gavin hood

The buzz leading up to X-Men Origins: Wolverine was toxic. Reports of huge creative differences didn’t help, but things got worse when the film leaked online. After a rocky production, it wasn’t very surprising when the film turned out to be a major disappointment. Director Gavin Hood has done fine work since then, like Ender’s Game and Eye in the Sky, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine sticks out of his filmography like a sore thumb, for a variety of reasons.

The director hasn’t said too much about the film in the past, but now he’s opened up a little about his experience on the 2009 comic book movie.

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Traditional war movies are still around, but as drones increasingly replace or complement soldiers on the ground, real wars are looking less and less like them. Over the past few years we’ve seen a few films attempt to grapple with the new reality, and the latest to try is Gavin Hood‘s Eye in the Sky.

The thriller, which premiered at TIFF earlier this year, weaves together all the different concerns, conversations, and choices that go into a drone strike. Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman play military leaders, Aaron Paul a drone pilot, and Barkhad Abdi an undercover agent. All are anxious to prevent a potential suicide bombing, but their mission becomes infinitely more complicated when a little girl enters the kill zone.

Watch the Eye in the Sky trailer after the jump. Read More »

Tarsem Singh has made his name on lush, even indulgent visuals in films like The Cell, The Fall, and Immortals, as well as in music videos that preceded his feature work. His new film, the Snow White retelling Mirror Mirror, seems to be scaled back just a tiny bit from the all-out ‘feast of design’ approach seen in his previous films, but it will still likely be more ambitiously designed than most other films this year.

Tarsem has a few possible follow-up projects in the wings, but the one he really wants to do is a film that would help him break from the visually-dominated approach. Eye in the Sky is a sprawling modern war film with dozens of characters — think of the sort of project you’d expect to see Steven Soderbergh make — that had Olivier Hirschbiegel (Downfall) set to direct last year. Evidently there is some possible turnover in the director’s chair, and Tarsem wants the job. Read More »