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The Blob first terrified audiences in 1958, and focused on an alien life form consuming everything in sight in a small town. Directed by Irvin S. Yeaworth, and penned by Kay Linaker and Theodore Simonson, the film would become a cult classic. It would launch the career of Steve McQueen and would spawn a sequel in 1972 and a remake in 1988. Chuck Russell directed the late 80s re-imagining that altered the alien's back story. While the films have a following (specifically the 1958 & 1988 versions), they are still considered underrated gems for the science fiction horror sub-genre. Now, while Zombie's plans for his remake may have fallen through the cracks, at least now a taste of what his vision could have looked like is accessible.
Posted by Alex Horley, the concept art for the unmade Zombie The Blob remake shows off humans with mutated skin, and a fifth annual event being held in the town. Judging from one image, it seems a graveyard would have been featured in the film with the mutated victims. Another image highlights a woman battling deformed, conjoined blob attack victims in front of a local diner. This role was presumably for Sheri Moon as she has always participated, in some fashion, in Zombie's films in the past. Take a look at Horley's concept art below. Zombie's remake faced some issues with others involved in the project, so that's what ultimately led to him stepping away. Zombie wanted to give his own twist to the story just like he had done with his Halloween films before that. In response to his disagreements with those involved in the project, Zombie stated:
“The Blob was going to happen. I was dealing with people on the movie, even though I was on the fence about doing anything that was considered a remake again. I really didn’t like the idea of that, but just as I went down the road further with the producers and the guys that owned the property, I didn’t feel good about the situation and I just walked away from it. My gut told me this was not a good place to be.”
Zombie felt the horror aspects from the 50s and the 80s versions wouldn't scare modern audiences so he wanted to avoid that familiar territory. This would explain the humanoid nature of the blob victims illustrated in the images, but it seems that Zombie was still going to involve the armed forces, similar to the 1988 remake, based on one of the images.
Whether or not Zombie's vision would have actually gone over with audiences is anyone's guess, but one has to wonder why he thought the gooey alien wouldn't have been enough to scare audiences. If done right, the film could have been well received. Nothing regarding another film has been discussed recently but Samuel L. Jackson was at one point set to star in yet another remake for The Blob, directed by Simon West.
The story follows Elliot, who is taken aback when he learns in a marriage therapy session that his wife Allison (Ursula Mills) is under the impression they are in an open marriage. Needless to say, this throws Elliot for quite the loop, especially when he starts falling for another woman, Kaley (Jordan Hinson). His professional life also takes a turn when he convinces a former A-list star, Colton Jane (Jesse Bradford) to give him access to his home and life in exchange for a profile that could kickstart his career anew.
The clip features Elliot, who, after drinks with Samantha (Tracie Thoms), ends up back at her place for a nightcap. After a conversation about work runs stale, Samantha mentions shop talk isn’t exactly “stimulating date conversation,” which is when Elliot finally realizes he’s on a date. This naturally doesn’t go over well with Samantha, who goes on a brief rant about how “vague” the Los Angeles dating scene is, while clarifying that when a woman invites a man to her house, ‘it generally means one thing.”
California No marks the feature debut of writer-director Ned Ehrbar, a former “junketeer” himself who used to write for Metro, CBS News, Variety, Yahoo! Movies, Out and The Wrap. He has also written and directed award-winning shorts like Bunker, and segments for horror anthologies Fun Size Horror: Volume 1 and Volume 2, while creating the web series Co-Op of the Damned. California No has won Best Narrative Feature at the 2018 Ridgefield Independent Film Festival and recently it won five awards at the Reel East Texas Film Festival - Best of Festival, Best Actress (Jordan Hinson), Best Director (Ned Ehrbar), Best Screenplay (Ned Ehrbar) and Best Comedy.
The cast also includes Breckin Meyer, Brea Grant, Paul Telfer, Drew Droege, Baron Vaughn and Jeffery Self, along with a few appearances from real journalists/junketeers like Eric Eisenberg, Todd Gilchrist, Damon Houx, Sasha Perl-Raver and Jen Yamato. With this first feature, Ehrbar joins the ranks of former film journalists and critics who have transitioned to filmmakers such as writer-director Rod Lurie (The Contender), screenwriter C. Robert Cargill (Doctor Strange) and producer Ryan Turek (Halloween). Given the praise his debut feature received on the indie film festival circuit, it’s certainly possible that Ehrbar could have just as much success as his journalist/filmmaker predecessors, in the near future.
The director rose to prominence first with 2004’s Saw, a movie he also helped write. After Saw, Wan moved onto Insidious and The Conjuring franchises. It’s this horror background and sensibility that Wan believes could be a great fit for the Dark Knight. However, it’s unclear if Wan will ever be able to make his horror dreams or nightmares become a DCEU reality.
In an interview with Heroic Hollywood, Wan was asked about his superhero ambitions before landing the Aquaman gig. While Wan's heart currently is with the King of Atlantis, he did consider taking the reins of the Caped Crusader. It wasn't just an idle daydream either. Wan explained:
In the past like most people I loved the idea of directing Batman, but a horror version of Batman. That would be a potential fantasy of mine, but I feel like he’s been done quite a fair bit. But, I do love the idea of doing an outright scary Batman. I feel like that’d be really cool. The concept of Batman as a horror figure has been played out on the big screen before Wan floated this idea. Tim Burton’s Batman had obvious Gothic overtones. As it dealt with the villain Scarecrow, Batman Begins had a few choice moments that could’ve belonged in a horror movie. Even Batfleck’s DCEU debut in Batman V Superman had the masked vigilante skittering on the ceiling like something out of a creature feature. Batman movies have always come up short of really embracing the scary elements of the character, though.
Currently the only known Batman movie in the near future is the Matt Reeves-helmed The Batman. It’s a project that’s shrouded in a lot of mystery with rumors that it’ll be prequel that recasts Affleck as Batman and others that suggest it won’t even be a part of the DCEU. In other words, it’s far too early to guess at what type of tone Reeves wants his Batman to have in the cinemas.
However if The Batman is a part of the DCEU, a horror movie tone would fit quite nicely with the character’s journey in the DCEU. Affleck’s Batman has been one of the most brutal parts of the movie universe even by the character’s usual dour standards. Batman is not someone who is as respected and revered like other superheroes. He’s a violent figure, who's lurking in the shadows. But to make Batman a completely terrifying figure, turning him into something that even the most hardened criminals are frightened of would be an interesting and unique take on the character. Sadly with Wan committed to Aquaman, which is on track to become the second best received entry in the DCEU, it's likely the DCEU won't make a horror movie with Batman in the foreseeable future.
Created by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin, Shang-Chi is a master of martial arts who made his debut in 1973, in the pages of Special Marvel Edition #15. In the comics, Shang-Chi is the son of Fu Manchu, and was molded by his father to be a "living weapon." However, after being sent upon his first mission - to assassinate an elderly man sleeping in his bed - Shang-Chi became disillusioned about his father's supposed goodness and nobility, and ultimately turned against him.
According to Deadline, Marvel is seeking an Asian or Asian-American director for Shang-Chi, hoping to replicate the success of this year's Black Panther with "a new hero who blends Asian and Asian American themes, crafted by Asian and Asian American filmmakers." Callaham has quickly become a sought-after screenwriter for comic book movies, not only working on the script for Wonder Woman 1984, but also tapped to write the screenplay for the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. His previous writing credits include 2014's Godzilla and The Expendables. Because of the era in which Shang-Chi was created, the original comics contain a lot of Yellow Peril tropes and stereotypes, and the bad guys throw quite a lot of racial slurs and comments at Shang-Chi during fights. According to Deadline, the new script will "modernize the hero to avoid stereotypes that many comic characters of that era were saddled with." Marvel is likely trying to avoid a repeat of the controversy over Doctor Strange casting Tilda Swinton as Asian mentor figure the Ancient One, so it makes sense for the studio to seek out an Asian or Asian-American creative team for Shang-Chi.
At one point Marvel TV was rumored to be casting an actor in the role of Shang-Chi for Netflix's Iron Fist TV show, but nothing ever came of those rumors. Perhaps Marvel Studios already had plans to put a Shang-Chi movie back on the front-burner, and vetoed use of the character on the TV side. As mentioned above, a Shang-Chi movie was in development at Marvel Studios way back in 2005, and Marvel has been gradually getting around to making a lot of movies that were part of that original line-up - including Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Ant-Man.
We'll keep you updated on Marvel's Shang-Chi movie as development continues.
It's been more than a year since Justice League was released but it remains a favorite topic of conversation among fans, especially considering the mystery surrounding the so-called Snyder Cut. Fans of Snyder have been campaigning for its release and while Warner Bros. remains mum about the issue, new details regarding the matter emerge every so often - the latest of which comes from Momoa, who details how the ensemble movie would've connected to Aquaman.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet to promote Aquaman, Momoa was asked how his upcoming film connects to Justice League and how Arthur transitioned from being a part of the team to his own adventure. As it turns out, Snyder's original ending to the DC ensemble film included a scene where he's with Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe) as they reach out to him for help, possibly because Orm is gearing up to wage a war to the surface world. Momoa said:
In Zack [Snyder]’s cut, we had it where I was with Vulko and Mera and I say that I have to go home. And they say there’s this force coming that I need to help. I’m like, “I’m going home to see my dad.” I get into the back of a pickup truck and pound a bottle of something and off he goes, the wanderer. So that was kind of the end of Justice League - where I was going. Cut to me coming home, and run into a submarine. It's unclear if the scene Momoa is talking about was supposedly the end of the main movie or if it was a post-credits scene - something that the DCEU hadn't really done until Justice League - although he initially filmed the stinger featuring Deathstroke's meeting with Lex Luthor (Whedon, however, reshot a part of it) which many assumed to be a set-up for a Legion of Doom movie. Based on the actor's comments, Snyder included the perfect launchpad to Wan's Aquaman that would've highlighted the interconnectivity of the DCEU. Instead, the flick incorporated an early look at what would be the Hall of Justice, which would've been a great way to tease Justice League Part 2. But since Warner Bros. seemingly has no plans of pushing through with the sequel (at least for now), the scene now feels out of place.
Good thing the changes made in Justice League don't seem to have affected how Wan tackled his standalone project; it seems like the only difference is that the pivotal sequence Momoa described happened off camera. The movie is set after the hero joined the League in foiling Steppenwolf's plans of taking over Earth. Aquaman, however, will incorporate flashbacks to establish Arthur's life prior to Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) tracking him down. Trailers for the film revealed key scenes in the past, including how Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) and Thoma Curry's (Temuera Morrison) love affair began as well as looks at Arthur's upbringing.
After his failure at Starkiller base, Kylo obviously felt the need to prove himself to Snoke (which explains why he wrecked the helmet), but the troubled youngster went a completely different route as The Last Jedi progressed. In one of the more shocking cinematic twists in recent memory, Ren killed Snoke and appointed himself as the new Supreme Leader. With Snoke, mocker of helmets, out of the way, some might be wondering if Kylo will have some new headgear in Episode IX. And it definitely sounds like that's the case.
According to Making Star Wars, Kylo will be in possession of a mask in Episode IX. From the sound of things, it could be his damaged one repaired, as it's being held together by "red crystalline bonding material" and has a "very corrupted look." Of course, this is just a rumor for the time being, but it's nevertheless an interesting development. Considering it was Rian Johnson who destroyed the helmet (mainly to showcase the full range of Adam Driver's performance), it'd be easy for the Last Jedi detractors to point to this as an instance of J.J. Abrams retconning in Episode IX. However, a twisted, "corrupted" helmet actually sounds quite appropriate for Kylo Ren's current mental state. Through his actions, Ben Solo found himself completely alone in the universe. Leia gave up on him, Rey severed their connection, and his colleagues in the First Order despise him. Whatever was left of Ben's humanity has likely vanished, and he's chosen to live life like a hateful monster. There's no telling what happened to Kylo during the presumed time jump leading into Episode IX, so the mask will make for a compelling visual.
Fans continue to debate about whether or not Ben Solo will be redeemed by the end of Episode IX, but right now, most of the evidence points to him remaining a villain. The Last Jedi firmly established him as the trilogy's big bad moving forward, and unless there's some unforeseen Darth Plagueis twist forthcoming, there isn't another powerful Force user at the top for Rey to defeat. Many people saw Snoke as the Emperor surrogate for the sequels, and he's gone. Besides, having Ben return to the light steers too close to the ending of Return of the Jedi, and though there will be parallels to previous films, Abrams may try to avoid going that far if he can.
As fans know, Ben Affleck ultimately got the role and has so far played the character three times - in Batman V Superman and Justice League, plus a cameo in Suicide Squad. However, despite being technically attached to reprise the character in Matt Reeves' The Batman, it's still unclear whether or not he will ever be the Bat of Gotham again due to persistent rumors he wants out of the role. Momoa, on the other hand, is busy gearing up for the release of his first solo DC flick.
Sitting down with Jake's Takes during the press tour for Aquaman, Momoa recalled when he auditioned to play Batman in Snyder's Batman V Superman. He may not have gotten the gig he wanted, but the audition paved the way for him to nab the role of Aquaman.
Yeah I kind of visualized, because it was a generic kind of just general scene from the Christian Bale movie The Dark Knight and I just, it was a big casting call so I knew a lot of people were going to be doing it and I just felt like it was a booby trap and I just didn’t want to do it.
So, we did it and I just pretended like Batman got killed in an alleyway and I picked it up and tried to play him like I was just down and out, poor, over it, just done wrong and he wasn’t afraid to punch even good people in the face. And just go like unforgivable about certain things but also like flawed, like the kind of person who would jump off a cliff and figure out on the way down what we’re going to do.
So, they liked that and then I got called in about probably two to three weeks later and that’s when Zack laid it down and said ‘I want you to play Aquaman’, which was completely like ‘Excuse me?' Aside from trying to play Batman, Momoa was also up for a couple of Marvel characters. At one point, he was in the running to play Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy - a role that ultimately landed went to Dave Bautista. He also met with Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo for a potential villain role in the MCU. It was never revealed what his supposed role was exactly considering that out of the three films the Russos directed for the franchise (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and Avengers 3), no villain really fits Momoa's carefree, cool vibe.
In the end, Momoa nabbed the superhero role he's meant to play. Since his cameo in Batman V Superman that led to a bigger role in Justice League, it's clear Snyder made the right call to choose him as Aquaman. It's an understatement to say that adapting the character in live-action is tricky given his silly reputation in the pages of the comics as well as the animated TV show. But Momoa brings a certain edginess and personality to the character that makes his version equal parts threatening and charming. And judging by the initial reactions to Aquaman, it's safe to say Wan capitalized on this aspect. Luckily, fans won't have to wait that long to see more of the actor as the hero with the film hitting theaters later this month.
The Predator underwent substantial reshoots and re-edits prior to release, with the original third act being completely scrapped. Two additional “friendly” Predator characters dubbed The Emissaries and an entire battle sequence against Predator hybrid creatures were removed, and the movie bears the scars of its radical restructuring, with odd pacing and tonal issues. The ending was also considered out of sync with the rest of the movie, with the sudden introduction of a Predator Killer suit gifted to humanity.
This suit was a late addition to The Predator and was a transparent pitch for a sequel. Now it seems the production toyed with another ending, where the pod is opened to reveal somebody inside of it, and not a Predator suit. VFX artist Jon K. Miller recently posted to his Instagram some behind the scenes images of a breathing apparatus wore by the pods' occupant and designed to evoke the Facehugger from the Alien franchise. The mask also comes with a distinct Weyland – Yutani logo on it.
Concept designer Fausto De Martini has also posted artwork on Instagram of the pod this unnamed character was supposed to emerge from. Interestingly, De Martini reveals this pod isn’t a Predator design, but one built by Weyland – Yutani. Both De Martini and Miller mention this mask was built at the last minute, and it appears this scene was actually shot since they both hope it appears on the upcoming Blu-ray release.
Unfortunately, neither elaborate on the context of this scene, or who the occupant of the pod is supposed to be. In the original cut, the pods were occupied by the Predator hybrids creature, but since this narrative thread was cut, the final film replaced this with the Predator Killer suit instead. Presumably, the person inside was supposed to be another “gift” from the Fugitive Predator, with all signs pointing to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch. Considering the Facehugger mask completely covers the wearers face, maybe it was intended to be ambiguous until a sequel arrived.
All signs point to both this ending the Predator Suit one being ideas that were thrown together at the very last minute, with the suit idea eventually being deemed more appropriate. The nods to Alien are a real surprise though, with Shane Black himself stating in an interview prior to release there were no ties to that series. De Martini even notes the Weyland – Yutani logo was requested, so perhaps one idea for The Predator’s sequel would have featured a xenomorph appearance.
The Black Widow film is supposedly set for a May 2020 release date and will be directed by Cate Shortland. Since it's still in the middle of development, story details have been scant so far. But an unusual connection between Captain Marvel and the upcoming Black Widow standalone has been recently spotted and may provide clues as to what the latter's story could be about.
The recently-released one-sheet for Captain Marvel lists down names of those who have contributed to the project, apparently including Schaeffer, who gets a writing credit for the film alongside Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Boden & Fleck, as spotted by Comic Book. The film is based on a story by Nicole Perlman, Joe Shrapnel, and Anna Waterhouse. Considering that Schaeffer is writing Johansson's solo MCU flick, this raises the possibility that the Larson-starrer may actually lead to Romanoff's eventual entanglement with Fury, who had been the common denominator to all Phase 1 films resulting to their culmination in 2012's The Avengers. Should this be the case, it reinforces the notion that Carol Danvers' arrival paved the way for the assembly of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Details regarding the Black Widow have been largely kept under wraps, but it's believed to be a prequel film tackling Romanoff's days as a Russian spy before officially working with Fury in S.H.I.E.L.D. A rumored synopsis for the film claims that it will be set 15 years after the fall of the USSR, but as it turns out, this version of the narrative is from the old script from David Hayter's scrapped Lionsgate-produced Black Widow project and not the one Schaeffer has been working on for the MCU. That said, there's still a chance that there will be similarities between the two movie din it all goes back to the character's known personal arc.
Chances are that fans will get a better sense of things after Captain Marvel hits theaters this March. But before the public finds out how Danvers' MCU origin story connects to Romanoff's (if it does) in Black Widow, the two MCU heroines will first team-up on the big screen in next year's Avengers 4 as Captain Marvel officially joins Earth's Mightiest Heroes as the attempt to restore order in the universe following Thanos' deadly snap in Avengers: Infinity War.
Aquaman enjoyed a big opening weekend in China last week and has grossed $261 million at the international box office so far. Similarly, the film grossed $2.9 million from its early screenings with Amazon Prime this weekend. That's much more than Sony's Jumanji made with its own Amazon Prime early showings a year ago ($1.8 million), and good enough to land the film a spot in the top 10 at the U.S. box office.
As reported by Deadline, Aquaman scored $2.9 million from its sneak peek screenings on Saturday evening at 1,225 theaters nationwide. Technically, that makes Wan's tentpole the 10th highest-grossing movie in the U.S. this weekend, besting the total for Green Book (which landed $2.78 million to claim the official #10 spot). Aquaman's Saturday night grosses were even higher than Once Upon a Deadpool's three-day opening weekend take of $2.6 million. Deadline has further revealed that Transformers spinoff Bumblebee (which will open directly against Aquaman next weekend) took in around $500K from its own Saturday night sneak peeks earlier this month. It's worth noting, however, that Bumblebee was only screened in 325 theaters, so it's early showings gross can't really be compared to Aquaman's. As it stands, DC's latest is expected to secure $115 million over its first five days playing in the U.S. (on through to Christmas), with Bumblebee following suit with around $35-40 million. Both films are predicted to have strong legs after that - especially the latter, with Bumblebee being haled as (easily) the best Transformers movie yet, as well as one of 2018's best tentpoles in general.
That will certainly come as welcome news for Warner Bros., which was banking on Aquaman being a rebound for the DCEU (both critically and commercially). Talks for an Aquaman sequel have already begun and should only pick up speed, in light of the film's strong start at the global box office. Assuming those who caught the movie's early screenings continue to spread good word of mouth, the odds are in favor of Aquaman surpassing the latest box office projections and making (forgive the wording) quite the splash in its stateside debut.