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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Tom Cruise The Mummy Reboot

As you know, Universal is hoping to copy the Marvel Studios formula by launching their own cinematic universe of classic movie monster reboots. And now it looks like they might have landed a major star for The Mummy reboot: Tom Cruise. More details in the possible Tom Cruise Mummy reboot, after the jump.

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The ‘Van Helsing’ Reboot Finds New Writers

Neil LaBute making Van Helsing

Van Helsing is a bad movie. It’s about as soulless as a popcorn movie gets. Director Stephen Sommers brought some fun to the original Mummy reboot, but he stripped Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Van Helsing of their appeal in his garish film. There’s been talk of a reboot for a few years now, and it was once speculated the film would be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak) and star the picture’s producer, Tom Cruise. Universal is still developing the film, and they just brought aboard two screenwriters to co-write Van Helsing.

Learn more about the project after the jump.

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Passengers greenlit

If you’ve got Chris Pratt lined up to star in a movie, the first thing you’d want to do after Pratt’s most recent film scored the biggest opening weekend in cinema history is greenlight that project to lock him in as the star. And if the other possible star is also among the small group of actors who are arguably movie stars in any old sense, all the better.

Therefore, Sony has just greenlit Passengers, the very-long-in-development sci-fi drama that lined up Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence to star a few months ago. Read More »

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Channing Tatum in Jupiter Ascending

The title “The Forever War” might was well refer to the process of getting the movie made. An adaptation of Joe Haldeman’s 1974 sci-fi novel has been in the works for many years, but now it finally seems to be taking a big step forward.

A bidding war has broken out among major studios for the movie, which has Channing Tatum attached to star, Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange) on board to write, and Roy Lee (The Lego Movie) set to produce. Get the latest details on the Forever War movie after the jump.

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