/Film reader Paul Bullock discovered an awesome television profile on 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg which was aired on Japanese television in the Christmas of 1982, and has been virtually unseen by American audiences. If you’re even half the Spielberg-fanatic that I am, you’ll need to watch the entirety of the special. The special features a tour through Steven’s early Amblin’s offices and his Los Angeles home, behind the scenes footage of Spielberg directing his segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie. We get to see interview clips featuring Spielberg’s mother Leah Adler, Melissa Matheson (screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and his young secretary just turned producer Kathleen Kennedy (now the head of LucasFilm), Spielberg’s thoughts on 1980’s television (Cheers, St Elsewhere, Hill St Blues…etc), his then attestant Kathleen Switzer (later a producer on movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Apollo 18), and many others. We get to drive with Spielberg to the studio lot with his dog on his lap, Robert Zemeckis talking with his two mentors John Milius and Spielberg while they eat eel and pumpkin pie together. We get to spend some time with Spielberg sitting at the piano with John Williams talking about their music collaborations. Interspliced with clips from his early films and even some behind the scenes b-roll footage. The special also features all the vintage commercial breaks, filled with fun Japanese commercials. Watch this now, or bookmark this link to watch later.
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The writer of Adaptation and director of Back to the Future might soon be working together on a potential franchise. Robert Zemeckis is in talks to direct Chaos Walking, based on Patrick Ness’ series of popular young adult novels. Charlie Kaufman adapted the screenplay. Chaos Walking, which is comprised of three books, tells the story of futuristic human males on a recolonized planet where a new disease suddenly makes all thoughts audible. There a young boy and his dog happen upon a lone, mysterious girl who is eerily silent. Lionsgate owns the rights and will distribute. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, December 27th, 2012 by Angie Han
It remains to be seen whether Robert Zemeckis‘ next project after Flight will see him sticking with live-action or returning to animation, but one thing’s for certain: It won’t be Yellow Submarine. The project’s suffered several setbacks over the past few years, and it sounds like Zemeckis has finally given up on it once and for all. Read his comments after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012 by Angie Han
Could Sean Connery return to the Bond franchise? Believe it or not, it almost happened a third time. Also after the jump:
- The Muppets shoots this winter, Bret McKenzie returns to write more songs
- Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore has ideas for a sequel
- Robert Zemeckis isn’t planning a Roger Rabbit sequel
- Daniel Craig says Dragon Tattoo sequel needs a script
- Watch a montage of A Good Day to Die Hard filming
- Star Trek Into Darkness will be released in Dolby Atmos
- Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talks about Red 2
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Since getting into filmmaking over thirty years ago, Robert Zemeckis has had an incredible career. He’s tackled multiple genres, won Oscars, written some of the most revered films ever and then, after about twenty years, he took a dramatic turn. Zemeckis began making films with a new technology called performance capture and experienced great success. Exploring in the playground of animation, and advancing a technology in its infancy, confirmed his innovative tendencies, but some argued that it began to overshadow his talent for storytelling.
That talent is back on display in Flight, Zemeckis’ first live action film in over a decade. It’s about an airline pilot named Whip (Denzel Washington) who lands a distressed plane while intoxicated. Is is a hero? A drunk? Can he be both? The film asks lots of complicated questions with not always complicated answers. Still, it’s filled with intense moments, emotional resonance, and plenty of surprises for the audience.
One thing that’s not a surprise is that Zemeckis has still got it, and that talent is well on display in several minutes of B-roll footage that’s been released. Check it out below. Read More »
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An Oscar-winner for Forrest Gump and director of some of our favorite movies, it’s hard to imagine that Robert Zemeckis hasn’t made a live-action film in over a decade. Then, the year was 2000, and the film was Cast Away. Though the director of Back to the Future, Contact, and Used Cars has found some of his greatest commercial success in the last twelve years, all the films have used motion capture. Despite any financial success, however, The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol never quite satisfied the older Zemeckis fans who yearned for him to get out of the computer and back into the real world.
He’s finally doing that with Flight, an intimate, challenging character study about a pilot (Denzel Washington) who lands a crashing plane while drunk. More than a return to live-action, it’s a return to maturity for Zemeckis, as it’s his first R-rated movie in some time, complete with foul language, nudity, and drug use. It opens November 9.
Speaking at this weekend’s press junket for Flight, Zemeckis said while fans might see his career as having taken a detour, he doesn’t see it that way. Read his quote and discuss after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 by Angie Han
After a dozen-year stretch in Uncanny Valley, Robert Zemeckis has returned to the world of live-action with the substance abuse drama Flight. It’s not the smoothest ride. The film’s alcoholism plotline veers toward the generic, the symbolism is often so blunt as to be laughable, and the supporting players are mostly one-note.
What keeps it on course, however, is the compassionate but honest character study at its core. Zemeckis and screenwriter John Gatins (Real Steel) have an iron grip on who Captain William “Whip” Whitaker is and what makes him tick, and Denzel Washington‘s grounded performance maintains the audience’s sympathy without sugarcoating Whip’s nasty side.
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After years of working in the (self-imposed) motion-capture gulag, Robert Zemeckis returns to live-action with Flight. He’s got other live-action work lined up, but one of his next projects may go back to his classic blend of live-action and animation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
A Roger Rabbit sequel has been talked up for years and years, but seemed to have a big roadblock thrown in front of it over this past summer when Bob Hoskins, the lead of the original movie, retired from acting. But Zemeckis says that a sequel is still possible, just as soon as Disney gets its house in order. Read More »
In 2011, before shooting his new movie Flight, which is playing film festivals now, Robert Zemeckis started considering a new film with Tom Hanks. Major Matt Mason is co-written by Hanks and Graham Yost, and is called “a live-action family film about space adventure.”
We haven’t heard much about the project since then, but now with Zemeckis bringing Flight into theaters, Hanks is talking about the space-bound movie once again. Looks like the project may actually go ahead, with independent financing as the financial fuel. Read More »