On October 25th 2012 I found myself sitting in The White Horse pub watching a monitor showing Chris Pine run through the misty rain into a financial building. While the sequence in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is supposed to take place in the brand-new financial center in Moscow, Russia (a clue to the film’s antagonist) it was being filmed in Liverpool, England.
For nine years, producers have been trying to restart the franchise, based on the character Tom Clancy created in books like The Hunt For Red October and Patriot Games. Taking a cue from the recent James Bond films, Jack Ryan is an origin story — a pre-boot set in the now. In this versions, 9/11 has taken place, and is a huge motivator for our hero. The following is what I learned about the film from co-star Kevin Costner and director Kenneth Branagh, fresh from Thor.
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There’s one major downside to the way Adam McKay and Will Ferrell make movies. Eventually, they have to go through the footage and pick out one joke for any given moment. When making a film like Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the director and star shoot so much footage that, once they finally made it into the editing room, the difficult work finally began.
Back in October, a group of journalists visited the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood and met with McKay and his editor Brent White while they were still working on the film. During our discussion we learned how long the initial cut was, about that rumored second version of movie, the test screening process, and how Seth Rogen almost ruined the film in post-production. We heard of an alternate ending and musical numbers, and saw two hilarious scenes from the December 20 release.
Below, read about all that and more as I present 12 fun facts from a visit to the edit bay of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Read More »
Ron Burgundy is back and this time he’s fighting a dolphin. At least that’s what happens at the beginning of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The film begins with Burgundy back on the bottom. He somehow lost the national anchor job he landed at the end of the first film, and is working at San Diego’s SeaWorld. Drunk, belligerent and confrontational, the former anchorman introduces the 3:20 dolphin show and things get so bad, he ends up jawing back and forth with a dolphin.
For Ron, the person, this is terrible. But for Ron, the character, it’s great. After nine years away, star Will Ferrell’s most iconic character is back on the big screen December 20. But on May 24, 2013, we were lucky enough to be on location at SeaWorld in San Diego, CA for the final day of filming Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Below, read about how this wacky scene develops including some of the most hilarious improvs you’ll ever read. Read More »
In 2011, I traveled to London to visit the set of director Carl Erik Rinsch‘s big screen adaptation of 47 Ronin. The 47 Ronin story is not something I would have expected a Hollywood movie studio to tackle. While Rinsch is bringing a super-stylized fantasy-infused vision to this classic Japanese tale, some of which makes it look more like a studio film, it still stays true to the original story. That may have resulted in marketing challenges, and has likely lead to challenging test screening responses. Reshoots and rumblings of studio unhappiness aside, I have to admit three things:
- I still think the trailers for this film look very promising.
- I’ve been a fan of Carl Erik Rinsch’s commercial work for years now, and am excited to see what he will do with a feature length movie.
- We were very impressed with what we had seen on the set at Shepperton Studios.
Hit the jump to watch a video blog I recorded after the visit, and find out more about what we saw and learned while on set.
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Last year, I traveled to London to visit the set of the Marvel sequel Thor 2: The Dark World. The photo above is me holding Mjölnir, Thor’s iconic hammer – it’s actually heavier than it looks — in the massive weapon room of the film’s production offices. After the jump you can read about the many things that I learned while on set, and watch a video blog reaction I recorded after the visit. Later this week we’ll be publishing some of the interviews we conducted on set with the talent and crew, so be on the look out for them as well.
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When meeting Harrison Ford isn’t the highlight of your day, that’s a day for the ages. On the New Orleans set of Ender’s Game, the man who played Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Rick Deckard was there and I shook his hand. Incredibly, though, that moment was topped when I realized director Gavin Hood had figured out a way to make kids fly in zero gravity.
In Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi masterpiece Ender’s Game, a young boy named Ender leaves Earth and enters Battle School to train for an inevitable attack from an alien race called the Formics. They train in a zero gravity space called the Battle Room where dozens of pre-teen boys and girls zip and float around in formation, blasting each other with guns. It’s here that Ender learns to be a great leader and where the action of Ender’s Game hinges.
What I found out on May 17, 2012 – the 59th day of a 70 day shoot – was that Hood not only pulled off these sequences, he’s pulled them off with the actual actors and practical effects. A whole new way of basically puppeteering actors to look like they’re in zero gravity had to be invented to do this, but with the polish of digital effects Hood and his team have realized the dreams of every single Ender’s Game out there.
After the jump, read our set visit which includes a video blog and 30 things I learned on the set of Ender’s Game about the production origins, the Battle Room and more. Read More »
Twenty-four hours in the air, 12,000 miles traveled and six years of anticipation is a lot to live up to. This was the bar set as I traveled from Los Angeles to London to attend the world premiere of Edgar Wright’s new film, The World’s End.
In reality though, this story starts way before that. It starts in 2004 when American audiences were first exposed to the work of Edgar Wright. That was the year Shaun of the Dead was released in the US. It made me and many others into huge fans of the writer/director, along with his frequent collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Shaun made us go back and revisit their series Spaced and since then we eagerly anticipate any new work by the team.
The World’s End is the thematic conclusion to that story, and the third film in a loose trilogy. Popularly called The Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, it’s a series of films that began with Shaun of the Dead and was off-handedly continued in 2007’s Hot Fuzz. Each film is linked by their sharp sense of humor, genre leanings, lead actors, and a British ice cream treat. The World’s End gets the band back together to tell the story of five friends who return to their hometown to drink twelve beers at twelve pubs in one determined pub crawl. Then all Hell breaks loose. For all those reasons and more, it was my most anticipated film of 2013. Plus, being as it’s a quest film, 24 hours of flight across the globe to see it a few days early felt about right.
Not only did we get to attend the premiere, we sat and chatted with the three heads of the Cornetto braintrust and even shared a pint with Wright at the actual World’s End, a bar in the Camden section of London. It was a whirlwind 72-hour trip of drinking, movies and fun, all for a film that will screen in the US at Comic Con in mere days, and open everywhere August 23. It was worth it. Read More »
The first five words I wrote on the script were “Everyone I love will die.” This is a movie about that. (James Mangold)
Talking to James Mangold, director of The Wolverine, you get a sense this guy gets it. Not only has he directed films in almost every genre, and made Oscar-winners of several of his stars, he believes a great superhero movie needs more than a title and some explosions. “Calling something ‘comic book’ has a danger,” he said. “It’s too easy to take a brand and shovel a movie out where it doesn’t all add up, but people are going to show up anyways, because it is a comic book and a brand. My whole thing is take it seriously. Take it seriously like you were making a western or another kind of film of classic lineage.”
In April, 20th Century Fox invited /Film to speak with the director and see the first 20 minutes of The Wolverine. After watching the footage, it’s pretty obvious Mangold is being incredibly serious. The first reel of the film has some big set pieces, but also sets up what may be a surprisingly complex movie dealing with topics like immortality and genocide. It’s a film he hopes will redeem the character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and maybe even set the stage for the bigger Fox Marvel Universe, even though it’s very much a standalone story.
Below, watch a non-spoiler video blog discussing the first 20 minutes of the film and read a bit more about Mangold’s intentions with The Wolverine from our in-depth interview. Read More »
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