Horror maestro John Carpenter hasn’t directed a movie in more than a decade, and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. But the director of movies like The Thing, Halloween, and The Fog is now set to explore the horror genre through a new medium: audio.
Carpenter and his wife, producer Sandy King Carpenter, have signed a deal with Serial Box to develop multiple horror audio shows and podcasts over the next two years which will fall under a new “John Carpenter Presents” banner. Get the details below.
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(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st-century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: The BFG and Ready Player One.)
What do you think of when you think of a Steven Spielberg movie? There are a variety of answers, but “blockbuster” tends to be at the top of the list. After all, it was Spielberg’s Jaws that gave birth to the idea of the summer blockbuster, and ever since then, he’s been riding that high. Steven Spielberg is a man who makes big movies. Big spectacles. Big special effects. Big emotions. Everything is big, big, big. And yet, in the 21st century, Spielberg adapted. He entered the new century riding high off of finally scoring multiple Oscars for titles like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan.
After decades of being thought of as nothing more than a creator of harmless pop entertainment who made oodles of money, it could no longer be denied that Steven Spielberg was a real artist. And he parlayed that into the films he would make in the 2000s. He kicked things off with the special-effects heavy A.I. and Minority Report, but after that, he would begin turning out smaller things. Well, smaller for Spielberg, at least. He was crafting historical dramas and character-driven stories. He was showing us all that he had more on his mind than T-Rexes and killer sharks.
Now and again he would return to his roots, bringing back Indiana Jones for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and finally making the Tin Tin movie he had been dreaming about for years. But mostly, Spielberg seemed content to try new things. And then something happened. He got that old itch to entertain. To summon up a spectacle. To fire up as much digital effects trickery as he could manage and forge entire digital worlds where nothing is real. It was nothing he couldn’t handle, right? Steven Spielberg is a filmmaker who knows all about technological advances in movies just as he knows all about crafting big, loud, popcorn entertainment. In other words, he knows how to give the audience what they want. As Robert Kolker wrote in A Cinema of Loneliness, “The frequency, success, and influence of [Spielberg’s] films over three decades have made them a kind of encyclopedia of desire, a locus of representations into which audiences wished to be called.”
With effects-heavy titles The BFG and Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg was coming home. He was returning to his roots. He was giving the audience what they wanted. What could go wrong?
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Craving even more Unsolved Mysteries? The Netflix revival just returned with new episodes, but if that’s still not enough, here’s good news: there’s an Unsolved Mysteries podcast on the way. The weekly podcast, which comes from the company behind the hit series, will feature new “unsolved cases and take a deep dive into a specific story.” And yes, that iconic, terrifying Unsolved Mysteries theme music will be played at the start of the episodes.
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(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st-century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: Bridge of Spies and The Post.)
The Spielbergian hero is someone who not only does the right thing, but goes above and beyond. Someone who risks it all – life, limb, and reputation – for the greater good. And not some wispy, intangible greater good, either – oh, no. It’s not the belief in a better world; it’s the belief that the world we already have is as good as it’s going to get, if only we allow it. Spielbergian America is a place where the power is in the hands of the people, and all the people need do to make the country live up to its lofty goals is to fight for what’s right, no matter how daunting the fight may be. Two of Steven Spielberg‘s 21st-century films personify this perfectly, and, coincidentally enough, both star Tom Hanks: Bridge of Spies and The Post.
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This past summer, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment struck a multi-year deal with Spotify to produce and distribute an original slate of narrative scripted podcasts based on the roster of popular characters from DC Comics, and the first one has just been announced.
Batman: Unburied will bring the Dark Knight to the audio entertainment world, courtesy of Batman Begins and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scribe David S. Goyer, who will write and executive produce the audio drama. Read More »
Just in time for No Time to Die, here comes the official James Bond podcast. Appropriately titled No Time To Die: The Official James Bond Podcast, the six-part series will feature interviews with Daniel Craig, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, and more, with each episode focusing on a different aspect of the sprawling Bond franchise.
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(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column and podcast that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st-century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: War Horse and Lincoln.)
War is hell. Any sane individual knows this and knows that the old romanticized notions of glory on the battlefield are little more than fantasy. But that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from returning, again and again, to depicting big, loud, action-packed battles on the screen. Whenever reviewing a war movie, Roger Ebert was fond of pulling out a quote attributed to Francois Truffaut, that it was impossible to make an anti-war film because movies made war inherently entertaining. The real quote, as close as I can tell from my own research, comes from a 1973 interview Truffaut gave with Ebert’s colleague Gene Siskel, in which the legendary French filmmaker said: “I find that violence is very ambiguous in movies. For example, some films claim to be antiwar, but I don’t think I’ve really seen an anti-war film. Every film about war ends up being pro-war.”
Steven Spielberg is no stranger to war movies. From Saving Private Ryan to the Band of Brothers miniseries, and beyond, Spielberg has portrayed war and all its horrors, but even when portraying the harrowing battles of Ryan, the truth of the Truffaut quote sneaks in: sure, war is hell, but it’s also pretty entertaining in the hands of a master filmmaker. The real way to hammer home the horrors of war isn’t so much to portray extended battle sequences. Instead, the secret is to move beyond the bullets and the blood and find the humanity lurking beneath; humanity in danger of being snuffed out like a candle in a cold wind. And with War Horse and Lincoln, two films focused on World War I and The American Civil War, respectively, Spielberg did just that.
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Here’s some truly fantastic news to lighten up your Monday: Christopher Eccleston, who helped bring Doctor Who to the 21st century with his portrayal of the Ninth Doctor in the modern-day revival of the classic British sci-fi series, is returning to the role after 15 years. Well, in audio form. But regardless of the medium, this is a big deal considering the actor’s famous split with the BBC after his short-lived one season run on Doctor Who, and his reluctance to associate with the role of the beloved time-traveling alien in the years since.
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Podcasts were already enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity and quality before the pandemic hit. Now in the age of coronavirus, their audiences have grown even more as people are desperate to find new entertainment to keep them occupied while being stuck at home. With podcasts and audio storytelling at large earning more attention from listeners, they’re also drawing in even more big name talent to make them, and the filmmaking duo the Duplass Brothers and Star Wars hero Daisy Ridley are the latest to join the audio game. Read More »
Mark-Paul Gosselaar doesn’t just have the ability to freeze time, he has the ability to go back in time too. And he’s going back all the way to season 1 of Saved by the Bell for a new retrospective podcast about the classic ’90s sitcom in which Gosselaar starred for 4 seasons on NBC.
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