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Feeling the force: why directing a Hollywood blockbuster is tougher than ever

As the big-money Hollywood franchises tighten their stranglehold, directors seem more and more disposable. The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson explains how he deals with the pressure

It was hardly short of work, but “creative differences” must have become the most overused phrase in Hollywood. It was trotted out earlier this year when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller departed the Han Solo spin-off, and when Colin Trevorrow was jettisoned from Star Wars: Episode IX. Ditto when Edgar Wright left Marvel’s Ant-Man in 2014, while there was a tart whiff of you-know-what about the reshoots on Gareth Edwards’s Rogue One.

Then there have been high-profile conflicts during production, as with Josh Trank on Fantastic Four, and last-minute balks such as Warner’s decision not to let Ben Affleck direct as well as be The Batman. It’s hard not to conclude that, in the blockbuster world, directors – far from
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Werner Herzog Is Returning to the Amazon, and He’s Bringing 48 Students With Him for a Filmmaking Workshop

Werner Herzog Is Returning to the Amazon, and He’s Bringing 48 Students With Him for a Filmmaking Workshop
35 years after “Fitzcarraldo,” Werner Herzog is returning to the Amazon. He isn’t going alone: 48 filmmakers will follow the one-of-a-kind auteur into the jungle for “Filming in Peru with Werner Herzog,” a 10-day workshop put together by Black Factory Cinema. One hopes their ordeal isn’t as arduous as those faced both on and offscreen in “Fitzcarraldo” and “Aguirre, the Wrath of God.”

Read More:Werner Herzog’s Film School Advice: 6 Crucial Lessons From a Master to His Pupils

The workshop begins on May 1, 2018 and lasts until the 11th, with each participant developing a short film under Herzog’s tutelage; upon completion, Herzog will select the best work for potential inclusion at international festivals. He’s taught similar courses before, often under less conventional circumstances than most workshops, but never in the same location as his two masterworks from 1972 and 1982.

It isn’t for first-timers, however. The workshop’s
See full article at Indiewire »

Will Disney’s Hyperdrive ‘Star Wars’ Release Slate Put the Franchise at Risk?

Will Disney’s Hyperdrive ‘Star Wars’ Release Slate Put the Franchise at Risk?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which premieres this weekend, is the third Lucasfilm title to hit theaters in the span of two years. It emerges as an important test of whether the studio’s aggressive release schedule will diminish the specialness for which the storied franchise has long been known.

Until 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” “Star Wars” movies arrived infrequently and were treated as major cultural events. Kids skipped school and braved long lines to fill multiplexes. The films were spaced three years apart, building anticipation in between pictures. Even the poorly reviewed prequel trilogy, starting with “The Phantom Menace” in 1999, had three-year gaps; “Phantom Menace” came 16 years after 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” “The Force Awakens” bowed 10 years after “Revenge of the Sith,” the last of the prequels.

Now, Disney plans to release a new “Star Wars” film every year through at least 2019. “The Last Jedi” will be followed next May by “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Playback: Rian Johnson on ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and Thriving Within Lucasfilm

Playback: Rian Johnson on ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and Thriving Within Lucasfilm
Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is set for release Dec. 15. You might have heard of it. The reinvigorated Lucasfilm franchise continues to be an annual event, not just in the film space but, certainly, in consumer and popular culture. Amid all that machinery, at the center of the latest installment, is 43-year-old Rian Johnson, an indie filmmaker who really showed what he was capable of with the 2012 sci-fi film “Looper.”

(Note: There are No Spoilers in this podcast. Feel free to listen and enjoy without fear of having any of the new film’s secrets ruined.)

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

Principle photography for “The Force Awakens” kicked off in February of 2016, in the immediate wake of the near-billion-dollar crater the film
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Second Opinion – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 2017

Written and Directed by Rian Johnson.

Starring Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, Benicio del Toro, Billie Lourd, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Jimmy Vee, Tim Rose, Warwick Davis, Hermione Corfield and Veronica Ngo.

Synopsis:

Having taken her first steps into the Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

One of the big complaints about Star Wars: The Force Awakens was that it felt like an old band having one last run with a new singer (say, Queen for example). They played the old hits, the stuck to the same chord structures and they didn’t try anything too new in case people just wanted to hear the favourites again.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Why J.J. Abrams Signed On For Star Wars Episode IX

A while back, J.J. Abrams stated that he was no longer interested in directing reboots and remakes but instead wanted to pursue more original projects. He made particular mention that he would not be returning to the Star Wars franchise after directing Episode VII, so it came as a sudden reversal when it was announced that he was the one chosen to direct Episode IX after its original director Colin Trevorrow had been ousted. Recently, Abrams commented that he decided to return to the Star Wars franchise when the chance came up because he wanted the chance to do even

Why J.J. Abrams Signed On For Star Wars Episode IX
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Daisy Ridley: 'The Last Jedi' Interview

Daisy Ridley: 'The Last Jedi' Interview
When Daisy Ridley sat down at a crowded Montreal wine bar in late October to do her interview for Rolling Stone's Last Jedi cover story, she had been in Canada for three long months, on a "chaotic" shoot for the Doug Liman sci-fi movie Chaos Walking. She hadn't seen the new Star Wars movie yet, but she spoke about many things – including, memorably, how the franchise combines social relevance with "fucking lasers and shit," as well as her reluctance, at least in that exhausted moment, to play Rey after Episode
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Daisy Ridley: 'The Last Jedi' Interview

Daisy Ridley: 'The Last Jedi' Interview
When Daisy Ridley sat down at a crowded Montreal wine bar in late October to do her interview for Rolling Stone's Last Jedi cover story, she had been in Canada for three long months, on a "chaotic" shoot for the Doug Liman sci-fi movie Chaos Walking. She hadn't seen the new Star Wars movie yet, but she spoke about many things – including, memorably, how the franchise combines social relevance with "fucking lasers and shit," as well as her reluctance, at least in that exhausted moment, to play Rey after Episode
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Film Review: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Film Review: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’
Spoiler Alert: The following review contains mild spoilers for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Surely, all “Star Wars” fans hope each new installment will be the best ever. But in the case of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” that seemed like an actual possibility. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, a Sundance alum who established his serious-filmmaker bona fides with his 2005 indie debut, “Brick,” before graduating to young Christopher Nolan territory via the relatively big-budget sci-fi movie “Looper,” Episode VIII seemed to have everything going for it.

To the extent that “The Force Awakens” was essentially a heightened reboot of “A New Hope,” recycling many of the 1977 original’s thrills in fresh form with a mostly new cast, this latest chapter was positioned as the new trilogy’s “The Empire Strikes Back” — which is to say, a darker, more serious chapter (commonly regarded as the series’ best) that deepens the underlying mythology, shapes its emerging
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Rockets to Dominant Social Media Buzz

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Rockets to Dominant Social Media Buzz
Disney-Luscasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” dominated social media buzz last week in the wake of the Dec. 9 world premiere and announcing its dedication to the late Carrie Fisher, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.

“The Last Jedi,” which opens Dec. 15, generated 368,000 new conversations last week to bring its total to 4.75 million. Tracking has shown the tentpole’s opening weekend could be in the $200 million range at the domestic box office — which would be the fourth-largest of all time after “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Jurassic World” and “The Avengers.”

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie picks up where 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis. The new cast members include Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. It’s the final film role for Fisher, who died last
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Justice League star unhappy with theatrical cut, new Ready Player One trailer, Carrie Fisher’s script re-writes on The Last Jedi and more – Weekend News Roundup

More Unhappiness In The League

We’ve heard a lot from the cast and crew of Justice League since the film’s release, with a lot of people unhappy with the final theatrical cut that was released with Joss Whedon’s edits. Cinematographer Fabian Wagner has asked for Warner Bros. to release the Zack Snyder cut of the film, and now its lead villain Ciaran Hinds has also voiced his distaste for what was eventually released. Read more here.

Good News For The League

In some good news, however, thanks to a fantastic opening in China Justice League is performing well at the global box office. By the close of play this weekend, Justice League grossed $212.1 million domestically, and a further $401.3 million worldwide for a total of $613.4 million. Reports say the film will need to gross $650 million worldwide in order to break even, which could be a big test given
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

J.J. Abrams had no intention of returning to Star Wars after The Force Awakens

Having relaunched the Star Wars franchise in 2015 with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams is now gearing up for a return to the galaxy far, far away to close out the Sequel Trilogy with Star Wars: Episode IX, having joined the project as a replacement for Colin Trevorrow. And, speaking to Rolling Stone, Abrams has revealed that he originally had no plans to return to the franchise, but felt the prospect of closing out the story was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“I had no intention to return,” said Abrams. “But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in VII. I learned so
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Jurassic World 2 Trailer Is Only from First Hour of the Movie

Jurassic World 2 Trailer Is Only from First Hour of the Movie
The first trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has finally arrived online. The trailer has received mixed reactions from fans, but there's a whole lot of action in it and it definitely helps set up the plot, which will involve a volcanic eruption on Isla Nublar and an attempted rescue mission for the dinosaurs on the island. However, as much as it looks like this trailer lays out the entire movie on a platter, that's far from the case. In fact, writer and producer Colin Trevorrow reveals that the trailer only contains footage from the first hour of the movie.

Colin Trevorrow, who directed the first Jurassic World, took to Twitter last night to make the rather unexpected reveal. A fan expressed concern that it looks as though the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer lays out all three acts of the movie, with the bulk of the action taking place in the third act,
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Trailer Breakdown: A Frame-by-Frame Look at the New Footage

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Trailer Breakdown: A Frame-by-Frame Look at the New Footage
After a series of borderline excessive teaser videos earlier in the week, Universal Pictures unveiled the first trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the newest movie in the long-running franchise. Juan Antonio Bayona (A Monster Calls) is in the director’s chair this time, while Jw helmer Colin Trevorrow co-wrote the screenplay with Derek Connolly. Take a deep dive into the latest round of dino action […]

The post ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Trailer Breakdown: A Frame-by-Frame Look at the New Footage appeared first on /Film.
See full article at Slash Film »

David Lynch, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, and More Creators Tell IndieWire What Drove Them in 2017

David Lynch, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, and More Creators Tell IndieWire What Drove Them in 2017
Words have always had great power, but over the course of the last year — a one of massive change and upheaval in Hollywood and the rest of the world — that old chestnut has never seemed more prescient. 2017 saw the rise of believing those who speak out, even if it hurts to hear, and plenty of the industry’s biggest voices had plenty to say. We talk to a lot of Hollywood’s brightest talents, about the projects which have inspired them most and the industry which at times supports, and at times hinders, their efforts to make their best work.

As individuals, we’re often blown away by their insights; in gathering them together, we end up with a portrait of a community of artists and creators who love their art and their industry, for better and for worse, and refuse to keep quiet about it.

Here are some of
See full article at Indiewire »

Lucasfilm Wants Thor: Ragnarok Director for a Star Wars Movie

Lucasfilm Wants Thor: Ragnarok Director for a Star Wars Movie
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said that she'd love to have Taika Waititi direct a Star Wars movie, leading many fans to wonder what that would look like. Unfortunately, Kennedy might not be aware that Waititi preemptively joked about turning down the Star Wars 9 job following the announcement that Colin Trevorrow would no longer be directing. The Thor: Ragnarok and Hunt for the Wilderpeople director has previously expressed doubt that he'd be the right fit for the Star Wars franchise, telling the New York Times, "There's not much room (in the franchise) for someone like me."

Kathleen Kennedy, who took over from George Lucas as the head of Lucasfilm when Disney bought the company in 2012, said she was a fan of Taika Waititi's work after seeing Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok, which was released last month and has been a success for its off-the-wall comedy and super hero antics. While speaking to News Hub,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Colin Trevorrow Likens Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom To “The Impossible Meets The Orphanage”

Bringing an end to a hugely eventful week for Universal, the first official trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was unleashed during last night’s episode of Thursday Night Football and already, budding analysts are combing through each and every frame to uncover Easter eggs and wild conspiracies that threaten our very existence.

But if you’re worried that Fallen Kingdom‘s first-look teaser openly spoils the 2018 sequel, don’t; Colin Trevorrow has assured fans that the newly-unveiled trailer only contains footage from the opening 57 minutes. That leaves the sequel’s second act shrouded in secrecy, which only has us all the more intrigued about the screenplay that Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly have produced.

We now know that Isla Nublar was built on a long-dormant volcano, leaving Owen Grady and Claire Dearing with little choice but to ferry those magnificent dinosaurs off the island before Fallen Kingdom triggers an extinction-level event.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Colin Trevorrow Says ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ is ‘The Impossible’ Meets ‘The Orphanage’ with Dinosaurs

While attending the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom panel at this year’s Ccxp (Comic-Con Experience) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, director J. A. Bayona and writer/producer Colin Trevorrow shared some new information about the much-anticipated sequel during their Q&A with Erico Borgo from Omelete. As you’ve now seen in the first trailer, it’s set four years after the previous film and will return to Isla Nublar where a volcano threatens the lives of the dinosaurs that now roam free in the former tourist park. Dinosaur trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and previous park manager …
See full article at Collider.com »

The ‘Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom’ Trailer Roars Online! Watch It Here!

As promised, and following multiple teases, the first Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom trailer has launched online. The promo premiered during Thursday Night Football in the U.S. and hit the web straight afterwards on Universal Pictures‘ official channels. The sequel to the 2015 rebirth of the hit dinosaur series will arrive in cinemas next summer.

The Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Trailer Is Here

Jurassic World made a ton of money back in 2015 – $1.6 billion in fact – making it one of the most successful movies ever made, so a sequel was on the cards whilst the first movie was still playing in cinemas. Jurassic World currently sits at the number four spot on the top grossing movies of all time, behind the likes of Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is Universal’s biggest money-maker of all time by quite a margin.

The Jurassic World franchise is growing in merchandise
See full article at The Hollywood News »
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