Doug Liman resists paths of convention. The director, who’s always prided himself as a rule-breaker, typically doesn’t follow trends but establishes them. Look at The Bourne Identity, Swingers, and even Mr. & Mrs. Smith – other movies have tried to copy their success. Once again, Liman ventured into uncharted territory with Locked Down.
Liman shot the heist movie, which is more of a relationship drama, during the ongoing lockdown in London. There is a third act heist involving the garish Harrods department store, but it’s not the main focus of the HBO Max release. The first 90 minutes of Locked Down are a suitably, dizzyingly claustrophobic experience that depicts a couple crumbling during the pandemic.
It was only months ago when Liman started shooting the Steven Knight-written movie, which was quickly filmed, edited, and sold to HBO Max. As Liman stated, the surreal experience began when he flew his “little prop plane” over the Atlantic on a two-day journey to London.
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We’re still squarely in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped filmmakers and television creators from digging into the timely and relevant drama brought about by the global disaster. HBO Max is the latest to enter the fray.
Though we’ve been dreading the influx of indie dramas and comedies set in the age of coronavirus, Locked Down from Mr. and Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman actually doesn’t look half-bad. That’s mostly because, even though it’s set up as a struggling quarantined relationship dramedy between Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, it’s actually a heist movie. Watch the Locked Down trailer to see what we’re dealing with. Read More »
Gina Prince-Bythewood is a director known for authenticity and intimacy. In Beyond the Lights, Love & Basketball, and Disappearing Acts, audiences feel how close she is to her characters, their dreams, and their conflicts. That’s a part of what makes her new Netflix movie, The Old Guard, stand far apart from the typical action movie.
Prince-Bythewood, who’s the first black woman to direct a comic book movie, tells an ensemble story with The Old Guard in which the characters are as fully-realized as the propulsive fight scenes. The Old Guard is what you get when a director knows her characters inside and out. What may very well be the only big action movie we see all summer is a movie driven by character, not setpieces.
Recently, we spoke to Prince-Bythewood about crafting the setpieces, the pains of writing, and how her experiences as an athlete drive her as a filmmaker.
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In a time when science is considered opinion and a political game piece, it’s heartwarming to find a film that celebrates ingenuity inspired by a love of science and learning. Marking the directorial debut from actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Children of Men, Doctor Strange), The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is the true life story of 13-year-old William Kamkwamba (newcomer Maxwell Simba), who lives with his family in the African nation of Malawi. He’s a good student in his village’s private school, but when land issues and no rain lead to a poor harvest and eventually famine, William is forced to drop out of school because his family can no longer afford to send him.
After doing the necessary research using book “borrowed” from the school library, William approaches his father (played by the director, who also adapted Kamkwamba’s book) with the idea of building the windmill in order to power and irrigation system that the village could use to kick start growing again. His father is initially resistant, but after watching many villagers starving to death (with many others opting to leave or selling their land to the corrupt government), he agrees to let the boy try his experiment with the help of many of the locals.
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Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Doctor Strange) wrote, directed, and stars in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a testament to the power of education and science and a movie that feels like a revolutionary act in 2019 America. As world leaders continue to ignore climate change, Ejiofor’s movie provides a sliver of hope through a true story of resilience and ingenuity in the face of overwhelming odds. Read More »
Chiwetel Ejiofor makes his feature directorial debut with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the inspiring true story of a 13-year-old boy who develops a method to, as the title says, “harness the wind” to bring water to his famine-struck village in Malawi. See The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind trailer below.
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Production has finally begun on Disney’s Maleficent 2, the long-awaited sequel to the Sleeping Beauty remake starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. With this production start news comes confirmation that Michelle Pfeiffer has officially joined the cast, along with other new casting announcements.
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Marvel Studios seems to be setting up Doctor Strange to be one of the new leaders of the Avengers, so it’s a little — forgive me — strange that a Doctor Strange sequel has yet to be confirmed. But while things don’t look so good for him in the trailers for Avengers: Infinity War, it’s still likely that Stephen Strange will return to fight another day.
That’s what Doctor Strange screenwriter C. Robert Cargill is thinking as he lays out his plans for the Doctor Strange 2 villain and story.
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At first glance, Come Sunday is nothing we haven’t seen before out of Hollywood. There’s a tormented man in a position of authority, a deeply religious story about a church community, and a powerful performance from an underrated actor. But little did you know, Come Sunday is actually the beginning of a burgeoning new genre of films: podcast adaptations.
That’s right, Come Sunday is one of the first prolific films to be adapted from a podcast. And it won’t be the last.
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While the union of the Justice League only just happened on the big screen for the first time last month, their darker, fantasy counterparts from Justice League Dark have been in development for years. The project has gone through several directors, including Guillermo del Toro a little while back and most recently Edge of Tomorrow helmer Doug Liman, but it’s currently without a director as a new script from Housebound scribe Gerard Johnstone is being written right now. However, as we wait to see what happens with the DC Comics property, we can imagine what it might have been like if another filmmaker ended up getting hired for the job.
Joseph Kahn is best known for directing music videos for the likes of Taylor Swift, Eminem, Katy Perry and Britney Spears. More recently he directed the acclaimed rap battle indie film Bodied, but at one point, Kahn was in the running to director Justice League Dark, and he recently revealed some of the concept art that was part of his pitch.
Check out the Justice League Dark concept art revealed by Joseph Kahn below. Read More »