"Simply submit a video of your most life-like ape imitation." 20th Century Fox has unveiled a TV spot for the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes sequel, but it's actually more of an announcement for a contest they're hosting to win a walk-on role. The TV spot features only behind-the-scenes footage of the film currently shooting, since it's a major production and they just started a month ago (and it doesn't come out until 2017). Actor/filmmaker Andy Serkis, who plays Caesar, joins director Matt Reeves in the video to introduce the contest and remind everyone that the next Apes movie is already in production. One winner will receive a chance to come to set, wear a suit and actually become an ape in the movie. That's awesome.
The odds were not always in favor of The Hunger Games. Sure, when Lionsgate and indie studio Color Force picked up the rights to the Suzanne Collins' series in 2009, the young adult craze was in full swing. Still, nothing was guaranteed. Just ask the people behind The Golden Compass film about risks and rewards in the game of YA adaptations. They'll have some stories of heartbreak. Since the release of The Hunger Games in 2012, though, this was the new franchise by which others were measured. It's taken just four years for the series to begin and reach its inevitable conclusion, and that time has finally come. The series on fire ends with Mockingjay – Part 2, the thrilling conclusion to a truly awesome series of movies.
Say what? Our friends at io9 have written about a movie called 100 Years that stars John Malkovich and Shuya Chang, directed by Robert Rodriguez, set in the future. Yes this is actually one giant marketing gimmick to promote a liquor called Louis XIII Cognac, an ultra-luxury liquor that is aged 100 years. The idea is that the film has been made, but is going into the cognac vaults for 100 years, and will be stored there not to be shown until 2115. There are teasers and a featurette available (below) but apparently none of these have anything to do with the actual movie. Yeah. Instead, no one alive now will probably ever see what they actually make (really?), but someone will one day. Supposedly. Or maybe we're just supposed to imagine it.
It's official. After news hit this morning that the title of the Prometheus sequel would not actually be Alien: Paradise Lost, 20th Century Fox has come to clear up the confusion and confirm the real title. The official title is Alien: Covenant, and the official release date is now October 6th, 2017. Many will also recall that it was revealed Neill Blomkamp's solo spin-off Alien movie has been put on hold. This explains why - even the title of this next one is Alien related, which means they're not taking the same route as Prometheus and pretending like it has nothing to do with Alien (they didn't even mention the word "alien" in any of the marketing material). They also, perhaps, want to distance themselves from the bad taste Prometheus left.
He's not like us. What does it all mean? Earlier this week Entertainment Weekly debuted the first official photo from the film Midnight Special, the family-friend science fiction movie from writer/director Jeff Nichols (of Take Shelter, Mud and Shotgun Stories). This is the film that was pushed back after Warner Bros wanted to tweak it a bit, and now it's getting ready for release March next year. The first photo shows the boy's mother & father, played by Michael Shannon & Kirsten Dunst, with Alton, played by Jaeden Lieberher, as well as Joel Edgerton. The poster gives us a better hint at what's to come, but still vague.
"This is some simulation." There's a new trailer for a science fiction film called 400 Days, but it's actually a Syfy Film that is getting a full theatrical release in January. Turned out better than they were hoping, maybe? 400 Days is from writer/director Matt Osterman and is about a "social experiment" where a small crew of astronauts embarks on a deep space mission to another planet where the travel time is 400 days. Essentially, can they live together in isolation in deep space for that long? The feature film stars Brandon Routh and Caity Lotz, Ben Feldman, comedian Dane Cook, Tom Cavanaugh and Grant Bowler. This definitely looks Syfy cheesy at times, and overly horrific by the end, but I'm still curious to check it out.
"I'm not here to amend my own life in some way, I've made peace with all my failures…" Get ready for a mindf*ck with this one. There's a cool short film we highly recommend watching called Therefore I Am, a sci-fi psychological thriller from the McCoubrey Brothers - the same guys who made that dark comedy The Grey Matter. The film is set around a conversation between a man and someone claiming to be himself from the future, but everything changes with every word spoken. It is a "a time travel story", but not in the way you think. It reminds me a bit of that short Interview With a Time Traveler, but even more intelligent.
It's happening! It's really, really happening. Duncan Jones is going to make his movie Mute, his passion sci-fi project, while we wait for Warcraft to hit theaters (in June 2016). Earlier in the year we posted rumors about financing and deals coming together so that it actually works out; now it's official. Duncan has started casting and they've officially announced two names for Mute - Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgard. Skarsgard will play Leo Beiler, a mute bartender. He goes on the search for the missing girl that means everything to him, leading him to an "odd pair of American surgeons", one of whom will be played by Rudd.
"We hope you enjoy our take on the adventures of Samus Aran." This is awesome! There's a fantastic new fan film called Metroid: The Sky Calls going around the internet that everyone needs to see - watch in full below. It's an adaptation, or a fresh new take really, on the video game series Metroid, which is about a kick ass female bounty hunter named Samus Aran who wears special futuristic armor to fight with. Actress Jessica Chobot plays Samus in this short, reminding me a bit of the way Robert Downey Jr. plays Iron Man in the suit. There's a very impressive, old school, gritty deep space sci-fi vibe to this that makes it so fascinating. Plus, I love a really good sci-fi short. Whether or not you're a Metroid fan, this is worth a watch.
This is why Guillermo del Toro always says you must be working on multiple projects at once. So if (or inevitably when) one falls apart, you already have another in the works that you can pick up and continue. Vancouver-based filmmaker Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter last night to announce his Alien 5 project is officially "holding/ pending prometheus 2". Blomkamp has been sending out photos of concept art and weapons designs, and it looks like he was making major progress developing his version of Alien. However, word going ’round was that Ridley Scott is so excited to be working on Prometheus 2 again, he wants that to be the only sci-fi from this universe. So until they've figured that out and finished it, this movie is on hold.
"You've given them an opportunity - people want to fight!" With only a few more weeks left to go, Lionsgate has unleashed an "epic finale" TV spot for Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. This first aired during the World Series on TV and is now online for your viewing. Mockingjay - Part 2 is the all-out grand finale for this series, starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, the girl who lead the revolution to overthrow the Capitol. This really does look epic, with more action and even sci-fi elements popping up all over. I really, truly hope we see her bring down the Capitol in an all out war, because that's what this has all be leading towards, and that's what I want to see. It's time to finally put an end to Snow.
The Future is Now! Today is the day. It's Back to the Future Day! Why? Because in Back to the Future II, this is the day Marty arrived in the future to help Doc Brown sort things out - October 21st, 2015. Yep, we're totally living in the future, but like, right now. To capitalize on the geeky celebration, news media the world over are going all out. USA Today has re-published the front cover of the newspaper as seen in the movie (image below). Universal is re-releasing another anniversary Blu-ray box set this week and put out a special video with the Doc himself, Christopher Lloyd. Mondo is re-releasing a new vinyl version of the trilogy's original soundtracks, plus more artwork. Strap in and get ready to go back, to the future, right now.
"Please sir, stay calm! Let me play my role while you play yours!" Take a look at this fun, short film about a crop circle tour guide getting into a spat with her tour guests. Cropped is directed by filmmaker Chris Thomas and is an amusing Homespun Yarns film about the "Crop Hops: Circles of Life" tour to go see real crop circles. It's a nicely made short on a very limited budget, focusing on the story and atmosphere more than anything. Yes, the VFX are a bit weak when they show up, but I like the music, and the overall feel of the short is impressive for something this small. Nice work. A good short to get you in a scary movie mood.
All hail Caesar! This is awesome. Filmmaker Matt Reeves posted a must see photo to his Twitter account this weekend to commemorate the start of shooting on the next film, War of the Planet of the Apes. The shot shows a motion-capture person (the ape) approaching a horse with someone on it, on a very murky beach. Over at SlashFilm they say this beach is very reminiscent of the one from the end of the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, when they find the Statue of the Liberty. That would be a pretty obvious connection, but who knows exactly what part they're shooting here. Could be an entirely new scene but it's still very cool, and I'm excited more than ever to see Reeves continue this story. Filming just started on this Apes sequel.