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'Furious 8' has a director dilemma


fast and furious 7 cast

No franchise is more important to Universal Pictures than "Fast & Furious," the car-racing series whose seventh installment grossed $1.5 billion worldwide this year. But the effort to mount an eighth picture is proving more difficult than first imagined for the studio.

As its announced April 2017 release date inches closer and screenwriter Chris Morgan works on the script, Universal still has not found a director for the next outing. And in this case, it seems that the job will involve more than just the usual challenge of overseeing a big-budget thrill ride. There also is the recent exit of studio co-president of production Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, who oversaw the series, and the prickly matter of star-producer Vin Diesel.

Following the death of Paul Walker in November 2013, Universal enlisted Diesel, 48, as the face of the series, updating fans on "Furious 7" via his social media and putting him forward to speak about the cast and crew's desire to finish the movie, which was about half completed when Walker died in a Porsche accident. Diesel not only was a veteran of the series going back to the 2001 original (though he took a break, returning for the fourth installment), but he had the credibility of having been close to Walker.

"Furious 7" nearly doubled the $789 million haul for "Fast & Furious 6." Some of that number likely is attributable to curiosity stirred by Walker's death as well as Universal's shrewd handling of the tricky production, marketing and publicity issues. But with a hit of that magnitude, film studio chair Donna Langley was eager to re-enlist "Furious 7" director James Wan, who emerged from his horror-franchise past ("Saw,""Insidious") into major action with his big-budget breakout.

paul walker furious 7But while Universal had contractual options on Wan to direct the eighth and ninth installments, the filmmaker informed the studio before the "Furious 7" was finished that he instead wished to direct a sequel to his 2013 hit "The Conjuring" for New Line Cinema. Universal accepted Wan's decision, but according to sources, when Justin Lin, who directed the third through sixth movies in the series, chose to make the next "Star Trek" rather than return for "Furious 8," the studio went back to Wan with an especially rich plea (one source describes it as "life-altering money") to direct at least one more installment.

But Wan, 38, is said to have felt that rather than life altering, the deal could have been life ending. Insiders confirm that the $200 million, two-year production of "Furious 7" was so demanding that it actually compromised Wan's health. In addition to the trauma surrounding Walker's death, which required rewriting the script and concocting elaborate special effects (and the use of his brothers as body doubles) to resurrect the actor for key scenes, sources say Diesel proved extraordinarily difficult. As a producer, he is said to have questioned even small details on elaborate action sequences, often holding up the complex production. He also was known to summon filmmakers to repeated late-night script sessions to make him comfortable with his character and dialogue.

Diesel's spokesperson says any suggestion that he was tough to work with is "complete nonsense," and Wan's rep denies any on-set friction beyond the pressure of soldiering on after Walker's death. "Furious" producer Neal Moritz adds, "Obviously, if there was any issue, we wouldn't be making the eighth [film] with [Diesel] right now." And, in a statement, a Universal spokesperson says "the studio and filmmakers loved working with James on "Furious 7," but he was never in the mix for an eighth film due to a scheduling conflict with "The Conjuring 2." We are actively casting and searching for the right director for the next chapter of the franchise."

Vin DieselTo that end, Universal has put out feelers to agents for experienced action directors (including "Non-Stop"'s Jaume Collet-Serra, who wasn't available) and relative newcomers. Sources say Diesel must be consulted on director choices but does not have veto power over studio picks. (Some at Universal fear that Diesel will, at some point, want to direct one of the films himself. The ambition seems to be there: In 2009, Diesel wrote and directed an 18-minute short, "Los Bandoleros," that was intended to set up his return in the fourth "Fast" film.) But another source says Diesel wouldn't want to expose himself to such scrutiny on a high-profile extravaganza.

All of this is happening without Kirschenbaum, who left Universal to partner with producer Joe Roth in August after being credited with working with Morgan and Wan to reshape the "Furious 7" script and pull together the film under extraordinary circumstances. And there is that April 2017 deadline. Universal, riding high with a record year and more than $5 billion in worldwide gross, is looking to plot a course without Walker for at least three more movies. And on that point, one source close to the series says Diesel is fully committed to the franchise: "Vin is tireless. It may be difficult, but he is trying to win with this thing."

SEE ALSO: Over 230 cars were destroyed while filming "Furious 7"

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THEN & NOW: The original 'Star Wars' cast 38 years later


star wars luke leia han solo

The first movie installment of "Star Wars" premiered in 1977, and anticipation for each new sequel and prequel has snowballed ever since.

Now, a seventh movie, "The Force Awakens" is being released — and it'll include the beloved original main characters played by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, as well as other role reprisals from other fan favorites. It's kicking off a hot streak of six new "Star Wars" movies planned for release over the next five years.

So what's everybody from the original three "Star Wars" movies been up to in the past 38 years? Scroll through to find out.

SEE ALSO: 7 major movies Bill Murray turned down — or just didn't pick up the phone for

THEN: Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter to supplement his flailing acting career. But after "Star Wars: A New Hope" came out, he rocketed to stardom.

He knew director George Lucas because they worked together on "American Graffiti." Ford was helping stand in for screen tests while other actors auditioned. To his surprise, Lucas offered him the part without even telling him he was up for it.


NOW: Ford is a bona fide A-list movie star.

The first three "Star Wars" films put Ford on the map. Since then, he starred in the "Indiana Jones" movie franchise and plenty of other films from the '80s until today. He recently returned to the action genre in "The Expendables" and its sequel.

Most importantly, though, he's reprising his role as Han Solo in December. Fans around the world lost it when he appeared at the end of an early "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" teaser to say to his Wookiee sidekick, "Chewie, we're home."

THEN: Carrie Fisher had had some small roles, but was predominantly known as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds until being cast in "Star Wars: A New Hope."

In her feature film debut, she had a small but memorable role as a rambunctious teen in the Warren Beatty vehicle "Shampoo" in 1975. She landed "Star Wars" two years later.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

10 never-before-seen creatures that will be in the next 'Star Wars' movie


Sarco Plank Star Wars The Force Awakens

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is just a few months away, but there's still a lot we don't know about the movie.

Sure, we don't have an official plot synopsis, but we haven't even met all of the characters.

StarWars.com has quietly been adding more characters from the upcoming movie to its internal database.

They don't show up on the site unless you search for them or do a manual Google search. 

A bunch of eagle-eyed fans on Reddit have rounded up a bunch of them leading up to the release of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" December 18.

Let’s take a look at everyone!



SEE ALSO: Facebook is showing off its virtual reality future with a tour of the new "Star Wars" planet

The Guavian Enforcers

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We wrote a little bit about the Guavian Enforcers when the new "Star Wars" merchandise came out early September. The character will be released as one of the Black Series collector's toys at an upcoming date. 

The description on the box reads as follows: 

“The security soldiers of the Guavian Gang wear high impact armor that makes them stand out among other deadly criminals.”

StarWars.com describes the character as part of a Guavian Death Gang.


Sarco Plank

Via StarWars.com:

"A scavenger and trader who scours frontier worlds for riches, Sarco Plank must wear a specialized mask that keeps his native atmosphere circulating through his alien lungs."

The character will also be getting his own toy which will be released at a later date.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why he's so excited for 'The Martian'


Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of StarTalk Radio, is a fan of scientifically accurate sci-fi movies. He recently stopped by our office to share his first impression of Ridley Scott's upcoming movie "The Martian."

Produced by Darren Weaver and Kamelia AngelovaAdditional production by Kevin Reilly.

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StarTalk Radio is a podcast and radio program hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, where comic co-hosts, guest celebrities, and scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Follow StarTalk Radio on Twitter, and watch StarTalk Radio "Behind the Scenes" on YouTube.

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Steven Spielberg may be about to ditch the DreamWorks name


Dreamworks logo final

Will two DreamWorks continue to exist? Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg soon must decide whether to extend a deal allowing Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios to use the name.

Under a little-known pact set to expire Jan. 1, DreamWorks Studios licenses the name and logo from Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation, which scored the trademark in 2004 when it was spun off from the studio founded by the duo and David Geffen. (The license cost a mere $100.)

Spielberg, whose DreamWorks is readying a move from Disney (likely to Universal) with new investor Participant Media, is said to want to keep the name, but there are complications. Confusion in the marketplace is an issue, and DWA's recent box-office misses have tarnished the brand a bit. "I had understood that the regular DreamWorks wanted to change the name because DWA kept getting hammered, but I don't know if it's worth the hassle," says B. Riley analyst Eric Wold.

In addition, as Spielberg's shop moves more into the family space, it could run up against part of the deal that forbids DreamWorks from making animated films for any company other than DWA. A live-action family film from DreamWorks currently cannot go out through Disney proper — only Touchstone, its label for adult fare. That's why Disney insists DreamWorks has nothing to do with "The BFG," the Spielberg-directed family movie co-financed by Disney that is set to open July 1. Instead, the film will bear the logo of Amblin Entertainment, which preceded DreamWorks and could be an alternate name for the company.

steven spielbergBut for Spielberg, giving up the DreamWorks name would be a tacit admission that the full-fledged studio he founded in 1994 with Katzenberg and David Geffen to great fanfare never lived up to its potential. The studio essentially disbanded in 2004 when Katzenberg spun off DWA into a separate company and DreamWorks SKG morphed into a production entity run by Spielberg (Stacey Snider served as CEO until last year, when she exited for Fox and was replaced by former Turner exec Michael Wright). Spielberg's DreamWorks Television division has been successful in that space, launching, among others, Fox's new Minority Report series.

The license agreement allowing Spielberg to keep using the name DreamWorks took effect Jan. 1, 2009, when DreamWorks ended its distribution agreement with Paramount and turned to Disney for distribution and India's Reliance for financial backing. It was renewed again for one year in December 2014, just as DWA was under the gun on Wall Street after a series of box-office misses.

DreamWorks Animation's prospects are less rocky now. "It looks like DWA has righted itself. 'Kung Fu Panda 3' will be a huge hit," says Wold.

Neither DreamWorks nor DWA would comment on plans for the trademark, but one source close to both Spielberg and Katzenberg says it makes sense for the immediate future to keep two DreamWorks, even if they remain separate companies and, perhaps, increasing competitors: "It is the next best thing to having the real company."

SEE ALSO: Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks is splitting from Disney and it may get snatched up by Universal

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Scientology film 'Going Clear' just ran into a huge problem in Florida


scientology going clear

When it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Alex Gibney’s documentary "Going Clear" caused quite a ruckus. The subject the Academy Award-winner’s film is the Church of Scientology, who are not only well funded, they’re a rather litigious organization and generally don’t take kindly to criticism.

Flexing their muscle once again, pressure from the Church has led to a Florida movie theater cancelling a scheduled screening of the film.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that a movie theater located in Clearwater, Florida, has pulled plans to show "Going Clear," which bears the subtitle "Scientology and the Prison of Belief," after being pressured by the Church.

Cobb Countryside 12, which is right in Scientology’s back yard—they have deep roots in Clearwater, with a multi-million dollar facility and cathedral called the Flag Building—told HBO that they would no longer show the film after receiving "threats" from the Church.

Scientology Going Clear paul haggis nazanin boniadiThe exact nature or target of these threats are not specified, but as likely as not it was some sort of legal action, as the Church of Scientology has been on a very public campaign against "Going Clear" from the start.

Before it aired on HBO, "Going Clear" did receive a limited theatrical release last March, though HBO Documentary Films is planning a re-release in approximately 20 cities later this month in order to raise awareness of the film before the end of the year awards season—it recently walked away with a trio of Emmys.

A theater in a neighboring town, however, the AMC Woodlands Square 20 located in Oldsmar, Florida, has stepped up and agreed to show the film when HBO expands their efforts in early October.

Scientology Going Clear Tom Cruise David Miscavige"Going Clear" is based on a book of the same name by Lawrence Wright, which present a highly critical portrayal of Scientology, a fact you probably got from the title, as well as the reaction of the institution. The film digs into things like how famous members, like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, play into furthering their endeavors.

If you don’t live in one of the markets where the film is being released—like New York, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and a few others—don’t worry, the film is still available on HBO and HBO Go if you want to give it a watch. Given the hype behind the picture, it could very well wind up a player when the awards start to roll in, so it should be worth checking out.

SEE ALSO: The director of "Going Clear" says Scientologists have been coming after him pretty hard

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch former 'Lion King' animator make a touching tribute to Cecil the lion

10 things you didn’t know about the background characters in the iconic 'Star Wars' cantina scene



In continuation of our on-going series, “Star Wars” Rewind, in which we look back on all of the movies from the saga leading up to “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” (out December 18), we’ve now hit the one that started it all, “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.”

George Lucas’ sci-fi destiny was forged when the film opened in May of 1977 and essentially launched the summer blockbuster.

One moment in the film that’s always fun to go back and analyze is when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) enter the Mos Eisley cantina in search of a pilot to take them to Alderaan. There they meet Han Solo (Harrison Ford), so obviously going into the cantina was worthwhile.

But Kenobi wasn’t joking when he told Luke that in Mos Eisley, “You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

Let’s look back on ten interesting characters who were in the cantina the day Luke and Obi-Wan walked in.

Watch out, this place can be a little rough.

SEE ALSO: George Lucas was scared to death to shoot this epic scene in 'Attack of the Clones'

1. Ackmena The Bartender

The nightshift at the cantina was overseen by Ackmena. We saw her in the now infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special" played by "Golden Girls" great Bea Arthur. Legend has it the day Luke and Obi-Wan were in the cantina she was in the backroom.

Ackmena was more liked at the cantina than the bartender during the day... 

2. Wuher The Bartender

This gruff fellow is known for not allowing droids in the establishment and takes cover when a blaster is drawn.

3. BoShek

This Corellian smuggler (who dabbled a little in The Force) is distinctly known for introducing Obi-Wan to the Millennium Falcon’s first mate, Chewbacca. But Obi-Wan and Luke would have been in good hands if BoShek decided to take them.

He set a new record for the Kessel Run before his meeting with the Jedi that day. Taking bragging rights from Solo and Chewbacca, who were the previous record holders. Though Solo still boasted his feat when he met Luke and Obi-Wan.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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People are up in arms over 'a borderline insulting' new movie about a landmark moment in the gay-rights movement



Director Roland Emmerich is known best for making CGI-heavy disaster movies like "Independence Day,""The Day After Tomorrow," and "2012." So with "Stonewall" (opening Friday) the filmmaker delivers his most personal film yet — unfortunately, it isn't going over well with critics.

The film looks back on a landmark moment in the modern gay-rights movement, the Stonewall Inn riots in 1969, in which a police raid of the gay bar led to riots by its patrons.

Emmerich, who is gay, had to put up his own money to make the film (budgeted at $15 million), as no studio would take it on.

Though it seems as if Emmerich's intentions for making the movie come from a good place, the public reaction has been anything but kind. The trailer, which revealed that the movie's lead was a straight white guy (Jeremy Irvine), debuted to biting criticism. The Stonewall patrons were mostly nonwhite.

Then there's this quote Emmerich gave during a BuzzFeed interview that made it seem as if his movie was meant to cater to a straight audience:

"You have to understand one thing: I didn't make this movie only for gay people, I made it also for straight people," he said. "I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, [Danny] is a very easy in. Danny's very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him."

Now the Gay-Straight Alliance Network has called for a boycott of the movie.

Things aren't looking good for the film, which has a rating of 10% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, entering its opening weekend.

Here's how critics feel about it so far:

Variety commented on its tame portrayal of the events:

"Disaster maven Roland Emmerich treats a seminal event in the gay pride movement as the mere backdrop to the otherwise vanilla story of a homeless Indiana teen looking for community in New York City."

Vanity Fair points out its glaring flaw:

stonewall 3 roadwide attractions"But more troubling was how Emmerich seemed to be framing the story, with Jeremy Irvine playing some beautiful, blond angel from the Midwest, sent to the Village to marshall the non-white, gender-queer street kids into action. Which, y'know, is certainly not how the Stonewall riots, which were largely incited by drag queens and trans women of color and lesbians, actually happened."

The Wrap touched on its absurdity:

"'Stonewall' somehow manages to be simultaneously bloated and anemic, overstuffed and underpopulated. It's a story about a true historical event that spends way too much time on its fictional lead character; the tone is so erratic and artificial that it wouldn't feel surprising if the movie suddenly became a musical."

The Playlist suggests Emmerich needs to go back to what he knows best:

"If 'Stonewall' is what it means for Emmerich to make an artist's statement, please, for the love of god, someone start setting up dynamite charges around the Seven Wonders of the World so that he might return to his wheelhouse."

The Guardian tells it like it is:

Roland Emmerich Sonia Recchia Getty"It's still difficult for gay cinema to pass into the mainstream. Emmerich, who put his own money into making the film, should be cheered for giving it a shot. Unfortunately the compromises he's made leave 'Stonewall' feeling neutered. A member of the Mattachine Society makes a speech about how gay men should assimilate. 'Wearing a suit and tie will make them realize they're just like you,' he says. 'Stonewall' tries the same trick. By trying to disguise itself as a coming-of-age romance, it hides the real story underneath."

But Salon has the mic drop:

"I think we need to file Emmerich's 'Stonewall' – a well-intentioned, profoundly silly and borderline insulting movie – under the category of Yeah That Happened or perhaps God Reminding Us We Are Idiots, and then forget it as soon as possible."

SEE ALSO: "I was here the day of the rebellion": The birthplace of the gay rights movement celebrates the Supreme Court

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'Sicario' is a relentless, brutal look at the realities of the drug war


sicario blunt

"Sicario" is as ugly and hopeless as the drug war itself. 

The film wastes no time getting to the nitty-gritty as it opens with Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) leading the charge on her own FBI kidnapping task force. During the opening raid, forty-plus corpses are discovered in the walls of a home owned by a vicious Mexican cartel.

A Department of Defense "consultant" (Josh Brolin) then plucks a shell-shocked Kate from the field to join his interagency operation, along with Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), another alleged DoD "consultant." 

From the very moment Kate agrees to join her new team, she is systematically lied to. She is told they're going on a trip to El Paso, but wind up in the war-torn streets of Ciuadad Juarez, where limbless bodies hang in public view. Kate is never briefed on the operation and remains entirely in the dark and even when she thinks she's got all the facts, they're not entirely accurate. This is par for the course.

As Kate becomes embedded deeper into this lawless world, her repeated attempts to play things "by the book" are systematically rejected. By the end of the film, the ugly truth is revealed: There's no room for morals or ethics here.

Welcome to the war on drugs.

sicario brolin"Sicario" quite masterfully presents the harsh realities of life during a drug war. We are introduced to characters on all sides, and even dirty cops and cartel members are humanized, which makes the drama incredibly impactful and hard to swallow. This is a film so bleak that there are no rules — anything can happen and to anyone. 

"Sicario" is deliberately slow and meanders in its second act to a fault. Kate is a conduit for the audience, so we are just as sheltered by the lack of information as Kate herself, and this can be aggravating at times and make the film feel a bit airy and aimless.

That being said, it does all build to an intense, uniquely shot sequence, and an ending that gave me chills. By then, I had forgiven the film's (thematically intentional) disorientation. It's a hauntingly graceful film, and the methodical pacing ultimately works in its favor.  

Emily Blunt is fantastic as Kate Macer and nails the nuance associated with doing all she can to be on the right side of the law and still winding up on the dark side.

Benicio del Toro, however, is the film's greatest asset as a mysterious force whose allegiances are not made explicitly clear until all is said and done. He's equal parts thoughtful and brooding, which makes his rage and determination that much more palpable. 

sicario benicioIt's hard to not crack a smile whenever Brolin's character is on screen, as he's constantly busting balls and being so purposefully vague with his team. He's hilarious yet so cold that it's almost alarming that we find him so amusing. 

Technically speaking, the film is gorgeous. The urgency of its pulsating score, the gorgeous photography (by cinema legend Roger Deakins), and the commanding performances — every element works towards a full, truly cinematic experience. All the violence is handled in such a way that pops with intensity and dread.

The real beauty of "Sicario" is that it is entirely apolitical and amoral; it presents the horrors and lets them speak for themselves. It's not pushing any sort of agenda, but it's so relentlessly in your face that you'll leave the theater mortified at how real it all might be. 

Watch the trailer below. It will be released nationwide October 2. 

SEE ALSO: 'Everest' is a harrowing moviegoing experience, but it's missing something

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You won’t believe which movies are now being considered for remakes


ace ventura

Remakes are a cottage industry in Hollywood, at least for the time being. With nostalgia waves washing over audiences in increasing frequency, the market becomes more and more flooded with modern revamps of films we swear we've seen before. Brace yourself for some deep cuts though, as legendary distributor Morgan Creek has some classics from the 80's and 90's going up for sale.

Deadline reported today that the long-time production partner to Warner Bros. is going to sell off the rights to 78 of their most precious nuggets of fandom. While the libraries of every film are up for grabs, the studio has retained the rights to remake certain properties in the mix.

Among the titles staying put are the Jim Carrey classic “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” the 80's baseball comedy “Major League,” and even the legendary horror film “The Exorcist.” Other than that, the studio retains the TV rights and gets a portion of any money made from said remakes. 

While there's no definitive plans to remake those three films, studio CEO Jim Robinson has confirmed that all three are being toyed around with for active development. In fact, the most surprising aspect about the Morgan Creek sale is that it isn't a move of desperation, it's actually a shrewd business play.

With the studio producing a Tupac Shakur biopic, the money from the sale is going to go into that project's funding coffer. Seeing the last film Morgan Creek had under its belt was the 2011 prequel to “The Thing,” you can see how the studio would need money to get back into the game.

major leagueConsidering how prolific they were around 20 years ago, Morgan Creek has definitely fallen on some hard times, which means there's really nowhere to go but up.

While the prospect of remaking films like “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” or “The Exorcist” is pretty frightening, there are other possibilities that could make this deal worthwhile. Imagine if you will a nostalgic Quentin Tarantino. He sees that the rights to “True Romance” are up for purchase, and as he's always talking about retiring after a handful of movies, he decides the way to go out is the way he kinda/sorta came in.

The ExorcistWith this new deal, QT would be able to remake “True Romance,” complete with the original ending and all of the Tarantino-verse references he wants. We as film fans would be able to see the film the way it was meant to be seen from Tarantino's original viewpoint, and that's enough to make this deal sound worth the ink on the contract. 

TrueRomanceRemaking iconic films in Hollywood isn't going away anytime soon, despite what market research may be saying about how much audiences truly appreciate them.

With stable footing, and a good intention behind their sale, we'd like to think that Morgan Creek is dedicated to premium remakes of their old standbys. Nostalgia only gets you in the door, but it's the quality of a remake that ultimately redeems its existence.

All we can hope for is either a flat-out rejection of any subpar ideas attached to said licenses, or a proper re-imagining of those films we loved so long ago. Either way, so long as Nick Swardson isn't cast as the new “Ace Ventura,” we'll be open to pretty much anything.

SEE ALSO: This incredible "Raiders of the Lost Ark" fan remake took 33 years to make

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Aaron Sorkin rips Apple's Tim Cook over 'Steve Jobs' critique: 'You’ve got a lot of nerve'


Aaron Sorkin Angela Weiss Getty

Aaron Sorkin has lashed out at Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent assertion that filmmakers were being "opportunistic" in making films about the late tech titan Steve Jobs.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter during a press junket round table for Universal's Danny Boyle-directed "Steve Jobs" in London, the writer claimed that he and those working at the top of the project had taken pay cuts to get it made.

"Nobody did this movie to get rich," he said. "Secondly, Tim Cook should really see the movie before he decides what it is."

But Sorkin's most stinging retort was reserved for last.

"Third, if you've got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour you've got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic."

Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogan, "Steve Jobs" has been largely well-received following its world premiere in Telluride. It is released in the U.S. Oct. 9.

SEE ALSO: Aaron Sorkin apologizes to fans for "The Newsroom"

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Matt Damon was offered the 'Daredevil' role before it went to his pal Ben Affleck


Damon Affleck Getty Angela Weiss

While promoting his new movie, "The Martian," Matt Damon revealed to The Daily News that he was offered the lead role of "Daredevil" before it went to his good buddy Ben Affleck. 

"That's the comic we read when we were kids," Damon told the paper.

But when it came time to sign on in 2003 the actor balked.

"I chickened out, because I couldn’t tell," he said. "I hadn’t seen the director [Mark Steven Johnson’s] work, and I didn’t know. So I just said, ‘no,’ and Ben was like, ‘I gotta do it.'”

It turned out to be the right choice for Damon and the wrong one for Affleck. 

The theatrical release of "Daredevil" only grossed $180 million worldwide and was slaughtered by the critics. The Marvel character has since found a new life in the popular Netflix series of the same title.

In an interview for Playboy last year, Affleck said that the "Daredevil" role is the only movie he regrets making. 

Affleck will get a superhero redo next year when he plays Batman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."

SEE ALSO: 12 ways Matt Damon uses science to survive in "The Martian"

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The fake spacesuits in 'The Martian' are almost as incredible as real ones


the martian spacesuits

Astronauts, engineers, and fans have praised the "The Martian," a bestselling sci-fi novel, for its scientific accuracy. So if you're making an equally realistic film adaptation, your spacesuits had better look damn good.

That's why Janty Yates, a costume designer for Ridley Scott's movie "The Martian," worked directly with NASA to create spacesuits used in the film.

"Of course we made a film rather than sending people to space," Yates joked to Tech Insider.

The story follows Mark Watney, an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars. Matt Damon (who plays Watney) and other actors in the movie adaptation had to spend a lot of time dressed up in their suits to make the story come to life.

As a result, Yates had to build spacesuits that clearly showed the actors' faces, were comfortable enough to wear during hours of filming (sometimes in the desert), and didn't look like hokey, unbelievable imitations. Real spacesuits are "marvelously practical for space travel, walking and working on Mars," she says, "but they're not practical from a visual sense."

Keep scrolling to see how Yates and others designed two different types of futuristic-looking yet functional spacesuits used in "The Martian," due in theaters October 2.

You'll see two different types of spacesuits in "The Martian." First are these bulky white suits that the actors wear for space travel scenes:

Director Ridley Scott called these ones the "Mr. Dough Boy suits," according to Yates.

Here's the real thing — NASA's external mobility unit spacesuit — for comparison. The costume suits look very similar.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The real story behind one of film's most valuable props


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Few items of fictional clothing are more iconic and easily recognisable as the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz.

Thanks to a combination of human error, poor record keeping and a sticky fingered ne’er-do-well, these simple pieces of footwear are now considered one of the most valuable film props in history.

Figuring out exactly how much the slippers are worth is no small feat because there are currently only four pairs known to exist and they very rarely appear at auctions.

To make things even more difficult, one of the pairs was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota in 2005, meaning there are only three pairs currently in existence that we know the whereabouts of.

One of these pairs currently resides at a permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian where they’re displayed amongst other treasures from pop-culture history like one of Mr Rogers’ sweaters (made by his mother), one of Michael Jackson’s hats, and one of Tony Hawks’ skateboards. This particular pair were given to the museum by an anonymous donor who is believed to have bought them in an MGM auction in 1970 for $15,000 (about $88,000 today).

A second pair is currently in the possession of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who acquired them in 2012 when a collection of Hollywood bigwigs including Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg pooled their pocket change together to buy them at auction. The price they paid has never been revealed, but it’s rumored to be around the $3 million mark.

The third known pair were purchased by a private collector called David Elkouby in 2000 from an auction at Christie’s for $666,000 (Almost $1,000,000 today). Elkouby has yet to display the slippers and seemingly has no desire or need to sell them.

Wizard of Oz, lion, tin man, dorothy

The final, stolen pair has been missing since 2005. However, in the years since, an anonymous and apparently very wealthy fan of the movie has put up a million dollar reward for information leading to their return.

As for how many pairs of the slippers existed in the first place, according to the film’s producer, Mervyn LeRoy, between 5 and 10 pairs were made, each sporting slight variations to better accommodate the lighting and look of different sets. For example, several pairs had a thin layer of orange felt along the sole to muffle the sound of steps and dancing. The pair reserved for close-ups didn’t need this felt and due to their minimal use, are in amazing condition, sporting only slight scuffs from Garland clicking her heals.

All of the shoes were created by legendary costume designer Adrian Adolph Greenberg who crafted them from plain white pumps that were dyed a deep shade of red before being coated in dark “reddish-orange” fabric, onto which thousands of sequins and eventually a large bow were attached.

Adrian coated the pumps in dark red sequins instead of bright red ones because the Technicolor process would have made bright red shoes look orange on screen. Likewise, the sparkling effect seen throughout the movie was added in post-production using optical effects. For this reason, surviving examples of the shoes are kind of underwhelming compared to how they look on screen.

the wonderful wizard of oz

Speaking of Technicolor, in the original Wizard of Oz novel, the shoes Dorothy wears are silver. However, the film’s screenwriter, Noel Langley, decided to make them bright red to better take advantage of Technicolor; he felt that silver shoes wouldn’t stand out against the bright yellow road Dorothy would be standing on for nearly half of the movie.

Although a great deal of care was put into making the shoes, after filming wrapped, the known surviving pairs were shoved into a wardrobe somewhere deep in MGM’s expansive costume department where they remained until the aforementioned 1970s bulk auction.

Seemingly the only person aware of the value of the shoes was a man called Kent Warner, an MGM costumer designer who quietly pilfered hundreds of items from MGM over the years, including a pair of the ruby slippers which he took while helping catalogue items for the 1970 auction.

Warner kept the best pair of the ruby slippers for himself, never displaying or sharing them with the public until he sold them in 1981 (this is the pair currently believed to be in the hands of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).

Interestingly, until the 1970 MGM auction, it was believed that only one copy of the shoes existed and they belonged to a woman called Roberta Bauman who won them by placing second in a movie trivia contest in 1949. Bauman’s pair is considered to be the least valuable since they are believed to have belonged to Judy Garland’s stunt double, Bobbie Koshay, who had slightly larger feet. This is the pair purchased by Mr. Elkouby in 2000 for $666,000.

Ruby red slippers

Bonus Facts:

  • A fifth pair of ruby slippers only worn by Garland in test shots known as “the Arabian slippers” also is known to still exist. These slippers are far more ornate, sporting curled toes and brighter sequins. The design was passed over in favour of Adrian’s simpler, pump design which everyone felt suited Dorothy’s “farmgirl” image.
  • In 1990,  a jeweller called Ron Winston made an actual pair of ruby shoes containing over 2000 rubies and 25 carats of diamonds to celebrated the 50th anniversary of the film. The pumps were valued at $3 million (about $5.5 million today) and were a petite size four. Winston loaned the shoes to the Make-A-Wish foundation to help with fundraising efforts.
  • According to Frank Baum, the author of the original Wizard of Oz novel, the name “Oz” is a nonsense word he came up with while looking around his office.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you didn’t know about the background characters in the iconic 'Star Wars' cantina scene

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt learned to walk the high wire for 'The Walk' from the real person he portrays in the movie


The Walk Sony

During the press conference at the New York Film Festival for the premiere of his new film, "The Walk," Joseph Gordon-Levitt revealed that the high-wire artist he portrays in the movie, Philippe Petit, trained him how to walk the wire. 

"The Walk" looks back on Petit's memorable walk across the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in the summer of 1974. 

"Philippe insisted that he be the first one to teach me how to walk on the wire," Gordon-Levitt told the theater filled with press following the screening.

"He doesn't do anything half way, this guy, so he orchestrated this really elaborate workshop. It was just me and him all day long for eight days straight, and he said 'by the end of these eight days you'll be able to walk on the wire by yourself,' and I thought that sounded ambitious, but he's such a positive thinker. By the end of those eight days I did walk on a wire by myself."

Philippe Petit Astrid Stawiarz GettyThough in the film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, many of the high-wire stunts were done through CGI or a stunt double, Gordon-Levitt did explain that a set was constructed of the top two stories of the World Trade Towers with a wire 12 feet high that he walked on himself.

Gordon-Levitt noted that many people on the film told him not to worry that much about doing the high-wire walks himself because it would all be done by "movie magic."

But that wasn't enough for the man whose life he's playing.

"I really wanted to learn," Gordon-Levitt said. "But Philippe really wanted me to learn how to do it."

"The Walk" opens in theaters October 9. 

SEE ALSO: Joseph Gordon-Levitt secretly talked to Edward Snowden to prep for a movie

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Actor Andrew Garfield explains how he embedded himself in the housing market crisis to make an incredible new movie, '99 Homes'


99 homes 5 Hooman Bahrani Brad Green Pictures

In “99 Homes” Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network,""The Amazing Spider-Man") plays Dennis Nash, a father living in Orlando who is evicted from his home in the midst of the 2010 housing market collapse and finds himself working for the real estate broker who evicted him, Rick Carver (played by Michael Shannon), when he can't find any other work.

The film, directed by Ramin Bahrani (“At Any Price,” “Goodbye Solo”), is a modern day “Wall Street” with the e-cigarette smoking Carver as its Gordon Gekko. It’s also an infuriating look at what many families, particularly in central Florida, endured during the harshest times of the financial crisis.

To find the reality of the situation for the story, Bahrani and his actors spent a lot of time in Florida shadowing brokers and meeting people who were directly affected by the housing crisis. In one instance, Garfield found himself in a somewhat frightening situation.

This clip, given to Business Insider exclusively, gives you sense of the high-stakes the movie explores.

“There were so many scams [during the crisis] it was just mind boggling,” Bahrani told Business Insider. “The combination of these scams and the violence, I realized I was making a social film in the guise of a thriller.”

The film showcases the shady document forging that went on to cause foreclosures, and schemes to make a quick buck like stealing air conditioners from vacant homes. But Bahrain also couldn’t escape the violent aspect of the setting, as every real estate broker he met or shadowed was carrying a gun.

“Every single broker I met,” Bahrani said in amazement. “It was a real shock to me and a revelation that it was because they were scared. They were scared to knock on doors.”

Garfield's research proved why brokers were scared. To get into character, he would tag along with a broker serving eviction notices. In one instance, Garfield and the broker knocked on a door and a giant rottweiler leapt out of the house towards the former Spider-Man star. Luckily the dog was on a chain and was pulled back before it could get to the actor.

But for Garfield, he needed experiences like that to fully understand people’s predicament.

99 homes 4 Hooman Bahrani Braod Green Pictures“A lot of them felt betrayed and not seen or taken care of by their country,” Garfield told Business Insider. “It was a really important process for me to immerse myself in those people’s lives.”

One experience that stood out for Garfield was the time he spent with a man who had been evicted and, like the Nash character, could only find work where he had to evict people. The man told Garfield that in one instance he had to evict his close friend.

“After a while they ultimately healed their relationship,” said Garfield, who still keeps in touch with the man. “But that’s the kind of situation where we’re all pitted against each other to survive. It’s a really sick, sick system.”

Shannon’s time in Florida with brokers made him realize that you can’t fault people in the position of his Carver character, who he doesn’t see as evil.

99 homes 6 Broad Green Pictures“I don’t see anyone out on the streets demanding that the laws be changed,” he told Business Insider. “So in lieu of some massive protest that brings the banks crashing down to their knees, the other option is to try to play the game. Does that make somebody evil? I don’t know. What’s the alternative? As Rick says in the movie, ‘As opposed to what?’”

Staying with the realistic feel of the movie — in which New Orleans doubled as Orlando so the production could benefit from the Louisiana tax break — Bahrani brought in people who had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina to play some of the home owners Garfield’s character is evicting.

“I asked for that,” said Garfield. “That’s how I wanted to work. Ramin was really excited about that. I didn’t want to know if someone would answer the door, or who it would be, all I wanted to know is what my job for the day is and just do it. That was one of the reasons for doing the film, the ability to be surprised and improvise and not know the next moment.”

Many things Bahrani, Shannon, and Garfield witnessed made its way into the film. One time that stood out for Bahrani was experiencing foreclosure court.

99 homes 1 Hooman Bahrani Broad Green PicturesAt the height of the housing crisis in Florida, retired judges were called back to the chair to preside over thousands of foreclosure cases, often kicking people out of their houses in proceedings that took less than a minute (this happens to Nash in the movie).

Bahrani sat in on the proceedings one day with Lynn Szymoniak, a homeowner who gained notoriety for exposing “robo-signing,” where banks would forge documents to foreclose homes.

“People were losing cases left and right. I remember one person couldn’t speak English and brought a translator, but the judge said, ‘If you don’t speak English I don’t have time for you,’ and in 60 seconds he lost his case,” Bahrani recalled. “I was sitting next to Lynn and I had a yellow notepad. Suddenly people started winning. After the fourth or fifth in a row I turned to Lynn and asked what was going on. She said, ‘You’re sitting next to me with a pad, he thinks you’re a journalist so he has to look good.’”

The director continued, “There’s culpability everywhere with this issue. I like to say that the villain in the movie is not just one person.”

“99 Homes” opens in theaters on Friday.

Watch the trailer:


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Adam Sandler's 'Hotel Transylvania 2' has a record-breaking weekend at the box office


hotel transylvania 2 Sony

Talk about a rebound for Adam Sandler and Sony.

The star and studio spent the end of the summer being the butt of many jokes as their film "Pixels" bombed at the box office.

Now in the final weekend of September, the animated sequel "Hotel Transylvania 2" (starring and co-written by Sandler) just broke the all-time opening weekend U.S. gross for the month with an estimated $47.5 million, according to The Wrap.

That's the largest opening ever for Sony Animation, not the mention Sony's biggest opening of the year.

What a comeback!

The InternThe animated kid-friendly comedy with Sandler voicing Count Dracula (along with a slew of other stars lending their voices to characters) came strong out of the gates on Friday with $13.2 million. That's 20% higher than the first "Hotel Transylvania" took in its first day in theaters, according to Deadline.

Coming in a strong second with an estimated $18.2 million is the Anne Hathaway/Robert De Niro comedy "The Intern."

The older audiences came out for the latest film from writer/director Nancy Meyers ("Somethings Gotta Give,""It's Complicated"), as Deadline reports 78% of the patrons for the movie were over 25 and equally split 50/50 males to females.

SEE ALSO: Here's when you'll be able to see Adam Sandler's first original Netflix movie

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A filmmaker who was charged $1,500 for using the 'Happy Birthday' song just won a landmark lawsuit — now she wants others to be repaid


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On Tuesday evening a federal judge ruled that the one of the world’s most popular songs is free of copyright.

Since 1988, Warner/Chappell Music has held the copyright to the beloved song and reportedly collected $2 million per year in royalties. It's been charging for every use, whether it's in a movie or TV show or a musician singing it to an audience member.

But all of that is about to change.

According to court documents obtained by Entertainment Weekly, US District Judge George H. King ruled Tuesday that “because Summy Co. never acquired the rights to the Happy Birthday lyrics, [Warner/Chappell], as Summy Co.’s purported successors-in-interest, do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics.”

That means beginning immediately, any filmmaker who uses the “Happy Birthday” song in their work will not be charged for it. However, Warner/Chappell still holds the copyright for the piano arrangement of the song (so leave the piano player at home when you film it).

“Victory is sweet,” lead plaintiff Jennifer Nelson told Business Insider on Wednesday morning.

Nelson, who is making a documentary about the “Happy Birthday” song, filed a lawsuit in 2013 declaring the song is in the public domain after she was charged $1,500 for its use.

Since then three other plaintiffs joined her, including “Big Fan” director Robert D. Siegel and musician Rupa Marya, who was charged $450 when an audience sang her “Happy Birthday” at a gig and she added the spontaneous moment on her album.

Though the ruling by Judge King is a landmark decision, the fight is not over.

16 Candles“Our first goal was to free the song for public domain,” said Nelson. “Our second goal is to get retroactive remuneration for anyone who paid for a license.”

According to lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, Mark Rifkin, a class-action lawsuit will be filed asking the court to order Warner/Chappell to pay back all the money they’ve collected.

This will raise two issues.

“One, does Warner/Chappell have to pay it back, and we think absolutely they have to pay back money that they collected under false pretenses,” Rifkin told Business Insider. “And number two, who do they have to pay back, and we’re going to ask the court to go back at least to 1988, when Warner/Chappell acquired the original publishing of the song.”

But don’t expect anyone to get paid anytime soon.

According to entertainment lawyer Michael C. Donaldson, who focuses on fair use, figuring out how much Warner/Chappell is ordered to pay will take some time.

“The court will automatically include filmmakers in the lawsuit back three years before the filing of the lawsuit,” Donaldson explained to Business Insider. “Of course, the attorneys for the plaintiffs will try to extend that further back. The court will have to decide the issue of the cut-off date. The hiccup could come with the various appeal possibilities. It seems likely that there will be an appeal [by Warner/Chappell], which would delay the process for years.”

Business Insider reached out to Warner/Chappell for comment for this story, but did not receive a reply.

Nelson is currently negotiating a distribution deal for her documentary, tentatively titled “Happy Birthday Movie,” that she hopes will be out the end of this year or early next year.

SEE ALSO: Here's why they don't sing the "Happy Birthday" song in movies and TV shows

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Here's why Robert Zemeckis would never convert his old movies to 3D


who framed roger rabbit

Don't hold your breath for "Back to the Future" in 3D anytime soon.

Director Robert Zemeckis told a theater full of press on Saturday that he would never convert any of his old movies to 3D.

The question came just as his latest movie, "The Walk," had its premiere at the New York Film Festival in 3D.

Always on the forefront of cinematic technology whether it be "Back to the Future,""Who Framed Roger Rabbit," or "Beowulf," it's surprising to hear Zemeckis wouldn't pull a George Lucas and go back to enhance his classics.

Robert Zemeckis Michael Buckner GettyBut this is his reasoning.

"They were never designed that way," Zemeckis said about why he wouldn't converting to 3D. "I think you have to make a 3D movie constantly. It changes your editing, pace, the way your camera moves, the lenses that you use. It all has to be thought through from the beginning and so I think it comes from the story."

However, Zemeckis is no way against 3D.

The director said he's been searching for a story that could lend itself to 3D for a long time, and he finally came upon Philippe Petit crossing the World Trade Center Twin Towers on a high wire.

"About 10 years ago I came across a little children's book called 'The Man Who Walked Between The Towers' and I was intrigued," Zemeckis said, noting that he was developing the project long before the Oscar-winning documentary about Petit's walk, "Man on Wire," was made.

The Walk 2 SonyZemeckis said that the use of 3D to Petit's story (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) would enhance his wire walk compared to what we'd seen in "Man on Wire" as there was no film footage of the walk.

"3D is a filmmaker's tool that is a decision made at the very beginning based on the story and the screenplay," said Zemeckis. "I never once thought 'Flight' should be 3D. There's nothing 3D would enhance."

"The Walk" opens October 9.

Watch the trailer:

SEE ALSO: Joseph Gordon-Levitt learned to walk the high wire for "The Walk" from the real person he portrays in the movie

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The director of 'Jurassic World' might have just revealed what the sequel is about


Colin Trevorrow Frazer Harrison Getty

With “Jurassic World” now the third-highest grossing movie of all time with a $1.6 billion worldwide box office take, its director Colin Trevorrow is a hot commodity in Hollywood. Right now he’s taking the helm of “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

But Trevorrow, along with his writing partner Derek Connolly, haven’t left the dinosaurs behind for good.

The duo are writing the sequel to “Jurassic World,” and Trevorrow (who has already said he won’t be directing it) gave some hints as to what the movie will not be about and might be about when he talked to Wired UK

“[It will not be] just a bunch of dinosaurs chasing people on an island,” Trevorrow said. “That’ll get old real fast.”

Trevorrow believes the story can go behind the entertainment realm of theme parks and that the idea of creating dinosaurs can occur outside of Dr. Wu’s lab.

“What if this went open source?” he said to Wired UK. “It’s almost like InGen is Mac, but what if PG gets their hands on it? What if there are 15 different entities around the world who can make a dinosaur?”

"And Dr Wu says in the film, when he's warning Dr Mesrani, 'We’re not always going to be the only ones who can make a dinosaur.’ I think that’s an interesting idea that even if we don’t explore fully in this film, there is room for this universe to expand. I shouldn’t use the word universe, because people will think we’re making a ‘Jurassic World’ universe — we’re not."

Trevorrow also confirmed that there will be more ‘Jurassic’ movies after the sequel, which Universal will release in June 2018 with stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard returning.

“I know [executive producer] Steven [Spielberg] definitely wants to make several of these movies.”

So, though Trevorrow’s ideas above may not show up in the sequel, the story may evolve to this scope for future projects.

However, this is not the first time the director has let plot details slip. A year before "Jurassic World" opened he confirmed a few Internet rumors swirling around

Needless to say, his confirmation of those details didn't seem to ruin anyone's interest in buying a ticket for "World" when it came out. 

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