For anyone who was a fan of Roger Ebert, it was clear that the legendary film critic was a lover of the classic sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The critic put the film on his Top 10 Films of All-Time, and when you consider the thousands of films Ebert saw throughout his long career, that's about the highest praise the iconic sci-fi opus can get. And if you need more evidence of Ebert's love of the film, then you should watch this nearly 30-minute chat the critic had with author Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote the book on which the film is based. Funnily enough, it takes place in 1997, the same year that HAL-9000 was "born."
This December, we'll see if Ridley Scott can finally deliver another great film by returning to the sword and sandal tale of Exodus: Gods and Kings (the trailer had impressive visuals, but felt a bit artificial otherwise). But he's got plenty of other projects on his future slate to keep him busy. The director's next film has been confirmed to be the sci-fi drama The Martian starring Matt Damon, but many are wondering when he'll get around to directing the developing sequels to his classic Blade Runner and the Alien prequel Prometheus. Well, Scott gave a brief update on the status of both sequels, giving us a vague timetable.
"Do not go gentle into that good night..." That beautiful quote you hear Michael Caine repeating in this latest TV spot and the trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey, is actually a beautiful poem by Dylan Thomas. Titled "Do not go gentle into that good night", Caine uses the lines about "rage, rage against the dying of the light" to inspire these astronauts to fight on and rage against the darkness of the universe, and to find another world for life to live on. This new spot, dubbed an "IMAX TV Spot", is just a rehash of the magnificent third trailer with no new footage at all. Which is good because we don't need to see any more footage any more, let's all walk in from this point and enjoy the experience.
"Welcome to Jurassic Park!" With the death of the great Richard Attenborough this week, the industry has been outspoken in their love for the legendary actor/filmmaker. One of the roles he is remembered for the most is Dr. John Hammond from Jurassic Park, the man who loved dinosaurs so much he had to bring them back to life. Steven Spielberg wrote about how Attenborough "was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back", but now the director of the new Jurassic World, Colin Trevorrow, has chimed in with his own "In Memoriam": a photo of a John Hammond statue, which we can only assume is from the new movie.
This sounds just about perfect. We've been following the development of filmmaking Dan Trachtenberg ever since his short Portal: No Escape blew up online a few years back. He's been attached to Y: The Last Man and a few other projects, but is now focused on developing a movie called Valencia, a secret micro-budget sci-fi story in development at Bad Robot set mostly in an underground cellar of sorts. Variety is now reporting that Trachtenberg has cast Mary Elizabeth Winstead to star in the film, which will also feature John Goodman (what - awesome?!) in the cast. I'm so glad this project is starting to actually come together.
Nowadays, in order to make a great pitch for a potential film, a director needs a proof-of-concept video to convey the style and tone of a project that they hope to get in front of a camera. In the case of original films that don't have established intellectual property and really need a convincing pitch, this is one of the most important elements of a pitch, especially when the film is a complex time travel thriller like Looper. Director Rian Johnson, who will soon be entering high pressure territory by directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, had to create one of these videos when he was pitching the superior sci-fi flick, and it's pretty cool.
"I never saw this land when it was green, before the drought came." Following some short teases from France and a very brief domestic trailer, we finally get a much better look at the ambitious sci-fi western Young Ones. Director Jake Paltrow has created an intimate sci-fi world that also has a subtly wide scope for what lies beyond our characters who are plagued by a seemingly endless drought. Michael Shannon attempts to keep his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and daughter (Elle Fanning) safe and grounded as the society around them, including the untrustworthy Nicholas Hoult, is getting more desperate all the time.
"If you want to survive, you must stay with us." Just recently, we highlighted two teaser posters for an upcoming sci-fi flick called Automata, starring Antonio Banderas. Now the first trailer has arrived, and it definitely has our attention. It seems like a mix of Isaac Asimov's I, Robot mixed with Blade Runner and a hint of District 9. It's gritty, with practical robots, and some impressive visuals for such a low profile sci-fi project. Of course, the question is whether or not the big ideas teased in the trailer are effectively transferred to the big screen, unlike the Will Smith attempt to adapt Asimov's classic work. Watch below!
Now this is something very unique. Some may remember an indie sci-fi film from a few years back titled Ink, about a mysterious creature that steals children's souls featuring mesmerizing visuals. Well, the filmmaking team behind Ink, husband and wife Jamin Winans and Kiowa Winans, have returned with a new project called The Frame where they've "dug even deeper" this time. They've been quietly working on this for the last three years, and now the first trailer has debuted. It's very nicely edited, a bit trippy, captivating and still mysterious. No plot details are available yet, but you might want to give this trailer a look anyway.
Harry Potter was the spark that began the latest flame of movies based on young adult novels. The Twilight and The Hunger Games films have kept the sub-genre thriving at full potential, studios buying up properties left and right to get in on the mix. The latest of these, The Giver, is not the go-to novel for the big screen, at least not as much as wizards and vampires, and the results are good reasoning for that. The story comes preloaded with its message, which the film paints in broad strokes, and no amount of quality execution or solid performances (there's both) can get around the hokey and cliched subtext it provides.
Coming out of left field today is the tease of a sci-fi project that we haven't heard anything about. Automata comes from Spanish filmmaker Gabe Ibáñez, and wrangles Antonio Banderas back into one of his rare sci-fi roles after playing with Spy Kids and The Skin I Live In, two very different films in the genre. This time he's diving into the future, about 50 years to be exact, and he's playing an insurance agent responsible for looking into cases regarding defective androids. Now two posters have popped up showing off a bald Banderas along with some of the robots in the film. It has a Mad Max meets District 9 vibe. Look!
Relativity Media didn't have much success with their family sci-fi adventure Earth to Echo, but that doesn't mean they're giving up on the genre. Deadline has word that the studio is developing Out of This World, another sci-fi adventure about a kid named Gardner who leads a rather unique life because he's raised by scientists in secret on a Mars colony after his astronaut mother passes away. Flash forward 16 years and Gardner heads back to Earth in order to road trip across America with a young woman, in search of the father that he has never known. That's an interesting twist on an otherwise familiar coming-of-age tale.
"Ain't no thing like me, 'cept me." So says Rocket Racoon, a genetically modified racoon with a bad attitude and a fair point. The same can be said for the movie he's in, Guardians of the Galaxy, the cosmic superhero epic that continues the Marvel cinematic universe. For that matter, you can lay that dialogue and its meaning at the feet of the film's writer/director, James Gunn, who has spent his days since Troma delivering hard-edged horror and unbelievably cool superhero stories. This is his first chance at a big comic book story, and the sci-fi action, comedy extraveganza within Guardians of the Galaxy is cool, comical, and a cracking great time. One could almost be inclined to call it the best Marvel Studios film yet. More below!
"Rage, rage, rage against the dying of the light." Paramount has unveiled the astonishing third trailer for Christopher Nolan's ambitious science fiction journey Interstellar, starring Matthew McConaughey. This trailer does show quite a bit, so if you want to stay completely fresh it's better to just enjoy the images for now. Everything about this looks spectacular, from the emotional journey to the visuals and progress through the wormhole. The Oscar caliber cast includes Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Mackenzie Foy, Topher Grace, Wes Bentley and John Lithgow. If you're prepared for the experience ahead, then fire up this trailer right away. This is my most anticipated this year.