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- 03/23/17--11:34: _The cast of 'Love A...
- 03/23/17--12:31: _How the next 'Star ...
- 03/23/17--12:42: _6 movies on Netflix...
- 03/24/17--07:47: _Amy Schumer has dro...
- 03/24/17--08:18: _The trailer for Net...
- 03/24/17--12:00: _The director of the...
- 03/24/17--16:48: _'Life' is an alien ...
- 03/25/17--03:04: _This 90-year-old pr...
- 03/25/17--09:05: _How Rebecca Ferguso...
- 03/26/17--07:40: _How the incredible ...
- 03/26/17--10:15: _Here's what the fut...
- 03/27/17--06:21: _The ending of 'Life...
- 03/27/17--12:08: _The 7 best scenes t...
- 03/27/17--13:07: _Here are the 10 hig...
- 03/27/17--13:48: _The movie business ...
- 03/28/17--07:11: _Hollywood rethinks ...
- 03/28/17--09:10: _Here are all 44 mov...
- 03/28/17--12:27: _The movie version o...
- 03/29/17--07:47: _Michelle Pfeiffer e...
- 03/29/17--09:11: _The director behind...
- The cast of "Love Actually" is reuniting for Red Nose Day.
- They're filming a special to air on BBC and the first trailer just dropped.
- In this trailer, they hint that you'll find out what has happened to all the characters since the end of the original movie.
- 03/23/17--12:42: 6 movies on Netflix that everyone should watch in their 20s
- 03/24/17--07:47: Amy Schumer has dropped out of the Barbie movie
- "Life" is a space horror movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, and more.
- The plot is about a Mars sample return mission gone terribly wrong.
- The film's creators worked with real scientists to make it more believable.
- NASA is actually working on getting a Mars sample to Earth and is worried about contaminating the planet.
- 03/27/17--12:08: The 7 best scenes that Quentin Tarantino has ever directed
- 03/27/17--13:07: Here are the 10 highest-grossing movies of all time
- 03/28/17--07:11: Hollywood rethinks distribution
- The shrinking home release window. In 2005, the average number of days between a film’s theatrical release and home release was 135 days. In 2016, that number shrank by almost 25% to 102 days.
- Studios take a majority of theater ticket sales. For many Hollywood releases, studios can rake in 70%-90% of the first weeks box office sales, according to HowStuffWorks. Typically, the studio’s share of box office revenue declines each week the film remains in theaters. This is why revenue from concessions like popcorn and candy, as well as local advertising, is critical for theaters to stay in business.
- Theaters could get a slice of VOD revenue. To appease backlash from theaters due to potential lost box office sales, studios may share 10-20% of profits generated through VOD platforms. One challenge here is negotiating how long theaters will be able to participate in VOD revenue sharing.
- Challenge of creating an industry standard. Due to antitrust laws, studios are not permitted to discuss strategic initiatives, including how to work with theaters to reduce the home release window.
- 03/28/17--09:10: Here are all 44 movie sequels and reboots coming out in 2017
- 03/29/17--07:47: Michelle Pfeiffer explains why she 'disappeared' from Hollywood
The INSIDER Summary:
The first trailer for the "Love Actually" reunion, "Red Nose Day Actually," has been released. It's been 13 years since the festive romantic comedy, directed by Richard Curtis, hit theaters, and some of the actors look quite different than they did while first navigating love in London at Christmas.
The trailer begins with a decided throwback, as someone begins playing music on an iPod (remember those?). The cast then holds up signs, familiar to the now infamous, and spoofed, scene in "Love Actually" when Andrew Lincoln's Mark confesses his love for Keira Knightley's Juliet on cue cards.
"On Red Nose Day, unexpected things happen,"reads one card, before the trailer takes a silly turn as they discuss who has aged the best. (Liam Neeson voted for himself.)
The film's plot has not been officially discussed, but one of the questions asked by fans of the original is if the major couples are still together. At least one of the stars has offered an answer.
Some, but not all of the original film's cast is reuniting to make the film for Red Nose Day, a celebration to raise money to help fight poverty and injustice in the U.K. and Africa. Comedy and documentary films are shown on BBC One in honor of the day.
We finally have some insight into how Disney is confronting the death of its "Star Wars" star, Carrie Fisher, as it prepares to released the next movie in the saga, "Episode VIII," aka "The Last Jedi," which comes out December 15.
One thing has been made clear by Disney CEO Bob Iger in a new interview: Fisher's General Leia role will not undergo any tweaking, nor any CGI reviving of the actress along the lines of what we saw in "Rogue One."
"We had to deal with tragedy at the end of 2016. Carrie appears throughout 'VIII,'" Iger said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We are not changing 'VIII' to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in 'VIII.' In 'Rogue One,' we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie."
Fisher did complete her work on production of "The Last Jedi" before she died following a heart attack in December, so this isn't a huge surprise. But it raises the question of what will happen in the next chapter after "The Last Jedi,""Episode IX," which is also the final chapter in the new trilogy. If there are no story tweaks to "Episode VIII," how will its sequel suddenly deal with the loss of Fisher? Will a CGI Leia appear then, or will the movie use another offscreen way to address the absence of such an important character?
Either way, it'll add a heaviness to both "The Last Jedi" and its sequel that fans couldn't have previously expected.
Your 20s are some of the most transformational years in your life. Many people finish college, fall in love, and start a career. It's the time where most people set themselves on the path they'll be on for the rest of their lives.
Here are six of those movies you should watch, all of which are easily available on Netflix.
Note: Movies can drop off Netflix monthly, so the availability of the titles below may change.
What it's about: There's no better movie about the confusing aimlessness of post-collegiate life than Mike Nichols's 1967 film. If you thought your life was confusing, at least you're not a jobless, disillusioned recent college graduate torn between loving an older woman or her daughter.
What it's about: The rollicking journey of a transgender sex worker who finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her. It's a lesson in finding friendship when you think you're alone and being persistent when you're cast aside by someone close to you.
"No One Knows About Persian Cats"
What it's about: A hybrid documentary-narrative movie about the underground rock scene in Iran. Because the government bans different kinds of music, young musicians practice, perform, and party in obscure places. It's a riveting portrait of creativity blooming in the unlikeliest of places.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amy Schumer won't be playing Barbie after all.
Variety reports the comedian has dropped out of a live-action film based on the Mattel doll due to scheduling conflicts. Variety says the movie was scheduled to start shooting on June 23, but Schumer has a lengthy promotional tour for her comedy, "Snatched," which opens in May. She's also set to begin shooting "She Came to Me" with Steve Carrell soon.
The magazine says Sony needs to stick to a June 29, 2018, opening date for the Barbie film, because merchandise surrounding the film's release is already in the works. The studio says it respects and supports Schumer's decision.
Schumer defended her casting in the film in December, saying she was a "great choice" to play "an important and evolving icon."
To say the new Netflix documentary "Casting JonBenet" is different would be an understatement.
After seeing it at this year's Sundance Film Festival, we can tell you that it's a powerful movie that focuses on the 20-year mystery of who killed 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, but through a different means of storytelling.
Director Kitty Green uses real neighbors and actors who live in the area of Colorado where the Ramseys lived to reenact events that happened leading up to, during, and after JonBenet's death.
At times funny or creepy, but always powerful and striking, it's a movie-watching experience you don't often get.
Here's the trailer for "Casting JonBenet." The movie will be available on Netflix April 28.
Perhaps it's because he refuses to live in LA or he tends to liken the way he makes movies to the classics he grew up on, but when Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa was given the chance to direct the sci-fi thriller "Life," he didn't see a blockbuster. Instead, he saw a chamber piece about life back on earth.
"People compare this to 'Alien,' but this is a movie that takes place now," Espinosa recently told Business Insider from his home in Sweden. "Back in the 1970s people speculated what our future would be, this is a somewhat realistic piece. Yes, it's the feel of an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' or a zombie movie like 'Night of the Living Dead,' but its reality comes from Raymond Chandler."
The movie follows a group of scientists on the International Space Station who discover life on Mars, but while studying it, that life becomes deadly and takes out the crew one by one. It all ends with a dramatic conclusion you never see coming, and that's what hooked Espinosa.
"I wanted to make the two turns in the movie the essence of the picture," he said, referring to the alien suddenly turning on the crew and the surprise ending. "But also have the characters have a complex past that would reflect on their actions. Normally in American movies that doesn't really happen. You get everything told to you. In this movie all these characters had their secrets and that's why they react certain ways."
To explore those complexities, Espinosa got some of the biggest stars in the world to join him: Ryan Reynolds, who was Espinosa's first call, as the two had worked together on the director's 2012 film, "Safe House"; then Jake Gyllenhaal; and finally rising star Rebecca Ferguson ("Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation").
But there was one other person Espinosa had to reach out to before taking on the film: Ridley Scott. Though the legendary director has no real direct involvement in "Life," his fingerprints are all over the story, written by "Deadpool" screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, which very much resembles Scott's "Alien."
"Once I decided to do 'Life' he gave the blessing right away," said Espinosa, who had a relationship with Scott already as he was a producer on Espinosa's 2015 movie "Child 44.""He has always been encouraging of my work and he didn't think it was an 'Alien' rip-off at all. I actually had the opportunity to spend time with him in his office and go through his storyboards for 'Alien' and 'Blade Runner' and talk to him about them. It's an honor that he allowed me to do that."
Though "Life" has the look of a big-budget blockbuster, it was made for a relatively modest $57 million on a shooting schedule of 65 days. Quite barebones for a Hollywood studio movie with A-list stars.
But for Espinosa, it created the perfect working environment. Sony mostly stayed out of his way and let him do unconventional things like ditch having a second camera unit and use preproduction time to come up with extensive backstories for the characters.
"What I do is a tradition of the Danish system in which we create the backstory to each character but they are not allowed to discuss it," Espinosa said. "So as we are doing the scenes, all the actors are equally surprised by the reactions."
It was that kind of detail that instantly grabbed the actors.
"What I loved about this role and how Daniel described it was the philosophy of her and the romance of science," Rebecca Ferguson told Business Insider of her character. "It was all created through the backstory, which is never told, but hopefully it's displayed through our acting."
Then there was also Espinosa's technical ambition. To open the movie, he introduces the cast and their mission with a five-minute single shot (or a "oner") that travels throughout the International Space Station. No cuts allowed.
"I thought I have to do a oner to understand the claustrophobia and the ballet that these characters have to do to survive," he said.
Though it's a standout moment in the movie, looking back now, Espinosa admits it was a lot harder than he anticipated.
"Halfway through [shooting it], I thought that I had gone mad, that this was completely impossible," he said, though with the guidance of his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey (known for his famous oner in "Atonement"), they pulled it off.
But what really makes Espinosa stand out in the Hollywood system today is his feeling about sequels.
"I think it's uninteresting," he said, when asked if there will be a sequel to "Life.""I think you make a piece of work that stands by itself and then to go back on it is like meeting an old lover and trying to start a relationship again."
Espinosa believes it was a big gamble by Sony to allow him the creative freedom to take chances and not be controlled by test-screening audiences or the pressure of building a possible franchise. He hopes "Life" is part of a trend of studio projects that tell unique stories.
"We're in an interesting time where movies that don't fit under the current banner, like 'Deadpool' and 'Logan' and hopefully my movie, show there is an interest in something that is different than the road we've been going down the last 20 years," he said.
"Life" opens in theaters on Friday.
Warning: Some spoilers for "Life" are ahead if you haven't seen the movie.
Big-budget science-fiction movies aren't supposed to be documentaries.
They are, however, supposed to take us on journeys to far-flung places, immerse us in vivid alternate realities, and make us wonder "what if?"
But reality itself is a powerful filmmaking spice that, justly applied, helps suspend our disbelief — and sometimes scream our guts out.
Such is the case with the new movie "Life", whose makers consulted a NASA-trained medical doctor, a Mars spacecraft engineer, and a geneticist to help produce their horrifying spectacle.
While the film, directed by Daniel Espinosa, whiffs on quite a lot of science, it does go far enough to be wildly entertaining. In fact, Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio even argues it may be a cult classic in the making.
We join the story just as a Mars sample return spacecraft is being caught by a small crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). With red dirt in hand, NASA astronauts go about analyzing the grit behind several "firewalls" of protection.
After an extraterrestrial microbe is discovered in the soil, it's revived in a soup of water and nutrients. Then, to the astonishment of the crew, it springs to life. "Calvin," as the life form is soon called, quickly divides and grows into a starfish-size creature with incredible strength and intelligence.
What could possibly go wrong?
To understand what doses of reality went into the movie, we called up Dr. Kevin Fong ― a medical doctor, space medicine expert who's trained with NASA and ESA for about a decade, and a paid science consultant for the new Sony Pictures film.
And to answer some of those "what if?" questions on aliens, we spoke to Catharine A. Conley, a planetary protection officer for NASA who gets paid to help humankind avert extraterrestrial disasters in the real world.
Astronaut doctor on set
"Life" features not one but two characters who are doctors, so filmmakers brought Fong on board to answer their pressing questions.
A lot of the early work happened by email, he says, but soon enough Fong was invited to join the set: an elaborate and modular reconstruction of the space station inside a giant green-screen studio.
"They paid more attention to detail than I'd seen in the space agencies," Fong told Business Insider. "Although the modules are different than what they actually are on the space station, it was very close."
The producers occasionally asked Fong to lend his expertise in physiology and emergency care to actor Jake Gyllenhaal (who plays long-duration astronaut David Jordan), actress Rebecca Ferguson (who plays Center for Disease specialist Miranda North), and others in various scenes.
"There are a couple of quite dense medical scenes, where I'd say, 'I'd hold this tool like that,' or 'I wouldn't hold that in the way you are,' and 'here's some terminology I'd use in this situation.' On the set, it came across as a very believable," Fong says.
He was especially impressed with a cardiac arrest scene, saying it was "about as faithful as one could be" in a movie.
While he hadn't seen the movie, at least at the time Business Insider interviewed him, Fong didn't walk away thinking it'd be a documentary.
"I think it pays dividends to any movie producer to go as far as you can in suspending disbelief," he says. "But I'm not expecting 'Apollo 13.' You have to make the drama more realistic without getting in the way of the story."
Fong also said that while there are definitely parallels to the "Alien" space horror movie franchise, "Life" is imminently more believable.
"Around the time 'Alien' was made, you needed to imagine some far-flung place," he says. But with the ISS floating just 250 miles above Earth, he added, "this is happening right on your back door."
Fortunately for us, NASA has put decades of thought into protecting planet Earth.
Defending the planet from real-life Martians
At first blush, the idea of a Mars sample return mission might seem far-fetched. But NASA researchers hope to do just that in the future.
In fact, both Congress and President Trump essentially codified that mission for the space agency by passing the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017 into law in March.
The first line of defense for a Mars sample is Catharine Conley, who is NASA's sole planetary protection officer. She has worked in that role since 2006, and helps ensure Earth's microbes don't reach other worlds — and other worlds' microbes don't reach Earth, at least in an uncontained way. (And that includes keeping dead bodies off of other worlds.)
"The phrase that we use is, 'break the chain of contact with Mars,'" Conley told Business Insider.
Conley also hadn't seen the movie, but said if a Mars sample was flying toward Earth, it would be aimed slightly off-course from the planet. That way if something goes wrong, the capsule full of red dirt (and maybe a harmful microbe) wouldn't enter our atmosphere in an uncontrolled way, break open, and induce panic.
Yet before such a capsule would ever leave Mars, she says, space law requires that an inter-governmental, multi-space agency committee convene to review the mission and make a recommendation on what to do.
"You'd want the international community to weigh in because it's a of a high-enough concern," she said . "There's a lot of checks and balances."
A Mars sample return mission — ostensibly to seek fossilized signs of ancient life, not actual microbes — wouldn't be the first to test the mettle of protections for Earth: Apollo 11 astronauts had to stay quarantined for three whole weeks in a trailer before emerging.
In fact, she says, planning for a Mars sample return mission started with the nuclear-powered Viking landers of the 1970s and has been going ever since.
Plans "got the most carefully laid out" in the early 2000s, she said, but by the time she arrived, bringing a sample to the space station had long been ruled out. The reason? It seemed far too expensive, and containing a disastrous microbe inside the ISS seemed pointless.
"The space station is going to fall down at some point," she said.
Instead, Conley says scientists would make sure an extra-robust capsule carefully reenters Earth's atmosphere, is quickly retrieved, and hurried away to a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory — the most high-security grade of research facility on the planet.
"I would love to find life elsewhere," Conley said — if for no other reason than to compare it to life here on Earth, where the only organisms we know of exist. "If Earth and Mars life are related, that makes things a lot more complicated."
Roger Corman is a Hollywood legend. He has directed more than 50 movies and produced over 400. He's widely renowned as the "King of B-Movies." He built his career on an ultra-efficient filmmaking style that demands low budgets and short shooting schedules.
The result is a career that spans six decades, and he hasn't shown any signs that he's ready to retire.
Business Insider recently sat down with Corman at his office in Los Angeles to talk about his most recent project,"Roger Corman's Death Race 2050" (now out on Blu-ray and DVD), a sequel to the cult hit "Death Race 2000," which Corman produced in 1975.
He will perhaps be most remembered for the roster of A-list Hollywood talent who got their first jobs in the movie business from Corman. Academy Award-winning directors Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Jonathan Demme all started out working for Corman.
Corman is also credited with discovering Jack Nicholson, who appeared in many of the filmmaker's productions before becoming one of the biggest movie stars in history. Watch Nicholson get emotional while talking about what Corman means to him in this clip.
We asked Corman to reflect on the legacy of his storied career and to reveal the keys to his success.
Even if you don't know Rebecca Ferguson by name, trust us: You know her.
Though the Swedish actress has a Golden Globe nomination under her belt (for the 2014 miniseries "The White Queen"), it wasn't until her scene-stealing role as MI6 agent Ilsa Faust in 2015's "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation" that most of the world realized she was a star in the making.
Since then Ferguson, 33, has been on a breakneck schedule: working opposite Meryl Streep in the Oscar-nominated "Florence Foster Jenkins," starring in the adaptation of the best-selling book "The Girl on the Train," and now sharing the screen with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds in the sci-fi thriller "Life" (opening in theaters on Friday).
It's the latest smart choice by an actress who made her bones in the business modeling as a teenager and starring in a soap opera in Sweden.
In "Life," Ferguson plays Dr. Miranda North, one of a handful of astronauts/scientists on the International Space Station who have discovered life on Mars and are tasked with researching it. That is, until things go wrong and that life turns on the crew.
Moviegoers have been familiar with the alien thriller for decades, and no other movie has more perfectly executed that setup than Ridley Scott's 1979 "Alien," with Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, the hero going head-to-head with a murderous alien.
About halfway through "Life," Ferguson's soft-spoken Miranda seems like a mirror image of Ripley. But it turns out that's not the case, and Ferguson admits that's why she took the role.
"I actually turned the film down in the beginning because I thought, 'How is this not going to be compared to the Ripley character?'" Ferguson told Business Insider, hours before presenting "Life" as the closing-night film at this year's SXSW festival. "And the producer said, 'Just talk to [director] Daniel [Espinosa], let him explain,' and it was literally 10 minutes into that conversation that I was hooked. He said, 'Take the alien out of it and look at the drama between the characters and their storyline.' It's a character piece set in space where we take something from its natural habitat and we try to control it and provoke it and what we're doing is basically creating our own disaster. Which is a beautiful mirror in how we are treating ourselves on earth."
Then Ferguson joined Reynolds, Gyllenhaal, and the rest of the cast, working with dance instructors and training with wires to imitate conditions on the International Space Station.
Everything has been so fast-paced since starring in "Rogue Nation" that she admits it's tough to reflect on any of her success.
"The biggest shock is how quickly everything has gone and how lucky I've been," Ferguson said. "I never have the break, or give myself the break, to go, 'Wow, let's process that.'"
But with that commitment, she gets less time with those she loves, like her 10-year-old son.
"I'm in a situation where I can fly from one set one evening to another set and start straight away," she said. "I think for any working person no matter what field they are in, it is maintaining a structure for your family life as well. That's very, very hard. I find it to be the better and better it goes, the harder and harder it is."
Along with limited personal time, being more recognizable has also led to Ferguson getting questions that the major stars answer, like about the gender wage gap in Hollywood. In "Life," she stars alongside two of the biggest male actors alive, and she has more screen time than either. Was she paid the same amount as Gyllenhaal and Reynolds?
"It's always a sensitive topic when it comes to equal pay," she said. "It's something we struggle with, but I can say that I have a brilliant team around me and they are very much aware of how the politics work in the world. From my aspect right now, I'm pretty darn happy with the offers I get and how things are working out for me. And what I love is I don't feel like a woman on set with men. I feel one amongst everyone."
Right now Ferguson is in training mode for the sixth "Mission: Impossible" movie, which she says begins shooting in early April.
"Tom and I are in hardcore training right now," she said, referring to Tom Cruise. "Tom never stops. I don't know how he does it."
She says she has no major requests in changing up the Ilsa character for the next movie.
"I'm so relaxed when it comes to my Ilsa character because [director] Chris McQuarrie did wonders, I think, with the last film," she said. "I was so happy with the way that we shot her with her independence, with her strength, with her vulnerability, with her relation to Tom's character, and I think we're all on board where we're just going to maintain her characteristic traits for this film."
Director Daniel Espinosa gets ambitious right from the start of his sci-fi thriller "Life," in theaters Friday. He delivers a single continuous shot in an opening scene that lasts for over five minutes and shows the crew of the International Space Station receiving the capsule that holds the first ever life-form from Mars.
The scene follows the crew members (Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson) floating in zero-gravity conditions as they race to make sure to capture the capsule before it zooms past the space station.
The continuous shot (known as a "oner") floats in and out of different areas of the space station, even turning upside down at one point to show just how insane the layout of the ISS is. All the while, the shot peeks out of the window into space to build the drama of the capsule getting closer and closer.
Espinosa knew he wanted to do the oner as soon as he got the "Life" script.
"The oner in cinema history belongs right now to two genres: the gangster movie and the science-fiction picture," Espinosa recently told Business Insider. "I did my gangster movie ["Easy Money"] and I didn't do a oner and I always blamed myself for it, that I didn't throw myself out there. So when I got this one, I thought I have to do a oner, to understand the claustrophobia and the ballet that these characters have to do to survive."
Though he went in with the right intentions, the execution turned out to be a lot harder than he anticipated.
Filming the shot took a month of preparation with the actors, who did everything from wirework to dance training to pull off the movements. And for everything to work perfectly, the sets had to rotate and be in sync. This allowed for the shot to be more continuous and for cuts not to be hidden (yes, many "oners" do have cuts — they're just disguised).
"Halfway through I thought that I had gone mad," Espinosa said, "that this was completely impossible."
Looking for guidance, he reached out to three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.
"He did it for 'Gravity' and he said, 'A oner in zero gravity equals vomit,'" Espinosa said.
"He was great support," Espinosa said of McGarvey.
When ESPN’s highly acclaimed "30 for 30" documentary “O.J.: Made in America” won the best documentary Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, it was the happy ending director Ezra Edelman and his crew hoped for after two years of making the film and over a year promoting its airing on ESPN and unconventional Oscar-qualifying theatrical release.
But for ESPN Films' senior vice president and executive producer Connor Schell, it was quickly back to business. Though the network’s seven-and-a-half hour documentary that used the incredible rise and fall of football hall-of-famer O.J. Simpson to explore issues of race and class in Los Angeles garnered unanimous esteem within the industry and the network's first-ever Oscar, ESPN Films isn't through telling unique stories from the sports world.
"We're trying to continue to push and evolve the genre and come up with new ways to tell stories and new voices to tell them with," Schell told Business Insider.
ESPN Films' newest endeavor is a podcast. The "30 for 30 Podcast" was announced at this year's SXSW and will look at stories that don't necessarily fit in movies or short film form.
"There have always been stories that we thought were really interesting but unable to bring to life visually," said Schell, "and so this opens up this whole new type of story we can tell."
Launching in June, the first season will look at topics like the landmark "Dan & Dave" advertising campaign by Reebok that focused on decathletes Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson in the lead-up to the 1992 Summer Olympics (however, the campaign had to drastically change when O'Brien failed to qualify for the Olympics), and the first all-women's team to make it to the North Pole.
Each episode will have a run time of 30-40 minutes and will be released weekly. Season 2 should be released in the fall.
But ESPN Films' bread and butter is still its non-fiction films, and there are some anticipated ones coming up including a documentary on Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari, "One and Not Done" (premiering on ESPN April 13), a doc on the legendary talk radio duo Mike & the Mad Dog (airing in the summer), and one on iconic pro wrestler Rick Flair (airing in the fall).
The Mike and the Mad Dog documentary is particularly special for Schell and many at ESPN as it's a project they have tried to make since Schell and former ESPN columnist Bill Simmons started "30 for 30" back in 2007.
"It was something that we thought about for a long time," said Schell. The documentary will have its world premiere at this year's Tribeca Film Festival in April. "They are legendary figures in sports talk radio, in many ways they created the genre, so to be able to tell that story I think is really excited."
Schell says there are also a few big ideas similar in scope as "O.J.: Made in America" that he has kicking around. Though he was coy about what those actually are, he did hint at one: a project with Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney (who made the "30 for 30" documentary "Catching Hell" in 2011 that looked at the Steve Batman incident during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series at Chicago's Wrigley Field) on athletes' obsession with physical excellence.
"This is a project we talked to Alex about for literally several years and we've recently moved forward," said Schell. "It's a multi-part series about performance and the limits of performance and the evolution of the pursuit of perfection with the human body. I think it's a bit of a departure for us that will be less narrative storytelling and more first-person scientific journalism almost. I'm really excited about that on the horizon."
Though Schell admits he's up for exploring almost anything under the ESPN Films banner, one thing he has no interest in is whenever Simpson is released from prison. Simpson is currently serving a 33 year prison sentence in Lovelock, Nevada for felonies including armed robbery. He could be released as early as October.
"I think what Ezra was able to do with 'Made in America' was explore all of these incredibly rich and important themes about our country and the criminal justice system and race and the city of Los Angeles — O.J.'s story was a cipher to take you to all of these interesting places," said Schell. "I'm not sure where that goes from here."
"One of the incredible luxuries of being tied to a dynamic news organization is that it's covering everything that needs to be covered every single day, and that's a key reason ESPN Films has been successful," Schell added. "There's no story we have to tell."
SEE ALSO: 15 podcasts that will make you smarter
Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Life."
With a lackluster $12.6 million earned in its opening weekend at the box office and a 67% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the sci-fi thriller "Life" is one of those movies you either love or hate.
But one part of the movie everyone seems to be universally positive about is its ending.
The movie ends with the last two survivors on the International Space Station, Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) and David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), coming up with a plan to kill the alien on board, which has been named Calvin.
As the alien needs oxygen to survive, they shut down the ISS and lead Calvin to one of the two escape pods. David will stay in the pod and drive it into deep space, where he and Calvin will eventually die, while Miranda takes the other and goes back to Earth.
Things go wrong, however, and with some clever sleight-of-hand editing we are shocked to find that Calvin overpowered David to fly the pod back to Earth and that Miranda's ship, after hitting some debris, malfunctioned and floated out into deep space.
In a movie that's pretty predictable by the standards of a creature feature, the ending to "Life" is a welcome sight.
In fact, director Daniel Espinoza said it was the powerful ending that persuaded him to make the movie.
"I thought that the ending was so surprising," Espinoza told Business Insider. "When I went to the first meeting about the script I told them my vision about how I wanted to do the movie, but at the end of the meeting I had to confront them and ask sincerely if they want to make this ending. Because if they wanted to do this as a competition and test-screen different endings and find which works best, as what's often done, I said to them we might want to go our separate ways."
But to Espinosa's shock, Sony, the studio behind the movie, was all for making the original ending.
"Which was astounding to me," Espinosa said. "To have a studio that would actually support you about the finality of the picture. It was never debated."
Espinosa compares the "Life" ending to that of an old film noir, which often ends with a pessimistic view on the world.
"I agree with that," he said. "That's what we were pointing to here."
"Life" is playing in theaters.
Quentin Tarantino’s films are famous for their non-linear narratives, for how they jump around in time like a skipping DVD, sometimes even willing their ways into alternate histories. And yet, despite all of their twisty plotting, his movies are increasingly defined by — and remembered for — self-contained scenes that stretch to the breaking point and seem to become iconic even as you’re first watching them. From the ingeniously knotted “Pulp Fiction” to the bifurcated “Death Proof”; from the sprawling “Kill Bill” (which is divided into 10 discrete chapters), to the snowbound “The Hateful Eight” (which limits itself to two locations and finds Tarantino challenging himself to hold a single note of suspense for hours at a time), these epic stories are shaped around chatty, taut, and indelible sequences that simmer with the potential for sudden acts of violence.
In honor of the filmmaker’s 54th birthday (and with a humble tip of our hats to his late, great editor, Sally Menke), we’re offering our list of the seven best scenes that Quentin Tarantino ever directed. Not every one of his films managed to earn a spot — “Reservoir Dogs” may have been a watershed moment for American indie cinema, but it endures as more of a (particularly blood-soaked) dry run for bigger things to come, while the climactic ass-beating at the end of “Death Proof” just narrowly missed the cut — but these glorious excerpts provide a telling cross-section of what makes Tarantino’s movies cohere into so much more than the sum of their influences.
7. The Candyland Massacre (“Django Unchained”)
The Candyland Massacre is probably not the reason why “Django Unchained” earned Tarantino his second Academy Award for Best Screenplay, but… well, maybe it is. The immensely cathartic shootout, an orgasmic release that comes after almost two full hours of build-up, is hardly the most nuanced sequence that Tarantino has ever devised, but he’s never made anything that feels this good. It arrives after a deliciously twisted dinner scene, in which Django gets a polite phrenology lesson from the sadistic slaveowner who’s keeping his wife. Watching our soft-spoken hero endure yet another denigration, it starts to seem as though the title of Tarantino’s film is a bit of an empty promise, and that the chains may never come off. Of course, that’s just what Tarantino wants you to think — he’s waiting for the moment when your nerves are stretched to the breaking point, and then he’s waiting for a little while longer after that. He’s got all day, and he’s got the confidence (or the ego) to know that audiences enjoy his cooking too much to leave before dessert.
And then it happens, slowly at first and then in cartoonish eruptions of blood. Turning the foyer of a house into a self-contained civil war (complete with gunshots that land with cannon splashes), Tarantino funnels centuries of racist violence through a kaleidoscope of the resilient black culture that’s survived it, giving Django his revenge as Tupac and James Brown cheer him on from heaven. It’s so satisfying, so cathartic, that even the white nationalists who are turning this damn whole country into Candyland might catch themselves cheering.
6. The House of Blue Leaves (“Kill Bill”)
The most unabashedly fetishistic film he’s ever made — maybe one of the most unabashedly fetishistic films that anyone has ever made — “Kill Bill” is a lovingly pornographic orgy in which all of Tarantino’s favorite things get together and fuck each other to death with the fatal specificity of a serial killer. In other words, it’s heaven. The “Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves” sequence, in which Uma Thurman’s avenging angel slips into a Tokyo nightclub and makes a meaty stew from the entrails of different national cinemas, is the work of a filmmaker who’s woken up into a lucid dream. Combining Japanese rockabilly, Shaw Brothers fisticuffs, a Kurosawa-inspired sword duel, an overt nod to “Battle Royale,” some of fight master Yuen Woo-ping’s finest choreography, and an unexpected spanking, this is Tarantino’s Fellini moment, and he enjoys every second of it.
5. Operation Kino (“Inglourious Basterds”)
They kill Hitler. You didn’t think they were going to, but they did.
Art doesn’t get more viscerally thrilling than this.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Have you been assuming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" or "Avatar" must be the biggest movie ever?
You'd be surprised. When adjusted for inflation to even the playing field, the top-earning films at the US box office include many old classics, from overall winner "Gone with the Wind" to a couple Steven Spielberg favorites and a Disney animation. Oh, and the original "Star Wars."
Check out the biggest blockbusters at the box office in the chart above, which uses data from Box Office Mojo.
Anyone in the movie business who tells you they’re not scared stiff about the future is probably lying.
There’s ample reason to be fearful. It’s been 128 years since Thomas Edison first helped usher in theatrical exhibition with the creation of the Kinetoscope, an early motion picture viewing device. In the ensuing century, cinema has given audiences Garbo and Rin Tin Tin, introduced “May the force be with you” into the cultural lexicon, and dazzled crowds with man-eating sharks and dinosaurs so massive and menacing they could barely be contained on even the most cavernous of screens. Despite that history, there is mounting anxiety among theater owners, studio executives, filmmakers, and cinephiles that the lights may be starting to flicker.
As consumer tastes and demands change, Hollywood is scrambling to adapt. Instead of surrendering to existential dread, studio chiefs and exhibitors are showing a greater willingness to experiment, particularly when it comes to releasing movies in the home within weeks of their theatrical debut for between $30 and $50 per rental. If that comes to pass, it would represent the biggest distribution and exhibition shakeup since the introduction of the DVD created a home-entertainment windfall in the late 1990s.
Some industry veterans are unconvinced that the business can pull it off. Structurally, these studios and the agencies and exhibitors that orbit them are too sprawling, too slow-moving, and too entangled in a dizzying web of antiquated business practices and associations to respond effectively to the digital era.
“The major studios have not been choreographed or run to be entrepreneurial,” says Amir Malin, managing principal and co-founder of Qualia Capital, and former CEO of Artisan Entertainment. “It’s a system that’s been intoxicated with a ‘cover my ass’ mentality. Simply put, it’s a defective system, and when a business paradigm is defective, very good people start doing things that are counterproductive.”
There are two major problems gripping the industry. Younger audiences are becoming more interested in streamable content that is accessible on their iPhones or tablets. They’ll still turn up at the multiplexes to see the Avengers save the world or watch Han Solo slide behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon, but despite a few massive blockbusters, the zeitgeist continues to shift from the big to the small screen.
“I think the proof is right in front of us with what’s happening in cable and streaming services,” said Lorenzo di Bonaventura, producer of the Transformers films. “Directors want to go there, because they’re able to tell interesting stories…. That’s where the chances are being taken. That’s where the action is now.”
The other problem is that the financial underpinnings of the business are showing signs of strain. Nowhere is this clearer than the barriers that are springing up between Hollywood and its most reliable sources of capital. The smart money left the business years ago, partly because of Silicon Valley’s promise of fortune, but also because investors were put off by creative studio accounting that turned hits into financial losers.
Now new money — particularly that which has been pouring in from China — appears to be drying up. Chinese authorities are putting tight restrictions on foreign investment, limiting the flow of capital into the entertainment industry. That resulted in a failed $1 billion sale of Dick Clark Productions to Dalian Wanda, and the potential collapse of another $1 billion slate-financing pact between Paramount and two Chinese players, Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group.
“They think Chinese companies are overpaying for Hollywood and they’re slowing it down,” says entertainment attorney Schuyler Moore, a partner at Stroock who has been involved in arranging slate-financing deals for the likes of DreamWorks and Warner Bros. Moore thinks that Chinese investment may be gone for good, and that other forms of venture capital will transition away from film to emerging forms of popular entertainment such as virtual reality. “The interest is not in the traditional film model,” says Moore. “All investors see there is trouble.”
Optimists maintain that revenues are still growing. The domestic box office hit a record $11 billion in 2016, and the global box office reached a new high-water mark of $38.6 billion. Three months in, 2017 has already fielded such blockbusters as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Logan.” But that growth is being driven by higher ticket prices and inflation. Simply put, fewer people are going to the movies. U.S. and Canadian attendance has failed to match the 1.5 billion admissions the industry hit in 2004.
“You’re spending more money to reach less people and to less effect,” said Adam Goodman, former Paramount president and founder of Dicotomy. “You’re opening movies only to see them burn out at the box office.”
Just-released figures by the Motion Picture Assn. of America reveal that attendance in 2016 remained flat.
Gone are the days when studio chiefs were true moguls, ruling over the lots like sultans. Today, studios are a small piece of sprawling media and technology empires. Most of the movies are made far away from Los Angeles, in cities like Atlanta or New Orleans where tax credits are the most generous. All of the studio executives who make greenlighting decisions have bosses higher up the corporate ladder, and the films they produce are becoming less and less integral to the bottom line. The Comcasts and Disneys of the world make more money from their cable or consumer product lines than from movie ticket sales.
Perhaps it’s the mounting fear that an iceberg is approaching, but studios and exhibitors do seem closer to signing that grand bargain which would enable films to get early home entertainment releases for a higher price. As an enticement, distributors are willing to cut theaters in on a percentage of their digital sales. Six of the seven biggest studios — a group that includes Fox, Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal — are having unilateral discussions with major theater chains like Regal and AMC.
Currently, big theatrical releases are supposed to wait roughly 90 days before they’re available to be sold or rented.
But studios argue that’s too long, and they want to shrink the window in which theaters have exclusive access to their films. With the DVD market fading fast, they need to find a way to prop up home-entertainment revenue. There is a belief, accepted as dogma in some studio boardrooms, that streaming services like Netflix have conditioned consumers to access content whenever and wherever they would like it.
“It’s just such an obvious thing that has to happen,” says Jessica Reif Cohen, an entertainment and media analyst with Bank of America, adding that she thinks offering films earlier in the home may be attractive for people with young children.
“It may be an impulse buy, or they don’t have a babysitter, or have other reasons for why somebody doesn’t go,” she says.
At the very least the two sides are talking. In the past, exhibitors have been hostile when studios have tinkered with release windows. They’ve long believed that if movies are made available to rent or buy within weeks of their release, then customers might steer clear of multiplexes. Not wishing to become handmaidens to their own destruction, theater operators have warned of cannibalistic consequences, ready to man the barricades at any incursion.
A plan by Universal to release 2011’s “Tower Heist” two weeks after it premiered in theaters, for instance, was kiboshed after theater owners threatened to boycott the comedy. Paramount waded into the issue again in 2015, this time convincing AMC and others to allow them to release “Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” and “Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” as soon as they stopped being shown on a certain number of screens. Chains like Regal refused to show the film.
“A lot of the problem has to do with the unknown factor of consumer behavior,” says Eric Wold, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. “Will the consumer want to see a movie opening weekend regardless of knowing it’s only coming out on-demand a few weeks later? It’s going to be tough to come to something everyone agrees on.”
The talks have proven to be unusually complex. Because of antitrust laws, each studio must negotiate with every exhibition chain on an independent basis, making it difficult to establish an industry-wide model.
Both sides have invested millions of dollars researching at what price and after how many weeks a film is released in the home will consumers begin abandoning the cinema for the pleasures of the couch. Among the entertainment companies, Universal and its filmed entertainment group chairman Jeff Shell and Warner Bros. and its CEO Kevin Tsujihara are seen by exhibitors as being the most aggressive in pushing for a deal. Shell and Universal believe that $50 is too high a price for rentals, and are backing a lower-cost model. The studio would like all of the films it makes to come out on premium video-on-demand at a set time, likely in the range of between 20 to 30 days. Warner Bros. has been more willing to have a window of between 30 to 45 days, although it, too, would like to see the price come in at around $30 a rental. The Time Warner-owned studio thinks that some movies, particularly the bigger franchise films, might not be right for an early release.
There are corporate reasons that these two media companies are showing the stiffest spines around the negotiating table. Shell was sent to Hollywood by Universal’s corporate parent Comcast with the express purpose of finding a more efficient way to distribute movies. Comcast’s main business is cable TV, providing systems in the home to consumers, and creating content to flow through its cords via its NBC division. Similarly, Time Warner, Warner Bros.’ parent company, is poised to be acquired by AT&T, a telecom giant that wants to push films and shows to its network of smartphone users. They interface directly with customers in a way that studios don’t, and they make the bulk of their profits from subscriptions and transmission fees, not from the box office.
Many of the studios that are more dependent on ticket sales seem more flexible. They may be willing to agree to a model where films could reach on-demand platforms as soon as they fall below a certain screen count. The thinking is that if a film is no longer attracting crowds in theaters, there’s no reason it can’t be offered in the home.
Studios and exhibitors are hitting the negotiating table armed with data they argue shows that, at a certain point and for a specific price, premium on-demand either becomes additive or it cannibalizes the exhibition business. Then there are questions about how the films will be distributed. Will it be through iTunes and other popular rental services, or via some other third party armed with antipiracy technology? Because of their size, studios have largely limited their discussions to the country’s biggest chains, but if they reach a domestic agreement, that will likely change terms for foreign exhibitors.
Executives who have been involved in the talks say the issues are thorny, and the parts that intersect and must be addressed are myriad. But they seem willing to engage as never before.
“From my perspective, the people that fund movies should have a loud and strong and important voice in how they recoup their investment,” says Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse, an independent theater chain. “I don’t think theaters are grandfathered in to having a long, exclusive window. … I just hope that however we decide to experiment with windows, it’s based on data and made rationally with all the players invited to the table.”
The uncertainty surrounding the film business and the direction it needs to take in order to survive is also being manifested in the corporate suites. Sony Pictures is struggling to find a replacement for outgoing CEO Michael Lynton, having cycled through likely candidates such as former Disney COO Tom Staggs, while considering more offbeat options like former Hulu head Jason Kilar.
Then there’s Paramount, in desperate need of a turnaround, which appears to be close to hiring former Fox film chief Jim Gianopulos. “I don’t remember a transition like this, with two studios without studio heads,” says producer Beau Flynn. “I think people are concerned about taking those jobs because there’s a little bit of a reboot going on. What does a major, global motion picture studio look like in 2017? There are real questions about how your studio fits into this new world.”
Even as the names at the top change, filmmakers are trying to figure out a way to keep pace with rapidly evolving tastes. Projects can take at least two to three years to develop and put into production. They require an enormous outlay of capital and an appetite for risk.
“The big question you lose sleep over every night is, with everything that can change in 12 to 18 months, is a great story with great characters unique enough to still attract an audience?” says “Arrival” producer Glen Basner, CEO of FilmNation.
When studios have faced competition in the past, they’ve adhered strictly to a formula of size matters. In the 1950s and ’60s, for instance, the growing influence of television prompted studios to invest in elaborate biblical epics and, later, musical extravaganzas as a way of differentiating the big screen experience. This impulse toward gargantuanism continues. To beat back against the YouTube tide, studios are flooding theaters with superhero adventures, reboots, and animated fare.
No one can top Disney in this realm. With an arsenal that includes LucasFilm, Pixar, and Marvel, the studio has sucked up the rights to everything from “Star Wars” to “The Avengers.” The company earned 61% of total industry profits in 2016, according to research by Cowen & Co.’s Doug Creutz, at a time when the movie business’s earnings shrunk 19%. That’s left the non-Disney pack with blockbuster envy.
In this climate, studios are steering away from mid-budget dramas, seeing them as too dicey a proposition with a limited upside. That’s led to fears of comic-book fatigue, as studios dive deeper into sprawling graphic-novel universes. For now, the strategy is working — four of the top 10 highest grossing films last year were based on Marvel or DC Comics characters. But there are fears that these movies lack the spark of freshness that inspired past generations, and that, ultimately, they’ll lead to diminishing returns.
“I do worry that we’ll get to a point where today’s tentpoles grow so homogenized that movie-going will radically drop off,” says producer Mike De Luca. “But before that happens, I hope more studios learn to chew gum and walk at same time — that they produce not only tentpoles, but invest in original, diverse storytelling as well.”
The irony is that it’s easier to make movies today than ever before. Digital cameras have made it cheap to shoot, and editing software is readily available to average consumers. Aspiring directors can literally make a movie on their iPhone, as director Sean Baker did with 2015’s “Tangerine.”
At the same time, Netflix and Amazon have entered the movie scene looking for content, and Apple is supposedly weighing the idea of buying films to distribute exclusively. Even off-beat companies are looking into the film business. PepsiCo was at last year’s Sundance looking to snap up projects that could connect with a younger, music-loving crowd, while companies from Best Buy to BMW are wading into original programming to sell televisions and luxury cars. There are more buyers than ever before for films, and more ways to get them in front of audiences.
“It’s the Wild West in terms of content,” said De Luca. “All the old traditions and formats are up for grabs.”
James Rainey contributed to this story.
This story first appeared in the March 28, 2017 issue of Variety. Subscribe today.
Hollywood studios may be shortening film release schedules by half, allowing DVD and digital versions to be purchased after 45 days in theaters versus the 90 days that is currently the industry standard, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The move comes as video-on-demand (VOD) services become more popular, providing consumers with a multitude of video content at the touch of their fingers.
One of the challenges, however, will be to negotiate terms that keep theater owners happy, as shorter theatrical runs can negatively affect revenue from ticket sales. Digital pure plays like Netflix and Amazon are spending aggressively on rights to feature-length films, and Hollywood studios want to keep pace by providing consumers with timely digital versions of their films.
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This year apparently hasn't learned a lesson from 2016.
Despite relatively low box-office turnout for reboots and sequels in 2016 including "Independence Day: Resurgence,""My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," and "Bad Santa 2," there's a reboot or a sequel coming to theaters pretty much every weekend for the rest of 2017. (Granted, many have been long in development.)
Some are more appealing than others, with highly anticipated movies like "Star Wars: The Last Jedi,""Bladerunner 2049," and "Thor: Rangorak" in the mix. Some are getting more puzzled reactions from people online.
This post has been updated to exclude "World War Z 2", which has been delayed indefinitely.
Here are all the movie reboots and sequels you can see (or avoid) in 2017:
SEE ALSO: The most popular HBO show in every state
“Underworld: Blood Wars” — Already released
“xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” — Already released
“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” — Already released
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Perhaps more than any other work, Stephen King’s IT is responsible for the rise in coulrophobia—the fear of clowns—in today’s world. Whether you know King’s Pennywise from his novel or from Tim Curry’s mesmerizing performance in the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation, IT is a landmark work of terror that infects the nightmares of those who come in contact with it to this day. That’s the hope, at least, with the cinematic adaptation looming malevolently on the horizon.
Skeptics have been naysaying the need for the reboot since its announcement, and the Internet raised its collective eyebrows when the first image of Bill Skarsgard (Hemlock Grove) as Pennywise was released late last year. No one quite knew what to make of the harlequin update of the monstrous clown, and the initial image was, perhaps unfairly, scorned across the web. Since then, more and more images have been released, including new IT photos from yesterday, that have lessened some of the initial hostility, and ever stirred some excitement. All of this has led to the first officially-released footage from the film.
WB released the official teaser for IT ahead of the trailer premiere, which is slated to drop online tomorrow. Like all trailer teasers, we’re given very little of the film itself, but what we do see works as a bit of a tone setter. If nothing else, it’s certainly working in the film’s favor, as the overall creep factor found in these 18 seconds portends of potentially great, and terrifying, things to come. You can also check out the teaser poster for IT, below:
Even without a view of any of the characters, the teaser does a remarkable job at hinting at the tone of the movie, teasing what we all know to be coming tomorrow. Several voices can be heard, including two from the Losers’ Club—the adolescent heroes of the film—as well as a slightly underplayed snippet of clown laughter.
Some naysayers might be won over, or at the very least warmed over, by the inclusion of the classic line, “We all float down here.” That goes in line with what director Andres Muschietti has been saying about the project for months now, namely that this would be a respectful and reverent adaptation of King’s original novel.
Though the made-for-TV IT miniseries holds a special place in the hearts, minds, and nightmares of many, fans of the book have long complained that the previous adaptation neutered the impact of the original story in certain spots. Indeed, being catered towards a TV audience did present some unique problems for the story – and while they certainly did the best with what they had to work with, an adaptation with a hard R rating, as this one is supposedly gunning for, could bring fans who’ve never read the classic novel a whole new perspective on the story.
It helps, of course, that the new adaptation has King’s approval. Recently the author announced that he had seen the IT movie and declared it, “Wonderful.” How wonderful we can’t know until its release, but tomorrow’s trailer debut should give us a bit of insight into what we can expect when the movie finally drops. If that trailer manages to increase the terror of this teaser, then it’s possible that we’re about to get the IT we’ve always wanted.
In the '80s and early '90s, Michelle Pfeiffer was everywhere in Hollywood, thanks to her raw talent and versatility. And it all started with her role opposite Al Pacino in 1983's "Scarface."
Before that, she was a cool rider in the terrible but unforgettable "Grease 2." She then moved on to earn three Oscar nominations, starred opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence," and portayed Catwoman in "Batman Returns" and to this day is probably the best part of that movie.
But after that, she took on fewer roles and in less high-profile movies. Her last IMDb credit before 2017 is 2013's "The Family."
In an interview in Interview magazine with Darren Aronofsky, her director for "Mother!" which also stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, Pfeiffer explains her disappearance from the Hollywood spotlight:
“I’ve never lost my love for acting,” Pfeiffer said. “I’m a more balanced person, honestly, when I’m working. But I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids’ schedule. And I got so picky that I was unhireable. And then... I don’t know, time just went on... I disappeared, yeah.”
In 2017, Pfieffer is back. Her two children are all grown up and out of the house, so she can focus on her career in a big way. In May, you can see her in HBO's Bernie Madoff movie "The Wizard of Lies" with Robert De Niro and Hank Azaria. Later this year, she'll be in Aronofsky's "Mother!" and Kenneth Branagh's "Murder on the Orient Express" with Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, and Daisy Ridley.
Director Luc Besson has been responsible for some of the most memorable movies ever made, including “La Femme Nikita,” “Léon: The Professional,” and “The Fifth Element,” but this summer he's out with a movie that’s been on his mind most of his life.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is based on the French sci-fi comic series “Valérian and Laureline” that was first published in 1967 and has gone on to become legendary. It follows the adventures of Valérian and his female companion Laureline as they go on adventures across the galaxy.
Besson, 58, was a kid when the comic came out and remembers the excitement of getting a new chapter to the “album” weekly.
“I read it starting at 10 years old,” Besson told Business Insider along with other reporters on Monday in New York City after showing the latest trailer of the movie in 3D, which shows off the movie's insanely stunning visuals. “I would get two pages of the story on a Tuesday and wait a whole week for another two pages. At the end of the year I had the entire album. That was the Christmas present. It was the first time we saw a couple in space, it was very new. And [Laureline’s] kicking ass. She was my first love.”
As Besson began to build clout in the filmmaking world he never forgot about “Valérian and Laureline” but also didn’t think it could ever be adapted into a movie. That’s why he made “The Fifth Element” instead in 1997.
“When I did ‘The Fifth Element’ I hired the designer from ‘Valerian’ and I worked with him for six months and he said, 'Why are you doing this stupid "Fifth Element" movie? When are you going to do "Valerian"?' And I said I like it but you can't do it, it's impossible," Besson said.
But 10 years ago he started writing a “Valerian” script, just in case the technology caught up.
“Then 'Avatar' was made and then everything is possible,” Besson said.
Opening on July 21 through STX Entertainment, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” follows Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) as they go in search of the evil forces that are trying to destroy Alpha, the peaceful home of species from a thousand planets.
The film also stars Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, and Clive Owen.
Watch the trailer below: