The One and Only Ivan Director Interview

The One and Only Ivan is a movie defined by its kindness. Sweet and often sad, it’s a tale of animals in captivity that understands why these creatures need to be free while also empathizing with the human desire to be close to these animals in the first place. It’s a delicate balance for a family movie, and one that director Thea Sharrock pulls off.

Ahead of the film’s release on Disney+ later this week, I spoke with Sharrock over Zoom about creating the CGI animal characters, making a film where the main motivation of the “villain” comes from a place of love, and why she intentionally left green out of the film’s color palette.

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The One and Only Ivan Trailer

Along with remaking all of their animated classics into live-action spectacles, Disney has also been leaning into using photorealistic computer generated animals to lead their stories. From Lady and the Tramp to The Lion King, the animation studio is bringing very convincing digital animals to the screen, for better or worse. Even Call of the Wild, which came to Disney from 20th Century Fox, fit right in with their slate by utilizing computer generated dogs. Now another live-action/CGI hybrid animal adventure is coming to Disney+.

The One and Only Ivan, based on Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book of the same name, follows a 400-pound silverback gorilla who was taken from the wild at a young age and brought into the home of Mack (Bryan Cranston), who raised him lovingly until he was big enough that he needed to be kept in a glass enclosure in the middle of a shopping mall when he’s not being shown off to a paying audience. For Ivan, it’s his normal, everyday life, but when a captured baby elephant named Ruby arrives, he begins to dig into his past and longs to return to his jungle home. Watch the Only and Only Ivan trailer below. Read More »

Me Before You

Love is in the air, what with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and that means it’s the perfect time for Warner Bros. to try and get you to swoon for Me Before You. Emilia Clarke (of Game of Thrones fame) and Sam Claflin (of Hunger Games fame) meet and fall for each other in Thea Sharrock‘s adaptation of Jojo Moyes‘ bestselling novel.

This being a romantic drama, of course there’s a tragic twist: he’s basically given up on life following a terrible accent that’s left him a quadriplegic, and she’s his caretaker. Moyes wrote the screenplay with Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, who basically specialize in tearjerker romances these days — they’re also the duo behind The Spectacular NowThe Fault in Our Stars, and Paper Towns. The first Me Before You trailer has arrived today, and you can watch it after the jump. Read More »

hollow-crown-trailer-1

Was Joss Whedon’s adaptation of the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing a little more lightweight than you like from the Bard?

If so, the massive Sam Mendes-produced project The Hollow Crown might be what you’re looking for. The BBC series adapts four Shakespeare plays, “Richard II,” “Henry IV Part 1” and “Part 2,” and “Henry V,” with Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons and Ben Whishaw in primary roles. When I say “massive,” I mean it, too: this sucker runs over 500 minutes.

The word “epic” is abused with respect to stories of late, but I think it applies here with no doubt. Check out a trailer below. Read More »