The Mummy featurette

We can usually rely on Tom Cruise to save our world in the movies. But in The Mummy, he helps to bring about its destruction by discovering one pissed off mummy, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) to be exact. Once again, the world will call upon Tom Cruise to save us all in Alex Kurtzman‘s film (even if it’s his fault this time), which is the first entry in the potential Universal Monster Universe.

Below, watch The Mummy featurette, which contains a decent amount of new footage from the adventure movie.

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van helsing reboot

Universal’s last Van Helsing movie didn’t do any favors for the monster hunter’s name, but the stench of that misfire is now long gone. While director Stephen Sommers made Helsing’s world largely ridiculous and low on scares, screenwriters Jon Spaihts (Passengers) and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) are interested in grounding the character. As Heisserer recently put it, he wants to make Van Helsing someone with no extraordinary powers saving the day in a story that’s “as scary as possible.”

Below, read what else the Academy Award nominated screenwriter had to say about the new Van Helsing movie.

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Passengers

It’s taken almost a decade for Passengers to hit the big screen. Now that the film is out in theaters, I thought we could discuss how the ending of the film failed its premise, and how the original Passengers ending from the screenplay was different from the final film.

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Jon Spaihts interview

Passengers was partially born out of a movie that was never made. The first script screenwriter Jon Spaihts sold was called Shadow 19, originally a Warner Bros. project that made Keanu Reeves and his producing partner, Stephen Hamel, want to continue working with Spaihts — which ultimately led to Passengers. Spaiht’s script was famously embraced by those who read it, but it went on to spend years and years in development.

Almost a decade after Passengers got started, the sci-fi romance has finally reached theaters with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in the starring roles. In the years since writing it, Spaihts has worked on plenty of high-profile projects, including PrometheusDoctor Strange, and The Black Hole remake, but Passengers is his first completely original script to get produced.

We recently spoke with the screenwriter — who’s looking forward to making his directorial debut when he finds the time — about Passengers many years in development, how the story evolved, a deleted scene he misses, and more. Below, read our Jon Spaihts interview.

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Jon Spaihts interview

2016 is a good year for screenwriter Jon Spaihts. After years of development, Spaihts’ first hot spec script, Passengers, finally got made and is coming to theaters before the year ends. On top of that, he co-wrote Marvel’s latest, Doctor Strange, with director Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill.

The origin story shows Stephen Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) transformation from an arrogant, selfish surgeon to a powerful, compassionate sorcerer. Spaihts worked on the Doctor Strange script before Derrickson and Cargill conducted rewrites, but he was the first writer to board the project to help Derrickson and MarvelKevin Feige figure out how to best tell Stephen Strange’s trippy tale.

We recently spoke with Spaihts to discuss the challenges of writing an origin story, comic book conventions, his writing process, and more. Below, read our Jon Spaihts interview.

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the black hole movie - The Black Hole remake

Seven years ago the team behind TRON: Legacy, director Joseph Kosinski and producer Sean Bailey, started working on a remake of The Black Hole. The screenwriter behind PassengersJon Spaihts, was later hired for a rewrite on the sci-fi project. It’s been a while since we’ve heard any news about Disney’s reimagining of Gary Nelson‘s 1979 film, but Spaihts recently informed us of the project’s current status.

Below, get the latest update on Black Hole remake.

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van helsing reboot

My good deed for the day is using an image of Peter Cushing instead of Hugh Jackman at the top of a news article concerning the in-the-works Van Helsing reboot. You’re welcome.

Today’s volley of Universal Monsters news comes from screenwriter Jon Spaihts, who is penning the next big screen outing of the infamous monster hunter alongside Eric Heisserer. Like next summer’s The Mummy, which Spaihts also wrote, the new Van Helsing will be set in a shared cinematic universe where the Wolf Man can brush shoulders with Dracula and the Mummy can meet Frankenstein. But until we actually see The Mummy, it’s not clear what these movies will actually feel like and whether or not they’ll be worthy successors to the original classics.

But Spaihts does say this much: don’t expect the new Van Helsing to be much like previous versions.

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Doctor Strange - Benedict Cumberbatch

In February 2016, I traveled to London to get a glimpse at another dimension and visit the set of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. While on set we got a chance to have a long chat with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who as always, provided us with a lot of hints at what to expect from the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Feige talks about Doctor Strange’s origin story, how the movie will be different from the comics, rooting crazy concepts in real science, does Steven Strange know about The Avengers, how the film is more respectful to other cultures than the original source material may have been, how this movie was inspired by The Oath, which characters might connect with the RunawaysMads Mikkelsen‘s character Kaecilius, multiple dimensions, the trouble with writing magic action, how Mordo is different in the movie, Rachel McAdams‘ character Christine Palmer, is the eye of agamotto an infinity stone, the genre of the film, how this film will defy expectations, Steven Strange’s role in the larger MCU, will we see cameos from the other Marvel characters, and much more.

If you’re a Marvel fan and have ever read a Kevin Feige interview before then, you know this is well worth your time. Hit the jump to open the portal.

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2016 fall movie preview passengers

We’ve seen trailers for most of the wide releases coming out this Christmas, including Assassin’s CreedGoldCollateral BeautyWhy Him?, and of course Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. One of the films we’ve yet to see a trailer for is director Morten Tyldum‘s (The Imitation Game) sci-fi romance Passengers, but that’ll change tomorrow.

Below, watch the Passengers trailer teaser.

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van helsing movie

There’s an entire generation of moviegoers who only know the character of Van Helsing from the abysmal 2004 movie starring Hugh Jackman, and that should be a recognized as one of our great international shames. Introduced in the pages of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, Dr. Abraham Van Helsing is one of the horror genre’s greatest heroes, a character who has endured as long as the titular vampire himself. Before he was reimagined as a globetrotting 19th century James Bond, Van Helsing was a scientist and a scholar, a professor whose greatest weapon against the supernatural was his vast knowledge of science and the occult. Although his presence in the public domain has allowed any number of actors to play him (Casper Van Dien, anyone?), Van Helsing has been memorably portrayed by brilliant actors like Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence Olivier, and Peter Cushing, who built a cornerstone of his magnificent career around hurting Christopher Lee’s Dracula.

My fondness for this character made the Hugh Jackman movie hurt even more, but it also gives me hope that the new solo outing for the character being planned as part of Universal’s new cinematic monsters universe could be good. There have been incredible cinematic Van Helsings before and there is always room for more…and screenwriter Eric Heisserer is saying some very interesting things.

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