The Wolverine

On November 1st 2012, I visited the set of The Wolverine in Sydney, Australia. To give you an idea of the timeline of my visit, Hurricane Sandy had just wreaked havoc in New York, and I woke up early one morning from the constant noises coming from my computer because I was getting so many notices of the breaking news that Disney had purchased LucasFilm and was making more Star Wars movies.

It is five in the morning and I’m standing in a street lined with Japanese houses covered with snow. The elaborate set was  built in a huge parking lot that was built for the 2000 Olympic games. Flakes of snow fall as ninjas run and ride motorcycles along the rooftops. Hugh Jackman is hanging off the top of a snow plow as it barrels down the street, away from a crowd of masked ninjas. Jackman, employing safety harnesses, flips to his feet on top of the snowplow and “activates” his claws. The second unit director calls “cut”, and Hugh notices our little grouping of press off in the corner and yells out “So you guys a pulling an all nighter? Why don’t you put some ninja suits on and get in the action?”

After the jump you will find a compilation of interesting facts I learned while visiting the set.

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Tom Cruise Mission Impossible

Briefly: We don’t know what Mission: Impossible 5 will be about, but we know who will write: Drew Pearce, who scripted Iron Man 3 with director Shane Black, has been hired to write the film. Tom Cruise returns to star, and the sequel will reportedly shoot in the fall of this year, after Cruise finishes The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Will Pearce again work with a director who is also known as a screenwriter? Christopher McQuarrie, who directed Cruise in Jack Reacher, has been linked to the film. And while he hasn’t signed on, THR reports that he is “in discussions” to direct M:I 5, even as he has already been set to direct a remake of Ice Station Zebra.

Pearce also did some work on the Pacific Rim script, and is writing another film that he’ll direct as well; details on that are thin right now.

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Christopher McQuarrie‘s most recent collaboration with Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher, comes out on Blu-ray tomorrow. Almost as if to publicize that fact, both director and star have announced new projects today. Cruise was confirmed for Mission: Impossible 5, which McQuarrie has been rumored to direct for some time. The director, meanwhile, was not part of the M:I 5 announcement, and was announced instead as the director for a remake of the late ’60s espionage thriller Ice Station Zebra. So what gives? Read More »

Tom Cruise Mission Impossible

Briefly: Mission: Impossible 5 is a go. Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions just signed star Tom Cruise to return for the fifth film in the blockbuster franchise, confirming rumblings that began after 2011′s Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol was a massive hit. The studio has yet to officially announce a writer or director but all signs point to Christopher McQuarrie, who last directed Cruise in Jack Reacher. (Which comes out on DVD and Blu this week.) More on the project as information becomes available. [Deadline]

Back in November, reports said Christopher McQuarrie would be directing Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible 5. This made sense on numerous levels. Brad Bird, who directed the fourth film, had moved to another project. McQuarrie and Cruise have a great relationship, culminating in Jack Reacher, which at the time was yet to be released. Finally, each entry in the M:I series to date had a new director at the helm.

Then Jack Reacher came out and while the film did pretty well critically, it underperformed financially. Whether that was because it was released days after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and the film begins with a savage sniper attack, because people are just over Tom Cruise, or if people just didn’t respond to the marketing and/or film is to be determined.

Either way, the question remained, “Would McQuarrie be handed the keys to one of Paramount’s biggest franchises?” That seems to be the case. McQuarrie took to Twitter and said he’s “deciding to accept” the gig. Which is an odd choice of words, but suggests some sort of offer has been made and acceptance is imminent  There’s more below. Read More »

When Christopher McQuarrie was set to direct One Shot, which eventually became Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise, the idea was to launch a franchise based on the dozen-plus Reacher books by Lee Child. Turns out that Jack Reacher may be the character’s one shot at the big screen, at least in this incarnation.

The movie wasn’t all that expensive, at only $60m, but THR reports that Pararmount doesn’t consider the $153m combined worldwide gross to be impetus enough to make another one. But the film hasn’t yet opened in Japan, China, and Korea, and so there’s a chance that it could still rake in enough to make the $250m the studio would consider to be justification for a sequel. Even if it does hit the financial goal, Paramount and David Ellison’s Skydance Productions will have to negotiate a deal to bring Cruise back, and keep the next film moving at roughly the same cost of the first.

After the break ,

  • A new Dan Brown book brings up talk of The Lost Symbol,
  • a new G.I. Joe: Retaliation trailer is all action,
  • and Arnold Schwarzenegger hand-writes a Twins II / Triplets update.

Read More »

Want to see the world premiere of the brand new, Wolverine-inspired, short film Logan (pictured above)? Why is President Obama hanging with Spider-Man? When will Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere? Which Battlestar Galactica star is joining Arrow? How did Christopher McQuarrie‘s Wolverine film differ from James Mangold‘s? Was a superhero movie top movie from 2012 from IMDB readers? Is a Punisher fan film the best Punisher movie to date? Where can you buy some near-mint, vintage Captain America trading cards? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Here’s the best trailer yet released for Christopher McQuarrie‘s Jack Reacher, which stars Tom Cruise as Lee Child‘s ultra-capable former military cop Jack Reacher. Unfortunately, for those who haven’t read the source novel One Shot, it’s also the most plot-heavy trailer yet.

While the voiceover narration here is in Japanese, you won’t need a translation to understand that this trailer sets out the first act of the movie pretty much beat by beat. For those who do know the book, this will point out a few more small changes taken on the road to the screen (such as the precise sniping incident that sets the plot in motion) even as it gives a nice little thrill by showing a few more details of the investigation that follows. Read More »

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