jon watts behind the scenes of Spider-man: Homecoming

When filmmaker Jon Watts premiered his independent film Cop Car at the Sundance Film Festival, there is no way he could have anticipated that it would lead to him directing Spider-Man’s return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But after talking to the Spider-Man: Homecoming director on the set of Peter Parker’s first MCU solo film, it is easy to see why he got the job.

During our on-set chat, Watts explained his vision for this new Spider-Man reboot, how it will be different than Marc Webb and Sam Raimi’s films, how Captain America: Civil War changed this film, the importance to diversify Peter Parker’s world, making the villain a real person, the rumors surrounding Zendaya and much more.

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Amy Pascal Spider-Man: Homecoming Interview

Amy Pascal is one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. The former head of Sony Pictures was instrumental in making the deal that returned Peter Parker to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When I was on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it seemed clear that her producer credit was not just a title – she was on set behind the monitor, playing a very active role in the creative decisions of the reboot.

But I was most surprised at how down-to-earth Pascal seemed, how honest some of her answers were and how self-deprecating she was about the previous Spider-Man installments (made under her leadership) that weren’t considered home runs. She realizes that this current situation, where Sony and Disney get to “share” Spidey, rarely ever happens in Hollywood, and seems very grateful to have been part of orchestrating it.

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Tom Holland Spider-Man: Homecoming interview

When we sat down with Tom Holland on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it had only been three months since the world saw him as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. However, he was clearly already very comfortable in the role of Peter Parker.

Holland talked about the extensive audition process that got him the part, the evolution of Homecoming‘s script, how he went undercover at a high school in the Bronx to prepare for the movie, and how director Jon Watts put him and his co-stars through a coming of age film festival before shooting. The actor also spoke about Parker’s relationships with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and the Vulture (Michael Keaton), the differences between this film and the previous Spider-man movies, his favorite new Spider-Man gadget, if Peter Parker will dance in this movie, and much much more.

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John Knoll Interview

A couple weeks ago, /Film had a chance to visit Industrial Light and Magic for a press event ahead of the home video release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While there, executive producer and visual effects supervisor John Knoll gave us a keynote presentation showing off the hard work that went into the various visual effects in Rogue One, from the creation and destruction of Jedha to the seamless, impressive use of virtual sets. But we’ll have more on that later this week in honor of the movie’s arrival on Blu-ray and DVD.

Right now, we have an interview with Knoll where he told us how many visual effects shots were in Rogue One (including comparing the number to the rest of the Star Wars library), why recreating concept artist Ralph McQuarrie‘s designs for the Death Star with visual effects was so difficult, and much more about the visual effects of the movie.
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Hans Zimmer interview

If you want to learn about composing movie music, why not go to one of the masters? The opportunity to take a class from Hans Zimmer is now only a few clicks away. The man behind the scores for The Thin Red LineInceptionThelma & Louse, and other favorites is now available to teach movie fans a thing or two about his job, as he’s now another one of MasterClass’ great teachers.

Zimmer, whose work has excited and moved us throughout his varied career, is often seen in his workspace in the MasterClass, explaining the nuts and bolts of the process, sometimes showing us what isn’t always easy to communicate in words. We recently spoke with the composer about having to explain instinct, taking a closer look at his work, and memories of working with Terrence Malick, Christopher Nolan, and Ridley Scott.

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Daniel Espinosa interview

Daniel Espinosa made his directorial debut with Easy Money, originally called Snabba Cash. His Scorsese-presented gangster pic has an aggressive atmosphere, and it ultimately helped him land his second feature and first studio gig, Safe House. Since then, he’s directed Child 44 – a movie that reportedly had some difficulties – and his latest film, Life.

Espinosa’s sci-fi horror thriller, which came out this past weekend, often moves as efficiently as the film’s deadly alien, Calvin. The first living organism found on Mars creates a whole mess of problems for the crew on the International Space Station, all of whom Espinosa introduces in an eight-minute one shot.

We recently spoke with the director about the technically complicated shot, Alien and The Thing, the “disease of green screen,” and Life‘s crazy ending.

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valerian

It’s not every day a studio rents out a theater and hosts an event just to debut a trailer, but that’s exactly what STX Entertainment did last night in Hollywood with the new trailer for Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Besson, his wife and producer Virginie Silla, and star Cara Delevingne were in attendance, and I had the chance to speak with them about this jaw-dropping new look at the film.

The new trailer will be online tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can read my reaction to the footage, and learn more about what we can expect from this visually stunning movie. Read More »

The Big Sick interview

The Big Sick is one of the best movies you’ll see in 2017 and one of the most refreshing, romantic, and emotionally brutal romantic comedies…of all time? That sounds like hyperbole, but in the weeks since I named it my favorite movie of SXSW 2017, it feels more and more true. Director Michael Showalter and Amazon Studios, who acquired the film after its Sundance debut, have a gem on their hands.

But all movies start with a script and that’s where Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (who also stars in the movie) come in. Their screenplay, based on the wild true story of how the two of them actually met and fell in love, is a masterpiece: detailed, character-driven, painful, and oh-so-very funny. I was able to sit down with this duo at SXSW for an all-too-brief chat about making movies universal, casting actors to play their parents, and their favorite comedies that also make them cry.

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kurt russell guardians of the galaxy interview

This Kurt Russell interview is worth your time.

Well, of course it’s worth your time. This is Kurt Russell we’re talking about! However, on-set interviews are usually not great. They usually happen under the worst possible circumstances, on a soundstage between set-ups when a tired actor has an 8 minute break. Told by the publicists not to reveal anything (even though we are embargoed and the interview won’t run until a couple months before release), the actor is forced to field questions from journalists who are just trying to get a sense of the movie and the role without having seen much at all.

It’s much easier and usually more rewarding to interview an actor at a junket after you’ve seen the movie and the talent is allowed to give substantial answers. As a result, set interviews often come off as journalists trying to pry any detail an actor will share, while the star recites the same four talking points that we’ve heard in our other interviews from the day (likely because they were on a list of talking points given by the unit publicist on the way over from the trailer).

Our interview with Kurt Russell on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 happened on the exact same circumstances, and like a few times before, we got the exact opposite result. I repeat: this Kurt Russell interview is worth your time.

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bill condon directing beauty and the beast emma watson on set

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down filmmaker Bill Condon to talk about his live-action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We discussed the changes he made to the Disney classic, hiding Universal horror homages in his work, the film’s incredible production design, and a taste of the deleted scenes fans can expect on the inevitable home video release. Read our full Bill Condon interview below!

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