Production has gotten up and running on Ron Howard’s much-talked-about Han Solo spinoff film, a fact we know because he personally told the whole Internet last night. Unstoppable Instagram power user Howard posted the public’s first peek into his heavily-guarded Han Solo set to the photo-sharing platform, and while it doesn’t reveal all that much, we do get a glimpse of one likely fan-favorite character. He’s been more elusive in recent months, but Donald Glover has been spotted, and while our new impression of Lando Calrissian may be small and seen through a display monitor, he’s still unmistakably fly.
“James Franco doing a movie about the creation of legendary disasterpiece The Room” was a tantalizing prospect when first announced, either a brilliant turn for his career-spanning preoccupation with artifice in showbiz or another insufferable bout of navel-gazing. The first trailer for the comedy due December 1 (before going wide on December 8) isn’t really either, landing somewhere closer to Hail, Caesar! in its farcical send-up of filmmaking frustration. 2017 has gotten its “Would that it t’were so simple,” now say it with me: “I did not hit her, it’s not true, it’s bullsh*t, I did not hit her, I did not. Oh hi, Mark.”
I’ve got good news, bad news, and further good news. The first good news is that the Chippendales movie you may remember reading about in 2014 has been revived yet again, and seemingly for real this time, with Ben Stiller and Dev Patel attached to star. The bad news is that Patel will not be doing any of the stripping in the film. The other good news is that Stiller won’t, either.
It may be hard to believe now, but there was once a time when studios would wait until a release had proven itself at the box-office before investing in a massive franchise around it. But the likes of DC, Marvel, and the future firee at Universal who came up with the Dark Universe boondoggle have now set a standard of placing the cart before the horse, and other studios cannot help but follow suit. Fox is the latest showbiz entity to go all-in on an untested concept, banking that the respectable profits generated by that Goosebumps movie from 2015 that you’ve already forgotten about shall be a bellwether for future riches.
Rough day to be Ben Affleck, the kind of day that makes you just wanna get away from it all by sneaking into your car and having a quick sad-vape. His performance as Batman has begun to emerge the fanbase’s most-loathed, and to add insult to injury, he was ousted from the director’s chair on upcoming solo film The Batman. Now, even more insult has been added to that injury, as replacement director Matt Reeves has begun to clean house and get himself comfy in a new franchise.
The memory of Ang Lee, sensitive humanist auteur from Taiwan's New Wave has become a distant memory over the past decade or so. All hail Ang Lee, constructor of boundary-pushing technical spectacle! He earned his second Best Director Academy Award for besting the hazard-trifecta of children, animals, and water with Life of Pi and then introduced public audiences to high-framerate hyperreal photography with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk last year. (Though opinions on the extent to which he succeeded on that second one vary wildly.) And now, the news is out that he’ll rejoin us in 2019 for another huge undertaking.
The Hollywood Reporter recently unearthed a vintage interview with comics giant Stan Lee from back in 1977, and on the occasion of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s release, they’ve decided to share some of its contents with the public. And if I may editorialize for a moment, it’s the single most relatable, humanizing media appearance the famously camera-friendly Lee has ever done. Because the unearthed truth of this Q&A is that Stan Lee did exactly what I would do — what any of us would do, really — if I was the head of Marvel Comics during the ‘70s: mess with DC all the time.
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
While you and I may know July 3rd as “Fasting in Anticipation of Tomorrow’s Onslaught of Grilled Meats Day,” a certain subset of conspiracy-monger recognizes it as World UFO Day. Apparently, one such believer resides at Sony, as the studio released a mysterious new video on the 3rd and included the hashtag #WorldUFODay in the caption on YouTube. In it, a glowing green air traffic controller’s matrix appears on screen with some slightly-garbled dialogue in the background about an enigmatic foreign craft entering their airspace. While some may find its significance confounding, Spielberg fans recognized the clip straightaway.
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