Earlier this week, we wrote about how there’s a chance The Fate of the Furious director F. Gary Gray might not return for the upcoming Fast 9. But this is one of Universal’s biggest moneymakers, so somebody has to take on the tremendous challenge of leading the massive production as the series barrels toward its planned ending. Who could successfully shoulder the weight of a long-running film franchise yet still deliver an entertaining spectacle in a quick and efficient manner? I’ve come up with 10 filmmakers I think are up to the task, so read on for my list of who could be the Fast and Furious 9 director.
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Green Street Hooligans/Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander has signed on to direct a feature film about former professional wrestler Chris Benoit. The biographical thriller will be based on Matthew Randazzo V‘s book Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry, and tell the story of the famous WWE (then WWF) pro wrestler who murdered his wife and 7-year-old son and then killed himself. More details after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 by Angie Han
What’s Batman doing in the latest Suicide Squad set video? Does Luke Cage have a new production title? Why is Andrew Garfield comparing Spider-Man to prison? What’s the title of Lexi Alexander‘s Arrow episode? Want to see more promos for Arrow, The Flash, and Gotham? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 by Angie Han
What’s Wonder Woman gonna be doing in Batman v Superman? Did you catch all these Fantastic Four Easter eggs? How badly does Lexi Alexander want a Ms. Marvel movie? Who’s Jim Parrack playing in Suicide Squad? And who’s Rutina Wesley playing in Arrow? Wanna play a Marvel-themed version of Risk? What does Henry Cavill have to say about Warner Bros.’ plans for the DC universe? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »
Warner Bros.’ news of the full DC Comics movie slate was big for many reasons. It showed a commitment to a brand fans know and love. It showed the scope of the company’s plan. And buried under all those names and dates, it showed a commitment to diversity. Among the films, Warner Bros. announced the first female solo superhero film as well as the first African-American superhero film since the superhero craze really kicked into gear. Those films, of course, are Wonder Woman and Cyborg.
If that’s not enough, it turns out Warner Bros. is looking for a female director to helm Wonder Woman, which will star Gal Gadot. Below, read more about that as well as five awesome choices for the Wonder Woman director chair. Read More »
For a comic book film based on a Marvel character, official updates on the status of Punisher: War Zone remain few and far between. Back in August, rumors circulated that the December release from Lionsgate would be re-cut for a PG-13 rating. No word from the studio was released to confirm or deny this. Today, CHUD says the film has received an R-rating from the MPAA for “pervasive strong brutal violence, language and some drug use.”
Director Lexi Alexander has kept mum about her apparent severed involvement with the production. The last update on her once loud-and-proud War Zone-centric blog begins: “Sometimes you have to remind yourself of the past to create a happy future.” Some sites have reported that there is no problem(s), basing this on the optimistic words of the film’s DP, Steve Gainer, who claims that Alexander is still on board. Weirder still, I’ve come across blogs that say this is all a publicity stunt. Have we reached the point where spray painting “Who Knows?” on a turtleshell passes for marketing savvy? If so, I’d rather see clips of people getting shot.
Slowly but surely, Punisher: War Zone is being lowered into a grave of WTF by Lionsgate. First, Lexi Alexander, director of the gorey Marvel actioner, was seemingly kicked off the project. We still don’t know what happened exactly. Her candid, rah-rah website was suddenly wiped clean of all prior updates on the film, save for a cryptic “see, hear, speak no evil” monkey post, which was later replaced by a detached entry about a friend’s Bugatti. Today, Latino Review hears that Lionsgate might edit the film for a PG-13 rating. The site speculates that The Dark Knight‘s money volcano was an influence. Strange since Lionsgate is moving forward with an R-rated Conan reboot, also being compared (of course) to TDK. But if true, this is beyond absurd. We’re almost intrigued to see them brick, given that Alexander enticed fans with boasts of hardcore bloodshed and Castle-worthy violence for months—later confirmed by this entertaining, head smashing red band clip.
If Lionsgate is reading this, all it takes is a short statement to the fans clarifying your flick’s status. I was just interviewed by a mag about the detrimental impact a studio’s silence in 2008 can have on a movie generally perceived as troubled. War Zone is becoming a prototypical botched case. Current online perception is that there are two bad-buzz nails already in this film’s coffin, and buzz wasn’t too hot to start with. All it takes is one more, like star Ray Stevenson issuing a quiet diss, and this December outing will meet a worse fate than the prior Thomas Jane Punisher. That would make Frank Castle, a character that is, uhhh, not a “college educated Ferrari engine,” 3-for-3 for movie wipeouts.
I’ve put out the word for further confirmation from our staff—against terrible odds of hangovers and lipstick shenanigans—but a rumor is quickly circulating that Lionsgate/Marvel has kicked director Lexi Alexander off Punisher: War Zone. The film, which opens this December, is finished filming but apparently HUGE creative differences arose over…final cut? There’s a lot of speculation going around. Over at AICN, Knowles says the film’s composer is off the project as well, and Lionsgate is now transplanting the score with shitty heavy metal—as we suffered through yesterday while watching the rather kickass and ultra violent footage from Comic-Con.
Apparently Alexander’s candid potty mouth is contractually wired shut for the time being. Producer Gale Anne Hurd even announced that Alexander was on her “honeymoon” yesterday at a CC panel. Hah! Worth noting: Punisher: War Zone is probably the last R-rated film for a Marvel character we’ll see for sometime. I know that many of our readers were and remain highly skeptical of this flick, but my take is that it looks like unapologetic fun, a nice option for a double feature with Rambo or Commando. It’s also welcome—too welcome for 2008—to hear a female director speak her mind and take on the action genre. Oh, well. More as it develops….
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Judging from the number of heads that explode, collapse and squirt in this new Comic Con footage for Punisher: War Zone, I imagine these luminaries attending a press screening: Rambo, Ricki-Oh, Lucio Fulci and the “Crushing Your Head” guy from Kids in the Hall. When the first trailer hit and underwhelmed fans, director Lexi Alexander responded with…
“I’ve been told that you can’t even show heads blowing up in red-band trailers. I hope that’s not true because that would suck. It’s weird to see Castle shoot all those bullets and not see the thugs who are catching them. That’s the best fucking part about it!!!”
Well, she certainly got her sick wish. The Lionsgate/Marvel film opens in December and looks like a pulsing guilty pleasure, unless you were expecting The Dark Knight via Frank Castle. Some guy down below will declare, “Aim higher!” And by aim higher, he means this film’s rival, a PG-13 Max Payne. So be it.
Warning: This footage is backed by the worst song I have ever heard. I recommend turning down your speakers and playing Misfits, Sabbath, Pissed Jeans, John Mayer anything but this. Also, the grindhousey faux-scratches are the size of dead twigs in a storm. Totally unnecessary.
With the boffo box office and good worth of mouth for Wanted, we look toward the next violent and proud, R-rated comic book adaptation, Punisher: War Zone, opening this December. IGN received a new teaser poster for Lexi Alexander‘s Marvel/Lionsgate reboot starring Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle, and besides the Indiana Jones rip-off tagline (look for future “LOL: Subway Vandals” Slashfilm posts), what’s not to like. Eyeballs equal overrated.
Discuss: Improve the poster’s tagline or ditch it and come up with a better one.
Update: /Film reader, Wizard in Tights, suggests, “I have a grenade.” Haha. Good job.