Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 by Angie Han
Who knew that lonely kids befriending gigantic but surprisingly sweet monsters would turn out to be such a big theme of 2016? Earlier this month we got The BFG, Steven Spielberg’s take on the Roald Dahl classic, and next month we’ll get Pete’s Dragon, David Lowery’s updated version of the 1977 Disney film. Then this fall brings A Monster Calls, J.A. Bayona‘s adaptation of Patrick Ness‘ book.
Lewis MacDougall leads the film as Conor, a 12-year-old who’s having a tough time all around. At home, he’s struggling with his mother’s illness; at school, he’s targeted by bullies. He escapes into a fantasy world with the help of a giant tree monster voiced by Liam Neeson. It all sounds very silly when I put it that way, I know, but A Monster Calls looks like a visually sumptuous treat and a real tearjerker to boot. Watch the A Monster Calls trailer below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 by Angie Han
Much in the way that a hubristic entrepreneur might revive a long-extinct species, Colin Trevorrow resurrected the dormant Jurassic Park franchise last year with Jurassic World. But while bringing dinos back to life has only ever gone poorly for the humans within the Jurassic Park universe, the relaunch worked out spectacularly in ours. Universal had a massive hit on its hands, and former indie director Trevorrow gained so much momentum that he steered himself right into a Star Wars movie.
Which, in turn, left the director slot wide open for the inevitable Jurassic World sequel. Now we finally know who’ll fill it. Juan Antonio Bayona has been set to helm Jurassic World 2, which will once again star Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 by Angie Han
There are no shortage of monsters on the big screen this year, whether they be mutants or ghosts or dragons or other mythical creatures. But not all monsters are out to terrorize people. Some of them appear because they’ve been summoned by sad little boys desperately in need. In Juan Antonio Bayona‘s A Monster Calls, Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) struggles with bullies at school and his mother’s illness at home. At night he’s visited by a monster in the form of a towering tree (Liam Neeson).
Although A Monster Calls has elements of fantasy and adventure, the real core of the story is Conor’s attempts to cope with the kind of outsized emotions that even adults are ill-equipped to handle: love, loss, and grief. In other words, this beast of a tale looks more likely to break your heart than to make you scream. Watch the latest A Monster Calls teaser trailer below.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Someone needs to write a book about the production of World War Z. It shouldn’t happen now – too many people involved have a vested interest in keeping their mouths shut – but as the years roll on and lips start to loosen, someone needs to track down everyone involved and get the whole story. The infamously troubled production, which endured several calamities before its final 45 minutes were completely scrapped, rewritten, and reshot, sounds like a genuinely fascinating ordeal.
And its sequel isn’t getting off to a smooth start, either. A little more than two years after signing up for the job, director Juan Antonio Bayona has stepped away from the film, which was supposed to shoot this year for a 2017 release. Are we allowed to talk about this series being cursed yet? Because it’s one more major setback away from being totally cursed.
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Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2015 by Angie Han
Liam Neeson can be pretty damn intimidating when he wants to be (see: his entire post-Taken career), so it’s a little ironic that when he finally gets the chance to play a straight-up monster, he… actually doesn’t seem scary at all. The monster of J.A. Bayona‘s A Monster Calls seems plenty big and creepy, sure. But he seems to be a gentler sort, more interested in rescuing lost little boys and making moviegoers cry, than he does unleashing terror upon screaming victims.
Based on the novel by Patrick Ness (who also penned the screenplay), A Monster Calls stars Lewis MacDougall as a young boy who escapes his unhappy reality by slipping into a dark fantasy world. Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell play his parents. Watch the A Monster Calls teaser trailer after the jump. Read More »
One of the biggest movie surprises of 2013 was the success of World War Z. The film hit theaters carrying some significant behind the scenes baggage, but ended up grossing over $200 million in the US and over $500 million internationally. It was a massive hit and talk of a sequel began to heat up soon after the film’s release. Not much happened on that front during 2014 but now, we finally have a small update on World War Z 2, scheduled to be directed by Juan Antonio Bayona for a 2016 release.
Steven Knight, the writer and director of Locke, and writer of Eastern Promises, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Dirty Pretty Things and Seventh Son, is writing a treatment for the sequel. He suggested the film wouldn’t be what fans are expecting. He said he’s starting with a “clean slate.” Read more about World War Z 2 below. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Angie Han
Anyone who’s ever seen Taken knows that Liam Neeson can be pretty damn intimidating on the big screen when he wants to. Even so, it’s not often that he gets to play an out-and-out monster. But he’ll soon get his chance in Juan Antonio Bayona‘s A Monster Calls, based on the acclaimed novel by Patrick Ness. Hit the jump for more details on Neeson’s latest role.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by Angie Han
Last December, Juan Antonio Bayona booked his highest-profile gig yet: the sequel to World War Z. But before he gets around to directing zombies, he’ll first be reckoning with tree monsters.
The Spanish filmmaker has signed on to direct A Monster Calls, a Black List script written by Patrick Ness based on his own acclaimed novel. The premise suggests a potent combination of fantasy, horror, and drama a la Pan’s Labyrinth — and what do you know, Pan’s Labyrinth producer Belen Atienza is on board as well. Hit the jump for plot details and more.
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Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Angie Han
Sam Mendes and John Logan worked together to bring us Skyfall in 2012, and they’re teaming for the next Bond movie as well. But before that gets going, they’re reuniting for a very different kind of project.
Showtime’s Penny Dreadful is a sort of horror mash-up, weaving famed monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and Dorian Gray together into one spooky Victorian-era yarn. Josh Hartett plays the dashing but complicated hero, and Eva Green (another Bond alum, come to think of it) is the mysterious heroine. Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) directed the first two episodes. Hit the jump to check out the new trailer.
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Briefly: Brad Pitt is back to produce and star in the sequel to World War Z, but this one will have a new director as Marc Forster will not return. Juan Antonio Bayona (aka J.A. Bayona), who made The Impossible and The Orphanage, will direct the sequel. While there are arguments to be had over The Impossible, the disaster sequence in that film alone suggests that Bayona will be right at home with the big sequences in this film.
No one is set to write yet, and we don’t know how the plot of this sequel will jump off from the Wales-set finale of the first film, but Bayona will work with the writer to shape the script. (Which will hopefully be properly finished before cameras roll this time, to prevent some of that third-act scrambling that cost the first production so much time and money.)
Unusually for a tentpole release, Paramount has not yet set a release date, but expect that to happen soon. 2015 anyone? And this one has got to get a subtitle rather than a number, as World War Z 2 looks a bit like World War Zzz, and no studio wants to suggest we should snooze through the sequel. [THR]