As we continue into the awards season in early 2016, more guilds are announcing their nominees/awards for the outstanding films of 2015. Next up is the Directors Guild of America, one of the heavy weights and usually strong indicators of what's to come. The DGA announced nominees for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film 2015, and they've chosen a near perfect set of nominees this year. To top it off, they announced an entirely new category - outstanding directorial achievement by first-time filmmakers, featuring some of my own favorite films this year: The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Son of Saul, Ex Machina, and The Gift. It's fantastic to see these films by budding filmmakers highlighted by the DGA. Full list below.
Briefly: This isn't big news, since details are still unconfirmed, but it's worth pointing out anyway. For those anxious to see the storyline in Ryan Coogler's Creed continue, don't worry, MGM is planning to have the sequel out in two years. Variety reports that MGM CEO Gary Barber told them on Sunday night at the Golden Globes "of his release plan [for 2017], adding that the date hasn’t been set in stone yet." Stallone recently commented on a sequel as well, reminding everyone it's all about the timing "There’s a diminishing time acceptance of a sequel. Three years is a little much." So for now the plan is November 2017. There's also still no confirmed news about whether Ryan Coogler is returning to direct, which is an important detail.
The winners of the HFPA's 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, the precursor to the Academy Awards, have been announced tonight at a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton hotel, hosted by the always hilarious Ricky Gervais. Hopefully he makes this night go by fast, as the HFPA can always be a bit boring. Our list below will be updated with all film-related winners as they're revealed during the live broadcast. The nominees featured a number of great films from 2015, but they had a few odd picks thrown in as usual, and I'm intrigued to find out which stories/actors the HFPA fell for this time. Find out who took home Globes!
With the Academy Award nominations coming up next week, it's time for the Brits to reveal their favorites first. The nominations for the 69th Annual BAFTA Awards (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) were announced today. The top films are Todd Haynes' Carol and Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, each rounding up a total of nine nominations. The BAFTAs have a large set of categories similar to the Oscars, and they always feature some very unique picks among the nominees. This year's Best Film line-up: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Revenant and Spotlight. Mad Max: Fury Road also received seven noms.
Another day, another remake. We've been reporting on this remake for 9 years, ever since rumors began in 2007. James Cameron has been behind a remake of the 1966 sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage for years and years. THR is now reporting that Guillermo del Toro is in talks to develop and direct the Fantastic Voyage remake for Fox, developing through Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment. There isn't much else to add beyond that, as the movie doesn't even have a date yet so things are still coming together. Which has been the case every time a director starts to develop this project, but I would enjoy seeing Del Toro's take.
Kevin Spacey now runs a movie studio. This is awesome news! It's a New Year, so it must be time to make new changes. As many know, Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media has been having quite a bit of trouble recently - they filed for bankruptcy and have been marred with lawsuits and a myriad of problems. But apparently they're turning things around, as Kavanaugh himself has announced a new set of executives who will take over steering the ship. Actor Kevin Spacey and Producer Dana Brunetti, long-time partners in the industry, will be taking over Relativity Media. Variety reports on the news with quotes (see below) and a few details. "Spacey will become chairman of Relativity Studios and Brunetti president as of mid-February."
The next set of 2016 awards nominees have been revealed. The WGA Awards nominations were unveiled today, featuring a very diverse set of films from last year. Included among the nominees: Adam McKay's Wall Street underdog The Big Short, along with Ridley Scott's The Martian, and Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs, plus John McNamara's script for Trumbo in the adapted category. Plus on the original side they nominated the Coen Brothers' Bridge of Spies, along with Sicario, Spotlight, and surprisingly, Amy Schumer's Trainwreck. Some very interesting picks this time. Check out the list of film nominees below.
Add another sequel onto the pile for 2017. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, filmmaker Michael Bay admitted he's finally going to finish up and move on from the Transformers series after he directs yet another one. The next one up is Transformers 5, due out sometime in 2017, with over 8 different writers credited on the screenplay so far including Zak Penn, Jeff Pinkner and Akiva Goldsman. The interview with Bay covers his career with a focus on his most recent film, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, but he does chat about Transformers a few times, hinting that he's directing #5, then he will (probably) move on.
Now that we're into the year 2016, we've launched the 2017 Release Schedule, listing the release dates for all the movies currently scheduled to open in theaters that year. Anyone who has been following the news already knows just how epic and crazy 2017 is going to be. Not only is that when we're going to see the next movie in the Skywalker Star Wars saga (Episode VIII, opening May 26th), but James Cameron's next Avatar sequel is supposed to arrive in December. 2015 was a huge year for (franchise) movies, but 2017 is shaping up to be even bigger. Highly anticipated sequels, reboots, new franchise restarts and so much more.
Now this is cool. Legendary Pictures has a knack for putting on epic events (like this Godzilla installation at Comic-Con a few years back) and they've put together another impressive fan-experience for the upcoming Warcraft live-action movie. It's common knowledge that all of Blizzard's games are extremely popular in Asian countries, so it makes sense this installation is in China, where it'll connect with many fans (and it's expected to play very well in theaters). At a mall (the "Joycity") in Chengdu, China, Legendary has installed a "Warcraft Experience" that they've dubbed the "biggest free movie-themed exhibition ever mounted in China." It looks pretty damn cool, better than any other setup we've seen for this so far. Take a look below.
Christopher Nolan is making a WWII movie! Rumors hit over the weekend, after the Mayor of Dunkirk, France announced that a major film production was shooting in May, and now details have been confirmed. The Wrap reports that Nolan is directing a film called Dunkirk, about the WWII evacuation of Dunkirk, France in 1940 (before the US really got involved in the war). He will be filming at the exact location in France this summer, with a release set for July 2017. In addition, they're saying that actors Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in talks to star in the action-thriller (in unspecified roles). This is very exciting, even though I was hoping he would tell a WWII story greater in scope than just Dunkirk.
So this is the new version Studio Ghibli. No longer producing feature films on their own, they're now an animation collaborator, working with global production companies and filmmakers to help animate their stories. While this news was first reported in April (by Screen Daily), a few weeks ago Studio Ghibli in Japan announced that they're co-producing, with French distributor Wild Bunch, an animated movie called The Red Turtle. Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit is directing, along with Japanese animation legend Isao Takahata working as Artistic Producer. Studio Ghibli will release the film in 2016 in Japan.
In honor of the upcoming release of the new Charlie Kaufman film Anomalisa, Paramount Pictures is presenting a retrospective of four his previous films playing on the big screen again at Landmark Theatres in NY, LA, Chicago and San Francisco. Kaufman's Anomalisa is an intelligent, stop-motion animated drama co-directed by Duke Johnson, earning rave reviews from critics after premiering at festivals. The four films they're bringing back as part of the Kaufman retrospective are: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York. All are brilliant films, all worth seeing (again).
Oh boy. 2017 is shaping up to be a very big year between Episode VIII, Justice League, War for the Planet of the Apes. In December of 2017, they'll be pitting James Cameron's Avatar 2 against Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation. The next Star Wars movie is already confirmed for May of 2017, and now Cameron has confirmed that Avatar 2 is headed for release in December of 2017. It was initially reported in January that Cameron was delaying the release until 2017 giving them more time to work on the scripts and put plans together. This is going to be a brand new Avatar trilogy, with new ones coming every year.