While we were all stuffing our faces with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more, the movie industry was still abuzz, leaving it with some things to be thankful for at the end of this holiday weekend and others worth forgetting.
Good news for “Skyfall” fans; Sam Mendes looks as though he may return for Bond 24. Bad news for “The Hobbit” fans; reports have surfaced that animals died during production due to poor housing conditions. James Wan has quite a bit to look forward to in 2013. Not only does he have the highly anticipated “The Conjuring” due in theaters in July, but now “Insidious 2” is set for an August release. Rupert Sanders, on the other hand, will be trying to salvage his marriage while waving goodbye to the “Snow White and the Huntsman” franchise.
It’s a week of ups and downs in the movie biz, but here’s to all you Shockya readers only having things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! Happy holidays and enjoy your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. Fox Cuts “Independence Day 3D:” Looks like 20th Century Fox might have lost some faith in the 3D re-release market. Via Coming Soon, the studio has nixed plans to re-release “Independence Day” in 3D on July 3, 2013. No word on how or if this will affect “ID Forever – Part I” and “ID Forever – Part II,” but I’m betting this is a 3D re-release-specific issue. I’m not quite sure how much it runs a studio to post-convert, but these re-releases aren’t making all that much money. So far, “The Lion King 3D” is the highest earner, taking in $94 million domestically, but otherwise, most hover around the $43 million mark. It should be interesting to see if “Jurassic Park 3D” can raise the bar come April 5, 2013.
2. Sam Mendes May Return for More Bond: With critics and fans adoring “Skyfall,” the question of whether or not director Sam Mendes would continue on with the franchise was bound to come up – dozens of times. At the New York City press conference, Mendes said, “It’s been a fantastic experience, but it’s been completely exhausting,” and, “I would just have to be convinced that I could do something that I loved and cared about as much if I was to do it again.” At the time, it seemed like Mendes was dancing around answering with a big, fat no, but now he tells Time Out, “I’ve enjoyed it enough to do it again. I think the choice is in the audience’s hands. If people love the movie and they want to see another one from the same people who brought you ‘Skyfall,’ then that would mean a lot to me.” Mendes’ involvement hasn’t been officially announced, but if he really is up for it, the Bond team would be pretty silly not to bring him back.
3. Animal Abuse on the Set of “The Hobbit:” As someone who cried her way through “Frankenweenie,” news of animal deaths on the set of “The Hobbit” is just absolutely heartbreaking. As reported by CBS News, the production’s animal wranglers housed animals “at a farm filled with bluffs, sinkholes and other ‘death traps,’” resulting in up to 27 fatalities. Peter Jackson’s spokesman acknowledged the deaths of two horses, goats, chickens and one sheep, but insisted that some were from natural causes. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plan to protest the premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in New Zealand, the US and the UK.
4. More in the Running for Harry Osborn: We’ve got a new quartet of actors up for the role of Harry Osborn in “The Amazing Spider-Man” sequel and the group suggests the filmmakers may have changed their representation of the character. Initially Dane DeHaan, Alden Ehrenreich and Brady Corbet were all said to fit the “brooding and dark path” envisioned for the character, but now, according to THR, they’re looking for someone with “athleticism and good looks,” guys like Sam Claflin, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Boyd Holbrook. Actually, it seems more like they’re going with guys with higher profiles. Yes, Ehrenreich has “Beautiful Creatures” on the way, DeHaan recently hit it big with “Chronicle” and Corbet is simply oozing with talent, but Claflin’s got “Hunger Games,” Redmayne and Booth have “Les Miserables” and Holbrook is in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” While I’m still pulling for Corbet to sneak his way back in, if Sony is committing to one of the four new names, Redmayne is the best bet of the bunch.
5. “Insidious 2” Due Next Summer: Bring on the summer of James Wan! Straight from FilmDistrict comes news that “Insidious 2” is due in theaters on August 30, 2013, just about a month after Wan’s “The Conjuring” is set to arrive. According to the press release, production kicks off on January 15, 2013 with Wan returning to direct another Leigh Whannell script. Stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Line Shaye and Ty Simpkins are all set to reprise their roles, but no word on what the sequel has in store for the characters.
6. No “Snow White and the Huntsman 2” for Rupert Sanders: Director Rupert Sanders or superstar Kristen Stewart? Tough decision, huh? After reports of the relationship between the “Snow White and the Huntsman” star and director surfaced, it was clear that one wouldn’t return for the sequel. Word got around that Universal was considering ditching Stewart, but now Radar Online reports that Stewart is actually in and Sanders is out. The outlet’s source claims that a script has been written and is due to go into production late next year, but “Rupert Sanders definitely won’t be a part of the project. Rupert didn’t want to be a part of it to begin with because he is desperately still trying to save his marriage.” After one too many dull performances via the “Twilight” franchise, one less Kristen Stewart-starrer couldn’t hurt, but from the studio perspective, Stewart is the obvious priority over Sanders. Whether Universal gave Sanders the boot or he self-exited to focus on his marriage like he said, “SWATH 2” is better off for it – from a financial standpoint at least.
7. “Zero Dark Thirty” Prequel a Possibility: Between the source material, awards buzz, the rock solid cast and the film marking Kathryn Bigelow’s “Hurt Locker” follow up, there’s quite a bit of buzz surrounding “Zero Dark Thirty.” In fact, there’s enough to spur talk of another film, a prequel. Bigelow and producer/writer Mark Boal told EW there’s a chance they’ll make a film set before “Zero Dark Thirty,” focusing on the failed effort to take down Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora in 2001. This was actually Bigelow and Boal’s original plan, but when bin Laden was taken down, they opted to nix that project just a few months away from production and get to work on a more timely piece that would become “Zero Dark Thirty.” Bigelow admits nothing is set in stone and neither she nor Boal have any idea what they’ll do next or if they’ll even continue working together, but the Tora Bora film is in the realm of possibility.
8. Alternate “Dark Knight Rises” Posters: Per usual, the latest installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise enjoyed a wildly successful marketing campaign. In fact, it was so successful, even “The Dark Knight Rises” poster duds are impressive designs. Trailer Park put together the film’s poster line, including a trio of one sheets for Warner Bros. that never hit the streets. But now, just days before the film’s December 4th DVD and Blu-ray release, the marketing agency got the OK to let them breathe, a smart move as these images are likely to attract attention.
9. Trailers: “Dark Skies,” “Snitch,” “Jack the Giant Slayer:” It’s one thing to fear a slasher paying you a visit in the middle of the night, but it’s another to go head-to-head with an intangible evil. What do you do when an alien life force invades your home and threatens your family? The first trailer for “Dark Skies” doesn’t go as far as to reveal how the Barrets fight back, but they better have a good plan; these aliens put them in some severely horrifying situations. Enough comedy and kid-friendly fare. Dwayne Johnson is a wrestler-turned-movie star; he’s got to get his action hero on! Not only does Johnson bring on the firepower and intensity in the first trailer for “Snitch,” but the film looks to have some solid performances, an intriguingly dark tone and riveting storyline. On the other hand, “Jack the Giant Slayer” is looking like a big budget misfire that got the boot from its coveted summer 2012 slot for a March 2013 release. The trailer is an improvement from last year’s, but giants are just slightly too cartoonish to take seriously and, in turn, fear. However, a good story could change that come the full feature.
10. Box Office: A very happy Thanksgiving to the “Twilight” franchise. “Breaking Dawn – Part 2” is certainly letting the series go out with a bang, film five taking in $43 million its second weekend out and $64 million for the full five-day weekend. “Skyfall” has a lot to be thankful for as well, Bond 23 accumulating $36 million for weekend three and $51 million for the holiday. “Lincoln” comes in strong at #3, posting $25 million for three days and $34 million for five. As for newcomers “Rise of the Guardians” and “Life of Pi,” both enjoyed somewhat solid starts. “Rise of the Guardians” was the weaker of the two, but thanks to a wider release, came out on top, earning the 4th spot with $24 million for three days and $32 million for the whole holiday while “Pi” secured $22 million in three and $30 million in five. (via Box Office Mojo)