While Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been dominating the conversation, Rian Johnson’s film wasn’t the only movie featured in next week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. Their annual Fall Movie Preview includes updates and photos from a handful of upcoming releases, including Stephen King’s It, arguably the most highly anticipated movie of the fall. We’ve already seen Mark Hamill fight people with a lightsaber, but a bunch of kids running around the Northeast in the 1980s fighting a supernatural monster? Why, we haven’t seen that since Stranger Things came out! And that was a whole year ago!
Over the weekend, DC Comics (via Heroic Hollywood) released another version of the same character designs, this time ramping up the Alex Ross influence by having our favorite superheroes standing in profile together. It also aligns pretty well with that Comic-Con trailer, emphasizing both the Flash and Wonder Woman and downplaying (a little) Batman. All part of your lighter, brighter, and funnier Justice League, right?
As someone in his early 30s, I feel like everything I do comes with the risk of hurting myself. I go for a run without stretching every single muscle? Hurt myself. I reach down to pick something up? Hurt myself. I sit in one position for an extended period of time without straightening out my back? Hurt myself. That’s just one of a dozen reasons why I find Tom Cruise so impressive: at 55-years-old, it’s not like Cruise is going to hurt any less after his physical activities, he just finds ways to pick himself back up after something goes wrong.
Leonardo DiCaprio has made a career out of playing historical individuals who were too smart for their own good. From Catch Me If You Can to The Aviator to J. Edgar to The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio’s niche is to play fiercely intelligent men whose vision often exceeded their grasp. So who better to play someone as notoriously ahead of his time — and just as notoriously impatient when it came to finishing projects — as Leonardo da Vinci? The world-renowned painter, architect, and inventor will apparently be the subject of an upcoming biography, one that DiCaprio’s production company quickly snapped up before it even hit bookshelves.
Given the film’s box office success and surprising - albeit extremely preliminary - Oscar buzz, it’s probably fair to declare 2017 as the year of Wonder Woman. And all this Wonder Woman excitement has fans asking: after we see the character again in this fall’s Justice League, what’s next for the star of the DCEU? Will she jump forward to the modern world in Wonder Woman 2? Will we continue to see her adventures unfold throughout the 1900s? Or will Warner Bros. do something really wacky with her character, like, I dunno, make her the villain of another DCEU movie?
One of the big items to emerge from last weekend’s Comic-Con was the news that Zack Snyder would be taking a backseat in the DCEU going forward. This report - which falls somewhere between a rumor and a substantiated story - spoke directly to a shifting creative hierarchy behind the scenes at Warner Bros. With Geoff Johns now serving as DC’s answer to Marvel’s Kevin Feige, things look increasingly uncertain for the ‘old guard’ of DCEU filmmakers, including both Snyder and Suicide Squad director David Ayer, despite both directors’ involvement in upcoming films.
Say what you will about Warner Bros., but they’ve always saved some of their best Justice League footage for Comic-Con. Last year we were treated to our first extended look at the DCEU entry; this year the studio has raised the stakes, giving us some actual footage of the Justice League villain in action. Oh, and this trailer also seems to emphasize the heck out of the world of Wonder Woman - including a scene set entirely in Themyscira - indicating that they know exactly who their most popular superhero is going forward. It’s probably not a coincidence that there’s more Gal Gadot in this trailer than anyone else.
For many people who grew up in the 1990s, Home Alone is a film that ages alongside them. When you’re a child, you feel an immediate kinship with Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin, sharing in his delight at being able to run around the house entirely rule-free. The older you get, though, the more you find yourself goggling at the actions of John Heard and Catherine O’Hara‘s parents. How on earth could they manage to leave their youngest child behind? Was it really that easy to breeze through airport security in the ‘90s? Why do I still feel so sympathetic towards them even after all that?
You know those rare moments when everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the same thing? Sports, politics, entertainment, whatever… those are the moments that make social media both a blessing and a curse. Take, for instance, a talented (if not slightly unknown) actress named Jodie Whittaker. If you were to go to Google Trends right now and look up her name, you’d see a sudden spike in searches, indicating that everyone everywhere is suddenly obsessed with learning more about her career. Why on earth could that be?
This just isn’t fair. Only hours after we found out that horror icon George Romero has passed away, we’ve also learned that the world has lost veteran character actor Martin Landau at the age of 89. According to an article in The Hollywood Reporter, Landau passed away unexpectedly after a short illness, leaving behind a legacy of television and film work that any actor would be proud to call their own. From his breakout role in North by Northwest to his regular work with Tim Burton, Landau has been a versatile
Sometimes I feel like we don’t appreciate Mark Hamill enough. Oh, sure, we trot him out for any Star Wars or Batman events and allow him to shoot off bemused one-liners about his place in nerd culture, but that’s only part of what makes his celebrity so fascinating. Hamill has spent the past 40+ years hearing about a series of movies he made at the beginning of his career, and somehow, he has avoided becoming either jaded or entitled about his celebrity. When you ask Hamill to talk about Luke Skywalker, he comes across as both blunt and self-effacing without ever doing a discredit to the character or his importance to many. Something tells me that isn’t as easy as he makes it look.
If you spend enough time reading interviews with writer-directors, you may find yourself wondering how big a role music plays in the creative process. Hollywood is littered with movies that were written under the influence of a particularly strong playlist; filmmakers who have been given control over every aspect of production, from screenplay the final cut, can sometimes appear to be writing to the music that influenced them along the way. That’s one of the beautiful things about the work of James Gunn. Not only does he exhibit a delightfully eclectic taste in ’70s and ’80s music, he often finds ways to bring those songs directly into the action of his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
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