future of warner bros

In the mid-to-late 2000s, Warner Bros. couldn’t be stopped. They were releasing hit after hit – big moneymakers like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the Harry Potter movies, and The Hangover, branding themselves as a filmmaker-friendly studio that would foster creativity and support directors in their visions. Compare that with, say, the colossal behind-the-scenes mess associated with Suicide Squad, and it’s clear that something changed.

But the studio hopes to return to those golden days, and they’re going to do it by focusing on making good movies instead of getting caught up in how much one of their DC superhero films connects with another. Read a new quote from WB head Kevin Tsujihara below, which also includes his desire to make more Mad Max and The Matrix films.
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Why Will Smith Turned Down ‘The Matrix’

will smith turned down the matrix

It’s a well-known piece of film trivia that Will Smith turned down The Matrix. It’s up there on the list of other famous almost-casts: Molly Ringwald could have been in Pretty Woman, Eric Stoltz was Marty McFly for a few weeks of filming.

But Smith missing out on the role of Neo in The Matrix always seemed especially tragic considering he turned it down to star in the biggest bomb of his early career, Wild Wild West. “I’m not proud of it,” Smith said of the Western comedy in the latest entry of his YouTube “Storytime” series. In addition to the Wild Wild West apology, Smith goes into detail about why he turned down The Matrix, and why he’s ultimately happy he did.

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franchise remake poll

Doc Brown may have hit it on the nose when he wildly guessed that there was a problem with Earth’s gravitational pull in the future, because there’s something off in Hollywood in 2018. We’ve had an influx of remakes and reboots of well-known and little-known franchises, all for the sake of nostalgia. But for some reason, we’re clamoring for more.

A new poll reveals that the next movie franchise remake that audiences want is Back to the Future. That, and a slew of other titles like The Matrix and The Hunger Games, because we can’t ever let things die. See the results of the franchise remake poll below.

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Why Jet Li Turned Down a Role in ‘The Matrix’

jet li the matrix

The Matrix seemed like a franchise tailor-made for Jet Li. The Wachowskis‘ mind-bending sci-fi series that began in 1999 featured brooding heroes in black coats with insane martial arts skills — all elements that Li had down pat.

And the Chinese action star was actually offered a part as Seraph in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, only to turn it down. But he has a good reason for turning down a part in the defining sci-fi franchise of the ’90s and early 2000s.

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the matrix reboot

(Welcome to Comic Book Drive-In, a series where comic and movie fans Jazmine Joyner and Rosie Knight recommend brand new, ongoing, and completed comic book series that tie into classic films and new releases.)

This issue of Comic Book Drive-In is all about The Matrix. Arguably the Wachowski sisters’ masterpiece, The Matrix is a groundbreaking science-fiction flick which was a cinematic representation of the siblings’ love for Japanese film, Hong Kong cinema, anime, and western comics.

We decided this would be a prime pick for Comic Book Drive-In as comics are literally in the DNA of the film – comic book artists were integral to the film’s vision, with Geof Darrow designing the real world of “Zion” and Steve Skroce storyboarding the original Matrix pitch – and we couldn’t wait to suggest some of our favorite books that complement this science fiction classic.

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redbox renting 4k

Do you still partake of physical media for movies – and have you made the leap to 4K? If so, Redbox has some good news: they’re going to start renting 4K movies…but only for certain titles, and in certain markets.

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Best Movies Streaming Right Now

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Need something to stream? What a coincidence! I have a whole list of streaming titles below! Good think you clicked on this link. Below you’ll find titles streaming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more. There’s the political thriller All The President’s Men, the game-changing The Matrix, Steven Spielberg’s misunderstood A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,  Peter Jackson’s very long King Kong remake, the surprisingly funny and sexy Sleeping With Other People, and more. Drama, horror, rom-coms, true stories – you want it, you’ve got it.

These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

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The Matrix Reloaded Defense

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: we go to bat for The Matrix Reloaded on its 15th anniversary.)

If the burden of a sequel is to equal or better its predecessor, then few movie sequels have inherited as great a burden as The Matrix Reloaded did when it first hit theaters 15 years ago today on May 15, 2003.

The first Matrix movie gripped the public imagination, tapping into something deep in the collective unconscious. Steeped in grandeur, a sense of pre-millennial purpose, it was a motion picture that wielded the same kind of myth-making mojo as the original Star Wars trilogy. If anything, back in 1999, The Matrix was more Star Wars than Star Wars, as evinced by how widely it overshadowed The Phantom Menace that year as a cultural phenomenon.

The Matrix Reloaded’s legacy as a sequel is such that it and The Matrix Revolutions often get lumped together as inferior specimens. In terms of simple storytelling effectiveness — the lucidity of their dream-weaving as movie machines — both films are inferior to the smooth-running high-concept engine that was the first Matrix. But while the law of diminishing returns is at play in The Matrix trilogy and Reloaded does show signs of the impending system failure that Revolutions would bring about, it actually manages, despite its infamous cave rave scene, to expand the series mythology in new and interesting ways. A decade and a half later, the film’s dismantling of the oosen One narrative set up in The Matrix gives it a different but no less intriguing pull, one that takes to the freeway and attempts to broaden the viewer’s perspective on reality in a manner that now seems ahead of its time.

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Matrix reboot

Writer Zak Penn has been offering updates on the potential Matrix reboot since March of last year. Now, Penn, who is out on the circuit promoting Ready Player One, has offered new details, telling us where his The Matrix reboot currently stands.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Ready Player One posters

The end of this month will see the release of the anticipated adaptation of Ready Player One. The novel from Ernest Cline is coming to the big screen courtesy of director Steven Spielberg, who seems like the only director who could pull off a pop culture mash-up of this scale – especially with all of its key references to some of the most iconic blockbusters ever made.

Now a new set of Ready Player One posters ups the ante when it comes to mashing up nostalgic movies from decades past. Each of the posters takes the film’s digital characters and places them on the poster of a beloved movie from the past. Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, Beetlejuice, Blade Runner, The Goonies, Risky Business, and more posters were fully recreated with Ready Player One‘s game avatar characters from The OASIS. Read More »