Briefly: Shyamalan's new thriller has a date for early 2017. Over at The Wrap, they report that Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions have set a release for M. Night Shyamalan's Split on January 20th, 2017. Split is written and directed by Shyamalan, following up his return to low budget films The Visit this year, and is supposedly a "suspense thriller with elements of the supernatural". Other than that, there's no plot info available. The cast includes James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula and Haley Lu Richardson. There's already a lot of other weird horror scheduled for January 2017 between the delayed Friday the 13th reboot, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, plus Power Rangers and The Dark Tower movie. I'm curious what exactly Shyamalan's Split means - maybe split personality? McAvoy would be a great pick.
He's back! This is the year Michael Moore returns with a new documentary, titled Where to Invade Next, another look at some of America's problems. The doc just premiered at the Toronto and New York Film Festivals, receiving rave reviews from critics the world over. We also announced last month that a brand new indie distributor will be releasing the doc. Tom Quinn, Jason Janego and Tim League announced today that they will be releasing Michael Moore's new "comedy" Where To Invade Next in New York and Los Angeles starting on December 23rd, followed by a nationwide opening on January 15th via their "new, clandestine and as-yet-unnamed distribution label". I highly recommend seeing this doc when it's playing.
Way, way back when (really just 20 years ago), before he made Scott Pilgrim or Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead, wee little Edgar Wright made his first film at the "tender" age of 20. It's a goofy western called A Fistful of Fingers (referencing Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars), and it runs only 78 minutes, featuring mostly Wright's friends. When this was brought up during the release of The World's End, Edgar realized that the film was barely released and not many people have ever actually had the chance to see it (though it did hit the web a few years ago). Now it's getting a 20th anniversary re-release in London this November, and it's opening next month on the big screen with a premiere at Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Check it out.
Recently, Marvel (and Disney) announced that the sequel to Ant-Man would be titled Ant-Man and the Wasp and is slated to arrive in theaters July of 2018. We already know, and certainly expect, that actor Paul Rudd will be back as Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. Now THR is reporting that director Peyton Reed is also returning for the sequel, and is in negotiations to direct Ant-Man and the Wasp as his next feature. Most will remember that Peyton was chosen to replace Edgar Wright, who left after working on the project for a long time. The movie still turned out pretty good, the sequel is already in the works, and Reed will be back.
It's official. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has announced that Chris Rock will return to host the 88th Academy Awards coming up in late February next year. This will be the second time that Rock hosts the Oscars, as he first hosted them back in 2005 (when Million Dollar Baby won). He has not been nominated yet, but Rock returns as a successful filmmaker this time, having made the films I Think I Love My Wife and Top Five since last hosting. "Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry," said producers David Hill & Reginald Hudlin. "Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he's done it all. He's going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!" And he's funny. Bring on the Oscar season.
The more Morricone, the better. Our friends at The Film Stage picked up on a mention on the website for film distributor Wild Bunch that indicates Terrence Malick's long-awaited other film Voyage of Time will feature a score by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone. It mentions in the cast & crew listings there will be Original Music by Ennio Morricone. Many may remember the news we breathlessly reported earlier this year about Morricone returning to score his first original western in over 40 years - which would be Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, arriving in theaters later this December. It looks like Morricone will follow that up with Malick's Voyage of Time, his non-fiction film due sometime in late 2016, hopefully.
As announced at the end of the new trailer debuted on TV tonight, tickets are now on sale for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Check your local cinema's website for more info, and don't forget there are special seven-movie marathons happening at a good selection of movie theater chains around the country. Midnight and slightly earlier evening shows begin at 7PM on Thursday, December 17th, before the opening on Friday, December 18th coming up in two months. The only bad news - by the time anyone reads this, most of those shows have already been sold out nationwide. Nonetheless, you can still try and find some open seats in any theaters - it's playing almost everywhere. "The Force - it's calling to you…"
Get ready, Star Wars geeks. Your time has come. It has all lead to this. Tonight, Lucasfilm unveils the full trailer for Star Wars - The Force Awakens and will begin selling tickets. In the announcement of the new poster yesterday, they included brief details about marathon screenings being planned around the country. The "Star Wars Marathon Event" is the ultimate fan experience: "All seven movies. One epic journey. Guests will see each of the six previously released Star Wars episodes in digital 2D beginning with The Phantom Menace and concluding with the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 3D!" This is the ultimate Star Wars experience, and I already know a few friends planning to camp out just for this event.
Briefly: Get ready to be more excited than you've ever been before. This coming Monday, October 19th, it's going to be Star Wars Mania. Over at io9 they've confirmed with sources that the new trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be hitting on Monday evening. Right after the trailer hits, which I'm sure is going to make all of us go crazy with excitement, tickets for the opening day will go on sale. In addition to the trailer and tickets, an official poster will arrive on Sunday morning to remind us of the big reveal the next day. I've got a feeling everyone is going to be going Star Wars crazy on Monday, especially once the new trailer (presumably full of all kinds of new footage) drops. Stay tuned for lots of exciting Star Wars updates.
Some interesting development news regarding a science fiction project we've been following for years. Over at Hollywood Reporter, they're reporting that Austin, Texas-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is in negotiations to take over directing Battle Angel, the big sci-fi robot project that James Cameron had been attached to for years. In fact, Cameron is still a part of it, and provides a quote (see below) confirming he's just so busy with the Avatar sequels that he wants to let Rodriguez do it. If you recall, this is the movie that Cameron says he had to wait years for until the VFX were right, so maybe he has faith that Rodriguez can pull that off now. I'm not entirely sure if I'm particularly excited by this choice, but Cameron likes him.
Last week at the BFI London Film Festival, English filmmaker Christopher Nolan showed up for a few interesting discussions on film and filmmaking. During one of his chats about the importance of continuing to use real film, as opposed to digital, he briefly commented on the topic of the theatrical experience and how bad it has become. If there's anyone who knows about and should be listened to when it comes to the theatrical experience, it's Christopher Nolan, as he has always valued the big screen experience as much as the story, and that's why his films have such a cinematic feeling. "For some reason, it has become acceptable to say [to audiences] we are providing this empty room with a TV in it and just watch a film." Oh so true.
Now this is a release I am very excited about. We've all heard that Quentin Tarantino is planning a special roadshow release of his new western The Hateful Eight this December, and it will be shown specially in 70mm, in a few theaters that have been retrofitted with 70mm projectors. However, exact details on the film and the release plan had not been confirmed until today. Tarantino spoke to Variety and confirmed that the 70mm roadshow version of The Hateful Eight runs 3 hours, 1 minute and features an intermission. This glorious 70mm version will have scenes that play in "big, long, cool, unblinking takes", but he's cutting a slightly different version for the regular theatrical release. That one will be shorter with a few different edits.
The American Film Institute has announced that the recipient of the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award is composer John Williams. This is the first time in the 43 year history of the Life(time) Achievement Award that a composer has been chosen. Last year's recipient was Steven Martin, and the first recipient ever was John Ford in 1973. The AFI Life Achievement Award was established to honor a single individual for his or her lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television. Williams certainly deserves it, as he has been a composer for over 50 years working on so many classic films, earning 49 Oscar nominations and 5 wins over the years. And he still has a few more Star Wars scores in the works.
More sequels - oh no! Disney and Pixar have confirmed and announced release dates through 2019 for their upcoming slate of animated movies. The studio headed to social media to post an image showing the early teaser posters for all of the upcoming movies, along with release dates for each one. The Good Dinosaur hits theaters this year, followed by Finding Dory arriving June 17th, 2016 next summer. From there it's Cars 3 arriving June 16th, 2017 then their original Day of the Dead movie Coco opening on November 22nd, 2017. Then Toy Story 4 hits on June 15th, 2018 before The Incredibles 2 arrives June 21st, 2019.