Due to the holiday, we’re a little light on news this week, but the fact that Independence Day has come and gone also means something very big for the movie industry – San Diego Comic Con is right around the corner.
SDCC 2013 is poised to be a big one with “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” and more all making their way into Hall H. And if waiting on line for hours to catch glimpses of your favorite stars and to see some brand new footage isn’t your thing, you can visit the “Ender’s Game” Exclusive Fan Experience outside the Hilton Gaslamp or catch a screening of “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster” at the Gaslamp 15.
Ready for an overview of what’s to come at SDCC, a “Justice League” update (or rather a non-update) from Christian Bale, the latest on “The Butler” title dispute, and more? It’s all coming at you in your weekly Movie News Cheat Sheet.
1. San Diego Comic Con Schedule is Here: On Wednesday, July 17th Shockya.com returns to Comic Con! We’ll be on the ground in San Diego to bring you the latest from the panels in Hall H, interview opportunities and loads more. Our schedule is still coming together, but over the past few days Comic Con has released their official programming schedule and there are quite a few events on our radar. Wednesday evening is all about pilot screenings. We’re hoping to catch one if not all of the following – “Almost Human,” “The Originals,” “Tomorrow People,” and “The 100.” Things really start to pick up on Thursday with “Ender’s Game” and “Divergent” rolling into Hall H. On Friday “Nikita” is due to make its final appearance at SDCC after which “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” “Robocop,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” will all hit Hall H via the Sony and Screen Gems panel. And later that night, we’re making it a priority to catch the “Orphan Black” SDCC debut with a chat with show stars Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Gavaris, and Dylan Bruce as well as co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett. If you’re hoping to squeeze your way into Hall H on Saturday, you better line up very early because the day’s line-up includes “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “I, Frankenstein” at the Lionsgate Panel, a presentation from 20th Century Fox, one from Warner Bros. with “Godzilla,” “Seventh Son,” “300: Rise of an Empire,” “Gravity,” and “The LEGO Movie,” and then, of course, a presentation from Marvel, too. It’s bound to be a crazy five days of movie news, so keep an eye on Shockya to follow along as our coverage plans progress and then roll into the SDCC 2013 madness.
2. No Christian Bale for “Justice League:” Rumors of a “Justice League” movie have still yet to come to fruition, but should it ever happen, Christian Bale will not be part of it. This really shouldn’t come as a shock considering Bale has been very vocal about the fact that “The Dark Knight Rises” would mark his last run as Batman, and a full year after the film hit theaters, he maintains that stance. Bale told EW, “We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy.” As for the “Justice League” movie specifically, he noted, ”I have no information, no knowledge about anything. I’ve literally not had a conversation with a living soul. I understand that they may be making a ‘Justice League’ movie, that’s it.” Referring to the opportunity to play Batman, Bale also added, “It’s a torch that should be handed from one actor to another. So I enjoy looking forward to what somebody else will come up with.”
3. Injured Carpenter Suing Happy Madison Productions: Looks like someone lost a lot more than time and $14.50 for “That’s My Boy.” As reported by THR, Boston carpenter Richard Houpert was working with a table saw while building sets for the film and because the machine did not have proper safety components, his hand was “drawn into the saw” resulting in the loss of several fingers. He’s now suing Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions for gross negligence and is also going after Sony and Columbia, claiming the production companies had deliberately set aside money for set safety, but never put it to use. And that’s not all. Houpert is also going after Black & Decker because their saw is “dangerous and defective.”
4. “The Butler” Title Dispute: Has anyone out there seen Warner Bros’ 1916 silent short film “The Butler?” Didn’t think so. But regardless, according to Deadline, Warner Bros. is still going after The Weinstein Company, insisting that they change the title of their August 16th release, the Forest Whitaker-starrer, “The Butler.” The whole thing seems trivial considering few, if any, will confuse the two, but according to the most recent letter sent by Warner Bros. to TWC’s counsel, David Boies, it might be as black and white as having broken the rules. The letter notes that as a Title Registration Bureau subscriber, Warner Bros. can designate up to 500 titles as “Permanent Original Releases” and as of May 2010, one of them is “The Butler.” The only way for another company to get around that restriction is by receiving a waiver from the subscriber that laid claim to the title. Clearly Warner Bros. did not grant TWC permission. Again, this whole issue seems trifling and like one big waste of time, energy, and money, begging the question, why won’t Lee Daniels and TWC just let up and change the title? A title doesn’t make a movie. But, then again, even though it appears Warner Bros. is in the right from a legal standpoint, it’s also hard not to wonder why Warner Bros. won’t just give into Daniels’ passionate plea. It’s just two words!
5. Steve Spielberg Remaking “The Grapes of Wrath:” John Ford’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” snagged two Academy Awards in 1941, but apparently Steven Spielberg thinks he can do better. As reported by Deadline, DreamWorks is currently in talks with Steinbeck’s estate to make another movie. Apparently Spielberg “swooped in to take it off the table over other bidders,” which included Robert Redford who had plans to turn the book into an FX miniseries. Even though Spielberg’s plea won out, it’s only for the domestic rights to the original film. Fox still retains the foreign rights, which would give Fox the opportunity to be part of the production. For those of you who managed to bypass the book in high school, “The Grapes of Wrath” focuses on the Joads, a family that falls victim to a drought in Oklahoma and opts to leave their land behind in hopes of making a better life for themselves in California.
6. Halloween Horror Nights Gets a Real “Cabin in the Woods:” Ever wonder how you’d fare in Joss Whedon’s “Cabin the Woods?” You’ll get your chance to find out at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23. This year, the event will give attendees the opportunity to evade the clutches of beasts and creatures from the film like the Dollfaces, Sugarplum Fairy, Doctors, Hell Lord, and more at the cabin, and then make their way into the secret facility built to orchestrate their deaths. The event runs on select nights from September 20th to November 2nd and will include even more “highly-themed, disturbingly-real haunted houses,” the details of which should arrive soon. If you’re interested in a good scare in Orlando, one general admission ticket will run you $91.99 or you could go big and get the Gory Getaway for $299 per person. This includes a three-night stay at a Universal partner hotel, two-day base ticket to the theme parks, one-night admission to Halloween Horror Nights, and more. Head over to the official Halloween Horror Nights website for more details.
7. James Cameron Talks “Avatar,” “Battle Angel” & 3D at TagDF: We’ve still got a long way to go before another James Cameron-directed narrative feature hits theaters, but he did emerge from his New Zealand estate to have a chat with Alfonso Cuarón at Mexico City’s technology forum, TagDF, where he offered updates on a number of upcoming projects. For “Avatar 2,” Cameron announced plans to go a step beyond the original not by trying to create new technology, but rather by “expanding story and characters.” Even though “Avatar 2” and “Avatar 3” will occupy him for years to come, Cameron still has plans to make that “Battle Angel” adaption, planning to begin development in 2017. Cameron also touched on the topic of 3D, something he clearly has no problem with himself, but he does take issue with 3D conversion. “One thing is shooting in 3D and another is to convert to 3D.” He added that he’s finding it’s the “money-hungry studios” and not the directors who maintain control over the technology and expressed a particular displeasure for studios that push the technology on directors “who are not comfortable or do not like 3D.” (via The Film Stage & La Verdad)
8. Meet the Man Behind the Posters: This isn’t “news” per se, but if you’ve got even the slightest appreciation for aesthetic and effective movie posters, you need to meet Drew Struzan who’s responsible for unforgettable classics like the posters for “The Thing,” “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” “Risky Business,” “The Goonies,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and loads more. According to Deadline, a Struzan documentary, “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster” will premiere at SDCC on Friday, July 19th at the Gaslamp 15 and then get a limited theatrical release on August 16th after which it’ll hit VOD in the fall. Click here to check out the trailer for the film and if you’re heading to San Diego, you can catch Struzan in the flesh at a panel on July 19th from 7pm to 8pm, which will be loaded with movie clips, poster giveaways, and free movie tickets.
9. Trailers: “The Boxtrolls,” “Lovelace,” “Delivery Man:” The “Despicable Me” minions might have some eerily adorable creatures to contend with come September 26, 2014. The first teaser for Laika’s “ParaNorman” follow-up, “The Boxtrolls,” is here and it’s undeniably heartwarming. In more adult territory, we’ve got the new trailer for Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Linda Lovelace biography, “Lovelace.” The promo doesn’t necessarily suggest the film is a must-see, but it does hint that Amanda Seyfried’s performance alone might make this one worth catching. Last up is the latest Vince Vaughn comedy, “Delivery Man.” Don’t let the aftereffects of “The Internship” turn you off; “Delivery Man” actually looks to have more heart than most, putting Vaughn’s character in an extraordinary yet somewhat grounded scenario.
10. Box Office: Gru has achieved world domination! “Despicable Me 2” didn’t just trump the first film’s $56.4 million opening; it demolished it. And not only did “Despicable Me 2” claim the top spot at the weekend box office with $82.5 million, but it also snagged a total of $142.1 million during its Tuesday to Sunday run. “The Lone Ranger,” on the other hand, tanked to say the least. While it did score just under $50 million for its full holiday run, a $29.4 million opening weekend is nothing to boast about, especially when the film ran a whopping $215 million production tab. With no new comedy competition to fend off, as expected, “The Heat” held strong. It only dropped 36.1% from weekend one to two, which let it take another $25 million to the bank. However, “Monsters University” did have direct competition to go up against, and it certainly suffered from the minion craze. After holding on rather strong from weekend one to two, that minimal 44.7% decline got bumped up to 57%, which only left it $19.6 million for its third weekend out. In fact, it fell so far that it almost lost the 4th position to “World War Z.” After a rather hefty 55.2% weekend one to two hit, that percent change came all the way down to 38.9%, which let it take another $18.2 million to the bank. (via Box Office Mojo)