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Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane follows up his comedy Ted with a comedy western called A Million Ways to Die in the West, and the first image from the new film is online. While MacFarlane “starred” as Ted in his directorial debut, there he had a CG creation between him and the audience; for this film, the writer/director is taking one of the lead roles with no CG costume. He stars opposite Charlize TheronNeil Patrick Harris, and Amanda Seyfried in a story about a farmer who loses his girlfriend after backing out of a gunfight, then falls in with a mysterious woman who, unfortunately, has a notorious outlaw boyfriend.  Read More »

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Over the last few years, Quentin Tarantino‘s filmmaking process has accelerated just a bit. We’d grown accustomed to the guy taking a good bit of time between films, but his announcement of Inglourious Basterds was followed just a year later by the film’s first screening, and then Django Unchained came relatively hot on the heels of the war movie. (OK, it was a couple years, but that’s better than four or five years.)

Every round of promotional tours that takes place leads to Tarantino talking about possible new script ideas, and now we’ve got a new one. While making an appearance on The Tonight Show just hours ago, kind of as a 20th anniversary of his first time on the show, Tarantino said that the script he’s finishing now is a new western.

Update: Video of the segment has been added below.

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Quentin Tarantino‘s original screenplay for Django Unchained was adapted into comic book form over the past year, presenting realizations of scenes that didn’t end up in the final film. The screenplay was adapted by producer Reginald Hudlin and drawn by R.M. Guera (SCALPED), Jason Latour, Denys Cowan and Danijel Zezelj.

For those who like to wait to pick up one volume rather than several, the hardcover collection is hitting next week. Check out Tarantino’s list of fave western comics below, along with a few pages from the collection. Read More »

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For the past couple years, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Akiva Goldsman have been working on a truly ambitious adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel series The Dark Tower. Originally set as a possible project at Howard and Grazer’s frequent partner Universal, the project almost went to Warner Bros., and finally got a financing offer from Media Rights Capital.

Why all the difficulty? Well, this isn’t just one or two films; it’s envisioned as a three-film series linked by two short television series. That MRC offer was just for one film, but there was another mysterious offer that came up, which would have allowed for the original ambitious plan to take place. Now, after months of delays and public uncertainty about the project, Howard says The Dark Tower is still kicking. It’s just taking some time, and we’re not likely to hear much more about it until it is really gaining true momentum. Read More »

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If your favorite January Jones moment from any given season of Mad Men was the bit when Betty took aim at a neighbor’s pigeons, this trailer for Sweetwater will probably earn a grin. The film features Jones as a widowed woman who goes on a violent spree of revenge killings. That seems to be the deal, at least; honestly the trailer focuses more on the violence than the plot. It’s cartoonish stuff, especially with Jones playing the role with her characteristic straight face.

Reviews haven’t been kind as the film has done festival rounds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few minutes’ entertainment out of the trailer. You’ll recognize Ed Harris even with his white hair extensions, but that preacher is played by a nigh-unrecognizable Jason Isaacs, just in case you didn’t manage to peg who was behind his weird tone. Read More »

The Lone Ranger

After months of trailers, TV spots, posters, and other marketing for The Lone Ranger, it’s easy to forget the movie almost never happened at all. Back in 2011, Disney slammed the brakes over concerns about its over-$250 million budget, and decided to move forward only after director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer trimmed it down to $215 million.

As it turns out, though, even that lower figure wasn’t enough to put the project in the black. Following a disastrous opening weekend, Disney stands to lose up to $150 million on The Lone Ranger. That’s not quite as rough as the $200 million lost by John Carter in 2011, but it’s pretty crappy. Hit the jump for more on what happened.

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The Lone Ranger

Why is a film in which a magic horse eats scorpions off Armie Hammer’s face so insufferably fractured and dull? Now that I’ve got your attention, consider the unfortunate fate of a film, one eager to subvert Western tradition, which becomes deeply lost in the wilderness between the arthouse and multiplex.

The Lone Ranger, masterminded by the Pirates of the Caribbean team of Gore Verbinski (director) and Jerry Bruckheimer (producer), throws out one weird idea after another — fanged rabbits factor in — almost as distractions for the fact that it wants to batter the very myth of the American west. In all cases, it does so without any significant unifying principle to weave the ideas into a movie of any compelling merit. More interesting to talk about than it is to watch in the moment, The Lone Ranger is still a dud in the end.

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Lone Ranger Gore Verbinski

When George Lucas and Steven Spielberg said Hollywood would implode because of a reliance on massive blockbusters, they were probably thinking of films like those made by Gore Verbinski. The director has done small films — even winning an Oscar for the animated Rango – but he’s best known for the three Pirates of the Caribbean movies and now The Lone Ranger, which opens July 3. His latest film was a massive undertaking that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make and even more to market.

When we sat down to talk to Verbinski, it seemed like the time to ask him about Lucas and Spielberg’s comments. He thinks there is a problem with Hollywood’s overspending, saying “we are on a crazy road to extinction.” Below, you can read more comments along with talk of genre conventions, the William Tell Overture, Hans Zimmer, and the struggle to get The Lone Ranger in front of cameras. Read More »

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