Optimus Prime - Transformers 4

Get ready folks, Paramount and Hasbro are planning to serve up a lot more pain.

Hasbro Studios president Stephen J. Davis spoke at MIP Junior in Cannes over the weekend and touched on where the Transformers film franchise is going… and it’s not pretty.

Well, you’re gonna see a new Transformers movie coming from Hasbro and Paramount and Michael Bay and our other partners. In fact, we just finished, which some of you may have read, just an incredible experience. We decided that we wanted to plot out the next 10 years of the Transformers franchise and so we got together in a room over a three-month period of time. Nine of some of the most creative writers I have ever worked with, shepherded by Akiva Goldsman, who many of you may know won an Academy Award for A Beautiful Mind and written a bunch of really great movies, and they plotted out the next 10 years of Transformers. Similarly, we’re doing the same in television and in digital. So stay tuned, Transformers 5 is on its way, and 6 and 7 and 8.

Considering how bad Transformers: Age of Extinction was, I can’t imagine this series going on in any way. It’s critically panned, people make fun of it… and yet it makes money. Luckily it makes the majority of its money overseas, so the U.S. isn’t totally to blame, but we don’t help the matter either.

Hopefully somewhere along the line this plan will hit a speedbump, but for now it looks as though subpar Transformers movies are with us for some time to come.


The Martian trailer 1

Everyone love the red planet it seems.

The Martian, the latest film from Ridley Scott took the top spot at the box office this weekend with $55M. That’s just $700K the current record holder for an October opening which happens to be held by Gravity.

Second place went to Hotel Transylvania 2 which dropped just 31.9 percent from its opening weekend to take in $33M for a new domestic total of $90.54M. It’s outpacing the original film, so a Hotel Transylvania 3 seems like a given at this point.

Sicario landed in third place as it expanded to wide release to take in $12M. It now stands at $15M off of its $30M budget.

The Intern slipped into fourth place with just $11.62M, but that is only a 34.5 percent drop from its opening weekend which is very respectable.

Rounding out the top five was Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials which took in $7.65M and now sits at $63.24M off of its $61M budget.

The only film opening wide next weekend is Pan, and with it tracking very soft, don’t expect to see many changes in the top five.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2015 – 4th Quarter report.


Thor Ragnarok logo

At long last there is movement on third Thor film, Thor: Ragnarok.

Things have been awfully quiet in regards to the third solo Thor film, especially considering there was a scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron that began the set up for it. (The pool scene no one seems to understand.) As the last solo film out before the beginning of the Infinity War, odds are high this will be a pivotal film in Phase 3 of the MCU.

So, who will be taking on this task? Well, according to The Wrap the director’s chair will be occupied by Taika Waititi, best known for his work on Flight of the Conchords.

At this time there is no script, but seeing as Waititi just wrote the animated film Moana for Disney, it seems likely he will have a hand in it. With the title in place, however, it seems Marvel knows where this is going, and going by the storyline in the comics, and the knowledge of “Ragnarok” from Norse mythology, this is going to be a heck of a story.

The only cast currently known to be returning for sure right now are Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Jamie Alexander (Lady Sif).

Thor: Ragnarok is currently scheduled to hit theaters on July 28, 2017.

[ Source The Wrap ]


Damage Control issue 1

ABC has ordered a script for a pilot for a half-hour comedy series based on Marvel’s Damage Control comic series.

Honestly, my only surprise in this news from Variety is that it took this long. The basic premise is pretty simple, but it makes so much sense.

According to the series description, the Marvel cleaning crew specializes in dealing with the aftermath of the unique fallout from super hero conflicts. They are the ones who are in charge of returning lost ray guns to their rightful owners, help to reschedule a wedding venue after it has been vaporized in a super hero battle or even track down a missing prize African parrot that’s been turned to stone or goo. Sometimes the most important super heroes are the ones behind the scenes — and that’s who “Damage Control” will follow.

This series first popped up in the 1980s, and while it wasn’t a huge hit, the team has made appearances here and there through out the years. After the events of The Avengers one of my first thoughts was “What a perfect chance for a Damage Control easter egg.” Even if it had just been a logo on the side of a dump truck, it would have made me laugh out loud.

Can it be made into an ongoing television series? That’s a huge question, but as the pilot script is focusing on a single-camera concept (similar to The Office, Modern Family and so on) I can see how it could turn into more of a workplace comedy that just happens to deal with all of these events in the MCU.

As it stands, this is a pilot script order, so there are a great many steps to go before we would ever see this on ABC, but at least Damage Control is in play, and if done correctly could be a really fun look behind the curtain of these fights that entertain us so much.

[ Source Variety ]


Star Wars: The Force Awakens..Ph: Film Frame..?Lucasfilm 2015

With episode numbers dropped from the core Star Wars films, it turns out there is another way to tell them apart.

Folks, there is a good chance this is a spoiler, so you may want to turn away now.

Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, recently spoke with Costco Connection about the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and explained how you can tell a “Saga” (the first two trilogies) from the upcoming “A Star Wars Story” films. “The Saga films focus on the Skywalker family saga,” Kennedy explained. “The stories follow a linear narrative that connects to the previous six films. The Force Awakens follows Return of the Jedi and continues that generational story. The [Star Wars Story] films offer opportunities to explore fresh characters, new storylines and a variety of genres inside the Star Wars universe.”

The phrase ‘generational story’ really catches my eye. The prequel trilogy followed Anakin Skywalker. The original trilogy followed his children, Luke and Leia. So doesn’t it make sense that a third trilogy would be about a new generation of Skywalkers?

To date Rey (Daisey Ridley) has not had a last name revealed, and neither has Finn (John Boyega), but the persistent rumor and leaks have pointed to Rey being the daughter of Han and Leia. It’s possible she was put into hiding on Jakku to protect her and even she is not aware of who she is. And if you follow a lot of the other script rumors as I do, the evidence is mounting that she is indeed the next Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on Dec. 18.

[ Via The Hollywood Reporter ]


Daredevil 1

There hadn’t been too much of a question that the Netflix shows and Marvel movies exist in the same universe, but now a crossover seems “inevitable.”

Speaking at a promotional event for the home video release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige addressed the notion of the Netflix heroes and villains making their way to the big screen.

I think that’s inevitable at some point, as we’re plotting the movies going forward and they’re doing the shows. The schedules don’t always quite match up to make that possible—it’s easier for them, they’re more nimble and faster and produce things quicker than we do, which is one of the main reasons you see the repercussions of Winter Soldier or Age of Ultron in the show. But going forward, and certainly as they do more shows and cast them with such great actors as they have—particularly in Daredevil—that may occur. But the reality of it is by the time we start doing a movie, they’d be midway through a season then by the time the movie comes out they’d be done with the second and starting the third season, so finding timing on that is not always easy.

All of this doesn’t mean that Daredevil will suddenly show up in a Marvel film with a huge speaking role, but I have a feeling we may see the Hell’s Kitchen heroes show up in Avengers: Infinity War in a manner of dealing with ground fights or helping people out of buildings. Even if it’s only for a few seconds.

Where it does get interesting is that Feige confirmed that Vincent D’Onofrio is Wilson Fisk/Kingpin on both TV and in the movies. While that may not seem like such a big deal, the Kingpin is as much a Spider-Man villain as he is for Daredevil. I wouldn’t be surprised to see D’Onofrio show up in the upcoming Spider-Man relaunch in some way. (And break my heart as D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Fisk was mesmerizing)

When will all of this happen? Who knows, but I’m ready.


X-Files 2016

The X-Files are coming back, and we’re finally getting a taste of what we’re in for.

Lets face it, X-Files did not end its hit nine season run on a high note. It had become so bogged down in its alien conspiracy that I’m not sure it knew the entire story any more. The cast had been changed up, everything was muddled, and it felt a bit like a mercy killing to see it end.

… but I can’t help but be excited for it to return. From the trailer it appears the conspiracy is still in play, but I have a feeling it won’t be quite as messy this time around. They have had years to think it out after all.

Seriously? Cigarette Smoking Man is alive somehow? Well… alrighty then.

I seriously hope this is good. I will be seriously bummed if this is just more mumbo jumbo.

The X-Files will premiere on Jan. 24, 2016.


Captain America Civil War logo

Captain America: Civil War is inching closer to release, and the cast is already starting to tell us what we can expect.

Speaking at the Salt Lake City Comic-Con, Chris Evans offered up a lot of info about the overall tone of the film, and it sounds like it’s going to be tense.

Tony [Iron Man] actually thinks we should be signing these accords and reporting to somebody and Cap, who’s always been a company man and has always been a soldier, actually doesn’t trust anymore. Given what happened in Cap 2, I think he kind of feels the safest hands are his own. And these are understandable concerns, but this is tough, because even reading the script, you think I think I agree with Tony in a way, and I do agree that to make this work, you do need to surrender to the group. It can’t just be one person saying this is right and this is what we’re going to do.

But Cap has his reasons, he certainly has his reasons, and he is a good man and his moral compass is probably the cleanest. This is a tough thing. This is what made it so interesting while we were filming, and it’s hopefully what will make the movie great is nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. There’s no clear bad guy here. We both have a point of view, which is akin to most disagreements in life and politics.

I was already on board for this film, but this discussion sold me that this has the makings of not just a great Marvel movie, but a great movie. With the same creative team that brought us Captain America: The Winter Soldier behind it, I’m not too surprised.

Captain America: Civil War will hit theaters on May 6, 2016.

[ Via Salt Lake Tribune ]


Hotel Transylvania 2 banner

Sony finally scored a win this weekend at the box office. I guess everyone has their day.

Hotel Transylvania 2 set a new record for a September box office opening beating the old one held by, you guessed it, the first Hotel Transylvania. It also set a record Sony Animation with a $47.5M opening off of an $80M budget. It’s getting high marks from evit tracker CinemaScore, so it should hold for a while.

Second place went to the Nancy Meyers comedy, The Intern starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro. It took in $18.22M off of its $35M budget.

No matter how hard Fox may try to make us think we want Maze Runner movies, the numbers tell us otherwise. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials slipped 53.8 percent in its second weekend to take in $14M and now sits at $51.68M off of a $61M budget.

Fourth place went to mountain climbing epic Everest which expanded into wide release this weekend. It took in $13M and now stands at $23.12M off of a $55M budget.

Rounding out the top five was Johnny Depp’s Black Mass which in $11.51M for a new total of $42.6M off of a $53M budget.

Next weekend’s big releases include Sicario and The Martian.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2015 – 4th Quarter report.


prometheus engineer

It seems Ridley Scott can’t make up his mind just where Prometheus 2/Alien: Paradise Lost is heading.

Recently I reported on the fact that Ridley Scott thought it might take three more films for Prometheus to catch up to Alien. Well… something has changed apparently. In the past few days Scott has begun calling the film Alien: Paradise Lost, as well as claiming it will have some connections to Ripley this time out.

Speaking with Empire, Scott explained the title change and where he might be headed.

Years ago, I kept mulling over what Alien 2 could be. I was fiddling around with some ideas. I was always fascinated with why this thing [the xenomorph] would be made, by whom, and for what purpose? The planet it was on – and I was looking at the dark side of the moon – would be called Paradise. Paradise is a very ominous word.

In a way it is Prometheus 2. It’s exactly the same story. But it was always in the works to be called that [Alien: Paradise Lost]. Is Prometheus actually taking us off course from where I’m going, which is actually backing into the first Alien… I’ve even got connections with Ripley [in this], but I’m not telling you what.

My guess as to the potential connection to Ripley is the ship crashing on LV-426. It’s still more than 26 years until Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and the crew of the Nostromo find the ship according to most timelines, and somehow I think Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) has something to do with that ship ending up there. Although the skeletal remains of the Space Jockey/Engineer, along with the amount of dust in the ship, might imply it has been there for longer.

… I clearly think about this stuff way too much.

Clearly Ridley Scott is moving forward with this, and filming is expected to commence in January or February of next year. What exactly we’re going to see on the screen is anyone’s guess at this point.

[ Source Empire ]


Spectre Trailer 2 - 29

At long last, the theme song for SPECTRE has arrived.

Almost as exciting as a new James Bond movie itself, the debut of the latest theme song for 007’s latest adventure is always a momentous occasion. Will it live up to the great ones that have come before it? Will it give us a hint to the tone? (After seeing Skyfall, you realize the theme song actually told you a ton.) And, most importantly of all, will you want to listen to it again?

Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” checks all the boxes for me, but following in Adele’s foot steps was going to be a tough act for anyone. I like Smith’s song, but… it’s just not “Skyfall.”

I honestly didn’t jump over the moon for “Skyfall” until many listens later, and “Writing’s on the Wall” is already growing on me, so we’ll see how it shakes out in the end.

For comparison, here is Adele’s “Skyfall,” which is easily in my personal top three Bond theme songs.

SPECTRE launches in the U.K. on Oct. 26, and in the U.S. on Nov. 6.


Men in Black

The reboot train in Hollywood continues with Men in Black looking like one of the next likely targets.

Speaking about their career and the future, Hollywood producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald had a lengthy interview with The Hollywood Reporter that included one section that should thrill everyone to no end.

You produced Men in Black. Has there been talk of reviving that franchise with the new Sony regime?

PARKES We’re in the middle of it. It’s very active.

Is Will Smith going to be part of it?

PARKES Most likely no.

MACDONALD It will be reinvented as a trilogy.

Yes, because Hollywood needs more reboots.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first Men in Black, and still do. The second one was not entertaining at all, but the third at least had a few nice ideas. There is, however, about absolutely no reason to revisit this property again. I think everything it has to say has been said, and a lot of it was based off the charm machine Will Smith was at the height of his career.

Sorry, I like the concept, but there is just really no reason to go back to this well yet again, let alone three times.

[ Source The Hollywood Reporter ]