The People vs OJ Simpson

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 PantherRead More »

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david lowery

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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Pete's Dragon Wes Bentley Interview

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 InterstellarThe Hunger GamesKnight 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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The Phantom Simon Wincer interview

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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Simon Kinberg Star Wars X-Men

Simon Kinberg was on a Television Critics Association panel this morning for the new ABC series Designated Survivor, in which Kiefer Sutherland plays a cabinet member named President after a terrorist attack at the State of the Union address. After the panel, I caught up with Kinberg to ask about his mysterious Star Wars movie and X-Men universe projects.

First I asked Kinberg if doing a Star Wars anthology movie perhaps gave him more freedom than the Saga episodes that must continue the story along a forward path. “I love them all, to be honest,” Kinberg said. “I also work in the animated show, Star Wars Rebels, so I think it’s not necessarily freedom narratively but maybe a little more freedom tonally, because those anthology movies can have a different tone than the mainline episodes. Honestly, I’m involved in one capacity or another in almost everything over there and I love it all.”

We have yet to see how different in tone Rogue One ends up being, and it’s too early for Kinberg to know specifically about his film as he is just beginning to write it. Kinberg also discussed his upcoming X-Men projects including Deadpool 2Gambit, and Legion. Read More »

269a96d7b29e94b9a48f38ffff3a5fba_original

Unified Pictures, the production company founded by Keith Kjarval that produced Rudderless, Trust Me and A Single Shot among others, is developing an animated Vampire Hunter D TV series. The popular series of Japanese novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi has spawned two movies in 1985 and 2000. We spoke with another Unified founder, Kurt Rauer, and Scott McLean who are overseeing Vampire Hunter D.

They are beginning with a comic book adaptation of the unpublished Kikuchi story Message From Cecile. With 34 published Kikuchi stories, and Kikuchi sill working, Vampire Hunter D is in no danger of running out of material or catching up with the books like Game of Thrones did. The comic book, Message from Mars, is told from the point of view of Cecile, a human colonist on Mars. Unified launched a Kickstarter for the first issue and met their $25,000 goal, so have set an even higher goal to finish the comic book as a prequel to the TV series.

Unified have partnered with other artists to create more collectible material to reintroduce Vampire Hunter D to America including medals, buttons, jewelry and sticker packs. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game made a character sheet for D and will do so for other characters as they’re introduced in subsequent issues of Message From Mars, ultimately planning a 32-page booklet of augmented rules for Vampire Hunter D games and their own short story. Fans can meet McLean at GenCon in Indianapolis this weekend, and read our interview with Rauer and McLean below.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Sharknado The 4th Awakens review

When I reviewed Sharknado: The 4th Awakens I tried to keep it spoiler-free. When I interviewed director Anthony C. Ferrante, who has helmed all four Sharknado movies to date, there were a few specific things I wanted to discuss. He said it was okay, because if you’ve watched the trailers, most of it is in there. So spoiler warning for anyone who is still avoiding the Sharknado 4 trailers.

As the subtitle suggests, there is a parodic Star Wars reference or two, and the trailer even gives away that there’s an opening crawl. Hey, Sharknado 3 opened like a James Bond movie. Twitter voted on #AprilLives or #AprilDies after Sharknado 3, and it’s no secret that Tara Reid is back. However, the film picks up five years after the cliffhanger scene on the beach at the end of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Now Aston Reynolds (Tommy Davidson) has devised a way to eliminate tornados, but the sharks find their way into other weather phenomena. Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) is still the only man who can stop them.

Read our Sharknado director interview below. Read More »

the shadow - a Russell Mulcahy interview

Although you might not recognize the name Russell Mulcahy, you almost definitely would recognize his work. Especially if, like me, you grew up in the 80s. Because Mulcahy directed over 400 music videos during the decade. I spoke with Mulcahy about how that journey began. From directing the first ever music video that appeared on MTV to regularly working with the likes of Duran Duran, Billy Joel and Elton Joel. And then, of course, we chatted about what it was like to make Alec Baldwin a superhero.

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lights out trailer

Director David F. Sandberg makes his feature directorial debut with the James Wan-produced horror movie Lights Out. Sandberg’s journey towards making his first film began in 2013 with a short film that cost nothing. The director and his wife, Lotta Losten, made the short together, and Sandberg and Losten submitted it to the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge, where it was well received.

But it wasn’t until a few months later that the short really gained its popularity. Once it hit online, the short was viewed over 20 million times. Then Hollywood came running and offered Sanberg the opportunity to turn the short into a feature, which is now in theaters and stars Teresa PalmerMaria Bello, and Alexander DiPersia.

Below, read our Lights Out interview with David F. Sandberg.

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