes some wise decisions as things go wrong. He feels real, his backstory feels real, his relationship feels real, and his emotions feel real. Kaluuya isn’t playing a cardboard character waiting to get the ax; he plays somebody the audience understands and roots for.
With his directorial debut, Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) has given Kaluuya a role with a genuine interior life. The actor is known for his time on the popular drama Skins, but he’s had some memorable performances over the past few years, including a supporting role in Sicario and an impassioned performance in Black Mirror.
I spoke with Kaluuya, who also has a part in Marvel’s Black Panther, about working with Peele, on-set improvisation, and the significance of the “sunken place” in Get Out.
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Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
Screenwriter Eric Heisserer wrote Arrival, /Film’s favorite movie of 2016. He’s now an Oscar nominee and could very easily take home his industry’s highest honor in a few days. But when I spoke with Heisserer, less than a week before the big ceremony, we didn’t talk about that acclaimed science fiction masterpiece. After all, he’s busy building a superhero movie universe at the moment.
The average moviegoer probably isn’t familiar with Valiant Comics and their vast cast of heroes and villains, but Sony is hoping they’ll want to get acquainted. Films based on Harbinger (about a team of young heroes with incredible abilities) and Bloodshot (about a tormented soldier enhanced with tech that makes him unstoppable) are in the works and Heisserer is writing the screenplays. More than that, Heisserer has gone all in on the Valiant universe: his new Valiant comic series, Secret Weapons, debuts this summer.
So, how do you build a superhero movie universe in a crowded field? And how do you transition from writing movies to writing comic books? All of this (and some awesome new art from Secret Weapons) can be found in the interview below.
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