Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Angie Han
For a while there, it looked like Len Wiseman was going to follow up his unasked-for Total Recall remake with an unasked-for The Mummy reboot. But then he had second thoughts, and dropped out to focus instead on his TV series Sleepy Hollow. And now that he’s ready to return to big-screen directing, he’s got his eye on a new original project.
Wiseman is reportedly set to direct the FBI sci-fi Black Chapter, based on an idea he had with Zak Penn. If Penn’s history has you wondering if Black Chapter might be a superhero film of some sort, you’d be right. More or less. Get plot details and more after the jump.
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Posted on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 by Angie Han
Since last year, Universal’s been working hard to get a reboot of The Mummy off the ground. The studio first hired Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) to write a screenplay, brought Len Wiseman on board to direct, and then commissioned a second screenplay by Billy Ray (The Hunger Games) this past winter in case Spaihts’ version wasn’t up to snuff.
But progress has been pretty quiet since then, and now it’s hit a big speed bump. Wiseman has just departed the project, leaving producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Sean Daniel scrambling to find a replacement. Hit the jump to find out what happened.
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Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2013 by Angie Han
Universal really, really wants their The Mummy reboot to work. Last spring, the studio set Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts to pen a modern-day reboot of the classic franchise. Now, they’re bringing in some extra help in the form of Hunger Games scribe Billy Ray.
While it’s pretty typical for a high-profile tentpole pic to go through multiple writers, this is a special case. Ray isn’t doing a rewrite of Spaihts’ script. Instead, he’s putting together a totally separate screenplay with an unrelated storyline. You know, just in case the other one totally sucks. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 by Angie Han
While it’s understandable that some diehard fans think the very idea of another Star Wars trilogy is unforgivable sacrilege, we’re more inclined to think it could be an unexpected blessing. Disney’s got their hands on one of the richest mythologies in pop culture, and enough clout that it can book some serious talent to do it justice. So with that in mind, we’ve put together a list of ten filmmakers we’d love to see explore a galaxy far, far away — and five we’d rather stayed here on Earth. Hit the jump to read.
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When Universal first remade The Mummy with Brendan Fraser in the late ’90s, the franchise retained the period setting of the original film. That ended up being the right decision as the remade Mummy franchise spawned multiple sequels, spin-offs and was a runaway hit at almost every turn. It has since gone cold, however, and with the help of producers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts, Universal hope to breathe life into the walking dead one more time.
The trio has now settled on a director to make the movie: Len Wiseman, who recently remade Total Recall with Colin Farrell. This time though, The Mummy will have a modern setting. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012 by Angie Han
In yet another year brimming with sequels, prequels, remakes, reimaginings, and reboots, it’s all too easy to complain about Hollywood’s lack of creativity. It’s also inaccurate. The Dark Knight Rises may be a threequel based on a comic book, but it’s also an exhilarating, thoughtful realization of one auteur’s vision. 21 Jump Street may very well have started out as a bottom line-obsessed exec’s idea of an quick cash grab, but Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Jonah Hill, Michael Bacall, and Channing Tatum turned it into one of the year’s brightest comedies. Artists have always stood on the shoulders of other visionaries from eras past, and the great ones have always known how to make those old templates their own.
But then there are projects like Len Wiseman‘s Total Recall remake, which deserves all the eye-rolling its very premise inspires and more. It could be the top contender for the title of “summer’s most inessential movie.” Not worst movie, mind you — I wasn’t confused or annoyed or bored to tears. With its handsome leads, slick action, and a relatively coherent storyline, it’s not likely draw any ire. And that’s what’s so goddamn soul-sucking about it.
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“Grim ‘n’ gritty” is the roiling cloud that settled over the comics industry after Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns became a runaway success. Like a resolute storm front, it has moved on to menace other media. Miller used grim as satire, and gritty as provocation, but for so many others they’re empty buzzwords, dull style guidelines with scant meaning and stunted wit. Total Recall, 2012 edition, is the grim ‘n’ gritty version of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 movie of the same name, this time from director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard). Wiseman applies the style with little apparent intent or discretion, and in doing so creates little more than a visual exercise.
Verhoeven rendered Philip K. Dick‘s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale with a goofy, gooey spirit, and spat out broadly satirical economic jabs as he kept tongue planted firmly in cheek. His film kept our interest by coming back to one question: what is reality, and what only imagined? Is there are difference?
Wiseman’s Total Recall has a few rudimentary thoughts in its head: “Economic disparity sucks! So does the abuse of power!” But it would rather make Kate Beckinsale look tough and sexy than do the legwork required to make bigger concepts into more than taglines. That’s not the worst intention, and Wiseman’s movie is at least energetic and sleek. But as it recites the twists and turns of the ’90 version, at times beat for beat, it replaces intriguing ambiguity with straightforward and forgettable action. Read More »
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When you’re sitting with the director of a major Hollywood blockbuster, it’s never awkward if your interpreation of the film is different than theirs. Oh wait. Yes, it is. It makes for an entertaining interview, though, and that’s what you’re about to see as I sat down with Len Wiseman, the director of the Total Recall remake that opens today.
Wiseman, who also directed Live Free or Die Hard, and multiple Underworld movies starring his wife, Kate Beckinsale, believes his version of Total Recall is more ambiguous than Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 version. I disagree. So we discussed that, along with how this film distinguishes itself from that version, the huge action set pieces, why he didn’t want it in 3D, his thoughts on Independence Day 2 (he worked in the art department on the first film) and more. And it’s all on video. Check it out below. Read More »