dark tower movie filming

After years of false stars and ambitious franchise plans that never came to fruition and a revolving door of talent that saw the likes of Ron Howard and Javier Bardem board the project and exit, the film adaptation of The Dark Tower has finally begun filming under director Nikolaj Arcel. As a fan of Stephen King‘s magnum opus book series, a wild combination of science fiction, horror, and fantasy that unites all of his work in one universe, I will be watching this production closely, eyebrow ready to rise at a moment’s notice. To paraphrase Roland the Gunslinger: I do not prematurely criticize with my laptop; he who prematurely criticizes with his laptop has forgotten the face of his father. I prematurely criticize with my heart.

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 The Jungle Book featurette

The Jungle Book‘s voice cast is stacked with talent. Sir Ben KingsleyBill Murray, Lupita Nyong’oChristopher WalkenScarlett JohanssonIdris Elba, and more help bring director Jon Favreau‘s (Chef) ambitious, CG-heavy reimagining of the Disney animated classic to life. To learn how they did it, check out the recent The Jungle Book featurette below.

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The Jungle Book poster tryptic

A little less than a year ago, the very first footage from The Jungle Book brought the house down at Disney’s D23 expo, with critics raving about the “next level” animation. This past weekend, the first reviews from the full-length film finally hit theaters, and… well, it turns out critics still like it a whole heck of a lot.

Reviews range from fairly positive to really positive, but a general consensus has formed around a couple of elements: one, the 3D is some of the best we’ve seen since Avatar, and two, Idris Elba‘s Shere Khan makes for one terrifying villain. Find out what else the critics had to say in our Jungle Book reviews round-up below.  Read More »

FINDING DORY

Finding Nemo took us to a whole new world under the surface, populated with “vegetarian” sharks and hippie sea turtles and other exotic sea creatures. This summer’s Finding Dory promises to reunite us with some of those same fish while introducing us to still more colorful characters. Those include a cantankerous octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neill), a sweet whale shark named Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), and a beluga whale named Bailey (Ty Burrell).

But that’s not all. Also lurking in the cast are Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton as Dory’s parents, Bob Peterson as an eagle ray, and Idris Elba and Dominic West as a pair of Guy Ritchie-inspired sea lions — which, yes, makes Finding Dory the Wire reunion you never knew you wanted. Hit the jump for a batch of photos featuring the latest new Finding Dory characters.  Read More »

The Jungle Book questions

Jon Favreau‘s last two major releases, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, were disappointments for some filmgoers. But after those minor missteps, the director of ElfZathura, and Iron Man quickly bounced back with his last feature, Chef. Now Favreau’s next upcoming film is The Jungle Book, which is possibly his biggest film to date.

Below, watch The Jungle Book featurette, in which the director and cast discuss the reimagining.

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the jungle book clip

Last year, Disney really got their whole reimagining game down. While Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent were box office hits, neither quite captured the spirit or the appeal of the original animated films. Kenneth Branagh, however, accomplished just that recently with his lovely Cinderella remake. Next at bat to reimagine another Disney classic is director Jon Favreau.

Following up his charming drama Chef, Favreau returns to big studio filmmaking with The Jungle Book. Watch a clip from the film below.

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THE JUNGLE BOOK Idris Elba / Shere Khan

Walt Disney Pictures has released a series of images featuring the cast of Jon Favreau‘s “live-action” adaptation of The Jungle Book posing next to their computer animated counterparts. Hit the jump to check out the photos, which I guess serve as a classier/better version of when companies like DreamWorks Animation would do a split screen showing an actor voicing his role during the trailer. Hit the jump to see the new Jungle Book photos.
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the dark tower movie

It’s happening. After years of false starts and rumors and tales from development hell and being juggled between movie studios like a hot shell casing, the adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower is finally and officially about to go before cameras. For real. Here’s how official it is: King and director Nikolaj Arcel actually did the thing where they sit down with Entertainment Weekly and discuss the project at length. You don’t do that if the film is still a pipe dream. Coffee is for closers and EW profiles are for movies that are actually getting made.

Although they obviously can’t say too much, King and Arcel did discuss the film’s timeline, its leading men, the possibility of a companion television series, and whether or not the most famous line of all King’s canon would make it into the adaptation. It’s an oasis of information.

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idris elba the dark tower

UPDATE: Stephen King has confirmed McConaughey and Elba’s casting on Twitter, as you can see below. Original story from December 10, 2015 follows.

Matthew McConaughey fled across the desert and Idris Elba followed.

It’s the kind of left-field casting that is almost disgustingly perfect – why didn’t anyone think of this sooner? Idris Elba, the star of Luther, Pacific Rim, and Beasts of No Nation is the current frontrunner to play Roland Deschain in director Nikolaj Arcel‘s adaptation of The Gunslinger, the first novel in Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower series. If he does sign on the dotted line, he’ll be joining a cast that already includes Matthew McConaughey, who is set to play the mysterious “man in black,” the chief villain of the series and the Big Bad of the entire Stephen King universe.

Read more on the Idris Elba The Dark Tower casting after the jump.

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