In June, I visited the editing room of John Carter, the big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars (you can watch my video blog here). At the event, director Andrew Stanton and producer Jim Morris gave a presentation explaining how they came to be involved with the project, and described the unique process they took to “shoot” the adaptation. After the jump you will find a complete transcript of the presentation and question and answer session, along with some concept art from the film and photos from the event.
On June 20th, I flew to San Francisco to visit Barsoom Studios, in an office building minutes sown the road from Pixar Animation Studios, to see the first footage from John Carter, a big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars.
In a screening room, Finding Nemo/Wall-E director Andrew Stanton gave us a powerpoint presentation explaining why and how he became involved in the project, and the unique methods they used to “shoot” the film (you can read a transcript of Andrew’s complete presentation and Q&A elsewhere on /Film). We screened a couple scenes from the movie, and the teaser trailer which will be attached to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (expect to see it online on Thursday, July 14th).
After the jump you can read my brief thoughts, followed by a video blog I recorded with Frosty from Collider (who admits he knows nothing about the source material) and Eric Vespe (better known as Quint from Ain’t It Cool, who knows way way way more than I will ever know about the source material). So we have a good spread of opinions based on a wide range of expectations and knowledge of the source material.
Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010 by Germain Lussier
Anyone clamoring for a sequel the 2003 comedy Johnny English is in luck. Not only is Johnny English Reborn now shooting in the United Kingdom, but it will now co-star Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Dominic West (The Wire), Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day) and Daniel Kaluuya alongside Rowan Atkinson as the title character. It’ll be directed by Oliver Parker (The Importance of Being Earnest).
Johnny English is character that sort of blends Mr. Bean and James Bond in a spoof of the spy genre. Read more about the project after the jump. Read More »
What if Team America: World Police were British, took place during World War II, and was totally serious? Well…more serious. OK, fine, what if Team America was British and set in WWII? You might have something like Jackboots on Whitehall, which tells the story of an alternate WWII in which Goering, Goebbels and Himmler plan to tunnel under the English Channel and into the heart of London in order to capture Britain while the country’s army is elsewhere. A small group of villagers represent the last line of defense against the Nazis.
Who says Inglorious Basterds has a lock on revisionist war history? Read More »
Yesterday it was announced at Cannes that Rebecca Hall (Frost/Nixon) and Dominic West (The Wire) have signed on to star in new supernatural thriller titled The Awakening. Today at the festival I came across a promotional teaser poster for the film, which will begin shooting in June. Check out the full teaser poster now, after the jump.
Posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
Neil Marshall‘s upcoming film Centurion has generated a good bit of excitement based on Marshall’s reputation and the bloody, grimy trailer released not long ago. That was an international trailer, because at the time the clips was released the film did not have US distribution. Now it has been picked up by Magnet, the genre arm of Magnolia, which will release Centurion later this year. Read More »
Posted on Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Three more actors have joined Andrew Stanton‘s big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ John Carter of Mars: Samantha Morton (In America, Control), Dominic West (300, Chicago) and Polly Walker (Patriot Games).
Opening with a scene/yelp recalling The Bride’s headshot in Kill Bill, the teaser trailer for director Lexi Alexander‘s Punisher: War Zone plays it hard and fast underneath cyber-noirish lighting (Swordfish, much?) that is sure to turn some people off. However, besides an emasculated bit of firearm ballet atop a chandelier (re: marketing dept., ditch it!), there are hints that War Zone could be a solid R-rated action entry free of the sarcasm seen in Crank and Shoot ‘Em Up and much rougher than the barcoded dork-out that was Hitman. One film that seems to have inspired the editing here, per Frank Castle’s light flickering intro, is The Crow…if set inside a laser tag arena.
Actor Tom Jane was a dead-on looker for Castle in the absolutely dreadful, Florida-set 2004 Punisher, but Ray Stevenson (Rome) has a grittier, crazed appearance that nicely compliments the vigilante’s signature, mob-ridden cityscape. Earlier in the year, some readers were fond of saying that Stevenson looked too much like Steven Seagal, but I don’t think the snark/comparisons hold up after this. What about you?
The teaser barely shows us Dominic West (The Wire) playing Jigsaw (a split second outside a hotel) or much of the graphic violence that Alexander has boasted about on her blog (a red band trailer surely awaits), but War Zone definitely looks like an improvement. Bonus points for not having an aloof John Travolta with a villainous hair-don’t. As an early supporter, I’ve found it surprising how many people have dismissed this flick and Alexander (Green Street Hooligans) from day one, and I think the trailer will put some on pause until the next one.
After Iron Man, isn’t it odd/cool to see the Marvel logo on a trailer for an R-rated flick? If this flops it’s probably the last time to boot. Good thing or no?
Punisher: War Zone opens on December 5th.
Discuss: Thoughts on the first teaser trailer? How does this compare to when you saw the trailer for 2004’s The Punisher (if you can remember that, ha)? Do any of you guys/gals like the chandelier scene (I mean, really)?
Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
Screenwriter Kurt Sutter has removed his screenwriting credit from Marvel and Lionsgate’s superhero reboot, Punisher: War Zone, due in September, and he’s explained his decision quite frankly on his personal blog, while alluding to dissonance with the flick’s creative direction as well. He says that he didn’t “deserve” credit for the screenplay, as little of his script remains, and he follows that by saying he doesn’t “want” credit because his vision for Frank Castle/The Punisher will not appear on screen.
“My pitch, my vision, for the Punisher franchise was something much different. I tried to rip Frank Castle from the comic book world and place him in the real streets of NYC. Castle is the only superhero without powers. He’s a tortured, highly skilled soldier with a really bad anger problem. I always felt we should see Frank in some place uber-real and gritty. I threw away the first draft written by Nick Santora and did a page one rewrite. I changed the locations, the characters, the story. I dropped Frank in a real New York City with real villians, real cops, real relationships. To me, the Punisher deserved more than the usual comic book redress. It shouldn’t just follow the feature superhero formula. Apparently, I was the only one who shared that vision.”
What’s odd is that Sutter’s vision here shares the same grittier, darker tone that director Lexi Alexander has mentioned and played up in interviews for the film, so what might the final product be like…
“The final script, rewritten almost completely by Holloway and Marcum was the perfect comic book formula — simple story, very obvious dialog and the inclusion of as many characters from the anthology that a movie will allow (this is not a spoiler, all the characters were announced when they began shooting). I’m sure true fans of the Punisher comic books will enjoy this movie. It will do exactly what a comic book movie should do — fill seats, set up a sequel. …I wish Marvel and the producers all the success. If I had to make a wager, I say it will open huge. Be ready for Punisher 3.”
He goes on to say his comments aren’t “sour grapes,” but what I find bothersome is that Punisher: War Zone‘s R-rating and the character’s lack of superpowers frees this project up to break the very mold Sutter finds utterly predictable. I mean “simple story, very obvious dialogue” has a little bite in it, no? I always pictured The Punisher’s ideal cinematic world as being similar to the underworld in The Crow, and while many fanboys are shouting “direct to DVD” on this, casting Dominic West (The Wire) as Jigsaw was inspired and a great way to distance the flick from the terribly mismanaged 2004 version. And Sutter’s work on The Shield would lend itself to a fresh direction as well. I’m not sure whether we should read between the lines here, but it’s interesting to get this info straight from the screenwriter, one who’s becoming known for not holding back.
Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller (Sin City), 300 loosely depicts the Battle of Thermopylae where Leonidas I (Gerard Butler) and three hundred Spartans took on Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his massive army of one million soldiers. Zack Snyder, the director of the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, creates visually orgasmic landscapes out of Frank Miller’s two page spreads. Every shot is not only perfectly framed, but the definition of cinematic elegance.
However, the lifeless dialogue and two dimensional characters borders on the edge of boring and annoying. It takes about 45 minutes before the first epic battle sequence breaks out, and the build to this sequence is exhausting.
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