Moviemaking is an incredibly fluid process, so you can’t help but to end up with some “What Ifs.” What if James Cameron directed “Jurassic Park?” We’d have dinosaurs and aliens. What is Mike and Sulley were scary? They’d more closely resemble an orc and a giant. And what if Lindsay Lohan ditched “Scary Movie 5?” Bring in the lawyers!
Some “What Ifs” can be quite fun to consider, but of course, they’re only “What Ifs” and many more more definitive news stories have hit this past week and are worth mulling over. “Brave Little Toaster” is coming back to the big screen and it’ll bring Apple’s iPhone with it. We’ve also got word that “Pacific Rim” is due to undergo the dreaded post conversion procedure while a slew of other films endure a release date shuffle in preparation for their own debuts.
Interested in the details on those stories and more? Let’s kick off a brand new week with your Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. We Could Have Had James Cameron’s “Jurassic Park:” “Jurassic Park” is my favorite movie of all time, point blank. However, it is kind of interesting to consider what it might have been had another director gotten behind the lens. James Cameron recently told the Huffington Post that he wanted the rights to make “Jurassic Park,” but lost out on the book rights to Steven Spielberg by mere hours. Cameron explained, “But when I saw the film, I realized that I was not the right person to make the film, he was. Because he made a dinosaur movie for kids, and mine would have been aliens with dinosaurs, and that wouldn’t have been fair.” He added, “His sensibility was right for that film, I’d have gone further, nastier, much nastier.” While I’d have had no problem with nastier, aliens? You’re right, Mr. Cameron. “Jurassic Park” was not for you. And I’d also beg to differ on “Jurassic Park” being a movie made for kids. I’ll stop before I get too defensive.
2. Brave Little Toaster Meets iPhone: Hello, nostalgia! Boy, did I love that Brave Little Toaster as a kid. While I’m inclined to say that I’ve yet to see a solid CGI/live-action hybrid, the thought of “The Brave Little Toaster” returning to the big screen just brings back too many happy childhood memories to dismiss. As reported by The Wrap, Waterman Entertainment snagged the rights and is working on a more modern take of the 1987 classic. Apparently the story will still feature household appliances, but we’ll get some updated models including an iPhone. Can we dream cast for a second? I see an iPhone, a Snuggie, a Shake Weight and one of those big blow-up things you put on your front lawn for the holiday.
3. “Divergent” Due in 2014: Looking for the next “Twilight Saga?” Well, “The Hunger Games” is already here, but there’s room for more, right? There’s a slew of young adult books being snatched up for film adaptations, but, of the bunch, I’ve got the highest hopes for Veronica Roth’s “Divergent.” The story centers on a 16-year-old girl named Beatrice Prior. The Choosing Ceremony is right around the corner and Beatrice will have to make a decision that will set the course of the rest of her life – stick with the faction she was born into, the selfless Abnegation, or leave her family and move to the honest Candor, the fearless Dauntless, the intelligent Erudite or the peaceful Amity. Similar to “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent” isn’t merely about teen love or high concepts; Beatrice struggles through trying situations, ones that affect herself, her loved ones and the entire population. Via Variety, Summit Entertainment recently revealed they’ve slotted “Divergent” for a March 21, 2014 release, but has yet to move forward with locking in Neil Burger, or anyone for that matter, to direct.
4. Lindsay Lohan Fakes Sick to Skip Work: Oh, come on; “Scary Movie” isn’t that bad! According to the NY Post, Lindsay Lohan is giving the “Scary Movie 5” producers the runaround, disappearing for the weeks leading up to her shoot and trying to get out of the gig entirely by claiming she’s got walking pneumonia. Apparently Lohan isn’t happy with how she’s portrayed in the script and proceeded to miss her flight to set and her rehearsals. However, after threatening her with a lawsuit, Lohan buckled, hopped on a private jet and went to work. Lohan’s rep explained, “These stories are untrue, and she is willingly fulfilling all of her obligations.” Hm, I wonder why I’m inclined to believe otherwise.
5. Post Conversion for “Pacific Rim:” Say it ain’t so, Guillermo del Toro! Variety recently released some truly upsetting news; “Pacific Rim” is due to undergo post conversion to 3D. In del Toro’s defense, the article suggests that the movie might be getting the 3D treatment without the director’s blessing. Variety says Warner Bros. “strong-armed” del Toro to make the move despite telling Comic Con fans that he was reluctant to do so due to “the scale and size of the pic’s creatures.” Maintaining my plans to catch the film in 2D, I’m still mildly excited for the July 12, 3013 release.
6. What If Mike and Sully Really Were Scary?: Mike and Sulley are in the scaring business, but really, is the duo all that scary? Of course not! They’re cute, cuddly and designed to be made into kid-friendly toys! However, action figure designer Panzer Vargas (via io9) opted to have a little fun with the idea of Mike, Sulley and even Boo being truly nightmarish and yup, his version of the lovable trio really is quite creepy.
7. TIFF Sales: The Toronto International Film Festival hit it big this year as far as sales go, a total of 40 films getting distributions with 29 earning a major sale via a US distributor, marking a 9% increase from last year. Dimension Films snagged Midnight Madness entry “Aftershock” while IFC Films bought the US rights to Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium” and “The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” Annapurna Picture picked up “Spring Breakers” for US distribution while Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions went after the Kristen Wiig-starrer “Imogene.” The US rights to “The Place Beyond the Pines” now belong to Focus Features, and Paladin and 108 Media went for Michel Gondry’s “The We and the I.” Check out a full list of week one acquisitions right here at IndieWire.
8. Release Date Update: In addition to “Divergent,” we’ve also got a number of other prime release date additions and changes to report. Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” claimed a May 16, 2014 slot via Warner Bros., which pits it against Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Fox locked a number of new release dates including “How to Train Your Dragon 3” for July 17, 2016, “Kung Fu Panda 3” for March 18, 2016 and “The Penguins of Madagascar” for March 27, 2015 amongst others. Summit bumped “Now You See Me” from March 15, 2013 to June 7, 2013 where it’ll face M. Night Shyamalan’s “After Earth” while Lionsgate ousted “The Big Wedding” from October 26, 2012 and dropped it back in on April 26, 2013. In far more immediate release date news, “Sinister” moves from October 5, 2012 as does “Pitch Perfect,” the former going back a week to October 12 and the latter moving up to September 28. (via Box Office Mojo)
9. Trailers: “Lincoln,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Texas Chainsaw 3D:” Here comes the Oscar bait. Not only does the first trailer for “Lincoln” feature some stunning set and costume work, but a handful of Academy Award winners and famous faces including Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more. Oh, and did I mention Daniel Day Lewis is uncanny as Abraham Lincoln? A best-animated feature nod? Hey, you never know. With the help of Fun’s “Some Nights” the latest trailer for “Wreck-It Ralph” continues to prove that it could be a clever, fun and heartwarming experience. Time for a complete 180 with the first trailer for “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” Into the youthful naivety and relentless violence of the previous installments? “Texas Chainsaw” won’t disappoint. The franchise continues with the story of Heather, a young woman who inherits a Texas estate – including a certain someone in the basement.
10. Box Office: The quality of the “Resident Evil” films may be on the decline, but that’s not stopping the franchise from pulling in loads of cash, especially at the international box office. “Resident Evil: Retribution” topped the domestic contenders with $21.1 million and added an additional $50 million overseas, already putting it in the green. “Finding Nemo 3D” underperformed, falling far short of last year’s animated 3D rerelease, “The Lion King,” earning just $17.5 million as compared to “The Lion King’s” $30 million start. “The Possession” held on quite well for a horror movie, and for any movie for that matter, dropping just 37.8% and earning another $5.8 million. Coming in at #4 is “Lawless,” which also saw a minimal drop, losing just 29.8% of its weekend two profits for a $4.2 million third weekend out. Rounding out the top five is “ParaNorman,” which continues to enjoy its long legs, falling just 27.6% and taking another $3 million to the bank (via Box Office Mojo)