News Bits to Think On: 'Gravity' + 'Les Mis' & 'Hobbit' Running Times
Time to gather up some interesting news on three upcoming movies. There have been a few stories floating around recently that I thought would be worth pointing out. They're not the biggest news for each, but they are intriguing bits nonetheless, and worth talking about. Up first, thanks to a tip from The Film Stage, the latest batch of MPAA ratings released included a PG-13 for Alfonso Cuarón's latest sci-fi Gravity. The film was pulled from the schedule this year (originally for November 21st) and put TBD in 2013 at some point. Guess the MPAA kept their schedule. The other news bits pertain to running times for Hobbit and Les Mis.
Many film fans are anxiously awaiting the chance to see Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, his new sci-fi (read more about it here) co-starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney following mostly one astronaut floating through space, but it was delayed until 2013 even though it filmed in the summer of 2011. The story comes from The Film Stage, where they noticed that the MPAA ratings batch included Gravity. His original tweet:
Gravity rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language. Now can we get a release date?
— The Film Stage (@TheFilmStage) October 24, 2012
They go on to remind us that Gravity did test screen back in May, and this is all indication they're keeping with the production schedule. "With a second test screening happening just a few weeks ago in Los Angeles and this new MPAA, it looks like a final project is nearly complete. But when will it debut?" That is the big question. I'm not sure they'd toss it out last minute in 2012, but I am considering it might be scheduled in early 2013, before the summer. Though he later says, "I wouldn't be surprised to see them take The Tree of Life route with a Cannes debut following a summer release." That might be the case, too. We'll wait and see.
Next, there was another interesting tweet from a journalist about the running time of Tom Hooper's Les Miserables musical, starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried and Russell Crowe, that I wanted to point out. It came from Jeff Sneider of Variety, and he says he's "hearing" that Les Mis may be "running close to" 3 hours and the studio isn't going to cut it. Sounds great to me! Jeff's original tweet:
Hearing Les Miserables is running close to 3 hrs & studio has no plans to cut it down. Guess fans will get the epic they've been waiting for
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) October 23, 2012
Honestly, this is a good thing, it needs to be a massive sweeping epic to really win everyone over and live up to the book and Broadway musical, and it sounds like Tom Hooper has delivered. Some of the replies to his tweet sum up the excitement fans should have, like this one: "After reading the impossibly good screenplay, this is the best news I could've hoped for." Indeed. We haven't seen too much from it yet (a teaser, extended first look, and full TV spot) but I am very excited to see Les Mis this Christmas - in theaters December 25th.
Finally, some other similar running time news, also for a huge December movie. In the latest issue of The Hobbit-themed Empire magazine (via indieWire), Peter Jackson decided to reveal the running time of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first movie in the new trilogy. As expected, it almost runs 3 hours as well (lots of long movies this winter!) but that should be good news, I wouldn't expect anything less from Jackson's long-awaited return to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth. Here is PJ's full quote from Empire:
"It's looking like it's going to be about ten minutes shorter than Fellowship was," explains Jackson. "So it's going to be officially our shortest Middle-earth yet. I mean, Fellowship was just under three hours and this is about 2 hours 40 minutes at the moment."
As they go on to remind us, he says "at the moment" which means lacking credits and final touches. But don't forget, this is supposed to play in IMAX too and he can't get too long since they have limits. This also leaves room for an Extended Edition to come in at over 3 hours, although Warner Bros later claimed that early leak wasn't accurate and it's unsure if that will even happen yet. Nonetheless, I'm excited for another nearly-3-hour adventure back into Middle Earth with Bilbo and Gandalf, and I have nothing against long movies. As long as they can keep a story together, everything will turn out great. In Peter Jackson we trust!
In addition to this news, Empire also released a collectible set of 5 new covers based on The Hobbit, which is where we've featured the photo at the top from. You can find all five of them on Empire for Bilbo, Gandalf, Gollum, Galadriel and Thorin. They're similar to the lenticular posters seen at Comic-Con this summer. In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit... arriving in theaters this December 14th. We'll keep you updated.
So there you go. Three news bits about running times and release rumors based on an early MPAA rating. I'm looking forward to all three of these upcoming movies, for now The Hobbit the most. Your thoughts?