It was the Best Picture Winner announcement heard ’round the world; for just a brief, hilariously awkward moment in time, when La La Land was erroneously declared the big winner of Oscar night 2017, we forgot all about our current political turmoil and embraced the total madness of Envelopegate. How could such a ridiculous mixup happen? The explanation for the confusion is fairly simple, but, in a twist befitting the ongoing insanity of this whole debacle, the dependable accountants of PricewaterhouseCoopers may have predicted their own error just days before the awards. The plot thickens.
When Lucasfilm initially revealed Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the full title for Episode VIII, rampant nerdy speculation ensued over what it might mean. Since “Jedi” could be either singular or plural, the title of Rian Johnson’s upcoming sequel implied a few possibilities — Luke could (obviously) be the last Jedi, or maybe it’s Rey, or maybe it’s both of them (and maybe others?). Thanks to the official international titles for the film, and a little assistance from social media, we now have an answer.
Early on, you might’ve expected Hugh Jackman’s final bow as Wolverine to go out with a bang, like a giant farewell party where all his old and new friends are there to wave him off into the sunset. But that wouldn’t be quite fitting for a loner like Logan (and it sounds more like an X-Men movie), whose upcoming sequel really emphasizes the “solo” in solo outing — so don’t go in expecting to see a bunch of cameos from other mutants in the X-universe.
The recent results of USC’s annual study pegged Disney as one of the worst offenders when it comes to hiring diverse directors, which makes today’s news pretty darn positive: The studio has tapped director Niki Caro (best known for Whale Rider) to helm their live-action reimagining of Mulan, making her the second woman to direct a film with a budget of over $100 million for Disney — that’s the second woman ever in the entire history of the studio.
Today in news filed under No Doy, Lin-Manuel Miranda has confirmed what we’ve all suspected ever since Hamilton became a Broadway sensation: The inevitable film adaptation is definitely coming…just, not anytime in the imminent future. Between plotting epic fantasy franchises and working on animated feature projects, Miranda is a pretty busy guy, to say the least. Besides, he just finished his run on the hit historical musical. Give the man a moment, will you?
Over the weekend I had dinner with some friends (yeah, I don’t live in the internet; crazy, right?) and the topic of the Toni Erdmann remake came up, which led to brainstorming which writers and directors might be perfect for taking on a three-hour German father-daughter relationship comedy (Sarah Polley) — and which ones will likely wind up with the job (someone like Larry Charles or Paul Feig, I bet). And while Jack Nicholson emerging from retirement is super exciting, one friend suggested that, since the film doesn’t even have a script or director yet, Nicholson will back out at the last minute and the role will go to Bill Murray. As it turns out, what really happened was sort of the reverse.
Unless you binge-watched the heck out of Fleabag on Amazon recently (you should), then you may not be particularly familiar with the name Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the brilliant creator and star of the fierce British miniseries. But that’s beginning to change, as Waller-Bridge’s talents have become increasingly notable — enough to catch the attention of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, as the filmmaking duo are currently eyeing the actress for a “key role” in the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars spinoff.
In 2014, a pair of veteran stunt coordinators introduced the world to John Wick, a former assassin who rages out of retirement to seek revenge on the man who killed his puppy and stole his car. With action as sharp and seemingly seamless as the impeccable suits worn by its eponymous protagonist, John Wick reinvigorated a genre bloated with CGI and dominated by implausibly acrobatic vehicles. In 2017, Keanu Reeves is back with John Wick: Chapter 2, a righteous follow-up that’s bigger and maybe not better, but just as good as its predecessor.
In an alternate timeline, perhaps one in which we didn’t elect a reality TV star as president, there exists a different version of Passengers — one that directly and artfully addresses the dubious morality of its male lead. That version is directed by Ruben Ostlund, the Swedish filmmaker behind the brilliant, darkly comedic relationship drama Force Majeure. This alternate version of Passengers probably wouldn’t star Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, either; or if it did, it would have possibly given them much more compelling material to work with.
When actors move behind the camera, they bring a new perspective to the directing process, one that’s often more character-driven; more verbose than visual. In 2014, we experienced what happens when a stunt coordinator moves behind the camera, and the result was a glorious action film as sharp as its titular protagonist. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch pumped decades of stunt experience into John Wick, which cast the immortal Keanu Reeves as a would-be retired assassin out for revenge. Two years later, Stahelski took on the second chapter of John Wick’s journey on his own, delivering a fitting follow-up that’s just as lit as its predecessor.
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