I’m not one to champion a whole bunch of sequels, prequels, and spinoffs, but let me tell you something — when it was announced that there was going to be a TV adaptation of The Purge, I perked right up. I’m a fan of the film franchise — and its unflinching indictment of our real-life dystopia highlighting our history of violence and rage — and I was interested to see how creator James DeMonaco and producer Jason Blum would expand the story in an episodic format. After visiting their New Orleans set back in June, I can say that at this point I am truly invested.

Premiering September 4 on USA, The Purge will be a 10-episode series that follows several characters as they struggle to survive on the one night of the year when all crime — including murder — is completely legal. As the night wears on, each character is forced to reckon with their past and their own self-motivations as they determine just how far they’ll go to confront the horror around them.

The series, which revolves around the Purge’s standard 12-hour period, is written and executive produced by showrunner Thomas Kelly. Here’s everything we now know from the set visit.

Read More »

Die Hard tour

(We recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of Die Hard, arguably the greatest action movie of all time. /Film has explored the film from every angle with a whole series of articles. To conclude our coverage, we took a special tour of the film’s locations and attended a spectacular screening on the Fox lot.)

By now, everyone knows that the filmmakers behind Die Hard utilized 20th Century Fox’s Fox Plaza, a real skyscraper in Los Angeles’s Century City, to stand in for the movie’s famous Nakatomi Plaza. The building is still being used by Fox today, and typically, film journalists aren’t allowed to go inside and explore it. But this past weekend, we were among a small group of journalists invited to take a Die Hard tour showing off a ton of the locations used during the making of the movie.

To top it all off, Fox organized a 30th anniversary screening of the film on the studio lot, with the building itself towering over the audience. Check out our video and photos below.
Read More »

happytime murders

For our third and final interview from our visit to the set of The Happytime Murders, I bring you a discussion with producer/co-writer and Melissa McCarthy’s close collaborator Ben Falcone. In a roundtable interview, Falcone talked about how good the screenplay was on first read, the strange world-building of the movie, the difficulties in making an R-rated puppet comedy, making raunchy comedy that isn’t mean-spirited, how inactive puppets look like they’ve died, and how a puppet set is different from a regular set.

Read More »

happytime murders

Last October, I visited the set of Brian Henson‘s The Happytime Murders and was shocked and appalled by the puppet naughtiness. Today, I present to you our roundtable interview with human star Melissa McCarthy talked about having “real” moments with puppet characters, working with the Henson Company, wanting to make the movie after reading two pages, navigating a set built for puppets, the social message of the film, hilarious puppet bloopers, and being directed from a guy in a garbage can.

Read More »

brian henson the happytme murders

Last October, I traveled to Santa Clarita to visit the set of The Happytime Murders, the new film from Brian Henson. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Muppets fan, and I’ve been singing the praises of Brian’s “Battleground” episode of Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King since that premiered over a decade ago. So I am very excited to see what Brian does outside of the studio that Kermit built. And judging from the trailers and what I saw on set, this movie will likely be a big surprise to those who haven’t seen his work at Puppet Up.

During our roundtable interview, Henson discussed the 10-year process of bringing the script to life, creating 40 new puppet characters, going too far with the dirty humor, blending real puppets with CGI puppets, what he learned from his father and the difficulty of puppeteering in a jacuzzi.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

the domestics set visit

Standing on the set of Mike P. Nelson‘s directorial debut, The Domestics, it looks like the world has visibly turned rotten. A flipped plow truck, the fake blood strewn about, and the beefed-up muscle cars have turned a suburban neighborhood not too far outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, into a battleground between the survivors of a chemical attack.

When we visited the set of the Orion release, the firefight was nearing the end but not quite over, and we witnessed one of the violent dustups Mark (Tyler Hoechlin) and Nina West (Kate Bosworth) experience during their bumpy road trip.

Below, check out what we learned from The Domestics set visit.

Read More »

Ant-Man and the Wasp set visit

I’m standing inside Hank Pym’s new high tech laboratory. Pym’s secure room under his house in the first Ant-Man was pretty slick, but this two-story complex puts that place to shame. Banks of computers – some brand new, some decades old – flash as they work side by side. The place has a mixture of analog and modern technology: microphones attached to a tape player, an ancient reel-to-reel machine plopped next to a corrugated cardboard model with Pym Particle receptacles attached.

And there are some bizarre additions that make sense when you consider this lab was built by the original Ant-Man. You know those little plastic clips that keep loaves of bread from getting stale? A huge version of one of those corrals some cables hanging from the ceiling. Across the room, there’s a six foot paper clip on the side of a futuristic tunnel, and oversized Erector set pieces can be seen all throughout the cavernous lab. Occasionally, I find myself walking across a massive LEGO piece slotted into the floor, inserted as if to fill what would have otherwise been a gap in a second story catwalk. An oversized shock absorber with its round circular tubing sits in the corner, seemingly holding up the building itself. It feels as if someone designed this entire lab in miniature, utilizing whatever tools and scattered pieces were within arm’s reach on a workbench, and then blew the tiny version up to full size. That Hank Pym is a smart guy.

On September 14, 2017, I joined a small group of other reporters on the Pinewood set of Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We found ourselves walking around on the single largest set Marvel has constructed in the studio’s existence thus far. Speaking with the cast and crew, we learned what director Peyton Reed has planned for this super-sized sequel, and below, you can read our full Ant-Man and the Wasp set visit report. But beware – there are some plot details here that some of you may consider spoilers. Read More »

lauren cohan interview

Mile 22 is one of those action movies where all the characters seem to have catchy and cool names. Take, for instance, Alice Curr, an Overwatch operative without much of a home life who’s ready to call it quits. Curr is played by Lauren Cohan, who’s perhaps best known for her work on a niche television series called The Walking Dead.

Curt is a part of Jimmy Silva’s (Mark Wahlberg) team trying to get a corrupt cop (Iko Uwais) with valuable info out of Southeast Asia, but along the 22-mile journey of gunfire and explosions, everything goes sideways. While filming an action movie sometimes sounds like a rigid experience, that’s not the case for a Peter Berg movie. We visited Bogotá, Colombia, earlier this year, where Cohan told a group of us all about the experience of making a movie with Berg. Read our full Lauren Cohan Mile 22 interview below.

Read More »

Ronda Rousey signed on to star in Mile 22 over three years ago. The former MMA champion and current WWE star was going to star alongside Iko Uwais (The Raid) in a version of the story that was more of a straight-up martial arts movie, which director Peter Berg was only going to produce. After spending a while in development, though, Mile 22 went from a two-hander to an ensemble pic that’s directed by Berg and led by Mark Wahlberg, playing team leader Jimmy Silva.

Since she first signed on to the movie, Rousey has acted in movies like Furious 7 and The Expendables 3, but she has a much more substantial role in Berg’s movie compared to her previous work. If you’ve seen Rousey fight before, you know she has a presence and intensity just waiting to be unleashed on the big screen with the right role. Hopefully, that role is Sam Snow. Read on for our full Ronda Rousey Mile 22 interview from the film’s set.

Read More »

Last year, as I flew to Wellington, New Zealand to visit the set of Universal Pictures’ Mortal Engines, I read the source novel by writer Philip Reeve. It was a brisk read, one intended for younger audiences, but I immediately understood why filmmaker Peter Jackson had been working for a decade to bring it to the big screen. The world Reeve had crafted on paper was spellbinding. It was a fascinating foundation upon which all kinds of stories could be told and all kinds of characters could be constructed. The storytelling itself was a bit simplistic, a side effect of the novel’s intended young adult audience, but it was easy to imagine the material being remixed into something a bit bolder, a bit more complex, and whole lot more thrilling.

And after spending two days on the Mortal Engines set, speaking with cast and crew and touring various locations and sound stages, it seems that Jackson and director Christian Rivers are working to do just that. Mortal Engines looks be less of a direct adaptation of the book and more of a wider and wilder exploration of the source material’s thrilling world-building. And that is very exciting.

Read More »