The Phantom Simon Wincer interview

On February 17, 1936, Lee Falk’s comic strip hero The Phantom was introduced to the world. Over the following years—as the character reached millions of fans through an unparalleled-for-that-era level of worldwide syndication—The Phantom became an international sensation. The comic strip (clearly) excelled in many countries around the world, but perhaps none more so than Australia. So it seems fitting that, six decades later, the man who would finally bring this hero to the big screen would be an Australian himself: Simon Wincer.

To learn about how The Phantom was made, I spoke at length with Simon Wincer. But it took a little while before we even got to talking about the masked crusader. Because, frankly, there was just too much to talk about. Like how Wincer swooped into to replace the original director of Free Willy (and ended up helping to save that film). Or how he helmed an Emmy-dominant, prestige miniseries (years before such things were du jour). We spoke about all those things and much more (like the cinematic value of manure).  Below is a copy of our conversation…

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alien covenant scary

20th Century Fox has done a fine job of keeping the secrets of the recently wrapped Alien: Covenant out of the public eye (for now), but everything that has been publicly revealed have showcased a film that seems to be acting as a direct response to how audiences felt about Prometheus. Ridley Scott‘s 2012 prequel remains divisive and the public details about the new film paint the picture of a production that keeps everything that worked in that first film while quietly throwing away everything that did not.

And while Prometheus was bold and bizarre, it was never especially frightening, at least not in the ways that the original films were frightening. Star Michael Fassbender says that Alien: Covenant will correct that.

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alien covenant wraps

Alien: Covenant, the the sixth film in the Alien series and the third time director Ridley Scott has helmed one of these movies, has officially wrapped filming and the official Alien Twitter account has shared a new photo from the set to prove it. Despite a pretty steady series of behind the scenes photos and little updates, this has been the rare major studio film to make it this far in the process with the vast majority of its secrets intact. Outside of a cast list, a basic synopsis, and a wild (and potentially spoilery) rumor about Katherine Waterston‘s character, we know precious little about Alien: Covenant.

So let’s just ponder this set photo, shall we?

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Blade Runner 2

Director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) begins principal photography on Blade Runner 2 this month. The sequel takes place decades after Sir Ridley Scott‘s 1982 film (around 2047 or 2050, says Scott), but we know little about the plot or even whom the project’s star, Ryan Gosling, is playing. Villeneuve hasn’t spilled any significant new details lately, but he has shared some artwork. Below, check out the Blade Runner 2 concept art.

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aliens sequel details

While Sir Ridley Scott is currently shooting Alien: Covenant in Australia, Neill Blomkamp‘s Alien sequel remains on hold. Because Scott was adamant about his follow-up to Prometheus reaching theaters first, Blomkamp and star Sigourney Weaver have gone off to work on other projects, at least in the meantime. There was — and there probably still is — some doubt over whether the sequel will get made, but Weaver remains confident it’ll happen.

Below, get the latest Alien sequel update from Sigourney Weaver.

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Danny McBride header image

This is a pretty good summer for Danny McBride. He has his latest HBO showVice Principals, premiering soon, and he’s currently shooting Ridley Scott‘s Alien: Covenant in Australia. Co-creating another potential success like Eastbound & Down and getting to work on an Alien movie? That’s hardly a bad way to spend the summer. When we heard about McBride’s casting in the sequel, his role was unclear, but the actor says he’s playing the captain of the spacecraft Covenant.

Below, Danny McBride discusses Alien: Covenant.

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Barkhad Abdi Joins ‘Blade Runner 2’

Abdi image 2

Next month, director Denis Villeneuve begins production on Blade Runner 2. The sequel, which stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, has already attracted an exciting cast. The newest member of the Blade Runner 2 ensemble is Academy Award-nominated actor Barkhad Abdi, the co-star of Captain Phillips and this year’s Eye in the Sky.

Below, learn more about the Barkhard Abdi Blade Runner 2 casting announcement.

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alien covenant photo

Production on Alien: Covenant is happening right now, and so far we’ve gotten a couple of behind-the-scenes sneak peeks showing Katherine Waterston on the titular ship, as well as the return of Michael Fassbender as the android David. Now we get a first look at one of the other new cast members who may be the most intriguing part of the talent roster.

Danny McBride is part of the Covenant crew, and while we don’t know his character’s name just yet, a new photo from the set shows him getting direction from Ridley Scott while on the bridge of the ship that will likely have plenty of blood splattered all over it before the film is over. See the new Alien Covenant photo after the jump. Read More »

Alien Covenant Photo

On Alien Day last month, director Ridley Scott offered our first look at the production of Alien: Covenant by way of the mission patch with the name of the title ship we’ll be following. This is just the first of what is meant to be two sequels (even though Scott once said this was the first in a new trilogy) that lead us up to the events of Alien in 1979. Production is still underway, and a new photo has just been shared from the set that provides us with our first look at Katherine Waterston as the new female lead character, Daniels. Will she be as cool as Ellen Ripley?

Check out the Alien Covenant photo after the jump. Read More »

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Ridley Scott on set of THE MARTIAN

Ridley Scott‘s adaptation of Andy Weir‘s The Martian was a smashing success by any measure, and 20th Century Fox is hoping to recreate that magic again. The studio has just picked up an untitled pitch from Weir, which Scott will produce along with The Martian‘s Simon Kinberg.

It’s the second The Martian reunion we’ve heard about this month. Last week we got word Scott was re-teaming with The Martian screenwriter Drew Goddard (who’s not involved in the new Weir movie) for Wraiths of the Broken Land. Read More »