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New ‘Star Wars’ Movies May Blend Multiple Genres

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JJ Abrams puppet, Star Wars Episode VII_edited 1

In our discussion on how the Hollywood marketplace would be able to sustain the sheer amount of Marvel/DC superhero films coming out in the next handful of years, one aspect we detailed is that the various projects would be able to be viable propositions due to “comic book movies” being chameleon-like in their ability to showcase multiple genres.

Marvel Studios, for example, has illustrated this concept this year with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy both blending different types of stories to supplement the super-powered action (political thriller and space opera, respectively).

As it turns out, Marvel won’t be the only studio using this filmmaking strategy. Their Disney brethren Lucasfilm is also interested in seeing how the galaxy far, far away can be used to span multiple genres, as the Mouse House looks to bring the franchise back into the spotlight next December with Star Wars: Episode VII. 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lucasfilm’s VP of Development Kiri Hart addressed the directions the studio may go as they look to release a new Star Wars film annually:

“I think there are boundaries [to what defines Star Wars], but we don’t want to rigidly define them. It’s obviously not slapstick comedy, but there’s room for many different stories and genres that still feel like Star Wars.”

The six films of the Star Wars saga so far have all arguably been a variation on the classic space adventure trope. While they all differed in tone, they still stayed within the confines of that genre. Based on the box office receipts and the legions of supporters that still love the brand, there obviously was nothing wrong with this decision, but one can see why the filmmakers would want to try something new.

If rumored plot details are true, then J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII is going to be a faithful continuation of the movies that came before it, meaning that like the previous six episodes, it will most likely be another tale of good versus evil – supposedly with the New Republic squaring off against the remnants of the old Empire.

This would all be fine and well if Disney was only planning on releasing the three installments of the sequel trilogy, but they’re not. As most know, Mickey Mouse is going to milk Star Wars for all it’s worth by putting out standalone spinoffs in between the core episodes. Directors Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank have already been signed on to helm the first two of these projects, with Edwards’ film being prepped for release in December 2016.

han solo star warsIt’s with these spinoffs that Lucasfilm can get creative and start to incorporate other genres to provide a fresh spin on the franchise. The rumored films right now would feature Boba Fett and Han Solo in the main roles, and given those two characters’ backstories, the narratives could conceivably rely less on the “heroes vs. villains” structure and instead provide an intriguing portrayal of the universe’s underbelly (like a Martin Scorsese crime film) – while using the sci-fi elements as a backdrop.

When we addressed possible concerns fans might have about the spin-offs, one of the tips we offered for doing them “right” was for Disney to take advantage of their independence from the main storyline. There is a “story group” in place at Lucasfilm to help manage the multi-platform nature of the franchise, but since the standalone films aren’t going to have any obligations to tie into the events of the sequels, Disney would be wise to let loose and have fun with these films – allowing them to be used for new takes on Star Wars while the sequel episodes took care of the space opera work.

If what Hart says is true, it sounds as if that is the direction Lucasfilm is headed in as they lay out a game plan for the series moving forward. It’s certainly an exciting gesture for fans, since it will allow Edwards, Trank, and whoever follows their footsteps in the director’s chair to open up and get creative in this sandbox that has thousands of possibilities for entertaining stories.

We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the “multiple genre” plan, but we’d have to say they’re on the right track.

SEE ALSO: There's A Batman Easter Egg On The 'Star Wars: Episode VII’ Millennium Falcon

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HOLLYWOOD SALARIES REVEALED: From Actors And Agents To Their Assistants

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EntourageWho rakes in a whopping $75 million? Who are the highest-paid TV stars? And how much can you make working in an agency mailroom? In its Money Issue, THR reveals how much people are earning now, from stars including Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock, Katherine Heigl and the 'Duck Dynasty' clan to top agents including Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell

FILM STAR
How bad is the decline in actor salaries over the past decade? Despite the huge sums still being raked in by such superstars as Robert Downey Jr. (his $75 million comes from his 7 percent, first-dollar slice of Iron Man 3, as well as his $12 million HTC endorsement deal) and Sandra Bullock (a 15 percent, first-dollar deal on Gravity and about $10 million more for her summer hit The Heat), most actors are feeling a definite squeeze, especially those in the middle.

"If you're [a big star], you're getting well paid," says one top agent, "but the middle level has been cut out." Sometimes with a hacksaw. Leonardo DiCaprio made $25 million (including bonuses) for The Wolf of Wall Street, while co-star Jonah Hill got paid $60,000. Granted, that's an extreme example — Hill offered to do the part for scale (and got an Oscar nomination for his trouble).

See more Highly Paid Film Stars

But studio cost-cutting has meant that mid-level stars are being nickel-and-dimed in ways that would have been unheard of in the gilded '90s (i.e., Marvel Studios' reportedly offering Mickey Rourke a mere $250,000 to star opposite Downey in Iron Man 2). Before breaking out the violins, though, remember that even mid-level stars are far better off than most other actors. According to the most recent SAG statistics, the average member earns $52,000 a year, while the vast majority take home less than $1,000 a year from acting jobs.

THR actors chart

AGENT $200K-$10M

Like everyone in Hollywood, the talent agencies have been tightening their belts. "Your biggest concern used to be, 'Would I get a $100,000 bonus or a $200,000 bonus?' " recalls one veteran agent wistfully. "Ha! Things have changed." Those bonuses still happen, they just require a hot client (or five). CAA generally pays more than WME, UTA, Gersh, ICM and Paradigm, yet salaries increasingly are tied to what an agent brings in. And an agency will overpay to lure a top agent (and his clients). Generally speaking, though, starting agents can expect to earn $50,000 to $65,000; more senior agents make around $200,000; partners make $400,000 to $700,000; and board members — like CAA's Bryan Lourd and WME's Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel — can earn as much as $10 million. In rare circumstances, bonuses based on client earnings can turn mid-level agents into $1 million-a-year employees. In short, top talent breeds top salaries. Tracey Jacobs at UTA is said to be earning upward of $9 million — and she reps Johnny Depp.

Read more Studio Perks of the Hollywood Exec: Home Screening Rooms, Private Jets, Huge Expense Accounts

AGENT'S ASSISTANT $10-$13 AN HOUR

At most agencies, you start in the mailroom, hope an assistant's desk opens up, then dream of ascending the assistant ladder so you can be on the receiving end of middle-of-the-night email rants from top agents. At CAA, though — where Richard Lovett has five assistants and Kevin Huvane has four — you start as an assistant and move up to the mailroom agent-training program.Ari Gold assistant Lloyd Entourage jeremy piven

ANIMAL ACTOR $5K-$108K

Crystal the monkey earned $108,000 in 2012 for appearing in nine episodes of NBC's Animal Practice. That's more than most of the below-the-line talent featured in this story and twice as much as the average actor, who earns $52,000, according to SAG-AFRTA. But most animals work for peanuts: The day rate for a dog or cat in Hollywood is $400, with most earning $5,000 to $10,000 a year.crystal the monkey

CINEMATOGRAPHER

$5K-$30K A WEEK

Top directors of photography, of which there are probably about 10 to 15 in the industry, can command $25,000 to $30,000 a week on movies that shoot up to 12 weeks — maybe even a little more, according to insiders. That select circle of top cinematographers would include 11-time Oscar nominee Roger DeakinsGravity Academy Award winner Emmanuel Lubezki and Martin Scorsese's frequent collaborator Robert Richardson. On a big-budget studio movie — say, $80 million or more — an experienced cinematographer can expect to earn $10,000 to $20,000 a week. On a low-budget indie fare, DPs often take home $2,000 to $5,000 a week. On TV productions, the range is $5,000 to $8,000 a week.

FILM DIRECTOR $250K-$20M A PICTURE
"The middle range doesn't exist anymore," one studio executive says of the current financial landscape for feature film directors. "Either you're paying for a modern master, or you're paying a lot less. The days of paying $3 million or $4 million, knowing they're just doing the job, that doesn't exist."

The going rate for modern masters? Between $7 million and $10 million for auteurs like Paul Greengrass and Ridley Scott, more if the film is considered a tentpole. Christopher Nolan is said to have made $20 million against 20 percent of gross for Interstellar. Backend is otherwise rare these days for the non-A-list.

On the other end of the scale, emerging directors can expect $250,000 to $500,000 for their first big studio feature, but there are exceptions (one European auteur was said to have recently have been paid $1 million for his first Hollywood blockbuster).

TV DIRECTOR $25K-$42K AN EPISODE
TV directors, of course, are an entirely different species, and get paid in a different way. The base DGA rate is $25,145 for a half-hour episode and $42,701 for an hour. But unlike writers, directors sometimes helm all 22 episodes of a season — it's just too much work. But some big-name pilot directors (David NutterJason Winer and Pam Fryman) get an executive producer credit and a stake in the show, which is how Bryan Singer is said to have made tens of millions for directing the pilot of House M.D.

ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER $2M-$6M 
Maybe more, if you're Skip Brittenham, who is rumored to take home $10 million a year. After a practice builds up, a lawyer can receive 30 percent of what the firm earns from his or her clients. With a big enough list, that easily can add up to millions. But even first-year attorneys can do OK, earning $135,000 to $165,000 (enough to pay off law school).

EXTRA $148 A DAY
But there's a "bump" of $50 a day for wearing a hairpiece, or if you're working in challenging conditions (rain, smoke). There's also overtime — a full day of pay for every hour after 16 hours — which has been known to happen on movie sets.

GAME SHOW HOST $1M-$10M
Quiz masters make between $25,000 a week (for a syndicated show) to upward of $75,000 a week (for a primetime program). Unless, of course, you're Alex TrebekJeopardy!'s 30-year host — in which case you take home the $10 million-a-year jackpot.

LATE-NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST $3M-$30M
Late night's recent round of musical chairs hasn't changed the pay all that much — unless you're Stephen Colbert, said to be in line to earn a bit more as David Letterman's replacement on CBS than the $15 million a year he gets from Comedy Central. The Daily Show's Jon Stewart remains the top earner at $25 million to $30 million a year. Jimmy Fallon is said to be making a little less annually than Jay Leno's$15 million for hosting The Tonight Show (and a lot less than the $25 million Leno made before he took a pay cut). And Seth Meyers barely can afford an applause sign at $3 million.

colbert letterman late show

MANAGER $250K-$300K
Bonuses are the name of the game in the management business. They're tied to commissions — one big client can be worth millions. Starting managers make $50,000 to $60,000 and are expected to bring in two to three times their pay in commissions. Top partners can pull in seven figures. And unlike agents, managers can produce projects, bringing in additional fees.

NETWORK TV PRESIDENT $2M-$3M
The usual base salary for running the entertainment division of a major broadcast network is $2 million, but a $3 million base is not unheard of. And bonuses can double that salary. Still, says one former network president: "It's not like these are jobs people lust after — they're too hard. The really fun jobs are running cable networks, a job like head of programming at AMC, because you have more opportunity to be creative."

PORN STAR $120K

That's what an "average" porn star makes in a year, according to Joanne Cachapero of the Free Speech Coalition, the closest thing adult film has to a guild. Big-name female performers — what Cachapero calls "top flight"— can earn $200,000 or more (men, for once, earn less, though they tend to have longer careers). But there's a limit to even the most successful porn star's earning power. "Unlike mainstream performers," says Cachapero, "adult performers have less opportunity to diversify revenue by adding streams like merchandising and endorsements."

STUDIO CHIEF $5M-$15M
Your average studio chief — think Alan HornBrad Grey and Amy Pascal — earns a base salary of about $5 million. But bonuses and other sweeteners (structured on box office and production output, among other factors) usually amount to two to three times that payday. Plus, the job comes with the best perks in Hollywood, from private jet rides to 24-hour assistants.

thr top earning ceo chart

PRODUCER $250K-$2M

The number of producers whose fees top $2 million — such aces as Jerry BruckheimerScott RudinBrian Grazer and Neal H. Moritz — can be counted on two hands (plus maybe a foot). Moritz now tops the list, surpassing Bruckheimer with his rich Fast & Furious 7 deal. Rudin is said to have a quote of $2.5 million against 7.5 percent of first-dollar gross. But one dealmaker says no one is earning true first-dollar gross as in the old days. Instead, "everybody reduces before a film is greenlit and agrees to be part of a cash-break pool." The PGA does not share average producer salaries, but a newbie typically earns $250,000, while a hot actor making a foray into producing earns $500,000 to $750,000 with some backend. Established actors with successful producing track records can take home considerably more — like Adam Sandler, who earned $5 million to produce Grown Ups 2 (not nearly as much as the $20 million he received to star in the film).jerry bruckheimer

PUBLICIST $27K-$400K
Unlike agents, managers and lawyers, PR reps typically are paid a monthly fee, not a percentage of income. That makes a big difference. A partner at a large firm makes $200,000 to $300,000, though some of the bigger flaks are rumored to pull in nearly $400,000. Publicists with A-list clients earn $100,000 to $150,000 (though fees vary depending on how many clients are "on," or paying monthly fees), while midlevel reps (five to seven years of experience) take home $50,000 to $80,000. The entry-level flack at the red carpet and premiere parties who can't find your name on her clipboard makes $27,000 to $35,000.

STUNT PERSON $50K-$1M
How much would you charge to jump a motorcycle over a wall and into a swimming pool? How about driving a semi tractor-trailer 65 miles an hour off a ramp and 30 feet into the air? Tom McComas, 44, who has done all that and much more as a stuntman in The Dark Knight and Mission: Impossiblemovies, earns about a half-million dollars a year, and some make even more. Yuen Woo-Ping, who worked on the Matrix films and Crouching TigerHidden Dragon, was said to have earned $1 million annually at his peak. But those are exceptions — most risk their necks for far less.

The AFTRA rate for stunt work is $889 a day. That's about $50,000 a film, assuming one works every day during a three-month shoot. And work, by the way, is getting harder to come by in L.A. thanks to productions moving to Louisiana, Georgia and other low-cost states, where local stunt workers grab most of the jobs. "I was in the top 1 percent, making $250,000 a year," says a Hollywood stuntwoman who has doubled for Linda Hamilton and Jamie Lee Curtis. "But in the last two years, that has gone down by $100,000." She estimates the average working stunt person makes only $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

That's barely enough to cover a daredevil's insurance premiums, let alone pay the bills when he or she takes the inevitable spill. "I was doubling Jim Carrey in Yes Man, on the back of a scooter on Sunset Boulevard with the girl doubling Zooey Deschanel," recalls McComas. "A car that was supposed to slide by us hit us at 50 miles per hour. She shattered her pelvis; I jumped, flipped in the air and herniated a couple of disks." He was out of work for eight months. "When you're hurt, you show up the next day and you're fired. Basically we're blue-collar workers who punch the clock. I went from $10,000 a week to $900 a week on disability. The bottom line for a stuntman is: Don't get hurt."

COMMERCIAL VOICE ACTOR $3K-$1M AN AD
You can do it on bad hair days, and it pays great. More and more top stars are lending their voice to TV and radio commercials. Robert Downey Jr. for Nissan, Morgan Freeman for Visa, Jon Hamm for Mercedes, Tim Allen for Michigan Tourism, Kevin Spacey for Honda, Lisa Kudrow for Yoplait,Queen Latifah for Pizza Hut ... the list goes on and on. "The trend in terms of celebrities doing voiceover has been distinctly upward," says Jeff Danis, president of DPN Talent, an agency that specializes in commercial voiceover work. Big names like Freeman and Allen can command more than $1 million for an ad, which usually requires only a day's work.

But major stars account for only about 20 percent of the voices you hear in commercials. The other 80 percent — non-celebrity voice actors — don't make nearly that kind of dough. Typically, they'll earn scale, which works out to about $3,000 to $5,000 an ad.

jon hamm don draper season 7 episode 1

TV STARS $150K-$1M AN EPISODE

It used to be when movie stars did a TV show, it was seen as slumming. Now it's considered moving on up. Just this summer, Oscar winner Halle Berry debuted on CBS' Extant, and this fall Katherine Heigl stars on NBC's State of Affairs, while Tea Leoni plays a better-dressed version of Hillary Clinton on CBS' Madam Secretary. Each of these actresses is being paid $150,000 an episode, the going rate for luring big-screen names to TV (for a 22-episode season, it adds up to $3.3 million). That's a far cry from the $15,000 to $25,000 per episode an unknown actor is offered for a series regular role. But established TV actors with virtually no big-screen experience can do very well. Jim Parsons,Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting now will make $1 million an episode on The Big Bang Theory (up from $350,000). Then there's Mark Harmon, who makes north of $500,000 per episode of NCIS, and Ashton Kutcher, who earns $750,000 per episode of Two and a Half Men — or about $34,000 a minute. With paychecks like that, who needs a film career?the big bang theory computer

PRIVATE CHEF $75K-$200K

Michelin-starred private chefs obviously can make more — but there are other ingredients in the salary recipe, like whether the client requires odd-hour meals or has a special diet. According to Christian Paier, owner of L.A.-based Private Chefs Inc., pairing a chef with a star or industry client can be as challenging as matchmaking: "Some of these clients spend more time with their chef than with their spouse — they travel with their chef wherever they go. It's a very intimate thing."

SHOWRUNNER $30K-$100K AN EPISODE
At 22 episodes a season, that adds up to $660,000 to $2.2 million a year. A select few creator-runners make considerably more, like Matthew Weiner (who got $30 million for the last three years of Mad Men).

REALITY STAR: PRACTICALLY NOTHING-$200K AN EPISODE
Sure, if you're a member of the Duck Dynasty clan — or a Kardashian — you can make millions (likeKourtney and Kim's reported $40 million, three-year deal with E!, or the Robertson family's more than $200,000 an episode deal with A&E for Dynasty). Even D-list celebs who go on Wife Swap can make decent money: $10,000 to $20,000 an episode. But for the vast majority of reality show performers — unfamous Bachelor contestants and other run-of-the mill reality hopefuls — jury duty pays better. You're given a minimal stipend to compensate for missed wages, and that's pretty much it. The real money in reality comes from parlaying your TV profile into something larger, the way Housewives star Bethenny Frankel managed to land that $100 million Skinnygirl deal in 2011. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino spun six seasons on MTV's Jersey Shore into $9 million from endorsements of products including vitamins, clothing, jewelry and sunglasses. Those deals are rare these days, but on a more modest scale, hot-ish reality stars can pick up an easy $5,000 to $10,000 just for showing up for paid "appearances" at bars and nightclubs.kim kardashian kylie jenner kendall jenner

FILM WRITER $100K-$1M A DRAFT
Feature film writers' incomes continue to slide. According to the WGA West, screenwriters in Hollywood earned a combined total of $331 million last year, down nearly 25 percent from 2009. But some of them are doing pretty well. A screenwriter who sells a draft to a major studio can earn about $100,000, and a hot writer can score $1 million or more. Super scribes such as Alex KurtzmanRoberto Orci and Simon Kinberg pull in as much as $5 million annually in writers' fees (more when you add in residuals and producing earnings), while other top screenwriters earn closer to $2 million.

TV WRITER $3K-$6K A WEEK
In a gloomy Hollywood climate, the WGA says things are looking relatively bright for TV writers, who took in a combined total of $668.5 million last year, down just 6.2 percent from 2012. And TV residuals are booming: Last year, WGA members received $233.7 million in TV residuals, up 55 percent since 2012. Most staff writers work on 20-week contracts, at a rate of about $3,800 a week, though more senior writers earn about $6,000 a week. But the real money is in writing an entire episode on one's own. That pays $24,788 a script, and considerably more if you create your own series (see "Showrunner").

•••

BELOW THE LINE: The A to Z of Industry Pay:

ANIMATION DIRECTOR $200K

ART DIRECTOR $134K

ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR $101K

AWARDS SHOW PRODUCER $300K

BEST BOY $92K

BODY DOUBLE $33K

BOOM MIC OPERATOR $87K

CHAUFFEUR $56K

CAMERA OPERATOR $96K

CARPENTER $61K

COSTUME DEPT. SUPERVISOR $91K

COSTUMER $79K

CRAFT SERVICES FOREPERSON $74K

DOG HANDLER $54K

DIALECT COACH $125K

EDITOR $95K

FIRE SAFETY ADVISER $73K

FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR $192K

FOLEY ARTIST $88K

GAFFER $59K

GARDENER (STUDIO) $50K

GRIP $102K

HAIRSTYLIST $77K

HAIRSTYLIST TRAINEE $66K

LIGHTING TECHNICIAN (ENTRY-LEVEL) $53K

LOCATION MANAGER $112K

MECHANIC $59K

MAKEUP ARTIST $100K

MODEL BUILDER $68K

MUSIC MIXER $111K

NOVELIZATION WRITER $12,500 per book

PAYROLL ACCOUNTANT $66K

PERSONAL ASSISTANT FOR A CELEBRITY $80K

PROJECTIONIST (STUDIO) $72K

PROP MASTER $59K

PUBLICIST (STUDIO) $93K

SCENIC ARTIST $81K

SCRIPT SUPERVISOR $62K

SCULPTOR $75K

SET DECORATOR $104K

SOUND EFFECTS EDITOR $88K

TEACHER (ON-SET) $88K

TRAILER EDITOR $81K

WIGMAKER, CLASS 1 $59K

WIGMAKER, CLASS 2 $69K

WILD ANIMAL TRAINER $75K


NOW WATCH: How They Make Lingerie Models Look So Good

 

 

SEE ALSO: The Highest-Paid Actors On TV This Fall

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The Most Surprising Thing About The 'American Sniper' Trailer Is What It Doesn't Show

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American Sniper Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle

The most surprising part of the trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is what it doesn't show.

The new movie, which also gives Bradley Cooper the biggest role of his career thus far, is based on the story of Chris Kyle, one of the deadliest snipers in American history.

But though Kyle logged 160 confirmed kills in battle, the nearly two-minute trailer doesn’t show any of them. Instead, it focuses almost entirely on one intense, almost entirely silent scene, stopping just short of its climax, and leaving the dilemma faced all too frequently by 21st-century soldiers up to the viewer.

The other thing it doesn’t show—and doesn’t even hint at—is Kyle’s tragic, unpredictable death. Though Kyle returned home safe with an honorable discharge in 2009, he was ultimately killed last year at a shooting range in Texas. Police said he was shot by Eddie Ray Routh, a 25-year-old veteran whom Kyle was seemingly trying to help. (Routh is still awaiting trial.)

How Eastwood will handle (or not handle) Kyle’s death remains to be seen, as well as how closely he will adhere to some of the more dubious claims Kyle made about his experiences. Those looking to know more about Kyle and Routh should readNicholas Schmidle’s story in The New Yorker.American Sniper is due out on Christmas.

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How David Fincher Turned Pulpy 'Gone Girl' Into A Work Of Art

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gone girl ben affleck

"Gone Girl" probably won't win an Oscar for Best Picture, though it's already getting buzz; it's too ridiculous and trashy for Academy voters. But David Fincher's new movie, which debuted last week at the New York Film Festival, is clearly the work of an auteur and in many ways represents the culmination of his past works.

Based on a book by Gillian Flynn, the movie shows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) on the day of the disappearance of his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike), as the viewer is left to wonder whether Nick is responsible. Through a series of flashbacks and other narrative quirks, the movie also shows Amy's perspective, and it features a big twist in the middle.

Right from the rapid-fire opening titles, "Gone Girl" drips with Fincher's glossy, stylish aesthetic. Much like in "Dragon Tattoo" or even "Zodiac," the decidedly dark tone is offset by the efficient editing, but it also has a strong sense of humor as in "Fight Club."

There's a palpable distance between the characters on-screen and the audience, so what we get is a very detached look at the events. Fincher simply lays out information without bias, and the slow but steady reveal of key plot points ensures that the audience never knows what's going to happen next.

This procedural approach is typical of the director; films like "Zodiac" and "Se7en" are similarly cold and reserved. Even the more mainstream "Panic Room" and "The Social Network" have a certain clinical rhythm, a quality that has naturally evolved and become increasingly notable through his career. Fincher always finds a way to tell his story by emphasizing the facts, and he takes this concept to new heights in "Gone Girl" by disclosing the nasty details in a dizzying manner. 

gone girl poster

The first tonal shift occurs with Amy's introduction, as her narration brings a heightened sense of humor and doesn't shy away from graphic depictions of sex. Amy narrates the story via her exquisitely detailed diary, and it's not long before the story turns into a tug-of-war between our two narrators. Pike turns in a stellar, scene-stealing performance as Amy — and she truly could be a strong contender for a Best Actress Oscar. As we stick with Nick in the present, Fincher entwines Amy's narrated flashbacks to provide a fuller picture, but we're never quite sure of what to believe.

The film exhibits a hallucinatory effect through its quick editing that is further accented by the abrasive but restrained score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won an Academy Award for "The Social Network."

The film's structure is part of what makes it so unabashedly entertaining — it's a pulpy, trashy story dressed up so it appears more glamorous than it really is. The plot itself gets just as silly and hard-to-believe as an episode of ABC's "Scandal," but the material is elevated by Fincher's masterful direction and the fantastic cast. It's a rare joy to see something so dark and smutty make it to the mainstream, let alone directed by a two-time Best Director Oscar nominee.

Author/screenwriter Flynn sticks with the "he-said-she-said" composition of her novel, which limits the audience's knowledge and ensures that the filmmakers are always one step ahead. "Gone Girl" thrives on upending the audience's perceptions and expectations. The filmmakers intentionally misdirect us by exploring one side of the story just to throw us off guard with a completely new development a couple of scenes later.

The beauty of the misdirection is that it is all implied; we are merely flies on the wall, observing the character's actions and making judgments for ourselves. The audience is forced to make assumptions about Nick, which are either confirmed or rejected as Fincher weaves in crucial facts from alternate angles.

Fincher is no stranger to a good mystery ("Se7en" is still referenced as a benchmark for the genre), and "Gone Girl" takes his well-established skills to new heights. The gritty, in-your-face tone of "Se7en" is replaced by a quiet, underlying sense of dread that fills the screen with tension. Combined with a wry, sardonic wit reminiscent of "Fight Club", it's not hard to envision "Gone Girl" as a career-spanning highlight reel of Fincher's best qualities.

gone girl cast nyffOne of the more amusing aspects of "Gone Girl" is its slightly exaggerated but not too far off send-up of modern day journalism. At the press conference following the film's premiere at the New York Film Festival, Flynn referred to the media's presence in the film as a "a blown-up Greek chorus." She expanded on this by saying that the film is, at least partially, about the idea that in this age dominated by media, we are forced to become "consumers of someone else's tragedy." 

Fincher was quick to defend the media as a whole and singled out the "narrow bandwidth of tragedy vampirism"(think Nancy Grace) that, according to Flynn, casts a dichotomy of heroes and villains "against our wills" despite a lack of any actual evidence. Fincher and Flynn explore these ideas in a playful manner that leads to some of the film's biggest laughs.

Ultimately, "Gone Girl" works best when it's playing up its sleazy sense of humor and not taking itself too seriously. There's a lot more bubbling under the surface of the film, including a bitingly satirical examination of marriage and a questionable portrayal of feminism, but it'd be hard to elaborate further without spoiling anything, and most of the fun comes from watching the mystery unravel in real time. "Gone Girl" may not be the best picture of the year, but it's an enjoyable diversion and an intriguing choice for Fincher.

SEE ALSO: 9 Awesome Movies We Can't Wait To See At The New York Film Festival

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Ben Affleck Refused To Wear A Yankees Hat In 'Gone Girl'

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gone girl ben affleckThere's a brief scene in David Fincher's new film "Gone Girl" where Ben Affleck is seen in an airport wearing a Met's baseball hat. 

You wouldn't think anything of the scene. The hat is only visible on screen for a few seconds, but according to Affleck the decision to wear that hat came after the actor's one fight with the director while making the film. 

According to The New York Times, Fincher originally wanted Affleck to wear a Yankees hat. Affleck's character Nick Dunne used to live in Manhattan and was briefly visiting while trying to keep a low profile. It was a request the actor absolutely refused considering he is a diehard Red Sox fan. 

“I said, ‘David, I love you, I would do anything for you,’” Affleck told the NYT. “‘But I will not wear a Yankees hat. I just can’t. I can’t wear it because it’s going to become a thing, David. I will never hear the end of it. I can’t do it.’ And I couldn’t put it on my head.”

“It was an uprising; it was a coup, I rioted,” Affleck added, “It was a one-man riot against the Yankees.”

Affleck said only after "a lot of shuttle diplomacy, so much back-and-forth" the two agreed he could wear a Mets hat.

gone girl mets hat ben affleck

The adaptation of the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn is expected to top the box office this weekend with more than $30 million.

SEE ALSO: How David Fincher turned pulpy "Gone Girl" into a work of art

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Netflix's Adam Sandler Deal Is Smart Because People Watch His Movies No Matter How Bad They Get

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adam sandler netflixThursday morning, Netflix announced Adam Sandler signed an exclusive four-movie deal with the streaming site. 

Earlier this week, Netflix announced its first venture into original films. It will release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger" next summer, at the same time it will debut in theaters.

According to Netflix, Sandler's films are among the most viewed by subscribers not only in the U.S., but across its nearly 50 global territories from Brazil to the U.K.

The deal makes sense for Sandler, whose films haven't been making as big of a splash domestically as they have been internationally.

His last movie, "Blended," which reunited the actor with Drew Barrymore, was an overall box-office disappointment, and one of Sandler's lowest opening box-office weekends ever. The $40 million film made $46.3 million domestically, but a whopping $80.5 million overseas.

After more than 30 movies, the actor's films have arguably gotten considerably worse and wackier (Sandler played both himself and his sister in 2011's critically panned "Jack and Jill"). Despite 19 Razzie nominations and five wins, Sandler's movies have amassed more than $3.9 billion worldwide.

We've taken a look at his biggest hits based on worldwide gross adjusted for ticket price inflation. Through all of the actors serious and wacky roles, it's clear that the zanier the role, the bigger the cash grab at the box office. Left off this list are animated Sandler films.

11. "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" (2008)

Estimated Budget: $90 million
Worldwide gross unadjusted:
$199.9 million
Adjusted for ticket price inflation: $227 million
Rotten Tomatoes:37%/45% 

Sandler plays a man who fakes his own death to live out his dream of becoming a hairstylist in New York City in "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." 

(Box Office Mojo)



10. "Mr. Deeds" (2002)

Estimated Budget: $50 million
Worldwide gross unadjusted:
 $171.2 million
Adjusted for ticket price inflation: $240 million

Rotten Tomatoes:  22%/60%

The remake of Frank Capra's 1936 film followed Sandler as a pizza shop owner named Longfellow Deeds who comes into a great fortune of money. The film received three Razzie Award nominations including Worst Actor but is one of Sandler's most successful hits.

(Box Office Mojo)



9. "Bedtime Stories" (2009): $242 million

Estimated Budget: $80 million
Worldwide Gross Unadjusted: $212.8 million
Adjusted for ticket price inflation: $242 million
Rotten Tomatoes:25%/56% 

The family film opened during the 2009 holiday season against animated picture "The Tale of Despereaux" and "Marley and Me," easily beating out the first film. The film also edged out "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" at the box office when it debuted.

(Box Office Mojo)



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

REVIEW: David Fincher Turned Pulpy 'Gone Girl' Into A Work Of Art

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gone girl ben affleck

"Gone Girl" probably won't win an Oscar for Best Picture, though it's already getting buzz; it's too ridiculous and trashy for Academy voters. But David Fincher's new movie, which debuted last week at the New York Film Festival, is clearly the work of an auteur and in many ways represents the culmination of his past works.

Based on a book by Gillian Flynn, the movie shows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) on the day of the disappearance of his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike), as the viewer is left to wonder whether Nick is responsible. Through a series of flashbacks and other narrative quirks, the movie also shows Amy's perspective, and it features a big twist in the middle.

Right from the rapid-fire opening titles, "Gone Girl" drips with Fincher's glossy, stylish aesthetic. Much like in "Dragon Tattoo" or even "Zodiac," the decidedly dark tone is offset by the efficient editing, but it also has a strong sense of humor as in "Fight Club."

There's a palpable distance between the characters on-screen and the audience, so what we get is a very detached look at the events. Fincher simply lays out information without bias, and the slow but steady reveal of key plot points ensures that the audience never knows what's going to happen next.

This procedural approach is typical of the director; films like "Zodiac" and "Se7en" are similarly cold and reserved. Even the more mainstream "Panic Room" and "The Social Network" have a certain clinical rhythm, a quality that has naturally evolved and become increasingly notable through his career. Fincher always finds a way to tell his story by emphasizing the facts, and he takes this concept to new heights in "Gone Girl" by disclosing the nasty details in a dizzying manner. 

gone girl poster

The first tonal shift occurs with Amy's introduction, as her narration brings a heightened sense of humor and doesn't shy away from graphic depictions of sex. Amy narrates the story via her exquisitely detailed diary, and it's not long before the story turns into a tug-of-war between our two narrators. Pike turns in a stellar, scene-stealing performance as Amy — and she truly could be a strong contender for a Best Actress Oscar. As we stick with Nick in the present, Fincher entwines Amy's narrated flashbacks to provide a fuller picture, but we're never quite sure of what to believe.

The film exhibits a hallucinatory effect through its quick editing that is further accented by the abrasive but restrained score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who won an Academy Award for "The Social Network."

The film's structure is part of what makes it so unabashedly entertaining — it's a pulpy, trashy story dressed up so it appears more glamorous than it really is. The plot itself gets just as silly and hard-to-believe as an episode of ABC's "Scandal," but the material is elevated by Fincher's masterful direction and the fantastic cast. It's a rare joy to see something so dark and smutty make it to the mainstream, let alone directed by a two-time Best Director Oscar nominee.

Author/screenwriter Flynn sticks with the "he-said-she-said" composition of her novel, which limits the audience's knowledge and ensures that the filmmakers are always one step ahead. "Gone Girl" thrives on upending the audience's perceptions and expectations. The filmmakers intentionally misdirect us by exploring one side of the story just to throw us off guard with a completely new development a couple of scenes later.

The beauty of the misdirection is that it is all implied; we are merely flies on the wall, observing the character's actions and making judgments for ourselves. The audience is forced to make assumptions about Nick, which are either confirmed or rejected as Fincher weaves in crucial facts from alternate angles.

Fincher is no stranger to a good mystery ("Se7en" is still referenced as a benchmark for the genre), and "Gone Girl" takes his well-established skills to new heights. The gritty, in-your-face tone of "Se7en" is replaced by a quiet, underlying sense of dread that fills the screen with tension. Combined with a wry, sardonic wit reminiscent of "Fight Club", it's not hard to envision "Gone Girl" as a career-spanning highlight reel of Fincher's best qualities.

gone girl cast nyffOne of the more amusing aspects of "Gone Girl" is its slightly exaggerated but not too far off send-up of modern day journalism. At the press conference following the film's premiere at the New York Film Festival, Flynn referred to the media's presence in the film as a "a blown-up Greek chorus." She expanded on this by saying that the film is, at least partially, about the idea that in this age dominated by media, we are forced to become "consumers of someone else's tragedy." 

Fincher was quick to defend the media as a whole and singled out the "narrow bandwidth of tragedy vampirism"(think Nancy Grace) that, according to Flynn, casts a dichotomy of heroes and villains "against our wills" despite a lack of any actual evidence. Fincher and Flynn explore these ideas in a playful manner that leads to some of the film's biggest laughs.

Ultimately, "Gone Girl" works best when it's playing up its sleazy sense of humor and not taking itself too seriously. There's a lot more bubbling under the surface of the film, including a bitingly satirical examination of marriage and a questionable portrayal of feminism, but it'd be hard to elaborate further without spoiling anything, and most of the fun comes from watching the mystery unravel in real time. "Gone Girl" may not be the best picture of the year, but it's an enjoyable diversion and an intriguing choice for Fincher.

SEE ALSO: 9 Awesome Movies We Can't Wait To See At The New York Film Festival

Join the conversation about this story »

'The Avengers 3' May Leave Out Your Favorite Characters

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avengers age of ultron costumesWe've heard Marvel Studios and its filmmakers talk a lot over the years about the importance of changing up The Avengers lineup every so often. We will start to see this idea play out in Joss Whedon's upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron - which is adding some new members to the team like Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch - but if rumors are to be believed, then the comic book movie company is planning to take that thought to the extreme with the inevitable Avengers 3

This story comes to us from Badass Digest, which says that Marvel is contemplating keeping major Avengers characters Thor and Captain America (and possibly Black Widow) out of Avengers 3 so that they can both keep the actors under contract and avoid renegotiation.

avengers age of ultron captain america thor

With Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans soon to be done with their existing deals with the studio, the idea is that the company would take those characters out of the spotlight for a while and focus on newer Phase 3 characters- like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and other "secondary characters from the MCU" who will get the chance to "stand up and prove their worth." Then, at a later point in the franchise, Marvel would be able to bring both Thor and Captain America (and possibly Black Widow) back, which would obviously be a very big deal. 

An interesting question mark in this situation, naturally, is the deal between Marvel and Robert Downey Jr. When the Iron Man star's contract was renegotiated last summer, it was reported that the actor had signed on for two more features - specifically The Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers 3. This would suggest that Iron Man could be the original Avenger who sticks around and brings all of the new guys together (the story makes no mention of Hawkeye and suggests that Hulk could be off-world by the time Avengers 3 comes rolling around). 

If Captain America and Thor aren't going to be in The Avengers 3, that could mean some very interesting things for currently in-development Captain America 3 and Thor 3. Fans have already been wildly speculating that the former could see its titular hero either die or hang up his shield, and it's hard to say at this point what will happen in the latter when the God of Thunder learns that his father has been "deposed" and replaced by the psychotic Loki on the throne of Asgard. 

Should this rumor turn out to be true - and it's a bit iffy at this stage - then it could disrupt a whole bunch of fan theories floating around. For example, does this mean that Marvel would delay matching up the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy? And if that's true, does that mean The Avengers 3 won't be the Infinity Gauntlet storyline and the ultimate face-off with Thanos? The future is fuzzy, but there are a lot of interesting possibilities. 

SEE ALSO: HOLLYWOOD SALARIES REVEALED: From Actors And Agents To Their Assistants

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13 Books You Should Read Before They Become Movies This Year

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the hunger games mockingjay katniss

There are so many exciting new movies lined up for the end of 2014, but before you check them out, you should crack open the book version. 

We've compiled a list of all of the books being adapted into movies out this fall. Each cast is packed with Hollywood power players from Ben Affleck to Jennifer Lawrence, and many of the films are already generating Oscar buzz. 

You'll find thrillers, period pieces, dramadies, and even some true stories for your reading and viewing pleasure. 

"This Is Where I Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper

Release date: September 19

In this dramatic comedy, four grown siblings must sit Shiva for one week as per the request of their deceased father. While back together in their childhood home, the week loses control as the family encounters a slew of past and present characters, challenges, and well, life. 

The cast includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, and Connie Britton.

Buy the book



"A Walk Among The Tombstones" by Lawrence Block

Release Date: September 19

A ruthless drug leader recruits former NYPD detective and recovering alcoholic, Matt Scudder, to find the monsters behind the brutal kidnap and murder of his wife. Scudder works outside of the law investigating the grisly murders targeting NYC's worst drug criminals. 

This crime thriller stars: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Boyd Holbrook, David Harbour, and Sebastian Roché.

Buy the book



"Hector And The Search For Happiness" by Francois Lelord

Release Date: September 26

Tired of his routine boring life, a quirky psychiatrist, Hector, courageously sets out for a global adventure in hopes of uncovering the secret to true happiness. 

The dramedy stars: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, and Stellan Skarsgård.

Buy the book



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How A 1977 Box-Office Bomb Became A Cult Classic 35 Years Later

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sorcerer opening title card

Director William Friedkin couldn't have been on more of a hot streak: "The French Connection," released in 1971, won five Oscars, and "The Exorcist," released in 1973, won two Oscars. In 1977, he released a movie he would later call the best of his career: "Sorcerer."

But "Sorcerer" was a bomb, grossing only $6 million worldwide — short of its $21 million budget — and receiving tepid initial reviews.

The existential thriller follows four criminals from around the globe as they accept a lucrative but deadly contract to transport gallons of explosive nitroglycerin across a South American jungle. The film is the second adaptation of French novel "Le Salaire de la Peur," which was adapted as "The Wages Of Fear" in 1953.

What went wrong? A lot.

It didn't help that the film came out a month after "Star Wars." In an interview with Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Duran, Friedkin explained "'Star Wars' went into the Chinese [theater in Hollywood], but they had to take it out after a week because 'Sorcerer' was booked. Within weeks, 'Sorcerer' was kicked out and 'Star Wars' went back in." 

In addition to its poor timing, the only remotely recognizable name in the cast was "Jaws" actor Roy Scheider (Friedkin wanted to cast the more bankable Steve McQueen, but negotiations fell thru when McQueen insisted Friedkin cast his wife as well).

Additionally, Friedkin explains in his memoir that the film's title (and that it was Friedkin's first film following "The Exorcist") led audiences to believe it was more of supernatural thriller. The title refers to one of the two trucks featured heavily in the film, and while it's certainly a large part of the story, it's misleading.

"The original title I'd proposed was 'Ballbreakers,' to which [Universal executive Lew] Wasserman responded, 'Are you out of your mind?'"

Audiences may also have been discouraged that the first 20 minutes aren't in English.

roy scheider sorcerer

The movie was also legendarily hard to film, with its $15 million initial budget escalating quickly.

During a Q&A following a screening of "Sorcerer" at the New York Film Forum, Friedkin detailed how the extensive jungle shooting caused many weather-related delays and that gangrene and malaria became a serious problem.

Friedkin was certainly ambitious in how he shot the film. The most famous scene takes place on a rickety rope bridge as the trucks attempt to traverse it. In his memoir, the director explains that the entire sequence took over three months to shoot and construction of the bridge cost $1 million.

When the original river meant for the scene went dry, the crew was forced to tear down and rebuild the bridge elsewhere at the cost of another million dollars. When the second river proved just as difficult, Friedkin and the crew were forced to add an artificial current and rainstorm. He says that it was the single most difficult sequence he ever filmed in his career.

sorcerer bridge scene

Despite the initial flop of "Sorcerer," the movie has built a cult following over the decades — and after watching it recently I could see why.

Nothing is explicitly clear from the beginning, and part of the fun is simply watching the story unfold naturally as we become more and more invested in these characters. The rather elaborate setup takes up the first hour of the film, and the second hour focuses primarily on the characters' treacherous journey through the jungle.

By presenting what is essentially a suicide mission, "Sorcerer" dares the audience to remain engaged. The viewer knows that destruction can occur at any given moment, which makes normally mundane sequences like a truck driving along a narrow path become harrowing and intense. The meticulous world and character building pays off once the mission begins and the characters must face their deepest fears.

Friedkin's action sequences are intense, visceral, and suspenseful, all without digital effects.

According to the director himself in his memoir, he has always had "a great fondness for 'Sorcerer,' more than any other film. It's the film I hope to be remembered for." 

sorcerer groupThanks to a recent restoration commissioned by Friedkin, a beautiful transfer of "Sorcerer" is readily available for the first time since its initial release over 35 years ago. 

The restoration came to be after the film had somewhat of a resurgence thanks to online film lovers who had recently discovered and began championing it on their blogs. Speaking with Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, Friedkin said: 

sorcerer blu ray "The thing that saved this film and got it restored is a kind of massive Internet campaign. People wrote about it, blogged about it in very serious numbers, in the thousands. It achieved a reputation over the past 30 years. All these articles appeared about it, and nothing was available but an old version of the VHS."

When the programmers of Cinefamily, a nonprofit art-house theater in Los Angeles, reached out to Friedkin in hopes of screening the film after they couldn't obtain a print, the director realized that finding one wouldn't be easy, as "each of the studios that financed "Sorcerer," Universal and Paramount, were both sold three times" since the film's release.

In an interview with Moviefone's Gary Susman, Friedkin explained:

"In 2011, [Cinefamily] e-mailed me and told me that they had tried to book the film and were told by Paramount that they didn't own the film, and they didn't know who did. So I sent them to Universal, and the same answer came in. So I had to sue both companies to determine who owned the picture. I sued not for money but for discovery. That showed that the rights had been vested in a company called Vivendi, which had once owned both Universal and Paramount's foreign film operations."

In the same interview, Friedkin goes on to say that his lawsuit proved fruitful, as "they wound up making a deal where Paramount has all the theatrical rights around the world, but Warner Bros. has all the home video and streaming."

Now with the logistics figured out, Friedkin's long-lost film was ready to be discovered by eager film fans. 

According to Friedkin, the new restoration of the film "looks as [he] had originally intended."

After the Blu-ray's debut in April, Friedkin took to Twitter to clear the air on exactly which home-video release features the new cut:

He cared so much, in fact, that he ensured that the new cut received a proper DVD upgrade (not Blu-ray exclusive) as well. 

Despite all the hassle, the movie is worth it. The project became "an obsession" to Friedkin.

In his memoir, he writes, "It was to be my magnum opus, the one on which I'd stake my reputation. I felt that every film I'd ever made was preparation for this one."

SEE ALSO: Why You Should See 'Snowpiercer'

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Marvel Antihero Deadpool Will Join The 'X-Men' Cinematic Universe

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deadpool

While fans worry about the actual rating of the recently announced "Deadpool" movie, another aspect of this Marvel Comics adaptation that's being actively discussed is how or if it will tie into 20th Century Fox's "X-Men" franchise. According to writer and producer Simon Kinberg, "Deadpool" is definitely part of the overall plan.

Ryan Reynolds, who first debuted as Deadpool in the "X-Men" spin-off "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," will be back to reprise the Merc with the Mouth. And while early reports claimed that the screenplay was going Meta, with off-color jokes about Deadpool's appearance in that film, that may no longer be the case.

Simon Kinberg gives a vague overview of how Deadpool will ultimately fit into the X-Men cinematic universe.deadpool

"There's definitely a sort of overall plan that we've all been talking about for the X-Men universe now, and Deadpool obviously fits into that. So yeah, I guess I would say it's part of certainly an overall timeline and thought process that goes into these films, some of which is inspired by the comics and some which is inspired by seeing what Marvel's done with telling a larger tapestry and linking all those movies together, even as they stand independently as well. The same kind of thought is going to go into these X-Men movies at Fox."

This raises an obvious question: Will Deadpool make an appearance in "X-Men: Apocalypse?" Or will the 80s timeline not allow for that? Seeing as how "X-Men: Days of Future Past" altered the timeline of the franchise, its currently unclear where Deadpool fits in.

Deadpool comes to theaters February 12th, 2016.

SEE ALSO: Why 'X-Men' Will Make Major Franchise Changes After 'Apocalypse'

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IMAX CEO Explains Why 2015 Will Be Insanely Big For Movies (IMAX, DIS)

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avengers age of ultron poster

Millions of fans and anyone invested in Hollywood are excited for all of the big movies coming out next year.

Last month on an earnings call, IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster explained just how big it could be for his company:

The movies are spaced incredibly well. So instead of movies being on top of each other, they’re spaced with two or three weeks in between and we haven’t seen that in a long time. For whatever reason, we seem to be also particularly well-spaced. So when you look at starting, let’s say, in early April with "Fast and Furious 7," and then going to "Avengers," and then going to "Tomorrowland," and then going to "Jurassic World," and then going to "Terminator," and then going to — there are two movies that are on each other right now. That will be interesting which is [screened]: Pan, the Peter Pan movie, and Ant-Man, the Marvel title.

And then you go to "Point Break," you go to “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and there are many that I am missing in between that just we’re not doing. But for us, that spacing is incredible and then you get to "James Bond 24," which is in the very beginning of November. There is another ["Hunger Games"] in November, end of November. And then you have "Star Wars" on December 18. And, again, there are other titles that are in there that are also going to be quite successful.

But when you have an Avengers, a Star Wars, a Bond, another Marvel Title and "Ant-Man,""Pan,""Terminator,""Fast & Furious 7" in one year, that’s unbelievable. And it starts – summer starts this year the first week in April, which is also exceptional. So that spacing is great. The titles are great. The word coming out on some of them is already great.

IMAX is a controversial investment, with perpetually high short interest and volatile stock movements ending in a flat finish for the past 12 months. Obviously, it does well when blockbuster movies do well — especially when directors like Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams tout the IMAX versions of their films. The company is pushing hard to expand globally and recently announced a simultaneous release deal with Netflix that made traditional exhibitors furious.

DON'T MISS: The dirty little secret about IMAX screens

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China's Title For 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' Is Hilariously Awkward

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rocket raccoon guardians of the galaxyBecause some Hollywood movies feature titles with idioms or complicated phrases that won't market well in foreign territories, it's not uncommon for film's names to be changed when reels get sent overseas. This is why Sam Raimi's "Army of Darkness" was called "Captain Supermarket" in Japan and Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" was sold as "Urban Neurotic" in Germany (which is actually kind of an improvement). These funny cases pop up every so often, but thanks to China and Marvel Studios I think we now have a winner for 2014. 

The blog The Chinese Pod has done an interesting Mandarin breakdown of James Gunn's interstellar adventure "Guardians of the Galaxy," and in doing so has uncovered the incredible hilarious and bizarre literally translated title that the film had when it was released in China. According to the site, the title on this poster: 

guardians galaxy chinese postertranslates to "Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team." I'll give you a moment to chuckle at that a little bit. 

Just as a pure representation of what "Guardians of the Galaxy" is actually about, this is a rather funny title. "Interplanetary" certainly fits, and "Attacking Team" may just be the most direct translation of "Guardians" that could be found while still in context. But the inclusion of "Unusual" is what strikes me. Sure, "Interplanetary Attacking Team" is a bit vague, but it's funny that the film would actually play up exactly how weird it is. That being said, its unique, quirky qualities are what really sold the Marvel Studios movie to audiences here in the United States, so maybe it's just an extension of that. 

Of course, my big question now is whether or not the Chinese version of Ronan The Accuser actually calls the Guardians the "Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team" at the third act of the movie (same goes with Star-Lord when he throws the line back in the villain's face). If so, I would love to see a dubbed version of that scene. 

After dominating at the box office for weeks, "Guardians of the Galaxy" remains the highest grossing film of the year, and while it's still out in some markets, to date it has made a grand total of $653 million at the global box office. It is also the third most successful film that has been released by Marvel Studios, trailing behind only Joss Whedon's "The Avengersand Shane Black's "Iron Man 3." You'll be able to bring home the "Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team" on Blu-ray and DVD on December 9th, and "Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team 2" will be in theaters on July 28, 2017. 

SEE ALSO: Here's A Guide To All The Hidden References In 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Anti-Spoiler Poster Has A Warning For Crew Members

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jj abrams x-wing

These past two weeks have obviously been a very frustrating time for director J.J. Abrams. A number of sites have posted various rumors that range in size from the very small to the extremely huge, with one even giving away the major plot twist of Star Wars: Episode VII. It was such a shocking revelation that even we refrained from posting it, though it must be noted that it was on par with Darth Vader's revelation that he's actual Luke Skywalker's...Wait...We don't want to spoil it!

How does J.J. Abrams deal with Loose Lips that could potentially sink Starships? He had that exact slogan printed on posters that have reportedly been plastered all over Pinewood Studios in London as filming continues on the highly anticipated sequel. Will it help to shut off the valve of information suddenly pouring out of the production?

That has yet to be seen, though we didn't hear any new plot spoilers today. Maybe it's working. But at this point, it might be a lost cause as such a great deal of the story is already out there. This poster continues the fun that J.J. Abrams and his team have been having with the sequel in terms of its social media presence. Though it should be noted that J.J. Abrams is notoriously strict about his no-spoilers policy, and has been known to fire production members in the past for telling too many secrets.

What do you think of this cool poster? Do you like it? Or is there something darker lurking underneath the propaganda style artwork. Take a look and let us know:

Star Wars: Episode VII comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.

SEE ALSO: A Major Rumor About 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Just Hit The Internet

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Paul Thomas Anderson's New Movie 'Inherent Vice' Is Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen

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joaquin phoenix inherent vice

"Inherent Vice" is sure to be labeled Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Big Lebowski," another sprawling and goofy crime comedy. While that comparison is certainly apt, his take on the comedic film noir stands entirely on its own. Based on Thomas Pynchon's novel, it's part throwback to '70s neo-noir, part stoner comedy, and its inspired madness is effectively brought to life thanks to Anderson's assured direction.

The film follows hippie detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of a former girlfriend. The film takes place in 1970, when the hippie movement was slowing to a standstill as Richard Nixon and his "silent majority" took hold of the country. 

Anderson is the first director to ever tackle a novel by Pynchon, a notoriously complex and heady writer. The resulting film is anything but traditional and is sure to leave plenty of viewers scratching their heads over what the hell they just watched.

Seemingly justifying the occasionally incoherent narrative, at a panel following the film's premiere in New York, Anderson stated: "I never remember plots of movies. I remember how they make me feel." 

joaquin phoenix inherent vice"Inherent Vice" is steeped in Charles Manson-era hippie paranoia. In this world, according to the powers that be, everyone with shoulder-length hair and a vague patchouli stench is a lunatic cult-member ready to attack Americans at a moment's notice. The film's protagonist falls into this category, which make his attempts at solving this confusing affair even more difficult, no matter how professional he tries to be. 

I can't recall one scene in the entire movie that doesn't feature Phoenix; it's essentially a one-man show starring a pot-smoking hippie who obliviously stumbles from one major clue to the next.

The real comedy in the film stems from the fact that Sportello is caught up in a conspiracy that he can barely understand, let alone solve. It's pure joy to watch Phoenix trip his way through solving the elaborate mystery, and all of his exchanges with Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro are hilarious. Every supporting role appears to have been filled with a perfectly capable A-lister, so even the more insignificant characters are intriguing in their own way. Plenty of laughs stem from Phoenix's physicality, and it's astounding what he can accomplish with simply a look (a scene with a frozen banana scene had me and the audience howling). 

The dialogue is full of hippie slang (try and count the number of times you catch someone utter "far out" or "right on") that helps establish the setting and mood, and Sportello's sheer indifference to his surroundings really drives the whole "stoner hippie" angle home. Sportello is constantly referred to as a "doper," and it truly fits — the man smokes more joints in the film's two and a half hours than most people do throughout four years in college. 

There are a few sequences that bend reality and feel hallucinatory, ensuring we're never quite sure what Sportello is really seeing. Pynchon's words are brought to the screen through narration by the quirky folk singer Joanna Newsom whose musings only add to all the uncertainty. The narrative is purposefully muddled and disorienting, as the audience sees things from Sportello's unreliable point of view. 

inherent vice posterThe film is often weird for the sake of being weird and only gets more bizarre as it moves along; by the time Martin Short shows up in a hilarious cameo, the film has already gone off the deep end. 

"Inherent Vice" looks nothing like Anderson's other recent works — the beautifully composed and breathtaking cinematography that fills "There Will Be Blood" and "The Master" is replaced by a tighter, grainy look that focuses more on close-ups than lush establishing shots. This helps keep the audience confined to Sportello, as we see the world just as he does through the smoke-filled haze. As if the film's noir aesthetic weren't enough, there's even a shadowy scene in a dark, sketchy alley to really drive it home. 

What makes the film so unique is how all these different elements combine to form something that's greater than the sum of its parts. It has many functions; it's an homage to old-school film noir/neo-noir, a goofy stoner comedy, and a compelling mediation on America in the late '60s/early '70s. On paper, it sounds like a total trainwreck, but in the hands of one of the greatest living filmmakers, it's actually one of the best movies of the year. 

SEE ALSO: Watch Joaquin Phoenix Go Nuts In First Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice'

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Sony May Share 'Spider-Man' With The Marvel Cinematic Universe

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amazing spider man 2 Yesterday, we reported that Marvel Studios may introduce a new team of superheroes in "The Avengers 3." This would allow Disney to save their superstar actors such as Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans for another massive project, which is speculated to either be Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet or Marvel's Secret War. Today, a new report from Hitfix suggests that Marvel is also in the midst of negotiating a deal with Sony Pictures to bring Spider-Man into their Marvel Movie Universe.

Hitfix's Drew McWeeny wasn't able to get confirmation on the exact plans, but you can take a look at an excerpt from his story below.

"While I can't get the confirmations I need to verify the story, I'm hearing that there are some very cool Spider-Man plans being discussed that would help Sony refocus their enormously important franchise while also opening up some connections in the onscreen Marvel movie universe that would blow fandom's minds. Will it work out? I don't know. I would love to be able to state for sure that it's happening. What seems clear from what I've heard is that Marvel wants to be able to play with all of their characters, and if they can make that work creatively and on a corporate level, they will, and that means the world gets bigger again."

We've known for awhile now that the Spider-Man franchise is in a state of flux, following the negative reactions to "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." After writer-producer Roberto Orci left "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" back in July, Sony gave their spin-off "Sinister Six" the November 11, 2016 release date previously slated for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3," which will now hit theaters sometime in 2018.

While it seems unlikely that Sony will sign over their entire Spider-Man franchise to Marvel, it's possible they could be working on a shared-rights scenario similar to the deal Marvel and 20th Century Fox have for Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. As a provision of that deal, Marvel can't mention any of the siblings' mutant history, while 20th Century Fox can't mention any of their stories involving The Avengers. It could be feasible for Sony and Marvel to hammer out a similar arrangement that keeps both of their franchises intact, while adding Spider-Man to the MCU as a part of the Avengers.

What do you think of these new developments? Chime in with your thoughts below.

SEE ALSO: Marvel Antihero Deadpool Will Join The 'X-Men' Cinematic Universe

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Only Bill Murray Could Say This About His 10-Year-Old Co-Star

Robert Downey Jr. Says Another 'Sherlock Holmes' Movie Is In The Works

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Robert Downey Jr. has made a name for himself as Iron Man; however, the actor was also in two very successful "Sherlock Holmes" films for Warner Bros. co-starring Jude Law.

If you've been wondering whether we'll see Downey, Jr. team up once again with Law on-screen, the actor confirmed during a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) Tuesday that another "Sherlock" film is in the works.

"Yes, we have a Sherlock 3 in development. We want it to be the best of the series, so that's a pretty tall order," said Downey, Jr. "Similarly to what we did with the first 2 Sherlocks, mining the original material for things that are 'new.'"

Jude Law said similar things to Empire magazine back in 2013.

"We want it to be better than the other two," Law told Empire. "We want to make sure it's smarter and cleverer, but in the same realm."

Law added that one of the reasons this sequel is taking a while to make it to screen is because of everyone's schedules. 

"It's a slow process," Law added. "We're all busy. So getting us together to try to nail that has taken a little bit longer than we had hoped." 

The first "Sherlock Holmes" film out in 2009 made more than $524 million worldwide. A 2011 sequel, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," brought in $545 million worldwide.

You can read the full AMA here.

SEE ALSO: David Tennant explains how Fox's new mystery show isn't just a remake of similar BBC hit

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Should Jennifer Lawrence Have An IPO For Herself?

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Is the world ready for a Tom Cruise IPO? How about trading shares of Melissa McCarthy for a piece of Ben Affleck?

It might not happen this year, but don't be surprised if one day soon, celebrity fandom mixes with market capitalism to produce stock offerings tied to the income of top-earning stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Sandra Bullock or Denzel Washington. According to Buck French, CEO of Fantex, Inc., his company certainly has such designs.

Read more Hollywood Salaries Revealed, From Movie Stars to Agents (and Even Their Assistants)

Fantex, based in San Francisco, is a recently launched trading exchange where investors can buy and sell interests in real-life people. So far, Fantex has focused on professional athletes, launching IPOs for San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel. In September, Fantex announced its latest signing — Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who will be offering investors a 13 percent stake in his future income from playing contracts, endorsements and other activities related to football. In return, Jeffery will get most of the $7.94 million being raised from the stock offering up front.

In focusing first on athletes, Fantex is attempting to capitalize on the fervor around fantasy sports to give "owners" even more rooting interest. But French says he believes the same financial model holds "tremendous potential" for top actors and music superstars who have become brands in their own right and have projectable cash-flow streams to offer. For instance, if a star like Jennifer Lawrence decided to go public using the Fantex model, she would agree to sell Fantex a portion of her future income from acting, endorsements and appearance fees. In exchange for a big check up front, Fantex would collect her earnings, sell the shares to investors and decide when to pay out dividends. Lawrence would keep the authority to make her career choices, meaning the investors would never have a say in whether she returns for the next X-Men sequel.

Still, this prospect gathers mixed reactions in Hollywood.

See more Robert Downey Jr.'s Life and Career in Pictures

Schuyler Moore, a film finance lawyer at Stroock, is optimistic at the idea of generating up-front cash for entertainers and establishing a new vehicle to leverage a star's fan base. "I can almost guarantee it's going to happen," he says. But there are skeptics, such as attorney Ken Hertz, whose clients include Will Smith and Britney Spears. "One problem is this: It creates a relationship with potentially thousands of strangers looking over your client's shoulder, curious about their personal and professional choices," he says. "All the waivers in the world can't make that a good idea."

Fantex wouldn't be the first to allow investors to share in entertainer income. In 1997, rocker David Bowie began offering bonds based on his future revenue, with his older recordings used as collateral. But according to attorney Donald Passman, author of All You Need to Know About the Music Business, the "Bowie bonds" model never took off because the high fees and tax payments represented a more expensive option for entertainers than just borrowing from a bank.

jennifer lawrenceFantex also wouldn't be the first to allow fans to treat entertainers like public corporations. Cantor Fitzgerald runs a platform called the Hollywood Stock Exchange that allows users to buy and sell virtual shares of films and celebrities. At its height in 2010, it reported 1.7 million users, and there were plans to begin using real money. Then the government put a stop to it and the hype died down, though it's still quietly in operation, with about 55,000 users.

No company has gone quite as far as Fantex. The start-up registers its listings at the SEC and uses Latham & Watkins, a white-shoe law firm, to conduct due diligence on its offerings and prepare prospectuses. French says athletes "remain CEO of their brand," though Fantex is given audit rights to verify income. To French, the biggest difference between athletes and actors is the "lumpiness" of entertainer income, meaning paychecks can vary depending on creative choices or hot and cold streaks. He gives the example of John Travolta as an actor whose career has seesawed unpredictably. That would make projections more challenging — but not impossible.

Kleinberg Lange attorney Jill Smith, who previously worked at Dustin Hoffman's production company, says she commends Fantax's entrepreneurial spirit, "but once you get past that highly superficial appeal, I see a lot of problems in this concept: What happens when the actor decides to take a couple of years off to have a family? Go on a year-long humanitarian aid trip? Check in to rehab? Or, perish the thought: retire?"

Even if actors signing up with Fantex disclaim any fiduciary duties to investors and don't mind sacrificing secrecy about their pay, a stock market for entertainers raises other issues that would need to be sorted. For example, Greenberg Glusker attorney Andrew Apfelberg expresses concern over "insider trading, given the numerous people who would know that an actor is signed up to do a given project long before the public ever knew."

But fans of celebrities might not necessarily care that actors and musicians represent a riskier asset class than, say, U.S. treasury bonds. As for why talent would sign up for an IPO, French argues that there is an upside beyond a quick payday: "We're premised on the idea that if you forge a financial interest linked to the brand, then you have not just investors, but advocates."

SEE ALSO: HOLLYWOOD SALARIES REVEALED: From Actors And Agents To Their Assistants

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Robert Downey Jr.: 'Iron Man 4' Is Happening

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In September, Robert Downey, Jr. said there were no plans for another "Iron Man" sequel, but it looks like that has changed.

During an appearance on "The Ellen Show" Tuesday, Downey, Jr. confirmed that talks for "Iron Man 4" are indeed underway.

Here's how the conversation went down:

DeGeneres: "Will there be a fourth "Iron Man"?

Downey, Jr.: "I know there's going to be a bunch more Marvel movies and they have big ideas of how to do it best and we're in the middle of negotiations ..."

DeGeneres: "So, yes?"

Downey, Jr.: "Okay, yes. Yes."

Earlier this week, Downey, Jr. Deadline pegged Downey, Jr. as saying he would do "Iron Man 4" if Mel Gibson directed

In a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Tuesday, the actor clarified it was an offhanded remark but that there are other projects he has in mind to do with Gibson.

Downey, Jr. also hinted the "Marvel Roster" will be revealed "sooner than later" to the public. So keep an eye out for more Marvel news especially with New York Comic Con in the coming days.

Watch the interview below:

SEE ALSO: Robert Downey, Jr. says "Sherlock 3" is on the way

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